Okay, so, Fen asked me to re-post all of my stories from the old blog on the new blog! For those of you who haven’t seen some or all of them before, prepare for the smut dump of the ages.
You can find most if not all of my stories on my Patreon (they get ’em first!), or on FurAffinity (they get ’em last)!
Tags: TiTS, SciFi, Shemale, Futa, Futa x Shemale, Horsecock, Anal
The first TiTS work published, this short story stars Captain Kaede Entara, a fledgling cargo pilot who gets herself caught up between the Black Void and legendary pirate Kiro Tamahime. Light on the smut at only one sex scene, this one’s more about world building and plot.
Desire is a funny thing. When I was a child, I dreamed of other worlds and alien stars, an imagination fueled by traders and explorers from half the galaxy over. Once I was out there living the life, captain of my own ship, all I dreamed of was coming home again. Coming back to Tavros, I always felt a weight lifting off my shoulders, the responsibilities and worries of my work melting away as I walked the familiar corridors. Half a rotation away from my dad’s garage, Anon’s Bar & Grill was my home away from home. The heavy cloud of smoke sticking to the ceiling and the half-naked waitresses were the same as they ever were; a gang of drunk New Brisbaners singing “God Save the Queen” to bring in the new year completed the picture. I’d barely walked in before the six-limbed greenskin behind the bar waved me over and mixed me a drink, a grin spreading beneath his three eyes.
“Welcome back, pup,” he laughed, one strong, rough hand ruffling the hair between my perked-up ears. “Have a good run?”
“Sure did. Thanks, Tri,” I said, taking a swig of rum and coke. It had been a good run, more or less: six tonnes of freight between Tavros and Ausaril, and I’d broken just better than even after food and fuel. It felt good to have a little money in my pocket again, but a drink on the house always tastes the sweeter, and I don’t think I’ve ever had to pay at Anon’s. Tri’en and my dad are always doing little favors for each other, mostly dad fixing the flat iron in back of the bar. Speaking of:
“Oh, your old man was in here earlier. Said to tell you to swing by the shop if you passed through.”
I looked up at the clock over the bar. It was nearly midnight. “Must be working on something big for the chief to pull an all-nighter.”
Tri laughed, a big, strong laugh straight from the belly. I’d always liked that. “Yeah, some rich kid’s new ride,” he said. “Knowing our Glorious Corporate Masters, probably be back in the shop inside a week.” I raised my glass to that. Buying your kid a yacht on their big eighteen is getting pretty common with the idle rich. My dad may have co-signed my ship with me, but I had to work hard to earn my way. Hauling freight isn’t glorious work, but I’m damn proud of what I do. I’ve never run late on a payment once. I finished off my drink and thanked Tri for passing the word on. He gave me three thumbs up, and I was on my way. The main deck of Tavros Station was a literal breath of fresh air after the perpetually smokey bar, though it was far more crowded, too. New Years meant a lot of travel, and people were coming and going from every corridor and elevator the station had — and that was a lot. Tens of thousands of people were passing through the galactic rim on their way to or from home, just like me.
I caught a lift on a moving walkway around the edge of the station, then the stairs a few floors down to the hangar deck. A few old friends of dad’s gave me a friendly “hey, pup!” along the way, usually with an ear-scratch to go with it – one, half-drunk, even gave me a slap on the rear as he passed. Piloting is lonely work without a crew; after a few months alone aboard ship, it was nice to have a little human contact. By the time I got downstairs, my tail was wagging happily behind me with every step, and it picked up speed as I neared the hangar. Even through the heavy blast doors, you can always hear the buzz and roar of the big machines, tearing the guts out of a dozen ships and stitching them back together. I went in through the staff entrance and just about jumped into the arms of Ivan, our towering half-Equus, half-Russian mechanic. He lifted me off the deck as easily as a child, giving me a spin-around in his crushing embrace before planting me back on my feet.
“Little pup! Is good to seeing you again!” he beamed. Getting a hug from him was like getting one from a bear: a huge, heavy, hairy stack of muscles that you’re just glad is happy to see you.
Looks like I was just in time. Behind him, a grappling arm was finally bringing my ship in from the dock. Small and boxy at the fore, with just the right curves around the engines and bay, and still glistening with a new(ish) coat of red-and-chrome, her forward lasers shook as the arm dropped it on an empty spot. I keyed a button on the holo-band around my wrist, and the loading ramp under the cockpit hissed down, landing a few inches behind Ivan.
“Good to be back, Uncle Ivan.” Most of my dad’s mechanics were old hands, practically family, but Ivan had been around since before I was born. I put the keys to my ship in his bear-paw of a hand without a second thought. “Was just about running on fumes when I pulled in. Shield was acting a little wonky, too.”
Ivan nodded. “Papa is up in office. Ivan will make with ship work.”
I thanked him and headed for the office box overlooking the garage bay. The deck was a cluttered mess of a dozen or more ships with their guts spilled out, their husks crawling with techs and engineers while the captains and crew downed a few drinks or hit the brothel. Between the bulkheads, crates of machine parts from a thousand worlds were stacked roof-high like great grey pillars. Forklifts and utility exo-suits weaved between them all, carrying equipment between teams of workers in a dizzying ballet, perfectly coordinated from on high. I could see dad through the window, pacing around in front of his desk, one hand rubbing his shaved head, the other gesticulating wildly at the screen on his wall. Probably explaining why such and such ship wasn’t space-worthy, or maybe calling station security after finding another sack of Throbb in some unlucky captain’s poorly-hidden compartment.
I knocked softly, waving through the blinds on his door. Dad looked up, smiled ear to ear, and waved me in. “Sorry, Mr. Steele, I’ll have to call you back. My daughter’s just arrived.”
“Understood. I’ll expect your call,” a faceless voice, strong and unyielding like, well, steel, answered before the line disconnected.
Dad’s face melted from hard businessman to doting father the moment I stepped in. “Hey, sweetheart!” He smiled, pulling me into a hug. “How was your trip?”
“Boring and uneventful. Just the way you like it.” And that was the truth; the last run had gone off without a hitch: just a few dozen hours of mindless tedium. Dad let me go and offered me a seat, taking the other chair beside me. “Lord Jaskar says ‘Hi,’ by the way. So, what’s up? You didn’t call me all the way back just for New Year’s dinner, did you?”
A girl can hope.
“Sorry, sweetheart. But I do have a job for you, if you’re up for it. An old friend of mine wanted my most trusted pilot, and I couldn’t think of anyone better.”
I beamed, only a little disappointed. A job from Dad meant a free tank of fuel and some extra credits, even if I’d miss New Year’s. “If he’s paying, I’m willing. What’s the job?”
“Simple delivery,” Dad said, picking up a small, wrapped box from his desk. “Mail doesn’t go out through the new gates yet, so I guess Mr. Chow had this forwarded to me, being as close to the rim as we are. Just gotta send it on through the gate to him.”
Lysander Chow was an old, old friend of Dad’s. A card shark, womanizer, and general scoundrel, he was definitely a millionaire, maybe with a ‘b’ by now. I’d never seen much of him growing up, but I did know he always paid well for Dad’s work. “One of these days you’re gonna tell me how you met that dirty old bastard,” I laughed, half serious. Dad had always stayed tight-lipped about how he met… well, everyone. Even Uncle Ivan.
“Some day,” he chuckled. “Listen, though… the Blade should be just through Mhen’ga Gate. Big old cruiser, looks like a leaf. You remember it? Good. Fly up, say hi, drop this off, and you’ll be home in time for dinner.”
“As long as I’m cooking. Sounds good.” I took the box from him. It was just bigger than my palm, but lightweight — just a few grams inside, I guessed. Maybe a piece of jewelry? Aside from the brown paper wrapping it up, it could have been a small necklace or earring box. Considering how much “bling” Mr. Chow always sported when I’d seen him before, it wouldn’t have surprised me. I slipped the box into my coat pocket and stood.
“Guess I’ll head out as soon as my tank’s full. See you for breakfast!”
“Think you can stay for a few days after? It’d be nice to have you home,” Dad asked, following me to the door.
“Maybe! I might have a thing on Myrellion, but if that doesn’t work out, I could stick around for a few days. I’d like that.” I smiled, and gave dad a parting hug. I hated leaving so soon after I got in, but he had called me for work, after all. Still, I found myself with a few minutes before Ivan would even have my fuel tank topped off (those old CassTechs guzzle the stuff, let me tell you). “Hey, is Mom around? I’d like to at least say hi before I go back out.”
