Trevor threw back the alcohol in one smooth motion, arching his slender neck. His adam's apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed. Outside, the streets bustled with silicon life. The bar's VR window ran on a cheap loop, rotating the same Beautiful People back and forth across the simulated sidewalk. Repetition was dull. I opted for looking at Trevor, which wasn't all that exciting either.
"So, what's your problem?" He asked. "I really don't see it. I mean, he's in love with you, right? And you seem to like him well enough. So why not just go with the moment?"
"It's not that simple!" I groaned, wrapping my hands around my glass and resting my forehead on the counter. "We fuck, and then I don't know what to do with him anymore!"
"Fucking is not so bad." Trevor mused.
I sighed, "It's not the fucking, it's... that other thing."
"So he loves you. What's your problem again?"
"I can't love him, Trevor! That's my problem! He's human, for goodness' sake! He'll be dead in a few decades and I will keep on being a little boy, forever!"
Trevor was silent, he clinked his ice cubes irritatingly. I gulped my drink and winced at the bitterness. Finally the VR scene stopped, the opaque window cleared to show the real street, which was speckled with tourists and suits, like every other block in Valigha.
"He can become a New Blood." He suggested after a long moment. "Upgraded humans to brighten up the stagnant Synthetic gene pool."
"Don't be ridiculous." I said, "You know the entire Sapien population is lined up to become New Bloods. There's no chance."
"Maybe not when you are the one to file his qualifications, but what if a Deus was to do so? I'm sure that the Council would make some exceptions..."
"No!" I cried, appalled. "I hope you are not planning to steal Deus Mercury's signature block! You will be tried for high treason!"
He rolled his eyes, "When did I say I was going to do that? I meant that you should ask him, as a favor!"
"Ask him?" I laughed nervously, "Ask him? That's absurd! Why would a Deus do a favor for me?"
"Deus are known to be quirky and whimsical at times." Trevor shrugged, "Who knows. Maybe he would be beguiled by your boyish charms." He drained his glass and slammed it down on the table. "That was a nice chat we had, Neuro, but I have to go. A transcript to finish for Ovaron, a bit of cash on the side, you understand. Think about what I said though, the Deus will be at his reception tomorrow, don't miss the chance to immortalize your lover!" He waved and disappeared out the door. I frowned. Trevor was fond of stiffing me with the check after imparting what he calls his 'wisdom.'
I don't know what prompted me to take a walk through Valigha, but I ignored the first few floaters that cruised by me at pick-up speeds and kept going. I put my hand in my pocket, ambling along slowly, my mind cluttered with thin hopes. The bloated Calcutta sun sat slowly behind a glass embossed skyscraper, throwing bright glares and blinding reflections across the sector's mirror-finish like ping pong balls. The pedestrians began to thin as I moved away from the noise district until I was virtually alone in the streets. It was eerie, I felt so small under the foot of the edifices, surrounded by miles and miles of concrete. The imposing chrome facades echoed with emptiness in the dusk, it was as if I was traveling through a ghost town. After being jam packed in Calcutta every day, I wasn't used to this kind of stillness. I quickened my pace, almost wishing that I had taken a cab, or that one would come. But none did. I was utterly alone.
A scream came ricocheting through the semi-darkness. I jumped as the sodium vapor lamps ignited. It was a cry for help, very close. I sprinted towards it dutifully. It came from an alley, more of a crevice, really, a gap between the feet of two giant buildings. It was dark inside, I took a step forward cautiously. Another scream issued directly before me, it sounded like a child. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I made out three shadows huddled together. It was two large men with a young boy between them. The boy was naked and sobbing, kneeling before one man's erection while the other held something to his throat. His hands were tied behind his back with a silk scarf.
"Kali-ga, um ip sim." The men chanted. Their voices were dry like dust, strangely absent of any emotion. The language was strange and rasping, not like any that I've heard before. "Um ip sim, el san hid." The something flickered, a sharp, curved knife.
The boy screamed as one of the men snaked his arms under his belly and grabbed his genitals. I couldn't bear it, they were going to rape him, maybe even castrate him. It was sick, no matter what the laws of Preservation said.
