tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Wren: New Beginnings

The Wren: New Beginnings

byHelenofTroy©

Livid red, screaming and insistent, beat against the inside of Jen's eyelids. Flash, gone for a moment, flash again. Blessed darkness returned between the pulses, but before she could think of returning to the blessed nothingness of sleep, another red pulse attacked through her closed eyes.

"Freighter Wren, come in!"

Behind the frenzied shrieking of some alarm, the comm tried desperately to be heard. For a moment, she thought that a computer should not sound like that. Panicked, young, whoever programmed the computer to sound like that should be shot.

"Freighter Wren, this is outstation Echo, please respond!"

There was a shredded feeling to the voice, too, like it had been yelling for too long. She wished it would fucking stop, though. The inside of her head felt like it had been hollowed out and replaced with horrific pain. Between the alarm, the comm. and the flashing red the pain was steadily getting worse.

Wait.

Back that up a fucking second.

Alarm. Panicked shouts on the comm.. Flashing red lights.

Shit shit shit.

Jen surged to her feet and tried to get to the nearest terminal to see what was going on. Well, Jen intended to do that. Instead, she pushed arms that felt like they were filled with lead against blisteringly cold deck plating and managed to pull her head a few inches off of the metal. Every muscle burned with new meanings of the word pain as she did so, and her naked body collapsed back against the metal.

Naked?

She could figure that out later.

Where the Hell was Daniel? Whatever had happened to her, he should be out there doing something about this. Shouldn't he?

"Freighter Wren! Shit... someone respond god damn it!" The voice on the other end was shaking with strain. Whatever the Hell was happening, it had to do with them. "You're going to hit us! You've got... fuck me! You've got ten minutes."

Jen tried, very hard, to open up eyes that were gummed shut. Even that effort was enough to make her heart pound in her chest, and her breath come in sharp exhalations against the ground. Ten minutes? That was a very short amount of time.

"Umm... Computer?" Jen barely recognized her own voice; it was cracked and broken from disuse, barely recognizable. Apparently, above the blaring of the alarm, the computer hadn't heard her.

"Freighter Wren... please, please come in..."

"Computer!" There! That was loud enough. Should have been loud enough. Was not fucking loud enough! Nothing happened.

"Hey... uhh, hey! Freighter Wren? Can you hear me?"

"Yes..." Jen's voice, coming a little easier now, croaked out of a throat that still didn't want to give anything up. On the growing list of things to do, like get dressed and figure out what the fuck was going on, getting a drink was creeping up to the top.

"Oh... thank the fucking Lord! You're there!"

"I... I'm here." Jen managed to lift her head up and open an eye, but it most definitely was not worth it. For the price of terrible pain and a sickening wave of nausea she was rewarded with a glimpse of bare floor in a hallway flooded with the flashing red of a warning light. Not. Much. Help.

"Good... good! Can you, umm, can you change your course?" The voice cracked a little, from relief or maybe just puberty. Whoever was on the other end was not very experienced... most likely they had drawn the short straw, while everyone else buggered off to escape pods. Jen wasn't sure which would be better, watching thousands of tons and billions of dollars of metal hurtle towards you or waiting to push the button that would send you into the vacuum of space with ten hours of air and a distress signal.

"I... don't know..."

"What!?"

"Give me a fucking second! Computer!" Jen immediately regretted yelling. The words scraped against her throat, and the effort threatened to undermine her continued attempts to stand. And, fucking still, the computer didn't respond.

And, for that matter, David hadn't responded yet either. He should have been all over this... why wasn't he all over this? And, why had he left her lying naked in the middle of a hallway, naked and suffering the Universe's worst hangover.

"What... what's wrong?"

"Well, genius... my computer isn't responding!" Jen pounded an angry fist against the metal deck plating. Or, she tried to. Her hand slapped weakly against the metal, not even making a noise in the cacophony coming over the speakers.

"Oh..."

Jen had made it to a sitting position now, and she was looking around. She still didn't have much more in the way of information than what the voice was telling her... and she was afraid that she'd just woken up to die. If the computer wasn't responding, there was not much likelihood of her stopping the ship's current course.

Well, only one way to know.

"Fuck!" With what felt like the last of the strength left in her, Jen forced herself to her feet and towards the nearest console. As she did so, the world spun and danced around her, red deck plates, wall plates and ceiling plates blending dangerously together in a vortex of throwing-Jen-to-the-ground.

