Peers Ch. 14byjjcole©
The trip out of the solar system was much more complicated than the passengers of Gaia and Terra envisioned and they described it as harrowing. The decision to have siblings handling the first part of the voyage turned out to be inspired, communication between them was intuitive and the many close calls were navigated successfully.
The passengers had to spend a lot of time strapped to their bed, chair or sofa for nine months because even though the ships had their own gravity field it was much weaker than Earths' and people could be sent to a wall or a ceiling during emergency maneuvers.
They lost one passenger when he ignored the flashing red light and impacted the ceiling hard enough to break his neck.
He was described by those who knew him as a bully, know it all type. His widow missed him for less than a week. She was carrying Lord Jim's twins.
Ten months into their trip they were at last in interstellar space and had positioned the ships so they could wait for the planet would emerge from the collision zone.
A short gangplank was extended connecting the two ships and everyone visited with their old and new friends on the other vessel.
They had community events often in the center circle area of the ships. Those areas were ringed with restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. Each of those was different on each ship so there were plenty of reasons to cross the gangway.
During the thirty months of interstellar travel all passengers got to know each other well and many took advantage of the sexual freedoms allotted. The four hundred or so women pregnant with the children of Peer formed a deep bond and enjoyed lesbian sex often. In fact eighty percent of all the women enjoyed lesbian sex often. Women outnumbered men by nearly three hundred.
The habitat part of each ship had room for a thousand but neither ship was at capacity. They had given the list of the names of those missing to Cel before they left Earths air space hoping they would be able to reach them.
There was celebration on both ships when most of them sailed into Cel before the bombardment.
Because there were many empty cabins passengers were allowed to reside on either ship on a semi-permanent basis.
The entire ship was shaped like a dome. The three levels below the command ship had habitats and a central plaza. The bottom section had supplies and the equipment that would be needed on Asherat.
The top section of each ship was a separate unit and contained the captains and their crew. The crews included Akkad, Kindred and Sprite. Nearly half of each crew was Devil; they were the space travelers of the Federation. Each ship had a crew of thirty-three.
Visuals of what happened on the bridge of each vessel were broadcast at all times after they escaped the solar system so by the time the passengers saw their first alien in person their initial reaction was to introduce themselves. Within a week all the female aliens were part of the lesbian trysts on each ship.
There were classes and planning sessions and decisions being made but most were bored by the time they entered Asherat's system. Even though they had three days warning that the gangplank was going to be withdrawn the last five minutes were hectic. New couples became permanent and old couples split.
The rush at the gangplank was by those that had changed their mind at the last moment.
The two ships spent a lot less time scouting the planet than the ten months planned. Their new world was a water world with many islands, some the size of Texas, some the size of Puerto Rico. Asherat itself was a small planet, about intermediate between Earth and Mars.
Their sun was more orange than the sun and perhaps bigger and definitely closer than the sun was to Earth, almost Venus close. Their atmosphere had more oxygen in it than Earth did but was composed mostly of nitrogen just like on Earth.
The tilt to the ecliptic was just eleven degrees, less than half that of Earth, so there were not going to be large differences in seasons. The days were twenty hours and one circuit around their sun took three hundred days. Going to the metric system with time was easy.
Asherat had no moons.
The passengers had decided they wanted their two habitats close to each other. The crew fed all they saw to the visualizers and gave them a choice of ten islands then a choice of four then a choice of two.
Those two were observed for half of a solar cycle and all chose the one without the violent storms.
The habitats were landed three kilometers apart with a small river between them. The geologists and hydrologists had determined that the small river had not spread floodwaters outside its channels for centuries.
The towns were fifteen kilometers from a large but not very high waterfall and thirty kilometers from the sea. A forest of some kind flourished on the plateau from which waterfall plunged.
A very large lake on the plateau fed the river and waterfall and beyond that three high mountains fed the lake with spring water.
Around their habitats were shrub-like and grass-like plants hugging the rivers banks.
Most on board could hardly wait for the opportunity to explore.
But all had to take care of business first. The Kindred led the construction of the bridge between the town and the rails and electric lines for the trains that would join them. The Devil oversaw the deployment and testing of the four trains.
One-meter tall dams were put across the river one kilometer apart creating a series of small lakes to the sea and protecting the river from incoming seawater.
The Peer presented their community agreement, which stressed tolerance of all and cooperation. It was ratified unanimously.
All knew about the two penal colonies in which those that broke the peace would be sent. The colonies were small islands a thousand kilometers apart, one for men, and the other for women.
In less than ninety days transportation was running, crops were planted, power plants were in operation, and water from the river was flowing through the city systems and as irrigation. That water went through a series of filters then returned to the river.
Botanists and chefs went to the plateau and sampled each plant in the forest. Marine biologist and chefs went to the mouth of the river and the sea. Both groups found edible material although all animals were still invertebrates. Still a seaworm a meter long and ten centimeter in circumference proved to be delicious, nutritious and abundant. They knew they would not starve after their supplies had been exhausted.
On the day everything that was supposed to be working was working both cities threw parties. The next morning the embryos the women carried that had been implanted the longest time began to develop. It took over a year for all to begin developing and the medical team was very busy for a while.
The first twins to be born were children of Carlos and were named Adan and Eva. Carlos had suggested the names during a chat with the mother. All the peers chatted with the mother of their children regularly and with their children often.
Five years later crops covered the land from the waterfall to the sea. The river was lined on both sides with fruit trees with a long walkway beneath them on the riverbank.
