Yew and Me
Although the meetings always seemed to begin amiably enough, they quickly degenerated into a series of heated arguments. Over the years, Alexis Feoderov had become used to being a very large frog in a tiny puddle: he was base commander and also the Governor of what the Kremlin chose to regard as their Martian Oblast: the Russian county on Mars. Because of this he had found some difficulty in adapting to the idea of having a Deputy, much less to actually working with her.
There were changes afoot; Feoderov knew that, and he even had his suspicions that his new ‘deputy’ was from the GRU which, if true, meant that the Army was behind everything and so there was precious little that he could do about any of it. If that was the case, the changes would be wrought with or without his cooperation. He had warned Lilith Yew and was keeping her appraised of the situation as it unfolded: or at least, he was trying too but Karpova’s troopers seemed to be everywhere. He had asked her why they were all female but all she had said was that it was ‘too simplify things’: although what this actually meant escaped him.
He had heard rumours about them too and while no fundamentalist or prude, the rumours left him feeling uneasy. The only thing that moves faster than the speed of light is gossip on a Martian Base and one particular item of gossip had set tongues wagging. It had all begun when one of the male twenty-something technicians had tried flirting with a rather pretty little blonde who happened to be one of Karpova’s troopers: as chat-up lines go, it was neither original nor witty, but then it wasn’t intended to be. “What do you ladies do for fun when you are off duty?”
The put-down, however, had caused more than a little consternation as it was said without irony. “Oh generally,” the blonde had replied, “we have sex with each other!”
If this was anything to go by then the newcomers would never integrate with the rest of the residents; much to Feodorov’s consternation. Over the years that Alexis had been the man in charge he had tried to run things by consensus. When he made decisions, everyone else tended to go along with what he said. Anything contentious was thrashed out in a series of meetings and then implemented. It wasn’t quite democracy nor was it a tyranny either but as systems went it had worked and if a thing worked on Mars people tended to stick with it because the alternative could be something that might not work and here things that didn’t work could easily kill people.
Valentina Karpova had flung herself into her new role of Deputy Base Commander with gusto and enthusiasm. She had demanded storage room so that ‘her people’ could unload the two cargo shuttles. “Storage space is at a premium: anything that can stand it will have to remain outside!” The Governor had stated adamantly.
“Nechevo!” Karpova had replied brightly. “It’s probably the best place for the reactor anyway!”
Feoderov had blanched at this. “Reactor? What reactor? Why wasn’t I informed about your fucking reactor?” His neatly trimmed grey beard bobbing up and down as, red-faced, he began to shake with exasperation.
“Well I’m informing you now, Tovarich Governor!” The woman purred with a shrug. “There’s a British-made fusion reactor in one of the freight shuttles. The sooner we get it unloaded and running, the sooner I can solve all of our power problems.”
Feoderov slumped back into his chair looking more than a little deflated. “A British fusion reactor? Why not a Russian one?” He demanded, his patriotism irked by the presence of foreign-built equipment on his base, but never-the-less he added. “Or even an American one?”
Karpova shrugged. “The American equivalent is about five times the size and only has half the power output and as for a Russian one... Well the government instructed the Academy of Sciences to back-engineer a British fusion reactor a few years ago.”
“And?” He asked: resignation heavy in his voice, almost as if he already knew the answer.
His Deputy-Commander shrugged yet again. “There’s a medium-sized crater just outside the town of Akademgorodok! Besides, the British have been making these things longer than anyone else and are very good at it.”
They made quite a contrast: Feoderov, grey and middle aged who walked with a decided stoop despite the low gravity and his youthful-looking deputy. Something seemed to click in the man’s mind... She only looks about twenty!
He recalled the Kremlin’s instructions that had finally made their way to him: according to the information received, this woman was supposedly older than he was yet there wasn’t a single grey hair in her long ash-blonde plait nor a single line anywhere on her rather broad face. He’d heard about some of the rejuvenation procedures available to the wealthy but hadn’t really believed in them until now. Karpova, according to her bio, had been born in 1998 in Novosibersk so either she was an impostor or rejuvenation was real! God! She looks no older than my daughter!
