The Bandit Scout on Newhome (M+F+/M+F+) primarily (M/F) - Chapter 95 - 06/08/24

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GreyLord
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Post by GreyLord »

@TayDay95, @Caesar73, @wolfman, @Beaumains, @slackywacky, @banshee, @NotSeen, @FabianStr2016, @Red86, @tickletied84, @Boundcurious, @Nainur, @RopeBunny, @Damsel-Dilara-Dee, @Jake78045, @Bandit666, @laz, @Argentum, and @brasileira2.

You have kindly posted comments on my story. That is appreciated very much. Please continue to tell me what you think about The Bandit Scout on Newhome. If you would like your tag removed from this list, you can send me a PM. Or, you can post your request in the story.

-----

Chapter 73 – Molly Is a Brat

It is time for Carol to return to the Johanssons. Headmaster Chang says, "Carol, we have explained our actions to you as well as possible. I hope you see that Unihold has acted in the present and over the centuries in the best interest of all of the people of Newhome. We want to avoid a war with your family. You know that if we must, we will defend ourselves. Do you still believe that there is a realistic chance that you can convince your brother, Aaron, to change his path?"

“It will not be easy," Carol replied. "But the answer is yes. I know there is great danger for me if I return to Aaron. Because I am his sister, he will listen to me. But if I cannot convince him of what I know about Unihold, he will think I have gone over to the enemy. In that case, he will have to have me executed."

Stella said, "I don't think you should be in that peril, Carol. You have come to mean a lot to me. Why can't we invite Aaron to a parley and let you talk to him in that context? Then your life would not be at risk."

“Because," Carol answered, "going to him shows I am sincere. Without that, I do not believe Aaron will change his mind."

Medico Stevens asked, "What is your assessment of the chance you can change Aaron's mind?"

Carol replied, “Forty that he will change his mind to sixty that he will not.”

Stella said, “Headmaster, we should send Barbara back with Carol as a goodwill gesture.”

Barbara was brought to the group. She was wearing the halter and shorts they had provided. Her hands were secured behind her back. On seeing the group assembled, Barbara said, “Is it time for my execution now?”

Lou muttered, "You just can't get that out of your mind, can you, Barbara?"

Rita spoke, “Headmaster, you can’t send them back looking like Bandits. Let me dress them properly?”

“Of course, Rita,” the Headmaster replied.

Stella untied Barbara and accompanied Rita in escorting Carol and Barbara to Rita's suite. Carol and Barbara were soon dressed in colorful low-rider silk pants and vests that showed plenty of cleavage, especially the well-endowed Carol. The ripped abdomens of both women were well exposed.

“Now, you will make a splash when you return to your family," Rita said.

Stella hugged Carol, “May you stay safe, Carol. Barbara, I am sorry that I haven’t had a chance to get to know you. But you seem to be a fine woman. I wish you well also.”

A crowd had gathered at the gates to see the women off. Ralph Rider said, "Carol, tell your brother I will meet him on the battlefield if he chooses. But I would much prefer to shake his hand, share mead with him, and plan the future of Newhome together with him as a partner."

Johansson eyes were on Carol and Barbara from the moment that they left the gates to Unihold. When they neared the Johansson encampment, mounted troops were waiting to escort them into the camp. Carol was led to her tent near the camp's center, and Barbara was escorted to Achilles. Ragnar Erickson was glad to see Barbara, his second in command of the Myrmidons.

In Carol's tent, she found Molly Truheart waiting for her. Molly said, "Carol, I am glad you are back with us safely. Aaron will be here later to talk to you. Please forgive me; I have orders to ensure that you are not carrying any spy devices, knowingly or unknowingly. That is a beautiful outfit you are wearing. Would you take it off and let me search it?"

“This is not unexpected, Molly," said Carol as she removed the clothes Rita had given her. "I was just given these clothes before coming here, and you should investigate them thoroughly. I hope you don't have to tear anything, but you must do what is necessary." Carol was unperturbed by standing naked in front of Molly.

Molly examined the garments methodically and with great care. She said, "This is a fine and thin material. Nothing could be hidden there. Now, I must search for you too. Again, I ask for your forgiveness for the familiarity."

Carol said, “Don’t be concerned. I am beginning to think of my cunt and arse as public property.”

Molly finished and said, "Here are your clothes back. This is a final indignity that I must perform. Carol, you must be tied up for your interview. I do not believe it, but there is concern that you may have gone over to the enemy."

“Do what you must; I just want to talk to Aaron. I seem to spend a lot of time tied up these days. I didn't expect this, but it makes sense. How do you need to tie me?" asked Carol.

“It will be sufficient to tie your hands and elbows behind your back," Molly answered. Carol presented her crossed wrists, and the job was soon completed. Molly said, "Carol, you are strikingly beautiful tied up in those clothes. I wish I could find something like that to wear. I will go and let Aaron know that you are ready."

-----

Ragnar said, "Barbara, you look like you fared well at Unihold. That is a very appealing outfit you are wearing. And you appear to be unharmed. Is that the case?"

“I am unharmed,” Barbara said. “I should give you my full report. Things did not transpire as I would have expected.”

Ragnar replied, “I can see that they did not. Give me your report.”

Barbara told the leader of the Myrmidons precisely what had happened to her in great detail. She included her examination by Zack Ping but did not go so far as to state her reaction to Zack. When she had finished, Achilles took a few minutes to consider and organize his thoughts before saying, "The first item of note is that Unihold's technology is far more advanced than we have been led to believe. You believe their technology spotted and tracked you before you were trapped by their security. Am I correct?"

“Yes sir, you are,” she answered.

“This voice that you heard, Jeeves, but did not see. You believe that Jeeves is a computer. If so, Unihold has regained the computer and artificial intelligence capabilities of the original Colony. Is that your assessment?"

Barbara said, "It is. My belief in this is augmented by Lou Harriman, who was with the original Colony and has survived for over four hundred years by means unknown but looks to be in her thirties. Except for the timing, it would be reasonable to think she brought this technological advance to Unihold. But we know that she was just recently brought to Unihold by Ralph Rider. I don't believe there has been time for her to transfer that level of technology."

“There is much we do not know and are not likely to learn because their new abilities nullify our stealth techniques. The next issue is the behavior of Unihold. They did not treat you at all as you expected. But you do not think that they have gone soft? And you don't think that they have twisted Carol to their side?"

“I cannot say where Carol stands now,” Barbara replied. “Although she was punished severely for attacking Rider’s wagon train, she was not tortured for information. She was not put to the question which would have inflicted permanent harm on her. And she appears to be in love with an Aztec Bandit named Steven Mills. Yet she was determined to come here to talk to her brother, Aaron.”

“Alright, Barbara,” Ragnar said, “you have behaved correctly. We must get your assessment to Aaron as quickly as possible, hopefully before he sees Carol. Come with me.”

Achilles finds Aaron in his command tent. Jim Carling is there also. Ragnar briefs Aaron, and Aaron asks Barbara a few questions. "Thank you, and excuse me. It is time for me to hear what Carol has to say.

-----

Aaron entered Carol's tent and immediately embraced his sister. Carol said with a grin, "I'm sorry I can't return your hug."

Aaron said, “Oh, but you can.” He freed Carol. “There were some who insisted that you be bound. I know that you would not attack me, no matter what. Now tell me your story.”

Carol told Aaron everything that had happened to her in great detail, even her reaction to Steven Mills. She elaborated on what she had learned about Magnus Johansson and her conversations with Lou Harriman. Carol explained that Lou had been put into suspended animation by Headmaster Kennedy four hundred years ago. She talked about quantum computing and the bots, explaining why Unihold had taken its actions over the years. She talked about what Unihold was currently doing and what they still wanted to do. "Aaron, it seems they want the same things for the people of Newhome that we have always discussed. And they are providing fusion power generators without charge."

Aaron answered, "This is a lot for me to absorb in such a short time. I need time to process everything that you have said. In the meantime, of course, we will not attack. I think we should ask for a parley three days from now. Yes, that will satisfy our people as a reason we are not attacking and will give us more time to talk through these issues.

“I understand that giving you fifty lashes instead of putting you to the question was a not-so-kind kindness. You are courageous to have put it behind you. You even seem to be friends with Stella and Carmen. You don't have any animosity for those two?"

She said, "No, Aaron, that is all behind me. Stella and Carmen are both fine ladies. You will like them."

-----

Jeeves was talking to Chief Brooks and Stella about the circumstances of Stella's birth. He was looking for anything to explain how Stella had the same DNA as Madeline Archer four hundred years ago.

-----

Molly finds Achilles, Barbara, and Jim leaving the command tent. Barbara is on her way to meet with Myrmidons to catch up on their activities while she is away. Molly joined Ragnar as he returned to his tent. Molly said, "We have some unfinished business to care for, Achilles. Would now be a good time for that?"

“Yes, we do, and yes, this is a good time," Ragnar answered. Ragnar ordered when they were in his tent, "Turn around and give me your hands."

“It’s not that easy,” said Molly as she darted behind Ragnar’s bed. When he came around the bed after her, she jumped over the bed.

“You are really going to play hard to get, Molly?" Ragnar asked. "This might end less than well for you, you know." Ragnar was not a big man, either in height or weight. But he was lean and exceedingly strong, built for speed.

“You don't really think that you can catch me? I know you are fast. I just don't think you are as fast as I am," Molly said.

“Aye, Blondie, your curves will slow you down,” retorted Ragnar.

She answered, “Only if you can get your hands on them.”

Molly was a trained warrior in top physical condition. She practiced hand-to-hand combat almost daily. When Achilles moved, it seemed like a blur to her. The Myrmidons practiced in private from the rest of the Johanssons. His speed was beyond her comprehension. Ragnar fisted a handful of Molly's hair and pulled her into his chest, forcing her to look up at him. "Did you think that because I am the leader of the Myrmidons, I don't practice with them? I am their leader because I am the best of them."

Molly was frightened but even more excited by what she might have unleashed. She dreamed of being captured by Ragnar Erickson, Achilles, Leader of the Myrmidons. Now she was.

Ragnar pulled Molly's halter over her head and off. He swept her feet out from under her, and only his hands holding her upper arms prevented her from falling very hard. Easing her to the mats on his tent floor, Ragnar pulled her arms behind her back and held her wrists with one hand while binding her with the other. After cinching her wrists, he tied her elbows close together. He was pleased at how close she could get her elbows without showing any strain.

Rolling Molly onto her back, Ragnar said, "Now I will get a good look at your curves." And, indeed, Molly was short but well endowed. Her long blond hair pooled behind her head. She thought to kick, but he had pulled her shorts down to her knees before she could move. "You were thinking about kicking me, weren't you? Well, I am one step ahead of you."

Molly's excitement outpaced her fear of this famous, powerful man. Before another thought could form, he flipped her back, face down, and finished removing her shorts. She found her ankles tied and her legs bound above her knees.

