Monday, June 27, 2016

The Stranger (Incomplete)

Author’s Note – Forward: So, this is the first couple chapters of a story I started writing back in 2011 or maybe early 2012, back when Civero was still my main setting, and the Sex Mage World was still new. I’ve gone back and touched it up once or twice in the years since, but never was able to figure out a good way to make it work out, and eventually, I just decided I didn’t really like where it was going. I figure after about five years, I may as well call it dead. But you know me, I hate letting effort go to waste, so here’s another incomplete story from the Scraps Folder. I’ll have more notes after it ends.


ONE
The dark-haired young man came in close to 3 a.m., just an hour before Casey Brightwell’s shift ended. He looked nervous and a little confused, but seemed also relieved as he stepped through the door. He was a bit underdressed for the weather, only a tee-shirt, jeans, and a flannel overshirt, despite the fact that there was at least a heavy jacket’s worth of chill outside. He took a seat at the end of the counter, and let out a long breath.

Casey smiled warmly at him. “Howdy, stranger,” she said with a wink. “You look like you’ve got yourself a little turned around.”

“Really?” he said.

Casey shrugged. “Well, you know, only diner around for miles, we get some folks who get lost in the middle of the night. Would you like a coffee?”

“That would be great, thanks,” he said. He spoke fluent English, but there was an odd accent to his voice that Casey couldn’t place.

“I didn’t see you pull up,” said Casey, fetching the pot and a mug. “Did you break down out there?”

The man opened his mouth to say something, then closed it, hesitating. “Where am I?” he finally said.


“Well, if you came from that way,” she pointed to the left of the front entrance, “then you must have come off I-47. If you came from the other way,” she pointed right, “you’ve been winding around on U.S.-5. If you tell me where you’re headed, I might be able to point you there.”

The man scrunched his forehead and rubbed his eyes as if trying to think. “I’m not headed anywhere. I mean, any place will do, as long as I can find civilization.”

Casey fixed him with a curious look, but poured him a cup. He idly poured in some cream and a couple sugars, but didn’t drink right away, stirring the cup thoughtfully. “So, did you break down?” she asked again.

“No,” he said. “I tried to pull off a teleport spell.”

Casey cocked her head to the side. “What’s a teleport?”

The man waved dismissively. “Ah, sorry, it’s a Mage thing. Suffice to say I tried to send myself away someplace, and I don’t think I ended up where I was supposed to.”

It was Casey’s turn to furrow her brow. “What kind of a Mage spell can just send you someplace?”

The man gave her a curious look. “Well, not a lot of Mages can do it,” he said, slowly. “But there’s a few spells, they let you disappear from one place, and reappear in another. I’ve done it before, but there was something, I dunno, there was something really weird about this time. It seemed like it took longer than normal. I mean, how to explain, it’s like, when I normally do a teleport, I feel like I’ve only been gone for like, a second, even if I cross a hundred kilometers. But this time, I was gone and, well, I mean, I don’t remember anything different. One moment, I’m in one location, the next moment, I’m out in the woods someplace, but it felt like…” he paused. “… it feels like I’ve been gone a long time. Like, I dunno, like I’ve been gone for…” He paused again, longer this time. “Weeks. It’s so strange, but I feel like I haven’t seen anyone or anything for weeks.”

Casey stared at him, unsure of what to say. He caught her look, then looked down to his cup, clearing his throat. He took a sip of the coffee, and said, “Uh, nevermind me. Do you have a phone? I need to make a call.”

Casey lifted the old landline phone from behind the counter and let him use it, deciding to check on the other customers. There were only three others, two men at a booth, and an older woman at the other end of the bar, all three truckers and fairly regular customers. The older woman tilted her head at the young man, and said in a low voice, “Late night kook, you think?”

Casey shook her head. “No idea. Could be coked out, but I dunno, doesn’t seem like it. I think he’s just really confused.” She paused. “You ever heard of a woman teleporting?”

The woman thought for a moment, taking a long drink of her coffee. “Nah, sounds like something from a comic book. I mean, maybe one of those Megami types could do it. Or maybe his girlfriend tinkered with his head and left him out in the woods? Some gals can be pretty vindictive with their magic. Maybe he’s still caught up in something.”

Casey shrugged. “Could be,” she said. “Although, if he was under a girl’s magic, wouldn’t he be, y’know, hard?” The older woman looked at the young man, then looked back to Casey, her brow furrowed. Then she shrugged. Casey shrugged back and went over the two men at the booth, giving them refills, then came back to the end of the bar, where the strange young man seemed to be quite frustrated.

“I don’t understand,” he said. “Nothing’s working.” He hung up, then typed in a number. He waited, listening the phone, and he sighed, hanging up and trying again. “Nothing but dial tone.”

Casey noticed something, however. “You’re only pressing eight numbers.” He looked at her, puzzled. Casey pointed at the phone. “The phone. You’re only pressing eight numbers. You need to press ten. Well, eleven if you’re calling long distance.”

He glanced at the phone, then glanced back at her, looking more confused. “Oh. Oh, do I have to press one to dial out then?” He did so. “I thought I tried that, maybe I have to press it twice.” He pressed one again, then pressed another eight digits, then waited. He frowned as that did nothing.

“No, no, we’ve only got one line, so just press your number,” she said.

“I’ve been trying! All I get is dial tone!” He hung up with a sigh, and put his face in his hands, rubbing his eyes with the heel of his palms.

“Look, sir,” said Casey. “What was your name?”

“John,” he said.

“Okay, John. You’re only pressing eight digits. You’re forgetting a couple numbers. With the area code, that’s ten digits you need to press to call out local. But it sounds like you’re not local, so you need to press one, then the area code, then whatever your number is.”

“You just said I didn’t have to press one,” he said. “And I am pressing the area code. But it’s not connecting.”

“You’re only pressing…”

“Forget it.” John grunted, and pulled out a cell phone. “Yeah, of course you don’t have any bars still. I’ve reached a diner with a phone tower a quarter mile away, and still no service. I swear to crap I’m going to switch companies as soon as I get home.”

Casey blinked. “What service do you use?”

“Unatrix,” he said.

“Never heard of that one.”

John paused. “Really? They’re the biggest provider in the country.” He suddenly froze for a moment. “Oh. Oh, shit.” He looked Casey in the eye. “I think I just figured it out. I’m not even in the right country, am I?” He paused. “Yeah, I just noticed, you speak the same language as me, but you’ve got a slight accent. What country am I in?”

