Apr 29 2012

The Succubi Queen’s birthday arrives…

So, I’ve been told that it is my birthday today… As such I think I should share a present with all of you from me… Or make presents of all of you to me…

Depending on your point of view of course…

GrowUp by TeraS

GrowUp by TeraS

 

And the story, for posterity…

Once I was a little girl in school. Boys pulled on my pigtails, and stuck them in the ink jars. They made me cry, and never apologized. I teased them, and called them names, I even did some things a little worse …

… but then I grew up …

Once I was a teenager, starting to fill out sweaters nicely. Boys wanted their way with me, and chased me all over the campus. I chased a few of them, too, and kept them off balance. But we never quite knew what to do with each other, at least not quite …

… but I grew up some more …

Now I am the Succubi Queen … at a perfect age, on my perfect day. And you are no boy … I can’t be bothered with boys anymore… But still you don’t know quite what to say, what to do … but you know something? I do … and can you imagine what a succubi like me … at a perfect age, on her perfect day … might wish to do … with someone like you?

I’m in control … and that sounds so exactly right, doesn’t it now?

What will I do with you? … What naughty things are in my mind? It frightens you, just a bit, but excites you much more, doesn’t it now?

I am going to have my way with you… But there are so many ways … which will I choose? I wonder … I wonder …

… Once I was a little girl … but I am all grown up now…

And we’re going to make a perfect birthday present to me of you…

 

As always, my thanks to my heart for making my words be the way they should be, to my Eternal, my love always, and to my family, huggles always…

 

Love and Huggles

 

Tera

Apr 28 2012

A Review of Demonsleep: Succubus Ascending by Binger Ray

I know that Succubi, for the most part, are seen as evil beings in literature and of course myth. Personally I don’t care of that aspect of them, and I would rather see the seductiveness and sexuality of them above all else. However, that’s not always the focus of a story with them, the question is whether or not focusing on the horrors of the myth makes for a good story or not…

Demonsleep: Succubus Ascending by Binger Ray

Demonsleep: Succubus Ascending by Binger Ray

  • Title: Demonsleep: Succubus Ascending
  • Author: Binger Ray
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publishing Date: March 17, 2012
  • Length: 66 Pages
  • ISBN-10: 1470060019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470060015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story tells of:

When Darrien Salter came into the Langdon family’s life, she already knew their darkest secrets. Little did they know, a tattooed stranger had been living in the attic of their home, hiding in the dark recesses of their rooms, and following them into stores, banks, and restaurants for months. He had good reason. As long as he continued to report their activities to Darrien, he could keep his wife alive… All the while knowing that Darrien was a Cambion, A being half human, half demon, on her ascension path to being deemed immortal and crowned a Succubus: a demoness appointed to steal the souls of men. With her invading their life supernaturally, can this family win against the odds?

Up front, the first thing I should say is that the story is rather violent in nature. All of the characters have dark sides, they all come out, and the dark side of humanity is there for all to see. While most of that is caused by the two succubi/cambion characters in the work, a lot of manipulation, lies, and similar actions all draw the main characters to perform acts that are, really, very dark, occasionally very evil, and that makes it hard to really want to care about any of them.

But here’s the thing, you do find yourself caring about a few of them, which makes getting through the darker parts much easier to do. That’s not to say that the story is happy all of the time, it isn’t, but then real life isn’t always a happy time either. And in this story, the succubi that appear in it make quite sure that the ones they claim are happy at first, but then things go downhill rapidly for them.

The work has some erotic moments in it, certainly the scenes with the succubi taking from their victims have their moment of pleasure, but it is not the core of the story. The central theme is the violence that they create by interfering with other people’s lives. There is drug use, manipulation of events and people, some really awful moments when characters are brought to their end as well. But then this work isn’t about the seductive nature of the succubi. It is a story of just how evil they really can be and are generally seen to be in most works.

So if you are looking for a story with traditionally evil beings, then yes, this story fills that role quite well. The thing of it is, and this I found to be well done, is that the two succubi in this story start out the same in their goals, but by the end one of them is forced to make a change and that leads into something different and interesting for me personally.

The only problem is, at the point I really wanted to see where they were both going to wind up, and I will not spoil that for you, the story comes to an end. Now this does leave a huge question to be answered if the author continues the story and I do think they should because while this book is about evil in all its forms, the next part of this story does not have to go there. It can move towards a resolution between the two succubi and, perhaps, something more than that.

Getting to the succubi that appear through the work, Darrien and Kym, I have to admit that I didn’t like either of them at the beginning of the story. They both seemed to be a bit too manipulative, too self involved and, mostly, were evil for the sake of being evil. While that was their theme through most of the story, Kym turned into something more than that while Darrien, at least to me, didn’t really change from what she was at the beginning of the story, which is a bit disappointing.

The author writes well, there aren’t really any moments that drew me out of the work spelling or otherwise, though I will admit that some of the more horrific scenes were a bit much for me personally. Now that is part of the setting and what the characters are, so you should expect some really violent moments in the work, but I could have done without them for the rest of the story I think held together well without them.

I’ll give this work three and a half pitchforks out of five.

