Xanna's face was slick with sweat, her eyes drooping with exhaustion and her breathing a heavy pant.
To Naruto, she had never looked more beautiful. He'd never seen her sweat before and thought that the wet sheen on her flawless skin looked glorious.
"Love you." He murmured to her and gave her a gentle kiss.
She mumbled back something incoherent and seemed to be drifting off into sleep.
Naruto grinned and rolled her over into Akitsu, who had joined in on the fun a while ago. The horned woman pressed herself into the Ice Sekirei with as much enthusiasm as she could muster in her current state. The chilly flesh probably felt nice to her own overheated body.
There was still plenty of time to the bet, but Xanna wasn't up to anything more just now. He might have gotten a bit carried away in his eagerness and wore her out too fast. If he was lucky, she'd recover in time for another round.
But for now, it was time to pay a visit to a prisoner.
The Keeper had awoken some time before Naruto decided to visit. She instantly recognized the Lantean design of her prison and knew that she must be in their city. Whoever her captors were, they must have raised it from the sea and taken it for themselves.
Of course, the possibility existed that it was the Lanteans themselves who had returned, but she doubted it. Their old enemies had been formidable because of their technology, other than that they had been weak. This new enemy had proven themselves capable of viciousness, cunning and cruelty to match the Wraith.
All attempts to escape proved useless and the Keeper was left with nothing to do but wait. Hunger started gnawing at her shortly after her awakening. She hadn't gotten to feed on any of the humans they'd taken.
Hours later, she finally heard someone approaching. If she was fortunate, it was a weak willed human that she would be able to use to escape.
It wasn't. The towering horned man was like nothing she'd ever seen before. His mind felt far more powerful than even the greatest Queens of the Wraith and the only emotions she could detect were curiousity and amusement. It was intimidating and made her wary.
"Hi there, La Blue Girl." She had no idea what that was supposed to mean, but the sense of amusement increased.
"Nothing to say?" He inquired, brazenly stepping into the holding cell with her. His bared chest felt like a taunt to the hungry Keeper, but she held back. It hadn't escaped her attention that he had stepped through the force field keeping her in the cell.
"How disappointing, Reiko tells me that you wouldn't shut up." He continued, stepping closer.
The Keeper couldn't take it anymore. He was in arms reach and the hunger burned stronger than ever. Her right hand lashed out to clamp itself to his chest.
He caught it an inch away from his skin, gripping her wrist with the firmness of a immovable mountain.
"That wasn't very nice." He chided, as if scolding an unruly child.
The Keeper hissed in frustration, trying to push her hand forward to close that last bit of distance, only to discover that it was useless.
"Are you going to say something if I let you have a snack?" He murmured.
To her shock, he let go of her wrist and allowed her to begin feeding. She was overwhelmed instantly. Her eyes rolled back into her head as strength like nothing she'd ever imagined could exist flooded into her. Human, Lantean, Wraith, she'd fed from all of these and none of them had even the barest flicker of this vitality.
She had no idea how long she fed, but eventually it stopped and she found herself gasping for air on the floor, body still tingling with what she'd taken.
A hand reached around her throat and lifted her against the wall, squeezing just hard enough to restrict but not block off air flow.
"Did you enjoy that?" He purred, his face a bare few inches away from hers and his body pressing into her oppressively. "You're lucky that I don't count that as consent or I'd be having some fun of my own right now."
The Keeper was far too shocked to hear him or notice the implication though. His face looked exactly the same as before, as if she hadn't just taken a vast amount of years from his life. It was impossible.
"What are you?" She gasped.
"Ah, she speaks!" He said jovially, baring his teeth in a grin. Sharp and gleaming white. "As for what I am...I'm a god."
She believed it. No mortal creature could have that kind of strength. No mortal could afford to lose what she'd taken and still be alive, much less completely unaffected.
Another thought followed. The Wraith were doomed if he was their enemy. His servants were technologically advanced and ruthless. He was strong beyond any ability to fight. Even now she felt the oppressive weight of his mind and knew that he could crush her with a thought. If he wanted to, he would easily wrest mastery of the lesser Wraith from the Queens. Perhaps he could master even the Queens. It was likely even.
"Interesting species, you Wraith are." He was murmuring, using his clawed thumb to force her head this way and that. "Superior night vision and these slits on your face allow you to taste the pheromones in the air if I'm not mistaken."
He pushed aside her lips to reveal her teeth. "Teeth are atrophied from disuse but in good condition despite their color. Strange, what use are teeth to a species that doesn't need them?"
She hissed in pain when he used the claw on his thumb to puncture her skin and make her bleed. Then she grimaced in disgust as he ran his tongue over her cheek to lick up the blackish blood.
He ignored both as he continued his examination, rolling the rather foul tasting blood over his tongue. "Hmm, insectoid ancestry. Very odd. I was expecting serpentine, given the eyes. Also a considerable hint of human. Somebody's been playing around with gene splicing again and I've got a fair idea who. Have the Wraith ever mated with a human?"
The Keeper sneered in disgust at the idea. "Would you breed with cattle?"
"If the cattle was sexy enough." He quipped.
The keeper blinked at the unexpected response and finally realized the position she was in. She had no idea what to feel about it though. Rape was an utterly alien concept to the Wraith. The Queens had all the power, so male Wraith couldn't possibly hope to force themselves on them and the males themselves served willingly, so they never resisted when a Queen commanded them to service her. Also, sex was much different affair for the Wraith than it was for humans. There were no couples, no love, no passion, no lust. Nothing at all that could conceivably lead to sexual assault of any kind. Sex was a way to breed more Wraith and nothing more.
Because of this, the Keeper felt only a vague sense of unease that she didn't understand. She could also detect a hint of disappointment from her horned captor, which baffled her. What could he possibly be disappointed about?
Naruto was actually disappointed by her lack of reaction to his blatantly invasive actions. He would freely admit that he got a perverse little thrill at creeping out strong willed women with the implied threat of rape and then suddenly backing off when they were starting to get worried. He was disappointed because he was taking things far further than usual and the space vampire was simply too dense to feel scared.
"What do you want?" The Keeper asked. Negotiation was a rarity for the Wraith, but not unheard of and it was the only recourse in the current situation.
