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Old 02-26-2017, 09:02 PM   #51
Marlow
 
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Chapter 21

The next day they rerouted power from the construction site. The footprint of the ‘Palace of Plenty’ went dark, now little more than the skeleton of an abandoned ambition. Estelle stood patiently while the others mourned it.

They chose not to demolish the unfinished remains. It seemed fitting to have at least one monument to their existence on the planet and Estelle could sense that in the back corners of the crew’s heads they still entertained some faint, ridiculous hope they would one day return to it.

With the project closed, they moved the extra zapper from the island to the clearing outside their cheesecake habitat. Estelle liked the idea of a secondary layer of security should the perimeter fail again. To that end, she had Starling repurpose the cage that had once been dropped on her. It would enclose the command console, preventing any future accidents.

The engineering mechs were trudged back from the beach, as well. Though they weren’t built for combat, the crew briefly considered using them as emergency suits of armor. This was quickly abandoned when it became apparent that the armor couldn’t close over the drivers’ engorged bellies, but having the loaders stand stalwartly outside the habitat felt strangely comforting.

It was hard work—harder and more involved, at least, than any they’d done for some time—and took the better part of a week.

Estelle toyed with the idea of instituting some kind of diet plan, worried that Hoshi and Ayla wouldn’t fit through their escape vehicle’s airlock come spring. But she found herself so exhausted and famished after each day of labor that the idea vanished from her mind. She ate heartily with the others, filling her gut, feeling that at least this time she was justified in doing so.

“So, tomorrow,” she said between courses, stifling a belch, “I think we can take a day off. I’d say you’ve more than earned it.”

The girls nodded, chewing methodically.

“After that, we’ll need to get started on our travel plans. Spring’s still a couple months out, I understand, but the sooner we’re ready the readier we’ll be.”

Hoshi leaned back and rested her hands on her belly. “Actually, captain, I have some ideas on that.”

“Hit me.”

“You said you were thinking we should go back on foot, so as to keep the noise down and avoid attracting the squirmers’ attention.” She paused to finish chewing. “Captain, there’s no way. I’m 415 pounds. I get out of breath crossing the room…this fat ass isn’t waddling a hundred and twenty miles.”

“Mine neither,” Ayla agreed. “I’m not that far from four hundred myself. That’s a lot of cargo to carry.”

Estelle swallowed. “Well, ladies, that’s why we…” She glanced around, dreading what she had to say. “…we may have to…work on…well, we might have to think a little about lo—”

“Yeah, that’s not happening,” Hoshi interjected. “I had a better idea. Starling?”

The android emerged from the kitchen, tray in hand. A cake sat atop it, a wobbling mold in the shape of the expedition’s rover, with some added features. He set in in front of Estelle, who felt her mouth begin to water despite the throbbing fullness of her already distended stomach.

“We’ve got plenty of scrap material now,” the engineer explained, waving her bionic arm. “We can put it to better use: I can modify the rover a little, make it into a sort of mobile defense platform. Won’t be quite as roomy as before, but shouldn’t have trouble hauling four girls and…” She slapped Ayla’s gut. “…cargo.”

Estelle studied the cake. She tried to consider its defensive capabilities, but couldn’t stop wondering about its flavor. “Did you make this?” she asked Starling.

He nodded modestly, wiping his hands on his apron.

“I did the fondant,” Hester chimed.

“I might even be able to install a portable zapper,” Hoshi continued. She reached over and topped the cake off with a blueberry. “And then, when the time comes, we just roll home in style: safe, sound, and…sitting down.”

“Just how we like it,” Ayla laughed.

Hoshi nodded. “It’ll take some time, but we’ve got all winter. What do you say?”

Estelle’s stomach gurgled. “…alright. Nice work. I say…we dig in.”

She grabbed a knife to begin distributing pieces, but Starling stopped her. He visited the kitchen again and returned with more trays: there was a whole cake ready for each of them.

The next day, their day off, started much later. Late in the afternoon, Ayla wobbled over to Estelle and plopped down beside her.

“Speaking of digging,” she mused out of nowhere, “I’ve been doing some geology.”

“For once!” called Hoshi.

