The ship rocked in space. I had no idea what was happening but the evacuation alarm had been triggered. I was running for the life pods for all I was worth. Again that rocking sensation this time so hard it threw me to the floor. Then the deck started to vibrate and shake as if we were in a planet quake. People ran and screamed around me. Then the sound of an explosion pealed through the hull.
It took everything I had not to panic. I was an officer in the navy. It was my duty to be strong for the enlisted men. My assigned life pod was only a few hundred feet away. I had to get there to make sure everyone was on board, and it was not launched early.
I could see the life pod door a few feet in front of me. I tried to keep my head as I climbed to my feet and moved towards the door. Once there I climbed inside and began to strap myself into the pilot's chair. The rules of naval service said the first one in the pod had to start the checks.
As I was running through the checks a young blonde woman sat in the copilot’s seat. “Lieutenant, I have green across the board,” she said in a calm voice.
“We are a go for launch, as soon as we fill up.” I said as the launch doors slid open in front of us. These pods were designed to support twenty people for thirty days. They had very limited drive capabilities. They could make light speed but out here in deep space light speed was not very fast. Distances between stars would take years at that speed.
I looked up into the rear view as people started to move towards the entrance to the pod. Then suddenly there was a roar as the hallway opened to space. The auto doors slammed shut and the pod self initiated launch. I could hear the woman next to me scream as the realization of what had happened sank into her soul. Then mind numbing acceleration accompanied by a rocking sensation as the lifeboat struck something on the way out. The ship had used its booster engines to launch us out of the birth. That would only happen if life had been detected on the pod and the attaching hallway had been compromised.
The small pod rotated lazily as we were propelled away from our ship. I watched in horror as the ENS Scotland came into view. She was burning in space. The drive section was nothing but debris. The launch deck was in ruins. The worst thing I could see was we were the only life pod streaking away from the ship. I held hope that the ship would remain intact enough to save some of the crew. Then the explosions started along the seven mile length of the great carrier.
The Scotland was ripped into pieces. There would be no other life pods. I turned to see the young woman beside me, she was a buck spaceman. She was also crying openly and wailing. “Tighten up, recruit!” I ordered quickly.
She pulled her hands away from her face and sat at attention, “Yes, Sir”
“We have to run through the post launch checks and gauge our situation. There will be time for grief while we wait for the rescue ships.”
“Yes, Sir,” she said as she started to go through the copilot’s checks.
Slowly the attitude jets brought our rotation under control and the ruin of the Scotland was left behind us and out of view. We were drifting at ejection speed. That would put ten kilometers between us and the wreckage every second. We would travel thirty-six thousand kilometers every hour.
I started through my post launch checks. The engines reported some odd numbers but they were nothing to worry about now. Energy reserves were perfect and holding. Pressurization was stable. Atmospheric scrubbers reported at full function. Each system I checked was reporting functionality until I got into communications.
I was staring at my monitors in disbelief. The communications array had not responded to my checks. I used the outside cameras to check for damage. What I saw made my spine go numb. The array had been torn off by whatever we had hit. We had no way of even telling people we had survived. I did the only thing I could think of. I could not let her know we would die out here after a long drift through space. She had to keep hope as long as possible. I activated the solar collectors and as they deployed they hid the damage from the cameras.
I waited for her to finish the copilot’s checks, she had all the internal supplies and functions. She did report a few of the narcotic level drugs had been pilfered. This was actually pretty typical. No matter how secure you made the life pods, someone found a way to get in and steal a few items for recreation. The secondary catch could only be accessed after launch and it was intact.
I turned to her when we were done. We were going to have to get comfortable around each other. “My name is Jonathan Kraken, My friends call me John. May I have your name?” I asked as we finished our checks.
“Regina Wilder, Sir. My friends call me Reggie.”
“Well, Reggie, we are going to be alone together for at least a month while we wait for pickup. So I think we can be friends. We need to maintain military protocol for survival but, I think we can dispense with the sir and recruit stuff for now.”
“Thank you. This was my first trip out. I only joined to save money for college and now I am going to die out here.” Her grief rolled to the top and she again began to cry.
