Dawn of a New Age – Chaper 10
Written by Dumano1r :: [Sunday, 04 February 2018 19:38] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 04 February 2018 20:27]
Chapter 10 – Reality
The Glyndwr and the Magellan were locked together in a lover's embrace, two isolated pockets of life in a dead star system, an impossibly long way from home. Around them hung the shattered remains of an obliterated world, chunks of rock thousands of miles across that hung still and silent in the great void. An epic tragedy had destroyed a civilization, a whole race, but few aboard the two starships were thinking of epic events hundreds of years before.
Clarke led Rowe cautiously out of the kitchen area, back into the main mess hall. The dead chef lay where she had left him, his body at a weird and distorted angle, his head lost beneath the twisted remains of the counter. His blood was beginning to congeal upon the linoleum floor.
Rowe looked at him coldly. She had grown up in the asteroids and was no stranger to death. “Did Brennan do this?”
“No, it was a man, must be the captain of the Glyndwr. I heard someone say his name's Dupont.”
Rowe walked slowly around the counter, sizing it up. “What was he like?” she asked.
“Angry, and fucking massive. Everywhere!” She followed Rowe round to the front of the counter. “Do you think you can lift it?”
Rowe smiled, “One way to find out!”
She slowly bent down, stretching out her arms to grip the sides of the unit. With a grunt of effort she lifted it off the ground, slowly raising the massively heavy unit to waist height. She paused with her amazing breasts resting against the countertop, took a deep breath, and then lifted it above her head. She stood there for a few seconds, breathing hard, muscles straining, the substantial metal counter high above her head, totally naked, her glorious, slender body glistening in the artificial light. Then, with a grunt, she let it drop down onto the floor with a crash. “What do you think?”
Clarke grimaced. “It was really impressive …”
“But?” Asked Rowe.
“But Dupont lifted it like it weighed nothing. You’re going to need to get stronger.” Clarke said.
“Then I'll need more food,” said Rowe, looking at the mangled and largely empty counter. “Did Dupont eat all of this?”
“No,” said Clarke nervously. “I did.”
“You?” Rowe paused thoughtfully. “How?”
“Maybe when we kissed?” Clarke suggested, knowing that Rowe had realised that she was infected too.
“That would make sense. Are you still hungry?”
Clarke shrugged. “A bit, but nowhere near as hungry as you've been.”
Rowe looked at her friend and lover thoughtfully. “I can't explain it, but I feel like I knew that you’re infected, like me, but that it's different, somehow.”
“I don't understand.”
“No, I don't either. It's all very confusing.” Rowe leaned over to kiss Clarke again, their naked bodies meeting with delicious anticipation. Theirs lips met briefly, the tips of their tongues together sensuously, then suddenly Clarke paused. “Have you kissed anyone else recently?”
Rowe paused thoughtfully. “There was another …”
They were interrupted by the two-tone ring of the shipwide communication system. A voice rang out from the loudspeakers: “This is first lieutenant Jones of the DSEV Magellan to all crew. The transfer of supplies is nearing completion. This is your one shift warning. All crew of both the Magellan and Glyndwr are to report to their direct superiors by 1800. Anyone who fails to report by this time will be reported as absent without leave. Any personnel under medical restriction must report to their ship’s medical officer via the internal communications system. Jones out.”
Rowe and Clarke stood for a moment in silence, staring at each other, mouths open. It was Clarke who spoke first: “Now what are we going to do?”
Rowe looked thoughtful for a moment. “I need to get back to my quarters, and fast. We'd better get dressed quickly. Could you distract the guard on the communication bridge?”
Rowe was already moving into the kitchen as Clarke followed her. “I'll need to report what happened to the chef. I'll say the shock of it made me pass out.”
“Good plan, I can sneak out then. If we're quick I can get back to my quarters without running into anyone else. I just hope that Dupont has reported what happened.” As a superior, Dupont was quite entitled to kill humans and to have all CCTV evidence wiped. Even superiors didn't like to have their actions made public and so investigations into their actions were strictly controlled. His casual brutality would help to hide Rowe and Clarke, so long as he reported what he had done before any security officers checked the footage from the mess hall cameras.
Clarke dressed quickly. Her clothes felt clammy and cold from the refrigerator floor. Rowe was dressed in moments, moving much faster than a normal person now. Her previously baggy top was stretched tight across her shoulders and substantial chest, so that her toned midriff was partially exposed. Even with her hair tied back and baggy trousers she looked incredible.
Clarke leaned in and kissed her. “Follow behind me. I'll try to lead the guard back here. We'll meet in your quarters as soon as we can.”
Rowe ran a hand through her lover's hair, her other day resting on Clarke's hip. “Thank you, Grace. I don't know how I'll ever repay you.” They kissed again, briefly, nervously, then Clarke headed back towards the Magellan, with Rowe carefully following, slipping from doorway to doorway.
Jones's message was relaid throughout both ships and it brought different reactions amongst all of this who heard it.
