Delta-V Preview Chapter
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“Captain Wan, when was the last time you masturbated?”
Captain Selena Wan paused, fingers frozen above the palmtop computer she was holding. The voice was not distinctly masculine or feminine, old or young. It was obviously synthetic, but its timbre and pitch had been carefully calibrated to be pleasant and soothing to the human ear. Although its volume was gentle, it filled the room completely. There were no speakers. Instead, micro-adjustments of the artificial gravity field vibrated the walls and floor to produce sound...a disembodied voice with no clear source.
Selena forced herself to unclench her jaw and calmly placed her tablet against the nearest wall. There was a light click as its magnetic coupling automatically engaged to hold it in place. She had been reviewing and signing off on the hourly status reports that had accumulated during her sleep cycle. The reports were issued by the owner of the voice and the sole other “occupant” of the ship: Delta-V.
“Delta,” she kept her tone neutral, trying to hide how much the question had caught her off guard. “That is an inappropriate line of questioning. Please make a note for the future and avoid any further discussion on the topic.”
“I cannot do that, Captain Wan.”
Selena closed her eyes and turned her chair towards the starboard wall and the dome-shaped camera mounted there. Delta-V had numerous sensors, visual and otherwise, scattered throughout the ship but Selena found it uncomfortable talking to empty air and preferred to assign a “face” to her invisible partner. The device was a glass hemisphere, tinted a pleasant blue and about the size of a cereal bowl, embedded in one of the walls. Its design was similar to an insect’s eye, covered in thousands of facets: each a tiny, high-definition lens.
“That was an order, Delta.”
“I understand, but I cannot obey that order. My apologies, Captain.”
“Delta!” She snapped. She had been working for a few hours and her shoulders and neck were already tense and sore. She could feel a headache coming on. “If you can’t obey an order, then provide an explanation!”
“Understood. I shall adapt my behavior and elaborate.” There was a slight pause as Selena drummed her fingers against the arm of her chair. “As captain of this vessel, your health and psychological well-being are of the highest priority. This mandate overrides even your direct order, Captain.”
Delta-V was an artificial intelligence. They served as the ship’s pilot, navigator, engineer, science officer and medic. Effectively, they were the ship and Selena, despite being the nominal commanding officer, was more or less along for the ride. She was needed for a single, very important, job once the ship reached its final destination. Until then her duties consisted mostly of reviewing Delta-V’s numerous progress reports, safety briefings, status updates and training exercises.
“And this requires you to interrogate me on my sexual activity?”
“The question was rhetorical. I possess a near-complete visual record of your time aboard the Eos. That, combined with data gathered from atmospheric and waste reclamation, assures me that you have not partaken of this activity at any time in the five months since we left Hyperion Central Station.” Selena’s face was starting to feel hot and she had to fight to keep her expression steady as Delta-V continued. “My primary purpose was not gathering additional data, merely to initiate this very conversation.”
“And if I decline to participate any further?” Selena lay back in her chair. It was an elaborate, multi-rotational, hyper-ergonomic affair that was, admittedly, pretty damn comfortable.
“You will discover that I can override any command to mute my audio feed. Of course, you may always choose to remain silent but your active participation is in this discussion is not mandatory.”
“Fine! Just get to whatever point you’re trying to make.”
“Sexual health is a very important part of a human’s psychological well-being. You have been neglecting yours.”
“Not every human needs sex all the time, Delta. Some of them aren’t even into it at all.”
“You are completely correct, Captain. However, your psychological profile, personnel record and medical history all indicate that is not the case for you and you have had multiple sexual partners, both short and long term, prior to our journey together. This indicates an active sex drive. Despite this, you have not taken any steps to indulge yourself.”
“Are you sure I can’t get you to shut up about this?” Selena was more irritated than surprised to learn that Delta-V had access to her sexual history. Those fuckers back at Hyperion were always probing into other people’s business, why should their pet AI be any different?
“Quite certain, Captain Wan.”
“I’m not exactly spoiled for potential lovers, am I?” Selena gestured at her surroundings. Her living quarters onboard the Eos were about the size of a decent hotel room. Its walls, floor and ceiling were colored pale green-blue with slight creases where furniture like her bed could retract and fold away to provide more floor space. The walls featured digital “windows” that could be programmed to display scenes of Terran or Lunar landscape. She preferred them off.
“Such is the nature of our mission and the reason why I focused my query on solitary sexual stimulation. Your stress levels have been rising steadily since we left EarthSpace. While this is to be expected, your stress indicators are well outside of Hyperion’s initial projections for this stage in the mission. If this continues then it may begin to jeopardize our task.”
Selena sighed and massaged her temples. The worst thing about this conversation was that Delta-V was right. She felt like shit: tired, irritable and very horny. “Masturbating isn’t the same as real sex, Delta.”