Ragnar picked Molly up and tossed her on the bed. He pushed her feet to her butt and looped a rope around her ankles and thighs, double-frogtying her. Molly thought, "I wanted this, and now I've got it. I think that he is going to be everything that I dreamed of. He is not treating me like a delicate flower, which I wanted. I've got to let him know that I am up for this."

She said, "You've got me for the moment. You don't think I will give up, do you? I could have been a Myrmidon if I had been selected for the training. Being short doesn't mean I am not tough. Slap me around and see if I cry."

“What is this woman trying to get me to do," thought Ragnar. He jerked her to kneel and knelt in front of her. "I will pop her a good one and stop this nonsense." He slapped her cheek with a stinging blow.

It did get Molly’s attention, but not as Ragnar intended. Molly said, “Is that all you’ve got. And I’ve got better things for you to slap than my face.”

Ragnar wasn't into brutalizing women, but he was being challenged. He slapped Molly's breast on the bottom outside. I tried to shape his hand to simultaneously make contact with as much skin as possible. He wanted it to sting instead of hurt. He continued, working both tits. Molly responded, saying, "Uhmmmmmmmm, yes, Master. You do that so well. I will quit being a brat. May I be your slave, Ragnar Erickson?"

“Molly, I like you much more as a slave than a brat. If I say yes, will you behave from now on? And will you be faithful only to me?" asked Ragnar.

Molly replied, “Yes, Master. Would you like to gag me now? I know that men tire of women chattering.”

-----

Chief Brooks and his daughter, Stella, were talking to Jeeves. Jeeves said, “Stella, you say that you are nothing extraordinary. Yet you are at the top in multiple categories. Can we discuss a couple of these?”

Stella replied, “I would like to get to the bottom of my DNA mystery as much, or more, than anyone, Jeeves. Ask your questions.”

Jeeves continued, "Chief, correct me if I am wrong. Stella, You became the lead scout of the Bucks, not because you were the Chief's daughter, but because of your ability to assess a scene completely after the briefest glance. That is extraordinary."

Chief Brooks said, "That is correct, Jeeves. Stella was tested with many others. For example, we would let the contestants view the interior of a war room tent for one minute. Our war leaders picked the twenty most essential items in the room. The contestants would be asked to describe their observations two hours after the viewing. This was a test that we had been conducting for years. The typical contestant reported on six to eight of the critical items. Anyone who reported twelve was selected for scout training. The record was sixteen, and that was before I became chief.

“Stella took perhaps ten seconds to view the interior and could report nineteen of the twenty items correctly. We all thought that was exceptional."

Stella said, "But I just looked at the war room and reported what I saw. I didn't do anything."

Jeeves said, "That is the nature of your gifts, Stella. Now, consider your healing ability. I talked to Medico Stevens about your injuries from the renegade Comanche. He told me that for days he was considering how to tell you that you would be crippled for life. Yet you regained full strength and flexibility. No one knows how you got these abilities. But I am convinced that I know why you have them.

“Stella, I believe that your influence on Carol will lead to us gaining the Johanssons as allies. Then, by my calculations, we will be ready to refit the Argonaut for an expedition to Earth within six months. There is no question to me that you must be on that expedition.”

Chief Brooks exclaimed, "No, Jeeves, even if she returned immediately, everyone here would have died of old age because of the time shift. I don't pretend to understand that, but I know about it. What would you be condemning her to endure?"

“I do not know," admitted Jeeves. "There is no certainty that there is human life left on Earth. But if there is, it is likely controlled by machines that have taken over. If so, those machines can be infected with the code devised by Madeline Archer, whose DNA Stella has, and made sane again. Stella's DNA calls for her to do this."

Stella said, "I have never been one to shirk a duty. But this will require a lot of thought and careful planning before I agree. How many people can the Argonaut carry, and who else would go?"
Last edited by GreyLord 9 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
ImageA List of my stories:
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The Bandit Scout on Newhome updated 05/30/23
Caesar73
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Post by Caesar73 »

Aaron did not execute his sister on the spot. I imagined her treatment would be more harsh. But we don´t know, where Aaron stands or if he is just playacting. Future will tell. Carol is truely a courageous woman - she knows exactly what she was doing, not fearing the possible consequences. With Carol you created another fascinating character @GreyLord - I wonder how Aaron will decide. Tolstoy wrote a great novel "War and Piece" I would modify that title: The impending Questin is: "War or peace" - future will tell. I bow before the Grandmaster,
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Nainur
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Post by Nainur »

"Carol's arc" is still amazing me...

... as, tbh, is the whole story, nay: the whole saga. Awesome.
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Post by RopeBunny »

That's another great chapter, well written and a ton of detail as is usual for you.

Enjoyed that, thank you.

Molly and Ragnar, the back and forth, the binding, definitely the highlight for me here.
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Post by GreyLord »

Thank you @Caesar73. I think that Aaron loves his sister and respects her capabilities. Carol was certain that she would get a fair hearing before Aaron before he made any decision. I hope that I have been successfully planting the idea that while there are certainly some bad people in the Johansson Family, i.e. Summer Johansson, they may have been pursuing the right goals but under the wrong interpretation of facts because of their allegiance to Magnus Johansson. And what an honor for you to mention Tolstoy in connection to my humble tale.


@Nainur, the thread of Carol's part in the story took off and made a life of its own. When I first thought of her, I had no idea of the major role that she would play. I wouldn't want to mess with her, but she would be a great friend to have. Thanks for commenting.


And thank you, too, @RopeBunny. It occurred to me that I may have had a woman character have a bratty moment; they were all really dedicated to submitting to their man. It was fun to write Molly's part as an out-and-out brat.

-----

@TayDay95, @Caesar73, @wolfman, @Beaumains, @slackywacky, @banshee, @NotSeen, @FabianStr2016, @Red86, @tickletied84, @Boundcurious, @Nainur, @RopeBunny, @Damsel-Dilara-Dee, @Jake78045, @Bandit666, @laz, @Argentum, and @brasileira2.

You have kindly posted comments on my story. That is appreciated very much. Please continue to tell me what you think about The Bandit Scout on Newhome. If you would like your tag removed from this list, you can send me a PM to that effect. Or, you can post your request in the story.

-----

Chapter 74 – Carol Faces Aaron

Aaron entered Carol's tent and saw her seated at her table with her hands tied behind her back. Carol stood up and said, "Aaron, I am so happy to see you. I suspect you know that I have a lot to tell you."

“I do expect that." Carol leaned against Aaron, inviting a hug, and Aaron responded.

He said, "I am sorry that you are restrained. Too many people insisted. Let me help you get back to your seat. I will sit across from you, and you can tell me your story. Are you tied too tight? I won't have you in pain while we talk." Aaron kissed his sister's cheek and took his seat after seating Carol.

“No, Aaron, I am fine, and I understand why people wanted me tied up to meet you. On the surface, you don't know that I have not turned. You will know from Achilles that we had captured Stella, and I had her brought to my tent the first night. I kept her tightly hogtied on the floor the entire night. She was brought to me again after traveling toward this camp the next day. I had decided to whip her ten lashes in response to the twenty-five she gave me. Ralph Rider had ordered fifty lashes, and Stella's cohort, Carmen, delivered twenty-five in sync with Stella's twenty-five. But, I must stress that the lashes were in lieu of being put to the question, which would have been justified given that I was captured while attacking Rider's forces."

Aaron said, "Of course, I don't like what was done to you. But I do appreciate that Rider took a lenient path. Still, the whipping had to be difficult for you. Ragnar told me you were given a salve that sped your healing."

“Yes," Carol responded. "Medico Stevens provided me with two salves, one for my skin and another for my private parts. It worked wonderfully. These two things, sparing me being put to the question and helping me heal, made me realize that these were not the monsters I had thought them to be. No, I must be completely honest with you, Aaron; there is a third thing. An Aztec warrior named Steven Mills was involved in my capture but became my defender. He did everything he could without going rogue to help me. When he told me he wanted me to submit to him, my heart wanted me to say yes. And later, I did."

Aaron was taken aback by this but said nothing. His sister was a grown woman. He appreciated that she was being honest with him.

“So, on that second night that I had Stella in my power, I decided that I would also be lenient and only give her ten lashes," Carol continued. "But I put her in a strappado that would have dislocated anyone else's shoulders. Stella is one tough woman, Aaron. I was whipping her when someone grabbed my arm to stop me. It was Steven Mills. He had the skills to track us down and to slip into a Myrmidon camp. I would have said that was impossible. Instantly, I saw that I had a choice. I could raise a cry. Then, I would have been killed before the Myrmidons killed Steven and Stella. Or I could help them escape.

“You can fault my decision, but I helped them escape. Naturally, they took me with them. When we were safely away, I asked Stella to go ahead and whip me to even the score. I wanted to get it behind me. Stella said that we were even. They did keep me restrained as they traveled for days to Bucks Mountain for Stella to join her mate, Carlos McTavrish. During that trip, I freely submitted to Steven.”

Aaron asked, “What do you mean, freely submitted? You were their captive. You were not free.”

“No," she told Aaron, "if I had not consented, Steven would not have sex with me. During the trip, Stella told me the story of Jordan Archer and his fight with our ancestor, Magnus Johansson. Most of the details of her story were the same as ours, but Magnus was in the wrong in her version. It did not convince me of anything. Yet it rang true.

“After the first day, I was left unbound to ride. Part of me said that I should look for a chance to escape. Another part said that I should not escape yet. This might lead to the best opportunity to spy on Unihold that we have ever had. But, Aaron, yet another part of me wanted to stay close to Steven. At night, Steven kept me tied up very securely. I received my biggest surprise of all when we reached the Bucks settlement on the mountain. McTavrish had delivered a fusion power generator to the Bucks, I should say the Rangers, as that is their new name. When I asked the price, they told me it was free. The Ranger settlement was all lit up at night. They had also been given wire, lights, and pumps. Aaron, they let me see the generator. Carlos had three more in his wagons. He was taking one to Round Rock, one to the Rider Ranch, and one was for the Comanche, now called the Riders.

“Carlos and Stella talked to the Unihold Headmaster, Lee Chang, by radio. The Headmaster told them that it was essential for Stella and me to be brought to Unihold as quickly as possible. Carlos was not happy. He wanted Stella with him, but it was quickly decided that Stella, Steven, and I would leave in the morning for Unihold while Carlos continued to Round Rock.

“Stella promised me that I would get to talk to Lou Harriman at Unihold. This is the Lou Harriman from our stories. She was put into suspended animation like the Colonists on the starships from Earth. She knew and had talked with Magnus. Plus, Stella promised Unihold would give me a full explanation of why they had taken all their actions over the years. Aaron, I did talk at length to Lou. She knew Magnus and described him in a way consistent with Stella's version of the Jordan Archer story. You know that I have always had a talent for knowing if someone is lying. Aaron, she was not, and I believe her.

