The Jekyll Legacy
Victorian alchemy meets modern science and magic.
What could possibly go wrong?
Anyone who knows anything of history
knows that great social changes are impossible
without feminine arousal.
— Karl Marx (1868)
“Late that night, after finishing his inspection of the outer boundaries of the host to ensure their collective safety, and to confer with some of the always-nervous and contentious flanking stallions, Thundercloud trotted back toward the campsite, where the human members of their party were sleeping. In a meadow nearby, Wildflower, his husband, and Windflyer, the previous leader of his herd, were grazing close together, head to head, so that one faced in the opposite direction to the other, guarding each other’s flanks in close coöperation.” He came to an abrupt halt, all his senses on alert, as he inhaled the faint trace of an intriguing, make that compelling, scent. He breathed deeply, noticing for the first time an increasing heaviness in his groin, a sense of fullness he’d never experienced before.
“Hello, Thundercloud,” both women spoke as one. “Fancy meeting you here,” Herbert… Wildflower added, turning to face him with a smile.
For some reason, he didn’t know what to say. Both of them were looking at him very strangely. “I… unh… I was”
Wildflower said, “What’s the matter, Honey? Cat got your tongue?”
“No! I was….”
Windflyer broke in before he’d had a chance to gather his thoughts, “I don’t know, Wildflower. I get the impression he’s not very happy to see us.” She twisted to face her companion saying, “Do you think he’s happy, Sister dear?”
“I think he looks awfully tense, Sister. Perhaps he’s just had a hard day. What’d’you think?”
Windflyer smiled. “Of course! That must be it. He’s had a hard day and he just wants to unwind a bit, kick back, put his feet up… Oh! Wait! He can’t do that any more, can he, Sister?”
“Not a bit of it. I told you how it used to be with him. Work, work, work, almost all the time, and of course he can’t sit down at his desk thingie like he used to do.”
Emily was confused. It sounded like she was conflating their lives together into a mishmash, so Emily was actually Herbert in her mind, and of course vice versa. “But… but…,” he stammered.
“Oh! Isn’t that so cute, Windflyer. He likes your butt!”
“Wildflower! Do you think he’s getting fresh with us?”
Herbert leaned over and stroked his pizzle, which Emily suddenly realized was fully erect. “Well, if he’s not getting fresh, Windflyer,” she said, “he’s certainly awfully glad to see us, aren’t you, dear?” She didn’t let go, but twisted around so she was somehow able to tickle his back at the same time with her other hand, right at the juncture between his withers and his human back, which somehow made him twitch, then made him want to rear up on his hind legs and do something, and all the while she was stroking him, and he could feel himself swelling, until the need to do something was almost overpowering, and then Windflyer was in front of him, her tail held to one side and she was somehow making her vulva open and shut, almost like winking at him, showing her engorged clitoris in the most shocking of manners, utterly shameless and depraved, and the scent of her sex overwhelmed his senses, clouding his mind, fogging his sense of anything around him until all he could see was Windflyer’s open vulva, winking at him. ‘Hello, Joe, want to give it a go?’ she seemed to be saying and then the tickle on his withers was to much and he had to scratch it, rearing high in the air and his forelimbs fell over her back, and Herbert was holding him right at her entrance, and he fell into a trance of thrusting, once, twice, and he gushed deep inside her, his hands on her breasts, some of his seed spilling out, dripping to the ground, even as he softened and was overcome with shame. “Herbert,” he started to say…
“Shut up, Thundercloud! There’s no Herbert here, only Windflyer and Wildflower and you, and it’s my turn now.” She let loose of him as he shrank slightly, flopping downward as Windflyer stepped forward, releasing him, and Herbert… Wildflower, turned to present herself to him, her feet planted wide, her tail held aside, just like Windflyer’s had been, and her vulva was winking at him, opening, then closing, than opening again, daring him to be what he’d promised, to be her spouse, her mate for life.
“Come on, Thundercloud!” she said, “Be a man! You managed to get it up for my sister wife, now get it up for me!”
“No more talking, Thundercloud! You belong to the herd, now, and you’ll do your duty for us, or you’ll be replaced by a stallion with some balls!”
“Windflyer, dear,” she said mildly, “would you trot over to that copse of trees.” she tossed her head off to the right and pointed with a lazy gesture of her right hand, “and see if the strapping young stallion hidden there would be willing to come over here and take care of some very pressing business for me?”
