Jason Crow

Chapter 1Arrival

“Ground control to Major Thom… Come in, Major Thom.”

“This is Major Thom. HTS-X71JC requesting permission to enter orbit. Please confirm.”

“Request confirmed and approved. Course seven Delta eight,” After a short pause, the voice continued, “Welcome to the party, Zephyr. Ground control out.”

I listened to all of this, but it hardly registered. The sounds were muffled, and I was starting to wake up. My stomach was protesting, and I felt like I had been run over by a dump truck.

I opened my eyes and immediately squinted because of the bright lights. I felt disoriented but quickly realized I was lying inside my suspension pod. We boarded the ship four weeks ago, got in our suspension pods, and headed toward our destination, the planet Aetheria. Thanks to our MPD, four weeks of sus had gotten us almost halfway across the Milky Way.

Waking up from four weeks of hibernation felt like riding a roller coaster over and over again. I sighed deeply, pressed the red button, and with a loud hiss, the transparent door above me moved upward and out of the way. I sat up straight, and as I felt my head to make sure it was still on my shoulders since it didn’t feel that way at the moment, I saw my twin sister sit up straight next to me.

Nadia smiled weakly at me and said, “That was fun, right?”

I could only nod as I swallowed down another gag reflex, struggling not to throw up. It was close, but I managed to keep it all inside. I was trying to get myself together when my brother Ethan floated by in his boxer briefs. I was also dressed in just my underwear since it was the most comfortable way to go in suspension, but I had no intention of prancing around in just my undies.

At eighteen, my brother looked like everything I hoped to look like one day. He had a nice tan, a muscular chest, and a decent bulge in his underwear.

As I checked him out, he said, “Hey Dad, you want me to turn on the gravity? Everyone is waking up, so…”

“You’re right. Sorry, I forgot. The ship got me out of sus ahead of schedule. The approach was a bit messy due to that new asteroid belt. But yeah… go ahead.”

Ethan braced himself and pushed a button on the console. Slowly but steadily, the round portion with the passenger cabins started spinning. My stomach started calming down as my ass was pressed firmer into the sus pod, and gravity returned to normal.

Because our dad was the Major and main pilot of the ship, our cabin was the biggest because it doubled as the ship’s bridge. I saw a few of the other cabins through the windows, and lights started to switch on inside these.

“Hi, Hon. You okay?” Mom said as she walked up to us.

“Aidan looks just like how I feel,” my sister said glumly beside me.

“It’ll wear off in a few minutes. Get dressed so we can eat something before we load up the landers.”

My sister Nadia got up, and I knew I just had to look. Over the last few months, I started noticing how she was filling out in all the right places.

She was wearing a crop top, and her small boobs looked absolutely fabulous in it. She got to her feet, and as she got out, she gave me an unobstructed view of her round ass in that white with red stripes bikini-styled undies.

I felt my dick was starting to grow hard inside my underwear, which snapped me out of my trance. I shouldn’t think of her like this! She was my twin sister, damnit! I needed to look after her instead of perving over her.

Ever since we started puberty, I got more and more interested in her body. I read and saw a couple of clips online in the Flin, stating that it probably had something to do with my own hormones waking up. We were exactly thirteen-and-a-half on the day we left Earth, so this wasn’t far-fetched.

But still… I was still a bit boyish, with just a small and sparse patch of pubes above my three-and-a-half-inch soft dick. I was kind of proud of my five-and-a-half inches when I was hard. When I sprang a boner, it was rock-hard, virtually unbendable, and thicker than you’d expect. My Dad’s genes must be the cause of that because when Ethan showed me how to jack off about a year ago, I immediately noticed how thick he was, too.

My muscles were starting to show, though. I was glad about that because I had spent almost all my allowance on that new software that helped me to build muscles with that new electro-suit Ethan let me borrow. A hint of my six-pack was showing, and my pecs were now noticeably more pronounced than before I started. So yeah… I was getting there.