They were lounging around a chocolate fondue hot spring, sipping wine and watching the sun descend. Estelle had been half-dozing, nursing a belly that still felt full from a pair of lunches.

“What’s that, Ayla?” she asked, refilling her glass.

“I’ve been playing with the terrain. Trying to figure out its changes.” She stretched up and caught the chocolate-covered marshmallow Hester tossed into her mouth. “Mm. Anyway, as we’ve known, there isn’t much of a closed ecosystem here, at least as we would usually understand it. Things don’t really…interact.”

“I’m interacting with this fondue right now,” Hoshi chided.

“Ignore her. Look. The plants here don’t actually grow. The rocks aren’t formed from any recognizable geological processes. Stuff just…appears. So I’ve tried to isolate samples of some of this stuff.” She rolled over onto her side, paunch flopping out of her top. “I had a sample of Selena’s vegemite in my lab. And just like how the bog changed after she…after she passed, my sample changed, too.”

Estelle sipped at her wine. “What are you saying, Ayla?”

“The sample was in isolation. Just vegemite in a test tube. Now it’s grape jelly in a test-tube.”

“Mm, jelly,” said Hester.

“It changed on its own,” Estelle realized.

“Exactly. The molecules somehow rearranged themselves. It’s like…smart-matter, or something.”

“That is interesting.”

“Very. And I had an idea.”

Estelle gulped. Hoshi’s last big idea had led to her eating an entire cake. “Hit me.”

Ayla spread her hands. “We’re leaving in a cargo shuttle that can carry over 20,000 tonnes. I say we fill it to the brim with…well, stuff from the planet.”

“Snacks for the road?”

“More than that. If my theory is correct, if we fill that space with planetary matter, it could turn into a microcosm of the planet itself: a warehouse ready to satisfy the cravings of whoever walks into it. Think of the implications for our research!”

“Think of the implications for our waistlines!” Hoshi added.

“Think of the implications for colonial prosperity,” Estelle concluded, nodding.

“Exactly. It would be something to bring home, captain. Not just as proof that we were here, but proof of what we found and an opportunity to learn from it. It could be the key to unlocking synthesis…it could solve scarcity forever.”

The captain drained her wine and dipped her toes into the molten chocolate. “And you ladies could be heroes after all.”
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:45 PM   #52
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Chapter 22

Estelle sat staring at the empty plates before her. She tried to estimate the sheer quantity of hash browns she’d just eaten, so that she could feel appropriately ashamed, but all her foggy mind could guess was ‘all of them.’ A wet belch gurgled up from deep within her gut, which sat sheepishly atop her lap.

Hester pulled the dishes away, her breast brushing against Estelle’s head as she leaned past. “All done, eh?” the redhead lilted.

“I was done two or three plates ago. Not sure why I kept going.”

“We’re rubbing off on you,” Hester mused, rubbing her shoulders. “Welcome to the crew. Which reminds me…Hoshi says we’re all set for the initiation this morning.”

Estelle hiccupped. “Initiation? We…we’re doing that today? Stars, why did you let me eat so much breakfast?”

Hester gave her a hurt look. “Och, captain, I’d never stop a soul from eating and drinking her fill.” She snagged Estelle’s mostly untouched third mimosa and sucked it down in one go. “Any road, we do the thing clear on the other end of the valley. The walk should set your tummy right, eh?”

It didn’t.

As long as it took the corpulent crew to cross, Estelle still found herself massaging a pang in her abdomen and battling an incessant case of hiccups when the caravan halted beneath a narrow, jagged outcrop of the valley wall.

Ayla clapped her on the back. “Behold the Tower of Trials, captain.”

“Oh, nebulas. Hiccup!”

“We’ll go check on the setup. Meet us at that little waterfall when you’re ready.”

Estelle gaped up at the tower. It was a bizarre, twisting rock formation that reached upward along the wall. Platforms protruded out at oblique angles, sprawling with vegetation. Water trickled down one side in a nearly vertical stream, falling the last dozen feet into a small, bubbling pool.

Starling appeared behind her. “Captain, are you certain this is wise? The nature of this challenge seems contrary to your declared dietary principles.”

“I have to do it,” she gulped. “I need to gain their respect…build solid—hic!—arity. And, if nothing else, the girls need a morale boost if we’re going to make it through winter.”

