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Redaction Eve
Cube 9
© 2021 James LaFond
Shaggirl Brenda, third generation companion of Voyeur Sensual Genetics, even kissed his cheek before she neglected to put her top back on and left it in bed while she dressed in her G-string and quipped, “Later Cube. My boss is going to hit up your boss about you fucking me once a week to keep the pheromone traces fresh. Have fun with the human bitch hiding in the bathroom.”
Like that, the wicked, man-made woman was out the door without a backward look. He was almost embarrassed that he had been able to have sex with her—but embarrassment for him was only attached to defeat…
‘Was that a defeat? Have I been duped?’
Goon Jones nodded to him, as they both watched the perfectly formed woman walk down the bright white hall with barely a thread on her and Bronson quipped, “Look, Jones, if Brett blows out his heart with those two—don’t disturb me. I need some rest.”
Jones grinned and answered, “You got it, Bronze,” patted his side arm with his gauntleted hand and nodded his lantern-jawed bucket of a head before turning his back squarely on Bronson and his privacy.
He was still wearing his feet and hands, the lock discarded next to the bed. The chaos in the arena had broken all procedures. He peeled off the feet, noting that his shoes had been left in the gearing room. He still had sneakers, and slippers and boots. But the feet really felt good, had become his preferred footwear. Maybe CCP would let him keep them.
Then he saw Cheryl, standing in the half open bathroom doorway peeking at him, looking between his legs. He knew that these girls of the Func Corp only had auto sex. He wondered if she was afraid. She was pretty after a fashion. Upon realizing this he became potent again, felt the rise, and she squeaked and shut the door and locked it.
He laughed, a dark laugh that he did not know he possessed, and reached for the tequila, tossing the shot glass in the trash bin and hitting the bottle straight. The CCP always left promotional samples by the case for him to sample, in case he had to do an impromptu commercial. Live, spontaneous commercials were a big deal, and Bronson’s stoic demeanor made them very effective.
He laid down, took another hit, set the bottle on the night stand, and fell asleep.
Someone was crying.
My, the empty hall of his dreams felt good…
He was having sex.
No, a woman was mounting him and crying on his chest.
Bronson woke up to see Cheryl, her face streaked with tears and flush with pain, her fingernails—blunt Func fingernails, filed to nubs—digging into the ridges of his abdominal wall as she forced herself down on him and moaned.
He then grabbed her hips in the half-light and held her, so she could not move, and she shivered and looked into his eyes.
“You okay, Cheryl?”
She gasped in the affirmative and fought with her soft hips against his hands, trying to move, trying to hurt, trying to feel anything but alone. He had seen it, been here for this rite so many times.
“I’m okay, Cube—I was afraid I’d like it, and I do. This is it for me, my first and last. I’ll be in medical, on auto-sex ration. I want to be a woman just this once—I’m just a fangirl, Cube.”
Cheryl was more attractive than he had recalled. Her shape was not optimal for this. But there was something extra-human he liked about the dresses and sarongs, something that made him feel like a real accidental person. He resented being so attracted to bikini girls like that bitch-bot Brenda. His better self wanted to be with Cheryl…
There had been the time that the CCP had streamed he and Boudicca Holt, the female Welterweight Champion, having sex. Neither one of them knew it was a stream. They had thought that the CCP was letting them fall in love—two freaks cleared to build an island of companionship in their sea of celebrity.
Then they were informed by their fans and Boudicca went berserk and broke a Func’s neck and had been redacted, consigned to psychiatric care.
Something had been ripped out of his soul then.
‘Do I have a soul?’
“I’m not an accident, not a contract—I’m a design.”
He was so good at this Cheryl was in ecstasy, with no idea that he was thinking about he and Boudicca and as he went through the motions, wondering why he had only ever made love once, to his fellow CCP girl. Boudicca was like him, eight years younger, an improvement in some ways.
‘Maybe Boudicca looks like Cheryl now, after five years in psyche…”
And Bronson Caan made love to his long ago taken counterpart through Cheryl, whose dream came true, as the object of desire for the world’s first purpose-built human aggressor. So the man who would serve as a military fabrication prototype, tested in entertainment venues, rejected his parent corporation as he made defiant love to Cheryl the Foot Girl, who would soon be consigned to medical safe space, with little more than her memory of this time together with an engineered man to remind her of her humanity.
Bronson laid on his back, his left arm bent, his hand behind his head, as Cheryl laid her frizzy head of puffy hair on his ape-like chest, her pale golden skin contrasting not enough with her reddish brown hair to be beautiful.
“What, Cheryl?”
“Thank you, thank you for everything.”
“You were wonderful, Cheryl. Really, I feel almost human—whatever that feels like. I just know I’m closer than I was.”
“Bronze, I don’t want to leave. But I know you’ve got The Exec coming. Every Func in the CCP knows that you’re the CEO’s man.”
He was surprised at that and bristled, “I’ll tell her that you’re staying. She can use the shower in the training wing and you can take a nice long bath.”
“Wow,” she squeaked, “you are really an Alpha Male. You’re not putting on an act in the gearing station or the cube—you really are A Man.”
And her head rose and she looked into his eyes, “Thanks, but I feel inside like you are mine. I can’t stay here while you service the Boss. I never even met the bitch. I’m not meeting her now either.”
Cheryl kissed him on the cheek and slid out of bed, put on his bathrobe, which he had left draped over the fitting chair, leaving her clothes behind, and to his asking gaze as he pressed up on his right elbow, she said, “I’m taking a souvenir. My clothes were all CCP property anyhow. Later, Cube.”
And like that she was gone, jarring his confidence in an unexpected way.
‘I’ve just been ditched by a fangirl?’
No way was he following her to the door.
It opened, and he heard her say, “Take me to medical, Jones” and the door shut and locked from the outside.
‘Am I anymore free than Cheryl?’
‘Jones just locked me in—fucking goon!’
‘Wuhan, must be keeping Brett under guard.’
‘The tequila was still half full—but not for long.’
He sat on the edge of the bed, swigging the agave liquor, laughing and reciting out loud, just in case, “Juan Agave had also paid for his companionship feed along with the case of this cactus piss the CCP had waiting for him here tonight. He looked up at the retracted audio-video stalk and declared, “Juan Agave, the preferred cactus piss of World Light-Heavyweight whore-fighter Bronson Caan, official post-coital cocktail of the CCP—fuck you all and good night!”
The bottle didn’t even have the decency to shatter when he heaved it against the wall, which received a fist-sized dent as the bottle dropped to the grey shag carpeting and he rolled over, snoring before he was even asleep.
This ends the open posting of Cube.
See our support platform for the exclusive concluding posts: Linda, Vault Knox, Body of a Rock, Goons Smith and Jones, Medical Three and Twitcher’s Sun, or wait for the print book from Crackpot Books.
Will Bronson Caan fulfill his corporate obligations?
Will he meet defeat in the Cube?
Will he turn his back on the CCP?
Will he survive the conflict rising within him?
Shaggirl Brenda
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the gods of boxing
barbarism versus civilization
the greatest lie ever sold
on combat
the year the world took the z-pill
winter of a fighting life
logic of force
honor among men
on the overton railroad
dark, distant futures
menthol rampage
taboo you
fiction anthology one
book of nightmares
the lesser angels of our nature
the first boxers
by the wine dark sea
the fighting edge
orphan nation
masculine axis
the combat space
logic of steel
the sunset saga complete
let the world fend for itself
america the brutal
when you're food
son of a lesser god
broken dance
thriving in bad places
advent america
song of the secret gardener
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