Chapter 1

Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Science Fiction, Polygamy/Polyamory, Slow, Violent, Sci-fi Fantasy Violence.

Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - This is a continuation of "Faceoff" in which a Western bounty hunter winds up in a new dimension where he becomes the second in line to the throne. These are the continuing adventures of Hank Douglas and his two wives as they battle the bad guys in an effort to save what is good about this land. Read "Faceoff, Book 1" before you read this story or you will be very confused by the story.

Anslee is knocked up and happier than a hog in a mud wallow. She said that the baby would be a boy, and she was going to name him Henry Jorst Douglas, unless I had a big objection. Hell, what is there to object to? She can call him anything she wants to, as long as it is legal and not insulting. She wants to call him "Henry J," and I can put up with that as long as the kid can. Her father, Jorst, is also pleased by the name, so it is a win-win situation as far as I am concerned.

I did ask her what would she do if the baby turned out to be a girl. She "humphed" at me as if I had a lot of nerve to doubt her. Dammit, I do not care if it is a boy or a girl—I will love either one just the same, though it will be fun to have a son to pal around with. Anslee claimed that Horurie women always knew the gender of an unborn child, so there was nothing to discuss. Well, I was old enough to know what was good for me, so I shut up.

I was now deeply into my covert job as bodyguard and troubleshooter for King Haran, so I had to do a lot of traveling. Anslee made a lot of the initial trips with me, but she decided to stay home after she started to bulge in the belly department. Wearing nothing but a g-string of bright yellow did tend to emphasize her pregnancy, and it made sword fighting a bit awkward, so she decided to remain at home until the baby was delivered.

That was going to be five months of hell for her because she was such an active woman and dearly loved to exercise with her sword. She was as good as me with her sword, though I was stronger. Anslee had a hell of a lot more practice with using her sword, and she had killed more men than I had with a sword, but she was afraid to risk her unborn child just for her own amusement. Now that was a woman with a remarkable amount of good sense!

Of course, the day she told me about being knocked up, the word was all over the mansion, and I was congratulated by every servant and soldier whom I met. It was nice to know that we had such a congenial group gathered around us. Sure, every person on the estate was sworn to protect Anslee and me with their lives, but it was a great relief to know that these people really meant it.

Naturally, as soon as Anslee made it official, Jorst called the king and used their special code to tell him about her pregnancy. King Haran was especially relieved because it now gave me a direct heir who was third in line to be king. I was second and Jorst was the one I laughingly called "the crown prince." Jorst was a little upset when he first heard me say that, but now he just laughs along with the rest of us.

Horurie has some strange customs when it comes to inheritance of the crown. (See "Faceoff, Book 1" for details.) Only in Horurie could I, Henry Douglas, known locally as Sir Hank, have come to be in line for the throne just because I married an in-law of the king. Oh, well, I can live with it if they can. I am a life-long Democrat in all forms of the word, but I can go along with local custom if it lets me marry a woman as wonderful as my wife. On top of that, I am amazed that such good luck could happen to a bounty hunter from 1870s Texas.

It was only a couple of days later that a servant came running to me to say that Sir Jorst requested my company in his office. Uh-oh, I knew that meant some kind of trouble. Phrased that way, I knew that King Haran was on the line waiting to talk with me, and I had better get my ass in gear. I rushed to Jorst's office and sat down at the special communicator that had recently been installed.

The moment that I was in place, King Haran said, "Ah, Hank, as prompt as usual. You cannot understand how much I appreciate that. Good morning to you."

"Good morning, Your Majesty. I am always glad to talk to you. What can I do for you today?"

"Ha, it does seem that I only call you when there is trouble afoot, doesn't it? Well, this is one of those times when there could be big trouble or the whole thing could be a big false alarm. Honestly, though, I kind of doubt the chance of it being a false alarm.

"One of the owners of a large estate in the north had decided that he deserves to be more of a force in his neighborhood. Therefore, he has started recruiting all of the mercenaries that he can find, and is starting to lean unpleasantly on his neighbors. So far, Sir Bornly has done nothing that I can spank him for, but he is certainly causing other people in his vicinity to feel some pressure. Sir Bornly should know that there is no way that I will let him take over more territory by force of arms, but there is nothing I can do about outright purchases of property nor of transfers because of marriage.

