Action Pack 7: Homecoming Disclaimer: The characters, settings, etc. contained within this story all belong to paetrasslave and may not be used in other media without express permission. Why anyone would want to, she's not sure. This story is incredibly sexual in nature with many preferences and depictions on display that will probably offend many people. Anyone under 18 or possessed of an easily offended mindset should leave now. For everyone else, that's probably all the reason you need to stay. Codes: ff inc ---------- Synopsis: The sisters arrive in Zenith, and after an unpleasant surprise, Jein starts forming plans for the difference she can make with her circumstances. Hardly anyone even looked up at them as the Devyre sisters reappeared on a bustling street corner. All the same, Jein grabbed her sisters and backpedaled until she felt a wall behind her. Despite initial appearances, every sight that met her eyes made it clearer that they weren't back on Earth. The cars hovered down a sleek gray road that almost looked to be made of some kind of plastic, not asphalt. Most of the people hurrying past were human, but among them was a group of black-skinned elves, and behind them a robot. It was little more than a torso and arms, carrying a briefcase in each hand as it floated along the sidewalk. Lining the sides of the street were box-shaped buildings of various colors, but beyond them were soaring skyscrapers, most of which didn't look like any she'd seen back home. One had transparent purple tubes sticking out of it every which way, while another looked to be a giant spool of wire with dots of people scurrying back and forth inside the coils. "Is this Zenith?" Jein murmured. "Where'd you think you were?" asked a rhino-faced hulk in a blue cap and uniform. "Maybe you missed us appearing out of thin air a second ago," Jein retorted. He grunted at them. "Zenith's a big place, there's even room for the weirdoes. But not right in the middle of the walkway, so get moving you three." "Fine," Jein said and started off the other way, her sisters following. "Where are we going, anyway?" "The palace, of course. It's been a while but I don't think we're that far," Cathallis explained. She stopped one of the hovering cars, a dark red number, and talked to the driver for a minute. He didn't look human at all, rather just a purple lump of fuzz the size of a medicine ball with a number of long tendrils protruding out and resting on what looked like a steering wheel. Cathallis said something to him in a weird, guttural language, dropped a few coins on the seat next to him, and the door to the rear seat opened. After a short ride where Cathallis and Jasami stayed pressed up their sister the entire time, they stepped out the taxi and onto a street with significantly less traffic and no buildings over three stories for blocks in any direction. Straight up the street looked to be their destination. It terminated suddenly at a gray metal wall with a pair of thick double doors in the middle with human guards on either side and toting rifles with metal coils around the barrels that glowed ever so slightly. Every twenty feet or so the walls were capped with domed turrets sprouting nasty-looking cannons. "Friendly place," Jein muttered. "I guess I don't blame `em, though." "So we just walk right up there?" Jasami said dubiously. "We've nothing to fear," Cathallis said, but her eyes quivered uncertainly. "We're the rightful heirs to this throne, and it's not as if the Free Territories have been turned into some kind hellish dystopia while we were gone." "Yeah, but I still don't remember any of these places or these people," Jein reminded her. "And no offense, but you don't sound that convinced either. We might have a hard time making our case." "This is what mother and father prepared us for. We can't back out now...I think." Cathallis tried to hide a gulp. Jein kissed her on the cheek. "This dream's been going pretty good up to now, it'll probably stay that way," she said as encouragingly as she could. Cathallis nodded, but said nothing else as they approached the gates. As soon as they were a block away, the guards trained rifles on them. "Freeze!" they yelled, unnecessarily. The sisters did. In two seconds the guards had crossed the distance between them. "State your names!" ordered one. "State your business!" added his partner, whose graying mustache twitched. "Jein, Cathallis, and Jasami Devyre," Jein answered for the group, and getting a grateful sidelong glance from Cathallis. "Never heard THAT one before," the first guard grunted. "I dunno, these ones look different from the usual ones," the second one said slowly. Cathallis peered at him. "Enur?" "Where'd you hear that name?" he demanded. "I think it was all those times mother had you guard us when Jein and I went to play in the gardens. Remember that time I fell into the pond, and then Jein jumped in after me? And you had to pulls us both out?" Cathallis asked. The second guard shouldered his weapon thoughtfully. The first one brandished his at Jein's head. "And I suppose you've got a cute little story about when you were a kid too, huh?" "Nope," Jein shrugged. "Nope?" The guard honestly looked surprised at that one for a second, but quickly recovered. "Oh? And why's that?" "They took my memories away. Said I'd be safer that way, apparently." "Or more like you're the only one who couldn't remember her lines," the guard said, but his partner shoved him. "What?!" "Where do you think you are, son?" Enur reproved him. "We're here to protect the palace, not blow the heads off of anyone and everyone who walks past." "They didn't walk past, they walked up and said they were the old queen's daughters!" "And as a matter of fact, I've been doing this since the old queen was still alive. And the little one with the dark hair was always getting into trouble. I do remember having to lift her out of a pond with a spear once," Enur said. "That's not good enough!" the other guard insisted. "No," Enur agreed. "It isn't. But that doesn't mean we can't do to them what we did to the others." "What? What did you do the others?" Jein asked, stepping protectively in front of her sisters. "Nothing you won't recover from. Eventually," the first guard smirked. Enur clouted him on the back of the head. "Go call this in," he said gruffly. The other guard walked off. "I apologize for the way he acted, but you've got to understand you aren't the first ones claiming to be the old queen's children. We have to be sure." "I guess that makes sense," Cathallis said, her tone neutral. The other guard called out and they all looked up at him. "The captain says to check you three out," he grunted. There was a hint of a smirk on one side of his mouth that Jein didn't like, and a lewd gleam in his eyes a little too much like the one she'd seen in Lucius Handred's. --------- "What do you think you're doing?!!" Cathallis screamed. Several other guards had appeared to escort them inside, but now they were in a room with black walls and two of the burly men were trying and succeeding to wrestle Cathallis's shirt up. Above her sleek belly the bottom of a lacy black garment was already visible. Jein went up to one of them and grabbed him around the bicep as well as she could with her small hand. "Knock it the hell off or I'll break your damn arm." "Is that supposed to scare