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Chapter One


She was swept away, given no choice by the biobracelts but to follow this stranger to whom she had been mechanically attached, no matter how much she fought against them – and she most certainly did.  She very nearly committed the ultimate sin, through her own anger at the situation, and exhausted herself trying.

But, in a move she had resurrect from long, long ago, she physically reached into herself and hauled herself back from that precipice – which was one of the hardest things she’d ever had to do in her life.  Qez knew she had to save some of that energy for the rest of the fight.   Unfortunately, she’d been in enough life or death situations, starting at an alarmingly early age that she knew she had to get out of this situation, no matter what it took, so she tamped her anger down as best she could and began looking for a away out; although none may present itself at first, she needed to be ready to take action at a moment’s notice and not have wasted her precious energy on futile efforts. 

She was well and truly trapped, and suddenly could only think that the others were in much the same predicament.  Poor Aaleigha.  She seemed to have gotten the worst of the situation, seeing her mother having fallen so far, from President to naked and in chains in front of the entire world.  Qez couldn’t imagine the humiliation, and that horrid man – Fist – seemed to know her somehow.

Funny, she’d never mentioned anything about her time with him, and she’d thought they were pretty close.  No matter what Sorrel had said about Aaleigha betraying her, Qez couldn’t imagine that she had done that in a million years.  Her loyalty to her commanding officer hadn’t been shaken, not one bit.

Even when she so intent on her thoughts, nothing escaped her attention.  She noted the highly phallic decorations, if you could call it that, as they passed – in the graffiti, the occasional sculpture and the jewelry that adorned the few other women who passed by, but, of course, did not meet her eyes, but rather dropped into that abominably groveling obeisance as they saw who was approaching.  Not that there weren’t other lewd representations of female privates, also, just nowhere near as many as there were their male counterparts.  Qez was surprised at this, considering that it was supposedly a male dominated society.

Their trip wasn’t very long, unfortunately.  Qez would have wished for it to be longer; the more she could learn about what society had become, the better informed she would be about how she could escape from it.  But apparently the Premier kept his men close to him, and Jex stopped at an ornately carved door, where a retinal scan was performed to verify his identity before they swung open.

To her great surprise, she was the only being he allowed into his apartment.  And that wasn’t the only alarming edict he issued, as far as the bots were concerned.  “I want the biobracelets removed.”

“Sir, the Premier and Thall – “ the lead bot began.

Qez saw the flash of annoyance on his face.  She was amazed to realize that it would have echoed her own in the same situation.  “Security override Tabor2alphagreenstpauliseuss.”

As soon as she felt the slight pressure in her wrists and ankles that had signaled the presence of the restraints, Qez made her move.  She didn’t necessarily think that she was going to make it out on this first attempt, but she knew she had to at least try – even if she failed, she would take what she had learned about their response and file it away, watching and waiting for another more viable attempt, no matter how long it took for that opportunity to make itself known.

She bolted down the filthy corridor, bots in automatic pursuit, the stranger who claimed her as his swearing and shouting loudly that she wasn’t to be harmed.  Jex brought up a computer screen and closed off the hallway so that she was trapped, even before the bots could capture her.  He should have realized she would take this opportunity to try to escape, even knowing it wouldn’t work.  It was exactly what he would have done in her place.

Damn it.  It was just her luck that the security measures that were in probably in place around the time Aaleigha’s family were occupying this house had survived for Fist’s goons to use when they took over. 

She was brought back to him, of course, as close to kicking and screaming as the bots, who were holding her in four point restraints, would allow – definitely screaming anyway.

“Biobracelts, Sir?” the lead bot hinted as he deposited Qez back on his doorstep.

Jex reached out and tugged her into his rooms with a firm grip on her slim upper arm, raising an eyebrow at the bot.  Had they employed a sarcasm routine in these things that he hadn’t been informed about?  “Did I ask for that?”  Slamming the door on a bot wasn’t quite as satisfying as slamming it on another man, but it sufficed for the moment.