“You’re in the Carolinan Confederacy,” said Casey.

John looked at her blankly. “I’ve never heard of that,” he said.

“We used to be part of the United States of America,” she clarified. “Part of the Southeastern section.”

“The United what?” said John, brow furrowed.

Casey glanced over to the older woman at the far end of the counter. She cocked an eyebrow at the two, giving John a studious gaze. It wasn’t that unusual for someone to not know the name of every Queendom that divided the continent, but surely even those born after their formation would know what the United States of America had been.

“Okay, where are you from?” said Casey.

“I’m from Bellamy,” he said.

Casey shook her head. “Sorry, I haven’t heard of that one. Sounds European. Surely you weren’t sent all the way across the ocean?”

John just stared at her. “I...” He looked around, then did a double-take as he noticed the large circular clock on the wall. He squinted at it, then looked back at the others. “Your clock has 12 hours on it.”

“Yeah?”

“Not 13.”

Casey could only stare at him, befuddled. “Um…”

“Alright,” said John, standing up. “Alright, something’s fucked up here.”

“Yeah, you’re telling me,” said Casey. “Are you feeling alright?”

“Not really, no,” he said, thinking for a moment.

Casey glanced to the other three in the diner. The older woman was keeping a keen eye on John, and the two men at the booth had stopped their conversation and were watching them with some mild concern.

“Okay,” said John after a moment. “Do you have a map?” Casey fished around under the counter, and pulled out the paper roadmap of her country. The Carolinian Confederacy covered the former states of South and North Carolina, as well as most of Georgia. John sifted through them quickly. “Okay,” he said slowly. “Um, I can tell this is going to sound really stupid, but, do you have, like, a world map?” Casey shook her head.

“Hang on,” said the older woman. She reached for her backpack, and pulled out a tablet computer. Booting it up, she connected to the diner’s wi-fi network, and pulled up a page of maps. She went over to John and held up a map of the world. John looked at it, looked up at the woman, then Casey, then back to the map.

“Is this a joke?” he said.

The two women shared a glance, and the two men from the booth got up and came over to John. “You feelin’ alright, son?” said one of the men. “You’re aren’t on the drugs, are you?” John shook his head.

“You’re not like, under a spell or something, are you?” said the other. “Your girl maybe playing some trick on you?”

“He’s not under a spell,” said the woman. “His dick ain’t hard.”

John cocked an eyebrow at them, “What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Well, you know, young women and all that, like to have their fun when they get their magic,” said one of the men. He winked at Casey. “Isn’t that right Casey? Bet your Daddy near tanned your hide from all your little experiments gone awry.”

“Ha, you know Daddy was too busy getting tanned by Mom to tan my hide,” said Casey with a laugh, grateful for the break in the tension. Then she saw John just looked even more confused.

“Okay, I have no idea what’s going on here,” he said, his voice raising a bit. He pointed at the screen. “That’s not the world. Is that a map of some video game?”

“Look, pal, I don’t know where you think you’re from, but this is the map of planet Earth,” said one of the men. “The planet we’re on, right now. We’re on this continent,” he pointed to North America, in the southeastern corner. “Right about here. Now, I dunno what your deal is, but I think you need to calm down and try to work it out of your system.” He turned to Casey. “You might want to call the Sheriff on this. He may just need a night in the drunk tank.”

Casey nodded, and she took the phone, dialing a number. John noted that it was a ten-digit number, and it seemed to have worked. “Hi, Sheriff? We got a guy kinda, well, he’s kinda confused. Doesn’t know where he is, or what—” She jumped as John slapped his hand on the phone, hanging it up.

“Okay, there’s no need to get the cops involved,” he said holding up a hand. He looked at his coffee. “Sorry, but unless you take Bellamian currency, I don’t think I can pay for that.”

“It’s fine,” said Casey. “But I think you should sit down, take a breath, and collect your wits. You shouldn’t go running around out there right now.”

John shook his head. “Not running around. I’m going to go back to where I landed, and see if I can reverse this.” With that, he strode out the door before anyone could stop him.

“Weird,” said the older woman.

“No shit,” said one of the men. “Should we go after him? Or call the Sheriff again? You don’t want a nutcase prowling the roads.”

“You sure he wasn’t under some kind of spell?” said the other man.

The older woman shook her head. “I told you, I didn’t sense his dick being hard. You need to be aroused for the magic to work. Unless, I dunno, some woman really rewrote his brain or something, then just turned him loose.”

“Then he really needs help,” said Casey as she dialed the Sheriff.


TWO
An hour later, Casey’s co-worker came in to relieve her, and Casey headed back home. The Sheriff had stopped by the diner, claiming she hadn’t seen anyone on the road, much less a confused young man like Casey described. Whether that meant he’d disappeared into the woods or fields off the highway, someone had picked him up, or he’d found some tucked away shelter, Casey couldn’t guess. She just hoped he’d found help and that no one had gotten hurt. Still, there wasn’t anything she could do aside from answer the Sheriff’s questions, and there was no sense worrying about something she couldn’t otherwise help.

She wound her way down U.S.-5 towards her hometown of Breezewood. However, before she’d even gone five miles, she was forced to stop as she rounded a curve just in time to see a massive flash of light just off the road. Slamming on her breaks, she veered to the side, and came to a stop only five feet away from John, who was standing on the shoulder.

The young man jumped back, looking alarmed. He had been standing beneath a glowing ball of light with his arms raised towards it. The light emanated a low thundering sound; apparently John hadn’t seen or heard the car coming until it was nearly on top of him. Casey got out of the car, looking at the light in wonder. “What the hell is that?” she said over the thundering sound, pointing at the light ball.

“I traced back my steps, and I think I found my exit point,” said John. “I can just barely sense a sort of scar in the dimensional fabric. I’m trying to force open a portal inside the scar before it heals up completely; if I can just jump back through my old path, I think if I can make it back to where I started.” He waved her off. “You might want to back up. This thing is pretty unstable.”

Casey just gawked at him. “What the hell is going on? Who are you? How are you doing that?”

“Uh, look, I’m thinking its best you just go home and forget you saw anything. That’s what I’m about to do.”

“But… but… you’re really a Mage? How is that even possible? Only women can be Sex Mages!”

