The Price of Infamy Pt. 02byEklectikChik©
It has been a long wait - but hopefully after this installment there will be one more to come until more work is done! Thank you for the lovely e-mails!!! EklectikChik-
The crew was assembling by the shuttles. Men were checking the equipment they were to take for the rescue action and it seemed there wasn't enough space in the holds or backpacks to take it all. Oxygen canisters and breathing masks were probably the single most important items to be taken and they had to be distributed evenly between all teams. But apart from them they also had to take welders, computers, scanners, and lots of other equipment that could be necessary in freeing the inhabitants of the base from the sudden, lethal imprisonment. Technicians were arguing with pilots about how much can be loaded on every shuttle and as men were readying themselves to depart, checking their harnesses and space suits, a growing anxiety could be felt in the air. The base was their home and should they fail in restoring it to its full operational capacity it could take them years to find or erect a new one.
Walking with Kyla in tow, Fatima shouted orders for his men to hurry up and stop bickering about pointless things. The last few days were hard enough on everyone and they didn't need any more aggravation. He pulled the girl into a changing room and she wrinkled her nose in disgust when she saw pieces of clothing strewn about the floor and benches. "What now?" she said. For a moment he looked her over and then he opened a locker and threw a space suit and a helmet at her.
"Put this on, Banana. With your mouth closed, please?" he raised a finger when she started protesting and started stripping his clothes.
"What do you think you're doing?" She looked at him, bewildered as he stripped his jacket and shirt and was now fighting with a leg of his trousers that got stuck on his shoe.
"Those suits are very tight," Fatima answered, biting his lip in thought as he removed his socks and started pulling the legs of his suit up his calves. "Have anything unnecessary underneath and it gets uncomfortable soon. What are you waiting for?!" He exclaimed, seeing that Kyla was just standing there and looking at him. "Strip and put that on. I don't have all day."
"If you think I'm going to strip with you around then you're sorely mistaken, mister."
"Hey, I didn't see you turn around shyly when I was undressing," Fatima said with a challenging grin. "Or are you ashamed?"
"Hmpf!" Kyla snorted and put her suit and helmed down. As Fatima was zipping his suit up and checking the gloves, she turned around and removed the skimpy top she had been issued earlier, dropping it to the ground. Fatima couldn't help stopping to stare at her naked back, following the gentle lines of her body with his eyes.
He had to hold himself in check hard not to whistle when she bent over to remove the shorts. Leaving just her panties on, Kyla reached for the suit and put it on quickly, turning back to face him as she zipped it up. "Satisfied?" she demanded.
"Almost," he replied and approached her to see if she put the suit on properly. Everything was in perfect order. "Curious," he mumbled and had to admit she looked great in the skin tight space suit that clung to all her curves, accentuating them. "Alright, take the helmet and let's go," he ordered and left the dressing room.
Outside they tumbled into something that at first glance could have been taken for a stocky cyborg but upon closer inspection turned out to be a special harness prepared for Da'nab, one of the aliens aboard the Kraken. Da'nab was essentially a head-sized glop of fluorescent green that floated inside a container filled with liquid and resembling a fish-tank. Around it a robotic body was constructed, providing the alien with locomotory functions as well as allowing him to manipulate objects. Initially he had been employed as a navigator but when it turned out he could navigate only in aquatic environments he was quickly demoted to a technician in which he, surprisingly, excelled even though he had no limbs of his own.
"Excusing me, captain," Da'nab's digital translator spoke in a robotic voice and one of his robotic arms moved to indicate the throng of people slowly stepping inside the shuttles. "What is this hussy all about?" In their environment the delekians communicated by issuing bubbles of gas from their bodies. Bubble arrangements and the specific sound that accompanied them formed a fairly simple language but automated translators sometimes had trouble understanding it.
"Our base is in trouble Da'nab and we have to go there and help our people."
"Can I help?" the alien asked turning his body left and right in the translucent tank.
"Isn't that why you're here?" Fatima asked.
"Many apologisings but no. The technician chef asked me to tell you that the cause of power grid malnutrition could be the hzzzzt crackle buzz. My superlative tells me you should take a look at that."
"Da'nab, I have no idea what hzzzzt crackle buzz is. Do you know what it is, where it is and how to fix it in case it's broken?"