Then he was able to turn his attention to the woman he’d been dreaming about for far too long.

She was pacing, trying not to turn her back to him, but scanning around, casing the joint, looking speculatively out the floor to ceiling windows – trying to decide whether she would survive the jump.

“I wouldn’t try it if I were you,” he said casually, crossing to the surprisingly well stocked bar.  “You’ll break your neck on the rubble below.”  He didn’t mention that the windows were locked and that his retinal scan was the only way to open them.  “Sit.”

She ignored him, as he expected. 

Much like Fist, Jex could have had any woman he wanted.  Hell, he’d hardly been celibate while waiting for her to return.  There was no need.  He’d been the colonel’s – and then the Premier’s - head of security – his right hand man – through it all, and now, finally, he was beginning to be able to reap a few of the rewards he’d been promised.

The biggest of which was still not doing as she was told and sitting on the well worn cough, as she’d been ordered to do, but was busy examining what few chatzkies he owned, being so bold in a few cases as to heft them in her hand, no doubt evaluating how well they’d do as weapons against him.  He knew that’s what he’d be doing himself in her situation.

 But then, that was one of the things he’d known he’d be attracted to about her.  He’d had umpteen compliant women in the past decades.  The more their vision of society took over, the more compliant women became.  That was all well and good, and that had been their goal: to fashion a male dominated society where women were completely subservient.

Jex didn’t know about Fist, but he’d long since decided that he liked a bit of fight in his women.  He kind of thought that Fist did, too – or he hoped so, because he figured he was going to get it, like it or not, from the looks of Aaleigha.

And he’d known – just by looking at her picture – that that was what he would get from Qez.

He watched her as he poured himself a glass of Jack from his own private reserve – some of the last bottles in existence on the planet - and watching her carefully inspect every nook and cranny of the place, looking for possible avenues of escape – of which there were none.  But the fact that she was trying, and her mere presence in what passed for his home brought a smile to his face, anyway.

Not that he was ever going to admit that to her.

Finally, carefully erasing the smile from his face, he decided to put an end to her misery and put his drink down, placing himself deliberately in her way, blocking her progression and standing uncomfortably close to her.  “I believe I told you to sit down.”

Qez cocked her head to one side, taking a step back.  The way her head snapped back and her sarcastic answer were reflex actions rather than the trained responses of a military officer that they ought to have been.  “Do I look like a German Shepherd?”

“More like a sheep dog with all of that lovely black hair.”

“Regardless, unlike all the other brainwashed women on this hellhole of a planet, I’m not a trained dog who will obey your every command.”

Jex reached out, lightening quick, and in one practiced motion brought her uniform pants and boring white regulation underwear to her ankles, lifting one ankle in the air to remove both pants and undies, then suddenly releasing that leg and tugging the other up in its place, leaving her with no choice but to grasp a hold of his broad shoulders for balance, no matter how reluctant she might be to do so.

Bare from the waist down, she showed much less bravado, although he knew she was doing her best not to show how discomfited she was.  Her hands were fairly twitching to cover her privates, and although he hadn’t disallowed it, he knew she inherently didn’t want to show weakness in front of him and succumb to the usual virginal pose.

He hadn’t been able to find any reference in any of the available information in her military file – even her psychological or medical reviews; he’d read them all – about whether or not she’d had a lover, but, considering what he knew about her life, he had to assume she’d had several, and that not all of them, unfortunately most especially when she was younger, were consensual.  That idea nearly drove him insane some nights when he couldn’t sleep.

Then she did something that he would never have foreseen.  He watched her take a deep breath and straightened her back.  Then she reached down to the hem of her uniform shirt and tugged it up and over her head, standing there proudly, completely nude.  She snapped to attention in front of him, those deep black eyes settling onto his like a challenge.  “Lt. Commander Qez Nguyen.  93B792Z492107.”

