Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 9

Story by rhenthar on SoFurry

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Chapter 9.

We're standing on the tarmac, it's hot under my paws. Sin and Zach are discussing what to do next. Zach worked his magic on my mind, massaging my ears and whispering into them all the quiet words of assurance, about who I am and how important I remain. I was terrified that this marked the end, that I failed on such a colossal scale so as to end it all. His voice, so capable of calming my inner demons before. It has worked again, along with his gentle touch. Zach has always been easy to believe.

"Allenvan, head to house and workshop?" Zach asks.

"Yes," Sin replies. "We should see what we can do, and quickly. You remember our discussion a while back? The bird is definitely in the hand."

Zach's eyes go a little wider, he nods, and I wonder what that means.

"I'll go with Keman, I'm sure he wants to show me his ship, hm?" Sin smirks, glancing at me.

"Well, yeah..." I say, feeling a sudden surge of pride. "She's not what she appears to be."

All three of us glance at The Jefferson as a ripple of invisibility slowly washes from the landing struts to the nosecone. The AI is most definitely paying attention, which is exactly what I told it to do.

"Er." Zach blinks. "The Hahkota says your ship just vanished and reappeared to its sensors. How... is, is safe?" He turns and looks at Sinclair questioningly.

"Zach, I know what you're really asking. And there's nothing else Mist would have needed to program him to do. So just drop it." Sin rubs his paws together, washing his hands of the situation.

Zach gobbles and nods. I realize the implication and feel a pang of uncertainty. What else could he have done to me? I've never distrusted myself before.

"Going to need big explanation to crew." Zach leans close to Sin, with barely a whisper: "More lies?"

"Deception has lead us to this problem. So let's start with the truth, for a change," Sin says, one ear sideways. "Just go slow, and let Keman tell them his part, when he feels the time is right."

I'm actually afraid of doing that, but still, I find myself looking forward to finally bridging the chasm that's built up between my friends and I. I wonder what they'll think. I hope to hell that they don't reject me, because it would cut me to the bone. Yet, I have to be ready, if that happens. I'm glad it isn't right now, I don't think I can handle it in my present state.

Zach nods. "See you soon. Old ship," he glances at The Jefferson. "Warp drive still work?" He looks at me with a smile at the edges of his muzzle, and I can smell his arrogance.

I point. "That's the ship that almost ran you guys over while warping, uh. Couple weeks... a month, ago?" I glance at Sin, he nods. I nod too. My grin grows wide. I saw it all in the logs.

"Oh." Zach says, staring at me with his ears flat. "We almost died."

Er. "Yikes. I didn't know that part." I hold my paws up. "I wasn't flying her at the time. It's a long story, call it autopilot error. I'll make sure it doesn't happen again."

Zach nods. "Do that," he says, shaking his muzzle. "Oif. Need to talk about all this, but pressed for time. Certainly. Go!" He's walking back to _The Hahkota_without another word.

Sin and I stare at each other, and together we walk towards my ship. He's rubbing shoulders with me while we walk, and my tail is alive as I start explaining how I ended up with it. Nod, Jimmy, and the AI that saved my life.

"1Z-Yoshi, yes, I saw the big charge to your account from them and I wondered what the story was. You do realize those repairs cost fifty million credits, right?" The Hahkota lifts up into the air on quiet a-grav propulsion, producing a deep throb that I can feel in my toes.

My ears splay sideways. "Yeah. I'm really sorry, the AI did it. But if it hadn't... I wouldn't be here." The boarding hatch slowly extends, it bangs against the ground in front of us.

Sin shakes his head. "No, Mist is smart. There's no way he would just leave you to be captured by some random recovery team. Most are no more than pirates, a normal team would likely have killed you and simply taken the ship.

"The real question is," he says, suddenly smiling. "Who was the recovery team working for? And what were they paid to do with you?"

I hadn't quite thought about it from that angle. I figured the recovery was just random happenstance. Well, whoever they were, they're long dead now. My ship blew apart their vessel, vaporizing half of it. I didn't even feel bad, recovery operations are extremely hazardous. Often, multiple ships show up and battle it out.

That was something Mist hadn't calculated, the one thing he didn't know about was my ship. As we walk up its steps, I realize the secret is now over. If he can see everything Sinclair sees, indeed. He knows everything now. The pride of showing Sinclair what I've built temporarily lets me forget.

