Chapter 1

Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Ma/ft, Fa/Fa, Fa/ft, Hermaphrodite, Science Fiction, Mother, Daughter, Harem, Black Female, Oriental Female, Hispanic Female, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Masturbation, Pregnancy, Science fiction adult story, sci-fi adult story, science-fiction sex story, sci-fi sex story.

Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - What ever happened to Char and the other survivors of Quay? This story is the sequel to Acceptance.

Everything was going too fast for me to process. One minute I had been a concubine, in despair after receiving confirmation of my master's death, dreading the uncertain, but bleak, future. The next, I was a sponsor, not only able to choose all of my former sister-concubines, but the two other people who had recently become very important to me as well. The reversal from numbing sorrow to unbelievable joy had left me breathless -- or maybe that was due to the tight hugs from the others -- and left my mind reeling. We just huddled there, together, and if happiness had been light, we would have filled the room with a blinding glow!

Looking at them, the horrors of the past month faded away. Chuck and Chandra were newcomers, but were thrilled that I had chosen them. Xifeng and her daughter Meili, Meredith, Chital, Tina and Moira were all my former sister-concubines who had been with me since the beginning, although Meili had had to wait impatiently for months before being old enough to join in. I did find out recently that she had broken Steve's rules and snuck in one time to see what I tasted like when she was still underage. It had been a minor mystery to me for a long time, but during the dark days on Quay, she confessed to breaking Steve's rule.

Sadly, there was only so long that I was able sit there, surrounded by my (MY!) concubines, before the medical staff started hinting it was time to move on. Reluctantly, we broke apart, all of us smiling happily. Looking at the medtech, I asked her if she would ask the AI where our new quarters were. She just grinned and told me to ask it myself. That's when I realized what a stupid request it had been.

"Sorry, I'm still in a concubine mind-set," I said ruefully, blushing. "AI, where is our designated pod?"

"Follow the orange line to your quarters. Also, the captain asked me to send his compliments and ask if you would join him for lunch in an hour," the AI replied.

It was a novel thrill having the AI talk to me without having to get permission first. Suddenly the AI's voice echoed in my head, <You do not need to speak aloud to communicate with AIs anymore. After the results of your CAP retest were determined, you were given an AI link to silently communicate directly with any AI in range.>

I remembered watching sponsors communicating with the AI silently, but never really knew how they did it. Trying to get the hang of it, I kind of muttered under my breath, <You mean like this? Can you hear me?>

<Yes. A brief session in a sleep trainer will familiarize you with your new rights and responsibilities as a sponsor as well as instill information to familiarize you with AI interactions, including using the AI link.>

"How long was I out for?" I asked the others aloud. As usual, I had no sense of time passing when I was in the medtube; it might have been an hour or it might have been a week.

"We had to wait almost two long days for you to get done," Xifeng said softly.

Pausing for a moment by the medical bay's replicator, I ordered my first set of clothes. Steve had gotten me clothes when I asked or when he felt like it, but this was distinctly different. Now I got to choose what to wear and could order it anytime I wanted. I chose a smoke grey uniform. It was as close to the color of the ejecta debris from Quay as I could get. I would never forget what happened there, and I wanted others to remember as well.

Tucking my new CAP card in a pocket, I turned and looked at the others. That was when it registered on me that they were all naked. "Two questions," I said, "one, why are you all naked, not that I mind in the least, and two, where are the kids?"

Meredith responded to my second question, "The kids are being watched by some of the other concubines in kind of an unofficial day care that the crew allowed us to set up."

Tina spoke up and said, "As for our clothes, we don't have any. The ones we were wearing on Quay were shredded and utterly disgusting, so they were recycled. Since the AI designated us as unassigned concubines, we aren't allowed to make new clothes or anything else.

"Some of the crew are still trying to get our status changed to refugees so we'll be treated better, but the ship's AI just isn't buying it. Nothing to watch, no games to play, and we're only able to make basic boring food, that's it," she finished indignantly. Still sounding angry, Tina continued, "Honestly, we were lucky a few crewmembers were willing to guide us here to medical. Otherwise we'd still be locked in a pod going slowly insane with boredom and worry."

Memories of our first day with Steve resurfaced. We had not been able to do anything until he had given us permission. It had really brought home how dependent we were on him and how worthless we were in the eyes of the AI's. Luckily, being a sponsor now, I could change that.

