Synopsis: The War with Humanity ebbed and flowed, at times the Humans even thought they were winning. In a land where the dreamtime was never truly forgotten, the return of human invaders has been anticipated and the ground prepared.
Disclaimer: This is fan fiction and is set in the universe created by Storm Constantine in her novels. It is understood that all rights to this story and the original characters there-in revert to her, should she require it.
Authors note for those not familiar with Wreaththu Mythos: The Wreaththu are the next evolution of humanity, for them male and female are out of date concepts. The act of Wreaththu lovemaking is called Aruna. When Aruna is done to create magic it is called Grissecon. Humans can be turned into Wreaththu by an infusion of infected blood. Normally this inception process is hazardous to health and incapacitates the victim for about a week, at the end of which the transformation is stabilized by sexual intercourse.
Gethyn Tomas, fingered the safety catch on his M-16, on, off, on, off, it was a nervous habit, a very bad one, one he should be trying to quit.
The clink of pebble against pebble caused him to jerk the assault rifle up to his shoulder, ready to give a burst to whatever thing was out there.
A second later he let out a sigh of relief and relaxed his aim. It was just some bird stretching its brightly feathered wings in a mating display.
Nervously he clicked his radio "Radio check. Point Five, all clear"
"Confirm rad...io checkzz point five." replied Sgt Diaz's reassuringly calm voice, only just audible over the background hiss.
The mysterious radio interference was of course part of The Big Problem. Nearly three years ago 'increased sunspot activity' had wiped out all the satellites and rendered long-range radio signals increasingly unreadable. Of course 'sunspots' didn't explain why the jamming was rumored to be worse near the infected; the mutant so-called Wreaththu. Fucking smug bastards!
The Wreaththu had known somehow; the fuckers had been ready. The same fucking day that the 'sunspot activity' started had been the day that they'd staged mass breakouts from the quarantined cities, trying to spread their filthy disease to every town within reach.
The chaos caused by the loss of the satellites would have been bad even in normal times, adding in the swarms of infectious Wreaththu mutants eager to spread their unclean blood, it had nearly brought down the good ol' US of A ...almost.
It had taken Homeland Security two full years to re-establish a new containment line behind minefields and razor wire in the passes along the Rocky and Appalachian mountain ranges. In the meantime international relations became sporadic and then almost irrelevant as every nation tried to deal with its own infestations. It was a long time before someone at Cheyenne Mountain noticed that Australia had quietly become a silent blank on the map.
Some helpful bio-scientist at HQ had suggested that a new lethal variant of The Wreaththu Mutation had wiped everyone out down-under. Naturally as soon as that possibility had been suggested an expedition had become inevitable.
It had of course been Gethyn’s shitty dumb luck to be conscripted into the carrier USS George W.'s marine battalion. Fucking Emergency Committee! No point exposing elite troops to a potential bio-hazard, oh no, the real jar-heads were safe back home guarding the passes. The likes of Gethyn P. Thomas esquire had been packed aboard the Big Dubya sent instead. Bastards!
"Come on Geth, keep it together" he said to himself scanning the ruins of Sydney's Olympic village.
Sydney scared him shitless.... Sydney was dead, and alive, and absolutely 100% alien. Not a single house survived intact. Some buildings had been looted, some had burned, others had collapsed under the weight of tropical vegetation or been pierced by trees that seemed to have spontaneously grown up through the floor.
Without exception every surviving wall in this part of town had been graffitied with Wreaththu symbols, beautiful yet sinister artwork, a little like a cross between Moslem illuminated scripts and Celtic knotwork.
The Intel briefing had said that the symbols were definitely a language. Unfortunately nobody knew what the hell it said. Rumor had it that when Home-Sec had tried to torture the answer out of one of their Wreaththu captives, he'd simply smiled sadly and told them that they wouldn't understand.
The Nuclear-Bacterial-Chemical suits they'd been issued with didn't help either, the sealed environment leaving him hot and sweaty, with only the sound of his own panicky breathing to listen too.
The worst of it, was that despite the abandoned streets, he was certain that the infected were still here...watching...waiting.
Yesterday Cpl. Delgado had vanished, his gear strewn all over the street, his underpants and socks left dangling from a vine tangled set of traffic lights.