"Right now I kind of want to slap you silly, go back to bed, wake up Akitsu and complain to her about how boring you are. She'd give me a hug and offer to let me rape her while she tried to pretend that she wasn't enjoying it." He grumbled, letting the blue female go and pacing around the cell.
The Keeper had no idea what he was talking about, but understood that he was displeased with her for some reason. That was alarming given her current situation.
"I could help you subdue the other Wraith." She offered with a cajoling hiss. "All the Queens could be made to bow to you."
This felt like a perfectly reasonable course of action to the Keeper. Her hive was likely destroyed and she was a captive to a god. If it were merely humans she would not have betrayed her own species like this, but she knew that trying to fight someone this powerful was useless. He was too strong. In that light, she was actually doing the best she could for them. The Wraith could become his favored servants and she, as the first, the highest of them.
She was also hoping that he would let her feed from him again. The crackling power in her body was already subsiding and she ached to feel it again.
Naruto's shoulders slumped, the very picture of abject disappointment. This was the Wraith? This was the species that had beaten the Alterans? One touch of his life force and she was already addicted. He could probably turn her into a whore that was willing to do anything and anyone for another taste in two days if this was the effect a single feeding had on her.
He left the holding cell without a word, ignoring whatever she was blathering about. She wasn't interesting anymore. He could make his own meat puppets if he wanted to, there was no need to go breaking in already existing ones. She wasn't even that pretty.
He didn't notice the people scrambling out of the way of his scowl as he stalked through the corridors, intending to go back to bed and cuddle his girls. Maybe his wife would wake up soon and he could continue to shamelessly take advantage of her powerless state.
With a heavy sigh, he pulled out a subspace communicator and called Kochō.
"Heika." The Brain Sekirei greeted pleasantly.
"Hey Kochō." He said back, trying not to let his bad mood color his tone. "I'll be sending a package over to Erius sometime today. Tell Takehito to have fun vivisecting her."
"Noted." She acknowledged. "Are you alright?"
Naruto sighed. "Have you ever been really excited about something and couldn't wait for it to happen, only to discover that it was just overhyped garbage?"
"Do no worry Heika, I am sure that the Universe will entertain you if you pout at it long enough." Kochō replied evenly.
"Oh har de har har." Naruto laughed sarcastically. "Why do I let you get away with that without bending you over your desk again?"
"Because I asked you to stop sexually harassing me two days after I took this position."
"Right." He muttered. "Talk to you later Kochō."
The connection was broken and Naruto put the communicator away, still mumbling to himself.
"Out of all the women around me, I cant believe that my secretary is the one I'm not fucking."
Despite not having an affair with his hot secretary, he felt better. He suspected that Kochō had been snarky on purpose just to cheer him up. That woman was freakishly competent.
The horned man halted at the call, suspecting that his intended return to bed would be getting delayed.
"What's up Lizzie?"
Elizabeth Weir's face twitched minutely at his continued use of the nickname. Clearly she was still a bit annoyed that he kept using it. She'd get over it. People always got over it.
"I was wondering what you were going to do about our prisoner." She asked.
"I'm sending her back to Erius for dissection."
"Dissection?!" Weir exclaimed in shock. "We don't know anything about these Wraith, we might be able to broker a peace treaty despite the rocky start."
Naruto started snickering. Soon, it developed into all out laughter.
"What's so funny?" The diplomat demanded hotly.
"Lizzie, do you eat meat?" He asked once his mirth subsided a bit.
"Since you've taken over the food supply here, not at the moment. But generally, yes I do." She answered, confused as to the relevance.
"If a cow asked to make a peace treaty with you, what would you do? Ignoring the fact that you've got a talking cow on your hands of course."
"I...don't know." She answered awkwardly, blindsided by the question. "Wait, are you telling me that the Wraith view humans as cattle?!"
"That's exactly what I'm telling you." He confirmed.
"You're all just animals to me. Some of you just happen to be more fun to be around than others." Naruto shrugged.
"That's..." Weird trailed off, for the first time seeing clearly just how disconnected the horned man was from the world around him. He didn't even seem to see any difference between a cow, a human and a Wraith, aside from the superficial physiological differences. It explained where his and Xanna's sense of superiority came from at least.
Shaking her head, she changed the subject to the other thing she had sought him out for. She could think about her minor epiphany later. "You need to talk to Teyla."
"The brownie? Why?" He asked.
Weir stared at him, wondering if he even realized how racist that sounded. Probably not. He was a jerk to everyone. Not everyone equally, but everyone.
"Because Reiko offered her people asylum and I'm not part of the Empire, I can't talk to her about it."
Naruto sighed and did some hand gestures that were a blatant mockery of what a Catholic priest might do when giving blessings.
"In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. There, you are now a fully recognized citizen of the Empire. Go forth and assimilate."
"I wasn't asking for citizenship!"
"That's never stopped me before."
Weir was actually brought up short by that extremely valid point. Still, it didn't change the fact that he was not going to foist off his diplomatic duties on her. He'd already hoodwinked her into playing peacekeeper for him on Atlantis, something that she didn't really mind since it was right up her alley and it was interesting, but she wasn't going to do his job just because he didn't feel like doing it himself.
"Just go talk to her. She wants to speak to someone in charge and that's you."
"Fine." He sighed. "But only because that shirt really brings out your breasts and I love that MILF look you've got going."
Teyla cautiously entered the office and sat in the offered, chair, giving the horned man a wary look. The people here had been friendly enough and had treated the Athosians with courtesy, but he shared too many characteristics with the Wraith for her to be entirely comfortable.
"So, Reiko offered your people sanctuary." He stated. "Have you given the offer any thought?"
"I have." She said slowly. "But I would prefer to know more before I decide."
"There's not much to tell really." Naruto shrugged. "If you accept, you'll become citizens of the Empire, with all the privileges and restrictions that entails."
"What kind of restrictions?" Teyla asked.
"Nothing that you aren't used to already. No killing, stealing, assaulting or otherwise harming others. That kind of stuff."
That sounded reasonable, Teyla could admit easily. He hadn't really said anything that she hadn't learned from the other people on Atlantis already, but she wanted to get a feel for what kind of person the horned man was.
"And what would the Athosians have to give in return for the protection you are offering?"
Naruto stared at her for a moment before sighing. After the disappointment of learning that the Wraith weren't nearly as impressive as he'd hoped, he just wasn't in the mood to play games.