John cocked an eyebrow at her. “What’s a Sex Mage? I’m a Shadowmancer.”

“A what?”

John looked at her as though she were some kind of alien. “Okay. I’m going to ask you something crazy. What planet did you say this was again?”

Casey returned the look. “Earth. Planet Earth.”

John nodded. “You’re not kidding about that, are you? Phone numbers are different, countries and continents are different, you’re talking about weird magic.” Ball started glowing brighter, and the thundering got louder.

“What? What the hell is going on?”

“I don’t know how, but I think I teleported to a whole other planet. Maybe another dimension.” A desperate look crossed John’s face as he yelled at the light ball. “Come on, come on! Open up! I’m not getting stuck here!” The thunder was getting so loud, Casey’s car was rattling like a loose window pane, and the light was nearly blinding.

Casey ran up to him. “John, wait! What are you doing?”

John yelled. “If I don’t get through this portal right now, I’ll never make it back home!” He waved her off. “Go! Get out of here! You don’t want to get caught in this!” Casey turned to run, but suddenly, the light ball flared even brighter. “Oh, shit!” she barely heard John say. “Run! Run for it! This thing is—” And before Casey could take another step, her world went white.

Casey felt a sensation as if she was floating. Dazed, she was vaguely aware of being surrounded by light and a dull, pulsing hum reverberating through her whole body. She found it impossible to orient herself. Every time she tried to focus on something, her attention would inevitably fizzle out and she would find herself losing her train of thought. Soon, she lost all sense of time, and just allowed herself to drift in the sea in light that shone even when she closed her eyes. So she drifted on… and on… and on…

And then, suddenly, she was falling.

The sensation of a fierce, chill wind struck her body as the light imploded away from her with another thunderous boom. She screamed as she tumbled through the air, unable to orient herself. Then, just as suddenly, she was splashing into a body of water. She struck the surface on her back, and the wind was knocked out of her. For several seconds, she was paralyzed, unable to breathe as her body sank beneath the water’s surface. But then, the moment passed, and the mild chill of the water shocked her body back into action. She quickly swam up for the surface, gasping once she broke the edge.

“What the… where the hell…”

There was a second splash, and she turned to see John had landed face down in the water. He wasn’t moving. “John!” She swam towards him, fighting the drag of her wet clothes, and forced him to roll over. “John, wake up!”

John didn’t wake, however. In fact, he started to sink. Casey grabbed him and tried to haul him up. But she was already growing tired. Her limbs were beginning to ache with fatigue, and her body was still in pain from hitting the water so hard. As she looked in all directions, she could not see land anywhere. She was either in the middle of the ocean, or an extremely large lake. She was likely going to drown at this rate.

No! No, she would not allow that to happen. She forced herself to relax, and stretched herself out to lay on the surface of the water, floating easily as she filled her lungs with air and took shallow breaths. She kept a grip on John, keeping his head above the water, and kept them afloat with as minimum an effort as possible. Then, she slipped a hand beneath her pants, and touched herself.

Like all adult women of Earth, Casey was a Sex Mage. Sex and sexual arousal created an intangible sort of energy that Sex Mages could absorb and then use to power a variety of spells, mostly things relating to mind reading, healing, and telekinetic body control. It was the lattermost power she was now interested in. She just needed to get herself in the mood.

It was easier to use the energy of men, of course. Although men could not gain Sex Magic, they could provide a much stronger burst of energy in a shorter amount of time compared to most women. Trying to use energy from one’s own pleasure was the hardest. Still, it would have to do in a pinch. John was too checked out to participate.

Okay, Casey, she thought to herself. You’re not lost in the ocean. You’re at a beach. You’re at a beach on vacation, and that delicious stud Brendan is with you. You’re lying in his arms, and he’s reaching down, touching you. God, his cock is so hard, straining in his shorts, but he knows better than to push his luck. Mmm, yeah…

As she all but forced herself enjoy the fantasy, her fingers played over her clitoris, which warmed and swelled to her touch. As her excitement built, she could already feel the energy returning to her, swelling up inside her. The pain and fatigue were fading. Good. That was a start. She looked at John. Were he awake, she might stroke him until he was hard, and use her powers to keep him stimulated. Then she might float his body up and ride him like a flying surfboard to the nearest body of land, the way the skater girls did back home to their boyfriends. “Boysurfing” they called it. Casey had never had the chance to try it, but right now it seemed quite an appealing idea.

Of course, if John were awake, he’d probably be able to teleport them to land. What had he called himself? A Shadowmancer?

Casey forced herself to stop worrying about it, and continued concentrating on her fantasy. Now, that sexy stud Brendan was slipping her bikini aside and freeing his cock from his swim trunks. He lifted her up so that she could position herself to let him enter her. Oh, how he filled her up… Casey drove three fingers inside herself, stroking her g-spot to really build up the pleasure. The energy grew stronger, and she felt the power gather at the edges of her will. She had two choices here. She could either push the healing energy into John to see if he would recover. Or, she could try to levitate herself and carry the both of them to land, assuming she could find it.

She opted for the former, while lending just enough power to easily keep them both afloat in the water. For several minutes, she let the energy soak into John, leaving just enough for herself so she wouldn’t get tired. She slowed her touches to make herself feel a nice, steady buzz of pleasure, pacing herself.

John stirred, then coughed, spitting up some sea water. “M’whuh,” he moaned as he started to come to.

“John? John, wake up!” said Casey. “You have to teleport us to safety. We’re in the middle of the ocean!”

John blinked, dazed, and looked around. He started treading water on his own, much to Casey’s relief. “Oh, fuck. Alright. Okay. Just give me a minute to orient myself. I really, really hope I reached Civero. If we’re in some other dimension or on some other planet, then we—” He paused as he noticed where Casey’s other hand was. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Building up energy,” said Casey as she continued to masturbate. “I’m a Sex Mage. I can use sex to—look, I can tell you about it later. Just, please, if you can, use your own magic to get us to safety.”

John shook his head, and Casey could sense his cock give a bit of a flinch, contemplating going erect, despite their situation. But the immediate danger of the moment won out, and John turned away from her to look around. “Okay,” he said. “Alright. I don’t know what ocean we’re in, and I don’t know how much energy I have to keep casting spells.”

“Um… well… I don’t know if it will help, but I can feed you some energy,” said Casey. “It will be, um, sex energy, for lack of a better term. Do you think that can help? If not, then I can at least direct some of the energy to refresh you.”

John glanced back at her, and saw that she was still brazenly rubbing herself, though less frantically now, slowing down to nice, slow, almost ambling rub. John blushed, and his cock responded, getting a little bit hard, despite himself. Casey saw in image flash in his mind of himself touching her. Casey smiled. Under normal circumstances, she was sure their situation would be freaking him out too much. But when a Sex Mage masturbated, she couldn’t help but send out arousing signals which most men were helpless to respond to. John was no doubt being affected.

“Okay, um, we can try it,” he said, and turned away again. He swam backwards towards her. “Grab onto me,” he said. Casey let go of herself, and wrapped both arms around him from behind. John caught a slight scent of her pussy as her hand passed his face. He blushed again, and tried not to think about what she’d been doing, but his cock gave a small twitch of interest anyway. Pushing such thoughts from his head, he closed his eyes, concentrated, then the two vanished.

Several teleports later, crossing a dozen kilometers at a time, heading northwest, they did not find any land. They did, however, discover a cruise ship. “Oh, thank God,” said Casey.

“God?” muttered John as he prepared to teleport.

Casey laughed with relief as she saw the huge ocean liner just half a kilometer away. “Wow. Of all the things to be rescued by. I’ve never been on a cruise before!”

“Me neither,” he said. “Well, here we go. Hopefully, they won’t mind us barging in, but given the circumstances—”

“Just get us up there, okay?” she said.

John complied, teleporting them onto the deck, along with a few gallons of sea water. They landed on the far end of the ship’s forward, causing several people to jump away from their sudden presence with a few gasps and exclamations. As soon as John’s feet touched solid ground, his leg’s buckled under him and he collapsed onto his hands and knees. “Oh, wow,” he said, breathlessly, as he allowed the fatigue to catch up to him. “I need a giant steak dinner and a nap.”

Casey, managing to stay on her feet, kneeled down next to him once she’d oriented herself, putting an arm around him. “You gunna be okay?” she said.

“Yeah, just give me a—”

“Hey! HEY! You two! Stay right where you are!” three men in sailor’s uniforms strode quickly and purposefully towards them. Casey looked to John.

“It’s alright!” John said, holding up a hand. “Please! We’re not ship jumpers! We got stranded at sea and we’re just trying to make it back to land!”

The first man grabbed John and hauled him to his feet. John didn’t resist as the man, at least a head taller and quite muscular, leaned down and gazed deeply into John’s eyes. John swallowed and stayed calm as he could while the man stared at him. The man then nodded. “I sense no deceit. His memories are a bit befuddled, but he has been stranded from a teleportation accident.”

“Alright,” said another of the sailors. He looked at Casey, who held up her hands.

“Not here to cause trouble, uh, officer,” she said. The man gave her a curious once over, but nodded. Casey resisted the urge to use her own magic to influence him. She had no idea what the situation was.

“We can give you two some food and one of the unused guest rooms to rest,” said the first man. “We are two days from Hawkins Isle. If you are unable to leave under your own power, we can take you there, and you can find your own travel arrangements from there.”

“Thank you very much,” said John.

“Yes, thank you,” said Casey. The two let the sailors escort them to a small room several decks below.



THREE
It was a tiny room with two small bunk beds, but it would do. John arranged for some sandwiches to be delivered via room service, and sat down heavily on the bed opposite Casey. Casey noted the shower. “You wanna clean up?” she said.

“You go ahead,” he said.

Casey paused. “You want to join me?”

John practically jumped at that. “Excuse me?”

“Do you want to join me?” she asked matter-of-factly. “I could give you a little recharge if you want.”

“Recharge…?”

“With my Sex Magic,” she said.

John looked at her a little uncomfortably. “So, you want to have sex?”

Casey smirked. “Well, no, I barely know you. You’re kind of cute, though. But we could play around a bit.”

John gave her a truly perplexed look. “Uh… look… you’re pretty good looking, but… I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

Casey sighed. “Don’t tell me you’re a romantic.”

“I have a girlfriend,” said John.

“Oh, I see,” she said. “Sorry. Hmmm. Well, you could just touch yourself while you think about her. That could still generate the healing effect.”

John’s look shifted to wary. “Um… look… I don’t know how things are on Earth, but on Civero, people don’t just randomly shove sex into people’s faces.”

Casey frowned. “You really are from another world, huh?”

“Um, yes. The world you’re on right now.”

Casey paused. “Yeah. About that. You’re really telling me we’re on another planet?”

“Yes. The world of Civero.”

“Forgive me if I find that a bit hard to believe.”

“You’re not kidding. I’m still not sure you aren’t just some crazy girl I picked up in another country.” He shook his head. “Earth. Who names their planet after the dirt anyway?”

Casey swallowed. She was getting a small feeling of dread that she wasn’t quite ready to face at the moment. She needed to take a shower, then get some coffee and reevaluate her situation.


****

After toweling off, Casey came out of the shower, completely nude. She’d soaked her clothes in the shower’s clean water, then hung them on the towel rack to let them dry. John blinked in surprise and averted his gaze, though Casey sensed that instinctive male spark of awareness and interest in a naked female. She knew she was pretty and had a good body; she worked out to stay fit and trim, and the Sex Magic was a big help in easily maintaining such a figure. She was 29, but only looked about 19.

“It’s okay to look,” she said. “I won’t be mad.”

“Told you,” said John, keeping his gaze averted. “Girlfriend.”

“So? Looking isn’t cheating, you know.” She sat down on the lower bunk as John stood up. “If it’s any consolation, I can easily see you naked, right through your clothes.”

John glanced back. Casey resisted the urge to smirk as she sensed his rational brain fight with his instincts as he made a point not to look at her bare breasts. She resisted the near-instinctive reflex to arch her back just to provoke his male desires. Another time and place, she could see herself having a little fun with John. But this was not such a situation.

There was a knock on the door, and Casey answered it. A tall young man presented a tray with sandwiches and some juice bottles. He blinked, and then his eyes went wide as he saw Casey’s nude body. She gave him a warm smile. “Thank you very much, sir,” she said, giving him a slight bow as she took the tray. She sensed his cock lurch to life, going half hard quickly.

