02: Monday, July 6, 2043, 1530 hours CST: Alexis and Charisse
The crew of Mars Colony Mission One consisted of six astronauts from the US, including Zach, and six astronauts from various other countries. Now that the final selection had been made, the six international astronauts would be joining the US astronauts at their base within a few days. From then, they had less than six months to train together as a crew before launch. Colleen, Colonel Bruno, had probably been on the phone with most of them by now.
Zach realized he didn't know how to act with any of these women. Should he be flirty and open to suggestions to encourage them to speak freely to him and get their needs met, or should he be chill in order not to disturb them more than they were already undoubtedly disturbed by this turn of events? He realized he would have to play it by ear, listen carefully, and guess, and he was a bad guesser.
He was way too literal-minded and unemotional to read between the lines of any woman. He knew women to be infinitely complex and mysterious: life-giving one moment, murderous the next, each of them uniquely driven by emotional and temperamental forces beyond the ken of a simple man like himself. In short, he was completely fucked. He could only hope that more productive than unproductive fucking resulted from the whole affair.
About half an hour after Zach had gotten back to his office from his unusual yet thrilling meeting with Colonel Bruno, Alexis Warren, a geologist also picked to be on their crew of 12 to colonize Mars, called him. "Hey, Zach, congratulations," she began shyly. Normally Alexis was sassy, flirty, and somewhat inappropriate. Her acting shy was way out of character.
"Congratulations back!" Zach replied with as much cheer as he could muster under the unusual circumstances.
"Charisse and I would like to meet you for dinner and talk," Alexis said. Charisse Roberts was one of the chosen crew's botanists.
"Talk, eh? What did you have in mind? Meet in the commissary at six?"
"We were thinking Mercutio's. We've made reservations for seven." That was the fancy Italian restaurant off base in nearby Webster. It looked like they wanted to take the lead. Zach felt relief. Maybe this could be fun.
"Ooh, fancy! Should I be worried about my virtue?" Zach teased. Mercutio's was renowned in the astronaut corps for being a seduction choice. The implication was clear.
"Yes, very. We've been briefed by Colleen as you have."
Zach swallowed. "How briefed?"
"You mean that...? I'll call you back." Then Alexis hung up. It became evident that he had just given away Colleen's secret somehow. Alexis was perceptive. He hoped it wouldn't be trouble.
Five minutes later, Alexis called back and sighed, "She's not talking."
"I'm happy to hear that," Zach replied noncommittally. "And yes, I'll meet you and Charisse at Mercutio's at seven."
"I'm glad it's you, Zach."
"Thank you, Lex. That means a lot to me. I'm glad to be going to Mars with you, too." Zach knew Alexis could hear the worry in his voice.
"Everything will be fine. You know you would rather be ashes than dust."
"Bring lots of water, then."
"Hah! See you later." Alexis hung up. The date was set with Alexis and Charisse.
What of Ayana and Colby, the other two of the six crew chosen from the US? Zach decided he needed to call them. He didn't want either to feel like he was avoiding them. He dialed Ayana's number.
Ayana Dean was the crew's other doctor and one of his closest associates among those who could have been chosen. Zach was somewhat of a mentor to Ayana, almost like an older brother, except for the hopeless crush he had on her, hopeless because she wasn't into men. Ayana answered, saying, "I knew you'd call."
"Of course you did. And congratulations. Have you spoken to Colonel Bruno yet?"
"Hey, remember, I'm into women too, just like you." Though Ayana didn't need to remind him of this, Zach thought. His heart did, every time he saw her. She teased, "I'll steal them all away from you."
"Be my guest, otherwise I may be killed. And you probably will steal them away! You're much better looking than I am, I think we can agree."
"I wish you were right," said Ayana. "Twelve is a very small town. Sadly, I think they are probably all into men. Not that I won't make invitations. You never know until you ask."
"You'll get lucky. I'm confident," Zach encouraged. He would not bring up the baby thing. He would not be the one to bring up the baby thing. He found himself asking, "And what are your... plans?" What was he thinking?
As if she could read his mind anyway, Ayana responded, "I'm less into turkey basters even than men, so that route is not for me. I'll close my eyes and think of England, or Lady Liberty, or something. It would have been that way for me anyway, no matter who the gent was. The fact that it should be you, and I like you, will make it easier for me, I think. I'm overjoyed at the prospect you'll be the father of my child, if you're willing."
