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DOG STAR

A Cabin Boy's Adventures Aboard A Space Merchant's Ship
 

by
PJ Franklin     

One afternoon while standing next to his father inside of orbiting Earth station 17, ten year old Seth Zander was gazing out the huge curved plexi-   glass window towards the black void of space. He pointed to the brightest looking star that he could see. "Father, that is Sirius, the brightest star."

Captain Mike Zander's mind was far from star-gazing at just one star. Sol Systems, Inc.'s most senior space merchant captain was contemplating his imminent return to working in and around the distant deep space Hadar system, light years away from son Seth, buying and otherwise obtaining profitable goods for his employer over a long and arduous six month mission. These last precious moments with his son were important for both of them, for he could not take Seth with him, not until he was older. So the Captain smiled and redirecting his attention from work and back to his son, patted his shoulder, "Yes Seth, they call it the Dog Star because it dwells within the dog constellation, Canis Major."

Seth would never forgot the name Dog Star and that moment with his father. Two decades later, ten of which were spent in the long and hard drudgery of his own space merchant apprenticeship with many other smaller companies and ships, Seth would finally find himself at the New London colony Space Merchant's Licensing Agency, located on the Earth's now fully colonized Moon. Now it was Seth Zander's turn in life to take up the family profession and the now 32 year old man would become a merchant captain in the image of his own father's and grandfather's lives. Mike had been tragically killed some five years before, battling thieving pirates on a far and dangerous outpost, called Monsoon, a system even deeper into the void of deep interstellar space than Hadar. Grandfather Paul had died of natural causes long before that and during his retirement.

Sol Systems, his father's and grandfather's employer, had been bought and sold five times in the interim and now was but a small subsidiary of Terran System's largest trading company, Alpha Omega Corporation (AOC); and the moment that Seth gained his own merchant captain's license by signing the final papers, an agent for AOC, recognizing the long Zander family tradition of merchant ship excellence, handed him another set of papers, a contract of employment between himself and AOC to pilot one of their newer Class 5, medium sized merchant ships to both continue on the family tradition and benefit AOC with his expertise.

In hiring Seth, the AOC also offered to recognize the Zander line of distinguished space merchant pilots, offering to Seth to name the vessel in memory of his brave and dedicated male ancestors. Seth accepted the offer of a name, but fearing that someday the ship with his family name emblazoned on its hull could be lost to battle or obsolescence, chose instead to name the ship, Dog Star, to Seth, a bright and more enduring memorial to that long past moment in time between father and son. AOC accepted the name Dog Star, and the ship was officially christened shortly thereafter. Seth Zander would now begin the happy process of accumulating his crew, then would begin the work and life of a space merchant captain for AOC, just as his father and his father's father, before him.

* * * * * * * * * *

And so our story begins as many such stories have through merchant marine ship history, at a bar or pub near to the ship's debarkation point at an ocean-side port and dock, but in this case, a space pub, as they now called them, and at that, on the Moon's colony of New London, sans the briny depths of one of Earth's mighty oceans. And like their many predecessors, this space pub, named Moon's Dark Side was located in not the nicest part of the New London Moon colony at its very edge. The pub's barkeep and owner Judson or Jud Lacoline worked the male dominated crowd from behind the long bar, selling synth-liquors and beers to his thirsty customers, while wife and co-owner Bernita, cooked her popular and very tasty grub orders in the back and closely supervised their new employee, Tucker Vaux.

Godparents Jud and Bernita had just hired in the troubled sixteen year old son of long time honorary "granddaughter" Farrah Vaux, to wash and dry greasy grub dishes, clean and polish glass beer mugs and shot glasses while the establishment was open, then mop until clean, the dirty pub flooring after closing. There were other work chores assigned to the otherwise gregarious young man by the couple all week long, mostly part of running the business of entertaining the pub's largely space merchant employed customers, but also things just to keep the boy out of mischief while mother Farrah worked the long and hard hours of cleaning the upper crusted fancy cottages of the more wealthy inhabitants of the Moon colony.

Upon Uncle Jud's and Aunt Bernita's generous invitation, mother and son shuttled up to New London to start new lives, gratefully leaving the disastrous dissolution of their earth-side family after Farrah's husband, Tucker's father, Harley Vaux, had not only abandoned them back on Earth months before, but got himself fatally entrenched in addictive gambling debt under the thumb of one of many notoriously violent underworld mafia cultures. Nobody would ever see Harley Vaux again, and such had been their lives, hopelessly mired within the vast squalid suburban ghettos in the outskirts of what once had been the proud American city of New York.

Life would now be vastly improved for Farrah and her son and though very humble and basic in the very expensive Moon colony environs, it would be worth every moment that Tucker was no longer exposed to the violence of teenage gangs and dangerous temptations to crime that the young man had faced on a daily basis back on Earth. Indeed, Tucker Vaux had barely skirted the harsh and punitive juvenile judicial system on several occasions having found his own illegal way to earn cash without slaving away as most teens did at one of the many state run brutal production factories.

Tucker looked up from the huge and ever growing pile of plates, mugs and glasses as Aunt Bernita sprouted a smile and turned, "Now you keep your nose to work young man, I'll be right back!" Tuck, as he was known to most, respectfully nodded, "Yes mam," but was, as usual, natively curious about the apparent excitement in Aunt Bernita's face. Somebody important to her and probably to Uncle Jud as well, likely a space merchant of some rank, had just entered the pub, so Tucker carefully moved towards Bernita's service window between the hot kitchen and the back of Uncle Jud's serving area to see what the commotion was all about.

Tuck was underage and not allowed on the pub floor proper during open business hours and the new adults in his life didn't even want Tuck's face appearing in Bernita's service window between the hot kitchen and Jud's bar side mostly due to Tuck's tendency to mind wanderings, "scheming," as Aunt Bernita would put it; but Tuck thought it more "dreaming," about the excitingly dangerous life of a space merchant crewman for himself.

Just then and before he too moved from behind the bar to greet their special guest, Uncle Jud turned to make sure Tuck was not in view and Tuck had to quickly duck, causing the teen's face to impishly grin and his heart to beat faster, having apparently survived the small risk. Satisfied, Jud proceeded around the edge of the long bar. Bernita was already hugging long time family favorite, Seth Zander, now come to celebrate his new space merchant Captain's license in his favorite New London watering hole, Moon's Dark Side pub. It would be a combined celebration as well as a family reunion and multiple synth-drinks would be raised to toast not only Seth's new achievement, but also to memorialize once again, the legendary deep space exploits of merchant captains, father Mike and Grandfather Paul.