I needed to focus on something else before embarrassing myself in front of my entire family. So I let my eyes drift upward and checked out my sister’s hair. She was just as blonde as I was, and her hair was also just as short as mine, just styled differently. Pretty much all women who went into space wore their hair short, and Mom and Nadia were no different.

The suspension pods were against the wall on the left side of our cabin. To my right, there were the control panels that controlled the ship. Dad and Ethan were there currently checking everything, and I didn’t want to interfere with that. Ethan was still in his black boxers, whereas Dad was already in his uniform. In front of me was the living room, although calling it that was a bit of a stretch. It had a table, chairs, and a big screen. But since we would hardly use it, I didn’t mind too much.

The toilet and the door to the rest of the ship were to my left. Everything was in bright white with lots of indirect lighting, and they managed to make it feel cozy despite the minimalistic look.

By taking my mind off my sister this way, I managed to steer clear from a full-blown boner and was glad it was heading down. I was only chubbed up a little by now, but that wouldn’t hurt anyone.

As Nadia pulled down her shirt, I got to my feet. She turned around and smiled at me. For a brief moment, her eyes went down to my crotch, and she openly checked me out. She didn’t seem bothered by it, but it made me feel insecure and awkward. She was a lot more open than I was, which I blamed on my stupid feelings for her.

Nadia looked me in the eye, “Looking good, Bro,” she said as if it was the most normal thing to say.

“Uhm…” was all I could say as I quickly reached for my pants.

“That new app does what it promises.”

“Oh… that… Yeah. I’m glad it’s worth the money. Sure cost me enough.”

We both pulled up our pants, “Hungry?” she asked.

“Nah. But I know we need to eat after sus. You?”

“Same,” she frowned, “I just hope there are more kids our age down there. Dad was pretty vague about that, and I… you know…”

“We’ll see. I think we’re fine,” I said, trying to be blasé about it, hiding my mixed feelings. I was a bit scared that we were the only teens here because it would mean we’d have no friends our age. But deep down, I also hoped we would be the only ones. If another boy were there, he might take Nadia away from me, and I couldn’t…

No! She’s my sister! She isn’t my lover, girlfriend, or anything. It’s stupid to feel this way!

But even so, I still need to protect her! I’m the one who almost killed her, and I promised myself to always look after her. Well… it wasn’t my fault I almost killed her, but still. When Mom was in the hospital, and it was time for us to be born, it turned out that my umbilical cord was around my sister’s neck. And it had been like that for a while.

Because of that, Nadia barely made it and had to stay in the hospital for months to regain her strength. And she was treated for all the complications that came with it until she was around eight years old. When I found out what had happened, I felt guilty as hell. Despite Mom and Dad repeatedly stressing that I had nothing to do with it and that it was just nature’s mistake, I couldn’t shed the thought that I should’ve taken better care of my sister.

Mom even had a talk with me after Nadia was no longer being treated and was declared completely healthy. She told me that I should stop being so protective and that I should look more after myself. She even made me promise to leave her alone for three days in a row. This helped a little. During these days, I learned that Nadia was okay and didn’t need me as her bodyguard.

After a while, things got better, and she started living her own life. But deep inside, I couldn’t get rid of the feelings that she needed my protection. Mom knew this, but she didn’t say anything about it. Nadia was oblivious and just saw me as her twin brother, who was always there for her.

“Breakfast is ready!” Mom announced cheerfully, snapping me out of my trance.

I quickly grabbed my shirt and pulled it down as I sat down at the table. Moments later, I was joined by the rest of the family. Mom looked at us and said, “Guys, I’m so glad we’re doing this as a family! I’m…”

She sniffed, and Dad squeezed her hand. He looked at us and said, “She’s right! The Wilsons stick together! Right!?”

“Right!” Nadia and I said.

“And Ethan?” Dad said, looking at my brother, “PLEASE! Put on a shirt! You make me feel old and saggy!”

We started laughing and ate breakfast just like we would back on Earth. But the view here was a lot different than on Earth.

“All one hundred and ninety-six souls on board are accounted for and came out of suspension,” Dad said through the microphone. “In sixty minutes, the transporters will start bringing people down to the planet. Be prepared, please. Major Thom out.”