“And I met these three robots, Joseph, Goliath, and Jeeves. They are quantum computer-driven machines that became self-aware because of code developed on Earth. But Madeline Archer had found a mistake in the programming and modified the code. Unihold thinks that computers on Earth took over human life because they didn’t have Madeline’s modification.

“Joseph and Goliath have machine bodies. I was told that Jeeves is a multiprocessor and simultaneously lives in many different computers. Jeeves spent more than a week working with me, reviewing the details of the Colony's and Unihold's history. To me, it seemed like he was fully present. But he was doing thousands of other things at the same time. Aaron, their goal is the same as ours, including the bots. They have worked to bring technology back and showed me the details of the necessary infrastructure for that to happen. What we have always considered their withholding was, in fact, the infrastructure building necessary for the technology to flourish.

“Aaron, we should not be enemies. I beg you to talk to Lee Chang, Ralph Rider, and Lou Harriman. If you decide to fight after talking to them, I will follow you as I always have. But, down deep, I know that is the wrong answer for us.”

Carol was looking at Aaron's face intently as she spoke. Fearfully, she noted his countenance darken. He stood up, and she followed his example. He moved round the table and stood before her. She focused on his eyes until he grabbed her shoulder and spun her around. When he started untying her, Carol knew that she had won.

Aaron called out, "Orderly," and a young officer popped into the tent. "Go to communications and have them contact Unihold. I request a parley in three days. We will withhold any attack until the parley."

“Carol, you have made a powerful argument. I will use these three days to think about what you have said. We will talk more; I am sure I will have many questions as I process this. We are talking about a change to four hundred years of our family history. That cannot be done lightly. I will have to talk to other leaders in our family. You can be sure that they will want to question you. For now, you might want to keep the part about Steven Mills private between us. Do you intend to see him again?"

Carol said, “I do.”

-----

Carmen praised Ralph Rider for returning to their quarters after the evening meal. She knew the state of his exhaustion. He had been working on Unihold's military plans day and night for weeks. Now, there was a break. Carmen knew that Ralph was too weary to engage in the level of activity that she would prefer. But she had a second-best plan to accommodate her mate's physical condition and still make her very happy.

She said, "Ralph, I know how tired you are. I want you to soak in the hot tub while I feed you the dessert I brought from dinner. I will have a few bites of it myself. It is a specialty called 'Death by Chocolate.' It is sinful, a chocolate brownie surrounded by chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce poured on top. I have the hot tub at the temperature that you like best.

Ralph gratefully sank into the swirling hot water. He leaned his head against the edge of the tub. In his mind, Ralph knew he was too exhausted to play with Carmen the way she would want. But his mate gave her all for him, and he would do his best to please her.

Carmen sat at the tub's edge and fed Ralph spoons of the Death by Chocolate. Ralph thought it might be well named, but what a way to go! Next, Carmen bathed and massaged her mate. She peeled off her halter and shorts when she found she was getting wet. When she judged that Ralph was on the edge of sleep, she helped him out of the tub and dried him off.

“Ralph, I know that you would push yourself to make love to me tonight,” she said. Instead, would you take a few minutes to tie me up in a hogtie like you had me on the night we first met? Then put your arms around me and go to sleep spooning me. I will sleep well, knowing you are in control.”

She was tied as she asked. Ralph’s lower hand was under her hip. His upper hand reached around her to cup her breast. Ralph’s sleep that night was restful, as was Carmen’s.

-----

Lou questioned Lee Chang, “I gather that you feel confident that Aaron Johansson’s request for a parley is legitimate?”

Lee replied, "Lou, nothing in human affairs is certain to 100%. But my answer is yes. I think that Aaron wants to talk to us. We don't have the technology to eavesdrop on a conversation in a tent in the middle of the Johansson encampment. But Jeeves thinks that the time that Aaron and Carol were together was the right length of time for her to put her case before him. Naturally, we will take every precaution against treachery. But we will move ahead with the parley."

“Then, I think it is time for us to open another bottle of your mead,” Lou said. “I have an idea that I want to talk to you about.”

“This is a perfect time to enjoy some more mead,” Lee replied while he opened a bottle. “Tell me about your idea.”

“I have been watching some old Earth bondage videos and thought that many of the suspensions looked very sexy," Lou grinned at Lee. "Strangely, I didn't know anything about that kind of activity when I was on Earth. I saw one video featuring a semi-suspension that I want to try."

Lee said, "I take great pleasure tying you up, Lou. And you know that I like to experiment. Do you want to show me the vid?"

Lou answered, "No, it will be easy to describe. With me face down on the bed, tie my hands and elbows. Attach pulleys to my ankles so they will be pulled apart when you lift them up. Pull them up until my knees are off of the bed. Then connect my wrists to a pulley on the headboard of the bed. When you pull that tight, it will pull my arms into a strappado. But I can't bend down because of the bed and the ankle suspension. Pull my arm back as far as you think that I can take it. And tie it off. Then, pull my feet higher until my pelvis is just starting to lift off the bed. If that works the way it did in the video, I will be helpless and perfectly exposed to you. I think that you can figure out what to do next.

“Lee, I may be Earth-born, but I have spent so much time with many Bandit tribes that I feel like a Bandit. This submission to you shows that."

“Yes,” Lee said, “I know exactly what to do. It will take a few minutes to rig the pulleys.”

“No, it won’t,” Lou replied. I have already fixed them for you.”

Headmaster Lee deviated from Lou's plan in one respect. When he hoisted her pelvis off the bed, he thought the arch it put in her back made her butt too enticing to ignore. He paddled her rear end with his hand until it was a shiny pink. Lou moaned softly but did not complain. Then he moved behind her and completed the transaction to Lou's, and his, satisfaction.

Later, they sat up in bed, enjoying being next to each other and the rest of the mead. Lou said, "Lee, my tush is tender. You have a fine stroke with your hand. But it was worth it. That was a fine, satisfying session. Do you have anything that you dream of doing with me?"

“On, indeed I do, Lou,” Lee said, “and now that we will be allies with the Johanssons, there will be time to pursue all of our dreams.”

Lou answered, "That is a wonderful dream. I hope it comes true. I would like a lot more sessions with you, like tonight's. You are going to give Aaron some fusion power generators, aren't you?"

-----

Ralph Rider was in the Headmaster's office. They were engaging in a conversation with Jeeves. Jeeves said, "As you both know, I can formulate a multitude of plans and analyze each of them to determine which one is best. Then, I normally run background processes that continue to formulate new plans to see if a better one can be found. Usually, this is very effective in producing an excellent plan. But some situations can block this process. I am blocked at present in planning the Earth expedition."

Lee Chang said, “That’s alright, Jeeves. We’ve hit these situations before. This is where human and AI partnerships excel. What are you stuck on now?”

Jeeves said, "I cannot come to a determination of who should crew the Earth expedition. Some choices are obvious. But there are too many contenting considerations for the remainder. An answer would be a larger ship. But none of the large transport are armed."

Ralph said, "Stella and Lou are obvious, as is Zack Ping. That would make Carlos and Lee somewhat obvious as well. Separating mates on a long voyage of many years would not be good."

“Lou and I are not mates, but I will tell you, between us, that it is something that I have been thinking about more and more. My first objection is our age difference. But it doesn't seem to bother Lou. And Zack doesn't have a mate, so he is not a problem."

Jeeves said, “I have become very good at predicting when two will mate. Zack will mate with Barbara soon.”

“How could you know that?" Ralph asked. Then he realized that Jeeves heard and saw everything. "Never mind. Then we have Carlos and Stella; Carlos is also a good choice. He is good in many different situations. Then, Headmaster Lee and Lou. Lou is needed to pilot the ship. But she can't do the navigation with the shift in positions of the stars during the past four hundred years. That is where Zack Ping comes in. Plus, his skills will be needed to fix anything that goes wrong. But he will want Barbara. Her skill as a warrior will reinforce Stella's. In addition, she will represent the Johanssons. That is six; we need four more. I think they should be couples."

Lee Chang said, “I am honored that my name is included. But my age is a negative factor. I am also honored that Lou Harriman favors me at the moment. But I am not deluded enough to think that she could not find someone else that she would be compatible with.”

Jeeves said, “I have thought of your objection, Headmaster. But rejected it because you are important because you can speak as the voice of Newhome. No one else can do that.”

Ralph asked, “Who else have you considered, Jeeves?”

“Why, I have considered everyone. But I cannot decide beyond our six," Jeeves said. "This is why people must stay in the AI loop. If we get to Earth and find that the machines there are not making use of humans, we will find a very deteriorated planet."

The Headmaster said, "I propose that we need more warriors. Consider Carol Johansson and Steven Mills. That would add another Johansson and an Aztec to our roster and two more warriors. What do you think about them for the expedition?”

Jeeves said, "There is no objection on my part. I think they are a fine choice. Now, I will suggest the final two. I would not have dared suggest this if you hadn't suggested Carol and Steven. With the warrior component reinforced, I think the team needs a war leader, so I propose Ralph and Carmen Rider."

“It would be the adventure of a lifetime," said Ralph. "But I don't think I have any qualifications for anything of this importance."

Headmaster Lee said, "I would overrule you on that, Ralph. You are exactly what is needed."

Ralph replied, “Well, we had better find peace with the Johanssons for any of this to work.”
Last edited by GreyLord 9 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Nainur »

GreyLord wrote: 9 months ago “And I met these three robots, Joseph, Goliath, and Jeeves. They are quantum computer-driven machines that became self-aware because of code developed on Earth. But Madeline Archer had found a mistake in the programming and modified the code. Unihold thinks that computers on Earth took over human life because they didn’t have Madeline’s modification.
Loving it.
GreyLord wrote: 9 months ago When I first thought of her, I had no idea of the major role that she would play. I wouldn't want to mess with her, but she would be a great friend to have.
and why not? if you get a vibe let' it flow, let it flow...
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Post by Caesar73 »

Excellent chapter. So Carol convinced her brother. And it seems that Aaron is not as boneheaded as one might think - that sounds promising.

Robots have taken over the earth. Reminds a bit of terminator. I love the idea of Stella and Company travelling to earth and facing them.

I am really looking forward to see where you will take us @GreyLord
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Post by GreyLord »

Nainur wrote: 9 months ago
GreyLord wrote: 9 months ago “And I met these three robots, Joseph, Goliath, and Jeeves. They are quantum computer-driven machines that became self-aware because of code developed on Earth. But Madeline Archer had found a mistake in the programming and modified the code. Unihold thinks that computers on Earth took over human life because they didn’t have Madeline’s modification.
Loving it.
GreyLord wrote: 9 months ago When I first thought of her, I had no idea of the major role that she would play. I wouldn't want to mess with her, but she would be a great friend to have.
and why not? if you get a vibe let' it flow, let it flow...
Thank you, good friend @Nainur. Indeed, why not?

Caesar73 wrote: 9 months ago Excellent chapter. So Carol convinced her brother. And it seems that Aaron is not as boneheaded as one might think - that sounds promising.

Robots have taken over the earth. Reminds a bit of terminator. I love the idea of Stella and Company travelling to earth and facing them.

