The Pellegrine

Soul Lark

Book VII

Chapter 6
The Sting

© The author reserves all rights to this work.


This story is of an adult nature. It is not intended for minors nor for those whose law in their land forbids them to read this material.
This story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and unintentional.

NB: Words found between asterisks (*) refer to words exchanged in psychic or telepathic communication.

Date: 25 October 2674, Sunday

“I may outrank you according to the insignia on my uniform but seeing you work these controls, I know you outrank me in reality, Sergeant Cody,” cooed Iris. Iris was a magi and the chief engineer of the cruise ship Pellegrine. The insignia on her uniform said that she was a Lieutenant Commander but she was not in uniform at the moment. She had managed to get herself invited to the control tower of the relay that the Pellegrine was supposed to use to get to Saturn.

“This is an impressive control panel isn’t it?” said Sergeant Cody proudly.

“Yes, it sure is. Are you sure that I can come up here? I’m still a civilian, you know?” asked Iris.

“First, you’re a ranked officer of a ship. That means you’re not civilian. Secondly, tours are made to show off the workings of the relays. That means this place isn’t off-limits to non-station personnel. Thirdly, and most importantly, if you don’t tell the Relay Officer, he’ll never know.”

Iris giggled at his last statement. She was wearing a tight pink blouse that exposed an ample portion of cleavage. It was a strapless blouse. As she giggled, she jiggled her chest. That was not unnoticed by the Sergeant. A small buzzer went off.

“I didn’t touch anything,” Iris said in alarm.

Sergeant Cody put his arm on Iris’ bare shoulder to calm her down. “It’s just the intercom.” He then went back to his desk to take the message. There was some exchange during the few minutes that he was at his desk. When he finally pushed the button that ended the call, he gave a groan and put on a long face.

“What’s wrong?” asked Iris as she went towards the desk. “Don’t tell me they found out that I was here.”

“No,” said Cody, standing up. “Something more shitty. Your ship is being impounded until Wednesday.”

“You mean I can stay here until Wednesday?” exclaimed Iris with a squeal. Then her expression changed to that of dismay. “You mean you wanted to get rid of me? You wanted me to move out today, didn’t you?”

“No,” said Cody gently, afraid that he might cause this beautiful woman to cry and leave him alone. “The delay means a lot more work for me and the other engineers.” He shook his head and sat back down at his desk, figuring out the work schedule.

“What’s the problem?” asked Iris. She sat down on the other side of the desk.

Cody explained, “The relays are used to carrying medium sized ships. This would just take five hours to charge up the generators for transport. For the Pellegrine, the generators took up to 40 hours for a complete charge. The generators are already charged for the Pellegrine’s departure in five hours time.”

“So? Just keep the generators charged up until Wednesday.”

“We can’t. The commandant has this thing about using energy to maintain charges.”

“Then discharge the generators,” said Iris.

“It’ll take at least 48 hours to discharge naturally and then at least a six hour rest after that. That gives us no time to charge up the relay again.”

“Isn’t there anyway out of this?” Iris asked.

“Yes, we can force a discharge. We force the charge through one of the docks. Discharge can be over in two hours.”

“So you’ve a way out …”

Cody made a face. “After the discharge, we’d have to re-calibrate every instrument on the dock because the discharging causes a large magnetic field that would magnetise most of the instruments.”

“That means demagnetising and re-calibrating … 50 instruments? … I can help you with that.”

“Try 400 over instruments. We aren’t just talking about the control panels, we’re also talking about the docking mechanisms, the transporters, the doors, the walkways, etc.”

Iris stood up, turned towards the window and looked thoughtfully into the space outside for a moment and then turned back to talk to the Sergeant, “Sergeant. What if you allow a small object to go through the relays. An object that would degrade into space dust in five days.”

“That would be optimal. Where can you find something like that?”

Iris bent down to keep her eyes at the same level as the Sergeant. This also gave him a view of her clevage, among other things. She spoke softly, as if it was something secret and sinister. “The Pellegrine has a waste collection bin that contains normal decomposition-bacteria. Even the walls of the bin are degradable. The walls are constructed in such a way that the heat generated by the decomposition would keep the structural integrity of the bin. When decomposition is complete, the temperature starts to fall, and in the vacuum and freezing temperatures in space, the walls start to crumble even more quickly. The contents would disperse like a bursting balloon when the walls totally disintegrate. What if we send one of our bins into the relay? The energy would be discharged and the bin would disintegrate almost immediately as it’d be almost empty.”

Cody struggled to understand what Iris was saying. He felt a little hot under the collar. Iris had offered two things to this man: her view of a solution and a special view of herself. The military man wondered if the woman was offering more than just a solution to his problem. He cleared his throat and tried to think straight.

