Author : J.R. Blackwell, Staff Writer
Wzn Izfzuv Tells You How To Live Your Life
This rotation, when I tell you how to live your life, we meet two Newflyers ““ newly infatuated individuals high on emotion. Let’s fly right in, shall we?
I’ve been dating most wonderful Hive mind, sixty sexy individual consciousnesses in four amazing bodies. We’ve been together for about eight rotations and it’s brilliant. They are all so beautiful and talented ““ I know I sound like I’m Newflying here ““ but it’s true.
Whenever we engage in sexual contact, they let me merge a little with the whole. Although it’s only through a skin and wire port even the half merge is amazing. I really want to merge with them fully. I am totally willing to give up my body and I’m excited about being part of the Hive.
However, every time I bring up a true merging, they change the subject. I’m really afraid of scaring them away. Please help!
-Wild for the Hive
Trust the Hive darling. Hive minds can be really wonderful seductive things, all that community, all that acceptance and understanding and sense of belonging. But the thing is, before someone joins, the Hive has to understand that person is just right for them. A wonderful lover does not always make a good addition to the Hive!
My suggestion ““ if you want to convince them that you will be good for the Hive, show them how patient you are, show them how understanding you can be that they want to take the time to get to know you. Also, get that merging out of a sexual context! Invite them to merge with you when all of you have your clothes on. Let them get a sense for you when your mind is calm. Remember, a Hive mind isn’t just a cumulative consciousness ““ it’s also hard work!
My personal companion appliance has become moody, arrogant and cold. When I bought him, he was cuddly and attentive. He used to make me romantic meals and read to me ““ but now he hardly looks at me! The only time he even gives me a second glance is when I’m furious and then it can get pretty wild ““ but afterwards, he’s back to his arrogant ways
Do you know any way I can adjust his personality to be a little nicer? He’s a model A244Silver ““ the new line. Is my personal companion permanently shizzed? Do I need to buy a replacement?
-Short Circuited on Mars
Just admit it! You love it. The A244 Silvers are engineered to respond to your social needs. If the A244 Silver is treating you like you are less than the dirt on his immaculate feet, then that’s exactly what you want. These things can read social signals better than any human born.
Embrace it! Don’t be ashamed that you want to be treated with distain. It may be fashionable to say that you and your personal companion constantly cuddle, but if you prefer that he is cold and distant till you are on fire with desire than that is more than fine ““ it’s hot! Listen angel-sparks, if you want my permission, you’ve got it. Have a hot time with your cruel personal companion.
If you honestly want his personality adjusted, the dealer will do that for a small fee. Don’t be surprised though, if you find out you liked him mean and sexy better than soft and snuggly.
That’s it for this week, Organics and Electrics! Remember Respect, and Treasure Pleasure.
Author : Sam Clough, Staff Writer
The subject of this image has a real name, but by custom, he uses a ‘messenger-name’: Jay. He’s moving on foot. The ground is broken and rough: with no road, he had to leave his vehicle behind. It’ll be one more day before he has the first in a series of syndications at mining enclaves and towns nestled amongst the mountains.
He’s wearing a bag over a long coat. The resolution of the image is just good enough to make out the individual characters of the public encryption key stitched into the material of the bag. The view from the electronic eye-in-the-sky shows Jay surrounded by a light haze: a mess of wireless signals and RF echoes. Bright panels on his coat betray the slabs of solid-state memory where his primary archive is stored.
He’s just one of a whole series of messengers: they tie together the continent, ferrying the all-important message archives from one isolated region to the next, through territories that are too dangerous or too unpredictable to lay cable. Message latency is generally measured in days, but security is absolute.
We return to the subject just after one of his syndications. Apparently at ease, relaxing with an intoxicant on the terrace of a guesthouse on a mountainside. As well as the syndication, he has also taken on more than the usual number of personal messages from the miners and farmers of the area, and is seeking solitude. Many messengers exhibit these behaviours, including the intoxicant dependence. Some are far more severe than others. Jay has a relatively mild habit, which is one of the reasons he was chosen for this experiment.
Messengers are interesting because there is statistically significant factor of difference between them and all other social groups under study. They display certain shocking similarities to one another, with no reflection on their region of origin. Messengers display a wholly unnatural obsession with security and authenticity. This is harnessed for the public image of their syndicate, a fact that they trade on, but this obsession invariably extends beyone a purely professional interest.
