Jason Crow

Chapter 3 – Settling in

“Thom!” a man in his fifties shouted at Dad as he approached us with his arms spread.

“Jovii!!” my father said enthusiastically, and they gave each other a firm hug and powerful pats on their backs.

“Welcome to Aetheria!” Jovii said, looked at the rest of us, and said, “And a big welcome to you too! You’re the first complete family to live on this amazing planet.”

We mumbled a thank you and felt a little awkward being put on the spot like that. Dad and Jovii talked a little as I checked out the central hub.

It was a big, open space that doubled as an auditorium. There were doors to all the different sections of the compound, and people were constantly walking around. The whole building had a greyish color that looked a bit depressing. They tried cheering it up by showing colorful old oil paintings on the screens, but the vibe of the compound didn’t change much.

I checked out my sister as she scanned the building, and when our eyes met, we shrugged simultaneously and giggled softly about our silly twin connection.

I didn’t pay much attention to what Dad was talking about. I just wanted to see our new home. But when Dad loudly said, “What do you mean it isn’t finished yet?” I paid close attention to what they were saying.

“After the asteroid storm had hit us, we needed to focus on rebuilding the control units. So, the building droids focused on that. And we first need to delve more resources to continue building the living quarters.”

“Well… shit,” Dad mumbled, but when he realized we could hear him, he looked apologetic at us and softly said, “Sorry..”

It turned out that the house-like portion of the living compound they planned for us wasn’t finished and would probably take a couple of months to finish. We couldn’t do anything about this and had to find a solution.

They had two rooms for us that were relatively close to each other. One was a “commander room,” as they called it, with a king-size bed, kitchenette, and a small meeting table. Mom and Dad would take this room, and the meeting table would be our dinner and breakfast table.

The second room was more like a regular room. It had a queen-sized bed, and everything else was cramped and only there for functionality. There was some debate over the sleeping arrangements. Mom proposed to set up a cot in their room for Nadia so Ethan and I would sleep together.

I wouldn’t mind because Ethan might be able to show me some new ways to shoot my sperm. But Ethan was immediately clear about this. He’d sleep with his mates from maintenance in the other part of the building. He was going to work there, so why not fit in quickly this way and be one of the guys from the start?

Did this mean I’d have to sleep with my sister? But… I couldn’t… that would be… awkward! But I’d be close to her. I could smell her, see her wake up every morning, and…

Mom snapped me out of my thoughts when she said as she looked at Dad, “I’ll sleep with Nadia, and Aidan will bunk with you in the big room. I don’t see any other way!”

“That would… I think you’re right,” Dad said, the disappointment dripping from his face.

It was as if a choir of angels began to sing when Nadia cheerfully said, “I don’t mind sleeping with Aidan!”

“Really?” Mom asked, surprised.

“Sure! As long as he doesn’t steal the covers,” she said, smiling broadly.

“What about you?” Mom asked as she looked at me.

“I don’t mind, I guess. She can be annoying sometimes, but she’s my twin. And us Wilsons have to stick together, right? So, yeah. It’s okay.”

“Well… then it’s decided, I guess…” Mom said.

“If, for any reason, this doesn’t work, just say so, and we’ll find a solution,” Dad said, and a moment later, when Mom walked away, “Thanks, guys!”

We were still in the central hall, and Jovii looked questioningly at Dad. Dad talked to him and said we figured it out. Jovii showed us to our new homes. As we walked through the hallway, I asked Nadia, “I didn’t think you’d wanna sleep with me.”

“Why not?”

“Because you need your, I don’t know… privacy?”

“Oh! And you don’t?” she said, a bit snarky.

I could only shrug at that as we walked along. Nadia must’ve realized she didn’t mean it the way she said it. It just came out wrong. So she playfully punched me against my shoulder and said, “We’ll make it work. We’ll just have to set some ground rules.”

“Guess you’re right,” I said as we rounded another corner, “But you don’t snore, do you? Otherwise, I’ll have to kick you out!”

“Kick me out… yeah, right…” she smiled as we stopped at the door with number A-2-198 beside it.

“This is you,” Jovii said, “You both just need to scan your IID, and you’re registered.”

Nadia held her wrist against the pad at the door. After a bleep, it was my turn.

“Get settled in, and we’ll see you in an hour in the restaurant,” Mom said as she hugged us.

“Your parents will be around that corner in room B-2-023. Inside your room, you can download the nav addon for your coms, so you won’t get lost,” Jovii said as he smiled friendly at us.

