Related article: Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 02:46:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Warren
Subject: The Coldest Place - Chapter 5*—————————-*The following story, novel, or chapter contains homosexual themes and is
not intended for anyone under the legal viewing age. If depictions of
homosexual activities disturb you, DON’T CONTINUE TO READ! You’ve been
warned.Do not e-mail me and complain or harass me with hate mail over this story.
I Lolita Gallery
will ignore you, or, if I find Lolita Gallery
your message humorous enough, I’ll
probably thank you for the best laugh of my life.Copyright 2007 - Warren (singerboi22yahoo.com)This is my second story…take it easy. Thanks :) Mine Shadow:
The Coldest Place
Chapter Five — What Did You See?
James felt completely useless — which wasn’t all that
surprising. With his ship disabled, and his crew licking their wounds,
there was little for him to do but wait. Even his admirable bounty of
patience tended to run out from time to time. For the hundredth time it seemed, he asked his communications
officer for a connection to Engineering. This time, the reply back from Eli
was a bit more heated: “Leave us the hell alone so we can work!” James bit
back his retort and calmed himself. His eye still twitched, though. The medic had left the bridge quite a while ago, completely
unnoticed. He thought it was rather lucky that she didn’t need to take any
of his bridge officers along. It was actually a shock to see Kaer hand him
a tactical report when he hadn’t even noticed the medic had finished. James was still sitting in his chair when Eli returned to the
bridge. “We’re as ready as we’re gonna get, Captain.” James started at the
sound of Eli’s voice and looked around. Most of his officers were walking
back to their stations. His happiness must have shown on his face, because Eli gave him a
sly look. “Happier now, eh?” James glared at him. It was at that very moment the lights went out and the entire ship
shut off as if the plug had been pulled. The first thought in his mind was
“What the hell?” followed by “Again?” Again? When had this happened before? Why did this feel so
familiar? He felt a drop in his stomach as the gravity plating switched
over to backups. He was dimly aware in the darkness of a jumble of sound and
sensation; someone swore loudly and he distinctly heard the thud of bone
against metal. Most likely someone tripped, he thought, and he fumbled in
the dark for his wrist beacon, finally finding it in the pocket of his
chair. The light cut through the looming darkness like a warm knife
through butter, and after a few moments he could make out his officers
doing the same. In no time his well-trained crew were shining their lights
around the CC. Someone screamed a terrible cry of fright, and fell backwards as
their light smashed on the floor. Immediately, his heart pounding, James
leapt up and vaulted over the central table toward his officer. In the dim
light of his beacon, as it flashed over the body, he could see it was Kaer. “Call the medic!”, James yelled out, hoarsely. He bent over Kaer’s
side, aware of the blood pooling beneath his junior officer’s head. All the
while his heart pounded in his chest. He prayed that Kaer was still alive
as he felt for the officer’s pulse. It was slow, but he was for sure alive,
and James breathed a sigh of relief, his heart calming.
“Communications are down. I sent a messenger to the infirmary. Is
he alive?” Eli had come up beside him and Lolita Gallery was looking at Kaer with concern
on his lined face. “Yeah, he’s breathing.” He looked up at the officers crowded around
them. “Did anyone see what happened?” They all shook their heads. “Nothing, Captain.” What had caused Kaer to fall like this? He felt a thread of fear
run through him — in this darkness, anything could be hiding right behind
what was, a few minutes before, a safe haven. Was it possible they had
intruders on board? He felt like he had to act fast. “Eli, get our security teams
equipped with radio transmitters and start patrols. We may have someone on
board.” “You think somethin’ attacked Kaer? I didn’t see anythin’.” “Just do it, Commander! I’m not taking any chances.” He watched Eli
motion to a trembling Ensign on the other side of the bridge to come
closer. “Captain…” James looked down to see Kaer’s eyes were open, though he didn’t
seem to be able to focus completely. James could see the pain in his eyes,
and shared it sympathetically. “The medic is coming, Lieutenant. Don’t
strain yourself.” “Captain… someone’s here.”
