Podcasts about Tigger

Fictional tiger-like character

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Latest podcast episodes about Tigger

Pokémon GO Podcast
Pokémon GO Podcast Ep 325 – “Ric Flair In A Tigger Onesie”

Pokémon GO Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 14, 2023 63:23


The title is brought to you by Joseph_Ard Welcome to Pokémon GO Podcast! Charles and Joe are back with another fantastic episode! They start off reviewing Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Scarlet. You'll have to listen to the episode to discover why the title is Ric Flair in a Tigger onesie. Kecleon has been added again, but in typical Niantic fashion they screwed it up. Not only was it an underwhelming release, but it also has several bugs. When will Niantic actually start testing their code properly before releasing it to the public? February's community day has been announced as Noibat which is nice and should be a lot of fun. Plus Noibat's shiny is pretty cool looking. The Lunar New Year event starts next week and will feature rabbit Pokémon in addition to red/gold colored Pokémon. 2022 was not the best fiscal year for Niantic; probably because it feels like Niantic doesn't care about the players and seems to care less and less about the game itself. All of that incredible content, and of course your feedback and comments! Thanks to our awesome Patrons we will keep producing and improving the Pokémon GO Podcast. With your help everyone “catch ‘em all,” and you can start by going to patreon.com/pokemongopodcast and growing your community! We thank you all, for your support, and we hope you can help us serve you better as the show continues to grow and evolve. Thanks to ALL of our awesome listeners, especially our Patrons. Due to their generous Patronage, we will continue building this great community! Kecleon debuts in Pokémon GO! Quick Guide To How Kecleon Works PSA: Kecleon is a pretty uncommon spawn so don't worry if you don't find it February 2023 Community Day: Noibat – Pokémon GO Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Pokémon GO's 2023 Lunar New Year event! Pokemon Go Significant Revenue Drop in 2022 Pokemon GO's constant pay-to-win events are destroying its loyal fanbase Follow Pokémon GO Podcast on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Reddit, YouTube, and PokémonGoPodcast.com Hosts: Charles McFall and Joseph Ard --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/pokemongopodcast/message

The MalaCast
Misinformation Bans Make Toadies of Men

The MalaCast

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2023 19:55


"It is easier to forgive the evil done to others than to forgive the evil done to oneself, especially if in the first place we don't really like those others to whom the evil is done." -Theodore Dalrymple The NFL's Damar Hamlin, 24, has collapsed on the field. All the medical professionals on Twitter quickly reassured us with their instant diagnoses which were arrayed in only safe directions. It was made clear speculation other than by them, and in those directions was beyond the pale. A Yale female professor, a professoress if you will, has declared that capitalism is ruining her students' lives. Unfortunately for them, I gather, these students were not born in Cambodia just before the fall of Phnom Penh so they could experience the lack of capitalism vividly. Piglet said that what they were trying to do was, they were trying to think of a way to get the bounces out of Tigger, because however much you liked him, you couldn't deny it, he DID bounce. “There's too much of him,” said Rabbit, “that's what it comes to.” -A. A. Milne

Healthy Critters Radio | Horse Radio Network
172 by Biostar US: Holiday Fun With Equestrians & Hedwig the Pomeranian

Healthy Critters Radio | Horse Radio Network

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 37:25


Tigger and Pati are taking some much deserved time off so sit back and enjoy this mash up  gleaned from 4 years of Radiothon specials.  It features clever conversation, listener submitted songs & poems, Hedwig wisdom,  and a fantastic interview with Dressage great Jim Koford.  Classic re-visit.Co-Hosts:  Tigger Montague from BiostarUS and Pati Pieucci from from Pierucci DressageGuest:  Jim KofordAsk HedwigLink: Holiday Tips for Horses, Humans and DogsLearn more about Whole Food Supplements for your horse and dog's optimal health at Biostar USSupport the show

All Shows Feed | Horse Radio Network
Healthy Critters172 by Biostar US: Holiday Fun With Equestrians & Hedwig the Pomeranian

All Shows Feed | Horse Radio Network

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 37:25


Tigger and Pati are taking some much deserved time off so sit back and enjoy this mash up  gleaned from 4 years of Radiothon specials.  It features clever conversation, listener submitted songs & poems, Hedwig wisdom,  and a fantastic interview with Dressage great Jim Koford.  Classic re-visit.Co-Hosts:  Tigger Montague from BiostarUS and Pati Pieucci from from Pierucci DressageGuest:  Jim KofordAsk HedwigLink: Holiday Tips for Horses, Humans and DogsLearn more about Whole Food Supplements for your horse and dog's optimal health at Biostar USSupport the show

The Overlap Podcast
Episode 77: Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

The Overlap Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 64:30


In this world in which we find ourselves living, there are two great camps with which we can align ourselves, a choice that will leave an indelible mark on our very being and guide our futures thusly. One path - the Fixed Mindset - is the path of an unchanging world in which we are confined to our lot and unable to break free from the chains of mundanity. The Fixed Mindset lot never go anywhere or do anything with their lives because they're too busy complaining and crying to actually pull themselves up by their bootstraps and do something with their damn lives. Their Mascot ... well, it would have to be Eeyore of Winnie The Pooh fame, right? A sort of walking, talking physical manifestation of clinical depression in all its glory? Seems accurate, doesn't it? (Also, there's a delightful story of how Eeyore got its name that involves some linguistic anomalies, but we won't bore you with that ... just find the person who writes these and ask. They'll tell you.) The other path - the Growth Mindset - is the Superman to the Fixed Mindset's Bizarro Superman, the Prozac to their Clinical Depression, the Tigger to their Eeyore. The Growth Mindset is the path of sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and positive, productive habits and thoughts that are going to lead you and your business to build a better tomorrow. So, this week, our boys Sid and Keith will take time to go over the Growth vs. Fixed Mindset Battle Royale and why they think you should always keep on the sunny side and give in to the Growth Mindset. We'd tell you more, but then you wouldn't have to listen ... and you're gonna wanna be sure to tune in and turn up this week's Overlap Podcast. https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/growth-mindset-vs-fixed-mindset FIXED VS. GROWTH KEYNOTE PRESENTATION  