me?" he scoffed. "What if I really am the queen's kid? Wouldn't that make me a Sword Daughter?" Jein retorted. She really wished she'd had the presence of mind to ask her father to explain that in more detail, but as she thought back she really didn't feel too bad about being distracted. Still, the guard and his partner stopped stripping Cathallis in mid-strip and exchanged an uncertain look. The name must've impressed them enough into not taking the three so lightly, at least. One of them coughed and said to Jein. "Doesn't change the fact that the scans are pretty thorough..." "She can take her own clothes off." "Didn't look like it to us," the guard grunted again, but most of the disdain for Jein's threat was gone. Jein had to admit Cathallis didn't come across to her as the kind to be okay with stripping down in front of strangers. Still, she doubted their intentions had been entirely helpful. Jein smacked the guards' hands away from her twin and pulled Cathallis to her side, but didn't pull Cathallis's shirt back down. "Just show us where to go, and tell us what we have to do. If you have to, look. But no touching." The guards both grunted and walked away, one fishing a golden shaft with a faceted cube on the end that he waved at the far wall, causing a door to slide open. Jein was only barely aware of it. She was pressing her fingertips against the coolness of her sister's exposed midriff and slid them down to Cathallis's navel. The dark-haired twin quivered and gasped almost inaudibly, then slipped her shirt back down just enough to hide her bra. "I was saving that for tonight," Cathallis whispered, sounding the faintest bit annoyed. Her sister chuckled. The guards wheeled in a cylindrical glass capsule and a cart laden with silvery wands and boxes that Jein guessed were medical implements. Following them was a man with brownish hair and glasses perched on the end of his nose. He wore a rumpled doctor's smock and was so short that for a second Jein figured him for a dwarf. "Another bunch of princesses, eh?" he asked, sounding distinctly bored. "Well ladies, get disrobed and let's get this over with." Jasami seemed to whip her clothes off in one motion, and was standing amidst a pile of laundry in pink panties spangled with yellow flowers, and a plain pink camisole. "You're way too good at that," Jein said. "You love it," Jasami giggled. She turned and thrust her hips back at Jein and teasingly slapped the seat of her panties. "Take this seriously, will you?" Cathallis grumbled. "We're here to reclaim our throne." Jasami stuck her tongue out at her darker-haired sibling, but Jein put a hand on her shoulder. "Stop fighting with Cath, okay?" "But Jein--" "For me?" Jasami pouted for a second, then nodded. "For you," she said and glared over her shoulder. "Not for her." "That'll have to do." Jasami bristled. "What's that supposed to mean??" "Cut it out already!" Cathallis snapped. Immediately everyone in the room was staring at her for her outburst. "What are you staying at?! And when do we get a changing screen or something?" "No room in the budget," one of the guards said curtly. "The queen doesn't think enough of this. I don't blame her. We used to do this ten times a day." Jein looked around and saw all the guards and the technician, their eyes drilling back into her. Or rather, into the form-fitting outfit Cathallis had helped her pick out before being transported to Zenith. She'd been naked with plenty of relative strangers since coming to Akton, but they'd all had the same...equipment as her. Not to mention it'd been before a "private session," as it were. Not an entire room of...MEN. Her skin seemed to tighten up. That image filled her mind, the one where she had her old male body again, about to kiss another man, and she clenched her eyes shut as hard as she could as if that could help banish the horrific thought. "Jein," Cathallis gasped. "What's wrong??" "I'm not really liking the idea of these guys drooling over us either," Jein whispered. The dark-haired twin put her arms around Jein's shoulders. "Mother and father wanted us to take up where they left off. We can be strong queens. Surely we can do this." A long, silent moment passed. Then Jein stepped away from her sister, and started to roll her shirt up. She could feel the eyes press even harder against her as she exposed her skin, but pulled her top off and dropped it on the floor. Cathallis smiled a little, her cheeks tinged pink now, and rolled up her own shirt and tossed it over on top of Jein's. Jein stared down at Cathallis's proud bosom, barely contained by the black lace bra she'd already flashed. She yearned to reach out and touch it, but now wasn't the time. Later. When they didn't have an audience. Instead she simply shimmied Cathallis's pants down, lacy black panties cut high on the hips the only thing protecting her modesty. "You look great, Cath," Jein whispered. Her sister smiled wanly, then yanked Jein's pants down too in one fluid motion. Jein managed a little smirk at her twin, and could feel the weight of the eyes melting off her even as she stood there clad in only the bare minimum. Then she turned to face the technician. "I guess I'll be the first to step into your little torture chamber." "How crass," the technician said, but his eyes were well below Jein's own as he did. He waved Jein toward the capsule, keeping his gaze below hers. A guard pulled on the capsule and a door swung open, allowing Jein to step inside. As soon as the guard closed the capsule up again, a ring of blue light formed at the bottom of the cylinder and rose upward. As it passed over her Jein she felt a coolness on her skin, and was alarmed for a second as she saw the light illuminating her skeleton. "What's going on?!" "Hold still, please!" the technician barked. "Any position you like, but keep still! We've got to have biometrics to compare against the projections." "Sorry." "That includes your jaw, young lady." Jein shut up and let the light ascend into the top of the capsule. The door popped open and she stepped out. With slow steps, Cathallis approached the capsule next. Jein was turning to watch as her sister was inspected, but the technician rather roughly fastened a metal cuff with an uncomfortable prong on the inside around her bicep. "Ow." "Heh...wait a minute before you say that." The technician tapped three buttons and the prong jabbed into Jein's arm. She gasped as it penetrated her skin, and expected to see blood oozing out from the cuff. It didn't, but the pain intensified. There was a horrible moment where she felt a drilling sensation in the center of her arm and then finally the pain stopped. "What the hell is that thing??" she gasped, fixing the technician with a menacing glare. "It's a tissue collector. To confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt we need blood, as well as bone marrow." "You're not sticking this damn thing in my sisters!" Jein snarled. The technician looked completely unimpressed and pushed the buttons in reverse sequence. The prong retracted from Jein's arm, there was a warm, sticky sensation on her skin, and then the cuff popped free. There was a small white blot on her arm from where the prong had injected itself. "Quite harmless, really," the technician said. "You are NOT sticking that thing in my sisters," Jein said, less harshly now. A soft hand cupped