SGT Stewart Peter Bate knew those dresses weren’t right. The proportions didn’t fit. The dresses were too big—like the women wearing them were standing on cut-off stilts, or really tall platform boots.
Or weren’t human.
Bate tried to tell Cox, the leader of their explo squad, but he wouldn’t have it.
“We don’t know for certain. They could be innocent humans transported here through a displacement effect. We can’t go in guns blazing.”
‘Guns Blazing.’ Goddamned civvies. Bate thought each explo unit was supposed to be led by a military officer.
“Mendez. Bain. Stay back and provide cover as we go in,” Cox ordered.
In was an immaculately tended garden in the middle of nowhere. The squad had come upon it in a sheltered valley—a splash of green standing out against the scraggly, blood-red grass covering the hillsides on either side of them. It was clearly an artificial garden with a lush green lawn and neat rows of flowerbeds. There was an open structure constructed from wooden beams—a pergola the size of a church. Climbing plants ran up the support beams and across the top. It looked pretty, but where were the other buildings?
“No hostile moves,” Cox said to the rest of the squad as they approached the central structure. “We want to show them we mean no harm.”
Standing under the pergola were the women in the odd dresses. The dresses were big and bright and resembled the extravagant crinoline dresses and ball gowns from the middle of the 1800s. They were so absurdly large it looked like each woman was poking out of the top of a giant lampshade. Bate wouldn’t expect any modern woman to wear anything like that unless they were actresses playing aristocratic ladies in a historical drama. That’s what they looked like—a group of fine old Southern Belles taking afternoon tea on a lovely summer day. As if a god had chopped a square out of the old Deep South and randomly left it here.
Those dresses, though, they weren’t right. The closer Bate got the more it nagged at him. They were too tall—as if the top halves and bottom halves of the women wearing them didn’t match up.
The women spotted the squad and buzzed amongst themselves in excitement. One of them, a woman with a sunflower-yellow dress and platinum-blonde hair tied up in an elaborate beehive, approached the men.
“What a delightful surprise,” she said. “A group of young men, and such handsome ones as well. Welcome. I am Galulpia.”
Galulpia looked surprisingly attractive in spite of her archaic attire and hairdo. As did the other women. They stood behind her and whispered and tittered to each other behind brightly painted fans. If he had to guess, Bate would have placed them all in their early to mid-twenties with Galulpia the eldest.
“A pleasure ma’am. I am Dr. Theodore Cox and my men and I are here as representatives of the great country of The United States of America. May I ask the name of this place?”
“This is the garden,” Galulpia replied. “My ladies and I came out here to enjoy this lovely afternoon. Would you and your handsome young men like to join us?”
Galulpia was smiling like one of those wholesome Southern Belles in an old TV drama. The smile was too sunny to be natural. Bate couldn’t shake the feeling something was off. Something about the women that creeped him out. They all looked about a foot taller than they should be.
And there was the garden. It was also too nice… too neat. It looked like a perfect film set, constructed only to last for as long as it took to make the shot. Bate noticed the plants climbing up the corner supports of the pergola. Some of the flowers looked like dicks. Some of the flowers looked like pussies. Some of the dick flowers were in the pussy flowers. Everything felt off.
They shouldn’t be here.
And that motherfucker Cox. Now he’d got the formal introductions out of the way he was actually flirting with her.
“…that does sound a mighty tempting offer,” he said. “We have been on our feet all day.”
Galulpia glanced over Cox’s shoulder to where Mendez and Bain had taken up covering fire positions.
“Are those your men?” she asked. “They look so lonely all the way out there. Why don’t you ask them to come and join us.”
When you saw her standing next to Cox, the height thing really jumped out, Bate thought. Cox had to be over six foot tall and Galulpia had an inch or two on him. It didn’t match her otherwise petite and dainty features at all. Nothing matched.
“Sure thing,” Cox said. He turned around. “Mendez. Bain. You can come in. Everything’s fine.”
What! Wait! No, Bate thought. He went to raise his voice in objection… and nothing came out. He just stood there. What the fuck? He wanted to say something. Why wouldn’t it come out?
