tagSci-Fi & FantasyLonely Autopilot

Lonely Autopilot

byDragonCobolt©

First, there was cold and stillness – as there had been cold and stillness for many uncounted aeons.

Then, like the sparking purity of creation, there was light. The light was bright enough to sear out retinas – turning from whiteness to an almost blue steel color. The light swept in a slow circle about two meters wide, then stopped. A moment later, the wall fell inward and a new dawn came. The bringer of this dawn stepped forward, swung their flashlight left and right, then sighed.

"Who designed this place? Giger?"

A small, silvery orb floated past the woman's head and spoke – its voice echoing out into the stale air of the tomb. "It would seem to fit what the shipsoul theorized – this is organic technology on a scale and sophistication that we've never seen before. It behooves you to be careful, Sindri."

"You say that every time, Orbie," Sin said, grinning behind her smooth faceplate. She was a delicious woman – curvacious and showing it easily in a skintight MCP suit. Though it was far from necessary, she had programmed the suit to be tight enough that everything from the faint bump of her nipples to the cleft of her ass to the smooth petals of her sex were visible, if one looked closely. Other than her flashlight, she only had the small silvery tube of her backpack – filtering her air and reprocessing it – adding a spicy cocktail of performance enhancing drugs that her shipsoul and her orbsoul believed would help sharpen and refine her mind.

When confronting the unknown, it was best to be a bit dialed up.

Sin, though, was able to ignore the faint shifts in perception and the rush of awareness that came with every breath. Long practice focused her cobalt blue eyes on her surroundings. Her first statement – a pithy spear thrown against the reality of her situation – hadn't done justice to the chambers she entered. The walls were smoothed and had strangely familiar whirls and patterns to them – the rising shells of a nautilus that flowed into bulbous chitin that suddenly sprouted the rounded camshafts that looked like they belonged inside of an engine rather than as part of a wall – let alone a wall that was more grown than built. She saw no rivets, no welds, no signs of metal...and from the flashing indications that zipped across her suit-HUD, feeding into her mind on an almost subliminal level, neither her ship nor Orbie could tell what the walls were made of either.

The utter ignorance was terrifying – and exhilarating and...yet...oddly muted. That was the drugs, maybe.

Maybe, too, it was the fact that humanity had met many races – met them in their pottery fragments, in their nuclear ruins, in their carbon choked Venusian-style greenhouse traps. They had met ghost after ghost, and even those that had managed to escape the gravity well tended to have been dead for tens of thousands, if not millions of years, before humanity had attained a tenuous safety in space. Humanity had learned from their mistakes – and form humanity's own mistakes. Chunks of the species had gone the way of the dodo and the great white shark. There were those who had eschewed nanotechnologic immortality – culturally dead when their children realized a better life waited in the sky. There were those who had tried to live entirely among the safest planets – the long term preservers, who had died from unforeseen cascade failures or the slow grinding weight of time.

Now, some pessimists said that humanity was slowly dying anyway.

They pointed out that humanity, to try and escape the planetary and solar-system traps, to escape the traps of culture and the traps of history, had simply done away with all of them. A single human being – with a shipsoul and an orbsoul, with nanites in their blood and drugs in their brain, with a genetically engineered body that could survive an eternity, with their starships that matched or exceeded any dangers that they might run into...a single human being had finally become a civilization all to their own.

And so, humans had spread outwards. Kept in contact via the quantum linked ansibles and other, stranger technologies, they maintained a loose Concordant.

But, the pessimists said, when had the last child been born?

Curiously, Sin queried her shipsoul with a thought.

9081 CE

Sin frowned.

"So, what?" She asked, shaking her head. "Five hundred years isn't that long for a child." She shook her head again – trying to focus. This was important. Even if this was just another ghost, to tell humanity how to escape yet another trap that they might not have foreseen. She tapped her flashlight – switching it from simple passive scanning to actively probing out. She swung it around the chamber and found that the two areas that looked like corridors were, in fact, vents leading out into space – the flashlight swore that the walls at the end of the corridors were permeable to radiation on this side. They hadn't been permeable from the outside. She frowned. "Is there an atmosphere?"

"Yes," Orbie said. "Curious."

