Pearl was the happiest she’d ever been. The daughter she had lost had found her way home. Kate Lemay was a staff sergeant in a recon platoon of Gryphon IV’s prestigious “Racine’s Rangers”. As the military prepared for several months of training exercises, Pearl’s “Katie” spent as much of her free time as possible with her mother. Pearl learned that after committing Pearl to the mental institution, Pearl’s ex-husband fled to Gryphon IV with money he had embezzled from their employer. Three years later, when Katie had turned eight, hit men caught up to Pearl’s ex-husband and he paid the price for embezzling from the wrong people.
On Gryphon IV, orphaned children become wards of the state. The state cares for them and educates them. Upon reaching adulthood, the ward repays the state through service. Many of the children choose to serve in the military because the term of military service is shorter than civilian service. So Katie became a soldier. She was good at it.
Pearl took Azumi’s advice and changed her hair color to red. Even Vivian approved of the new color. Pearl’s bond with Nina continued to grow. They weren’t sure if Nina’s programming was expanding, or if everyone’s perception was changing, but for whatever reason, Nina seemed to be becoming more “human.” Katie even jokingly referred to Nina as her “other mom”.
It was then that Azumi called. It was time for Pearl to pay what she owed. The first step was to have a system interface installed to directly connect Pearl’s brain to a myriad of electronic systems. Having the interface installed was a simple, yet expensive, surgical procedure. The cognitive therapy that followed was a bit hard for Pearl. Exercises like moving a pointer across a screen, opening data files, or even scrolling text were daunting at first. The doctor and therapists assured Pearl it would get easier and the only reason it was harder was due to Pearl being older and her brain not being as elastic as that of a younger person.
After a month of preparing equipment and acclimating to New Hope’s environment, the military, in the incomprehensible mystery of all militaries, commenced drop ship maneuvers from orbit. It worried Pearl a little that her daughter would be hurtling toward the planet’s surface at speeds much faster than a typical shuttle landing. When Katie told Pearl that the exercise she was most looking forward to was the individual free fall jump in the stratosphere from a space plane traveling near mach one, Pearl became a nervous wreck. Katie had just smiled and told Pearl not to worry, the jump was “easy peasy”. So Pearl welcomed the diversion when Azumi said she was ready for the next payback installment.
Azumi took Pearl to the White Rabbit Key Club, a prestigious night club brothel nestled among the ocean front casinos. The White Rabbit was actually open to everyone, but key holders got extra benefits, invitations to exclusive parties, tickets to premier new night club acts, discounts for frequent visits, and other perks. The doorman greeted Azumi by name and when they had entered the club, the maitre d’ instantly smiled and bounded to Azumi’s side. “Good evening, Miss Azumi. Do you wish your usual table?”
“Not tonight, Karl. I have business in the warren.” replied Azumi. In keeping with the “white rabbit” theme, the brothel portion of the building was called “the warren”.
“Ahh, very well. I’m sure madame will be pleased to see you.” said Karl as he ushered Azumi and Pearl to the warren’s entrance.
An elegant woman of Pearl’s age stepped out from behind a podium. She had dark hair piled high on her head revealing diamond earrings dangling in a teardrop arrangement. She drew her full ruby lips into a luscious smile. Her dress was a bustled affair that matched the large feather in her hair and her lipstick in color. A corseted bodice revealed ample cleavage and the skirts were draped open in front revealing shapely legs in black micro-fishnet stockings. She could have just stepped off of a stage, instead, her costume identified her as the madame, the brothel manager. “Good evening, Miss Azumi.” she cooed. “Everything you asked for is ready.”
“Wonderful!” said Azumi. “I can always count upon you Karla. Which room?”
“Thank you. We selected room twelve as it is the best.” Karla replied handing Azumi a card key.
Pearl was impressed and she started to feel as though she wasn’t dressed properly for an evening out. “Karl and Karla?” Pearl asked.
“Yes, brother and sister, twins. Perhaps the best host and hostess on the entire planet.”
“So you’re a key holder and come here often?” Pearl quizzed.
“Key holder?” Azumi grinned. “No, my dear, I’m a partner. I own forty per cent of the White Rabbit. Now, did you bring your sensanet?”
“Yes, I’ve got it with me. I don’t know why we’re here when you were so adamant that I bring the sensanet with me.” Pearl said following Azumi down a hallway. The “sensanet” was like a hair net covered with sensors. Pearl had opted for the sensanet to connect her systems interface over a physical cable jack embedded in her skull. The sensanet was a bit bulkier and a few nanoseconds slower that the physical jack, but Pearl didn’t like the ideal of having the additional hardware protruding from her head. It was enough that the surgeons had gone in behind her ear and implanted deep in her brain the micro circuits and nanobots necessary to tie her brain to machinery.
“You’ll soon find out.” said Azumi as she gently knocked on room twelve’s door.
The door opened to reveal a tall young woman with dark blonde hair. Her eyes twinkled as she smiled and threw her arms about Azumi in a hug. “Oh, Miss Azumi, I’m so happy to see you.They kissed each other on the cheeks. Then Azumi turned toward Pearl.