"Affirmatory!" the bulky metallic body parodied a salute and rocking comically moved towards the nearest shuttle.
"Good, you're going then. Come on, Banana, stop staring," Fatima shook the bewildered girl. "We're going, and you better not get lost."
Kyla flushed and followed Fatima as he strode off. She hadn't meant to stare, but this species was actually new to her and she hadn't been expecting it to be attached to a cyborg body. Shaking her head, she grinned slightly. The universe was constantly surprising her and she had come across her own strange and interesting races in the past.
Lines of people made their way to the shuttles. The bus like ships gleamed...clean and well taken care of. Kyla made a note of the star ships around and was surprised when the captain passed them all with sure strides.
"Come on, Banana! Pick up the pace or I'm liable to leave you behind and we don't want that." He told her, making her roll her eyes and sigh loudly.
"Why not, Fatima. I'd much rather stay here in the presence of my brother." She told him, not bothering to hide her irritation with him.
He chuckled, "Well then you'll be happy to know that Danny will be joining us...just with a different group. So don't get those cute little panties in a twist, Kyla banana, you'll see him."
Grumbling, Kyla resisted the urge to give him a swift kick in the ass. He had no right to be looking at her panties! She hated how he seem to have no care or worries about physical closeness and Kyla was about to find out just how much he didn't mind. He had to be testing her...irritating her on purpose. That had to be the only reason he kept pushing her.
Reaching a small flight pod at the far end of the Kraken's flight deck made Kyla stop short as Fatima opened the translucent hard top with a soft hiss. "What are you doing?" She asked him as he fit his tall long body inside and beckoned her to follow. "Are you crazy?! This is a one man pod! I'd have to sit on top of you!"
Fatima grinned, swiftly catching one of her dangling wrists and tugging her over the side. She hit the edge with a soft 'oof' sound and cursed him. "Come on, I don't bite...hard anyway." He told her smoothly. She wiggled and tried to push his hands away, but he was insistent as he grasped her sides and lifted her with ease.
"You're such an oaf!" She complained, feeling out of place and extremely too close to his warm body, Kyla squirmed between his spread thighs.
"Quit wiggling around." He muttered, his nose almost nuzzling the side of her neck. She jerked away with a gasp and elbowed him when he chuckled, making him groan.
"I can't believe you have us crammed in this little sardine box." She muttered and boldly slapped his hands away when he tried to reach around to grasp the controls. "Keep'em to yourself Captain. If I'm stuck in here with you, I'll be flying."
With expert hands and a quick eye, Kyla had the small flight pod secured and buzzing with energy in seconds. Fatima never said a word, but she was pretty sure he was silently studying her as he buckled up his harness and then wrapped his arms tightly around her middle. "Hold on, been a while since I've had the pleasure of actually flying one of these death traps." She said with a half excited laugh, the adrenaline and excitement that always came with the thought of flying beginning to lift her mood.
As the back doors of the Kraken opened, Kyla took off, letting out a little whoop of joy as the launched into space.
It was becoming crystal clear that there was more to Kyla than it had seemed. From the way she had fought on the bridge and the way she was piloting the small craft it was apparent that she was no noble's servant. Perhaps a bodyguard for hire? Initially her piloting was a little awkward but as soon as she got acquainted with the layout of controls and gauges she became more comfortable and daring. Fatima had to admit that she was a great pilot, there was no doubt about that, although her bouts of joyful recklessness were a worrisome thing.
Fatima also had another thing to worry about. Even through two layers of protective suits he could feel the warmth of Kyla's body on his where they connected. The presence of her sweet bottom so close to his groin was at the same time tempting and disquieting because he didn't have the time to think about the bedchamber pleasures with the lives of so many men, women and aliens at stake. His hands, wrapped around her abdomen, felt each move of her muscles as she was piloting and with her attitude he was aware this was as close to being intimate with her as he was to come for the time being. Still, getting to know her this way was good too, it was a start at least.
"You know, Banana, you're a useful girl to have around," he started, his breath tickling the skin of her neck, making her squirm to get away in the tight confinements.
"Uh-huh," she replied. "So what's next? You'll have Sweetwater assign me as your personal maid? She's already ahead of you, Fatima."
