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Issue 0018, June 2018

Sovryn Tech Newsletter

Greetings, programs! Wait...wasn’t I just saying how fast the last Sovryn Tech Newsletter came out? I did...but how about this speed, huh? Again, I’m not sure that I’ll always be able to do two newsletters per month, but at the moment things have worked out in such a way that I can, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Ahhh...the summer. You know, I had a pretty amazing experience recently. All of you know me to be quite the talker, at least behind the mic… Believe me, I’m this horrible, uncharming, introverted creature otherwise. Some of you have even come to appreciate me as a writer. Both mean the world to me. And while I’m a person who thinks he’s capable of anything and everything, there are two things I just can’t seem to pull off: writing poetry, and drawing. Drawing, especially. I’m fucking terrible. Can’t draw a straight line to save my life. But back to that “amazing experience”...I actually sat down a few days ago...and drew. Trees, as a matter of fact. Okay, there might have been a car drawn, too. I just sat there and drew. In a little journal. I haven’t been able to forget the experience since for a variety of reasons. But it has inspired me to pick up the pen--a literal pen--and journal and just go nuts with it. Drawing. Writing. Listing. Anything that tickles the ol’ fancy. Hell, I even drew a treasure map. Not kidding. And it has been tremendous fun, and also very enlightening. I don’t think I’ve physically used a writing implement this much in decades, and I just love it. It’s hitting some parts of my brain that needed a good exercise. Ideas have come to me that--well, if I do say so myself--are fucking brilliant. Maybe sometime I’ll share them with you. But for now, I recommend picking up a pen and a journal and getting to the business. Go nuts. Go wild. Don’t think about it too much. Just let go and let it rip. You might be surprised what gets put down, and how it makes you feel. I know I’m thankful for being inspired to do it.

Sooooo...anyway...why am I doing two newsletters per month right now? The reasons are two. The first is that my editor, Ellen, is awesome (no surprise to anyone reading this, I’m sure). The second is that the present Star Trek: Forbidden Frontiers short fiction--specifically the present multi-part series, “Another Side of Paradise”--has so much story to be told, that to have it done in time for the release of the STFF audio theater it’s likely going to take up a total of six (!) parts! All of that has to be done by the end of August, so...bi-monthly newsletters. The response I’ve gotten from the short fiction has been tremendous, and I’m honored by that. It has really been a collaborative project with my two favorite people in the world, and if it brings smiles to faces and...uh...other things...hey, great.

Alright, enough of all that. Go enjoy the newsletter! And let me know what you think about “Another Side of Paradise, Part IV” while you’re at it!

-BBS

 
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IS TOO MUCH SEX POSSIBLE?

SSSSSEEEEEEXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!!!!! UNHOLY SHIT I LOVE SEX! WOOO! Were you surprised? Of course you’re not, you know whose newsletter you’re reading, baby.
 
And when I see a headline from Psychology Today like the one above--“Is Too Much Sex Possible?”--obviously it peaks my interest. So I read the blog entry, and I was impressed. If I took the title at face value, of course my answer would be a resounding “no.” There is no such thing as too much sex. That’s preposterous. But the article linked below has a point to make: there is such a thing as “unhealthy sex”.
 
If you want revelations and golden nuggets of wisdom about sex, I recommend reading the entire thing. It will shed light on things that you either haven’t thought about in a while, or never even considered. For example:
 
Remember that you’re having sex with another person, not with yourself.
 
Beautiful. Sex with another person (or persons at the same time) isn’t masturbation. You have real live human beings on...err...in your hands here. Get over your selfishness, and recognize that they have desires as well. For fuck’s sake, that’s why they are in bed with you. This other quote drives the point home:
 
To get pleasure in your partner's pleasure while feeling pleasure yourself. Well, that's a good thing that's gone great.
 
That completely fits in with my own definition of love: when someone’s happiness is completely intertwined with your own. That’s how I love. I suggest you try it.
 
Or how about this choice quote from the article:
 
While the act [of sex] itself may be gratifying, there is no substitute for dealing with what’s bothering you. Good sex creates a bond. But, if underneath there’s neediness or rage, the relationship is in trouble.
 
Yeah, bingo. Sometimes we have sex to fill some kind of emotional void within us. Baby, that’s not really solving the problem. And I know, I’ve been there too. Sex is a celebration of life, not a band-aid. As the article brilliantly states:
 
See sex as a form of communication and even as a form of adult play and you’re in business.
 
