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Piloting Fury Part 57: Brand new KDG Read

It’s Friday, which means  it’s once again time for more Fury, in which Mac and Manning discover the intimacy and terror of bonding with an SNT ship. If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.

 

 

 

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

Piloting Fury Part 57: The Bonding

At first I thought we were both screaming, but it was hard to tell above the howl of the wind that hit us the second we were pulled into the vortex. We were tossed about with such force that I feared there would be broken bones, and then I figured it wouldn’t matter what was broken because we couldn’t possibly survive this. From somewhere far off, I thought I heard Fury’s voice, and then it was no longer far off, but inside my head, then inside my whole body, full of pleading, full of worry. “You must go deeper. You must go to the center.”

I don’t know how! The thought filled my head like a desperate scream, but I made no effort to speak because I hadn’t enough breath. Manning and I clung to each other in a tight bear hug. I had wrapped both legs and arms around him to keep from losing him, and yet I could feel the power of the wind pulling us a part. Each time we approached Fury’s quicksilver core, we were battered about like ships in a solar storm, the pressure so intense that even drawing breath became torture, I felt a rib crack and pain shot upward into my diaphragm. Manning went limp in my arms as he lost consciousness, and without his returned efforts to hold on to me, the pull of his body against my rib was agony, as he slipped with each battering effort we made.

“Fury!” I cried out in my head, “tell me what to do!” Manning slipped still further and I grabbed onto the back of his shirt with my fist.

“Let go, Diana Mac. You must let go. Your journey is not Richard Manning’s journey, nor his yours. You must let go.”

With the last strength I had, I forced a kiss against Manning’s lips. “I love you Richard Manning,” the thought filled my head and my heart, and I wasn’t certain if it was mine or Fury’s, and I wasn’t sure it mattered as I opened my arms and released him, and instantly he was gone, just disappeared, as though he had never been. Before I could cry out to Fury, the wind rose to a fever pitch, then everything went black and silent.

If I passed out it was only for an instant. I came to still surrounded by the silence, but the light around me was like reflections dancing off water, and I knew that I was there at Fury’s center. Manning lay naked sprawled on his back next to me, one arm thrown over his face. I was equally naked. It was only then that I realized I was looking down on both of us.

“You are me now,” Fury said. “Inside my skin, inside my heart, open to all that I am as you are to me.” It was then that I realized I had spoken the words. All that Fury was lay open before me. I felt his strength, his intelligence, his humanity, his vulnerability, his deep, aching need to be joined with Diana McAllister, with Richard Manning. I more than felt his need. His need had become my own.

I recalled the moment of penetration the first time Fury made love to me, the moment when I knew the ship intimately, the moment when I saw his inner workings and, for a split second understood everything, or at least I thought I did. For the first time it occurred to me how strange it was that it had not happened again, though Fury had made love to me many times on our long journey to Pandora Base.

“It is not strange,” came his response. “It is not strange at all. I was frightened to show you more of who I am. I did not want to overwhelm you and, as I have mentioned, I am at my core, male with an ego that is somewhat more fragile than those of female SNTs, therefore, I was not yet ready. But I am ready now, Diana Mac. I am open to you and you may take what you want. You may ravage me and take all that I am, all that I am hungry for you to have.”

It was only as I came into his arms that I realized that I had become Fury, and he now embodied me where I lay next to Manning. I found command of physical form and touched my own flesh as he had touched it each time we made love. His fluid molecules became flesh and cupped my breast and stroked Manning’s penis, which I noted, with pleasure, was erect, as was my own. In Fury’s essence, I also explored the flesh he had created for himself, powerful muscular arms that had embraced me, hard flat abdominal muscles that expanded and contracted with a gasp as I caressed the penis and testicles that had penetrated me, that had penetrated Manning, the physicality that had loved us both with such tenderness, with such wild abandon that my heart race at the thought and my own body, which I now mantled, writhed with physical desire. I ached with the need to pleasure him as he had me, to offer my love to him. As I kissed and caressed the flesh that had been mine, that I knew Fury now inhabited. I felt the powerful racing of male hormones, of male flesh full to bursting, needing to penetrate, needing release, I realized that it wasn’t just my own flesh that now housed Fury. He had somehow expanded his essence to embody Manning’s flesh as well.

