Flight From Babylon
Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Ma/Ma, Romantic, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Science Fiction, Military, Science fiction adult story, sci-fi adult story, science-fiction sex story, sci-fi sex story, romantic sex story, time travel sex story
Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - An old soldier who has felt the call to be a preacher is caught in an extraction. Is he running away from his past or towards his future?
I walked through the shop's door, moving from the humid, West-Texas-in-June noontime heat into the coffee-scented, air conditioned chill. I was celebrating, taking a victory lap, through the haunts of my last three years. I juggled my cane and my bags as I stepped up to the counter to give the barista my order.
"A twenty-ounce house drip, with room. And I'd like to pick up a couple of pounds of the Indonesian medium-roast." She nodded, placed a couple of one-pound bags on the counter and turned to get my drink. I smiled to myself, a rare good mood breaking through the gloom of the last few days. I had finished with school, even though I didn't know what I was going to do next. A coffee sounded like the perfect end to the morning. I picked up my whole bean coffee and the hot cup and stepped over to the small counter to add half-and-half.
Amid the noise of the coffee shop's gurgling espresso machine and whining blenders, I sat quietly in the rear corner, my back to the wall, my cane propped against the small table, and my eyes idly scanning the crowd filtering in from the bright June sunshine. People from the nearby technology business campus slouched in wearing casual Friday wear (which, these days, was getting pretty damned casual.) Hipsters read the latest headlines on their tablets. In the far corner sat four hulking military types in civvies, ogling the girls. They were probably associated with the technology businesses. Transfer of Confederacy tech for home-planet defense was getting to be big business in Lubbock.
Standing out from these thoroughly modern people was a group of young girls and boys from the nearby conservative Bible College, where I had been working on my Master's degree for the last three years. These kids stood out from the rest of the crowd by their clothes, their use of personal space, and the tone of their voices. They were happy and excited to be reaching the end of the semester, wondering what the summer would bring. I recognized most of them from the classes in Old Testament History that I had taught this year as a teaching assistant. There were Phyllis Santos, Ben Dunn, Diane Honeycutt, and a bunch whose names I didn't remember. Sweet kids. (Sure, everyone over 14 these days was legally an adult, but to me everybody under 30 is a kid.) The group of them, eight girls and a couple of boys, drifted back from the counter with their coffee drinks. They saw me and waved. I nodded back. Courtesy satisfied, they moved across the room to the area near the windows, pushed a couple of tables together, then sat down and started talking about the summer break ahead. I was an old geezer to them, I knew. I was part of School, and School was ending for the summer.
The young people looked adorable. The mainstream culture saw them as repressed and sexless, but I was charmed by the fresh-faced innocence of these kids. They were bursting with hormones just like everyone else their age, but they were trying to focus the energy and drive of their youth on long-term goals. Maybe they would make it and maybe they wouldn't but, by God, they were going to try.
I smiled to myself again. I remembered that, back when I was a child, the Brotherhood was hard against coffee; and now their next generation of leaders gathered in a coffee shop. What would those old fossils think of the boxes of Montecristo perfecto cigars, wine, and the really nice Islay single-malt scotch I had in my bags? I had abstained for the last three years to be in compliance with the college's code of conduct, but now I was back on my own. Still, I didn't want to advertise what I was carrying, any one of which items would have gotten me dismissed, expelled, and generally kicked out.
While teaching freshman classes I had often thought, "If only I were 30 years younger." One of the lessons that living a life on the edge had taught me was that I was alive. Even after all that I had lived through; I had a lot of living yet to do. The girls' feminine voices, their slim, graceful legs, the promise of their hips, the occasional flash of their eyes; all these reminded me daily of that living.
I shifted my weight across to my good side and stretched out the bum leg. I found their fresh-faced innocence much sexier than the burlesque show that American culture had become in the last year.
"Got to keep a lid on those thoughts," I told myself. A military life had not been really conducive to celibacy (Kipling called it, "bachelors in barracks") and for twenty years I had taken a lot of comfort in my wife Beth's arms ... and legs ... and ass. But it had been four years since her death. The company of young people had made me feel younger. Why, I feel almost 40, I said to myself with grim humor. But there was some truth to it.
I looked down at myself. Pretty sad, I thought. Though I held down my food intake to the point where I was constantly hungry, and worked out three times a week in the dojo, my hip injury had kept me from the kind of activity that would let me lose my slowly-expanding waistline. My doctor tut-tutted and prescribed a daily diuretic to help me control my blood pressure. I had the upper-body strength, but I'd never fit into my old BDUs again. And I hated fat preachers.
