Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Christmas in White   Leave a comment

(Author’s note: since I didn’t have access to some 50 Residents in the proper skin and costumes, I’m asking you to suspend disbelief on my photos, and supplement things with your own imagination. Either road, here’s a short Christmas story from the 48th Century, and my character Ariel Sherman. HG)

Ariel glanced around her at the four dozen-plus gold and silver people surrounding her. As usual, The Land of Fantasy had put on a phenomenal production of its current revue show, and everyone looked satisfied with things, no matter the changes in the script for the evening. Of course, for cyborg memories, “changes in the script” were rather small beer. It was the human pride in their craft that shone here, pride in performing in a once-a-year show to the satisfaction of both themselves and a demanding audience.

There was still a final act to go before they rang down the curtain for the next four weeks, for the show’s annual break. This would not be the usual finale, though, with its famous nudity; not on this night. For this was Day 357 on the Limlight Standard Calendar. There were children in the audience tonight, and the entire performance was much more family-oriented. Especially for tonight’s finale, the one element of this special show which had not changed from year to year. To Ariel’s demanding eye, everyone looked happy, prepared, and confident. She nodded happily back to them, said, “Alright, people; let’s do it,” and got back words and signs of agreement. “Go, Dalton,” she whispered to her organic stage manager, who grinned back, tapped at his tablet, and gave the needed orders. Recorded music began playing; the “small” curtain in front of Ariel opened thirty seconds later, and Lady Ariel Sherman entered at stage center, sweeping through the curtains in a massive ball gown of white satin.

She dropped into a stage-depth curtsey as the audience cheered and applauded and the rest of the cast and company entered behind her. Each of the feature acts took their own bows, then arranged themselves behind their star artiste. The audience quieted at last, and Ariel said into the amplification field, “Thank you all so much for coming tonight to The Land of Fantasy! It’s always our joy and pleasure to perform for you, but doubly so on special nights, such as this.”

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People of the Heart – Friends   3 comments

Continued from Part 2 ….

Zana Sherman was fortunate that this weekend wasn’t as academically busy as it would become closer to the end of term. It seemed that her social calendar was compensating, by sending her invitations to meet with people she loved or enjoyed. Aside from Alon Cohen on Friday night, though, she was holding things to only an hour or so, and joining up with them on the way to other venues, such as the laundry or the Psych House … the graduate students’ name for the departmental offices. Even for a college student … at least one as diligent as Zana … socializing wasn’t everything ….

But she stretched the limits at Saturday lunch, because the meal was with Dara Furtano-Fa. The relationship with “Big Sis” ran back to when Dara had saved the lives of both Zana and her mother on the construction stage of The Land of Fantasy, her mother’s famous theatre. Not only had Zana met Dara that day, but the accident had set events in motion that led to Dara’s getting the cyborg conversion she had desired … and all that had arisen in the ‘borg community since.

Both women had a fondness for a restaurant in Vidran’s Arosen sector that offered what the owner called “Mongolian grill,” but served up al fresco. They were deep in discussion at a shady table outside the restaurant, situated on a food court in one corner of the district’s park. “And so the term’s going well so far?” Dara asked as their tea arrived. The sun of Videra’s primary glinted off her sunglasses, worn mostly for fashion’s sake, as ‘borgs’ eyes were quite capable of handling bright sunshine. (The sun also gleamed off the integuments of both women, golden on Zana and silver on Dara; they had chosen the shady table to spare the eyes of other diners and passersby as much as possible from the reflection.)

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People of the Heart – Family   4 comments

Continued from Part 1 ….

Zana stepped back into her apartment the next morning, thoroughly relaxed by the night’s activities … all of the night’s activities. It had been a stressful term so far, even for a cyborg; of course, graduate studies were always stressful, but psychology was tougher than most. And add into that my personal psychotherapy starts in two weeks, she thought as she moved into her bedroom to change out of her finery, into a casual unitard. God knows what little gremlins will turn up then! She had always considered herself well adjusted and mentally healthy. Who but God could guess what a qualified psychotherapist would find …? Then her lips quirked back in a mercurial change of mood. Although her career would be made, perhaps, as the author of the first case study on a ‘borg in the literature!

