Topic: The Tempest Within - by Enmesarra


One of the original stories within the Legends of Belial universe dating back to 2003. What's great about this story is its use of lore, making it one of the more memorable stories.


The Tempest Within (Part 1)
by Enmesarra

Captain Meron Novir could smell the storm on the air. The scent came through her porthole as wisps of ozone and rain. But for the moment, she ignored it. Instead, she concentrated on the woman beside her. She ran her fingers over Falerina's tight stomach, relishing the warmth her body gave off. Fal pressed in tight against her until they felt as one being, one person locked together in perfect serenity.

"They're going to call you on deck," Fal said softly.

"I know," Meron sighed, burying her face into Falerina's hair. She kissed the crook of the woman's neck, whispering between each touch of her lips. "But I'm going to spend my last moments with you."

"I like the sound of that," Fal giggled, rolling over. The contact of her breasts against Meron's made Meron shiver with need. Fal's fingers slid between Meron's legs, parting the moist folds there with cunning skill. Rational thought and approaching storms faded from Meron's mind in a flash.

She'd met Falerina in Ondora seven months ago. The girl had been a merchant's daughter, treated more like a trophy than a young woman. They'd become fast friends during Meron's brief shore leave, Fal enthralled with stories of Assiah's unique cities and provinces. When Meron's airship, the Amaterasu, was ready to return to Wao, Fal begged Meron to take her away from her father. It took little convincing and Fal soon became a useful member of the crew; her former servitude forgotten. It took them another three months to become lovers. Since that time, they'd been inseparable, filling the void of loneliness in each other's lives. Even the crew was happy to see their captain happy again.

The ship shuddered as a sizable gust struck it broadside. The storm was definitely closer now. A moment later, there came a knocking at the door. "Captain? You're need on deck."

"Damn," Meron sighed. "I'll be there in a moment!" she called. The visitor left without another word.

Fal simply smiled, her face tender in the pale lamplight. Her finger tickled deeper inside Meron, making the woman groan. Then she slid away, leaving Meron panting. "You'd better get going, my love."

"Tease," Meron chuckled.

"To be sure," Falerina laughed, tying the bed sheet around her. "I'll make us some dinner in the galley for your return. Then I can warm you up in other ways."

Meron kissed her lover's nose and then searched for her undergarments. Trousers and a warm blouse were next, along with her leather boots. She finally added a leather long coat to keep out the chilling rain and wind. She stood in front of the mirror, tying back her long, forest green hair. "How do I look?"

"Beautiful," Fal said. "As always."

"You're making it hard to leave, Fal."

"So sue me."

Meron chuckled. "Do me a favor? Can you check on our guests for me? They'll probably be upset by the storm. Bloody land-born academics. They always make the voyage a pain."

Falerina got out of bed, dressing in a sheer and form-fitting blue dress. "Of course, dear. Besides, I'd like to learn more about their time in Gravetown. I'm sure they have plenty of interesting stories to share."

"Good idea. Break out the spiced wine if you need. It'll calm their nerves. I don't need that Dr. Brinn interrupting me on deck."

Fal took her hand, kissing her fingers one by one. "Consider it done."

Meron stared into her lover's eyes and a chill suddenly ran through her. She had a keen sense of foreboding, as if this would be the last time she'd see Fal smile and touch that beautiful face. She couldn't shake the feeling, even after they reluctantly parted. But she had little time to explore the strange notion when she stepped on deck and was swallowed by the storm.

Dr. Loyla Brinn was worried. Anxious ever since leaving Gravetown by now her unease had grown painfully acute. She'd been given the news of the approaching storm ten minutes ago. That meant delays and the longer it took to arrive in Wao, the greater the possibly of her secret being discovered. After all her work and bribes, she couldn't fail now. No matter the cost.

She felt the power radiating off the "Ëœartifact,' even through the wood crate containing its bulk. The hair on Loyla's arms stood up as if she were standing in an electrical field. Otherwise, the crate appeared completely ordinary; just another trinket from her archeological dig. But she knew that it was much more than that. The "Ëœartifact' would unlock secrets as yet untold.

Behind her, Harlon shifted uncomfortably. Unlike the rest of the giant airship, the cargohold wasn't heated. The temperature had dropped considerably, turning the crowded chamber into a virtual meatlocker. It would not be an enjoyable place to spend the night. Well, better him than her.

"Harlon?" Loyla said without looking away from her prize.

"Yes, madam?" he said, jumping at the sound. In the tomblike hold, her voice had been surprisingly loud.

"I need you to watch over this crate until the storm passes."


She turned on him, glowering over her thick spectacles. "Make sure nothing falls on it during the turbulence. I don't want the crate damaged, moved, or opened. Do you understand? It is more important than either of us. No harm comes to it, yes?"

"Of course, Dr. Brinn. I'll contact you immediately if there are any problems."

She clucked her tongue, "Make sure you don't /have/ to contact me, Harlon. Keep it safe."

He just nodded, staring at her pale face in the lamplight. The fervor in her voice had obviously upset him. No matter, she thought. As long as the "Ëœartifact' stayed safe, she didn't care one whit about Harlon's thoughts of her. She left Harlon with his blanket, thermos, and lamp; venturing upward into the galley of the airship.

The Amaterasu was vast, much larger than the gaudy transport vessels she'd grown accustomed to in her travels. Its bulk prevented the typical swaying and turbulence attributable to smaller ships; allowing Loyla to walk with some grace. Many of the luxuries and accoutrements of a passenger ship were missing, replaced by drab corridors and cramped quarters. However, despite its plain appearance, Loyla found some appeal to Captain Meron's airship. The cargo vessel possessed a frugal charm to it and a gentle quiet she enjoyed. One could wander the halls for hours and rarely encounter another soul.

So when Loyla heard the noise of conversation and laughter up ahead, she realized she was nearing the galley. She found most of her dig-crew assembled there, the twelve men and women enjoying food and drink. They were sitting at the main table, being served by the beautiful young woman Loyla had met when she came aboard in Gravetown. What was her name? Falenia? Falanna? Oh yes, Falerina; the captain's assistant.

"Dr. Brinn!" they all said when they spotted her. They raised their glasses, begging that she join them.

Falerina came over to her, touching her arm. "We were just talking about you, professor. Mrs. Jerrin was just explaining to me about your studies. Maybe you can share some more with us while we weather the storm?"

"Of course," Loyla said, taking a place near the head of the table. Someone served her a glass of peach wine and a bowl of turnip soup.

Falerina sat across from her, looking very much like a giddy schoolgirl. "Is it true that you were excavating a demon's tomb?"

Loyla nodded, sipping her wine. "Yes. My staff and I were studying the tomb of Unsere, an ancient avatar of Karma. Some legends even say that she was his daughter, but that's just conjecture."

Falerina noticeably shivered. "She was connected to the great demon?"

"Yes. Only the cruelty and power of her master matched that of her own. All feared her transforming touch and hypnotic voice. She once built a shrine to herself, formed from the still-living bodies of her victims. They say the moans and screams could be heard from miles away."

"She sounds horrible! Why would you ever want to study someone like her?"

