Toy Soldiers

The bright blue flash of the jump effect faded, and the two men in the Jeep shook their heads, blinking and trying to clear their field of vision.

“In the old movies, they were always in spaceships for this sort of thing,” the one on the right said. Standing, he would be just under six feet, and he was what people called ruggedly handsome: short, black hair, hazel eyes, a youthful, tanned face.

“They were usually in traditional combat situations, Corporal,” his commanding officer replied. He would stand three inches shorter than the junior officer; his cragged face, dirty blond hair and dark blue eyes lacked the attractive roguishness of the other man, though he was far from ugly. But he looked like someone who always had other, more important concerns than his own physical appearance. “Not to mention going through hyperspace or some such nonsense, instead of teleporting between dimensions.”

“Well, hyperspace was more interest…” The sergeant’s voice trailed off as he looked around.

The Jeep was, as far as they could tell, in the middle of a field of grass. It was difficult to be sure, though. Each blade of grass was seven feet tall.

“You were saying, Spring?”

Spring stood up in the Jeep, looking around. “Is that grass, sir? It can’t really be…”

“Judging by the size of the oak tree we’re under, I’d say it is.”

He looked up. The sky was blotted out by what looked like oak branches, all rightstarting well over a hundred feet above them. About two hundred feet behind the Jeep was a trunk, a good eighteen feet across.

“Sir,” he said, a bit shakily, “was there anything in the reports about this place being a land of giants?”

“There weren’t any reports at all, other than this dimension being much the same as ours, with the exception of having

“Several different human-like races, not just humans. I know, sir. But this strikes me as a large oversight. No pun intended.”

Gramm flashed a brief smile, about as much humor as he seemed physically capable of expressing. “Did you read all the briefing on the transport system, Corporal?”

He shook his head, sitting back down.

The commander started the engine, and pushed ahead cautiously, the Jeep jostled by prodigious bumps on what, on a normal scale, would be a relatively smooth path. “I see. If you had, you might have noticed that many of the jumpdoor’s parameters seem to be affected by a phase relationship between the locations of its two openings. There was some evidence to indicate size would be one of them in rare instances.”

“Which means?”

“My guess is that this world is, objectively speaking, on the same scale ours is. But we were in a different phase when we were transported here and have been…modulated, so to speak. In other words, we’ve shrunk.”

“Great.” Spring cursed under his breath. “We’re supposed to go after a dozen members of the country’s top terrorist group

“Thirteen.”

when we’re smaller than weeds?”

“They only hijacked the door here five hours ago, Corporal. My suspicion is that they’ll be the same size we are.” He flicked on a metal box Velcroed to the dashboard; a small screen came to life, with a compass showing their current direction, and a blinking green dot, as if it were a radar screen. “Our major difficulties remain the same. We hope they don’t realize we can track the vehicle they’re in, and we hope we can either capture or kill all of them using the equipment we have before they kill us. The only new difficulty we have is navigating the terrain.”

Spring looked ahead of them, then up. “Well

Ahead of them was a young girl meandering through the field, perhaps sixteen or seventeen. She was a cat, in a sense: it was as if a normal human had been covered in fur, given a tail, and had her face sculpted to be more feline, complete with pointed ears, bigger eyes and a muzzle. Neither man would have assumed from the briefing description the inhabitants of this world could be attractive to them, but she was, in a bouncy young cheerleader fashion; her demure, below-the-knee pale blue skirt and matching short-sleeved blouse set off her white fur nicely. Her eyes were large and sky blue, and she had a pink ribbon tied in her short hair. A brown leather purse was slung over one shoulder.

Spring smiled. “She’s very pretty,” he said, gazing up at her.

“We’re not here to fraternize,” Gramm grunted, veering the Jeep to the left and accelerating. “And think about that statement before you start drooling.”

“What?”

“Distance cues, Corporal. The distance cues.”

“What?” Spring repeated, looking over his shoulder at her. “How far away is she? I’d say…oh…” He gulped, realizing what the sergeant had meant. “Almost a thousand feet. She’s…real big.”

“Yes, and real fast.”

“She’s just walking casually.”

Gramm nodded. “To her, maybe three-and-a-half feet a second. On our scale, I’d guess that to be over forty feet a secondalmost thirty miles an hour.”

“Oh. Add ‘avoiding the natives’ to your list of difficulties,” Spring said, still looking back at the girl appreciatively.

Gramm grunted. “Thank you for the clarification, Corporal.”

About twenty seconds went by; they passed the girl on her left, a few hundred feet between them.

“She’s stopping,” Spring said.

“And what’s she doing?” Gramm looked in the rearview mirror as he spoke. “Oh. Damn.” The girl was walking toward them, her stride more purposeful, and looking straight down at their position.

“Er

“I see,” he grunted, veering the Jeep sharply to the right and accelerating hard. “Is she still following?”

“She’s sprinting for us,” Spring said, his voice a mixture of fear and awe.

Almost as soon as he said it, the ground shook, jarring them, and a white-furred foot the size of their vehicle slammed into the ground about ten feet to the right. Another one slammed into the ground about thirty feet in front of them a split-second later, the heel facing them.

Gramm stood on the brakes, as the nearer foot was lifted and the farther one spun around as the girl pivoted. And cut the engine.

“What?” Spring choked, looking wide-eyed at his commander.

“She’s over sixty feet tall and could easily run a hundred-fifty miles an hour,” Gramm muttered, looking up at the girl as she lowered herself to her knees, the skirt touching the ground about fifteen feet in front of them. “If I kept trying to dodge her, I’d risk getting us stepped on. This way she can just indulge her curiosity about us and leave.”

“Are you sure that’s wise?” he whispered.

“No, not at all.”

The girl lowered her head toward them, her eyes wide, and set one hand down near the Jeep. Gramm looked up at her stoically; Spring settled for trying not to gulp visibly.