Tucker then slowly stood up and carefully peered around the corner of the window once again. He would not likely get caught now as nobody was looking his way anymore, especially Uncle Jud. Rules were rules and though Tucker had been used to breaking them by the dozens back on Earth, somehow successfully skirting the very painful consequences; that kind of result was no longer a possibility under Uncle Jud's and Aunt Bernita's now ever watchful eyes.

Uncle Jud's well used leather strap had seen to that with mother Farrah's blessing, twice already, the well oiled leather blistering the teen's bared, upturned and compliant bottom on two similar, but really completely differing occasions. The first time had been a new rather mild domestic experience for Tuck, the second a much more painful and serious reminder that Uncle Jud's own blood nephews had found out for themselves during prior years of bad boy moments while staying with their beloved Uncle Jud and Aunt Bernita Lacoline up from Earth.

Both times, Tucker had been caught reverting back to his old and otherwise harmless habit of satisfying his burgeoning libido's craving for sexual satisfaction with an older boy or man, always a stranger too. The sexual part was not the problem, not at all. The problem was his ever growing need for cash. What teenage boy did not have an endless craving for both? None, practically speaking.

It was just that most boys did not go about the latter, combining it with the former into his own little cottage prostitution business, as Tucker had successfully done with no consequences back on Earth in the dark shadows of suburban ghetto alley-ways.  Farrah knew about Tucker's habits and hated that her son did that, but Tucker constantly kept his vulnerable mother off guard by always giving most of the money obtained back to her to help the family of two to survive. It had been an ugly, but seemingly necessary compromise at best, though never by her consent or wish, but at least Tucker could completely avoid sexually transmitted disease, a tribute to the federally required and far advanced infant- vaccines given at birth to all humans of the times.

More importantly at the beginning, were it not for the fact that besides space merchants, that the Moon's Dark Side pub's next best customers were highly placed New London colony policemen, and one vice detective in particular, both Farrah and Tucker might have been deported back to Earth after Tucker was nabbed the first time, even after having been forewarned, propositioning an older space merchant crewman just around the corner from the pub, for sex for pay. The large swarthy vice detective had already been tipped off by good friend Jud Lacoline to do the pub owner and now self-adopted "uncle" to the trouble-prone teen, a big favor and keep a watch-out for his "nephew."

Indeed, just two days into his new environment, Tucker had given it a first go and quickly got nabbed by Vice Detective Parker. A long and frightening lecture about deportation burned Tucker's ears on the spot, then Tucker was taken by the scruff back to his Uncle Jud and in front of Officer Parker, Jud guaranteed that justice was just about five minutes more away in the form of Tucker's very first bare bottom strapping over an old tall wooden back kitchen pub barstool.

The whipping had hurt, but not terribly so and was more intended to demonstrate to Tucker that Uncle Jud and Aunt Bernita were not slouches when it came to their own New London street smarts. Well, the problem then still remained that Tucker Vaux was, after all, his father's son and part of that genetic code was risk taking, sometimes beyond the precipice. That, and Tucker's sexual habits and fetishes had grown over his few young years in the dark alley-way shadows to include lots of rough sex, including belt whippings and spankings, the kind that really got some cash flow going from certain older male customers.

Let's just say that after Uncle Jud's first whipping, Tucker went back to his small and modest colony cottage bedroom  alone and sheepishly pretended that the whipping had been for cash and masturbated himself silly, if not yet guiltily over it, picturing instead the handsome vice detective, not only doing the whipping, but taking "advantage" of Tucker afterwards, the middle two of Tucker's longish fingers substituting for the real thing, pistoning himself  in and out of his anus until the usual sought after conclusion erupted.

But Tucker was persistent, if not quite so ignorantly the second time around. He did not wish himself or his mother burdened with the possibility of deportation from their new home, so the next time, and yes, there was always going to be a next time, Tucker more carefully spied out a regular Moon's Dark Side space merchant crewman, somebody that he was sure was not a cop and looked out much more carefully for the detective. Well, that was all well and fine, only now, Uncle Jud became his own undercover vice detective and nabbed Tucker just as quickly as Detective Parker had, even much before Tucker could hardly say two words of offering to the crewman.

Tucker, perhaps an impulsive and troubled boy, but never a liar, quickly confessed his intent to his Uncle and literally "tucked" his tail between his own legs and resolutely marched himself back inside of the pub's otherwise closed and darkened kitchen that night, stripped off his trousers and underwear and placing the old barstool in the middle of the back of the kitchen, went over the seat, bare bottom high and ready. Uncle Jud followed him in, grabbed up the whipping strap leather and went to work, seriously this time.

Tucker was no stranger to the pain of a well used belt or strap on the streets, but this was far different from that or Uncle's first whipping. Uncle Jud innocently, but also purposely pushed Tuck right over the edge from pleasure into gross pain and regret. Tears and snot followed in amounts that shocked even Tucker and begging did no good. But neither did Tucker move an inch or try to resist.

Frankly, Tuck's subconscious had already started to wisely latch onto Uncle Jud as a father figure and if only his own father, Harley Vaux, had stuck around and even dared to be a real father to him and discipline his son properly, Tucker may have harmlessly practiced his same-sexual urges, but would never have started down the addictive road of risky and anonymous sex and illegal prostitution attempts with strangers in strange places. Tucker still took private advantage of his second whipping, just much later after the emotional "punishment" of getting caught by uncle Jud in the first place, had well worn off.

* * * * * * * * * *

As Tucker carefully watched, the entire pub crowd now surrounded the very handsome man, Seth Zander. Tucker had seen many space merchant captains and crew over the past nearly four weeks of his new life up on New London. Talk about a real dream-come-true, what boy down on earth would not envy even being a waif in the corner of a cottage hovel on the famous Moon base and yet here he was, Tucker Vaux, actually living out even that miniscule dream. But Tuck's own dreams were  quickly growing into something much more ambitions, and nothing anymore to do about fantasies about being a wealthy Earth bound rich man or notorious and dangerous gang or underworld mafia chieftain or even a scandalously indulgent and wealthy world-famous musician.

