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The door to the Fiestavilla silently swung closed behind the group, muting the sounds of the firecrackers, which were already beginning to fizzle out. The din had only reached the inside of the mall for a brief moment, and Sarah breathed a stifled sigh of relief that nothing nearby seemed to have been unintentionally alerted by it. The grotesque view that now greeted her eyes made it seem like that stroke of good fortune had used up all their remaining luck.

It almost appeared as if they had fallen back inside the underground hive, a shock that caused Sarah to involuntarily tremble as the memories flashed before her eyes, though she wasn’t sure whether her shaking was in fear or some other uncontrollable emotion boiling up within her. The rest of the group also stood with mouths agape, save for Priya and Cutter who scowled but didn’t seem particularly surprised by the slimy, meaty growths that almost completely covered the walls, floor, and even ceiling of the hallways stretching out in front of them. Where there was a Krinis nest, so too would there be hundreds of naked humans trapped and bred within - and this was no different.

A sickly sweet scent filled the air, and unknown fluids dripped and splattered all around, sounding almost like a relaxing rain that mingled with the noises of fleshy, rhythmic slapping, gurgled cries of pleasure, and the slimy slithering of countless tentacles. Some of the liquid trickling from above splashed onto Sarah’s shoulder, prompting her to look up for the source, hoping it wasn’t the mind-altering nectar of an insidious tendril creeping closer from within the darkness.

What she saw instead was much more horrifying. The ceiling was lined with the exposed, swaying asses of several dozen people of various sizes and races, who must have been positioned with their arms and legs both above their heads so that only their pelvises were sticking out from the fleshy tentacle mesh. Each one had a girthy tendril emerging from their anus, some of which opened up at the ends like mouths and were messily suckling on the twitching cocks of their male neighbors or plunging into the gushing cunts of nearby women.

On the walls next to them, Sarah could see numerous fleshy spheres peeking out from within the slimy, resinous ichor. She initially mistook them as nectar-filled pods, but as her eyes adjusted to the dim lighting, she realized they were all the bloated, pregnant bellies of women who were trapped within the crystalline alien gunk. Sarah blinked in surprise and disgust, wiping the gross fluid from her shoulder and looking away to survey the other obstacles that were quickly becoming more apparent. The thought of how desensitized she had become to such horrid sights only lingered in her mind for a moment.

What had once been spacious halls for hundreds of shoppers to flow through were now suffocated with dozens of huge, squirming masses of tentacles that were wrapped around large, transparent sacs filled with sloshing white fluid. The nature of this liquid wasn’t hard to discern, as each tentacle sac was plastered with the twitching nude bodies of men and women who were partially absorbed face-first into the writhing surface like seeds on a fleshy strawberry.

The men’s unnaturally large cocks and the women’s plump, sagging breasts could be seen poking into the interior of the sac. While tentacles on the exterior stuffed the captives’ gushing holes and teased their sensitive clits and balls with devilish feelers, tendrils within the sac danced and twined about, mixing with the many dicks and tits to slosh them around each other in the warm liquid while the incessant tentacles squeeze them of their juices to fill the sac even more with the slurry of milk and cum. Though their faces were buried in the tentacle mass, each person’s muffled screams and moans of desperate pleasure could still be heard, forced to endure the intense stimulation as their erogenous zones were entwined in the viscous fluid and slime.

Each of these large pods had a thick, semi-transparent tentacle that emerged from the top and connected to the network of tendrils webbing around the ceiling. Looking inside the tentacle, it was clear that it was sucking up the collected fluid and transporting it deeper into the nest. However, not all of it was sent away.

Smaller tendrils branched off of the main one and snaked back around to the exposed asses of the captives where they filled each quivering pussy and anus with copious amounts of the grotesque soup until each gaping hole was overflowing. Judging by the way the tentacles around each of the humans’ heads pulsated now and then, it seemed likely that they were being force-fed the very same liquid diet.

Sarah grimaced at the thought, though it also made her painfully aware of the dizzying pain emanating from her empty, cramping stomach. She let her glazed eyes wander from the lewd scene and onto the large bags of food held by Priya and Cutter. For the briefest of moments, the chaotic thought of pushing them into the tentacle swarm and snatching the food away crossed her mind, but she shook her head to clear the haze. There was no way she would stoop so low… was there?

Priya noticed Sarah eyeing the bags she was carrying, and she protectively shifted them away from Sarah’s drooling mouth as she crept past her, following Cutter’s lead through the pulsating muck.

Cutter appeared familiar with the layout of the mall, so he took point and guided the rest of the group behind him with simplified hand gestures that had obvious meanings for the benefit of those who hadn’t trained with him and Priya. Most, if not all, of the other potential exits from the mall were already covered in tentacled growths, but Cutter didn’t seem too worried.

He directed their attention to a barely visible glass display sticking out from under a pile of creeping tendrils, which showed a directory and map of the mall. He gestured towards the Macy’s at the other end of the section they were in, pointing at one of the walls there that had several doors leading out to the parking lot. If they were going to find an alternate way out of here, this was likely their best hope, as no other stores had as many potential exits.

Even without Cutter’s leadership, Sarah and the rest had a pretty good sense of what needed to be done as they continued to carefully move down the hall. They all stayed as quiet as possible, making sure to only place their feet on the few remaining surfaces that weren’t covered in tendrils. Though they had been trapped in the hive for months, the stealthy maneuvers they had practiced while living in the mansion together were already coming back to them.

Even with their experience, however, what should have been an easy stroll down the straight hallway turned out to be a much more labyrinthine adventure. Even the simple act of crossing to the other side of the hall often became an arduous task as clear areas for footing became more and more scarce. Once, to navigate past one of the big fluid pods, they had to zigzag all around it, using benches, fake potted trees, and trash cans to keep off of the fleshy ground like an adult version of “The Ground is Lava”.

Zoey made the mistake of glancing over at one of the nearby milking pods as they passed, awkwardly finding herself face-to-pussy with one of the women who were trapped in its writhing sides. She had to clasp a hand to her mouth to prevent herself from loudly gagging when she witnessed a newly born tentacle worming its way out of the woman’s twitching and dripping cunt before sliding up into her anus.

A few moments later, a soft plopping sound was heard from the milk and semen mixture within, indicating that the infantile creature had worked its way up through the heaving woman’s body and fallen into the warm, nutritious soup within the pod. The cycle began anew as the woman’s holes were both once again stuffed full of warty tentacles that mercilessly pistoned in and out, pumping her helpless body full of the putrid slime within the collection sac.

Other lewd displays also threatened to distract the group from their escape. Steven had to be practically pulled past a Victoria’s Secret that was filled with the nubile bodies of young women writhing in ecstasy as thick tentacles worked in and out of their holes, sliding over every inch of their glistening bodies as they forced the girls into a helpless, moaning orgy.

In the very back where the dressing rooms were, some of the women had been wearing such scanty underwear at their time of capture that the tendrils didn’t seem to have wasted the energy removing them, opting to fuck their tight pussies and milk their supple tits right past the erotic garments that did little to offer any protection.

