Fandom: Generation Kill
Word Count: 5000
Summary: Space Opera AU with Brad as an AI.
Notes: Expanded from oxoniensis's prompt: sci-fi Brad/Nate, in which Brad's an artificial intelligence, and Nate's in love with him! during my snippet party. Thank you so much, rosekay, for the lightning fast and hilarious beta.
Brad was built to be perfect. He can easily do the advanced calculations required of NAIA, the ship’s navigational computer. He is fully operational in over five-hundred types of martial arts. He is conversant in all earth dialects, and has an unsurpassable ability to acquire off-world languages. A full understanding of human anatomical structures is contained on his mainframe, making him a nearly flawless combat medic. He was assigned to the USS Defiance as a security specialist, and so far he has done his job so well that he’s never been to see Carazales for repairs. Unlike the previous model, Chris (Combat Hostilities and Resistance Ideal Soldier), he has network capabilities, granting him access to nearly limitless information. While the person who lent his appearance is long dead, that person’s physical beauty lives on in Brad. There is no better word than perfect.
But Brad is not perfect. He is in fact, rather irascible. His personality was calculated to adapt and suit the individual he spent the most time with. But Brad, also unlike Chris, has developed a grumpy disposition completely irrespective of everybody. He has an extensive arsenal of insults that 99.995% of the crew has been called on multiple occasions. He likes porn and milk shakes, and even though he is calibrated without the evolutionary hindrance of an adrenaline rush, he bought an extremely fast Sprinter with the paycheck he was entitled under the Artificial Intelligence Rights act. The unnecessary loss of human life that he is designed to override and disregard has a tendency to make him sad and broody.
Nate finds he likes Brad better than any of his crewmates, even Mike, one of the gunnery sergeants for the Defiance’s detachment of marines that Nate has known since his tenure at MTS. Other people might not consider this a problem, but Nate is going to get a command of his own soon and…and…Brad is an AI. Nate very much doubts that Brad has any of the same feelings of regard for him. Nate is a royal idiot.
“He never insults you, you know,” Ray, the marine that probably interacts most closely with Brad says.
“Sorry?” Nate is trying to keep his dignity in the face of being caught staring at Brad across the mess.
Ray plunks his tray informally down in front of Nate. “He calls me an inbred waste of genetic-fuckheadedness on a fairly regular basis. I don’t even know what that means.”
Nate shrugs and spears a canned peach on the end of his fork and keeps his eyes determinedly away from Brad’s part of the mess. “I don’t know what to tell you.”
Ray stares at him like he’s useless.
He’s going through his ordinary morning workout regimen when Mike asks him, “Have you thought about who you want for your XO when you take command?”
Nate’s benching a 200 pound barbell with Mike standing over him so he can’t exactly escape. “Isn’t that a little premature?”
“C’mon, Nate, we both know this will be a serious consideration soon. Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it.”
“Fine, I’ve thought about it,” Nate replies, huffing. He hates working out with Mike because he never lets Nate slack off. It’s also the same reason he would never work out with anybody else.
“Oh yes?” Mike asks. “C’mon, you can do one more set.”
“I hate you,” Nate replies, arms protesting. “Possibly Lt. Cargyl.” He’s known Flight Lieutenant Ferris Cargyl since MTS. She’s no-nonsense, efficient, and quite easily one of the best fighter-pilots they have on board the Defiance. She doesn’t get along with Eckloff, the flight leader, so she’d be glad to leave, but he’s not sure how well she’d take to the notion of sitting on the bridge rather than going on Strafing runs.
“Three more,” Mike says, hands out to catch the bar if Nate fails.
Nate grits his teeth. “And maybe…Lt. Commander Devereaux.” Devereaux chose a transfer to the Defiance after his frigate, the R91 Henri Navarre, was destroyed just outside of Global Conglomeration Space and he was given his choice of assignment. And while he speaks in heavily accented English, has almost no sense of humor, and frequently makes Nate wonder why he simply didn’t choose another French flagship in the Conglomeration Armada, he is also one of the most capable officers Nate has ever come across.
Mike gives him an unreadable look. “Not Brad?”
Nate sets the bar back into its cradle with a clang and straightens up. He sighs. “Be serious.”
On route to Messier 82 in the Ursa Major constellation, NAIA detects an uninhabited planet with a similar atmosphere to Earth. Patterson chooses to send them down to scout it for possible agricultural development. Earth currently has more population than they can feed and a decided lack of heavy metals to build the ships integral to her military.