I unbuckled myself and moved over to her chair. I could not remember any protocols from the officer’s handbook on how to handle crying recruits. I did the only thing I could think of and put my arms around her. She suddenly clung to me as if I was her lifeline. “Reggie, we will be picked up soon. You made it and you are alive.”
She cried against my chest for what seemed like hours. When her sobs and tears started to taper off, I looked down into her eyes. “Now we need to take stock of our situation and get changed out of our uniforms into survival suits. I will turn my back when you change.”
“I don’t think that will be needed, we are going to be together here for a while and modesty is going to have to go out the window. We have one room, I am sure we are going to see each other at our worst in the next month.”
“As a gentleman, I would not feel right seeing you naked unless the situation called for it. I am going to insist on giving you as much privacy as I can. Now let’s get changed into our survival suits so the pod can monitor our life signs and keep track of them.”
I did turn my back but unfortunately that put the rear monitor mirror right in my line of sight. At the risk of losing my gentleman standing, she had one lovely rear. I couldn’t help but watch as her body came into view. She removed her uniform and folded each piece as she stowed it in one of the lockers. Her blonde hair ran down her back like a silken ribbon. When she removed her bra, her breasts stayed firm and high on her chest. They were just pleasantly large. I nearly gasped when her nipples stiffened from the cool air in the room.
When she dropped her pants, to reveal one of the laciest pair of thong underwear I had ever seen, I nearly moaned out loud. Her legs were perfectly muscled. They were the legs of a person that loved to dance. Then she turned as she adjusted her panties, I was treated to the sight of a perfectly groomed patch of blond hair. I could only think of it as a patch of heaven. I had to turn away from the mirror and close my eyes. If I didn’t, I was going to make a noise and give my voyeurism away.
I waited patiently until she told me she was dressed. When I turned and opened my eyes she was dressed in the black tight fitting survival suit. Her bright blue eyes were almost smiling. She moved past me into the copilot’s seat and sat so I could change.
I stripped down completely and folded my uniform to place it in storage. I turned to gather my survival suit out of the locker and looked into the mirror. She had adjusted the mirror so she could see me. I could see her blushing cheeks as she grew embarrassed at getting caught. I simply smiled and went back to putting my suit on.
When I finished changing she moved over to me and we started going through the inventory. We had the energy to run the matter reorganizer for three hundred days. Food would be no problem. The life pod was designed to support twenty people for thirty days. We had enough supplies and equipment to last two people three hundred days. The only thing we had to do was occupy ourselves.
I could not bring myself to crush the hope she felt. I could not tell her our beacon was destroyed and there was no way for the rescue ships to find us. The only thing we had was our on board short range radio. It was meant to communicate from pod to pod. It weighed heavy on my mind. The fact that in a little less than a year we would be memories was too dreadful for her to hear. Our families would hear of our deaths long before we saw them.
I sat in the pilot’s chair for hours just scanning to see if any other short range radios were calling out. All I received was dead air. Not a peep was out there for us to hear. After a simple meal and some small talk we retired to sleep. I pulled down two bunks while she gathered blankets and pillows out of the lockers. We made our bunks ready for sleep. I felt a little self conscious as I stripped down to climb into my bunk. I did not even bother with underwear. I started to move to the sonic washer to clean up before bed. When I turned I came face to face with a naked blonde goddess. “Sorry,” I mumbled as I turned to look away.
“John, you might as well get used to it. We are going to be here for a while and we cannot spend all that time being shy and refusing to look at each other.”
“I am trained to be an officer. It is un-gentleman-like for me to see you. I will wait until you are finished, to use the sonic.”
“Thank you,” she said softly as she moved towards the small booth. Once she had the door closed I relaxed and started to move about the cabin again. We had a lot of extra blankets and supplies. I took the time to string some blankets up around the two bunks so we could have some private areas. This was more for my peace of mind than hers. If I had to see that body day in and day out for the rest of my life I was going to go crazy.
She looked at me quizzically when she stepped out of the booth. “You are trying to be a true gentleman. Thank you.” She said softly as I headed for the bunk. I stepped into the sonic and adjusted the controls for standard clean.