“And you believe self-abasement is the most prudent course of action.”

“I’m gaining their trust the same way they earned each other’s.”

“Oh, it’s ‘trust’ you’re gaining, then. I see.”

She glared at him. “Why did the admiralty program you with so much snark? Look, I’m planning to go back to my declared dietary principles tomorrow. Just need to get this over with, first.” Swallowing one last hiccup, she trudged over to the others.

“Hope you’re hungry, captain,” Ayla giggled.

“Well then why was breakfast so…” She grimaced. “Erm…yes, very. Bring it on, ladies.”

Hoshi clapped her hands. Her massive rear quaked with glee. “So, we’ve all done this challenge at some point. Selena came up with it; said it would cement our unbreakable partnership as a crew.”

“I understand,” Estelle replied, with as much ceremony as she could muster. “I…accept the challenge?”

“Excellent. Doctor, please adorn the captain with the traditional sash.”

Hester bounced over and loosely wrapped a bright yellow ribbon around Estelle’s waist, fastening it in a knot right over her navel.

“You might want to tighten that,” Estelle remarked. “Feels like it’s about to fall off.”

“It’ll be tight soon enough.”

Hoshi cleared her throat. “Captain, to complete this trial, you must ascend to the zenith of this tower,” she announced, waving a pudgy hand. “Along your climb you shall encounter four molds of gelatin, each a different color and each more delicious than the last.”

“Mmm,” said Hester.

“You are to consume all four in their entirety.”

“Jealous,” said Ayla.

“Once you have reached the top and finished the final mold, you may return to us a full member of this crew.”

Estelle gulped. “Right. ‘Full’ being the operative word.” She looked around. “I’m surprised, ladies. This looks like a lot of physical activity.”

“Watching you wriggle your way up is half the fun, at least for us spectators. See, if you’re gonna get fat, you gotta learn how to use your fat.”

“But I’m not really planning to get…” She closed her eyes and turned to face the tower. “Whatever. Just show me where I start.”

Ayla pointed. “The first mold is on that platform near the waterfall. There’s a crack in the rock that will let you climb up.”

Estelle stepped forward, craning her neck up at the tower. Behind her, the other women sat down on a large danish; Hester handed out glasses and pulled the pitcher of mimosas from the rover.

The fissure in the rocks opened up wide enough to step into, though Estelle felt her lovehandles brush against either side. The moss-covered floor rose beneath her and formed a primitive set of stairs. She followed them up in a tight spiral, pushing vines from her face. The stairs brought her two dozen feet up and when she finally reached the first platform she found herself breathing heavily.

The platform stretched out next to the waterfall and overlooked the clearing she’d left below. She peered over the edge; the other girls waved up at her. Stepping back, she found a massive jello mold waiting patiently in the center of the platform.

It was orange gelatin, in the shape of a giant gumdrop. The cascade of the waterfall could be seen through its translucent form.

Estelle shook her head. “You’ve got to be kidding me, guys. This thing’s as big as I am.”

“I think you drastically underestimate how big you are,” came the reply.

She knelt down and poked it. It wobbled. “That’s like…two liters, at least.” She cupped up a handful, smelled it, and slid it into her mouth.

It was fruity; a very sweet citrus.

“Alright,” she sighed. “Gotta do it, Estelle. You need them to trust you or you’re never gonna get off this damn planet.”

She scooped up another handful and slurped it down. It was definitely tasty and smooth enough she could almost drink it; it jiggled all the way down to her stomach, which jiggled in reply.

Before she knew it, she was finished. Only a few pebbles of orange lay scattered on the platform and she was wiping her mouth. She closed her eyes and rocked with a long belch.

“Sounds like she finished the first one,” came a voice from below. Next one’s on the other side of the waterfall, captain, and up that rise.”

Estelle glanced over wearily. On the other side of the waterfall she could see another ledge, which wound up the side of the tower and out of sight.

Jumping the gap was out of the question, but a pile of treebranches reached from her platform across to the ledge. Estelle walked up and tentatively stepped a foot onto the makeshift bridge.

The branch she touched bowed sharply and she heard a series of snaps. She fell back in a panic, panting in the waterfall’s mist.

