Crisis at Ishtar
Chapter 1: Reminiscing about a forgotten home
The sound of children having fun wafted through the room. It looked like Reggie had declared a play day for the older children and they had taken advantage of that by coming to the hall and claiming several of the bowling lanes. I could see Bren and Rene sitting nearby and watching the children. However, I was sitting at a table close to the door of our recreation hall waiting for some of my sister concubines to finish their duties for the day.
Yes, I just admitted that I am a concubine and writing from one of the planets that forms the Confederacy. I am not sure how the other planets work, but here I am known as James Rabb's Meiko, or simply Meiko. It has been a bit of an adjustment being a concubine, but in the seven and a half months I have been with my sister concubines and James, I have never been happier.
And I think that is the biggest surprise for me. I was still just a junior in high school when The Average Joes Special played on TV, revealing the Sa'arm. Two years later I was a college freshman when my college roommate Janice and I decided to attend a small country music concert. I went to support my friend, and we found ourselves in the middle of a pickup.
Janice wanted to strip and join the orgy, but I was frightened. She was working on coaxing me to join when we heard someone attempt to speak to her. I had closed my eyes to stop looking at the orgy. Waves of alternating disgust and excitement were pouring through me. Then I heard the man say that being a concubine might not be bad with the right sponsor.
My response still embarrasses me, and there are nights I wonder why James did not walk away, but mere moments later Janice and I were following him and helping him entice Tina and Bethany into joining us for a trip to the stars. James promised that he would respect and care for us.
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I had a CAP score and card thanks to the secret visit to a testing center my sister and I made one Sunday, but my father had banned us from learning much about the Confederacy.
Well, my wildest and most hopeful dreams did not encompass what my life has become. I am sitting mostly because my ankles start hurting if I stand much right now. I am pregnant with the first of what I hope is many children I will bear for the man who means everything to me. I must have had a dreamy look on my face because I was startled to hear someone speak to me.
"Hey little one. Mind if I sit here with the new girl?"
I opened the eyes I had not even realized I had closed, to see Donna standing next to the table dressed in her white surgical gown. Next to her I could see the dark wavy hair of Alexis Larson, a woman who had arrived in the enclave two months ago when the ceiling was collapsed on the other side of the colony. Healing her body had been quick, but Donna and Shawna were finding it difficult to get the woman out of the pod she had taken refuge in. I immediately offered a nod.
"See?" Alexis hissed. "This concubine doesn't even talk to others, she's so cowed! That's all that the men do to their concubines."
Donna was shaking her head as she slid into the chair on my right. The other woman stood behind another of the chairs, her back straight. I turned to smile and wave at her before looking over at Donna.
Donna actually reached out to run her fingers through my hair. "Meiko cowed? I'm sure she'd be surprised to have anyone call her that. I can think of maybe one concubine who is more content with her life than this little one."
"Why do you call her that?" Alexis snapped. "She's a person! It's insulting you call her that ridiculous nickname."
I fought to hide my shock. Ever since James first called me "Little One" hearing the nickname warmed my heart. Yet here was a woman and sponsor upset that she called me that. I was thinking of a response when I felt a hand on my left shoulder.
"I can guarantee you that it's not an insult," I heard Bethany say behind me. I wrapped my left hand around hers as she settled into the chair next to me. "It's a perfect name for Meiko and it shows the great and lasting respect James has for her."
"Respect!" Alexis almost spat as she dropped into a chair. "Manuel and his goons showed me all about the respect male citizens have for others. They are animals and treat women like toys."
Donna was shaking her head. "Alexis, Shawna and I have both tried to explain this to you again and again. Manuel was not like the men here in what is the real Ishtar. The men here have a tremendous respect for all women and treat their concubines with care and respect."
"And love," I whispered.
Alexis whirled to look at me. "So you can speak!"
I felt Bethany's hand give me a comforting squeeze. "Why can you not understand that Meiko just doesn't talk much? From what she's explained, her father raised her and her sister to be rather traditional women of his culture, which meant they should never speak unless instructed to. Meiko will speak if she feels it's necessary, but she's not one for casual conversation."
Alexis stared at me as I nodded. I then turned and gave my sister concubine a gentle kiss that quickly became passionate. We held the kiss for several moments only breaking apart when Donna coughed loudly.