"I'll be honest with you Teyla, I really don't give a fuck about the Athosians."
Teyla stared at him in shock for a moment, caught completely off guard by the bored disregard.
"You can accept the offer or not and it won't make any difference to me. I can move you to a new planet in a new galaxy where there are no Wraith, where your children can get educated and where you can stop being nomads and set down roots. Another option is that I send you to another planet in this galaxy, where you might become collateral damage as we start a war with the Wraith. The final option is that you stay in Atlantis and provide a local perspective while your people are sent to safety. You seem like a capable woman and I do like to keep an eye out for capable people. No matter which you pick, I'm not in the mood to play games with you like I would usually."
"I would need some time to think." Teyla said after taking a long moment to process that.
"You do that." He waved her off, slumping listlessly in the chair as she left.
"Fucking bug people." He complained to the empty room. "Why did it have to be bug people?"
The insectoid social structure of the Wraith meant that they were going to be so atrociously boring. The warriors would be dumb-as-bricks drones. The commanders would have marginally more personality, but would still essentially be cookie cutter identical to each other and the Queens would all be egomaniacal cunts up to the point when they realized how outclassed they were, at which point they would bend over and present their assholes like good little whores looking to impress a stronger patron. As soon as either he or Xanna confronted them in person, their instinctive urge to submit to a telepathically superior master would kick in and all the fight would leave them.
That was the problem with a species that had evolved from an insect with a hierarchical social structure. They would think nothing of submitting to someone that was obviously more powerful. The Queens generally didn't encounter another Queen that was powerful enough to make this happen, but any one of them would be able to sense just how insignificant their existence was in comparison to his or Xanna's. The tight-lipped caution of the one in the brig proved it and he was a man. If it had been Xanna or if he'd gone in female form, it would have probably been even worse.
The Goa'uld had at least evolved from solitary parasitic predators. It made them unwilling to submit to anything and would burn their pride something fierce if forced to do it. It made taunting them fun.
"Emperor Uzumaki?" A soft voice questioned from the door.
He looked. There was an Indian woman standing there. Dressed attractively but modestly, skin somewhere between pale and dark, bindi on her forehead, rather pretty all in all. He remembered her, she was a reporter that somehow managed not to be annoying. He'd met her before this expedition got underway and told the Indian government in no uncertain terms that she was the only reporter of theirs that he would accept. They had wanted to stick him with some silly looking guy with a mustache that gave him a pedo vibe. It was like they didn't know better by now or something.
"I was wondering if you have time for that interview you promised me." She asked with a charming smile.
Naruto held back a groan. He had promised her an interview. Mostly because she was neither intimidated by his appearance, nor rattled by the usual tricks he used to keep people off balance. She also took his innuendo laden speech with genuine good humor instead of the long-suffering tolerance he was used to, which had surprised him given her cultural background. There was also the fact that her smile reminded him of someone. He wasn't sure who, but it stirred up a feeling of nostalgic fondness so it must have been someone he'd liked.
"I guess." He replied.
"If this is a bad time we can reschedule." She offered, seeing that he was lacking his usual energy.
"No, it's fine." He said, his next words a low mutter. "Just plotting a little genocide."
"What was that?"
"Nothing. What did you want to talk about?""
When Xanna woke up, she did not feel at all good.
Her skin was sticky and smelled horrible, her hair was a tangled mess and damn near everything between her neck and ankles ached.
Turning her head to glare at a clock, she saw that there was still about four hours left before the bet expired. The fact that her overly clever husband had decided to give her a break inspired mixed feelings. On one hand, she was glad that he hadn't made her to stay awake in order to indulge his lust further, but on the other she was also vaguely offended that he had her at his mercy and wasn't taking advantage of it, as well as the implication that he thought she couldn't handle any more.
With an irritated grunt, she abandoned the dilemma. No doubt he would be quick to restart the fucking again if he found out that she was awake and she was not really in the mood right now. She might have wondered if it wouldn't have been better to keep him submissive instead of encouraging his independence, but the way that her heart twisted at the idea of a subdued and obedient Naruto always put an end to that line of thought. It wouldn't be Naruto if he was docile and his fierce love was well worth the occasional injury to her pride. Besides, aside from the fact that she hadn't liked being helpless while he did whatever he pleased to her, it had actually been enjoyable.
"Akitsu, wake up." She said in a voice that was far too weak for her tastes.
"Mistress?" The Ice Sekirei questioned, having actually been awake for a while already.
"Help me get to the shower, I stink." She felt no shame in getting the submissive Sekirei to help her. It was hardly the first time that Akitsu had acted as a personal attendant. Though it was admittedly not usually because she felt too weak to do it herself, but Akitsu had seen both her and Naruto in all sorts of strange situations over the years.
Akitsu was more than happy to help and helped her get off the soiled bed, glad as always to do something for either one of her lovers.
Xanna's legs felt like jello and she had to lean heavily on the Ice Sekirei in order to stay upright. She hissed in discomfort as soon as her bare feet hit the cold metal floor.
"Is this what it is like for humans?" She muttered to herself. "How do they not despair?"
Unbidden, she felt her respect for mortals increase just a little bit. Anyone that could deal with such an uncomfortable existence without complaining constantly was not completely worthless.
Of course it also begged the question of why exactly Naruto would design a seal that would reduce him to this state. Sometimes she just didn't understand him at all.
The shower was a bit awkward at first, but Xanna did regain the use of her legs quickly enough once she stretched them out a bit. The layer of dried sweat on her body was easily taken care of, but the hair was hopelessly tangled from the way that Naruto had been using it as a handhold.
"Bah, this is useless." She scowled. "Cut it off at the shoulder."
Akitsu hesitated. She loved the long white mane just as much as she loved Naruto's golden one.
"Don't worry Akitsu, I will regrow it later." Xanna said, knowing why the ice Sekirei was hesitating. She liked the length of her hair as well, but she would not carry around the rat's nest that Naruto had made of it. It simply wasn't worth the effort of trying to untangle it.
"Ah." Akitsu said softly in realization, having forgotten that the horned woman would be able to fix her hair with a thought in just a few hours. Conjuring a sharp ice knife, she went about giving her mistress a haircut.