Suddenly he remembered Lillith Yew and the changes that she had undergone a few years ago after she had seized control of Hive Philae. He had sighed... Maybe he should step down and retire: just like Zara, his wife, kept suggesting.
He glanced across at his deputy. If she is GRU, at her age she’s probably a bloody general!
“Commander?” Valentina Karpova suddenly snapped.
“Hmm?” The Base Commander came out of his reverie and realised that the infernal woman was glaring at him. But before she could repeat whatever it was she had said, Chief Engineer Posokhov burst into the room.
“Alexis Nikitovich.” He shouted. “You’ve got to do something! Those bloody women are dismantling a load of my power relays!”
Feoderov sighed as he turned towards his new deputy and sighed. “And?” He asked. His voice heavy with resignation.
She had smiled and shrugged disarmingly. “If you want to utilize the output of the new reactor, it has to be connected into the system, doesn’t it?” Her voice being akin to that of a primary school teacher addressing a rather slow and dull-witted child.
Suddenly his Deputy and the Chief Engineer began shouting at each other and slowly the argument deteriorated into the sort of exchange of graphic insults that only two Russians can manage. The Governor, at first relieved that he wasn’t in the firing line quickly realised that he should do something to calm things down. He did this by reaching into his desk to retrieve a plastic bag which he inflated and then burst. The sudden loud “bang” surprised the pair of them so much that they broke off the exchange in mid-obscenity and turned to stare their Base Commander.
Feoderov then proceeded to smooth lots of ruffled feathers and eventually Deputy Karpova agreed not to commence work on any further ‘Engineering’ or ‘Power’ projects without first consulting the resident Chief Engineer. The Engineer also ‘welcomed’ any help that Karpova’s girls could furnish to his small section.
Now I’m a diplomat! Feoderov told himself. As if I didn’t have enough to do already.
Although Lily Yew still maintained an office over in the administration wing of Copernico Base she rarely visited it and was normally represented there by one or more of her trusty lieutenants: Eve, Solana, Olivia or one or two of the other qualified women from Hive Philae.
At first many of the residents of Copernico or the other bases and facilities had regarded the open presence of the hive slaves with alarm or suspicion but after five years they were largely accepted as being a normal part of the scenery. Occasionally young and hopeful males, possessed of a great deal of optimism or desperation, would attempt to chat one up. Sometimes bets got laid, although the slaves never did!
Today, however, the moderately-sized rock-hewn office was positively crowded as Lily had called an emergency conference. This in itself was unusual for she normally conducted business on a one-to-one basis so that she could privately reassure as well as guide the other facility leaders who were her co-workers on the Mars Colonization project. Today, however, she also needed to impress and so she had sort the advice of Rebecca who had once been part of Isis Pine’s small harem of bed slaves but was now one of Lily’s most trusted advisors.
It was thanks to Rebecca’s advice that the woman who had ousted Pines and reluctantly taken charge of the Hive, was today, dressed in a long, shimmering green dress that hugged her figure and more than hinted at being a ‘royal robe’. It also complimented her long hair that fell to her chest in luscious red waves. Grudgingly she had to admit that it gave her a very regal appearance, especially when compared with the rather drab coveralls or jump-suits that the others wore. Lily in her shimmering green gown and her two willing slaves dressed in their normal white hive mini-skirts and short tops certainly stood out from the rest of the gathering.
Besides Lily and her party there were about a dozen others crammed into a room that would have been crowded with eight. Many were heads of the bases and facilities that had broken away from their parent governments and thrown their support behind Lady Yew’s break for Martian independence.
Alexander, the quiet man who had taken over from Lilith at Copernico, opened the proceedings. “Frankly, Lily, I’m worried.” When Lady Yew remained quiet, he continued. “We’re pretty sure that the Russians are moving troops into Tsiokolski!”
