Across the Junn-Junn Wastes ...by
by Van ©2011


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Bonnie had no intention of being breakfast for a Tyrannosaurus rex, but at the moment her options were decidedly limited.  Running out onto the dry lake would be tantamount to suicide.  She might as well dump a bottle of Worcestershire sauce over her head and shout "Eat me!"  Her only real option seemed to be to wait for the monster to charge, zap it with her Tesla, then play hide-and-seek in the boulders.  The odds didn't look good.

She eased the pistol from its holster, thumbed off the safety, and slid the selector to maximum.  That would discharge the coils in one massive bolt, as massive as the pistol was capable of producing, anyway.  It was sufficient to bring down a medium-sized, ungrounded automaton, or something as big as a dire wolf, but she had no delusions that it would be sufficient to punch the ticket of a charging T. rex.  A Tesla rifle?  Maybe, but better yet would be one of the heavy sniper rifles with armor-piercing ammunition, the kind designed for Alliance Rangers to punch holes in the boilers of armored land-walkers from ambush.  Also, the pistol's recharging time between max shots was something like thirty seconds, depending on the age of the battery in the pistol's hand grip, and—

The T. rex charged!

Bonnie waited until the beast had closed to something like ten yards, aimed for its open jaws, and fired.  ZZZZZAP!  She didn't wait to see the result, but sprinted around the side of the boulder at her back, crossed the gap to another boulder, scrambled behind, reversed direction, and sprinted behind a third.

Meanwhile, the ground was shaking as the T. rex stomped and spun in circles.  Bonnie watched the tip of its tail flailing in the distance, around the edge of her boulder refuge.  There was a crash as it stumbled into the mass of the first boulder, then—relative quiet.

Bonnie blinked in surprise.  As far as she could tell, the beast was still at the edge of the dry lake bed, but it was making a very curious noise, sort of a rhythmic huffing and gargling sound from deep in its massive throat.  Bonnie eased around the side of her hiding place, and her jaw dropped.

The leathery giant was shivering, shuddering, and dancing in place with delicate, mincing steps!  Its tail was twitching and shaking and its disproportionately small forearms flailing, and all the while it was making that strange noise.  This continued for several seconds.  Then, the T. rex turned its back, faced the way it had come, and stomped away, pausing every few steps to shake its huge body.  Finally, it entered a side canyon... the ground stopped trembling... and it was gone.

Bonnie continued to stare, scarcely believing her luck.  She slid the pistol's selector to its regular setting and immediately the status dial needle jerked from "charging" to just inside the green of the "ready" sector.  She now had one, maybe two normal shots available and the promise of more as time passed.  The female warrior she was stalking was still out there, unless she'd done the sensible thing and run for her life when the T. rex first appeared.

There was nothing for it but to resume trying to find her, even if Bonnie's quarry did know she was being tracked and was at home in this empty, waterless landscape.

Across the Junn-Junn Wastes

Bonnie quickly returned to the dry lake shore, her eyes darting from side to side.  She was on the alert for her warrior prey—knowing she was now the warrior's prey, as well.

It was as she feared.  The giant feet of the T. rex had completely obliterated the trail.  She'd hoped to find the point at which the warrior-woman had doubled back, so she could pick up her trail again, but the ground was churned for yards in all directions.  Bonnie sighed, then—"Hey!"

A lasso had whistled through the air, dropped over her head and shoulders, and tightened, pinning her arms to her sides.  Worse yet, the sleeve of her robe had snagged the sight of her pistol, restricting her ability to bring the weapon to bear.

"I've never seen a big honker giggle like that," an alto, feminine voice announced.  "Didn't know a big honker could giggle."

Bonnie looked up.  The female warrior was standing atop a nearby boulder, a gloating smile on her beautiful face.  The end of the lasso was in her left hand and the Castellian carbine Bonnie had noticed earlier was in her right.  Her finger was on the trigger and the business end of the stubby rifle was trained on Bonnie, of course.

"Big honker?" Bonnie inquired.  "I assume you're referring to the large dinosaur with all the teeth that was trying to eat me?"

The warrior nodded.  "Big honker."  She gestured with her chin and the barrel of the carbine.  "Drop the lightning pistol," she ordered.

"I'll try," Bonnie sighed.  She managed to free the sight from her sleeve.  Then, keeping the weapon pointed at the ground, she slowly, carefully, and in full view of her captor, thumbed on the safety and tossed it to the sand.  "Bonnie Plantuckett," she introduced herself.

