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Aetheria – Epilogue

Jason Crow


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 11

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.”


“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.


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.


“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

Mors proxima est. remanebunt?

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Aetheria – Chapter 8

Jason Crow

Chapter 8 – Terra site

I knew I was dreaming, but it didn’t bother me. The warmth of the painkiller was soothing and clouded my brain. But it was okay. It was a nice dream. We were inside the airlock, and I looked deep into my sister’s eyes. I moved my head slowly forward and pressed my lips against hers. Every ounce of love I felt for her was poured into this kiss.

My hard dick was pressed between us, and I pushed it even firmer against her during the kiss. Her small breasts were smashed against my chest, with her nipples poking my pecs, and I could feel my heart pounding as I savored the feeling of her soft lips against mine.

In the next part of my dream, I saw her boobs in front of my face. I didn’t know why they were there, but they were so close, and her hard nipples looked so inviting. I lifted my head and closed my lips around the closest boob. I sucked gently and flicked my tongue over the hard nipple in the center of my mouth. The soft, spongy texture and the way it reacted to my tongue was amazing.

Nadia giggled coyly, but her unconvincing “Stop it, Ay!” between her giggles had quite the opposite effect.

I switched breasts and gave the other one the same treatment as the first. All too soon, Nadia lifted her body, and her boobs disappeared from view, sending me back deep into my dreamland.

Later, through the clouds of my dreams, Nadia’s face appeared again. I didn’t hesitate and started kissing her passionately again. This was the girl I loved with all my heart! And why not dream about how good it felt to express that love I could never show in real life?

After having drifted back down again, my dreams started to vanish. I slowly drifted back into consciousness, and after hearing beeping around me, I opened my eyes and had to blink a few times because of the light around my head.

Around my underarms were metal braces with blue blinking lights. The unnatural bend I had in them was gone, and as I regained my focus, I realized I was inside a med pod.

The dreams about Nadia still lingered in my head and made me smile, but now I needed to focus. So I looked outside the med pod the best I could, and I could see the hall where I was in was dimly lit. Good! This meant there was power. But where was my sister? I assumed she had put me inside to get me patched up, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sure of that. The moment this thought crossed my mind, a worried face appeared on the other side of the glass.

It was Nadia! The worries vanished from her face the moment she saw me. She disappeared again, but because of the beeps I heard, I knew she was just opening the pod, and I didn’t panic. After a loud hiss, the top of the pod tilted away from me, and the pod itself turned upright to almost vertical.

Now, I could see the room I was in, and everything had a dim light to it, but all the equipment seemed to work, judging by lots of blinking lights. This only took a second because Nadia stepped in front of me, blocking the view. She wore an oversized gray T-shirt, and one of her shoulders was completely visible. So, no bra there. And the bottom of the shirt hung just below her crotch, with nothing but her smooth legs to be seen below that. Even in the situation I was in now, I couldn’t deny how sexy she looked.

“How are you feeling?” Nadia asked as she looked me over.

“I… uhm… okay, I guess. A bit of a headache, but that’s it.”

“Probably the painkillers wearing off. You were out like a light!” she giggled and started blushing.

“I guess…”

“And your arms?”

I tried wiggling my fingers, but the blue light on the bracelet turned red, and there was no movement in my hand whatsoever. So, I lifted my right arm and didn’t feel any pain.

“You can’t move your hands or underarms for about a week. The repair is done, but it takes time to heal. The braces are helping your nerves to heal quicker.”

I nodded and asked, “How did you get me in here?”

“It wasn’t easy, but you were still conscious enough to help me, even though you were high as a kite! The med pod did the rest.”

“I don’t remember anything after we entered the airlock,” I said.

“I thought so,” Nadia said and blushed again.

“Only a couple of fever dreams, and then I woke up here. How’s the base doing?”

“Come on. I’ll show you,” Nadia said, and she grabbed me by my neck to help me get out.

I realized I wore a tight pair of boxer briefs as I stepped onto the cold floor. They weren’t mine and were a size or two too small. And on top of that, they were so-called second skin. A thin fabric that sticks to your body to be comfortable.

I could see every curve, bump, and muscle through it. My dick couldn’t be missed in this either. You could even make out the veins on my shaft! The only function of it was that I wasn’t naked and that it hid my crotch from direct view. But other than that, its only function was to make me feel comfortable under my clothes. I have to admit that it did give some support.

“What’s with these clothes?” I asked as I checked out my sister’s nipples as they poked the grey material of her shirt.

“Ours are still outside. And this was all I could find that fits us. There are some overalls, but they’re way too big for us. Be glad the med pod can spray on the second skin. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have anything to wear. There’s literally nothing left but this shirt and the overalls.”

“Good thing it isn’t cold in here,” I grumbled.

“Stop whining,” Nadia said, “it could’ve been worse. A lot worse. Let’s go to the control room.”

We entered the control room, and it was apparent that Nadia had done some tests. A diagnostic test was running, and a couple of notes were on the desk.

“How bad is it?” I asked as I sat down on a chair next to my sister.

“Thankfully, it’s not as bad as we expected. As far as I can tell, only the communication tower is offline. I can’t fix that on my own because…”

“Because you need an inside and an outside team to properly align everything. Damnit!” I interrupted Nadia, annoyed by the situation and my arms preventing me from solving the issue.

“Yeah…” she said, “but the reactor is fully operational, and the structure is undamaged. The only other problem is the garage. I couldn’t get in from the outside because the door wouldn’t open. So, the rover is still outside, and we had to enter through the outside airlock.”

