Short Story: Cheap Imitations

She slid atop him with a sensual straddle; soft, warm, and curved in all the right places. Milk-white skin was veined hypnotically along her breasts, clavicle, and neck. Flowing, ebony hair and sapphire eyes completed her with color only matched or surpassed by pert nipples, slick labia, and jet-black nail-polish. Her black-tipped fingers slid along her navel to part herself for him. Passion surged upward from his groin. He plunged into her warm wetness with an upward thrust that forced her to cry out without will.

The cry was followed by another, then another. She rode him as a stallion. Likewise, she was his Goddess. All the passionate fury, omnipotence, and power he could convey surged through his hips. Mere moments passed before he felt neared the edge of bliss. She was beside him, body twitching, shuddering, vibrating with groans and cries.

An alarm began shrieking. The moment was suddenly ripped away. He was torn back to reality to a sound of thumping metal. His erection went flaccid in an instant. Her body flickered, frozen in place from its paused playback. He growled, ripped off his V-R glasses and their Neuro-stim prods at his temples. He launched himself from the ratty couch and across the dim apartment.

A lone, fluorescent fixture in the kitchenette behind lit the place. His feet punted trash lining the floor, his steps gaping as he readjusted himself in his pants. The door’s LCD panel rang with the incessant, intrusive sound that had stolen his paradise. An infuriated arm jabbed a thumb at the panel: It flared on to a hooded figure outside, just beyond the door, its face and profile too obscure to provide any clue to its identity.

He resigned himself to believing it was human, or at least something resembling it– no one was really human anymore. Not these days. Too many bionic parts; digital implants, neural upgrades– other rubbish that kept them from actually being human anymore. The species had entered its “post” phase, where evolution was as outdated and outpaced as a century and a half old IBM computer.

He sighed, unlocked the door with a thumb-print. It slid open to the shadowy figure that immediately pushed into his home. A pale-white hand with black nail-polish revealed itself. He should’ve figured it was her– only the real version had the bad timing enough to interrupt him pumping the virtual one.

Casey threw her off hood. As before, pale-white skin was accented by sapphire eyes and jet-black hair. Rather than flowing though, it was short, cropped below the ears. He’d always liked her more with long hair, had kept the V-R image of her that way. Still, if she’d have known the perversions her V-R form had been subjected to, she probably would’ve cut off and bronzed his cock and balls as mantle-piece.

The thing that gave him pause wasn’t her luscious body, nor the tight leather and cotton managing to barely wrap itself around her taught torso and legs. Instead, it was the terror that had widened her eyes and sharpened her brows. She stepped in, spun ’round, dropped her hood to reveal a face more afraid and dread-filled than should be possible in a thousand lifetimes.

“Casey? What the hell’re you doing here?” He asked, shutting the door. “I thought you never wanted to see me again?”

She rubbernecked the apartment, “Jason, I’m in trouble.”

He hesitated, then took a pair of steps as she paced small circles, craning her neck this way and that. It was as if she sought some explanation from the chaos and madness around her, but found only the ankle-deep trash and couch haphazardly shoved behind the V-R recliner. On a normal day, she’d have been disgusted by the cesspit. Jason had never been less than a complete slob, but this was far and away worse than anything she’d seen of him. Then again, it was far from a normal day, and trash was the least of her worries.

“I met a guy.”

Jason rolled his eyes, threw his head back, “Casey, I don’t have time for–”

“No, this is different. This isn’t–”

He threw a flat hand sideways to cut her off, “God damn it! Casey, you can’t come running back here every-time you find some new dead-beat you wanna leech off me with. I told you before, in or out there’s no–”

“Jason!” She shouted, trembling and verging on tears. “Please. Listen to me.

He huffed, went silent. She reached into a rear-pocket of her leather pants, produced a thick wallet. He wasn’t even sure how it had fit there when the pants were so tight and her ass so round. All the same, she began to turn it over in her hands.

“I met this guy. He seemed cool enough Y-you know, hanging out, partying–”

“Getting high and boozing through other people’s money, you mean.”

