I rode the space elevator down to Darkside; two hundred and fifty kilometers of undulating, vertigo-inducing ten-centimeter monofilament, stretching all the way down from Needle’s Eye to the lunar surface, like the thread of some giant silkworm gone mad.
The scenery out the window was magnificent: the desolate moonscape below, slowly growing bigger and bigger until it filled nearly the entire field of view. The domes of Darkside became visible, like a virus under a scanning electron microscope, nestled on the lunar plane, an ancient lava flow spreading out beneath a great mountain range. I’d seen it before, but the raw, stark, alien beauty of the farside still stuck me like a knife. High above us, the stars shone, bright and unblinking in the hard vacuum, and the L4 platform steadily diminished until it was just one more pinprick of light in the crowded blackness.
My fellow passengers were a generic-looking bunch of sex tourists, to my jaded eyes. There was a clutch of South Asian business men, dressed in nearly identical, uncomfortable-looking black suits, as nervous and giggly as school girls; an older woman with blonde hair and boobs that were so enormous as to be parodies of real breasts, bouncing bra-less like weather balloons in the low gravity. She might have been in her mid sixties or seventies, it was hard to tell. She’d had a lot of work done. There was a pair of nearly identical Northern European body builders, blonde as albinos with bright blue eyes, wearing matching grey coveralls, biceps exposed and bulging with muscle grafts; a pretentious looking man with a mustache wearing a top hat and tails, who carried a riding crop, and his much younger girlfriend who knelt submissively simpering at his side, wearing nothing but skimpy black panties, pasties, and a spiked collar. I was the odd girl out; I wasn’t slumming it, here to gape at the horror and decadence; nor was I another tourist, up here for an expensive cheap thrill, a kinky but ultimately harmless vacation from earthly morality. I was coming home.
I got my ass out of the glitzy tourist trap of downtown Darkside as quickly as I could. Thirty-meter high billboards ran endless 3-D porno loops, and sidewalk boutiques offered up the very latest, most trendy designer drugs. Sex was measured out in blister packs, sterile and homogenized and vaguely medicinal. Downtown Darkside was a brightly lit circle of LED glow where tourists spiraled in ever-tightening concentric circles like so many horny moths, paying top dollar to dip their toes into a sampling of titillating, dilute, carefully refined, board-room-approved debauchery. It took just a few blocks of walking to escape the maze, but only if you knew which direction to go; the architects had done their job well, and very few of the tourists or the mere idly curious managed to escape the scripted loop. I left the mega-brothels and the Starbucks and casinos behind me for the seedier, darker, more dangerous neighborhoods that spread out from downtown like some particularly virulent kind of cancer.
I was in the real Darkside now, where needles crunched underfoot like hoar frost, where incandescent lights burned and fluorescent flickered, where the tattoos were real and permanent and hurt to get, where the prostitutes were flesh and blood, and cried when you hit them, and the smell of spilled piss and decaying garbage and sex and perspiration and freebase and corruption was never quite filtered out of the recycled air.
The one-third gravity put a spring into my step that I didn’t feel in my heart, but nevertheless I was glad I had come. I felt at home there, amid the perversion and the filth, in a way I’ve never felt anywhere else.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to Darkside. Literally, I couldn’t remember; I’d had two weeks of memory wiped as soon as I’d gotten home. That was how a memory wipe worked: you gave them a date, told them how far back you wanted erased, and it was gone. Nothing there, not a shadow. The only reason I knew I’d been back to Darkside at all was the credit card bills. I had no idea what had transpired, what had made me want to pay to have every memory of the visit expunged from my brain. No idea, but maybe a few nagging suspicions. Which, after all, was essentially why I was back here. Again.
I passed a ramshackle brothel with a non-ironic, non-retro neon sign that read GET EVERYTHING YOU DESERVE. The words were accompanied by a cartoon representation of a nude, busty woman in thigh-high boots, wielding a flickering stop-motion whip. The neon tubes were dusty and hummed and sputtered, but they spoke the truth. We all get what we deserve, don’t we?
The sign was crude, but effective; it might have been eight years old, or eighty. Whores are a dime a dozen in Darkside; a good glass bender is worth her Earth-weight in gold. And then some.
I had worked for a while in an unlicensed brothel like this one, when I first climbed up the gravity well. I had debts to pay off, big time; space travel isn’t cheap, and just the initial boost into low earth orbit had maxed out every credit card I owned. Prostitution was more lucrative than serving drinks, and there was no experience required. The less the better, in fact. Besides, from the perspective of my early twenties, there was something appealing about the idea of being paid to fuck and suck; and it seemed to me there was an honesty in the relationship between John and Whore, an honesty that was lacking in less obliquely commercial interactions between men and women. I still think there is truth to that, but I’d never willingly go back into the trade. No thanks.