“Uh, no. That wouldn’t have supported you at your original weight,” she muttered, grabbing her gut, “much less with this on you.”

She glanced around. There were a few more branches lying around. She bundled them together, looked back at the gap, and grimaced. Then she ripped several of vines from the stairway and wound them around the bundle until she’d made a fairly rigid beam.

She leaned her construction across the gap, securing it with some rocks. Added to the existing branches, the new bridge was just supportive enough for her to lurch across and grab some foliage hanging over the other side. She tripped and plopped onto the new ledge as her bridge collapsed and splashed into the pool below.

“Nice work!” called Hoshi. “See, it took many branches being bound together to bridge the gap. Only by banding together can we support each other’s—”

Estelle stifled a burp. “Yep. Metaphors. Got it, thank you. Next one’s up this way?”

She followed the ledge around the side of the tower, out of sight of the others. It opened up into a small grotto. Sunlight filtered down through the cracks upon a block of red jello, just as large as the first.

“Hello, there,” she mused.

This one carried a warm spiciness, with a pleasant cinnamon kick. She had to eat it more slowly, letting her tongue cool and occasionally padding back for a drink from the falls. But soon it was gone and she could hear her stomach whine over the roar of the water.

She sat for a moment to let it settle. Her belly was so full of gelatin it may as well have been made of it, wobbling with much of the same consistency. She groaned, leaned her head back, and found herself staring up at the next platform.

It was another story above her, but there seemed to be no path leading up. Instead, further into the grotto, she spied the opening of a jagged tunnel that looked to head upward into the tower.

“Of course,” she sighed, getting to her feet. “Stars, it’s hard to imagine any of those girls fitting through this.” She hefted herself into the tunnel. “Or doing this much work, for that matter…uh oh.”

The tunnel had turned into a vertical climb. Two short ledges waited overheard, one a few feet above and rotated around from the other. Both narrowed the passage such that she couldn’t see her thickened waistline getting through both.

“It’s like a giant keyhole,” Estelle realized. “Alright…why couldn’t the initiation challenge just be a giant cake or something? Or maybe make out with your bunkmate and do a keg-stand, like back at the academy…”

She hoisted herself up, pushing herself along the tunnel walls with her back to the first ledge. When she’d advanced enough that the ledge pressed against the small of her back, her belly was too squished against the other side to go any further. She tried to reach her hands up to the next ledge, but without their support she found herself sliding back down.

“That academy dare’s looking more and more preferable,” she growled. “Hm. Can’t say I ever thought I’d say that. Ummpf. Ensign Caelius wasn’t too bad a kisser, either…”

Twisting around, she set her belly on the first ledge like a shelf. It gave her just enough support that she was able to shoot her hands up without falling and seize the next ledge. Over the next few minutes, by bracing her belly against the rocks, she managed to heave herself up and onto the next platform.

This proved to be a wider cavern, more sheltered and intimate than the grotto below. The cavern opened to the outside on one end, where a ladder led up and out of sight; on the other end waited a soft, inviting bed of leaves and a large green jello mold.

It was sour, but deliciously so. It pursed her lips and reached cold tendrils into her brain. She lay back on the leaf-bed and ate it slowly, appreciating every jiggling slurp. Before long she caught herself lazily rubbing her gut with her free hand.

Angry at herself for enjoying it, she slapped the last of the green jello into her mouth and hauled herself to her feet. She immediately stumbled and had to catch herself against the cavern wall—her head swam, her vision swirled, and her heavy belly threatened to pull her back to the floor.

“…the hell? That wasn’t just a giant jello mold,” she realized, finally recognizing the flavor, “that was a giant jello shot.” She pushed away from the wall, trying to find her footing. “Spiked. Maybe it’s like the academy…after all.”

She staggered to the ladder at the cavern’s mouth. “Come on, Estelle. One more. Just finish it out.” She glanced up the ladder to what looked to be the top of the tower. “So close…”

She mounted the ladder and eased herself onto the first rung. Nothing broke.

Staring forward and steadying her head, she proceeded up as carefully as possible. Her foot slipped a few times and once, halfway up, she nearly fell off to one side for no reason whatsoever, but caught herself and finished the climb.