 

 

 

“The two of you have become one in me as I have become two in your flesh.” He spoke from my lips as from Manning’s body, he reached out to me. “Make love to me now, Diana Manning and make us all whole.” It was only then that I realized Manning and I embodied Fury together, merged into his intellect, his essence, his powerful uniqueness, and what we could see together from his essence was far greater than my simple glimpses of Fury’s inner workings. Had we not been at his heart, had we not been under his protection, I’m certain the understanding that we shared, the vision of all that Fury was, or at least what he knew of himself, would have destroyed us in its vastness, but he contained it all, just as he contained us, just as we contained him, and our desire for him for each other, could scarcely be contained in the three of us. Enfleshed in Fury’s essence, Manning and I parted my legs, opening my physical flesh and thrust into the depths of what now contained Fury. And somehow, I don’t know how, and yet if I had to do it again I could, Manning and I together became two, as though Fury had divided. While I penetrated my own flesh that Fury now occupied, Manning straddled his in flesh that was curvy and full-breasted and ready to be penetrated.

“We are one, and we are many,” Fury spoke through Manning’s physical lips. “That is the source of our power, that is the source of our bond.”

And then no one spoke. Passion rose like the spiraling mist that surrounded us and boundaries dissolved, with it all that contained us flashed bright as we climaxed together and rose and circled the spiraling flow of Fury’s heart until all that existed was simply us, and we were one.

It was the afterglow of lovemaking as I had never known it before, even in all of the times the three of us had come together in our journey to Pandora Base. And when my mind was able to focus on more that the physical bliss, I was once again Fury, but this time everything physical had dissolved and his mind was open to me as clearly as if it had been my own. I could no longer separate my thoughts and memories from his. I had the memories of his traumatic birth, of the agony he felt at seeing me and being separated from me before we could even know each other. I felt his pain as though it were mine because it was mine. I felt the memories of his loss and despair at knowing his brothers and sisters faced destruction and that those who survived – if any, would face the same loss and loneliness he bore. I felt his innocence, his need, his efforts to keep Manning alive, not just because it was the SNT primary calling to protect and advance humanoid culture, but because he couldn’t bear to be alone. I felt their joining, the moment when they both embraced what would be their new life together. I felt their agony at my suffering. I saw their scheming and planning to rescue me. I experienced their joy when I came onboard Fury a free woman, and I felt their disappointment at not being able to tell me. As for the camaraderie we shared and the sense of connection I remembered, I wasn’t sure whose memory that was.

I was not only Fury, but I was Manning. I recalled his memories of the destruction of his ship, his despair and his sense of guilt at the lives lost. I remembered his struggle to survive the indentured labor camps, fueled by his anger at what had been done. I recalled his scheming and planning to find a way of escape and the physical agony he went through onboard the Pegasus in order to be free of the shackle. I remembered his anguish when he realized that without Fury’s tether he was dead. I felt his battle to find his way back to meaning, and it was only in knowing his memories as him that I came to understand what a crucial role I played in his learning to accept his new life. Both of their memories were overlaid with the love and respect they had for each other.

All of their memories were laid bare before me, and it was only when I heard their anguished cries that I became aware that just as I was them, they were now also me, and they had my memories as well.

I don’t know how long the astounding process of embracing three lives as our own went on before we returned to our own skin, but it seemed to me that I lived the lifetimes of the two men I loved. Time to linger was not a luxury afforded us, and yet it felt like three lifetimes.

When I came back to myself wrapped in the arms of both the men I loved, the memories were hazy, and they felt like the stories someone else had told me.

“It is best that way,” Fury said. “You will always be able to recall what you need, and we will always be linked in the most crucial of ways at the most crucial of times, always relying upon our joint strength, for we are unique — even more so than I am among SNTs. No SNT has ever had two compliments or even ever could have. But in our triad, the need for our own thoughts and our own privacy is crucial when our boundaries are so permeable and we are constantly in such close quarters. Such privacy is essential to our mental health.”

Manning chuckled lazily. “You mean we’d drive each other crazy.”

“Yes.” Fury’s reply was without humor. “Boundaries are permeable, but they are still essential to our bonding.”

 

 

Piloting Fury Part 56: Brand New KDG Read

It’s Friday, which means  it’s once again time for more Fury. If you remember, in the last instalment, Captain Evander and the Dubrovnik showed up at Pandora Base just in time to help evacuate. All that remains before Fury’s intrepid crew is the bonding between the ship, Mac and Manning, and Manning might just be getting cold feet. Or is he? If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.

 

 

 

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

Piloting Fury Part 56: The Heart of SNT1

We were not alone and yet it felt as though we were. Stanislavsky remained onboard with Fallon, who still needed to be monitored, and Rab would not leave Fallon. It came as a big surprise to me, that the two had somehow bonded so. I could hardly think of two people less companionable. The human cargo bay had been isolated so that no one within could feel what would be going on without, and we would not sense the presence of those within either.

