In her mind she kept repeating the same thing, (Mahisa must be impregnated.)
She knew it had to happen but still she felt nervous. She’d even made sure the Impregnator visiting Mahisa would be experienced and gentle with her.
(But still...) She shook head dejectedly. Her thoughts still reminded her, (To impregnate a blind woman while she was recovering from anesthetic.)
Her assistant entered the office. “I’ve arranged for the escort to collect Mahisa Sonder and take her to East Medical.”
She looked troubled. “Good. Good.” was all she said before she turned to the windows, thinking of the past.
Mahisa sat on the edge of her bed, listening. The neighbors next door were arguing again.
She sighed. She couldn’t hear them clearly but it was something about one of the two partners wanting a child. So a Roaming Impregnator would be needed.
The other partner was extremely angry about it. Mahisa tilted her head. Was his name Eran? Her lover was constantly repeating his name soothingly, slowly. Yes, it was Eran.
Mahisa strained to hear their voices. She couldn’t clearly make them out but she knew this argument. They’d had this row so many times.
One said she wanted a child. Eran accused his lover of wanting an Impregnator not to have a child but to act out some sort of fantasy she’d had for a long time. It often went that Eran shouted at her partner because she thought he wasn’t a good enough lover.
Part of Mahisa wanted to shout at them. Tell them that whatever differences they have, they had each other.
Her bleak thoughts entered her mind, (They could be living on their own.)
Of course, Mahisa had the usual Company supplied dildo and vibrator attachments but no one thought a blind woman isn’t just an employee. No one thought a blind woman has needs. That she might want another human being’s touch.
She sighed again. She lifted her head, frowning as she listened in vain for Milt, her guide dog. (Where is he?)
Mahisa groped for her whistle, which hung from a chain around her neck, and blew it. She heard Milt’s feet scattering across the tiles. She reached out, felt his cold nose and smiled. He licked her affectionately and Mahisa laughed quietly, whispering, “Yeah, I love you too.”
She paused, turning her head slightly. The brash sound of the alarm clock reminded her that it was time for work.
“Alarm off.” Her voice echoed round the room. The clock went silent. “Milt? Get my coat - my short coat. Go on boy.” She heard him skitter away and shouted to him, half laughing, “And don’t dribble so much on it this time.”
He returned dragging her coat by his mouth and, as he stopped by her, she bent down to take it from him. “Good boy.” He sat patiently whilst she stood up, putting it on. “Now, no chewing things while I’m out.”
The front door buzzer sounded.
She nodded vaguely. (My work escort’s arrived on time.)
She walked carefully out of the bedroom towards the door, with an arm gently extended in front of her. As she reached the door, she felt for the handle and swung the door open. She sniffed.
Stale cooking odors from some nearby flat.
“Escort.” Mahisa nodded thinking, (A male voice.) She reached out and touched his shoulder. Not her usual male guide but she felt the lapel on his jacket. It had the Company logo. She nodded slightly. She held his shoulder with one of her hands as he slowly turned and walked down the corridor to the exit. Mahisa listened for her front door closing gently behind them. The escort led her confidently, obviously an experienced guide and yet she couldn’t recognise anything about him. His voice. His movements. His smell.
The outer doors slid open automatically and she smiled at the freshness of the outside air.
The escort paused momentarily and then Mahisa could feel his shoulder going down. Steps. She counted them.
(One pace then steps down.)
(One. Two. Three. Four. Street.)
He led her forward ten paces then stopped. Mahisa reached out to her right with her free hand and felt the edge of the shelter for the Circuit Vehicle Terminal. She felt around for a large circular button. Only she could press it and so summon a Circuit Vehicle. The escort wasn’t allowed. Shortly after she heard the familiar whoosh of the Circuit Vehicle as it drew up in front of them.
The escort led her onto the bus and, passing other passengers, settled her in one of the front passenger seats. She held out a hand. He obediently gave her a small pass with some etching on it. She ran her fingers over it, frowning. She didn’t recognize the route pattern.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
The man’s voice was gentle. “I’ve been instructed to escort you to the East Medical Department. Company code 417.”
In other words the Company was requisitioning her. It was rare but not unusual. It usually involved retraining, re-assignment or merely a brief assignment. She never objected to variation. Her skills in interpretation weren’t exactly challenged where she worked and change, even if temporary, was welcome.
She inserted the pass into a slot directly in front of her seat. She sat back and she could hear the man sitting by her side. She sniffed deeply as she thought, (He smelt nice.)
(But he’s just an ordinary man. Not a protégé or even an RI.)