As we separated I looked over at Alexis who had a strange expression on her face. "What was that?" she cried.
The question made no sense to me, but Bethany smiled. "My sister and I were just sharing some of the love we have. James gives us so much that it's impossible to give it all back to him, especially since he is so busy. When he isn't around, we share with each other."
Alexis looked about to scream, but paused. A strange expression came over her face and she slammed her hands onto the table. "He still makes you wear those ridiculous shifts."
I giggled as Bethany stood and preened in her shift. "Oh no, he doesn't! But our regular outfits aren't becoming when a woman is seven months pregnant, so we are wearing shifts. Once the children are born, the shifts will disappear."
"And then you'll be naked I'm sure!" Alexis snapped.
I was shaking my head, but Donna giggled. "Not likely. I'll admit having all the concubines running around naked might be fun for a while, but it would quickly become boring. No, I'm sure we'll go back to the usual array of attractive, if scandalous outfits."
Alexis glared at Donna. "Why are you so willing to defend the men?"
Donna opened her mouth, but before she could say something Lindsay burst into the room. She jumped into her sponsor's lap and gave her a long kiss. Once the kiss ended she relaxed slightly and moved her head so her mouth was near Donna's ear. "I passed." She whispered.
Donna immediately gave her concubine a long hug. "I knew you could!" she screamed out.
Bethany and I both stood up to offer our own hugs to Lindsay, but Alexis spat. "What's the big deal?"
I had my arms around Lindsay who stiffened sadly. Donna however had no problems coming to the defense of her concubine. "Lindsay wanted to help out more with the medical duties and we found that the sleep trainers and VR included a course on emergency field medicine. It's the kind that the military uses to help injured soldiers in the field. At the end of the course there is a test administered in VR. Lindsay passed on her first try."
Bethany and I squeezed Lindsay a bit tighter until she gasped out a giggle. "Hey, no squeezing out my baby here. He'd be born a bit premature if you do that."
I gave my own giggle as Bethany and I released the former model. She sighed happily and slid into Donna's lap. I had just returned to my seat when Lindsay spoke again.
"So what has the council been doing? I know there was a meeting after the Pebble Beach left, but you've been quiet Doctor Daniels," she said playfully as she ran her hands through Donna's hair.
"I'm no doctor, I just play at being one," Donna said with her own giggle. "Actually we aren't doing much right now. Terrence is working with Linus and Louis on some new automatic defenses they think will get around the AI's provisions against actively aiming or firing a weapon. The twins are engaged in writing up some procedures for the command station and working on the AI to finish branching off the teleport room so that new arrivals no longer have to walk through our work area when they arrive. And I believe James and Yvette are working on some more expansions to the colony. Timothy was saying he'd love a skating rink and Tyson jokingly suggested that we should make it big enough for hockey as well as figure skating."
Bethany sighed. "That would be nice and romantic. I remember skating with my high school boyfriend long ago."
Lindsay shrugged. "I just imagine how cold and sore my butt would be. I never did have good balance on roller stakes and I'm sure it will be worse on ice."
Alexis was sitting there fuming as the conversation turned to what fun we could have on a skating rink. Lindsay was positive she would struggle on the ice, but Donna insisted that the model try, eventually pointing out that Lindsay had struggled on high heels at first.
Lindsay blushed, but Alexis just snorted. "What's that supposed to mean? So she struggled in heels. Heels were invented by men to keep women down."
Donna giggled. "Actually some stories say heels were invented in the Middle Ages as a way to keep the robes of noble gentlemen out of the mud of the streets. I'll admit that men love seeing a woman who is as sexy and alluring as Lindsay walk in heels, but no one would force a woman to wear them."
Lindsay giggled. "Oh? I remember you purchasing some heels for me and coaxing me into them three days after I won that ridiculous contest at that amusement center."
My sister concubine turned to look at Lindsay. "I haven't heard this story."
Lindsay blushed. "It's part of why I actually wanted to be Donna's concubine even before I knew she had the CAP to enlist. It was she that 'discovered' me. The summer after I had left high school I was stumbling through life. Most of my meager funds were obtained by showing up for local events wearing swimsuits to attract men. It was a rather miserable life. But one day Donna approached me and suggested that I sign with the agency she worked at."
