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by Linda Mooney
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Science Fiction
Description: As one of Earth's Galactic Enforcers, Lawn Bascomb is assigned to Area 6Y for the duration of one year. Her only companion in this desolate section of space is Deep, her sentient Vogt ship. The Vogt line is an experimental breed of unique vessels, each with its own artificially enhanced intelligence, created specifically for use at the deep space guard posts. Able to project a synthetic holographic form, Deep is not only Lawn's sole fellow crew member, but he is also her confidant, and eventually her lover. But their tenuous arrangement is suddenly and fatally shattered when their post is destroyed by an unknown alien force. Before long, Lawn and Deep are faced with the realization that, in order to save Earth, one--or both of them--must die.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: September 2011
20 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [197 KB]
Reading time: 115-161 min.
Filed Under "Integration"
By any conventional standards, the Vogt ship was of average size. But to Lawn Bascomb, it was huge. More importantly, it was hers. All hers, and only hers.
She hungrily eyed the sleek outer details, scarcely taking in the more minute distinctions which signified this particular Vogt as belonging to her. Honestly speaking, she was too damn nervous. Like a virgin at her deflowerment, all she could concentrate on was the outward silvery beauty of the ovoid vessel. On being in the presence of this one-man ship, and knowing she was The One Man. There was no thought of the mission that was to come.
"G.E. Officer Bascomb, please report to landing deck eight. G.E. Officer Bascomb, please report to landing deck eight."
I'm already here. Idiots.
Her personal opinion of the eggheads who ran the Galactic Enforcement Bureau was one she had no choice but to keep to herself. It had taken her four long and unbelievably hard years to finally reach her goal. In the process, she had taken a shitload of crap and had been treated repeatedly like a third-class citizen. But she had endured, suffered, prayed, and finally managed to wrangle herself onto the list of Galactic Enforcers. It was a very exclusive list. One that many people argued was not so much a list of self-important space jockeys as it was a ticket to a lifetime of psycho sessions.
Either way, Lawn was happy to have finally made it. Staring at her new assignment, she could allow herself to breathe freely, think freely, and ultimately live freely without the government dictating her every move. Now, and in the future.
Hey, there had to be some major rewards for putting one's ass on the line for a full year in order to protect the planet.
This Vogt's designated call sign was 2023 ACE. The fluorescent white numbers and letters ran like a banded belt around its midriff. Lawn vaguely remembered someone describing the deep space ships as looking like footballs, whatever those were. To her it resembled an egg that came to a rounded point at both ends. To her right she could make out the large viewing port of the bridge. Which meant the engines were to her left, hidden from sight until it was time to launch. Overall, the ship was a thing of absolute beauty--ultra-functional, streamlined, unique, and it's mine. All mine.
At least for the next year. Two years, actually, if she counted the six months she'd spend in sleep suspension going out to her post, and six months to return planetside.
The man's sudden appearance startled her. Lawn took a step backwards and away from him, but not before giving him a dirty look. Two days ago, she wouldn't have dared shown any sign of disrespect to a superior. But that was two days ago. A lot had happened since then.
Brune managed a lopsided grin. "Welcome to your assignment."
Lawn noticed the man's quick glance at her face before he averted his eyes. After all this time, the guy still couldn't control himself? She refused to return the grin. "Thanks. Are you my send-off pilot?"
"Your send-off and your contact."
Well, hell. Maybe I should be a little nicer then. Lawn started to apologize when Brune held out an arm and waved in the ship's direction.
"Why don't you go aboard and introduce yourself?" he asked.
Another surprise. "I can?"
Her SOP chuckled. "Of course, you can. Your clearance came in this morning. And after all, it is your ship. Go ahead and let it tag you. Get that much over with, but try not to stay too long. Remember, evening roll call is at eighteen hundred sharp."
She didn't need to be offered twice. Giving the man a nod of thanks, Lawn started across the blacktop and headed directly for the wide center of the elliptically shaped vessel.
The closer she got, the more she could discern of the outer hull. It wasn't silver in color, as she'd first believed, but more of a flat, light gray color that was nonreflective. It was difficult to see where any panels, identifying doors, or ports were located. In fact, she couldn't find the outer hatch until the door opened up and a short flight of steps lowered to the ground.
She paused at the landing and stared up into the ship's interior. A soft glow illuminated the way. "Hello?"
It was silly of her to call up into an empty ship, but she wanted to. She wanted to. It was her first attempt at doing something she wanted to do, and it had felt good. Very good. Really good. In fact it almost felt too good to be true.
Shit. This much freedom was almost worth all those years she'd climbed the officers' ladder and been forced to hang on by her fingernails as hundreds tried to knock her off.
Why don't you go aboard and introduce yourself?
Without a pass and a checkpoint? Or a supervisor observing her every move?
"Oh, hell, yeah," Lawn murmured, smiling broadly. This was her ship, which meant it had to obey her. It had to follow her rules. Pass her inspections. And, more importantly, it had to do so for the entire year she was assigned to it.
The ladder ended at a wide center corridor. Behind her was a compartment containing a zero gravity oxygen suit. Otherwise, the corridor ran seamlessly to her left and right.
