Unearthing The Past


Maarten Buitendijk



Disclaimer: This story takes place in the universe of EVE, which obviously is not owned by me. However, nearly every character in the story will be my creation as I mostly wanted to borrow the extended lore of the universe and thought it would provide fertile grounds for an epic story, complete with all the (not so) good things in life: love, war, tragedy and epic conflicts. The main characters are original, though, although in some instances loosely based around themes I enjoyed seeing/reading in other fictitious works. But in those cases, I mostly used the general archetype, and filled in the specifics with my own creativity.

A/N: And here we go, with the chronological beginning of the story. As I said in the prologue, it'll be a few chapters before the plot thickens and more action re-enters the picture, as I want to take some time to introduce the characters, and have them share some of themselves with the esteemed readers :-)

It may take us a while to get back to the time the prologue takes place in, but I promise to try and make it worth your while. And the prologue certainly isn't the end of the story, maybe more accurately it is the end of the beginning of the story.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to email me at mbuitendijk@gmail.com!

Chapter 1: Graduation

YC 111

Bourynes VI, Sinq-Laison

The great assembly hall was absolutely packed. I didn't think I had ever seen this many people in a single place before. Even the enormously spacious lecture halls of my introductory courses at the University of Caille had not been nearly this crowded. For a moment, the recognition of the fact that there really were a few thousand other people graduating with my very same credentials made me somewhat less sure of the ease with which I might find future employment. Hopefully the universe was big enough for that many starship engineers. It wasn't much comfort, to be honest.

I fidgeted slightly in my seat, trying to smooth the crinkles out of my long graduation robes and restore them to some semblance of order. For the most part, it just spread the chaos around more and I gave up after a few moments.

Crowds this large made me uncomfortable, although I had become quite adept at concealing my unease with a mask of indifference over the years. It helped me fit in better. At least, that was one reason for it. The truth of the matter was, I didn't really feel comfortable showing much emotion around other people unless I happened to feel very much at ease with them.

Ugh, I just wish this whole event would hurry up and be over with, I thought, so I can go back to my tiny room and do something I enjoyed a great deal more: learning.

There were at least five more holo lectures I wanted to watch today. Especially the Practical Thermodynamics lecture looked excellent; I had heard they managed to snare an actual capsuleer for that one to emphasize how bloody useful a good working knowledge of basic and applied thermodynamics could be for tight combat operations.

Rumors had it that a good engineer could pry a good 30% or more extra mileage out of their modules, if only for a minute or two. That really could mean the difference between life and death in an evenly balanced situation. And yes, I certainly did realize how sad that may seem to the, shall we say, more socially adept members of society.

I was quite rudely shaken from my musings when Dr. Mariott, the chair of the University of Caille - Bourynes VI Engineering department, sauntered onto the stage, his chest puffed out with a self-important air almost palpable around him.

I had a hard time suppressing a grin. The man was a lifelong bureaucrat. Probably related to some Senator or another, as he had never done any research or teaching in his life and mostly seemed to have a knack for somehow managing to get his name added onto whatever important project was going on at the school. Of course, to read the official transcripts you'd think he was a scientific genius.

It had taken a bit of convincing on my part, but eventually my friend Sander had relented and found a way to hack into the Federation databases. We'd spent a few afternoons reading up on the guy, and several other things that I probably had no right to know.

I still didn't quite understand how Sander had managed that little feat. I swear, he was so good at manipulating computers that I was pretty sure he could get one to agree to have sex with him. I wasn't so sure he may not have, at one point. He certainly declared his love for all things electronic on a regular basis. I felt a smirk tugging at the corners of my mouth as I thought about my friend.

Shaking my head, I turned my attention back to the stage where Dr. Mariott had finally gotten his act together enough to start his speech.

"Good evening, graduating class of YC111!" His electronically amplified voice boomed out through the hall, easily audible even in the back rows of the hall where I was seated. "I hope everyone here feels honored to be amongst such a select few, and be part of the rich tradition of academic excellence here at Caille University."