“Hmm… That sucks. So, we can’t reach the rover now without suiting up.”

Nadia nodded and said, “But that seems to be all. There’s a diagnostic test running to check for the terraforming process, but that’s just because I didn’t know what else to do. And I managed to park the rover really close to the entrance, so it is protected by the shield.”

“Bisque. You did great!” I said, feeling genuinely proud of how well she handled herself.

“We just don’t know how things are at the main base. I don’t know if they’ve got structural damage or something, but I assume they’re coming for us if they can. Even when there’s no contact with this station.”

I nodded and thought about it for a second. Then, a thought struck me, and I hesitated to mention this to Nadia. But when she saw my worried face and started to frown, I knew I had to spit it out.

“The rover was our relay station. Our suits reported back to base through the rover. And now…”

“Shit! They don’t receive any signals from us anymore! Does that mean…”

“No. I don’t think so,” I said in an attempt to calm her, “They must know something can happen with the rover. I think they’ll go and check our route and come here to check on us anyway.”

This was a little comforting for Nadia, and I could see her relax slightly, but not by much. She pressed some buttons, and the outside camera feeds appeared on the screens above us.

“This way, we can see if someone is coming. I’ll also set the proximity alarm, so we can contact anyone who’s close enough,” she said, and I noticed her shirt had fallen down even further down her shoulder, exposing a bit of the top of her boob.

We sat in the control room for half an hour, lost in our thoughts, when Nadia said, “I had powered up the living quarters a while ago. It’s good that we’ve got plenty of food and water and a big kitchen. We can sit it out if they can’t come and get us right away.”

“That’s Bisque. But we’ll be bored shitless in here, won’t we?” I chuckled.

“I don’t think so. This used to be the main base, remember? There’s a big rec room with a huge screen and lots of games to play.”

“Can we check out the living quarters? I don’t think there’s much more we can do in here, right?” I asked.

“Good idea. I’ve connected our coms to the controls, so we’ll know when something is up.”

I noticed how good everything still looked as we entered the living quarters. I had expected a worn-down station with leaking pipes and trash everywhere. But everything was clean and well-maintained, which was probably because of the bots they left behind. And it helped that they didn’t have to go in a hurry like in some old sci-fi movie where some alien life form threatened the crew.

“You’re right. We can wait it out in here,” I said as we entered the rec room.

“How long do you think we need to stay here?”

“Dunno. I don’t think they’ll be here today, to be honest. Maybe tomorrow. Depends on their own damage. If it’s up to Mom, she will drive here herself. But the crew won’t let her.”

“So?” Nadia asked as we sat on a couch in the corner.

“My best bet is tomorrow. Or the day after that. Either way, we need to be ready for more… It sucks ass that I can’t use my hands!” I said, feeling frustrated that I couldn’t do anything.

“You can use your hands, just not your fingers,” Nadia said, “If you do, it’ll take at least six weeks to heal.”

I sighed, feeling bummed out by all of this. But I was also a little tired despite my time in the med pod.

“How’s the pain?” she asked.

“I don’t feel any pain anymore. Did I get more painkillers?”

“No. Those braces numb the nerves locally until it’s healed. That’s also why they stop you from moving your fingers. It’s the most effective way of healing from such a fracture.”

“Are you a doctor all of a sudden?” I chuckled.

Nadia giggled and said, “No, silly! I wanted to know how to get you on your feet as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to be all alone out here. And the med pods have extensive documentation on the procedures.”

“I didn’t say it yet,” I said, looking seriously at my sister, “but thank you for helping me!”

“You would’ve done the same.”

“Probably. But you actually had to do it, and you did it! So… Thank you!”

We sat there, both checking out the room. I was thinking about our situation and realized I had to go to the bathroom sometime, but I wasn’t sure how to do this. I didn’t want to ask my sister for help, but eventually, I had to go some time. And if we were here long enough, taking a shower would also be a challenge.

And… beating off!

This hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t jack off for a week! One whole week!! My balls feel like they’re going to explode after just two days, let alone an entire week. Damn…

“I’ll make us something to eat,” Nadia said, snapping me out of my thoughts.

I kept her company as she prepared something. We chatted about all sorts of things during dinner but carefully avoided Ethan. We had to talk about it sometime, but now wasn’t the time.

After dinner, the urge to pee became more of an issue. As we put our stuff away, I cleared my throat.

Nadia must have seen me blush because she looked worriedly at me and asked, “What’s up? Pain?”

“No. It’s just… I’m…”

“Do I need to put you back in the med pod?”

“I need to pee!” I blurted, blushing furiously.

“Oh…” was Nadia’s timid reply.

The tension in the room was thick, and the awkwardness of the situation was almost painful, but Nadia managed to take it away a little when she said, “No problem. I also need to pee. Come on, I’ll help you!”

She got to her feet, and we walked over to the bathroom. I didn’t know what to do, but Nadia gestured for me to stand in front of the toilet. I was about to ask what to do next when Nadia stood beside me, pulled down my tight boxers with ease, grabbed my dick, and aimed it at the bowl.

“Wh- what?” I stammered.

Nadia looked at me, and my face must’ve been one of terror and disbelief because she said, “Don’t be a wuss. You need help, don’t you? Well… I’m helping you.”

“But…” I half-heartedly tried.

“Just do your thing,” she said, focusing on my dick.

I was dumbfounded by this. If it wasn’t this awkward, unexpected, and strange, I would’ve definitely boned up. But the combination of my need to pee and the surreal situation got my flow going as I let go of my bladder.