Lawn took a deep breath. The paperwork was done, the orders had been approved, and all that was left was for her to take command of 2023 ACE. Although, officially, she wasn't due to take possession and lift off until tomorrow. Well, I guess there's no time like the present. She peered down the seemingly endless hallway. "Vogt Twenty Twenty-three ACE, respond."
There was a slight tremor in the walls and floor. Lawn grimaced. Good going, idiot. You forgot to tell it how to respond. Let's try that again, shall we?
"Vogt Twenty Twenty-three ACE, light the way to the bridge...please."
She was still pronouncing the "s" when the bright glow filled the corridor to her left. "Thank you," she added, and began walking toward the bridge.
Two years of cockpit simulation had trained her on every part of the vessel's flight and weapons arrays, so the sight of the actual thing didn't give her pause. What she didn't expect was the shiny, almost mirrorlike patina on every surface. The simulator used by the Bureau was dull gray, much like the exterior of the ship. This interior almost blinded her with the lights' reflections.
"Vogt Twenty Twenty-three ACE, lower illumination by fifty percent, please."
The ship promptly adjusted the lights to a more tolerable level.
Lawn took a deep breath. The ship had allowed her onboard because it had scanned her the moment she had stepped onto the ladder, and it had recognized her authority code embedded in the badge on her uniform. But that code was only good enough to get her into the ship. For the Vogt to accept her completely, she had to go through the final acceptance steps.
That was why Brune had told her to go ahead and board the ship. To finish the final steps so that tomorrow when it came time to do the actual launch, everything would go smoothly and accurately. And on time.
"Vogt Twenty Twenty-three ACE, commence final acceptance phase."
On cue, a panel behind her went transparent, and the door slid into the wall to reveal a tiny chamber. Lawn quickly doffed her uniform and stepped naked into the chamber. The floor warmed beneath her bare feet, as did the air around her. The door slid closed, but she could still see the bridge through the panel.
"Close your eyes."
It was a male voice. A deep, very masculine voice that almost vibrated through her. The sound of it surprised her, although she had been prepared for it. Or thought she had. She knew the ship would be male, but the voice was still a shock.
Closing her eyes, Lawn felt the prickly sensations crawling like invisible fingers over her skin. They were immediately followed by a cool chill threading its way into her bloodstream and seeping into her bones. The ship was doing an in-depth genetic scan, tracking every part of her body. It was connecting itself to her in every way possible, both mentally and physically. Memorizing her in the only way it could as it also verified her readouts with the set of readouts it had been previously fed.
The invisible crawling fingers wove their way over her breasts, and Lawn gasped. Heaven help her, she could feel herself becoming physically aroused. The fingers felt wonderful as her nipples tightened into sensitive points. The ship's touch was tantalizing. Incredibly lifelike.
Nobody had told her the examination would be like this. It was like a man was rubbing his hands over her. Gentle, slow, and thoroughly. Like a lover taking his time to prepare her for penetration. She shivered involuntarily, and the ship immediately reacted. From somewhere warm air began to fill the chamber. The ship thought she was cold.
Holding her breath, Lawn closed her eyes and waited for the Vogt's search to reach her mound. The tickling slid over and through her with deliberate caresses. She felt herself responding as she grew wetter in anticipation. Without realizing she'd done so, Lawn parted her legs to give the Vogt better access.
There was a slight pressure inside her womb, a rubbing against the inner walls before traveling downward. The invisible fingers scraped across her g-spot, and Lawn felt the shock of her orgasm jolt her with electrifying intensity. The suddenness of it caught her unprepared.
She shrieked softly as her hands clutched herself and she bent over in response. The fingers vanished as she leaned against the chamber walls. Gasping, she felt the last of the shudders vibrate out of her, leaving her weak-kneed and light-headed. Presently, the panel slid open, allowing her step back onto the bridge to retrieve her clothes.
"Welcome aboard, Officer Bascomb," the melting male voice said. "I am delighted to finally get to know you."
The hard, muscular contractions had left her, but now she felt herself trembling from the aftermath. Her breasts continued to throb. She had never felt such an intense sexual release after a mere DNA scan. Obviously there was a lot she'd been subjected to that she hadn't been informed about. But one thing was certain. It wouldn't be the last time this ship, this exclusive Vogt vessel, would do it to her.
They were going to spend the next year by themselves at one of the most remote posts in the outer galaxy. Which meant she would have plenty of time to examine and experience 2023 ACE's touch on her skin again.
"Good to meet y-you, too, Vogt Twenty Twenty-three ACE," she managed to mumble. She reached for her uniform when her eyes caught sight of a male face, a head, reflected in the surface of the comm board. Looking up, Lawn stared into the holographic image of the most incredibly arresting man she had ever seen. Of a visage she never believed she would be able to see again.
Floating in the middle of the air mere inches away from her, the image smiled back, disregarding the stunned look she knew she must be wearing.
"Call me 'Deep'," the male voice said.
Lawn swallowed hard. And call me dead. "Then you need to call me Lawn."
In that voice, it sounded like a caress.
She was going to spend an entire year with this artificially intelligent ship? Lawn wondered how she would survive once her assignment was over.
To: G.E. Coordinator Millner
Scanning complete. Full acceptance integrated. All systems are go for launch tomorrow.
Addendum: You never told me there'd be an orgasm!