"AI, as their sponsor, I grant all concubines assigned to me full access to all pod amenities, including the replicator, without restriction. I also grant them the right to wear clothes and to have you answer their questions or to have you put them in communication with each other or me. They may enter the pod at any time and leave whenever required for ship business or at my request. All of our children are granted access to entertainment programs and games, replicators for food production only and have access to the pod at any time. They may only leave when escorted by an adult. Do you understand my orders?"

When the AI said, "Acknowledged," Tina squealed in joy and the others made it very clear they were thrilled as well. The two days of being basically imprisoned had really set them on edge.

"However," the AI continued, "it is highly recommended against giving such blanket permissions to newly chosen concubines."

Gritting my teeth at how stupid the AI's could be sometimes, I simply replied, "I understand, but my orders for them remain unchanged." I trusted each and every one of them with my life, and I would be damned if I started my life as a sponsor by betraying them and treating them like slaves.

After a long, hot kiss with each of them, I ordered, "AI, make a shift and slippers in their favorite color for each of them." Once we were all dressed, I led my parade out of medical and headed for the pod to get ready for my lunch with the captain.

On the way to our pod, we stopped at the crèche pod to pick up the children. It was not technically a daycare, I was told, since all the children whose entire family units were dead were living there. It did make a good central location to keep the children, and for anyone who wanted could go there and help out watching them. Conversely, any concubine who wanted their children watched could drop them off there to play, assuming they could get a crewmember to bring them there.

When the door opened, it took a few seconds for the happy children to notice us. When they did, many heads turned, and a thrilled voice screamed, "Moddy Char!" A beaming Suda was suddenly racing toward me. I dropped to one knee and braced for impact. When she slammed into me, I put my arms around her as she hugged me tightly.

It surprised me how tightly she clung to me. I was even more shocked by her tears, "I was scared when they took you away that you would never come back to us. That you would just vanish like Daddy Steve," she whispered, burying her face in my hair. Chital was watching with some amazement as her shy, quiet daughter cried happily on my shoulder.

"Promise me you won't ever leave me again!" she demanded.

A whole range of emotions went through me when she said that. Before I could analyze my feelings, the rest of my concubines' thrilled children piled onto me. Although not as emotional as Suda, they all made it very clear they had been worried about me and missed me terribly. My heart was filled with happiness again, seeing them and knowing how much they loved me.

Looking back into Suda's eyes, I said as honestly as I could, "Honey, I don't want to make a promise I can't keep. You saw what happened on Quay. Daddy Steve didn't leave you because he wanted to. I will promise you this: I will never willingly leave you, and if we are separated for any reason, I will do everything in my power to see you again as soon as possible, ok?"

She thought about it for a moment, obviously not thrilled I had not offered an unqualified reassurance. Finally, she nodded and hugged me again.

I spent a few minutes hugging the children while Xifeng collected her baby boy. When I went to lead them back to our pod, Suda insisted on being carried by me, even though she was way too old and reserved to normally ask for something like that. Once again, my enhanced strength surprised me as I rose to my feet holding the nine year old without the slightest effort.

Apparently, being a sponsor now, I rated my own pod, despite how overcrowded the ship was. It would be tight quarters for us, but luxurious compared to what the rest of the survivors had. I filed away the guilt I felt, hoping to use it on the captain to improve things for the rest of my people.

That thought brought me up short mentally. They were no longer my people; they were just unassigned concubines and children under the captain's care. When we reached whatever planet we were heading for, they would be split up. After that, I would not be likely to see them again. The thought was surprisingly upsetting. I had spent a month leading them and fighting to keep them alive. Letting go of that feeling of responsibility was not going to be easy.

One of the first things I did when we got to our pod was to have the children sit down for a talk. I had all of my concubines stand along the walls so they could hear as well. Everyone knew me, but that was as just another concubine; now I was the master. While I trusted all of them, I needed to explain the change to the children and make the others understand that things would have to change slightly in the way I was treated in public.

"Ok all, first I just want to say how thrilled I am that we all made it off Quay! I could not have done the job I did without you, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You guys rock!" I said, and meant it.

Looking at the children, I said sadly, "We all suspected it, but I just wanted to confirm that Daddy Steve did not survive the dark time and will not be coming back." Calling it the 'dark time' seemed a little melodramatic to me, but it was the most apt description I could come up with for them. It was also something the children could understand and relate to.

