WARNING: MENTIONS OF MATURE CONTENT AND SOME SPOILERS FOR STARFIGHTER: ECLIPSE AHEAD!
Despite how rough life could be on the Colonies of Mars, she always took care of him.
There were plenty of kids abused by their family; victims of hard times. She could have taken her anger out on him, could have been cruel and could have blamed him for how much more difficult their life was when she had to take care of him, but she didn't. Valentina was strong, she was a rock and he grew up watching her take life by the reins. Valentina took care of both of them when their parents failed to, and she only continued to be strong. She was a fighter and a survivor for them.
Remember what I taught you? No matter what happens, you keep fighting.
The Alliance seemed like the only way to go, for many young people. They recruited people from the Earth Colonies on Mars to join the fight against the main Colteron menace and other aggressive alien races. Valentina left him when he was eighteen, telling him it would be a better life. She trained hard to become a Fighter; she was always a fighter, always strong even before the Alliance. While she trained, her visits became far and few between. He wanted to follow her, so when he enlisted into the Alliance, he wanted to become a Navigator. She tried to help prepare him as best she could, but she was more of a "hands on" learner. He still failed, and it turned out being a Navigator wasn't really his calling. Soon after he watched her starship depart the Alliance Base, she only sent him monthly transmission updates of her missions.
I'm waiting on you. You better catch up, little brother.
He wanted to be just as strong as she always had been. Afon was molded from the lanky boy with soft muscles into a hard, chiseled man with a determination to join his sister. There were spiteful young men molded from hate, perhaps not fortunate enough to receive the same loving care he received. Maybe they had it rougher than he did, or they just lacked the mental resolve to pull through hard times. Whatever the reasons may have been, they butted heads with him and played games of dominance. Many times, he learned cruel lessons from receiving a busted lip for a smart comment, or a black eye from defending himself. Sometimes, he was wise not to let himself be baited because his attention was focused on something greater.
Your task name is HELIOS. The name of the Greek sun god; he thought this name was interesting but suitable in a way. He had energy that burned bright like the sun, and did not tire easily when it came to training and pushing his body. As Helios, he grew eager and excited; it made him feel like his status was more official. When he was fitted in that black leather suit, his fingers ran over the material in wonder. All of his hard work memorizing the names of the weapons, the parts of the Starfighter ships and basic space lingo was about to pay off.
Shortly after his training ended, Valentina's monthly updates stopped coming.
What could have happened to her? Her last transmission was ominous and he feared something happened to her ship. Determined to find out, this only steeled his resolve, and he worked harder to move forward in his mission.
The fateful day came where he was transported to the base on Mars, and slinging his small pack of belongings over his shoulder, he stepped off of the aircraft to face the large starship. The Alliance ship Kepler would be where he started living for an extended period of time. Whether it would be months or years, he did not know. This was just the beginning of his career with the Alliance, and he hoped not to disappoint.
I'm finally doing this. I'm following you, Valentina.
He was just new blood to everyone else, but he didn't worry about how he would be treated on the ship. Eager, eyes wide with wonder and anticipation, he gazed up at the ship. His heart ached for the stars; eager was he to be departing the Colonies, to finally be in deep space for the first time. Nothing but the stars and vast space surrounding him. The first person to warmly greet him was Abel, one of the navigators to be joining the team on Kepler. He appreciated such a warm welcome, and sounding just like an eager newcomer, had asked this first Navigator whether he was to be paired up with him. Abel laughed, telling him he already had a Fighter. He quickly found Cain to be his Fighter; all disgruntled-looking and sharp, glaring eyes. Helios soon came to realize he wasn't too thrilled to be having any other Fighters lay eyes upon Abel. A little overprotective and impatient to have Abel at his side, but at least Abel didn't let that stop him from making sure he didn't need help finding his way around.
