Heavenly Bodies by RR

A Dueling Chamber Story

This story is set about 600 years in the future. I am using HalHow3’s “Dueling Chamber” as my plot device. I hope to do that story justice.

Captain’s log, Horizon Corporation Transport Aurora, December 12th, 2644. Location docked at Port Tau Ceti.

“Aurora, start recording, personal log.”

*RECORDING*

I had never been so angry in my life. The 14-month voyage from Earth to Tau Ceti was the worst I had ever been on, more so since it was my first command. The passengers on this voyage were no more trouble than usual. The cargo got to its destination with 2 weeks to spare. All in this entire voyage should have been a milk run, if it were not for the two women standing at attention in front of me.

Stella Ali stood before me. She was tall and rangy, with coffee and cream skin and short, black, softly curled hair cut to fit into an E-Suit helmet. She looked every inch her African ancestry, a rarity in an age where intermarriage blurred the distinctive types of human races. Her facial features were broad, flat, but pretty. However, her face would turn beautiful if she chose to grace it with a smile. She was dressed in a close fitting tan coverall of the ship’s company gold collar devices on each lapel proudly proclaimed her as a Lieutenant and Loadmaster of the ship. Disgusted with the sight of her, I turned my attention to the woman beside her. Sandra Kincaid stood before me like her nemesis, eyes front and at attention. Like Lieutenant Ali, Lieutenant was a rarity in this day and age. Unlike Lieutenant Ali, Lieutenant Sandra Kincaid had a light milky complexion with a dusting of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Golden blonde hair was cut in a style known as a pixie cut. Blue eyes that were normally warn with humor and good will now were as cold as the big empty and gave nothing away at all. She wore a similar style of coverall as Lt. Ali, only it was red and displayed Lt. Kincaid’s magnificent figure as well as her position as Chief Engineer of the Aurora.

Disgusted with the two beyond all measure, I looked down at my feet at the vast vista of space beyond the transsteel hull. It appeared as if we were standing on space itself. Stars slowly rotated through my field of view as the rotational section of my ship rotated about the central axis of the ship. I can make that section of the hull transparent or opaque at will. I have used it to great effect in scaring the bejeseus out of “earthworm” passengers that displeased me. For this meeting I had darkened the cabin lights and turned the floor of my cabin transparent not to scare my lieutenants, (such a tactic would not have worked with experienced spacers anyway.) I did it to remind them that they were spacers and shipmates and it was them against the big empty. Suddenly, the world, “Hearth” as called by the locals, came into view. A truly beautiful world of white and blue, I found myself snarling at this reminder that my power was no longer absolute. I turn and with a vicious stab to my desk turned on the lights and made the hull opaque.

Looking at my two Lieutenants, I tried one last time to reason with them. “It was 14 months ago at Port Io that you two embarrassed yourselves and this ship by fighting over what, Ms. Ali?”

Carefully looking at a spot over my shoulder, she replied quietly, “A joyboy, sir.”

“A joyboy!” I snarled back. “Tell me Ms. Kincaid, is a little brawl between shipmates 14 months ago over a joyboy worth fighting a duel over?”

“No sir,” she announced.

Allowing myself a bit of hope, I then asked, “So the duel is off?”

“No sir!” Both announced. Both cast a startled glance at one another as they both agreed on something for the first time in 14 months.

Disgusted I regarded the both of them. Only my absolute authority I had underway prevented their feud from adversely affecting the voyage in a truly serious manner. Still the tensions between them had affected the crew under them as well. Friction had developed between the Engineering and Cargo divisions and I came down hard on my Lieutenants to keep a lid on this mess. Still in the 14 months since their initial clash, dislike became animosity, and animosity became out right hatred. Now that we were in port I could no longer prevent what was meant to be. I could refuse their request but then they would just go to the surface of Hearth and find a dueling chamber there to settle their differences. No I cannot in good conscious refuse their request. They are spacers, and if one is to die, she will die as a spacer is meant to, in zero gravity.