Steamy Stories Podcast
Life As A New Hire: part 18

Steamy Stories Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022


If you cannot compromise; Challenge!By FinalStand. Listen and subscribe to the podcast at Steamy Stories.Every person is alone. That is the definition of Free-will.In this chapter sex is mention, but not described.Caution: there is a good deal of ‘back-story’ in this chapter.(A Step back in time: that Weekend, between Oneida and Nicole)The weekend… I’d had plenty of relaxing sex over the weekend, bonded with Oneida somewhat while we biked Saturday morning, had sex with Gael, junior of House Bendis (the woman who let me borrow her phone so I could invite Buffy, Helena and Desiree to my little induction ceremony), then had a late afternoon date with Nikita.Escorting Yasmin and her son to the airport for the start of her Havenstone training after dinner was unsettling. The boy, Braulio, seemed worried, Yasmin was glad to see me, really glad to see me then finished if off by commenting that she could tell 'something had changed’. I affirmed her hunch without going into the details. As Yasmin’s mood improved, so did her son’s. I wished her luck. She told me I’d need it more.Late Saturday night I was invited to a party by Libra. Brooke showed up date-less (she WASN’T jumping into a new relationship) so she glommed onto me; us. Marla and Libra had a huge phone fight about her (Marla) not being 21 yet, thus not invited to the party. Felix was there having reconnected with Gene because he had both a glib tongue and an awe-inspiring sexual arsenal.Felix’s attempts to recoup any ground with Brook failed miserably. She had her own bitterness toward Trent, her memory of me handing her panties under an outdoor cafe’s table as a trophy Felix had taken the night before and displayed openly in my office, and my own masculine support to draw strength from.Felix and I did not verbally, or socially, spar. He accepted the verdict of our first contest and, for all his faults, he acknowledged that my victory had worth and obeyed his conscience on the matter. If anything, he was visually more respectful than ever before. I wasn’t his equal; no man and definitely no woman was; yet I was now a competitor he would have to give his very best to defeat.Sunday morning had been just me and Odette. We’d cuddled on the sofa, watched some TV and then I took her to Havenstone for time in the pool. I kept the overly-aggressive Amazons at bay while getting Odette used to the idea of regular exercise; hanging out with Timothy and I required greater endurance than her sedentary youthful stamina provided.An early afternoon invite to a 'pick-up’ basketball game at the community, two-court, outdoor lot with Jason, the bar-back from the Yuppie bar, brought me back in contact with Katy Lee Baker, aka Delivery Girl. Odette tagged along. It also brought me in contact with the local 'wild-life’. A Latin King clique was starting to operate in the area and Jason’s crew were the native inhabitants who took exception to this.We played for about half an hour were everyone learned I was a big, fat liar. I was actually good at basketball, despite my earlier claims at ignorance. The Kings showed up, drove off the younger teens playing on the other court. A few more of those jokers showed up and it was now 'our turn’ to make space.That went over like a shit brick. The Kings outnumbered us a good two-to-one, but Jason wasn’t backing down. I was struggling to convince Jason that discretion was the better part of valor when some of the new Latin King arrivals tried to play with a few of the local ladies who had come down to watch their menfolk pull off their shirts and get sweaty.Poor Odette; she had been in the company of so many powerful, confident and lethal women she’d forgotten she wasn’t one. A King grabbed Katy Lee’s breast. Odette hit the asshole in the stomach, put a shin to his nuts and finished him off with grabbing his head and driving it into her upward moving knee, dropping him like the sack of shit he was. But wait, he had five buddies.Poo was being served up and the electric switch was about to be flipped.“I’ll be back to help in a moment,” I growled to Jason as the gang members jumped Odette. Katy Lee and a slightly older woman rushed to Odette’s aid. The Kings didn’t ignore my approach, peeling off two to 'deal with me’. They really shouldn’t have hit Odette because now I was angry.The feces hit the rotary wind machine. With their last shows of bravado, I lay into the closest bastards. The sixteen year old was hesitantly pulling out his .32 ACP while reconsidering his poor life choices as I hit his buddy so hard he went airborne, two teeth and a fountain of blood coming from the ruin I’d made of his face.Gun guy was next. I clamped my left hand on his right, gun-toting wrist then drove my knee into his elbow. The elbow snapped upward with a sound reminiscent of a car backfiring. His screams drowned out the thud of his gun dropping to the court surface. For the three remaining Latin Kings I was closing with, a terrible social reality came crashing in.Gangs rely on several tools to exert power; a propensity for violence, illegal finances, a fierce reputation, and superior numbers. By the look on my face, they discovered that their numbers didn’t bother me in the least. I knew exactly who they were and didn’t give a damn. My desire to destroy them was motivated by something far stronger than any currency, and I was clearly better at this whole violence thing than they seemed to be.They had their pride and the fidelity with their gang, plus their intimidation tactics were going wrong so fast, they couldn’t process the disaster quickly enough to alter course. These guys were not professional warriors by any stretch of the imagination. 'Warriors’; perhaps. 'Professional’; definitely not. Their ability to rapidly adapt to a changing situation was woefully under-developed.In gang hand-to-hand combat, you bunch up your members, overrun a foe and beat him to the ground. Fighting a practitioner of Brazilian jujutsu, standing close to one another is the LAST thing you want to do. I was a whirlwind of destruction, fed by the understanding that Jason’s bunch needed me back real soon.The asshat who tried to use a knife on me got his hand pinned to the court for his audacity. I repeat, threatening Odette had infuriated me. At center court, Jason had his hands full and then some. The Latin Kings had the edges in both numbers and ferocity. The only other hometown boy holding his own was this thick, solid Puerto Rican guy named Bennie; the rest were in trouble.I started with the four-on-one stomp-down on one of Jason’s friends; I’d missed the guy’s beat down. My inner Amazon was leading the charge. Unlike all my previous encounters, I was intentionally causing pain. I wasn’t trying to drive them off, or render them hors de combat. No, my desire was to strike terror in their hearts, inflicting suffering in order to eradicate my foes’ resolve to fight.Knees snapped, bones broke, faces were stomped into the court and internal organs ruptured. Even my erstwhile allies were aghast at the wickedness with which I treated our enemy.“Ah…Cáel…are you okay?” Jason mumbled when the last King went down. He’d have a shiner on his left eye soon and his lip was split and bleeding. I hadn’t come through unscathed either.Havenstone had seriously upped my pain threshold. Jason wasn’t really asking about my physical well-being anyway. I had to get ahead of this…predicament.“Let’s get this trash off the court,” I commanded. The boys hesitated until Jason picked up one of my semi-conscious victims.“Come on 'Pendejo’, leave and don’t come back,” Jason yanked the man up and began shoving him toward the gate he and his buddies had arrived by. The rest of Jason’s friends joined in and we began cleaning up the place. One gangster decided he was too hurt to be moved. I’d rammed his shoulder into the goalpost, breaking his collarbone. He was crying about the pain he was in.I pulled him up. He was around 1,75m tall and 125 kg. I wrapped my hands around his thick bull neck and slowly raised him up off the ground. His face was reddening, his good hand was trying to break my hold and his legs were flailing about in the open air.[In Spanish] “Pain, Asshole? No, pain is me having to come back here and hunt you and your vermin buddies down,” I seethed.“I don’t live here. These men are not my friends. You touched my girl and I am God Almighty when it comes to defending those of my household. I am not in a gang. I am not a criminal. If you, or your gang, come within a block of this place, I will become Death. Today, there are too many witnesses. This is your reprieve; your moment of grace,” I snarled.“Use it wisely. It will not happen again,” I finished in a fury. I dropped him to his wobbly feet, catching his good hand before he fell over. That act of compassion after my dire threat confused the guy.“Go,” I returned to English. The rest of the Latin Kings walked, stumbled, were dragged from the court.“Who are you again?” Bennie inquired.“Cáel Nyilas,” I grinned. “I’m an Aerospace Engineer working on the feasibility of having hamsters running on their wheels being used to recharge batteries on manned flights to Mars.”“Hamster wrangling has to be one tough profession,” Katy Lee snickered as she and Odette came up.“Come on now,” Jason winced as he licked his lip.“Brawling is about panic, anger and the management of those two forces,” I told them. “I was the only one in this fight in control of himself, so my actions look out of proportions to what really happened.”“They were kicking our asses,” Bennie chuckled.“Not as bad as you guys think,” I consoled them. “None of you guys ran, or curled up in a ball. That allowed me to pick my fights. I clearly have more hand-to-hand combat experience, but none of that would have mattered had you guys freaked out.”There was some truth in what I said. Had they panicked, I would have grabbed Odette and Katy Lee then fled as well. Since they toughed it out, and the Latin Kings exerted virtually no command and control, I was able take on the gang members in small, bite-sized chunks. My training and experience took care of the rest.This also made the somewhat traumatized ballplayers feel proud about the cuts and bruises they’d received. Now they realized they had 'won’ this scuffle, they’d played their parts courageously and had all been instrumental in a successful stratagem. The fact that none of them knew that when the blows were raining in it meant nothing.The women who’d come out to watch the game then witnessed the beat down knew their men had been brave, taken their licks and routed their enemies. Martial ardor, baby! 'Defending’ a woman does not diminish her. It increases her odds of dealing with insults and threats in a positive manner.Women who look down on women who use their pussies to better themselves are being stupid. It is the equivalent of having a complete toolbox and only using the hammer. The women were going to give up some level of sex to reward the men. The men, in turn, had an example of the kind of behavior that would get them what they wanted; defending your ladies equated to feminine reward.That did not mean penetration; life was far more complex. It did mean she would hang around you, talk to you and trust you (most likely more than she should). Guys still had to seal the deal, figure out what she wanted and deliver. That had been the working arrangement between men and women for most of the last 80,000 years.What I didn’t know at the time was that I was being spied upon, that this spy called Buffy; my 'spear and shield’; and Buffy would gather up some Security Detail chicks. Why would SD help? Some morons had tried to murder the Head of House Ishara and that wasn’t something the Amazons would tolerate.That Latin King clique was contemplating revenge. They were about to get schooled by the Grand Mistresses of that brutal and unforgiving Art form. I could never let Odette know. After all, to her they were someone’s sons, brothers and husbands. My chilling rationalization was that, for whatever reason, the Latin Kings had redefined themselves as carnivores, preying on the rest of mankind.They should have studied what nature was really like. Predators had predators of their own. They’d been big, bad caimans, snatching all that came to the water’s edge. In nature, the caiman was careful because jaguars hunted and ate caimans. In the urban jungle, there were things far more dangerous than gang-bangers living in the shadows that jealously guarded their spot as apex predator.Odette and I exited the field. I’d have to catch Katy Lee another time. I was to get the bad news from Ulyssa and her sister about the death in her family. Timothy, Odette and I worked out some more as Odette and I took turns relating the fight to Timothy. He reminded us that the Latin Kings were a powerhouse in the city as well as nationwide. Nicole called at the point I was ready for bed and the rest was family history.(Monday morning)I locked my bike up as normal. When I saw the security guards eyeing me funny, I grew cautious.“Is there a problem?” I asked the woman scanning my ID. She was fearfully hesitant. “Wait, are you worried that I’m pissed about Friday morning?”“We were only doing our jobs, Cáel of Ishara,” she told me.“Oh,” I chuckled. “So that IS what is bothering you.” I smiled at the group. “Of course you were doing your jobs. I would have been surprised if you hadn’t and I’m certainly not angry about what went down. You acted in defense of Havenstone and I never saw it any other way.”That gave them some relief. My next problem.“Has anyone from the Security Detail called about me?” I asked. “I don’t see anyone here to pick me up this morning.”“I’ll call them,” she offered.The answer was that they weren’t expecting me, but I could come down if I desired. That was promising. My ID card worked for the lower levels now. Walking past the Armory was intriguing…in that they barely noticed me. In the prep room for the shooting range there was…nothing. No guns for me to try out, or even look at.I went to the firing range looking for one of my 'friendly’ SD ladies. They were all giving me the cold shoulder. Naomi told me why; Constanza. The SD were very angry with my interference in justice for Constanza versus Pamela. Since Naomi had been there when the entire incident went down, I didn’t laugh in her face. I got coldly furious instead.If I wanted a firearm, I could go to the Armory and check one out, so that’s what I did. The guards there weren’t helpful either. Inside was; well; everything. I called up SD and asked them to send an armorer to help me make some selections. Ten minutes later, the lady had still not arrived. That made me laugh. They were tit-for-tatting the wrong guy. Glasses and ear protection came first.I left the Armory with my weapon of choice for the day, a full bandolier and a crate of ammo. I could see the SD chick’s guarding the Armory eyes bug-out. I grinned and headed for the shooting range. They surreptitiously called somebody. Knowing that, I hurried myself along, passing straight through prep room for the firing line. I was a man on a mission.See, I could be a raging prick when I wanted to be. Those SD babes should have talked with any number of the Amazons who already knew me. I had made it clear; make my life difficult if you wished, but accept whatever payback I could imagine. Respecting House Ishara wasn’t even a question. For pummeling me over Constanza, they were about to get a whole new kind of Righteous Pricking, courtesy of the house they refused to treat with equality.An Amazon finished firing off a clip for her personal defense weapon and was checking her pistol’s slide action.“Excuse me,” I said as I stepped up. She was about to scream something. Most likely 'stop!’ Since I had no intention of complying, I didn’t wait; or stop.For me, I was suddenly wondering what the precise blast radius of a 40 mm grenade was. I pulled the trigger anyway. I swear by Ishara-turned-Ishtar, I hit that target right in the 10 ring. The explosion the grenade caused when it hit the back wall rendered my claims moot. Even with eye and ear protection, I could barely hear anything because of the ringing echo, or see anything because of the dust.The flashing yellow lights and klaxons going off indicated something bad had happened. Bad wasn’t done yet. I walked to the next stand where the Amazon had ducked down while she oriented herself to the threat.“Good morning,” I yelled at her. Then I aimed and prepared to squeeze off my second round.With all the dust in the air, I could barely make out the outline of the target I was shooting at. Accuracy at this point was unnecessary. This bitching toy seemed to kill everything. Third station; third shot and the Amazons were starting to figure out what was going on. Some moron was firing a grenade launcher within an indoor firing range.Before the fourth shot they figured out it was me. Now those bitches had a problem. The lead Amazon tried to get my attention despite my constant attempts to ignore her. I resolved the issue by tapping my six-shot bang-bang and indicating I had two shots left…and I used them. Only when I stopped to reload did the ladies screw up the courage to exhibit some kind of physical resistance.Naomi pulled off my ear protection.“What are you doing?” she shouted at me. She wasn’t being rude. All our ears were ringing.“I’m being left to my own devices, you 'failures’ to every concept of loyalty, respect and faith,” I replied to the entire group.“Constanza called House Ishara an abomination, insane and diseased,” I spat out my hate. “I spared her life when I should have had her stricken from the roles of her house and butchered her like some beast. I showed mercy and this is how the Security Detail responds? Congratulations, you have earned my contempt.”“But why are you using a grenade launcher; indoors?” Naomi struggled to understand.“Oh,” I smirked. “Because I can. I’m superior to all of you here so I can do what I want and you have to suck it up. I am the Head of a First House so none of you have a choice. Every one of you chose to show me no respect and, out of respect for your lack of respect, you get no respect.”They were trying to figure how to work around that when I upped the ante.“I’m also going to direct the other members of House Ishara to come down here at random times and fire off grenades, use flamethrowers, or; how about tear gas; tear gas sounds good.”“That would degrade the readiness of the Security Detail,” the first Amazon protested.“Not my problem. Take your complaints to Elsa or Saint Marie. Make sure to start your complaint with exactly how you behaved toward me; but use the names Beyoncé, Ursula, Katrina, or Messina instead of mine,” I glared. “Now excuse me. I have a box full of high explosives to work through.” And off I went.There were 25 shooting lanes. I had fired off my 22nd grenade when Elsa showed up.“Cáel of Ishara, why are you destroying this training area?” she inquired calmly.“Working through a crate of grenades. I thought that would be obvious,” I joked.“Is there something wrong we should talk about?” Elsa was keeping her anger in check.“Your underlings were chronically disrespectful. Since positive reinforcement failed; being nice to any of your weakling-bullies was counter-productive; I decided to employ the stick treatment,” I met her gaze.“Stop destroying the firing line…please,” Elsa ground out through clenched teeth.“You are right,” I nodded. “I need to take a few of these upstairs to the pure-blood gym. There is a lot more damage I could do there. This place is already a mess.”Desiree’s voice broke the silence. She must have come in with Elsa.“Cáel,” Desiree yawned. “How do you want to resolve this crisis? That doesn’t involve setting off seismic sensors all over New York City, that is?”“Hmmm…fine, every member of the Security Detail is to write a romantic poem then read it aloud to a 'Runner’ while at that 'Runners’ workstation,” I invented a punishment. “Ishara is the Goddess of Love as well as Oaths. It is a fitting tribute to her that romantic verses from the heart be created and spoken aloud.”“It is also fitting that the recipients be 'Runners’, since it will unite them in both their appreciation of love and their anger with me for throwing my weight around like every other Full-Blood who thinks they are better because of some quirk of birth,” I concluded.“It will be done,” Elsa intoned. That part of the matter was settled. Elsa looked at my grenade launcher. An unhappy sigh escaped my lips as I handed it over.“Elsa, I’m coming for weapon’s practice again tomorrow,” I informed her. Now I was going to burn off some time in the pool then get to work, or so I hoped. I hadn’t gotten away with this because I was Cáel Nyilas, or the Head of House Ishara. I got away with it because Elsa didn’t want to see the faces of the Council when she explained what her people had done.The Council members treating me like offal was their business. Other Amazons deciding that they could treat ANY member of the Council that poorly wouldn’t fly; reference to the fate of Leona. Why had SD treated me poorly? Constanza. If they repeated my conversation with Constanza that cost her an eye, the outcome was known by all. Constanza would cease being an Amazon right before she died.I made it to Katrina’s office four minutes before seven only to find Katrina absent while Daphne, Brielle and Pamela were hanging around. Dora and Fabiola followed me in. Everyone made it before the deadline, Katrina last of all. As Katrina began the meeting, Brielle left. Pamela and Katrina ignored one another.My work review was far better than normal. I’d sold Anthrax to a terrorist cell, but it had turned out to be a mislabeled Anthrax antidote instead, so all was good. Daphne was trying to figure out how her glowing report over my efforts had been so misconstrued. My assigned boss for the day was Rosette, one of the senior members of Executive Services.“Katrina, I need a moment of your time; in private,” I requested as the meeting broke up.“As Cáel, or the Head of House Ishara?” she asked.“Neither,” I replied. She waved the others away with Tigger shutting the door. Pamela remained seated. Katrina shot me a look concerning Pamela’s presence.“I don’t control her,” I shrugged. “She hangs around me for her own reasons.” Katrina nodded. I walked to the edge of Katrina’s desk, put my palms on its cool surface. “Katrina, I am the Grandson of Cáel O'Shea, I met Brianna O'Shea earlier this morning, she knows who I am and was brought to town because some genetic research done on me.”“Brianna knows where I work and who I work for, as in you. Pamela said the word 'Protocols’ and Brianna backed off, but I’m sure she wants to see me again. I’ve warned my Dad about what happened and to destroy everything associated with my Mom. By the way, Brianna looks exactly like my Mother did when I was first born; exactly,” I emphasized.Had the situation not been so completely fucked up, I would have treasured the steamrollered look on Katrina’s face.“She is with something called the Illuminati. She doesn’t know about me and House Ishara. When Brianna tried to figure how this Protocol/Truce thing involved me, Pamela stonewalled her,” I added.“Pamela, I can understand Cáel not immediately bringing this to my attention,” Katrina’s cool exterior reasserted itself. “He doesn’t know what’s going on. You do.”“I didn’t feel inclined to do your job for you, Katrina,” Pamela gave a rapier-thin smile. “Besides, you are part of the brain trust that sent him home Friday night cloaked in ignorance, not I.”“Cáel,” Katrina turned back to me. “How did you meet Brianna O'Shea?”“I met a lawyer, screwed her to multiple orgasms in the Women’s room of some bar, met her again plus her lawyer buddies and Sunday night she called me to her downtown office to fuck her into enlightenment; which I did,” I sighed.“She was working on a case involving DNA ownership, which is oddly germane to my current predicament,” I grinned.“Cáel, we need you to report to medical for more testing,” Katrina ordered.“I apologize, but House Ishara does not believe that would be in its best interest so Cáel must decline,” I nodded. “Will there be anything else?”Will battled Will to no outcome. She nodded and I left. Pamela ghosted along behind me. Rosetta intersected my path and off we went. I was given no clue as to my assignment; no surprise. I texted Buffy: 'Nothing new happening. Pick me up at 5:30 Wed. morning.’ That meant there was no new development on the committee to help House Ishara pick 'Runners’.I had played nice. Katrina and Hayden had dodged me on Friday afternoon. This morning, she owed it to me to show some kind of progress. That wasn’t what she offered. I had made a concession, they refused to reciprocate, so now I was free of any obligation to consider their wishes. I wanted more 'Runners’ and come Wednesday morning, I was adding twenty.Working with Rosette (and Pamela) was a triple-barreled experience. Errands were the largest bulk of our time, but the rest was other mundane tasks of the most basic sort. Within the workload were instructions in the craft of being unseen. Executive Services was more than laundry and daycare; it was about not disrupting the lives of clients.A side benefit of that was learning how to move through any group and not be memorable; to not give off the subtle clues that you were an outsider. Not only could a group of executives hold a conversation without an ES person disrupting their trains of thought, people trained to look for threats wouldn’t be tipped off to your presence either. It was peon-craft for beginners.Executive Services personnel weren’t ninja; they were inconsequential. As I had bubbled to Katrina on day one, Executive Services got to go everywhere and learn how everything worked. What I didn’t appreciate was that was how Counter-Intelligence worked too. From what I wedged out of Rosette, Counter-Intelligence had never uncovered a successful internal conspiracy.They had ferreted out multiple peripheral programs meant to gather information on Havenstone, but no Amazon had been critically compromised; which meant several Amazons had been blackmailed yet gone to ES before doing any damage. Rosette appreciated that fanatic devotion, but she’d never hold complete faith in it. Her job was vigilance.