A couple of workmates risk their balls to capture an alien creature.
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“But why do you have to take your clothes off?” Stephen asked his boss.
“Because it prevents the damned Mangril from getting aggressive,” his boss responded, barely concealing the irritation in his voice.
Everything his young assistant did irritated him. Given the choice, he’d sooner work alone but these animal pacification jobs were just too dangerous and it was S.O.P. to take along an assistant to cover his back. But this skinny runt was what? Barely 17, 18 at most, and he was always asking goddamned questions. It was like baby-sitting a child.
“But how does it stop it from getting aggressive?” Stephen asked.
He had only been an apprentice at the department of animal pacification for four months and already he despised his boss. He could easily quit the job and get an apprenticeship at his father’s cybernetics plant, or go apply for a job at a dozen other tech companies. With his grades he’d have no problem. But he didn’t want a tech job, he liked working outdoors, so here he was assisting this big ox of a man at the animal pacification bureau.
Mike clenched his jaw before answering.
“Because…” the man said through gritted teeth, “male Mangril’s are fiercely territorial so if you approach them clothed they see you as a threat. If you take your clothes off, when they see your dick, they perceive you as an adolescent and nothing to worry about.”
“So, it’s safe because you have a small dick?”
“No, because they have much bigger ones.”
“Ohhh, okay. I get it,” Stephen said sarcastically. “So why don’t we just shoot it?”
“Because they’re rare and we don’t want to kill it.”
Mike fired a 30-centimetre-long spike at the huge Parna tree 25 metres away. It sank deeply into the trunk. It was attached to a thin leader cord. Mike pulled the cord and it passed through a pully ring attached to the rear of the spike, pulling much thicker rope from a coil at his feet. When the rope has passed through the ring and back to Mike’s hands, he gave it a hard tug, putting all his weight into it. The spike held firm, so he secured both ends of the rope to a small power winch on the rear of his vehicle.
“Okay, let’s go over the plan one more time. I’m going to shoot the Mangril with a mild sedative to slow its reactions and calm it down, then I’m going to use this pully to climb into the tree so that I can avoid the Choker vines. I’m going to carefully approach the Mangril and if I can get close enough, I’m going to hit it with the destabiliser. The tone will make it feel dizzy and it will climb out of the tree, where the Chokers will grab it, then we can tranquillise it fully and take it back to animal control.”
“Tell me how the Chokers work again?”
“They’ll wrap around its testicles, then they pull it to ground. Once it’s there, they squeeze its nuts and keep it immobilised. If he tries to struggle, they just squeeze its nuts until it loses the will to fight.”
“How the heck does a plant like that even exist?”
“I don’t fucking know!” Mike said, finally losing patience entirely. “How long have you lived on this planet? These plants are everywhere out here at the perimeter. Can you stop asking stupid fucking questions unless they directly relate to your role in this operation?! It’s not my job to educate you on the biology of this world. Just go over what you have to do again. I don’t want any fuck ups.”
“Well, I have to stand here with the cannisters of weed killer…”
“It’s not weed killer for God’s sake. It’s bio-solvent. It’s dangerous. If you get it on you, it can have serious consequences.”
“Okay, well I have to stand here with the super deadly stuff in this can and wait,” he said sarcastically “If you get back down safely, you’ll take over and we’ll clear a path through the vines to the Mangril and place it under arrest.”
Mike gritted his teeth and allowed the insolent comment to pass.
“If you fall or get pushed out of the tree instead, I’ll clear a path to you as quickly as possible.”
“Because the Chokers will try to grab your balls instead of the Mangril’s”
“They won’t try. They WILL grab them, and I don’t want to sit under that tree getting my nuts squeezed for any longer than necessary.”
“Gotcha. I’ll be ready.”
“Right,” Mike said, “and make sure you pay attention. I don’t want you distracted by your Comm.”
He was referring to the combined communication and entertainment device the teenager carried and seemed to be constantly looking at.
“No probs Mike.”
Mike contemplated telling the little shit that he been reminded that they were NOT on first name terms, but he decided that it was not wise to alienate the snot just when he was going to depend on him.
Mike took out the sedative rifle and took aim at the Mangril sitting 30 feet up in the tree’s sturdy Oak-like branches. He pulled the trigger and a tiny dart hit the creature in the flank. It was small enough for the creature to barely notice. It scratched itself as though rubbing at a gnat bite, then went back to staring over the forest, unaware that its emotions were being subtly altered.
The older man hooked up a climbing harness and secured it to the rope. Frankly, he’d much sooner have sent the kid to pacify the Mangril, and if he could trust the punk not to fuck it up, Stephen would be the one the one standing there naked right now. Fucking little shit probably had a baby dick between his legs! Then it occurred to him that it would be much worse if the kid had a monster dick, and was hung better than him.