“Uh, n-no problem!” the young man said, blushing deeply, but unable to keep his gaze off her breasts.

Casey cocked an eyebrow at him. “Sir, you work on a cruise ship, surely you’ve seen thousands of breasts before.” Unbidden, she sensed the young man’s thoughts, a memory of a time when he’d similarly given room service to a young couple, and the woman had likewise answered the door nude. And in that case, he’d been invited inside, where he’d been allowed to join a drunken foursome. Casey grinned. “Well, I think we’re good here. Thanks again.”

“Y-yes, ma’am, I’m sorry to interrupt,” he said, quickly running off. Casey could sense his cock was now fully hard and he planned to tend to it post haste. She was tempted to give him a little jolt of pleasure to spur him on further, but she chided herself. This wasn’t the time or place to be indulging in childish pranks. Not yet, anyway.

Casey closed the door, turned, and set the tray on the small table next to the bunk beds. John watched her now, his gaze taking in her curves, but he was not necessarily excited by them. Rather, he was more curious about her actions. “I guess people are pretty open in your world, huh?”

Casey shrugged. “Well, you know, a few decades of Sex Magic does wonders to knock down the old notions of modesty. I know most women like to be mysterious with their own bodies to tease the boys, but I never saw any harm in showing off. Fair is fair, after all. Like I said, we can see boys naked with our magic whenever we want, so—”

“Really?” he said, giving her a skeptical look.

“Yep,” she said. She glanced down at his crotch and smirked. “You’ve got a freckle on the left side of your penis. How cute!”

John frowned. “I didn’t give you permission to look.”

Casey blinked, then frowned as well when she noticed his resentment. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean any disrespect. It’s just where I’m from, this kind of open viewing is pretty normal. I guess if you come from one of the more traditional countries, though—”

John suddenly disappeared. The effect was instant, one moment he was there, the next, he was gone, faster than a blink. Casey gasped and jumped. “John?” she said. She cast out her sexual senses on instinct, and detected him still standing where she’d just seen him. She narrowed her eyes and concentrated, and the veil of invisibility seemed to part as, in her minds eye, she could perfectly picture his naked body.

“Um… what just happened?” she said. “What are you doing?”

“I’m invisible. Can you still see me?”

“I can if I use my Sex Magic,” she said. “But, um, I’m just seeing you naked, of course. And it’s not like I’m really seeing you, I just sort of know you’re there, and I can picture you in my head pretty clearly.”

“Hmmm.” John stroked his chin thoughtfully as he looked at her. “Some kind of clairvoyance. Alright. How about now?” The image of him began to waiver, and soon, it was like a thick fog had been cast over Casey’s sexual senses. She had only a vague impression of where he was.

“Woah,” said Casey. She stepped forward and held out a hand. “I can kind of sense you. But it’s really fuzzy.”

“So, not entirely psychic. Partial biomancy?”

Casey dropped her arm and cast a confused look in what she thought was still his general direction. “How are you doing this? No male on Earth has ever manifested magic powers or been able to hide like this.” The mental image of John was now little more than the vaguest sense of presence. She had to, for lack of a better term, “squint” with her senses just to make out even a hint of him.

“I am a Shadowmancer,” said John. Casey jumped as the voice came from right behind her. “I wield power over gravity, space, and illusion.” The voice echoed all around her, and as Casey turned to try and hone in on it, she realized she had lost “sight” of John entirely.

“Wow,” said Casey. “Some women can do stuff like this, but not without some kind of sexual arousal involved. How does this Shadowmancy work?”

Suddenly, the shower turned on. Casey went to the door, and she could see the water disappearing for several feet before reappearing as it splashed along the bottom of the shower. She still could not sense John at all, even as she directly saw the evidence of his presence under the spray of water.

“I was born with the power to manipulate certain kinds of mana to cast spells,” he said. “There’re different types of magic on Civero, each Mage being able to perform certain abilities.”

Casey swallowed hard. Unless this was some very elaborate prank being pulled by a very powerful Sex Mage, one who could actually override the innate immunity women had to one another’s powers, Casey was finding it very difficult to ignore the ramifications of what was happening here. She was talking to a man who had genuine magic, a man who had teleported them, under his own power, to some foreign ocean, where they’d encountered a ship heading for an island she’d never heard of.

And the people on the ship hadn’t been shocked by this. In fact, one of the sailors had done something to John, examined him and mentioned thoughts. Had the male sailor used magic as well?

“John,” she said hesitantly. “Where are we?”

There was a long pause. “Unless I’m mistaken, we’re on Civero. Hawkins Island is a popular tourist spot off the coast of Argonia, in the Concord Ocean.”

“Argonia,” she said slowly. “Sounds Greek.”

“What’s Greek?”

Casey closed her eyes and let out a long breath. She went over to the bed and pulled off the sheet, wrapping it around herself with one loop for her shoulder, forming a makeshift toga. She secured the new outfit with a belt made by tying the two pillow cases together.

She then sat and ate one of the sandwiches, a plastic wrapped hoagie. Well, for a supposed alien world, the accommodations sure seemed Earthlike. Was it possible that some men had developed powers in some countries, but it was kept a secret from the rest of the world? No, that wasn’t possible. Even with the shift in power that had radically altered the geo-political landscape over the last few decades, information technology would have ensured public knowledge of men gaining magic. Or would it? She knew some countries had locked down their borders and even electronic communications were heavily censored. But that couldn’t possibly stop an information leak of something that significant.

What if John was from some country that had decided to rewrite history and rename everything? He looked to be about 22 or 23 years old. Assuming his own magic didn’t slow his aging, he would not have even been born yet when Sex Magic first appeared. Casey herself had been a toddler when the Magic arrived on Earth, but had grown up in the United States when it was still one nation. She’d been old enough to remember life in America before the Cult Wars had pulled the country apart, and the new Queendoms had formed in the aftermath. Her own country had not felt the need to alter historical details, but she’d heard a few nations overseas had seen fit to rewrite history, and indoctrinate their future generations into a world view where Sex Magic had always existed. What if John was from just such a country? What if the rulers of his nation had concocted a fantastic history, altering the details of the past to trick newer generations into thinking Earth was a planet called Civero, where even males could obtain strong magical powers?

