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Empire Zukenov Invades! Part 3 of 6

Written by AUphoric :: [Sunday, 08 May 2022 05:23] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 14 May 2022 08:29]

Part 3 – Continuation of the naughty space opera in the Aurora Universe!

Annabeth Lessian said, “Engineer, do you have a rear facing camera that can provide a clear view out the back of the ship, while the engines are running full?”

The Sensors Officer said, “Sensors here, Admiral, I have that. Our aft camera has a view between the plasma loops, when we’re underway.”

She told him, “Put that up on the viewscreen.”

The Sensors officer tapped at his console, to bring the view as she ordered.

She said, “Very well. Leave that up. Now, I expect no trouble from anyone. If there was to be any trouble, it would be from Chan’g. After all, his kind was genetically engineered to destroy my kind.” She turned to him with a happy smile as she said, “But after you guys lost the war to us, we’ve got way past that, haven’t we sweetie?”

He said, “Yes, dear.”

She said, “Let’s go, honey.” They both flew out the bridge window and around the ship. In a moment the view from behind the ship showed them arrive. They hovered a short distance back from the engines.

Her eyes lit up bright red and the pair of beams went from her face into an engine tube. From his erect penis still facing straight out in front of him, his thin bright white-hot beam shot into the next engine tube. His eight foot long hair moved around him so that the tips all faced the ship. Beams came out from his hair too, a thin beam from each strand gathering into a large collected beam, all also going into another engine tube.

Hundred yard plasma loops shot out of all the tubes. The deadly plasma loops would instantly burn and shred any ordinary person that close to the engine output. They harmlessly swirled around Chan’g and Annabeth.

From the bridge, the view out the window started to change.

The Navigator called out, “We’re moving! Pointed at the fourth planet of the system! Going forward! Five G’s! Fifteen! Twenty! … Fifty!”

All the Discomforts of Travel

Behind the ship, Annabeth Lessian’s eye beams winked out. She flew back around the ship and inside the bridge again. She hovered over the Captain as she said, “He’s got it without needing my help. So since we have an hour to get to know each other a little better, each of you can tell me your name and position and a little bit about your career. I might as well have an idea who my bridge crew is, before I bring it home with me.”

The Captain said, “May I make a ship wide announcement of our surrender to you?”

She said, “Oh, of course! Where are my manners? Yes, this would be a good time for that. I assume you have an internal camera that shows you on your command chair here, to address all your troops?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Is it positioned to that it can include me flying over you here like this?”

“Yes, it is a wide enough angle view to include you too.”

She said, “Very well, let’s announce.”

The Captain said, “I need one fact first. Logistics, losses from the mine explosion just now at the forward hull.”

Logistics tapped at his console, then read out, “Thirty-five dead, twelve wounded, three critical. Seventeen missing but presumed to have died. Ship integrity is unaffected by the lost deck sections.”

The Captain said, “Thank you. Communications, proceed.”

The Communications offer worked his console. In a moment, he said, “All hands awaiting you.”

Annabeth Lessian said, “Just a moment, Captain. Communications and Sensors, provide a split screen for all the crew. The Captain and me here on one side. On the other side, the view out the back showing Chan’g.”

The Communications officer split the view and said, “As you order.”

The Captain looked at her. She looked at him and said, “Well, Captain Evril Fahenti, go ahead with your announcement if you’re ready.”

The Captain looked ahead to the screen. He said, “Valiant warriors of the Warship Glorious Hostilities. We have discovered that this wormhole and the inhabited planets of its system are guarded and protected by determined protectors, with capabilities that we have no hope of effectively opposing or winning against.

“They have conclusively demonstrated that they could instantly kill all of us and vaporize the ship if they wish to. We are only alive and on a somewhat intact ship because it is their will for now. If they were to change their minds, we would not even know before we discovered whether there is an afterlife.

“After the total loss of main and auxiliary engines and all our fuel, and our primary weapon, I made the decision to unconditionally surrender while our casualties were still under a hundred warriors. I believe I can safely say that every surviving man and woman who has seen what our previous foes can do is in agreement completely with me, that this was the only possible course of action allowed, given that we could have already been destroyed if the foes wished.

“My surrender was accepted and I was allowed to continue to be your Captain, but I am no longer your Admiral and we are no longer a vessel of the Imperial Fleet nor are we citizens of the Empire.