"You must know by now that we do not limit the number of wives that a man can have, nor, for that matter, the number of husbands that a woman is limited to. I could not care less how many wives Sir Bornly is foolish enough to acquire, but I am concerned at the amount of property that he could acquire as a result of taking over the property of a new wife. The whole situation is very unstable according to my intelligence people, and they are starting to worry.

"There is a large area near Sir Bornly's estate that is wild and undeveloped. If he just wanted more land, he could move into there, and he would be cheered as a public spirited citizen if he could eliminate some of the more dangerous animals that inhabit that wild land. About the only use it serves is as a hunting ground for bored knights who have too much time on their hands. Your excuse for visiting the area would be to hunt in the wild country. You could even ask Sir Bornly for accommodations while you are there. He should be pleased to have you considering the fact that you are so close to becoming king yourself."

"Yes, Sir, Your Majesty. I will get right on it. I may even be able to leave this afternoon."

"Ah, that's the spirit. Thank you and good luck. I'll see you in a few weeks. Goodbye."

With that, the king cut the connection and I was left staring at a blank communicator. Jorst laughed and said, "Well, that is one of the perks of being king." I grinned and agreed with him.

I went to find Anslee and tell her of this new assignment from the king. She was not happy that I was leaving, but she fully understood how much trouble Sir Bornly could cause if he was allowed to proceed unchecked. Therefore, she did not begrudge me going, but she did comment that she wished that she could go along for the chance to hunt in the wild country. Dammit, that woman could scare the hell out of me! All I needed was to be working on an assignment for King Haran while my wife wandered around in such a dangerous place. I got out of there as fast as I could before she decided that she could go with me after all.

I put servants to gathering the things I needed to take with me, but I paid personal attention to my weapons. Of course, I was taking my sword, shield, and fighting knife, but I was also taking my Winchester, my shotgun, and my two revolvers. These revolvers were two of the latest advances from the king's armory. I had arrived in Horurie with two LeMat revolvers that had created quite a stir among the locals. They had pistols, but they were all single shot and difficult to use.

My LeMats were such an advance in the art of pistol making that I had let the R&D (Research and Development) people borrow one to examine. During the course of events, they had made some improvements, primarily in the nature of converting the revolver to double-action and improving the shotgun part of the weapon. It still had the nine chambers in the cylinder, but it was now possible to load all nine of them without the danger of an accidental weapon discharge. Both the cylinder and the shotgun used cartridges, and that made both of them very quick to reload.

I was ready to leave just after lunch, so I took off in my special flier before Anslee had a change of heart. Normally, flying to Sir Bornly's estate would have taken two days in a common civilian flier, I was able to make the trip in only four hours in the special one supplied to me by the king. The flier was also equipped with a hidden Gatling gun that I could use to great advantage against both air and ground targets.

My computer directed me to Sir Bornly's estate, and I landed on a convenient pad in plenty of time to find somewhere else to stay if Sir Bornly would not accept me. I didn't expect that kind of brushoff because of common courtesy, and the honor of housing someone of my very high status. Nevertheless, I was prepared to deal with it if it came up.

Well, it turned out that I need not have worried. I was met by the butler himself and ushered into meet Sir Bornly as soon as I told the butler who I was. Sir Bornly fit the description that I had of him, including his extreme desire to please anyone of higher status. I was welcomed in and ultimately taken to a lavishly decorated bedroom that far exceeded any accommodations that I expected.

The walls were covered with ancient tapestries, and the carpet must have been worth a fortune. The bed was equally large and impressive: hell, it was big enough for an orgy with at least six people. I was supposed to sleep in that!? In keeping with the persona that I was trying to project, I expressed my satisfaction with the suite, but made it obvious that I had expected more.

At dinner, I explained that I had come north to hunt in the wild area. I was immediately offered the services of a guide, but I politely declined, explaining that I wanted to find the game on my own. I wanted to be able to say that I had done everything associated with returning with a trophy. That was somewhat in variance with the usual practice of the more affluent knights, but I had to maintain a separation from Sir Bornly's household while I was investigating the rumors about him.

I could leave the mansion every morning on my own and carry on my investigation without anyone being the wiser if I followed up on my claims of hunting alone. The first day or two, though, would have to be spent in actual hunting in order to establish my alibi. Therefore, that morning, I took my flier farther north toward the wild area and set out to see what I could find.

Frankly, I am not a big game hunter, as I don't care to shoot anything I am not prepared to eat, but this was a special case. Nevertheless, duty called, so I was forced to do something that I did not normally enjoy. At home on Earth, I had been an accomplished hunter, so I had no doubt that I could do what I claimed. The only problem was that I had to be the one doing the killing and not the predators that I was hunting.