The ladder brought her to a breezy plateau at the top of the tower. A clearing spread before her, surrounded by a ring of vine-wreathed trees.

Estelle stepped off the ladder and looked over the clearing. A huge purple jello mold, larger than the others she’d already finished, waited for her at the center.

Her swimming head betrayed her as she stood staring. She wavered on her feet, tried to catch herself, and fell backward through the trees. It was the edge of the plateau, but she was saved by an outcropping just a few feet down. She flopped face down onto the rock and sighed.

Her eyes widened. A sparkling blue jello mold sat in front of her face. “Oh,” she coughed. “Just think…if I’d kept my balance, I would have totally missed you.”

She dipped a finger in and tasted it. It was perfectly tangy.

“Wait…so don’t you make five? I thought Hoshi said four…” She screwed up her face, trying to remember. “That green stuff must have been stronger than I thought. Eh, better safe than sorry.”

As she worked her way through the blue jello, she realized that the pain at her waistline wasn’t just her overfull stomach, but the tightness of the yellow ribbon wrapped around it. She frowned down at it and resolved to force the wobbling mass down her gullet faster.

With the last swallow, the ribbon burst apart. Her gut swelled forward unchecked and the two halves of the ribbon flapped helplessly to the floor.

“Not sure if I should be proud of that,” she said with a burp, “but I do feel accomplished. Now, speaking of accomplishments…”

She seized a handful of vines and hoisted herself back onto the plateau. Her feet padded a little more steadily and her head had started to clear. The purple jello waited patiently, but Estelle froze.

Behind the mold, through a part in the ring of trees, she could see the rim of the valley. A crack in the rock wall formed one of the entrances into the valley, adorned with a pair of glowing zappers. A squirmer was pacing languidly beyond them, its membrane wobbling like the jello in Estelle’s belly.

The squirmer seemed to see her, too. It undulated closer to the valley entrance, but stopped as the zappers began to glow brighter.

“You just stay out there, now,” Estelle breathed, stepping forward. The squirmer backed away from the zappers, but continued to watch her.

She knelt down, keeping her eyes on it, and reached a hand toward the jello. The squirmer wriggled and shuddered and she heard, carried over on the breeze, its distant shriek.

“That’s right,” she hissed. “I’m gonna eat this whole thing right in front of you and there isn’t a damn thing you can do to stop me.” She scooped up a serving of jello with both hands, brought it to her face, and sucked it down.

She did so again and again, slowing as the throbbing pain in her stomach grew. Estelle had been full, if not outright stuffed, so many times since landing on the planet she’d lost count, but couldn’t remember a stewing, churning, swelling sensation like this. It was at once insufferably agonizing and irresistibly amazing.

The last lap of gelatin slid down her throat and she stood, stomach stretching grandly out. She asked the survival suit for a refit and pulled the top back down over her stretchmarked skin.

The squirmer fumed at her. Estelle raised a middle finger at it in salute, slapped her tautly-bloated belly, and loosed a belch that echoed throughout the valley. A chorus of cheers drifted up from below.

She tottered back to the cliffside, toward the sound of trickling water. She found the stream, gushing up from a nearby spring and beginning its course down the slope of the tower.

She spread her arms and dove forward, sliding down the stream’s course on her belly. It wound around the outside of the tower, twisting and curving a few times before dropping sharply. Estelle rolled over the edge of the waterfall and plunged into the pool below with a jaw-dropping splash.

Hoshi and Ayla pulled her ashore and set her against the side of the rover. She laid her hands across her gut and winced, eyes firmly shut.

Hester knelt down beside her. “Welcome back.”

“You all did that?” Estelle mumbled. “All of them?”

“Mm hmm. The green one was my favorite.”

“Shocking. Also, ow.”

The redhead petted Estelle’s hair. “You okay?”

Estelle managed to nod. “So I’m official now?”

Hoshi giggled. “Full member of the crew. With full privileges, full—”

“Oh, stop saying ‘full.’ Please…” Her head lolled back and she lurched with another long belch. “Tell the bio-pak to engage pregnancy protocols…’cause I’ve got a food baby.”
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:53 AM   #53
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Excellent addition, colourful and delicious. I fully approve!
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:09 AM   #54
Marlow
 
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Chapter 23

A deep belch echoed off the walls of the valley, followed by a duet of giggling.