Get in business, my friends. Read the rest of the article for more insights and--I think--a very healthy attitude towards sex, whether you’re with your partner, having a threesome, or in a full-on orgy. Ooh...I really like those last two.
 
Read more by clicking on the button below.

FULL STORY

EMPATHIC PEOPLE USE SOCIAL BRAIN CIRCUITRY TO PROCESS MUSIC

How about that Psychology Today, huh? Not gonna lie, I read from it often. Such varied viewpoints that they feature (along with publishing Dr. Peter Gray, who I’m a fan of). But what the Hell does that headline have to do with anything in this case? Turns out there was some interesting research on the effects of music on the brain by researchers at Southern Methodist University (yikes) and UCLA.
 
Notably, the researchers found that higher empathy people process music as if it’s a pleasurable proxy for real-world human encounters and show greater involvement of brain regions associated with reward systems and social cognitive circuitry.
 
In the field of music psychology, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that varying degrees of the trait empathy are linked to how intensely someone responds emotionally to music, his or her listening style, and overall musical preferences.
 
For example, recent studies have found that high-empathy people are more likely to enjoy ‘beautiful but sad’ music. Additionally, high empathizers seem to get more intense pleasure from listening to music in general, as indicated by robust activation of their reward system in the fMRI.
 
Believe it or not, I’ve been “accused” of being a very empathetic person, and I consider that a compliment. But it’s tough to claim that for one’s self. Do I enjoy “beautiful but sad” music...yeah, I suppose. I love Neil Diamond. I can think of some ballads I appreciate. But I don’t know, that’s a pretty broad and highly subjective brush to paint a musical style with.
 
Does music affect me as if it’s someone else in the room with me, though? Oh fuck yes. I feel what the music is parlaying in a very deep and real sense. It’s part of why I love music so much. And even sad songs to me are immensely pleasurable in ways that are tough to describe. So hey, maybe there is something to all of this. Regardless, there are interesting takeaways from this research.
 
To get really weird on you for a second, I’ve often talked on Sovryn Tech about how I think even within the species Homo sapiens sapiens there may be different subspecies. It happens a lot in nature, but I don’t think any possible examples with other species are comparable or useful for humans as we’re so complex by comparison. But the idea of subspecies may be useful to understanding ourselves regardless, even if we have no point of comparison.
 
Sometimes, in that line of thinking, I think it’s possible that a certain “Homo sapiens empathicus” (I know that sounds funny) could be such a subspecies. There are some people that really feel that deeply, and have a deep understanding of life and sense of love. I could talk about this for hours, so I won’t go much further here now. But perhaps this research with music and high-empathy individuals is pointing in the direction that we’re not all cut from the same cloth as we’re led to believe. Fascinating stuff.
 
Read more by clicking the button below.

FULL STORY

BANJO-KAZOOIE 20 YEARS LATER

Does the Golden Stallion love video games? Oh baby...you know it. And let’s set the Wayback Machine for 20 years ago, in 1998. There is a heated battle going on between Sony’s Playstation and Nintendo’s N64. Sony is winning, and the N64 for many (not all, including myself) is seen as a joke for the kiddie gamers. Not an unfair assessment entirely, but also unfair in that a lot of gamers missed out on some of the greatest games ever made (SEE: Conker’s Bad Fur Day).
 
One such game is Banjo-Kazooie from 1998. This game is a work of art in every sense of the word. While most people remember the N64 for Super Mario 64 (or GoldenEye), Banjo-Kazooie took everything that the N64 could deliver at the time and pushed it up to mother-fucking 11. It’s that good. If someone said it was the greatest platformer of all time, I wouldn’t argue with them much.
 
A game with a simple premise not unlike anything from the Donkey Kong series, it’s sad that its beauty (and near 50 hour length to fully complete...woooo…) isn’t experienced by more gamers. If you don’t have Xbox Live or hadn’t played it on the N64 originally, you may never get the chance to play it (you’ll likely never see it re-released on a Nintendo console, though emulators might be an option). But if you need incentive, and if you want to appreciate all that it took to make this masterpiece, NintendoLife recently interviewed its developers. It’s a Hell of a story back when making games took some serious wizardry...let alone to make a great game like Banjo-Kazooie.
 
Oh, and try to find a way to play this action.
 
Read more by clicking the button below.

FULL STORY
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THE VIDEO DIMENSION

 
This is the section of the Sovryn Tech Newsletter where I share various videos from all kinds of sources: videos of things that I've found either entertaining, informative, or trailers of things to come...maybe even documentaries of the strange and unknown!
Professor Marston & The Wonder Women "I Love YOU" Scene

Hot damn, if you knew how much I love this movie. I’m not kidding, I think this movie is going to be remembered as a complete societal game-changer, and as an absolute classic of cinema. People don’t realize it yet, I know, but I can call this shit. I’ve made a career out of it.

