In a few minutes she would have to join Garran Raulsten in the cockpit. Aurra swore silently under her breath. Why in Horlus name had she agreed to this harebrained idea? Doc could have just as well contacted some of his old military buddies and have someone else rescue the man. Wasn’t he their responsibility anyway? If what Doc had said was true and Garran Raulsten had not gone renegade, but been sent to do what he did—whatever happened to leave no man behind?
Together with Brent Younger, one of her three engineers, Aurra was overseeing the loading of the final cargo container, while Jason Lee, engineer number two, was busy settling the aspiring cook into his new quarter and showing him the galley. Nobody would be happier to be relieved of kitchen rotation than Jason—as would be the rest of the crew. Jason’s cooking had always been on the edge of edible. Even with little experience, DF’s food must surely be more digestible than Jason’s—she hoped.
Aurra wasn’t really needed here. Brent had the situation well under control, and she was running out of excuses keeping her from the cockpit. If only looking at Garran Raulsten didn’t start the tingling of her insides. In fact just thinking of seeing him overwhelmed her with sexual awareness. Only yesterday she had been dead inside. And no she was torn between her loyalty to Bryn and the fantasies that were careening around her head like an out of control fire cracker.
Aurra watched Brent, who like Aurra was behind a big glass view panel, just on the opposite side of the cargo bay, as he operated the controls to close the loading portal. She counted down the seconds until the big doors’ teeth were interlacing and finally closing altogether. The green status light came on, showing that the bay was now hermetically sealed. Next Brent would cycle the air in the cargo space and run the decontamination protocol. She was always insistent and meticulous about the prescribed decontamination. Something that Bryn had drilled into her and for good reason. Many a cargo crew had picked up unwanted guests, like alien plant seeds tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the containers and then been slapped with steep fines for unloading contaminated containers on another world. It was an expense she couldn’t afford.
She made a thumbs-up sign to Brent, who grinned at her and then shooed her away with an impatient hand gesture, probably wondering why she was standing there watching him in the first place. It wasn’t like she had shown any interest in her crew’s tasks over the last few months. Aurra sighed and turned away. She had five more minutes. She’d check the airlock seals on her way to the cockpit, just to be safe. Then she’d get there with a minute to spare before the actual take-off. Just in time to take her seat; check the status readouts and put on her headset to communicate with the port and traffic control authorities. She would be safe for another half an hour until they were beyond the gravity well. And then—then she would have to make small-talk with Commander Garran Raulsten.
Flavia van der Riijn was daydreaming. Reclined on her oversized, circular bed with peach colored sheets, she was propped up against a massive stack of pillows of the same color. The leather-padded head board that surrounded one third of the circumference of the bed was cream colored on the outside and rose above her like an awning, giving the whole bed the look of a partly open clam shell. The inside ceiling was even inlaid with mother of pearl, and polished to such a degree that she could see a mirror image of herself, well a rose tinted and somewhat distorted mirror image which, Flavia thought with bitter cynicism, actually improved on the original.
In front of her a bank of screens of various sized showed images of different feeds she received live from any number of places. Right now the central and biggest one showed a darkened, but empty room. Just some indirect light accentuating some of the rooms features. Her favorite features in her own personal dungeon.
She didn’t really see the screen in front of her, though. Instead Flavia was imagining in vivid detail the exquisite torture her favorite slave Ragnarok was going to inflict on his newest, unwilling victim. Such a fanciful name. She herself had bestowed it on him. The Dawn of the Gods—and she was Sigyn and Rag was her own personal Loki.
Nobody knew about the ancient legends anymore. In fact the subject was forbidden to most people, unless you belonged to the cultural elite; and Flavia definitely considered herself part of the top echelon of cultural society. She laughed out loud at the thought. In public she was known as a philanthropist, a sponsor of the fine arts, particularly of the underprivileged and yet it was all fake, a lie, all just make believe, just like the robotic double that was her public stand-in.
To some degree autonomous, and when necessary remotely controlled by Flavia directly, the robotic woman was so real that unless she got stabbed or shot, nobody would be able to tell the difference. And her robotic double was everything that Flavia wasn’t. She was tall and gorgeous; she had a sensual voice and perfect manners. The real Flavia was born a throwback, an apparently random genetic mutation of a flaw in human evolution that was supposed to have been eradicated from the genome centuries ago. That’s why nobody had caught on when she was born: she was a dwarf.
Except that when the problem became apparent, her father had started dragging her from one specialist to the next, but all they had achieved was to make her grow taller, so now at almost five feet she was just that—a tall dwarf. She still had the disproportionately short limbs, the bowed legs, stubby fingers and oversized head of a dwarf. All the cosmetic surgery while growing up had only been temporary fixes, as if her flawed genetic makeup needed to reassert itself with every growth spurt. Eventually she had refused to be subjected to more surgical torture and had turned toward what would become her favorite pastime—manipulating and torturing others.
