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Month: February 2024 (Page 1 of 4)

Aetheria – Epilogue

Aetheria
by
Jason Crow

Epilogue

It turned out that, indeed, half of the population that was left, wanted to return to Earth. There was a new crew underway from Earth. So, it was decided that the people who wanted to leave could return with the Zephyr as soon as the new ship had arrived.

After Moros’s near-miss, we had to wait two weeks before we could head back down. For most people aboard the Zephyr, this was torture. The cramped space, weightlessness in most parts of the ship, and the absence of useful tasks made most people cranky, including Mom and Dad.

But Nadia and I had sex every chance we got, and we were both cheerful and upbeat during those weeks. Dad even complimented us on that numerous times. If he only knew…

After the first explorer crew checked the planet, and we were given the ‘all clear’, our family headed back down. Nadia and I moved into the same room as before, and so did Mom and Dad. Nadia and I kept having sex as much as possible, and at first, we hardly even left our room. But rebuilding the base needed every single pair of hands, so we had to put in our share of elbow grease.

One day, when we were asked to come eat breakfast with them, Mom and Dad looked very seriously at us. I was sure our secret was out and that we were busted. But it was way worse than that. It turned out that Dad had radiation poisoning from all the work he did near the core of the base. During the quake, the protective shell had been ruptured, but this was discovered way too late.

He knew it would kill him. But he said he’d die soon enough anyway, so he wanted to finish repairing the shell to make sure the rest of the crew could stay there without the fear of radiation seeping through. I was sad for a while, knowing I’d lose my father. But I was also very proud of him for giving his life to save us.

Mom did start noticing that something was happening between Nadia and me. You could say a lot about Mom, but she always noticed things like this.

One day, as I was lying naked on our bed, waiting for Nadia to join me, she came in crying. Mom had asked her flat out if we were doing things together. She’d been unable to deny it, and now Mom knew and our secret was out in the open.

The following day was difficult. We had to face her and try to be cool. But she didn’t say or do anything about it. I was amazed at that, and she managed to hide it perfectly. I blamed it on Dad being around. Turned out I was right. One day, when Dad had to spend a day inside a med pod to regain some of his strength, Mom looked all serious at us when we sat down for dinner. She said she had known for a while now and that she had to get used to the idea of us being together.

But she also said she understood. We’d been together in extremely high-pressure situations where we could only rely on each other, there were virtually no other kids our age around, and we got along amazingly well for a pair of siblings. She explained that it wasn’t the situation she pictured us in when we were younger. And she didn’t necessarily condone it. But she wasn’t against it either, and she’d let us be. But she advised us to keep it away from our father.

After Mom figured Nadia and me out, Dad’s health deteriorated quickly. A couple of weeks before our fifteenth birthday, he passed away. His body was buried in a lovely spot beside the lake. The funeral service was impressive, and almost everyone attended.

About a year after Dad died, the base was finished. This base would remain the central hub for all on-planet activities, and it was the main port for ships to arrive and leave. But this was also the time that the atmosphere got breathable for more extended periods. It would take roughly another year before we could ditch the oxygen masks altogether.

Nadia and I regularly visited the Terra site for old time’s sake. Mom understood why we wanted this, and she let us be on our own more and more. By the time the plans for the first two off-base settlements were discussed, Nadia and I wanted in. We were both seventeen now and wanted a place to call our own. This was the main reason for us to move to Aetheria, after all.

The plans were still in an early stage, but there were already a couple of volunteers to start this village with us. Among them were another brother and sister who were in their mid-twenties and two brothers who had just turned twenty years old. All four were also romantically involved with their sibling. The brother and sister recently came to this planet and obviously didn’t give a damn what people thought about them. They were clearly a couple, and they weren’t secretive about this at all.

Some people gave them a hard time at first, but it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t an issue to them nor to the majority of the on-planet crew. We were envious of them and wished we dared to get out of our closet. But after the pair of brothers also made it clear they were a couple, Nadia and I had a good, long talk with each other and with Mom.

We finally decided to stop hiding the fact that we loved each other once we moved to the first settlement. Word would quickly spread from there, and we were out in the open after that. It was a little rough at first, but after a couple of weeks, I didn’t feel like I was being watched or talked about behind my back anymore.

After this short period ended, and Nadia and I walked hand in hand through the base, I wished we had came out way earlier. Mom had gotten used to the idea and was thrilled we were working on a place of our own on a hill near one of the lakes. This place was enormous, with lots of natural light and more than enough room for the two of us.

Two days after Nadia had turned eighteen, Mom took her to the medical bay. I didn’t know why, but after Nadia returned, a huge grin was plastered across her face. Turned out that Mom had arranged her pregnancy shot. Every girl got a shot right after she was born to prevent her from getting pregnant. This was a perfect way to keep the population under control on Earth. And all it took to be able to get pregnant was another shot to reverse the effect.

We did everything we could to get Nadia pregnant, and after three months, we announced the good news to our mother. She was absolutely thrilled that she was going to be a grandmother. Nadia’s pregnancy was uneventful, and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. We called him Ethan, which brought tears to Mom’s face.

After Ethan, we were blessed with a healthy twin boy and girl. The irony of it all wasn’t lost on us, and the day Mom had little Thom and Senii in her arms, she cried her eyes out from pure happiness.

Life on Aetheria was good for us. We had lots of friendly people around us in our little village, a pair of close friends, and everything we needed in the main base. Our three children had a worry-free childhood and didn’t know any better than to live on a planet far away from Earth. 

Nadia started working at the local school, and I ended up as the chief of maintenance on the main base and the Terra sites.

Turned out that our brother Ethan’s friend Rory ended up as the first person on top of Zuckerberg Mountain. As he placed the flag, he dedicated it to our brother. It was an extremely nice gesture, and Mom and I thanked him extensively during a dinner Nadia had cooked especially for him.

After I went to bed that night, a blanket of extreme happiness draped over me. I had the love of my life at my side as my beautiful wife, three amazing kids, and the best view in the universe from my living room. What more could anyone want?


Author’s note:

I wanted to write a sci-fi story set in space for a long time. I know I didn’t do anything new or refreshing here. This time, I chose just one storyline, not too much of a flashback structure, and written in my favorite form: first-person, past tense. But I like how it turned out! The only thing that could improve, as I look back at it, is the amount of ‘action’ in this one. But I really wanted to tell a story here and focus more on the characters than the stuff surrounding them. This automatically means more focus on setting the mood in a scene. I still like how they developed their relationship. That’s also the reason why I didn’t write about any other combinations. To me, this story was a love story from the beginning, and should revolve around those two people. I’m well aware of all the other possibilities, but I deliberately stuck with the two lovers.

In previous stories, I tried to steer clear from the more or less default steps (seeing each other naked, masturbation in front of each other, masturbating together, oral, intercourse)?. But if I’m honest, these steps aren’t that uncommon to follow when you’re discovering your sexuality with another person. So, I dropped that idea of needing to be different and just did what felt natural to me as the kids grew closer and closer to each other.

I feel I might need to explain the FliN and the word ‘Bisque.’ Alex Hawk, my big example, wrote a two-part story called ‘In the FliN.’ It’s set in the (near) future, written WAY before anyone even heard about Facebook, let alone the Metaverse. But it’s a nice enough story, and I decided to pay tribute to that. So the FliN is more or less the internet as we know it. And the word ‘Bisque’ is used in that story, so I decided to borrow that. Also, a few of the names used in this story originate in Alex’s story.

I also need to send a massive shoutout to Sindy Anna Jones (google him/her! It’s worth it!). He/she came up with a couple of ideas that I blatantly borrowed. Especially the Camo fabric. I found it hilarious in his comics and wanted to use it in this story. Thanks, Sindy!!

Some might think this story looks a lot like Avatar. But honestly, I got most of my inspiration from ‘The Martian’ and ‘Project Hail Mary’ both written by Andy Weir. But I’m also a gigantic fan of the Alien franchise (Alien part 4 should’ve never been made, damnit!!), and there’s probably also a hint of that in this story.

I also have a confession to make. I hesitated toward the end to let the asteroid crash on the planet. And when the crash happened, Aidan and Nadia were ‘having the time of their lives’ if you know what I mean… Dying during the thing people love to do most is probably high on everybody’s ‘best ways to die’ list. But then I remembered a valuable lesson someone once told me. Always respect your characters AND your readers. And although it would be a perfect way to die, I decided they should live. The current ending is the ending I pictured from the start, but when I came across this point in the story, I hesitated. Thought I’d give you that insight.

Another inside came from E-o-F (yes, him again! Thanks, Ed…). He came up with the idea that Nadia and Aidan should have sex at a depressing moment and then again in a very upbeat and joyful moment. I think it worked out beautifully, if I say so myself. And if E-o-F didn’t mention this option, I would’ve probably never written it like this.

And, as you might know, I am not a fan of an Epilogue. But I know people won’t stop bugging me about it, so I wrote one. And to be honest, this story needed one. But the way they end up in the epilogue is just one of the possible outcomes. Feel free to make up your own!

So… Thanks for sticking up with me during this story. I wrote it more for myself than for anyone else, but I still hope you enjoyed yourself. Let me know what you think about it. I’m curious, as always 😉

Jason out.

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Aetheria – Chapter 13

Aetheria
by
Jason Crow

Chapter 13 – Us

Walking through the halls somehow felt different now. They seemed brighter, and the mess inside was less depressing. The cleaning bots were finished in certain parts of the building, and it showed. Those bots didn’t care about their imminent death. They didn’t know and just did what they were designed to do. Because of this, some parts of the base looked just as if the quake never happened.

But the clean halls weren’t the only reason it felt different, of course. The fact that we were leaving was probably the most critical factor. I felt cleaned up inside my head and cheerful about the future, which had been a while. It was a bummer that we had to go back to Earth, but at least we’d live.

