Saturday, July 25, 2009

Titan or bust

On earth, you have no idea how lonely you are going to be when you are on a long space mission. Being on a ship bound for a place further than any human has ever been with only five other humans to easily communicate with can be very lonely at times. I knew that this feeling would pass eventually but it would not make things any easier for me at this moment. I guess that all I could do is carrying on with my normal routine and that included keeping of a journal of the voyage.

[Computer begin verbal recording]

Archer, S – Personal log – August 15, 2045 – 15:30 UMT

Well our voyage to the Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moon, it truly underway. The fact that we have been in transit for the past five weeks without any significant problems is a true sign of the extensive planning that this mission went through before we even launch from the geostationary platform. Most of us have settled into our specific tasks almost too easily but then again we have had three years to prepare for this part of the mission.

The fact that we are delivering to Titan the basic components for an automated hydrocarbon refinery so insure that earth has the basic organic compounds to continue to expand military capability has a bit of a ominous overtones to the whole flight but I am just one member of this crew of six on this mission. I plan on doing my utmost to complete this task and to help in the movement of man to other exploration missions in the future

I wonder whose idea the “morning” wake up music is. Yesterday’s choice of music entitled “99 ways to leave your lover” caused a bit of a stir and a series of notes on the duty board. Most of them had to do with the title of the song:

99 ways to lever your lover
99 ways to leave your liver
99 ways to laser your lover

I think that you get the idea. Whoever chose the song was one twisted human. All the song did is remind me of pre-launch days waking up with Angelica my British Tabby and all of the attention that she gave me before her breakfast.

One interesting thing that has worked in our favor is that the ion drive is working better that the original specs. Wynn, my duty mate and ships engineer, tells me that we are further along our transit arc than originally plotted and will mean a nearly constant correction to our course and an earlier arrival in orbit of Titan.

[Pause recording]

I knew that the mission shrinks on earth had access to everyone’s journals and I knew that there were some things I definitely wanted them not to know about. Being the communications and computer specialist on the flight I knew how to keep things hidden when I wanted to and I did.

[Computer activate cipher Archer Beta]
[Create linked file]
[Resume recording]
Ah Wynn, for some reason all of my spare moments lately have been filled with pre-launch memories regarding him and a lot of thoughts and feelings about my duty mate. A lot of this I can’t fully figure out. I know that I see him for the same eight hour duty shift and will continue to work with him for the duration of the mission but some of the memories and feelings are more sexual than just working with him. It seems that my subconscious keeps dredging up things when my attention wanders just a little like the scent of his sweat when he returned to the dorm after a ride on his Harley or how the fabric of his flight suit clings to his thighs or lower back or the recurring question of whether he was wearing any underwear. Would this be the right time to use that age old line “Houston we have a problem!”

Some days recently I have wondered who set up all of this and all of these thoughts have pointed to the shrinks back in Houston that created this crew from the original twelve that started the mission training. I also wonder what they knew that we may not have figured out yet for ourselves. I still remember the final briefing before the flight into orbit and the smirk that several of the ground control crew had. It was like they were all screaming silently, “I’ve got a secret”. I guess that only time will tell.

[Pause recording]

[Computer de-activate cipher Archer Beta]
[Close linked file]
[Resume recording]

If this is true then we may be returning to Earth a lot sooner that any of us hoped for and that can only be a good thing.

[Computer end recording and file]

I silently stared at the screen as the computer stored the file and wonder what to do now. Most of the work I did daily I had nearly automated using a number of neat tricks that the international space agency did not even think of and that included a number of process that could even deal with some of the stranger things that the solar wind could throw at us. Anything that the algorithms could not fix was instantly quarantined until I could deal with them. The only problem with that is that it left me with a lot of time to think and a majority of that was spent think about my co-worker in a variety of erotic ways. I also knew in a way that the shrinks back on Earth would not be too impressed with some of the ideas that were floating through the mind. For all I knew that was one of the reasons that the alternative crew for this mission had been eliminated. The one concrete thing that I did know about the other crew was that the other communication specialist could not think his way out of a paper bag when under stress and that had been show repeatedly during the training. So I was here and he was back on Earth probably pushing information around. I guess that you could say that I was lost in space since I didn’t heard Wynn approach or him calling me just the sudden electrostatic spark that leaped between us as he touched my shoulder and I reacted by jumping.

I can tell you that this type of reaction is normal on Earth and no big thing since gravity holds you in place but in near zero gee of the command area of the ship it sent me sailing across the space quite rapidly. The next thing I knew was that I was in pain. The communication console connected with my left knee and my head with the bulkhead across the compartment.

