Written by shadar :: [Saturday, 01 February 2020 01:03] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 01 February 2020 14:39]
Edits: Jan, 2020
(Recap: Jon and Jennie have pulled off a prank that involved exploding a huge boulder high over their Graduation as it re-entered the atmosphere. Jennie flew into it at hypersonic speed, impacting with near nuclear force to spread glowing particles over the entire city. It was the best fireworks display ever.
It was also a violation of a hundred different laws and it put the various Planetary Defense forces on high alert, with Jon and Jennie vastly underestimating the fallout from what they thought was a harmless joke.
Jennie was quickly scooped up and flown off by her mother, and now Jon has now been picked up an Embassy Security officer who is transporting him to a meeting with her mother, Alana Val’spar, the Ambassador of the Enlightenment Embassy.)
Jon sat glumly in the Security Flitter, very aware that his door was securely locked. “For your own protection,” the Officer had said. Jon figured it was really to ensure he couldn’t change his mind about coming along voluntarily. He hadn’t been formally arrested, but the Officer had warned him that if he didn’t come in on his own, a Velorian staff member would likely track him down and fly off with him – without his permission.
Soon the flitter descended toward the Embassy, where every window of the four-story glass building was blazing with light despite it being after-hours.
“ Never seen the place lit up like this at night,” the Officer said. “But then, we don’t get attacked by terrorists dropping rocks on us from space very often.”
Jon’s stomach sunk even lower. They hadn’t attacked anyone and they were hardly terrorists. It had all just been a prank. Jennie had wanted to spark a major confrontation with her mother so that she’d hopefully expedite getting her off the planet and out of the star system and through a wormhole to her favorite planet. Jon had judged the local punishments would be the slap on the hand variety. More of an embarrassment to the Embassy than a crime. After all, nobody had been hurt by their prank.
His door unlocked the moment the Flitter touched down at a back entrance to the Embassy. Another Officer waited there to escort him through a doorway into the Security Office. A hundred Egland citizens normally worked on the upper floors, with the Velorians occupying offices at the front of the building on the ground floor, their offices arranged in a circle around the Ambassador’s huge Oval Office. Beneath that were the Velorian living quarters, down in a sub-basement carved out of solid bedrock. Jennie had claimed that was due to the need to survive the force of fully-empowered Velorian athletics. Which of course meant sex, given that was the only form of athletics most Velorians enjoyed.
The second Security officer walked him through several empty offices and then down a short hallway to enter a triangular-shaped waiting room. He left Jon alone as he locked the door behind him.
The long minutes passed slowly for Jon, sitting alone in that starkly empty room, especially given the locked door made it clear that his appearance wasn’t as voluntary as advertised. He was starting to get anxious, wondering about what was happening with Jennie, when the inner door buzzed and swung open. Nobody was visible in the doorway, so he walked through it to find himself in the huge Oval Office.
His first reaction was awe. The room was huge, with a half wall partially dividing it that appeared to be made of the purest gold, as did the floor and ceiling. Glowing glass bulbs gave off a golden light as they hung by invisible wires, and lighted pyramidal structures descended from the ceiling and rose from the floor, adding to the intense golden glow. All the furnishings were made of dark, polished wood. Jennie had told him that everything in her mother’s office had been brought in from the Golden Planet, Velor, where gold in its many forms was the most abundant mineral across the surface of the planet.
That planetary gold dampened the powers of every Velorian living on their homeworld, as had been intended by the Galen, who originally wanted to confine their genetically-engineered creations to the surface of the planet. Except, that is, for when they came to select a Procreator for their own needs. Thanks also to all that gold and the high gravity of Velor – five times Terran standard – a Velorian’s relative strength there was only slightly greater than a Terran’s would be on an exo-Earth planet, and their power of flight was erased. In essence, their planet was a gilded cage to ensure that superhumans were not running rampant all over the galaxy. For it was only after escaping the planet that Velorians gained their fabled powers – which would of course disappear once again if they returned home.
While most Terrans would see this room as an ostentatious symbol of obscene wealth and power given the rarity of gold on all Terran worlds, in reality this room and its decorations was an exercise in Velorian humility. The many tons of surrounding gold helped level the playing field by reducing their powers. No Velorian would ever equate gold with wealth, for in most ways Velor was a very modest planet when it came to material wealth. Velorians saw gold merely as a constraint on their native-born powers.
Walking cautiously around the center partition, Jon found Jennie standing with her mother, who was strangely still wearing the sunglasses she’d worn at the Graduation, supposedly to make her eyes less intimidating. Ursula was also there along with the other woman who’d attended the Graduation. Jennie’s brother, Alon, was there too, along with another man he didn’t know. The way the women’s formal dark suits ended in such short skirts was disorienting, not the least for having such slender, strong legs and flawless bodies. Uberfit muscles flexed as they moved about with a lithe sexiness that was almost cat-like.
Other than Jennie and her eclectic outfits, it was Jon’s observation that all Velorians enjoyed their stunning influence on men, while at the same time utterly outclassing and intimidating any Terran woman. Few men could stand in a Velorian’s presence without growing both infatuated and embarrassingly aroused, their hearts racing and minds distracted – and that was without pheromones in the air.
Jon wasn’t one of the few who could resist, but he’d learned not to let his arousal embarrass him. The easiest way to insult to a Velorian was to feign indifference. They could see through clothing. They knew what a man was feeling.
“Alon, you can go now,” Alana said to her son. “I’m convinced you knew nothing of this.”
Alon looked relieved as he walked quickly to the door and left, very glad to be out of there.
The Ambassador’s large eyes turned to find Jon as she lowered her sunglasses, slowly crushing them to powder in her powerful grip to intimidate him. Her eyes pierced him with their ultra-blue intensity, but what was really scary was her faint smile, given how angry she must be. She most definitely didn’t look four centuries old.
“So, Mr. Jonathon Duncan arrives. You should know that Jennie has already filled me in on the whole story. The way she violated dozens of Egland laws that have serious consequences. As her conspirator, Jon, you will suffer some of those punishments, which will most certainly involve prison time.”
