A Forest Tale 6: Goldfur's Story
By Bernard Doove © 1997

Accompanying illustrations were drawn by and © 1997 by Roy D.Pounds II.

Today was the day that the whole family was gathering on one of the few times that everyone was available. My sister Goldfur and hir mate Garrek had arrived back from their latest tour of duty only a few days ago and had been staying at my home ever since . This morning, I had driven to the spaceport to pick up my own mate, Midnight. Shi barely had time to drop off hir luggage and freshen up before we all left for my parents' home. My life-mates, Trina and Kris came also. We all piled into the minibus that Kris used for carting around sport equipment, or a horde of chakats, and headed off into the countryside where my parents had their den.

We pulled up to their rustic homestead situated on a hectare of nearly unspoiled land. The heady scent of the eucalyptus trees of the forest where I grew up, filled the air. The front door opened before we reached it and my mother and sire came out to greet and hug us all.

"Come in!" Desertsand insisted. "Your kin arrived about half an hour ago and their young cubs are off playing with Quickpaw," shi told Goldfur and me. "The rest of your cousins are dying to find out about how your pregnancies are progressing."

"Patience, mother," I laughed. "We're going to be here all day. There's plenty of time."

We entered my old home and immediately felt the warmth and charm that the old place still exuded. On top of that, I smelled the various scents of my family kindred. We met a chorus of greetings as we entered the lounge room. It was a big room, but it seemed smaller due to the large number of chakats filling most of the floor-space. Another round of hugs ensued, many taking the opportunity to feel our life-swollen bellies. There was an extra amount of fuss made over both of us, me for my twins, Goldfur for hir half-foxtaur cub.

Eventually we sorted ourselves into comfortable positions on the rugs. I felt extra cosy with Midnight settled down on my right side and my two life-mates leaning against my left flank, there being no room for chairs. Goldfur and Garrek were just to one side of us. We were the centres of conversation and we answered many questions that our relatives had been saving for this event. Then my mother's youngest sister inquired, "This is the first instance of a foxtaur mating into a chakat family, isn't it ? How did this come about? We want details!"

"Yes, Goldfur," I encouraged hir; "You've given us a general account of the affair but I think it's about time to give us all the events that led up to this day."

"All right, it's a long story, but as long as we are all here, this would be a good time to tell everyone and answer all your questions at once," Goldfur agreed. "It all started about a year ago on a routine assignment to sector 23 to do a follow-up on a mapping and exploration expedition on the planet RDP2. The world hadn't earned a name yet, but it was soon to be etched in our memories..."

*      *      *       *      *

Goldfur stuck hir head around the cabin door and announced, "Lead Technician 1st class Chakat Goldfur reporting, sir!" The human behind the desk marked Chief Engineer snapped his head up from his compu-terminal and a smile broke out on his face.

"Goldfur! You're on this voyage? I haven't checked the duty roster fully yet. It's good to see you again. How have you been?"

"I've been great, Tom." Shi grinned and padded over to his desk to give him a proper chakat greeting. "But look at you! A promotion to Chief Engineer! You have done well."

"Thanks! Of course it has its down-side, more administrative work, etcetera, but I'm more than happy with the pay-rise."

"I'll bet! So, who have they gotten into fill your old position?"

"A morph about your age, named Garrek." A cagey look came upon his face. "I think that you will like him. This is his second assignment since leaving his training seminars, but I think that he will go far. He's got a real knack for engineering."

"Well, since I'll be working pretty much hand-in-glove with him, I'd better make a point of looking him up soon."

"He intended to start maintenance on the battlemechs straight after we depart, so you will find it easy to track him down."

"Right. I might take advantage of that and start there too. Did you have any priority items?"

"Not yet. I will have a roster ready after we take off, but there aren't any urgent items yet. You can go ahead with the mecha if you wish."

"Okay. I'll get onto it straight away after I settle in." Goldfur padded over to the cabin door and turned around. "Would you like to get together for lunch, Tom?"

"Sure! 1300 okay for you?"

"1300 it is then. Bye!" Goldfur gave a cheeky wave of hir tail as shi left his office. Tom fondly watched his friend depart. He smiled to himself when he thought about how shi would react to their new engineer. "I think things are about to get interesting,"" he said to himself.