As the pain receded I suddenly realized that I was feeling the gravity of the habitation ring and seeing a bright light being shined into my eyes by the Medical Officer Graham Stilton. From the stern look I was getting I knew that he was not impressed by this accident. “Well Captain Archer what do you have to say for yourself? I had you pegged as the last person that I would see in my office during the flight but you always seem to want to surprise people.”

I remain silent as he continued his examination and listen to him ask Wynn a couple questions about the lighting in the hydroponics area. When he got to my knee he certainly got my attention again. “ Well Steven consider yourself very lucky, you could have severed the upper connections to you knee cap if you had been traveling any faster and I certainly did not plan on doing surgery this early in the flight.” He then placed the knee in a temp cast and had me sit up.

That was when I felt something jab me in the groin and I remembered the memory crystal in a front pocket of my flight suit. I fished out the crystal and tossed it to Wynn before telling him, “Your latest video request came through last night. Something called “Fractured Spine Hillside” I think. Not sure if it’s a geology seminar or a medical thriller. As he pocketed the clouded crystal he smiled and shook his head. God the power in that smile could have made me melt then and there.

“Neither. It’s a turn of the century classic called ‘Brokeback Mountain’. I haven’t seen it since high school, I figured that it was time to watch it again.” It may have been my imagination but I think that I saw Graham raise an eyebrow at the title. “Well I still have a propulsion check to do and it won’t get done with me talking down here.” With a mischievous grin he left and I think that he knew that I was watching him glide along the ring to the centrifuge’s exit. I knew that it was time to face the lecture that I expected from Graham for not strapping in at all null grav consoles but he surprised me.

“Steve, we need to talk.” Great that meant that he something serious since for the most part he just called me ‘Archer’. It also meant that he wanted to help and not because it was his job. He quietly sealed the compartment before turning to me and leaned against the examination table. “I’ve been meaning to chat with you about your stress indicators.” What indicators was he talking about?

He looked at me for a second not sure of how to approach the issue then decided that the direct approach was the best course. “Steve, over the past few weeks Houston has noticed that parts of your journal entries are encrypted in sub files and that the general tone and stressing of the entries show that something big is eating you.” He stopped to watch my reaction to his statement and he knew that he was right. I just could not look him in the eye at that point and sat there for a minute thinking about just telling him but I was not sure of his response to the problem.

I looked up and just said, “Options?”

He seemed relieved that I was looking for the help. “You have four: medication for the remainder of the voyage, talking with the team in Houston via vid gram, talking to me or using the Elysian Fields simulation”. He could tell just from my reactions that the first and second options were non starters. The third did have its possibilities but something was holding me back. “I guess that your choice is behind door number four”. I just nodded to him as he when to get the crystal that held the simulation for me. As he unsealed the compartment after giving me the sim, he looked at me sternly and told me, “You are on half duty for the next week to give the knee time to heal and I want to have received notification from the computer that you have used the sim at least once in that time. Now get out of here so I can get back to bed.”

Since there was only an hour left before my shift ended I decided just to hobble over to the galley, grab something to eat then head to my sleeping cubicle to think things over. I found that I was not interested in food so five minutes later I was laying back on my bed and staring into the cloud of the data crystal and wondering if this was the right approach to the Wynn problem.

At least the sim headset was the latest model that was available and was able to directly interact with the wearers neural thought patterns without having to drill any holes into the skull. The one thing that it would not win, would be a fashion award, it looked and felt like a swimmers diving cap. I guess that we can’t have everything. After slotting the crystal in a bed side reader, I laid back and waited for the sim to start. After a few seconds I hear this voice in my head asking, “Are you resting comfortably?” I nodded and the voice continued, “Then we shall begin.”

For the most part the simulated forest looked real but flowering trees had no scent and the background a little too crisp for a real horizon but it was very good. I started to wander through the forest and began noticing that I was not the only human in the forest. It seems that they were all wearing Greek togas and that there was an equal mix of men and women taking in the sights. After following a well tread path I found a cave entrance with the words “Know thyself” inscribed next to it. That sounded good and entered the cave.

I could tell you the entire tale of my adventure in the sim but that would spoil things for you when you decide to use it. What I will tell you is that when the sim finished several hours had passed and I found that I had a several spots where the groin of the flight suit were saturated and very sticky to the touch. I knew what the body wanted that much was for sure.

Over the next week I used the sim several more times with similar results and a much clearer idea what needed to be done but I was no clearer as how to achieve the end goal. That was until the follow up with the MO. The fact that he had arranged for the checkup in my time zone and not his was certainly significant.

“Two things, “he said as he packed up hit medical kit, “First your neurochemistry is back to normal and that is good but the knee is still need another week to heal completely.” In a way I wanted to get back to work fully but in this cast he word was law and there was nothing I could do about it. “Since you have some time on your hands”, he said, “I think that you could use this” tossing me a data crystal.

