A blonde mewled desperate words, her throat raw with the effort of crying both her desire for and rebellion against the alien who held her prisoner. The only thing she was more afraid of than what he was about to do, was the possibility that he might not do it. She tipped her head back, her face lifted to his, her eyes locked in a pleading gaze as she simultaneously begged for and writhed in fear of what he would bring out of her.
She had been a modern woman. She had owned a smart phone and sipped iced coffee through a straw and sent little snippets of video filtered with panda bear ears through to her friends who replied with glittering abbreviated phrases. She had spent hours lifting her phone up to just the right angle and looking at herself in various digital lights until she found a version of herself that was good enough to share.
Now she was naked under the glow of a thousand stars, the curves of her body displayed in an arch against the masculine frame that made hers seem so soft, so small, so very tender and vulnerable. The alien male who held her was nearly twice her size, his large hands roaming her body, cupping her breasts, finding the plane of her stomach and rounding the curve of her hip to clasp her bottom.
She was stripped of everything. Her clothes, all the trappings of the world from which she had been taken, her very sense of what it meant to be woman. He had taken everything and left her with nothing but the elemental truth of her animal nature.
His cock pushed between her legs, the shaft finding the wet line of the seam of her swollen lower lips. His rod was so thick and so hard that it practically acted as a fulcrum on which she perched, her pussy gliding against him in an instinctual rut. There could be no denying what her body wanted. Her abundant juices made him slick as she moved over that hot ridge, her clit grazing against the head of him over and over again as he took hold of her hips and began to guide her motion, stoking the need that threatened to make her mad with desire.
Her curves were fuller now than they had been back where there was such a thing as a dress size. She felt no shame for that. He ran his hand over the curve of her belly and let out an animal growl. “You’ll soon be growing here, pet.”
Before him her sex life had been one long parade of pills and little foil packets, obsession over ensuring latex barriers remained unbroken. There was no protection now. Her pussy was bare and there was nothing stopping the hyper virile alien man who owned her from filling her a hundred times over.
“Ask me nicely, pet.”
The command shattered the last illusion of her resistance. He would make her complicit in her own erotic undoing. She would have to ask for her ravishment, or be teased until she could no longer stand the ache.
The necessary word left her lips in a whisper.
The alien’s arms flexed as he lifted her up and impaled her on his cock, his thick rod plunging deep inside her clenching sex, the head of his member pulsing against the neck of her womb. Her cries began as whimpers but rose to shrieks of ecstasy as she was taken, trained, and bred.
Kelly pushed her hair back from her face, water beading over her flushed skin as she tossed the contents of a water bottle toward her dirty visage. This was the last clean water she owned and wasting it on washing herself in a gas station bathroom was probably ill-considered, but she couldn’t stand the thick grime that seemed to cover everything these days, including her once clear skin. As the water ran in red trickles of dust down her cheeks, she looked at herself in the spotted mirror. Its grotty old surface marred her features unpleasantly, her dark blonde hair and wide blue eyes somehow mocked by the dilapidated surface.
“Life’s hard,” she lectured herself. “Get over it already.”
She was lucky to be alive, and she knew it. Even deep in the outback of Australia, recent events were having an inevitable impact.
The world had been its normal self a few weeks earlier when she’d departed from Los Angeles, taking a fifteen-hour flight to Sydney, Australia. Back then, her problems had been much smaller. Travel-sized, even. The lady with the blue gloves had been short with her, insisted on putting her through two different scanners and Kelly had muttered to herself about the world having gone to hell.
She’d had no idea at that point that the world was less than sixty minutes away from real hell. The plane had taken off without incident and she’d fretted over the length of the journey, the fact that the guy in the seat next to her kept trying to impress her by listing various facts she didn’t care about while audibly passing gas, and the way that even with fifteen channels on the little screen in the back of the seat in front, there wasn’t anything worth watching on it besides the view of the plane imposed against the globe, with interesting numbers indicating height and speed and such.
They were forty-five thousand feet above the Pacific Ocean when the first ‘meteor’ struck. A few passengers claimed to see a bright red and orange glow coming from the sky toward the rear of the plane. Some even took pictures of the glorious sunset.
The dark cloud that followed it was hidden by the gathering shadows of night, blanketing the chaos. They had flown on, totally oblivious to the disaster in the country they had just left. Kelly’s last moments of normalcy had been aboard an airliner, fiddling with little trays of food.
