White Owl Stowaway…snippet 05

•April 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

As much as she had fancied herself ready for whatever the Terran pirate might do, she really was not. She felt his mind snap awake, but it was surrounded by an opaqueness she could not broach.

Was that his infamous ability to display a quiet and deadly calm? The next few seconds would tell, she guessed. As if in answer, he instantly reached behind him with his free arm, in search of a piece of her for use in peeling her off his back. At least she hoped that was his goal. She certainly did not intend to damage him.

When he found nothing within his grasp, he rolled over on her and tried again. Again she managed, in spite of nearly non-existent breathing, to evade his clawing fingers. Then he sat up.

She couldn’t believe the ease with which his core muscles suddenly raised his long torso with her still plastered to his back. Her weight added a little over a hundred and ten pounds to his off-center load, and it felt like she had made no difference at all.

As soon as he was sitting, he again tried to reach her with his free arm, but still could not quite catch a piece of her. He decided to pull his legs up, knees headed for his chest, and in effect trapping her feet between his thighs and lower abdominal wall.

Tink tried to rearrange her feet, to relieve some of the torque on her ankles, but he then leaned a bit to one side, settled some weight on his free arm, and both her feet were free to re-hook at will. Then the leg opposite the pillar he’d made of his arm extended and bent at the knee to form a second pillar.

As soon as she saw that, she guessed what he intended. He would raise his body off the ground, balancing on the two pillars, and would try to twist free of her foot hooks. She hung on tightly, pressing against his neck with her arm, and dug in with her feet.

However, after a rapid series of inserting his free leg through the gap formed by the pillars, raising his backside into the air, and then straightening up, he had not tried to twist. Her attempts to throw him off balance enough to fall over head first had not fazed him.

He just stood up, and intently began tugging at her arms and legs, apparently trying to slide her around to the front of his torso. Quickly, but cautiously, Tink rehooked her ankles around each other, and tightened both upper and lower grips.

Again she could not get past that opaqueness at the edges of his mind. Why would he try to bring her around to his front, instead of scraping her off with part of the White Owl’s bulkhead…where her nanos could easily swarm him?

Curiosity spiking, she allowed him to move her, let him think he’d done it with his strength. BIG mistake.

With her now plastered to his chest, he dropped to his knees, sat on his heels, pushed forward against her, and soon had her hands trapped under his on the deck. He moved his hands outward, which forced her torso backwards until her spine rested on his knees.

She could feel her over-stretched thighs, abs and back shriek their protest over the sudden extension. She hoped he wouldn’t continue bending her much longer, wouldn’t injure or rupture something. She unhooked her feet and allowed them to dangle alongside his hips. Her thighs went zombie in gratitude.

Above her, close enough that she could feel his panting breaths hitting her neck like giant BBs, his baritone began to growl, “I oughta go ahead…and snap your spine…like a f***ing light spike.”

He stopped and took a few deep air-starved breaths – just long enough to allow her to cut through her pain, and really see his hard steel blue eyes focused on her bluey-greeny-gray ones. She began to rethink her hope of remaining skeletally intact.

Then he erupted again. “There’s no frigging way…you would spark away from your precious ship…right now.” His voice took on a strange hollow overtone. “But now… I feel like using you…as a female-shaped pillow…I need to…sleep this off.”

Anger flared stronger in his big eyes, as he forced himself to continue. “Gonna relax onya…fer a while…dream up…a proper payback forya…fer letting yer ungodly no-see-ums…screw around in me innards.”

By now, he’d extended his legs behind him, and his weight rested full on her chest. Tink couldn’t get enough air into her lungs to reply. It was all she do to turn her head aside, open her mouth wide, and suck in enough air to breathe.

Her vision began to darken, so she grabbed for his mind with as much energy as she could summon.