“Of course, Wildflower, dear. I’ll be right back.” She made as if to start….
…and Thundercloud was furious, enraged! His women were talking about him as if he weren’t even there! Talking about a another stallion as if a stranger, an interloper, would dare to approach his women! “Windflyer! Don’t move! Wildflower, shut up!” He reared and struck out at the air with his forelimbs, trying to allay his fury in movement, and he felt himself swelling again, but when he’d lowered himself from his rampant stance, Wildflower was under him, as if by magic, and he’d managed to thrust himself into her with one stroke and had started pumping — it didn’t take more than two strokes — before he was flooding her with more of his copious seed, his hands gripping her breasts almost cruelly as he thrust hard inside her, milking himself with her vulva. ‘Take that, Herbert, and see what you make of it!’
He hadn’t realized that he’d spoken aloud until she answered him, “I intend to make something of it, Emily, in about a year, give or take a few weeks.”
“But, Herbert, when we go back….”
“Oh, do shut up, Emily. You’ve forgotten already that you were a woman, haven’t you? Miraculously enough, you’ve already learned to think just like a stupid man. We’re not going back, Emily. Capisci? Comprende vous? Verstehen Sie? Read my lips. Selene is married now. Do you think she’ll ever go back to being Jack? Rhea is thinking about marriage, and I’d guess that she’ll be married within the month, one way or another. I’m almost certainly pregnant; Windflyer is definitely pregnant, and if you think we’re going to drag our babies, centaur foals, back to Earth to be poked at and prodded by scientists — or spirited away to Area 51 — you’ve got a hole in your head big enough to whistle when the wind blows! This is our home, now, and all we have to do is save it from Na-Noc and his nasty little gang of Dark God thugs and we’ll have a good life here.”
“But our marriage….”
“What!? Our marriage hasn’t changed by one jot, one tittle, Emily; it’s just that the ‘whatever happens’ clauses have come into effect. You remember that part, don’t you? ‘For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health?’ It’s not an exhaustive list, so you can’t really quibble about this or that which may have been left out through oversight or lack of imagination. Our circumstances have changed is all, and so we have to accomodate them, just as we would any of life’s surprises. Our present culture doesn’t tolerate monogamy, so we’ve had to… adjust our stance on that, but it’s all part of ‘no matter what happens.’ You don’t get a pass because a few minor details have changed.”
By now, Herbert… or rather Wildflower… was furious. “But nothing, ‘Thundercloud.’ You were big on talk just a few days ago, when you told me who was boss in no uncertain terms. Well, here we are. You’re the boss, and now you want to take it all back? What? It’s too much responsibility? No way, José! You made your bed and now you get to lie in it! You owe me, Mister, and you owe my sister-wife Windflyer big time, because she gave up her former life for you, and entrusted the herd to you, all on the strength of your goddamned word!” She turned pointedly away.
“But….” he started to say….
She whirled on him, angry and shaking, “Get out of our sight, you bone-headed lout! You pathetic little worm!”
He looked from one to the other, finding no sympathy at all in either stony gaze. “Alright,” he said, and walked away.
Phil was talking to Akcuanrut about the insights that Sir James George Frazer had brought to the study of religion and magic in his still-controversial book, The Golden Bough, which they’d discussed at some length in released-time classes during his junior year, but wasn’t having much luck.
“But why doesn’t everyone in your world share a common view of the supernatural realm?” the wizard asked reasonably. “It makes no sense. When I ventured out among the people of your world, I saw with my own eyes creatures clearly aligned with darkness, and others who’d devoted their lives to the Light, but now you tell me that this was all some sort of ‘joke,’ that the demons and angels were just children dressing up in fanciful costumes for their own amusement, and with no intention other than to obtain candy and sweets from others who were in on the ‘joke.’”
Phil shrugged. “That pretty much sums it up,” he admitted. “In fact, Frazer’s book — which tried to put religious ‘belief’ on a scientific basis, and refused to privilege certain belief systems over others — is still excoriated by many partisans as blasphemous and wicked.”
Akcuanrut slowly shook his head from side to side, clearly baffled. “Here in our world at least, everyone knows of the historical struggles between the Darkness and the Light, and you can easily see the effects, structures created by one side or the other, rock fortresses melted by demonic fire into slag, even here in the hinterlands, and people who can tell you which of their grandfathers, or great-grandfathers, fought in particular battles. Even now, we’re pursuing a minion of the Dark, and can easily see his inimical effect upon the world in the murders and social damage he’s managed to achieve in only a few days.”