I blew across the surface of my cup and took a tentative sip. Another minute before it would be cool enough to drink. I sighed, a familiar brown mood sinking over me.
The young people's voices seemed almost too bright, too happy, as though they were trying to deny the more pensive mood of the rest of the patrons, as though they were whistling past the graveyard of their own futures. I could feel the chill wind from that graveyard. It was a wind that I had felt before in far distant places: Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and (whisper it!) South America. I had cheated death more than a few times in several regional conflicts. But I finally caught a bullet in my hip and was disabled out. Out as a civilian, I started a successful consulting business, raised two daughters, and buried my Beth.
After Beth died, I longed for a renewed purpose in life. I thought that I had found one in the Church.
My hero had become Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael, the 13th-century Welsh monk who had returned from the Crusades to live in an English monastery.
I could feel the corners of my mouth creep up fractionally at the irony. After running away from home to the Army to escape the hard hand of my father's stifling fundamentalist religion, I had come back full circle. Earlier that morning at the Bible College of Lubbock Brotherhood University I had defended my thesis to achieve my Masters in Divinity. My new purpose, my calling was to be the Church ... until the news broke of the Swarm. I remembered a year earlier watching the President's Address to the nation and feeling the air start to leak out of my inflated, self-important plans. (How could anyone have plans in those days?) The worldwide announcement of the Confederacy had finished the ongoing collapse of American Evangelicalism as a political force. Growing up in the 1970s, I had watched Evangelicals be seduced away from their role as a Witness to the Truth to becoming advocates for conservative political causes. As an adult in the 2000s I saw the next generation being seduced for left-wing political causes. The pendulum was always swinging.
The heart of a faith is steadfastness, but politics is the art of compromise. As a young man I saw in my father the corrosive effects of power close up. Now everybody saw it. With the collapse of those pre-Swarm political causes, political "religious" leaders were suddenly left high and dry. Some (mostly hardscrabble fundamentalists, but even the odd Catholic or Episcopalian) tried to fire up crowds with calls of fire and brimstone. 'The Swarm is a lie, the Confederacy is the whore of Babylon, and any who don't agree with us are tools of Satan.' Not many people bought in, and most people left those churches. The ranters were getting the headlines, much as the "God Hates Fags" ranters got headlines before the collapse. In fact, I guess in many ways they were pretty much the same group.
As many congregations among the Brotherhood fellowship shrank or disbanded, and some believers migrated to older, more historic churches, I, perversely, felt drawn back to my roots. My studies had shown me how the collapse had come, and my just-defended thesis tracked how the Church had abandoned the "Theology of Hope" for a "Theology of Power." All those centuries of struggle between Christ and Caesar wound up in the American Republic with the people becoming Caesar, rendering all things unto themselves.
Well, they enjoyed it for a brief few decades, just long enough to see it collapse with the threat of species extinction.
I remembered a Rastafarian irregular (is there such a thing as a regular Rastafarian?) with whom I spent a week of spectacularly miserable tropical rains sharing a leaky San Cristobal farmhouse. When he was confronted with my Anglo attitudes, he would shake his dreadlocked head and say, "'Tis Babylon, mon."
'Where was political power now?' I thought. 'Tis Babylon, mon. Where was hope now? What was now my Calling? What could I, in truth, preach? A call to missions? To whom would I go, the Sa'arm?
Your late-50s is a little late to decide what you want to be when you grow up. It's Babylon, mon.
I sipped at my coffee. It was slightly too hot--just how I like it. You gotta suffer to enjoy life's best things.
With all that, I knew I was better off than the Kids. Now in my late-50s, I had a wild and woolly lifetime of memories to look back on. They could only look forward to ... what? A desperate, rearguard fight against a genocidal alien horde? An endless, star-spanning war? Chattel slavery?
Both my daughters had been picked up, joining the Confederacy Marines. My only contact with them was receiving short and infrequent text messages. I wasn't happy about their leaving, but I felt better knowing that whatever was going to happen, they wouldn't be passive sheep. But I had left the life of a soldier behind; all that remained was to decide what my life was to be.
My griping was interrupted by the lights flickering and the sky outside the windows going gray. All conversation stopped. Everybody knew what had just happened. Just. Bloody. Perfect. I thought I had left the military behind me.