She flooded him with a mix of her overwhelming pain, along with a faint, strangely pleasant feel to the shapes of his body pressing on her, and any memory she could dredge up about the male myth for a hot female, followed by the crushing pain of rejection by a pseudo lover thought to be a more permanent companion. Wouldn’t that, she hoped on the edge of losing consciousness, render him useless at anything, especially anger?

She succeeded in replacing his anger with sleepy confusion, and she felt his grip on her hands and arms weaken somewhat. Without hesitation, she wiggled sideways.

Maybe she would have enough time to free up enough space to draw a breath begfore “sparkle”-ing him back into the barge.

At any rate, she wasn’t at all expecting what the toughened spacer bounced right back into her own mind.

The Dooryard

•April 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’ve always had a safe place in my mindseye, one of those places in your imagination where you can go to de-fuse anxiety malfunctions. It’s not unlike that Secret Garden visited by the kids in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel.

I go to my Dooryard often, since it has, over time, become so very “real” in my mindseye. I can visualize and insert pieces into the place as I need them. My concentration on that, finding just the right thing to add, placing it in the proper location, and making it a part of something in my mindseye, inevitably distracts me from whatever it is that has me on the edge of poking my head into the sand in an attempt to escape something I don’t want to face yet.

The original Dooryard at the edge of surrealityMy “Dooryard” originally evolved from a photo I’d found and bought from Corbis Images. It was of a lush and mossy glade at the base of tall and regal redwoods, and it evoked ultimate serenity for me.

When I first saw it, I could feel my mind sliding into the scene, using childhood memories of the redwoods with which I’d mingled in Muir Woods as a catalyst.

The air was infused with a yellow-green glow from light filtering thru needles high above. I could feel the glade’s coolness ripple across my skin, smell the fragrance of forest floor and scattered blooms, hear squirrels barking orders at interlopers, birds singing of turf, and the low hissings of intermittent breezes noodling with leaves or small branches.

However, I knew something was missing – a way to come and go, a portal.

Look closely at the picture above, and my addition of an ornately carved teak and rosewood door will become apparent.

For the rest of my first installations, check out the section dedicated to it at my Goofedy-Homestead web site, here.

White Owl Stowaway…snippet 04

•April 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The big spacer was definitely freaked. His hooded steel blue eyes popped open wide, rolled around looking for a focus, and found nothing but floor…

Then he suddenly felt the floor with odd parts of his body, and realized he was mostly nude, except for a strange new singlet. And there were odd uncomfortable lumps beneath his chest and hips. He wriggled, trying to get off them, and that was when he realized there was weight on his back…weight which was wrapped around him, locked onto him.

An unbidden panicky sensation of Bot Innard Interference swelled, threatened to blot out his sentience, but long experience in controlling his reactions kicked in and he stubbornly caught it up, and froze it. His pupils contracted from huge bottomless Get the Bots Out pits to dark Calculating Odds of Usefulness barrels.

He knew he was still on The White Owl. He’d worked exceedingly hard to sneak past scanning sensors and bots of all kinds to get on board, and his senses told him he had not yet been thrown off the ship. His senses easily told him that he was no longer in an outboard cargo bay, but somewhere deeper within.

However, first things first.

He channeled his thoughts, analyzed the sensations he was getting from the weight, its distribution, and shape. He realized what it was: The White Owl’s owner, the second most important thing he obsessed over, an intriguing mind wrapped in a mysterious package he found impossible to put out of his head. That was what owned the warm shape latched onto his back.

He tried reaching behind his shoulders with his free arm, looking for something he could use as leverage or a possible control point, but could not grab anything. Her clothing was too smooth, too form-following, and she flipped her long wavy hair out of his reach.

He rolled over, taking her around with him, a move which effectively pinned her beneath his back. Then he tried again to find something to grab. Except for a fleeting touch of wavy hair spread out on the deck, which he couldn’t snag, again there was nothing. The only result of that manuever was that her feet were no longer locked onto his hips, they were locked to each other at the ankle above his penis.