Twenty minutes later, Xanna was looking at her now short-ish hair with a mixture of approval and dislike. Akitsu had done what she could to salvage it and had truthfully done quite well, but she simply did not like having hair this short.
Now clean and refreshed, she felt somewhat more like herself and less like a filthy human.
She also felt bored. She wanted to go check what the science department had managed to make of the information downloaded from the Wraith datacore. Staying in this room until the bet expired would be easy, but Xanna's pride would not let her hide like that.
Fortunately, while Naruto had specified that she couldn't remove the clothes that he gave her once he won the bet, he hadn't said anything about putting any extra clothes over it.
Obviously, neither she nor Naruto had a wardrobe since they manifested their clothing with their chakra, but Akitsu did. The Ice Sekirei's kimonos would be short on her, but they would serve well enough.
However, as soon as she tried to put one on it warped and reformed the same tiny leather outfit that Naruto had put on her earlier.
Xanna grunted angrily when the heeled boots made a reappearance on her feet, lifting her by an additional five inches. Figures that he would have covered that stupid loophole. At least he was considerate enough to include some warm socks. The way that her feet had been getting cold was distinctly uncomfortable. Did mortals actually have to deal with that all the time?
"Pretty." Akitsu commented, taking the opportunity to rub the leather covered butt cheeks. The heeled boots made them look even better than usual.
"Of course you would say that." The horned woman muttered. The Ice Sekirei was in favor of anything that left her or Naruto as exposed as possible and this whorish outfit certainly accomplished that.
Despite having her plans for a more normal set of clothes foiled, Xanna decided to visit the science department anyway. She didn't actually care about the opinions of anyone on this floating city except for Naruto and Akitsu, so that was a non-factor. She was more upset about having to wear the damn heels again. Stupid bet.
Xanna kept the smirk off her face as yet another person nearly collided with a wall because they were too busy staring at her.
It was kind of ridiculous really. Her usual mode of dress wasn't particularly modest, so the level of attention she was getting right now was pretty strange to her. Honestly, her crotch was usually only covered by a free hanging piece of fabric. Maybe it was just the difference that was making everyone stare like a bunch of hormonal thirteen year olds. Or maybe there was something about skintight leather that spoke to their monkey brains.
Paying them no mind, she continued on to the science lab, the metal heels of her boots slamming noisily into the metal floors of Atlantis. That was kind of annoying actually. The Mortality Seal hadn't taken away her superior sense of balance, so her stride was as surefooted as if she wore heels on a daily basis, but no amount of good balance would offset the metal-on-metal clanging. The sound was rather grating to someone who was used to the quiet slap of bare flesh as the loudest walking noise they made.
The science lab had much the same reaction as everyone else to the first sight of her. Stunned staring, some low hanging jaws, a fair few blushes.
"Which of you is working on the Wraith datacore?" She demanded.
She was pointed to a group of people that surprisingly included Major Carter and a somewhat chubby looking Canadian fellow, as indicated by the patch on his arm. She'd expected that it would be mostly Imperial scientists working on it.
"What happened to you?" The blonde Major blurted out.
"Naruto and I bet on the likelihood of your team encountering the leader of a hostile alien race. I lost." Xanna explained simply.
"The Queen you've got in the brig isn't really the leader of the whole species, just the one Hive ship." The Canadian interjected, trying very hard to look as if he wasn't ogling her.
She gave the man a disdainful glance, not much liking his 'I'm so smart' tone.
"Who is this fat idiot and why is he speaking to me?" She asked of Carter.
Sam tried really hard to keep down the smile creeping on her face at seeing McKay subjected to the horned woman's titanic ego. She wasn't entirely successful. The Canadian scientist was simply too annoying for her to not enjoy seeing him talked down to in every sense of the word.
"Doctor Rodney McKay." She introduced, not mentioning the fact that he was part of the Canadian contingent. She knew better than to state the obvious around the horned woman.
Rodney had not spent enough time around her to learn that however.
"I'm a physicist with the Canadian science department. How do you do?" He said, offering his hand for her to shake despite the earlier insult.
Xanna did not take it or even turn to face him. For one thing, she did not warm up to strangers with any kind of speed. For another, she knew that he was only being polite because his government had probably told him to be and because he was reacting to his subconscious desire to impress a beautiful woman. In this case her."Clearly his thesis was focused on his mastery of the obvious. What have you discovered from the Wraith datacore?"
McKay twitched at the rudeness and left in a huff, his face going red from a mixture of shame, humiliation and anger.
"Thanks for that." Sam said. "He was really getting on my nerves."
"I did not do it for you." Xanna stated.
"I know, but thanks anyway. Now, you wanted to know what we got from the datacore. Anything specific?"
"Numbers and Technology."
"We haven't deciphered much of the technology yet, but it seems to have an organic base of some sort. We have no idea how they 'grow' their ships, but they're more powerful than you'd think. They don't employ any kind of energy shielding, but their armor is much thicker as a result and it can regenerate. Similar to the Goa'uld, they have only one type of ship-to-ship weapon, but it's much more powerful than the plasma cannons. They fire magnetically sealed packets of anti-baryons. If I'm understanding this right, then the power curve of this weapon isn't anywhere close to maximum potential." Sam explained.
"Interesting." Xanna murmured to herself, looking at the data. The Empire hadn't managed to use anti-baryons as a weapon. They were simply deemed to be too unstable and the magnetic containment decayed too fast for them to have any kind of meaningful range. "The energy profile of these Hive ships seems rather small for their size."
"We thought so too." Sam agreed. "The organic nature of their technology might prevent them from improving their power generation, or they might simply be bad at it in general. Their ships would probably become orders of magnitude more dangerous if they had a better power source."
"What of their numbers?"
"That information was remarkably easy to access, they don't seem to have ever expected anyone to board their ships. There are just over sixty Hives scattered across Pegasus and we now have all of their locations."
Sam had expected that the horned woman would be pleased with this information, it was after all a coup of military intelligence the likes of which nobody had any right to expect. She was wrong.
"So few?" Xanna said more than asked, disbelief and even disappointment coloring her tone.
The Alterans had been beaten by this? Ten thousand years to advance and the Wraith seem to have done nothing with that time except to eat and sleep. In all likelihood, their numbers had actually fallen considerably if humans to feed on were as scarce as the words of the Athosians implied.