So what’s with the video above? Well, first off I think it’s a beautiful moment (or at least leads to a more beautiful moment). I hope it entices you to watch the film because it’s such a grabbing scene. It’s like something that would be played on Johnny Carson with the actors there on stage to convince you to watch it.

Just watch the movie already. I think it could change the face of the human condition as it is popularly thought of. For the better. What a moment.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Bridge Sounds for Sleep or Studying 10 Hours

It’s not a Video Dimension without some Star Trek in it, is it? Woo...you know I get asked a lot how I get so much done in such a short amount of time. Want to know one of my best tricks? Bridge sequences. Seriously.
 
I’ll put on the Bridge sequence from TNG (the TOS one has a few too many annoying sounds that throw me off), and I can go all night rocking whatever I need to rock out. I don’t know how much thought the production team for TNG put into those sounds, but they are just so perfect in the background...and downright peaceful. It’s amazing.
 
Give it a shot when you’re on your next binge of getting shit done. I think you might be shocked.

Zecharia Sitchin: Lost Realms

Emphasis on the strange and historical here. Yes, I do think that in many ways Zecharia Sitchin (someone who today would be called an “Ancient Astronaut Theorist”) had much to teach us about our own human history. And look, as I’ve stated many times, I don’t think aliens from outer space had anything to do with our history (or present, and maybe not even our future), but I do think we have a series of archeological and anthropological oddities that just can’t be explained by modern historical theories.
 
This is where brilliant people like Sitchin come in. Sure, they bring us more question marks than they do periods, but what comes before those question marks is so tantalizing it does make you rethink...well...sometimes everything. Everything you’ve been told about history, at least. The video above is a lecture discussing Sitchin’s theories around the Sumerians and the Annunaki (whom he claims are aliens). It’s decades old, and you might even think it's boring in its presentation. But understand, Sitchin was serious as a heart attack, and he delivers real data along with his wilder theories of course. There’s a lot to chew on here. I disagree with quite a bit of it, but there are few things that are just mind-boggling in their ramifications that you can’t ignore.
 
Check it out. Definitely better than what the History Channel is passing off as television these days.

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THE SOVRYN TECH BOOK CLUB



It's the Sovryn Tech First University Book Club! Wait...doesn't everybody have a fucking book club? Yeah, it seems like it. I find most of them annoying, but since so many Sovryn Tech Patrons asked for this, you're getting one from me too (by demand of the listeners), as a new feature in the Sovryn Tech Newsletter!
 
But understand, I don't expect you to follow along and read (or listen to) all of this at the same speed I do. I and the other members of the Sovryn Tech Cabal (my lovely co-hosts) may never talk about these books on air, but if you want to see what we're taking in on our leisure (or not-so-leisure) time, below, every month, will be the books that myself, Stephanie, and Ellen had read for that month, or are in the middle of reading. Most likely though, we'll have completely gone through it if we're going to even mention a book here.
 
So enjoy, turn your screens off, and flex your mental muscles for a journey in the literary world!
 
And don't forget you can download wild and free out-of-print eBooks from
http://books.zog.ninja!
 

FICTION:

Wing Commander: Heart of the Tiger by William R. Forstchen & Andrew Keith
Wing Commander: The Price of Freedom by William R. Forstchen & Ben Ohlander

 

NON-FICTION:
 
The Emotions of Normal People by William Moulton Marston
How the Self Controls Its Brain by John C. Eccles


 
GET READING!
 

SOVRYN TECH T-SHIRTS, MUGS, AND STICKERS!


 
It's true! You can now get Sovryn Tech t-shirts! But now there's not just the shirt with the retro Sovryn Tech logo on it, there's also the first gear from Sovryn Tech First University...STFU!

Available in sizes S-5XL, as well as in unisex t-shirt and women's shirt styles, you only get one color choice: triple-black, baby! But then, what other colors are there, really?

Also available are Sovryn Tech mugs with the same design, a hoodie, and even stickers! Don't miss out on getting some of the coolest swag in the universe! All in our new Sovryn Tech Gear store!
 