The group chuckled and muttered amongst themselves. They'd all asked the same question before themselves. Loyla just grinned, enjoying her chance to teach someone new to her field of study.

"The Lord Karma fears only one thing," she explained. "And that is Freya, arguably the most powerful demon of them all. He has always been jealous of Freya's power over people, but has never been able to attract worshippers as she does. His cruelty is, and was, just too offensive for people to accept. So, he needed to create a perfectly loyal follower who could attract worshippers for him. Toward that purpose, he brought Unsere into existence, shaping her into a pleasing form. Through her, he could influence humans and gather an army of disciples."

The young woman nodded with understanding and amazement. "So, in other words, he was trying to create his own version of Freya? To replace the old one?"

"Exactly. Unsere could easily mimic Freya and take the demon's worshipers into her "Ëœchurch.' They would think they honored her, but in truth, they would be worshipping Karma."

A peal of deafening thunder startled every one in their seats. Glasses were spilled, people yelped. They all realized that they'd been so drawn into the story that they'd forgotten the world outside. People began to laugh and joke over their nervousness, lightening the mood once more.

Loyla watched the girl across from her closely. There was another question Falerina had yet to ask. It didn't take long.

"If she was so powerful, then why haven't I heard of her until now?" Falernia asked.

Loyla grinned, "Before Unsere could do too much damage, a group of adventurers ambushed her. Although several died and the others were...changed horribly, they were able to trap Unsere in a demon-bell before she could escape. The last warrior, still able to move despite her mutations, buried the bell somewhere in what would become Gravetown. Unsere's surviving worshippers built a shrine over this site, devoting it to their goddess. In spite of their devotion, the shrine was abandoned, passing into ancient history. Unsere became myth and legend, forgotten."

"And you found the shrine?"

"Yes. We found it and have begun exploring it. But it will take time to unlock all its mysteries. We could spend years excavating the site before we know the truth behind the legend. We'll return again next spring."

Falerina cocked her head, "And the bell Unsere is trapped inside? Did you find it?"

"No," Loyla lied. She hoped her voice was convincing enough. "I doubt we ever will."

Meron leaned into the wind as another blast of rain slashed across her. She was already soaked to the bone and the chill was settling into her soul. Around her, the navigators and deckhands suffered as well, ever one of them drenched and miserable. The rain stung Meron's cheeks like knives, projected by the gale force winds. Lightning turned the night sky purple and white, the thunder and roaring tempest forcing Meron to shout to be heard. And they were only catching the storm's edge thus far. Worse weather was quick to come.

Meron wiped the moisture from her mariner's compass, cursing aloud. According to her charts, they were being sucked into the storm despite the Amaterasu's massive engines. Unless she did something soon, they'd be in serious trouble. In her years as an air-captain, she'd heard more than a few stories about airships, even as large as hers, lost to autumn storms. It was time to earn her pay.

She slapped Karl's arm for attention. The frightened navigator turned his head, nodding to Meron.

"We need to change our course!" she yelled over the wind.


"The storm is too strong for us. I want you to turn us to a bearing of 145 and maintain course."

"Won't that take us over land, captain?"

Meron slapped his arm again, "Yes, it will. But I'd rather have solid ground beneath us than water if we need to land. The Amaterasu's a good ship, but we may have to put down for the night."

"Aye, aye, captain. Setting to 145!"

"Thank you navigator."

Karl pulled on the brass wheel, trying to adjust the Amaterasu to the new course setting. It quickly became obvious that he was having trouble. The tension gnarled his brow and his muscles stained. "Captain?" he said worried. "She's not responding! The storm has us."

"Damnit all!" Meron growled. "HELM!"

The helms-woman, Mikka, glanced backward, the young woman's features shining with fear. In the flash of lightning, Mikka's pale features appeared almost skeletal. "Captain?"

"On my command, reverse engines one and two, and go to full on engines three and four. Understood?"

Mikka bobbed her head and returned to the controls. Meron planted herself beside Karl, putting her frozen hands on the wheel beneath his. Karl nodded, understanding what she planned to do. He tensed up approaching stuggle.

Meron listened, watched, finding the storm's pulse and ebbs. "Steady. Steady. Steady."

The wind shifted in her favor and she yelled, "NOW!"

They acted simultaneously. Meron and Karl put their full weight on the wheel as Mikka reversed the port engines and fired the starboards. Her arms burned as she struggled to change the rudder's direction. The Amaterasu vibrated like a chew toy in the mouth of a rabid dog. For a moment, Meron thought the airship might literally shake itself to pieces with the strain. But just as she was about to give up hope, the combined effort began to move the airship. The compass slowly shifted to 145.


The ship lurched as the engines fired. Meron slipped on the slick floor, banging her elbow and rump harshly. As she lay there, the others moved to help her. She quickly waved them off, laughing in spite of her pain. "Stay where you are. I'm fine. Just my ego bruised."

She stood up, squeezing Karl's arm. "Maintain course. The storm's outflow should carry us over land soon enough."

With the crisis momentarily adverted, Meron paused to think about her lover and their last few moments. She wanted nothing more than to go below deck, sweep Falerina into her arms, and take the woman back to their chambers. The chance to lay her head against Fal's breasts and listen to her heart would more than make up for this night of struggle.

But Meron was an airship captain. Falerina and her crew depended solely on her. The passengers and the Amaterasu's cargo depended on her. No, blissful rest would have to wait awhile longer. As the sky blazed with lightning once more, Meron quietly prayed they'd seen the worst for one night.

For Harlon the worst was yet to come and he knew it. He looked at the broken crate before him and wondered how he'd explain this to Dr. Brinn. All she'd asked of him was to keep it out of harm's way. So, of course, he'd done the exact opposite. The road to hell was paved with good intentions.

As the storm worsened, Harlon had unstrapped and rearranged some of the pottery crates, in the vain hope atht they wouldn't bang around as much. Save the precious pottery and make Dr. Brinn the happy boss. Well, that had been the plan anyway. Unfortunately, he hadn't realized one of the bronze statues of Unsere was propped up against a box he'd moved. Without the support straps or the box to hold it, the statue toppled over when the airship suddenly lurched only moments before. Its thick head smashed down into the Doctor's special crate and broke it open.

He stood there, gazing at the large, gapping hole in the crate's side. Package straw hung out of it like innards, exposing its dark interior. Seeing it this way, Harlon knew he couldn't avoid a reprimand from Dr. Brinn. Unless...unless she never found out.

A plan sprung to mind. This was a cargo vessel, after all. There were sure to be other crates lying around. All he had to do was put the contents of this one into a new crate and presto, no more trouble. It wasn't marked, after all. Quickly, he found a crate of similar size and shape, then pulled it over. With a crowbar, he pried the top off Dr. Brinn's precious cargo and began rooting through the packing material. What he found surprised him to the core.

It was a large, ornately carved bell of fine crystal. Gemstones were placed around its lip, each the size of his thumbnail; diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds. He didn't remember anything like this being found during the dig. And it certainly hadn't appeared on the manifest! Dr. Brinn was trying to ship this artifact covertly for herself. And no wonder. The thing must be worth a fortune.

