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Silent Flyght: The Flyght Series, #5

Silent Flyght: The Flyght Series, #5

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Silent Flyght: The Flyght Series, #5

Length:
274 pages
3 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 17, 2020
ISBN:
9781940599755
Format:
Book

Description

In need of cash. Running out of time. A desperate play to protect what's hers…

 

Vivian Kawabata has finally reached her breaking point. The plucky starship captain is doing everything she can to ensure her treasured family land isn't stolen. But she's shocked to learn they will auction the property in only two weeks, and she doesn't have enough credits to compete.

 

Scrambling to forge a revised plan to save her inheritance, Vivian's convinced the only solution is to add a new benefactor to her sexy stable of suitors. But with a rival sabotaging her business at every turn, she fears even a wealthy man's help will come too late.

 

Can Vivian preserve her birthright before it's snatched away for good?

 

Silent Flyght is the fifth book in the sultry Flyght Series of sci-fi reverse harem romance. If you like epic space sagas, smoking-hot men, and one shocking twist after another, then you'll love S. J. Pajonas's galactic adventure.

 

Buy Silent Flyght to rocket into redemption today!

 

Please note: THIS SERIES MUST BE READ IN ORDER. It is a true series and plot elements carry through every book, from beginning to end. You will miss too much by reading this series out of order or skipping around. The Flyght Series is complete at six books. This is also a slow-burn RH series that contains profanity and sexual situations.

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 17, 2020
ISBN:
9781940599755
Format:
Book

About the author

Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, Capricorn, Japanophile, and USA Today Best Selling author. She loves summer, downtempo beats, yoga pants, foxes, owls, dogs, sushi, pasta, and black tea. She lives outside NYC with her husband, two great kids, and her dog who always wants to play. When it comes to her work, she writes about everyday women and uncommon worlds. Find her online at https://www.spajonas.com


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Silent Flyght - S. J. Pajonas

1

The setting sun casts the sky in bright reds, oranges, and singed yellows. It’s another beautiful end to the day on Ossun. I enjoy coming to Mayashu, but it’s never easy to be on my home planet and not actually be home. I have a job to do, though, and my return to Sakata City is only a few days away.

So, I guess I won’t be seeing you guys until the contract signing, huh? Asteria smiles as she jams her hands into her pockets and rocks back onto her heels.

The Amagi is still without an AI, so we needed Asteria to fly us from Lee Shipyards to Ossun. Following the advice from Jinzo, Asteria doesn’t know about Tomu, my brother, caught trying to sabotage the Amagi only a few days ago. He was quiet in his room the whole return trip. Probably plotting his escape, the fucker. He doesn’t realize just how committed I am to making him pay.

But, anyway, now that we’ll have a new AI within a day or two, we won’t need Asteria to pilot us from one planet to another. Skylar will be glad to get her pilot’s chair back, but we’ll miss seeing Asteria around the ship. She has become a good friend, something I’m happy about since I was so worried Jinzo’s family wouldn’t accept me.

You’re always welcome here with us, I say, advancing on her to give her a hug. We both embrace, and it brings a smile to my face. Let’s get together and do something fun next time. Instead of, you know, getting into trouble. We both chuckle.

Sounds like a plan. A boring plan, but a plan nonetheless. Her lips jerk into a sardonic smile. She twists her wrist to check the time. Okay, I’ve gotta go if I want to eat before boarding the shuttle home. She takes a few steps back. Mom said not to be a stranger, you two. Come home again soon.

Jinzo and I lift our hands to say goodbye as she waves and walks off into the terminal, her bag on her shoulder.

Jinzo lets out a relieved breath, his shoulders sagging. Thank goodness she never suspected your brother was onboard. I’m glad that went off without a hitch.

I cross my arms as I watch Asteria’s retreating back. "Even if she had found out, I don’t think it would’ve been the end of the world."

Maybe. Maybe not. Jinzo pulls out his datapad. We’ve got ten minutes until our appointment with Malina’s AI guy. Think we’ll make it?

I pull up the directions via my wristlet and Ai pipes into my ear. It’s good to have her back in a limited capacity. She’s a great concierge. Captain, if you take the next light rail train to stop A22, you will make it with a minute to spare.

Thank you, Ai, I say while smiling at Jinzo. Ai’s got this covered. Let’s go.

When we walk up to the AI dealer, I’m relieved to see it’s nothing like Eamon’s flashy place. Mayashu is a city of low buildings. This place reminds me of a home, not a business. The front porch is lit with soft lights, welcoming dusk and an impending night. To the right of the door, an older man with graying hair sits and drinks a beer from a sweating pint glass.