“Okay, get me over to the tree, and be sure to slow it down at the end okay?”
Mike looked away as his trainee activated the winch. The rope cycled through, pulling him towards the tree. It slowed as he reached it, and he disengaged himself and climbed carefully towards the animal. As he got closer, it turned to watch him, its expression impassive. The sedative was doing its job perfectly but Mike still approached cautiously, the small destabiliser was in a pouch on his shoulder. When he reached the same branch as the powerful primate, he took out the device. It looked like a sci-fi gun, with a small radar dish on the front. Mike took aim and held down the trigger. The inaudible signal beamed towards the Mangril, scrambling its brain, affecting its balance centre and making him feel queasy. The animal looked at Mike and a frown slowly appeared on its face. Mike took his finger off the button and the Mangril grunted at him then charged.
Mike started to scramble away, moving to an opposite branch, and then lowering himself to one below, then the one below that in the hopes of escaping back down his rope.
Looking up from the ground, Stephen watched with amusement.
“Look out, it’s almost on you!” he shouted helpfully.
“I fucking know that!” Mike screamed. “Get ready with the winch.”
Then the Mangril dropped two branches, landing between Mike and the rope. Mike’s eyes widened, and he went with his only other option – to climb out onto a branch too thin for the animal to follow. He spotted one on the opposite side of the tree and lowered himself towards it. It was ten feet below him – just 15 feet above the ground. Were it not for the Chokers, he’d have dropped that far and sprinted for the vehicle but there was no way he was risking the vines.
He started to work his way along the branch, and the Mangril moved to his side of the tree. Mangrils had a good sense of self preservation, and whilst they often made prodigious leaps from tree to tree, (such as the jumps that had allowed this beast to reach the tree avoiding the vines below,) this animal’s judgement and balance were impaired by the sedative and destabiliser combination that Mike had administered. It woozily followed Mike out onto the branch, gripping a much thinner branch above for balance. Mike moved further, hoping it wouldn’t be stupid enough to follow him. It was. Mike heard the branch cracking. He just had time to turn towards his assistant, then both he and the Mangril were falling.
Mike leapt away from the branch, putting three feet between him and it. He managed to land on his bare feet, falling into a crouch, but ten feet away Mangril landed on its back with a heavy thud. The instant the man and the alien primate hit the ground, vines all around them started roiling and writhing, like a nest of garter snakes waking from hibernation. The whole ground was alive with them. The Mangril roared with anger and tried to sit up. Its roar intensified then rose two octaves in pitch before the powerful creature lay back down, and the vines ensnared it.
Mike sprang back to his feet with an agility belying his 42 years, and turned towards Stephen. But before he managed to take so much as a single step, the vines were between his legs, clutching at his genitals. He reached down the pull them away but before his hands even touched his groin, more vines were entwining his legs. His feet were pulled away from under him, and he fell to his bottom heavily. One of the vines between his legs wrapped around his penis pulling it by the circumcised glans, exposing his testicles. Instantly, another cord-thin vine wrapped around the neck of his scrotum, trapping his testicles in the bottom, then it yanked downwards towards his feet. He grunted in pain.
All of the vines acted as though they were under the control of a single mind, incapacitating him, ensnaring his limbs and attacking his genitals. Mike could feel his nuts being powerfully pulled and he knew the vines had the strength to rip his testicles clean off, but that wasn’t how they worked. They simply used his testicles to control him; to prevent him escaping, holding him until he eventually dehydrated and lost the power to resist. Then he would die and his decaying corpse would serve as nutrition for the roots. It was a peculiar form of carnivorous behaviour, but the number of human deaths to the vine amounted to just a few dozen since planet Burnell was colonised a half millennia ago.
Mike tried to escape the vines tat were wrapping around his arms and legs, but the ones around his scrotum slithered lower, enfolding his testicles which bulged, trapped in the bottom of his sack, then they started to contract. The pain was shocking and Mike was instantly paralysed by it, ceasing his efforts to escape. It was a technique that the plants had used successfully on their hapless male victims for tens of thousands of years.
Stephen watched from the edge of the vine circle. They primarily grew under trees and he was safe so long as he didn’t approach, or they couldn’t get to his genitals. He was wearing a rubber hazmat suit – not fully sealed, but it extended up to his neck: more than enough to prevent the vines’ detection mechanism.
Stephen had taken the canister off his back. The teenager stood watching with a certain degree of amusement. He couldn’t have hoped for better actually. Mike was a constant pain in the ass, riding him over the smallest thing.
“Mike, are you okay?” he called, acting dumb.
