Gaeren was sitting on the floor, hunched up against the 'fridge with his arms wrapped arou

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Gaeren was sitting on the floor, hunched up against the 'fridge with his arms wrapped around his head when Anya returned home. She practically danced in, swinging the bag that contained the clothing she had bought at the Ginza but had not worn. Oblivious to his mood, she tossed the bag into their shared sleeping-space, threw herself down next to him and hugged him. `Gaeren... I made it, I'm in! Class Three Operative with the Bureau of Procuration as of next Monday...' her excited voice trailed off as she became aware of his lack of response. `Gaeren... what's wrong?' He pointed at the terminal, which still showed the last message he'd read: ---------------------------------------------------------- Bureau of Economic and Trade Stabilisation 27-22-917 00.41.023 YOUR POSITION (CLASS FOUR LIAITOR) HAS BEEN EVALUATED AS PART OF THE RESTRUCTURING AND HAS BEEN RECLASSIFIED AS SUPERFLUOUS. PLEASE REPORT TO THE HUMAN RESOURCES DIVISION AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE FOR REASSIGNMENT for divisional head Francine Heybert ---------------------------------------------------------- `Oh.' was all she could say. He reached out blindly with one hand and turned the terminal off. She knew that EcoTrade was one of the few Bureaus that had an official policy to protect neuters; outside that Bureau, he would be treated like a second class citizen. The only other Bureau where he might fit in would be... `Come with me,' she said firmly, dragging him to his feet, `we are going to have a chat with a friend.' They discussed his options in the cab, secure in the knowledge that the Kaelen driver wouldn't bother translating their conversation. `It's not the drop in pay that concerns me,' he muttered. `I worked in Agricultural for eighteen months... I got used to being treated like sewerage, ha ha... it's just that I'll have to go back to - to that -' the words stuck in his throat, and Anya hugged him, noting the way that he tensed away from her, which was something she thought he had managed to overcome. She knew that he would find her proposal rather unorthodox, so she decided to wait until they had reached their destination. They sat at in a secluded booth at the rear of the Suteriik, she sipping her drink, he moodily staring into his, as if scrying the path of his career in the bubbles. She firmly took his hands in hers, fixed him with a serious look and said; `Now, I want you to think very carefully before you answer this: have you ever considered having your preferences modified? Re- modified, I mean.' He glanced up at her sharply, and then closed his eyes as if against a painful memory. `No. I don't remember why I chose Neutership; that was part of the deal. Something happened that was sufficiently unpleasant to warrant changing my preferences. So that I would never want involvement with anyone. This was before the, ah,' - here he lowered his voice - `"Kemp" affair.' She nodded, barely moving her head... Kemp had been one of the first neuters; psychologically unstable, she had later become one of the worst serial killers in history, and had done a great deal of harm to the concept of Neutership. Despite the enormous amount of evidence to the contrary, many people - some of them influential people in the power structure, unfortunately - regarded neuters with a degree of suspicion. She waited until he opened his eyes, and then, keeping her gaze directed into his, murmured: `I want you to consider having a custom set of preferences implanted. It's a common procedure at BuProc; they have a set, that while it doesn't turn you into a sex maniac,' at this, Gaeren smiled thinly - the first sign of good humour she'd seen him evince all evening - `it makes relating to others, of either sex, well, natural. As easy as holding hands.' She squeezed his. His smile grew wider. She smiled back, and then noticed her friend entering. `Hey, gen, over here!' A young man approached their booth; shoulder length black hair with blonde roots; stocky build; dressed in black street armour (which was out of fashion by at least six months). Gaeren tried to read his mood, kinesically, as he had been taught in primary school; he realised with a degree of surprise that genesis was hiding behind a completely blank facial mask, revealing nothing. He turned out to be a freelance Psychochemist, specialising in custom neurotransmitter modifications, although he was an accredited nanosurgeon as well. `i do the odd bit of contract work for BuProc,' he said with a sideways glance at Anya, who grinned. `very odd, in some cases.' He turned to face Gaeren. `if you are considering applying for a position in BuProc, you may like to consider a few minor mods... nothing drastic,' he added, noting the way Gaeren took this, `all we usually do is enhance control structures that you already possess. someone as attractive as you shouldn't need anything major.' Although genesis had said this without a trace of warmth, Gaeren found himself oddly moved. It had been a long time since anyone had regarded him as anything except a dedicated, efficient worker. Gaeren slowly nodded, and smiled. `Okay.' The next day: after a morning wasted in boredom at Human