"Stop it!" I clenched my teeth, telling myself that I could fight them if I had to. A near century in exo-space, I had picked up at least some notions of self-defense. "Get away from him!" I launched my self at the nearest man. He was larger than I first judged him to be, I thought in dismay as I crashed into his left arm and he brushed me off like an annoying fly. I stumbled a few steps back and caught myself, went at him again, trying to wrench his knife-welding hand away from the boy. This time he divulged to me his full attention, grabbing me as easily as if I was made out of paper mache. He twisted my arms behind my back and forced me down on my knees, jerking my head back by my hair.
The other man looked at me curiously. "A Synth!" He said, in perfect English. The one holding me laughed, "We are on your side, Synthetic. You shouldn't have tried to interfere."
"I don't know who you are," I tried to sound firm even in my less than authoritative position, "But I am definitely not on your side. I won't let you hurt a child!"
"Child?" He chuckled, pinning the boy against him by grasping his slender neck. "This is no child, he is an enemy to our God and to all Synthetics." The boy squirmed, choking and looking at me with desperate, tear filled eyes. His eyes were gray, I noticed with a start, and his hair was light brown. He wasn't a native.
"We must destroy him." The man holding me said, "It is for your own good."
"How dare you lie about such a thing!" I said angrily. "How dare you align your misbegotten god with our race! Unhand him now! Or I'll..."
"What will you do?" The mocking question was punctuated by a hard tug on my arms, they felt like they were about to burst out of my shoulder sockets. I yelped in pain. My captor laughed and his friend smiled thinly. They weren't natives, either. They were both tall and muscular specimens that had been long out of fashion with the new elite. Ethnically obscure Eurasians with short black hair and hooded eyes. The one with the boy was wearing a red zip suit, unzipped to the crotch, where his large tool hung out and poked his victim in the back. He clamped a hand over the boy's mouth, the other cupped the kid's tiny prick and balls.
"You will be punished, for interrupting our sacred work." My guy purred. I felt his hands running down my chest and wiggle into my pants. I gasped, trying to struggle out of his vice like clenches but couldn't. He was a fully adult human male, I couldn't match him in size or strength. Easily he undid my pants and pulled them down to my knees. Ripping off my shirt with one hand, he tore it into strips with his teeth and bound my wrists together. He pushed my head down so I was bent over on my knees. I heard the sound of a zipper being pulled down, then the feeling of something big and wet pressing between my ass crack. So much for chivalry, I grimaced, I was going to be raped for all my troubles.
The boy was screaming again. I lifted my head and saw that he was being sodomized. His little rose bud was pried wide open by the man's huge erection as he was lowered down unceremoniously upon it. "No!" I yelled, "Leave him alone! You bastards! You... Ugh!" My protest was interrupted rudely by the insertion of a big hard cock into my own anus. It rubbed painfully against my unlubricated rectum walls, I cried out in anguish. It was bigger than anything I've ever taken, thick and long, pushing ruthlessly into my intestines. He held me by my waist, lodging his pecker firmly inside me. "Make the stupid baby Synth suck this demon." The other said, busily tearing apart the boy's virgin hole. "Let him have a taste of the forbidden seed before we kill them both!"
Kill us? I began to thrash anew. My ass was burning with the unwelcome intrusion and my knees were hurting from kneeling on the gravel. That was nothing compared to the squeeze he gave to my nuts. I wailed in distress, unable to continue resisting any further as my whole body seemed to turn to mush at the pain. The man pushed my head into the boy's crotch, guiltily I looked up at him. He had stopped screaming, even though he was still impaled on the hard shaft of his would-be murderer. His eyes were wide shinning silver dollars, curtained by lush lashes that curled. His blushing cheeks were damp with tears, he couldn't have been more than thirteen years old. As I watched his lips trembled, they were red and bitten, tainted crimson with blood. Mesmerized, I thought I saw his mouth form words even though no sound escaped from his throat. Neuro, he shaped with his lips.
I was forced out of my reverie as his genitals were shoved into my face. I cradled them gently on my tongue, not wanting to hurt him. The motion of the men screwing us both at the same time made his penis slide in and out of my mouth. He tasted so sweet, rich and silky and very tender. The boy moaned softly, his small instrument growing hard between my lips. The man raping him had lifted up his thigh so I could watch as the boy was being screwed. His delicate butt cheeks were spread wide apart by rough fingers, and his asshole was in danger of being pulled out as the man thrust in and out of him. I felt my own buttocks being slammed into by heavy balls, the snake like thing inside me filled my insides so completely I thought I was going to explode.