If you are looking for a story that tells of the dark side of humanity and how it can be played upon by beings like traditional, in a way, succubi, this is the story for you.

 

 

Tera

Apr 27 2012

A Review of Disturbia by Niall Teasdale

My favourite book series has another chapter in its story, and so it is time for another review… The series is by the author Niall Teasdale and tells the story of Ceridwyn Brent and the universe she lives in with her Succubus Lily Carpenter who has become one of my favourite Succubi.

My first review of his first book, Thaumatology 101, you can find here. The second book in the series, Demon’s Moon was reviewed here on the Tale as well. I reviewed the third book in the series, Legacy as well. The author also released a collection of short stories from this universe called Tales from High Towers’ Study.  The fourth book in the series, Dragon’s Blood I reviewed here. This week I will be reviewing the fifth book in the series, Disturbia which brings our heroines to a turning point in their lives and the consequences therein…

Disturbia by Niall Teasdale

Disturbia by Niall Teasdale

This fifth book in the series is about:

As Ceridwyn Brent and her half-succubus lover, Lily Carpenter, begin a training course to become Special Advisors to the Metropolitan Police Force’s supernatural crimes division, the first of a series of mysterious deaths happens. A werewolf throws himself in front of a light-rail train, apparently being chased, though there is nothing visible following him. When another wolf from the same pack is found ripped apart in his home, the hunt for a supernatural killer begins.

The trail leads them to the darker side of London and into the underworld of illegal porn and snuff films which Lily is uncomfortably familiar with. Facing personal tragedy and Lily’s ugly past, the couple must ultimately face a killer bent on revenge who cannot die.

The story of Ceri and Lily sort of takes a diversion in this chapter of their lives. They find themselves learning to be part of the police force that they have been involved with from time to time in the series and in becoming more involved, things become somewhat of a train wreck for them.

I can see how both of them gaining a certain amount of “respectability” would be helpful considering what has dropped into their lives in the past, and where it might go in the future. There is of course some police work for the pair, much of it at times hilariously funny. But also the book shows just how much both of them have grow as characters as well.

Ceri is more centred in this story, she seems to have some of her life figured out, especially her relationship with Lily and her werewolf mate Michael as well. Lily has gained more understanding of herself, who and what she is, and more interestingly to me. made a relationship with her father. That I found to be especially interesting when talk in the book came to Lily being “owned” by Ceri and what that might mean and do to Lily’s father… I see something coming of this in the future, if I’m not sure what precisely.

Ceri learns an important point of her past as well, which really opens the door to several questions I have about one particular, not so minor, character in the series. If that goes where I think it does, that being their hesitation with regards to Ceri… That will be a moment to come when that truth is revealed between them and it might change Ceri… a lot.

The core of the story is dark. Very dark. I have to admit that at certain points I was squeamish over things that happened, or were remembered to have happened. I understand that the seeder side of the universes exists, we’ve seen hints of it in the past, but the moments were hard for me to get through even knowing that it was a story alone.

The resolution of the core story, the bringing of justice to those that deserved it in whatever means it came to pass was violent as well, but considering the source of the “justice” that had to be expected. But the mindless anger, rage and transference of that towards others that were not part of what happened… it seemed a bit off for some reason to me. Not that the character that was responsible for the actions wasn’t the right sort of being to do so… It just seemed slightly over the top to me… But then insanity will have that effect won’t it?

I liked the looks we were given into werewolf society. Michael’s father and family were more than I expected them to be and the climax of that plot thread was perfect in many ways… I admit that I cried when it was over for Michael and his brothers for their loss. It’s important to give characters like Michael a past, a reason for their lives, and a reason to live. I think he has that now with Ceri and I hope that leads to something wonderful for them both.

One of the more telling things that happens in this work is that Lily is forced to face her past head on. While that’s hard to bear at times, and really it is, Ceri and Ceri alone is enough for Lily to get through it all, push it aside, and turn her back on it for the woman she loves. That’s a victory for Lily and I think that will help to make her a stronger character in the future.

We get some very interesting hints about Twill in this book and I really, really want to know more about her that we have seen. She’s a mystery in Ceri’s life, not that is a bad thing, but the massive hints and suggestions that appear when Ceri looks into the Fae world… Dearest Twill you have some explaining to do my dear and when you do I wonder what Ceri will think of you then…

There is an undertone in the story which focuses on the question of, I think, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons. Ceri makes some ill advised choices, but that makes her human. Lily does as well, as so many others in this work do. But the thing of it is, given the chance to see right from wrong, and then using that knowledge to fix what isn’t right… That makes for an interesting read and, more so, a lot of character growth from the beginning to the end of this story.

As always, the work is well written, holds you in the universe tightly, and keeps the pages turning to the very last one. Of course that is the problem isn’t it? You get to the last page and need to see what comes next…

This work is well worth five pitchforks out of five.