But then, how did John not know what Sex Magic was? That would truly be impossible, short of some kind of direct mind alteration. Every woman on Earth past the age of 19 had Sex Magic. Even those isolated communities that had tried to keep themselves closed off had eventually been exposed to the magic, and the women of those communities had gained it as a result. No. There was just no way. Unless… unless the magic manifested differently in certain places…

Casey sighed and rubbed her temples, forcing herself not to think too deeply about the situation. She’d wait until the ship reached land. Then she’d get to a computer or a telephone or even an old fashioned brick and mortar library, and she’d try to figure out where she was and what she was going to do.

So she sat and ate, and listened to the shower running, until it shut off a few minutes later. There was the sound of footsteps and one of the sandwiches vanished off the plate. Another few steps, and the plastic wrapper suddenly appeared in a ball as it dropped into the small trashcan next to the bunk beds.

Casey tried to sense John again, but he was still invisible to her eyes and her normal senses. She had a feeling that if he wanted, he could easily block out his own sound, too. He could be right in front of her, perhaps jerking off right in her face, and she wouldn’t even know it. It was unnerving. Now she suddenly had an inkling of how it must have felt for a few of the boys she’d teased when she was first gaining her powers, sending spells from afar to give cute, hapless boys phantom blowjobs and handjobs from miles away. For a boy to wake up with the feeling of a girl sucking his cock, only to pull back the covers and there’s no one actually there, but he can still feel her sucking away, his cock bobbing in the air from the psychic stimulation; yeah, pleasurable as it may have been, she could understand how that would be a little scary.

“Um, could you not be invisible, please?” said Casey. “I mean, I got dressed so you wouldn’t have to see me.”

“Nothing to wear,” said John.

“Use a bed sheet, like me.”

There was a pause and a sigh, and the bedsheet was pulled from the top bunk, vanishing as it went. More footsteps, and the sounds a belt being put on could be heard. John then came out of the bathroom, now visible. His faux-leather belt was dry enough to use, and the bed sheet was wrapped in the same toga style around him. He sat back down and finished his sandwich. “Mmmm, that hit the spot. I don’t even like salami, but it’s amazing how good food can taste after a life-risking disaster.” He chased the food down by draining half the bottle of juice in one draw. Letting out a breath, he looked to Casey. “So, what’s this Sex Magic?”

Casey frowned. “You seriously don’t know what Sex Magic is?” she said. John shook his head. “Well, I short, it lets me sense men’s arousal, sense their erotic thoughts. When men get aroused near a Sex Mage, he produces a sort of invisible energy that we can convert into spells. Regular Sex Mages, like me, these spells are mainly limited to influencing men’s sexual thoughts and drives, and controlling their bodies, particularly their genitals.”

John just stared at her for a moment. Then he stood and started slowly backing away from her. The look on his face was one of slowly dawning fear. Casey held up a hand. “Look, I won’t do anything to you, okay? I’m not the kind of girl who just goes around diddling guys’ junk on a whim. The women in my country aren’t like that.”

John’s back hit the door. His expression was ashen. Casey’s brow furrowed. “What? What is it?”

“Are you a Lust Walker?”

Casey’s expression was even more confused. “A what?”

“This energy you mentioned. What happens to the men you drain it from?”

“Um… well… I mean… we can use our powers to tease them and play with them… and that makes them produce more energy, but—”

“Do you kill them?” he said.

Casey’s eyes widened. “What? No! What the hell, man?”

The finger’s of John’s left hand extended, and a small flare of light appeared at his fingertips. The light formed into a sliver, a three-inch long blade, glowing at the edge of his fingertips. Casey jumped up and backed up against the opposite wall. “Woah, okay, hold on, now,” she said, holding out a hand towards him. “Just calm down for a minute!” She extended her power to him. Given the fear on his face, she doubted there was even a spark of lust for her to latch onto with her Sex Magic, but she wasn’t sure what else to do.

Her power didn’t detect anything anyway. His strange “Shadowmancy” powers continued to shield him from her sexual senses. And then, suddenly, he was invisible once more. She couldn’t see him or even hear him, either with her normal or sexual senses. “John, please, whatever you’re about to do, please don’t!” Casey could feel a fear welling up inside her that she didn’t think she’d felt since she was a child. She forced it down as best she could, trying to stay calm, but she knew the veneer would crack quite easily.

“You said you drain their energy,” said John, his voice icy calm, but reverberating all around her, not letting her pinpoint his location. “You’re powers are based around sex. You can use them to ensnare men.”

“I don’t just do that!” said Casey. “And we don’t drain their energy! What does that even mean? They produce energy during sex and teasing that we can use!”

There was a pause in the voice. “On my world, we have something like you. It’s called a Lust Walker. They use sex to ensnare victims and drain their life force.”

“That’s not what we do! In fact, Sex Magic heals people, just as a side effect!”

Suddenly, John appeared in front her, and she gave a small shriek. She tried to leap back, but John’s right hand gripped her shoulder, while his left was held up against her throat. The blade of light felt cool, and sharp, to the touch. John locked eyes with her, and Casey could only stare back fearfully. After a few tense moments, he let her go. The blade of light vanished and he stepped back.

“I think you’re telling the truth,” he said softly.

Casey, trembling, fell back onto the lower bunk bed. She took a moment to gather her wits, before saying, “John? Can you take me back home? I don’t… I don’t know if I believe you that we’re on another world. We can’t be. But if we are, if you can travel between our worlds, then you need to take me back.”

John sagged against the door. “I don’t think I can,” he said. “I have no idea how I got to your world in the first place. I only made it back because I located and followed back my original departure point. But I didn’t even end up back where I started when I reached your world. I’m thousands of kilometers away from there.”

“But you can locate the point we appeared here, can’t you?” said Casey. “Just like you did back on Earth.”

John slowly shook his head. “On your world, I landed right next to a road. I followed that same road back from your diner, and I still almost missed it. When we reappeared here, it was in the sky, over the ocean. I teleported us across the sea without any landmarks to lead us back; I doubt we were going in a straight line. And since being on this ship I have no idea how much further we’ve gone or in what direction.” He looked at her. “I don’t think I can take you back. I don’t know anyone who can. Interstellar teleportation? That’s impossible. Unless I crossed dimensions, but if I did, then it was an accident, one I have no idea how to replicate.” He looked to the floor. “I’m sorry.”

Casey just stared at him, then sagged in her seat. Then she stood up and walked towards him. “I need some air,” she said. John obligingly stepped aside, and she all but dashed out the door. John cursed, then grabbed the room key and followed suit.