Jon swallowed hard, his stomach knotting. He hadn’t expected this as the first thing out of her mouth. That whole Velorian “straight talk” thing was at work again.
“But as Jennie has explained to me, this is all part of her grand scheme to get me to provide a suitable antigrav for your homebuilt starship. At which point you both plan to leave the planet before the authorities can arrest you. Is that the plan as you understand it too?”
Jon froze, unable to speak. That wasn’t exactly their plan given they’d never intended to get into legal trouble. But he found it difficult to think about anything while staring into her mother’s eyes. She was so intensely beautiful that it hurt to look at her. She was a goddess in her golden chamber, with blue eyes that kept flashing faintly red. Whenever they did, Jon could feel a wave of angry heat washing over him.
“And while I can invoke diplomatic immunity to avoid any Egland legal penalties for Jennie, that impropriety after her transgression would cause Velor to recall me and the rest of my staff. We would have to return to Velor, the planet we serve but a planet none of us ever wants to live on again. A place where we would forever remain, ordinary and powerless.”
Jon stared back at her mother, disbelieving the penalties for their prank could be so severe. Jennie had once told him that her mother had been beyond miserable during the year she’d been required to return to Velor to conceive and bear her children. All Velorian conception was controlled by the Maternity Engine, which accepted her mother’s ova and a donor’s sperm – her mother had never been married –so as to purify and tweak both to produce a perfect child. In this case twins, as her mother had requested. She’d never wanted to return to Velor again.
“I asked you for your help, mother,” Jennie interjected. “You said you couldn’t use Embassy funds to help me because I was your daughter. So I had to find a way to raise the stakes. Jon is innocent here. He wanted me to orbit that rock to validate his senior project, which is all about my abilities. I was the one who decided to do the fireworks.”
“But you knew?” Alana asked Jon, her eyes growing scarily bright.
Jon nodded. “Yes. But I didn’t know about all this. I figured we’d get a slap on the hand and hopefully sent on our way for a year or so of traveling.”
Her mother shook her head slowly. “You didn’t do your homework. Dropping a rock on a city is considered terrorism here, even if you planned to shatter it before it hit. Which Jennie did very poorly. If not for Ursula, Misty and myself, not to mention Alon, people could have died. You will be charged with Capital Terrorism.”
Jon’s heart froze. Terrorism was the worst crime you could commit on Egland.
“So now you two have given me, and the rest of my staff, a terrible choice. We could all be recalled back to Velor to never leave it again. Alon and Jennie too. To never again fly, to never feel the true power of bodies, to never enjoy our invulnerability and vitality. To become ordinary again, and even worse, despised for our failures.”
Jon stared wide-eyed. A moment ago this had been about he and Jennie. Now everyone in the room was doomed?
“Or I could disown and disavow my own daughter, labeling her a Rogue with a price on her head. Bounty-hunters would follow in her wake wherever she went. The same for you, Jon.”
Jon felt himself falling into blackness. The only Rogues he’d heard about were Arions and Terran criminals. The best of them were incorrigible thieves and the worst of them murderers and rapists. Privateers and pirates.
The Ambassador walked to the far side of the huge office to huddle with her staff, leaving Jon and Jennie alone. Jon moved closer to her.
“This does not sound good at all,” he whispered while wrapping his arm around her slender waist. “Did you have any idea?”
She snuggled against him. “Not really, but it’s not so bad.”
“Are you shitting me? Not bad? Being disowned with a price on our heads. Or risking the future of the entire Embassy staff?”
“There is little risk of the last, Jon. One of the flaws in the Velorian diplomatic program is that nobody ever wants to go home after serving off-Velor. Once we exhibit our full, natural powers, why would anyone want to go back and be ordinary? To live out an ordinary short lifespan, our body aging by the day. Out here, we barely age, as my mother demonstrates, living mostly unchanged and powerful for many centuries. This is how Velor controls their ex-pats. The threat of a recall to Velor keeps everyone on the straight and narrow.”
“There is nothing straight, narrow or normal going on here.”
She shrugged. “I’m certainly not happy about being disavowed and disowned, least of all having a price on my head. But think about it, the two of us traveling the universe, keeping one step ahead of the bounty hunters? Doesn’t that sounds exciting. Romantic even. Way better than vegging out on this sorry planet.”
Jon’s jaw fell. “You’re fucking insane! Most of those bounty hunters are mother-raping Arions.”
“An exaggeration, and even if they are Arion, they won’t be Primes. I can handle them.”
“But what about me?”
She moved closer to rest her arms on his shoulders, tilting her head to kiss him gently. “I will protect you, my love. Always.”
“But… but we’ll never be able come back. Never see family or friends again. I was assuming we’d travel for a year or so. And then back to the University.”
“You don’t have any other friends, Jon. We just have each other. And no disrespect, but your only family is your mother and she’s a nut. She knows nothing of your life and you don’t subscribe to any of her beliefs.”
“But she’s still my mother..”
“You and your mother have been on a different trajectory your entire life. And as far as education goes, there are other ways. Think what we’ll learn just by traveling and meeting all kinds of strange and wonderful people of many species. All we need to do is to get out of this star system and let everything go back to normal for our parents.”
“I’m not sure what I’m going to say to my mom. I’m all she has now.”
“She has her Church, which seems to already come first from what I’ve seen. You said it’s her whole life since your father died.”
“She’s still my mother.”
Alana interrupted them as she walked back over to stand in front of them. Standing this close to the powerful and statuesque Ambassador was both intimidating and exciting. Every fiber of her body was tuned to project her presence and power.
“You will get your freedom, my daughter, but likely more of it than you’d bargained on. I will disavow you and place the smallest bounty on your head that I can justify. But it will still be substantial given you will be a Rogue Velorian, which classifies you as extremely dangerous."
Jennie’s eyes opened wide as they rose to meet the ultra-blue of her mother’s.
"We will never see each other again, my daughter, for your protection and mine and my staff’s.”
Jennie swallowed hard before she nodded jerkily.
