The Legend of Planet Kyerrion 7582

Tales from Kyerrion

  1. 2519 (Availon)

Someone might have thought it ridiculous that a time of peace is more worrying than a time of war. However, at a time of peace one worries and awaits the next war while during a time of war one keeps up the hope that it will be over one day. Of course, for the falangezkas, the idea was a hypocritical one, since they do not make war.

At least, that is what they say and how it might seem for the average Gomanian.

Despite being a falangezka, Availon Gandeheilei was the type of person who was constantly worried about the next war. It was fairly obvious to everyone that the reasons for it included a tragedy in eir childhood: jinhaliares had come and annihilated eir home, waging war. Availon had made it and survived, but the incident had been traumatic. Another reason was the time when a war between two large communities of karangals and nakrans broke out. Availon just happened to have been living in the area at the time. The fact that Availon, after having lived a while in warmer areas, still managed to witness very seriously taken skirmishes between nations of femehans and homehans had probably just been bad luck, but was one more reason nonetheless.

Ever since, Availon had been adamant at trying to prevent all kinds of war-like activities. Ey had no profession and merely manipulated people to have eir way one way or another. Ey gathered intelligence in some fairly questionable ways and travelled vast distances to get eir hands on any piece of information that would prove useful. Many thought ey went overboard with it but many also thought that the goal justified the means – Availon was a large driving force for peace. However, ey was young and could not yet take part in the large decisions. Ey made eir part and more by being an assistant to an older person.

Eventually, Availon learned that ey could not fix everything. Many Gomanians still waged war and did not seem like they would be stopping doing it any time soon. Realizing that fact made Availon more relaxed about eir slight obsession – besides, as long as ey could be with other falangezkas, ey would be safe enough.

However, it seemed like that feeling of security was about to change.

While it was not exactly a secret that jinhaliares and most nations of femehans were allied and planned on conquering the world, it was usually hard to take them seriously. Many had in fact thought that it was the ultimate act of despair and that it meant that there certainly was nothing to worry about. However, increasing reports of violence and sights of large masses of armed forces gradually started changing that view. Availon was particularly worried. Ey was convinced that they should try to properly find out just what exactly was going on and make any plans of grand violence empty.

Availon had advanced in eir career and started convincing and manipulating people to make sure that everyone would be safe. Many others thought that the alliance of jinhaliares and femehans was not their problem – jinhaliares and femehans could not live in the areas where falangezkas lived, so falangezkas would be safe. Even if the enemies would close in on them, the falangezkas were sure enough that they could keep them away. They would not need violence. However, if they got visibly involved in the issues, the other races would expect the falangezkas to really do something about it.

Many thought that while making the jinhaliares' plans empty would be convenient and would save the lives of many people, they also thought that it would be too much of a bother and too big a responsibility. To accomplish their goal, they would have to go to a war of some kind. Many lives would be lost, the economy would plummet and the falangezkas had no weapons for war nor the will to make them. Therein was a contradiction too big for Availon – either they would have to go to war or let the other races do it. Ey did not know what to do, but ey refused to accept it.

Availon spent a fairly long time trying to come up with strategies and trying to gather more information, but was mostly brushed off. The others did not want to get involved and did not think it would be probable enough that their attempts would really succeed.

However, one night ey came up with an idea ey had not thought of before. Since falangezkas and jinhaliares were pretty much sworn mortal enemies, Availon had only concentrated on the monstrous race and forgotten that the femehans would probably be an easier target. Ey pretty much gleed with enthusiasm and declared eir thoughts to eir partners.

"I just now realized I might've approached this issue from the wrong direction!" ey exclaimed. "The femehans are a big force supporting jinhaliares. Maybe it's easier to get them to change their minds somehow!"

One of them looked at Availon with a bit of interest while the two others just glanced at em; they were not that interested, especially anymore since Availon had been going on and on about it for a long time. "You'd go talk to the femehans? They live so far away... And would they listen to you? A little team of a race they've never seen before telling them what to do." The falangezka smiled.

"Well, obviously jinhaliares won't listen..."


"You'd think it would be easier to convince people to not go to war..."

"They are after something that they need. Maybe it's just their leaders wanting power, who knows the true reasons. Please tell me again why you think it's better to mentally manipulate and modify their needs, wants and hopes than to fight it out physically?"

"If you make them think it's what they wanted, they won't be disgruntled."

"You sure you aren't just making war with the only way you've got?"

"It is not war! I do not want war!" Availon's partner was quiet and Availon doubted emself. Truth was subjective. "I just... think it's the best way. Few regular people out there in Gomania want to fight mostly meaningless battles..."

"It's wrong to pursue a goal in which you believe so much. It's... devotion." The falangezka shuddered.

"I am not devoted! I wish I'd be left out of that war stuff."

"So you take every chance to get involved in it, trying to prevent it?" Availon was quiet. "We'd like you to stay here."

Availon left and went to present eir ideas to the high council of falangezkas. They admitted the idea was fresh and there would be nothing lost in trying to talk to the femehans. Also, in case the whole alliance was hanging of the lives of a few select femehans, it would be easy to either modify their opinions or assassinate them. Therefore, the council decided to send an envoy team to the femehan areas to seek out their leaders and use whatever means available to try and convince them to not pursue the alliance with jinhaliares.

Naturally, Availon was one of those assigned to the task, along with seven others who supported eir plans and volunteered to go. The mission itself was simple, but the falangezka council did not have too much information about where exactly the femehan leaders would be found – and since femehans also had far-walkers among them, it was likely that their leaders would not be in the same place. While the council tried to somewhat actively find out about the practical things, the small team set on the journey.

Availon's partners were disappointed, but would not stop em since ey was not that fanatical and if ey did indeed succeed in eir goal, it meant that there would be no war. Availon, then again, doubted emself that much more, but it reassured em since it meant that ey was still sensible.

The trip to the femehan areas was not as dangerous as it was arduous due to the amount ice, water areas and mountains they would have to cross. They mostly met other falangezkas and some karangals and nakrans on their route, though for the most part they did not meet or see anyone. Eventually, they started finding femehans as well. Though femehans like warmer temperatures, some had settled in colder areas as well, though most who live in colder areas tended to complain about the weather quite a lot. Availon had heard about femehans' nations before, but had not really thought that they would actually divide themselves like that, so it was both a surprise and not for em to find out that femehans were indeed divided into nations. Unlike karangal communities, femehan nations encompassed wide areas of land and not just a bunch of people in a certain place. Availon also thought it strange that the different nations were said to have even radically different customs and even ways of leadership; most femehan nations were some kind of dictatorships, but there were also democracies and other forms of governmental bodies. Many southern communities of femehans resembled karangal and nakran communities as they did not claim to be nations.

It took about a year before the envoy team reached the areas where the actual nations of femehans resided. They had been exchanging information with the falangezka council all the time to determine what place would be the best with respect to influence. When they came across femehan leaders, they either inquired directly about where they might find the best place to contact the rulers of all femehans or then used their far-walker skills to get the information they wanted, or both. They eventually headed for the largest femehan nation, whose ruler and armies seemed to have the leading position. However, they did not make it near that far before they figured that it would work just as well to get their ideas across through a far-walking conference while residing in some smaller nation. They momentarily settled in the nation of Moorunla, the first larger femehan nation they had found.

According to the information the team had been receiving from the falangezka council as well as from the femehans themselves, it did not seem like there was much war-like activity; things were still in the preparation phase. There were a lot of armies around and they were being trained, but it did not seem like they were ready. People were not forced into the army. However, nothing was certain and it would be wise to keep secret things such as the strength of one's army. The alliance between femehans and jinhaliares had been kept secret for a decade before it became too obvious – also, telling about it had significantly reduced the skirmishes between femehans and jinhaliares since most of them had not known about the alliance.

The far-walking conference was set up for the falangezkas to state their business. It consisted of fourteen rulers of the most powerful femehan nations, nine generals, six personal negotiators, twenty-four ambassadors and twenty-four femehan far-walkers. The whole thing was very nicely set up: the far-walkers created a mental space, modified it into a practical space that would seem natural enough to the other-walkers and mostly made sure that the other femehans did not lie to each other. This time, they were also supposed to make sure that the falangezkas would not try anything rash. The falangezkas could have held together the conference without any help from the femehan far-walkers, but since it was the only way the femehans agreed to talk to them, they had to accept it. However, they were fairly sure that the femehan far-walkers could not stop them from modifying the thoughts of the leaders slightly, if they went about it very discreetly. Assassinating them in the conference would most likely be out of their capabilities, however – it was likely they would succeed in it, but the femehan far-walkers would instantly overwhelm them due to sheer numbers.

When the actual conference was held, there were first formal introductions and then a recap of most of the things that the femehans felt safe they could tell the falangezkas. The envoy team knew a lot was left out, but they could not dig around without the femehan far-walkers noticing. They were slightly disgruntled, but when it was time for them to present their issue, Availon made a very impressive speech about peace and what the regular people wanted. Ey told some fairly touching but generic stories and presented eir idea well. The others saw their chance and very discreetly suggested to the femehans that they should consider and even accept Availon's ideas. They even suggested it to the far-walkers, but that much more carefully.

After Availon had presented eir issue and all of the questions had been asked, the falangezkas were told to disconnect and wait until the femehan council would come to a consensus.

The femehans spent two days discussing. Every now and then, a femehan far-walker asked them some questions about the idea they had presented. On the second day, they started getting slightly suggestive in the way that it seemed like the femehans knew about the attempted suggestions of the envoy team.

In the evening of the second day, a team of twenty-four femehan far-walkers confronted the falangezka envoy team, accusing them of cheating, immoral behaviour and treachery. The falangezkas were subject to imprisonment and interrogation. That was naturally inconsiderable, so the falangezkas struck down most of the far-walkers and when it was obvious that the remaining ones would not fare any better, the falangezkas declared that they would not be imprisoned; they would leave free and unharmed. They furthermore threatened the femehans, telling that if they continued gathering armies and keeping up the alliance with jinhaliares, their leaders would be killed or alternatively their armies would eventually be crushed, and the jinhaliares would betray them whatever happened.

After the falangezkas were done with their threats, they let the femehan far-walkers go, gathered their own stuff and left.

The envoy team figured that it would be too much hassle to try and assassinate the femehan leaders, so they started heading back home and were upset because the mission had failed that bad. However, the one who was most upset was Availon. Ey had been so sure of the plan's success and was now demanding that they should just travel and kill the femehan leaders one by one. The others disagreed. The disagreement turned more serious day after day, and after they had been traveling two weeks, Availon and the rest of the envoy team parted ways. One other person from the team stayed with Availon, not because ey agreed, but because ey did not want Availon to be alone. Eir name was Tyilan Laineadei.

The envoy team of six falangezkas continued heading back home, while Availon and Tyilan turned more or less around and headed once again for the largest femehan nation – or to at least find out which one of them it was, for a start.

  1. 4461 (Availon)

Availon and Tyilan rearrived at Moorunla. They were wanted there and thus stayed hidden. They managed to assassinate the resident leader of militia and the next person in line for promotion. Having done that, they continued their way to north and climbed on the mountains to the west of them. There was supposed to be a "nation" of falangezkas there – it was not a nation as such, but the surrounding races, being so territorial, had insisted on the falangezkas drawing borders and naming the mass of land. So it was that falangezkas had a nation here, and the nation was called Hoiffetane-Tii, or literally "the peak of civilization" – humour was not lost in the name. Availon and Tyilan spent a week there and asked a few people if they would mind joining the mission. Two hunter-fighters, Gaoveel and Naalien, came along.

The assassination party of four headed west, where it was said that the jinhaliares lived. Indeed, they began seeing more jinhaliares, but it was still femehans' territory and their nations. They killed two femehan generals, three captains, five lieutenants and seven important jinhaliares in two nations. They were close to getting caught after two consecutive deaths of important jinhaliares because jinhaliares were good at noticing and calculating falangezka tactics. The assassination party had to make a very quick retreat, but they made it. They travelled to east through Gekkyila and killed only one femehan general. Winter was coming and travelling in winter was very commonly considered to be suicide. They settled in a karangal village for the winter.

Come spring, the assassination party moved east once again, to the femehan nation of Tarakiila. After they had killed a general and three captains, they noticed that the captains started surrounding themselves with bodyguards and far-walkers. The move was not unexpected, but it was still very inconvenient. The assassination party momentarily left the military alone and instead made a plot to kill Tarakiila's monarch and eir immediate family.

The party of falangezkas had been planning the assassinations for a few days, mostly sitting at the terrace of the house they were staying in – they could not go out much because they would draw too much attention to themselves, and the rumours about falangezka assassins had not exactly faded yet. A cafeteria of sorts resided opposite to their temporary house, and eventually Availon noticed recurring troubled thoughts. Looking over the fence that was too high for em, Availon saw a femehan gewakod, deep in thought. Ey spent two days monitoring the gewakod's surface thoughts – the gewakod had been trained to block and notice mind-probing and Availon could not be sure how well ey would be able to conceal emself.

The gewakod, called Kairrel Farekiler, was a member of a femehan rebel faction that tried to eliminate the alliance with jinhaliares. For now, ey was a spy in the royal court, but even though ey had been trained against far-walkers, everything ey did was too big a risk. A far-walker spy would not have gotten in – far-walkers were thoroughly screened for loyalty, and while many far-walkers were usually less than completely loyal, it would be easy to notice a harmfully rebellious side. Kairrel had advanced into a position from which it would take too much time to be promoted again, so ey was as ready as ey could be. Spying did not require very much, but keeping one's mind empty while at work, trying to recall the information afterward and then forgetting or not caring about it was a strain. Not too long ago, the rebels had decided that the monarch of Tarakiila was supporting the alliance too much and thus it would be better if ey was killed off quickly. Kairrel was not exactly fascinated at the idea of betraying eir country by killing eir own ruler, but ey also could not accept the alliance between femehans and jinhaliares. Therefore, ey now spent a lot of time trying to think up things ey could do.

Availon and the other falangezkas figured that they could use Kairrel to achieve their (and eir) objective, so one day Availon caught Kairrel in some relatively secluded alley so that they would not be disturbed or discovered. Ey introduced emself, explained eir mission and objective, apologized for having read the femehan's mind and finally asked whether ey would like to cooperate. Kairrel was a bit concerned and quiet, but eventually started asking more questions and clarifying things before leaning toward working together. One thing troubled em quite a lot, though.

"I've been able to act normally in the court before, the far-walkers haven't taken any interest... but how will I do that now? This meeting with you has been, well, mind-shaking an' I really doubt it would go unnoticed."

"I can help you some more with your mental shields. There are a few special tricks to it. Not many can learn them, though... it is possible to make anyone learn anyway, but that requires a bit of mind-modifying. Not many like that."

"I'll have to try."

Availon taught Kairrel the tricks of uninteresting thoughts. The four falangezkas and one femehan constructed a detailed plan of how they would assassinate the royal family. The most convenient way was to kill them all at once, but that was difficult to arrange since they were usually fairly unconnected from each other. However, a fairly special occasion, the monarch's birthday, was coming, and a lot of important people were going to gather in one single room to celebrate – a perfect chance. Kairrel was thinking of poisoning them, but Availon thought that it would be too easy to notice, since certainly somebody would taste the food or drink before the main bulk of them, and slower poisons were unreliable. Availon's idea was that they would construct a bomb; falangezkas had long ago learned how to make them, had considered them way too dangerous to use regularly and had never passed the secret on. Availon did not know how to make a bomb, but ey could get the information. Tyilan suggested that they insert some poison gas in it as well so that those who might survive the explosion would have lesser chances of survival and so that the building would be evacuated and a lot of potential culprits could escape. The two hunters figured that it would be wise to condition some innocent people to flee as well, in order to make it that much harder to catch the people who really were behind it. Kairrel was going to go back to the rebel cell that was in a nearby village and then flee with them to another nation. The falangezkas decided to come along.

The bomb would be effective enough even if it was small, so it was possible for Kairrel to get it into the royal court without anyone noticing. Kairrel wanted a poisoned knife along so that ey could kill anyone who saw it directly, or in case someone would try to stop em. Ey would drop the bomb down from an indoor window above the great hall in which the royal festers would be eating all together.

The monarch's birthday came and Kairrel executed eir plan. Ey succeeded, did not have to stab anyone dead and got out without much trouble, though the chaos following the explosion was fairly debilitating.

The falangezkas and Kairrel left the city, traveled to the nearby village and left off with a rebel cell. They crossed the border to Fetormana, a large femehan nation. Many femehans said that it was the largest femehan nation of all, and most of the rebels were of that opinion as well, but the falangezkas did not believe it.

In time, they received news about what had happened after the explosion in Tarakiila's royal court. The nation was pretty much in turmoil, most of the people in the dining hall had been killed and the poison gas had made the rest of them retarded, insane or mentally unstable. The only surviving member of the royal family was the monarch's two-year-old wagekodda who had lost both eir legs and one hand in the explosion and had breathed enough of the gas to be retarded for the rest of eir life.

After hearing the news from Tarakiila, Tyilan grew disgusted and refused to take part in any more murdering. Ey wanted to leave, but did not want to travel alone. Therefore the hunter Naalien left with em, taking em back to Hoiffetane-Tii.

Availon, the other hunter Gaoveel and the femehan rebel cell continued on their mission. They travelled across the lands of Fetormana and killed altogether seven high-ranking people and military officers, making them seem like accidents, suicides or carelessness. They conducted their assassinations with great care and seemingly no people noticed it. Some femehan rebels dropped out and stayed in small villages and some rebels joined along.

A rebel who had been with the first cell back in the village close to Tarakiila's capital city intrigued Availon. Ey was a femehan gekod and an ex-soldier. Ey spoke rarely, and when ey did, ey expressed eir needs or asked clarification on some issue. Eir mental shielding was strange and Availon had first not believed that ey was real and afterward could not most often read even many of eir surface thoughts. Ey had not been trained at it either – some people developed shields naturally, though it usually required a some kind of mental disorder. The gekod's name was Tarkavinel Airahankio. The other femehan rebels, both ex-soldiers and non-soldiers alike, shunned em. They thought ey was wrong somehow. Looked wrong or ugly, had a wrong profession and never spoke. Availon tried to read eir mind once, but ey noticed it and attacked em. The other femehans were about to strip, whip, mindwipe and discharge Tarkavinel, but Availon told them not to. Neither of them explained the reasons for the attack, Availon because ey did not want to admit ey had purposefully tried to read eir mind and Tarkavinel because of some reason ey did not share. Later yet, Availon tried to talk to em, but Tarkavinel told em to leave em alone. Eventually Availon stopped caring about em. Tarkavinel was not a fighter or much of an archer either; ey was a military thief and spy, but ey had no social skills to go with that. Eir job was to get in, get what was wanted while hiding and get out. Many far-walkers had serious troubles noticing em; often they flat-out denied em being alive.

The two falangezkas and the femehan rebels had travelled to Grehainali, a smallish city. It did not have any outwardly important leaders, but the assassination group suspected that there was more to the city than seemed. They killed a femehan captain.

However, they did not get very far with their investigations. A few of the femehan rebels were walking on the streets, one of them a far-walker who suddenly noticed that another, unknown far-walker was reading the mind of one of eir friends. The far-walker rebel turned to the mind-reader who realized that ey might be killed right there and then, so ey spilled all eir information to everyone nearby as well as eir closest far-walker friends.

The rebels ran immediately, simultaneously telling all their friends to leave right now. They all ran and travelled forcedly for a week before settling in the middle of a forest to huddle. The first snow of the winter had come down soon after they had ran, and now much more of it was coming down. The falangezkas did not think the amount of snow was very big, however – where they were from, the depth of snow could be measured in house stories. The snow was still inconvenient and the rebels were cold and hungry. Now everyone would know them and towns would have special security for handling them. If they stole a lot from far-off villages, people would eventually catch track of it. They considered settling down in the forest, but figured that they would not survive. Availon suggested that they should travel to Hoiffetane-Tii, and though it was a decent idea otherwise, the journey was fairly long and they would have to travel through Fetormana's fringes again. In the east and north resided two other fairly powerful femehan nations, and they most likely would not make the journey through them.

They decided to head west, first over the Watery Mountains and then across the Great River that flowed from the Watery Mountains to the Great Lake-like Forest Ocean. After that, they could perhaps stop in Kervanela or go further north or west.

Of course, first they had to cross the mountains, which could be very tricky. They would have to count on the solidarity of karangals and nakrans, and while the two races usually helped people who were travelling through their areas, help from them was not exactly a law of nature. The runaway party started moving, stole what they needed from small villages and made their way toward the mountains. Winter was well on its way when they reached them, but fortunately the weather was tolerable. A couple of the femehan rebels decided to stay in the villages instead and one even asked to have eir memory wiped, just in case. After they had left the last femehan village behind, the party consisted of two falangezkas, one femehan far-walker and five femehan other-walkers. Availon had managed to ask and get instructions for building a small hot-air balloon carrier for their food and other things, and even to get them past otherwise impossible places.

Femehans had some lore about falangezkas and their airships from along the millennia. They were usually considered fantasies because the stories were so few, but some believed them nonetheless and most tended to agree that it could not be accurately known whether falangezkas indeed had airships.

Some of the femehans in the party asked Availon about the airships, but ey told them nothing. The hot-air balloon ey had constructed was a simple thing and the femehans did not have trouble figuring out the mechanism behind it. They asked why they could not build a bigger one, get in it and just fly away, and Availon explained to them that it would be seen from far away and that it was fairly impossible to steer. They would most likely end up back in Fetormana due to the winds.

Days grew dark and snow fell down. The snow made clear days annoyingly bright, but nights were technically lighter than in summer since the moons lighted the snow. The drifts in the mountains were deceptive; moving was always dangerous and it was often hard to know where to go. The trees and other vegetation in the mountains were adapted to fairly dry conditions – though it rained just as often as in other parts of the nearby lands, the water had the tendency to flow down the mountains and into the valleys and passes, where the vegetation was relatively thicker.

Karangals were fairly welcoming of the party because they tended to respect falangezkas. They sold the party food and different kinds of ways to heat the air in the hot-air balloon. The falangezkas paid back with information, teaching or far-walker services, and the femehans had to settle for doing physical work requiring extensive strength – karangals were even smaller than falangezkas, so the femehans' strength was quite felicitous. A few times the falangezkas were even asked to have sex with some karangals. Some karangals joined with the group for half a week or so since they were heading to the next village anyway, acting as guides while at it.

Things went fairly similarly with nakrans, though they were more suspicious and distrusting of falangezkas since falangezkas were so similar to karangals with respect to their sex system. They did still welcome the runaway party, though they only took their payment from the femehans – the falangezkas eventually ended up disguising themselves as femehans with their far-walker abilities when dealing with nakrans.

Winter advanced and the weather became colder. Snowfall abated, but now the thunderstorms were coming. Wind, sleet, ice, hail, lightning and chilling temperatures – not a good combination for a band of travelers. They would be even more dependent on karangals and nakrans in weather like this. However, every cloud had a silver lining [ei niin paljon pahaa, ettei jotain hyvääkin; paistaa se päivä risukasaankin]: the views and sceneries were magnificent. The femehans were often fairly enthralled and kept praising it and keeping on moving. Even Tarkavinel seemed to like looking at the wilderness. The falangezkas had seen similar things before, but it was still a new experience every time.

The falangezka hunter Gaoveel and Availon always slept together and seemed quite chaste to the femehans since they did not have sex while the femehans were in their company. The femehans, then again, had sex with each other quite freely, regardless of the falangezkas. They did have some issues, though, since they had among them one geniwakod, four nikods and one fairly inert gekod. No one really wanted to have sex with Tarkavinel, and ey did not seem to want to have sex at all. The two nikod ex-soldiers sometimes had sex with em, but Tarkavinel never seemed to particularly want or enjoy it – ey expressed eir unwillingness by attempting to shove them off but not really trying to and then lay quietly while they did what they wanted. The geniwakod, then again, was the far-walker, and it was usually creepy for other-walkers to have sex with a far-walker.

Availon was initially quite worried about Tarkavinel since ey seemed to dislike having sex in the first place and no one seemed to pay attention to contraception – having a child or even just being pregnant would probably be a death sentence in a situation like this.

They had two four-person tents to sleep in. One night, Availon, Gaoveel, Tarkavinel and one nikod called Karerkun were sleeping in the same tent, and Karerkun had just finished having sex with Tarkavinel and settled to sleep. Tarkavinel seemed annoyed above anything and was pulling on eir clothes. Ey had a lean, badly scarred body and eir right ear had been cut off a long time ago.

"Tarkavinel?" asked Availon, in common Gomanian. Ey wanted to speak to the gekod mentally, but Tarkavinel sometimes had trouble registering even harmless mental messages and could never reply to them. Tarkavinel lifted eir head and looked at Availon, but did not reply. "Are you all right?" Tarkavinel looked at Availon for a moment without speaking. In time, Availon spoke again: "You don't seem to enjoy ...that too much. Is there some reason why you let em do it?" Tarkavinel still did not reply and now ey also turned eir attention away from Availon. Ey held eir right breast for a while and then pulled on a tight shirt.

Gaoveel joined the discussion: "Can't you just push em off or tell em that you don't want to do it?" Tarkavinel stayed quiet.

"Or you could tell us... or Plietti. We would make em stop. You don't have to feel bad." Tarkavinel pulled on the rest of eir clothes and still did not reply. "Karerkun can't hear what we're saying, ey's asleep. Why do you let em do it? Aren't you afraid of becoming pregnant? We can't afford that now." The gekod stayed silent. "Please, reply something..."

Tarkavinel was still quiet for a long time but eventually replied: "Don't have anything to say."

"But, but... why do you let em do it? What if you become pregnant?" Tarkavinel was quiet again. "You frustrate me. Why won't you reply?" After a long moment of silence, Tarkavinel lay down next to the nikod. The falangezkas sighed frustratingly and gave up.

Tarkavinel said one more thing, however: "I won't get pregnant."

Availon sat up abruptly and went: "What? Why? You don't use any contraception... Are you sterile?" Ey did not get more answers out of Tarkavinel – the gekod fell asleep in the middle of one of Availon's questions. Both of the falangezkas were frustrated, and though they tried to get through to em again, Tarkavinel seemingly ignored them again. Eventually they too ceased to care about the passive raping happening right under their noses.

Along the long journey, the falangezkas learned to speak Femen without even using their far-walker abilities much. They grew closer as they shared their food, sleeping space, personal space and even thoughts, though the other-walkers were slightly uneasy about that, save for Tarkavinel who was still quiet and unreadable.

One day the weather finally started showing signs of getting warmer. Though spring was still far away, it would probably not get any colder. However, to the party's discomfort, the next day a bad thunderstorm brewed and the temperature dropped quite low. As a bonus, at evening, Werden shone right into their eyes as the storm-clouds failed to reach the horizon. They were climbing up the side of a steep cliff as two groups; four of them tied together at even intervals of the rope. The falangezkas climbed first; they were the best at it and if they fell, they were light enough to not pull the whole group with them.

They had climbed enough for one day and started setting camp. Gaoveel's group had started it since Availon's was still trying to climb; they had hit a harder spot and even with help from the others, the climbing was quite difficult. The weather started turning worse. Finally Availon made it to the ledge and one of the femehan nikods followed soon. Tarkavinel took a slightly longer time, and when they finally managed to pull Johəlta, the last nikod, to the edge, the storm was rather fierce. Wind blew so hard that Availon was afraid to move anywhere; the gusts would have caught em. Johəlta did not dare to stand up, but continued crawling in the snow while Tarkavinel pulled lightly on the rope.

Near the edge of the cliff grew a tree barely two meters high. Johəlta was just a meter from the tree when lightning struck it. The tree was electrocuted and Johəlta received a bad jumped strike. Ey stood up, the wind blew and ey fell down the cliff. The rope between em and Tarkavinel tightened almost instantly, and the gekod started slipping toward the edge. Ey tried to stop and pull on the rope, but it was fairly futile. The nikod between em and Availon shouted help, taking a stable position and readying emself for pulling. Availon circled the rock ey was holding on to, making a loop around it, hoping that it would help in case things got worse.

Tarkavinel slipped to the edge of the cliff where ey was able to stabilize emself by positioning eir leg under the rope – ey did not slip over the edge and Johəlta's fall was cut short. Ey had just managed to position emself so that ey would see Johəlta when the weight at the other end of the rope suddenly disappeared. That was the only time anyone heard Tarkavinel yell: it was a frustrated shout of surprise. Tarkavinel jerked backwards, turned around almost immediately and looked down. Ey barely saw Johəlta fall and hit the rocks below. Ey heard Plietti, the geniwakod far-walker, shout out in grief. Johəlta had died. Tarkavinel stared down for a short moment before crawling back.

"What happened?" asked Karerkun.

For a moment, Tarkavinel was silent and showed no signs of replying, but then stated: "Ey fell."

