Flight to Tomar Three Ch. 01bycurious2c©
I was soon left alone on the ob deck. I watched the stars and thought back over my life. This was it, I was certain of it. There wasn't going to be a 'save' on this one. We'd already gone past the fail safe return point, whether the Captain and First officer knew it or not. We didn't have enough fuel to get back now.
The next days were full of hard work and quite a bit of cussing on my part. We eventually regained control of the ship. The Captain left us in light speed, seeing that there were no planets or systems nearby on the sensors.
We couldn't spare the energy to slow down without having some sort of way to replenish fuel. Turning around was out of the question as well, since we'd traveled far enough that the closest inhabited planet was beyond our reach too.
Her objective was to find the next planet and drop out and search for fuel and other items we'd need. We'd continue to explore as our orders stated. I guess she thought by keeping us busy we wouldn't fret about being lost on a one-way trip.
The VR system was totaled. The women took that very hard. I didn't understand why at first until about two weeks after the incident with the rock. I was in an access tube checking over the engines. My youngest and actually best Mech Tech, Jennifer, was helping.
It was hot and somewhat uncomfortable work. Being close to the engines at any time was not fun. Now however, with the added pressure to keep them in top shape, it was real bad.
Jennifer was in her skintight body suit, her overalls being way too hot to work in where we were. I was in my body suit also. They were like, well, remember spandex? From way back in the nineteen hundreds? That's a body suit. The material is thinner and more resilient now, but the stretchiness and body conforming ability was similar.
Jennifer was a well-endowed young lady. As she was working around me I couldn't help but notice her nipples sticking out and the shape of her beautiful shaved mound. (Yes, that tight and that stretchy) I caught her looking at my body a few times too. She was nervous as hell and not able to concentrate at all on the job, which was very unusual for her.
I heard the clang of a wrench bounding off the Drive framework, and then Jennifer started cussing. I was able to grab the wayward wrench before it careened into an place we couldn't get to. It wasn't good to have loose things floating around in this area.
"God damn it. Fucking wrench. I can't seem to hold onto anything anymore. My hands are just shit. Fuck I hate this."
"Take it easy Jennifer. It's not that bad. We're just about done and I have the wrench, no harm done. Scope a chill."
"Oh sure, you can sit there and work so calmly. Mr. Monk... fucking maintenance monk Taylor, the VR hater. You fuck."
Her anger towards me caught me by surprise.
"Whoa... what the hell's gotten into you? I've never heard you say that kind of shit about me before. What'd I do to you anyway?"
Her face took on an apologetic countenance. I could see she hadn't meant what she'd blurted out so suddenly.
"I'm sorry Jim. I know it's not you. It's just that I'm tense... you know?"
"Yeah, being in a fucked up ship in strange space does that to you."
I understood her feelings. Way back when the Minx Six incident had happened I'd seen things like this. People got weirder and weirder the longer we were seemingly out of control. It hadn't been pleasant most of the time, and once in a while some people had gone off in unexpected ways. So far, our crew had done far better.
Jennifer continued, wanting to say something, but she seemed unable to broach the subject with me.
"No... our situation with the ship isn't what's bothering me Jim. What does it to me is the God damn VR machine is fucked and I can't get..."
She paused and then bit off what she was going to say. I didn't understand, so I pushed a bit.
"You know. I can't... pleasure myself. It's really messing me up Jim. I need something... bad. I haven't gone without like this ever before. The longest was back when we refueled at Base Five and that was for only four days."
"Try masturbating. It works for me."
"What do you think I've been doing?" She snapped. "I even made up a phallus in the machine shop for helping along. That damned Mia gets all in a tizzy when I orgasm and pesters me with all the details of my heart rate, breathing and junk. She seems to think I'm having a medical emergency. It's driving me crazy. I need... I need... Hell, I'd settle for doing it the old fashioned way right now... anything to lose this feeling I have."
She looked into my eyes and it unnerved me just a bit.
"Yeah. Well, Mia is a pain in the ass. I figured out a few ways to circumvent her spying on me, but with the VR down I suppose those won't work anymore."
"Wait a nano, if Mia knows that two humans are together having sex, she overlooks certain things... right?"