In a mirror of Naruto's earlier feelings, she too felt terribly let down. Both of them had expected to fight a hostile, galaxy spanning civilization. They had deliberately not allowed themselves to learn anything more than the basics about the Wraith despite their curiousity, wanting to experience the whole thing from something other than an omniscient perspective.
They had prepared for a terrible and destructive war against an implacable enemy. The Empire had over six hundred ships, filled to the brim with the latest technology and bristling with obscenely powerful weapons . If they brought that force against the Wraith, they would slaughter the life draining species with contemptous ease.
With a grumbling sigh, Xanna left the science lab, leaving behind a confused Major Carter.
Naruto and Xanna ran into each other on the way to one of Atlantis' transportation chambers. Both of them instantly recognized the sour look on the other's face, unnoticeable though it was to most people.
"They only have sixty ships."
"The entire species has a powerful instinct to submit to stronger telepaths."
"They haven't advanced at all since beating the Alterans."
"They wouldn't understand a sex joke if you beat them over the head with it."
Complaining done, they both took a deep breath and looked at each other.
"Back to bed?" Xanna asked.
Naruto looked her over speculatively and then looked at the transport chamber. There were still approximately two and a half hours left in the bet.
He grabbed Xanna's wrists and conjuring a quick chain to bind them together behind her back. Then he pushed her into the chamber and commanded the doors to seal.
"I think I like this spot just fine." He murmured into her ear, ripping the leather shorts off and lining himself up with her now exposed entrance.
"This is a major transport hUUUB!" She started to say, only to scream when he pushed into her.
"The exercise will be good for them." Naruto dismissed and began thrusting into her vigorously.
The transport chamber wasn't sound proof and Naruto didn't care who heard them, so a crowd quickly started forming outside the door, drawn by the sounds of energetic fornication.
Xanna couldn't sense the people outside at the moment, but she wouldn't have cared anymore than her husband. It was hardly the first time that they had defaced a public location.
Naruto and Xanna could have done a few things to make the Wraith more problematic. They could have wiped the knowledge that they'd taken from the datacore. They could have wiped the minds of everyone that knew about the Queen. They could have given the Wraith better power sources.
But they didn't. What would be the point? If the vampiric species hadn't amounted to anything noteworthy in ten thousand years, then they deserved to die like nothing too.
So they went back to Earth with an air of disappointment that was not sulky at all. As their replacement, they installed Setsuna, knowing that the Warmaster would need no prompting to show the Wraith exactly how displeased they were in them for being such a bunch of losers. Setsuna wouldn't see it that way of course, being something of a human supremacist with a knee-jerk 'there will be no survivors' reaction to any species that deemed themselves superior to humanity, but the end result would be the same.
The Empire's armada of warships began moving as soon as that was done, their mission the complete extermination of the Wraith.
Bereft of any challenging enemies, or any real enemies at all for that matter, the Empire continued to expand without interruption. Disappointed and irritated that they had pinned their hopes of an amusing conflict on such a worthless species, Naruto and Xanna took out their frustrations on each other and on Earth.
Not that they started being randomly cruel or anything like that, they merely began to strangle the life out of the economies of the Earth nations that continued to resist them. With the amount of territory they now controlled, they were able to cause a great deal of trouble in that area for just about everyone.
1156 years since the founding of the Celestial Empire. 2613 A.D by the Gregorian calendar.
Throne Room of the Imperial Palace.
A miasma of abandonment hung in the air of the Throne Room. It had hung there for a long time already and no amount of cleaning or upkeep would clear away the forlorn feeling of what once was and is no more. Unsurprising really, as nobody had used it in centuries. What use was an archaic throne room when there existed technology to connect people from galaxies away?
It was occupied at the moment however. Naruto and Xanna had merged the previously dual seating into a single large one and were sharing it. Akitsu was sprawled across their laps, half dozing. The night was black and moonless on Erius and it gave the Throne Room an atmosphere of gloom that augmented the heavy air that always saturated it.
They were here for the sake of nostalgia. Erius had been their home for over a thousand years and now they would be leaving it.
After leaving Pegasus in disappointment, they had increased their efforts to assimilate Earth. Things had happened rather quickly all things considered.
Xanna's plot with Iran had borne fruit and given the excuse required to invade. Semi-unexpectedly, the rest of the Middle East had panicked at yet another large country being occupied by the Empire and turned violent. Unwilling to let things drag on any further, they had simply taken over every country west of India and China.
That had required a couple of years to stabilize, after which they had enacted their long prepared plan to wipe out North Korea's leadership. Only, Naruto had been in the mood to do it himself that day and made quite a spectacle of himself, making some pointedly threatening anti-communist statements that anyone could tell were aimed at China.
As they had expected and hoped for, it was the Chinese government that panicked this time. With the Empire encroaching on their western border and now Naruto personally usurping control of the nation that they had long used as a buffer against the United States, they decided that extreme measures were required.
The nuclear warheads launched were easily dealt with, but it still got China a lot of flak for using them and breaking the No First Use pact. Nobody was much inclined to give more than a token protest when they were added to the Empire.
Now having a very solid grip on Asia, they started working towards a goal that had been planned long before they even came to Earth. Namely, to depopulate the planet of humans a bit.
With some encouragement, they set off a flood of immigration to other parts of the galaxy, mostly from China but also from India, both of which were overpopulated. This was further encouraged by a methodical shrinking of large cities to make sure that people wouldn't have any reason to come back. They also made sure to not allow these immigrants to concentrate in a single place too much, so as to allow only a mild cultural influence instead of the formation of miniature versions of their parent countries.
The rest of the world went easier, many countries giving over control willingly if not graciously. The others eventually crumbled under economic pressure and were left with no choice.
It only took Jack about ten years or so to stop scowling this time. Alas, Naruto never got to seduce Sam again despite her conflicted feelings on the matter. Apparently she decided to avoid any potential regrets by avoiding the situation. Too bad.
The depopulation efforts continued and Earth was eventually left with just under two billion inhabitants. Still the most populated planet in the galaxy, but no longer to the point where their needs and desires were overburdening the environment.
Over in Pegasus, Setsuna went about the destruction of the Wraith with her usual efficiency. Knowing where all the Hive ships were, she sent a task force to each location and simultaneously blasted them to oblivion without any warning.
The exploration efforts in Pegasus continued with no further threat from the Wraith aside from a few stragglers. They encountered a few interesting things in the process.