*      *      *

The exploration starship James Cook departed on time and without a hitch. Goldfur slipped on hir duty uniform, a green jacket with several pockets, with hir name and rank adorning it. Leg-warmer style shin guards went on hir forelegs in lieu of the standard ship boots. Shi brushed hir long hair and tied it back into hir usual ponytail. "All set," shi announced to hirself. "Time to meet the new blood."

Shi proceeded directly to the mecha maintenance bay. The federation had been fortunate in that, so far, all contacts with new races had been peaceful. However, the federation council wasn't so foolish as to assume all such contacts would always be that way. All exploration ships that specialised in opening up new worlds were equipped with a number of battlemechs for defensive purposes. They had to be given a regular maintenance at the beginning of each mission so that their small complement of military personnel could run training sessions in them. Hir job was to run the diagnostics on all the electronic systems whilst an engineer looked after the hardware side of servicing. As shi walked into the bay, shi noted that these were designed for Quange pilots, necessitating a very large cockpit. Shi heard a clank come from within one and saw a big, bushy tail sticking out from behind an open panel.

"A fox morph," shi thought to hirself. "What's so special about that to make Tom behave so suspiciously?" Shi walked up to the panel that was still blocking hir sight and banged on it with a fist. "Hello in there," shi sang out.

There was a jerk of the tail and a muffled thud, followed closely by a muted curse as the unseen worker bashed his head. Then the tail started moving out, followed by a pair of legs covered in red and dark brown fur, and nothing else. "He's working unclothed?" wondered Goldfur, then immediately realised, "No, the shape of his legs is wrong." Moments later, it was obvious why. "He's a foxtaur! I've never dealt with one before. They don't usually go in for these kind of jobs." Shi looked him over. He was the same size as hir and solidly built. He had luxuriantly long fur with typical red fox markings, only with an unusually intense depth to the colour. The sore head that he was currently rubbing, did not have the common human-type hair, but a large ruff of red fur that was similar. "Oh my, he's a handsome fellow," was hir first opinion. Shi was currently in hir female phase and found hirself very attracted to him.

Meanwhile, he had been assessing Goldfur. From his initial annoyance at being startled into banging his head, his reaction changed to wonder at just who had done this to him. Whatever it was before him was very obviously female, judging by how well she filled out her jacket, but he had never encountered her species before. Evidently, she was some kind of feline taur, a cougar by her fur pattern. Not for the first time, he regretted that his isolated upbringing had kept him from learning more about such things. Then again, he had chosen this career as a means of learning more about the world around him and it seemed that he was going to be doing a lot of learning today. He continued to examine her. He noted her golden brown fur and exceptionally long, animated tail. He was puzzled by the strangely long digits on her forepaws. In fact, they almost looked like huge, blunt-fingered hands. Suddenly he became aware of the intensity of her regard and his initial curiosity was overwhelmed by his usual shyness in the presence of a beautiful female.

"Umm, hi! I'm... er... the new engineer. I mean, my name is Garrek..." He stumbled to a halt, wondering what he should do next.

Goldfur realised that shi was making him uncomfortable. "Down girl!" shi told hirself. "Plenty of time for that later." Then aloud, shi introduced hirself. "I am pleased to meet you, Garrek. My name is Chakat Goldfur, child of Longstripe and Desertsand, and I'm the head technician for this voyage. We'll be working together on a number of tasks such as these battlemechs."

Garrek stuck out a paw and said formally, "I'm pleased to meet you, Chakat. My name is Garrek Redfox."

Goldfur took the proffered dark-furred paw and they stiffly shook hands. "You've never met my kind before, have you?"

"Umm, no," he admitted.

"I thought so. For starters, we are chakats. We introduce ourselves as Chakat Whoever, so my personal name is Goldfur. We are rather a friendly lot, so please don't be put off by my forwardness." Shi realised that his shyness was making him tongue-twisted, so shi decided to bring this up to a professional level. "Okay, I've got to run diagnostics on these battlemech computer systems. I'll start with the one you are working on now, if that suits you?"

"Sure!" he replied, looking a bit relieved.

*      *       *

"So, how did your first duty period with Garrek go?" Tom asked as they brought their meals to the mess table.

Goldfur sat on hir haunches as Tom pulled out a chair for himself. "The maintenance work is going well. We will be finished by the end of the next shift. Garrek fixes faults almost faster than I can find them."

"Yes, he's got incredible talent. I swear that he could fix a Swiss watch with a sledgehammer. However, that wasn't what I meant, and you know it!"

Goldfur grinned back at him. "He's definitely cute, you sly devil. I'm getting pretty close to the height of my female cycle and I definitely want to get to know him better, but I've never met a shyer person in my life. Once we got down to strictly business, though, things went much more smoothly."

"Yes, he definitely needs to be drawn out of his shell a lot more. I got to know him on his first assignment, and once we had been working together for a while, he loosened up a lot. Still, whenever he meets a female, he gets all tongue-tied and shy. He needs to be taught to deal with the female crew-members, and I reckon that you are the one to do it."

"I see that you are already exercising your command responsibilities by trying to improve your personnel, but, as you know, I am a hermaphrodite. Might not one of the regular female crew be a better choice?"

"I'll bet that he doesn't know what you are as yet and I reckon that you can see both sides far better than a female. If a chakat can't draw him out, I don't know who could. There's another factor you need to know, though. The foxtaurs are matriarchal, socially speaking. I think that he needs a more aggressive role-model, and you certainly are not a shy and retiring personality."

Goldfur purred in amusement. "Me, demure? I can't even imagine it! Okay, I'll do what I can. I reckon that this could get interesting."

"If our last voyage together is anything to go by, interesting would be quite an understatement," Tom noted with a twinkle in his eyes.

Goldfur recalled their trysts whilst they had been travelling together. The liaisons shi had with this homosexual human had definitely made it one of the more different affairs that shi ever had. This trip was looking to be anything but dull.

*      *      *

The next few days, Goldfur and Garrek's schedules overlapped occasionally. The foxtaur's shyness was still present, but at least he could hold a conversation. Surprisingly, once he began talking, he proved to be quite a witty speaker. In fact, once he even had hir rolling on the floor with laughter. He seemed to be quite pleased with the reaction and was encouraged to try a few more jokes. Goldfur was happy to see him coming out of his shell and urged him to talk about himself whenever an opportunity arose. The more shi learned about him, the more shi liked. However, more-urgent needs were beginning to press upon hir. Shi had reached the peak of hir female cycle and had come into heat. Shi could have taken measures, such as a special herbal brew, to repress hir urges, but shi preferred not to exercise that option, preferring to let nature take its course. Fortunately, shi had an alternative. Tom had surprised hir on the second day of their voyage at their next lunch break. He was waiting for hir with another person already with him: a chakat with jet-black fur.

"Goldfur! Guess who I ran across? This is Midnight. Shi is the commander of the scout team."

Midnight got up and padded over to meet Goldfur. "Hello, I am Chakat Midnight, child of Sharpears and Shorttail. I'm very happy to meet you," shi announced formally.

Goldfur was startled to see that shi had crystal blue eyes. Golden-green colour was normal for most chakats, although shi had seen other shades. However, this was practically unique. Shi shook hirself out of hir fascinated gaze and returned the formality. They then hugged each other in a typical chakat form of welcome, taking the opportunity to capture each other's scent and store it in their memories.

They settled themselves at the table with Tom. "I really should have found out sooner whether there was another chakat aboard before this. I usually check that out on the first day, but I found myself pre-occupied."

"I only checked this morning," replied Midnight. "When I found out where you were, I checked with the Chief Engineer. Tom informed me that he was meeting you for lunch, so I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to catch up with you."

The three had a lively conversation, getting to know each other. It turned out that Midnight had been assigned to this ship because it was Star Corps policy of having at least two chakats on a ship whenever possible. This was so they could tend to their unique physical and emotional needs. The trio continued meeting for lunch each day. Midnight and Goldfur turned out not to have much in common and Goldfur didn't regard hir as a potential mate, but as shi was due to come into heat very soon, hir presence was very fortuitous. Midnight's personality tended towards the masculine. Although shi still remained as bisexual as the rest of hir species, given a choice, shi preferred to take the male role. This suited Goldfur completely, but shi was pleased to see that Tom and Midnight seemed to be getting very interested in each other, hir masculine attitude appealing to the human's tastes.

The day shi came into heat, shi had to deal with a very strong desire for hir admittedly sexy foxtaur workmate. After hir shift was completed, shi headed not for hir own cabin, but straight for Midnight's. The door opened before shi could announce hir presence.

"I scented you coming. Come in and we'll see what we can do about giving you some relief," shi said with an anticipatory smile.

They went straight to hir sleep area, there being no need to say more. This was one of a chakat's most basic needs and the reason why at least two was the desired minimum number on a ship. For the two days or so that shi was at peak fertility, the interaction with a lover was the best way of getting relief (other than getting pregnant) that could be provided. Any chakat would always take this role for another, because not only was it so pleasant, but also of course the time would come when it was hir turn to seek relief.

They spent a very enjoyable hour of mutual pleasuring together. The only thing that Midnight avoided was straight copulation with Goldfur. The two were not mated and Goldfur had no plans to raise a cub at this time. However, this left many very acceptable alternatives. By the time Goldfur kissed Midnight good-evening, shi was feeling much more relaxed. Shi also felt hungry. Shi hadn't eaten yet, and their activities had certainly been very energy intensive, so shi headed for the mess hall.

Shi found that Tom and some friends, including Garrek, were gathered at one of the bigger tables, drinking coffee and amiably chatting. Shi brought hir meal over and joined them.

"Ho, Goldfur!" Tom greeted hir. "You look a lot more settled than you did on afternoon shift."

"Yes, a little stress relief, you know," shi replied.

"Oh, right." Tom realised immediately to what shi was referring. "Let me know if I can help out there. I can provide a service that Midnight can't."

Goldfur grinned, remembering some of those services. Because a human could not impregnate a chakat, there were no holds barred in their love-making. "I'll remember that next time, thanks!" shi affirmed, then got stuck into hir meal.

The general conversation resumed. Apparently Garrek had been re-telling one of his amusing stories. Because shi had heard it before, Goldfur was able to finish hir meal quickly without having to pause to reply to anyone. There was a huge round of laughter when Garrek gave the punch-line. There were smiles on the faces of the people at nearby tables also. Obviously, he had entertained a wider audience than he realised. Shi was happy that he was now so relaxed around other people and shi hoped that he had gained a lot of self-confidence. Then a voice spoke up from behind them.

"May I join you?"

It was a female voice that shi didn't recognise. Shi turned to look at the newcomer and was surprised to find that it was a foxtaur vixen. Two foxtaurs on a ship was slightly rarer than two chakats. This one was wearing Security badges, which explained why shi hadn't met up with her so far. Shi looked over to Garrek to see his reaction. Shi sighed when shi realised that he had become flustered and turned-in on himself again. "So much for progress," shi thought.

The others had all invited the foxtaur to join them. She told everyone how she had noticed Garrek amongst us and wanted to find out why he was on the crew. She was not of his clan and knew nothing about his presence until now. Her motivation for signing on was purely wanderlust. Now it seemed that it was her eyes that were doing the wandering in Garrek's direction, but he had clammed up and had barely replied to any direct questions. Goldfur wondered if this newcomer was going to be a help or a hindrance in drawing Garrek out, but definitely felt an air of competitiveness in regards to him. Goldfur decided that shi would just have to let events take their course for now.

*      *      *

The next day, Goldfur spent the morning repairing a defective food replicator. The faulty part was easily found and simply replacing it would cure the problem. However, it took longer to find out why it had failed. With something as important as a food replicator, you could not take chances. It turned out to be a case of bad design. Steam from hot food had been slowly corroding a relay that was protected insufficiently. Shi wrote up hir report recommending modifications to all similar units, then headed off to the maintenance bays to see if Garrek required any assistance. Shi found him working on the hydraulics of one of the battlemechs. Apparently, an overenthusiastic trainee had managed to find a weak point in the armouring and wrecked the hydraulic servos in one of the legs. In trying to compensate for the loss, the inexperienced pilot had inflicted secondary problems. This was going to take all afternoon to repair and shi recommended that they take a break before tackling the job together. Shi had other motives too, though. Upon laying eyes on Garrek, hir hormone-charged system had immediately sent a wave of desire through hir. Shi needed a bit of time to compose hirself in order to work unaffected.

After a relaxing break, they got stuck into the work. Garrek finished opening all the leg cavities to get at the damaged components. Goldfur worked from the mobile platform and sent diagnostic reports to him, then started re-calibrating the systems. The shift was almost over when shi was finished. Shi climbed down the steps to see how Garrek was doing.

"Have you got much left over to do?" shi asked him.

"Almost completed," he replied. "I'm just securing the last hydraulic compensator unit, then we can run the final checks on the lot. There, done!" He turned to Goldfur in satisfaction.

Shi couldn't resist the urge to give him a congratulatory hug. He had completed the job far faster than hir initial estimate.

He was both surprised and pleased with this intimacy. Although he hadn't told anyone yet, he had a growing attraction for this unusual lady. Her strong-willed and intelligent attitude towards him had made him do things that he thought he couldn't do. His present social life was the best that it had ever been because of the confidence she instilled in him. It had been shaken a bit last night when that vixetaur had joined the group, his old shyness crashing down upon him again; but with Goldfur, he no longer felt this way. Indeed, he wanted to get to know her better. He felt emboldened enough to return the hug and nuzzled her in thanks. He smelled the mating scent on her, but it had little effect upon him. He would not have minded if it had. It might have urged him on to tell her how he felt about her.

He gently pulled out of the embrace, saying, "All we have to do now is power up the system to run the final performance check. Could you go up and turn the power on?"

"Okay," she replied. She walked over to the stairs and bounded up them quickly. He watched her fluid, graceful movements for a moment, then turned his attention to the hydraulic servos.

Rather than climbing into the cockpit, Goldfur reared up to put hir forepaws on the sill and leaned in to activate the mecha. Garrek called out which systems to put through the test routines and shi kept an eye on the diagnostic board. Everything passed with flying colours.

"All right, you can shut it down now." He was smugly satisfied that all the repairs had worked flawlessly. He turned to look up to where he could see Goldfur straddling the small gap between the work platform and the cockpit, and froze. There under her belly, previously obscured from casual looks by the thick fur protecting it, was something that did not belong on his beautiful lady. His mind reeled, struggling to comprehend. There was no mistaking the sheath and what it implied, but he could not reconcile it with her obvious female aspects.

While he stood there dazed, Goldfur came down to help him replace the panels to finish the job. "It's nice when everything goes as planned, isn't it?" shi said conversationally, then stopped when shi realised that he wasn't paying attention. In fact, he looked to be utterly confused. What had brought this on? Shi went to place hir hand on his arm to reassure him, only to have him jerk away.

"I... I've g-got to go," he stammered, then took off for the exit. Goldfur watched him go, bewildered and unhappy. Shi had no idea what had caused this but shi was hurt that he felt that he couldn't talk to hir.

Garrek headed straight for his cabin. When the door had closed, he just stood there for a while, trying to think of what to do next. He considered the facts: she was definitely female. If her ample breasts weren't enough evidence, his nose could tell that she was a female in heat. Her attitude toward him had been that of a vixen of his own species. However, he certainly wasn't mistaken about the fact that she had a penis too and this he could not understand.

"Chakats," he said aloud to himself. "What do I really know about them, seeing as she is the first that I've ever met?" He moved to the computer terminal on his desk. "Computer! Give me an overview on chakats, please."

The screen lit up with a list of relevant articles and he chose one that seemed promising. The screen displayed the title, "An Introduction To Chakats", and he began to read.

A while later, he leaned back on his haunches, deep in thought. Now he knew what she... no, shi was and he was amazed. He still did not know how he stood in relationship to hir and spent the evening pondering their interaction, both work and personal. In the end, he decided to have an early night and sleep on it.

*      *      *

Goldfur had tossed up whether to track Garrek down and confront him about his problem, but decided that he had the right to try to deal with it himself first. Hir shift was ending and shi had a rendezvous to keep. Shi made hir way to the quarters of the chief engineer, having decided to take up his offer when shi saw him at lunch break. Tom's door opened to show his smiling face.

"Come in!" he urged hir inside, "I've been looking forward to this all afternoon."

"You have? Think about me having to control myself during my phase!" Shi took him in hir arms and they kissed long and thoroughly. The two former bed-partners wanted to make up for the long time since the last time that they had been with each other.

Now some may wonder what a homosexual human would see in a furry of feminine aspect, but although even chakats couldn't fully explain it, their sexuality transcended all barriers and preferences. Male or female, heterosexual or homosexual, human or morph, it did not matter to the chakats and they appealed to all. Perhaps it was the amount of honest love that they had for their partners that made chakats so universally desirable. Tom regarded their little trysts as a refreshing change of pace and genuinely enjoyed spending the night in Goldfur's arms.

Tom disrobed to show that his member was willing and able to do its task. Their first coupling was without further foreplay. Shi had the need and he was only too willing to fulfil it. With practiced ease, he mounted hir, driving himself into hir hot depths. Shi sighed in pleasure as he stoked the flames of desire within hir. They moved as one, their ecstasy rapidly building. Goldfur was already primed by a day of unrelieved sexual need and came to climax quickly, while Tom had spent an afternoon in anticipation and was only moments behind. Goldfur's yowls of incredible pleasure were joined by Tom's roar upon orgasm. Then the two panting lovers just laid together, sharing each other's warmth.

After a while, Goldfur said, "It's time for me to return the favour now, isn't it?"

He smiled in assent and moved into a comfortable position on his hands and knees. Goldfur straddled him and proceeded to mount him. Shi took hir time and gently began to insert hir cock into his anus. A chakat's penis is larger in proportion to their greater body mass. Unsheathed, it was only slightly longer, but about 50% thicker than the average human's and shi did not want to cause him any harm. Shi carefully eased hir entire length into him before starting the long sensual stroking that he so enjoyed from all his lovers. This was not Goldfur's preferred form of having sex, but with him, it was right and good. Intimately joined, they built themselves up to climax again and again.

The time for haste was over. Goldfur's needs had been relieved and the lovers could now spend long periods exploring and pleasuring each other. It was late in the evening before the two stepped out for a late meal. Then Goldfur kissed him goodnight and went back to hir own cabin to get some much-needed sleep.

*      *      *

The next morning, when shi woke up, shi immediately realised that the sexual tension had abated. Hir heat cycle was over and shi was pleased that things could get back to normal again. Shi could now concentrate on what was bothering Garrek and was determined to resolve it today, if he hadn't already done so. Shi entered the maintenance bay with a little trepidation, only to find that he had beaten hir there and had enough time to replace all the panels left there yesterday. He was just tightening the fasteners on the last one.

Garrek only noticed Goldfur when shi announced hir presence with a "Good Morning". He still hadn't decided how he was going to deal with the situation until he turned to look at hir. There was his beautiful lady with a look of concern on hir face. Suddenly it was all clear to him. Here was someone who cared for him, liked him for what he was and enjoyed being with him. He also knew that he still cared for hir and wanted hir around. He felt good while shi was with him and he wanted that feeling to last. His face lit up with a smile. "Goldfur! It is a good morning, isn't it?" He bounded up to hir and gave hir a quick hug.

Shi finally relaxed and returned the hug. "So, are you going to tell me what happened yesterday?" shi asked hesitantly.

Garrek didn't react as shi expected. Instead, he looked embarrassed. "I found out something about you yesterday that shocked me at the time," he admitted. "Something that isn't very obvious unless you happen to be at a certain vantage point."

"Vantage point?" thought Goldfur; "What does he mean? He was down in the pit and looking up towards me when it happened. What did he see that he hadn't before? There was only... oh no. Shi had forgotten to get around to telling him about being a hermaphrodite. In high female phase, shi had only been relating to him on that basis and he had been totally unprepared to find out about hir true nature. "You found out that I'm part male and you freaked out?" shi asked him.

"Yes, it's true," he admitted with shame. "I didn't understand what was going on and didn't know how to deal with it. Last night, I read up on your species and now I comprehend, but until I saw you this morning, I didn't know how I would react to coming face to face with you again. Now I do know. Goldfur, I haven't been this happy in a long time and it's you that have made me this way. I don't want to spoil it ever and I'm sorry for any hurt that I caused you by my actions yesterday. Will you forgive me?" His voice was pleading by this stage.

Goldfur took his hands in hirs to re-assure him. "Of course, if you will forgive me for not preparing you about my nature."

"Done!" He then hesitated, then thought to himself; "You might as well say it now. You will never get a better time." He braced himself, then looked hir in the eyes, and said, "I love you, Goldfur." There, he had said it. He had just told someone he'd known for only a few days, something he had wondered if he would tell any vixen, let alone someone not of his own species. He wondered how shi was going to react. He was overwhelmed by hir response when it came.

Shi threw hir arms around him and hugged him until his ribs protested. "Oh Garrek, you don't know how much that means to me! We chakats know very quickly when we have found a suitable mate and I have been doing my best to help build your self-confidence while we've been together. I wanted you to achieve your full potential, but most of all, I just wanted you. The time I was in heat and working with you was the hardest of my life. I had to discipline myself not to throw myself at you. I love you too, dear one!"

Garrek nearly collapsed in hir arms with relief. He had made possibly the hardest decision of his life and won the heart of the one for whom he had come to care so much. Then an adrenaline rush hit and he bounded up and started bouncing around yipping with joy. He whipped off his jacket and started whirling it about his head in sheer exuberance.

Goldfur watched him with a grin on hir face. "Wow! When he comes out of his shell, he goes all the way," shi thought. "Hmmm, this gives me a delicious idea. I really shouldn't do it, but I can't resist any more." Shi took off hir shin guards, then hir jacket and finally, shi released hir hair from its usual ponytail. Shi wanted to feel fully free for what shi was about to do.

Shi intercepted the still jubilant foxtaur who softly collided with hir, their meeting cushioned by hir proud breasts. His eyes locked onto hir bare chest, widening with surprise. Shi put hir hands on his waist to pull him in closer, while he was automatically back-pedalling. Shi held him firmly and steadied him, then said, "Have you ever done it in a battlemech?" with a wicked grin on hir face.

"You don't know what you are saying, Goldfur. You are in heat and letting your hormones do the talking," Garrek protested.

"No, I'm out of estrus now. You would realise that if you paid more attention to your nose. This is just me talking, a chakat in love. I want you, and I want you now!"

Garrek stood there, letting his eyes rove over hir gorgeous form, his mind full of wonder that this beautiful person wanted him. For the first time in his life, Garrek decided to do something outrageous and chose to accept hir offer. "No, I haven't done it in a battlemech. Have you?" he asked knowing full well what the answer would be.

"I haven't either. Shall we find out what it is like?"

Garrek merely smiled his agreement and disengaged himself from hir grasp. Shi took his hand and they walked together up the steps to the cockpit of one of the mecha unencumbered by maintenance equipment. Although there was plenty of room for the Quange pilot, the two found it to be a tight fit, but they didn't mind being forced into such close proximity. They started to kiss, their hands and paws roamed over the other's body, touching, caressing, and getting to know their lover. Their tongues washed their partner's face-fur, tasting each other.

Garrek had been without a partner for too long. He needed hir now. His erection had grown rapidly and was pressed firmly against hir warm, sensuous body. He had briefly felt the presence of hir own penis too, but no longer cared. He shifted himself behind hir, a trifle awkwardly because of their cramped conditions, Shi pivoted on hir ultra supple waist to keep kissing him for as long as possible. Shi moved hir tail aside, inviting him in. He did so with joy. He slid smoothly into hir, eliciting a moan of pleasure from hir and sending a thrill through his whole body. He settled in on top of hir to be in as close contact with hir as possible. Shi took his hands and placed them on hir breasts. He took the hint and fondled them lovingly, teasing hir nipples until they were as hard as possible. He felt the reaction to the pleasure he was giving hir as a shudder passed through hir from top to tail-tip. He then started to draw back, then thrust himself into hir again. He picked up the rhythm. Little mews of ecstasy kept escaping hir lips. He began to growl as the pressure built up within him until he could bear it no more.

"Goldfur my love, here I come!" he gasped out.

"Yes, fill me with your seed and your love!" shi panted in reply, hir orgasm imminent. He intensified his efforts and felt the onrush of his climax. He pumped until he felt that shi would overflow. His growls were joined by hir yowls of joy as shi achieved consummation with him. Their cries celebrated the fulfilment of their love.

Garrek collapsed next to hir, his energy happily spent for the moment. Shi snuggled up to him, hir eyes closed, just enjoying being with him. Shi was purring. He didn't know that chakats could do that, but he liked the sensation.

They just laid there for a while, enjoying the afterglow and their lover's presence. Then another's voice was heard.