Nadia walked next to me, and as we walked, she wrapped her arm around my waist and laid her head on my shoulder. We didn’t talk, but we both knew how the other felt. She did surprise me when her hand moved over and squeezed one of my ass cheeks.

I looked at her as she did this, and her smile was a mix of apologies and cheekiness. I smiled back and shook my head. She always did dumb stuff like this, and thankfully, today wasn’t an exception. In fact, her whole body language showed signs of mischief, and she acted skittishly.

We were now at the door of our room. I swiped my wrist in front of the keypad on the wall, and the door opened with the familiar whooshing sound. Inside, the cleaning bots were obviously done. It was as clean as when we left it the day we went outside with Ethan.

Ethan… it seemed like an eternity ago! I knew I shouldn’t be thinking about him now. I’d have plenty of time for that after we get off this planet. But still… I tried pushing these thoughts away, but it wasn’t easy.

But Nadia came to the rescue. She must have noticed something because she stepped in close and wrapped her arms around my neck. I felt her boobs pressed against my chest as she leaned in and kissed me hungrily.

“Cheer up! We’ll grab our stuff, and we’re out of here before you know it,” she said softly after we broke the kiss.

“I know… thanks!” I said, “I need to take a piss.”

I went into the bathroom, and as I did my business, I tried to focus my thoughts on getting out of here instead of my dead brother. I stuffed my dick back inside my boxers, zipped up, and sighed deeply. I washed my hands, splashed some water on my face, and was ready to move on. I unlocked the door and expected Nadia to stand there to go in after me, but no one was there.

In the corner of my eye, I saw movement on the bed. I turned my head to look at her and almost choked. Nadia was as naked as the day she was born and smiled seductively at me. She had positioned herself in such a way that she didn’t look cheap or thrashy but simply irresistible.

She leaned against the pillows with her upper body, showing off her magnificent breasts perfectly. Her legs were slightly parted, showing a hint of her slit, but the few hairs above it obscured the view just enough to make me want more.

“Wh- what’s this?” I asked, feeling my now stiff dick twitch hard in my boxers.

“We’ve got time to spare. So… get over here,” she hoarsely whispered.

I still don’t know why, but seeing her like this, the way she talked, and how she was taking the lead triggered something inside. I felt the almost unstoppable urge to fuck her. Making love was terrific, but now I wanted to FUCK her. I was both shocked and amazed by this realization. I didn’t know where I had heard that word before, but it was exactly what I wanted. There was no better word to describe my urges.

I looked at my sister as I kicked off my shoes and lifted my shirt. The moment it was off, I focused on her eyes again and started working on my button and zipper. Nadia’s eyes roamed over my chest, and when I opened my pants, her eyes locked onto that.

I shed my pants quickly, and as they crumpled at my feet, I stood there in just my tented boxers, my dick pointing straight forward. Nadia’s eyes were locked on that tent, and a wicked smile was all over her face. I hooked my fingers inside the waistband of my boxers and slowly started sliding them down. I knew I shouldn’t try a striptease because I’d look ridiculous if I did. But I could take it slow and expose myself in a more or less sexy way like this.

My boxers slid down slowly, and the tip of my dick got caught behind the elastic band, moving it down with my boxers. As I went lower, my pubes and the base of my dick were now exposed, causing Nadia to lick her lips seductively. With an obscene slapping sound, my dick sprang free and slapped against my belly.  Nadia didn’t flinch and kept staring at it.

I quickly ditched my boxers and crawled toward my twin sister on the bed. My hard dick bobbed as I did this. Nadia slid down the pillows and lay flat on the bed, spreading her legs widely. If I still had any doubts about what she wanted, they were now out of the window.

I lay my body down on top of hers and pressed as much of it as possible against her. As my dick rubbed over her slid, she purred coyly and wrapped her arms around me. One of her hands squeezed my ass, and the other pulled my face toward hers.

We kissed each other hungrily, and our bodies rubbed against each other. Her warm pussy felt terrific on my dick, but I wanted… no! I needed more. I didn’t hesitate and sneaked my hand between our bodies. I grabbed my dick and lined it up. I had rubbed it down there enough to know where I could enter her. And without any effort, my dickhead popped inside my twin sister’s pussy.

Nadia looked determined and extremely horny at me, and I felt an almost animalistic urge to make her mine. I didn’t want to hurt her. I’d never hurt her! But it just felt right to penetrate her a lot rougher than last time. So I pushed forward with more force, and the look of surprise on her face when I entered her changed into one of pure lust and submission. I never saw her like this, but there wasn’t a fiber in my body doubting that she liked what I did.

I entered her quickly and with such force that our pubes smashed together.

“Aaahh!! Yesss! Take me…” Nadia grunted.

This wasn’t lovemaking. This was raw sex, and I loved it! And I loved that our twin telepathy even extended to this and that we both enjoyed what we were doing tremendously. I pulled back and slammed back in. The pace was slow, and I was constantly checking out my sister. I wanted her to cum without hurting her, and my own pleasure came in second place.

My dick and my actions had the power to make her feel the most amazing feelings. And I wanted to use that power the best I could. So I kept slamming into her and made sure each trust counted.

She already had an unfocused look on her face, and her head was tilted back. Every time my pubes slammed against her clit, her moans got louder and the tone of her moans higher.

My right hand was still between our bodies, and I managed to rub my thumb over her clit each time I pulled back. It was a bit awkward, but with my left hand, I grabbed her tit and gently squeezed her nipple. Nadia was too unfocused to keep on kissing, so I started nibbling at her neck, a very sensitive spot that I recently discovered.

“Oh! Oh! Ah! Ah! Ah! AY!!! AAIII!! AAAIII!!”

I increased the speed by which I was slamming into my sister slightly, but the thumb on her clit and hand on her boob was enough. When she breathed this shallowly and started screaming my name, I knew she was coming. This was the perfect moment to let go. I stopped my focus on her and just went for it. Since this was only my second fuck, I was way closer than I wanted to be, and there was no way I was holding back anymore.

“AAAIIII!” Nadia screamed and dug her fingers into my ass and my back.

Her whole body tensed up, and her pussy gripped my dick so firmly I could hardly move.  But I HAD to move! The snowball was already rolling down the hill, and I had to stay ahead of it. So, I kept on pistoning in and out, pushing through the clenching pussy of my sister.

After I pulled out the third time, the grip around my dick loosened a little, which was enough to push me over the edge. I slammed in two more times, and when I felt the cum shooting up my shaft, Nadia’s pussy gripped me again, and maybe even firmer than before.

As my incestuous cum coated my sister’s insides, my brain went offline. I only saw her wrinkled-up face as she was still orgasming pretty heavily. Everything around us was gone. My dick throbbed, and Nadia’s pussy was milking me, claiming everything I had to offer.

I couldn’t hold my body up anymore and dropped down on top of her. She’d told me that she liked to feel my weight on her, and that’s exactly what I was doing now, although for a different reason. I felt utterly spent! We both lay there panting. Nadia started caressing the back of my head and whispered, “You are amazing!”

I couldn’t say anything and nodded once to show I heard her. Occasionally, her pussy gripped my dick, which caused it to twitch. The last time this happened, we started giggling, but now, Nadia said, “I’m still sorta… cumming. I’m still really close.”

And after my dick twitched again, she said with a bit of amazement in her voice, “And you’re still hard!”

I lifted my head to look at her and wasn’t sure what to do next. I figured it was over and started pulling out of her so she could cuddle. But the moment she felt me move, she wrapped her legs around my ass. Her pussy twitched quite firmly as she did this, and it felt terrific around my sensitive dick as I slid back inside.

A wicked grin spread across her face, but I didn’t have a clue what she was thinking. Before I could say or do anything, she moved her body, pressed against my shoulder, and turned her lower body with her legs still wrapped around me. I fell to my left, and before I realized what happened, Nadia also turned. It all happened really quickly, and before I knew it, I was lying on my back, and Nadia sat on top of me. My dick somehow managed to stay inside of her, and as she pushed her body down on it, her face looked amazed.

“It’s in even deeper like this!” she said as she sat up straight and ground her pussy against my pubic bone.

The way she was sitting gave me the best view of my sister and the most fantastic feeling around my dick at the same time. I looked at her incredible body rising up from my groin. Her boobs looked terrific, and as my eyes traveled down her tight belly and ended on her pussy where our genitals merged, I knew I was the luckiest boy in the universe.

I instinctively placed my hands on her hips and looked her in the eyes. Nadia placed her hands on my chest and gyrated her hips, which did amazing things on and around my dick. This was a whole new stimulation I never felt before.

“You’re the… and I… Bisque, so…” Nadia whispered incomprehensibly as she moved herself on my dick more deliberately now.

I moved my left hand from her hip to her tit to play with her nipple. They looked so incredibly inviting as they hovered above me that I just had to touch them. The moment I gently squeezed it, Nadia stiffened, and her pussy gripped my dick firmly again. The deep groan coming from her throat, combined with her convulsing pussy, didn’t take a genius to add two and two together.

This time, her orgasm didn’t take over completely. Yes, she was cumming, but she kept grinding against me. After the clenching around by dick ebbed away a little, she started lifting herself. My dick traveled down her love canal, and it was both weird and exciting to not be in control of that.

After I almost slipped out, Nadia moved her body down again. Her face had an odd look that I hadn’t seen before. It was as if she was hypnotized and completely in her own bubble, oblivious to the world around her.

My right hand sneaked over her hip and firmly gripped her ass cheek. Feeling the muscles move under her soft skin as she rose again was tantalizing. And after she moved back down and pressed her clit against me, she grunted deeply again, and her pussy gripped me once more. It was about the same as before. She obviously came, but she didn’t cum hard enough. Every half a minute or so, she did this. Sweat was forming on her forehead and upper lip, but she kept on going.

She didn’t pick up the pace, nor did she slow down. Now I was the one being fucked, and I didn’t mind one bit. I did find it hard to keep my focus, though. So I placed both my hands on my sister’s hips as she kept impaling herself on my throbbing dick. The speed didn’t change, but her moves were more deliberate now.