Harlon chuckled to himself. This changed everything. Dr. Brinn would need to pay him handsomely to keep something like this quiet. The custom officers in Wao would love to throw a prestigious archeologist in jail for looting. She might not know it yet, but she just gained a new partner in crime. But first, he needed to keep the bell safe and hidden away for himself.

He pulled the rest of the packing material off the bell and out of its shiny interior. As he crossed to the new cargo crate, the Amaterasu shifted again making him jolt. Free to move, the bell's striker swung and hit the bell's lip with a musical chime. The sound resonated throughout the cargo hold, making Harlon's legs weak and his pulse race. If ecstasy had a sound, it would have been the same sound as the bell's. He paused, feeling the world swim around him.

Harlon shook the euphoric numbness from his mind, setting the bell down. He struggled to catch his breath, as if he'd been engaged in a bout of strenuous lovemaking. Indeed, every nerve in his body tingled with raw pleasure. His nose was filled with the sensual smells of freshly washed skin and rose-oil. He blinked, once, twice. Then realized that the darkness of the cargo hold was no longer quite as dark.

A violet nimbus filled the room, pushing back the shadows. The glow came from behind him, growing with each heartbeat. Desire turned to fear, making his sweat turn cold. He turned with a jerk.

Behind him, a thick mist churned and swirled with coiling tendrils. Two bright coals of malevolence burned at its heart. Half a second later, a section of mist shifted strangely, as if forming a pair of smiling lips. The feminine grin held little geniality. Then lips moved again and Harlon heard a hypnotic voice echo up from hell.

"I will be flesh again," it said.

The mists wrapped around him like a snare. Harlon didn't even have a chance to scream. He no longer even had a mouth with which to do so.

Unsere drank deep of the human's torment. Her earthy body slowly took shape layer by layer; bone, muscle, skin and hair and nails and teeth. Oh how glorious it felt to possess substance again. To breath with lungs, to feel with nerves, to see with true eyes. With each torment she inflicted upon the man's body, her form grew stronger and more substantial. By the end, he was little more than a squirming mound of phallic limbs and she was whole once again after more than a millennia.

The cold displeased her, so she reshaped the squirming mass into a living cloak of skin and fur. His suffering filled her with another rush of pleasure. And hunger. After so many years, trapped in the limbo of her demon-bell, Unsere had grown weak, her mana drained. The humiliation of this tender morsel only served to wet her appetite. She would need to feed on the anguish and helplessness of many others before the night was through. Only then could she return to her grand work.

Unsere's feline eyes gazed around the cargo hold in wonderment. She'd never witnessed such technology before. She sensed the tempest outside and how this "Ëœroom' was flying through it. How that was possible, she did not know. The humans had obviously matured in her absence. No matter. They would soon beg to teach her the ways of this New World. And then, she would take it as her own and remake it in the image of Karma, her lord and master.

She walked up a flight of metal steps, her nails clicking against the steel. A moment later and she found herself in a cramped corridor that stretched on and on. How strange this place was, how intriguing. Her tapered ears caught the sound of merriment and celebration from up ahead; humans and several of them from the sound of it. Her black soul craved them as a starving beast would raw flesh. Her hairless tail twitched in anticipation.

The man-cloak gibbered and squirmed against her naked skin. Unsere petted the creature, teasing it with her claws. "Be calm, my precious pet. You will not be alone for long."

Through her telescope, Meron could see a white scar cutting across the dark horizon. Another flash of lightning revealed it for what it was: the crashing surf. Despite the violence of the storm and several near-misses, they'd reached the Wao mainland Wao. For once, her luck was on the rise.

And then the scream came across the com-system. "CAPTAIN! HELP!"

Meron recognized the voice immediately; Penda, the ship's cook. A rounded, buxom beauty, Penda was not known for theatrics or upset. For her to carry on so, something had to be terribly wrong.

Meron picked up the speaking tube and shouted into it, hoping her voice wasn't drowned out by the storm around her. "Penda?! What's going on?"

"We have an intruder. She's not natural. She's trapped us... done terrible things. Unspeakable things. You have to stop her. I think it's a demon!"

"A demon? What are you talking about? What demon?!"

"She's... oh no. She's here NOW! Captain, you... aghhhh...."

Penda's voice dissolved into a guttural moan, as if she were trying to talk through thick cloth. The muttering and whimpering continued only a moment more until the line went dead.

Meron stood there, shaken from the desperation in Penda's voice. Something horrible was going on below deck at this very moment. She had to act now or the ship and her crew would be lost. And then she remembered a horrid thought. Penda would have been in the galley. That meant this demon was in the galley.

And she'd sent Falerina to the galley tonight.

"Karl," Meron said, her voice strangely calm. "You have the bridge. Mikka, sound general quarters. Have the crew met me outside the galley, armed and ready. Tell them to bring every weapon we have. We've got a demon to kill."


Re: The Tempest Within - by Enmesarra

The Tempest Within - Part 2
By Enmesarra

Falerina felt her mind unhinging. In the last few moments, she’d witness more horror and depravity than a human could stand. She crouched behind a toppled table at the back of the galley. Beside her, an equally frightened Dr. Brinn and three of her female assistants waited for their turn to come; to be called before the demoness sitting only yards away.

As she watched, Unsere called forth her latest ‘acquisition’; a young woman by the name of Jora. Falerina liked the assistant professor, a smart and funny woman from Tzill. They’d been talking about books just before Unsere stepped into the galley. After that, they’d been separated in the confusion. Watching as Jora faced down the demoness alone made Falerina sick with guilt and a sense of helplessness. She wanted to do something, but what could she do against… THAT?

Falerina had seen what the creature was capable of; what resisting her meant. When Unsere arrived, the brave, but misguided, men in the group attacked her. They never had a chance. The demon’s silky voice froze them in place, dulling their minds with her musical words. They didn’t even resist as she erased their limbs and fattened their torsos, reshaping each of them into a giant breast. Only at the last moment did she release their minds from her hypnotic power. But by then it was far too late. Falerina watched and listened while their screams and pleas turned to helpless murmurs, their mouths and faces becoming grossly oversized nipples. Unsere’s cruelty did not end there. She took all five of them and merged them together. They were molded down into a living throne of tit flesh; four men serving as the throne’s ‘feet,’ one as its ‘back.’ Even now, as Unsere rested upon their conjoined body, the mouth-nipples begged for mercy.

And then things got really bad.

Penda was the next to fall under Unsere’s hideous power, the demoness’ ire prompted by a failed attempt to warn the rest of the ship. Faelerina wept as she watched her close friend ensnared in a beam of sickly light and her body deforming horribly. The once matronly woman dropped to all fours, her face stretching outwards into a crocodilian nose. Her limbs shrank and twisted, her body lengthened, and a naked tail sprouted from between her buttock. She became a mixture of crocodile and human; lizard limbs and body, but human feet and hands. Even her long, toothy mouth remained vaguely human. But worst of all, instead of growing scales, Penda’s skin developed a covering of fat, brown nipples. The ‘ridges’ on her back became two rows of thick cocks, limply hanging from side to side. Every movement the transformed woman made on her stubby limbs brought her a mixture of pleasure and humiliation.