A few tears fell down Plietti's face. "Eir spirit is gone! Ey didn't make it to the Spirit Plane!"

They did not speak more. They could do nothing.

In the morning, the weather was calm and clear. Some snow had fallen and covered the old snow in most places. The seven remaining party members looked down the cliff from which Johəlta had fallen. Tarkavinel pointed at the place where ey had hit the ground. It was covered by snow and one could only see the body with the help of a good imagination. A few tears fell down Plietti's face again.

"Did ey... have anything essential with em?" asked Availon. It was an insensitive, even wretched question, but if Johəlta had had something important with em, they would need to go down and get it.

"I don't think so." Karerkun's reply was quite stiff.

"Go down an' see for yourself!" shouted Plietti. "You shouldn't disturb the remains of people who have passed away!"

They all were quiet for a fairly long time, looking down. Then Plietti finally said: "Farewell, dear comrade. May you find calmness in nothingness."

Almost immediately after that, Availon and Gaoveel muttered simultaneously: "Live and die forever in nothingness." They spoke Falan, however, so the femehans could only guess what the exact meaning was. The general meaning, however, was clear: it was a farewell message. They did not want to ruin it by asking what it meant now.

They were about to back down from the edge of the cliff when they heard something extraordinary: Tarkavinel. And Tarkavinel did not just say something – ey sang. The others listened with their eyes wide and remembered the words until they died.


we walk alone.


left behind.


we die alone.


left for survivors.

We remember

for as long as we can.

One day

all will be gone

no matter what.

Comfort in nothingness,

nothingness in life and death.

One day

all will be gone."


jeelori jedota.


məat maoot moppekiiv.


jiomoori jedota.


marendke moppekiiv.


ootide kii keori.


aareke skaweiihele,


Saaveoleti vookehidinta,

vookehidi korielienta.


aareke skaweiihele."

Having sung, Tarkavinel looked up to the sky for a calming moment before walking back. The others stood there thrice as long, their eyes more or less flowing – so moved were they by the austerity and desolation of the words. Not one of them ever mentioned the singing again.

It took almost one and a half months for them to cross the Watery Mountains. They were very glad and proud of themselves after they reached the first femehan village in the nation of Kattormala. They were not proud of what they had to do there, however, since they had to steal from them. They traveled fairly anonymously through the nation and gave no clear sign of themselves.

They started getting very tired and malnourished before reaching the Great River, so they stopped their journey in a femehan village after all, got themselves some work and started settling down temporarily.

  1. 4034 (Tegafel)

Tegafel merely sat there at the dining table, listening to eir alhem storming about and explaining how wrong Tegafel's decision to join the army was. For a gekod, ey sure was angry, but that was not like it was unexpected. Tegafel's relem stood nearby and nodded along with eir partner like the silent nikod ey was. Tegafel's siblings were quiet; eir older nigekoddin, Deratel, stood and agreed while the smaller ones just tried to scoot away, leave and not hear the yelling.

"I can't believe you're doing this to us! Do you have any idea what you're doing? It's the army! You don't belong to the army, you don't go there!" Tegafel knew that ey should not aggravate eir alhem by saying anything too disagreeable or complicated – and at this moment everything was disagreeable, but at least ey could try to make it simple. Ey continued sitting at the table, looking down at eir plate. "You can't go to the army! I don't think they'll even take you in, and besides, what would you do there? It's for the stronger folks like your nigekoddin!" Ey pointed around. "What makes you think you can handle it? What? How do you think you'll take it?"

"Just like everyone else."

"...Everyone else ey says! Do you think you're everyone else? Do you?" Silence followed. "I just don't understand why you can't just stay home and do something that's better for you. You should find a partner and have children! What is wrong with you? Why don't you want children?"

"Maybe I do. Maybe just not now."

"Maybe you just can't find the right one for you! You come off so pathetic that you can't attract even a mate. Have you ever considered doing something about that, huh? Have you? Have you been that unlucky?"

"I really don't want a partner right now."

"Do you think you're that ugly? Hah! You look so fair a wakod."

"I really do and that's why I'm sick of the attention."

"...Don't be such a prosht! If people do pay attention to you, why are you ignoring it? Why don't you just take one for yourself? Why won't you get a partner? Why, huh? Why?"

"'Cause I really, really don't want one. I want away from it all and that's why I want to go to the army."

"Well you're not going there because army's not a place for you! Now go prepare your little siblings to bed!" Tegafel did not move. "GO!"

Tegafel got up. "I'd do great in the army! You've really trained me well to obey commands and that's all army is anyway!" Ey went and shoved up eir siblings a bit while watching them to sleep. The little ones were fairly quiet and just tried to stay out of the way. Ey felt fairly tearful.

Later Tegafel went to sleep in eir and Deratel's room. Deratel came in and said, closing the door: "Alhem's right you know. You're not up for the army."

"Shut the groshje up. You too," Tegafel mumbled and breathed away the sobs and sniffs. "If I can obey eir commands, I can obey their commands. And that's pretty much what I'm good for."

"You really think you can handle not being close to home?"

"I can barely handle being home! I bet I'll feel a million times better over there!"

"Well when you come back, you better be really good at apologizing 'cause alhem and relem are really in a bad mood. They might not even take you back if you leave. But if that happens just come to me, I'll still help you even if it was stupid."

"Shut the groshje up. Shut the groshje up. If I get there, I'm not coming back."

"Won't change what I said."

"Shut the groshje up."

In the morning, Tegafel packed what ey needed in the army – ey had checked that much earlier already and was prepared. Ey knew what to say if they told em that they did not want em, ey knew what to promise, how to do it all. Ey left before anyone could object.

It took 40 minutes to jog to the draft office. Ailanihi was not a very big place, but it was decent-sized, and the snow on the ground did not make the roads that easy to walk on. Three army units were stationed there, and the townsfolk were fairly free to recruit. Wakods really were not supposed to be soldiers, but to Tegafel, it had become almost a dream instead of just a way to leave behind eir sickening family life.

Tegafel walked confidently toward the "office", which was little more than an elevated wooden fence with a roof. Behind it was more fence that spanned to unknown lengths and the forest, inside which was the army camp. The two guards beside the clerk looked at Tegafel in a slightly staring manner, but they did not speak.

The clerk, a middle-aged nigekod, looked up. "Yes? Are you lost, jiwa? This is the draft office."

"No, I am not, sonige. I am here to join the army. My name is Tegafel Darrelter."

"...What? You want to join the army? Maybe you should go home and think again, army's not a good place for a wakod."

"I have spent the last four years wanting to join the army. I've found out what I need to do and what I'll have to go through and I have finally decided that I will join. There is nothing else here in Ailanihi for me, sonige."

The clerk certainly looked puzzled, Tegafel even thought ey saw a bit of impression in eir eyes. "Well, that was quite a speech. Four years you say? What makes you say there's nothing here for you?"

"I do not know any trade very well for my parents could not educate me and always tried to only find me a partner. I do not want a partner nor ...children," ey said with just a hint of disgust, "to say the least. I want away from all this and do what I do best: obey and serve."

"Hm, well, that sounds too well planned a speech to be totally false. You can join. You'll get a two week grace period during which you can still leave if you find it wasn't that great after all, but after that your contract's really binding. How long will you sign up for? Two years?" Two years was the minimum. Tegafel felt already aggravated that the nigekod thought ey needed to be told about the grace period or that ey suggested the minimum time. The clerk apparently saw the aggravation and pursed eir lips, saying: "Nah, you look like you're quite good for at least four years. You are young though and believe me, your mind can change in four years. Besides, you can always renew the contract." Tegafel looked fairly blank now. Originally ey had contemplated between four, ten, fourteen and twenty, but of course ey had doubts now. "Four, okay? Just renew it if you're still good for more after that."

"Yes, sonige."

"Name, age, birth place, home address?"

"Tegafel Darrelter, 148, Ailanihi, Temple light alley 16, Ailanihi."

"Sign here." Tegafel took the pen and seemed slow. "Any kind of mark will do." Tegafel felt slightly insulted and managed to write eir name, though it was undeniably smudged and wobbly. During that time the clerk had written a copy of the form. "And here. Good. Now, you really look like you have all your stuff, so I'm not going to ask. Besides, they'll give you if you lack. Follow soni Krendel to the camp." The clerk showed the nikod left of em, passing the contract to em.

Krendel stepped down, took a few steps and stopped, Tegafel doing the same. Krendel thought ey could have a bit of fun at the kid's expense, and exclaimed at em: "Attention!" Tegafel was surprised, but did produce a ready stance fairly swiftly. Krendel grinned. "Heh, that was okay. Now let's move." Tegafel did not really know what to think of that, so ey did not.

It did not take long for the nikod to start getting nosy. "So what exactly made you think you're up for the army?"

"Will you punish me if I speak frankly?"

It took a moment of thinking, but Krendel replied: "No."

"What makes YOU think I wouldn't be up for it?" Tegafel snapped and continued breathing in an angry manner.

"Huh, because you wakods are good for smaller jobs and kids."

"I hate kids!"

"Well that's a first. But why the army? Couldn't you do hunting or something?"

Tegafel was a little quiet then. Maybe ey could have done hunting, since it was sort of similar to being a soldier. However, there one had to decide exactly what to do and know more than how to obey commands. Tegafel was fairly impatient and lazy, so obeying commands sounded better, especially since ey knew ey was good at it. But there was another side to it – there were very few wakods around and they were supposed to not become soldiers. "Maybe I want to prove that wakods can be soldiers too then."

"Heh, I bet the only thing you'll prove is that it's certainly not a place for you."

"I'll rather die first!"

"That's such a waste. I'll go tell the unfortunate news to your family. What did they think of your choice anyway? I hope you did tell them."

Tegafel was quiet – it was too fresh a wound in eir mind and ey really did not want to start crying.

"You didn't?" the nikod said, mock-worriedly.

"I did."

"What'd they say?"

"That's what I don't wanna talk about."

"That bad? Did they disown you too?"

Tegafel turned away and breathed angrily. Ey thought Krendel was getting way too personal with it. "That's not your business."

Krendel was quiet for the rest of the trip.

After about eight minutes of slow walking, they saw the camp, or its front, a high-fenced light fortress. Krendel and Tegafel walked up to the gate that was guarded by a niwakod. "Hold... what?" Krendel showed em the contract. "You're kidding me right? ...No? Okay..." The niwakod smiled at Tegafel and opened the gate. Krendel and Tegafel walked in. Tegafel had to turn around to glance at the niwakod and saw that ey was staring at em fairly lustfully. Tegafel shivered.

"Heh, regretting already?" asked Krendel.

"What! It's not my fault if EY can't keep eir desires in check!" snapped Tegafel between eir teeth and fairly quietly.

"Is it eir fault if you cause desire in em?"

"Well with that logic you shouldn't be allowing gewakods here, but no, they're captains and generals..."

"Well their usefulness outweighs the harm of the distraction. Oh, you know that if someone here gets kids, you'll be assigned their caretaker, right?"

Tegafel went silent and started flushing with anger. Ey opened eir mouth and tried to say something, but just was not able to come up with anything intelligible, so ey just stood there for a moment. Krendel apparently saw eir anger and waited for a response. Tegafel was too angry. "I will... NEVER..."

Krendel did not answer quickly: "Better get used to the idea or make sure the others won't breed."

Tegafel attempted to contain eir anger and followed Krendel into the lieutenant's office which was a better house than the barracks used by the soldiers. The warehouses and some other necessary buildings were in direct connection with it. Krendel showed the contract to the two guards and went in the house, Tegafel after em. Once inside, Krendel stood to attention and gave the usual greeting by lifting eir right hand near eir face, palm down. Tegafel did the same.

"Greetings, lieutenant," said Krendel and handed the contract to the lieutenant, a middle-aged gewakod with a bit of a pot belly.

"Good. Dismissed," said the lieutenant. Krendel turned and left. The lieutenant eyed Tegafel somewhat questioningly. Ey pondered what to say for a few seconds, but then just settled for the simplest option: "I'm just going to ask you once. Are you sure?"

"Yes, lieutenant."

The lieutenant stamped the contract and gave it to one of eir assistants who put it in a container that looked like it contained several of those contracts. "You seem like you know your basics, but I'm going to say this anyway: When someone higher in rank than you calls attention, you stand to attention. Do not speak unless asked to. Do what you're told. Use your superior's title. Do not whine. Pay is two gemmies a day. Any questions?"

Tegafel was quiet for a few seconds. "Just one, lieutenant. It might classify as a whine though."

"Well, let's hear it for once."

"The soldier I came in with said that if children are born here, I'll be assigned to take care of them. Is this true, lieutenant?"

"Well, you're a wakod, so probably." Tegafel started pumping up anger again. Ey was more easily read than ey thought as the lieutenant went: "You think that's a problem."

"I'd rather do anything ...anything else."

"You hate children that much? Had some trauma?"

"Uh... overexposure rather. And regardless of that I hated it so much I didn't even learn it properly. Lieutenant."

"Well, I see no reason why I'd want to be that cruel to you, especially if you'll rather do anything else. There are other people who can do it." Tegafel was visibly relieved to hear it and the lieutenant smirked. "Anything else?"

"No, lieutenant."

The lieutenant looked down on the papers for a moment and then turned to one assistant. "Cruhel, take em to the warehouse, show em barrack three and have em join with group three. Dismissed – soldier!"

Walking bouncily after assistant Cruhel, Tegafel felt very elevated and happy. Ey knew army would be much harsher than that, but that was all the more reason to take the joy where ey got it. The storage area was fairly simple and Cruhel led Tegafel straight to the counter, where the one responsible for the inventory just said:

"Show me what you have." Meanwhile ey took out a simple armor and gave it to Tegafel. "Try that on." Tegafel put eir stuff on the counter and then started pulling on the armor, which proved to be more difficult than it seemed, but not anything that could not be done with a little soughing. "You have a nonstandard cup. I'll replace it. You get a blanket, cloak, getup and a spork. You get to keep your clothes, the other getup, the bag and the... ball." The gewakod at the counter glared at the ball for a bit but did not say anything more.

"It fits," commented Cruhel on the armor Tegafel had fitted. "Has some room to grow, but growing's more than likely." Tegafel started taking the armor off.

"That's all," said the gewakod.

"Thank you, sogewa," replied Tegafel.

Cruhel started walking again, toward some barrack. They reached it soon and Cruhel opened a door that revealed a basic room with two tables, ten chairs and fourteen hammocks, eleven of which seemed to be in use. There was a stove in the middle of the room – it did not seem to be turned on even though it was still cold, but then, no one was in the barrack either way.

"Pick a hammock. It doesn't need to be a final decision, you'll probably have to ask which ones are really free when you go to sleep. Now just put your stuff in there," instructed Cruhel. Tegafel took a few steps into eir new home, looking around, but did not spend too much time on it. Ey dumped eir stuff in the closest free-looking hammock and walked out with Cruhel.

Cruhel led em to a training field, where two groups seemed to be training. The other group was practicing with wooden swords and the other was doing basic gymnastics. Cruhel greeted the leader of the gymnastics group. "New member to your squad. Have fun." Ey turned and said to Tegafel: "Now you're under em. Attention, soldier!" Tegafel stood to attention and Cruhel greeted em and left.

Meanwhile, the sergeant had put someone else in charge of the exercise and turned eir attention to Tegafel. "Well, that's a sight. But whatever. Name?"

"Tegafel Darrelter, soni."

"And you're how young?"

"Fourteen, soni."

"Good. I'm your sergeant, Neret Urtinan." Neret turned at the group and seemed to be trying to recall something. "...Julta!" The nikod whose name was Julta looked up. "Come here. Narkdel, go to fill eir place. Break! Attention!" Julta and Tegafel stood to attention apart from the others while the rest stood up and lined up. "Julta is somewhat new too, so you two should be a pair in exercising. Clear?"

"Yes, soni," replied Julta.

"Yes, soni," replied Tegafel after Julta.

"Ask your simple questions from Julta. If it's still unclear and the rest don't cooperate, ask me. Well, you can ask me anyway, I'm not that unsociable. Just don't seek me out in the middle of the night to ask which way your armor goes." Ey then turned toward the whole group and addressed them: "This rookie here is Tegafel. I expect to keep seeing em alive and in relatively good condition." Turning eir head at the two again, ey finished: "Now go to the back and stand in line."

The rest of the day consisted of training, a meal, chores, some more training, another meal and yet more training. It was not very extreme, but it felt hard for Tegafel, what with being new and all. It was expected. When the night came, the soldiers went to their barracks and the sergeants into the lieutenant's lodge.

Tegafel was fairly wobbly, very tired and really glad to be able to sleep now. Ey had worried that ey would not be able to sleep since it was a new and exciting place with a ton of other people, but now ey just thought that ey would fall asleep as soon as ey went horizontal. Ey almost forgot to inquire about the bed issue, but fortunately the one who seemed to be keeping the lower hammock seemed confused when Tegafel approached the place.

"Um... I just put my stuff here when I came here. Is this one free?"

"Yeah... but maybe you'd rather sleep over there with the geniwakods," the fellow soldier replied, pointing to two people who both seemed to own a lower hammock and the top ones were free.

Tegafel's mind scorned at the assumption, but ey agreed with it. Ey just hoped these were not sex-crazy, like some geniwakods could be – or if they were, they would go about it just between themselves. It was yet another assumption, but one that even Tegafel automatically thought about.

"Besides, I snore," the nikod said with a grin.

The others started commenting: "Now ey admits it! Hah!"

"As if you didn't snore!"

"Can't help if you hear voices!"

"Voices eh? Sure you're not a far-walker, mate?"

"Hear them voices inside yer heads."

Tegafel picked up eir stuff while a small group continued talking about hearing voices and walked over to the two geniwakods. "You don't mind if I take one of these two free bunks right?"

The two looked up at the wakod. "Well, nope. We usually spend some nights in other beds too so you'll probably get a bed all for yourself on most nights. I won't even care whether you sleep on the top one or mine, as long as you climb to your own when I wanna sleep in it," said the other one with a grin and a snicker.

"Yeah, you two are adorable, especially when on each other," came a voice from the next hammock.

Tegafel smiled slightly uneasily, but happily, and set up eir stuff around the bed before climbing in it. A big nikod turned toward em then and said:

"You haven't done much excessive exercise, have ya?"

"Mh, no..."

"You feel pretty beat up, don't you? Don't worry, just sleep well this night. Lie down and don't try to move. It'll get easier and better over the next weeks." Tegafel smiled. "A lot. You're a nice kid. Sleep well." The nikod smiled, almost grinned, petted Tegafel's hair and poked em lightly on the belly. It seemed like something one would do to a buddy and Tegafel was happy. The others snickered and laughed for a while, but Tegafel fell asleep fairly soon and slept like a child.

In the night, ey had a nightmare of eir alhem coming after em, punishing em and marrying em off to some pile of smile of a femehan. Ey did not wake up screaming to that, though – actually ey did not wake up at all, but had another dream instead, this one also a nightmare, but of eir fellow soldiers. Ey dreamed that they teamed up on em and were about to gang-rape em, but someone came in between and made the others back down, apologize and compensate. The dream got fuzzy after that and before waking up, the last thing that Tegafel saw was a light humanoid figure who left on a long journey. It was indeed a fairly complete recap of Tegafel's troubles and experiences from yesterday, and Tegafel's mind felt good.

Eir body, however, did not. Eir body felt tired and powerless, so Tegafel thought it probably was not morning yet. Indeed, ey drifted in and out of sleep for maybe half an hour, before someone came in yelling and everybody seemed to start getting up. Tegafel still felt weak, and now as ey tried to move, ey found that eir body was aching all over and the pain was fairly ridiculous.

Tegafel whimpered fairly audibly and a few faces turned toward em.

"Heh... seems like you've gotten fooled by one of the classics here," said the geniwakod who had slept under em.

The other geniwakod continued: "You should stretch your muscles after a training session and preferably before as well, especially in the beginning. Otherwise your body goes all sore like that."

The big nikod from last night also came over. "Yeah, a classic indeed," ey said with a smile. "So how bad is it?"


"Sounds pretty bad... want me to lift you out? It'll get better once you move around a bit and use those little muscles, but maybe it's better to start doing that after you're not in danger from falling from a relatively high place." The nikod grinned, and though there was obviously some prank and humour involved, ey sounded honest – again.

"I'd rather do it myself."

"So protective, eh, Porəbel?" said the other geniwakod.

Porəbel grabbed the geniwakod's head and shuffled the hair a bit. "Heh, sounds like a fairly classic little wakoddin case. Or well, any little koddin. Anyway, I'll just watch and catch then."

At least the rest of the others were not watching. Not that Tegafel would have minded too much, but this was the kind of situation in which one would rather not be the center of attention. Tegafel got painfully upright and started wriggling down from the hammock. It was a strain and certainly not a pleasant one, but ey made it.

The soldiers scooted off to have breakfast and so on. After that and some chores, it was training time, and Tegafel still felt really stiff and sore.

It did not take long for the sergeant to notice Tegafel's issues. Julta had not said anything, ey merely accommodated to Tegafel's condition – after all, ey had been close to being fooled in a similar manner.

Neret walked over to Tegafel and Julta. "Now what's the issue here, rookie? Feeling like giving up?"

"Somebody forgot to... mention stretching... soni," panted Julta. Tegafel was hugging eir arms to emself and grimacing.


"Yes, soni... the big nikod told me... to just sleep and not move..."

"Well, well. Make sure to stretch from now on. Today, spend some extra time on it. Underperforming authorized for a few days." With that, Neret went off again.

  1. 4008 (Tegafel)

Nothing remarkable happened for some time – Tegafel got the hang of training, eir fellow soldiers softened up toward em a little and though the food was not nearly as good as it had been at home, ey enjoyed not being bossed around and questioned by eir parents. Ey heard a few rumours that eir parents had been at the draft office inquiring about em, but no one really confirmed that and Tegafel did not care enough to go ask anyone who would really know.

Of course, as the other soldiers started getting used to em, they also started testing eir limits. Most of them Tegafel just let go by, but the hitting-on attempts by the geniwakods did not go quite as smoothly.

Tegafel was sleeping in the bed of the other geniwakod, Fairani, since ey had said ey would be elsewhere that night. Fairani came back, however, and instead of asking Tegafel to climb to eir own bed, ey just climbed on top of the wakod. Of course Tegafel woke up in the process.

"Uhhmm... hey... what? Hey!" ey whispered.

Fairani smiled. "Hi."

"Uh..." Tegafel stared at the person on top of em. "...Do you want me to move now?"

"Heh, not really. I'd have waken you up for that." Tegafel was quiet, and Fairani thought that the absence of "no" meant "yes," therefore attempting a kiss. Tegafel turned eir face away. "What's wrong? Don't you like me?"

"I don't like this activity."

"What? But it feels good! And it's not like we'd be condemned for it or something."

"I don't want to get pregnant."

"That's why I have condoms. See?" Fairani produced a proto-condom to show.

Tegafel frowned. "But I don't... I just don't want to."

"Have you ever even tried?"


"How can you know then?"

"I can't, but I doubt it would feel good if I got to it with this attitude. Now please get off me. I'll go to my own hammock."

Fairani saw that ey was about to be brushed off and ey wanted to get at least something out of lying on top of Tegafel, but the last thing ey wanted was to wake up the whole squad because of the issue, and it was better if Tegafel would still like em even somewhat, too. "Well... How about just one kiss, then? Just a small one."

Now Tegafel was quiet. Fairani was fairly literally lying on top of em – the design of the general hammock meant that eir back was bent, but that did not seem to be bothering the geniwakod. Eir arms were outstretched beside Tegafel's head and Tegafel was doing eir best not to try shoving em off since that would probably lead to both of them dropping on the floor. Tegafel did see the small kiss as a quick way to get the situation over, so ey replied, obviously with slight reluctance: "Ehm, fine then."

Fairani smiled and pressed eir mouth against Tegafel's. Tegafel did not do anything, but ey thought that it was a medium kiss and not a small one. After it was done, Fairani lifted eir head but did not get off. Tegafel felt something pressing against eir crotch and then just tried to forget it.

"Will you get off, please?" Fairani got off then, and Tegafel followed, climbing up to eir own bed. Ey settled in the hammock and lay quietly with eir eyes open, somewhat shocked over what had happened. Ey listened to Fairani breathe, and as soon as ey thought the geniwakod had fallen asleep, ey heard eir voice:

"Tegafel... I'm sorry if you wished that would not have happened." They both fell asleep some time after that.

The first half of the next day was free time, so they woke up lazily and many stayed inside for some time. However, once they noticed that the day would get very warm, people started going outside. As usual, Nehinou, the other geniwakod, did some whoring for a small price, and the nikods and nigekods were pretty happy and content with that. Especially those who had previously been in all-ni(ge)kod squads were having fun – they were nearly always saying stuff about how they had to play around with each other, which always caused instant yuks.

Instead of whoring, Fairani tried paying attention to Tegafel. "Would you like it if I just held you? Or petted?" Tegafel was quiet. Ey did not really know what to say – back in Ailanihi ey probably would have told such people to go screw themselves, but here ey would not rather do that, even if just to preserve good relations. Tegafel was standing by a window with Fairani behind em.

"I'd rather not..."

"How come? Have you had some sexual traumas when you were small or do you dislike touch? Or are you just scared?"

"No. I'd rather not talk about that."

Fairani was quiet for a moment. "Then... why couldn't I touch you a little?"

"I'd just rather not."

"Could I just pet your back?" Tegafel did not reply anymore. Ey was annoyed and wanted to go outside. Fairani, however, again interpreted the silence as an affirmative and started stroking Tegafel's back lightly. Tegafel felt uneasy, but did not make em stop or move away for now. Fairani grinned and started gradually getting more physical, but not going to extremes. Tegafel did not really notice anything.

After some time Tegafel thought ey would finally go outside. Ey gave Fairani an indifferent glance and moved away. Fairani was fairly turned on, but Tegafel did not notice that. Fairani moved on to whoring then, while Tegafel went outside and walked around a bit, spotting a figure far away near to the edge of the forest. Ey had seen the figure from the window as well, but nothing much was distinguishable. Tegafel did not care about it more than that, though, and instead paid attention to the four nikods who were lounging at the side of the barrack building.

Ey started walking around a bit more and unknowingly moved toward the indistinguishable figure – eir subconscious was curious and wanted to be satisfied. As ey came closer, ey noticed that the figure was pale-skinned, coming close to looking like a toppenda without fins. When ey got closer, the figure eventually looked up, and Tegafel realized that ey had been staring at an ankod. Tegafel stopped dead in eir tracks and went somewhat pale emself. The ankod seemed to be making arrows or bolts. Ey stared back at Tegafel for a moment, but turned back to eir current stick fairly soon. Tegafel continued walking about and circled the area a bit, glancing at the ankod now and then, as if keeping tabs on em. The ankod glanced back occasionally, but kept on making the bolts.

Eventually Tegafel noticed that eir squad started to get organized for the training and ran off, leaving the ankod sitting there.

After the training was over and the people were sitting around and eating their meals, Tegafel asked the others about the ankod.

"I saw an ankod way over beside the forest behind the barracks while I was walking around in the morning."

"What?" said Julta.

"I've seen em once too..."


"An ankod? Here?"

"Yeah, that's Krez," said Nehinou.


"That's eir name."

"What's ey doing here?" asked Julta.

"Probably same as the rest of us, duh," said Nehinou.

"I heard once someone say that ey was born here. Or just in some squad, probably not here. Been with the army eir whole life."

"I've only ever seen em near the forests making bolts or cutting down trees for that... Probably all the bolts and arrows we use are made by em."

That created a disturbing image in the minds of the people, but they laughed that off.

"No wonder they suck."

"Does ey even eat anything? I've never seen em here."

"Well, they're all crazy anyway. Probably eats grass and small bugs."

"Wouldn't be surprised, ey's so scrawny."

"Is ey really crazy?" asked Tegafel.

"Are there ankods that aren't?"

"Well, ey does an okay good job at the bolts. Probably a total nutcase besides that."

"Yeah, there must be some reason that ey's always secluded an' all."

"Maybe it's because you treat em so badly if you see em," said one anwakod.

After a bit of silence, someone said: "Shut up, it's not like you anwakods would be much more useful."

"Well, at least they got a nice hole in their crotch! And aren't total nutwits. Unlike some."

The anwakod was obviously not too pleased, ey was smarter than that. Ey did, however, know how to survive. "Whatever. Anyone want a bit of this glorious hole then?" ey said as ey got up from the table. A few nikods followed. Tegafel shivered. Ey did not approve of the way many of the people here seemed to be selling their bodies. Of course, in the army environment, it seemed like it was the norm. Only a few non-regular soldiers abstained from it, probably due to having a family.

"How much do YOU charge anyway?" asked one unfamiliar nigekod from Tegafel.


"How much money do you want for sex? I've never seen you do it, so it must be ridiculously high."

