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Chapter 10

November 7, 2406 AD

27 Light-years from the Sol System

Monday, 4:42 PM, Expeditionary Mission Standard Time

“You keep that up and you’re gonna vaporize that thing!” Deanna Moore raised an eyebrow as she watched her Navy SEAL cook a hot dog over the radiator from the main energy core cooling system conduits.

“Hey you’re the hotdogging mecha pilot,” Lieutenant Rackman replied with a smile. Dee liked his smile. She liked his big brown eyes. She liked his hardened soldier’s rippled body. She liked him. She particularly liked the way he looked in his shorts and t-shirt even if it did say “U.S. Navy” on it. Dee leaned back and stretched her already tight “USMC” tank top even tighter against her breasts. The temperature in the abandoned section of the ship was just cool enough that her nipples pressed hard against the microfiber digicam fabric. The thin fabric enhanced her fighter pilot’s muscular build along with her very female attributes. She hoped Rackman noticed.

“I wonder if anybody else ever figured this out,” Dee pondered aloud. The two of them had searched the large starship for a private place to call their own. Rackman had done some forward recon previously and found the area just under the forward directed energy guns. The outer bulkhead housed cooling and power conduits. There was a very long corridor on this particular deck leading all the way from stern to bow. The outer bulkhead wall was the last pressure wall of the ship. Beyond that would be an evacuated fire-suppression zone and then the ship’s outer hull armor plating.

Her AIC had told Dee that this particular area was an engineering access corridor that could be used for heating, cooling, and energy transfer as needed. It very seldom saw anybody accept for a fireman’s apprentice or engineer’s mate and usually only if there was damage to the area. For all intents and purposes it was an abandoned part of the ship.

Dee and Rackman had found a cubby about the size of a two-car garage just under the starboard bow DEGs. The gray metal power conduits got hot, very hot, but there was no dangerous radiation to be concerned with. Dee had worn her AEM suit there a time or two and had the sensors sweep the area. She had also asked Commander Buckley with the cover story that she needed a place to practice maneuvers by herself. Buckley had assured her that there was no danger in the area and he hadn’t asked any other questions. Dee wasn’t sure if that was because she was herself or Buckley had better things to worry about.

Rackman, in full Navy SEAL fashion, had figured out that pulling the insulator plate from the outgoing cooling line exposed a large, flat metal grate heat radiator that just happened to be the perfect size upon which to grill food. It also heated about a five-meter diameter space of the abandoned corridor to a nice tropical temperature, much like a campfire would a campsite on a fall evening in Mississippi. It was warm and, even better than back home, there were no mosquitoes or other pests.

“Hope you’re hungry,” Davy said. Dee caught him looking a little longer than he had to at her. “I know I am.”

“Yeah, something about all that immunoboost makes me feel like I could eat a horse.” Dee looked at the new pale skin on her hand. The new graft had taken fine.

And it makes me, uh, antsy as hell. She thought.

Antsy, my ass, Bree replied. Her AIC knew her too well. Fact of the matter was that Dee was tired of the continuous fighting and space jumping. She hadn’t been in a good mecha mixup in months unless you counted the war games DeathRay put them through on a regular basis. Truth be told, she was horny as hell and just wanted to have some fun to keep from going batshit nuts.

“You want the first ones?” Davy began rolling the browned wieners off the radiator grate onto a plate. The synthetic protein sausages rolled across the grate with a sizzling sound, putting off an aroma that made Dee’s salivary glands kick into hyperdrive. The grate left the hot dogs with perfect criss-cross black stripes from end to end. Dee was impressed by the SEAL’s grillmeister skills.

“Smells great. I’m starving!” She licked her lips for effect.

“Here we are. God only knows how many light-years away from Sol. But, the military made sure we had hot dogs and buns.”

“And don’t forget beer!” Dee pulled a couple cold ones from the cooler pack and popped them open. She traded one for a plate and then took a long drink. “Ah.”

“To fallen mates,” Rackman said in his Australian accent.

“Oorah.” Dee drank again. She scanned around at their spot. For months she and Davy had been camping there when they had the chance, and had yet to run across anybody else. After all, the ship was designed to hold as many as twenty-thousand crewmen and mecha and other support craft, and the Madira currently had less than five hundred total on board. But it was still the supercarrier of all supercarriers in her mind. For a brief moment she let her mind drift to the first day she saw a supercarrier on Mars over two decades earlier . . .

“What’s a supercarrier, Daddy?” Deanna recalled tugging at her daddy’s sports coat impatiently. It was the first time she’d been to Mars even though her mother was a Martian. Her father, of course, was from Mississippi and at the time she knew he was larger than life, but she truly had no idea just how much so.