“What are you?” she said, apparently to herself. Her voice was clear and pleasant, if loud. As her mouth moved, they saw flashes of sharp, feline teeth and tongue.

“Just humans, ma’am,” Gramm said.

“You speak!” she said, looking surprised. “Humans are my size.” She leaned closer. “But you really are humans, aren’t you?”

“Well, you see, we’re

She broke out into a grin. “Oh, this is neat!,” she said, almost squealing. “I’ll have to show Cindy and Jenny.”

“We really don’t have” Gramm began, but the girl had turned away, setting her purse down on the ground and opening it. “Ma’am?” he said, a bit more loudly.

“We’d just been talking about something like this a few weeks ago,” she was saying, drowning out his voice. “How neat it would be…well.”

Suddenly her hands were around them, lifting them out of the Jeep. Gramm grunted in surprise; Spring yelped and reflexively reached for his gun, but only bumped his hand against the giant girl’s furred knuckle.

Before either of them could react further, they found themselves dropped into the purse. The girl put the shoulder strap back on, and stood up. Spring fell over as the bag was hoisted into the air, then yelled as a lipstick case as big as he was rolled into him. “Shit!”

A huge, velvet hand opened the purse more widely, and they saw the girl’s face peering down at them, blue eyes that seemed nearly half the size of their bodies. “You okay?”

“We really can’t let you do this, ma’am,” Gramm said, very loudly.

She looked down at him, then giggled, shutting the purse.

“‘We really can’t let you do this?’” Spring echoed.

“I was hoping she might have at least let me explain why,” Gramm sighed as they began bumping against her side.

“You might have tried wailing, ‘Please don’t!’”

“Never beg for mercy.”

Spring chuckled. “That’s really stupid in this situation, sir.”

“You were reaching for your gun, soldier. That wasn’t a hallmark of brilliance, either.”

“We could have scared her off, maybe. We still

“Corporal, think about the effect of a bullet about one-twelfth the size of a normal one hitting you at about one-twelfth the speed. It’d be a bee sting, if that.”

“Girls run from bees.”

Timid girls run from bees. Bold girls stomp on them,” Gramm snarled. “Being taken as a prize is less of a setback than being crushed.”

“So now what?”

Gramm shifted, kicking a sword-sized key away from him and trying unsuccessfully to make himself comfortable. “We try talking with our young captor again after she’s had her fun.”

“Great.”

The ride proceeded in silence, crawling on for what seemed like hours but was, perhaps, only ten more minutes. Then the sound of the girl’s footsteps became audible, as if she was walking on a floor rather than the ground.

“Good evening, Miss Walvin,” the girl’s voice came.

“Good evening, Annabelle,” a deeper voice came in reply. The girl’s footsteps increased in pace, and the jostling became rougher.

“Slow down, Annabelle,” Spring muttered.

Another moment passed, and the girl came to a stop. The sound of a door being opened followed, then a few more steps and the sound of the door being shut.

“You’re late, Anna,” a new, quiet female voice said.

“Off chasing butterflies again, no doubt,” a harsher girl’s voice came, the tone dripping with sarcasm.

The two men felt the purse being lifted around them. Then it was dropped roughly onto its side, and they fell over.

“No,” Annabelle’s voice came excitedly. “Much better than that. You won’t believe it.”

She opened the purse and thrust a hand in without looking. It knocked Gramm into the back of the purse; he let out a loud, pained whuff!

“We’ll come out on our own,” Spring called hoarsely.

“What the hell?” the harsh voice said. The floor underneath them rocked violently, and the light outside grew dimmer; Spring guessed the purse had been set on a bed, and one of the girls had just sat down near it.

Taking a deep breath and steeling himself, he walked out. Gramm followed a moment later.

He had been right; they were on a bed, one of three in the room, their headboards against the same wall. On Annabelle’s scale, it would be a small bed, of the sort common to dormitorieswhich, Spring had correctly guessed, was exactly where they were. By the humans’ standards the room was old-fashioned, with wooden walls and rafters visible along the ceiling, and utilitarian furniture of the sort common to schools: two long desks facing the beds, a shallow closet taking up most of the wall with the door, and on the wall opposite that, three small, tasteful oaken bureaus and two cloth-covered armchairs that had passed their prime long ago. This was the only wall in the room with windows, two of them, looking out on a manicured lawn.

Sitting a few feetperhaps six inches of real spaceaway was another young cat-girl, dressed identically to Annabelle; she had tawny fur and long black hair, and sharp, hungry eyes that made Spring want to run back into the purse. He realized she was taller than their captor was, perhaps five-foot-nine…or almost seventy feet tall.

“What are they, Anna?” the quieter voice said. It belonged to a third cat-girl, also dressed in the blue outfit, peering down at them. She was colored like a tabby cat, with greyish hair pulled back in a short ponytail; she wore glasses and held herself as if painfully shy.

“Humans,” Annabelle replied, grinning. “At least, they say they are.”

The black-haired one looked down at them. “Damn.” She looked up at Anna. “You have the most incredible luck.” Then she looked down at them, smiling. Spring realized that right then she looked like just the type of woman he was always trying to pick up in bars: extremely young, tough-looking, who smiled the way you’d imagine a cat would smile at a mouse if it could. If he had been her size it’d have been irresistably enticing. But at the size of that mouse, looking up at a girl who really was a cat, the attraction was severely tempered by fear.

“Can I have one?” the black-haired girl said after a moment, her smile becoming broader and even more predatory.

The quiet one looked at her reproachfully. “You’ll kill him, Jennifer.”

“Maybe not!”

“Most of those dreams you were talking about

“Shut up,” Jennifer said warningly, glaring at the smaller one. She dropped her gaze.

“Don’t worry about Jenny,” Anna said, noticing Spring’s look. “She’s not as awful as she wants people to think she is.” She giggled, and tugged on Jennifer’s shoulder. “Come on. We should get something to eat before they stop serving dinner.”

“I’ve already eaten,” the quieter one said. “You can go on.”