Her hands slapped heavily against the plastic of the console, and its sudden presence was all that kept her from falling back to the ground.

The console was flashing red warnings, but its light was drowned out by the light in the hallway. It might have even been making noise, but Jen's skull only had so much room for stimulus right now. Fortunately, the console was showing her some very fortunate news... surprisingly fortunate, in fact. The only thing which seemed damaged was the voice recognition programs; manual control was still there.

"Umm... Wren? How... how are you doing?"

"Better... uhh... do you guys have any towing cables?"

"Ya... ya, I think so." The young voice on the end did not sound very sure, but Jen wasn't in the mood to care. Instead, she punched a couple of simple commands into the computer, telling the ship to slow down.

She didn't want to get deep into questions about why the ship had been heading on a collision course with the station, when it should have been on a gentle kissing course, because they would have to come after a whole bunch of other questions. The todo list was getting longer, but as the warning lights and sirens quieted and left her blissfully alone in her head, collapsing was looking very attractive.

Well, mostly alone. The voice on the other end was cheering and whooping wildly. He might also have been sending recall orders to the people in the pods, getting them back out where it was safe.

"I... think you'll have to pull me in."

"Oh." The joy stopped for a moment, replaced by hesitation. "Why?"

"I'm going to pass out now."

"Okay... umm, Wren?"

"Ya, Echo?" Jen was working very hard on the passing out plan. Her knees were already buckled, and she was slipping gratefully down towards the deck.

"Why... why didn't you do that earlier?"

"Dunno... why do you ask?"

"It's just, you know, that you've been on this course for two weeks."

Two weeks? No shit.

*

Tara and Sandra sat in Outstation Echo's main mess, grinning at each other like idiots. Thirty minutes ago, they'd thought they were about to eject into certain death in the darkness of space. Oh, there was a chance that some kind soul would pass along just at the right time and start scooping up pods, but it was pretty unlikely. The Wren was the only ship scheduled to be in the area for months, and very few other people would spend the year-long trip from the nearest planet to come out this far for no reason.

So, it was pretty lucky that they didn't have to flee the station when the Wren ploughed into it. Although, like everyone else on the station, they were very interested in What The Fuck had gone wrong, they were also just happy to be alive.

"You know what would have been the worst part of being out in space like that?" Tara had one hand possessively on Sandra's leg and the other was busy scooping a long-delayed lunch into her mouth.

"What?" Sandra had one on her own food and the other on the hallway directly ahead. She was hoping to catch a glimpse of activity; if anyone from the Wren needed medical attention they would have to go past that doorway.

"Being without you."

"Ha... gag me." Sandra stuck out her tongue at her friend and lover.

"I'm serious."

"Me too... this shit is terrible." Sandra laughed and poked at her 'meal' with her 'fork'.

"I-"

"Shh shh shh!" Sandra held up a hand, silencing Tara. "I hear a med cart coming..."

And, sure enough, a med cart did roll by.

"Wow." Sandra's voice held awe as she looked at the woman lying on the cart, unconscious but otherwise looking pretty healthy. Whoever the crew member of the Wren was, she was fucking gorgeous. Beautiful features, perfectly bronzed skin, luscious hair that flowed like silk in the low gravity of the station... Sandra shook her head to clear it a little.

"You know how I feel..." Tara was quiet, looking in the direction where the briefly-glimpsed med cart had disappeared.

"Ya, I know..."

They had an open relationship, but Tara had a strict rule about sleeping with someone else. Fucking them silly was okay, but spending the night in their bed implied something more...

*

"This is amazing!" The doctor was waving another in an endless string of instruments over Jen, looking awed.

"Ya... great. Can I go?" Jen agreed, on one level, her recovery was pretty amazing. Whatever had happened on the Wren had left her feeling terrible. It had been bad. But now, barely a day later, she felt great.

According to the ship's logs, which had some strange blank spots in them but otherwise seemed trustworthy, she'd been unconscious for over two weeks. Given that, she should at least have been malnourished and near death due to thirst... but she felt great.

"I just... I don't understand it."