He gathered his abdominal and thigh muscles, focused them, coordinated them, and threw himself up with a loud grunt, redhead and all, into a sitting position. Now she clung to his back with gravity no longer her ally, and she latched on even tighter.

“Why,” he growled in a precise baritone, “are you latched on to me?” He could feel her breath against his back, but she said nothing, which irritated him more than anything that had happened in getting aboard.

White Owl Stowaway…snippet 03

•April 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

At the first contact between Tink’s “little friends” and one of his long fingers, the Terran’s whole body jerked.

In the same instant, Tink caught a panick spike forming up in the edges of his mind. “Make it gentle, guys,” she warned. “He’s gonna come up in ‘fight or flight’, and I’d rather that be later than sooner.” The nanos that had yet to enter through the Terran’s fingers swarmed up over his forearm, his neck, his face, and sunk through the first unused patch of skin they found.

“I’ll try to hold on to him if he chooses sooner.” While still speaking to her nanobots, she had rolled the big man over onto his stomach and straddled the small of his back.

Then, once her feet were locked into place beneath his hips, ready to slide on around him and intertwine her ankles, she also bent forward to pin one of his thick arms against his side with one of her sleek ones.

She reached around his neck with her other arm, then on down across his chest until her hands grasped wrists. The total effect was that her weight was squarely placed, tight against his back, and securely locked there with both arms and legs.

Tink just lay there, quite aware of his contours, waiting for something to move; monitoring his mind, looking for telltales that signaled his climb to consciousness. She hoped that he could feel her warmth against him, and would absorb it, so that it would lengthen the time before he returned to coherent thought. She mostly hoped, though, that the nanos could repair all internal damage, and rebuild the blood he had lost to massive bruising.

He was a beefy man, and likely too agile, or too skilled, for her to easily use his own weight against him. She was pretty sure, though, that she could slow him considerably with her weight on his back, where he could not easily hit or grab her.

She hoped he’d be disoriented and ineffectual because she did not want him hurt any further. She figured he’d not be easy to keep subdued, but she’d done the impossible so many times before, that she was quite willing to try.

A short interval passed, and she could see and feel his skin begin to reflect successful repairs. She continued to send panic-cancelling waveforms to truncate his spikings, and bought time for the nanos to finish.

Aware of his reputed ability to effect an appearance of quiet and deadly calm, Tink fervently hoped it would be nowhere in the mix when he came to.

Suddenly, there it was: A mix of panic and reflex reactions swelling to overwhelm his unconsciousness. It was driven by sensations, real or imagined, of the bots’ repair activities. She warned the nanos to vacate, “NOW!”

Simultaneously she ordered the White Owl to create a Terran/Trench EVsuit inside the stowaway’s cargo barge. As soon as the Owl confirmed that the suit had been placed, and was properly sized to fit him, she let go of the Terran’s mind.

That was when Ye Olde “all hell broke loose” happened.

White Owl Stowaway…snippet 02

•April 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“Yarrr.” Tink drawled in pirate-ish lingo. “Ye almost ended up in a recycle sieve there, me hearty.”

The sparkles which filled the shape now laying crumpled on her deck, quickly diffused and streamed outward in every direction to disappear into tiny circuit-like patterns which formed a satin finish on every surface in the chamber.

The Terran male emerged from the garbage bag shape. He lay motionless, in a twisted fetal position, noisily gulping breaths of the White Owl’s Terran-blend air.

Tink grimaced, then glanced upward toward a cylindrical red droid which was looping around gauge-lined curving walls high above. The droid suddenly halted, rotated to her direction, and tilted to center her upturned face in its visual sensors.

“I need you to take over watching the 11-D jumps, J.R.,” she ordered as she scrambled around the edge of her console. The droid sounded a slightly melodic, “Aye, sir,” and dropped to the seat just vacated, while she gracefully dropped to her knees beside the now quietly breathing Terran.