They passed by an electronics store, where several naked captives were bound within and being played with by a combination of tentacles and other humans. A young man and woman were both suspended from the ceiling and facing the cum-covered floor. They both had the same ginger hair, pale skin, and freckles, giving the impression that they were likely brother and sister. They could do little more than look at each other with lust-filled eyes as they both endured their separate tortures.

The brother’s impressive genitals hung low between his legs. His balls and shaft were both dipped into a small tentacle-lined basin filled to the bring with a glistening, slippery slurry of orangeish nectar and his own semen. Small worm-like tentacles could be seen thrashing about in the disgusting warm soup, wildly squirming all around the man’s sensitive genitals in a stimulating dance.

He shuddered, causing his dick to twitch upwards, the nectar-coated tip of it cresting the frothy pool and spurting a fresh warm load of jizz into the mixture before the little worms reached up from the pool to ensnare his rod and yank it back down into the roiling mess. All the while, his asshole was being gaped by thin tendrils that explored his sensitive insides, pressing and vibrating against his helplessly abused prostate.

After a short while, a larger tentacle emerged from the basin, visibly filled with ping pong ball sized gelatinous spheres, which quickly stuffed into his quivering hole like living anal beads before beginning to pump his spread ass full of alien eggs. He moaned weakly, drool dripping from his panting mouth, unable to do anything but spread his trembling legs and submit completely to the humiliating torture.

Only a couple feet away from him, his sister was also receiving intense stimulation of her own. Her supple, freckled breasts hung freely down as tentacles latched onto her tender peaks and milked her stiff pink nipples with mouths lined with thousands of little vibrating feelers. Her legs were spread wide apart, and she was being held at a height that was perfect to allow another woman, who was standing unbound behind her, to use her own voluptuous tits to sandwich the captive woman’s enlarged clit that was swaying below her hips like a man’s engorged dick. The standing woman, likely a thrall given the small worm poking out of her ear, was eagerly slurping at the hanging girl’s wet pussy lips while tit-fucking her throbbing clit-dick. Both women gutturally moaned in deep satisfaction.

In the next aisle over, three more captive humans came into view, their appearances suggesting that they were the older brother, and middle-aged father and mother of the previous two siblings. Both men were strapped by tentacles to opposite sides of the aisle, the shelves of which had been pushed so as to press both of their bodies together just enough to allow their cocks to touch, the father’s only slightly longer and thicker than his son’s. Thin feelers were wrapped around the bases of both their plump testicles, pulling them taut to keep them in place.

The mother was being held aloft between them, her legs tied up next to her sides in an “M” shape while the tendrils holding her forced her to bounce up and down on both the men’s shafts, her swollen pussy lips spreading wide around her son’s thick girth while her once-tight anus hungrily squeezed her husband’s turgid meat. Each motion caused her to gasp and grunt from the intense double penetration as her red hair clung to her sweating face and her full, gently sagging boobs madly jostled up and down in her son’s face.

Her eyes were rolled back into her head, unaware of the looks her husband and son were giving her, which were a combination of horror, self-disgust, and lust. The pool of cum dribbling out from her well-worn ass and pussy suggested they had been at this for a while, or at least that she had been passed around to several other nearby bound men as well, who watched the display with dazed expressions as their glistening, untouched erections softly twitched.

Cutter directed the group to be extra careful as they sneaked past the doomed family, making sure to remain out of sight in case the thrall looked in their direction and acted as eyes for the blind tentacles. Luckily, she seemed more focused on her helpless playmate’s crotch than her surroundings. Cutter and Priya both eyed the thrall with disgust, otherwise seemed minimally concerned with the lewd displays surrounding them, focusing instead on the path ahead.

Finally, after nearly an hour of delicately navigating through the maze of tentacles and bodies, they all came to the top of a set of dead escalators, which led down into a wide atrium completely covered with orange ichor that connected to the Macy’s entrance. Sarah heard Cutter quietly groan in frustration as they surveyed the atrium. This was the first sound he had made since entering the mall, but it was no surprise that the sight before them might fill him with despair. Looking down, they could clearly see the large, open doors leading into Macy’s. However, it, and the rest of the atrium, were partially submerged in several feet of viscous, white fluid – all likely collected from the bodies of the men and women hanging from the ceiling above.

Each captive was hanging down from a teardrop-shaped growth, their arms and legs trapped within the fleshy mound as their backs were curved up against it, but with the rest of their naked bodies on full display. Small feelers worked their way into ears and noses, while thicker tendrils filled their mouths to supply liquid nutrients to them. All the while, their gushing holes were being pumped full of nectar by ribbed tentacles while their hanging, engorged cocks and tits were the targets of dozens of larger worms that sprang up from the sloshing pond of cum and milk to suckle on the helpless flesh with eerily human-like mouths.

Every so often, a man would clench his ass, or a woman her cunt, and more tiny tentacles would spill out of them and down into the thick, pungent pool where they would join the others in slurping on the hanging, swaying, and twitching erogenous zones. The humans were nothing more than breeding stock – nurseries that rained down bodily fluids for the young Krinis offspring to feast upon, though they didn’t seem to be consuming it fast enough, as the chamber was slowly but surely filling with the creamy liquid, trapped within the atrium due to the thick walls of tentacles and resin that sealed off the rest of the adjacent doors and halls.

“How are we going to get past this?” Priya moaned, seemingly confident that the echoing screams and moans of pleasure from the captives would mask her whispering. “Even if we could trudge through all that shit without making a sound, we’d still risk getting the aphrodisiac on us. These outfits aren’t completely waterproof, after all. We should turn back and find another option. Maybe the party store is clear now?”

Cutter bit his lip angrily while he mulled it over. “It’s risky going all the way back,” he grunted. “What if the Harvesters entered behind us? We’d be fucked if they found us in this environment.” He sighed before gently easing the bags of food to the ground in order to rest his shoulders for a moment. “To be frank, it’s like I can feel our luck being sucked out of us every moment we idle here. I just have a feeling if we go back, we’ll end up getting other things sucked out of us too.”

Priya scoffed at his wordplay as she crouched down next to him. “Well what the fuck are we going to do, then? Use these cunts as a distraction?” She nodded her head towards Sarah and the others.

“I do not believe that our vaginas will be ample bait for all the Kr…eatures here,” A’luhr replied in a tone that was both soft and authoritative. “In fact, the males in our party lack them altogether.” Cutter and Priya stared at her like she was crazy. “I propose a different strategy.”

“Oh?” Cutter snorted. “And what do you suggest? Getting their attention by saying crazy shit while the rest of us sneak by? Your sacrifice won’t be forgotten.” His sarcastic tone was lost on A’luhr, who simply kept her masked gaze on the monsters splashing around in the atrium.