“That would save us a lot of time. Furthermore, no one would notice if it looked like a forced discharge. We could ask the video guys to fizz out the cameras just before we let the bin go through the relay as the cameras are affected by the discharge as well.”

“Good. When should we start the discharge, Sergeant Cody?” asked Iris with a twinkle in her eye.

“Wait a minute, your ship is being impounded. You can’t get on board!”

Iris gave a small smile. “The eject mechanism was set to eject the moment we emerge at the next relay. We were expecting a delay of at least an hour before we could get through it. So, we scheduled the bin to discharge five minutes after clearing the relay.”

“Let’s see, the Pellegrine was supposed to enter the relay at 0945 hours. That would mean … twenty minutes after your departure from here,” said Cody after doing some mental arithmetic.

“So, if we can find a way to catch the bin without letting on that we’ve taken something from the ship, we’d be able to pull it off. Do you have any ideas?”

“I know a way. If we choose to force discharge the generators using the spare storage tower close to the ship, we can cause the sensors to have faulty sensor readings near the ship.”

“I could use a small crane to catch the bin as it’s being ejected,” suggested Iris. “so that none of the personnel here would be missed. I could get someone to cover for me at the barracks.”

“You could get caught!” said the sergeant.

“Look,” said Iris seriously. “it gets more risky if more people know about this. Your crew should just know that we’re sending an object through the relays to discharge the generators but only the two of us should know how I came to this object. You have to be here to pretend to discharge the generators. That leaves only me. If you don’t want me to risk this small little thing, then I guess you’d have to do the forced discharge for real, then.”

Cody gave in. “I’m going to report forced discharge at 0955 hours. You should be able to get the bin at about 1005. Let’s say the bin would go through the relay at about 1010 hours?”

“That’s fine,” replied Iris.

¤ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ¤

Jorg looked around for Professor Frank Robinson in the rec hall. He spotted him talking to his wife.

“Good morning Professor Robinson … Mrs. Robinson …,” Jorg addressed the couple. “Perhaps it’s more correct to address you as Professor Luciani.”

“Good morning,” greeted Frank.

“Captain,” said Geraldine Luciani-Robinson, “I’m impressed.”

Jorg bowed his head a little and straightened up. “You shouldn’t be. Your views regarding the psychology of extended space travel is well noted in my readings on the subject. I must admit that it took Jacques to point it out to me that the well noted authority in my readings was you. I apologise for not acknowledging it sooner.”

“Captain, I’m flattered.”

“My wife took a voluntary leave of absence from the academic world for a while. She’s made great strides after she came back to the fold,” said Frank with a grin.

The two men smiled when they noticed Geraldine blushing quietly.

“Captain,” Frank turned to Jorg to bring his attention away from his wife. “We’ve just heard of the travel arrangements. They’ll be shipping us out around tomorrow at about noon.”

“That was what I was coming to speak to you about. We have time for what we’d discussed earlier …” Jorg said.

“You mean …” Frank said with his eyes wide open.

Geraldine knew that look. It meant that Frank had hit on something he was very interested in.

“However,” Jorg continued, “if you were to ship out at noon, there won’t be enough time.”

“Oh,” Frank said looking a little disappointed.

“Do what you need to do,” his wife told him. “You could still make the second trip.”

“If you could,” said Jorg, “I could discuss it with Lieutenant Reys. I’m sure he’ll accomodate.”

“I don’t know …” said Frank looking at his wife.

“I don’t mind, dear. I know you want to stay for whatever you want to do. Do so. Don’t worry about us. We’ll be in safe hands.”

“Professor Luciani, please don’t say anything of this conversation to anyone. It is highly confidential,” requested Jorg.

“All right,” said Geraldine. “You have my word.”

“Thank you,” replied Jorg.

Geraldine shook her head as she saw the two men move away excitedly like two teenage boys discussing football.

“Captain, are you sure that the station commandant would allow it?” Frank asked anxiously.

“Actually, the station commandant doesn’t know about this officially,” Jorg started.

“You mean that we are going without his permission?” asked Frank in alarm.

“I said that he doesn’t know officially. He can’t allow us to use the yacht officially because of the inquiry. However, if we move quickly, the soldiers will not acknowledge our presence if we don’t acknowledge them. Do you get what I mean?”

“I think so. The expressed permission would almost not be given but then …”

“Precisely,” smiled Jorg. “We’re supposed to be ready to leave at 1005 hours.”

“That just leaves us about forty-five minutes.”

“Do you need to take anything, Professor?”

“You have data recording facilities, I hope …”

“Of course. I even got some spare data chips, just in case.”