Nate sets up a base of operations with several midshipmen and has to watch as the rest of his landing party goes off on an adventure. Brad is on point, so far ahead of the rest of his team of marines that he seems like a black speck in the distance.
It’s hot but hazy on the planet. It reminds Nate of the worst parts of the Chesapeake, warm rain and heavy air. The marines call it DFS for Deathly Fucking Swamp rather than its official designation UR2L561B. There’s a steady stream of dialogue coming down over the comms while Nate watches news reports from home and picks at his nails. He really hates mission protocol: the marines get to suss out why the viable planet is completely unpopulated and he sits and listens to a broadcast reporter, Evan Wright, explain the new maglev train system linking Los Angeles to San Francisco. Every fifteen minutes he radios back in to the Defiance to tell them the status quo remains unchanged.
About an hour in, Ray starts up a conversation about what Nate’s call sign was in MTS, seemingly unaware that Nate can hear the whole thing. “I’m just curious,” he says when Poke respectfully inquires where he lost his fucking brain. Nate turns down the news and leans back in the chair they’ve set up in the operations tent.
“You know that shit sticks with you--it’s either hilarious or all hoity-toity...you can’t say, XO,” Ray says quickly, ending the notion that Ray has no idea Nate is listening, “that’ll ruin the experiment.”
“Blue Blood,” Poke responds. Nate can practically hear the tongue in his cheek. The midshipmen waiting with Nate snort.
“Prince Charming,” Walt replies.
“Unicorn.” That’s probably Trombley.
And then Ray shouts, “Falcon Punch!”
‘Falcon Punch?’ Nate mouths at the other midshipmen. They burst out laughing. Nate finally gives in and radios back.“Thanks, guys, I’m so glad to see I’m endowed with enough savvy to deserve a suitably imposing nickname.”
Ray actually has the gall to push the button on his comm so Nate can hear him laughing. He wants to brain himself with the monitor carrying the news broadcast.
“Well Brad, any guesses?” Poke says.
“Chiron,” Brad replies, inflectionless. Nate sits up straight in his chair. He’s not sure he ever told Brad that. In fact he’s sure he didn’t. He didn’t choose the nickname for himself. He got drunk with the other plebes his first leave at MTS and started expounding on how fascinating ancient Greek creation mythology was while the rest of his yearmates fell asleep into their beers. A few weeks later he found it blazoned on all of his gear and his friends chuckling evilly.
“Holy crap! Is that right, XO?” Ray whoops back.
Nate pushes his comm link. “Yes.”
Ray’s mirth crackles over the line again. “You’re such a stalker, Brad!”
Brad doesn’t reply and Nate gradually settles back into listening to his news reports, sending various midshipmen out to take readings with the rudimentary surveying equipment their destroyer carries. They’re not a research vessel. Ordinarily they wouldn’t even be making such a stop, but likely no one will get to come out this way in the coming months again, and if NAIA’s readings that the planet’s surface is rich in iron ore are correct, it’s not an opportunity they can pass up. Either way, Nate is bored out of his skull.
“Got something you should see, Chiron,” Poke says over the line while Nate’s getting caught up on old after action reports on his tablet. Nate rolls his eyes skyward.
“Received,” Nate says and readies his sidearm and assault rifle. “Making my way to your location now. Midshipmen Tyler, I leave the operations tent in your capable hands.”
Tyler gives him an ironic salute and Nate nods before making his way off into the dense wilderness. He finds the team lounging on the ground around an impressive set of waterfalls all running into a circular basin several thousand feet below. A devil’s punchbowl. Spray wafts up into the air, dampening whatever the humidity hasn't reached.
“It’s amazing,” he says. The marines nod at him, watching the torrent of water in apparent awe. Nate pushes the comm link to broadcast back to the Defiance. “This is Commander Fick for the bridge.”
Devereaux responds after barely a moment’s hesitation, “This is the USS Defiance. We are receiving.”
“Planet is suitable for further research, should transmit coordinates back to Con-Arm so that development may progress. We are ready to close operations planetside.”
“Wilco. Standby for return transport.”
Nate looks up at the sky, waiting for the telltale cloud formation of a shuttle streaking across the horizon. The sound of Ray kicking a sheet of water at Walt brings him back to earth. There’s a lightness to the air here at the falls. The marines horse around like middle-schoolers, laughing and shoving at each other. Like they aren’t so deep in a war they can barely remember how they got there. He radios back to the midshipmen to break camp and join them.