The small jest improved Zana’s mood; but she still felt the need for some encouragement, or at least a shoulder to cry on for a few picoseconds. Glancing again at the holographs on the mantel, she regretted not returning home to her parents’ house. Still, there were other ways of getting together with family … not as satisfyingly tactile, but they would do in a pinch …. She said to the room, “Computer, please call Ariel Sherman, home code, full holo.” She sat on her couch as the computer beeped.

Shortly, a full-body image of her mother, wearing a green casual outfit and a purple silk duster, appeared in the holoprojection field created by the comm program. “Hi, sweet one! What makes you call on this fine Saturday morning?”

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People of the Heart – Lovers   2 comments

Zana Sherman checked herself over a final time in the mirrored closet door of her bedroom in her university apartment. Everything was nicely in place, everything was covered that needed to be, and the tips and tricks she had picked up from her mother’s makeup artists at The Land of Fantasy Theatre had allowed her to “put on her face” in under 10 minutes. Well, that and a ‘borg’s speed and accuracy, she added with a smile. Never let it be said there aren’t any advantages to being a member of this species.

She tapped at the panel, switching its surface back to a door instead of a mirror, grabbed her ident fold and slid it into a carry-pocket on the inside of a feathered sleeve, dabbed a few drops of cologne on her throat, and swung out of the bedroom. Thankfully, the 48th Century C. E. didn’t require university students to live in hovels; everyone had a personal set of living and sleeping rooms, with a mini-foodsynth for eating. It still wasn’t luxurious … especially compared to what Zana was used to at home … but it put a decently comfortable roof over one’s head, and good enough food, if not up to the same standard as, say, La Paloma Azul in downtown Vidran. Each living room in the complex even had an electric fireplace.

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Research Paper   Leave a comment

In the 48th Century, most organic lifeforms tended to carry several preconceptions about the way that Videran cyborgs lived their lives. The all-too-common impression was that all a ‘borg needed to do was glance at a filmpage or a screen, read the contents, and they knew everything there. However, as Zana Sherman could testify all too well, taking in data was not the same as actually learning. A ‘borg’s computer brain still needed to train on how to use the data, to analyze and discuss, in order to act on the information it received, just like an organic’s. And you needed to prove that acquired knowledge to the Powers That Be, in order to get the accreditation the law frequently required. Such as Ph.D.s in psychology.

Which was why Zana was now where she was, observing a shift of the operations crew on one of the private starbases orbiting Videra, gathering information for a paper due one of her professors. Psychology of xenospecies was her focus of study, and this shift was strongly populated by non-humanoid lifeforms. Indeed, by a fluke of scheduling, two sisters from the planet Tibeon were holding down the main operations chairs during this shift. Staying as unobtrusive as possible, asking the minimum of questions on what they did and why, Zana still found herself tapping reams of notes into her tablet.

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Afterparty

Lisavet Darchiev sighed as the door closed behind her and Maks Derbensky, her lover. “Thank God and the saints, we’re home,” she said in Russian, since they were by themselves instead of with American or British friends, and she crossed herself in the Orthodox style. “I love the Oscar ceremony; I love the parties; and I love getting together with Piper. But I think I love most getting home afterwards, so I can put up my poor aching feet!”

Maks chuckled as he locked the last deadbolt and clicked on the door alarm. “You have but to blame your ‘poor aching feet’ on yourself, Liza, and your penchant for stiletto-heeled shoes. And kindly do not tell me, my tsarina, that you’re getting too old for the social rounds. Besides limiting your access to the power brokers and business opportunities in this crazy city, that’s simply no fun at all.”

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The Priest-Queen

The details:

  • Head: Akeruka Elen 2.5 Bento
  • Full body: Maitreya Lara 4.1
  • Eyes: ~By Snow~ Plasmite (Slimer)
  • Gown, including headdress: Arwen’s Creations Meritaten (Beaded blue)
  • Shoes: KC Couture Davina
  • Nails and rings: RealEvil Industries Elektra
  • Other jewelry: Lazuri Ophira bracelets, earrings and necklace (vintage)
  • Eyeshadow: Booty’s Beauty Glitterbug (Omega, slot 9)
  • Lipstick: Booty’s Beauty Jam (Omega, slot 6)
  • Body glitter: MUSU Glitter Bomb

Photographed at the Rose Theatre Ballroom

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