Jex stood for a moment, arms crossed over his broad chest, nonplussed at her words, but even more so at her actions.  It was pretty brave move to just strip off in front of him, but there was absolutely no fear in her eyes.  None.  He had to admit to a grudging respect for her actions.  She had guts, he had to admit that.

It took him a moment to realize what she’d done, and then it finally sank in.  She’d given him her name, rank, and serial number, as if she was an old time prisoner of war.  He supposed that, in her perception, that wasn’t too far off. 

He turned, just a bit, and pointed to the couch, saying again, “Sit.”

Her response was exactly what he expected.  “Lt. Commander Qez Nguyen.  93 –“

Jex didn’t need her to go through the rest of it, especially since it was entirely irrelevant.  Instead, he simply lifted her and placed her over his lap, easily trapping her there with her legs spread quite obscenely.

It had been a long time since Qez had been handled like that.  Stasis wasn’t much of a friend to muscles, no matter how much biotechnology said they could prevent atrophy.  But she’d been warned that, as the smallest member of the crew, if it was going to hit anyone, it would be her, although they assured her they thought they had it licked.  If she could, she’d like to have a word with those doctors, but since they were all women, she shuddered to think where they’d ended up.  She wasn’t at the top of her game by any means, not that she was going to make excuses.  She’d grown up parentless and homeless, running wild in the streets of what had once been Los Angeles, fending for herself and that included being responsible for her own personal security from an obscenely early age.

Small but violent gangs of men who had skirted the system that would subjugate them – and probably gladly join Fist’s cause later - had roamed the shell of the city, and any female was fair game as far as they were concerned, as anything female represented that which would strip them of their rights and make them less than male, so they were more than willing to do the same – and worse – to her.  Luckily, she was small, and able to crawl into hidey holes that they had no hope of entering.  Sometimes her size was an advantage, although, in this instance, it was proving to be much more of a hindrance.

Qez had learned early to fend for herself, but she was unprepared to handle the way this man dealt with her, both physically and, she was surprised and dismayed to realize, emotionally.  She’d never allowed herself to be at the mercy of her emotions – that had been a luxury she’d never been able to indulge in, even when she’d become much more secure as an adult, and even met with considerable success, becoming best friends with the daughter of the leader of the world and being selected for the most prestigious space exploration project in the history of the world.

But even then she hadn’t really allowed herself to relax. 

She was still a virgin.  No man had ever touched her body, much less her heart.  It was, quite frankly, unthinkable.  She couldn’t imagine allowing anyone to have that much control over her – to have that much knowledge of her, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.  Aaleigha was probably the closest person to her in the world, and she’d never had a sexual thought about her friend.  She didn’t swing that way.  She didn’t swing any way, really, but she’d definitely never allowed any man intimate knowledge of her, and she certainly didn’t intend to start now.

Here she was, though, lying naked over the lap of a man who wasn’t a giant, but who was much larger than she was; she judged him to be about six two to her five four or so.  He certainly hefted her around like she weighed no more than a feather, despite her well trained flying limbs and fists.  It would have been more tolerable if that was all; if she was simply lying over his lap, stiff as a board, legs closed, able to maintain her own boundaries.

Of course, he wasn’t about to allow that.  When it was all over, resolved, of course, in his favor, he had her wrists caught at the small of her back, held in just one of his hands, leaving the other to wreak all sorts of damage to the rest of her, she was sure.  Her legs were parted by the insistence of the big knob of one knee, not allowing her to close her legs again, forcing them widely open, forcing one leg down and capturing it in one fluid motion, and accomplishing it all as if she hadn’t been fighting him like a whirling dervish the entire time.

By the time he had her immobilized into that unbelievably humiliatingly position, Qez was exhausted, much to her dismay, and, despite all of her advanced training and the years of street fighting where she’d miraculously managed to emerge relatively unscathed, she’d still not landed one single solitary solid blow to the blasted asshat who was holding her as if the results had been a foregone conclusion, and who wasn’t so much as breathing heavily, while she was slick with sweat and felt as if she’d just run several marathons in a row.