“This is Bisque,” Nadia giggled as she aimed the stream all over the bowl.

As the force of the stream died down, and only drops came out, Nadia asked, “Now what?”

“You… uhm… shake it to get the drops off.”

She shook it a couple of times, and since the weirdness had gone down a little bit and her handling of my dick actually felt good, I chubbed up a little. So I stepped back from the bowl, and Nadia pulled up my boxers. Her face was flushed, and thankfully, I could steer clear from a boner.

Nadia surprised me as she sat on the toilet, lifted her shirt a little, and did her business. This didn’t do anything sexual to me, but it was fascinating to watch her pee.

After the waterjet of the toilet wiped her, blew some hot air, and flushed, she said, “Phew! That’s a relief.”

“Yeah… thanks for, you know…”

“Don’t mention it. You’d do the same for me. And besides, it was bisque seeing how boys pee. You can aim it anywhere,” she chuckled.

After we rechecked the control room and found nothing new, we flopped down on the couch in the rec room. We watched a couple of cartoons when a thought struck.

“We can have our own bedrooms in here,” I said.

Nadia checked me out with an expressionless look on her face and said, “I know. But I think we need to stick together. I mean… with all the unknowns and with your situation.”

I was pleased with her reaction. I wanted to sleep with her but still thought I was forcing myself on her. But her response was exactly what I hoped for.

“I’m glad you say that. I think so, too,” I said softly.

“I already had the bots prepare a room,” and in the silence that followed, she whispered, “I don’t wanna lose you too, Ay.”

She cuddled up to me after she said that, and I draped my arm over her to pull her close. Despite the thought of Ethan, sitting like this with us barely dressed felt comforting and heartwarming and brought the two of us even closer together.

After watching more cartoons, my mood lightened. We were safe in here. Tomorrow, we’d probably be taken back to the main base. Ethan’s body would be taken care of, and life would more or less continue. But the most important part was that I still had my twin sister.

Over the last couple of months, we had grown closer together than ever before, and now I loved her more than ever before. And if I was frank with myself, this wasn’t just a brotherly love. On top of these butterflies I felt as I was thinking about her, there was also her fantastic body! The way her hard nipples topped her small boobs… Her firm and smooth ass… the way she fingered herself to an orgasm… how she handled my dick…

Nadia snapped me out of my thoughts when she giggled, “These boxers do absolutely nothing to hide things…”

I looked down, and my boner pointed toward my left hip. The only thing the fabric did was give it another color. Everything else was clear as day.

“I… uhm…” I stammered.

“Does it hurt?”

“No. And with these boxers, it isn’t even that uncomfortable. It’s just embarrassing…”

“Why?” Nadia asked, looking at me, “I’ve seen you like this before.”

“I know… but I’m… I guess I’m not used to that yet.”

She rubbed her hand over my chest and belly and softly said, “I like how you look. Don’t worry so much.”

We sat like this for a bit longer, and I felt my hardon deflate. Deep down, I knew she was right. But the urge I felt to protect her was intense. I should have let her come closer, but this was hard.

“Let’s go to bed, okay?” Nadia asked after a while and got to her feet, “We’ll wear the coms tonight in case they come for us. But I don’t think they’ll do a mission when it’s dark, do you?”

“No. That’s way too dangerous. Especially after the quake. We’ll have to get up early and be as ready as we can when they get here.”

“So, we’ll wear the coms and stay alert. Come on.”

I followed my sister into the bedroom, unsure what to do next. Were we sleeping like we did at the main base? Or were we keeping it modest, just in case?

“Here, lemme help you,” Nadia said and started working on my boxers.

She squatted in front of me and pulled down my boxers. This was unexpected, so I was still soft when she pulled my boxers down. My dick wiggled right in front of her face, and she checked it out for a brief moment.

Then, she got to her feet and lifted her shirt without much of a fuss. My eyes immediately landed on her tits, moved down over her belly toward her slit, and landed on her tits again. I had a semi and was on my way to full mast by now.

Nadia looked but didn’t say anything. Instead, she lifted the blanket, let me get in, and draped it back over my lower body. As she walked over to her side, my eyes glued to her ass, she hummed a song.

After she got in, she moved over and cuddled up against me. Her breast was pressed against my chest, and my arm was around her back. I couldn’t stroke her back now, but I could pull her close to me and show my affection this way.

“Might as well sleep here like we did at the main base, right?” Nadia asked as she looked, smiling at me.

“Yeah. Thanks for helping me with that,” I chuckled, “wasn’t expecting that…”

“Yeah… figured you were okay with that.”

She was stroking my chest and belly again, and I could sense she was a bit nervous. Her body was tense, and there was a hint of a tremble in her voice. Did I do something wrong? Did she regret what we did together earlier? I was thinking all sorts of horrible things where we wouldn’t be together anymore. I was pretty messed up at the time. I realize that now.

After a minute of silence, she softly asked, “Ay?”


“When uhm… when we were in the airlock…” she asked and moved back to her side of the bed to look at me.

“Oh. Sorry, but I don’t really remember anything after I undressed. I only had a couple of… weird dreams.”

Nadia thought about this for a second and asked, “Really? Did any of these dreams have the airlock in it?”

“I… uhm…” I stammered, not knowing what to say to that.

“Because you… we… uhm… you kissed me inside the airlock.”

This struck me like lightning. I had kissed her in my dream! It was a dream! Or was it? Now, it was my turn to be nervous.

“I… it was a dream… I wasn’t…” I stammered as I felt tears growing in my eyes, “I’m sorry..”