Niall has expanded the universe in many interesting ways, offered some closure to a few questions that have cropped up in the series, but also left me wanting more…

And that’s never a bad thing…

The sixth book in the series, Hammer of Witches will be released very, very shortly…

My page turning tail awaits it as always…

 

Tera

Apr 26 2012

Succubi Image of the Week 226

It’s been a little while since I have shared some of the art of Bruce Colero on the Tale… Just over a year actually and especially as the Succubi of the Week… It’s time to change that I think with a deliciously erotic and powerful work from Bruce…

Cora Succubus by Bruce Colero

Cora Succubus by Bruce Colero

I called this Cora Succubus, because the model in this art is named Cora, and, well, she looks like a deliciously erotic and powerful Succubus to me…

I will admit that there is one thing she’s missing as a Succubus, that being her tail, but I think I can overlook that for the rest of her deliciousness… A perfect pose for the model, but of course it’s the trappings of her Succubus form by Bruce that are amazing to me as they always are…

I think that she’s powerful as a Succubus, seductive as a woman, and, really, she’s all of the things that a Succubus should be in form and action… She rises from the fires beneath her, her pitchfork at the ready and a look of power and control in her eyes…

She might even inspire a story from me too…

I’ve shared a lot of Bruce’s previous Succubus art, you can find posts with them here on the Tale and here, and over here, and here too, and as well here, and over there and right here, and here and lastly here too if you want to see them…

As always, you can find Bruce Colero’s website here at Colero.ca.

And there will be a couple of more lovely works of art from Bruce as Succubi of the Week for the next couple of weeks to come too…

Special thanks as always to Bruce for his kind permission to share his work and I hope you visit his site!

Tera

Apr 25 2012

She might be a Little Devil but not a Succubi…

So if I understand the concept of this costume, a feather boa and a over the top shiny dress will mean that you are a Devil girl… Really?

I would have thought that there would be a bit more needed to be one…

You Little Devil
This costume is called You Little Devil, and it comes with a sequinned front stretch knit dress with removable shoulder straps and attached devil tail, a pair of sequin devil horns, a feather boa and a necklace which isn’t shown in the photograph of the costume.

Shoes, armlets and pitchfork not included and it sells for $100 US.

I don’t like the horns, just ugly things really. The feather boa I do not understand why it would be part of this costume and the pitchfork isn’t. Again, why show the model with, in this case armlets, that are not included with the costume?

Also, there is a tail, something rare in a costume it seems, but from what little can be seen of it, it’s nothing special really…

The dress? While I like shiny dresses and costumes, I don’t find it all that sexy or flattering. It also bothers me that the necklace, whatever it is, isn’t shown either.

I also have a problem with this costing $100 when there are many better costumes that cost about the same and look so much better as well.

I’ll give this one pitchfork out of five.

I’d keep the dress, trash the rest most likely, and use some of my shiny stuff to make it look a lot better…

 

Tera

Apr 24 2012

Desires 26

The question of how you are, not why you are matters… You just need to understand what that means in the first place…

 

 

________________

Desires – Truths

By MZ and Tera S

Part Fourteen
Tera nodded slowly at his words and then said, “Of course I will Master… Anything for the one that I love more than my life…”

She stood up and then in a voice filled with love said, “Of course…. I will return in a moment Master…”

Tera turned and walked past the statue, her hand just brushing over it’s tail as she walked by it. A few minutes later she returned from her bedroom carrying the items that he had asked for… And a few other things…

She had taken the time to redo her makeup as a result of the items he asked for. Her lips were now candy apple red. She had put dark eye shadow on making her eyes more sultry for him. Her nails were painted in that same red as her lips, the light reflecting off the nails invitingly.

She kneeled at his feet and then laid the items in front of her in a line. She gazed up at him, her love and devotion to him foremost in her mind. She wanted to please him so…. So much….

MZ observes Tera’s reactions to his commands and watches her leaving to carry out her new duties.

Hmmm… she didn’t even bat an eye at calling me master. Still looking upon me with complete love and devotion, good to see my control over Tera is so strong.

I stretch my arms and get reacquainted with my own body. Examining my hands, they had become rough and covered with calluses from the years of manual labor I had to endear to achieve my goals. Pacing around Tera’s place as if it was the first time I’d been there, I took inventory of what all my new possessions were. Stopping by the new black statue of Tera for a moment, I savored just how great it was to see someone so powerful reduced to one so weak.

Too bad Curtis didn’t get her to give him her powers like I’d planned, but no matter. Even if Tera’s powers are locked up in this statue, her followers will still either obey me through her or I’ll just have Tera lure them into traps.

Returning back to where he was when Tera left, MZ smiled at the beauty that was now his. It had been over three years since he’d been with a slave. Feeling like a horny prisoner that just got release, MZ stroked the top of Tera’s head.

“Proactive for your master, I like that in a slave. Begin disrobing here and now. A proper slave must present herself to her new master. After you have met my approval, you will put on the thigh highs and the shoes.”

Music starts playing his MZ’s mind as he watch’s Tera start carrying out her commands.
I’ve paid my dues – Time after time

In a different thought processes that MZ doesn’t even notice is there.
Her eyes seem so familiar … somehow…

 

 

_____________

There’s always a but isn’t there?