There had been no footprints in the dust, no sign of a scuffle.
Gethyn especially didn't like it that he'd drawn the short straw and was now stood at exactly the same point on the perimeter that Cpl. Delgado had occupied.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw another movement, just a flicker. He turned, but couldn't see anything; just more twisted steel sticking from ruined concrete. The panicky breathing noise got faster.
Carn Firsteggborn perched quietly on top of the wall gripping the crumbling concrete between naked toes. There were several nearer places he could have hidden, but attention to detail was one of the traits that had prompted the Hara of the tribe to select him for this mission. Not only was he unseen, he was downwind of the human so that even if the creature did have a better than expected sense of smell it wouldn't get the opportunity to detect him.
Not that there seemed even the remotest chance that this human was any more likely to detect him than the last one had been. The poor creature would probably die of heat exhaustion with the ridiculous amount of clothing it was wearing, long before it managed to pick up his scent.
Personally, Carn couldn't understand the defunct species fascination with clothing, aside from a belt to hang things from and a small amount of hand embroidered fabric to accent a hara's innate attractiveness what was the point?
Hopefully this one would prove to be fitter than the previous human. Sadly that one hadn't survived the stress of inception, his loss had been a setback, and several important runes had lost potency due to the delay. It had to be this human or the tribe would have to think again and choose a riskier tactic.
Carn settled down to wait. Beguiling the first human had drained a lot of grissecon energy from the trap; as a result he estimated it would take another twelfth of a day for the magic to saturate the victim.
From what his hostling had told him, the area where the human stood was the magical equivalent of standing on top nuclear reactor core, (whatever that was). Carn hadn’t needed the comparison; his own senses and training were perfectly sufficient to tell him that the ground below had become a bit special.
Roughly a twelfth later he glanced at the sun and was pleased to note that his sense of time was good. The human should be just about cooked by now.
Choosing the spot that he intended to occupy, Carn leapt down landing silently on the pile weed choked concrete.
Gethyn jumped, startled by the sudden presence of young man perched on the ruins in front of him. No! Not a boy! A Wreaththu! One of the infected!
He almost shot the unclean fucker out of hand, but immediately realized just how important this might be, get it to talk maybe ....if he could capture it!
At the least this disproved the whole 'lethal mutation' theory. Here was a tanned longhaired wreaththu youth, dressed only in a loincloth and a few decorative feathers, clearly in peak physical condition.
Gethyn almost radioed it in, but somehow he sensed that a move like that would spook the mutant... Clearly it wanted something or it wouldn't have allowed itself to be seen.
Carefully Gethyn aimed his M16 and moved forward with exaggerated care. The Wreaththu cocked his head to one side, a beautiful grin creasing its face.
The strange ethereal beauty of The Infected was something they'd all been warned about. Basic training had a lot to say about shooting first before they got close enough to tempt you.
Gethyn had shot several of the raggedy-ass muties back home on the perimeter, enough to know that you didn’t need the knife wielding maniacs getting that close, temptation or no temptation.
This time seemed different; this one was closer than he'd ever allowed a Wreaththu to get before. He found it to be a strange dislocating experience being this close. Slowly the muzzle of his M-16 drifted to one side, no longer aimed directly at the target. He didn't notice.
Wild beauty revealed itself before him and he recognized it instantly. It was as if he'd known that the Wreaththu boy was coming for him. He felt like a kid waking up on Christmas day and knowing that the long, long, wait was over. It was his time and he knew that everything was right, everything correct, everything as it should be.
Later Gethyn would look back on this and acknowledge, with wry amusement, the skill with which the trap had been laid. Being a mere human soldierboy he'd been too far out of tune with reality to notice that he'd spent the better part of the morning standing within a circle of mind altering grissicon runes.
The writing was quite literally on the wall. The inks made from powdered ochre mixed with liquid milked during the sacred act. The graffiti glowed in ways that his human eye wasn't quite capable of perceiving. He'd already read the word-symbols without realizing it and deep down, way below what passed for human awareness, a part of him understood what those words promised and commanded.
The Wreaththu youth took him by the hand and led him away from his guardpost. The decision to follow did not require any thought, nor did it cause him any hesitation, he was ready, a fruit ripe and eager to be plucked. And that was all there was to it.