It shouldn't be hard to find his way around, the Kepler wasn't a large enough ship to be concerned about finding his Navigator. As he took in the new environment, memorizing the ship he would be part of for however long, he ran across the man who would be his leading officer. Maybe he would know where to find his Navigator? The leader of the fighters greeted him, introducing himself as Encke, and telling him Commander Hayden had mentioned how impressive his service record was. "The Commander? Wow, um, I'm not really that noteworthy..." Helios laughed modestly, folding his arms over his chest. Regardless, it made him feel a bit of pride. This meant his hard work had paid off, after all. Valentina would be so proud. Encke encouraged him to be proud of his accomplishments and told him his Navigator would be headed to the bunk they would be staying in. Of course, that makes sense. He hadn't thought of going there first.
The man in the shared bunker room was certainly easy on the eyes; both cute and handsome, with moon-kissed ombre hair and chestnut skin. He was a few inches shorter than him, and he was smiling, looking forward to working with him. He introduced himself as Selene, and Helios shamelessly admitted he wasn't expecting to be paired with such a cute Navigator. The way Selene's cheeks immediately flushed was just as cute, and Helios chuckled. If they got along like this from the start, maybe they wouldl be even more compatible during missions to come. Still a bit embarrassed from the initial greeting, Selene asked if he wanted top or bottom -- before quickly adding that he was talking about the bunks. Helios grinned sheepishly, having thought of the implication but choosing not to further tease him. He didn't want to be too inappropriate, lest Selene report him or demanded a new Fighter. He didn't think Selene was the type to do that, but Helios was also not the type to go from complimenting to harassing a cute boy.
After their initial settling in, the next two weeks were spent focusing on VR training and working together through simulations to better gauge how compatible they were. Helios had grown slightly antsy to be fighting in a real Starfighter ship, and at least had a chance to get a good feel for the one he and Selene were assigned to; the Edifice. The simulations were in no way the same as real combat, and the long training sessions left him sweating, aching but also excited for the thrill of a fight. Although he initially wanted to be a Navigator, the one piloting the ship; he didn't do as well and his commanding officers found he made a better Fighter. It's the best we can do for now. If we're gonna make it as a team, we've gotta be sure we can rely on each other somehow! Selene was working so hard, regardless. He had great potential, and he made up for the difference. Helios realizd their compatibility was fairly solid, he never had any problems with Selene throughout their training.
"You sure are something else, you know that?" He smirked, nodding to his Navigator after they exited the simulation pods. Always so modest and adorable, Selene flushed in the face, telling him he was only trying to do his best. He was so cute, and Helios couldn't help himself. He honestly couldn't think of having ended up with a better Navigator. Though it had only been two weeks, he felft a constant, warm tickle in his chest and stomach whenever he worked with Selene. "I like your best." He smiled, and Selene stammered a thank you, seeming to be genuinely surprised at the compliments.
They had a moment to mingle with the other Fighters and Navigators before Commander Hayden's debriefing for the real mission. Most of them, he knew who they were by having met them briefly during his initial settling in. Cain was with Deimos, and both of them looked at him after Abel motioned him over to meet another Navigator. Cain, in particular, gave him a look he was familiar with only because he had met domineering Fighters before. Whatever his personal problem was, Helios refused to let it become an issue for himself.
Ugh. I have a feeling Cain's going to be up my ass about talking to Abel throughout this whole mission, but screw him. I can talk to whomever I want!
Commander Hayden explained that Base Commaned picked up an abandoned alien spacecraft two months ago. He told them the trajectory suggested it originated from an area of deep space that should have been uninhabited. They discovered it not to be Colteron, and the mission was to send out three pairs of teams to investigate and gather information about its origins. Selene was eager and ever the optimist; as they suited up for the mission, he talked about how they could possibly meet a friendly race on the ship.
A nervous chill gripped Helios, sweat dotting his temple as he considered his sister and her last transmissions. Lately, he had been plagued with nightmares of his sister reaching out to him. A lot could go wrong with this mission when they investigate the ship. "So, you really don't think it's the Colteron?" He inquired, his back turned to Selene and his gaze pensively focused on his suit as he dressed. Selene pointed out that the Colteron had never come out this far in all of the years the Alliance had fought them. But who else could it be? When Selene inquired about the family Helios had mentioned having traveled out this far, he hesitated. I really don't want to think about Valentina right now.
"Yeah. We should probably hurry up, y'know."