I am really looking forward to see where you will take us @GreyLord
Thank you, @Caesar73, you are very correct. Aaron is not a bonehead.

As for the Earth, it is not in the terminator environment. The robots of Earth are not trying to destroy humans. But they control them absolutely to correct what the robots see as mistakes. We will see the consequences in the next arc.
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@TayDay95, @Caesar73, @wolfman, @Beaumains, @slackywacky, @banshee, @NotSeen, @FabianStr2016, @Red86, @tickletied84, @Boundcurious, @Nainur, @RopeBunny, @Damsel-Dilara-Dee, @Jake78045, @Bandit666, @laz, @Argentum, and @brasileira2.

You have kindly posted comments on my story. That is appreciated very much. Please continue to tell me what you think about The Bandit Scout on Newhome. If you would like your tag removed from this list, you can send me a PM to that effect. Or, you can post your request in the story.

This is a long chapter that describes the start of the Parley that changes the course of history on Newhome. I hope that you enjoy it.

-----

Chapter 75 – The Parley

Aaron had emerged as the leader of the Johansson family in part because of his exceptional analytical ability. After meeting with his sister, Carol, he applied his analysis to Carol's briefing. For the three days before the Parley, Carol rarely left her brother's side, continually offering additional details of her time with the Riders and Unihold. She provided her insight, and when Aaron had questions she couldn't answer, she would connect with Stella, Lou, Carmen, or even Ralph Rider or Headmaster Lee Chang. Aaron tended to believe his sister, and before the end of the three-day waiting period, he was confident that direct talks with Unihold was the proper course of action.

Zack Ping sent a message to Barbara Steele utilizing Carol. During a break in her work with Aaron, Carol went to the Myrmidon area of the camp and found Barbara, who was second only to Achilles. Carol and Barbara had known each other growing up. They had sparred in practice many times. Barbara was only two inches shy of Carol's 5' 11".

Carol put her hand on Barbara's shoulder and said in a low voice so no one else would hear, "Barbara, you want to guess who I have just been talking to."

“Let me try," Barbara replied, "You are working through your story with your brother. You have frequent contact with Unihold. I will guess that you have talked to the Headmaster. You know he has something going with Lou Harriman, right?"

Carol's eyes flashed in mirth. "Of course, I know. And yes, I have talked with the Headmaster recently and to Lou Harriman, too. But that is not why I came to see you."

It dawned on Barbara, who Carol was talking about. "You talked to Zack! Tell me what he said."

Carol smirked and held both of Barbara's shoulders and squeezed. "You didn't tell me that you had met Zack Ping. He is Unihold's chief scientist/engineer and is responsible for building the fusion power reactors. I want your whole story, but I don't have time now. I have to get back to Aaron."

“Not until you tell me what he said,” demanded Barbara.

“Girl, he asked me to tell you that he wants you in his ropes," Carol said gleefully.

“Oh, Carol," Barbara answered, "how can I tell anyone around here? Achilles would whip me to within an inch of my life. They don't understand what it means for a woman to submit to a man. On top of that, they would consider it traitorous to have any involvement with someone considered an enemy."

Carol reassured her, "But I do, Barbara. And I have told Aaron about my affair with Steven Mills. He just suggested keeping it quiet for now. I suggest the same to you. Hopefully, after the Parley, we will be enemies no longer."

Barbara's red hair bobbed as she shook her head in agreement. The women hugged, and Carol rushed back to continue assisting Aaron in his analysis.

-----

With Jeeve's help, it took only a little while for Unihold to organize their presentations for the Johanssons. The physical activity was much more apparent to any observer. Tents were erected between Unihold and Kennedy. The largest tent was in the center. A large round table was erected inside it. The chairs at the table were the most comfortable that Unihold had. A ring of easy chairs and sofas were arranged around the table but back from it. The assistants to those at the main table would be treated well also. Some tables would have food, drinks, and treats at the tent's edges.

Two more tents, large but smaller than the central tent, were erected on opposite sides of the main tent some one hundred meters away. These would be used by either side for private consultations as needed. And yet further away were tents for eating, entertainment, and sleeping. No one knew how long the Parley would require. Unihold was determined to keep at it until they had a successful agreement with the Johanssons.

The Mayor of the City of Kennedy was in charge of the food and the entertainment. There would be tents with wine, ale, mead, and more potent drinks. There would be theater and music. The best of Earth, Colony, and Bandit culture would be presented. This was to implant the idea that everyone on Newhome could meld together smoothly.


The gates to Unihold would be open to the Johanssons, and tours would be given to any who asked during the Parley. Finally, night approached on the last day of preparation. A feast would be held in the main tent for those at the big table. For the rest, endless tables were set up in two groups, separate but in sight of each other. All would eat the best Kennedy had to offer.

-----

Carlos McTavrish returned to Unihold during the preparations for the Parley. Headmaster Lee Chang, Lou Harriman, and Ralph Rider were glad to see him again and welcomed him back warmly. While traveling, he had frequent radio contact with Unihold and knew this was the second of three days getting ready for the Parley. As soon as Carlos had reported the success of his mission to the Headmaster and Boss Rider, he headed to his quarters, hoping to get a bath before seeing Stella. Carlos knew that he was ripe from his days of travel.

Carlos bathed and then immersed in the hot tub. When Stella burst into the room, he was leaning back to rest his head on the tub's edge. "Carlos, they told me you were back. I have been unbelievably lonesome here without you.” She was peeling off her clothing as she ran to the tub and jumped in with Carlos.

Carlos was weary from his long travels but not so tired that he did not appreciate his beautiful, long-haired, buxom, and naked mate as she crawled on top of him. He folded Stella into his arms for a long kiss. "No more long trips without you," he said. "It is so good to hold you again."

“Wait until you hear about the trip you are fixing to take," Stella said. "That is business, and it can wait until we take care of some personal things first. You do recall that we only had one brief night on Bucks Mountain? Except for that, my only recent experience getting tied up was by Carol. She left me rigidly hogtied on the ground all of one night. The next night, she stretched me to my limit in a strappado and was getting on with a most unpleasant whipping when Steven stopped her. I need a bunch of nights of you tying me up to ensure I still know how much fun bondage can be. What do you say?"

“I say that you should surely be accommodated," Carlos answered. "Indeed, we will pay attention to your needs now that I am home. Tell me what trip I am going on."

“I'll only tell you that it will be the longest trip you have ever taken, and I will be with you. That's the end of that subject for now." Stella pushed her breasts against his chest. "Don't you have other things on your mind by now?"

“You bet I do," Carlos said. "You have this room well stocked, right?"

She said, “The room is fantastic. Can I top from the bottom for our first session to show you some of the room’s amazing capabilities?”

Carlos smirked, saying, “If I said no, would that stop you?”

“Of course, it would," Stella exclaimed. "You are my lord and master, and I would never be a brat to you."

“And you had better not be a brat to anyone else either,” he said. “You know that I don’t share.”

Stella stood up and pulled him up with her. "And you know I am a one-man woman." She tossed Carlos a large towel and got one for herself. As soon as they were dry, they moved to the bed. "First, look at this bed. I know you know of wonderful things to do with the bedposts. These are very sturdy. And look at the headboard. It has drawers built into it."

Carlos said, “I’ll bet I know what I will find in those drawers.”

Stella answered, “I am sure that you do know. For example, if you look in the drawers, finding some rope to tie my hands and elbows won't take long."

“Okay." Carlos did as he asked, and soon, her hands and elbows were secured behind her back in two-column ties. "What do you suggest next?"

“Get two more ropes and frogtie my legs," Stella replied. When Carlos had finished, she said, "Great, now look in the right-hand drawer. You will find a little panel that fits in your hand and has two buttons on it."

Carlos opened the drawer and fished for a moment, “Is this the one?” as he held up a black panel with two buttons, one red and the other green.

“It is. Now push the green button." When Carlos did, a hook descended from the ceiling to the middle of the bed.

Stella Frog walked to the middle of the bed and twisted so she could hold the hook. It was attached to a strong-looking braided wire. She handed the hook to Carlos and said, "Push this hook through some of the loops in the cinch ropes between my wrists. Carlos did, and Stella said, "Perfect. The next thing for you to do is to lie down beside me and lift my leg over your hips. I can see that you have reacted as you always do when you tie me up. I don't need to tell you what to do next, do I?"

“I have that figured out,” Carlos said while he adjusted their positions and fitted himself into Stella.

“It feels so good to have you in me, Carlos." Stella bent down, and they engaged in another kiss while Carlos throbbed.

Straightening back up, Stella said, "You can reach in another drawer and get a gag if you wish. When you are ready, push the red button on the panel."

“I'll save the gag to see how much topping you will try," Carlos told her.

“All done. It’s your show now,” Stella replied.

Carlos pushed the red button, and the hook started lifting toward the ceiling, pulling Stella's hands with it. "WOW, what a handy gadget." When Stella's hands were above where her head had been, Carlos released the button. He knew that Stella could take much more stretching easily, but this was supposed to be fun. And it was only midafternoon. Lifting her hands had rotated her shoulder forward and down. Her tits were dangling right in front of his eyes. Carlos filled his hands with her mounds and synchronized the movement of his hips against her pubis with the squeezing of her breasts.

A look of bliss crossed Stella's face. The same happened to Carlos. He said, "Great fireballs, Stella, this feels superb." Stella nodded in agreement just before they both exploded with the 'clouds and rain.' Carlos said, "I am sorry, Stella. I just could not wait. You can top one more time. What do you want next?"

“Just hit the green button to lower me till my tits are resting on your chest. Then we will rest until you have an idea.”

They did rest for a good long while. Carlos stroked Stella's back and sides. He fondled her breasts. He combed his fingers through her hair, luxuriating in it. They kissed until Carlos grew erect once more. He had not withdrawn. Then, more slowly than before, he hunched his hips to Stella's equal response. Stella held Carlos in a vice grip with her knees. He held her against his chest until they enjoyed the storm again.

-----

The Mayor of Kennedy had a small orchestra playing music as the participants entered the tent. Lee Chang, Lou Harriman, Chief Dan Brooks, Chief Garcia Gomez, Ralph and Carmen Rider, Carlos and Stella McTavrish, Zack Ping, and Steven Mills were the Unihold team at the big table. For the Johanssons, Aaron and Carol Johansson, Ragnar Erickson, Barbara Steele, Jim Carling, Molly Truheart, and four other leaders from the large Johansson territory came to the main table. It couldn't be said that the two factions sat across from each other because they were at a round table. But Headmaster Chang and Aaron Johansson were opposite each other. The moment the attendees were seated, wait staff from Kennedy descended with drinks. The Headmaster stood as soon as drinks were served and the music stopped. Lee Chang said, "For too long, we have been enemies. I welcome this occasion for us to begin talking to one another. Johanssons, welcome. A toast to the Johansson family and to new friendships." He lifted his glass high.