her shoulder. It was Cathallis. "Please, Jein. If this is the only way to convince them, let's just get it over with." Jein nodded, distracted from her defiance as she let her gaze lower over her twin's sleek curves and flat plane of a belly. She nodded a little numbly, rubbing at the sore puncture mark on her arm. -------- "Ow," Jasami moaned and rubbed at the white patch on her arm. She looked up at Jein plaintively, and with an amused little smile Jein bent down and kissed the puncture. Jasami actually made an anime happy face. "Well then, that should be enough," the technician said. The guards titled the capsule back on its wheels and followed him out of the room as he rolled the cart of instruments in front of him. "We'll be back for you when the analysis is complete. Have fun, girls." The door closed behind them, with no apparent way of opening it from the sisters' side. "Everybody okay?" Jein asked, and slumped back against a cool black wall. "Yes, I'm--" Cathallis began, but Jasami bounced between the two of them. "No! I need another kiss," she said and held up her arm. Jein chuckled, but planted another kiss on the white patch. "As I was saying," Cathallis interrupted. "I'm fine. I thought that one test with the metal rod was a little unnecessary, though. What the hell could they possibly prove with that?" "I'm not convinced all that stuff had anything to do with running medical tests," Jein grumbled. "Most of it did," Cathallis replied. "Some of that equipment I wasn't familiar with." "How do you know? Are you a registered nurse or something?" Jein asked. "Because that'd be pretty hot." Cathallis blushed and shook her head. "I spent the years away studying a lot of different things. Like medical history. A lot of those things looked familiar." Jein nodded She dimly remembered her father saying something like that, in among all the naked breasts and being fucked by a goddess twice in a single day. With their escorts gone, an influence seemed to come over Jein. She reached out and collected Cathallis's soft breasts in her hands and gently pressed her fingers into the flesh. Cathallis purred and stroked at her twin's face, lifting Jein's chin up to plant a gentle kiss on her lips. Jein chuckled and started to press back into the kiss. As she did her fingers closed more tightly around Cathallis's chest. Something small, pink and bratty ran into them from the side. "Hey! What about me!" Jasami looked up at them with an expression of adorable indignation on her face. "She has got a point, Cath," Jein said. "We are supposed to be a family, we have got to look out for each other." Cathallis gave her twin a bemused look, then a smile crept across her face. "You know Jein, you're absolutely right. Where would we be if we didn't have each other? Got to keep those bonds strong." "What are you two talking about?" Jasami said, looking up at them with a confused expression. The next sound out of her mouth was a squeal of surprise as both of her older sisters grabbed her by the arms. Cathallis smothered another squeal by pressing kiss down on their youngest sister, while Jein hoisted up Jasami's cute pink camisole and grabbed her little sister's right breast. A muffled giggle escaped from Jasami's mouth as Jein honked her young breast again. Her sisters pulled her arms up and then her undershirt came the rest of the way off to land beside the rest of their discarded clothes. In a second she was on her back on the cool black floor as her sisters stroked at her belly and pulled at her A-cups. She broke the kiss with Cathallis after another minute and pulled Jein's face down, Jasami bringing hers up to press her lips against Jein's mouth with a surprising harshness. Jein mmmphed into her little sister's mouth in surprise at the intensity of the kiss, then gave herself over to it and parted her lips. Her tongue slipped free and pushed against Jasami's, which parted eagerly. Their tongues seemed to wrestle between their mouths for a moment and Jein moaned out. It was so song wrong, but she'd made love to three of her relatives since coming to this bizarre world. Her hands seemed to move by themselves as one teased down Jasami's side and the other under the waistband of the youngest sister's panties. She didn't even realize she'd done it until she felt Jasami's cunt open and start to seep onto her fingers. A minute later Jein found the willpower to pull away from the kiss. "Just where the hell did you go, that you were learning this stuff so young?" she asked. "I'll make you a bet," Jasami gasped, but managed to grin. Cathallis and Jein looked at each other for a second, then down at their sister. "What bet?" Jein asked. "Get me off and I'll tell you." The grin on her face widened. "You are going down SO hard," Jein said. "Don't bet on it," Jasami retorted. By then her grin was almost blinding. "Here Jein, let me help you with that," Cathallis said and slipped a hand down Jasami's panties as well. A pair of delicate fingers pressed together before slipping inside Jasami's young cunt alongside Jein's own digits. "Gotta do better than that," Jasami wheezed feebly. "You're crap at faking this," Jein grinned. She pulled her paired fingers back until they were almost free of Jasami's tight cunt, then jammed them back in hard. Cathallis withdrew her fingers, then jammed them back in as Jein had, looking over at her twin and giving her a conspiratorial smile. Jein pulled her youngest sister's panties down around her ankles, and they set up a slow sequence where one twin would withdraw her digits, then the other. As hard as she was trying not to let it show, Jasami bit her lip and her hips contorted with each new effort of her sisters ramming their fingers up inside her. She chew her lip and tried hard to hold in heated moans, but it was no use. "Oooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooo..." Jasami exhaled all the air in her lungs at once. "Bet I can make her do one that's twice as long," Cathallis teased. "Oh you can not," Jein replied as she pushed her fingers into Jasami up to the knuckle again. She grabbed at Jasami's breast with her other hand and gave it a sharp squeeze. The youngest girl's eyes lit up and she stared hard into Jein's face. It was a strange kind of look; wetness pooled around the edges of Jasami's eyes and an unmistakable blush decorated her cheeks. Yet, her mouth was open in a slack sort of smile. "What's wrong?" Jein asked. The expression vanished as Jasami furrowed her brow. "What do you mean? Nothing's ever been more right." "Ever?" "Never EVER," Jasami said with a look too serious to belong on such a young face. Without thinking, Jein honked her little sister's breast again. Jasami squeaked and the blush on her cheeks and vagina darkened, but that wetness returned to her eyes and her smile returned. Firmer, and brighter than the last one. Then Cathallis slipped her fingers as far as she could into Jasami's sex again, rubbing against the back of Jein's hand in the process. She waggled her fingers teasingly and Jasami jerked and moaned. Then Cathallis pulled her fingers back and looked over at Jein, who drummed her fingers inside her little sister's sex too, before pulling back and giving Cathallis the chance to drum her fingers inside Jasami again. Then Jasami yowled and the next thing her sisters knew the sticky warm wetness of her orgasm was