 

Tera

Apr 23 2012

Storm Clouds 166 – An ongoing Succubi Story

This is the continuing story of the Succubi called Storm Clouds…

If you want to read previous chapters, please click the link in the Tale header at the top of the page marked Storm Clouds or click here...

A bit more story to the latest chapter… I think it needed it…

_______________________

Storm Clouds 166

Chapter 21

By TeraS

 

The thing about the Dark was that it was too confident. It thought that it had all of the answers and that no one could oppose it.

That was almost true.

She could, and did . . . regularly.

It had become almost an obsession for her now. There were so few who would challenge the Dark when it appeared, and so it fell to her to do so. It wasn’t a chore or an imposition; it had to be done, and she had seen enough of the Dark and what it was capable of to know that the best thing to do was what she did: drive it mad with anger and make it stop thinking.

Losing the one portal did that. Then letting it stew in its anger had made it get involved intimately with mortals and their world. She wondered if, this time, it would actually learn something from the experience or not.

Making the portal vanish was child’s play for a being like her. If the Dark ever figured out just how powerful she was, it might actually pause to think twice about the plans it had against Tera and her kind.

Possibly.

The thought did make her smile as the portal showing the severed tail reappeared among all of the Dark’s other ones. She stood there for a time, tapping a single pink fingernail against the surface and trying to decide what would be the most unpleasant thing she might do.

She could destroy this portal—the thought had been there before—but she had her own plans, and, for those, this one portal needed to remain, at least for the moment, in spite of what it showed.

The tapping stopped as she placed that hand against the surface and whispered to the awful image that it showed, “It will not be long. Promise.”

And, unlike some beings, she kept her promises.

She turned away, coming to the decision that, for once, just this once, she was going to make the Dark know what it was to lose something valuable.

What followed was the sound of fingernails raking across portal after portal, each of which turned white against the darkness, throwing light into a place which despised it. She didn’t ruin every single one of them, but, when she was done, she had left the Dark but three portals.

She thought that she just might be able to hear the scream of anger from it from three universes away when it returned to see what she had done here, and that thought made her smile slightly.

She glanced once more at the portals that remained, satisfied that this would be a problem for it, that it would have to spend effort and time repairing the damage if it could, and that, thankfully, might give the others needed time to figure out what was happening and where.

As much as she wanted to, she couldn’t actually get involved in the battle or make choices for those involved. It was, after all, necessary that all beings make their own choices, no matter how wrong or ill-advised they might well be.

Still, she had one thing that the Dark didn’t have: trust. Trust in others, trust that they would make good choices, but, most of all, trust in that one person that saved her life so long ago and, in doing so, changed her own universe for the better.

She would always owe that person for that gift.

She passed into the ether, on her way to where she needed to be. If the Dark could get involved with mortals, she could as well … to a point. But first she needed to talk to someone who needed to understand that some paths were not worth following.

Following the path of one who owed the succubi—and Tera, in particular—her life … that was the most foolish thing that it had ever done.

And it would soon learn.

As for the Dark, possessing one of its pawns was distasteful. But there was little choice. That damnable creature had cost it its watch over the tail. The one thing that would, if its plans went to completion, cause the barriers to fall before it and thus have what it wanted most.

But having to deal with a corporal form? That was something that it did not enjoy in the slightest. Emotions, thoughts, images from this pawn were getting caught between its own thoughts and, as well, it knew that its own thoughts would be mixing the other way.

But the important thoughts, the ones that it needed for itself, those it kept under lock and key, or so the Dark would believe. The problem was, as it always was, that nothing is ever completely closed off when beings merge, even if only for a short time.

Fingerprints leave smudges, after all …

It took the Dark some time to return to where the tail was kept. The wards around the place made it impossible for someone to appear there without seeing the place first and entering at one specific spot. From the outside there were traps and obstacles that it knew would stop any magic user from getting close.

But this pawn was tuned to the place, and the wards would fall before it. Even so, the time … the time was taking far too long for the Dark’s liking.

And so time passed, the Dark fumed, and the universe turned …

 

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 22

By TeraS

“I think I am.”

Tom looked behind him expecting to see Camilla there, and she was … sort of.

It was Camilla, but her tail and horns were grey instead of black and her hair had changed color from blonde to purple. Tom couldn’t stop the words that came out: “I liked the blonde and black better, Camilla.”

She smirked.

And Tom paused. He was pretty sure that Camilla didn’t smirk.

“It’s a long story, Tom, and right now we haven’t got the time.”

And that was wrong, as well. Camilla never called him “Tom.” Mary Ann tried to get away again, and Tom was forced into flipping her over, straddling her, and then locking her wrists together with handcuffs before sitting on her legs. Having some control of the situation, he looked at Camilla and said, “We’ve got the time. You want to let me in on why the style change? Got tired of your hair color or something?”

She ran her left hand through her hair, pulling on it slightly, “Okay, short version: I’m Camilla’s bad side; I’m a bitch; I’m nothing like her, and you don’t want to screw with me. That good enough for you?”

“I’m never going to understand this, am I?”

She smirked again, “Oh, I dunno … You’d make an interesting Incubi … I can put in a good word for you if you’re up for it.”

