Hera, Ch. 1

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This is the ‘competition story’ that I have been working on
in my spare time.
Using the winner’s creative inputs for elements, I
got to work but ended up writing something
larger than I anticipated.

The following is a blend of my favourite things –
Science Fiction, BDSM, Horror and Thriller.
It is dark, twisted and weird.

If you’ve survived my stuff and enjoy it,
you may just enjoy this as well,
but might I request that you find a
quiet spot to get lost in the story?
You might just need it.
– TD&D

Chapter One

 

The Distress Call

 

 

Year: Twenty One Sixty Three

United Nations Star Freighter: Orion

Seven Months from Earth

Total Crew: Five

 

Captain: Alfred ‘Al’ Matthews

Med. Officer: Jodie Bronwyn

Science Officer: Brett Fredericks

Chief Engineer: Kadie Dawson

Navigator: Lucille ‘Lucy’ James

 

 

Kadie fell to the ground, sputtering out the fluid that went down the back of her throat.
The floor beneath her was like ice to her nude body, which glistened with the hyper sleep fluid she went to the dark in.
She blinked, her vision blurry with the thick fluid, and she wiped her blonde hair out of her eyes and over her ear. It left a trail of slime as it went.
Kadie could feel her nipples stiffening in reaction to the cold floor beneath her. The ache slid down to her stomach.
She could feel the coolness of the ship all around her body; it touched every inch of her pale skin, skimming from her hair down to her cunt, which she freshly shaved just before hyper sleep.
“Looks like the newbie’s first hyper sleep trip didn’t go so well” Came a voice to Kadie’s left.
Kadie looked to see Medical Officer Bronwyn, leaning against a set of lockers and fully nude, wearing a cream towel around her body.

Jodie Bronwyn was an attractive woman, thought Kadie. She was African-American, mid thirties. Joined the Orion at only twenty-three and has been here ever since.
As Kadie lay on the floor weak and frozen, her pale body blinding in the light, thanks to the hyper sleep fluid, she took in the sight of Bronwyn.
Her nipples glistened not only with hyper sleep fluid but also with a nipple piercing.
Suddenly Kadie felt very uncomfortable being naked in front of these people she had only known the past month during training.

Truth be told, she was uncomfortable with being nude in hyper sleep but was assured it was a safe and comfortable process.
“Everyone has a bad run their first time” Came another voice, a deeper voice.
Science Officer Fredericks came into view from Kadie’s right, drying his hair with another cream towel.
He was slightly tanned and muscular.
He regarded Kadie with his curious steely gaze as he dried his hair.
His cock, half erect and fully shaven, swayed with the movement of his body.
Bronwyn let out a laugh, throaty and infectious, and stretched out a hand for Kadie to grab onto.
As Kadie stood, her legs wobbled and she had to lean against a railing nearby to steady herself, much to the amusement of Bronwyn, who laughed not in a mean way but just in a teasing way you would to a close friend.
The voyage from her settlement on Proxima Centuri b to Earth was Kadie’s second time in hyper sleep and compared to the veteran travels of Orion’s crew, who charted the galaxy, she was indeed a newbie.
“Alright, Alright – Crew, get to the Dining Room in 15. We’ve got words to discuss”
Captain Matthews walked passed dressed in only faded green tracksuit pants. Kadie felt the sudden need to shield her breasts as he walked passed her.
“Hop in the shower, Newbie. You’ll feel all the better for it” Bronwyn said after Matthews disappeared out of the hyper sleep chambers.

