a difference between you and me," I said calmly, trying to ignore the
12-inch hunting knife being waved in my face. "A real serious
difference." I could hear adrenalin morph my accent towards its Glasgow
young guys all go for big weapons. With the ultrasharp ceramic edges on the chibs of today, you just don't
need all that bloody size and mass. And it's all for
show, to frighten me. You've probably got a neat wee laser in your pocket
that'd do a much better job than your stupid big fucking
blade." The nutcase actually unconsciously
tapped his left pocket with his free hand. Transparent as a window.
however, I'm just a poor, helpless, old cunt." My God, did he look
disturbed by me swearing? Happy enough to slash me to death, but embarrassed by
a slang term for the female sexual organ. Fucking
fundamentalist God-bothers! His accent, as he crashed into my office and
demanded that I take the posture,
immediately nailed down his nationality and I had already started to have
suspicions about his Weltblick, based on his scarred
but well-scrubbed, monolithic, football-quarterback appearance. A bit like a
hard-used Mormon missionary on steroids.
got that big fucking blade and all I've got is this fuckin' pencil!" I
took it from my shirt pocket and brandished it in his direction. "A
pencil!" I screamed at the top of my voice - which is, if I say so myself,
much louder than you would expect from my diminutive stature. "A fuckin', cuntin' pencil! Everyone else has biros or fountain pens or
fuckin' styluses bluetoothed
to their cuntin' palmtops! But what do I get? This shitty pencil! What the fuck was
God thinking about? Is She out of her fucking tiny
poor bastard was squirming now, which looked
completely incongruous given his size and shape. It must be like one of his
nightmares where he finds himself getting a hard-on in
the locker room or an irresistible urge to wear a pink tutu to his Sunday
church service. I was betting that he was wondering if he had missed CERN and
strayed into the local loony bin. "But professor,... " he started,
managing to look surprised as I rammed the pencil into his left eye.
and he spoke no more.
club was dimly lit, loud and packed with sweaty,
gyrating bodies. I'm cool, however: calm and in my
zone. The top predator. The entire club is my Serengeti. I'm
the alpha male lion, basking under a tree while my harem is out on the hunt. I
peer past the bottles behind the bar and catch a view of myself in a mirror. I don't look like anything special - spiky ginger hair, thin
face and deep brown eyes that have been described as having an evil sparkle. I
prefer to think of them gleaming with intelligence but, in any case, they
certainly don't seem to discourage the fairer sex.
course, nothing is what it seems: my expert system is hard at work ripping the
guts out of poor defenseless databases while I play
about with a synthchem cocktail at the bar. It might
look like the same fluorescent shit that the proles
around me were quaffing, but this was serious kit. Not illegal, of course, because
there is no point running the risk of being screwed about by the Polizei, who always have narks in places like this. But the
latest good gear, nevertheless. It takes ten minutes to produce a new
super-stimulant and a decade to get it licensed or banned. So there is a ton of
ace stuff floating around, if you know where to go to
beta test it. Some, obviously, would just totally fuck
you up. If you have the inside gen, however, you can actually
get paid to have a really outrageously good time. Not that I need the
money, it's just the principle that makes it extra
to inside knowledge: that's what it's actually all
about. That's what puts me right at the top of the
food chain. I sip my drink and feel the chemical enhancements kicking in. I'm faster, smarter, better looking - even my balls are
bigger! But that's not what puts me on the top.
at the competition! Designer sculpted bodies, designer animated tattoos,
designer clothing ...everything tailored by someone else to ensure that they
radiate today. Nobody even
slightly yesterday would try to chance their arm in this place. These are the
hunters, male, female and other, making a living from the low-hanging fruit.
Fruit? Well, much of the prey is fruity enough. The 12-year old rich-bitches,
augmented to 17 or so with hacked IDs to match. The techno-crumblies,
who you couldn't prove to be a couple - or many -
decades past their sell-by-date without radiocarbon dating. Or the sad types of
no specific gender: just looking for anyone to accept them for what they are,
even if they haven't the foggiest idea what that might
be. No challenge in that arena, not for me!
I'm following it all with a neural link to Babe. My slave lioness pride
leader is what keeps me ahead of the competition. Everyone entering this dive
is scanned in a dozen different ways: video, audio, IR, UV, terahertz, who
knows what? I've no idea what all that shit is about,
but Babe does. She rips databases... and not in a gentle way. Everything that
can be extracted from the global knowledge base about any target is torn into
shreds by state-of-the-art software, with the single aim of determining their
potential interest to me and exposing their vulnerabilities. One simple
cost-benefit analysis later and I've identified my
victims and sketched the optimum route to their downfall.