Resources, he found himself walking down a brightly-lit hall, looking for genesis' office. This was a government building; not the sort of location for what he believed to be a clandestine biomod operation. He located it, between a psychodentist (stern sharp white walls and black plastic on chrome furnishings) and a traditional tattoo parlour (walls completely covered with ornate designs, well-worn brown leather couches with giggling teenagers sprawled on them). genesis was standing behind his secretary, looking over her shoulder as she manipulated data on a holoterminal, occasionally pointing into the focus to highlight a feature of what appeared to be a tailored enzyme. Gaeren regarded her objectively; what remained of his original preferences told him that she was attractive, although he felt nothing; yet, the longer he gazed at her, the more attractive she seemed. She looked up, fixing him with a warm smile and brilliant green eyes, brushing a strand of copper-red hair from her eyes. He smiled with as much conviction as his apprehensive mood would allow; as genesis looked up and fixed him with the most predatory look he had ever seen, his smile froze. genesis grinned and held out his hand. `pardon me... i have this theory about reactivity and shock... I like to try it out on as wide a social cross-section as i can.' His secretary elbowed him in the ribs. He gestured towards the rear office. `If you'd like to follow me...' The back room of genesis' office was dominated by a huge reclining chair, soft black leather, liberally detailed with broad black straps and chrome buckles. Noting Gaeren's wide-eyed look, genesis smiled. `it's mostly for show... it isn't really necessary to hold the patient down all *that* securely during nanosurgery, and the preference-mapping is all done via tagged SN-K-RNA...' He indicated that Gaeren should disrobe and sit down in the chair. The black leather was cold against his buttocks and back as he lay down; it writhed against him, creaking slightly and molding itself to him. genesis admired the way that Gaeren's office-white skin was offset by the black leather as he buckled the straps across his chest, arms, waist, thighs and ankles. A remotely activated control swivelled the chair around, stretching him out flat on his back; a delicate web of scanner-grids, resembling the skeletal veins of decayed leaves, moved into place around his temples and a soft hum tickled his ears, almost below the threshold of perception. genesis appeared next to him and pressed the cold, wet tip of an infuser against his neck. Gaeren imagined streams of strange chemicals seeping through the surface of his skin, snaking around and searching out his blood-vessels. `now, if you would be as good as to remain as still as possible for the next minute or so... uh-huh...' genesis moved out of view, and Gaeren closed his eyes. He felt oddly relaxed, and lost track of time; he snapped out of his dreamy daze when the end of the chair separated, spreading his legs, and a support curved up from underneath against his testicles, pushing his genitalia up. A respirator-mask on the end of a robot arm whirred into position over his face, hovering a few centimetres away. `take a few belts of that.' genesis advised. The mask lowered, pressing over his mouth and nose. He inhaled deeply, feeling the straps against his chest as he did so. The mask lifted, and he suddenly felt invigorated, as if he had been half-suffocated and had then got a breath of fresh air. He flexed his arms and legs against the straps, experiencing an unfamiliar feeling in the pit of his stomach, a tickling lower down. He glanced down to see genesis wielding something like an old-fashioned dentist's drill with a blunt, conical chrome end. He took the end of Gaeren's flaccid penis, drawing it out, and painted it with cold blue fluid from a jar proffered by a second mechanical arm. He stretched it almost to the point where it was uncomfortable, coating it thoroughly. He seemed to be waiting for something to happen; after a minute or so, he sighed and activated a control with his foot. The conical drill-device emitted a tooth-jarring hum; genesis held it like a pen and slowly drew two careful strokes along the under-sides of Gaeren's penis from just underneath the head to where the base vanished into a mat of soft pubic hair. He could feel the strokes as a pair of warm trails that sent waves of heat through him. `what i'm doing is probably unnecessary,' genesis reassured him, `but in four years of this business, i haven't met one guy who didn't have a complex about the size of his dick. for someone such as yourself, coming out from an extended period under a repressive preference modification, it will help shore up your psyche...' Another device whirred down from the ceiling; a bulbous, clear plastic tube that swallowed his still-soft penis, the end pressing into his groin, forming a seal there. It filled with the clear blue fluid that genesis had painted him with before; he could feel it swirling around in the tube, gently bumping his penis from side to side within it. `The preference modification?' Gaeren enquired. `you've had it. that infuser and the scanners - i used my custom variety of structured K-RNA, so it should take effect in the next 48 hours.' The blue fluid in the tube drained