Lying in sickbay, first lieutenant Pascoe was awoken from a drug induced slumber by the communication bell. “This is first lieutenant Jones of the DSEV Magellan to all crew. The transfer of supplies is nearing completion. This is your one shift warning. All crew of both the Magellan and Glyndwr are to report to their direct superiors by 1800. Anyone who fails to report by this time will be reported as absent without leave. Any personnel under medical restriction must report to their ship’s medical officer via the internal communications system. Jones out.” Pascoe smiled wearily. “Well done, Jonesy,” she muttered. “First lieutenant at last. Now what will become of me, I wonder?”
Professor Kalinoska greeted the message with irritation. It would still be several hours before the nanobot would be removed from the microchip, which could be the advancement of her career. She didn't want too many prying eyes and loose tongues around what she now thought of as her own project.
Keen to avoid unwanted interest she began to draw up a list of tasks for her science team, all of them both time consuming and unnecessary. She wondered how long it would be before any of them realised what she was really working on.
And she was hungry again. A gnawing doubt was chewing away at the back of her mind and she knew that she wouldn't be able to ignore it for much longer.
Newly promoted third lieutenant Kormack wasn't surprised by the message, though it did make him feel under pressure to ensure that all supplies were successfully transferred before the end of the shift. All fuel and crew supplies were transferred, all that remained was to load captain Brennan's personal supplies, several large containers filled with Brennan's luxury essentials. One container was simply labelled “lingerie.” It was bigger than the container of spare uniforms for the rest of the crew. Not for the first time in his life, Kormack felt irked by the vast inequality of life.
Jules Dupont was sitting on the end of his bed filling in a death report for the mess hall chef when the message came through. He grunted irritably, glad to be getting away after his humiliation by Brennan. At least when he was the only superior around no one questioned his authority. The chef in the mess hall was testament to that! Dupont glanced at the form which stated that the chef had shown gross insubordination and had been executed accordingly. He felt no guilt for his actions, rather just a sense of irritation that he had to fill in a form to “justify” them and show that he had committed the killing, as if anyone else aboard the Glyndwr could have ripped the counter out of the ground like he did. He finished typing the form and pressed the send key, then turned on his games console and slid back on his bed as his game loaded.
There was a knock on the door. “Fuck off!” he called irritably, assuming that someone was coming to pester him about the human he had slain.
“Jules, it's Charlotte.”
Dupont sighed, put his games controller down and went over to the door. He took a deep breath and opened it. “Hello, Charlotte,” he said coldly.
And then she did something which took him completely by surprise.
“Jules, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry I took my distress out on you. Please forgive me.” She looked at him, her beautiful, old eyes glistening with tears. Almost instinctively, Dupont reached out to hold her, bringing her close to him, feeling her fantastic body pressed against his own. For a moment they stood there, locked together, just holding each other.
She pulled back slightly so that she could look up into his face. “We superiors have to stick together. This rebellion is us at our worst and makes us all vulnerable, but I was wrong to take it out on you. We should be getting closer, not pushing each other apart.” She stretched up to kiss him gently, tenderly on the lips.
She let him lead her into his quarters, let him carefully remove her uniform and run his tongue over her glorious body. Slowly she led him to the bed, bringing him tenderly to her as for the first time ever they made love. It was slow and intimate in a way Dupont had never experienced before. When they were finished she lay beside him, naked, with her head resting on his shoulder. “Thank you,” she whispered, kissing him gently on the cheek.
“You're welcome,” he said quietly.
For a short time they lay there together, then Brennan sighed. “I have to go.”
She stood up and dressed quickly, squeezing herself into her tight uniform. She left the top three buttons of her jacket undone so that her magnificent cleavage was on display, then turned around slowly in front of the mirror, admiring her own slender, toned legs and firm ass. “Damn, but I look fucking incredible!” she said with her customary arrogance. “I'd better get back to my ship and remind those idiots that I'm in charge.” She paused, turning slowly to admire her reflection. “But I think I want a quick fuck before I go. Do you still have the chains?”
“Of course,” said Dupont with a grin.
“Then chain me to the bed and watch me break free before I ride you like the stallion you are!” she laughed.
Dupont chuckled. Though inside he knew that he had been privileged to see Brennan's vulnerable side, most of him just wanted to enjoy her incredible body and her sensational bedroom ability one more time before they parted company. Little did he know that he would never see her again.
Lieutenant Chan heard the message and grunted in disapproval. “You should be pleased, that means you're second lieutenant,” his drinking buddy said happily.
“I would be pleased, God knows I deserve the promotion – my genes are the best on my ship after Brennan – but it means that B class monkey Kormack is a lieutenant. I don't like the idea of him in the officer's mess. It's a slippery slope, making B class’ into officers. Why, the next thing you know that fucking D class Rowe will be running the ship!”
His drinking friends laughed at his wit and Chan smiled to himself, delighted by his own brilliance.
The nano-controller heard the message through its host's ears and understood perfectly. The time had come for the host to hide …