Just as I was starting to get used to the frequency of her orgasms, she didn’t cum. She dug her fingers into the flesh of my chest and slammed down hard against me with her pussy. It didn’t hurt, far from it, but something had definitely changed.

I didn’t know how long we were fucking like this, but I was glad I already came before. Otherwise, there was no way I would’ve lasted this long. But with the change of force of her actions and the way her pussy kept on gripping my dick, I was a lost cause. The buildup inside my balls had reached a boiling point, something I pushed away to the background. But now, my balls almost screamed that they needed relief.

I couldn’t help myself anymore and slammed hard against my sister’s pelvis as she moved down. But after just two of these, I froze. My ass was still off the bed, and I felt my dick fatten. This orgasm happened so suddenly and was so intense that I practically screamed.

As the first powerful spurt left my dick, Nadia’s weight forced my ass back down. And despite my extremely powerful climax, I felt Nadia’s orgasm hit her. The grip around my dick was almost painful but added such an extra dimension to it all, that I thought I had left my body.

Nadia dropped down on me, and as her pussy kept trying to squeeze my dick off, her body was limp and shook uncontrollably. Her “ooohhh… ooohhh… yesss… aaahhh…” in my ear pushed me through another wave. And although I had no more sperm left to give, I felt like I came again.

Nadia breathed raggedly, and as I felt her weight on top of me, I knew what she meant. We were so connected at that moment! Her contracting pussy and my twitching dick, combined with all the skin contact and sweat, made me feel like we were one.

I was still panting heavily, and so was Nadia. But it concerned me a little that she didn’t move at all.  Besides the movement of her pussy, of course. So I stroked her hair and softly whispered her name. This seemed to break the spell, and she started moving. She lifted her head and looked at me as if she was amazed to see me there.

“I was… holy moly!” she whispered and kissed me passionately on my mouth, grabbing my face with both hands.

I felt my dick deflate and slowly slide out of my sister’s slippery love tunnel. It flopped out unceremoniously, and some of my cum dripped out of her and onto my limp dick and pubes. Nadia kept kissing me, and I cupped her firm ass with both hands. This wasn’t a loving kiss but one that expressed our physical attraction to each other. After we broke the kiss, Nadia rolled off me and onto the mattress.

“We are really good at this sex thing, aren’t we?” I asked in the silence that followed.

“Oh boy! You can say that again! I could do this all day!”

“Uhm… what was that thing you did with your, uhm…”

“What do you mean?” she asked as she turned on her side to face me.

“You kept squeezing my… dick when you sat on top of me.”

“Oh that… I think I… I was almost constantly cumming. I didn’t know I could do that!”

“I’m jealous! You seemed to really be enjoying yourself,” I chuckled.

“Your, uhm, cock is amazing! It triggers something inside I can’t explain. Every time you move it in or out, it’s like a short circuit in my brain. Does that sound weird?” she asked as she lay her head on my chest and cupped my balls again.

“Nah… I think I get it.”

Nadia toyed gently with my balls as we were lost in our thoughts. I knew we had to get up sometime, but lying like this was just too lovely.

Nadia cleared her throat and softly said, “I liked this time better than our first…”

“Yeah. Me too. Way less depressing.”

“Guess you’re right. It’s too bad this will also be our last time for a while. I don’t think Mom and Dad will understand if we share a suspension pod on the way back.”

I laughed at that. I knew she was right. Our love for each other had to remain a secret between us. Maybe back on Earth, we could find some way to be together as much as possible, but we’d still have to be careful.

“I don’t think they’ll understand, no,” I smiled.

“But… I want to be with you, Ay! Why’s that so strange?”

“I want to spend the rest of my life with you and with no one else! We’ll have to find a way to make this work! And I know we will. But first, we need to get off this planet,” I said, feeling tears of frustration well up in my eyes.

Nadia moved over and kissed me tenderly on my lips. We shared a loving kiss for a couple of moments, savoring each other’s love.

“I need to pee,” Nadia giggled after we broke the kiss, “your stuff keeps leaking out.”

“Let’s get dressed and prepare to go outside, okay?”

She gave my balls a gentle squeeze, kissed me on my cheeks, and treated me with a fantastic view of her fine ass as she headed to the bathroom.


“See you on the other side,” I said as I entered the small change room.

The automatic system didn’t allow us to change together, so we each went into separate booths. We had cleaned and closed the room in the basement, and our bedroom was already being swept by the bots as we left it. We shut down all unneeded equipment, grabbed our bags, and headed out.

Our personal bags were in the garage’s airlock, so we could grab them later. After going through the decontamination and airlock cycle, I was outside first. My eyes immediately went to the sky, and there, right between the two moons, it was…

“That’s… that’s a big one,” Nadia said as she walked up next to me.

“It is! We’d never survive the impact. Not even if the shelter was fifty stories deep.”

“Let’s grab our bags,” Nadia said, and we headed over to the garage.

After we grabbed our bags, we walked over to the landing zone. We were about forty minutes early instead of the sixty we had planned for because Nadia had an issue with her HB-ICS undersuit. It didn’t recognize her at first, so we had to give it a hard reset. But we still had plenty of time to spare as we sat down on some rocks.

After a couple of minutes, Nadia said, “Well… this is boring as hell…”

“Too bad we can’t have sex out here,” I giggled, “That would definitely kill some time.”

A heartbeat later, I felt buzzing near my dick, and I boned up instantly. I glanced over at Nadia, who looked smug at me with her finger still on her wrist pad.

“It’s not the same,” I said and enabled the same thing on Nadia’s suit to get back at her.

“Ohh… No, not at all! Does feel good, though!” she smiled.

The stimulation around my dick was great, but I didn’t want to cum in my pants. So I looked at my sister and said, “Turn it off, please. I don’t want a mess inside my pants.”

The look on her face betrayed she hadn’t realized this. And as she switched it off, I opened the app on my wrist pad.

“Leave it on! I’m… ahhh… not the one making a mess.”

I shrugged and looked at her. That horny look I loved so much was back. The monitor app on my wrist showed she had an elevated heart rate, and her breathing was shallower than it should be. There was nothing to worry about yet, and if there was, this function would automatically disable itself.

“I love how your cock makes me feel filled up,” she said out of the blue.

“I… uhm…”

“It’s so thick! And so hard, it doesn’t… oohhh… bend at all. So when it rubs over that one… hmmm… special place inside, it’s…”

She looked deep into my eyes as she said this. I didn’t know what to say to this, so I smiled weakly at her and said, “Sorry??”

“Uh uh,” she said and shook her head, “Don’t be. It’s like a perfect… ahhh… fit!”

I watched in silence as my sister approached her orgasm. It was hot to watch her squirm and hear her pant over the radio. After a couple of moments, it was clear she was getting close. I’ve seen her cum enough by now to know this for sure. But when her eyes flew open, and the look on her face morphed into one of anger and frustration, I immediately knew what was going on.

“What the hell, Ay! Why did you turn it off?”

“I didn’t! I swear! I was just thinking how hot it is to watch you like this.”

She pressed some buttons on her wrist pad, but all she got was an annoying beep. She pressed the buttons more urgently, but her pad kept on beeping. I couldn’t suppress a giggle as she was fiddling and got more and more frustrated.

“Stop laughing, Dufus! I was almost there! And now it just stopped… Again!” she said with a hint of amusement in her voice.

“I think it’s a function they built in to get the colonists, you know… going… to populate the planet. It doesn’t help to push them over the edge.”

Nadia looked at me, and as the wheels turned inside her head, I could see the realization in her eyes.

“You think so?”

I shrugged and said, “Makes sense…”

“I guess you’re right! Didn’t think of it like that. I thought it was a useless feature, but now that you put it like this, it makes perfect sense.”

“Although I have to admit it’s a bit cruel.”

“Tell me about it! I was so close, and now I can’t do anything about it.”

“We can go back inside…” I chuckled.

“Yeah, right. And miss out on that one opportunity we’ve got to get out of here! No way.”

Even if she wanted to go back inside, I wouldn’t let her. It was a joke, but considering the situation, probably not my best one, so I decided to drop it. We waited in silence for a couple of minutes, with both of us looking at the approaching rock in the sky.

“It’s a pity, you know?” Nadia said after a while.

“What is?”

“That this beautiful place will be evaporated…”

“I thought you didn’t like it here?”

“I didn’t wanna leave Earth. That’s something different.”

“True. But what if-“

We both looked up at the approaching humming sound. There, still a tiny spot in the sky, a transport ship grew bigger with each passing second.

“They’re here!” Nadia exclaimed as she jumped up.

I got to my feet and had to swallow down a lump in my throat. They really came back for us. My head knew they would, but in my heart, I still had doubts. Nadia slammed her body into mine, and we hugged each other tightly. We made sure to step out of the way so the transport would have an unobstructed path to the landing spot. I almost bounced with joy as the ship landed. Behind the windows, Mom and Dad’s excited faces showed, and we waved excitedly at each other.

The moment the door opened and Mom and Dad came running out, Nadia and I sprinted toward them.

“Aidan! Nadia!” Mom shouted as we hugged in one big, family hug.

“We’re so sorry!” Dad started but was cut off immediately by Nadia.

“You’re here! We’re here! That’s what’s important,” she said.

I wouldn’t have any of that either, so I said, “The base is a mess. You did the right thing!”

“But Ethan…” Mom stammered.

“I know,” I said softly, “but there’s nothing any of us could do about it. It was a stupid accident.”

Mom smiled through her tears and gave me another firm hug. Dad was hugging Nadia, and I heard him sniff over the radio.

“Sir?” the pilot said nervously over the radio.

“Right! We need to go, guys. We’ll talk on the Zephyr.”

Nadia and I grabbed our bags and sat down in the transporter. About an hour later, we were greeted enthusiastically by the people aboard the Zephyr.