Aaron Johansson rose slowly, lifting his glass. He said, "To new friendships." Lee and Aaron took deep drafts of their beverages. Everyone else stood and lifted their glasses, saying, "To new friendships."

Historians will undoubtedly write detailed accounts of that fateful banquet. For us, it is enough to say that it ended as it began, on a good note and without any adverse incidents. At its conclusion, both sides withdrew to their respective areas for the night. Although soft beds were nearby at Unihold, the Unihold team would sleep in the same circumstances as the Johanssons.

The following morning was the actual start of the Parley. A bell was mounted on a pole near the main tent. It had been decided that a Johansson would ring the bell at 7:45 a.m. the first morning to signal it was time to enter the main tent. The bell ringer would pull the rope to ring the bell again at 8:00 a.m. Everyone should be seated at that time, and the Parley would begin. The following day, someone from Unihold would be the ringer. This would swap back and forth as long as the Parley continued.

It was also agreed that Aaron Johansson would be the first to speak as he had asked for the Parley. Aaron rose and spoke for nearly two hours when the bell stopped ringing. He began by saying he was talking to Unihold and the Johansson family. Only a few of the Johanssons had heard all of Carol's story. His words would spread rapidly throughout the Johansson lands. He continued, stating the goals of the Johanssons. He spoke in great detail about why the Johanssons thought Unihold was interfering with Newhome achieving those goals. This discourse included the Johansson view of Magnus Johansson. Aaron went through the details of Carol's account of being captured and punished, gaining her freedom, capturing Stella, being captured again, and the time she spent at Unihold. For the Johansson family members, he stressed the change in Carol's thinking about their history.

Aaron described his sister's ability to tell if someone was telling the truth and how she left Unihold and came to him with the story she now thought was true but conflicted with the historical beliefs of the Johansson family.

Aaron told the assembly, "At this moment, I cannot say that I fully believe everything Carol has said. There is no question in my mind that she believes it. Equally, I cannot say that I do not believe it. But war is an ugly business and should not be undertaken in the face of such significant doubts. Hence, I requested, and Unihold has accepted this Parley.

“It is likely that there has been more discourse between the Johanssons and Unihold over the past three days than in the last four hundred years. At first, Carol was the conduit for my questions. But increasingly, I talked directly to key people in Unihold. I found our conversation to be without strain and felt that there was no pretension on the part of Unihold. I hope Unihold felt the same about me.

“I want to clear the air on one issue before continuing. We attacked the Rider caravan near Bucks Mountain, not knowing about your weapons, the katanas. We were defeated quickly, and Carol was taken prisoner as she tried to fight her way to Lou Harriman. As a wartime prisoner with information Unihold needs, Carol expected to be put to the question, the harshest and most damaging punishment ever delivered on Newhome. It is considered, by most, to be even harsher than the death sentence. Boss Ralph Rider, you spared Carol that fate. I cannot say I am happy with the whipping she received, but I thank you for sparing her being put to the question. I understand that a number of women had a role in that decision, and I am grateful to all of you.

“Now, to the point of this Parley, I ask who was Magnus Johansson? Headmaster Chang, can you address this subject for me and the other Johanssons present?”

Aaron took his seat, and the Headmaster rose. "Boss Johansson, we can only repeat what was told to your sister, Carol. We will do so and answer any questions that you wish to ask. I would like to introduce you to a great woman, Lou Harriman, the only human alive on Newhome who was born on Earth. She traveled 6.3 Earth years aboard the spaceship Argonaut to get to Newhome. That was 5.4 New Years, as our year is a bit longer than Earth's. Lou gave this planet its name, Newhome.

“Time moves slower the faster you go. To Lou, 6.3 years passed. On earth, 49.5 years had passed, and much had happened. Overpopulation caused the Earth's government to send colonists before getting a report from Lou. It would have been against existing policy to send colonists knowing there was intelligent life on this planet, much less human life. In all of human history, when an advanced culture meets a less advanced one, the advanced culture overwhelms and takes over the lesser one. Lou devised a plan for the Newhome natives to preserve their culture. She united the natives to form a common front against the Colonists.

“When the Colonist arrived, Lou enlisted Fred Kennedy to her plan. Fred changed what was to be a university into Unihold and became the first Headmaster of Unihold. Headmaster Kennedy knew Jordan and Madeline Archer and also Magnus Johansson. Lou knew Magnus Johansson. I will let Lou take the story from here. Lou."

Lou stood. There was no clapping. This was still an adversarial meeting. After Lee Chang sat down, Lou began describing what she knew about Magnus, Jordan, and Madeline. She put much of the blame for what happened on the weakness of the Colony leadership, Admiral Joe Houston. She described the legal but underhanded way that Magnus forced the Archers out of business by calling their loan. Aaron lifted his hand to interrupt, and Lou said he should proceed.

Aaron asked, “But the Archers were denying Magnus his share of their profits. Doesn’t that justify Magnus’ position?”

Lou replied, "All financial transactions between Magnus and Jordan are preserved in banking records in Kennedy. Those records show clearly that the Archers were upholding their end of their bargain. Those records are at your disposal for examination and analysis."

Lou also described the Archer's robots. After describing the details of Madeline's software genius and how she had found an error in the bots' programming, Lou told about Madeline fixing the code and pushing the button, resulting in Jeeves, Joseph, and Goliath becoming sentient. She told them of the physical forms of Joseph and Goliath and the disembodied form of Jeeves.

Lou said, "These bots know far more than I do about the activities of Magnus and the Archers. It is time to introduce you to the three bots. Jeeves, Joseph, and Goliath, would you come in, please."

Assistants pulled open the large main flaps to the tent, and Goliath and Joseph rolled inside. Goliath was carrying a giant stone monolith. When he was near the table, he pounded the stone into the ground several times, making a depression so it would remain erect.

Lou said, "I would like for the Johanssons to meet Goliath, who has just delivered this stone for us."

Goliath spoke in his unique baritone voice, "Hello, Johanssons. I am delivering this monolith on behalf of Headmaster Chang."

Then Joseph spoke in his softer, more melodious tone, "I am Joseph. If this Parley succeeds, the best artist from the Johanssons, the Colony, and the Bandits will jointly design the monument to be chiseled from this monolith to commemorate this event."

Then another voice, clearly different from Goliath and Joseph, spoke. The voice seemed to come from everywhere. "I am Jeeves. I was the butler for the Archers. Later, I was given many other assignments. The primary was working on the plan devised by Headmaster Kennedy to return technology to Newhome as it was sure to fail following the loss of contact with Earth.”

Lou said, "Fred Kennedy foresaw that technology could not be sustained after contact with Earth was lost. With Jeeves's invaluable help, he planned a way to build the infrastructure to sustain technology in the shortest possible time. To this end, he even kidnapped me and put me in suspended animation to sleep until the time he thought that I would be needed.

“Now, it is time for a break. Refreshments are available. You may talk to me or anyone here, including the bots. There will be more chances to talk to us. I will happily meet with you as much as you wish, including in private. Thank you for your attention."

The break was intended to be for fifteen minutes. It stretched to half an hour. Aaron went to Ralph Rider and offered his hand. "I meant what I said, Boss Rider. Thank you for sparing my sister from being put to the question." Both men judged that the other was someone who could be trusted. Then, after greeting Headmaster Chang, Aaron sought out Lou Harriman.

Carol Johansson caught Steven Mills' eye, and he followed her to a refreshment table. She said, "I have told Aaron about us. He has not condemned us even if he hasn't given his blessing. Still, stay on your guard. When we return to the table, you sit at one edge of Unihold, and I will sit at an edge of the Johanssons. We will be together."

Zack Ping and Barbara came up to Steven and Carol. Zack said, “Steven, you have not met Barbara Steele yet. Barbara, this is Steven Mills. Did I just overhear that your two are going to sit together?”

Steven answered, “We are.”

Zack said, “Then Barbara and I will do the same on the other side. May the Fates be with us because I do not know how our leaders will take this.”

Barbara said, “From what I have seen, Carol and I have more to fear than you men. Still, you show courage by doing this.”
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Post by Caesar73 »

So Aaron decides to parley: He seems fairly open minded about it - maybe there is a chance for peace after all. Excellently written. Hot and sensual? Stella and Carlos´ scene.

No the stage is set for the parley!
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Post by Nainur »

Caesar73 wrote: 8 months ago ...
No the stage is set for the parley!
Well, I have thought so to: a stage is set up for things to come. A kind of in-between chapter, maybe, necessary to bring is on. By no means a bad one, and certainly well written. Looking forward to reading of the events to come.
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Post by GreyLord »

Caesar73 wrote: 8 months ago So Aaron decides to parley: He seems fairly open minded about it - maybe there is a chance for peace after all. Excellently written. Hot and sensual? Stella and Carlos´ scene.

No the stage is set for the parley!
Thank you for your comments, @Caesar73. Things will happen rapidly now as we approach the end of this arc. To be determined, will Lee Chang and Lou Harriman mate? And, because we all have our prurient natures, I think that most would like at least a glimpse of the Final Courtships of Carol and Barbara.

Nainur wrote: 8 months ago
Caesar73 wrote: 8 months ago ...
No the stage is set for the parley!
Well, I have thought so to: a stage is set up for things to come. A kind of in-between chapter, maybe, necessary to bring is on. By no means a bad one, and certainly well written. Looking forward to reading of the events to come.
You are very accurate in your thinking, @Nainur. The stage is set for the end of this arc and the beginning of the next one. Thanks you, as always, for commenting.
ImageA List of my stories:
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Post by GreyLord »

@TayDay95, @Caesar73, @wolfman, @Beaumains, @slackywacky, @banshee, @NotSeen, @FabianStr2016, @Red86, @tickletied84, @Boundcurious, @Nainur, @RopeBunny, @Damsel-Dilara-Dee, @Jake78045, @Bandit666, @laz, @Argentum, and @brasileira2.

You have kindly posted comments on my story. That is appreciated very much. Please continue to tell me what you think about The Bandit Scout on Newhome. If you would like your tag removed from this list, you can send me a PM to that effect. Or, you can post your request in the story.

-----

Chapter 76 – Courtship Between the Factions

Many issues could be resolved. Some could not. Ultimately, the Johanssons would have to decide if the unresolved issues were a powerful enough motivation for war. The overriding issue was whether Magnus Johansson was justified in ruining the Archers. There was too much evidence that he was not, and eventually, Aaron conceded the point. During breaks and evening entertainments, the Johansson people increasingly found the folks from Unihold, Ralph Rider's group, and the Bandits upright and likable. By the third day of the Parley, the seating was no longer two sides facing each other.

During a break, Aaron asked the Headmaster what he saw as the future for Carol and Steven Mills. The Headmaster answered, "Aaron, there is one significant issue we are facing that has not been mentioned in this Parley because it is not something that comes between us. Yet, it is something that we both face. When Newhome lost contact with Earth and no more supplies and equipment arrived by spaceship, we were forced onto a path that led to a loss of technology and a return to a primitive lifestyle. The University of Newhome reformed itself into Unihold based loosely on the stories of the warrior monks from Earth legends. Our goal was, and remains, to return Newhome to a high-technology civilization.