Manning held my hand and guided me back into the elevator that led away from the lower cargo bay. I had expected us to go up to the bridge, but instead Fury surprised me by stopping at a place somewhere in between.

“Where are we,” I asked.

“I have taken you to my heart,” Fury responded. “It is the place to which I should have taken you in the beginning, but I was afraid.”

“I would have never denied you, Fury. If I had taken you to my heart you’d have known that. But I guess I was afraid too.”

“And you are afraid now,” he commented, “as am I.”

“Yes,” I forced a weak laugh. “Can’t you tell?”

“Well that makes three of us then,” Manning said. The words were barely out of his mouth when the elevator door slid silently open. I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t what was there. We stepped out onto a platform that hung above nothingness, and in the center of that deep shaft of emptiness was a bright spiral that appeared to be the same quicksilver substance with which Stanislavsky had injected Fallon. It coiled and danced and rose and fell like a restless ocean.

I gasped and all but fell back against Manning in the wave of vertigo that nearly overwhelmed me. He pulled me close with a gasp of his own and leaned heavily against the closed elevator door, his breath coming in desperate gasps.

“You’ve not been here?” I managed, fighting to keep my stomach in its proper place.

“No.” He spoke between barely parted lips, swallowing hard, his eyes pinched shut tightly.

“Do not be afraid,” Fury said. “You are safe here, both of you are, because you are both my heart.”

“I thought Manning would have been here when you bonded,” I managed, still battling my racing pulse, in spite of Fury’s promise.

“Richard Manning has not been to this place, Diana Mac, for I could not properly bond with him when he was untrained and unprepared to do his part.”

“I’m no more trained than he was,” I said.

“But you are.” It was Manning who responded. “It’s in your DNA. Plus you’ve lived onboard an SNT. You learned way more than you know.”

Fury waited in comforting silence, enfolding us in his presence until we could both stand and focus without dizziness or nausea, then he moved back enough that we could take in the panorama and the space that was far greater that what could have been contained in such a small cargo ship.

 

 

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour,” Fury quoted William Blake, a quote my father had used so often when he tried to describe to me the connection between an SNT and a compliment.

“What you see is what I have grown into, what I have become during my short life, “ he said, with what sounded like a sigh. “It is what I would now revert to if my purpose for being were suddenly no more. In such a state I would remain dormant until such time as I was needed again. I think I might remain such even for eternity if there was no further need for me, and if nothing destroyed my essence as happened to my brothers and sisters. Though,” he added, “I do not know if their essence was such as mine, since they were not conceived as I was.

“I did not know this when Richard Manning and I met or perhaps I would have reverted to such a state. I am glad for my ignorance, for I would have never known the pleasure of his company, nor the delight of being united, at long last, with my compliment. I have learned a great deal in my short life, and until I learned of Apocalypse, I have had no one like me with which to share it.”

“Why did you never share this with me,” Manning said, his voice tetchy from secrets kept.

“What would have been gained by my sharing?” Fury responded. “Besides I was … uncomfortable in the sharing, for I was so aware of my otherness, and I did not want to frighten you by making that otherness even more evident.” Then he added quickly, “You must understand I am, in my essence, a humanoid male, as are you, and I do not always share my inner workings with ease.”

“So what do we do,” I asked, fearing the response in spite of Fury’s promise that we were safe in his heart. Was anyone’s heart really a safe place for anyone else?

“You must penetrate me.” He spoke the words as though he were almost as uncertain as I was.

“Penetrate you?” Manning said. His grip on my hand had become tight enough to be almost painful. “What exactly does that mean?”

“It means that you must enter my heart, become a part of it, as I become a part of the two of you. Richard Manning, with Diana Mac’s bonding, I will now at last be able to bond fully with you as well and the two of you with each other. I do not believe that even Victor Keen is aware of this fact. It is something I have known at my core since Diana Mac first stepped onboard, though I do not know why.”

“It might have been nice for me to know that.” Manning said.

“Yes, it might have been,” Fury replied.

“But how do we do that,” I asked, “penetrate you, I mean.”

“Here is my heart,” he replied. “All that separates you from it is the catwalk, which is only there for your psychological reassurance.”

“You mean we have to jump?” Manning said, “into … that?”

That is my heart, Richard Manning. It is the same heart that has nurtured you and protected you from the beginning, and until this moment, you have not found it loathsome.”