“Whoa, there me thievin’ beauty,” she cautioned when she began to cautiously straighten him, and he unconsciously resisted. “Ye be enchantingly powerful, but ye still may be a bit tangled in Davy Jones’ bony grip. Don’t wanna play at adding more damage.”

The man was heavy – and dirty. As she persistently worked through a triage routine, she gently cleaned him up with a small round device she pulled from one of her utility pockets. She studied his rugged features as they emerged from the grime, and confirmed that he was indeed very much appealing to her mindseye.

Once the top layers of grime were removed, Tink nodded to herself and eased carefully into the edges of his mind, alert for signs of internal injury and mental pain. Once again she began straightening his limbs and removing ragged pieces of his leathers, which barely made it into a recycle bin before disintegrating. She wondered where the heck had he been and what he had been doing before sneaking into her cargo bay.

She soon discovered some large purplish bruises starting to color muscles below the ribs on one side of his lightly barreled chest.

“Ye seem to be a fine and beautiful freebooter on the surface of it. she remarked. “But that bruising bothers me very much, me Terran hearty. So let’s check out yer innards – and get ’em fixed if they be needin’ it – whilst ye still canna feel it.”

For the second time Tink glanced upward. This time she looked intently at a cluster of grape-like spheres dangling at the apex of the curved ceiling. A sense of faint movements immediately emerged and streamed downward along those faint patterns in the walls. Once at floor level, the “somethings” spread across the floor in a beeline toward Tink and the supine Terran.

“Hurry, my leedle frenz,” she said suddenly. “There are stirrings in the edges of the man’s mental flux. Analyze and repair quickly.”

A few minutes later she added, “He’s near to waking, and judging from a previous brush with a Terran on Ma’Kluft, I don’t think this one’s gonna be OK with you guys fiddling around in his innards, either.”

White Owl Stowaway

•March 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The glowing patterns seemed alive, hunting. Brilliant paisley-like patterns slid along indigo borders, pouncing on sudden gaps, flooding niches and crannies.

Tink contemplated the lavenderish swirls writhing across the octagonal screen which hovered about two inches above her navigation console. It made her recall how she had attracted, sort of tamed, and then re-programmed some highly specialized nanobots.

She trained them to meld with The White Owl’s navigation. They handled targeting, maneuvering, stationkeeping, and constantly updated precise angles of 11-D jumps.

If the nanos had not been capable of doing such precisely matched routines when skimming the edges of tangled quantum bubbles, the White Owl’s wake trail would begin oscillating. And if these oscillations were not instantly counteracted, amplitudes would swing wider and wider…until her ship – and possibly the intersecting universes – might suddenly rearrange, or even shred to self-destruction.

However, her bots had consistently been flawless at skipping the Owl along the constantly interweaving seams with a very deft, very light touch. Now, even the newest crop of bots were so good at anticipating seam drift, they could do it nearly as well as she could.

Smooth, no bumping, no jarring – which meant no damage to either her ship or any tangential universes. They no longer needed constant babysitting. Tink had finally adjusted to allowing J.R. Red to oversee them.

Without warning her musing was cut off by a sudden stab of pain and fear.

It wasn’t her own! It had come from her stowaway, who had been confined to the barge within the isolation cargo hold where she had detected him.

Her teal-ringed eyes instantly swiveled toward the screen which displayed the interior of said cargo barge.

There was a big Terran male, who lay crumpled and gasping in one corner. The sheen of his black spacing leathers made him look like a rumpled pile of garbage bags.

Tink skimmed the edges of his unconscious mind for a second, and then a group of odd sparkles converged within those bluey greeny grey eyes. She focused on the figure in the cargo hold and filled it with the same sparkles.

Then it just disappeared.

“Omagosh!” Tink squealed, remembering that The White Owl’s intraship transporters were currently delivering leftover food and trash to its recovery systems.

Long sleek fingers rapidly stabbed at transport sliders — forcing a redirect — and an intensely sparkly shape resembling a low pile of garbage bags materialized on the floor in front of her console.