When they landed in Sydney, the illusion disappeared. The pilot had kept things quiet, including the fact that the landing was done manually rather than by auto-pilot. It came out afterward that a great many collisions were only narrowly avoided thanks to the radar being out of operation, but at the time Kelly and her fellow travelers had been blissfully unaware of that too.
“Now folks, there’s been some disturbance back in the States,” he’d said over the intercom. “You’ll be hearing about it as you enter the terminal. We’re going to ask you to stay calm and obey all instructions given by crew and security as you make your way from the plane into the terminal and beyond.”
That was the first crack in the veneer of normalcy, and as Kelly had disembarked, those cracks grew like a fault running through an ice sheet. The airport television screens were not showing any signs of the chaos. They were showing an absence of anything. She never knew how strange it would be to see all the screens in an airport completely blank.
People were milling around with confused looks on their faces, trying cell phones that didn’t seem to be working and generally behaving in an utterly bewildered fashion. The baggage conveyers weren’t working, a fact that didn’t affect Kelly as she’d chosen to travel light. Everything she had was in her carryon bag, including the printed verification of her car rental paperwork.
Fortunately for her, the desk agent had handed over the keys to her rental car based on that paperwork. Unlike thousands of other travelers arguing with airport staff over their lack of luggage, and their inability to pay for anything as all the currency exchange kiosks were closed, she was able to leave the airport and make her way to her hotel on the outskirts of the central city, where once again, her penchant for printing out everything to do with her trip enabled her to book into her room.
Everyone was apologetic for the inconvenience, saying the systems would be back up any moment. The ‘disturbance’ wasn’t elaborated on to any great extent, largely because nobody knew what had actually happened. It was as if the entire Northern Hemisphere had simply blinked out of digital existence after takeoff, leaving an electronic hole in its wake—and for some reason, all of the essential systems in the Australian continent were affected too. Electricity was intermittent and new media broadcasting was affected too. There was no internet. No way to communicate except through small mouth noises.
Kelly hadn’t left anybody she loved behind, so was saved the panic so many other international travelers found themselves in. Families had been split up, and with the airlines refusing to fly anywhere out of the country, they were stranded in Australia.
The public response was warm and welcoming at first at least. People opened their homes to those who were stranded far from home. Fortunately Kelly had the proceeds of a generous inheritance to live off, so there was no concern about money. She’d exchanged a few thousand dollars of US currency into the bright Australian currency, plastic-y feeling play-like money that didn’t really feel real to her before getting on the plane, so she was good for money, but money quickly became the least of anyone’s worries.
For most of the people she came across in those early days, the sense of isolation was palpable. Without internet, phone, radio, or television, all anyone had was the person physically nearest to talk to. As nobody truly knew what had happened, conjecture and speculation ruled the day—along with their close neighbor, conspiracy.
Some said that there had been a coup on American soil. Others said that a terrorist attack had taken out the entire satellite system. Still others claimed it must have been a massive missile or meteor strike. There were other theories even further out of the realm of likelihood, like alien invasion, but of course, scoffs aplenty greeted anyone espousing such a theory openly. The Australians were solid, down-to-Earth people who favored simple explanations.
“Well, it’s buggered, isn’t it,” a fellow hotel guest had said five days after the event. He was a man in his late thirties from Perth who’d flown into Sydney to make a presentation on internet security. Now the planes weren’t flying and there was no internet to bother to secure, so he was doing what everyone else was doing. Drinking.
“Buggered?” Kelly smiled into her cocktail.
“Buggered, mate,” he said. “I mean, capital F fucked.”
He wasn’t wrong. Something was in the air. Something everyone could feel. There had been a massive shift, and even if everything was all fixed up, they knew it wouldn’t be the same. The world of two months prior now felt as old-timey as 1950s picture books.
“You know what we should all be doing?” He’d asked the question before taking a swig of beer, and answered it directly after he’d swallowed. “We should be going bush.”
“What does that mean?”
“The aboriginals, they know how to go bush. They still live out in the outback, some of them. They survive without any of this modern stuff. They probably haven’t even noticed anything’s gone wrong.”
That was a good idea. It sparked Kelly’s imagination and it offered some option to escape the increasing chaos of the suburbs. Day by day, things became a little more incoherent. People tried to keep calm and carry on, but they were disturbed by the lack of connection. Little things like being unable to make a call whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted caused obvious distress. More than once, Kelly saw people have meltdowns at realizing they would have to actually go and find the people they needed to speak to. A society accustomed to instant communication did not adapt well to the sudden yawning, hollow sense of being utterly alone in the world.