Most of them already suspected that, but the confirmation brought a few sniffles and teary eyes anyway. "As you know, Steve was the sponsor, making him the absolute head of the family. After my time in the medtubes, the AI retested me and determined that I was now a sponsor, making me the new boss."

I was about to continue when Suda shouted, "YAY Moddy Char!", while Carl gave me a thumb's up. That brought a big grin to my face, while Chital gasped in surprise at her reserved daughter's outburst. Apparently, little Suda had bonded to me far more than anyone had suspected.

Ruffling her hair fondly, I continued, "The first thing I did upon finding out I was a sponsor was to choose all your mommies as my concubines so no one is going to go away. You all know Chuck and Chandra, they will now be joining us permanently." That also got smiles from everyone, since they were both well-liked by the children. "I don't know what the future will hold for us or where we are going, but we will all be together and I will do everything I can to keep us safe. I'm having lunch with the captain soon and maybe he can at least tell me where we are headed. For now, all of Steve's rules are my rules, and if I want to change anything, I'll let you know. I told the AI you can get snacks from the replicators and watch movies and play games, so it won't be as boring as it was for the last little while. I really love you all and I'm so glad we will stay together."

I had to stop after that since I was getting all choked up. So much for my manliness credits. Not that anyone would believe I had any just going by looks. Still, I really loved the look that Steve had given me, and was not ready to change it yet. I could not help but think it was a little odd that the 'man of the house' who made the rules and was going to get all the girls pregnant was a tall, hot blonde with ridiculously long hair and big boobs. However, I was enjoying the female-looking Char still and could not foresee switching back anytime soon.

I gave all the kids teary hugs and sent them exploring the pod. They worked with Meredith and Tina to figure out what toys and games to make. Then I had the others go and start working on changes to the pod. I hated the industrial-boring standard appearance of the pods. I pulled Chuck and Chandra aside for a brief welcome and talk. Chuck got a steaming hot French-kiss that left me weak-kneed, while Chandra got a tight, reassuring hug.

"Ok guys, I just wanted to say welcome to the family. I'm really happy that you both took me up on my offer," I said with a big smile. "I want you to know that unless something changes, Xifeng will be the head of the household after me. Anything you need, or any problems you want addressed, see her first. In the future, if I'm on a mission or they send me somewhere and you guys can't come with me, she's going to speak with my voice. This especially goes for you, Chuck. I used to play alpha-male at work and know how hard it can be to let go and follow orders. I thought I'd happily settled down to being second- or third-fiddle in the group, but the moment I got the chance to take over, I did. Granted, it was an emergency and no one else was stepping up."

"Oh, woe is me," he said in a theatrically tragic voice, "it's so horrible having to give up making all the hard decisions and the only compensation I get for my sacrifice is a bunch of gorgeous, horny women to sleep with and some wonderful children to play with. Oh, the horror!" As I laughed, he continued more seriously, "I understand, and if the past month is anything to go by, Xifeng will be an excellent head concubine. I'm perfectly happy sitting back and letting her make all the decisions while I play daddy and stud."

"I just wanted to make sure you understand. No more throwing me down and ravaging me in public anymore! Well, not often anyway. I have to pretend to be a responsible adult now." That sally got another round of laughter. Turning to look at Chandra, I said, "Ever since that time in Todd's pod when I held you while you cried, I've felt responsible for you. I know we drifted apart on Quay before the dark times, but I'm thrilled that you spent so much time with us over the last month. When the AI granted me extra concubine slots, I had no doubts who I wanted to choose." I had to pause there, as the fourteen year old threw herself into my arms and started crying. Resting my chin on her head and stroking her hair gently, I continued, "I'm so glad you are here. I just want you to know, you are loved. We have never slept together, and we won't until you're ready. Something Steve made sure of when we first became his harem was that we were given as much time as needed before becoming physical. It was actually several days after we landed on Quay before I slept with the last member of his harem, well over a month after we were picked up. I guess what I'm trying to say is, wait until you feel comfortable, it will be so much more rewarding for everyone, ok?"

She looked up at me and said, "Thanks! I love you so much already, but the things that have happened to me, the things I've seen... ," she trailed off, shuddering at some remembered horror. I was not sure if she was referring to watching me get brutally raped in front of her, or something else Brian had done to her, or if it was something she had seen during the dark times. "Thank you for letting me decide when I'm ready," she finished. I kissed her forehead and sent them to join the others while I headed up to the freshener to start getting ready for my lunch with the captain. I was looking forward to thanking him in person for saving us.

