Posted by: Admin on Saturday, July 13, 2002 - 05:27 AM
Some treasures are hard to find, and harder to hold onto.
Gems of Ordon
by Cleo Kraft
"Wake up, Lacey," Nina said shaking me. "And quit saying that."
"Saying what?" I asked opening my eyes and yawning.
"That stuff about `Can I have another book of tickets' that's what," she replied shaking her head back and forth like I was a useless case or something. "You sure you weren't really a blonde before? I mean, talk about weird. Who asks for tickets in their sleep? What happened, were you dreaming about getting a traffic ticket or something? You got thing for cops?"
"Huh?" I asked rubbing the sleep from my eyes. "Oh, that. It's nothing."
"Come on then," she said. "You've got to help with breakfast, then we're heading back to the castle. Oh, by the way, how was it last night? Did you please your master?"
"I don't know," I shrugged. "I don't think so. He was kind of angry at me afterward. I think you must have worn him out just a bit too much before he got to me. He was real upset."
"So you didn't please him then. That's bad for a new girl. You'd better watch it or you'll wind up in the dungeon, or worse . . . you could get sent back to the auction blocks."
"I wonder," I said. "You think Dr. Karbak would have to undo the mind and body lock he put on me then? I mean, that is, if I was sent to the auction blocks."
"Don't count on it," Nina replied as she finished getting dressed in
her fur coat and boots. "Once locked, always locked. You're stuck that way. The only thing that they can change now is who you call `master.'"
I sat up and pulled the sleeping bag down, unzipping it as I climbed out,
Nina left the tent and for a moment I paused to take a good look down
at my body. Last time I took a really good look at myself was back in
my stateroom aboard the slave ship. I was amazed then, and looked at myself mostly with disbelief that I was a woman, but now, after having had sex in this body last night, I looked down at my seemingly weak body admiringly.
I was about five feet tall, where before, as a man, I was about up to six feet tall. I felt even shorter than I looked now, and weaker and a bit more insecure than I ever was as a man. My manhood gone now, felt a great loss of more than just the anatomy between my legs. I felt like a part of my mind and a part of my confidence was gone now. It was just like some mad brain surgeon snipped a part of my well being away and instead of bothering about replacing it, he tweaked up my emotions while turning up my fear and insecurity and dowsing out everything male about me except for the memories of who I was before.
I've seen and slept with women before and knew their bodies well . . . from a purely external point of origin. I'd heard that many women
don't climax during sexual intercourse so I'd always thought that the vagina they had between their legs was just a numb piece of flesh, almost like I'd imagined it might feel like for a man to have his penis cut all the way off. Just a numb bit of flesh, but this was different than I'd imagined. It was sensitive, and all over too. I'd certainly found that out last night with Harrkar.
When I'd first seen myself naked in this new body, I was amazed, but now I'm even more amazed now that I know more about what this body is capable of experiencing . . . And the breasts - I'd been told by one of my ex-girlfriends that she never understood why men were so obsessed with breasts. After all, breasts were designed mainly for providing milk for infants, right? Oh, it's true, last night I understood a bit of what my ex-girlfriend was talking about. Harrkar jiggled my breasts around and fondled them, sure, but that didn't turn me on at all. Even when he fondled my nipples it didn't do anything really . . . until he hit dead on in the center of my nipples right on those tiny little buds of button heads. That's where it sent all my alarms off in my body. Hardly a small percentage of the breasts, and all concentrated in the very center of each nipple, and yet all my time as a man, I just never knew. I never knew that only those tiny spots were where it felt good for a woman. The rest was just all skin. Soft skin just like everywhere else on a woman's body, but skin none the less.
So on two counts I was wrong, or at least backwards. The breasts erogenous zones are mainly in the center of each nipple, not the whole breast itself, and I was way off on what it felt like between the legs. It wasn't numb at all. It's . . . it's really indescribably wonderful.
