Visions of Cybersex: Highrise Sunrise (I of III)
A three-part short story about a woman looking for the past in the shadows of the future.
WORDS BY Gonçalo Neto // ILLUSTRATION BY Belinda Yonan
And she rushes past the sliding door to the lavatorium, lasers screaming through the air, her mind clouded by impatience, seconds away from revelation. The Unit-B hounds are onto her scent and sight, targeting her according to programmed instructions sent by HQ. Not human, not fully artificial either, the two units in pursuit run like hungry wolves ready to savage their prey. She looks for the panel switch and gives it a buzz with the magnetic pulse unit. She knows she only has a couple of minutes to review the zoid before they break down the force field. Stepping towards the big mirror surface on the far wall, in one swift movement she takes the small metallic reel from the left pocket of her synthze coat, pricks her finger with the filament of her tooth and opens the Mem-o case in her right ear. With splintered fingernails she pulls the memozoid out of its shell, switching it on and routing the output to her front cable. She’s going in deep, deeper than ever before, expecting to find encapsulated in the small piece of warped metal the answers she craves.
The light dissolves and she speeds through the blissful vacuum of the ethereal landscape until she finds herself lying on a leather sofa in a darkened room. Looking around, she misses a beat while adjusting to another identity. As anticipated, she breathes in a man’s body. His body. Naked, warm and anxious, this is a body ready to be stimulated and spent. By her side, three figures perform secret chants and holy movements, preparing the guest for the evening’s ritual. One is a ginger love doll, tall and slender with hints of peach syrup on her plastic edges. The other, a blue skinned katchee with almond eyes, is covered in a silver sheet that sticks to the moisture of her elongated spine. The third, a tall animorph that flickers in and out of view, its touch electrical, its sound delirious. They move in circular motions, softly pressing their hands on the man’s eager flesh, one by one swallowing him and spitting their empathy over his body in drops of honey and lime.
Elsewhere in the chamber, lit by blue and violet neon mirror lights, other servants are courting their eager guests with corporeal riddles. All of them blind to the others, all baiting their demons while sipping the liquid flesh of young goddesses. She senses a shift about to happen and there’s data corruption in the video feed, a loss of picture as she feels the body expanding. The familiar sensation of having her limbs extended and multiplied overcomes her. The abdomen sulks and rips open, extra appendices spurt out, their mass contracting and emulsifying, a black hole of evolutech wizardry. A fourth figure approaches and grabs hold of one of the newborn extensions, stroking the pulsating flesh as the guest grows restless. The passenger watches avidly, a surge of adrenaline threatening to break the illusion as she sets her eyes on the prize. But she cannot focus the image, even if the figure is now close enough for her to feel its warmth. The figure joins the tryptic and one by one they swallow the man, each choosing a different mechanism to bring them closer to what they all seek. The whiteout.
The door explodes in small pieces of molten polyalloy. She severs the connection at once and reels back towards the wet wall. A Unit-B goon runs into the room and stumbles upon her outstretched arm. With a broken throat, an agonizing shape now lies on the ground choking. The second Unit zaps into view with a gun pointed at her and, reluctantly, she decides to stay and play. She backs up to the stalls slowly, her mind bursting with the sudden shift of reality, and pulls the zip of her dress down. The Unit pauses and grins, its synapses revolving around themselves as the raw impulses of its bionerves battle the programmed patterns of its cognitive interface. Regaining her stride, she rides the skirt up until her hands are caressing her hips, the shoulders slumped sideways, her top sliding down her breasts, lipglow shimmering at maximum level. She sits on the toilet and opens her legs wide, inviting it to her warmth. The Unit approaches with the lowered gun in hand, belt snapping as it pulls the suit pants down and looms over the invitation. It cannot and will not resist. She welcomes it in her embrace, its hands on her waist, her hands on its neck. The Unit’s flesh is expanding quickly in what can only be described as a defective mechanism or the sense of humour of a senior engineer. It gropes her flesh carelessly, the bloodlust temporarily replaced by something anachronistic, primal. She finds herself wet, letting the moment linger longer than she should, her body pinned down by its weight. Suddenly she comes to realize that she regrets what she has to do. Then, she activates mode eight.
TO BE CONTINUED