Dad turned around in his chair and looked at us. He smiled broadly, looked around, and said, “Nobody needed to manually be retrieved from sus. These ships are getting better and better!”

Yeah…” Ethan responded, “I also checked the logs, and this new autopilot didn’t fall back to one of the backup systems even once.”

“Get ready, you two,” Mom said while checking out our pods.

“In about an hour, it’s just the skeleton crew left up here, and for the first time we’ll see our new home for the coming few years!” Dad said excitedly.

“Yay!” Nadia said in that typical bratty tone only teenage girls can.

“Don’t do this, honey! We’ve been over this a lot. Try to embrace this new life,” Mom replied, clearly doing her best to stay calm.

“I’m sorry…” Nadia said, “I’m just scared, I guess.”

“Scared about what?”

“That this planet sucks, that our new home sucks, that there’s nobody down there that I like, that… just everything.”

“We’re all afraid of the unknown. But sometimes great things come to those who take that leap of faith, you know?”

“I know… but still…”

Mom hugged her and said, “I know, Honey. But we’re here as a family. And the Wilsons stick together, right?”

This brought a smile to her face, and she nodded at Mom. Next, Nadia looked at me and said, “Wanna go to the docks and check out the transporters?”

“Sure!” I said, glad to see her smile again.

“Take your travel bags with you. We’ll also be there in a minute because Dad has to be in the first transporter.”

We grabbed our bags from the storage closet and entered the corridor connecting the cabins. Because of the circular build of the living quarters and the way it generated gravity, you felt like you had to walk up a hill, no matter which way you went.

But we had our safety training and extensive briefing before we boarded, so we knew how it worked. This training also helped us find our way around the ship quite well, so we reached the ladder that led to the docks quickly enough.

“Prepare for zero gravity,” Nadia smiled as she slid down the ladder.

“Bring it on!” I laughed as I got in right behind her.

Of course, we’ve both been weightless before a couple of times. But during my first time, I felt sick and had to throw up. Nadia kept teasing me about this, but it was all good fun, and I knew she was also close to hurling the first time.

As we floated through the ship toward the docks, we saw a couple of our fellow passengers, but all of them were much older than us. There were a few boys and one girl, but they were much closer to Ethan than to us. We greeted each other politely, but it still felt like we were among strangers. Dad told us this would wear off but that it would take time.

Combined with this crew, the planet’s population would be just under two thousand. That’s as big as a small village but still small enough for everybody to know each other. The transporters would take us to the main base, which had pretty much everything we’d need. It had a large mess and even a small store where you could buy all sorts of stuff, from clothes to food and from books to batteries.

About five years ago, the first crew landed on the planet. At that time, the automated building bots had built two smaller bases. But when more people were needed to keep the operation going and expand, these old bases were abandoned and only used to monitor and operate the terraforming equipment. As the new main base grew, people gradually moved to the new base. The building bots were still building and expanding every minute of every day, but it was fully operational at its core.

“There’s Rory,” Nadia said, pointing at someone loading one of the transporters.

Rory was one of Ethan’s friends and would go and work in the maintenance team with our brother.

“Hey, guys! Ready for the drop?”

“Yeah!” Nadia said excitedly.

“I guess,” I said, trying to act cool around him, but I hardly couldn’t wait to see the actual planet up close.

He continued loading up the transporters, our cue to move along. Nadia and I explored the dock, but there wasn’t anything interesting.

“Let’s check out the tanks,” I said as we passed the door to the ship’s garage for the second time. Behind the garage was the entrance to the hold.

I opened the door to the garage and almost jumped out of my shoes when I bumped into someone.

“Oh. Hey, guys!” she said in a friendly tone.

I recognized her right away. She was one of Mom’s friends, but I didn’t remember her name. I knew she was in charge of all the equipment we carried, which made sense as to why she was here.

“Hi! We wanna check out the tanks. Is that okay?”

“Sure. You know the way, right?”