Tuck was underage and could not step foot in the main pub area with its rowdy mostly male patronage, but that was fine by him for now. He could still hear the raucous, bawdy words and phrases spiked with laughter and cheer and he could still carefully peer out of Bernita's service window from time to time when Aunt Bernita was not inside the kitchen watching over him, just as he was at the moment.

Better, he could still see the manly space merchants that frequented the pub every afternoon and especially evenings and wonder what adventures they had while cruising swiftly at near light speeds, through the far outposts of distant star systems looking for profitable loot. Nobody and nothing from down on Earth could ever compare now in Tucker's eyes and now that was Tucker's ultimate dream and ambition, to get a crewman's position on a space merchant's ship, yes!

Tuck watched the happy crowds that included his Aunt and Uncle and pretended that he too was lifting a shot glass to toast the new Captain and even got his own shot glass and filling it with water, would make his own silent toast to Captain Zander and his space merchant family, now starting to seriously scheme if maybe, just maybe, this Captain Zander might be somebody he could convince to take him on and teach him the manly and exciting life of a space merchant crewman.

Seth Zander was besides himself with pride, but not in himself, no, but in his family and a tear came to his eye during the toasts to his father and Grandfather. It was a god-send that others so liberally said the words for he could not possibly toast father Mike or Grandfather Paul aloud, he would not be able to speak the words, so deeply did he miss both males in his family. But would Seth ever have a blood family of his own? No, that was not in the cards. His new ship, Dog Star , and its crew would be his family for as long as it and he existed, that was just the way things now were in him mind.

So Seth held his ever synth-vodka full shot glass on high and listening to the plentiful toasts, looked about room, but in the looking caught a glance at the face of a boy at the corner of Bernita's service window. It appeared, then disappeared, but Seth's keen eye never forgot even a corner of a face, so experienced was he in the alien environments of his years of vast deep space merchant travels and dealings.

He might ask Jud or Bernita later who the boy was, very possibly a nephew, come up to visit the immensely popular bar owner and his beloved wife. For now, it was drink on and drink hard, for there was work to be done, but good work, a crew was needed, for he so far had only one, Joss Riley, a very valued friend and able second in command to help him with Dog Star's growing needs and day-to-day operations.

Tucker quickly ducked again! Did the Captain see him? No, he didn't, or did he? Tucker grinned to himself and his fantasies and dreams of space merchant crewman adventures expanded as he went back to his work, Aunt Bernita seeming like she was returning anyway. Tucker went back to the hot, humid back of the kitchen and putting his apron back on, saw the tall wooden barstool, the one he had laid over during his two whippings with Uncle Jud and he pretended that he was a cabin boy aboard the Dog Star, and an imp of one at that.

Captain Zander was his boss in his fantasy and that very barstool was always in a corner in the Captain's quarters ever ready to host a misbehaved cabin boy's bare bottom up high, Captain Zander wielding the strap or better yet, a crewman's old leather uniform belt, a thick and wide belt used to hold the sharp and clever tools of a space merchant crewman's trade, only this one retired and used for only one thing, to lay painful cut after painful cut across that cabin boy's grateful upturned bared bottom over that barstool, grateful for a wise and dedicated male role model, ever present, ever vigilant and quite unlike Tuck's own disappointing upbringing.

Tuck's penis instantly erected in his trousers with his complex and distracting thoughts as his arms and hands slowed down the washing process. Was it the Captain's older age and good looks? Yes, the man was undoubtedly very sexy and very appealing to Tucker just for that alone and not to mention the idea of being a real Captain's "boy" in more than one way.

But it was also the man and his history. Maybe Seth Zander was not a husband or father or if he was, none was in sight at the bar that night as should have been. But the Captain did have a father once, a very good and missed father by the sounds of it and a Grandfather as well, both of them very much unlike Tucker's own disappointing experience. Seth had always wanted a Grandfather, but there was none, nor Grandmother, only him and his mother Farrah and a very dysfunctional father, now lost to him forever.

Uncle Jud was for certain a good man and Tuck both respected and even had started to love Uncle Jud in a way, but Uncle Jud's pub and the life of a kitchen boy did not appeal to Tuck in the long run. Bernita then appeared, "I saw you peeking out young man. You're lucky I don't tell your Uncle Jud, he might not think it so cute," and went back to cooking.

Bernita Lacoline, more than even Tuck's own mother and certainly more than her own husband, knew Tucker Vaux would need much more than a life in the pub business or even something on the Moon colony. She saw it in his eyes. Tuck had his father's eyes, Harley's eyes, eyes that wandered, unsettled eyes that mirrored the male need to succeed through risky adventure. Harley had done that, but obviously in quite a very wrong and fatal way. Bernita was a wise woman and just in that momentary glance that she had seen between Seth and Tucker, an idea was born in her mind.

"Yes mam, sorry mam," Tuck said, respectful of her ever vigilance over him and grateful also of her small dispensation against discovery as he lifted off his apron and  made his way to the small bathroom near to his work station and went inside. Tuck closed the door behind himself and hiked down his clothing and started to masturbate himself.

Yes, now in Tuck's mind and fantasy, he was caught, Captain Zander had caught him peeking like a naughty voyeur through the service window, lusting himself upon the Captain's good looks and Uncle Jud gave the Captain the strap and it was Captain Zander that ordered his naked bare bottom over that barstool by his work station and started to give Tucker Vaux a whipping from his strong arm and shoulder. It would most certainly be the kind of whipping any boy would want from a man like that, if he was the kind of boy Tuck knew he was, anyway. Tuck's young juices flowed quickly and hard just then, the orgasm washing over his being in a way that seemed new, different and powerful.

* * * * * * * * * *

The celebratory party finally came to an end very late at night, and only the three of them were left, Bernita, Jud and Seth Zander. Tucker Vaux had been sent home with food sufficient for his mother's very late supper. "Nephew of yours back there in the kitchen tonight?" Seth then asked, kind of out of nowhere, his mind still enjoying a slight alcohol haze. Jud looked at Bernita, who smiled, "No, actually, do you remember Farrah Vaux?"

Seth nodded, "Yes, unofficial granddaughter of yours, is that her son?"Bernita was glad that Seth made the connections, "Sure is, sixteen and full of trouble, just like his father, Harley." Seth narrowed his eyes trying to recall, "if I remember you telling me, gambling debts to the mob down there, how did that work out?" Bernita continued, "Didn't, he's gone, likely dead. We brought them up after that for Tucker to get away from the streets."

