2k7+58 A.D.

The white glow of the streetlights left little to the imagination. No blemish was shrouded in shadow. No folds of flesh hidden away. Bridún O’Kurzajewska was more than a few bumps below an athletic physique. She couldn’t afford the surgery for a better face, but she was confident enough that she’d get the ride tonight.

Scrolling through the night’s events on her retina display she saw her hunzos were pre-prinking in the town square.  Even though she knew the way, she pulled up a destination marker on Eyemaps.

As she tiptoed in her silvery heels and foil dress down the road, a British Military truck drove by her. Evening patrols. A few woops and whistles came from the soldiers in the back, she returned the compliment with a quick flash of her tits and a wave. Across the road, a middle aged man – about 76 years old by Bridún’s estimation – shook his head at her and hollered, “You shouldn’t be fraternisin’ with the enemy like that, young one. It’s dangerous”. “Go fuck yourself ya gobcunt” she hollered back at him in her shrill voice. “I’m just warning ya. Be careful who sees you doing shite like that. Decent tits btw, 6/10”. He sent her a wink on EyeChat. She blocked him and kept walking, shrilling back at him “You’re so old you fukcunt I bet ya were born before we had internet in our eyes”.

Were it not for the climate control in her dress, she would have been freezing her 6/10 tits off. She intoned as much to her hunzos when she met up with them, but got no answer. Shakeeira O’Driscoll. Renault Carrol. Hermione Ní Clearaigh. Seventeen years of age, all sitting in a circle in a set of benches in the middle of the town square. Between them they had 58 cans of government mandated 2.7% cider and some anti-anxiety meds. All three of them had the pale-white glaze in their eyes of being jacked in to EyeChat.

Bridún sat down next to them, stuck one end of a straw into her mouth, another end in in a can of cider and jacked in. In the Cloud she sat down with her hunzos in a circle, not unlike the one they were sitting in in Real space.

Bridiepie48: “Hey gorrrls :X :X”

NickyMikalsGF: “Heyaa, wdc?? :X”

Bridiepie48: “Nm, nm. Where we headin tanite??”

TraleeStunnar: “Am, i tink wer goin ta da Abbey, sum lads frm the barracks invited me an Renno”

RennoCarro: “Ya der fukkin cut, we gtta finish our gat 1st do 🙂 ”

Jacking out, they made awkward small talk as the four of them pounded the remaining cans between them. Hermione produced a naggin of full strength vodka. “Look what I nicked from my Da!”. The hunzos were in awe, a naggin of full strength cost 55 pounds. They divvied it up, mixed it with cider, and pounded that too.

Half cut, they stumbled to the Abbey. The bouncers scanned the fake ID chips in their arms. As far as they knew, Bridún and her hunzos were all 27.
The Abbey was jointed. The DJ was playing all the modern classics. Nicky Michaels. The Birdmen. GH9. He also played the 100th anniversary Advanced DubHouse remix of Honey Don’t by the Beatles. The girls popped their anti-anxiety meds and went to the bar to get a drink. A round of Purple Puppies.

Dancing away, they ran in to the lads from the barracks. Six-something tall, tight haircuts and even tighter t-shirts. Bridún EyeChatted with one of them – Trevor.

Trevor40: “Orite luv, how r u?”

Bridiepie48: “Nt bd asdllwf U a solder ya?”

Trevor40: “Yeah I am J. Dat a problem?”

Bridiepie48: “asdnga nt at all qrqaaaqJ”

Trevor sent Bridún a picture of his erect penis.

Trevor40: “U wna go sumware mre priv8?”

Bridiepie48: “Ya 😛 😛 😛 ”

Bridún and Trevor left for somewhere more private.

Across the street, 17 year old Sean O’Callaghan watched the throng of people in the Abbey with disgust. His third-party eye software zoomed in on the faces in the crowd. In his extension port he had an long-range NFC reader. Even from 40 meters away, he could access the ID chips of everyone in the Abbey.

This wasn’t like the old days that he’d read about in the “unofficial” history books. No more collateral damage, not to their own people. When he found the people he was looking for, he jacked in to his encrypted chat channel and tagged the targets. They would appear to the rest of his team with big red “X”s over their heads. No collateral damage.

Sean trotted past the bouncers into the Abbey. He met up with three other young men who shouldn’t have been in there. Four red “X”s had just appeared in their vision.

Downstairs, on a toilet in the men’s bathroom, Bridún was sitting on Trevor’s lap, aggressively jamming her tongue into Trevor’s mouth while he played with her 6/10’s. They were jacked in to each other, and didn’t hear the screams upstairs. Trevor wasn’t watching his friends list. He didn’t see three of his mate’s profile pictures go black.

Outside the door of the stall, Sean aimed his 3D printed copy of a Chinese assault rifle slightly under the big red “X” on the other side of the door. He squeezed the trigger until the “X” disappeared. No collateral damage, he thought to himself as he dashed to his exit point, blood pooling on the floor.