“Good, I’ll just need to retrieve two chips from my cabin.”

“Okay, just let me speak to Lieutenant Reys and we’d be going,” said Jorg.

“All right, Captain.”

“Wait here, it won’t take long,” said Jorg. Jorg left the rec hall and was back after about five minutes. “Let’s go now, Professor.”

The both of them went to the cabin for the Robinsons and then Jorg led Frank towards his yacht. Frank was instructed to be quiet until they reached the interior of the yacht. Frank noticed that the soldiers were very still and did not seem to notice them at all. He was very impressed. These soldiers were really well disciplined and took their orders seriously. None of them flinched when Jorg and he walked around each of them on the way to the yacht.

Actually, Jorg had kept the both of them invisible to human eyes as well as artificial ones. With the help of Rocky and Kean, no one knew of their entry into the Pellegrine and that they were moving towards the captain’s yacht. Jorg made sure that they were part of the skeleton crew staying back to take the Pellegrine back to Uranus. Until the night before, Jorg was doing everything in his personal capacity. However, with the mysterious attacks at the Pellegrine and the kidnapping of General Aaron Evers, the matter had become official magi business. This present mission was officially requested by the magi council.

The yacht was situated in a compartment at the foremost part of the ship. There were two accesses to it. One was from the bridge and the other led to a simple passageway. The passageway was Y-shaped. The port fork led to the captain’s cabin. The starboard port led to one of the few crew-only sections of the ship. Jorg used the starboard entrance. He led Frank through a door marked “Access Limited to Crew Only - Please Keep Out”.

Frank immediately noticed the stark difference between this part and the rest of the ship. It was not as luxuriously furnished. The walls were painted rather than laminated. There were no framed pictures attached on the walls. The lamps were industrial standard rather than the designed ones in the guests’ part of the ship. It was simple but not uncomfortable, and Frank felt easily at home.

Jorg led Frank into the Officers’ Lounge and then towards one end of the room where there was a simple door. There was no sign on it and Frank had thought it was just a closet. Instead, the door led to a L-shaped passageway. When they made the turn, Frank was surprised to be greeted by a dead end. He turned back to see the captain using a passkey to open a door that was unnoticed when they made the turn. Frank realised that the door was situated in such a way that unless one knew of its existence, it was easy to miss since one did not notice the space immediately on the left after turning left. One tended to look straight ahead or to the right of the turn.

Just before the entrance to the yacht, the captain whispered, “Stay here, Professor. The sensors need to identify me and only me before we can have access.”

Frank nodded.

The captain walked to the door and placed his hand on the console. He tapped in a sequence on numbers on a panel and then there was a blue-green hue about him. Then the door opened. The captain turned and motioned Frank towards him.

Frank was very impressed when he entered the yacht. As promised, it was well equipped.

“We’ll be able to talk in normal tones once we enter the relay,” the captain whispered.

Frank nodded in understanding.

Everything was done silently save for the humming of the engines when the yacht moved out of the ship. It was done very slowly too. They were, after all, sneaking out of the ship.

As they exited the ship, Frank noticed that there were wires draping over the metal frame of the docking area. From a corner, he thought he saw something move.

“Captain, I saw …” he whispered.

“I saw it too, nothing to worry about,” whispered back the captain.

The captain eased the yacht towards the relay. As the yacht approached the relay, a shutter came down to close off the front view pane. The captain then pointed to a small display in front of him. Frank saw a computer generated picture of what was happening outside. There was a shield that was separating the space inside and the space outside the relay. When the yacht made first contact with the shield, there was a great burst of light. Then as the yacht moved forward into the relay the area of contact between the shield and the hull produced light. Once the yacht was completely in the relay, the shutters went back up.

“We can now speak in normal tones, Professor,” Jorg spoke out at last.

“That was quite an experience. I’ve taught the students in the university regarding travel through the relay but this is the first time I’m actually seeing it live so to speak.”

“Actually,” said Jorg, “what you saw in the sensors was reduced exponentially. The light you saw was an extremely bright burst of light energy.”

“I guessed as much when I saw the difference in intensity,” said the professor.

“We’ll have twenty-five minutes before we reach our destination. Perhaps you’d like a drink? I could use a cup of tea actually …”

¤ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ¤

“Oh! There you are. I was worried for a while …” said Sergeant Cody.

“Why? Was I discovered?” asked Iris, opening her eyes very wide.

“No,” replied Cody, “I caught an image larger than the bin going through the relay. I thought you hadn’t let go of the bin and went into the relay with the bin …”

“Well … there was sort of a mishap …” said Iris with her head bowed.

“What?” asked Cody in a sharp voice.