“Later!” Nadia said and opened the door.

“Come find us if there’s anything. Promise?” Mom said with a concerned look on her face.

“Of course, Mom,” Nadia said, rolling her eyes as she looked at me.

I had to stifle a giggle but smiled at Mom and nodded. Dad winked at me as he walked on toward their room.

I pressed the button, and the door closed with a soft ‘whoosh’ sound. I turned around and saw the bots that had delivered our luggage exit our room through a small hatch in the corner. As the hatch closed, I picked up my bag, and as I unzipped it, I said, “it’s still weird that we share a room.”

“Why? We’re twins, so no big deal, right?”

“Yeah… well… since we… you’ve started puberty and such. I mean… you’ve got boobs and stuff. So I figured you might want to have some privacy.”

“Yeah, right. Privacy… with Mom in the same room?” she chuckled.

I giggled at that and said, “Guess you’re right. I’m glad I don’t have to bunk with Dad. Thanks for that!”

We bumped fists, and Nadia also started unpacking. As she pulled out a couple of tiny shirts, I said, “Good thing those auto-fit clothes come with a travel option these days.”

Nadia smiled broadly and said as she held up a tiny piece of underwear, “I just hope it gets back to its original size. This won’t fit!”

I pulled out one of my boxers, showed it, and said, “Nope! Not a chance.”

“That’s not even enough fabric to cover your, you know…” Nadia giggled and looked at my crotch.

This made me blush furiously, and I felt my dick stir inside my pants. I cleared my throat, and for lack of anything else to say, I asked, “Which side of the bed do you want?”

Nadia looked at the bed and said, “Dunno. On the left, I guess. My bed at home is about the same. The right is closer to the bathroom, but it’s a small bed, so I guess I can’t go to the bathroom without waking you either way.”

As I looked at the bed, I realized she was right. We could easily lie next to each other without touching, but the movement of the mattress would surely wake the other. Seeing this bed made me worried about popping a boner. What if she’d turn around during the night, accidentally touch it and freak out over it?

We continued settling in and made some small talk. Nadia made a point of who could hog the limited bandwidth we had here at what time. I didn’t care much because I downloaded a ton of movies and series to my pod before we left.

Our coms consisted of two small, half-globe-shaped orbs. You placed one globe at the top of your ear shell and the other right below your ear on your face.  With this in place, you could talk to anyone without having to use additional devices. You interacted with it through voice commands or by using tiny finger gestures on the lowest part.

The coms could also project AR images to assist with navigation and stuff. We would be needing this added navigation feature for the new base and if we went outdoors. Installing the nav addon for the base was pretty straightforward, and finding our way around the compound was a breeze with it.

“It’s like we moved in together,” I said as Nadia checked the pre-ordered groceries. We would eat at the central hall or with Mom and Dad, but some convenient things like chips and soda weren’t a luxury to have for ourselves.

“Yeah,” Nadia chuckled, “it’s like playing house when we were younger.”

“Right! We just need to find a baby!”

“And what’s next? Playing doctor ?” Nadia giggled.

“Uhm… let’s check out Mom and Dad, okay?” I said in an attempt to change the subject.

After we locked the door, we went over to our parent’s room. It was easy to find with the nav but a bit further away than I initially thought.

Their room was a lot bigger than Nadia’s and mine, and with a bit of imagination, we could use it as our family room. Mom contacted Ethan, and we all gathered to have dinner in the central hall and meet our fellow colonists.

It turned out that Nadia and I were right about being the only two people on the planet in the ten to fifteen age range. We had a hunch before we boarded the ship, but according to Mom, it wouldn’t be that bad. And if it was, we should consider ourselves lucky for being there at this early age. A fourteen-year-old boy was about to head our way with one of the next cargo ships, but that would take at least another couple of months.

After dinner, we had our mandatory safety briefing. We had extensive training back on Earth, but everything would be repeated here, and new or changed procedures would also be explained.

“Pfff… This will be bisque…” Nadia mumbled in a sarcastic tone.

“Tell me about it,” I grunted as we took our seats.

“Welcome to Aetheria, everyone! As y’all know, it’s the twelfth planet humans landed on. But you might not know, is that Aetheria is the first and only planet where the two Americas actually work together, without any Chinese influence. Last week, while you were in sus, China signed off on the rights.”

A bit of excited mumbling went through the room, and Dad’s eyes actually sparkled.

