Dream of Luna
A sentry in a black helmet moved down a velvet corridor. He was walking—that’s what you would call what he was doing—but it was walking in name only. If royal decorum permitted, he would have been sprinting. He would have been particle beaming if the technology was there. He passed a mini-tour of art historical greatest hits—oil paintings from the 18th to the 22nd century—and pressed the top button on his wrist interface in order to transmit.
“Entering the chambers,” he said. His voice was scrambled—dark and digital.
He flew inside.
“Your highness, in the name of the Lunar Empire, I request that you drop the bottle of pills.”
“And, what if I don’t?”
“Please…your highness, the Empire needs you to carry on…don’t make me do something I’ll regret…”
Judith eyed the sentry up. Moron, she thought. Ding-dong moron.
She stared into his reflective black visor and with the force of her gaze tried to communicate to him that she knew what was back there; she knew all about it—all the metal and wires, the brain linked to the computer,and, below, the cybernetic penis, or the “ding dong” as she called it. Half a man.
“It’s too late” she said. She turned over the bottle. Empty.
“Your highness…” The sentry approached.
“Don’t,” she said. “I’ll save you the effort, you moron.”
She stuck a finger down her throat and emitted a spray of vomit all over the antique Persian rugs that covered the floor of her quarters.
“Now get out!” she yelled, chunks of regurgitated synthetic lettuce dangling from the corner of her mouth.
The sentry turned and walked to the door. He stopped and turned back to her. “Your highness?”
“What, you moron?”
“I recommend a diversion. You’re known throughout the Empire for your love of reading. And we set upn the labor program with the young mutant women. They scan books for your pleasure…perhaps…“
The sentry nodded and left. Morons, she thought. All morons. Tin-can, ding-dong morons.
Judith paced around her quarters. Where did we go wrong? Oh, what the Hell did we do to get us so far off base? Sigh…you know, I, me, I’ve personally overseen the transition of human beings into tin can dingdongs. I did that, me…
She mimicked the sentry’s voice: “Your highness, oh, your highness…oh, your shit-sniffing highness, you’re known for your love of reading, your highness…oh, your highness!”
She opened the database and looked at it with spite. “Oh, your highness, why don’t you read the books?”
Books. Feh. What are these things? These endless pages? They’re electric light—more nothingness.
Digital efficiency. Like tin can ding dongs. Oh, what’s the point? What’s the point? She picked a title at random—Venus of Dreams by Pamela Sargent—and began scrolling through the interface. Quickly, she stopped.
There was an error. No. Not an error. It was a…some sort of a…a finger…it was a finger. That’s what it was. And it was a mutant finger at that; vulgarly so…Must have been one of the scanners…And it was sitting there…and it was so…raw…raw and gray and with the pink finger condom stretched around its shaft like that it was…so…so real…
Judith felt a tingle in her vagina. It was the first time she’d felt that in years. And it confused her.
She was repulsed. No…not repulsed…the opposite…Turned on? No, not that either. Too many years. Too many. She rubbed her own finger against the screen. And she thought of the sentry, what if he touched me, that tin can ding dong? But she wouldn’t do anything about it; he was half a man. And she thought of this mutant. Probably a girl—that was the program we set up. What if she touched me? And she touched the digital finger, she touched it with her finger, and she cried. It’s a lost finger.
“Where are you, mutant?”
And she wiped the tears and turned away…