Alana turned to look at Jon, her bright eyes piercing him. “As far as you, Jon, I will not place a bounty on your head. But the Egland authorities may do so of their own accord. Either way, traveling with Jennie will already be dangerous enough for you. As Jennie knows, but perhaps you do not, there are both Velorian and Arion bounty hunters who track down rogue Velorians. It’s something the Council back on Velor takes very seriously and they may place an even larger bounty on Jennie’s head than I will. But this is the extent of my official actions.”
“I understand your duty and your loyalty to your staff, mother,” Jennie said softly. “I am sorry for disappointing you so.”
“But you are not done endangering my staff, Jennie. Unofficially, Ursula is going to fly off with Jon in your ship. Her actions, if discovered, will be her own. And you will get your anti-grav, Jennie, but you will need to steal it like the pirate you now are. Jym will describe where and how, but you will never admit that he has done so. The charges for its theft will be on your head, but those will hardly compare to the ones the planet of Egland already plans to charge you with. You two are not to be seen by or talk to anyone other than my staff until you leave, which will be before morning.”
Jon swallowed hard again. This wasn't how he imagined leaving.
"Jennie will carry her misbegotten antigrav from Egland to meet up with you and Ursula somewhere you agree on. Somewhere a long ways from Egland. You will have to install and test it yourselves. Once that is complete, Ursula will return to the Embassy and you will be on your own. I don’t think the Egland military will chase after you, but I can’t guarantee that.”
“I can’t even call my mother?” Jon asked.
The Ambassador shook her head, her waist-length blonde hair swishing. “No. I already gather she doesn’t know anything about this.”
Jon nodded. “She knows nothing. Zero. Nada.”
“Then for her sake, keep it that way. They’ll eventually scan her, and if her scans come back negative for any knowledge of this event or where you’ve gone, then she will not be held responsible for your actions.”
Jon swallowed hard as he nodded. “Understand. Last thing I want to do is get her in trouble. My disappearing with hurt her enough.”
She turned to Jennie. “And you need to stick to Jon like glue. Given where I suspect you’ll end up, out on the Rim, he won’t last long without you. He’s not exactly pirate material.”
“That was always the plan,” Jennie nodded.
Jon stared at her. “What? We were going to Nirvana for a year. That’s all we talked about.”
“The Rim is the only place where we can live freely, Jon. Enlightenment law does not apply out there.”
Jon shook his head. “But the bounty hunters sure as hell do. Why do I feel that I’m not the adult in this discussion? Everyone is making choices for me.”
“You are Terran,” the Ambassador said. “I warned you about the dangers of associating with Jennie. Or with any Velorian.”
“You didn’t say anything about this.”
“I would have if I’d known about it. You two are very good at keeping secrets between you. That’s good. It’ll help keep you alive. Don’t trust anyone beyond my staff. Between bounty hunters and pirates and informers and everyone trying to hustle a credit here or there, it’s going to be very dangerous out there. Even for you, Jennie. They may send a Protector after you, and the Arion Rogues are very efficient bounty hunters. Given you are Velorian, a Prime might try to capture you for the glory. It’s the way justice is handled on the Rim, where there is no Law. Ursula will stay with you long enough to teach you a few things about fighting, Jennie, but after that, you’ll both live by your wits alone, to the end of your days.”
Her Comm beeped to interrupt her. She listened for a moment and then turned to Jon. “Jym says there are no Class 10 antigravs at any of Egland’s spacecraft factories. Would a Class 12 suffice?”
“Suffice?” Jon said. “Hell yes. Way better. Class power increases logarithmically.”
She reported that back to whomever was on her Comm and then clicked off.
“Ok, the anti-grav in question is too old to be Certified, but it’s reported to be in perfect order. It’s at the Andromeda SpaceFab. That entire complex is guarded by bots – a lot of privateers would love to steal their equipment – but you should have little trouble with them, Jennie.”
Jon was stunned. Everything seemed to be moving at breakneck speed. Was this the way powerful people always worked? Bending the rules and subverting laws? Making decisions on the fly. He’d always thought Velorians were above all that.
“Thank you, mother,” Jennie said with a quick bow of respect.
“No, you don’t thank me for this, Jennie. But you have forced my hand as you always intended. I am risking my staff as well as myself just to get you out of here.”
Jon was in shock as it all sank in, his head spinning. He was going to be a Rogue, hunted by other superbeings – for the rest of his life?
“Well, get going, both of you. I want you off-planet in an hour, Jon, which is when the bounty will be officially placed on Jennie’s head. You will go now with Ursula. She’ll gather some emergency rations from the Embassy and then fly you to your ship and then power it until Jennie catches up. Other than what she brings, you’ll have to go with the supplies that are on your ship right now. Ursula will disguise herself as Jennie in case you two are spotted on the way to the ship.”
“We aren’t ready… the ship isn’t prepped…” Jon started to complain.
“Should have thought of that before you bombed the city. Like other privateers, you’ll have to bargain or steal what you need as you travel.”
And with that, the Ambassador turned her back without even saying goodbye to Jennie. She walked across the office to exit through a door on the opposite side, her head lowering as she resisted the urge to look back.
“Follow me, Jon,” Ursula said as she opened the door he’d come in.
Jennie gave him a quick hug before brushing her fingers slowly over his groin. “I’ll be with you in a few days. Be nice and take proper care of Ursula for me.” Then she turned and walked out yet another door.
Jon was startled by the clear suggestion in her last words and her intimate touch, which was about as Velorian as it got. But before he could say anything, Ursula gripped his arm to pull him along behind her. He struggled to catch up with her as she moved beyond the influence of the gold in the Oval Office and began to float again.
“So… I thought Velorians were always honest to a fault,” he offered, trying to think about anything except Jennie's last words, especially given their recent dust-up over fidelity.
“We’re not idiots,” Ursula said unhappily. “Do you think we fight the Arions by telling them everything we’re doing? Honesty is for social situations, not actions like this, and certainly not for warfare.”
“That’s actually encouraging. Proves you’re more human than many people think.”
Ursula stopped so fast that he ran into her, her body both soft and impossibly dense at the same time. “No we aren’t, Jon. We’re just practical. Given your lack of experience, you need to learn and adapt very quickly, and keep doing that to stay alive.”
“Yeah…” Jon breathed, trying not to be afraid.