“Well, it’s difficult to explain. Magic is widely seen on Earth as merely wishful thinking — the naïve imaginings of children and mental defectives — and the further-removed from any sort of verifiable reality belief in anything — whether good or evil, or any sort of God or Demon — is, the better we seem to like it. There’s even a joke about it, making belief in impossible things a sort of contest in which one gains points by embracing utterly foolish notions.”
Akcuanrut rolled his eyes. “It must be difficult, living in a world so far removed from objective reality.”
Phil laughed. “I have to confess that there’s an immediacy here that’s refreshing. It’s very easy to discover where people stand, because there’s a… smell — not really an odor, but more than a mere feeling, something tangible, perceptible — that let’s one know where people are on the spectrum from light to dark. I had a career planned, back on Earth, and expected to spend years working toward what I suspect may have been a fairly unsatisfactory existence, but have simply fallen into what seems to me like a perfect life straight out of high school, with a woman I love with all my heart, a life’s work that I’m proud to embark upon, and only the minor difficulty of the possible ending of the world to stand between me and perfect happiness. Even there, at least I know that I’m on the right side, whether we win or lose.”
“Very mature, my young Apprentice. It always helps to keep a sense of humor about life. That’s another interesting irony, that Na-Noc and those like him rarely laugh, or indeed take any real pleasure in anything. If you want to conquer the world, what’s the point if you can never have any fun with it? Is it time for breakfast yet?” he asked wistfully.
They both laughed. It was still dark, but rapidly progressing toward faint hints of a dusky-yellow dawn, the light of which was just now beginning to obscure the myriad stars visible in a sky that had never looked down on an electric light, had never been obscured by the overwhelming byproducts of an industrial civilization, the sort of unpolluted world that mankind had known in the earliest days of Earth, still unsullied here. It struck Phil suddenly that he was living in an edgy sort of Paradise, complete with subtil serpent and many dangers, but also containing the very real possibility of joy.
Akcuanrut was something of a gourmet, and made sure that everyone knew it, especially when dealing with the limited supplies they had with them. One of the few things he regretted about his unwilling plunge into the fascinating land of Earth, as he put it, was that he’d necessarily left most of his baggage behind, including his stores of victuals and drink. ‘It’s all very well traipsing off to save the world,’ he’d said often enough that Phil could already almost finish the litany of vague regrets for him in his own mind, ‘but that doesn’t mean that one must skip nourishing meals of delectable viands.’
“Well, if it isn’t, it will be soon. The centaurs will take forever straggling in, so we’ll have plenty of time to talk and eat. Would you like me to prepare something to tide us over?”
The wizard beamed. “Of course! You’re an excellent cook, my boy, and will make your wife very happy. I’ve already noticed that she’s not very domesticated.”
“True. She’s a wild one, but it’s far more delightful to have an eagle fly down and rest upon your shoulder than it is to have a chicken sit on your head.”
The wizard looked at him with deep suspicion. “I get the distinct impression that a joke has been made at my expense, since I know nothing of either eagles or chickens.”
Phil waved his hands in mute apology. “They’re two types of bird on Earth. The eagle is a majestic raptor, beautiful in flight, but a wild and dangerous predator when approached. The chicken is a small domestic bird raised by farmers for eggs, feathers, and meat, a commonplace notion in our world, if not a daily sight in city life. What I meant was that my lady wife is more woman than any woman has a right to be, that she’s dangerous and exciting, and that there’s no flattering comparison to be made between any domesticated hen and her.”
“Oh,” he said, then continued, “Well, that goes almost without saying; even I, a lifelong bachelor, can see that. We live in interesting times, my dear Sir, and it takes interesting people to thrive in such an age as this.”
“It does indeed, Sir. That’s why I feel comforted to have managed to latch onto an interesting woman who’s handier, it seems, at all manner of martial arts than two dozen mutant ninja warriors put together.”
“And I as well, although I’m not familiar with your Nin-Ja warriors. Never have I seen such prowess as the two sisters possess, and I’ve known Emperor’s Champions reputed to have been the greatest warriors in the world in their day. Your lady wife and her sister outshine them all, not to mention being much more attractive than any of them. Please take no offense, but I doubt that there exists in this world anyone even remotely like to either, much less the pair of them.”