Tom shook his head: “Thanks, but I have enough issues with my life as it is. The universe isn’t what I knew it was, there are people—like you—who are legends, and I am supposed to deal with that. Oh yes, and I am acting under the command of the Queen of a race of beings that exist on sex and pleasure and I have no idea why I should be, but I’m doing it anyway.”

She nodded, “Tera does have her ways, doesn’t she? At least she isn’t using that pitchfork of hers on you. Mind you, some like that sort of thing…”

“So what do I call you? ‘Not Camilla’ or ‘Punkie Brewster’ or what?”

She leaned down so that they looked into each other’s eyes: “You really want to know who I am?”

Tom didn’t finch: “I trust Camilla. She’s proven herself. I don’t trust you.”

She nodded: “Good; backbone and will. I can see why Tera wants your help. You may call me ‘Nina.’”

“All right; ‘Nina’ it is. Tell me something, seriously: does every one of you have an ‘a’ at the end of your name?”

She laughed, “No … Just some of us do. Congratulations, Tom; you just endeared yourself to me. Camilla will be pleased to know that. Make sure you tell her when you see her again.”

The smirk vanished and she looked past Tom to Mary Ann on the floor beneath him, “You mind getting off her? She and I have … a past.”

“Good or bad?”

“I won’t kill her, at least, not just yet.”

“If I don’t?”

“Then I’ll have to move you, Tom. You don’t want me to, I promise you.”

Tom got up and moved to the side. Nina reached down and pulled Mary Ann to her knees by the handcuffs before grasping her chin. “Hello, bitch. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. How long has it been?

The fear in Mary Ann only allowed a quiet whisper of an answer, “Babylon.”

“That’s right. As I remember it, you came into my temple and tried to turn my followers, didn’t you? You corrupted them from the top down and, in the end, you were responsible for how many deaths?”

“I don’t know.”

“I do. I remember them very well. You watched as they fought, four hundred eighty-six of them falling to your promises of riches that were hidden from them. And when it was over, what did they find inside the walls?”

“Nothing.”

“Why?”

Mary Ann closed her eyes, “Because everything they gave you, you returned to them … and more. You … you cared about the cattle and …”

Tom didn’t see Nina’s hand as it struck Mary Ann, sending her sprawling across the floor.

“They are not cattle, you worthless bitch! They are more than you will ever be or ever could be. You can’t understand that, can you?”

There was no answer, and Nina pulled her once again to her knees by the handcuffs: “Here’s the deal. You tell us what’s going on and who’s in charge, and I won’t kill you today. You lie to me, and I’ll start taking you apart one piece at a time …”

She extended her left hand and, to Tom’s shock, a silver sword appeared there, flames dancing along its blade. Tom thought he could hear the sword … growling?

She placed the edge against Mary Ann’s neck: “You know what this is. You know exactly what will happen if I strike you with it. Camilla wouldn’t; she follows the new ways. But I don’t. So make up your mind, right now, and tell me why you are here and what you have done to Ginger.”

Tom coughed, “Nina … You said you wouldn’t kill her.”

She didn’t look at Tom: “Oh, this won’t kill her. It will, however, take away what makes her special. What she is, she won’t be anymore.” A cruel smile appeared, “And since she is so enamored with being immortal …”

Mary Ann closed her eyes, “You are a fool. I serve powers greater than you. You’ll never leave this room alive if you harm me.”

“Oh I’ve already harmed you. Now I’ll cripple you …”

And she pulled the blade back and then swung it towards Mary Ann’s neck …

What happened next was something that Tom would never quite be able to explain.

The blade came down and struck on her right shoulder, then passed through her body and came out at her waist … leaving not a mark on her. Mary Ann still breathed, still was alive, but the look of disbelief in her eyes that she had been struck was matched by the satisfaction in the look that Nina had …

… and what the sword now held upon its blade.

Tom could clearly make out what looked like a twisted, ghostly image of Mary Ann’s form wrapped around the blade, with the flames licking against it and a silent scream of pain on the ghost’s face.

Nina didn’t look at Tom, she just held the sword in front of Mary Ann, “You have very little time, bitch. I’d say about three minutes before you aren’t immortal anymore. Maybe ten and you’ll start aging, and we both know what happens when you do.”

She looked at a clock on the wall, “Three minutes. Talk.”

Tom wanted to intervene. This was torture and he knew it. But he didn’t know what would either help or harm in the situation he found himself in. He didn’t expect that he would be able to disarm Nina, nor did he have any way to fix whatever Nina had done.

Tom hated being helpless … it reminded him of Beth and …

… he just turned away and kept his thoughts to himself.

To Mary Ann’s credit she held out for an entire minute. She just looked back at Nina, but when Nina drew a finger along the shaft of her sword and then licked a wisp of Nina’s ghostly form from her fingers, she caved in…

“Ginger is nothing. She was a convenient way to gain power. She didn’t care about anything save her own beauty and screwing her husband. It was child’s play to alter their minds and take him out of the picture.”

Tom heard this and asked, “What did you do?”