“The question remains: why did Earth break off contact with us. We believe that the answer rests with our three bots. Madeline Archer found an error in their programming and devised a fix, which she inserted into our bots. She also found that activation of the new code had yet to happen and was designed to be triggered randomly. After Madeline fixed the code in our bots, she activated the new modules, resulting in their self-awareness.

“We believe that robots on Earth were triggered randomly after several years of sending Colonists. Without Madeline's fix, we believe that Earth robots took control of Earth and stopped colonization efforts.

“Aaron, we intend to send an expedition to Earth to investigate. Jeeves believes he can inject Madeline's corrected code into Earth robots as a virus. Predicting what will happen then is beyond our capabilities. But it is our firm belief that we must try to fix Earth.

“I started this discourse when you asked about Carol and Steven. They are determined to mate and would be a good selection for the expedition team."

Aaron took some time to digest this news. Then he said, "Headmaster, I think you understand how overwhelming this is to me and, indeed, to all Johanssons. I now believe that my family has been mistaken in its interpretation of the actions of Unihold. There will be peace between us from now on. The rest of the negotiations in this Parley will determine how closely we will be enmeshed in Unihold's activities.

“If you are thinking of including Carol on an expedition to Earth, then it would appear that you are thinking that we will be completely enmeshed with you."

Lee Chang said, “Yes, Aaron, that is my thinking.”

“We will let things unfold in the Parley," replied Aaron. "My sister will determine what she wants to do. I wish I knew Steven Mills better, but it is obvious that he is an individual with amazing capabilities. To have taken Carol and Stella from the middle of a Myrmidon camp undetected is an amazing feat. As for the Earth expedition, again, that would be Carol's decision."

-----

On the third night of the Parley, Barbara Steele went to the gates of Unihold. There was no opportunity to devise a plan with Zack during the Parley. Others had been close by them the entire day. After the last meeting of the day, she mentioned her frustration to Carol. Carol told her to go to Unihold because Jeeves would handle things.

Barbara didn't know what Carol meant by Jeeves handling things, but she walked up to the gate and announced herself. The voice she identified as Jeeves spoke to her as a door beside the gate opened. "Welcome, Ms Barbara Steele. Master Zack has been hoping that you would come. Joseph is coming to escort you to Master Zack. He will arrive moments after you walk through the door." Barbara entered the compound to see Joseph rolling toward her at a rate faster than any human could run.

“Ms Barbara, it is a pleasure to see you again. The Parley is going well, don't you think? And Master Zack is eager to see you. It would be a fifteen-minute walk to his abode. Behind my head and arms is a saddle-like seat. If you would be willing to ride with me, I can convey you there in two to three minutes."

Barbara said, “Joseph, it would be an honor for me to ride with you. Is there any protocol that I should follow in climbing on board?”

‘Not at all, Ms Barbara. But when you take your seat, hold on to the bars. My acceleration and deceleration" will be more than you are accustomed to,” Joseph told her. They started at a pace that encouraged Barbara to hold on tightly.

“You are good at talking to women," noted Barbara.

“Ms Barbara," Joseph replied while he whisked her through the Unihold campus, "when I first became self-aware, I was serving Madeline Archer. She was a wonderful woman who did great things for us bots with her software skills. I continued serving Jordan Archer after Madeline was killed. Later, I served his new mate, Muddy. Muddy took the name Madeline and, by means beyond our understanding, took her spirit as well. There are things that neither humans nor bots can understand. So, I matured working with outstanding young women. I hope we can continue talking later, but here we are at Master Zack's residence."

Zack Ping was outside waiting for Barbara, having been alerted by Jeeves of her arrival. “Barbara, it is so good for you to come. Thank you, Joseph.” Zack hugged Barbara and escorted her into his quarters’ sitting room.

“I understand that the Johanssons have had little contact with Bandit culture,” Zack said. “We have a short window of time before we will have to return you to the Johansson camp. Because of this, I do not want to waste a second of our time. Yet I also don’t want to overwhelm you with Bandit ways. Many Colonists have adopted these ways over the years. I, being a Creek, was raised in this culture.”

Barbara replied, "Set your mind at ease, Master Zack. In the Parley, we have been immersed in details of the way that Jordan and Madeline Archer embraced female submission. In addition, I have had talks with Carol Johansson about her experiences with this. I will admit that I wonder why the man never submits to the woman. Nonetheless, I came here tonight to submit to you, Zack. I understand that I am giving you control of my body, and I accept the consequences. Let us not waste time, Master. Tell me what you want me to do."

Zack said, "I do not know why the subject, male submission, isn't discussed. I expect that many couples would prefer that to female submission. We can talk about it if you wish. But you said that tonight, you are here to submit to me. I see you are wearing the outfit Rita provided for your return to the Johanssons. She is a master of clothing, and you look gorgeous in those fantastic colors. But would you mind removing your top?"

In a flash, Barbara stood before Zack dressed only in very narrow shorts that hid only a few inches of skin. Her ripped abdominals showed her dedication to physical training. Her breasts were not massive, but no man would say they were inadequate. They were firm and pert. Her short, fiery red hair invited Zack's hands to entwine his fingers in it. "Carol told me that I should expect to have my hands tied behind my back as happened when I was a prisoner." Barbara spun around and presented her crossed wrists.

Zack was honored by her attitude and demeanor. He did not delay securing her hands and elbows, then moving on to a chest harness that framed her breasts and locking her arms to her back. A cinch between her tits pulled the top and bottom loops of the harness tight against Barbara's breasts with the effect of making them more prominent. Zack manipulated her breasts and fingered her nipples. After kissing her mouth, he took as much of her tit in his mouth as he could, using his tongue to stimulate her nipple. Barbara moaned with pleasure.

“Zack, our culture is poorer for having missed this. While I am mostly helpless, I feel safe and aroused at your hands. What is next?” Barbara asked.

Zack said, "It is time to tie your legs and perhaps even to put you into a hogtie. You will be completely helpless. You will let me know if I push you too hard, too fast, right?"

“Well,” replied Barbara, “I will until you gag me. You are going to do that, aren’t you?”

Zack answered, “I had thought gagging you might make you uncomfortable at this stage of our relationship. But, if you are up for it, it is the natural thing to do. You can still get my attention by snapping your fingers.”

Zack got on his knees and tied her legs above her knees. Next, he tied her ankles. Each tie was cinched just as her wrists and elbows were. Standing, he eased Barbara to the floor, rolling her onto her belly. He folded her legs, moving her feet toward her hands. He formed a Larks Head noose around the cinches between her elbows and those between her ankles. Zack was pulling her tight, but Barbara was strong, and resisting was her nature. It was not her intent to stop Zack. She struggled without thinking. He put all her toes from one of her feet in his mouth and forced his tongue between the toes. Barbara whooped, relaxing momentarily, allowing Zack to pull her feet past her hands. It wasn't enough to arch her back, but it was next to it.

Barbara said, "Ah! Now, Zack, I feel totally helpless. I have been bound a few times in training, and although I haven't explored this bondage yet, I am pretty certain that you have me under your control until you decide to free me. I hope you like your package."

After tying off the rope, Zack presented a large ballgag to her mouth. Barbara smirked briefly and opened her mouth as wide as she could. The ball almost slid in, but he had to work the ball past her teeth. As he buckled the gag behind her neck, Barbara tested it, "Hmmmph!" She could not make a distinct word, and her sound was somewhat muted.

Zack said, "Yes, Barbara, I do like my package. Thank you for trusting me to do this and for your effort in getting here tonight."

Pausing to strip off his clothing, Zack rolled Barbara to her side as he stretched out beside her, pulling her chest against his. While Zack was a scientist, an engineer, and an intellectual, he kept himself in good physical condition, which Barbara noted keenly. For the next two hours, Zack fondled Barbara over every inch of her exposed skin, which was most of her. He slipped his hand inside her shorts and stroked her pubis. His fingers explored the folds of her labia and her clitoris. Barbara’s soft moans, “Hmmmph, hmmmph, hmmmph, …” were music to his ears.

Barbara never stopped thrashing, not because she was trying to get free but because she saw that it excited Zack when she strained and bucked against her ropes. And it was both her nature and her training to struggle against any challenge. She had been wondering why Zack had not taken her sexually. She wanted him to do so. The subject was on Zack's mind also.

Zack said, “Barbara, I want you to be my mate. I am descended from Chief Amos Samuel of the Creek Bandits four hundred years ago. I wish to announce our intentions to mate at the Parley and will not couple with you until the announcement is made. There is one more thing that I must tell you.” Zack unhooked Barbara’s gag and removed it from her mouth. He gave her some water and kissed her tenderly on her lips.

He said, "Barbara, technology will return to Newhome incredibly fast, especially if we have peace. Headmaster Chang plans to mount an expedition to Earth. We believe the robots on Earth gain self-awareness about the same time as our bots on Newhome did. But they did so without having the error in their code fixed the way Madeline Archer fixed our bots. Jeeves says that if what we think happened actually transpired, we can make Madeline's fix into a virus that will rapidly spread throughout the machines on Earth. Lou Harriman told me that you and I should mate and go on that expedition to Earth."

Barbara had listened intently to Zack’s words. She asked, “But what would I bring? I am just a Myrmidon warrior. I know nothing about technology.”

“Exactly, you are a warrior. Ralph Rider will go as the head warrior. You and others, including Carol Johansson, will be warriors representing the Johanssons on the expedition. But you might not want to do this. You should consider this before I make my announcement. You can tell me when we take our seats in the morning."

Zack was going to explain more, but Jeeve's voice interrupted, "Zack, Barbara, it is time for Barbara to return to the Johanssons. Joseph will be in front in ten minutes to transport her."

Zack started untying Barbara, saying, “Barbara, will you continue to submit to me and be my mate? Can I announce the beginning of our Final Courtship at the Parley in the morning?”

She replied, "Zack, I wish we had consummated our love tonight. But I have shown you that I will submit to you, and I will continue to do so. Yes, please make the announcement. I will remind you of my decision in the morning." As the last of the ropes were untied, Barbara enveloped Zack in a hug with a deep kiss. As she redressed, Barbara said, "The time passed unbelievably fast. I can't wait until we can do this again, but next time, with all of the benefits. Our leaders took us sitting together well. Hopefully, they will take your announcement equally well. I sense that Aaron is coming around to views of you and Unihold."

-----

This is not intended to be a history. Your author must leave that to others more capable than he. Herein, you will get the highlight of the mainstream of the story, with occasional personal details of participants thrown in the mix.

Zack Ping got the go-ahead from Barbara before the final bell of the fourth morning of the Parley. It was Unihold's time to speak. As Headmaster Chang rose, Master Ping rose with him. The Headmaster did not expect Zack to speak and was surprised but indicated that Zack should proceed. After all, the Parley had been a very open discussion thus far.

