CHAPTER 27 A
Kacey flew back to the airfield. She did a fly over before she brought the flyer to a standstill and dropped the thrusters to bring the flyer down smoothly. She shut the flyer down, released her harness and opened the cockpit bubble. She climbed out of the flyer and stepped on the wing before she jumped to the ground.
"Did you have fun?" Kate asked.
"As a matter of fact I did. I forgot how much fun it is to fly those smaller ships. These are very comfortable with adjustable seats and..." Her voice trailed off at Kate's look.
"Gentlemen would you excuse us." Kate grabbed Kacey's arm and pulled her into the shuttle. The ramp closed. "ARE YOU COMPLETLY OUT OF YOUR MIND? WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING?" Kate yelled.
"I can not teach the Vernans how to fly their ships if I don't know how."
"YOU WERE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE GETTING FAMILIAR WITH THE SYSTEMS." Kate continued to yell.
"GOD DAMN IT KATE. QUEEN DYAN ASKED ME TO TEACH HER PEOPLE. I NEEDED TO SEE HOW TO TEACH THEM. SINCE WHEN DO I NEED YOUR PERMISSION TO FLY? SHE SEEMED PLEASED." Kacey yelled back.
"DO NOT TELL ME YOU BUZZED THE PALACE."
"OF COURSE I DIDN'T. I SLOWED AND BROUGHT THE SHIP DOWN IN HER GARDENS WHERE THE QUEEN COULD SEE."
"WHY THE HELL DID IT HAVE TO BE YOU FIRST."
"HOW MANY FRIGGING TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU, I WILL NOT ASK MY PEOPLE TO DO ANYTHING I WAS NOT WILLING TO DO. THIS IS WHAT I DO. IT IS MY DAMN JOB, KATE. ARE YOU GOING TO STOP ME FROM DOING WHAT I WAS TRAINED TO DO?" Kacey continued to shout back.
Kate took a deep breath. "No little sister, I will not stop you. You do not need my permission. All I am asking is that you let me know when you are planning to take an unscheduled flight. And please, please be very careful."
"Damn this is like being a kid again and having to check in, but yes to both, Kate."
"Thank you. Kacey, I realize you think I am treating you like a child. I apologize for that. We are on an alien world, and it is my job to make sure everyone of my crew is safe. Easy to handle?"
"Kate it was like flying a cloud. "
"Do you have any idea how long it will take to give them the fundamentals?"
"That depends. A week of text book basics. At least a week in the VR rooms. I have the Whiz Kids building simulated cockpits for use in the VR. Then getting them into the actual flyers. A month to six weeks tops. I could have taught the Gellarians if they had the ships."
"Will you be going back up today?"
"That is my plan. I need to get Mike, Jere and Dan in the air today and tomorrow so they can help with the instructions. I have to talk to the queen about sending the Vernans who want to learn to fly, to the airfield"
Kate looked out the windshield. "The queen is outside so you will not have to contact her."
"Before we go out, tell me, did dad rat me out?"
"No. I saw the flyer and watched it do all sorts of tricks and crazy moves and knew it was you showing off."
"Guilty, Kate. I was showing off. Check the video playback from the lock you have on me and you will see real showing off.Like I was once told, if you have it flaunt it."
"Sometimes I don't know if I want to kick you ass or not."
"Aww, Kate. I love you too." Kacey stated and lowered the ramp to leave the shuttle before Kate actually did try to kick her ass. She walked quickly to the queen waited with Kate close behind. "Your majesty. How are you today?"
"Extremely happy you were able to get one of our flyers in the air. Will you be able to give my people the basic knowledge?"
"Yes we will."
"When would you be able to start?"
"I would like another day to bring my officers up to speed so that we can all train your pilots. Depending on how many want to learn, I may enlist the help of my other pilots to help."
"What sort of time frame are we looking at? In your estimation."
"As I was telling Kate, four to six weeks. A week of book instruction and learning how to repair the flyers. A week or two in our Virtual Reality rooms where they will practice on simulated flyers before they actually get into the cockpit. Before you ask, it is a safer way of learning. They can make mistakes, crash and burn without loss of life and flyer."
"Is that how you learned to fly?"