The rail ran from the foot of the mountains to the sea and in three more years would go completely around the island. The population on Asherat had increased by a third.
Six men and three women had been exiled, all were people brought along by those selected. None were missed but when it sunk into everyone's brain that they were never coming back all humans became extra polite and caring people. Those nine exiles remained the only ones for years.
Sex on the planet became an exercise in good manners. Each sex partner was asked before and thanked after. Each male sex partner tried to make sure ladies came first.
Each human learned that launching a Devil woman into a cascade of orgasms was fairly easy. Most Devil women had sex with someone every day.
Chang and Mark, sons of Marc and Hu, had been the captains of each vessel and were now the rulers of each city. Chang was the name Hu had requested Marc call his son rather than Hu. He had never explained why.
They decided to run the planet jointly; their wives ran the internal cities individually. They and the alien members of the federation sent regular reports to their planets.
Ten year later they were not surprised to learn a delegation from the Federation was coming but stunned that they would be there in three weeks.
A spaceship pad had been erected and used when the top section of each habitat separated which created an open space over what were now open-air plazas.
The train could be diverted to the spaceport but that had never been done. That system was hurriedly tested and habitats for the two species that did not use ambient air to breathe were prepared.
When the Federation ship arrived most of the planet's population greeted them on the spaceport. After they were shown to their accommodations in Terra they were led to the largest restaurant and simply visited with each other.
On the following days the Ambassadors boarded the train to the sea and were instructed on the discoveries there then were led to the plateau and their discoveries there covered too.
The morning of their last breakfast on Asherat the Ambassadors asked the children of the Peers if there was anything the colony needed.
"Ice cream making machines, the only two we had broke during our first summer, they had been poorly designed," Natalie said.
"And translators. We only had one hundred so there are many people that want to have a conversation with an Akkad or a Devil and can't," Chang added to his wife's request. "The Sprites have learned Spanish."
The Ambassadors nodded, said goodbye and left the planet.
A month later a Devil ship landed and brought them five thousand translators, thirty assorted ice cream makers, and sewing machines and cloth.
The Peer wondered who had wanted the last items but their owner stepped off the ship with them, a Devil woman.
The pilot of the Gaia spaceship came to them and introduced her little sister to the Peers. Her name was Lai and she wanted to try her designs on humans.
"She will be staying with me until she learns if her designs appeal to you. She already knows that an aperture for a tail is not necessary."
The Ladies giggled at that and invited the sisters for dinner that night. The pilot smiled and nodded in such a way that her sister understood interspecies sex would occur. Lai smiled and followed her sister to their habitat. Natalie and Claudia giggled and their husbands just rolled their eyes.
Recreational sex was still popular but most had settled into partnerships and dabbled only occasionally. However interspecies sex especially lesbian sex was gaining popularity.
Sex between human males and Devil necessitated the Devil be on top. Most of the men found Devil women most willing.
Twenty years after leaving Earth the Federation Ambassadors returned along with Asherat's Kindred Protectors. They were expected but the arrival of the Emperor was a surprise.
Asherat now had six towns, two on the plateau, one near the waterfall, and one by the mouth of the river and the original two. The Emperor and the Ambassadors toured each town and commended the citizens for doing so well. They stayed two weeks and talked with many citizens.
At dinner one evening with the Emperor he told the Peer to call their mother or he was going to be in trouble. He told them that Earth was now doing fine although they were more spatially fragmented than Asherat.
He introduced the small human redhead as Clara, the one responsible for their salvation and his second mother.
The other dinner guests seemed confused but the Peer were absolutely giddy to meet her; they had heard the story from their parents.
"She has resigned from her post as Ambassador to Akkad and we are taking her home. Our next stop is Earth. I will be touring the colonies there and inaugurating the new king and queen."
The Peer quickly asked him to please take some of their visuals of their children to their parents. They never asked who had been selected as king and queen.
In his farewell speech the Emperor said, "All of you realize that your Prince, Princess, Duchess and Duke have done a fine job of making this colony the success it is. All of you also realize that this planet could easily become a tourist heaven and indeed I saw the infrastructure was already in place. All restrictions in travel to Asherat are now removed, prepare yourselves for a tourist boom."
Most people had not considered Asherat as a tourist destination until then. The Emperor had suddenly given the people pride in their planet and dreams of being one of eight peoples.
As he strode to his ship he received a loud ovation.
He smiled, he was now sure he had done the right thing in allocating the resources to save the human race and the Empire would soon agree with that.
The Peer were left wondering which of their parents were the new king and queen and which of them were Prince and Princess.
They knew it did not really matter, the ones that were not a prince or princess knew they were married to one so they would be too.
Their grown children however were very curious and called their grandmas and asked then refused to tell their parents for weeks.
Five years later it no longer mattered as Mark and Chang held an election for every political position including theirs. None of the Peers or their children ran for office and all newly elected officials had a five-year term with no re-election.
The Peer then took advantage and went to Earth to meet their parents and grandparents for the first time.
Ship service was started between the two planets with bi-monthly departure and arrivals. The ships only held eighty passengers and were full for each trip so two vessels from Cel were added. The others were providing daily service among the islands on Earth.
It did not take long before the Kindred were asked to construct twenty other much larger vessels, eight of which would be in service to the Planets Akkad, Sprite, Kindred, Mur and Devil. Connections to the other peoples' planet could be made in Akkad.
Humans were soon on vacation trips to other worlds and the tourist numbers from those worlds to Earth tripled.
After one hundred years beings barely noticed the species of the people around them, they were just people.
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