sorry about all the exposition, net-people. think of it as foreplay. if your imaginations
sorry about all the exposition, net-people. think of it as foreplay.
if your imaginations don't stretch that far, the rude bits start
around line 206.
`Comme je deviens vielle fille, a
manquer du courage d'aimer la mort!'
- Rimbaud, Une Saison En Enfer
There was the Primary, where the decent people lived; apartments
built into the chasm that this portion of the city had crawled into
(in an effort to avoid the outside, possibly); apartments near the
top, closer to solar energy generators and what remained of flora and
fauna. Further down, as you approached the bottom, the situation
deteriorated slowly; fewer service outlets (or rather, fewer service
outlets that functioned, and those that did had often been tampered
with so that they provided illegal chemicals), a greater percentage
of the street-lamps not working, or flickering as if about to stop
working; less frequent appearances by the Bythian Militia (which some
saw as a good thing). As you descended, things got worse, until you
reached the ExPort Zone; where the mundane business of freight
handling was performed by cheap labour, cheaper even than articulated
robots. Naturally, this was where the fringe of legality, the less
acceptable, thrived; anything, any service that could be turned to a
profit was available. Inhabitants of the Primary regarded it as
somewhere for novel entertainments to be trialled, making sure that
they were safe. The inhabitants of the ExPort Zone had different
Danyel A was a typical Primarian; educated via the Net, carefully
brought up in a creche with five other boys and six girls; informed
from an early age, by his electronic tutors, as to what was
acceptable and what wasn't. It had been determined that knowledge
of some aspects of life was best left up to natural instinct and
experience rather than academic affirmation; by the time he and his
fellow creche-mates had reached the age of fifteen, they had worked
out satisfactory arrangements for cohabitation amongst themselves,
enhanced by some experimentation inspired by knowledge found in
supposedly `hidden' areas on the Net. And, of course, by the
occasional excursion into the ExPort Zone.
They had dared Danyel to travel all the way to the bottom of the
Chasm and back; he argued that it was unnecessarily dangerous and
suggested that they find something `less fraught with the possibility
of serious injury'. They activated the Services Directory,
bypassing the filters that their parents and tutors had imposed,
pressed keys at random:
Ref SKE3117 Tasche-Schinereyf's Video Amusement Parlour
223 Bayrel Concourse Tashreyf@bayrel.weygand.kR
featuring: Tasche-Schinereyf's Collection of
Antique Computer games, VR Combat Range, and the
very latest in Electronic/Sensory Amusements. ****
Danyel leaned back in his chair, grinned up at the others clustered
`How does that sound? Admittedly, it's not what you'd call
"dangerous", but you know what they mean when they say "the very
latest in Electronic/Sensory Amusements"...' Mira K put on an
`No? what does it mean?' She broke up into giggles as the others
wrestled her to the carpeted floor. Danyel stood over her as they
tickled her mercilessly.
`Just for that, dearest, you can come with me, to ensure that I go
through with it.'
The usual method of traveling in the Chasm was by AV, floating up
and down the twenty-metre-wide gap that reached some six kilometres
into the Earth. It was also the most dangerous and exposed method;
particularly around the ExPort Zone, where some people had no qualms
about shooting an AV out of the air, just to salvage the parts.
The alternative was to risk getting lost in the maze of elevators,
stairwells and service access shafts that wormed through the rock
around the Chasm. They were supposed to be well-maintained, but
they had all heard horror stories, of people getting stuck in
elevators and dying of thirst, of escalators that suddenly opened up
and chewed legs, of shafts that narrowed slowly until it was
impossible to turn around, leaving the luckless explorer wedged in
the gap like a cork. These stories usually included the line `...
and then the lights went out.' Danyel and Mira were not going into
this maze unprepared; Danyel's parents had given him a SideKick,
a card-sized link into the NoSan'No'Os Data Service, which could
serve as a guide to the labyrinth they were about to brave.
