Authors: Fiery Desires
Copyright 2015 by Fiery Desires - All rights reserved.
In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
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Intergalactic Desire Collection
Galaxy’s Edge - Sci-fi Romance
Solaris - Sci-fi Romance
Essence - Sci-fi Romance
Worlds Away - Sci-fi Romance
By: Fiery Desires Publishing
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Galaxy’s Edge - Sci-fi Romance
The war had lasted far longer than anyone could have ever imagined and Ester had long ago grown tired of it.
As one of the best fighter pilots in the fleet, though, there was no escaping for her. She would remain in the fight until the unlikely event the war ended or until the much more likely event of her death.
In fact, Ester Rodriguez had danced with Death so many times she could picture it clearly: maneuvering her Stinger between enemy ships, red laser blasts shooting around her as she spins and dodges. Then her luck runs out. A laser pierces the engine of her fighter and it spins powerless—out of control.
Struggling, cursing, trying desperately to get herself back into combat as the enemy ship opens fire and her ship explodes, tearing her to shreds as metal collapses and glass shatters, as the vacuum of deep space ruptures her lungs and pops her eyeballs and boils her blood…
“Code Red, Code Red. Battle stations. Repeat, Code Red.”
The emergency alarm interrupted Ester’s grim train of thought. She would have been grateful for the distraction if she had time.
Code Red. No time for anything but go, go, go…
Jumping out of her bunk, she looked around.
Ester pulled on her black leather flight jacket, absently noting a large patch sewn onto the breast: five gold arrowheads signifying her status as Gold Squadron, the letters EMD patriotically announcing her affiliation with the Earth Military Defense.
Where the hell is Rocky?
Her co-pilot, Rocky, was nowhere to be found.
He better be ready. He better be in the hanger waiting for me and not in the laundry unit trying to fuck that little cleaning girl.
Rocky had been Ester’s co-pilot for two years and she knew he was trustworthy, fast-thinking and reliable. Rocky had only one downside in Ester’s eyes: his never-ending stream of Falgan hormones.
She knew it wasn’t his fault though, it is just the way Falgans were hardwired.
The Falgan species was humanoid and had all the basic body characteristics, organs and parts: bipedal with two arms and pairs of eyes, ears, lips, etc. On average, they were taller and more muscular than humans but with dark skin the thickness and color of well-worn leather.
The most compelling difference between humans and their Falgan comrades was sexual in nature. Falgans had naturally huge penises and they emitted a strong pheromone that smelled of sweet, spicy cinnamon. This phenomenon not only made Falgans unnaturally sensual compared to humans but it made sexual relations a centerpiece of Falganian custom and tradition.
Fortunately—or unfortunately according to some—Falgans found humans irresistible. Male, female, both, three at a time, five, six. There was nothing Falgans would not involve themselves with when it came to pleasure.
Add in the fact that it was biologically impossible for a Falgan to impregnate an Earthling and it was no surprise that the Falgans were quite popular with Earth women. So popular that the general joke was that the fleet was kept alive and fighting with three things: food, fuel and hot Falgan sex.
Ester knew it was both cultural and biological but most of the time she just found it annoying having to constantly brush off their advances. Now, however, rushing onto the flight deck, Ester wasn’t concerned with the general state of Falganian sex habits or expertise. She just wanted to know where her co-pilot was.
Where the fuck is Rocky? It’s a Red Alert!
She scanned the hanger and saw no sign of her partner.
. She tucked her short black hair under her flight cap as she made her way towards her Stinger. There were nine Stingers in her squadron and as Ester neared her ship she saw all of her troop already climbing into their own sleek jet-like ships, adjusting controls, starting engines, preparing to roll out to the runway tube.
In the Stinger beside hers, Ginny glanced up from her controls, “Hey, you ready for this?”
Ester climbed into her Stinger and settled into the cockpit before she replied, “I’m ready for everything. I’m just not sure what’s up this time.”
Behind Ginny, her Falgan co-pilot, Dawndo, said, “You didn’t hear?”
Ester’s gaze moved from Ginny to Dawndo and back again. “Hear what? I was on sleep rotation, I’ve been out since morning call.”
Ester became aware of the rushed, nervous edge of the scene. There were generally pilots telling jokes, mechanics and flight crews making quips, all of them together chuckling away the specter of death. There was none of that now, however. Around them Stingers were rolling out. The long, wide hangar echoed with the ghostly distant “whoosh” of ships launching. Faces were serious, everyone quickly and silently finishing their preparations.
