Author : David Barber
The woman sitting the other side of the table is Jan Fierro, the Department chief. We’ve never talked much, I mean, I’m just a jack aren’t I? Though once I photoshopped a great nude pinup of her and posted it in the men’s changing room as a joke. I never found who took it down.
She switches on the tape. “For the record.”
“Charlie, Charles Fort. Officer with the GenderPol. And yes, I know Cris Johnson, she was my partner for three years.”
Fierro pushes the first file across the table.
“Yeh, I remember this one. His ex called him in. Porn collection. Really old vids. 2D on magnetic tape.”
“And you and Officer Johnson disagreed about it.”
“Look, we all know porn can incite gynocrime, but this was just a hobby. Jacks collect stuff. Friend of mine has a classic Toyota Camry that runs on gasoline.”
Fierro is about to put him right.
“I know what theory says, but he was no rapist.”
“In your opinion. And what did the law decide?”
“Oh, biochemical castration. Behaviour mods. Temporal lobe remodeling, the lot.”
“But you don’t approve.”
“Crime against women’s down isn’t it? It’s just… No. Nothing.”
She’s sitting, with legs crossed. And one kneecap gleams bone white. It’s enough. Something feral slips the leash and gorges on the swelling and the tightness in the silk; in the flesh. Oh, he’s rescued them all, accepted their chaste kiss, nightly moves their limbs according to his pleasure.
He reads the other file upside down.
“I thought you’d bring that one up. Cris really hated all that stuff. Never knew what you were plugging into. He was wearing a silverlace and…”
“For the record.”
“…a neural interface for total immersion software. Didn’t even know we’d crashed his door. The sim wasn’t a media face. Some woman the jack knew maybe. All it takes is a picture and some software…”
Wearily, I explain the software maps faces onto bodies, so you can have sex with any woman you like using a silverlace.
“Yes, I know a lot about it, it’s my job. And I resent the implication.”
Fierro hands me a statement to read.
“I have never used morphing software involving… Cris Johnson? She said that?”
“Sit down Officer Fort. Unless you’re resigning.”
On the street it’s what they call being jack-knifed.
This was the time I said something about victimless crime and Cris really stomped me. Desensitization theory. Learning to think about women as objects. But I never thought about Cris like that. She was my partner.
Fierro knew something, the bitch.
“As it happens, I don’t think it does affect me.”
I’m clenching my teeth so hard they hurt.
Jack. Their mouthes are red as wounds. Gaping with talk. How I despise them, their clacking heels and ripe ovaries. They do not know me yet. My will be stronger than that blithe flesh. They shall suffer and become wise…
“Yeh, I’ve heard the new scanners can hack right into your dreams. I also know it’s not compulsory.”
Fierro smiles. You have to guess she only uses it for special occasions.
“For the record.”
“That’s my signature, yes.”
“Easy for you to say. Just thinking about women will be a crime soon.”
All gynocrime begins in men’s heads.
“How long before this is compulsory?”
Ask yourself what you have to hide.
“What, from the Thought Police?”
This is a test.
The headset is part of the scanner. The drug encourages free association. Fantasizing. Here is a picture of a female colleague.
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