I checked my calculations one more time. There was really no point. Even if I was wrong by a factor of 200%, it would not matter. I ran the numbers one more time, just to be sure. Sid wanted to be sure.
Each time I read the right side telemetry, I had to look over Franklin's smashed face. I wanted to send him out the air lock, but Sid wouldn't let me do it.
"We came out here together, we are all going back together," Sid said.
Not likely. Three or four days was all we had. If Franklin, Jones and Peace were still alive, it would be less than that. The explosion ripped too big a hole for this size craft to sustain. Even with just Sid and me, 72 to 84 hours was all we had. We needed at least ten days. At our reduced speed, it would take ten days for us to get to a zone where someone might hear our signal. There was no point in any more calculations. I put my machine down and rubbed my eyes.
"Last trip," I thought.
I could hear Sid coming down the stairs. Her back was turned to me as she descended the last four rungs on the metal ladder. Her auburn hair was in the pony tail she always wore. She really looked good in that blue jump suit. She looked good in the red jump suit too. She just plain looked good.
When she turned around, I could see the pain in her eyes. She had been a wing commander for seven years and never lost a crewman. She was a super star. Everyone expected her to get the next open command. A little bit of bad luck and now three of her crew was dead, and our chances were worse than a red ant's under a kids' magnifying glass.
"Well?" she asked.
I just handed her the machine. She could read.
She looked over the numbers.
"Shit," she said as she tossed the machine on the flight desk.
The wing commander slowly sat down in the open pilot seat next to me. She avoided looking at Franklin who was still strapped in the engineer's seat. I had never known her to quit before, but this one looked pretty bad. Funny, it didn't really seem to bother me. I guess I had always known there was a good chance I would die out here somewhere. I was not happy Sid had to be here with me.
"I guess you sent the signal" she said, knowing I already had.
"Nothing?" she asked knowing if there had been something she would have already heard me yelling.
She tilted her head down and put her hand up to her forehead and rubbed her fingers across her brow.
"I guess that's it then," she said.
"Well, we still have a few days. Something good might happen," I said.
She looked at me with the look you use when you want to say, "I appreciate the thought, but get real." She didn't have to say anything anyway. Sid and me went way back. We had a real hot fling once, but it couldn't last. She was a top military property headed for command grade, and I was just a high tech fly boy. She knew I still loved her, but we kept it professional. I was planning to move on when she got her next big promotion. Serious big money was waiting for me on the commercial transports.
"Oh well... " I sighed.
We sat there for a while, then Sid got up and wandered back to her quarters. I waited, then I followed her to mine. As I came around the bulkhead, I could hear her in her room softly crying. I suppose it had all finally sunk in. Her crew was dead and she was about to die. Who could blame her for shedding a few tears.
I snuck by so as not to disturb her and went into my closet that passed for a room. I dropped own on my bunk and thought about how I was going to pass my last few hours as a human being.
"What to do," I wondered. No reason to sleep, I will get plenty of that soon enough.
I was really having a hard time getting Franklin's wrecked face out of my mind. Then I remembered. Franklin was nervous about something he had picked up at our last stop.
"Whatever it is, he doesn't need it now," I thought and went to his room. I searched around all his junk. Hidden in a cut out book was a small vial.
"Well that fucker," I said as I held the vial up to the light. I could see one blue pill in the vial. This was not the blue pill you get at the candy store. Oh no. This was highly illegal and extremely expensive and you go to jail if you are caught with this particular blue pill.
"A dreamer. That son of a bitch had a blue dreamer," I said.
These little blue pills were called dreamers because of the intense sexual fantasy illusions they were said to produce. The word was this pill was so powerful it often so scrambled the user's brain with phenomenally powerful fantasies that a person just couldn't go back to a regular life. "Highly addictive" was the term often used.
I considered the situation for a few minutes.
"Well, I'm game," I thought.
I walked back around to Sid's room. She was quiet now. When I went in, she was laying face down on her bed. She still had that little stuffed bear she had always had.
"Hey Sid," I said. "Guess what I found?" I asked.
"10,000 pounds of oxygen..." She mumbled.
"No, look, I found this in Franklin's room," I said as I held up the blue dreamer.
Her eyes opened up a bit and she sat up.
"Franklin, you stupid fucker," she said. Then she laughed that sort of sad laugh you laugh when you realize none of it matters any more.
"What do you think?" I asked.
Under normal, or even highly abnormal circumstances there was no way lady officer Sid would consider what I was asking. She sat all the way up and looked at me.
"Why not?" I asked.
"There is really no chance at all?" she quietly asked one last time.
I did not want to, I wish I didn't have to, but the hard facts caused me to shake my head slowly from side to side.
"How long does it last?" she asked.
"They say they last for several days, I really don't know. The word I get is you have to lock yourself up in a room with food and water and just wait until it wears off." I told her.