Helios didn't want to worry too much and didn't want to trust his instinct that it was a bad idea. Everyone else already felt the same way; tension was high for some of the Navigators, and the Fighters with more experience than him were more no-nonsense and focused on the mission. Best to just get it over with. But it wouldn't be part of his job if there weren't some dangers, and the mission ended up going wrong shortly after the teams split up to investigate the spacecraft. The lights flickered once, and the teams continued to communicate via radio intercom to let each other know they were just working on the ship. When the lights flickered again, tension began to rise as Abel confirmed it wasn't their team. Abruptly, a bright, searing light blasted his retinas. A sharp, static whine of feedback split through his eardrums within the same instant. By the time it ended, his head began to spin, vision blurring around the edges. Disoriented thoughts spun through his head. Ow ... what was-? And then the first, panicking current of adrenaline to race through his heart was, Selene! Where's Selene?!
"Selene, where are you?! Are you okay?"
To his relief, he found his Navigator to be fine and asking what happened. Panic began to break out around competing intercoms, static voices and sharp noise piercing his already aching ears and pounding head. They found Abel to be comatose and unresponsive, his eyes ominously wide open and staring into the darkness of the ship. Helios worried it could be brain damage, and Cain was a hysterical mess. They all needed to get back to the Med Bay. Before they forgot the spike used to plug into the ship's computer systems, Helios pulled it free, finding the machine to be completely fried. Any data they had gathered may not be easy to retrieve at that point, but the most important task was leaving the unstable ship.
Only when alarm registered on Selene's face and he pointed out that Helios was bleeding, did he feel the strangely warm sensation of blood rolling down his jaw from a perforated ear. His head pounded again, and he gritted his teeth around the pain, wincing.
They all made it back in one piece, thankfully. The entire team sustained some kind of damage to their heads, and the medical doctors wrapped gauze around their wounds before monitoring them and letting them go. The only person who'd sustained the most damage and was Abel, and he was still resting while the medical officer took records of his vitals and brain activity. Over the next couple of days, he visited Abel when he was awake, and at his request, he made sure to check up on the Navigator team's activity as far as decoding the data they received from the alien spacecraft. Selene was hard at work with the rest of the Navigators, working in shifts to decode the technology and discover some of the information was in an alien language. He found that Selene was struggling with his work at times. The ship's life support systems and power went down for a moment, erasing hours of data uncovered by the Navigators. When Abel was free to work with them and did several hours of decoding work within a few minutes, he watched at how easily Selene grew jealous. But Selene worked hard; Helios reassured him that he was great, and that he could handle himself.
You're doing great, Selene, you've got this.
There was a situation in the hangar, and they requested the aid of a Navigator to check it out. Frustrated that he was having trouble with the data, and feeling quite useless at the moment, Selene volunteeered to go. "I'll go with you." Helios fell into step with him, striding down to the hangar. What could be going wrong now? He should have asked himslf not what, but who -- Cain was on a roaring rampage. He was swearing up and down that someone tampered with his ship, that it had an odd smell and the computer was acting strangely. He was throwing accusations around that someone had been inside the cockpit, and the technician women in charge of servicing the ships were fed up with trying to argue to him.
"Cain, seriously, calm down! We're here to help!"
Helios raised his hands, trying to ward off the other Fighter's tantrum, and looked to Selene as they listened to Cain's story. It sounded strange, and after the events that transpired with the alien ship, he wondered what the hell could be happening. After Selene entered Cain and Abel's ship, he began to take a look at the internal computer and the controls.
Cain seemed to simmer down enough to observe the Navigator at work. He then glanced at Helios, that same hard look in his eyes. Seriously, the guy didn't know how to chill sometimes. Helios felt like maybe he could use someone to talk to; that maybe everything happening with Abel was stressing him out. Helios couldn't expect Cain to know him very well, after all, and he couldn't claim to know Cain very well, either.
"Seems like Selene knows what he's doing."
"Huh? Yeah, he's really smart." Helios agreed, brows raised. He was actually very proud of his Navigator, he always enjoyed watching him work, as well as working with him.