"Yes it was for every type of flyer I qualified for including Andromeda. Although that one I hope to never have to use. I have some of my people making a simulated cockpit of your flyers to use in our VR rooms. If you can have the volunteers come to the airfield the day after tomorrow we can do the primary evaluations and make our choices."
"Should they be a certain age?"
"No one under eighteen years of age. The reason for that is hopefully by that age they have some sense of responsibility."
"I will put out an announcement. Will nine in the morning be all right?"
"That will be fine."
"We have not discussed payment for your services."
"I would not know what to charge."
"You mentioned that you have not prepared the nursery for your children. Would you accept a fully furnished nursery?"
Kacey looked at Kate who nodded. "That is more than acceptable, your majesty."
"Then you and you lovely wife pick out what ever you want from our furniture store and it will be paid for from our treasury.. I will tell them to expect you."
"Thank you, Queen Dyan. That is very generous of you."
"Can you put a price tag friendship?"
"I can not."
"Would it be all right if I discuss your officers payments directly with them?"
Queen Dyan walked over to the officers. They all bowed to her.
"A fully furnished nursery for training. Not bad little sister."
"Do you think that is a bit much?"
"Not at all. She offered."
"Talia and I went walking after they toured Andromeda. We checked out the shops. The furniture is well made and probably very expensive."
"There will probably be a spending limit."
"A couple cribs, dressers, changing table what more can an infant need?"
"You would be surprised. Those items are just starters. Bassinettes. maybe a rocking chair or two, towels, clothes, combs brushes.
"Okay okay, I give."
"When are you going back up?"
"After lunch which if I leave right now, I will can still meet Talia. I will tell the guys."
CHAPTER 27 B
The four pilots put the flyers through their paces. After an hour of flying, they raised the shields and had mock battles. They swerved around each other in the air as they tested the maneuverability of the small flyers. They spent several hours in the air as they tested and learned the weaknesses and strengths of the Vernan flyers.
Many Vernans and crew members watched them from the ground with binoculars. They watched as the skilled pilots flew over them. After hours of practice, the pilots turned the flyers over and flew upside down in close order formation for several minutes before they righted the machines and with barely a meter between them, did a fly over before they slowed and landed. The pilots shut the flyers down, opened the cockpit bubbles and left the flyers.
No sooner had Kacey's feet hit the ground, Taki was at her side. She ran her hand up Kacey's arm. Kacey took a quick step away from her.
"Well, Colonel, is there no end to the list of you talents?"
"Your highness, it is what I was trained to do."
"Are you as good in bed as you are at flying?"
"You will have to ask my wife." Kacey replied. "If you will excuse me, she is waiting for me." Kacey stepped away.
"Sooner or later you will come to me Colonel. There is no way one pregnant woman can keep you satisfied. I can fill that need."
"With all due respect, your highness, that will never happen. I love my wife deeply and will not hurt in any way. You could never make me feel the way she does." Kacey stated and left.
Taki watched her walk away. Her eyes taking in every inch of Kacey's body. She watched Kacey take Natalia in arms and kiss her. She scowled as the kiss continued.
"Not that I would ever complain about a greeting like that, but why now?"
"I love you Talia and I want everyone to know it."
"Especially a certain princess?"
"She will not take no for an answer."
"She is persistent." Natalia said.
"That is for damn sure. If looks could kill Natalia would be dead ." Kate stated.
"What do I do, Kate? I really do not want to resort to insulting her, but how do I get her to back off?"
"I don't have an answer on that one. However, I am going to make a couple suggestions. I will leave the decisions up to you both." Kate stated. "I do not trust your admirer. I suggest first of all that Natalia has a security detail assigned to her every time she steps off Andromeda."
"Do you think that is really necessary, Kate?"
"Neither of you noticed the look she was giving Natalia." Anya stated. I think Kate is right."
"It is your decision, Natalia, but I do agree with Kate and Anya on this. I do not trust Taki either."
"All right. I agree to the security escort." Natalia said.
"What is the second suggestion, Kate?" Kacey asked.
"I want you to have the video lock on you from the moment you leave Andromeda until you return daily."
"I thought I already had the lock on me." Kacey stated.