She was so exhausted that, when his spare hand came down to boldly claim the area he’d so recently exposed as if it was well and truly his, she had to struggle not to burst into tears, and that was damned near unheard of.

And, the icing on the cake that sent a rogue tear down her cheek – that she did her level best to ignore - was that she knew that he considered that she most certainly was his, in no uncertain terms.

All Qez knew was that, in a matter of seconds, despite all of her high falutin’ training and her promises to herself that she was going to go down fighting, she’d ended up right where she least wanted to, with a stranger’s hand on that most intimate part of her that she’d spent her life protecting.

And in tears.

Well, this was just going to have steel her resolve to give him no more of a response than what she had been trained to give.  Name, rank, and serial number.  Nothing more than that.

But her body had other ideas, apparently.

Jex, on the other hand, was jazzed.  She felt wonderful, draped over his lap like this, the gorgeous black curtain of her hair pooling on the ornate carpet like a puddle of liquid silk.  The way she’d fought him was just what he’d been missing, although it was against the law; technically, she could have been killed outright for it, if he wanted her to be as her owner, although Fist had had the forethought to make an exception for them, knowing they would need time to acclimate to their new stations in life once they returned to Earth.

Jex couldn’t keep his fingers from cupping her even more tightly, although he knew he had to be making her feel just that much more uncomfortable.  He was trying to be mindful of her, but he was struggling against years of living in a society that didn’t foster such empathy, and his middle finger seemed to have a mind of its own, settling along the natural depression created by those lovely, plump lips.

“Now.  I realize that you must be in shock.  This situation is not what you expected to come back to.  Let me guess.  You expected perhaps a heroine’s welcome, fame and fortune, to continue with your career in the military and perhaps attain the rank of commander and beyond.  Maybe pursue your studies in bioengineering.  Find the solution to the world’s problems, hmmm?”

Qez was stunned, and the stiffness of her body revealed her surprise.  He was pretty much right on the button.  But how did this man know her so well?  More than that, why did this man know her so well?

Even before they had launched, society had progress such that race, religion, national boarders had all become considerations of the past.  Indeed, everyone had pretty much become the same café au lait color, with very slight variations, not enough that much of anyone noticed anymore, especially considering the other, much more immediate challenges they faced.  Such trivialities had quickly fallen by the wayside when dealing with the continuation – or not – of the entire species. 

A few natural differences remained – height, weight, and hair color being most prominent amongst them.  Plastic surgery had quickly become a thing of the past, as doctors’ abilities were needed in much more pressing areas; either for military purposes or in genetic technology, trying to work on the imbalance between males and females, so natural beauty became very highly prized, even more in females when society became patriarchal rather than matriarchal again, although it was beginning to rear its ugly head again as some men began to alter their women with implants.  Until recently, the only real cosmetic plastic surgery allowed was that used to reverse any scars that might have been caused by punishment.  Flawless skin was darned near priceless.

Jex had done his homework.  As soon as he’d seen her picture and realized that this was the women he wanted, he’d read everything he could about her, and there was a plethora of information.  He knew about her horrible childhood, about her struggle to better herself, and how she’d managed to rise to the top in nearly every class she took – except those that involved anything that might be considered to be a feminine or artistic pursuit.  She was a perfectionist, balls to the wall, hard sciences girl all the way.  Not for her any of the touchy feely, pot holder making, television show studying, easy A classes.

“Quite a shock, wasn’t it?  Especially this,” he closed his hand a bit, reemphasizing his ultimate, intimate possession of her.  “You don’t even know my name.”

“Lt. Commander Qez Nguyen.  93B792Z492107.”