We were in the big garage that was now almost empty. There wasn’t a room big enough in the simulated gravity portion of the ship, so everyone had gathered in here. The downside of being weightless didn’t measure up to the chance of being together. It did strike me that the group was a lot smaller than back down on Aetheria. As some people came to talk to us and shake our hands, it turned out that everyone was worried sick about us. Since we lost a lot of people during the quake, people looked at our survival as a beacon of hope.

Dad took the microphone and thanked everyone for their help in our rescue. He specifically thanked the guy who came up with the idea of relaying the radio signal through the Terra site. After Dad was done talking, Jovii floated to the central spot and took the mic from him.

“Because of the effort Major Thom had to put in the rescue of his son and daughter, I was given the task of monitoring the asteroid. We decided to call it Moros, and we were able to track its course in more detail. And we’ve got news for you,” he said with a serious look on his face.

A lot of mumbling and excited whispers went through the crowd. I looked at Dad, who simply shrugged.

“Moros will enter Aetheria’s atmosphere, that we know for sure. But it won’t crash on the planet!”

“What!?” I heard myself ask as the crowd erupted with excited chatter.

Nadia looked wide-eyed at me and appeared just as confused as I was. Jovii lifted his hand for us to be quiet.

“Moros will probably ricochet off the atmosphere like a pebble on the water, and its course will change forever. But the fact that it’ll hit the atmosphere isn’t a bad thing. During this time, it’ll add significant heat to the planet, and judging by the composition of Moros, it’ll add a significant portion of oxygen and hydrogen to the planet’s atmosphere. You just don’t want to be down there when it hits.”

“What does that mean?” someone in the back shouted.

“We think it’ll save us at least two years of terraforming, probably three.”

“Oh wow!” Dad said excitedly.

“After our evasive maneuver is done, we’ll show the impact on the large screen here in the central hall.”

Turned out the calculations were correct. The external cameras managed to capture the impact beautifully. Everyone was holding their breath as Moros approached. When Moros entered the atmosphere, the whole planet got an eerie red glow. Nadia was standing next to me and squeezed my hand tightly as this happened. When Moros sort of bounced off the invisible band of air surrounding the planet, and it was clear it wouldn’t crash, the whole crowd cheered in excitement. The color of the atmosphere went back to normal quickly as the rock shot off into deep space.

People were celebrating, and I could see Mom and Dad were happy. They were constantly smiling and very affectionate toward each other. After a couple of moments of watching the celebrations, Nadia pulled me close, hugged me tightly, and gave me a quick peck on my lips.


After the excitement died down and the celebrations were done, we went to our cabin. We sat at the table and talked about the things that had happened. It turned out that Nadia and I had a walk in the park compared to what had happened at the main base.

Lots of injuries and missing people. Dad had to manage all that while worrying about his missing kids on a foreign planet in the meantime. We cried a lot about Ethan. This was actually the first time both Nadia and I allowed the thoughts about what had happened and of losing him to come to the forefront. And it hit us hard. But after Mom and Dad assured us we’d give him a proper funeral, we were able to give it a place. We agreed that we’d never forget him.

Dad told us that about half the people wanted to return to Earth. We also talked about this extensively, and despite everything that had happened, Nadia and I wanted to stay. Mom wasn’t convinced but said she couldn’t leave us on this planet, so they would also remain here.

It was getting late, and I had to suppress a moan, but Nadia saw me. She winked at me and surprised me when she asked, “Mom? Can Aidan and I sleep in one of the unoccupied cabins?”

“Uhm… I guess…” Mom said questioningly as she looked at Dad.

“We’ve been alone for so long now, and I think it’ll help me sleep when it’s just the two of us…” she said sweetly.

Dad shrugged and said, “I don’t see why not. The one next door where Seymour and Patty used to live is available.”

“You sure you don’t mind?” Nadia asked.

“Of course not, hon,” Mom said warmly.

“Come on, Dufus. Time to hit the sack.”

I followed my sister out of the room and into the next. I was at a loss for words and dumbfounded at how she had managed to do this. She knew how to play Mom and Dad like a fiddle and did it with excellence.

After the door closed behind us, Nadia lifted her shirt and unclasped her bra. She turned around and seductively said, “It’s time for you to fuck me, big brother.”

I wasn’t one to argue with that, and after another fantastic love-making session, we fell asleep in each other’s arms, Nadia’s hand firmly cupping my balls.

We were still alive and were going to make it count. Together.

The end

Copyright 2024 – Jason Crow
All rights reserved

Et semper post feliciter vixerunt

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Aetheria – Chapter 12

Aetheria
by
Jason Crow

Chapter 12 – Shelter

We were quiet as we walked down the stairs. Basement eight was the deepest one the base had, and it doubled as a bomb shelter slash panic room. Since no one knew what could happen, a shelter was mandatory when colonizing another planet. I didn’t think it would help us one bit when a colossal meteor would hit us, but it was the smartest thing to do other than get off the planet.

Nadia opened the door, and we went inside. I closed the door and pressed the button marked ‘seal,’ and lots of loud clicks and clunky sounds filled the room as a big wheel on the door turned. The wheel looked like one you’d find on an airlock in an old spaceship, and it was evident we were locked inside.

I looked around and was pleasantly surprised by how the room looked. It was big and had several separate rooms around it. We were standing in the main living area, but there were doors all around it. As we checked them out, we learned that most of them were bedrooms, but there was also a big kitchen and a control room.

“Maybe this room is still operational,” I pointed as Nadia walked up next to me.

“Let’s see.”

Nadia fiddled a bit with the computers, and after about a minute, she pulled up a screen with a countdown timer and looked worriedly at me. It didn’t take a genius to know what I was looking at.

The clock was currently at twenty-five hours, eight minutes, and thirty-two seconds. A little over a day…

“Well… shit!” I mumbled.

“You can say that again… And it has a possible impact percentage of seventy-nine percent.”

“That’s relatively low, isn’t it?”

“Still freaking high if you ask me.”

I sat down and felt utterly defeated. Nadia looked at me, and she looked even worse. We started talking about everything that had happened. Like, why did we even go to this remote planet in the first place? About how it threw everything it had at us in an attempt to kill us. What the odds of an earthquake followed by a destructive meteor were. We figured that the chances of winning the lottery twice in a row were probably higher.

The more we talked about it, the better I felt. I was with the person I loved most, and the fact that we were about to die didn’t even bother me that much anymore. I was with Nadia, and we were together. That was all that mattered.

“We need to find a way to use that antenna to contact the Zephyr. But I just don’t see a way to do it. We can’t possibly point it towards that ship, and It’s way too underpowered,” Nadia said after we were quiet for a couple of minutes.

“Then we need to think outside the box.”

“I’ve tried to do that ever since we got here, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t find a solution!”

She sounded very frustrated, and I couldn’t blame her. I felt exactly the same, although I realized I had started to give up. But I didn’t want the love of my life to die! And then and there, right at that moment, I found new energy to try and fix the problem. Nadia just couldn’t die! I simply wouldn’t allow that. I wrecked my brain for a couple of moments, and suddenly, an idea popped up. Two actually.

“We’ve still got plenty of time to go out, right?”

Nadia looked puzzled at me, pointed at the screen, and nodded.

“Look. We can’t write a message in the sand outside, right?”

“Yes. We talked about this. The rain will wash it away before we can finish it.”

“So… Morse code!” I said excitedly.

Nadia didn’t catch on, so I continued, “We place rocks outside. It’s not too much work, and we only need twelve rocks. Three short, which are three rocks. Then, three long, which are two rocks each. And then three rocks for the last three shorts. S.O.S.”

Nadia looked expressionless at me for a couple of moments and then mumbled, “That might work, you know? It’s a bit of a long shot, but why not? Are you okay with wearing an exo suit again?”

“I don’t see why not. The last time was an accident, but this is exactly what the suits are made for. So… no. Not a problem!”

“Bisque…”

“And there’s another option,” I said and paused dramatically, but when Nadia rolled her eyes, I said triumphantly,  “The water collection drones!”

Nadia shook her head, “I checked them. They can’t carry people, and there’s no life support on board. Not an option.”

“I know! But… hear me out. I saw buckets of paint in the hallway on the way up. We can paint text on one of them and then hope someone will read that when they board the ship to dump the water.”

“Another long shot because it’s a fully automated system, and people hardly ever come back there,” she said, and after a short pause, she continued, “But it’s better than nothing…”

“Let’s go! There’s still some daylight left, so we need to get going.”

I got into the exo suit, and I had to admit that it did feel a bit odd. But as I got to work, this feeling quickly disappeared.

As I was putting the rocks together, Nadia managed to redirect three of the water transport drones to shore. Telling them that they needed repairs was enough. After she had painted the text, ‘Aidan and Nadia still alive – send help!’ On each of them, they went back to their original task of gathering water and flying to the Zephyr.

“Now what?” Nadia asked after we were done.

“Dunno. I guess it’s best to go to the shelter and just wait.”

“Wait for what?”

“Don’t,” I said softly, feeling her fears, “we tried everything. They’ll come for us. And if not, that shelter might save our lives.”

“Tomorrow morning, we can actually see the meteor from here…” Nadia said, looking up.

“I hope to be off this planet by then.”


We headed back to the base and went into the shelter. After I sealed the door, Nadia grabbed a big toothpaste-like tube for each of us that contained our dinner. We didn’t need to heat it because when you unscrewed the cap, it warmed itself. We flopped down on the couch, where we squirted the gooey substance in our mouths.

“It tastes great!” Nadia said, surprised. I could see her actually lighten up a little.

“It does!”

After we finished our ‘dinner’, we sat on the couch opposite to each other. I was toying with my coms, and Nadia had picked up a magazine from the coffee table. I was so engrossed in my coms that I didn’t notice Nadia scooting over. She laid herself against me and sighed deeply.

“We are going to die, aren’t we?” she whispered.