"Trussa, daughter of Gagga," the she-warrior responded, then jumped from the boulder and strolled forward, the carbine still trained on Bonnie.  "Hands behind back," she ordered.

Bonnie slid her hands under the taut noose of the lasso, crossed her wrists behind her back, then turned.  Watching her captor's (her would be captor's) shadow, she waited until she saw the carbine being slung—then spun around and grabbed the slings of Trussa's weapon and bundled robe.  She threw herself backwards on the ground, planted a boot in Trussa's stomach, and kicked, all in one fluid, practiced motion.  She then scrambled to her feet, freed herself from the lasso, and retrieved her pistol.

Trussa had flown through the air, executed what had to have been a graceful and magnificent somersault that unfortunately Bonnie was too preoccupied to appreciate, and landed on her hands and feet out on the smooth, flat pan of the dry lake.  She continued to slide back as she straightened into a fighting crouch.  Finally, she came to a stop about four yards from the shore.

"The carbine, if you please," Bonnie purred.  The Tesla pistol was trained on what was now her prisoner.

Trussa smiled, carefully unslung the carbine, and tossed it to Bonnie.

"Hands up," Bonnie instructed, "and step forward."

Trussa raised her arms, took a cautious step towards Bonnie—criiiiick—and froze.  A web of fine cracks had appeared under her boots.  Criiick.  The cracks spread.  Criiick.  Suddenly, instantly, a ten foot area centered under Trussa's feet melted into loose, fine sand!  She immediately sank into the talc-like powder up to her thighs... and continued to sink.

"Oh, bother," Bonnie sighed.  She eased the carbine to the ground, then retrieved the lasso.  With practiced ease, she coiled it, twirled the noose above her head, and thew it over Trussa's head and shoulders.

Trussa shrugged her shoulders and began pulling her arms free of the noose.

"None of that," Bonnie said with a smile.  "In fact, take a few turns around your wrists."

Trussa looped the rope around her wrists three times, then tucked a loop under the lasso's noose, below and between her breasts.  She passed the end of the loop back over her now joined wrists and pulled out the slack, as best she could.

Bonnie gave the lasso a firm tug, and Trussa's self-imposed bonds tightened further.  "That will do for now," Bonnie nodded.  By this time, Trussa had sunk to the level of her hips.  Bonnie sat cross-legged on the shore, keeping a firm grip on the taut lasso.  "Now that we've been introduced, let's discuss how you are going to help me reunite with my partner, so we can continue on our way."

Trussa grinned. "Little, pale, girl-face, short hair like boy, silly long skirt?"

Bonnie nodded.  "Her name is Georgetta.  She goes by George, actually."

The sand was up to Trussa's navel.  "She on her way to visit Queen."


"Bondara, daughter of Fettera, Queen of the Sand Amazons."  The sand had reached Trussa's elbows and hands, and was approaching her breasts.  "You meet her too, soon."

"Perhaps," Bonnie responded.  "I'm afraid we have no official authority to treat with local dignitaries.  We are carrying letters of introduction to those Gondwanese governments with whom the Grand Alliance already has formal relations; however—"

"You like hear yourself talk," Trussa huffed.  The sand was crawling up the undersides of her breasts and threatening to engulf her brown nipples.

"If I was in your position," Bonnie purred, "I believe I would be more polite."

"If I was in your position," Trussa responded.  "I be very sad."

Suddenly, several lassos flew through the air, settled over Bonnie's head and shoulders, and snapped taut.

Bonnie turned her head and found she was surrounding by a dozen amazons, all with various weapons trained on her or holding the ends of the lassos.  As she watched, twenty or more bipedal dinosaurs thundered to the lake shore.  All were saddled or loaded with bundled supplies.  Perhaps a third of the Velociraptor-like mounts were carrying amazon riders.

"Sad, indeed," Bonnie sighed.

Across the Junn-Junn Wastes

George wasn't sure how much more she could take, not that her opinion seemed to matter.  Ball-tied, hood-gagged, and trapped inside her basket-cage, the amazons had been carrying her through the tunnel for hours.  Their way opened into a large cavern, they crossed a rushing subterranean stream on what to her alarmed eyes was a very narrow stone bridge, then entered another narrow tunnel.  At one point she actually dozed off, the swaying of the basket and her nervous exhaustion having overcome her fear.  After an unknown interlude she snapped alert to find her condition unchanged.  She was still cargo being carried into the dark unknown.