Jym flew rapidly down the hallway from behind to catch up to them. Like Alon, he was a study in superhuman perfection, his masculine handsomeness and profound muscularity the equal of any Velorian woman’s beauty.
“Follow Jym to the back entrance where you came into the Embassy,” Ursula said to Jon. “I’ll join you there soon.”
And with that, she turned and flew off down an intersecting hallway, her tiny skirt revealing a bit more than was proper. Jon found himself staring until Jym passed his hand in front of his eyes.
Jym was grinning. “Yeah, Protector genes are something else. Do you know that like all Protectors, she’s been personally enhanced by Aphrodite, a Galen living on Velor? A rather sexy bit of gene manipulation.”
“No shit! A Galen? My mother’s church worships them as gods.”
“If so, then Ursula’s special enhancement makes her a demi-goddess. And you’re flying off with her. Lucky you. Far better than Jennie, who has a date with some killer robots.”
Jon felt as if he was lost in a dream that had the potential to turn into a nightmare given his fragility. And then he thought of Ursula and then his long voyage with Jennie. He'd been recruited into the company of Velorians, and he had to somehow live up to that.
Not that he had any other choice.
If he left the building and and returned to his mother and the life they shared, he’d be arrested and sent to prison, his life ruined as he lived out his days in the company of his fellow convicts. And every day would be without Jennie, who he’d never see again.
Or he escaped right now with Ursula and then Jennie to be chased across the galaxy by bounty hunters. Never to see his mother or his home planet again as he joined the dangerous ranks of pirates, privateers, vagabonds and criminals. Lost souls with a price on their head, trying to stay alive at the Rim of the known galaxy.
Barely an hour had passed since their boulder had exploded over the stadium, shattering the life he’d known. He’d been overrun by events since then. He was barely 18 years old and now he was deciding the rest of his life. Right here. Right now.
His body felt strangely numb as his mind raced with excitement. The time for indecision had passed.
He made his choice.
Turning, he ran after Jym, who was floating away down the long hallway.
Jennie hovered in the trees a couple of miles from the Andromeda SpaceFab complex, her eyes wide-open and glowing an electric blue as she stared through the walls of the complex to study the defenses. She saw mostly Mark 3 security bots inside the building, along with a couple of Mark 6 heavies outside, protecting the perimeter. Jym had told her that this space fab contained engines, fuel, anti-gravs, NavComs, and other related starship equipment. Stuff any privateer would take some serious risks to steal. Its defenses had to stand up against a concerted armed intrusion by a shipload of pirates, both Terrans and Arion Betans.
She knew the bots would have a Vsteel chassis and skin, and be armed with energy weapons that could stop a bulletproof Betan. They would also have enough strength to crush ordinary steel in their grip, and tough enough to resist any projectile weapon made.
Jym had told her that raw strength was the key to defeating them – they could be crushed by a Velorian. She just had to get close enough to wrap herself around them. While she didn’t have Prima-class warrior genetics like Ursula, she was still a Matra like her mother, the genetic class that diplomats and academics and government leaders came from. Matras were several hundred times stronger than the most powerful Terran who had ever lived. Strong enough to carry that 90 tonne boulder into space.
She slowly removed her clothing, knowing it would not survive the first blast. Like all Supremis, her bare skin was the ultimate armor. Floating naked now, she tensed her body, forcing her Orgone metabolism to speed up, the resulting power streaming from her breasts to saturate her blood. She felt mighty as her power surged, along with more than a little aroused as she held her breasts very tightly.
She could do this.
Gathering her courage, she threw her arms forward as she began to fly, breaking the Mach in seconds as she raced toward the closest Mark 6 bot. She hit it before it could react, her momentum carrying both of them through a concrete wall and then the outer wall of the building. She struggled to keep her arms and legs wrapped around the bot as it began to fight back, her bare skin sizzling as it send a crackle of defensive electricity through her. She managed to trap it in a bear-hug as she began squeezing with all her strength. It’s normally indestructible Vsteel resisted for only a few seconds before it began to yield to her muscles, which were now harder than any steel. The Vsteel shell of the bot slowly crushed against her chest and pelvis, her partially-flattened breasts so firm now that they left two depressions in the bot’s chest.
Squeezing harder yet, she was shocked with the bot’s power supply self-destructed. The powerful blast blew her halfway across the huge assembly bay before she could catch herself, the pieces of disintegrating bot puncturing walls and ceiling. Her skin was glowing. She’d just withstood a powerful explosion, but she felt wonderful.
And so fucking powerful!
She leaped toward one of the Mark 3 bots, only to have it unleashed a barrage of rapid fire at her, the armor-piercing bullets dimpling her skin and flattening her breasts against her underlying steel. Far from being hurt, the impacts against her nipples turned her on, which sent more power surging through her body. She buried the bot’s rapid fire weapon in her cleavage, bullets still blasting as she wrapped herself around it, finding it was much easier to crush than the Mark 6 had been. And unlike that bot, it didn’t detonate. It merely died with a metallic scream.
A blast of plasma suddenly washed over her backside, hot enough to vaporize nearly any material. All it did was heat her skin to incandescence. Turning, she smiled while flying directly into that lethal beam of charged particles, her body soaking up the power to make her stronger yet. She buried the muzzle of the blaster in her right breast as she wrapped herself around the bot, crushed it flat against herself, the dented Vsteel armor of the bot’s chest forming into the mirror image of her chest before its power supply shorted out.
Before she could release it, the second Mark 6 grabbed her hair and jerked her away from the dying bot. It threw her across the room so hard that she crashed completely through another reinforced concrete wall. Two Mark 3’s hit her at the same moment, one firing armor piercing ammo, the other a particle beam, but she managed to stand back up and just take it. Struggling to fly toward the approaching Mark 6, which was the real threat, she stared with eyes wide-open, releasing her laser vision, her blindingly blue eyebeams heating its Vsteel armor to white-hot. Still, the bot kept coming, glowing brighter and brighter until everything around it, floor and ceiling burst into flame. Parts of the bot were melting now, but she kept staring, unable to see anything given that way the ring lasers in her irises were flaring. She was reaching blindly for the bot when it violently blew up. The blast threw her backward through yet another wall were the final Mark 3 bot made a valiant stand.