It didn’t bother Kelly as much as it might have. She’d come to Australia out of a desire to get as far away from the place she’d called home, a place where she no longer had friends or family of any kind. Her friends, such as they were, had drifted away into their own lives. Women who had once been her constant companions had transformed into people she didn’t really recognize anymore. People who cared about things like cornices and throw pillows. The same people she’d watched practically suck wine out of carpets now filled sippy cups and panicked over small spills.
It was part of growing up, she knew that, and she wished them well, but it seemed to have passed her by somehow. Her own attempt at marriage had failed miserably, to say the least, and she missed the old days. The camaraderie of being part of a group of a half-dozen bright, eager young women going out into the world to take what was theirs. At twenty-five, that already felt like ancient history. And now here she was, on the wrong side of the world during an international emergency, and suddenly, she didn’t feel alone anymore. Everyone she met was bonded by their strange circumstances. There were no strangers anymore, only people trying to make it.
The idea of going bush rattled around in her head for another week or so. The hotel was still comfortable, and she still had the rental car. She figured staying put made more sense. But then things became truly strange. People had been saying from the beginning that it was only a matter of time before the power got sorted out and the internet came back. Soon everything would be back to normal. Soon.
Thirty-three days after the first impact, it suddenly became abundantly clear that there would be no more normal. Not soon. Not ever.
Unbeknownst to the general public, the Australian government had managed to get a plane out toward the US continent. It had taken them that long due to extreme microwave interference that turned the multi-million-dollar craft into paperweights. In the end it was a single prop plane Amelia Earhart would have raised a brow at that made it far enough to see what was actually happening.
What that plane came back with was a series of images nobody wanted to believe. They were distributed over small local networks, printed out and hung in windows. The newspapers that still ran on hard physical presses managed to get the images to spread. Over a period of panicked hours and days people started to become aware that the impacts that had knocked out international communications had not been meteor strikes, but the vanguard of an alien invasion.
Kelly didn’t believe the stories. Just because the newspapers printed something didn’t mean it was true. The pictures didn’t improve matters in the slightest. People started to panic. The camaraderie that had held society together faded into hostility as people began to hoard rather than share. Looting and lawlessness erupted across the city—and Kelly had decided it was time to head into the outback.
All that took her to where she stood now, bunking down in a gas station several hundred miles away from the last vestige of civilization. It was typically used by long haul truckers, but it had seen quite a bit more road traffic lately. She was not the only one with the idea to get the hell out of Dodge.
With the last of her bottled water dripping from her chin into the dusty sink below, Kelly dried her face off on a small paper towel and set out to join the caravan to the wild.
Most everyone else had already left for their day’s journey. She found herself alone on the forecourt with a gnarled older man, the gas station attendant who insisted on being called Skippy. He had long greasy gray hair, skin tanned to a leathery wrinkled expanse by the harsh sun, and eyes of twinkling blue that spoke to a kind character.
“Mhm,” Kelly said. “I guess there’s not much else to do now, is there?”
“You’re going to want to keep going south, mate. Or maybe southeast,” the gas station attendant said. “There’s people out both ways. Don’t know how happy they’ll be to see you, or if you’re going to escape any little green men by coming all the way out here.”
“They didn’t look very little or very green to me in the papers,” Kelly said, handing over the last of her Australian dollars in exchange for a full tank of gas and a precious little bottle of water.
“Strewth, mate! Don’t tell me you believe that stuff. It’s all bull. Shit stirrers, you know. Don’t you worry. There aren’t any aliens coming to get you. Once they get the cables fixed, everything’ll be fine. Just enjoy the bush.”
Suddenly the earth beneath their feet rumbled as a sound like the very sky being torn apart heralded a vast shadow in the sky to the west. Kelly and Skippy stood together on the forecourt and watched a massive object come burning through the atmosphere with a lithium white flame.
“Looks like we got ourselves a meteor!” Skippy shouted over the commotion. “Get down!”
Kelly threw herself to the ground along with the old man, her heart pounding as she watched the massive object hurtle across the sky. It wasn’t a meteor. And it wasn’t crashing. Her shocked gaze beheld what could only be described as a spaceship coming in for landing, an angular blue and black gleaming scimitar slashing through bushes and kicking up dust.