“This woman who has positioned herself up above me, by means I do not comprehend, is our new Admiral Annabeth Lessian. The… man… who is… providing energy to power our disabled primary engines at full strength, also by means I do not comprehend, is our new Lord Chan’g D’artha. If orders between them conflict, follow our new Admiral unless she says otherwise.

“My understanding is that they will provide us with leniency, understanding that we are now homeless and stateless and reliant on the mercy of our new Admiral.

“They are taking us to their planet as their prisoners. That is all of the situation. Stand down from red alert. Coordinate all damage control with Logistics and Engineering as always. Then proceed with your normal duty roster. Duty related communications should be transmitted promptly within the ship.

“This is no time for any speculations to distract you from your duties. No off-ship communication is allowed at this time, and do not fire or jettison anything for now. Remember that incomplete terms of service in an Imperial enlistment would result in you having no more relatives back home. Our new Admiral has not released you from your duties to the ship.” He looked up with fear. “Admiral, do you wish to say anything to your new crew?”

Annabeth Lessian said in a happy offhand chirpy manner, “No thanks, you pretty well covered it there, Captain. You may continue.”

The Captain said, “I have nothing further at this time. Captain out.”

She said, “You can end the transmission, Communications officer.”

The Communications officer said, “Disconnected.”

*

The Captain took a deep breath. He said, “Admiral, I have a request. May Logistics remove the body of Shuttle Controller Vance Bel'yon. May Inis Jadarth and I… obtain fresh uniforms.”

She said, “Yes, if you can do that and be right back. No detours beyond your necessary paths. I will be watching your trips through the corridors from here, you know. It will be somewhat interesting to see how a nice electrician showers. And quite interesting to see how a handsome Captain cleans up.”

He was silent a moment, then said, “I understand.” He looked to the Engineer. “Engineer, your ship for the purpose of sustaining damage control efforts, only, until I return.”

Captain Evril Fahenti stood up and nodded to Inis Jadarth. The two of them left by the bridge’s door back to the service corridor with the locker rooms, airlocks, and other utilities.

The Logistics officer and the Sergeant stood up and walked to the Shuttle Control officer. They knelt down, one slid his hands under the dead officer’s shoulders, and the other picked up his ankles. They took him out to the service corridor and put him into the cargo lift, then closed it and pushed the button to send its grisly cargo to the ship’s morgue.

They walked into the locker room to wash and disinfect their hands. The other two officers had their quick showers and changes to fresh uniforms. While on an expedition, uniforms were standard for all the crew, with attached insignia to show rank and status. They moved over their shoulder insignia and reattached them to the clean uniforms, and the four of them returned to the bridge together.

As the Captain sat back down, he looked up and said, “Thank you, Admiral. May the rest of your bridge crew, four at a time, visit the locker room so they can also get a quick shower and change of clothes? And stop by the wardroom for emergency meal pouches, so that when we arrive we will be presentable to your Madame President?”

She said, “That’s actually a good idea. Go ahead, Captain, you arrange the sequencing of your crew to do so. Chan’g and I don’t need to eat, but we recognize that you frails do. Have someone pick up a meal pouch for you and Inis as well. We will defer my meet the crew personal introductions idea for later. This trip may be used for you to concentrate on your duty of recovering from the battle just behind and preparing for the diplomatic challenges ahead.

“I will visit some bridge stations and have their operators give me a quick overview of the relevant functions, keeping it entirely professional for right now.”

She landed next to the Engineer’s station. She said, “I already know this is Engineering. Show me how you engineer here.”

At Jus Kadeen Four

An hour later, the ship arrived above Jus Kadeen Four. Chan’g D’artha stopped his penis and hair beams. His hair floated around back behind him, and his overside cock continued its stiff erection. He floated around the ship and back into the bridge, to hover next to Annabeth Lessian again.

The crew all shrunk back to their seats in terror of him. Those who were standing tried to press themselves back into the walls.

An orbital space tug came near the warship. The crew saw that tugs were about the same on either side of the wormhole. The  tug was essentially a half mile long pole with plenty of heavy duty maneuvering thrusters facing out in all directions, a small cockpit at one end, and a grappling beam at the other. The Communications officer said, “Admiral, we’re being hailed. Video request.”

Annabeth Lessian said, “On one side of the screen.”

A small single-set cockpit was shown. “Hello Annabeth!” the pilot said with a big grin.

Annabeth Lessian smiled back. “Tug pilot O’r Ealey!” she said happily. “I’ll want to catch up with you personally once the diplomatic tasks are handled. For now, since the planet’s got a lot going on in orbit, I figured I’d let you park us into a safe slot.”