“What!?” I replied loudly, “No! Of course not! We are goi-“

“Stop it, Ay! Don’t. Just… don’t. We are not going to make it, and you know it.”

“But…” I half-heartedly tried.

But I knew she was right. Deep down, I knew this for a while but was too afraid to admit it to myself. Nadia just had the guts to say it out loud. I saw a tear roll down her cheek, and I felt my eyes water. The inconvenient truth was that we weren’t going to survive this.

“I… I don’t wanna die, but now that it’s, you know…, I’m glad I’m with you,” Nadia said between soft sniffs.

I wiped a tear from the corner of my eye, swallowed a lump in my throat away, and nodded.

“I love you…” I whispered as it felt like the only thing to say at that moment.

Nadia moved up and kissed me tenderly on my cheek. After that, she whispered a soft but heartfelt “I love you so much!” in my ear.

I sat there thinking about all the things I still wanted to do but were never going to happen. I would miss out on so many things! I’d never fly my own spaceship, never be a systems engineer, never have children, and I’d die without having… Oh wow! We’d both die as virgins.

Nadia shifted next to me, and I hesitated. Was this the right moment to bring this up? Why was this on top of my mind at this moment? Shouldn’t we only be concerned about saving our lives? I was SO confused.

“Ay?” Nadia asked softly.

“Sup?” I asked and kissed her on her head.

“I… will you, I mean…” she cleared her throat, “will you please have sex with me?”

I was stunned by her question. How did she know I wanted this, too? Why did she have the courage to ask where I didn’t?

“I… I was…” I stammered, “Nevermind! Yes! I would absolutely love to!”

“Really?” Nadia asked excitedly.

“Of course! I love you, and everything we have done so far is amazing! So why die as virgins?”

“You’re so romantic,” she chuckled.

Neither of us moved for a few moments. I felt my dick throb in my pants from anticipation and decided we needed to do this. So, I got to my feet, and as Nadia eyed the tent in my pants, I offered her my hand. She grabbed it, and I pulled her to her feet.

I didn’t know why, but it felt right to lift her from her feet and carry her in my arms. As I did this, she immediately wrapped her arms around my neck and laid her head on my shoulder.

She was heavier than I anticipated, so I was glad it was just a short walk to the bedroom. I lay her gently on the bed and looked at her. The look on her face was a mix of sadness, eagerness, anticipation, and excitement.

Before I could do anything, she sat up and started working on the button and zipper of my pants. It wasn’t rushed or extreme lust that drove her. She was just getting me ready by undressing me. As my pants slid down my hips, I pulled up my shirt.

I was now standing in front of my sister in just my tented black boxers. Nadia didn’t know what to do next, so I reached down and pulled at her shirt. She caught on and lifted her arms to help me. By now, she knew I was terrible at bras, so as I dropped her shirt, she quickly unclasped her bra and dropped it on the floor.

I moved myself down, kissed her tenderly on her lips, and pressed softly against her upper body. Nadia knew what I meant. She lay back down on the bed and looked at me. Her whole body language oozed trust, and she looked magnificent, lying there topless with her nipples hard as erasers.

I kneeled on the bed with one knee and opened her pants. As I pulled at the legs, she shimmied her hips sexily, and her pants came off quickly enough. She smiled coyly at me as I hooked my trembling fingers in the waistband of her white cotton panties.

I stood back up and looked down at my now-naked sister. I was freaking out about what we were going to do, but seeing how she looked at me with a warm but nervous smile, calmed me down considerably.  

I unceremoniously dropped my boxers, and my boner wiggled in front of me as I got back on the bed between my sister’s spread legs. I lay my body down on top of hers but made sure my dick was nowhere near her pussy. It was a bit awkward like this, but because this was our first time, I didn’t want to rush things.

My face was inches from hers, and we looked deep into each other’s eyes. Nadia wrapped her arms around my body and pulled me closer. This meant my dick now lay on top of her pussy, but she didn’t seem to mind one bit and even moaned softly when we touched.

I moved my face down and kissed her deeply. Nadia’s hands roamed all over my back, and her soft touch sent shivers down my spine. After kissing like this for a while, we broke it and opened our eyes. This was it! We didn’t need words or anything. We simply knew what to do and what the other one wanted.

I pulled my ass back a bit, and my dick dropped between her legs. I reached between our bodies, grabbed my dick by its base, and pressed my dickhead against my sister’s opening. The tip slid in a tiny bit, and her pussy lips wrapped around it and kept my throbbing member in place.

“I love you, Ay!” Nadia whispered.

I pushed my hips forward and felt myself slide slowly into the most wonderful place ever. The slick, velvety sleeve surrounding my dick was like nothing I could ever imagine.

We kept looking at each other as I entered my sister. Slowly but steadily, more and more of my dick was surrounded by her warm, soft skin. Nadia’s look lost her focus a few times, and her soft, almost whimpering moans urged me on. I had expected some resistance, But after what seemed like forever, I had penetrated my sister completely.

My balls rested against her underside, and my pubes pressed against hers. I even felt them tickle a bit. I lay completely still, unsure what to do next.

“Oh… wow!!” Nadia whispered, “This is…”

A tear formed in the corner of her eye. I was afraid I was hurting her, but a barely noticeable smile on her lips told me this was something different.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, still a bit worried.

“It’s… we are going to die. And here we are, doing something we should’ve done a long time ago! I… I love you so much, Ay!”

“I… I love you too! I wish we had more time together.”

“Me too. Let’s just enjoy the time we have left, okay?” Nadia said and moved her hands on top of my ass to urge me on.

I didn’t need any more encouragement. I knew what I had to do, and my instinct took over. I started pulling back, and a tingle shot through me as I did. Nadia hissed loudly and arched her back.

“Did I hurt you?” I asked and stopped moving altogether.

“No, no! It’s bisque… keep going, please!”

So, I pulled back further. I didn’t want to pull out too far and leave my sister’s pussy, so after a few moments of pulling out, I pushed back in. I heard myself moan as the feeling in and around my dick intensified. Nadia also groaned as I pressed my pubic bone against hers.

I pulled out again, but this time, I pulled out too far. My dick slipped out, and Nadia looked almost pleadingly at me. I managed to get back in with just a slight movement of my hips and pushed in swiftly.

Nadia and I moaned simultaneously as I pressed hard against her again. I pulled out again and pushed back in without issues. Out and in again. And again.

“Ohhh… yesss…” Nadia hissed.

I was so focused on making my sister feel good that I almost didn’t notice the tear rolling down my cheek. It was weird feeling sad, excited, and horny at the same time. I didn’t want to lose my sister. I wanted us to have a life together. But here we were, expressing our love and devotion to each other for the first and last time in our young lives. It was a tear of sadness and happiness at the same time.

My hands were beside her head as my body lay entirely on top of hers. This way, I could feel all of my twin sister’s body as we lost our virginities to each other. Nadia’s hands left the top of my ass, and each of them snuggled into mine. Our fingers interlocked, and as I looked into her eyes, I realized I had never felt closer to another person in my life.

But it didn’t take long to just focus on the fantastic feelings on my dick. Nadia already had the telltale signs of her approaching orgasm, and I felt the pressure build between my balls and butthole. I was thrusting in and out of my sister at a steady pace. I had only slipped out once and knew now exactly how far I could pull back. I liked long and steady in and out thrusts, as opposed to the short and rapid ones I tried briefly.

“Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!” Nadia panted.

I knew she was in the endzone now. Our hands left each other, and she wrapped her arms around my upper body. They squeezed me tight, and she wrapped her legs around my lower body, pushing me in even deeper that way.

But I was quickly approaching the point of no return myself. I wanted my sister to have the best first time I could possibly give her, but I started losing control myself. I slammed harder into her with every thrust. And even though my ass didn’t have much room to move anymore, I managed to make them count.

My entire groin tingled intensely, and just when I thought I was going to cum, Nadia groaned, and her body started convulsing. She slammed her eyes shut, and her mouth formed a perfect ‘O’.

Despite my internal promise to give her the best orgasm she ever had, my own urges took over. I kept pistoning in and out at the same pace and tried to stay ahead of the approaching tidal wave my orgasm was going to be.

As Nadia came, the feeling around my dick became almost unbearably amazing. Her moist, soft, and squishy pussy was squeezing and massaging my dick in such a way that I just couldn’t control myself anymore. With one last powerful thrust, I slammed deep into my sister.

My balls pulled up, and every part between my ass and the tip of my dick felt like it was on fire and frozen solid at the same time.

“Aaanngghh!!” I grunted as the first spurt of cum left my dick.

Nadia hugged me even tighter as the cum left my body and coated my sister’s insides. Her mouth was close to my ear this way, and her soft, “ohh yeah… I feel your…aaahh” gave me goosebumps all over.

My dick was still twitching, but no more cum came out. Every time it twitched, Nadia’s pussy gripped it firmly, which caused my dick to twitch again. After this happened a few times, we giggled. As I regained my breath, I moved my dick in and out one last time. I lifted my head as I did this, and we looked intensely at each other. I leaned in, and we kissed tenderly before I reluctantly pulled out and lay down next to my sister.

Immediately, she cuddled up and lay her head on my chest. I was so overwhelmed by my first time that I didn’t know what to say or do. I wasn’t a virgin anymore, but I wasn’t proud or excited about it.

“Thank you,” Nadia said softly.

“No! Thank you!” I replied, feeling weird about being thanked for having sex.

“Can we do this when… you know… ‘IT’ hits us?”

“Good plan! We’ll go out with a bang,” I said seriously.

“Do you think it’ll hurt much? Dying, I mean…”

“Dunno. If you look clinically at it, I don’t think so. When the meteor hits, the air will become so hot it’ll actually turn into a fireball. That’ll vaporize us instantly. And if, by some miracle, we’re out of the fireball zone, the debris flying around will be enough to crush us within a millisecond.”

“You thought it through, didn’t you?”

