3. Stoked

This was not the time to have the shits. Henson’s lower belly was heavy, he felt like he’d grown something inside. It bubbled and tugged, putting pressure on his asshole, it wanted out. To be free. To seek another poor fuck in order to implant its hideous and miserable watery offspring deep in their unsuspecting belly.

Henson had picked up this particular case of the shits on his last shore leave a mere eight hours previous. He’d been full of high spirits, a woman on one arm, a handsome young man on the other, both gladly spending his money and pretending to like him for the evening.

The underground bar they staggered into was a hovel of pornographic Filthmongers and depraved Cyperpeepers in booths, eyes glued to binocular periscopes that reached to the ceiling. They sipped pina coladas through long straws whilst looking up the skirts of the young women without underwear that strode across a floor of hand ground lenses.

“That’ll  be three whiskys for us” Slurred Henson, throwing an expanding credit on the bar. “and keep them topped.” This brought small cheers from the paid arm candy.

The barman took the credit and scanned it, good for a weeks worth of drinking so he poured three piss poor quality but large whiskeys into tumblers. Not bothering to say anything he pushed them across the bar and got back to cleaning booth cock suckers.

“Hey” shouted Henson, leaning across the bar and tapping the barman. “Hey, a little water.”

The barman, with his back to Henson poured a little water out of the cock sucker into a glass. He placed it with a small smile next to the whiskeys saying “Don’t fucking touch me again.”

“Pissy bitch”said Henson as he tipped a little into his whisky. “You could murder cats with this god awful whisky.”

Later, he had taken the arm candy back to a hotel room, hurt them real bad and they all went away happy. He was on the way back to the port when the creaking in his belly started. He’d stopped to shit in the street three times by the time he got back to the ship. The guard took one look at his grey, sweating face and thought better of searching him.

Now, in the middle of a fucking battle, greasy fingers were digging into his insides. Coiling around his intestines and squeezing his bowel. Instead of concentrating on his role, he was concentrating on squeezing his asshole as tightly together as he could.

“Henson!” shouted Petty Officer Brick, “fucking move it boy.”

They could feel the ship turning starboard, the order for full speed had been called moments before. Now they, the stokers had to give the engines enough fuel to ensure maximum capacity.

The engines of the ship were old reconditioned Darkstellar mk5 fuel cells that had been hacked into place by engineering. No one really knew where they had got them from, no one asked. The cells were powered by baryonic strippers, cavernous glass ovens that tore  dark energy  from material  before sucking them into fissile delivery tubes. The engineers had bolted on the optional waste disposal mod from an old interstellar cruiser so literally anything could power the ship as long as it would fit through the doors of the oven.

Right now, the stokers on duty were piling in bags of medical waste, left overs from breakfast, mangled launch control catch pads, the remains of a ship they had sank a month ago, a jeep that Bos’n Kendish had crashed whilst drunk,  any  pre-fuel from the engine storage hangar.

The job was hot and dangerous, the crew that worked in the engine room were hard, muscled and covered in scars. They used the robot arms to shift the heavier pre-fuel but still needed to use brute force to guide it into the oven. The glass of the oven was almost impossible to break but they all worried that a few years of old cars bumping into the door frame might test that.

Henson looked at Brick’s sweaty, oil smeared face and staggered forward. He was level with Brick when the ships aft guns fired a sudden volley without warning. The noise was dampened in the belly of the ship, but still loud enough to make ears whine for a moment. Some of the pre-fuel rocked on it’s shelf a little, a cup fell off the PO’s table. Everyone ducked slightly and Henson shit himself.

 

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