***


[Casey sulks, decides to use her powers to learn more about the world she’s in.]

***

When Casey saw John again, he looked emotionally drained. He sat on a deck chair, staring at the ocean. Casey sat down on the chair next to him. “Hey,” she said. “You okay?”

“I should be asking you that,” muttered John.

“I’m not, but thanks for concerning yourself.”

John put a hand to his head and let out a long breath. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “I’ll do what I can to help you. I promise. Not get you home, probably. I’ll ask around to my few Mage contacts, but I’ll need to be careful who I talk to. Even if that wasn’t a concern, I don’t know of anyone that can help you with that.”

“I see.” Casey put a hand on his shoulder. “I appreciate that you want to make things right.”

John nodded. He rubbed his eyes. “I got in contact with my girlfriend,” he said.

“Oh?” Casey was grateful for the distraction of another topic.

“She said I’ve been gone for three months.” John shook his head. “I can cross a hundred kilometers in an instant, but it’s as if that teleport somehow took weeks and weeks to finish.” He stared up at the sky in wonder. “I don’t know what to make of that. Maybe I did actually go all the way to another planet. Somehow, I teleported clear across deep space into a whole other star system. I can’t even imagine the distances required for a teleport spell to take over a month to complete.”

Casey frowned. “Which means I’ve probably been gone from Earth for just as long,” she said. “Or, well, maybe half as long as you.”

“Mercy’s sake,” he said. “I’m so sorry.”

“I know. You can stop saying it. Let’s just focus on fixing it. Or… well. Focus on getting you home, and, well, doing what we can.”

“The worst part? Given the nature of your powers, you’re at high risk. Beyond having to find you a place to live and a job, somehow, you’re going to need to keep your abilities hidden.”

“Why?”

“I almost killed you in the cabin, remember?”

Casey nodded slowly.

“The Lust Walker condition I mentioned? It’s contagious. Like a vampire. Except unlike vampires, they’re real. And no matter how much they fight their condition, even the strongest ones crack and go feral if they don’t regularly feed. It’s a curse, a genuine bit of dark magic, twisted into a biological weapon against us. There’s no cure, and if they go feral, there’s virtually no chance of recovery. And so, we kill them on sight.”

Casey’s eyes widened at that.

“Keep your powers under control. Don’t use them unless absolutely necessary.” John paused as he noticed her expression. “What?”

“John, I… Sex Magic…” she glanced around, suddenly very aware of the people around them. “Sex Magic is also contagious. I can’t… I can’t believe I forgot about that.”

John blinked. “Okay. So, then, you really can’t use your powers.”

Casey shook her head. “No, it’s not like that. God, I can’t believe this. You have to understand, every woman on Earth has Sex Magic. Every adult woman. Like, I didn’t even think about it, because who bothers to anymore, you know? But the thing about the Magic is…” she hesitated, looking around again. She could see so many women on the ship.

John sighed and shook his head. “Just say it.”

“Women gain Sex Magic just by being near Sex Mages,” said Casey. “It spreads like, I dunno, like a radiation of something. A woman, an adult woman, who doesn’t have the magic, she just has to stand near me for a few minutes to get it.”

John blinked again. Then he slowly turned and looked around them. Although no one was close enough to hear them, he was suddenly very, very aware of how many people, how many women, were around them. He turned slowly to Casey, his face pale, but features hard as stone. He took a step back.

Casey swallowed nervously. “John, if you’re thinking about killing me again, it’s not going to matter. It will have already spread.”

“No,” he said softly. “No, I figured. And it isn’t your fault. It’s mine.”

“It was an accident,” she said. “It isn’t your fault, either.”

“Maybe,” he said. He let out a short, humorless laugh. “Anyway, killing you wouldn’t matter. We’re all going to die now.”

Now it was Casey’s turn to blink in surprise. “What? Why?”

“Because once the women on the ship start displaying sex powers, or whatever your abilities are, they’re going to think it’s a Lust Walker outbreak.”

“But we can explain otherwise! You believe me right?”

“I was there on Earth. I brought you hear. No one’s going to believe I carted you here from another planet. They’re going to think I brought you onboard as some kind of, I don’t even know, some kind of attack. The crew is going to report this to the authorities. The authorities are going to missile strike the ship.”

“You… you can’t be serious…”

“I told you, we kill Lust Walkers on sight, whoever the nearest capable person is. It’s required by law in every country. This includes carpet bombing a whole town if enough of the populace within has been turned. Sinking a cruise ship? They won’t even hesitate.”

Casey leaned back against the railing, her face as pale as John’s. This was a nightmare. This was one unending nightmare. She hoped, she prayed, that any minute now, she was going to wake up in her bed and find out that she was dreaming, or that this was all some magic prank being played on her by another woman, one powerful enough to effect other women. She didn’t know any such women in town, she couldn’t imagine why that would even be done. But that was a far more desirable explanation.

But she knew that was wishful thinking. Somehow, some way, she had just had the bad luck to stumble into a situation where her very presence was going to sign her death warrant. It was too sudden, too fantastic, and she just couldn’t process it.

“How long do we have?” said John.

“About two days until the power manifest from the time of first exposure,” said Casey, almost quoting from a class lecture on basic Sex Magic studies. “Unless... wait…” her eyes widened. “Are you a human, John?”

John cocked an eyebrow at her. “As far as I know.”

“But are you a, oh, what’s the term, a homo sent—sape—a homo sapien?”

John scratched his head, confused. “A what?”

“Alright, hear me out,” said Casey. “Humans on Earth, we evolved from apes, right? The scientific word for us all is like, Hominids or something.”

“I’m not following,” he said.

“Okay, like, do you have evolutionary science and stuff here?”

John frowned. “I… I don’t know…”

Casey cocked her head to the side. “Really? You guys have technology like Earth, but you don’t… I mean, you know what evolution is, right?”

“I mean, I know the theory,” said John. “Species change gradually over time. But there’s not really evidence of that.”

Casey frowned deeply. “Okay, then how…?”

John waved her off. “Look, I can give you the history lesson later. It’s not pretty. But what are you trying to get at?”

Casey shook her head. “Alright, the point I’m trying to make is that we might be different species. And the magic doesn’t spread to other species.”