`The Bayrel Concourse is between levels Eight and Nine... we can
take service elevator 991 down to level seven and work our way up, or
we can try and get through the `David St. Hubbins Memorial tunnel' to
level nine and then look for a break in the floor-plates.' Mira had
done this many times before, and Danyel deferred to her better
They left the creche, took the apartment's main elevator down to
the plaza. It was before six in the morning; few people were about
to see them slip into a service elevator, taking it down to level
Nineteen. Mira hit the `emergency stop' button between floors, and
the elevator jolted to a stop, accompanied by the sorts of creaking
noises that one didn't hear in the apartment elevators. Mira took a
screwdriver from her hip pocket, wedging it into the catch of the
emergency exit hatch above them, thumped the screwdriver with the
heel of her hand. The hatch flew open, as if mounted on a spring.
Danyel clasped his hands, allowing Mira to step up and wiggle through
the hatch. He couldn't resist running his hand along her thigh as
she went past. She reached down, grabbed his hand and drew him up
into the elevator shaft.
A dimly-lit service corridor east of the Bayrel Concourse was
disturbed for the first time in six years by a ceiling-plate falling
to the floor, sending a ripple of dust in all directions. After she
was sure that they hadn't set off any alarms, Mira dropped to the
floor, glancing up and down the corridor, seeing no-one. Danyel
joined her, sneezing as the cloud of dust rose to tickle his nose.
`I hate to admit it, Danyel, but I've got no idea where we are.'
He activated his SideKick. It beeped to indicate that it had found a
carrier signal, and displayed their location in a tiny holographic
grid. `Hey, we're on the right level! In fact, this corridor comes
out on the Bayrel Concourse... unfortunately, I can't tell which
end.' Danyel closed his eyes for a moment, concentrating, and then
pointed down the corridor.
`My instinct says: that way.' She smiled, took his hand and led
him in the other direction. Within minutes, they emerged from the
gloom of the service corridor into the slightly less gloomy Bayrel
They were too far down for any natural sunlight to penetrate, and
less than half of the street-lights were active, which gave the
Concourse a twilight atmosphere, hiding the details, cloaking the
decrepitude in aesthetically-pleasing shadows. Their imaginations
filled in the gaps, making it seem more interesting than it really
The Concourse was a ledge that ran along both sides of the Chasm,
joined at the far points by bridges; a meeting-place for tunnels and
rail-lines from other cities. Most of the shops along the side on
which they had emerged were boarded shut; Danyel found the number
`440' burned through a metal door, which meant that Tasche-
Schinereyf's place, at 223, was on the other side. They made their
way along the ledge, which was, in places, missing its guard rails;
one shop they passed had three deep scratches in the metal floor-
plates, leading from the broken shop window straight to the edge,
where the rails had been smashed outward by whatever had been pushed
out of the shop and into the Chasm. The plastic barriers that had
been glued over the broken window were scarred with the circular logo
used by the AnarchArtists, and their familiar slogans: "Two Gods is
One Too Many", and "Intelligence Isn't Artificial".
They reached the edge of the Chasm, crossed over to the other side,
and walked back, looking for shop-numbers. Danyel took out his
SideKick, but hastily put it away again when he saw the looks that
the locals were giving him.
223 was a wide doorway, big enough to drive an AV into - Danyel
supposed that it made moving the video games easier. They entered,
eyes straining at the bright screens which punctuated the darkness.
The video games had been retrofitted with electronic credit transfer
points; Danyel stepped up to one, saw shiny animated shapes sweeping
across the screen, shooting at each other; and a word, presumably the
name of the video game: "XEVIOUS".
`It looks pretty primitive,' he said as Mira joined him, peering
over his shoulder. `Just a matter of shooting everything that
appears...' he pressed his wrist-meter against the credit transfer
point, fed a tenth of a WCH into the machine. It played a tinny
fanfare as the game started.
Mira left him, to examine some of the other machines in the
parlour. Many of them were antiques, from the earliest days of
Earth's first electronic revolution; there were a few examples from
the Holographic period, notably one that pitted the player against a
sword-bearing troll that glowed like a SuperRealist cartoon in the
darkness. It snarled at her as she passed.