Overkill!" my mental image of a prole screams. "Why bother?" A very good question, I concede to myself.
look around the club, with its self-selected subset of humanity - a sexier,
richer, more dynamic cohort - and smile. This is what makes me the only real
alpha here. I take what I want because I can. It isn't
that I actually need to do things this way. I sit at the top of a very big heap in the biggest pharmaceutical concern in the
world. Of course, a pleb like my mental sparring partner would have no idea
that it is so very big. According to norm-accessible
info, it appears as just one of the Big Six.
But there is no Six. There is
only one. And only someone at stratospheric management level, or their ace
Knowledge Engineer, would know this.
the real world I have power. I am the ubergeek who
makes the hoi polloi salarymen shit blood and ice-queen exec assistants wet
their knickers on the basis of a raised eyebrow. I
know this. I've seen the stains. But, for me, that isn't real power. That's just
management hierarchy: a weak and insipid substitute for the finesse of
fingertip manipulation. This you get only when taking control of someone who
has no idea of who or what you are.
was toying with my lurid drink, brushing the glass against my lower lip and
coasting on almost-illicit pheromones, when Babe hooked a big one. With the
computational power that I have at my fingertips - or, more accurately,
supporting my mid-brain - I could have my evil way with almost anyone that I
choose. The expert system usually gives probabilities in the upper 90% range.
Rarely, however, a victim emerges that would fit my profile in terms of
desirable attributes, but would probably not fall for one of the pre-programmed
seduction routines: 50%, 40%, lower. These were the ones where the chase was
justified. I checked the vid that was uploading directly to the visual centers of my brain, bypassing all the usual optical stuff
that the unenhanced depended on. Yes, she definitely looked
the hacked and restructured info was streaming through the uplink in parallel,
but my attention was focused on the simple vid. The woman strolled confidently
into the club, apparently oblivious to the surgically enhanced stereotypes
packing the place. Short, tight-muscled, small breasts; all presented in a
leotard that covered her like a coat of paint. She passed an Amazon lurking at
the entrance, 2 meters of tailored six-pack, gleaming skin tones and triple X
tits, and didn't bat an eyelid. Natural, her body
screamed, the real kit here!
background was seeping in... name, address, education
and employment history. Age: she was forty and looked a very tight thirty-two,
-three, something thereabouts. It really was natural, though! I wasn't drooling, but could certainly feel the first twinges
of a hard-on.
doubt about it, this was my target for the evening. Separate from the herd and
pounce. The smart systems had already spotted my interest and modified the
lighting and sound profiles to present an invisible, yet unavoidable, track
from the entrance to the vacant seat beside me. I don't
run the club, but I own the company that does, so I can pretty well fuck with
things any way I please. The sheep on the dance floor, and the wolves prowling
around it, wouldn't notice anyway, even if the guiding
pathway had been walled with bricks.
my victim wends her way towards me, the rest of my seduction kit kicks in. The
woman is wearing dynamic fabric, some kind of Escher
sort of pattern. I don't have to even make a
subliminal demand, but already feel my t-shirt tighten and can be sure that I
am now sporting a matching pattern. Amazing how easy that makes the first
intro! I'm forced to exhale as my trousers tighten,
giving me a more sculpted profile. I could get this from surgery or, perish the
thought, exercise, but why bother when smart fabrics can do the work for you?
can now see my prey in the flesh as a gap opens up in
the heaving crowd. The 3D pattern of ultrasonics leaves no choice in the matter
and the raven-haired vision clicks towards me on high stiletto heels. The
lead-in is set, but I need to make a move within the next few seconds. The
intro should have been with me ages ago; several seconds, at least. But my
expert system is dumb. I double check. There is nothing my seduction toolkit
can offer that has more than a 25% chance of success. Now I really have a hard-on. This is a woman that I must have.
she approaches the bar, I catch her eye. She raises an eyebrow in an incredibly
cute manner and I merely nod like an imbecile to indicate that the stool beside
me is free. On the surface, I am cool, calm and
collected. Below this, I'm screaming though my neural
link for any background that will let me get into this nymph's pants. She is absolutely gorgeous.
beautiful, I suppose, by conventional standards. But beauty is now a simple
commodity available to anyone with enough cash and, as such, has lost all of its pulling power. Certainly for me. Devastatingly, gob-smackingly cute: that's something
that you don't get on the pharm- or surgical-enhancement menu. You can't define what it is, so it can't be faked. It's natural and this dream is the epitome of what it can
drops inelegantly onto the stool and swivels back and forth, allowing me to
admire her profile. Black, unfashionably curly hair, cut to shoulder length,
perfectly frames her visage. Her face seems small, surrounded by the mass of
curls, but the glint in her eyes and the smile on her scarlet lips hint at a
vivacious character that makes simple physical description inadequate. She
radiates hot! But not in a brassy, obvious way. Sultry, deep heat, which can
only be spotted by someone who knows where to look. Somebody like me.
still don't have any help from my expert system as she
turns towards me, making me painfully aware that my tight trousers have exposed
a growing erection to any glance below belt level. My arms drop onto my lap
just in time, a millisecond before I am clocked from head to toe in a
completely unabashed manner.
she says. It indicates how much that she has thrown me off balance that my link
has to remind me that this is because our smart
fabrics are showing the same pattern. I have, at least, enough forethought to
set up a trace routine, to ensure that the dynamic fabric patters gradually synchronize, before I answer.
