tagSci-Fi & FantasyThree Square Meals Ch. 089

Three Square Meals Ch. 089

byTefler©

"I could see it all..." Calara whispered, her voice filled with awe. "I knew what you were going to do, but I changed what should have happened! I twisted the outcome in my favour!"

John reached up a hand to cup her face. "You've been on the cusp of this breakthrough for weeks. I laid the groundwork for you months ago..."

"That's why I never miss! I've always been so sure where my shots were going to land!" she gasped, staring at him in shock as it suddenly became clear. Her face twisted in confusion a moment later. "But that started as soon as I joined you! You gave me triple-helix DNA months later!"

"I didn't really know what I was doing right back at the start. There was also only so much I could do, limited to just two DNA strands," John explained as he brushed her cheek with his thumb. "When you first joined me and Alyssa, I subconsciously enhanced your remarkable mind so that you could make very accurate predictions. You've used that for very complex problems, like hunting down the Drakkar Raider's base of operations, to the comparatively much easier tracking of targets with the Invictus' guns. Think of your psychic ability as the new and improved version... Calara 2.0 if you like."

She shook her head in wonder. "I really was the first... I thought you'd forgotten about me."

He chuckled and smiled at her fondly. "I love you! I could never do that!" His laughter died out and he looked at her with concern. "I've had to make substantial changes to your third helix so that you can use this ability. Are you sure you're comfortable with this level of power? It's on a completely different scale to anything I've tried before."

Calara beamed at him and lunged forward to shower his face in kisses. "I love it! It's like it's tailor made for me!"

John tried to reply, but it was difficult with an exuberant teenager kissing him in delight. He gave up after a few seconds and just held her in his arms, giving her a deep, passionate kiss as she mewled with happiness.

When she had calmed down a little, he pulled back and stared into her deep brown eyes, her long brown hair fanning out around his face like a curtain. "You're right, this ability is customised specially for you. It needs someone with your incredible analytical mind to take full advantage of the potential power this offers. Do you understand the difference you could make, coordinating fleet battles? Are you ready for that much responsibility?"

Calara had a fierce gleam in her eyes as she nodded. "I won't let you down, Admiral! You know you can rely on me!"

He nodded sombrely. "I already do, Commander."

She sat upright with an eager grin splashed across her face. "Let's do some more sparring! I want to keep practicing!"

John smiled at her raw enthusiasm. "Alright, but not too much. You'll need to take it easy to start with, I don't want you exhausting yourself. Okay?"

Calara sprang to her feet and offered him a hand. He had a feeling he better get used to her helping him up off the mat...

***

"I don't know how Edraele copes with it all!" Luna exclaimed, glancing at the holo-screen with a worried frown. "I had no idea how much a Matriarch has to deal with! It seems like everyone wants my decision on everything!"

Tsarra gave the flustered assassin a supportive smile. "It certainly can feel overwhelming. When I became Matriarch of House Perfaren after my mother's death, I struggled for months. My Fleet Commander was amazing though... Aadya really helped me through that transition period."

"Lilyana's been accommodating, but she's kept her distance," Luna said, slumping in her chair and gazing despondently out the window of the Maliri battleship.

Their ship, the Galaena Serine, was leading an impressive fleet of House Valaden vessels through Maliri Space, as they hurried towards the border with the Terran Federation. The view from the window was dominated by the bright orange swirls of a spectacular stellar nebula, one of hundreds that populated the Maliri Protectorate.

"Lilyana knows that you covering for Edraele is only a temporary measure. Perhaps she didn't think you'd have to make any major decisions?" Tsarra suggested. She shrugged and rose from her chair, walking around the desk to stand beside Luna. "Let me help instead, I'm sure we can make some headway working together."

"That would be wonderful, thank you," Luna said gratefully. "Being an assassin was so much easier! Focus on the target and eliminate it; there was a reassuring simplicity to it all."

Kneeling down beside her, Tsarra darted her a smile. "You should probably refrain from killing any of your planetary governors. I'm not sure John or Edraele would approve."

"It's so tempting though," Luna murmured, staring wistfully at the screen. "Salihna's asked me to make a decision on thirty-nine different things!"

Tsarra's beautiful face twisted into a frown, her dark green eyes narrowing in suspicion. "Show me..."