They’d been programmed to destroy the facility before allowing the theft of its belongings, which would make the entire attack futile. To do that, it tossed a small weapon at Jennie’s feet. She grabbed the grenade-sized weapon to squeeze it with both hands as she suddenly realized what it was – an AMAT! Without a second thought, she wrapped her body around it, curling herself into a tight ball while flexing every muscle in her body to her max in an effort to contain it. A half second later it detonated, flashing brighter than the sun. The anti-matter blast should have vaporized everything within a hundred meters, turning the center of the complex into a glass-line crater as it flattened everything within 300 meters. Instead, the walls were merely blown outward as the shockwave radiated outward from her skin. With its awful heat trapped against her belly, it turned her body white-hot, her hair standing straight out from the shockwave. Desperately holding on, she screamed as reactive plasma escaped between her legs to annihilate a hole through the concrete floor that went a kilometer deep into the ground. Everything went black for a moment.
When she came-to seconds later, the blast had dissipated. Floating upward as she unfolded her body, the incredible heat rushed to her chest as it was absorbed and converted to Orgone, her breasts swelling far larger than they’d ever been before. Reaching up to hold herself, she found her hands were far too small for the job.
As strange as that was, she had no time to sort out the new sensations. She was glowing white-hot as she struggled to look through the wreckage, searching for the antigrav. She was starting to get discouraged about finding anything useful until she kicked her way barefooted through a two-foot thick wall that was still standing along the far side of the building. Behind it was the antigrav she’d come for, laying on its side. The bots were all down, the building was destroyed, but the antigrav was hers.
Floating through the hole she’d just kicked, she reached for the handholds on the device, its 20 tonnes of weight seemingly nothing in her hands. Leaping from the cracked and fused floor, she rose into the night with her prize, her skin still glowing brightly enough to look like an upward racing meteor.
Jon was standing in the entrance of the Embassy as he saw the blinding flash in the distance. He was worrying about Jennie when Ursula floated out of a large truck entrance at the back of the Embassy, holding a flitter-sized cargo container over her head. She’d tied her hair up to approximate Jennie’s short hair, and she wore a skirt that would drag on the ground if her feet ever touched it, along with a tightly-fitted denim jacket. Despite being taller and more curvaceous than Jennie, she’d likely pass in the dark for her.
She settled to the ground in front of the doorway as she looked toward the flash of light, her eyes glowing. Jon heard sirens blaring in the distance.
“Jennie is probably Ok,” Ursula said after a moment. “Some bots will self-destruct as opposed to allowing a theft to proceed. Killing the thieves and destroying whatever they were after is a last resort. Discourages further theft. Can’t imagine a bot hurting her, but we have to go quickly now. The hornet’s nest has been whacked.”
Jon hesitantly walked closer to Ursula, knowing there was nothing he could do to help Jennie in any case. He had no idea how heavy the shipping container over her head was, but after nearly getting squashed by a boulder, he was wary. He screwed up his courage as he pressed himself against Ursula’s backside, which was curvy and warm. Especially her butt, which gripped his growing erection as it naturally settled between her cheeks. He reached high to wrap his arms around her upper chest, finding that Ursula’s thick pectorals were like plates of steel. The dramatic rise of her breasts beneath his arms was so great that he could barely reach around far enough to lock his wrists. He had to stand on tiptoes before he could manage it. Losing one’s grip a thousand feet up would make for a very bad day.
Ursula’s already dense body turned harder yet as she tensed herself to generate the power to lift off, her glutes flexing to squeeze him almost painfully between them as she used those strong muscles to fly the same way Jennie did. As familiar as it was to fly this way, everything about Ursula felt bigger and stronger and harder. Grinning, he wondered how many Terrans understood how different it was to fly with one Velorian versus another. Likely no one else on his little planet ever had.
Despite his current troubles, he was also very aware that he was blessed, especially given the Pavlovian way his body started to react. After all, he and Jennie had made love so many times while flying. He struggled not to enjoy the sensation of Ursula’s body too much, but her minor adjustments in muscle tension keeping her heavy load balanced massaged his now full-blown erection. Fortunately, she started to descend before it became too much.
They landed right next to Discovery, which was parked under some trees at the edge of the North Abby landing field. No one was in sight, but he was certain the surveillance bots were watching. They always were. He stepped away to walk stiffly over to key the airlock. Behind him, Ursula set her shipping container down and began unloading it, with Jon helping with the lighter boxes. There was a dazzling variety of things in the container beyond the expected water and food. Tons of it.
Ursula moved at amazing speed, so much so that Jon had to get out of her way to keep from slowing her down. Some interesting things caught his eye as she carried them past him, particularly two large weapon containers and several crates full of electronics and processing gear of all kinds. Beyond the clearly marked water and food containers, there were still dozens of other crates he couldn’t identify without opening them.
“This is way more stuff than I expected, Ursula. I mean, after the Ambassador said we’d have to make do like a privateer – stealing or bargaining for what we need.”
“Can’t trade for shit if you got nothing anyone wants,” she said.
His respect for Ursula was growing every time he met her. But he knew he shouldn’t be too surprised. She’d been conducting combat operations of various types for centuries before settling into this Embassy job. Other than perhaps the Galen, who nobody ever saw, she was the closest thing in the galaxy to a goddess.
As soon as she’d tossed everything through the airlock door, and he dove through the door behind her, she closed and locked it. “No time to secure anything. I saw movement over on the far side of the landing field. A few men and several Security bots are gathering. It’s time to get the fuck out of here before we get visitors.”
Ursula slipped out of her disguise while shaking her waist-length blonde hair out, revealing she was wearing the same skimpy gold and white flight uniform she’d worn in the desert. She floated through the bars of the flight cage at the center of the ship as Jon pushed his way through the boxes to find his seat. He’d barely reached it when the ship lurched as Ursula pressed against the top bars. He was slammed down in his seat as the ship leaped into the sky. Struggling against the G’s, he couldn’t reach his harness straps to fasten them.