"So we would still be in it when our lights go out?" she asked.
"I hope so," I said.
She thought about it for a minute. Then she let out a short laugh. It was a give up laugh.
"What the fuck," she said. "I guess it is better than sitting here crying."
So we prepared. We arranged plenty of water and plenty of food. We both had heard about how the dreamer worked. The story was that your mind just worked all it needed right into the dream so when you needed to eat you would eat and so on.
"Go ahead and shoot Franklin and the others out," she said. "None of us are going back home anyway."
As she made the last arrangements, I put our fallen crew mates in the air lock and blasted them out.
"Thanks buddy," I said to Franklin as I sent his body into frozen oblivion.
When I came back, Sid was ready. She had us plenty of water and food.
The dreamer was one pill which was meant to be taken by two people. The pill was split in half, and each person took their half at the same time. One side of the pill had a small red dot. From what I had heard, the mind of the person who took the side with the red dot would be mainly in control the dream. I am not sure Sid knew this.
I broke the pill in two and handed her the side with the red dot.
"Here's looking at you kid," I said as I drank my water and took my half.
"Don't you ever take anything seriously?" she asked as she took her dream pill.
We both stood there looking at each other for a few minutes.
"Well," she said. "Maybe it is a fake."
"Hush," I said. "Don't you hear that?" I asked. "Listen."
I knew I was in a small beat-up military recon vessel at least 100 million miles from anywhere, but I yet swear I could hear the sound of sea waves gently rolling into the shore. I turned around and the whole back of the ship was gone and it its place was a long white beach.
"Sid? Hey Sid! Sid do you see this?" I asked.
When I turned back around the front of the ship was gone it had been replaced by the rest of this long white pristine beach. I could clearly see clean sand, blue water, and a long green tree line. But Sid was gone.
"SID! SID!," I yelled and started to run up the beach. But it was not a beach, yet I could run and I could feel the sand under my feet. It was so real.
"SID!" I yelled. I stopped running and I was overwhelmed by this terrified feeling that I had somehow lost her.
Then I felt a hand on my back and I turned around.
It was Sid, but she looked different. She had on a bathing suit and she looked like she did five years ago.
"Sid, is that you?" I asked.
"Yeah, dummy, of course its me," she said as she grinned.
"Wow," I said, "Can you believe this stuff. I had no idea."
As I looked at Sid, I could see she was looking at me in a way I had not seen for a while. Her eyes were soft and the tension in her brow was gone. She did not look so tired. She looked like a sensual woman who was wanting some attention, and wanting it now. I was so amazed by the visual effects of this pill, I had missed the fact that I had a rock hard boner in my pants.
"Wow, this stuff gets right to work," I thought.
"Sid, how do you feel,?" I asked.
"I feel like going over to that beach house and closing the doors," she said.
"What beach house?" I asked. Sid pointed a short way down the beach and there stood a beach house where one had not been ten seconds before.
"Oh man, this is better than I thought," I said as I put my arm around her and we walked to the beach house.
It was so real, the wind on my face, the sounds of the waves, even the smell in the air. It was great and I had not seen Sid so relaxed in a long time.
"What kind of bird is that?" she asked.
"What bird?" I asked.
"Over there," and she pointed to a very large bald eagle sitting on a piece of drift wood looking over at us.
"Where the hell did that come from?" I wondered.
"It's a very big bald eagle," I said.
"Sure is a pretty bird," she said.
We walked to the beach house past the palm trees and the drift wood and the huge bird... We walked up the creaking wooden steps, and I opened the door. Inside there was a large four-post oak bed with a white cotton canopy. The floors were old hardwood and the walls were painted a light pink.
"Wow, this is so cool," I thought.
"Are you thirsty?" she asked. "Can you fix me something cool to drink?" she asked as she wandered over to the bed.
I looked around the room but I did not see anything to drink. Sid was leaning over the bed running her hands down along the linen.
"Sid, I..." before I could finish she pointed to the corner of the room.
When I followed her finger to the corner, I saw a large oak bar with several ice buckets and plastic jugs of juice. It was not there when we came into the room. I walked over to the bar and mixed her a fresh cold glass of pineapple juice. I tasted it and it was really fresh and sweet.
When I turned back around, I noticed it was night time and the tree frogs were singing.
"Man, this is unreal," I thought.
I looked out the window and was amazed at the detail of the illusion. The palm trees were lightly swaying in the night air and there was a full moon.
"Hey, Sid, come look at this. You can see the craters on the moon," I said as I turned around.
As I turned my head, my eyes found Sid. Her swimsuit was gone and she had on a long white cotton night gown. Her shinning hair was undone and she was standing in the middle of the room smelling a large red rose she slowly twirled in her fingers.
I walked over and gave her the drink. As I handed it to her, I noticed I had on only a pair of cotton briefs. There was a very noticeable protrusion.
