Battle for the Known Unknown Ch. 09bybradley_stoke©
If she were ever asked, Nadezhda Kerensky would describe herself as an essentially monogamous woman. She didn't have the desire or ambition to take on more than one lover. Surely that was all she ever needed. Nadezhda was a romantic soul. She continued to believe that one day there would be an occasion where she'd meet the one woman who'd be her partner for the rest of her life.
She once thought that her ex-wife, Veronika, was to be that one woman but she no longer believed that now.
Nor did she believe that Vashti satisfied that need. However passionate their love was for each other, it was obvious that Vashti wasn't a woman with whom Nadezhda could settle down with or marry. Vashti wasn't someone who limited herself to one lover at a time.
Or even at the same time.
Nevertheless, she was admirably open and honest about the extent of her sex-life beyond Captain Kerensky's bed. In that regard, the colonel could never be accused of deception. She had never contemplated having a love life that was any less promiscuous than it already was. Vashti enjoyed sex with men just as much as she did with women. She got so much pleasure out of sex that she saw no good reason to prefer one gender over the other or to limit her lovers to only one at a time.
However, there were practical considerations the lovers had to take into account. Nadezhda was the ship's captain and Vashti was a colonel. They had different responsibilities of duty and command. It wasn't that anyone openly disapproved of a relationship between a Martian soldier and a Saturnian space officer, but the duties of their different and overlapping spheres of command took a higher priority than their mutual pleasure. However much Nadezhda yearned after her peculiarly endowed lover, their opportunities to meet were constrained by Vashti's duty roster and Nadezhda's never-ceasing responsibilities.
Although her lover had no objections, Nadezhda wasn't inclined to take on another lover. Vashti was pretty much all the woman she needed. Although she had no doubt that she was a lesbian, Nadezhda was addicted not only to her lover but also to her lover's penis. She'd never known such a thing so intimately before. It was women and women only that attracted her, although these days the pleasure of that cock in her mouth and its thrusts in her cunt inclined her to look at men in a fresh light. But however much men might be in possession of an organ that had given her so much satisfaction she was disgusted at the notion of a rough unmannerly male body pressed against hers.
Vashti had a habit of arriving outside Nadezhda's bedroom or office at times that were unannounced but which fitted remarkably well with the captain's routines and duties. There was hardly an occasion when Vashti visited that Nadezhda was dragged away by the obligations of duty from the passionate lovemaking that filled so many nights and whose memory sweetened so many days. Even so, Vashti's visits were never as frequent as the captain might like. There were many lonely unrequited nights and days when she waited in anxious expectation and dripped in excited anticipation. But such intervals were never for so long that she felt the need to seek out other lovers to satisfy her cravings.
And, of course, it wouldn't do for the captain of the Intrepid to reciprocate Vashti's policy by arriving unannounced at the colonel's quarters. Like all soldiers on board the space ship, the colonel was housed in relatively spartan quarters that had none of the landscaping that the passengers like Paul enjoyed. Battle-readiness took priority over comfort for members of the armed forces.
It would take extraordinary temptation indeed to lure Nadezhda away from the comfortable pattern into which she'd settled in the first month of her captaincy of the Intrepid. How could anyone compete with Vashti's energetic and urgent thrusts that left her so sore but still gasping for more? When she licked her lips, Nadezhda fancied she could still taste Vashti's sour semen. When she masturbated, which she now did more frequently, she could feel the soreness on her vulva that was the penalty of so many hours of passion. When she practised in the gym, the sweat that poured off her was a reminder of their mutual perspiration.
Nevertheless, Captain Kerensky had other concerns than only her affair with her errant lover. It troubled her that although she had a good idea of exactly where the Intrepid was headed in terms of spatial coordinates she knew very little else about the destination. The literature she'd read on the Anomaly was of little help. She was convinced—as were her fellow officers when they discussed it in the mess or in the lounge—that it must be some kind of alien incursion.
"What sort of aliens might they be?" wondered Chief Petty Officer Singh, as he tugged at the single long forelock that cascaded from his otherwise shaven head. "They won't just be microbes will they? I'd hope for something more exciting than that."
