Rendezvous with Darkness Ch. 01byTanuki©
For this series, I’m hoping for more of a sci-fi novel feel, so the sex follows a lot of character development - please be patient! If you’re not the patient type, skip to about the 2nd half of chapter one! Some of the characters’ appearance were inspired by Japanese anime, but the story and themes are all original. The sex is mostly non-consensual so far, but definitely sci-fi/fantasy in style.
Chapter 1: The Avenger
The deep space patrol ship Avenger was one month into its current six month patrol. Her captain, Lana Tagami sat in her chair overseeing the small bridge, watching the blackness of deep space pass by as her ship hummed and whirred contentedly. Tagami’s ship was currently several days travel off the commercial shipping lanes, looking for the usual nuisances that the plagued the Empire - pirates, lost cargo ships or cruise liners, or, her favorite, space debris! But boredom was good, it kept you out of trouble.
The Avenger was nominally under the Imperial flag, but being part of the Japanese contingent of the Imperial fleet meant her loyalties were supposed to be to the Japanese government first. Lana herself grew up in Japan, of mixed descent, and the Japanese fleet in typical close-minded form, insisted that their captains be Japanese. For Lana it was a good situation, for she’d never have made captain so early otherwise.
Nothing much had happened so far, and her crew was getting a little restless, tiring of giving directions to lost crews, and charging their ships weaponry just to break up a stray asteroid that wandered into a shipping lane. They were yearning for action. Captain Tagami herself had no such yearnings; she had seen her fair share of combat, and her only concern was doing her job and getting her crew home safe.
She moved her hand over the portable status screen in her lap. Most of her crew was in cold sleep, to be woken up only if they came across anything unusual. Currently asleep in their stasis chambers were her five Marines, four men and one woman, all tough and eager, as well as her ship’s doctor and scientist, her computer tech, and one of her mechanics, the old geezer, Chief Jones. Her other mechanic, Ruby, was awake, doing routine maintenance. Ruby was a tall, lithe and pretty redhead, but she wasn’t one for chitchat. She came alive when the crew were playing cards, and she usually cleaned the table of their wages. Ruby was also an excellent mechanic, and an ex-Marine, and Tagami was glad to have her on the ship. Awake and manning the ship were the rest of her skeleton crew: her pilot, her ship’s nurse, and of course her cook.
“Eiko,” she spoke to her pilot, sitting ahead and to her right at the ship’s controls. “run a control diagnostic will you?”
“Yes, Captain!” came the cheerful voice in reply, her shiny black hair swishing as the pilot nodded and reached over her head to toggle some switches. At 27 years old, Eiko had almost 8 years of experience in deep space patrols, having enlisted at a young age. She was competent and unflappable, and usually cheerful, as she appeared to be today. Eiko simply loved to fly, and she didn’t mind that her shipmates in cold sleep stayed young while she aged naturally. Eiko’s hometown friend Eri, the ship’s scientist, had hardly aged at all since they’d both joined the Service at age 19. Eri was brilliant and capable, but having spent most of her tours in cold sleep meant she was biologically only 22, and still looked like a school girl!
CPT Tagami watched her pilot humming as she swiftly performed her duties; she was glad to have some experience on her ship, because most of the patrol ships were crewed by young men and women fresh out of the Academy. Most of them would spend 5 months out of 6 in cold sleep, therefore aging only a month on each six month cruise! And the Captain also prefered to select female crewmates as much as possible, for on a six month cruise, she preferred to have as few male distractions as possible! Females were also better suited to the rigors of long space deployments, and she was glad her testorerone charged Marines were safely frozen solid in the cabins.
Normally her computer tech, Ken, was awake, simply because he liked to be. Ken was a young, geeky Japanese computer expert about five years out of the Academy, and on his 1st tour with the Avenger. Lana had looked for a female computer tech, but hadn’t found one, and Ken had impressed her in his interview, both with his computer knowledge and his ability to look her in the eye, and not look at her breasts, as so many men did. She tended to wear a tight fitting blowse or uniform when she interviewed the men, and if she caught them giving her assets more than fleeting glances, she scratched them immediately. Ken and her other male crew members had passed her test.