I can't believe it, and all this soft skin all over my body, and everyone who see's me, see's me as a beautiful young woman. They don't see me as anything other than the woman I am right now. It's actually quite amazing to be accepted like this without having to really try. People notice me and I don't have to go out of my way to get noticed.
. . . and there's so much about me to notice too! Shapely legs, nicely rounded breasts, soft creamy white skin all over, long brunette hair and soft, pretty brown eyes, full red lips, and a delightful almost singing quality to my voice when I talk. It's really quite amazing.
I can't believe it. I'm a woman . . . and I actually LIKE it!
Just yesterday I wanted my old body back and now even though I'd still like to escape from here, I've developed a keen appreciation for this delicate, wonderful female body. All because of that roller coaster ride of sex had last night. If it wasn't for that experience with Harrkar, I'd be hating life this morning.
"Lacey," Gwen, the cook, called to me. "Come on and help me with the breakfast, dear."
I put on my blue and black striped fur coat and slipped on my boots and headed out of the tent.
I walked over to stand beside Gwen who stirred some scrambled eggs in a black pan over one of the campfires.
"Finish stirring this, would you, Lacey?" Gwen said handing me a wooden
spoon. "Thank you."
We packed up camp and headed out of the cave after breakfast.
Harrkar seemed angry at me still, either that or he was still frustrated over not locating the treasure yesterday.
The air was cool and the snow felt cold on my feet even through my thick boots. A light fog shrouded the ground in knee-high patches about us and we marched back toward the castle high upon the mountain off in the distance.
"Snow tiger, sir," I said pointing to a blue beast I spotted off in the woods before us. "By those trees over there. He's about forty yards away."
Something growled and roared nearby to the left of me.
Someone cried out and I turned and saw another blue snow tiger ripping at two of the miners on my left. The hunters were too slow and now there were five more tigers attacking us from behind. Everyone panicked, even
Harrkar who nervously fumbled with his rifle as a tiger pounced on
It was a complete disaster. Everyone ran in different directions and the tigers kept up their assault, mostly going after the larger men and leaving the women alone.
I saw a discarded blaster rifle beside a bloodied body and I took the weapon and hurried back up the mountain towards the cave.
The drummer ran past me, so did a horn player who uselessly played his horn in some attempt to either warn others about the attack or else hopefully frighten off the tigers by the noise.
I hurried over to hide behind some trees nearby and waited a moment to catch my breath.
With all the armed hunters, I was surprised at how few gunshots actually heard. Only one or two shots had been fired so far. It seemed the huntsmen were too busy fleeing for their lives than trying to stand bravely at close range and get off a few shots at the tigers.
"Lacey?" a familiar woman's voice called out to me nearby. It was Nina. She walked up to me with blood everywhere on her clothes. After quick inspection I was relieved to see it wasn't her blood. "Lacey, we've got to get out of here before it's too late . . . Come on. There's an old mountain trail up that way. You can't tell because of the snow, but the trail's still there alright. Come on."
"What about the cave?" I asked following Nina up the slope through the trees.
"Forget about it," she said. "If we get cornered in there, we're finished for sure. We've got to get up that trail. We don't have much time. If you really want to escape, now's your chance. Come on."
"Escape from the tigers?" I asked.
"No," she said. "Escape from Harrkar. That's what you really want, right? His men will eventually gather up their nerves and kill those beasts, so that'll keep them busy for awhile. For now, if you really want to escape, this is your chance."
"But I thought there was no hope of escape, right?" I asked, following her out of the trees and across the base of a cliff that stretched up before us. "The bracelet device, remember? It'll give us away."
"Not necessarily," Nina said. "There's always a slight chance when given
an opportunity like this. We're out far enough from the castle that one of the Indian tribes may be able to help us but we've got to keep moving. Come on."
We walked through the snow up a little hill and around into a high canyon that split outward into other valleys and a larger mountain on the right.
We walked for a mile or so along the snowpacked canyon floor and then
came to an intersection where the canyon continued forward but also split off into a small meadow to the right.