"I hope it's not an invasion force," remarked Medical Officer Yoritomo, who was tall and thin and blessed with a thick bush of black hair that bounced off his bare shoulders. "I can't think of any other reason why there would be such a large military contingent on board."
"Aliens are probably weirder than we can ever imagine," speculated Assistant Chief Engineer Taalat, who was a slim girl with artificially blue skin that her captain lusted after even though the engineer was a confirmed heterosexual. "They won't be mammalian. Probably not even vertebrate. Perhaps they'll be a kind of mollusc or even a talking vegetable."
"The scientists on the ship should have some idea," said the Chief Petty Officer as he sipped from a tall glass of fruit juice. "That's what they're here for. They've probably got access to confidential information that us mere space officers would never be allowed to see. Not even the captain."
Nadezhda could see that her fellow officers' eyes were focused on her as if they were pleading for more information. She only wished she could enlighten them. "I know for a fact," she said carefully but honestly, "that you're no better briefed than me. As for the scientists..."
"What about that Godwinian?" Taalat wondered. Her slightly dimpled cheeks made Nadezhda's heart beat a little faster. "The one with the Venusian wife. It's not often you get to meet an anarchist. I've heard he's been the target of countless assassination attempts. You must have heard of the attack on the cruise ship Ulysses. And there were other attacks everywhere he went. He must know something."
"He's a weird one," remarked the Chief Medical Officer. "He doesn't socialise with the other scientists and the case he brought with him was guarded as if it contained precious metals. He probably knows more than anyone."
"He's not particularly communicative," said Captain Kerensky cautiously. "He spends almost all his time with his wife or wandering aimlessly about the outermost level where he lives. He must be the most unimpressive scientist I've ever met."
"Appearances can be very deceptive," was Taalat's opinion.
Nadezhda could see there might yet be wisdom in the cliché. After all, there was an extraordinary level of security surrounding a man whose academic discipline was at best incidental to the object of the mission. Maybe there was more to computer archaeology than Nadezhda had ever given credit.
Although Captain Kerensky had entertained many of the resident scientists in her office, she'd been reluctant to invite one as poorly accredited as Paul. He wasn't even a professor. His only apparent claim to fame was the publication of a sensational thesis that demonstrated that the Anomaly had been previously sighted at the very dawn of the space age when colonisation was more a dream than a practical reality. Otherwise what was more remarkable about his research was how extraordinarily mundane it was. Maybe there was more to the strange anarchist who was privileged to occupy a villa in the Intrepid's most spacious and sought-after level.
The captain hadn't been any more impressed by Paul in person. Compared to the witty and eloquent Professor Keane who'd entertained her for more than an hour on the subject of polydimensional fractals or Doctor Xiao Ping who'd made the subject of exobacteria more fascinating than she'd ever imagined possible, Paul Morris was a very dull specimen.
However, what did attract her and about which she felt decidedly guilty, especially in the company of Vashti, was Paul's wife. Beatrice was possibly the most beautiful woman she'd ever met. And although this was the first time the captain had met her, it wasn't to be the last.
Captain Kerensky made a point of visiting every level of the Interplanetary Space Ship. This wasn't merely to pass the time. She believed that it was only by making such visits that she could really know how things were and whether there were any necessary improvements. This was especially so on such an ancient vessel as the Intrepid.
It was while she was wandering about on the outermost level that she once again encountered Beatrice. This time the Venusian was alone. There was no sign of Paul at all. She was strolling along a path through a wooded glade towards a stream that cascaded over rocks that had been smoothed over by the centuries. It was an idyllic scene. Birds were singing in the trees and antelope were cantering over the grassy plains. But what was also strange to the captain, even after having spent so many years in deep space with such a wide variety of people, was that Beatrice was totally naked.
There were several colonies in the Solar System where nudity was the normal state of dress and there had been officers and ancillary staff who'd served under the captain that shunned clothing except where it was necessary to perform their duties. It wasn't just that Venusians were by no means known to be amongst the Solar System's most natural nudists that awakened the captain's interest in Paul's wife. It was also that the unclothed Beatrice wore her body so well that it seemed unnatural that she should ever wear clothes.