And so it progressed. Those who resisted Unsere were twisted into vile and ridiculous shapes, each new form hardly worth being called ‘human’ any longer. These sad creatures flopped, slithered, and squirmed at the demoness’ feet, pleading to the uncaring creature through the moist vaginal and penile openings now serving as their mouths.

Those who went to Unsere willingly were treated with respect, if such a word could be used to describe their fate. These people were reshaped into powerful forms, obviously to serve the demon in the future as enforcers or courtiers. A few women even appeared pleased by their new bodies, going so far as to torment and tease their less fortunate brethren.

Jora belonged to the latter group, having resigned herself to the cruel fate awaiting her. Falerina watched in horror as the young woman bent to one knee before Unsere. The demoness regarded her coldly.

“Do you wish to take your place at my side or at my feet, girl?”

“Your side, mistress. Allow me the honor of serving you,” Jora said, her voice stammering. It was obvious she didn’t want this, but what choice did she have?

“What was your former profession, human?”

“I was a professor of ancient languages.”

“A translator?” Unsere said with interest.

“Y-yes,” Jora stumbled.

“Well then,” Unsere chuckled, rubbing her paws happily. “I wouldn’t want to waste such a valuable talent. I will need someone to chronicle my story, as well as teach me all the new languages of this world. Not a task for only one person, but we can remedy that.”

The demoness flicked her claws, bathing Jora in a violet light. Immediately, the young woman yelled in pain and Falerina could see why. A red line bisected Jora’s face, from temple down to her body to her navel. As Falerina watched, the line became a groove, and the groove became a deep pit. Jora’s head and upper torso literally stretched and split down the middle like an amoeba. The two halves ballooned up until two identical twins of Jora were growing out of her singular torso. They looked at one another in fright, each one a confused individual. But they had little time to examine their new existence. The rest of their body continued to change.

From the waist down, Jora’s body began to increase in size. Her ass expanded outward pulling her down with its weight. It spread across the floor in an oozing mass of flesh, then sprouted an extra pair of thick legs and a coiling tail. This new lower torso tightened and coalesced as bright green scales covered its skin. A moment later, Jora stood up on four legs; her lower body now that of a wyvern. An odd addition, hung between her rear legs; a hideously distended goat’s udder, the teats of which ended in vaginal openings. On her human upper halves, four more breasts emerged, while their navels opened up into a pair of gaping vaginas.

Seeing her new wyvern-taur/translator, Unsere clapped with glee. “You will make a fine addition to my court. I will call you the Twins from now on. Your former name is gone. If you repeat it ever again, I will be very displeased. Now take your place at my side.”

The ‘Twins’ padded across the galley floor and behind Unsere’s fleshy throne. They appeared to forget the rest of the world and began whispering amongst themselves with keen intrigue and wonder. Falerina shivered inwardly, wondering if she could so easily cope with having a ‘twin’ attached to her like that.

Besides her, Dr. Brinn grunted softly, as if coming to some realization.

Falerina turned to her, “What is it?”

Dr. Brinn regarded her over the now-broken pair of glasses. “She didn’t gain as much mana from that transformation.”

“Who? What are you talking about?”

“Unsere. Whenever the demon deformed an unwilling victim, her aura grew tremendously. The worse the degradation, the stronger she became. But with Jora, the power increase was negligible.”

“I’m trained in magic,’ she explained. “Specifically detecting auras.”

Falerina began to understand what the professor was getting at. “So she gains more mana from changing people into something horrible?”

“Exactly. She appears to feed off the humiliation and suffering of others. I don’t think she’s reached her full potential yet.”

“Then there’s still hope for us?” Falerina said, feeling a rush of optimism.

“Possibly. If Unsere is still weak, maybe she can still be killed by mortal weapons or banished back into her bell.”

The mention of the demon-bell gave Falerina pause. Until now, she’d only been reacting to the demoness’ presence. She hadn’t had the time to wonder where the creature had actually come from. Dr. Brinn didn’t appear all that surprised by Unsere’s appearance, as if she had expected it. In that instant, Falerina knew.

“You found the bell, didn’t you?” she said, anger rising inside her belly.

Dr. Brinn blinked, licking her lips nervously. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“You found Unsere’s demon-bell in Gravetown. And you brought it onboard! This is your fault!”

“I…I…” Dr. Brinn stammered, surprised by Falerina’s rage. She stood up to back away. Falerina stopped her, grabbing her by the front of her blouse.

“This is your fault! We’re all going to die because of you. I’ll never see my lover again because of you! YOU SELFISH, STUPID BITCH!”

Falerina flattened Dr. Brinn’s nose with a lightning fast punch. Blood streamed down the shocked woman’s face, her glasses shattering on the floor. Falerina, lost in her anger, drew back to punch the woman again. She was about to swing when a sound took the wind out of her sails; a coy, gentle laugh that chilled her soul.

She turned her head, suddenly afraid. Unsere stared back at her from across the room, smiling happily. Her razor-sharp teeth caught the light, reflecting it like polished silver.

“Such fire. Such anger. Oh, I do like you, little one,” the demoness said. “You will make a fine bodyguard for me. With a few… additions, of course.”

Falerina’s numb fingers let Dr. Brinn fall to the floor. The demoness beckoned to her with its talons, called to her with a silken voice. She couldn’t move, pinned by fear.

“No,” she murmered.

“No?” Unsere asked, confused. “I don’t accept that. Now come to me, my pet, while I still allow you the grace of human legs.”

Falerina wanted to run, but knew she’d be struck down before she reached the door. She was helpless, doomed.

But just then, a voice called into the room. A voice she’d grown to love over the last seven months. A voice that sounded like hope.

“Let them go, demon,” Meron growled. “Let them go and I’ll let you live.”

Even as Meron yelled her warning into the galley, she had to wonder just how empty the threat actually sounded. Oh sure, she had twenty strong men and women with her out here, but that was a full-fledged demon in there. A demon of power from the look of the poor unfortunates groveling at its feet. The crossbows and swords her crew had assembled seemed rather insignificant by comparison.

At least Falerina was still okay, at least for the moment. But that wouldn’t last long.

“And who are you to challenge me, human?” a soft, terrible voice said from inside the galley.

“Captain Meron Novir,” Meron shouted back. “This is my ship and you aren’t welcome.”

“No, captain. This is not your ship. This is my future temple. I shall craft it and your crew into my image and we will travel across Assiah, collecting my future worshippers.

“The only thing you must decided, my sweet, is whether or not you shall remain this ship’s captain or become its new mascot; a thing to be laughed at and ridiculed. So, will you be this crew’s leader or its plaything?”

Meron leaned against the bulkhead, feeling her heart in her throat. The others were staring at her with fearful eyes. She nodded to them, faking a courageous smile to give them all comfort.

Odra was the first to speak, “What do you want us to do, captain?”

Meron sighed, “Our first priority is to get the hostages out. After that, I don’t know. But the more people that demon has to torture, the fewer options we’ve got. Odra, you’re duty is to get the people out. Take Washi, Flint, Vuai, Gabor, and Eun with you. Come in after us. We’ll act as a shield.