“That would likely only give everyone here a window of eight seconds or so to escape – hardly effective. No, we can use one of these to momentarily stun the young tentacles in this pool as we swiftly move through the liquid and into Macy’s store.” She pulled her single, silver impulse detonator grenade from her hip and brandished it in front of her. “I was unsure if these would hold off the evolved forms we encountered earlier, but they should provide several minutes of protection in this localized area. If we are fast, we can minimize contact with the nectar and its unwanted effects.”

“Wha –” Priya began, pinching her brows together in annoyance and forcing herself to take deep breaths to stop herself from shouting too loudly. “What are you planning to do with that toy? Even if it were a real grenade, you do know that these things can regenerate like crazy, right?”

“I think she’s on to something,” Adam carefully remarked. “It’s a bit hard to explain, but we’ve found these, er, ‘toys’ to be really good at dealing with the Krinis.”


“Oh, uh, it’s what we call the ‘Harvesters’. Old habits.”

“That’s a stupid name.” Priya snorted. Adam shrugged.

“Let me see it,” Cutter demanded, reaching his hand out to take the shiny sphere from A’luhr, who snatched it away.

“It is not wise to touch these if not properly trained, or else you may set it off by mistake and waste valuable resources,” A’luhr hissed angrily.

“You’ve got some balls to defy me, woman,” Cutter growled. He grabbed her wrist to wrench her arm back towards him, but his eyes widened slightly in surprise as, though his muscles tensed, he could not move her seemingly slim arm an inch.

“Clearly your understanding of the situation is as lacking as your understanding of basic anatomy,” A’luhr retorted with a scoff. “The only ‘ball’ I have is this, and you would do well to unhand me unless you wish to lose yours.”

“How dare –!?” Priya spat before getting cut off by Cutter who raised his hand to her.

“Listen to her voice, Priya,” he replied, his own voice trembling slightly either with nerves or awe. “Not a shred of hesitation. I recognize false confidence when I hear it, and this ain’t it. She knows something we don’t. So let’s let her do this thing of hers and see if we can get something out of it. If not, well, we’ll go with your idea of making a distraction.” He let go of A’luhr, but positioned his hand close to his holstered gun while eyeing A’luhr warily. Priya angrily muttered under her breath but made no moves to disobey Cutter’s commands, continuing to glare at A’luhr with open contempt.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Sarah cautiously asked A’luhr. “I don’t doubt the efficacy of your tools… but what about the big pool of nectar down there? Will these suits protect us from the aphrodisiac?”

A’luhr smirked. “Of course; what do you take my gear for? Just as long as you do not get the nectar directly on the skin of your face, the most immediate effects should be mitigated, with only the scent being cause for worry. But we will be swift.” She gestured towards Cutter and Priya, who were now standing up and shouldering their satchels again in preparation to move. “I do not know about their outfits, especially when being slowed by heavy luggage like that, but they do not seem too concerned.”

“As long as we are only down there for a minute, we should be fine,” Cutter responded. “We’ve built up a small tolerance to this stuff after being exposed to small doses so many times; though if they use that new gas from earlier, well, we’re shit out of luck. We’ll just have to see how long we can hold our breaths…”

He looked around the group and realized from their expressions that their morale had been slightly damaged from his words, with Sarah doing her best to secretly test how long she could hold her breath for, just in case. It wasn’t particularly long. Cutter cleared his throat slightly before looking down at the mire that awaited them. “Just do whatever you’re going to do, quickly.” A’luhr nodded and moved to the top of the escalator’s jagged steps that like the teeth of a slumbering monster waiting to swallow them up into the darkness below.

“On my signal, we all go as one down into the chamber below,” she instructed. “Hold hands so that a person tripping on the likely uneven floor will not be lost. We will move with careful but quick motions as I guide the chain from the front. We will have approximately three minutes, assuming that all the tentacles below are as young as I suspect. Understood?” Everyone nodded. Cutter shrugged and moved behind A’luhr, firmly grasping her wrist.

“I’ll be right behind you,” he said in a voice that was more threatening than reassuring. A’luhr simply nodded. Sarah took a mental note to practice her own stoicism when she had the time. One by one, they each grabbed each other’s hands, with Priya opting to be last so as to keep an eye on the rest of the group.

Satisfied that everyone was in place at the top of the escalator, A’luhr took a breath and then squeezed the side of the impulse detonator before hurling it as far as she could down into the atrium, which proved to be quite far. It flew through the air past the hanging captives, suddenly bursting to life right in the middle of the pool. Though the group only heard a tiny whining sound reverberating off the glistening walls, the Krinis in the atrium began to squirm and writhe in agony, letting go and falling from the hanging cocks and tits before flailing noisily in the deep liquid as if trying desperately to hide themselves from the noise. The surface of the pool vibrated with the combined ripples of the panicking creatures and the ceaseless waves of sound.

“How on – ?” Cutter gaped in surprise for a moment before A’luhr yanked him down the escalator with her, and him pulling the rest of the party in tow. They splashed into the uncomfortably warm pool of jizz, milk, and nectar, feeling the sticky, viscous pressure of the fluid hugging against their sleek leggings before even reaching the bottom of the escalator. By the time they were on the ground level, the disgusting slurry was up to Sarah’s naval.

As they sloshed through the cum pond, feeling their feet around lumpy masses hidden beneath the creamy surface, Sarah tried her best to keep her thighs pressed together just in case any errant, sperm-filled liquid attempted to seep into her submerged pussy. Though the suit she wore did indeed seem to repel the fluid, she still worried about what might happen if it were to get torn.

It was only after trudging halfway through the slurry that the group was able to see several naked humans partially trapped within the spunk soup, their bodies caked in slime as they were forced to bathe in the aphrodisiac. Though the grenade was keeping the tentacles at bay for now, it was clear that these poor souls had until recently been getting brutally fucked from below, as air bubbles blossomed on the cloudy surface around where their genitals might be. The limp captives regarded A’luhr and the rest with lightless eyes, only twitching slightly when they passed by.

Though the trashing tentacles would sometimes brush up against one of their legs, they didn’t seem to recognize the group as prey, focusing instead on escaping deeper into the muck. The biggest danger was the droplets of nectar that would splash up at their faces when a particularly large worm would plunge into the fluid next to them, but they managed to make it all the way to the entrance of the Macy’s without being grabbed.

A’luhr nearly tripped over the small flight of stairs leading up to a seating area outside of the store’s doorway. Fortunately, it gave them just enough elevation to step almost entirely out of the sticky liquid, noticing that only an inch or two had started to pool on the floor here. Just as Priya emerged from the gunk and began to shake it off of her pants in disgust, the trashing of the tentacles suddenly stopped. Either the grenade had finally died or it had sunk into the thick soup, but either way, it was time for them to get out of there.

Looking back, they could see some of the tentacles rising up and poking around the darkness in confusion, testing to see if the danger remained. When all seemed to be in order, they resumed their passionate sucking and fucking of the captives, who simply let out gasps of surprise and ecstasy as their slippery masters began playing with their helpless, naked bodies once again.