away, and the tube's mouth widened, releasing his penis to flop against his belly. genesis unbuckled the straps around Gaeren's arms and chest, allowing him to sit up on the reclining seat, and handed him a towel. He wrapped it around his penis, which was slightly sore, the towel absorbing the remaining fluid. `Why the straps?' genesis smiled. `i once saw a guy having this procedure done, unrestrained. the diffuser - ' he gestured to the chrome-conical device - ` almost took the end of his dick off. can get very messy, if it isn't carefully applied.' genesis handed him his clothes, and with a trace of heated sensuality - the only emotion Gaeren could ever recall him show - added; `besides, you looked so... so *innocent*, strapped down like that...' Anya was still at work when he arrived at their flat, feeling no better or worse than before. He sat on their small couch, staring off into space for a moment, rubbing his hand over his collarbone through the open neck of his jumper, then moved to sit behind their terminal and keyed a sequence that he had not needed for six years. Within moments, he was connected to `Leosha', an artificially- intelligent `X-Rated On-Line Chat' system. `She' certainly knew her job; objectively, he could see the emotional hooks and catches in her responses that were designed to arouse; physically, he felt nothing. He kept it up for ten minutes before admitting defeat; gracefully signed off, got undressed and showered in their tiny bathroom-space. Towelling himself dry, he regarded his flaccid penis, which had two angry red marks along the underside. `Useless.' he muttered. Naked, he lay down on the mattress in their sleeping-space, his feet raised on a pile of bedclothes, intending to gather the strength for the next day's visit to Human Resources; he dozed fitfully, and then fell asleep. Anya came home about an hour later, finding him curled around the pillow on the mattress, his features graced by an expression of serene unconcern. There was a message for her on the terminal, from genesis. She returned the call, but his office was unattended; his office system took the call. `Genesis left some sub-conscious control routines for Gaeren to assimilate as soon as possible' it told her. The routines were appended to the message; Anya copied them to their home system and signalled to genesis' office that she had received them. `No time like the present,' she murmured, stroking Gaeren's forehead, ruffling his soft, light-brown hair. She gently clipped a sound-button to his ear, patching it to the home system. After checking the sound-levels, she started the routines, ensuring that they would be assimilated into his sub-conscious control (which every citizen had installed, as a child). She wondered what genesis was giving him as he stirred in his sleep, frowning slightly. He dreamed that he was lost in a dimly-lit, deserted building, hundreds of dusty corridors leading to hundreds of other dusty corridors; trails of cobwebs spanning the doorways, his feet raising a short trail of dust. He could sense, somewhere in the distance, a murmuring crowd of people, rushing along; he was unsure if they were avoiding him or not. He had no idea where he was headed, but he kept on, regardless. Just beyond the edge of comprehension, he could hear a soothing, female voice, directing him. He couldn't make out the words, but slowly, his sense of helplessness was replaced by a euphoric feeling of confidence; moving faster, he pushed open creaking doors, marched down corridors lit by fading bioluminescent strips, until he reached what he knew to be his destination: the final door. He paused before it - and it swung open of its own accord. Inside- He awoke with a start, staring at the ceiling, realising that he was holding his breath. He released it slowly through his nostrils, and lay there for a moment, somewhat dazed, aware that he had been dreaming and trying desperately to pick up the traces. Whatever had happened, he felt more confident and self-possessed, less concerned about having to scratch for a position at Human Resources. He sat up, just as Anya emerged from their phone-booth-sized shower recess, wrapping a towel around her waist; with a rush, he remembered the day's events; that he was in line for a position with BuProc. The subconscious routines that genesis had sent kicked in with an almost tactual `click'. She gave him an amused look as he sat there shivering, his mouth gaping; she reached over and gently closed his loose jaw with her index finger, her touch lingering there for a moment, long enough for him to react, to reach up and tightly grip her hand in his. Their eyes met, and she felt a thrill as she observed his pupils dilate. Slowly, their gaze remaining unbroken, an axis that held them enthralled, she sat next to him on the bed. He felt something smooth and almost inhuman in the way his neck muscles moved to maintain the visual contact that locked them together. Her pupils, now, were dilated also; it was a standard BuProc trick, something she had learned even before joining BuProc, but being unaware of this, unaware even that he was doing it in return, the effect hit Gaeren strongly. He was peripherally aware of his heartbeat thumping painfully as she settled down on the soft mattress, shifting closer to him until she