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Book: The Nomads and the Mind Machine
Chapter 35: Thinner and Softer-Looking

After a breathtaking two-kilometre descent, Sovereign Tihsadeen, still seated in his command chair, had arrived in the ship’s crisis bridge right at the Sadeeni flagship’s core.  Although much smaller than the cathedral-like main bridge, the crisis bridge was still a large and impressive space covered in huge screens, filled with busy crew members, and lit in dramatically low levels of ambient light.  Most importantly, it was completely unscathed by the gravistatic pulse that had devastated the outer sections of the ship.

The sovereign had been down in the crisis bridge for almost an hour.  In that time he had seen report after report on casualties and damage.  It was proving difficult for him to come to terms with the true scale of the disaster that had befallen his fleet.

Crisis Engineer Pug Peelsadeen was standing in front of the sovereign.  He was finishing his report on the state of the engine repairs.  “So, in summary, our subspace capability will be restored in just under an hour, but the subspace drives of our two support cruisers are irreparable.”

The sovereign nodded.  “Our support cruisers will have to remain here.  A minor additional sacrifice when compared to the loss of our entire fleet.”  The sovereign fumed for a moment as he thought about the loss of so many Sadeeni, and more importantly about the failure of his mission – all because of the incompetence of Yug Evahsadeen.  The sovereign looked at the engineer.  “As soon as the subspace drive is repaired set a course for the home world at maximum possible speed.”

The engineer nodded.  “Of course, sovereign.”

Sovereign Tihsadeen pointed at one of the screens.  “I see we still have no sensor coverage.  Why is that?”

The crisis engineer explained.  “All of our sensor pods were destroyed.  There is no way for us to restore normal sensor ability.  Some of my teams are working on redirecting internal sensors outwards.  The range will only be short – about a 100 thousand kilometres.”

The sovereign shook his head.  “That is not adequate.  We have no way of knowing whether or not the bounty hunters are following us.”  He thought for a second.  “Place teams at viewpoints around the ship – especially at the rear.  Give them our most sensitive image enhancement devices.  I want them to do visual scans with the highest magnification possible.  We are vulnerable until we enter subspace.  We must be warned if the bounty hunters are coming after us.”

“Of course, sovereign.  But, as we will be entering subspace within the hour, perhaps there is no need to…”

Sovereign Tihsadeen yelled.  “Do not question my orders!”

Engineer Peelsadeen bowed.  “Appologies, sovereign.”


The engineer backed away, turned, and then walked briskly back to his station.

The communications panel on the sovereign’s chair bleeped.  The sovereign looked down at its screen.  It was Surgeon Gahsadeen.  “What is it?”

The surgeon spoke.  “Yug Evahsadeen’s gender reassignment has been completed, sovereign.  He - I mean she - is now a fully functioning female.

Sovereign Tihsadeen smiled.  He needed a distraction.  “That’s excellent news, surgeon!  Bring Yug to my quarters immediately.”

Yes, sovereign.

The sovereign got to his feet.  Immediately his two Nin servants stepped to his side.  “Pug, I need to rest.  I’m going to my quarters.  You are in charge of the crisis bridge.  Inform me of any developments.”

The crisis engineer turned and nodded.  “Of course, sovereign.”

Sovereign Tihsadeen turned and strode towards the bridge’s exit.  His servants followed close behind.

The sovereign had turned down the lighting in his opulent quarters to a more subdued and peaceful level.  With a bowl of wriggling snacks at his side, a glass of warm juice in his hand and his Nin servants dismissed, the sovereign was finally alone.  At least until his ‘guest’ arrived.  The sovereign took a deep breath and then took a long slow sip of his drink.  He closed his eyes and focused on the smooth velvety taste of shakaberries and erowa root, relishing the warm sensation as the juice crept down his throat.  Feeling calmer he relaxed and sank into his sofa’s deep cushioning.

Dug Tihsadeen had been a sovereign, one of the highest ranks in the Sadeeni military, for almost thirty years now.  This mission, to destroy the prime central world of Nemia and implant a tough Sadeeni government in its place, was one of the most important ever undertaken.  Success would have seen him promoted to monarch, second only to the Supreme Sadeeni himself.  He would have had a seat at the Table of Monarchs, a villa in the grounds of the Castle of Lausnesadeen, sixteen prime Nin servants, and unlimited access to the subterranean harems of Plehstulsadeen.  It would have been an exalted position, one where he could have reveled in the adoration of the masses one day, and then wrapped himself up in a secret underground naked mass of ripe females the next.