I'm ashamed to say I quickly zoned out at that point, as I had an easier time paying attention to the weather forecast for the Gallente homeworld than to one of Mariott's disgustingly cliche speeches.

My mind flashed through many of the things I had done while in school. Most of them quite positive in the sense that I'd always been busy, and achieved my goals academically, but few memories from my time here were truly ones I treasured. Besides Sander, I rarely spoke to any other people at the school. I wasn't quite sure whether that was because I was just terribly uninterested in people in general, or if it was just the lack of maturity that bothered me when interacting with most of my peers.

I sighed softly. It really did not bother me that much to have few social interactions with others. At least, most of the time it didn't. I did occasionally get extremely sharp pangs of, well, longing was the only good term I could find for it. But I had no idea for what, as my life had always seemed to consist of this. It was filled with a great many interesting things, but few people of note.

A warm smile did touch my lips when I thought of my parents. It was a shame they did not have the means to visit this graduation. They would have dearly wanted to see it, but it was not cheap to take interstellar transports for a lower class family; and more so, they could not afford to take the time off from their small business.

It had been quite a while since I last saw them, and I was very much looking forward to getting this stupid graduation ceremony over with so I could hop on the next transport to Villore. Especially seeing my younger sister would be wonderful.

One of the things that was hardest about leaving home had been missing many years of her childhood. She was 13 now, and probably nearly twice as tall as she had been when I last saw her. I shook my head at that, even as a silly grin graced my face.

I was once again shaken from my musings as Dr. Mariott started calling the names of students. One. By. One. Considering there were about two thousand, four hundred students in my class, this was going to take a while. At least I would be among the first called. I could go back to my musings after that.

"Aleante, Selena!” A blonde woman in robes similar to mine wandered onto the stage to receive a handshake and an electronic copy of her degree on a small holopad. I saw Mariott's eyes lingering on her a tad longer than necessary. Ugh, the guy was such a pervert. I felt glad for her when she could get off the stage a few seconds later. Not that I knew her, it was more the principle of the thing.

“Alebior, Nyx!” A tall man strolled up the stage, exchanging a few words with the department chair before receiving his degree.

I released a breath I hadn't realized I'd held. I was up next; I had been in enough classes with that guy to know my name was directly after his. It'll be okay , I told myself, this will be over soon enough. I snorted a little. Frequent internal monologues were a sign of a healthy brain, right?

“Alfion, Evelynne!” I sighed. There we go. I rose from my seat near the back of the great hall, and started the walk towards the stage. A lock of my hair detached itself from the unruly mass that was on the top of my head and tickled the side of my face. I could see it from the corner of my eye, too, and as happened sometimes I was struck by the contrast between the subdued colors of the hall around me, and the brightness of my hair.

It was nearly the color of fresh blood. Not an altogether common color to see on a person, but with all the evolutionary changes forced upon humans from their long exposure to new environments, it was by no means an unique occurrence. It did form a very striking contrast with my rather fair complexion, one I could readily summon in my mind's eye.

I felt many hundreds pairs of eyes watching me as I walked towards the stage. I thoroughly detested being the center of this much attention, but I suppose it couldn't be helped. I did need to spend the next week away from people, though. It was supremely exhausting for me to be around this many other human beings for so long.

As I walked up the steps towards the main stage to receive my handshake and holopad, Dr. Mariott's voice once again rang out. “In addition to having obtained her degree with the highest honors, Miss Alfion managed to place in the top percentile of this year's engineering cohort.”

When he said that, a low murmur filled the hall. My face was starting to turn scarlet and I could feel the blood rushing to my cheeks, wishing dearly that I had mastered the ability to open up a wormhole in the middle of the hall. I generally did not care one bit how I did relative to other people, though I wish I had just so I would have avoided the surprise of this announcement.