“What’s this, another sim?” I asked gazing into the crystal.

“No a movie, something tells me you need to watch this one” I looked at him a little mystified with more than a few questions in my gaze. “No I have not taken up being a psychic as a side hobby since there are no tea leaves on board but I think that you need to return to a younger you.” And with that he glided out of the exam room leaving me looking into the crystal.

It was several days before I remembered the movie by which time I really needed something to take my mind off all of the day dreams that I had been having and thought what the hell. Relaxed in my cabin, I slotted the crystal and waited for the movie to start. With a start, I realized that this was the movie that Wynn had ordered, it was then I started to wonder how Graham had gotten a hold of it. I almost stopped the movie seeing it was a western. I was never a fan of westerns but something told me that I needed to see this. As the end credit scrolled past I saw why Graham had given me the film and I started to see that all of the dreams I had been having lately had a very good chance of becoming reality. I needed a plan and I started to laugh when an idea hit me, it couldn’t be that easy.

I once heard that the way to a man’s heart was his stomach, I decided to get him through his email. I created a simple little program that would make subtle and random changes to his personal mail and let it loose. In a way I was just recreating some of the mail that we all had gotten over the past weeks. The best of them we posted on the mission whiteboard like the mission control request for fuel usage that was displayed in flaming red gothic script on a black background. So I waited until he could not stand it any longer and called me for help. It took a week until one very personal message was really altered.

We were on the control deck and everything seemed normal and about to make a small correction in our course. I could see out of the corner of my eye that Wynn had started to call up his mail and waited for some reaction. The first few appeared normal before he was staring at one that was lime green and black and in Greek. That one created a subtle growl in his throat before he clicked for the next one. The next one was a birthday video gram from his grandmother. I had to restrain laughing out loud at how the program had changed the message. The saintly image on the screen kept changing colour. One second she was green, then purple, then yellow then a shade I could not even describe and with every change in her coloring the background changed too. Well that did it and I knew that it was my chance when he screamed, “Archer get over here and fix this”.

I gingerly walked over to his console and innocently ask him what was wrong. Standing behind him I watched the image turn blue and yellow. He just pointed at the screen and growled. I rested my hands on his shoulders gently and told him that I could fix the message for him. I slowly leaned closer to him till I could whisper in his ear and let my hands ghost there way down his muscular chest and brush his nipples. I could feel the electricity building until a spark could have leaped across and gap separating us before I moved my hands to tap a short command on keyboard in front of him. In the silence that followed the messages abrupt redirection I breathed in his scent and let it carry me the next step of slowly kissing his neck.

It was at this point that the course correction began causing the control deck to slowly loss gravity and we floated free of the floor. In mid air Wynn did a slow turn until he was facing me and gave me a slow and very passionate kiss on my lips as he wrapped his arms around me. We kissed until we bumped into the cabin’s ceiling and both laughed at the thought of floating around the room in each others arms. I knew that I could spend the rest of the time we were weightless just kissing him but Wynn had other ideas by the way he slowly started to grind his body against mine and the heated look of lust in his eyes.

Silently he drew down the zip on my flight suit till he reached my navel before letting his tongue taste the sweat on my skin and tease each of my nipples. By this time I was rock hard and I wanted to sample his erotic musk for myself. As I kissed him I followed his lead going that one extra step till his own hard shaft was out in the open and begging to be pleasured. With a deft hand I set his body rotating before me till his crotch was at eye level and I could enjoy the scent of his groin.

As much as I wanted to swallow him whole at the first whiff of his sweat I decided to bath the length of his cock slowly and teasingly with the tip of my tongue till it glistened with my spit. I lapped up the beads of savory dew that started to form at the tip of his shaft before giving his two heavily laden balls a similar treatment. Wynn decided that the direct approach was more to his liking and he allowed the entire length of my shaft to be swallowed between his warm lips. With a final lick of my tongue I released his balls and began to let the velvety skin of his shaft pass my lips and began to massage its entire length with my mouth. And so cart-wheeled around the control deck giving and receiving pleasure till the warning klaxon sounded and we sank back to the deck. It was then that we separated before touching the deck. As he came to rest on top of me I could feel that the jar of his landing caused him to climax. I felt splash after splash of his seed land on my chest and I could no longer hold back. I coated his face and hair in my own explosions of pleasure.

As the glow receded we looked at each other and had to smile at the happy mess that we had made of each other. Resting in each others arms on the deck we hugged and kissed again. It was then that Wynn let me in a little secret. The reason that our team had been selected was due to two things. Our individual skills and that we all were gay. Houston had then ensured that we had a partner that we could love. OK. It took a bit of time but I knew that the rest of the mission was good to go and “Houston we don’t have a problem.”

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