"Well, yeah. It's about infinity at the moment." Tegafel was a bit snappy.

The nigekod was quiet for a moment. "So... you don't... you don't?"


"What a waste!" Tegafel went red with anger now. "I'd give you fifty, hear it... FIFTY gemmies!" Some heads turned at the tables now, to look at Tegafel and the nigekod. Tegafel twitched and barely suppressed the urge to start whacking the idiot.

"Whoa, calm down," said one nikod from Tegafel's squad.

"Hey, that's unfair," said Nehinou aggravatedly. "You barely give four gemmies to me!"

"Yeah, but obviously you enjoy it too. This one doesn't seem to. An' I wanna try, because I'll probably never see another wakod," the nigekod went on.

"Well, that's true," said Julta.

"So how about it?"

Tegafel got up very angry and snapped, almost shouting: "I don't even need the MONEY!" Having said that, ey stomped away.

"Heh... Ey's one of a kind, I say," said Fairani suggestively. "Ey really doesn't want to do sexual stuff. Tried last night and ey was as cold as a dead tree in winter. Didn't even care when I caressed em this morning."

"Oh really? I bet you claim ey's a virgin too, eh?"

"Well, if I had to guess, yeah."

"That's some hot piece of meat."

"And it's still unfair that you'd pay em fifty when you just pay one to us!" exclaimed Nehinou.

"How about this," started Fairani, "you pay us both twenty-five and you can have us both at the same time."

The nigekod looked fairly excited about the idea. "That sounds pre-e-e-tty good..."

Tegafel stomped around for a moment and the others left em alone, though ey heard some comments about "wakod hysteria". The rest of the day went fairly well. Tegafel tried spotting the ankod, and though ey would be clearly distinguishable because of the pale skin, Tegafel caught no glimpse of em.

The next day was even warmer than yesterday and consisted of more excessive training. Tegafel almost forgot about the ankod, but in the evening, ey actually saw em walking when ey happened to glance out of the window. A few people from eir squad noticed eir staring, and after seeing that the ankod was outside, got excited and went out to play around with em. The ankod tried to leave, but the four nikods shoved em around, finally hit em to the ground and were about to start beating em a bit – so the ankod ran away toward the forest. One nikod started chasing em and the three others broke eir bolts and threw them on the ground. After that they called the chaser back and returned to the barrack.

"Damn smart-ass ankod! Sure showed em too!" bragged the big nikod, Porəbel. Most of the others snickered with em, but some showed fairly long faces. Fairani seemed indifferent, but Nehinou commented snappily:

"Stupid proshts." Tegafel shared the disgust and nodded, feeling sorry for the ankod. Ey moved back to the window to watch if the ankod came back. None of the others did and did not really seem to care about Tegafel either, of which ey was fairly thankful.

After about sixteen minutes, Tegafel saw a little light lit near the forest. It was almost indistinguishable, but it gradually came closer and eventually Tegafel saw the ankod. Ey walked toward the general place where the nikods had started harassing em and apparently looked for eir bolts. Ey seemed to become slightly twitchy when ey found them and saw that they were broken. Ey set the light-source, apparently a candle, in the snow and started gathering the broken bolts, saving the few ones that were not broken. After ey was done with that, ey took the candle and stomped away toward the other barracks.

A short time after that someone close to the door thought ey heard a thump, but saw nothing when ey opened the door, so it was closed again.

Fairani walked over to Tegafel. "Keeping an eye for the ankod, eh?"


"Seen anything?"

"Yeah... ey came back and gathered the broken bolts and left. Just a few minutes ago."

"Hm. Probably better that you didn't tell them." Fairani walked back. Nehinou had followed the conversation and looked still fairly disgusted.

The evening went on and many played some small games, since they had a few free days ahead of them. Fairani continued trying to be friendly with Tegafel and finally managed to find out that Tegafel did indeed like it when someone rubbed or stroked eir back, shoulders and arms. Later yet they went to sleep.

In the morning, the sergeant Neret came to the barracks and woke everyone up with eir yelling. After a few generalities, ey got a bit more specific: "Porəbel!" Porəbel raised eir head from eir hammock. "What's this?" Neret showed a bag that contained the broken bolts. "This was just outside the door. You know, I thought that useless piece of meat of an ankod was lying when ey complained about you, but this kind of backs em up." Porəbel was fairly speechless. "Now, I honestly don't care what you do to that nutwit smart-ass, but just don't break the bolts. At least they're half-decent, unlike their maker."

"Uh, yes, soni."

"I'll give you some punishment for that when your free days are over. I'll divide it among the four who did it if you confess. Enjoy your free time!" Neret threw the bag outside and left.

Nehinou grinned at Porəbel in a way that obviously indicated just how much schadenfreude ey was feeling due to the issue.

People started playing and going outside to walk and such. Not much happened. The temperature kept rising but it seemed like it would rain tomorrow.

Tomorrow was indeed cloudy and rainy looking, but the rain did not seem to want to come down just yet. The temperature was ominously warm. Tegafel walked around the training fields and grounds, occasionally with someone else and brushed off the same nigekod that had offered em fifty gemmies for sex.

At some point, Tegafel spotted the ankod again. This time ey was in a totally different place, on the other side of the camp and even further from the barracks than last time. Tegafel walked around for some time and eyed the ankod every now and then. The ankod was wearing a fairly dirty worn and torn shirt whose hem and sleeves had been torn away ages ago, weary pants that barely stayed up with the suspenders and some lousy excuses for shoes. Eir clothing was disturbingly light, considering the time of the year, but then again, the days had been ridiculously warm lately. Tegafel saw that the ankod was worn and scrawny but seemed to have quite strong muscles. Ey was fairly old, but did not seem middle-aged quite yet. Tegafel could not really tell what was going on in the ankod's head, since ey just sat still on eir spot and carved bolts.

Eventually the ankod had had enough and snapped: "What the groshje do you want? Why do you keep bothering me?"

Tegafel was taken aback. "Uh... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..."

"Sure you didn't mean to, of course. How stupid of me, really. Now will you gzooz off."

Tegafel took a few steps closer. "You know... I rather want to apologize for what happened the day before yesterday." Now the ankod looked up with a bit more interest, but ey still seemed sullen. "They were on my squad... I wanted to stop them."

The ankod turned back to eir current bolt. "Why didn't you?" Now Tegafel was quiet. Ey did not want to admit that ey just was not up for it because ey was uncertain of emself and fairly certain that ey would have probably gotten just brushed off. "Thought so. You breeder-folk are all the same. What matters is what you have in your pants or under your shirt and whether it's ...useful. And what a bunch of COWARDS you are!"

"That's not true!"

"Oh really? Tell me why ankods are treated so badly then?"

"Maybe because you're crazy and angry like that!"

"Angry, eh? You think this is anger?" The ankod turned at the bolt again and finished it. "And for the record, I'm not crazy. I don't even understand where that stupid assumption comes from. I've met two ankods before and they were less crazy than I."

A moment went by and the ankod got halfway with the next bolt. Tegafel spoke again: "I am sorry, you know. I would try to stop them the next time."

"You must be pretty sure that there won't be a next time, so I guess it's good."

Tegafel eyed the ankod a bit weirdly; it almost felt like ey was reading eir mind. Since ankods had by far the most far-walkers among them, it wasn't impossible that ey would be one, even though usually far-walkers were taken apart from the others to train their unique abilities. Tegafel guessed that the ankods were not too wanted even in those places. "Are you a far-walker?"

The ankod let out a small huff. "I wish I was."

"May I ask why?"

"Because then I'd likely be somewhere else. Probably with some other far-walkers and I hear they're usually pretty nice to each other." The ankod sighed. "Why couldn't I have been a far-walker? Maybe it would be better if I was really crazy too, though. Maybe then I wouldn't care or understand so much..." Ey mumbled a bit, then went quiet again and finished a bolt.

"Mhm... Uh, what's your name?"

"Krezagon, sogewa."

"I'm a wakod."

Now the ankod twitched and looked up fairly surprised. "Uh... uh, you are. Whoa. I really thought, um... that you were a gewakod." Tegafel actually smiled. "Sorry."

"That's okay."

"Uh... what's your name?"

Tegafel thought Krezagon seemed a bit different now, but it was probably because of the misunderstanding. They usually threw people off their feet. "Tegafel Darrelter ...soan." The word "soan" sounded strangely unnatural to Tegafel, it was not a word one was used to.

Krezagon smirked. "No one calls me soan... it sounds weird..."

"Actually no one's called me sowa either yet... it sounds pretty much as weird."

"Yeah... what are you doing in the army anyway? I thought you wakods aren't too welcome here."

"Well, maybe I'm a revolutionary. Besides, I could ask the same from you."

"I was born in a squad. I'm maybe not too welcome, but it's the only life I know, and what I've heard, I'm pretty okay here."

"Yeah..." They were quiet for a moment. Krezagon finished three bolts. "What's your family name? I don't think you said it."

"Mhm... I don't have one as such... My parents said I don't need one because I'll never have children to pass it on to and no one wanted to have me as a part of eir family anyway."

"But don't you have to have something for the contract?"



"I was named after the squad I was born in. It's not my real name."

"What is it?"

Krezagon was a bit silent for a moment. "I really hope you're not going to babble this to your stupid squad."


After a short pause, Krezagon said: "Shynderfolter."

Tegafel glared at the ankod. "What the..."

"The squad had a reputation taking part in some skirmishes between karangals and nakrans. Guess how those two stupid races torture each other? They mutilate each other's genitals. Seriously. So some people from my squad got some bad blood between them, got caught and had their bits mutilated. So the soldiers killed all of them they could before their far-walkers got to business and drove them away. Later they sent more people in to kill them off. I don't actually know what happened, but after that the squad was known as the shynderfolter squad. They thought it was a perfect family name for all ankods when I asked them about it."

Tegafel felt fairly angry and apparently Krezagon noticed it. "Those were some inconsiderate..."

"Yeah." After a pause, Krezagon continued: "You're actually fairly nice. I'm sorry I snapped at you. I suppose part of it was because I thought you were one of those gewakods who have their heads up their asses. But wakods are almost as shunned as us ankods... so... I suppose it's nice to know I'm not that alone. Maybe you'll feel better when you know that you could have it worse, too."

Tegafel said nothing. Krezagon continued making bolts, and eventually Tegafel ended up sitting next to em. It started to rain and a thunderstorm brewed, and Tegafel was about to leave when Krezagon got up, but the ankod had only done it to pull a cover over the bolts.

"Don't you go in even when it rains?"


"Why not?"

"I'm unwelcome."

"But... couldn't you even go to a shelter? I mean..."

"Well, sometimes I do. You have free time now though, so the shelters are probably occupied anyway. I'm better off sitting here by myself. You should go in, though."

Tegafel sat back down. Krezagon glanced at em a bit curiously, but said nothing. The rain made them wet and slightly cold, but the temperature was still unexpectedly warm.

"Where do you sleep?"

"I have a tent. I just move it around every now and then."

"In the winter too?"

"Yeah... well, if it's really cold, I get to go to the sergeants' lodge. They let me sleep on the floor but won't let me in the beds, even though there are always some free."

"Huh? That's stupid..."

"Yeah..." Another moment of silence followed. "You know, maybe you should go. You might get sick if you're not used to this. I used to."

Tegafel fidgeted a little. "Can I come back to talk to you some time?"

Krezagon looked at em. "...Yeah. Yeah, you can. I'd like that." The ankod smiled, and it looked like ey had not done that in a long, long time.

"I will come back then, some time. When I have free time. Are you always making bolts around here?"

"Most often, yeah. I don't train so much."

"Let's see again, then." Tegafel got up.

"Bye... and... thanks for talking to me."

Tegafel left and walked back to eir barrack, where some others were as well, more or less wet. Tegafel took off some of eir clothes, which caused another miniature rampage about em not selling eir body even for a high price. Naturally Fairani wanted to touch em that much more. However, this time Tegafel just ignored them and did not let Fairani touch emself.

  1. 3916 (Tegafel)

On the "streets" lifestyle, Shadowrun 4th edition

Tegafel met Krezagon fairly often after their little introductory chat and they became friends, fairly close at that. Tegafel's chance to nullify eir contract came and went, and ey stayed in the army. Not much happened, save for Tegafel's development in the army. Ey even gained some muscles and started looking fairly engaging. Krezagon often eyed em fairly dreamily, but always hid it when Tegafel turned to look at em. Krezagon taught em to make bolts and handle bows and crossbows masterfully as well, or as masterfully as could be done without having excessive experience. Tegafel preferred swords, though, and did not spend much time practising with bows.

It was another bunch of days for free time. This time it was a bit longer, and some who were from around Ailanihi went home to visit old friends and family. Tegafel, however, did not. Instead, the sergeant came to the barrack one evening and took Tegafel with em. Fairani had a slightly concerned expression on eir face, even though the others were smiling or grinning. Tegafel thought that it meant bad.

Neret took Tegafel to the sergeants' lodge and in there to a smaller room that had just a bed and some closets – it looked a bit like a room where ill people were taken to be healed. Neret closed the door and grabbed Tegafel's shoulders lightly, after which ey hugged em. Tegafel got quite uneasy.

"Uh, soni? What's going on?"

Neret stroked Tegafel's arms and nuzzled eir hair. "Hm, I thought that was obvious. I want to sleep with you. Take your clothes off."

Tegafel startled badly. "But uh... uh... I... I can't... I won't. I don't want to..."

"What, you don't want to feel pleasure? Nonsense! Now take off your clothes!"

"But I..."

"Silence, soldier! Clothes off!"

Tegafel sobbed and started shaking. Ey took off eir clothes slowly while thinking that now it would finally happen. Ey started wondering whether it had been such a good idea to come to the army after all, that the townsfolk might have been a bit more friendly. Ey remembered eir alhem then and how ey had told Tegafel to submit to someone's will when finding a partner or having sex, and figured that this was a similar case with the exception that ey was truly commanded to do it. Maybe this was better after all, since ey was just obeying and ey had no choice in it. That did not make the idea of raping any better, but perhaps it would be easier to accept.

Tegafel lay down on the bed and rested there, tensed, tearful and worried. Ey was always afraid of becoming pregnant. After a short moment, Neret came next to the bed and looked down at Tegafel. Ey was now naked as well. Ey settled emself on top of Tegafel and stared down at the wakod's face. Tegafel looked very worried and still shivered.

"W-will I become pregnant?" ey asked shakily.

"No, I have a condom. Don't be such a coward, you'll become pregnant some day anyway."

"I don't want to! I hate kids!" Tegafel squeezed eir eyes shut and grimaced, forcing a few tears out of eir eyes.

"Is that the only reason why you're such a prude with the other soldiers, eh?"

Tegafel turned eir face away and tried to keep emself from crying out loud. "I... I... it's my body..."

"Hmph. Turn your face this way." After Tegafel had done that, Neret pressed eir mouth against Tegafel's and kissed em. Tegafel felt terrible and shook even more. Ey had to break away from it because ey could not breathe through eir nose much, since the tears had gone up there as well. Ey sniffed and some more tears fell down eir face as ey tired to turn it away somehow without breaking the direct order of turning eir face Neret's way. Neret was slightly hesitant. "...Open up your legs now."

Tegafel did as ey was told. "Will it... hurt?"

"Hurt? Why would it hurt?" Neret pressed eir genitals against Tegafel's soft crotch and Tegafel startled again and whimpered.

"Aih! I-I've heard that it hurts... at least the first time... uhmgh..." Tegafel wriggled a bit, trying to somehow get away from Neret's genitals and failing miserably.

"What? Are you serious? This is your first time?"


"Don't you wakods usually have sex the first day you hit teenage?"

"I've never... met other wakods... I-I don't know... I didn't want to... I-I hated the way my alhem t-tried... to make me have sex," mumbled Tegafel. Ey was shaking pretty badly now and ey had some serious trouble keeping eir crying in control. Ey wanted to cry out and let it out of eir ribcage, but ey was scared of what Neret would do if ey wept. One should not weep in the army.

Neret, however, did not do anything for a while. Ey just stared at Tegafel's teary eyes and felt the sobs and whimpers being suppressed down in eir lungs. Eventually ey said: "You know, screw this. I'm not going to rape a little kid virgin because of this. Even I'm not that indecent." Neret got off of Tegafel and instead lay next to em, wrapping em up in the cover and hugging the little shaking body.

Tegafel was in shock, but got somewhat integrated in a few minutes. During that time, Neret only hugged em and stroked eir shoulders very lightly. "Well, maybe you just lost all trust you had toward me. That's not good, but I suppose I can't blame you. You probably hate me now, too. Do you want one of the other sergeants to come here to comfort you or take you back to the barracks?" Tegafel could not speak then. "Or maybe I'll just hold you for a bit more then."

Several more minutes went by. Tegafel's breathing got calm and regular again and ey started getting responsive. Neret noticed it and moved a bit closer to Tegafel, placing eir other hand on Tegafel's head now. "Listen, I'm really sorry about this. I honestly wouldn't have even tried if I'd known that... you really don't do this stuff." Tegafel managed a somewhat shaky nod before breathing a sigh of relief. It took a few minutes and ey finally fell asleep. Neret was unsure of what to do, but eventually just decided to stay where ey was. Ey would get to literally sleep with Tegafel anyway.

In the morning Neret woke up first, to see a cute wrapped up Tegafel sleeping. Ey was not exactly proud of emself right then, got up, pulled on eir clothes and went to the sergeants' lodge. Two of the other sergeants were up already, and they asked em:

"Had good sex with the wakod, eh?"

"Seriously, that was one of the worst things ever I went through." Neret took a mugful of water.

"Oh? How so?" asked the gewakod.

"The kid's never had sex before and ey cried so much I just couldn't do it to em."

"Doesn't that prove your moral compass is still working at least a bit?"

"Ey cried eh?" said the other sergeant, a nikod. "What a cowardly crybaby! A nearly adult wakod who hasn't had sex! You should've popped that little thing."

"Shut up. That's exactly the kind of stupid thing you'd expect from a nikod like you," the gewakod went on. "Is the kid okay?"

"Ey cried and didn't talk much after that. Ey fell asleep so I didn't bother doing anything else except the same. Ey's still sleeping there."

"Want me to handle that?"

"Hm... I don't know... I suppose it'd fix up the kid a little if ey saw me being nice to em again."


After a drink, Neret continued: "You know, this must be how my nikoddin felt when ey had sex with that geniwakod kid back home. I haven't told this before have I?


"So, there was this preteen geniwakod kid who was excited about eir tits and showed them to everyone. You know how they are. Ey sort of fancied my nikoddin, said ey was pretty or something like that. I was kinda jealous back then, we were just 148 or so. Anyway, the kid then asked em to have sex with em an' my nikoddin agreed."

"How old was that geniwakod?"

"Ey couldn't have been more than seven. Probably six even. So they went to bed and the kid was quiet but managed eir stuff until they started really going at it. Then ey just cried an' my nikoddin stopped an' told em that ey was too young an' suggested that ey should come back once ey actually knows what feels good for em." Neret waved eir hand in front of eir face. "The kid was back in just two weeks and then enjoyed it a lot."

"Heh heh."

"I could only hope Tegafel comes to eir senses after two weeks but probably not, if ey's been refusing sex ever since ey got here."

Neret drank a bit more and went back to the room where Tegafel was. Ey sat on the bed and watched the wakod until ey woke up. Of course Tegafel had managed to totally wrap emself up in the cover by then.

"Are you all right?" asked Neret while touching Tegafel's shoulder.

"I... I suppose."

"And I'm sorry. I won't do it again. ...Unless of course you want to," ey added with a smile. Tegafel replied with a slightly uneasy smile-like thing and started unwrapping emself from the cover. Having done that, ey lay on eir stomach on the bed for a while. "Anything you'd want me to do to make you feel better? ...I heard you like stroking on your back or something, would you like that?"

"Y-yeah... stroking and rubbing..."

"I'm good at that. Just lie there." Neret rubbed and stroked Tegafel's back and shoulders for a while and Tegafel got fairly euphoric. "Feel better now?"

"Mmmmm... Yeah..."

"Maybe you should go and eat now. Still have a few free days." Tegafel started getting up and Neret handed eir clothes to em. "I can go outside if you'd rather dress up alone."

"Well, you've already seen me naked plenty of times," said Tegafel, trying to sound carefree but not really managing in that. Neret petted eir hair a bit and then got up and turned. Tegafel dressed up and Neret took em outside.

Tegafel walked around a bit and eventually went to eat. As usual, ey ended up eating with some people from eir squad and they started bombarding em with inquiries.

"So, how'd you like Neret? Is ey really as harsh as Nehinou claims?" asked Porəbel.

Nehinou exclaimed: "I'm telling you, ey has a dick the width of my wrist and longer than your span. It's INVASIVE."

"What? It's bigger than mine?"

"By far."

"You're a gzoozing liar!"

"Am not!"

"Shut up," said Julta.

Fairani still looked a bit concerned. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah... I guess," replied Tegafel. Ey did not want to speak of what had happened.

"So mind telling us just how invasive eir little dickie is?"

"It was huge, right?" added Nehinou.

"I suppose," said Tegafel.

"You suppose? How can you not feel that log inside your crotch?" said Nehinou with an amusedly stupefied face. Eir grin disappeared, though. "Unless ey... didn't do it."

"...So Neret didn't screw you?" Julta went.

"Uh, no... but it was close."

Fairani looked slightly surprised. "How'd you avoid it?" Tegafel looked at eir food and did not say anything. Ey continued eating. "Tegafel?"

"I'd rather not talk about that."

The others were a bit quiet after that, and when they started talking and asking again, Fairani told them to leave Tegafel alone. Tegafel finished eating and Fairani came along with em. They walked around a bit without talking, but eventually Fairani just got too curious.

"Would you tell me what happened with Neret?"

"Mhm." Tegafel thought about it for a bit – the only downside in telling about it was loss of face and credibility because ey had cried, and though Tegafel really could not have cared less about it, the others thought it important. A soldier did not cry. Preferably even when tortured, but it was allowed then. Tegafel thought that maybe it could be seen as torture. "I cried..."

"...That's all? Nehinou cried too, but that didn't help."

"Well, ey saw that I was shocked and believed that I hadn't done it before."

"Really?" Fairani seemed to be contemplating a great deal for a while. After a moment ey took a light and hesitant hold of Tegafel's shoulder and turned the wakod to face emself. What happened after that was quick and half-violent: Tegafel ended up lying on the ground with Fairani on top of em, the geniwakod pressing eir crotch against Tegafel's. Tegafel's face immediately twisted into crying mode and ey was completely tensed and still for a whole of two seconds before ey started whimpering and shoving and pushing the geniwakod off of emself. Fairani got off and sat still a meter away while Tegafel curled up into a ball and started sobbing.

"How could you! I thought you... were my friend!" cried Tegafel, shaking again. Fairani looked somewhat helpless and nervous. Ey did not know what to do. "How could you... how could you... how could you..."

"I... I'm sorry." Fairani moved closer to touch Tegafel's shoulders, but the wakod just flinched and sat up in a defending position. Fairani hesitated and did not know whether ey should try again.

"Why did you do that?" asked Tegafel between sobs.

"I... it was a test. I wanted to see what Neret felt."

"A test?! You did that because you wanted to test me?!"

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have."

"Stay away from me! I don't want to be near you anymore!"

"I will never do it again! I will never touch you again unless you want me to!" Tegafel sobbed. "Now I know why Neret backed off, though. If you ever want to know, ask me." Another moment went with Tegafel sobbing and Fairani trying to come up with anything nice to say to em. "Tegafel, I promise I will never do that again. You can ask me for anything and I'll do it. I'll rub your shoulders and stroke your back." Tegafel just shivered and did not reply. Fairani was getting a bit desperate. Ey lay down on the ground, sprawled eir limbs and spoke quietly: "I'll lie here an' you can do whatever you want to punish me. I won't report it to anyone or anything. Just do what you want... beat me with a stick or something..."

Tegafel huddled on the ground for yet another long moment while Fairani lay on the ground, waiting for something to happen. Eventually Tegafel got up, and Fairani followed em with eir eyes, seeing what ey was doing. It seemed Tegafel was looking for a stick. Fairani turned eir face upward and wondered whether this was such a good idea after all. Ey saw Tegafel walk near em, carrying a broken branch about as thick as eir upper arm. Fairani closed eir eyes and grimaced, trying not to tense eir body too much, but that did not really succeed.

Tegafel knelt beside the geniwakod and swung the branch at eir ribcage. It struck em with a fairly sharp thump, smacking em across the chest and the misplaced tip making scratches on eir face. Fairani whimpered and twitched. Tegafel swung the branch again and this time hit em squarely on the chest. This time it made a bit of a cracking sound, and Fairani had tried to lift eir arm so the sharp splinters at the tip tore eir skin fairly badly on eir arm.

Throwing the branch away now, Tegafel turned around and flopped sitting on the ground. Fairani got slowly up and groaned very slightly with the pain. Ey stared at Tegafel's back for a moment, thinking whether to walk away or try to talk some more. Ey then compromised that and slowly walked behind Tegafel, touching eir neck. Tegafel startled, but did not withdraw, so Fairani spent some time rubbing and stroking eir back.

Eventually Fairani spoke again, softly and quietly: "It's because you react like a child. The people here may be overenthusiastic about having sex, but no one wants to rape a child." Fairani paused. "I suppose that's why ankods can't marry. They're overgrown children." Another longish moment of silence followed.

"Are you all right?" asked Tegafel, sounding a bit sobby.

"Yeah," lied Fairani. Ey lied some more: "Well, my arm has little tiny wound but nothing else."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be. I asked you to. I'm sorry." Fairani still petted Tegafel a bit, but got up after a while – the bleeding and pain in eir arm was not getting any better and eir ribcage was hurting more than ey thought it should. "I'll leave now. I hope you'll start feeling better... and forgive me." Fairani walked away.

Tegafel sat around for a short moment, then started walking around nervously and eventually ended up looking for Krezagon. Ey spent over an hour searching for em, and could not find em. Ey went and sat, waiting, on a branch in one of the distant places where the ankod usually sat. Another hour passed and nothing happened. Ey started getting worried, and in this state that only made em that much more anxious and nervous. Ey got up again and left, starting to look for the ankod again.

Eventually Tegafel saw a glimpse of light skin in the forest and quickly moved toward it. Ey found Krezagon shovelling dirt into a little hole. Most of the snow had melted. Krezagon looked up. "Hey."

"Hey..." Tegafel was tired and leaned on the trunk of some tree.

Krezagon guessed that Tegafel had been looking for em. "Sorry... I've been swinging my ax around in the forest all day. I hope you didn't look for me long." Ey finished filling the little hole.

"I did..."

Krezagon looked at Tegafel, but ey did not really have anything to say to it, so ey changed the topic a little: "You have a free day, right? Do you want to come to the wood-chopping place or should we go nearer to the camp?"

"Let's go into the forest..." They turned and started walking deeper into the forest.

Krezagon eyed Tegafel a bit worriedly. "What's happened? You look so weary and down." Tegafel did not reply, so Krezagon did not push the issue.

They got to the wood-chopping area and Krezagon got to work. Ey had taken down three smallish trees and now continued hacking them into pieces.

Krezagon chopped up two of the trees before taking a longer break. Ey sat next to Tegafel and drank from the waterskin ey had. After a moment, ey lifted eir other leg over the log they were sitting on and lay down on it, with eir knees toward Tegafel.

"Whuh. That's hard work," mumbled Krezagon. After a bit of a pause, ey said: "Are you feeling talkative yet?"

Tegafel sat idly for a moment, but then sighed and looked down. "...My sergeant almost raped me last night."

Krezagon's eyes opened a bit wider and ey sat up, but did not lift eir other leg on the same side again. "I wish I could say that was rare..." Ey eyed the wakod for a moment. "Are you all right?"

"I don't know." Krezagon lifted eir left hand and massaged Tegafel's right shoulder. "Also... this morning, after I'd eaten and told Fairani about it, ey... 'tested' me by knocking me to the ground and looming over me like ey was gonna rape me."


"Ey said ey wanted to test to see what Neret felt."

"Like... the way you act when faced with a sexual act?"

"I guess... Ey said afterward that I reacted like a child."

"Hm... well, I guess that sounds about right. But I don't think that was worth it..."

"I've been feeling like crying ever since last night," Tegafel muttered with a few sobs.

Krezagon had not yet witnessed Tegafel in a tearful mood, so ey was slightly at a loss. Usually they managed to have some sort of fun even when one or the other of them was sad or angry. "If you feel like crying, then cry. I won't mind. It's lunacy to keep it all down inside you if you feel that bad." Tegafel started shaking and sobbing in ten seconds. Ey buried eir head in eir hands. "You can cry out loud if you want to. No one will hear it here." And Tegafel cried.

Krezagon slightly petted Tegafel's back while ey cried and waited patiently for em to be done. Tegafel still breathed heavily and unstably with a few sobs in between, eir eyes and nose red from the crying, but at least ey was lifting eir head and staring up into the sky or to the trees.