Finally I unpacked a mouth attachment and used it to clean my teeth and breath. As I was putting my attachment in my designated spot in the rack I noticed the female’s attachment in her rack. The very thought of where that had most recently been caused very un-gentlemanly vision in my head. I was going to have a problem if this kept up. I may have to take some of the drugs designed to decrease libido.
I lay quietly in my bunk trying to sleep. Too many things were running through my mind. I was trying to figure out how to send a signal. One good thing had come from my thinking things through. Since I had deployed the solar collectors we would have more energy and be able to live longer. If that one thought could actually be considered a good thing.
As I lay there I heard Reggie sigh and sob. She was upset. I could understand that. Everyone she had served with was dead. I lay there listening to her cry and the man inside me demanded I give her some comfort. I quietly got up from my bunk and crossed the cabin to her curtain. I paused, still listening. Would she think I was trying to hurt her? Would I cause her fear if I entered? Not once in my thinking did the fact that I was naked come to my mind.
Finally I had listened to her pain enough and I had to try and sooth it. I pushed the curtain aside and moved to her bunk. When she felt me lift the blanket, she stifled her sobs and tensed. “I am not here to hurt you,” I whispered into the darkness. “I only offer my arms as comfort.”
I saw her turn in the darkness. She looked up at me then moved back further onto the bunk. I climbed under the blanket and took her into my arms. She sobbed quietly against my chest late into the night. Finally I felt her breathing even out and her sobs softly fade as she drifted into sleep. I would not find sleep so easily. I had the same grief she did and an armful of the most attractive woman I had been in bed with, ever.
I woke in the morning with her still in my arms. She was smiling up at me with an honest smile of gratitude. “Thank you,” she said softly as she snuggled down and placed her head on my chest.
“We really do need to get up and run our morning checks. Then we need to do our exercises and eat breakfast.”
“I know. I just feel so safe here. Just give me a few more minutes.”
I lay there with her in my arms trying very hard not to think of her nearly naked body pressed to mine. The heat from her body was so inviting. Her leg intertwined in mine felt like the touch of silk. Her breath blowing across my chest felt like a liquid wind. I could imagine the heat of her silky pussy wrapped around me as I slid in and out. I had to pinch myself to change my train of thought. My thoughts were starting to become evident in my reaction. I was shocked at myself. We were in a life and death situation and I was having thoughts about an enlisted rank person.
I climbed out of the bunk and moved over to start putting my survival suit back on. I was mentally berating myself for my thoughts. I had to gain control over these lustful feelings. She did not need me to take advantage of her vulnerability.
The day passed without any incident. We were adrift in deep space -- what could happen? I checked the star charts against our position. Our maximum speed was light speed. The nearest star system was four years away. There was no sense in even firing up the engines. We would be long dead and out of energy before we got to the system. All it would do is, shorten our lifespan.
Reggie came and sat in the copilot’s seat. She looked over at me; I guess I don’t have a poker face. “Tell me the truth, John. How bad are we?”
I looked at her; the truth was something she deserved. “Our communications array was smashed during our launch. We do not have the energy to get to the nearest star system. We have enough energy to live for another two hundred and ninety-nine days.”
“You showed me not to give up hope. Now it is my turn to show you the same thing. They will come and they will search for survivors. We will be rescued and we will go home again.”
I looked into those eyes. Those deep eyes that were made to capture a man’s soul and enslave him. “You're right, let’s make our log entries and then we can retire for the night.”
“You get to use the sonic first tonight,” she said with a little bit of mirth in her voice.
I stepped out of the sonic to see that the curtains I had rigged were gone. I started to say something but she stopped me. “If we are going to sleep in the same bed the curtains are really kind of useless.” Then she squeezed past me and into the sonic.
I moved over and lay down on the bunk. I had not intended to sleep next to her again tonight. I was not sure my heart and body could take it. I did have to admit that her body felt good, spooned against mine. Again I cut my thoughts off. This was leading me into a line of thought that would end up embarrassing both of us. I started thinking about anything ugly so I could halt the reaction happening in my groin.