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2k7+58 A.D.

Unstoppable Vibration

Tom Mellon fell out of bed. He brought his sheets with him. Standing up, he heard the wooden floor humming under his bare feet. Coupled with a warm tickly sensation all over his body, Tom realised he was vibrating. He had oscillated out of bed. “That’s not good”, he thought.

He couldn’t see Martina Mellon anywhere. He started to panic – the humming of the floor was growing louder, more intense. The tickly warm sensation grew into a hot throbbing twinge. At first, the vibration had given him a sort of erotic pleasure but now it began to hurt. Very badly.

Looking at his arm, he could see his skin pulsating, like holding a flabby hand in a high-speed hand dryer. He could feel the very cells of his body rubbing off each other. The millions – billions – of microscopic fibres that made Tom Mellon Tom Mellon. “Heart attack?” – thought Tom, reaching for his phone in terror. That was the last coherent thought that ran through his head, as his neurons began to fall out of sorts. The grasp for his phone was cut short as he fell in a writhing heap on his floor.

Tom Mellon was vibrating roughly 1000 times a second now. One kilohertz. The high pitched hum he was generating was deafening. Underneath his skin felt like a sizzling frying pan. As he lost consciousness, Tom Mellon barely registered the fact that his pyjamas had caught fire.

Martina Mellon arrived home to a bedroom blackened by fire and a pile of ashes that used to be her husband.

Unstoppable Vibration

Making Them Pay

He stood at a podium at the top of a meagre meeting hall. About 15 of Cerelon’s three thousand or so population had gathered to hear what The Chairman had to say. They were the Chairman’s men – the people who got their hands dirty for him and were glad to do it.

“Ladies and Gentlemen. I have some troubling news.”

He was a man of thirty standard years. Fifteen Cerelon years. The asteroid wasn’t big by any standard, but it orbited it’s star quite slowly for its size. People on other Class 2 celestial’s often lived for thousands of local ‘years’. The colonial spread from Earth had made timekeeping quite complicated and birthday parties a rare occurrence.

“We have a deviant living in our midst. A homosexual.”

The crowd gasped. This wasn’t supposed to happen. There were protocols in place. The Chairman ticktacked at a panel on his podium. An image of another man’s face, youngish and smiling with black hair filled the screen behind him.

“Some of you may know him. Mr. Thomas Sloane, Habitat F, Apartment 23. Been with us here on Cerelon for about four years now. Works in IT.”

Some spits and shouts of disgust came from the crowd. A few were kicking themselves. How had they missed the signs?

“I’ll spare you the disgusting details, but Sloane was spotted engaging in vile acts with another, as of yet unidentified, man. This source did not wish to be revealed, but trust me – they are of the utmost reputability.”

The questions came from his cabal, why was this allowed to happen? Why wasn’t he screened?

“He was screened. But as you know Sector Command’s gene scanners aren’t always capable of smoking out these freaks. You know how it goes – all the new tech goes to those on the Class 7s and 8s. More worth their while. I’m well aware that we’re all mad at Sector for passing us over so much but let’s not stray from the matter at hand.”

“Normally, I’d take this thing straight to them. But I’m thinking, why should they have all the fun? This degenerate needs to be shown the error of his ways. Lying about your homosexuality threatens the very survival of the human race, and this man – if you wish to call him such – must be brought to task.”

There came shouts of agreement from the mob.

“Kevin – call the port and have them ready a shuttle. Tell them to fuel up good. The Salt Mines are far, far away.”

A cackle leapt across the room. The Salt Mines, the worst mining colony on any Asteroid in the Sector. Where all homos worked off their debt to society, after their ability to threaten it was removed by Sector. Kevin jumped to his feet and left the room with the eagerness of a child on Gift Day Eve.

“Mercer — Rope. Torches. A Knife. A blunt one.”

Mercer asked if he should grab a sedative.

“This is our first queermo in how long? And you want to give him a sedative before you castrate him? Get out of here, meet everyone at Sloane’s apartment. I never thought you had so little backbone, Mercer.”

Mercer crept out of the room like a kicked dog. The Chairman’s voice filled with anger, more than many had heard before.

“The rest of you, go over there and prep this faggot for surgery. Make sure he’s bruised and bloody. Make him rue the day he decided to step on to our asteroid.”

The mob of busymen funnelled out of the room. As they left hooting and hollering, building themselves to a blind rage, many popped a few Worklonger pills. Some took well over the recommended dosage.

Standing alone at the podium, The Chairman turned to look as Sloane’s face, massive and distorted on the screen behind him. Tears welled in his eyes. What he said next could only possibly have been heard if you were within kissing distance of him.

“I loved you, you cheating bastard. I loved you.”

Making Them Pay