coating their hands. Jasami looked up at the two of them, panting and skin glistening with sweat, but smiling. "You lose," Jein smiled. "Tell us." "Ahem," someone coughed behind them, and they looked up to see the technician and a pair of guards standing over them. "As enthralling as the story probably is, your results have come back." "And?" Cathallis asked eagerly. "And," he said, then paused, as if it was something he wasn't sure he believed. "And, it appears you might indeed be the previous queen's children. Although I find that hard to believe with what I'm looking at now." "Cut the chitchat," Jein said sharply. "Do we get to see the queen?" "Well, yes." Jein chased them out of the room and hurriedly made sure everyone got dressed again. Jasami was still checking her hair in a compact and brushing her it out as they followed the guards out of the spartan passages and into halls with ornate columns and statues of beautiful naked maidens and mythic creatures lined up in alcoves. More of the first than the second. "Lot of statues of girls," Jein observed. "The queen appreciates the female form," the technician said, stolidly fixing his eyes straight ahead. "Sounds like we're gonna get along great, then," Jasami whispered and grinned up at Jein. "Shhhh!" As they continued the statues became less numerous, while the flow of servants increased, toting brooms, folders or small electronic devices projecting an image of a person they talked to as they scurried about. Up and down stairs and through hallways honeycombing the building. Also the number of guards increased, and they became burlier and the rifles resting against their shoulders became longer and more threatening. There were three of them on either side of a pair of tall double doors. But rather than being wood or even gold, they were made of what looked like stainless steel. The guards eyed the sisters', but their escort held up something Jein couldn't see and with a grunt one of the guards signaled the others. The doors slid into the walls, and as Jein walked past them she could see they were a good two feet thick. She was surprised by the room they were led into. It certainly looked like it must've been the throne room, but there were no rich furnishings anywhere to be seen. The walls were painted a utilitarian blue with a thin black carpet running up to a plain black throne comprised of stark, flat contours. And seated on the throne was a woman. Jein had seen plenty of beautiful women since coming (back) to Akton, but she stopped dead in her tracks when she saw this one. She looked to be in her 30's, with auburn calls falling around her shoulders and framing a heart-shaped face. Her eyes were brown, nearly amber, and there was a fiery quality to them Jein had never noticed about a person's eyes before. Her face was sleek, but looked hard, with no sign of any kind of makeup or beauty treatment Jein's admittedly untrained eyes could have detected. The queen reminded Jein of a rendering of Artemis she'd seen once upon a time. Yet for her hard beauty, it was the way she was dressed that really stuck with Jein. She wore a black leotard of what looked almost like molded plastic, hugging her impressive round mammaries. She also wore matching thigh-high boots and elbow gloves, and a short red cape with ermine trim that hung to the middle of her hourglass figure. Her brow was decorated a simple tiara with a single blue stone set in the middle, and she brandished an equally unadorned scepter at the sisters as they entered. "These are the ones, eh?" she asked in a strong voice. "Yes, your highness," answered the technician. "The tests all conform to the information we still have on Angele Devyre's children. And as far as we can tell, that's the eldest's natural hair color." "The hell are you talking about?" Jein asked. "I don't know anything dying my hair." The queen fixed Jein with a probing gaze "And why's that?" she asked. "Because I got turned into a boy while I was gone." The queen arched a speculative eyebrow. "Did you, now? That's not a story that's we've heard before. Is it?" "No, your highness," the technician affirmed. All of a sudden Cathallis stepped forward and threw her arms wide in supplication. "Mighty Paetra, we applaud you taking up the throne and holding a steady over the course of the Free Territories after our parents' untimely deaths. Our mother always spoke of you as the greatest of her soldiers, and I've no doubt your mettle was tested and proven many times over the years since then. The three of us have been away in preparation for our return home, however. Now that the summons has been issued to us, we have returned, and we are prepared to reassume our mother's throne." The technician gaped at Cathallis's bold claim, and so did the guards for a second before they remembered themselves and scowled and started to unshoulder their weapons. The queen rapped her scepter on the arm of her throne, and all eyes turned to her. She rose to her full height, which was an inch or two above six feet so she didn't exactly tower over the rest of them, but the way the guards slunk back as she approached left no doubt that was in charge of the room. She looked down at the sisters, and said three words. "Not a chance." "W...wha...what?" Cathallis said in shock. The queen spoke with measured words, calm but firm, as she responded. "Angele Devyre was the best thing that could've ever happened to the countries around here, don't mistake me. But I'm the one who kept it from all falling apart when she died. I'm the one who's fought to keep our borders secure and keep taking back territory. We have enemies on every side eager to start subsuming us again, and there's no way I'm going to just hand over control of the Free Territories to a couple of little girls. No matter who their parents are." Then she faced one of the guards and said simply, "Show in the generals, we've got a lot to do, and not much time to do it." "Well then...I'm sorry we wasted your time," Jein spoke up, not sure what else to say and trying to take the load off her still-dumbstruck twin. The queen had already turned her back, and the guards were urging the sisters back toward the entrance. They'd scarcely cleared it when the enormous doors rolled back into place to protect the throne room. The escorted trip out of the palace seemed to take forever. None of them said anything. What was there to say? After preparing for this for years without even realizing it, they came home, risked danger from orcs and the undead, only to be turned away at the site of their goal. Somewhere along the way the technician vanished. It was only when blinding daylight hit their eyes that the sisters fully realized they were out on the street again. "You heard the queen," a guard grunted. "Get out and don't come back." "That's not what she said," Jein retorted wearily, and slipped an arm around each of her sisters' shoulders and led them away without waiting for a no doubt glib reply. "Now what do we do?" Jasami asked gloomily. Her pigtails seemed to sag lower on the back of her head. "I have no idea," Jein sighed. "Cath, any ideas?" The dark-haired twin looked up, and managed a weary smile. "Yes." --------- The taxi zoomed off down the street after the sisters had debarked. Jasami wiped her palms together a few more times and then shoved them into her pockets. She looked