John W Partington
suspend disbelief - have an adventure

Awaken the Cyborg

“Are you Racer Magellan?” the woman asked. She spoke Terran Common, a language that was dead to the universe for close to three centuries. That should have tipped me off right away, but it didn't. It was the first time in almost a hundred years that anybody had pronounced my name correctly. A lot of True-humans had assumed new names when they got their cyborg bodies; names like Vengeance, or Salvation. I always figured if I was going to die on a hostile world, the least they could do is put the right name on my grave marker. Not that I expected anyone to bury me.

“Yeah, what of it?” I replied. I was happily sipping some hot apple cider while relaxing in front of the bar's Thrill-Kill screen. Thrill-Kill was the latest craze sweeping the galaxy. It was a combination of gladiator fighting with random shots taken by the studio audience. Most of the gladiators were convicted criminals sentenced to death, but I knew a few traders that made their living snatching people off the street. I had even worked for a few of those traders.

“I want to have your baby,” she said.

“Sell it to somebody that wants it.”

“You don't understand...”

“No, you don't understand,” I interrupted her. “If I want a cheap trick I'll get one, but I don't so push off. The guy at the end of the bar is looking for a hooker, try him.” Not that getting laid was totally out of the question. It was possible because my body was fully functional, but sex wasn't the great joy it had been in my youth. Instead processors stimulated my brain, so it felt like sex, but there wasn't any gooey climax. The entire process was internal. Nothing ever came into or left my body; I could be a man for any woman, but she would have to have a kinky lusting for a half ton of metal underneath her. If I really wanted to I could trigger an orgasm by executing a program; a partner wasn’t really necessary.

“No, you don't understand,” she said in a loud, irritated voice. “I don't want to fuck you. I just want a sample of your sperm. It's possible isn't it? Somewhere in there you've got the capacity to pump out some jizz. I want to get pregnant, not give you a night to remember.”

“I'll get you pregnant,” some drunkard shouted.

“And I'll just fuck you,” another added. I suppose I could understand the way the lushes acted. She appeared human, but couldn't be. She was just slightly below average height, thin yet muscular with dark hair, and a fair complexion. Beneath her bangs she had green eyes, and a slightly crinkling nose. I think the latter was due to the scent of dried urine and stale vomit that pervaded the bar.

She wasn't an Endo-human. Centuries of inbreeding had left them a mottled-skinned breed with sloped foreheads, and lower intelligence quotients. Endos were good for manual labour, mercenary work, and anything that didn't require too much imagination. It was only in the last half century that the Endo-humans had started to make a comeback. She wasn't a True-human because the only ones left lived in mechanical bodies like me. The Meta-humans never left their Sphere. However, there were more than two dozen races that looked human, and were sexually compatible with humans. She could have been one of those Demi-humans.

“It's possible, isn't it?” she asked.

“Sure it is,” I said, “But what's in it for me?” Deep in the core of my body was a synthetic human brain, and other synthetic organs that produced the hormones the brain needed. My brain required testosterone, which required testicles, so if I had the need for it I could produce sperm cells. All the synthetic tissue in my body was cloned off my DNA, so essentially it was still as True-human as me, as I had been before conversion. Periodically, every fifty years to a century, I had to re-clone an organ; being organic the parts also aged, and wore out.

“A thousand Units,” she answered. I almost choked on my drink, if I had been able to choke, which I wasn't. Unlike Creds, Units were physical currency which could be exchanged for goods and services. Creds were credits that some computer data base held. Because Creds were purely artificial, they had less value. Additionally, the computer holding the accounts could break down. Breakdowns were rare, but they did happen. As a result, Units were more valuable because they were independent of some galactic agreement. One Unit was worth ten to fifteen Creds depending on the market. However, most transactions used Creds for convenience.

“One thousand Units for a spermcicle? What's the catch?”

“No strings. I want to have a baby. I want a True-human sperm donor. You're the only human cyborg in this sector of the galaxy. I know, I've checked.”

“When do I get paid?” I asked. She pulled a leather pouch from inside her coat, and dropped it on my table. I wedged my fingers between the draw strings and then opened my hand. The purse snapped open which caused dozens of plastic disks to spill out. Each disk was a centimetre in diameter, and a millimetre thin. I dropped the pouch inside my long coat.

“Fair enough,” I said. “You've got a deal. Give me half an hour, and I'll give you some frozen fun stuff.”

“Where can I pick it up?” she asked.

“Unless something remarkable happens I don't intend on leaving this seat for the next three months,” I answered. I was on a job. This contract was something I had never done before, so I was eager to take it. Turns out I got paid one hundred and fifty Creds a day to sit on my ass, and do nothing. So far in the performance of my duties I had only thrown a couple of drunks out of town.

“Sheriff Magellan,” a small boy cried as he ran into the bar, “the Post is being robbed. Come quick!”

“You'll have to wait,” I told the woman. “I've been sitting around for two weeks waiting for something like this to happen.”

This seems weird. I like weird:

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