**NEW** When an all female crew sets out on a ‘routine’ mission to test America’s new warp drive the last thing they expected was to encounter alien life—otherwise it would’ve been an all male crew, right?
Orders were to take the ship to the nearest solar system to Earth’s. It had no habitable planets and therefore no intelligent life was expected to be found. They would drop a communications buoy and probes to explore the planets and then return. Unfortunately for their well laid plans, it was an inhabited solar system. The ship hadn’t even breached ‘air space’ of the solar system when it was captured in a tractor beam that dragged them in like a spider reeling in its prey.And the inhabitants didn’t seem to grasp what ‘we come in peace’ meant.
Nadia couldn’t decide if she was more excited or more unnerved when they were awakened from the hyber-pods to stare into the black void that was open space. Neither living or working in space was new to her. She had been in the astronaut program for years and had spent all of that time in training—in space, living and working—on ships, on space stations—building space stations and delivering payloads to the colonies on Mars, the Moon, and the space station/colony cities between them and even beyond Mars.
But she’d never been beyond the solar system—nobody had—and the time she’d spent in space thus far hadn’t prepared her for the area of space she’d woken up to.
She’d felt isolated before, but nothing like this.
And it wasn’t just the distance between their ship and the last established colony in the system.
Everything seemed so far away it was like being in the middle of the ocean on a raft and seeing nothing but water between you and the distant horizon—in any direction.
“Ok, well this is way creepier than I expected,” second officer, Sara Thompson, said, shivering—either for effect or because she wasn’t kidding.
Or possibly from the aftereffects of a very long hyber-sleep, Nadia thought, since she felt chilled to the bone herself.
“We knew there was nothing out here,” Myra, their engineer and mechanic, said pointedly. “It looks pretty much the way I expected it to look. What do you think, sweety?”
Diane, their navigator, turned wide eyes towards her wife. “It creeps me out, too, baby.”
“Well, that’s almost a unanimous vote there because I think it’s pretty damn creepy myself. Let’s go home,” Nadia said wryly.
A couple of her crewmembers managed scoffing chuckles.
They’d been in hyber-sleep for months. In spite of the super drive they’d used to cross the solar system in record time. But then they couldn’t test the new warp drive engine inside the solar system because nobody wanted to take a chance on the possibility, however remote, of throwing something out of orbit and making the entire solar system unstable and uninhabitable.
Beyond that, creepy or not, nobody was in a rush to get back into the pods when they were still trying to throw off the unpleasant side effects of months—eighteen to be precise—in stasis.
“Fuck that shit,” Myra dismissed it. “I’m going to have to fucking comb my leg hair if it gets any longer.”
Diane snorted a laugh. “Stop it! It’s not that bad.”
“We could head back to our place and you can check it out,” Myra murmured suggestively, “and you could braid it for me.”
“Maybe you two could wait a little while for that? We have to check in and then we have to plot a course.”
“We’ll have to figure out where we want to go before we can plot a course,” Myra said dryly.
“Yeah, that, too,” Nadia agreed, focused at that point on setting up the telescope they’d brought with them for deployment.
They actually didn’t know how it was going to ‘behave’ so far out since nobody had ever been as far out as they were—ever before in the history of mankind.
And it was womankind that had achieved that milestone, Nadia thought, mentally taking a bow.
As far as anyone knew, they’d crossed the furthest boundary/influence of their parent solar system. Would it stay where it was put? Drift away? Begin an orbit directed by their own sun or some other body?
The general consensus was that it would orbit with the solar system itself, directed by whatever it was that was moving their solar system through the galaxy—probably the massive black hole at the center though not conclusively.
It which case it would move so slowly it might just as well be stationary because it would take generations for it to move far enough to make any difference to the makers—more than the anticipated life of the telescope—or the people that were behind the project for that matter.
Regardless, they didn’t just release it. They needed it for their own mission.
They hoped it was planted and would be beaming back better pictures of the universe than ever before for the next few decades.
And of the Milky Way.
They hadn’t really been in a very good position—the solar system—for studying their own galaxy.
Galaxy Quest: Odyssey
Published: July 2021
Word Count: 32, 874
Genre: Sci-Fi/ Futuristic Romance
Rating: Spicy/Erotica---graphic sex scenes
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
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