And what a body! Although the bosom was oddly large and the rest of her so curiously slim, there were aspects in her tight but smooth contours, the healthy gleam of her skin and her confident stride that accentuated her beauty far above its mere physical aspect.
There was a dreamlike quality to the moments that followed. Captain Kerensky was so mesmerised by Beatrice's beauty she hardly registered that the two women's steps were bringing them closer to one another. It was almost unexpected when Beatrice was close enough that their eyes met and they could exchange words.
"I'm delighted to see you again," said Beatrice in her soft seductive voice.
"No more than I am to see you," said Nadezhda.
"It's so beautiful here," cooed Beatrice as she advanced one more step closer. Her bosom bounced smoothly in rhythm to her stride. "I so enjoy my walks in the glades and pathways of the Intrepid."
"So I see," said the captain.
Beatrice now stood just in front of Nadezhda. Her face had beautiful green eyes and an exquisitely proportioned nose. Her fair hair brushed against her cheeks and her endearing smile was close enough to touch.
"We didn't really have much opportunity to chat before," said Beatrice whose grin broadened as she placed a hand on Nadezhda's. "I so much wanted to get to know you better."
"I did too," admitted Nadezhda speaking more breathlessly than she felt she ought. "It's my duty to ensure that the passengers are well looked after."
"I can understand that," said Beatrice who gently brushed her other hand against the captain's cheek. This innocent gesture sent daggers of anxiety and expectation through Nadezhda's chest. "I can report to you that I am wholly content with the services provided by the Space Ship Intrepid."
"I'm pleased to hear that," said the captain, who was rather less sure of what else to say as Beatrice detached her other hand from Nadezhda's hand and brushed it over her other cheek.
"I'm glad that my satisfaction gives you so much pleasure," said Beatrice whose face was now almost touching Nadezhda's. She could feel the naked woman's warm breath brush over her nose and lips. She gazed tremulously into Beatrice's eyes. They were shining with unmistakeable passion.
There were a few more words, equally banal, that were exchanged in the moments that followed. Beatrice recognised and responded to Nadezhda's reciprocal excitement. She pressed her lips against the captain's which opened to allow the ingress of her tongue. The two women pressed their bodies against each other: the captain in her pale purple uniform and Beatrice fully unclothed. Their tongues grappled as Nadezhda's crotch moistened with desire.
The grass was welcoming. The conditions were right. And Nadezhda was barely aware of the subsequent course of events. They followed a logic that was by no means determined by propriety or relative rank. Her clothes were divested so subtly that she was only aware that Beatrice had removed them when they were kicked away from the couple. The two women were both naked as they slowly fell to the ground. Nadezhda surrendered herself totally to Beatrice's hands and tongue. When they were at last outstretched on the grass, observed with only desultory interest by the parrots in the trees above and the deer that strayed past, their initially tender love-making became ever more passionate.
Beatrice was a woman at least as expert as Vashti in the amorous arts. Nadezhda's vulva and clitoris was soaked in Beatrice's saliva while the captain explored the Venusian's smoothly shaved and perfectly formed crotch with her tongue and teeth. Fingers probed deeply where no tongue could reach. Then Beatrice's fist was inside her and fucked her with a rhythm that matched the waves of ecstasy that culminated in orgasm after orgasm.
Finally, drenched in mutual perspiration, the two women lay together on the grass while small insects crawled over their thighs. Their arms and legs were intertwined. Their faces and crotches were pressed together. This was lovemaking of an intensity that Nadezhda had only ever experienced with Vashti but as a woman who still yearned after the familiarities of another woman's vagina Nadezhda felt a warm satisfaction that, after all, Vashti's penis could only be a second best.
"We must meet again," said Beatrice as she stroked Nadezhda's crotch. The captain's body responded almost immediately by arching upwards in the hope of more gratification.
"We must," said the captain. She was only belatedly aware of how improper she'd been. Although this was scarcely the first time that Captain Kerensky had enjoyed sex with a passenger, this was the first time she'd so blatantly disregarded the concerns of the husband, wife or partner. Although Nadezhda was comforted by the fact that Beatrice's husband was only a man and that a man's company could never be preferable to that of a woman, she also knew that it wasn't right for the captain of the space ship to show so little respect for one of her passengers.