“I made him get involved with the mob, you asshole. I made sure that he was stupid about it. I saw to it that they would find out what he was doing, make him transfer everything to Ginger and then you so helpfully took him away, leaving Ginger to my tender mercies. Didn’t take a week and she was a hot little slut that would do anything for me to degrade her and …”

Nina interrupted, “Nice story. Now, how about why you did it in the first place?”

Mary Ann gritted her teeth, “I needed power.”

“Why?”

She didn’t answer that question. Tom had a thought, “You needed power for a purpose. You seem to have a past with Nina and her kind … is that why you needed this … power?”

The look she gave him spoke volumes.

Tom sighed, “Peachy: a war between omnipotent beings. I should have stayed in bed.”

Nina placed the point of the sword just in front of Mary Ann’s lips, “Who are you working for.”

“Give it back to me first!”

“No. You give me the information and I’ll give it back to you. Better hurry. You’re running out of time … rapidly.”

Mary Ann finally broke down and said in a whisper, “The Dark. It’s the Dark …” Then she screamed, “Now give it back!”

Nina stood up and then wiped the length of the sword with her fingers, balling the ghost into her hand before tossing it casually at Mary Ann. It fell into her body producing a sigh of pleasure from her lips and then a look of defiance on her face.

Which Nina promptly removed with another strike of her hand against Mary Ann’s cheek which resulted in her falling to the floor unconscious.

The blade vanished in a flash of light and then Nina then stood up and looked critically at Tom, “Tell me something. Other than you being human, is there anything special about you?”

Tom shrugged, “Cats like me.”

She looked at him for a long, long moment.

“That’s good.”

“Why?”

“That would be telling. Come on, if she is working for the Dark, then we need to get out of here right now.”

And then she pushed past him making for the elevators without another word, Mary Ann on the floor out cold and Ginger in the other room pleading for her Mistress to come back to punish her again …

 

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 23

By TeraS

Smoke. The first thing he smelled was the smoke. Then he noticed the flames licking up the walls of the warehouse, the beams falling from the ceiling, and the yelling from behind him.

And then, as he watched three men rush past, John had a horrible realization. He was back at the fire. Not a fire; no, the fire … the fire where he was injured, the one that haunted him every day. He felt and then saw the fire axe in his hands and knew exactly what was going to happen next. He would rush after the rest of his company, follow them into the hell around them and search.

There would be … What would there be?

That part he never could remember exactly, when no one could tell him what happened, between this moment when they last saw him and the next, when they found him underneath the remains of the structure.

He hesitated there a moment longer, the others vanishing into the smoke, and then, twisting the axe in his hands, made his way forward, the smoke becoming thicker, the sound of his breathing loud in his ears as the respirator cycled back and forth, keeping him alive. Coming to a locked door, he kicked it open and then drew back as more smoke poured out and around him, making it almost impossible to see.

But did he see … something? Did he hear something?

There was no choice: he was going in there and searching. He had to be sure.

John pushed his way in while calling out, “Is anyone there? Answer me!” He didn’t hear anything, and so he moved deeper into the space. The light from the hallway, which showed him the way out and to safety, slowly dimmed as the smoke thickened more and more. But that didn’t matter. He had to search, had to help. That was his job and, no matter what else, he was going to do it.

He spent almost five minutes searching, the odd layout of the room confusing him. It seemed like an office, there were desks around him, but the space was too large for a simple office. Still, he pressed on, moving back and forth, calling out and listening even as he searched, his axe in his hand and the flashlight attached to his helmet probing into the smoke around him.

And then John saw her.

A woman crumpled to the floor, covered in black soot and grime. Her figure was indistinct. He knew it was a woman, but her features–hair, eyes, skin tones, what she was wearing–were all a blur.

But that meant nothing to him.

He knelt down beside her and checked: she was still breathing, but unconscious. The problem was that he had no idea if she was seriously injured or not. He found his spare mask and, after hooking it up to his air supply, placed it over her face. Her breathing improved, but now he was stuck there. He couldn’t leave her, which left him one choice: reporting on his radio that he found a survivor and then triggering the beacon built into it to call others to assist him.

He was about to do that when he heard the first shriek of the ceiling starting to come down. John’s only thought was to protect the woman however he could. He dragged her under a desk and then pushed himself under it as well, his body over hers.

The noises stopped for a moment, everything was silent around him, and then, just as he was about to look out from underneath the desk, there was the sound of a train wreck as the world came down around them both.

Then all was quiet again.

Except this time, standing amid the rubble, there was Tera, her dress pushed around by the smoke and fire, her arms crossed over her chest, and a look of concern on her face. She considered the pile of rubble that now held John and the woman, her long red tail moving slowly, catlike, behind her.

“Well … that explains a lot.”

From the smoke and fire, Jane came into view to the other side of the rubble. “Damn it, Tera! We don’t have the right to do this!”

Tera considered her for a long moment and then explained, “We need a clue, Daughter, an idea of what has happened. He has that clue in him; we just have to pry it out.”

Jane stormed up to Tera and then poked her into the chest with a finger, “You tell us to respect others, to help them. This does neither!”

Tera looked down at the finger pressing against her, then took hold of Jane’s hand before gently moving it away.

“His mind is blocked from what happened here, Daughter. He knows he came in, he knows he found someone in here, but he remembers nothing of who that woman is. She’s the key to this in someway and we need to know.”

“It’s not a good enough reason!”

Tera looked bemused, “Oh it is … It most certainly is.” She then reached around behind Jane and took a hold of something there, making Jane gasp in surprise. Tera then showed the tip of a grey tail to Jane, a tail that was connected to her body. “Daughter, you look like yourself.” Then Tera, that enigmatic smile still on her lips, released Jane’s tail.

Jane felt behind her, touching her tail in surprise and then running her hands over her horns. “How?”

“That is, of course, the question, isn’t it? Why should things be fixed here? It doesn’t make any sense … or … perhaps it does.”

Tera walked over to the pile of rubble and then pointed a finger at it, “The answer is in there, isn’t it? Who is the woman he rescued? Why can’t he remember her? How was that done? Most of all: why would all this make it necessary for your physical appearance to be changed?”

Jane didn’t answer the questions. She didn’t have the answers.

Tera then began to twirl her finger in a slow circle, “While these are his memories, they are not immutable. We can alter them, to a point, or, get a better look at them, can’t we?”

Jane rubbed her temples: “Yes, Tera … That’s Succubi 101 in the Realm, isn’t it?”

Tera continued to work at the rubble, bits and pieces of it vanishing at her touch, “What was your grade, Jane?”

Jane mumbled, “B Plus.”

Tera smiled in spite of herself, “Well, at least you passed.”

“I passed because a certain Queen made me work at it harder than anything I have done before.”

“Are you complaining?”

“Tera … I’m not. Honestly.”

“Oh, I’m not mad at you Jane, perish the thought. No, what I am, however, is very confused at this moment.”

Jane looked to where Tera was focusing and saw something that she didn’t, couldn’t expect to see. There, in the rubble, was John, but the woman that he had saved … wasn’t.

“Tera, what’s going on?”

“We missed something while talking, Daughter. Something happened here, and we didn’t pay attention to it when we should have.”

Jane’s look was one of confusion, so Tera continued: “Something, or someone, took that woman away after the ceiling collapsed, and we missed it.”

“Why?”

“That’s the question, isn’t it? Why take her away? Why make him forget about all of this? What was the point of it?”

Tera rubbed her fingertips over her temples and sighed: “We’ll just have to start all over again and, this time, not look away.”

In the next moment, the collapse of the ceiling happened again, John saved the woman and all was quiet once more. But seconds later, the two succubi saw what came next.

A black shadow fell over John and the woman, covering them both and then vanishing, taking the woman with it and leaving John behind … alone.

“Tera, what was that?”

“Something I hope you never have to face: the Dark.”

“Tera … Why would it care about either of them?”

“Oh that’s easy. It wanted the woman; it didn’t care about John. But taking her and leaving him with these memories would have been worse. So it damaged him, made him forget about what he actually did, and then continued on with its plan.”

“Tera … you are being evasive.”

“I have an idea of who the woman is, Daughter. A pretty good one, but I don’t like where that idea is leading me.”

“Who is she?”

Tera ran one hand through her hair and sighed, “It has to be Patricia.”

Jane just stared at Tera in disbelief …

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 24

By TeraS

Tom followed Nina out of the office and watched her hand slam against the call button for the elevator. “You know,” he deadpanned, “putting your hand through that wall won’t make it get here any faster.”

Nina shot him a look and began to pace, “Tell me something, Tom: what was the story that scared you the most when you were a child?”

Tom had to think about that for a moment, “The Boogieman, I think.”

She stopped in mid-pace: “Okay, then you can think of the Dark as him on steroids, if you want.”

“He scares you?”

“Me and just about anyone that knows about it.”

“Hang on; he’s an ‘it’?”

Nina waved her hand at Tom, “No one is really sure. ‘It’ seems to be the best way to describe it; likes mayhem, destruction and violence above everything else.”

“So, why you?”

Nina laughed, “Oh it’s not me that it’s interested in. It’s all of us. Tera’s told us about it, told us not to get involved with it, and, no matter what, we don’t allow it back to our home.”

“How’s that working for you?”

Nina smirked, “So far so good. But it’s a persistent bastard.”

Tom pinched the bridge of his nose, “So what you are telling me is that an omnipotent being is responsible for killing Patricia?”

Nina punched the button again and started to pace once more, “No, someone killed Patricia either under the influence of the Dark, or for it, thinking they would be rewarded with power or something else.”

“And?”

Nina sighed, “And they likely are under the Dark’s control somehow, still acting for it, and are possibly looking to be the cause of something else happening.”

“Wonderful. This just gets better and better.”

She turned back to Tom and with a hard look in her eyes said, “If you want out. Go see Tera and tell her that.”

“I’m not a quitter. I complain, moan and curse, but I don’t walk away from a fight.”

Nina’s answer was, “And you have no idea why Tera asked you to look into this?”

Tom smirked, “I figured she liked my looks.”