"Blow him!" The man commanded me. "Make him cum at his own funeral." The boy panted, not in pain but in lust now as he watched me apply my tongue to his instruments. I sucked on his trembling penis, taking his ball sacs into my mouth as well. Even as I fellated him I could fee his eyes on the back of my head, and I was certain that he was mouthing my name.
I don't know who came first, but I felt my throat and bowels being flooded simultaneously with semen. The man raping me shot his first round inside me, then pulled out and sprayed the rest of his spunk on my back, buttocks, and thighs. At the same time the boy's dick bucked inside my mouth, ejecting wads of his seed and swamping my tongue with their delicate flavor. The other man came inside of him, his cum running down his deflated penis from the boy's red and swollen pussy and dripping on to the floor. I moaned at the sight, sad and angry and perversely aroused. He caught my eye again with his, calling my name without making any noise.
"Kali-ga, um ip sim, el san hid." Our tormentors said as the wind began to pick up through the alley, snaking coquettishly around us in the now complete darkness. I felt a sharp edge press against my throat, this is madness! The boy's pupils dilated wildly, but he did not break our mutual contact. Neuro! He seemed to say even as the man began to strangle him, his eyes shinning brilliantly like the sun, and the knife bit into my jugular.
I woke up with a start, cotton sheets tangled around my thighs damp with sweat. The sense of disorientation was making my head ache. Swallowing, I recognized my bedroom window. It overlooked the belly of the Ganges through a mass of flattened roof tops, peeling paint and splinters. Just a nightmare, I told myself. It was just a nightmare. I stared at the water stained ceiling, panting slowly to slow my racing heart. It was so vivid. But it was over now, and I am not dead. I sighed in relief, wiping sweat off of my bare chest with a corner of the sheets. Somehow my rectum was hurting, as if the dream had left some physical momentos behind. I reached a hand between my legs and winced, my asshole was throbbing with residual pain. It was acting as if it had just been ripped apart by some monster cock.
"Are you playing with yourself?" Someone asked, giggling. I nearly jumped out of my bed. A small head popped out from under the sheets, sporting tousled brown hair so light they could have passed for blonde. Eyes like anemic moons twinkled at me, fluttering their dark lashes teasingly. I gasped, it was the boy from the dream!
"What... how...?" I stuttered, trying to cover myself with the bunched up sheets. He threw himself into my arms, nuzzling me affectionately. "Neuro! You saved me! I know you would! I know you are the one!"
"Huh?" I said stupidly, trying to disengage his arms and legs from around my torso. We were both embarrassingly nude. "What are you talking about? Who are you? How did you get in here? How do you know my name?"
He giggled again, his voice sounded like the ringing of tiny bells. In the daylight, he was even more beautiful. His skin was like the inside of a sea shell, perfect and blemishless. His limbs were long and slender. He had the most beautiful face in the world, innocent and knowing at the same time. He put his hand on my cheek and stroked my chin, "Neuro." He said sensuously, sounding a whole lot older all of a sudden. I blinked furiously as he leaned over to kiss me, his eyes closed, his lips puckered childishly.
"Hey! Wait a minute!" I panicked, pushing him off of me. "Aren't you a little young for these kind of things?"
"You aren't much older than me!" He pouted.
"I may look young, but I'm two hundred years old." I said, and frowned as he laughed. "Oh, Neuro!" He stroked my hair lovingly. "You are funny."
"Wha... Who are you, anyway? Was it a dream? If not, how come we're not dead?"
"My name is Kalkin." He said, "It was not a dream. You rescued me from those awful thugees. My Hero!" He hugged me again, rubbing his morning erection against my tummy.
"I didn't rescue you." I said, "The last thing I remember, we were headed for imminent doom."
"So we were." He agreed obscurely, grinding his little body against mine. I looked past his shoulder and froze, on top of my bureau stood the blue lotus in a half filled glass. It had been brown and wrinkled like a mummy when I stuffed it into my pocket at the temple two days ago, now it was spreading its petals in full bloom. The fragile blue flower was speckled with dew, seeming to glow in dawn's sharp light. Its pink pollen floated lazily in the air, dusting the golden center gently like motes. Kalkin, my mind whirled, it was such a familiar name. He studied me intently, coyly wrapping my hair around his fingers in feigned naivete. The name mocked me in the depth of my mind, Kalkin.