Sarah thought she heard one woman’s voice desperately moan, “God, please… no more… noooo!” Before her words melted into the lewd panting and squealing of a mind-melting orgasm. Sarah briefly considered what would happen if she stormed back there, vibrator wands and sparklers blazing, in order to save the more lucid captives, but she knew that such heroics would be entirely in vain in the face of so many hungry and horny tentacles. She let out a depressed sigh and joined the others who were scoping out the inside of the Macy’s.

Though they were tired and surrounded by hazards, they didn’t have much time left before the overwhelming, sweet scent of the nectar would become too much to bear. Sarah could already feel her head start to swim as she became more and more aware of her party members’ crotches, and the sleek fabric tantalizingly rubbing up against her own. Though they had tried their best, it had been impossible to entirely prevent the liquid from touching their faces, and it was clear that at least some of them were starting to feel the effects of the aphrodisiac, given how the tight suits Sarah’s party wore left little to the imagination as to what body parts might currently be stiffening.

It wasn’t obvious if Cutter and Priya were struggling at all, but given how they were busy checking the integrity of their food satchels they still had their wits about them. A’luhr was also acting quite unaffected, and was quickly scanning the interior of the spacious store for any immediate signs of danger.

No doubt A’luhr’s helmet had completely stopped the fluid from reaching her blue skin. Sarah cursed at herself for turning down the offer to wear one herself when given the chance as they were suiting up earlier. She had expected it to just be a hindrance, but now it seemed like an absolutely vital piece of equipment. She suspected that the others were lamenting the same thing, as they did their best to use their gloved hands to wipe away any of the devious liquid that had splashed too far up their bodies.

The inside of the Macy’s was dimly lit from the sunlight filtering in through the tall glass walls on the opposite end of the store where the exits were. The unnerving shapes of mannequins draped in strands of slime and tendrils stood out among the floors that were once polished tiles but were not covered in disgusting, meaty mounds and thick, vein-like tentacles that stretched out over the remains of the perfume section like roots made of flesh. No longer was the air filled with mixed floral scents, but instead the thick musk of sex and the sweet, wafting odor of nectar.

Cutter slid up next to where A’luhr was crouched in the doorway. He took a moment to survey their surroundings as well before gruffly whispering to her.

“I don’t know what the hell you did back there, but I can’t argue with the results,” he said. “When we’re out of here, you’re going to explain to me what the fuck that was, but for now, welcome to the team.” He gave her a curt nod as Priya squatted down next to him.

“Cutter!” Priya quietly spat. “What the fuck are you talking about!? You trust these freaks!? Did you not see what she did? Who the fuck are they!? They’re obviously hiding something!”

“Of course I saw what she did. That’s why I’m thinking it’s smarter to ally with them for now. They’ve proven their merit, so I say they work with us. We can all play some fun ice-breaker games once we’re out of this shithole!”

“But –” Priya began to protest.

“I don’t wanna hear it!” Cutter growled. “When we’re out in the field, my word is final. That’s what you agreed to when I let you join us. So suck it up or go find your own exit. I can’t explain it either, but I don’t need to understand something to know that it’s saving our asses. We’ll get answers out of them, but not now.” Priya looked like she was about to say something, but paused, looked around at the rest of the group who were all eyeing her, then shrugged.

“Whatever you say, boss-man,” she sighed sarcastically. But if things do start to fall apart, you can bet that you’ll be kissing my ass as it leaves you behind with your new friends.” She clicked her tongue in annoyance, moving to the side of the doorway with her arms crossed as she, too, began to analyze the interior of the Macys.

It was clear from the sounds of choked gurgles, lustful groans, and wet smacking from further within that there were more Krinis creeping around the abandoned racks and shelves. Sarah gulped in anticipation of what new lewd sights they might be greeted with should they decide to venture deeper.

“Light is still coming in from over there,” Cutter observed, pointing towards the back of the store where the exterior wall was. “That likely means the glass wall isn’t completely covered yet, and with luck, the doors will be exposed as well.”

“It’s worth a shot,” Sarah agreed, biting her lip nervously.

“Better than going back into that grossness, that’s for sure,” Zoey replied with a groan, still sloughing off big globs of the nasty gunk that clung to her lean body.

“Hey, does Macy’s stock any snacks?” Steven moaned, clutching his stomach. “I know now’s not a great time, but I’m seriously starting to see spots here. I’m worried I’m gonna tip over into some tentacles as I pass out from starvation.” He longingly eyed the sacks of food on Cutter and Priya’s shoulders.

“Don’t even think about it,” Priya spat, roughly pushing past Steven and through the entranceway.

“We’ll figure something out once we’re safe,” Sarah assured him.

“Will we ever be ‘safe’ again?” Steven sighed, rubbing his shoulder where Priya shoved him. “I’m starting to think things were better down there in the hive. At least there we got food and tons of sex.”

“Steven!” Zoey gasped, a look of disbelief on her face. She looked like she was about to slap him.

“It was a joke!” Steven put his hands up in self-defense.

“Quiet down,” A’luhr admonished them. “I agree that our escape is most pressing, but if you spot sources of sustenance that are easy and safe to procure, alert the rest of us so we may evaluate that option. Now, let us proceed.” The rest of the group nodded in agreement and moved into the Macy’s behind Cutter and Priya, who had already moved up and were keeping low behind the glass display cases as they carefully shuffled past the inert tentacles lining the floor.

They all slowly and silently made their way down any of the few aisles that were devoid of tentacle webbing and slimy pulsating masses. To Sarah’s surprise, there didn’t seem to be many human captives in the store. The tentacles extending from the walls and ceilings idly swayed in the darkness instead, eager to fill any nearby wet holes, but there were none. Sarah planned to keep it that way.

Amazingly, it seemed like they would be getting out of there without any troubles at all. There were lustful screams and passionate moans echoing all around the wide floor, but not a single scene of anyone being fucked silly. Wherever the debauchery was happening, it was not where they were, which was fine by Sarah.

As they turned the corner around a gunked-up shelf, Sarah squinted from the rays of the setting sun shining directly into her weary eyes through the clear entrance door that beckoned to her like the gates of heaven.

Captivated by the sight, she moved to take a step forward, when suddenly a firm hand gripped her shoulder and pulled her back, catching her before she could stumble to the floor.

“What are you doing!?” Adam whispered incredulously into her ear in a voice so quiet she could barely hear him. Her heart pounded in surprise, but even in her shocked state, the sound and feeling of his breath against her neck gave her chills and snapped her out of her daze. “Do you not see them?” He gestured over towards the center of the store just past the next aisle that the rest of their hunkered group was eyeing warily.

Had Sarah taken a few more hopeful steps, she would have been right out in the open among the source of the lewd sounds and voices that were now almost deafeningly. What greeted their eyes was a huge orgy of thralls who were occupied by other fucking each other or various captives trapped in the walls around them. Some were simply with a single partner, while others were practically dog piled in a heap of sweating, horny limbs and flesh. It was obvious now why the rest of the store was bereft of human cattle – they were all dragged here to be playthings.

“Playthings” seemed to describe the state of some of the captives quite literally. In the center of the chaos was a circle of small tentacle masses that were raised up from the floor like upside down teardrops. Embedded in each bulbous tip was a naked man or woman, their limbs tightly swallowed up in the tangle of tendrils while their glistening nude bodies were on full display. Trapped as they were, they were helpless to stop the molestations of the various thralls that delighted in freely using their bodies to satiate their obscene desires.

The bases of the tentacle structures were formed with seemingly elastic tendrils, which allowed for the trapped women to rock back and forth as if on a spring. It reminded Sarah of the springy horse rides she would play on at playgrounds as a child, only these were clearly meant for adults instead.

Several ensnared women were sticking out of the tops of the tentacle bulbs in a doggy-style position, their limbs swallowed up in the tendrils while well-endowed, husky men firmly gripped their soft waists to rapidly glide the women’s juicy cunts back and forth onto their massive, throbbing erections. Each thrust was met with a loud, satisfying smacking sound from the women’s fat ass cheeks rippling.

Not all the captured women were in this position. Others were trapped on their backs in a crab walk position. Their swollen tits slapped back and forth while their pussies were relentlessly stuffed with thrall cock. Several of the women had female thralls standing above their faces, forcing the captives to lick their dripping slits as their faces bounced back and forth from the springing motion. The female thralls moaned in revelry as they filled their slender hands with the trapped women’s plump breast, gripping them like handles on a ride.

Whenever a male thrall filled a captive woman with his hot seed, he’d grunt, pull out, and switch places with another man in line, who would ram his turgid meat deep into the woman’s gaping hole before the previous man’s semen could completely gush out, resulting in their pussies being constantly filled to the brim by sticky spunk while their faces dripped with the flowing juices of the female thralls grinding their mouths and noses in ecstasy.

All of the trapped men were displayed in a similar fashion, their backs bent back by the curve of the tentacle mass, limbs restrained, and girthy penises sticking straight up into the air, ready for use.

Most of the captive men had female – and some male – thralls riding their erect shafts and bouncing up and down as if on a mechanical bull ride. Their tender balls jostled up and down as the springy base of the tentacle bulb bent and bobbed with the motions of the drooling rider. While a majority of the trapped men were moaning and gasping from the intense usage of their helplessly exposed cocks, some had no riders, and were instead being treated to a tongue bath as numerous thralls of both sexes licked, sucked, stroked, and fondled their twitching shafts and sacks while wildly fingering their loosened ass holes.

The mouths of the captives weren’t sitting idly by either, as each whimpering, helpless man saw his lips swallowing a huge, veiny cock or lapping at the moist lips of a swollen cunt. Every so often, the trapped men would shudder, weakly buck their restrained hips, and begin showering the thralls around them with a fountain of thick cum, which they eagerly licked off the men’s bare abdomens, the floor, or even each other.

“How’s his big, juicy cock taste, girls?” One woman riding a captive man’s cum-soaked face called down to the other female thralls who were busy tending to the man’s madly twitching, turgid length and slippery sack lubed with saliva. They all giggled in an unnerving manner while continuing to kiss and lick his helpless genitals. One of them popper her mouth off of one of his balls just long enough to reply with a coy grin.

“He’s being such a good boy – and the way he’s serving your beautiful clit so obediently makes me think he’ll soon be one of our brothers.” Her grin widened as she lifted up one of her palms to reveal a small worm with an anemone-like mouth that slithered around her fingers. The man, for his part, didn’t react at all, as he was too busy gulping down the dominant female thrall’s squirting juices while dutifully licking and suckling her pink lips and swollen little bud.

“Fuckin’ worms…” Sarah heard Priya hiss under her breath at the sight of the strange creature in the woman’s hand. Sarah shuddered thinking about that grotesque thing crawling into her head, and lamented in remembering that this must have been the fate of Diana, along with all the other thralls she had met.

Looking around the room even further, it was apparent that not all the human livestock were placed in the numerous springy tentacle bulbs that were the center of the orgy’s attention. On occasion, a totally spent captive man or woman with their worn bodies twitching and leaking cum for every bubbling, abused hole, would be removed from their bulb and dragged over to a large wall of tentacles that covered the escalators in the center of the store. The surface was lined with dozens of women who were partially wrapped in the tendrils with only their heads and torsos exposed.

Each bound woman had a nude man’s pelvis sticking out of the wall above her head, with the man mindlessly jack hammering his cock back and forth into her helpless throat, spurting cum that dripped down onto her jiggling tits that were being squeezed and milked by hungry tentacles.

Below each woman’s splayed legs was a second man’s waist sticking out from the tentacle wall, desperately thrusting his rigid shaft up and down to fill the woman’s trembling pussy. Each of the women in this state were bound so tightly that they could barely writhe in pleasure, much less move their mouths or crotches away from the men trapped along with them. Though even if they could, judging by the sounds they were making and the jerking, orgasmic motions of their bodies, they were likely enjoying themselves too much to want to leave.

There, the men and women being dragged from the tentacle bulbs would be thrown into the forced orgy, where the tendrils lining the mound would accept their tired, limp forms and add them to the debauchery. A “fresh” captive would then be spit out and pulled over to the now vacant bulb to become the sole focus of the impatient thralls’ lewd urges.

“Fuck yeah,” moaned a male thrall as he pushed his thick dick into a newly bound woman’s tight pussy, doggy style. “Take my cock deep and serve the hive like the slut you are… yeah, just like that…” he groaned in satisfaction as he began to rhythmically slam into her pelvis. “Good girl…” he sighed, making the woman squeal and gasp as he spanked her jiggling butt. He filled his large hands with her tender ass flesh while continuing to rut into her hard, only looking up to smile dreamily at another man who was now working his shaft into the gurgling woman’s drooling mouth.

Sarah wondered at the seemingly limitless stamina on display here. The wafting scent of the nectar emanating off of her suit suddenly felt more noticeable, causing her face to burn hot and her pulse quicken. From where she was hidden, she watched a female thrall dismount a captive man, his cock glistening with pussy juice while trailing a thick, white string of semen between his reddened tip and her tender cunt. As the string snapped and the view of his penis was obscured by another woman now mounting it, Sarah felt herself gulp.

It was clear from glancing around at the rest of the group that they were all equally in danger of losing themselves to the erotic thoughts no doubt swirling in their heads and being amplified by the scent of the aphrodisiac. Adam and Steven were idly rubbing at the stiff bulges between their legs, and even Cutter seemed to be squirming slightly, though his baggy pants blocked any sign of an erection.

A’luhr seemed largely unaffected, her masked face more interested in scanning the area for possible paths than witnessing the sexy insanity before them.

Zoey was clearly fighting a losing battle, her taut nipples poking visibly through her skintight suit while her fingers began to creep down her tight stomach and towards the swollen cleft between her legs. The only human who seemed to have he shit together was Priya, more or less, who appeared to be biting her lip hard enough to draw a small trickle of blood.