“You’ll keep an eye on them?” Jennifer said, glaring at the small one again.

“Oh, yes,” she replied, looking down at the humans with a kind of blissful expression that made Spring almost as uncomfortable as Jenny’s feral one.

The two girls ran out of the room, closing the door behind them.

The small one who was left carefully sat down on the bed, further away from them than where Jenny had been, and looked down, smiling a bit nervously. “Do I make you nervous?” she said. “I guess I must. I’m so much bigger than you are.”

“You scare the hell out of me,” Spring offered.

The girl gulped and looked down at the sheet.

“Tactful,” Gramm muttered. He turned back to the girl. “Ma’am?” he said.

She looked back at them.

“Don’t be upset. Yes, you do make us nervous. Our lives are literally in your hands, and those of your two friends. But we have an important job to do that Annabelle is keeping us from.”

The girl blinked, leaning down toward them. “Really?”

He nodded. “We’re soldiers in…well, it wouldn’t be a place you’d heard of, obviously.”

“No, I guess not! You’re soldiers, huh?” She bent forward, peering at their uniforms.

Gramm nodded. “We’re here on a very important mission.”

She smiled, then laughed. “This is all too much.”

He cleared his throat. “I’m Staff Sergeant John Gramm. This is Corporal Stephen Spring.”

“I’m Cindy. Um, Cindy Dunham.” She frowned. “Watch out for Jenny. I don’t care what Anna saysshe’s mean, and most of the fantasies she was talking about ended with her eating the guy.”

“Eating?” Spring blurted, wide-eyed.

Cindy suddenly looked mortified. “Oh, I shouldn’t have said that. I’m really sorry.”

“Wonderful,” Gramm muttered. “Instead of being show and tell, now we have to worry about being dessert.”

“What fantasies, Cindy?” Spring said. “The dreams Anna was talking about? She said you’d been talking about something like…finding us, evidently.”

She nodded hesitantly. “I really shouldn’t say anything more. They’re kind of embarrassing.”

Gramm sighed. “Cindy, please. You have to let us go.”

“What?” She lay down on the bed, loosely encircling them with her arms. Spring tried not to draw back as his commander continued speaking.

“The mission that I was talking about is very important.”

“I can’t do that, though! You’re not mine.”

“We don’t belong to anyone,” Gramm said sternly.

“Well, noI guess notbut….” Her eartips turned red again. “We were talking about what we could do with people your size.”

Spring looked up at her, then down; from this vantage point, her blouse was almost open, and he could see her bra. She behaved as if she considered herself a social catastrophe, but from what he could see she had forgotten to inform her body of this, and it had ignorantly proceeded to become quite pretty. “What sort of things?” he said cautiously.

“You know,” she said, looking away. “…things.”

“Tell me,” he said after a moment.

Gramm cleared his throat again. “It’s not important,” he said, glaring at Spring. “I’m sure that Jennifer and Annabelle would like to keep us to play out their dreams,” he said carefully. “But we can’t stay here.”

She bit her lip.

“Oh, you’re cute,” Spring whispered, looking up.

Gramm kicked him in the shins.

“I don’t know,” Cindy said.

“I know they’ll be angry if you let us go, but I’m sure you can make them understand.”

“That’s not it,” she said, her voice rising and sounding a little desperate. Then she dropped her head to the pillow, rolling onto her stomach. “I started it.”

“Started what?” Gramm backed away from her a bit; when she shifted, she had narrowly missed lying on them.

“The conversation. I gave them the idea it’d be neat.” She raised her head and looked at them, her expression mournful. “You’re my fantasy.”

Gramm looked back at her, words failing him.

“I’ll see if I can get them to take you back to where Anna found you.” She licked her lips, seemingly unconsciously. “Tomorrow.”

Sitting down, Spring looked up at Gramm inquiringly, then up at Cindy.

“Do you have any suggestions?” Gramm whispered, glancing down at Spring.

“You said we should let them have their fun, sir,” Spring said, keeping all but a trace of sarcasm out of his voice.

Gramm leaned down, grabbing the collar of the other man’s shirt. “In case you haven’t figured it out, the kind of fun she’s talking about isn’t a friendly game of poker,” he hissed. “I don’t want to become aa

“Sex toy?” Spring supplied.

for a bunch of adolescent cat-girls!”

Spring nodded, looking back up at Cindy. If she was able to hear their conversation, she gave no sign. She had shifted her position and dropped her head to the pillow, staring moodily off into space; Spring found himself wondering what she’d look like with her glasses off and her hair let down.

As if reading his thoughts, Gramm shook him again. “Corporal, it doesn’t matter whether or not you think she’s cute. They’re all cute. And two of them have had God knows what kind of fantasies about people our size. The one whose fantasies we have heard might eat us in a non-euphemistic sense.”

Spring nodded. “I know.”

“And?”

“Sergeant, I don’t mean to be fatalistic, but we’re not in a position to do more than try and convince them not to damage us.”

After a moment, Gramm sat down on the bed by the corporal, his face starting to pale.

“Even if we escaped, where would we go? Our only chance is getting Anna to take us back to the Jeep.”

Gramm shook his head. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the small locator device that had been attached to the dashboard. “We can track them on our own.”

“You actually managed to grab it?”

“We attached it with Velcro for a reason, Spring.” He sighed. “But our chances of completing the mission without ground transportation are very small.”

“How far are we away from Allen’s group?”

Gramm frowned. “Not far at all. They’re about eleven miles northwest.” He grunted. “Or to our captors, just under a mile.”

The door to the room opened again.

All three people on the bedtiny humans and cat-girllooked up. Jenny and Anna walked back in. The dark-haired girl’s gaze lingered on the humans for a moment; then she turned around and shut the door, locking it.

“You’re all still clothed,” Anna said, giggling.

Cindy glared at her, the expression managing to be simultaneously venomous and embarrassed.

“We can fix that,” Jenny said, bounding forward.