While I was getting ready, I asked Moira if she would braid my hair the same way she had the first time we were alone. With a grin and a blush at the memory, she started brushing my hair. When she was done, she quickly braided my hair around the top of my head like a circlet or crown, and then pulled the rest into a long ponytail. She left two small sections free and braided those all the way to the end. Then she wrapped them around the ponytail forming a double helix. The only difference, was this time when she pulled my hair together at the end, she fastened it with a clip made from a piece of meteor iron she had shaped. She had set a large diamond in it as well and the sudden weight reminded me of a comment my savior, Rana, had made long ago.

Sergeant Rana Harris, a Confederacy Marine, had been coming out of an unarmed combat class she had been teaching on our transport when I met up with her to thank her for saving me and getting my rapist retested and ultimately executed. She had taken one look at my incredibly long braid and commented that if I put a metal ball on the end, I would have a formidable weapon. I laughed and replied that if I ever became a sponsor, I would look her up for training. Maybe I should, now that she could actually teach me to fight.

When I came back down, Moira had one more thing for me. She handed me a small box and said, "This is a gift for the captain. 'Tis my way of sayin' thanks for gettin' to Quay in time to rescue us. I spent the last two days makin' it. 'Twas originally a bit o' the damn bastard meteorite that caused the EMP." God, I loved listening to her talk!

I looked in the box and was amazed at how pretty the result of her work was. I knew the captain would love it.

With a round of hugs and kisses to all and the gift for the captain tucked in my pocket, I left the pod and headed to lunch. I tried to imagine what was going to happen to us now, but could not come up with anything. When I arrived at the captain's room, his aide immediately let me in. To my surprise, there were several other officers there as well. As soon as I entered the room, they all shot to their feet and saluted me. I just stood there for a few moments, blushing and caught flat-footed by their salute. Having been a concubine up until two hours ago, I had no idea what the military protocols were. I just awkwardly acknowledged their salute and they relaxed. More than a few had lustful looks on their faces at the first sight of me, but they quickly schooled their expressions.

"Pretty fancy greeting for a former concubine," I quipped, still a little off-balance.

The captain grinned and replied, "Actually, it was the proper greeting for a planetary governor."

While I stammered a little, he continued, his grin getting even wider, "The AI and I have been interviewing all the survivors from Quay. After hearing both your report, made when you were literally half-dead, and all of their stories, the AI granted you, a concubine, the title of honorary governor. Now that you are a sponsor, that title has changed to planetary governor. Welcome aboard, Governor Adams."

The blood drained from my face as I went into shock. I could dimly feel my fingers and toes tingling as my heart pounded wildly. In a terrified whisper, I asked, "By making me governor, does that mean you plan on sending us back down there?"

The captain quickly caught on to what had terrified me and was obviously horrified. "Oh God, no! There is no way anyone is being sent back there," he said reassuringly. "You are going to be Governor-in-exile, kind of like deposed rulers back on Earth, only it was Mother Nature who deposed you. I am so sorry to have scared you. It did not even occur to me that you might think that."

The room was silent as one of the officers came over and hugged me. The shock and the relief had sapped my strength and destroyed my focus. The warm hug helped me refocus and regain my mental footing. Feeling me recovering, he released me and stepped back.

"Wow, you just scared a few decades off my life!" I pronounced while theatrically putting my hand over my heart, trying to lighten the mood again. It worked, and the dismay faded from the captain's face as laughter broke the tension in the room. To think, less than a year ago, I had a shiny new Associate's degree in hand and was just starting at an advertising firm, my CAP score putting me on the concubine side of the line. Now I was a sponsor, with a large harem and had just been declared a planetary governor of the Confederacy by the AI. All I could do was shake my head at the enormity of the changes in my life.

The communications officer, whose name I could not remember, piped up, "You think the captain scared you just now? You should have seen poor Ensign Bowe when your emergency messenger drone showed up. There he was, all alone on the bridge, bored silly and half-asleep in the middle of the night watch, just taking a sip of coffee when BAM! every alarm on the bridge goes off because of the unexpected hyperspace signature being detected. Coffee fountains out of his nose, his britches just barely stay clean, although I want the AI to confirm that, and he nearly has a heart attack thinking a Swarm fleet is attacking. To make matters worse, he then has to wake the captain up while wearing half a cup of coffee on his uniform! Later, he has to explain why his console and the wall behind it were covered with coffee. In fact, rumor has it he had to go back into a medtube to fix the grey hairs caused by your little drone."