She walked around a partition at the back of the parlour, and found
an installation that was about the size and shape of a four-seater
AV, elaborately detailed in shades of dark green; ribbed tubes and
pipes curving around the base, giving the impression of something
living, organic. One end of the machine consisted of a pair of
vertical lips, as tall as she was, pressed together above the
familiar credit transfer point. She ran her hands over the lips,
which, surprisingly, were warm. Body temperature. She jumped
slightly as Danyel appeared next to her suddenly.
`Stupid game,' he muttered sourly. `Too many enemies at once.
What's this?' he regarded the installation with interest.
`Don't know... why don't you try it and find out?' He set his
`Okay.' He held his wrist against the credit transfer point, which
informed him that the charge for this game would be 0.8 WCH. `God's
truth, that's a bit expensive... it must be one of those Virtual
Reality rigs.' After he transferred the credit, the lips opened
slowly, folding back to reveal the end of a pinball machine. This,
however, was not your average pinball machine!
The design followed the pattern of the outside; ribbed pipes,
smooth curves, all in black or shades of dark green; some of the
pipes swelled as if they were infected; most were scarred and spotted
as if with decay. On the whole, it looked decidedly unhealthy.
The high-score table, holographic and sickly yellow-green in colour,
floated above the body of the machine. Danyel examined the controls
with his head tilted to one side, noting how the flipper-buttons
resembled breasts, the projection focus for the high-score table
(which was housed in the far end of the machine) framed by a pair of
elongated legs, the feet touching sole-to- sole at the end. As he
tried to read the machine's title - spelled out in twisted
hieroglyphs that looked like copulating worms - he realised that the
machine was designed along the lines of a Dali-esque female body,
lying on her stomach.
`That's in pretty poor taste,' he said to himself. A holographic
animation indicated that he should place his feet into the two
foot-spaces at the end of the machine. He did so, tensing as
pneumatic pads in the foot-spaces swelled, trapping his feet. `Hey,
I don't think that -' a low, sultry female voice - emanating from the
machine - cut him off.
`I'm not going to let you go until the game is over.' it said,
emphasising the point by opening a second set of smiling lips, set at
the base of the machine, level with Danyel's groin. His eyes
widened as the base distorted, swelling as if something was trying to
break out. The pouting lips reached out and nudged him, brushing
against the front of his trousers. `Take your pants off.' the machine
said. Danyel laughed in disbelief.
`No way!' it repeated,
`I'm not going to let you go until the game is over. Take your
pants off.' He struggled against its grip for a few moments, trying
to drag his feet out of the foot-spaces, to no avail. Mira sighed.
`Come on, Danyel, just do it, huh?'
`But what if it - ah, it might have some sort of -'
`Some sort of what? Teeth? I didn't know that you had a
castration complex!' He regarded her sourly.
`I was hoping you wouldn't bring that up.' The machine nudged him
again, and, cautiously, he undid the front of his pants, slipping
them down with his underwear. The pink tip of a tongue poked out
from between the lips, which wriggled forward (as if guided by a
heat-seeking probe) rubbing up against him, and with a wet sound, the
end of his flaccid penis was sucked in between them.