“It isn’t loathsome. Damn it, Fury, don’t be so defensive. You said don’t be afraid, well I am, goddamn it! I’m sorry, but I am. I mean I’m about to throw myself into the core of an SNT, not just any SNT, but SNT 1. I’m scared shitless.”

To see Manning so vulnerable frightened me almost as much as what Fury was asking of us. My two men loved each other as much as they loved me, and I knew this, but here we all were paralyzed by fear. I couldn’t bear their fear and my own, so I took a deep breath – as deep as I could manage when I was on the verge of hyperventilation. Then, I took a mincing step forward, and the rail that kept us separated from the abyss vanished. Suddenly the tiny catwalk was all that separated us from the core of SNT1. All that separated us from Fury’s heart. I took another step forward and pulled Manning with me. He resisted, struggling to breathe.

“Richard Manning, you must breathe deeply or you will lose consciousness,” Fury said.

“Please, Manning,” I managed around my own effort to breathe. “Please.”

He pulled back slightly one last time, and cursed under his breath, then he moved forward, enfolded me into a crushing embrace, and we stepped together into the abyss that was Fury’s heart.

 

 

Piloting Fury Part 55: Brand New KDG Read

It’s Friday, which means  it’s Fury day after a week’s hiatus. It’s still little more than controlled chaos at Grace Manor but hopefully things will get better soon.  If you remember, in the last instalment, Mac had to come to grips with the fact that some members of the family are not among her favorite people. This week an old friend shows up to help out. If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.

 

 

 

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

Piloting Fury Part 55: Unexpected Help

 

“Not gonna happen,” Manning said, grabbing my hand and pulling me back to his side so fast that joints popped.

 

“I am inclined to agree with Richard Manning,” Fury said.

 

“Then you better use that big fucking brain of yours to figure out another plan,” Rab said.

 

I gently extricated myself from Manning’s grip. “Fury, can you keep a lock on me onboard the Apocalypse?”

 

1Not Bro 1 Come, 1 Not Bro 1 Go. Be Safe.

 

“That’ll help, if Apocalypse can manage it,” Stanislavsky said.

 

“No!” Manning repeated more fervently. “No. I don’t want you anywhere near that monster and we need you. We need you here.”

 

“The choice is not yours to make,” I said. “Fury, can you keep a lock on me just in case things go south?”

 

“I can, but I would reiterate Richard Manning’s sentiments. We need you here.”

 

“And I need to be here. But if I don’t do this, none of us may survive.”

 

Manning cursed profusely and when he turned to leave the room, I grabbed him and pulled him back with the same enthusiasm he’d used on me. “Don’t you dare walk out. I need you. I need both of you like I’ve never needed you before if we’re going to make this work.”

 

He pulled me into his arm and all but buried me in his embrace. “Jesus, Mac. Please don’t.”

 

“I have to and you’d do the same if the tables were turned. You know you would. It’s the only hope we have of putting an end to all this for good.”

 

The words were barely out of my mouth when Fury spoke. “We have company.”

 

“There’s only one man who would use that channel, and only in a dire emergency.” Manning opened the channel, and Captain Harker’s image filled the screen.

 

“This is Captain Evander Harker onboard the CF Dubrovnik. It grieves me to say that the Dubrovnik got the last distress call from the Svalbard. Damn fine ship. Damn fine crew.” His gaze came to rest on Ina. “I’m sorry for your loss, First Mate Stanislavsky.”

 

 

Stanislavsky only nodded her thanks, and my heart ached as I recalled the crew of the Svalbard and how hard they worked to save the infected indentureds. For her it had to be like losing family.

 

Harker turned his attention back to the rest of us. “Manning.” He offered a nod, and as I came to Manning’s side, a broad smile split his face. “Diana, it’s good to see you.”

 

“And you, sir,” I said, surprised by the emotion that tightened my throat.

 

His gaze settled back on Manning. “I’ve burned my bridges, stolen a ship and made fugitives of my crew — those I didn’t jettison in cryo-pods that is. So if you don’t need my help, I’m going to be very cross.”

 

“Not to mention in a shitload of trouble,” Manning said.

 

“You got that right.”

 

“Harker, the Dubrovnik is like New Vaticana Christmas and Galactic New year all rolled into one,” Manning said. “Pandora Base most definitely has need of an orca class ship. I’ll patch you through to Central Control. They’ll be very glad to hear from you.”

 

“So the fucking cavalry has arrived after all,” Rab said. “We just might get out of this with our asses still attached. How the hell did he know?”

 

“Apocalypse did not block the distress call. That is the only explanation,” Fury said.