The first of these was a survivor from a previous Wraith culling by the name of Ronon Dex. The Wraith had implanted him with a tracking chip and turned him into a Runner, basically sport for the vampiric species.
The meeting was a bit rocky at first, but turned much more amicable after Ronon learned that they'd obliterated the Wraith. He all but insisted on joining up with them to track down the last remnants of their kind and wipe them out after that.
The next odd meeting was with a man called Lucius Lavin. Nobody could quite put their finger on what was wrong with the man aside from him being an annoying shit, but there was definitely something wrong with him. The team that encountered him was for some reason convinced that bringing him to Atlantis was a good idea and advocated his good qualities quite insistently.
The man actually had the nerve to proposition Setsuna, which Naruto had to give him credit for. That took balls, especially in the manner which he did it. Of course, Setsuna herself had probably been about to gut him when she had a better idea of how to get rid of him.
She sent him to Earth, more specifically to Xanna after filling his head with tales of her beauty.
It took Naruto and Xanna exactly one whiff to realize that the man was exuding some kind of mind-affecting pheromone, which would explain why he had such a high opinion of himself without anything to back it up. Naturally, he tried to proposition Xanna as well, to which she responded by creating a gravitational singularity in his gut and watching him collapse into himself.
Naruto had himself a good laugh at the man's death. Knowing use of substances that affected the minds of others was punishable by death.
The militaristic Genii were also encountered. They had already learned that someone had wiped out the Wraith, but were baffled as to who it could be. Relations with the suspicious people remained frosty and distant for quite some time, but they were eventually subverted and absorbed into the Empire.
Another interesting people were the Asurans, who happened to be an old nanite weapons project of the Lanteans that had evolved beyond expectation. They had turned into a bunch of humanoid AI's that were content to stay on their one planet and stagnate. Since they were machines, they couldn't be assimilated into the Empire and it was decided that they would be left alone.
Of course, someone had the bright idea to tamper with their programming about a hundred years after that first meeting, which led into a war against the homicidal machines that eventually saw them all destroyed.
Perhaps the most notable event was actually encountering two ships that still had living Alterans in them. The first crew had been in stasis for ten thousand years and it had taken a personal visit by Naruto to save them. They had acknowledged the fact that their race was done for and not made a fuss over the fact that someone else had control of Atlantis.
The other crew however…..
"Atlantis belongs to the Lanteans." Captain Helia was saying. "We are grateful for the aid you've given us, but we must insist that you leave now."
"Your people are dead, cupcake." Naruto replied, amused at how petulant the woman was being. "What do you think you're going to accomplish even if we did leave?"
"We need time to consider the future, but I assure you that we will stay in contact with you." Helia said evasively.
Naruto smelled the lie easily. She had no intention whatsoever of staying in contact. She just wanted the city.
He took a dramatically deep breath and gave his answer.
The look on her face was definitely worth towing their crippled ship out of the dark space between galaxies. It was going to get even better though.
"In fact, I'm confiscating your ship too."
"You can't do that!" She near screeched. Damn, and he'd thought that Alterans or Lanteans or whatever they wanted to call themselves were supposed to be civilized.
"I just did. Now if you would please go with the security personnel as they escort you to processing, I'm sure we can put you someplace where you will be useful and won't cause trouble."
The crew of the Tria had stayed sulky for quite a while, but they did eventually stop pouting over not getting their way.
Helia set the record for pouting by staying resentful for twenty-seven years, the annoying little cunt. Naruto put her picture next to the definition of 'pouting' just to spite her.
Pegasus also held a surprise for the Asgard, in the form of their long exiled people, who had renamed themselves the Vanir.
Seeing the mainstream Asgard cured of their genetic degradation had been quite the shocker for the Vanir, as the entire reason for the split between them was the Vanir's belief that the Asgard were letting their morals get in the way of a cure.
That had been a tense reunion.
Vala had finally convinced him to take a look at that supposed cache of treasure on Earth. That had led to the encounter with the Ori.
It was a conflict barely worth mentioning. The Ori relied so heavily on their Priors that they were helpless when Naruto had shut down their powers and blocked the Ori themselves from meddling.
He had gone around their worlds, giving speeches and stirring up resentment. Then he had taught them to make Molotov cocktails and led them to the oh-so-shiny city of Celestis. It had made a nice bonfire, especially with all the Priors and descended Ori still in it.
Irony was a grand thing.
Another thing of note to have happened was that Egeria finally worked up the courage to ask for permission to use his DNA to spawn her young. That had been….interesting.
"I dunno, I've never impregnated a woman before." Naruto mused, trying not to grin.
"Actually, you have." Xanna said dryly.
Naruto frowned and thought back. For the life of him, he couldn't recall a single instance where he could have possibly gotten a woman pregnant.
"That's impossible." He denied. "I'm always firing blanks."
"Remember Pamela?" She asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Errrr…." He stalled, thinking once again. There had been more than one Pamela, and he knew that he hadn't gotten any of them pregnant.
"The tiny redhead with the plant fetish from two dimensions back." Xanna elaborated.
"Oh, her." Naruto realized. He hadn't thought of her in centuries. "Wait, I didn't get her pregnant."
"She came to me before you left and asked if I would restore the potency of your seed. She really wanted your babies."
"And you just agreed?" He asked with some incredulity.
"You fucking bitch." There was no heat in the insult. He honestly couldn't bring himself to work up any kind of emotion over something that had happened well over half a millenium ago. He was just saying something for the sake of saying it.
"So I have a mini me running around in that fucked up dimension?"
"Probably more than one since I suspect that the catgirl used the opportunity as well." Xanna confirmed.
"Huh, that's interesting." Naruto said absently. He might take a look over there one day, but he was honestly finding it hard to care. Lack of parental attachment aho!
Xanna nodded to herself. The fact that he seemed to care not a whit about his progeny was all to the good. He'd still had some inclinations towards parenthood back in those days and it was good to see that it had faded. Immortals raising families was a stupid idea, but she wouldn't care if he left a string of bastard children all over the multiverse as long as he didn't try to care for them. His love was hers and nobody else's.
Akitsu didn't count.
"So, getting back to the matter at hand…" She began, looking at the silent Tok'ra Queen. "You want him to fill you up with his semen so that you can incorporate it into the DNA of your wriggling serpent spawn."