Having reached the top of the stairs, I walked across the stage towards Dr. Mariott. The way he was looking at me frankly made my skin crawl with distaste. It felt like he was undressing me mentally, and it made me glad that at least these bloody robes were fairly formless. They were warm and uncomfortable, but it sure as hell beat the alternative. What a creep.

I managed to somehow plaster a tight smile on my face, and I cursed for once my fair complexion. I was most likely still blushing from earlier, and I didn't like the fact that someone like him would have the satisfaction of seeing my flustered like that.

Mentally steeling myself, I held out my hand so we could get the obligatory handshake over with. As if I really wanted this guy's approval. His larger hand swallowed my slender fingers whole, and I had to keep from shivering with disgust as I felt how sweaty his palms were. I seriously need a bath when I get out of this place.

Especially combined with the way he smiled at me, it seriously set off my creepiness alarms. His dull brown eyes reminded me somewhat of the color of the larger cockroaches I had seen as a child, living in less than hospitable places.

I gave him a tight nod, and managed to extract my hand after the handshake lasted quite a few heartbeats longer than was necessary, or appropriate. In my mind, anyway.

Turning around from him towards the assistant chair who was holding the holopad containing a copy of my degree, I somehow managed to avoid audibly sighing with relief. Dr. Lorander was one of my favorite professors at the university, and I had always enjoyed his witty insights in whatever subject we happened to be discussing. He specialized in propulsion systems engineering, and probably knew more about the theory behind it than anyone I'd met in my life.

I smiled warmly at him, and I could tell from the way he returned the smile that he was happy to see me here. The twinkle in his grey eyes was equally obvious to me, and I couldn't help but grin a little when he almost imperceptibly rolled his eyes towards Dr. Mariott's back.

“Evelynne!” He spoke softly. “It is such a pleasure to give you this. You were one of my favorite students here, and it was truly a joy to have your inquisitive mind in my classes.”

I blushed somewhat at his compliment. “Oh, it was easy to be engaged like that, Dr. Lorander. And propulsion technology is such a fascinating subject to begin with. Why, the effects of the various propulsion enhancements that have been used so far on manoeuverability and combat agility really are amazingly complex. I had a hard time going to sleep when working on the assignments for that class!” I realized I was getting carried away a little, especially given where we were, and my face heated yet more.

If he noticed, he had the grace not to say anything, though, and instead merely chuckled. “Ah, to be young. And it's quite alright to be so enthusiastic about this... I myself still am, even after all these years of studying the subject.”

He held out my holopad, and I gratefully took it from him, my hands clasping it to myself. I really did feel proud of having graduated here, even if I did not like to make a big deal out of it to anyone else.

Dr. Lorander nodded at me, and spoke softly. “Well, feel free to keep in touch once you know exactly what you want to do after graduation. You know how to reach me.”

He held out his hand and I shook it firmly, before moving out of the way for the next student to come up to the stage.

“Alette, Simone.” I heard Dr. Mariott's voice speak the name of the next student, though I wasn't really paying attention any longer. Dr. Lorander's comment had reminded me. I really did have to decide on what I wanted to do with myself, after I had a chance to finally visit home after all these years.

I could certainly try to slowly work my way up the University ranks, but I wasn't quite sure if that was what I wanted. The bureaucracy was quite insane, all the time, and I hated dealing with paperwork and red tape. On the other hand, there were the hundreds of corporations that spanned the reaches of the known galaxy, and I could always see about working for one of those. There was certainly a lot of exciting new research coming out of the premier research corporations that existed in New Eden.

Then, of course, there were the more practical professions such as working as an engineer in some capacity on board of a large starship. I didn't currently have much experience doing that, but I was confident I'd have the capacity to learn.

Reaching my seat, I sat down and zoned out most of the rest of the graduation ceremony. I suppose it's not something I have to decide right now... I thought. I'll have several hours on board of the transports to think about this.