Jud then shook his head, "Yea, and he took to the streets up here or tried to. I caught him, twice actually." Seth cocked his head to the side, "Doing what?" Jud rolled his eyes, "Let's just say, the boy has a strong sex drive and learned how to use it down there to earn money, and tried it here. No dice. Earned himself two good whippings however." Seth chuckled to himself. He had been no stranger to the proper use of belt and strap in his teenage years. Mike Zander had been a very strong disciplinarian, and like any good and strong boy, Seth challenged his father on several occasions, only to find himself standing at supper time, his bottom too sore to sit.

"Jud is doing his best, but just like his own father needed and never got, that boy is going to need a strong much younger man around him, for a long time to come or he may come to harm, just like his father. I really hate to see that happen," Bernita said in her womanly, offhanded and purposeful way as she looked squarely at Seth. Jud rolled his eyes, "Now Bernita, Seth Zander does not need the likes of that misbehaved boy around him now. He's a busy man, aren't you Seth?"

Seth could already see the handwriting on the wall. No alien, even from the very profitable, but very dangerous Monsoon system should ever come across Bernita Lacoline and be able to resist a proposed price from her, no matter it might lead to a huge loss. "Bernita? Just what do you think I would do with a boy like that? He's all of what, fifteen, sixteen? My youngest crew is twenty-one and they're all horny for six months, me too!"

"I'm just saying Seth Zander, now don't go assuming things out of the blue. Besides, you sound like you could use a little settling down. You got no family responsibilities proper." Jud did his best, "Bernita Lacoline, I swear, what gives you these strange ideas? Deep space is no place for a boy of sixteen. He's too young, too inexperienced and would just drive the man nuts, never mind the boy's penchant for sexual mischief!"

Seth glanced at both Jud and Bernita now, his loins were growling at him with all this talk about Tucker Vaux's apparently overwrought proclivities. He had not been properly laid in weeks and when he did get temporary companionship like that, it didn't matter whether it was man or woman; he was set against doing it with any of his own crew however, if any of them went that way. He had seen it ruin crewmate relationships with the boss, and now he was the boss. Besides, sixteen? Wasn't that a little young, even for him?

"Jud is right Bernita, but thanks all the same," Seth said and stood up, "It's time for me to find me some fun, and then get to bed later. Like you said, there's work to be done. I'll be back tomorrow night, it's time for me and Mr. Riley to get the show on the road."

Bernita and Jud stood with Seth, Bernita gave him a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the rear, "You be careful now, tell Mr. Riley to get in here early ahead of you, we've already put out the word, you'll be getting the best." Now that was more like it. This was truly Bernita at her best, making sure that a Zander captain was well taken care of at hiring time.

But Seth Zander left the pub knowing for certain that Bernita's concern about the Farrah Vaux's son would not be laid to rest, not easily anyway. Just what in the world would he do with what amounted to an old fashioned cabin boy that young in deep space, not even to mention with a crew of all male young men prancing about their ship as they all often did, half naked, sometimes more than half and their foul mouths and bawdy lifestyles and "colorfully" decorated sleeping bunks? No, no place for a boy in all that, not to mention the company would frown on it. What was Bernita thinking?

And yet he knew that Bernita knew that he, Seth Zander, would try and be a proper role model for the teen. Damn her! Always taking advantage, Bernita was. She knew that Seth would never allow the boy to ever come to harm and sex with him or even with his crew was not the problem way out there in deep space, far from it. Death and its worse companion, alien trade in human sex slaves, was the danger. And yet, if the boy persisted at New London, he and his mother could get deported back to a life that bordered on just that back on Earth. Boy, that Bernita Lacoline was devilish in her ability to make a questionable and odd thing sound so sensible in the end and, she did care.

* * * * * * * * * *

In the end, Tucker Vaux would christen Aunt Bernita Lacoline as the patron saint, not exactly of lost causes, but nearly so, and most certainly his own angel of dreams and of all the bittersweet ironies, it was probably Harley Vaux's disappearance and likely death that had been the second best blessing for his father-orphaned son Tucker, for without that, there was be no dreams of being Seth Zander's "cabin boy."

There really was no such thing as a cabin boy in a AOC or any company's space merchant fleet crew. You were supposed to be eighteen. Not even Captains' sons got to on an official AOC merchant cruise before the first day of the eighteenth birthday, at least not officially, so getting Seth to agree to "sneak" Tuck onto his ship, especially this was his first cruise for AOC, was going to take another small miracle, but that was what Bernita was all about, wasn't it?

"OK, now let's go over it one more time, " Bernita said and Tucker was all ears, again, "What are the four possible ways to a space merchant captain's heart?" Tuck swallowed and smiled, "His ship, his crew, his dick and his stomach, in that order." Bernita smiled, she had better smile. She was doing this behind Seth's back, Jud's back and god bless her, even Tuck's mom's back.

If Farrah knew too much ahead of time, she would strongly balk at the idea that her precious son could come within ten-thousand miles, much less actually a few hundred yards in the Monsoon system, of evil aliens who would love to get their hands on her young supple human son and force, by their illegal drugs, to make his helpless body do human-alien sexual slavery  and actually last doing it for the next one-hundred years and a million miles away.

He would never to be heard or seen ever again, but that was all proper for being Tucker's constantly worried Mom. "You just leave your Mom to me, I'll take of her and Jud. Your job are the four rules, "and that is how "Getting Aboard The Dog Star 101" classes had begun between Tucker and Bernita.

It actually started the day after Seth's new Captain's license party at the pub that night and that very next day, Bernita sat Tucker down, just the two of them, and asked him just one question, "Do you or do you not want to try and get on board the Dog Star?" Tuck's eyes got big, "Oh please yes Auntie Bernita, you know I do! More than anything, I'll do anything, please!" Bernita nodded, she already knew that, "Good, then you'll do as you're told young man. First you will never, ever go out sex-hunting again, not here, not anywhere. Second, you will carefully, and I mean carefully learn to recognize Seth's crew, especially Joss Riley. He's key. Without him, you'll fail, but fortunately, you already have the key to his big heart."