Suddenly, there was daylight up ahead.  They passed an open gate of heavy timber reinforced with iron straps and exited the cave into a forested valley.  George blinked as her eyes adjusted.  The surrounding cliff walls were twice the height of the arroyo where they had moored GWENDOLINE, but the valley floor was only slightly wider.  Her amazon porters continued carrying her along without breaking stride.  There were actual trees growing in the valley, conifers of some sort.  Rust-red needles carpeted the sandy floor, crunching under the amazons' boots.  Under other circumstances, George would have savored the bracing scent of the pines and the sunlight filtering through their sighing branches. Songbirds and hand-sized pterosaurs were flitting and gliding overhead, chirping and chittering.  Yes, George sighed through her gag, under other circumstances...

They passed a series of terraces cut into the side of the left-hand cliffs.  Men wearing boots, loincloths, and straw hats with broad brims were weeding crops and lugging jugs George presumed were full of water up and down a series of ladders.  The very nearly naked men were in their late teens, twenties, or early thirties, and were strong, strapping, well-tanned examples of the masculine physique.  George blushed in embarrassment—on their behalf.

"Woo-hoo!" one of the amazons in George's party shouted.  "Lookin' fine, fellas!"

"Been on watch, long time!" another of the amazons yelled.  "We come back make jûb-jûb, later!"  The warrior women hooted and pumped their fists.

One of the men, somewhat older than the rest, leaned on his hoe and glared at the passing patrol.  "You not look like old women," he shouted back.  "Stop begging for jûb-jûb when it not your turn and let my gang work!"

"We not beg for jûb-jûb," a third amazon shouted.  "We promise jûb-jûb!"

"My mistake," the male overseer shouted back, "you are old women."

 The amazons hooted and laughed, again, and continued on.

George hadn't followed every nuance of the exchange—okay, she'd followed very little of the exchange—but she'd followed enough to continue blushing.

She was carried past more terrace farms, tended and untended, and several cave openings, also with doors of heavy timber reinforced with iron bands.  At one point, a dozen amazons riding bipedal dinosaurs thundered past.  Later, they encountered a single rider on a full-sized mount leading a string of smaller, younger dinosaurs of the same species, all muzzled and tethered to a single lead-line.

As the march continued, George began to miss the relative coolness of the dark tunnel they'd left behind.

Finally, after something like two more hours, they approached a walled compound built against the side of the far cliff.  George noted that like the terracing and limited construction they'd already passed, the compound's walls mimicked the local geology.  The irregular blocks had been chosen to match the surrounding strata.  Closeup, the camouflage, if it was camouflage, was of limited effectiveness; but George imagined that from the air this would appear to be an unusually green but unimproved and presumably uninhabited valley.  I wonder how many such 'settlements' Bonnie and I passed and failed to notice, she thought.  Unless we chose to swoop between the valley wallswhich we most assuredly would not doall of this would easily be missed.
          Daughter of Fettera!
A small portal tucked into a fold in the wall opened and an amazon emerged.  She was somewhat older than most of George's captors and was similarly dressed (undressed), and with the same narrow mask of blue and purple paint.  The decorations of her belt and brassiere were somewhat more elaborate than the others', but her costume was just as functional (and minimal).  Also like the others, she was tan and fit.  Her hair was loose, long, dark, and straight, with a fringe of bangs covering her forehead.  She gazed at George with strikingly blue eyes, a smile curling her lips.

George's captors bowed, ever so slightly.  "Hail Bondara, daughter of Fettera," one of them said in what was obviously a formal greeting.

"Cincha," the newcomer nodded.  "This the little pale one," she noted.  She was referring to George, of course.

"Yes, my Queen."

So this is the Queen, George thought.  She's quite... formidable.

"Flashy-flashy signal arrive four hour ago," Bondara said.  "Trussa catch other one.  Bring her here... tomorrow."

The amazons laughed.  "Tomorrow," Cincha chuckled.  "Trussa take her time."

Bondara nodded, then gestured at George and her basket-cage.

The amazons set down their burden and untied the basket's lid.  George was lifted out and the rope enforcing the ball-tie was unknotted, uncinched, and uncoiled.  George moaned through her gag as she straightened her cramped, sore legs.  Her booted ankles were still lashed together and her wrists behind her back.  Her handlers hauled her to her knees and began unlacing the hood-gag.  One by one, the straps went slack, then the main hood was pulled from her head.  George struggled to expel the wad of cloth filling her mouth and the Queen, herself, reached out and plucked it from between her lips.

George worked her aching jaws and licked her lips with her dry tongue.  "If I might trouble Your Majesty for a drink of water?" she croaked.