Ginny flipped a switch on the Stinger’s main console and the propulsion unit sprang to life with a low rumbling hum. She turned to Ester, “They hit the Warfield outpost, completely wiped it out.”
Ester’s face went slack, the wind knocked out of her.
Oh my gods.
“The whole Rulgarlesh fleet,” Ginny explained while Dawndo made the last of his adjustments. “About twenty minutes ago. They just warped in and warped out,” she snapped her fingers, “like that. All gone.”
Behind them, a voice screamed, “Go, go, go.” Ester didn’t look. She knew the Flight Deck Commander’s voice.
It was loud in the hangar, growing more chaotic as Stingers pulled out and hatches closed and engines hummed and people shouted orders. Ginny grabbed the handle to her canopy hatch, “They picked up some residue from their warp, short range. Their best guess was they are coming he…”
Suddenly a ferocious explosion rocked the Warship Holmes, throwing crew to their knees and knocking spare parts and tools to the floor. Ginny’s eyes never left Ester’s as she closed her canopy hood and slid the visor of her helmet down.
Ester put on her helmet, not needing Ginny to finish her statement.
They were coming here. A full surprise attack.
Ester didn’t need Ginny to understand that they were now under attack and the entire EMD was in danger of being wiped out. She did however, need her co-pilot
Come on, dammit.
She fired up the engine, set the fuel and oxygen levels and tightened her seat harness.
Rocky, where the fuck…
“Ester, let’s go.” Rocky scrambled up the small ladder and into his seat behind her in the Stinger. She didn’t want to say anything but she was pissed and knew it was better to just get it out of the way before they launched into a melee that required the two of them to function in utmost harmony.
“Where the fuck were you?” she demanded, slamming the canopy hatch the moment his head was clear. “You were supposed to be on sleep rotation.”
She flipped on her transponder and gave the Deck Chief a wave.
Roll us out, we’re ready to fight. Hoorah.
Rocky put on his helmet, “I’ll tell you later,” he said. “All I’ll say for now is I am sorry and smell my fingers,” he held two fingers in front of the tinted helmet visor, “smells like pussy and fabric softener.”
“Not funny,” she told him, “now is not the time.” Their Stinger jerked slightly as it was hooked into the tube. The engine revved and the signal on the wall outside beeped once, twice…the light moving from red to yellow…three times, four…the light flashed green and Ester jammed the control stick forward.
The Stinger shot down the pressurized tunnel, faster and faster, accelerating towards the darkness. “Just keep those lanky fingers,” Ester said calmly, her focus on the controls in her hands, “that smell amazingly of autumn rain and shame, on the trigger.”
The Stinger cleared the tube. Rocky’s pithy reply caught in his throat. All he was able to utter was a disbelieving, “What did we…” and immediately swing his swivel gun and fire, sending a spray of red laser blasts into the hull of a Rulgarleshian fighting disc. “Holy shit,” Rocky shouted, “what happened?”
Ester didn’t answer but he didn’t expect her to, both concentrating on the task at hand, on the raging chaos surrounding them.
Cigar-shaped EMD Stingers battling with the Rulgarlesh discs, laser blasts flying everywhere, ships on both sides exploding, spraying debris. In the distance, Ester saw at least three of the enemy’s larger battle cruisers, ships the EMD fleet had nicknamed “Hives” for their roundish shape and their purpose of housing large numbers of the hairy insect-like Rulgarlesh warriors.
The Hives were engaging the Holmes head on. Rockets and warheads discharged from massive guns, yet the series of giant explosions appeared tiny to Ester. She knew it was just scale and distance. One bomb from the Holmes could level half a city.
Ester flipped a switch on her console, opening communications with the rest of her squadron. There was lots of chatter on the line. Warnings and curses filling her earphones as her colleagues engaged the swarming enemy. “Gold Three on board,” Ester said into the com mic, “Ginny look at your backside, you got one coming on strong.”
Ahead, Ester saw Ginny’s Stinger lift suddenly and then slow, twisting around on stabilizing jets and getting aft of a rapidly advancing disc. Another voice—Ester recognized it as Tofro—in her earpiece, “Hold still, G-5,” Tofro said, “I got clean up.”
From the side, a Stinger swooped in and opened fire on the unsuspecting Rulgarlesh pilot. The laser blasts tore into the side of the disc, rupturing its shell and forcing it into a spin until another burst of firepower caused it to explode.
“Nice shot,” Ester said, jerking her control left, spotting an approaching disc.
