To Baldly Go… by Sabrina S
Captain Samantha Ryan thumped the console in despair. Dear God, they’d only been in orbit six weeks and the ship was using water at a faster rate than anticipated! Even the water recycling couldn’t keep up with them!
She made some rapid calculations. They HAD to stay out here for two years, or they’d never beat the men. Controlling an all-female team on a space station wasn’t the easiest task. Unwanted lesbian tendencies bloomed when there were no men around to sleep with. You could count on at least one of the women to suffer from PMT at any given time, despite the compulsory pills which were supposed to control it.
This was the first time an all-woman crew had volunteered to stay in space for two unbroken years. The men had managed twenty three months and three weeks, but by the time they returned they were bad-tempered and barely on speaking terms with each other. The camaraderie which had drawn them together for the first six months faded with the lack of “shore leave”. Sam was dreading the last year out here. Her women, despite their good intentions and the “we can beat the guys” bullishness, would end up fighting and arguing too, even with the medication they were prescribed for the last six months of their stay. But she’d make them do it! To be in command of this mission at the age of 33 was a great achievement, and she’d be damned if she’d fail!
But the water – ! Sam groaned. Maybe the men had been proud to go without showers for a couple of days. No way would the women stand for it, professional though they were.
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Sam made a note: sponge baths only every second day rather than showers. She tapped into the computer and waited for a response. Given the lesser use of water they could manage barely twenty months all up. With the use of cameras, the computer monitored all water usage and also water abuse. Sam asked for a printout.
Cooking, fine. They needed water for cooking despite the rehydratable food,and it was the most easily recyclable of all.
Showers. The cameras recorded that the crew spent more time and water washing their hair than their bodies.
Sam frowned. The printout revealed the women washed their hair every day, and conditioned it, too. This made the water harder to recycle.
What would happen if she asked them to only wash their hair once a week? She tapped away. In barely a second the computer responded: twenty three months in orbit.
And if they didn’t wash their hair at all?
Bingo! Twenty five months!
Sam grinned. Now how the hell was she going to persuade seven obsessively clean women to go around with dirty hair for the next two years? Inspired, she tapped into the computer again to see how the men had coped and how they had used their water. The ship’s log gave her an answer she hadn’t really wanted to hear.
One hour later, the crew was gathered in the common room at Sam’s request. The space station’s artificial gravity system meant they didn’t walk around in bulky space suits. They either wore their uniforms, or, if they were off duty as some of the crew were, casual clothes.
Sam’s heart thudded. This was going to be hard. She looked at the crew, 7 people she’d trained with for six weeks before they left for the station. Seven people she now knew quite well. How they’d react to this was – predictable, she thought.
She took a deep breath. “Ladies, we’re in trouble. We’re using more water than we should and we won’t last the distance at the rate we’re going. I’ve consulted the ship’s computer and taken a look at how previous crews coped with this. As you know, all previous crews have been either all male or a mixed crew, and water usage levels have varied. However, when water has become critical, two previous crews took rather drastic measures which cut water consumption to a survivable level, and I’m afraid we will have to take the same measures.” She surveyed her crew. There were a mix of interested and worried faces watching her. “Ladies, in order to save water by not shampooing and conditioning, we will have to shave our heads.”
Cries of outrage echoed around the common room.
“No way Jose!”
“Let me go back to Earth! I quit!”
“That was NOT in my contract!”
“Not my hair!”
Sam let them shout for a few moments, then thumped the table. “Crew, I am your Commanding Officer. I order you to shave your heads.”
There was a stunned silence. Everyone liked Sam. She was fair, reasonable and easy going, and absolutely unshakable in a crisis. This, they realised, was Unshakable Sam. This was a crisis, and she had made a decision.
Sam said, placatingly. “We’re all in this together. Look, I’ll go first.” She produced from behind her back a set of electric clippers the last crew had left behind. Slowly she pulled out a chair from under a table and sat on it.
“Chloe, how would you like to plug the clippers in, and shave my head?”
