The worst had happened. I was in the care of Beloved Uncle, the public face of the Eastern Police. He had been appointed as a Machiavellian move, the political men who installed him meant to allow him a reign of outrageous violence to quell the populists and then kill him and replace him with someone who would seem gentle in his wake. Instead, the Beloved Uncles’ first action was to destroy the men who had appointed him.

“Ignorance is no excuse under the Law.” Beloved Uncle was a man who could kill me publicly without retribution, and I was arguing with him.

“They weren’t even really children! They were just rendered to look like children. They were all over the age of digital consent, they signed the forms!”

Beloved Uncle was surrounded by his honor guard, a group of impossibly proportioned transparent women. These cyborg women had brought me to him, who now held my broken shoulders clenched under their diamond fingers. Glass, plastic, silicone, a slender steel spine, gloriously nubile, fierce, terrible, naked women, even more beautiful with blood dropping off their hard crystal skin, my blood. The Beloved Uncle was smiling, rubbing his hands together with glee.

“The images were sold as child pornography, the determination of which is left to me. The law is clear. You are now mine. Your new name is Brandy, cheap liquor synthesized by sods. You are not dead right now, Brandy, because your skills make you useful to me. Do you understand? By my mercy do you live.”

“Please, I-”

“Speak no further Brandy, I don’t want to hear it. I have already heard your tragic story from my glass sluts.” The Beloved Uncles eyes glimmered with bursting glee. “I want to show you something.” He took his cane from under his arm and hoisted the gleaming metal before me.

“This, Brandy dearest, is the Sphincter Stick. It is my most favorite of birthday presents. Do you see these shiny buttons? I am told that there are two hundred and fifty four combinations for these buttons, and each will produce a different, painful, potentially lethal result.” He cradled the cane in his arms, rubbing the top joyfully. “Some of the combinations produce swarms of metallic wasps.” The women stared at me dispassionately and Beloved Uncle continued with enthusiasm. “I like to try out different combinations each time someone, someone like you, comes in here without results. I’m an old man though, and sometimes I forget the combinations, so I have to go through a lot of them before I get to something new, do you understand?”

The Beloved Uncle was condemning me to something worse than any prison sentence, worse than public execution. I was going to work for him.

“I have an assignment for you Brandy, and you won’t come back to me unless you have tits or results. If you value your life, you will have both.”

I couldn’t speak, I could only nod and pray silently.