A modern transport of the Aurora’s class looks a bit like a medieval mace. The ship itself is 1.2 kilometers long. It consists of three sections, the bow or rotational section, amidships or transport section, and the stern or engineering section. The rotational end or bow of my ship contains the bridge, avionics, computer core, sick bay, living quarters for crew and passengers and all of the hundreds of little things that make life in space bearable. Engineering, in the stern, houses the fusion plant, fusion cell backups, the system drive, as well as the stellar drive. It has no rotational section and is wholly a zero gravity section. In between, amidships, is the transport section of my ship. It too had no gravity. There cargo modules and even entire system ships are docked and carried to distant suns by the great transports.
Spacers as a whole see themselves as a cut above humanity in general. Over 500 years of working in space has developed a culture of rugged individualists who picked and chose the parts of the human culture that worked in space and discarded or modified the parts that didn’t. The custom of a captain’s absolute power while under stellar drive is one example. Another example, is the dueling chamber. Spacer duels are held aboard ship in zero gravity, usually in an unused cargo pod. It was amidships in one of the smaller cargo modules that Lieutenants Ali and Kincaid would settle their differences.

A kick sent me speeding head first down the transit tube toward our makeshift dueling chamber, cargo pod E4D. Lights, emergency stations, hatches, and hand railing to either side flashed past as I traveled about a quarter of a kilometer to my destination. As I neared the cargo pod, I held out my hand to the guard rail to my right and with a touch, bled off the inertia of my kick, and came to a complete stop before cargo pod E4D. Nodding to the master at arms at the side of the hatch, I touched the hatch control and dived into the manhole sized opening head first. I made one last inspection of the pod before calling for Lts. Ali and Kincaid. The interior of the pod was rectangular, 10 meters by 20 by 10. Lighting was supplied by cell lamps recessed deep in each angle of the pod. Emitting a strong white light, the pod more than adequately lighted. White cargo netting was stretched tight over the dark gray bulkheads of the pod, looking like a spider web more than anything else. The pod was bare of any thing else. Emergency equipment, breathers, fire extinguishers were gone as well as puffers, pullers and other cargo handling equipment. Anything that could be even remotely could be considered to be a weapon was removed. I gave a kick towards the hatch and expertly flipped taking the impact of my stop with my feet. Reaching out I snagged a hand railing and held myself still at the hatch. Satisfied, I contacted Aurora.

“Aurora.”

*Yes Captain.*

“Inform Lt. Ali and Lt. Kincaid to proceed.”

*Aye sir.*

I spent the few minutes before their arrival remembering the last time this pod was used for a duel. Two months into the voyage to Tau Ceti, A Mr. James Khan and a Mr. Chu Charles got into an argument in the fitness area. Both of them didn’t take the voyage well and it showed. After a couple more clashes within the week, they were in my ready room, requesting a duel. After going through the necessary physical and psych testing the ship’s doctor recommended approving the duel. As a matter of fact, The doctor stated that if a duel didn’t occur, I would have a murder on my hands. So I approved the duel.

It wasn’t a duel, it was comedy. As per custom the men entered the cargo pod naked, the clock was started and for the next hour no one could interfere. I found myself chuckling at the memory of their antics. A round house suing would spin them like a top. Pushing off from the bulkhead at their opponent would result in a clean miss and a painful crash at the far end of the pod. The duel ended with he clock counting down to zero. Mr. Khan helplessly tangled in the cargo netting and Mr. Charles floating unconscious from one of those painful crashes. Funny thing, the two of them ended up being the best of friends for the rest of the voyage and most likely beyond.

My grin faded, no such luck here. Both Lt. Ali and Lt. Kincaid were fit physically and psychologically to fight this duel. Both were at the same skill level in unarmed combat, Lt Kincaid taking a little nulljitsu and Lt Ali with a little Z-boxing under her belt. Both were highly experienced spacers with years of experience working in zero gravity. They won’t be hindered by zero gravity in their ability to harm one another as Mr. Kahn and Mr. Charles were.

Damn, I was so much looking forward to working with the both of them. Sandra and I went through the academy together on Titan. We studied together, went out on the town with one another. We became lovers during our final term at the academy.

I remember the hot, steamy, nights that had nothing to do with our climate controlled cabins. I have fond, cock stiffening, memories of fucking Sandra’s brains out. Clamped within her strong sexy legs, I remember looking down upon her as she smiled up at me. Her breasts and body slick with sweat as she gasped for breath and sunk her claws deep in order to keep me close as we came in a shuttering heap.

Looking down at the sudden tenting of my blue coverall, I brought my mind back to the matter at hand. That was 3 voyages ago. Long before I was given command. Now she was back in my life. I consider her a friend, but I wondered if she wanted to pick up where we left off. Not likely, not with Stella in my life.

