Battle for the Known Unknown Ch. 01bybradley_stoke©
A space ship. One of the largest in the solar system. Twelve kilometres long. Two kilometres in diameter. A wonder of 32nd Century Technology.
Perhaps two thirds of the ship's volume was dedicated to the engine and fully ninety percent, whether in the passengers' segments or in the engine rooms, was composed of water. This was mostly in liquid form and stored at a phenomenally high pressure. From outside the ship resembled a huge cylinder along which were arraigned portals on which smaller craft could dock. Ahead of the space ship, extending a kilometre or more, was a elongated cone that tapered to a rounded point. Like all space craft, it was constructed from the debris of shattered asteroids and comets.
This massive vehicle was travelling through open space at an astonishing speed, perhaps as much as a tenth the speed of light, at a trajectory that was roughly perpendicular to the ecliptic plane. It took nearly a week for the light from the sun to reach the space ship's surface. So fast and large was the space ship that it was obliged to travel at least a light day distant from the Solar System's traffic lanes that were too congested to accommodate such a hazardous vehicle.
Paul sat in the artificial twilight on a wooden bench in his garden. The flowers had closed their petals for the night, whilst above his head an oak tree cast a shadow directly over him. He was mesmerised by a hedgehog's slow meander across the lawn. Other than the dim illumination from above, the only light that shone over the garden came from the upstairs window of his villa. Some of the other houses scattered about in the nearby lanes and paths on this level also had lights streaming from the rooms.
Paul cherished the quiet and solitude of the late evening. He enjoyed watching the moths batter against the windows of his home. He delighted in the sound of owls hooting in the distant parkland trees. Sometimes a fox or badger would wander into the garden and frighten the cats that shared his home. And he somehow found great solace in musing on the facts and figures about the space ship in which he was travelling.
It was difficult to believe that this suburban quiet was bound above (or below, depending on one's perspective) by layer upon layer of onion-like levels of curving landscape much like the one in which he lived, with a sky never more than fifty metres above his head. His feet were pushed outwards by centripetal force in the direction of the empty infinite void. But artificial tranquillity in a wholly artificial world was what Paul had mostly known all his life. The notion of living on a huge ball of rock in space was as alien to him as being bound by such an object's gravity.
The habits of solitude that had once principally governed his life were hard to break. He could no longer follow a rhythm that was entirely of his own choosing now that he had to adapt his life to that of his recently wedded wife. It was she who was waiting for him in their shared bedchamber from which shone the light that illuminated the garden. Paul stood up and strolled slowly over the well-trimmed lawn beside the birdbath and the ornate bower and savoured the sensation of grass under his bare feet.
He was naked. This was also a relatively novel sensation. Ever since he'd began sharing his body with his wife, it seemed much more natural to remain undressed while at home. This was especially so because Beatrice rarely encumbered herself with more than the minimum of clothes, whatever the company and wherever the occasion. His penis was already twitching with excitement at the prospect of sharing his bed with a wife whose passion for sex exceeded that of any woman Paul had ever known in his long life. Her hunger for sex was almost unnatural despite the fact that Paul had seen no evidence that she'd ever supplemented her libido with drugs or DNA enhancement. This wasn't so true of Paul, however, who needed as much help as he could find to be able to cope with the incessant demands from the woman he loved so very much.
Paul walked towards the patio doors which slid open as he approached and then strode across the living room towards the lavatory, past the ornate sofa and the shimmering holographic wall paintings. He hoped that the strain of arousal wouldn't present to much of an obstacle to his rather more pressing need for a piss. As he walked, the lights shone in each room as he walked through and dimmed as soon as he left. He sat down on the toilet bowl and contemplated the rather inconvenient fact that human progress hadn't yet eliminated the need for excretion.
There were so many things that just could never be changed.
It sometimes puzzled Paul that Beatrice had such disciplined bowels that he'd never once seen her go to the toilet. Perhaps she'd benefited from bodily enhancements that were rather more sophisticated than those Paul had elected for.
She was a wonderful woman. In his imagination, he could see her long legs stretch out over the mattress while he sat down on the toilet seat and felt the blessed release shoot onto the porcelain and splash into the water below.
"Are you coming to bed, sweetheart?" Beatrice called out to him in that soft and sultry voice in reply to which his reciprocal response very nearly stopped the flow of urine. "I'm so tired of waiting."
"Almost ready," grunted Paul as he washed his hands in the sink and examined his reflection in the mirror.
He still didn't know what it was about him that made her love him. And love him she did. Or he was pretty sure she did judging from the unfeigned passion of their lovemaking. You couldn't pretend that—at least not so often and so unrestrainedly. In all his years, he'd never imagined that sex could be quite so ecstatic. When he fucked Beatrice, his penis was engulfed and gripped in a deep warm moistness while her entire body twitched with irrepressible spasms, her skin erupted with perspiration that slid against his own and her cries of ecstasy were out of proportion to Paul's rather modest thrusts.
Without the benefits of modern science, how could he ever hope to match, or even keep up with, the demands she made of him?
The man whose reflection Paul could see in the mirror was well-chiselled and muscular. He had a smooth torso and a prick already proud and confident. His long thick hair cascaded in brown whorls over his shoulders and curled over his nipples. Paul pursed his mouth, flashed his brilliant white teeth and wiped his brow with the back of his hand.
He was a handsome imposing figure. In another age he would have been considered a true Adonis. But in this day and age there was nothing about him that made him stand out from the crowd. But this didn't prevent Paul from admiring himself. He was at the peak of physical perfection. He was the perfect match for the beautiful, long-legged, long blonde-haired woman who was his wife of not much more than a year.
And what was still a matter of wonder to Paul was that this Adonis who could only be him was more than eighty years old.