O’r Ealey said, “I’ve got just the place to put your ship, darling. Just say when.”

She said, “How about now.”

The crew didn’t feel anything, but they didn’t expect to. The view outside the window shifted until it showed the curve of the planet’s surface below them.

O’r Ealey said, “There you go, honey. Call me when you need a pull out.”

She said, “Oh, you don’t ever need a pull out, babe. As for the ship, I’ll let you know when we’re ready to leave orbit.”

O’r Ealey laughed. He said, “Great to do business with you. See you in my bed soon, I hope. I’ve got some new gold necklaces here that I think might be your style. No pulling out til your order.”

She grinned and said, “You can count on it! Flagship out.”

The full window view returned. The tug left for its next orbital parking assignment.

Communications said, “Admiral, another hail. Audio only.”

She said, “Go ahead.”

He said, “Connected.”

She said, “Annabeth Lessian here.”

Messenger Lars Mentissi’s voice said, “Lars here. I’m less than a minute out. Damn, that’s a big ship.”

She said, “The bridge is on the top, about a third of the way back. See me inside of it. There’s an airlock at the starboard side of the bridge. Go back there and knock, I’ll let you in.”

He said, “Very well, honey. Oh, here it is.”

There was the usual loud banging sound from the airlock as it cycled.

Sensors said, “I don’t understand why we didn’t see his arrival. There is… another one of you… at the airlock.”

She said, “Well, open it! I’ll go see him in. Check your sensor logs for above lightspeed objects, to see if you were able to measure his subspace track. We’ll discuss that more later.” She left the bridge.

In a minute, she came back in. She hovered through the open doorway, along with a young man who also flew in. He looked to be about the same age as her. He had shoulder length blond hair, vivid blue eyes, and an athletic physique. He pulled off his communications headset and tucked it into a small box hung over his shoulder by a strap. He was also naked. And he had a stiff erection, getting harder by the moment.

She floated back up over the captain’s throne, and Lars Mentissi floated next to her and Chan’g D’artha. Lars gave a quick kiss to Chan’g, which didn’t seem to surprise either him or Annabeth. Lars said, “Nice to see you, big guy.”

Chan’g said, “Nice to see you, little guy. Tell my girlfriend what you think of her new warship.”

Lars turned towards her. She reached out and squeezed the Messenger’s dick and kissed his lips. “I’m happy to see you, too, Lars cutie,” she said. “Time for some docking maneuvers, wouldn’t you say?” Lars slid into her. She put a hand up to his chest and wrapped the other around his shoulders. Chan’g seemed bored.

Lars Mentissi said, “Pretty nice ship you got here, darling. They’re ready to meet with you in Madame President’s office. They ask you and Chan’g to meet them first. After some decisions are made, they’ll provide a shuttle for Evril Fahenti.”

Lars glanced over at the wall to the Sargent’s office, with the three holes that still had some smoke coming out of them. He said, “Looks like you need to tidy up your supply cabinet there. You got half of your locator beacons smoldering.”

She said, “Yeah, I wanted to give them a little demonstration of tachyon vision and eye beams.”

He said, “Well, now that you’re in orbit here, everyone knows where you are. No need for those remaining locator beacons, I think.”

She said, “Y’know, you’re right. Go ahead and get rid of them.”

He said, “Do you still need that office to be its own room?”

She said, “I don’t care.”

Lars breathed in with concentration and a gale force wind appeared from nowhere, moving towards him. It ripped the metal panel with the holes in it off of the wall and flung it toward him. He stopped his gale inhalation, reached out his hand, made a fist and lightly punched the panel. His fist put a big hole through the sturdy metal panel and knocked it down to the floor.

He looked up and fired his eye beams one, two, three times. The remaining locator beacons burst into flame.

He breathed out and this time an icy cold blast hit the cabinet. This burst of well subzero temperature air put out the fires and smoke of all six of the smashed beacons, then froze the inner door of the cabinet. As he continued his cold breath, the inner door shattered into ice crystals that fell into the Sergeant's office, dropping to the floor. He ended his cold blast.

Annabeth Lessian turned to look at the Captain. She said, “Messenger Lars Mentissi, meet Captain Evril Fahenti, who runs my new ship for me. Well, it’s a used ship by now, I guess. Captain, Lars Mentissi is a Velorian messenger. As you see, Messengers can also hold their own in battle if they need to. Only a Protector like myself is more powerful.”

The Captain said, “Messenger, sir. Admiral, if I may ask.”