I did everything in my power to prevent from crying. My sister hated me because I couldn’t control myself, and I had to deal with that now. But I had to stay strong and get us out of here.

After a short pause, Nadia softly said, “I liked it…”

See! She hates me, and… wait.. what? I wasn’t sure if I had heard it correctly, so I gathered all my willpower and looked my sister in her eyes. She was blushing and looked insecure, but a sly smile in the corner of her mouth did it.

“You… and it wasn’t a dream?”

“No. It was real. And it felt really, really good, Ay. I know it’s weird for brothers and sisters to kiss like this, but I don’t care! You made me… made us feel, I don’t know… connected, and I got all mushy inside.”

“But I didn’t mean to…” I stammered again.

I realized she was being so honest and open about it that I should also try to show my real feelings for her. What was the worst that could happen? So, I cleared my throat and said, “I wanted to kiss you for a long time. I think the painkillers pushed me past my fears about what you might think about a kiss.”

“I… I didn’t know that…”

“I’m not proud of it. But it’s the truth,” I said as I fumbled with the sheet.

My sister didn’t react, and I didn’t dare to look at her. So many emotions and thoughts were shooting through me that I didn’t know what to think or do.

“Will… will you kiss me again?” Nadia asked, barely above a whisper.

My eyes immediately found hers. I just had to see if she was serious or not. But looking into her bright green eyes, I saw nothing but love and tenderness. With her eyes, she almost sucked me deep into the depth of her soul. I never felt so deeply connected to anyone than at that moment.

My instinct took over, and I moved my face closer to her. Everything at that moment happened in slow motion, and I still remember every millisecond of it.

I kept looking into her eyes, and as my face inched closer, I could smell her sweet scent. The moment my lips touched hers, a surge of electricity shot through me. My lips tingled as if I had touched one of those vintage static electricity globes. I kept pressing my lips firmer against her, and I could feel Nadia doing the same.

Her lips felt wonderfully soft but were still firm against my lips. We closed our eyes simultaneously as I drank in the fantastic feelings that were surging through me. It was as if our souls merged into one at that moment.

This wasn’t a sibling kiss. This was a kiss between lovers and could last a lifetime. Nadia surprised me when she opened her mouth a little, but when her tongue touched my lips a moment later, an internal light bulb switched on. This was a French kiss!

I opened my mouth to let my tongue meet hers. When our tongues touched, my whole body felt like it was on fire, and I had goosebumps on every inch of my body. The world around me didn’t exist anymore. It was just my sister and me as the most beautiful and indescribable feelings swept through me.

Our tongues rubbed gently against each other, and I tasted the sweetness of my sister’s mouth. My breathing was heavy, and breathing through my nose at this point wasn’t easy. But being this close to Nadia was the best there was, and if it all ended here, I’d still be the happiest boy in the universe.

My dick was rock hard and twitched violently every now and then. But somehow, this didn’t involve my dick. It wasn’t a sexual thing we were doing now. The side-by-side jacking session definitely was, but this was all very emotional and spiritual and connected the two of us.

Nadia broke the kiss, and I slowly opened my eyes. I saw Nadia do the same, and a warm smile spread across her face. I still felt goosebumps all over and felt a tremendous amount of love for my sister.

“That was… wow…” Nadia whispered.

“It sure was… it’s a-“

Before I could finish my sentence, we were kissing again. We kissed like this for a couple of minutes, only breaking it a few times to regain our breaths.

After what seemed like forever, Nadia and I broke the kiss again, and Nadia draped her body half over mine, cuddling up with her head below mine, resting on my chest. 

“I love you, Ay,”

This hit me right at the center of my heart. She LOVED me! It never once occurred to me that my love for her might be returned. I was convinced I’d die miserable and alone, longing for my sister’s love. But now she said she loved me!

I was over the moon by now, and I felt my heart trying to beat itself out of my chest. I could only stammer a soft, “I… I love you too…”

Nadia lifted her head briefly to glance at me. We both knew at that moment this wasn’t an ordinary love when our eyes met. This was a deep connection between two people.

She laid her head back on my chest and squeezed my body to hug me tight. I stroked her bare back and kissed her on her head. We didn’t say anything else. It wasn’t like we’d leave it hanging, but we said what we wanted, so we said enough.

After a while, Nadia said, “I can hear your heart…”

“You smell nice,” I replied.

Nadia chuckled and asked, “Are we weird?”

“Nope! Not at all,” I replied immediately.

“But we…”

“Not! At! All!” I said again.

“Stop it,” Nadia giggled and slapped me on my chest.

“I love you. You love me. What’s weird about two people loving each other?”

“Because we’re brother and sister?” she said, stating the obvious.

I thought about it for a second and said, “After all these months being so close to you, you’re way, way more of a friend than my sister to me. And so what? The world can always use a bit of love. Even this world.”

“Guess you’re right. Who cares that you’re my brother? I know I don’t.”

“There you go,” I said, kissing her on her head.

“I’m feeling tired,” Nadia said after a short while.

“Me too.”

And that was it. Nadia and I fell asleep with her half-lying on me with her head on my chest and her boobs and pussy pressed against my body. I felt whole at that moment and blessed to be so close to another person. Especially my twin sister. 

End of chapter 8

Copyright 2024 – Jason Crow
All rights reserved

Verus et sine condicione amor est pulchrum est

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Aetheria – Chapter 7

Jason Crow

Chapter 7 – The trip

“Really?” I asked, hoping Dad wasn’t joking this time.

“I’m serious, Aidan. You’re allowed to go with Ethan and do a check on the terraforming compound.”

“What about me?” Nadia asked.

“The three of you will head out in an hour or two, so you can be back before it gets dark,” Dad said and looked at Nadia and me.

Ethan stood smiling behind Dad and couldn’t hide his excitement either. Nadia hugged Dad and said, “Thanks! This is gonna be great!”

Dad gently pushed Nadia away and looked sternly at us, “You have to listen to Ethan! He’s in charge, and you’ll listen to him no matter what! Agree?”

“Sure!” Nadia said.

“Of course,” I replied.

“I’m serious! This is no school field trip. It can be dangerous out there, so be careful!”

“I know, Dad! We’ve aced the security exams, remember?” I said.

“I know. But still… This is no joke, and I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

“Meet me in garage four in half an hour, okay?” Ethan said with a smug face.

He probably enjoyed being in charge, but I didn’t care. We were going to go outside and about to do some real exploring.  That was more important than setting my brother straight. Nadia looked all hyped during the rest of breakfast, and I also had a hard time staying cool about it.

“Be careful out there. Don’t do anything stupid, and stay together, okay?” Mom said with a bit of a worried look on her face.

“Don’t worry, Mom,” Nadia said, “with Ethan and Aidan around for the muscles and me for the brains, nothing can go wrong. Right?”

Mom laughed, gave each of us a peck on our forehead, and kept looking at us as we waited for the elevator. As we were heading up to the ground level, Nadia said, “Why are they so worried? It’s not like we’re a bunch of morons!”

“Remember our school trip to San Angeles? It was exactly the same. And there were lots of teachers going with us! So I guess this reaction isn’t that bad.”

Nadia chuckled and nodded. “Guess you’re right,” she said, and the elevator doors opened.

We were standing in the inside part of the garage. In the corner, the giant vehicle airlock led to the outside part of the garage where suits were needed. According to the signs above the door, the entrance to the human airlock was in the other corner.

“There’s Ethan,” Nadia said and pointed to a group of people.

“Hey, guys!” Ethan said as we approached him. “We’re taking the big rover-explorer today. Cool, huh?”

“Neat!” I said and looked at the big vehicle we were standing next to.

It had huge wheels. They were a little bigger than my brother and had these tractor-like grooves for grip. The white cabin could seat six persons and also had a small cargo bay at the back. The cabin had about forty inches of clearance from the ground.

It was by far the most versatile explorer vehicle on the planet. Its fusion-powered power source could last years on one charge, and because of the six big wheels of which the front and back could steer, it was agile and could conquer almost every terrain.

“Well… you know the drill…” Ethan said after an awkward silence, “Go change into your suit and exit through the airlock. I’ll make sure the vehicle goes through. I’ll see you on the other side.”

“He looks nervous,” Nadia said as we headed over to the airlock.

“Yeah. Guess his first, real mission gets under his skin. Let’s be helpful, okay?”

“We’ll see…” Nadia said, smiling.

“Be nice… He could’ve taken other guys instead of us.”

“Don’t worry. Of course, I won’t bug him! Do you think I wanna get stuck inside from now on because of some stupid prank or something?”

“Cool,” I said and opened the door to the changing room, “See you in a sec.”

Being naked in a place I didn’t know was still weird, but I was slowly getting used to it. I dropped my clothes in the designated locker, and after I closed it, it disappeared into the wall where the storage bots would take care of it.

After I grabbed the small suit, I went to the airlock. The transparent, vault-like revolving door opened as I approached, and I entered the tight space of the airlock. I realized it was smaller than I expected inside the lock as the door closed behind me.

A light indicated I should hold my breath. The space was filled with white, warm, misty air a moment later. After a couple of seconds, it vanished through gaps in the floor. After the cleaning was done, a red, horizontal laser stripe went from top to bottom over my body.

After the scanner was done, a green light lit up, and the door on the other side opened. I held my breath, grabbed one of the portable oxygen masks, and put it over my face. There was a sign stating I should now put the undersuit on. Near the exit door was a bench, where I put it on. After this, I entered the second airlock. This second lock wasn’t there for decontamination like the first one but just to keep the bad air out of the compound. Therefore, it was less advanced and less cramped. I just had to wait for old air to go out and new air to come in.

We came out of the second airlock simultaneously and headed over to the changing room where we could change into our space suits. My eyes roamed over my sister’s body as we walked, and despite seeing her in this outfit numerous times and even seeing her naked, I was still fascinated immensely by how she looked.

She walked in front of me, and watching her ass move as she walked, was hypnotizing. When we got to the suits, she caught me looking but didn’t say or do anything. I felt I was blushing heavily, but she just smiled coyly as we got into our suits.

“Checking coms,” I  said after we were suited up.

“Coms okay. Checking uplink,” Nadia replied.

After I heard the beep that confirmed our suits were connected, I gave her the thumbs up, and we headed to the outside door.

“Nervous?” I asked as we stood there, waiting for the door to open.

“A little. But mostly excited. You?”

“The same. It’s a long drive to the site, and I don’t know what to expect along the way. I’ll probably be taking a lot of pictures, that’s for sure.”

After the door opened, I exited the base for the very first time. The realization that I was walking on a remote planet was overwhelming and gave me goosebumps all over.

Nadia was right behind me, and over the coms, I heard her say, “Wow…” which was also a good representation of how I felt.

For a moment, I was at a loss for words and had to take it all in. The view of the horizon, the slightly different air color, the lack of birds in the sky, the white instead of the yellow sun. Everything was so different, and seeing it in real life instead of pictures or from the control tower hit me hard.

“Pretty amazing, huh?” Ethan said, and I looked behind me.

He walked over to us with a massive grin on his face. He stood between Nadia and me and put his arms around our shoulders.

“You’ll never forget your first time, but it gets me every time I get out here.”

“It’s awesome!” I said excitedly.

“Yeah!” Nadia added.

“Let’s get going. We’ve got a long day ahead of us.”

“We’re just driving. It’s not like we have to launch into space,” I said.

“Yeah. But along the way, I have to check a couple of things. And we don’t know what we’ll find at the site.”

We entered the rover, and as I sat down, I was amazed at how much space we had inside. In the front, there was a single driver seat. Behind that, three rows of each two seats. If we wanted, there could be two more rows, but they were taken out, and now a couple of big crates were there. And behind the wall in the back was an even bigger storage space.

“What’s in the back?” I asked as Ethan was powering up the rover.

“Nothing much. An exo-suit, oxygen, two generators, and a couple of spare parts for the CPU in the terraforming site we might need.”

“You know the way?” Nadia asked, eager to go.

“Really!?” Ethan said, acting offended but smiling broadly. “Of course I do!”

“Let’s roll!” I said with an equally big grin.

The rover started moving, and a thrill of excitement shot through me. I knew Ethan had lots of experience in the simulator and did a few real-life runs over here, so he knew what he was doing. I knew Dad wouldn’t let us go otherwise, so I smiled at my sister and took in the scenery as we left home base behind.

Despite the bumpy terrain, the ride was comfortable. After about five minutes, Ethan stopped. He opened his door and said, “Be right back. Just changing the batteries of the guidance light.”

I watched Ethan grab a battery from the storage compartment behind us, and he walked over to the light beside the dirt path that we called the road. Nadia showed me her control pad, and it showed Ethan’s vitals. He had a higher heart rate and elevated blood pressure, which were the telltale signs that he was nervous.

Nadia smiled at me, and after Ethan retook the wheel, she said, “You’re really good at this, Ethan. You’re sure this is just your fourth time?”

“Thanks!” Ethan said, “Yep! Fourth time for real. And a lot of sim work, of course.”

“Bisque,” Nadia said, and I could already see Ethan’s heart slow down a little.

The view outside changed as we drove further. The rocks got pointier and higher. The mountainsides were almost vertical now, but there was still grass and moss on the bottom.

Ethan stopped to change the battery every five minutes in the lights beside the road. We started calling them streetlights, which made Ethan laugh.

“Just two more left, guys,” Ethan said as we drove off again.

“What’s that?” I asked as I saw a narrow passage approaching.

“That’s the Antelope narrow. It’s called that way because the stones in this narrow are almost the same color as the famous canyon back on Earth.”

“Looks impressive,” Nadia said.

“It’s thirty feet wide, about five hundred feet high, and almost a mile long.”

“And we need to go through it?”

“It’s the shortest way. We can go around it, but that’ll take at least another four hours. And don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe!”

Driving through this canyon did look impressive. The colors were magnificent, and the high walls on each side gave it a bit of a claustrophobic vibe.

“This is cool,” Nadia softly said beside me.

“Yeah… You can’t find places like this on Earth. And after this canyon, it’s a straight shot to the terra site.”

We drove for a couple of more minutes. We were moving slowly, but it was fast enough, considering the terrain. Ethan stopped at the next light and did his thing again. Nadia was looking at her coms, and I checked what Ethan was doing. He had to climb on a small boulder to reach the light. The front door was closed, which was the first time he had done this. I guessed he was getting fed up with Nadia’s constant whining about the wind.  I was starting to get bored by all this, bummed out by the lack of action during the trip. I wanted to check out the site and see what was wrong there.

And that’s when disaster struck…

The rover started shaking violently, and I thought for a second that Ethan had pressed some wrong button or something. But when I saw my brother fall to the floor a heartbeat later and heard his groan over the radio when he hit the ground, I instantly knew it was bad.

“EARTHQUAKE!” Nadia shouted.

An ear-shattering crack sounded, and pieces of rock were flying around the rover. Before I knew it, the rover sank to the ground, and all windows were covered by metal shutters that came out of the top and bottom of every window.

“We’re cocooning!” I said, remembering this from training.

Cocooning is an automatic feature of every vehicle. It creates the safest possible environment for the humans inside. In the case of a rover, it gets low to the ground, with an air cushion below to dampen the blows it gets. Every weak point, like windows, is covered with the most robust materials, and the air inside is filtered and reused in case of external fire or gasses.

“ETHAN!” Nadia shouted.

We heard another low grunt over the radio. Nadia looked panicked at me, and I knew we had to do something. So I reached for the door to open it, but an annoying buzz reminded me that opening the door during cocooning wasn’t possible for obvious reasons. I was looking frantically for a solution when I heard Ethan say, “OH SHI-!“ over the loud noises of falling rocks on the rover.

The beep in my ear, combined with Ethan’s voice being cut off, made my blood run cold. I checked the pad on my wrist, and it confirmed my fear. Ethan’s vital signs were gone. No heartbeat, no breathing, but still a normal core temperature. Oh no…

“ETHAN!!” Nadia screamed.

She looked questioningly at me, and tears started forming in her eyes. I felt myself tear up, and my mind was blank. I wanted to do something, but because of the constant shaking of the rover and the idea my brother was dead, I couldn’t think of anything.

“I… I need to help him!” I shouted and moved my hand to the door handle.

“You can’t! We… he’s…”

“But what if he’s-“ I said, cut off by the sudden calmness as the rover stopped shaking.

There was an eerie silence now that the earthquake had stopped. Only two or three small rocks fell on the roof of the rover. But other than that, it was quiet.

“Surroundings are safe. Resuming normal operation,” a female voice said.

The rover moved up, and the windows opened again.  I immediately opened the door and stepped outside. 

“Wait here,” I said to my sister.

I expected her to object, but I could see her nod inside her helmet, and she looked terrified. I didn’t know what to expect outside, but the primal urge to protect my sister told me to do this alone. When I stepped out of the rover, I saw small rocks everywhere. Where the road was clear of debris when we drove here, now it looked like a rough gravel path. Nothing the rover couldn’t handle, but it would slow us down considerably.

Near the edges of the canyon, there were several big rocks. Some were bigger than our rover, some were man-sized, and everything in between. When I looked at the direction we were coming from, I realized we had been very fortunate. Just a couple of feet behind the rover lay a big rock twice the size of the rover. If this thing had hit us, Nadia and I would’ve been squashed like bugs.

This all happened in seconds as I tried to assess the situation and look for my brother. I walked over toward the spot where I last saw him, and as I approached it, my heart sank, and I knew I didn’t have a brother anymore.

Two gigantic rocks were lying at the bottom, and the step Ethan had stood on to change the battery was gone. The place on the ground where his body should be was covered with bigger and smaller rocks, with the two big ones side by side.

I couldn’t see his body, but when I looked a bit further to my right, I saw Ethan’s helmet lying there with a broken visor and a big dent in it. I was glad I couldn’t see his body because I knew then and there that this wouldn’t be pretty. But he was undeniably dead, that much was certain.

This realization didn’t hit me as deeply as I expected. I felt an incredible sadness and emptiness, but I also knew I had to act to keep myself and my sister safe. There just wasn’t time to mourn now. I dragged myself back to the rover to bring Nadia the bad news. When I stepped back in, Nadia must’ve read my body language because she started crying the moment she saw me.

“Oh, Ay! Is he really?” she cried as she threw herself at me.

“Yes. It’s…” I managed before I started crying myself.

We cried in each other’s arms for a few moments. A loud cracking sound outside the rover brought me back to my senses, and I gently broke the hug.

“We need to get out of here,” I said softly.

Nadia sniffed, and I could see her nod. I knew that getting out of here would be difficult, and time wasn’t on our side. There could be an aftershock at any moment. At least on Earth, aftershocks were common. I didn’t know if it was common over here, but I didn’t want to take the chance.

I sat in the driver’s seat and pressed the radio button. The light turned green, and I said, “This is rover D7 for Base. Come in Base.”

I waited about half a minute and repeated this. But we didn’t get a response. After the third time, I got out, stood at the door opening, and checked the roof. The radio antenna was crushed, which explained that.

“We can’t get hold of the base. The antenna is crushed, and our coms aren’t powerful enough to reach that far.”

“Shoot!” Nadia exclaimed, “That’s bad. Now what?”

“I think we’ve got two options. Push on or go back to Base. What do you think?” I asked.

Nadia thought about it briefly and said, “Back to Base. It’s our best shot, and they can go and get Eth-“

She sniffed and sucked in a breath, and I felt a lump in my throat that I had to swallow down. Heading back was also my first option, so we didn’t have to debate that one.

We got out of the rover and checked out the road. As I noticed earlier, a huge boulder blocked the way back almost completely. There was a small gap beside it, but there was no way the rover could get through that.

“Well… that isn’t an option,” Nadia said.

“We can walk,” I said, but I wasn’t overly thrilled about that idea.

We walked to the front of the rover, and that part of the road was still relatively clear. There was nothing there that the rover couldn’t handle.

Nadia looked at me and asked, “Pushing through to the terra site?”

“Guess so. We know there’s a radio over there. We just need to find a way to fix it, but we’ve got the spare parts for that.”

“And what if the site isn’t there anymore? We don’t know what to expect,” Nadia said.

“I think it’s our best shot. Yes, there is a chance that it’s gone, but it’s slim. To get back to the main base, we’ll have to walk, which will take us hours. If we have to, we can always drive back here and walk. But if the terra site is still intact, we’ll have a roof over our heads and a good chance of reaching the main base. I’ll say we take the chance.”

Nadia nodded and said, “Good point. Let’s go!”

I got into the driver’s seat again and started the rover. Nadia closed the door and got into her seat. I pressed the pedal, and off we went. I took another quick glance at Ethan’s helmet and promised myself to ensure his body was retrieved and that he’d receive a proper funeral. But for now, we had to think about ourselves. We rounded the corner that marked the end of the canyon. But right at the back of it, an enormous boulder blocked the road.

“Fanck!” I mumbled.

“Now what?” Nadia said a bit glumly.

We could clearly see the giant towers from the terraforming installation now. It was just a mile or two ahead of us. Maybe three.

I stopped in front of the rock and tried to push it out of the way with the rover.

The rover wasn’t equipped for this, so immediately, an alarm sounded, and the gas pedal stopped working. I backed up a little and looked at my twin sister.

“Three miles is doable, right?” I asked.

“I don’t know. With these suits, it’ll feel like ten miles. But if we have to…”

I knew she was right. It would be difficult to pull it off. But we also might need the stuff we brought with us from the rover, so I really wanted to take it with us. I thought about it for a few moments when an idea hit.

“I can wear the exo suit and take care of the rock,” I said excitedly.

Nadia wasn’t as excited as I was, but she didn’t immediately dismiss the idea either. She looked thoughtfully at me and asked, “It’s in the back, right?”

We got out, and I opened the storage compartment. Nadia checked the suit and prepared it for me to wear. We didn’t say much to each other. We knew what had to be done. The moment it was time for my oxygen to be cut off, I took a deep breath.

After I dropped my top and helmet, I stood there in my socks and undersuit. It was weird to be standing unprotected outside, but Nadia had prepared well, and within a minute, I had the top and helmet back on and could breathe again without being afraid of clogging my lungs.

“You get behind the wheel and drive through as soon as the road is free.”

Nadia did just that, and as I checked my suit’s settings, I walked up to the rock. As I stood in front of it, a sense of power washed over me. With this suit, I was almost a superhero.

So, after Nadia said she was ready, I grabbed the rock and lifted it. It was as if I lifted a bag of groceries. I turned so I faced the side of the road and took a step. There was a great spot to put the rock, and it wouldn’t bother us anymore if it was there. I just had to lift it a tiny bit higher.

Behind me, Nadia pulled through with the rover and said we were good. I was almost finished here, but just when I lifted the rock that final tiny bit, an alarm sounded in my ear. A fraction of a second later, an unbelievable pain shot through my arms.

I screamed loudly, and when I looked down, my underarms had a very unnatural downward bend in them. The alarm kept sounding in my ear, and I felt I was about to pass out.

“Ay!” Nadia shouted as she ran toward me.

She caught me just in time as my knees were getting weak. She supported me as we stumbled toward the rover. She sat me down at the door opening, and I could see her worried look.

“You… your suit has snapped and… your arms…”

I avoided looking down, but I had to know if I still had my arms, so I checked them. Seeing how my arms were pointed downward, I was glad I still had arms.

“Let’s hope there’s a working med pod in the terra site. Lie down,” Nadia said as she helped me inside.

I lay on my back, feeling lightheaded. I slipped in and out of consciousness during the ride. During one of the moments I was awake, I heard my sister grumble and curse under her breath. I didn’t know what it was, and I was out again. I felt myself drift back to the land of the living again, and when I saw my sister’s face above me, I felt a little better.

“Your undersuit is ensuring your pain and blood pressure are controlled. I’ll set it to maximum painkilling so we can remove the suits and get you inside. Okay?”

I nodded, and after she pressed some buttons on her wrist pad, I almost immediately felt no more pain. I couldn’t use my arm, but Nadia helped me to my feet, and we headed to the entrance of the terra site.

We entered the outer airlock, and I was glad everything seemed okay with the building. There was power, the control systems worked, and we were able to go inside. This was a huge plus. Despite my situation, I realized we were lucky.

“Sit down,” Nadia said, and she helped me on the chair.

I watched her as she got out of her space suit, and as she hung it on a hook, I checked out her ass again. Even now, I had to admire how she looked. I just couldn’t help myself.

“Now, let’s get you out of this and get inside,” Nadia said after she turned around, with her hard nipples trying to push through her undersuit.

She started with my helmet and smiled at my roaming eyes but didn’t say anything. She used the rarely used feature of the exo-suit, where the arms, front and backside disconnected. It wasn’t easy to put these back together, so people hardly ever used this feature.

Nadia placed the front and back parts of the suit aside and looked at my still-covered arms.

“I’m gonna have to cut these open,” she said, grabbing the emergency kit from the wall.

Moments later, the plasma cutter beeped, and before I knew it, my arms were freed from the suit. I looked at my underarms and saw the bones in both of them were broken, but I couldn’t feel anything due to the painkillers. My skin was red and bruised, but no bones stuck out or anything. I tried moving my fingers, and thankfully, they still worked.

“This looks bad, Ay.”

“I know… but…”

Nadia grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the sleeves of my arms open toward my neck. This way, the upper part of the undersuit fell open, and I could feel my body react. The suit had stopped working now, and I could feel my arms starting to throb. I was also getting a bit lightheaded and could now only hope for a med pod. Nadia took a tube from the medkit and pressed it hard on my upper leg. The sting of the needle was briefly there, but I could almost immediately feel the warmth of this painkiller as it entered my body.

“Ready?” Nadia asked.

I nodded, and Nadia started taking off her undersuit. No matter how lightheaded I was, looking at her exposed body was still a feast for my eyes. As her slit came into view, my dick rose in my pants, but I didn’t care. Nadia had seen me naked and hard before, and I knew now she didn’t mind too much either. That helped with making it a lot less awkward.

She threw her suit in the corner and helped me to my feet. As she pulled down my suit and my hard dick popped up, she asked with a bit of amusement in her voice, “Really? You’ve got a boner now?”

“I’m sorry! It’s just…”

“Come on,” she said, not letting me finish, and wrapped her arm around my waist to guide me toward the airlock.

She helped me inside and stepped in right after me. This is when we realized why these airlocks are called single-person-airlock. It was tight! Her breasts pressed against my chest, and my boner was trapped between our bodies, twitching every now and then from feeling my sister’s body in all her glory.

“Multi-person failure,” a friendly woman’s voice said.

“Medical emergency override,” Nadia said.

A second later, the same voice said, “Please confirm emergency override.”

“Confirmed,” we said simultaneously.

A feeling that things were going to be alright now washed over me. The painkillers were doing their job now, and I heard the beep indicating to hold our breaths in the distance as I slowly blacked out.

End of chapter 7

Copyright 2024 – Jason Crow
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Exigua agendi hujus cap. Occidere mores semper fun rem facere

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