I didn't like the direction the conversation was headed in now.
"Well, that's what the programming was built like way back when it came out. Whether or not that part is still imbedded or not, I don't know."
"Want to find out?"
I missed her meaning concentrating on fixing the damaged systems as I'd been doing. I automatically thought of the 'system' and how to check it out.
"Look, we're pretty much up to our ears with trying to keep this tub running as it is. I don't have the time to dig into the layers of programming in Mia to find out about that. That's a huge job for a crew of programmers, let alone this maintenance crew on this ship."
"That's one way of checking. I was thinking of another... Jim. I mean, you're a guy, I'm a woman... you have what I need and I think I have what you need... let's work a deal."
Her voice had gotten husky and soft. Alarm bells were ringing in my large head, but my small head was all for taking up Jennifer's proposal. Which do you suppose she saw first? Traitorous prick I had, showing her that I was interested. Her hand touching my shaft through the body suit was a stunning shock to me. It had been years since a woman had touched me in this way.
"You're larger than the machine VR mate I have. Does it get as hard?"
"Uh, yeah I suppose it does. But when it shoots it goes down for a bit, sometimes for a long time."
"Downplay," That was in my thoughts, knowing what she wanted now, I knew that wasn't going to happen. I kept it to myself though.
"How long does it take to get back to fully charged status once that happens, Jim?"
Her hand was rubbing my shaft and I was getting close to showing her how long that would take. I could feel one building up inside and if she didn't quit doing that real quick I'd have to go change out of my body suit. I could tell Mia was about to start her warnings any nano now too.
I was correct about that.
"Warning, Taylor, James, heart rate accelerating. Blood pressure erratic, breathing labored. Medical emergency in five...four...three..."
"Halt Mia. Sensor overload suspected. Check levels six A, C, and D, level five and level fourteen."
Jennifer stopped what she was doing and was staring at me with an incredulous look.
I was uncomfortable with the look she was giving me.
"You told Mia to check out of order."
"Yeah. She'll check in the order I gave her and I've found that it takes her exactly seventy seconds to finish that particular systems check. Next I'll have her check level one, level twelve, and then level eight. That route takes sixty seconds. No alarms will go off and no reports, at least until she's done with the checks. Hopefully by the time she finishes those checks I'll have normal heart rate. That is, as long as you keep your hands off me."
"Clever. I never thought about that. Two minutes ten seconds of time. Interesting."
"Yeah, when one can't stand the VR or its machines, one figures out ways to circumvent the systems. I've had years of practice."
"You'll be a God to the rest of the crew Jim. Especially if Mia overlooks couples having sex."
"I'm not some male whore for the pleasures of the crew."
"You're not a whore. Think of it as being a life saver or perhaps a good team player."
"YES. YOU HAVE TO, FOR THE CREW."
"ABSOLUTELY NOT. I WON'T DO IT."
Our voices had risen to shouting. The last thing I needed was a 'job' taking care of the needs of the females on board ship. I'd never get a chance to get anything done. It also brought back memories of Minx-Six too.
"What are you two arguing about down there?"
The Captains voice rocketed down to our level in crisp and precise modulation. Typical.
"Nothing of importance Ma'am. Cadet Jennifer was just trying to make a point to me that I disagree strongly with. Nothing about the maintenance or operation of the ship... exactly."
"Ma'am," Jennifer yelled out, "I was telling Jim... I mean Mech Tech Taylor that he could help the crew out tremendously with our personal issues since the VR and Bots are offline."
I whispered as loudly as I could without the Captain hearing me, trying to get her to shut up before I was in a world of hurt.
"Jennifer, knock it off. Ixnay on the exsay."
She looked at me and smiled the most devious and nastiest kind of smile I'd ever seen.
"You wish. Listen up sailor boy, there's a whole crew of women up top ready to kill for relief. You're our only source for that relief and I'll damn well tell the Captain what I need to in order to get the relief for all of us. Suck it up bucko."
Jennifer started to climb out of the well with me following. Within a few minutes we were out and the Captain was listening closely to Jennifer as we headed down the tube to the main bridge.