up to disbelieving looks from her sisters. "What??" "You didn't have to do that, you know," Jein sighed. "I was getting out of practice." With a sigh and a shake of her head Jein looked away. "So where exactly are we?" "The family estate," Cathallis replied, pointing. "The WHAT?" Jein replied, but followed her twin's finger to a mansion up a hill from them with a little tree-lined drive and black wrought-iron fence. "Is there some reason we didn't go here first?" Cathallis looked at Jein, down at Jasami, and back at Jein. "I...I thought they might run some tests on us. Embarrassing tests. And they did. And I wanted to get it over with. Besides, if it'd worked--" "Okay, okay. Sorry I asked. You think we'll have any better luck here? I mean, if people were trying to trick the queen into thinking they were us, they'd probably come here too, right?" "It's the only fallback I've got," Cathallis said dejectedly. "All right, cheer up," Jein said, and did indeed raise her twin's chin up for their eyes to meet. Cathallis looked away, then looked back and managed a small smile. "But you have to do the talking. I don't know who to ask for." At the gate Cathallis pressed a brass doorbell off to one side that made no sound. However, a black boxy thing that looked like a security camera mounted above swung toward the three of them. After a minute a small screen above the doorbell flickered to life, showing an image of an unremarkable middle-aged man. "Yes?" he asked in a bored tone. "We're here to see Namiel Devyre," Cathallis answered him. "She's busy." "We're her nieces," Cathallis pressed. "You're the 7024th girl to tell us that," he said, getting more bored with every bit of the exchange. "Who is it?" a female voice demanded from the man's side of the intercom. "Just another bunch of imposters looking for a handout, madam," the man replied, looking off to his left. "I'll get rid of them, don't concern yourself." "Go back to cleaning up the fallen branches in the yard," the female voice said sharply, and the man's expression was taken aback. He stood up and backed away, and a minute later a woman appeared in the screen next to the gate. She had a careworn face, framed by glistening black hair. There was a cautious kind of smile on it as she looked at the sight of them on her screen. "Cathallis?" she asked. "Hello, aunt Namiel." "Is Jein with you??" "Yeah, that'd be me," Jein said and stepped forward. "Sorry I'm not more excited, I don't really remember anything about...home. Boy is that starting to sound lame." Namiel canted her head. "What's that on your neck?" "Oh, this?" Jein leaned forward to show the purple mark on her neck. Exactly where her father had kissed her before sending her home. Namiel gasped. "It's true...come in, come in!" Something buzzed and the gates parted. They hadn't gotten halfway up the path to the entrance before the doors flew open and Namiel appeared, holding up her skirts as she ran out to meet them. She stopped when she was a few feet away, and took in the sight of the three girls standing before her without words for a few more moments. Then she reached out and threw her arms around the three of them. Jein gasped and felt awkwardly unaffected by this meeting. "Uh, hi aunt Namiel?" she said. Rather limply, she thought. "Come in, girls! We'll get you some tea and you can tell me all about how you came to be here." ------ The tea had a strange apple-like taste to it, but then Jein couldn't really call herself an expert when it came to teas. She glanced over at her sisters, with Jasami's eyelids starting to sag while Cathallis surprisingly openly relating to their aunt what had happened to them since their return to Akton. "That's quite a story, but tell me, girls," Namiel prompted as she set down her own teacup. "Where've you been? What have you been doing while you were away?" "You first," Jein said as she patted Cathallis on the back. "Well, erm, we were sent to other worlds, to prepare us to run the kingdom when we got back. I was sent to one that had a giant tree whose roots were connected to every planet in the galaxy thanks to magical channels. There I was able to learn about the people and cultures of every civilization there's ever been. After my knowledge was tested, I was sent home. About the same time Jein passed her test." "Who tested you?" Jein asked. "Why, the dryads who tend the tree, of course." "Of course." "Of course," Cathallis affirmed. "Patient, wise, immortal. They seem natural keepers of knowledge to me." Namiel smiled. "And what was your test, Jein?" "I don't want to talk about it." Namiel cocked her head in confusion. "Why not?" "Because my test was stupid." "Oh, I'm sure that's not true," Namiel said supportively. "I won a game," Jein replied. "Doesn't really seem like something that prepares you to be this big warrior." Namiel put her hand over Jein's and smiled. "I was never much a part of your parents' battling, but I know Angele said a warrior can find lessons almost anywhere." A thoughtful expression settled on Jein's face. "This is where our family lived?" "This is the estate I was given when Paetra Laqure took over the throne," Namiel corrected her niece. "We have most of our family heirlooms, though. The ones that survived the dragon attack, at least." "Got any pictures of our parents around?" "Of course. Finish your tea and I'll show you," Namiel answered. Noisily, Jein slurped hers down in a second and set her cup down. Everyone else looked up at her. "Oh, uh...sorry." "You'll have to excuse her," Cathallis hastily said. "Jein's coming home for the first time, you might say. She's a little eager to reacquaint herself." A sympathetic look crossed Namiel's face. "Oh my, I had no idea. Of course, of course. Why don't you girls finish up, and I'll show Jein the family portrait." "Thanks," Jein said with a soft smile as her aunt took her out of the parlor and through a pair of halls and chambers before arriving at a posh bedroom. Against one wall was a large four-poster bed, and opposite it a dresser made of some kind of dark wood with a mirror that took up half the wall. The room's most outstanding fixture, though, was a large painting hanging on the wall across from the door. It was set in a garden, with a hedge in the background and artfully-arranged beds of colorful flowers on the peripheries of the picture. Standing in the garden was a happy-looking family, all of them clad in regal finery. In the back were a man and a woman, the man broad-shouldered and with short silver hair. He had a simple smile on his face, and an arm was wrapped around the waist of a woman in a blue dress, who Jein could see at once was a younger Namiel. Her smile was directed downward at a little boy, maybe four or five years old. His hair matched hers, but his eyes were a dark purple. He smiled forward as well, looking a bit uncomfortable. Next to that family was another couple, the man, tall and broad-shouldered with dark hair that hung to nearly his waist. His face was rugged but the smile directed primarily at the woman at his side was warm and loving. The woman, despite the flowing white gown that covered her figure, had a bearing of strength. Her clothing was the same color as the braid hanging past one shoulder, and her limpid yellow eyes, her smooth yet strong features reminded Jein of a face that was becoming more and more familiar. Her