The line in the sand left by the loosely dragged M-16 might have given things away had not the other, unseen, Wreaththu swiftly moved to brush the sand flat.
Vaguely, Gethyn recognized the Olympic Velodrome, he'd been part of the squad that had searched the small arena after Delgado's disappearance. He hadn't liked the arena then, if anything there was even more of the Wreaththu graffiti there than around the guard post. At some level he knew that he ought to be worried, but the thought didn't stick, slipping through his ensnared mind like water across a stony riverbed.
It wasn't until the Wreaththu boy's tribe had stripped him and laid him down in the centre of the intricate spiral pattern that covered the Velodrome's central arena that Gethyn was allowed to have any doubts.
That of course was part of the spiral's purpose, to allow the doubts, fears, and human sexuality to be expressed, and then rapidly redirected into an unnatural eagerness for all things Wreaththu.
By the time the Wreaththu boy was standing over him, the hunger for the ouana-lim had seeped into Gethyn, a burning desperate animal need for a flower he'd never known.
Even though he was infused by a state of arousal far beyond what a human could normally experience, he found that he was now quite lucid, thinking clearly even if every thought eventually led back to a fantasy of Wreaththu bodies writhing in orgiastic ecstasy.
"Is it time?" He asked struggling slightly against the waves of arousal that shimmered in the arena like a heat haze
The Wreaththu before him nodded and took a hideously ornate knife from his hand woven belt, drawing it across the palm of his hand, offering it.
Seconds later Gethyn was feeding, feeding hungrily on the wound; like a vampire, feeling the blood on his tongue, warm and sticky, tasting like honey to his carefully re-tuned mind.
Sensing the beginnings of inception a second set of interwoven runes began to glow and activate. Changes that would normally take days, took place in a blink of dreamtime; the poisonous human DNA rejected and expelled in less than a hundred thousandth fraction of a day.
The human body at the centre of the spiral arched its back; connected to the enchanted earth only by the soles of its soft feet, its shoulders and its clawing fingertips.
The primitive human penis springing erect, swelling, growing longer, its meat dividing and sub-dividing its outer skin forming the chrysalis for the vastly more complex organ that it was becoming. Like a rosebud the sexual flower unraveled. Before the human body could get its hand from the ground to its evolving penis, the unraveling had moved within its body, vital organs shifting around to make room for something new.
With all the grisecon energy expended, the rune patterns faded, leaving behind Wreaththu's newest convert, gasping for air and slammed back to mental normality as if sluiced with a bucket of ice cold water. Around him on the ground the expelled human DNA formed a mucus-like slime that steamed in the hot antipodean sun.
Unsteadily Gethyn stood up, as wobbly on his feet as a newborn colt. Instinctively he moved his hand to cover his exposed sex, not yet ready to think about the baby-soft flesh that brushed against his palm. Whatever happened, there was no way he was going to give his captors a free show.
There were questions, so many questions that he wanted to ask.
"Because we need someone on the inside, mate"
"What the fuck makes you think I'll help you? Look at me! You've fucking castrated me!" stormed Gethyn. To make matters worse, his captor did look at him. It was a long lusty look assessing the curves of his body with predatory hunger.
Gethyn blushed and moved his other hand to obscure as much of his transformed crotch as he could.
"No worries mate. I'm sure I can get you to change your mind" replied the Wreaththu boy his voice light and full of humor.
A beautiful voice, to go with a beautiful body; Gethyn shook his head what was he thinking!?
"Dream on!" he snarled viciously "I'm still me! I'm a Marine! What you did hasn't changed my loyalties....and, and how did you do this to me anway? Infection is supposed to require a massive blood transfusion and causes least a week of disability."
The last bit sounded pathetic and girlish, even to his own ears. Almost as if he might be about to fucking cry about it
"...and sex, mate. A successful inception requires sex." pointed out the grinning Wreaththu
"Don't change the subject!" snapped Gethyn feeling his blush burn brighter, and turn a bit tingly just below his stomach.