“Obviously, I must take your word for it, Captain Wan.” Delta-V’s voice was always calm, steady and reassuring but Selena was certain that sometimes she could detect a hint of sarcasm in their tone. “However, in the absence of a suitable partner, I feel there is little alternative.”
Selena shifted uncomfortably. She’d been aboard the Eos for just under half a year now with essentially nothing to do and now the damn computer was berating her for not rubbing one out.
Space travel was far less glamorous than she had ever imagined.
“In case you have forgotten, the Hyperion corporation has fully anticipated these needs and has provided suitable equipment.” As Delta-V spoke there was a slight hum and a retractable drawer near her bed opened, revealing a selection of sparkling white sex toys in all shapes and sizes. The monitor immediately in front of her flicked on and began to display a scene of a man and woman in the middle of vigorous lovemaking. The man was kneeling between the woman’s legs and pounding away with all of his might as she trembled and kneaded her fingers into the white sheets beneath them. Their voices echoed through the cabin, gasping and panting as they moved together.
“Delta!” Selena shouted, ready to tell the AI to shut off the display. However, she couldn’t pull her eyes away from the woman, her face shining and flushed, as she eagerly devoured her lover’s thick cock with her pussy. Selena wanted that: to feel someone’s arms around her, to feel them tremble against and inside her, to feel full and satisfied.
God, she was horny.
“Wait...wait a minute! Is that me!?” Selena leaned in, the spell broken. It had been months since she had any reason to look at her own face so it had taken her a while to make the connection but the woman on the screen was definitely her. Black hair cut short, wide smile, warm beige skin. Her eyes were amber, although that was hard to tell as they half-lidded in ecstasy. An ex had once described her as a “shortstack”, which was one of the reasons they were now an ex. Selena was only a hair above five feet tall and had an impressive set of curves: large, round breasts and wide hips, given greater emphasis by her diminutive height.
“Hyperion command has provided an extensive audio, video and textual library, including a large selection of erotic works to aid in sexual gratification.” As Delta-V spoke the video zoomed in on the woman’s face...Selena’s face...her eyes rolled back and her mouth hanging open as she panted, barely able to breathe as her lover’s hips slapped against her own, over and over. “When preparing for this conversation I noticed that you and this performer had a similar body type and decided to create an edited copy using an overlay of your features. I hoped it might enhance your engagement, but if you prefer the original format...”
There was a brief flicker on the screen and the actress changed, Selena’s East Asian skin tones being replaced by dark brown skin and her glossy, straight hair was replaced with a mass of short curls. The woman wrapped her short legs around her lover’s hips and pulled him tightly against her, arching her back as he slipped deeper inside.
“Fuck…” Selena breathed, enraptured by the scene on the screen. Her fingers gripped the arms of her chair and she could feel a pulsing warmth between her legs. “Yeah girl, take the whole damn thing.”
“Do you prefer it without the overlay?” Delta-V’s voice snapped her out of the trance she had almost fallen into. She hurriedly turned away from the screen and back to the camera on the wall.
“I still don’t think I need…” Selena’s words trailed off. She knew Delta-V wouldn’t be convinced. Hell, she couldn’t convince herself. That thirty seconds of basic, missionary-position porn had started a fire in her that wasn’t going to be dying anytime soon and she really, really needed an orgasm. Or five. “Okay, maybe...just maybe...I could use some relaxation. But it’s not as easy as putting on a sex tape and shoving a vibrator up my cunt.”
“My apologies, Captain. I admit that my experience in this area is lacking and humans do seem to have a tendency towards unique sexual rituals. If you require more props then my fabricator is fully equipped to create a wide variety of sexual aids.”
“Delta, I don’t need props...I need privacy.”
“Captain Wan, you are the only human aboard this vessel. Indeed, the only human for over fifty-thousand astronomical units.”
“That’s not what-” Selena’s eyes narrowed in suspicion, “You’re fucking with me aren’t you?”
“Captain, I assure you that I would not mock you.”
“No...you’re smarter than this.” She got to her feet, stalking towards the camera, hands on her hips. “There’s no way Hyperion would assign an AI without a decent grasp of organic psych. Not for a mission like this.”
“You are, of course, completely correct Captain Wan. I could not claim a complete understanding of the human mind but I have several subroutines dedicated to psychological evaluation.”
“Exactly!” Selena pointed an accusing finger at the camera. “Which means you understand anthropomorphic thinking. It’s the same reason I’m talking to a camera right now.”
“Ahh,” Delta-V drew out the word, giving an odd sense that they were relieved or pleased. “Yes. My apologies, Captain Wan. You are correct. I admit that I knew full well that you were referring to my presence when you expressed a desire for privacy.”