I heard her step out of the sonic and then the lights in the cabin turned low. I felt and heard her as she climbed into the bunk beside me. She smelled so fresh and clean. Her scent was like dew kissed flowers in the spring. I could only imagine what the scent of her arousal would smell like. Again I slammed a lid on my thoughts. The next few months were going to torture me.
When her body spooned up to mine I could feel my cock rub along the crack of that heavenly ass. That caused me to tense up. She had no panties on. There was no barrier between her and I. I could not stop my thoughts this time. I could feel the stirring.
I felt her push back against me as she spoke softly. “Does the comfort you offer stop with sleep?”
“I can’t. I have to remain an officer. If I take advantage of you, I end my own honor.”
She turned over and looked into my eyes. This made my situation worse. Now my rapidly hardening cock was lodged between her legs. I could feel her pussy caressing the top of my staff. “John, we are going to be here a while. I am going to want the comfort of a man. When we are rescued no one will ever know anything happened between us. Please take me in your arms and make love to me.”
“Please don’t ask me that. I do not know how my willpower will fare if you are willing.”
“John, please make love to me as long and as often as you can.”
My will crumbled into pieces on the floor. I pulled her face to mine and took her lips into my possession. Her mouth opened to accept me. I pushed my tongue into her mouth and tasted the sweet breath of an angel. I could feel her moisture building where my cock was pressed under her sweet pussy. She wanted this as badly as I did. I reached my hand to her breast and began to caress and massage it. I could feel her moan in my throat as she enjoyed the pleasure of my touch.
Then I felt her dainty hand wrap around the base of my cock. She lifted her leg and began to rub me along her clit and lips. The sensation had my precum leaking like a river. She was so wet and ready I could have pushed into her right then and she would have accepted me with ease.
She began to push me over onto my back and I went willingly. I watched in awe as the body of this young goddess moved over the top of me. I could feel her hands positioning me for entrance. We were both so wet with our need that our joining was going to be smooth. The amazing sensation of her tight pussy stretching to accommodate my cock filled my senses.
She rose and fell with very short strokes only allowing the head of my prick to enter her. The sensation was driving me crazy. In a sudden movement she dropped onto me. I was driven halfway into her as she suddenly froze and bit her bottom lip. The incredible heat from her loins had me wanting to drive into her with abandon. I looked down to where we were joined as she slowly started to rise. The dark stains on my cock suddenly screamed volumes to me. “You were a virgin?”
She nodded as she dropped her weight onto me again embedding me fully inside her. The whimper of pain tore at my soul. I had caused this girl pain, the one thing I never wanted to do.
“You should have told me.”
“You would have stopped me. John, I don’t want to float through space for an unknown time, maybe even to my death, and die without knowing the pleasures of a man.”
I felt her rise and fall again, just a little. This caused her to make a light growling sound in her throat that almost sounded like a purr. It also caused her to try it again. Soon she was thrusting up and down on my cock as if it was the only thing she ever wanted. I felt her start to quiver lightly and could tell she was headed towards an orgasm. I wet one of my fingers and slid it down to caress her clit. That one touch set her off and she suddenly screamed out her climax. She writhed her pleasure out and leaned back arching her breasts high in the air. I reached up as she started to relax out of her orgasm and pinched one of her nipples. She let out a moan like a wounded animal and immediately rocketed back into her orgasm.
When she came down this time she collapsed onto my chest and sobbed. “That was incredible.”
I smiled up at her and began to rock my hips. I put my hands behind her head and pulled her in for a kiss. I was going to do as she asked and make love to this woman. This little goddess would become my lover for as long as we had. Within a few thrusts I could feel her panting into my mouth. Her hands entwined in my hair and she started to hold me to her as tight as I held her. Again I felt her body begin to quiver and she started to moan into my lungs. I felt her pussy clamp down onto my cock as we both rocketed into our orgasms. In my twenty-eight years of life I had never had such an intense orgasm. It felt to me like I had released a gallon of cum inside her hot body. As our orgasms subsided we continued to kiss and hold each other.
We kissed and made love several times that night and many times over the next few days. A week after the accident I was sitting naked in the pilot’s chair checking our energy monitor. The solar collectors were actually helping us out with energy. Though we were four light years from the closest star there was a large cluster behind us. The combined light was regenerating our energy as fast as we used it.