Chloe, whose lovely long strawberry blonde curls were tightly constrained in a bun, trembled. She was the softest of the lot, and lucky to get through the strict training that had preceded their flight to the station. Hesitantly Chloe took the clippers and hunted for a power outlet.
Sam closed her eyes for a moment. She’d miss her hair. It was thick, lustrous and raven black, and hung to her shoulder blades when she let it out of the regulation bun. Men had buried their face and hands in it, nuzzling its softness. Many a fellow officer had spread her hair langorously over the pillow as they made love. Now it was going, and would take years to grow back to this length. Sadly Sam unpinned it and let it cascade down her back.
“Chloe, stop trembling,” Sam said, hoping her voice didn’t sound as shaky as it felt. “You might cut me.”
“Where do I start?” wondered Chloe, fumbling the clippers into life. They buzzed hungrily.
The other women crowded in. “At her part.” “At the side.” “At the back.” Obviously they were going to enjoy seeing their CO reduced to baldness after the edict she’d issued.
Chloe shrugged helplessly and brought the clippers up to Sam’s forehead.
Sam desperately controlled herself until only her fingers were visibly shaking. She hid her hands under her bottom.
Then Chloe placed the clippers at Sam’s hairline and drew them back. They squawked and rasped – and cut Sam’s hair off to the scalp.
“Jesus,” said Chloe faintly, looking at the patch of white skin and the hair which had fallen over the back of Sam’s head to the floor.
Sam had never felt so vulnerable in her life. She wasn’t a vulnerable woman. “Just get on with it, Chloe. That’s an order.”
“Yes ma’am,” said Chloe obediently, and placed the clippers against Sam’s skin again.
Sam felt them run over the top of her head, all the way back to the crown. The crowd around her was silent. Humbled, she thought, because they knew they’d be next. One strip down the middle of her scalp suddenly felt cold.
Then the clippers were at her forehead once more, and running over her head, shaving a path next to the first. Sam was glad she didn’t have a mirror in front of her; she didn’t think she could bear watching herself have her hair removed. She concentrated on counting the number of squares in one of the soundproofing panels, tried not to believe her head was being shaved, and tried also to ignore the sensation of the vibrating blades, rather pleasant against her skin.
Chloe’s warm hand suddenly touched Sam’s shaved patch, making Sam quiver. Chloe was gaining confidence. This time when she ran the clippers into Sam’s hair she was much more assured, dragging them through the lovely black locks without hesitation. Sam realised the top of her head was now hairless.
Chloe’s warm hand pushed Sam’s head to one side, then the clippers were in front of Sam’s ears. She saw a look of intense concentration on Chloe’s face as the youngest member of the team buzzed up Sam’s temple.
Then she made the mistake of looking at her lap and seeing inches, many inches, of severed black hair lying there. Sam squeezed her eyes shut. The crew MUSTN’T see her cry!
Chloe was behind her ear now, pushing her right ear forward and clipping up behind it. Then Sam felt Chloe push her head forward until her chin was almost on her chest. The heavy hair at the back of her head was lifted away by someone – Jessica James? – and the clippers were moving up her nape and then snarling and growling up the back of her head until they met the shaved bit on top. In a way, it was sensuous. Sam almost began to enjoy the feel of the clippers against her skin, especially when Chloe put the clippers at the nape and slowly pushed them up the back of her head. Her head felt light where the heavy hair had already been shaved.
Three more passes up the back and then Chloe was at the side again, pulling loose hairs out of the clipper blades before attacking the last of Sam’s gorgeous hair. Her left ear was pushed forward and the clippers delicately traced behind it. Finally the last of her hair was shaved off, Chloe clipping up the temples with a sigh of relief.
“There,” Sam said, clearing her throat. “That wasn’t too bad.” She brought her hands out from under her bum and ran them over her naked scalp. Heavens, it felt weird! Little tiny bristles.. and her head was cold! She didn’t dare find a mirror – she’d burst into tears.
“Me,” said Chloe in a small voice. “I feel bad about having to shave all your lovely hair off. You can shave mine.” Before anyone could stop her she sat in the chair and unpinned her hair.