Jinzo steps to the side and urges me forward.

Liam Castillo? I ask, stopping at a respectable distance to bow.

The man rises from his seat, wipes his damp fingers from the beer glass on his pants, and comes forward to shake my hand. That’s me. You must be Vivian Kawabata.

Oh, good. I pump his hand and smile. I was worried I was in the wrong place. Is this your home? I don’t want to intrude on your evening.

Nonsense. He waves his hand. It’s my home and my place of business. Never saw fit to separate the two.

I can understand that. According to Malina Tsing, my friend and newest business partner, Liam Castillo is a single man with a singular passion for his business. He used to be a teacher at Malina’s school when she was younger. Now, he’s an AI programmer with influential friends and never a need to hawk to the public. Malina told me his backlog for custom AIs is months deep. We’re lucky to have him working with us.

I introduce Jinzo, and we join him in his house. The front room is set up much like an office with a couch and a desk for Liam to sit at. No fancy wall screens or men in suits trying to sell us a product. Just him and his work.

So, Ms. Tsing filled me in on what happened with your ship. There was a fire? He sits back in his chair and calls up a holographic display of the Amagi. My eyes pop in surprise. Oh, this is the specs from the manufacturer. He turns the Amagi around and zooms in to Carlos’s den of technology.

I see. Well, that room looks nothing like that anymore, I say, deferring to Jinzo.

Jinzo rattles off server specs, how the room was reconfigured, and what we replaced of the existing equipment. While he’s talking, I look around the room, getting the measure of this man before we do business. I didn’t trust my instincts with Eamon because Skylar vouched for him. I won’t be making the same mistake here. But I’m pleased with what I see. This room is clean but lived in. Small pots of succulents line the window ledges around the room, and the kitchen area to the rear of the office is modern and well-appointed.

While I train my eyes on the room, a large fluffy black and gray striped cat saunters out of the kitchen and heads for a back room. It pushes the door open with its rump and reveals a bedroom.

Liam turns and follows my line of sight. Ah, my cat goes to bed a lot earlier than I do. He’s an old man, just like me.

What’s his name? I smile as I watch the cat jump on the bed, circle, and lie down for sleep.

Baboo. He laughs. One of my ex-students named him. It’s unfortunate that it stuck.

Malina said that you were a teacher?

Yeah. I taught mid-level for twenty years, math and science, of course. Then I transitioned back to programming, which I had done before I became a teacher. Malina was in several of my classes. A bright young woman. She’ll go far.

She already has.

He tilts his head to look at the Amagi specs from another angle. When was the last time you tested all of your room sensors?

I glance at Jinzo. Hmm, we haven’t, he says, placing his hands on his knees. We only tested the sensors of the rooms affected by the fire.

Liam flattens his lips and turns the Amagi around. And the exterior sensors?

We replaced six of the thirty sensors recently.

Liam swipes his hands down, and the Amagi disappears.

Okay. By my calculations, we’re going to need three days to get this done. I have the perfect AI for you. She’s got a generic personality, but she handles ships like this all the time. I call her Martha. You can change her name if you like. She has a few accents to choose from — Southern Rio, High Ossun, and Belemish.

My head bounces as I listen to him rattle off more about the AI, what it can do, what it can’t, and where it will manifest on the ship. This is similar to what we had with Ai. Jinzo lets him know that we still have Ai on the ship to act as a concierge, and he’s okay with that.

My spirits lift as the meeting continues. Jinzo and Liam click, and they talk about sensors and conduits and algorithms and mind-boggling stuff that I don’t understand. This is not the first time I’ve felt way out of my league with technology. Still, it’s nice that they include me in the conversation without making me feel like an idiot. I’m not an idiot, just unversed in this line of work.

Then my mind trips and falls when Liam says, Great. So we’ll need access to the whole ship to test everything for at least twenty-four hours before we release the AI.

The whole ship? My lips bumble over the words. I can’t give him access to the whole ship! Tomu is a prisoner in cabin thirteen, and he needs to stay there.

Yeah. His eyes narrow, and he pulls back. Is that a problem?

No. I jolt forward with my hand out. How are you with goats?

Jinzo’s glare is intense from the corner of his eyes.

Liam laughs. I don’t know. Never had the chance to socialize with goats before.

I’m not sure where I find my smile, but I dredge it up from the silt at the bottom of my soul. We have a goat, ducks, and some sheep. There may be other animals on board the ship too. Would you like us to remove them before your people come to work? I can ask my animal handler to escort them outside.