(What is really going on?)The third barrel was the real unhappy news. For all their illegal activities, Havenstone was not the Sinaloa Cartel. There were not a global criminal organization that invited international law enforcement scrutiny. So why did they devote so much time and energy to security? They weren’t alone in the shadows of world-wide civilization.At the top of the pile was the Illuminati. They were a hydra controlled by a ruthless, cutthroat conclave; membership uncertain. They were a Darwinian meritocracy until the top tier of leadership, where a group of smaller secret societies and families monopolized the real influence. Their biggest strength, and weakness, was that most of the people in the organization didn’t even know they were part of the Illuminati.After that was a mishmash of groups with different abilities that made rating them difficult. The Condottieri were rather simple; they sold mercenaries and weapons to anyone with the coin with the sideline of promoting conflict by any means necessary. The Nine Clans…that sounded familiar…were assassins in the truest sense of the word.Hashshashin, Ninja, Thuggee, Black Lotus, Coils of the Serpent, Brotherhood of the Wolf, the Black Hand, Cult of the Jaguar and the Ghost Tigers. They were not just murder for hire, but murder to advance their cause. Harmonious existence was bad for business, so they stirred up rivalries and conflict in every corner of the globe.The Egyptian Rite Masons sounded sublime. They weren’t. They may have been a secret order older than the Amazons, claiming descent to the days of Imhotep. The Egyptians were the oldest enemy of the Illuminati. The Egyptian Rite’s goal was a global autocratic government, were the Illuminati wanted a capitalist oligarchy in charge of global commerce; with the Illuminati pulling all the strings. The Egyptian Rite were not restricted to Egypt anymore; membership was open to all races and genders.The Earth and Sky Society were not New Agers. They were the descendants of Genghis Khan and were devoted to the reincarnation of the Greatest World Conqueror of all time. Before tossing them into the rubbish bin of bad ideas, know that Genghis was the largest single genetic contributor (via rape) to the human gene pool since the mystical Eve. To be a member you had to have a genetic link to ole Genghis.The Seven Pillars of Heaven were an ancient Chinese Secret Society out for; you guessed it; World Domination. To be a true member of this group you had to be Pure Han Chinese and a man, or bound to one. Needless to say, Havenstone and the Seven Pillars did not get along. The final bit of information; these groups were what was left of the Great Secret Societies; the survivors.Havenstone’s place in all of this chaos was complicated. By mid-5th century BCE, the Egyptians were aware of the Amazons. The Amazons were not causing problems for the Egyptians, so they parted on decent terms and that was that. By the first century ADE, the political landscape had changed. Amazons had penetrated Roman society and brought Latin houses into their structure.Amazingly, the Egyptians contacted the Amazons again, figured out the Amazons only wanted co-existence so co-existence they got. In the late 4th century, the Amazons returned the favor. The Amazons told the Egyptians something horribly bad was coming across the Eurasian steppes and the Egyptians better batten down the hatches. A few decades later, the Huns were pressing on the Roman Empire’s frontier.What is not generally know is that in the ranks of Hunnish horde were the Sarmatians, successors to the Scythians, who had allied Amazons in their ranks. This gave the Amazons, thus the Egyptians, contacts on both sides of the Roman-Attila conflict. By the mid-5th century the two secret societies parted ways once more.Their relationship had been useful, but not close. From the Amazons viewpoint, it was the equivalent of getting good gossip at the fish market. The Egyptians appreciated the intelligence, but wanted, and didn’t get, military assistance in propping up the Roman Empire. For the Amazons, the fall of the Western Roman Empire was the trigger for a massive Diaspora.A few houses decided to tough it out in Western Europe and its packs of warring Germanic tribes. Others travelled to Egypt and from there, down the Nile to Ethiopia and Central Africa. A third group travelled farther East than ever before, eventually settling in Southern India. Of course, the World never stands still.In the late 8th century, the Illuminati was founded as a mercantile society trying to restructure the shattered Western and Central European economies. It turned out that there was a major pass over the Alps between eastern Italy and southern Germany that was a safe transit region. The Illuminati decided to seize it. The Egyptians popped up, revealed to the infant Illuminati that they didn’t want them to do that, but were ignored.The Egyptians were out to rebuild European civilization, which meant, in their eyes, you didn’t go around butchering those who were restoring law and order. The Egyptians went to the mountain pass and warned the Amazons there what was coming their way. The Illuminati convinced a local Lombard warlord that the pass would be a nice addition to his territory and off he went.Two months later, their bully boy hadn’t returned. Neither had any of his men. Never ones to retreat from failure, the Illuminati sent another force and those guys were never seen again as well. This time the Egyptians showed back up to warn the Illuminati that those people whose land they’d been trying to steal were sick of their meddling and were coming to settle matters.Would the Egyptians help the Illuminati deal with this threat, now that it was out of the mountains? The Egyptians politely declined stating 'better the sitting stone you know than the rolling one that sets things around it on fire’. The Illuminati fled from their first base and that is the reason why they hate the Amazons and Egyptians to this day.Mind you, the Illuminati had no idea who lived in that mountain pass at that time. A few decades after the incident, the Amazons relocated northward. Being good stewards over their lands had given up unwelcome rewards; namely people came to them seeking sanctuary. Amazons can be rather cold-hearted. That does not mean they kill you for knocking on their door.When the number of refugees became too great, the houses voted for migration over slaughter. The Amazons travelled to the Black Forest, dispersing from there, and left the people behind to become known as the Swiss. Everywhere, Europe was tough for the Amazons in the Middle Ages. Heavily male-dominated Germanic cultures in the North, Islamic culture in the South, piracy in between and an epidemic of warfare all around.It was in Sub-Saharan Africa where the Amazons prospered the most. There, migrating populations worked in their favor, as did the style of warfare generally practiced. Perversely, the increase in the East African Arabic slave trade worked in the Amazon’s favor. Not only could they 'liberate’ captured populations; males for breeding and women for recruits; it encouraged local tribes to temporarily ally with the Amazons to fight off the slavers.The Subcontinent turned out to be a mixed bag. In the South, Amazons prospered and grew in numbers and houses. The problem was that they became too strong. Normally they would have spread out, but Eastern India proved more hostile than acceptable and further East looked like a crap-shoot. China didn’t look welcoming at all.So, the Indian Amazons were caught up in a series of wars when Northern powers tried to move South and the Southern lords were in some serious need of aid. The issue was there were multiple players in the shadows pulling the strings. One day, the Egyptians came knocking. The Egyptians knew the Amazons well enough to not try to draft them into their cause.They simply told the Amazons who the key players were and what they were trying to do. Why would they do this? It was obvious. Amazons existed for two reasons; live free and make baby Amazons. Those other asshole Secret Societies were threatening both of those goals. Warfare is doubly hard on a female population and women spending years in combat aren’t making babies.Take into account that during this time period a massive amount of the world’s population lived in India. Add to that the Amazon numbers were respectively tiny (invisible) and Every Secret Society they were fighting didn’t think much of women. A few thousand gurgling last breathes later and two of India’s oldest Secret Societies were gone, or eviscerated.Why had they left the other, Islamic, secret society alone? The Islamic society operated in the populous North, not the jungle-covered South. Why did they leave the Amazons alone? The Amazons exhibited a shocking capacity for violence. The Muslim group was a 'secret’ Secret Society. The Amazons were a 'hidden/don’t fuck with us’ Secret Society.A side effect of the war in India was the creation of another Secret Society; the 9 Clans. They weren’t nine back then, but thanks to the Amazons and Egyptians, this East Asian group picked up the Thuggee and, within a century, the Hashshashin. Things were about to get even more interesting.For the Amazons in India, life existed off the beaten path so it took a year for the Amazons to realize those 'dirty little men’ who had shown up in some western Indian ports were, in fact, Europeans; in a European-built ship. They didn’t know Portuguese, but they knew Latin and with a little bit off effort, they got an updated history of Europe.Amazons had been meeting regularly every thirty years, or so, to choose the next High Priestess and exchange notes. These meeting did not include studies of technological, political, or social improvements. Stealing the twenty-first ship to show up, the Amazons sailed home; Europe, that is. They stopped off in East Africa to spread the good news then, upon landing, went to tell their European sisters that their pilgrimages were no longer a matter of torturous overland travel.They could use nifty ships like these instead. With that came even better news; some Genoese, nut-job, failure of a mathematician had discovered a brand new land and they were going to check it out. The decision was made. The Indians were going back home. Their Europeans sisters were going to 'acquire’ some instructions on how to sail a ship then 'obtain’ some ships and divide them up among the three strongholds.Europe would be heading to the west, Africa would sail around the Cape of Good Hope (not yet named that), back toward Europe to link up their communication network (and in time, bump into Brazil), and India would head east to the South-east Asian archipelago, sailing around the hostile Asian kingdoms. Hopefully, the fleet sailing west and the one heading east would meet one day. Unfortunately, North and South America stood in the way of that dream.The 'little’ hitch in this plan was who those ships belonged to. Nearly half the commerce of Europe at the time was either controlled, or influenced by, the Illuminati. The Amazons were running off with their equipment and profits; whoops. A cherry on top to that 'whoops’ was that the Illuminati were only starting to come out of a bloody war with the Condottieri.The Condottieri had started out as a business venture/strong arm of the Illuminati. In classic Illuminati fashion, the leaders of the Condottieri didn’t know precisely who they were working for. In fact, they thought they were independent. When the Illuminati yanked that leash, it snapped and the blood-letting began.The Illuminati had more money than the Pope and the subtle ability to call upon the kingdoms of the Mediterranean World. What did the Condottieri have? A small cadre of loyal, professional fighting men and the best strategic and tactical minds in the West; the ones the Illuminati had recruited into the Condottieri in the first place. Whoops yet again.The Illuminati had every resource under the Sun. The Condottieri knew they were screwed, but they’d been in fucked up situations before and battled through. They needed to stay alive until the path to victory presented itself. Re-enter the Egyptians and the 9 Clans (still not 9 yet). The Egyptians?The Egyptians made a butt-load of money on the silk and spice trade’s overland routes. The Western Europeans/Illuminati were about to cut them out of that. The Egyptians needed time to reposition themselves. The revolt of the Condottieri was a gift from the Divine and suddenly the mercenaries had funds and ships.The 9 Clans? The Illuminati was a 'Does it All’ organization. If the Illuminati won, who would need assassins? This was class warfare, pure and simple. Even with three-on-one, the Illuminati fought back and fought well. The Amazon predations were not the deciding factor in the war. It wasn’t even their war. Soon enough, the Amazons were buying their own boats and going elsewhere.The Illuminati doesn’t forgive, or forget. For some reason, they took the Amazon thefts personally, despite its negligible impact. Maybe it was that all the other players were regionally invested while the Amazons seemed to be dog-piling them. The fact that Amazons had existed in Europe for nearly 2500 years either didn’t occur to them, or they didn’t care.Flash forward to the start of the 20th century. Through the discrete use of marriage-assassination, land grabs and the basic lawlessness in the Western United States, rural South America, Australia and the islands of Southeast Asia, the Amazons had grown vastly in numbers and economic influence.The Egyptians come knocking once more. Unlike past encounters, they were bringing an offer of alliance. The Illuminati controlled key assets in the British Empire and were using those chokeholds to eliminate their rivals. This was not news to the Amazons. Their holdings in India and the Dutch East Indies had been under pressure of the Illuminati for a century.Ever since the Illuminati nearly ground out the Thuggee (one of the 9 Clans), the Egyptians and Amazons have been constantly harassed. This was not the first warning the Egyptians had brought. The Amazons hadn’t want a war with the Illuminati and they certainly didn’t trust the Egyptians. This time they agreed to go to war though.Why? Two things; totally unrelated. First, the Illuminati and the Seven Pillars of Heaven had agreed to carve up Asia. Amazons lived in Asia and they were no man’s chattel. Secondly, the Women’s Rights movement was in full swing. The Amazons had nothing to do with it. Those were outsider females. What interested the Amazons were the legal ramifications of Women’s Equality.The Amazons were poised for a massive increase in their financial footprint. With the Illuminati out of the way, or at least, preoccupied, they could seize assets and have time to fortify before they could be attacked. Women’s Equality would allow this to take place. Basically, the Amazons were going to exploit the blood, sweat and tears of women to advance their agenda.From all accounts, the only groups that recalled the Amazons last foray into Secret Society politics were the Amazons and Egyptians. Certainly no one had enlightened the Condottieri. They started smacking around some Amazon bases in Europe and unleashed 'Hell on Earth’. With the help of the Egyptians, they got to it in Amazon fashion.A General of the Condottieri and his family were eating at a Naples eatery when five women dresses like nuns walked in and shot up him, his entire family plus some bodyguards. When the response team showed up, they killed them too. A few police were added to the obituary column as the Amazons escaped. Welcome to Amazon warfare.The Condottieri were furious over such a public breach, as well as the losses. They swore a vendetta. The 9 Clans happily informed the Condottieri that a 'War of Extermination’ was the Amazon default setting. The Condottieri were not afraid; not yet. See, there was another secret society called La Solidaridad.Working on intelligence from the Illuminati, La Solidaridad overran an Amazon compound in Argentina. They thought it would be funny to take the survivors as sex slaves. Maybe the Illuminati was experimenting to see just how pissed-off Amazons could get. Maybe La Solidaridad hadn’t read their Homer, especially those parts concerning Ancient World vengeance.It took the Host six months to start things rolling then the carnage began. They made damn sure the men knew they were being hunted by women. They weren’t there to out-macho the men, or make a point. Every night, they attacked the men and their families in the cities and towns. For safeties sake, La Solidaridad retreated to their country estates. Huge mistake.A good number of them had to have hunted at some point in their lives. How they missed being 'flushed out into the open’ was beyond me. Out in the countryside, there was nowhere to hide. Walls meant little because Amazons were incredibly fit and trained to fight at night. Most of the families the Amazons killed. They were the lucky ones. The survivors? By using a new Edison device, they took some home movies of the fates of those men.The Amazon’s favorite tactic was to shove lit sticks of dynamite in the men’s asses then steer them toward the closest river. One guy actually made it. His relief didn’t last long. The Amazons had done something to turn the normally safe caiman population into rabidly aggressive swarmers. Bitches; insanely, sadistic bitches.In eighteen months, La Solidaridad had ceased to exist as an organization and never recovered. The Illuminati used that time wisely to beat down the Egyptians, Earth and Sky, and the 9 Clans, aided by the Seven Pillars. Having concluded their first order of business, the Amazons sent their home movie to the Condottieri.It wasn’t mercy toward the Condottieri. I was psychological warfare. The Amazons needed the Condottieri off-balance so they could go after their real enemy. It seemed the Illuminati had instructed La Solidaridad on how to 'intimidate’ the Amazons; through rape, torture and enslavement. Specifically, it was Cáel O'Shea who set the tragedy in motion; Granddad.Beyond Granddad being impossibly fucking old, he had possessed some seriously out of control animosity where Amazons were concerned. Before the Amazon’s could implement their hunt, the 9 Clans intervened. The Illuminati had been giving them real problems and they saw a way to gain some breathing space. Had the Amazons and 9 Clans been in communication, the World might be a very different place today.Instead, the heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne was wacked by the Black Hand, some Serbian numbskulls took the fall and the rest of us got World War I. Oddly enough, this one murder accomplished the goals of the 9 Clans, Amazons, Egyptians and Earth and Sky Society. The British Empire still stood, but was wrecked. China was much worse off than that.Before the Amazons could gain their vengeance, the Egyptians negotiated a cease-fire between groups. The Amazon Council was furious yet unwilling to fight the Illuminati alone. They kept down their bile…and waited. In the post-War period, the Amazon/Illuminati feud ate much of their resources (probably the Egyptian’s intentions all along).A truly dark side of this struggle was the Amazon support for the Nazis. Did the Amazons switch course? Yes, but not for the reasons most people would think. Jews, gypsies, communists and homosexuals going into camps didn’t worry them one bit. What did? Let’s go back in time to those women in the Swiss Alps who headed north.A great many of them went North then East…to places like Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It wasn’t so much a matter of whimsy as one of terrain and population. All the best farmland was in western Germany, the Low Countries and France. That’s where the Germanic peoples settled. Behind them, to the East, were the Slavs.The Slavs had three things the Amazons liked; low population density, weak social hierarchies and crappy land. That meant they could live in relative isolation, not be subject to an all-powerful king and not be inundated with migrating hordes wanting to steal their dank swamps, deep forests and isolate meadows.Sometime in early 1939, right after the Third Reich snatched up Bohemia, some Amazon augur decided to open up Hitler’s Mein Kampf to see what was going on i.e. to see when Hitler would get around to jumping on England; the whole reason the Amazon were supporting him. What she found out was bad, bad, bad! The genocide of a bunch of people they could care less about? Not a problem.Invading the Slavic lands? What? Russia/Soviet Union hadn’t been the big foe in WWI and they certainly were not Germany’s greatest enemy at the moment; Britain was! Drang Nach Osten? That was an undefined migration of Germans back into Slavic lands that ended over 600 years ago? Their Eastern European sisters were in grave danger from a lunatic.The common sense response (for Amazons) was to kill the Hitler. They couldn’t get close, so they took their problem to their old allies, the Egyptians and 9 Clans. Those two saw nothing wrong with the way things were developing. The Amazons swallowed their pride and went to the Illuminati who seemed rather enchanted with the idea of the fascists and communists annihilating one another.They had no way to safely approach the Soviets. Pulling their sister houses out of Eastern Europe was no longer an option; the other Secret Societies would be looking for that and try to figure out where the Amazon home bases were. The Amazons decided to make a fight of it. They were not going to charge panzers with spears.No, they started setting up caches of supplies and weapons in the most inaccessible places imaginable. The hope was that as Nazi Germany was grinding Communist Russia to dust, they could smuggle out their people in the chaos to Sweden then points west. The problem was WW II didn’t work out that way. Great Britain got spanked at Dunkirk and Poland, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and Norway all surrendered to the Nazi blitzkrieg.Then the Germans invaded Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia went under, but the Soviet Union didn’t fall. Much to the Amazon Council’s horror, resistance units began to interact with the local Amazons in an effort to improve their mutual survivability. Tales of mysterious female fighter, appearing to slay their enemies then disappearing into the wilderness filtered to both the Stavka (Russians) and SOE (British).The SOE discovered an answer to the mystery in mid-1942, by way of the fledgling US OSS. The Americans 'found’ three female Army recruits who volunteered for such a mission. A month later, the partisan bands with those agents found the 'Forest Women’ and all the lights came on. Unknown to the public World, the Amazon Council decided that the best hope for their kinswomen was to bring down the Nazis and ride out the Allied conquest.All of that might have been a happily little footnote except for what happened next. Hundreds of Amazons fought; no surprise; yet they didn’t fight alone this time. Men and women of the local populace fought side by side with these lethal warriors. They shared battle plans, food, fire and medical care. That huge cultural barrier created over two and a half millennia began to erode.They bled together and were forced from time to time to place their lives in each other’s hands. They witnessed one another’s courage and sacrifice. They watched them bury their dead, nurture their young and weep at their pain. Whenever things looked darkest, the Amazon would turn to their partisan partners and say with utmost confidence 'we have survived worse; so can you’.The seminal event happened on the night of February 17th, 1944. For two years, the fractured, wounded women that are ever-present wherever there is war began to attach themselves to the Amazon bands. At first they were little more than annoyances. In time, the Amazons tried to turn these women into something 'useful’. Later, a few earned the right to follow the Amazons into battle.On that February night, two ladies were inducted into House Živa. This was hardly the first time outsider women were brought into the Host, but this circumstance was unique; induction in the middle of a war, having proven themselves in battle before their now-sisters. From that action; not the last in that conflict; was born the concept of the 'Runners’.With the end of WWII, the Amazons emerged more powerful than ever. The three strongest groups in the United States were the Egyptians, Illuminati and the Amazons. The Amazons profited the most; having started with the lowest profile and having infiltrated both the government and business sectors during the war effort.Using the Freemasons, the Egyptians reaped great benefit from the US war effort too. Always forward-looking, the Egyptians helped the Amazons as well. Still, not everything was rosy. For the Public World, World War II ended in September of 1945. That was barely a blip in the Secret Societies’ radar. The calamity came on the 10th of December 1949.Using their pawns in the Chinese Communist Party, the Seven Pillars had re-unified China and were back on the world stage. Earth and Sky and the 9 Clans were dealt a setback. A fourth secret society involved in the Chinese struggle was absorbed by the 7 Pillars. The problem was that all the societies were locked in a bitter struggle yet devastated and over-extended.The 9 Clans, fearing the ratcheting up of Cold War intelligence-gathering services by multiple national governments asked for a global truce. The Amazons were dangerously exposed and over-extended. The Illuminati decided this was their time to strike and nothing could deter them. Into this backdrop, came the news to the Amazons that they had serious genetic issues.That led to the First Directive; the recruitment of 'Runners’ as an established program as well as the explosion of what I knew as Executive Services. In a truly bizarre twist, U.S. and Soviet agents found themselves engaged in cat-and-mouse games with European NATO agents. Amazons had penetrated the proto-CIA during the war in an effort to reach their European sisters.In Eastern Europe, many of those partisans went over to the Communists when the Soviets overran their countries and looked favorably upon their erstwhile allies from the War. They couldn’t match the influence that the many of the other secret societies possessed. Instead they pulled upon existing, personal relationships.I worked with a negative result of those days; Desiree, or more accurately, Desiree’s parents. I was also walking with the final resolution of that crisis. The Secret Societies proved they could work just as fast as the UN. In three decades they had resolved nothing and were spending more and more time on damage control.Three events converged. The Illuminati had figured out the full-blooded Amazons were dying out so they knew they could win a game of attrition. The rest of the groups were coming to the conclusion that wiping out the Amazons was the easier course of action. The Amazons had, without a doubt, located the leader of the Illuminati, Cáel O'Shea.O'Shea was in sight of his goal; the extermination of the Amazons; when a lone Amazon got to him first. O'Shea’s death sent titanic shockwaves through the Illuminati. There was a scramble for the top spot, fear over how much the Amazons knew about their inner workings, and how the other secret orders would take this bit of news.The Illuminati recoiled from the event, agreed to a truce and that led to the protocols that kept Brianna from dragging me off; gunshot wounds and all. That had been the state of affairs for the last thirty years. Again, the World had not stood still. China was an economic powerhouse, the EU grew stronger, and wars of political ideology had been replaced by religious-based terrorism.The Amazons were at a critical juncture in their history. The 'New’ Directive was their best chance at staving off extinction and the Houses were fighting it kicking and screaming. The First Directive wasn’t being implemented properly. If nothing changed, the Amazons would be dragged under by the weight of their own bigotry.But wait! There was this idiot with no conception of history getting in the way of Amazon extinction; the decline toward oblivion that six murderous factions were waiting for. In this epic there were no 'friends’, only 'allies of convenience’. The Egyptians weren’t buddies. They simply preferred others to fight their battles for them.The Amazons fit that bill nicely, but if they were dying out, the Egyptians would be more concerned in filling the Amazon void than mourning over the Host’s grave. The Illuminati and Seven Pillars were enemies. Though there was little animosity between the Earth & Sky and the Amazons, the E&S were based on perpetuating the legacy of the World’s greatest rapist.The 9 Clans were the 9 Clans and their business was all about the precise application of death. They had no friends and if they pretended to be your friend, it was only so they could position themselves to kill you. It was only business. They rarely played with debts, obligations and vendettas. Still, if a member of the 9 Clans said they owed you, it was worth the assassin’s weight in Iridium.As a bonus, the 9 Clans were gender-neutral. Outside of the Amazons, they had been using females in their numbers the longest. Because of this, the 9 Clans tried to interact with the Amazon using women from their own ranks, minimizing the sexual tension between the groups. The Condottieri had also began recruiting women into their ranks over the past twenty years.Their leadership was still all-male with the added complications of the unresolved Naples killings and the brutal destruction of La Solidaridad. Also, while the Amazons were not business competitors, they didn’t employ the Condottieri either. All these micro-wars had been very good for the Condottieri, allowing them to build up quite a stable of talent and a huge war chest.If the Amazons recovered, the global map would change. How so? Madi and Rhada weren’t from Cleveland, but from India where unresolved crimes against women were too common. Palli Chandra, the VP of International Finance and Ngozi from my spa