“Yeah. It’s through there,” I said as I pointed toward the end of the garage.

“Later,” Nadia said as she smiled warmly.

As we floated toward the door to the hold, we passed several vehicles. There were giant excavators, a couple of big tanker trucks, a few boats, lots of human transporters, and some more we couldn’t see properly because they were too far away.

All vehicles, except for the few light, flying ones, of course, had big, tractor-like wheels and were all fuel-cell-powered. I was told that the star’s light this planet was orbiting was only mildly effective on our solar panels.

We passed two small buggies that seemed completely out of place here. “There’s the door,” Nadia said and pressed the unlock button on the panel beside it.

We looked at each other, smiled, and entered the hold. After we closed the door behind us, we floated through a small hallway. The HTS-X71JC, or Zephyr as we called her, was a huge freighter ship. When we entered the hold, it was immediately apparent why it was in the biggest class of ships.

The hold housed two rows of eight tanks. These tanks were about hundred and fifty feet high and had a diameter of roughly fifty feet. They were absolutely massive. But there were only guidance lights near the edges of the hold, and from where we were now, you could hardly make out half of the hold, and the sheer size of it was already overwhelming.

“HELLO!!!” Nadia shouted, but all we heard was the echoing of her voice.

In the dim glow of the guidance lights, we could only see the silhouette of the first two tanks. I was about to go further into the hold when Nadia floated past me and giggled, “Too slow, Bro!”

We explored the giant hold together and even played a short but silly game of tag. It was fun to act like little kids together, even in the somewhat spooky surroundings of the hold. We were just killing time, so when our coms beeped, we immediately headed back to the transporters, both hyped to go down.

“All buckled up?” the pilot asked.

Dad sat next to the pilot and looked back at Nadia and me. I wasn’t going to admit it, but my heart was beating in my throat. Dad nodded toward my belt, and I pulled at it to show him I was strapped in.

I glanced over at my sister, and as the pilot started counting down, she looked nervously at me and grabbed my hand.

“Two… One… GO!!!”

At that moment, the boosters ignited, and we were pressed hard into our seats. The nose of the transporter tilted down, and we could clearly see the planet through the front windows. Nadia had her window seat, but she only looked at the floor.

“Entering the atmosphere!” the pilot said.

Dad looked back, and he said, “Be prepared. The entrance will be bumpy. But it’ll be more like a regular flight back on Earth after about a minute.”

I heard some mumbling from the people behind us, but Dad had already warned us about this, so we knew what was coming. I looked at Nadia and squeezed her hand.

After about a minute of violent movement and some words between Dad and the pilot, the ship suddenly stopped shaking, and it felt like we were on a floating boat on a quiet lake. The suddenness of this was what surprised me most.

I glanced over at Nadia, and after she tore her eyes from the floor, she looked at me. I pointed outside and said, “Look! That’s Zuckerberg Mountain! The highest mountain on the planet.”

Nadia turned her head to look, and I was glad I calmed her down a little. “Twice the height of Mount Everest, right?”

“Yeah. Almost.”

“Cool. I wonder if anyone is ever going to climb that one…”

“Dunno. Maybe after there’s enough oxygen in the atmosphere…”

“Zephyr transport one approaching. Please confirm!” the pilot said.

Dad pressed some buttons on the control panel, and after a couple of seconds, the pilot said, “Roger. Docking at bay twelve.”

As Nadia and I looked out the window and checked out the main complex, Nadia said what I thought.

“It looks pretty small, don’t you think?”

That’s what I was thinking. “Yeah. I expected it to be bigger.”

“Maybe there’s a lot underground?”

“Dunno. I guess…”

The ship made a sharp turn, and we saw the base come closer and closer. A couple of moments later, we felt a small bump as we touched down. “Welcome to Aetheria, everyone!” the pilot announced.

I smiled broadly as I looked at Nadia. As the door of the transporter opened, I thought back to the moment a little over a year ago when this all started.

End of chapter 1

Copyright 2024 – Jason Crow
All rights reserved

Restat ut hic dicam, infinitum est et ultra

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