I instead turned my mind to my family, and how much I longed to see them again. Just thinking about little Sophie made my cheeks hurt, I was grinning so hard. My baby sister. I had spoken to her quite often through messages, but it wasn't at all the same. And my parents could not at all afford to use holo-technology to make the calls more interactive and life-like.

It would be so very good to see her again, especially. I'd always felt supremely protective of her, and it tugged on my heart to see her big, awe-filled eyes look at me. She did that so often when we were together, and I was quite sure my baby sister worshipped the ground I walked on.

I promise I won't disappoint you, Sophie. I thought to myself, sealing that vow away in the depths of my mind.

And my parents, of course. Liam, my dad meant the world to me, and we'd always been close. He had a similar love of engineering and science that I had, but had never gotten the opportunity to really follow it. Life, and making a living (barely, at times) had taken away most of his productive efforts. Moira, my mom, had such a wonderful, loving spirit. Even with life as tough as they'd had it, she had never succumbed to it and lost her happy, caring nature.

Both my parents had always made sure we knew we were loved, and supported us as much as they were able to. It wasn't easy for them to see me go far away for school, and I think it had taken every credit they had saved up over the years, but they had never said a word to me about that particular hardship.

I had sworn to never disappoint them, either, or object to their gift of my education. Somehow, that had always felt wrong to me, and I did not want to cheapen the act by not trusting them to have weighed the costs and benefits of it for themselves, before offering it. I had always known them to be responsible, so at the time I had merely hugged them, struck speechless with joy and gratitude.

Living in the poorer quarters of a large city on Vylade certainly was not easy. My parents had arrived there a decade before I was born, refugees from one of the many skirmishes between the Minmatar Republic and the Amarr Empire. They had lived in one of the border systems before it was evacuated, on a planet called Korgrim. A good thing, too, as continued orbital bombardment had left most of that planet in ruin.

They managed to make their way off the planet just a few days before that, but couldn't take anything with them. I know my dad especially was afraid the conflict would escalate further, and my parents decided to make their way into the Gallente Federation. Lured, in part, by the openly advocated principles of equality and freedom the Federation was based upon.

They'd settled on Vylade, but by the time they had finally arrived there all their savings had been used up to pay for the various transport tickets and customs fees.

It had taken them nearly three decades to build up their small store to the point where they were making a fairly good living. Last I'd heard, anyway. I knew my parents were proud enough, like most Matari, to not mention any troubles they may have had. Not to their children.

Even though Sophie and I grew up rather poor, I had so many wonderful memories of that time. They were more precious to me than all the credits in the world. Just thinking about the time we'd camped out all night in the living room of our small apartment made a smile appear on my face.

We'd built a fort out of blankets, and the whole family had stayed up through the night. Talking, playing games, and having a wonderful time. Oh, how I missed that... It had really been five whole years since I last felt their arms around me, and part of me was almost in physical agony over that.

I was a very physically affectionate person, and a loving touch was almost as much of a basic need to me as the food I ate and the air I breathed. Alas, I really hadn't been close enough, felt comfortable enough around anyone here at the University to do that. I sighed, wistfully, and thought of another fond memory I had.

I was so deeply sunk in thought that I hadn't even realized that the last name of the day had been called. I was shocked out of my memories when I felt the person next to me stir. The tall male stretched a little as he stood up before starting to move down the narrow aisle. His action made me aware of how stiff my body was after sitting in the same position for what must have been most of the day.

I got up myself, and stretched out slowly, hearing some joints pop in the process as I tried to get some blood flowing through my extremities again. I definitely could feel a strain in my upper back and neck, though. I'm going to regret this damn graduation ceremony later. But possibly a long, hot shower would help.

I did have about half a day left before the shuttles that left from the spaceport on Bourynes VI would bring us to the orbital station.