I was only following along behind them as my quarters were real close to the main bridge anyway. I intended to lock myself in my cabin and not talk to anyone unless dire consequences presented themselves to me.
Since I'd intentionally dropped back a little at a time, they didn't notice me slipping into my quarters until the door was closed and locked. I needed to have some alone time. My whole life was fucked, and I could see my planned retirement was so many gamma-rays in space too. How would I ever be able to use my retirement funds now?
An hour or so later 'dire consequences' showed up knocking on my door in the form of Captain James. I'd heard them all talking, but I'd blocked out their words by using my headphones to listen to music. They were turned down, so I could hear any emergency alarms if necessary.
"Mech Tech Taylor I need to see you in my quarters. NOW."
Her voice carried through the door as if she were standing in my quarters with me. Considering that soundproofing on board was nearly state of the art from World War One... yes, from way back in the early nineteen hundreds, it didn't surprise me. Secrets on board ship were few and far between. Sound carried in this tub, like a microphone to an amplified speaker.
I could hear I was in for it. There was no doubt about the tone of the Captain's voice meaning business. I walked the short distance to her quarters, seeing the rest of the females giving me looks the whole way. I saw anticipation and a certain something else in their eyes and it wasn't comforting to me.
"Ma'am. Mech Tech Taylor reporting as ordered."
I'd never been in here before and I was surprised that her quarters were not as large as mine but then I also had a work bench and tool locker in my quarters too, so I suppose since my quarters did double duty the designers figured I needed more space than the Captain would.
"Come in and allow the door to close please... Jim."
Alarm bells went off inside my head. The Captain had never called me by my first name like this. Never.
I waited. I knew what this was about and her using my first name like she did shouted to me where this conversation was headed. I know you're probably thinking, a man's dream come true, right? Well, considering that most of the damned women on this tub had jerked me around so long, I had some deep issues in wanting to 'help' them out in their 'time of need'.
They'd conveniently ignored me in favor of the VR Bots, and then teased me whenever they felt like, knowing that I refused to use the VR systems. I knew that when I masturbated, they could hear everything I did too, and I'm sure they'd laugh at me behind my back too.
The VR system and how it worked, meant that while plugged in, their minds could conceive of most things that normally one would have to actually say or do, so eventually after getting used to using a VR and it's Bot, one would actually lay almost comatose while 'online' with the Bot. The person wasn't aware of it, because in their minds, they were active participants.
"Cadet Johnson has a valid point Jim. She knows that while most of the time women don't need... 'Relief' since we have the VR systems, she also is very aware that we're in a situation that isn't normal by any means. We've been several weeks without the VR systems now and it's starting to show up in the crew."
"Call me Linda, please Jim."
"That wouldn't be right Ma'am. You're the senior officer, the Captain. I, by rule, must call you either Captain or Ma'am. The general lobby rules of conduct state..."
Irritated, she cut me off.
"The general lobby rules of conduct only apply in known space and normal operations, Jim. We're in unexplored, unknown space at the moment and for the foreseeable future. As the Captain I'm allowed latitude to suspend certain 'rules' in emergency situations, for the betterment of the crew. I feel that this situation calls for a less formal way of communication while we're being personal like right now."
"Yes Ma'am. I mean... Yes Linda."
"That's better. Now, about what Jennifer has mentioned to me. I agree with her that something needs to be done. The VR system is important to morale and since we've lost that system we need to come up with unconventional ways to keep morale up. Since you're the only male onboard at the moment it puts you in a certain... spot."
"Linda, I just don't think that..."
"You know the crew Jim. They're good people. All of them. They'll try their best to do their duty, but eventually their minds will start to dwell on things that are not good to dwell on. Having a mechanism for relief is important. Don't you think?"
"Well, yes Ma'am... I mean, Linda. I suppose..."
"Then, since you have the right equipment to help alleviate some of that particular type of stress, I, as a human being, not as your Captain mind you, would like to see you do the right thing. We need you Jim I'll be straight up with you on that. We need you and what you can do for us. We won't make it hard for you and we'll make sure that you get the proper respect and attention for your needs as well."
"I want to do the right thing Linda, the problem is in the past..."