"Even barefoot and in a too small white bikini, she was one of the best looking women I had seen in a while, and she had a grace you rarely see from women today," Donna said. "I was sure she could become one of the top models, and the next three years proved me correct."
Lindsay blushed. "I just listened to anything you said for those three years. There were a couple of times I told my agent to shut up and stop telling me something different than you did. And it worked."
Alexis glared. "So you turned her into something for men to ogle! What did you do? Put her on the cover of one of those skin magazines?"
Lindsay laughed. "You really don't recognize me?"
"Why would I? I don't have any interest in pictures of naked women!" Alexis spat.
Lindsay was giggling even harder. "I never posed naked. I guess you don't read many women's magazines though."
Donna was trying to hide her own giggles, but finally lost the battle and openly laughed. "Alexis, you might want to calm down. I guess I should have made a more formal introduction. Meet Lindsay Moore, the top American-born swimsuit model and cover girl. In the year before we were picked up she was on the covers of five different magazines. One was the typical swimsuit edition of everyone's favorite sports magazine, but the others were all women's magazines. They liked that Lindsay was willing to pose in classy as well as alluring outfits."
Alexis glared at Lindsay who was looking at the table and blushing. Then the woman turned to her mistress. "I owed my success to you and now I've given my life to you." She said giving Donna another kiss.
Alexis scowled. "It's not right. It's still slavery. And the men still end up ruling. I've heard that the ratio of men to women with scores high enough to enlist runs nearly eight to one. Women are along as baby factories and not as people."
The woman stood up and walked out, leaving us behind. Donna was shaking her head as Alexis disappeared through the doorway. "I want to like her, but she's so damaged by what was done to her."
"I thought she was fine when we first rescued her," I said quietly.
"So did I," Donna said with a sigh. "But once her body was healed and she had time to think, she started to believe that the men ran everything and were planning on turning the female concubines into slaves."
Bethany snorted. "There might be more male sponsors than female ones on Ishtar, but why would anyone believe that our men would want to turn us into slaves? It's not like the men here need more women."
Donna shrugged. "We can't understand what she went through. Maybe Kitty does, but she was only in the possession of Dennis for a month. Manuel captured Alexis in our first two weeks on Ishtar and he held her for more than four months before the ceiling came down. She only escaped because one of his concubines set her free when the alarm sounded."
I nodded. Donna had turned to snuggle a bit more with Lindsay who was glowing with the joy of her achievement. The closeness of the two was making me a bit uncomfortable when Bethany put a hand on my chin and turned it so she could kiss my lips.
"Let's go home for now," she said with a smile.
I nodded and stood up. It took a moment to steady myself, as my pregnant belly upset my balance some. Once she could see I was steady on my feet, Bethany held out her right hand and took my left. We ended up giggling as we left the room and headed down the tunnels to our home.
The tunnels were empty as we walked through them. Bethany looked around and laughed for a moment. "With so many pregnant women mostly staying in their homes, the tunnels are quiet."
I nodded. "I prefer them noisy though. This feels a bit lonely."
Bethany nodded, agreeing with me as we reached the spur tunnel leading to our home. We finished the walk to the door and had only a momentary wait before the door opened.
As we stepped inside, we noticed that the doors to both our pod and the rabbit pod were open. This was not a huge surprise as we all were spending a good deal of time just sitting with the rabbits. Sure they were rarely affectionate, and offered no barks, purrs or meows, but just being in the room brought a peace that all the concubines appreciated. Bethany noticed my gaze and smiled. "We were very lucky that the AI allowed us to have them. I don't think we thank James enough for the joy they bring to Ishtar."
Once again I just offered a nod. I was about to say more when a faint sigh rang out from our home. With a smile, Bethany turned and stepped through the doorway and into the main room.
The scene inside was no surprise. Our sister concubines Janice and Tina were resting on the couch, cuddled together. Tina's hands were teasing Janice's breasts and my college roommate's mouth was opened up as little moans of pleasure were coaxed from her.
Tina noticed us first and stopped teasing Janice, slowly raising her pregnant body into a sitting position and waving. "Welcome home, sisters. Come in for a cuddle."
I willingly sat down behind Janice and slid my hands over her bulging belly. She giggled for a moment. "Meiko, that tickles."
I gave her a kiss on the neck. "Should I stop, sister of my heart?"