Generally, the large interplanetary transport ships docked in orbit, as it was much more efficient not to have to go through a planet's gravitational field both ways. It also greatly increased their lifespan as they weren't exposed to the harsh forces of deceleration and acceleration on a regular basis. Air wasn't that dense, but it was a hell of a lot denser than the emptiness of space.

I finally left the hall, one of the last people to do so. Making my way across the massive campus of the University of Caille I moved towards the dormitories where my tiny apartment was. It really was more of a glorified closet, everything was packed so tightly together that you could barely turn without hitting something.

I smirked a little. At least I'm not clumsy. That would truly suck.

Glancing up at the sky, I could see that most of the day had indeed passed by. The sun had already started its descent towards the horizon, and in the cloudless skies you could barely make out the enormous orbital station surrounding the planet.

That sight, and the constant shuttle traffic that I knew was going on all day long always managed to soothe me, somehow. Besides, spaceships of any kind made me happy. Probably too much so for a sane human being, but that was something that couldn't be helped much.

I finally reached my dormitory building. Dull grey letters above the entrance spelled out: “DORMITORY 321”. Ah, home. At least as much as a place like this could be home. It certainly didn't compare to the real thing. One I would see ever so soon.

My stomach filled with giddiness at the thought. It really was only tomorrow morning that I would be boarding the orbital shuttle, and then a day or two later we would arrive on the surface of Vylade.

The actual transits between solar systems were quite short due to the mysterious, ancient jumpgates that connected the galaxy like a network of arteries, and it would probably only take the enormous transport a few hours to move several lightyears away.

What tended to take the longest was the shuttles from here to there, and the waiting on customs officials, and boarding checks, and the extra time you needed to make sure you didn't miss the ship.

I grimaced a little. I was very much not looking forward to sitting in various space stations for the better part of two days, but it couldn't be helped.

Having arrived at my dorm, it was as if all the day's exhaustion caught up with me at once, and I almost stumbled when I set foot on the first of the ornamental steps that lead up to the dormitory entrance.

Catching myself on the railing, I took a moment to steady myself, and managed to get up the rest of the stairs without falling over. “Damn, my legs feel like they're made out of gelatin.” I muttered to myself. At least it wasn't far to the elevators that lead up to my room.

A few minutes later, I had finally reached my glorified closet that had been home to me for five years. There was the small bed, that really wasn't comfortable at all until I had managed to commandeer some extra padding to stuff underneath the mattress.

The compact, but fairly decent food processing unit was also there, of course. In contrast to the name, it could turn a mixture of most basic elements into edible (well, by some standards) or drinkable.... consumptives. I quite literally cringed as I remembered how *some* of those things turned out, but I guess it kept me alive and well enough to work here.

Still, being able to eat some actual meals at home would be delightful. A girl couldn't live on reconstituted powder forever, right?

I punched in a series of commands and filled a mug with some hot coffee, then punched in another series and watched it hum, and hum for a while, making my dinner.

While the machine was busy making a ‘stew' for me, I finally pulled off my graduation robes and set them aside, folding them carefully. They were not new robes, and I needed to make sure they were in good enough shape that I could sell them back to the thrift-store that sold used university supplies.

I would have to do that first thing tomorrow, as I really could use the little bit of money. It wasn't as if I was going to be wearing the hideous things again.

Removing the bulky robes left me in a simple synthetic shirt, matching my rather short shorts. I didn't normally wear things like that, but I hadn't wanted to be extremely uncomfortable under my heavy clothes today.

Both articles of clothing were made of the same ubiquitous synthetic material that was found in virtually every cheap product, but I did like the way the dark green tint of the outfit looked on me. And, really, it was fine for wearing in my room when I was working on homework, or reading up on some new experimental design somebody had published.

Comfort was important, and I couldn't stand being too warm. It made my brain shut down, I think, as I could never focus clearly if I was sweaty from the ambient temperature.

Even though the food tasted rather terrible, and the consistency would leave something to be desired, I still marveled at the technology that went into a simple little machine like that. And I had heard that the better versions could replicate, and replicate perfectly, whole meals that could make the greatest ascetic hungry for a bite.