His expression softens in a smile. That would be a good idea. I’ll be employing six other men to help with the process. I’m not sure how much they like farm animals, though I’m fine with them.

I straighten up. Consider it done. We’ll take care of it.

We all stand, shake hands, and say goodbye.

I’m quiet with Jinzo for several blocks until we’re closer to the Mayashu spaceport.

That was a masterful cover-up, Vivi.

I blow a frustrated breath through my nose. But now I have to figure out how I’m going to hide Tomu for three days.

We come to a stop on the sidewalk outside the spaceport and watch a shuttle take off and streak towards the stars. There are moments when I would give anything to fly away from all of my problems. The bags under my eyes have their own luggage at this point, and I think my hair is falling out. My problems didn’t go away when I found Tomu. They multiplied and had babies faster than rabbits in heat.

That’s what we do, Jinzo says, pointing up at the retreating shuttle. We hire a shuttle for a few days. We’ll use it to get around on Ossun and keep Tomu away from the ship.

I close my eyes as I wonder how much it’ll cost us. I don’t want to hire a shuttle too on top of every expense.

Jinzo’s hand on my arm brings me back from the numbers ticking through my head. I’ll check the schedules from Lee Shipyards. There’s bound to be a shuttle nearby we can hire at the family rate.

There’s such a thing? I wonder what else we can get at a discount.

He laughs. Of course. Come on. He grabs one of my hands and pulls me forward. Let’s go figure it out now and then grab a drink at that bar we passed.

Okay. A drink sounds perfect.

One problem solved, another one surfaces.

Just another day in my life.

2

From the Amagi to the hired shuttle, Tomu does everything he can to get away from us. He thrashes, screams, and throws himself at the tiny window in the airlock. I’m sure people a thousand kilometers away can hear him crying.

Ugh. Shut up.

Jinzo deposits him in a wall chair and straps him in. The rest of us stream right past him.

You know you can’t just keep ignoring me and wishing I was gone, right?

My jaw is clenched so tight, I’m getting a headache. I can gag you, though. Don’t tempt me.

Jinzo, Gus, Ken, Skylar, and I pack the shuttle and make our way to Sakata City for the next few days. We have contracts to sign and a party to attend, and I put both events far above the comfort of my brother any day of the week. Maybe I’m selfish, but I don’t care anymore. He doesn’t care, so why should I?

Oh, sure. Go ahead and gag me. What else are you going to do?

I ignore him.

As soon as we’re done in Sakata City, we need to be on our way back to Mayashu to pick up the Amagi and head for Sonoma. I have a week, tops, with this asshole before I have to figure out what to do with him. I can’t keep him around forever. Someone is bound to notice him if I delay. We’ve probably already been found out.

Because he’s right. What else am I going to do? Should I hand him off to the military? Or should I give him over to Athens Industries? India Dellis’s words come back to me as I close my eyes and rest my head against the headrest on my seat. They won’t interfere with my repurchase of the farm if I give them everything — my brother, the plants, and the seeds. Can I trust them?

Maybe if I agree to their terms, they’ll leave me alone about working for Athens Industries too. I know why they keep asking. They want to keep an eye on me since I’m aware of their secret business now. But I will not cave. I have a new message from Renata or India Dellis every other day, imploring me to join her ranks. She can keep asking, and I’ll keep denying.

At least I’ve put Gai Reis and his human trafficking in my past. That’s one less thing to worry about for the time being. I’ll be happy if I never see another cryocontainer again.

Gus looks sideways at Tomu. You know, Vivian has sacrificed a lot to get her farm back, and you’re the one who put her in this situation. You could gain a better position for yourself here if you’d just shut up and play nice.

Fuck you, you cuck. Shut up and find your dick. It’s missing.

My body heats to a million degrees as I reach over, grab Ken’s pant leg, and squeeze. I tighten my fist, drawing the fabric between my fingers and trying my hardest to not lash out.

Gus’s stare is withering. Vivi, I might beat you to shoving him out the airlock.

Please do, Skylar says from the pilot’s chair. She’s not doing much but watching the AI navigate the skyways. He was always an idiot. Now, he’s an asshole idiot.

The rage burns fast and bright, and I let it all out with a long breath. I let go of Ken’s pant leg, and he smooths out the fabric with his palm.

Hear that, Tomu? Pretty much everyone wants you dead. We do. Our parents are done with you. The military would be happy to lock you up and execute you. Renata Dellis told me herself she’s looking forward to seeing you again, and she implied she has a way to wring the information she wants out of you.