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Steamy Stories
Life As A New Hire: part 18

Steamy Stories

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022


If you cannot compromise; Challenge!By FinalStand. Listen and subscribe to the podcast at Steamy Stories.Every person is alone. That is the definition of Free-will.In this chapter sex is mention, but not described.Caution: there is a good deal of ‘back-story’ in this chapter.(A Step back in time: that Weekend, between Oneida and Nicole)The weekend… I’d had plenty of relaxing sex over the weekend, bonded with Oneida somewhat while we biked Saturday morning, had sex with Gael, junior of House Bendis (the woman who let me borrow her phone so I could invite Buffy, Helena and Desiree to my little induction ceremony), then had a late afternoon date with Nikita.Escorting Yasmin and her son to the airport for the start of her Havenstone training after dinner was unsettling. The boy, Braulio, seemed worried, Yasmin was glad to see me, really glad to see me then finished if off by commenting that she could tell 'something had changed’. I affirmed her hunch without going into the details. As Yasmin’s mood improved, so did her son’s. I wished her luck. She told me I’d need it more.Late Saturday night I was invited to a party by Libra. Brooke showed up date-less (she WASN’T jumping into a new relationship) so she glommed onto me; us. Marla and Libra had a huge phone fight about her (Marla) not being 21 yet, thus not invited to the party. Felix was there having reconnected with Gene because he had both a glib tongue and an awe-inspiring sexual arsenal.Felix’s attempts to recoup any ground with Brook failed miserably. She had her own bitterness toward Trent, her memory of me handing her panties under an outdoor cafe’s table as a trophy Felix had taken the night before and displayed openly in my office, and my own masculine support to draw strength from.Felix and I did not verbally, or socially, spar. He accepted the verdict of our first contest and, for all his faults, he acknowledged that my victory had worth and obeyed his conscience on the matter. If anything, he was visually more respectful than ever before. I wasn’t his equal; no man and definitely no woman was; yet I was now a competitor he would have to give his very best to defeat.Sunday morning had been just me and Odette. We’d cuddled on the sofa, watched some TV and then I took her to Havenstone for time in the pool. I kept the overly-aggressive Amazons at bay while getting Odette used to the idea of regular exercise; hanging out with Timothy and I required greater endurance than her sedentary youthful stamina provided.An early afternoon invite to a 'pick-up’ basketball game at the community, two-court, outdoor lot with Jason, the bar-back from the Yuppie bar, brought me back in contact with Katy Lee Baker, aka Delivery Girl. Odette tagged along. It also brought me in contact with the local 'wild-life’. A Latin King clique was starting to operate in the area and Jason’s crew were the native inhabitants who took exception to this.We played for about half an hour were everyone learned I was a big, fat liar. I was actually good at basketball, despite my earlier claims at ignorance. The Kings showed up, drove off the younger teens playing on the other court. A few more of those jokers showed up and it was now 'our turn’ to make space.That went over like a shit brick. The Kings outnumbered us a good two-to-one, but Jason wasn’t backing down. I was struggling to convince Jason that discretion was the better part of valor when some of the new Latin King arrivals tried to play with a few of the local ladies who had come down to watch their menfolk pull off their shirts and get sweaty.Poor Odette; she had been in the company of so many powerful, confident and lethal women she’d forgotten she wasn’t one. A King grabbed Katy Lee’s breast. Odette hit the asshole in the stomach, put a shin to his nuts and finished him off with grabbing his head and driving it into her upward moving knee, dropping him like the sack of shit he was. But wait, he had five buddies.Poo was being served up and the electric switch was about to be flipped.“I’ll be back to help in a moment,” I growled to Jason as the gang members jumped Odette. Katy Lee and a slightly older woman rushed to Odette’s aid. The Kings didn’t ignore my approach, peeling off two to 'deal with me’. They really shouldn’t have hit Odette because now I was angry.The feces hit the rotary wind machine. With their last shows of bravado, I lay into the closest bastards. The sixteen year old was hesitantly pulling out his .32 ACP while reconsidering his poor life choices as I hit his buddy so hard he went airborne, two teeth and a fountain of blood coming from the ruin I’d made of his face.Gun guy was next. I clamped my left hand on his right, gun-toting wrist then drove my knee into his elbow. The elbow snapped upward with a sound reminiscent of a car backfiring. His screams drowned out the thud of his gun dropping to the court surface. For the three remaining Latin Kings I was closing with, a terrible social reality came crashing in.Gangs rely on several tools to exert power; a propensity for violence, illegal finances, a fierce reputation, and superior numbers. By the look on my face, they discovered that their numbers didn’t bother me in the least. I knew exactly who they were and didn’t give a damn. My desire to destroy them was motivated by something far stronger than any currency, and I was clearly better at this whole violence thing than they seemed to be.They had their pride and the fidelity with their gang, plus their intimidation tactics were going wrong so fast, they couldn’t process the disaster quickly enough to alter course. These guys were not professional warriors by any stretch of the imagination. 'Warriors’; perhaps. 'Professional’; definitely not. Their ability to rapidly adapt to a changing situation was woefully under-developed.In gang hand-to-hand combat, you bunch up your members, overrun a foe and beat him to the ground. Fighting a practitioner of Brazilian jujutsu, standing close to one another is the LAST thing you want to do. I was a whirlwind of destruction, fed by the understanding that Jason’s bunch needed me back real soon.The asshat who tried to use a knife on me got his hand pinned to the court for his audacity. I repeat, threatening Odette had infuriated me. At center court, Jason had his hands full and then some. The Latin Kings had the edges in both numbers and ferocity. The only other hometown boy holding his own was this thick, solid Puerto Rican guy named Bennie; the rest were in trouble.I started with the four-on-one stomp-down on one of Jason’s friends; I’d missed the guy’s beat down. My inner Amazon was leading the charge. Unlike all my previous encounters, I was intentionally causing pain. I wasn’t trying to drive them off, or render them hors de combat. No, my desire was to strike terror in their hearts, inflicting suffering in order to eradicate my foes’ resolve to fight.Knees snapped, bones broke, faces were stomped into the court and internal organs ruptured. Even my erstwhile allies were aghast at the wickedness with which I treated our enemy.“Ah…Cáel…are you okay?” Jason mumbled when the last King went down. He’d have a shiner on his left eye soon and his lip was split and bleeding. I hadn’t come through unscathed either.Havenstone had seriously upped my pain threshold. Jason wasn’t really asking about my physical well-being anyway. I had to get ahead of this…predicament.“Let’s get this trash off the court,” I commanded. The boys hesitated until Jason picked up one of my semi-conscious victims.“Come on 'Pendejo’, leave and don’t come back,” Jason yanked the man up and began shoving him toward the gate he and his buddies had arrived by. The rest of Jason’s friends joined in and we began cleaning up the place. One gangster decided he was too hurt to be moved. I’d rammed his shoulder into the goalpost, breaking his collarbone. He was crying about the pain he was in.I pulled him up. He was around 1,75m tall and 125 kg. I wrapped my hands around his thick bull neck and slowly raised him up off the ground. His face was reddening, his good hand was trying to break my hold and his legs were flailing about in the open air.[In Spanish] “Pain, Asshole? No, pain is me having to come back here and hunt you and your vermin buddies down,” I seethed.“I don’t live here. These men are not my friends. You touched my girl and I am God Almighty when it comes to defending those of my household. I am not in a gang. I am not a criminal. If you, or your gang, come within a block of this place, I will become Death. Today, there are too many witnesses. This is your reprieve; your moment of grace,” I snarled.“Use it wisely. It will not happen again,” I finished in a fury. I dropped him to his wobbly feet, catching his good hand before he fell over. That act of compassion after my dire threat confused the guy.“Go,” I returned to English. The rest of the Latin Kings walked, stumbled, were dragged from the court.“Who are you again?” Bennie inquired.“Cáel Nyilas,” I grinned. “I’m an Aerospace Engineer working on the feasibility of having hamsters running on their wheels being used to recharge batteries on manned flights to Mars.”“Hamster wrangling has to be one tough profession,” Katy Lee snickered as she and Odette came up.“Come on now,” Jason winced as he licked his lip.“Brawling is about panic, anger and the management of those two forces,” I told them. “I was the only one in this fight in control of himself, so my actions look out of proportions to what really happened.”“They were kicking our asses,” Bennie chuckled.“Not as bad as you guys think,” I consoled them. “None of you guys ran, or curled up in a ball. That allowed me to pick my fights. I clearly have more hand-to-hand combat experience, but none of that would have mattered had you guys freaked out.”There was some truth in what I said. Had they panicked, I would have grabbed Odette and Katy Lee then fled as well. Since they toughed it out, and the Latin Kings exerted virtually no command and control, I was able take on the gang members in small, bite-sized chunks. My training and experience took care of the rest.This also made the somewhat traumatized ballplayers feel proud about the cuts and bruises they’d received. Now they realized they had 'won’ this scuffle, they’d played their parts courageously and had all been instrumental in a successful stratagem. The fact that none of them knew that when the blows were raining in it meant nothing.The women who’d come out to watch the game then witnessed the beat down knew their men had been brave, taken their licks and routed their enemies. Martial ardor, baby! 'Defending’ a woman does not diminish her. It increases her odds of dealing with insults and threats in a positive manner.Women who look down on women who use their pussies to better themselves are being stupid. It is the equivalent of having a complete toolbox and only using the hammer. The women were going to give up some level of sex to reward the men. The men, in turn, had an example of the kind of behavior that would get them what they wanted; defending your ladies equated to feminine reward.That did not mean penetration; life was far more complex. It did mean she would hang around you, talk to you and trust you (most likely more than she should). Guys still had to seal the deal, figure out what she wanted and deliver. That had been the working arrangement between men and women for most of the last 80,000 years.What I didn’t know at the time was that I was being spied upon, that this spy called Buffy; my 'spear and shield’; and Buffy would gather up some Security Detail chicks. Why would SD help? Some morons had tried to murder the Head of House Ishara and that wasn’t something the Amazons would tolerate.That Latin King clique was contemplating revenge. They were about to get schooled by the Grand Mistresses of that brutal and unforgiving Art form. I could never let Odette know. After all, to her they were someone’s sons, brothers and husbands. My chilling rationalization was that, for whatever reason, the Latin Kings had redefined themselves as carnivores, preying on the rest of mankind.They should have studied what nature was really like. Predators had predators of their own. They’d been big, bad caimans, snatching all that came to the water’s edge. In nature, the caiman was careful because jaguars hunted and ate caimans. In the urban jungle, there were things far more dangerous than gang-bangers living in the shadows that jealously guarded their spot as apex predator.Odette and I exited the field. I’d have to catch Katy Lee another time. I was to get the bad news from Ulyssa and her sister about the death in her family. Timothy, Odette and I worked out some more as Odette and I took turns relating the fight to Timothy. He reminded us that the Latin Kings were a powerhouse in the city as well as nationwide. Nicole called at the point I was ready for bed and the rest was family history.(Monday morning)I locked my bike up as normal. When I saw the security guards eyeing me funny, I grew cautious.“Is there a problem?” I asked the woman scanning my ID. She was fearfully hesitant. “Wait, are you worried that I’m pissed about Friday morning?”“We were only doing our jobs, Cáel of Ishara,” she told me.“Oh,” I chuckled. “So that IS what is bothering you.” I smiled at the group. “Of course you were doing your jobs. I would have been surprised if you hadn’t and I’m certainly not angry about what went down. You acted in defense of Havenstone and I never saw it any other way.”That gave them some relief. My next problem.“Has anyone from the Security Detail called about me?” I asked. “I don’t see anyone here to pick me up this morning.”“I’ll call them,” she offered.The answer was that they weren’t expecting me, but I could come down if I desired. That was promising. My ID card worked for the lower levels now. Walking past the Armory was intriguing…in that they barely noticed me. In the prep room for the shooting range there was…nothing. No guns for me to try out, or even look at.I went to the firing range looking for one of my 'friendly’ SD ladies. They were all giving me the cold shoulder. Naomi told me why; Constanza. The SD were very angry with my interference in justice for Constanza versus Pamela. Since Naomi had been there when the entire incident went down, I didn’t laugh in her face. I got coldly furious instead.If I wanted a firearm, I could go to the Armory and check one out, so that’s what I did. The guards there weren’t helpful either. Inside was; well; everything. I called up SD and asked them to send an armorer to help me make some selections. Ten minutes later, the lady had still not arrived. That made me laugh. They were tit-for-tatting the wrong guy. Glasses and ear protection came first.I left the Armory with my weapon of choice for the day, a full bandolier and a crate of ammo. I could see the SD chick’s guarding the Armory eyes bug-out. I grinned and headed for the shooting range. They surreptitiously called somebody. Knowing that, I hurried myself along, passing straight through prep room for the firing line. I was a man on a mission.See, I could be a raging prick when I wanted to be. Those SD babes should have talked with any number of the Amazons who already knew me. I had made it clear; make my life difficult if you wished, but accept whatever payback I could imagine. Respecting House Ishara wasn’t even a question. For pummeling me over Constanza, they were about to get a whole new kind of Righteous Pricking, courtesy of the house they refused to treat with equality.An Amazon finished firing off a clip for her personal defense weapon and was checking her pistol’s slide action.“Excuse me,” I said as I stepped up. She was about to scream something. Most likely 'stop!’ Since I had no intention of complying, I didn’t wait; or stop.For me, I was suddenly wondering what the precise blast radius of a 40 mm grenade was. I pulled the trigger anyway. I swear by Ishara-turned-Ishtar, I hit that target right in the 10 ring. The explosion the grenade caused when it hit the back wall rendered my claims moot. Even with eye and ear protection, I could barely hear anything because of the ringing echo, or see anything because of the dust.The flashing yellow lights and klaxons going off indicated something bad had happened. Bad wasn’t done yet. I walked to the next stand where the Amazon had ducked down while she oriented herself to the threat.“Good morning,” I yelled at her. Then I aimed and prepared to squeeze off my second round.With all the dust in the air, I could barely make out the outline of the target I was shooting at. Accuracy at this point was unnecessary. This bitching toy seemed to kill everything. Third station; third shot and the Amazons were starting to figure out what was going on. Some moron was firing a grenade launcher within an indoor firing range.Before the fourth shot they figured out it was me. Now those bitches had a problem. The lead Amazon tried to get my attention despite my constant attempts to ignore her. I resolved the issue by tapping my six-shot bang-bang and indicating I had two shots left…and I used them. Only when I stopped to reload did the ladies screw up the courage to exhibit some kind of physical resistance.Naomi pulled off my ear protection.“What are you doing?” she shouted at me. She wasn’t being rude. All our ears were ringing.“I’m being left to my own devices, you 'failures’ to every concept of loyalty, respect and faith,” I replied to the entire group.“Constanza called House Ishara an abomination, insane and diseased,” I spat out my hate. “I spared her life when I should have had her stricken from the roles of her house and butchered her like some beast. I showed mercy and this is how the Security Detail responds? Congratulations, you have earned my contempt.”“But why are you using a grenade launcher; indoors?” Naomi struggled to understand.“Oh,” I smirked. “Because I can. I’m superior to all of you here so I can do what I want and you have to suck it up. I am the Head of a First House so none of you have a choice. Every one of you chose to show me no respect and, out of respect for your lack of respect, you get no respect.”They were trying to figure how to work around that when I upped the ante.“I’m also going to direct the other members of House Ishara to come down here at random times and fire off grenades, use flamethrowers, or; how about tear gas; tear gas sounds good.”“That would degrade the readiness of the Security Detail,” the first Amazon protested.“Not my problem. Take your complaints to Elsa or Saint Marie. Make sure to start your complaint with exactly how you behaved toward me; but use the names Beyoncé, Ursula, Katrina, or Messina instead of mine,” I glared. “Now excuse me. I have a box full of high explosives to work through.” And off I went.There were 25 shooting lanes. I had fired off my 22nd grenade when Elsa showed up.“Cáel of Ishara, why are you destroying this training area?” she inquired calmly.“Working through a crate of grenades. I thought that would be obvious,” I joked.“Is there something wrong we should talk about?” Elsa was keeping her anger in check.“Your underlings were chronically disrespectful. Since positive reinforcement failed; being nice to any of your weakling-bullies was counter-productive; I decided to employ the stick treatment,” I met her gaze.“Stop destroying the firing line…please,” Elsa ground out through clenched teeth.“You are right,” I nodded. “I need to take a few of these upstairs to the pure-blood gym. There is a lot more damage I could do there. This place is already a mess.”Desiree’s voice broke the silence. She must have come in with Elsa.“Cáel,” Desiree yawned. “How do you want to resolve this crisis? That doesn’t involve setting off seismic sensors all over New York City, that is?”“Hmmm…fine, every member of the Security Detail is to write a romantic poem then read it aloud to a 'Runner’ while at that 'Runners’ workstation,” I invented a punishment. “Ishara is the Goddess of Love as well as Oaths. It is a fitting tribute to her that romantic verses from the heart be created and spoken aloud.”“It is also fitting that the recipients be 'Runners’, since it will unite them in both their appreciation of love and their anger with me for throwing my weight around like every other Full-Blood who thinks they are better because of some quirk of birth,” I concluded.“It will be done,” Elsa intoned. That part of the matter was settled. Elsa looked at my grenade launcher. An unhappy sigh escaped my lips as I handed it over.“Elsa, I’m coming for weapon’s practice again tomorrow,” I informed her. Now I was going to burn off some time in the pool then get to work, or so I hoped. I hadn’t gotten away with this because I was Cáel Nyilas, or the Head of House Ishara. I got away with it because Elsa didn’t want to see the faces of the Council when she explained what her people had done.The Council members treating me like offal was their business. Other Amazons deciding that they could treat ANY member of the Council that poorly wouldn’t fly; reference to the fate of Leona. Why had SD treated me poorly? Constanza. If they repeated my conversation with Constanza that cost her an eye, the outcome was known by all. Constanza would cease being an Amazon right before she died.I made it to Katrina’s office four minutes before seven only to find Katrina absent while Daphne, Brielle and Pamela were hanging around. Dora and Fabiola followed me in. Everyone made it before the deadline, Katrina last of all. As Katrina began the meeting, Brielle left. Pamela and Katrina ignored one another.My work review was far better than normal. I’d sold Anthrax to a terrorist cell, but it had turned out to be a mislabeled Anthrax antidote instead, so all was good. Daphne was trying to figure out how her glowing report over my efforts had been so misconstrued. My assigned boss for the day was Rosette, one of the senior members of Executive Services.“Katrina, I need a moment of your time; in private,” I requested as the meeting broke up.“As Cáel, or the Head of House Ishara?” she asked.“Neither,” I replied. She waved the others away with Tigger shutting the door. Pamela remained seated. Katrina shot me a look concerning Pamela’s presence.“I don’t control her,” I shrugged. “She hangs around me for her own reasons.” Katrina nodded. I walked to the edge of Katrina’s desk, put my palms on its cool surface. “Katrina, I am the Grandson of Cáel O'Shea, I met Brianna O'Shea earlier this morning, she knows who I am and was brought to town because some genetic research done on me.”“Brianna knows where I work and who I work for, as in you. Pamela said the word 'Protocols’ and Brianna backed off, but I’m sure she wants to see me again. I’ve warned my Dad about what happened and to destroy everything associated with my Mom. By the way, Brianna looks exactly like my Mother did when I was first born; exactly,” I emphasized.Had the situation not been so completely fucked up, I would have treasured the steamrollered look on Katrina’s face.“She is with something called the Illuminati. She doesn’t know about me and House Ishara. When Brianna tried to figure how this Protocol/Truce thing involved me, Pamela stonewalled her,” I added.“Pamela, I can understand Cáel not immediately bringing this to my attention,” Katrina’s cool exterior reasserted itself. “He doesn’t know what’s going on. You do.”“I didn’t feel inclined to do your job for you, Katrina,” Pamela gave a rapier-thin smile. “Besides, you are part of the brain trust that sent him home Friday night cloaked in ignorance, not I.”“Cáel,” Katrina turned back to me. “How did you meet Brianna O'Shea?”“I met a lawyer, screwed her to multiple orgasms in the Women’s room of some bar, met her again plus her lawyer buddies and Sunday night she called me to her downtown office to fuck her into enlightenment; which I did,” I sighed.“She was working on a case involving DNA ownership, which is oddly germane to my current predicament,” I grinned.“Cáel, we need you to report to medical for more testing,” Katrina ordered.“I apologize, but House Ishara does not believe that would be in its best interest so Cáel must decline,” I nodded. “Will there be anything else?”Will battled Will to no outcome. She nodded and I left. Pamela ghosted along behind me. Rosetta intersected my path and off we went. I was given no clue as to my assignment; no surprise. I texted Buffy: 'Nothing new happening. Pick me up at 5:30 Wed. morning.’ That meant there was no new development on the committee to help House Ishara pick 'Runners’.I had played nice. Katrina and Hayden had dodged me on Friday afternoon. This morning, she owed it to me to show some kind of progress. That wasn’t what she offered. I had made a concession, they refused to reciprocate, so now I was free of any obligation to consider their wishes. I wanted more 'Runners’ and come Wednesday morning, I was adding twenty.Working with Rosette (and Pamela) was a triple-barreled experience. Errands were the largest bulk of our time, but the rest was other mundane tasks of the most basic sort. Within the workload were instructions in the craft of being unseen. Executive Services was more than laundry and daycare; it was about not disrupting the lives of clients.A side benefit of that was learning how to move through any group and not be memorable; to not give off the subtle clues that you were an outsider. Not only could a group of executives hold a conversation without an ES person disrupting their trains of thought, people trained to look for threats wouldn’t be tipped off to your presence either. It was peon-craft for beginners.Executive Services personnel weren’t ninja; they were inconsequential. As I had bubbled to Katrina on day one, Executive Services got to go everywhere and learn how everything worked. What I didn’t appreciate was that was how Counter-Intelligence worked too. From what I wedged out of Rosette, Counter-Intelligence had never uncovered a successful internal conspiracy.They had ferreted out multiple peripheral programs meant to gather information on Havenstone, but no Amazon had been critically compromised; which meant several Amazons had been blackmailed yet gone to ES before doing any damage. Rosette appreciated that fanatic devotion, but she’d never hold complete faith in it. Her job was vigilance.