"Ya, great... that's great." Jen also wasn't going to admit it to this asshole, but she looked different too. It wasn't... tangible, not something she could describe very well, but it was definitely different somehow. She knew she should have looked terrible, disheveled and thin and weak, but that was simply not the case. Her hair, which by all indications hadn't been washed in weeks, was full and vibrant, her skin was a healthy tone and her muscles, which so recently were screaming masses of pain, felt fine. "Can I fucking go now?"

"Well..." The doctor hesitated, waving the instrument importantly again. "Where?"

"To the mess. I'm starved!"

"I guess that's okay... there's no medical reason to keep you."

"Great." Jen knew the unspoken words there, which were that there were plenty of other reasons to keep her. Well, where did they expect her to go? Her only way off this little rock of a mining station was on the Wren, and the maintenance crew had made it perfectly clear she wouldn't be doing that for a while. Whatever killed her Navigation had done a good job; she was stranded for a while.

And, just like that, Jen got up and left medical. She was wearing the bare essentials of decency, some unflattering white shorts and a white tank top, but apparently it was the best she was going to get for a while. Among the strangeness on her ship, her wardrobe seemed to be missing.

Outside of medical, there was a woman who had obviously been waiting for her.

"Hi!"

"Uhh... hey?" Jen cracked the other woman a tentative smile, but it was hard to muster. She really was hungry, and getting to the mess hall was on top of her priorities. After some food she could start trying to think about figuring out what the Hell had happened.

"I'm supposed to be your guide!"

Jen couldn't help but wince, the woman's smile looked too huge to be humanly possible, and the bubbly cheer was far too much to enjoy right now. She honestly couldn't say when she last ate.

"Good. Where's the mess?"

"The... oh... oh right! You must be starving!"

"Yes I must."

"This way! I'm Sandra, by the way." Sandra was hard pressed to keep up with the pace that Jen set now that she had a destination, but managed it. Jen got the distinct sense that Sandra was hanging a little bit behind, but couldn't say why.

"Jen."

"I know! I mean, you know... you just about killed all of us, so, well, we know a lot about you..."

"Oh." Jen stopped, the hunger briefly overwhelmed by guilt. She didn't know what happened out there, but she was the captain and it would have been her fault if the Wren and this station became friendly with each other. "Look... I'm..." Jen shook her head, trying to come up with the words. "I'm really sorry." Fucking lame, but heartfelt.

"It's okay... I mean... it's not like you did it on purpose!" Sandra's grin faded, down from 10000W to a more manageable 9000. "Right?"

"Of course not." Jen laughed, a little nervously. She honestly didn't know what had happened between leaving that last planet and showing up here.

"Of course!" Sandra reached out and put a friendly hand on Jen's shoulder, dialing her smile back up again.

For Jen, the moment of contact was intense. Even through the fabric of her clothing, it was like the touch of Sandra's hand sent a shockwave through her. It turned her knees to water, caused her hands to shake, and she felt her eyes go wide. But, more importantly, she felt an incredible heat flare between her legs, a desire so powerful that it threatened to knock her off her feet.

Fucking weird, she'd never been into girls before.

Sandra snapped her hand away, guilt and surprise written plainly on her features.

"Oh! Oh oh oh... I'm so sorry! Are you okay?"

Jen was still lost in the moment, swimming in a sea of sensation inside her head, and not sure what to make of it. Even more strangely, she got the distinct feeling that she wasn't the only one who'd enjoyed that touch... she had to be imagining that, right? There's no way she'd picked up Sandra's thoughts like that, right? Right?

"Jen... ohhh, maybe you shouldn't have come out of med so quickly!"

"No, no, it's fine... I'm fine." Jen smiled, shaking her head a little to clear the fog that had washed over it so suddenly.

"Let's get to the mess, then, okay? I'll... uhh... you know, try not to touch you." Sandra still looked concerned, though. And she hadn't said an exclamation mark in two whole sentences.

"Sure..." However, able to take a mental inventory of herself, Jen realized that she wasn't hungry anymore. Well, a little, but it was background noise compared to how fucking horny she was. "Listen, uhhh, do you have a boyfriend?"

"What?" Sandra was in the lead now, and they were walking at a more normal pace. Jen took the opportunity to ogle the other woman's ass.

"Oh, you know... just trying to make conversation."

"Oh. Right... umm, no, you?"

"No. Girlfriend?"