The Sovryn Tech Merchandise Store Page: http://store.sovryntech.com
 

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STAR TREK: FORBIDDEN FRONTIERS
A SHORT STORY

"Another Side of Paradise, Part IV"
by Brian Sovryn


 
Lt. T’Lana awakened in the usual manner, as she had woken up on the planet Sappho III for the past month since the unknown fate of their starship, the U.S.S. Atlantis had left herself and her fellow Section 31 agents marooned on the planet. She woke up between her one-time commander officer Capt. Damien Ivanov, and her fellow agent Cmdr. Varese Jenn. Lying between her new lovers, against his hardness and her softness, always made for an interesting contrast to her. It helped her sleep soundly under the stars that would shine above their makeshift lean-to at night.
 
But now in the morning, she stretched, yawned, and began maneuvering her way out from between Damien and Varese. T’Lana always seemed to wake up first. She would begin the day peacefully around the steady fire that they kept, pondering the nature of their life on this planet, as she did now.
 
Peace. Happiness and peace. And love.
 
They were the things that consumed her every thought, and she knew it consumed the thoughts of the other two castaways on Sappho III.
 
T’Lana stood up from the fire after a few moments and headed over to the nearby plunge pool of the waterfall. It was the same one they had encountered when first arriving on the planet, and they never seemed to leave. She sipped of the clear water, then cupped it in her hands and drank of it more deeply, letting it settle her empty stomach.
 
Cupping more of the water in her hands, the Vulcan woman then stood up and began to gently wash her body with the water, cleaning off some of the dirt from where she was laying with her loves. She paused as she caressed the water on her body, noticing the changes her skin had gone through over the past month. Her skin had a deep green tinge to it now, with darker, pronounced, vine-like striations running all over her body in an asymmetrical fashion. Varese had joked that they were becoming part plant, and while all three of them had laughed about it in the moment, T’Lana with her scientific mind didn’t think it was far from the truth.
 
The three of them shouldn’t have lived the month that they had been on Sappho III, T’Lana knew. They should have died within a few hours due to the high concentration of berthold rays on the planet. But the Omicron spores from the planet’s pod plants--what the Section 31 agents initially arrived on the planet to retrieve--were protecting them from the berthold rays, just as they had done for the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise in years previous on the planet Omicron Ceti III. While the crew of the Enterprise experienced a significantly smaller amount of berthold radiation on that planet, T’Lana assumed that the new plant-like tinge and structure of her own and the other’s skin on Sappho III was due to the significantly higher amount of berthold radiation here. For the spore-hosts to stay alive she surmised, the host’s body would have to take on more of the attributes of the spores’ pod plants themselves.
 
Not that it did anything to change the Vulcan woman’s pointed ears.
 
None of them had a mirror to exactly see what they looked like, but Varese seemed to think that it made all of them even more attractive. As T’Lana looked at her reflection in the water below, she couldn’t disagree. She ran her fingers along the deep green lines on her arms, then hugged herself. Bringing her hands to her breasts, she gently caressed them and smiled, letting the morning sun touch her body before she turned to head back to the lean-to.
 
As she veritably pranced back to the other two bipedal inhabitants with her, she began to hum a song she had heard Varese originally singing in her deep, Betazoid inflection. While for T’Lana the idea of singing without reason would have been anathema for a Vulcan woman, on Sappho III everything had changed for her. Ever since the spores had entered and joined with her. Now she was truly free from her repressions. Now she was love.
 
And she was hungry.
 
The pod plants regularly brought fruit that grew from the plants themselves over to the three “aliens” on this planet. Cmdr. Jenn verified that it was nutrient dense and all of the food that they would ever need. A month of eating this fruit and T’Lana had no reason to disagree. Though Vulcans were all vegetarians and thus easier to adapt to a purely fruitarian diet, she heard no complaints from Varese or Damien, who had both consumed large quantities of meat in the past from what she had seen.
 
T’Lana picked up a piece of the fruit and bit down gently on it, letting the flavorful juices squirt into her mouth. When they were first offered the fruit by the pod plants, she had ethical concerns about whether she was eating a part of the sapient life and engaging in a near-act of cannibalism. The spores helped her to realize that it was more like drinking a mother’s milk, and T’Lana became appreciative of it accordingly.
 
It also helped that it was delicious, and would often shift in flavor. The smell of jasmine that the fruit put out as it was bitten into or opened was just like the savor of the pod plants, which made eating it all the more enjoyable and a sensual experience in itself.
 
T’Lana continued to hum between bites into the fruit, and sat down by the fire once more.
 
The Vulcan woman was startled out of the peace of the morning as she felt a hand on her shoulder, and heard a soft voice beside her that was humming the same tune as she was. T’Lana looked at the hand; it had the same green-tinge as her own, and in seconds she realized how foolish she was to be startled on a planet where she knew there were only two other people. She concluded from the matching tune being hummed it could only be one person...her lover Varese.
 