(What is really going on?)The third barrel was the real unhappy news. For all their illegal activities, Havenstone was not the Sinaloa Cartel. There were not a global criminal organization that invited international law enforcement scrutiny. So why did they devote so much time and energy to security? They weren’t alone in the shadows of world-wide civilization.At the top of the pile was the Illuminati. They were a hydra controlled by a ruthless, cutthroat conclave; membership uncertain. They were a Darwinian meritocracy until the top tier of leadership, where a group of smaller secret societies and families monopolized the real influence. Their biggest strength, and weakness, was that most of the people in the organization didn’t even know they were part of the Illuminati.After that was a mishmash of groups with different abilities that made rating them difficult. The Condottieri were rather simple; they sold mercenaries and weapons to anyone with the coin with the sideline of promoting conflict by any means necessary. The Nine Clans…that sounded familiar…were assassins in the truest sense of the word.Hashshashin, Ninja, Thuggee, Black Lotus, Coils of the Serpent, Brotherhood of the Wolf, the Black Hand, Cult of the Jaguar and the Ghost Tigers. They were not just murder for hire, but murder to advance their cause. Harmonious existence was bad for business, so they stirred up rivalries and conflict in every corner of the globe.The Egyptian Rite Masons sounded sublime. They weren’t. They may have been a secret order older than the Amazons, claiming descent to the days of Imhotep. The Egyptians were the oldest enemy of the Illuminati. The Egyptian Rite’s goal was a global autocratic government, were the Illuminati wanted a capitalist oligarchy in charge of global commerce; with the Illuminati pulling all the strings. The Egyptian Rite were not restricted to Egypt anymore; membership was open to all races and genders.The Earth and Sky Society were not New Agers. They were the descendants of Genghis Khan and were devoted to the reincarnation of the Greatest World Conqueror of all time. Before tossing them into the rubbish bin of bad ideas, know that Genghis was the largest single genetic contributor (via rape) to the human gene pool since the mystical Eve. To be a member you had to have a genetic link to ole Genghis.The Seven Pillars of Heaven were an ancient Chinese Secret Society out for; you guessed it; World Domination. To be a true member of this group you had to be Pure Han Chinese and a man, or bound to one. Needless to say, Havenstone and the Seven Pillars did not get along. The final bit of information; these groups were what was left of the Great Secret Societies; the survivors.Havenstone’s place in all of this chaos was complicated. By mid-5th century BCE, the Egyptians were aware of the Amazons. The Amazons were not causing problems for the Egyptians, so they parted on decent terms and that was that. By the first century ADE, the political landscape had changed. Amazons had penetrated Roman society and brought Latin houses into their structure.Amazingly, the Egyptians contacted the Amazons again, figured out the Amazons only wanted co-existence so co-existence they got. In the late 4th century, the Amazons returned the favor. The Amazons told the Egyptians something horribly bad was coming across the Eurasian steppes and the Egyptians better batten down the hatches. A few decades later, the Huns were pressing on the Roman Empire’s frontier.What is not generally know is that in the ranks of Hunnish horde were the Sarmatians, successors to the Scythians, who had allied Amazons in their ranks. This gave the Amazons, thus the Egyptians, contacts on both sides of the Roman-Attila conflict. By the mid-5th century the two secret societies parted ways once more.Their relationship had been useful, but not close. From the Amazons viewpoint, it was the equivalent of getting good gossip at the fish market. The Egyptians appreciated the intelligence, but wanted, and didn’t get, military assistance in propping up the Roman Empire. For the Amazons, the fall of the Western Roman Empire was the trigger for a massive Diaspora.A few houses decided to tough it out in Western Europe and its packs of warring Germanic tribes. Others travelled to Egypt and from there, down the Nile to Ethiopia and Central Africa. A third group travelled farther East than ever before, eventually settling in Southern India. Of course, the World never stands still.In the late 8th century, the Illuminati was founded as a mercantile society trying to restructure the shattered Western and Central European economies. It turned out that there was a major pass over the Alps between eastern Italy and southern Germany that was a safe transit region. The Illuminati decided to seize it. The Egyptians popped up, revealed to the infant Illuminati that they didn’t want them to do that, but were ignored.The Egyptians were out to rebuild European civilization, which meant, in their eyes, you didn’t go around butchering those who were restoring law and order. The Egyptians went to the mountain pass and warned the Amazons there what was coming their way. The Illuminati convinced a local Lombard warlord that the pass would be a nice addition to his territory and off he went.Two months later, their bully boy hadn’t returned. Neither had any of his men. Never ones to retreat from failure, the Illuminati sent another force and those guys were never seen again as well. This time the Egyptians showed back up to warn the Illuminati that those people whose land they’d been trying to steal were sick of their meddling and were coming to settle matters.Would the Egyptians help the Illuminati deal with this threat, now that it was out of the mountains? The Egyptians politely declined stating 'better the sitting stone you know than the rolling one that sets things around it on fire’. The Illuminati fled from their first base and that is the reason why they hate the Amazons and Egyptians to this day.Mind you, the Illuminati had no idea who lived in that mountain pass at that time. A few decades after the incident, the Amazons relocated northward. Being good stewards over their lands had given up unwelcome rewards; namely people came to them seeking sanctuary. Amazons can be rather cold-hearted. That does not mean they kill you for knocking on their door.When the number of refugees became too great, the houses voted for migration over slaughter. The Amazons travelled to the Black Forest, dispersing from there, and left the people behind to become known as the Swiss. Everywhere, Europe was tough for the Amazons in the Middle Ages. Heavily male-dominated Germanic cultures in the North, Islamic culture in the South, piracy in between and an epidemic of warfare all around.It was in Sub-Saharan Africa where the Amazons prospered the most. There, migrating populations worked in their favor, as did the style of warfare generally practiced. Perversely, the increase in the East African Arabic slave trade worked in the Amazon’s favor. Not only could they 'liberate’ captured populations; males for breeding and women for recruits; it encouraged local tribes to temporarily ally with the Amazons to fight off the slavers.The Subcontinent turned out to be a mixed bag. In the South, Amazons prospered and grew in numbers and houses. The problem was that they became too strong. Normally they would have spread out, but Eastern India proved more hostile than acceptable and further East looked like a crap-shoot. China didn’t look welcoming at all.So, the Indian Amazons were caught up in a series of wars when Northern powers tried to move South and the Southern lords were in some serious need of aid. The issue was there were multiple players in the shadows pulling the strings. One day, the Egyptians came knocking. The Egyptians knew the Amazons well enough to not try to draft them into their cause.They simply told the Amazons who the key players were and what they were trying to do. Why would they do this? It was obvious. Amazons existed for two reasons; live free and make baby Amazons. Those other asshole Secret Societies were threatening both of those goals. Warfare is doubly hard on a female population and women spending years in combat aren’t making babies.Take into account that during this time period a massive amount of the world’s population lived in India. Add to that the Amazon numbers were respectively tiny (invisible) and Every Secret Society they were fighting didn’t think much of women. A few thousand gurgling last breathes later and two of India’s oldest Secret Societies were gone, or eviscerated.Why had they left the other, Islamic, secret society alone? The Islamic society operated in the populous North, not the jungle-covered South. Why did they leave the Amazons alone? The Amazons exhibited a shocking capacity for violence. The Muslim group was a 'secret’ Secret Society. The Amazons were a 'hidden/don’t fuck with us’ Secret Society.A side effect of the war in India was the creation of another Secret Society; the 9 Clans. They weren’t nine back then, but thanks to the Amazons and Egyptians, this East Asian group picked up the Thuggee and, within a century, the Hashshashin. Things were about to get even more interesting.For the Amazons in India, life existed off the beaten path so it took a year for the Amazons to realize those 'dirty little men’ who had shown up in some western Indian ports were, in fact, Europeans; in a European-built ship. They didn’t know Portuguese, but they knew Latin and with a little bit off effort, they got an updated history of Europe.Amazons had been meeting regularly every thirty years, or so, to choose the next High Priestess and exchange notes. These meeting did not include studies of technological, political, or social improvements. Stealing the twenty-first ship to show up, the Amazons sailed home; Europe, that is. They stopped off in East Africa to spread the good news then, upon landing, went to tell their European sisters that their pilgrimages were no longer a matter of torturous overland travel.They could use nifty ships like these instead. With that came even better news; some Genoese, nut-job, failure of a mathematician had discovered a brand new land and they were going to check it out. The decision was made. The Indians were going back home. Their Europeans sisters were going to 'acquire’ some instructions on how to sail a ship then 'obtain’ some ships and divide them up among the three strongholds.Europe would be heading to the west, Africa would sail around the Cape of Good Hope (not yet named that), back toward Europe to link up their communication network (and in time, bump into Brazil), and India would head east to the South-east Asian archipelago, sailing around the hostile Asian kingdoms. Hopefully, the fleet sailing west and the one heading east would meet one day. Unfortunately, North and South America stood in the way of that dream.The 'little’ hitch in this plan was who those ships belonged to. Nearly half the commerce of Europe at the time was either controlled, or influenced by, the Illuminati. The Amazons were running off with their equipment and profits; whoops. A cherry on top to that 'whoops’ was that the Illuminati were only starting to come out of a bloody war with the Condottieri.The Condottieri had started out as a business venture/strong arm of the Illuminati. In classic Illuminati fashion, the leaders of the Condottieri didn’t know precisely who they were working for. In fact, they thought they were independent. When the Illuminati yanked that leash, it snapped and the blood-letting began.The Illuminati had more money than the Pope and the subtle ability to call upon the kingdoms of the Mediterranean World. What did the Condottieri have? A small cadre of loyal, professional fighting men and the best strategic and tactical minds in the West; the ones the Illuminati had recruited into the Condottieri in the first place. Whoops yet again.The Illuminati had every resource under the Sun. The Condottieri knew they were screwed, but they’d been in fucked up situations before and battled through. They needed to stay alive until the path to victory presented itself. Re-enter the Egyptians and the 9 Clans (still not 9 yet). The Egyptians?The Egyptians made a butt-load of money on the silk and spice trade’s overland routes. The Western Europeans/Illuminati were about to cut them out of that. The Egyptians needed time to reposition themselves. The revolt of the Condottieri was a gift from the Divine and suddenly the mercenaries had funds and ships.The 9 Clans? The Illuminati was a 'Does it All’ organization. If the Illuminati won, who would need assassins? This was class warfare, pure and simple. Even with three-on-one, the Illuminati fought back and fought well. The Amazon predations were not the deciding factor in the war. It wasn’t even their war. Soon enough, the Amazons were buying their own boats and going elsewhere.The Illuminati doesn’t forgive, or forget. For some reason, they took the Amazon thefts personally, despite its negligible impact. Maybe it was that all the other players were regionally invested while the Amazons seemed to be dog-piling them. The fact that Amazons had existed in Europe for nearly 2500 years either didn’t occur to them, or they didn’t care.Flash forward to the start of the 20th century. Through the discrete use of marriage-assassination, land grabs and the basic lawlessness in the Western United States, rural South America, Australia and the islands of Southeast Asia, the Amazons had grown vastly in numbers and economic influence.The Egyptians come knocking once more. Unlike past encounters, they were bringing an offer of alliance. The Illuminati controlled key assets in the British Empire and were using those chokeholds to eliminate their rivals. This was not news to the Amazons. Their holdings in India and the Dutch East Indies had been under pressure of the Illuminati for a century.Ever since the Illuminati nearly ground out the Thuggee (one of the 9 Clans), the Egyptians and Amazons have been constantly harassed. This was not the first warning the Egyptians had brought. The Amazons hadn’t want a war with the Illuminati and they certainly didn’t trust the Egyptians. This time they agreed to go to war though.Why? Two things; totally unrelated. First, the Illuminati and the Seven Pillars of Heaven had agreed to carve up Asia. Amazons lived in Asia and they were no man’s chattel. Secondly, the Women’s Rights movement was in full swing. The Amazons had nothing to do with it. Those were outsider females. What interested the Amazons were the legal ramifications of Women’s Equality.The Amazons were poised for a massive increase in their financial footprint. With the Illuminati out of the way, or at least, preoccupied, they could seize assets and have time to fortify before they could be attacked. Women’s Equality would allow this to take place. Basically, the Amazons were going to exploit the blood, sweat and tears of women to advance their agenda.From all accounts, the only groups that recalled the Amazons last foray into Secret Society politics were the Amazons and Egyptians. Certainly no one had enlightened the Condottieri. They started smacking around some Amazon bases in Europe and unleashed 'Hell on Earth’. With the help of the Egyptians, they got to it in Amazon fashion.A General of the Condottieri and his family were eating at a Naples eatery when five women dresses like nuns walked in and shot up him, his entire family plus some bodyguards. When the response team showed up, they killed them too. A few police were added to the obituary column as the Amazons escaped. Welcome to Amazon warfare.The Condottieri were furious over such a public breach, as well as the losses. They swore a vendetta. The 9 Clans happily informed the Condottieri that a 'War of Extermination’ was the Amazon default setting. The Condottieri were not afraid; not yet. See, there was another secret society called La Solidaridad.Working on intelligence from the Illuminati, La Solidaridad overran an Amazon compound in Argentina. They thought it would be funny to take the survivors as sex slaves. Maybe the Illuminati was experimenting to see just how pissed-off Amazons could get. Maybe La Solidaridad hadn’t read their Homer, especially those parts concerning Ancient World vengeance.It took the Host six months to start things rolling then the carnage began. They made damn sure the men knew they were being hunted by women. They weren’t there to out-macho the men, or make a point. Every night, they attacked the men and their families in the cities and towns. For safeties sake, La Solidaridad retreated to their country estates. Huge mistake.A good number of them had to have hunted at some point in their lives. How they missed being 'flushed out into the open’ was beyond me. Out in the countryside, there was nowhere to hide. Walls meant little because Amazons were incredibly fit and trained to fight at night. Most of the families the Amazons killed. They were the lucky ones. The survivors? By using a new Edison device, they took some home movies of the fates of those men.The Amazon’s favorite tactic was to shove lit sticks of dynamite in the men’s asses then steer them toward the closest river. One guy actually made it. His relief didn’t last long. The Amazons had done something to turn the normally safe caiman population into rabidly aggressive swarmers. Bitches; insanely, sadistic bitches.In eighteen months, La Solidaridad had ceased to exist as an organization and never recovered. The Illuminati used that time wisely to beat down the Egyptians, Earth and Sky, and the 9 Clans, aided by the Seven Pillars. Having concluded their first order of business, the Amazons sent their home movie to the Condottieri.It wasn’t mercy toward the Condottieri. I was psychological warfare. The Amazons needed the Condottieri off-balance so they could go after their real enemy. It seemed the Illuminati had instructed La Solidaridad on how to 'intimidate’ the Amazons; through rape, torture and enslavement. Specifically, it was Cáel O'Shea who set the tragedy in motion; Granddad.Beyond Granddad being impossibly fucking old, he had possessed some seriously out of control animosity where Amazons were concerned. Before the Amazon’s could implement their hunt, the 9 Clans intervened. The Illuminati had been giving them real problems and they saw a way to gain some breathing space. Had the Amazons and 9 Clans been in communication, the World might be a very different place today.Instead, the heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne was wacked by the Black Hand, some Serbian numbskulls took the fall and the rest of us got World War I. Oddly enough, this one murder accomplished the goals of the 9 Clans, Amazons, Egyptians and Earth and Sky Society. The British Empire still stood, but was wrecked. China was much worse off than that.Before the Amazons could gain their vengeance, the Egyptians negotiated a cease-fire between groups. The Amazon Council was furious yet unwilling to fight the Illuminati alone. They kept down their bile…and waited. In the post-War period, the Amazon/Illuminati feud ate much of their resources (probably the Egyptian’s intentions all along).A truly dark side of this struggle was the Amazon support for the Nazis. Did the Amazons switch course? Yes, but not for the reasons most people would think. Jews, gypsies, communists and homosexuals going into camps didn’t worry them one bit. What did? Let’s go back in time to those women in the Swiss Alps who headed north.A great many of them went North then East…to places like Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It wasn’t so much a matter of whimsy as one of terrain and population. All the best farmland was in western Germany, the Low Countries and France. That’s where the Germanic peoples settled. Behind them, to the East, were the Slavs.The Slavs had three things the Amazons liked; low population density, weak social hierarchies and crappy land. That meant they could live in relative isolation, not be subject to an all-powerful king and not be inundated with migrating hordes wanting to steal their dank swamps, deep forests and isolate meadows.Sometime in early 1939, right after the Third Reich snatched up Bohemia, some Amazon augur decided to open up Hitler’s Mein Kampf to see what was going on i.e. to see when Hitler would get around to jumping on England; the whole reason the Amazon were supporting him. What she found out was bad, bad, bad! The genocide of a bunch of people they could care less about? Not a problem.Invading the Slavic lands? What? Russia/Soviet Union hadn’t been the big foe in WWI and they certainly were not Germany’s greatest enemy at the moment; Britain was! Drang Nach Osten? That was an undefined migration of Germans back into Slavic lands that ended over 600 years ago? Their Eastern European sisters were in grave danger from a lunatic.The common sense response (for Amazons) was to kill the Hitler. They couldn’t get close, so they took their problem to their old allies, the Egyptians and 9 Clans. Those two saw nothing wrong with the way things were developing. The Amazons swallowed their pride and went to the Illuminati who seemed rather enchanted with the idea of the fascists and communists annihilating one another.They had no way to safely approach the Soviets. Pulling their sister houses out of Eastern Europe was no longer an option; the other Secret Societies would be looking for that and try to figure out where the Amazon home bases were. The Amazons decided to make a fight of it. They were not going to charge panzers with spears.No, they started setting up caches of supplies and weapons in the most inaccessible places imaginable. The hope was that as Nazi Germany was grinding Communist Russia to dust, they could smuggle out their people in the chaos to Sweden then points west. The problem was WW II didn’t work out that way. Great Britain got spanked at Dunkirk and Poland, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and Norway all surrendered to the Nazi blitzkrieg.Then the Germans invaded Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia went under, but the Soviet Union didn’t fall. Much to the Amazon Council’s horror, resistance units began to interact with the local Amazons in an effort to improve their mutual survivability. Tales of mysterious female fighter, appearing to slay their enemies then disappearing into the wilderness filtered to both the Stavka (Russians) and SOE (British).The SOE discovered an answer to the mystery in mid-1942, by way of the fledgling US OSS. The Americans 'found’ three female Army recruits who volunteered for such a mission. A month later, the partisan bands with those agents found the 'Forest Women’ and all the lights came on. Unknown to the public World, the Amazon Council decided that the best hope for their kinswomen was to bring down the Nazis and ride out the Allied conquest.All of that might have been a happily little footnote except for what happened next. Hundreds of Amazons fought; no surprise; yet they didn’t fight alone this time. Men and women of the local populace fought side by side with these lethal warriors. They shared battle plans, food, fire and medical care. That huge cultural barrier created over two and a half millennia began to erode.They bled together and were forced from time to time to place their lives in each other’s hands. They witnessed one another’s courage and sacrifice. They watched them bury their dead, nurture their young and weep at their pain. Whenever things looked darkest, the Amazon would turn to their partisan partners and say with utmost confidence 'we have survived worse; so can you’.The seminal event happened on the night of February 17th, 1944. For two years, the fractured, wounded women that are ever-present wherever there is war began to attach themselves to the Amazon bands. At first they were little more than annoyances. In time, the Amazons tried to turn these women into something 'useful’. Later, a few earned the right to follow the Amazons into battle.On that February night, two ladies were inducted into House Živa. This was hardly the first time outsider women were brought into the Host, but this circumstance was unique; induction in the middle of a war, having proven themselves in battle before their now-sisters. From that action; not the last in that conflict; was born the concept of the 'Runners’.With the end of WWII, the Amazons emerged more powerful than ever. The three strongest groups in the United States were the Egyptians, Illuminati and the Amazons. The Amazons profited the most; having started with the lowest profile and having infiltrated both the government and business sectors during the war effort.Using the Freemasons, the Egyptians reaped great benefit from the US war effort too. Always forward-looking, the Egyptians helped the Amazons as well. Still, not everything was rosy. For the Public World, World War II ended in September of 1945. That was barely a blip in the Secret Societies’ radar. The calamity came on the 10th of December 1949.Using their pawns in the Chinese Communist Party, the Seven Pillars had re-unified China and were back on the world stage. Earth and Sky and the 9 Clans were dealt a setback. A fourth secret society involved in the Chinese struggle was absorbed by the 7 Pillars. The problem was that all the societies were locked in a bitter struggle yet devastated and over-extended.The 9 Clans, fearing the ratcheting up of Cold War intelligence-gathering services by multiple national governments asked for a global truce. The Amazons were dangerously exposed and over-extended. The Illuminati decided this was their time to strike and nothing could deter them. Into this backdrop, came the news to the Amazons that they had serious genetic issues.That led to the First Directive; the recruitment of 'Runners’ as an established program as well as the explosion of what I knew as Executive Services. In a truly bizarre twist, U.S. and Soviet agents found themselves engaged in cat-and-mouse games with European NATO agents. Amazons had penetrated the proto-CIA during the war in an effort to reach their European sisters.In Eastern Europe, many of those partisans went over to the Communists when the Soviets overran their countries and looked favorably upon their erstwhile allies from the War. They couldn’t match the influence that the many of the other secret societies possessed. Instead they pulled upon existing, personal relationships.I worked with a negative result of those days; Desiree, or more accurately, Desiree’s parents. I was also walking with the final resolution of that crisis. The Secret Societies proved they could work just as fast as the UN. In three decades they had resolved nothing and were spending more and more time on damage control.Three events converged. The Illuminati had figured out the full-blooded Amazons were dying out so they knew they could win a game of attrition. The rest of the groups were coming to the conclusion that wiping out the Amazons was the easier course of action. The Amazons had, without a doubt, located the leader of the Illuminati, Cáel O'Shea.O'Shea was in sight of his goal; the extermination of the Amazons; when a lone Amazon got to him first. O'Shea’s death sent titanic shockwaves through the Illuminati. There was a scramble for the top spot, fear over how much the Amazons knew about their inner workings, and how the other secret orders would take this bit of news.The Illuminati recoiled from the event, agreed to a truce and that led to the protocols that kept Brianna from dragging me off; gunshot wounds and all. That had been the state of affairs for the last thirty years. Again, the World had not stood still. China was an economic powerhouse, the EU grew stronger, and wars of political ideology had been replaced by religious-based terrorism.The Amazons were at a critical juncture in their history. The 'New’ Directive was their best chance at staving off extinction and the Houses were fighting it kicking and screaming. The First Directive wasn’t being implemented properly. If nothing changed, the Amazons would be dragged under by the weight of their own bigotry.But wait! There was this idiot with no conception of history getting in the way of Amazon extinction; the decline toward oblivion that six murderous factions were waiting for. In this epic there were no 'friends’, only 'allies of convenience’. The Egyptians weren’t buddies. They simply preferred others to fight their battles for them.The Amazons fit that bill nicely, but if they were dying out, the Egyptians would be more concerned in filling the Amazon void than mourning over the Host’s grave. The Illuminati and Seven Pillars were enemies. Though there was little animosity between the Earth & Sky and the Amazons, the E&S were based on perpetuating the legacy of the World’s greatest rapist.The 9 Clans were the 9 Clans and their business was all about the precise application of death. They had no friends and if they pretended to be your friend, it was only so they could position themselves to kill you. It was only business. They rarely played with debts, obligations and vendettas. Still, if a member of the 9 Clans said they owed you, it was worth the assassin’s weight in Iridium.As a bonus, the 9 Clans were gender-neutral. Outside of the Amazons, they had been using females in their numbers the longest. Because of this, the 9 Clans tried to interact with the Amazon using women from their own ranks, minimizing the sexual tension between the groups. The Condottieri had also began recruiting women into their ranks over the past twenty years.Their leadership was still all-male with the added complications of the unresolved Naples killings and the brutal destruction of La Solidaridad. Also, while the Amazons were not business competitors, they didn’t employ the Condottieri either. All these micro-wars had been very good for the Condottieri, allowing them to build up quite a stable of talent and a huge war chest.If the Amazons recovered, the global map would change. How so? Madi and Rhada weren’t from Cleveland, but from India where unresolved crimes against women were too common. Palli Chandra, the VP of International Finance and Ngozi from my spa