"I'd be thrilled and honored," Zach said shyly. "We can make it work." He was torn, because he was sweet on Ayana and wanted her as much in his life as possible, yet he knew she wasn't really attracted to him, at least not physically. It would be fine, he reassured himself.
"Oh Zach. You're such a great guy. You make me wish I was even a little bisexual," Ayana praised. "But it has been obvious to me that you're a little crushy on me. Are you really going to be emotionally okay with only half the cookie?"
"Okay, fail on hiding my feelings from you," Zach mused. "Honestly, I think the crushy part will make it easier for me in the long run. I'm a big boy. I know you are not into men as sexual partners, generally speaking, and ultimately, I could not bear you being unsatisfied in your life. I know there are other fish in the sea for both of us. In fact, it's likely there will be too many fish for both of us." They chuckled at this. "So I'll be fine as long as you're not traumatized or our relationship ruined by any of it."
"Don't worry about such things. We don't need to figure it all out this very moment," Ayana pointed out.
"Should we... meet and talk about it?" Zach ventured.
"Let me think. I'll get back to you."
"No problem. And do you... forget it. No problem."
"Would it hurt the baby if I was really stoned when I conceived?"
Evidently wheels were turning. "Like marijuana?" he asked.
"I wouldn't think so."
"Would it be okay with you if I got a friend, a female friend mind you, to help?"
"To help you, right?"
"Yes. Well... yes."
"I don't think that would be a problem for me."
"Okay, I'll get back to you."
"Okay. See you."
"See you." Ayana hung up. Zach's world was curiouser and curiouser.
Next he called Colby Lincoln, one of the crew's three engineers, and the last of the six astronauts from the USA on the mission. "Yes?" Colby answered. Colby was easygoing. This would be fine, Zach told himself.
"Just checking in. Congratulations," Zach said.
"Congratulations to you, too. I'm just gonna start calling you 'sperm bank'."
"What, you don't want this fine piece of chocolate?"
"I want it." Zach wasn't about to sound reluctant, couldn't be reluctant. Colby was a tall, strong drink of coffee, though she was only 5'1" with a gymnast's figure. Her complexion was dark. Her eyes were dark. Everything about her was rich and delectable.
"Can I make an appointment for tomorrow then? Come and see you at your office?"
"If you mean what I'm thinking, Let's not meet there. I'm in a different mindset there."
"Don't you ever fantasize about having your patient, you know, right there?"
"Really not. Positively not."
"Okay, I'm learning about doctors. What do doctors fantasize about, then?"
"You," replied Zach quite honestly.
"Well, huh," replied Colby. "How about my place tomorrow then? 3 o'clock?"
"That would be wonderful. I wish I had your composure about it."
"Relax, we got you."
This was really good advice from her. He should just chill. "Okay, Colby, I will."
That evening, Zach found his two crewmates already seated in Mercutio's when he arrived. Alexis Warren smiled at Zach as she spotted him. At the age of 35, she was a world-renowned geologist. She was old for an astronaut, though perhaps not old for a colonist, he considered. Clearly the selection criteria had favored experience, which was fine with him.
Alexis was sexy and flirtatious, and they had been flirting nonstop since they had met a few months ago, but he assumed Alexis flirted with everybody. She was the life of every party or gathering. Her hair was dyed a different color practically every week, it seemed. At the moment, it was half blonde and half dark blue. Her brown eyes belied that blonde was her natural color. Both women wore their hair short, practically a requirement for the astronaut corps. Alexis's body was taut and fit, making her look under 30. She was short, at 5'5", as many astronauts were. He appreciated her firm breasts in earnest for the first time. In her killer black dress, they looked delectable.
Charisse Roberts, the botanist, was shyer than Alexis. Zach supposed everybody was shyer than Alexis. She was 27 and fit, which made her look like a college athlete. She was tall, especially for an astronaut, at 5'9", with crew cut length brown hair, a single long white lock that fell onto her forehead, and wide hazel eyes. Her face was classic Miss America beautiful, except that she wore no makeup, nor did she need any, and her short hair made her look a bit tomboyish even with her beauty. It seemed that Alexis had gotten Charisse to play with color a bit, with a lock of her hair bleached white like this. Zach hadn't interacted much with Charisse. Now she was gloriously here across from him with a big pretty smile, wearing this form-fitting violet dress and looking like a goddess. Wow. These crewmates of his were not pulling any punches. He sat down opposite them and gushed, "You ladies look absolutely stunning tonight."