"It's Captain Fatima, Banana, don't forget that. But no, I was thinking along the lines of your being permanently assigned to my person. I have to have my eye on you or you'll bring trouble to me or to yourself. You're too dangerous to be left to yourself and I think you have several more talents you still haven't revealed. I'll make you my secretary... oh no, wait, that would make Old Maison cross. Assistant then."
"You can't be serious! If you think it's gonna make things easier for you and turn me into one of those wenches then you're mistaken."
"A bodyguard then? You can fight, I think I can even convince Old Maison to include you in our training program."
"So he can mop the floor with me too? I think not, Captain."
"Oh, you saw that?" he asked weakly, feeling his face burn. He was no opponent for one of his tutor's experience.
"Oh yes, seeing him kick your ass made my day."
"A driver then. As a captain I cannot pilot my ships myself. You are quite skilled in this. Well, what do you say?"
"No way, I didn't ask to be brought on your ship. I'm a captive, don't forget that!" Kyla growled angrily and corrected their course. The base had been slowly growing in front of their small craft and all around them the shuttles were also slowly making their way to the head quarters. Manoeuvring in the asteroid field was tricky even with the help of the base's docking computer. Relying on piloting skills alone was close to suicide as the smaller craft lacked the proper computing power to scan and calculate the proper course.
"I'll make you my spy then. With this little gizmo you can slip anywhere completely unseen," Fatima continued brushing hair away from Kyla's neck with one hand, revealing the small camouflage disc.
"Hey, don't touch that, it's delicate equipment!" she warned and tried moving away but the cockpit was too small for that.
"I can handle delicate equipment, I assure you," he said and his other hand started inching slowly down her belly. He chuckled when she squirmed even more, trying to keep concentrated on piloting and escaping his grasp. "I suggest you stick to piloting, Banana, or we'll crash."
"And I suggest you stop pawing me or I swear I'll slam full speed into one of those rocks," Kyla snarled at him.
"How does it work I wonder," he muttered, completely unperturbed by her threat and touched the small disc on her neck with a finger. It clicked once and her hair turned slowly from blond to red. "Woo, awesome!" he chuckled like a little boy who found a new toy to play with. "I like redheads, I say we keep it."
"And I say stop it, it's not a toy!" Kyla tried bending forward and away from him but he stopped her by holding her close to his body. The pod veered unsteadily from its course with a sudden jerk but she quickly corrected it. "See what you did? Stop it! Turn it back the way it was."
Fatima sighed and said, "Very well, now which way was it?"
"Right, you klutz!"
"Hey, show some respect for your captain," he replied and with a grin turned the dial to the left. At the same time Kyla changed her position as she moved the control stick to the right, taking them off course to avoid crashing into an asteroid. Lacking proper grip in the suit's gloves, Fatima's finger slipped and made the dial turn several clicks.
A few seconds later a loud laughter erupted in the cockpit. "What did you do, you bastard!?" Kyla cried when she saw a strand of her hair fall into her field of vision. It was light green. After a moment when her nose changed colour too she realised her skin turned into a shade of green as well. "Turn it back, turn it back right now!"
"I can't, it's stuck. I'm sorry," Fatima replied with a chuckle, finding her new colours attractive.
"Hold the stick," Kyla said and he obeyed, reaching around her and taking control of the craft. She reached behind her head, almost poking his only eye in the process and tried to turn the camouflage disc but it wouldn't move. "I'm going to kill you," she whispered menacingly.
"Hey, look on the bright side of it. At least now you will have an opening line to chat with Da'nab," he chuckled and kissed her neck.
By the time they made their landing at the base, Kyla wanted to murder Fatima. Her new complexion and hair had him chuckling the rest of the way and grated on her nerves to no end. The jerk! The tingling burn of his kiss against her neck was making her crazy. She wanted to shower and wash away any traces of his touch. Why couldn't he just leave her alone?! Instead his hands seemed to be constantly touching and brushing up against her - making her skin warm even through the layers of the space suit. Damn him!
As the hiss of the cockpit glass opened, Kyla scrambled out before Fatima had a chance to utter a word. She pushed up, almost bumping his face with her tight bottom and then mercilessly stepped on his thigh, perilously close to mashing his manhood as she hopped out.
"Kyla!" Danny's voice filtered through her helmet. He grinned at her and jogged up to them as Fatima hid a groan of pain and climbed out to stand beside her.