“Jennifer, this Pearl, the one I told you about.” said Azumi. “Pearl, this is Jennifer.”
“I’m glad you came.” Jennifer said while taking Pearl’s hand. “Please, won’t both of you come inside?”
The room was beautiful. Pearl had seldom seen such luxury. There was a small kitchenette with a wet bar, a full bathroom with a sunken hot tub, an entertainment area with state of the art sound and vids flanked by two plush love seats, and the business portion of the room was a large bed with silk sheets.
Their hostess, Jennifer, was wearing a pale blue bathrobe and six inch stiletto heels. “Ladies, please be seated.” she said while motioning toward the love seats. Pearl took a seat while Azumi remained standing. Jennifer settled into the love seat opposite of Pearl.
Azumi began speaking. “Ok, it is time to get to business. Pearl, up to this point you’ve been learning to access information systems with your mind. I believe it is now time for the next step. Tonight, you will learn to access the senses and emotional state of another person. Jennifer is quite good at this and will be an excellent mentor for you.”
“Wait.” said Pearl in a nervous voice. “Are you talking about cyberlink sex?”
“Yes, to answer your question.” replied Azumi. “Sex while jacked together is an intense experience, but you will learn what I need you to learn much quicker than spending another six months in cognitive therapy.”
Jennifer leaned over and took Pearl’s hand in hers. “Don’t worry, Pearl. I’m sure you’ll do fine.”
“It’s settled.” said Azumi. “You two lovebirds get to work and I will see you in the morning.”
Jennifer rose and walked to the door with Azumi while Azumi whispered final instructions. After Azumi left the room, Jennifer dimmed the lights and switched on some light jazz. She went to the bar and prepared a couple of drinks. Pearl looked about the room. The colors and textures all were designed to help one relax into pleasure. Only Pearl felt a little nervous, which seemed a little silly to her. If there was one thing in which Pearl had plenty of experience, it had to be sex. Jennifer came back to the entertainment area and set a tray with two drinks on a low table. This time, instead of sitting in the love seat opposite of Pearl, she sat next to Pearl.
“I’m afraid I don’t drink alcohol any more.” said Pearl.
“I know.” said Jennifer. “It’s iced tea. There is a light sedative in it that you must take. And myself as well.”
“Well, you become confused as to whose body you are in and… and the brain’s safety mechanism kicks in and you lapse into a kind of drunken stupor before passing out.” She picked up the two glasses and handed one to Pearl. “Meanwhile, while we have our tea, let’s become better acquainted.” She slipped an arm around Pearl’s shoulders and the younger woman drew Pearl closer. The two women chatted softly and in between sips of tea, they kissed. As the glasses emptied, the kisses became more passionate. Placing the empty glasses on the table, Jennifer stood and took Pearl by the hand and led her to the bed.
Jennifer asked, “Do you have your sensanet?” Pearl nodded and pulled it out of her purse. Jennifer helped Pearl put it on and adjusted the net so that all of the sensors touched the scalp. She then helped Pearl undress amid caresses and more kissing. She released Pearl and picked up a twenty foot cable and attached it to Pearl’s sensanet. The other end was attached to a small switch box on a night table next to the bed. Jennifer picked up a second cable. Brushing her hair back, Jennifer plugged the cable into the jack at the base of her skull. Jennifer untied the belt to her robe and let it float to the floor.
Pearl gasped. “You have a penis?”
“Yes.” Jennifer replied with a slight smile. “I’m a transsexual woman. Miss Azumi knew that when she selected me. Will that be a problem?”
Pearl took a good look at Jennifer. Jennifer was well proportioned, in fact she was perfectly shaped. Her skin was smooth and unblemished. She was devoid of body hair. And somehow, the male bit looked as though it belonged on a woman. “I really have no desire for men,” Pearl began, “but I see absolutely nothing male about you at all, Jennifer. I think this is going to be a rather interesting evening.”
Jennifer stepped forward and embraced Pearl. “Thank you, that is so sweet.” They kissed again and then Jennifer said “When I flip this switch, we will be linked together. It will be confusing at first as we merge into each other. This experience is totally different from what you have been doing so far with your interface.”
“How so?” asked Pearl.
“There is no control as with say a computer. You can’t control me and I can’t control you. You can’t read my thoughts and I can’t read yours. I’m not saying that that isn’t possible, just not with this software. We won’t dig into our memories or psyche. What happens is that we will experience each other’s senses. You will see, hear, and feel what I see, hear, and feel. And vice versa. I guarantee the most intense climaxes you’ve ever had if you can relax and ride the extra sensory flow. Are you ready, Pearl?”
“Yes, sweetie, let’s do this.” Pearl replied.
With the flip of the switch, Pearl’s peripheral vision went out of focus as though she were in a tunnel. She began feeling disoriented and on the verge of throwing up. After a few seconds, her stomach settled down. Her eyes opened, but she didn’t remember them being shut. She looked down and discovered she had a penis. Pearl gasped and grabbed her crotch, but the penis wasn’t there. Jennifer giggled. “No, you don’t have a penis, you were looking through my eyes and saw mine.”