He gave up as he struggled instead to lift his arm far enough against the G-force to punch the display controls on his screen. When the VR system came up, he saw two Security bots climbing after them. “We got company. Looks like a couple of Alpha-level bots. Coming fast.”
“I’m going to outrun them, Jon. Hang on.”
His G-seat began to recline as Ursula’s body flexed with fantastic power, the increasing G’s driving him deeply into the thick gel of his seat, the anti-G restraints closing around his legs and groin to force the blood back into his upper body. His seat would automatically adjust to maintain the ideal position to keep blood flowing to his brain without excessive blood pressure, but even that had its limits.
He saw 8.3G’s on the screen before the Security bots began to lose ground, and the stars grew very bright. A minute later and they were out of the atmosphere.
“Bots… disengaging,” he struggled to say as he gasped for air. “Nice… work.”
“They gave up because they’ve got ships up here to help them,” she said, seemingly unaffected by the acceleration. “Keep scanning but stay passive. Without an anti-grav, we’re at a significant disadvantage out here. How many G’s can you handle?”
Trapped in his chair, unable to move his arms to reach the controls, he could only grunt. “Less… than… this.” His eyes were tunnel-visioning.
She relaxed slightly to drop the G’s to 5. “Better?”
“I can… breathe. But can’t… reach controls. Try… 3.”
She backed off more and the elephant on Jon’s chest shrunk to the size of a pony. With a lot of effort, he started punching buttons on his screen to activate the passive scanners. His display filled with satellites and ships all over the place, but none were converging on their flight path. The NavCom didn’t report any nearby military vessels, but that didn’t mean much. They ran silent most of the time.
“Looks clear… at moment,” he gasped. “Lots ships… but nobody seems… interested… in us.”
“Good. I’m going to hold 3G for as long as you handle it, and then drop to 1G. We might need the head start. Those damn bots nearly caught us.”
“No way an… ordinary bot could breach… hull. Combat-grade… Vsteel. Designed… heavy weapons like GAR’s… might handle AMATs.”
“Good to know, but the shockwave from an AMAT would turn you to jelly even if the ship held together. And I don’t want to have to go out there to scrape bots off. Can’t exactly fly and fight at the same time.”
Jon saved his breath as he struggled against the G’s. Thankfully his tunnel-vision had disappeared enough to appreciate watching Ursula at work. Her isometric muscular contraction was generating the excess Orgone that she channeled to the Volatai under her breasts, which glowed faintly as she metabolized Orgone at a fantastic rate. Jennie had never pulled these kind of G’s. She always kept it at 1G, which meant that as long as her thrust vector was orthogonal to the decks, he could walk around in seemingly normal gravity. And 1G acceleration was still very significant for a spacecraft, given it represented 10 meters per second squared of acceleration. She’d normally only accelerate that way for a few hours before coasting until it was time to slow down. They’d managed to reach all the landable planets in their local star system in less than a week at that rate.
This time was different. The minimum velocity for a safe transit of a wormhole was 0.01C to avoid being captured by the black hole. That didn’t sound like much, but the energy required to accelerate a ship to 1% of the speed of light, 3000 km/s, was enormous. Far more than made sense given the biological reserves of a Velorian. Once Jennie caught up to them, they’d have to figure out how to handle that.
His screen suddenly turned red as an alarm sounded. He quickly scanned for the source, and found they were being pursued. “We got a ship coming after us, and it’s making 15G’s. It’s gotta be a bot-ship.”
“Shit!” Ursula cursed. “Can’t outrun that without turning you to jelly. I’m going to have to deal with it in person.”
She relaxed herself, and the G’s suddenly fell to zero. Jon floated out of his chair as he flailed around for his restraints, suddenly very aware that the air had gotten very cold. He’d been working so hard to fight the G’s that he hadn’t noticed until now. He hadn’t fired up the fusion power plant or Life Support. He wasn’t sure how many G’s they could handle when operating.
His teeth began to chatter as he dodged the boxes and containers that were floating around. “I gotta tie this stuff down.”
“Something to do while I’m gone. Hopefully won’t be too long.” She dodged the boxes, moving will all the artistry of a dancer while guiding herself over to the air lock.
Jon was instantly jealous of her power of flight. “Hold on… the controls inside the lock don’t work yet, Ursula. Outside AutoLock button will cycle you in, but I need to cycle you out from inside. Let me help.”
He tried to work his way through the cloud of floating containers, which was difficult until Ursula took a quick, deep breath to create an air current that pulled him her way. Once he got close enough, he reached out to grab a handful of her long, blonde hair as it floated around her. He used that to pull himself closer, finding that her hair was as warm and silky as Jennie’s. “Long hair can be real handy in zero G.”
His tug brought them together as Ursula wrapped one arm around his waist to hold him to her. It wasn’t just her hair that was deliciously warm. Her soft skin radiated a wonderful warmth that made him want to snuggle against her.
“Ffrreeezzing in hheere,” he said through chattering teeth.
She quickly stripped off her flight uniform to wrap herself around him. “Needed to take this off anyway – no sense ruining a good outfit. Not sure how well armed those bots are.”
Despite being cold, his blood grew hot as it coursed low on his body. He was very aware that Ursula shared Jennie’s Velorian perfection, except she had more of it everywhere. Before he realized what was happening, she’d undone his pants to take him out, her warm hand surrounding him.
“You do know the best possible way to warm up, don’t you?” she winked.
Before he could say anything, she lowered herself over him, taking him inside her. He gasped in surprise and pleasure at her slippery warmth, tight but not too tight, which was remarkable given she was fully empowered. She began moving before his thoughts caught up with his body, and then it was too late. Her inner muscles pulsed along the length of him as a surge of erotic energy flowed from her body into his, and before he could so more than cry out, he came hard, hugging her with all his strength as his body surged against and inside her.
When he’d finished, and before he could say anything, she slipped away to enter the airlock. With his thoughts and emotions racing wildly, Jon couldn’t help but chuckle at the strangeness of Ursula stripping down naked instead of pulling on a space suit to exit the airlock into hard vacuum. Velorians did so many things backwards. Not to mention her special way of warming him up. Or the fact that like Jennie, she apparently was always ready for sex, foreplay optional.