I heard a horn blowing behind us and Nina and I turned around to see several men way off in the distance back the way we'd come. They were like tiny black silhouettes against the bright glare of the snow filled canyon. Some figures on horseback appeared beside the men.
"It's Harrkar," Nina said looking sick now. "We've made a horrible mistake. They've got trackers now. Indian trackers. There's nowhere to run. We've come as far as we can go. Now we've got to face Harrkar and take what punishment he doles out to us."
"We'll just say we were running from the tigers," I suggested. "That's all. We'll tell them we ran because of the tigers. They won't suspect we were trying to escape Harrkar himself because of the tiger attack."
The horn blew again and the men started making their way towards us.
I turned around and spotted some footprints up ahead of us and some more footprints that went the other way up the small meadow on the right.
"Those footprints," I said pointing. "We could follow them. Perhaps we can find help like you said. What if those are the footprints of someone that can help us?"
"We won't make it," Nina said giving up and sitting down in the snow.
I turned back around and saw the men on horseback coming towards us at pretty good pace. They were still about a mile or so away but were making good ground.
I looked down at Nina who just sulked there, awaiting to be recaptured by Harrkar and made his slave again.
"We can escape," I said confidently. "The meadow right there . . . It leads around over to those rocks. We can mix our footprints in with the others already there. We might fool Harrkar and his trackers that way."
"No, Lacey," Nina said. "You go if you must. It's no use though. You won't get far. They've got horses. The Indians know these mountains better than
us. There's nowhere to run."
"I'm going anyway," I said at last. "Good-bye, Nina."
She said nothing and just sulked there while I walked away.
I tried the best I could to run in the snow but it was useless. The best I could do was walk at a fast pace taking the biggest strides I could as made my way up the small meadow.
The meadow itself was rather bumpy even though it was covered in one to two feet of snow. I stepped in a small stream by accident and the cold bit right through my boots to my feet. Despite this I kept moving onward through the meadow.
I followed the footprints up to the high edge of the meadow and looked back for a moment.
I saw Nina still sitting there in the canyon waiting patiently to be recaptured by Harrkar.
With a sigh, I turned and followed the footprints around a bend to the left along some huge boulders.
Trees on my right, and giant rocks on my left. This area of the wilderness was pretty peaceful. Some birds were singing nearby, almost like they were cheering me on, urging me to hurry and escape the evil Harrkar and his men.
I heard the horn blowing again behind me, getting closer now.
The snow was only a few inches deep at this point, much to my relief, but now it was packed down so much it was almost a solid sheet of ice along the trail.
I followed the footprints up the now visible trail and then the trail suddenly bent to the left and stopped between two boulders where there stood something that to my knowledge shouldn't belong here at all.
It was a gray set of double doors.
Beside the doors there was a little red button imbedded in a rock wall.
"Lacey!" I heard a man call out to me in the distance. "Lacey! Come back! Where are you going, my girl?"
I pressed the button and the double doors slowly opened up, revealing an elevator inside.
I walked in and spun around in disbelief at what I saw.
The walls were covered with hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds of nearly all shapes and sizes and colors imaginable.
The Gems of Ordon!
I looked closer and saw there were little numbers imprinted in the metal walls. Hundreds and hundreds of tiny numbers everywhere.
The horn blew again outside and I knew I only had moments left before my pursuers would arrive here.
I quickly scanned the wall to the right of the open doors and saw buttons numbered from one hundred down to one named "L." I looked up at a lighted display above the doors and saw this was level one hundred, so I decided "L" must mean lobby or something.
I pressed the "L" button, which was a large white diamond.
The doors closed up just as Harrkar and his Indian trackers arrived in view nearby. They were too late to do anything but stare at me in the gem coated elevator car with wide eyed, gaping mouthed expressions.
The doors closed up and I felt the elevator lurch once and then slowly descend into the heart of the mountain.
A moment later the elevator slowed to a halt and the doors opened.
The scene opened up into what appeared to be some sort of mini-market.