"A blue lotus sprung from Vishnu's navel and gave birth to Brahma, who created the world." Trevor had said. I looked at the lotus, then at the boy in my lap. "This is no child, he is an enemy to our God and to all Synthetics." The killer's words echoed in my ear. "You rescued me from those awful thugees." Thugees, I knew what that meant, at least. The Thugs were a secret brotherhood of assassins that were fond of strangling their victims to death. Although they had been wiped out in the early twentieth century, new fractions sprang up during and after the War which put their earliest incarnations to shame. Thugees worshipped the goddess Kali, I recalled, and Kalkin was...
"Vishnu." A sudden hush settled over the room. He was no longer trying to rub against me, tilting his head quizzically as if he did not know that word. In popular myth, Vishnu often took on human incarnations, or avatars, to balance the forces of good and evil in the world. Vishnu's tenth and last avatar was to be Kalkin, whose destiny was to end the age of Kali Yuga. But to think that this small boy was a god... I laughed, that's just too crazy. Perhaps some eccentric parents were to blame for his name, but were they responsible for the lotus, too?
"So... Kalkin." I said carefully, "Explain to me again how I saved you from the thugees?"
"Oh! You were so brave!" He gushed, enthused by my sudden attention. "They were trying to rape me, and then there you were, making them stop! You sure showed them! Boy, you really gave those guys bruises. I guess all those years in exo-space really paid off!"
"How did you know who I was?" I asked incredulously, "What do you know about exo-space? That's not how it happened at all!"
He shrugged, "What does it matter? It's not significant how it really happened. The important thing is that we're safe now. They can't hurt me anymore because I'm with you! My protector!" He flung himself at me again. I was so confused I gave up trying to puzzle things out, it did nothing for my headache. I pressed my hands against the side of my head and groaned, he watched me anxiously. Just a boy, I told myself, searching his face, a mask of innocence. Just a boy, damnit.
"I want a bath." He said suddenly, craning his neck to look around my shabby little room. "Where's your bathroom? I feel all dirty after those mean persons did such nasty things to my bottom. I bet you want one, too."
He bounced off the bed and into the adjoining room before I could say no, I don't want to take a bath, especially with him. Sighing, I swung my legs over the bed. The sound of running water agitated me. I tried looking for something to wear, but the lotus drew my eye to it no matter how hard I tried to look away. Did he put it there? Was it my lotus, or something that he brought along with him? Maybe it jumped out of his belly button... Before long the sound of water stopped, and Kalkin was wrapped around my waist pushing me into the bathroom.
"Neuro!" His tickled my sides and slid his palms brazenly across my rump, "Stop being so grumpy! Look at you - yuck! You need to be cleaned up." He toppled me into the tub, my ass landed on the cracked porcelain painfully. The water was very warm, my eyes widened, the water was also white and opaque. I dipped my hand in and tasted my fingers lightly with my tongue, no mistake - it was milk. Red rose petals bobbed on the surface of the milk bath, their silky textures brushed against my skin, smelling cloying and sweet like honey. "How... Wha..." I seemed to be acquiring a new vocabulary of half formed interrogatives. I looked at my tap strangely to see if it had sprouted wings, it never leaked milk and roses before. Faulty wiring, I thought, or that I am going completely insane.
He climbed into the tub with me, straddling my legs on either side. I sat there dumbly as he began to splash us both with the cream, smiling mischievously. "Let it go, Neuro." He murmured, crushing petals against my chest. "Don't think too hard, you'll hurt yourself." I opened and closed my mouth but nothing came out. His lithe fingers played against my skin, caressing me gently. His lashes trembled and blush spread over his cheeks as his hand sank into the bath water, gliding down my navel to my genitals. I watched him warily, he swung from virgin to whore all too easily. One minute he was a hapless boy on the brink of sexual intimidation, and the next he was an expert seducer with deliberately parted thighs and exposed privates. I wasn't sure what to do about him. I mean, I couldn't simply throw him out, he was only a little boy, after all. I didn't know where his clothes were, and I had a feeling that he would not consent to being shut out nude.
