The other side

by BRK

 Avery, a randy cargohauler, is piloting his navship through the dimensions between the point A and point B when an unexpected breach sends him into a surreal expanse… where a well-built, winged figure takes a less-than-angelic interest in him.

Added: Mar 2021 6,407 words 3,525 views 4.9 stars (7 votes)


I had no heads up anything was about to go wrong. My trusty cargo ship, The Principled Fucker, was speeding through the blue-gray, twisting, infinitely branching exoarteries of unspace like a bee that knows exactly where the pollen is and can’t wait to get there. She was handling like a dream, even if flying in unspace is pretty much idiot-proof.

See, the weird thing about unspace is it really doesn’t like you being there, and so it’s constantly propelling you away from wherever you are at literally immeasurable velocity. Which makes it perfect for space travel. All you have to do is breach in, steer like crazy to where you need to be, and breach out! Heck, even a second-hand courser like the Fucker, a sixth-generation unspace navship with Oigon surronic breach-engines and polyquantum piloting A.I.s, could make a trip like this one, flitting across the whole breadth of the quadrant from Logan 12 depot to Farvista Zega-Mall, as fast as any ship out there. Let those surly pricks at the ergfuel terminal sneer that she was as ugly as a blue-haired rat and as flatulent as a granny rhinoceros! All she needed was a lick of paint. Okay, and maybe a new exhaust regressor.

Anyway, screw them. They could keep their shiny ultrayellow gen-eight supernavs, with their swode leather upholstery and negative-friction hulls. My good old baby-blue rat-shaped Fucker with her synthromesh seats and pseudotanium exterior would do me just fine.

Everything was routine, like I said. We were whipping around the long bend of the epsilon-980 shunt, as far from reality as you can get in unspace, and I was relaxing in the cockpit, daydreaming about maybe spending some of my upcoming downtime over at Haven Resort 18—the tight-bodied pool boys there really seem to go for the chiseled three-day-beard cargohauler hunk thing I’ve got going. Hey, there was a reason I got a navship with a built-in microgym, complete with a virtual track and intensive gravweights! The only thing missing for my conditioning routine was a swim tank, but there was a good one at my home base on Riker 2. I was thinking about this smooth, lanky brunette with a wicked smile who’d been eyeing me my last stopover at Haven when I realized with sudden alarm that I was hearing the one sound you never want to hear when you’re rounding a curve on the epsilon shunt: the breach drive was spinning up, for no reason I could think of other than to fuck with my life.

“Shit! Not here!” I shouted, sitting up in a panic just as the breach drive coughed and then really got going, revved rapidly to full power. I scrambled for the cut-off switch, but I could see it was too late: the main viewscreen was already showing a big block of blue-gray unspace ahead of me doing that impossible folding-folding-folding thing that indicated a developing breach, right through the wall of the unspace artery. We were headed straight for it. “No! No!!” I screamed.

Instinctively I grabbed at the manual controls, hoping against hope I could veer us away from the breach. But there’s a reason that the navigation of unspace is left to A.I.s—the extreme repulsive velocities generated there on relatively small objects like my ship are simply too great for human reflexes to handle. The breach fully blossomed into a shifting, folding aperture in space, like a twitching, dark matter origami butthole, and the Fucker shot straight into it at impossible speed.

Then I realized that because I’d grabbed the manual nav, A.I. control had fully disengaged and I was now the one steering this bucket into whatever the fuck was beyond the exotunnels in the deepest parts of unspace. I gripped the controls and tried to steer as best I could, the ship shaking violently as the dark fabric of unspace warped and woofed around us. My brain started freezing up—for a second all I could think of was that fat asshole who’d made the rhinoceros crack back at Logan depot. That made me grit my teeth. I was determined to be the one guy who suffered a freak remote-unspace accident and lived to talk about it. I’d rub that smelly jerk’s nose in it.

Up ahead and a little to the left I spotted another breach developing. I stared into it, trying to figure out if it would help me. The folding-folding was revealing a small, puckered glimpse of whatever beyond it. Not normal space. I knew it couldn’t be normal space, partly because we were at the opposite end of the sixth dimension from normal space, but mostly because whatever universe the breach was showing me seemed to be a pleasant, uniform minty green color.