Sarah momentarily considered doing the same to distract herself from erotic thoughts filling her head, but there was no need. Just as she was about to bite down, her stomach let out a strangled, hollow gurgle of hunger. The pain snapped her out of it just enough to worry that perhaps the loud noise had alerted the nearby howling, panting, moaning mass of thralls, but their ecstatic voices seemed to have fortunately drowned it out.

It was enough, however, to get the attention of the rest of the group, who all seemed to blink and clear their heads as the rather un-erotic sound of Sarah’s stomach broke the spell. It was just in time, too, as Adam and Steven almost seemed like they were ready to stand up, strip naked, and walk out into the open to join the chaotic orgy. Sarah wasn’t sure if she’d have stopped them or joined them a moment ago.

“We need to move,” A’luhr accurately observed in a hushed voice. “It is clear that your mental states are quickly degrading.”

“I’m good,” Priya huffed, licking her bloodied lip as if savoring it. “I’m not so easily distracted.”

“I do not see a way for us to easily navigate to that exit without being seen by those thralls.” A’luhr continued, placing the helium tanks down at her side and crossing her arms under her chest. “We will require a distraction.”

“I’ve got a great idea for that,” Priya smiled deviously while eyeing Sarah and the others.

“I’ve got a better one,” Steven replied, glaring at Priya while doing his best to reposition his aching boner into a less obvious tent. It wasn’t too effective given how skintight the suit was against his shapely bulge. “I’ve still got a bunch of these bad boys, remember?” He plucked a firecracker out of one of the small pouches attached to the thigh area of his suit.

“Oh, right!” Zoey gasped. “I bet if you chuck it over there by the swimsuits it’d turn them around enough for us to slip by!” She pointed over to a row of colorful women’s bathing suits on display on the opposite side of the store from them.

“We’d just need to make sure they’re all looking away before we move,” Sarah cautioned. It was hard to believe that these sex-crazed maniacs would be distracted by a little popping sound when they were completely preoccupied with sweaty, animalistic fucking. But no better ideas came to mind. None of the clothing racks had wheels with which to use as moving cover, and using the guns was entirely out of the question.

“Worth a shot,” said Cutter, pulling his metal lighter out of his pocket and flipping it open with a click. “Here, I’ll light it and you toss. Don’t miss.”

“No pressure,” Zoey remarked. Steven shot her a look.

“Why don’t you do it, miss athlete?” Steven scoffed, holding the firecracker out to her.

“Uh, well throwing stuff wasn’t really something I trained for in field hockey,” She replied, her voice faltering for a moment, but to Sarah’s surprise, the usually shy girl snatched the firecracker from her brother’s open hand. Either she was slowly gaining more self-confidence, or her habit of being competitive when athletics were involved was coming out – or both.

Regardless, Zoey seemed only slightly nervous as she held the fuse of the firecracker to the tip of Cutter’s lighter. She took a deep, calming breath and steadied her hand.

“Ok, do it,” she whispered. Her sharp, focused eyes briefly reflected the wisp of flame that suddenly sparked to life in Cutter’s fingers. Zoey shuffled around the corner of the aisle they were in and stood a bit higher before flinging the sizzling firecracker into the darkness as far and accurately as she could towards the target swimsuits, which proved to be rather far and accurate indeed. She grinned smugly at her brother, who sighed and shrugged.

“I could have done that,” Steven muttered. “It’s not a competition, you know?”

“Not with you as my opponent it’s not,” Zoey snickered, sticking her tongue out.

“Enough with the bickering,” Adam chastised them. “We need to get ready to move.” The siblings quietly nodded guiltily. Sarah could tell by their expressions, however, that in their hearts, the two of them were glad for that sliver of normalcy that felt like it had returned to their relationship. Seeing your sibling naked and roughly fucked so many times certainly threatened to inject some awkwardness into things, but they seemed to be adjusting to it – which was probably not great – but it was better than the alternative.

They all watched and held their breaths as the firecracker landed under a rack of slime-covered bikinis. For a moment, Sarah worried that the sparks might catch the thin fabric on fire, but they were so soaked in alien gunk that this seemed very unlikely. While that would definitely be a great distraction, she also didn’t like the idea of dooming the thralls and their human captives to an excruciating death, assuming the Krinis didn’t take countermeasures.

Her thoughts on what myriad methods the Krinis might employ to protect their livestock from all manner of threats were interrupted as the firecracker crackled to life. The loud sparking and popping sounds sizzled in the darkness, which was irregularly illuminated by the small, flickering explosions.

The group all swiveled their heads back towards the orgy to see if the thralls would take the bait. Some of the ones who were closer to the firecracker did briefly look up, still thrusting their hips, but upon not seeing anything of importance, the crackling sounds that were barely audible over the din of the orgy were quickly forgotten about.

Only one male thrall seemed particularly suspicious of the noise, intently eyeing the area where the firecracker fell, but suddenly his body shuddered as he began to pump creamy cum into the captive man’s ass in front of him.

The male thrall behind him roughly pulled him out of the way to take his place in the man’s gaping anus while a slender female thrall continued to ride the captive’s cock in a reverse cowgirl position. She embraced the new male thrall and they locked their lips together in a messy, horny kiss as the previous thrall wandered off to find another hole to use, the firecracker now totally forgotten.

“Shit… it’s not loud enough,” Cutter swore, clicking his tongue.

“Why not just use more of your little magic mystery balls?” Priya grumbled, gesturing her chin towards the remaining two impulse detonators sticking to Zoey’s and Steven’s hips. “They somehow worked so fuckin’ well before, so why not now? Or are they not as infallible as you want us to believe?”

“Perhaps we will need to resort to that,” A’luhr agreed, nodding slowly. Priya raised a brow in surprise. “However, they are a precious commodity in low supply, so it would be prudent to exhaust all other options before employing them.”

“How many of those you got left, kid?” Cutter whispered to Steven, who sighed and dug into his pouch again, from within which he withdrew ten more firecrackers. “Hmm… that might do it if we set them all off in the same place.”

“I don’t know that I can throw all of them that accurately,” Zoey sighed worriedly. “I’m good, but not that good.”

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch, kid,” Cutter replied. If you’re even wearing any.” Zoey shifted her legs uncomfortably. It was true that they were all only wearing the suits and nothing else, though Sarah had been hoping it wasn’t too obvious. “I’ll set them over there myself. Give em’ here.” He took the firecrackers from Steven’s hand without resistance.

“Wh- Cutter what are you thinking!?” Priya gaped. “Have one of them handle the dangerous stuff.”

“If you want something done right, do it yourself,” he shrugged, twirling his lighter in his fingers. “‘Besides, I feel like it’s our turn to carry our weight.” He nodded at A’luhr. “I know I ain’t no spring chicken, but I can’t be havin’ people doubting my prowess now, can I?” He let out a low chuckle while stroking his stubbled chin. A’luhr seemed like she was about to say something, but decided to remain quiet and away from the conversation.