"Shit! I was assured that this sequence was unique! Look at
it, it's exactly the bloody same. We must look like
twins - or a really sad couple. Anyway, I'm really sorry. This looks much better on you. Actually, it looks a hell of a lot better. I'll download
like this presented the perfect opportunity for me to examine her in real life.
The terahertz scans captured nothing that could be hidden by her skin-tight
clothing. Small, but perfectly formed breasts were topped by nipples like
acorns. These fought for my attention with the clear evidence that, not only
was she not wearing underwear, but was also an aficionado of landing strip pubic topiary. A dream! If
someone had programmed a catch for me, it would have been this woman. It wouldn't have been me doing the programming, I had to
concede. I would never have guessed that this particular
combination of appearance and attitude could hit me so hard.
now Babe finally comes up with something useful. Her body movements are
mirroring the music. A dancer! Now I'm cooking with
you know how well that pattern goes with the music?" I sound like a total
dick, but I'm running without ES support. "Do you
dance? I don't want to push, but this Escher stuff
would be fantastic with movement. I was actually looking for someone... "
to download this, so you could dance with her." Her grin was so natural
that Babe went mute again. I have all the completely predictable moves of the
host of normal club actors and wanabees
pre-programmed. Innocent naive fucks up the system,
well, yes, but that sounds a bit manipulative. Really, all I want to do is
dance." Christ! I sounded like one of the Travolta clones who were making
the dance floor a danger zone for unenhanced humans. "Give me an edge!" I screamed silently through the
"You're on your own, big boy!" Neural links are sub-vocal, conceptual.
But I'd swear that was the voice of my primary school
maths teacher. Totally useless teacher, but female in a school for Catholic
boys. Subliminal message: take whatever crap input is provided by the software
with a very big pinch of salt.
this high tech subterfuge was burning teraflops, but to no avail. "OK,
let's dance," she responded before I resorted to any of the nested patter
lines that Babe was, finally, beginning to generate for me.
I was caught out like a smash-and-grab lobotomy victim. So busy getting the
tactical chat-up planned, it hadn't occurred to me, or
my fucking increasingly annoyingly inefficient software, that the first line
Dance, indeed! You don't mind the tacky twin outfits?"
at all," she smiled wickedly, "as long as they're a challenge rather
than a crutch!"
Pulling my chain! Kid gloves are off here! "Sort music and lights," I commanded - just to establish
who was in charge of this operation. Despite all of my previous complaints, I knew that this was exactly
the job that Babe excelled in. The analysis had been running since this woman
had entered the club and sparked my interest. A subtle variation in the heavily
sampled house/grunge dance beat was enough to nail down her tastes in music. A
rip-off of an ancient Dire Straits number, tuned in to her body's
micro-movements, was enough. SHE pulled ME up onto the dance floor.
it's sorted. Coast to bedroom!
it wasn't moving that way! The woman just loved
dancing! We were working-out on the floor in a way that would grind the hard
core aerobics set to a greasy spot in no time. I was keeping up, thanks to
chemical enhancements, but you get nought for nought. I was sweating like a pig
as my neurally-linked mistress controlled the sound;
melding it to our movements to make even the crappiest
input from my side seem natural. No matter how often I screwed up, Babe was
ahead of me, making my stumbling appear to be completely in synch with the
weren't having sex, but it was close enough to bring
me right up to the edge. Babe was running the entire club entertainment system:
sound, sub-sonics, lights, pheromones. The resulting dance environment blended
our movements and, wherever possible, encouraged close physical contact.
Initially this was just the twists and blocks of techno-jive but, as the tempo
slowed, easily moved into close grinds and pelvic thrusts. It was
auto-catalytic in a strange kind of way. This bar was run primarily to support
my individual pick-ups, but there was enough overflow in this case to bring on
a feeding frenzy of the other hungry predators, supported by their willing
victims. Artificial pheromones set up the initial ambience, but they were
rapidly being drowned out by the real thing. It was heading towards a flashmob orgy: a focus of the gutter media. Been there,
done that, but never actually started one before.
was torn. I didn't want to break this flow, but I knew
that the dance floor wasn't going to get me to where I really wanted to go. We
were dancing as if we had practiced for a decade. Her natural ability was
perfectly complemented by my supporting technology. But it had to stop before
the inevitable chaos broke loose - these excess pheromones weren't
being generated on their own - or I had a heart attack.
