Tag Archive | Milky Way

Under the Milky Way – part 10

Overcome by her excitement, Storm grabbed his neck, kissing him enthusiastically on the mouth. Instead of pushing her away, he pulled her close, enjoying the kiss to the fullest. Shocked by her own behavior, she would have pulled away, but found she didn’t want to. There was something magnetic about Lukas Houston and his cobbled together alien ship.

A delicate clearing of a female throat made them part. The bridge was empty except for them and Gabrielle. It was she who had cleared her throat.

“Lukas, we’ve arrived as you desired.” She smiled shyly, lowering herself once more into the console.

Storm, followed closely by Luke, went to the portal. As he had specified, they were on the dark side of the moon. Limned by the sun’s light, a golden glow surrounded its cold, pocked surface.

“Now you see,” he kissed her neck. “Why you’re going to give this job to me?”

“Mm,” she replied, relishing the touch of his lips on her skin. With a shiver, she brought herself back to the present. “Don’t, Luke,” she cautioned.

“Don’t what?” He nibbled her neck, lips traveling to her earlobe.

“Don’t do this. Don’t seduce me for the job.”

“I already have the job,” he mumbled, his tongue tracing the curve of her neck. “You gave it to me the minute we hit the maze run, you just didn’t realize it.”

“Then why this?” She stepped away from him, gesturing angrily. “Why all the kissing and nibbling? The seduction is wasted if you’re already working for me.”

“Is it?” He stepped toward her, looming over her. “Hasn’t a guy ever made love to you simply because you were beautiful?”

“No.” She stepped away. “A man always wants something. It’s never just ‘because’.”

“Storm, you’ve got a lot to learn about me,” he said with a sigh. “Gabrielle.”

“Yes, Luke?”

“Take us home.”

“As you command.”

The ride home was amazing as the trip over. Five minutes, or five hours later, Storm stepped off his ship, the electronic contract ratified and thumb printed by them both. Luke stayed behind on the ship and Storm went back to her room alone.

Sophie met her in the hall, smiling happily. “Hey, cuz! How was the ride?”

“It was good,” she mumbled. “He’s got the job.”

“Then why so down? I thought you’d be happy. It’s your first major deal since you got your promotion.”

“I know,” Storm sighed. “It’s just—I screwed up, Sophie. I let him get to me.”

“It’s okay, kid. Come have a drink. We’ll drown our sorrows.”

“Mr. Wonderful wasn’t so wonderful?”

“He let slip that he’s married with two kids back on Earth. After that, the magic was gone.”

“We’re a hell of a pair, huh?”

They headed to Sophie’s bar. It wasn’t open for business yet, but the two young women got out a bottle of peach and jalapeño moonshine, sipping cautiously. The liquid heat warmed their throats, exploding in a fireball of flavor when it hit their stomachs.

“Good stuff,” Storm gasped, eyes watering.

“Smooth,” Sophie agreed, tears running down her cheeks.

The door behind them slid open. Luke stood silhouetted in the doorway.

“Can I come in?”

Sophie nodded, beckoning him in. “I need to hit the head.”

Storm put the glass against her forehead, wiping a tear that wasn’t just from the alcohol. Luke picked up the bottle, asking silently if he could have some. Storm nodded, looking away, blinking hard against the tears.

“I’m sorry you misinterpreted my actions,” he said softly. “I thought maybe you and I could share something special. I guess I was wrong.”

“I guess so,” she mumbled, turning away.

Luke touched her cheek with his thumb, sliding his copy of the contract in front of her.

“Here.” He put her hand on it. “Take it back. Give the job to someone else.”

“What? Are you out of your mind? This contract could make you a millionaire.”

“Yes, it could. But it’s not worth it if you won’t talk to me again.”

“You’d give all that money up for me?”

“If it will convince you that I didn’t try to seduce you just for the job.”

“You did try to seduce me!”

“But not,” he emphasized with a tap on the bar. “For the job.”

Laughing, Storm shoved him, nearly knocking him off the stool. Righting himself, he took a sip of the moonshine. Gasping, his eyes began to water. Storm thumped him on the back, laughing at his discomfort.