“Uh,” Gramm said, looking up at her. “Please

“Never beg for mercy. Sir,” Spring whispered, with a perfectly neutral expression.

Gramm was able to kick him in the shins again before the spotted cat’s big hand closed around his torso, lifting him into the air.

“She’s not really going to eat my sergeant, is she?” Spring said.

“I hope not,” Anna shrugged. He didn’t register being scooped up in her palm, legs in the air, until they were already heading back toward her bed. He had a whirlwind glimpse of Jenny heading to her own bed, her hand clenched around Gramm in a way that looked quite painful; Cindy’s face, with a baffled mournful expression on it; and Anna’s shirt, seen from breast level.

Then suddenly he was sitting on a pillow. The bed shook as Anna dropped onto it; she rested her elbows to either side of the pillow and supported her face with her hands, peering down at him from what seemed ten feet above. It was uncomfortably close.

“Now what?” he said after a moment.

Anna grinned, and ran a finger very lightly down his body. “I really didn’t have anything…too naughty in mind. That was Cindy’s department.”

“Annabelle’s more of a flirt than anything else,” Jenny’s voice came from somewhere to the left. “She’ll just tease you and then go to sleep when she’s got you ready to explode. It’s what she does with most boys.”

“That’s not true,” Anna giggled.

Spring sat up and turned to face Jenny’s bed. The taller girl was standing there, her back to him, dressed only in her skirt, which she was in the process of removing. Gramm was sitting on the bed, staring up at her with a stupified expression.

Jenny finished undressing in a moment, then suddenly pounced on the bed with a growl. Spring heard Gramm scream, the first time the man had ever done that in his subordinate’s presence.

“What’s she doing?” Spring said, his mouth a bit dry.

Anna sat up, and ran a finger down him again. “I could show you,” she said, smiling mischievously.

Spring turned to face her, wide-eyed, as she reached up to the top button of her blouse.

“I’m not above begging,” he whispered. “Please don’t hurt me.”

“I wasn’t planning on it,” she giggled, shaking her head. “When Cindy brought this whole silly thing up a while ago, Jenny was pretty enthusiastic.” She continued the unbuttoning, finally reaching her waist, and pulled the blouse bottom free from the skirt. “But I didn’t know whether or not a little manone that littlewould even find us attractive.”

She shrugged off the blouse as she spoke, letting it fall on the bed beside her, and reached around to unfasten her bra. “Jenny didn’t think it’d matter, and for some things it really wouldn’t. But she likes the catchingI like the chase.” She pulled away the bra. The breasts revealed were indeed furred, but they wereperhaps unfortunatelyas impressive as Spring had imagined they would be.

“So,” she said, putting her hands to the side of the pillow and leaning over him again, “do you find me attractive?”

Spring gulped.

She smiled down at him, her expression still mischievous.

“I don’t know what to say, ma’am,” he said weakly.

“You’re afraid if you say ‘no,’ I’ll squish you?” she said, laughing softly.

“I’m just as afraid of what might happen if I say ’yes.”’

“I just want to play with you, not hurt you,” she said after a moment. “Take off your clothes.”

“What

“Take off your clothes.”

“I don’t think…” He trailed off. “I mean

Anna rolled onto her side suddenly, her face coming to rest a few feet away from him. He stumbled back, only to run into the hand she had placed behind him.

“You’re not giving me a choice in this, are you?”

“No,” she said, her smile widening.

Spring gulped again, and began to mechanically undress, acutely aware of the giantess’ eyes on him as he did so. He stopped when he was only in his underwear, and looked up at her. “Is this far enough?”

She grinned, and reached a finger over to run it down his chest, the clawtip slightly extended. He shivered. “All right,” she said at length.

He breathed a silent sigh of relief.

“We’ll play a game.”

Spring blinked.

“If I can get you to remove those voluntarily, I win. If you keep them onor I get frustrated and remove them from you by force” She grinned. “You win.”

“Uh…” He considered asking what would happen if he won, but suspected she hadn’t thought about anything other than the spur-of-the-moment test of wills.

The hand behind him moved forward, and her thumb gently pressed against his chest, trapping him there. Anna licked her lips and moved her head toward him; Spring tried not to wince as her face, then her muzzle, filled his field of vision.

Then she began to kiss him.

He squirmed, gasping at the feel of her lips on his bare chest, then the light touch of her tongue.

You would have to be pretty, he thought, closing his eyes. A ’50s horror movie monster holding him in its grip, playing its loathsome mandibles across his body, would be a reliefhe could just experience straightforward, good old-fashioned horrific revulsion.

She moved her head down and kissed him again, this time right above his boxers, her lower lip pressing against its waistband. The third kiss was squarely between his legs; she opened her mouth slightly and ran the tip of her tongue along the length of the erection he had been trying to pretend wasn’t there.

Then she drew back. “Don’t think about what that might have been like if you weren’t wearing those,” she whispered, tracing a clawtip down his leg.

Spring’s mind immediately started thinking just that, of course. The image of the movie monster completely abandoned him, even when Anna pulled one of his legs into her mouth up to his waist and drew it back out slowly. Her expression was far too lascivious for any monster. Or for that matter, for any girl that Spring remembered in his own high school. It occurred to him that it’d be safer for him to shut his eyes again, but Anna was aware she had his full attention now, and she wasn’t going to relinquish it.

The cat-girl rolled back further, almost onto her back, and traced her free hand down between her breasts, lazily circling both nipples with an extended clawtip. She shivered, making a not-quite moaning noise; abstractly, Spring judged it to be too melodramatic, but from his vantage point it was quite effective. Even though she had his arms gently pinned by her thumb, he had to force himself not to make the attempt to reach for his own pants.

She caught his eyes with her own again for a moment and licked her lips, very slowly, then looked down at her hand. Spring’s gaze followed, almost involuntarily, as she traced her fingers down through the fur toward the band of her skirt.