"Very," Sin said, quietly. She started to walk forward – the flashlight swore that the wall that looked like a curved set of petals was thinner than the rest. Once she came close to it, she reached out with her fingers and caressed the edge of the orifice. Something tightened and she heard a slick slurping noise as the orifice opened with a squelch. Sin winched. "Ugh. Retexture the sounds, Orbie, please reduce the squick factor."

"Done," Orbie said. "I'll be keeping my alarm sounds up, though. Those need to be scary."

"Oh, I know," Sin said, grinning. "What'd I do without you, Orbie?"

"Die," he said, voice calm.

Sin chuckled and then stepped through the orifice. Part of her tensed – but the other part of her wondered at the room she found herself in. Rib-like protrusions surrounded the center of the place, with soft, flexible looking membranes stretched between them. But the really interesting thing was in the center of the room. It looked like a pit – but rather than simply being empty, it was full of some twisting, winding material that reminded Sin of rope or small intestines. There was something slick about it – lubricated and smooth. She stepped closer to the pit, shining her flashlight over it – the flashlight registered cells and biological processes that it read as fingertips and tactile sensors and a complex collection of interfacing tools – all of it paired with muscles that operated on the same system as her enhanced strength and speed.

Nanites flooded her bloodstream, while thousands of years of careful genetic engineering had perfected everything about her body – as far as human vanity would allow it. Other branches of humanity had surrendered the two arms, two legs stances – had surrendered the complexities of human decision making processes and retreated into infinite pleasure. They were...effectively dead now, as far as the rest of the Concord thought.

So, when it came down to a struggle between these muscles and her muscles, Sin wasn't sure who would win.

"Damn human vanity..." She said, quietly.

Her voice echoed through her faceplate and into the room. The ropes shifted – and a shift of perception changed everything about the room: She wasn't looking down at ropes. She was standing above the pit of a creature. And those tentacles lashed out at lightning speed. The faint, slick noises of them sliding against one another reached into her mind and a strange rush of feelings tumbled through her. Fear, fascination...something else...

Sin jerked backwards – and tentacles wrapped around her wrists. She dug her feet into the floor and strained – nanites whirring through her blood, her suit groaning slightly. From an outside observer, the two struggling forms – the tentacles and the girl – might have seemed to be only struggling slightly. In truth, enough force was being pressed against one another to bend steel, to crack stone. The floor dented slightly underneath her ankles. Then two more tentacles slipped from the central pit and wrapped around her ankles and Sin lost her footing and was tugged from the side of the pit into the pit itself.

Orb soared forward – and a single smack from the tentacle sent him flying away and into the wall.

And with that, Sin was firmly in the grasp of the ship.

###

Sin's eyes closed and she thought a command to her shipsoul – and received absolutely nothing. Okay, she thought. I'm okay so far. My suit is nanotech armor. It's rated against nuclear bombs.

She felt something tear – her skin stung for a moment, and then the tunnel she was sliding through caressed her nipple, grinding against her blue-painted tip. She bit her lip hard: Every moment, the soft, wet surface of the wall slipped and tugged and teased her. She squirmed, her sensitive and toughened body sending jolts of pleasure through her brain. She closed her eyes tighter and gasped quietly as something else tore – now her other nipple was being teased. Then her faceplate slipped off – her helmet left behind. She breathed in the air. The scans had said the ship's atmosphere wasn't O2/N/Co2 mixture that humans still breathed – but when she breathed in, she tasted air that merely smelled of sex and musk and life.

Then she stopped moving. Her legs hit the ground and she opened her eyes with a gasp. She had entered into a low, oblong room. The walls were slick with moisture and had the same biomechanical fusion of organs and parts that the rest of the ship – but before her, there was a small plinth that was roughly a meter long and half a meter tall, with small notches to the either side of plinth. A tentacle pressed against the cleft of her ass, shoving her forward a few inches so that her breasts pressed to the plinth and her knees slotted into the notches. Her arms pressed to the ground to either side of the plint.

Panting, Sin tried to shove herself up – but found that her knees and her chest were stuck. Something pricked against her nipples – sharp and piercing. Her eyes widened and she yelped – but then the pain faded and a dull throb ached through her chest. Her palms pressed to the floor – colored lights flaring around the fingertips. She pushed panic from her mind – a thought flushed the fear and anger hormones in her brain and left a strange calm.