 

Fifteen minutes later, Kadie appeared in the dining room, dressed in the green cargo pants of the Orion Crew uniform and a plain white T-shirt.
The shower made her feel human, awake. The slime was now gone, replaced with the refreshing scent of a lime scrub.
She looked around at the crew of the Orion.
The dining room of the Orion was a small circular room, with its own fridge, kitchen bench and sink located at the back of the room.
In the centre of the room was a circular metal table and around that was a booth, its maroon cushioned tearing apart at the seams.
Navigator Lucy was by the Kitchen bench pouring herself a coffee. She was the second youngest of the crew, three years above Kadie, who was twenty-six.
When Kadie entered the room, the crew didn’t regard her or stop and stare, they went about their own activities.
Fredericks and Bronwyn were continuing their game of Scrabble while Matthews was reading what was most likely an old newspaper.
Kadie took a seat beside Bronwyn who nudged her with a closed fist on the shoulder and giggled, “Feelin’ Fresh?”
The comment got Matthews to look up from his paper. His eyes met Kadie and that’s when he lowered his paper and cleared his throat.
“Now that Chief Engineer Dawson has joined us, we can begin discussing why the hell we’re awake.”
“Yeah, why the hell are we awake, Hoss” Bronwyn said, making her move on the Scrabble Board.
“Sister’s detected a distress signal,” Matthews said flatly.

Sister is the Star freighter’s AI. Every United Nations Star freighter has one.
Programmed and refined to not only match the mentality of the crew but also monitor their journey safely, the Sister AI was the latest in the state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence designed by Earth Designer Charles Dean.
It is so named for it’s visual appearance and mental attributes of a nun, which is strange if you consider that it is responding to the existential belief of religion.
And yet the news was worrisome because Sister was designed to awaken the crew upon receiving a distress signal.
Bronwyn stopped moving her tiles and looked up. “Out here? In the ass end of nowhere?”
“Indeed.”
“What’s the origin of this…signal?” Fredericks asked, frowning.
Matthews cleared his throat, took a sip out of his own coffee and swallowed.
“No doubt some of you may have seen the blinking lights of the UN Star Freighter Scorpio out the right side of the ship.”
Kadie looked around the room, some nodded, while others, such as herself, had not seen it, having just woken up out of a funk.
“Needless to say, while you lot were showering, I was trying to raise the old bird. And nothing. At all. She’s quiet.”
The crew sat in silent a moment, reflecting, before Matthews interrupted it.
“We’re going out there, all hands on deck. I don’t know what’s going on, whether it’s starship troubles or mutiny or what. But I want everyone at the ready and I want that now, ASAP. We’re taking the beams so maybe hold off on breakfast for a short time, yeah?”
The crew laughed, all except Kadie, whose brown eyes creased in a frown.
Something was troubling her about this.

Moments later, the crew materialised inside the control room of the Scorpio.
Everything was quiet, save for the humming of the ship. It vibrated up Kadie’s body, tickling her cunt.
The room was entirely empty, with no sign of violence or any other activity.
Chairs and couches and even a dartboard on the wall showed no sign of wear and tear, no sign of activity. Nothing.
The crew were each wearing a protective suit, on the off chance of a chemical leak or other unforseen dangerous hazards. Their suits hissed as each of them took a breath.
Kadie stepped through the control room, listening to her own breathing in her ears. She could still taste the hyper sleep fluid in her mouth. It made her feel sick.
“Sister? Can you give me a status report?” Asked Matthews.
Nothing. The ship remained lifeless.
Kadie made her way to the terminal in the centre of the room. It was switched off and covered in blueprints of the ship.
She moved the blueprints to the floor and flicked the terminal on. It lit up with an audible click and came to life, buzzing.
“Dawson? What are you doing?”
“I’m manually seeing if Sister reported any faults or problems over the last however many hours the ship has been stationed here, Sir.”
Speaking felt weird to Kadie. It came to her just then that this was the first time she had spoken in two weeks. Her voice was croaky.