It stopped a few hundred yards from the station. Kelly’s body was already burning with adrenaline as she hid behind the gas pump, her heart pounding. There was nowhere to run. The little station was in the middle of nowhere. A very flat nowhere with nothing in the way of cover. There was no hope of running from the alien men as they disembarked in three unmistakably military rows.
Alien. Were they alien? She tried to push the idea away. Maybe the Russians had managed to make some kind of aircraft unlike any other. Or China. Or North K… no, definitely not North Korea. Definitely not human either. They were too damn tall to be people. Super soldiers?
As her mind ran through a plethora of possibilities, her body was scuttling back toward the shelter of the tiny little gas station. It was the only way of avoiding their direct attention, though she still didn’t feel safe there. A thin sheeting of plywood and a bit of outer cladding wasn’t going to stop these men.
They were already coming, as if specifically for her. At least twenty-one of them, marching in three distinct rows. They were carrying what had to be weapons; big, sharp, shooty looking things with barrels almost as long as Kelly’s body was tall.
“Bloody hell,” the attendant muttered. “Bloooodddyy hell.”
His comments weren’t exactly useful. Kelly scooted toward the rear of the small aisles, taking cover behind some overpriced corn chips and travel-sized tissues. Skippy followed after her, chaining the doors shut behind him, as if a steel lock was going to stop an advanced race of aliens who had just burst through the atmosphere in an instant.
“We’re closed!” Skippy yelled back at the aliens who were now at the dust-reddened doors.
Kelly clapped her hands over her mouth. What the hell was Skippy doing?
“Open at once, proprietor!”
She heard the attendant grunt ‘bloody hell’ again and then move forward to do the bidding of the aliens who mysteriously spoke English with an Atlantic accent. They sounded as though they had just stepped out of a 1950s movie, but there was nothing quaint about them. Peering out from between the little cracks in the shelving, Kelly got the impression they were very powerful, highly advanced creatures.
“Er, can I help you fellas?” Skippy tried being friendly, a little too late.
“There is a female here,” the leader of the unit declared. “Give her to us.”
“A sheila? Nah, no sheilas here, mate. This isn’t the place for ‘em. You want to go toward the cities. Plenty of sheilas there.”
Kelly was grateful for the attendant’s lie. He was being incredibly brave on her account.
“We can smell her.”
“Smell her? Strewth.”
There was a metallic sound. The alien had pressed the business end of his weapon against Skippy’s chest and was menacing him in the most genteel way possible.
“Tell me where she is. I do not have time for your games, male.”
“Nah. No women here, mate. Maybe you’re getting a false positive from the tampons?”
Kelly’s jaw dropped in awe. Skippy barely knew her, but he was doubling down on his lie in the face of death.
“We will not hesitate to destroy you,” the alien threatened in his peculiarly perfect diction.
“Mate, I don’t give a rat’s,” Skippy snorted. “I’ve lived out here in the ass end of nowhere for the last fifty years. I’m due.”
“If you do not fear death, perhaps you fear pain.”
“In my life I’ve had a croc chew on my left testicle, and a possum piss on the wound,” Skippy replied with no small measure of pride. “Don’t know what you’ve got that’ll be worse than that.”
“I will give you one final chance,” the alien threatened. “Then the pain will begin.”
Dammit. She was going to have to give herself up. Skippy was going to get himself killed and then they’d catch her anyway. She was cornered like a rat and there was no way of getting out without them noticing.
“It’s okay!” Kelly called out. “I’m here. I’m coming out!”
“You lied,” the leader of the unit said sternly, eying Skippy with what looked oddly like disappointment.
“Didn’t know she was back there,” Skippy said blithely. “Must have been hiding in the sanitary products. They do that sometimes. Can’t trust sheilas.”
“Come here, female woman human,” the alien said, ignoring Skippy.
Under the weapons of the aliens, Kelly had no choice but to comply. She was not as brave as the attendant, not by half. In the face of such heavily armed, massively advanced men she was totally helpless.
Just before the aliens took her away, the attendant pushed something down the back of her pants, two cool cylinders. She didn’t know what they were, and she knew better than to make a fuss about it and get him into trouble. He was trying to help, so hopefully they contained something useful.
“Why do you want me? Why come all this way out here just for me? What’s going on? I haven’t done anything, have I?”