“The rest of you, you’re with me. Turn that bitch into a pincushion, understood? We need to buy Odra enough time to get the hostages out. But no heroics, okay? I don’t need to lose more people tonight.”

They all nodded, readying themselves. Meron steeled herself, releasing the safety catch on her crossbow. It suddenly felt very heavy in her arms, but she knew that was an illusion. It was only fear weighing her down.

“What is your answer, captain,” the demoness called in a lilting tone. “I grow impatient.”

Meron stepped into the galley, raising her weapon. “Kiss my ass, bitch.”

The demoness’s beautiful face twisted with outrage. But that shock turned to horror and pain as Meron shot a steel bolt into her right eye. Unsere was knocked backward by the impact, stunning her long enough for the others to spill into the room. Crossbows snapped again and again, as wooden bolts sprouted over the demoness’ body; puncturing her belly, breasts, and throat. Blood poured out of her wounds, painting her naked skin crimson. She did a bizarre dance, knocked from side to side with each wet thud of steel into flesh.

Meron fought to reload her weapon, hardly noticing Odra and the others rushing into the room. All she could see was the demoness, recovering from its surprise and pain. By now, the crew had expended their initial shots; hardly enough to stop the creature facing them. Already the wounds were sealing over. Unsere tore the bolts from her body one by one, hissing like a nest of snakes.

“You will pay for that, human scum!” she howled.

Meron dropped to one knee, barely avoiding a violet blast from the demoness’ claws. Poor Ida, standing behind her, was not so lucky. The beam struck her full in the chest. In seconds, her once athletic body collapsed in on itself. Her arms shriveled away, her legs swelled into a series of breasts, and her chest sprouted a series of vagina-mouths. But worst of all, her head and neck stretched out obscenely, slumping limply on the ground. Her hair, nose, and ears disappeared as her head swelled into the smooth hood of a thick cock. The piss-slit quivered with helpless moans; her mouth and voice lost forever.

Meron shuddered at seeing her narrowly-escaped fate. Without thinking, she rolled on one shoulder, dodging further magical assaults. With a satisfying click, the crossbow was ready. She hip-fired again, planting a bolt in Unsere’s side.

The demoness screamed with frustration, trying to destroy its human tormentor. Meron’s feline grace kept her out of harm’s way, but only just. More of the crew fought and fell, their bodies twisted and changed beyond recognition. It wasn’t difficult to tell who’d win this fight. It was only a matter of time before Meron’s luck ran out.

She risked a glance over her shoulder. Her heart leapt as she saw Odra pushing the hostages out into the corridor, one by one. Falerina would be the last of them, the girl bravely giving up her spot to the others. A swell of love burned deep inside Meron, seeing her courageous lover like this. Their eyes met in that brief moment, a smile of hope passing over Falerina tender lips.

“Retreat!” Meron yelled. It was time to go, their job had been completed. The crew needed little prompting and ran for the hallway in a panic. Chaos reigned suddenly, bodies pushing, people transforming, the demoness screaming. In that instant, Meron lost sight of Falerina.

That instant was all it took and would change them forever.

No longer knocked off-balance by the stinging crossbow bolts, Unsere advanced on her retreating prey like a jungle predator. She batted crewmen and women aside as she chased Meron, the bodies of her victims warped inhumanly before they even hit the ground. Meron backpedaled, notching another round into her weapon. Distracted, she didn’t notice Wilder behind her; the man now little more than a pair of breasts, a cock-body, and salamander’s head. She tripped backward, losing her grip on her weapon. It struck the floor, firing its shot off uselessly. Meron lay there, stunned and helpless.

Unsere stepped over her, smiling triumphantly. “So, captain. Mascot, it is then. You will suffer like no other human before, woman. But I will allow you the blessing of your eyes. I want you to see your own hideousness for all eternity while you grovel for my touch.”

Meron waited for the end to come, but it never did.

A sword sunk deeply into the base of Unsere’s cheek, burying itself in her skull. The attack was accented by Falerina’s scream. “Stay away from her, YOU BITCH!”

Things began to happen very quickly after that, but for Meron they seemed horribly slow. The first was Odra slipping her arms around Meron’s waist, lifting her up, and dragging her off the floor. The second was Unsere’s lightning claws snaking around Falerina’s throat. Even grievously wounded, the demon remained agile and strong. The brave girl hadn’t a chance to get away from her captor.

Meron howled her name, reaching out for her. “Falerina!”

She realized her mistake too late. The demoness smiled, her ruined face mimicking a sense of glee. Unsere realized the importance of the woman in her iron claws. She knew what the girl meant to her tormentor. She knew how much it would kill Meron inside to see her lover twisted into some hideous creature. She knew that she’d won.

Odra yanked the struggling Meron to safety. Just as the others sealed the galley’s bulkhead, Unsere blew Meron a playful kiss. Meron could still hear the demoness’ mocking laugh even after the airtight door crashed shut with a dreadful finality.


Re: The Tempest Within - by Enmesarra

The Tempest Within - Part 3
By Enmesarra

It took Odra slapping Meron’s face before she surfaced from beneath an ocean of shock and guilt. Her limbs felt heavy, as if she’d been fighting the tide for hours. She’d been drowning in the thought of losing Falerina. She’d watched the satisfied smirk on Unsere’s face. All she wanted now was to give over to the demoness and join her lover in deformed helplessness. At least they’d be together.

“What do we do, Captain?” Odra said, nearly a shout.

“Huh?” Meron grunted.

“Captain, we’re still in danger. What do you want us to do?”

“Nothing. There’s nothing we can do.”

Odra knelt down, pressing Meron against the steel wall. “Captain, she’s gone. We can’t change that. But she isn’t your only responsibility. You have a crew and a ship to protect. I know how you feel, but we have to keep going.”

Meron snarled. “How could you possibly know what I feel like. She was everything to me.”

Odra’s face turned red, a mixture of anger and sorrow. “Because Garret was my lover,” she said softly.

Meron flinched. She’d never known those two were involved. Garret had been one of the first to fall under Unsere’s power, his body remolded horribly. Meron recalled the flopping mass on the ground, hardly more than a swelling of tentacles and a vagina for a face. Only the stretched out griffon tattoo where an arm had once been marked the man for who he’d been. She still remembered those brown eyes staring up at her while his moist slit of a mouth tried to form words.

“I’m sorry,” Meron said. “I…I just…”

“We understand, Meron, but we need you now. We have to stop this.”

“You’re right. But how?”

A woman she didn’t know, but recognized as a former hostage stepped forward. “Why don’t you start by asking her?” she said, pointing toward the cowering Dr. Brinn.

Dr. Brinn glanced up, “Sasha, shut up. Now.”

“Not a chance, you arrogant cow. You got us into this. I heard you talking to Falerina!”

Meron’s ears perked up. “What about Falerina?”

“She told her that the demoness, Unsere, came out of a demon-bell,” Sasha explained. “If she did, then it’s probably still here on the ship.”

Meron stood up, grabbing her saber. She pointed the weapon at Dr. Brinn, “Is this true?”