"'Huh', he says. Maybe instead of hanging out with MY Navigator all the time ... you should hang out with yours more. Don't throw away your better half."
Ugh, this shit again.
If he wasn't sick and being driven crazy over Cain's overprotective attitude, he might have admitted that was one of the nicest things he's ever heard him say. How did he know Cain was going to mention Abel again? Heaving a sigh, Helios shifted his weight, brows drawn together and aiming a glare at the other Fighter.
"I don't need you to tell me how to appreciate Selene. He's fucking amazing."
Before they could get into a petty argument about Helios simply talking to Abel because he exists, Selene finally asked him to come look at the ship. Good, he was getting sick of butting heads with that guy over Abel. He didn't feel inclined to go after his Navigator if they had a thing going on, anyway. Selene was the only Navigator in his world, if he was being open and honest. Selene discovered it was only one out of all of the Starfighters that had flown on the mission to the alien spacecraft. They had all had been tampered with; not only tampered with, but permanently grounded. Selene was brilliant to have discovered it -- but why? Selene explained that it had to have been a Navigator, or someone with a Navigator's knowledge. It would take a lot of knowledge to dig in and manually rework all of the ship's coding. After he mentioned having to report his findings to the Commander before undoing the damage, Helios reminded him they about the training session they were going to do today. If anything, he wanted to work with Selene again and get his mind off of this mess for the time being.
Selene told him they would meet in twenty minutes after he took care of reporting it and having another Navigator work on the ships to undo the damage. After suiting up and meeting him at the VR simulation station, they spent a good hour or two working together, they were both left mentally tired and physically strained. He could hear Selene's huffing over the connected radio. Helios grinned, settling back into the pod with a sigh. All of the excitement had made him a little bit hot beneath the leather suit, in more ways than one. They had a mutual connection that time; something that was on an emotional level, and he felt like that was the best time they had worked together yet.
"You were amazing, Selene!"
His partner told him not to get up just yet, and although Helios thought to himself that Selene already had him blocked in there, he complied. To his pleasant surprise, Selene asked if he could join him in his pod. Blinking away the brief shock, Helios turns to look at the pod next to him. Anticipation begins to tingle over his body, sweat beading on his temple. "Really? I mean -- yeah!" His eyes snap wide as his partner exits the other pod, telling him to move over, and climbing into the cramped pod so he can move in close to him. It may be a tight space, he thought, but it felt nice just to have Selene so close to him. The warmth of his body radiating close to him, his eyes gazing at him. In his expression, he could see something else -- something so alive, so excited. At that point, he felt their mutual chemistry could not have been more electrifying.
He had been wanting this moment for some time, and had felt like maybe Selene felt the same way. It wasn't like him to force anything to happen, but they only continued to work well together, they got along just fine. Better than what could be said about some other teams. He was, admittedly, infatuated with Selene. At that moment, the exitement of their training, their chemistry, only made itself very prominent.
"Shit, Selene, you move fast--" He sounded taken back, his expression still open with shock. Subtly moving to become more comfortable, his hand reached out to slide around him as he settled in. At that moment, there was no denying how the other felt about him. He was just excited and eager to know that the feeling was mutual.
"I guess so!" He chuckled, his slender fingers sliding down against Helios's uniform. "You're already pretty excited though, huh?"
Just as Helios started to make a teasing remark about Selene being in his lap, obviously he's excited, he felt a gloved hand slide up his jacket, peeling it up over his perspiring skin. The other's fingers deftly unfastened his leather pants, stimulating him. His eyes fluttered a moment, mouth falling open in a surprised groan. Selene asked him if it was all right, but of course it was. Helios managed to reassure him of the fact, as long as Selene was comfortable with it. The heat only seemed to grow thick within the cramped pod, Selene's breath on his neck. His warm body pressed up against him as they nestled close, lips sweetly melding together. Ah .. he hoped they could do that again.
Selene. His moon, his lover. He felt their bond was even more closely linked at that point, that he could tell him anything and rely on him always.
DUE TO HEAVY SPOILERS, AND THE FACT THIS APP IS GETTING LONG ALREADY, I AM NOT GOING TO WRITE THE FULL ENDING OF THE STORY.