The Betazoid woman sat beside her and smiled, the white of her teeth stark now against the green of her skin. She didn’t look as green as the Orion man she had recently dealt with, but it was noticeable in comparison to Varese’s other attributes, especially her completely black pupiled eyes that seemed even deeper now.
 
And more loving.
 
Varese squeezed her arm around T’Lana and kissed the top of her head, and then her face. T’Lana returned the kiss to her cheek before finally meeting lips and passionately embracing them.
 
After the deep kiss broke, T’Lana reached for a fruit to her side and handed it to Varese. Varese bit down on it, followed by a pleasurable sound of satisfaction, and resumed holding each other tightly around the fire. Varese finally spoke with a simple, “Good morning, beautiful,” followed by a wide smile.
 
T’Lana returned the smile but spoke slightly more formal from her Vulcan heritage, “Good morning, Varese,” but with no less love for the other woman next to her.
 
At the same moment, the two women looked behind them back towards the lean-to to see if the only male on the planet had awakened yet. Damien still laid there under the simple lean-to that he had built out of already fallen logs and branches, and their all-black Section 31 uniforms for cover: one reason that all of them walked around naked on the planet except for their boots. More substantially, they felt they had nothing to hide from each other in their love, their clothes becoming increasingly meaningless.
 
The two women laughed as they looked back at one another, then back at Damien, his large, muscled, nude form splayed out in an “X” now. They could hear a soft snore from him that was barely perceptible over the nearby waterfall, something which they would pick on him about in jest.
 
Varese and T’Lana hugged each other again in celebration of being together, each of their hands running through the other’s hair. T’Lana’s had grown significantly longer since they had been on the planet, especially for a Vulcan, and Varese’s also took on significant length, but kept its rich flowing curls.
 
Just as the two were about to kiss again, both of them were startled at the feeling of something touching their shoulders. Certain that Damien was still asleep, they turned to look at what could possibly be behind them. A large pod plant now stood there, shocking them because it was so close to the water.
 
The Section 31 agents had never figured out what exactly the biological mechanism was that allowed the pod plants to move from what appeared to be rooted positions, but they had learned in the past month that they could if needed. It had reminded T’Lana of old fictional tales from Earth about walking trees and mythological creatures called “elves” that looked suspiciously like Vulcans.
 
T’Lana was about to greet the pod plant verbally until Varese touched her hand. She watched Varese close her eyes and began to hear Varese’s voice in her own head, realizing that the Betazoid woman was telepathically communicating with the Vulcan woman and the pod plant.
 
Hello,” Varese’s telepathic echo said. The pod plant didn’t respond with words, it never did. It often responded with waves of emotions that swept over them. At times It would answer with images from pictorial telepathic projections.
 
This instance was one where the pod plant responded with a feeling. It was a  feeling of safety that washed over T’Lana and Varese, calming them from the initially startling moment of the plant’s arrival.
 
T’Lana now reached out with her own Vulcan telepathic abilities, “How may we help you?” She didn’t give the pod plant any kind of title or name, knowing that in telepathic communication the being you are addressing feels internally that they are being addressed. Varese had taught T’Lana long ago even when her telepathy was more latent that in the mind, names no longer matter; only emotions.
 
The emotion now coming from the pod plant directly into the two women’s brains was one they hadn’t experienced since they were infected by the spores, and one that T’Lana could hardly remember ever experiencing in her Vulcan life. A tear began to well in her eye from it, and one fell from Varese’s cheek.
 
It was sadness.
 
The feeling was so alien to the two of them after a month of blissful infection with the spores that their heads began to hurt. Both women put their hands to their foreheads and gasped in pain from it. Their hearts began to beat faster, and they could hear it in each other’s minds. More sadness, more pain.
 
Until the two of them passed out, with the pod plant now hovering above their inert, naked bodies.
 
*****
 
T’Lana and Varese woke up, quickly getting to their feet in confusion. They looked around, stunned by the coverage of a night sky.
 
Have we been asleep that long?” Varese thought telepathically so that T’Lana could hear it.
 
T’Lana looked up at the stars--her Vulcan mind still attuned to the scientific process even under the effect of the spores--and raised an eyebrow. “If we were asleep, I estimate we were asleep for thousands of years, Varese,” she said to her lover mentally.
 
“What?!” Varese now said out loud.
 