Joss Riley was six foot seven, two-hundred fifty pounds of muscle and meanness (that is if you got on his bad side) but with a sexual appetite that matched his frame. Fortunately, he liked boys, well men, but secretly, a boy like Tucker could put Joss Riley into a coma of lust, if the boy knew how. "What's that Aunt Bernita?" She smiled, "If you make friends with Joss Riley's penis, I can just about guarantee you the sun, moon and stars, all at the same time." Tucker smiled, "I sure know how to do that!"

"I know you do son, I know you do, that's why from now on, you'll only have eyes for Joss Riley and Seth Zander if you're smart this is," Bernita nodded. Tuck smiled, "Yes mam!" then Bernita continued. "Next, you'll just lay low for a couple days until the men start to come and start to work the docks. There's an awful lot of work to loading up a ship before a six month duty and it's costly. Every time those men use that mechanical dock loader down there, it's money out of AOC and the captain's pocket. Now, they could hire men to do it by hand, but that's still a lot of money out yet. Your job is to work like a dumb donkey for free and for as long as you can and as long as it takes to hand move those heavy boxes and save Seth money. You'll win his loyalty, trust me. You'll show him that you're a hard worker and not just a dreamy and foolish skinny boy."

Tuck sighed. He wasn't afraid of hard work, it was just that it would be awfully hard to compete physically with those big swarthy dockworkers, him being about five foot ten and all of barely one-hundred fifty pounds. But he would work to the death, whatever it took. "I'll do it Aunt Bernita, I'll do whatever it takes." Bernita patted his head, "OK, you just keep your mouth shut and eyes open at the pub for now and when it's time,  I'll point you to the docks."

Tuck did himself one better, he stopped masturbating. Talk about self-sacrifice, asking a boy like Tucker Vaux to stop jacking off was tantamount to asking a dog to stop licking its balls, but he did, almost like a religious person on a self-depriving fasting holiday to gain favor with his God. He carefully watched from Bernita's service window, but only when Jud wasn't looking back, naturally, and observed each and every man that Captain Zander hired, as well as watching the captain himself and of course Mr. Riley. Boy, could that man pack away the food and drink or what? But Mr. Riley also seemed to have a kind way about him, sort of like the big man with a big heart to match.

It was strange in many ways as Tucker was really just doing what he used to do back on earth, evaluating potential sex for pay customers in those dark alleyways. Just by looking and listening and without talking or meeting, Tucker Vaux came to think that he knew these men, even before he met them. But that was part of it, Bernita knew that too. Well, and Bernita had planned this too, Tuck was not the only one doing the looking. Yes, Seth Zander was looking back and without talking to either Tucker or Bernita, he had a pretty good idea of what was going on and what he was being set up for.

At first, Seth kept it from Joss, but after a while that was ridiculous. Joss Riley at times was not the brightest star in the sky; but even he started to get suspicious when his food portions started to increase, quite dramatically some evenings and Bernita would flash him this strange smile every once in a while. Then there was that boy back there, the one whose head would sneak into the service window every once in a while, but only when Jud's head was turned. What was that all about? Joss figured he was just drinking too much beer.

Then Seth clued him in as to his very strong suspicions. That had been a tough night for Tucker. Even he could see that these men were catching on, and fast. He almost gave up, but Bernita was right there and told Tucker just to lay low for another day or two and all would be well, at least to get him down to the docks.

But, finally, the day did come. It was time for Tucker Vaux to show what he really was made of, down at the docks that is, the most unlikely place for him to prove his mettle. It was actually pretty comical at first. Seth and Joss were standing side-by-side haggling the price of this and that with the dock master, trying their best to get the lowest price for his company to load the ship with provisions and supplies for six months. They looked up, there stood nothing of what a dock worker should look like in the person of a boy too young for his company's ship, it was Tucker Vaux.

Seth rolled his eyes, "Well boy, what took you so long and where is Bernita? I would've thought she would be your agent or manager for this little gig of yours. Okay, let's have it, why are you here? As if I didn't know!" Tucker was ready, Bernita had warned him that Seth would be sarcastic and do everything he could verbally to send him away. His job was to persist, polite and submissive and take all the hazing he could, because there would be plenty.

"Yes sir, Bernita helped me. I desperately want to be a crew, just a cabin boy on the Dog Star sir. No pay. I know your company won't like it, I'm a little underage, but I have to, I want to. I'll show my worth down here and work hard sir!" Tuck said and then just listened. Seth looked at Joss. Quite frankly, and Joss would never say this right at the moment, but he was quite charmed by the boy, from the first actually. But that is not what you say to your captain, no matter your influence with him.

"Boy! I could lift you up and throw you half a mile, hit that bubble up there <referring to the thick titanium reinforced plexi-glass engineering feat of the century that kept the NewLondoncolonyartificialatmosphereintact>. You work down here? Don't make me laugh! Turn your tail and run before we eat you alive!" Now that is what Mr. Riley should have, and did say.

Mr. Riley's admonition shook Tucker, but just a little. He had nothing to lose by providing a little of his own bravado, "Yes sir, I suspect you could and quite easily too, only you'd be losing a free and hard-working, well, slave. I know that is what I would be, and I don't care, I want to do this!" And that did not surprise Seth either. He knew what Bernita had done with this boy, and actually admired her for it. "Okay Mr. Riley, throw him into it. No guarantees boy! None! If you even survive to the end of this day, you might get another and still fail, understand?"

Tuck smiled, but not too much, "Yes sir! Understood sir!" and that is how it all began. The truth really was that Seth Zander and Joss Riley were likely to actually take on Tucker Vaux, and without all this ridiculous dock working stuff. But that would not have been good for Tucker. See, what Bernita would not tell Tucker was that the first few days of a space merchant's first cruise back into deep space after weeks off, was always total misery, for everyone. Just like in the old days aboard seagoing vessels, they all would be sick as dogs trying to get their space legs. We're talking, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea and every manner of other minor flu-like miseries.

That was not to mention a space merchant ship had a lot of breaking in to do and this one was new. That meant a few more days of constant leakages of nasty fluids through dozens of improper, defective or poorly seated piping seals that had to be cleaned up 24/7, spoiled food to eat if the refrigerants failed, and generally a lot of bad moods in big men, not a good recipe for good feelings and great sex.