“Thanks,” he wheezed. “Nice. Sympathy.”

“It’s an acquired taste. You’ll live.” She shoved his contract back at him. “Keep that,” she laid her hand on his shoulder. “You’re the best man for the job.”

“And for you?”

“I don’t know yet. I’ll have to take you for a trial run to be sure.”

“I won’t disappoint you, Storm. I promise.”

When his lips touched hers, she knew beyond a doubt that he was telling her the truth—again.

Under the Milky Way – part 7

Grappling for her weapon, she found herself outweighed and outclassed. Thick Neck wasn’t just big, he was well trained. She was a black belt in Krav Maga, but he obviously had training in more than one discipline. He blocked her attacks with ease, like he was swatting a fly. She raised her gun to fire, he took it away, turning it on her.

“I don’t think so, baby. You and me are gonna party while my friends take out your boy.”

Storm risked a glance at Luke. He fought valiantly, but he was outnumbered. She couldn’t do anything for him. Thick Neck would shoot them both before she went three feet.

She felt another tingle on her neck, but this one was different. Instead of a threat, it felt warm, calm, secure.

“Storm,” a gentle voice whispered in her ear. “It’s Gabrielle. Let me in.”

She opened her mind to Luke’s angel. Like a massive download, her mind was suddenly filled with visions of fighting styles she’d never seen before.

“Relax,” Gabrielle breathed. “I’ll take care of it.”

“What?” Thick Neck had advanced on her, undoing his belt.

Had she spoken? “I’ll take care of it,” she murmured, reaching for his pants.

Too excited to think rationally, Thick Neck groped for her as she undid his fly. Smiling, she let her hands drift down.

“Storm, a little help!” Luke was taking a beating.

Dodging and evading his attackers, he blocked one blow after another, but was starting to slow.

“I’m busy,” she said in a singsong voice.

“Play later,” he replied in the same tone.

“I’ll take care of it, Lukas,” she said with Gabrielle’s voice.

Exhaling seductively, she pulled Thick Neck toward her. Her knee pounded his groin. When he bent over in pain, it was waiting for his forehead. Stunned, he staggered, falling down. A well placed heel to his head insured he wouldn’t rise again. Her first attacker was coming around. A complicated series of blows sent him back to sleep.

In a shiny blue whirlwind, she flew into the bigger of Luke’s two opponents. Knocked off balance, he grabbed for his companion, making them both stumble. Storm kicked him hard in the midsection while Luke pounded the other with his fists.

They stood over their attackers, aware that others were watching. They moved neither to help nor hinder, waiting and evaluating. Breathing hard, Luke and Storm searched for weapons, placing them in a disposal shoot. Storm kept the best of the sidearms.

They proceeded toward the exit on the opposite side of a large, open area. Though Storm could see no one, she knew they were still being watched. The tingle of a telepathic scan warned her again, but this time her wall didn’t come down.

Fear gripped her and she stopped walking, clutching at Luke. Her body shook as she tried to fight the attacker.

“Gabrielle!” She gasped. “Help!”

The same warmth filled her with confidence. Turning, she spotted the telepath in the shadows. He was focused, transmitting, he didn’t notice that something had changed.

Storm’s mind filled with a ball of orange light. She pictured it traveling to her fingers. Her arms and hands prickled with energy. Putting up her hands like dual stop signs, she pushed.

The telepath staggered, gasping for breath. Storm pushed again and he fell, gagging and foaming at the mouth.

“Hurry,” she told Luke like nothing had happened. “We’re not safe here.”

“What? Huh?” He was too surprised to react.

Storm grabbed his arm, yanking him quickly across the room. They hit the doors leading to the corporate area. Security scans activated sending corporate solos flooding into the corridor, surrounding them.

“Storm Westlake,” she called. “Shine Clan. We’re under attack!”

The solos formed a meat wall behind her just as the doors burst open. More solos than she could count, faced the security team. They stopped, raising their hands in defeat.

“Who’s this?” The head of security asked Storm.