“Yeah, sure, we’re all amazed by your chiseled muscles – but what if they all jump me?”

“They’re not that stupid. Besides, you know I can read people. They won’t.”

“Then you know I’ll leave you behind if I have to.”

“I’m sure you will.” Cutter snorted in a way that sounded like he was humoring her.

“Fuck…” Priya furrowed her brow in frustration, crossed her arms, then sighed. “Do it. But be quick, okay?”

“Fine. But only because you asked so nicely.” He grinned. Priya rolled her eyes. “I’ll be right behind you. You’ll know when to run. Just keep an eye out for more Harvesters outside.”


“Are you sure…?” Sarah spoke up. “You really don’t need to take this risk. We can figure something else out.” She didn’t particularly like Cutter, but the thought of sacrificing someone for her own gain still didn’t sit right with her.

“The longer we wait, the more time that passes for our hiding spot to be discovered. There can be no hesitation when given a window to act. A weak will is how you end up like that.” He gestured over towards some of the thralls who were now lying on the floor in a circular chain of bodies, hungrily eating each other out with slavering mouths, totally lost to their lust. Sarah looked back over at Cutter and nodded. Adam also shot cutter one of those knowing, “man-to-man” nods that Sarah always found goofy.

“I-I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Zoey tried to reassure Priya, who simply scoffed.

“He better be…” she mumbled.

“Oh but first…” Cutter grunted as he slid his bags of food off his shoulders and handed them over to Adam and Steven. “Carry these for me. But don’t try any funny business while I’m gone or you’ll have this one to answer to.” He jutted his chin towards Priya. “If you think these things know how to explode, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” He chuckled again, pointing one of the firecrackers at Priya with an amused expression. She opened her mouth as if to say something, but then just sighed and shook her head with a look of annoyance on her face while mumbling something under her breath.

“See you outside, then,” Cutter continued, bundling the firecrackers in his hand and moving to the end of the aisle. Suddenly, the relaxed façade he had been maintaining hardened into the look of intense focus that Sarah had first seen on his face. He watched the motions of the thralls to wait for a safe moment to silently dash to the other side of the clearing between the aisles.

They anxiously watched Cutter make his way to the other side of the store, weaving between the shelves like a shadow. It was clear that he was able to move with much more freedom now that he wasn’t trying to pay attention to other people behind him. One of the male thralls suddenly looked over in his direction, but Cutter paused in the darkness just in time. The thrall stared at his hiding spot for several seconds, but then his eyes rolled back as the female thrall sucking him off coaxed yet another body-shaking orgasm out of him. He grabbed her hair and closed her eyes as he howled in pleasure. Cutter immediately slipped past and finally made it to the swimsuits.

There, he grabbed some hair ties off of a nearby rack and bundled the firecrackers up before igniting them all at once. Without hesitation, he threw the bundle a few aisles down and began to sneak his way back towards the rest of the group who were already at the edge of their hiding spot and rocking on their heels in preparation to make a run for it. The door was only a few dozen feet away, so it would only be a short sprint.

Suddenly, the firecrackers all erupted at once, crashing over through the orgasmic voices and tearing the darkness apart with a cacophony of sizzling, flashy explosions. All at once, the thralls looked up with eerie synchronization. They let out shrill screams of anger and sprinted towards the source of the noise, ready to punish whomever it was that dared to interrupt their fun. The captive humans remained trapped in their tentacle prisons, simply panting and gushing fluids from their holes while staring ahead with misty eyes.

Without missing a beat, Sarah and the rest dashed for the exit, leaping over idle tentacles and fallen merchandise. Adam and Steven moved awkwardly given the weight of the bags they carried, but Priya seemed used to it, navigating the tricky terrain without too much apparent difficulty. Some of the nearby tentacles stirred from the disturbance. Sarah briefly looked over her shoulder, worried that Cutter might be ensnared once he reached the questing tendrils, but it was impossible to judge where he was in all the chaos. After a few heart-pounding seconds, they made it to the glass doorway, which was only partially covered with translucent, pinkish tentacle webbing.

A’luhr arrived first, and began to hurriedly survey the exterior of the building for any threats while Priya, who was a few strides behind her, turned to look back into the store, doing her best to hide her worried expression. Sarah’s heart felt like it was trying to punch its way out of her throat as she panted and nervously glanced around the store looking for any sign of Cutter. Once the firecrackers died, it would be extremely hard for him to get to where they were, and there likely wasn’t much time left.

Fortunately, a moment later, Cutter emerged from the shadows and hustled towards them, lighter in hand. Priya gave him a nod and turned to join A’luhr in looking through the windows. The outside seemed clear, so the two of them opened the doors together, snapping some of the thinner tendrils that had been growing between them. But just as the group started to move through them, Priya’s eyes widened.

“Cutter!” She yelled out in a terrified voice that was only partially drowned out by the echoing explosions still filling the air. Cutter had been pinned down to the slimy floor only a dozen or so feet away by a nude woman, her body caked with dried fluids and her eyes filled with the tell-tale signs of insane lust.

“Why are you trying to leave?” the thrall giggled madly. “Let me suck your cock and change your mind! Let’s enjoy ourselves forever!” She began to desperately scrabble at Cutter’s pants, who was snarling and doing his best to shove her away, but she seemed to be overpowering him with brute strength alone despite her seemingly lean frame.

“Get off of him, you fucking whore!” Priya spat, drawing her gun and moving to run back towards where Cutter was struggling with his pants now half off.

“No!” Sarah shouted, grabbing at Priya’s arm. “Don’t shoot! You could hit him!” She was equally concerned about killing the woman, who was clearly being manipulated by the worm in her head, but knew that now was the time to appeal to Priya’s sensibilities.

“Get off me!” Priya growled, wrenching her arm away and pointing her gun at Sarah, who anxiously raised her hands. The rest of the group all turned to face Priya, not making a move, but ready to take her down if needed. Priya suddenly jerked the gun towards Zoey, who still had an impulse detonator on her hip. She gestured towards the silver sphere. “Use it! Now!”

“I-” Zoey began, her words catching in her dry throat as her pale face stared directly down the barrel of the gun.

“It is a waste to use on one target,” A’luhr replied. She seemed ready to act as well, despite still hefting the two tanks over her shoulders.

“We can use these!” Sarah said, slowly lowering her hand to her side where her vibrator wand was holstered. Priya moved the gun back towards Sarah, who flinched, but patted the rod to show what she was talking about.

“I do not believe the vibrators will be effective against the thralls,” A’luhr interjected, apparently unable to read the mood. “It would need to make direct contact with the ‘worm’ inside their ears. It is far too wide.” Priya bit her lip angrily and began to turn back towards Cutter.

The thrall had managed to shove her hands down his loosened pants and appeared to be groping at his crotch while attempting to spit into his mouth. Cutter kept his jaw tightly closed in an effort to avoid her dripping saliva, which was surely laced with powerful aphrodisiac. He briefly made eye contact with Priya and jerked his head to the exit, his arms shaking from exertion as he did his best to keep some distance between himself and the crazed woman.