 

Bro 3 call help came the response.

 

“Bloody hell! Who’da believed it?” Rab said, scratching his grizzled chin. “The Apocalypse is a sneaky little bastard, isn’t he?”

 

Orca Class Bastard came the reply.

 

“Apparently a sneaky little bastard with a sense of humor,” Manning observed.

 

“Clearly the connection is strong enough, and Abriad Fallon is unaware enough that Apocalypse’ consciousness is bleeding through. How much will he’ll be able to exert might be what sways the battle,” Fury said.

 

“Not the only thing that’ll sway the battle,” Stanislavsky said her gaze locked on me, but she spoke to Fury and Manning. “You need to bond. There’s not much time, and if you’re really going to be the bate, McAllister, then that bond will be essential in more ways than any of us can foresee.”

 

 

 

Piloting Fury Part 54: Brand New KGD Read

Yesterday was Friday, which means Fury is a day late this week, and I do apologize, but hacking happened yesterday and major plumbing issues happened through Wednesday, so it’s been a wild ride this week. All sorted now at Grace Manor, so I did finally manage another episode of Piloting Fury. If you remember, in the last instalment, Mac got a loud and clear reminder that she is very much a part of Fury’s family. This week Mac has to come to grips with the fact that some members of the family are not among her favorite people. If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.

 

 

 

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

Piloting Fury Part 54: Uncomfortable Allies

This time when I returned to Fury, it wasn’t Manning who greeted me. It was Fury, and his greeting was cautious, anxious.

“I’m sorry.” We both spoke at the same time, and I would have laughed if I could have managed it, but the embrace I felt was a tight bear hug.

“Diana Mac, I need you. I’ve always needed you. I need you now and I will need you in the future, if there is one.

“I didn’t understand, Fury. There’s so much about being your compliment that I don’t understand, and then when I saw Gerando, when you ‘tranned him onboard, all I could do was remember what he did to me. I couldn’t think beyond that. I’m so sorry. Even Apocalypse knows that my place is with you.”

“You are 1 Not Bro 1.” I could almost hear the smile in Fury’s voice. “I could not imagine that one who is so used in such abominable ways, one barely allowed the tiniest bit of consciousness would be so empathetic.”

“Stanislavsky tapped me into your sub processor. Fury if you could tap into mine it would have been saying the same thing. I need you, Fury. I need you and I’m sorry.”

“If we were bonded we would not need anyone’s help for such a simple thing. But you must know, Diana Mac, that I also do not know how to behave with you. While I have learned to be with Richard Manning and grown to love him, he was not, has never been a substitute for you. Ina Stanislavsky has offered herself to me as compliment, and she would be a wonderful compliment, but just not for me. You are for me, Diana Mac. Only you, and I would fervently ask that we could be bonded as soon as possible.”

“I want that, Fury. I want that very much. If you had told me earlier, if I had known, we would have already bonded, in so many ways, I feel we already are.”

“Then do it already,” came Manning’s voice over the com. “You two are not the only ones involved in this little dance.”

“Glad you approve,” I said, fighting back giddiness that came from being close to my two men where I belonged.

“I am sorry, Diana Mac, but Richard Manning is with Gerando Fallon and Leo Rab.”

“It’s all right,” I said, and I really meant it. “How are they?”

“Leo Rab is recovering nicely, but Gerando Fallon is not. I do not know why.”

Fix Bro 2! Came the message on the screen. Plz fix bro 2. Bro 2 new need be. Plz fix.

“Apocalypse senses Fallon’s condition?” I asked.

“Just as I do, Diana Mac.” I sensed the need in his voice, the need for me to understand.

“Then what can we do? What can I do?”

“Perhaps you could talk to him.”

When I didn’t respond immediately. The message came immediately on the screen.

1 Not Bro 1 plz fix Bro 2!

A knot tightened in my chest and suddenly there didn’t seem to be enough oxygen in the cabin.

“Diana Mac, I will not compel you to do what you feel you cannot.”

“I can,” I managed around the tightness in my chest, “if you and Manning will help me.”

“You know that we will.”

I took the lift down to the cargo bay and the room that had been set aside for humanoid cargo sensing Fury close to me, possessive and protective. “I will be as close as your own breath,” he said.

The door slid open before I could press the button and Manning, who had been sitting on a chair next to Gerando’s bed came to me and folded me close. “I’m glad you’re here.” Then he kissed me as possessively as I felt Fury’s presence. “Back where you belong.” Then he glanced over at the bed.

