Humanotica, Book 1
Silver, born female, is now an owned gender-mated trinex thanks to the edicts of the Politico Judicalati and time imprisoned at the Factorium. She must choose between her charismatic power-elite, secretive owner, Minister of Acquisitions & Antiquities, Lel Kesselbaum, and a seductive revolutionary, Entreus, a humanotic who tempts her with freedom.
Not all is as it seems–allies who may be traitors, lovers who are more than they appear. A power-mad government, a machine known as the Elite Logical Life Core that uses human intelligence for its knowledge source. The Factorium that acquires humans as research fodder for their experiments and then spits them out when they are of no further use. Sex used as a tool to unearth enemies and traitors, and intimately align allies. Love that is not simple, relationships that are dangerously complex. This is Silver’s highly-complex world.
One misstep in the fight for freedom could mean death for them all.
Warning: Not for the faint of heart.
As one reviewer said about this story: …an intensely sexual read, with innovative obscenities and novel delights that never cease to amaze…
You’ve been warned…
“This is the package from Dr. Starlinger?” he asks as he picks up the small parcel from the gleaming surface.
I cringe at the thought of what is inside, but I try to keep my expression impassive.
He studies it almost reverently and then carefully peels back the layers of white cotton. I want to twist away. My stomach roils at the sight of the innocuous-looking wooden box.
“Lovely,” he murmurs as he raises the lid and strokes a finger over the contents. He lifts the small, thick envelope holding the thin silver punch cards—the latest replication of my brain patterns. They’re a duplicate set to that which will be fed into the Core by the doctors. It is mandated by the Politico that all information, whether set to government gold or non-official silver or bronze, be assimilated into the community intelligence of the Core for processing. Not to do so is considered a traitorous act punishable either by Factorium confinement or death.
They appear to be such fragile things to hold the contents of my thoughts, my emotions, the very essence of my human energy. I know there will be more changes from the previous version. There always are; it is inevitable. Even though the doctors don’t tamper with my brain, what they do to my body impacts my mind, so the cards are always etched and studied after modification.
The minister walks to the closet and steps inside. There are secret places hidden within the walls of this estate. I’m not privy to most of those secured rooms, but I know they exist.
I know where he’s headed as he disappears inside the closet. Another hidden door leading to a secret vault. This room alone he’s shown me, when he placed my first memory cards into safekeeping within the vault.
It’s where he keeps these bits of prized possessions I always return with from the Factorium. These new items will be placed into the box inside the drawer marked with my human name, Elissa Longview. The woman I’d once been. More pieces of me to be separated and locked away. Inwardly, I rage with my impotence. But the anger seems less fierce than it used to be. I try to call upon the full flame of my anger. It worries me that I can no longer depend upon its empowering fury to remind me of my losses, to keep me strong.
Later, he will bring out the red velvet box, along with his personal Intellometer. He’ll attach the wires to himself and feed my thoughts into his own mind. He will watch me as he dissects the changes, assimilates them into his own thought processes. Compartmentalizes them in order to access them when he wishes. Sometimes he’ll echo my own words back to me to prove his control even of that part of me he allows to remain mechanically unaltered. When he does that, I feel utterly vulnerable and powerless. Which, of course, is what he wants.
I, who had once dreamed of becoming an engineer and working in the mysterious Factorium, am now simply a product of it. High aspirations for one so lowly born, and an orphan, at that. But I’d almost made it. I would have, if not for my attraction to Minister Kesselbaum—and for his to the young man I’d pretended to be.
I had learned over the last many months to suppress my human thoughts as much as possible, compartmentalizing and locking them away as though they were separate from me, so he couldn’t find them when he assimilated the silver cards I always returned with. It had become a game of sorts, something to live for. A battle of wits against my owner. I think he knows what I do and enjoys the challenge. I can’t hide my body—what is left of it. He owns me in total. One speck of emotion I can secret away is a small battle won.
But my mind is something he hasn’t replaced—at least not yet. There is ongoing research at the Factorium in that area. As far as I know from his discussions at various social functions where the doctors are present, the experiments thus far haven’t been completely successful. I know my time is running out. There will be no glimmer of memory of what I was. But he will have it—there, in that red velvet box—on the sets of cards that one day will contain all I had been.
There are others in that secret vault. Deliveries when his manservant will present him with a box. He will open the package, examine the contents thoroughly and then take them to the hidden room to be assimilated later and locked away. These he will not share with me.
He’s not in the mood for a private concert tonight, but I’ve been given a sheaf of music to memorize. I’m reprieved from that this evening. Tonight there are other games he wishes to engage in, other torments at hand.
I sit in a chair in front of the fireplace, wearing a transparent white lace negligee with matching wrapper trimmed in black satin. The corset beneath rises to just beneath my breasts, forcing them up against the expensive material. My ribs are constrained tightly, forced close. I know he is testing the modifications. Will they yield as they are meant to? Or will they snap the same as my fragile human bones would have done with such tight confinement? My breaths are shallow, painful. The front of the gown dips low, exposing the full curves of my breasts. My silver-tipped nipples shimmer in the firelight. My legs are curled beneath me. I hold myself erect, shoulders straight. Now I am able to breathe. I sip from the glass of golden cognac he has allowed me this evening. Warmth curls in my belly. It helps to mellow the pain.
He sits across the room at his desk, the red velvet box opened, a soft sky blue polishing cloth in his hand. He has already carved his initials—and mine—into the marrow. He lifts out the first piece from the box and holds it up to the light. Instinctively, I brush the fingertips of one hand along my imprisoned ribcage. I want to reach out to snatch the items from the desk, and my fingers curl into a clenched fist against my flesh.
Not my fingers. Not my ribs. Not my legs. What will be next?
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