“Yeah. I did. I don’t want you to suffer. I even considered suicide by swallowing pills or something. But the meteor will kill us way faster, I reckon.”

Nadia sniffed, pressed herself tighter against me, and said in a heartbreaking tone, “I don’t wanna die, Ay!”

Tears flowed down my cheeks as I tried comforting her. But the whole concept of our upcoming death was also too much for me. We both lay there crying our eyes out and trying to find some comfort in each other. 

“We’ve still got a little over fourteen hours left to live. I don’t wanna sleep the rest of my life away, but I’m tired. Can we nap for a while?” Nadia asked after the tears dried out.

“Sure thing. Computer! Please wake us in four hours,” I said.

Nadia got comfy beside me, moved her hand down to cup my balls, and whispered, “I love you, Ay.”

After a couple of minutes, her breathing deepened. A few minutes after that, I drifted off into a dreamless sleep.


‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’

The sound of annoying beeps pulled me back to the land of the living. I blinked a few times, and it took me a couple of seconds to realize where I was. Nadia was lying against me, and her hand was still cupping my balls.

I wasn’t woken by the alarm I set. These were different beeps, and I hadn’t heard those before. As I was waking up, Nadia stirred next to me.

“Wh… whsdr!?” she grumbled.

“I think there’s something wrong,” I said after clearing my throat.

Nadia has always been quicker at waking up than I was. She let go of my balls, rubbed her eyes, and got to her feet. She gave me just enough time to scan her ass and boobs before she headed over to the control panel in the other room.

I quickly got up and followed her. On the monitoring screen, it was clear that something was wrong with the Terra site. The site itself didn’t seem offline, but all the telemetry readouts were gone.

“Nadia pressed some buttons, opened up a couple of other windows on the computer, and mumbled a soft, “What the..”

“What’s wrong?”

“Dunno. I can’t explain it. Everything is up and running. There’s just no more telemetric data coming our way.”

“Is it broken?”

“That’s what’s so weird. There’s still a constant data stream, but the computer can’t make any sense of that data.”

Nadia fiddled some more on the computer. I tried to figure out what she was doing, but this was what she was trained for back on Earth. Just like I was prepared for all sorts of outdoor activities. Nadia obviously knew what she was doing, and I pulled up a chair for her to sit on.

“Thanks,” she said as she sat down, never taking her eyes off the screen.

I got us a drink, sat down next to her, and watched her do her magic. I was glad the beeps had stopped, but other than that, I thought it was a waste of time. Why try to save the Terra site when it would be destroyed anyway in a couple of hours? But Nadia was busy, and it took her mind off the big rock that would kill us, so I figured it was good. And I liked watching my naked sister, and I had plenty of opportunities now.

About half an hour later, I figured it was enough. But right when I wanted to open my mouth, Nadia whispered, “That’s it!”

I perked up, sat up straight, and asked, “What?”

“One sec.”

I was annoyed about being kept in the dark, but I knew her too well to say something. She wanted to double-check this.

She turned her chair to look at me, and with a smile on her face, she said, “I think we’ve got a way to communicate with the Zephyr!”

“No way! How?”

“I’ve analyzed the data stream coming in, and it’s the source code for an application. I’m compiling it now to see what it does.”

“But… how?” I asked again, missing the big picture here.

“Okay. I think it’s like this. Bear with me. The Zephyr receives information from the terra site, so they know how the planet is doing before landing or sending specific equipment from Earth.”

“Okay…”

“This is a very, very narrow band and only suitable for sending text in small pieces. But that’s enough since we only need that telemetry data, and not even in real-time. I think someone at the Zephyr reversed the flow and reprogrammed the telemetry system so it can relay its communications to us.”

“Oh wow!” I said, realizing my mouth was open.

“Pretty clever, yeah,” Nadia said and turned to face her monitor as the progress bar on her screen was approaching 100%.

“Now what?” I asked anxiously.

“I’ll see if I can run the program. I don’t have a clue what it is. It might also just be a simple document wishing us good luck.”

“No!”

“I’m kidding,” she chuckled. And after a short pause, she continued, “But it can be. Although I find it hard to believe that they would put this much effort into it.”

“Let’s see,” I said as I toyed nervously with a couple of my pubes.

Nadia’s eyes briefly went to my fiddling fingers, and the corners of her mouth moved slightly upward. It was barely there, but I noticed. I didn’t care at that moment because I just had to know what the application was all about.

“It’s done!” Nadia said and started clicking and typing away.

I saw her moving some files around, edit a couple of text files, and finally, she opened the freshly compiled application.

“It’s a chat app!” she said excitedly.

I looked at the screen where a clunky and rudimentary chat app was showing. The top half of the screen was for the other side, and in the bottom half, we could type our text.

“Type something!” I exclaimed, “Let them know we’re here.”

“What should I type?” Nadia asked and looked very indecisive.

“Anything,” I answered, trying to keep calm.

“You do it,” Nadia said as she moved the keyboard my way.

I immediately started typing. If this was what we thought it was, this was our only and final option.

Hello?

I expected I had to wait a while for a response, but less than two seconds later, a response showed up.

Hello! Aidan and Nadia?

Yes! We’re still on Aetheria.

We know! We saw your Morse code. Your parents are very worried about you. How are you?

We’re okay. We survived the quake and lived inside the remote site for a while, expecting the main base to come and rescue us.

I see. We couldn’t do that. We thought you were dead. We simply didn’t have the time, people, or equipment to go and check.

I know. We saw how the main base is doing.

It took a while for another response. Nadia and I looked at each other, and I shrugged.

“Ask if they know more about the meteor,” she said.

I thought for a moment, nodded, and held my fingers above the keyboard. But before I could type anything, the Zephyr started typing again.

Your father and mother are here and want to say hello.

Hi mom and dad! Surprise!

Nadia giggled next to me and said, “You can’t say that! They were worried sick!”

The undertone in her voice was one of amusement, so I said, “Of course I can! What are they gonna do? Ground me?”

I turned my attention back to the monitor. Two lines were there that almost made me tear up.

They say they love you. And they’re sorry.

Sorry for what?

Sorry for leaving you behind.

Don’t be sorry! You did the only logical thing!! Really! It’s NOT YOUR FAULT!

Nadia placed a hand on my shoulder and gently squeezed it. I knew she felt the same about this. They thought we were dead, had one option to leave the planet, and gave it their all to find us from up there. But most of all, they never gave up.

They thank you for saying that.

And we mean it. How about that meteor? What’s the status? We kind of don’t wanna die, you know?

The meteor is still coming our way. In approximately 10 hours, it’s here.

Shoot!

Yes. But there’s been a development. Due to the gravitational pull of one of the other planets, its path had a tiny correction. It’s still going to be too close to call, but it might miss us.

And now what?

Now that we’ve established contact with you guys, we’re going to make some necessary course corrections to get back into low orbit. Then we can send down a transport to pick you up.

REALLY??

Yes, really. But during this time, we’ll have to go offline again, unfortunately. This radio won’t work in low orbit.

How much time?

It’ll take us roughly four hours to complete the maneuver. Then another thirty minutes for the transport.

We’ll make sure we’re outside near the landing zone.

That would be great because the inside dock is broken. And we don’t have very much time to spare because we need to get out of the way so the meteor or the impact on the planet won’t hit us.

Don’t worry. We’ll be ready.

Perfect! We’re starting the maneuver in five minutes. Anything else?

No! Glad you’re coming for us!

See you in a couple of hours then. Be ready! Zephyr out.

“OH MY GOD!!!” Nadia shouted and slammed her body into mine to give me the tightest hug known to men.

Tears were flowing down my cheeks from excitement and joy. When Nadia looked at me, she was also crying. But these were good tears! Without saying anything, we moved in close, and kissed each other firmly, our wet faces pressed together.

“We’re going to live, Ay!”

“Yeah… we’re being rescued thanks to you!”

“Don’t be silly!” Nadia said sternly, “If you didn’t put those rocks out there-“

“If you weren’t this smart to decipher that data stream, we’d be hopelessly lost,” I interrupted.

“Stop saying that!! WE did it. You and me! We! Together.”

I didn’t want to hear it, but when she said it, I knew she was right. We had both played our parts in this. I decided to drop it and to change the subject.

“So… Do we need to prepare anything? Should we go outside already, just to be sure?”

“Nah. We’ll only need our suits. Maybe grab some clothes and other personal stuff from our room?”

“Good idea,” I said, “I’d say we’ve got about three and a half hours to kill before we head out, right? I reckon we better be outside too early rather than too late, right?”

“Yeah. It is better to wait outside for an hour than miss the ride because of a stupid error like a leaking suit or something. With an hour to spare, we’ve got time to fix it.”

“Bisque!”

Nadia started putting on her clothes. This reversed striptease in front of me never got old, and I stalled with putting on my own clothes just so I could watch this.

As she pulled down her shirt, hiding her little black bra from view, I started putting on my clothes. I made a little show of adjusting my chubbed-up dick inside my boxers as Nadia watched intensely what I was doing. I wasn’t an expert at this. Far from it, actually! But I felt a tension in the air I couldn’t quite place.

“Ready?” I asked as I held my finger above the button that opened the door.

End of chapter 12

Copyright 2024 – Jason Crow
All rights reserved

Tandem res suspiciunt. Salus prope est

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Aetheria – Chapter 11

Aetheria
by
Jason Crow

Chapter 11 – The News

“Acquiring signal…” and ten seconds later, the text, “Sending ping…” showed up on the radio’s control screen. This repeated every thirty seconds.

“Just a few more minutes, I guess,” I said to Nadia, who sat next to me.

My eyes roamed to her bare chest every now and then. Even though I saw her boobs almost constantly now, my eyes were still drawn to them every time I thought she wouldn’t notice me looking.

“Takes longer than I thought,” Nadia said.

She had logged on to another system and was browsing around on it. I noticed her going through the schematics of the suits, and on another window, she had some information about the med pods.