He glanced down and saw his boots had vanished beneath a thick ground fog. Where had that come from? It looked like early morning mist, but it wasn’t morning. Then he looked up and saw the source. It was the women. The mist billowed out from beneath their dresses in little puffs of fluffy white smoke.
You fucking ass, Cox, Bate thought. How many times had they been told about the HSIOs? How many times had they been warned? Their stupid fucking idiot civvie CO had led them right into a trap.
Mendez and Bain would be no help either. They’d already rejoined the squad. Mendez’s nostril wrinkled, then a certain slackness entered his features.
“It’s so warm,” Galulpia said. “I’m sure you’d be far more comfortable out of those heavy uniforms.”
“You know, that’s a really good idea,” Cox said. He dropped his kit and started to take his clothes off.
“How about the rest of you boys?” Galulpia said. “Wouldn’t you like to be naked as well?”
Yes, that was a really good idea, Bate thought. He put down his kit and rifle and started to climb out of his uniform.
What was he doing?
It didn’t matter. He couldn’t stop it. It was like he was a passenger in his own body. All he could do was watch as his hands unbuckled his pants and let them drop into the thick mist swirling around his feet.
He stood naked along with the other men. A warm breeze whipped up wisps of white mist. The women in the too-big dresses watched them with naked lust in their eyes.
“Mmm, such lovely young men,” Galulpia said. “I’m positively salivating.”
She reached down. Her dress opened at the front and she swished it aside like opening a pair of curtains. Bate knew now why her proportions seemed off. Revealed behind was her true monstrous form. Her legs were long and spindly, and she had four of them. They were reminiscent of the legs of an insect despite being covered in pink flesh and terminating in dainty pink human feet. To Bate the juxtaposition of the familiar with the alien looked far worse than had they actually been the legs of a giant insect.
Worst of all was what was hanging down between them. Bate saw a bloated pink sac like the bulbous abdomen of a grub or insect. As with the legs it was covered in soft pink human skin. Puffs of white mist emerged from tubular openings clustered at the end.
Galulpia reached over to caress the side of Cox’s face. “Shall we—as they say—get down and dirty?” she said.
Cox was smiling, but his eyes trembled and water collected around his lower eyelids. Good, Bate thought, he wanted the fucker to be fully aware of how he’d doomed them.
Galulpia sat down with her bloated abdomen laid out before her. She had a fleshy slit at the end. It looked uncomfortably similar to a human vulva. Bate watched as the labia peeled aside and revealed a lurid interior slick with lubricating juices. It stretched open wider and wider, a widening pink tunnel. Four large tentacles, fleshy and muscular like tongues, slithered out and wrapped around Cox’s upper body. They lingered lasciviously over his exposed flesh before pulling him headfirst into the gaping orifice. Waves of contraction shuddered through the bulbous pink abdomen as she gulped Cox into her. The science officer’s feet wiggled out of the end before they too were drawn inside. Galulpia let out an orgasmic sigh as her labia folded back behind them.
“Ooh, a wriggler,” she said. “They make me so wet.”
Her bloated pink abdomen churned and convulsed. Galulpia moaned in orgasmic pleasure. It didn’t take long for the violent motion to settle down to slow regular throbs, like the beats of heart. Galulpia sighed and cooed as her bulbous abdomen swelled and contracted. Every so often it would give a little shake and white juices would ooze out of the tip.
It was perverse. Sexual in a way that should not be sexual.
All around him Bate watched helplessly as the other members of his squad were engulfed. He couldn’t move, could only wait his inevitable fate.
It came with a sweet voice. “Aww, are you feeling left out? Turn around.”
Bate did as he was told. He saw a pretty young woman with platinum-blonde hair lying on her back with her upper body propped up on her elbows. Her lower body…
The vagina-like opening at the end of her abdomen opened up and livid red tongues shot out to coil around Bate’s upper body. Her vagina gaped wider, revealing a long pink tunnel that contracted and dilated with muscular throbs. The tentacles tugged and Bate was pitched face-first into an orifice that opened wider to admit him. His head went inside and he breathed in humid air thick with the stench of sex. His shoulders followed and the fleshy walls of her sex pressed around him. Muscular peristaltic motion took over and Bate was inexorably drawn into her.