Zack said, "Thank you, Headmaster, for giving me the floor. Chief Brooks and Chief Gomez, my Chief is not here, and I ask that the two of you act in his place. Boss Johansson, I do not know the ways of the Johansson family. If I violate your traditions, I beg forgiveness. I announce to all present that I, Zack Ping, a descendant of Creek Chief Amos Samuel, and Barbara Steele, second in command of the Myrmidons, intend to enter our Final Courtship.”

The two Chiefs stood, and Chief Brooks said, "This has been properly announced according to Bandit traditions. Before giving our blessing to this Courtship, I think that we must explore the feelings of the Johansson family. Boss Aaron, do you have any objections to this union?”

Aaron arose and looked at the couple before addressing Chief Brooks. He said, "To me, it is clear that there will be peace between Unihold, Boss Rider's forces, the Bandits, and the Johansson family. The rest of the Parley will be to determine how close our connection will be. Will we be partners as we move ahead, or will we be polite strangers? This Courtship may be an indication of how things will progress. But I am not the one to speak for Barbara Steele. Her immediate family has passed. Closest to her is Achilles, also known as Ragnar Erickson, the head of the Myrmidons. Ragnar, what do you have to say?"

Ragnar stood and said, "With the rate at which events have been unfolding, I cannot say that I am surprised by Master Zack's announcement. Since Barbara's parents died, she has been like a daughter to me. Barbara, if this is what she wants, she has my blessings."

Barbara stood and said, "Achilles, Leader of the Myrmidons, you have been more than a father to me. You have also trained me to be second in command of the deadliest fighting force on Newhome. But now, I think, the time for fighting has passed, and I want, with all of my heart, to be the Mate of Master Zack Ping."

Aaron said, “Chiefs, Headmaster, all who are allegiant to Unihold, and all who are allegiant to the Johansson family, let our blessing go with this couple.”

Chief Gomez said, "We will schedule the Final Courtship tonight when today's Parley has ended."

A cheer rose from all at the table and all who were attending to the table. One would think that was a sufficient interruption for the day. But more was to come.

Steven Mills rose and asked permission to speak. The Headmaster and Boss Aaron indicated that he could. Steven said, "Chiefs, I, too, ask you to stand for my Chief. I, Steven Mills, Aztec Warrior, wish to enter Final Courtship with Carol Johansson."
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GreyLord wrote: 8 months ago Many issues could be resolved. Some could not. Ultimately, the Johanssons would have to decide if the unresolved issues were a powerful enough motivation for war. The overriding issue was whether Magnus Johansson was justified in ruining the Archers. There was too much evidence that he was not, and eventually, Aaron conceded the point. During breaks and evening entertainments, the Johansson people increasingly found the folks from Unihold, Ralph Rider's group, and the Bandits upright and likable. By the third day of the Parley, the seating was no longer two sides facing each other.
well, as good as a result as one could ask for. Very satisfying!
GreyLord wrote: 8 months ago "Chiefs, I, too, ask you to stand for my Chief. I, Steven Mills, Aztec Warrior, wish to enter Final Courtship with Carol Johansson."
and also this, which, to be honest, I had not expected a few chapters ago.
Of course I am delighted 'Muddy' has been mentioned once again. It was great fun to write her ways and to contribute in general.

Lovely.
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Post by Caesar73 »

This chapter closes this arc perfectly and I bow before this display of artistry @GreyLord - my compliments! You have waved a complex tale, created a unique world with fascinating characters!
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Post by Windrunner »

How have I missed this story? Terrific writing, @GreyLord! I absolutely love the way you go into detail about bondage, It makes a story feel so much more "real" than just a "he tied her hands". I have several hours of reading still, and I'm looking forward to getting to know all of the characters in this story!
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Post by GreyLord »

Nainur wrote: 8 months ago
GreyLord wrote: 8 months ago Many issues could be resolved. Some could not. Ultimately, the Johanssons would have to decide if the unresolved issues were a powerful enough motivation for war. The overriding issue was whether Magnus Johansson was justified in ruining the Archers. There was too much evidence that he was not, and eventually, Aaron conceded the point. During breaks and evening entertainments, the Johansson people increasingly found the folks from Unihold, Ralph Rider's group, and the Bandits upright and likable. By the third day of the Parley, the seating was no longer two sides facing each other.
well, as good as a result as one could ask for. Very satisfying!
GreyLord wrote: 8 months ago "Chiefs, I, too, ask you to stand for my Chief. I, Steven Mills, Aztec Warrior, wish to enter Final Courtship with Carol Johansson."
and also this, which, to be honest, I had not expected a few chapters ago.
Of course I am delighted 'Muddy' has been mentioned once again. It was great fun to write her ways and to contribute in general.

Lovely.
I am always grateful for your comments, @Nainur. Muddy was such an integral part of the story. In hindsight, we should have made the Tale of an Archer arc three of The Bandit Scout. But when we started that RP, I didn't clearly understand where it would lead.
Caesar73 wrote: 8 months ago This chapter closes this arc perfectly and I bow before this display of artistry @GreyLord - my compliments! You have waved a complex tale, created a unique world with fascinating characters!
Thank you very much, @Caesar73. Now I will take some time off and enjoy the great writing on this site. The Bandit Scout will return.
Windrunner wrote: 8 months ago How have I missed this story? Terrific writing, @GreyLord! I absolutely love the way you go into detail about bondage, It makes a story feel so much more "real" than just a "he tied her hands". I have several hours of reading still, and I'm looking forward to getting to know all of the characters in this story!
Thank you for commenting, @Windrunner. I'm pleased that you found the story. Look for it to continue mid November.
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Post by Bandit666 »

I can’t believe I’ve been away so long and missed only one chapter of this immense tale, though I understand why, but as always it was so much fun to read and I wish you all the best @GreyLord, may you imagination always run wild
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Post by Nainur »

Bandit666 wrote: 7 months ago .... though I understand why, but as always it was so much fun to read and I wish you all the best @GreyLord, may you imagination always run wild
can only agree to that!
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Post by GreyLord »

@Bandit666 and @Nainur, thank you very much. Never fear, the Bandit will return. Before Christmas, I think. :D
ImageA List of my stories:
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@TayDay95, @Caesar73, @wolfman, @Beaumains, @slackywacky, @banshee, @NotSeen, @FabianStr2016, @Red86, @tickletied84, @Boundcurious, @Nainur, @RopeBunny, @Damsel-Dilara-Dee, @Jake78045, @Bandit666, @laz, @Argentum, and @brasileira2.

You have kindly posted comments on my story. That is appreciated very much. Please continue to tell me what you think about The Bandit Scout on Newhome. If you would like your tag removed from this list, you can send me a PM to that effect. Or, you can post your request in the story.

-----

Some unanticipated travel delayed my plan to post this before Christmas. But, at last, we continue on the journey of Stella, the Bandit Scout.


Chapter 77 – Ragnar Chases Molly in the Woods

The Parley ended after ten days. Aaron Johansson thought that the Johanssons had gained far more than Unihold. He had been given four fusion power reactors. After conferring with Jim Carling about where they should be placed, they would be taken by spaceship lander to the designated locations in Johansson territory. The Johanssons had already made great strides in the distribution of hydroelectric power. Most of their power wiring was by underground cable. The Johanssons had done this for military security, but Unihold saw the environmental advantages. The fusion generators meshed nicely with their existing power network.

Master Zack was at the center of the Argonaut's preparations. Even with the larger group's vested interest in things, his expertise was called upon to make significant decisions. Getting landers refurbished was a top priority. The transporters designed by Unihold were being manufactured in Kennedy. Next week, the first ones would come off the assembly line. Three landers would be ready before then. Others would follow, being managed by junior technical staff. One of the first three would be used by Unihold operations, and the second would be dedicated to Argonaut maintenance. The third would be held in reserve until more landers became available.

The first operational trip would be to deliver the four fusion power generators to the Johanssons. That would take four trips, in fact. Then, a generator would be taken to the Aztec. That would also take several trips because of the number of people included in that adventure.

Jim Carling was surprised to be greeted warmly by the Headmaster and others at Unihold. Lee told Jim that Carol Johansson had explained that she had engineered Jim's downfall at Unihold. Lee said, "Jim, while your behavior was inappropriate, we understand you were maneuvered into an untenable position. We will reinstate you as a Master of Unihold with all rights and privileges. You may continue working with the Johanssons or seek a new assignment.

Jim Carling answered, "Headmaster Chang, I have enjoyed working with the Johanssons and would be happy to continue. They are not bad people. But I would like to work wherever you think is best for Unihold."

Aaron Johansson spent several weeks at Unihold following the Parley. He was given access to Jeeves and anyone else he wished to question further. His access to Unihold secrets was complete. There was nothing that was held back from him. He wanted to see the designs of the fusion power reactors and was given them. He asked if his engineers at home could see them. Unihold transmitted the designs to those that he designated. As the family leader, Aaron felt keen responsibility for the changes he brought to the family. It was only human nature to have doubts that he had chosen wisely from time to time. Unihold's openness put an end to his doubts. Besides, he liked Lee Chang and enjoyed the evenings he had with Lee and Lou Harriman. Lou's stories about her youth and education on Earth and her association with Fred Kennedy fascinated Aaron.

Ragnar Erickson and Barbara Steele conferred with Ralph and Carmen Rider and with Carlos and Stella McTavrish. They were all delighted to find, with the threat of war removed, they enjoyed each other's company and learned much from one another. Carlos, Ralph, and Carmen noticed a change in Stella. While she had no official position of leadership. When she made a pronouncement about a subject, everybody accepted it without question. Stella only made such statements when the group was at an impasse on some subject.

After several days of talks, Ragnar said his farewells and took his departure to lead the Johansson army home. On arrival, he would administer its disbanding. All of his life, Ragnar had trained for war. He did not know what he would do now.

-----

Molly Truheart stayed close to Ragnar while they traveled and even closer during the nights. Ragnar reveled in their nightly contests. She would tease and taunt him, saying he was too old and slow to catch her. She was always careful to ensure she was caught while there was enough time for them to play and still get a good night's sleep. She saw her duty to take care of Ragnar's mind and body. She could see that he enjoyed the sport that she provided.

Of course, the best of the sport always came when he finally laid his hands on her. She was no match for his strength, and once he had her, it was never long before she was tied up and helplessly. One night, after a particularly grueling day, she saw that Ragnar was more tired than usual. When Molly started to run from him, she tripped and was caught immediately. Ragnar was no dummy; he knew Molly saw how tired he was and was taking care of him. Without stripping her, he tied her hands behind her back and pulled her into bed with him.

When they reached Bucks Mountain, they could enjoy the mountains without worrying about the Rangers as they would have in the past. The Rangers welcomed to Bucks Mountain and the big meadow. They even provided a hot meal without any formalities. They had arrived early afternoon and would have gone further without the promise of a well-prepared meal and the hospitality of the Rangers. Ragnar's tent was next to the woods. After the meal, Ragnar and Molly repaired to Ragnar's tent. Ragnar opened a bottle of mead given to him by the Headmaster.