A few minutes later, still sipping on my coffee, the humming finished and a rather disgusting looking mixture poured out of the machine and into the bowl I had readied for this. Like I mentioned, the consistency left something to be desired.

With a stoicism that could only have been born from many, many similar meals I started eating the thick stew. The taste wasn't really that bad, actually. It mostly felt like you were chewing on something a bit too, shall we say, elastic.

I swallowed the last of it, and finished my mug of coffee to rinse out the last bit of the ‘stew' from my mouth. I placed the bowl and mug in the sterilizer, and both were quickly and efficiently rinsed and dried. Ready for whenever I'd need them next.

Making sure I locked my door, I stripped off the remaining clothes I wore and eased my way into the hygiene chamber that was attached to the main portion of my room.

The movement detectors in the chamber recognized me and turned on a stream of warm water and I just stood there for several minutes, letting the warmth soothe my tired muscles.

I rested my head against the wall, sighing softly in bliss as the streams of water pounded against my skin. “Now this is what I needed...” I muttered softly.

A few minutes of quiet enjoyment later I already felt much better. I started washing myself using a small amount of highly concentrated soap to strip the sweat off my skin. These hygiene chambers used treated water that made sure your skin stayed moisturized, which really was quite wonderful.

It was a shame, though, that these tiny chambers didn't have any full-size mirrors in them. Part of me always did enjoy the sight of myself, and the way the water would form tiny rivulets and streams on the curves of my body. It made me the tiniest bit excited, just thinking about it.

Closing my eyes, I could almost imagine that the soft hands expertly caressing my skin were not my own, but the lightly tanned, slender hands of another. The fingertips ghosting across the outsides of my hips felt exquisite, and I couldn't help but gasp softly as the slight pressure of their passing over the sensitive bones underneath sent shivers up my spine.

Following the contours of my body upwards where my hips narrowed into a luxuriously soft, yet toned waist. The sensations made my abdominal muscles contract rhythmically, and I delighted for a moment in the the velvety feel of my skin. I had always loved to touch myself; it brought me comfort and helped me stay grounded on many an occasion when I needed that affirmation.

Almost of their own accord, the hands had moved yet higher, tracing lazy circles over my stomach that made my heart speed up ever more, and I barely strangled a gasp in anticipation. The first touch of slender fingers on the soft, well-rounded underside of my breasts definitely crossed the threshold that separated a soft gasp from an actual moan, and I could almost hear my nipples crinkle together and harden as my arousal built.

The hands traced around the edge of each breast, lifting them just enough in the caress to feel how heavy and full they were. Gazing down through half-lidded eyes I could see the twin pebbles that were my nipples sticking out stiff, as if at attention. Not giving in to temptation quite so soon, I completed a first half circle around my breasts and left a trail of phantom touches along the sides of them.

As much as I loved the freedom of being in a zero gravity environment that was common on some of the smaller spaceships, there was something delightful about being able to actually feel the weight of a breast in your hands. The subtle interplay between gravity pulling down ever so slightly on their heavy softness and the resilience they then encountered from your hands or clothes was truly something I adored, and something I missed when it was absent.

Even on some smaller inhabitable planets, gravity was not quite strong enough to give my breasts the delightful shape they currently held. Curling my fingers around the soft tissue underneath I felt the hardness of my nipples searing an indentation into my palms, although my small hands were not nearly enough to cover the whole surface they tried valiantly to hold.

Squeezing down with the slightest pressure already sent a shockwave of sensation up my spinal cord, followed milliseconds later by a returning signal that seemed to home in straight on the core of my arousal that was ever so slowly burning hotter in my lower abdomen. When I lightly scratched my nails along the skin surrounding the crinkled nub, teasingly coming close enough that I could feel the little shifts of air, I felt a slight tremor travel all the way down my legs, culminating in my toes. When the tips of two fingers finally reached my nipple, applying firm yet gentle pressure, I could faintly feel my nails make the slightest indentation. The barest hint of pain felt exquisite to my exhausted body and I knew I couldn't stand to tease myself any more.

