Status Quo - Chapter 15

Written by: Paullell

 Lana considers the question seriously, thinking back over her other sexual encounters and how to best explain the answer.  “No.  The sensations can be similar.  But the intensity is generally brought on by a level of emotional… fondness.”  She hesitates over that last word, the definition coming far to close to a subject that despite her extensive vocabulary she never discussed.


“The sensations can get even better too.  I compare multiple orgasms to making a cake.  You start out with the first layer and even by itself it’s good, but then you stack it higher and it’s even better, you never lot the first level, it lifts the second one up higher.  The same with the third, fourth, then the fifth layer comes and it starts to get a bit overwhelming.  You have to worry about the weight collapsing the layers underneath it and your teeth are ringing from the sugar, it takes a skilled person to go beyond that layer without a break.”  


She grins at her description and chuckles lightly.  “Darn, now I want cake.”




Daray listens to Lana describe the world-shattering event she’d just, barely, lived through in culinary terms. Her strength began to return to her limbs as they lay there, but the food talk got other parts working as well, and shortly her stomach was complaining about not having eaten in an hour.


“I’m hungry. And I doubt we’ll find any cake on this tug.” She finally said, then locked eyes with Lana and raised an eyebrow as some of her words began to really sink in. “Wait. Fondness?”




Lana tries to figure out if the term had upset Daray, and if so for what reason.  “Yes, fondness.  We are becoming friends, and we are both attracted to each other.  That makes a huge difference compared to sex as a job, where you may not be attracted or care for the person at all.  As you will see when we fulfill our contract; it will not be nearly so intense with a third party watching who we have not chosen and are not interested in sharing the experience with.”




“Oh.” Daray flushes through again. “I’m sorry… I…”


She squirms awkwardly out from their cuddle and gets to her feet. A she moves, so to does her skinsuit, first, the area around her sex seems to smooth out, making it look more like she is wearing an actual outfit. Then the suit begins to shift and flow, changing itself into a sort of tactical outfit, with combat webbing, boots, and accents at her wrists, ankles, and neck. The color changes to a dark grey, still almost black, and the webbing and accents turn a dark blue to match her cobalt eyes as she runs her fingers absently through her hair. “Let’s see if we can find something to eat.


She snags her discarded baston sheath as she moves to give Lana space to get up and get dressed. Strapping the sticks to her back and averting her eyes. “I uh… Think there was another spare shirt in the bag…” she adds as she leans against the top bunk and dips her head down, back still turned toward Lana. Her voice sounds on the verge of cracking as she speaks, suddenly very quiet.




Lana can tell she has seriously upset Daray.  She lets her up but quickly follows behind her.  She wraps her arms gently around Daray and lays her head on her shoulder.  Speaking softly to her.  “I’m sorry.  Mio bello tesoro, please don’t let my words hurt you.  You found my debolezza.  I can deal with everyone’s emotions but my own.  You are special to me.  I just can’t…”


She trails off, lost in the memory of her mother crying in her room, hugging her pillow tightly to her.  When she had asked her about it her mother had held her and kissed her.  Lana could feel her mother’s tears dripping into her hair and her mother had whispered over and over.  “Never be a kept woman chéri.  Never be a kept woman.”




Daray flinches again, but less than before, when Lana’s arms encircle her waist. She quickly, almost reflexively, covers Lana’s hands with her own, and presses backward, increasing the amount of contact between their bodies.


“It isn’t you. I’m just…” She pauses for a moment, listening to Lana’s breath, feeling her pulse through her back. She can tell, just by being in contact with her, what her blood pressure is, how healthy her lungs are, how liable she is to be able to put up a fight if the need should arise. And she despises herself for allowing her thoughts to immediately go there. “I’m really messed up Lana. I never had anyone after my parents…”


She paused again, her hands reflexively tightening on Lana’s. “And then I fall into your life, and you’re this amazing person with such a strong self image.”


She leans her head back so that her cheek can brush against Lana’s as the other woman’s lay propped up on her shoulder. “I’ve never been any good with my emotions. I’ve always just run. Instead of feeling anything. But now here you are, and I can’t run, and I’m not sure what I’m feeling, but I think I might know and it scares me. It scares me because it was so fast, and because of who, and what I am. And because I have no experience at this, so I don’t even know if it’s anything close to real, or just some…” She pauses, tension in her body and thoughts winding around in her head, trying to find the word. She finally settled on it, but then had to try a dozen different ways to get it out. “...crush.” 