Sam felt sorry for Chloe. She was almost the team mascot, a sweet young woman who’d joined the crew after a broken engagement. Where the other crew members called each other by their surnames, Chloe was well…always just Chloe.
This time the shoe was on the other foot – or the clippers in the other hands, Sam thought wryly. She’d never even given anyone a haircut, let alone shaved a head. Time to be the tough team leader. Briskly she flicked the clippers on.
Chloe had a hanky in her hand and was already dabbing her eyes. “It doesn’t hurt,” Sam said gently. “It just tickles a bit.” Before she could feel TOO sorry for Chloe she ran the clippers straight down Chloe’s part and watched the first of Chloe’s curls tumble to the floor on top of her own black locks.
Easy peasy, Sam thought. Nothing to it. Assuredly she drew the clippers through Chloe’s hair, rendering the top of her head hairless in three long, brisk strokes. She was doing it quickly so Chloe didn’t have too much of an ordeal. As Chloe had done for her, she shaved up the sides next.
Chloe gave a wail when she saw her hair drop over her knees, and put a hand up to her shaven scalp. “I can’t believe this is happening!”
Sam didn’t say anything, she was too busy concentrating. In fact, she was rather beginning to enjoy it. There was something almost sexy about cutting off someone’s hair. She put her hand on Chloe’s shaven crown to steady it. Now she knew why she instinctively dated officers rather than men with long hair – it was the feel of their bristly clippered crop against her fingers. Rather like her own head was now!
With one hand Sam lifted the heavy curls at the back up so she could get the clippers under them, and ploughed up the nape of Chloe’s neck. She could see Chloe was going to look good bald. She had a pretty face, a long neck and a well shaped head. Shaving Chloe early in the group was a good idea. The others mightn’t be so put off if they could see bald women could actually look good.
Swiftly Sam buzzed up the back of Chloe’s head, until the loose ponytail she’d been holding had been severed and dropped to the floor in a tumble of red-gold curls. She pushed Chloe’s head gently to one side and removed the last of her hair, running the clippers all over Chloe’s head to ensure she’d shaved it all off.
Chloe stood up, embarrassed and rubbing her scalp. “Erk!”
“You look good!” said Jessica James in surprise, brushing hairs off Chloe’s shoulders and then hesitantly stroking the other woman’s bald head. Jessica, Sam suspected, liked women better than men, and was progressively getting friendlier with Chloe. She’d better keep on eye on James. Chloe, of all of them, couldn’t handle a lesbian relationship.
“How about you, then, James?” Sam suggested.
Jessica sat in the chair smugly. “My hair’s short anyway. It won’t take you long!”
Which was true. Jessica’s brown hair was quite boyish in its cut. Sam found it easier to draw the clippers through than Chloe’s long hair. After the first buzz down Jessica’s part Sam got into the swing of it, shaving Jessica’s hair in long strokes and flicking the short locks over Jessica’s back to the floor.
Jessica was grinning. “That actually feels really good, you know. All tingly!” Obediently she moved her head to the side so Sam could clip around her ears, then bent it far, far forward so Sam could shave the back as close as she could. Jessica’s hair fell away in short clumps. In a matter of a couple of minutes she was completely bald, and laughing as she touched her freshly-shorn head.
The other women were getting more confident. Paris Tester was next in the chair, and Jessica offered to reduce her red bob to stubble. Sam gave up the clippers, glad the women were willing to participate.
Paris had a long fringe, almost to her eyeballs, and Jessica shaved it off first. “Hey!” said Paris indignantly.
“It’s all going, Tester!” laughed one of the others. “Why worry about your fringe?”
Then the clippers were ploughing over Paris’ scalp, her skin absurdly white against the bright red of her hair.
Sam watched absently, stroking her shaven scalp without realising she was doing it. It felt rather good, she thought. What DID she look like? Hoping the others wouldn’t notice, she slipped out into the corridor and hurried to her private quarters.