Luna did as she asked, bringing up the dozens of different queries raised by the Planetary Governor on Valada. Tsarra started scanning through the list, a scowl marring her lovely features. "That fucking opportunistic bitch!" she finally snapped.

Looking at her in alarm, Luna asked, "What's the matter?"

"She's deliberately trying to overwhelm you. This is a power play!" Tsarra growled in anger.

"I don't understand. What do you mean?" Luna asked, a worried expression on her face.

Forcing down her anger, Tsarra took hold of the assassin's hand and squeezed it gently. "Salihna's taking advantage of the fact that Edraele's incapacitated. She's hoping to make you so daunted by all these decisions that she can offer to step up and 'help you rule'. I've seen this kind of stunt before, I had senior officials try the same thing with me."

"What are we going to do?!" Luna asked in alarm. "I can't fail John or Edraele!"

"Shh, it'll be alright," Tsarra said, giving her a supportive smile. She looked at the assassin curiously. "How good are you at looking haughty?"

Luna looked down at the House Perfaren Matriarch and narrowed her eyes in irritation.

Tsarra laughed and shook her head. "No, that won't do. You just look a bit annoyed." She studied the other Maliri for a moment, tapping her finger on her pursed lips. "Try this instead: Sit up straight, like you've got a rigid crystal beam running down your spine. Yes! That's right. Now, look down your nose at me like I'm a pitiful insect, but it's beneath you to squash me. Good! Now, colder eyes... No, crueller! Like you're deciding whether to have me skinned alive, so you can use me to upholster your sofa. Perfect! Now you look just like my mother."

"I'm sorry," Luna said softly, giving the younger woman a look of sympathy.

Tsarra stroked Luna's hand and smiled at her. "That expression won't do at all. Go back to the mean one." She nodded with satisfaction when Luna did as she asked. "Now, here's what we're going to do..."

***

Salihna grinned at herself as she stood in front of an ornate mirror in Edraele's quarters, located in the upper levels of the palace on Valaden. Turning slightly, she admired the way the Matriarch's official robes of office complimented her figure and her immaculately styled short dark hair. She looked intimidating and powerful, someone not to be trifled with!

Edraele had been away from the palace on Valada for a few months now, ensconced up in Genthalas station and preoccupied with the massive fleet refit program. The House Valaden Matriarch also seemed to have undergone a dramatic personality shift as of late. While Edraele still possessed a fearsome presence and her shocking new appearance was strangely compelling, she wasn't the terrifying tyrant she used to be.

Word had reached Salihna that Edraele had been suddenly incapacitated, which had meant a power vacuum that she was more than eager to fill. News that one of Edraele's bodyguards had been appointed as interim leader of House Valaden had been as shocking as it was infuriating, but this was still a prime opportunity to seize more personal power.

A chime from Edraele's desk made Salihna jump, but she relaxed a moment later and sauntered over to the console. For a second she considered answering the call wearing the Matriarch's robes, but she quickly changed her mind and pulled them off. There were limits to how bold she could risk being... for the moment at least.

Sitting down in the chair, she grinned wolfishly when she saw the name of the caller. Swiping her hand across Luna's name, she sat upright to look more authoritative. "Ah, Luna, how wonderful to see you," she began, her tone warm but with just the right amount of condescension. "How can I help you today?"

Luna's cold-eyed stare was chilling, sending a shiver of fear down Salihna's spine. "I was wondering if you could recommend a successor? You're clearly utterly incompetent as a Planetary Governor."

Salihna overcame her shock and decided to go on the offensive to regain the upper hand. "What?! How dare you speak to me like that!"

The former assassin produced a wicked-looking knife and began to spin it around her fingers with deadly precision, not taking her unblinking eyes from Salihna for an instant. Her expression didn't even flicker as she did so, making the haughty look of disdain even more terrifying. "If you aren't grossly incompetent, then you must be planning treason. Please let me know which it is and I'll deal with you accordingly."

"Luna, please! I'm sure there must have been a simple misunderstanding!" Salihna faltered, backing down quickly.

"You're delaying crop harvesting for my decision on the exact volume of grain to be stored? To risk food shortages for such a triviality can only mean one of two things: incompetence or treason. These other thirty-eight requests follow a similar vein and compound your crimes," Luna declared, damning judgement in her yellow eyes.

"Those messages weren't even meant for you... Yes, they were meant for someone else!" Salihna floundered, wincing at how desperate she sounded.

