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Phoenix Station, October 18, 2079
Moonraker's Row roared like a caged lion, with loud raucous bars, sleazy establishments and VR sex parlors all jammed into one long section of Sanctuary Station. Subsonics reached into Helga's bones and made her tingle from head to toe. Holographic ads promising medieval bondage, rape fantasies and fairy tale extravaganzas bombarded her senses.
Male prosts strutted their stuff, trolled for action and signaled her with empty eyes that they were available. Tight muscular asses, strong pecs, six-pack abs, long-haired, short-haired, bald, black, white, oriental and mixed-race, each eager to please and earn credits to support their drug habits and pimp lovers. They were nothing but one-dimensional eye candy. Helga continued her long-legged stride past the beckoning sights and sounds. She needed a long night's session with a strong hard man pounding away inside her while she screamed in ecstatic release. At the same time, she wanted ... no ... she needed a warrior lover, not a prost.
Ever since she'd linked body and mind with Silk, Helga craved love and close physical contact with both men and women. It had become an addiction. Living on the edge like they did, risking death with each trip through the wyrmhole, only made the craving stronger. And if Silk wanted her to make love to a man tonight, long and slow, all night long, who was she to deny her symbiotic sister the simple pleasures of life and love within her body and this reality?
Just her luck that there weren't any male serpent hunters here ready to mate with her and give her the kind of emotional and physical contact she craved for herself andSilk. They were away on their current job assignments, diving deep into the holes and protecting ship and passengers against the formidable wyrmdragons. The only serpent hunters left on station were women. Women were okay for a quick fling but a woman wouldn't satisfy Silk's cravings for a male lover for them to share tonight.
A tall Caucasian man with combat-toned body and sad, haunted eyes strode past Helga and ducked into the next entrance. Strong, muscled arms bulged from his sleeveless half-suit of nano-metal. He carried an equipment bag in his right hand. The familiar lines of a samurai sword in a plain scabbard hung at his right hip.
She grinned. The sword on his right hip meant he was a southpaw. It gave him a slight advantage against those who expected a right-handed opponent. He rested his hand on the door's ID panel. It slid aside. He entered and the door slid shut behind him.
Whoa! Wait a minute. Who the hell was he? Helga ran forward and pressed her hand on the closed door's ID panel. A holographic genie materialized in response to her request for entry. It crossed its arms and blocked her in obvious warning. No entry. The hologram blared at her. Private combat training at Master level in progress.
Helga stepped back. She tapped her forefinger against her chin and ignored the alterday pedestrians jostling her. Where had she seen that man's face before?
Slowly, his features crystallized in her mind's eye from the images she'd seen on the list of new hires. Major Cord Blackstone, Security Chief for Fastron Corporation. Ex-major actually. He'd resigned his contract with Fastron Corporation and accepted a huge financial penalty in order to take the position of a lowly guardsman upon her ship, the Wyrm Runner.
The serpent tattoo coiled on Helga's left arm unwound itself and shimmered into a living entity. Silk slithered past Helga's shoulder, lifted her head and rubbed a tiny, scaled nose behind Helga's ear. Acute interest tinged with a frisson of sexual desire hummed into Helga's mind. Interesting. Silk had noticed this man too. The possibilities were intriguing.
Helga spun on her heel and strode away. All of a sudden she was very, very eager for tomorrow to begin. As for tonight ... well ... a prolonged session in one of the VR stimulators would have to suffice until she could get the real thing.
Master Sen Lui arched his left eyebrow. "Why the change from full suit to half-suit for tonight's session?"
Cord bowed. "I resigned from Fastron Corporation two months ago."
He laid his equipment bag, sword and scabbard on the stand and moved through the traditional stretches of arms, shoulders, legs and feet. The nano-metal fabric of his sleeveless coverall and boots moved like liquid over his body, instantly adapting to every change in position. The equipment bag contained the rest of his spacesuit: sleeves, gloves, helmet and emergency air pack. Only a fool walked a spaceship without his suit components close at hand. Critical seconds lost looking for suit components could mean the difference between life and death during emergency decompression.
"I accepted a position as guardsman on the Wyrm Runner."
"Ah!" Sen Lui grinned. His dark skin, almond-shaped eyes and short, kinky red hair bespoke his unique racial blend of black, Asian and Celtic ancestry.
He didn't have to say anything else. Sen Lui understood the reason now for the half-suit. Death was instant during decompression within a wyrmhole no matter what kind of suit you wore. Guardsmen and serpent hunters preferred the slight advantage of more freedom of motion in a half-suit while fighting wyrmdragons.
Cord finished his stretches, walked back to the practice mat with his sword and bowed again. Sen Lui uncoiled himself from his lotus position, unsheathed his sword and bowed.
They began their session with a warm-up sequence of basic strokes and positions. Step by step they moved, forward and back, circling and feeling each other's movements and patterns. It was both greeting and conversation, a dialogue in steel and motion.
They wore no padding, no blunted swords, no facemasks. A misstep, a failed move meant mutilation and possible death.
The session turned serious. They moved faster, probing each other's strengths and weaknesses. Circle, step, feint, parry. The blades whirled and caught the light, faster and faster. Beauty and death combined in every motion of their fatal dance. Body and soul joined in deadly battle.
A final clash of steel against steel filled the air. They disengaged and sheathed their blades.
Sweat poured down Cord's face. He felt perfectly relaxed and tired. His arms and legs ached. Tremors of exhaustion shook his body. It was a good fight. He bowed. "Thank you, Master."
Sen Lui bowed. "Thank you." He quirked a sardonic eyebrow at Cord. "If you succeed and become one of the serpent hunters, contact me and let me know how it feels. I might want to change my vocation too."
Helga stretched herself out on the VR bed and closed her eyes. Nude, she waited while the automated probes snaked out and touched her mouth, her shoulders, the hollow of her throat, her breasts and nipples, her hands and fingers, her clit, pussy and anus, the insides of her thighs and knees and the soles of her feet. A sensor cap gently fitted itself over her scalp and eyes.
Total sensory input. As an added bonus, the VR set-up also allowed her full access to Silk, almost as if they walked together again within the altered para-reality of the wyrmhole.
Slowly, carefully, she relaxed her mind and pulled up the memories she had of Cord walking past her into the Sen Lui's martial arts academy. The lean, hard lines of his body. The veins bulging on his well-muscled arms. Would he have the same kind of veins twisting around the thick shaft of his erection?
She smiled and imagined his strong naked body lying beside her. He reached for her. Her heart beat faster. Her skin came alive. She felt his fingers brush against her breast. Her nipples hardened, eager to feel his fingers and mouth upon them.
He bent his head down to her. She lifted hers to meet his. Their lips met in a hard, demanding kiss. His tongue probed her mouth. Her clit throbbed under the gentle pulses of the VR sensor.
Cord pulled back and smiled at her. He ran his thumb across her mouth.
Silk materialized beside Helga. Prismatic scales glittered on her human-shaped body, breasts and hips. Cord smiled, reached past Helga and touched Silk's breast. The serpent woman's scaled nipples pebbled with arousal. Silk murmured in a husky voice. "I look forward to sharing this one with you, my hostsister."