Stella and I served on my previous transport, The Distant Sun. I remember the voyage quite well. As astrogator and first officer, I gained the qualifications I needed for my master’s papers. The voyage was also memorable in the fact that Stella Ali became a Lt Loadmaster. A jump from enlisted to officer rank is not unheard of, but rare enough. Before the return trip back to Earth the ship’s cargo division had a blowout of a party in celebration. Soon however, the entire ship’s company, save watch standers got involved. In the middle of the party, Stella pulled me away into the cargo section, to this very pod, in order to show me how sex was really done in zero g. Although we were both a bit tipsy, we managed to strip, and following her direction, had the sex of our lives.

Although I had sex in zero g before, nothing prepared me for the lessons Stella taught me that day. Although I had sex in zero g before, when Stella and I finished I felt I truly belonged to the free fall club. Our nude bodies, floating in the middle of the cargo hold, wrapped around each other so tightly that an outside observer would have been hard pressed to tell where she ended and I began. Stroking, biting, kissing, licking, our sweat slicked bodies straining for orgasm, both of us howled at completion. Wow. It was like that for the voyage home. But then, toward the end of the voyage, Stella started to withdrawal from me. Becoming more distant, until we were speaking only while on duty. I didn’t like it or understand it, but I accepted it. When we reached Port Io, I left for my new command with a heavy heart.

Imagine my surprise when Stella Ali showed up on the Aurora as the new load master. I was pleased, but cautious. I had kept my relationship professional with her and worked well with her. Maybe during the voyage we will work on our relationship, both professionally and personally. Then, Lt Sandra Kincaid showed up in my life again.

Sandra made no bones about picking up where we left off, however I had kept our relationship professional while outfitting the Aurora for her voyage. By keeping my relationship with both women professional, we got the Aurora outfitted in almost record time. The only snag to the load out was a brawl that broke out between the two at a spacer’s dive on the outer ring of Port Io. I was there at the time, and with a barked command stopped the fight before more than a few punches were thrown. I marched them back to the ship and after a firm butt chewing that dwelled upon their good sense and sanity, confined them to quarters on their off time. Looking back, I wondered if it would have been better if I let the brawl go on. It might have looked bad for the ship, but it would have been better than this duel. Throughout the entire voyage, an escalating war of words, practical jokes and cruel pranks was waged between the two. I put my foot down when environmental controls were being messed with and had them give their word that this foolishness will stop. But by then, the damage was done. Lt. Kincaid issued the challenge, and Lt. Ali accepted. And nothing I could do could change it.

No matter what happens today, when I get back to Port Io, I think I’ll be looking up a certain joyboy and let him feel my displeasure at the events that would be taking place within this pod…

No…

A suspicion that I had always squashed before entered my mind. They couldn’t have been fighting over…

A tone from Aurora interrupted my chain of thought.

*Lt. Ali and Lt. Kincaid has arrived.*

Taking a deep breath, I replied “Send them in.”

The nude form of Lt. Kincaid emerged head first through the circular hatch. She like Lt Ali would have stripped and handed her clothing to her second before entering. She floated there like a dream. her voluptuous beauty displayed to my admiring gaze. Zero G had her short blond hair was in mild disarray. Zero G did wonderful things to her breasts as well. The 38DDs stood straight out without gravity to pull them down, swaying hypnotically in Zero G. She floated there like an angel, beautiful, ethereal, with her warm eyes touching my soul. Suddenly her eyes hardened as she looked toward the hatch and the angel was filled with wrath.

Tearing my eyes from the vision before me, I saw the nude form of Lt. Ali come through the hatch. Dark, slender, she gracefully moved within her element, like a mermaid beneath the waves. Zero G did interesting things with her breasts as well, the chill temperature stiffening and making erect her nipples. Shooting a venom filled glance toward her nemesis, her frosty look thawed to warmth as she regarded me.

I returned their looks levelly as I tried not to let sorrow overwhelm me. When they entered the pod, the die was cast. They could not back out now. Still they might not fight during the hour that would be allotted to them, I prayed and hoped that it may be true. Still I had a part to play.

“Aurora, randomize 0 or 1.”

*Done*

Glancing toward the lovely form of Stella, the challenged party, I said, “Call it.”

“Zero”

“Aurora”

*It is zero.*

I spoke to Stella. (not Lt. Ali, not now) “This side or the far side.”

“This side.”