Sometimes fights broke out and discipline had to be meted, and the punishment strappings that big men had to endure from their superiors were no sexy child's play, not to mention the extra punishments of even more back-breaking nasty duties and if the sewage systems broke or failed? Look out. Now we're talking mutiny or worse, men talking about hurting anyone who would get in there way to get off the ship. Now all these things were unlikely, but what if they did happen and Tucker got tired of it? There was no way home.

Well, in this case, ignorance might be bliss. Tucker took everything at face value and why shouldn't he? But boxes weighing seventy-five pounds or more, seemingly hundreds of them were much more than face value. Tucker worked, he worked his ass off, but could not manage hardly a third or less of the rapid box-carrying trips of a full grown and experienced man. Those boxes had to be carried from their pallets for fifty back-breaking yards into the airlock that buffered the Dog Star from the colony air seals. Worse? Barely a third of the way through the day, his muscles started to fatigue and cramp.

Tucker was drinking fluids and stripping off the clothes he could without being indecent, but at one point simply collapsed on a box and put his head down to his face. Maybe it was enough, he was satisfied. He could not do this, it was too hard. Then, the inevitable voice, "Get him the hell out of here Mr. Riley, this is a failure." That was Captain Zander's judgment of Tucker's effort as he stood over Tucker, hands on hips. "Yes sir captain, right away! Come on boy, this is no place for you, neither are the stars." Tucker's disappointment was thick enough to eat, but he rose up and gathered all the dignity he could and walked with Mr. Riley the distance out of the docks to the street for the long walk home, back to life as a kitchen boy.

The temptation for Tucker was to seem bitter and disaffected, in other words, immature. For some reason, Tucker did not feel that way. He felt he had given it his best shot and could not be bitter about that towards a person he had no reason to be cross with. He looked at Mr. Riley and managed a small smile, "Thank you for even considering me sir. I knew it was a longshot, all I wanted was a chance and you gave me that."

Joss Riley looked all around them, there was nobody. He put his big hands on his big hips, "So, you're giving up this quickly? Did you think this would be easy? Did you not think that you would have to work your skinny behind off for two long weeks and take Captain Zander's bad judgment of you for each of those days? Think again boy. This business of being a space merchant crewman can make the biggest man cry, that is when there is hard work to be done. Dreams are all well and fine, dream of the stars all you want, but out there, out there is the reality. A man could lose his life or worse. But ... " and there was a long pause,

" ... you'll never regret it. You'll have the time of your life with men you'll soon see as family and need no others. You'll see things and do things with beings you cannot ever describe to earth bound men because there are no human words for the wonders of the depths of space. Just like in the old days Tuck, the sea-faring men who saw mermaids and sea monsters but could never convince others of them. They are out there Tuck! Just for the seeing and experiencing ... " and another pause, " ... quit if you must, but not account of hard work boy." And then Joss Riley turned and walked away.

Tucker now felt inspired and sighed, looking after the big man. Bernita had been right about him, a big man with a big heart. But Joss turned just then and pointed his finger at him, "You owe me boy! And those that owe me, always pay up!" Tucker grinned, "Yes sir Mr. Riley!" and then they both turned, Tucker to run the rest of the way back home, but Joss stood there a moment and smiled. The boy would be back. The boy would survive this hard test and make it, he knew he would.

* * * * * * * * * *

Well, Tuck did return to the docks despite the Captain's low opinion of his effort, but it didn't get easier. Tuck would work from sun up at the docks for half a day, then the pub from late afternoon to midnight and everyday was like that save his two days off from the pub and even then, he would go back and work the docks all day those two days as well. Tuck came to understand that for him, it wasn't his brawn, but his good humor and attitude to take the verbal and sometimes physical hazing. He came to know that it was the dedicated sweat that his brow made within his own abilities that was needed, not the ability to carry two seventy-pound boxes, one in each huge arm that the bigger and older men could do without sweat and all this with Captain Zander not saying one single word to him and not one hint of encouragement.

The crew however, they would see Tuck the first thing in the morning doing his best and taking their bawdy efforts to discourage him with an effort to tease back, then see him again, working at the pub at night, stuck behind that service window slaving faithfully away over the hot and humid washing bins until midnight, keeping his face out of the service window. There was no time for friends, no energy for masturbation, much less sex, and no time to whine about any of it.

The best part? Uncle Jud and his Mom both saw him doing all this. Bernita had prepped them both soon after his first days at the docks and at first Mom and Jud were both very skeptical, not for his dreams of the stars, but that he would stick to it and be a man, unlike his father. Uncle Jud crumbled first, finally giving into the idea and then his Mom, though the latter tearfully, as Moms will.

The crowning moment, however, would never be forgotten. On the day just before all of the loading was to be finished, Tuck slipped and turned his ankle. It was a bad sprain and he was sent home for ice and care, told by Mr. Riley in no uncertain terms to not come in the last day. Tucker Vaux disobeyed Mr. Riley. That was not a good thing in and of itself, but Tucker took a chance. He desperately wanted to be among the men on the last day and work his fair share. Men had to work hurt and sometimes, injured and in pain. Why should he be spared? So Tucker manfully limped all the way back to the docks from home the next morning. By the time he got there, he was in a fair amount of pain and the ankle was a bit more swollen.

But that morning had not been happy for anyone and that was before Tucker got there. And why was that? The crewman missed Tucker, pure and simple. It just was not the same. Tucker Vaux had worked his way into each and every man's heart. He was their invisible mascot by now, even the heart of the Dog Star if there ever was to be such a thing. And what about Captain Zander? Well, this was the plan all along, was it not? There was no point in having Tucker Vaux on his ship without the crew giving their consent, consciously and unconsciously.  They all knew that Tucker was not supposed to be there that morning, it was Mr. Riley's orders. Any crewman, no matter how big or strong dare to disobeyed Mr. Riley, had either be ready to be fired on the spot or severely disciplined and yes, Mr. Riley's strap was at the ready, make no mistake.

Nonetheless, there were a lot of slumped shoulders that morning until they all turned. There, limping gamely towards them, was Tucker. Mr. Riley got this look on his face, a look of desperation to not smile. He did not smile, "What in blue blazes are you doing here young man? Did I not tell you to stay home? Do you have ears? Do you not know that disobeying me can cause you great pain in your rear end?"