The second subject is one of our operatives, teleoperating a shell. Naturally, we have chosen an attractive female shell for this test, as we have judged that it will significantly increase the stress factor. Naturally, the shell is not a real messenger, but is merely a good fake. Her equipment is of the same specification as Jay’s, and her public key has a forged signature. We call her ‘Clara’.
Other combinations of this scenario have been carried out. When a non-messenger is introduced to ‘Clara’ (or the male equivalent, Cal), interaction is normal. They don’t question the identity of this person, but attempt to ‘get to know’ our operative, intrigued by the exotic persona and the popular romanticisation of the messenger lifestyle. When a messenger is introduced to our non-messenger version of Clara/Cal, the reaction of the messenger varies wildly: some express disinterest, others actively attempt to exploit the mythos of their position for personal gain.
Upon introduction, Jay and ‘Clara’ exchanged pleasantries, and some superficial comments about their syndication routes. ‘Clara’ left the terrace, in order to buy Jay a drink: she left her bag, and therefore the forged signature on her public key, with him. Immediately she was out of sight, he scanned the key. His eyes went wide with panic.
Hidden under his jacket was an edition of the famous ‘messenger gun’.
As ‘Clara’ stepped back on to the terrace, Jay shot her.
Author : James Smith
The girl out of the tank before lunch is Lila. Trip around the network shows the last of her bloodline petered out twenty years ago. Cryos are all from before the Patent Wars, so their sequences are in the public domain. The company turns a nice side profit selling the royalty-free DNA of such orphans through its GeneStock site.
I clean up the cancer that put her into storage, and dump the standard Mandarin package down her language stack, which I had to re-build because the cancer had slowly eaten through it over the centuries. I’m supposed to sequence her now, and she is absolutely beautiful, so I turn to our department’s unofficial protocol. I put her sequence in the system, but also pipe it to my phone. To the phone we give her, I beam a map to the job bank, my contact info, plus a bot that deletes any co-workers’ info. She’ll likely call me. We’ll make a date, and with her sequence I can key my pheromones, the food, the shade of my eyes, to her tastes. You can’t get too specific, but ballpark’s enough to get some ass once or twice, which is all anyone has time for anyway.
With one eye on the tank, I eat a sandwich and surf the city’s cam-net on my phone, tracking Lila’s progress. I watch her get buzzed by a flying cop. It blinds her with a quick retinal scan, reads our logo there, and shouts at her to get along to where she was already headed. The sound’s off, but I’m sure she’s got glossolalia by now.
Fuck. Skaters. I see them before she does. I speed-dial her phone, but she can’t hear it over the traffic and billboards. They come from her 10 o’clock, and all I can do is watch as the first one circles her, drawing her attention, while a second passes a scanner over her hand, yanking the ID out of her chip. He’ll probably have the start-up credit emptied out of her account before her onboard can lock it down. There’s a third. They travel in threes. She comes in low, spins behind Lila’s legs and pops up to slap a patch on the back of her neck. All the wiring we grew there before sending her out has now been hijacked for some American gangster wanting tariff free real-time number-crunching.
By the time the patch dissolves Lila won’t even be able to use her phone, much less remember to call me. She won’t get enough time to acclimate to the zeitgeist– which will change in a month or so anyway– and she’ll come up out of it crazy and useless. She’ll be on the street, begging me for credit, inside of six months.
I sigh, close my phone and reach for my coffee. The tank beeps, and the next idiot tumbles out onto the tile. He’s kind of cute.
Author : Michael Varian Daly
The musky odor hit Tanith the moment she stepped through the portal; man smell. It always got her queasy and excited, made her yoni tingle and moisten.
She marched with purpose down the wide debris strewn avenues, lined with derelict warehouses converted into rat warrens of cubicles called ‘apartment’ or ‘club’ depending upon their usage, the huge facades covered with brightly colored artwork, its techniques crude to sublime, and often violent and sexual in nature.
This was Semefour, a sector of the abandoned dirtside space facility of Bessport and original ghetto of The Men.
The Men were not actual males. True Men were extinct, outlawed for centuries, their heritage diffused and divided into the myriad Mandroids; Y-chromosome cyborgs, a vast genetically engineered servitor class that ranged from the ubiquitous simple minded AgroDroids, patiently tilling fields on a thousand worlds, through the slim graceful Harlequins, serving the personal needs of Sisters everywhere, to the brilliant star spanning Sliders, The Sisterhood’s living spaceships who merged with their pilots, Mind, Body and Soul.