John’s eyebrows raised. “Really?”

“We’ve never been able to test this,” said Casey. “I mean, it’s just humans on Earth, as far as beings like us, you know? I can use my powers on you, but, like, maybe that’s just because you look human. If you aren’t actually human—sorry, that came out wrong. I mean, like, we’re both humans of our worlds, but, what if, like, you know, there’s just enough genetic difference that it doesn’t catch?”

John frowned in thought, but nodded. “Like with the demihumans.”

Casey decided she’d get that explanation later. “Yeah, sure.”

John shrugged. “We’d need some kind of DNA testing to confirm that. Not sure where we’d get that on this ship.”

“I don’t think we’d have time,” said Casey. “But, what I’m saying is, if in two days no other women get the powers, we might be in the clear.”



Author’s Note - Afterward: So, as you can see, just as I did with the Centurions, I’d intended to do a crossover between the Sex Mage World and the World of Civero. Unfortunately, the concept proved ultimately unworkable even at the time, and is even more so now, as both settings have been fleshed out considerably since I first wrote this. Now, the story just doesn’t work logically for either setting, even after a few attempts to rewrite in some more recent details. (For example, this was a while before I hit upon the idea of the Queendoms, so their mention is a much later edit.)

I was even going to combine this with another (barely started) story, combining concepts from both, and basically turning this into a two-book adventure, but ultimately, the second part didn’t to end up working either, whether by itself or as the second half of this set up.

I believe the original intent of this project was to use this as a possible launching off point for turning the Sex Mage World into a sub-setting of Civero. At the time, Civero was still my main setting, and the Sex Mage World was only intended to be a short timeline anthology novel. Of course, I could have also just come up with a Civero-only origin for having a Sex Mage Island (and I did). By that time, however, the Sex Mage World was starting to take off in my mind, I liked the idea of it being on Earth better, and the Magic wasn’t really necessary to exist on Civero, what with Lust Walkers and sexy psychics and biomancers running around, getting into femdom shenanigans.

4 comments:

  1. Yah, I see what you mean. It could definitely fit as an erotic thriller but clearly you'd have to add the antagonist and fill in that back story. Story probably blows out to novel length at that point. I liked the idea that it wouldn't spread as easily as it did in the SMW, but maybe an element that if exposed or even targeted by the sex magic THEN a woman would get it. Or maybe only if a woman already has mage potential. And with John's knowledge of mage craft what could he teach Casey about her gifts? With the right training body control without arousal could be doable and would fit in with the thriller aspect of the story.

    And what if an actual Lust Walker finds out and want's to suck Casey's powers? Now you have two angles working against her as she tries to find her way home. Too bad she couldn't find a Fae Lord somewhere, one who easily travels the dimensions, to help her... for a price...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, there's a lot of things about Civero that would pretty easily stop Sex Magic cold. In theory, if they are different species (they're actually supposed to be, Civeron humans are basically artificially evolved into different species due to genetic sorcery), her powers shouldn't work on John at all in the first place. But I already screwed that up here, by having him be affected by it, but... eh. And then, of course, the magic for sure wouldn't work on Demihumans or Djinnoa. And Civero's international relations and hair-trigger reactions to sudden weird magic phenomenon means they might actually have a chance to eradicate the magic before it spreads. Plus, there is actually an anti-magic element in Civero that shuts off all magic. Theoretically, just touching this element to a Sex Mage would not only snuff out all of her magical energy, she would lose it completely, and thus be permanently depowered.

      As for Lust Walkers, I'm honestly of two minds of it: on the one hand, Sex Magic would technically allow the condition to spread insanely fast. On the other hand, the Lust Walker condition could theoretically be cured by Sex Magic, or if not cured, then "Lust Energy" created by Sex Magic would always be more than enough to feed a Lust Walker, even if they try to feed off other Lust Walkers. So, really, if Sex Magic did spread, it would effectively neutralize the Lust Walker condition.

      It might also forcibly activate everyone else's magical powers within a couple years, jump starting the whole human race into mages and espers, and then everyone has some way of blocking the magic if they train their abilities up enough. Sex Magic is actually really piss-weak against other supernatural powers, so anyone able to make a very basic mystic shield should be able to shut out at least 95% of all Sex Mages, Megami and such notwithstanding.

      But, again, that's even assuming Civero and Earth humans are compatible enough that the Magic would transfer or function at all, and at this point, by the lore, they're not supposed to be. Hell, by this point, Civeron humans are only re reproductively compatible with 25% of the other human population, because Civeron humans are actually four different species of transhuman, they just didn't realize it until the "modern era." But that's an article for another time.

      Delete
  2. I'm very impressed with this.

    If Civero humans are modified into four species then they re each more related to a standard (SMW) human than to each other. Whether that's close enough for contagion is yet to be determined (ii.e. decided by you).

    What might be viable is if the opposite happened, introducing a Civero character into SMW. Possible plot arc:

    - intro, confusion, etc.

    - Sex mages toy with newcomer, he fights back, he's hunted, one mage finds an equal really attractive, they run off to another queendom and hide happily ever after.

    - close calls

    - A queendom captures him, wants to keep him alive for study, uses brutal ways to incapacitate him and keep him disoriented

    - experiments, near-escapes, fevered dream sequences

    - scientific discovery... needs more data

    - does scientist tell? She struggles with possibilities, indulges. She could rival a megami... couldn't she?

    - she could make more like him...

    -men escape, scientist dies

    -vingettes of men being hunted down

    - man is blamed by queen for the whole thing, of course. Queen captures him, shrinks him, and encases him into a crystal where he'd surely suffocate except she attaches said crystal to her clit ring.

    - The end?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nah, Civero humans (actually metahumans) are different enough from regular humans as to be incompatible with them as well. They didn't evolve, they were spliced into whole new species by the super mages of the Majestic Era.

      John being part of the Year 100 story did occur to me, where he's actually one of several extraterrestrial/extradimensional entities found and captured by the STF. Maybe after this incident, he does get Casey back to Earth, but gets stuck there this time. He's kept prisoner by the STF for a while; his powers mean they can't even effect him as long as he keeps his shields up, and since Shadowmancers are empowered by shadows, his magic well is effectively unlimited. But of course, they can still keep him behind bars. He eventually joins the STF and others to combat the forces of Temael. Heck, he could even be the main male protagonist of the story.

      Delete