`Erh!' Danyel shuddered. Another wet sound heralded the appearance
of the plunger that would shoot the ball into action - predictably,
shaped like a larger-than-life erection, mounted on the right-hand
side of the machine. Danyel gingerly reached out and grasped it just
behind the head - his touch withdrawing momentarily when he felt how
warm it was - then, deciding to bite the bullet and get this over
with, he grabbed it, drew it back as far as he could and then
released it. It sprang back, and a glowing orange sphere shot into
view at the far end of the board (accompanied by a sensual moan),
ricochetting back and forth between two breast-shaped bumpers. With
a start, Danyel leaned forward and grabbed at the flipper-buttons,
pressing hard against the lips that enveloped his member. He teased
the nipples a few times to get an idea of the tongue-shaped flippers'
reaction-times; they managed to convey a sullen, torpid sensuality in
the way that they flicked up and settled back. The ball gradually
slowed and slipped between the breast-bumpers, dropping towards a row
of pink furrows in the middle of the board. Desperately, he shoved
against the machine, and managed to influence the ball sufficiently
so that it shot between two of the furrows, bounced off a flipper and
shot back up towards the top of the machine. The ball got caught
between the breasts again, batting back and forth so quickly that his
score was incrementing faster than the machine could display it,
holographic numerals superimposing until they became unreadable. The
ball finally shot out from between the breasts - accompanied by
another lustful moan - rebounded from a ribbed pink ridge just below
the second pair of breasts, careened off one of the tongue-flippers
and into a puckered hole nestled between two swelling white buttocks
at the base of the machine. It gasped and thrust back against him,
and he was sure that he felt the tingle of electric current running
along the bottom of his shaft.
He pulled the plunger back again, released it. The second ball
shot into play, and this time, he let it fall towards the bottom
without touching the flippers. It was then that he discovered that
the lips that held his penis had teeth behind them.
`I get the impression that you aren't trying,' the machine said.
Danyel opened his mouth as if to reply, apparently thought better of
it and instead, put the final ball into play.
As the slick shaft slipped out of his fingers, he slipped into that
rare human-machine synchronisation that is the goal of all fanatical
pinball-players; the sense that he was a part of the machine, able to
predict its every move and response, able to reply to subtle cues,
talking a language of movement, in conversation with an alien
consciousness. His score rose, occasionally jumping by a large
increment as he marked whole ranges of targets. Mira, not sensing
the rapport he had formed, wandered off to find something more
interesting; he didn't hear her leave. A thin sheen of sweat formed
on his forehead as his motions gradually grew more frantic; the lips
nestled at his crotch began working rhythmically, applying a gentle
suction and then releasing. His shots became more frenzied, less
accurate, closer to missing completely with each rebound; then, he
recovered slightly, simply tapping the ball from one flipper to the
other, not wanting to try anything more adventurous. the lips
working away at his member suddenly sucked strongly, drawing him down
into the machine's throat, causing his erection to swell against the
teeth pressing against its base. he gritted his own teeth and almost
lost control of the ball as he felt himself begin to tip over the
edge into orgasm. he arched his back, pressing against the machine
as its tongue vibrated against his shaft, licking along the base,
exciting him to climax. suddenly, the machine cut off in mid-moan,
the holographic score-display fading in a haze of horizontal lines,
the neon lights dimming, the flippers dropping limply. The ball
rolled down the board, unobstructed, and disappeared into the hole at
the base. the lips wrapped around his erection writhed, and he came,
shaking with the strain, his hands clutching the swell of the breasts
in an effort to remain upright. his knees felt weak; he managed to
keep them straight as the pneumatic pads in the foot-spaces deflated,
allowing him to slip his feet out, his softening penis slipping from
between the lips with a wet sound. He collapsed on the floor,
gasping; he opened his eyes as the machine made a final grinding
noise before falling silent. the lips appeared to be smiling at him,
a thread of semen dripping from the corner of the mouth. he pushed
his hips off the floor slightly, pulling his pants up, rolled over
onto his stomach and got to his knees.
Mira was idly waving her hand through the midsection of the
holographic troll as he staggered out from behind the partition.
`Come on.' she turned back towards the pinball machine, but he
grabbed her hand and drew her away. there was a single red light
blinking on the fault register board as they left.
* * * * *
about eight hours later, two AnarchArtist techs arrived, summoned
by the automatic fault reporting system. they powered the machine
down and removed the plastic plate that surrounded the mouth-
mechanism. the female tech reached in with a screwdriver, behind the
electric flexors that ringed the jaws, poking a hinge that had stuck.
after a few taps, the hinge sprung free, and a bright metal blade,
razor-sharp, slashed down behind the line of teeth. she tried the
mechanism a few more times before she was satisfied; they replaced
the plate and powered the machine up again in preparation for the
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
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank