They came from the Mesophere.

In a once in an eon freak event, every tectonic plate on Earth simultaneously and violently shifted, resulting in magnitude 9.5 quakes happening all over the globe. Billions died, cities were destroyed, hills became valleys, and oceans became mountains. The topographical landscape of the world completely changed over the course of twenty four hours, and unsurprisingly every nation descended into chaos and anarchy.

In the midst of all the death and confusion, people began to report sightings of seven foot tall women. According to the rumors they’d climbed up from the center of the Earth during the Shift to conquer the humans, and if you believed the real nutcases, they were the ones who’d caused the plates to move in the first place. Using witchcraft.

Yeah, it was just as crazy as it sounded. Mainly because it was completely at odds with how they actually were.

For the most part the Ma’ro–at least, that’s what people called them when they weren’t calling them barbarians or amazon witches behind their backs–avoided humans entirely. They were largely nomadic, and if you didn’t mess with them then they wouldn’t mess with you. Hell, if you offered them food or shelter they’d even stay for a day or two to help rebuild or serve as guards. They were five times as strong as any man and never seemed to tire, so it was a real bargain for those who had the supplies to spare.

If that was the end of it things might’ve been fine. Humanity could’ve regrouped, and in a century or two the world may have even returned to its pre-Shift state.

But the Ma’ro weren’t the ‘they’ I was talking about.

Most people called them demons. They weren’t, of course, because demons didn’t exist, though with their savage viciousness and near impenetrable skin they may as well have been. Like the Ma’ro they’d come from beneath the Earth’s surface, but unlike the Ma’ro they killed any living thing they saw. Small arms and blades had absolutely no effect on them, and if even a single one of the black, lizard-like creatures got into a settlement they could wipe it out within an hour.

The only things that could reliably wound and kill the creatures were the obsidian blades of the Ma’ro, and once that was discovered people quickly forgot about the whole witchcraft thing and began to seek them out for protection.

I blew warm air into my hands and rubbed them together, desperately trying to work some warmth into my freezing fingers. I’d been travelling across the country for months trying to get home to my family in Maine and had vastly underestimated both how long it’d take to travel and how cold the weather would be.

I’d been away at college for my freshman year–Stanford, if you can believe it–when the Shift happened. Though most of California had been hit hard, we were relatively okay if you didn’t count the looting, anarchy, and general random violence. The surviving citizens and students had holed up and barricaded themselves inside the college against the monsters, and it was now one of the biggest settlements on the west coast as far as I knew.

Unfortunately because radio towers everywhere were still down communicating with anyone further than a few miles away was all but impossible, and since everyone was too afraid to travel far no one truly knew what the hell was happening beyond whatever fractured reports could be picked up on the radio.

Everyone had called me crazy for attempting the journey home on my own, and maybe they were right. But I had to know. I had to see if my family was still alive.

I squinted at the green highway sign in the distance and smiled. If the stark white words were to be believed I was about a mile away from Missouri. I’d left California on my bike and had been making good time, but somewhere around Colorado my back tire had decided to give me the middle finger and flattened itself. I’d abandoned it almost immediately because there was no way that I was going to drag my shitty ten speed along when I was already so tired. It was a risky move, sure, but I figured I’d be able to come across a bike or sporting goods store at some point.

So far I’d had absolutely no luck. The stores I’d found were all either completely looted or the bikes that were left were for toddlers, meaning I was basically doomed to walk the rest of the way.

My thoughts were abruptly stopped by a strange low, steady chittering, and I froze. I threw myself behind the nearest abandoned car and tried the door, praying that it would open but was completely unsurprised to find that it was locked because of course it was. I was fucked.

I’d heard the stories and knew that hiding from the demons was useless. Once they were within a certain range they just knew where you were, and the general rule of thumb was that if you could hear them you were already dead.

I was already dead.

It crept closer and closer, steadily, its heavy steps thumping and crunching in the sparse snow, and I squeezed my eyes shut. There was no doubt that it knew where I was, its path too sure and straight for me to delude myself otherwise. I had a pistol, a scavenged military knife, and a machete on me–all of which were completely useless against the demons’ near impenetrable skin. Short of a miracle I was going to be ripped apart and eaten, but I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to at least injure the bastard. I armed myself with the gun and machete and waited, my breath coming faster the louder the creature’s strange chittering got.

To my absolute shock, the sound of the monster’s footsteps suddenly stopped. I then heard the sound of fast, heavy footfalls, and as much as I wanted to poke my head around the car to see what was going on my legs were refusing to cooperate.

The demon screeched–loud and shrill and terrifying–and then there was nothing besides the sound of wind, wet squelching, and a quiet thud. A soft shuffling followed, and after another couple minutes of not hearing much else I deemed it safe enough to take a peek.

Moving as slowly as humanly possible I poked my head around the corner of the car. My eyebrows rose into my hairline when I saw the figure of a true hulk of a woman crouched over the now dead demon, her brow furrowed with concentration as she used a black dagger to dig into the monster’s flesh. She was one of the Ma’ro.

I’d never seen one in person before, but the stories truly didn’t do them justice. Even sitting over the corpse of the demon as she was, it was clear that she was easily a foot taller than I’d ever be. Granted that wasn’t much of an accomplishment given that I was five foot seven on a good day, but still.

I didn’t know how she could wear what was basically little more than a black tube top and skirt in the snow, but I’d heard that due to their unique physiology the weather didn’t affect them much. Her braided reddish brown hair and tanned skin were caked with dirt, and it was hard not to notice that every part of her seemed to be made of rippling muscle. She had a giant black sword strapped to her back along with an even larger bow, and I could even spy a small quiver of arrows hanging from her waist.

I watched her work for a bit from my hiding spot, curious as to why she was cutting the claws and bony spines off of the demon. She ran her jagged black dagger through its belly like butter, easily skinning the creature like she’d done it a thousand times before. She finally grouped her plundered materials up into a bag and stood, and that’s when I decided to make myself known.

I stowed my weapons back into my pack so that she wouldn’t mistake me for a threat–laughable, I know–and stood up, making as much noise as I could so as not to spook her.

“Uh, hi,” I said, smoothing down my chin length black hair and gripping the straps of my bag nervously. Despite knowing the Ma’ro weren’t violent towards humans unless provoked, she was still incredibly intimidating.

If she was surprised by my presence she didn’t show it, picking up her things with the nonchalance and confidence of someone who knew they were untouchable. Still, she spared a glance over at me and grunted, and now that she was looking at me I could see that her eyes were golden brown. Despite her size and roughness she had a strangely pretty face, her lips plump and full even though they were currently pulled into a thin line.

“Thanks for killing that demon. I thought I was dead.” My eyes landed on the lump of disfigured pink flesh that used to be the monster and I blanched. Apparently they weren’t very good for eating.

She dipped her head and grunted again, not bothering to look at me this time. She began to turn away towards the woods, and that’s when I felt panic rise up in my chest. “Wait! I want to hire you. I’m going to Maine.” She paused and stared back at me blankly, and I gulped. “East. That way,” I said, pointing in the direction I’d been headed along the highway.

“Hmm. No. I go North.” Her voice was deep for a woman and rough, like she hadn’t spoken to another person in a while; same as me. She took a few purposeful strides and I rushed to run in front of her, holding out my arms.

I was a bit surprised that she could speak English, even as broken and stilted as it was, and I’d have dwelled on it further if my knees weren’t currently shaking. “Where North? Can I go with you? At least until I have to start heading East again.” She didn’t say anything, and I panicked further. “I have food. Rations.”

“Hmm. Don’t need,” she said firmly.

I was seconds away from getting on my knees in front of her. “Please. I’ll die out here alone. Please.”

The silence between us stretched for what seemed like hours, even though realistically it was probably only a minute or two. Finally she sighed and nodded once, and I beamed.

“Thank you! I promise, I won’t slow you down.”

She didn’t answer and headed off towards the woods again, and though I was more than a bit leery of leaving the highway, another glance at the glob of still-steaming flesh on the asphalt made my decision for me.

Despite my assertions that I wouldn’t get in the way, it was extremely hard to keep pace with her. Between her lack of fatigue and long stride I was basically jogging for hours, my breath coming in fast, tortured pants, and I was more relieved than I cared to admit when she finally stopped near a well-hidden alcove to rest.

I plopped down on a fallen log and sucked in as much air as I could while she began to put down her things, unpacking her black leather bag to remove some kind of jerky. She wasn’t looking at me as she ate, her eyes casually scanning the horizon, and it was only when she went for a second bite that I noticed something strange about her mouth. Unlike humans who only had two canine teeth, every single one of hers came to a sharp point.

“So, I’m Jesse. What’s your name?” I asked nervously once I’d caught my breath.

She looked at me for a long moment but didn’t say anything, instead choosing to return to her meal. Alright then, no talking. I unpacked my own bag to remove a pouch of tuna fish and held it out to her.

“Here. The promised food,” I said.

She stared at the bright packaging with barely hidden mistrust. “Hmm. No.”

“It’s good, I promise. Doesn’t expire for another year,” I explained, but she only shook her head and took another bite of her mystery jerky.

Shrugging, I tore it open and stuffed a pinch of it into my mouth. I wasn’t hungry after the scare I’d had not even three hours ago, but I knew I needed to eat to keep my strength up.

Unfortunately though, now that we’d stopped moving and it was dark out, I quickly realized that I was freezing. I wrapped my blanket around my shoulders but it barely helped, so I decided the best course of action was to make a fire. I gathered a pile of dry twigs and paper and used my cheap lighter to get it going, and I was surprised when the woman immediately stuck her black leather covered foot out to smother it.

“Hey!” I shouted, annoyed.

The woman glared right back at me. “No fire. Beast come.”

My next argument died in my throat. “What? Because of the smoke?”

“Hmm. No. Heat.”

My eyes widened, and suddenly it all clicked. The demons could see thermal energy; Body heat. No wonder hiding from them never worked. My mind reeled with possibilities. That meant a space blanket–or hell, even simple aluminum foil–could hide a person’s presence. This was huge, and not for the first time I wished that I had access to the internet to tell the world.

Still, that didn’t solve the freezing-my-ass-off problem in the short term, and I let my teeth chatter for about half an hour before I made a desperate decision.

Sucking in a breath, I slowly made my way over to her. Her eyes shot over to glare at me again, narrowing with suspicion, and I felt her tense when I carefully slid into her lap. Due to our difference in size I felt like a child as I curled up against her, but fuck if she wasn’t warm. She felt like an actual space heater, the amount of heat her body gave off making me melt almost immediately. She smelled a bit ripe, but given that I hadn’t so much as wiped myself off in days I couldn’t really throw stones.

“No,” she said, starting to shove me away, and I curled my arms around her to keep myself where I was.

“It’s freezing out here, and since we can’t start a fire the least I can do is be your hot water bottle,” I mumbled. My cheeks reddened with shame, but there was absolutely no way I was going to freeze to death so soon after narrowly avoiding being eaten.

She sighed then, loud and deep, but then she finally relaxed. She pulled a large black tarp that looked like it was made from demon skin out of her bag and wrapped it around the both of us, and I was surprised to find that I felt even warmer with an additional layer protecting me from the wind. I wondered if it also helped to mask our presence, though before I could think about it much more I felt my chin begin to dip into my chest.

At some point I must have fully passed out, because when I woke up again I found myself fully resting on top of her. Gentle snores coming from above told me that my savior too had managed to fall asleep, her body lying on the snow covered ground, and when I shifted to find a more comfortable position against her firm body I felt something hard and throbbing brush against my stomach.

My heartbeat quickly sped up as I realized what I was touching, but I wasn’t completely surprised. I’d heard that even though the Ma’ro were all female, not all of them had vaginas.

I nervously licked my lips as a new idea crossed my mind. If she didn’t want my food, what reason did she have to keep me around? What was stopping her from just up and leaving in the middle of the night? I had to earn my keep somehow, and giving her a bit of pleasure seemed like a fair trade off if it meant she wouldn’t abandon me.