eyes shifted back to the man, and immediately Jein couldn't see him in the picture anymore. It was the bare figure of Amoril there instead, pink locks picked up by a convenient breeze as she smiled over at the woman she'd chosen. There were another pair of people in the portrait at the feet of the second couple, about the same age as the little boy. They wore matching white dresses, miniature versions of the woman's behind them, and looked a lot like miniature versions of her. The sleek facial features, the yellow eyes. They were nearly indistinguishable, like matched dolls, except one was white-haired and the other black. "Dad looks...different than I kind of expected," Jein said, distantly. "And yet your mother must look very familiar," Namiel replied with a patient smile. "Kind of. I mean, I haven't even been here a week and I've met elves, orcs, dwarves, vampires, and even more things I can't even name since I got to Zenith. We don't have anything like that where I grew up. Not real ones, anyway." "It must be quite a change for you," Namiel said. "Yeah, you can say that," Jein sighed. "I find out I'm a girl, I find out I'm supposed to be some kind of warrior...I'm almost a little glad the queen told us no. I ain't ready to be a queen." "Even your mother wasn't born a legendary warrior. She had to learn to be a soldier and a queen, like anyone else." "Yeah, well...hey, why did you say `it's true' when we showed up outside your house?" "I had a dream that the there of you would be returning today. Your mother revered Amoril, you know." "Oh yeah, I know," Jein mumbled. "So when I saw the goddess telling me you'd be coming back, I was tempted to believe it. That mark on your neck, that must mean you've been touched by the goddess." "What do you mean...`touched'?" Namiel regarded her with bemusement. "Why, only that the goddess has granted you her favor. What else would I mean?" "Uh...nothing! Never mind. Stupid question," Jein said, her eyes darting around the room, looking for anything else to talk about. "Uh, who's that??" she asked. Her aunt followed her finger to the little boy in the painting. "Oh, that's my son Adren! He'll be at work a little while still. I swear, some traits really must be genetic..." "What do you mean?" "Oh, he's an engineer. Works helping to redesign things for the army. Vehicles and weapons, that kind of thing. Raise the efficiency but lower the cost to make them." "Oh yeah?" "That's how he explained it," Namiel answered. "Very eager to help the country, he was." "I heard it needs all the help it can get," said Jein. A sigh passed Namiel's lips. "That's what I hear too." "Well...would I be out of line if I asked about maybe borrowing some money to take some boxing lessons or something?" With a strange smile, Namiel replied, "I think we can do better than that." ------- She didn't say a word as they returned to the parlor where Jasami and Cathallis waited, only producing a small bell from inside a small table next to her chair and ringing it gently. "How...how was it?" Cathallis asked after a second. The couch made no sound at all as Jein sat down it more heavily than she'd meant. She met nobody's eyes as she said, "You know, it's starting to make a weird kind of sense, really." "Really?" "Uh huh," Jein nodded. "Like why I never really felt at home on Earth, and why I always got really angry for no reason around the same time every single month." "Oh, my," Cathallis let out a gasp that turned into a giggle. All of a sudden, a dark shape jumped down from above and landed at Namiel's side. It was a man, clad from head to toe in black and clutching a long, gleaming knife in one hand. Cathallis screamed and almost fell over the couch she was sitting on in terror, and Jein hurriedly interposed herself between her sisters and the man. She noticed this left him next to her aunt, but then she wondered what chance she really stood against someone who could sneak inside this place. Guided by instinct, she went into what she remembered of a defensive stance from the couple of months she'd taken judo years ago. Her mind was whirling with questions even as she regarded the intruder, and the blade in his hand. Who was this guy? Who'd he come to kill? Was it her aunt, or her? She'd been sent to another planet and stripped of her memories to keep her safe, she seemed the more likely target. Which of her parents' enemies had sent him? How had they found out she was back so quickly? And then, Namiel chuckled. "Knock it off, you're scaring my nieces." "Excuse me?" Jein asked, her questions mutating into a mass of annoyance. The man slid his knife through his belt and rose out of his stance. "You rang me," he said to Namiel. "You know I never show myself unless you're threatened. I only entered like I always do." "This guy's your bodyguard?" Jein asked, her annoyance swelling. "Calm down, Jein," Namiel said, through another chuckle. "This guy had a knife on my sisters! I don't see what's so damn funny. That doesn't look like a toy to me!" Namiel shook her head. "Do you think I'd hire someone to protect my life I didn't trust implicitly? Like, trusting them not to slip with a knife?" "I guess not..." "Anyway, Takel, say hell to my nieces. Jein, Cathallis, and Jasami." "I know," he said simply. "Girls, this is Takel Nesmit, my personal bodyguard. Takel, Jein was hoping to learn a thing or two about hand-to-hand combat. Maybe you could help her get started." He grunted. "I can't leave you unguarded." "That's fine, I'll come watch," she said with a smile. Takel nodded. He pulled off the cloth hood covering his face, revealing a man with hard cheeks, a lantern jaw and wiry red hair. To Jein, he looked just like the stereotypical soldier of fortune from a million action movies she suddenly felt a little self-conscious for having watched. "What do you say, Jein?" Namiel offered. Takel stepped closer to her as if to give her an idea of just what she'd be getting into if she accepted. He stood nearly two feet taller than her, and had arms so thick it looked as if he could snap a steel girder with his elbows. "Sure, why not? It's not as if he'll break me in half too bad, right?" ------------ After a quick trip to another room to borrow a pair of shorts and a sports bra from Cathallis's wardrobe--Jein was a little torn between finding someplace to get her own clothes, and pursuing her plan to force Cathallis to work her way through their shared wardrobe to the naughtier stuff--she found out just how serious her aunt was about fitness. The basement room they entered wasn't like a private health club, but it was large and well-supplied nonetheless. There were a pair of exercise bikes, a treadmill, a leg-press, several weight machines as well as rack of free weights, and still enough room to lay out a pair of large athletic mats side by side. Namiel was sitting on a bench, watching one of the TV's hanging from the ceiling. Takel was sitting on the floor in a meditative stance, but stood up as Jein entered. He gave her an appraising looking, taking in the sight of her long legs, bared midriff and arms, and white hair she'd thought to have Cathallis help her tie up into a ponytail before coming. If Takel had any thoughts about her based on his examination, he didn't voice them. Without moving at all, he said, "Come at me." "Go easy on her," Namiel warned. "Would someone