He chuckled.  “Not your name, my name.  I’m Lt. Colonel Jex Tabor.  Most people call me J, although you’ll be calling me Sir or Master.”  He rewarded her derisive snort by administering a hefty, flat palmed swat to her bare bottom, catching most of it in one swipe.  “I’m Auz – Fist’s – right hand man, probably in much the same way you were Aaleigha’s right hand girl.”  Qez itched to launch into the many reasons why she wasn’t anyone’s “girl”, but he rambled on.  “Always have been, always will be – first through the Water Wars, and then the Reclamation, when we took back our rights as men.”  He spoke reverently about Fist.  She wondered if her tone had the same quality when she spoke to others about Aaleigha.  Perhaps not, since they hadn’t been through wars together.

Qez so wanted to challenge him about his last comment, but she clenched her teeth and kept still.  Arguing with him wouldn’t accomplish anything useful.

“Your friend’s mother was overthrown in a relatively bloodless coup.  Since you left, there have been population issues, and we purposed to kill as few people, especially women, as possible.  Fewer babies, female and male, have been being born world wide.  Every child that is born is precious, and since there are so few men, putting multiple women with a single male makes the most sense.  Your mother was never going to sign on to that, especially considering how men were being treated under her regime.  So we took the choice out of her hands.”  He leaned over and kissed the small of her back, whispering.  “Just as I’ve taken the choice out of yours.”

Leaning back, he continued in a voice that was at least an octave lower than the one he’d begun with, “You’re mine.  In this society, that means more totally than I think you can probably comprehend right now.  But let me lay it on the line:  I can do as I please with you, short of killing you, and the foremost idea is to impregnate you.”  He reached into his pocket and pulled out a thick rope made of solid gold that he quickly looped around her neck and secured at the back of her neck, then moved around to the front.  It had a fist on one side, with each knuckle accented in a different, good sized precious jewel, and the other side was a penis, its head a large, almost throbbing ruby.

With that proclamation, and his collar around her throat, his palm found that naturally yielding area between her legs again and this time, his finger didn’t stop at the delicate seam of her lips.

There was really no way to cringe away from his touch there.  Her body couldn’t move in a way that would accomplish her goal, and he held her too easily and too tightly.  There was nowhere she could go that he couldn’t block by a depressingly casual movement.  He seemed to have had all of the training she had had, and more.  Worse, the more she moved, the more of herself she revealed to him, and he took advantage of every inch of flesh she exposed, claiming more and more of her with those big insistent fingers of his.  Before she knew it, he had claimed parts of her that no man had ever so much as seen before, much less touched.

And, as his callused fingers settled onto her fully engorged, aching clit, and her entire body clenched painfully, Qez had to come to the startlingly humiliating realization that it wasn’t so much him that she was fighting, but herself.  She couldn’t suppress the moan that escaped her lips, and she would have given most of her life to have recalled it.  He didn’t need the encouragement.  She certainly hadn’t intended to encourage him, but there was no recalling it, no suppressing it.

Suddenly, entirely against everything she’d ever allowed herself to feel before, the only thing Qez wanted to do was to dissolve into tears.  She could never remember feeling quite so helpless at any other time in her life.  This man was on the verge of learning the most intimate secrets about herself and her body, discovering things he had know right to know, and she had absolutely no control over it.

It was entirely unbearable, and she couldn’t stop it from happening.  Tears coursed down her cheeks as that knowing hand relieved her of her emotional innocence.

He seemed to delight in showing her how her body cooperated with him against her, using that long, firm middle finger of his to delve further, past her eager clit, to where her traitorous body was more than willing to anoint him with her slippery juices.  And no amount of trying to twist or wiggle or kick or writhe deterred him from his path, either, especially since she was barely able to execute any of those movements; he had her trussed up so tightly and yet so easily, with little else to help him beyond his own limbs, damn him.

And then, when he encountered that which she had guarded so carefully and yet, somehow, shamefully, he stopped abruptly.  “You’re a virgin.”

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