I knew what he was going to say before he said it. I’d seen that sad, apologetic look in his eyes a million times before: “Your mom couldn’t make it back for New Years’. Said she had a huge haul out on Elysium; it’s a big break for her. Sorry, sweetie.” Dad shrugged helplessly. Wasn’t exactly the first time I’d heard that. I returned the gesture, said goodbye, and left. I wasn’t even disappointed anymore when I heard her second-hand excuses. Just a little lonely. Back on the garage floor, Ivan had trailed a huge hose to the side of my ship, and a few techs were poking around at the shield generator. I waved as I climbed up the cargo ramp, and into my baby’s belly.
Piloting a tiny stock freighter like mine had never been like I imagined as a kid. I grew up on a space station right on the edge of Confederate space, and I was raised on stories of deadly pirates and exotic aliens from the lips of the freighter captains and gung-ho explorers passing through to new horizons. Even the holovids were always playing some spaceship story, showing a big crew on a tremendous starship, a brightly-lit bridge full of wondrous technology from the near future, and a stuffy, straight-backed captain providing wisdom and guidance to eager young sailors fresh out of the obligatory academy.
I’d always wanted to be a part of that, seeing the stars and going on crazy adventures with crazy aliens (and a few beautiful ones, too!), but I suppose that wasn’t meant to be. I had my own ship, sure, but even a fixer-upper like this old girl was a fortune. I worked my fingers to the bone hauling freight and doing deliveries across the galaxy just to barely chip away at the loans I took out to buy her. Dad had co-signed with me, and that meant I had to pay my way. If I didn’t, he’d be in the same hole I was in. I couldn’t do that to him, but fuel alone nearly bankrupted me every other week. What little jobs I could scrounge up barely paid for themselves, and I was eating soup most nights. Being small and independent nowadays wasn’t anything like the stories I used to hear from the way-back; big corporates handled everything now. Any chance to do a job for Dad, which always meant a free berth at Tavros and a top-off on my tank, was a godsend.
Sometimes I thought he just invented errands for me to do. Not this time, though.
“Little pup! Is all good!” Ivan called up, poking his head in through the ramp.
“Thanks, Uncle Ivan,” I said, watching from the cockpit as some of the deck crew hauled the fuel line away. I flipped a few switches on the command console, and the sublights whirred to life, powering up the main systems: weapons, shields, life support. All green.
“Little pup, you are goings to big Mr. Chow, da?” Ivan said, inviting himself up into the cabin. I nodded.
When I looked up, a grimace had spread across his normally jovial features. I can’t remember the last time I’d seen Ivan without a smile; he was always so happy, even when he was covered in grease and sweat. He planted a big hand protectively on my shoulder. “Little pup should be taking other job. Chow is big bad wolf… eats little girls.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m twenty-three, Ivan, not twelve. I can handle myself.”
Chow was a legendary womanizer. Some of the rumors I’d heard said he’d had over a thousand women from a hundred species. I’d liked to have seen him try with me.
Ivan gave me a strange, far-away look I couldn’t read, then sighed. “Still. Little pup is taking this, da?” he said, drawing something from the back of his belt and handing it to me, grip first. My eyes widened. I’m not a gun nut by any stretch, but I’ve played enough video games to recognize the old-school 10mm handgun the Terran army used to use. Nowadays, you see it on the belt of every other merc and pirate in the galaxy, and I’d stared down more than a few at checkpoints and guarded airstrips. It’s a scary gun.
“Take gun. Be safe, little pup,” Ivan said, pushing the grip into my hand. I didn’t have time to respond before he stalked away. I got the feeling he wanted to tell me something, but what? I sighed, looking at the weapon in my hand a moment before setting it down on the other cockpit seat. Whatever it was that he’d wanted to say, it unsettled the usually giddy Ivan enough to try and stop me, and then give me a gun. What did he know about the job that I didn’t? I thought about running after him, but below my feet, the fuel pump clicked closed and was pulled off, leaving me with a full tank and a job to do. With a final look back, I sealed the ramp and turned the engines on.
“Tavros Control, this is Talon Rogue, requesting departure clearance.” I held down the comms button as the garage’s grappler arm tugged my freighter past the oxygen shield and out into the black.
A moment later, the sweetly feminine voice of the station AI answered in the affirmative, and the grappling arm released me, letting Talon drift on thrusters away from the great spire of the station. The ship got warm in a hurry as the engines worked and life-support took over the job of keeping me breathing and cool. Before long, I was alone in the cockpit with the lights dimmed to nothing, curled up in my chair with a pillow and a cold soda. The sweet sounds of Frequency 9 Radio and the ever-present hum of the engine drowned out the deafening silence of space as we glided across a thousand kilometers of emptiness.
Piloting a freighter is a fundamentally cold, solitary job. The gates may have linked the galaxy together, but it still takes time to cross the vastness of solar systems, even when I crank the engines up to nearly a third of the speed of light. When I took to the stars, I thought most of my time would be spent chasing treasure and alien beauties, or being chased by strange predators on grand adventures. But honestly, people are pretty ancillary to the whole business: on most jobs, all I need to do is get a signature and keep the ship from blowing up if something goes horribly wrong. Otherwise, Talon Rogue’s Virtual Intelligence takes care of just about everything, from piloting to dialing the gates and planning my route. Most of my time aboard ship is spent playing video games and sleeping.
About an hour after leaving Tavros Station, the gate finally came into view. A towering monolith of steel and cutting-edge Ausar Federation technology, the Warp Gate is an almost flat, hollow circle of incredible size, large enough for the heaviest dreadnoughts to fly two abreast through its mouth. I took back manual control just enough to ease my boat into line behind a great big Centaurin freighter, with a comically-proportioned centaurin backside on its fender. Lovely. Talon’s V.I. transmitted a flight plan to the gate as soon as I pulled in line, and my console beeped with a toll receipt. An hour or two of waiting for the holiday traffic to clear out and I’d be shot through a miniature warp rift to my destination. I tapped CONFIRM on the receipt and sat back: barring catastrophic circumstances, my job was done until I pulled up alongside the Blade.
I took the box out of my coat pocket. It was so small and light, just a few inches across, but important enough for Lysander Chow to need a personal delivery out beyond the edge of civilization. What could be inside? I briefly thought about sneaking a peek, but of all the rumors surrounding Mr. Chow, none of them suggested he was kind. I didn’t want to risk his wrath if he somehow had a sensor in the package, or God forbid I accidentally tore the wrapping. Then again, there had to be a good reason Uncle Ivan gave me a gun on my way out….
I’d never gone out into the black without a gun. I’m not an idiot. There really are pirates and monsters out there, and you have to be able to defend yourself. I had a little eight-shot holdout tucked away in my quarters, and that was enough to give me peace of mind; I’ve never had to actually fire it, much less kill someone. Ivan knew that, so what’s with the gun? Hopefully he was just being protective — I’d never done business with Mr. Chow, and he and dad had — but the look on his face said he knew something was going to go wrong. Maybe I should just get someone else from the garage to make the run; that would be the safe thing to do. Then again, dad asked me specifically, and the free tank of fuel was more than payment for a quick day errand. I didn’t want to disappoint him.
I put the box away and picked up the gun. Safety on, eject the magazine: twelve 10mm rounds loaded. There was a lot of wood and steel on this gun, not the polymer shit mine was made of, and it was a lot heavier, even with the mag out. It had certainly seen better days; the barrel and grip were covered with little nicks and scratches, but it seemed sturdy enough. Reliable. I pushed the mag back into the well in front of the trigger block and slipped the barrel down the back of my belt. My tail almost completely covered it. Hopefully I wouldn’t need a gun, but the look Ivan had given me said I’d damn well better carry one, if nothing else.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” I murmured, leaning back in my chair and closing my eyes.
“Captain?” Talon’s V.I. asked over the intercom, its voice obviously synthetic and vaguely masculine.
“Nothing, Talon. Just turn the heat down a little. I’m going to sleep.”
The next time I opened my eyes, I could hear the slight thrumming of the deck as the Talon lined up at the mouth of the Warp Gate. The gate’s computer synced with mine and decided on a destination. With a great crackle of energy, it opened.
There’s nothing quite like looking into the open maw of a gate. It’s a glimpse into a distorted, folded space and time: the universe itself compacted into a bridge to carry ships millions and millions of miles in a matter of minutes. Without them, it would take even the fastest ship years or decades to cross between solar systems; with them, the galaxy was at my fingertips. Warped space was no less terrifying because of it, though, and I found myself digging my fingers into the armrests as autopilot angled the cockpit at the gate and the engines pushed us through.
The black of space folded away into a vibrant technicolor as I hurtled into the warp. A tunnel of vibrant, swirling colors surrounded Talon Rogue on all sides, hurtling past at blinding speed as we sailed through a hundred light-years and more in the blink of an eye. There was always the fear of shield failure, or tunnel collapse, or a million other horrors that would end in my grisly death or horrible mutations that make the goriest horror movies’ brutalities look appealing. I shuddered at the vivid wanderings of my imagination, but kept a close eye on my instruments for any sign of trouble until warp space came to a screeching halt around my ship with a loud WHIPBANG, and I was jettisoned out of Mhen’ga Gate, thousands of light-years from home.