"The past is gone Jim. We're in a new situation and in a new space. We're not where we were a month ago and we may never be back where 'normal' exists. Everything has changed, probably forever."
"Yes. I see that, but still I have some hard feelings about..."
"For the good of the crew and the ship, could you put those feelings aside for now? At least until we can figure out what the better course of action will be anyway? Jim, I need you to come through for me now. You're the best Mech Tech in the fleet, bar none. I knew all about the Minx Six Explorer and how you saved the day back then. You did what was needed and necessary to keep people alive and healthy the best you could. You performed miracles, and everyone that survived that time has attested to that fact. That's exactly why I asked for you to be assigned this ship and this mission. I need you to come through for me like you did on Minx Six. Please?"
"You knew that I served on Minx Six? You never let on that you did. Why?"
"You know as well as I do Jim that space exploration ships like this one need the very best. I searched for quite some time to put together this crew. You were my first and only choice for Senior Mech Tech, simply because of your performance on the Minx Six. Everyone wanted you on their crew. I had an edge. The Captain of the Minx Six was my uncle. So... will you do what we need you to do Jim?
"Linda, it's not all that simple. I'm not a machine, nor am I a whore that can turn it on just like that. Certain things on my side of the equation will need to work out before I could possibly do any good for the crew... like that. I'm not sure they're up to doing that at all."
I'd known that Linda was related to the Captain of the Minx Six. I'd seen a picture of her and her family in his quarters during the long six month wait for help to come. That was no surprise to me. That she'd known I'd served on the Minx Six was though.
"Oh. You mean you expect special treatment then?"
The look she gave me wasn't a good one. I saw that she misunderstood my intent.
"No... not... exactly. I mean that I'm not a VR Machine. I can't just walk in, lie down and turn on. I will need... assistance. Those that will be with me that way will have to work on the 'meeting' just like I will. It requires reciprocation. That's what I mean. Any special treatment would be the female crew member wanting to please me like I will be pleasing them."
"We're aware of that. We're not totally without some humanity Jim. We're also not totally ignorant about sex either."
"Maybe VR sex, but real sex? The VR system, to my knowledge, reads the desires for each person through their minds and acts instantly. I can't do that. I don't think you fully understand how things will be... like that. It's different in real sex versus VR sex. Almost totally different. I can't read minds or sense desires directly like VR. There's bound to be some disappointed women onboard sooner or later. I won't be able to help it."
"We'll work around that. I know that all the crew currently on board now uses male VR Machines. That's a help. At least I think it will help. I've ordered the crew to study up on old fashioned sexual contact and how things were done before VR. That will help too. We're not going to hang you out to dry Jim. We're going to be as human about this as we can be. You may not get love per-se, but you will get cooperation, full and complete."
"You're having them study on sex? How in the world is that being done?"
The only stuff on board that I knew about was some contraband things I'd brought onboard my first day with the ship. It was illegal to have. My suspicions were building.
"We have, on file and accessible, old movies, magazines, and books. They're in the library. The files haven't been touched by any of the crew... except you... ever. They're watching the movies and reading up on real sex from that material."
I saw instantly that the Captain knew. She had known all this time. I was fucked in more ways than one.
"Oh shit. You knew about my stash?"
"Since you're the only person onboard that never used VR Machines, I wondered why. I had to know for the ships best interests. I checked you out thoroughly Jim, and I left your files alone. They're in the library but totally accessible to all of the crew now. You won't mind will you? In the spirit of things, I hope that you'll allow us to utilize the... training gear you brought onboard."
I was embarrassed. My stash was known about now. The fact the Captain hadn't called me on it a long time ago when I'd first brought it on board, told me that she was a far better person than I'd probably given her credit for. Smuggling that stuff onboard like I did could have cost me everything I'd worked for all these years. I'd taken the chance due to my reluctance to use the VR system.
"Well, I guess since you never called me on my stash I really can't complain now can I? I'm not sure how the crew will handle my tastes, but I guess... I'll do what needs to be done. Just remember live real sex with live humans isn't like that damned VR Machine and you need to impress on the crew that fact. Seriously Linda, it's different. I'll do my best, but there are limits to what I'll be able and capable of doing for them."