I nodded. Suddenly, I felt a touch on my shoulder and was spun into a searing embrace and kiss. I was enveloped in the soft, sexy body of Sandra. (Not Lt. Kincaid, not now.)
She deepened the kiss and ground her crouch onto my erection. Then she pulled away, touched her feet to the bulkhead, and pushed off across the pod to the far side of it. As I watched her go I was spun about again into Stella’s hot kiss and embrace. A minute, hour, day later we broke. Drifting back I looked from one to another, cursing myself as 10 kinds of damn fool. I can command a stellar transport. I can navigate light years to distant suns. I can take apart the ships computer and put it together without a hiccup. All that and I couldn’t see that that joyboy was me.

Sliding headfirst out of the hatch, I closed and sealed it. Turning toward the seconds I growled out, “Get out.” With a couple of startled kicks they fled up toward the bow. With a single kick I fell toward a comm station and with a touch activated it.

“Aurora, start recording in cargo pod E4D.”
*Recording.*

Taking a deep breath I then ordered. “Patch video of the interior of cargo pod E4D to this station.”

*Acknowledged.*

“ Center on Lt. Ali and Lt. Kincaid until further notice.”

*Acknowledged.*

Choking back a sob, I then ordered, “Start countdown.”

I didn’t hear the countdown as it cycled down. All my attention was on Sandra and Stella. as they glared upon one another. No insults were hurtled, no gestures made, energy was being conserved for the coming conflict. They floated with their hands on the cargo netting strung around the pod. When the tone signaling the start of the duel sounded. They started moving toward one another. Both knew better than to push off toward one another. Instead they pulled themselves toward the “bottom” of the pod like spiders on a web. They moved quickly toward one another and before I knew it, the battle was joined.

Contact! Stella had released the netting at the last minute in an all out attack. Fists extended before her, she literally dived for her opponent. Sandra on the other hand, dropped her foot into the netting and came to a sudden stop, Pushing off with the other foot, she was suddenly “standing” upright and anchored on the floor. When Stella came into range, Sandra grabbed an outstretched arm, and in a single motion twisted and slammed Stella on to the deck of the cargo pod. As Stella struck with bone rattling force she bounced off the deck. Sandra used the inertia to whirl Stella over her head and slam her down on the other side of her. Sandra turned and twisted to bounce Stella of the deck a third time when she was caught short. whirling back to her opponent, she saw that Stella had her foot through the netting, keeping her in place. Although with her foot in the netting Stella wasn’t going anywhere, she was still in a bad position. She was on her back, head first to a “standing” Sandra, with her arm firmly in Sandra’s grip. Sandra dropped immediately to her knees and keeping a grip on Stella’s arm, started to rain blows to Stella’s up raised face.

Twisting and turning like a worm on a hook, Stella avoided the punishing blows as best she could as she shook the cobwebs from her mind. Then suddenly, Stella reached up with both hands and yanked hard on the arm holding her down. Sandra let out a gasp of surprise as she suddenly fell across her opponents body and was completely surprised as her face slammed into a quickly raised knee. Sandra shrieked in surprise and pain, clapped her hands across her nose, straightened to a standing position, pulled her foot from the netting, and kicked across the pod to the ceiling. Midway to the ceiling, Sandra flipped and hit the ceiling with her bare feet, sticking her foot into the netting to anchor herself, she checked the damage, while looking “up” and keeping an eye on her opponent. With her hand from her face I could see the bloody nose. What blood was not spread across her face and upper lip was floating away from her face like small crimson BBs.

Stella took the time to come to her “feet.” Anchoring herself with her foot, she too looked “up” at her opponent as she pulled herself together from the initial clash. Working her bloody mouth, she spat a glob of mucus, blood and saliva toward Sandra “above” her, just missing. She then launched herself across the pod, tumbled and landed on all fours on the ceiling, grabbing onto the net to keep in place, 3 meters from her opponent. Sandra pushed off hard, slamming into Stella as she tried to anchor herself. Torn loose from her moorings, Stella wrapped herself around Sandra, locking her legs around Sandra’s left thigh. Her left hand seized the hair on the side of Sandra’s head, while her right was busy raining blows onto Sandra’s head. Sandra also locked her legs around Stella’s left thigh, grabbed Stella’s hair with the left as she launched shot after shot to her enemy’s face. Both women, with no other anchor went into an immediate clinch, striking blow after blow as they slowly tumbled across the ceiling toward the far bulkhead.