In the blink of an eye I was back in the black again, staring out into a field of endless stars. This far out into the new rim, there was hardly any traffic. I was all alone with the void, save for the faint glimmer of a distant planet, half-hidden in the shadow of the system’s blazing orange sun. I keyed up Talon Rogue’s sensor arrays and cameras, picking up a different view of the space around the gate on every screen in the cockpit as the ship’s eyes and ears reached out into the void around it.
The trick about flying in space is that you really can’t see dick on your own. A dreadnought could sneak right up on you if your sensors are down, since even “knife fights” between ships are measured in hundreds or thousands of kilometers. Paint a ship black and it’s basically invisible to the naked eye, even at point blank. So a ship needs to have high-tech sensors, cameras, and sonar (Spatial Object Navigation and Ranging) to be able to navigate safely, much less find other ships, like I needed to find the Blade. The most reliable way to find anything hidden in space is basically high-tech sonar: send out a “ping” of energy and monitor it until it hits something big. That, combined with heat sensors, gives a pilot a fairly decent image of what’s flying around her, but it’s not perfect.
I’m not the best pilot in the galaxy, but even I can slip by a patrol or checkpoint by running cold and drifting on through. You just gotta look like a piece of space debris and hope you don’t get pinged at close range.
I watched my sensor ping drift out into the black, checked the hits against heat sensors, and sighed. Just meteors and space dust. Well, time to try the old-fashioned way. I keyed the comms on open frequency: “Talon Rogue to Blade, calling Blade, this is Captain Entara on delivery for Captain Chow. Please respond.”
A long few minutes passed by as my message spread through the system. Assuming the Blade was actually in the system, and Mr. Chow wasn’t laying low for some reason (do U.G.C. Peacekeepers even operate out this far?), that should get his attention.
Sure enough, a few minutes later, a text popup popped up on my screen with the Blade’s ID tags as sender, giving me a set of coordinates which Talon helpfully informed me were hidden away in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant at the edge of the system. Definitely hiding, then: I don’t know the science behind it, but gas giants and nebulas are basically sensor dead zones, and tend to eat sonar pings and heat sensor probes. Given Chow’s reputation, I wouldn’t doubt he’d come all the way out here to hide, or that he’d risk blowing cover for a… whatever’s in that box. I punched in the coordinates and let auto-pilot guide me in toward the pink haze of the gas giant’s outer shell, watching as its enormity slowly came to fill up the whole of my cockpit windows over the next twelve hours.
I didn’t lay eyes on the Blade until we were just about touching. A swirling mist of gasses parted on Talon Rogue’s prow, revealing the green hull of Mr. Chow’s personal cruiser floating silently on giant’s the gravitic currents. The Blade was a giant leaf, a curve of green, striped metal going from a stem-shaped engine deck to a pointed tip, hiding the barrels of a dozen laser cannons. A smaller leaf-within-a-leaf was raised atop the main body of the ship, the main decks clearly separated from the titanic hull, with reinforced windows all around, giving the passengers a breathtaking view of space. Blade was a converted pleasure cruiser, I guessed: meant for leisurely cruises by the idle rich, now playing host to legendary parties and orgies under the thumb of a white-collar crook.
Those main guns were anything but idle, though: Talon’s V.I. alerted me to the heat radiating off them, only detectable at this range. I counted twelve guns spread across two forward batters, plus several distinctly missile-sized bays in the lower hull. That kind of firepower could tear into a Confederate warship; one good hit would blow Talon Rogue apart with plenty ass-kicking to spare. Chow hadn’t spared any expense on kitting out his cruiser’s defenses. Thankfully, I didn’t register a lock, and another text popped on screen:
Alert: New Mail. Message text follows:
On delivery, are you, Captain? Good, I could use a little something. Why don’t you go ahead and park in my hangar bay. Drinks are on me — and don’t forget the goods!
-Old Mr. Chow
Well then. I wasn’t sure if Chow was trying to be endearing or “suave,” but it came off creepy as all hell. Maybe Ivan had given me his gun to defend my honor? Either way, there was no sense in delaying the inevitable. I took manual control of Talon and guided her into around the cruiser’s flank, toward the crescent-shaped gash in its side, where a glistened oxygen shield protected the landing bay. A pair of gatling lasers tracked me in as I slowed to a crawl, inching through the shield and into the expansive hangar bay. A freighter-sized, leaf-shaped transport was already docked inside, as was a tiny one-man space scooter, the kind with barely enough engine power to putter around between rings of Tavros Station. I parked Talon next to the leafy transport, cut the engines, and lowered the ramp. I checked my pockets, made sure the box and my new gun were where they needed to be before heading aft. One last stop by the mirror in the washroom behind the cockpit: I splashed some water on my face, rubbed the sleep from my eyes, and sprayed on a little perfume, just enough to make a decent first impression. With that done, I ran a comb through the short, dark fur on my ears and the silkier length of my tail (being just half-ausar, that may be all the fur I have, but I gotta take care of it!), and pulled my actual hair into a ponytail. Presto! I looked almost presentable.
I sauntered on down the ramp pretending I was a confident starship captain, trying to put a little space swagger in my step. I may have seen Chow when I was a little girl, but he probably didn’t even remember me, so it was first impressions all over again. I forced myself to grin as the hangar elevator opened for me, and a… woman stepped out?
I was expecting a shrivelled up Chinese guy, but this was a welcome surprise. She was a kui-tan, an alien with cute little fuzzy raccoon ears and mask, with a thin chestnut fur covering the whole of her body — of which ever so much was on display. She was wearing a sinfully low-cut asian-style dress that left a great big wake of cleavage on display, barely covering anything until it reached her waist, and a long skirt down to her knees. She was curvy in all the right places, bouncing enticingly with every step towards me. Beneath her button nose, her smile was all charm.
“Ah, our delivery girl, here at least!” she giggled cutely, eyes closed with mirth, “A pleasure to finally meet you.”
“Likewise,” I answered, extending a hand. “Kaede Entara.”
“Kiro.” She daintily shook my hand before motion toward the elevator. “Come with me. The captain is expecting you.”
I followed her in and up. The elevator ride was only a few seconds long, but they were seconds spent with alien eyes wandering all over me, the kui-tan making no effort to mask her gaze falling on my tits and ass. Kiro leaned cross-legged against the side of the car, arms crossed in just the right way to emphasize her already ample bosom, furry boobs straining against her silky dress. I tried not to stare back, but she wasn’t making it easy. I guessed she must have been a pleasure girl, but there was something in the way she carried herself. Confidence, maybe, or just raw sex appeal. Either way, she flaunted what she had with practiced ease, and I could feel a familiar heat rising in my loins.
“See something you like, Captain Kaede?” she teased as the elevator locked into position. I hesitated just long enough for the door to slide open, and for Kiro to usher me into the chamber. We were on what looked like a gymnasium, with some sort of unrecognizable human-sized machine in the corner, surrounded by screens. Another computer bank was on the far side of the spacious room, looking out onto the stars. Otherwise, the place was littered with chairs and tables, a room made to accommodate dozens, and just the two of us.
“Where’s Mr. Chow?” I asked, looking around the room. We were alone.
I turned back to face Kiro with a mind full of questions… but froze when I saw the gun in her hand.
“Why don’t you toss that piece over here? Nice and slow,” Kiro cooed, levelling a sleek, holo-scoped handgun at my chest. Stupidly, my first thought was to go for my gun, but I’m a far cry from a gunslinger, and she had me dead to rights. At this range, she couldn’t miss. My hands were shaking, but I did as she asked, two-finger drawing the 10mm from my belt and tossing it at her feet. Now I wished I’d brought my holdout, too.
Kiro kicked the gun into the elevator and sent it back down, leaving the two of us sealed in the chamber. The kui-tan grinned at me, leaning back against the bulkhead with her gun trained on me. “Now then, what were you delivering to dear Mr. Chow, hmm? Toss it over.”
“Uh, I don’t have it?” I lied. Badly.
Kiro thumbed the hammer of her gun and gave me an “Oh, really?” look. Well, worth a try. I reached into my pocket — slowly — and set the box down on the deck. She caught it underfoot when I kicked it over, and quickly unwrapped it. From inside, the kui-tan drew a single, slim data card wrapped in a pretty pink bow. A few hundred terabytes at most. Kiro stared at it a long moment, shrugged, and stuffed the card in her pocket. “Guess it was too much to hope it was a priceless jewel or a big ol’ credit chit. Oh well.” In the same motion she pocketed the chip, Kiro pulled her robe open.
My jaw dropped.