“Go!” He growled through clenched teeth. The thrall laughed coyly, and her hand suddenly gripped tightly between his legs where his balls would be, causing him to let out a choked whimper and gasp. She took advantage of his weakened state and grabbed his jaw, forcing his mouth open.

Sarah was about to suggest they use one of their last two impulse detonators, regardless of A’luhr’s concerns, when Adam suddenly ran forward past a surprised Priya.

“If we need something that can fit in an ear, we have these!” He cried, reaching into his suit pouch and pulling out one of the sparkler sticks they had taken from the Fiestaville. Without stopping, he snatched up Cutter’s lighter, which had been flung to the floor nearby, and practically skidded next to the thrall, who looked up at him with a lewd smile, causing her intoxicating drool to swing away from Cutter’s sweating face.

“Ohh… another cute guy!” She giggled, licking her moist lips. “It’s my lucky day!”

“Not quite,” Adam replied, lighting the sparkler and moving it up to her ear before she had time to react to the sudden blinding flare of sparks. There was a 50/50 chance that he had chosen the correct ear, but it seemed to be Adam’s lucky day instead, as sure enough, the woman suddenly let out a scream and recoiled her hand from Cutter’s crotch. She writhed on the ground and contorted in pain as a small, shriveled worm slipped out of her ear with a tiny shriek before falling away in a wisp of ash.

“No! Nooooo!” The woman cried out, clawing at her head and flailing on the floor as Adam hurriedly helped Cutter to his feet. “Let me back in! I can’t feel them! What have you done to me!? Let me back in!” She repeated her crazed ramblings in a growing pool of drool and tears while Adam and Cutter quickly reunited with the group.

“See?” Cutter panted. “Told you I’d be back” He looked at Adam and exchanged another “man nod” while taking his lighter back from him. “I guess I owe you, huh?”

“You reckless-!” Priya began, her face softening. A’luhr cut her off before she could continue.

“We can exchange our emotions after we vacate the area,” A’luhr said, propping the door open with her hip for them all to leave. “Listen, our distraction has died. It is time to go. Now!” Sure enough, Sarah could no longer hear the chaotic pops and hisses of the firecrackers. Given the noise that the female thrall was making nearby, it was safe to assume that the rest of the thralls were heading their way at this very moment.

Understanding the situation, everyone dashed out the door, diving behind a parked truck just as the swarm of thralls made it to their fallen comrade. Sarah couldn’t hear what they were saying through the closed door, but they seemed to be worrying over the woman as she grabbed onto the legs of one of the other thralls with a pleading demeanor.

One of them presented another little worm creature to the shuddering woman, who quickly snatched it up and pressed it into her ear. After a moment, she sank to the floor and began to furiously masturbate, her face awash with the relaxed expression of a drug addict who finally got her hit after days of withdrawals.

She seemed too preoccupied to explain anything to her fellows, who had taken to looking around the rest of the store and glancing out the window of the doors. It didn’t take long for some of their hands to start to wander back to their engorged genitals and begin masturbating as well as their corrupted minds turned back to pleasure and the squirming captives that were still helplessly exposed in the darkness deeper within. One by one, the thralls shuffled back into the depths of the Macy’s where they were no doubt resuming their endless orgy.

Sarah let out a sigh of relief, joined by the rest of the group. She didn’t realize just how much her legs had been shaking all this time, and all at once her hunger and fatigue crashed into her as her adrenaline started to wear off. It felt like she would never be able to stand up again, but A’luhr gave them no time to rest.

“We must continue. It is too exposed here should another one of the larger Krinis forms come this way.”

“She’s right,” Cutter replied in a calm voice, already having brushed his close call behind him. “We aren’t totally out of danger yet. Aside from the Harvesters, we still need to clean this slime off us. The longer we are exposed to it, the more it will affect us. We don’t want to be caught with our pants down - willingly.”

“You’re joking at a time like this!?” Priya spat in disbelief. “You almost got taken!”

“I thought you were going to just leave me, though?” He smirked at her.

“I had everything under control.”

“Clearly.” He eyed her gun, which she still held in her hand. They stared at each other for a moment before Sarah tried to break the ice in her trademark, clever way.

“Get a room you two.” It sounded stupid even as she said it. Anxious humor was never really her strong suit. Cutter laughed and Priya scoffed.

“I’m not her type. Trust me,” Cutter grunted as he stood up next to A’luhr. Adam did the same and moved to hand him back the bag of food. “Eh, keep holding onto it for me. I need to stay limber.” Adam blinked in surprise but then cracked a thin smile. He shrugged and tossed the bag back over his shoulder.

“Listen,” Priya said, holstering her gun. “I don’t fully trust you all yet, but that doesn’t change the facts that you did help us despite a bit of a rough start.”

“That’s an understatement,” Stephen grumbled.

“But I do trust Cutter, and he seems to trust you, more or less, so… yeah.” She crossed her arms and looked away, grinding her teeth.

“Anyway, shall we all go take a nice bath?” Cutter suggested, patting Priya on the shoulder.

“That would be a wise course of action,” A’luhr replied, nodding her head and turning to begin planning a path across the parking lot. “While having the nectar on us would offer a certain level of camouflage from any Krinis we may come across, it is true that it would be more prudent to deal with the more guaranteed threat of the mind-altering effects. We shall need a source of water to cleanse it.”

“How about that gym over there?” Zoey offered, pointing towards a large building on one side of the parking lot. “I used to go there sometimes. They have pretty large showers. I doubt they’d be warm, but probably better than the river.”

“I like the idea,” Cutter sighed, “but clearly you haven’t been trying to take any showers lately. The Harvesters have dug huge tunnel networks under the city, which has damaged some of the plumbing infrastructure. Even if the pipes do work, there’s a chance their aphrodisiac fluids will have already polluted the water within, making it dangerous. It’s best to just find a river or pond, and there happens to be a river nearby.”

Sarah and the others exchanged knowing looks. If they got back to the river, they could easily follow it back upstream to ship. The problem now was how to split away from Priya and Cutter without raising suspicions. Sarah wasn’t even sure that continuing to chase after The Queen was the right call anymore. What were the odds, realistically, that their little group could take on the Krinis Queen alone and win? Wouldn’t it be nice to just settle down with another group of humans – the first they would have talked to in a while you weren’t trying to mindlessly fuck them?

These thoughts and more tumbled through Sarah’s tired mind as they all began to carefully weave between cars towards the edge of the parking lot. It seemed like every other step was punctuated with her stomach rumbling. With not a single Krinis Taker in sight, Cutter spoke up quietly.

“How about when we reach the water, we have that little ice breaker picnic I mentioned?”

Sarah’s legs suddenly felt lighter than ever as she began to practically skip towards the river, her thoughts now occupied with the luxuries of a cold river soak and canned food.

“Things are looking up!” Sarah whispered giddily. Steven cringed with a groan as he felt the jinx settling over them.

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