Only then did the queer hypnosis that had prevented Bate from resisting wear off. With his body back under his control he started to struggle. It was like being inside a giant elastic bag. The walls were too slick for his scrabbling fingers to gain any kind of purchase. The walls pressed in around his body with muscular contraction and hauled him in deeper. Soft spongy flesh contracted around his ankles and then wrapped around his feet as her vaginal opening closed behind him.
Bate kept pushing against the fleshy walls as he tried, desperately, to find any kind of weak spot. He was running out of air. He was going to suffocate… suffocate and be digested.
Another wave of peristaltic force gripped his body. His head was pushed up through some kind of muscular sphincter and into a space mercifully filled with breathable air.
Breathable, but not fresh. The breaths Bate took were tainted with sweet perfume and the organic stink of sex. The sphincter closed around his neck—tight like a collar, but not tight enough to stop him from breathing. His head was also not alone within the air bladder. Things slender and moist wormed into his ears.
Bate heard the voice of the hindig that had swallowed him. It came through as clear as if he was wearing headphones.
“Are you okay there? I couldn’t let you suffocate inside me. That would be such a waste.”
Bate heard air sacs working like bellows on either side of his head, keeping the tainted air circulating. And it was tainted… corrupted. Bate could feel the same taint spreading through him with every breath he took, awakening immoral thoughts and causing his loins to throb with unnatural need. He had no choice. It was that or suffocate to death inside her.
“What do you want?” he called out within his little bubble of air.
Glands within the main cavity’s walls squirted hot fluids all over Bate’s naked body. Bate panicked at the thought of her digestive acids eating into his flesh and started to kick out again. It did nothing more than provoke a series of ecstatic sighs and moans from her, as if his desperate struggling was getting her off sexually.
“Ooh yes,” she moaned.
“You’re not melting me to mush,” Bate raged.
He drove elbows into the soft fleshy wall. He tried to gouge it with his fingers. All it did was trigger more orgasmic moans and induce her glands to squirt more juices over him until Bate was covered all over in warm oily secretions. They made him feel hot… and prickly in a weird way, like he hadn’t had sex or masturbated in days and was getting antsy.
“Silly boy,” the hindig giggled. “I’m not going to melt your body to mush. That’s not how we consume.”
The central cavity contracted and the space for Bate to struggle in shrank and shrank until his legs were squeezed together and his arms were pinned to his sides. It felt like someone had wrapped a wet air mattress around him and held it in place with rolls and rolls of thick tape. Bate couldn’t move, but she could.
The meat walls quivered with low throbs and crawled all over his exposed flesh. To his aphrodisiac-drenched senses it felt like hands, naked butts, or even voluptuous breasts rubbing all over his body. Like he was playing sardines and jammed in a closet with a team of naked Vegas strippers. His cock, already bloated with blood, swelled out in a full erection and pressed up against the cushion-soft walls of flesh. He couldn’t control it.
How could he be turned on, here of all places?
The hindig laughed. Her walls contracted and squeezed him. Bulges of soft flesh rubbed against his rock-hard erection.
“We let desire consume you.” Her voice was a husky whisper in his ear.
A wet hole opened in the fleshy wall and Bate’s erection was drawn into a tight muscular tunnel. Waves of peristaltic contraction rippled up his shaft. It felt like she was gently tugging him off. The hot itchy feeling in his balls intensified until it was hard to think about anything else.
“And we feed off what you’re only too eager to give us… in the end.”
The cushioned walls moved against him with slow sensual throbs. His cock slipped back and forth inside a warm muscular sheath that stoked his pleasure with rhythmic squeezes.
What was she doing to him?
The throbbing pulses grew stronger. The grip on his cock grew tighter.
No, she couldn’t.