“Huh, oh. It is a very large spaceship that carries a whole bunch of smaller spaceships and thousands of people and tanks and is an awesome display of America’s great strength and power. And Marines! You can’t win any real war without a bunch of U.S. Marines!” He gestured flamboyantly with his hands open wide and his chest out. She remembered watching him as he then subconsciously turned his U.S. Marine Corp ring a few times. He still did that to this day. Dee had always hung on her father’s every word, but her mother simply grunted at his answer. Dee always loved how the two interacted with one another—her father the clown and her mother the straight man.

“Don’t encourage her, Alexander.” Her mother had said. “It is a carrier, honey, because it carries other ships and people inside it. It is a supercarrier because it is superdy-duperdy big.”

“I understand, Mommy.” Deanna couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with happiness as she recalled swinging between her parents while hanging from their arms. The word “superdy-duperdy” made her smile. She unconsciously finished her beer.

Since then she had had two decades to think about just how big “superdy-duperdy” truly was. The U.S. fleet supercarrier was indeed an awesome display of humanity’s technological savvy and military might. Its sleek structure reached over a kilometer and a half long, two-thirds of a kilometer wide, and a quarter kilometer tall. And since this particular one was only at about two and a half percent personnel capacity, Dee was sure that everybody on board must have their own private little hidey-holes like hers and Davy’s.

“Incendiary device for your thoughts, Marine.” Dee hadn’t realized it, but she had finished her beer without even touching the slightly browned protein dog. She studied the blackened stripes on the pink meat left by the radiator grate metal. She took a bite. Then another. It was good.

She nodded and shrugged behind a mouthful of hot dog. “Oh, I was just remembering the first time I ever saw a big ship like this.”

“Do tell, sheila.”

“I told you not to call me that.” Dee swatted at him. “I was like six or so and we were on Mars. It was the day of the Seppy Exodus.”

“Yeah, I recall seeing that on the webs.” Dee was a Marine like everybody else, but she was also part of history as a famous and recent president’s daughter. She sometimes forgot that everybody knew all about her life. Hell, most of her life was in history books—most of it. There was, of course, the part involving the secret war within her family and the maniacal AIC that had abducted her grandmother. Dee didn’t want to think about that presently. Maybe someday there would be a man in her life that she could tell that story to and maybe it would be Davy. For now, that part of her life was still for a very small group of family and friends. She was more in the mood for that night of drinking and sex she and Nancy had joked about in the hospital bay.

“Well, that was the day that I truly learned just how big of a badass the old man is.” Dee grinned and took another bite. The glow of the cooling grate danced slightly, washing the room with a faint red hue. “He took on soldier after soldier. I even recall him attacking a Seppy tank with nothing but an HVAR he’d commandeered. I was . . . I guess inspired is the word.”

“No doubt about that. History books don’t paint near as good a picture as seeing him in action. When I was asked if I was interested in this mission I didn’t even have to think twice. I mean, are you kidding me? What badass Navy SEAL wouldn’t want to serve with Alexander Moore, even if he is just a Marine.” Rackman smiled a broad toothy grin at Dee.

“Watch it, squidboy.” Dee punched at his arm but Rackman reflexively blocked it and threw her hand away in an aikido circle. “Oh really. You did not just pull some SEAL akido shit on me!” She grunted and dropped her plate as she jumped up from her lounge chair into a flying jump front kick. Dee had literally been trained to fight by the best there was—her father had seen to that. And she had fought for her life on several occasions since she was a kid.

Oh no, he didn’t, she thought.

Kick his ass, Bree cheered her on.

Rackman stepped back, holding his beer aside in his left hand and downblocking the kick with his right. But Dee didn’t stop there. She pressed her advantage by following up with a left-leg roundhouse kick to his right leg, taking him off his feet.

“Shit. You made me spill my beer. It’s on now, Marine.” Rackman spun on his shoulders up into a kickover onto his feet. Dee stepped back into fighting stance, dancing on her toes in the ancient Bruce Lee style.

Rackman stood a solid twenty centimeters over her and his arms were damned near the size of her legs. He was a big-ass strong boy. Dee hoped she could use that to her advantage. She was smaller, but she was faster and way more flexible. Rackman waved her to attack.

“Sure you can take it, squidboy?” Dee smirked as she pursed her lips and stretched her shoulders back. The microthin material of her tank top was stretched to the elastic limit across the chest.

“Bring it on, girl!” Rackman pounded his fist into his hand and turned sideways. Dee noticed that her posture had created the diversion she was going for—Davy clearly was not looking at her eyes.