“Don’t…” he said, very quietly.

Anna leaned her head close. “Am I getting to you?” she breathed, the wind from her mouth blowing across his chest. Before he could make a response, her lips closed over one of his shoulders. He squirmed, whimpering, as she licked along his back. Her other hand unsnapped the skirt, and slid inside. Then she shuddered, her breath hissing around him.

He became more sure than ever that it would be a good idea to close his eyes, but he couldn’t. The girl was too devious to be in high school; she knew exactly what she was doing by leaving the skirt on. Instead of letting him see her actions, she was making him imagine them through her increasingly stronger shivers and moans.

Spring hadn’t realized she had moved her thumb until he became aware he had slid both his hands into his boxers. He drew them back out quickly, feeling a furious blush rise to his face.

Then he was moving quickly. He looked ahead just in time for his face to be pressed with stinging force against Anna’s right breast.

He squirmed violently, gasping for breath as her hand moved, dragging him through the warm fur, then over the bare skin of the aureole. It occurred to him that the more he struggled, the more he was playing into her game: squirming would just arouse her further, which in turn would arouse him further, too.

The logic wasn’t having any effect on the rest of him, though. He kept squirming, the pressure she exerted enough to keep him from fully catching his breath.

When Anna moved him between her breasts, on his back, Spring couldn’t help himself; he tilted his head up and looked down the length of her body. Her other arm was fully extended, the hand completely inside the skirt. In fact, the skirt was half-off; the hand was inside her delicate-looking underpants. He saw the muscles along that arm tighten momentarily, and she rolled her hips, rocking him roughly against the sides of her breasts.

Gasping, he leaned back, sinking into her luxurious fur and almost unconsciously rubbing his body through it. He rolled onto his stomach, gripped by an overwhelming desire to feel as much of the fur against him as possible.

He felt her roll again, and looked back up at her face. She was gasping, but looking at him. Suddenly her face broke out in a mischievous smile. “I win,” she panted.

Spring realized he had not only thrust his hands back in his shorts, but he had knocked them down below his hips. He gulped, starting to pull them back upbut her fingers came down on his bare buttocks and pressed, starting to roll him in time with her hips.

“Think you can keep from messing up my fur?” she said. Then she shivered, throwing her head back and moaning again; her fingers pressed down against him hard, sliding him around roughly through the thick fur against her breast, then along it until his crotch was pressed into her nipple.

He wasn’t coherent enough to give a verbal answer, but his body returned an emphatic “no” less than a minute later.

Spring was still gasping for breath when she picked him up, setting him on the pillow next to her face. She giggled softly, then rolled away from him.

It took another few minutes before he felt fully recovered. He sat up and closed his eyes. He tried to feel anger, but could only muster righteous indignation, no small part of it directed at himself for wanting to lean toward Anna and pet her cheek affectionately. As michievously dominant as she’d been, he couldn’t think of her as having been malevolent.

He wasn’t sure he’d be willing to make the same claim in defense of Jenny, though. He had thought he had heard muffled yelps from the spotted cat-girl’s bed over the last few minutes, but Anna’s “game” had been more than a little distracting. Now there were no noises; he wasn’t sure whether that was a good sign, or an ominous one.

He realized Anna was still watching him; even though her smile was still there, a bit of doubt was shadowed in her eyes. He gave in to his temptation, and reached up and stroked a hand along the bridge of her nose. She broke into a wide grin.

“I think even boys your own size are going to have more than they can handle with you,” he said softly.

Her eartips turned red in what he assumed was a blush, and the appearance of the older-than-her-years temptress completely left the young cat-girl. “I

There was a sharp rapping noise from far away; Spring didn’t recognize it as a knock on the door until after Annabelle hurriedly threw the sheets over herself, and roughly pushed him down off the pillow as the tumblers in the doorlock turned over.

“You’re all…I see,” came an adult voice simultaneously with the sound of the door being opened. “Very good.” Her voice was tinged with skepticism, as if she didn’t believe these particular girls would already be in bed unless they were up to something.

“Goodnight, Miss Walvin,” came Jenny’s voice. She sounded vaguely smug.

The lights went off, and the door shut with a solid click.

“That was close,” Anna whispered.

Spring sat up, blinking in the darkness, and reached out a hand to steady himself. He couldn’t tell where he was in relation to Anna; her body heat seemed to almost surround him.

After his eyes had adjusted slightly, he crawled up toward where he thought the pillow was, grabbing his boxers as he bumped into them. With a little effort, he struggled free of the top sheet and sat near the pillow, looking over at Anna. Her huge face was nearby, tilted toward him, eyes closed.

“Anna?” he said softly.

“Mmmm,” she rumbled.

“Do you mind if I dress?”

She yawned a little, and half-opened one eye. “Just the boxers.”

“Er. Why just

“Because that’s what I want,” she explained simply, closing her eyes.

He nodded, and pulled on his boxers, sighing. “Are you asleep?” he said after a moment.

No response.

“Anna?” he whispered. She remained silent.

He licked his lips a little, spying his real pants at the edge of the pillow, and walked over to them.

Without warning, a huge hand slapped down in front of him, the palm missing him by mere inches. He yelped, stumbling back.

Anna lifted her hand and waggled a big finger at him. Then she picked up the uniform she had covered with her hand and put it under the pillow. “I said ’no,”’ she rumbled, her tone the same as a little girl might take with a pet she was trying to train.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said meekly.

She grinned a little and closed her eyes again.

Spring waited, fidgeting, until her breathing became slow and even, then crawledagonizingly slowlyover to the side of the bed and looked down. Maybe a bit over twenty feet; not too bad, if he could manage to climb down without waking up his captor.

Of course, he could simply stay in the bed. He entertained no illusions of escaping the roomand as unsettling as the thought was, the reactions of the land’s other “giants” to them might make being held as toys quite attractive. But he was less concerned with escaping than with finding out the fate of his commanding officer.