"I'm not, mate. It really is all about sex, the way we prepared the ground with months of orgiastic ceremony, accelerating time itself, changing you so that you could change others, all of it, all about sex. Y'see, right now mate, you are operating on about 90% instinct, its just that hangnail of old human assumptions that’s stopping you jumping all over me." replied the Wreaththu boy casually taking a step closer.
The step was graceful, smooth, like watching a dancer. Gethyn found his attention grabbed by the naked foot, perfect ankle and smooth, evenly tanned thigh. His hungry eyes only stopping when they reached the tie-dyed and richly embroidered cloth that hung down from the Wreaththu boy's belt, covering his mutated sex.
"Time? Accelerated?" he mumbled distractedly. Damn that boy looked good.
"Yes mate. We had to. 'course its only temporary, you'll have to give the time back later. Everything has to balance out." said the Wreaththu boy's voice from directly behind him.
Gethyn jumped, rolling away, almost as if someone had yelled 'Grenade!' How the Wreaththu boy had gotten that close, that quickly, was a mystery. How on Earth had he allowed himself to become that distracted? He was a Marine for fucks sake!
The Wreaththu boy laughed again, it was an honest joyful sound and Gethyn couldn't help the slight smile that creased his lips. His dive for cover had almost been as dramatic as the time as a kid, when he'd spilt an extra large coke over Mary Higgins because a balloon had popped.
The Wreaththu boy silently moved closer, his slim delicate hand outstretched offering to pull him back to his feet. Gethyn hesitated and then put his hand into that of the mutant, it felt soft, warm and 'right' in ways he didn't want to think about.
With surprising strength he was pulled upright. In the back of his mind, Sgt Diaz's warning repeated in his mind 'don't let them get close, they give off some sort of female super-pheromone that'll tempt you into deviant behaviour'
As soon as he'd thought the thought Gethyn inhaled. The briefing was right! There was a scent, just at the fringe of perception, like new mown hay mixed with a hint of rose.
Behind his protective hand, the re-evolved fragments of his cock squirmed like a live octopus. He might not be quite ready but his body knew its business.
In pulling him upright the wreaththu boy had deliberately left him standing very close, well within what a human would consider an invasion of personal space. The Wreaththu Boy's exotically beautiful face filled Gethyn's field of vision, lips slightly apart inviting, no… , demanding to be kissed.
The Wreaththu boy might originally have been asian, his eyes having a slight almost oriental look that looked incredibly cute. Sweat trickled down Gethyn’s spine as he desperately tried not to give in to this new compulsion.
"Stop fighting it, mate." whispered the Wreaththu sympathetically placing a hand on Gethyn's shoulder. Slowly the hand moved upward to his neck, finally grasping the back of his head and pulling him into a kiss.
Gethyn had time to think that he 'ought to be resisting' one last time before their lips touched.
His eyes widened, this was like a mind-meld! He knew everything about his partner and soon to be lover. Knowledge flowed like water into an empty coconut shell.
Gethyn sensed that the Wreaththu boy's name was Carn Firsteggborn and he was a trueborn, a pure Wreaththu who'd never been human at all. He was this tribe's first son, and secretly loathed his second name. He was also immensely proud to be given the critical task of incepting one of the invaders.
The mind-meld clearly showed that Carn thought of himself as unproven and slightly unworthy. In fact he'd entirely missed the shear awe in which his parents and elders held him. Instinctively Gethyn twisted their shared thoughts as if shining a spotlight in Carn's memories showing him how much his tribe truly thought of him.
Shared love and gratitude reflected back into Gethyn along with Carn's deep determination that Gethyn's 'first time' would be as glorious an event as he could make it. The knowledge that this sharing was only the prelude colored everything.
The mindmeld-kiss lasted a full ten seconds; in that time Gethyn gained all of his tribe's history, a rough understanding of their vast para-psychic skills, knowledge of bushcraft and an understanding of his place within the pattern. The mindmeld-kiss...no wrong term, ..'The Sharing of Breath'... ended by unspoken agreement.
Carn hesitated then, waiting for Gethyn to make the first and final move in the dance. In response He shifted his stance, spreading his legs and relaxing his sexual muscles in the strange new way that he'd picked up whilst sharing Carn's memories of his own first time.