I was not after a specific beast. My only requirement was that it be a large predator. Several such creatures could be found in this wilderness, and there was actually a surplus of the predators, so they needed thinning in order to give the food chain a chance to reinvigorate itself. At least, I rationalized my actions along those lines. So far, there had been a recent splurge of hunting, but the wild animals had come out ahead. Therefore, I suspect that Sir Bornly would not have been surprised if I simply disappeared down some predator's gullet.

I landed at a common pad for hunters and opened my arms cabinet. I decided to try my luck with my shotgun using slugs instead of buckshot. I had my .44 caliber pistols along, so I felt that I had a more than adequate backup for my shotgun if I ran into difficulties. I was an excellent shot with pistols, and the R&D people had done a good job of increasing the accurate range of the weapons. I could now expect to hit my aiming point at a range of 60-75 yards, which was well beyond the range of the common pistol. Thus, I did not really need my Winchester because that was the accurate range of my shotgun with the solid slugs.

I loaded my pistol with .44 caliber rounds and a 16-gauge shotgun shell with six #00 buckshot. My shotgun was loaded with two shells with solid slugs, so I was armed against anything short of a machine gun. I had a light pack of rations on my back and a canteen at my belt, so I was ready to step off into the thick woods.

Initially, I followed a trail made by men to get me away from the pad and into the woods, but I selected the first game trail I came to as a way to do some real hunting. I was not worried about getting lost because I had a homing device keyed to my flier, and I could call it to me in the event of an emergency. As with most hunters, I made sure that I was better equipped than my prey.

I was very lucky in finding the site of a recent kill. It looked like the work of the liongrith, a six-legged predator which resembled an Earth lion in many ways. It had some very long teeth, but it was not exactly a saber-toothed cat. Nevertheless, it was one of the most dangerous killers on the planet. It left an obvious trail as it dragged its kill to its dining room, wherever that was.

One of the most dangerous aspects of the liongrith was that it, too, liked to set traps for the unwary. In this case, it might have left the obvious trail in hope that its next victim would follow the trail, intending to steal a meal. Well, I intended to follow the trail for a different reason, but I was in just as much danger as a creature of the forest. The liongrith was not very particular what it ate. It seemed to work on the principle that it could digest anything that it could swallow, and that made for a very dangerous enemy.

I had progressed about 600 yards along the trail when I heard a stirring in the bushes. Uh-oh, that could only mean trouble. Thankfully, I had swapped my original shotgun for an improved version from R&D which had internal hammers that were cocked as the breech was closed. Thus, once the safety was released, the shotgun was a point and shoot weapon.

I had come to a wide place in the trail left by the liongrith, so I was expecting trouble, and I was correct. Suddenly, a medium sized liongrith burst from the bushes opposite to me on the small clearing. It roared at me as it charged, and the roar did do part of what it was intended for: it scared me like few other things could have!

Fortunately for me, I was used to being scared, so it had no practical effect on me. I jerked the shotgun to my shoulder and fired the left barrel. I moved my finger to the other trigger while I was still coping with the recoil. My shot hit the mark in the creature's chest and caused him to waver in his charge. Nevertheless, the liongrith lived up to its reputation and kept after me, though it was staggering.

I did not have time to raise the shotgun to a perfect aim, but I fired as soon as instinct told me that I was pointing the weapon in the right direction. By this time, the liongrith had launched himself at me, and this shot caught him in the chest between the first and second pair of legs.

That I did not find out until later as the animal hit me in my chest and knocked me to the ground. In the process, his claws raked my body from just below my shoulders to my ankles. Thank all of the gods that anyone had ever though of! I was wearing the conventional heavyweight leather armor that all hunters wore when going after such creatures, and the claws played hell with my armor, but did not do more than scratch my skin a bit in passing.

The damned beast had landed on top of me and had knocked out my breath at first. That, combined with the weight of the full grown liongrith, made me take a while to escape from under the beast. The moment I did stand up, I reloaded my shotgun and made sure that my other weapons were where I expected to find them.

At this point, I did what any sensible hunter would do and signaled for my flier to come to me. It was considerable work, but I finally managed to load the liongrith aboard the flier and to return to Sir Bornly's mansion for assistance in skinning and preserving my trophy.

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