"You do, but I want to expand it to include one hundred meters in all directions around you."
"All right. Kate, thank you for letting us make the decisions."
"There is one more thing. I am not making this an order, but I am asking you not to go anywhere alone."
"Excellent idea, Kate." Natalia stated. Anya nodded in agreement.
"All right. I can not fight all three of you." Kacey agreed. "Lets call it a day. I need a shower and a brandy or two and relax before all the craziness of going through all the pilot wanna bees starts tomorrow. I hope to have the lists done so that we can start training on Monday. The next few weeks will be extremely busy."
"Don't forget, you also have a command performance for the queen."
Kacey groaned. "Is it too late to run away from home and join the circus?
They climbed into Kacey's shuttle and returned to Andromeda.
Kacey spent time after dinner and the girl's practice to make a list of questions they would have to ask the Vernan applicants Questions like name and age were a given. She added flight experience, fear of heights, mechanical knowledge. Having qualified pilots to fly the ships was not enough. Support staff was needed to keep the flyers flying.
This brought up another question. If the worse case scenario came into play. If all the shields they were installing failed and all the flyers grounded, what could the Vernans do to protect themselves against raiders. Kacey wrote in big block letters, GROUND FORCES. She sipped her brandy as she opened her computer and brought up all the information they had on Verna. So focused on the information before she did did not hear the bedroom door open.
Natalia stood in the doorway wearing a new semi transparent gown and robe. "Kacey."
"Yes sweetheart?" Kacey did not look up from the computer.
"Do you remember when you kissed me this afternoon?"
"I do. It was very enjoyable." Kacey continued to read.
"Was that just for show?"
"Not at all." She still did not look up.
"I want to get a pet monkey."
"If that is what you want to do."
"I spent one hundred forty thousand credits today."
"The credits are there to spend. You get what ever you need."
"Anya and I are running away to join a two headed purple alien commune."
"Sweetheart, if that is what you want to do it is fine with me." Kacey continued to read. Her eyes did not leave the computer screen until a pillow hit her head. "What the hell..." She finally looked up . "You are so incredibly beautiful." Kacey closed the computer and went to Natalia's side. She leaned down and kissed her. "I am so sorry for ignoring you. Can you forgive me?"
"I might be persuaded." Natalia said.
"What can I do to make it up to you?" Kacey asked.
"You will just have to use your imagination, Colonel. I know you have one."
Kacey took Natalia in her arms and kissed her. Her tongue traced Natalia's lips which readily parted. Their tongues dances until they were both breathless. Kacey undid the tie holding Natalia's robe closed and slipped it from her shoulders. Their lips met again. Kacey slipped the straps of the nightgown from Natalia's shoulders and let the gown fall to the floor.
She picked Natalia up and placed her gently on the bed. She pulled her ragged tee shirt over her head and tossed it on the dresser. Then she pushed the equally ragged shorts to the floor. Kacey knelt on the bed and kissed Natalia again. Her hands gently tracing the soft flesh of her breasts. The nipples hardened in her hands. Kacey traced the delicate ear with her tongue which caused Natalia to shiver. She kissed her way from the ear to Natalia's throat and continued to one breast. Her tongue flick back and forth against the tip as her hand caressed the other.
"That feels so good sweetheart."
"UHUMM." Kacey continued to lavish attention on Natalia's breasts as her hand gently moved over the swell that were their children. Her mouth followed her hand. She paused at the swell and whispered to their babies. Her breath tickled Natalia and she squirmed.
"That tickles you goof."
Kacey laughed and continued to whisper to their babies. She made her way back up to capture Natalia's lips. "Can I do anything for you, gra geal mo chroi?
"Love me, that is all I need holder of my heart."
Kacey kissed her again and slowly worked her way down Natalia's body. She settled between Natalia's legs. She parted the folds for better access and passed her tongue slowly across the hard pearl. Kacey slowly entered Natalia. She felt the soft walls surround her fingers. She gently moved them as her tongue continued the loving assault on Natalia's clit. Kacey felt Natalia's hands on her head holding her in place.
"That feels so good. Please don't stop." Kacey felt the climax start as the walls around her fingers contracted. She increased the pace and pressure of her tongue sending Natalia over.