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Steamy Stories
Life As A New Hire: part 14

Steamy Stories

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022


Insults, Felix and Ash Men.By FinalStand. Listen and subscribe to the podcast at Steamy Stories.Caring is a curse you dare not go without.(Somewhere in the midst of this nightmare, Cáel needs to earn a paycheck)Felix had the physical confrontation he wanted. Somewhere in the back of my mind was that I had to do something inane yet again; like consumer test Ginsu Spatulas, or the equivalent. Felix noted the open hostility directed his way, but had neither the knowledge, nor the empathy to give a fuck. The elevator closed on his smug face. Work time.“That didn’t take you long at all,” St. Marie chortled from behind me. I jolted.“If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be hand-feeding polar bears, so cut me some slack,” I groaned.“I was under the impression that your pugnacity was more of a defense mechanism, not male bravado,” St. Marie probed.“I am as much surprised as you are about this. I don’t even like the girl involved. I’ve never fought over a woman before, but Felix used that woman to get at me; ineffectively,” I mused. “My emotions don’t…you don’t want to be hearing any of this, do you?”“No,” St. Marie said. I stared at her. She stared at me. “Yes?”“Have you ever done any bikini wrestling?” I blurted out. She blinked. “Gotta go. Work to do,” and I fled. In the elevator I recognized one of the ladies from International Finance though I didn’t know her name.“What happened to your face?” she asked.“Do you know who the Golden Mare is?” I replied. She nodded very respectfully. “Well, she hit me.” The woman studied me. “I guess I shouldn’t have hit her first.”“You hit (dead word spoken) St. Marie?” She gulped. “I’m stunned you are still alive.”“You and me both,” I sighed. “I’m starting to regret suggesting she take up bikini wrestling.”Blink.“Tell me about it. I was looking into her eyes and that was the first thing to come to mind,” I shrugged.“I repeat, I’m stunned you are still alive,” she shook her head.“What do you mean? I think she’d look good in a bikini,” I stated. The door opened to Medical. “Have a good day at work now,” I smiled. “I’m off to crush marbles with a sledgehammer.” My real job was to be a genetic guinea pig. I had to sit naked on a gurney and let them take blood and tissues samples.The sperm sample was fun. First I insisted that I’d been in a fight earlier in the morning and my elbows weren’t up to the job. After confirming this, they had some poor ‘new hire’ jack me off. I held out as long as I could, to the point she gave me a blowjob; her first. Sadly, when senior medical technician informed her of the extinction of her oral virginity, they were both less than pleased yours truly.I reminded them that I didn’t shoot off into her mouth, or anything so crude. Next I informed them of a little known fact that my first ejaculate of the day (no mention of Brooke by me) was sterile and we had to repeat the process. No such luck. Damn microscopes. To prove I was a lousy patient, I feigned a collapse and a lack of breathing.I didn’t grapple with my CPR specialist. I very slowly and tenderly wrapped her up in my embrace. I told her that at the moment of utter darkness, her heartbeat brought me back to the light. I was a the point of penetration when a real doctor showed up and pulled the struggling Physician’s Assistant away; she hadn’t finished saving me, the young Amazon protested.At this point the team threatened to give me a sedative. I responded with 'is it chemical, or a blow to the head’. They smiled and said they’d give me both if I misbehaved again. My counter-offer was a request for some Neapolitan ice cream. They conceded the issue, I got my ice cream and stopped being a jack-ass.At 11:30 am, the first battery of tests concluded. As we were wrapping up, I asked why I had to be naked for the entire thing. They stared at me. Strangely, the Amazon who had prepped me for this nonsense had made herself scarce. Damn it. The doctors then gleefully informed me that I had to be naked for the second half of the test, after lunch.I asked why. They smiled. Bitches. As I was fixing my tie, my phone rang.“Hello, Android Cáel Nyilas here,” I answered. There was some giggling; Brooke.“Hey, Android Cáel, this is flesh and blood Brooke Lee,” she snickered. Man, I had turned her around emotionally in only a few hours. Screw Felix.“Have you eaten lunch yet?” she asked. I bit back my automatic response; asking if she was on the menu. We’d talked about Libra as I was leaving this morning.“You, me and Libra?” I suggested. Brooke put her hand over the phone; the dearth of background noise was the giveaway.“She may not want to see you,” Brooke hedged. That meant Libra was listening in.“We talked about this earlier, Brooke,” I sighed. “I want a chance to at least talk with her.” Not totally false. I wanted to fuck her again. That necessitated some amount of conversation so I was willing to put forth the ergs of energy.“I’ll make the effort,” Brooke promised. Making Libra a deal-breaker might have been sugar-coated chocolate for Libra. It would have also made them both suspicious of my suspicions.“Please do your best,” I said. “Where do you want meet?”“My place?” she teased.“Libra plus I would only have forty-five minutes with you, which is not nearly enough time,” I reminded her. Sex.“Libra doesn’t have to know,” Brooke was now pressing Libra’s buttons.“We are not going to go there,” I insisted. They didn’t own me and I didn’t own them.We were bantering back and forth, playing with sexual innuendo of the relationship kind. A good aphrodisiac is a woman thinking you are foregoing sex with another woman to have sex with her. Best of all (for me) for hooking Libra and me back together, Libra was going to let Brooke fuck me yet again. Win-win-win.“We’ll meet at Stanhope’s,” Brooke finished. I agreed to meet her there in ten minutes and off I went. Aisha, the Arabic swimsuit model/SD hottie called for me as I was heading out the door. I asked why. She didn’t say so I ran for it. Screw them all; it was my lunch break. I made it to Stanhope’s. I was fleet of foot and was getting the hang of hailing taxis.Libra was with Brooke at an outdoor table at Stanhope’s. I didn’t fake surprise. My cover was that I had faith in Brooke. I kissed Brooke while Libra gave me the cold shoulder.“Libra doesn’t believe we’ve talked about her,” Brooke opened up.“You are the one who keeps shouting out her name during orgasm,” I sighed.“That’s not a joking matter,” Libra snapped viciously.“It made you talk to me,” I winked. Libra growled.“I hate you,” she seethed.“That is a perfectly normal, if heart-rending reaction to our past two encounters,” I admitted.“I hope it hurt,” Libra seethed. “Besides, I went out with Brian Fung last night.” She was stating the obvious. I was okay with that. It left her open to my lie.“Have you moved on?” I moped. Libra not seeing me anymore made me want to cry. Missing her was utter anguish; it was written all over my face. Non-verbal deception is as important as the verbal kind.I was not beating a dead horse, I was coaxing a thoroughbred to the Triple Crown. Give the girl what she wants; verbally, sexually and, if you can pull it off convincingly, emotionally.“I don’t know,” Libra stated which meant 'no, she hadn’t moved on’.“Let’s go out tomorrow night,” I suggested. Be bold enough to make the first move, but not so aggressive she feels pressured.Being a man isn’t beating your chest; it is stepping up to get your ego battered by the girl. If it wasn’t for my first, failed romantic attempt, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It hurt like Hell when she publically rejected me. These days, my bed was always warm so the pain was well worth it.“Why not tonight?” Libra got combative.“Felix and I had a disagreement at work,” I grinned. “We are settling the issue tonight at six.”“What happened?” Brooke leaned in close to me, hungry for details. I was a bastard.“He loudly presented me with these,” I slipped Brooke her panties under the table.“In the middle of my office and co-workers. Even my Boss heard it,” I added. Brooke’s deeply tanned complexion paled. Libra didn’t see the panties, but she knew the score.“What did you do?” Libra pressed.“I told him Brooke was a grown woman and could make her own decisions about who she was with,” I started.“Brooke is a wonderful lady and she should be courted based on that. Felix had this bizarre idea that I felt possessive about her and thought he was using Brooke to hurt me over a slight at work,” I wove forth the basic truths. “I’m not going to fight Brooke’s battles,” I affirmed which meant that 'yes, I was going to fight Brooke’s battles’.If you are a guy and you assume that the woman is actually hearing the words coming out of your mouth, you are deluded. The reverse is also the same.“If a man has a problem with me, he comes after me, not my friends,” I grew stern. This meant Felix was not a man. It also meant that I considered Brooke, thus Libra, my friends.They were okay with that. This didn’t mean they thought of me as a friend. It was similar to the family butler. I had to memorize every detail of their lives. If they remembered my birthday, I should feel blessed; symbolically speaking of course. I’d make an abysmal butler.“Did he hit you?” Libra leaned across the table and stroked my cheek right below the place St. Marie had clocked me.“That? Nah. An Archer fish tried to shoot my eye out so now he’s fish sticks,” I replied.“With all your wounds,” Libra hesitated, “Are you in the military?”“Libra, I’m a disaster as a civilian,” I chuckled. “I’d make an impossible soldier. Half way through basic training I’d start showing up in a kilt; 'cause it makes me feel free and breezy down there’.”“When they tried to make me change, I’d charge them with cultural insensitivity,” I smiled.“What would you do if they let you get away with it?” Brooke snickered.“Take up horse archery…because you never know when you’ll be without fuel and bullets on the modern battlefield,” I postulated. “If they let me get away with that, I’d stay, but I’d join the airborne.”“I like parachuting,” Brooke nodded. “Have you ever done it?” She bet I hadn’t and she was right.“Never before in this lifetime. I really want to see if I could get my horsed trained to do it first,” I chortled. “Lord knows, nobody else has. The first Airmobile Horse Archery unit. That would be pretty cool.”“The horse would break her legs,” Libra frowned.“Use an air mattress platform for the horse to stand on, sort of like those air bags stuntmen use, but smaller,” I reasoned. I wasn’t sure if Brooke and Libra were more stunned about the plausibility of my suggestion, or that I had created it off the cuff.We ordered lunch and drinks. Service was very efficient so I had only pushed my salad aside to have my grilled shrimp replaced it when a shadow fell across our table. It was a stormy Aisha.“Cáel Nyilas, you are coming with me,” she spoke with deceptive calm.“No,” I replied then ate a shrimp. She put her hand on my shoulder. I brandished my fork.“Listen up,” I grumbled. I tapped my wristwatch with my fork, “I’ve got 35 more minutes on my lunch break. I’m eating with friends…okay, almost friends…”“I’m Cáel’s friend,” Brooke rallied. Aisha bore down on my collarbone, so I stabbed at her hand with the fork. She moved it out of the way first.“Come now,” she growled.“Very well,” I sighed. “Since you certainly have never heard this from a man before meeting me, I’ll clarify. NO, I’m not coming with you. Go away you annoying twit. If that was unclear, let me add; no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no and no.”Aisha looked over her shoulder. There were two more SD chicklets. Woot!“Last chance to keep this simple,” Aisha threatened.“Brooke and Libra, you need to stand up and back away,” I instructed them as I stood up as well, “I’m going to need your chairs as weapons.” The girls grabbed their food and backed up.“Don’t make a scene,” Aisha whispered.“Ex-squeeze me? I’m eating lunch. In thirty-five minutes I’ll be back at work. You are the one being a total bitch for annoying the fuck out of me here,” I glared. “All you had to do was tell me why you wanted me back at Havenstone, but you didn’t feel the need, so now we have this stand-off.”“It is not a stand-off and I don’t explain myself to you,” Aisha glared back. She even showed me she had a gun. I laughed, pulled out my phone.“What are you doing?” Aisha made a swipe for the phone.“Making me late for work,” I chuckled. “I’m dialing 9 1 1.”“Do that and you will be in a world of trouble,” she threatened.“You haven’t thought this out, have you, Aisha?” I snickered. “If it was important to my job, Katrina, or Medical would have called me. If it was a calamity, Hayden perhaps. Barring that, I can’t wait to hear your excuse for starting a public brawl.”“I told you to come with me and you had best obey,” Aisha hissed. That was the tipping point. Recycling old, failed arguments is the sign that your opponent has lost.“Yeah…right,” I shrugged. I sat back down and began eating. A second later, Brooke and Libra joined me. Aisha retreated to the curb and waited…and got ticketed because it was a No Parking Zone.“Who was that woman? I’ve seen her before,” Brooke commented.“She’s that woman from the first night we met,” Libra answered.“She’s not my boss so I don’t care,” I tried to recapture our earlier mood. It was only partially successful. The three SD ladies kept their eyes on us until dinner was cleared away and it was time to go back.I kissed both Brooke and Libra goodbye with a promise of a date the next night. When I tried to walk past Aisha, she grabbed my arm. From my point of view, a ride to work was a ride to work and this one was free. I travelled in silence. Miraculously, they didn’t answer my request to go to Medical, though we were at least going up…and up…and up. Crap.They deposited me in Hayden’s office then departed. It was Hayden, Katrina, St. Marie, Elsa, and Tessa. The door shut ominously behind me.“Cáel, I like you,” Hayden began. “Unless you are working on an assigned task, you are not allowed to defy a woman of Havenstone who gives you a clear concise order, especially one from the Security Detail.” It didn’t take me a second to formulate my treatise on the Rights of Man.“No.” That didn’t go over well. Into the emptiness, I forged ahead. “You can’t expect for me to be given conflicting orders and expect me to succeed. You people have a chain of command for a reason. I follow that chain like every other member of Havenstone.”“You are not a member of Havenstone,” Hayden pointed out. That I had to think about.I scanned each impassive face in the room. I wanted to cry; not out of fear; out of frustration because I really had tried so hard to make this work.“You are all a bunch of cowards and I regret ever wanting to be part of this place,” I spat.“Your opinion of us does not matter,” Hayden started.“Cowardly act number one,” I interrupted. Hayden’s gaze hardened.“It is your time. You publically defied a Havenstone employee on a mission concerning you,” she continued.“Cowardly acts number two and three,” I growled. Now St. Marie and Elsa closed in.I turned to face them. I wanted to go down swinging, no matter how futile the gesture.“Cowardly act number four; suddenly, when you desire, my insolence matters,” I set myself for what was to come.“Don’t fight,” Tessa commanded softly. Katrina kept her own counsel.“That’s your fucking problem, right there,” I shouted. “This isn’t the Sunshine Scouts. This is a martial society. I fight, because that is what every bitch here is broadcasting. I didn’t hit Rhada when she hit me. I called for help, like any sane individual. When no help was forthcoming, I called for someone to get the police. Again, you did nothing.”“Fuck you all. Rhada attacked me, so I put her down. Madi attacked me, so I put her down too; and it all your damn fault and not one of you has the courage to face that fact,” I shouted. “You attack me for fighting back at the same time you tell me to fit in. Now which is it? Am I to fit in to a martial culture, or am I not? Make up your damn minds!”“You do not get to talk to us like that,” St. Marie murmured.“Somebody better talk to us like this,” Katrina finally spoke. “Face facts: Cáel is here because he resists. He resists because that is the lesson we are teaching him, Sisters.”“What do you mean?” Elsa regarded Katrina.“When Cáel is challenged physically and resists successfully, or even unsuccessfully, he grows in the estimation of our Sisters. No one admits it, but it is the truth. The harder he fights, the more he is valued. It is a very simple principle. He has never believed he is a member of the Host, a Runner, or even a recruit. He does not strive to be an Amazon of any kind,” Katrina lectured.“Then we expect him to do ridiculous things like walk off with an Amazon he barely knows who doesn’t even explain where he is going, or what he is supposed to do,” Katrina shook her head. “Somehow we forecast his desire to be treated with a modicum of respect to be a threat? Respecting him does not make him an Amazon; it makes him a warrior in our cause.”“The Council has not decided on that portion of the New Directive yet,” St. Marie stated.“Warrior-Fathers,” Katrina declared firmly. “My niece, Aya; you all know of her; she went to camp this week and SHE formed her own war band with her fellow students. Fuck you all very much; It works!”“Katrina,” Hayden cautioned.“Hayden, I am tired of this half-measure bullshit. There is no being half-alive. We live, or we die. We made a mistake then we made another one. Let’s not make it three.” I raised my hand.“Yes?” Hayden finally acknowledged me.“Can I go back to work now? Sitting here is like commenting on the rain. I have a lot to say, but it won’t affect the rain one iota,” I reasoned.“You are not going to run?” Tessa asked. I knew she was joking.“Well, I can’t get past the front door. I can’t escape out the garage and I left my diamond-tipped glasscutter and 150 meters of rope in my other jacket,” I informed her.“I guess I’ll have to use the 15 kg of C-4 I have stuck in my shorts. I know it makes me look like I took a colossal dump in my underwear, but trust me, it is only a weapon,” I grinned. I tried to get around Elsa. She brushed her hand over my chest.“You are special,” she purred.“You scare me,” I mumbled.“I know,” she grinned happily.“Bye Pony-Lady,” I waved to St. Marie.“Cael,” Hayden called out. I halted, but didn’t turn around. “You will stop referring to the Marshal of the Amazon Host as 'Pony-Lady’, is that clear?”“Yes Hayden. Good-bye St. Marie,” I said as I departed.“Are you sure he is not mentally defective?” St. Marie questioned.“He is,” Elsa replied. “He laughs at Death.” See, what did I tell you? Now you can run out and pick up an infatuated female psychopath of your very own.(Later in the day)Knife-fighting class was taught by this painfully thin yet tall Amazon with mostly grey-white hair. There was nothing wrong with her reflexes, or sight. She regarded me, her only student, with passionless eyes. She had me sit down cross-legged, she did the same opposite me, and we spent an hour talking about the philosophy of knife-fighting.Knives were hardly ever the first weapon of choice. That was part of the lesson; knowing when to choose a knife to fight with. We talked about all kinds of blades, focusing on the short, hilt-less blades every Amazon carried. I had to get one special-made. It was the size of my palms. If the blade was too small, it would cut up my hand when I used it.Except for a few hand motions, it was verbal instruction. Knife from an advantage, knife from the front, and knife at a disadvantage. Each had its own set of rules to follow. It was cool. Me having a penis didn’t bother her in the least. At the end of the lesson, I asked if I could call her Zen Master. She said 'no’, her name was Pamela.I then asked if I could call her Zen Mistress Pamela. Smiling, she said 'no’ again. My last attempt was 'Blossoming Petals of Death Pamela’ at which point she laughed and told me to give it a rest. I found myself with a free hour so I raced down to the pool and took in a few laps. It was a crime against nature that all the Amazons were one-piece bathing suits.Here I was in my Speedo and no one to play with. That wasn’t really true. After my first lap, two Amazon lasses tried to engage me in a race without actually talking to me. As they were turning back they realized I was keeping to my same strong, casual strokes in my own little World.That annoyed them so the next time around, one got into my lane, turned to face me and stopped. Right according to plan, or if you prefer, like stealing candy apple kisses from a lady. I almost ran into her. At the very last second, I pulled up, letting my body coast up against her. She was treading water and looking vibrant.Her treading water meant I didn’t have to. One hand settled on her mid-back (friendly enough), but the other one cupped her right buttock and immediately probed along her cleft and to her pussy from behind. Her 'Happy Choice’ pop-up indicators went off and I had a winner. I was sure I could have pointed a shotgun in this woman’s face and she’d have spit on me.With my cock bumping up against her crotch, my finger wiggling around her suit for her pussy and my other arm keeping her close, she looked totally flummoxed.“What are you doing?” she whispered. I was sure she wanted to have that sound authoritative, not like plea for an instruction manual.“How about this,” I replied quietly, “you keep your hands moving and I’ll kick so that you can wrap your legs around my waist?”“Why would I want to do that?” she asked…while her legs wrapped around my waist. A little positon altering with my hand and I was having her pulse against my cock.“Deena?” the other Amazon called out. She was swimming in close proximity now.“I…” Deena responded to her comrade. “You are taking liberties,” she chastised me even as an erotic smile graced her lips.“Please don’t turn me in,” I murmured to her. My lips were a few millimeters from hers.The other woman could clearly make out our physical relationship between us.“Stop that,” the unnamed woman demanded.“Ah…” Deena moaned as I slipped two fingers past her swimsuit and into her slick cunt. The stranger tried to separate us, but Deena shook her head. “No…we are okay.”“Stop it,” I whispered. “Don’t make me…don’t make me…don’t,” and kissed. Total lie for the sake of our voyeur. Deena wasn’t currently capable of making me doing anything. Why was I doing this? Out of control libido plus stress plus I still had Yasmin and Felix to deal with. Oh yeah, Deena being cute, firm and just curvaceous enough to be Grace Kelly feminine didn’t hurt.“Why are we doing this?” Deena murmured sexily.“Am I making you happy?” I posed. She thought about it then nodded.“I thought being with a male would be more difficult,” she countered.“Stop looking so athletic,” I teased her, “and it will be easier for me to get away.”Calling an Amazon 'pretty’, or even 'beautiful’ would have limited, if any affect. Better words were 'impressive, swift, healthy, fit and athletic, because that’s what they valued in one another. Even 'scary’ and 'frightening’ were turning out to be good words to use. They never got enough male input to matter.“You are very healthy for a male,” Deena purred back.“How healthy?” the other one asked. She was now more curious than offended with my audacity.“He’s VERY healthy, Sharona,” Deena smiled. “He has strong fingers as well.”I knew the look Sharona shot me. It was the 'why her and not me?’ The answer was clear to her; Deena had been bold, thus won. It was traditional Amazon culture. I was easier to blame me because I was the guy. All three of us knew the score. More kissing and kitty-petting ensued. It became even more rewarding when I eventually bumped into Deena’s clit.I didn’t have to do much. My finger rubbed against her nub, Deena really liked that and started humping my finger before I could do anything. Public sex had never been a stimuli for me. I didn’t mind it and by the number of Amazons circling, or watching from poolside, they didn’t mind what Deena was 'doing’ to me either.There was no screaming, thunderclap of joy, or even a violent physical spasm. Deena pressed tight, made several yipping noises and came down whimpering happily. She was a truly content little camper; that was for sure.“You had sex!” one of the bystanders called out. I looked into Deena’s eyes.“If you say 'yes’, I’ll wake up tomorrow morning in Baku Faso,” I whispered.“No…no we weren’t,” Deena gave me a sultry look. “We were practicing lifeguarding techniques. Did I save your life…?”“I’m Cáel,” I breathed on her lips. “Yes, I feel like a whole new man.”“We will have to hone your skills; real soon,” Deena winked. That was not a request. That was 'come back, or I’ll hunt you down’.“I normally cannot make it before five,” I informed her.“That works for me,” Deena pulled away. She gave a warm sigh as my fingers slipped out of her. I made for the side. As I pulled myself out, my equipment straining at the seams, several wonderful ladies surrounded me.“Do you think you are leaving?” they confronted me.“I have a five o'clock end-of-day meeting with Katrina,” I calmly explained. Katrina was my 'Get out of Jail’ free card that allowed me to escape the pool and the shower without becoming a scratching post. Amazons aren’t animals; I’m just that sexy. Yes, I could pick up almost any girl at a club. I also had various Amazon pre-ordering collars with my name on it. By now my neck size was common knowledge.(Wednesday Evening)The stuff of my nightmares: I walk out from the end of day meeting with Katrina and the new hire ladies two see a gaggle of other women waiting for me, I assumed. I knew them all. Farah Winters recruited me from Bolingbrook, Umami Lhasa who was Tessa Carmichael’s right-hand woman, Tessa herself…and Yasmin Palhavã, my Brazilian hottie and workout date.“Hi Cáel,” they all greeted me.“Hey ladies,” I did my best to look happy. “What’s going on?”“Havenstone has offered me a job,” Yasmin grinned. How could this possibly go wrong? Yasmin thought this place was run by a crazy cult, so why did she look at ease?She could be trying to infiltrate Havenstone; bad idea. She could have had a conversion; I hope her son would be okay. She was…high on drugs…okay, the last one was weak.“What department?” I kept going.“We are trying to convince her to start out in Security Services (the guards) then move her up to Financial Investigations due to her expertise with the Policia Federal in her homeland,” Tessa said.“Cáel, by the look on your face, I know you are concerned. Ms. Carmichael; Tessa, has told me some things that put the situation in perspective,” Yasmin gave me an all so sexy look. “You are far braver than I thought you were.”“What? That I invested the entirety of my 401K on the comeback of Baleen Oil?” I joked.“My Son will be okay,” Yasmin patted my hand. Was I that much of an open book?“Do you have an instinct to protect children?” Umami inquired.“Not before I got here, but then I didn’t know anyone who would casually kill children either,” I responded. I had to ask the next question. I couldn’t be me and not.“Tessa, can I ask you a serious question?” I began. Tessa nodded. “Why was Yasmin 'read in’ to Havenstone? I don’t doubt for a second she’s a qualified as an investigator, but this strikes me as highly unusual and even reckless for your…people.”“It was this, or kill her,” Tessa answered. “By the way, that was Yasmin’s first question too.”“Precisely, my question was 'are you going to kill me for that crazy cult stuff that went down last week?’” Yasmin corrected. “She said I had to answer two questions to decide that.” In a bizarre, Amazon-style way, that made sense. Yes, Yasmin would beat her husband nearly to death for cheating on her; and shooting her, and she would willingly have sex again.I knew this because Buffy told me her backstory and it had Katrina asking her the two questions as well.“Yasmin, let me clarify this right now,” I held my ground. “I’m cheating on you. Please don’t hit me. It has been a bad day and the pain has just begun.”And all the psycho-bitches laughed.“Let’s go practice, É o meu P.A.,” Yasmin chuckled. No one was going to tell me what the damn phrase meant. I dare not look it up on-line because if I did, and Yasmin saw that flicker of understanding in my eyes…bad things would happen to me in the bedroom. No, I needed an alibi witness.To be honest, I thought the bedroom was Paradise until some ladies (I’d cheated on; surprise, surprise) tied me to one. Having my body waxed by sadistic amateurs was only recently exceeded by being shot with an arrow on my pain meter. It is not something I like to talk about. They dyed my hair bright pink too.I ended up nailing the new assistant at the College infirmary, so it wasn’t a total loss. Oh, and less I forget, they both took me back later, at the same time, without telling each other. It is a wonder I’m still alive. In an effort to keep that going, I took us to the non-blooded gym this time around.It wasn’t as nice as the full-blooded one, but it was still very full service. The biggest difference I had noticed earlier was the lack of archaic weapons on the wall near the training mat. Yasmin and I decided on a 40/20 split; forty minute of working out and twenty minutes on the mats. Around 5:30 pm, Felix showed up. Like me, he automatically drew attention and he’d clearly been cultivating his aura.He barely spared me a glance, being absolutely confident he had the advantage in every aspect of our contest; both physically and socially. Within minutes a subliminal ripple moved through the crowd. I was spotting Yasmin so it took me a bit to figure out what was going on; full-bloods had entered. One by one, I picked out Daphne, Paula, Dora, Tigger, Violet and Oneida.They weren’t coming at me; that would have kept things calm. No, 'my’ ladies were circulating and I didn’t need ESP to figure out what they were saying. In the ladies’ wake, evil looks where shot Felix’s way. Once more, he felt the undercurrent but misunderstood it. He thought I was seeding the crowd against him.One Amazon 'Runner’ cleared up the nature of the disturbance, if not reason for the outrage.“Did you really take a woman’s underwear to use as a trophy to throw in Cáel’s face?” the disbelieving woman asked. Felix was fearless.“Of course not,” he assured her. “One of Cáel’s many one night stands stopped by my place, slept and forgot…something. That’s all.”Good play. Since I wasn’t in on sabotaging Felix, I had no counter and I wasn’t going to get into a he-said/he-said contest that would leave me looking petty. Poor Felix, he kept forgetting we worked for some really smart women. Around thirty women into Felix’s counter-propaganda campaign, Daphne struck. She was confronted by a pro-Felix lady.“Really?” Daphne announced loudly. “Let’s clear this up why don’t we.” She pulled out her phone, hit one number and said, “Please project that footage to the 'Runner’ gym.”Ten seconds later, Felix and my conversation was projected to every TV suspended around the room. Yes, even Felix’s boast and getting in my face.This wasn’t solely Daphne’s doing. She didn’t have that kind of weight. Oneida on the other hand…Felix barely missed a beat.“Nyilas, you pulled that all out of context,” he growled. The best defense is a great offense.“Felix, I’m a guy. No way in Hell I have the kind of access to security tapes,” I held up my hands, proclaiming my innocence.Felix missed the 'I’m a guy’ part. The women didn’t. Most of them know I skated the rules, but never broke them. Yes, Katrina liked me. Would she give me access to security? That was laughable. Felix was about to pack on the stupidity.“Fine, you had one of your cheerleaders do it,” Felix counterthrust.Cheerleader was not a 'positive’ Amazon role model. Cheerleaders were women who promised sexual reward to male warriors that defeated their enemies (a bit of a biased view). The bipolar normal world reaction to cheerleaders aside, I knew cheerleaders were athletes who worked hard to pull off relatively complex routines. Telling the Amazons this was pointless.If any woman in this room had known a cheerleader before surrendering their old existence to become lethal man-killers, they probably didn’t like them. If they had been a cheerleader, they were keeping their mouths shut.“Are you implying we have lied and altered the official record of events?” Daphne sizzled.See, lying to me and Felix was expected. Lying to their fellow Amazons, despite the Blood Prestige rift, wasn’t going to happen. Trust and loyalty were fundamental virtues here. I imagine Felix had read that passage in the Handbook. I hadn’t believed it for the first two days either. I’d been educated since then.“I wouldn’t put it past you,” Felix glared right back at Daphne. Foolish; stupid.“Yasmin, I gotta go,” I hissed to my Brazilian MILF then rushed to get to Felix. I wasn’t doing it for Felix, the douche. I was doing it for Katrina and her New Directive. Felix had not officially fucked up; he was just being a jerk.Daphne sent Felix a wicked smirk. She’d kicked his ass. Felix knew his ass had been kicked yet still couldn’t grasp the underlying principles behind his defeat; he was in a Woman’s World.“Felix, let’s warm up,” I urged him once I was close enough to be heard.“After that stunt; you can go fuck yourself,” Felix glowered.“Dude, it wasn’t me, I swear,” I met his gaze.“I’m here. You find your own space,” Felix indicated another portion of the mat.“Felix, these ladies are about to kill you. You do not want to send me away,” I whispered. Felix formed a rebuttal then looked around.“Why?” Felix whispered back. Felix was finally acknowledging he’d lost. Now he wanted to know why.“I can’t explain it right now, but let’s say 'cheerleader’ was the wrong descriptive to use,” I continued. “Calling them liars only dug the hole deeper. It is the way it is.”Felix didn’t understand my words, but understood the intent. He was in Oz without any knowledge of the tornado that had taken him there. We didn’t spar together. I did stay close enough to make my intent clear; there would be no ambushing of Felix. You had to understand Amazon psychology to figure out why they weren’t angry with me.I was exhibiting loyalty; especially to a person I hated. Amazons had blood feuds, the specifics I hadn’t figured out. You could probably kick your opponent’s ass. If you stabbed them in the back, there was no rock on the face of the Earth you could hide under.“He practices Muay, Thai, and Savate,” Oneida snuck up on me. “I lend you my spirit,” she added with deep compassion.I turned on her and placed my hand between her breasts.“No. No cheating in this fight,” I insisted. That drew many stares. “Hold your spirit for the battles that matter, not for the resolution of male grievances. Your heart is fierce and I appreciate that, Oneida. No one’s spirit is infinite, so marshal your resources carefully.”Yes, I was lecturing Oneida; bad move. Yes, I was safeguarding her spirit, as would any of the other Amazons in the room; good move. Cloaking my lecture and concern in mystical terms; the win.“I care deeply for you too,” Oneida gave me a demur look, “my Ash Man.” Kill me. Kill me now.This culture didn’t have a 'ready-set-go’. When one person was ready, they attack without warning. I almost forgot that and blind-sided Felix. I didn’t hold back for him. I held back because I didn’t want him to be a whiny baby about this whole thing. I gave him a nod, he nodded back then he attacked.Two piston kicks by Felix backed me up. He switched up with a reverse roundhouse. That was his mistake; I slipped inside his kick range. I came at him; left jab, left jab, and a right cross in such a rapid blur the audience later told me their brains didn’t register the hits until after the fact. It was lights out for Felix. His body made a wet, thumping noise at it hit the mat.There was a hush. Everyone expected this fight to go the distance. I was more renowned for my stamina than punching power. Welcome to the world of light heavy-weight boxing. My problem with Madi had been I couldn’t touch her. I hadn’t even gone all out with Rhada and I dropped her with two jabs.A good number of 'martial artists’ think of boxing as a primitive fighting form. It is. It has also been around forever because the principles are rather simple and effective. Either don’t get hit, or soak up the hit (particularly for heavier fighters), set your opponent up and clobber then. Felix had meant to control me with his powerful kicks.Both Savate and Muay Thai have excellent fist and elbow blocks and strikes. It is simply difficult to switch your focus from kicking to blocking in the blink of an eye. That was less time than what I gave Felix. Most people think of boxers as freight trains, not snipers. In truth, we are both; locomotives approaching the speed of light (somewhat).Double back to all the options Savate and Maui Thai boxers have. They would never be afraid to take a risky kick because they can block in so many ways. Suddenly the issue became one of distance and balance. The boxer was at the kicker’s ankle at the moment of supposed impact and closing. By the time the kicker realized the kick’s over-extension the boxer was at his knee.The kicker still had a plethora of elbow, arm and hand blocks and grapples; except all his power has gone down that kicking leg, leaving him with on point of balance; his other leg. Sure he could get an arm up, but it only had the strength and weight of that limb to call upon. The upcoming hit? It had the mass times acceleration of the boxer’s body coming at him. Good luck.Felix could have beaten me, except it would have taken time. Closing would have allowed him to use all those nifty elbow, palm and hand strikes. It would have also allowed me to do what boxers to best; box. This wouldn’t give me an advantage, just leveled the playing field a bit. He didn’t want to grapple. I had an entire school devoted to grappling while it was an addendum to what he did.Felix’s saw me go to a boxing stance, and like most practitioners of Savate and Muay Thai, he laughed inside. He was going to make a mockery of me because my style sucked and his styles were the ones that best broke your enemies and caused them pain. He was going to knock me back with his kicks then close in and pummel me with every part of his body before I could slip into jujitsu. It would be lightning fast and bloody.Nice in theory; bad in practice. He should have worn me down with his stronger legs. Things fell apart when I stopped running away after the second kick. I couldn’t do much about the piston kicks. The reverse roundhouse on the other hand…allowed me to get close. I put him off-balance with two jabs, not letting him escape and out came the right with my entire mass behind it. I’ve hit a guy with that before who didn’t go down.He was 160 kg, almost 2 meters tall, a jaw made of chromium-steel and a bar bouncer. When he picked me up off the floor and helped me outside he told me I had a good punch. He wasn’t even angry with me. He was amused. I am far luckier than I deserve. His name was Amos. When I found out he had a sister, I got a good look at her picture to make sure I never, ever hit on her.Felix wasn’t that guy. He also wasn’t getting back up. 'Best’ of all, no one was going see how he was. I hoped I hadn’t killed him, or broken his neck. Before I could go to him I heard a voice behind me.“Is this the part where you take his underwear as a trophy?” Dora asked.“For the love of G; the Goddesses, tell me you are joking,” I gasped.“I got you!” Dora snickered.“Is someone going to help Felix?” I inquired. I sensed a bit of combat etiquette I was ignorant of. My previous Amazon opponents had always came to me when the fight was over and I’d lost.Usually they stood over me until I regained consciousness. Felix wasn’t getting that courtesy. He was being studiously ignored and I would have been separating myself from the 'lioness pride’ to help him. It was moral judgment time; Felix wasn’t worth the grief I’d get for disregarding the lesson the rest of the Amazons were administering.I waited at the closest mat edge, doing my cool-down with Yasmin and a few of my female…I guess I had to consider them friends now. What Felix did in front of them was bad, but they had gone above and beyond in coming to this gym and shattering his sexual anima and turning the crowd against him.Worse, while the 'new’ hires couldn’t justify an official corporate campaign against Felix, at the gym he was vulnerable to a propaganda blitz. By lunchtime tomorrow every woman in the building would know of Felix and his predilections toward the female gender. Amazons would still desire him alright. Felix better watch his precious Henie though in case someone decided to explain to him who was really the boss.After eight minutes, Felix stirred. He leveraged himself, took in his surroundings before letting his gaze settle on me. Any anger over my rudeness was dissipated by the social hostility focused on him. I silently offered up a water bottle. Felix hurriedly sprang up then blew the macho display by nearly tumbling back over.Felix took the water, splashed some in his face then drank the rest.“That was fast,” he finally spoke. “Damn fast.”“It was what it was, Felix,” I stayed neutral. “I hope this settles matter between you and I.” I could read it in his eyes; no way in Hell was this over.“I’ll stay away from Brooke,” Felix conceded. “Until next time.”“It was never about Brooke, Felix,” I sighed. “It was about using a woman to get at me. I never cared about anything like that before yet I do now so just don’t do it.” Felix snorted in amusement. He took up a towel and began drying off as he exited the gym.“He should be…” Oneida got out. I took another gamble.“No, Oneida,” I rested a gentle hand on her shoulder. “He did what a thousand other men would do. He’s an egotistical pain in the ass. He is also a fighter, brave and he refuses to accept defeat easily. You can’t instantly dissect his good qualities from his foul ones.”“It takes time,” Daphne supported me. She was also soothing any anger over the over-familiarity I was showing to Oneida. “Along with the rest of us, Cáel is showing Felix the delicate position men will hold in our world. It is a learning process for all of us.”“Felix is not a good man,” Oneida stated, “not like our Cáel,” she added, clearly crushing on me. Eek!!“Umm…ladies, thank all of you for your help this evening,” I looked over the group around me. “Having the room divided over Felix’s predations wouldn’t have done any of us much good. I’m glad this morning’s encounter was brought to light. Thank you all.” If someone does you a favor, thank them.If it is a woman, make doubly sure you tell them exactly what they did and risked for you. They will appreciate it; it strengthens your bond aka the promise of sex. Yes, I’m a sex-obsessed bad little piglet. The looks my Amazons were giving me told me how well my words were working, except for Yasmin, who seemed terribly amused by the whole romantic spectacle.The resulting shower scene was its own interesting ballet. As a male, I couldn’t be in the center. As a gravitational point in space, the tightest group of Amazons decided on who got into which orbit. Yasmin, despite me being on 'date’ with her, was exiled to the periphery. I wasn’t going to get into a shoving match over a six minute shower.Exiting the building was its own paranoid experience. Yasmin and I were leaving together. She was going to take a taxi home, check up on her son, then circle around to my place. We’d figure out 'where to go out to eat’ from there. Before Yasmin could stop me, I paid the cab for the trip, the wait and the delivery to my place.(The Ash Men; a history dump, for those not interested)I strode into my apartment, bike on my shoulder, when I realized I wasn’t alone. Elsa and Katrina; sigh. Breaking and entering? Disrespecting my domicile? This was not the time to be petty, or a stickler for boundaries. I put my bike in its customary place.“Can I get you something to drink?” I offered as I made my way to the kitchenette.“Lemonade would be nice,” Katrina stated.“What is that orange stuff?” Elsa inquired. Yeah, they searched my place already.“Dark orange, or light orange?” I countered.“The darker one.”“That’s carrot juice,” I informed Elsa.“I’ll try some of that,” she said. I fixed three drinks in tall glasses, handing them out before I joined Katrina on the sofa. Sipping my own lemonade, I turned to face Katrina.“Oneida is becoming a problem,” Katrina began. “She’s told you some things she shouldn’t have.”“The Ash Men,” I sighed. “You two being here makes this nothing but bad news.”“Not so,” Katrina corrected me. “It is a shameful episode in our history; so disgraceful we keep the truth of what really happened a closely guarded secret. Unfortunately, it is something House Arinniti has always felt strongly about and teaches their young.”“Amazons keep rather accurate histories, basing everything on lunar cycles. Our records, with minor gaps, date back to the Great Betrayal,” Katrina began. “By modern parlance, around 1000 BCE, our ancestors stopped a millennia of a nomadic existence to settle in the land between the Váh, Hron rivers and Danube rivers.”“You bitches know who the Magyar are,” I interrupted abruptly. Sure, that region was in current day Slovakia, but it bordered Hungary, my ancestral homeland, even though our residency was separated by over 1500 years.“Of course I know who the Magyar are,” Katrina shook her head mirthfully. “I simply can’t resist busting your balls.”I muttered angrily while avoiding using actual words.“Our numbers were enough to seize and hold the land,” Katrina continued. “For centuries before that, we raided for men from tribes whose land we were moving through. After a few seasons, we disposed of the men and took some more.”“When we chose to settle down, our Council decided to raid distant tribes and steal boys to be raised among our people. At first the males were virtual slaves yet in three generations, our people began seeing males as fathers, brothers and sons. We trained them in crafts. A few generations later, we voted to train them to be guardians; protectors of our hearths while the Host made war.”“For eighteen generations things went well. We prospered, grew rich and strong. The tribes around us feared our wrath which made us proud yet was our undoing. New, stronger tribes migrated into the region from the West; we now know them to be Celts. The genesis of House Epona is from those first meetings. Many Celtic women embraced the Amazon lifestyle.”“Though they knew of our strength, the first of these new tribes quickly went from peaceful coexistence to warfare. The Host crushed them. The problem was that new tribes kept coming and coming. Dirges of Mourning replaced the sweet taste of victory around our fires. We were always winning the key conflicts but our numbers were diminishing.”“The males came to the Council and begged for the opportunity to join the Host in battle. Twice we rejected them. The third time, we relented and allowed a select few males to join us in the fight and for a time the balance was restored. Our doom crept upon us. More conflict resulted in more men taking up arms to fight.”“What the Council could not perceive was the insidious influence of our enemies and it swept upon us on the wings of ravens by night; druids. Masculine deities, ethos and egos combined with our own blind arrogance to bring about our downfall. Constant contact with the Celts brought a different cultural view to our men. They began to question why women should rule.”“Somewhere around the year 680 BCE, it began. It was not a calamity over in a night, or even a week yet once it began there was no stopping it. Most of our males, never fighters, were taken as slaves by their former brothers and their new Celtic masters. Not all fighting males betrayed us. Those males risked their very lives to sneak into fallen towns and villages to rescue their daughters.”“The penalty our enemies exacted on our remaining fighting males was meant to keep the rest in line. They burned those brave men alive, in public. They burned them slowly, in much agony; the druids showed them how it was done. There is no record of any of our fighting males switching sides, or failing to undertake any mission for the Host. We survived as a people because of them.”“When all hope of remaining in our new homes faded, we fled east into the mountains. My ancestors were furious, frightened and shamed. They decided they had let down their guards around men and swore to never do it again. The only obstacle to this way of thinking was the handful of men who risked all for the Host’s survival and still lived.”“They sent those male survivors on one last, suicidal mission. They were to return home and incite the Celts’ wrath against the traitor males. For the Hell they unleashed, the druids were chosen for this final act vengeance. Amazon males slew the druids. The angry Celts fell upon their former allies, slaughtering the lot."Somehow, a tiny band returned to their mistresses. Their return was unexpected. In their absence, the High Priestess and Council decided to rectify their centuries’ old error in judgment. Only a few Houses; Arinniti among them; knows how each Council member voted yet the final decision is something we are dealing with today.”“The 'valiant’ Host went to their defenseless sons and butchered them. When the last Amazon males made it back they were rewarded with death as well. It is recorded that they didn’t even resist, loyal to their last drop of blood. In less than ten minute’s time, the last of the male line of Amazons perished.”“These are the 'Ash Men’ Oneida mentioned. Burned to death by our enemies for their devotion to us, burned to ash by the Host to hide our shame after we killed them for the crime of never betraying us. All full-blooded Amazons are taught about the Second Betrayal; except that last, pathetic and tragic addendum,” Katrina educated me.“Oh shit,” I interrupted. I was sure Katrina had more to tell me but I felt the hideo