Now, unless he could salvage some success from his failure, he would be lucky to hold on to his current rank.  Feeling stressed again he reached into the bowl to his side and grabbed a handful of snacks.  He pushed them into his mouth and chomped hard, enjoying for a moment the primeval pleasure of the writhing creatures as his dark teeth split their abdomens and unleashed the tangy flavours of their innards.

A chime sounded.

The sovereign swallowed and then spoke.  “Enter.”

The door to the sovereign’s quarters opened.  Outside stood Surgeon Gahsadeen.  Dressed in his tight-fitting white medical uniform, the surgeon looked very different to the normal Sadeeni military crew.  Instead of a belt brimming with knives, his belt had nothing more than a single diagnostic scanner attached to it.  The surgeon stepped into the sovereign’s quarters.  Once in he turned and stepped to one side.  “Sovereign, I am here with the female Yug Evahsadeen, as ordered.”

Flanked by two security guards, and wearing nothing more than tight grey thigh-length skirt, Yug stepped shyly into the room, her head down.

Sovereign Tihsadeen looked up and down Yug’s body.  Her physique was now the personification of an alluring female, with wide curving hips and slender legs, a slim waist and bulbous but firm breasts.  Even Yug’s fur was now thinner and softer looking.  The sovereign laughed.  “What a remarkable job you have done, surgeon. Congratulations!”

Surgeon Gahsadeen bowed.  “Thank you, sovereign.”

The sovereign looked at Yug.  “Are you pleased with your new body?”

Yug looked up at the sovereign.  Her eyes were moist.  “I did not deserve this.”  She said.  Her voice was high-pitched and shaky.

“Yes you did!”  The sovereign bellowed.  “You are solely responsible for the catastrophic failure of this mission!”

Yug sobbed, and then nodded.  “I have been punished severely for my incompetence.”  She bowed.

Sovereign Tihsadeen shook his head.  “Your punishment is not over yet!  How dare you assume that?!”

Yug looked up once more.  “What do you mean?”

The sovereign took off his belt of knives.  With a clatter it dropped to the floor.  The sovereign then started to unzip his silver shorts.  “I must administer the next stage myself.”  He said as his shorts dropped to the floor.  The sovereign’s thick appendage was already rising from between his legs.

Yug shook her head rapidly.  “Please!  Not this!”

The sovereign looked down and admired himself for a moment, and then looked up at Yug.  “You will submit to me.”  He nodded at one of the guards.  The guard grabbed Yug’s skirt and ripped it off.

Surgeon Gahsadeen was looking uneasy.  “Should I leave, sovereign?  It might be better if…”

“You will stay, surgeon.  As soon as I have finished I want to know immediately if impregnation was successful.”

The surgeon nodded.  “As you wish, sovereign.”

The sovereign spoke to the guards.  “Take Yug to my bed and lubricate him – I mean her.”

Screaming, Yug was dragged over to the huge blue fur-covered bed in the corner.

With his appendage now standing to full attention, and a sly grin across his furry face, the sovereign followed.

A communications panel on the wall bleeped.  Annoyed, the sovereign stepped over to it and looked at the caller’s name on the screen.  He answered.  “I am in the middle of something.  This had better be important, Pug?”

Crisis Engineer Peelsadeen spoke.  “It is, sovereign.  As you ordered I sent visual scanning teams to points around the ship.

“Yes.  And?”

The team at the rear have spotted four ships in pursuit coming from the direction of the nomad ships.  They will be upon us in less than thirty minutes. They are most likely bounty hunter ships.

The sovereign fumed.  “Of course they are bounty hunter ships!”

We need your leadership, sovereign.  Although our repair teams are making excellent progress we will not be able to enter subspace before they reach us.  We will need to defend ourselves.

The sovereign signed.  “I’m on my way.”  He turned to the guards, who had pinned Yug down on the sovereign’s bed.  “Keep him – I mean her – on the bed until I return.”

The guards nodded.

Grabbing his shorts and knife belt, the sovereign strode out of his quarters.

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