Once on the ship however, she began to hear comments from the women that Ken seemed a little less gentlemanly. Her nurse Mariko had walked in on Ken when he was playing an X-rated VR game, and Eiko had mentioned him ogling her from his work station. Neither discretion bothered the captain much, for men will be men, and her busty pilot had a body that men found impossible to ignore. But a month into the tour, Chief Jones had traced an unknown radio signal to Mariko’s cabin, and found a tiny video camera sending a live feed to Ken’s computer in his own cabin. Lana blew up at that revelation, a rare outburst from the normally reserved captain, and an enraged, clawing Mariko had to be pried off the young man’s back after she tackled him. After that incident, Captain Tagami had ordered Ken to be put into cold sleep for the remainder of the tour, and to be fined and disciplined upon returning to Earth. Lana regretted hiring a Japanese man for this critical position, for even today in the 23rd century, Japanese men seemed as sex-obsessed as ever!
The other man besides Chief Jones who was currently awake was the cook, whom everyone called Pops, since he had six kids and a pregnant wife back on Earth. Pops was as you’d expect of an American cook - large, round, and fatherly. He treated the girls like his own daughters, and if one of them had the munchies on night shift, he was happy to cook them up an omelette or an apple pie. And when the Marines were awake, he made them extra large portions, and they loved him for it.
The captain brushed her brown hair over her ears and turned her attention to the monitor in front of her, which was beeping quietly.
Incoming radio transmission, blinked the green screen.
“Eiko, put that on the speaker.”
Her pilot moved a switch over her head, and after a few seconds, a voice came on the speaker. It was a male voice, sounding nervous.
“Mayday, mayday!” it spoke quickly. “Research vessel Shukusei requests emergency assistance, we are under attack, repeat, we are under attack! Mayday, mayday!”
Lana Tagami bolted upright in her seat, hitting the red alarm button with her fist. She barked an order to her pilot.
“Give me a direct channel!”
Eiko worked her controls for a few moments, then shook her head.
“I’m sorry maam, it’s a recording, broadcast in 10 second intervals. It’s not acknowledging a response. Maybe it’s out of range.”
Tagami nodded. “Get me a fix on that beacon then!”
A distress call - from a Japanese government ship! Probably back behind them a few days, on the shipping lane they’d recently passed through. Attack probably meant pirates. Research ships were actually quite well armored for just that reason. Most pirate ships were small outdated boats that wouldn’t be able to take on a government boat.
Just then a head poked through the open doorway of the cabin. It was the ship’s nurse, Mariko, the bubbly redhead who was so goofy that the Captain sometimes wondered how she’d passed nursing school.
“What’s up, Cappy-tan???” bubbled Mariko, her dark red ponytail swishing about. “Are we going to rescue another Navy destroyer full of cute guys??”
Tagami groaned, ignoring her young nurse. Mariko was just a month out of nursing school, and no more than 20 years old. Despite her reservations, Tagami had agreed to take her on board, since the girl had been so persistant. Not unlike a labrador puppy, annoying but hard to turn away.
Then her pilot spoke up.
“Captain, I have a fix on the distress beacon,” she said, also ignoring the nurse. “It’s located about 2 days travel at max speed from our current position. Shall I lay in a course?”
Two days, thought the Captain. That meant the radio signal was about a week old. Whatever had happened on that ship was most likely long over. Nevertheless, it being a Japanese government ship, she was duty bound to respond.
“The shipping lane will take us in the wrong direction, damn. But we have no choice. Yes, plot a course at maximum speed. And see if you can find any other signals from that ship. I want to know what happened to her before we board.”
“Yes, maam,” nodded Eiko, “but uh, maam, the distress call isn’t from the shipping lane, it’s in the direction we’re headed.”
That’s odd, thought Tagami. Nothing that way but empty space. And the military outpost they’d been heading toward, but that was about four day’s travel. The research vessel was half way there. The outpost likely hadn’t heard the distress call yet, and they weren’t staffed for rescues, that was her job.
“Roger that. Get us there, Eiko,” she replied.
Giving the nurse a wink, Eiko turned back to plot her course.
“Did you say a research ship???” piped in the redheaded girl still leaning in through the door. “Ooooo, that means I’ll have to rescue some cute scientists for sure!” And with that the nurse skipped away down the hall, humming to herself.
Eiko spoke to her captain without turning her back.
“Captain, was I ever that airheaded?” The question drew a chuckle from the captain.
“Do you think I’d let you pilot my ship if that were true, Eiko?”
Giggling, Eiko turned back to her monitor to plot the course. They had two days to find out what they could about that ship. Maybe her friend Takabe could help.