Still smiling, Bondara made a gesture.

George heard the pop of a plug being pulled, a water-skin was held to her lips, and cool, blessed water splashed her face.  She drank, thirstily.

"Enough," Bondara, barked, and the water-skin disappeared.  "More, later," the Queen promised.  "You be sick if you drink too much."

"Thank you, Your Majesty," George sighed.

"Your Majesty," one of the amazons chuckled.

"Shut your gob-hole, Twynah!" Cincha barked.  "Pale face being polite.  Maybe I tie you to rock 'til you learn to be polite."

"Your Majesty," George continued, "could I please be untied?  My clothing is quite dusty and in disarray and..."  She noticed the Queen had shaken out the stuffing cloth and was folding it to form a long, narrow bandage.  "Uh, I assure you there's no need to keep me a helpless prisoner, and..."  Bondara had tied an overhand knot in the center of the cloth.  "Oh, bother," George sighed.

Bondara thrust the knot into George's mouth, cinched the cloth tight, and tied a square-knot at the nape of her neck.

"Queen want help with pale Luroper-girl?" Cincha asked, and the others, including the Queen, laughed.

Bondara lifted George onto her shoulder with effortless ease.  "Cincha also polite," she chuckled, "but, no, 'Her Majesty' not need help."  She turned and carried her bound and gagged burden towards the compound's gate.

Balanced on her tummy with her feet to the front and her head to the rear, George watched the amazons laugh and point, and then she was through the gate and found herself in another long tunnel.  'Trussa catch other one,' she remembered.  These half-naked savages have captured Bonnie, as well!

Across the Junn-Junn Wastes

While a pair of amazons dragged Trussa from the quicksand, four more disarmed Bonnie and stripped her of her clothing.  Two held her by the wrists and arms while the others opened her robe, unbuttoned her blouse, unbuckled her belt, and pulled down her jodhpurs and knickers.  It was an involved process, but eventually Bonnie was standing in the hot, desert sun in her birthday suit, her arms still held by her captors.  She watched as her robe, boots, jodhpurs, blouse, camisole, and knickers were rolled and bundled, as well as her belt, holster, spare pistol batteries, and the small pouch holding her miniature tools and cleaning kit.

Bonnie also watched as Trussa shrugged out of her bundled cloak, unbuckled her belt, and removed her loincloth.  She shook it out, dislodging a small cloud of fine dust.  The grinning amazon then removed her boots, one by one, and poured out the fine sand trapped within.

As naked as her prisoner, Trussa strolled forward and joined the amazon crowd surrounding Bonnie.  A mocking, gloating (and, Bonnie was forced to admit, exquisitely beautiful) smile on her tan face, Trussa cupped Bonnie's breasts and gently squeezed.  "Tie her tight," she purred, "and—Ah.  None of that Luroper."

Bonnie had tried to plant her right knee in Trussa's crotch, but her target had danced aside.

"Do that again," Trussa said, "and you walk behind raptor instead of riding."

"Keep your hands to yourself," Bonnie growled.  A smile was curling her own lips, but her determination to resist was clear.

"Tie her tight," Trussa ordered, and stepped back.

Rope appeared and was used to bind Bonnie in a tight box-tie.  Her arms were folded behind her back and tight, neatly cinched bands bound her wrists, pinned her upper arms to her torso, and yoked her shoulders.  The key knot was tied at the nape of her neck.  A rag was stuffed in her mouth and a cleave-gag tied to keep it there.  Bonnie could feel her cheeks bulge against the top the tight band of cloth.

By this time, Trussa had cleaned and donned her boots, loincloth, and equipment.  Two raptor mounts were led forward.  One tucked its snout between Trussa's breasts and the amazon laughed.  "My pretty," she chuckled, stroking the creature's scaly throat.  "Did you miss me?"  The dinosaur made a quiet, baritone purring sound in response.

Bonnie was lifted into the saddle of the second mount and her ankles were lashed to the stirrups.  The dinosaur turned its head and looked at her with surprisingly intelligent eyes.  Its nostrils flared as it sniffed the air (and Bonnie), then it turned to face the front.  An amazon unbuckled and removed its bridle, bundled it up, and packed it away in a saddlebag.

Trussa vaulted into her mount's saddle, slid her carbine into a scabbard with practiced ease, and took hold of her reins.  She leaned forward in the saddle, flexed her thighs, and her raptor pranced to Bonnie's side.  She tightened the noose of her lasso around Bonnie's throat, then cinched a clove-hitch around Bonnie's saddle horn.  Bonnie had plenty of slack between her neck and the saddle, but leaning back or to either side was not an option.