I stopped in for a drink at a sidewalk café across the boulevard from the flickering neon dominatrix. I stretched out my feet, reveling in the low gravity, and watched the parade of humanity pass before me as I sipped what claimed to be a martini, but tasted more like a solution of methanol, phenylalanine, and ethylene glycol. It may not have been good for my poor, abused liver, but it did the trick, and for the first time since I left L4, I started to relax.
The two bleach-blonde muscle boys from the space elevator stopped in and sat down at my table. I was surprised to see them out here; clearly I had misread them. They weren’t dillitants or casual tourists; only the seriously perverted managed to escape the X-rated Disneyland of downtown.
They smiled at me, and raised their drinks. Amstel, imported from their own backyard at an almost unimaginable expense across a quarter million miles of vacuum, and up and down two formidable gravity wells. The economy of Darkside is perverse indeed!
My muscle boys were either twin brothers, or dedicated aficionados of high-end plastic surgery; they were nearly identical to my eyes. I didn’t understand the language they spoke to each other, it sounded Scandinavian; whether or not they spoke English I never found out.
It turns out I had misread them in another way too; I had assumed they were gay. The steroid-strong arms that reached out for me, confidently handling and groping at my body told me otherwise. Their advances were unexpected and uninvited, but not at all unwelcome. I signaled the waiter for another ‘martini’, and undid the top two buttons on my jumpsuit.
That, apparently, was all the invitation they needed. Huge, soft hands, like declawed polar bear paws cupped my breasts, bringing my nipples to instant, needy attention. Other hands pried my thighs apart, petting and squeezing all around the sensitive area of my pussy. My cunt drooled, and my clit swelled, anxiously erect inside my panties, hungry for action.
Action was just what I needed. Their dicks came out of the velcro closures at their bulging crotches. Their cocks were just as identical as the rest of their bodies; and obscenely, ridiculously, impractically long. Plastic surgery and bio-engineering, no doubt about it now. Good luck finding a vagina to accommodate those things! No wonder they had made the trek up to Darkside; there were pleasures available here that you couldn’t get in the seediest of Terran bordellos.
I wasn’t worried about their unnatural size; I had no intention of trying to fit either penis into any of my own orifices, and whatever the drawbacks to a half-meter cock might be, it was certainly visually interesting, at the very least. They weren’t as thick as they were long, so I was able to wrap my fist around each one, stroking the shafts as if I were petting a couple of tame boa constrictors.
The boys squeezed and manipulated my breasts as I jerked them off, kissing each other and kissing me, and rubbing my pussy up and down through the crotch of my jumpsuit. I was dimly aware that we had attracted a small crowd; the less jaded locals and the more adventurous voyeurs. The knowledge that I was performing, being watched, photographed, and videoed, only added to the pleasure. Once again, I was high on sex. Junkie that I am.
I varied my pace and my grip, torturing them sweetly, drawing out the act. My goal was to make them beg for it, and to bring them off at the exact same time. The first part was accomplished already: in husky, Germanic voices they were pleading for relief, the scarlet glans of their cocks straining and swollen, the slitted pee-holes winking with desire, clear pre-come oozing copiously out. My shoulders ached, but I kept it up, capturing them with a feather grip, just my thumbs and forefingers, barely touching the skin, sliding up and down and back up again, faster and faster, approaching escape velocity.
They were moaning now, moaning in earnest, and I loved it. I could feel the urgency in their bodies, their backs were arching and spasming, their hands clasping and unclasping, their pulses were thumping in their cocks. They came together, with a jerk and a howl, spraying parabolic arcs of semen across the table, onto me and each other, squirting impossibly far in the light lunar gravity. I milked every drop of come from both cocks, until they were soft and reduced. Their trouser-snakes were still oversized, but not so intimidating now, limp fire hoses hanging down their perfect quads, dangling down below their knees. The waiter beamed over us: drinks were on the house. Sex shows were good for business.
I left my muscle boys and moved on, pleasantly drunk now, and edgily horny. I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, but I knew that I’d know it when I saw it.
I knew it when I saw it, like a bad batch of trouble. I found Jean-Claude hunched over a barstool at a dilapidated-looking meth bar where someone had told me one could also purchase black-market buproprion, my personal drug of choice. His pupils were the size of pinholes in the dingy darkness of the bar.
He had acquired a new scar, an angry-looking, jagged red line that meandered down the right side of his face, from the corner of his eye to halfway down his neck. Any reputable plastic surgeon could have erased that scar for about a nickel, so either Jean-Claude wore it as a badge of honor, or he was hard up for cash.