She said, “What is it?”

He said, “In your realm… is having sex a… mandatory part of serving together?”

She laughed. “Oh no, not at all. Plenty of people work together and never have sex. With their colleagues, I mean. It would be terrible if they never had sex at all, wouldn’t it? Lars and O’r are lovers of mine going back quite a while. The President and her husband were my lovers before she was elected.”

He said, “Oh. Why then… with me…”

She said, “That was just business. If I hadn’t relieved your tension there, you’d still not be able to make a next command decision. Isn’t that true?”

He looked down at the floor. “Yes. It is.”

She said, “Stand up, Captain.” He did.

She slid off of Lars, who stayed in place in the air. She floated down to hover just in front of the Captain, a couple of inches above the floor, matching his eye level.

She reached her hand out to lift his chin up, and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. “Don’t feel bad! It’s the way most ordinary men respond to their first encounter with a Supremis woman. I take an involuntary salute down there as a compliment. Anyway, that was for business. As we get things settled here, though, we can switch that to carry on for pleasure if you like.

“Well, some of us have a President to meet. I expect it will be anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days for us to decide what to do you with your ship and your crew next. If it’s more than about four hours before I’m back or there’s an emergency failure of major components, Communications, use the same signal number to notify the conference room to get me. I will send someone in there to let us know if you call before I’m back. See you later!”

She floated back up and grabbed Lars Mentissi’s arm on one side and Chan’g D’artha’s side on the other, both of the men still aroused. They flew down to the door, walked along the service corridor to the airlock, then used the airlock to leave the ship.

As the flew down towards the planet, they hit the atmosphere. Their re-entry flames behind them lit up, seen in the direct view out the window and also in the split screen view Sensors put up, from the camera at the bottom of the ship. Any ordinary person would fatally burn up from re-entry without a spaceship or a high-performance orbital space suit.

The Captain said, “I’m going to my office to update the ship’s log and document our surrender. Engineer, your bridge. Contact me immediately if needed.” With his pants stretched very tight, the Captain got up and quickly left the bridge.

She was back in about three hours. They had already called the captain back to the bridge, as they saw her on her way up. She effortlessly carried a two person shuttle by a landing strut as she flew near the ship. She flew to carry the shuttle to the airlock and pushed it into the docking ring, then flew in through the broken front window.

She said, “Start cycling the shuttle airlock. Captain, do you need some kind of diplomatic logbook or something like that for your meeting with Madame President?”

He said, “No, that’s not needed.”

She said, “You’ll get into our shuttle here. Are you able to pilot a shuttle?”

He said, “Yes, all Imperial capital ship captains have five years of pilot experience, including shuttles.”

She said, “Excellent! I might adopt that rule for my own fleet. Well, you get into the shuttle, disconnect the airlock and get a safe distance from the ship. Disengage artificial gravity because we’ll be on the ground soon. This planet’s gravity is within about twenty percent of what you have on the ship. Leave on the shuttle’s life support until we arrive, turn off any autopilot functionality, and shut off propulsion.

“When you’ve done all that, blink the outside lights three times. I’ll take the shuttle down at its fastest safe speed for you. Our engineers gave me the parameters for that. Can you remember all that?”

He said, “Yes, Admiral. Our senior officers are trained to have a photographic recall for all military matters. But I don’t know if your flight controls will match my experience.”

She said, “The physics is the same everywhere. About two-thirds of human worlds have independently developed the same types of standard flight controls. Use your arm to give me a big wave out the window if you find it confusing. If that happens, we’ll both come back in to the bridge and I’ll make a revised plan.”

The Captain said, “Engineer, your ship to preserve in orbit here and respond fully to any inquiries or activities of our hosts.”

The Engineer said, “Yes, Captain.”

The Captain got into the shuttle. It turned out to have a standard set of controls, that worked just as he was used to. He took it away from the ship, as she’d instructed. Turning off the artificial gravity made him float up against the seat belt. After his third blink of the lights, he felt himself back in the seat with greater than normal gravity, but not uncomfortably so.

Far faster than the shuttle could have flown with its own engines, it was safely on a landing pad and she waved to have him open the door and step out.

Evril Returns

On the other side of the wormhole, the gathered eight hundred ships of the Imperial Fleet Wormhole Consolidation Armada awaited their Admiral’s message. On the second grandest ship of the Empire, closest to the wormhole, the Chief Engineer turned to Captain Parkes’s throne. The Engineer said, “Sir.”

The Captain said, “What’s on your mind, Engineer?”