“None taken, Sir. It’s churlish to quarrel with simple truth. There’s an old song about the plight of husbands with beautiful wives, the point of which is that it’s much easier to rest easy if one’s wife is rather plain. I flatter myself that I have no reason to worry, but in the end, we all depend upon faith and trust, and at least I don’t have to worry much about brigands and casual thuggery.” He smiled. “And if I get good enough at wizardry, maybe I can protect her every once in a great while.”
“Perhaps, my friend. We all have our rôles to play, and you have a natural talent for magic that’s perfectly astonishing.”
“Ahem!” Thundercloud’s voice came from the dark behind them, the speaker hidden by the shadows cast by the fire, but growing more plain as he approached, obviously dejected.
Akcuanrut spoke first. “What’s wrong, Thundercloud? You seem out of sorts, yet the spell I set on you last night has been triggered, so obviously our purpose has been well-effected, twice, in fact, and there are now one thousand, nine hundred, and eighty-five centaur mares pregnant in your direct bloodline, more successful in the reproductive sense than any centaur before you, and likely any centaur to come. The bards will sing songs about you.”
This knowledge seemed to affect him badly, because he groaned, put his hand over his eyes, and said between clenched teeth, “But I also managed to piss off both Herbert and Windflyer, and I’m not exactly sure how or why.” Then, he realized what the wizard had just said and his eyes grew wide. “That many? Oh, my God!”
“With that attitude, I’m not surprised that your wives are angry with you,” the wizard said acerbically. “Did you say anything else too them even half so stupid?”
“Stupid!? I just had sex with another woman! Then I had sex with my husband in front of her! I don’t know about you, but….”
“Be quiet!” the wizard shouted, angrier than either Phil or Thundercloud had ever seen him, “This is exactly what we’d agreed upon, the necessary means to attract the loyalty and service of a centaur army larger than any host that had been gathered before in all of recorded history! And now you have the nerve to betray your wives, to belittle their wished-for pregnancies, the potential salvation of your entire race, and now you have the effrontery, the unmitigated gall, to come whining to me, the Dean of the Emperor’s College of Wizards and the Emperor’s closest advisor, and complain about the singular honor accorded you by both the males and females of your adopted race?”
“But nothing!” he said grimly. “I strongly suggest you trot back to your wives and apologize sincerely for your boorish behavior. Perhaps you can pass it off as a side effect of the spell that drained the vital forces from your brain, although I don’t ordinarily recommend lying to women. That might partially restore you to their good graces — if they choose to graciously give you the benefit of their compassion and forbearance, of which you are so utterly undeserving — though I personally doubt that it could possibly extend so far as to encompass such incredible thoughtlessness and cruelty on your part, and the longer you delay the more likely this whole enterprise will come unravelled, in which case you can rest assured that your last thoughts — as this world and your old world are utterly obliterated by the machinations of the Dark — will be that this pathetic fiasco, the deaths of billions of innocents, the destruction of every plant and animal that ever contributed their beauty to the vast panorama of life, was all your own damned fault.”
Thundercloud awoke with a start and looked around, bewildered for a few seconds, until he remembered where he was, in an open meadow, on a planet somewhere in space and time completely different from the one he’d grown up on, had matured, married, borne a child, Hastie, who reminded him so much of his father that it had seemed like a miracle sometimes, as if he’d been granted a look backwards in time, to when his own true love was young, just starting out in life, nursing, speaking his first word, walking, riding his first bicycle, going off to school — he hadn’t been scared at all, embracing whatever came his way — and finally coming here, where all their lives came together in a crucial entanglement of possibilities, where they made a stand, declaring what their lives had meant together, what they’d accomplished, where they’d been, and where they’d go on from here, this moment, this crisis where all possibilities ran together, where their fates collided with the future. It was still quite dark, getting on toward morning, around him the enlarged herd was gathered, scattered widely across the open meadow, two thousand of them, more or less. He’d dozed off, had dreamed for a moment, but was now fully awake and centered in himself, gathering himself together for the defining moment. ‘Si fueris Romæ, Romano vivito more; si fueris alibi, vivito, sicut ibi’ he thought to himself, although he’d neither read nor spoken Latin since his youth. He’d been just a girl then, still in braces. “When in Rome…,” he spoke aloud.
“What’s that, Dear?” His husband… wife… had evidently been dozing too. Surrounded by so many centaurs, they could all relax a bit more than usual.