She shrank a little, “Yeah. Yeah that sort’a thing. Anyway, we hang out for a while, a few weeks, getting to know each other. Last night, he took me back to his place. He put on some music, mixed us some drinks… I thought everything was going well. Next thing I know, he’s hovering over me, stripping me naked while the room’s spinning around my drugged head.” He eyed her carefully, intensely focused on her hand as it extended out toward him. “I managed to hit him with a lamp. I… I think I might’ve killed him.” He took the wallet. “I found that while I was looking for a phone to call for help. After that I just… ran.”

He opened the wallet, somehow knowing what he was going to find before finding it. It was one of those intuition moments people used to verify the authenticity of precognition. Jason didn’t believe in that bullshit, but it didn’t matter. The wallet in his hand told him everything they knew was about to come to a screeching halt. The badge inside it wasn’t all that different from any other badge. The letters stenciled on it though, were something out of a nightmare. “CyCIA,” for Cyber Crimes Investigative Agency.

There was no way to avoid it now. If Casey had really killed one of their agents, it was going to be impossible to keep her out of jail. More than likely, while investigating her, they’d learn about his history too. Before long, both of them would be someone’s cell-mate in a jail so foul it made Turkish prison seem like the Ritz.

Cyber crimes had become something of a felony mixed with a cardinal sin. So much of the world relied on the net and tech that any digital tampering or hacking was worse than flashing your junk at kids on a street corner. The fact that it carried a heavier sentence, too, just showed how skewed things were against cyber-criminals. The only thing that kept them safe, was that CyCIA (sy-see-uh) was such a small entity, and their work aimed toward larger, more important matters, that they couldn’t afford to focus on small timers just trying to eke out a living.

If there was anything Jason and Casey were, it was small time. They’d managed to stay that way by avoiding CyCIA’s radar. Now that one of their agents was dead, they’d find out all the dirty little secrets the pair had hoped to contain. More than likely, it would end in a prison term– one of those long hauls in a place where hell is a more pleasant descriptor than reality. Those kinds of places were a dime a dozen for cyber crims.

He threw the wallet sideways, rushed past, and pulled her along toward his bedroom. They waded through the chaos, and he dug out as much clothing, weaponry, tech, and money as he could find in the closet, and tossed it all in a duffel bag. He drug Casey to door, reached it in a breath. Jason’s hand moved for the touchscreen–

A heavy hand thudded the door, “CyCIA, open up!”

Jason froze. Casey swallowed hard. They exchanged a look; they were fucked. Royally. Even if they managed to get past, they’d be running the rest of their lives. They’d need new identities, even before thinking of disappearing. Then they’d need time, money, contacts, connections, and a more permanent solution. None of that could be had with CyCIA on their tail.

Casey squeezed Jason’s hand. The pounding sounded again. The voice shouted, commanding them to come out. Jason’s stomach acid burned the edge of his esophagus. His heart raced. He couldn’t give her up. Not without a fight. He needed to try– if not for himself, then for her. He’d always loved her. Even if he was a pervert, a freak, a fool for loving her, he did. Anything was better than outright giving her up. He done it once before, and had always regretted it.

In a flash he was armed and firing a handful of rounds through his front door. He heard the CyCIA Agent go down. There was no going back. If they caught him, he’d tell them it was he alone, that he’d drug Casey along against her will. He couldn’t just let her go without a fight.

He thumbed the door and it slid open, “C’mon.”

He drug her their steps careful to avoid the blood. “Where’re are we going to go?”

He didn’t know, didn’t care. He had her, that was what mattered. Everything else was improv, played by ear. He’d lost her once, wasn’t going to do it again. He steeled himself, led the way to the elevator.

“Doesn’t matter.”

He pulled her in and hit the lobby button. The doors shut, and launched them down. Where they were to go after was as much a question as everything else. At least he had her and not just a cheap, V-R imitation anymore. Maybe that was the whole point; the universe was throwing him a bone, letting him have her in exchange for being on the run. It was a nice thought. He wasn’t sure he believed it. The elevator doors opened on the lobby and the pair fled into the night, together.

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