"Neuro... so terrible." He nibbled on my earlobe, interrupting my thoughts. His wet little tongue probed my cartilage. I shivered deliciously, feeling utterly ashamed of myself as I grew hard in his kneading fingers. But it wasn't like I was molesting him, it was more like he was molesting me. He put one hand under my leg and I lifted it up so my knee was bent. "Oh, poor Neuro." He stroked my wounded cherry with sly finger tips. "Did they hurt you like they hurt me? Is it filthy in there? He put his big dirty thing inside me, it was awful! But you saved me, you saved us both. I can clean you out, I can..."
He eased me onto all fours, amazingly persuasive with his nimble limbs. I groaned slightly as he positioned himself behind me, his hands running down my thighs. Neither of us were very large, we fit together inside the tub. He pressed his face into my crack, I made some feeble protests, but he was quite persistent. I felt his soft lips graze my asshole. He licked me there, his tongue felt like velvet. It wasn't long before it parted my orifice and went into my anus. I cried out in shameful pleasure as he rimmed me, thrusting his hot little tongue to taste my insides. He withdrew suddenly, cupped his hands and took some of the milk into his mouth. Aiming at my rectum, he spat the liquid inside. I jerked a little at sensation of it filling my bowels, rinsing out my intestines. I groaned at the pressure of it as he repeated the enema, giving me at least three mouthfuls before I was allowed to expel into the toilet. "Are you clean, Neuro?" He asked guilelessly, his hands slapping at my buttocks impishly. I tried to catch my breath. He leaned forward to kiss me, his lips were moist and resilient, I tasted myself on his tongue.
"Why are you doing this?" I pleaded as he dried me off with a towel, I felt helpless in his hands. "What do you want from me?"
"I want you! Neuro!" He said. "I want you to be mine. I have chosen you to be my guardian, it has become your duty, your dharma."
"I can't guard you! I can't even guard myself!" I took a deep breath. "My dharma? Who are you? Tell me the truth! Tell me what really happened!"
Kalkin shook his head. "You won't believe me even if I told you. You're not ready yet, Neuro. But soon you will know."
He turned his head and looked towards my bureau, I followed the direction of his eyes and saw the lotus, glowing peculiarly under the sun. "Soon." He promised.
I left Kalkin asleep in my bed and got dressed for the reception. The day passed in a blur, smoggy and thick like clouds around my head. He refused to answer my questions, wanting to be fed and made ready for bed instead. I turned around several times to peer at him, afraid that he'll suddenly change into a bird and fly away. Although that would probably solve all my problems... His rhythmic breathing heaved the thin sheet up and down, only his little brown head stuck out of the covers. I tried not to look at the stupid lotus, buttoning up my suit and closing the door quietly behind me. The hallway was long and empty, familiar, ordinary. I sighed in relief, glad to be away from him and the inexplicableness of it all.
Kalkin, he seemed to call to me through the walls. Beckoning with his enigmatic eyes and slender fingers. I didn't want to leave him! I didn't... "Stop it." I told myself, shaking my head as if I could shake him out of it. Panic knotted at the bottom of my stomach, building gradually like an impossible itch, creeping up my spine and making me sick with fear. I took deep breaths, forcing it down. I had felt something like this when I left the Collective for the first time. Shock, confusion, the dizzying clearness of it all. I stretched out my hand and found the wall, balancing myself precariously and walking out into the dazzling sunlight. A floater came and whisked me away to sanity.
Under the soft candle light and the drone of society I began to recover, holding a glass of champagne and comfortably lost admidst a crowd of people. The reception was held at the dead maharaja's white washed palace, a quaint cross between the new world and the old. Mostly Synthetics, a few Glass, even fewer Sapiens. Trevor smiled and winked at me from afar, I tried to summon the energy to do the same but failed. Everything seemed so far away, everything except Kalkin. I frowned at my drink, my mind was buzzing with static.
"Mercury!" Someone murmured. I looked up, startled, as silence settled over the room. My mouth felt dry suddenly, I gulped down my drink. The Deus was accompanied by Veya, making his entrance at the carved sandalwood doors. He was tall, straight and narrow with a shock of white hair tainted blue at the ends. His features were so refined it was hard to look at him without being sick with beauty. His eyes were like the sea, deep and blue and moist, framed by long pale lashes. He looked alien, I thought, too much time around the Edges did that to you.