“Nothing, nothing at all. I was just dreaming, a nightmare, really, if I can say that without offense.” Idly, he wondered what sort of predators they had here that posed a threat to centaurs, aside from humans, of course.
“That’s good, dear,” she said. “It’s always good to be fresh and rested when one has a big day ahead.”
“It is indeed, my darling girl, my heart’s desire.”
“Looking forward to the start of our campaign?” she asked, moving toward him to take his hand in hers.
He took it gladly, desperately desirous of connection to what and when they’d been to each other before… before all this. “Of course,” he said. ‘One man in his time plays many parts,’ he thought.
“Well, I see Akcuanrut and Phil approaching, so it must be time. And Windflyer, of course, has been close by my side all night long. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to have a sister at last, since I grew up as an only child, and always wanted to have a twin sister.” She smiled at him with such heartfelt joy that a little of it communicated itself to him through the clasp of her hand, the animation of her face and body, the warmth of her familiar flank pressed close against his body. Oddly, he felt comforted, although he wasn’t exactly here for her, other than in a general sense.
“Hello, Thundercloud,” Windflyer said to him, approaching him from the other side, till then unnoticed, and taking his other hand. As if they’d practiced, both women leaned away, stretching his shoulders with the weight of their upper bodies, dispelling a tension between his shoulder blades he hadn’t realized existed until it was gone. Then they leaned back towards him, releasing his hands and wrapping their arms around his waist, bending over to kiss his taut belly in unison, one on each side, then moving up his upper body until they nibbled on his masculine nipples, so much smaller than he remembered but still sensitive, and then he smelled their hair, they’d twined flowers into their hair as if they were both his brides, the scent enticing in many ways, because it was beautiful in itself, and because it smelled… edible, and all the while their hands were moving over his body, fingertips dancing across his skin, as perfectly synchronized as the Rockettes, their lips touching him, first here, then there, and he felt heavy, swollen, filled with a lust so primal that it surprised him, and a strange new scent crept up from behind him, a heavy, musky odor that whispered inside his head, mute tendrils of thought filled with hidden meaning, an odd scotoma of light flooding the periphery of his vision, golden light with rays that fractured into jagged tessellation’s of every color in the rainbow, slowly merging into a brilliant web of light that caught him in its meshes, making him dizzy, until he staggered, and realized that he was standing on two legs, rearing up, towering over the women beside him, and they were moving, and he was moving, until he gathered one of them between his forelegs and clasped her close, the pressure in his groin communicating itself to her in a peculiar way, and she somehow clasped him to her, and he was moving, sliding, and a deep voice was chanting, the words somehow in harmony with their movements.
“Mabunga! Bombo!” Akcuanrut cried out from somewhere behind him, and the words thrust themselves into his mind, even as he realized that he’d entered a woman for the first time, a woman who stood braced beneath him as he took her virginity, his own first time in a new body, a mutual virgin sacrifice upon… within… a living altar composed of their two bodies, the sweet pleasure of their close connection insinuating itself into his brain, building a purposeful anticipation there that he’d never felt before, an excitement rooted in his groin, but filling his lungs with sweet breath, the very air intoxicating, and the woman was steady beneath him, her hooves rooted strongly in the Earth, as if she bore the entire weight of the future on her willing back, like Atlas shouldering the world, but he could also hear her breathing, at first steady, then excited, rough, the intimate catch in her breath at once so familiar and so strange, hearing it from a different perspective. At once he felt profoundly grateful, in awe of this beautiful woman who offered herself as the crucible in which the future of their people would be purified and exalted, the gateway to the future. Ave Regina Celorum, Felix Femina, Sanctum Sanctorum, Holy of Holies… and he erupted — it felt as if he’d bathed in his own fluids, which came pouring out of him and spilling into her body, into the world — and he gave a great shout of mingled joy and loss.
“Natusok ni manoy ang kanyang hiyas!” the wizard intoned, the bright words echoing inside his head, the light from the words spilling out from his eyes and hands like fireworks and spreading across the world, or was it dawn? He couldn’t tell, because everything was confused, whirling around him and he was still emptying himself, pumping into her womb, into many thousand wombs, and he could feel their hunger for what he offered freely. ‘This is my body, take and use it.’
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 Jeffrey M. Mahr — All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2012 Levanah Greene — All Rights Reserved
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