Steamy Stories Podcast
Life As A New Hire: part 14

Steamy Stories Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022


Insults, Felix and Ash Men.By FinalStand. Listen and subscribe to the podcast at Steamy Stories.Caring is a curse you dare not go without.(Somewhere in the midst of this nightmare, Cáel needs to earn a paycheck)Felix had the physical confrontation he wanted. Somewhere in the back of my mind was that I had to do something inane yet again; like consumer test Ginsu Spatulas, or the equivalent. Felix noted the open hostility directed his way, but had neither the knowledge, nor the empathy to give a fuck. The elevator closed on his smug face. Work time.“That didn’t take you long at all,” St. Marie chortled from behind me. I jolted.“If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be hand-feeding polar bears, so cut me some slack,” I groaned.“I was under the impression that your pugnacity was more of a defense mechanism, not male bravado,” St. Marie probed.“I am as much surprised as you are about this. I don’t even like the girl involved. I’ve never fought over a woman before, but Felix used that woman to get at me; ineffectively,” I mused. “My emotions don’t…you don’t want to be hearing any of this, do you?”“No,” St. Marie said. I stared at her. She stared at me. “Yes?”“Have you ever done any bikini wrestling?” I blurted out. She blinked. “Gotta go. Work to do,” and I fled. In the elevator I recognized one of the ladies from International Finance though I didn’t know her name.“What happened to your face?” she asked.“Do you know who the Golden Mare is?” I replied. She nodded very respectfully. “Well, she hit me.” The woman studied me. “I guess I shouldn’t have hit her first.”“You hit (dead word spoken) St. Marie?” She gulped. “I’m stunned you are still alive.”“You and me both,” I sighed. “I’m starting to regret suggesting she take up bikini wrestling.”Blink.“Tell me about it. I was looking into her eyes and that was the first thing to come to mind,” I shrugged.“I repeat, I’m stunned you are still alive,” she shook her head.“What do you mean? I think she’d look good in a bikini,” I stated. The door opened to Medical. “Have a good day at work now,” I smiled. “I’m off to crush marbles with a sledgehammer.” My real job was to be a genetic guinea pig. I had to sit naked on a gurney and let them take blood and tissues samples.The sperm sample was fun. First I insisted that I’d been in a fight earlier in the morning and my elbows weren’t up to the job. After confirming this, they had some poor ‘new hire’ jack me off. I held out as long as I could, to the point she gave me a blowjob; her first. Sadly, when senior medical technician informed her of the extinction of her oral virginity, they were both less than pleased yours truly.I reminded them that I didn’t shoot off into her mouth, or anything so crude. Next I informed them of a little known fact that my first ejaculate of the day (no mention of Brooke by me) was sterile and we had to repeat the process. No such luck. Damn microscopes. To prove I was a lousy patient, I feigned a collapse and a lack of breathing.I didn’t grapple with my CPR specialist. I very slowly and tenderly wrapped her up in my embrace. I told her that at the moment of utter darkness, her heartbeat brought me back to the light. I was a the point of penetration when a real doctor showed up and pulled the struggling Physician’s Assistant away; she hadn’t finished saving me, the young Amazon protested.At this point the team threatened to give me a sedative. I responded with 'is it chemical, or a blow to the head’. They smiled and said they’d give me both if I misbehaved again. My counter-offer was a request for some Neapolitan ice cream. They conceded the issue, I got my ice cream and stopped being a jack-ass.At 11:30 am, the first battery of tests concluded. As we were wrapping up, I asked why I had to be naked for the entire thing. They stared at me. Strangely, the Amazon who had prepped me for this nonsense had made herself scarce. Damn it. The doctors then gleefully informed me that I had to be naked for the second half of the test, after lunch.I asked why. They smiled. Bitches. As I was fixing my tie, my phone rang.“Hello, Android Cáel Nyilas here,” I answered. There was some giggling; Brooke.“Hey, Android Cáel, this is flesh and blood Brooke Lee,” she snickered. Man, I had turned her around emotionally in only a few hours. Screw Felix.“Have you eaten lunch yet?” she asked. I bit back my automatic response; asking if she was on the menu. We’d talked about Libra as I was leaving this morning.“You, me and Libra?” I suggested. Brooke put her hand over the phone; the dearth of background noise was the giveaway.“She may not want to see you,” Brooke hedged. That meant Libra was listening in.“We talked about this earlier, Brooke,” I sighed. “I want a chance to at least talk with her.” Not totally false. I wanted to fuck her again. That necessitated some amount of conversation so I was willing to put forth the ergs of energy.“I’ll make the effort,” Brooke promised. Making Libra a deal-breaker might have been sugar-coated chocolate for Libra. It would have also made them both suspicious of my suspicions.“Please do your best,” I said. “Where do you want meet?”“My place?” she teased.“Libra plus I would only have forty-five minutes with you, which is not nearly enough time,” I reminded her. Sex.“Libra doesn’t have to know,” Brooke was now pressing Libra’s buttons.“We are not going to go there,” I insisted. They didn’t own me and I didn’t own them.We were bantering back and forth, playing with sexual innuendo of the relationship kind. A good aphrodisiac is a woman thinking you are foregoing sex with another woman to have sex with her. Best of all (for me) for hooking Libra and me back together, Libra was going to let Brooke fuck me yet again. Win-win-win.“We’ll meet at Stanhope’s,” Brooke finished. I agreed to meet her there in ten minutes and off I went. Aisha, the Arabic swimsuit model/SD hottie called for me as I was heading out the door. I asked why. She didn’t say so I ran for it. Screw them all; it was my lunch break. I made it to Stanhope’s. I was fleet of foot and was getting the hang of hailing taxis.Libra was with Brooke at an outdoor table at Stanhope’s. I didn’t fake surprise. My cover was that I had faith in Brooke. I kissed Brooke while Libra gave me the cold shoulder.“Libra doesn’t believe we’ve talked about her,” Brooke opened up.“You are the one who keeps shouting out her name during orgasm,” I sighed.“That’s not a joking matter,” Libra snapped viciously.“It made you talk to me,” I winked. Libra growled.“I hate you,” she seethed.“That is a perfectly normal, if heart-rending reaction to our past two encounters,” I admitted.“I hope it hurt,” Libra seethed. “Besides, I went out with Brian Fung last night.” She was stating the obvious. I was okay with that. It left her open to my lie.“Have you moved on?” I moped. Libra not seeing me anymore made me want to cry. Missing her was utter anguish; it was written all over my face. Non-verbal deception is as important as the verbal kind.I was not beating a dead horse, I was coaxing a thoroughbred to the Triple Crown. Give the girl what she wants; verbally, sexually and, if you can pull it off convincingly, emotionally.“I don’t know,” Libra stated which meant 'no, she hadn’t moved on’.“Let’s go out tomorrow night,” I suggested. Be bold enough to make the first move, but not so aggressive she feels pressured.Being a man isn’t beating your chest; it is stepping up to get your ego battered by the girl. If it wasn’t for my first, failed romantic attempt, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It hurt like Hell when she publically rejected me. These days, my bed was always warm so the pain was well worth it.“Why not tonight?” Libra got combative.“Felix and I had a disagreement at work,” I grinned. “We are settling the issue tonight at six.”“What happened?” Brooke leaned in close to me, hungry for details. I was a bastard.“He loudly presented me with these,” I slipped Brooke her panties under the table.“In the middle of my office and co-workers. Even my Boss heard it,” I added. Brooke’s deeply tanned complexion paled. Libra didn’t see the panties, but she knew the score.“What did you do?” Libra pressed.“I told him Brooke was a grown woman and could make her own decisions about who she was with,” I started.“Brooke is a wonderful lady and she should be courted based on that. Felix had this bizarre idea that I felt possessive about her and thought he was using Brooke to hurt me over a slight at work,” I wove forth the basic truths. “I’m not going to fight Brooke’s battles,” I affirmed which meant that 'yes, I was going to fight Brooke’s battles’.If you are a guy and you assume that the woman is actually hearing the words coming out of your mouth, you are deluded. The reverse is also the same.“If a man has a problem with me, he comes after me, not my friends,” I grew stern. This meant Felix was not a man. It also meant that I considered Brooke, thus Libra, my friends.They were okay with that. This didn’t mean they thought of me as a friend. It was similar to the family butler. I had to memorize every detail of their lives. If they remembered my birthday, I should feel blessed; symbolically speaking of course. I’d make an abysmal butler.“Did he hit you?” Libra leaned across the table and stroked my cheek right below the place St. Marie had clocked me.“That? Nah. An Archer fish tried to shoot my eye out so now he’s fish sticks,” I replied.“With all your wounds,” Libra hesitated, “Are you in the military?”“Libra, I’m a disaster as a civilian,” I chuckled. “I’d make an impossible soldier. Half way through basic training I’d start showing up in a kilt; 'cause it makes me feel free and breezy down there’.”“When they tried to make me change, I’d charge them with cultural insensitivity,” I smiled.“What would you do if they let you get away with it?” Brooke snickered.“Take up horse archery…because you never know when you’ll be without fuel and bullets on the modern battlefield,” I postulated. “If they let me get away with that, I’d stay, but I’d join the airborne.”“I like parachuting,” Brooke nodded. “Have you ever done it?” She bet I hadn’t and she was right.“Never before in this lifetime. I really want to see if I could get my horsed trained to do it first,” I chortled. “Lord knows, nobody else has. The first Airmobile Horse Archery unit. That would be pretty cool.”“The horse would break her legs,” Libra frowned.“Use an air mattress platform for the horse to stand on, sort of like those air bags stuntmen use, but smaller,” I reasoned. I wasn’t sure if Brooke and Libra were more stunned about the plausibility of my suggestion, or that I had created it off the cuff.We ordered lunch and drinks. Service was very efficient so I had only pushed my salad aside to have my grilled shrimp replaced it when a shadow fell across our table. It was a stormy Aisha.“Cáel Nyilas, you are coming with me,” she spoke with deceptive calm.“No,” I replied then ate a shrimp. She put her hand on my shoulder. I brandished my fork.“Listen up,” I grumbled. I tapped my wristwatch with my fork, “I’ve got 35 more minutes on my lunch break. I’m eating with friends…okay, almost friends…”“I’m Cáel’s friend,” Brooke rallied. Aisha bore down on my collarbone, so I stabbed at her hand with the fork. She moved it out of the way first.“Come now,” she growled.“Very well,” I sighed. “Since you certainly have never heard this from a man before meeting me, I’ll clarify. NO, I’m not coming with you. Go away you annoying twit. If that was unclear, let me add; no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no and no.”Aisha looked over her shoulder. There were two more SD chicklets. Woot!“Last chance to keep this simple,” Aisha threatened.“Brooke and Libra, you need to stand up and back away,” I instructed them as I stood up as well, “I’m going to need your chairs as weapons.” The girls grabbed their food and backed up.“Don’t make a scene,” Aisha whispered.“Ex-squeeze me? I’m eating lunch. In thirty-five minutes I’ll be back at work. You are the one being a total bitch for annoying the fuck out of me here,” I glared. “All you had to do was tell me why you wanted me back at Havenstone, but you didn’t feel the need, so now we have this stand-off.”“It is not a stand-off and I don’t explain myself to you,” Aisha glared back. She even showed me she had a gun. I laughed, pulled out my phone.“What are you doing?” Aisha made a swipe for the phone.“Making me late for work,” I chuckled. “I’m dialing 9 1 1.”“Do that and you will be in a world of trouble,” she threatened.“You haven’t thought this out, have you, Aisha?” I snickered. “If it was important to my job, Katrina, or Medical would have called me. If it was a calamity, Hayden perhaps. Barring that, I can’t wait to hear your excuse for starting a public brawl.”“I told you to come with me and you had best obey,” Aisha hissed. That was the tipping point. Recycling old, failed arguments is the sign that your opponent has lost.“Yeah…right,” I shrugged. I sat back down and began eating. A second later, Brooke and Libra joined me. Aisha retreated to the curb and waited…and got ticketed because it was a No Parking Zone.“Who was that woman? I’ve seen her before,” Brooke commented.“She’s that woman from the first night we met,” Libra answered.“She’s not my boss so I don’t care,” I tried to recapture our earlier mood. It was only partially successful. The three SD ladies kept their eyes on us until dinner was cleared away and it was time to go back.I kissed both Brooke and Libra goodbye with a promise of a date the next night. When I tried to walk past Aisha, she grabbed my arm. From my point of view, a ride to work was a ride to work and this one was free. I travelled in silence. Miraculously, they didn’t answer my request to go to Medical, though we were at least going up…and up…and up. Crap.They deposited me in Hayden’s office then departed. It was Hayden, Katrina, St. Marie, Elsa, and Tessa. The door shut ominously behind me.“Cáel, I like you,” Hayden began. “Unless you are working on an assigned task, you are not allowed to defy a woman of Havenstone who gives you a clear concise order, especially one from the Security Detail.” It didn’t take me a second to formulate my treatise on the Rights of Man.“No.” That didn’t go over well. Into the emptiness, I forged ahead. “You can’t expect for me to be given conflicting orders and expect me to succeed. You people have a chain of command for a reason. I follow that chain like every other member of Havenstone.”“You are not a member of Havenstone,” Hayden pointed out. That I had to think about.I scanned each impassive face in the room. I wanted to cry; not out of fear; out of frustration because I really had tried so hard to make this work.“You are all a bunch of cowards and I regret ever wanting to be part of this place,” I spat.“Your opinion of us does not matter,” Hayden started.“Cowardly act number one,” I interrupted. Hayden’s gaze hardened.“It is your time. You publically defied a Havenstone employee on a mission concerning you,” she continued.“Cowardly acts number two and three,” I growled. Now St. Marie and Elsa closed in.I turned to face them. I wanted to go down swinging, no matter how futile the gesture.“Cowardly act number four; suddenly, when you desire, my insolence matters,” I set myself for what was to come.“Don’t fight,” Tessa commanded softly. Katrina kept her own counsel.“That’s your fucking problem, right there,” I shouted. “This isn’t the Sunshine Scouts. This is a martial society. I fight, because that is what every bitch here is broadcasting. I didn’t hit Rhada when she hit me. I called for help, like any sane individual. When no help was forthcoming, I called for someone to get the police. Again, you did nothing.”“Fuck you all. Rhada attacked me, so I put her down. Madi attacked me, so I put her down too; and it all your damn fault and not one of you has the courage to face that fact,” I shouted. “You attack me for fighting back at the same time you tell me to fit in. Now which is it? Am I to fit in to a martial culture, or am I not? Make up your damn minds!”“You do not get to talk to us like that,” St. Marie murmured.“Somebody better talk to us like this,” Katrina finally spoke. “Face facts: Cáel is here because he resists. He resists because that is the lesson we are teaching him, Sisters.”“What do you mean?” Elsa regarded Katrina.“When Cáel is challenged physically and resists successfully, or even unsuccessfully, he grows in the estimation of our Sisters. No one admits it, but it is the truth. The harder he fights, the more he is valued. It is a very simple principle. He has never believed he is a member of the Host, a Runner, or even a recruit. He does not strive to be an Amazon of any kind,” Katrina lectured.“Then we expect him to do ridiculous things like walk off with an Amazon he barely knows who doesn’t even explain where he is going, or what he is supposed to do,” Katrina shook her head. “Somehow we forecast his desire to be treated with a modicum of respect to be a threat? Respecting him does not make him an Amazon; it makes him a warrior in our cause.”“The Council has not decided on that portion of the New Directive yet,” St. Marie stated.“Warrior-Fathers,” Katrina declared firmly. “My niece, Aya; you all know of her; she went to camp this week and SHE formed her own war band with her fellow students. Fuck you all very much; It works!”“Katrina,” Hayden cautioned.“Hayden, I am tired of this half-measure bullshit. There is no being half-alive. We live, or we die. We made a mistake then we made another one. Let’s not make it three.” I raised my hand.“Yes?” Hayden finally acknowledged me.“Can I go back to work now? Sitting here is like commenting on the rain. I have a lot to say, but it won’t affect the rain one iota,” I reasoned.“You are not going to run?” Tessa asked. I knew she was joking.“Well, I can’t get past the front door. I can’t escape out the garage and I left my diamond-tipped glasscutter and 150 meters of rope in my other jacket,” I informed her.“I guess I’ll have to use the 15 kg of C-4 I have stuck in my shorts. I know it makes me look like I took a colossal dump in my underwear, but trust me, it is only a weapon,” I grinned. I tried to get around Elsa. She brushed her hand over my chest.“You are special,” she purred.“You scare me,” I mumbled.“I know,” she grinned happily.“Bye Pony-Lady,” I waved to St. Marie.“Cael,” Hayden called out. I halted, but didn’t turn around. “You will stop referring to the Marshal of the Amazon Host as 'Pony-Lady’, is that clear?”“Yes Hayden. Good-bye St. Marie,” I said as I departed.“Are you sure he is not mentally defective?” St. Marie questioned.“He is,” Elsa replied. “He laughs at Death.” See, what did I tell you? Now you can run out and pick up an infatuated female psychopath of your very own.(Later in the day)Knife-fighting class was taught by this painfully thin yet tall Amazon with mostly grey-white hair. There was nothing wrong with her reflexes, or sight. She regarded me, her only student, with passionless eyes. She had me sit down cross-legged, she did the same opposite me, and we spent an hour talking about the philosophy of knife-fighting.Knives were hardly ever the first weapon of choice. That was part of the lesson; knowing when to choose a knife to fight with. We talked about all kinds of blades, focusing on the short, hilt-less blades every Amazon carried. I had to get one special-made. It was the size of my palms. If the blade was too small, it would cut up my hand when I used it.Except for a few hand motions, it was verbal instruction. Knife from an advantage, knife from the front, and knife at a disadvantage. Each had its own set of rules to follow. It was cool. Me having a penis didn’t bother her in the least. At the end of the lesson, I asked if I could call her Zen Master. She said 'no’, her name was Pamela.I then asked if I could call her Zen Mistress Pamela. Smiling, she said 'no’ again. My last attempt was 'Blossoming Petals of Death Pamela’ at which point she laughed and told me to give it a rest. I found myself with a free hour so I raced down to the pool and took in a few laps. It was a crime against nature that all the Amazons were one-piece bathing suits.Here I was in my Speedo and no one to play with. That wasn’t really true. After my first lap, two Amazon lasses tried to engage me in a race without actually talking to me. As they were turning back they realized I was keeping to my same strong, casual strokes in my own little World.That annoyed them so the next time around, one got into my lane, turned to face me and stopped. Right according to plan, or if you prefer, like stealing candy apple kisses from a lady. I almost ran into her. At the very last second, I pulled up, letting my body coast up against her. She was treading water and looking vibrant.Her treading water meant I didn’t have to. One hand settled on her mid-back (friendly enough), but the other one cupped her right buttock and immediately probed along her cleft and to her pussy from behind. Her 'Happy Choice’ pop-up indicators went off and I had a winner. I was sure I could have pointed a shotgun in this woman’s face and she’d have spit on me.With my cock bumping up against her crotch, my finger wiggling around her suit for her pussy and my other arm keeping her close, she looked totally flummoxed.“What are you doing?” she whispered. I was sure she wanted to have that sound authoritative, not like plea for an instruction manual.“How about this,” I replied quietly, “you keep your hands moving and I’ll kick so that you can wrap your legs around my waist?”“Why would I want to do that?” she asked…while her legs wrapped around my waist. A little positon altering with my hand and I was having her pulse against my cock.“Deena?” the other Amazon called out. She was swimming in close proximity now.“I…” Deena responded to her comrade. “You are taking liberties,” she chastised me even as an erotic smile graced her lips.“Please don’t turn me in,” I murmured to her. My lips were a few millimeters from hers.The other woman could clearly make out our physical relationship between us.“Stop that,” the unnamed woman demanded.“Ah…” Deena moaned as I slipped two fingers past her swimsuit and into her slick cunt. The stranger tried to separate us, but Deena shook her head. “No…we are okay.”“Stop it,” I whispered. “Don’t make me…don’t make me…don’t,” and kissed. Total lie for the sake of our voyeur. Deena wasn’t currently capable of making me doing anything. Why was I doing this? Out of control libido plus stress plus I still had Yasmin and Felix to deal with. Oh yeah, Deena being cute, firm and just curvaceous enough to be Grace Kelly feminine didn’t hurt.“Why are we doing this?” Deena murmured sexily.“Am I making you happy?” I posed. She thought about it then nodded.“I thought being with a male would be more difficult,” she countered.“Stop looking so athletic,” I teased her, “and it will be easier for me to get away.”Calling an Amazon 'pretty’, or even 'beautiful’ would have limited, if any affect. Better words were 'impressive, swift, healthy, fit and athletic, because that’s what they valued in one another. Even 'scary’ and 'frightening’ were turning out to be good words to use. They never got enough male input to matter.“You are very healthy for a male,” Deena purred back.“How healthy?” the other one asked. She was now more curious than offended with my audacity.“He’s VERY healthy, Sharona,” Deena smiled. “He has strong fingers as well.”I knew the look Sharona shot me. It was the 'why her and not me?’ The answer was clear to her; Deena had been bold, thus won. It was traditional Amazon culture. I was easier to blame me because I was the guy. All three of us knew the score. More kissing and kitty-petting ensued. It became even more rewarding when I eventually bumped into Deena’s clit.I didn’t have to do much. My finger rubbed against her nub, Deena really liked that and started humping my finger before I could do anything. Public sex had never been a stimuli for me. I didn’t mind it and by the number of Amazons circling, or watching from poolside, they didn’t mind what Deena was 'doing’ to me either.There was no screaming, thunderclap of joy, or even a violent physical spasm. Deena pressed tight, made several yipping noises and came down whimpering happily. She was a truly content little camper; that was for sure.“You had sex!” one of the bystanders called out. I looked into Deena’s eyes.“If you say 'yes’, I’ll wake up tomorrow morning in Baku Faso,” I whispered.“No…no we weren’t,” Deena gave me a sultry look. “We were practicing lifeguarding techniques. Did I save your life…?”“I’m Cáel,” I breathed on her lips. “Yes, I feel like a whole new man.”“We will have to hone your skills; real soon,” Deena winked. That was not a request. That was 'come back, or I’ll hunt you down’.“I normally cannot make it before five,” I informed her.“That works for me,” Deena pulled away. She gave a warm sigh as my fingers slipped out of her. I made for the side. As I pulled myself out, my equipment straining at the seams, several wonderful ladies surrounded me.“Do you think you are leaving?” they confronted me.“I have a five o'clock end-of-day meeting with Katrina,” I calmly explained. Katrina was my 'Get out of Jail’ free card that allowed me to escape the pool and the shower without becoming a scratching post. Amazons aren’t animals; I’m just that sexy. Yes, I could pick up almost any girl at a club. I also had various Amazon pre-ordering collars with my name on it. By now my neck size was common knowledge.(Wednesday Evening)The stuff of my nightmares: I walk out from the end of day meeting with Katrina and the new hire ladies two see a gaggle of other women waiting for me, I assumed. I knew them all. Farah Winters recruited me from Bolingbrook, Umami Lhasa who was Tessa Carmichael’s right-hand woman, Tessa herself…and Yasmin Palhavã, my Brazilian hottie and workout date.“Hi Cáel,” they all greeted me.“Hey ladies,” I did my best to look happy. “What’s going on?”“Havenstone has offered me a job,” Yasmin grinned. How could this possibly go wrong? Yasmin thought this place was run by a crazy cult, so why did she look at ease?She could be trying to infiltrate Havenstone; bad idea. She could have had a conversion; I hope her son would be okay. She was…high on drugs…okay, the last one was weak.“What department?” I kept going.“We are trying to convince her to start out in Security Services (the guards) then move her up to Financial Investigations due to her expertise with the Policia Federal in her homeland,” Tessa said.“Cáel, by the look on your face, I know you are concerned. Ms. Carmichael; Tessa, has told me some things that put the situation in perspective,” Yasmin gave me an all so sexy look. “You are far braver than I thought you were.”“What? That I invested the entirety of my 401K on the comeback of Baleen Oil?” I joked.“My Son will be okay,” Yasmin patted my hand. Was I that much of an open book?“Do you have an instinct to protect children?” Umami inquired.“Not before I got here, but then I didn’t know anyone who would casually kill children either,” I responded. I had to ask the next question. I couldn’t be me and not.“Tessa, can I ask you a serious question?” I began. Tessa nodded. “Why was Yasmin 'read in’ to Havenstone? I don’t doubt for a second she’s a qualified as an investigator, but this strikes me as highly unusual and even reckless for your…people.”“It was this, or kill her,” Tessa answered. “By the way, that was Yasmin’s first question too.”“Precisely, my question was 'are you going to kill me for that crazy cult stuff that went down last week?’” Yasmin corrected. “She said I had to answer two questions to decide that.” In a bizarre, Amazon-style way, that made sense. Yes, Yasmin would beat her husband nearly to death for cheating on her; and shooting her, and she would willingly have sex again.I knew this because Buffy told me her backstory and it had Katrina asking her the two questions as well.“Yasmin, let me clarify this right now,” I held my ground. “I’m cheating on you. Please don’t hit me. It has been a bad day and the pain has just begun.”And all the psycho-bitches laughed.“Let’s go practice, É o meu P.A.,” Yasmin chuckled. No one was going to tell me what the damn phrase meant. I dare not look it up on-line because if I did, and Yasmin saw that flicker of understanding in my eyes…bad things would happen to me in the bedroom. No, I needed an alibi witness.To be honest, I thought the bedroom was Paradise until some ladies (I’d cheated on; surprise, surprise) tied me to one. Having my body waxed by sadistic amateurs was only recently exceeded by being shot with an arrow on my pain meter. It is not something I like to talk about. They dyed my hair bright pink too.I ended up nailing the new assistant at the College infirmary, so it wasn’t a total loss. Oh, and less I forget, they both took me back later, at the same time, without telling each other. It is a wonder I’m still alive. In an effort to keep that going, I took us to the non-blooded gym this time around.It wasn’t as nice as the full-blooded one, but it was still very full service. The biggest difference I had noticed earlier was the lack of archaic weapons on the wall near the training mat. Yasmin and I decided on a 40/20 split; forty minute of working out and twenty minutes on the mats. Around 5:30 pm, Felix showed up. Like me, he automatically drew attention and he’d clearly been cultivating his aura.He barely spared me a glance, being absolutely confident he had the advantage in every aspect of our contest; both physically and socially. Within minutes a subliminal ripple moved through the crowd. I was spotting Yasmin so it took me a bit to figure out what was going on; full-bloods had entered. One by one, I picked out Daphne, Paula, Dora, Tigger, Violet and Oneida.They weren’t coming at me; that would have kept things calm. No, 'my’ ladies were circulating and I didn’t need ESP to figure out what they were saying. In the ladies’ wake, evil looks where shot Felix’s way. Once more, he felt the undercurrent but misunderstood it. He thought I was seeding the crowd against him.One Amazon 'Runner’ cleared up the nature of the disturbance, if not reason for the outrage.“Did you really take a woman’s underwear to use as a trophy to throw in Cáel’s face?” the disbelieving woman asked. Felix was fearless.“Of course not,” he assured her. “One of Cáel’s many one night stands stopped by my place, slept and forgot…something. That’s all.”Good play. Since I wasn’t in on sabotaging Felix, I had no counter and I wasn’t going to get into a he-said/he-said contest that would leave me looking petty. Poor Felix, he kept forgetting we worked for some really smart women. Around thirty women into Felix’s counter-propaganda campaign, Daphne struck. She was confronted by a pro-Felix lady.“Really?” Daphne announced loudly. “Let’s clear this up why don’t we.” She pulled out her phone, hit one number and said, “Please project that footage to the 'Runner’ gym.”Ten seconds later, Felix and my conversation was projected to every TV suspended around the room. Yes, even Felix’s boast and getting in my face.This wasn’t solely Daphne’s doing. She didn’t have that kind of weight. Oneida on the other hand…Felix barely missed a beat.“Nyilas, you pulled that all out of context,” he growled. The best defense is a great offense.“Felix, I’m a guy. No way in Hell I have the kind of access to security tapes,” I held up my hands, proclaiming my innocence.Felix missed the 'I’m a guy’ part. The women didn’t. Most of them know I skated the rules, but never broke them. Yes, Katrina liked me. Would she give me access to security? That was laughable. Felix was about to pack on the stupidity.“Fine, you had one of your cheerleaders do it,” Felix counterthrust.Cheerleader was not a 'positive’ Amazon role model. Cheerleaders were women who promised sexual reward to male warriors that defeated their enemies (a bit of a biased view). The bipolar normal world reaction to cheerleaders aside, I knew cheerleaders were athletes who worked hard to pull off relatively complex routines. Telling the Amazons this was pointless.If any woman in this room had known a cheerleader before surrendering their old existence to become lethal man-killers, they probably didn’t like them. If they had been a cheerleader, they were keeping their mouths shut.“Are you implying we have lied and altered the official record of events?” Daphne sizzled.See, lying to me and Felix was expected. Lying to their fellow Amazons, despite the Blood Prestige rift, wasn’t going to happen. Trust and loyalty were fundamental virtues here. I imagine Felix had read that passage in the Handbook. I hadn’t believed it for the first two days either. I’d been educated since then.“I wouldn’t put it past you,” Felix glared right back at Daphne. Foolish; stupid.“Yasmin, I gotta go,” I hissed to my Brazilian MILF then rushed to get to Felix. I wasn’t doing it for Felix, the douche. I was doing it for Katrina and her New Directive. Felix had not officially fucked up; he was just being a jerk.Daphne sent Felix a wicked smirk. She’d kicked his ass. Felix knew his ass had been kicked yet still couldn’t grasp the underlying principles behind his defeat; he was in a Woman’s World.“Felix, let’s warm up,” I urged him once I was close enough to be heard.“After that stunt; you can go fuck yourself,” Felix glowered.“Dude, it wasn’t me, I swear,” I met his gaze.“I’m here. You find your own space,” Felix indicated another portion of the mat.“Felix, these ladies are about to kill you. You do not want to send me away,” I whispered. Felix formed a rebuttal then looked around.“Why?” Felix whispered back. Felix was finally acknowledging he’d lost. Now he wanted to know why.“I can’t explain it right now, but let’s say 'cheerleader’ was the wrong descriptive to use,” I continued. “Calling them liars only dug the hole deeper. It is the way it is.”Felix didn’t understand my words, but understood the intent. He was in Oz without any knowledge of the tornado that had taken him there. We didn’t spar together. I did stay close enough to make my intent clear; there would be no ambushing of Felix. You had to understand Amazon psychology to figure out why they weren’t angry with me.I was exhibiting loyalty; especially to a person I hated. Amazons had blood feuds, the specifics I hadn’t figured out. You could probably kick your opponent’s ass. If you stabbed them in the back, there was no rock on the face of the Earth you could hide under.“He practices Muay, Thai, and Savate,” Oneida snuck up on me. “I lend you my spirit,” she added with deep compassion.I turned on her and placed my hand between her breasts.“No. No cheating in this fight,” I insisted. That drew many stares. “Hold your spirit for the battles that matter, not for the resolution of male grievances. Your heart is fierce and I appreciate that, Oneida. No one’s spirit is infinite, so marshal your resources carefully.”Yes, I was lecturing Oneida; bad move. Yes, I was safeguarding her spirit, as would any of the other Amazons in the room; good move. Cloaking my lecture and concern in mystical terms; the win.“I care deeply for you too,” Oneida gave me a demur look, “my Ash Man.” Kill me. Kill me now.This culture didn’t have a 'ready-set-go’. When one person was ready, they attack without warning. I almost forgot that and blind-sided Felix. I didn’t hold back for him. I held back because I didn’t want him to be a whiny baby about this whole thing. I gave him a nod, he nodded back then he attacked.Two piston kicks by Felix backed me up. He switched up with a reverse roundhouse. That was his mistake; I slipped inside his kick range. I came at him; left jab, left jab, and a right cross in such a rapid blur the audience later told me their brains didn’t register the hits until after the fact. It was lights out for Felix. His body made a wet, thumping noise at it hit the mat.There was a hush. Everyone expected this fight to go the distance. I was more renowned for my stamina than punching power. Welcome to the world of light heavy-weight boxing. My problem with Madi had been I couldn’t touch her. I hadn’t even gone all out with Rhada and I dropped her with two jabs.A good number of 'martial artists’ think of boxing as a primitive fighting form. It is. It has also been around forever because the principles are rather simple and effective. Either don’t get hit, or soak up the hit (particularly for heavier fighters), set your opponent up and clobber then. Felix had meant to control me with his powerful kicks.Both Savate and Muay Thai have excellent fist and elbow blocks and strikes. It is simply difficult to switch your focus from kicking to blocking in the blink of an eye. That was less time than what I gave Felix. Most people think of boxers as freight trains, not snipers. In truth, we are both; locomotives approaching the speed of light (somewhat).Double back to all the options Savate and Maui Thai boxers have. They would never be afraid to take a risky kick because they can block in so many ways. Suddenly the issue became one of distance and balance. The boxer was at the kicker’s ankle at the moment of supposed impact and closing. By the time the kicker realized the kick’s over-extension the boxer was at his knee.The kicker still had a plethora of elbow, arm and hand blocks and grapples; except all his power has gone down that kicking leg, leaving him with on point of balance; his other leg. Sure he could get an arm up, but it only had the strength and weight of that limb to call upon. The upcoming hit? It had the mass times acceleration of the boxer’s body coming at him. Good luck.Felix could have beaten me, except it would have taken time. Closing would have allowed him to use all those nifty elbow, palm and hand strikes. It would have also allowed me to do what boxers to best; box. This wouldn’t give me an advantage, just leveled the playing field a bit. He didn’t want to grapple. I had an entire school devoted to grappling while it was an addendum to what he did.Felix’s saw me go to a boxing stance, and like most practitioners of Savate and Muay Thai, he laughed inside. He was going to make a mockery of me because my style sucked and his styles were the ones that best broke your enemies and caused them pain. He was going to knock me back with his kicks then close in and pummel me with every part of his body before I could slip into jujitsu. It would be lightning fast and bloody.Nice in theory; bad in practice. He should have worn me down with his stronger legs. Things fell apart when I stopped running away after the second kick. I couldn’t do much about the piston kicks. The reverse roundhouse on the other hand…allowed me to get close. I put him off-balance with two jabs, not letting him escape and out came the right with my entire mass behind it. I’ve hit a guy with that before who didn’t go down.He was 160 kg, almost 2 meters tall, a jaw made of chromium-steel and a bar bouncer. When he picked me up off the floor and helped me outside he told me I had a good punch. He wasn’t even angry with me. He was amused. I am far luckier than I deserve. His name was Amos. When I found out he had a sister, I got a good look at her picture to make sure I never, ever hit on her.Felix wasn’t that guy. He also wasn’t getting back up. 'Best’ of all, no one was going see how he was. I hoped I hadn’t killed him, or broken his neck. Before I could go to him I heard a voice behind me.“Is this the part where you take his underwear as a trophy?” Dora asked.“For the love of G; the Goddesses, tell me you are joking,” I gasped.“I got you!” Dora snickered.“Is someone going to help Felix?” I inquired. I sensed a bit of combat etiquette I was ignorant of. My previous Amazon opponents had always came to me when the fight was over and I’d lost.Usually they stood over me until I regained consciousness. Felix wasn’t getting that courtesy. He was being studiously ignored and I would have been separating myself from the 'lioness pride’ to help him. It was moral judgment time; Felix wasn’t worth the grief I’d get for disregarding the lesson the rest of the Amazons were administering.I waited at the closest mat edge, doing my cool-down with Yasmin and a few of my female…I guess I had to consider them friends now. What Felix did in front of them was bad, but they had gone above and beyond in coming to this gym and shattering his sexual anima and turning the crowd against him.Worse, while the 'new’ hires couldn’t justify an official corporate campaign against Felix, at the gym he was vulnerable to a propaganda blitz. By lunchtime tomorrow every woman in the building would know of Felix and his predilections toward the female gender. Amazons would still desire him alright. Felix better watch his precious Henie though in case someone decided to explain to him who was really the boss.After eight minutes, Felix stirred. He leveraged himself, took in his surroundings before letting his gaze settle on me. Any anger over my rudeness was dissipated by the social hostility focused on him. I silently offered up a water bottle. Felix hurriedly sprang up then blew the macho display by nearly tumbling back over.Felix took the water, splashed some in his face then drank the rest.“That was fast,” he finally spoke. “Damn fast.”“It was what it was, Felix,” I stayed neutral. “I hope this settles matter between you and I.” I could read it in his eyes; no way in Hell was this over.“I’ll stay away from Brooke,” Felix conceded. “Until next time.”“It was never about Brooke, Felix,” I sighed. “It was about using a woman to get at me. I never cared about anything like that before yet I do now so just don’t do it.” Felix snorted in amusement. He took up a towel and began drying off as he exited the gym.“He should be…” Oneida got out. I took another gamble.“No, Oneida,” I rested a gentle hand on her shoulder. “He did what a thousand other men would do. He’s an egotistical pain in the ass. He is also a fighter, brave and he refuses to accept defeat easily. You can’t instantly dissect his good qualities from his foul ones.”“It takes time,” Daphne supported me. She was also soothing any anger over the over-familiarity I was showing to Oneida. “Along with the rest of us, Cáel is showing Felix the delicate position men will hold in our world. It is a learning process for all of us.”“Felix is not a good man,” Oneida stated, “not like our Cáel,” she added, clearly crushing on me. Eek!!“Umm…ladies, thank all of you for your help this evening,” I looked over the group around me. “Having the room divided over Felix’s predations wouldn’t have done any of us much good. I’m glad this morning’s encounter was brought to light. Thank you all.” If someone does you a favor, thank them.If it is a woman, make doubly sure you tell them exactly what they did and risked for you. They will appreciate it; it strengthens your bond aka the promise of sex. Yes, I’m a sex-obsessed bad little piglet. The looks my Amazons were giving me told me how well my words were working, except for Yasmin, who seemed terribly amused by the whole romantic spectacle.The resulting shower scene was its own interesting ballet. As a male, I couldn’t be in the center. As a gravitational point in space, the tightest group of Amazons decided on who got into which orbit. Yasmin, despite me being on 'date’ with her, was exiled to the periphery. I wasn’t going to get into a shoving match over a six minute shower.Exiting the building was its own paranoid experience. Yasmin and I were leaving together. She was going to take a taxi home, check up on her son, then circle around to my place. We’d figure out 'where to go out to eat’ from there. Before Yasmin could stop me, I paid the cab for the trip, the wait and the delivery to my place.(The Ash Men; a history dump, for those not interested)I strode into my apartment, bike on my shoulder, when I realized I wasn’t alone. Elsa and Katrina; sigh. Breaking and entering? Disrespecting my domicile? This was not the time to be petty, or a stickler for boundaries. I put my bike in its customary place.“Can I get you something to drink?” I offered as I made my way to the kitchenette.“Lemonade would be nice,” Katrina stated.“What is that orange stuff?” Elsa inquired. Yeah, they searched my place already.“Dark orange, or light orange?” I countered.“The darker one.”“That’s carrot juice,” I informed Elsa.“I’ll try some of that,” she said. I fixed three drinks in tall glasses, handing them out before I joined Katrina on the sofa. Sipping my own lemonade, I turned to face Katrina.“Oneida is becoming a problem,” Katrina began. “She’s told you some things she shouldn’t have.”“The Ash Men,” I sighed. “You two being here makes this nothing but bad news.”“Not so,” Katrina corrected me. “It is a shameful episode in our history; so disgraceful we keep the truth of what really happened a closely guarded secret. Unfortunately, it is something House Arinniti has always felt strongly about and teaches their young.”“Amazons keep rather accurate histories, basing everything on lunar cycles. Our records, with minor gaps, date back to the Great Betrayal,” Katrina began. “By modern parlance, around 1000 BCE, our ancestors stopped a millennia of a nomadic existence to settle in the land between the Váh, Hron rivers and Danube rivers.”“You bitches know who the Magyar are,” I interrupted abruptly. Sure, that region was in current day Slovakia, but it bordered Hungary, my ancestral homeland, even though our residency was separated by over 1500 years.“Of course I know who the Magyar are,” Katrina shook her head mirthfully. “I simply can’t resist busting your balls.”I muttered angrily while avoiding using actual words.“Our numbers were enough to seize and hold the land,” Katrina continued. “For centuries before that, we raided for men from tribes whose land we were moving through. After a few seasons, we disposed of the men and took some more.”“When we chose to settle down, our Council decided to raid distant tribes and steal boys to be raised among our people. At first the males were virtual slaves yet in three generations, our people began seeing males as fathers, brothers and sons. We trained them in crafts. A few generations later, we voted to train them to be guardians; protectors of our hearths while the Host made war.”“For eighteen generations things went well. We prospered, grew rich and strong. The tribes around us feared our wrath which made us proud yet was our undoing. New, stronger tribes migrated into the region from the West; we now know them to be Celts. The genesis of House Epona is from those first meetings. Many Celtic women embraced the Amazon lifestyle.”“Though they knew of our strength, the first of these new tribes quickly went from peaceful coexistence to warfare. The Host crushed them. The problem was that new tribes kept coming and coming. Dirges of Mourning replaced the sweet taste of victory around our fires. We were always winning the key conflicts but our numbers were diminishing.”“The males came to the Council and begged for the opportunity to join the Host in battle. Twice we rejected them. The third time, we relented and allowed a select few males to join us in the fight and for a time the balance was restored. Our doom crept upon us. More conflict resulted in more men taking up arms to fight.”“What the Council could not perceive was the insidious influence of our enemies and it swept upon us on the wings of ravens by night; druids. Masculine deities, ethos and egos combined with our own blind arrogance to bring about our downfall. Constant contact with the Celts brought a different cultural view to our men. They began to question why women should rule.”“Somewhere around the year 680 BCE, it began. It was not a calamity over in a night, or even a week yet once it began there was no stopping it. Most of our males, never fighters, were taken as slaves by their former brothers and their new Celtic masters. Not all fighting males betrayed us. Those males risked their very lives to sneak into fallen towns and villages to rescue their daughters.”“The penalty our enemies exacted on our remaining fighting males was meant to keep the rest in line. They burned those brave men alive, in public. They burned them slowly, in much agony; the druids showed them how it was done. There is no record of any of our fighting males switching sides, or failing to undertake any mission for the Host. We survived as a people because of them.”“When all hope of remaining in our new homes faded, we fled east into the mountains. My ancestors were furious, frightened and shamed. They decided they had let down their guards around men and swore to never do it again. The only obstacle to this way of thinking was the handful of men who risked all for the Host’s survival and still lived.”“They sent those male survivors on one last, suicidal mission. They were to return home and incite the Celts’ wrath against the traitor males. For the Hell they unleashed, the druids were chosen for this final act vengeance. Amazon males slew the druids. The angry Celts fell upon their former allies, slaughtering the lot."Somehow, a tiny band returned to their mistresses. Their return was unexpected. In their absence, the High Priestess and Council decided to rectify their centuries’ old error in judgment. Only a few Houses; Arinniti among them; knows how each Council member voted yet the final decision is something we are dealing with today.”“The 'valiant’ Host went to their defenseless sons and butchered them. When the last Amazon males made it back they were rewarded with death as well. It is recorded that they didn’t even resist, loyal to their last drop of blood. In less than ten minute’s time, the last of the male line of Amazons perished.”“These are the 'Ash Men’ Oneida mentioned. Burned to death by our enemies for their devotion to us, burned to ash by the Host to hide our shame after we killed them for the crime of never betraying us. All full-blooded Amazons are taught about the Second Betrayal; except that last, pathetic and tragic addendum,” Katrina educated me.“Oh shit,” I interrupted. I was sure Katrina had more to tell me but I felt the hideo