Nadezhda also worried what Vashti might think. She wasn't sure what to tell her, although her strangely endowed lover never disguised the extent of her own errant behaviour.
Nonetheless, Vashti wasn't a woman Nadezhda could easily keep a secret from.
"You've been seeing someone else," said Vashti with an indulgent smile after the couple made love together a couple of days later. "I can tell. Who is it?"
Nadezhda was alarmed at Vashti's detective skills. Surely she had washed off every trace of her lovemaking.
"A passenger," she admitted.
"Not a fellow officer?" said Vashti. "I thought maybe it was Mariam."
"She's taken up with a Uranian woman," said Nadezhda, with a tinge of regret in her voice. "A quantum physicist with orange skin and purple hair. She hasn't got the time for anyone else."
"So is your new lover a scientist?" asked Vashti without recrimination.
"No," said the captain, who made it clear from the tone of her voice that she didn't wish to be probed any deeper. "Just a passenger."
Captain Kerensky now had two very beautiful and remarkably skilled lovers and ones moreover who were so accommodating about the existence of the other. She couldn't imagine Veronika accepting her ex-wife's infidelity with anything like the same degree of equanimity.
It was uncanny how the two women both managed to time their encounters with Nadezhda at times that suited her and how they never came into contact with each other. It was almost as if they'd entered a compact together. Nadezhda loved both women passionately and there was no sense that she preferred one to the other. When she was being fucked by Vashti, that penis deep inside her and those muscular arms and thighs gripping her tightly, she never wished to be anywhere else. On the other hand, in Beatrice's tender caresses and against her perspiring bosom she melted away in hopeless desire and Vashti was almost forgotten.
As there were few reasons for the captain to ever visit the outermost level where Beatrice and her husband lived, she was rarely reminded of the adulterous nature of her relationship. She mostly forgot that Paul existed at all. He rarely wandered beyond his villa and was remarkably indifferent to the other scientists. Fortunately, this lack of interest was both mutual and amicable.
It was the military contingent that most often organised the social occasions on the Intrepid which were the main opportunities for the crew and passengers to socialise with the soldiers. The scientists were generally hopeless at organising such activities. The huge stadium on the ninth level was used to host the sports events where soldiers formed teams to represent the various colonies, planets and moons of the Solar System and to compete against each other. The competition was generally at its most vicious when the teams' original home nations were most nearly neighbours.
Captain Kerensky felt obliged to attend a game of rugby football between Vashti's Mariner team and one representing Ceres. This was the final in a bitterly fought contest where Vashti was the star player in a team otherwise mostly made up of men. The captain couldn't disappoint the soldiers who'd petitioned her to make an appearance, but most of all she wanted to show her support to Vashti who was the fullback for the Mariner side.
Nadezhda was somewhat put out when she noticed Beatrice sitting in the audience with the visibly bored Paul. The couple were in the seating area reserved for the scientists who attended these events in significantly smaller numbers than the military or the ship's crew. Beatrice was showing much more enthusiasm for the sport than her husband. Although her seat was on the other side of a stadium designed to accommodate tens of thousands of passengers, even from this distance Captain Kerensky was sure that her lover was exchanging meaningful glances across the pitch.
Mostly thanks to some stupendous goals and courageous tries for which Vashti was almost solely responsible, the Mariner team comfortably dominated the game. Nadezhda didn't know how many of the people watching were aware of Vashti's peculiar attributes. Although her lover didn't exactly hide her assets from the world, neither did she flaunt them. Nadezhda wondered whether it was her lover's singularly masculine attribute that was also the cause for Vashti being such a strong and athletic sportswoman. And however ferocious the scrum, she never emerged from its midst with a single hair out of place. This was quite unlike her badly bruised team-mates who were more often covered in blood.
Captain Kerensky knew she should avoid speaking to Colonel Vashti after the match. She was, in any case, surrounded by her fellow soldiers and even those from other teams, who were congratulating the colonel on her performance. But she wasn't sure whether she should avoid bumping into Beatrice.