If the pod had been full this would only extend us a few days. But the low drain on the power cells from two people was less than the collectors collected. Was this good news or bad? At our drift speed we were centuries away from the system ahead. But maybe just maybe there was a chance. If we could fire the engines just long enough to get us to light speed and then shut them off we could coast for months before needing to fire them again. I started running the calculations.
“Baby, I think there is a way for us to maximize our chance for survival.”
“How?”, she asked as she looked up from making us dinner.
“The solar collectors are collecting energy. If we use the energy in short bursts to drive the engines, we can make it to that system in seven years and still have the energy to survive that long.”
“I will start the engine checks after we eat.”
Reggie was going through the engine checks and doing a visual inspection with the cameras. We both saw the damage to the drives and knew what it meant. “If we fire them up they could explode.”
“Yes, Baby, they could. They could also throw us so far off course we could never recover.”
“What do we do?”
“We wait until we have been drifting for sixty days then we decide again.”
Days passed. Amazingly boredom did not set in. Reggie had a way of making up things to do. She was adventurous as hell when it came to sex. We even shut the gravity off and made love in zero-g. By the time thirty days had passed we had made love on every surface in the cabin.
I woke up on the morning of the thirty first day to find Reggie crying softly to herself in the co-pilot’s chair. “What’s wrong, Baby?”
She held the health scan report out to me and I looked it over. The consequences of our actions slammed home. She was pregnant.
“My implant failed. When I realized I had not cycled this month I ran a check. I am so sorry, John.”
I don’t know how she expected me to react. I could see the fear in her eyes. I reached out and scooped her into my arms and started kissing her. She had just given me the ultimate reason to run the risk of the engines. I would take any risk to save our child. I kissed her and she started to giggle.
“You’re not mad.”
“No, My Love, I am definitely not mad. But now I have a serious question to ask you.”
“What?” She asked as the fear crept back into her eyes.
“I wanted to do this right,” I said as I started rummaging through the tools and supplies. I found a coupling ring that was the right size and it was the best I could do. I turned to her and dropped onto one knee. “Regina Wilder, would you consent to take my hand and hold it for the rest of our lives?” I extended my hand, with the coupling ring in it, out to her.
She looked at me in shock. “You know that your career will be ruined when we are rescued.”
“I don’t care. I will spend the rest of my life following you like a lost puppy.”
She dropped down onto her knees and extended her hand out. “I love you, John. I would be happy to give the rest of my life to you.”
I slid the ring onto her finger and then we fell into an embrace. Our kisses rapidly heated and my excitement rose. Then she pushed me backwards and started kissing her way down my chest. When her hot mouth reached my raging cock I nearly jumped. The touch of her lips felt like heaven. I was not going to last long as her tongue caressed the underside of my head. I felt her push her head downward, impaling her mouth on my stiff shaft. Then she started to hum deep in her throat. That pushed me rapidly to my peak. My release flooded into her mouth as she swallowed. The rhythmic pulses of her throat kept me going much longer than ever before. I felt weak when she finally let me out of the delightful prison of her mouth.
I lay there and recovered as she snuggled against my chest. When my strength returned I stood and scooped her up into my arms. I moved us to the bunk and lay her across it. I did not wait; I was way too ready for that to be a possibility. I just dove, face first, into heaven. I began to kiss her pussy lips and lick her clit like an animal. My tongue explored every part of her front and back. She was quivering and shaking constantly within minutes. Then she locked her hands in my hair and started to scream out her pleasure. I felt her body go rigid as she started trying to push me away. “Please! Oh God please!”, she cried out as her body started to convulse. I felt her hands knot in my hair as she tried with all her might to pull my lust filled mouth away from her. Then she screamed out and convulsed as her legs slammed shut on the sides of my head. “John!”, she moaned as she lost control of her body and writhed. Soon she was whimpering with the slightest touch.
I stood and she looked up at me with a mixture of fear and lust in her eyes. I lined my cock up at her entrance and plunged into her depths with one stroke. She screamed out as she felt herself completely full instantly. Then I let myself go and started to pump into her depths for all I was worth. Over and over she cried out as her over sensitive pussy bore my assault. She quivered and shook with every thrust as her body stayed in a constant state of orgasm for the next ten minutes. I was so lost in her sounds and begging that I took forever to build to my release. Then with a cry like an enraged animal I thrust into her and pumped my seed until it flowed out around me.