She startled a bald woman near her bed, and realised it was her reflection in the mirror. “Good grief!” she said slowly, and walked over to the mirror. Her hair was visible only as tiny, tiny black stubble, just a hint that hair actually grew on her head. She hadn’t realised her ears stuck out a little before today. Sam ran her hands over her head, used to seeing her fingers tangle in her long black hair. She picked up a hand mirror and viewed the back of her head, which was – of course! – just as bald as the front.
“Totally shaved,” Sam said idly to her reflection. “Me. Sam Ryan. Shaved bald. Whoever would have thought I’d shave my head?”
She didn’t know what to think of her reflection. She wasn’t ugly without hair. In fact, she could almost say she was as beautiful without her hair as with it. It just took a little getting used to!
She decided to get back to her troops.
Paris had been shaved, and was herself denuding Elizabeth Payne of her untameable brown corkscrew curls.
“My hair’ll clog the clippers!” giggled Liz nervously. She was sitting on the edge of the chair, ready to bolt at a moment’s notice. Paris had ploughed a strip down the middle of her scalp, and was at her forehead ready to make the next pass.
“You look like a clown!” giggled Paris when the top of Liz’ head was shaved clean. It was true. Liz’ hair stuck out at the sides like the star attraction on a circus poster.
“Shave her! Shave her! Shave her!” Jessica chanted, and the others took it up.
“Shave her! Shave her! Shave her!”
Liz tried to get up from the chair, embarrassed and red in the face, but Paris put a firm hand on top of her head, pushed her down, and swiftly buzzed the clippers up the side of her head. Wild brown curls sprang from the clipper blades.
“Don’t worry, Payne,” said Paris kindly, pushing the snarling clippers up the back of the other woman’s head. “At least I won’t have to hear you swearing in the morning when your comb gets caught in your knots!”
“Har har,” Liz replied glumly, watching as the last of her hair fell onto her knees.
Chloe swept up the large pile of hair around the chair as the next crew member, Paula Flint, lost her thick blonde locks to the clippers. Flint by name and flint by nature, Paula said nothing as the clippers ran through her mane, closing her eyes in what looked to be enjoyment as Jessica shaved the hair from her crown. Paula had the best shaped head of all of them, and the other women gasped as the back of her head was clipped clean of hair.
“Lookin’ good,” Jessica said encouragingly. Sam noticed she kept running her free hand over Paula’s newly shorn scalp as she buzzed the remaining hair. Sam also noticed Paula pushing her head against Jessica’s hand in a sensuous way.
Hmm, Sam thought. Well, it might keep Jessica out of Chloe’s hair – not that she’s got any left!
Helen Hill was next in the chair, taking off her glasses and peering about her myopically. She had short, fine dark hair and Jessica didn’t seem to have much interest in cutting it off. She handed the clippers to Paris. Helen ran her hands into her hair one last time, making it stick up in spikes, and gave a heavy sigh as she nodded to the other woman. Paris decided to be different this time, and shaved the sides and back first, clipping Helen’s hair into an overlong flat top before placing the clippers at her forehead and shaving off the last of her hair. Paris made short work of it, running the clippers all over her scalp as swiftly as a military barber, and dusting the short clippings off the other woman’s neck in a professional manner.
“Lucky last!” grinned Paris, brandishing the clippers.
Susan Mitchell timidly came forward, shaking her wavy brown hair free from its bun. It fell to her waist in a glossy waterfall. Everyone in the room felt sad for her. She had the best hair of all of them.
“Come on, Mitch! You can do it!” Liz urged.
Sadly Sue sat on the chair, her feet on a carpet of cut off hair. “Do I really have to?”
“We all did,” said Jessica pointedly.
“Whose going to cut my hair?” wondered Sue aloud.
Sam looked at her crew. They all looked eager. In fact, so was she. “Let’s take it in turns,” she decreed. “Chloe can have the first go. Right down the middle, Chlo.”
Chloe found some oil and oiled the clippers before attacking Sue’s gorgeous hair. Sue wore it parted dead centre, and Chloe ran the clippers precisely down the part line. Suddenly Sue had a part that was one and a half inches wide!