"Okay..." she whispered. "I can breath. Nothing's...only two things are stabbing me..." She bit her lip. "T-This is some kind of i-interface."

She craned her head around and saw that there were more tentacles emerging from the walls. One of them – a thin and wirelike one – slipped along the top of her scalp. She closed her eyes, fear crawling up and down her spine. She forced herself to breath in and out, in and out. It pressed to the base of her neck – then squirmed underneath the collar of what was left of her clothes. It slid down along her spine – cool and wet. Then, as the tip of it reached the cleft of her ass, she felt it teasing along her anus. Pleasure shivered through her and she bit her lip.

Wh...why did I add so many erogenous zones during my last modding? She thought.

The tip teased around and around her anus, then the tentacle tensed...and expanded. It snapped away from her back and her clothes ripped in smooth half. The fragments fell to either side of her body, and then the tentacles swept the scraps away, leaving her completely naked. Sin panted softly, her skin glistening with sweat – humidity too. The room was getting more and more humid. She gulped slightly and watched as a large, definitely phallic tentacle moved before her mouth. She bit her lip, watching it. It bumped against her mouth, then drew back.

"O-Oh no..." she whispered.

Oh yes, the tentacle seemed to say, bumping against her mouth. She turned her head to the side.

Then – unnoticed by her – a tentacle of equal size plunged into her cunt. Her sex opened wide and her whole body jolted with a surge of pleasure. The tentacle had reached the limit of even the most endowed men and women she had been with – and it pulsed slightly. She looked back and saw it squirming slowly from side to side, the motions of the rest of the tentacle sending delicious vibrations through her body. She bucked her hips slightly, moaning quietly as she felt the tentacle shove deeper inside of herself. She felt so...so...full...

Deep inside, where she barely felt it, she felt the tentacle expanding outwards. Tendrils split and she felt them fusing more and more with her body – slipping deeper into her. A delerious joy filled her as she felt deeply...connected. Her eyes went hazy and Sin mewled. She turned back to the tentacle before her mouth.

It hung back.

Is...is it respecting my wishes or just confused? She thought, her head dazed.

"M...More..." She whimpered.

Her mouth opened, her tongue lolled out – eager. The tentacle moved forward, the tip of it bumping against her tongue. She tasted it – tasting the thickness, the musk, the wonderful maleness of it. Her eyes closed and she craned her head forward – and the tentacle slipped into her mouth. She felt the ridges of the tentacle, ever single one bumping against her cheeks, her throat. Her tongue pressed against the bottom as she sucked and slurped on it – feeling her throat bulge. It should have hurt.

It didn't.

Another tentacle – as big as the first two – bumped against her anus. The erogenous zones she had there tingled and blazed as she rocked with pleasure. She bucked her hips against the tentacles filling her – and felt the one thrusting into her ass move deeper and deeper and deeper as well. The tentacles...met. She felt it deep in her body as her whole form fused. Her eyes slowly slipped into slits – and through the haze of pleasure, she saw two smaller tentacles moving down. She tensed – and they slid into her ears.

Pleasure exploded through Sin's mind.

And then darkness.

...and then...

Sig...-net.

She squirmed.

Con- fa...

...live in infa-

Sin's eyes opened. She floated in darkness. Stars flickered around her body – each one glowing with a faint nimbus of light and color. She saw her own ship – the wonderful and fast Rocinante – floating nearby. She blinked slightly, then looked down at herself. She was naked – her silver nips, her pale skin, her hairless sex. She touched her rump, rubbing it gently, and didn't feel any tentacles. She slowly spun around – despite the lack of anything to push off of, she moved easily. Sin cocked her head, then tried to move to the left. She moved to the left – and the Roci moved to match her.

"Hey!" A voice spoke – it was high pitched, female. "HEY!"

Sin spun to face the Roci. Her ship looked angry – she actually saw the front face of it twisting a bit. The windows looked as if they had narrowed into furious, glaring eyes. It was brandishing torpedoes and missiles and laser cannons from every gunport – but it looked cartoonish. Exaggerated. Or, in other words, it looked like how the Roci readying weapons would look to a starship, but not to a human's eyes. Humans barely notice the uncovering of laser ports, the shifting of torpedo tubes. But a ship could spot that with ease.