My hand shaking, I slid it further beneath the blanket to wrap around her clothed dick, and my eyes widened when I realized just how big it was. It was easily the size of my forearm, and just as thick. It felt hot to the touch even through her thin skirt, and when I gently began to massage it I felt it grow even larger and harder in my grip.

She moaned, the sound low and rumbly and in her chest, and then her large hand was wrapping itself tightly around my wrist. “No.”

“You don’t like it?” I asked, my voice quiet and unsure.

She didn’t say anything for a long moment, her gaze confused, and it wasn’t until I felt her release me that I began to slowly move my hand again. I watched her close her eyes and lean her head back against the cold ground, her heart beating more strongly against my own chest from where I lie on top of her.

Feeling a bit bolder now I carefully untied and removed her demon skin skirt, and when she didn’t stop me again I chanced a glance down at her penis to see that not only was it huge, it was strapped down to her thigh by a thin piece of rope. Steam rose from the thick, veiny appendage, throbbing with her heartbeat, and when I loosened the strap it immediately sprung up to slap against her stomach. She had a set of balls that looked amusingly similar to brown eggs, and even I had to admit that I was interested in seeing how much cum they could produce.

I nervously licked my lips. I’d never touched a penis besides my own before, but I certainly wasn’t adverse to the idea. Like most I’d ended up in certain corners of the internet and had grown curious about what it’d be like. I carefully wrapped my fingers around the thickest part of it and she inhaled sharply. Luckily her dick was uncut, the extra foreskin covering the majority of the head and making it easy to slide my hand up and up and down.

I got into a slow, steady rhythm, gently massaging and stroking the heavy piece of meat. Her breath came faster as I picked up a bit speed, and when I chanced a look up at her face I could see that her eyes were closed and her cheeks held a tinge of red. It was hard to tell if she was enjoying it or not as she remained largely silent, but I figured if she wasn’t telling me to stop I must’ve been doing something right.

It wasn’t until I began to twist my wrist a bit on the upstroke that she finally released a sound, a soft sigh forcing its way past her lips while her body shuddered at the same time. Thick, sticky strands of clear precum leaked copiously from the head of her cock, helping to make the gliding of my palm against her skin even easier, and by now I could clearly smell her arousal. It was pungent and tart, a scent that was very familiar but also different in a way that I couldn’t place.

It had my own much smaller dick rising to attention and I slowly ground my hips against her stomach as I played with her. I planted a kiss against the skin of her chest above her top, and that’s when I felt the steel bar in my hand expand to its biggest size yet.

She cried out suddenly then, her voice higher and softer than I expected, and her back arched sharply to send me rising into the air. Ropes of molten white cum shot from her cock to splash up into her hair, onto her face, her chest, and my tightly gripping hand.

To me it seemed like she came for a full minute, her body jerking and twitching as I continued to milk everything I could from her heavy balls, and it was more fascinating than I’d expected to both watch and feel the thick appendage throb and spasm. Its veins bulged and strained between my fingers.

It was another full minute or two of gentle, consistent stroking before she finally stopped dribbling, though her body twitched with aftershocks every now and then even after I let her go. My hand was covered in her warm, milky cum, and when I chanced another look up at her face I noticed that she looked shocked, her eyes unfocused and glazed over.

Her fingers dipped into the cum pooling on her belly, and she raised a finger to her nose to smell it. She stared at it curiously for a long moment, and then she turned her golden gaze to me. “Hmm. What is this?”

I felt my jaw drop a bit. “You’ve never cum before? Or had an orgasm?”

She furrowed her brow and shook her head and I raised my eyebrows. It was hard to say for sure because she wasn’t exactly human, but she looked older than me by at least ten or fifteen years. As hard as it was to believe, maybe her culture didn’t do masturbation, or even sex–not the way we did, anyway. As far as I knew no one had tried to sleep with one of them, but then there wasn’t exactly an internet I could look to anymore for answers.