Carn's ouana-lim brushed against him sending a thrill up his spine. He smiled encouragingly. Carn was hesitant; it was a part of his beautiful nature not to force himself upon another.
"Take me! Dominate me! Make me yours Carn!" Gethyn hissed, bending his knees so that he was as close to being penetrated as he could get without becoming Hara.
Aruna. The love making was brief but in his mind it lasted for hours...not hours! Days! The rune spiral's final gift of distorted time allowing them to share each other and explore erotic depths that even the experienced Carn hadn't expected.
In the end it was Gethyn who ended their lovemaking, gently rolling Carn off him.
"We should stop now. If I don't report in soon they'll suspect" said Gethyn, quietly observing the play of emotions on Carn's face. "And yes I'm just as eager for more as you are...Chesnari?"
"Chesnari..." Carn's eyes widened, he'd read about the concept of 'love at first sight' in books about primitive human sexuality. It hadn't occurred to him that it could happen in real life. Now that it was pointed out of course, it was obvious. "Yes!...Chesnari for certain my love!"
Gethyn grabbed a discarded sock and began pulling it on while Carn moved to collect the rest of his uniform.
"You do know that they plan to use nukes on us if they don’t find any live humans here?"
"Yep, they were always going to reach for the big hammer sooner or later, that’s why we needed you Chesnari." replied Carn throwing Gethyn's camo-patterned pants at him.
"Seen my underpants anywhere?"
"I'd advise you to forget underpants. Instrument of torture those things, mate. Besides I don't want your ouana-lim rubbed raw before I get a chance to wrap myself around it me." chuckled Carn.
"Promises, Promises" muttered Gethyn pulling the pants on but taking the advice seriously and not bothering with the Marine-issue underwear. Having worn the things before he could well believe that certain new parts of his body wouldn't react well.
"Quickly!" snapped Gethyn pointing to the source of the broadcast.
Carn dived across the arena scooping up the radio and hurling it. Gethyn surprised himself by plucking the device out of the air so easily.
"Point Five. All clear"
"Confirmed. Sta..zzz.y Alert marine, Diaz out"
Gethyn let out a shaky sigh, he'd done it, betrayed his friends without the slightest hesitation.
"That just purchased us some time. Carn, I know from sharing breath that I'm vital to the tribe’s plan. What I don't understand is what it is exactly that I have to do."
Instead of answering verbally, Carn handed him his other sock and shared breath for a second time. The plan flowed fully into Gethyn's mind, every detail crystal clear. He'd always assumed that humanity's mastery of warfare would lead to ultimate victory over neo-primitive sword wielding Wreaththu. Now he understood exactly how wrong that assumption had been, the tribe's real weapons did not rely on technology at all. The humans had no defense against what was planned and would probably write off the tribe's actions as stupid mysticism.
The bit that concerned Gethyn most was the part Carn was intended to play.
"You know that they will almost inevitable that they torture you? ...and that I'm almost certainly not going to be able to stop them"
Carn caressed Gethyn's cheek. "Ignoring pain is something I was trained to do by age four, mate. I'll only begin to worry when they start amputating"
"Don't even joke about it!"
"Seriously I know what I'm doing. I'm 2nd gen. And that’s something they've not seen before, that makes me valuable. Now lets get started. You should alert the soldierboys" advised Carn, picking up one of the weapon's components, a smooth pebble that glowed with the invisible ultraviolet of grissecon energy.
"Yes, Master Sergeant Carn" replied Gethyn giving a mock salute and earning a humorous glare from his lover "Point 5 to base. I've captured a Wreaththu! Permission to bring him in, over"
"Negative Point 5, maintain position, we'll send a humvee to collect the Mutie"
"Aye Sir, Thomas out"
Whilst he'd been talking, Carn retrieved the discarded NBC helmet and placed it back on Gethyn's head. Stepping back he inspected his work with a critical eye, dissatisfied he straightened the headgear and stood back again hands on hips, grinning at the joke.
Gethyn grinned back and stuck out his tongue before setting off at a jog toward the guardpost. If the humans were sending a vehicle then they needed to get back there fast and look dramatic.
A few minutes later they were abroad the humvee and speeding toward the main base, Gethyn up front and Carn hog-tied and thrown in the back.