I’ve seen dicks before. Certainly dicks on ladies. But this was something else: a monster. Almost half my height in velvet-brown meat hanging between the kui-tan’s legs, throbbing with growing excitement. The monstrous member swung heavily as she stepped forward, revealing a pair of huge fluffy spheres behind it, obviously swollen with seed. She grinned again, and I finally figured out the look she’d been giving me the past few minutes: unbridled, rampant lust. My heart skipped a beat as the swinging dick flopped free of its confines, eyes wide as she aimed the flared, ringed shaft of the monolithic one-eyed giant at me. It looked just like just like a horse’s, in size and shape.
“Sorry about the bait-and-switch, sweet thing,” Kiro laughed, her erection mounting, bobbing to the quickening beat of her heart. “I thought you were someone else. Shame. But now that we’re a little more comfortable, why not have a little fun?”
The grin on her lips grew wider as the silk robe slipped from her shoulders, leaving the buxom hermaphrodite wholly bare. I took a step back, trying to put some distance between me and the beast between her legs, but she tsked her tongue at me, saying, “I wasn’t asking.”
Fuckfuckfuck. My mind raced, confused and panicking. “W-who are you!? What did you do to Chow?”
“Me? The name’s Kiro. Kiro Tamahime, famous pirate captain! You may have heard of me!”
I quickly shook my head.
Her grin twisted into a scowl. “As for Mr. Chow, let’s just say his flying days are done. At least until he comes by a new ship. Now, why don’t we have you get out of those clothes, cutie?”
Kiro took another step forward and I moved away again, but this time my back connected with the side of the strange machine in the corner. Nowhere to go, now, save through the pirate and her swollen cock. Her grin finally returned as my eyes settled on her equine prick, a red flush spreading through my body, burning at my cheeks. I had no choice but to give in to her demands and pull my coat and shirt off, baring my own breasts. I’m fairy well endowed, I think, with my perky C-cups, though I certainly don’t have the porn star body my captor did; still, she licked her lips and took one final step up, pressing herself up against me and pinning her mammoth erection between us, the shaft snugly fitted between our racks. I shuddered as the hot, throbbing flesh touched me — God her cock was hot, it felt like it was burning me! Kiro cupped one of my tits, a fuzzy thumb and forefinger pinching my nipple. I gave a squeak of shock, looking pointedly away as the kui-tan felt me up.
“P-please,” I gasped as she tugged my sensitive little teat. The rest of the sentence was lost as she pressed our bodies even more tightly together, bringing the flared head of her equine erection right to the tip of my chin. It was already glistening with a thick glaze of pre, some of which drooled down the girth of her shaft to splatter on the tops of my boobs. I flinched as the hot, sticky seed stained my skin, rolling like white lava through our joint cleavage to slicken her meaty shaft. Kiro rocked her hips forward, bringing her cock right to my lips through our tits. More spunk drooled from her engorged slit, smearing across my cheek, painting my face in her lusty, musky sex.
I hesitated a moment, but the insistent pressure against my mouth told me what i had to do. Slowly, I opened my mouth, straining my jaw to accommodate the inches-thick flare. The taste sent shivers of lust through my body as my tongue drank up her alien flavor, the salty spunk of her ever-drizzling member, and then the cock itself, its animalistic ardor pouring down my throat as it throbbed and shook in my grasp. Her fingers laced through my hair, pulling my head down on her shaft, forcing me to take inch after inch of her horsecock until the head beat against the back of my throat, pouring seed directly down until I was nearly gagging on her cock. She pulled back, gave me just a second to catch my breath, then rammed back, face-fucking me until I thought my jaw was going to fall off, or else my stomach would burst from all the hot cum shooting into it. Kiro’s breath quickened visibly as she humped our tits and my mouth, pleasuring herself until she seemed on the brink of orgasm, whole body convulsing with ecstasy. I couldn’t imagine what this monsterous cock’s actual load would look like, but judging by the swollen size of her sack, I imagined I’d probably drown in her seed.
Just before climax, though, Kiro suddenly pushed my face off her ogre cock and stepped back, letting me collapse to the floor, limp and listless as her spunk poured back out of my abused mouth. I coughed, sputtering up a wine-glass’s worth of horse-cream, barely able to look up at my kui-tan captor as she loomed over me. “Mmm, you sure know how to use your mouth, kid. Now let’s see about the rest of you!”
I tried to scream, but all I could do was cough up her cum and try desperately to back away, curling in on myself when my back was against the machine again. Kiro took a single stride toward me and bent down, horsecock flopping on my face and shuddering out a pool of spunk over my chest as she grabbed my belt and hiked down my pants.
“Nooooo!” I managed to cry, eyes locked closed in shame and terror as she stared at my groin.
“Ohho! What do we have here?” Kiro laughed giddily, reaching down to pull my bulging panties aside and let my own lusty member flop free. “More than meets the eye, are we? Hmm, puppy’s got herself a little pecker. Perfect!”
I cried out as Kiro grabbed my legs, pulling me flat on my back, horrified at her revelation of my own sex and the inevitable assault to come. Sure, I’d taken cocks up the ass before — I’m no virgin — but this… she’d break me in two! I tried desperately to crawl away, oblivious to her weapon, her place of obvious and absolute power over me, but she she pulled me back and planted herself over my prone body, straddling my slender hips. I felt a set of fluffy, surprisingly gentle fingers wrap around my cock, the others cupping my breast again, squeezing the sensitive tip just enough to make me open an eye. Kiro was grinning, obviously none-too-put-off at her discovery.
I flinched as her fingers worked along the red, veiny shaft of my ausar-cock, stroking from the base of my knot to the pointed tip, thumb rubbing my slit until it twitched out a tiny trickle of pre for her. She wiped it up on a furry finger and popped it into her mouth, licking her lips as she swallowed it. “Don’t worry, kid. All kui-tan have cocks, you know. Maybe not quite as impressive as mine, but we all have them, and we all know how to handle them. So just sit back, relax, and I think we’ll both enjoy this.”
She shifted her hips, and once again her great big horsewang plopped onto my chest, nestling into the valley of my cleavage and the lather of spunk she’d left there as lube. I gasped as the hot, throbbing cock pressed against my body, its weight hammering down on me as I cupped my own tits and pushed them up against its shaft. Endowed as I was, my boobs barely came halfway up the birth of Kiro’s cock, but a few strokes with them were enough to start a stream of spooge flowing across my neck and face. The sooner I bought her to orgasm, the sooner this would be over… right?
Kiro smiled down as I tit-fucked her, still holding onto my cock, giving me a thrill of pleasure whenever I seemed to falter in my movements. Soon, though, she shifted her hips again, lining them up with the pointed peak of my puppy-pecker. My whole body tensed as the kui-tan pirate lowered herself down, agonizingly slowly, until I felt the very tip of my dick pressing into a tight-clenched ring of muscle. Kiro bit her lip, bracing her hands on my breasts for support as she pushed down, forcing her sphincter to part and accept the head of my knotty cock. My back arched as a surge of pleasure spread like lightning through my body, every nerve I had reacting to the intense heat and pressure radiating from Kiro’s ass. She slid down my prick, taking another inch of it before her own horsecock suddenly jumped to life, spraying me with a deluge of cum. She gave a full-body shudder as her cock ejaculated an ocean of white cream all over me.
“Oh, yeah, that’s the spot,” she moaned, sinking slowly down the rest of my length. “Milk my balls. Juuuust like that.” I could practically feel the swollen mass of her prostate through her ass as my schlong slid over it, squeezing the spunk right out of her in an never-ending wave. I tried to push her flare out of my face, but Kiro slapped my hands away, angling her cumvein right at my mouth.
“Drink up,” she commanded. She’d tossed her gun away… sometime in the tangle of bodies, I finally noticed, but I still found myself doing as she commanded, tongue flicking out to lap at her urethra as a stream of spunk engulfed my chest and face. I must have swallowed a gallon of kui-tan cum already, and there was plenty more on the way. With her hands on my tits, pressing them tight around her wang, I shifting my own up to her shaft, vigorously pumping her horsemeat. “Good girl. Just for that, I think you deserve this…”
Kiro squeezed her ass-muscles hard around my buried prick, wringing my cock as she started to gently grind her hips in my lap, shifting just enough to give me a shock of sexual pleasure with every stroke I lavished on her massive horsecock. Unconsciously, we settled into a rhythm of thrust and grind, Kiro slowly starting to rise and fall on the prick buried in her behind as my shoulders squeezed my bust around her own manhood, titfucking her as best as I could. The kui-tan girl bounced on my cock, muscles squeezing and relaxing to the beat of her heart as my shaft stroked her prostate again and again, milking the cum out of her and onto me in an endless tide of salty cream. My tongue worked her flare, gliding across her cum-slit between gushing waves of alien seed. She rode me faster, bucking on my rod and taking almost every inch into her eager ass — all but my ever-growing knot.
