Caution: some situations in this story, and some pictures involving nudity, should be considered NSFW/NSS
Jadzia lay curled up on the cot in the side room, seriously regretting every recent moment of her existence. This has to be the last damned time, she thought to herself as the nausea began rising up again. As she edged her head over the side of the cot to find the hurl bucket, her mind went over the past twenty-seven hours of station time….
It had been over three months since she had finally paid off the “photo-etched” skin mod she had obtained at a “black” biolab; but the attention she had hoped for from talent scouts had never come. Jadzia knew they were jaded in appetite, of course; they had seen it all and then some, it seemed, and you really had to be maybe a parsec out there now to even catch a glimpse from them, let alone get the attention of an agent. But she thought this mod would have done it for sure!
There was only one thing for it — to try again, or to go back to selling herself in a different way. Being a courtesan meant peddling her body, or at least certain portions of it, but being Shayana had paid the bills. And she had been good at it, too, pleasuring both herself and her clients, and acquiring something of a reputation for it. But you could only do so much whoring before something started seeping into your soul. Remembering the peace she had felt that night in Atonement, the abandoned church-turned-club, Jadzia’s small core of self-pride asserted itself, and she resolved to try one more time. She booked the appointment — not as obviously as calling a more reputable clinic to “set up an appointment,” of course — and showed up the night specified.
Weirdly, the biolab was an actual biolab — the station Med Center. Jadzia wondered if the tech she always dealt with was doing this for his own pockets, or if he was actually working for the Med Center’s benefit — that they were making some money on the side in biogenetic modifications. She never asked, though; biomod was barely legal as it was, and if this tech was a freelancer, “borrowing” the Med Center’s equipment….
She’d been to this room four times before, but she always got a shiver when she saw the markings on the massive security door. Why the hell did they need a door that looked like it belonged in a super-max prison wing?! Indeed, the tech opened it with a retinal scan before waving her inside.
First, of course, came the body scan, to check whether Mod Number 4 had created any genetic problems that would rule her out from doing this again.
And then the next step, a sinister-looking tube in the back of the room. Jadzia always got the willies at this stage, but it might have been from the even more sinister chambers she passed by to get to this stage. There was always something in those suspension modules; she could never tell the specifics, though, as the fluid was bubbling and milky green. Once, she thought she glimpsed what might have been a hand up near the steelglas for a second, until it floated back into the fluid from internal currents….
The tech hooked her up to the hoses after she stripped to the base, activated the grav-null/restraint field, tapped in a sequence, and left her there for what she always imagined was hours. The inducer cylinder, meanwhile, was injecting her with the mutagen that, in the next and worst step, would begin doing its work. This part was never comfortable, even if she was floating weightless here….
…And then came the room in back, the big storage room that, behind a screen of boxes, contained the most unnerving setup of all. This tank looked as if it had been knocked together out of spare sheet steel and lead-filmed transplas, and the control pedestal had a nasty habit of spewing sparks. Still, the damned thing had worked four times before, and she hadn’t died yet. Swallowing the bile that threatened to well up in her throat at the memory of what the next few hours would feel like, Jadzia stepped inside and watched the tech seal the doors and key in the sequences needed for what she wanted.
She felt herself levitate off the floor as the null-grav kicked in — then the stinging and tingling as the radiation activated, like a mound of Dyvelian ants had been stirred up and were crawling all over her body. Every time the controls sparked, the stinging ratcheted up to a blast of pain that went straight to Jadzia’s gut; and the damned thing sparked rather frequently. Yet the radiation was the only way of activating the mutagens she had been injected with, and it took those hours for the effects to fully set in. Jadzia longed for some sort of anesthesia to at least numb her nerves, but other drugs interfered with the process, and could even make it poisonous. Deep inside, somewhere through the pain, she thanked the gods she had never gotten hooked on some of the more dangerous narcotics, like Lethe, or even heroin, something ancient and passé to most people these days, but still in use by those who couldn’t afford the more exotic stuff….
Finally, across the haze of pain and radiation fog, Jadzia saw her flesh darkening, and the lines of veins begin to stand out in glowing relief, and thought to herself with shuddering flippancy that she was nearly done cooking….
She soon felt herself dropping toward the floor. She crumpled into a heap as the restraint field collapsed; she had never been able to do otherwise after the physical strain the process put her through. And then the tech, with more kindness than he usually showed to her in the earlier stages, was wrapping a green robe about her naked form and guiding her to a bed to recover at least some of her strength before she staggered home.
Six months later –
The vehicle parks all around Ganesh, the Indian-culture-themed club on the planet Kurukshetra, were full to the brim, and clubgoers were lined up around the large block that the floating pagoda hovered over, waiting for the doors to open. Inside, the gleaming gilt walls and polished wood bars and tables sat ready for those who didn’t wish to dance, and the DJ was checking over the computer file displays and special effects one last time before she signaled that she was ready for business.
Jadzia couldn’t help smiling to herself every night now, just at this moment. That final session in the biolab had been the charm; it hadn’t taken more than a week before someone came up to her near closing time and told her that he was hunting for fresh faces to host and program a new club a quadrant away. Would she be interested in taking the job…? When told that the pay would be triple what she was then making, with chances for tips, Jadzia allowed as she might be interested…. In reality, anywhere away from the cesspool of Insilico’s low-rent slums would be heaven to her, but she knew she had to put on at least a show of considering other possibilities. With a little negotiation, she had squeezed a few thousand more out of the agent, signed the contract, and had the few belongings she didn’t want to toss on a bonfire packed.
Thank the gods her mother had treasured old art books, and that she remembered this from her childhood. Jadzia still couldn’t see how looking like something out of Piet Mondrian fitted in with an Indian-themed club, unless it was simply the bizarre juxtaposition of her looks and her costume against the surroundings. She wasn’t about to complain, though; the pay was great, the music she could program fantastic, and she had found a new lover here as well — one who had studied the Kama Sutra very closely…!
No matter for now; it was time to open again, and time for the music to wash through her one more time. Her joy broke loose on her stark white face as she cued up the first speaker-crashing song, and the doors opened…
My standard Type 2 shape and brows
In the Med Center:
- Skin 1 and hair: alpha.tribe Natural Things v. 2.0
- Eyes: Curious Kitties Crystal (blue)
- Skin 2 (the blue skin) and eyes: Curious Kitties Electro Neogirl (blue)
- Bustier: Rock Me Amadeus black leather
- Shorts: DnG black leather shorts
- Straps: Lilith straps by Angelique Desade
- Boots: Detour Mistress
- Robe: Life of Sultans Mukrime Sultan green caftan
- Skin, hair, nails and all clothing: alpha.tribe de.stijl (based on the work of Piet Mondrian, and absolutely over the top!)
- Eyes: InSight Clear Gold eyes
- Lashes: the oBscene Artemis
- “Observation camera” photo taken with Mechanical Life FilterCam HUD
My thanks to those who’ve helped me on the Fashion Emergency group, and in the Insilico regions; your suggestions and work have proved invaluable.