“The stars,” T’Lana explained, “are different from what the stars should like from Sappho III. The constellations are…” The Vulcan woman paused, and then said matter-of-factly, “We’re in the past. This is Sappho III, but we’re not in the 23rd century anymore.”
 
Varese reached out with her Betazoid-given psionic faculties, trying to feel anything or anyone around her, finding nothing other than T’Lana...and the pod plant that they encountered. She couldn’t see the pod plant, but she felt she had seen the truth of their situation, saying, “This isn’t real. I don’t think it’s a dream, but it’s like a dream. A projection or a vision. You said the spores caused you to experience something similar, didn’t you, T’Lana?”
 
“Yes, my love,” T’Lana replied informally, her heart swelling at seeing Varese’s brilliant mind at work. “But that wasn’t an entire...reality.”
 
“Well, one thing’s for sure,” Varese continued, “this isn’t real.”
 
As the Betazoid woman said that, the scenery of the forest and field around them shifted like a wind sweeping away a pile of leaves.
 
They were now in a city. A massive city, and advanced even by Federation standards, T’Lana thought. She looked up to the sky again to gauge the stars and saw that they were still in the distant past of the planet Sappho III, but felt perplexed by the presence of such a civilization on the planet. The U.S.S. Atlantis detected no signs of there ever being any kind of industrialization on Sappho III, to say nothing of a society at this technological level.
 
But while the city was technological advanced, T’Lana quickly recognized that its inhabitants were not as advanced socially. She recognized the purpose of the procession of bipeds walking through an alley with collars around their necks. She had seen something like it before with the Orions.
 
Slaves.
 
But these weren’t Orions. They were all the same species, even the person that seemed to be in charge of the slaves that was dragging them along with some kind of energy-connected harnesses was clearly of the same race.
 
While bipedal, their skin looked like withering leaves or beaten logs: cracked, grooved, sunken, and with a drab brown complexion. All of them moved slowly, as if it was painful to walk, even the one leading the slaves.
 
One of the slaves stumbled and fell, causing the entire procession to stop. The person guiding them turned around, quickly pulling out an energy whip and lashing the slave that had fallen over and over again.
 
T’Lana and Varese moved to rescue the helpless slave, but felt vines wrap around their waist, bringing them to a halt. They turned to see the pod plant they had met.
 
“Let us help him!” Varese said to the pod plant, trying to break free.
 
In the distance, somehow in Basic English, they could hear the alien with the energy whip yell out, “You are a disgrace to the Liboran people!”
 
And with that, the city was swept away to be replaced by fields and forest again; the pod plant’s vines still encircling their waists. T’Lana looked to the sky, realizing that they had likely went back another thousand years based on the positioning of the stars.
 
Varese looked around as well, shocked to see more pod plants around them, but pod plants that didn’t seem to notice they were there.
They were surrounded by the same beings that inhabited the city they were just in. But they looked different somehow. She couldn’t put her finger on it.
 
T’Lana spoke up, “These are the same...Liborans...we just encountered, but they seem exceptionally healthier.”
 
Varese agreed. These Liborans didn’t have the cracked skin the ones in the city did. She realized their skin looked much like her’s, Damien’s, and T’Lana’s did now. Green, but healthy. Though they were still obviously the same Liboran race as in the city.
 
The two women watched as Liboran youth and adults played around the pod plants. The pod plants sprayed their spores in the air. Some were even swinging from vines and playing in the trees. Varese thought they looked so primitive by comparison.
 
Then the arrows flew in through the trees.
 
Some of the arrows landed on nothing but ground, but many of the arrows hit the pod plants, the Liboran adults, and the Liboran children. Liborans that looked like a hybrid between the Liborans playing with the spores and those in the advanced city emerged through the treeline, holding bows and knives in their hands, and wearing what seemed to be crude versions of uniforms.
 
The uniformed Liborans tied up any of the other Liborans that had survived the salvo of arrows. Some of the surviving pod plants blasted spores at the attackers, but the spores seemed to have no effect on them. Certainly not the effect it had on herself and her fellows, Varese thought as she watched the horrifying scene while being held by the pod plant.
 
The world shifted around them again, and they now saw basic signs of civilization, with the uniformed Liborans at the heart of it. Varese was certain that she recognized some of the faces of the peaceful Liborans now in those uniforms, their skin decaying. Just as she saw more slaves, everything shifted once more.
 
They were back in the advanced city. Liborans, wearing uniforms very reminiscent of the ones they had seen at what Varese realized must have been the start of their civilization, were now carrying pod plants into ships.
 