An icey-juice machine stood there on the other side of a white tiled isle beside some chips and candy.
I walked out of the elevator and stood there looking around me in total disbelief at what I saw.
It was a mini-market. You know, like the kind you'd find on the corner of a city block or at an electric car refilling station somewhere on
one of the inner planets.
I walked past the cookies and looked up at a skinny man standing behind the counter. He was black haired and had white skin, and one of his eyes had a patch over it. "Can I help you, sir?" he asked.
Normally such a scene wouldn't have been a big deal to me, but who puts an elevator at the top of a mountain, and for that matter, who puts an
elevator in a mini-market? And why, of all places, should a mini-market be found at the center of a mountain on an asteroid over Neptune?
"Th-the . . . ," I stammered, unable to find the words to say.
"What is it?" the clerk asked. "There are others in line, lady. What do you want?"
I pointed behind me to where the icey-juice machine stood.
"You want a juicey?" the clerk asked. "Help yourself, then come back here to pay."
"N-n-no," I said pointing and pointing again and again to the elevator.
"Cocoa Bar?" the clerk guessed. "Come on, man. I don't have all day."
"E-e-elevator," I said gesturing at the elevator.
"What elevator?" asked the clerk. "Look, man. You need help and I've got other customers, so go gather up your senses and decide what it is you want."
A short, bald headed old man looked up at me and shook his head and said,"Too much icey-juice."
"But the elevator," I said walking over to it and pointing. "See? Did you know you've got an elevator that goes to the top of a mountain?"
"Mountain?" the clerk asked and nodded to his right. "Take a look outside, lady. There's no mountain."
I walked over to the store window and saw a city street outside. I walked out the doors and stood there on the sidewalk and looked up at the blue sky above me. I turned around as I looked up and then I had to sit down
on the curb because what I saw was just too much to handle.
High above the mini-market, past wide open clear blue sky, sat a gigantic mountain atop some small wispy little clouds. It just hovered there whole mountain just hovered there and none of this made sense at all. What was a mountain doing hovering here? This place looked like a city somewhere on Earth. The blue sky gave that away anyway. There's no hovering mountains on planet Earth.
How did I get from Neptune to Earth so fast? And was this really even
Earth at all? How did an elevator move between that mountain up there and open air to land in this mini-market down here?
I stood up and took another look at the hovering mountain way above my head, then I walked back in the store and said,"M-m-mountain! . . . E-e- elevator and a mountain . . . What's going on here? Don't you people see this stuff?"
"Lady," the clerk said. "Look, there's no elevator over there, and there's
no mountain outside either."
"F-floating mountain," I corrected.
"There's no floating mountain either," the clerk said annoyed. "Look, why don't you go see your doctor. Want me to call an ambulance for you?"
"No," I said looking around at the store. "No. No that'll be okay. I'll be fine. I'll be alright."
I walked over to a teenage boy who was filling up a cup of soda beside the elevator.
"Um, tell me," I said to the boy. "Don't kid with me, okay, just be honest. Is that an elevator right there or am I going crazy?"
"Elevator?" the boy asked raising his eyebrows as he turned around. "That's an ice cream freezer. What? You never saw an ice cream freezer before?"
He reached in the elevator and pulled out an ice cream bar out of thin
air and handed it to me.
"See?" the boy said. "Ice cream. It won't bite. It's vanilla."
I set the ice cream down on the soda drainage tray and scratched my head, trying to reason this all out.
It must be a multidimensional teleportation device of some sort, but why can't these other people see the elevator, and why can only I see that floating mountain outside? The elevator or whatever it was must have done something to me so that only I can perceive certain things.
This was more than just the discovery of a treasure lined elevator, the Gems of Ordon were part of a multidimensional machine of some sort. device that for all I know could have closed up it's doors for good back on top of the mountain. Harrkar would be pretty upset at watching his treasure vanish into solid rock I bet.
I entered the elevator again and pressed a red ruby button at random.
The doors shut and the elevator moved . . . sideways!