“So with a representative for The Democratic Republic of America and one from The American States, we are almost back to where we were before the second Civil War,” the man said as he pointed to two men on each side of him on stage.

People started applauding when the man said this, and Dad whispered something in Mom’s ear. I didn’t know what all the fuss was about, but it seemed important. As far as I knew, North America consisted of three countries: the two Americas and Canada. I did have my history lessons, of course, and back when there was just the USA, we were the most important country in the world. But when people stopped listening to each other, things went south real quick.

“Let’s just repeat the facts here for safety’s sake,” the man on stage said, “gravity is ten percent higher than on Earth. A day here is twenty-three hours and twelve minutes. We skip the remaining minutes, so configure your watches properly, people! Also, we scratched February because a year is approximately twenty-eight days shorter than it is back on the blue planet.”

Some people were adjusting their watches, something I did the moment I entered the ship. Nadia looked bored at me and faked a yawn. This caused me to giggle, and I poked her in the ribs.

“Safety!” The man continued in a loud and serious tone as he looked around the crowd, “A few simple rules will keep you and the people in here alive. First, go outside in pairs or groups only. That’s the most important part. The hills are high, the cliffs are deep, and the landscape changes constantly. If you go out together, the chances of getting help and surviving increase significantly. Especially since radio signals don’t carry very far in this atmosphere. So your coms are only useful with the people who are close. Always use a relay station for longer ranges.”

He paused dramatically and took a sip from the glass of water on his desk. So far, he didn’t say anything we hadn’t heard before, but it carried more weight by the way he said it.

“Then there’s the weather. Because of the terraforming machines, it rains constantly for about eight months a year. And it will keep raining for a couple of years. The suit you need to wear outside will shield you from the rain, but mudslides and falling rocks are a negative result of the rain. Hence the restriction to go outside alone.”

Nadia rolled her eyes at me. It was meant as a joke, but I whispered in her ear, “This IS important! I don’t want us to die out here.”

“I know, silly!” she hissed, “I was just joking.”

“Right. Just stay focused,” I whispered, turning my attention back to the man on stage.

“The airlocks are crucial! Pay close attention when you use them. The air outside is breathable for ten to fifteen minutes. But during the time you breathe the air, particles accumulate in your lungs to a point where you eventually can’t breathe anymore. After five minutes of breathing the outside air, you must find a medical pod and let it clean your lungs. But…” another dramatic pause, “after you’ve got serious breathing problems, don’t bother with the pod anymore…”

I heard a couple of gasps around me in the crowd. There was mention of this in the briefing on Earth, but the way this man said it… it couldn’t be clearer.

“So… you know why we don’t want that air inside our compounds. Don’t worry. That’s why we’ve got airlocks and decontamination chambers. You need to fully undress,” he said with the emphasis on fully, “step inside the decon chamber and hold your breath for five seconds. You can only take one item of clothing with you, which will be your mandatory Human Body Interface Connectivity Suit. And it needs to be in travel mode, obviously.”

I glanced at Nadia, who looked back at me with a wicked smile. We’ve had extensive training with this suit and knew now how to operate them properly. I still felt uncomfortable at the idea of getting naked in a public place, no matter how common it was over here. But during training back on Earth, it was explained how there were small, private cabins to undress and dress at each side. Since we also had to test this back in training, and given the fact that AI checked if you did it right without any human interaction, made me feel a little more at ease.

“You probably haven’t heard this yet, but you need to know this, and then I’ll stop talking. Lately, we had a couple of meteor storms hitting the planet. It’s the same meteor belt your ship had to navigate through. Don’t worry about that, because last week, we upgraded our shields and added more power to them. But if a storm hits us again, you’ll be notified through your coms, and you’ll have to get inside the compound ASAP.”

He looked at the guy standing next to him, who simply nodded. Then he looked around the audience again, smiled broadly, and said, “Welcome to Aetheria, everybody! And don’t worry! It isn’t as bad as you might think after hearing this. It’s a great planet with lots of awesome people! Enjoy yourself and help us build a new, brighter future. You are now officially Aetherians!”

There was applause, and everyone got to their feet. Dad went over to the men on stage to talk to them, and Mom looked worried at us.

“That was… interesting…” she said.

“Don’t worry, Mom,” Nadia said, “it’s his job to make sure we don’t mess up.”

“I know… but still.”

I couldn’t help myself and yawned. I tried to hide it behind my hand, but Mom noticed. Of course she did.

“I think it’s best if we head to bed. It’s been a long day, and we still need to sleep off the sus,” she said as she brushed through her hair.