Tofro’s Stinger climbed sharply, avoiding a cluster of lasers, “Thank you, ma’am,” he said over the com, “just doing what I was born to do. Hoorah.” Over everyone’s ear pieces there were scattered hoots and hoorahs as the Gold Squad plunged ahead into the raging dogfight.
“Over there,” Rocky suddenly shouted out, “bearing one-nine-eight. We got a couple Gold Squaders in peril.”
Ester checked her screen. He was right. Two Gold Squad Stingers were being pursued closely by a trio of Rulgarlesh discs. Ester slammed the throttle, speeding through dense clouds of debris as their Stinger came up on the discs fast.
On her internal com, Rocky’s voice rang out: “Kick us up about five and over about fourteen degrees and we can run a front-door back-door in three, two, one...”
On “one”, Ester climbed quickly, pivoting the Stinger to the left with a trio of hard right hull stabilizer pulses. The Stinger raised and pitched, coming right into the middle of two discs lining up for an attack.
Ester fired her prow guns, Rocky fired his stern guns. The two enemy ships careened into one another, their explosions sucking back into themselves in the vacuum. “I’m swinging around,” she told Rocky, “make sure you sweep it out completely, don’t leave nothing under the rug.”
“Will do,” he told her, adjusting the weapon joystick in his leathery brown hand and pressing a few buttons on the console with his thick fingertips.
Before Ester could make her maneuver, a loud series of low pitched chimes reverberated through their coms.
The Holmes. Emergency frequency
“Attention,” commanded a voice over the com. “Main Fleet immediate warp-jump to pre-nav coordinates three point five. Defensive squads rendezvous at coordinates four, eight, and final jump three point five.” Ester tried to keep this info in her head as she spun the Stinger hard, lining Rocky up perfectly with a disc.
. The disc erupted and Ester continued forward, spinning again. This time she took the shot.
. Another disc turned to radioactive dust.
She spun her ship. Rocky fired, she fired. Discs were everywhere. So many. She pulled her trigger, laser blasts tore into the vacuum, ripping through a disc hard on the tail of Ginny and Dawndo.
Don’t forget: four, eight, three point five. Make the jump, return to Fleet.
Suddenly an electric hum filled her com speakers. She flipped a switch, muting them for a moment. The Holmes began to glow, lighting up brightly for a split second and then it was gone. A massive empty spot where the full size battle cruiser had just been a heartbeat before.
Ester whipped her Stinger to the right and dove sharply, just avoiding a barrage of laser blasts. She clicked the com back on once the Holmes was out of site. “Ears up everybody,” she said, “tell me when Main Fleet is clear.”
There was a few seconds’ pause. A bright flash caught Ester’s attention. Directly beside them, a Stinger exploded.
Harlow was an Academy friend of Ester’s.
A good man.
Harlow blew into space. His broken body collided with the canopy shield and debris from his shattered ship pelted their Stinger.
“Gold Eight down,” said Rocky over the earpiece.
“Confirmed,” Ester said, squeezing the trigger, her anger building.
How many have to die? How long does this have to go on? When is it enough? When?
Tofro’s voice on the com broke her out of her moment of existential gloom. “The fuel tanker and the water tanker just jumped clear. Main Fleet has successfully jumped clear. Outward Fleet awaiting call-out orders.” Tofro’s announcement made its way around the thousands of dual-seat Stingers still involved in the dogfight.
Once all pilots had locked in their acknowledgement codes, the orange light on their warp console lit up. Ester flipped her Stinger upside down and gunned the engine, buzzing past a disc that was firing on her. She flipped back around and came in suddenly above it. She pulled the trigger. Again.
She flicked the switch on her warp generator. It took a short three seconds for the light to turn from orange to green.
Go. Warp jump ready to go.
“We’re good to go,” Ester said, not knowing it wasn’t the case. How could she know? It was impossible for her to know that a piece of Harlow’s Stinger, a small round washer that floated free from a small round bolt when the ship exploded, had pierced her own Stinger’s warp navigation bundle.
There was no logical reason Ester should know they were not good to go. All she knew was protocol. Once the Main Fleet cleared, 10 squadrons at a time would make the warp jump with a 30-second interval between each set of jumps. Gold Fleet always went first. They were the elite, the best of the best, and had to get back to Main Fleet as quickly as possible in case of any pressing emergency.
“See you on the other side,” she told her squad mates and pressed the button on her warp drive. Their Stinger began to glow, she felt the familiar vertigo stretching her senses as the warp engaged, as the ship became neither her nor there.
Then they were gone.