It wasn’t reality, but it was my only shot. Sheering the controls to the left, I had just enough time to aim the Fucker directly at the breach…

And then, abruptly, we were out. I was able to register that we were soaring through what seemed to be a vast and empty green nothing when suddenly the green seemed to rise up toward me very, very rapidly, and all at once the green and the Fucker collided like a kid smashing his toy starships together. Then the green melted away into a fathomless abyss, along with me, the Fucker, and everything else, and only blackness remained.

The top hatch was a little warped from the crash, but after a minute or two of struggling I managed to brute-force it open and was able to climb up out of my wrecked ship. I stood atop the hull and stared at the incomprehensible vista around me.

Green. Nothing but soft, minty green, forever in all directions, without shadow or gradation. There wasn’t even a horizon, just green above, between, and below. If it weren’t for the crash site itself—my damaged ship smashed into the solid green surface, and a few distressed, darker green cracks radiating from the point of impact—I’d have thought I was floating in a universe of endless green luminescence. My fat-assed ship looked fundamentally wrong there, not least because its azure surface clashed alarmingly with the bright jade of everything else here.

My molded, bright white flight suit, at least, didn’t seem like an affront to the universal hue—just very, very singular.

I suddenly did not want to be here. I had a strange feeling that maybe I was being punished for something. I’d never thought about what purgatory would be like, but isolated and alone in a limitless, featureless expanse sounded just then like a solid candidate. And honestly, if purgatory did exist, it made sense to me it would be in another dimension, one that couldn’t be reached except by way of an accident that no one should ever have, or survive if it did happen.

I stilled, frowning. “Or survive”—fuck, was I dead?

Okay, that was not helpful thinking. And… the vibe here, if you could call it that, was uniformly positive. Transformative, even. Anything could become anything here.

That wasn’t helping me either, unless I figured out how to make the ship “become” not broken. What I needed was help. Maybe there were people around I couldn’t see. I cupped my hands around my mouth. “Hello?!” I called.

There was a faint echo, then silence again. I waited, but nothing else happened. I decided the echo was reassuring, anemic as it was. No reaction at all from my new environment would have been a lot worse.

I climbed down the side of the ship via the aft access ladder and hopped onto the surface of wherever I’d arrived at—it was firm, but, surprisingly, just the slightest bit springy. I stepped back from the ship, my boots making just the slightest sound of scuffing on the minty green ground. I took a good look at my ship, arms akimbo. I could tell just by looking at the rear section that the breach engines were toast—and I’d already ascertained after I’d woken up and dissipated the impact dry-foam that both the A.I. and the comms were completely nonresponsive.

I sighed. “You Fucker,” I said, shaking my head.

Then, as soon as I said it, it was gone. The whole, half-crumpled ship just silently disappeared as if it had never existed. Even the impact fractures where the ship had hit whatever I was standing on vanished, like the whole scene had been erased. “Hey!” I shouted, as if I half-expected the ship to reappear, chagrined and chastened.

“No personal possessions allowed,” said a silky-smooth tenor voice.

I whipped around. Standing just two feet away from me was… I don’t even know how to describe it. It would be like if you had the ability to draw, or sculpt, amazingly well, and you drew or sculpted the most arousing, the most erotically beautiful man you could possibly imagine, your perfect sex partner and your horniest, most unbridled carnal fantasy—then you put your hand to what you created and it became flesh and blood and was staring at you with eyes full of every possibility in the universe.

This man was my wet dream. He was a hand’s breadth taller than me, with skin of warm, burnished gold and eyes that were, intriguingly, almost the same color, but brighter and deeper than any eyes I had ever seen. Around his neck on a fine platinum chain hung a small pendant, its stone round and flat and exactly the color of the landscape around us. Though he appeared to be younger than I was and in the prime of masculine youth, his short, loosely curled hair was snow-white; even his sparse body hair, as on his exposed forearms, was glimpses of white on gold. The pale chiton he was wearing did nothing to hide a long-limbed physique so perfectly sculpted it might as well have been made to order. Despite the strangeness of my situation and the potential threat he posed, my body reacted to his uncanny appeal, and my eyes ranged helplessly up from his bare, gorgeous feet and his long, well-muscled legs… past the mystery of his hidden crotch… up the tight, firm torso to thick, square, luscious pecs half exposed by the drape of his gown, to his thick, corded arms and his broad, sun-browned shoulders… the sexy neck with the green pendant, that firm, smooth jaw, those blazing yellow-gold eyes… and, behind, the clean, unblemished alabaster white of his wide, long-feathered wings, which shifted behind him every now and again even as the rest of him remained still and watchful.