Gripping the side of the bottom sheet, right at the edge of the mattress, Spring slid his legs over the side, then let himself drop so he was supported entirely by his arms, trying not to grunt. The sheet slipped toward him a little, but there was no movement from the sleeping girlthat he could notice, at least.

It took almost a full minute for him to work his way down to the ground. The climb was physically easy, but he had never been worried about waking up a giantess at the top of the wall before.

He hadn’t noticed the floor was carpeted until he landed on it; he had expected a hard wooden surface. The carpet was good for the muffling effecteven if the girls could not hear as well as a normal cat any more than a human had the same jungle senses that a great ape did, he didn’t want to take the risk of waking up any of them, especially Jenny. Unfortunately, it made walking difficult. It was like being in spongy, thick dry grass that stood almost a half-foot high.

He blazed an awkward path toward Jennifer’s bed, cursing silently as he slogged through the carpet. After a moment he stopped, frowning. Was that a scratching noise?

Spring looked around worriedly. The last thing he’d need to run into now would be a damn rat or something; it’d be like being attacked by a Bengal tiger.

After a moment, he realized the noise was coming from a figure his size, falling to the carpet near the head of Jenny’s bed. Wincing, Spring hurried toward Gramm. I’m going to be really, really upset if I find a half a torso there, he thought, gritting himself for the worst as he approached.

But Gramm was sitting up and blinking, quite intact. Even though he appeared dazed, he was not only whole but in uniform.

“Sergeant

“Shh!” Gramm hissed urgently. Then he looked at his subordinate, and shook his head slowly. “For God’s sake, soldier,” he whispered.

“They’re under her pillow,” Spring whispered back, kneeling to the other man’s left. “She didn’t want me to wear anything else, and I didn’t really want to put up an argument.”

Gramm frowned, then sighed, and nodded. “She was rough?”

“Not as rough as…” He shook his head. “Sir, I’m surprised you’re not in at least this, ah, state.”

“Jennifer and I came to an agreement.”

“So she didn’t…er, do anything with you?”

“That’s not what I said.”

Spring was silent for a moment. “I suppose I shouldn’t ask you if you enjoyed it, sir.”

Gramm stared at him balefully.

“Right.” Spring cleared his throat quietly. “So now what?”

“Now, we wait for morning.” He smiled wanly. “I’m sure Jennifer will serve as an adequate alarm clock.”

“I see,” Spring muttered, his tone clearly suggesting he didn’t at all. But his commander was already trying to make himself comfortable on the carpet for sleep.

Standing up, Spring paced under the bed, then sat down halfway to the other side, sighing. This was hardly going to be a comfortable experience.

Then he realized he could hear another, new noise in the room: the sound of someone crying.

He stood up and continued walking, reaching the other side of the bed and looking up. The noise was definitely coming from Cindy’s bed.

Spring sighed, kicking himself for what he already knew he was going to do, even though his logic was sternly telling him it was, absolutely, under no circumstances, what he was going to do.

Taking a deep breath, he stepped over to the bed and grabbed part of the sheet hanging down, then shimmied up it to the top of the mattress.

Cindy was lying on her stomach, head against the bigto Spring, at leastpillow, face down. The sniffling was mostly muffled, but she had her arms around the pillow, hugging it, and her breathing was labored.

Almost unwillingly, he let his gaze wander down as much of her body as he could see. The sheet covered most of her below the shoulders, but her form was outlined quite well. She did have her glasses off and her hair down, too, andfor an anthropomorphic catshe was quite pretty. No, she was just pretty, period.

He frowned. How was he going to get her attention without risking startling her? Just thinking about Anna’s warning slap made his knees a little weak.

A few more steps took him to the edge of her pillow. “Cindy?” he said, very softly.

She lifted her head, flicking both her ears, and sniffled. Spring tugged on the pillow, hard enough to make her look down at it, then over at him. Her eyes widened.

“I heard you crying,” he said very softly, taking another step forward and forcing himself to concentrate on how cute her face was, not how big it was.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I didn’t mean…” She trailed off, still sniffling but now studying his only boxer-clad form with interest.

“It’s okay.” He sat down on the pillow, about seven feetseven inches, he corrected himselfaway from her face, and looked up at her. “What’s wrong?”

She looked down at him, licking her lips very, very slightly. “You’d laugh,” she whispered.

Spring stifled a smile. Whatever his reaction might be, he most certainly wouldn’t laugh at someone her size. But he wouldn’t laugh at her even if she was smaller than he was; he realized he wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings. “You were upset that the other girls got us before you did?”

Cindy looked surprised for a half-second. Then she looked down, away from him, the tips of her ears turning bright red.

Spring walked over to her until he was next to her shoulder, then reached out and stroked her cheek.

He could feel all of her muscles stiffen a moment. Then she turned and looked at him, and he found himself a half-inch from her muzzle. He swallowed; the experience with Anna hardly made jaws that big any less intimidating.

“You don’t mind, do you?” he said softly.

“No,” she breathed voicelessly. After a moment, Spring resumed stroking her, this time along her muzzle. She closed her eyes, trembling just enough that he could feel it through the bed.

He stroked a hand along her lips, trying not to shiver. “You’re very pretty.”

She drew back a little, blushing in the same fashion Anna had.

Spring smiled at her, then moved to the edge of the sheet, petting the fur on her shoulder. “If I do anything you don’t like, let me know in some way other than killing me, okay?”

Cindy giggled softly, and nodded. He walked forward again, sliding under the fabric, and kept close to her body, stroking his hands through the fur. She was wearing only a bra and panties; the light was very dim, but the view was still enough to make Spring a little weak-kneed.

As he approached her breasts, he stroked along them, then over the bra, both hands encircling her nipple and massaging gently. He was rewarded with a faint gasp, and a sudden forward thrust of her chest, pinning him under the breast. He scrambled out and resumed his rubbing, then climbed up the breast a little to repeat the process on the other one. By now he could feel a low, rumbling purr throughout Cindy’s body.