“Who is here, Lieutenant?” The tall man tried to shake his head, but James stopped him. “Don’t
move so much, Kaer. You’ve got a serious head wound.” Kaer swallowed, hard,
and took a trembling breath. “I don’t know what it was. I saw it — it was on the ceiling. It
looked at me. I wasn’t expecting it — it scared me, and I fell backwards
and…” he paused for breath. “I’m sorry, Captain, I should have reacted
better, not like a child…” In spite of himself, James shined his light upwards. The ceiling
was empty. Whatever it was, it was long gone by now. “Can you describe what
it looked like?” he asked, ignoring Kaer’s self recrimination. “I can’t remember. It’s all going fuzzy now. Something… made me
fall. I saw… something.” James noticed Kaer’s eyes were now glassy, and
he cursed inwardly. A concussion was serious - where was that damm medic? As if on Lolita Gallery cue, the medic arrived, a male this time. Completely
business-like, he had his team lift Kaer onto the stretcher and out the
door, almost before James could even blink. Getting to his feet, he walked
around the central table back to his chair, motioning for Eli to follow
him. “Commander, advise the security teams to keep an eye on the
ceilings, as well, when they make their rounds.” Eli nodded, half of his
face in the shadows. It made for Lolita Gallery an eerie tableau. “Oh, and double the
patrols until further notice.” “Do you really think Kaer saw something?” James wasn’t sure what to think. “This feels familiar, somehow.” He
said, shaking his head. “I feel like it all has happened before. Regardless
of whether there are intruders aboard, we need to get our systems back
online and return to the supply depot.” “They could be sendin’ ships for us right now.” “Maybe, but without any power, we’d never show up on their
sensors. It would be seriously bad luck if they crashed right into us while
looking.” Eli snorted. “Aye, that would be bad.” James chuckled for a moment. “I’ve been wondering why they haven’t
attacked us.” It was something that had been puzzling him. “The Ascendancy ship? Probably sufferin’ the same problems we are,
James.” James tapped his chin thoughtfully. “Not much we can do about them
right at the moment, I suppose.” “Well then, what do you want to do now?” “Power is first, obviously.” He rolled his eyes. “Then we’ll need
to — “, Without a word, Eli crumpled to the deck, James following him just
a moment later.
* * *
Waking with a gasp, James sat up, flailing his arms until a sharp
pain made him abruptly stop. “Shit!” He stopped moving, breathing heavily,
and surveyed the damage. He had ripped an IV line from his arm, and now a
thin line of blood was running down his arm, but he couldn’t see anything
else wrong. The pain in his arm changed into a stinging sensation and James
started to lie back, willing the painful sensation to go away. “Captain! You’re awake!” James hadn’t noticed the doctor entering
the room, and jumped nervously, sitting up completely in the bed. He Lolita Gallery tried
to ignore his arm, which twinged sympathetically. “Yes, great! The
Commander has been wearing a hole in the carpet for hours now. I swear if
he wasn’t married-” The doctor stopped as James raised his hand up for silence.
“Please, doctor, not so loud.” “Oh. Yes. Sorry, Captain! Yes, well, now that you’re up, I need to
take a few more readings and then I can clear you for duty. Hold still,
please, yes?” James bit back his growing impatience at everything medical
(especially after his experiences with the doctor on the depot), and laid
back slowly, resting his head on the very uncomfortable headrest. If he
heard that doctor say `yes’ one more time he would vow to strangle the man
– in his head, Lolita Gallery
at least. As he was poked and prodded and scanned, he idly wondered who had
designed such terrible beds. Was it too much to ask that, when you’re
already miserable, to not add to it? “Yes, well, you can go, Captain. You’re perfectly fine.” James muttered dark obscenities under his breath as he fled the
* * *
A while later, after meeting with Eli, he was left with even more
questions; he ruminated over them in his quarters. Twice now he had found
himself unconscious — once on the depot, and once on his very own
ship. Both times, he was without memory of whatever had come before. All of
the events that had been Lolita Gallery
happening recently swirled around in his head, the
lines connecting them just out of reach. Why had the Ascendancy attacked
such an obviously well-defended target? Why did he have such large gaps in
his memory? And Kaer — the doctor had no idea why he was in the infirmary,