"Wow, Sid this is better than I could have believed." I said as I marveled at the complexities and the detail of this dream.
She took a big drink out of her juice. "Don't you want to kiss me?" she asked with a smile as she twirled her flower.
I came over to her and put my arms around her.
"My rose!" she said.
I took her flower and her drink and put them on the oak bar. We fully embraced each other and she kissed me like she used to. Her body was warm and her hair smelled nice. Her hands on my flesh felt better than words could ever describe. We kissed and slowly turned around as we moved to the bed.
"You taste good," she said as she looked at me with those hazel green eyes of hers.
I started to dawn on me that Sid was completely taken into this dream. She seemed to really believe we were on a beach in this house. I don't even think she knew her mind was making all these things appear. Maybe her side of the pill was more powerful than mine, or maybe she had so given up hope that the dream just took over. That was okay. It was better this way. She could be happy in this dream and she would never know what was really going on. Besides, it gave me one more chance to be with her.
"What a great way to go," I thought.
As I kissed her I felt her cotton night gown fade away and she was unclothed in my arms, except for her small white bra and her blue panties. I guess I was supposed to take those off myself.
I picked her up and carried her to he bed. This was her last dream, so whatever she wanted I was going to do. I knew she liked to be taken. She never would admit it, but down inside she wanted a man to just do as he pleased. I had her like that before, but as time went on she seemed less and less willing to let go.
Now, here in this place, in this dream her mind was making, she was letting go.
I gently sat her down on the bed and rolled her over on her tummy. I pulled off her panties and she giggled and raised her legs. Her skin was beautiful and her ass was lovely and round.
I released her bra and pulled it off her small breasts. She pulled her hands in under her chest and raised up her butt. I could see her smiling under her nice light auburn hair that covered the side of her face.
"Not too rough," she said, as she wiggled it from side to side.
I bent over and whispered in her ear, "I'll be as rough as I like."
"Promises, promises," she said as she raised her wonderful tail up.
I smacked her a good one and she let out a little sound. I gave her a few more and she just kept her ass raised.
"I wonder what I am really doing," I thought to myself. "Who cares," I thought.
I gave into the dream and stopped thinking about it. If Sid wanted me to have her and I wanted to have her, did it matter if it was all a dream?
I warmed her butt up and made it all red, just the way she liked it. Then I rolled her over and I could see the heat in her face. I was so glad to see her looking like this. Her eyes were relaxed, her face was smooth and flush hot with blood. Sid was a beautiful woman, not a real soldier. She did a good job as a soldier, but the price on her was too high. Now she could be the sensual woman she really was.
I started to get on her, but then I noticed two white silk ropes tied on the bed posts. They weren't there when I got in the bed. Sid raised her arms out to the corners of the bed, and I pulled the ends of the ropes in. I tied her sweet wrists to the soft silk ropes. She gave them a good test, and I had to tie her tighter. I sat up and looked at her with her arms pulled up over her chest and her hair all over her face and shoulders. She was a sight of beauty few men will ever see. A strong woman giving herself, completely letting go. The passion was all coming out now.
I slowly lay down on her and she opened her sweet legs. Somewhere along the way the briefs I had on had faded away. I was as hard as I have ever been and Sid was as wet and warm as any woman could be. As I slid inside her I felt the pleasure run in her flesh. She let out a soft moan and pulled on the ropes binding her wrists. She raised her legs and put the soft bottoms of her feet on the back of my calves and slowly rubbed my skin. I began to go in and out of her and she went with me. We fell into a rhythm and it was magic. I kept wanting to tell her I loved her, but instead I just made love to her.
I could feel her getting excited. The closer she was, the more she pulled on those soft silk ropes. I pulled out of her and went down between her legs. I wanted to taste her and please her. Her lips were open and her skin wet. She tasted wonderful. I used by lips and tongue to cover all her places. She arched her back and pulled on the ropes, and I could feel she was ready. I moved back up on her and put myself in. Her head rolled back as she arched her spine. I cold feel her coming so I pushed in as far as I could. She shook and let out a big deep sigh and slowly relaxed.
I ran my lips over her hot face and gently bit her ear. I felt her warm hands and arms on my back and looked at the bed posts to see the white silk ropes were gone.
"I want to feel you come," she whispered in my ear. "I want you to get so excited from being in me that you just can't stand it, and you have to let it go."
So I held her and she held me and we went back into our rhythm. For along time we went at it. I can never remember feeling anything so good.
After a long while, I got loaded and started to bust. She held me tighter and we went at it fast. When I finally let it go, she gently whispered in my ear, "Good baby, that's good."
She reached her hand down and gently squeezed the base of my shaft so she got it all out of me.
I laid on her for a while and then it seemed I was on my back and she was lying on her side with her head on my chest. She was doodling on my chest with her fingernail.