The doors to the elevator opened and Nina grabbed Tom by the shoulder dragging him inside before punching the button for the ground floor. After the doors closed, she continued, “The thing is Tom, I think you are involved because the Dark uses humans for its own gains.”

“And you don’t?”

Nina waved her hand at the ceiling, “You want me to claim that we’re pure and lilly white? Sorry Tom, I can’t do that. Yes, in the past, a long time ago, we weren’t nice, we didn’t care either. Once upon a time we had humans as pets, toys, and worse we would twist them into whatever we wanted them to be.”

Tom flinched at the tone of her voice, but still asked, “So what changed?”

Nina’s hand dropped to her side, “One human, just one, showed us that there was a better way and we took it.”

“Have I met them?”

Nina laughed, “Oh no, no you haven’t… Trust me, you would well be aware of them if you had.”

“Why?”

Nina looked wistful, “You’ll have to ask Tera about that sometime…”

Tom filed that away for later before podding her, “Okay, so back to me being involved?”

She nodded, “You’ve been told that some beings need humans to do their work for them. The Dark needs willing, or at least humans that it has touched, to do its bidding.”

“Still doesn’t explain me.”

“You know human nature better than we do Tom. You see more than we do. It used to be that we would just take control of someone and force them to talk. You saw what Camilla did right?”

He nodded.

“She hadn’t done something like that in about a thousand years Tom. Oh she was brave about it, but it tore her up inside to have to do it.”

“So, what we have to face are people that might be… mind controlled or something, acting for the Dark without knowing it, and best of all, you really can’t be sure until you come in contact with them?”

Nina sighed, “The Dark isn’t stupid, so it’s placed some red herrings to draw any investigation away from it. Lots of humans to comb through for an answer and …”

Tom waited, but Nina just started tapping a finger against her lips as the elevator descended. After ten floors, Tom slapped her tail with his hand, which jolted Nina, so that, in the next moment, Tom found himself pressed up against the wall, a very angry Nina looking at him.

“Why … did … you … do … that?”

Tom pushed Nina’s hand away, “I lost you for a minute. You drifted off into thought, and I wasn’t sure that something wasn’t wrong with you. My cat doesn’t like it when I swat her tail; figured you would act the same.”

Nina ran a hand through her hair and tugged on it, “Nice. I was thinking about what Patricia was missing when she was buried. Something important wasn’t there.”

Tom pushed, “Like?”

“Her tail; it had been severed from her body and we couldn’t find it when we buried her.”

Tom was confused, and the look on his face spoke volumes.

“Okay, Tom, quick lesson about Succubi and Incubi for you. Beings like us are, in fact, two beings in one body. In our case, Camilla is the dominant personality most of the time. I am what we call a Tail. I reside in her tail, oddly enough, and I can see and feel everything that she does. But normally I don’t appear.”

“So, why now?”

“Because I saw who you were pinning down on the floor, and I wasn’t going to miss the chance to get a measure of justice. And, if you had left me alone with her, I would have killed her.”

Tom shrugged, “I figured as much. You aren’t anything like Camilla, really.”

Nina’s tail swished behind her, “And?”

Tom smiled, “And, as you said, you are a bitch to those who have done you wrong. But, so far, you haven’t been to me. So, like I told you before, you still have to prove yourself to me.”

Nina reached out a hand and stroked it against Tom’s cheek, “It’s because Camilla likes you, and I have to admit that I find you … interesting …”

Tom closed a hand around Nina’s and drew it away, “Sorry, Nina. My heart belongs to someone else.”

Nina sighed, “So does your soul, Tom. So does your soul.”

Tom’s face soured, “Why is it that you all have to be so damn cryptic?”

Nina looked away from Tom, “I apologize, but that’s how our kind is. I’ll give you a hint though that you should keep in mind… You want a direct answer? Give a direct question.”

Tom gripped the railing behind him and looked away from her. Neither of them said anything for a dozen floors, but then Tom asked, “Tell me about Tails Nina.”

She didn’t turn around, but Tom could see her body tense, “Tails are the Succubi or Incubi of the past. If you can recall your myths, we can be very evil, very dominant, and most of all, we have, on occasion, claimed souls.”

Tom frowned, “That’s not exactly comforting Nina.”

She shrugged, “It’s not important. What matters is that we exist in order to keep the young aware of what they might be if they do not learn, and if they go off the path or worse, we are there to help them.”

Tom considered what she said, but before he could ask more, Nina added, “Your next obvious question is, I think, do you have a soul?”

Tom nodded slightly, “Seems to be a reasonable question to ask at this point.”

Nina smiled, “We both do. Very much like yours really…” Nina looked over her shoulder, “Would you like to know what I can see in yours Tom?”

He didn’t have to think about his answer, “Not really. I suppose that it’s not that important.”

As the bell sounded to announce their arrival on the ground floor Nina sighed, “See, that’s the biggest problem in the universe isn’t it?”

The doors opened before Tom could ask what that meant, and they found themselves staring at a group of security guards waiting in the lobby, their backs to the elevator doors.

Tom reached for his weapon, “Got any ideas? I left my holy hand grenade in my other pants.”


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