The hot itchiness in his balls bubbled up until he could no longer hold it in. He let out a surprised groan as her cushioned walls of flesh stroked him all the way to ejaculation. The hindig climaxed with him. She moaned ecstatically in his ear and her body shivered all around him. Her glands squirted and bathed Bate in frothy warm juices.
As he came Bate felt her tug at something inside him, something precious. He realized then what she was and what she wanted. Her hunger was an ancient one and it craved something more than flesh. Bate knew he mustn’t give it her. Must hold onto it at all costs.
It was a battle he couldn’t win. He was inside her. She had as much time as she needed. She filled his lungs with clouds of perfumed poison that drove his mind mad with lust. She soaked him in powerful aphrodisiac secretions and massaged them into him with her fleshy walls until he burned hot all over with need. She took his cock and sucked the resistance out of him one nerve-jangling orgasm after another.
Bate relaxed within her. If felt so comfortable—warm… soft… safe. And all she wanted from him was one little thing.
And—after a while, a long sweet while—he gave it to her.
Habitat: Fertile plains and valleys. Artificial gardens.
Description: Outwardly looks like a pretty young lady in a gaily coloured and extravagantly large crinoline dress. An eyewitness described them as looking like a group of actresses on the set of a period drama. One thing most observers notice is that the proportions of the crynolies seem off. They are deceptively tall, as if their legs are longer than they should be.
Underneath their ‘dresses’ the crynolies have four long and spindly legs, with each pair arranged perpendicularly to the other—like the legs of a small table. The legs look insectoid in shape, but resemble human flesh and skin, and terminate in what looks like human feet. Their most alien part is a bulbous sac or abdomen hanging down from the centre of their body. This too is covered in what looks like human skin, but otherwise resembles no part of the human body aside from the vulva-like orifice at the tip. The ‘vulva’ is surrounded by clusters of short tubules. These emit the fumes the crynolie uses for defence and to overpower her prey.
Attack Strategy: The crynolie is capable of emitting fumes that put anyone breathing them into a highly suggestible state where they blindly follow any instruction give to them by the crynolie. While in this state the victim is unable to take any actions of their own volition.
Once she has her prey under her control, the crynolie will then ingest them into her fleshy abdomen through her ‘vulva’. Initially it was thought they simply ate their victims, but—as with most HSIOs—the reality is far more complex.
The crynolie’s abdomen contains a stretchy bag organ—a kind of stomach or womb—large enough to contain an adult human. This organ has thick padded walls and is surrounded by a net of muscular fibres that give the crynolie fine control of internal movements. At the top of the containment organ is an air bladder. The crynolie places her prey’s head within this bladder and supplies them with oxygen so they do not suffocate inside her.
The next stage is to overload her captive with sexual excitement. The air the crynolie gives to her prey is laced with various sedatives and aphrodisiacs. Stronger aphrodisiac juices are secreted inside the containment bag and sensually massaged into the flesh of her captive. The containment organ also contains various structures analogous to human sex organs and the crynolie selects and uses them depending on the sex and sexual preferences of her captive.
The big question is why?
I don’t believe the crynolies are feeding off our sexual arousal. I believe, like other HSIOs, the crynolies are after something else from us, and massive sexual overstimulation is just a tool to expose or loosen it.
(As to what this ‘something else’ is—I think it is what various religions throughout history have referred to as the human soul. As to what this infers about the nature of H-space and the HSIOs… No, I’m not ready to believe this. Not yet.)
Countermeasures: The mind control fumes of the crynolie must not be inhaled. Fortunately they have a relatively short range of effect and require concentrated amounts. Likely the reason why crynolies are encountered in groups.
Unfortunately, tackling them from a distance is also difficult. The ‘dress’ of the crynolie is part of their body and composed of a flexible, durable material that is resistant to both small arms and bladed weapons. If threatened the crynolie retracts her upper half down into her dress and emits a dense fog to cover her escape.
Threat Level: Medium to High.
As devastatingly effective as their paralysing fumes are at close range and as awkward as they are to engage at distance, I suspect the crynolies are actually low down in the ‘demon’-type hierarchy. I fear there is worse out there. Far worse…