intending to kill her worry about going easy?" he said back. "No, but the person who signs your paycheck does." Takel was probably about to reply, but just then Jein's foot impacted on his stomach. Just as she registered connecting with him, though, he grabbed her by the shin and flipped her to the floor. The landing knocked all the air from her lungs. "Get up," he grunted. It took Jein a minute, but she did. "Come at me again," he told her. She didn't, though. She circled slowly to the side, but Takel didn't turn to keep her in his eyesight. She kept going until she was directly behind him and ran over to kick at him, but he turned her and slapped her aside. She staggered away, holding her stinging cheek, but Takel relentlessly charged and kicked her legs out from under her. Again, Jein went down. Then Takel lunged at his fallen opponent with his elbow. Jein gasped as it slammed down half an inch from her face. "You sounded a little less winded when you hit the ground that time," he said. Jein said nothing. He got to his knees extended his hand as it to help her up, but she laid there panting for another second. Then suddenly she let out a sharp exhale and aimed a swift kick at a spot under his arm that looked especially vulnerable. He fell flat before it connected and quickly rolled over to pin Jein's legs and wrists to the mat. "You've got to be faster than that, little girl." -------- The thumping and yelling went on for another ten minutes. After the sounds of conflict had stopped, Cathallis ventured down into the gym. Aunt Namiel passed her silently on the way up, giving her an apologetic look, but there was no sign of Takel. Cathallis hurried on, coming down to Jein lying on the mat, her skin glistening with sweat and sporting several darkening bruises. "How'd it go...?" Cathallis asked nervously. "Well," Jein moaned. "He said I was smart not to accept help from an enemy..." "Oh dear." "Maybe I'll even remember the couple moves he showed me. If I ever move again." Draping her twin's arm over her shoulder, Cathallis helped lift Jein to her feet. "Come on." "Where are we going?" "There's a hot tub out behind the house." "Mrrrrmmmhrrrrhhhrmm," Jein replied. "That sounds nice..." Slowly, achingly, they climbed up a back stairway into the mansion's backyard. There was a stone deck bordering the house, and off to their left was a wide swimming pool. Cathallis ignored it in favor of a stone-built above ground hot tub, where she sat Jein down on the rim. She took her sister's bra off, and Jein's breasts bobbed and swayed, and for a second the rest of Cathallis's world vanished. "I can take my own clothes off, you know," Jein murmured. "He didn't knock me around that bad." She started to hook her fingers into the waist of her shorts, but Cathallis grabbed her by the wrists. "No." "Okay," Jein acquiesced. Jein awkwardly shifted her hips to help Cathallis roll her shorts off next, and was about to turn and sink into the water when Cathallis yanked her own blouse up and dropped it on the ground. Underneath she had on a dark purple bra with lace trim, hugging her ample breasts rather scandalously. She'd put on a new racy undergarment after her first one had been exposed prematurely. Jein couldn't help but smile. Slowly, far too slowly, Cathallis slipped it down, baring inch after inch of her breasts. After an eternity the undergarment fell away and Cathallis thrust her chest forward to rub against her sister's with a soft giggle. "Feeling any better?" "Are we gonna hot tub, or are we just gonna talk all day?" Jein asked, managing to pinch the side of one of her sister's breasts. "Get naked and let's get in, Cath." The dark-haired twin made a melodramatic sigh. "No foreplay today? I swear, when we met you were all passion..." Then with a wink she turned around, bent over and yanked down her skirt and panties. With a grin Cathallis shook her heart-shaped ass in her sister's direction, and Jein gave it an anemic swat. Cathallis stood up and gave her sister a worried look. "Jein...what the hell did he do to you??" "Mostly told me to hit him then knocked me down. After a while he decided if he did it again he'd get fired, probably." With a nervous shake of her head, Cathallis leaned in and kissed Jein hard on the mouth. Jein slipped an arm around Cathallis's back, then scooted back and turned toward the water, Cathallis awkwardly hoisting herself up monto the edge of the tub and trying not to break the kiss at the same time. The two slowly slid into the water, and Cathallis leaned over to start the jets. Finally Jein broke the kiss and leaned back, sighing with relief at the churning warm waters relieving her many new bumps and bruises. She raised her arms to wrap them around Cathallis's waist and pulled her into another kiss, but resisted the urge to think of it as "steamy." "Thanks for dragging me up here, Cath," Jein smiled, and smiled more to see her sister squirm in her lap at the mention of that nickname. "You've been...really eager to get naked with me, though." Cathallis froze. "Are you not comfortable with this?" "Oh, no! No! That's not what I meant!" Jein hastened to assure her. "It's...I just mean...sisters being girlfriends isn't really normal here, is it?" A blush colored Cathallis's cheeks, but she wrapped her arms around Jein's neck and leaned forward hard to rub their ample chests together. "Not really, but...we aren't exactly normal, are we? I was mostly raised by tree-people, you grew up thinking you were a boy." "Mostly raised by tree-people?" "Uh huh. There were human villages nearby, and I spent a lot of time there too. So I wouldn't grow distant from humankind, since I was supposed to be governing them someday. At least, that was the plan." "Yeah," Jein sighed. "That sucks." "Well, at least you're still getting ready to do something with our circumstances," Cathallis reassured her. "That's why you let him knock you around like that, isn't it?" "I wasn't trying to get knocked around, I was trying to pick up something about how to fight. I got lucky before with the vampire, to have him be a clichéd moron. But like I said, thanks for dragging me up here. I'm feeling a lot better already." Cathallis smiled and pulled Jein away from the wall to wrap her legs around Jein's waist. "I'm just trying to help you get used to everything again. It must be rough, finding out your life isn't true and coming home an orphan." Uncomfortably, Jein rubbed at the purple kiss mark on her neck without meaning to. She'd thought about explaining the origin of it with her sisters, but wasn't sure if she was supposed to, or if they'd believe her anyway. That their father was actually a goddess taken human form seemed a wild story even for here. But, Cathallis was certainly more open-minded than most. She was also so beautiful, so serene, yet so passionate...Jein did have some unconscious urge to see to her protection. And how could she hold back the truth of their parentage, from someone she felt that close to? "Yeah, Cath? About that..." Cathallis canted her head. "What is it?" "Um, you're gonna think I'm crazy for saying this, but this mark? I didn't have that before the elves sent us to Zenith. When we were on the way here, I got pulled up to the home of the gods." Cathallis raised her eyebrows dubiously but said nothing. "And I met Amoril. The goddess, right? She said she was actually