Lana hugs her tightly, the word crush she can handle, it’s temporary… fleeting.  It relaxes her and helps her calm down, as long as she ignores the swirl of disappointment in her gut.  “It’s fine, we went too fast.  All this craziness is bound to cause confusion.  Let’s just enjoy our time together without trying to evaluate or label everything.  Lets see what happens when we relax.”  She kisses Daray’s cheek and then withdraws her arms, looking around for Daray’s pack.  “Now I believe you said something about a spare shirt and something to eat?”




The word crush wasn’t right. She knew it the moment she’d uttered it. But it seemed to help Lana relax a little. Which was good. There was no sense in both of them being wound up so tight. 


She tried to conceal the feeling of her stomach revolting against her ill-chosen words as she accepted Lana’s kiss like an abandoned child who had found a loving, new family. Every fiber of her being knew this wasn’t a crush, but this was only her second relationship with another person, and her first one had ended after five hours with Alina throwing herself on a knife in order to save Daray from a mugger. 


While this relationship was now dangerously close to exceeding her previous record, they had already crossed a great many lines that she’d never even considered only a day before. It had to be the speed. Lana was probably right. They’d just gone too fast… “Maybe…” She hoped the hurt and confusion didn’t show in her voice.


She tried not to look on the verge of tears as she plucked the pack up form the floor and upended it, pouring its contents onto the top bunk where they could sift through them. There was a fluffy towel, a thin but densely woven blanket. some basic toiletries, a couple pair of men’s briefs, two pair of casual, men’s pants (with an inseam for someone more than a foot taller than Daray), one clean pull-over shirt, and Lana’s dirty shirt from before. There were also half a dozen small, sealed packages that professed to contain various flavors of food supplement. 


Daray eyed the things for a few minutes as they spread them out, trying not to completely loose control at the reminder of just how much of her former self she had given up. And still, she couldn’t decide if it was a bad thing or not.


“I hope there’s better than these in the galley, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Tor…”  


Before she could finish her sentence, there was an explosion somewhere. The sound was like a bomb going off underwater, muted, but still very audible. Seconds after that, the entire ship listed to one side, pitching them both toward the inner wall of their room violently. The sudden lurch caused the mess they’d just cleaned up to instantly overtake the floor again, creating a haphazard minefield of junk and equipment for them to land on when the ship righted itself.


Being between the inner bulkhead and Lana, Daray was first to hit the wall, her body somehow managing to twist around mid-air and spread her limbs wide to distribute her weight across the surface, and make a nice landing pad for Lana, if she was lucky enough to follow Daray directly. A heartbeat after that, the sirens started up, and the ship’s engines could be heard growling into overdrive as they were pressed into the task of dealing with whatever had happened.




Lana shed the remainder of the shirt that Daray had ripped and shimmies back into her pants while Daray upends the bag over a bunk.  She remembers Daray's urgency to get them off of her and briefly wishes for some of her clothes that had been left behind.  A nice skirt for modesty would be nice.  Something that she could wear that wouldn't impede Daray when she wanted to explore again, she could even skip the underwear for an additional level of teasing convenience.   She would wear her shirt that was nothing but strips of black material that wrapped around her torso with it; The shirt showed off her neck and shoulders and cleavage.  Most importantly it took no effort at all to side the strips out of the way and expose her breasts.  She had a big grin on her face as she imagined getting dressed up just to see Daray's expression when she was really at her best.


Finally she had her pants back on, her tail back in place and her boots back on her feet.  She strides over to look at what Daray has gotten caught up in.  She sees the sad look on her face as she stares at all of the mens clothing and assumes that she knows what is wrong.  Lana stepped to her side and pulls Daray's arm around her waist while she drapes her arm across Daray's shoulders. She is a very touchy person and their recent activities have her wanting to cuddle close to her, especially if she is upset. 


She listens to Daray talk about the Galley and assumes she must be feeling better so she reaches for the clean shirt.  And then is when the ship shakes in a frenzy of motion leaving her dizzy and confused. “What?....”  She crashes into Daray, quite unable to control her fall or anything about the way she lands.  The sirens start up and her eyes widen and her lungs start to work twice as fast as the fear of being sucked out into the vacuum of space immobilizes her.




Hitting the wall wasn't so bad really, her new reflexes righted her mid-air and saved her from damaging herself when she hit the wall. It was Lana hitting her that caused the problem. She wasn't sure what it was, but there was a loud popping noise, followed by a sharp pain in her chest when Lana hit her. She winced against the pain as she helped them both to the listing floor.


"That felt like a missile. Someone's shooting at us." She coughs roughly into her hand after speaking, then carefully keeps her cool, calmly wiping the blood on her leg as she tries to distract Lana by gripping her shoulder firmly and speaking as calmly as possible. "It's OK Lana. We'll get through this. Finish getting dressed and we'll go see what's going on."