They ordered food and traded shop talk about the mission, not mentioning the ratio of men to women, which was fine with Zach. He found Charisse to have much the same enthusiastic spirit as his own. They spent the good part of a pleasant hour this way until Alexis gently nudged the subject. "This is kind of a wake for Charisse and me," she announced. "Since we're shipping out forever in six months, we both broke up with our boyfriends today."
"Ouch," said Zach, "I'm sorry. How serious?"
Charisse went first. "I was of course hoping to be selected, if not for this crew, for the crew two or four years from now. I've, um, been seeing a little of this guy who was eliminated in the first cut, Roger Flanners?"
"I don't remember him."
"Fucking gorgeous," Alexis interjected, "Made me instantly wet whenever I saw him."
"You never told me that," Charisse said incredulously.
"How about you?" Alexis asked Zach quickly.
"I've been dating some, but nothing serious. I have a few dates coming up, actually. Ugh."
Zach suddenly felt Alexis's foot on his crotch. He was certain it was Alexis. Evidently she had slipped off her shoe under the table and was now feeling his junk with her toes.
Zach tried to continue, "I suppose I should cancel them. They're nice women, and I wouldn't want to lead them on. They'll be happy for me, getting my dream."
"Did your dream include getting your own harem?" Alexis prodded, stroking her toes up and down on him.
"Hey, please," Zach objected, blushing. Alexis stopped stroking.
"Don't be mean, of course it didn't," scolded Charisse.
"Look at you being shy. You might like to know that both Charisse and I have admired you from afar," Alexis purred, beginning to stroke him with her toes again. "We've discussed you often, but you've been off limits."
"Why is that?" asked Zach.
"You're obvious husband material, honey, and we are not heart-breakers," Alexis explained. "We knew that either you'd end up with a nice wife down here on Earth or a nice wife up on Mars, and the chances that it could work out to be either of us, while not infinitesimal, was like playing the lottery squared up until now. Now we've both hit the jackpot."
"Along with nine other women," Charisse interjected.
"You've got to feel this," Alexis said to Charisse. Zach blushed.
"What?" asked Charisse.
"Get your shoe off," explained Alexis. It dawned on Charisse. She blushed. "Look at him." Clearly Zach was flushed, eyes locked on Alexis, but now looking down since Charisse was now watching him also, starting to breathe deeply. "He's a little slut. Or should I say, quite a sizable slut, by the feel of it. Are you okay with being objectified, Zach?"
"Uh sure?" breathed Zach, a little distracted.
"So how's the whole man-whore business treating you so far today, Zach?" Alexis's foot left his crotch to be replaced by a bigger stockinged foot, evidently Charisse's. "Easy does it," added Alexis.
She was trying to get him to admit something about Colleen again. Zach tried to smile cryptically back at her. "Well, that's certainly something," interjected Charisse. Evidently what she was feeling met with her approval.
Then Alexis just came out and asked. "Has Colleen already staked her claim? Look, he's blushing at that. She has, hasn't she? Did she give you a rough ride on the casting couch, darling?"
"He is not blushing for that reason," Charisse argued. Zach tried not to blush more. "Oh-my-God," Charisse exclaimed again. He wasn't sure whether it was the information from her foot or the information from his demeanor about Colleen that she was remarking on. Charisse was having fun now, steadily stroking his cock through his pants with her stockinged foot.
"I don't know how any of this is supposed to work," Zach said. "I'm just a regular, romantic, loving, passionate man."
Alexis got straight to the point. "We need you, Zach. Neither of us has gotten laid in a month."
"But you just broke up with your boyfriends today, right?" Zach recapped, confused. Charisse's foot stopped, and she removed it. She looked away shyly. Alexis looked at him like he was a fucking idiot. "What?" he asked.
"We both had to go off birth control a month ago to have a chance of getting knocked up safely before launch. Do you know how hard it is to tell a guy who has been doing you bareback for a year to start wearing a condom? And even then, you can't stay the night. Way too likely he'll wake up while you're still asleep and forget. The smart way is to go cold turkey."
"I'm sorry, I didn't think. Clearly, the women on this mission have been discussing this matter and planning for it for a while. There's all kinds of details to crew selection for women that I have never had to consider, even though I'm a doctor. Sorry for being dense. Thanks for educating me."
"We can't fault you your perspective," Charisse said kindly. "We choose to try to be part of Mars's permanent genetic future, but of course it's not required of us. It's not written down anywhere; that would be barbaric."
"So," Zach ventured, "What's the plan? I expect, given all the thought you've put into this, you already have a plan to parcel me up."
"Kind of," admitted Charisse shyly.
"Good stud. Smart stud. We'd like to spend the night with you tonight, for starters," Alexis said.
"What, both of you?" Zach exclaimed.
"Yes, both of us," Alexis explained as Charisse looked away shyly. "Both of us have very strong sex drives. We can make do with less, of course, but ideally, we'd both like it once tonight and once in the morning, not just tonight, but every night. And we haven't had it in a month, so tonight, we're going to fuck you 'til we break you."
"Yeah," giggled Charisse, "Fuck you like we stole you."
How could Zach say no? "Sure, we can try it. We can try it tonight."
Charisse interjected, "Michaela will want to join us when she arrives."
"The Bulgarian? I haven't met her."
"You'll love her," gushed Alexis. "She's a fiery redhead, very petite, under five feet, with big knockers for her size. She's so hot, Zach! She's a total slut, too. Once, when I visited ESA..."
"Alexis, don't," interjected Charisse.
"Sounds wonderful," Zach said noncommittally. Then he added it up. "You mean the three of you? Nightly?"
"Not every night, maybe, but often. Please try it," Charisse begged.
"Sure, I'll try it. But I'm not sure how I can find time for all the others."
"You mean semen for all the others?" Alexis chided.
"Alexis," scolded Charisse.
"I have it figured out," Alexis said, "If you have 'time' for an afternoon appointment as well, you can cover everybody else in the crew in the afternoon, no problem. Make it late afternoon, even after work if you need the time to produce enough sperm to give them a really nice heavy load." Alexis's hand gestures were mesmerizing. Zach wondered idly whether the folks at the other tables were wondering they were talking about. Nothing to see here. Just docking procedures. Alexis continued, "You might not have much to shoot into us at night, but we'll catch you in the morning. There will be plenty to go around."
"I guess I should be happy to have a high libido."
"We'll arrange anything you want us to," Charisse offered helpfully.
"Thank you. I think I can manage. I'll let you know. Who all have you ladies been in touch with?"
"Colleen has been in touch with everybody officially," Alexis said. "I've been in touch with most of our crew unofficially. Some can't talk freely yet because they're under surveillance, and we'll have to speak to them in person after they arrive. I've met them all. In all seriousness, you're so fucking lucky, Zach. You have no fucking idea!" Uncharacteristically, Alexis giggled with excitement.
"We're all lucky," Charisse interjected. "This is a good crew."
"I believe it," said Zach simply. "Now, enough logistics," he pleaded. Charisse opened up more and had funny stories. All of them shared about good friends they were sad hadn't made the cut.
"You weren't the only gent on our stud list, buddy," Alexis almost wept. "Oh the humanity..."
"Maybe you'll see some of them in two or four years," Zach offered helpfully.
"Forget them," interjected Alexis, "Let's get laid already." Zach didn't want to seem like he was stalling. He called the waiter over immediately and paid the check. Alexis announced, "We have another surprise. We got a hotel room at the Hilton."
"Yeah, we wanted to kick it off in style," added Charisse.
They made it to the hotel room just fine, and then Zach admitted, "I've never been in a threesome."
"Me neither," said Charisse, looking to Alexis.
"I have a suggestion. It's just a suggestion," Alexis said. "Why don't you two make out on the bed, and I'll sit on this chair here." She pulled up a chair next to the bed, "I'll watch you two for a while. I like to watch."
"Fine with me," said Zach.
"I'm game to try it," said Charisse.
Zach and Charisse stood and kissed. He squeezed her firm breasts and stroked her hardening nipples through her sheer dress. He also enjoyed feeling her tight ass. Alexis was the most revealing already. She was sitting with her little black dress hiked up and a hand on her black thongs, just resting there as she watched them. He locked eyes with Alexis over Charisse's shoulder. Alexis began to gently stroke herself through her panties. This is wild, he thought.
Zach felt a little intimidated for a couple of reasons. First, Alexis watching, it was unusual. He had never been watched by anyone before as far as he knew, and certainly not by someone who was brazenly displaying herself to him, hand slowly caressing puss, waiting to start masturbating in earnest when the inspiration began to strike her.