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Authors: B. A. Bradbury

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Planet of Pain

BOOK: Planet of Pain
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Title Page

 

PLANET OF PAIN

 

 

 

by

B. A. Bradbury

 

 

 

Publisher Information

 

Planet of Pain
first published in 2005 by

Chimera Books Ltd

 

 

 

www.chimerabooks.co.uk

 

Chimera
-
a creation of the imagination, a wild fantasy

 

Digital Edition converted and distributed in 2011 by

Andrews UK Limited

www.andrewsuk.com

 

New Authors Welcome

 

This novel is fiction – in real life practice safe sex

 

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior written consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published, and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

 

The characters and situations in this book are entirely imaginary and bear no relation to any real person or actual happening.

 

Copyright © B. A. Bradbury

The right of B. A. Bradbury to be identified as author of this book has been asserted in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act 1988.

 

 

 

Introduction

 

He put his hands on her breasts and proceeded to knead them. Jo waited for the inevitable insult, but none was forthcoming. He pinched her nipples, hard enough to make her gasp, and smirked at her obvious discomfort.

‘A little sensitive here, are we?'

She decided she hated him more than ever. Anger helped strengthen her, pushing out her fear. Then his hand went lower, tracking slowly down over her ribs and belly, and apprehension swamped her once more. His fingers pushed between her legs and he stroked her slit. Her every instinct was to step back, away from that gross parody of a lover's caress, and it took all her willpower just to stand still and take it. Then his fingertip found her clitoris, and he flicked it rapidly. She moaned, and shivered. Her tormentor leaned forward, his lips close to her ear.

‘You know, lieutenant,' he murmured softly, ‘I'm
really
going to enjoy fucking you.'

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Deep in the bowels of a Solar League
Annihilator
class starship, in an eight foot steel-mesh cage euphemistically designated Holding Cabin One, a young woman hung by her wrists. Her slender, naked body formed an inverted ‘Y', her legs spread wide, prevented from closing by thin cords fastened around each big toe and tied to the side walls of the cage. Though the air down here in the ship's brig was damp and chill, her pallid skin shone with perspiration. Her head hung and her eyes were closed; yet her tormentor knew she was conscious, for her breathing was rapid and shallow, and from time to time a faint groan escaped her lips.

Wires were attached to the young woman's body, and these led out through the bottom of the cage and across the gripsteel decking. The wires terminated at a control panel set into the arm of a moulded rec chair close by the bulkhead. Seated in the chair was a thin, almost cadaverous man wearing the insignia of a League admiral on his uniform collar. His right hand rested by the control panel, his fingers hovering over the keys.

‘So,' he said quietly, ‘sometime within the next forty-eight hours, you say; but you don't know the precise location. Do I have it right, lieutenant?'

Since the admiral and the young woman were the brig's only occupants, it was evident that his question was addressed to her. She made no reply, however, nor gave any sign that she heard him. It was not that she was refusing to cooperate – her time for that was past – it was simply that she had fallen into an exhausted doze once more.

The admiral smiled coldly, and glanced down at the control panel.

His choices were manifold. The young woman wore plug electrodes in her vagina and anus, each with a ring contact at the sphincter and button contact at the extremity, deep inside her. Individual wires were also clipped to her nipples, two more to her labia, and – last but by no means least – one to her clitoris. Nine channels in total, and he could trigger any and all of them, individually or in combination.

Decisions, decisions.

His index finger jabbed down on one of the keys. Her whole body convulsed and she let out a pitiful cry, her head jerking up.

‘Try to stay with me, lieutenant,' he said. ‘I was asking about a location.'

‘Don't know,' she sobbed, ‘…they didn't say…'

She wasn't lacking in courage, this New Worlds Alliance officer. She'd told them nothing at the start, other than to curse them in language that would make a dockside gang blush. For many long hours she'd refused to talk, even though the two duty sergeants took turns beating her till her back, her buttocks, and the soles of her feet were a mass of purple bruises. That was when the admiral ordered her wired; and that was when the
real
pain started.

Certainly she didn't lack courage, but pain is a formidable motivator. Slowly but inexorably it erodes the will to resist, so that even the bravest individual will break in time. Gradually, fragment by precious fragment, she had given up what she knew. And the best, of course, she kept back till the very end.

The admiral realised how incredibly lucky he was to have her; for it was nothing less than a miracle she was still alive. Her ship, a destroyer, had taken three
Silverfish
missiles. By rights it should have been vaporised – much of it
was
vaporised – but a small section of the hull had somehow survived intact. And inside was the unconscious form of Lieutenant Phyllis Measham, communications officer. In her last watch she had decoded and routed to the captain three classified messages. The first two concerned Alliance warship movements, valuable information that the admiral would put to good use. But the third, from their Fleet Command, was the real prize. That particular message could change the course of the war.

The admiral rose and buzzed for his aide. The young man arrived in seconds.

‘Get out an all-ships signal, Sam,' the admiral said, ‘priority one. Senior captains to come aboard immediately. There's no need to code it; the others will know about it soon enough. I'm mobilising the fleet.'

‘Yes, sir. The whole fleet, admiral?'

‘Every last vessel. Nielsen is on the move, and he's coming here.'

The lieutenant froze, a stunned look on his face. ‘Nielsen?
General
Nielsen?'

‘The same. I knew our guest here was holding something back. She didn't want to tell me, of course, but I coaxed it out of her finally.'

He smiled at the memory of the young lieutenant jerking in her bonds, shrieking as waves of agony tore through her.

‘Do we have details, sir? Time and location?'

The admiral shook his head. ‘Only that he's due to pass through this sector within the next forty-eight hours aboard a scout ship.'

‘A scout ship? That sounds… is that likely?'

‘It's not unheard of: I've done it myself in the past, when time was of the essence. They're the fastest ships in the galaxy, remember. Nielsen believes speed will keep him safe; I intend to prove otherwise. I want capture teams at every transit point, so tight in to the beacon a Fosnian fruit bug couldn't get through.'

‘Yes, sir. Catch them as they exit jump, when they're vulnerable.'

‘Precisely. The capture teams will disable any Alliance scout ship encountered and take the crew alive.
Alive
, mind you. I don't want some hothead gunner blowing the enemy's master strategist to smithereens.'

‘No indeed. I'll get the signal sent right away, sir.' The aide started to leave, then paused at the door. ‘Admiral Talmann? Any orders concerning the prisoner?'

The gaunt man turned to look at the woman in the cage. She had nothing more to tell them, he was certain of that now, but that didn't mean her usefulness was at an end.

‘She's fine where she is,' he said. ‘It'll take at least twenty minutes to gather the captains. Let me know when the last is aboard.'

‘Aye aye, sir.'

The lieutenant departed, and the admiral returned to his seat. His hand went to the panel and he keyed the level down, almost to minimum. He then selected random channel output and set the auto-repeat. He paused, savouring the moment… and then hit
start
.

The Alliance officer wailed, twisting and turning in the air as she sought to escape the torment. Compared to what she had already experienced this was nothing: mere wasp stings, though they did come thick and fast, inside her – front and back – and to her breasts and vulva. And it simply didn't stop.

He let it cycle for a good ten minutes, revelling in her suffering. From his top pocket the admiral took out a photo in a hard plastic case: a young man wearing the uniform of a League pilot, standing in front of a
Falcon
fighter. The young man was grinning, and pointing at the stencilled image of a ship on the fighter's nose. His first kill. And his last.

‘One more, Leo,' Talmann said quietly. ‘One more Reiver bitch who's wishing she'd never been born.'

Without taking his eyes from the picture of his dead son, the admiral turned up the power, and the young woman in the cage began to scream.

 

‘Okay, lieutenant,' Bel said. ‘Why don't you take her through?'

Jo looked across at the captain and saw that she was serious. Jo's stomach gave a little flutter. She'd never taken a ship through jump before. Well, she'd done it maybe a couple of hundred times in the sims, but out here it was very different. Get it wrong in the sims and you could expect a harsh word or three from the duty instructor. Get it wrong out here and it was thank-you-and-goodnight.

So now she gulped, and turned back to the console to begin the pre-jump checks.
Check and double check. A thorough pilot is a safe pilot
. Instructor Blue's words, back at the Academy during her basic training. Jo tried always to be thorough.

Check navigation: course set and locked.

Check proximity: no other ships within 500 klicks.