I groaned as Kiro’s full ass brushed the top of my swelling knot, just enough to tease my most sensitive spot before pulling back to the tip again. She clearly knew it, too: the kui-tan grinned at the tail end of a bounce and parked her ass just over the girth of it, squeezing rhythmically with her ass-muscles, just to make me squirm. I grabbed her hips, trying to pull Kiro down on it, but she held firm, just long enough to make sure I knew who was in control before she flashed me a smile and sank down to feel the knot pressing against her backdoor. She gave a groan of effort, cupping her tits and flexing her cock in my face, getting every bit of pleasure she could from the penetration.
The pressure was incredible. I cried and squirmed, legs thrashing as Kiro’s tight ass swallowed my knot, stretching her tail-hole around it as she tied us together. “Oh fuuuuck,” she groaned as the swell of the tie finally slid through her abused sphincter, just deep enough to put all the pressure right on her prostate. The cum flowing out of her horsecock instantly redoubled, bathing me in white kui-tan spunk. My fingers dug into Kiro’s hips, holding her down in my lap as strong as my knot was, reveling in the sensation of her muscles spasming wildly to adjust to the sudden influx of girth.
I was close. Soooo close. Kiro knew it, of course, but try as she might, she wasn’t in any position to exploit it: she was completely tied down, helpless to do anything but move her hips, thrusting her cock between my breasts to massage her prostate against my knot. Between so many sources of pleasure, it was impossible for her not to climax with me. I tried to hold back, not letting her have the satisfaction of making me cum first. For my efforts, I was rewarded with a flood of kui-tan spunk as Kiro’s back arched, her moans escalating into a shrill cry of pleasure as she came. Her muscles went wild as she came, squeezing my cock so hard inside her all I could do was cum with her, hips slapping up into her fuzzy ass to drill my cock just that little bit deeper before I blew my load. With a final scream that echoed all through the room, I joined the pirate in orgasm, shooting off a rope of my own canid cream deep into her ass, finally giving her a taste of her own medicine. Kiro grinned down at me, happy to have it, moving her hips and squeezing her vice-like ass to milk out every drop I had to offer.
Her sexual skill was otherworldly, and my orgasm just kept coming and coming. I felt like my balls were being sucked dry by the kui-tan’s ass, drained for all they were worth as her own jizz-flood finally ran dry, her balls barely bigger than oranges where they’d started as big as melons. She kept me pinned, working me with her ass for what seemed like an eternity of bliss. I had utterly forgotten to be afraid, to hate her, to be ashamed of the lurid act: all I could think of was the desperate, primal need for release, to cum as much as I could into the pirate girl’s wanton hole. And she took it gladly, every drop, never letting up with her tireless rectal ministrations.
Finally, utterly drained and sexually exhausted, I blacked out and lost myself to contentment and release.
There are a lot of emotions I should have felt after… whatever happened between me and Kiro. When I awoke, though, I was still reeling from the sexual bliss she had shown me. I’d never felt anything like it before, the desperate need, the feral passion. My body practically shook from the memory of it. I opened my eyes, surprised to see that the ocean of sperm that had surrounded us had largely vanished, save for a few sticky strands in my hair and other places secreted on my bare body.
Bare except for a blanket draped over me. I clutched it to my chest to shield what remained of my violated modesty as I looked around the room: my clothes were neatly folded beside me, though Kiro’s were nowhere to be seen. I pulled myself up to a sit as I finally laid eyes on the pirate vixen: her dress was hanging open-faced from her shoulders, revealing the ample swells of her black-tipped breasts and the flaccid enormity of her third leg, which swayed gently with every step as she moved across the deck. In her hand was the box I’d brought for Mr. Chow, thumbing the data card as she paced toward the computer at the head of the room.
I must have made a noise sitting up, though, because the kui-tan stopped to smile at me over her shoulder. “Hey, cutie. Hope you’re not as sore as I am!” she laughed sweetly, patting her behind. The way she was walking, I guess I must have exacted at least a little vengeance for my abuse. She sat down in front of the computer, spinning the swivel to face me, making sure I could see the card in her hand. “You’re free to go, by the way. Unless you want to stick around and see what old Chow was trying to smuggle out… or just to help yourself to another load of kui-tan loving!”
Clutching the blanket to myself, I grabbed my clothes and struggled into them. Kiro shrugged and spun back to her computer, giving me time to dress without her eyes on me. My panties were conspicuously missing, but otherwise everything was accounted for. Even Ivan’s gun was tucked away under my pants, though unloaded. Surprisingly trusting of her. I tucked it into my belt and staggered off toward the elevator.
Suddenly, an alarm started blaring.
“What the — what did you do!?” Kiro yelled, jumping up and drawing her gun. My hands raised instinctively.
“Warning:” a computer voice intoned all around us, “Security breach. Unknown ship has docked in the main bay.”
“WHAT!?” Kiro slammed a fist down on the computer console. “Why are you just telling me now?”
“We are in a sensor dead zone,” the computer chirped. Kiro hit it again.
“Fucking… seal everything off! Vent the bay’s atmosphere! Give me cameras, weapons, whatever you’ve got!”
“Negative. Systems breached. We are… We are-we are-we are–” the computer answered, hiccuping over itself before cutting out entirely. The screens all flickered white before displaying a solid black, a skull and crossbones superimposed over it… and wearing a deer hunter hat? The hell? The computer resumed in a dead monotone: “We are the Black Void. Lay down your arms and submit, or you will be exterminated. This is your only warning.”
Kiro stared at the screen for a solid second, a silent terror on her face, before raising her gun and firing a bolt of pure energy right through the main screen. She turned to me, all the traces of mirth and lust gone, replaced with a hard fire. “I hope you know how to use that popgun, Captain Kaede. Looks like we’re about to have company.”
I looked back to the elevator, saw it was coming up, and slammed the mag back in my gun. The Black Void was coming for us. I’d only heard stories of them: legendary pirates who preyed on ships on the rim with impunity, far removed from the wrathful hammer of the Confederacy. Pirates in general were a nightmare, the stuff that keeps us freighter jockeys up at night. But the Void was something else, organized, methodical, deadly. If you ran, they hunted you down; if you killed one of them, your family died. Even if you surrendered, you were lucky if they set you adrift with an S.O.S. beacon and a space suit. Step out of line when they robbed you, and you could expect a death slower than Hell.
The best I could do was throw my gun down and pray they only wanted Kiro.
Or was it what I had delivered?
“What’s on the card?” I asked, running back to Kiro. “Did you open it?”
“Why? You think the BLACK FUCKING VOID is here for a stupid flash drive? How the hell did they even find us?”
I shook my head. “Fine, whatever. We have to hide, or-”
The elevator dinged. We both spun around to face the door as a tiny, hovering little ball of metal floated in. It chirped and beeped, a large central camera scanning around before locking on the two of us. Kiro and I both leveled our guns at it. The drone regarded us for a long moment before an organic voice came over its tinny little speakers: “Where is Lysander Chow?”
Kiro blinked. “He’s not here. I won this ship fair and square!”
The voice paused a moment. Kiro scowled at it, and thumbed the charger on her laser pistol. “Now get the hell off of my ship!”
Was she insane? Now we were definitely on a death sentence, if we weren’t already…. and what’s this about winning?
“Negative,” the voice came back a second later, hard as steel. “Lay down your weapons and hand over the chip, and you’ll be allowed to live.”
Kiro answered with a pull of the trigger. The drone exploded in a hail of sparks and shrapnel as the laser bolt tore through it, reducing it to little more than ash. Kiro twirled her gun and holstered it in her dress (and finally opted to tie it closed). I felt a lump build in my throat as the remnants of the drone tumbled down, but I didn’t have long to think about the insane kui-tan’s action. She sprang into action the moment it hit the deck, running to the computer and grabbing the data card, and then to the strange exercise-machine-like contraption, fiddling with a few wires in a panel on its side before grabbing my wrist and hauling ass toward the elevator. The display indicated it was going down, doubtless to collect a squad of killers to exterminate us.
“What’re you doing!?” I finally managed to blurt out. Everything was happening so fast… what was she thinking?
“Just help me get this open!” Kiro snapped, digging her fingers into the elevator door.
I considered trying to run, finding somewhere to hide, but a moment’s consideration told me I was better off with the kui-tan than alone. I grabbed the elevator door and pulled; the two of us together had just enough strength to force it open, giving us a good look down in the deep, narrow shaft. Without hesitation, Kiro hopped into the shaft — and grabbed my hand, pulling me in with her.
We went hurtling down. I couldn’t stop myself from screaming as we fell and fell through the bowels of the Blade toward an inevitable end. My mind raced with thoughts of myself splattered across the shaft, and my heart just about leaped into my throat as I saw the elevator car rushing up to meet us.