"Hey!" She chimed, her mood instantly lifting.
Danny faltered as he saw the pale greenness of her face. "What happened? Malfunction?"
"No really...the Captain here was playing with my device and it locked on me. You'll have to fiddle with it later for me." She informed him, only to be interrupted by Fatima again.
"I believe I can take care of it Banana. Your brother has his own duties to take care of. Isn't that right, Danny?" He said, his voice firm and authoritative.
Danny slanted him a look, his usual cheerful face suddenly looking rather strained. "Sir, I would be happy to do both. Kyla is my sister, Sir."
"Yes. I'm well aware of that, but right now she's also my personal assistant for the time being. Wether she likes it or not, she is now stuck with me."
Kyla rolled her eyes and began to speak when Danny cut in again. His shoulders squared and chest puffed out. In their time apart, Kyla suddenly notice that her brother had grown even taller. Although not as broad or bulky as the captain, he still possessed strength and skills she knew could be deadly. "Sir, I truly wish you would reconsider. She's my sister!"
"For god's sake, boy! I'm well aware of who she is and it's of no consequence. Kyla is a big girl, I'm sure she can fend for herself. Now enough of this nonsense. Get back to work, before you give me a reason to send you back to the Kraken."
Danny scowled and after a moment of tense silence, he turned and left. Kyla wondered what on earth that was all about. Never had her brother acted that way on her behalf. Frowning, she turned to Fatima who looked unperturbed about the situation. "So, Captain oh Captain...what shall be your bidding?" She muttered sarcastically.
"That, my dear, is a loaded question." He said, flashing her a sexy grin.
"Is that all you think about? Your base could be in danger!" She exclaimed, her green face turning an interesting shade as she flushed with anger.
"Mmm...so right. Well, no time for play then...lets get to work!"
Fatima leaned into the pod's cockpit and opened a strongbox, producing two laser pistols and several power magazines. "Here," he said, handing one to Kyla. "We have no idea whom we'll meet inside, prowling and stealing so if anyone fails to identify themselves with the Fatima jasper password is to be shot. Is that clear? Shoot first, then ask questions. There are aliens on the base that hunt humans for sport and with the trouble inside I bet several of them took the opportunity." Kyla nodded and put her gun into her belt holster.
Fatima turned and scanned the huge landing pad. His men had already filtered from the shuttles and were now dividing the necessary equipment among themselves forming rescue teams. And beyond them was the space with its stars and endless void. He shuddered at the thought of getting lost out there somewhere. "Alright, men, let's get to work!" he said. "Form four teams and take a different path each. Be wary of marauders and shoot anyone who is taking advantage of the whole situation. Da'nab?"
"Yes, captain?" the alien's voice sounded and a mechanical arm waved over the throng of men.
"You go with team one and will attempt to restore power."
"Ronald!" Da'nab saluted comically and uttered a string of farts his translator could not understand when a man standing beside him whacked his robotic harness with a welder.
"It's Roger, dumbass!"
"Encyclopaedic entry: Dumas – French novelist and dramatist from planet Earth. This one is Da'nab, not Dumas."
Fatima grinned hearing the exchange. Mistakes that Da'nab's translator was constantly making were an endless source of jokes aboard the Kraken. Buying him a series of lexicons and grammar books hadn't helped to solve the problem and the green alien protested vehemently when offered a software upgrade.
"I want three men to join me. We will take four oxygen tanks to the survivors," he said and immediately three men filtered out from the crowd, carefully lugging huge, cylindrical air containers. Fatima took one and positioned it carefully to his right. In the zero-gravity conditions they weighed next to nothing but manoeuvring them was a chore.
"Alright, you have your orders. Go to it! And keep open channel, I want to be informed on all progress or hindrances. Move out!" Fatima ordered and started moving towards the side entrance to the landing pad. Electromagnets in the boots of their suits made walking on metallic surface possible.
The dead base, however, wasn't going to allow them entrance so easily as with the power outage all doors had been sealed shut. No amount of tampering with the locking mechanism could help and after a moment Fatima was ready to give up. There was a valve to open the door manually but it was inside, on the other side. They could do nothing from the outside apart from blowing the door open or cutting it with a welder but that would have taken far too long.