We lay in the afterglow of our loving as she slowly relaxed. I was not aware of what I was going to do until after she fell asleep. I moved off the bunk and headed for the airlock. I gathered one of the space suits and tool bags out of the locker and got dressed for my spacewalk. I had to see if the drives could be repaired. I was no engineer but I had to try.
I worked in the silence of space for a couple hours as I tried to get the broken module to come loose.
“John, what are you doing out there?” Reggie’s voice asked in my helmet.
“I am checking the damage and seeing if I can repair it.”
“I will be out to help you in a few seconds. Let me finish suiting up.”
I continued to work, I had the module ready to disconnect. I slid the tool under the part and started to disconnect it. Electricity slammed through my body and I jerked. The last thing I remember seeing was my tether wire burning through as I bounced away from the pod. My last clear thought before my mind fled to the blackness of space was that my wife and child would have longer to live now.
“John! Can you hear me?”, a voice kept yelling in my ear. I reached up to remove my helmet to try and get the buzzing out of my ears. “John! Stop! The airlock is still cycling. Do not remove your helmet.”
I froze as memories started to flood back. “How?”
“I was coming out of the airlock when you were electrocuted. I just jumped after you and grabbed you. My tether held and I hauled us back into the airlock. There is no way I am letting you out of being my husband that easily.”
I tried to smile up at her. The inner airlock door opened and she started to remove my helmet. “We need to get you onto the med couch and do a scan. You suit was damaged pretty badly but I think it took the brunt of it.” She helped me out of the suit and when I stood I saw what she meant. The outside of the suit was blackened and all of the electronics were fried.
She moved me to the med couch and helped me to lie down. The med couch scanned me and recommended muscle relaxers and bed rest for ten days. Reggie started laughing with relief. “Don’t you ever do that to me again. If I didn't wake up when I did, you would be lost right now.”
“Yes, ma’am,” I said with as sheepish a look as I could muster.
She looked at me, “I am not kidding, do not make me ditch the ship to come looking for you.”
The next ten days passed in a haze of muscle pains. Reggie took care of me until she was exhausted. I woke on the eleventh day a bit stiff but able to move around. Reggie was asleep in the copilot’s chair. I made breakfast for her and gathered it on a tray. I fastened it to the armrest before I woke her up. “Drink your coffee and eat, Love.” I said softly as she opened her eyes.
She smiled up at me then giggled as she said, “If you keep doing things like this you are going to spoil me.”
“You need to be spoiled.”
“What are we going to do if we are rescued? I will be relieved of duty because I am pregnant and they will know you are the father. I don’t want you to lose your career.”
"We can cross those bridges WHEN we are rescued.”
“John, we have to face reality. It has been forty-one days since the explosion. They give up the search after sixty days. Command is probably already doing the paperwork to declare us dead. Because of the solar collectors, we can live here indefinitely. We now have a child to worry about.” The weight of our situation tumbled down on her and she began to cry.
I took my wife in my arms and held her to my chest. “Baby, the one thing we cannot do is give up hope. There is a shipping lane that passes through that system. In a few more days we will decide if we are ready to risk the engines and start the process.”
“I don’t want our son to be raised in this little cabin. That is not the kind of life he deserves.”
“Then we have already decided, on day sixty-one we fire up the engines and make for that system.”
It was now day number sixty. The long time ahead of us was starting to set in. We talked late into the night and reaffirmed our decision. We were going to fire up the drives in the morning. We made love late into the night and fell into the sleep of the exhausted.
“This is the Angel of Mercy, calling Scotland pod zero-one-four. Scotland pod please respond.” The short range radio crackled as we slept. It repeated this message several times before falling quiet.
I woke in the morning and made breakfast for my wife before I woke her. Once we had eaten and went through our morning exercises, we started the morning checks. I could tell the time was weighing on us. We had quit double checking all the supplies. Who was going to take an extra ration of something? If something disappeared we both would know who did it.