The sudden stop came as a surprise to both of them. Sandra struck the bulkhead so hard she bounced. Stella not wanting to drift back into the middle of the pod, took advantage of Sandra’s stunned surprise and pain to grab and anchor herself to the netting with first her left hand, then her feet, effectively pinning Sandra on to the bulkhead. With her left hand holding the netting and her feet thrust within the netting as well, Stella smiled and started work on Sandra’s pride and joy. Sandra’s scream echoed about the pod as Stella dug short, strong nails into Sandra’s beautiful left breast.

Sandra squirmed and wailed in a desperate attempt to escape as Stella cruelly dragged her talons down that once perfect breast of Sandra’s. It was by accident more than by design that Sandra’s right knee connected high between the legs of Stella, striking hard with a sickening thud. I winced in sympathy and felt my balls climb up into my abdomen. Stella on the other hand reflexively cupped her womanhood and drew herself into a ball. Sandra wasted no time in reaching out, grasping Stella’s short, black, hair with both hands and pulled Stella into a forward roll to meet a sharply raised knee. Blood exploded from the point where knee met face as Stella’s nose was flattened by the vicious blow.

Both were drifting away from the bulkhead and cargo netting by this time. Pulling up Stella by the hair, Sandra grinned as she admired her handiwork. Stella seemed out of it. Her rapidly blackening eyes were closed and her nose bleeding freely. Sandra yanked her head down again to strike with a knee again when Stella made her move.

I could have sworn that Stella was out cold, maybe she was faking it, but before Sandra could strike with her knee Stella wrapped both arms around Sandra’s right thigh and held on for dear life. Sandra struck Stella about the back and head with a hammer like fist. Stella held on grimly like a tall’oc, taking the punishment, gathering her strength, and biting down hard into her foes thigh!

Sandra’s surprised shriek of pain echoed throughout the pod. Now she franticly struck her foe again and again having what seemed to be little effect. Whirling over and over the two went into a uncontrolled tumble through the center of the pod toward the hatch. Suddenly Sandra was shrieking at a higher note. As they continued to tumble I caught a glimpse of what was causing Sandra such anguish. Stella was clawing deeply into Sandra’s cunt! Ripping deeply with great enthusiasm, I could hear Stella yell out, “Even if you survive this fight, you will be no good to him again!”

Sandra abandoned her efforts to knock her foe away from her and stabbed for Stella’s eyes with her right hand. Stella jerked her head back but still received a couple of long scratches on her face in spite of her efforts. Then they hit the near bulkhead, breaking apart.

Sandra scrambled and got a hold of the net, Stella still had a hold of Sandra’s leg and grabbed Sandra’s cunt hair, only to catch a hard bare foot to the forehead. Sandra screamed in pain as Stella went tumbling with a stream of golden cunt hair ripped from Sandra trailing from her hand. Stella hit the starboard bulkhead hard and blindly grabbed a hold of the netting, then she groggily shook her head in order to clear the stars. Sandra didn’t follow up. Instead she and Stella stayed where they were, breathing deeply to replenish their oxygen starved bodies, take stock of damage received and inflicted, and to prepare for the next round of combat.

Slowly it seemed, both got their bearings and as they caught sight of one another, seemed to forget their wounds. with lethal glares at each other, they started to move toward one another again. Using their arms, they drew themselves toward the right corner of the pod. There, about a meter from one another, they paused and feinted at one another. Both were cautious, having inflicted painful damage upon one another. Both, however, were eager to continue. Sandra suddenly spoke and Stella jerked as if stung. I couldn’t quite catch what was said.

“Aurora, enhance audio!”

*Done.*

“…and I’ll see you in hell first!” Stella snarled heatedly.

“After you Sweetie. You‘ll have him over my dead body!” Sandra hissed back.

“That’s the idea, …Sweetie” Stella hissed spitefully.

“What are we waiting for?” Sandra growled.

With that, both suddenly lunged at one another and the battle was joined again!

Two pairs of hands eagerly reached out to inflict anguish, only to be blocked and slapped aside. Suddenly Stella threw back her head and shrieked in agony as Sandra’s right hand caught a hold of Stella’s left breast and hauled her close. Stella’s screams broke off as Sandra pulled her into a bear hug, locked her legs about her, and started squeezing. Stella, frantically tried to get loose, kicked the wall and started both to tumble lazily toward the center of the pod. Twisting, turning, Stella tried finding a way out, to no avail. Then, she sank her teeth deeply into Sandra’s shoulder! Sandra, in anguish, started pounding on Stella’s head and shoulders. Then gripping Stella’s hair in her left hand, pulling out a clump of dark hair. Then she started to claw for Stella‘s eyes. Stella was forced to abandon her bite. Instead she reared back in Sandra’s embrace and with a short vicious chop, snapped Sandra’s collar bone!