Tucker marched right up to Mr. Riley, and looked up, "No disrespect intended Sir. I'll take my punishment like a man, but I just had to be here and try to do my share. Besides, I missed all of you too much." Then there was this longish pause. First, youngish Big Jack came up and stood with Tucker, "If you punish him, I'll take punishment too," then Ned, one of the older men, "Me as well Mr. Riley, Captain. If he can work injured, you'll have to strap me as well," and on it went, one by one until only Joss and Seth stood together against Tucker and the rest of the entire crew, no man left out.

"Well, isn't this sweet. Mr. Vaux, you've managed to cause a bit of a mutiny it seems!" Seth said and then glared at his crew, "If every one of you save this whelp does not get back to work right now, you'll all find yourself back at the unemployment office, move it!!" Well, it was another test. The support was heartfelt, but even the men knew that in the end, Tucker had to rise and fall on his own and they all stepped away.

Tuck did not move. "Do your job Mr. Riley," Seth said to Joss. Joss nodded, "Yes sir! Come this way boy!" and the crew all mournfully watched as Tucker bravely limped with the big boss to a box. Now Joss was not an idiot. If Tucker needed discipline, it would not be with the strap, not now, maybe not for awhile, but he still had to be punished for disobedience. Joss sat and took Tucker to between his legs, pulled down his trousers and underwear in front of them all, then put the boy across his huge lap, bare bottom up, the sprained ankle safely up in the air.

Even Seth had to just stand and gawk at the sight of the big man's paddle-like hand spanking poor Tucker like bongos, one cheek after the other until even the bigger men's faces were wincing. That was no spanking, it was a very stern paddling if there ever was one. Well, Tucker knew this was the final test, he had to take this punishment from the big man, stoically and without moving an inch and so he did, though at the end, there were tears running down his face. But then again, there were a few tears running down a few faces. All Seth Zander had to do was watch and smile. He had been rooting for Tucker along, but could say nothing, not one word and certainly no verbal encouragements. Tucker had to do this all on his own or it would be no good.

But the best was not quite yet done. So, his crew loved this boy and stood up for him? Let's find out how much. Finally, Tucker Vaux's bare bottom roasted to a fair crisp, Mr. Riley stood him up. Tucker was a bit stunned, even uncle Jud's strapping could not quite compare to this big man's spanking, but he had done it. Captain Zander looked at the men then at Tucker, "OK Mr. Vaux, you are confined to quarters, that box. You will sit there all day long and rest the ankle, as well as sit on your sore ass, covered of course. The rest of you? Two of you will take turns toting that box with that boy sitting on it, from the pallets and into the airlock and then another pair back again, all day long, and until the rest of the provisions are finally stored. Let's just see how much you want this boy on this mission, or not?"

Tucker was no fool. If it had been him, quite frankly he would have not done it and was ready for the crew to balk at the strange and very difficult order. Was any one person worth all that, and especially him? Well, Tucker found out.  Not only did the men tote him back and forth perched on the already seventy-five pound box, they did so with smiles and loud chatter, giving him a bad time, teasing him the whole way, and especially about his spanking.

The embarrassment had been well worth it, as well as the two extremely hard weeks of backbreaking work, both at the docks and back at the pub each night. This last test was actually the hardest for Tucker, because he was physically helpless and hobbled and could not participate; but he also could not believe, even though he would have wanted to, that these grown men would treat him with such equality and respect at his young age. It was like they were each his brother or uncles or something quite indescribable to the impressionable teen.

No matter. At the end of the day, when the final box had finally been delivered they all stood together with Tucker, looking hopefully at their captain, Seth Zander and Mr. Joss Riley, those who had the final say. Mr. Riley turned to his captain, "Well sir? Does he stay or does he go?"

Seth waited a moment, just for dramatic effect, "God help me, he stays!" And the men roared in approval and hoisted a jubilant Tucker Vaux up to Mr. Riley's tall shoulders for the walk home and the celebration at the pub, Moon's Dark Side. The bar would be closed that night, excepting special guests for a bon voyage party, a party that would include a special guest, the newest and last crew member, Tucker Vaux. Bernita had prepared the pub with a special banner that read, "Boy Voyage Dog Star! Welcome Cabin Boy Tucker Vaux!"

Even Farrah, Tucker's mother, could not have been happier for him, she was so proud of the hard work that her son had put in, denying himself his usual pleasures and sticking to his guns, something that she knew in her heart that her husband could have done, but never did. Despite the possible and real dangers as well as possible heartache, Farrah Vaux knew that her son was turning into a man. Not only that, she was confident that though he had lost his natural father, Tucker gained many "fathers" and many protectors in the dedicated Dog Star crew.

As for Tucker, he felt remarkably calm during the party and celebration. In a way, the teenage and even childish dream and fantasy of being with the Dog Star crew, had faded into a kind of matured realization that the prior two weeks was only just the beginning. Still, his face glowed and his mind soared with the possibilities. He had to face the reality, now for real, he was indeed Captain Seth Zander's actual cabin boy, not just like in a history book. He would be dedicated to this man's happiness and to the integrity of happiness of the Dog Star ship and crew, doing physical work whenever called for 24/7. That was his job to be, and no man or boy would ever take it from him until he was older and an official real crewman.

There would be one more final short farewell between him and his family as the ship left the docks next morning; otherwise, Tucker Vaux's few short weeks as a kitchen boy at Moon's Dark Side pub were over forever. He was already on duty and was to spend the night with his Captain, Seth Zander, and begin his work and his work would not cease for six months, no days off, but then again, Tucker would never need days off. Farrah had already packed up Tucker's things before the party and at the end, he had to carry his own things to the Captain's quarters and did so gladly.

It was very late, but there was no sleep in either man or boy. Tucker stowed his things to the side of the small room and then looked at Captain Zander, who had already pulled off his dirty and grimy work shirt from his handsome well muscled upper body. Poor Tucker, save a few occasions to pleasure himself, had not had any sex with another person for over two weeks, but actually much longer than that, since they had arrived at New London. That had to be a personal record. It was also quite clear from the look of the large bulge in the Captain's trousers, that he too was quite horny and was not about to deprive himself of his own quite new cabin boy.