"I camp at Three-step Mesa, tonight," Trussa announced as she secured the coils of the remaining lasso to her saddle horn.

"Good idea," one of the amazons said.  "No quicksand for Trussa to fall into."  The others laughed and Trussa favored the speaker with a good-natured scowl.  She clicked her tongue, flexed her knees, and both dinosaurs stepped off.

Bonnie was an accomplished rider—horseback rider—and she quickly adapted to the bipedal gait of the raptor.  She never did tell me what has happened to George, Bonnie realized, sighing through her gag.  Perhaps she'll be waiting at 'Three-step Mesa.'

Striding over the rough ground with only minimal guidance from Trussa, the dino-mounts bounded away from the dry lake.  Both riders' hair, captor and captive, fluttered in the wind like so many brown ribbons.

Across the Junn-Junn Wastes

George was carried deep into the side of the cliff.  Numerous turns were negotiated, as well as sets of stairs that led ever downward.  Vertical shafts alternated with torches to provide light.  The air was now cool and—unless it was George's imagination—surprisingly humid.

Bondara opened a door carved with fanciful, abstract forms and carried George into a large, natural cavern with a high ceiling.  In the center of the rough space was a wide, circular pool of clear water.  It was fed by a small waterfall and drained by a narrow stream that snaked away and disappeared in a cluster of small boulders.  There were improvements.  The floor had been leveled and stone blocks set to define the rim of the pool.  Rugs were strewn in various alcoves, as well as carved wooden trunks and cabinets and piles of large, plush cushions.  Clearly, this was a bath.  Lanterns dangling from bronze chains provided light, as well as a shaft of sunlight streaming from a small opening directly over the pool.

George was deposited on a pile of cushions and the Queen began to undress, depositing each item of clothing in a wooden trunk.  Eyes wide above her knotted cleave-gag, George watched as Bondara removed her top, loincloth, and boots, as well as various bracelets, wrist bracers, and other accessories.  This included three small daggers that had been tucked into various hiding places and one very large knife from her right boot.  It was scandalous!  Granted, Her Majesty hadn't been wearing all that much to begin with, but now she was completely nude!

Bondara picked up a rag and wiped the paint from her face.  She then dropped the rag, gazed down at George, and smiled.

George gazed back.  She had to admit she'd never seen a more physically fit woman.  A couple of the attendants at her gymnasium might have come close, but Bondara was a warrior, not a female bodybuilder.  Her physique was strong and decidedly feminine.

Bondara sat down in the cushions and pulled George into her arms in a gentle hug.  Her arms against Her Majesty's firm body and full breasts, her bound hands brushing against Bondara's pubic bush and flat stomach, George shivered in embarrassment.  Yes, George reassured herself, I'm embarrassed.  My spine is tingling, my pulse is racing, and my tummy is flip-flopping because I'm 'embarrassed.'

Bondara untied George's gag and pulled it from her mouth.

"You Majesty!" George complained, continuing to quiver in distress, "this is most improper.  I must ask you to—Oh, my!"  The Queen's fingers were unbuttoning her dress, working their way down the back of the close-fitting top.  "Please!"

"You no want bath?" Bondara chuckled.  "You no want get clean?"

"Please, Your Majesty," George begged.  Her cheeks were burning.

"Quiet, little one," Bondara purred, continuing to undress her prisoner.  "We take nice bath, then eat fancy meal."

"This is most improper," George whined.

"Hush," Bondara whispered in George's right ear, then kissed the side of her neck.  "We get clean, fill bellies, drink wine, and make jûb-jûb."

"Jûb-jûb?" George gasped, her soprano voice cracking.

"Jûb-jûb," Bondara confirmed.  She frowned as she continues releasing buttons and untying ribbons.  "Why you wear all this useless cloth?"

"Please," George shuddered, "don't hurt me."

Bondara blinked in surprise.  "Hurt you?  Bondara not hurt you, silly girl.  Be quiet or gag go back in silly mouth."  She pulled the now half-opened dress and the underlying camisole off George's shoulders, baring her shoulders, upper arms, and the tops of her breasts.  "Very pretty," the amazon monarch sighed.  "Very pale, like polished, sun-dried bone.  Very smooth and soft.  Very nice blush on cheeks and boo-boobs."

George shuddered and tugged on her bonds.  She was beyond embarrassment, beyond mortification, and was seriously considering weeping—or swooning.


Across the Junn-Junn Wastes