was pressed up against him, their eyes still gazing into the depths of each other's. Anya was conscious of the high level of trust that their relationship encompassed, and initially, she didn't want to do anything to imperil it by making the first move. She did, however, give him as much subliminal encouragement as she could, settling down slightly into the mattress so that she could raise her eyes to meet his, knowing that most males reacted favourably to this tactic. Slowly, his face moved closer to hers, his mouth open a fraction, his nostrils quivering fractionally as her scent wafted up. Unable to restrain herself any longer, Anya tentatively slipped her arm around his waist, her fingers spread out against the small of his back, pulling him even closer to her. She sighed as he returned her embrace, crushing her to his naked chest, his quivering fingers digging into her shoulder-muscles. The feeling of her collar-bone rubbing against his, her breasts pressed against him, her cheek resting on his, their thighs touching from hip to knee, triggered one of genesis' recently installed routines; the elated feeling of confidence surged through him and he slowly pushed her back against the bed-clothes wadded at one end of the bed. He pulled away slightly, thrilling as their eyes made contact again, pupils dilating until his irises had almost completely vanished. He practically pounced on her, their mouths meeting hungrily; he felt the stirring of an emotion that he thought he'd left behind long ago: the wild assurance of the predator that has cornered its prey. The primal strength of it overwhelmed him momentarily, washing over him like a wave, leaving him with an acute sense of what he once called `Primate Anger': the feeling that this was *HIS* mate that he was crouched over, and if anyone else even *LOOKED* at her, he'd tear their throat out with his bare teeth. The intensity shocked him into self-consciousness; he resumed his ministrations with a barely perceptible pause, but with a completely different resolve: he would bring her to orgasm as quickly as possible; submissive to her needs, with a complete disregard for his own pleasure. He set about his task almost mechanically, analysing the vital signs he could sense from their intimate embrace, reviewing lines of attack. He adjusted the angle at which their bodies crossed, pushing her body around until she lay crosswise on the bed, her legs dangling over the edge, her toes curling as he kissed her, touching the carpet. She gave herself up to him, forgetting that he hadn't experienced anything even remotely connected with sexual intercourse for almost six years. She arched her back, pushing against him as his mouth massaged her throat, and belatedly remembered that she had to pace this, to refrain from the usual `bring him to the edge and leave him there' tricks, which could cause physical damage in his case. She sighed resignedly, gently pushed him back until he was lying parallel to her on the mattress. She answered his slightly hurt and questioning look by gently closing his eyes and then brushing her lips across his eyelids, tickling the bridge of his nose with her tongue. `I - don't want to - rush you,' she murmured between kisses, `I want you to - just lay back - and enjoy this, first time 'round.' `But - I wanted to -' She stilled his protest by laying an index finger across his lips. `Shhh.' Her lips paused over his, regretfully passed on to trace the tensed lines formed by the tendons of his neck, gently abrading the ridges of his collarbone, biting a nipple as she passed it on her way down. She slid her cheek over the taut hollow of his belly, running her hands over his hips, sliding off the bed and firmly pushing him back down as he tried to sit up. She consolidated her domination of the situation by grabbing a long pillow and draping it over his chest, patting it down for emphasis as if to say: don't move. She then focussed her attention on his genitals. She was consistently surprised by the differences in size evinced by male organs in their flaccid and erect states; she had been unable to develop an accurate and consistent rule for judging size, and Gaeren proved to be no exception. When she gently grasped it, his soft penis was slightly larger than her thumb and the base of her hand. She noticed the twin red marks that ran along the underside; she had seen them before and knew what they meant. She encircled the base with her thumb and ring fingers, squeezing the shaft with the other fingers; she moved his left leg aside and carefully pressed her thumb into his perineum, just behind his balls, where the end of his shaft merged with his body. She felt his thigh muscles tense slightly as muscles contracted; his penis swelled, the blood trapped by her fingers, the head swelling and pushing the abbreviated foreskin back. She noted the pattern of notches that ridged the edge of the foreskin, the sign of a particular childhood peer-group's initiation rite. She squeezed with one hand and pushed with the other again; he made an abbreviated `mnh' sound, fingers clutching the pillow. The sensation was almost painful, as spaces that had been vacant for a long time were filled; as his erection grew, she kept one hand wrapped around the base and with the other, grasped the shaft just behind