A day had passed, and the crew members in cold sleep had been aroused, a process that took about 12 hours. The marines and the ship’s doctor were sitting at the mess table waiting for Pops to cook them a big breakfast. Ken the computer tech was also woken, for ship’s rules required everyone awake in the event of a red alert. Cold sleep left one with a ravenous appetite. Chief Jones was in the cargo bay smoking a cigar.
With the ship’s course safely in the autopilot, Lieutenant Eiko Koike took her chance to head to the gym. Dressed in her workout clothes, a pink cotton tank top and short white skirt, Eiko walked into the small gym planning her workout as she tied her mass of shoulder length black hair into a pony tail. She expected the gym to be empty as usual, since the marines were all having a long breakfast, but instead she found the one person she least expected.
“Oh!” she said, surprised. Ken the technician was there, standing on the dojo mat with a sword in his hand. He seemed surprised to see her as well, and he glanced down at her bare legs before catching himself.
“Uhh, hey,” he said, nodding at the pilot. “I, uh, I didn’t know you worked out.”
Eiko didn’t know he worked out either, in fact he’d been in cold sleep for months after his reprimand, so she’d kind of forgot about him. As the girl looked at the young Japanese man dressed in a T-shirt and long cotton draw-string pants, she realized that the geeky computer tech actually looked quite physically strong, and without his glasses and work uniform, not very geeky at all! She had figured his glasses were just cosmetic anyway, for these days most people had their eyes surgically fixed. He actually had a handsome face, come to think of it.
“I’m sorry,” she said, a bit flustered as she caught herself staring at his chest. “Just tell me when you’re done with the mat, ok?”
Ken nodded and began to perform exercises with the sword, while Eiko began stretching exercises. After she finished, she did a two km run on the treadmill, after which she was feeling warmed up and ready for the mat exercises. But Ken was still there, doing martial arts kicks and punches, with a speed and power she would never have guessed the young tech possessed. Ken stopped when he realized she was staring at him. She had an idea.
“Umm, Ken, would you like to do some sparing?” she asked, picking up a wooden katana sword. Ken looked at her in surprise, then said,
“Sure, if you want, if you think you can beat a man on the mat.”
Eiko bristled at his remark, and the smile on his face. She knew he was trying to goad her, but it worked anyway. She was pretty good with the sword, she was pretty sure she could take him, and now she had incentive.
“This is not one of your VR games, Ken,” she scolded, stepping onto the mat, twirling her sword with both hands. “And this sword will actually hurt when I hit you with it!”
Ken smiled, “if this were one of my VR games, Miss Koike, you would be dressed a little differently.”
Eiko frowned. “What do you mean by that? You saying you don’t like my outfit?”
Ken chuckled, his geeky appearance now banished, replaced by a disconcerting self assurance. “No, I like it just fine, but in VR, you’d be dressed in ropes . . . and lying at my feet!”
Eiko gasped at his bold words, and in that instant, the young man leaped forward, swinging his sword up and then down. She tried to react, but Ken’s whistling sword came down and crashed into her sword, knocking it to the floor, and then the sword was at her neck, his grinning face only a foot from hers, as he looked down into her shocked eyes.
“Too easy,” said Ken, a smirk on his face. “perhaps you should stick to flying?”
Eiko regained her composure and pushed him away, picking up her sword.
“Ken, you dirty sukebe! You’re disgusting!” she hissed. “You caught me off guard is all, it won’t happen again.”
Ken stepped back to his side of the mat, and answered casually.
“Care to bet on that, girly?”
Eiko knew she was being baited, but she also knew she was an excellent swordsman, when she wasn’t distracted by lude comments.
“Don’t think I won’t!” she answered, raising her sword up, regaining her confidence. A swordsman that doubted herself was as good as dead, she thought.
“Well then, if you win, I’ll give you 500 credits, how about that?”
500 credits was a lot, almost a week’s pay! Eiko gulped. “And if you win?”
Ken thought for a second, then smiled and held up his finger. “If I win, you have to play one of my VR games with me!”
“What do you mean by that?” she asked. Eiko wasn’t a game player.
“Oh, sorry, you’ve never played a VR game. Well, you wear a headset, and you attach some E-sense pads to your body, and I do the same, and then we enter the 3D world together. The computer tricks your brain into thinking you’re in a real world - you can smell, hear, taste, feel - everything!”
Eiko had heard about it - some of her friends loved it. And she knew some people had virtual sex, which she was sure was what Ken had in mind.
“No Ken, I’m not going to be some VR sex puppet for you.”