Brad sits apart from the rest. He’s got his elbows propped on his knees and his eyes rapt on the water crashing down over the rocks. Nate hesitates a moment and then makes his way over to him.
“Did you ever wish you could do something else, sir?” Brad asks.
Nate blinks at him and then follows his gaze out over the water. He thinks for a moment and shakes his head. He doesn’t have a cute story of his Dad bringing home an Atlas of the heavens and it changing his life, or a long-storied history of the Con-Arm in his family like Patterson does. He just always knew, the way some kids knew they wanted to be doctors and others writers. “Not really.”
“Your sense of civic duty is unparalleled,” Brad replies drily. Nate laughs, a little incredulous, and Brad says, seriously, “You desire to be useful.”
Nate nods. “You could put it that way.” He finally sinks down to his knees besides Brad.”Do you wish you weren’t programmed to be a security specialist?”
It would go against Brad’s programming, but Brad frequently seems to contradict his code. Brad doesn’t meet his gaze.
“I have contemplated it.” He turns to Nate now. The simulated pigment of his eyes seems especially blue in the damp fog and murky light. “But I have ultimately decided that I am content.”
Nate swallows. “Good.”
There isn’t a lot to do for entertainment on the Defiance. They won’t port home for another seven months barring some unforeseeable circumstances that will require them to return to Earth for repairs. It mostly doesn’t bother Nate. He doesn’t miss Earth the way some others do. Not that it’s not beautiful—he is out here after all, in this emptiness, fighting for its continued existence. But Nate understood what he was losing when he matriculated to MTS.
They have access to TV, and Lilley runs the weekly movie series, but after a while sitting on your ass watching other people go to bars and amusement parks and shopping gets really old. Nate winds up buying thousands and thousands of files of e-books that he’ll never get around to reading. They all have their own little things. Walt plays his music, and Ray…does his Ray things, and Stafford and Christeson like to turn off the grav in the rec deck and pull out skate boards they made for themselves out of spare pieces of fiber glass from maintenance.
Brad likes to run experiments in one of the engineering labs. Occasionally when Nate’s tired of watching reruns of his favorite show or playing cards with the ship’s officers, he goes to watch him.
Brad’s been attempting to reduce the drag on his Sprinter. He wants to make it near frictionless to raise fuel efficiency. “If I get it right, I might debut it at Le Mans,” he says, referring to the old Earth Grand Prix.
“Wouldn’t that require a non-human rider?” Nate asks, looking at Brad’s calculations for maximum speed. It’s past terminal velocity.
“An unfortunate side-effect,” Brad replies. “You are so very fragile.”
Nate smiles. “Not all of us can survive indefinitely as long as our brain survives.”
“You are incorrect,” Brad says, tooling with a plasma cutter, completely uncaring of the sparks. “Every human who dies, dies the same way: damage to the brain.”
Nate thinks about it. If he bleeds out, his brain no longer gets oxygen. If he starves, his various systems stop working and his brain no longer gets oxygen. If he gets sick. If he suffocates. If he burns. If he gets old. It’s not a comforting thought.
Main Sequence G2 Star System 4765 or the solar system as it’s colloquially known has been fighting for her life for the last eight decades. They need all the allies that they can get. It is not usually the USS Defiance—a class one expeditionary destroyer—who has to go on diplomatic missions. However, they are alone in the Messier 109 and no other vessel will be able to reach them for several weeks.
Nate, as executive officer of the Defiance, is a required part of the landing party. Captain Patterson is too important to risk in a possible souring of relations. In retrospect, Nate would’ve liked to say that the succeeding events could’ve been avoided, or that their ensuing hostile relationship with the sovereign planet of the M109 Spiral Galaxy (or Shelia as it was called in local parlance) could’ve been repaired. However it is in some small way comforting to know that there was nothing they could’ve done.
One minute everything was fine, the next they were being fired upon by guards in Shelia’s Peace Palace. They lost five marines, a biologist, and a translator in the attempt to quit the building. They found the pilot of their shuttle dead in the cockpit when they boarded it. Nate really wishes his day had gone differently.
“Fuck, fuckety, fuck!” Ray screams, laying down suppressive fire to their rear with two other marines. Several members of their party are still straggling behind.
“Maintain your calm, marine!” Brad orders, and snipe shoots two encroaching soldiers with his sidearm.