She smiled at a memory. She remembered a previous supervisor who saved and saved so eventually she could afford an RI, a Roaming Impregnator. The Breeding Department, who arranged the ‘visits’, told her she was guaranteed to get pregnant as a result but she answered, “Yeah, but it’ll be worth it.” Mahisa suppressed a laugh.
Like Erana, a lot of women were repulsed by the idea of an RI. Many didn’t understand the women who’d want one. But then the RI fantasy was very powerful.
RIs were not like most men who were hormonally neutered when they were still babies. RIs were physically perfect, exquisitely toned and very intelligent. They were able to gain access to accommodations secretively, when the recipient of his ultimate attentions wasn’t expecting him. They were charming. They were able to climax at will or have several climaxes. They could expertly make love for hours. And usually did.
Administrators could have permanent personal attention without being pregnant if they didn’t want it. They called these men ‘protégés’.
Again Mahisa smiled slightly at her thoughts, (To have one on call.)
One by one all the other passengers left the bus until only she and her escort stayed. The tone of the CV’s motor changed. They were going through a tunnel. Only she didn’t know of any bus route going through a tunnel.
After a short time, the tone of the motor changed again. They were back in the open. The transport stopped and her escort gently touched her arm. She stood up and loosely placed her hand on his shoulder again. He paused briefly at the bus exit and then his shoulder dropped.
She counted, (One deep step. Street.)
The escort took her five paces before pausing again, only this time, his shoulder rose and he spoke gently, “Five steps going lower.”
She nodded and counted them as they descended, (One. Two. Three. Four. Five.)
He led a few more paces and then paused as double doors opened to admit them. She sniffed. (Antiseptic. So this is East Medical. But why here?)
They walked for a little while, passing through more double doors, before the escort stopped so abruptly that Mahisa nearly bumped into him.
He gasped slightly and the sharp rustle of his clothes suggested he stood stiffly. Mahisa could hear several people approaching down the corridor. As they passed, she could hear only two of them, two women, were talking. It was evident one of the women was extremely senior, with the other woman constantly deferring to her.
Mahisa tilted her head, listening carefully (The senior voice sounded very familiar but...)
She listened to the women’s steps and their voices becoming distant, muffled by doors closing behind them. Then she realised who the more important woman was. She’d heard her voice in news broadcasts. Mahisa spoke carefully, even incredulously, “Was that the Head of the City?”
The escort’s voice was quiet and quivered slightly, “Yes, it was. I’d only seen her on communal viewing screens. To see her so close…” His sentence faded as he mulled over his experience. He moved suddenly, waking to his immediate duties. He spoke again, “We-We’re nearly there.” They resumed their walk. Eventually they stopped and the escort spoke again, “There’s a sofa immediately to your right.”
Cautiously, she stretched sideways to reach the settee then lowered herself into the seat. The escort turned and began walking away.
Mahisa, absorbed in the sound of his steps, started as someone sat next to her.
The unknown person spoke flatly as if affirming some details, leafing through several papers. “Mahisa Sonder. Interpretation Personal Assistant.” Then this woman’s voice was obviously directed at her. “So you’re mine.”
Mahisa frowned. (What this woman said and how she spoke was cold.)
She spoke again. “I’m Doctor Jane. I’ll be looking after your case. A nurse will collect you soon,” She added slightly acidly, “assuming he hasn’t been distracted by the City Head’s visit.” She stood up and walked a few steps. Then Mahisa heard a humming noise. A lift. The doors opened and Doctor Jane stepped in.
Mahisa was alone again and even more confused. (Doctor Jane.)
This woman, so the story went, this doctor, had once been a man. Apparently, she was the only surviving client of the ill-fated ‘Genetic Alteration Programme’. GAP was only available to the elite, people who could afford it. The aim of the programme was to partly alter the patient’s genetic make-up with engineered viruses that gave the patient new abilities. They could alter the body’s cells for several aims including dramatically increasing a person’s lifespan. One could also, as in Doctor Jane’s case, alter the body to change its sexual attributes. Some said that Doctor Jane had initially and unofficially developed GAP. When Doctor Jane was a man she was reputed to be unusually brilliant.
She tilted her head as she heard footsteps nearing. Then she heard a man’s voice. “I’m to take you Exam Room 4, ma’am. I’ve got a wheelchair here for you.”
Mahisa frowned. “What am I doing here?”
The nurse hesitated, uncertain. “I-I’m to take you to-”
“I know, ‘Exam Room 4’.” She shook her head in exasperation. “I don’t need a wheelchair.”
“Erm, it’s Medical regulations, Ma’am. I have to.” There was an edge of pleading in his voice.