Maybe I should have mentioned the wings earlier. I didn’t even know how to react to them, because I had never known until that moment that I would find broad, powerful wings on a guy as sexy as broad shoulders, kissable lips, and a dangerous glint in his eye.

He was not looking at me, though. He was looking at my flight suit. “That includes clothes,” he said blandly. Just like that my suit and all my undergear just vanished into nothing, and I was standing in front of this impossibly beautiful winged man—or whatever he was—wearing nothing but the stallion tattoo on my left pec.

Okay, now I was really glad I had kept myself tight and strong with all those long-haul workouts. I shivered very slightly. It was a little cool in this green, empty place. Better than the alternative, I thought grimly.

Now it was angel-guy’s turn to look me over, though he tried to seem dispassionate about it. I felt his gaze roving up my body like a heat lamp. Don’t get hard, I told myself.

Finally he met my gaze, and, fuck, I didn’t want to look away. I could tell he was intrigued by me, as if I were a puzzle he was kind of excited about figuring out.

“I am Ara,” he said, eyes drilling into mine, and nuke me and use me for carbofuel if him saying his name wasn’t enough to turn me on. If he was in charge of my eternal torment, he could do it just by looking at me like that.

The moment turned somehow, and he was more businesslike, as though he hadn’t just been eyefucking me from three feet away. I frowned. “Now,” he said in that silky voice, “tell me who you are, because I do not believe you are on my list.” As he spoke he reached out with his left hand, and in it appeared a clipboard—an honest to god clipboard, with paper under the clip and everything. Apparently there was no infonet or data pads in the lands of the dead. As the clipboard manifested his wingers rustled very slightly, as if discerning a disturbance in the aether.

He looked down his list for a second or two, then glanced up expectantly at me, his burning eyes flaring to a molten yellow-gold under his thick, white eyebrows.

“Oh! Uh—” Turbos and comets, this guy was hot. I suddenly remembered I was naked. Don’t get hard! I reminded myself. My abs seemed to clench of their own accord. “It’s Bottom,” I said. “Bottom Voluo Avery.” Yes, my clueless and classically minded parents named me after a character from Shakespeare. No, they were not up on their twenty-first-century sexual slang. Their second choice was Atticus, so I don’t know if got off lucky or not. I didn’t use it in everyday life. But I assumed that if I was down on any official lists, even here in green purgatory, it would be my legal name, however embarrassing.

Wings guy looked over his list while I tried not to fidget. His snowy brows drew together as he perused. “I’m not seeing anyone by that name,” he said slowly, still staring at his clipboard.

I waited a beat. “So… that means I’m not supposed to be here,” I suggested.

His brows lifted. “Seems not,” he said, sounding bemused. He handed to clipboard away into nothing and it vanished again, and his mighty wings did that tiny shake like they had before. I was kind of fascinated by the little things like that with this guy. I wanted to discover more. He looked at me and said nothing.

Another beat. “So… you can send me on my way, then,” I prompted him.

He lifted an eyebrow very slightly. “You don’t have a ship to leave in,” he countered.

“Right, but—” I started to say. He was the one who took it, right? He should be able to give it back. Maybe even repair it.

“I can’t just create spaceships in this place,” he said, interrupting me. My expression must have communicated my disbelief, because he clarified, “Not without an input of energy.”

“An input of energy,” I repeated flatly.

“Stomp your foot for me,” he said.

I eyed him dubiously, but he just watched me placidly. I already had an inkling of where he was going with this, having already noted the slightly springy nature of the solid green surface we were standing on, so I stomped my bare right foot. Sure enough, there was a bit of give, as before.