"Ladies and GENTLEMEN, may I have your ATTENTION please, your attention PLEASE!" The coffee shop grew dead silent. The speaker was one of the military guys I had spotted before. "I am Sergeant Gitchell of the Confederacy Marines and this is a PICKUP." He looked at a small tablet. "Will Mister Wilson Arthur, Mister Richard Beltran, Mister Li Chen Do, Mister Richard Steward, Mister Ben Dunn, and Ms. Clarissa Donahue please step FRONT and CENTER and IDENTIFY yourselves, using your CAP cards, to the nearest marine?"
The voices that had fallen silent now rose in a confused babble. Some female voices started to rise in pitch, approaching shrieks. Most of the males in the room started eying the females around them speculatively. I looked over at the Bible school kids. One of the boys, Ben Dunn, stood up and started walking over to the marines. His girlfriend stayed at the table, her eyes tracking him with desperate hope and poorly-hidden dread. Her dreams of a traditional life with a husband and home were evaporating before her eyes. She and the girl sitting next to her, Ruth Something-or-other, clutched each other's hands.
Nobody had been in a pickup; but everyone knew what happened at pickups. The stories were common and got more lurid with the repeating. They formed a constant refrain in a lot of those fire-and-brimstone sermons I had been hearing out of a television preacher named Powers over in Denton.
One of the female baristas vaulted the counter, heedlessly knocking over a display of muffins and biscotti.
I rose, grabbed my cane and limped over to the marines. They were handing out some kind of device. A huge Amazonian female troop with closely corn-rowed hair looked up and greeted me. "Master Sergeant Steward, welcome. Good to see you."
Her nametag read JACKSON. I tried to correct her, "It's just Mister Steward these days, Jackson."
"Master Sergeant, you have a long career ahead of you, and you are due all military courtesy." Her lips spread in a big, white-toothed grin that lit up her face and changed her looks from severe to damned sexy. I couldn't help but smile back. After years of bullshit in the business and academic worlds, the simple directness of a troop felt like a phone call from home.
"If you'll take this CAP card reader," she handed me a flat square of something, "you can start selecting your harem. You are rated 8.1 and so you can choose up to six concubines. This is a small pickup, so we jump," she paused for a second and looked up and to the right, "in 21 minutes." She turned away from me to speak to the barista.
I took the small device and, as a test, laid it atop my own CAP card. I squinted, then scowled and pulled out my reading glasses. The top had lit up, displaying a photo of me taken on the day I took the test (I needed a haircut), my overall numeric rating and several tabs. I swept my index finger across the display and scrolled through several of the tabs. I saw one labeled "Medical" and tapped it. I scrolled through my Army medical discharge, my intake physical, even my doctor's notes on my childhood episode of the measles. I was surprised at how much information was carried on the card—or maybe the reader was linked to a Confederacy database.
I was roused from my woolgathering by the rising noise of voices in the room.
The female barista who had jumped the counter was joined by two guys from the high-tech group. All three were now fiddling with card scanners.
Most women in the room had finished dropping what little clothes they'd had on, trying to catch the eyes of those with card readers. I looked around the room, trying to keep my eyes from lingering on the offered flesh.
... One of the hipsters had dropped his clothes and was trying to show off his gym-hard body to the barista. She, however, was looking hungrily at a naked woman who was standing behind the hipster, winking.
... Some of the high-tech guys had planned for this situation and called their now-naked prepack concubines over. Others of them had women stripping and beginning the usual "test drive behavior."
... Across the room, a child in a stroller cried for attention as his mother stood nude, showing off her large lactating breasts to a clothed couple.
Now, it sounds dumb (hell, it was dumb), but I had not spent twenty minutes in the last thirteen months since my CAP test thinking about extraction. I had been caught up in my own grandiose vision of my "Calling," and it's destruction by events, the hero of my own tragic drama. Of course I had taken the CAP test. Veterans were pressured to test early—even (oh, so gently!) threatened with hints of "problems" or delays in payment of benefits. I had tested, grunted with amusement at my score, specified no preference in volunteering for the Confederacy military, and then gone back to writing my thesis.
Well, as we used to say in the Infantry when the shit hit the fan, "That's what happens when you miss staff meetings."
The Bible College girls were weeping. The uncalled male Bible College student rushed at his former classmate Ben, trying to dissuade him from, "Giving in to this wicked and perverse generation."
Greg. I remembered now. Greg was the uncalled kid's name.
The uncalled student, Greg, started getting louder. He started waving his hands, shouting, and stepping into Ben's personal space. By reflex I changed the grip on my cane to sword grip, ready to break up the impending scuffle. The black Amazon noticed and walked, surprisingly light-footed, up behind Greg. Ben tried to turn away from the confrontation, but Greg grabbed his arm. As soon as he laid a hand on Ben, the Amazon touched Greg's neck with something metallic she held in her hand. Greg convulsed, and then dropped limply to the ground. The Amazon smiled at me, "He'll be out cold until we're gone. Don't worry."