“I can pilot this,” Nate says, dumping the pilot out of his chair and onto the floor with a silent apology. He winces as he sits down, and shudders when he looks down at his side. No help for it. He initiates the launch sequence, ignoring the blood welling just under the first rib on his left side and the burning slash beneath his eye. He shouts back over his shoulder, “Get everybody on board!”
Brad shoots him a quick penetrating look. “You have sustained damage, sir.”
“Indeed,” Nate replies. “I assure you it will not obstruct my combat effectiveness.”
Brad lifts a struggling scientist onto the deck, shoots another encroaching guard, and then turns back to him. “At your current rate of blood loss, I calculate you will be unconscious in seven minutes.”
“So quit fucking around so I can seal the hatch and get us off this god-forsaken rock!”
Brad gets the remaining stragglers onto the shuttle and seals the hatch himself while Nate punches the craft into takeoff.
“Brace for impact,” he shouts back into the hold as they fly over the peace palace. The shuttle shakes when Shelia’s artillery strikes her side.
“Aw shit, the crazy fuckers would have an SDI program,” Ray whines.
“Casualty report, Ray,” Brad barks, and that’s the last thing Nate remembers before waking up in the Medbay.
Somehow he got them back to the Defiance, damned if he knows how.
“You’re completely senseless, XO,” Doc says to him when he opens his eyes. “But you saved 25 lives.”
Nate smiles weakly. “I suppose that’s worth being senseless,” he replies.
He doesn’t see Brad for days after that. He starts to wonder if he’d done something wrong. Brad is completely absent from the mess at all the usual times, he isn’t in the exercise rooms or in any of the laboratories. Not that Nate is arduously looking or anything.
Finally Ray puts him out of his misery. “He’s moping like a little bitch in one of the service quarters on deck two. Downloaded all the advanced piloting programs he could too.”
Nate shakes his head and says thanks. When he gets off his shift, he goes to every service room on deck two until he finds him.
Brad has the light lowered to fifty percent and he’s whirling two antique 9mms around in a series of what look like katas. Nate watches, rapt. Everything Brad does, every movement he makes, is modeled to look human, but Nate is never more away of Brad’s inhumanity than he is now. Finally Brad pauses and turns around, acknowledging Nate’s presence. An artificial sweat has broken out on his brow. “Sir,” he says in greeting.
“What was that?” Nate asks, gesturing at him.
Brad cocks his head. “Person showed me a 21st century film earlier this week called, I believe, Equilibrium. They devised an interesting martial tactic to optimize a single person’s effective kill zone. I am attempting to determine if such tactics are feasible for use.”
Nate blinks at him. Of course he is. And he’s retreated behind his façade of merely being a computer while he’s at it. “Are you avoiding me?” Nate says finally, unsure of what else to say.
“I found that my neural systems were inordinately disturbed by the idea of your life being extinguished. My optimum conditions allow me to work without forming possibly debilitating attachments to my crewmates.”
“But you have attachments! Ray, Walt, Poke—other marines,” Nate protests.
Brad steps in closer and his perfectness comes sharply into focus. Nate has to drop his eyes to Brad’s chest. He watches in shock as Brad reaches out a tentative hand to touch his shoulder.
His voice is suddenly soft. “When I went to overwrite the appropriate sequences of code, I realized I didn’t want to lose the sensation, the…” he stops, struggling for the word. Nate has never seen him struggle for a word.
“Feelings,” he answers, placing his palm on top of Brad’s beautifully engineered hand that could crush his shoulder with the simple tightening of his fist.
“Yes, feelings.” He leans closer to Nate. “It…you…fucked me up.”
Nate swallows. He doesn’t know how to read the expression on Brad’s face. He never knows how to read the expressions on Brad’s face. Brad startles him when he bends his head to quickly brush their lips together and he doesn’t have time to respond. After a moment Brad pulls back. “Full transparency, sir, I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Nate smiles up at him and drags their still tingling lips back together. He cups Brad’s jaw, fingertips light on the bone. He’s never touched Brad, but he feels so real, no different than any human. When Nate slides his fingers over the velvety simulated skin of Brad’s throat, he can even feel the steady beat of a pulse. Brad makes a sound in the back of his throat and changes the angle of his head, taking advantage of his height and deepening the kiss. Nate clings to Brad’s military-issue exercise gear, dazed.