“Consider that a fuck for luck,” she laughed, and then, with a hiss of air, she was gone.
It had all happened so fast that Jon wasn’t sure it really had. But he was definitely warm now, his metabolism racing as his body was filled with energy. Hanging around Velorians had completely changed his idea of casual sex. For them, it was a bit like breathing.
He zipped himself up as he swam back to his display console, his thoughts and emotions catching up with him half way there. He gave off a shout of joy. Despite it being a one-sided bit of intimacy simply to warm him up, he’d just made it with a Protector. Well, kind of.
He struggled to get control of his thoughts as he tried to track her on the passive scanners, but unlike a ship, she gave off no emissions that could be detected. Several minutes passed, and then the bot-ship’s drive shut down. That was followed by a large number of energy flashes, which he presumed was the bots fighting back. The fireworks lasted for several minutes before they slowed and the ship went dark to fall off his passive scanners. Given there was nothing see now, he swam his way into his stateroom to find one of his insulated coveralls. He’d had several of them made with a picture of Discovery embroidered on the back. That would help keep him warm.
He then went to work trying to tie down the cargo using the rolls of netting that that Ursula had included. Nearly an hour passed before he heard the airlock begin to cycle, and Ursula emerged moments later through the inner door, her hair a tangled mess. Several bright spots on her skin radiated waves of welcome heat into the cabin.
“There was a fucking Arion captaining that ship along with a half dozen Mark 4 bots as crew. What the hell is an Arion doing commanding an Egland warship? Even worse, check these boxes out.”
Jon saw the universal warning symbol of nuclear explosives, along with a second symbol showing two atoms annihilating each other. “Antimatter weapons?”
“Exactly. These are Arion standard issue AMATs, which makes no sense given Egland claims to be opposed to Arion encroachment in this sector. Something I’m going to have to work on when I get back. But as far as these go, I suspect you’ll find them handy at some point. But read the instructions carefully, which are unfortunately in Arion. Hopefully Jennie can read it. They might be small enough to put in your pocket or whatever, but their yield overlaps the bottom end of the nuke range.”
She stashed the AMAT grenades next to the other weapons containers, which Jon covered with netting as he continued tying down their cargo. He was very aware that Ursula hadn’t bothered to get dressed again.
“Hope I didn’t shock you on the way out, but I figured it was time to break the ice in more ways than one. You look plenty warm now.”
“Ah, yeah, that was a very Velorian moment indeed.”
“I’m not sure that was technically consensual.”
“Felt like it was to me once you got going.”
Jon found himself staring at her chest. Her previously dramatic figure had noticeably shrunk.
She watched his eyes. “Yeah, I’m going to have to recharge once we meet up with Jennie. Which is the real advantage of these AMATs. Instant power pills.”
“What are you talking about?” Jon asked, puzzled.
“Trick is to contain them during detonation and suck up the energy.”
His jaw fell. “You can do that?”
“I can. But Jennie hasn’t been trained, so it’ll probably be painful for her at first, especially given her Matra genetics. I’ll have to show her the best way. Once you get far enough out from a star, out near the wormholes, this is the only way she’s going to regain her vim and vigor in a hurry.”
Ursula resumed accelerating the ship, still nude of course, holding 1G now, while Jon tried not to stare too much at her as he worked his way around the ship, tying everything down with the webbing. The way she generated flight force by working her muscles from head to toe in waves to avoid cramping up was incredibly distracting. She was going to have to show Jennie how to do that.
He did his best to focus on the cargo, knowing as he did that it was going to take days to organize it all. But he finally got it secured at least. Organizing could wait. He was starving.
He grabbed a small box of compressed food and headed for the galley. “I’m going to make us some breakfast. Why don’t you take a break. Scanners are clean.”
“Be right there,” she said.
Walking into the galley, Jon removed two of the plastic-sealed pucks that were labeled “Turkey Dinner” and put them in the center depression of two serving plates. He loaded those into the Reconstituter and attached a bottle of water. He hit the breaker to power up the unit and pushed the Recon button. The unit began to buzz and hiss as the Zeta-wave went to work.
The acceleration began to drop off slowly this time, and seconds later Jon was floating in the middle of the room, his stomach doing the usual flips as the ship went to zero G. Fortunately, those little waves of nausea never lasted more than a few seconds before his body adjusted. He didn’t want to spoil his breakfast.
The smell of turkey dinner was filling the air by the time Ursula floated through the door, still nude, but looking even more depleted.
“That smells awesome, but it’s not going to do much to make up for this.” She reached up to cup herself, her hands bigger than her breasts now.
She looked so strangely comfortable in the nude, what with her perfect body, no wrinkles, no sags, no flaws, that she didn’t look naked in the usual sense. Nude, yes, but perfectly natural. Thankfully, his coveralls were looser than his pants had been.
“I assume your lack of Orgone is readily fixable. Otherwise how is Jennie going to get us through a wormhole? She doesn’t have what you had to start with.”
“Three ways,” Ursula said as she sat at the small table, hooking her legs under the seat to hold herself in place. “The usual way when in-system is to fly off to soak in the photosphere of the local star. But that would take nearly a day from here – round trip plus soak time. Not sure I want to leave you alone all that time. Scanners are clean but Egland might have a stealth ship. Wouldn’t want them to find you when I wasn’t around.”
“Me neither. Whats number two?”
“Taking one of those AMATs and flying off a few dozen klicks and lighting it off. Problem with that is that I might as well paint a bullseye on us. Any anti-matter detonation in the system is going to be instantly visible to every scanner. But that’s what I’d do if you weren’t here. Once I was charged up, I’d thrust at 20G’s or better for half a day or so to get out of the system. Nobody is going to keep up with that.”
“Except I can’t handle the G’s until we get our antigrav. And by the way, where are we supposed to meet Jennie?”
“At Cered, the outermost planet of the system. That’s still two days away if I maintain 1G. We should be moving plenty fast by then to coast to the hole, which is another week beyond that point. Plenty of time to get the anti-grav up and running. I hope.”
“You said three ways.”