Garrek looked up to see the vixetaur security guard glaring down at them. "Oh my God!" he started to panic. "How are we going to explain this?" was all he could think of.

Goldfur was unperturbed, still holding Garrek possessively. The guard was somewhat aggrieved though. She had heard the most incredible commotion coming from the maintenance bay and had come to investigate. She had been very surprised by what she had found, and more than a little annoyed to find the tod, on whom she had designs, entwined in the arms of another. There was nothing more she could do about that, so she resorted to officiousness.

"Break it up, you two. You are going on report for this. You can't be having sex on your work shift, and in a battlemech at that. Now get out of there!"

Goldfur reluctantly agreed that she had a point and disentangled hirself from Garrek. Shi then reassured hir upset lover and led the way to their discarded clothing. They both donned their jackets to satisfy propriety and then did their best to straighten their dishevelled fur, all under the watchful eyes of the irate foxtaur vixen.

"You can go now," Goldfur informed her. "We won't be doing this again."

"I won't ignore this," she insisted. "I will be writing up a full report on this incident."

"And so you should," Goldfur agreed, swiftly cutting off any further objections. "It's time we got to work. Come on Garrek, let's finish this job." Thereafter, shi ignored the guard, encouraging Garrek to do likewise. She left them, fuming because there wasn't anything else she could do about the situation.

The moment that she had gone, Garrek said to Goldfur, "What are we going to do now?"

"You worry too much, dear heart. It isn't the end of the world yet. Now think about what we have just achieved and let those happy thoughts carry you through the day."

*      *      *

Goldfur stood in the captain's office, having been summoned there that afternoon.

"What am I going to do with you?" the captain asked. "No, never mind. It was a rhetorical question. Chakats have always had a great deal of leeway on starships. They have always been a good example, hard working, caring, and a positive influence on morale. However, you have stretched that leeway to the limit. You are officially admonished and warned not to do it again.

Then he relaxed and smiled. "You are also officially commended on achieving what all the experts at the academy had failed to do. Engineer Garrek is potentially one of the most talented people ever to join the corps. Unfortunately, his introverted nature was a stumbling block, and nothing that the psychs at the academy did had significantly changed this. However, in just a few days in your presence, he has opened up and become, not just socially active, but also a popular person to chat with. How did you do it?"

Goldfur gave him a happy smile. "I knew that I had found my mate. I know that it sounds trite, but it was because I had fallen in love with him that I was able to reach him so quickly. I'm sure that he sensed this without knowing it. His self-image was improved and he gained the confidence to start dealing with people. From there it just snowballed." Shi paused for a moment, a thought occurring to hir. "I have a question for you sir, if you don't mind?"

"Go ahead."

"Did you deliberately pair us up?"

It was the captain's turn to smile. "Very perceptive of you. Yes we did, although we didn't anticipate the, shall we say, whole-hearted response. Your profiles showed that you were suitable work-partners and chakats have always been catalysts, so we gave it a try. Now it seems that we didn't just gain an engineer, but a paired team, and it's about time that team got back to work, don't you think?"

"Yes, sir!"

*      *       *      *      *

"So, what happened to you, Garrek," I asked.

"I was given the equivalent of a slap on the wrist and told not to let such activities interfere with my work. I was puzzled then about why they hadn't said any more, but now I realise that they didn't want to undo any of the good that Goldfur had done."

One of the young cubs, with black fur on hir lower body speckled with flecks of white fur, spoke up. "Is that when you got pregnant, Goldfur?"

"No, Starshine. As I said, I was no longer in heat. Besides, that was right near the beginning of the voyage. I didn't fall pregnant until much later."

"Tell us about it!" shi demanded excitedly.

"Not yet," interjected Desertsand. "Lunch is ready now. You can continue later."

There was a general surge in the general direction of the kitchen. I hung back to let the hungry cubs have first go. Goldfur and Garrek got up and shi put hir arm about his waist. I overheard hir ask him tenderly, "Shall we continue the story, my gorgeous fox?"

He replied, "Always and forever, my beautiful lady."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

To be continued in A Forest Tale 7: Garrek's Story

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


While I had created the central characters for this tale, it was Roy Pounds' marvellous drawings that inspired the plot to this story. Many thanks go out to Roy, a great artist and a special friend. He is also the creator of the Quange whom I've used in this story.


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