No, The Men were really Sisters. They wore Bitch Rods all the time â€“ detachable bioform phallus’s…big, thick ones, too. They took hormones to shrink breasts and grow hair, lots of hair. They lived The Man’s Way, a throwback cult of ‘masculinity’. They steeped themselves in intoxicants, wrote nihilistic poetry, had bare knuckle brawls, and sodomized each other. They were The Men.
For most, it was a phase. They would Live The Life for a while, then put their Bitch Rod back in its Fake Box and go live as a Solitary in the woods or the hills or the desert on some world for a Solannum or two until their minds and bodies settled.
But some Lived The Life as their Life with total commitment. Like Frank, who had been one of The Men for well over a century now. That is who Tanith had come to see.
Tanith was a Jane, a Sister who sought out The Men for pleasure. She couldn’t call Frank a ‘lover’. Sex among The Men was ritualized consensual rape.
She turned, went into a shadowed door, up narrow stairs. Frank was waiting for her, ‘his’ wiry black hair, beard, chest, legs, making her body vibrate with an atavistic thrill. Frank took her straight away, brutally, with a cruel smile that no Harlequin pleasure server would ever match.
Time passed too quickly.
They smoked and drank, coupled with fury and languor. Frank sang her songs. Two friends came over, got drunk, had a fist fight, then all three of them ‘raped’ her for hours.
On the afternoon of the third day, Tanith stumbled down the stairs, bruised, sore, and wholly sated. On her way out the door, Frank had smacked her on the ass. â€œSay hello to your husband,â€ ‘he’ laughed.
â€œMy husband,â€ she thought smiling. Her darling Maddox, thirty six thousand tons of Slider floating serenely in orbit. She knew he would relish every single detail.
Author : Kathy Kachelries, Staff Writer
Nate Sorelli ruled the playground like Napoleon ruled France: with an iron fist and a mind like a laser-cut scalpel. With the knowledge of Sun Tzu and strategies selectively culled from the Roman and British Empires, Nate Sorelli was an architect and a general. He had a loyal army of boys who let no one tread on his territory, and his territory didn’t stop at the schoolyard’s boundaries. To the colony’s children, it was Nate Sorelli and not his parents who owned all of Shi.
In the early days of the colony, physicians played it fast and loose. Frontier medicine had different rules, and when his early tests showed mild retardation, his parents didn’t even need to pull strings. The neural implant had never been approved for children, but if Nate Sorelli was any indicator, that lack of approval was a terrible oversight.
Nate had a network. He didn’t need to threaten kids for their lunch money: they willingly handed it over. A quirk of his lips could start and end playground fights, but Nate never threw a punch. He didn’t like getting his hands dirty.
The teachers, too, were under his thumb. They didn’t realize it, of course, but he could redirect lessons with a few choice words, and he steered the curriculum like a rudder steers a boat. They thought it was their idea to move him to the C class with the older kids, and the following year, they thought they made the decision to bump him up to B. There wasn’t a test he couldn’t ace. The colony’s library had been committed to memory, and the only thing keeping the wealth of the internet out of his mind was the communication delay between Shi and Earth. It was no surprise when the home world sent a team of doctors to study him.
The study lasted three minutes: as long as it took to process the data from the CAT scan. Three Shi doctors lost their licenses. His parents were fined extensively, and paid twice that in bribes to maintain custody of their son.
Despite the setback, he maintained his rule. The other children continued to revere him, and although the scandal was teachers’ lounge gossip for weeks, they considered the decline in test scores a result of the stress of publicity. No one saw the first cracks in his empire. Certainly not Nate Sorelli.
Lunch money came more slowly. Paper bills turned to coins, which turned to crinkled wrappers. Without funding, the army of children grew restless, but it was over a month before they disbanded. There was no coup. No new ruler, no interim leader. Political issues were eclipsed by video games and dodgeball. The teachers noticed the change, but there were no complaints. The other kids’ performance improved. Overall, Shi’s school was well-ranked among the colonies.
At recess, Nate Sorelli took to playing jacks. His reflexes were still sharp, and he liked the smooth texture of the rubber ball. His previous loyal subjects played hopscotch and football in the nearby field as his hand shot out, snatching three silver stars before catching the ball in its descent.