Otherwise, his looks were unchanged: the same ghostly pale skin, the same craggy old-young features that made him look like a space-age Marlboro Man.
He was hunched over the bar, in the exact pose of a dog taking a shit, balanced on the barstool with his rump thrust out, his balls hanging down, and his erection waggling like an obscene bowsprit.
A painfully young-looking, skinny girl knelt behind him, earnestly eating out his asshole. She was naked except for a mechanically impossible pair of red sequined high heels, and a mean-looking choke collar that was connected to a leash that led up to Jean-Claude’s fist. Every now and then, as she rimmed him, he would give that leash a tug, and the black collar would ratchet a little tighter. The veins stuck out angrily in her long, slender neck, her face was bright red, and her respiration was loud, forced, and raspy. I could tell at a glance that she was a professional, but I was equally certain that she wasn’t getting paid. This rim job was strictly pro-bono.
As soon as he saw me watching, it was as if somebody had thrown a switch. We made eye contact, his dilated pupils burning into mine, and it was like the spark of an electrode, white-hot current arcing between us.
He gave the leash a viscous yank, at the same time mule-kicking the poor girl in the chest, squarely between her tits, sending her flying across the room to land splayed out on her back, purple-faced, choking and sputtering on the filthy floor.
“Get lost” he told her, and she did, coughing and tottering feebly out the door in her ridiculous rhinestone high heels. But she’d be back. They always came back.
Jean-Claude smiled at me, a toothy, predatory smile. “Well well,” he said, sucking ice water through his sharp little teeth, “It’s certainly been a while. I must say, I’m surprised to see you here.”
I was a little surprised to be here. Jean-Claude is a miserable human being, a cad, a piece of shit, a liar and a sadist, a borderline sociopath. We’d been lovers, on and off, for the last ten years. I’d thought I’d finally gotten him out of my life.
“You look well,” he said, and rattled the ice in his empty glass. “Ah, but you’re looking at the scar.” He ran his finger down the side of his face, tracing the dimpled topography of the wound, “It’s nothing, a mountaineering accident.”
He dared me to ask him for details, so he could expound at length on the lie. Jean-Claude is no more a mountaineer than I am a birthday party clown. I didn’t take the bait.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” he lied, “The others were only distractions, poor substitutes. You’re the only one who ever understood me. You’re the only woman I ever truly loved.”
He smiled again, and I felt nausea boiling up in my stomach, delayed-onset space sickness. Jean-Claude has a wife and children in Australia, another in Morocco, and another family in low earth orbit. And those are just the ones I know about. He can’t leave Darkside: besides the restraining orders, the shock of the child support payments would stop his heart.
“Where are you sleeping tonight?” he asked, hiking up his trousers. His penis was still eagerly erect, bobbing and straining as he crammed it back into his pants. His cock, at least, never lied. “Want to come back to my apartment? Want to watch me fuck?”
And the sick, sick, sick thing is that I really did.
His apartment was a single tube in a coffin stack, 32 stories up, near the edge of the gamma dome. There was a folding bed and a miniature sink and commode, and enough room to stand up and lie down, and not much else. The place was filthy, littered with dirty clothing, containers of half eaten Chinese food, drugs and paraphernalia, and it reeked of stale, nervous sweat and tobacco smoke. Jean-Claude eked out a sort of living as a drug dealer; a low-level middleman with a reputation for being able to find what you needed at a sharp mark-up. That, and a little pimping on the side.
There was a high-end, multi-function Simulacrum on the folding bed, lying dormant in sleep mode. She was an exact copy of me; or rather, an exact copy of me as I was ten years ago, down to the chewed-on nails, and the pubic hair shaved into a question mark, as was in vogue at the time.
“You see,” Jean-Claude said, thumbing her remote, “I’ve never forgotten you.”
Even though I knew she was just a hollow construct, a high-tech variation on a century-old shtick; a few millimeters of vat-grown flesh and hemoglobin surrounding a plastic shell that was hollow inside but for a few microchips, servo motors, and a twelve pack of double-A batteries; even though I knew she was just a fancy blow-up doll, a jerk-off toy, she still gave me the screaming willies. And I couldn’t make myself think of the Simulacrum as ‘it’; it was most definitely a ‘she’.
Jean-Claude was already shucking off his clothes, his hard-on scarlet and bent upward, the way I remembered. This situation was way too creepy. I had no business being here.