Mike was in too much pain to answer. Stephen left it a few seconds.
“Miiike?” he called in a two-tone sing-song voice.
Mike screamed at him.
“Help me for fuck sake!”
“Okay Mike, I’m coming,” Stephen said with an intentional lightness of tone calculated to irritate his boss.
Stephen went to the vehicle and picked up the radio.
“Control, this is Stephen.”
“Yes, Stephen this is control.”
“I’m with Mike. Both him and the Mangril fell into the Choker vines. I’m going in to rescue him.”
“Is he alright?”
“He can talk, but he sounds like he’s in pain,” Stephen said, grinning.
“Yes, that’s hardly surprising. Do you have enough Desol?”
“Yes, a full canister.”
“Okay, well, be careful. Check back in the second he’s free.”
“Will do. Stephen out.”
Stephen donned the canister. It was the size of a large diver’s tank, and he took his time to put it on. Serve the bastard right if he got his nuts squeezed for a while. Maybe it would turn him into less of an asshole in future.
The teenager walked slowly towards the edge of the circle of vines. He was 35 yards from his boss who had fallen further around the tree. Stephen took his time walking around the edge of the vines until he was at the point nearest to Mike.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Mike demanded. “Why are taking so long?!”
“Putting my gear on.”
“I told you to be ready! I’m sitting here getting my nuts turned to goddamned pulp!”
“Oh yeah,” Stephen said smiling sweetly, deliberately using the conversation to prolong the rescue still further. “That sounds really painful.”
“It fucking well is!”
“Well, I’m coming in now.”
Stephen held a three-foot metal pipe, which culminated with the spray head. It had a plastic grip and a squeeze trigger and was connected to the canister on his back via a rubber hose. He aimed the pressurised sprayer at the nearest vines and pressed the trigger. A thin spray cone emerged and coated the plants. Nothing happened at first then they started to dissolve. They looked like the skin of a burns victim, and then they started thrashing and recoiling from the spot as though they were in pain. Stephen stepped into the vacated area of ground and sprayed again, clearing another metre ahead of him.
“What’s taking you so long, can’t you go any faster?” Mike demanded.
“Can’t do it quicker. It’s bio-solvent. It’s dangerous,” Stephen said, parroting Mike’s earlier words back at him.
“You dog-fucking shize!” Mike snarled under his breath, too quietly for his assistant to hear.
Stephen sprayed again, and again, moving even more slowly, deriving great amusement from the knowledge that Mike’s balls were getting busted.
“For Tyson’s sake, can’t you go any faster?” Mike pleaded pitifully.
“I can try,” Stephen said, finally feeling a twinge of sympathy.
He sprayed again, and before the vines had fully retreated, he kicked them aside with his rubber boot.
He sprayed again, and kicked the vines before they had even started to retreat. He sprayed ahead, but the vines underfoot were fighting back, joined by more from the sides.
“Hey, the vines are sniffing my boots,” he said to Mike.
“They can’t get through the suit.”
Mike groaned in pain, and six feet away from him, the Mangril lay whimpering.
Stephen advanced further, and faster, motivated now by the man’s distress. Suddenly he noticed something.
“Hey Mike, this suit is melting!” he said with alarm.
“What?! You didn’t splash the Desolv on it did you?”
“I dunno. I might have. You said to hurry up. I was trying to get to you quicker.”
“How bad is…”
“Shit, there’s a hole in the leg. Sorry man but I… Aaargh!”
Stephen let out a choked yelp as a vine shot inside the leg of the suit and yanked. He fell on the floor, still holding the sprayer. Vines flowed over him. He rolled around, spraying everything he could reach, oblivious in his panic, to the fact that he was also spraying the suit.
It rapidly dissolved much as many of the vines also disintegrated. Many, but not all.
In seconds his suit was falling away from him, then the straps of the canister were gone, leaving him with just the handle. Soon he was wearing just underpants, and they were starting to break apart. They looked like ancient rags then they too were gone and he was as naked as his boss. Nude now, he leapt to his feet.
Mike watched the kid’s struggles. The damned kid had low-hanging nuts, but his dick was very average in length and quite thin and scrawny in fact.
Stephen started sprinting back the way he’d come. But the vines had already moved to reclaim the path he’d cleared.
The vines around him moved so quickly! One wrapped around his ankle full sprint as he placed his foot on the ground, and stopped him lifting it to take another step. He tugged in an attempt to free it, but whilst he concentrated on that, another vine snared his scrotum. His low hanging nuts were yanked, and this time the vine was not going gently. As the teenager plunged to the ground, the vine encircled his testicles and squeezed the fight out of him in a single instant. Stephen let out a strangled yelp and landed sitting, his eyes wide in shock.
