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Tink felt the full impact of his twisted, obsessive awe over her extremely unique ship, The White Owl. She was stunned at his overwhelming need to possess the vessel.
Then she moved way into unnerved by his parallel fascination with her, too. She could feel his all-consuming need to possess both her and her hard-won ship.
That was quickly followed by his uncontrollable, unreasoning recoil from her nanobots. She felt a fear, a revulsion of them that far surpassed BiRD’s reactions long ago.
Her mind squirmed, unable to break away from his bizarre, emotional slide show — which must have escaped from a very deep place indeed. It wove in and out of various vignettes from his past, from his fantasies, from his subconscious.
They thoroughly unsettled her:
His intense interest with the way her jumpsuit stretched over her breasts when she breathed or moved: He thought it was luscious, and was sure those breasts would be a perfect fit for his big long-fingered hands;
There was a parallel preoccupation with the surfaces of her ship, mostly with those faint channels that resembled moire satin…textures he thought looked like ghostly circuitry. He was hypnotized with the way the ship morphed so smoothly into its various configurations. He longed to trigger them himself;
He puzzled constantly about the ship’s uncanny ability to perform smooth rapid jumps;
He also dwelled on her own slightly spooky ability to move the same way;
He marvelled at the way light danced in her unruly strawberry blonde hair;
He was mesmerized at the way that her warp bubbles left wispy ribbons of multi-colored light, which rapidly faded to nothingness;
He lost himself in the delicious shivers he got when looking into her constantly changing eyes;
Riding over it all was the sudden lusty feel of her against him when he had just returned to consciousness — before he sensed internal twitches which he knew had to be her nasty little no-see-ums.
That was rapidly followed by a second nearly unbearable quick onslaught:
He savored the velvety skin of her graceful fingers imprisoned by his own;
He was aroused by powerful core-thumping vibrations that some of The White Owl’s various engines sent through major structural arrays – including his own;
He came close to an orgasmic grunt from some of The White Owl’s massive thrusters as they ramped beyond mere stationkeeping.
Then she knew he just knew she had to be able to feel the heat radiating from his own engine.
That last sensory shove brought Tink’s mind back into reality, because she did indeed feel it. Feeling it from his point of view, though, started up panic feelings, and something else within her, with which she did NOT want to deal at the moment.
Thus, back in control of her own senses, she wriggled out from under him, just before his mind broke out of its sensory avalanche. She did not want to be anywhere near him when he emerged. She was afraid he might act on the debris of those tangled feelings.
However, her wriggling caused his mind to click free — and focus on the nearest of her fast-retreating boots. He managed to get a grip on it, and used her moving inertia to give him a boost up from the deck.
Tink rotated her torso, so she would land with her back on the deck, and allowed his forward-moving inertia to bend her legs, to force her knees down to her chest. Then she straightened her legs with all her might, hoping to redirect his ‘flight path’ to a higher altitude.
She did it. He sailed over her, and rolled head over heels into a bulkhead just beyond the doorway.
He bounced off it, rolled back to his feet in one fluid motion, and was lunging back toward her when she rolled to her side and slammed her fist onto a closing rail outlining the doorway.
The opening then rapidly irised shut, and she heard his body’s impact against it as a heavy thump from the other side.
“Rats!” she grunted, pulling herself back to her feet. “Bet he’s right back to where we started a little while ago.”
She circled her navigation console and pulled up a camera display from a “grape cluster” hanging outside the door. She touched the screen with movements that caused the cam to zoom to a close-up of the door’s outer surface.
There at its base was a crumpled heap of a big bushy-haired half-dressed spacer. Tink sighed in resignation.
“Yarrr…” she complained. “Ye are indeed back to dreaming up another attempt to seize me ship.”
Her head tipped slightly to one side while she scanned as much of the Terran’s surfaces as the cam could display. He seemed unharmed, just sent to lalaland for a few seconds.
“Even though you still look good enough to just swallow whole, me potential plunderer,” she remarked, “I can’t re-engage with you just yet. Not while you still want to hijack my ship, pretty man.”
She turned to another screen, sighed again, then triggered the final cross-nebulae jump to Trench.
“OK, my leedle frenz,” she then ordered, “take him back to his cargo barge and put him into the EVsuit. Fix any physical injuries you find. Anesthetize him if whatever you need to fix will be painful, but stay out of his brain.”
Then she added, “When you clear out, lock the EVsuit.” She knew being locked inside the EVsuit wouldn’t stop him, wouldn’t even slow him for long, but it would give her a good head start on Trench.
Then she leaned back, crossed her form-fitted knee-high boots up on one edge of the console, and began pulling up the series of digital hoops through which she’d have to jump before she could legally slide into Trench’s atmosphere with her barge cargo of very nasty-tempered Prevellian hummingbirds.
She knew she would also work out a clandestine way to leave her stowaway on Trench. She grinned, and began altering some shipping invoices and bills of lading.