Damn. We could have used some of those gadgets when handing out sacks of food in Darfur.
Ben called to his girlfriend. She approached holding hands with the other girl, a redhead whose name, I remembered now, was Ruth McKinsey. I could see the girls trying to give each other courage. Ben angrily shouted for the girls to strip. At the change in his attitude, they both began to tremble and began dropping their clothes. The girlfriend finished and tried to stand beside her boyfriend, covering herself with her hands. Ben pushed her to her knees and fished out his cock for her to suck. The way they both acted made it obvious that this wasn't the first time for either of them. The second girl, Ruth, started to undress, but couldn't bring herself to remove her underwear (no other women of those days wore underwear!) She gawked at her friend, who was trying to give the blowjob of her young life, then stooped and snatched up her clothes, making a run for the door. Of course, there was no exit while the pickup was in progress, so she was turned back by the marine stationed there.
Ruth looked back at her friends at the two tables and burst into tears. She couldn't face their condemnation for planning to play the whore, or their pity for not being able to go through with it. She stumbled around, orbiting the coffeehouse, blinded by her tears.
Several women, seeing that I held a card reader, had been gathering around me, trying to get my attention. They posed for me, letting me know, in clinical detail, what they would like to do to various parts of my anatomy. I had heard it all before on dark back streets from Seoul to Caracas. I felt no arousal, just emptiness.
Ruth, tears and snot running down her face, had finished her orbit of the coffee shop, stopping near the only other familiar face in the room. Mine.
In the meantime, several unchosen women had surrounded Ben and his girlfriend. Some were shouting about their qualifications as mothers, some as managers, and some as paramours. Two were on their knees competing for his cock. A brassy blonde was on her knees trying to get her face between his girlfriend's thighs. Ben's face looked as if he had won the lottery. I guess in a way, he had. For reasons I can't easily explain and probably wouldn't understand, I felt pity for him.
I took the young girl, Ruth, by the arm, and stepping through a gathering clump of women and steering around the writhing bodies on the floor, led her back to the students' tables. Most of the young women at the two tables were trying to not look at all the sexual activity taking place less than five yards away. They were, for the most part, failing.
The Amazon troop ghosted up behind me. "Master Sergeant, were you planning to get with the program ANYTIME SOON?"
Suddenly, in my mind and heart the pieces fell into place. For all I had denied it, I was a soldier. I knew my Calling.
"Time, Jackson?" I snapped.
"Twelve minutes to jump, Master Sergeant."
I did a quick count. Six girls. I could take them all if they wanted to go. If some decided to stay, I could always pick up more. I took a deep breath.
"Girls, please listen. I know you are scared, but this situation is not new. It is very, very old. It's the same situation faced by Esther in the Old Testament." The girls looked flummoxed. Here we were in the middle of a pickup and I was reviewing their class in Old Testament History.
"Remember Vashti?" I asked, "King Xerxes's wife? What was the command that she disobeyed?"
Dark-complexioned Phyllis Santos timidly raised her hand.
"Honey, we're not in class now; just speak up."
"The King called for her to come and display herself for his guests," Phyllis's voice dropped. "She refused."
"And what was her punishment? Anyone?"
The Asian girl, Lizbeth Kim, spoke up "She was banned to the harem, forever forbidden the company of men. And another was selected to take her place."
The tall blonde's face brightened. "Esther!"
"That's right, uh, Diane, Esther, the woman who saved her nation!"
The words tumbled out of my mouth, now, with no hesitation. "If the Church is going to survive, it has to go where humanity goes. It has to permeate the cultures that humanity adopts. If the Church is not to be left to die on Earth, it has to travel to the stars. This is the doorway to those stars.
"We don't have time to argue. I don't have time to persuade. If you want to be the mothers of a new nation, the time to decide is NOW. I am stepping through that door to the stars. I need good women and I can take all of you here who want to go. But you must WANT to go. Consider this: I won't be your husband; I will be your master. You will be concubines as in the courts of David and Solomon.
"You've all heard the stories about pickups and all the speculation about life in the colonies. You don't know, and I don't know, what the truth is. It's a leap of faith. It's a leap I'm making. The clock is ticking. Who here is going with me?"