That little story, and the Ensign's indignant denials, caused gales of laughter from everyone and completely broke any lingering tension in the room. When the ensuing laughter died down, the captain became serious again. "I know you are dying to eat, but I have an important question for you. In your report, you made no mention of Decurion Ahearn, and I wanted to know why," he said gently.

Seeing me hesitate, he added, "I'm giving you permission to speak freely. Please tell us the unvarnished truth."

"Very well, Sir," I murmured. Straightening up, I looked him right in the eye and said, "The Decurion was the only living sponsor after the disaster. He was completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster and the responsibility that was put on him as such. He thought quickly in the beginning and sent out the message drones to try and get us rescued. After that, he just collapsed, literally and figuratively. When I gave my rallying speech to try and save the children, people started looking towards me for leadership and he eagerly ceded all responsibility for our survival to a mere concubine. In the entire time until our rescue, he only helped me once. The rest of the time, he was utterly useless, doing absolutely nothing but holding his concubines. I will say though, the one time I really needed him to back me, when I had to confront and execute the murderous concubine Aaron, he stood by my side and showed that he supported my actions. That he supported me as leader. Of course, I was forced to execute Aaron, even though as Civil Service officer, it was Ahern's responsibility. No one looked to him as the sole remaining sponsor for anything after that, which is exactly what he wanted."

It was not until the AI said, "recorded", that I realized just how much trouble I may have gotten the man into. I also decided he had made his bed, and now he could lie in it. There were plenty of times he could have helped, but he managed to avoid doing anything remotely useful, so he deserved whatever was coming to him.

"May I make a request, Captain? I was wondering if it was possible to escort a few people at a time back down to the colony to retrieve personal belongings they left behind. Concubines are still people, even if the AI's only consider them property. Their old lives are gone and they have nothing now. Even letting them retrieve their children's favorite toys, outfits their sponsor's made them, hand-crafted items they traded for, or any other treasured possession will improve their morale and make things easier for those poor people. If it helps, I could make this my first official request as Governor. After all, I have to think of the well-being of all my people. Anything I can do that helps the surviving concubines get over what happened on Quay, and make their lives easier for the near future, will help them when they are chosen into new harems in the future."

The captain leaned back and thought for a minute. I calmly looked back at him, willing him to agree. Finally, he said, "As I'm sure you know far better than me, it's very dangerous down there. However, since we are still working on retrieving the buried AI core and any undamaged pods we can use to alleviate the over-crowding, we will be in orbit for another day or so. There is still a transport disk by the building you were living in, so I don't see any reason why not. I can send a squad of Marines down to keep an eye on things while the survivors collect personal belongings. It might actually be good training for the Marines, practicing operating in extreme hostile conditions." Shaking his head in wonder, he added, "I still cannot fathom how the hell you were able to survive down there! The Marines who went down to the planet are in absolute awe of you and one devoutly religious one, well, let's just say he plans on contacting the Pope."

That the Marines were in awe of me was a shocker! I also burst out laughing at the idea of a ghyaa saint. That would really set the Church on its ear. I tried to imagine, some day in the far future, people praying to Saint Char the Hedonist. The others joined in my laughter when I gasped that out. However, as I recovered my composure, I glanced at the captain and the others, and by God, they really did seem to be a little in awe of me. It made me feel strong, and a little aroused, to see the respect, and more, on their faces.

Feeling Moira's box in my pocket, I said, "Sir, I almost forgot, this is a gift for you from one of my concubines."

Opening the box I presented to him, he found a polished iron ring with an intricate, Celtic-style, intertwined pattern etched on it. "The ring is made from a piece of the meteor that exploded over our colony. My concubine spent many hours working on it as a thank you gift and a little something to remember us by. Like all her jewelry, it is authentication-locked so it can never be scanned and replicated."

Looking incredibly touched, he took the ring out of the box and started to slip it on his left ring finger. With a laugh, I said, "Um, not that finger. I'm grateful to you, but not that grateful." He started and blushed when he realized he had been about to put it on like a wedding band. Switching hands, he slipped it on his right-hand ring finger. Everyone got a good chuckle out of that gaff.