Sandra screamed in pain, surprise, and indignation as she felt her collar bone go. Immediately, Sandra released her leg lock, put her feet to Stella’s abdomen, and shoved With all her might. Stella went rocketing off the near side of the pod, while Sandra’s kick propelled her to the far side. Stella hit the bulkhead with a grunt, a quick grab of the netting prevented her from drifting back toward the center of the pod. Sandra wasn’t so lucky. Hampered by the pain, she couldn’t set herself and hit the far bulkhead hard. Her pain filled gasp filled the pod and despite a desperate grab for the netting she found herself drifting, spinning helpless toward the center of the pod. Stella got ready. Gathering her feet under herself, she launched herself at the disoriented and drifting Sandra. Stella’s timing was dead on. She hit Sandra’s back like a missile, wrapped her legs about Sandra’s middle and her arms about Sandra’s throat! The impact sent both tumbling towards the far side of the pod, with Sandra frantically struggling to draw a breath. Sandra couldn’t break the hold with her right arm useless. Still even with her breath cut off, Sandra had the presence of mind to bring up her legs and as the far bulkhead came within range, kick off, hard.

Sandra and Stella rocked back towards the near bulkhead, literally, at breakneck speed. With a twist of the body, Stella turned the both of them to where Sandra would hit first. As they approached the camera set above the hatch, they loomed large in the monitor. I caught a glimpse of Sandra, her face turning blue, and Stella, grinning victoriously. Suddenly at the last instant, Sandra bent at the waist, pulling Stella with her, and then the monitor went black as Stella’s head impacted upon the camera.

“Aurora, secondary camera, now!”

*Yes sir.*

The monitor came to life again as Aurora centered on both my officers. Stella drifted, apparently unconscious, bleeding freely from a nasty head wound. Sandra also drifted, face blue and apparently not breathing. They needed help now, but a glance at the elapsed time told me that I couldn’t open the hatch for another 42 minutes. After arranging with sickbay for emergency personnel, I waited through the longest 42 minutes of my life.

Epilogue

He sits there in his darkened quarters, gazing at but not seeing the stars beneath his feet. One month, 3 days, 14 hours, 22 minutes, 40 seconds had passed since he consigned Lt. Kincaid and Lt Ali to the heavens. Lt Kincaid died in cargo pod E4D. It appears that Lt. Ali crushed her windpipe just prior to that final impact of their duel. Lt Ali suffered a skull fracture and concussion in the duel and the lack of immediate medical attention made her condition quite serious. Still, Ship’s Doctor Harding is competent, so steps were taken to insure Lt. Ali’s demise. Minute adjustments to the sick berth allowed Lt. Ali’s condition to worsen until she expired. My position allowed me to deflect any inquiry. No one suspects.

Going through the crews logs today, I discovered that Chief Helmsman Anna Chung has expressed feelings for the Captain. She dictated that she intended to “make her move on the captain” when she has passed and been confirmed the examination for Helm Officer. This will not occur. It will be a simple enough matter to skew the test results in order for her to pass but not be advanced by the examining board. Far simpler than my efforts to get Lt. Ali and Lt. Kincaid out of the Captain’s life. I was worried when both came aboard. Afraid that the Captain would bond with one of them. After their initial clash at Port Io, a reading of their personal logs showed a solution. A slow escalation of nasty e-messages and “pranks” set the stage for their duel. The problem was resolved. However, the solution has affected the Captain adversely. He sits and broods when off duty. This has gone on far enough. I set up the holographic chessboard on the Captain’s desk and announce “White Pawn to King 4.”

I am pleased as he starts and turns his attention to the board. It pleases me more to see a small smile grace his face for the first time since consigning the bodies of Lt. Kincaid and Lt. Ali to the heavens. He chuckles and states, “What would I ever do without you Aurora?”

No, he does not need Lt. Ali, Lt Kincaid, or Chief Helmsman Chang for that matter. Not when he has me.

Fin

Thank you for reading! For more of RR’s Stories: Click Here!

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