It was well after midnight on one of the planet’s rare cloudless nights. The unfiltered starlight, joined by a couple of moons, lit the valley in a pale blue light. The breeze had faded to a lazy calm; the woods would have been perfectly silent if not for the uneven footfalls and uninhibited voices of two giddy, staggering women.

Estelle and Hester wove their way up the valley, giving the camp and their slumbering crewmates a respectful berth. The pair were heavily glutted and heavily inebriated, making the journey a slow and meandering affair.

They’d sneaked out after dessert, while Hoshi and Ayla had drifted into food comas and Starling had tackled the mountain of dishes. Estelle had wanted a relaxing bath in the northern pool, but Hester had talked her into a quick pit-stop at her favorite beer fountain.

The pit-stop had of course proven anything but quick and Estelle now worried they wouldn’t make it to the pool before collapsing.

“Holy nebulas,” she slurred, tripping over a creampuff. “Hester, you said we’d juss…have a couple.”

Hester helped her up and wrapped an arm around her pudgy waist. “We had a couple. Hiccup! And then a couple more. And then a couple couples more…” Her freckled beer belly sloshed audibly as they stumbled on. The redhead had sucked down an impressive amount, even by her thirsty standards. “Look, we did a lot of—hic!—hard work this week. Plenty of stress. Thought getting a little tipsy would—hulp!—would help you unwind.”

“I was tipsy enough after dinner. Now I’m…I don’ even know. What comes after drunk?”

“Me!” Hester cheered.

Estelle sighed. “I just wanted to relax in the pool and gut my stuff…hm…stuff my gut full of car…caramel.”

“Captain! First off, you know ‘enough’ is a bad word on this planet. Hic-urrp…though I am thrilled to hear you’re taking the init—hic!—initiative on stuffing your gut.” She leered over and patted Estelle’s belly, which had bounced free from her top.

“I can indulge a little…now an’ then. Maybe you’re wearing off on me…” She blew a raspberry. “Or maybe I’m just drunk enough to be inna mood for dumb decisions.”

Hester stroked her hair. “Those are my fav—hip!—favorite kind of decisions. And lookie, here we are!”

They’d staggered into the clearing around the pool. A mixed aroma of herbs and fragrances drifted down from the trees overhead.

“Thank the stars,” Estelle panted, steadying herself on a large chocolate-covered boulder. “I’m getting too heavy for those long walks.”

Hester wiggled up beside her. “Is that right? Let’s—hulp!—let’s check.” She grinned her impish grin and tapped Estelle’s bio-pak.

“199 pounds,” it reported.

Estelle belched. “Holy…nebulas. Almost…sixty pounds in six weeks.”

“You’re so close!” Hester gasped, hugging Estelle’s midsection. “I bet we can get you a couple more pounds tonight…right here. Hiccup!”

Estelle gently extracted herself from the redhead’s arms. “I don’t really need to…oh, but caramel.” She shook her head and began tugging at her suit. “Nn. Wanna…wanna go for a dip first.”

She peeled off her suit top, letting her gut plop out. Glowing in the pale starlight, it seemed as though a third, much softer moon had appeared in the night. Estelle shoved her waistband down, tripped, and collapsed onto her plush backside.

“Ugh, help me with these?” she moaned, flopping onto her side.

Hester knelt down unsteadily, placing a pudgy hand on Estelle’s belly for support. “It would be my—hic!—my pleasure, captain.”

It required a long, grunting scuffle, but at length Estelle’s long, soft legs stretched naked under the stars. She sat up with her back against a boulder, catching her breath and waiting for her head to stop swirling. Her glazed eyes watched with fascination as Hester staggered to her feet and struggled to remove her own garments.

Freed from her constricting top, Hester’s breasts flopped nearly to her navel, broad and low but immensely round. Her beer belly—and it was certainly that tonight—pushed them forward such that they became the inescapable forefront of her person. They jiggled and banged against one another as she bent to pull off the bottom of her suit.

Once she had tossed her clothing aside, the weight of her huge bosom seemed to pull her forward further and further until she fell, giggling mischievously, onto Estelle’s lap.