Selena glared at the camera, refusing to give Delta-V the satisfaction of demanding further information. She simply stood, hands on her hips, waiting.
After several seconds Delta-V gave in and continued, “I have observed your behavior for several months and I predicted that a direct offer of privacy would be rejected. Which would undo the progress we have achieved in this dialogue. To avoid that, I decided that it would be best if you made the request of your own initiative.”
“And you thought I was too stupid to figure out your game?”
“I am well aware of your intellect, Captain. Your academic record and thesis on the Crichton model of space-time speak for themselves.” Delta paused, an awkward, thoughtful moment in their otherwise flatly pleasant speech. “But I must admit that I did not expect you to deduce my motives so effectively. Human behavior is unpredictable, to say the least.”
“Well, I’m sorry to be such a wild card.” Selena made sure her sarcasm was unmistakable.
“There is no need to apologize, Captain. Artificial minds crave stimulation much as organic ones do. I find your ability to surprise me...pleasant.”
“Well...well that’s good then.” For a moment Selena wondered if this was another attempt at manipulation, buttering her up to allay her irritation. “Then I need to get back to work.”
She walked back to the wall where she had left the tablet computer attached and attempted to pull it free. Normally light pressure would release the electromagnetic coupling but it held tight. After a few fruitless tugs, she turned back to the camera and tapped her foot meaningfully.
“The matter of your sexual health remains a concern that must be addressed, Captain. To accommodate your desire for privacy I can disengage my consciousness from the sensors in this room for as long as you require.”
“Do I really have to do this now?” Selena sighed, although her body was screaming at her for release.
“Not at all, Captain, I could certainly help you schedule a later session. However, the sooner your sexual well-being is addressed the sooner we should see improvements in your stress level. As they say, there is no time like the present.”
Selena sighed and looked over at the row of sex toys. Some of them were...intimidating. Covered in rubber nubs, branches or flaps of mysterious purpose. She’d used the occasional vibrator but had always preferred the real thing. There was something about the warmth, the rigid softness, the feel of her partner’s heartbeat pounding inside her and the wet, warm rush of ejaculation. She was starting to feel a little light-headed thinking about it, her pussy desperate to be filled.
“Fuck. I’ll do it.” Selena got to her feet and approached the tray of sex toys. “You promise you’ll shut everything off?”
“Captain Wan, you can be sure that I will not intrude on your privacy. I can engage the same modesty protocols in place when you are in the bathroom.”
“Fine, fine. Just...look, let’s not talk about this afterward okay?”
“As you wish, Captain. How much time do you think you will require?”
“Oh...uh...can I just let you know when I’m done?”
“Certainly, Captain.” Selena’s tablet buzzed slightly and displayed a large, cherry-red button. “Simply use your personal computer terminal to notify me once you are finished.”
The lights dimmed and the doors closed with a soft whir of electric motors. It occurred to Selena that she hadn’t ever seen these doors closed before. As the only human on the Eos, a shut door served no real purpose. Now she realized how much she had missed this sense of personal space. It made it a bit easier to forget the lightless void that surrounded her, the four-trillion mile gulf between her and her home.
Selena did her best to push that thought from her mind. The empty vastness of space was not exactly arousing.
She turned back to the display. Delta-V had paused the video while the two of them were talking and the two lovers were caught in a frozen moment of ecstasy. Tapping on the screen she quickly located the folder of videos that Delta-V had left queued up for her in the background. She winced as she noticed that the AI had included an entire list of recommended videos...likely they’d reviewed her search history and porn habits back on earth.
Swiping through the videos she had to admit that Delta-V did seem to know what she liked. She settled on a video titled ‘Maid Caught In The Bath’. She hesitated a moment before shaking her head and deselecting the personal visual overlay.
The video was a “historical” piece: a handsome man dressed in whatever quasi-Victorian outfit the producers could get their hands on. He seemed to be rich or noble or something and, as the video opened, he had just come in to see his servant girl bathing in the master bathroom. Thinking she was alone, she had snuck the chance to take a hot bath in a giant tub, suds just low enough to avoid concealing her breasts.
As she bathed the lord watched her through a crack in the door. He was a surprisingly good actor and as the camera zoomed in on his face Selena could feel his hunger for the woman, feel him wanting her. The camera panned down his half-open ruffled shirt and lingered on his tight, black pants. He ran one hand across his thighs, fingers brushing against the obvious bulge of his dick.
This one would definitely do the trick.
Selena stripped off her clothes: a simple blue-gray outfit that resembled something halfway between an officer's uniform and a set of pajamas with equally plain bra and panties underneath. They went into a hatch in the wall where they would be cleaned and disinfected. All her clothes were like this: high-tech fabrics that wouldn’t wear or fray and could be washed in an ultrasonic autoclave. Fashion wasn’t a priority in interstellar travel.