"I had all new quarters installed and the interior redesigned," I say, with growing excitement. "And it has a real bridge!" The smell of fresh polymers has his attention as we walk up the main hallway towards the front. I instruct the AI to put the ship into minimal automation mode. It will take the most amount of button pushing, and it'll also make the most amount of flash. It then does what computers usually don't.

It asks why.

I tell it that I want to impress who I'm with. That Sinclair might appreciate all the startup sequences and various phases the hardware has to go through while we launch into space. It asks for me to elaborate, and I quickly remind it of the one time I asked for it to show off its own abilities, to me. It understands that as we hold our discussion privately, using my wetware, involving a combination of text and thought images.

The doors to the bridge slide open and we walk in, Sinclair and I both sit down on comfortable blue gel, the embrace against my spine is intimate and I find it even sexual as it firmly hugs my butt. Sin seems surprised when I start pulling thick webbing over my shoulders, but he copies my actions without any questions.

Various screens all around us rapidly display every moving part of the ship, as they're moving. Gears mesh, solenoids move, status lights come alive. Only because the entire ship is coated with nanomachines is this possible, each has its own photoreceptor bank. They band together to create very high-resolution imagery.

There are too many parts to see, so the AI intelligently categorizes things into larger and larger object sets. A sharp whine of capacitors ramps up, transferring a shrill sound through the floor, and we lurch toward the atmosphere, and through it, with a small amount of the g-forces uncompensated. We _feel_the ship moving, and the sensation of speed is intense.

Sin's breath catches as the both of us are thrust deep into our seats, a very big grin forms on my muzzle. We continue to exit Phaylact's no-fusion zone on a-grav, dropping out of its gravity well. I could split deuterium this local, but I've saved the best for last.

Lighting on the bridge darkens and every surface becomes part of a massive screen. Artificial gravity switches off, stars surround us, and the vantage becomes from outside the ship, very realistic and three-dimensional. Sinclair reaches out and squeezes my arm, I take his paw into my own and squeeze back. The Hahkota is little more than a circular graphic, it stretches out and vanishes.

White veined with purple erupts from the back of The Jefferson, and it feels like we're kicked forward, very hard. We hurtle toward the system's sun on a curved trajectory, slingshotting through its gravity well and entering warp at the same time. A long ripping sound permeates through the hull as this method gains incredible speed, and all the stars in front of us slowly stretch toward us, blueshifted at the edges.

Our destination appears ahead, growing larger as the representation effectively zooms in through eighty light years of distance. The slowly turning blue world of Allenvan, covered in clouds and oceans. Our home. Various statistics drop down beside it, but the most important is the expected time to arrive, just a few hours. The Hahkota will be lucky to get there in six, it's long behind us. Gravity kicks back on and things start returning to normal.

"That was... very not legal, Keman. Do you know how many sunspots that might have just created?"

"I know. But since it seems to know what it's doing..." I can't help but grin.

Sinclair shakes his head and laughs, slapping my arm and squeezing it. "He can't hear us right now, you know. Could be recording, but. Otherwise. It's just you and me, for the time being."

Er. I think back to when Sin had disappeared when Mist's ship went to warp. Of course. "Oh yeah. Hurf. Is there anything you want to talk about, that he might..."

"Prevent?" he says. "No. But." His paw lets go of my arm and he grabs my sheath. I sit up a little straighter in the seat. "Still have that stimulator I gave you?"

I swallow and nod. "Yes sir!"

He slides the 'site calming ring off my sheath with a quick yank and quietly chuckles. "Good. Cuz this is mine for now." The 'site wakes right up, and a strong sensation traces its way up into my bladder.

I'm instantly hard.

Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 10

Chapter 10. Marcus looks around as he's forcefully walked out of the storage closet, desperate to recognize someone familiar. Mist's paw almost completely encircles his neck, and he has no doubt that he could break it if he wants to. Terror picks...

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Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 8

Chapter 8. They were outside, following Sir's orange and white striped body from a close distance. Though he rarely punished them in public, it could come, and swiftly at that. Their collars had grown tighter over the years, something Sir...

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Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 7

Chapter 7. We're at the starship landing field, and _The Hahkota_ is a hundred meters from _The Jefferson_. I'm surprised to see that my ship is actually a little bit bigger on the outside. I know from memory that_The Hahkota_ is much larger on the...

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