Dr. Brinn looked from face to face for help. She found little sympathy, even from her closest colleagues. She sighed, resolving herself to her fate. “Yes. I brought it on board. But she wasn’t supposed to get out. Not here. Not now.”

“I’ll put off throwing you in the brig for smuggling until later. But right now, you’re going to tell me everything, starting with the bell. If Unsere was that dangerous, why the hell would you take her demon-bell?”

Dr. Brinn wiped her nose. It had been to bleed again and had swollen to the size of a tomato. “Because I wanted to control her. Question her about the past. I needed to know more about the ancient world.”

“And considering Unsere’s obvious compassion and patience, how did you expect she’d kindly pass this information over to you?” Meron tapped the flat of her weapon against her leg impatiently.

“Because I’d also discovered the original binding spell that the adventurers used to trap her inside the bell. From its translation, I developed a rune sequence that would restrain her inside the bell, only allowing her to come out in her immaterial form. A simple protection spell could keep her from feed on me, and thus escaping.”

Meron scratched her head. “Then how did she escape this time.”

“My assistant undoubtedly awoke her and Unsere feed from him, stealing enough power to materialize.”

“Steal what?”

“She feeds on negative emotions, in particular humiliation.”

Meron tossed a handkerchief to Dr. Brinn. The professor dabbed her bleeding nose. “So,” Meron said, “Could you do this rune sequence still? How long would it take?”

“A matter of fifteen minutes or so, with a few common magical ingredients.”

“Do you have access to them?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Because I want you to trap her.”

Dr. Brinn shook her head, “She’s still to strong. The instant I reactivate the bell, she’s know and try to stop us. And even if we do succeed, she’d be ethereal for only mere moments before she fed off another crewmember. She already has a larder, so to speak, to feed from just beyond this door.”

“But if we kept her away from people long enough?”

“She’d reenter the bell and hibernate.”

Meron smirked. “Well then, get to work. I’ll meet you in the cargo hold.”

Dr. Brinn blinked, “But…”

“No ‘buts,’ just do it. I have a plan. Odra, take her below. Make sure she gets started.”

Before Dr. Brinn could protest, Odra picked her up and carted her off. A solid cuff to the head kept her prisoner quiet.

Meron chuckled for he first time since this began. She actually thought this might work, crazy as it was. “Jasper?”

The young man stepped forward. “Yes, captain.”

“I want you to make sure no one is between here and the cargo hold. Don’t try to stop Unsere when she breaks out of the galley. Just let her go by. Understood?”

“Yes, Captain. We’ll hide well enough.”

“When she’s gone, tend to the… transformed.”

Jasper licked his lips, blushing with nervousness. “Of course.”

Meron squeezed his shoulder, then went to the intercom. After ringing twice, she finally reached Karl. She explained everything that had happened in short order. And then, she told him of her plan.

Falerina lay in an ocean of freaks. Most were long friends, now unrecognizable with their deformations. The others she’d met only briefly, but her heart went out to them nonetheless. None should have been changed in such a horrid manner, twisted into something so bizarrely sexual and unnatural. And she knew she would join them any moment now.

She wondered if Meron could love her when she was no longer human.

But if she’d been in the same situation, Falerina would have made the same choice. Meron was her everything. She could never have let anything happen to her. She’d smiled with triumph when Odra dragged Meron to safety. Now all she had to do was live with that choice. Despite her grim future, she found it surprisingly easy.

Unsere crossed over to her, looking very proud of herself. “So, little one, you’re the good captain’s pet?”

Falerina spat in the demoness’ face, “Just get it over with. Your taunts bore me.”

Unsere wiped the spittle from her porcelain cheek, her mouth twitching. “Very well then.”

She reached up with her claws, lifting Falerina into the air with an invisible force. Falerina’s limb were pulled outward, bound, until she hovered only a few feet in front of the demoness. She could feel her skin tingling like a thousand ants were crawling over it. She closed her eyes, offering a small prayer for her salvation.

Unsere chuckled, forcing Falerina’s eyes open with a twist of her wrist. “No cheating girl, I want you to see this. All of it. Since your precious captain will not be my ship’s mascot, you will take her place.”

The violet glow coiled around Falerina’s lower body. Immediately, she felt herself being pulled and stretched like salt-taffy. Her entire torso grew and grew until her belly and chest pulled downward until her legs touched the floor. Her folded up bonelessly as more weight was placed on them, until they lay on the floor. More and more of her body coiled and flopped on the floor like fleshy dough until she’d grown over fifteen feet long from the chest down. Finally, after another five or more feet of body length were added, the stretching stopped.

Before she could become accustomed to her huge body, Falerina felt her legs begin to wither and shrink. They pulled back into her body, her feet shrinking into a fat pair of sensitive nipples. Her thighs swelled up and became rounder, until she had two, perfect breasts were her legs had been. They now formed an odd tail for her worm-like body. Bumps began to sprout from her ‘belly,’ running upward from the tip of her tail to beneath her human breasts in parallel rows. She grimaced to see the familiar circles of brown aureoles form. The nipples at their center swelled up obscenely, each the size of her fist. From the way they moved and twitched, Falerina realized they had become her new legs, like those of a caterpillar. Between each, a wide, hairless vagina opened up like a mouth. She could feel the movement of her legs stimulate them, making them wet. She could only imagine what actual walking would feel like.

Unsere bent down, rolling Falerina over. She tried to fight, but couldn’t move her arms. “I don’t think you’ll need these anymore,” the demoness laughed. She placed a claw on each of Falerina’s upper breasts, squeezing them. Falerina cried out in horror and humiliation as Unsere tugged and pulled, making her breasts long and tapered. Their pert shape disappeared as they grew longer and thinner. A lattice of veins appeared beneath them, and the nipples grew swollen and mushroom-shaped. Pleasure began to course down them, unlike she’d ever experienced. They stiffened in Unsere’s hands, as a pair of testicles emerged beneath them. The demoness thumbs parted the tiny slits at each tip, coated the bulbous hoods with a generous layer of precum that oozed out. Falerina whimpered, revolted by the pleasure this strange sensation gave her. The breasts that Meron had once lay her head upon had become two, thick cocks.

“Mrmmm,” the demoness purred. “Once I’m done here, I may take you as my own pet. You’ll beg me for my touch.”

Falerina squirmed and wriggled like a huge worm, trying to get away from Unsere. “Never!”

She tried to push the demoness away, but her arms felt odd and numb. She turned her head just in time to see them undergoing the same transformation as her breasts, only on a grander scale. Her hands contracted and became swollen cock tips, the fingers swallowed up beneath purplish skin. The bones in her arms melted away, the flesh taking on the same vein-like appearance as her new breasts. When she could move again, her arms had changed into two massive penis-tentacles that flopped on the floor uselessly. Tears began to fall as she realized she would never hold Meron in her real arms again.

Unsere’s claw caressed her check, wiping her tears away. The demoness raise the tear to her mouth, suckling her fingers as if a babe upon a breast. “Scrumptious! Your suffering is so delightfully sweet.”

“Screw you,” Falerina spat.

“Still some fight left in you. Well, let us get rid of that annoying mouth shall we?” The claws snapped down over Falerina’s face, squeezing.