We both used the sonic this morning because we wanted to be fresh and clean for what we were going to do. No man should face their death with racing stripes in his underwear. We sat down and watched a movie to relax and get our minds ready for that one single switch we had to flip. I had already pre-programmed the firing sequence for the drives. Once I flipped the switch we would either accelerate towards that star in the distance or we would go out in a blaze of glory.
Our designated hour came to us. It had now been exactly sixty-one days since our evacuation. The search had been called off twenty-four hours ago.
We moved to the front of the ship to get ready. Both of us were quiet. We knew the risks. So many things could go wrong. I leaned in and kissed Reggie as we arrived near the seats. I did not want to let go.
We were sitting in the chairs ready to engage the engines. We had started the pre-flights and had the power feeds on-line. I was about to initiate the pre-programmed sequence burn when I saw the radio contact light flashing. At first I just sat there staring at it. The flash looked like a heartbeat of hope. A tear threatened to come to my eye. That was the first thing I had seen in a long time that made the deepest part of my heart actually dare to hope.
Reggie looked over at me and saw the moisture in my eyes. “Baby, we have to do this. For good or ill we cannot float out here forever. She started to reach over and flip the drive switch. I reached out with my hand and captured hers. Then with the wonder of a child I pointed to the little light.
Reggie made a sound in her throat that sounded like a strangled whimper. I could see the tears flow into her eyes and the hope and fear that played there. Like me she was afraid to touch the switch and call out. If it was a false reading we would both be crushed. Our newfound hope would crumble into dust and take our souls with it. It hurt physically to lift my arm and reach for that switch. I so wanted this to be real.
I reached past Reggie and flipped the switch to broadcast. “This is Scotland pod zero-one-four, is someone out there?” As I waited and nothing came back from the silence of space I realized that the light had quit flashing. My hopes were dying with that light. It had been a false alarm and I had fallen for it. I turned back to my console filled with doubt. This felt like an omen of what was going to happen when we flipped the switch to start the drives.
My hand hovered over the switch as Reggie cried softly next to me. I lifted the safety cover and turned the safety key. Just one more push and it would be over.
“Scotland pod, this is the Angel of Mercy. It is good to hear from you. We are about eight hours from your position. That was one smart move deploying the solar collectors. We never would have found you if they had not been reflecting the sunlight from the cluster.”
At first I sat there in shock, was my imagination playing tricks on me. I looked over at Reggie and her eyes were screaming out her joy even as they were flooded with tears. She had heard the voice of an angel as well. I closed the safety cover on the ignition switch and locked the key back. Then with deliberate care I reached over and held the talk switch up to transmit. “Angel of Mercy, it is really good to hear from you. Please tell me this is not a dream and you are really there.”
“We will make link up with your pod in just over eight hours. How many survivors do you have on board?”
“We have two survivors, Spaceman Regina Wilder and Lieutenant Jonathan Kraken. I am transferring our logs. I need them relayed to command for disposition.”
“They will be relayed. Command is anxious to speak with you. We have been ordered to take you directly to station one-nine-zero as soon as we have you on board.”
“We will be waiting.”
I shut off the transmitter and looked down at my angel. She had questions in her eyes. “Why did you forward our logs?”
“I do not just want you as my wife here. I want you as my wife forever. I cannot have that in secret.”
“Those logs will end your career.”
“A career without you would be meaningless.”
She looked up into my eyes with tears in hers. I was so afraid she would now reject me. Then her hand slowly reached out and took mine. She pulled me down and began to kiss me with a passion so fierce it was awesome. We were still lying in our bunk when the airlock opened and the commander of the Angel of Mercy stepped on board.
“Lieutenant Kraken, Spaceman Wilder, I have orders to take you into isolated custody and transport you to the station. Admiral Tanner is in a hurry to speak with you. Would you please follow me?”
We stood, put on our uniforms, and followed the commander onto his ship. I expected us to be shown to brig cells. “Commander could you please have your medics check on my wife, she is pregnant and needs to have a physical done.”
“I will have the doctor come to your room as soon as possible.” He said without any tonal inflection I could detect.