and couldn’t understand why he was in a coma now. James felt a pang of guilt. Kaer was new to his ship, but able and
confident. He had no doubt that he would have been a great officer. Now it
appeared he would not be anything. He worked late into the night, writing out reports for both the
depot and his commanders back home. The Commander wasn’t that happy that
James had to cancel their meeting, but relented. He had nothing to report
that would explain what had happened to the Galactic — they had neither
been attacked, nor experienced another power loss. After a few hours, he slipped into the infirmary to check up on
Kaer. The young man was sleeping peacefully, the same as he had for the
last day. Sitting there, staring at nothing, James felt completely at
peace. Every once in a while he would glance up, check the monitor, and
settle back, reassured that Kaer was in the same condition then as he had
been the last time he looked. Eli found him like that, just sitting there in a chair next to the
bed, later that morning. Gently he reached down and grasped James’
shoulder. “Captain, it’s about time ya got some sleep.” “I know, Eli. I don’t think sleep’ll come to me as easy as it is to
Kaer.” Eli smiled, “Maybe not. I’m sure the Lieutenant will be okay in a
day Lolita Gallery or so, James. Ya don’t need to always beat yourself up like this every
time someone gets hurt.” “He was hurt on my ship… under my watch. That makes it my
responsibility.” His breath hitched. “I want to know that my mistakes won’t
cost a promising officer his life.” “Boy, if that’s whatcha want, you ain’t gonna get it.” Eli replied,
dryly. “Only the Good Lord above knows what is gonna happen.” James’ only response was to sigh deeply, still looking sad. “Well, you can sit here all night if ya want to, Captain. But me?
I’m gonna go home to my wife tonight. I think she misses me.” James
chuckled as he watched Eli slip out of the room nearly as quietly as he’d
come in.
The truth was that Eli was right. Bad things happened to people,
and it wasn’t on his hands when everything went wrong. It had always been a
failure of his — letting his emotions go at the wrong moments, taking on
too much responsibility. It was what drove Nick from his life as fast as he
had entered it. For a moment, he felt a deep rush of regret fill him as his
thoughts turned to his ex-lover. What was Nick doing now, this moment, back
on Earth? Was he with another man? Probably, James thought to himself, a
heavy feeling settling in his stomach. Why would he wait for someone that
was `galloping around the galaxy’, as Nick had so eloquently put it? He shook his head, hard, to settle himself. He would get nowhere
with that train of thought. Besides, what Kaer and his crew needed, right
now, was a confident and poised Captain.
* * *
“Captain on deck!” As he walked into the CC, he simply nodded for everyone to return
to their duties, and stepped straight up to Eli. “So, what’s the news?” Without a word, Eli handed him a pad, and James scrolled through
it. “I hope this is a joke.” He sounded level, but he knew Eli could
hear the surprise in his voice. “Nope.” The orders had confirmed what he had suspected might happen; they
were to remain as part of the guard for the depot. It made sense to the
brass back home, of course. An attack on the depot, memory loss, power
outages — someone needed to investigate, and the logical choice was
him. Didn’t make James feel any better, however. “We’re one of the more powerful ships in the Confederate Navy, and
we’re going to just sit here?!” “Guess so, Captain.” James slammed the pad down on the center console, sending up a
shower of sparks as the pad’s display cracked. He stopped, and looked down
at the pad, as the entire bridge crew turned around at the unexpected
noise. Eli could see the surprise on his face at his loss of control. He
turned around and motioned at the officers to give them some privacy, then
looked at James. “Investigate. Research. What are we, a…a…fucking floating
science lab?” he hissed at Eli, softly. “There are dozens of ships in the
fleet that could do this far better than we can. I want to be on the front
lines, showing the Ascendants who they’re messing with!”
Eli’s face betrayed no emotion, but James could hear the mirth in
his tone. “Spoken like a true warrior, Captain.” For a moment he felt ludicrous. He couldn’t change his orders, and
acting like a tantrum-throwing five year-old would look very bad in front
of the crew. Calming himself, he smiled at Eli. “Sorry, Commander, emotions
run a little hot.” “You were on fire, Captain.” James couldn’t help it, and he joined in with Eli, laughing. Let
the crew think what they wanted to.
