It takes you what seems a very long time to remember that you are no longer there. That that happened more than two years ago, and that you are no longer a woods scout, and that the forests of New Albain no longer a venue in which you may exercise your desire for the strange—that you are now an indentured seaman, aboard a privateer vessel called the Reaver Bitch—wait, aboard? No, there was—

And it's at that point you realize you were not, strictly speaking, remembering that brief liaison with a lovely spider-beast. That beast is long since gone from your life—but another beast has found you, and you have found it, and in your mind, your thoughts and memories, it is all at once reading everything of you—

The spider-beast only filled your body nigh to bursting, and you found so much of fulfillment in that—and this great deep thing, this beast of the deepest seas, is so much now in your mind

—you feel that it feels your climax, sudden and sharp and hot and bright as a bolt of lightning, and the warm pink wave of lazy pleasure that rolls through your body and mind in its wake. Your body and mind—and through that unspeakably intimate connection, through the tendrils of its thoughts wrapped around every cord and sinew of your being—its body and mind, too, and the tentacles still twined around your limbs and torso shiver suddenly, all as one, not moving but their surfaces corrugating for a moment much more deeply before they relax.

Coming out of it, after a long and lazy moment in which you feel the great monster's embrace of you more warmly and closely every instant—you notice that your perspective has changed.

And you are also seeing the world differently—from a higher angle. You're looking down, now, on the Bitch's weather deck, and on Captain Hua looking shocked back up at you, mouth open and horror lively in her eyes, and on Lu and Quen just turning from their work with the same shock on their faces—sounds? Something—

"...over here now I'll drive it into the thing with my own two hands if I have to—"

Flash images of the harpoon—but not driven into the deep thing's flank, as you have only seen it—flickers of sight that is not your own, images from an imagination that is not yours



This intertwining of minds, the great alien beast's thoughts wound around your own—it does not, you suddenly realize, go only in one direction. Just that there is so much of its mind—now that it's not dying, now that it is fully itself again, it is so broad and deep and vast that you could not at first realize quite what it was you perceived.

And not only the beast's mind, either. As you gaze down upon your captain, you can feel the thoughts rushing through her mind, and the sick horror with which they are drenched—and it gives you to smile, and then to grin. She thinks your great lovely monster is going to eat you? That it's going to drive its alien limbs into you and suck the very life from your body and fling your hollowed-out remains down onto the deck from which you dove to meet it? Warmed though you are by her evident concern for you, it's such a silly notion! It's not going to do any of those things—

—more flash images, suddenly, and again of an imagination not your own—well. Not entirely other than your own, for you recognize very well the provenance of these mental pictures, and you flush bright red to the very tips of your ears and fingers and toes—and especially betweeen your thighs—as the realization of their meaning dawns upon you.

Writhing tendrils—knobby protrusions—tiny toothed and sucking mouths, ranged along the surface of a thick ridged and pointed limb-tip, especially bulbous where at its base it rises from the otherwise undistinguished tentacle that supports it—that itself rises from the sea, sided by others all shaping themselves more finely every instant as they climb toward you, aiming themselves unerringly toward that place between your thighs where you have always most dearly loved your many monsters to find you—

—seen through the eyes of your captain, it is a thing of the keenest and most sickening horror, and no wonder her mind has flown to the idea of murdering the beast before, as she believes, it can bed that implement of hideous murder within you. She cares for you as for all her crew—more? you sense suddenly something from her that reddens the cups of your ears even more; she was on the very point of taking you into her cabin and bedding an implement of her own within you, that implement which is the heritage of all hyena women, and which had already begun to swell and throb with the thought of feeling the heat of you—and for that reason her horror is all the more, as she can only see before her a hideous twisted mirror of her own strong desires of only a moment before. But she's got it entirely backwards, and you must aid her to understand—


At the last instant you remember to use your mouth to speak, and not your mind. Or not your mind—your beautiful great deep thing has opened its mind to you every bit as fully as yours is now open to it, and the sharing is so complete—so perfect—that, should you so desire, you could borrow its mind-sense and tell your captain everything, without so much as a sound. It would be so much faster, so much easier—but it'd probably frighten her, so you speak instead.

But you do not see a reason not to listen with your mind...

that tone in her voice never heard it from her before but I know what it means I've heard it before but surely she can't

But you can. You can and can and can. The deep thing's mind has not stopped sharing with you images of things it might do to you—to you, and for you, and with you—it saw your fantasies before, you know, gleaned pictures enough from you, but it did not understand—but now it is so much in you, your minds so intermingled, that it understands perfectly. It understands everything. Understands the nature of your pleasure and the depth of it and the extent of your need for strangeness—understands, and is thrillingly ready to fulfill.

And you are ready, too. So, so ready—you can feel your readiness, soaking the fur of your groin and your thighs. Feel the heat of it rising through you, through your perfect commingling with the deep thing—and coming back to you, too, from there. Reverberating, resonating, growing stronger and stronger every instant until surely though the night is not cold you feel you must be steaming with it, were it not for the vast strength of the monster in your soul upon which you may freely draw, surely you feel you would burst aflame and die upon the instant with it—

—how to put it into words, so not to terrify your captain even further? For you find now you see her not only as a figure of terror—see she only showed you that to learn how you would stand it, what you were truly made of—you cannot fear her the more, and your heart goes out to her standing there in the stink of her own fear for you—but how to explain? In paltry pitiful words, and not the marvelous deep and many—faceted speed of untrammeled thought?—well, you have to try, but—

"I can."


So little comes through in words, but you're remembering again how they work, how to use them in ways that carry enough meaning to be going on with—

"We understand each other now, Captain." So paltry a way of putting it! But, though you could show her, you might well hurt her in so doing, and you would not—"It was almost dead, before. It's better now. I can hear it better now. It hears me properly, too."

It's such a slow and tiresome thing, this talking, now. So distracting. One thing more you might say, and done with saying for a while—

—but then a particularly vivid image flashes into your mind from the deep thing, tentacles and tendrils of it writhing within every part of you—climbing up through your belly from your nether parts, and through your guts from your rear passage, and thrusting down through your throat—thick, that one, broad and ribbed and pulsing as it feeds you the air without which you cannot yet survive—and nose and the tiniest, most delicately intimate of them, almost too fine to see, reaching into your nipples, delving into your ears and eyes, finding the very pores of your skin and passing inside, and invading you even more intimately than that—images of ways in which the deep thing might, if you so chose it, change you, make your form more like its own—

—it's utterly overwhelming, and wracks every inch of your body with a deep convulsive shudder at the very force of the image and the thought and the desire—to be so protean of form! to swim freely in the benthic depths, unbreathing and undying! to be such a combination of your own prosaic self and this most wonderful of monsters!—and the long-drawn-out process of the change, the most intimate embrace imaginable, to be enveloped by the thing and drawn into its very form and so completely penetrated, taken apart and reshaped with the utmost gentle care and reassembled into something new, something better and stronger and stranger than you have ever been before—

—your voice full of that and deep as you finally find the words: "And it's not going to hurt me..."