He shoved his cock into the Simulacrum’s mouth, and her lips closed automatically around the head, her tongue swirling mechanically all over his glans, her mouth humming almost inaudibly, generating a vacuum no human mouth could hope to match. I joined in, wrapping my hand around his shaft, stroking rhythmically up and down while I kissed and licked his shaved balls and tickled his anus.
It was bizarre, erotic and surreal, giving my ex-lover a blowjob along with my robotic twin sister. I was kind of getting off on it. Maybe I’d jam a wet finger up his butt hole, and he’d come in her mouth, and then maybe he’d want to go to sleep, and maybe I’d jerk off next to his unconscious body, and then I’d go to sleep and leave in the morning before he even woke up.
But that wasn’t the way Jean-Claude wanted the evening to play out. As my fingertip toyed with his asshole, threatening to push past the sphincter, he yanked his wet cock out of her mouth.
“Watch me fuck her!” he said, nudging her thighs apart, spreading her legs wide and pushing her knees up so her feet were tucked behind her ears. I was never that limber.
Her pussy pouted open, slick and artificially wet, oozing lube. It was a mirror image of my own vagina. He speared her with one thrust, burying his hard cock in her cunt. Despite myself, I envied her, ached to feel that thick, meaty hardness filling me up. My pussy was wet and excited.
I watched him fuck her. It was oddly sexy, like watching old video of myself having sex. Her head lolled back and forth, making automated sex noises; her tits shook as he fucked. I wanted that. I wanted it for myself. I squeezed my thighs together, mashing my clit between my fat and juicy lips. He was going to make me masturbate for him, wasn’t he? The bastard, he’d planned this. And it was going to work.
He pulled his cock out of her cunt, shiny with lube; turned and grinned at me, and then lifted her ass up off the bed, and pried her cheeks apart. Her anus looked tiny and tender and vulnerable. With one savage thrust, he buried himself in her puckered little asshole.
I remembered the first time he’d done that to me. I had screamed. I thought I was being torn in half. Later on, he’d said he was sorry, but he wasn’t.
He fucked her ass viciously, like he meant it, burying himself up to the balls in her anus before pulling all the way out and then ramming his cock back in again.
“Put your fingers in her twat,” he told me, “I want you to feel this.”
For whatever reason, I did as he said, slipping two finger up inside her. The Simulacrum’s vagina felt almost exactly like a real pussy; hot, tight, and slimy, with the extra added bonus of a soft, persistent vibration. I could feel Jean-Claude’s cock pistoning in and out of her asshole, rampant inside her rectum. I stroked his cock through the thin layer of artificial flesh, feeling his every ridge and texture.
He was sweating, breathing hard. His balls were drawn up tight. He was close. I stroked his dick even more aggressively through the Simulacrum’s wet cunt, pressing my fingers hard against his shaft.
Jean-Claude reached down underneath the bed, and came up with a big, high-mass boron steel connecting wrench, the kind that orbital mechanics use to join up big chunks of satellite. He lifted it high over his head, and brought it down with a grunt, splitting the Simulacrum’s head right at the temple. He smashed the wrench into her head again and again, crushing her plastic skull like a watermelon. Her head made a nasty wet scrunching sound as the wrench beat it into a shapeless pulp. Blood and tissue and gore spattered everywhere, soaking the bed sheets and splashing onto the cubicle walls.
He turned to look at me, baring his teeth in a manic grin, and brought the wrench down hard on her chest, punching through where her sternum would have been. Only then did he come, grimacing and grunting through his orgasm. I felt his dick twitch inside her as he pumped his semen into her ruined body cavity.
I managed to hold it together. That was the whole point of this little scene, to get a reaction out of me, and I wasn’t going to give him the pleasure, not if I could help it.
I left him there in his filthy little blood-stained coffin. He could clean up the mess; he’d have to, before the Simulacrum’s tissue started going rancid. There are no rats on the moon, but if there were, they’d live in Jean-Claude’s apartment.
The last I saw of him, he was sitting on the commode, snorting long, fat lines of some gunpowder-grey substance, some exotic and esoteric drug that would end up killing him.
I threw up down on the street, vomiting into a convenient public receptacle. After I’d puked, I felt a little better. I swallowed the last of my pills, and made my way through the perpetual night, back towards downtown, back to the space elevator, picking my way through crowds of red-eyed, hollow-faced sex tourists.
I stopped in at a McDonalds, and got myself a large fries, the comfort food of my girlhood. They always taste the same, no matter where you order them. I ate my hot, salty, greasy, extruded fries as I walked up the crowded sidewalks toward the elevator to Needle’s Eye, tears streaming down my cheeks.
As soon as I get back to L4, I’m going to get my brain scrubbed. A full ten-year memory wipe. I swear to fucking God.