I’m not sure I would have recognized Gerando if I hadn’t known it was him, so ravaged was he by the virus. He lay on his back with his eyes closed, his breathing wheezed in and out of his lungs with tremendous effort. It was clear he was not sleeping, only struggling to cope with the pain, pain I remembered only too well.

I approached the bed having my own struggles to breathe. “Your brothers have asked me to help you. I don’t know what I can do. You’ve been given the antidote. It seems to me that the rest is up to you.”

He opened his eyes and, with an effort turned his head enough to look up at me. “You know what it feels like.”

My gut clenched and I swallowed bile. “I know.”

“You want me to die? That’s what you should want,” he added.

“You don’t get to tell me what I should and shouldn’t want, not here, not on my own ship.” I felt Fury’s response to those words like a caress.

For a moment that seemed like an eternity he studied me with fevered eyes. I didn’t look away, but he did. Then he made a pained effort to swallow.

“I hated you because of him,” he forced the words through his swollen throat.

“Because of your father? Well then the feeling was mutual. I didn’t like either of you very much.”

“Not because of my father. Because of Fury. You were born for him I was born for no one.”

“So you hurt me.”

He licked cracked lips and nodded.

“I hurt you and I wanted you at the same time.” I felt both of my men bristle at his words, and their protective presence became still stronger, as though they were building a wall around me.

I took the glass of water from the bedside table, then eased him up enough that he could sip. And when he was finished, I sat the glass aside and settled him back into the bed.

 

 

“Because of Fury, I won’t hate you. If he believes you’re worth saving, if both your brothers believe you’re worth saving, then I’ll trust their judgment. You need to do the same because Apocalypse will need all of us, if he’s going to be able to defy your father’s wishes, and at the moment, you know him better than anyone.”

To my surprise, he raised himself on one elbow. “There are restraints on him, restraints that can be loosened by blood connections.

I moved to plump his pillows so he could be a little more upright.

“How do you know this,” Fury asked.

Before he could answer, he broke into a coughing fit that racked his whole body. When he was finished, all he could do was lie back and catch his breath. It was Rab who spoke.

“The kid suspected. His DNA matches Apocalypse’s. Dumb bastard had to get the shit beat out of him by his old man to test his theory. Turns out he was spot-on.”

“We couldn’t have imagined that Apocalypse could communicate with us.” Fallon managed, struggling for breath. “I figure he’s cloned from Fury because the only one who knew the in vitro method that was used to create Fury and you, McAllister, was Dr. Keen. I knew about Fury’s birth, and I hacked the old man’s system a long time ago. That’s how I learned his sperm was used for Fury.” He had another bout of coughing.

“Kid knows his SNTs,” Rab said. The concern in his eyes for Fallon surprised me.

“Here,” I said, helping Fallon to sit again and giving him a drink the color of dirty water. “This helped me when I was infected and coughing my lungs out.”

He drank it, never taking his eyes off me.

“Ina Stanislavsky is approaching,” Fury said

1 Not Bro 3 fix Bro 2, came Apocalypse’ response on the screen in the make-shift sick bay.

Stanislavsky let herself in and looked up at the message on the screen, and without greeting anyone, she typed. 1 Not Bro 3 maybe Fix Bro 3

We all watched as the message came back immediately No Fix Bro 3, Bro 3 ½ Broke.

Bro 3 not ½ Broke. Bro 3 not finished, Stanislavsky typed. Then she turned to us, moving to take Fallon’s wrist in her hand to take his pulse the old fashioned way. “Actually the same thing that will help you, Gerando, will help Apocalypse as well, at least that’s what Vic thinks, and I agree.”

“And what exactly might that be,” Manning asked.

“Material from Fury’s biological core.” She released Gerando’s wrist and turned her attention to the medical bag belted around her hip. “That mix of technology and biology might just do the trick.”

“It makes sense,” Fury said. “Certainly we are all compatible.”

“Vic took samples from your biological core earlier today, Fury, as he always does when you’re at Pandora Base and he’s got time to check you out.” She pulled out a syringe full of a shiny liquid that looked almost like quick silver. She turned her full attention to Gerando, arranging his arm so that she had access to the veins on the inside near his elbow. “If you weren’t compatible, the biological soup from an SNT would kill you without days and weeks of treatments so that your body wouldn’t reject it. Every candidate for an SNT compliment has to do just that in order to assure the compatibility, except for Fury and McAllister.”

“I know,” he said. “I’ve undergone the treatments. I was training to be a compliment when … everything happened.”