Falerina cried out, trying to pull away. But she had little strength to do so, finding it impossible to break the clutching fingers. All she could do was wait to be warped once more.

Oddly, Unsere did not do so. Instead, the demoness let her go and glanced about the room with a perplexed look. As Falerina watched, Unsere’s eyes narrowed, then opened with surprise. For the first time since she’d seen the demoness, Falerina saw fear on the creature’s face.

“It appears the good doctor and your annoying lover have found my bell. I will have to deal with them once and for all promptly. They’ll ruin everything.”

For a moment, Falerina felt relief. Meron was going to save her. She smiled despite her horrific circumstances. Unsere noticed this and snarled. Her hand squeezed Falerina’s cheeks together, filling the girl’s flesh with transforming magics.

“Oh don’t worry, my dear,” Unsere chuckled. “Your little bitch girlfriend may be setting my plans back a little, but I still have more than enough time to give you one last goodbye present.”

Meron heard the galley bulkhead explode in the distance. The metallic clatter echoed through the halls like a dinner-gong. The sound made Dr. Brinn lift her head up fearfully, staring over her shoulder at the stairwell. The colored chalk in her scrawny fingers trembled, almost falling.

“Get back to work, professor!” Meron growled. “There’s still time.”

Dr. Brinn nodded, steadying herself. “Of course, of course,” she muttered, busily scrawling another set of runes around the demon bell.

They’d moved the bell into the center of the cargo hold, leaving it in plain sight. Meron wanted Unsere to see it right away when she descended the stairwell. With luck, the confines of the cargo hold would lead her right to it. And then antiquation would be the demoness’ downfall.

Dr. Brinn scratched another set of runes on the floor in chalk. The others around her in three complex circles glowed with an inner light. Whatever magics the bell had, they were returning to life. Even from her hiding place, Meron could feel the electric charge pulsing from it in invisible waves. No wonder Unsere could sense what the pair were up too.

Meron rechecked the safety latches, assuring herself that they were off. She smiled to herself, knowing that Dr. Brinn’s fear came not only from what was coming for them, but where she was sitting. No matter. This would be the only way to save the ship and its crew from eternal servitude to Unsere.

“Done!” Dr. Brinn announced. “The bell should begin pulling her in now.”

Meron nodded. The air began to fill with green and violet lights that swirled around the bell. According to Dr. Brinn, the luminescence came from Unsere’s collected energy being siphoned away into the bell. Within moments, the demoness would become totally insubstantial and not long after that, her entire spirit would be drawn into the bell once more; trapped forever with any luck. Meron’s plan would see to that.

The Amaterasu shuddered as the wind began picking up again. The storm’s fury would rip the airship apart if this didn’t go quickly. For the first time, Meron questioned the wisdom of her idea. Although a life as a freak didn’t appeal to her, having the ship collapse around her was an equally unpleasant consideration. However, her doubts became mute when a violet bolt of light stabbed out of the darkness, blinding her.

Dr. Brinn, busy collecting her magical tools, caught the bolt full in the back. She cried out, falling to the floor, writhing in agony. Her limbs began to shrink even as Meron watched on.

“You might think you’re clever, my dear professor,” Unsere said, stepping from the shadows. “But you will serve me as a paper weight for your interference.”

Dr. Brinn’s cries became slurred as her lips scrunched up and her jaw turned mushy. Her teeth disappeared as the insides of her mouth inflated and her nose sank back into her face. Her glasses rose on her nose as it completed its transformation into an engorged clitoris. Even as her mouth turned into a vagina, the sides of her head blossomed out. Hair and ears disappeared as four, fat breasts took shape; changing her head into a ball of tit-flesh. Her limbs were gone by now, pulled inwardly until she had nothing more than a potato-like torso. This also segmented and shrank, splitting into six fully formed breasts. Her original genitals sealed over, leaving behind only her clit, which thickened and stretched. It took on the shape of an elephantine cock that pushed its way up through her new breasts, inch by hideous inch. She shook and twisted what was left of her head, but to no avail. The cock’s purple crown parted the labia of her vagina-mouth and slip inside. Dr. Brinn squirmed on the floor helplessly, forced to suckle and milk her own penis.

Meron groaned in horror, but not only because of what had happened to Dr. Brinn; after all, this was HER fault. Instead, she was terrified by where the woman had fallen. As much suffering as she’d caused, the woman didn’t deserve to die for her crimes. The plan was in serious jeopardy. She needed rescuing and there was no way Meron could be in two places at once.

“Come out, come out wherever you are,” Unsere chimed, walking into full view. “I know you’re here captain. I can smell you. Come out now and I’ll go easy on you.”

“Like you did Dr. Brinn?” Meron shouted, reluctantly shifting position.

The violet wave struck just behind her, charring the floor. “Oh yes. I’ll just kill you instead of keep you as a plaything. I must applaud your tenacity, but it ends now.”

Meron slowly crawled toward Dr. Brinn, hiding behind crates as she went. Unsere had entered the clearing at the center of the cargo hold. With each step, the demoness got closer to the bell and Meron’s little surprise. Of course, she now stood only feet away from the twitching Dr. Brinn. She risked another taunt, “I’m not the one running out of time, bitch. Just look at yourself.”

Unsere paused as Meron watched her from between two crates. The demoness appeared hazy, as if seen through a fog. The bell had obviously drained her of considerable strength and substance. And Unsere knew it.

“I’ll deal with this spell, and then I will deal with you. When I do, rest assured that you will replenish my losses ten-fold. You may as well enjoy your humanity while you still have it.”

Unsere walked over to the bell, examining the runes inscribed on the floor. “Damn you,” the demoness whispered. Her ghostly hand passed through the floor when she tried to erase the runes, leaving the chalk mark unhindered. “Damn you both!”

With Unsere distracted, Meron leapt over the crate and bolted toward Dr. Brinn’s prone form. She scooped the professor up in her arms like a football and sprinted for safety. Unsere screamed behind her, trying to follow. The runes flared up as the trap activated, creating an impassable ring of flame around the demoness. Her shrill cries shook the cargo hold. She staggered away from the flames, pressing her back against the bell. Unsere’s body began to dissolve into mist, her arm evaporating into vapor.

Meron ran across the cargo hold, knowing full well that the barriers wouldn’t hold for long; even with Unsere in her weakened state. In the short seconds it took her to get back to her original hiding spot, the flames were already dimming. She set Dr. Brinn down and reached up for the controls.

Unsere growled and hissed, the air around her crackling with violet energy. “The instant these pathetic runes fail, I will eat your soul, bitch!”

Meron tightened her grip around the metal handle. Its cool surface filled her with a sense of satisfaction. Her plan had come to fruition.

“Tell me something, Unsere,” Meron snickered. “Can you fly?”

“What are you talking…” Unsere began, then stopped short as Meron yanked down on the handle.

“About?” Unsere finished as the cargo hold’s floor opened beneath her. Used to load the heaviest items, the service trapdoor opened directly to the world beyond. Unsere’s eyes met Meron’s for a half-instant before gravity and the storm swallowed her and the bell whole. The demoness’ scream grew distant as she plunged ten thousand feet to the hungry ocean below.