the head, alternately squeezing one hand, then the other; pumping him towards repletion. Her eyes widened slightly as it grew... and continued to grow, her fingers barely meeting around the base as he worked pelvic muscles; subconscious routines caused certain blood-vessels to narrow, restricting the outflow of blood; the head, encircled by her fingers, was the size of a small apple. She lowered her head and ran her tongue along its underside, tasting the droplets of fluid that appeared at the hole. Squeezing the base and running her hand up his shaft produced more salty fluid, which she spread about on the head with her tongue and lips. She repeated the motion, her thumb rubbing over the veins that pulsed along the underside of the shaft. Keeping the tip of her tongue against the hole, she worked her lips around the apex of the blunt head, lubricating it and gradually opening to envelop it completely. She positioned both hands at the base of the shaft, slowly sliding one, then the other along the shaft while sucking the head which pressed against her tongue and pushed her jaws apart. Sensing his approaching climax in the quivering arhythmia of his hip movements, she drew several deep breaths through her nostrils; he arched his back, under-used perineal muscles pumping furiously. As a surge of hot, salty fluid flooded into the back of her throat, she swallowed it; after about fifteen seconds, when nothing else happened, she popped the head out of her mouth, surprised at the minimal amount of ejaculate he had produced. Then, he cried out in pain; his penis jerked violently, almost jumping from her hands, semen spurting from the end to shoot over her throat and shoulders. She grabbed the shaft and pressed her thumb into the base underneath the head, trying to control the flow; he repressed another cry as the fluid surged again and again, the pauses between each spasm growing until he was straining, back arched, a choking sound coming from deep in his throat; she stared, wide-eyed, at his penis as it shook like an out-of-control motor and expelled an unbelievable amount of translucent, almost clear fluid. Gaeren dropped to the mattress, unconscious, his engorged member remaining upright for a few moments, then slowly wilting like a time-lapse video of a dying flower. Anya kneeled between his legs, momentarily stunned; after checking that he wasn't in state-shock (a condition that can arise from the imposition of too many subliminal routines), she got some fresh towels and mopped up the pool of semen that Gaeren had emitted. After she stuffed the towels in the washing-machine, she returned to his side, just as he regained consciousness. `I hope it isn't always going to be like that.' he sighed. She leaned over him, smiling as an absurdly strong feeling of affection washed through her. She lowered herself to the mattress beside him; reached over, taking his hand and dragging him closer to kiss him. He resisted momentarily, then gave in to her, gaining interest as the contact prolonged; before long, he was ready for another bout. He recalled his previous intention - to bring her to a climax. His mind filled with images; diagrams of female anatomy, timing and response graphs; information that had been included with genesis' sub-conscious control routines. He `stood back' within himself and let the routines take over. It was like watching a remote-control robot disable a terrorist's bomb. He could feel every caress, every kiss and stroke; but it was as if someone else decided to grasp her hands and hold her arms outstretched; he could almost picture genesis sitting in his office, editing the routine that would cause him to lift Anya's legs and thrust his renewed erection in at a steep angle. His mind wandered; it got to the point where he was so divorced from his body's actions that he found himself idly wondering who would be in the network Teleconference at the moment; his musings were disturbed by a cry of distress. Abruptly, he glanced down at Anya, who was lying with her arms outstretched, clawed fingers embedded in the surface of the mattress, gasping and shaking as if someone was shooting electric current through her. Her legs were tightly wrapped around his waist, the lips of her cunt clutching his shaft as if she were afraid that he'd escape. Her eyes opened, staring straight into his; for a moment, he saw an expression of serene unconcern; a look as if she had been pushed off the top of a tall building and didn't care where she landed. Her arms lashed around his shoulders, crushing him to her; he felt her shuddering orgasm lift them both off the mattress momentarily. They both collapsed in a sweat-soaked, trembling heap, gasping for breath. After a moment, she laughed weakly, tried to lever herself up on one elbow, only to fall back again. `We had better not do this often. I don't think I can take it.' -------------------------------------------------------------------- This file is Copyright (c) Nikolai Kingsley, 1995. Unlimited electronic reproduction and one hard-copy per user is permitted, for non-profit use, providing that this notice is left intact. hail eris - Fnord - all hail discordia - 93 - oops, that's my banana --------------------------------------------------------------------

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