"I like this place," she said.
After a while, I think we went to sleep, but I am not sure.
Then from off in the distance I could hear a sound. It was a rumbling sound of some type. I sat up in the bed. Sid was sleeping next to me in her cotton night shirt.
"What was that sound?" I got up out of the bed and went to the window. The moon was in the exact same place and the trees were still swaying. Somewhere was a sound, but what was it.
Sid reached her hand out and felt around the bed for me.
"Hey where are you?" she asked with her eyes still closed.
"Sid, what is that sound? Do you hear it, listen," I said.
"It is just the waves, baby, now get back in bed," she said with her eyes still closed.
I knew it was not the waves, but what was it. The sound was getting louder, but I could not place it. It was like a big outboard motor.
Then I snapped. It was some sound from outside the dream. Something was happening on the ship, something loud. I went over to the bed. I picked Sid up by the shoulders.
"Sid, Sid! Wake up, there is something going on!" I shook her but she would not open her eyes.
"Its okay baby, just get back in bed" she said as she slumped back down.
No! No, that was not right. I had to get out of this dream and see what was going on. I picked up one of the ice buckets and slammed it down on my hand. Nothing. I started to beat my head against the wall, anything to wake up. But nothing worked.
Then I remembered. This was Sid's dream.
"SID! Wake up! Wake up!" I yelled at her.
"Sid you have got to let me out of here!" I said to her as she opened her eyes.
"No," she said "You have to stay here with me," she said still half asleep. "You can't go, where would you want to go?"
The sound was growing louder. I had to get out of this dream. If there was any chance of getting Sid off this ship, I had to take it.
I sat down on the floor and used all my focus. I had to break Sid's dream control over my mind.
"What are you doing?" she asked. "You can't leave," she said as she sat up on the bed.
"I will come back, I will come back and get you," I said.
As I concentrated I forced the dream images out of my head. There were bright flashes of blue light and the floor shook.
"This is not real, this is not real," I kept saying to myself.
There was one brilliant flash of blue light and the dream was gone. I was laying in Sid's bunk and she was curled up next to me.
I could hear the loud sound of a really big engine right outside the ship. I picked myself up and stumbled over to the flight deck. I could see a huge salvage vessel with its giant metal hook just about to grab our ship. It had locked on to us and I could hear its engines through our hull. That hook would smash our hull and release the little air we had left out into space.
"They must think we are an empty ship dead in space," I thought. The big hook was coming in and soon it would puncture a big hole into our hull.
I tried to run back to Sid, but I kept falling down. When I made it back, she was still on the bunk.
I jerked her up by the shoulders, "WAKE UP SID! WAKE UP!"
I had no time to waste. I picked her up and threw her over my shoulder. I managed to stumble around to the cargo bay and open the only escape pod. I dropped her in the small opening. When she hit, she started to come to.
"Sid, listen Sid, you are back on the ship," I said as I heard the hook slam into outside of our hull.
"Listen, when you get out, push the yellow button, the yellow button. Sid! Do you hear me. It will send a signal. They will see you."
The crushing sound began, we did not have much time.
I could see Sid was awake but I did not know if she knew what was happening. I began to close the pod hatch, when she sat up and grabbed my arm.
"Get in," she said.
It was a one man pod. " Sid, I..." she cut me off.
"'GET IN! GET IN!", she yelled and pulled me as hard as she could. This was a bad idea, but she would not let go.
I climbed in and the pod door slammed shut behind me. I was laying down flush on top of her. There was not much room in that little pod. I still could not tell if Sid was all there. Our combined weight might be too much and this little pod might not move.
I reached up and hit the green launch button. I could hear our ship being torn open and the air rushing out. When I pushed the button nothing happened.
"GOD DAMN IT!" I yelled and smashed the button as hard as I could.
The pod violently jerked and blasted us out of the cargo bay away from the ship. The last thing I remembered was Sid's face and her hand pushing the yellow emergency signal button.
I woke up in a white hospital room. They all told me it was fluke luck we had been found. A one in a million chance they said. The dreamer had slowed down our breathing rate and we had actually been in the dream for 5 full days. They told me Sid was in worse shape than me and she needed much more rest. "She will be fine," the doctor said. "She is a very strong woman."
I made my way to her room. She was laying in her bed with her eyes closed and she looked tired. The nurse nodded at me.
"Not too long," she said as she closed the door behind her.
Sid's real face was back, with the marks of stress that command had left on her. I didn't care. She was alive. Anyway, she always looked good to me.
I held her hand and she came to. She turned her head over to me and a smile came to her face.
"Hey fly boy," she said.
I could not help but adjust her hair.
"I was just wondering," she said. "How much money are they going to pay you to fly those transports."
"More than you could ever spend," I said. "More than we could ever spend."
Copyright © 2003 Scott Turnit Red Scottturnitred