Egeria shifted, uncomfortable with the wording but unwilling to make an issue of it.
Xanna took on a contemplative look as she gave the other woman a once over
"What if I want in on this as well?"
Egeria blinked and even Naruto gave her an odd look.
"Perhaps I would be interested in adding some of my own DNA to your new spawn. I must admit to being curious about the results."
"I'm pretty sure that just growing a futacock and adding your own jizz to the mix isn't going to work." Naruto pointed out with a grin.
Xanna merely smirked at him and walked towards him. Naruto watched curiously, wondering what she was up to.
Much to his surprise, she walked into him, melding into his flesh like water. It was an incredibly odd feeling, their separate minds and bodies becoming one.
When it was over, what stood there was neither Naruto nor Xanna. Instead, there was a naked seven foot horned female with deep bronze skin, a full and firm pair of breasts, and a large male member hanging between her legs. There was more muscle definition to the body than Xanna usually favored, but it was definitely a mostly female body, probably due to the fact that even Naruto preferred to lean towards the female shape when they played their gender bending games. Better to be a chick with a dick than a guy with tits was his reasoning. Her hair was white with streaks of gold, while the eyes were Naruto's gold-orange with flecks of bright crimson.
"Interesting….very interesting." She said while examining her arm, her voice having a duality that held traces of both Naruto and Xanna.
"Are you….alright?" Egeria asked carefully, not sure what to make of this.
"We are well." Was the thoughtful answer. "This is an intriguing form. We are the sum of our parts, yet we are able to unravel ourselves and separate if we wish. Akitsu will be pleased…..intensely and repeatedly."
"I was not aware that you were capable of joining together in such a manner." The Tok'ra Queen commented, finding this development fascinating now that she was assured that everything was alright.
"It is new to us as well. We had considered attempting it for some time, but were unsure of the wisdom of it. We would have insisted on trying it had we known we were thinking about it."
Egeria frowned, noticing that the composite being referred to both parts of itself as 'us' and seemed to almost be talking to itself. How very odd.
"Now, I believe you wanted a DNA sample for your spawn?"
Egeria was jerked out of her thoughts by the rhetorical question and looked up at the bronzed face. The features were a shade too striking to be called truly beautiful, but they were somehow captivating all the same.
The anticipatory lust in the expression and the twitching of the large member made her swallow nervously.
That had been…an experience.
Akitsu had been happy though. Very happy.
And after she was too tired to keep going, Reiko had been happy. Then Matsu. Then any bisexual woman they were able to get a hold of on short notice.
Naruto and Xanna had promptly decided to utilize that merging trick sparingly. Which basically meant whenever they felt like experimenting with it or when Akitsu gave them her best puppy eyed stare.
Once she'd woken up, Egeria had been able to use the abundance of DNA they'd left in her to spawn young. They weren't really anything special aside from being a fair bit stronger than her other spawn. They were quite loyal to the Empire though, and very respectful to all three parents.
Speaking of parents…
"You want to retire?" Naruto asked, bemused.
"Yes." Setsuna confirmed. "The Empire has no more enemies and I am tired. I would like to rest and perhaps raise a child."
"You know that this means that I won't be keeping you young anymore, right?" He pressed, wanting to know if she really wanted this.
"I would have it no other way, Heika. This extended lifetime has allowed me to see much and serve you much longer than I had hoped for, but I would like to die eventually." She replied with certainty.
"Well, if you're sure…."
"Alright then, I'll restore your ability to have children and stop keeping you young. Was there anything else you wanted? You've been a huge help to me and Xanna, so if there's anything you want, feel free to ask."
"Well…." Setsuna fidgeted.
Naruto stared. Setsuna never fidgeted.
"….I know that you helped Egeria spawn young, so if you would be willing, I would like it if….you could be the one to give me a child."
Naruto leaned back into his seat. He had not seen that one coming at all. He'd been sure that Setsuna had gotten over her old fixation on him. She'd never asked for a single thing in the entire time that she'd served as the Empire's military commander. Had she just been waiting to make this request the entire time?
"….you would not have to help raise it of course. The child does not even have to know that you are the father…"
Naruto stared even harder. Setsuna was babbling and blushing. He would have been less surprised if a unicorn had randomly pranced through his office. That was at least statistically possible.
"…and I would of course teach it to serve you unquestioningly. I could even groom it to take over my post from me once it is ready-"
"Whoa, slow down." Naruto finally interrupted.
She shut up instantly, going stiffer than a marble statue.
"Firstly, no, you are not going to teach your kids to serve me blindly. They won't be extensions of you."
She nodded. Stiffly.
"And secondly, how long have you been planning to ask me this?"
"Since you first gave me command on a mission." She admitted meekly.
Naruto felt like laughing. The ridiculous woman had spent nearly six hundred years serving him unquestioningly with the intention of asking for a baby upon retirement. He didn't doubt that she had taken pride in her work, but she had obviously also been hoping that her long years of service would make him inclined to grant her request.
Well, the culture of her birth had been very similar to that of ancient Japan. It figured that she would go about it in this type of ass backwards manner. Though to be fair, he might well have refused her back then. He hadn't been so jaded in those early days.
"Well I did say anything, so if that's what you want then that's what you'll get." He chuckled.
"YES!" Setsuna exclaimed. "Err…I mean, excellent. Where are we doing it?"
Naruto guffawed. This was just too good. He would make sure to tease her with this until the day she died.
So he'd went and gotten his former Warmaster pregnant. She gave birth to a blue eyed boy with dark blond hair.
He was nothing like either of his parents, proving that teenage rebellion was stronger than both nature and nurture. He became an entertainer. An actor that dabbled in manga and animation as well as a few other things. He died at the ripe old age of 334 and was survived by too many descendants to name, never learning who his father was.
Naruto kept a distant eye on him out of sheer curiousity, but was never tempted to tell the brat the truth. He felt nothing for the boy that he'd donated sperm for and didn't want to deal with the complication of having anyone know that he'd gotten a woman pregnant.
Aside from him, Setsuna, Xanna and Akitsu, only Karasuba knew the truth and that was only because she'd guessed.
The Black Sekirei had not been pleased that her friend was putting down her sword, seeing it as a repeat of what had happened with Miya and Yume.