Steamy Stories Podcast
Life As A New Hire: part 13

Steamy Stories Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022


Women making bad decisions. Cáel to the rescue? What?By FinalStand. Listen and subscribe to the podcast at Steamy Stories.-There is nothing wrong being a Lucky Bastard. It is wrong to rely on it-(Monday later)Buffy had finally dismissed me when Katrina summoned me to her office. Ignoring me getting into an altercation…in the Full-Blood gym…yet again, I had a good day. No property damage, lost items, or physically damaged employees. Ragged by most people’s standards, but a good day for me at Havenstone. I still had a chance to walk out under my own power.Katrina motioned me to come to her desk. Upon my arrival, she slid a tablet over to me with a single icon on the screen. I tapped it. Aya’s face appeared as the vid-mail began. She was glowing. There was tent fabric in the background so I had no idea of her geographic location. I didn’t care.“Hey!” she squeaked. “I’m doing great at camp. I met three girls who are as small as me and we’ve formed our own squad; the Fatal Squirts.” I chuckled.I had encouraged her to steal strength from her perceived weaknesses. She had to believe in herself then take that as she built up her skills. I had faith in her when no one else did.“I showed some of my councilors a picture of you. I think you would get into trouble if you came here. I want you to come, but I thought it was only fair to warn my favorite bed-buddy,” she giggled.“Send me a message when you can. I understand there will be a delay as the messages have to be physically delivered. I know you are doing okay. If not, hold off your vengeance until I can return and guard your back. I love you, Cáel. Be well,” she smiled as her picture faded into darkness.“Ah damn,” I whispered. Aya looked good; confident, upbeat and spirited. “Katrina, can I make a message for her right now?” I begged.“Of course,” she gave me an approving tilt of the head. “I think the courier is still in the building.”“Cool. What do I do?” I urged.“Use the webcam; make a message and forward it to my computer,” Katrina told me. “I’ll take it from there.” I made the message, pretty much updating her on my latest exploits with limited editing. Aya was a surprisingly innocent yet worldly 9 year old.Much of that came from being Katrina’s and Desiree’s niece; mainly Katrina’s. It gave her access to tidbits of sensitive data from time to time. Not so much she was a real security threat. Enough so that she got some things confused; like what sex was truly about. I felt in my soul she’d be a great Amazon one day. I didn’t remind her of that much. She had enough pressure for a kid her age.“You are seeing Oneida now?” a frosty voice unnerved me. It was Buffy.“Fuck,” I jumped up. “Damn Buffy, stop sneaking up on me like that, or I’m going to start thinking you are a stalker.”“I am stalking you, Einstein,” Buffy menaced.“I’m glad we got that out of the way,” I rolled my eyes. “Oh look! It’s Daphne coming to my rescue. I am so out of here,” I exulted. I edged passed Buffy, slipped her attempt to grab my arm and raced for the ‘new hires’ at the elevator.“Get back here, you Cock-sucker!” Buffy howled as she chased me down.May miracles never cease. Daphne, Violet and Tigger formed an Amazon (I wasn’t sure if I could consider them 'human’ yet) shield between my frail form and the hulking brute that was Buffy.“Calm down, Buffy,” Daphne pleaded. “He fought Elsa today; again.”“Get out of my way,