A swashbuckling wild west space opera romance in seven parts, culminating in an absurd extended mathporn nod to M John Harrison.
Her approach was stealthy, trigonometric. She carved asymptotically through the non-Euclidean geometries of n-space, veered sharply onto a new, intercepting trajectory and flickered back. Her vector was dazzling, her simple proofs elegant and, as she drew near, her Euler rotations bewitching.
Fare Thee Well woke Brett in alarm. She needed him.
He came to and found himself riding the wave of the shipmind’s functions; they were the base to his superstructure, conceptually separate yet inextricably a part of him.
He watched the approaching vessel in awe. Her complementary variables were beyond the grasp of his classical logic. He flipped up non-commutative and non-associative filters and through them glimpsed the collapse of her quantum flicker into a singular position and momentum.
In moments, she would be upon him.
He punched in the hyperdrive, scattering stochastic doppelgangers as he fled. They would not fool her for long.
He felt a feather-like touch deep in his consciousness.
And through it he sensed the breathtaking pace with which his pursuer generated and discarded epistemologies in her attempt to track him. She deployed an array of proleptic ergodics. Minuscule ontologies like steeply-graded gravity-wells irrupted in a complexly recursive pattern ahead of him, exfoliating like wildfire across his possible trajectories. They flensed layers of spacetime potentiality, closing down the chaotic energies of the not-yet and closing in on the ambergris of entelechy.
And then suddenly, she was poised right over him.
He recognised her, and she him. It did not stop them. It drove them on.
He gasped as her voluptuous mathematics overwhelmed his throbbing algorithms.
He writhed as her hot equations scraped down his spine, sweeping outwards to dig into the flesh of his arching back.
Her numbers cascaded over him, brushing nerve endings as they slid across him.
Her integers caressed and cupped and stroked him.
Her digits gripped.
They were locked together, swept by tides of synaesthesia as they sought a common algebra, a calculus with which to map the slopes and curves of their desire. Wild energies coursed through their extended sensoria. Sparks of light danced around and between them.
Filthy heuristics probed at him roughly, their brutishness awakening in him something he had not known was there. Something edged with exhilaration.
Their harmonics resonated, saturating the dark space around them in some concupiscent texturology, an erotics of becoming.
There, in the pleroma, she made his meromorphics integrals.
At the touch of her permutations, he rose to a higher power.
Her slick geometries engulfed him.
Like a rotating tesseract everting itself into some saucy phase space, he filled her and he filled her.
Oh my god, he thought, this girl’s really turning me on.
Quantum foam effervesced.
Eliane’s chair uncoiled, detaching the neural links. She sat up, still trembling, spent. With uncertain fingers she removed the starfish and let it attach to her wrist.
She sent drones to strip the cargo from the captured vessel.
‘Fox, once they’re loaded, get us out of here.’
‘Are you okay?’
‘I’m fine. I just need to sit a while.’
She did not trust her legs to hold her.
‘What was that?’ Brett almost fell from the chair.
‘It was her,’ Fare Thee Well replied. ‘The Dread Fox. She robbed us. Coldcocked us both and robbed us.’
‘Quite a woman.’ He grinned.
‘I agree. The ship’s still slaved, but she’s got some gnarly torc workarounds in her architecture. I’d like to talk to her.’
‘Any chance of tracking them down?’ He hoped the answer was yes. But not so easy that the pillage-first loss adjusters his rather unconventional insurer would send could find her.
‘Not a problem. She left you a message. More of an invitation, really.’
‘Play it in my quarters,’ he said, starting to pick up his discarded clothes. ‘I need a drink.’
Dear Reader, you ask if they will meet again? Of course they will. You already know the tales of their pursuit and counter-pursuit, their curious courtship out among the stars, the swathe they cut, the shenanigans. It was always inevitable. If not from the moment they first saw each other or the moment they first met, then from that moment when they intertwined down there on the quantum level. There are some entanglements you do not simply shrug off, even if you want to.
And they most certainly did not want to.