First of the Month Fic

Just a friendly warning – if you’re reading this, then it’s likely you have no problems with gay-themed stories. If you do or if you are under the legal age of consent in your country, please leave without reading on.

Tribulation – Part Two

Pirates. Doran shook his head. That didn’t make sense. Since the Trib system was so far out on a limb of the galaxy it was debatable whether or not it was actually in Consortium space, both its laws and law enforcement were very much its own. Justice was swift and summary, and ever since piracy had been scorched out of the system – literally – it had been relegated to the bad old days and the holovids. He pulled up the streaming news-channel, but nothing had been reported. Yet. He hesitated, then made another call.

“Hi,” he said when Chatik opened the line. “Have you heard about the Pellintor?”

“What about it? I know it’s late getting here, but that’s all.” As usual, Chatik’s vocal apparatus put in too many clicks, but Doran had grown up hearing more than a few variants of ConTrade Standard, the quadrant-wide lingua franca of the Fourth Consortium, and had no problems understanding.

“She’s just landed. I’ve heard they had a run-in with pirates.”

“They – what?” The small explosion of clicks and buzzes were Poirathri curses. Then, “I’ll get back to you,” Chatik said hurriedly and cut the connection.

Twenty minutes later, System News had screaming headlines flowing across the tops of the vid-screens; Pirates attack cargo ship – Moira Penrith’s daring dash saves the Pellintor! The news anchor, a gray-featured Maacran, promised an interview with Captain Jose Tortuga and the hero herself in the coming hour, but Doran dropped the screen. His shift would be over very soon and he would be getting all the details from his lover.

*

Doran reached home moments before Kree. He’d barely had time to start the package meal heating before the door slid open and Kree bounced in, his crest of copper-red hair bristling above the blond. Still on an adrenaline high, then. Doran had seen one or two Vyans who could pass as human if they kept their eyes behind shades; Kree wasn’t one of them. His fine-boned face had sharply angled cheekbones, narrow blade of a nose, and large golden eyes with black horizontal slots for pupils. He was currently displaying his very sharp double canines in a fierce grin.

“Ran!” he whooped and pounced on Doran, pulling his head down for a voracious kiss. “Pirates!” Doran staggered back under the assault, his arms wrapping around the slender but oh-so-whiplash-supple frame. “You should have been there!”

“I’m damn glad I wasn’t. I’d probably have pissed myself.”

“No, you’d've had my back like always if they’d boarded us.” Smaller and lighter though Kree was, Doran knew better than to doubt his fighting ability – and his willingness to throw himself into any scrap going. It fitted right alongside with Vyan loyalty, Vyan honor, Vyan impulsiveness.

“I’m just glad they didn’t. Who were they?”

“No idea. Their ship was an old patched up Mishuriga class light cruiser, but I’m pretty sure the drive engines had been modified and its weaponry was right up to date. No insignia, of course, and no way of knowing where it went after we lost it in the Erebos Belt. If it was me, I’d've skimmed just inside the Veil but I couldn’t prove that’s what they did.”

Doran nodded. The Veil was a strange phenomenon in a solar system that specialized in weird. Not quite gaseous, not quite ionized particles, it wrapped around the outer rim of Tribulation’s collection of planets and two asteroid belts in dense clouds of rippling beauty. It was impossible to track anything in it, and navigation through it was chancy at best. Not that anyone tried these days. After all, why bother, when the system could be entered at zenith and nadir without problems. Back in the early days of settlement, venturous souls had tried to explore it. Not many returned to report their findings. The Veil had a way of playing merry hell with instrumentation.

“Wonder why they tried for a supply ship,” Doran said thoughtfully. “Not much in the way of rich pickings among food and machinery. Were you carrying passengers?”

“No, not this trip.” Kree’s frown turned his features into an almost demonic mask. “Now you mention it, it is kind of odd.”

…tbc

Nothing from the Word Generator this time *grin*. Tribulation seems to be growing legs and running without prompts.

Tribulation – Part One

The supply run to the mining colony on Tribulation Six was late. This wasn’t unusual. Trib was notorious for its solar flare-storms, and the worst ones played havoc with intersystem shipping schedules. Even so, when Pellintor made a low run over the landing site prior to touchdown, Doran sighed in relief.

His relief was short-lived. The control room atop the Brixt Minerals tower gave him a panoramic view of the port, and he could clearly see the damage to the cargo ship’s hull. Those deep scores and scorches hadn’t been caused by Tribulation’s flares. Doran swore and reached for his personal comm, keyed in Kree’s tag.

“Are you okay?” he asked as soon as the green light showed. “What happened?”

“Pirates!” Kree was laughing with delight, and if Doran had him within reach he would have done his best to throttle him. “We managed to lose them in the asteroids between Sheol and Tartaros. It was fantastic!”

“Are you kiting?” he demanded suspiciously. “Are you glitzing on me?” Kree had vowed he was off the drug, but he’d said that before.

“No!” He sounded more excited than indignant. “Moira flew us through those rocks like she was part of Pell – okay, she’s going to milk it for everything she can get, free drinks, free meals, you name it, but she’s earned one hell of a bonus.”

“Okay,” Doran relaxed, his smile growing. Like himself, Moira was fourth generation human, one of the more common species in the Tribulation system. Then Kree’s first word sank in. “Wait a minute. Pirates?”

“Yes! Moira’s on to our head office now and they’re arranging for an armed patrol sweep.”

There was an almost wistful note in his partner’s voice and it set off alarm bells in Doran. “You’re not thinking of volunteering, are you?” he asked suspiciously. He knew only too well how impulsive Vyans could be, a species trait Kree had in full.

“Never!” Kree protested. “Well, not unless we’d discussed it first and I know you wouldn’t like it so we don’t have to talk and I won’t.” He paused, then; “I’ll be home soon.” It was a promise, and offered more than just his company.

Doran smiled. He could easily visualize Kree’s toothy grin, sharp canines showing – far too many canines by human standards – would gladly have that smile in his life for years to come.

“See you soon,” he said quietly.

… to be continued …

………………

This is what the Generator gave me:

supply – noun

low – adjective

milk – verb transitive

arranging – verb intransitive

gladly – adverb

never – interjection

off – preposition

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