After some time, Krezagon asked: "Would you like a hug?"

Tegafel turned to look at the ankod, and after two seconds worth of pondering, nodded. Krezagon wrapped eir arms around Tegafel's shoulders and pressed eir head lightly against the right side of Tegafel's head. Tegafel squeezed eir arms around Krezagon's ribcage and half hid eir face in the ankod's long, pale hair, not even smelling any of the sweat due to having a snotty nose because of the crying. Ey squeezed out yet few more tears.

They huddled there for some minutes before starting to let go of each other. Tegafel looked relieved and Krezagon smiled. Tegafel's right hand dropped down to Krezagon's hip, while the other withdrew back to eir own lap. Krezagon's hands slipped down to Tegafel's elbows.

"Are you feeling better now?" asked Krezagon, still smiling.

Tegafel nodded. "Yeah. Much."

The corners of Krezagon's mouth crept a little higher and ey lifted eir hands back to Tegafel's shoulders. "I'm glad."

Tegafel too lifted eir hands again and moved them to hug the ankod again. Ey drew em closer and actually moved eir arms around this time, creating some touch friction. Krezagon was slightly surprised in eir mind, but imitated Tegafel and stroked and hugged the wakod.

After a moment, Tegafel let go just slightly and Krezagon did the same, so that they ended up facing each other, with their noses merely a centimetre away from each other. Few seconds passed while Krezagon thought that the situation looked like Tegafel might kiss em, though ey could not really imagine em doing it since ey was so negative about anything resembling a sexual act. Tegafel, then again, for the first time in eir life, felt like kissing, but did not know whether the ankod would approve of it. Ey did not really even know how to kiss, though the few more or less forced kisses had taught em approximately how it was like.

"Krezagon... Would you mind... if we kissed?" ey then finally asked.

Krezagon was slightly surprised, but mumbled: "No... not at all. I'd walone to."

They looked at each other for two more seconds before proceeding to kiss. They did it slowly and carefully and stopped after five seconds. Yet a few quiet seconds followed, finally broken by Tegafel's words:

"You're... missing teeth."

Krezagon stared at Tegafel for two seconds before proceeding to laugh. Ey squeezed Tegafel's shoulders and hugged the wakod to emself while trying to not fall over from laughing. Tegafel could not help but laugh along after a while. They laughed for some time, after which Krezagon just said: "Yeah. I've had a few knocked off some times in the past." Ey then grinned in a way that showed all eir teeth, and Tegafel could see that ey was missing three teeth on the left side and one on the right.

They spent most of that day cuddling, touching and kissing each other. Tegafel had felt a bit weird realizing that ey had actually become so fond of the ankod since ankods were pretty much the scum everyone stepped over – even wakods, who tended to be scum to the other sexes. Ey had tried to brush it off, but ey knew that with Krezagon, ey would never have to worry about becoming pregnant. Ey did not even think that ankods as such were capable of sex or any kind of sexual pleasure save for what nice feelings touching in general produced. Krezagon, then again, was just happy to have a friend and such a close one at that. Whatever ey fantasized about when ey was alone ey did not share.

  1. 3258 (Availon)

Availon, the falangezka hunter Gaoveel and the five femehan rebels continued living in a small village at the edges of the femehan nation Kattormala. All the femehans had gotten some sort of physical work as helpers for farmers, smiths or hunters. The falangezkas pretended to be femehan far-walkers and did mostly some clerical work. There were no resident far-walkers in the village.

As spring drew closer, a group of femehans bringing food by sled came to the village and left. Two weeks later, two starved femehans came from west, barely alive. Plietti, the femehan far-walker, scanned both of them and found out that they were femehan rebels from Kervanela. They had crossed the Great River that lay between Kattormala and Kervanela. Four people that had been travelling with them had died. Of course, they told nothing of that to the villagers. Plietti pretended to know them and then explained some of the situation to them. They had some information on the rebels in Kervanela, so they shared what they knew and then asked to have their memories wiped – they had had enough. They made up some sort of excuse why they had hopped nations.

The runaway group planned to get on the move as soon as the lands would be decent enough for travelling again. One more shipment of food came by sled, and that time the sled drivers told that a some far-walkers would be coming to the village to check up on things. The coming of new far-walkers meant complications to the group. They gathered at the inn of the village to discuss what they would do.

Availon had been a co-leader of the group of femehan rebels for a long time now, and as ey usually was the more sociable one, ey came off as the actual leader and initiated discussions and planning sessions. Ey started this time as well, in Femen: "We will need to leave before the far-walkers come. We can't keep up our disguises for them."

"Why not?" asked Karerkun, a nikod who had been a soldier and had the rank of sergeant – Tarkavinel and Nebberon had been in eir squad. Ey was the actual leader of their little band of femehan rebels. "I thought you could trick people with your far-walker abilities and stuff."

"We can, but not other far-walkers. Nearly every far-walker would notice that they're being given false sensations."

"Even from you?" Falangezkas were more skilled and powerful far-walkers than femehans.


"Well then, could we just not meet them?" wondered Altriun, who had been Johəlta's friend.

"That would be fairly suspicious as well. The people would expect us to talk to them."

"There's still snow on the ground and it's going to melt during our trip if we leave now. It'll be really inconvenient..."

"Would you rather die?" went Plietti. "Or perhaps have your mind raped and ravaged, forced to think like a prosht for the rest of your life?"

"Of course not." Altriun looked slightly aghast. However, they were by now quite well used to Plietti's overshoots.

"So we'll probably run. What will we tell the villagers when we leave, though? Isn't that as big a problem as not leaving?" Availon was quiet.

"We did tell them that we would leave eventually, as soon as we were able. Did we not?" stated Gaoveel. "At least I recall that we did."

"It'd still be a bit weird in this weather, wouldn't it?" said Nebberon.

Tarkavinel leaned over the table to get the jug of beer they had on their table, but it was too heavy for em to move with just one hand. The others glanced at em and said nothing. The gekod rose, walked over to the jug, picked it up, filled eir mug and put it back. Then Karerkun filled eir own mug as well.

"We will need to come up with an excuse for our leaving." Availon's statement caused some pondering. After some time, they had a relatively good excuse for their leaving: the far-walkers had received important information about their families and now that the snows had started to melt, they would need to hurry forward to north to meet them.

The runaway group gathered enough supplies and left to west four days after completing their plans. In three days, they reached the small delta of the Great River. The river was nearly 20 kilometres wide at its narrowest point, and though there were some isles and reefs in it, it would be a pain to cross, especially now since the ice was melting and breaking off.

The toppendas and toppenrans at the river acted fairly nicely toward the runaway group and fretted to them their lack of means to take them across the Great River. Of course, in reality the water-keen people just felt schadenfreude.

They eventually ended up tricking a band of homehans who owned an icebreaker and were taking people across the river for an outrageous fee. The falangezkas were horrified at the ice-breaker – it was barely functional and could sink any day. However, the boat made it and the party arrived in Kervanela. The femehan rebels were tired of fighting and assassinations and wanted to settle down for now. Therefore, they sought out the rebel camp that had been in the memories of the two fugitives who had arrived in the small village in Kattormala.

When they arrived at the rebel camp, they were threatened with weapons and Plietti had to submit to a mindscan. Availon and Gaoveel did not disguise themselves now, and though the rebels technically speaking wanted to scan them as well, they did not dare to. The whole group was nevertheless welcomed and accepted among the rebels. Tarkavinel was still left alone, however, and no one really even cared. One nikod tried to get to know em and start a family, but failed miserably. To Availon's surprise, Tarkavinel also had not become pregnant, so ey was most likely sterile, even though Availon could not figure out why.

Availon and Gaoveel usually slept alone in their tent in the forest if the weather was not horrible since they had no intention of staying very long at the rebel camp and they could handle the nightly weather. Almost two weeks after their arrival, they were rolling around on the ground, getting excited. Gaoveel was fairly muscular for a falangezka, though during their long journey over the Watery mountains, ey had lost some roundness from eir body and now seemed a bit too sharp as well. Availon was not muscular and eir malnourishment mostly manifested itself as visible bone angles on eir body. They did not really care what they looked like. They did not really care that both of them had proper partners back home. Falangezkas were not possessive; a person was not another person's property. They did not even consider that their having sex could be somehow insulting to their partners – and neither did their partners. Therefore, each of them took eir pleasure where ey got it, and Availon and Gaoveel got it from each other.

Rolling around, they kissed passionately, licked each other's nipples, rubbed each other's chests and hips, briefly brushed each other's genitals with their fingers and pressed their crotches against any available body part. Eventually Gaoveel pulled Availon on top of emself and they lay down peacefully for a while. When Availon was about to start kissing eir friend again, Gaoveel held em off.

"Listen, when will we leave here?" ey asked in Falan. "If the femehan military comes here with..."

"Don't. I don't want to think about that until after..." And Availon kissed em. They performed their completely covered foreplay again, barely touching each other's genitals. Then Gaoveel lay down on the ground, spread eir legs and waited in anticipation while Availon settled eir crotch nearer. Finally Availon pressed eir body and genitals against Gaoveel and they both melted with satisfaction. However, it was not their climax and they kept on rubbing their bodies and genitals against each other, until they both finally came and melded into each other physically and mentally. They clutched each other and did not want to let go. Gaoveel almost stopped Availon when ey pulled their intertwined genitals apart to prevent conception. They rolled around massaging each other until the fluids containing their gametes came out in another spasm of pleasure. When that was over, they crawled back to their tent and wrapped themselves around each other.

Gaoveel still wanted to talk about eir issue. "I think we should leave as soon as we can."

"I suppose so."

"I don't want to get caught here."

"Me neither."

"Should we leave tomorrow?"

"Might as well." They stroked each other for a bit. "Where should we head to?"

"Where...? I thought we were going to go home."

Availon went a bit silent. Even the rebels confirmed that the alliance between femehans and jinhaliares had not just disappeared during the winter, even though now there were more nations with leaders who did not think that it was such a great idea. Availon considered the mission unfinished. "We have not completed the mission."

"It can't really be completed anyway. An' even I'm tired of killing people now... I want to go back home."

"I will stay here."

Gaoveel breathed and moved a bit uncertainly. "In this nation?"

"Well, for a while. I think I should go further north, but the weather there is so hot..."

"Uh... could you take me back to the Forest Mountains?"

Availon had to think a bit. "Well... yes, I suppose I can, at least halfway."

"M-hm, great." Gaoveel cuddled into Availon and fell asleep.

In the morning, they said farewell to the femehans and left to southwest.

The Forest Mountains were the mountains around which Tarakiila, Kervanela and Gekkyila resided; Gekkyila in the west, Kervanela in the north and Tarakiila in the east. Further to the south was the Great River that flowed across the lands, under the Forest mountains and into the most southern part of the Great Lake-like Forest Ocean. Kervanela's forests were fairly fertile but cold in winter, so there were lots of leaf-tree forests with not that much undergrowth. The lands were relatively easy to travel through. Of course, it was barely spring now and it snowed a bit now and then, not to even mention the thunderstorms. The falangezkas did not mind the weather.

Availon and Gaoveel travelled to the mountains without interacting with the femehans much. Gaoveel had been fairly fond of Availon for a long time now already, but had not expressed it directly before since they had not been about to separate. Ey did not mention it until at the last moments they would spend together. In fact, Availon noticed the increasing closeness and rather spoke of it first like the extrovert ey was.

They had settled down for the night in the mountains and Gaoveel had settled emself right behind Availon, wrapped eir limbs around em and now just sat there, unnoticeably fingering Availon's chest and crotch. Availon sat still for a moment, enjoying the slight pleasure from the light brush of Gaoveel's fingers.

Availon moved eir hands to stroke Gaoveel's forearms. "You've been feeling really close the last week..."

"M... hm. Well, yeah, I guess." Ey sounded a bit uncertain. "It's not just because I'm getting light-hearted because this thing is over for me."

Ey was quiet for a moment, so Availon helped em again: "You feel like you're quite fond of me."

Ey just admitted it. "Yeah." After a pause, ey continued: "Could you please come home too? I don't think you could do much more here anymore. An' I like you, you could take me an' my partner to where you live."

Availon was a bit anxious. "I'm not a good partner, to say the truth. I left my partners just sitting there when I went on this mission, leaving them my children and all."

"Wouldn't it then be time to get back finally?"

"I'm not ready here yet."

"Will you ever be ready? I think we've done all we can." Availon did not reply. "Please." Ey put eir face in Availon's fluffy hair and pressed eir hands harder against eir genitals and nipple. Availon squirmed a bit. "I'd like you to meet our kids..."

Availon pressed emself against Gaoveel. "I'd like to come, but I... I need to try to get this a bit more finished." Ey felt Gaoveel's disappointment and though it was better for em to ignore it, Gaoveel was a good friend and Availon liked em as well, so ey would have liked to not be so disappointing. "I will come though, when I'm done." Ey smiled and started stroking Gaoveel's thighs.

Gaoveel moved eir other hand to Availon's chest as well and then rubbed so powerfully that ey was not just creating friction but moving Availon's body. Availon moved eir hands behind them both and started rubbing Gaoveel's buttocks. After a while, their goinens in their genitals had swelled to protrude. They turned to face each other, sat close and placed their crotches a mere inch apart, Availon spreading eir legs wide and placing them close to the ground while Gaoveel spread eir legs as well but placed them over Availon's legs. They let their goinens fiddle and brush each other while focusing their hands to rub each other's torsos and their faces to kiss. They did that for a while, working up a very excited state in their minds.

When Availon was just about to move emself so that their crotches would finally touch, Gaoveel moved eir hand in between and they both uttered sounds of somewhat frustrated satisfaction.

"What...?" mumbled Availon.

"If you won't come with me now, at least give me children."

Availon wriggled against Gaoveel's hand. "Why... do you want me to...?"

"Why not?"

"Will you make it back soon enough?"


"Are you sure?"


"You told me you haven't given birth yet. Can you know what it's like, to have new spirits and bodies grow inside?"

"I was there the whole time when Naalien was pregnant an' I think I got the picture."

"Did ey make you feel how it was like?"

"Plenty of times." They stroked each other for a few moments. "Don't pull away before we discharge..."

"I don't want to become pregnant."

Gaoveel went a bit silent. Eventually ey said: "Just impregnate me... then. Please."

Availon did smile. "Alright. Sweet comely youth." Gaoveel smiled back and took eir hand from between their crotches, pressing Availon against emself. Most of their goinens penetrated their respective target and the falangezkas spent a short moment shivering from pleasure before wanting more. They licked each other's nipples, massaged each other's bodies, kissed and wiggled their goinens.

At some point, Gaoveel pulled eir genitals apart from Availon's and Availon let out a whimper. Gaoveel laid Availon down and came on top of em – for once that way, since usually Availon was on top when they had sex with one of them on top of the other because Availon was smaller. Availon did not care and hummed with pleasure when Gaoveel pressed eir crotch against eirs again. They wriggled there, in full-body contact, until they reached climax and shook with pleasure.

Gaoveel was again reluctant to have their genitals pulled apart and Availon needed to roll em under emself before ey could pull away. They posed there, their genitals pulsating and readying for the release of gametes. When that happened, Availon did all ey could to keep eir body from twitching all over the place and let eir gamete fluids drop on Gaoveel's crotch. Gaoveel was too spastic to control emself.

They lay quietly for a long time. Gaoveel was nearly sleeping, almost in a trance, very euphoric and smiling like a child. Availon watched eir young companion and felt happiness for em. Gaoveel still had that youthful grasp on living; ey was able to completely lose emself in a feeling even though ey knew what kind of things awaited in the next village, next week. They cuddled for a while and fell asleep.

In the morning, they said goodbye and parted ways. Gaoveel had gotten emself a single-person tent from femehans and was going to take it with em, leaving Availon with the falangezka two-person tent because it was lighter than the femehan tent. Gaoveel headed straight for the mountains, to the south. Availon headed northwest.

Going through towns, Availon quickly found out that femehans were not so trusting of falangezkas as they had sometimes been – the rumors that had spread from Fetormana had an effect here as well. At least no one could prove that Availon had been behind most of the assassinations. Alone now, Availon was slightly scared and decided to play mitigator and diplomat instead, and mostly around common people so as to not seem too official or wanting to get near to important people. Ey figured that the sense of false security and fear of jinhaliares would eventually spread from the common people to the military and royalty. Ey spent weeks just talking to common people, modifying a few minds here and there.

Availon travelled slowly and adjusted eir route when ey heard that there were camps of jinhaliares in the west, heading northeast. Yet a few weeks passed as Availon made eir way through the femehan nation of Kervanela. Ey was staying in a village not very far from Ailanihi, a relatively large femehan city, when a fugitive femehan rebel named Keroku came to em at night and practically cried to em how eir camp had been destroyed and eir friends slaughtered. Availon consoled em and promised to look after em. Keroku calmed down eventually and welcomed the protection, since that was why ey had sought out Availon in the first place. Ey stayed as far from other femehans as ey could and shunned all contact.

Barely a week later after meeting Keroku, Availon got a vague feeling of extreme discomfort and fear and could only barely hide it. Ey had no clue what caused it, though it was fairly obviously somehow related to eir far-walker abilities. Eir falangezka friends did not experience it, and even Gaoveel thought that ey only felt some of it because of their fairly deep mental connection. Keroku felt no discomfort beyond eir own fears, and Availon could not find out whether the femehan far-walkers in the area felt the same, because ey was too scared – the femehans might see em as weak, take their chances and assault em.

Availon and Keroku ended up travelling with a bunch of homehan settlers that were expanding their living areas at the edges of Kervanela. The boundaries between nations were not exactly sharp lines in the ground and some self-sufficient people who lived on the lands did not even know of these kind of political things. The communication network between important femehan towns was good only because of femehan far-walkers. Keroku did not trust homehans in the least and stayed out of their sight, following them from a distance.

  1. 3884 (Tegafel)

Tegafel and Krezagon had barely gotten to know each other more closely, when a messenger came from an undisclosed location and the lieutenant and sergeants had some unusual meetings that took some time off their daily routines. However, the soldiers were not concerned at this point, so besides the overall curiosity, nothing really changed. The change came when it was informed that an extra squad would arrive and stay at the camp for a week or two, after which they and one resident squad would be sent to do a mission whose nature was not yet revealed.

There was no free barrack, so the incoming squad got split up into the existing barracks. As a result, the buildings were slightly crammed, but the people did fit. At that point, Tegafel was jokingly jealous of Krezagon and eir private tent. Ey did not think to ask if ey could share the tent, though. Tegafel's squad also got slightly rearranged to move out people who needed to stay in Ailanihi and move in people who did not.

However, what Tegafel really and truly noticed was one person in the visiting squad: the first and only other wakod ey had ever seen. Tegafel could not help but start stalking em, and did that for two days before ey got the chance to talk to em. The other wakod's name was Roinynin Voggelnet, and ey had joined the army for similar reasons as Tegafel. That had been just over five years ago, and Roinynin had renewed eir contract three years ago. Roinynin was also slightly over five years older than Tegafel. Nevertheless, they became friends in a few days, close friends in a week and started getting close to being waloners when it was time for them to leave for their still unrevealed mission.

The night before the day they were supposed to leave, Tegafel and Roinynin walked around the camp, mostly having fun and spending some time together.

Krezagon saw them from far away, but of course did not first know that one of them was Tegafel. Ey continued sitting around and watched as the two figures slowly came closer. Ey thought to hide when they got to a distance from where they would the able to properly see em, but that was when ey recognized Tegafel. Krezagon had not seen em in two weeks and stared at them for a moment, figuring out what had been going on. Ey then stood up and took a couple of steps toward the two figures.

Tegafel only spotted Krezagon right then when ey moved and was momentarily alerted, but then remembered the friend ey had neglected for two weeks. They stared at each other through the darkness, until Roinynin's voice broke the silence:

"Tegafel? What's goin' on?"

Tegafel stopped staring and instead looked at Roinynin. "Um... I'd like you to meet a friend of mine." Krezagon looked down, but lifted eir face back up when the two wakods came closer. "This is Roinynin... ey came with the squad two weeks ago."

Krezagon made a somewhat tart comment. "It has been two weeks since I saw you." After a bit of a pause, ey continued: "I am Krezagon."

Roinynin was noticeably a bit surprised to see an ankod, but more of it was because Tegafel introduced em as a friend. Roinynin just nodded at Krezagon.

"I hear your two squads will leave tomorrow..."

"...Yeah. I don't know the mission..."

A moment of staring ensued.

"Tegafel..." started Krezagon. "Would you come with me over there? I'd like to say something to you."

"Uh... sure. Could you wait here, Roinynin?"

"Yeah, I can."

Tegafel smiled back and walked over to the edge of the forest with Krezagon. Ey was uneasy. "I'm sorry... I didn't mean to... to forget you... It's been kinda hectic and... and I met Roinynin." Tegafel made a silly, enthusiastically innocent and hopeful smile one would see on a person who had fallen in love.

Krezagon had eir eyes turned down. Ey was sullen. "I was sure it would happen one day... but it happened so damn soon."

"I'm still your friend."

Krezagon lifted eir eyes again. "And you'll be gone tomorrow."

"I'll come back."

"You might not. That's the army life for you. I've traveled hundreds of kilometers from the place I was born. I don't even know where it was... I suppose it says on my contract, but I have never seen it."

Krezagon made a great job of making Tegafel feel guilty. A few tears fell down eir face and ey looked down. "I'm... sorry."

Krezagon twitched a bit; ey wanted to hold Tegafel for the last time, but it did not seem very appropriate since ey had a real partner now. A few tears fell down eir face as well. Eir time of some happiness was over and ey thought ey would never have more. "I... I'd want to give something of mine for you... to remind you of me. But I don't own anything."

They stared at each other for a moment, teary-eyed. Krezagon thought to hell with appropriateness and hugged Tegafel anyway, pressing eir face against the wakod's hair and letting out a few sobs.

"Do you think I really won't return?" asked Tegafel with a faltering voice.

"It's fairly likely," the ankod answered.

Now Tegafel also touched Krezagon's back slightly and nuzzled into eir nice, long and pale hair. Ey rubbed eir back a bit before saying: "You do have something you could give me..."


"A strand of your hair."

Krezagon shook a bit and let quite reluctantly go of Tegafel. Ey was smiling, though, and then brought eir knife close to eir neck, cutting off a strand of hair about thirty centimetres long. Ey thought ey should tie it with something, and it took em three seconds to remember that ey did have one durable string with em: the string that held eir pants closed at the waist. Ey pulled it off and used it to tie the hair strand so that it would not fall. Ey then handed it to Tegafel.

"I'm glad I got to know you, Tegafel Darrelter. Farewell... sowa." Krezagon greeted Tegafel.

Tegafel almost wept. "I'm glad that you're my friend, Krezagon. Farewell, soan." Tegafel greeted the ankod as well, and after a few seconds of staring at each other, Tegafel turned and walked away.

Tegafel and Roinynin slept in the same tent. The first night, they were quite tired, but on the second night they made out quite avidly after settling in. Roinynin stroked Tegafel in all the right places and kissed em affectionately. Tegafel did not quite know how to respond, but did not happen to think about that and enjoyed the feeling of excitement – at least until eir swelled goninjin started rubbing against Roinynin's hips noticeably and ey considered the possibility that they were having sex. Tegafel stopped and tried to pull away.

Roinynin held on to Tegafel. "Hey... couldn't we keep this up? I'm not tired..." After a tiny pause, ey added: "Of course we wouldn' really have sex I mean... I don' have any condoms an' I don' trust them because one gewakod at my previous camp got pregnant even though ey always used a condom an' it didn' break."

Tegafel was not quite sure what to make of Roinynin's statements. Ey did want to continue making out, but was unsure about having sex. "I uh... I don't know..."

"C'mon, I'll show ya. Y' haven' done this before right? It's pretty easy, we just use hands for everythin' y'know? An' c'mon over here, we won' get knocked up through clothing like this." Roinynin hugged Tegafel closer and rubbed eir body against the other wakod.

During the journey to Adenelihe and the mission itself, Tegafel and Roinynin became even closer than they had been or could have imagined either of them could become. They slept together in the same tent, shared their experiences and had sex, though not in a way that either of them would become pregnant. Tegafel often thought how ironic it had been that ey had joined the army to be rid of all expectations to marry – and then found a partner in the army. Ey had imagined there was a chance it could happen some day, but the fact that it had happened so soon was mind-tickling.

From Adenelihe, the two squads of soldiers travelled south. It took a very long time until the actual mission was revealed – they were close to being at the destination already and had run into a few femehan spies on the way. The sergeants had questioned the spies for information and then killed them. The mission was to investigate the advancement of a group of femehan rebels – femehans who actively resisted joining forces with jinhaliares. The rebels had reportedly been "converting" too many people to their side and ought to be stopped. A better reason for their capture was that some of the rebels had been confirmed to be deserter soldiers or traitors, and there were even two outright murderers among them.

The squads were supposed to imprison or kill the rebels. The sergeants told their soldiers why the femehans had allied with jinhaliares: Everybody knew jinhaliares were going to go to war. They were unhappy with their territories and wanted more. Femehans had always been more far-sighted and usually secured territory for themselves before the situation became too bad. Jinhaliares could not control their population as well, so they had to wait until going to war for territories that were known to be good was a better option than just staying home. In war, jinhaliares could be devastatingly ruthless. If one was not on their side, one was against them, and no femehan wanted to lose countless of lives in a war against the jinhaliares. Thus the alliance was formed, and when the time for war would come, jinhaliares would be allowed to travel through femehan lands and given assistance. The femehans would also receive some of the new areas as well as information and services from the jinhaliares.

Eventually they came across the rebel settlement. Besides the deserters and a couple of criminals, the slightly more numerous rebels mostly comprised unprofessional workers and ex-soldiers. The two sides tried negotiating, but it turned into a battle in ten minutes. The orders were that the traitors and murderers should be disabled with little regard to whether they would actually survive, since they would be executed nevertheless, but the rest of the rebels should not be harmed as severely if it was unavoidable.

Tegafel saw little action in the fight. Ey was at the rear when the battle started and ey, along with a few others, were ordered to run behind the camp and prevent anyone from fleeing. Four people tried to flee. Tegafel stabbed one in the stomach with eir sword.

The rebels lost inevitably. Among others, Tegafel was ordered to search the rudimentary buildings. They entered the biggest building with a far-walker who incapacitated a rebel far-walker and revealed the hiding place of the rebel leader. Ey was in the cellar that contained some tools and barrels where some goods had been kept. The far-walker, Tegafel and two other soldiers entered the fairly large cellar confidently and started threatening the poor rebel leader with mentions of torture and mind-raping. One of the soldiers stabbed the rebel leader's arm nearly useless.

Suddenly a dagger flew out of nowhere, struck the rebel leader in the eye and ey fell to the ground, dead. The far-walker started screaming about who in šarkeli had done it and whoever it had been was as good as a mind-dead prosht. Tegafel took a step backward when the far-walker flailed eir arms in eir direction, managed to step on a rake, making it swing upwards and hitting something that was not eir own body. A knife flashed before eir eyes and made a small cut on eir cheek. Ey screamed in terror while the other soldiers were quiet and temporarily paralysed with surprise. The soldiers soon prepared themselves. With their swords drawn, Tegafel, the far-walker and two soldiers faced an unarmed ex-soldier rebel clad in perfectly dark armour, but the extraordinary thing was that the rebel was a gekod.

The far-walker seemed to be panicking. "Ey's not real! I can't read em! Ey has no spirit!" Ey drew eir sword to emself in a defending position and backed down. "Ey has no spirit! Eir eyes are cold as a dead tree in winter!"

Tegafel and eir friends took down the gekod in no time and tied em up. The gekod did not utter one word and ignored everything ey was told. Ey did not even yell in pain when one of the soldiers broke some of eir fingers.

Most of the important rebels had been mindwiped by the rebel far-walkers. They managed to catch alive one far-walker rebel and two important seeming people who had not been mindwiped. Also the quiet gekod aroused interest, because the two far-walkers who were with the soldiers could not read em much at all. With great effort, they were able to sense some of eir surface thoughts which included just the usual disorganized feelings of pain, anger, failure, discomfort and basic needs. Since there were many wounded rebels still left, some soldiers stayed with them while the rest took the important people back to Aolkheine, a big city south of the camp and closer than Adenelihe.

More people were sent to the rebel settlement from Aolkheine to bring the rest to the city as well. The rebels insisted that the jinhaliares were nothing but evil-doers and would stab femehans in the back as soon as they saw a convenient chance – even a war against them was better than living in bad conditions and oppressed by them.

Tegafel did not think much of what they said. The captains said that soldiers did not need to think, they only needed to do, and Tegafel was quite content with that. Roinynin, however, drew em into a discussion about whether the alliance was a good thing after all. It was the night after the battle and they were lying in their tent, stroking each other.

"I know th' leaders don't want us thinkin' anything, but how can someone not think?" stated Roinynin.

"What, do you think that the alliance is a bad thing too?"

"Well, it's worse 'n if the jinhaliares weren't goin' to war. I don't really know if it's worse 'n havin' no alliance though. Prob'ly on some side it'd be better an' on some side wouldn't." Roinynin rubbed the middle of Tegafel's chest a bit and smiled. "I like thinkin'."

Tegafel smiled too, but ey was not as light-hearted about it. "But you have to be careful... if the sergeants find out, or if some far-walker scans you or something, they could, well."

"Could what? Far-walkers could make me stop thinkin' but this far they haven't. I'm not gonna betray our military or anythin'! I jus' like to think. An' who knows, if I come up wit' somethin' really genius, I'll jus' go share it an' see what they say an' hope they won't ignore me jus' 'cause I'm a wakod." Tegafel smiled. "Anyway, let's list th' pros of this alliance thing, okay? First is of course that they don't crush us on their way. Second, they share their info; third, they let us keep some of the lands they secure. An' fourthly, if someone attacks us too, they'll protect us. Though I don't think they did squat when we heard about those rumors about some falangezkas runnin' around killin' important people in the eastern nations. But who knows, it was probably the rebels foolin' them 'cause everybody knows falangezkas an' jinhaliares hate each other an' they wanted to give a bad impression of falangezkas, why, who the gzooz knows, but I don't really care. Right?"

"Yeah... but what do we do with any more lands?"

"Gives people a reason to be productive an' aim for somethin'? I dunno."

"And if people attack us, it's most likely because of the alliance."

"Yah. See, I made ya defend my startin' position by tellin' th' pros first! Hee hee!"

Tegafel laughed shortly and grinned. "You little manipulative bastard, heh heh." Ey flicked Roinynin's nipple.

"Want to see me manipulatin' your cock, eh?"

Tegafel giggled. "But how about those cons, then?"

"Oh yeah, those. Well, besides what you said, th' jinhaliares aren't nice folks, they might start demandin' more of us an' oppressin' us... an' there's that backstabbin' thing. But who can really know how reliable they are? Maybe they'll do their part fine an' without issues if we don't do anythin' to piss 'em off."

"It would be nice to know what's for the best..."

"Best for who? That prob'ly means different things to different races an' people. Is it 'best' for us wakods to not be in th' army? I've been fine here once I got my squad in order! Took just a pair of fists an' a bit of convenient cryin' an' there I was!" Tegafel smiled sillily at the positive attitude that had caught eir attention when ey had first met Roinynin. Tegafel bent toward em and kissed em. "Would you like me to be manipulative?" Roinynin squeaked and stroked Tegafel's sides very lightly, barely toughing em, making em shiver.

Tegafel smiled, closed eir eyes and bent with the shivers. "Maybe I'll manipulate first." Ey lifted emself over Roinynin and sat on eir lower belly so that eir swelling goninjin pressed Roinynin's crotch. Roinynin, ever so gentle and considerate, took off Tegafel's shirt slowly and carefully and placed it behind eir head. Having done that, ey brushed eir fingers over Tegafel's chest and nipples. Tegafel, then again, just lightly groped Roinynin's breasts – ey had not learned to be very good at having sex yet.

"Tegafel, do it like this." Roinynin took Tegafel's hands lightly and moved them over eir chest and breasts. Tegafel smiled and continued doing it after Roinynin had moved eir own hands back to Tegafel's chest. They fingered each other's nipples for a while and then moved on to licking them while their genitals swelled under their trousers and were left unattended for the moment. They sucked on each other's nipples for a few moments longer before they figured that it was time to pay attention to the actual genitals as well.

Roinynin slid Tegafel's trousers down and poked eir swelled goninjin lightly, making Tegafel gasp. Roinynin lifted eir legs and Tegafel pulled off eir trousers, brushing eir thighs while at it.

"Did you ever try penetratin' yerself?" asked Roinynin suddenly.

Tegafel giggled a little. "Well, no."

"It feels funny."

Tegafel leaned on one arm and with eir other hand, took a hold of eir goninjin and started bending it toward eir gogenjin. Roinynin did the same. "It feels kind of uncomfortable."

"Yeah, but you should try it at least once." Ey then displayed eir crotch, with eir goninjin inside eir gogenjin. "Here ya go!"

Tegafel thought it looked funny and ey snickered. Ey then bent eir goninjin more and managed to bring it to the mouth of eir gogenjin. "Ooo-oh, oh. Uuh. Ah!" ey went as ey inserted it.

Roinynin grinned delightedly. "I've been wonderin' if we could have sex like this! We could jus' rub our crotches against each other, y'know?"

"This might be a little too uncomfortable for that..."

"Well, we could at least try."

Tegafel grinned a little. "Okay." Roinynin lay down and Tegafel came on top of em, positioning eir legs so that they could press their crotches against each other. They did so and rubbed their crotches for a while. "Uhmh, I don't think this'll work. It's too uncomfortable."

"Yeah." They stopped for a moment and Tegafel's goninjin slid out all on its own while Roinynin had to help eirs a little.

Tegafel grinned. "Have you done that before?"

"Heh, yeah. Jus' wanted to feel how it was like an' well, it was kinda good." As soon as ey had said that, ey grabbed Tegafel's goninjin and started manipulating it. Eventually they ended up sitting and facing each other, with one hand rubbing the other's genitals and the other hand on the other's chest. On top of all that, they were kissing.

When they started getting orgasmic, they noticed that they would not be able to do it while sitting, and it was possible that some of their gamete-containing fluids would get into right – or in this case, wrong – places. Therefore, as usual, they lay down and positioned themselves so that they could easily reach the other's genitals with their hands. They continued stimulating each other for as long as it took both of them to reach climax.

Afterwards, they cleaned up the little mess they had made, pulled on their trousers and continued with cuddling under their blankets.

"You know, I've really come a long way since I joined the army... and it wasn't even that long ago!"

Roinynin smiled and petted Tegafel's hair. "I'd be more amazed if you didn't."

"Even just considering, well, this stuff." Tegafel wiggled a bit against Roinynin. "I had no idea that having sex could feel so good. I never really thought why people would do it, other than to have kids."

"Didn't notice that nice chafin' even, when you were excited?"

"I hadn't been that excited! I was always discouraged when I felt like it because I was afraid of getting pregnant... Mhm... do you... do you remember Krezagon? That ankod who – –"

"Yeah. Hard to forget, I'd never seen one before."

"I was just thinking... that ey was so safe. Ey was like the perfect friend for me at the time. I mean, I could go to em an' be with em without having to fear that ey'd try to rape me or even try to have sex! And, do you remember when I told about how Neret tried to have sex with me and then Fairani did that... An' I went to Krezagon an' ey let me cry and then held me an' let me kiss em."

Roinynin stroked Tegafel's back. "I could've used a friend like that when I was your age."

"Yeah." Tegafel smiled, remembering the few stories Roinynin had told about eir first months in the army. "I really admired em you know. Ey did eir job there well, even though ey didn't train with the others or spend time with them. Ey was so good with bows... and woodwork, you should've seen em do that. I didn't pity em then because I thought it would've been great to have my own tent and not bother with the others. But after I got to know you, I figured what ey's missing..."

"Well, ey's an ankod. I doubt ey even realizes what ey's missin'."

"Well, I know ey was missing a friend. Ey was so happy when I spent time with em. I wish I hadn't forgotten em when you came... Actually, ey might've been allowed to join with our squad, I wonder why ey didn't?"

"...Heh, see how long it took for you t' figure that! Prob'ly ey thought of it too late too."

"Ehheh. I hope we'll get to go back. I'm sure ey'd like to hear about you too." Roinynin smiled a bit uneasily. Tegafel did not notice any uneasiness. "I feel so sorry for em now... ey can't ever know how good it feels to have an orgasm. Or even just excitement. Can ey?"

"Heh, no. ankods are sexless, they can't feel anythin' there. Yeah, poor thing... I wonder what keeps em goin'..."

Tegafel coughed. "Well um, even feeling excitement isn't all there is to life..."

Roinynin grinned. "Oh yeah. Oh-huh, a bit silly t' forget, I mean, I came to the army to get away from it in a way." Roinynin wriggled. "Ehehem. silly-y-y..."

Tegafel grinned back. "At least ey liked kissing. Ey was pretty good at it, too, I think."

"Better than me, eh?"

"Heh, I don't know. You're good too. But you're different, too."

"Y'know, I can't imagine not feelin' sexual excitement. How's it like?"

"How should I know?"

"Wonder if that Krezagon would mind if we asked em when we got back."

"Heh, I... I'm not sure really. But maybe ey'd just say that ey can't imagine feeling it so ey won't know how to explain it either."

"Right! Hee hee!"

They continued stroking each other until they fell asleep.

  1. 5565 (Tegafel)

In Adenelihe, there were some reports about a hostile party that had moved in at the edge of their territories and had killed a bunch of stray wanderers. The two squads that had just taken care of the rebel problem were sent out to check on it.

The two squads advanced without much hurry. A scout or two always moved in front of the main body of the squad to check up on things that would await them.

One day, it was Tegafel's turn to do scouting. Ey sneaked around the forests and bushlands that spread in front of em and was honestly more interested in the berries ey found than looking for an enemy. That was one reason why ey was thoroughly surprised and shocked when ey heard a sound, lifted eir head and saw a foreign figure looking at em, barely three meters away. Though ey did not really think of it at that point, the foreign figure had been doing exactly the same thing – scouting while thinking more about berries. Upon seeing each other, the two people yelled in terror and surprise, drew their weapons and attacked each other. They managed to cut each other lightly, after which they circled around each other, agitated and worried, while trying to slash and stab each other.

After a short time of fighting, some information had reached Tegafel's brain and ey knew that ey was fighting with a homehan. They both started getting desperate fairly soon, since they did not have much combat experience and thought that they were worse off than they really were. So they took a final stab at each other.

Tegafel got slashed across the face, while eir strike hit the homehan fairly deep on eir sword-arm's shoulder. They both yelled, but Tegafel was considerably more distracted by the huge gash on eir face, so the homehan got another strike through, stabbing Tegafel deep in the left shoulder. Tegafel yelled again and fell. Fortunately the homehan was too scared to keep on fighting, and being in bad condition as well, ey took this opportunity to try and flee. Tegafel could not follow so quickly, so the homehan got away.

Tegafel got up then and started running toward eir own group. The others were obviously alerted by eir bloody, almost torn face and the gashes on eir body. Neret quickly got the information out of Tegafel and the two sergeants organized the squads quickly for a battle. The terrain was far from ideal combat ground and there was no place they could back down to in order to better their position – they could only go forward and hope to catch the offending party by surprise in the case that they would not flee. Tegafel was quickly tied up with temporary bandages that stopped the bleeding for the most part but did not make em feel any better.

They advanced and eventually came face to face with the offending party. It was ironic how similar their groups were: both moving in a nearly foreign territory trying to be one step ahead of potential enemies. The only difference was that the homehans seemed to be slightly more numerous. The sergeants considered for a while whether they should fall back, but decided then that even if they would be beaten, they would be better off if they killed as many of the homehan soldiers as they could – at least they had backup soldiers nearby while the homehans were far from their own territory as far as they knew.

There was a whole bunch of fighting. Tegafel felt lousy and Roinynin tried to keep on defending em. Tegafel got a few more serious wounds: a nearly disabling gash on eir right thigh and painful cuts on both of eir arms. After that, someone hit em with a sledgehammer, of all things, and everything went black for em.

Tegafel woke up with a foot over eir right wrist, pressing it down and making em unable to wield eir weapon. There was another foot pressing down on eir chest, and a body half over em. Tegafel first turned toward the body. It was Roinynin and ey was barely breathing. Ey looked bloody and had one of eir hands on Tegafel's neck, grabbing the armor. Ey mumbled Tegafel's name and then Tegafel saw someone shove a sword into eir back. Tegafel whimpered in despair and looked up at the killer on eir partner. It was a big homehan, not unlike the one that was keeping Tegafel on the ground. They looked so similar that Tegafel thought they were copies.

"This one's alive," one of them said in the common Gomanian language.

"For long?"

"Hold." Tegafel heard a new voice from behind em. "How badly wounded?"

Roinynin's body was shoved off of Tegafel, and ey tried to grab at it. "Roinynin!" ey mumbled barely audibly. Tegafel's arms were pulled and somehow restrained. Tegafel did not pay attention as to how it was done. Ey saw a face looming above em.

"This one'll live for a bit. Lift em." Tegafel was lifted to stand upwards. Ey felt very dizzy and would have fallen if the two homehans had not been holding onto eir arms. "Strip em." The two homehans and one other started pulling Tegafel's equipment off of em, piling it all on one place. "What the... what kind of freak is this thing?" No one replied. After a moment the leader-seeming figure continued: "...Put em in the cage." Tegafel was dragged and thrown into the cage, which was fairly small and dirty. Tegafel still felt like fainting, so now that ey was momentarily left alone, ey did just that.

Tegafel woke up later. The wagon in which eir cage was moved along the terrain. The forest was less thick and there actually was enough space to manoeuvre a fairly narrow wagon as the one ey was in. Eir arms, shoulders, right thigh and lower legs ached from the wounds and eir muscles were getting sore. Ey felt miserable and just lay there, moving slowly to look at the wounds on eir arms and particularly the one on eir thigh, since it was so big. It would get infected. Ey would probably limp for the rest of eir life if the leg healed at all. However, no matter how much that worried em, ey was still exhausted. Ey looked around a bit and saw a smallish homehan sitting next to the cage, in front of em. Ey heard another walking behind em. Some animal was pulling the wagon and it sounded like there was someone driving. Tegafel stared at the homehan for a while, and eventually the homehan turned.

"Hey, ey's awake," ey said. Tegafel felt like demonstrating eir liveliness, but moving hurt too much. Ey did turn eir head though, and looked around, not seeing much new. There were some homehans following them and some walking before them. Many seemed to be in bad condition and there were no bodies along, so everyone who was killed was left wherever they had been. "What are you?"

"...What? Um... I'm a femehan... Was my... my squad killed?"

The homehan looked a bit put off, but seemed to be glad when Tegafel asked about the other femehans. "They sure were. Lousy scum an' freaks on top o' that."

By now Tegafel had learned better than to question people who had an edge over em, so ey was quiet. The homehan was somewhat amused, though, so ey took a spear, shoved it between the bars of the cage and started poking Tegafel. First Tegafel thought ey should just not care, but quickly went through the procedure in eir mind. If ey would try to ignore it, the homehan would just keep coming harder at em, and even if Tegafel after that gave in and showed signs of being aggravated, the homehan might want to get more of it and start poking with a sword. Therefore, Tegafel started to display irritation fairly soon, trying to do eir best to keep the homehan entertained enough while not inviting more pain.

The homehan managed to prod Tegafel's huge wound on eir thigh, though, which hurt terribly and Tegafel screamed. It startled a few homehans and while they went through a quick covering about what had been going on, Tegafel clutched eir thigh.

The days went by and Tegafel barely got any food or chances to go relieve emself. Ey spent the days crying and mourning over eir fallen friends and trying to overcome the nightmares ey had about them. Ey tried to forget it and focused eir efforts on trying to clean up eir wounds by licking – which greatly amused the homehans since Tegafel was able to lick the huge wound on eir own thigh.

The homehans pretty much just mistreated em and did not ask too much questions, save for inquiries about whether they were being followed. Tegafel could not really know and the homehans did not like that. They kept poking and prodding em and even cut a few small wounds on em. Ey was very grateful of the pouring rain that came down a day before they reached the homehan settlement, since it allowed em to clean up eir wounds a bit more thoroughly. Eir leg was well on its way to being infected, but Tegafel thought that the cleaning helped to prevent it a bit. That did not change the fact that most of eir wounds badly needed stitches.

The night they arrived at the homehan settlement, Tegafel was thrown in a smallish windowless room that served as a prison cell. It was not much, but at least there was some hay and a blanket, so Tegafel could actually get a relatively comfortable night of sleep – though ey tore a bit of the blanket to tie up the wound on eir leg.

In the morning, some homehans came in, tied em to a chair and started interrogating em. They asked questions about how near the closest cities were, why there had been a fight in the first place and how many armed and trained forces there were around. Tegafel of course knew very little since ey was not from around here and ey still had not been told much about the army camps around the area. The homehans were not pleased, so they tortured Tegafel a bit, mostly by tearing open the wounds on eir face and arms. Tegafel was in pain and terrified, and thus tried to come up with something that would please the homehans so that they would just leave em alone.

The next day ey was left alone for the most part. The guards, however, started getting a bit more interested and came in to peek at em. Eventually they started talking as well.

"Hey, femehan."

Tegafel was trying to clean up the wound on eir face but looked up almost instantly, since no one had talked to em that day yet.

The other guard continued: "We're talking with the other guards about what you are, but no one can tell. So what are you? Some kind a' deformed pervert or something?"

"...What? Why do you think that?" Tegafel managed to mumble.

The guards snickered. "So you think you're really normal or what?"


They still snickered a bit. "Has yer cock been cut off or are you some freaky sick eikod or were you born deformed?"

"...What? I... I have a cock..."

"Doesn't look like that!" they laughed and pointed at Tegafel's crotch.

"It's just not showing..."

"Not showing? What the gzooz?"

"...Do your cocks all show then?" Tegafel glared at the other guard's crotch since it was not covered by loose clothing and it indeed seemed like eir genitals were outside eir body.

The guards laughed. "That's freaky! An inside cock! How does it come out then? Do you pull it out or does it just swell?"

"Uh... I guess it swells..."

"You must have trouble telling yer eikods from iokods!" the guards roared.

Tegafel could not quite place the words they used. They sounded like old words for some sexes, but it did not make much sense. Tegafel thought to ask what they meant, but figured that would just get em beaten. So ey just looked down.

"You femehans sure are weird. In the battlefield I saw a whole bunch of you an' there were a lot of different coloured ones. Why do you come in so different colours? The few bluish ones sounded like eikods!"

Tegafel eyed the homehans and noticed that they were the same colour – actually everyone ey had seen had been approximately the same colour: fairly tanned with dark brown hair and lots of fur. Ey would have wanted to stay quiet, but thought that the guards would just keep on asking, so ey said: "How do you tell your sexes apart then?"

"What?" the other guard shouted. "So you tell 'em apart by skin colour eh? Well, heh heh... I suppose that's one way. So your iokods are brown, right, an' eikods blue? ...Wait a minute. You're grey."

Tegafel felt a bit cornered. Ey was still unsure what they meant and did not want to display eir ignorance by asking. Ey was sure that they would not approve of wakods in the army either. However, ey thought that they would find out the inconvenient way unless ey told them, so ey went: "That's because I'm a wakod."

"A what-kod?"

Tegafel looked up, and all three of them looked confused. "A... a wakod..."

"Well 'wakod' doesn't sound like anything!"

"You don't have wakods at all?"

"Well if wakod means an iokod with a retractable cock, gzooz no!"

"Uh..." Tegafel was very hesitant to speak since ey was in fear of getting beaten or slashed again.

"What? Speak up, little freak."

Tegafel gave a short glare at the guards but dropped it soon. Ey did not want to aggravate them. "You've just been talking about iokods and eikods... is that all you have? Two sexes?"

Now the guards were silent. "...What else?" Tegafel stared at the guards and was quiet. "What else? Do you have MORE sexes?" the other guard went, emitting a mixture of curiosity and hostility.

"We... Fourteen..."

"FOURTEEN?!" Tegafel startled a bit and looked down. Ey was scared. "What for do you have FOURTEEN sexes?"

Tegafel wanted to stop talking. "How come you have two?"

"What the groshje. What do you do with all those sexes anyway? Where's the point in that?"

"I don't know... I don't know why we need sexes at all. Karangals and falangezkas get along great without having any..."

"Karangals? Falangezkas? You just made that up."

Tegafel glanced at the guards again, and they looked truly confused. They had not heard about karangals or falangezkas. "No, I... I've seen a falangezka before. They're pretty... they're rather small and have violet hair and lavender skin..."

"You've drunk too much shiš. I've never seen anything like that."

"...Karangals are even smaller and red-skinned... I hear they live in the mountains but I've never seen one..."

"You're just trying to groshje us aren't you? Tell us about those freaking fourteen sexes of yours instead!"

"I'm not... uh," went Tegafel, but then figured ey should better just do as they told. "Well, gekods have black skin and straight hair... they have breasts and they can get pregnant if they have sex with someone that produces sperm. Gewakods have dark blue skin and straight hair and they can get pregnant too."

"So those blue-skinned ones in the battlefield were 'gewakods'? That means eikod, right?"

"I... I'm not sure what eikod means. We don't use that word..."

The guards laughed again. "We're iokods. We have cocks and we screw eikods. Eikods have breasts and a pussy and they give birth to babies."

"Uh... by that eikods sound like they'd be like gekods. There um... there weren't any gekods in our squad... they aren't allowed in the army."

"So what makes them different from the blue-skinned ones?"

"The blue-skinned ones are gewakods... they don't have breasts. They're stronger and have a great mind for strategy, I guess that's why they're allowed in the army or something."

"So 'gekods' are like eikods and 'gewakods' are strong breastless eikods?"

"I guess."

"Okay, so that's two sexes down. This is damn freaky, I'm telling you! How about the rest?" The guards seemed fascinated and amused.

"Uh... okay, wagekods have dark blue skin but they're pretty greyish... I suppose a bit like me but bluer. They can have breasts but not necessarily and they can give birth an' transfer babies."

"What the heck does that mean?"

"I... um... well, transferrer is like... they can have sex with someone who produces sperm an' then they can transfer the babies that resulted from the sex to a carrier."

"That's so damn freaky!" Tegafel looked down and was quiet. "Well go on! That's three down!"

"Uh... annikods have dark grey skin and they're just transferrers. They don't have breasts. ...Then there's genikods, they're dark brown an' just transferrers too but they have breasts. Niwakods are transferrers too an' dark grey, but they also produce sperm so they can have kids with gewakods or wakods for example."

"You said you're a wakod, right? What do you do?"

"I uh... wakods produce sperm and we get pregnant."

"That's like..." The guards looked at each other. "An inemkod?"

"No way!"

"But see, if they have fourteen sexes, they gotta have them!" Tegafel was very uneasy. "Well, go on! That was like, what? Six down? Six to go!"

"Mhm... Well, nikods just produce sperm. I guess they're like you, they have brown skin too. Nigekods are more grey and they produce sperm and have breasts – –"

"What? Iokods with breasts? Ew! That's just sick!" Now Tegafel just shut up and looked away. "Well, go on! What?"

"I'm not going to speak if you just interrupt me and say it's sick. I think YOUR stupid two sexes are sick!"

The other guard immediately took a few steps toward Tegafel, ending up next to em, and smacked em with a small club. "Why don't you talk when I tell you to, you prosht!?"

Tegafel squirmed a bit but then went on: "Then there's geniwakods... they have brown skin and they can do it all, they get pregnant an' can transfer an' produce sperm an' have breasts – –"

"Wow, that's the sickest one this far! Ew!"

"Anwakods are dark grey too. They just carry babies if a transferrer gives them one. They might have breasts..."

"Wait... so those ones couldn't become pregnant if some normal iokod had sex with them?"


"Wow, awesome! That's like a perfect whore!"

"Well, there's one more to go!" said the other guard.

"That's... the ankods... they have light skin and they... they don't do anything."

"So they're like... like... uh..."

"Kids, except grown up? Sort of?" added the other one.

"Uhm. I guess."

"Wow, that's gotta be useless."

Tegafel breathed slightly angrily. Ey still was not too glad about people calling ankods useless since one was eir friend, but probably more so because ey had been called useless because of not agreeing to have sex.

"It's damn freaky. ...Hey, you'd think... wanna take a peek?"

"At em? Heck yes."

Tegafel had no trouble guessing what they meant. Ey got up, figuring that they would have to fight em to get any look, but the two guards caught em quickly and held em still.

"No peeking eh? Wrong call." The other guard caught Tegafel's arms and then they pressed em down to the ground. Tegafel kept eir legs tightly together. "Now listen, you little freak," said the other guard and grabbed Tegafel's knees. "We can do this the easy way or the hard way. If you hurt us, we hurt you. An' that'll be a lot worse for you." Tegafel felt desperate, but could not see any easy way out of the oppressing situation, so ey did as was told, though obviously not willingly. Ey was not too far from starting to cry, either, but this far ey was able to keep it down. The homehan holding Tegafel's knees pulled eir legs apart. "Heh, one interesting smell, definitely. Much clearer now." The homehan poked around a bit and gently pulled on the hair to get it out of the way.

"So, how's it look like?"

"Kind a' weird. I think it's sort of like an eikod... but there are two nub-thingies here an' the cock's going to swell out somewhere here right?" the homehan looked at Tegafel, who managed a nod.

"Well then, make it come out!" The two guards still looked at Tegafel.

"M-mh... I can't uh... force it out."

"Well then, it'll swell out." Having said that, the homehan pressed eir thumb against the little nubs in Tegafel's crotch, making em startle.

"You... what're you..."

"I bet this'll just feel good to you, little freak." The homehan started rubbing Tegafel's crotch, and after a while, it did indeed feel vaguely good. Tegafel felt eir genitals swell, somewhat similarly to what had first happened when ey had spent a lot of time kissing Krezagon. It was slightly different and obviously more intensive on the physical level, close to what ey and Roinynin had often done to each other. Ey was still worried, however, and could not forget that ey was restrained and basically the living toy of two sadistic homehans.

"Well, well, look at that!" said the one holding Tegafel's arms. "Ey wasn't lying!" The other guard looked very amused and fingered the little bit of Tegafel's genitals that had swollen to protrude from eir crotch. "Hey, you hold em now. I want to look too."

"Fine. But hey, what's this other nub thing?"

"...It's... if I was a transferrer, I'd have a gowanjin there an' that would swell out."

"An' you said there was some sex who could do it all? They'd have two gzoozing cocks AND a hole! Ha ha ha!"

"Ewww!" went the other one.

"Indeed! gzooz, even this is kinda disgusting! Come on now, let's move em." The homehans rose slightly and instead of moving themselves, they rather moved Tegafel. They made Tegafel step on eir hurt leg.

"No, wait, not that wa– –yiiih!" Tegafel fell and the homehans lost some of their grip.

"What the groshje, little freak?" asked the other one, slightly angrily, while recapturing Tegafel's arms properly.

"I... uh, ngh... you made me step on... my hurt leg."

"You should watch your stupid legs better."

"Well now." The other guard pulled Tegafel's legs properly apart again and performed a bit of rubbing again until ey was satisfied with the visual. "So yeah, you have a pussy too right, don't you? This bit here?" The homehan ran a finger against Tegafel's crotch, approximately where eir entrance was.

"Uh... I... uh, yeah..."

"Is it here?"

"I... I don't know."

"You don't KNOW?" The homehan was very amused, but then just went lower and glared at Tegafel's crotch, poking eir fingers around a bit more. "Should be here." Ey pressed eir fingers harder against Tegafel's crotch and moved them around very slightly. It did feel good, but Tegafel was worried about getting hurt since ey felt the pressure increasing.

"Wait!" said Tegafel, scared. The homehan looked up at Tegafel's face. "Please don't... it... it feels strange..."

"Strange eh?" The homehan turned to Tegafel's crotch for a bit more, moved eir fingers around and then looked up again. "Feeling strange now?" ey asked and pressed a finger inside Tegafel's gogenjin.

"Yagh!" startled Tegafel, more surprised and scared than hurt.

The homehan wiggled eir finger inside Tegafel and Tegafel squirmed. "Heh, warm and wet. How's that feel?" ey asked Tegafel.

"Uhm, oh..." Tegafel glared at the homehan for a bit, thinking how weird it was that ey asked something like that while having eir finger shoved up Tegafel's crotch. "I... it's... weird... and squirmy..."

"Hmhm. Let's see..." The homehan pulled eir finger out, which had felt the best this far and not even just because it meant eir fingers were not there anymore, but because it created some kind of strange pleasure in Tegafel's brain. "How many fingers can you take?" Now Tegafel got more worried, but ey did not really have time to worry, because the homehan shoved two fingers pretty quickly into Tegafel. Tegafel squirmed and twitched slightly. It felt invasive, but still did not hurt as such. It felt tight, though. The homehan took eir fingers out and started pressing into Tegafel's crotch with three now. They went in as well, but Tegafel felt eir crotch to be a bit too dry by now and stretched too much to eir liking, so ey hurt. Tegafel whimpered and the homehan wiggled eir fingers a bit before pulling them out.

"Ew," said the other guard, a bit amused.

"Hey, you think we could get away with having sex with em?"

"Since when do they care? They'll probably want to do it themselves."

"Heh. Okay, little freak. Get on your knees."

Tegafel was quite thoroughly terrified now. Not only was ey getting roughed up and raped, ey was still horrified about the possibility of getting pregnant – with half-breeds, on top of everything. "No! I – – I can't! I don't want to get pregnant! No!"

"Shut up, little freak. If you won't obey, we'll make you and that'll be much more worse for you!"

"But I don't wanna get pregnant! Nooo!"

"Well, there's a bit of sense to that," said the one holding Tegafel's arms now. "Half-breeds would totally suck."

"Who cares? It'll be eir problem, not ours. Besides, I bet this inemkod can't even become pregnant normally from us." Tegafel was on the edge of crying and shook fairly uncontrollably. "gzooz. Just turn em around." The homehans turned Tegafel around, but Tegafel could not stay on eir knees, mostly because of eir hurt thigh. "Well groshje. Damn leg. Hm... Well, I suppose I can just hold em up." The homehan pulled Tegafel to sit on eir lap. "Come on, come behind me to hold eir arms!" The other guard did as told and sat behind eir friend, grabbing Tegafel's arms and bending them back slightly. Tegafel could not bring emself to decide whether ey should be all limp or all tense, so ey settled for being tensely limp. Ey felt the other guard fingering eir crotch again, and soon ey felt something bigger than one finger pressing against eir crotch. The homehan's goninjin went in then and stretched em to eir hurting limit – it was considerably bigger than what Roinynin had had. "Hih. Damn tight... mmh..." The homehan snickered and snuggled a bit before starting to move eir goninjin inside Tegafel.

By the time it was over, Tegafel hurt and cried. The pain itself was not exactly that bad, it was rather the idea of having sex in a way like this – rough, physical and not voluntary. The other homehan wanted to have eir way as well. While the first one had just moved Tegafel around in order to stimulate eir own genitals inside Tegafel, the second one rather moved emself and rubbed Tegafel's body. While Tegafel felt it very invasive and disrespectful, it reminded em of them way Krezagon and Roinynin had stroked em and it helped untense eir body somewhat. When the second homehan was done as well, they just left Tegafel lying on the hay and went outside.

Tegafel spent the rest of the day alone.

The next day, ey was questioned again, but this time the questions were so specific that Tegafel could not reply much anything. Apparently the homehans had just been opportunistic because they seemed to be quite content with Tegafel not knowing anything, and they did not punish em too much, though a few of eir wounds were torn open again.

Closer toward the night, three homehans entered the cell. Among them were the two guards that had raped Tegafel yesterday, and an older one who seemed to be a leader figure. Tegafel could not tell if ey was supposed to be a lieutenant or a sergeant or some other rank. Tegafel raised eir head when they came in.

"Say hi to my cock," said the leader. Tegafel's face immediately twisted into crying mode, though ey was not about to cry quite yet. Ey tried to crawl away while the two guards caught em and lifted em up. "Turn around and bend." Tegafel just futilely tried to pull emself away.

"Sorry, soio, I don't think that'll work. We couldn't do it that way because of eir leg. Ey can't stay up."

"Well, isn't that unfortunate?" The leader grabbed Tegafel's crotch and squeezed it a bit. Tegafel tried to pull eir legs closer to prevent any advancement. "Hm. Can you lift eir legs up and hold em like that?"

The guard bent over, grabbed Tegafel by the backs of eir knees while keeping eir back against eir own stomach and lifted em. Tegafel's crotch was quite obscenely exposed, though for the moment Tegafel groaned because of the pain the lifting had caused on eir thigh.

"Yes, very nice. Hold em there." The leader glared at Tegafel's crotch for a bit, poking at it. Ey got bored soon enough, though, and therefore opened eir pants and screwed Tegafel as well. Tegafel wept.

After the leader was done, ey just mumbled something and left. The guard that had been holding Tegafel let go of em but did not just drop em, instead letting em fall softly on the ground. "Whuh, it's hard work holding em."

"You wanna screw em again too?"

"Heck yes. You?"


"Huh? Why not."

"I kinda rather prefer eikods."

"Huh, ey has a nice eikod bit to take advantage of and you don't have to worry about getting accused of rape!"

"Well, I just don't think it's nice to see em cry either."

"Coward," the guard said at Tegafel. Turning back to the other guard, ey went: "Well, whatever. Hm... I feel kind of tired, I wonder what I could do to minimize work on this one..."

"Just have em lie on the ground?"

"Nah, that's too much." The guards thought about it for a while.

"Hmh, I can't think of anything good unless you make em do the work."

"Hey, that's a good idea!" The guard sat with eir back against a wall and pulled Tegafel to sit on eir lap so that they faced each other. "Now, little freak, please me." Ey fingered Tegafel's crotch a bit and put eir goninjin inside. "Now, move. Mmmhm." Ey put eir hands on Tegafel's hips and rubbed gently.

Tears fell down Tegafel's face and ey was barely staying upright. Ey looked down at the homehan's chest and tried to move, but ey could not use eir right leg to lift emself. Ey then moved eir hands on the homehan's shoulders and tried to use them to lift emself, but that did not work either. The homehan looked slightly confused. "What the heck now?"

"I uhm... my leg..."

"Well, move just your hips then?"

"Mhm... I... how?"

"However you think I can feel it?" Tegafel let the tears drop on eir own chest and held the homehan's shoulders while trying to move eir hips around. Ey could not do it on a very large scale, though, and it felt disgusting to em. "Ah, groshje. Just lie down." The homehan grabbed Tegafel by the ribcage and lay em on the ground. Having done that, ey just screwed the wakod until ey got what ey wanted.

Again, the guards just left Tegafel crying on the floor.

Days went by and Tegafel pondered how to kill emself. Ey thought ey could maybe suffocate emself with the blanket, hang emself from it or then rip open all eir wounds so ey would bleed to death. Ey barely got anything edible to drink and eat, but it kept em alive and ey could not resist satisfying that little bit of eir hunger, even though not eating would certainly eventually kill em.

Tegafel was further mistreated and raped, and after ey had almost managed in harming one of the guards and then trying to kill emself, ey was restrained and tied down. Ey had terrible nightmares, was afraid to sleep and eventually sang to emself to keep emself distracted. When ey could not sing anymore, ey whistled, and when ey could not whistle, ey tapped eir fingers. Tegafel thought ey would lose eir mind.

One day, the homehans were unusually busy. Tegafel did not notice it, but unconsciously thought that there must have been something going on because ey was left alone.

Toward the night, guards came in and instead of raping or harming Tegafel, did a somewhat shoddy but much needed job at cleaning and binding Tegafel's wounds. Tegafel was left with cleaner hay to lie on and something half-decent to eat. The guards tied Tegafel down for a few nights, but then left em untied, and since Tegafel did not get violent, they no longer restrained em.

  1. 2411 (Krezagon)

Krezagon wept the morning the two squads packed up their stuff, got organized and moved out of the camp. Ey sat up in a tree and watched them march away. Ey had thought of asking permission to go with the two squads but was sure that Tegafel would only think of em as a creepy stalker who was in the way. Tegafel deserved a real partner and not some scrawny ankod who thought too high of emself.

Still, almost two frindos later, Krezagon was still thinking about what had happened to Tegafel and eir squad. The ankod decided to find out, and surprised one of the sergeants one night.

Ey sneaked up to the gewakod sergeant and said: "Excuse me, sogewa!"

The gewakod startled slightly and turned. "Well, haven't seen you in a while. Ease. What?"

"I was wondering... Have there been any news about the two squads that left two frindos ago?"

"Neret's squad and that visitor squad? ...Just why do you care?" The gewakod was fairly suspicious.

"Uh... I knew the wakod in Neret's squad, I've just been wondering what happened to em."

"Oh, the wakod. Tegafel, right? I haven't heard any news. There should be some eventually. Just how did ey get to know you anyway? I thought you just sat in the forest all day doing woodwork."

"...Ey walked around. Can I ask you to let me know when news arrive?"

"No." They stared at each other for a moment. "You didn't really answer me."

"...Tegafel wanted to apologize for the behaviour of some people from eir squad."

"I see. And you thought it was heroic or something that someone would apologize to YOU? You almost had me believing you weren't nuts there for a moment!"

Krezagon frowned. "I am not crazy, sogewa. May I go?"

"Sure. Dismissed, nutwit."

Krezagon swallowed eir pride and insults and walked away.

Over a week later two people came to the camp and it caused a bit of ruckus around. There were rumours and suspicion around, but Krezagon naturally heard none of them, ey just saw that the camp was agitated. Therefore, ey had to ask. This time ey talked to the gewakod who took care of the inventory, since ey was the one who usually managed to talk to the ankod without excessive insults. Of course, Krezagon had a legitimate reason to talk to em anyway, since ey gave eir bolts to em.

Therefore, one day after the messengers had arrived, when Krezagon had given the bolts to the gewakod, ey asked: "What's going on in the camp?"

"Hmh... Some news came from Adenelihe, about those two squads that left two frindos ago. Now I think the lieutenant and sergeants are sending another squad to meet with more people from Adenelihe so they can sort it out."

"Really? What kind of news was it?"

"They're saying the two squads were slain." Krezagon went paler and the gewakod raised an eyebrow. "Hmh? Strange to see you interested."

"Uh... it's just that the wakod who was in Neret's squad... I mean, I kind of knew em, so I'd like to know."

"Oh. Well, that's what I know. The lieutenant and sergeants probably know more but I bet they won't go telling it."

Krezagon was idle for a moment, but then said: "Thanks, sogewa." Ey left.

The next day, Krezagon kept a closer eye on the people in the camp and tried to listen in on any information, finding out that there was indeed a fairly believable rumour circulating that the two squads had been killed. The lieutenant was sending one third of a squad to join with people from Adenelihe to confirm the news. Krezagon, having been fairly depressed after Tegafel had left, thought that there would be nothing to lose, especially since they all had probably died, and decided to request permission to go to Adenelihe.

Ey went to see the lieutenant immediately; there was still a few days before the small squad was scheduled to leave. Ey entered the room, stood to attention and greeted the lieutenant. "Greetings, lieutenant." The lieutenant's two assistants glared at Krezagon.

"What's your business?"

"I request permission to go to Adenelihe with the inquiry team, sogewa."

The lieutenant frowned. "What for?"

"A person I knew went with the two squads two frindos ago and I wish to find out what happened to em."

"They're dead. The team we're sending will just be there to establish relations with the party who killed them and search for the bodies."

Krezagon was struck silent. "They killed our soldiers and now we'll 'establish relations' with them?"

"Should I have you whipped for insubordination?" The assistants looked quite wishful.

Krezagon was suddenly slightly frightened and gulped. "No, sogewa."

"Good. Do you still want to go?"

"Yes, sogewa."

"Permission granted. Take with you your tent and your tools. The departure is in three days."

"Understood, sogewa. Th– –"

"Tomorrow morning, wait by the storage and one sergeant will bring you someone you can teach to make bolts."

"Yes. Thank you, lieutenant."


In the morning, Krezagon loitered around the storage until one of the sergeants came there, a niwakod with em.

"Attention!" said the sergeant. Both Krezagon and the niwakod stood to attention. "Krez, here's Reddel Togertel. Teach em how to make bolts. Dismissed!" The sergeant walked away.

Reddel looked at Krezagon somewhat condescendingly.

"Follow me," said Krezagon. They walked away and Krezagon showed Reddel the places where ey had been making the bolts and during the two days of time ey had, gave the niwakod a quick, thorough course in bolt-making.

In three days, the small team left. The team comprised a newly promoted sergeant, Derekl Turinel, and five other people besides Krezagon: Riyhneon, a gewakod; Leitsel, a nigekod; and Freppet, Soripel and Poutnel, nikods. Krezagon got no help in carrying eir load which was larger than what the others had, was often close to being left behind and even when they camped for the night, got no praise for eir skills in setting up the camp. As usual, ey also slept alone.

After the first day, Krezagon had been considerably behind, and when ey caught up with the others, ey just flopped down on the ground and lay there, breathing and resting. The sergeant Derekl did not approve of that – straightforwardly ey just hated the ankod from the bottom of eir heart. Ey walked next to Krezagon and lightly kicked em on the side.

"Lazying around. That's a good way to be in the army, Shynderfolter." Derekl had also taken to the habit of calling Krezagon by eir unfortunate family name after seeing it on eir contract.

Krezagon startled and rolled on eir stomach. Eir whole body ached and ey just wanted to lie. "Mhmh..."

"Mumbling now?" The nikod got more aggravated by the second and ey just wanted any reason to start yelling. Ey kicked Krezagon again. "Get up, you worthless piece of meat! I'm not going to watch you lie around idling!" ey raged, and Krezagon got up. "You're a stupid, useless undeveloped BRAT! Now move and do some REAL work for a change! You're WASTE OF SPACE! Not to mention food!" The other team members eyed the screaming a bit, three of them snickering and grinning and two seeming a bit long-faced.

Krezagon got to work and started setting up the tents, then looked for firewood and finally set up the campfire. Ey was exhausted and could barely eat, and after ey had eaten, ey felt excessively sick. Ey could not set up eir own tent, so ey just lay down on it and fell asleep, not hearing Derekl's insults anymore.

In the morning, ey woke up to yet another sharp kick on eir side. At least ey did not feel sick anymore and the food had stayed down.

Derekl looked down at the ankod. "Sleeping ON your tent? You're one incompetent nutwit." The sergeant had an evil idea and stepped on Krezagon's crotch. Krezagon let out a short groan and waved eir arms around a bit. Ey was still fairly groggy. "USELESS!" Derekl pushed down with eir foot and Krezagon spent a few seconds clutching eir crotch after Derekl had stepped off of em. "Get up!" Krezagon staggered upright. "Take off your clothes."

"...What?" mumbled Krezagon.

Derekl smacked the ankod across the face. "TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTHES!" After that, Krezagon did not waste time and took off eir clothes. After ey was done and had dropped the clothes on the ground, Derekl stared at em with a mockingly amused expression. After a few comments about how sick, disgusting and deformed Krezagon was, the nikod said: "There, you can walk the whole trip today just like that. Naked and displaying your uselessness to the whole world!" With that, ey picked up Krezagon's clothes and took them away.

Krezagon felt disgustingly humiliated, but it was yet another thing ey should not care about, so ey tried not to. After packing up eir tent again, ey moved closer to where the others were eating. Derekl, however, said:

"Stay away, Shynderfolter. You're not going to ruin my breakfast with that revolting corpse of yours."

Krezagon was angry. "YOU took away my clothes, soni!"

"Silence, Shynderfolter! Don't try to come nearer!" The other team members reacted much like last night: three of them giggled and two were just quiet.

Krezagon was annoyingly helpless. Ey knew ey would not make it if ey did not get even that little bit of food that ey needed. Ey sat down, leaned eir arms on eir knees and eir head on eir arms, staring at the others.

After a moment, Riyhneon, the only gewakod in the team spoke: "Permission to give food to the ankod."

The sergeant was quiet for a moment. "Granted." The gewakod started piling up food on Krezagon's plate. "That's enough." It was just a bit over half of a proper portion, but the gewakod did not start arguing. Ey did, however, put in the spoonful ey was already holding, though Derekl had not meant that to be added. The nikod did not say anything, though.

The gewakod turned then and walked over to Krezagon. Ey gave the plate to the ankod. "Hold." Ey then scooped most of the food ey still had on eir own plate onto Krezagon's plate.

"Thank you," whispered Krezagon. Ey ate the food and did indeed march the whole day with only eir cruddy shoes on.

In the evening, ey went through another load of insults from the sergeant, but this time managed to set up eir own tent at least. Some time after ey had fallen asleep, one of the team members poked inside Krezagon's tent and shoved eir clothes in eir face.

When the morning came, Krezagon was woken up by the sergeant yelling general orders. Ey dressed up and got out of the tent to eat. However, the sergeant started insulting em again and this time concentrated on how Krezagon was slowing them down by walking always so slowly.

Krezagon listened to the rant and let it go out of eir other ear. When ey thought Derekl was done, ey said, with a slightly faltering voice: "May I say one thing, soni?"

"...What, worm?"

"Your loads are barely more than half of my load. I've been able to keep up with you even though I walk behind."

Derekl smacked Krezagon in the face again and then slapped em on the chest, shoving em forcefully backwards. "Insubordinate stinking useless corpse, Shynderfolter!" As soon as Krezagon regained balance, Derekl caught em by the arm, pulled down eir suspenders and almost made eir pants drop. "Lift your arms!" Krezagon did as ey was told and Derekl pulled off eir shirt, tearing it a bit in the process. Having done that, the nikod caught em by them arm again and swirled em toward a tree. Krezagon ran into it and was about to turn, leaning on the tree. "Face the tree and lift your arms!" Derekl turned to the closest soldier. "Find me a whip, Poutnel."

"Yes, soni."

After a while, a whip was found. Krezagon had already prepared for it, but the sharp pain always struck hard and ey could not help whimpering. Derekl only whipped em thrice though. Krezagon cowered and shook for a while as the others went to have breakfast, but got then dressed again and moved toward the others.

"No food for useless nutwit idiots!" shouted the sergeant.

"I will not – –!" started Krezagon, but stopped then. Ey figured ey could only make eir situation worse, so ey just walked away and went deeper into the forest, off the path, to find something to eat.

A moment went while the others ate. The gewakod spoke again: "Permission..."


Riyhneon was quiet. Instead, they all took even more food for themselves. Riyhneon took more than ey could eat on purpose; ey was planning on saving it for Krezagon.

The sergeant felt mean again and commanded the gewakod: "Wash the plates."

Riyhneon was not too enthusiastic about the command, but thought it gave em a fairly good opportunity to give the food to Krezagon.

Krezagon had returned and was eating an assortment of half-edible plants ey had found in the forest. Riyhneon went up to em and gave em the plate. Krezagon ate and gave the plate back.

"I'll take some of your stuff off your backpack. Derekl's not rational."

Krezagon just sat there, feeling helpless and yet somewhat grateful. Ey looked down and whispered: "Thank you, sogewa."

"No problem, uh... er, soan." Riyhneon seemed amusedly weirded out. "That sounded weird..." With that, ey walked off. After the inquiry team members had packed their stuff, they started moving again. This time, Krezagon could keep up fairly easily, though ey still walked last. Derekl of course praised eir own threatening skills for the ankod's achievements. They arrived at Adenelihe by night.

The small squad spent a few days in Adenelihe – it seemed there were discussions going on and there was some dishonesty involved. Apparently the homehans had lied that all femehans in the battle had been killed since one body was missing. Krezagon asked to know who it was, but ey was not told.

After two days, the small squad and some soldiers from Adenelihe left to the homehan settlement. They were led by one of the captains from Adenelihe and they had among them more sergeants, two negotiators and a medic, at least.

  1. 2255 (Tegafel)

One morning, it sounded like the homehans outside Tegafel's cell were even busier than usually. The building in which the cell was located in sounded fairly empty, and when people came in, they sounded hurried.

Toward the evening, three people came in. One of them was the homehan leader figure who Tegafel only barely remembered and the two others were the guards who had first raped Tegafel. Tegafel pretty much automatically backed away from them and twisted eir face into crying mode. The leader spoke: "Consider yourself lucky, Tegafel Darrelter. We managed to come to an agreement with representatives from your side and we negotiated a peace of sorts, deciding that what happened between our armed forces was just a grave misunderstanding. You're free to go, but we offered to clean you up for tomorrow since we killed all the other soldiers from your squad and held you prisoner." Ey turned to the two guards. "So, guards, wash em, clean em up, take em to the field medic, feed em good and have em sleep in a nice warm tent tonight!" The leader left.

"Well, tables turn, eh?" said the guard who had declined from raping Tegafel once. "At least kind of."

Tegafel was pretty speechless. On the other hand ey almost did not believe ey was so lucky, and on the other hand ey was very relieved and eager to be treated well. Then again, ey doubted that things could go so smooth or that ey was really told the whole truth. The guard came to Tegafel, wrapped em up in the blanket and lifted em. Holding Tegafel in eir arms, ey walked outside with the other guard.

Tegafel saw more homehans by glance outside before the guards took em behind a building that had a crude washing place set up. There was a smallish silo of water and a cauldron with a fireplace for warming up the water. There were also a few buckets around, a tap on the silo and a bench.

The guard placed Tegafel sitting on the bench. "I hope you don't mind us seeing you naked anymore, heh heh." The guard was fairly happy, the other one not so. "I suppose people usually have persons from the same sex help with stuff like this but you with your fourteen freaking sexes... No offence still, but it does sound really weird and complicated and disgusting." Tegafel just grunted a sound as an answer. "We even have soap for you. Don't have a lot of this stuff around, but the lieutenant thought it'd please your people. Come on, wash your hands, after that you can start washing up other places."

The two guards helped Tegafel wash up and clean up the wounds, though after the ugly scabs were torn off, most of them started bleeding again.

"Hm, I suppose it isn't any use to leave this place. Go get the medic and bring em here, it's easier that way." The other guard left while the other one kept on pouring water on Tegafel's wounds to keep them from being clogged again before the medic could stitch them.

The other guard arrived with the medic. The medic did not really say anything save for a short greeting, and went straight to examining Tegafel's wounds. After having taken a look at them all, ey said: "Hm well, the smaller cuts on your legs and arms and cheek have healed somewhat. They would've needed stitches, but it's not much point anymore. The rest still need stitches, they're so big. I'm gonna drug you because it'll hurt like hell, especially that one on your face. They're also infected, fairly badly too, so I'm going to cleanse them a bit aggressively." Tegafel nodded weakly, and the medic took out some bottle of liquid. "This doesn't exactly taste good, but drink two mouthfuls of it." Ey handed the bottle to Tegafel, who then drank. Tegafel grimaced and felt a bit like throwing up. Meanwhile, the medic had produced a few leaves. "Now chew on this and then place it under your tongue in your mouth. Try not to swallow any pieces of the leaves, and make sure you don't swallow the whole thing. You can swallow your spit though.

Tegafel did as ey was told and eir mind got very foggy indeed. Ey felt more like an observer in eir body than actually a part of it. Ey had trouble doing much anything and registering the commands ey was given, but that mostly served the purpose since ey was calm and immobile while the medic treated eir wounds, cleansed them, sew them shut and finally cleaned them again with a stingy and strong-smelling liquid. Tegafel had to be told a few times to spit out the leaf mass before ey did it. After having washed eir mouth, the medic started bandaging the wounds. Tegafel had not felt much pain while being stitched, but it started returning now, though after the sting of the liquid with which eir wounds were washed, the pain was just a vague throb in the wounds and eir head.

The medic smiled at eir own work and seemed to be thinking about something. "You'll need a walking stick. Good thing your left arm is in better shape than the right one – considering the leg, I mean."

"Guess what? I was smart and got one!" said the guard who had went to get the medic. "I also brought your clothes. Your other stuff is safe too but you don't have much business walking around with a backpack, armour or weapons anyway." The medic seemed content with that and left.

The guards helped Tegafel get dressed and then took em to get something to eat. They arrived at a similar food depot as the military camp had had at Ailanihi. The guards left Tegafel sitting at a table and went to get the food. They returned with portions for themselves and a smaller portion for Tegafel. The other guard said: "Now, you probably feel sick an' all and that drug isn't doing anything great to your stomach, so you can't eat a whole lot tonight. It's better to feel a bit hungry than to spend the night throwing up, right?"

"Besides, you'll get a full meal tomorrow, I hear the lieutenant even told the cook to make something nice for you."

Tegafel just nodded vaguely and started to eat. Ey was hungry and did eir best to eat the food slowly – food eaten fast was more likely to come up. The food did make em feel nauseous, but that was probably just because of the drug ey had drunk. After the meal, the guards took Tegafel close to the place where the "cell" had been, but instead took em to a tent that was under a wooden shelter. It was a fairly big tent, so big that Tegafel almost didn't have to crouch while in there. The friendlier guard helped Tegafel to get down on the bed, and after that was done, the guard stroked eir hair a bit.

"You know... I'm sorry about the... well, you know, the raping. That wasn't very nice of us. I hope you won't harbour too many bad memories about this whole thing." The statement was ridiculous, but Tegafel did not really care now and grunted a response, and the homehan was about to pull eir hand from Tegafel's hair when eir expression went a bit funny. "You know, you haven't really said anything today. You've just nodded and grunted at us," ey said a bit amusedly. Tegafel was quiet and looked at the guard somewhat hopelessly. Ey did not want to speak. The guard waited for an answer, but when ey did not get one, ey just withdrew eir hand and said: "Good night, Tegafel. We'll come wake you up in the morning. There's a bucket of water outside the tent in case you get thirsty." The guard left, leaving Tegafel to sleep in peace.

Tegafel felt nauseous but managed to fall asleep without too much of a problem. Ey woke up in the night due to a nightmare and felt even more nauseous. That time ey sat up and drank a bit of water. The nausea did not want to go away, so Tegafel just lied in the tent, immobile. It started to rain at some point in the night, and hearing the dripping on the roof and ground calmed Tegafel down and ey fell asleep once again.

After waking up to yet another nightmare, Tegafel stretched eir aching limbs a bit, letting out a few whimpers when the stretching hurt. The friendly guard's head popped into the tent from outside and ey said: "Great, you're awake now. Let's go and eat, you'll get a full breakfast today. Your people will arrive around noon, I'm guessing. That's still some hours away." Tegafel got up and they went to the eating area, where ey got a fairly decent breakfast – it was almost as good as the food ey had often eaten at home.

After the eating session, the two guards just hung around Tegafel and the friendlier one tried to get Tegafel to talk, with fairly poor success. They ate something small before it was announced that the femehans had arrived.

The femehans had set up a small camp-like thing right next to the homehan settlement, and both of the races' groups of representatives met at the vague border of their camps. Tegafel was with them, the other guard by eir side. Ey felt uneasy and ey did not know what to think of a meeting such as this one. Ey did not even know whether it was official.

The spokesperson of the homehans had been instructed a bit about the sex system of femehans. Tegafel was fairly sure that the femehan captains knew about homehans. Ey did not pay much attention to the communications and only barely noticed when eir name was mentioned. Ey was supposed to go over to eir own kind now, so ey went. The homehan guard came along for a short distance, carrying Tegafel's equipment. Tegafel greeted the captain who instructed em to go with the field medic. The homehan guard was vaguely confused, but gave Tegafel's equipment to the medic. Tegafel and the medic went to the temporary infirmary tent.

The medic put Tegafel's equipment on the ground in the tent and had Tegafel lie down on a bed before speaking, in Femen: "I'm Fronsel Kertneget and I suppose it's obvious that I'm a medic... Now, I think the captain will ask you what exactly happened, so I'll just ask what was done to you. At least you seem to be fairly well treated..."

Tegafel was quiet for a while. Ey had not spoken properly for a long time, and eir voice was still very worn from all the signing ey had done days ago. Eventually ey spoke: "Y-yes... I got the wounds in the... the battle. They tortured me... opened the wounds..."

The medic noticed that Tegafel had a bit of trouble expressing emself. "Is the worst one on your leg? How deep is it?"

"Yes... I don't know..."

"Would you like some water?"

"...Yes, please."

Fronsel gave Tegafel some water. "I'll make you some herbal drink. That will make your throat better." Tegafel did not answer. "What can you do with the leg?"

"Walk. With the stick... I've been trying to not use my leg."

"That sounds okay. Was it cleaned and bound when you got it?"

"No... I tried to clean it. I licked it..."

"Hmh... is it infected?"

"Yes... the homehan medic said that, I think."

"So it was bound only yesterday? At what time?"

"Uh... evening?"

"Good... I'll change the dressings in the evening then and examine your wounds again. The ones on your face don't look If the other ones are like those, my guess is that you'll live and won't lose your leg, but they'll leave nasty scars. And you might limp a little... But you should still be able to run." Tegafel just nodded. "Well. That's about that. You should just get some rest now and move your limbs around so you won't get all stiff." The medic was quiet for a moment. "Just one more thing... Did you... did you see your friends get killed? Are you having nightmares?"

Tegafel went quite grim. "Y-yes... I..."

"Shh. That's okay. Having nightmares is normal. They will eventually fade and you will forget. It's something soldiers just have to live with."

"But... they're so..."

"Yes they are. I'll talk with you about that later. I'll talk about something else now. I happen to know that for many soldiers, the worst part of being hurt and surviving is the boredom they're subjected to when they rest and heal and the fact that they can't think of anything but happened in the battle... which, in a case like yours, is not good at all. So I have a great method of eliminating the boredom and loneliness. Can you read?"

"Uh, yeah. Not very well..."

"That's good enough." The nigekod dug out a book from a backpack. "This is a book about plants and what they're good for. It might not be very entertaining, but it's damn useful. I'll go wander around the camp. If you need me, start yelling, somebody'll hear it. I'll bring you food when it's time for that."

"Thank you." The medic left and Tegafel started reading the book.

  1. 5648 (Tegafel)

Tegafel was brought one meal and the herbal drink and toward the evening, not too long after the medic had examined eir wounds properly and changed the bandages, ey heard some faint commotion some distance away from the tent. Ey could not make sense of it yet and ey could not see the source either, at least without moving from eir spot and ey thought that the medic did not exactly want em to do that. Therefore, ey just sat still and kept reading.

After a moment, the sound of arguing went civil again. Shortly after, the medic peeked in and said, in a vaguely frustrated voice: "Tegafel... I'm sorry to bother you... But do you know an ankod whose name is Krezagon?"

Tegafel's eyes lit up. "Krez– – Is... is e– – I mean... yes, yes I do!"

Fronsel looked vaguely confused. "Do you... want to meet em?"

"Yes, please!"

Fronsel gave Tegafel a glance, but said nothing. Ey turned at something outside the tent and made a gesture. Tegafel then heard running steps and finally saw Krezagon's upper body at the entrance of the tent. The medic still held Krezagon for a little while. "Ey's supposed to be resting. So don't be disturbing."

Krezagon seemed visibly agitated. "Yes. Thank you, sonige." The medic then let em through. A ridiculously wide smile appeared on Krezagon's face and ey sat down on eir legs beside Tegafel, carefully bent eir upper body over em and hugged em. "I can't – – I'm so glad you're alive."

Tegafel massaged Krezagon's shoulder lightly with eir left hand and just touched eir side with the right one. "I'm... so glad that you're here, too," ey mumbled. "But... how'd you get here?"

"I was... Well, I'd just been worried at the camp. It had been over two frindos and we hadn't heard any news about your squads... and when we did, they just said that you all were killed. So I... I just had to come see. And it was so much worth it, because I got to see you again." At this point, the medic, who Tegafel and Krezagon thought to have left, actually left.

Tegafel was flattered in a confused manner. Ey had not remembered Krezagon often while ey was accomplishing the mission the squads were sent to take care of, and ey had spent the days in captivity mostly grieving Roinynin. Ey had not really thought that Krezagon would even remember em so well after all that time. Tegafel could not really come up with anything to say to Krezagon, but ey wondered just how important it had been for em to come. However, ey was afraid that eir questions would sound like rejection, so ey decided to mask it with eir own ignorance: "I didn't... I didn't think... I mean, I'm surprised, that... that you cared about me so much that you came all the way here."

Krezagon looked down at Tegafel's eyes and seemed pretty much as confused. Ey had not really thought why exactly ey had wanted to come. A soldier did not think about the reasons as much as the goals themselves. Ey found emself wondering the same: ey had really cared that much about Tegafel to have come all that way. "Me too." Ey looked at Tegafel and stroked eir shoulders.

Tegafel continued being slightly confused, but it made em mentally smile that Krezagon implied ey was confused as well. Tegafel looked at em a bit more closely and saw a few fainted bruises on eir shoulders, arms and face. It was easy to spot them, since Krezagon's skin was so pale. "You're... a bit bruised..."

Krezagon bit eir lip. "Yeah... I'd rather not talk about that." They were quiet for a moment. "So... what WAS that mission you went on?"

Tegafel smiled and started telling what had happened on the mission, mostly things about eir late squad members and Roinynin. Telling that finally loosened Tegafel and eir speaking. Krezagon listened and smiled, feeling glad that Tegafel got to experience such good times. Ey was jealous for it, but of course ey did not ruin Tegafel's mood by expressing that.

Tegafel started to get toward the end of eir story when they heard footsteps outside the tent. They turned to look at the entrance and the captain from Adenelihe came in.

"Attention!" said the captain, a gewakod. Krezagon got up, turned to face the captain and greeted em. Tegafel greeted em from the bed, though it looked awkward. "You, dismissed," the gewakod said to Krezagon.

Krezagon hesitated, long enough for the captain to frown. "Can I come back here later, captain?"

"Get out, ankod. Eat and go to your tent." Krezagon did not question that anymore and just left. "So, you're Tegafel Darrelter?" ey went on, as if Krezagon had never been there.

"Yes, captain."

"Tell me what happened after you left Adenelihe almost three weeks ago."

"Uh... nothing much first, but on the second day I was scouting and met a homehan. We fought but it was a draw and we both got away... I went back to my squad and we prepared for the fight. Then the homehans came and we fought. I was captured and brought – –"

"You were captured? How? Why you?"

"I uh... I was feeling weak because I had already fought, so I had to keep to the back. My partner tried to protect me, but well... ey was... ey was wounded... and then someone hit me with a... with a sledgehammer." Tegafel was confused because ey still did not quite believe that it had really been a sledgehammer. However, there was no doubt, ey had seen it very clearly indeed. "So... I was unconscious. I suppose my partner fell on top of me and protected my body... When I woke up, the homehans were looking for survivors. I think they stabbed everyone who was still alive except me. I figured it was because I wasn't hurt badly enough... because I'd live for a longer time."

"I see. Why did the fight start? Did anyone try to talk?"

"Uh? I... I don't know... I don't think so. I was at the back then so I couldn't know then. I just got the order to fight."

"How about when you met the homehan scout? Did you try to speak?"

"Scout...? Oh. I um... No... I was very startled and I think we drew our weapons at the same time. Ey jumped at me and then I figured I couldn't do anything but defend myself."

"I see. Do you have any idea why the sergeants didn't attempt to speak to them?"

"I... I think there was some talk about surprise... Maybe they wanted to catch them by surprise so they'd have an edge."

"Hm, good. All right, then what happened?"

"Well, I woke up... and the homehans took off my equipment and threw me in a cage. They kept asking me if they were being followed and poked me with sticks and swords... I was cold and I had terrible nightmares..."

"How long did that last?"

"Uhm... well... I think four days?"

"Yes. Then what?"

"I was thrown in a wooden cell in here... The next day they interrogated and tortured me."

"What did they ask?"

"How much armed forces we had and how far were the major towns and stuff like that..."

"What did you answer?"

"Uh, I don't know the answers so I couldn't say much anything... I did tell them about the towns I knew and when they started torturing me, I made stuff up that I thought would make them stop."

"Heh, that's nice. Did they ask anything else?"

"Well... the next time they interrogated me they asked really specific stuff about places and other things I couldn't have known... So I just told them I don't know all the time."

"Hm. Anything else they did?"

"I... uh..." Tegafel hesitated to tell about the raping. Ey did not want to admit to having been subjected to that and ey did not want to remember it.

"Yes? You can say what they did. It's not like it wouldn't have been done to someone else before. That's interrogation and war for you, rookie."

"Aeh. They... raped me. A lot."

"Do you think you're pregnant?"

Tegafel went quite pale. "I-I sure hope n-not."

"Well, I really doubt you are. I don't think femehan-homehan half-breeds are possible, either. Did they take good care of you after we made the peace?"

"Uh... yes, I was treated very well yesterday. They cleaned and tied my wounds and let me sleep in a warm tent and gave me very decent food. And before that... I think it was a week before that they stopped raping and torturing me..."

"That's good. Well then, soldier, the medic will bring you some food in a moment. Heal well."

"Thank you, captain." The captain left.

Tegafel got eir food. Ey did not meet Krezagon that night anymore. Ey got very sleepy a few hours after having eaten and therefore slept.

Tegafel woke up due to nightmares twice, but was always sleepy even afterwards, so ey just went back to sleep, though sleeping itself started to scare em a bit. The third time ey woke from one nightmare, it was already quite light outside. Ey immediately noticed that Krezagon was sitting next to eir bed. The ankod startled when Tegafel woke up so suddenly, but ey brushed that aside and instead turned toward Tegafel and said: "Hey, Tegafel. Good morning."

Tegafel smiled. "Good morning, Krezagon." They spent a few minutes talking about generalities like the weather and how bad Tegafel's wounds were. "You know... I just told you yesterday about my only real army experience I had. I bet you have some more since you're older and all. So could you tell me something, too?"

"I suppose I can. What would you like to hear?"

"Well... I don't know. Anything?"

"Heh. Well... How about when I came to the Ailanihi camp?"


"Well, we came from Ertenhine, that's the opposite direction from Ailanihi than Adenelihe. It's a seven-day trip... I wasn't exactly in the best of conditions right then, so a day before we arrived, I got suddenly very sick. I wasn't really wounded or anything, it just felt like the worst flu I ever had. Anyway, I felt so bad I could barely get up from my tent. I tried to pack it and I fainted... I woke up to hear someone ask whether I had fainted or not. I was kind of dizzy so I'm not that sure what was said... But I think that they were talking about whether to leave me there or carry me to the camp. Oh and of course what kind of disease I had. I said to them that I didn't know. I don't remember why, but they figured it wasn't that dangerous. A lot of people were ready to leave me there, but one argued that it'd be better to carry me to the camp to be healed, because it was just one day. It was that gewakod who takes care of the inventory. Ey's usually been relatively nice to me. I know ey doesn't consider me a friend or anything, though. Anyway, they then made some stretcher, put me on it and my stuff too, and off we went. I can't remember much of that trip because I was so sick, though. What I do remember is that when we got to the camp, I was taken to that infirmary room close to the sergeants' lodge. It was the first time I'd been in a real bed!"

"What? You'd never been in a real bed before?"

Krezagon shook eir head. "Nope. I had always slept on the ground in tents or in hammocks. So there I was, in a real bed with sheets and a quilt and all! It would've been awesome if I hadn't been sick. I was sick for about a week. I really enjoyed the bed when I was almost healed. Groshje, it was so soft and warm and comfy..."

Tegafel felt quite sorry for the ankod, but did not express that, since ey thought Krezagon probably did not want that. Instead, ey smiled and petted Krezagon's leg. Ey was about to say something when the medic came in.

"What are you doing here?" the medic, Fronsel, asked from Krezagon. Krezagon almost replied, but the medic was quicker: "Attention."

Tegafel could see that Krezagon was slightly annoyed. However, ey did get up, greeted Fronsel and said: "I came here to keep company to Tegafel, sonige."

"Are you aware that Tegafel should be resting?"

"I... I thought ey was resting."

"Obviously not, since you're bothering em. Get out. Actually, just go get food. Bring portions for me and Tegafel."

"Hey!" said Tegafel. "Ey was not distracting me! Ey's my friend and ey makes me feel better over this whole thing!"

The medic was fairly dumbfounded and glared at Tegafel. However, since neither Tegafel nor Krezagon spoke, ey had to continue: "...What?"

"Ey is my friend. Ey does not bother me, actually ey makes me feel more relaxed. So I see no reason why ey should leave."

Fronsel was a bit quiet, but then went on: "Oh... well. Well, if that's the case, I suppose it's okay... Krhm. But..." Fronsel looked directly at Krezagon again. "Can you still leave for a while? I need to speak privately with Tegafel." Krezagon stood still for about four seconds, but then started to walk outside. "Actually... Well, can you bring that food? Eat first yourself and then bring portions for me and em."

Krezagon gave the medic a slightly frustrated glance. "Yes, sonige." With that, ey left.

Fronsel looked at Tegafel who was actually making an effort at looking pissed off. Fronsel thought it was all authentic aggravation, however. "Tegafel?"

"I hate it when people treat em like some... some slave or some possession. It makes me so angry."

"Why? Ankods are mostly useless either way."

"They're NOT!" snapped Tegafel, breathing heavily.

"Excuse me?" the medic frowned.

Tegafel had to calm down a little before speaking, but at least Fronsel did not try to push em. "Ey is a person. A very nice and smart person and a great friend and even if ey can't have children doesn't make em useless! I had to hear so much groshje about it from my squad because I wouldn't whore myself because I said I don't want children or sex!"

Fronsel was still frowning, but ey kept a professional cool about it. Ey thought about what Tegafel had said for a moment and then said: "So you don't want children nor sex. And your squad members bothered you about that in a way that's similar to how ankods are called useless."

"Yeah. And I realized how stupid it is. Because I can still do anything else! Krezagon's an awesome woodworker and archer, you know!"

Fronsel was slightly inconvenienced. The thought of ankods being useless was very much hardwired to eir brain and yet ey knew that it was entirely possible that Krezagon, for example, was actually useful in some other field than having children. Therefore, ey attributed it to personal success. Ankods were still useless and crazy, but this particular one was not quite so much. "Well, if you say so. This Krezagon is a quite close friend of yours then, right? If em being here really does make you feel better, then I guess I don't see a reason why ey shouldn't keep you company. It's not like you'd be sick with an infectious disease. As long as ey doesn't make you exert yourself."

Tegafel acknowledged the message. "But I still hate that ey's treated so badly. Ey really deserves better."

"I just commanded em. That's the way things are done in the army in case you hadn't noticed," the medic said, somewhat snappily, and then continued more civilly: "At least I don't continuously beat em and insult em, like eir sergeant. I thought it was ridiculous how much physical damage that nikod forced on em. I don't even know why because ey wouldn't say and the ankod kept saying ey did it because ey could. And I'm not walking around calling em 'shynderfolter' like that sergeant."

Tegafel was quiet. "Ey... beat Krezagon?"

"Well, I don't think the bruises have all faded yet. Has three nasty whiplashes on eir back too." Tegafel started getting red with anger. "But hey, if you want to complain about that, take it up with the sergeant, not me. But I'd be careful about that. Ey might eat you for breakfast, too." After a moment of pause, Fronsel continued: "Let's not talk about that. I wanted to tell you about the nightmares. It's good that you're having them."

Tegafel moved straight on to the new subject. "What? How can that be good?"

"It means you cared about your friends, dislike being imprisoned and tortured and are at least a bit afraid of death. That's healthy. True, overcoming the nightmares is hard as well, but in most cases it's better to be shaken and healthy than cold as a dead tree in winter, with a dead spirit. Now, that book I gave you is an excellent way to distract yourself from all that death and horror. Getting interested and immersed in something as boring as that helps to put aside the more hurtful memories."

"But... I can never forget it, can I?"

"No. Well, you could get a far-walker to mess with your spirit, but usually people only do that when they're starting to go crazy." Tegafel thought how ey had been thinking that ey was going crazy while tied down in the cell. "Besides, there's no real guarantee that a far-walker could fix it, either. I've heard they've made things worse, even, in some cases. But I'm sure you'll be fine. It'll be hard for maybe a week, maybe even a frindo or over... but you'll get over it. If not sooner, then later. Just don't give up. Read that book and talk about something else with that... your friend."

Tegafel looked fairly content. Ey was relieved and yet a bit troubled, still – it was doable to not care about the nightmares when doing something else, but when ey tried to sleep, it was a strain. "It's... what if I don't? What if they just keep coming back and... it's hard to sleep an' I'm already scared of the nightmares when going to sleep."

"Well, I can give you herbs that make you sleepier. Of course that doesn't take away the fear, but it will be easier to fall asleep. As for the nightmares just coming and coming... They won't. They'll milden and go away eventually. I'd rather not say when, because that's very personal. Well, you might see a nightmare occasionally even after you've gotten over it but those would just be single cases and you'll be able to cope with them." By now, Tegafel mainly just nodded. Ey believed what the medic said. "Anyway, you're off duty for as long as your wounds and especially that leg needs to heal. After that, if you're still having bad nightmares, you won't be required to train, but training might take your mind off it. And when you're over the nightmares, you'll be back on duty. Is that clear?"


"Now, how's that leg feeling?" Fronsel and Tegafel spent the time moving Tegafel's hurt leg around and bending it to one direction and another.

At some point, Krezagon arrived with two platefuls of breakfast. Ey gave the other plate to the medic who just grunted something that should be interpreted as thanks. Krezagon went: "Can you wave at the cook outside, sonige? Ey wanted to be sure that I took the food to you." The medic sighed and got up, thinking that Krezagon could not do anything by emself.

Krezagon gave the other plate to Tegafel. "Thank you," said the wakod kindly, and Krezagon smiled. Ey stood still then, waiting for the nigekod to command em. Fronsel did not say anything, however, and instead Tegafel continued: "Would you like to sit?"

Krezagon was slightly confused since the medic did not say anything and since Tegafel sounded a bit too formally polite. Ey guessed Tegafel did that because of the medic, though, and after a bit of hesitation, just said: "Yes... yes I would." Ey sat down then and was slightly inconvenienced because Tegafel started to pet and touch em while the medic was still present. Ey just tried to smile and respond.

Fronsel knew ey was an extra person in the tent, but ey decided to finish eir food first. However, when ey had done that, ey left and said that Tegafel and Krezagon could get their own dinners without em having to bother.

"Krezagon... you looked kind of uneasy while ey was here..."

"You think?" said Krezagon a bit snappily, but in a good-hearted manner. "I'm not used to other people watching my doings if it isn't work, or even being in the company of someone who doesn't want me around. I've always... always just walked away if that was possible."

"And... you didn't do that now? Why – –?" Tegafel pretty much knew the answer before ey had even asked.

Krezagon smiled. "You asked me to sit and stay."

Tegafel smiled back a little sillily and petted Krezagon's back. "Well... You told me one story about your life. Could you tell another?"

"I could." The two femehans settled comfortably and Krezagon started touching Tegafel in a way that made em feel quite good again. "Hm, the way I got my own tent in Ailanihi was quite a thing. I first slept in the hammocks in barrack two with the rest of the group I was with. No one wanted to sleep close to me so I got a pretty private spot and of course my own hammock rack. Anyway, one night one of the nigekods came over to me. I was asleep then but obviously that happened, it's not like it could've happened in some other way. Ey climbed on top of me in the hammock and I of course woke up. Well, I was damn confused, ey was pressing eir body against me like ey was wanting to have sex or something! I muttered something about em getting off and wanted to push em off but it would suck because the hammocks..."

"Yeah, believe me, I know," said Tegafel with a smirk, though ey retained eir curiously sympathetic attitude toward Krezagon's story.

"Mh. Well, ey didn't move off and told me to just lie still and that ey wouldn't hurt me. Ey brought eir face close to mine and I was thinking ey's gonna kiss me. It took a while, but ey did it and rubbed eir stomach and breasts against me. I was thinking that it couldn't be happening to me, heh. I was kind of scared since I couldn't have imagined someone like em to pay attention to me. Another ankod or maybe an anwakod or... or a wakod..." Krezagon gave Tegafel a brief glance or worry and curiosity, and Tegafel thought that there was more behind the words the ankod had just spoken. Krezagon brushed it off. "Aeh, never mind. Anyway, ey was making out with me, kind of like we did... And I'd just started thinking that it might be good when ey broke off and started howling. We grappled a bit and fell off the hammock. Most of the others were awake and now the light was lit. They'd been listening and watching, even, and they were just howling with laughter. Granted, I felt like total groshje, but well, it happened. They started pushing me around the gzoozing barracks and took most of my clothes off. But they were so loud they'd woken up some of the other soldiers in the other barracks and the sergeants, so two sergeants came there. At least I think it was two, it's not like I paid attention to that since I was pretty much crying. My sergeant grabbed me by the arm and pulled me to the door. I think ey got a blanket from someone's hammock. Ey said something about the rest of my squad being in trouble, put the blanket on me and then took me away. I saw people getting back to their sleeping places. My sergeant led me to the backside of the sergeants' lodge and had me sit down next to the wall and sat down emself, too. Ey told me to go ahead and cry, so I did. It felt like I cried for like half an hour. My sergeant had just sat there and when I was more or less done, ey just asked if I was okay, and then went on to explain that maybe I shouldn't sleep with the others. Ey suggested that I could get my own tent, which at the moment sounded gzoozing awesome. And ey took me to sleep in the sergeants' lodge, too. But I still didn't sleep in their beds, they just had to spread a bedroll on the floor... Anyway, that was the best half of a night I'd slept in a while. And the next day I got my own tent! I've been sleeping it ever since, I still have it with me. I'm amazed that it's so good quality, usually the clothes they give me are really defective. Like this bloody shirt, I've had it for ten years and it's been like this for like three years already. One more rip and it'll be just us– –" Krezagon stopped emself suddenly. Ey was not going to say that word. "...And I won't wear it anymore."

Tegafel managed an uneasy grin. Ey appreciated Krezagon sharing eir life, but the stories had only depressed em. "You've... really been through a lot."

"Heh! I thought you could tell that just by looking at me." Krezagon was still light-hearted, something that Tegafel did not quite understand. Ey shared these depressing and nearly heart-breaking stories and still laughed, even if obviously not at the stories.

"Ehehm... I... guess so." Tegafel had never wanted to comment on Krezagon's scrawny, scarred and lean body. It was even slightly disfigured due to broken and healed bones. Ey might have been well-proportioned, fairly good-postured and in an admirable physical condition with respect to efficient performance, but the rest of eir body certainly did not compliment those positive qualities. Tegafel soon turned to look at the ankod's face, which ey thought was fairly pretty, even if creased, scarred, missing teeth and for the moment, slightly bruised. However, Krezagon's long, pale hair was in a category of its own, though it was slightly messy. It was beautiful and exotic and reminded Tegafel of the only falangezka ey had ever seen, even if only by brief glance.

Krezagon turned away. Tegafel's face revealed much of eir thoughts and Krezagon pretty much knew that ey did look that bad, but ey did not want to care. "At least I'm in top condition and very resistant to many illnesses," ey then said, with another light-hearted smile. "I can fight off three nikods or nigekods or geniwakods. Won't even stand a chance."

Tegafel managed an uneasy grin. "...Why won't you?"

"Hey, I might be great, but I can't stand up against the whole military. The leaders would have me executed if the squad wouldn't team up on me right away."

"So... have you ever even fought against other femehans then?"

"You went to fight rebels yourself!" Krezagon enjoyed eir win.

Tegafel smirked and did not resist defeat. "You really fought off three of them?"

"Well... I did two with no problem, four with minor wounds and six almost managed to kill me. And here I am! I also once fought a bloody gzoozing fierce homehan iokod. Ey was like twice my size, endurable as groshje and much faster than one would think. And I made it. Granted, my team shut me up because I was fairly badly wounded and they claimed the deed and got the praise. But that won't change that I did it, all by myself! My damn team didn't release one arrow even though they could have! Ha ha! Probably thought that prosht would kill me where I stood!" Krezagon continued laughing, but Tegafel was quiet. Now Krezagon was laughing at eir own misfortune, which Tegafel thought to be just tasteless. Krezagon noticed Tegafel's silence and stopped laughing. "Uh... what?"

"How can you... how can you laugh at it like that? You were... well..."

"...I'm... I'm laughing at how great I was, mostly. I know the others are having a great time telling these same stories and laughing at me, but I don't care. I tell the same stories as I experienced them and feel happiness where I get it." Krezagon smiled. "I just learned to cope with all that groshje."

Tegafel was quiet for a moment. "Do you... do you have any story that doesn't involve you getting hurt in some way?"

Krezagon smiled a bit sillily and forcedly now. Ey was quiet and eir gaze turned down. Eventually ey spoke: "I... No. No, I don't." Ey looked back up at Tegafel and the smile was gone. "Šarkeli, this is ridiculous. The only good things I can remember are when I by chance got an awesome batch of food or found a spring in the forest, or when I was a kid and proved myself I could climb up into a tree. You would have wanted to hear nice stories, wouldn't you? Everything I told you just made you depressed, didn't it."

"No! I... No, I don't... I don't mean that way..." Tegafel was speechless for a while. Ey wanted to apologize, to say how sorry ey was and express eir sympathies, but Krezagon was the type who did not need nor want pity or even more sympathy from people who had already expressed it in a clear way. "I just feel that... it's so unfair. Someone should make all this... groshje up for you. You should be compensated, and apologized, and respected for all the things you've done! I get so ticked off when I hear such injustice!"

Krezagon could not say anything to that. Ey agreed, even if ey was not very enthusiastic about it since ey had conditioned emself to never truly expect it – which meant that ey had no idea how to react to Tegafel when ey expressed it so straightforwardly. Tegafel grabbed Krezagon's shoulders and petted them and eir back firmly before hugging em. Krezagon hugged back. Tegafel's hand wandered to Krezagon's back where the torn shirt stopped short and ey touched the bare skin there. Ey remembered that the medic had said that Krezagon had been whipped, but ey decided to not mention that now. Just thinking that made em angry and ey felt something ought to be done about it.

Tegafel ended the hug but held Krezagon affectionately. "I want to... I want to make it up for you somehow! I want you to have something nice to tell somebody some day. Just tell me what you want me to do."

Krezagon stared at Tegafel, unsure if ey should be amused, just smiling, tearful or right out crying with happiness. Ey was quiet for some time. "You're not the one who has hurt me. If I am to be compensated, it should come either from the scum who did it or some ruling body, council or government or whatever. What I want from you..." Krezagon did not think that was well-phrased, so ey thought it over again. "If you want to make me happy, don't purposefully try to compensate anything. Just be my friend and show your affection."

Tegafel looked at Krezagon, smiling and teary-eyed. They hugged then, kissed carefully and eventually fondled and caressed each other.

They spent the day mostly just being together and talking about some more generalities. Tegafel told approximately what had happened after their mission up to the point when Krezagon came there. Krezagon figured that ey should not bring up Roinynin or anything related in order to keep Tegafel relatively happy. They walked around a bit since the medic had said that if Tegafel thought emself to be fit enough, ey should try to walk a little to better the leg's movement and condition. They ate dinner and went back to the tent to wait for the medic to come change Tegafel's bandages.

Fronsel was timely and came around at the same time as yesterday. Ey just came in and said a few greetings and generalities and got to work without addressing Krezagon who did not know what to do. However, ey did not want to stand there doing nothing and feeling ultimately useless – though of course ey denied being useless even at that point. Therefore, ey soon asked:

"Do you need any help?"

Tegafel just glanced at Krezagon, since the medic was quite obviously supposed to answer the question. Fronsel then said: "Well... you don't have a medic's training, do you?"

"No, sonige."

"Well, then there isn't really that much that you could do."

"I can bind wounds and help with it, though. I've done it to myself many times at least."

"Hm," uttered Fronsel and glanced at Krezagon, eyeing eir scarred body. "Well, you're indeed alive, I'll give you that. Well, I suppose this will go faster with an extra pair of hands."

They bound Tegafel's wounds and the medic left again. Krezagon and Tegafel continued being with each other and later ate a snack before night. When it was time to sleep, Krezagon left Tegafel in the infirmary tent and went to sleep in eir own tent.

  1. 4217 (Tegafel)

In the morning, Tegafel and Krezagon spent time together again. They ate, walked around and kissed. They were lying on a grassy patch on the ground when Tegafel saw a single little tent some distance away. Ey immediately thought that it might be Krezagon's, and said: "I'd like to see your tent."

Krezagon looked at Tegafel and looked amused. "My tent? There isn't anything special about it."

"I'd still like to see it."

"Well, if you want to." Ey got up, pulled Tegafel up as well and then helped the wakod walk. They went to the direction of the tent Tegafel had looked at. "It's not that one, though." They walked past the little tent and circled the captain's large tent. Krezagon's tent was some distance behind the captain's. It was big enough for two and though it had been repaired and stitched several times, it was still in fairly good condition.

Tegafel smiled. "Can I go in?"

"Yeah, you can."

Tegafel put down eir walking stick and crawled inside the tent. It smelled of Krezagon. There was not much anything there, only two blankets, one waterproof and one regular. Krezagon's backpack was stuffed at the back of the tent and it took a fairly lot of space on the other side of the tent.

Krezagon was on eir haunches and eyed Tegafel from the entrance. "Seen it yet?"

"I'd like to see you in it as well."

Krezagon grinned and they both knew that it meant they should do some more fondling, and this time more privately, since the infirmary tent was not exactly a private tent – anyone could come there, even if they were discouraged from doing that in order to let Tegafel rest by emself. However, Krezagon was slightly nervous about it since it was the first time in a long while that ey had been with anyone in a single tent. Ey crawled in and moved the backpack out of the way, after which the two lay there right next to each other.

They kissed, touched and petted each other. Krezagon felt fire inside emself and hoped that Tegafel would have sex with em. Ey felt Tegafel's genitals swell. Tegafel, then again, had only planned to have some fun and a little pleasure, but soon realized that ey was getting very much sexually excited, like ey had done with Roinynin.

Tegafel stopped rubbing emself against Krezagon and looked at em. Even though the tent was vaguely dark, Krezagon was fairly clearly blushed, and Tegafel interpreted that as embarrassment. Tegafel realized that eir own genitals were pressing against the ankod's crotch, but ey could not exactly move them since Krezagon was lying on top of em. Tegafel then just settled for an explanation and an apology since ey thought ey had gone too far. "Krezagon... I suppose I've changed since last time. I used to be scared of sexual stuff... but I got over that with Roinynin. I'm sorry that I went so far... that..."

Krezagon just smiled. Ey was too excited to take it very seriously. "Don't be. I don't mind one bit." They then lay there and the sexual excitement passed. Krezagon's mind cleared up a bit and figured out that Tegafel indeed was not reserved now, as ey had been before. Then ey figured that if Tegafel apologized for going too far, the wakod must have been ready to actually have sex and the reason why it had not happened was apparently because Tegafel thought Krezagon would not want it. "Uh, wait a minute... Tegafel... would you really... have had sex with me?"