She was talking to them as if they were police officers, she realized. It was the only way her mind knew how to deal with such militarized, yet refined people.
“Silence, woman,” the alien officer said. Now that she was up close to these creatures, she saw how frighteningly human they were in so many respects, while simultaneously being obviously alien. Their eyes were larger than the average humanoid, but so was every part of them. With adrenaline pumping relentlessly through her veins, it was hard to take them in.
They led her out of the little gas station and urged her toward their great ship. It was as terrifying up close as it had been at a distance, black metal gleaming in the sun with an odd sort of sheen that didn’t look like any substance Kelly had ever seen before.
As they nudged her up the gangway, they engaged in one of the most offensive conversations she had ever heard.
“Are you sure she is of breeding age?”
“Maybe,” the alien said gruffly. “How old are you, human?”
“Twenty-five,” Kelly answered.
“Old, but not too old,” the alien said, looking over her head at the others who had captured her. “The market will decide her worth.”
At the top of the gangway were large pens. They contained wide-eyed blinking women in various states of shock. Some of them were curled up crying, others were stoic, and still others stared into the distance, as if they were trying to escape their disturbing reality. Kelly was pushed into one and left to her own devices as the gangway closed like a leviathan’s mouth, casting them all into darkness in the belly of the alien beast.
The ship took off. She could tell by the way it shuddered and then suddenly became weightless. A few of the women cried out in fear, but most had fallen into the silence of stunned prey. The darkness was like a hood put over a wild animal’s head to keep it from panicking. Somehow Kelly’s eyes did not adjust to the darkness as she would have expected them to. The darkness was absolute, so much so that all she could do was curl up in the corner of her pen and wait for whatever was going to happen next to happen.
It could have been minutes or hours later when the door opened and the bright Australian sun streamed in. She saw the red dust of the desert stretching out into what looked like eternity and she felt the pull of it like she had never felt the pull of anything before. Freedom lay before her, calling with a siren song that could not be ignored.
The door of the pen wasn’t actually locked, she noticed. It was simply clipped closed with a latch easily manipulated, which she did. The door swung open easily, putting nothing but open space between her and the world beyond. The other women watched her with fearful expressions, staying still in spite of what she was showing them.
Fuck this. She wasn’t going to stay here and be sold by aliens. Most of the women were being held by their own paralysis of fear. They weren’t shackled. They were just expected to sit and wait for their fates, like sheep in a pen.
Kelly didn’t want to be a sheep. She wanted to be a goat. One of those annoying ones that climbed on the house and nibbled at the guttering. Creeping slowly at first, she made her way down the gangway. The aliens weren’t paying much attention to their prisoners; they were milling about what looked like a base of some kind, which they’d clearly constructed in the middle of the outback.
She managed to slither and creep and slide her way down to the ground, then slip under the gangway itself. Shielded for a moment from the gaze of the aliens, she was pretty sure she might actually be able to get away with…
“Someone’s running away! Hey! Guards! There’s an escape!”
An unknown voice screeched from the interior of the ship, a woman yelling at the top of her lungs. Someone had decided instead of trying to escape themselves, they were going to make sure Kelly didn’t get free.
“Bitch,” Kelly muttered under her breath as she started to run. The aliens turned in her direction, trying to stop her before she could make it more than a few steps. Kelly had played a lot of college soccer, which came in handy as she sidestepped one burly alien and managed to get past him.
She ran. One of the aliens tried to intercept her out of the gate, but she sidestepped him. A second went for her, but she bit down with all her strength and he released her. She kept running, not looking back, caring for nothing but putting distance between herself and the alien prison pens.
Finally all those hours she’d put in running for fitness paid off. The aliens were powerful, but they were also heavy and the bite seemed to have distracted both of the ones who had tried to catch her. She sprinted for her life across the dusty red ground, heading for an outcropping of rocks. If she could get to cover, maybe she could hide. Or maybe she had no chance of escape anyway. She didn’t know and it didn’t matter. Nothing she was doing was rational. It was all instinct, the simple animal impulse to get away from confinement and find freedom in the great open spaces beyond.
In that instant, she was no different than a deer racing from a lion pack. Her body felt light as her heart pounded furiously. She had little awareness of anything besides the need to get as far away as possible, as quickly as possible. There were eyes on her. She could feel their presence, cool and calm, far away, but coming for her. The shouting, chasing guards did not frighten her as much as that sudden sense of being watched did, spurring her to even greater speed.