Dee jumped with a right roundhouse kick followed by a flurry of jabs and crosses, then spinning into a jump back kick, followed up one, two, three style with a spinning backfist and a left cross. With each kick, punch, or spinning motion she let out a faint shooshing sound as she exhaled through pursed lips. Davy, on the other hand, wasn’t even breathing hard. The muscular SEAL simply took the kicks and pushed her aside. He was overly confident. At least Dee hoped he was.

Shit, he’s strong, Bree. She was a bit intimidated and excited at the same time. She definitely was excited.

Dee rushed him again with a double left-leg roundhouse kick and then a jump back leg, her right, roundhouse kick that was strong enough to break bricks. Rackman dropped an elbow and took the brunt of it, but he was forced to take a step back—a small step. Then he caught Dee’s foot and carried her momentum through a full circle, flinging her across the floor onto her back.

“Come on, Dee, enough. One of us is gonna get hurt if we keep this up.”

“You chicken shit, squidboy?” Dee pulled herself up off the floor wiped sweat from her forehead, and pulled her ponytail a little tighter. “Didn’t know you were so afraid of getting hurt.”

“Dee . . .” he started, but she didn’t give him time to finish what he was going to say. This time she went low and swept at his legs, but he jumped her kick.

Dee spun over onto her back and then flipped upward, kicking over and landing a kick on Davy’s chin. He staggered backwards slightly.

He’s standing solid. Use that. Bree countered. Make him top heavy.

Good idea.

“That all you got, mecha jock?” Rackman laughed, but Dee could see that she was pushing his tolerance. “Keep it up and I’m gonna hit you back.”

“You sure know how to woo a girl off her feet!” Dee grunted as she lunged forward onto her hands into a handspring and then to her feet, leaping up into his face and wrapping her legs around his neck, flipping them both over. Dee rolled her body around Davy’s as they were flung head over heels by the momentum of her attack. Rackman fell with a hard thud onto his back, humbled, surprised, and somewhat winded. Dee moved quickly while she had the upper hand. She did her best to give a sexy grin as she rolled up and straddled his chest, putting the full weight of her body on his stomach and crushing his ribs between her thighs.

“Shit, Dee. That freakin’ hurt.”

“Navy squidboy can’t take the pain.” She pouted her lips, leaned forward into him. “Big baby,” she whispered while bringing her breasts closer to him.

Rackman pulled her close and she felt the warmth and fullness of his chest against her as she kissed him cautiously at first. She wasn’t sure the fighting was over. Davy’s long hesitation to pull away was sign enough. The fight was over. She kissed him again. She wriggled downward slightly so that she sat straddle over his crotch and thighs. She could feel him getting warmer and stiffening against her.

Rackman’s hands slid up her waist to the bottom of her tank top, and in less time than it took to switch from bot to eagle mode in her mecha, her shirt was over her head and tossed away into the flickering shadows. Dee felt his hands grasping her breasts and then her nipples with soft pressure, and then he began tugging them and pulling her to him. The sensation of his thumb and forefinger pulling her erect nipples sent a jolt of electricity through her body, leaving her lost in the sensation briefly as his hands traveled back down her body and chill bumps covered her from head to toe.

She could feel his hands inside her shorts grasping her buttocks firmly and pressing his stiffening crotch against her now very heated one. Dee wiggled forward slightly, slipping out of the shorts. She fumbled with his shirt, pulling it over his head, and then forced her hands down to the waistband of his shorts. Dee lowered herself down Rackman’s chiseled body, kissing him and slithering like a snake as she brought his shorts over his feet. Dee found herself on her hands and knees looking directly at his manhood standing erect only millimeters in front of her face. She took him into her mouth and caressed him with her tongue and lips and then grasped his shaft with her hand. She worked him gently but firmly for another moment and then pulled away, kissing him there as she worked her way back up to look into his big brown Navy SEAL eyes. Never letting her grip go, she writhed into position above him and directed him inside her. With the insertion she felt a release from the tension and fighting and all the endless missions and getting wounded and the hospital and the endless conflict plague of humanity that her grandmother had brought on them all. She didn’t think about that for the moment. So quickly she felt . . . a release and she realized she was already climaxing.

Davy rolled Dee over and slid deeper into her. Dee could feel him strongly but gently pushing deeper and deeper with each stroke. She particularly liked the feel of his hands as they firmly grasped at her buttocks and his fingers tightened with each stroke.

“Oh my God, yes.” She pulled into him and wrapped her legs around his body, interlocking her ankles behind his back.

“Dee, you are so hot,” Davy whispered in her ear as he nibbled on the lobe. She was peaking again already. Using her legs to force him even harder and deeper into her brought her to the edge . . .

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