“I didn’t lose the crane, if that’s what you’re thinking,” said Iris looking very annoyed. “I gripped the bin a little too hard and it cracked. I saw it breaking up when it was going through the relay. Fortunately, there was almost nothing in the bin and no one really takes a whiff of the outside when in space.”

“Thank goodness!” said Cody.

“Awww … you really do care for me, don’t you?” purred Iris. “Look at you, you’re all wet with sweat. How sweet … you were anxious about my well-being! Now sit you down and I’ll see what I can do to dry you up.” Iris went to the back of the office and returned with a military issued towel. “This looks clean and smells washed. Let me just dry you up.”

Cody who was standing there with his mouth half opened. Iris did not give him a chance to speak at all, not that he had much to say anyway.

“Sit down on the table here, Sergeant,” said Iris in a very sweet voice. “Look! You’re all wet. No one’s coming up in the next twenty minutes, right?” she asked. Cody just shook his head. He sat on the side of the desk. “Good.” Iris then started to pull the uniform shirt out of Cody’s pants. She was humming a tune as she slowly unbuttoned his shirt and peeled it off. Then she grabbed the hem of the undershirt which came out with the shirt and lifted it out of the way. She then proceeded to dab the towel gently all over the sergeant’s taut torso. Iris was fully aware of what she was doing to the sergeant. However, she also knew that the sergeant was strong enough not to take advantage of her. She used that to the fullest because she wanted him very distracted for the next few minutes. When she was at the crane she had used her magi powers to change the destination of the relay. That was why she could not prevent Sergeant Cody from detecting a larger object going through the relay. She had not given the soldier enough time to think through her excuse. She knew that Kean and Rocky were handling the instruments at headquarters. She had to keep Sergeant Cody from reading the instruments for the next twenty minutes so that no one would discover the real destination of the yacht. She needed to conserve her energies for what she had to do when the yacht made its return.

“Ooh! Sergeant, you work out a lot, don’t you? You have a very sexy body!” she said with a soft raspy voice.

Cody just grinned. He was very aroused by what this woman was doing. He nodded when Iris suggested a little back rub.

Whilst giving him the back rub, Iris stimulated his sleep centre in his brain and placed a little suggestion in his mind. Then she lay him down on the desk that was already quite empty. She then set to work. She is very familiar with the station’s security and computer systems. She hacked quite quickly into the system and altered all the data to reflect what she had described to Cody. Doing any more would bring a lot of questions. She knew that Cody would be erasing the records any way …

Cody started to moan. Iris had just finished her work. She rushed and moved Cody to a sitting position in front of her. She was still supposed to give Cody a back rub. Cody suddenly jolted awake. Iris had placed a suggestion for a wet dream and that was what he had.

“Sergeant! What’s happening? You drifted off to sleep a little and you were suddenly shaking …” Iris asked, pretending to be surprised.

Cody knew that he had come in his pants. He was very embarrassed. “Uh … I … uh … I just realised something. I’ll be back, don’t touch anything or move.” He got up and ran out of the room.

Iris smiled. She had wanted to laugh but she knew she could not. She followed Cody to the wash room. She stood outside the door, talking through it, as if she did not know what happened.

“Can I help? Are you ill? Did I press somewhere wrongly?” she asked.

If only she did, then I could explain this but she didn’t do anything … thought Cody.

Iris laughed softly to herself when she caught that thought. “Sergeant Cody, you’re frightening me. Please say that you’re okay, please …” Iris said in a high pitched voice pretending to be getting hysterical.

Cody was thankful that he had not stained his uniform. He was also thankful that he had kept extra sets of underwear in the wash room. There was a small shower stall in there and he had often showered when he was on overnight duty just to keep himself fresh and awake. He quickly changed his underpants and placed the soiled pair in a small carrier bag which he shoved into his bag. This was the first time this had happened to him at the station and he hoped the bag would not have the smell of semen when he got back to his bunk. He quickly opened the door because the chief engineer of the Pellegrine was getting a little hysterical.

Iris grabbed him in a tight hug as he came out. He was still shirtless and the proximity of Iris gave him another erection. He pushed Iris gently away and said, “I’m fine. Don’t worry. I just needed to go to the loo. I’m okay.” Then he wiped away the tears that Iris had. They were actually tears caused by her laughing hard but softly when Cody was in the wash room.

Iris felt a little bad for treating Cody like that and so she gave a peck on Cody’s left cheek and said, “Thank goodness you’re okay. All this worrying has tired me. I think I’d better go for a little rest. I’ll meet you for lunch, okay?”

“Okay,” said Cody trying to hide his disappointment.

“If you’re good, I might meet you for dinner and maybe even later,” Iris winked and then turned to go out the door. Cody’s disappointment changed to hope.

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