"Well, sort of..." Sandra looked back and smiled sheepishly. Her smile got a little bigger when she noticed where Jen had been staring.

"Sort of?"

"We've got, you know, an open relationship."

"Right..." Jen couldn't help but smirk a little. She'd known a few people in 'open' relationships, and the rules about those were even more complicated than the rules for 'closed' ones.

"We do!"

"Okay." Jen smiled, and the two started moving again. "Umm... this is going to sound a little weird given that I just met you, but, uhh... I'm kinda horny." Kinda was an understatement. Jen felt like she could just drop right there in the corridor and start masturbating, her need was so bad.

"What? Umm, well... there's lots of miners out here, and not a lot of them are women..." Sandra trailed off, obviously a bit uncomfortably discussing sex with a woman she'd met just a few minutes ago.

"That's... umm... good." Jen weighed her rationality against the powerful need that was starting to drive her mad. "I was thinking of someone more... you."

"Me?" Sandra looked shocked, but took an involuntary step forward.

For Jen, that was enough. She stepped forward and kissed Sandra. One hand went around the other woman's waist, the other curled itself in her hair, and her lips did the rest. A little more used to the shock of contact now, Jen was still overwhelmed by the incredible pleasure that washed through her as she touched Sandra. It made it hard to concentrate on anything other than the feel of her warm body against Jen's.

Sandra, who had been considering all along how to discreetly see if Jen might be interested in a little play time, was in heaven. Jen was soft in all the right places, firm in all the others, and her skin felt like glorious silk. She was shocked at the abruptness, but not at all displeased with where this was going.

After a long moment, they broke the kiss. Jen stumbled backwards a little, her legs not wanting to support her fully, and panted from the pent up desire which was coursing through her. For almost too long they stood, looking at each other, both trying to figure out what to do next.

"Your quarters." Jen broke the silence.

"What about the mess?" Sandra didn't let that stop her, though. She started walking in the direction of her room, which was blessedly close.

"There's something much more delicious I want to eat right now."

Sandra giggled, but hurried up. The places where Jen's hands had touched her felt like they were on fire, sending pulses of desire all throughout her body. Before she'd just thought Jen was hot and fuckable, now this woman was a goddess who needed to be worshipped.

Thankfully they ran into no one in the halls, neither was sure they could deal with an interruption. With Jen awash in new, but welcome, realms of passion and Sandra ready to jump her right there, conversation with outsiders would really ruin the moment. It didn't come up, though, they made it uneventfully into Sandra's room.

The door was barely closed before warm hands slid themselves around Sandra's waist and started to pull off her shirt. Sandra let the moan of desire, barely held in within the corridor, escape from her lips as she leaned back into the embrace. Jen wasted no time getting the clothing out of the way before dropping to her knees and beginning to explore Sandra's body with her mouth.

Jen's kissed started at Sandra's navel, where each caress sent obvious shivers of excitement through the other woman's body, and roamed hungrily wherever they could. Her tongue followed, tasting the salt of Sandra's skin and reveling in it. And, now that their touch was more prolonged, Jen was sure that she could hear Sandra's thoughts... or something. A quiet voice, more of a feeling really, whispered in her mind and told her when the things she did made Sandra quiver.

When Jen's mouth found the bra, she growled low in her throat and nearly tore it off in her attempts to get in undone. Sandra laughed at the suddenness of the movement, which turned into a long "Yessss" as deliciously ruby lips captured her nipple.

Jen briefly enjoyed the feeling of a creamy breast against her cheek, then raised a hand and cupped it. While her lips suckled and her tongue teased, her fingers massaged and explored. That left one remaining hand to deal with Sandra's pants. Jen made short work of them, dealing with buttons and zippers less franticly now that she had Sandra's breasts to enjoy.

Then her fingers found the delightful warmth between Sandra's legs and they both sighed in pleasure. Jen became acutely aware of each twitch of Sandra's body as she caressed closer and closer to Sandra's pussy. She could feel the jump of pleasure there, the slight tickle there, almost as if the sensations were her own.

"Are you feeling this too?" Sandra, breathless from excitement already, sounded a little bewildered.

"Feeling what?"

"You know... like... like you're inside my head."

"Ya." Jen was just as bewildered, enough that she allowed her lips to come away from Sandra's breast for a moment.

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