“Impact on the surface collects energy,” he said, confirming my expectations. “All you need to do is generate enough energy for a manifestation.”

“By doing what, running around naked?”

He looked me over again. “You appear to be in very good condition,” he said, and there was something a little more than clinical appraisal in his voice.

I stepped a little closer, holding his gaze firmly as I did so. Just being closer to him thickened my cock a little, but I kept myself focused. “You’ll give me a navship,” I pressed. “One that can get me home. Top of the line.”

“I will,” he agreed, and I could tell he meant it.

No fool I—I could almost hear the “I didn’t say when I’d give it” he left unsaid. That was okay. It was physically pleasant just being around this guy, and I knew he liked me, too. He wanted to jerk me around a little before giving me a ticket home? Maybe two could play at that game. Who knew, maybe I could get him to do the “jerking me around” part a little more literally.

I gave him my most rakish smirk. “I got a better idea. You’re in good condition,” and I gave him the same one-over leer he’d given me. “Why don’t you run around naked and generate the energy to make a spaceship?”

“I don’t need a spaceship, Bott—” he started to say.

I cut him off quickly. “Call me Avery.”

He smiled. “I don’t need a spaceship, Avery. And besides,” he added, “you may find that you enjoy the run more than you might expect.”

Okay, that wasn’t suggestive at all. I kept up my smirk. “Fair enough,” I said. “I’ll run, if you watch.”

“Exactly my plan,” the winged man said. He stared down at me, and I swear the molten fire in those lusty eyes was too dark for any angel.

Wings guy—Ara, he’d said—then stepped aside, revealing a wide track stretching out behind him, sort of like what you would find at a stadium, apart from being solid green like the rest of the surface, and extending straight toward the nonexistent horizon instead of bent in an oval. What, did he mean I had to run infinitely far to earn my ship? Somehow I didn’t think that was the scam here. I squinted, and I could just discern, way the held down the track, a distant tower that was probably my goal. Brilliant.

No time like the present, I thought, though I wasn’t sure if concepts like “the present” even meant anything in an endless green extradimensional purgatory. I carefully did the necessary stretches—extra important before an infinite run, I thought wryly—and then started down the track at a steady lope I knew I could keep up for a good, long while. The surface responded under my feet a little like running on something firm but resilient, like a track coated in thick rubber giving me a bit of forward push with every stride. Even shoeless it was still the best surface to run on I’d experienced.

After about half an hour of this I started to notice two things. First, though I was sweating slightly as I exerted myself in a way that seemed reasonably normal, I didn’t feel like I was expending any energy at all. I could already tell that I wasn’t going to be getting even the slightest bit tired. My legs were unstoppable—hell, I felt like I could run forever. I was enjoying it. Getting off on it. It felt good to run and run and run.

I was no literary omniglot like my parents, but I could add two and two together and get the number of times I’d fucked my best friend in secondary school the night I noticed his thickening stubble and he noticed my thickening package. Whatever this place was, I was already being changed by it. The thought unnerved and exhilarated me all at once.

Second, that ant-sized tower sure seemed like it wasn’t getting any closer. I still had to squint to see it, and it was not moving at all. With no landmarks in this featureless verdant void, I could almost convince myself I was running in place rather than keeping my usual road-eating pace.

I wasn’t too freaked out by this; as an unspace cargohauler I was familiar with time and space dilation and how apparent distances can seem not to change and then shift suddenly. So I knew not to worry, at least with my rational mind.

Ara appeared next to me, walking at a normal pace that seemed to match my steady run. Okay, that was freaky.

“You need to kick it up a notch, human,” he said genially, nodding at the still-distant tower. “You’ll never get there at this rate.”

Hmph. No kidding. “Any suggestions, coach?” I asked. Weird—I wasn’t even slightly winded. That infinite run thing was starting to loom as an actual possibility.

Ara was still strolling calmly alongside me as I ran, like he was edited in from another movie. He looked over at me. “You’ve already felt it,” he said meaningfully. “What this place is like.”

“Transformative,” I said, voicing the word I’d had rattling in my head for a while now.