One of the female officers, Lieutenant Galvin, spoke up, "So that means the hair clip you are wearing is an original also?" The doubt was plain in her voice.

Holding up my braid so everyone could see the beautiful iron clip with the large diamond in it, I replied, "Yes, it is. Moira, my concubine who makes the jewelry, was a geology major back on Earth, and discovered several areas on Quay where diamonds had been brought to the surface by a specific type of deep crust volcanic activity. Unlike Earth, where all the good surface diamonds had been picked up, there were plenty still on Quay. Hell, the first time we went out exploring, she'd given me a box without explaining what it was. Getting bored, I kicked a large pink rock and the box went crazy. I actually thought she'd given me something that went off if I abused a rock!" This brought a round of laughter as I shook my head ruefully. "Actually, the box was a sensor the colony AI had whipped up to detect diamonds. The pink rock I had kicked was actually a huge diamond, about three times the size of this one," I said, waving my braid and the jewelry adorning it. Many of the officers gasped at that. "We were actually planning on trading hand-made diamond and meteor iron jewelry for off-world things we wanted or needed. That's why the former Governor had them authentication-locked, so they would be unique trade items. Sadly, we never got the chance to do any off-world trading before the asteroid hit."

I could see Galvin's eyes were glued on the sparkling diamond jewelry adorning my braid. It was easy to see how much she desired a piece of jewelry like that. "Moira is still making jewelry, and some of the pieces she made for others who later died were returned to her, so if you can think of something to trade, I suspect she would be willing. Although she is a concubine, I've given her complete authority to trade the results of her labor as she sees fit without interference from me, so any trading would be between you and her as equals, not sponsor and concubine." Galvin nodded, obviously deep in thought.

That was when the food arrived and I was famished. There was only a little small talk made during the meal. The officers left me alone as I wolfed down the first good meal I had eaten in over a month. I suspect they realized how much a real meal meant to me and did not want to interrupt my enjoyment of it.

At one point, while we were waiting for dessert, Ensign Bowe looked over and said, "If you don't mind me asking, why did you choose the nickname Char? It, well, it doesn't seem very fitting for such a beautiful woman," he finished, blushing bright red.

Pausing a moment to see if I was mentally ready to take the chance, I decided to reply truthfully. "Growing up," I began, "my name was Charlene, and my nickname was Charlie. But when I graduated, I decided to become Charles and see how the other half lived. Being a guy and needing to sound cool, I went with Char. I'm what the Confederacy calls a ghyaa, which makes the whole saint thing even funnier. Anyway, despite my appearance, I was chosen to be the stand-in stud for my master's harem and stuck with Char."

I saw most of the officer's eyes go blank as they each asked the AI what the hell a 'ghyaa' was. My grin grew even broader when they gasped or blushed, depending on how naughty their thoughts had been when they looked at me through lunch.

As they refocused on me, I grinned and said, "Surprise. I'm a hermaphrodite, a fully functional breeder and stud, a two-for-one deal in a sexy package."

There was a range of emotions on the officer's faces, but only one showed disgust, with most leaning towards neutral or somewhat interested or aroused. The medical officer and captain were unsurprised, and the jewelry-lover, Galvin, had such a look of lust on her face that I got an instant hard-on and blushed myself. I was honestly surprised at how few negative responses there had been. It still surprised me how much more accepting most people were here in the Diaspora than they had been on Earth.

Deciding it was time to change the topic, I asked, "Captain, where are we going after this? What world I mean. I know I'm dying of curiosity and I suspect everyone else is as well."

"We were unloading colonists at the planet Elysium, in the Olympusat system when we got the emergency call. Your decurion was smart enough to code it Omega-red, which meant the distress call overrode everything except combat. We didn't even finish unloading the colonists before we raced here at maximum possible speed. Once we retrieve the AI core and any salvageable pods, I'm heading back there to unload the remaining colonists. I assume you will be getting off there as well unless we have orders stating otherwise waiting for us. You'll like it, as beautiful as Earth but without the mosquitos. It's a real paradise."

"Sounds like a nice change," I said wistfully, as I dove back into the delicious dessert in front of me.

When the meal was over, we talked a little bit more, but I was still not ready to get into details about Quay and was eager to get back to my friends. Sensing this, the captain thanked me for making time for him and asked me to thank Moira for the gift. Taking the offered out, I thanked him again for rescuing us as well as for the meal, then beat a hasty retreat back to the pod.

Chapter 2 »