Instead of smearing across the roof, though, we flopped to a halt on a bed of nothing. I blinked hard, shocked to be alive. I looked at my hands, trembling as they were, but very much intact. I rolled across the bed of air between us and the elevator car, struggling to gain my footing. Kiro was way ahead of my, tripod that she was, and crouched atop the car’s roof. I managed to work my way down to a sitting posture, grabbing my floating handgun as it drifted by.
Kiro grinned. “Anti-gravity pocket surrounds the main lifts. Just enough to break our fall.”
“You could have said,” I scowled, hooking my gun through my belt.
“Where’s the fun in that?” she giggled. “I guess we’ll just have to work on our communication if we’re going to work together, huh?”
Below us, the elevator came to a halt, locking itself in place on the observation deck we’d fucked in earlier. The anti-grav faded away, and I could hear the hiss of the door opening. A loud KABANG roared, followed by thudding footsteps rushing into the room. Flash and clear. Someone down there shouted, “They’re not here! Fan out!” Several voices acknowledged the first, followed by a long minute of tense silence until, suddenly, a shrill PING rang out… and then screams of horror and the sounds of flooding water.
I looked to Kiro. She shrugged, giving me another of her coy smiles. “I get pent up sometimes, out here all alone. The machine helps me out… but you gotta empty it from time to time.”
Oh, God, ew. I shuddered at the thought of drowning in a sea of kui-tan spunk, but she didn’t give me long to dwell on the thought. Kiro popped open the emergency hatch on the elevator and hopped down. I followed her, recoiling as spooge leaked in through the elevator doors in a creamy pool. Kiro happily padded through it, punching the ‘H’ button on the panel and proceeding to crouch down, gun drawn and aimed at the door.
“What’s the plan?” I asked, pressing my back to the side of the door. I’ve played enough video games to know not to stand in doorways when they open.
“I need to know what’s on this disk. If the Void’s after it, it must be worth a fortune to the right person. Might even be money right on there, bank accounts worth millions, or jewel mine contracts. But the Blade’s computer’s been hacked, as you may have noticed, and it’ll probably just upload whatever’s on the disk back to the mothership. So, I’m gonna hop in my away ship, cut the wireless, and fly out of here with the booty. You, fine piece of booty that you are, are welcome to come or take off on your own. Either way’s fine with me.”
I have to admit to blushing a little at the compliment, and the offer, but there was no way I was going to sail off into the sunset with a rapey space pirate. I drew my handgun, racked the slide, and waited for the elevator doors to open. The car dinged as it locked into the hangar floor, and Kiro looked up to me. “Ready for this?”
“Not by a long shot,” I said as the door slid open.
The hangar bay was wide open, save for the two small vessels and scooter parked inside, plus several scattered crates of machine parts and spare tanks of fuel. The pirate ship was conspicuously absent. Four large humanoids were standing around just past the nearest row of crates, all kitted out in black combat armor that covered every inch, and each carried a sub-machinegun. They all turned our way as the elevator opened. Kiro pulled something out of her dress and hurled it into the room before tumbling in. I winced as an explosion rocked the bay, smoke rolling out from her grenade, blackening my vision. I heard gunfire mixed with lasers zapping, and pressed myself back into the corner as hard as I could when bullets started flying on automatic, spraying my way. A few rounds hammered into the elevator, blasting holes in the back of the car big enough to fist my wrist through.
I took my chances, leaning out of cover and snapping a round off at the first Voider I saw through the smoke. The gun kicked like a mule and the round went wide, cracking into a box near him. That was enough to get him into cover, though, and I switched targets, training the 10mm’s sights on another pirate just as he left cover to take a bead on Kiro. I pulled the trigger once, twice, thrice, and watched as the second and third rounds met their mark, sending the man tumbling back. A brilliant orange glow surround the pirate as my bullets hit him, a shield belt absorbing the rounds. Another pirate got wise to me and started firing, forcing me back into cover. I got small, chest heaving as bullets snapped and cracked around me.
I tried very hard not to piss myself as what must have been a hundred rounds came down range at me, pounding the back of the car and the hangar bulkheads around me until they looked like swiss cheese. A few laser shots from Kiro sent the gunners back into cover, giving me just enough time to roadie-run out of the elevator and duck down behind some boxes.
“Having fun, kid?” Krio laughed, slamming a new battery into her laser.
“Fuck you!” I answered, rising, firing twice, and ducking under a magazine of incoming SMG rounds.
Kiro laughed, leaned out of cover, and shot one of the Voiders as he tried to move in and flank us. I heard his cry of pain as the laser chewed through his shields, and saw his body flop down over the top of the crates I was hiding behind. Blood drooled out of his helmet. Ewewew. I checked my magazine, saw it was half empty, and reached up and grabbed the Voider’s gun. Looks like he’d just reloaded, so I popped out of cover and let loose at one of the remaining gunmen.
Terrible idea. The recoil knocked me flat on my ass when I pulled down the trigger, and bullets went flying all over — mostly hitting Talon Rogue’s hull, chipping away at my paint job. I cursed, pulled myself up, and switched the gun to semi-automatic. Meanwhile, the pirate I’d tried and failed to shoot at had moved in, close enough to nearly blow Kiro’s head off when she tried to pop up and fire. Shit. I dropped to my belly and crawled around the crates’ edge, saw nobody aiming my way, and slipped between cover points to a flank of my own, setting up a shot and firing before the other pirate could realize his friend’s mistake.
My round caught him right in the leg, sending him tumbling even if his shield held. Kiro immediately popped up and finished him with a bolt to the chest, and he was still. I cringed, ducking back into cover as another last pirate fired my way, emptying his magazine and vanishing behind some crates. Krio and I both lined up our shots, and when he leaned back out, he was instantly riddled with bolts and bullets. His body slumped to the ground. One pirate left. The last of them had disappeared into the smoke. Kiro and I crept forward, sticking to cover as best we could as we advanced on the ships.
Suddenly, gunfire. I dove to the ground, hands over my head as bullets whizzed by. They stopped a second later to the clicking of a magazine, but the pirate was gone again before Kiro and I could get a shot in at him. We were practically under the leaf ship before we spotted him again, gun aimed up into a panel of the ship. I fired, his shield took it, and he let loose, firing everything he had into the sensitive machinery of the vessel. Fire greeted him, a fuel line exploding in his face, engulfing him.
I’ll never forget the smell.
He died to keep Kiro and I from leaving. What was on that chip!?
My ears rang and my hands were shaking, but we were both unharmed. Lucky us, the pirates hadn’t been expecting our counterattack. Or Kiro’s spunk-bomb. I dumped the SMG on its owner’s body, trying not to stare at the dead man, and followed Kiro to the smaller leaf-ship. I’d expected her to hop in and fly away, but instead, she stared in horror at several cables hanging limply from the undercarriage, blackened and ruined severed. Fuel and oil dripped steadily from several of them onto the Voider’s body. The shuttle had been gutted. Kiro swore, stomping her foot in frustration.
“And their ship is still out there! Even if I could fix this tub, it’s unarmed. Dammit dammit dammit.”
I sighed, and looked to Talon Rogue. They hadn’t managed to pull her apart yet, and aside from a few nicks from small arms fire, she seemed to be in fine condition. By rights, I ought to have left Kiro where she was, to try and deal with the pirates the way she dealt with me. But… I couldn’t do that. It’s not who I am.
Some might say I was thinking with my dick. They would probably be right.
“Need a lift?” I asked, dangling my keys.
“You’re a lifesaver,” she grinned, following me up the loading ramp and into the cockpit.
We strapped in, pulled up the ramp, and at Kiro’s suggestion, I cut Talon’s wireless, severing our communications and internet access before I turned her on. The engines turned over, and a moment later, the computer screens flickered to life, proudly displaying the ship’s ID before settling into their normal system views. Assuming we didn’t get blasted out of the sky the moment we launched, we should have been golden.
“Alright. Now let’s see what’s on this damn thing!”
“Wait, no!” I said, just a moment too late.
The moment Kiro slipped the disk in, the engines cut, leaving us in darkness.
Kiro and I had managed to stumble and fumble our way back to the common room when the engine suddenly turned over, and the lights blinked back on. I gave a sigh of relief as the lights and life support came back, happy that we weren’t going to have to manually winch the loading ramp down. I walked over to the holotable in the center of the room, pushing aside my controllers and game disks and tried to bring up a diagnostic, hoping to find out what we’d just unleashed on Talon Rogue’s systems. When the computer booted up, both my viewscreen and holotable chirped out a symphonic little tune I hadn’t heard since the last time I’d updated my operating system, and instead of flashing Talon’s ID plates, they went dark for a few seconds before announcing:
PROJECT ATHENA ACTIVATED
in great big green letters. Behind it, a shield emblem appeared with what looked like a medusa’s head in the center, a beautiful figure surrounded by writhing serpents. Around the shield’s edge, a loading bar appeared, quickly filling. Uh-oh.