The Engineer said, “It’s now two full days now since the Glorious Hostilities’ departure.”

“Yes, Engineer. You know, sometimes we got word within an hour, but it’s also taken as long as a week. We remain alert and ready.”

The Engineer said, “Yes, sir.”

The Captain said, “Is there anything that must dealt with technically at this time?”

“No, sir. Just concerned about the uncertainty.”

“Understood, but there is nothing more to say.”

Sensors Director said, “Captain Parkes, sir! Two objects coming through the Wormhole. One is the Admiral’s personal shuttlecraft. The other is smaller than that, we can’t get a better reading until it pops out, other than it is definitely smaller than the shuttle. It appears to be flying in formation with the shuttle, though.”

The Captain stood up. He said, “Engineer, you may not have much more boredom and uncertainty!”

The Admiral’s personal shuttlecraft popped out of the wormhole. Along with it, impossibly, popped out a beautiful naked young woman with long blonde hair. She had enormous breasts that glowed brightly from within. She had no protection from space, no air supply, and no means of propulsion.

Yet, she was flying in formation with the Admiral’s shuttle.

Evril Fahenti’s image appeared on the viewscreen. From his cockpit, on the coded high security channel, he said, “Captain Parkes, Evril Fahenti arriving to dock at your port bridge airlock. Open the outer door of the starboard bridge airlock for my guest. This woman is traveling with me. Tell the Marines and your crew to leave her alone and make no signals, and also to not enter my own shuttle, which contains some of my personal effects. I will say no more until we meet in person. Take no other actions and make no communications on or off ship until I talk with you. I will address the fleet shortly.” He ended the transmission.

Captain Parkes relayed the instructions to the Marines in the service hall behind the Bridge.

The airlocks cycled. Evril Fahenti walked into the service hall. He saw that she had come in from the opposite airlock and and was standing in the hall, out of view of the door, as they had discussed when they planned together what they would now say and do. The Marines stared, baffled. She stayed in the hall, while Evril Fahenti walked into the bridge.

Captain Parkes got out of his seat and took a step to the side. “Admiral,” he said.

Evril Fahenti walked over and sat down in the command chair. “Captain Parkes. Communications, I will address the fleet now.”

The Communications officer said, “Transmitting to all ships of the assembled invasion consolidation fleet, sir.”

Evril Fahenti said, “Evril Fahenti addressing the fleet. The flagship encountered difficult turbulence of an unprecedented new kind while traversing the wormhole. The ship sustained substantial damage to multiple key assemblies. Fortunately, emergency repair resources were readily found within the wormhole system.

“As there are no hostile forces we need to contend against, my Engineer and I have decided to repair the Glorious Hostilities in place, and only then proceed with further exploration. The fleet is hereby dispersed. You are all to return to your home bases and carry out your usual duties.

“I will proceed directly to talk with the Emperor about the situation and discover when and in what way we will reconstitute the expeditionary fleet and continue exploration, or perhaps he might even say this is a dead end. Upon knowing his will, I will convey it to you.

“Be prepared to be called back to duty, as one of the Emperor’s many choices. For now, thank you for being available. When this transmission is done, you are disperse from this assembly.

“Oh, one thing before you do go. All photographs, recordings, and sensor logs relating to my return out of the wormhole just now are to be transmitted to my personal encrypted inbox on this ship, and then deleted from your ships. In addition, you are to say nothing to anyone, whether fellow crew on your ships or anyone else, about anything unusual observed about the circumstances and manner of my shuttle’s return flight to this ship.

“Disobeying these provisions is a capital offense of military security disclosure, and will also result in exile of your families. I trust I make myself clear. Transmit and delete those logs now, then immediately be on your way. I will present your Emperor’s will upon it becoming revealed to me. End transmission.”

Communications said, “Communication ended. We are receiving the downloads you specified, sir. We have ample data capacity for this onboard. Do you wish ongoing updates in this matter, Admiral Fahenti?”

“No. Unless there is a technical issue with receiving the data, you need not discuss it with me further until we reach the Imperial Palace and are in orbit there. I will follow up with you shortly after that.”

Evril Fahenti now ordered, “Sensors, close the blast shutters over the bridge windows. Also, stop all audiovisual recording and telemetry capture on bridge deck. Not just the Bridge, all of Deck One.”

As the metal panels slid up to cover the windows, the Sensors Director said, “Recorders stopped. Sir, the shutters are not needed if we’re not entering the wormhole at this time. Our outer space environment here is completely safe for the ship.”

