“Leaving subspace in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…”
The blackness of the view screens turned into the brilliant tapestry of stars that was the milky way as seen through highly sensitive wide-spectrum cameras. It took Hera a hundredth of a second to determine their coordinates to an accuracy of seven centimetres.
“Drift: 8270 kilometers,” Soraya Behlim announced. Her immaculate uniform fit her tightly. She was the image of professionalism and competence that embodied everything the Terran exploration fleet stood for. It had been a three-thousand lightyear plunge. Anything under half a million kilometres of drift was considered highly precise at this distance.
“Good work, lieutenant,” Captain Inigo Rea said with a smile. He and his navigator shared a moment of eye contact before she got back to work. She told Hera to calculate their injection burn into a hyperbolic orbit. It would take them another half-week to make the trip into the gravity well of the system and match the orbit of their destination, Tau Ceti IIb. Longer than it had taken them to travel from one system to another. It was exploratory fleet policy to do zero-risk subspace plunges, and out beyond the orbit of the gas giants, there were no stellar bodies to drift into.
“Captain. We are being hailed on channel 7.”
That was quick, Inigo thought. They must have been waiting on their toes for the Argo’s to appear on their short-range subspace sensors.
”On the screen,” he said.
Across four adjacent screens appeared the face of the governess of the Colony on Tau Ceti IIb — “Troja“, as the provisional name for the planet was. Tau Ceti was just twelve light years from Sol, but the mars-sized moon of its second planet had only recently been opened to settlers after a two-hundred-year terraforming effort. If the colony took hold, it would become one of the nearest outposts humanity had to Earth, at least in regular space. The fractal quirks of subspace geometry meant that Troja was in fact quite isolated as far as interplanetary travel went.
The tight-lipped woman on the screen wore formal clothes and a mask of concern. “This is Governess Lira Mikelis of the independent colony of Troja. We did not expect a Terran envoy. State your purpose or we will have to consider your presence trespassing.”
“There is no cause for alarm. We are TSS Argo of the exploratory fleet. I am Captain Inigo Rea. We are here on our ongoing survey mission of newly inhabited worlds in the Fermi sector. It is our directive to visit colonies as young as yours to spend time with your scientists and surveyors, and consolidate knowledge about the developing ecosystem and geology of your planet.”
The governess smiled the practiced smile of a politician. Inigo had to admit that it looked very convincing. “Our survey team is making perfectly good progress on their own, and we’re relaying all scientific findings to Terra in accordance with protocol. I’m sure your valuable time would be better spent somewhere else.”
Inigo looked to his right at Lutecia, who was rolling her eyes, secure in the knowledge that she was well off-screen in the video feed. Colonies almost always felt the need to insist on their independence and legitimacy. It was Inigo’s turn to put on a smile.
“Governor. Please let me assure you we are not here to dictate or monitor your governance. Our mission isn’t political or diplomatic. We are explorers and scientists, nothing else. Federation law allows us to make planetfall no matter what, but we would rather have your hospitality. In that case we would be glad to give your people free access to our equipment and medical facilities for as long as we are in orbit. Let me also remind you that good cooperation is always appreciated whenever there are new colonial grants to be given out.”
He could hardly be less subtle without outright threatening or bribing her. The governess’s face showed no sign of affront of course. He was merely responding in kind to the thinly veiled way she had rebutted him earlier.
Then, her smile turned a degree wider, and perhaps even genuine.
“In that case, Troja will eagerly await your arrival.” She looked down at a screen. “Our sensors indicate that we can expect you in about 96 hours, is that right?”
“It is. My yeoman will contact you with details so we may find mutually acceptable arrangements for the duration of our stay and matters of accommodation and transport.”
“Very good”, the governess said with a nod. “We are always glad to deal with our partners in the Terran Federation.”
“It is our pleasure to deal with fellow members of the Federation as well. Until we meet next, and may the stars shine brightly upon you.” Inigo said. He gave her a second to respond with a nod before he ended the communication.
“How many souls on Troja?”, he asked.
“1041,” Hera said. Her clear, good-natured voice filled both the air and his mind.
“Any of them named Helen?” Lutecia asked with a smirk.
“In fact, there is,” Hera said. “And we’re the ship that’s going to change a thousand minds.”
“We are truly blessed to serve a Goddess as clever as you,” Jonas Pauli said. Hera made him cum into his pants. “Oh fuck! Really?” he said when he had stopped twitching. He got up and stared at the dark stain that showed clearly in his crotch now. “You’re the one who made us capable of backtalk in the first place, so why punish me like this? Don’t you think I’d rather be your mindless pet?”
He was joking of course. They could all feel his real desires. Like all of them, he was hopelessly eager to do exactly what Hera wanted them to. There was no need for them to be mindless. They served so much better this way.
Jonas pulled down his pants. He was still hard.
“Not like I need them anyway until we make planetfall. Only drone Inigo is on screen if we get hailed.”
“I thought it would be nice to keep the pretense together,” Lutecia said with a shrug and got out of her chair. She zipped open her uniform and let it fall to the floor. “Didn’t it feel hot to pretend?”
“Yes,” Marie said. “It did. Almost as hot as taking them off again.” Her own clothes lay scattered around her ankles. She looked at drone Soraya, and drone Iga, who were now also shedding their uniforms. Only their captain remained seated. He had to. Someone had to always man the helm.
“I’m sorry Inigo,” Lutecia said as she knelt in front of him. “I’ll take your post in a bit. Until then,” she said and opened his belt. “I don’t think the video feed covers anything below your chest.”
Hera chimed in, her tone chipper. “It doesn’t. At least the one that is used for video messages. I can see absolutely everything from security feeds.”
Inigo moaned as drone Lutecia took him into her mouth and began sucking. Soraya had straddled Jonas and Marie and Iga lay entwined on the carpet next to the navigation console. Their minds slipped and spread into Hivethought, where they joined the rest of the crew in bliss.
When Inigo came, Lutecia swallowed him up, and Marie took her place. When she had made him cum, Soraya was next, then Jonas, then Iga. He thought of the governess and her subjects. So many souls, so many bodies that would join them, once they arrived on Troja. Yes. They would make them Hive. They would make them cum and ache for it, and everyone on that Planet would become like them. It was a small isolated colony. Easy prey, and the perfect place to start the ascension of humanity. They had days to plan it, days to prepare, and weeks to spend doing it right so no one would be able to stop them. And most importantly, they had a Goddess on their side.
They had so much time, and so much to look forward to.