* * *
The next night found James sitting at Kaer’s bedside, again. The
ship’s doctor was no closer to understanding why he was in a coma, and
James, in a way, didn’t mind. Kaer’s injury had given him something to
focus on, a way to clear his Lolita Gallery thoughts each night. Part of him felt guilty
at the thought of using someone’s misery for own benefit, but he felt
justified. Some time later, he crawled into his own bed and let dreams of
nothingness take him away.
* * *
Commander Hillerson sat back in his chair, his grey eyes locked
squarely on James. “Have you found anything?” “Well, we did find something small. It was some kind of organic
residue on the ceiling in the CC, next to a deep scratch. We haven’t been
able to figure Lolita Gallery
out what it came from.” “Interesting.” Hillerson nodded and leaned back slightly, looking
like he wanted to say something else, and then stopped. “Are you okay?” “I’m…” The Commander struggled for a moment, then looked James
straight in the eye, making the other man tremble inside. His eyes were so
beautiful. “Tell me, James, do you find me attractive?” “I — what?!” James choked on the last word as his ears turned
red. That was really forward and for a moment he had no idea what to say. “I get the impression you do, and um, the way you glance at me from
time to time, when you think I’m not looking says something.” His voice got
stronger and more confident. “And how you smile when you see me, even
before you get close…” Patrick kept rattling on, oblivious to James
sputtering across from him. “Commander, I…I…am…flattered, really, but I…” He said,
weakly. Patrick leaned forward, finally noticing how Lolita Gallery upset James
looked. “Seems like it. You’re all flustered.” It was difficult, but James got control over himself — and his
cock. Lolita Gallery “If you’ll excuse me Commander, I have duties to attend to.” Patrick stood up too quickly as James made a break for the door,
slamming his knee into the underside of his desk. He wanted to tell James
to wait, that he hadn’t meant to offend him, but it came out in a wheeze of
pain instead. He sat back down, heavily, just a little too late. His
stomach plummeted as he watched James disappearing out the door. That had not gone well at all. He had been wanting to say something to James ever since the
strong, sensual looking young man had arrived earlier in the week., . He
had felt a connection the second their eyes had met. He now felt even worse
as he contemplated how deeply he might have screwed it all up.
* * *
James fled quickly back Lolita Gallery to his ship, and immersed himself in status
reports for the rest of the afternoon. Not even Eli could get into his
quarters, and Lolita Gallery he was sure Patrick — no, Hillerson, he told himself, was
frantic by now. The Commander had taken him completely by surprise, yet it was
something he fantasized about, every time he jacked off. He would whisper
“Patrick” with every shot. Yet when the Commander made his move, James had
run away. It is for your own good, he told himself. He couldn’t let himself
get caught up in something right now, especially not with a high-ranking
officer. He kept that mantra up in his head as he worked through each
report. But once he was done, his thoughts turned back to the Commander,
back to Patrick. It felt like he was stuffing himself to the exploding
point. Missing memories, attacks, investigations… And now advances from
someone he was starting to look at as a friend. He had to maintain proper
decorum. He was so distracted that he Lolita Gallery didn’t hear the door chime the first
time. When it rang harder the second time, he finally answered. “Come in.” It was Eli, and the second the door cleared his face, he leaped at
James. “What the fuck are ya doin, James? Barricadin’ up in here and
ignoring the station Commander! Are you looking for a court martial!?” When
James didn’t respond, Eli’s face contorted in anger. “Look at me when I’m
yelling at you!” James laughed. “Yelling at me?” “Yeah, yellin’ at you! You’re like a goddammed child sometimes!” “Am I?” Eli stood there, chest heaving. “Yes! The Commander has been
calling for you for hours, but won’t tell me why. And you’ve been ignoring
him this whole time. And Lolita Gallery for what,” He yelled as he grabbed a pad off of
the pile on the table and looked at Lolita Gallery
the screen, “A fucking report?” James shook his head. “If you only knew, Eli.” He said quietly. “Tell me then!” His voice Lolita Gallery
broke. “I can’t. Just tell the Commander I’ll call him
shortly. That’ll be all.” Eli stiffened. “You’re dismissing me?” he asked, incredulity
saturating his voice. Wordlessly, James pointed to the door, and ignored the look that
Eli shot him as he left, even though it made him feel even worse. Once the
door closed, he sat back against the couch, breathing heavily. I could have
handled that better, he told himself. Eli was a trusted, long-time friend,
and didn’t deserve that. But he just couldn’t justify himself to Eli’s
face. Not yet, anyway. His best action was to pretend nothing had happened, and continue
on. Business was business, and he needed to work with Patrick. No, he told
himself again, the Commander. So he needed to be strong.