She had come into his office, spitting mad and clearly considering the merits of 'accidentally' giving Setsuna an abortion, but he'd been able to dissuade her.
A few years later, she had come back into his office and demanded a battle to the death. She had noticed herself getting wrinkles and was faced with her own mortality. Karasuba had no intention of dying of old age. Having a sword shoved through her chest was infinitely more appealing to her than going peacefully in her sleep.
He'd been able to talk her out of it by offering to turn back the clock on her age and taking her with him, Xanna and Akitsu to the next dimension. She could seek out a glorious death in battle there. Fortunately, she had agreed. Naruto was not overly keen on killing his friend, even if she wanted it.
Karasuba had been in stasis for centuries now, longer than he'd expected really.
The years had gone by so fast. The Empire had continued to spread, now counting over two dozen species among its population, though humans remained the most numerous. Their friendship with the Asgard was so close that they were practically one people.
The Sekirei had all died, their children had died, the majority of their grandchildren had died. The Tok'ra were still around of course, but some of the older ones had already started dying of old age. Reese was still around, but was now an adult and no longer a little girl in an adult body.
He, Xanna and Akitsu lingered on, becoming steadily more disconnected from the Empire they had built.
Technology continued to advance, reaching wondrous heights.
Takehito and Machello had managed to make a true AI after years of effort. There had been a few problems and scares about homicidal machines, but they became citizens of the Empire just like everyone else in the end. The bodies engineered for them had eventually become so advanced that there was barely any difference between those and organic ones.
It had been taken even further lately. A particularly clever group had found a way to engineer a body at the subatomic level and then transfer a person's consciousness into it neuron by neuron.
These bodies were far superior in design to what the flawed process of evolution could produce. These bodies did not hunger, did not thirst, did not suffocate, did not age and did not die other than by choice. They were nearly indestructible, regenerative, 100% photovaltic and capable of absorbing just about any kind of energy. They could float in the vacuum of space and be unharmed. They could change form and even gender. To a more primitive species, they would be as good as gods. A masterpiece of nanotechnology that was hailed as the greatest achievement in all of the Empire's history. It essentially removed the final barrier between the body of an organic and an AI.
It was also the achievement that would make certain that the Empire collapsed. It was already happening.
With a population of people who needed neither food nor shelter nor protection and had a personal swarm of nanites to manufacture anything they might need, there was little reason for a government to exist. The people would drift off and do their own thing, connected by the vast virtual reality network powered by their very thoughts and the energy of their bodies rather than by shared nationality.
They could have tried to stop it. They chose not to. Everything had to end and progress could not be stopped. Should not be stopped.
It had been a year since the last time that they had needed to make a decision. There were no enemies to fight. The army had long since dissolved. They had become redundant, it was time to go.
But they could still have one last hurrah.
With a thought, they pulled Oma into the Throne Room.
The ascended woman looked at them in puzzlement.
"Was there something you wanted?" She asked.
"We just thought that you would like to see this." Xanna answered, nodding her head towards Naruto.
The horned man smirked at her and opened every single subspace channel in the Empire, stretching across four galaxies and reaching the ears and eyes of nearly seventy billion people.
"People of the Empire, we have something important to tell you….
"We have been with you for a long time now. From humble beginnings and dark times to this day. In a relatively short time, you have come very far. We would just like to say, that we are proud of you."
With that, Naruto gave his wife a pointed look. She sighed and then nodded.
Then they both gave the cheesiest, most Maito Gai-ish thumbs up and smile they could manage towards the visual transmitter. Akitsu joined in too, a light pinging off their white teeth in unison.
"With that said, you don't need us anymore, so we are leaving."
Oma stared at them in surprise. She had no idea that they'd been planning to leave already.
"I know that some of you are worried by this, but don't be. We might not be your Emperor and Empress any longer, but Oma Desala will be taking our place in case you still need someone to settle a dispute or give advice."
"…What?" Oma's question was a thing of shocked incomprehension.
"Please give her all the regard you gave to us. She is after all, a goddess."
"…What?" This time it was a horrified whisper.
"Goodbye and may the legacy of what we built together endure for all time."
The link was cut, ignoring the many frantic return signals, some wanting answers and some desperately asking them to stay.
"You can't do this to me." Oma stated woodenly. She could already feel the swell of power as the belief of uncountable people was switched over to her.
"It is already done." Xanna said with a smirk. "Do take care of our Empire for however long it holds together."
"And try to have some fun while you're doing it, yeah?" Naruto added.
"Bye bye." Akitsu waved.
The three of them faded away, leaving Oma alone in the Throne Room.
Her Throne Room.
The thought was enough to nearly make her head spin and she felt the need to sit down despite her currently spectral body.
Oma was still numbly sitting on the Obsidian Throne the next day. The number of people placing their faith in her had continued to rise with no end in sight. At this point, she could probably overpower all of the Ascended combined and she was still getting stronger. It was horrible. It was a disaster. it violated everything that she stood for.
Over the years, Naruto and Xanna had frustrated her many times and with many things. Never before had she felt such a heartfelt desire to murder them.
The Empire's Mindlink was overwhelmed with chatter. There was no way for her to answer even the tiniest fraction of the messages, so she didn't bother.
The other Ascended mirrored her silence. She wondered about that.
The cause of their silence was made apparent later that same day.
A group of humans stomped into the Throne Room. Humans with familiar souls.
"Oma Desala." One of them said, his tone angry and demanding. "The Outsiders have forced us back to this plane and made certain that we cannot return by ourselves. Return us to where we belong."
She could do it. Easily.
…..Alternatively, she could not.
Looking them over, she saw mostly a group of people that felt entitled to Ascension. How odd, that time spent as higher beings had made them unworthy of it. Only a few, like Ganos Lal, Orlin and Chaya Sar still retained enough humility and wisdom to not act like petulant children about their situation. Them she would help, but the others….
Originally, this was supposed to be the second-last chapter and then followed by the epilogue, but it turned out shorter than expected, surprisingly enough.
Note that I do have an idea for another sequel in mind, but I am also kicking around the idea for an entirely new fic. I will likely take some time to think which I want to pursue before I commit to anything, so don't expect any quick posts.
I hope you enjoyed the fic in general and the final chapter in particular. Please drop a review to tell me what you think of it.
Until next time!