The wall screen lit up and showed a re-run of the recording taken from the Russian newscast of three weeks earlier. Several of the gathering nodded their agreement as they watched the three lines of identically clad women march out of the airlock tunnel and seemingly confront the gathered local population.
“But that’s a direct violation of the Martian treaty of 2026!” Dr Mike Price, said loudly. Although a Canadian, he had previously been part of the British Martian Survey, the organisation that had appointed him controller of the Hawking Facility years before.
Alexander nodded. “Sure! But no doubt they will claim that our unilateral declaration of independence negates the treaty.” He looked back at the screen and mused. “If they are soldiers they don’t seem to be armed.”
Price shrugged. “Three shuttles landed at the same time, the personnel were in only one of them: there could be anything in the other two; weapons included.”
Lily nodded her agreement but remained quiet.
Angela Wong, Alexander’s deputy was the next to speak. “Given the Russians’ lack of cooperation, can we afford to take a chance?”
Lily smiled. “Oh, Alexis Feoderov has been working closely with me ever since we broke with the Authority back on Earth: he just hasn’t publicised the fact.”
Most of the men and women present looked surprised, although Rebecca and Eve, Lily’s head of security, both remained quiet and continued to stare impassively at their Goddess.
“Oh sure,” Alexander stated, “the Tsiokolski Facility and the smaller Russian bases all threw their lot in with us when we split away from Earth-control, but we all know that they broke away again two years ago when the Kremlin forced them too.
“Seems that what we are doing here is ‘all an American plot’!” The last sentence being enough to raise a chuckle or two.
Lady Yew smiled a knowing smile. “It’s a long way from the Kremlin to Mars, which friend-Alexis realised. We thought that by playing along with a reversion to direct control by the Russian government there would be an influx of investment and equipment. If control became too tight, well Feoderov could easily break away again.”
She turned to one of the two women wearing the white shortie-top and mini-skirt of a Hive Slave-Controller. “Eve?”
The woman seemed to come to life, she nodded to Lily and then turned towards the gathering. “Three weeks ago, this woman arrived at the Russian Facility...”—The screen lit up again, this time to display a slightly out of focus shot of Feoderov’s deputy—“...she introduced herself as Madam Valentina Karpova, the new Deputy Governor of the Russian Martian Oblast, which means ‘county’, by the way.”
She paused to allow people to study the picture of a very young-looking ash-blonde woman wearing a skin-tight blue jump suit before continuing. “Utilizing our contacts on Earth, both within the moribund UN Martian Authority and the governments that are friendly to us, we attempted to research her background.”
There was a long pause broken eventually by Zhuan Jin, the Controller of the former Chinese bases who had flown in specially from Utopia Planitia. “And?” She asked sharply as she was still not comfortable at dealing with one of Yew’s slaves. “What did you find out?”
If Eve noticed that the Chinese woman’s voice had a distinct edge to it, she did not show it. “Very little, Lady Zhuan, we were unable to discover anything definite before about three years ago: at first we thought that she was either GRU or FSB...”
“Say what?” Interrupted a tall effete-looking man who was leaning against the door frame. “What are they, Mademoiselle?”
“The GRU is Russian Military Intelligence while the FSB is their State Security. We were wrong, however, as she appears to belong to and represent a consortium of private enterprise financiers who have injected a sum of several tens of billions in roubles into the Russian Mars effort.” Eve concluded.
“In short,” Lily Yew continued, “if they’re prepared to pour that sort of money into Mars then they must expect a massive return on said investment. So it’s pretty obvious that our vision of turning Mars into a self-sustaining world is going to be at odds with their vision of our planet as their personal cash-cow!”
“Christ!” Muttered Alexander. “It’s going to be a re-run of the old Authority all over again.”
“One with troops on the ground.” Dave Price added glumly.
Meanwhile, back at Tsiokolski Base, in the heart of the Martian Oblast, four more shuttles were landing, which when added to the three already on the ground, made the designated Cosmodrome seem very crowded.
Governor Feoderov could no longer hide his exasperation as he gazed out of his office window which directly overlooked the landing area. “How many more of your people are you saddling me with, Tovarich?”