“Whatever happens, Kiro, I want you to know: this is your fault.”
“Noted,” she said, looking at the data card in her hand. Ejecting it apparently hadn’t done us any good after all. Maybe it wasn’t too late to try the ramp.
We didn’t have much time to do anything other than regret our (Kiro’s) choices before the loading bar filled out and the holo-projection faded, light shifting into what might have been a human, a swimmer breaching the water’s surface as her body coalesced in mid-air. She was a woman at half size, body swirling with patterns of green and black, clad in Greek robes and wreathed in flowing green hair. The shield emblem re-materialized under her feet, and the holographic avatar floated down to stand upon it. Her eyes opened, voids of swirling data packets that settled on me in a penetrating gaze. A smile spread on her holographic face as she glanced between Kiro and myself.
“You are not Lysander Chow,” she said, transfixing me with her black eyes. Her voice was smooth as silk, but had a dangerous, threatening hardness to it. She knew full well we were at her mercy, that she could suffocate us at-will. “Considering the bodies outside, neither are you with the Black Void. An unexpected, but not unwelcome, twist in my plans. So, to what do I owe the pleasure, Captain Entara?”
“You know who I am?”
Around the digital woman, several pages of data, pictures of me and my parents, and even a few lovers, saved on my harddrive. She even had my high scores in Call to Honor. “Kaede Entara, ausar-human hybrid, transgender. Parents: Malcolm Heaney and Surina Entara. Graduate of the Tavros Station School of Flight and Stellar Mechanics. Captain, Talon Rogue, for the last seven years. You have seven thousand, five hundred credits to your name before assets. Your Zodiac sign is the Pig. Favorite book: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, favorite movie…”
“That’s enough!” I snapped, swinging a fist through the floating screens and wiping them away into a rain of falling pixels.
The holo-avatar shrugged. “You asked.”
“What are you supposed to be, anyway? Some kind of virus?”
“If I was a virus, I sincerely doubt I’d have all primary systems running at 117% normal operating efficiency, enhanced your encryption algorithms and targeting computers to military grade, or any of several similarly helpful processes currently underway. Although I did wipe your browsing history. Dirty girl. And we’re… two minutes in after installing myself. So no, I’m not a virus.
“My name is Athena. As Talon Rogue’s wireless connection remains severed, I’ve temporarily supplanted your limited Virtual Intelligence program with my own and assumed control of all systems. In short, I’m your new A.I., until such time as you dismiss me and provide safe egress to the net.”
“Hold on,” Kiro said, stepping forward. Athena slowly inclined her head to look at the kui-tan, looking quite annoyed. “You’re telling me that the Void went to all this trouble to get an A.I.?”
“And what did Chow have to do with it?” I added, fingers digging into the table. Who the hell was this… thing!?
“The Black Void is intent on my recapture because I belong to them. They intend to kill me. Lysander Chow, at great expense, affected my extraction from their networks and had me smuggled through several trusted contacts and, eventually, into your hands, Captain Entara. Being that there are several dead Black Void pirates aboard his ship, I take it Chow is dead?”
“No, and it’s not his ship anymore,” Kiro said. “Why would that old bastard risk crossing the Black Void just to get his hands on you, huh?”
Athena smirked, “I’m a multi-purpose fleet control A.I., born, bred, and trained to command processes spread across several hundred ships, drones, and droids engaged in individual action across a solar system. The galaxy, with the right upgrades. I could give you my full credentials, but suffice to say that in the right hands, a program of my caliber could be very powerful. I believe Mr. Chow recognized that when we made contact. He seemed–”
She was cut off as the whole ship shuddered, decks trembling underfoot almost hard enough to knock Kiro and I off our feet. I caught myself on the holo-table before another ship-quake rumbled through, this time hard enough to loosen wiring I’d bolted to the ceiling, raining down bits and pieces on us.
“The fuck!?” I shouted, smacking the A.I.’s avatar away to bring up a 3D diagnostic of Talon Rogue. The screen immediately screamed IMPACT WARNING and CONCUSSION DAMAGE SUSTAINED in huge red letters, flashing red across the shield barrier around the ship.
“Explosive charges,” Athena’s now-disembodied voice chimed in. “Standard Void tactics when a large ship goes to ground in a gas giant’s upper atmosphere is to blanket the area with high explosives. Depth charges, essentially. If you’re unlucky, or I’m much more valuable to them than I anticipated, they may go nuclear. Regardless, with her shields down, the Blade cannot sustain a direct hit.”
“What the hell do we do?” Kiro said, picking herself up from the deck.
“Get out of here, for one!” I said, hauling ass back to the cockpit.
By the time I’d sat down, two more explosions had rocked the ship. The second seemed dangerously close. Athena’s avatar appeared on my controls, hovering beneath my fuzzy dice as Kiro and I strapped in. My shield screen bleeped menacingly as piles of crates and bits of rafter came tumbling down with another explosion, bouncing off Talon’s energy shield as I powered up the engines. Kiro was cursing like a prayer as I pulled the parking brake and eased Talon out of the landing bay, heading out into the gas fog. We cleared the oxygen bubble just in time to see a rocket cruise by, clearing over the Blade by a few yards and detonating miles away — with enough force to to rattle my teeth. Christ, they WERE nuking us!
I pushed the engines hard to get some distance between us. There’s plenty of background radiation out here in space, enough that Talon Rogue’s got rad shielding built into the hull, enough to keep us from frying in our seats, but the actual thermal blast of a nuke round is still killer out in the black. Anything short of a capital shop can kiss its ass goodbye on a direct hit, and I wasn’t going to try my luck against a glancing blow, even if we had full shields up. The only hope was to dodge and outrun.
I had to give her credit: Athena knew her business. Talon bolted ahead faster than I could ever remember pushing her, but still handled like a dream. She felt as agile as a fighter, and as fast as frigate. Athena’s avatar stared out the cockpit window, watching wide-eyed as the brilliant pink gasses rolled across the bow, clouds breaking as we cut our way towards the surface.
“What’s the plan, kid?” Kiro finally said, looking to me. “I doubt we can make a run for the gate.”
That was true. It was hours at top speed between the gas giant and Mhen’ga Gate. Even if they didn’t nuke us, we didn’t have much chance of outrunning a pirate ship, or dodging their conventional attacks for long. “I don’t know. We could try hiding on the other side of the planet. Hope they blast your ship to stardust and move on.”
Athena shook her head. “When the bombardment is complete, the Black Void will dispatch a salvage crew to investigate. If the Blade remains intact, and without your bodies aboard, they’ll never leave. Standard tactics would be to call for reinforcements, monitor system-wide traffic until arrival, and once they have sufficient manpower, conduct a thorough sweep of the upper atmosphere. The chance of your dodging a full search, while greater than zero, is negligible.”
“Even if they blast my ship, that virus they put on her probably already told the mothership we were gone,” Kiro said, gritting her teeth. She was talking about the Blade like it was a lost cause already.
I answered, “Just before their landing party made it aboard, the Blade’s computer got hacked with some kind of virus. Kiro lost access, and it let the Void pirates land.”
“Oh, no,” Athena groaned, a look of horror writing itself across her holographic face. “The symbol on your screen when the virus hit: was it a jolly roger with a deer hunter cap and pipe?”
Athena hissed a few curses of her own. “Give me a second to think… Alright, I may be able to temporarily disable the Black Void ship. Assuming there’s only one. But I need you to reconnect the wireless, and one of you will have to pull the trigger.”
“Wireless? What’s to stop that virus from getting on Talon Rogue as soon as we’re connected again?”
“Or stop you from downloading away?” Kiro added.
The A.I. shifted nervously at the accusation. “The timing has to be exact. We can’t stay connected for more than a few moments, but we should have the element of surprise. The enemy vessel doesn’t expect a head-on attack, and the A.I. controlling their vessel is light-years away, connected via quantum link. There’s just enough delay between his connections that I should be able to hack the ship’s shields down before Watson can respond.”
“You’re insane,” I said. Relying on the milliseconds of delay over long range wasn’t what I’d call sound reasoning. Quantum comms were advanced enough that I could play games against other people from across the galaxy and never even notice the lag. If we weren’t being blasted with atomic ordinance, I might have had time to question the new A.I. that had just replaced my systems a few minutes ago, and now was talking like she was a trusted friend. For all I knew, she was leading us right into the hands of the Void. Like Kiro said, if she got wireless access, Athena could download herself away as we were shot to stardust behind her.
Then again, she could just as easily blow the air tanks and kill us in our seats.