He smiled, winked, and then he was gone. Thank fuck for that. I wanted to take Ara to bed in the worst way—or, actually, the green surface of this place might be good for pounding more than my feet against—but him ambling next to me while I ran was disturbing.

Okay. Kick it up a notch. I need to run faster and stronger.

An arresting thought occurred me. I remembered his eyes passing over the horse tattoo on my chest. Was it possible? The phenomenal beauty and strength of horses had always fascinated me. And—suddenly—I felt it, within me. The capacity to shape myself was a part of me all at once, like a new section of my brain had just opened up. I only needed to think it.

For a second, my physical being fluttered and flickered. I was still running, now as a great black stallion, now as a man. Becoming a horse was compelling and immensely attractive. I wanted that. I was hungry for it, to be a true running machine. I wanted to run tirelessly not as a man but with the power and speed of sleek, beautiful thoroughbred.

But I fought the change, because I was harboring a strong hankering for Ara’s sweet, quirked-with-amusement lips to mash pleasantly against mine. And maybe for mine to wrap even more pleasantly around the extra-large cock I knew he had to have.

A sudden rush of sensation made me blink hard, though my pace didn’t falter. Then I started to really run. Then trot. Then gallop.

I laughed, enjoying the thrill of raw, relentless power. I glanced back at my sprinting legs, which were almost blurring with uncanny speed, the massive, perfect muscles of my equine hindquarters and flanks churning and shifting like pistons under my smooth, sable coat, my long, lush tail flying and undulating behind me in my own self-created wake. I traced my galloping horse form along the well-proportioned barrel, shoulder, and withers to where the jet-black coat joined smoothly and almost seamlessly with the gently tanned skin of my equally well-proportioned human torso, sweat dappled and exactly as beautiful it had always been, looking mighty fine joined human to horse and animal to animal.

I laughed again as I faced forward, utterly elated and invigorated as I poured on even more speed. The tower was sliding toward me now, the impossible distance closing finally between us, and I almost regretted the idea that this amazing run could have an end.

From a distance the tower had looked like a simple, blocky minty green structure with the proportions of two cubes set one atop the other. As I approached from a long distance, however, details emerged and the tower seemed to refine its shape, and by the time I slowed my pace and cantered down the final stretch of track I saw that it was actually a colossal green statue of my host, Ara. It was lovingly sculpted, with every curve and bulge of his godly physique rendered in evocative detail, and my cock, which turned out to be both gigantic and human despite its position in the usual place on my equine lower half, started swelling with arousal at the sight of it. I slowed to a trot and made a wide circle around it as I cooled down, appreciating it from all angles. I hadn’t yet seen his ass, but it was as fine as the rest of him. Suddenly I understood why I had kept a human cock, though the one I had now might be too big even for this towering monument to my tormenter’s masculinity and overwhelming sex appeal. His back was long and tapered, rippling with muscle and altogether lickable, and his sleek, muscled legs made me want to watch him run all out in exactly the same way I knew he had been watching me.

I felt amazing, a little sweaty but not even slightly fatigued. I wanted to keep moving as my arousal surged, and I trotted around the statue, letting myself get fully hard—there was no point in hiding my arousal now, and there was no way to hide a cock like this. It was swelling larger and larger, so big I wondered if it would actually thrust out between my front legs. I huffed a laugh at myself as I dropped to a walk, my now-rigid human hypercock tapping insistently at my undersides, the dancing tip just visible between my front legs as I looked down, shifting hypnotically back and forth as I maneuvered my powerful centaur body around its straining bulk. Well, no surprise that I liked big cocks.

Something moved in my peripheral vision, and when I looked up I was circling around the real, golden-skinned, white-winged version of my host rather the gigantic green statue. He was nodding approvingly at my new form, taking in every inch of my supple strength and impressive proportions, especially, he could not help but notice, in a certain area.

I continued my circuit around him. “You’re full of shit, you know.”

“Am I.” Ara faced me steadily as I circled him, though he wasn’t moving.

I nodded at the green surface of this infinite neverwhere. “Building up energy?” I scoffed, still making my slow orbit around him. “This place isn’t even a purgatory, or any kind of place that people get sent. That bit with the clipboard and whether I was supposed to be here was bullshit, too.”