Janice grabbed my hand and held it against her body. "No," she whispered as Bethany and Tina gave each other a kiss.
The kiss ended and Bethany looked around. "Where are Brit and Kit?"
Tina turned to point towards our pod's luxurious bathroom and shower area just as our last two sister concubines walked out, holding hands.
Brittany swung her long red ponytail around for a moment. "Hair and feet all clean today," she chirped.
"Tits and ass clean too," Kitty said with a giggle. "Do you want to check our pussies as well?"
My sisters and I started giggling at this. "No," Janice replied. "While I love the taste, I think James is the one who gets that honor."
That comment brought a small cheer from all the throats in the room. Kitty and Brittany then rushed over and joined the mass cuddle on the couch. I was holding Brittany in my arms when Tina spoke. "I never thought life could be this good."
I noticed as Janice froze for a moment. She held a hand to her lips. "You mean it's not just me?"
Bethany smiled. "We've played the game where we vote in front of James to convince him just how much he means to each of us. I guess we never thought about how each of us might need some comforting."
"It's not a complete surprise," I said quietly. "We all had heard the stories when we were back on Earth and, after the experiences of Brittany and Kitty here, I can understand why our happiness comes as a surprise. After all, I'm sure there are people on Earth who insist that the polygamous situations we live in are completely unnatural."
Janice turned to look at me, kissing my cheek lightly. "As always, you say it better than I could. But you said one thing that I know is not true at least for me. This relationship now seems completely natural."
Kitty just sighed and hugged Bethany. "It's the love. James gives so much to us. I know that back on Earth I would have been jealous of another girl hanging out with my boyfriend, but here and now, sharing you with James feels like I'm sharing the love he has for me."
Bethany smiled. "And the taste of pussy doesn't play into it?"
"It's special, and we all cuddle when we can't have James, but it's always better with him," Tina said quietly.
"That crazy selection led to so much happiness," Janice said. "I didn't even lose my virginity for two days, and somehow that only made it more special. My only regret is that my parents will never know."
"I miss my sister," I admitted. I thought back to my younger sister. She would be seventeen now, and my father was probably trying to keep her locked up in the house after my disappearance.
Tina sighed. "I have no one who misses me. That's the one regret I have. I had no close friends back on Earth."
Bethany offered a kiss to Tina. The kiss slowly became passionate. I could feel the lust emanating from the duo start to inflame the watching Brittany and I was turning to offer her a kiss when a voice spoke. "Can anyone join, or do I need to be a woman?"
I burst from my place on the couch and dove at the voice, throwing my arms around James. The others followed quickly, joining in a close group hug.
"Master," Bethany said. "I hope we have not displeased you."
James laughed. "I've told you many times; the only way to displease me is to lie to me. And you all keep saying that you want me more than anything."
"We do," Janice said. "We were just talking about how much we love being with you. But then Tina felt sad that she had no one on Earth who will miss her and well..."
"Ah, so you decided that an orgy would cheer her up," James said teasingly.
"Master!" Kitty said squeezing him slightly. "That wasn't it!"
"Why not?" James asked. "Tina needed to feel loved, and I know that you girls really enjoy sharing all the affection you have. I just regret that I can't give you as much as you need."
Tina pushed us all out of the way to pull James down for a long and passionate kiss. "You give us more than we can comprehend. I was a slut back on Earth and I never felt as loved and needed as you make me feel every day. I always think that I'm failing you because I can't give enough. Now it's worse because I'm pregnant."
James put his arm around Tina. "My love..." he paused and his gaze slowly walked over each of us. "Well, this goes to all my loves. The fact that you are pregnant is a great gift to me. I understand that while you are pregnant, we have to be careful about sex. I don't mind. I'm hoping to see six healthy and happy babies born soon."
Brittany giggled. "It will be a few more months for Kitty and me."
With that James worked his way over to the replicator and asked for something. A moment later he turned around and held up a bottle of lotion. "How about tonight we enjoy some closeness while I rub each of you down."
"But that could take two hours," Janice said in shock.
"I have the day off tomorrow, so we can sleep in," James said as he headed to the master bedroom. We did not require any more enticement. Moments later all six of us were lying on the bed smiling at our master. He started with Bethany, but made sure that each of us received his loving attentions that evening. And he proved Janice wrong, it did not take two hours, James was so loving and careful that it took four.