Actually, it was just a matter of time before both man and boy would gladly jump each other's bones as they say. But it was his job, Tucker's that is, and he went for it without hesitation. He jumped forward and got on his knees, at the Captain's feet and looked up, "Permission to do my job, sir?" At last, Seth could smile and relax, "Permission to proceed crewman Vaux." Tucker grinned. The Captain had officially christened him as a part of the Dog Star's crew and he had never heard anything so wonderful in all his life. Suddenly, all those horrible hours spent in all those alleyways down on the earth and all the risk he had taken up at the colony with uncle Jud, had paid off or even if not that, all the sufferings had at least had a purpose.

Tucker then used his natural feelings and developed skills. He opened the Captain's trouser fly, and pulled out his engorged penis. Seth Zander had received pleasure from both man and woman in this way before, but never from a boy this young. Frankly, he wanted and deserved it from Tucker, but only because he had observed this boy's efforts on his own behalf. They were more like that of a man and Seth really no longer thought of Tucker as a mere  boy anymore. Maybe it was just smoke and mirrors, but Seth was really going to enjoy Tucker's abilities and skills and did. Let's face it, the boy knew how to suck cock, and no person before him had done quite as good a job. Seth was to be both charmed and awestruck at Tucker's love making abilities.

Quite quickly, Seth demanded that they both strip naked and assume the sixty-nine position, Tucker on top. Seth made sure that Tucker's sore ankle was properly wrapped, safely and comfortably out of the way at all times. Seth was not ignorant, there were things he wanted and got them. He quickly pulled Tucker's very attractive, naked round bare bottom down to his mouth and started to lick on his boy hole. Tucker's prior experience with older men had always been very fast, never patient and never giving. All of this attention from Captain Zander was new and even a little disconcerting. And yet, somehow Tucker knew he deserved that as well. Tucker was extending respect, and now came to know that he deserved it in return. But that would never be a problem.

Tucker was bobbing up and down on Captain Zander's cock, leaning over further and licking down the Captain's space between his balls and his anus and even indicated by his body language, if the captain wanted it, the boy would lick out the man's hole. Actually, Seth was right there, and lifted his buttocks up some. Then it was sixty-nine all the way, boy licking the man's hole, man working on the boy's hole. This activity was generously supplemented by the Captain's playfully spanking at Tucker's very willing bottom.

The spanking that Mr. Riley had given him earlier in the day had been quite punitive and not sexy at all, as was proper, but also had well worn off. This was quite different, "Oh yes sir! Spank your cabin boy! Harder sir!" And that spurred Seth on, and made him very happy to do it. Seth had watched Mr. Riley's spanking of the boy on the docks, his penis engorged the whole time. Now he spanked harder, but that was OK with Tucker. It just drove Tucker's tongue deeper into the captain's man hole, but neither could Seth ignore Tucker's boy hole for very long. He went right back to tongue fucking the boy, but that was OK with Tucker. He was the cabin boy now, he was there to please his Captain, and by doing so, would please himself.

But there was one thing that Seth knew he would not do that evening, no. He knew that Tucker Vaux was no virgin, not by any stretch. But his new relationship with the boy was virginal and there would be nobody touching this boy's anus except him and at that, not until a few days hence after they were all recovered from space illness. Only then would he fuck his cabin boy and take his symbolic cherry. It might be on the ship in his own Captain's quarters or maybe while docked at their first waypoint, the Jupiter jump station, who knew where it would happen?

It would be memorable in any case and really have nothing to do with virginities or any kind of earth bound activity. Deep space, even near space in the solar system was a completely different life, a life like no other and Seth could hardly wait to share it with Tucker now, as they neared their mutual climaxes. In fact, so enamored and impressed had Seth Zander become of Tucker Vaux that on this night, there would be no further domination as there would be many nights ahead. "Come here now cabin boy, turn around and put your hard cock into my mouth and take your pleasure. I wish to taste and eat your hot spunk and then you will do the same to me. We will each do this twice and then sleep. We've a long day and days ahead."

Tucker turned and blinked. It was not so much what the activity offering was, but what it wasn't. He wasn't being fucked up his ass as expected, as he really would have cheerfully, if not very lustily done or what any usual older man would want from his young sexy body; but Seth Zander was no usual man. He was a space merchant Captain, an unusual or maybe even an "alien" breed unto himself. Besides, it was never the cabin boy's place to ever question his Captain's orders.

And yet, as he followed his orders exactly, Tucker could only look down at the Captain's closed eyes and pretend something that he never would have ever thought or dared, even in his fantasies, that this man below him, now sucking his cock so gently and carefully, the man whose cock he would ravish and lavish with his skilled mouth and tongue, seemed more "fatherly" to him, more like what Tucker had wanted in an older man and companion for many months, if not years.

Yes, it was true and why not? Why could not Tucker have the father figure he had always secretly wanted, but it had been such a deeply buried forbidden secret that until now, he had not dared it to even come out of his base mind for examination? And yet, for now, Tucker buried the thought back into its saved corner as the first of his orgasms exploded and Seth swallowed the boy's juices down and greedily so.

Then Tucker turned and sucked off Seth and Seth's toes tingled for the awesome feeling of the young boy's attentions and then Tucker came back up and again, exploded into Seth's mouth his second time. Then Seth was pleasured his second time, the tingling expanding up into his knees, such was the power of the boy over the man.

Sleep then started to quickly come for Seth more than Tuck but they would both sleep well. But only one recognized that they would not sleep easy at all for several more nights ahead for space illness. But there was no reason to spoil the moment for Tuck. Seth spooned Tucker's body closely to himself under the covers now and just after kissing the boy on his temple, fell into a deep sleep.

Tucker had never felt more cared for, and yes, more fathered than just then and stayed awake just a bit longer and enjoyed the feel of Seth's strong protective arms, and during this, Tucker extended his thoughts to Mr. Riley and how he would pay back the big man for having given him that rousing and badly needed pep-talk. And he also thought, in comfortable retrospect about that very hot and sexy spanking in front of the crew that very day.

Joss Riley certainly deserved all that Tuck would be allowed to give him with his Captain's permission of course. But the last thought Tucker Vaux had that night before going into his dreams was that he had done it, he was now the cabin boy for the space merchant ship, Dog Star. Life would thankfully never be the same.

Dear Reader: I hope you enjoyed the story. If you would like to see this story continue, and read more of Tuck's adventures, please write and tell me and I will be inspired to continue!

Copyright PJ Franklin March 17, 2009

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Last updated:  March 17, 2009