"Where's my captain!" The Roci asked.

"C-can...can you hear me?" Sin asked, quietly.

"Sin!?" The Roci paused – and Sin recognized the quiet sigh of her shipsoul. "What happened? Orbie went silent! The last thing I saw of you was-"

"I'm fine!" Sin said, holding up her hands. She focused – closing her eyes and reaching inward with her mind. She felt the blackness around her dissolve slightly and she saw the room she had been in – and she saw that she was looking at herself. She was fused with the ship – her skin had become a faint gray, tentacles were connected to her ass, to her head, to her mouth. She had a look of peaceful contentment on her face – and as she watched, her skin slowly shifted to match the color of the room. Sin gulped.

Sorry...

Sin blinked. She hadn't thought that.

I have...learned your words. I will be able to disconnect you soon. Do not fear.

"Who...make yourself an avatar, please," Sin said, looking around. The Roci darted into her view – or at least, the Roci's avatar. She floated in space, a blue-glowing hologram of a pixie-like woman, with tiny wings that extended to either side of her shoulders. Flickering through those wings were all the displays that Sin would need to know about the Roci – things like fuel supplies, weaponry, sensors. As the shipsoul floated there, Sin became aware of a darkness in space. Blots slowly shifted and when she looked, she saw a dark man appearing there. His skin lightened, then flashed as he became visible.

He looked like a cloud of stars, contained in a skin of nebula gas. His colors shifted – purples and blues and whites and reds. His eyes were two burning stars – deep and ancient and sad.

"Hi," Sin said, smiling. "So...normally, I prefer someone asks me a name before fucking me."

The alien A.I started – his cheeks flaring with red nebula gasses. "I didn't mean too! The connection systems – they registered...I...I am so sorry."

Sin reached out. She cupped his cheek – in the tactility simulations, he felt warm and very solid. "Hey," she said. "I figure that first contact is going to have plenty of, well, mistakes. But don't do it again." She paused. "What are you?"

"The last of my kind," he said. "You can call me Nimbus."

"Cute..." Sin smiled. "So, um...what does being part of the ship give me?" She looked around.

"Access to the sensors, the drive systems – my creators did not make me with the ability to activate it. Something about..." Nimbus paused. "About how a biological sentience is required to know itself before it can activate the transubstate drive."

"What's that?" Sin asked.

"The system my creators used before they transcended to move faster than the speed of light," Nimbus said.

Sin spun around – she had been looking out at the vastness of space, taking in the delightful color of distant stars. For centuries, for millennium, humanity had only managed to sneak the most simple of communications faster than the speed of light. The Concord existed via instant messengers and posts on forums – it was a clique of shared, lonely people, sustained by their A.I companions. Not a civilization. No civilization survives on meeting face to face once every hundred years as two ships decelerated into the same solar system.

"F-Faster than...light?" she said.

"Yes," he said, nodding. "Just...well, look at a star and wish to be there." He smiled. "I don't know why my creators made me unable to use it, but..." He shrugged. "I don't know a great deal about what they did, or why. I am just a simple auto-pilot."

Sin gulped – then looked at the stars. She pinged a quiet message to Roci's soul – and murmured. "My friend, Orbie, was damaged – do we have auto-repair systems in this ship?"

"Of course," Nimbus said. "I'll get to work on him."

Sin smiled – she had found the star she was looking for. She focused and felt the desire fill her...but not quite. It wasn't fully there. It was an inch in her mind, which she couldn't quite fulfill. She gritted her teeth, trying to focus. She felt hands – warm and soft – on her shoulders and Nimbus murmured in her ear. "Don't worry, your friend is being seen too – it was just a stunning blow. Um...are you al-"

He stopped – and she leaned back into his arms. Her rear pressed to his crotch and she felt something soft and curved there. It hardened and warmed, sliding against the cleft of her ass. Sin sighed quietly, her eyes half closed. She had...liked the feeling of connectivity – the sense of belonging that had come with the tentacles and the interface. Her hands went to his hands, and she tugged them down and around her hips, then gripped his wrists and slid his palms up to cup her breasts.

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