Leaning forward, Luna had a faint smile on her face as she asked, "Do you know how many Governors I've... retired... for Edraele?" Her voice dropped a few octaves into a deathly whisper. "Those missions were always my favourite. Bringing down someone in power who'd overstepped their bounds... it was always worth taking my time to really savour that experience."

"Luna, I'm begging you! It was just a mistake!" Salihna pleaded.

Sitting back in her chair, Luna studied her with clinical detachment. Salihna could almost feel that vicious-looking knife slowly slicing into her flesh and she quaked in terror, knowing her life hung in the balance.

"Only the weak and simple-minded make mistakes," Luna said, her blade catching the light as it danced around her fingers. "This was your one and only warning, Salihna. Make sure you don't require my attention again."

"I won't, I promise!" the governor gasped in a rush.

Luna closed the comm channel without further comment, leaving Salihna sagging in the chair with relief. She glanced down at the Matriarch's robes that she'd discarded on the floor, her eyes widening in fear. As she scooped them up and sprinted for the wardrobe, there was only one thought on her mind. "Please get well soon, Edraele!"

***

Tsarra's green eyes shone with admiration. "Wow! You were amazing!"

Luna turned to her and blushed. "Not too much with the knife?"

Tsarra giggled and quickly shook her head. "I was starting to get frightened and I knew you were only pretending!"

The assassin put down the blade then rose from her chair to embrace the House Perfaren Matriarch. "Thank you so much. I'll never forget you helping me like this."

Tsarra hugged her back and gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek. "You're my friend. I'm so glad you asked me." When they parted, she glanced down at the hundreds of messages on the holo-screen with an eager grin. "Okay! Who shall we call next?"

Luna laughed, feeling greatly relieved. She smiled as she sat down in the chair again, eyes narrowing as she picked out the next Planetary Governor from the list...

***

"Any idea why we're being summoned to the Lagoon?" Calara asked as she walked into the bedroom.

"No idea, just following orders!" John called back to her from the walk-in-wardrobe. He was dressed in swimming trunks, just as Alyssa had requested. "I hope it involves dinner though. I'm starving!"

He strolled out to join her, then froze mid-stride.

Calara gave him a knowing smile. "You like?" she asked playfully, turning for him and modelling her spectacular swimwear.

"Wow..." he murmured staring in awe.

John swallowed, his tongue suddenly feeling thick in his mouth. The Latina was wearing a maroon bikini that left just enough to his imagination. The colour complimented her olive skin magnificently and he couldn't help tracing his fingers over her lean stomach.

"I forgot how much you love seeing me in a bikini," Calara said quietly, enjoying the look of wonder in his eyes.

*I hadn't,* Alyssa said, her voice ringing with satisfaction. *Now, hurry down to Deck Three, we're all waiting for you!*

John shared a grin with Calara, then strolled along the corridor beside her, trying his hardest to keep his eyes on her face.

"It's okay, I want you to look," she said indulgently, the extra bounce in her step making the view even more breathtaking. She smiled at him as he openly admired her stunning body. "Which do you prefer me in? Bikinis or formal wear?"

It was a critically important question and one that deserved his serious consideration. John paused as they stepped out of the grav-tube on Deck Three, truly conflicted. "Would you turn around for a moment so I can admire the view? It'll help me give you a more informed answer..."

Calara bit her lip to stop herself from laughing, then did as he asked, looking at him coquettishly over her shoulder. "How's that?"

John stepped up behind her, gently cupping her firm cheeks in his hands. "Absolutely perfect," he murmured as he squeezed her taut young flesh with great care.

"Bikinis by a hair's breadth then?" Calara asked him airily.

He kissed her on the shoulder, his hands sliding around her waist to stroke her slim tummy. "It's honestly a really hard choice. You look truly stunning like this, showcasing your body in a bikini, but you look so elegant in formal wear..."

She leaned back so her head was resting on his shoulder as she looked up at him. "I love both too, but there's something special about looking demure and immaculately groomed, then kneeling down for you so you can feed me your cum..."

"Have I told you how much I love you today?" he asked, leaning over to kiss her.

"You didn't need to," Calara murmured, with a breathy sigh. "I feel it every time you touch me..."

*Come on guys!* Alyssa protested. *Just join us in the Lagoon, then you can fuck like rabbits!*

Calara laughed and rolled her eyes. "We better not keep her waiting any longer. I'm sure whatever it is will be fun."

