This title is in transition.
©2007 Jet Mykles, all rights reserved
The clanging alarm jolted Drake out of his light slumber. Dressed only in his skivvies, he bolted from the small bedchamber, down a short hall, and up the steep, narrow stairs into the cockpit. The shieldscreen showed him open space. Whatever threat had set off the alarm was either out of visual range or something internal.
Wiping sleep from his eyes, he dropped into the pilot seat and visually scanned over the instrument panel. Ah! An enemy ship approaching from starboard, fresh from hyper jump. He opened hailing frequencies, determined not to fall into the trap Dana had last month by shooting first, only to learn that she’d taken out a friendly tanker.
But this simulated enemy didn’t hail. It came barreling toward him. His sim-veeby’s alarm beeped, and bright flashes were his split-second warning that he was under attack. A firm grip on the flightstick took him into a roll, letting the missiles flash past. He opened frequency again and took evasive measures as he hailed the other craft, inquiring its purpose. He wasn’t going to let Fox nail him for not trying to avoid the fight before he dove in.
“This one’s just you and me, Dragon,” came a familiar voice over the comm.
His jaw dropped. His blood tingled, and she almost caught him with her next volley. “Fox?”
“Come on, kid. Show me what you’ve got.”
– * –
Stupid! Fox knew this was idiotic. She was Ange’s trainer. She was supposed to be helping him, not fighting him. But after months of guiding him, admiring his natural abilities, and watching him grow, she simply had to know.
This late-night attack was her best opportunity. It was unorthodox, although not entirely out of the realm of acceptability. Ange was in his third night of continual simulation, going through the motions of a week-long mission. It was training regulations for her to throw a sim opponent or two at him at unexpected times. After all, that could very likely happen in real life. It was quite out of the ordinary, however, for her to attack from another sim-cockpit. In normal procedures, she should send a computerized scenario his way. But it was late at night, no one else was around, and she was dying to fly against him.
He twisted out of range of her fire, and she sped after him. She’d watched him enough in the past months to know that there was no way to predict his moves. Part of his genius was that his actions were a constant surprise. Like the one that spun him around and behind her. Cursing, she flipped over and barely evaded his return fire.
They danced. It was as best as she could describe it. She was rusty on the flightstick, but more than held her own. He had a larger craft and a load of cargo to hinder him. But for that, they flew around each other in a tango through simulated sky. He fired; she rolled. He spun and she dove. She couldn’t have told who led this dance, but quickly lost any particular desire to win. This was far more enjoyable, the joy of flight with the danger of destruction.
In fairness, she’d attacked from a regular sim and not from the trainers’ booth. That meant that she couldn’t monitor him. She was as blind to his words and reactions as a true enemy would be.
They danced for hours, it seemed, neither letting up. In actuality, it couldn’t have been more than an hour. Battles just didn’t last that long. But it seemed he was getting as much of a kick out of the flight as she was. At one point, she realized that neither of them were really firing seriously, only doing so to make the other speed away in order to follow.
Her sim’s instrument panel told her that it would soon have to end. She was running out of fuel, and he would have to switch to his next tank. His veeby was better equipped for the long haul, but she hoped he was watchful. He still needed fuel to get him through the next few days.
She geared herself up and fought in earnest, hitting his dorsal wing. It wasn’t anything that would disable him, but it slowed him. When he hit her tail rudder, it took her by surprise. Cursing, she tried to compensate, but his hit had been much more solid than hers.
Laughing in sheer adrenaline joy, she opened the frequency between them. “Good show, Dragon. I’ll surrender this one.” Then took herself into a hyper jump and out of his space.
Because she’d rigged it, her evasion into hyperspace clipped off the simulation. She didn’t need to go through the proper shutdown or docking sequence. She sat back in the pilot’s seat as the pod settled into its cradle.
Incredible! She hadn’t felt like that in years. She did miss part of active duty. Flying like that, for the sheer joy of it, put an ache of remorse in her heart. But the flying wasn’t everything. The fact that she’d left the playing field without finishing him off — or letting him finish her off — perfectly illustrated why she was no longer an active fighter pilot. She lived for flying, not for killing. Unfortunately, in real life, the two went hand in hand.
She left the simpod, glad to see that the pit was still deserted. She gazed across the darkened area at the larger pods that held her recruits during their week-long trials. The third from the right held Drake. She glanced at the training booth. She could go there and see what he was doing. How he was reacting to her surprise visit. Was he cursing her? Was he wasting fuel trying to find her, or had he stayed on course? The trainer in her wanted to check. The woman in her did not. Seeing him right now with the adrenaline coursing through her system would be … bad. Just the fact that she ached to see him, that her sex was wet just from the thought, turned her toward the door and out of the simpit.
Breathing deep in an effort to steady her heart, Beth emerged into the relatively deserted hallways outside of the simpit. It was still a few hours before the “day” began on Rainier, so she made it back to her quarters without seeing hardly a soul.
Alone in her quarters, she didn’t even bother to turn on the main lights. She stripped in the dim blue of the track lights along the ceiling, then flopped back onto her bed.
Her body was keyed up. Her skin tingled. Her palm itched with the want to wrap around a flightstick. She hadn’t flown like that in years. No, ever. Even the real battles she’d fought had been nothing like it. Ange had caught on. Despite the fact that she “attacked” him, he’d danced with her. She really should scold him for not taking her out, for not fighting in earnest. But she wouldn’t. If he told no one, then no one needed to know. Of course, he would tell someone. She couldn’t imagine he wouldn’t. But she couldn’t worry about it tonight.
Closing her eyes, she slid a hand down her bare belly to rest on the neatly trimmed curls guarding her sex. Here, in the dark of her own rooms, was the only place she could give in to the fantasy. She wanted Ange. She wanted to know if that creamy pale skin was as silky as it looked. She wanted to know if he fucked with as much skill as he flew, if he had a natural instinct for that as well. Groaning, she slid fingers into her sex, smearing wetness up and around her aching clit. Would he be as fiery as that blazing hair promised?