Wedging my body into the corner of the chamber, I lowered myself gently towards the ground, feeling my back slide along the polymer walls. My right hand moved towards my lips of its own accord, and without conscious thought I slipped the tips of two fingers inside my mouth. Quickly running my tongue along the side of each finger I lathered them with my saliva, enjoying the feel of the wet, warm appendage on the sensitive pads of my fingers. When they were very much soaked, I lowered them down to my right nipple, using the wetness for extra lubrication.

My other hand had been trailing a burning path along the soft skin of my belly, wandering ever lower until it arrived at my waiting, and very wet sex. I did not need to see it to know my labia were extremely engorged with my arousal, the blood filling the sensitive tissues and making them swollen and angrily red. My fingers teased along the outsides, my folds easily parting to the gentlest of touches. My first finger all too quickly reached the source ofmy arousal, and before I could gasp in a breath in anticipation it slid wetly inside me in a smooth, controlled motion, until it could go no further. My eyes almost rolled up in their sockets from the intense sensation, and I could feel them fluttering against the lids that were still tightly shut.

It had been quite a while since I last did this, and I could feel the pounding of my heart against my finger as it was pressed flush between both inner walls. After giving myself the slightest pause to allow my body to adjust, I curled the tip of my finger upwards and felt my heart skip a beat as it pushed against that spot deep inside me that felt so utterly divine. Sliding my finger out most of the way ever so readily due to the prodigious amount of lubrication that was, quite literally, pouring from my sex, I placed the pad of my thumb on top of the exposed head of my clit.

Even that slight touch was enough to cause tremors to pass through the muscles of my abdomen and legs, and in one smooth motion I sheathed my curled finger back inside, the movement just enough to make my thumb rub against my clit in the process. My back arched off the wall at that, and I very nearly came right there and then.

Repeating the movement again, and again, and again did do the trick, and I nearly woke the building with the cry that drew from my throat. I would have, if they hadn't sound-proofed the walls so well. Although I did make a mental note to leave early enough in the morning not to have to see my next door neighbor, just in case .

The orgasm only whetted my appetite, and had merely reduced the arousal to a slightly lower steady-state instead of extinguishing it altogether. The next time my first finger left my swollen opening, two of its sisters joined it, stretching me open gloriously. My entire body erupted in goosebumps just from the added pressure on the walls inside of me, and the combined point of three fingers much more effectively stimulated my g-spot deep inside.

Now, every thrust against me made me literally see stars, and I managed to scrounge together the last reserves of strength I didn't know I had to drive my hips down against my hand as it moved inside me. I could feel the pressure building behind my eyes, and down below, and my right hand involuntarily squeezed down on my breast, hard. It would have been painful, and would probably bruise, but right now all sensation was interpreted as pleasure in my overwhelmed and overstimulated pleasure centers.

As I moved my hand inside me I could feel the tremors of a major orgasm start to build, and I stopped the movement of my whole hand in favor of just maximising the sensations the dextrous tips of my fingers were producing. My thumb steadily stroked against the side of my clitoris, harder now, while the pads of three fingers buried to the hilt inside me applied rhythmic pressure within.

After the third such stroke I went absolutely rigid, and another loud moan escaped my mouth, as I started to orgasm, the overloaded pleasure centers of my poor brain finally surrendering and releasing the intoxicating flood of chemicals that felt so utterly delightful. I somehow found the concentration to keep up the manipulation of both most sensitive places of my sex, my breath stopping momentarily as I literally lifted myself off the floor for a few delicious moments. The continued surges of pleasurable sensation were keeping the orgasm alive until I could take it no longer, and collapsed utterly boneless on the floor.