That got everyone’s attention. If Gerando noticed, he didn’t say anything just offered up his arm and laid back on the pillow. “If I remember right, this hurts like a sonovabitch.”

We all watched as Stanislavsky emptied the contents of the syringe into Fallon’s arm. It was hard to tell if he were in any more pain when his color was already grey and his body ravaged with pain.

“Someone mind saying how the hell we’re going to get the nanites onboard the Apocalypse,” Rab spoke up.

As Stanislavsky placed a pad over the wound, Gerando spoke between barely parted lips. “Inside me.”

“Fucking hell, you can’t even stand up,” Rab said.

“Oh he will be able to,” Fury said. “If my nanites could heal Richard Manning, they can certainly finish the job the antidote has begun on Gerando Fallon, especially since he already contains the necessary antigens.”

“Then there’s the problem of getting him onboard.” I said.

Gerando forced his way up onto on elbow and turned his gaze on me. “That won’t be a problem if you’ll come with me, McAllister.”

“As the bate.” Even as I said it my knees went weak, and it became hard to breathe. “I’m what Fallon’s wanted all along.”

 

 

 

Piloting Fury Part 52: Brand New KDG Read

FURY IS BACK! After a two-week hiatus, the Friday episodes of Piloting Fury are up and operational again. If you remember, in the last episode Gerando and Rab showed up at Pandora Base with bad news all around. This week Mac figures that if  family is the problem, it might also  just be the answer. If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.

 

 

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

Piloting Fury Part 52: Family the problem, Family the Solution

I went to the control center to see if there was anything I could do to help. I needed to be busy, and I needed not to think about the fact that I hadn’t felt this much pain since the last time Fallon had hurt me. The communications officer was putting out a subspace on a channel that no one else used but Pandora and the folks helping escaped indentureds make it to Pandora, and now with the Svalbard gone, there was one less. So far, they’d contacted two small freighters only marginally larger that Fury, and a science vessel that was even smaller still.

I was scanning frequencies for any help we might be able to find when Keen came in. “Diana, if you please.” He nodded for me to follow him, and once we were outside the control room and headed down the corridor toward his lab and office, he spoke. “You’re wasting your time. Even if there were enough ships, and there aren’t, none of them are close enough to help us. We’d need an orca class big enough to evacuate the whole base, surely Ina told you that. Our only option is to hope that Gerando Fallon is right about the Apocalypse.”

“I need to do something. Anything.”

He turned on me so fast that I nearly ran into him. “What you need to do is go back to Fury and get about the damn business of bonding.”

“Don’t fucking tell me what I should do,” I exploded. “He kept the truth from me, and what the hell kind of bonding would it be when he makes a unilateral decision against my will. Knowing that … I mean Christu Vaticanus, he has to know what that monster did to me, what his son did to me, and yet there he is convalescing aboard my …”

“Aboard what? Your ship? The one you love?”

“Fuck you!” I turned on my heels and headed back for the control room, but he grabbed me in a powerful grip of an arm made stronger still by doing the work of two and pulled me back.

“Perhaps your father didn’t educate you fully in the roles of a ship and a compliment, so let me enlighten you. When a ship makes a unilateral decision, the compliment stands by him because there are some things a ship understands better than a humanoid does.” He nodded back to the control room. “That message. That message is the only contact Fury’s had with an SNT since the destruction of the Merlin. Do you have any idea what that means to him? Fury would die a thousand deaths for you, Diana, but that Gerando Fallon has some connection with Apocalypse and that the SNT, this civilized part of the Apocalypse has found something in a monster like Fallon’s spawn worth trusting, can’t you see why Fury did what he did, why he had to do what he did? You above all people should understand his loneliness. And that an SNT has been forced into the service of Fallon makes it all the more important for Fury to learn what he can so that he can free Apocalypse – not just because he wants to know his brother, but because another SNT, especially one living as an orca class ship, would give Pandora Base a fighting chance. If we can just –”

“Wait a minute,” I said. And it hit me like a smack in the face. “Why Gerando Fallon? Why did Apocalypse trust Gerando Fallon of all people?”

“I don’t know, but clearly the kid has turned against his father and with damn good reason, I’d say.”

“I know that. There never was much love between the two to begin with, but it’s not just the matter of trust, it’s a matter of how the hell did he connect with Gerando in the first place if Apocalypse is only partially SNT and he’s controlled by Fallon, how could he connect unless …”

“Unless there’s a blood bond.” Keen said, scratching his chin.

“But I thought you were the donor for Fury?” I said, suddenly feeling as though the floor were tilting beneath me.