Evril Fahenti said, “Understood, but I’m more concerned about our inner space environment.” He got up from the chair and went to the door. He opened it and took Annabeth Lessian by the hand to bring her onto the now metal-enclosed bridge. He said to her, “Show them.”

She floated up and over to a metal panel on one side of the bridge, the back side of the weapons locker for the marine sergeant's office. With her bare hand, she punched a hole in the panel that could withstand a direct hit by an overloaded fusion power cell.

Somehow knowing exactly where to reach, she pulled out a GAR rifle far too heavy for her to hold, yet there she was lightly tossing it from one hand to the other. She hit the button to charge it up. She tapped the button to increase the output level to the maximum. She unlocked the secondary trigger, located near the end of the barrel.

Everyone but Evril Fahenti stared in terror. He stared in fascination.

She had a big smile as she set the handle of the rifle on the floor, with it pointed straight up at her. When the cycling high pitch whine ended, she opened her legs and shoved the end of the barrel into her open pussy. She pulled the trigger.

Five seconds worth of laser rings blasted into her, and then the ten thumps in one second from the antimatter pellets discharging down the evacuated tube.

The blast should have not only turned her into a pile of glowing radioactive dust, but taken out half the bridge. Instead, it only melted the gun, but didn’t cause any injury or even move her from where she floated in place.

She let the glowing metal, hot enough to instantly burn flesh down to the bone, harmlessly flow and ooze around her hand a moment, then shook her hand and the blob fell to the floor. The metal blob hissed as it burned a couple of inches into the deck. She seemed even more sexually aroused. Her breasts got bigger and started to glow brighter.

The Marine Sergeant was right there. Putting his rifle up to his shoulder, he ran towards her.

Turning towards him in the air, she kicked him in the head with her bare foot, and knocked him unconscious.

She reached back into the cabinet and pulled out a grenade. She pulled out the pin and lightly tossed the pin against an unused console. The pin went clear through the console and out the back and stuck in the wall. She tossed the grenade lightly towards the opposite side of the bridge.

Her eyes glowed and a pair of red beams hit the grenade and started its explosion earlier than the pin countdown would have been. The crew gasped as they observed another weapon that would vaporize the bridge, ending their careers and their very lives in the next seconds.

In a blur, she flew over to the grenade. Fixed in place in the air again, she plucked the grenade out of the air and stuffed it between her breasts, under her hands. The grenade exploded, but the explosion was completely contained by her hands and breasts, and again she was unharmed. She rubbed her chest to brush off the burning metal fragments from her even larger and more brightly glowing breasts.

She turned in the air to face Captain Parkes. “With Evril Fahenti, I didn’t just play with his bridge armory. As part of my wormhole defense team, I played with the Glorious Hostilities. Nice big ship there. His oversize Imperial GAR beam was quite the fun sex toy to warm me up a bit. Any questions, gentlemen?”

Everyone stared. She looked around the bridge crew’s mix of men and women officers. She said, “Oh, there are also ladies here. You can ask questions too.”

Nobody said anything.

Evril Fahenti looked around at the bridge crew as he said, “As she mentioned, she was not alone. They not only dismantled our ship-loaded primary weapon, they disabled the main engines and removed all our primary and auxiliary power and fuel. They could have instantly killed everyone on board, very cruelly if they wanted to tease, and then vaporized the entire ship if they happened to feel like it.

“Annabeth Lessian is their leader. I surrendered. The Glorious Hostilities is now in the possession of her people, and they are treating us respectfully until I bring back word from our Emperor about his decision regarding these developments.

“Not a word of this to anyone, or she and I will work together to make history dismayed that it had to even forget your lineage. I’m not the one for you to fear today, though. She could readily kill any or all of you and pulverize this vessel to dust, too. Now, Captain Parkes, set course to take us to the Imperial Palace, fastest speed, at once.”

Captain Parkes said, “Navigator, set course to the Imperial Palace, fastest speed, at once.”

The Navigator said, “Course set for Imperial Palace, optimized for speed.”

The Pilot said, “We are proceeding at fastest speed, sirs. And, uh, Ma’am.”

Annabeth Lessian said, “You can just report to your own Captain as usual for now, crewman, unless I tell you to talk to me directly.”

Evril Fahenti said, “Marines, put your Sergeant in a chair, restrain him, and wait next to him. When he comes to, inform him that he is relieved of duty, pending his court martial for insurbordinate contradiction of direct orders, and escort him forcefully and uncomfortably to the brig. Whoever was next in Marine command onboard, you just got a field promotion to Sergeant.”