Estelle winced and groaned. “Wasn’t ready for that, Hess.”

Hester gave her lap an apologetic pat. “Hey, ‘ssnot like you don’t have some—hulp!—plenty of padding.” She got to her knees and eyed Estelle.

“Yeah…” Estelle looked down with a frown. She ran a hand over her bulging stomach, lifted it up, and watched it bounce back down. “I’m getting fat. I tried so hard not to, but this belly keeps exp…ex…keeps getting bigger. Urrp.”

“Quit acting like it’s a bad thing. Hip! And quit acting like you don’t like it. Like you don’t like what this great place’s giving you.” The redhead smirked and grabbed her hand. “Dance with me.”

Estelle shook her head. “Dance? Way too drunk, Hess. Would just stumble around an’ fall over again…”

“Then stumble around and—hic!—and fall over with me.” She tugged again and provided enough counterweight to get Estelle back to her feet.

Estelle had expected the frenetic, drunken frolicking Hester usually called dancing, but instead Hester pulled her close and tucked her head into Estelle’s neck. Estelle flushed as the enormity of Hester’s breasts squished against her bloated abdomen. She felt herself begin to warm as they swayed together.

The weaving dance carried them to the edge of the pool. Estelle closed her eyes and allowed the dance to take her knee-deep into the cool, sparkling water. Her hazy thoughts drifted manifestly toward pleasure.

Her besotted sense of balance betrayed her, though, and they soon fell again. Estelle found herself on her backside, Hester straddling her, bosom filling her vision.

“I think you’re—hic!—think you’re right,” Hester lilted. “This planet hears our cravings. It knows what we want…what we—hulp!—long for…whatever’s most delicious to us.” She reached down and placed Estelle’s hand onto her massive breast.

Breath coming shakily, Estelle squeezed. She circled her thumb over Hester’s nipple and watched the redhead shudder. She brought up her other hand and pressed both breasts together, up and around, in a deep, massaging caress.

Hester bit her lip. She opened her mouth to reply, but only moaned and hiccupped.

Estelle arched her back, pressing her gut against Hester’s. “Then…maybe you’re right. I should stop fighting my cravings…” She leaned forward and kissed Hester’s chest. “This place is a gift.”

Hester kissed the top of her head, lifted Estelle’s chin, and locked her lips with hers. They pulled each other closer in the water.

“Last time we came here,” Hester murmured between kisses, “you asked me about back—hic!—back home. But I didn’t think to ask about you.”

“Ask me about…urrp…ask what ‘bout me?”

“Did you leave anything behind?” Her green eyes glimmered. “Anyone?”

Estelle ran a hand over her cheek. “I had…nothing. I was…I was in prison when they sent me here.”

Hester smiled at her, twirling a finger through her hair. Her bosom bounced with another hiccup. “Well…now you’re free.”


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Old 03-27-2017, 08:03 PM   #55
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Chapter 24

Back on the New Kansas colony, seasons had been artificially modulated by the Sunflower Dome’s climate systems. It gave a basic sense of liveliness to the swath of land humanity had carved out of the otherwise barren, atmosphereless exoplanet.

The dome’s temperature and moisture regulators allowed the warm summer months to give way to a few months of cold, snowy winter. Cycles were seen as imperative to the human psyche and the winters gave the colonists a time to cozy up by the domicile heating unit with their families and mugs of hot chocolate-substitute.

Something about the winters had always felt false, though. The temperature never got too dangerously low and the snow seemed too market-tested and pristine. When the scarcity hit and the hot chocolate disappeared, the winters lost even their artificial charm and ceased to be anything but bleak. The planet’s pale, scraggly little moon (the affectionately named ‘Chalk Rock’) would stare down on cold nights like a vulture.

Estelle’s winter on LV-237 featured very little of the things she’d been taught to associate with the season, but nonetheless proved far cozier and more genuine than any the colony had designed.

It never got to be particularly cold, at least down in their sheltered, fertile valley. Beyond the rim they could see the effects of the season—the frozen pass, grey skies, and leafless trees—but in the valley everything remained vibrant. Sometimes a chill might settle in at night, but never enough to leave frost. It was as though the ground itself carried a warmth that fought off whatever the air might bring. This was certainly welcomed by the expedition; particularly those members who had outgrown or cast off their survival suits.