time to stop for a drink and then move on to dirty tricks time. Not date rape,
just a little suggestion-enhancer that might facilitate an escape from disco
hell. As my dance partner dashed off for a quick toilet visit, I realized that,
formally, we hadn't even exchanged names. I had a
downloaded precis of the entire history of Andrea Meier since birth, but we hadn't introduced ourselves so far. "Run this!" I left the tricky bits to
Babe: all I had to do was identify the problem and the smart software would
we were back on course! Back from the loo, the delectable Andrea glugged the
drink I offered her and immediately attempted to share most of it with me in a
very messy kiss. No problems! A bit of enhanced suggestion wasn't
going to slow me down at all!
about... " was as far as I got before I was grabbed in a most intimate
fashion, making it clear that my state of arousal had been noted.
On the floor if you want!" Andrea was straining against me and cramming
her tongue into my mouth. Of course! She was falling for the top predator: she can't resist it. All of the
technological support that got me to this point was immaterial to the final
success. This was me! Couldn't possible fail!
woke up naked, face down on my bed, with a very sore head and an intense pain
in my bum. The former was not, by any manner of means, unusual after a night on
the prowl. The latter scared me shitless.
life of a top predator is not without risks. I know that. It's
exactly why I work under the umbrella of my ES support. Could someone have
sneaked under my firewall? Was Andrea a bloke?
strained to remember what had happened. We danced. We got really
physical. We came upstairs. This is why I
bought the club in the first place: not only have I my own personalized hunting
ground, but a comfortable pad for the kill lies immediately above.
what? She was like a ferret in heat and certainly had no concealed pieces of
male anatomy! We were groping around and ripping off items of clothing before
we got the door of the apartment closed. But then things got cloudy. I was
ready to go, no doubt about it, but seem to have collapsed just after things
started to get interesting. A blank thereafter.
Fucking smart drugs! Must be an interaction between the shit I was sampling and the enhancer that Andrea spat into
my mouth. Could that be it?
almost started to relax as I rolled over to grab a clear-up patch from the
emergency supply by the side of the bed. Then I realized that, no matter what
knocked me out, it didn't explain my painful arse.
"Fuck! Fuck, Fuck, Fuck! Fuckity fuck for fuck's
sake!" I screamed aloud. My anal virginity was gone; without even knowing
how or to whom. "Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!" Even though bashing my skull
against pillows was having no direct physical effect, the effort of moving my
head was enough to hammer nails of pain through my cranium.
if to intensify my misery, exactly then my phone cut in with a high-pitched
scream. Normally, a noise like this would be reason enough to simply throw the fucking thing out of the window. But my phone doesn't scream: it has an awful tacky disco version of Scotland the Brave. Truly fucking awful, I agree, but I can be sure that nobody would
ever consider using the same tune. It does not scream with a sound like an
anally-abused banshee, I grimaced as this simile came to mind, it simply can't. Worse than that, there're
only about five people on the planet with the ability to call me on this piece
of shit. I use such low-tech crap only to demonstrate
my contempt for underlings when I call them and other lowlife.
it was doing my very fragile head in. "What?" I shouted, falling back
with a sigh as I finally managed to slap the dermal analgesic onto the side of
message was clearly artificially generated, but top-range audio that allowed
enough definition to bring back a memory of the nymph that I had attempted to
bed. It was definitely my nemesis. "Tom, sorry
about this, but you really do deserve it. Trying to use your smart computer
systems and chemicals to seduce a poor, defenseless
girl. Shame on you!" Even through the voice synthesis interface, her
snigger, or snort, came through clearly. She was taking the piss...
and enjoying it.
as you know by now, I've left you a little present. It might smart a little
but, I can assure you, there're loads of guys who'd
pay hard-earned cash to get even bigger things shoved up their asses. So, now
we come to the good and bad news. The good news is that, if you do what we tell
you to, you'll never even know that you have a capsule
of neurotoxin stuffed up your jacksy. The bad news is that, if you don't play, you won't live long enough to worry about it.
All you need to know is that the capsule is tailored with every anti-tampering
trigger known to man, so don't fuck about with it!
Just wait for instructions. I suggest that you have a bit of a kip now: you're
going to be a bloody busy little bee tomorrow."
was a pause, then the message continued "... but I've got to say you've
got a tight bum on you! Shame that we couldn't have
gone to your room under other circumstances. Then I'd have really given you a
run for your money!" The artificially generated laugh sounded more like a
witch's cackle, so was probably added for effect. My head had now cleared
enough to have Babe analyze the call in real time.
Her synthesis was short but cruel. "Downloaded
here, so no tracing possible. It looks like the fucker
has become the fuckee!" I couldn't have put it better myself.