“Yeah. Usually, it’s a lot faster.”

“Do you think something’s wrong?” Nadia asked worriedly after a couple of moments.

“I… I honestly don’t know.”

“What if we’re the only humans left?”

“We’re not. And we can always try to contact the Zephyr. There’s still a skeleton crew on it.”

“But we need the main base’s radio to contact them, don’t we?”

“Yes…” I replied softly.

“But what if there’s no-“

“Don’t think like that. We’ll work something out if we have to,” I interrupted her.

“I’m not saying,”

At that moment, the screen showed, “Connection acquired. Securing channels.”

“YES!!” we simultaneously exclaimed.

“Data flow starting. Lemme check the systems,” Nadia said.

I looked over her shoulder and quickly realized it wasn’t good. It took us a while, but it was clear that the reason the connection took so long to start was that our dish had to failover to the tertiary connection. This could only mean the primary and backup radios were offline.

“Do you know why the primary radio is offline,” I asked cautiously after a while.

“Yes. I think I do. Look.”

Nadia opened a 3D model of the main base. The middle part, where the central hall and command center were located, was collapsed. The left part of the base showed some damage but was mostly still intact. The right side, where most of the sleeping and residential chambers were, looked unharmed.

“This is a generated model based on the CPU’s information. Looks like they suffered a catastrophic failure after the quake,” Nadia said softly.

“Well… shit!” I said, feeling bummed out.

“I’m trying to retrieve the logs, but the data is too scrambled. I tried all error corrections there are, but I can’t see anything useful.”

“So… we don’t know if they’re still inside, went into some shelter, or left?”

“No. As far as I can tell, it could be all three of these options.”

I thought about it for a moment. What should we do? What if Mom and Dad were in there? What if they were trapped? And after a moment, the realization hit… what if we were really only the last two people left?

Nadia slouched back into her chair and looked defeated. I felt the same as she looked, but I knew we had to move forward. Try to find out what happened and act on that.

I cleared my throat and said, “We need to go over there and check it out.”

“I know,” Nadia sighed, “but what if…”

“We don’t know anything,” I interrupted her, “and besides… not knowing is even worse than knowing what happened. Even when… well, you know…”

“You’re right. I know you’re right! But I wasn’t expecting anything this bad. And seeing the simulation about the base makes me… sad, I guess.”

I moved over to give Nadia a firm hug, which she eagerly returned. As I gently tried to break it after a short while, she pulled me close and hugged me even tighter.

“We’ll work it out. I promise!” I whispered in her ear.

“I know. And I’m glad you’re with me. I wouldn’t know what to do without you,” Nadia said as we broke the hug.

“All right! First things first. How do we get there?” I asked and looked at the monitors. 

“Good question,” she said.

Nadia looked thoughtfully at me. She turned her chair and faced her computer. She typed frantically, scrolled around, and nodded a few times. I felt useless but knew this was precisely what Nadia was good at, so I let her do her thing.

After a while, she said, “I think we’ve got three options. First, the rover. But we need to take that long detour because of…”

“I know…”

“Second, now that the coms are back, we can also use the low-altitude cruiser.”

“Good one! Didn’t think of that!” I said, “We can’t fly it, but it can fly on its own with the beaconing system back online.”

“Right. It’ll be quick, but we’d also need to recharge that old equipment for almost an entire day. But, I don’t think either the rover or the cruiser are our best options. We won’t know what we’ll find, so we need to be able to return here if needed.”

“Don’t we have enough daylight for a return trip in the rover?”

“It’ll be tight. And that’s without the time we need to check the main base.”

“Hmm. And the third option?”

“I saw a couple of dirtbikes in the garage. Those are fast, so we don’t need the detour, and we can go back and forth twice on a single charge. We just can’t take any big parts with us. We’ve only got our backpacks and the small storage compartments for the stuff we wanna take with us.”

I was genuinely impressed. This was a great idea! But then a thought struck. I couldn’t drive a dirt bike with my hands still in the braces.

Nadia must have seen my reaction because she said, “You can ride with me. Or…”

“Or what?”

“Those purple lights? I checked what they mean.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. According to this,” she said and opened up a window on her computer to show me, “it’s the final stage of recovery. The active reconstruction of the nerves and bones is completed, and now it’s just a precaution to stop your fingers from moving.”

“Why? If it’s cured, it’s cured, right?”

“There are known cases where patients lost the feeling in their hand. If that happens, it means an invasive surgery and at least six weeks of recovery. So that’s why those braces are on the safe side by default.”

“Well… shit!” I said.

“We can take off the braces. It’s just… a bit of a risk.”

How big is that risk?” I asked, feeling apprehensive about it. But the idea of regaining the use of my fingers was very appealing.

“A little less than five percent.”

I let this sink in for a moment. Five percent is pretty high. One in every twenty people. But this would make our trip a lot easier.

“I think it’s a risk worth taking, don’t you think?” I said.

“They’re your hands. So, I’ll leave it up to you, but it makes the trip to the main base a lot easier. And we managed just fine in here without the use of your hands, so I think we can also last six weeks if we have to.”

“I think we should take them off tomorrow before we head out. And you’re right. We did manage in here because of you.”

“Because of us,” Nadia said sternly, with an emphasis on ‘us’. And a moment later, she blushed and said, “But I DID like some things about helping you…”

“Yeah… me too. But that doesn’t have to stop,” I said, smiling broadly.

“Bisque…”

We talked about our plans for tomorrow. In the morning, my braces would come off, and we’d grab the two backpacks we were going to prepare this evening. Nadia had already checked the status of the bikes from her computer, and five of them were fully charged, so there was no problem there.

We’d head out early so we could use most of the available daylight. Our goal was to enter the main base through the emergency exit at the back of the compound. This exit/entrance was located in the section where the living quarters were. We’d have the best chance to enter the base there and see if the quarters were occupied.

After we made our plans, I helped Nadia with the backpacks. Although helping is kind of a stretch. I pointed out things she could put in there. We also prepared the suits for tomorrow and made sure everything was in working order.

As we entered the bedroom, Nadia went to the toilet. I crawled into bed, unsure what we’d do next. I really liked what we did so far and wanted nothing more than to do sexy stuff with my sister. But I just wasn’t in the mood at the moment. The tension about the trip and what we’d find tomorrow was at the top of my mind. Doing sexy stuff simply wasn’t.

Nadia looked all serious as she came out of the bathroom. Checking out her naked body never got old, and since Nadia didn’t seem to mind, I let my eyes roam. They went from her small boobs, over her tight belly, down to her small patch of pubes above her lovely slit, and ended up on her sweet ass as she lifted the covers to get in.

She immediately cuddled up to me, and as I was thinking about how I’d probably still join her with the sexy stuff if she’d started it, Nadia cleared her throat.

“Let’s just cuddle, okay?” she asked softly.

“Bisque…”

“I’m scared, Ay”, she said after a few minutes of silence.

“Me too. But as long as we’re together, I know we’ll be fine!”

“That sounds corny…” Nadia chuckled.

I also chuckled and had to admit it sounded really corny indeed. Nadia moved her hand down and cupped my balls.

“I just wanna hold you. Do you mind?”

“Of course not. Feels nice.”

She relaxed her hand and arm, and it was clear she had settled in for the night. I liked how her hand on my balls felt. And despite her thumb on the base of my dick and hand cupping my balls, I didn’t bone up. It was just an extremely lovely way to cuddle like this.

“I hope I can sleep,” Nadia softly said.

I just nodded and let tomorrow’s plans pass through my head again to make sure we weren’t overlooking something. After a couple of minutes, I heard Nadia’s breathing deepen and smiled inwardly.


“Ready?” Nadia asked as her hand hovered over the med pod’s computer panel.

I nodded and looked at my braces. A second later, a loud beep sounded, and the lights turned green. I felt a slight tingle in my wrists, and the braces opened. Nadia took them and laid them inside the med pod.

I tried wiggling my fingers and was glad to see them move. It didn’t hurt at all, and when Nadia brushed her fingers over the back of my hand, I felt them move.

“That’s some good news. According to that article I read, you’re not out of the woods yet. The numbness can still happen, but this is definitely a good start.”

“Bisque! Let’s grab the backpacks and head downstairs,” I said.

In the central control room, Nadia set the base to hibernation mode. This way, we could always return, and the base would continue to operate. After everything checked out, we grabbed the backpacks.

“It’ll be weird wearing clothes again,” I said as we approached the inner airlock.

“Yeah… but at least now I won’t be hypnotized all the time by your swaying dick anymore,” Nadia chuckled.

We both laughed at that and entered the first airlock. After we suited up and went through the second airlock, we headed over to the bikes. The bikes were about six feet long and about three feet high.

They weren’t anything like the vintage dirtbikes we saw in the movies. These wheels were smaller, and the tires were a lot bigger. They had the same tractor-like look as the tires on the rover and were as high as my hip. With the ten-inch width, they had loads of grip on rough terrain.

Under the big seat of the bike, there was a storage compartment. We placed the backpacks in there. We also checked the spare oxygen tanks, and after each of them hissed loudly after we opened the valves, we knew we were ready to go.

I mounted my bike, and the front and back wheels moved toward each other. The whole motorcycle rose higher, and my feet were now about two feet from the ground. This way, we had both excellent suspension and enough clearance to drive over almost every piece of terrain.

I rotated the throttle at the handlebars and drove toward the control panel of the garage door. I glanced over at Nadia, and she simply nodded. I pressed the button, and the door opened.

“Coms check.”

“Coms okay,” Nadia replied, “I’ll be right behind you.”

The rain wasn’t that heavy today, and the ground wasn’t muddy at all, so we made good progress. The AR navigation system in my helmet projected the ideal path to drive, and we were at our crash site in no time.

