Visions of Cybersex: Highrise Sunrise (III 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
The guards are already flooding the exits in calculated mayhem. She resumes her trajectory on the sidelines, but realizes that there is no escaping the inevitable. Looking around the hall once again, she understands that there is no other path she can take to end what she came here to do, to uncover what she had always needed to know. The only way is up. Father must be proud, she thinks as she pulls the zip of her dress down and activates mode eight.
She jumps to the sound booth just as the task force notices her, alerted by the gasps of lustful surprise emanating from the worms that surround the lightway. One by one all the heads turn to see what the ruckus is about, just in time to see her snap the neck of a guardian Unit, grab hold of its lava gun and shoot the console at the center of the ceiling. Sparks fly over the anabolic models as they try to escape the platform, the light below dissolving to unfashionable grey fuzz. The people are ecstatic, unable to understand if what they see is an act of terror or a miracle. An eight limbed woman flying through the air, living proof that evolutechnology is a viable solution for genetic enhancement past the cosmetic novelties being presented tonight as the first step to a truly beautiful civilization. A realization experienced live by the Federation states tuned to the ceremony tonight, and most definitely by the Master. Funny how oblivious he still is to the fact that the intruder desecrating the sanctity of his most precious event is not a stranger, but the unforeseen product of a night preserved in metallic dreams hidden in his vault, far from the public eye for so long now fixated in his doctrine of beauty as transformation.
The girl jumps from column to column in impossible trajectories, laser beams scratching her naked skin, her muscles contracting and expanding in uncontrolled spasms. In the gallery, the eyes of the men surrounding the Master are even bigger now and are the center of all fire. She is pinned down by their laser stare and the sonic boom emanating in cycles through their open mouths, loud enough to drown the soundtrack that shines on amidst the chaos. The holy guard is at last showing their worth to the screens of the known Universe. Back at the newsfeed centers, the holostream directors scream their delight as the seers catch the action first hand, the first public display of the holy guard engaged in open combat inside the Temple in 20 years of Fashion Empire. She tries to reach the gallery but the resistance is too great to overcome. Realizing her mistake, there is only one thing left to try. She prepares for impact as her beautiful back limbs propel her towards the window and into her bizarre reflection.
The glass shatters in a million broken dreams, her hopes of unearthing her true heritage falling down to the streets below as prayers lost to the wind. Still she holds on to the ledges and with impossible effort pulls herself up through the window panes towards the end of her trip. Her ears ring with the feedback escaping the showroom and the strange rhythms of her overloaded heart, but his face is all she can see. The face she grew up watching behind the screen, ever since she became aware of the rumors surrounding the Master’s gospel of genetic enhancement. She had known for a long time that this moment would come, but she had never foreseen it to pan out quite this way. All she wanted before the end was to know at last the reason for her cursed existence. A reason why she was unlike anyone she had ever encountered. A reason why all her lovers had to die in her arms, with bleeding eyes and destroyed hearts. And who had to die to give birth to such a monster.
She reaches the top of the building just as dawn is breaking. Surrounding her now is a squadron of heliblasters, locked and loaded to rain fire on the demon that crashed the party. The last of her tears roll down her face as she outstretches her limbs to the rising sun in ultimate defiance, a feeble monument to all the undesired princesses of the cityscape, to all the undeterred freaks that baffle the minds of the conformists, to all the unloved daughters searching for answers on the edge of the night. The blasters open fire, but she is no longer there. She is falling into nothing, thinking of Mother and the sights she could not see, not even through warped metal.