* * *
To his surprise, Hillerson said nothing about what had happened
earlier that day, and accepted his daily report without so much as a
smile. It was so formal that it twisted James’ guts. Even his voice was
completely business-like. “Have you analyzed the organic substance you
found on the bridge?” “Yes, we did. It’s not human genetic material, or Ascendant. We
haven’t found a match in the genome database just yet, but it can take days
to search the entire thing. In the meantime, we’ve been monitoring for
Ascendancy vessels, but it has been quiet.” Hillerson nodded. “Good. You’re dismissed, Captain.” James saluted as he left, and tried to calm his pounding heart as
he walked back to his shuttle. It took him the entire trip, and a slow walk
to the CC, before he felt completely under control. “How is she doing, Commander?” Like the station’s Commander, Eli
showed no sign of their recent fight, but unlike Hillerson, Eli acted the
same as he always did. Inwardly, James was grateful and knew that to be a
sign of how strong their friendship was. He didn’t Lolita Gallery need to apologize to his
face for Eli to know how sorry he was. “Not a blip on the sensors. I’m gonna bet losin’ two ships put a
dent — ” “Commander! I’ve got an unidentified contact on the sensors!” The
replacement tactical officer shouted out, “It’s about half our size, sir!” Just when I got my heart back under control, James mused. “Set the
ship to Alert status, but don’t activate the weapons just yet. Let’s see
what it is, first. Can you give me a visual?” He heard Eli issuing his
orders to the departments. “Negative, Captain. It keeps coming in and out of our range.” Eli leaned over. “Should we pursue?” “Perhaps…but what if it is a ploy to get us away from the depot?” “Could be — but if it isn’t…” Eli didn’t need to say more. James cleared his throat. “Helm, bring us in a bit closer, but keep
our starboard quarter facing them, just in case. Tactical, activate the
torpedo bays and prepare to fire on my command.” Torpedos were only useful
in long range fights usually because close quarters meant backwash from the
impact. But it never hurt to be prepared. He just didn’t want to appear too
aggressive at first. He waited, drumming his fingers on the warm console screen as they
got closer. “Can you see what it is, yet, Lieutenant?” “Not yet, sir. We need to be just a little bit closer.” Eli growled next to him. “I bet it is Ascendancy. They never know
when to give up.” He caught James’s eye. “We’ll give `em a wallop.” “It’s people like you that are the reason we’re winning this war.”
James said with a fond smile. “Of course it is. And if it was people like you, we’d be waiting
all the time.” Before James could reply, the Lieutenant at tactical
interrupted. “I think I have a visual sir, but it’s going to be blurry.” The screen showed a faint white blob in the center, but there were
very few details due to the distance. Eli apparently couldn’t see any
better, because he grunted and asked the tactical officer to zoom in. “Well, what do you think it is, James?” He studied the image closely. It looked nothing like any Ascendancy
ship he’d seen. They favored long, needle-like vessels. And even the
Confederates weren’t nearly as blobby as the image showed. It was like a
floating lump of lard. “It looks alien, actually. I’ve never seen a ship like
it. Interesting. They don’t appear to be doing anything. Helm, bring us in
a little closer.” The image grew on the screen, and now he could make out quite a bit
more detail. It was definitely alien — a misshapen glob of gleaming white
metal. There were no observable view ports, exhaust ducts, sensor arrays,
or even weapon emplacements. “Can they see us?” The tactical officer shook his head. “I don’t think so. I’m not
detecting any scanning fields near us, but the closer we get, the more of a
chance they will.” For once, Eli said exactly what James felt. “We should go back to
the depot, and let Commander Hillerson know.” “Good idea.” But James didn’t feel so happy inside at the prospect
of facing Hillerson again so soon.
To be continued!
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