John released her, readjusted his shorts to accommodate his thickening length, then smiled as he offered her a hand. She giggled as she took it, walking in step beside him and flashing him a flirtatious smile. When they reached the end of the corridor, John hit the button to open the way into the Lagoon. The double doors swished open and they strolled inside, feeling the lovely warmth wash over them from the tropical paradise within.

"Congratulations!" the girls cheered when the two of them walked into the room, a raucous round of applause following immediately afterwards.

John and Calara looked at each other in surprise and confusion, as they walked down the gentle slope towards the cluster of bikini-clad beauties on the beach.

"What's the special occasion?" John asked, as Alyssa glided up the ramp to join them.

"Calara joining the psychic club!" the blonde exclaimed, throwing her arms around her lover and giving her a tender kiss. "We're all so proud of you!"

The Latina looked overwhelmed for a moment, then grinned in delight, hugging Alyssa back fiercely. "It was so exciting! I couldn't believe it when it happened!"

John stood back and watched with a smile on his face as the rest of the girls rushed over to join them. They fussed over Calara, listening in fascination as she told them all about her exciting new psychic ability and how she'd unlocked it. His heart skipped a beat to see her looking so elated, her radiant smile making her look incredibly beautiful.

*This was a lovely idea, thank you,* John thought to Alyssa, flashing her an appreciative smile.

She walked over to join him, slipping her arm around his waist as she stood by his side. *We don't take enough time to celebrate the little victories,* she said, glancing up at him, her full lips lifting into a smile as enchanting as Calara's. *Just because we had to cut the vacation short, doesn't mean we can't still have some fun.*

He put his arm around her shoulder, nodding his wholehearted agreement. He was about to reply when a delicious aroma wafted over to his nose. "Is that a barbecue I smell?" he asked in surprise.

"What do you fancy?" Dana asked, bounding down the slope to the beach where an elaborate barbecue had been set up on the sand. "We've got burgers, sausages, and great big shrimp!"

"Sparks, you're a life saver!" John said with a huge grin, his rumbling stomach echoing its agreement.

Alyssa stroked his arm affectionately. "Go and get yourself something to eat. I'll grab you a beer."

After giving her a grateful smile, he strode across the beach to join the redhead. "I'll start with a burger!"

"One burger coming up!" Dana said, using a pair of tongs to grab a thick quarter-pounder and sandwiching it inside a sesame-seed bun.

"I didn't even know we had a barbecue," John marvelled, examining the substantial cooking device. He gratefully accepting the burger and the bottle of ketchup she handed him. "Thanks Sparks, this looks amazing!"

"We didn't until this afternoon," she explained, grabbing one of the sausages for herself and putting it in a roll. "Rachel suggested it and once I'd designed one to her specifications, Faye had the maintenance bots put it together."

"A real team effort then. Well done, ladies!" John said, turning to grin at Rachel and Faye.

The purple sprite fluttered over the sand, looking overjoyed at his reaction. "I'm so glad you liked it!"

"That's not all I like," he said, admiring her skimpy turquoise bikini. Faye's wings fluttered even faster when she saw him gazing at her figure.

"Ah, nothing beats a barbecue on the beach," Rachel said, grinning at him as she sauntered over to join them.

Dana smiled flirtatiously as she handed over the hot-dog. "At least it's me giving you some meat this time and not a biker!"

Rachel laughed as she took the food, rolling her eyes at her girlfriend. "You're a fine one to talk about bikers! I seem to remember you having a great time with a certain biker-girl not too far away from here."

"That's entirely different," Dana said with a pout, slipping her arm around Sakura. "She's fucking gorgeous and gets you lubed-up just as much as me!"

Sakura blushed furiously, but John noticed she didn't object when Rachel leaned in and gave her a gentle kiss. Not to be outdone, Dana kissed her immediately afterwards, Sakura's eyes widening as they showered her in affection.

"Dinner and a show, fantastic!" Alyssa exclaimed with delight as she handed John a bottle of chilled beer.

"I'll drink to that!" he said, clinking bottles with the blonde. "Cheers!"

The rest of the girls gathered around, helping themselves to the ample supply of food sizzling away on the barbecue. The conversation went quiet for a while as everybody savoured the tasty grilled meat.

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byTefler© 62 comments/ 31623 views/ 55 favorites

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