“But it was attached to me, or so I thought. So I was actually using your eyes?”
“Not ‘using’ my eyes, you were just seeing what I was looking at. Relax and tell me what you see now.”
Again the peripheral vision blurred. Pearl was looking directly into Jennifer’s face and then she saw her own face at the same time. Pearl closed her eyes. She no longer saw Jennifer’s face, but she could still see hers and her face had its eyes closed. She opened her eyes again. “It’s kind of like double vision,” she said. “I see what you see superimposed on what I see. When I close my eyes, I only see what you see.”
Jennifer smiled. “If you think vision is wild, wait until you experience touch.” She drew Pearl closer and began kissing. Pearl couldn’t describe the sensations and soon became lost in who felt what. All she knew was that it all felt good. Pearl began to feel an euphoria, the euphoria one feels when one begins to get a little tipsy. Pearl slid down to her knees and began caressing the lone bastion of maleness into full erection. She closed her eyes. She felt Jennifer’s penis throb with anticipation. Then she felt a shudder race up both their spines as she watched her lips part.
The room’s door opened and a light came on. Whoever it was, was courteous enough to dim the light. Jennifer nudged Pearl awake. “Time to wake up, baby.” she cooed.
“Ish it mornin’ already?” moaned Pearl.
“Technically, yes, but it’s still dark outside.” answered Jennifer. “I’m afraid it is time for me to go.” She squeezed Pearl and they kissed deeply. “Do come back and see me sometime. I really enjoyed our time together.”
“Do ya really haf to go?” Pearl whined.
“Yes, I’m afraid Miss Azumi insists.” Jennifer climbed out of bed and staggered toward the door. She started to fall, but Karla was there to help her stay on her feet.
“Did you enjoy your time with Jennifer?” Azumi asked.
“Oh, yeah,” Pearl slurred. “But that sedative in the tea didn’t work, cause, cause we both got plastered.”
“There wasn’t a sedative in the tea.” said Azumi putting on a pair of latex gloves.
“Whaaattt?” asked Pearl. “Is that why both of us felt stinkin’ drunk?”
“Yes, I substituted a different drug.”
“Why’d ya haf to do that, Azumi? Ish Jennifer going to be ok?” Pearl asked trying to raise her head.
“Jennifer will be fine. Karla helped her to another room so she could sleep it off. Lay back now, we have lots of work to do.”
“Work? I can’t work, I’m drunk.” Pear protested. “Why’d you do this, Azumi?”
“Because I need you in this state. I need you confused, dazed and I need hormones and endorphins at optimal levels. I need to check your body temperature.” she said holding up a thermometer. Pearl opened her mouth. Azumi shook her head. “Rectal.”
“Oh,” Pearl said and spread her legs.
“Pearl, are you aware that you have a condom hanging out of your ass?”
“So that’s where it went.” giggled Pearl. “You know, I didn’t like anal until Nina…. Hey, watch out down there, I’m wet enough to float a ship. Oooh, are we going to make love?”
Azumi turned and opened a small case. She plugged Pearl’s sensanet into one jack and then uncoiled a cable and plugged herself into another jack. “No, we aren’t going to make love, but you may think we did. Most of what happened here will become a blur. You won’t remember most of it.”
“Why?” Pearl asked.
“I’m going to fill that empty head of yours with lots of information that you might need later. You won’t know how you got the information and you can’t consciously retrieve it. But when you need it, it will be there. In doing so, you will forget most of what happened tonight.”
“That’s like Nina.” said Pearl. “A couple of months ago, she displayed these awesome martial arts skills and had no idea how she came by them. Oh, shit!”
“What is it?” asked Azumi.
“I won’t forget Jennifer, will I?”
“Probably not, her having a penis will most likely stay with you.” laughed Azumi.
“She was so good. I bet she’s popular with all the ladies.” said Pearl.
“When I first came to you for help, I thought I would end up working for you in a brothel to pay you back. Not a nice one like this, but one where the clientele seldom bathes and likes to beat their women. You’re not going to whore me out are you?”
“At one time it would have given me great pleasure to put you in a brothel like that. But you would have done it. You would allow yourself to be degraded and abused in order to save the Dominque girl. No, we aren’t going to ‘whore you out.’ We have other plans. Now, relax!”
It had been two weeks since Pearl’s visit to the White Rabbit. Katie was back in town for a few days of leave before the final set of maneuvers. She and two of her friends were meeting Pearl, Nina, and Vivian at Yanni’s Pancake House for breakfast. No sooner than the waitress had taken their order, Pearl dashed to the restroom. When Pearl returned to the table, everyone had been served their coffee or tea.
“You don’t look too well, mom. Are you ok?” asked Katie.
“I’ll be ok. It’s a stomach thing. Started yesterday. I feel so nauseous.” said Pearl. “In fact I haven’t felt this way since…” Pearl froze mid sentence while looking directly at her daughter. Her eyes grew large in disbelief. The silence would have stretched forever, but Nina put her cup down on its saucer and calmly announced, “Mistress Pearl is pregnant.”