Thanks to her orders, Karl had directed the Amaterasu back out to sea; a risky maneuver, but a necessary one. Meron counted on Unsere’s antiquated nature would prevent her from recognizing the danger right beneath her feet. Now she and her demon-bell would sink to the ocean floor; consumed by the crushing darkness. The chance of a human every finding the bell now was too small to calculate. Without anyone to feed off of, Unsere would simply return to her eternal slumber, safely locked away in her crystal prison.

Meron resealed the cargo hold before the storm could damage the ship. After instructing Karl to change course, she picked up the squirming professor and headed to the galley. Feeling the Dr. Brinn’s breasts against her, Meron shivered with dread. If this had been the professor’s punishment, what would Falerina’s be? Would she even recognize her lover when she saw her?

Meron found the human crew tending to the Changed. Many were crying, others were comforting the victims. But what words of tenderness could one say to people so… transformed? Everything seemed hollow and awkward.

Odra met her at the door, the woman’s face pale. “Captain? Is /it/ gone?”

“Yes. She won’t bother anyone again. I hope.”

“Good,” Odra said, trying not to look at the whimpering professor.

“Is she?” Merons started, feeling the words catch in her throat.

“Yes, madame. She is waiting for you. I… well…”

Meron saved her friend from further embarrassment, speaking quickly. “Thank you. For everything. Can you help Dr. Brinn please? I’ll go talk to…”

She handed the professor to her friend and walked into the galley. The room was a horror show of transformed and freakish flesh. She walked between the normal and the twisted, looking from face to face for the woman she loved. If it weren’t for the hair and eyes, she would never have known the creature cowering in the far corner was Falerina. Meron gulped softly, her eyes drifting down the twenty-foot worm /thing/ that had once been a timid young woman.

Falerina looked up with her dark eyes that were puffy from crying. Meron knelt down, brushing the woman fox-colored hair back from her face. She tried to smile, finding it hard. Falerina was incapable of such and expression any longer. Her beautiful mouth and pert nose had been stretched out and melded together into an enormous cock. A solid pair of testicles hung down from where her chin had been. Her ears were pressed back against her head, now tapered and furry like a fox’s.

Falerina’s body shifted and coiled with serpentine grace, trying to pull away from Meron. She obviously didn’t want to been seen like this. It broke Meron’s heart. Before her lover could pull away, she put her arms around Falerina’s neck.

“I love you,” she said, and meant it.

Falerina’s cock-mouth made a sad moan. Meron just leaned in and kissed it, pressing her face against Falerina’s. “I do. No matter what. We’ll make it through this, my love. That’s what people do. They weather the storm. Together.”

The storm passed into memory.

Eight weeks later, the Amaterasu set sail on a crisp, ice-blue morning from the port of Wao. Meron stood at its wheel, coaxing the bulky vessel out over the crystalline ocean. She felt the cool breeze on her cheeks and in her hair. Despite the chill, she felt warm and elated. This was what it meant to be alive.

At the helm, the Mikkas were making the necessary adjustments to speed and talking with the crew via the intercom. Meron still felt odd calling the woman ‘the Mikkas,’ but after the Storm, there was little else that she/they could be called. Another of Unsere’s victims, Mikka had been split into two identical torsos. Their shared lower half had become squid-like, a tangled mess of penis- and vagina-tentacles. Having had their arms transformed into breasts, the pair used their tentacles to operate the controls. Unlike some, they’d accepted their change and even found it useful. With all the extra limbs and another head, Mikka now did the work of two helmswomen. Hence, ‘the Mikkas.’

“Karl?” Meron said, stepping back from the wheel. “Can you take over from here? Come around the cape and head due south for Tzill.”

Karl, having survived the Storm unchanged, patted her back and took over. “Aye, aye, Captain. Say hello to her for us will you?”

“Of course. If you need anything, you know where I’ll be.”

The trio, Karl and the Mikkas, laughed amongst themselves happily and returned to their work. Meron descended into the Amaterasu and headed for her cabin. She passed by several crewmembers, both new and old. They’d taken on new people since the Storm, many she’d yet to learn the name of. In addition, all of Dr. Brinn’s students and fellow professors had made the Amaterasu their new home. Meron made a mental note to get to know each and every one of them better. Later.

She hadn’t had the time in the last two months. She’s been two busy overseeing the reconstruction of her airship. Damage from the storm needed repairs and the interior needed to be refitted to accommodate its Changed crewmembers. Most stayed on with only the worst having to be taken in by Regena. However, councelling and help from Regena members had allowed the ship to be redone to accommodate everyone’s needs; no matter how bizarre they’re transformations.

Dr. Brinn’s contributions had made all the difference. Rich and well connected, the professor had given much of her life’s saving up for the cost of refitting the Amaterasu. Meron believed it was the woman’s penance for what she’d unleashed. She’d also inspired the change of the Amaterasu’s main purpose. With libraries, laboratories, and extra state-rooms, the airship had been transformed from a cargo ship into a state-of-the-art science vessel. With stipends from universities and other investors, the Amaterasu now traveled in the name of research and study rather than for profit. Meron welcomed the change, enjoying the chance to add something to the world rather than simply moving crates around.

Meron reached her new stateroom and slipped inside. It was dimly lit inside, with little more than a burning oil lamp illuminate the interior. After the Storm, Meron had moved her quarters to a large chamber, renovating an old storeroom into a comfortable place to live. The rear quarter of the room was dominated by a mattress. On it, a bulky form shifted slightly.

*Meron?* came Falerina’s mental voice.

“It’s me dear,” Meron said aloud.

Falerina lifted her odd head, its shape softened by the darkness. A Regena member had provided the Changed woman with a mind-speak spell, allowing her to talk with thoughts rather than her nonexistent mouth. The concept of having Falerina in her mind comforted Meron tremendously. She owed Regena much.

Meron stripped from her work clothing and crawled into bed. Immediately, Falerina’s body slithered around her like a warm snake. A penis-tentacle stroked her belly, teasing Meron with its warmth. In response, Meron kissed one of Falerina’s nipple feet and drank in its musky smell.

*I take it we’re on our way then?*

“Yes, my angel. I wish you could have seen the morning sun. It will be a great day I think.”

*Next time, Mer. So… you must be tired.*

“A little,” Meron admitted. She’d been up all night and the night before that getting the Amaterasu ready for its first voyage since the Storm.
“But they won’t need me for awhile. The trip to Tzill will take several days. I want to spend most of them with you. I can sleep later.”

*Really? You’re not… ashamed of me? I worry.*

Meron sighed softly, knowing the pain her lover felt at her Change. But instead of answer in words, Meron crept closer to her lover’s body. Her hand slipped down, teasing one of Falerina’s many vagina’s with soft fingers. She planted several kisses on the woman’s cock-mouth, licking its shaft and balls. It shifted to her touch, Falerina’s huge bulk trembling with need.

“I love you, Falerina,” she whispered into Falerina’s neck. “Nothing will ever change that.”

She pulled the covers over them and began the first, blissful day of the rest of their lives together.