The terminal loaded to an empty black screen, save for a blinking cursor in the top left corner.
The crew gathered around Kadie, the screen lighting up their visors with a soft glow.
Kadie typed E35-S, which was the command “What’s the problem, Sister?”, and waited.
Nothing came back on the screen.
Kadie didn’t know what to do so she typed H66+A, which demanded a system report from the ship’s intelligence.
The crew waited in the low light of the command centre.
Nothing.
“Well, what the fuck is this?” Matthews said aloud. He had turned to Fredericks in his confusion.
“Well, she is an AI, Sir. Technical things always come with a room for error.”
“It’s ‘state-of-the-art’ though” Bronwyn replied.
She is. But as I just said, with anything, there is the possibility of an error, maybe even an infection in her update.”
Matthews looked around the room in silence. His suit hissed as he sighed.
“Well, let’s do a sweep. We’ve got to log this. All of this.”
He walked to the doorway that led out of the command centre.
“What a nightmare” He muttered.

The crew were voicing their opinions or voicing their agreements when Kadie had an idea.
She had to raise her voice to speak over the crew. “Sir?”
Matthews had to poke his head back in the doorway of the command centre, for he was already outside.
“Yes, Dawson?”
“I have an idea.”
“Oooh, the newbie has an idea,” Bronwyn said with a laugh.
Kadie felt her cheeks burn as Matthews told Bronwyn to can it.
“What is it, Dawson?” Matthews asked.
“Well, Sir..”
Kadie felt all eyes on her. It twisted her stomach. Or was that the hyper sleep fluid she ingested?
“Well, if we really want, we can reset Sister from the ship’s core. Maybe that can bring her back to a responsive state.”
Matthews regarded Kadie and then looked to Fredericks for confirmation.
“She’s right. We could do a manual reset and that may fix it.”
Kadie found herself pointing to the blueprints. “I can read those. I have a C class rating. We can find her core, Captain.”
Matthews laughed out of surprise. “Now I know why the council recommended you, Dawson. Let’s get you to the core.”

Kadie found her smiling – and then hoping no one, especially Bronwyn, caught it.
Bronwyn would never let it go.
Kadie could indeed read the blueprints and tracked the ship’s core down the opposite end of the hallway from the command centre.
Remembering her knowledge of UN Star Freighter’s from university, Kadie thumbed around the bottom of the wall before her and pressed inward.
This revealed the loose panel, which she pulled outward and, with the help of Matthews and Fredericks, she removed the panel to the floor.
“What now?” Fredericks asked. “Who do we decide goes in?”
By the time he finished his sentence, Kadie was pulling off the helmet of her protective suit.

James was the first to witness then and could only react by shouting “Are you insane?”
But the helmet was already on the floor.
The air was crisp. Cool. And the fact that she wasn’t immediately dead puzzled the rest of the crew.
“Dawson, you want to explain to me what you are doing?”
“Someone’s got to get into the core room. I’m the smallest and I’ve studied for this, both the layout of the ship and for a situation such as this”
Kadie spoke as she was pulling the rest of her suit down and stepping out of it, revealing her thin white panties and t-shirt.
Matthews looked to the rest of the crew for affirmation but they just shrugged. Even Fredericks.
Kadie kicked aside her protective suit and looked to Matthews.
“Fine. Just get it done and get back here. We’ve still got a sweep to do.”
Kadie met his gaze and nodded before turning to the small square shape in the wall.

Her heart was pounding in her ears, she found, and she wasn’t one for tight spaces but someone had to do it.
Kadie went in head first, making sure to lower her back as she squeezed her lower body under the open grate and into the wall.
The space was just enough for her to wiggle her body through the wall.
Ahead of her she could see faint light – Sister’s AI core.
All around her was the humming of the ship. It vibrated every inch of her body, tickling
her all over.
The wall space on her knees was tough, rubbing tightly against her bones, like crawling against bare concrete.
The light ahead got closer and closer, until Kadie found herself in a cool circular room.
She noted the fans on the wall, one for every two panels across the length of it.
In the room was a metallic tubular shaft, lit up with blue lights that blinked in a sequence with each other.
That must be it, Kadie thought. Now to just –

Something wet and heavy smacked her across the head and her world went dark.

To be continued another time…

 

 

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