The woman, who he had come to loathe, ignored his shouting, although there was precious-little respect in her voice when she replied. “This is the balance of my one hundred and twenty, Feoderov, not that it is any business of yours.”
Even the facade of civility seemed to have been abandoned, at least in private. “Madam, everything that happens on this planet is my business,” He thundered. “I am the Governor of the Martian Oblast, do not forget that.”
She stared directly at his face which was now bright red with anger and smiled, twitched, grunted and then smiled again. “You are a tired man, Feoderov, and I’m not the only one who believes that.” Once more she groaned and twitched before adding. “You need a long rest.”
He was about to make an acid retort when he noticed that her whole body, or at least the part of it that wasn’t hidden behind her boxed-in desk, was quivering. Suddenly she shouted. “Oh, yes! Yes! Fuck me, yes!” Before leaning back in her chair with a pleasant smile plastered across her broad, sweaty face.
“Sorry? You were saying?” She asked sweetly.
Feoderov sniffed: there was a definite musky odour in the air. He strode across the room grabbed the back of the infernal woman’s chair and pulled it away so that he could look under her desk. Wide eyed, he gasped as what he saw shocked him into a stunned silence. From beneath the desk a pair or ice-blue eyes met his gaze unwaveringly. The eyes being set in a rather pretty face.
He looked up, his mouth opening and closing in a fair approximation to that of a goldfish. “What the hell do you think you are doing? Have you no decency?”
Valentina smiled sweetly at him, thus proving that she hadn’t. “Oh you must permit me my little distractions, Alexis Nikitovich.” The use of his patronymic displaying mockery rather than the usual friendly familiarity. “How else can I be expected to endure your tedious presence?”
Feoderov peered under the desk again just to check that he hadn’t imagined that the bitch had actually been having sex in his presence... Unfortunately he wasn’t dreaming! Nothing had changed, his erstwhile deputy was still naked from the waist down with a young brunette jammed between her thighs. The brunette. whose face and hair were plastered with her mistress’s juices, ignored him and went back to licking Karpova’s Pussy.
“Welcome to our Brave New World, Governor.” Karpova purred before moaning once again.
The high level meeting over at Copernico was also about to break-up, although in a different manner to its counterpart at Tsiokolski. However just as Lily began to wind things up and thank everyone for attending, there was an interruption. Dr Nehal Chaudhari, the small Indian Woman representing the Gandhi Facility raised a finger for attention.
“Yes, Nehal?” Lily enquired somewhat surprised because Dr Chaudhari had not said anything all afternoon.
“Lady Yew, would it be possible to view the news broadcast of those soldiers arriving at the Russian base again?” She asked quietly.
“Of course!” Lily signalled to Eve who moved over to the workstation controlling the wall screen.
Once again they watched the airlock doors swing open and the three lines on female troopers march in.
“And pause!” Chaudhari instructed.
On the screen the women froze in mid-stride.
“Would it be possible to zoom in on one of their faces?” The Indian woman asked politely.
Eve’s fingers danced over keyboard and touch-pad causing the face of the left hand lead-trooper to swell until it filled the wall screen. There was something odd about it... The woman had a silver disc about a half inch in diameter embedded in the middle of her forehead: the disc itself had a raised electric-blue stud in its centre.
The group stared in stunned silence for several seconds before Dr Chaudhari asked if it would be possible to move on to another one. The view swung away from the pale blonde and onto a Hispanic-looking woman who also had a similar forehead ornament. The third one did too... and the fourth... and the fifth...
A sense of unease suddenly permeated the whole room as surprised muttering filled the air.
Suddenly the office door flew open and one of the base admin staff ran in. “Lady Yew! Lady Yew!” The young woman seemed agitated and on the verge of panic as she called out. “Sorry to interrupt but we’ve just heard from Tsiokolski Base: Governor Feoderov’s dead and they’re on lock-down because they claim he’s been assassinated by ‘foreign agents’!”