She rested her head on Natalia's hip, her fingers still in their warm haven as she waited for Natalia to signal that it was all right to move. Kacey felt the subtle shift and slowly removed her fingers. She kissed her way back up Natalia's body, stopping again to whisper to their babies before she lay next to her love. She took Natalia into her arms.
"What did you say to me earlier? It sure was not English."
"You men when I said gra geal mo chroi?" Natalia nodded. "It is Gaelic for love of my heart."
"You speak Gaelic?"
"No, wish I did. I know a few words."
"Why didn't you learn it in school?"
"It was never an offered language. Then at the Academy, there wasn't time to. We had a language library that had almost a hundred languages and dialects. I think that is the only regret I have is that I did not have time to learn the language of my ancestors."
While they talked, Natalia's hand was busy. Soon Kacey was lost in the sensations Natalia was causing. All coherent thought left her mind as Natalia's mouth captured her breast. Kacey closed her eyes and enjoyed the loving feelings until the sensations became too much and she climaxed.
They fell asleep in each other's arms.
CHAPTER 27 C
The sunlight poured in through the window. Kacey and Natalia sat at their table eating breakfast.
"Will you be able to break for lunch?" Natalia asked.
"It is hard to say. Depends on how many volunteers show up today. I was actually thinking of picking up a sandwich or something from the Mess Hall, to take with me."
"How about I bring you lunch."
"That would be great. But don't forget you promised Kate you would not leave Andromeda without an escort."
"Did you pick them out for me?"
"I did. Macgwire and Ridgeway. Two nice big burly Marines. They will be here at oh nine hundred hours. They will be your shadows."
"I remember them. Do you think you will be late?"
"Probably. Again it all depends on how many Vernans show up and how fast we can get them signed up."
"You remember you are not to go anywhere alone."
"Try not to worry sweetheart. I also will be surrounded by nice big Marines at all times."
"Will you be flying today?"
"Today, my love will just be a desk duty, paper work sort of day. My feet will remain on the ground. I also need to talk to Queen Dyan about training ground forces."
"You are not planning on taking that duty on also"
"Not me, but I have several people who can handle that duty. I need to talk to them before I talk to the queen. Then I can start the odious task of paperwork. I hope she will come to me so that I will not have to go to the palace."
"Because of Taki?"
"Partly. Also because the longer it takes to start registering people the longer it will take to start their training." Kacey stated. "When is your next doctor's appointment?"
"Wednesday ten hundred hours. Will you be able to make it?"
"Hell yes. The guys can do the text training."
The Marines had set up several tables with computers on each. Kacey took one look at the lines that waited for them and called for help so that there were ten tables. The prospective pilots formed and stretched around the corner. They waited for Kacey to come out of her shuttle. She was in conference with Kate and the Queen.
"Your majesty, the shields we are installing and your flyers will be your first line of defense. In the event the shields are knocked off line and your flyers destroyed, you will not be left defenseless if you have a trained ground force."
"Colonel, your people are willing to give up their free time to help my people?"
"Yes they are. This is not only for the benefit of your world, but to also keep their skills in hand to hand combat fresh."
"We are mostly women and children here. How can we hope to defeat raiders who are bigger and stronger?"
"With the right training, very easily. We can give you a small demonstration if you wish."
Queen Dyan looked at Kacey. "That will not be necessary Colonel. If you say it is possible, I believe you." She stated. "Of course that means that more Vernans will be showing up."
"We will show anyone who want to learn." Kacey stated.
"I will ask Rhea and her Security to help out." Kate stated.
"Thank you. You can have anyone who wants to help out report to the airfield and we can get some sort of schedule set up." Kacey said. "Queen Dyan, do you have an Armory or Arsenal, a place where you keep weapons?"
"We do. Should I have the citizens armed?"
"Not yet, however if you can bring several of each type here we can learn them first. They will be locked up every night."
"I will make sure the weapons are brought here today, Colonel."
"Excellent. If you will excuse me, I would like to get started."
The three women left the shuttle. Kacey headed for the row of tables. The Marines started to process the volunteers. Several times Kacey looked up to see Taki watching her.
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