St. Paul Mavrides
Excerpts from the Novel-in Progress

Chapter Eleven

Some say SMITH and some say JONES,
Some say SMITH and some say JONES,
from your bones.

"OFF or ON?"

Smith crawled across the dark green carpet. It was hard and pointed, the way Astro-turf should be. He moved slowly, like a snake, slithering on his unclothed belly, trying to avoid the heat-seeking traps Jones had placed around the trashed-out rumpus room, trying to reach the SubSuccubus waiting for him by the smashed computer monitor. Stopping to pick up an eight-inch kitchen knife, he continued on, the scratchy rug leaving long, red welts that covered his smooth, young belly, winding and writhing like the glowing blue snake Fightin' Jesus had held in His right hand. It was easy for Fightin' Jesus; He had those Everlast boxing gloves to protect Himself. "Pretty Snake Smith, the Sucker," he thought dejectedly.

There she was, smoking a cigarette, pretending not to notice him as he slid through the rubble of what must have been a tremendous fight, a fight he couldn't remember. He flowed and changed, using the Yacatizma metamorph training that was second nature to him by now. He made himself small and wound his way around a coffee cup until he had a clear view of her feet.

He was stunned as he noticed the cheese! The fine, soft Spanish cheese that grasped her ankles tightly, that clasped her knees, that knew her knees, that melting cheese! Her search-and-destroy sex pheromones locked in on his body chemistry and molecularly bonded to his pleasure center, as the mating musk wafted up his nose. Excitement rose in him as he saw the hot cheese melt down over her firm, naked flesh, covering the quivering, red skin in thick white runners of viscous consistency. Multiple tongues flickered in and out over moist, full lips. Six breasts, peaked with spiked-copper nipples, throbbed and jiggled as she turned the pages of a fashion magazine, feigning boredom. Her five-inch waist spread out most fetchingly to primal, curved hips almost a yard wide. Hips and perfect round buttocks, completely covered with ice-blue runic tattoos of incredibly obscene picto-graphic concepts, these all seemed to be crude invitations to experimentation. A moving tangle of yellow pubic hair glowed like thousand-watt fiber-optic thread. Truly, she was the match for the Squirtin' Demon of The Rebel Gods, this unborn, teen-age grand-daughter of ERIS, Queen of SEXHURT, Herself. Smith knew that power sufficient to drain the heat from a runaway star and leave it cold lay behind her swirling, glittering eyes.

The cheese continued to flow from who knows where. He wasn't even sure if it was cheese. He wanted to taste it. Stuff his gut full of it. Choke on it. His breath raced.

He was so pretty now, pretty for her, his shiny blade held between his teeth. His skin turned pink, then red, then magenta, trying to attract her attention. Colors ran up and down the spectrum and his skin began to shed. As he tore away at himself, Smith had a bad feeling about all this. Had he been set up? He was losing control of himself, becoming the victim! Talk about unsafe sex!

The scent of the cheese was breaking his concentration, leaving him open to her attack. He tingled all over. His tormented nerves were on fire and she pushed him over the edge with a quiet sigh that had the weight of an eon of merging, fornicating life behind it. Blood pounded in his ears in answer to her call. He wanted to impale his skull, mouth first, on the points of her razor-sharp teats, one by one. He reached up and tore his ballooning eyes out, then, needing to look her over again one more time, grew new ones and spit out his teeth upon the old. Steam rose from his sweaty, overheated head and his feet stomped the carpet with wild, dog-like thumping while his "take" thundered on, spiraling his arms like corkscrews, snapping the femurs with loud cracks. His erection became horribly painful and raw, pushing away from him, as it seemingly tried to leave his body behind and reach the siren on its own. All his organs felt liquid; the perverse pressure building within him was unbearable. Thoughts of personal safety vanished under the wild, obsessive urge to mount and thrust, grind and bump... to mindlessly copulate with her like an insect, until, all spent, he'd fall off -- a drained, seedless husk, ready to finally serve as her food.

Groveling on the floor before her, he looked up her long, fine, shaggy goat legs, past her oval, navel-less belly, up to her indifferent face. Against his will, he heard himself, from between his flayed lips, stammer nervously, "S-say, do you come here o-often?"

She looked down at him with an expression of amused boredom and ground out her smoke under a polished, cloven hoof. "Oh, wow. That'd be great, Dude. How's about a double, sugar-brain? Please? Pretty please?" she asked in an incredibly flat, husky voice.

She shook her animal-like rump at him twice, splashing his agonized chest with scalding drops of cheese, and bent down, her conical breast tips clanging together metallically. And slowly, very slowly, he raised the kitchen knife to his own throat with his mangled hands and began to cut. His reeling, overwhelmed mind watching itself spin out, memories flooding by, all the Church secrets being picked over by the SubSuccubus. She was going very slow with him as she bent to sip at the fountain of blood spraying from his neck. It wasn't the only thing that was jetting. He knelt in a spreading pool of blood and semen in hypnotic satisfaction, without pain, his unholy orgasm continuing without pause. NUNU was determined to get the most pleasure out of this that she could. Smith could hear Jones chuckle as blackness closed in.

Smith couldn't wake up. That stupid S/M wet-dream had been bad enough, but he felt as if somebody had poured plastic resin all over his face. The slightest movement caused intense pain, with blinding flashes of light behind the eyeballs. What the hell had Palmer dosed him with? The coffee hadn't tasted like it had been "doctored". Some new, off-world sedative that the Xist bankers had given Palmer along with the instructions about Philo. Well, at least the whole ugly mess was out in the open... Now that they'd talked about the money, there was no turning back. It was all on tape, and that was just one more of the problems Smith would have to face presently.

"Ah, good. He's coming around. Wheel my instrument kit over here and we can begin to question our friend." A voice that sounded like broken glass started to filter through to Smith's fogged-out brain. He blinked and struggled to turn his head against the straps-- the Big Red Straps, he noted -- to get a better look at his captors.

The name "Zipperhead" wasn't so funny now. Beneath the Palmer mask, the Thing masquerading as Vreedees was all too visible. Standing next to it were the various members of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, most of them anyway. All of President Jones' vaunted "Bathroom Cabinet". Smith could make out Wellman, Stang, and, way down at the end of the room -- it looked like Janor. That was impossible, of course. Smith himself had killed Janor, in the messiest, most violent way possible. He'd carry the memory of Hypercleats' hysterical shrieking, "My legs are on fire! Whoop! Whoop! Help me, somebody!" to his grave. It had been necessary. He had made sure that there wasn't enough tissue left to make a decent clone. It had been Janor's last request. In fact, given the current situation, chances were good that most of the creatures in the room were duplicates. The Space Bankers had perfected their cell techniques hundreds of thousands of years ago. Smith had his suspicions that they were the original seeders of Earth, trying to set up a cosmic squatter's rights battle over possession of the planet. These things thought on the long term view. Not what you'd expect from speculators at any level. Pehaps geological time had different meaning for these galactic realtors.

Smith made a pathetic attempt at defiance. "Blankmen... you can't fool me... you're all a pack of dirty lies... where's the real Vreedees? Ain't he 'doug' enough to show his real face?"

"'Doug' enough for you, Smith." Broken Glass Mouth was running tendrils up and down the side of an evil looking instrument, a cross between a dentists' drill and a Space Force Combat Laser. "Why, I don't believe Palmer would want to miss this." It held up a small, clear specimen bottle, with what looked like a tiny doll in the bottom.

Smith blanched. This was going too far. "You fiends! What have you done to my son?"

"Hey, hey, Smith, who's laughing now, eh? I do think I'm going to enjoy this. I've been waiting since X-Day for a shot at you. You thought everything would be okay, once Jones was out of the way. . . only you didn't figure on Unibrow switching sides," chortled the Pain Technician from behind its ill-fitted mask.

Smith crumpled against his bonds. If Unibrow was here he didn't have a chance. It seemed those monstrous eyebrow tendrils could reach anywhere, even into one's very soul. The whole horrible picture was becoming clear. Palmer had been in the pay of the evil Fightin' Jesus all along and now he had all the "hex power" of the real Unibrow to back him up. That and the tiny homunuculus of the President of Texas there in that glass beaker. He'd been drugged at the Foundation Headquarters in Dobbstown and was now probably several hundred miles above the Earth. They had brought him to one of the few remaining War Saucers still orbiting, and now they wanted answers. . .

"Pull Smith's pants down and let's get started," said the Palmer thing.

Jones screamed, "Dobbs is exaggerating, or can't do arithmetic. That stack of thousand dollar bills, one trillion bucks, would not be sixty-seven miles high!"

"Right you are, Jones," Vreedees echoed, leveling the Colt displacer at the President's chest. He blinked his eyes and a wind began to rise behind the master SLAK hashshashin. "If a million dollars worth of thousands stacks up four inches high, then a stack to make a trillion dollars would be a million times as high, or four thousand inches."

Jim Jones groaned and stuck out his teeth as the lecture continued. "To convert this to miles, divide by twelve times five thousand, two hundred eighty. The result is a little over sixty-three miles. You lose the bet, Jones," Palmer ordered. "Release Smith now."

The President muttered to his Secret Service guards in an ancient language and they disintegrated into pink mist. He looked around the Oval Office for the last time, signed a paper and burned it. He threw the ashes in a circle around his desk and pissed on it. As the desk burst into flame he turned to Vreedees, hissing, "It is done. Smith is unharmed and free. Tell your "Bob" that his Pipe will soon go out, and then my will shall sweep the Earth!"

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