The best kiss he’s ever had is with a robot. Nate would laugh at his own life if he could pay attention to anything but the way Brad is touching him, taking his mouth, forcing his head back to kiss him deeper. Nate breathes out hard through his mouth and sucks at Brad’s tongue, doing his best to keep up. Even Brad’s mouth tastes and feels exactly like a human’s should.
Brad tugs at Nate’s lower lip with his teeth, tracing just inside with his tongue, chuckling as Nate’s fingers tighten in his shirt. He pulls away. “I would see your pretty red lips wrapped around my dick.”
Nate chokes and buries his flushed face into Brad’s chest. He could picture it all too well, Brad’s dick stretching his mouth wide. What his face would look like, cheeks flooded with color and chest heaving. He pushes the image away, and says, “You watch too much porn.”
Brad nudges the shell of Nate’s ear with his nose and then blows on it. Nate shivers, he barely registers it when Brad says, “If my calculations are correct, you’ll do it.”
Brad runs a hand down Nate’s back, lingering at the swell of his ass. “Nevertheless, your heart and respiratory rate are markedly elevated since I suggested it.” He draws Nate up against him, and yes, Brad’s dick has been perfectly rendered too.
The weight of reality comes crashing down on him and he disentangles himself from Brad. “Wait, wait, we haven’t thought this through.”
“Not to argue with you, sir, but you are incorrect. In the past five days I have run every possible outcome of me kissing you.” He quirks a grin at Nate and then says, “What I can say with certainty is that Captain Patterson has recommended you for your own command.”
Nate nods and breathes out. “Yes, he told me after the debacle in the Alioth system.”
Brad inclines his head, allowing this interruption. “Statistically analyzing newly commissioned captains, I extrapolate you will be given a new peregrine class one expeditionary destroyer, likely the USS Charlemagne.”
Nate closes his eyes. It’s the ship he only could’ve dreamed of, and it’s going to be his, and all he can feel is leaden regret. He really is a royal idiot.
Brad continues, “I will put in a transfer to join you. I may do that under provision VII of the AIR.”
Nate’s eyes snap back open. “You would—”
“Yes,” Brad interrupts, firm.
Nate smiles at him, rubbing at his lower lip and watching Brad’s pupils expand in perfectly programmed response. “Would you like to join me in my rooms?”
They don’t have sex that first night. Nate feel likes a total asshole, but he’s still a little nervous about the fact that Brad is essentially a cyborg, and he doesn’t know where exactly the line starts and ends. He’s never heard of any humans falling in love with AI. Or of any AI falling in love with humans. He contents himself with the bizarre tennis game of courtship they have going between them until they can iron those details out.
If he ever wishes to have Brad as executive officer aboard the Charlemagne, they can’t exactly be overt. It’s not unheard of for a Captain and his XO to be involved. They are after all both commissioned officers, and things are rendered a little differently out in the black, but he doesn’t want to tempt fate. Nate hasn’t seen a single one of his yearmates at MTS outside of the group he was stationed with. If he takes command without Brad there’s a good chance he won’t see him for years, if ever again. So he’s paranoid, but justifiably so.
Brad makes no sign that this bothers him. He seems content to run his hands all over Nate’s body, learning every dip and contour until Nate’s shuddering in release and desperately restraining himself from asking Brad to fuck him.
“You seem kinda obsessed with touching me,” Nate says one evening, lying in the wide bed in Brad’s berth.
Brad cocks his head. He runs a hand down Nate’s spine, fingernails scraping along the indent. “I am merely familiarizing myself with you,” he says. “You have 85 eyelashes on your left top-lid and only 79 on your right.”
“Ray’s right. You kind of are a stalker,” Nate replies, pillowing his head on his arms.
Brad continues to sweep his hands over Nate’s body. He says, “You love it.”
Nate snorts. Brad’s fingers skim over the cleft of his ass and Nate knows his body flushes dark red, he can feel the sudden heat radiating off. But he also doesn’t have the courage to push it. He thinks about it near constantly.
He’s working out again with Mike towards the end of the week when Mike says conversationally, “So you and Brad, huh?”
Nate is in the middle of taking a big long swig on his water bottle and he spits the entire thing out onto the mats. “How did you know?” he asks, wiping his mouth.
“When ‘battle stations’ went off on Tuesday at 4 AM standard, Brad was coming from the bridge crews’ quarters,” he replies evenly.
“Oh,” Nate says and scratches his nose somewhat sheepishly. “Yeah, I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Mike shrugs. “Don’t know what to tell you,” he replies. “At least you aren’t pining all the time.”