We were shown down the main hall until we came to a door. The door opened and there was a stateroom. “I am going to have to ask you not to be among our crew for the trip. The admiral was quite insistent that you must be isolated until he can talk with you. Your meals will be brought to you here.”
The next ten days were spent with us both worrying and trying to comfort each other. I knew that the only way to not face charges of abuse of rank and fraternizing was to resign. I had my resignation completely ready when we docked with the station.
We waited in the stateroom for more than four hours after we had docked. Then there was a knock at the door. I opened the door to see six men in military police uniforms. “Lieutenant Kraken, if you and Mrs. Kraken would be so kind as to follow us we will take you to the admiral.”
“Thank you, Sir,” I replied as Reggie stepped up behind me. We followed the MPs through empty hallways all the way to the admiral’s office. This was a station. There were thousands of people on it. Where were the people?
The MPs led us to the admiral’s office then opened the door and announced us. Once they were done, they turned and left without a word leaving us alone with the admiral. I stepped forward and stood at attention, “Sir, I wish to tender my resignation from the military.”
The admiral smiled and then folded his hands in front of himself. “Lieutenant Kraken, I am afraid we will not be able to accept your resignation at this time. Please sit and I will explain the situation.”
We both moved over and sat in the chairs in front of his desk. “Sir, I was unaware that you could deny a resignation request.”
“If you still wish to resign after our conversation I will accept it. I feel you need to be fully informed before you tender it though. Three months ago, when your ship was in port, it was outfitted with a new experimental form of missiles. Part of your ship's mission was to test fire those weapons and report on the results. We were at first mystified as to the cause of the explosion that destroyed the Scotland. As we investigated we started finding log recorders and flight recorders among the wreckage. The investigation was led down a path we really did not want to walk.”
“Sir, are you saying one of the weapons caused this?”
“No, I am not saying that and that is the point. You can never tell anyone anything about what happen out there. The results of our investigation have led to the retirement of four fleet admirals and nine members of the ministry of defense. We have however managed to keep the whole thing out of the reach of the media.”
“I am not sure why that would be used to stop my resignation.”
“I have been authorized to offer you something. If the media gets wind that the only two survivors from the Scotland resigned when they were rescued it could blow this whole thing into the media like a circus.”
“Admiral, I think we need to know what really happened before we can make our decision.”
“I really don’t think,” the admiral started to say when a voice cut him off from the shadows.
“Tell them,” a man dressed in a black suit said as he stepped out of the shadows. “They need to understand how important this is.”
The admiral nodded before he continued. “The Captain of the Scotland was a member of a group called the friends of fate. They are a group that believes the human race has not grown mature enough to handle our own technology. He was under orders to transfer one of the weapons to our enemy, the Il’lbar. In the act of trying to secure the weapon for transfer to one of the enemy ships, he set it off. It destroyed the drive section of the Scotland and set off the other weapons on board. Our investigation led us to find out this group of people has members throughout our military, many of them in high positions.”
Reggie spoke softly, “That would mean we have the enemy within our own number.”
“Our point, exactly. We have been authorized to offer you both a position on a special investigations team to help us find and gather these members. If you accept this position you will both be given rank to accommodate the new position.”
“I don’t know anything about flushing out traitors, sir.” I said quietly. I was a little overwhelmed by what was happening.
“We can teach you the skills. What we need are people we can trust.”
“How do you know you can trust us?”
“When you were found, you immediately forwarded your logs so you could not be accused of hiding anything. You even mentioned in your logs about making your marriage official when you were rescued. I want you to know your marriage has already been made official. I forwarded the paperwork to command this morning.”
“How can we help, Sir?” we both asked at the same time.
“Just go with this man, he will arrange for your training and your assignment.”
I looked at the admiral with an expression of worry on my face. “Sir, my wife is pregnant. I am sure she will not be able to handle the physical demands of any training.”
The gentleman wearing the black suit stepped forward. “Do not worry, son. She will not need to fight. Your job is going to be to help us find them. Once they are located we have teams to deal with them.”
“How are we supposed to find them?” Reggie asked trying to clear up the confusion.
“You will use interviewing techniques and psychological profiling. Now, if you will please follow me we have a ship waiting…”