Mahisa waved her hands randomly and stood up. “Wheel me away then. Maybe Doctor Jane can tell me what’s going on.”
The nurse then guided her into the wheelchair. He smelt of disinfectant like the rest of the Medical Department. He wheeled her through a set of double doors and down a very long straight corridor. She could feel the intermittent heat from the lights on the ceiling. Coupled with her fear, she began to sweat. Soon she could feel her uniform sticking to her body. She squirmed uncomfortably.
They passed through another set of double doors and then the nurse stopped. A blast of cool fresh air hit her, making her shudder and her sweat suddenly became cold. She sat very still, listening to the faint hum of machinery and the movement of other people in the room. She jumped as Doctor Jane burst in, throwing a door back on it hinges and harshly shouting orders. There was a clink of metal and the shifting of furniture.
She listened carefully, even fearfully, for any more harsh sounds.
Hands on either side gripped her and she gasped slightly in shock.
Mahisa was lifted out of the wheelchair and made to lie down on a long cushioned surface where she was strapped down, wrists and ankles.
No one spoke to her.
No one explained anything.
She felt a pin prick in her arm and, through her drowsiness, felt the sensation of a mask being put over her face.
In her large main office, Doctor Jane sat in front of a console. Above it was several screens. One showed Mahisa lying on the bed, her young, naked body bathed in the dim lights of the recovery room.
The doctor touched the screen, thinking. (Something about this woman. Some strange feeling of attachment. It almost felt like the link to Keeray.)
She sighed, giving up, and dropped her hand.
She’d make sure that the patient was monitored, contacting one of the subordinate medics to instruct her to supervise the patient. Doctor Jane then allocated herself a four-hour break. For now she wouldn’t be under the uninteresting pressure that was much of her job. She wished she was always working on Keeray’s children.
She pressed a switch on the console and the screen displayed leisure programmes. The doctor sat back, relaxing as she watched a broadcasted discussion detailing Laserdome surgery. Her speciality. She turned up the volume, watching a few of her, now practising, ex‑students boasting about how little trauma or scarring Laserdome caused. They described how they’d long ago learnt to isolate the pain response areas of the brain, allowing the patients to experience just enough pain to know what was going on. They never described who developed the technique.
Doctor Jane snarled slightly and switched to a book channel. She was immensely irritated to hear her ex‑students claiming some of her advances as their own.
They seemed to forget what she could do. She was not one who’d allow people to easily forget her.
After a while, she became bored and distracted again. She accessed Mahisa’s file on the computer. Her details appeared transparently on the monitor.
She was a good, conscientious employee.
She had above average initiative.
She scored high Intel points.
Her childhood details were a bit sketchy, her mother winning the right to reproduce on the Lottery, but little else. Doctor Jane stifled a yawn and sighed as she wondered, (Why was this woman interesting?)
She then called up the results of the various periodic ‘Mind Picture’ tests Mahisa had taken since she was nine. For most of those blind students who were able to visualise had done so without note, usually in black and white. But Mahisa’s recordings showed full colour and movement as if she’d actually seen these things even though her operation took place very shortly after birth. Her in‑sight ability was very rare indeed. It was certainly a major contributor to her being eligible for this surgery.
Mahisa lay, unable to move, feeling the numbness gradually disappearing from her face being replaced by pain. She heard a movement beside the bed. She frowned-
Or thought she did.
Someone was stroking her hair. Tenderly. He spoke, “Don’t worry. You’re safe with me.”
Mahisa frowned. (Was this a dream?) He stroked her face-
Or she thought he did.
The numbness confused her.
That voice again. Soothing. Hypnotic. “Don’t worry. You’re safe.”
She felt his touch along her body. (Was this a dream?)
She felt a hand gently travel up her leg to her inner thigh, parting her legs. His touch was light and sensuous.
That voice. “You never need to worry with me.”
The intrusion in and around her was a shock at first (this) and then the slow circular movements sent shivers through her whole body (must).
A mouth replaced the hand (be) and the sensations of the tongue were strong and stirring (a dream.).
(This must be a dream.)
She felt her legs slowly being pushed upright, her body now in an ‘L’ shape, the hand now back between her legs. A body knelt at her bottom and parted her legs a little and she felt sharpness as something was pushed inside her.
She was riveted by the rhythmic thrusting and her body responded to the motions. She smiled-
Or thought she did.
Her intruder moved faster and Mahisa’s body quivered with thousands of new feelings. Her emotions tumbled and jumbled as the thrusting became faster and harder (a dream). Sensations wildly exploded all over her body as her intruder climaxed and drew away breathless.
There was yet another sharp jab in her arm (a dream?) and she melted into sleep.