“I did, but given you didn’t seem all that pleased how I warmed you up, saying it wasn’t consensual and all, not to mention the last discussion we had prior to today, I hesitate to bring it up.”
Jon shook his head as he used a pair of tongs to take the plates out of the Recon. Each held a turkey dinner that looked and smelled good enough to belong in a restaurant. “Well, at least we’ll be eating well if all the other boxes are as good as this one.”
He placed one plate in front of her and the other on his side of the table. “And as far as previous discussions go, Ursula, or my initial reaction a little while ago, I think we’re working off a clean sheet of paper now.”
He shrugged. “Try me.”
“Ok… the way my body works, any Velorian’s for that matter, is that when we are expending energy as fast as I have been, our ability to absorb it across the dimensional matrix reduces to nearly zero. It takes a lot of energy to restart the absorption process back to normal.” She paused for a long moment. “Or a lot of orgasms.”
Jon’s eyes opened wide as he paused with his fork halfway to his mouth. “Oh…”
“You said clean slate.”
“Can’t you fly off for a bit and be, you know, be self-sufficient about it all?”
She shook her head, her waist-length blonde hair floating around her. “We’re a very social people, Jon. We’re taught that sharing is the highest honor. If we have any taboo, or restraint or hangup when it comes to sex, it’s being selfish. Perhaps if there were no other choices, I could manage. But it’s frankly not something I’ve ever liked. Or really done.”
“Never?” Jon asked, amazed.
“Not for at least the last hundred years.”
“Damn,” he said, staring at his food.
Neither of them said anything for a long minute.
“You know where Jennie is on this,” Ursula finally offered. “And we’re not exactly strangers now. Plus you owe me one.”
He laughed. “Actually, the problem is me.”
“I already know that.”
“Bear with me. My fear is that if I started sharing with others, so would Jennie. I’m not at peace about that.”
Ursula shrugged. “You need to loosen up, Jon. You’re a fucking pirate now. And Jennie is going to do what she does without worrying about that.”
Jon smiled crookedly. “Yeah. Time to start acting like a swashbuckler, right?” He swore even his hair was standing on end as they talked. His thoughts raced. Ursula was so beautiful it hurt.
“It’s completely your decision, Jon. I won’t twist your arm again. We can use my pheromones or whatever if that will help. But if not, maybe I could fly back down our flight path for a day to see if anyone is coming, and if not I could then detour to the sun. But I still don’t like leaving you alone so long. It would take me a couple of days that way.”
“Or we could just have a whole boatload of sex.”
“We could. It can be our secret if that’s what you wish.”
He shook his head. “No more secrets. And I’m sure Jennie will be glad I’m not so hung up. She’s very fond of you. But I need to build my strength first, given this isn’t the food you Velorians live on.”
He reached across the table to take her plate as he proceeded to eat both servings.
On-board the Stargrazer, a “free trade” ship. Technically a privateer or pirate, depending which authority was doing the defining.
Captain Jana Skygarten was floating in her chambers, soaking up the rays of a modified laser weapon as it shone on her chest. Her Chief Engineer had rigged an old EP7 blaster to operate continuously at low power. Low by her standards, but it would still instantly cut any Terran in half who crossed the beam, not to mention burn holes through armor given enough time, but it was just right for the Captain to sunbathe under. The glow was just enough to temporarily make her hair glow a bit reddish – the symbol of ultimate power for an Arion.
She was a kella’Prime, an enhanced Arion Betan whose strength was halfway between an ordinary Betan and a mighty Prime, and as a result, she processed Orgone much in the same way a Prime would. Except that she couldn’t draw it across the dimensional void the way any Prime or Velorian could. And given her implanted antigrav, which she was using now to float, which ran on that same Orgone, she had some of the flight abilities of a Prime.
Given she was the ship’s heavy hitter, with the rest of her crew made up of Betans, all of them with prices on their heads, she had to be ready to use her powers at any moment. Which said she had to remain tanked up for combat.
After all, a commercial ship from a different guild could appear on their scanners at any time, ripe for the picking. Some of them were well-enough armed to require her talents. Which were slowly swelling in the middle of her chest.
And frankly, she enjoyed having very large breasts. As did her crew, who she bound to herself in fealty thanks to her erotic power. Space was boring. Sex was not.
She was halfway through her session when the intercom chirped. “Captain, we have an interesting wire on the Coretex, coming from today’s hole-bot transmissions.”
“I don’t want to be bothered. Handle it.”
“It’s a rogue Velorian with a million pounds on her head.”
Jana jerked her head up. “A million? That’s low for a Vel.”
“We could really use the coin, Captain. Stocks are low. Crew has a powerful need to eat and get paid. That would cover us for a few months. And sometimes the bounty increases after Velor gets involved. This bounty came from a local embassy.”
“What kind of Vel?”
“A Matra. Young. Mid-teens. Likely no combat training.”
“She’d still be stronger than me and unhurtable.”
“You’re forgetting the gold net launchers we picked up on Ganymede. Drain her a little and she’d be all yours.”
“How far from here?”
“Three jumps. She’s reportedly headed for hole SV325.3, coming out of the Egland system. There are four possibilities for her second jump, but we could cover one of them.”
“Any info on where she’s going?”
“Normally there would be, but not in this case. Somebody’s holding out on us. But if it was my bet, I’d say she was headed to Nirvana. The other three jump options after 325.3 either go to mining colonies or into the core of the Enlightenment. She could be looking for work on the mines, but my bed is Nirvana through hole 931.2. A Vel would blend in just fine there.”
“Make it so, Clara. Put on all the G’s you need to get us in position.”
“Gonna be a stretch even at 15Gs. Depends on how fast her ship is.”
“Just do it. And in the meantime, get a message to Klaxton so he can discretely inquire about additional bounties. Have him make it clear that nobody is going to tackle a Vel for that crummy bounty. If they want her back, they gotta pay.”
“And turn up the beamer. I need some serious charge if I’m going to duke it out with a Vel. Teenager or not.”
The beam intensity doubled as Jana leaned her head back and smiled, her entire upper body glowing red-hot now.
This was going to be fun.
Continued in Part 3…