T’Lana began studying the area. She soon recognized it was a spaceport. She telepathically shared to Varese, “The report from Mr. Spock on the Enterprise said that the spores and the pod plants that carried them floated through space until they landed on Omicron Ceti III.
 
Varese couldn’t help but speak out loud, “The Liborans launched the pod plants into space to keep them from infecting other Liborans and loosening their grip on them...this is genocide!”
Before anything more could be said, everything shifted once more. T’Lana looked again to the stars to predict their place in time. They weren’t far from where they were in time, but they were far away from the Liboran city that was now in the distance.
 
A large starship appeared overhead in the sky, hovering over the Liboran city. The ship and city were similar in design language, leading T’Lana to assume the starship was also Liboran, wondering if it was going to somehow dock at the city. Atmospheric capable starships were rare, but not unheard of, she knew.
 
As the Vulcan was about to try and deduce further what was going on, torpedoes launched from the belly of the starship, landing squarely on the city.
 
It went up in flames.
 
Towers from the city fell. No screams were heard, just explosions and the continuing sounds of the torpedoes from the starship. The Liborans were destroying themselves, T’Lana realized, and as the torpedo barrages continued along the surface of the planet, she knew that the Liborans were trying to destroy all of the pod plants, too.
 
The two women could only feel sadness over what they saw.
 
What kind of a people could do this?” Varese transmitted mentally to T’Lana. “Their own people? And the pod plants? The spores are peaceful! They only want to provide love and…
 
The world then shifted around them for the last time.
 
*****
 
The vision that the two women experienced, projected into their minds by the pod plant above them, now dissipated as they slowly propped themselves up from the ground. But the memory of it remained. All of it. The sense of sadness remained as well, and they could feel the voices of the spores start to dissipate in them almost as if they were dying along with the women’s month-long sense of well-being, love, and happiness. T’Lana felt her Vulcan resolve briefly returning, but it couldn’t control the powerful sadness she was feeling. The look on Varese’s face suggested the same sadness. But just as more tears were about to fall from their eyes, their sight became clouded with spores launching from the pod plant, covering them in white.
 
As the spores landed and entered them, the happiness resumed. The voices of the spores returned inside of them. Their sadness went away only to be replaced by a deep sense of empathy: an empathy for the spores and the pod plants themselves. Not just empathy, but love. Varese was certain that it was the deepest feeling of love she’d ever felt, and telepathically she could feel it coming from T’Lana, too. The pod plant was returning the powerful emotion to both of them.
 
The women looked at each other, now having a greater and shared understanding of what the spores and the pod plants were, and the horror the species had gone through. T’Lana and Varese came to the realization at the same time: the spores inhabited hosts for protection from the Liborans, or from any other threatening race. It was a matter of survival to give their hosts perfect health and to fill them with overwhelming feelings of peace and love. It ensured the survival of the spores.
 
The Vulcan and the Betazoid shared the same final thought with each other psionically: What the spores and pod plants provided was a gift. A gift that deserved respect, love, and appreciation.
 
T’Lana looked up at the plant with admiration and sympathy, Varese doing the same. The Vulcan woman reached out to one of the spore-vines lying on the ground that protruded from the pod plant. She picked it up, holding it in both hands, and brought up to her face, brushing the phallic vine against her cheek, closing her eyes as she did so.
 
Varese watched as the pod plant responded, almost shuddering. She could sense the pleasure coming from the plant because of T’Lana’s attentions, and she joined her lover in the act. The Betazoid found another spore-vine by her and held it in her hands, raising its hardened texture to her much softer face and caressing the spore-vine against her. The plant seemed to shudder more, and its feeling of pleasure intensified.
 
The two of them continued to give attention and gentle touches to their respective spore-vines, paying no attention to the other spore-vines from the pod plant that began to move around them, touching them. As the roughness of the multitude of spore-vines rubbed against their nude bodies, the women telepathically felt the increase in pleasure that the pod plant felt. It seemed to revel in the softness and warmth of their newly greened flesh.
 
Varese was the first to slide the spore-vine that her hand caressed into her mouth, sucking on it gently. The pleasurable sensation from the pod plant was transmitted to both her and T’Lana. T’Lana wasted no time in giving the pod plant even more pleasure by taking the spore-vine in her hand and kissing it, then put it into her mouth, sucking on it in concert with Varese’s own actions.
 
They loved the pod plants and the spores.
 