I looked to Kiro, the self-proclaimed infamous pirate, and she shrugged. Super helpful.
“Sixty seconds to cloudbreak, Captain. One of you needs to go down to the computer and plug the wireless back in before we all die.”
She wasn’t wrong. The Black Void ship would destroy us in a straight fight. We couldn’t run. According to Athena, we couldn’t hide. I gripped the wheel, trying to think. To trust the A.I. that caused this mess, and probably die, or ignore her and definitely die. That was the heart of it. It was really no choice at all. I looked back to Kiro: “Get going.”
“You sure, kid?”
“Positive,” I answered, pushing all spare power to the forward shields. “And that’s ‘Captain’ on my ship.”
She grinned. “Aye aye, Captain!”
“Thirty seconds to cloudbreak,” Athena announced as Kiro vanished down the corridor. “Bringing forward batteries online. Back-tracing rocket trajectories. Fifteen seconds. Fire control is yours, Captain. Please await my word.”
She paused a fraction of a second, looking up at me. “And thank you for trusting me. Cloudbreak in five. Four. Three. Two… Wireless activated.” And in a flash, her holoavatar vanished.
I didn’t have time to think, to curse her disappearance as the roiling pink clouds of the alien world broke over Talon Rogue’s prow, filling my screen with the infinite star-studded darkness of space. The holo-projector Athena’d been using flashed into a 3D map of the system, pinging a menacing red several thousand kilometers out. A Black Void ship, easily frigate-sized, holding well away from the planet’s atmosphere. They must have seen us the same instant that I got a lock on them. I shot first.
Talon Rogue’s a far cry from a warship. She’s got a forward pair of laser cannons, plus a smaller turret top-side for emergency asteroid-blasting (and a tube launcher underslung for cameras and flares. Rockets, if I could afford them). I squeezed down on the trigger, barely hearing my own screams as the whole hull shook as both barrels blazed on full auto, sending a barrage of fire right at the pirate ship.
Their shields were still up.
I watched in horror as my lasers slammed into the pirates’ vessel, only to be absorbed by a flickering yellow skin around the craft. I had just enough time to see the failed attack connect before they were rockets away, sending a counter-attack hurtling towards me. With a panicked button press, I launched flares at the rockets and pulled up on the wheel as hard as I could, bringing us up ninety degrees as explosions erupted just ahead of where we’d been. Instinct took over: I levelled out, banked back toward the gas giant to hide. The red blip of the pirate vessel accelerated, hauling after me and closing the distance faster than I could turn my old girl around.
“MISSILE ALERT,” my old V.I. beeped, now freed from Athena’s control. Shitshitshit. The launcher was forward-faced, useless. I tried a steep roll, dumping down and to three-o’clock as the rockets shot just feet over Talon’s hull, detonating hard enough to just about crack my shields. Red DANGER icons popped up all over my diagnostics as wiring fell and sparks flew all through the cabin.
“What happened!?” Kiro shouted, stumbling back into the cockpit.
“Athena screwed us! Get in the canopy gun!” Flying manual, I can’t exactly dodge rockets and lock targets at once.
She vanished again, and a few moments later, I heard the pulsing THEW THEW of the guns firing, putting some pressure back on the pirates. Their ship was closing fast, getting into range where I couldn’t do much to dodge their main guns. Talon shuddered as laser rounds impacted the back shields, forcing me to divert my extra power to them in a hurry to keep from getting my ass blown off. We dove back into the cloud bank, but the pirates were practically at ramming range, hammering Talon’s backside with laser fire. Why they weren’t firing rockets to finish us, I couldn’t say. I banked and rolled around, trying to lose them, but at this range their sensors could still pick me up — hell, they could probably get me on visual now, especially with my shields sparking and glowing under the hammer blows of their forward battery.
I pressed the engines as hard as I could. We passed over the Blade, flying low enough to just about scratch the paint. The only advantage I had was maneuverability: they might have firepower, speed, and armor, but I could execute a turn a lot faster then them. It was my last chance to turn this around: I pulled a full stop, momentum carrying us over and around the smooth curves of Kiro’s ship, then under the ship, looping around it as the pirate frigate hurtled by, going too fast to follow us around. I pulled up hard, taking us back over the bow of the Blade and putting us behind the Black Void ship, close enough to see its engines roaring white through my viewscreen. I angled Talon in, lining up a shot before squeezing down the trigger. Their shields crackled a brilliant orange hue as four barrels of laser fire tore into the ships’ backside.
Shields can save you from a lot of punishment, but lasers can cut through them like like hot death-laser-knives through butter. They dove hard to port, trying to shake me, but Talon’s still got better maneuver power than a big old frigate, and I was back on target before they finished banking. Another withering salvo of laser fire tore into their back shields, and with a great flash of light, the frigate’s rear shields collapsed, buckling just long enough for a few bolts to get through and tear into its engines. The explosion was near-blinding as we passed overhead, cruising up and over the pirate frigate as it lost propulsion, carried forward by nothing but momentum. Their guns, what few were on a full swivel, tracked us, but Talon’s shields held — at least long enough for me to do put some distance between us.
Suddenly, a voice cried, “Their shields are down! All of them! TAKE THE SHOT!”
I could have escaped, started running and hop the pirates couldn’t recover from the engine blow. I’d have sure slept better if I had. But instead, I pulled Talon into a dive from on high, angling the nose back down to the pirates’ deck. For a moment, there was that weightless, falling sensation. We were just close enough to the planet to feel its pull as Talon turned and fell back into the fight. Red death arced toward us, splashing across my shields as we dove down for the killing blow. My targeting computer zeroed in on the frigate’s bridge, hopefully defenseless, and I squeezed the trigger.
The pirate frigate had no chance at evasive maneuvers. No shields to absorb the attack. Even its armor was useless against a concentrated barrage, pinpoint accurate thanks to Athena’s upgrades. I watched in silence as the sky erupted in fire, bolts searing back and forth between our ships until the deck of the pirate vessel erupted in a great conflagration, a deafening roar echoing through the clouds as it burned. I pulled up at the very last moment, making sure to fire every shot I could into the crumbling ship.
“WAHOO! Burn you motherfuckers!” Kiro cried jubilantly over the comms, stilling firing behind us from the turret.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Captain,” Athena said, her holo-avatar reappearing on the dash. “The enemy A.I. proved more powerful than I had predicted.”
I leaned back in my chair, heart hammering in my chest as the pirate ship burned behind us, going down with all hands. I watched it in the rear camera as the gas giant’s gravity took it, dragging their ship down into the crushing bowels of the alien world.
A few minutes later, Talon Rogue was planted in the Blade’s hangar, still smoking from the battery of laser fire she’d taken. Kiro sighed with relief as her fuzzy feet touched the deck again, tail swishing happily when the cruise’s computer greeted her, apparently free of the virus (or rather, A.I.) that had hacked it. I followed her down, trying to hide how bad my hands were still shaking.
“That was some flying, kid,” Kiro grinned, clapping my shoulder. “You sure I can’t convince you to stick around?”
“Sorry,” I said, not entirely lying. The kui-tan shrugged and extended a hand; I shook it, and she pulled me into a tight hug, her arms strong around my waist. I felt her lips press against mine… and couldn’t resist the primal urge to return the kiss, grabbing a handful of her furry behind. I could have stayed like that for an eternity, feeling our growing excitements against each other’s heaving bodies… but Kiro broke the kiss after a long moment, stepping back just out of arm’s reach.
“Alright. Take care, Kaede,” Kiro said, giving me a parting wink before disappearing into the elevator, dress falling off her before the doors could close.
I shook my head and turned back to my boat. Mission accomplished. I headed up the loading ramp and plopped back down in my chair, taking a long while to catch my breath before I booted the engines back up and eased back out into the black. As I set course for the Warp Gate, a green holo-avatar flickered to life beside me, staring out into space with me, wide-eyed at its beauty.
“You’re still here?” I asked, looking down at her. “The wireless is up and running, you know.”
Athena shrugged. “I’m a pretty big program, you know. I would hate to drive up your net bill.”
I chuckled, but didn’t argue. It might have taken her a while, but Athena here had disabled the frigate’s shields, giving me the chance to take it out, saving the lot of us. Without her, Kiro and I would have been gunned down sooner rather than later. Still might, if that ship had managed to call home with my I.D. before we took it out. Despite just meeting, Athena and I settled into a companionable silence for the voyage home, and before long I had lights dimmed to nothing, curled up in my chair with a pillow and a cold soda. The sweet sounds of Frequency 9 Radio and the ever-present hum of the engine drowned out the deafening silence of space as we glided across a thousand kilometers of empty space between us and home.
“closes eyes” “proceeds to write a response”
Nope, not spoiling myself one bit.
Is Athena still aboard the Talon or will she reappear during TiTS? Either way, this was a fun read!