I felt the elevator move to the left at a rapid pace and then the doors opened up again.
I walked out into a small pink bedroom and paused to examine a painting of a clown that hung on the wall beside a closed door.
"Hey lady," a squeaky child's voice called out to me. "Where the hell did YOU come from?"
I turned around and saw a little baby girl lying on her back in her crib.
"Yeah," the baby said waving her rattle at me. "I'm talkin' to you. Where the hell did you come from?"
"Vin?" I asked recognizing who I was talking to now. "Vin Xentrok? The mafia boss?"
"How the heck did you know that?" the infant asked dropping her rattle. "Are you here to snuff me out of existence? If you are, I wanna know who's the dirty rat that sent you."
"We've met before," I explained. "The clinic, remember? Only I was a man
back then. Your . . . mother - walked away for a moment and you decided to talk to me. You told me you were one of the re-born. You said you had some money stashed away and that if I helped you, you'd give me some of it. Well, I don't know how I got here really, but I'm here. Now you want out of that body still or what?"
"Funny," the girl said. "But you know what? I was just thinkin' of you a second ago just before you walked in here out of nowhere. Yeah I want out. You think I want to be called `Holly' the rest of my life? Now get me out of here quick before the bitch comes back to check on me."
I picked her up and cradled her in my left arm while I picked up a small, soft blanket in the other. I wrapped the blanket about her in such a way that her whole body, even her head, was covered. I didn't want her to see what was in the elevator because if she saw those gems, she might get greedy or something and not tell me where her money was hidden.
"Say, what's the big idea?" she asked from under the blankets as I carried her aboard the elevator. "Where'd the lights go?"
"Just hush up," I said pressing a blue sapphire button. "Now I have hunch on something here so just think about where your old body is being stored, okay?"
"Sure," she said. "But why?"
"Nevermind that," I said as the elevator doors closed. "It doesn't matter. Just think about where your old body is stored."
The elevator jolted backwards a bit and then I felt it moving rapidly to the left.
We stopped and the doors slid open again.
Outside was a warehouse of some sort with hundreds and hundreds of coffin-like suspended animation booths laid out in row after row along a huge concrete floor.
I stepped out of the elevator and pulled the blanket off the baby's face.
"Here we are," I said to her, walking past some glass booths. "Now where's your body?"
"Hold me up so I can see," she instructed and I held her up under each of her tiny arms and let her have a look at each body in each chamber as I walked slowly along the path.
"Oh, cripes," she said after a minute. "I'll never find it in this place. There's just too many of 'em. Just stick me in one of those returning chambers along the far wall over there and pick one of these at random. I don't care who you pick, as long as I'm an adult again."
I carried her over to a black booth that stood on end beside one of the warehouse walls. I placed her inside and closed the glassfront door with the press of a button and listened to the cold air hissing it's way inside the chamber.
There was a button marked "transfer" beside a grid of buttons in a strange little numeric keypad.
I didn't know really how to work the device but it seemed simple enough with the few buttons that were there on the control panel.
I pressed in the numbers six, four, five and then pressed "transfer."
The booth glowed from within and it rattled about a little.
I heard another booth some twenty yards away or so rattle as well.
I walked over to the other booth just as it's lid was opening up automatically. Cold mist spewed out and over the sides and a black haired
nude man sat up and stretched his arms.
He climbed out of the chamber and stood there on the cold concrete floor and shivered a bit as he stretched his arms and legs.
He about forty years old and fairly well muscled. He also was a good foot taller than me now.
"Now then," he said cracking his knuckles. "How about you tell me how the hell we traveled a thousand miles away so fast from a bedroom that had absolutely no teleporter booth installed in it?"
"It's a secret," I said shrugging nervously. This guy could easily overpower me now. I didn't count on that but now I wished I had. "Anyway it doesn't matter. I saved you, right? Everything's okay, right? We're buddies now, right?"