Ken laughed. “That would be nice, but I know you’re too shy for that kind of game. How about a fantasy game, no sex, just role playing? I’d love to see you all dressed in leather, with a real sword instead of that wood thing.”
Eiko laughed despite herself. Maybe the guy just had a crush on her? It happened all the time. He probably even had some of her old bikini modelling pictorials in his cabin! How she wished she’d never had a modeling career.
“Ok, you’re on! I could use the credits to buy myself some new swimsuits when we get back! Best of 3 points wins!”
The two sword wielding crewmates began to circle each other. Unlike karate or kung fu, sword sparing ended quickly, with one hit. Eiko circled and waited til she saw Ken’s eyes wander from her face to her body, then she struck fast, bending at the knees and lunging forward to sweep the legs. Ken jumped barely in time, and brought his sword down, but the Japanese girl had rolled to her right and was attacking him again. Ken paried two, then three furious attacks, being forced back toward the wall. He turned sideways and launched a kick at the girl’s chest, but she spun, ponytail whirling, letting the blow glance along her back, bringing her sword up quickly.
Ken froze, for he felt the girl’s sword now wedged up beneath his armpit - a fatal blow if the sword had been real. One point for her. The two separated, Ken turning serious while the pilot grinned and winked at him.
Ken attacked this time, fiercely, driving his sparing partner back. He knew his superior strength could wear her down quickly if he kept attacking. Then he howled, for Eiko’s sword swept down and clipped him on the knee. He limped away cursing her for the blow, which didn’t count, but caused him a lot of pain. Eiko grinned at him and winked again. With a growl, Ken swept his sword back to attack, but with a lighting swift lunge, Eiko was coming at him, her sword jabbing toward his chest. He parried the blow clumsily, then gave ground as the Japanese girl swung rapidly again and again. Damn she was skilled, and fast!
Ken panted a bit, watching his foe as she stepped back, spinning her wooden blade with confidence as she grinned at him. Dressed in her filled out pink tanktop and short skirt, the girl was driving him crazy with desire, and it was distracting him from his concentration. I have to focus, forget about her body! thought Ken.
Eiko then adopted a stance with her left hand forward and her sword held back behind her head. Ken couldn’t stop his eyes from wandering to her slowly heaving breasts stretched tight in the cotton tanktop. He thought he could see the outlines of her nipples . . .
“Aiiee-yaa!” screamed the girl suddenly, spinning and whirling toward the wide-eyed computer tech. Ken raised his sword in defense, but the spinning girl switched hands and jabbed forward below his sword, jabbing him in the chest.
“Owww!!” yowled Ken, holding his chest and glaring at the girl.
“Two points, sukebe-boy!!” jeered the girl. “I win!”
Ken scowled as Eiko jumped in the air in celebration.
“I won!!” she shouted, giggling. “500 credits, yes!!! Sorry about the knee, geek boy.”
Ken grumbed something and glared at the girl, for once not enjoying the sight of her bouncing breasts. The long cold sleep had dulled his senses, and he should have known better than to bet 500 credits. Without a word, he went to his bag and retrieved his tiny PCD, then spoke into it.
“Transfer 500 credits to crewman Eiko Koike. Verify.”
“There, you win,” he spat, imagining what he would do to the grinning girl if he had his way. He would get her back, ten fold, he swore it. Then Ken stomped off, leaving the giggling Eiko to run and check her own PCD to see her new credit balance. She had to go tell Eri right away! They could go shopping together when they got home!
Eiko returned to her cabin at 1000 hours, yawning a bit. She felt a bit light headed after breakfast, even though she hadn’t had any alcohol, just her usual grape juice. She’d been annoyed at breakfast because once she got up to use the restroom, and when she’d returned to her seat, Ken, the sukebe bastard, had moved to sit next to her. They’d both gotten to breakfast late after working out, and only the two of them were left, so he’d plenty of places to sit. She’d scowled at him but said nothing, and he hadn’t spoken either, which she thought was a bit odd, since he’d obviously come to sit next to her.
Now as she unzipped her pilot’s jumpsuit and stepped out of the tight uniform, she began to wonder what that dizzy feeling in her head was about. Feeling strange, she sat down naked on the bed. Oh dear, she thought. If I’m getting sick, I better put some clothes on in case someone comes to help me. She opened her drawer and put on a pair of white cotton panties and a soft pink cotton blowse, buttoning just a couple buttons before she stopped at the soft sound of her door bell.