“No. I never donated. I figured it would make me connected in ways that wouldn’t be helpful, and it might bias me in my work, work that I couldn’t afford to be biased in. I thought of all of the SNTs as my children, and I loved them all equally, or I tried to. But Fury had my heart anyway, it didn’t matter that he wasn’t my child physically.

“Manning had always referred to me as Fury’s father, and in a way I am, as I am to all of the SNTS. But mine was not the sperm that gave Fury life.”

I felt as my heart would explode from my chest. “It’s Fallon then, isn’t it? Fallon was the donor. And Apocalypse is also from his sperm.”

“It’s more likely that Apocalypse is cloned from Fury. It’s not impossible that Fallon could have bribed someone for a sample of Fury’s genetic material before Fury was born. It’s always easy enough to trump up charges and threaten someone or someone’s family with indenture. That would explain why Gerando could communicate with the Apocalypse. Technically, they’re brothers, just like Gerando and Fury are.”

 

 

As we moved into Keen’s lab, I dropped into the nearest chair, my mind racing. “And Fury knows this.”

“Of course Fury knows this, though he didn’t before Gerando and the message from Apocalypse. It wasn’t difficult to figure out.”

“And yet I missed it. I fucking missed it,” I said, scrubbing a hand over my face.

“Of course you missed it. You were face to face with a man who had tortured you and made your life a living hell. That’s the reason SNTs can override their compliments when the situation demands it.” He laid his hand on my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “But most of the time, most of the time, the compliment has the last word because it’s the humanity of the SNTs that makes them so powerful, and that humanity can only be fully accessed through the compliment.” He heaved a sigh. “I guess it’s the same as any mated couple. The two are always more themselves, stronger, better when they’re one. It’s not simple mathematics in a humanoid bonding. One and one is always way more than two. But that’s ten times more the case with a SNT bonding.” He chuckled softly and his lips curved into that inward smile I’d seen on people’s faces when they took a little private walk down memory lane. “I used to lay awake at night dreaming about what Fury would be like when he was bonded. I saw astounding results in all of the SNT pairings – every one unique, every one opening up possibilities that I would have never even thought of before the bondings. And Fury, well Fury was so much more than we could have ever imagined just by the nature of his creation. That you were created the same way, that you were so much his compliment that it was like you were already one even before he left space dock. I’ve ached for him and his emptiness so often. I tried to get him to bond with Ina, because the pairing would have worked, and because I didn’t think you would ever be free, I didn’t think you would even live to meet Fury.” He settled into a chair next to me, and held my gaze. “You see, Fury and Manning didn’t let me in on their little plan to rescue you from the Dubrovnik – not that I had contact with them all that often. They also didn’t tell me that they’d been keeping a close watch on you for a long time before that.”

I shook my head, fighting back emotions that if I lived, if any of us lived, I would one day have to deal with. “I wondered why I always felt close to Manning when we’d meet in ports, and we both laughed at the coincidence, which was no coincidence at all. And the first time I boarded Fury, it was like coming home.” I swallowed back the tightness in my throat. “He … he fit me, both he and Manning.” I forced a laugh, “I actually remember thinking once that we were like an old mated couple, like I was his wife, intuiting his needs and what he could do for me, and wanting to find ways to thank him, to please him. All right, I know that pilots are a superstitious, sometimes a bit loopy, but with Fury it was different from the beginning, like I’d found the other part of me.”

Keen touched my hand where it rested on the desktop. “Because you had found the other part of you. Listen to me, Diana, the one thing we don’t have is time, and we need a fully bonded SNT if we have any chance of surviving when clearly we can’t evacuate. As much as it will break my heart to do it, if you don’t bond with Fury, I’ll have to force the issue and bond him with Ina.”

The thought made my heart clench so hard, I thought it would stop beating, but before I could speak, Keen continued. “It won’t be right. It’ll break his heart and hers, and certainly Richard’s, and he won’t be nearly as powerful as he would be if he were properly bonded to his intended, the one born to him, but if I have to, if you force me to I will. There’s too much at stake.”

“I was born for him,” I grabbed his hand and squeezed it so hard that knuckles pop. “Keen, don’t you see, I was born for him. If I was created for Fury and Apocalypse is cloned from Fury, then surely Apocalypse will sense me and reach out to me in the same way, maybe even more so than he did with Gerando and Fury, if it’s true what you say and an SNT isn’t complete without his compliment then perhaps I can connect, communicate with him.

Keen’s forehead wrinkled in thought, then he opened a channel. “Well it’s worth a try.”

 

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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