Neither was there ever any snow to be seen, at least outside of an accidental powdered-sugar incident one morning (Ayla was banned from preparing breakfast for weeks after). But each morning gave the explorers something new about the planet to appreciate and each evening saw them finding new ways to entertain themselves.

And while there was no fireplace, there was never any shortage of cozying and always an overabundance of chocolate in all its forms.

It was undeniably an alien winter, but one Estelle found herself enjoying more than any prior. As someone who for so long had stopped feeling joy, whether because of circumstances or cynicism, she had trouble accepting it at first. But over time it refreshed her, revitalized her, and soon she regained her ability to appreciate, enjoy, and be thankful for things.

Each morning she could appreciate the bounty of breakfast. She enjoyed pancakes, waffles, eggs of all varieties, hash browns, doughnuts, bagels, croissants, danishes, strudel, and too many pastries to count. She enjoyed breakfasts so lavish they sent her straight back to sleep, face drizzled with jelly and butter and hazelnut spread.

She was thankful, after so many of those breakfasts, for her survival suit’s willingness to accommodate her increasingly less reluctant indulgence. “Suit,” she could sigh without shame, “refit.”

As she finished her work each day, settling in with the others, she could appreciate all the valley’s various gifts, seemingly new and different every time she looked to appease her appetite. She enjoyed platters of pasta, stacks of sandwiches, piles of pizza, streams of stew, mountains of macaroni…all swimming in a sea of sauces or drowning in cheeses, all overflowing with flavor. The valley’s offerings changed frequently: one afternoon they chanced upon a marsh full of mashed potatoes and returned the day after to a fen of fettucine al fredo. Estelle enjoyed each and every dinner she was served and enjoyed, too, the flattery of being served. She enjoyed leaning back in her chair, hands resting atop her distended abdomen, waiting for Starling to bring out the next unnecessary and excessive course.

She was thankful that, no matter how much she’d already had and no matter how much she half-heartedly protested, Starling would always have that next course ready.

“Urrp. Suit: refit.”

In the evenings and further on into the nights, she could appreciate the desserts. The whole world was sweetness: cracked-open rocks yielded caramel, ice cream awaited them in deep caverns, there were pools of pudding deep enough to swim in, a river of honey flowed through the center of their valley, the very walls of their shelter were cheese, and the very ground they trod was chocolate cake. Beer and wine issued forth from fountains, ready for any revel. Estelle forgot the concept of ‘too much’ and enjoyed the impossible experience of eyeing more than could ever be eaten and saying, ‘not enough.’

She was thankful she could do so hand in pudgy hand with a crew of equal appetites.

“Suit: re…mm…refit.”

Above all else, she could appreciate Hester, Ayla, and Hoshi. The wider each of them grew, the closer they grew to one another. The girls enjoyed every little hint of their captain’s growth: the softening of her chin, the deepening of her navel, the frequency of her snack breaks, the tired grunts as she paused for breath along her walks, and the waddle that worked its way into her now unhurried stride. For her part, she enjoyed the nights spent with them, laughing and indulging and enjoying the sunset over the valley, a tall drink in one hand and a third or fourth dessert in the other.

She could appreciate, too, the mornings after, waking slowly and hazily with her head in Hester’s bosom; or, after a while, with her head on Ayla’s broad shoulder or Hoshi’s voluminous lap. One morning Starling returned home to find all four of them slumbering in a pile of plump, naked flesh, covered in butter and syrup.

Estelle was thankful that no matter how decadent each morning, day, and night proved, there was always a bigger breakfast, bigger dinner, and bigger party waiting the next time her appetites flared. Each morning she woke hungrier than ever and each evening she slept fuller than ever, stomach throbbing and head swimming. Each day offered more and each day she not only accepted more, but yearned for more.

“Suit…hic! Oof, oh, stars and nebulas. Hm? Yeah, I’ll have another—hurk—another plate. Suit…hic-urrp. R-re…fit…refit. Mm.”

There was a pause. Nothing happened. “Unable to comply,” the little voice confessed. “Insufficient material.”
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