He just smiled at me—there was no need for him to say anything, so he just waited me out. I stopped my circle and faced him. As a horny centaur I was pleasantly taller than him, which, along with the exhilaration of my run, was probably what was emboldening me to confrontation, not that I was ever slow to act when someone was playing me. “I’m putting on a show for you guys, right?” I said, stepping toward him, moving my hooves without conscious thought. My gigantic, insistent cock throbbed and strained mightily between my equine legs, but I ignored it, mostly.

“How am I doing?” I asked, as I walked right up to him. He beamed up at me. “You liking it? Am I entertaining?”

He grinned up at me, impossibly handsome. “Immeasurably.”

Impulsively, I cupped his neck and bent down for a kiss. He accepted it willingly and opened for me, and the kiss deepened. We made out deliciously for a long moment before I pulled back a bit, my hand still gently wrapped around the back of his strong, golden-brown neck as I started into those molten eyes. I was more than a diversion to him, I could see that. I had a strange sense that we were both forming the same idea in that moment—either I would stay with him here, in the green void, or I would take him with me when I went.

I felt an impulse to test his principles. “I’m still getting a new ship, right?” I said. “My reward for amusing you guys?”

“I did promise,” he said softly, meeting my gaze without the slightest wavering. There was something in that look that said I would need to make it happen somehow, but I knew that, too. I wasn’t quite there yet, but the seeds of a plan were itching at the back of my brain.

I kissed him briefly again—a little reward of my own, I thought smugly—and straightened up, sliding my hand onto his warm, muscular shoulder as I looked around us at the minty green nothing. His skin was clean and dry, and very nice to touch; mine was… not. “Is there at least a shower around here? Or a hose?”

Ara chuckled. “How about a bath?” he said. And then, all at once, he was gone, the track was gone, I was a man again (though still with a raging stuffie)—and I was dropping feet-first into a limitless expanse of deep, green water.

I dropped deep into the water, but kicking back up was no problem, and I surfaced without a splutter and looked around, treading water. At least now I had a horizon, though the transition from green water to green expanse was almost imperceptible. I turned slowly, then, off to my left, I spotted it: a tiny, minuscule speck in the immeasurable distance. This time, despite it seemingly being light years away, I could tell it was the colossal green statue, or maybe it was the real thing and Ara himself was standing there waiting for me all sexy and smirking, his wings spread wide so I couldn’t miss him. He was a long ways a way—quite a swim.

I grinned. This was going to be fun.

I swam as a man for a while, my strong, practiced strokes propelling me through the water. I had no doubt it wasn’t getting me any further than running as a man had done, but that was okay. I was building up to it, enjoying the exertion. It felt amazing to swim flat out, driving myself through the water with the sheer force of my own sculpted brawn, and I let myself pound through this strange ocean for a long time.

Finally, I was ready. I reached into that new place in mind, the one that let me reshape myself into what I needed to be. I didn’t even slow down. Between one heartbeat and the next I shifted from being human athlete to a half-human merman diving effortlessly through the water, feeling it slide past me like a navship tearing through unspace.

I swam for ages, delighting in the sheer pleasure of it, and it was with real regret that I check my position and found I was within a hundred strokes of the towering green statue. I almost turned back, I was enjoying the rush of being a merman so much.

Instead I slowed myself, using my arms again to propel me instead of my immensely powerful fishy lower half, and approach the statue indirectly, making a large circle around it and slowly winding inwards.

The statue was standing atop the water, not on any platform but on the surface itself, as if making some point about physics being inconsequential to the likes of him. It was just as compellingly beautiful as before, and I felt a wash of raw arousal course through me. My cock responded, and I was unsurprised this time to feel that the phallus rising to rapid erection under the water’s surface was ridiculously huge and very human.

I swam up to the statue at last, resting my arms on one of the feet like it was the side of a pool. “Knock, knock,” I said.

The statue vanished and the foot became Ara’s real body—he was floating languidly in the water, and I was leaning my forearms on his magnificent torso. I did not mind. He grinned at me. “Have a nice swim?” he asked.

“The best,” I said honestly. I flicked my tail behind me, causing a little splash. “Was it good for you, too?”