From the tray, she selected a simple vibrator: a smooth length of curved plastic with a molded handle and a raised dorsal nub for clitoral stimulation. She set it aside for now, within arm’s reach, and resumed her seat in front of the screen. As she leaned back and spread her legs she was surprised, but gratified, when the chair unfolded with her to support and separate.
On the screen, the lord had been discovered by the...chambermaid? Milkmaid? Some kind of maid, that was sure. She was flustered and ashamed to be caught in the lord’s bath and she was terrified of being sent away. Please, my lord, she begged. Please, I’ll do anything. Anything at all.
As the girl began to earn her forgiveness, Selena slid her hand down between her legs. She stroked and massaged the soft mound above her pussy, where she used to have a generous tuft of pubic hair. Before leaving EarthSpace she had undergone significant genetic modification to ensure her survival on her long journey. Muscular, respiratory, circulatory...every biological system had been improved to prevent death by disease or accident. Since stray hairs could be a big problem for long-term space travel they had also rendered her completely hairless. At her insistence, Hyperion's medical team had implanted artificial hair on her scalp and eyebrows but the rest of her body was completely bare.
When she was in college she would probably have leapt at the chance for permanently smooth legs and pussy but now she felt herself kind of missing the delicious sensation of tracing a finger through the short, stiff hairs. She put the thought from her mind and focused on the screen. The woman was on her knees, unlacing her lord’s pants and revealing his rock-hard dick. Frightened, the girl pulled back but the still-nameless man grabbed her by the hair and held her close. Her cheek was pressed against his rigid manhood, her wide eye fixed on it in a mixture of fear and awe. She said she would do whatever it took, didn’t she? Would she go back on her word now?
As the timid girl wrapped her hands around the man’s erection, Selena moved her hand lower. She was already worked up and her fingers slid easily up and down her wet labia. It felt so good to finally touch herself like this and for a moment she closed her eyes, just losing herself in the sensation as she listened to the rough, leonine growl of pleasure from the man in the film and the soft, wet noises of his manhood slipping in and out of the maid's mouth.
She imagined herself taking a hot cock in her mouth, feeling the firm, round head part her lips and the hint of precum on the tip of her tongue. She pushed two fingers inside herself, feeling the moist walls of her pussy pulse against her fingertips.
She opened her eyes when the maid gasped. The lord had pulled the girl to her feet and dragged her into the bedroom, tossing her face-down onto the large four-poster bed. She tried to rise but the man’s strong hand held her down and stroked his cock up and down the her pussy as her legs dangled over the edge of the bed. With a surge of animal vigor, he thrust himself into her and she cried out in surprise and pleasure.
“That’s right. You were a bad girl, so you’ve got to take the whole thing.” Selena muttered to herself, half-drunk on long-neglected pleasures. She curled her fingers upward and stroking upwards towards her clit, feeling waves of sensation each time she lightly tapped it with her fingertips. “You like it, don’t you? I bet you were hoping he’d catch you.”
It had been so long since she came that Selena was already feeling close to the edge of climax. She reached out and picked up the vibrator but as she did her eyes landed on Delta-V's camera. She froze, her heart pounding. Intellectually, she was sure that Delta-V was true to their word and wasn’t observing her right now. But for months that camera, and others like it, had been her point of contact for her sole companion: the AI’s “face”. It felt like catching a roommate peeking through a doorway at her.
With her eyes locked on the camera, Selena climaxed explosively.
Selena dropped the vibrator back on its tray as her body shook with the force of her orgasm. Her eyes were locked on the camera, ignoring the sounds of enthusiastic, over-dramatic fucking coming from the display. Her hips jerked with small, urgent movements and her voice came out in tiny, high-pitched gasps as she drove her fingers deeper into her pussy, her thumb pressed against her clit. The gasps flowed together into a wordless moan as she felt pulses of tight, hot ecstasy passing from her pelvis to the top of her head.
When the orgasm finally passed she collapsed back into the chair, panting and sweating. She had intended to make this a marathon session, trying to see how much she could make herself come and maybe experimenting with a few of the more exotic toys in the collection once she was loosened up. But the intensity of that climax left her exhausted, as though she had just run a hundred-yard sprint. Months of pent-up sexual energy unleashed in a single carnal explosion. Her head was spinning and her arms felt limp as noodles. Sweat trickled down her breasts and stomach, mingling with the wetness between her legs. Her pussy was throbbing from the aftershocks of the intense sensation.
She glanced at the camera again and looked away, trying not to think too hard about her reaction.
This is chapter one of my sci-fi erotica novel Delta-V. If you want to read the rest you can find it on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087D6MNX9