“Lukas Houston. He’s with me. He saved my life.”

“Mr. Houston, you’re welcome here as a guest, sir. I’m gonna have to ask for your weapons.”

Under the Milky Way – part 1

This is another sci-fi short story that I wrote a couple years ago. It’s not connected to the “Lone Wolf” universe, this one is in the cyberpunk-ish world of “Fiddlestix” and “Among the Shine Clan”, stories I’ve already shared.

Storm Westlake works for the Shine Clan as their corporate fixer. She negotiates deals, draws up contracts and makes a lot of money for the Clan. Recently promoted, she now resides on the Crystal Palace space station where she and her cousin Sophie now represent the Clan.

Storm Westlake strutted down the corridor, her dark blue evening dress glittering in the artificial lights like a lighting storm at twilight. She felt naked without her weapons, but the men at the banquet room doors would divest her of armament anyway, might as well not start out with it. Stumbling as she hit a spot of low gravity, she cursed softly, wishing the technicians could find the problems in the gravity generator in this part of the wheel. She was tired of losing her footing at inopportune times. She’d had a similar incident in her quarters while she was dressing, which was why she wasn’t on time.

At the door, the solo in charge seemed disinclined to let her in. “You’re late,” he growled.

“I had technical difficulties. Do I need to call my employer? It’s going to make him extremely unhappy to be bothered at dinner.” She whipped out her cellphone, glad that her boss was footing the bill for the space station to Earth call.

“Look, lady, I don’t make the rules. And your name isn’t on the list.”

“It says ‘Representative of the Shine Clan’, doesn’t it?” She tossed her long, platinum hair over her well tanned shoulder.

He looked the list over once more, mumbling into his sub-dermal microphone. “She isn’t on the list, boss. She said something about the Shine Clan? All it says here is ‘representative’.” He paused, looking her over carefully. “I got no verification that you’re who you say.”

“Boone himself can give me a reference. As can Jade, Tradewind and….”

“Okay, okay. You’ve made your point. I’ll contact Mr. Boone. If he’s willing to vouch for you, you’re in.”

“Thank you.” She looked at her watch, tapping her foot impatiently.

She heard voices on the other side of the door. “She’s expected, you idiot. Let her in!”

The door opened and Boone stood in the doorway. “Storm! What kept you?”

“Little gravity accident in my quarters. Not serious, just inconvenient. I couldn’t get down for nearly half an hour.”

“Come in! Come in! We’ve been waiting for you. Sophie is already here.”

She followed the short, stocky Mexican man into the banquet hall, amused to see that he still sported his duster. Though this one was tailored to fit and had a velvet collar, it still dragged on the floor behind him, attracting every mote of dust in the place.

At the head table, she sat next to Boone’s wife, Jade. On her left was her cousin, Sophie. Storm felt all eyes on her as she walked to her place. Boone had indeed held the banquet for her.

“What kept you?” Sophie asked as the steward helped her sit.

“Gravity malfunction. I was hanging in my room, upside down, nearly thirty minutes without panties and my dress over my head.”

“Oh, ew!”

As the first course was served, Storm spotted the heads of each major, international corporation. Unfortunately, some of the lesser ones, she didn’t recognize. Deciding she should know the players, she leaned toward Jade, covering her mouth with her napkin. Pretending to blot her lips, she asked the older woman for information on those she didn’t know.

Jade dropped her head slightly to hide her words. She went on to identify each person, giving a short rundown of each.

Storing the information for later use, Storm thanked her hostess. Considering her newly elevated position, she needed to know who the competition was. She let her mind and eyes wander over the crowd of lesser business people clustered around the buffet table on the far side of the room. These folk would never rate an invitation to the head table, but they had managed to pay the exorbitant fees associated with attendance. Word was that a place in this room for someone of their status, started a hundred thousand Euro.

Sophie leaned over, whispering excitedly. “Is it true?”

“What?”

“The main event?”

“Depends on what you’ve heard.”

“Come on, Storm. You can tell me!”

“Soph, if I tell you anything before time, Ralph will skin me.”

“You’re so no fun!”