Author: David Sharp

Neon lights the darkness in sharp angles. I lean down onto the cyber-surgical bench, its faux leather creases and cools my bare skin. I feel exposed and vulnerable. Is this what I really want or did I let him talk me into it in a moment of weakness? I twist on the leather, smashing my sex down. A door slides open in the dark. I see him, muscular arms and chest exposed from his jumper overalls. Max never wears the full badge uniform. His eyes are covered in googles as his hand approaches with the electronic gun. I have tattoos and cyberware to enhance stamina and sight, but this is a first—this ink is intimate. Max leans in, warm breath on my back. The gun swivels and changes as its parts move into sync. I feel gooseflesh rise on my naked flesh. It is too late to turn back. Max grunts as he connects the device to himself, his blood is the ink. I tense, forcing myself to exhale. The needle point hovers.

“Are you ready Edo?” Max says.

“I am scared,” I say.

“You must be sure, no regrets,” Max says.

I feel his hand on my back and give in. “I am sure.”

“Then we shall be one.” Max switches on the gun.

The pain is sublime. I arch my body as the ink stitches into a dragon pattern on my back, imprinting his DNA into me. I feel waves of emotion, not my own. Memories flow through me of fights and wars and secret barrack tyrsts. Hate, love, pain, lust, despair, and ectasy flow in a torrent. I see Max’s mouth widen and know he is experiencing my past too. Joined on a cellular level, we no longer are Max and Edo but someone new.