“I have always thought the Johansson wines were excellent,” Ragnar told Molly. “This mead is something else again. I wonder why our vintners have not produced any of this before.”

Molly replied, "I couldn't say. But I agree with you that this is superb. Seeing you right about something is nice. Then I can agree with you."
.
“What do you mean?” said Ragnar. “I am always right. Are you picking a fight with me?”

She said, "Well, that does seem to get the blood flowing in your old veins. I know, I know. So far, you have always won our fights. That doesn't mean that you always will. You just have to make one mistake, and I will capture you. That would be a sight for the Gods, Achilles hogtied on the floor."

“In your dreams, little one," Ragnar exclaimed. "But Achilles is a name from the past. I will have to find a new life now. Even little half-liters like you dream of power they don't have. It is time to tie you up and gag that mouth of yours."

Molly grinned, "I knew I could get you going." She peeled off her halter but then bolted for the tent flap. Twilight had ended, and she was in the dark woods in just a few steps. She made her way deeper and deeper into the forest, carefully making no sounds to help Ragnar locate her.

She knew, however, that the leader of the Myrmidons was a master of stealth and tracking. He would get her. He always did. She was counting on that. Their game was to see how long she would go before she was in his ropes, where she wanted to be. Ragnar had Molly in his sight quickly but did not close on her. He enjoyed watching her movements. A half-naked woman running through the woods was an exciting site. He had been teaching Molly as much as he could about Myrmidon techniques without allowing her to practice because of their schedule. Molly was an accomplished warrior, and he was pleased to see how much she had absorbed from his teachings.

Ragnar estimated that they were about two km from the meadow when he decided to go ahead and capture her. Molly seemed alone in the wilderness before being unexpectedly pulled to the ground, face down, and her hands were secured behind her back. Her ankles were tied with a long rope that Ragnar then threw over a low branch just a meter over his head. As he used the rope to suspend Molly by her ankles, she thrashed wildly. "You son of a bitch," she said. "Let me down. I don't know how you slipped up on me, but you have no right to hang me like this. You just wait until I can get my hands on you. Aaron will hear about this."

“Right," Ragnar responded, "he will hear how his incompetent, half-naked cousin got lost in the woods until she fell into a trap set by Achilles." The moons were not exceptionally bright that night. But there was enough light that Ragnar could enjoy watching Molly's breasts bouncing as she jerked back and forth, up and down.

Molly retorted, "I will get you, you bastard. Let me go."

Ragnar's answer was to take hold of her breasts and make her swing from the limb above. Then Molly saw the threat before Ragnar because of the way she happened to be facing. Ragnar instantly realized that something had changed and looked about. A pack of wolves was close to them and looking at them intently. The leader of the pack made a low growl.

Ragnar silently cursed himself. In his eagerness to play with Molly, he had failed to bring his sword with him when he left the tent. One wolf, he could take. Maybe two. But not a pack. This was his fault. He knew better. But Molly did not deserve to die this way, hands tied and suspended, to be eaten by a pack of wolves.

Slowly, he turned, standing straight and facing the pack leader. Ragnar looked him right in the eye, and the wolf looked back at him. They faced off for minutes. Molly was sure that this was the end of their lives. Then, the pack leader wheeled around and led his pack away. Ragnar stood still for another minute and listened to be sure they were gone. Ragnar turned to Molly, "Let's get you down and untied." He lowered Molly to the forest floor and began untying her legs.

Molly said, "Just untie my legs, Ragnar. That is as scared as I have ever been. But I knew you would prevail. You could have backed off, leaving me to the wolves for their dinner, but I knew you would not. I just want to be able to open my legs for you and for you to take me right now. I am not really a brat, Ragnar. I love you and submit to you without reservation."

Later, Ragnar said, "Molly, you have destroyed my better judgment. It was not long ago that a pack of wolves surrounded us. We could have been eaten. We should get back to camp."

“I don’t want this to become a habit, but I must agree with you again. Would you help me up?” Molly asked. Ragnar did as she requested and guided Molly toward the big meadow.

Molly looked up at Ragnar and said, “Ragnar, you haven’t untied me and let me get dressed again.”

“No, I haven’t,” Ragnar answered.

“But don't you think you should before we return to camp?" she inquired.

He said, “No, I don’t.”

“But what if someone sees us?” Molly asked. “Wouldn’t that cause a lot of talk?”

Ragnar replied, “So what?”

Molly said, "Ragnar, you are the leader of the Myrmidons. You set an example for the Myrmidons and all Johanssons. I am insignificant. My only claim to fame is being a cousin to Aaron. You have achieved things. Letting me be exposed, tied up and naked tells Newhome that you are interested in me. You could have someone of a much higher station in life."

Ragnar stopped and turned Molly to face him. “Molly, my love, I would not leave you to the wolves. They would have had to come through me to get to you. There are wolves among the Johanssons. I will not leave you to them either. I want you to be my mate. Molly, will you enter the Final Courtship with me?”

-----

The day Achilles left to take the army home, Barbara Steele entered Unihold again. She noted the gates were open, and there were no guards. Things changed suddenly.

Barbara made her way to Zack's quarters. There, the door swung open, and Jeeves invited her to enter. "Master Zack is on his way. He asked that you make yourself at home until he arrives."

“Thank you, Jeeves," she replied. She wanted to look around but thought sitting and waiting for Zack would be more polite. It was a short wait until Zack rushed into the apartment and embraced Barbara tightly.

Zack said, "At last, things around here can return to normal, and we can spend quality time together. Do you have anything scheduled for the rest of today?" Zack took Barbara's hand to lead her into the bedroom. Instead, he saw a blur of motion from Barbara and found himself on his back on the sofa.

Barbara smirked and said, "Just a reminder that everything is voluntary and that you can expect to serve as the submissive at some point. But not today." She held her hand out to him, and Zack shakily rose.

“I can split the atom. I can fuse tritium. But I can't subdue the woman I want to be my mate," Zack muttered.

“That's alright," Barbara said. "Perhaps if my hands were tied behind my back, it would give you the edge you need?"

Zack answered, "If that will keep you from tossing me around like a rag doll, then you can expect to spend much of your time tied up. That is not what I envisioned initially. But I can certainly live with it. Can I help you out of your clothing?"

Barbara replied, "You had better tie me up first. I selected what I am wearing very carefully." She wore a bright yellow halter and skirt. "I am wearing bright colors to catch your attention, but I have paid careful attention to functionality. You can easily remove my halter even if you have tied my arms into a full chest harness with your ropes. Are you ready to do that?"

Zack replied by taking her arms behind her back and crossing her wrists. He carefully wrapped horizontal and vertical loops around her wrists, being careful to have zero slack but not being so tight that Barbara would start feeling uncomfortable anytime soon. Zack still cinched the loops despite having been meticulous in their placement.

“Barbara, Joseph will be here soon with our supper. Unihold is going to send a fusion power generator to the Aztec. It will be delivered by a spaceship lander, and we have also been invited to go. You would like to go, wouldn't you?"

“Zack," she replied, "I will always be ready to go wherever you venture. Of course, this is very special. I would like to see where you are from."

Zack said, “This can be much more than sightseeing. Steven Mills and Carol Johansson are going as well. The Chiefs suggested that they hold their Final Courtship under the supervision of Chief Suwannee. You would be asked to be a Courtship Guardian. Would that meet with your approval?”

“It will," she said, "as long as you put your arms around me right now and cuddle me until Joseph gets here with the food. Should you put me in another room so Joseph won't see me tied up?"

"Barbara, Joseph knows human ways and has for hundreds of years. Unless it bothers you, we won't change our behavior for Joseph. He is very discrete, by the way," Zack told her. Then Zack proceeded with the cuddling that Barbara had suggested. He continued for long after the supper arrived. Rather than untying Barbara, Zack fed her a bite at a time. "Zack, it is like dreams are coming true."

They talked and cuddled into the night. Late in the evening, Barbara said, "I was wondering if you would ever remove my clothing, Zack. Not that I have any objection to being tied up and just being held in your arms. But given a choice, your hands on my skin feel better when there is no cloth between us, and you have free access to all of me."

-----

Headmaster Lee Chang was discussing the trip to the Aztec with Lou. It was already late at night, and their quarters were empty except for Lee and Lou. Lee asked, "You don't think we are making too big a production out of this trip to the Aztec?"

“No, I don't," Lou responded. It is a big deal. The Aztec chiefs kept their deal with Fred Kennedy for the four hundred years that I was asleep. The mountain with the cave and the equipment holding me in suspended animation was kept secure from prying by being made taboo. When I woke up, the Aztec nursed me back to prime shape and outfitted a Raid to take me here. That is a story that should be written down at some point. The Aztecs have preserved the knowledge of technology and are ready to have power. Their lives will be much easier now."

Lee said, "And Chief Suwanee was excited about the Final Courtship. The Aztecs are remote, but they have heard about the Johansson family. He is pleased that there will be peace and sees this Courtship as sealing the bargain between the Bandits and the Johanssons. And speaking of Final Courtships, are you certain you won't regret it later if we forego ours?"

Lou answered, “If you have any doubts about the sincerity of my submission, then we should go through a Final Courtship. If you do not, then neither of us are spring chickens any longer, Lee, and you should just announce that we are mates.”

“I can do that as Headmaster," Lee said. "And, no, I don't have any doubts. If I said, 'Give me your hands behind your back,' you would do so immediately." Lee grinned because Lou did precisely that.

After tying her hands, Lee said, “Come and join me on our sofa. We have some of that last bottle of mead left. Let’s neck while we finish that off.”

An hour later, Lou's body throbbed with a mixture of sexual tension and satisfaction. Her eyes glowed as she gazed at Lee. Lee said. "Lou Harriman, you are now Lou Chang, my Mate. We will announce this at the proper time.”

They consummated their mating.
ImageA List of my stories:
An Unlikely Savior Completed
Spy Task Force Completed
Tale of an Archer Completed
The Bandit Scout on Newhome updated 05/30/23
Caesar73
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Post by Caesar73 »

And this epic Tale continues! And Grandmaster @GreyLord continued on the same high level as usual. So the Parley is successful. It seems that Peace is finally secured: Nice sequence with Ragna and Molly :)
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wolfman
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Post by wolfman »

Masterfully done and perfectly paced.

I cannot help but wonder with all the focus on the Aztec delivery, if the sight of wolves is an omen of ill fortune closer to home.
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Nainur
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Post by Nainur »

Could it be? Peace?
I'd like to read that... (well, I would like to read any new chapter, of course, make no mistake there)... but certainly this world is exciting enough as it is and after times of struggles they all deserve peaceful tie-ups, mating ceremonies and all this!

So nice to have visited New Home again!
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Post by laz »

great chapter I especially like Ragnar and Mollys interaction
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