Nate glares at him. “You are lucky that I’m a kind soul and won’t assign you to latrine duty on our next landing party.”
Mike claps him on the back.
That night, at 11 PM Standard, he goes by Brad’s quarters and finds him jacked into the wall, eyes rolled up into his head. They focus as soon as Nate says his name. He rolls up out of his crouch, unplugging himself in the process. Nate feels an overwhelming and completely unexplainable rush of affection.
Brad smiles at him lopsidedly. “NAIA has found a new data burst on her networks that she thinks might be a virus. She asked me to assess her OS for possible security breach.”
“And…far as I can tell, somebody is downloading Trojan-riddled pornography.” He pauses for a moment and then says, “Amateurs.”
Nate blinks at him and then sits down on his bed with a thump. “Are we moving too slow?”
Brad crosses his arms. His eyes are just this shade of amused. “Are you referring to fucking?”
Nate collapses back against the mattress with a groan, covering his eyes with his arm. “You’re a bad influence. I haven’t been able to think about anything else for days.”
Brad laughs. He comes to sit on the bed and Nate shifts over so he can lie down beside him. Brad says, right against his ear. “I am ostensibly a virgin, who’s corrupting who here?”
Nate groans again.
“Would you like to?” Brad asks, voice modulated to a softer pitch. He really is amazing, a perfect facsimile. Nate peaks over his forearm at him. Brad starts laughing again. “According you all due respect, but how did you ever get laid?”
“What’s that, Casanova?” Nate replies, rolling over onto Brad. Brad easily accepts his weight, thighs spreading to accommodate Nate’s legs. He kisses Nate instead of answering, fingers curling in the hair at the nape of his neck. Nate doesn’t mind the distraction. Brad’s core temperature is below that of a human—he has no metabolism. An almost imperceptible difference, but Nate is aware of it when he strokes his tongue in his mouth, how it is cool like he just drank ice water. Nate pulls away and Brad’s breath comes fast and hard, his eyes are half-lidded. He doesn’t know why he’s been stressing. The only real difference between them is Brad’s cybernetic brain.
Nate kisses him again and says, “I would like to.”
They fuck with the lights at 100%, because even though Brad’s eyes are far better than Nate’s he wants them on so he can watch Nate rising up and down on his cock, impaling himself. Nate’s never seen that expression of wonderment on Brad’s face before. Nate’s possibly never been such a slut for it either. He can’t quite believe the filth that pours out of his mouth as he braces himself on Brad’s shoulders and thrusts down on him. He’s leaving long-fingered bruises behind. He can’t help it. They won’t last long. They never do on Brad.
Brad moans and pulls Nate hips down on him, striking Nate’s prostate hard enough that he sees stars. “Are you using your files on…anatomy, right now?” Nate huffs out, wrapping a tight fist around his dick.
Brad doesn’t let go of his hips. “Use every weapon in your arsenal, correct?” He does it a second time, and while Nate is choking, eyes rolling back into his head, Brad rolls them over. He gets his thighs under him and thrusts in deep and slow, Nate claws at the sheets, back arching.
“Faster,” he says, gasping, stroking himself off at the same time. He can’t see Brad’s face, because his eyes are squeezed shut, faced pushed hard into the pillow. He’s not sure how much more he can take, but he can hear him grinning under the rhythmic slam of the headboard into the wall. Nate feels Brad get harder inside of him and at that moment Brad leans down, crushing their mouths together. He comes seconds before Nate does. Brad is still above him, soft manufactured breaths meshing with Nate’s real ones.
Nate’s hands slide over Brad’s sweat-slippery back, marveling at the scientist who even thought of this simple but inescapable detail, and Brad brushes their noses together. The lights dim down slowly and he falls asleep thinking about how Brad is every bit as intricate as he is, if not more, since somebody actually had to sit there and think about each and every minute aspect.
Finished. For now. Perhaps there will be further adventures.
I tried very hard to have this not be mindlessly derivative of Star Trek. I'm not sure how successful I was. Hopefully I conveyed how ridiculous I thought it was that Star Trek frequently sends it's entire command team out on incredibly dangerous missions where they might all die and leave the Enterprise completely unmanned. Although I understand that it's hard to get a really good alien's made them do it scene if all the people you want to have sexytiems are never getting off the ship to have aliens make them do it.
Also, all the galaxies I mentioned are real. Although nobody calls M109, Shelia. At least as far as I know.