Ducking around to the bottom of her breasts, he looked at her impressive cleavage a moment longer, then started scritching the fur there, reaching up between her breasts as well as he could. This produced another gasp, and a shiver that lifted him off his feet.

After a few moments of this, he returned to her nipples, pulling at them a little more sharply. Her chest heaved against him, and he could feel her breathing becoming more ragged with her arousal.

Taking a deep breath, he dropped back to the bed and walked down the length of her beautiful stomach, running his fingers over it and tracing them into her navel. She shivered again, nearly knocking him over.

He came to the edge of her panties, and looked down at her well-formed legs, then back up the length of the body to the sheet, watching her chest move as she breathed. He realized she was almost panting.

Doing this is very, very stupid, he thought. Just because the opportunity is there to see if you can pleasure a giantess…

Spring stepped forward, and touched a hand to her panties, then stroked. She shivered again, and slid a hand down her thigh, near him. She smelled strongly aroused, a scent similar to a human’s, somehow spicier, but just as intoxicating.

The lighting changed slightly, and he looked back toward her head. Cindy had lifted the sheet slightly, watching him with wide eyes, her mouth slightly open. He touched her again, and she bit her lip, definitely panting now.

While the argument between his logic and emotions continued a few more moments, he already knew the riskeither from her passion or her angerwasn’t an issue. At some point he had decided he wanted to make her happy.

He slid off his boxers in one motion, then wriggled into her panties feet first. As her damp fur surrounded him, he gasped too, then again as one of her shivers buffeted him.

Even though he had planned to be carefulto only rub through the fur itself, at most trace his hands along her edgeshe found himself sliding his hands into her, then a leg, rubbing everywhere he could reach, anything to make her shiver and shudder again.

When his hand touched her clitoris, she jumped, making him lose his grip and slide a little further into her. His scrambling to regain his balance only excited her further, sending her into another round of shivering more severe than any of her previous onesand this time she followed it by setting her slim hand on her panties and rubbing down against them.

“You asked for it,” he gasped to himself. Then he let out a sharp cry as her walls clenched around him. He lost his grip again, and her hand pressed him down almost completely into her.

Spring tried to scramble back up, trying to get a grip on the wet fur by his hands. The body around him responded by shuddering violently againand not stopping. Desperately, he lunged up and managed to get a good grip on her fur with both hands. He rested long enough to become more aware of his own painful arousal. Then her walls slammed together around him, and he let go, wondering if his scream was as loud as he thought it was. This time it was as if he was sliding down a waterslide. She quaked again, and again, and Spring closed his eyes, no longer fighting.

He wasn’t sure how long he stayed inside her after her climax stopped, just feeling her catch her breath. When he thought he could, he scrambled back out, then lay in her fur, wondering if he had enough strength to push past the elastic on her panties. He scrambled forward after a moment and tried. He didn’t.

Then large, slim fingers gently encircled him. In another second he found himself looking at Cindy’s face. “Thank you,” she whispered, her smile enraptured.

“You’re…welcomeeep!” he began, cut off as she began to gently lick him, all over his body. On the second pass over his front, her tongue brushed over his erection, then lingered there, lapping. Spring gasped, then began panting himself, squirming as he was held. Cindy kept up the quick, insistent lapping for a few more moments, until he shuddered, climaxing himself, then resumed her gentle licking.

After another minute she set him down on the pillow, on his back, and kissed his chest lovingly.

“You’re wonderful,” she whispered, laying her head on the pillow next to him.

“So are you, Cindy,” he said, smiling. He closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep, lulled by her great purr.

As Gramm had predicted, Jenny woke them up the next morning, pushing Anna and Cindy roughly awake, and “nudging” Gramm with her toe.

“Is it time yet?” she said, leaning over him. Spring finished putting on his boxer shorts after Cindy retrieved them for him, and walked over to look down at his commander, who looked barely awake.

“Yes,” Gramm said blearily. He pulled the locator out of his pocket and studied it. “They’re…to you, just over a mile away from here, and not moving.”

“Sir, what are you” Spring began.

“I’m doing the obvious,” Gramm snapped, rubbing his eyes. “You have the time this morning to do this, Jenny?”

“Sure. We should have the morning to ourself.”

“What are we doing?” Anna said, sitting up in bed.

She grinned ferally. “Going out to…play with little humans these ones don’t like.”

Spring looked down at his commander.

“Use the resources you have,” Gramm said curtly.

“Our ‘resources’ are giant teen cat-girls?”

Gramm leaned forward and whispered, “I don’t think the terrorists stand a chance, do you?”

Spring blinked twice rapidly, then shook his head.

This time Spring and Gramm rode on Anna’s shoulders, not in her purse. Gramm lectured the girls on what they might expect; at Jenny’s eye-rolling, he barked, “They have armament large enough to seriously hurt you, young lady, so do not be complacent just because of our tiny size.”

The ocelot blinked at the warning, and gave Gramm an unreadable look. After another moment, though, she nodded.

The encampment was exactly where the scope showed it to be; as the girls approached, the terrorists were scrambling between their three tents and the vehicle. Watching from his vantage point, his perspective more that of the cat-girls than the soldiers on the ground, Spring had an odd feeling of watching toy soldiers.

Four of them scrambled into the truck’s back while another got into the driver’s seat. The engine puttered to life. “Get to the truck before they can fire!” Gramm ordered.

Jenny growled and sprinted forward, then leapt into the air. The launcher firedand the shell shot under her paws. A split-second later, both of those paws landed squarely on the truck.

“Dammit, that hurt,” Jenny snarled, jumping off the ruined metal. Spring paled; the wreckage looked like a vehicle bombing that had sucked its victims in on themselves rather than blowing them apart.

With that single leap, the terrorists had already lost. Those who hadn’t been in the truck scattered, trying to dodge Jenny’s suddenly clasping fingers. The first two she caught went into her mouth, one after the other.