"I am pleased to be here." Mercury said to the room. His voice was like the rippling of water, rain falling in shallow puddles. There was applause, he smiled thinly. Veya beamed next to him, hanging on to his every syllable.
"Very pretty." A voice piped at my shoulder. I turned around and gapped, it was Shanti! He wore a pale pink Sari, virgin and proper. He nodded his head at the Deus, "Just like you said."
I was having a hard time meeting his eyes. "Uh, yes." Did he know about Kalkin? Did he know what Trevor said to me? My heart thumped vigorously. Shanti, I thought painfully, for a moment I've forgotten you. "How... How did you get in?"
"Why, Neuro." He smirked, "Didn't I tell you I go where I please? Besides, I knew the door man."
"I... I see." I stuttered. "But why would you want to come here? It's just a boring reception."
"I wanted to check out the Deus. I've never seen one."
I laughed nervously. He leaned against my arm, pressing his lush hips against mine. He smelled so sweet, an exotic bloom in a room full of bleached out Synths. Shanti dragged me around the party, asking nonsense questions and flirting with anyone who glanced his way, which was quite a lot. We ran into Veya and Mercury on the veranda overlooking the midnight garden, and not by accident, I brooded.
Veya paled a little when he saw us. "Neuro, what are you doing!" He almost hissed, but the Deus was already taking Shanti's hand, barely flitting his glance over me. Shanti was stunned for the first time in his life, he didn't say a word as it was pressed to the Deus' lips. Mercury shimmered in the wane light, almost ethereal in his white gauze. He was even more impressive up front, a perfection, by all standards. "How nice to meet you." He said. Shanti blushed, that was a first too. They padded into the crowd together, Shanti turned and threw me an amazed glance.
"What's he doing here!" Veya exploded as soon as they were out of earshot. "You were suppose to come alone!"
"I didn't bring him." I said, "He came on his own accord. Don't be jealous, Veya. He'll give the Deus back to you, in due time."
"I'm not jealous!" Veya sighed, turned away from me. "Neuro... You are playing right into their hands, you fool!"
"What are you talking about?" I demanded. He shook his head sadly, melting into the crowd. I stared at his retreating back, this wasn't like him at all. I hesitated for a moment, then started after him. Before I could make much progress, a hand on my shoulder stopped me.
"What's up." Trevor said amiably, "So did you talk to the Deus?"
"Uh," I said, craning my neck and searching for my boss. "Not really, no. Have you seen Veya? He was just here a second ago."
Trevor laughed, "And you're actually looking for him? That's funny!"
"It is, isn't it." He seemed to have disappeared. Shutting Trevor up with another drink, I begged off and went into the adjoining chambers where smaller parties congregated. No Veya anywhere, I was starting to get that panicked feeling again. "What were you trying to tell me, Veya! Where are you?"
There were small private chambers in the left wing of the palace, intended in the olden days for the maharaja's multitude of guests. Few partygoers lingered there, inspecting generic artifacts laid out for their pleasure. I walked on an elaborate Persian carpet, overtaken with a feeling of dread. "Veya..." I called out, pushing open one door after another. They disappointed me.
At the last door I stopped, disturbed by the sounds coming from inside. Moans and grunts, some one's sex play. "Veya?" I whimpered, suddenly wanting to cry. It was all too strange, too fast. I nudged the door open an inch, afraid of what I will see, but I looked anyway.
"Fuck me...!" Shanti murmured, naked and bent over on the canopied bed, his brown skin slick and shinning with sweat. Mercury was mounting him, thrusting with liquid smoothness, an alabaster masterpiece in motion. Of course, my mind screamed, of course, of course! Why shouldn't it be? I must have made a sound of some sort, the Deus turned and looked at me.
His eyes burned like pale fire. I ran, pushing through the throng of guests blindly. Bursting out of the side door that opened to the garden, a few strollers studied me curiously as I gasped for air. The night was humid and slow, tension coiled in the air with the intoxicating scent of Honeysuckle. Calm, too calm, not even a cricket chirped in the high grass. I stumbled, moaning softly to myself, crashing through a thicket of bamboo and onto the main road. The headlights from a stream of floaters blinded me. I scrambled into one, peering desperately out the window, not wanting to close my eyes, not wanting to remember. The darkness lulled me into a trance. I saw flickering images. I wasn't sure what they were of.