I ever more slowly rubbed circles inside me, as if to soothe the quite possibly bruised tissue and to calm it down somewhat, while I gingerly rested my thumb on top of the short, soft hairs above my sex. My clitoris always got much too sensitive to touch if I came that hard, and would need a few minutes to recover under ideal circumstances.

I laid there, my back on the warm polymer floor, as I slowly felt my circulation and respiration return to normal. My fingers had almost stopped their caresses, and I carefully withdrew them from my opening. I ran them lovingly up and down the sides of my swollen labia and felt the movement relax me even further, draining tension from that part of myself that I had not even known I carried within me.

My eyes twitched behind their lids, and I opened them slowly. I had completely forgotten that the shower turned itself off, and parts of me were almost dry by now. Obviously not all , I thought with a smirk, as I brought my fingers to my lips to slowly clean my juices off of them. I did so very much like the taste of myself, especially when I was like this. I savored the physical reminder of my pleasure very much, in particular the complexity of the taste. It was strong and musky, with tangy aftertones that seemed to excite all the parts of my palate.

Vaguely, I wondered what the taste of another's arousal would smell and taste like, if every person had their unique taste as much as you could recognize someone by their particular smell. I felt my face heat at the thought, as I had never been granted the favor of having that particular experience. But I fiercely desired to, that much I did know down to the furthest reaches of my mind. That, however, was a concern for another day and time.

It was fairly comfortable in my current position, but I had no intention of falling asleep here and waking up with my back hurting like a herd of battlecruisers had stampeded over me. I managed to lift my upper body off the ground on shaky arms, and gingerly tested the strength in my legs. I definitely did not want to fall back down, and I knew how exhausted my strong leg muscles could be after a particularly powerful release, as I had just now. The combination of lactic acid building up in the muscle, and all the endorphins racing through my bloodstream really made that an iffy proposition I did not care to test too much.

However, there was no avoiding having to do that very thing, and I drew a trembling foot towards me. Its twin joined it underneath my body in the space of a few breaths, and I held my arms against the walls of the hygiene chamber for support as I slowly, carefully, lifted myself. I very nearly fell down twice, but eventually managed to straighten myself.

Within the dimmest recesses of my mind a thought came to me that I probably needed to take another shower, but I felt too damn awesome to care much about it. Right now, all I wanted in the whole universe was to grab a holopad and lay down on my cheap, but functional bed. Besides, I felt so fucking good right now that I probably could have slept on needles, so I doubt my bed would feel like anything but the softest embrace at this particular moment.

I activated a small button on the far wall of the chamber, and warm air streams dried my body and hair the rest of the way. I could still quite clearly sense the smell of my own arousal, but I was satisfied enough that it merely reinforced the languid feeling saturating every inch of my body, rather than inflaming my further passions like it ordinarily would.

Within another few moments my body was dry and I pressed another button on the wall. Opening my mouth, an invisible but barely audible cloud of nanobots came out of a space on the wall and stripped my mouth clean of any microbial contamination. It really was quite magnificent to see how much research had gone into that .

I left the hygiene chamber, pulling out my main holopad on the way to the bed. I sank down onto the mattress, and I had definitely been right. Right now, it felt like being embraced by a sea of soft pillows that drew me in and sheltered me from existence, and I could almost instantly feel the rest of my alertness drain from my body.

I used the last of it to type out a concise but loving message to my family. I am about to go to sleep, and am on schedule to board the transport tomorrow. I love you all so dearly, and I am beyond excited to see everyone again. I missed you more than I can put words to. Love, Evie.

Moments later, as my eyes were drifting closed, I saw a reply that spread a luminous smile across my features. Evie, please travel safely. We, too, missed you every single day you were not here with us. But I am prouder of you than I can express in writing, and can't wait to hold you in my arms again. Your mom and little Sophie, who hates being called that nowadays, cannot wait to see you, either. Love, dad.

*To be continued in chapter 2.*

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