Tegafel went a bit nervous. "I... uh... no, I... I wouldn't."

Krezagon was confusedly disappointed, but kept a neutral expression. "Well..." Krezagon was quiet for a moment. During that ey lay eir head down on Tegafel's shoulder. "I suppose it was too much to expect... but... if you change your mind..."

Now Tegafel went utterly confused. "Wait... uh, what?"

Krezagon lifted eir head again. "Huh?"

"You... Do you want me to... to have sex with you?"

One side of Krezagon's mouth twitched up and ey was about to exclaim an enthusiastic affirmation when ey realized that Tegafel really might not want to have sex with em at all. After all, ankods were sexless and Krezagon knew that one reason why Tegafel had wanted to stick around em was because ey would not try to hit on em or inquire about sex. Tegafel might have changed, but that did not mean that ey wanted to have sex with Krezagon now. Krezagon tried to think of something polite to say while trying to convey the message that if Tegafel did want to have sex, Krezagon would gladly submit to it. "If you change your mind about it. I don't want you to do it if you do neither, but if you do, I will, too."

"So... uh..." Tegafel could not come up with any way to be tactful now. "You... can do ...I mean, it's possible for you to have sex?"

Krezagon's face went quite sullen now as the harsh realization sunk in. Tegafel had been just like everyone else, thinking that it was impossible for an ankod to have sex, that ankods could not experience sexual pleasure! Krezagon got angry.

Tegafel, the again, noticed the sudden change and became anxious, even scared. Ey figured out why it had happened, too. Ey let go of Krezagon and moved eir hands in a way to be ready to push Krezagon off of emself if the ankod actually attacked, though ey thought that ey would not be able to do much to defend emself either way. "I'm sorry!" ey said, figuring that it was better not to try and explain unless Krezagon asked. "Please don't hurt me..."

Krezagon breathed angrily for a moment, but when Tegafel asked to not hurt em, Krezagon realized how ey must have seemed like, looming over em like that. Krezagon lowered emself and hugged Tegafel instead. Ey felt Tegafel breathe relievedly. "I... I suppose it was too much to expect. A long time ago, I thought I should have asked you whether you knew it, but I didn't want to, since you hated sex." Ey was quiet for a moment before raising eir head and looking at Tegafel again. A small smile lingered briefly on the ankod's face. "But... now you know. I can have sex as much as my body allows and I feel just as much sexual pleasure as you or anyone else does. I won't be able to perform actual intercourse or have children, but... even my genitals aren't completely ...useless." Krezagon despised saying that word, but it was what Tegafel had thought. Krezagon did not smile even one bit anymore.

Tegafel was teary-eyed. Ey felt terrible to have thought in the way ey did for so long. Ey petted Krezagon's sides with shaking hands and realized that on top of em was another sexual creature of flesh and blood like emself, someone who could feel sexual pleasure and who had obviously not expressed any of it because Tegafel had been so negative about it back then. More polemical was the fact that Krezagon must have felt that way for quite a long time. Ey had probably wanted to have sex with Tegafel the first time they kissed. However, Tegafel had hung around the ankod because ey felt so safe – ey had thought that an ankod would never ask em to have sex, would rarely discuss the issue and would accept Tegafel as ey was, or even expect Tegafel to be that way. Ey had thought that all the kissing and fondling had just been non-sexual pleasure and affection one felt or could feel due to the social and gregarious nature of femehans (and other Gomanians). Tegafel suddenly felt that eir world had turned upside-down. Ey had not been as "safe" as ey had thought – but then again, Krezagon had controlled emself and even managed to not make Tegafel suspect ey might have wanted sex. Ey had respected Tegafel's wishes and had performed their displays of affection in a way that had been comfortable to Tegafel. Tegafel was confused, but decided that it would be better to focus on what was at hand than to figure out what to make of the past. Ey stared into Krezagon's eyes and tears fell down the sides of eir face. "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." Ey pulled the ankod down and hugged em again. "I'm... I'm stupid to have thought that way for so long..." Now Tegafel started feeling like ey should explain. "I... I was just taught that... No one would ever say otherwise and I... I couldn't prove it wrong... and I just didn't realize."

Krezagon was fairly good at controlling eir emotions. Ey just went: "Maybe it was better that you did think that. Now that I think of it, you felt so much at ease when you were with me and 'knew' that I would never ask sex from you. Of course I wouldn't have anyway... for as long as you wouldn't tell me otherwise." Krezagon also figured out that Tegafel might see it as betrayal. Stars know, Krezagon had wished so many times that Tegafel would have sex with em. "I'm... I'm sorry if I just shook up your memories."

"No, no... I don't mind. Don't be sorry. That was the past and the past will never change. My view of it might, but that's not important now." Tegafel tried to lift Krezagon to see eir face, and Krezagon raised emself. "I'm so sorry. If you... if you still want to have sex with me, I will, too."

A smile appeared on Krezagon's face again. "I do. But only if you honestly want it too and aren't just submitting to it because you know now that I want it too."

Tegafel was quiet for a while. Ey thought whether ey was just trying to make up for eir ignorance or if ey really wanted to do it. Ey figured that the sudden flow of blood to eir genitals answered the question for em, therefore pulling Krezagon's body against emself again and starting to kiss em and fondle eir body. They did not speak for a while and instead regained their excited states. They still had their clothes on and started to feel that they should lose them. They took only their trousers off since Tegafel had bandages across eir chest anyway. Krezagon could have taken eir shirt off, but did not, probably because the rag was so loose that Tegafel could just slip eir hands under it. Tegafel could not feel any larger patch of Krezagon's skin that did not have any scars.

They rubbed their half-naked bodies against each other but were not in genital contact. Tegafel had mostly been fondling Krezagon's arms and back, so ey asked: "Where do you... like to be touched?"

Krezagon wiggled. "Touch me wherever you can reach." Krezagon was also touching Tegafel now and then, but not much since ey had to use eir arms to keep falling off and adjust eir position. They started to get their genitals closer and fairly soon just went into a position where their crotches were pressed firmly against each other. Tegafel had no idea about how they would actually have sex, but after Krezagon had started moving and rubbing eir genitals against Tegafel's, ey knew that nothing except the rubbing was required. Krezagon was more or less straddling Tegafel and their torsos were not touching too much, so they rubbed each other's chests instead.

When they reached the climax of orgasm, Tegafel did so first and twitched silently, trying not to bend and stretch eir body so much because it was still wounded and hurting. Krezagon noticed it, but did not stop rubbing emself against Tegafel yet since ey was just about to come. Tegafel did something that ey had often done to Roinynin: ey stuffed one hand between their crotches, with eir palm upwards. Krezagon was just about to look down to see what on earth Tegafel was doing, but the wakod pressed eir fingers against Krezagon's genitals and applied much more pressure and friction than eir genitals had done. Krezagon twitched, bent, hit eir head on the top of the tent, bent back down, pressed eir crotch hard against Tegafel's hand and uttered quite suppressedly: "Aaahhhhh!" Ey kept on twitching for a while and did not let Tegafel withdraw the hand from eir crotch.

Tegafel could clearly feel what exactly the ankod had between eir legs, though to be honest, for the moment ey did not exactly think much of it since ey was enjoying the last spasms of eir orgasm and the way it had overridden eir aching and soreness. Krezagon's genitals felt mostly like what Tegafel imagined an anwakod's genitals to feel like, just without a gogenjin. It felt like mucous and skinny but blood-filled folds with two little throbbing nubs along the middle.

It did not take too long for them to flop down completely, after which they just lay there, listening to each other breathe and their hearts beating. Tegafel was a little confused why Krezagon was not breathing so heavily as ey and Roinynin had done, but ey did not care too much about that for the moment.

They lay there for several minutes, but Krezagon broke the silence and spoke without raising eir head: "I have... I have wished for this to happen ever since I was... since I was almost as old as you. I was eleven." Krezagon paused for a while and continued: "I was lonely and depressed. The other kids wouldn't have me near them just because I wasn't going to be fertile or... 'useful', ergh. I always hate to say it... So I sat there and watched them. I wasn't jealous though, I didn't really want that development thing happening to me. I didn't think having children was all there was to life. But I was sad because I was alone. So I thought maybe I should just kill myself." Krezagon fingered Tegafel's shoulder and seemed hesitant. "One night I stabbed myself in the chest, but it hurt too much and I couldn't even push it past my ribcage. I thought I was so ...useless that I couldn't even kill myself and stabbed myself on the arm instead. I cried because of the pain and because I thought I was... that I was just what the others said. After a while some middle-aged wakod who was staying in the camp came in and asked if ey could talk with me. I was really surprised and I wanted to talk but I didn't want em to see I was bleeding, but ey didn't wait, ey just came in. Ey tied up my wounds and talked with me a lot then. One of the things ey said to me was: 'The others always give the impression that ankods can't have pleasure from sexual interaction or that they're just overgrown kids. I'll tell you now that that's a load of groshje. You will grow up and be an adult and you can take as much pleasure from your body as anyone else and no one has the right to call it wrong. Maybe they can restrict who you can marry, but you can walone anyone you want and as long as it's mutual, no one should tell you that it's wrong or force you apart. I hear it's even acceptable for ankods to stick together that way, but there aren't too many of you, like there aren't many of us wakods...' That's what ey said an' after that I didn't really think of killing myself again. By saying that, that wakod saved my life and gave me enough strength to come all this way. I just hoped I would find someone who cared enough about me." Krezagon paused again and lifted eir head, looking straight at Tegafel, with wishful eyes gleaming in the fairly dim indirect light of the tent. "And I have. I've finally found you!" Tears fell from Krezagon's eyes and ey was undescriptively happy.

Tegafel just absorbed what Krezagon said and was genuinely glad for both Krezagon and emself. Ey felt so good that ey did not even have one single negative doubt about eir role in Krezagon's personal goal in life; not even the memory of Roinynin came in between. Ey was content and stroked Krezagon's back with eir hands.

After a while, they regained some energy and cuddled and touched each other, smiling, and said some small insignificant and funny things. Tegafel was still sweaty all over, but Krezagon seemed almost fairly dry. Even eir blush had went away while Tegafel was still very much blushed, though it could not be distinguished from the wakod's dark skin.

Tegafel got a little more serious. "Have you done this before much?"

"Heh, Tegafel, silly you." Krezagon kissed the wakod. "I had never. With anyone else, I mean. Of course I had to try it myself right then when I was eleven... and I've done that ever since."

Tegafel smiled slightly surprisedly. Ey had never even thought about the possibility of masturbation, mostly because ey had thought ey would never have sex and when ey finally did, ey had no need to perform it alone and only on emself. However, now that ey imagined it, it did make sense. "How come you're so... not sweaty?" ey said with a grin. "You weren't even out of breath. And you moved yourself so much, I wouldn't have been able to do that!"

Krezagon just smiled. "Well, I am in good condition... It takes a lot more than great sex to get me out of breath."

They rolled around a bit and continued fondling and talking to each other about small things.

Eventually Krezagon and Tegafel stopped playing around with each other, exited the tent and walked around. They had lunch and spent some time in the infirmary tent, reading the book about plants. They went back to Krezagon's tent and spent some more time touching each other.

At some point, Krezagon was lying on top of Tegafel and heard footsteps close by. Ey immediately stopped fondling Tegafel and listened, so Tegafel did the same and heard the footsteps which were coming closer. Krezagon started getting off of Tegafel, but there was little space in the tent and the medic poked eir head in before the two could move apart. Krezagon glared at em with eir face blushed. Tegafel turned eir face up to look at Fronsel who looked astonishedly confused. Ey stared at the two for several seconds, but then just let the cover-door of the tent close and got up.

"Your bandages should be changed, Tegafel," ey then stated.

Tegafel said nothing, but ey and Krezagon got up and exited the tent. They were quiet and the three of them started walking toward the infirmary tent. Krezagon walked behind the two others.

"I'm going to regret this..." mumbled Fronsel and was careful not to look at either Krezagon or Tegafel, who both glanced at the medic. "Should I ask what on earth you were doing in there?"

Krezagon raised eir eyebrows. Tegafel grinned with half eir mouth and said, slightly smirkily: "Is displaying a little affection between friends so unthinkable?"

Fronsel looked forward, shook eir head a bit to emself and was quiet. They went to the infirmary tent and changed Tegafel's bandages while being inconveniently silent.

After the changing was done, Fronsel spoke to Krezagon in a curt and impolite tone: "Take the used ones to the trash piles."

Krezagon complied without argument and gathered the used bandages to take them outside. Tegafel was slightly miffed, and after Krezagon had left, ey said: "I'd rather appreciate if you were at least polite to em."

"Oh, insubordination now? You don't have much clout over me, do you, SOLDIER?"

Tegafel was nervous. Ey did not know when ey had crossed the line. "I'm sorry, sonige." After a while, ey added: "I was just... well... you are nicer to me."

"You're wounded... It's my job to heal you."

Tegafel realized ey had not chosen eir words very well. The medic treated em fairly kindly, other people normally and Krezagon with disdain. Ey thought it would be too much to correct emself now. Of course ey did not know that the option ey proceeded to use was just about as bad. "I just... ey's my friend. I'd like to see em treated a bit better."

"If you want your 'friends' treated better, maybe you should choose your friends based on that."

Tegafel stared at Fronsel somewhat angrily. "Ey doesn't deserve treatment like that."

"Well, ey sure didn't seem to mind."

"Have you asked em, sonige?"

"Hmph, ey'll either say it's fine or make some lousy excuse and whine about how sucky eir life is or something." Tegafel was quiet. Ey knew Krezagon did not like to be treated badly, but if Fronsel asked about it, it would be very easy to go to the side of whining. Fronsel saw Tegafel's troubled face and smirked to emself. Krezagon came back in and Fronsel turned at em and asked eir question: "Tegafel here thought that I treat you too badly. Well, is that really the case? Do you mind my commands, ankod?"

Krezagon was caught fairly speechless, but Fronsel waited, with a relatively triumphant smirk on eir face. Eventually, Krezagon went: "May I speak frankly without fear of repercussions, sonige?"

"Yeah, you may, as long as you don't get physically or verbally abusive."

Krezagon breathed in deeply and began: "Yes, I do in fact mind. While I'm glad you don't treat me as badly as Derekl, I would expect some respect toward myself from you. I'd expect it from anyone. People should treat me like a fellow soldier and not like a personal slave or a prisoner." Krezagon managed to say it in a way that made it sound like an objective expression of facts and not a bit like a personal whine.

Fronsel was quiet. Ey looked at the ankod somewhat angrily. "And that's all?"

"I assumed you wanted to hear the truth without personal bias, which is what I've told."

"So what about your personal opinions?"

Krezagon was quiet for a short moment, but then went: "I'm afraid because I can't bring up these grievances without fear of execution. I'm angry and depressed that I have to suffer being ignored, inconvenienced, treated like a slave, thrown around, dismissed, held to higher standards, having no hope of advancement and being tortured for no reason at all. I'm lonely because I have to stay separate from the other soldiers because they've been taught to hate ankods. I'm forlorn because life is very unlikely to be any better elsewhere, even if I could nullify my lifetime contract."

Fronsel glared at Krezagon and said: "Get out!" It sounded surprisingly civil. Krezagon stepped outside without hesitation and stopped at the corner of the tent. Fronsel looked at Tegafel in a way that unmistakably conveyed the message that ey wanted the wakod to be gone as well. Tegafel wasted no time and pulled on eir shirt and started walking outside. However, before ey went out, ey asked:

"Is it okay if I sleep in Krezagon's tent, sonige?"

"What do I care where you sleep? That bed there will be free for you to use for as long as you're hurt and there's no one who needs it more. Just be here at this time after dinner to get your bloody bandages changed."

Tegafel left. Ey and Krezagon walked toward the food distribution place. The dinner serving was almost over but they managed to get some of the last portions and sat to eat.

"Krezagon, what you said to the medic sounded... well, good. Did you actually practice saying something like that?" asked Tegafel with a bit of a grin.

Krezagon was expressionless. "I've lived alone. I've had a lot of time to think. I don't think I ever said it out loud, though."

"I practised my going-to-the-army speech a lot before I walked up there and did it." Krezagon did not react. "Did you hear what I asked em last? ... Is it okay if I sleep with you?"

Krezagon was quiet for a moment. Ey looked up from eir food. "Yes. I'd walone it if you slept with me. I've never slept with anyone before, not even when I was a kid, as far as I remember. Not even when it was freezing cold. So I feel nervous about it."

Tegafel smiled. "There isn't anything that special to it."

The two finished eating and spent the evening getting back their good moods. By the time they had had their evening snacks and went to bed, they were carelessly happy again. They rolled around on Krezagon's bed and kissed and fondled each other. This time they took all their clothes off, looked at each other in candlelight and had some more sex. Tegafel fell happily asleep while Krezagon stayed up for a little longer, being nervous and all. Ey thought about things and what would follow now, but decided that ey would think about them later or then just see them come. Ey too fell asleep.

  1. 2508 (Tegafel)

Tegafel woke up first in the morning and did not remember any nightmares. Ey was very happy about that and petted Krezagon's naked body until the ankod woke up. They talked about Tegafel's nightmares and moved on to dreams in general, after which they finally got up, got dressed and walked off to eat breakfast. Having eaten, they walked around a bit and sat in front of Krezagon's tent, moving around Tegafel's hurt leg.

Krezagon's – and evidently Tegafel's to be – sergeant Derekl Turinel walked up to them after having located them. When ey was still some distance away but walking quickly toward the two, Derekl went: "Attention, Shynderfolter!"

Krezagon made a horrifiedly disgusted grimace before standing up to the attention. Tegafel did the same, even though Derekl seemed to have only been addressing Krezagon.

"So what are you doing? Being completely USELESS once again, obviously! Now listen, you stupid prosht. Haul your useless self and your almost as useless tools over to the west side of the camp and start helping with the building of a fortified fence around the camp. Go! Go!"

"Yes, soni." Krezagon went to the back of eir tent and picked out eir tools, specifically a knife, ax and a smallish saw.

Tegafel had not really thought ey could ever hear as much discontent in anyone's voice before ey witnessed that little exchange of hidden and not so hidden messages. Ey was horrified. When Krezagon was gone, ey stared at Derekl with eir mouth open.

"Hurry up and heal already, wakod. Don't be as useless as prosht jian Shynderfolter here is!" Having said that, Derekl laid eir hand on Tegafel's hip, squeezed very slightly, let go and walked away.

Tegafel was speechless. Ey could not believe someone could behave so badly. Ey walked around and eventually got so angry that ey started whacking a tree with eir walking stick and yelling. The walking stick broke and Tegafel took eir anger out on other slightly weaker sticks ey found. Not too long after that, eir body started hurting and ey realized ey should better stop now. Ey looked around for a proper walking stick but found none. Ey then picked a stick that was too long for em and wobbled off into the infirmary tent.

In the infirmary tent, ey let our some steam by cursing Derekl by eir ancestors. Fronsel came to the tent and raised an eyebrow at Tegafel, who was obviously angry.

"I saw the ankod hacking some trees for the fence we're building... I suppose you met your sergeant Derekl Turinel." Tegafel just fumed. Ey could not speak. Fronsel eyed em a little more and noticed the new walking stick. "Hm, you broke or lost the other walking stick, I see. That needs to be shortened." Fronsel took it, measured it and looked for a saw among eir tools. After having found it, ey placed the stick on the table, had Tegafel sit on it and sawed off some of it so that it would be fitting for Tegafel.

In the meantime, Tegafel had calmed down a bit. "I have never... I have never seen anyone behave that bad! Not even my alhem!"

"Has to be really bad, then," said Fronsel very sarcastically, but Tegafel missed it completely. However, that did not cause any issues.

"Ey did nothing but call em useless! Insulted! Called em 'jian' of all things! Ey's barely older than I am, not even near as old as Krezagon!"

"Don't complain about it to me. I don't want to hear it and I can't do anything about it... Take your walking stick and go complain to Derekl if it's so gzoozing intolerable." With that, Fronsel left.

Tegafel fumed for a while and walked around a bit, trying to come up with something to say to the sergeant. Ey wanted out of the camp, so ey went to the vague border and asked the guards whether ey could go into the homehan settlement. The guards said that the other soldiers had already walked around there so it should be safe and okay. Therefore, Tegafel went to the settlement.

Tegafel did not get too many stares from the homehans. After seeing the first little shop in the homehan settlement, ey thought that it would be an awesome gesture to buy a gift for Krezagon. Without thinking twice, ey went back to the femehan camp, got eir money and returned to the homehan settlement, looking around for stores. Then ey found out that ey had no clue what Krezagon might have wanted and whether the homehans really had anything that would be suitable as a gift. Since it was just a settlement, many things that were sold were just practical. Then again, Krezagon was a practical person, so Tegafel thought ey could just buy some better clothing.

Ey had encountered three shops this far and seen nothing of use in there. Ey looked a bit lost since ey had not paid attention to where ey was going. There were barely over fifty homehans in the settlement and still the place was confusing enough to get lost. At some point, a homehan iokod walked up to Tegafel.

"Hello there, femehan," ey said in common Gomanian. "Are you lost?"

"Uh... Um, kind of. I'm... I'm looking for a store... I want to buy my friend a gift."

"Hm..." The homehan thought for a while. "I don't think we have much gift items around but..."

"Yeah, I checked three shops already. They were over there..." Tegafel pointed. "I'm not really even looking for anything special. Maybe just some better clothes or something like that."

"Oh. Well... There's one store at the edge over there, I think. But if we walk there, we'll find it. Want me to help find it?"

Tegafel was positively surprised. "Uh, please. If you want to."

"All right." They started to walk and the homehan tried to make some conversation: "I'm Jiuluu Niihellmi. Say, weren't you that one femehan who survived that battle when we fought?"

"Yeah... Uh, I'm Tegafel Darrelter."

"That's cool. It's sucky that so many people had to die... I hear it was just some misunderstanding, on top of everything."

"...Yeah... that's what I've been told too... all my friends died there... and my waloner..."

Jiuluu was struck silent for a moment. "Really." Ey paid some attention to the surroundings, slowed down and turned around a bit. "Wait a minute... Am I lost too?"

Tegafel suddenly heard a muffled scream. There was no one around and Jiuluu seemed to not have noticed.

"Oh, it must be a bit more to that direction."

"Did you hear that?"

"What?" The screaming came again, a bit louder. "What the?" The two went toward the place where the screaming came from. It was a fairly narrow space between two wooden buildings. There was one door, and the screaming seemed to be coming from behind it.

Tegafel did not waste time, but held eir walking stick like a club and opened the door. It was dark and ey could not see much anything. Ey heard Jiuluu say "What is it?" from behind em when ey heard a much louder, clearer and desperate scream right in front of em. After that, ey saw two figures right in front of em in the narrow hall in the house, and the one behind pushed the other one straight toward Tegafel.

"Heyaaagh!" Tegafel might have not fallen if eir leg had been fine, but it was not, so ey fell down to the ground between the houses, with the pushed homehan on top of em. Ey heard something land beside eir arm on the right and felt something wet on eir stomach. "Help! Please help!" ey shouted.

"By the gods!" came a homehan voice other than Jiuluu. "You killed em! MURDERER!"

"What?" went Jiuluu. Ey looked at Tegafel and the homehan who was on top of em. The homehan was dead and bleeding. "I can't believe this! You killed em! By the gods! Murderer!"

Tegafel was in panic. By the time ey got the homehan body off of emself, the homehan who had first accused em of murder stepped down on eir arm. The two homehans were calling around for guards who came fairly quickly. Tegafel could not believe what was happening. The guards asked what had happened and the two homehans gave a heated explanation of what they saw. The only thing Tegafel could say was that ey had not done it. Eir spirit was chaotic and ey could not make sense of anything. The guards dragged em away, took off eir equipment and items but left eir clothes on and threw em in the same cell where ey had been before. Tegafel was horrified. Ey cried.

An hour after Tegafel had stopped crying, two guards and one leader-like figure came in. They seemed unfamiliar to Tegafel. The two guards held Tegafel up and the leader figure said: "What happened?"

"...I... I was... someone named Jiuluu asked me what I was looking for... I was looking for a shop so I could buy um... cl-clothes... ey... ey offered to show me to a shop and, and ey was unsure where it was... we stopped in front of those two houses. I heard screaming and Jiuluu too. W-we went toward the door of the house and – – and I opened the door because the screaming was louder... I opened the door and someone pushed that d-dead homehan on top of me... I fell down because my leg is hurt... e-ey bled on me..."

"Oh yeah. Does this look familiar?" The leader figure showed a knife of unknown design to Tegafel. It looked like the one that the homehan scout had used to slash Tegafel's face.

"I uh... I think I was slashed with one... on the face."

"I think you went into that house and killed Deruu Saannen with that knife."

"I didn't kill em!"

"I think you did."

"I didn't even have a weapon!"

"You stole it!"

"I didn't!"

"Here's what happened. Deruu and eir friend were having fun in the house and laughed loudly. You thought that was screaming. You opened the door and saw Deruu. And you killed em because of what ey had done in the battle. Maybe it's a coincidence that you ran into em, maybe it wasn't. I'll find out."

"I didn't kill em! I didn't kill em! I didn't kill em! I didn't k– –"

The leader figure smacked Tegafel across the face and Tegafel screamed. "You're a gzoozing liar, freak!" The leader left and the guards pushed Tegafel down again.

Tegafel cried some more. Ey had no clue what was going on.

Toward the night, the guard who had been friendly toward Tegafel came into the cell. Ey did not say anything, but gave Tegafel a mugful of water to drink. After Tegafel had drunk, two more guards came in and they tied Tegafel to a chair once again. Not a long time after, the leader figure who had raped Tegafel before came in. Two more guards stood outside, and Tegafel was surprised to see that Derekl also came in with a soldier from their camp. Tegafel looked at Derekl with eyes that pleaded for help and explanation.

Derekl was still cold. Ey spoke in common Gomanian: "They say you killed one of their soldiers. Is that true?"

"No! I didn't do it!"

Derekl was inconvenienced. The homehan leader sighed and went: "Here is how we imagine it went. Ey either knew where Deruu lived or it was just pure chance. Ey heard Deruu and eir friend laughing in their house and thought it was screaming... or just didn't care, so ey went and opened the door of the house. When ey saw Deruu, ey stabbed em. We're not sure where the murder weapon came from. Ey might have stolen it or even taken it from Deruu, who didn't have eir knife on after we examined em. Tegafel stabbed em right into the heart from below. It's not a clean strike, but that's quite exactly what you would expect from someone as impaired as ey is. Ey obviously caught Deruu completely by surprise. But Deruu fell on top of em."

Tegafel was desperately shaking eir head and silently saying: "No. No. No. No. No..." Eir eyes were full of tears.

Derekl took a few steps toward Tegafel and caught em by the chin. "Don't weep, you coward. You wakods aren't up for the army. The minute you get away from order after a traumatic experience you go off and kill the people who 'wronged' you. And if you think what ey just said happened is not what happened, what DID happen? Explain!"

Tegafel was about to cry because of the situation and the insults. Ey started telling the story again. "I was looking for a store. Jiuluu asked me if I needed help. Ey led me somewhere and seemed lost in front of that Deruu's house... I heard screaming, and I was sure it was screaming, not laughing! Jiuluu would know!"

The homehan leader figure went: "Jiuluu said it was laughter. He admitted it had sounded a bit like screaming because it was muffled but that it had been laughter." Tegafel was struck silent. "Oh, your story fell apart so soon? What a shame."

"I didn't do it! It was screaming! It was louder and I opened the door because I thought it was an emergency... and I saw that other homehan push Deruu on me! And I didn't even have a weapon. I've never held a knife like that in my hand! Deruu had already been stabbed when I came in! It was probably that 'friend' of eirs!"

"Blasphemy! Deruu and Heelio are fellow soldiers, iokoddins by heart! Heelio would have never killed em!"

Tegafel was silent again. "I did not do it."

"You even have a motive! Deruu was the one who stabbed your partner in the battlefield."


"Your story fell apart like an eikod's spirit! This is outright pathetic!" Tegafel hung eir head and tears fell. Ey could not believe this was happening. "You should be executed right away! Hanged or burned at a pyre."

Tegafel let out a desperate cry and then focused all eir willpower to keep emself from bawling. Derekl was fairly quiet, but eventually said: "I am so ashamed of you. You're nothing but a disappointment to your entire gzoozing race! If you really did it, you're worse than that useless ankod prosht you call a friend!" Derekl was quiet for a moment and then spoke to the homehan leader: "Is it possible for me to speak about this with our captain and the others before an execution is put to action? This is very grave. I am as shocked about this as you are and I fully apologize on behalf of this loser who couldn't control emself."

Tegafel did not listen anymore. The people left Tegafel in the cell and did not even untie em.