"Kalkin!" I smashed through my door. It was so quiet, the same quiet that the Plague had brought at the end of the War. "Kalkin!" My bed was empty, the sheets immaculate and unruffled. My apartment was empty, the window panes fluttered in a crawling breeze. My bureau was empty too, not even a shed petal, not even a wet ring where the glass was. I began to laugh hysterically, almost screaming, the walls reverberated with the sound. "A dream! A horrible, horrible dream!" I kept on cackling, doubling over with my stomach in my hands and sliding down to the floor. I buried my face into the floor, giggling madly.
"Neuro! What's the matter with you?" Hands pulled me onto the bed, fluttering above my brow. "Are you alright?"
"Kalkin?" I muttered, blinking my eyes furiously to chase away the demons.
"No, it's me, Shanti. Who's Kalkin? Neuro, snap out of it!" He shook me gently, his hands were cool. The musk of Deus pheromones still covered him, overpowered just barely by his rose scent. The pink silk of his Sari glided across my face, sensual and smooth. "Oh!" I gasped, tears flowed down my cheeks.
"You are insane, Neuro, to run away like that!" He could be gentle when he wanted to, his hands danced expertly across my chest. "I would have explained everything. You see, lover, I have asked your honorable Deus to make me one of you. To change me, as I know they could, into a Synthetic. The boy from your office, he told me it could be done. He said that I only had to ask the Deus, who you yourself said is very powerful."
"Trevor? Oh god, when did he tell you this?"
"At the party, of course. I got there before you did. You were very late."
Shanti slapped me playfully. "He is a very dear friend, and he wants us to be together. He knew that you would not have enough courage to ask, so I did it, for us! He was very polite, the Deus. He agreed of course, just like a gentleman would. But I knew I had to repay him some how, and that's when you walked in."
"Shanti..." I said with difficulty, but he went on. "The Deus says that we must go back to your world to complete the transformation. He will take us both as soon as possible, you will be by my side, so you mustn't worry about losing me to another boy!"
"That's very soon!" I spluttered. "Yes!" His eyes gleamed, he was so excited. "Isn't it wonderful? We can be together at last, without worries, and I know you worry, Neuro, you always worry! He says that I will need to be educated in your ways as to play my proper role in your society. He says that he could find you a post there, a much nicer job than the one you have now. He says that they can make me a man again, so you will be able to enjoy me fully." He guided my hand to his crotch, "Oh Neuro, it is everything I ever wanted! I won't have to be a whore anymore, or a eunuch, or an outcast, or a stupid Preserved! Oh, Neuro, I would be with you!"
"But why? Why is he doing this for us?"
"Because I asked him... very nicely." Shanti giggled. "Isn't it the way of powerful men to grant the wishes of lesser men because it pleases them and make them feel worthy of their fortunes? I think that must bee the way it is with your Deus. He is so very kind to us, don't you think?"
"Yes..." I managed, my doubts crushed by his enthusiasm. Shanti cooed happily and kissed me. I couldn't ignore it, the aroma of the Deus on his skin was devastating, like salty foams carried on the ocean wind. Even his lips tasted of crashing tides. I opened my mouth meekly and let him enter. He tongue sought my own eagerly. We moaned together, licking and sucking and probing fiercely, as if it was to be our last kiss. And it was, in a way. It would be the last time he was to kiss me as a human.
He wept in my arms afterwards. I held him gingerly, numb from the excess of emotions. How could it get any stranger than this day? I shook my head. The future was a glowing heaven of brightness. To return to Neo Eden, my home, to be embraced once again by the Collective Consciousness, to have Shanti all to myself... What else could I ask for? I stroked his long curling hair, his tears dampened my naked shoulders, running down my neck to wet the pillow. Surely it was bliss. But still I felt the dread. The knot in my stomach has not eased, instead it seemed to wound itself tighter. It was so easy, getting what we wanted, too easy.
I looked at the corner where the lotus once stood, now bare and glistening under the starlight. Wrong, something is horribly wrong.