Jessica was next, stroking the clippers from Sue’s forehead all the way to her crown in one fluid motion.
“It feels weird,” said Sue, who’d watched the others with horror and dreaded losing her hair.
“All tingly against your skin,” agreed Helen, rubbing her own scalp before taking the clippers and shaving the remaining hair off the top of Sue’s head.
Liz was next, shaving up Sue’s right side, and feeling a pang for her team mate as an acre of hair fell onto Sue’s knees.
Paula lifted up the heavy weight of Sue’s hair at the back of her head. There was so much of it she clipped her path bit by bit, shaking hair free from the clippers between each stroke.
Sue wiped a couple of tears from her eyes and hoped that the others hadn’t noticed. Her head felt strange without the heavy weight of hair.
Jessica expertly drew the clippers up the back of Sue’s head too. “Half way there, my friend.” She patted the top of Sue’s shaven scalp as she handed the clippers to Paris, who finished the back off.
Ceremoniously Jessica passed the clippers to her CO. Sam looked at the last long hair left on the ship, nuzzled the clippers against Sue’s hairline, and pushed them up the other woman’s scalp. The final lock dropped to the floor.
The entire crew cheered, and Sue blushed. She dusted her useless hair off her legs and stood up to join the rest of her bald-headed crew.
Sam realised something with surprise: suddenly the crew had become a team. She had achieved in an hour’s headshaving what six weeks of training and six weeks of living on board had strived for.
“This calls for a celebration,” said Sam, turning the closed circuit camera off and bringing out an illicit bottle of non-vintage champagne she’d hidden in the back of one of the cupboards. “We’ve all been good sports about losing our hair. I suggest we get together on the fifteenth of every month and shave our heads. That way nobody gets an advantage. We’re all in this together. We’ll have to be bald for a while, but if we can save water, we may be able to grow our hair back for the last three months on board so we look decent by the time we get back to Earth.”
The others cheered. Chloe and Sue whooped.
Sam filled the plastic drinking cups. “To us, then. To paraphrase a famous TV show from the 20th century, to baldly go where no woman has gone before….!”
Sam lay in her bunk that night, unable to sleep. She felt strange without her hair pillowing her head. But then, she felt cooler, too. Sometimes her hair annoyed her, pulling against her body as she changed position in her sleep, and tickling her cheeks.
Experimentally she stroked her shaven scalp in the darkness, feeling the bones of her skull and the tiny bristles poking through her skin. Her fingers felt warm against her hairless head. She liked the sensation as she stroked her head all over, and wondered idly if one of those officers from her past would still find her attractive and enjoy touching her clean-shaven scalp. She massaged her head; it felt wonderful, and was easy to massage without all that hair to tangle between her fingers.
Did she feel less of a woman without her hair? Certainly not! In fact, stroking her bald scalp and remembering how it felt when the clippers were buzzing her hair off was making her horny.
Sam grinned in the darkness and felt between her legs. One hand on her head, one hand on her clit. She felt pretty sure she’d survive the next two years without men!
After two years and three weeks in orbit, the all female crew returned to Earth. They had, in fact, managed to make their water last longer than the three previous crews, and were able to leave the station knowing they had left behind them a month’s supply of the precious liquid.
When the shuttle landed expectant reporters and dignitaries were astonished to see eight totally bald, smiling women step out of the craft. They had painted their freshly-shaven heads in decoration. Paris had a wildly coloured tropical butterfly on the top of her head, and Paula’s beautifully shaped skull was decorated in an antique pop art style from the 1960s. Even Sam decided her time as a CO could be put on hold, and had let Chloe paint roses on her scalp.
The reporters crowded the women, popping flash guns in their faces and proffering microphones.
“What’s with the shaved heads, Captain Ryan?” shouted one of the press.
Captain Samantha Ryan was, for the first time in two years, in a quandary. She could explain they’d shaved their heads initially to save water, but would anyone really understand why they kept it up when it was obvious they would have enough water after all? Would anyone really believe that every single one of them had actually come to….enjoy it?