He reached for the vine but as his fingers touched it, it tightened in a warning gesture that sent a bolt of pain into his stomach and left him in no doubt what would happen to his nuts if he tried to escape again. With that single gesture, he understood exactly why Mike and the Mangril remained motionless Unless he was willing to lose his testicles, he was trapped, like thousands of unfortunate male animals before him.
Mike watched the scene with little pleasure. The kid was his key to freedom, and now that the indolent boy was also caught, their immediate futures seemed far from pleasant.
The kid sat upright, his body turned sideways to Mike, twisted as the plant had pulled him to ground. He stared straight ahead, wide-eyed and shellshocked, afraid to move so much as a muscle.
Now moving with the slow sensuosity of a lover, more vines flowed over Stephen’s legs, pulling them apart. Then still more flowed up his body, and down his arms, tugging them outwards, before re-joining the mass of green surrounding him. Vines continued flowing over the kid’s body, encasing him in a human-sized cage of finger thick tendrils. They even flowed up his head, wrapping him, like a living balaclava, leaving just his face exposed.
“Kid you alright?”
Stephen didn’t answer. The pain in his nuts was excruciating, as the vines tightened, squeezing his orbs just short of bursting.
“Kid!” Mike repeated louder.
Stephen still didn’t respond.
“STEPHEN!” Mike shouted, using his authoritative voice.
“What?” Stephen answered in a voice tensed by pain.
“Are you okay?”
It was such a monumentally stupid question it momentarily short circuited the teenager’s brain. In the end, all he could think of to say was, “Balls hurt.”
Even as he said the words, down in the vines, his balls were pulled slowly away from his now immobilised body, each separated from the other, and each criss-crossed by thin vines like presents ribbon-wrapped for Christmas. The vines loosened, decreasing his pain, and just when he could breathe again, one of them, then the other would tighten again cruelly. He felt as though they were toying with him as a spiteful cat might toy with a small captured animal.
It took all of Stephen’s effort even to breathe.
“I guess we’re not going anywhere for a while then,” Mike said. “Control won’t notice we’re missing until the end of our shift, then they’ll send a squad out to find us. Hopefully they’ll bring more Desol, and we’ll be out of here before it gets fully dark.”
Stephen heard the words, but they brought him little comfort. He knew they’d likely arrive far sooner than that, but he was in agony, and the vines were deliberately tormenting his nuts, letting the pain ease just a touch, before reapplying it afresh, sending pulses of pain through his abdomen. He didn’t know if he could endure even five more minutes of it, much less an hour or two.
He felt a vine writhing behind him, sliding between his legs, then it was entering his anus, pushing inside unopposed. He felt it working up inside, through his bowels, his large intestines, small intestines, stomach, and then it was rising up his throat, leaving just enough space for him to breathe as it emerged from his mouth, the end waving in the air like a victory flag. He was tempted to bite down on it; just to express some tiny bit of rebellion, but with his nuts in its grip, the idea seemed inadvisable.
Inside, more vines flowed, stretching his hole and bloating his abdomen. Mike watched the kid’s stomach expanding. He looked as though he was 9 months pregnant. With triplets.
Between his legs, two vines found Stephen’s flaccid penis. One wrapped around it multiple times to hold it, then the other, as thick as a pencil, forced its way into his urethra. Despite the pain in his nuts, this new violation still raised a groan from the teenager, but his vocal cords could barely make a sound with the vine in his throat. All that emerged were a series of squeaky grunts as his penis was invaded by the plant. Then the vine grew thicker, broader than his thumb, stretching his pained meat to its very limits as it worked it way into his bladder and filled it, coiling inside.
Mike could not see what the vine was doing to his hapless trainee below the waist but the kid’s strained whines made it clear that SOMETHING out of the ordinary and painful was occurring. The way the plant had encased the kid and was now sprouting from his mouth was unprecedented in his experience.
He tried to offer the kid hope.
“Stephen, I don’t know if you can hear me, but help WILL come. It’s gonna be a while, but it will get here.”
He thought to himself how much he and the kid disliked each other. How they constantly needled each other. And now, they were both sitting here naked with their bollocks getting tormented by this damned plant. It was almost comical. When they got rescued, maybe they’d find a kinship they never had before.
Beside them, the Mangril lay on its back, it’s mighty grapefruit-sized testicles crushed to half their size. Mike could see its jet-black black nuts bulging as the animal lay trembling. Mike membered the kid’s sarcastic insolence, and he imagined the kid’s far smaller balls bulging like the Mangril’s, two grapes on the very verge of bursting, and it made him smile. Served the little shit right. Fuck kinship!
All three of them remained motionless and waited for rescue…