“Good plan,” Nadia said as she checked me out.

I nodded, hugged Mom before she could give me a kiss in public, and backed away. I checked for Dad, but Mom said, “I’ll say you’ve gone to bed. He’s busy trying to work out how to fit in as the new major.”

“Night,” Nadia said after her hug with Mom.

“Night,” I said, and Nadia and I headed back to our room.

“That was… intriguing. A lot clearer than back home, though,” Nadia said as she sat on the bed.

“Yeah, he did a good job repeating everything. Good thing they’ve upgraded the shields.”

After a couple moments of silence, Nadia softly said, “I forgot about the decon. I mean, how you… you know.”

I wanted to say that I didn’t and was hoping to catch a glimpse of a boob or pussy. Any boob or pussy, but I had to admit to myself that Nadia was highest on that list.

Instead, I said, “I saw pictures of the airlocks and decon chambers, and I wouldn’t worry too much if I were you.”

“Imagine getting stuck in there, and a rescue squad has to come and save you,” Nadia giggled.

“That would be bad. Oh boy…”

I didn’t know what to do next, and there were another couple of silent moments when Nadia said, “So, uhm… how do we do this?”

“Dunno. You change in the bathroom, and I change in here?”

“You still wear pajamas?”

I blushed and almost said that I usually sleep naked. But I managed to swallow these words just in time and said, “I sleep in my boxers.”


“If you don’t mind, of course! I can wear sweats and a shirt if you want me to.”

“No, no! I don’t mind. I usually sleep without, you know… back home. But I’ve brought something to sleep in with me. It’ll just be a second.”

“I’ll brush my teeth, and then the bathroom is yours, okay?” I said, trying with everything I had in me not to picture Nadia in bed with me naked.

“Go ahead.”

As I brushed my teeth, I couldn’t shake the image of Nadia lying naked in bed with me. My dick was rock hard, and there was no way I could get it down now other than jerking it. But there was no way I could do that with Nadia in the same room. That realization hit me like a ton of bricks. How was I going to release the pressure with Nadia constantly around? I needed to find excuses to be alone. But Nadia always knew when I lied.

I spat out the toothpaste, rinsed my mouth, and stood straight. I adjusted my obvious boner and pointed it to the side. I put my hand in my pocket, and now it was still somewhat visible, but with my shirt partly covering it, you’d have to look twice to see I was sporting wood.

I took a deep breath, opened the door, and tried to hurry to the bed. I almost tripped when I looked at Nadia. Just like she did at home lately, she wasn’t acting exactly modestly around me. She had removed her sweater and stood in front of me in her little black bra and pants. Her pants were already unbuckled, and a hint of her green panties was showing.

I tried not to look at the black pads covering her breasts, but the contrast of the black pads against her pale skin looked amazing.

“Ygh,” I croaked, cleared my throat, and said, “Your turn.”

Nadia smiled and walked past me to the bathroom. I knew I needed to be quick. Otherwise, she’d see my boner tenting out my boxers. So I disrobed in record time, threw my clothes on a corner, and quickly crawled under the covers.

I was crunching up the blanket around my groin so my boner would be hidden as Nadia came out of the bathroom. She was wearing a loose-fitting, sleeveless shirt that ended about an inch above her bright green panties.

I tried not to look too obviously at her, but a lot of skin was showing under her armpits, where the sleeves used to be. And that skin was close to her boobs.

I pretended to be busy getting comfortable. But as Nadia stalled while she stood beside the bed, I couldn’t act that I was getting comfortable anymore. So, I looked at her, and she was just looking around the room. When our eyes met, she lifted the blanket and stepped into the bed.

As she laid her head on the pillow, she sighed deeply and turned to look at me. She touched my arm and said, “I kinda like this. The room isn’t awful, and I know we’ll get along together.”

I looked her in her eyes, ignored the swells on her chest, and said, “Yeah… me too. Glad you convinced Mom to do it like this.”

We were quiet for a couple of moments when Nadia said, “Your muscles really look good on you.”

I checked her out to see if she was serious, but as she openly checked out my exposed chest and when she saw me looking, she smiled warmly.

“Thanks,” I mumbled, “Let’s see if we can sleep off the sus, right?”

“Right. Computer, turn off the lights, please.”

The room went dark, and only a dim, indirect light came from under the bed.

“Night, Ay!”


End of chapter 3

Copyright 2024 – Jason Crow
All rights reserved

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