Then all at once the water was gone, I was back to being a man, and were standing in the green expanse, inches apart, heat building between us.

This was it, I thought. This was the final act.

Slowly, deliberately, I wrapped my arms around him. He did the same.

“It was good for me,” he said, still managing to sound smug. We kissed.

Eventually I disengaged and stepped back. I was hot and flushed and ready to fuck, but I had to do this. “So let’s recap,” I said, ignoring my obvious state of arousal. “I run and turn into a centaur. I swim and turn into a merman. What’s the third event? If I’m supercilious and condescending, do I turn into one of you guys?”

Ara raised a snowy eyebrow. “Can you, though?”

I smirked at him. “Oh, I can be the most supercilious fucker ever. Condescending, too. I can be more condescending than you can possibly imagine.”

And then I reached into that new part of my mind and transformed myself a third time.

All at once we were eye to eye now, me standing before Ara exactly like him, except with my body. My dark hair on the corded forearms and thick chest. My bristly jaw. And since, at least in my head, his white wings went with his white hair, my mighty, robust wings were jet black instead of his alabaster white. It flexed them unconsciously, feeling the long feathers shift against my bare back, and I was nearly overcome with a desire to beat those wings hard and fast, lifting myself to soar through the air of this place…

But this place was not where I needed to be. And there was something else that had changed about me as I had become one of Ara’s kind. Before, I had had the power to transform only myself.

I met Ara’s gaze. He was waiting, even excited.

“Later,” I said, “when we get home, you’ll be anything you want. We’ll transform together. Honestly, I can’t wait.”

“Nor can I,” Ara said, watching me, his yellow-gold eyes alight.

“But for now, Ara of the green expanse, you are my way home, because you are… my ship.”

Ara smiled.

Faster than a gen-eight, sleeker than a racing spar, the beautiful navship Ara breached effortlessly out of unspace and slid into the demarcated travel lanes in the space subsector around Riker 2 like he’d been doing it all his life. I was impressed, though I wasn’t going to let him know that. At least, not right away.

Though I missed my old ship, the Fucker, my new digs were pretty impressive. The cabin was intimate and streamlined, with all the intuitive controls I was used to right at my fingertips. And my seat was very nice, even if it was a little bumpy, and bulged in places a cockpit seat didn’t normally bulge. I liked it that way.

The traffic lane’s autocontrols engaged, guiding us in toward the spaceport with the rest of the sparse traffic heading for Riker 2, and I leaned back against Ara’s firm, thick chest and sighed. I was a man again, for now, but I wanted to try those wings again soon. Maybe after we were done fucking… the first round, because we wouldn’t ever truly be done fucking.

Ara wrapped his arms around me, nuzzling at my neck with his lips, and I hummed with approval. This was the kind of cockpit seating you couldn’t get even in a gen-eight. He seemed to like it, too, which intrigued me. Half-man, half-navship was a transformation I might have to try myself.

“You know,” I said teasingly, settling in and wiggling my butt against him, “there’s one thing we didn’t settle back in the other place.”

He kissed my neck. “Yeah? What’s that?”

“Well,” I said, “you got to see just how big I was.” That was certainly true. Though I was back in my human form, my cock, presently shamelessly erect and pointing straight at my hairy chest, had enjoyed its taste of massive size during my centaur and merman phases and had ended up rather larger than I was used to. “But,” I went on, exposing my neck to his kisses a little, “with that chiton thing you were wearing…”

Ara smiled against the skin of my neck. Suddenly I felt something start to push up out of the “seat” I was sitting on, sliding right between my cheeks and pressing directly against my entrance like it knew it belonged there.

“Is this what you had in mind?” Ara growled, taking my cock in one hand while he caressed my hard, bare torso with his other.

I gasped. “Exactly that,” I said. As soon as I said the words, his slick, hard, fist-thick cock pushed into me driving deeper and deeper, as big as we wanted to make it.

It was ironic, given its name, that my previous ship had never given me this kind of pleasure. “Yes,” I said, my voice rough and needy as he pushed in further, and still further, stroking me slowly as he held me close against him. “Fuck me, Ara,” I said. “Take me home.”

Ara laughed, and did just that.

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