our dad, and married mom to start something off to do something about a bunch of, what was the word she said...power mongers, I think. To make the world a more funtastic place because it was getting too dark for her interests." A thoughtful look descended over Cathallis's face, and probably without realizing it she leaned in and mooshed her breasts to Jein's a little harder. "That's a strange story, but that IS Amoril's sign. And it doesn't wash off or anything, right?" She cupped her hands as she dipped them into the water, then splashed it on Jein's neck. The mark was unaffected. Cathallis scratched at it lightly with a fingernail, and still the mark was unaffected. Which wasn't to say its owner was. "Hey, cut it out!" Jein leaned away from her sister's finger. "Sorry," Cathallis blushed a little. "But I believe you. It makes a certain kind of sense. No one ever really knew where father came from, not even mother." Jein sighed, then slipped her arms down Cathallis's back to settle her hands on her twin's ass cheeks. "Can we talk about all this later?" A cheeky grin flashed across Cathallis's face. "You're right, I should be tending to your wounds like a good sister." Cathallis sank down so that her crotch was pushed up against Jein's, and gyrated her hips gently forward. Jein sighed happily as a sensation of peace descended over her. Some debauched instinct took over and she mashed her lips against Cathallis's, and by then nothing felt wrong about it at all. Here was someone who was honestly proud of her for making the effort to get smacked around until she could hardly move, and was determined to help her recover. What was wrong with showing her gratitude for that kind of faith in her...? So she did. She teasingly swiped a fingertip down the crevice of Cathallis's backside, and the dark-haired twin squealed in surprise right into her mouth, and in squirming forward only deepened the kiss. Jein's tongue played across Cathallis's lips, but she didn't try deepen it even further, yet. Cathallis giggled at having her lips licked, and started to grind her groin up against Jein's navel. Jein was thinking of what to do next when out of the corner of her eye she saw a gate along the fence open and someone enter the yard. He spotted the two of them in the hot tub at the same moment and met their combined gazes. He was a boy roughly their age, with sharp eyes and a practical cut to his ebony black hair. His face was thin, rather like his build. He wasn't exactly a scarecrow, but he didn't look like someone serious about his exercise, either. He wore a practical outfit with a button-up shirt and slacks, and had a pair of glasses on his forehead. His jaw hung down as his eyes went from the girls embracing in the hot tub, to the pile of abandoned clothes beside it. "Oh wait, you must be cousin Adren!" Jein realized. Cathallis gasped sank into the water up to her nose. He took a step or two closer, but stopped at a respectful distance. Perhaps "cautious" was more appropriate. " `Cousin' Adren?" he asked. "Who does that make you?" "Oh, I'm Jein, and this is...actually, I don't think she's ready." Adren continued to stare. "Um, could you please go inside? Ask your mom, she knows we're here." "She'd better," Adren murmured and hurried inside. "Come on, we better get out of here before anybody else shows up," Jein advised her sister. "Not ready for an audience yet, huh Cath?" Cathallis splashed her in the face. -------- After hurriedly drying off and dressing behind the tub, they reentered the mansion through the door Adren had taken. He was sitting in a small parlor at a round wooden table, sipping coffee with a slightly quivering hand. Standing in the doorway behind him was Namiel. "So that's why you were asking about the hot tub...," she said quietly, with a look in Cathallis's direction. Was there a slightly playful glint in her eyes as she said it, though? Adren set down his mug and hastily let it go before the clattering of its base against the table could become irritating. "I...I apologize for before," he said. "I didn't recognize you. It's been...a very long time, and we hardly ever saw each other as children." "Yeah, I'd imagine we're a little different than we were back then," Jein said jas she felt Adren's eyes on the front of her clinging borrowed sports bra. Namiel cuffed him lightly on the back of his head. "Don't stare. You were raised better than that." "Uh, maybe we should hold off on this till after I get dressed," Jein suggested. She didn't raise an arm to cover her chest or anything, though. Namiel nodded and cleared her throat loudly. A thin girl whose ears were hidden by a mop of blond curls scurried into the parlor. "Show the girls to their room," Namiel said, and the girl nodded. With a polite curtsy she scurried out of the room again. The twins followed her upstairs and into a sumptuous bed chamber with a pair of beds facing a pair of wooden dressers on either side of a door leading out onto a small balcony. With another curtsy the girl shut the door behind her. Cathallis locked it. Jein sat down on the bed closer to the hall and looked around to assure herself of something. "There's only two beds." "Uh huh," Cathallis said obliviously. "Where's Jasami gonna stay?" "Oh, she's got a little room all to herself upstairs. Aunt Namiel was going to give us each our own room, but while you were getting changed I might have implied that waking up to a familiar face might help you adjust to being back home." "You're not planning on that other bed seeing much use, are you?" Jein asked. Cathallis gaped at her. "Jein! How could you even suggest such a lewd thing of me?!" By way of response, Jein rolled her top up to let her breasts sway free in her sister's direction. Cathallis giggled, bent down and kissed a nipple. "So how DOES that mattress feel?" Jein bounced her ass on it a few times, satisfied by the soft, supportive feel of the mattress. She was aware of the sensation of her breasts jiggling as she tested out the shape of her bad, but it wasn't until she looked up and saw Cathallis staring at her chest that she really NOTICED. Her sister was staring so hard at her chest it occurred to Jein blue and green swirls in her eyes wouldn't be out of place. "It's, uh...good? Don't think it'd bother my back if some cute girl with black hair was grinding me down into it with her crotch?" Cathallis beamed. "We'll just have to find out, won't we?" She climbed onto Jein's bed and started to kiss along her sister's naked arm and up her neck. Jein snickered and was turning to give her a kiss in return when a polite knock came at the door. "Who is it?" Cathallis called. "Pardon me," a girl's voice replied. "I forgot that the mistress asked me to leave this for you." Cathallis walked over, unlocked the door and collected something from the servant girl before shutting and locking the door again. "What is it?" Jein asked. Cathallis looked down at it for a second with colored cheeks before handing it over. "I think it's for you," she said. It was a book with a red and black cover. The title read "Erotic Adventuring For Beginners." "Oh god," Jein gasped, not sure whether to be flattered or taken aback. "Look down," Cathallis said. Jein did. Underneath the title were the words "By Angele Devyre." "Oh god," Jein said again, cheeks coloring. "Dad wasn't kidding about those tricks..."