I glanced at the rock that killed our brother and was glad there were no signs of his body. The confrontation of his accident was bad enough as it was. But I didn’t want to dwell on it, so I drove toward the small opening between the canyon wall and the massive boulder in the middle of the road. It was a tight fit, but we could pass through it with our bikes without any significant problems.

“You okay?” I asked after we both passed through.

“Yeah. But it’s… you know?”

Yeah. But… we… you know, need to keep going. So, let’s roll.”

The electric engines hummed softly as we pulled away. As we drove through the canyon, the only signs that we were here before were the lights beside the road. The rain had washed away all other evidence. We had to drive around a couple more fallen rocks, but other than that, the trip through the canyon was uneventful.

After we had left the canyon behind us, it was smooth sailing toward the main base. No more fallen rocks or rugged terrain. Nadia pulled up next to me, and we drove next to each other for a while.

“If I wasn’t this worried about Mom and Dad, I’d say it’s a beautiful planet,” Nadia said.

“It sure is.”

We approached the top of a small hill, and I knew we had to be close to the base by now. But when I saw it appear in the distance, I was shocked by how it looked.

It was still a bit too far away to see much detail, but what I could see from here was that the 3D model was pretty accurate about the damage.

“Oh wow,” Nadia said as she stopped next to me.

We stood there for a couple of minutes, and I felt an incredible urge to check out the damage. Maybe there were still people inside!

“Come on,” I said, turning the gas handle fully open with rocks shooting away from under my tires.

As we came closer, I felt my stomach tighten. This was bad. The middle part of the base had collapsed completely, and the part where the labs and workshops were located was also damaged. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the central hub, but still.

“At least the airlock is still functional,” I said as I stepped off my bike and assessed the damage to the structure of the living quarters.

I looked at my sister as she grabbed her backpack. The look on her face showed it all. She was just as scared as I was, but I knew I couldn’t show it. I needed to be strong, but this wasn’t easy. I was so worried about what we’d find in there that I almost shitted myself.

“Grab the oxygen tank. We need to wear our masks inside, just to be safe.”

Nadia didn’t say anything but grabbed her stuff and stood next to me. After I grabbed my backpack and oxygen tank, we headed to the airlock.

“See you on the other side,” Nadia said and entered the airlock first.

As I entered the changing room, a hatch opened, and a bot appeared. It drove to the center of the room. Once there, it opened, and the clothes I took off when we left hung inside that bot.

A couple of minutes later, we stood, fully dressed in our own clothes, inside the living part of the main base. We both were wearing our oxygen masks, just to be sure.

This part of the base didn’t look too damaged. There wasn’t an alarm sounding, the ceiling hadn’t collapsed, no loud hisses of venting steam pipes, nothing like you’d see in the movies. There was just an eerie quietness around us.

Usually, people were walking and talking in this part of the building. But now, it was just the two of us.

“HELLO!?” I shouted, followed by an even louder, “ANYONE IN HERE?!”

We both yelled a couple of times, but after no one reacted, we stopped shouting and focused on other things. Nadia checked a control panel on the wall. After a few moments, she said, “The air seems okay, and there are no signs of a breach anywhere.”

“That must mean the automatic inner seals did their job. Let’s see if there’s a way left to go to the central control room.”

We both enabled our internal nav system. I was notified immediately that there wasn’t a standard route to that destination, and a loud, annoying beep sounded in my ear. But Nadia kept fiddling, and after a couple of moments, she said, “There might be a way, but I’m not sure if it’s still there.”

“Just lead the way, and we’ll see.”

We walked through parts of the base I’d never been to before. But eventually, we rounded a corner and had to stop at a glass door. Through the door, we saw the devastation of the central part of the base. The entire primary structure was gone.

The central hub where we had our first briefing, the command module, the garage, storage… everything was gone!

“This is bad…” I said softly.

“Do you think Dad was in the command center when it… happened?”

“Dunno. Let’s check their room. Maybe we’ll find something there. There’s nothing left on this side anyway.”

I entered my parent’s room as a destination in my nav, and before we knew it, we were standing in front of their door. I hesitated momentarily but eventually swiped my wrist over the lock pad. After a soft beep, the door slid open, and I walked in. Nadia decided to wait in the hallway, and I couldn’t blame her. We had no idea what to expect here. But as I looked around, nothing was shocking in there, so I called that she could come in.

She quickly looked around and whispered, “They’re gone…”

I didn’t want to hear this. Our parents wouldn’t abandon us. So, with a bit of fire in my voice, I said, “No, they’re not! They’re probably hiding-“

She interrupted me and pointed at the closet, “Their clothes are gone.”

Damnit! She was right! The closet door was open, and I could see the empty shelves. Why did they leave? What happened here? That’s when I noticed the holo cube on the main table. The small, blinking green light got my attention.

“Someone left a message,” I said as I hovered my finger above the small cube.

“Well?” Nadia said with an anxious look on her face.

I pressed the cube, and after it scanned my fingertips, it buzzed. In front of the table, a holographic image of our mom appeared. In the background, we could hear Dad say, “Okay, go!”

She nodded and looked directly at the cube, something we’ve told her dozens of times not to do and pretend people are standing around you. Mom never seemed to learn, and I felt stupid for thinking about something this unimportant at this moment.

“Aidan? Nadia? I know you’re still alive, and I just know you’ll see this! Listen very carefully because we don’t have much time to explain.”

Mom sniffed and blew her nose. She cleared her throat, looked at her feet, and was clearly trying to keep her act together. She was shifting her weight from left to right, took a deep breath, and continued.

“We constantly kept an eye on your sensors from here. I wanted to make sure that everything went well, so we had a monitor session open in here… Right before we got the quake announcement, Ethan’s sensors went offline. And that’s when the quake hit us. Thank God your father was in here with me when the quake hit. Otherwise, he’d also be…” Mom stopped talking, and we heard her choke up.

“Take a breath, Hon,” we heard Dad say.

Mom sighed deeply again and continued, “After the quake, there was a blind panic in here. Your father and I had to keep checking the monitors and sensors ourselves from the control panel in our room. When the monitor had power again, we noticed your sensors and the rover were offline. It was hard to reach people who knew all about these sensors, but we were told your rover must’ve been crushed or something. So, I called the technician who had talked to…”

“Uhm… a little faster, Hon,” Dad said in the background.

“Yes. Long story short… the Zephyr pointed a camera at your site, and it turned out to be a video feed that showed us almost nothing. Your last known location was empty but littered with big rocks and boulders. There was also a recording from that same camera that showed Ethan when he… But when the quake happened, that camera was pointed to the main base. After we rechecked your site, we couldn’t find the rover anywhere, and everyone assumed you were crushed. And that you were also…”

Another sniff and another deep breath. She focused on the cube and said, “But I just know you’re alive! I can feel it!!! And now…”

She started crying, and Dad walked into the picture. He put an arm around her shoulders and looked thoughtfully at us.

“Guys… we need to warn you. There’s no easy way to say this. The quake wasn’t even the worst thing that happened. When you see this, we’re going to the Zephyr because…” he sighed deeply, “because there’s a huge meteor coming our way.”

I looked at Nadia, and the stunned expression on her face matched my feelings of disbelief.

“This meteor,” Dad continued, “was spotted about ten minutes before the quake hit us. It is one of the planet-killing types. Even bigger than the one that killed the dinosaurs on Earth. We don’t know for sure if it’ll hit us because we don’t have all the necessary equipment to measure it precisely. But trust me, it’ll be close.”

“Holy moly,” I whispered.

Nadia walked over and put her arms around me. She pressed herself against me, and I heard her sniff. But the hologram kept talking.

“I promise we’ll keep scanning the planet to see if we can find you, but the Zephyr only has limited equipment for this. But please! When you see this, head down to the shelter in basement eight. It’s designed to withstand almost everything. If there’s any-“

Loud sirens and flashing lights started in the background. Dad looked at the cube and said, “We have to go now. PLEASE! Go to that basement! We WILL find you. I promise!”

A couple of guys appeared in the background and grabbed Mom. “We love you!” she shouted and was taken out of the room.

“Stay safe! I’m the commander, and I promise I’ll do everything I can to…” he looked up at the man and held up one finger of his hand. The man nodded, and Dad said, “Go to the basement! We love you!”

And with that, the holograms disappeared, and we were alone again. Nadia turned her body to hug me tightly, and she started crying. I comforted her but felt a wave of panic and hopelessness wash over me. What should we do?

After a couple of moments, Nadia stopped crying and looked at me. Her eyes were swollen, and her cheeks were wet. But I felt such a deep, intense love for my sister at that moment I knew I would do anything to protect her. We needed to seek shelter, and we needed to know how much time we had. And on top of that, we needed to let our parents know we were here.

“Mom and Dad are alive. At least that’s some good news, right?” Nadia smiled weakly.

I chuckled at that. This was precisely what I liked so much about her. She always tried to see the positive side of things.

“Yes. But they’re about three hundred miles above us. We need to let them know we’re here. And we need to know how much time we have until that meteor crashes.”

“But the control center is gone.”

“I know. And that’s a big problem because the primary and secondary antenna arrays are also gone.”

We sat down at the table, each lost in our thoughts. I tried hard to think of a way out of this. If the Zephyr had their cameras pointed to the base and was at the right place in orbit, they may have seen us going in. But what if the camera was pointed toward the Meteor? Or at some other big problem? And what if the orbit they were currently in meant that they could only see us every six hours or so? Then they’d definitely missed us. No. We needed to contact the Zephyr. That was our top priority. Finding out the time we had until impact was second.

“Do you think we can contact the Zephyr from here?” I asked Nadia.

“Dunno. The tertiary antenna rig is designed for on-planet communications only. The other antennas are gone.”

“And we don’t have the command center anymore, so there is no way to control the antenna…” I added, feeling defeated.

“We’d better head to the basement. Nothing we can do here,” Nadia said as she got up.

“Guess you’re right.”

End of chapter 11

Copyright 2024 – Jason Crow
All rights reserved

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