Four of the girls, Lizbeth, Diane, Phyllis, and one girl I didn't know, stood up. Then Ruth stood and looked at me with worshipful eyes. That would make the next step easy, I thought, but I was going to have to slap that moony look out of her before too long. One girl, Ivy, remained sitting at the table, red-faced, staring at the smallest girl, who I didn't know, with a shocked expression.
Corporal Jackson spoke in a parade-ground voice to the girls, "Okay. Next step. Concubines don't wear clothes. Everyone that wants to go is going to display herself, NOW."
The girls as a group looked as if they had been slapped, but they started shedding clothes. Ruth looked at the clothes she still carried in her hand, threw them to the floor, and began peeling off her underwear. I watched what emerged. Very nice.
Ruth had a slim, athletic figure with small, conical, high-set breasts. Her redhead complexion was manifested in her sweet, puffy nipples. She saw my glance and stood tall, with her arms at her sides, looking me straight in the eyes, almost challenging me to enjoy the view. So I did. It was a very, very nice view indeed. She apparently wore bathing suits that didn't meet the College dress code if her bikini wax and faint tan lines were any clue. I could feel my cock harden almost painfully. I hadn't had wood like that for years, and I had yet to be rejuvenated. Maybe I just liked bossing people around.
The rest of the girls finished undressing and stood hunched over, trying to cover their breasts and genitals with their hands. I looked back at Ruth and raised my eyebrow, nodding towards the other girls. She nodded.
"All right, girls!" Ruth shouted, "You are supposed to be displaying yourselves!" Drop those hands show your new master what you bring to his credit! Line up! Let everyone see how beautiful you are!"
The girls, glad for direction, lined up in a row. I looked over to the Amazon troop. She grinned. "Like the first day in Basic Training," she cracked, "I think you have identified your boss girl."
She walked over to the girls and gave them a professional eye. "Humph. Kinda thin on experience, Master Sergeant. Doubtful that any of these girls have ridden the pony." She shrugged and addressed the girls. "To enter into the concubine relationship with the Sponsor and be evacuated, you must state your acceptance of your new condition. You must state it in your own voice and you must state it clearly for the record; no mumbling or nodding your head."
"As I step in front of you, state your name and say the words 'I accept Richard Steward as my master and sponsor.'" She walked down the line and at each girl she stopped until they said that they accepted me. While she was taking their statements, I glanced around the coffee shop. The crowd had pretty much settled down to those screwing and those standing, hang-dog towards the rear of the store. When the Amazon finished, I pulled the girls into a huddle.
"Quick prayer?" They nodded and we all bowed our heads. "Dreadful Sovereign, we step forward in faith, not knowing where the wind of your will blows us. Grant us courage to stand faithful to you and to smite our foes. Amen."
"Amen," the Amazon agreed. I hadn't realized that she was in the circle. She turned and nodded to Sgt. Gitchell, and he effortlessly shouted over the hubbub.
"Time to GO, boys and girls, time to GO! Make a line in front of the counter. If you aren't going, STEP to the REAR of the COFFESHOP! SPONSORS, get your new concubines' CAP cards - NOBODY goes ANYWHERE without their CAP cards! Anybody trying to go through MY portal without a CAP card WILL wish she'd stayed behind to feed the LIZARDS!"
I grabbed my cane and bags and Ruth got the girls to grab their purses and pull out their CAP cards. She then chivvied them up to the counter, getting them in line there before most of the other sponsors had pulled their dicks out of whatever orifices they were stuck in.
Geeze. I'm thinking like a grunt again. So much for my veneer of genteel religious sophistication.
I walked up the line of girls, handing out shopping bags, fondling breasts, pinching nipples, patting fannies. Two of them smiled, Lizbeth, the Asian beauty shivered, and one, the one who I didn't remember seeing before this morning, looked up to me and seemed to melt a little in my hands. Now my dick was leaking. No time for that now. I sent Ruth up to the front of the line. "You lead them through. I'll bring up the rear and make sure everything's okay. Got it?"
She nodded, "Got it!"
Sgt. Gitchell stepped to the front of the line and pointed to a glowing pad on the floor. "Let's GO! Move it OUT!"
I lead off in my baritone voice:
"I am bound for the promised land
I am bound for the promised land,"
And the girls joined in with soprano and alto voices:
"Oh who will come and go with me?
I am bound for the promised land!"
Ruth stepped onto the pad and disappeared.
--Jon Lewiston, September, 2010 Master Sergeant Steward arrives on an orbiting ship, meets Commander Rand and Alfred the AI, and then winds up under a pile of naked girls.