Check environmental: simgrav on; humidity 35 per; temperature 23C – inside, of course. Outside it was cold enough to freeze your eyeballs in half a second flat.

Check jump drive: field generator sizzling at 723 and ready to pop.
Think of an orange pip squeezed between thumb and forefinger. Squeeze hard enough and phhttt!… away it goes
. The ship was the pip; the field generator provided the squeeze. The stronger the field, the further the pip flew. Ten light; twenty. A scout ship, with its high drive/mass ratio, flew further than any other class of ship in the fleet. Further and faster, outpacing even the League hunter-killers. And that was its sole defence.

You have been assigned to scout ships. You will carry no armaments. You will carry no shields. You have no offensive capability, and only one defensive recourse. In a hostile scenario you will run.

When Instructor Blue first told the class that, Jo had smiled. It suited her right down to the ground. Josephine O'Donnell, as she was the first to admit, was no hero.

Re-check nav: set and locked, confirmed.

Re-check prox: still clear.

‘Here we go.' She hit the switch and her stomach dropped away. It wasn't like weightlessness, exactly. It wasn't like anything else at all, in fact. If you thought about it you would have to say it was pretty unpleasant. So you didn't think about it.

 

Coming round, if anything, was even worse. Jo's brain had turned to mush and her eyeballs were refusing to focus. She shook her head, trying to clear the fog.

‘We've got company,' Bel said groggily.

Jo stared at the screens, her brain momentarily refusing to accept the information. Four ships dead ahead, insanely close by deep space standards: a heavy cruiser flanked by three destroyers. Her gut knotted as the readout confirmed they were Solar League.

‘Setting up for jump,' Bel said as she began hitting keys. ‘Contact base; tell them the situation.'

With Bel fully occupied with nav Jo knew it was up to her to track the enemy ships, and she kept one eye on the prox screen as she put through the subspace call. All she got was heavy static, and it took her panicked brain several seconds to realise why. Com was being jammed. As she was giving Bel the bad news, Jo saw movement on the screen.

‘The cruiser's shifting position!' she cried. ‘It's coming right at us! God!'

‘Just like a drill, Jo, okay?' Bel said quietly.

‘Sorry,' she mumbled.

The numbers couldn't be right; nothing that huge could accelerate that fast. Capital ships shouldn't be able to
do
that, surely? At this rate of closure they'd be within range of the cruiser's lasers in no time at all.

‘Course set and locked,' Bel said. ‘All we need now is a little elbow room and we're out of here.'

The safety interlocks wouldn't allow them to jump this close to another vessel – the League ships' drive fields were distorting
Firefly's
own field, making a nonsense of the nav settings. Jump now and they'd be off into the wide blue yonder with no way home. With the calculations made, however, the captain could at least spare a glance at the proximity screen.

‘Here comes the cruiser,' she said. ‘Look at that beauty move!
Fearless
class, I'm guessing. Hellish fast aren't they, for big ships?'

Jo didn't understand how Bel could admire something that was trying its best to kill them. She forced herself to concentrate and saw more movement, reporting it just as calmly and quietly as she could.

‘The destroyers,' Bel confirmed, ‘fanning out to flank us. Now all we have to do is slip through the gap.'

Firefly
was carrying too much post-jump speed to turn sharply, but the escort ships were taking no chances, moving out into triangular formation to widen the net. Every possible avenue of escape was being blocked.

If they'd been out in the open it would have been easy. With a clear path in front they could have fired up the main drive and quickly gained the separation required to jump. But with the cruiser dead ahead that option was denied them. Somehow they had to find a way past the blockade, staying clear of the capital ship's lasers and evading the escorts in the process. Bel was a good pilot – no, she was a
great
pilot – but that was asking a lot, even of her.

Numbers changed rapidly, the pattern telling of a launch, then missiles in flight.

‘Incoming!'

‘Go back and suit-up,' Bel said.

Jo thought about a hull breach, and shivered. She unbuckled and started to rise, and then realised Bel wasn't moving.

‘What about you?'

‘No time,' Bel said in a quiet, grim voice.

That's when Jo realised they weren't getting out of here. Strangely, now she knew it was all over she wasn't afraid any more. She thought she would be, but all she felt was a vague sense of regret that she'd never get to fly solo. That, and she'd never see Mike again.

BOOK: Planet of Pain
10.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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