Tomu’s lips thin.

There’s no one left for you to run to.

His face regains some color. How little you know, he says and directs this eyes to the window.

The shuttle jostles as we settle into our berth at Sakata City. Thank the heavens we’re here because I can’t spend one more minute with this guy. I have spent the last two months searching for him, and now that I’ve found him, I want nothing to do with him.

Skylar powers down the shuttle, and Tomu’s eyes widen as he realizes we’re about to leave him here. Yep, we’re leaving him.

Wait, he says, trying to raise his hands. They jerk to a stop as they come to the end of their rope. You can’t just leave me here.

I can, and I will. I grab my bag. We’re going to let you use the bathroom. You already ate this morning. Ai, will keep you company. Isn’t that right, Ai?

I glance over at the datapad hooked up to the shuttle.

"I sure will, Captain. And no amount of begging or faking of death or illness will convince me to give Tomu access to the duonet or call the authorities. But I have access to music and movies. He can ask for porn as well, but I doubt he’ll be able to do anything about the urgings that would bring about."

Tomu’s face falls.

Even Ai doesn’t give a shit about him. I’ve been nothing but scowls since I woke up this morning, but now, a genuine smile floats to the surface. It’s a smile of triumph, and it’s evil, and I know it. Once again, I don’t care.

You see, she’s kind of an illegal AI, and she has no concern for your well-being. She will let you die if you hurt yourself. And anything you say or do in here, I’ll know about.

He opens his mouth to talk, but I hold up my hand. Feel free to scream yourself hoarse and bang around. Jinzo rented me the soundproof shuttle at extra expense.

He deflates back into his chair. I have thought of everything this time. I may not get so lucky again. I have to take advantage of this time while I have it.

I wait for everyone to disembark from the shuttle, wave to Tomu, and then shut the door on his face. If he’s cursing me out from behind the closed door, I can’t tell. As I walk away from the shuttle, layers of stress slough off my body, and I feel lighter the further I get from him.

Through the spaceport and into Sakata City, we drop everything off at our hotel and travel by train to the center of town. My family has always signed contracts at the Sakata Town Hall. Town halls have been the places of marriages, birth and death certificates, licenses, and many other things, a standard set all the way back to Old Earth. The Sakata Town Hall has a whole wing of individual rooms for rent dedicated to relationship networks. It’s the cornerstone of our society, and we have treated it as such for hundreds of years.

For our trip into the city center, I sit with Ken on one side, and Gus on the other, while Jinzo stands over us and watches out the window. For Gus and Ken, Sakata City is nothing new. Jinzo, though, has never spent much time planetside, so he keeps his eyes trained on the world out the window.

I reach forward and tug on his shirt. What do you think? This will be a part of your home someday.

He pulls his eyes from the view and connects with me. I like it. It’s different from Palo Alto and Rio. Has a… an Old World feel to it.

Gus nods, agreeing with Jinzo’s assessment.

It’s a great city. Cosmopolitan without being too full of itself. I sometimes find Concord City too high and mighty, Ken says, turning to look out the window. His eyebrows draw together. It’s usually not this crowded, though.

Isn’t this our stop? Jinzo asks.

Yeah. It is. I stand up with the guys and realize how crowded the train is too. The eyes of dozens of men follow my every movement as we try to exit the car with a hundred other people.

My skin crawls, and a prickle of dread creeps along the back of my head as we’re swept into the melee with everyone else.

Stick together, Ken calls out, wrapping his arm around my waist. Jinzo and Gus are right next to me too. Something is going on.

Something is definitely going on. Men pull signs from bags as we get closer to the town center square. They raise their voices and placards reading, ‘Bring Back Manpower!’ and ‘Stop the Cuckolding of the Duo Systems!’ and ‘End the Reign of Women!’

Panic builds as many of these men leer at me. Their gazes clearly communicate that I’m meat, a tasty meal, something to be possessed and ruled over. My heart pumps like a racing ship, and I can’t breathe. I try to seek out the faces of other women in the crowd, and there are none.

Jin, I squeak. He angles me so we walk out of the mass of people and towards an open convenience store.

This is the first time ever in my life I’ve been afraid of a crowd of men. The laws in the Duo Systems are strict. Violence against women hasn’t been tolerated for a hundred years or more. And men are tried for fewer crimes now that the relationship network system takes care of so many. I always figured I had the protection of society and the government.

But it appears not.

Fucking Reformers. Ken’s voice is thick with anger as he pulls me to him. All the guys have

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