A Marine waved his arm to signal. Four others Marines gathered and followed the orders. They put cuffs around the former Sergeant's ankles and the legs of the chair, and also around his wrists behind him. They took the gold power and data rope out of its cabinet and tied him to the chair. Two Marines squatted on the floor in front of him and two behind him, guns on their laps, hands loosely resting on the triggers.

Evril Fahenti said, “Captain Parkes, mark this vessel as my flagship now and notify that Palace that I am board with an interim report about the invasion, which I will deliver in person to the Emperor and none others may inquire.”

The Captain said, “Sir, the VIP suite is yours. Logistics. Communications.”

The Logistics Director said, “Admiral’s vessel markings deployed, sir.”

Communications said, “Message sent to the Palace, sir.”

Annabeth Lessian said, “How long to get to the Palace?”

The Navigator said, “About ten hours, sixteen minutes.”

Evril Fahenti said, “Captain Parkes, I am going to my quarters for some rest. Wake me up when we are two hours out, or earlier if any need. Will you maintain total secrecy of this mission’s actual nature and what you have learned today?”

The Captain intoned the ancient ritual formula: “On my honor and my life, my crew and I will protect thy secrets and follow thy orders even while thy sleep restores thee, my deliverer of orders.”

Evril Fahenti said, “I do believe you really mean that. Where is your VIP suite on this ship?”

The Captain said, “Deck three, forward, port side.”

Annabeth Lessian stared at the floor of the bridge. Captain Parkes said, “That’s around where it is, yes, but two decks below us of course.”

She looked up at Captain Parkes and smiled. “That’s a nice big bed in there. Almost as big and oversize as what’s in your pants right now. Those three bottles of brandy next to the desk, are they your finest? And those five fruits with lots of protein in them behind the painting of your Emperor. That is a new kind of fruit to me. Can those be made into juice?”

The Captain stared and shook as a small puddle formed next to his leg.

She flew over to hover in front of him, her large glowing breasts right in front of his face. She reached out a hand and lightly caressed his cheek as she now talked seriously.

“I was asking you about the brandy,” she said. “That was a direct question for a senior officer of my fleet. One quality that matters to me in my crew is that they are responsive when I ask them something. I would like to not have to replace any more senior officers in the rest of this day. It’s been busy enough. You have an open inquiry from your superior about the brandy. Answering fully is part of your job duties. And your responsibilities for your life.”

He managed to glance up to her face as he said, “Um, it is the finest.”

She said, “You have another five bottles in your stash behind the mess hall. Send two of those to the VIP suite. Now what about those fruits?”

He said, “Um. Um. Um.”

She put her hand down to his pants and lightly squeezed the fabric around his erection. She said, “Can they be squeezed into a pleasant juice? Or are they better left intact as fruits to bite into? I haven’t had those before.”

He gasped, just barely getting the words out, “They make a fine juice.”

She said, “There may be other things on this ship that also can be squeezed to make a fine juice.”

Everyone was silent, staring.

She let go of him. She flew to hover beside an unused console. She grabbed the corner of the metal case and squeezed. The metal squealed under the pressure, then crumbled to dust.

She reached in and pulled out one of the data display tubes, about the size of her lower arm. The glass tube’s dangling broken optical and data lines, ripped out of the console, made the tube look a bit like some kind of robotic monster’s head.

She gently tossed the tube up a few inches, then as it came back down she grabbed the glass and squeezed until it became red hot and molten, splashing down onto the desk. She let go. The rest of the broken tube and its wiring crashed down on top of the liquified puddle of glass, rapidly hardening again into a misshapen blob with the exposure to the air.

She turned to the Captain and said, “Yes, a fine juice indeed. I just told you what to do about bottles. Do you go yourself or do you have someone to send for that? I don’t like my crew to dawdle around after I give an order.”

He said, “Logistics!”

She said, “Logistics, also instruct that the gold power and data rope from Engineering is to be brought to the VIP suite.”

Logistics tapped at his console. He said, “The steward is taking those bottles to the suite now. He will then retrieve the rope from Engineering. As… ordered. He’ll be back in the mess hall before the two of you are down there.”

She said, “That’s proficient, but never second guess my timing. Speaking of timing, nobody’s using the Deck Two or Three corridors below us right now.” She stared at the floor again and heat rays shot out of her eyes and melted a circle five feet across. She flew on top of the circle, kicked down to stomp her foot on it, and the piece of the floor fell through and clattered onto the hallway in the deck below them.