She could feel the blood pooling in her lung as she spoke. She knew her regeneration would take care of the injury, but that would take some time, and she didn't want to scare Lana in the meantime.


As she helps to steady Lana and guide her back to the bunk where the shirt still rests, she thinks, 'APRIL, can you get me anything?'


-Sensor data indicates we are under attack by the Aegis Online destroyer class vessel, 'Methuselah'.-


'Can you tap into comm traffic?'


-I am sorry Daray, communication traffic seems to be encrypted using a mutating quantum cypher. It is unlikely that I will ever be able to decrypt any signals with that level of protection.-


'The hell is Tor doing with that kind of gear on this heap?'


-I am sorry Daray, I can not answer that question. It does appear to be significantly out of character given what I have observed of his equipment and technical skills however.-


'Can you give me anything helpful?'


-Only that the Methuselah appears to be positioning itself for a boarding operation.-




She coughs into her hand again, careful to keep the clotting blood in her hand out of Lana's sight as she steadies her friend against another jarring shutter. "OK Lana. This may get ugly. It looks like we're going to be boarded. Do you remember how to work the gun I gave you?" Her voice is calm, and her tone level as she speaks, making sure her arm is still wrapped around her shoulders, pulling her tightly against her own body.




Lana unfreezes at Daray’s touch.  She nods and begins to scramble to get the shirt on.  She is distracted enough that she doesn’t notice Daray’s pained movements or coughing.  Once she is dressed she looks to Daray again for guidance.  “Sort of; I’m really not comfortable with it.”  Her eyes are filled with worry.  “Is it the police?  Are they still following us from the station?  That seems excessive trouble for a little breaking and entering doesn’t it?”  She bites her lip, her mind trying to find a way to deal with the new situation calmly.  The ship shudders again but this time Lana manages to keep her balance.




Daray offers a wan smile at Lana’s words. “It may be a little extreme, but only because I didn’t actually get what I was after. What’s odd is they sent a destroyer without any sort of support craft.”


The ship rocked again and the whine of the engines cut out as the acrid smell of smoke began to permeate the air. Daray wrinkles her nose at the smell, coughing up more blood on the back of her hand as she looks toward the door of their cabin.


“This is bad.” She whispers as she wipes her hand on her thigh again. 


-The Methuselah is beginning boarding operations.-


She turns to look at Lana appraisingly. “I need you to trust me Lana. Things could get a little rough, but if you trust me, then we’ll get through this.”


Waiting for Lana’s response the holds out her hand and adds, “Give me the gun back. You can’t be perceived as resisting or it will get worse…”




Lana immediately hands over the small gun, butt first, to Daray.  She smiles, her eyes completely trusting.  “I do trust you Daray.  Is there anything that I can do to help?”  She is calmer now, her mind setting into a reactionary mode where she won’t be a hindrance to Daray.  It is at that point that she notices Daray’s cough is surprisingly wet sounding for someone who doesn’t have a cold.  She looks concerned but doesn’t ask; figuring if it is important Daray will tell her.




Daray takes the weapon, instinctively working the action and checking the breech and clip, then gripping it by the handle and making sure the safety is disengaged. She then offers Lana a hard look. 


“Yes. You can go quietly when they come for you. I’m sorry about this, but there’s no way Tor is going to put up a fight. He probably called them, to be honest. So, I’m going to go resist arrest. They’re going to take you on boar their ship for being an unregistered passenger, and because of the warrant that was issued earlier.”


She stands up, wincing at the sharp pain in her chest from the broken rib sticking into her right lung, and smiles down at Lana. “It may be best if you don’t watch any of this.”


They can clearly hear the sound of an airlock cycling somewhere nearby, followed by the sounds of booted feet pounding on the deck. Through the walls they can hear the muffled conversation between Tor and some Conglomerate officer, although their exact words are not quite discernible through the walls of the ship.


Daray moves to the door and reaches for the panel to unlock it, her body seems completely at ease despite the situation, and the fact that her breathing is a bit ragged and there is a distinct gurgling sound to it.




Lana’s eyes widen as she begins to have and idea of what Daray plans to do.  She runs up behind her before she can walk out the door and wraps her arms around her in a hug.  She whispers in her ear. “Oh my god. Please be safe!”  She begs before letting her go.


She steps back and lets Daray go to do what she needs to do.  She bites her lip, worry in her eyes as the door slides shut again leaving her alone in the chamber to listen to whatever may happen next outside.

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