Even her father, who ruled the underworld of Horlus I with his iron fist, was like butter in her hands; nothing that he wouldn’t do to let her indulge in any of her whims. Though she had never mentioned it, Flavia expected that he knew about her secret dungeon and the slaves she kept there for her pleasure. But she knew that in his own dark soul he approved.
Like he had approved of her plan to take revenge on Garran Raulsten for trying to kill her father. Flavia twisted the ring in one pierced nipple and the pain shot straight into her lower belly, sexual tension growing from within. She used the images in her head to stoke the fire. Soon Garran Raulsten would be suspended from the ceiling in her dungeon. Padded leather cuffs encircling his wrists, he would be hanging in the center of the room. Around his hips and the tops of his thighs there would be a leather harness that would slightly spread his useless legs apart and D-rings would let him be cross-tied to prevent him from swinging his body. Twenty cameras observing every detail from every possible angle and remotely controlled by Flavia would allow her to orchestrate the drama in its unfolding. Rag would have a transmitter in his ear, following her commands and silently obeying her instructions. She knew he got off on the double game, submitting to her unconditionally while at the same time taking his pleasure from however she directed him to force himself on the soldier.
And what a pleasure it would be, Garran hanging by his arms, the muscles in his arms and shoulders bulging under the strain, while his legs dangled uselessly below. Completely at her mercy, she would have Rag stimulate him orally until he was hard as steel and then restrain him with a cock ring to keep him that way. She felt the wetness seep out between her legs at the magnificent image in her mind.
Maybe she shouldn’t have had both his legs paralyzed. Maybe it would have been more fun to see him move his stump in futile resistance. But no, he was a trained killer after all. She shuddered pleasurably at the thought of the damage he might still be able to inflict with half a leg.
She wondered if she should have Rag gag him for the first session. Rather not. His screams of pain and indignation would make the experience for Rag and her all the sweeter. Should she tell Rag to use the big obsidian dildo or should she allow him to penetrate him instead? After all she had picked Rag for his size. Both had its merits and both would cause an exceedingly unpleasant experience for Garran. Until, that is, he was overwhelmed by the stimulation and he would scream, begging for sexual release.
Oh yes, she would have weeks of fun with Garran Raulsten. And maybe she would even take him herself one day. It would be early enough to kill him when she had tired of him and he had been suitably denigrated and put in his place. She would probably do the killing herself, too. Give him one last mind-shattering orgasm while he bled out through his femoral artery. Maybe cut off his other leg? He wouldn’t be able to feel it anyway. She panted and smiled as the thought alone nearly made her come. She groped for the vibrator she had discarded earlier and put it to use, while twisting the nipple ring harder at the same time. Within seconds she pushed herself over the edge, screaming so loud when she came that she didn’t even hear the shrill ringing of her phone.
Exhausted she let herself drift off to sleep.
Garran had moved from the wheelchair into the co-pilot chair and done a thorough check of all the controls, checked all the status readouts, familiarized himself with the layout of the cockpit, identified every single switch, light and monitor. Confirming his earlier impression, everything was meticulously maintained.
He put the headset on and listened to ground, air and space traffic for a while, but it was mind-numbingly boring. Surely the captain must arrive any minute now. He was keen to meet the person who obviously took so much pride in his ship. He felt himself growing impatient. Should he go in search of him? Except that would mean transferring back into the wheelchair and making his way around the yet unfamiliar ship. He decided against it, aggravated that he couldn’t just get up and explore.
Having nothing else to occupy himself with, he studied the wheelchair. Not too bad as far as wheelchairs went. It was kind of minimalistic and Garran preferred it that way. He found the mechanism that let him fold it together and lifted it over to the other side of the pilot chair so it was out of the way. It was surprisingly light weight even though it felt really solid when he was using it.
He looked down at his immobile legs. In this ship it would probably take them about two weeks to Horlus III, then he’d check himself into the best clinic money could buy and have his paralysis reversed. In parallel they could start growing a new lower leg for him. That process would take several weeks from start to transplant and would require another few weeks of rehab afterwards. So four months give or take and he should be back on his feet. A month maybe two in the wheelchair, then he’d upgrade to a mechanical prosthesis until the transplant date. No point in dithering around with an osseo-integrated one. It would be just like a nice long vacation. He hadn’t been on vacation for a long time and after this ordeal he clearly deserved one.
Footsteps took him out of his reverie. Finally! He looked over his shoulder and saw Aurora MacCowan make her way into the cockpit. This time she actually looked at him though her expression was hard to decipher, somewhere between aggravation and frustration he thought.
“Have you made yourself familiar with the controls, Commander?”
“What is this? A test?”
“Do you always answer questions with questions? I thought you were used to taking orders. Consider it part of your job interview.” She sat down in the pilot’s chair and grabbed the headset.
“And what exactly is my job?”
“Less talking, more flying. Take us into orbit, Commander. I’ll get clearance.” With that she turned away from him and started negotiating the take-off parameters with ground control.
Garran shrugged, put on his own headset again and readied the engines for take-off. Surely at some point he would get an explanation, wouldn’t he?
Aurora - Part 7
Aurora - Part 7