“Yuck,” Cindy said, turning away.

“Mmmff,” Jenny started to protest. Blood, shredded clothing and a few pieces Spring didn’t want to speculate on fell out of her mouth.

“That is pretty disgusting, Jenny,” Anna said, watching some of the fleeing men. “I hope you don’t want me to step on any of them.”

“As long as Jennifer keeps the gate like I said” Gramm began.

“Yes, I know,” Jenny snarled, licking her lips. “But I want to kill all of them.” She chased after several that had run off in a group, herding them together with her feet, then stomping down viciously.

“She’sahcertainly something,” Spring murmured. “What’s she like with boys her own size?”

“She beats them up, too,” Anna said simply.

Gramm snorted. “Charming.”

One of the terrorists suddenly ran toward Anna. “Get it!” Jenny cried.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” Anna said, raising her foot and bringing it down lightly on the man. He let out a panicked cry, trying to squirm away. “He’s not doing anything.”

“Chicken,” Jenny said, chasing after another group.

“I am not!” Anna said, stomping her foot down. Both Spring and Gramm winced. “Ick!” she immediately cried, looking alarmed.

Jenny giggled, and closed on the remaining group. She scooped up one terrified little human in each hand, then raised her skirt and sat down on the two left behind.

“Ick!” Anna said again, wiping her foot off on grass. “Oh, eeew! How can you stand that?”

“It feels kinda neat,” Jenny said, holding her two captives in front of her. “Oh, look, that one has a gun! Come on, shoot me.”

The man with the gun was already doing so; Jenny flinched several times as the bullets struck her. Then the little pops became empty clicks.

“My turn,” she said, grinning evilly. She closed her hand. The little legs sticking out squirmed, then kicked frantically, then went limp. Jenny tossed the remains over her shoulder, and turned to the sole survivor, who was crying audibly.

“You could just let one go,” Cindy said, her tone clearly disapproving.

“But I wanted to swallow one whole,” Jenny said, sounding as if she thought that was perfectly reasonable.

“You can’t do that,” Anna said. “They’re too big.”

“I bet I can.” Jenny stripped the man with her claws, ignoring the wounds she made in the process, and stuffed him headfirst into her mouth.

Spring and Gramm watched, unable to look away from the almost surreal death scene. Jenny threw her head back, the legs sticking out of her mouth still kicking frantically, and sucked. The legs disappeared except for the feet. She swallowed, and those disappeared, too. Jenny made a harsh gagging noise, then swallowed again, and again, her throat working visibly. It seemed to expand for a moment, but Spring suspectedhopedit was just his morbid imagination.

After a moment, she grinned, panting a little. “Told you. I could feel him squirm on the way down.”

She walked back over to Anna, and smiled at Gramm. This time he flinched visibly. “All right. Now we’ll take you back to your Jeep.”

Cindy bit her lip, but followed the group as they trudged back the way they’d come. “Now you can just open your gate thing?”

Spring nodded to her. “We set up a return reflectorsomething connected to the main gate back home, in a sense.”

The two humans worked as quickly as they could when they were set down, conscious of being in a circle of seated giantesses watching their every move. After just a few minutes, they’d constructed ita metal strip in the grass, a bit wider than the Jeep itself, connected to a large box. Both the box and the strip were considered disposable, the dimension-hopping equivalent of space junk.

“It’s done,” Gramm announced, flipping two switches on the box. The box started to hum. “Start up the Jeep.”

Spring nodded, then waved to the girls. “Thank you for all your help.” He smiled at Cindy, started to say something, then stopped, just smiling more broadly. She smiled back bashfully, her ears turning a little red.

“Will we see you again?” Cindy said as Spring started the Jeep and turned it to face the bar.

“I’m afraid that’s very unlikely. Get back, girls, please,” Gramm said, pressing a button on the box. The metal bar suddenly glowed electric blue, sparks arcing off it. All three cats took a step backward, although Jenny leaned forward again, studying the shimmering bar intently.

“Okay, it’s set.” Spring drove forward, and Gramm climbed on board as it passed by.

“If I can get back, I will,” Spring said, looking back at Cindy. Her expression brightened behind her glasses.

Spring gunned the engine. As the Jeep passed over the bar, it shimmered as well, and disappeared in a bright flash.

“Ack.” Anna shook her head, blinking. Jenny frowned, and slowly moved her hand over the bar, close to ground level. Her fingers disappeared as they went over the gate.

“Be careful! When that closes it might cut off your hand or something,” Cindy said.

Jenny slowly lifted her hand straight up; it continued to be invisible past her wrist, electricity sparking off the vanishing point, until she’d lifted it nearly to her shoulder level. Then abruptly her hand came back into view.

“Huh.”

The box’s hum had grown weaker. All three girls crouched around it again; after another few seconds, the light faded, and it went silent.

Jenny picked the device up. “I wonder if it self-destructs, or if it’s just got a one-use battery.” She slid it into her pocket and stood up.

“What do you think you can do with that?” Anna said. She and Cindy rose to their feet, too, and they started walking back to the school.

“I don’t know.” Jenny bounced slightly as she walked, grinning her feral smile again. “But the one I played with talked an awful lot about it. I didn’t understand all of it, but I understood a lot more than he thinks.”

“Since you probably neglected to mention you’re an honors science student,” Cindy said dryly.

“You don’t think you can get it working for us, do you?” Anna said.

Jenny shrugged. “Sure. I might be able to figure out how to keep sizes consistent…or change them even more. We might be able to come out over there like we’re five hundred feet tall!”

“Don’t be silly,” Cindy said. “What would we do then?”

“Anything,” Jenny said, tone serious. “Anything at all.”

Anna grinned. “Well, summer vacation’s coming up. How about we spend a few days on their world?”

Cindy stared at her, then laughed in spite of herself. “I wonder what Stephen would think about me visiting him…”

May 2001