The other spore-vines that rubbed against the women’s bodies began to coil around the women who were now both on their knees, pleasuring the pod plant with their mouths. As if in kind, both women were penetrated by another spore-vine, entering between their legs and slowly pumping into them, filling them. Varese and T’Lana’s moans were muffled as they continued to suck on the spore-vines in their mouths.
 
The thrusting from the pod plant into each woman was slow but deep. To the two women it felt as if the pod plant was trying to put as much of its vines into them as possible, which was even more apparent as the spore-vines in their mouths went deeper as well, moving independently without the women holding them in their hands. Varese took the opportunity to bring a hand down to her clit and rub it as the pod plant had its way with her orifices, her muffled moans much louder than before.
 
T’Lana took a different approach and brought the length of the spore-vine thrusting in and out of her mouth to between her ample breasts, and caressed her breasts around the vine, stroking it with her soft mounds of flesh. Like many aspects of Vulcan sexuality, the extreme sensitivity of the entirety of Vulcan women’s breasts--not just the nipples--was little known by non-Vulcans. Stroking the spore-vine between her own breasts sent waves of pleasure through her that the Vulcan woman hadn’t thought possible. T’Lana looked to her left to see that Varese was telepathically sharing that same pleasure, causing the Betazoid woman to rub her clit ever more furiously.
 
In moments Varese orgasmed, her cries of lust still muffled by the spore-vine she continued to suck in her mouth. T’Lana experienced the Betazoid’s orgasm in tandem, causing her own muffled moans through the spore-vine in her mouth.
 
Both women felt like falling over, but more spore-vines wrapped around their arms and held them up as the pod plant continued the lovemaking session with them, its vines still pumping into their mouths and pussies. T’Lana watched as two of the vines began brushing their ends against Varese’s face, only to have Varese take the length of each of those vines in her hands and slowly start to stroke them while the pod plant continued.
 
Lost in the euphoric pleasure and lust of the moment, the only thought that could fill T’Lana’s mind was that the sight of Varese pleasing all of those spore-vines was the sexiest thing she had ever seen. Varese handled all of them so skillfully, it was a feat T’Lana wasn’t sure she could emulate. The Vulcan continued to stroke the spore-vine that was in her mouth with her breasts, her arms tight against her to accommodate pressing the soft skin as tightly against the vine as she could. The telepathic exchange of the feelings of raw erotic sensation from herself, to the pod plant, to Varese, and then back to all three of them was the most intense thing she had ever felt. Just as she thought nothing could add to it, T’Lana felt the ends of two spore-vines slide under her armpits, between her arms that were pressing her breasts together tightly against her sides. The spore-vines began to thrust there, seeming to just need to feel the sensations of soft skin and friction. The speed of the spore-vines thrusting between her arms and her sides increased, psionically feeling that the pod plant was building up to a point of no return.
 
T’Lana now felt the stroking or thrusting of eight spore-vines: four thrusting into or being stroked by Varese, and four doing the same with her, and all of the sensations were shared.
 
It was too much for her.
 
T’Lana was sure that if her mouth wasn’t filled with the giant spore-vine at that moment, her moans would have been heard around the entirety of the planet, with Varese’s moans joining hers as she also felt the Vulcan’s orgasm. It continued on, both women writhing in the care of the spore-vines as T’Lana’s orgasm continued--as it would for all Vulcan women--for many minutes. An orgasm that was also shared with the pod plant.
 
The pod plant began its own orgasm now. From the ends of each spore-vine, spores burst out in clouds, covering the two women with their white, rice-like appearance. And then came the dark green fluid. It spurted out slowly but powerfully, and was a much darker green than the new skin tone the Section 31 agents had developed from prolonged exposure to the spores. It filled their mouths and insides, then covered their bodies.
 
T’Lana and Varese felt the telepathic link with each other and the pod plant become even stronger in that moment, causing the two women to act totally in concert. They revelled in the feeling of the warm green juice filling them below, and swallowed hungrily the green fluid that was ejecting into their mouths--tasting similar to the fruit from the pod plants--mmmmming and moaning as the pod plant continued to orgasm with them.
 
As the pod plant finished, it gently and slowly pulled its spore-vines back towards itself and away from the two women, laying them down softly on the ground as it did so. Varese and T’Lana reached out to each other and pulled each other closer. They cuddled and caressed, pressing their bodies together, rubbing the green fluid that covered their bodies deeper into their skin and on to each other.
 
As the two of them kissed and touched, the pod plant slipped back into the tree line unnoticed, paying no heed to the man that still laid sleeping nearby, satisfied that at least the women on this planet were ready for what was to come next.

 
 
TO BE CONTINUED

 
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