She aimed her eye beams again. The chunk of metal from the bridge floor glowed, then started to melt into a puddle, then exploded into hot dust scattered around the Deck Two floor.

She aimed her eyes once more and melted a hole in the Deck Two floor to the Deck Three hallway. This time she vaporized the round chunk of Deck Two in the air before it hit Deck Three.

She flew over to grab Evril Fahenti around the waist by one arm, flew up to effortlessly pick him up, then dropped through the hole with him and down the two decks. The bridge crew stared down to watch. She pushed the button beside the VIP suite door to open it. She landed and pushed Evril Fahenti in ahead of her, then went in and the door closed.

The Captain looked around at his bridge crew. He spoke quietly. “Not a word to anyone. Our lives depend upon it. We have no idea if she’s some kind of killing monster.”

The crew all silently nodded.

The Logistics officer quietly whispered to the Signals officer at the adjacent console, “At least she’s not into sake. Only three bottles left of the really good stuff.” With the background rumbling hum of the Bridge equipment, it was said quietly enough for the Captain not to hear that remark.

The Signals officer flipped open his notepad. He opened the storage tray of the desk. He pulled out a red and a blue pen, saw that he’d accidentally picked up two pens, and put back the red one. He wrote, “We’ll split the last sake together once safely home.” The Logistics offer smiled and nodded.

The Signals officer tore off the page and fed it into a slot on his console that pulled it in, shredded it, and quickly incinerated the shredded slices.

There was a slot like this at each console, as this ship was originally built for the spy services. Crew members writing notes that need not be shared with the full bridge was nothing unusual.

There was a chirp at the Communications console. The Communications officer said, “VIP suite, audio.”

Captain Parkes said, “Put it on.”

Communications said, “VIP suite, bridge, audio open.”

Through the speakers, Annabeth Lessian said, “I’m not a killing monster, but I do expect to have my orders followed and my privacy respected. I trust that’s clear. Have the cook or someone bring us two bottles of that great sake, too, good idea now that you mention it. Then he can go back and finish the braided bread he’s working on now. I will graciously let you two officers share that last bottle on your return. By the way, you should have used the red pen, it’s got more ink.

“Now, in the future, if your plans might affect me, talk with me about them first. I am not interested in my crew keeping anything secret from me.

“Oh, and take turns getting some clean uniforms on, will ya? I want my crew presentable to the Emperor, looking and smelling their best. Annabeth Lessian out.”

The Captain was completely pale now, as were the Logistics and Signals officers.

The Captain said, “Communications, Kitchen, audio.”

Communications officer said, “Kitchen audio open for you, sir.”

The Cook’s voice through the speakers said, “Cook here, sir. Sorry for having to answer myself, my steward just left on a logistics call. He should be back in a moment. I just got some braided bread into the ovens, something brand new I think you’ll like. What can I do for the bridge today? … Sir? … Sir?”

After a moment the Captain said, “Carry on. I don’t think we need to check in with you at this time after all. I will visit the kitchen briefly on another errand very soon, but will be too busy to consider your new bread at this time. I will discover it along with the rest of the crew at dinner. Set out two bottles of sake for me now. Communications.”

The Communications officer said, “Channel closed, sir.”

The Captain stood up. “Under the circumstances, perhaps it would be diplomatic for me to personally deliver a couple of sake bottles to the VIP suite. If our new source of highest authority has no further immediate commands, I will be back on the bridge shortly.

“Meanwhile, Signals Director, as highest ranking officer on deck the bridge is yours for maintenance purposes only until I return, unless an emergency requires action consistent with my last expressed will before I could be consulted.” He left the bridge.

The sake bottles were hand delivered to the VIP Suite by its two visitors as they arrived together. One bottle was handed over by Captain Parkes, the other by the cook.

When the suite door closed and the two were back in the corridor again, repair robots had already removed the debris from Deck Two, and temporarily patched the holes in Decks One and Two with metal plates welded in place from below.

The cook was pale and shaking. The Captain said, “I’ll make an announcement to the crew at dinner. Help me find the right words. Say nothing to anyone. I will meet you with privately in a little while.”

The excellent Captain’s Confidential Propaganda Officer and mediocre Ship’s Cook nodded silently and grimly. He could afford his bread experiment to be a failure at tonight’s supper. He couldn’t afford to have the wrong words for his Captain’s speech tonight.

CONTINUED IN PART 4!

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