"Buddies?" he asked grabbing me by the wrist and smiling down at me. "You're a man in that body, right? Why'd you change into a woman for? You want to insult me or something? I'm the biggest boss there ever was and you want to insult me by rescuing me as a woman? I ought to kill you."
"But . . . you were a girl too," I pointed out. "A baby girl at that."
"Wasn't my choice," he said letting go of my wrist. "They double crossed me. How was I to know I'd wind up a girl? All I asked for was to be hidden
and they did a pretty good job of that. A two year old girl, but it wasn't my choice. They did this for laughs I think. Anyway you did save me, so I'm still willin' ta give you a share of the loot if you want. Now you tell me how we got here so fast."
"First I changed my mind," I said. "I don't want the money. I just want you to help me find my old body, then we're even. Okay?"
"Sure," he said laughing. "It's your loss babe. Where's your old body?"
"That's just it," I shrugged. "I don't know. Gamma Station maybe, or even somewhere on Mars. It's a long story. To make it short, I got stuck in this body and sold into slavery. First you have to help me get this bracelet off my wrist, then help me find a way to undo a brain-lock and body-lock."
"Brain-lock?" Vin asked laughing at me. "Baby, there isn't any such thing. They must have told you that to scare you. Same goes with body-locks. They don't exist, at least not that I know of. If you want, I can swap you out of that female body into any one of these ice-men here and just get it over with."
He reached over and examined my bracelet, then he twisted it about my wrist and I heard a click, then the bracelet opened up and fell down to the floor.
"Twist-offs," Vin said patting me on the back. "Greatest insult they could give you. Childproof twist-offs, that's all. You'd never have thought it could be so easy to remove your bracelet and escape, right? Well, that's just what your master wanted you to think. I know because I used to own
a few slave girls myself. Oh a few girls figure it out after awhile but that's rare. They usually pull at the bracelet instead of thinking to just twist it. Now I think we're even. You've got your freedom and the pick of any one of the bodies in this warehouse. Just let me know which one and I'll swap you."
I looked down at myself. I still wore the thick fur coat and backpack.
I reached down and picked up the bracelet and put it in my backpack.
"Souvenir?" Vin asked surprised. "You know they'd track you down
eventually if you keep that thing."
"I know," I said. "But I want to keep it. It may come in useful in the future."
"So what body do you want?" he asked gesturing about to all the suspended animation chambers.
"I'm not so sure I want to change back into a man," I said honestly. "I said I wanted you to help me find my old body, not change back into it. I never said I wanted back. I just want to find my old self. Then I'll decide what to do from there."
"Well, I'm no body hunter, lady," Vin said shrugging. "I don't think I can help you nab the location of your old body. That's going to be pretty tough no matter who you get to help you. Look, this means we're
not really even, so is there anything else you might want from me?"
"Yes," I said realizing the answer. Only a mob man could possibly help me out on what I really wanted now. "Are you pretty good at convincing governments to undo their laws?"
"Sometimes I've been able to help influence their decisions. Why? What do you mean?" he asked.
"Vin Xentrok," I said. "Have you ever been on a roller coaster?"
His eyes lit up and he knew at once what I wanted.
"Consider it done," he said rolling his head way back and laughing happily. "Consider it done, my friend."
Shiny green metal rings surrounded the tall building across the open air as I sat there aboard the Mondar Kri.
I felt a hand grip me on the knee and I turned to face Todd, my date.
"What are you up to now?" he asked me bringing his left hand up off my knee and around the back of my neck to rest on my left shoulder.
He kissed me briefly as the roller coaster clicked and rattled it's way up the first slope.
"What do you mean?" I asked. "You're the one making a move."
"As always," Todd said. "But this time you're the girl. Why don't we go back to my place after this?"
"Why not the Gems of Ordon?" I asked.
"Sounds good," he replied. "But first my place. I'll push your buttons if you push mine."
The roller coaster edged over the first hill past the American and Martian flags that waved proudly in the air and we plunged downward into screams of happiness and dreams come true.
Note: Sci-fi, body swap, age regression, chemical induced, slavery