Sahara stood for a moment in front of the vid screen. Although the Uralian ship was different in design from her own small runabout, she’d crewed for a while on a Norgonian transport.
It looked like the Uralians borrowed technology, or perhaps they were in trade with the Norgons, for certainly this vid set-up was pretty similar.
She felt the pressure of the creatures behind her; not so much a physical presence as a mental one. She had the sense that if she did one wrong move, they’d be all over her, like rocks on Neptune.
She, who hadn’t thought she had a jot of empathic/psionic powers, was almost drowning in other people’s feelings. She rolled her shoulders, and put her hands on the panel.
The female spoke to her, and with that amazing prowess of her race, was in front of Sahara in a second, almost pushing her back. She did take a cautionary step back, feeling him behind her.
His tentacle wrapped around her waist, holding her steady.
: i :
and there was a long pause.
Sahara felt…so many overriding and conflicting emotions.
fear; doubt; loathing- a terrible self-loathing; pain; heartache; sorrow; hope; fear; loss. The colors here were dark, navy blue, deep distress of red, edged in the red-orange that bespoke a terrible sense of emptyness.
She turned to her self-appointed ‘owner’.
:stop her: she said, her mind-voice firm.
She felt the question, the Earth equivalent of “huh?” Some things were universal it seemed. Men didn’t get it.
: she’s caught up in some sort of emotion-loop. you all need to stop her before she harms herself or something.:
She waited, turning back to the female Uralian.
:How are you named?: She’d try for the girlfriend angle.
A sense of colors, deep blue to violet, the musky smell of woodsy flowers.
: on Earth, where i originate, we call that “Violet”: she said, mindful to keep her mind-voice soft and soothing.
:i don’t understand what is going on here, but i will do my best to help. But Violet? You have to move out of the way now. :
With a ripple of blue~black hurt, she slid away. Her companions surrounded her, wrapping her in tentacles, and waves of …love. Pure, intense, blue-white lights danced around the gathered assemblage, until even Sahara could feel the easing of the emotion-wounded Violet.
:well done for a bipedal:
His confidence was an overwhelming boon, all right, she thought with a sneer.
:do let me go: she said, her mindvoice tight-focused, patting the tentacle still wrapped around her waist. He obviously ‘read’ her sarcasm, and “fuck you bucco” in her tone, as he tightened his grip once, hard.
She figured she’d have fun explaining how she got a ring of bruises around her waist next time she was back in free-space. Yeah. Maybe not.
And then he let her go.
She stepped up to the panel, then turned to the crowd ranged behind her.
:you all need to back off and stop pressing on me. You’re freakin’ me out, for crissakes:
There was a silent ripple, and a shield of sorts dropped over the emotion-filled crowd. The relief was palpable.
She took a deep breath, then turned back to Bossyboots U-Man. Although he didn’t wear space-boots, the acronym of BUM amused her.
:need a tool pouch:
He passed one to her wordlessly, which she took with a small smirk.
He touched the tip of a tentacle to her bare breast. The heat sizzled against her flesh, and she jumped back, her mouth an open O of shock. The fucker jolted her. They must have the capacity to electric shock with their arms.
The feeling of rich laughter rained around her, even the assembly was amused by their brief interplay, and her comeuppance.
She stuck her tongue out at him, then darted back as, quick as a wink, that tentacle zipped to the front of her face, and poised like a pointed finger right in front of her mouth.
The implication was clear; sarcasm at her own peril.
She turned back to the panel, and felt that same tentacle caress her backside. She didn’t even look at him as she beamed a tight
:back off, asshole: at him.
His tentacle slipped between the moons of her ass and pressed against that tightly puckered hole.
She reared up and whipped around, exasperated and a bit, dare she even admit to herself, turned-on. That touch to her tit had hardened her nipples. Now this.
:leave my ass alone:
:hole: he sent back, clarifying helpfully, and full of rippling humor.
Apparently, he knew his Earthling biology.