Sunday, February 10, 2013

9/30/12 - Bodies In Motion - Pt. 3 - Toys as Tall as Men

The room is dark -- lit only in patches -- and full of strange things, all promising pleasure and pain.

A naked, pudgy man hangs from the ceiling, suspended by straps and chains. An older woman stands in front of him, wearing a one-piece suit so white it almost has a light of its own. 

"Listen to me," the woman is whispering into the man's ear, while holding his !@#$ so hard that it's a wonder it doesn't explode in her hand like a ripe, pulpy tomato: "What we do is secret. What we do is safe. I will show you things you can never believe, but must never reveal. And in return, you will do what I want, whenever I want, so long as you may live."

She squeezes his manhood just that much harder, and blood begins to dribble from it: "Do you understand?" she hisses.

"Yes..." a much younger Wen Boxiong says, lost in the ecstasy of this one moment-

* * *

It's morning in Beijing, and an older, much larger Wen Boxiong wakes to find a hauntingly familiar scent in the air.

He blinks and rises, wondering if it's just something from a dream. But then he inhales deeply, and realizes that the smell isn't something he's imagined. It is all too real.

It is her.

He looks over at the table by his bed, where he keeps his glasses and teeth. A small, delicately-folded note sits there, tucked right under his glasses.

He puts them on and opens it up without hesitation, and with all due haste. As he reads the words he gasps, and holds his hand to his mouth. His eyes close tightly, and he knows fear and arousal in near-equal measure.

The Botanical Garden, the note instructs: Noon. Alone. 

She doesn't need to sign it. He knows her handwriting and style of delivery all too well. And if that wasn't enough, the scent of her perfume is unique in the world.

The Lady of Pain has come back to see him, and tonight he will either know love or death.

* * *

On a day like today, there is no time to be hesitant.

He changes his entire schedule, including his after-dinner meeting with the American President in disguise. He tells his security detail that they will accompany him on a tour of the city, but that they are to leave him after a certain point, and yet continue to radio in that he is with them. He will rejoin them at his residence, later, and they are to tell no one of this.

He picks out a suitable disguise, like the American President taught him to. A reversible coat, a ballcap, and bad shoes will make him look like an entirely different man, and the special contact lenses he pockets will confuse any optical scanners. 

(He mulls bringing the small, boxlike emergency communicator his new allies have given him, but decides to leave it back here; if she finds it on him, it's unlikely he will survive the encounter.)

He makes certain that various things are seen to, around his official apartment. There are some secrets that may come to light after his disappearance, or death, and he cannot control them. But there are other secrets that he can control, and these are hidden in such a way that his new allies will find them. Hopefully they will know what to do with these things, but if they don't, then it will no longer be any of his concern.

All that done, he takes his leave of the place -- possibly for the last time -- gets into a waiting car with his security detail, and prepares himself to do something he thought he'd never have to do again.

Not since she spurned him, anyway. 

* * *

The hasty plan goes better than he had hoped. 

He ditches his security team on cue, in a place where he knows the security cameras are broken and the advertisements old and useless, and they do not so much as blink an eye. He slips into a public restroom that isn't used that much, locks himself into a toilet stall, and changes his clothing. He puts the contacts in, hating the sting of them, but consoling himself that having red eyes will make him just that much less recognizable to others.

The change done, he goes out into public a different man, unworthy of special attention. He strides meekly and humbly through the crowded streets of the city, pretending to marvel at the new devices being installed on streetcorners and tall buildings, and be reverent to the Imago who float nearby, watching.

It's an educational journey. He almost gets pickpocketed waiting for a light. Older women make eyes at him and younger men sneer in his direction. When he gets onto the bus for the gardens, he only sits for two stops before he's impolitely urged to rise and remain standing so that some other, high party people he knows only by reputation can sit down.

(He amuses himself with how funny it would be to reveal his identity to them. It doesn't quite make up for how rude their minder is, but that can be dealt with another time. Hopefully.)

After all that, the actual ride to the gardens is quick and tidy -- almost anticlimactic. He gets there, pays to be let in just like any other person, and walks through the new, large security gate they placed there. No one calls or shouts after him as he walks through it, so it would appear the contacts work exactly as advertised.

But somehow that does not make him feel very secure.

* * *

The Lady did not tell him where they would meet, but he has a good idea where to find her. 

The tomb of Liang Qichao and his wife is in the northeast part of the garden. It's as much of a tourist attraction as any, but people tend to go there in small knots and clusters, if at all. It makes it a good place for two people to meet and have a quiet conversation while pretending to be admiring the scenery.

As he approaches, for a moment he finds himself hoping that she will not be there. Part of him hopes that this has all been a mistake -- maybe some kind of weird joke on his other ally's part -- and that he will get there, and be surprised to find that man instead, perhaps dressed as a woman. Or maybe this is some practical test on the American President's part, both to see how Wen would react to such a thing, and to ask him about that one, black secret in his new contact's somewhat-checkered past...

But no. He doesn't need to get more than halfway to the pavilion before he sees her there, resting up against a structure and looking right at him. She's dressed in a white coat with a long, round hat, and smoking a black cigarette on a long, white stem.

And she is as beautiful and terrible as ever.

He smiles. She does not smile back. He drops the smile and walks towards her, hoping this will be over quickly.

"You are late," the woman says as soon as he gets within earshot, her accent betraying a German heritage.

"The bus took longer-"

"No excuses, Wen Boxiong. I expect promptness, or have you forgotten?"

"I have not forgotten," he says: "But you told me never to expect to see you again."

"That is still no excuse for being late," she says, tapping her cigarette out. The smell of it excites his senses -- sweet, earthy tobacco with just the slightest hint of something else.

"No, it is not. I am sorry."

She smiles, puts her cigarette holder away, and pats his cheek: "I accept your apology. I am sure you were just confused, after all these years. You clearly have forgotten a few things."

"And some things I have not forgotten," he says, holding his hand to where she touched him: "And never will."

"I am glad to hear that," she says, taking his other hand in hers: "I am sure you were hurt by how I ended things."

"Yes," he admits.

"And I am sure that, being hurt, you were angry."

"I could not be-"

"Do not lie to me, Wen," she says, squeezing the hand in all the right spots to create an intense flare of pain: "You never could then and you cannot now."

"Yes," he admits, yanking his hand away and holding it: "I was angry. I still am."

"But you came, anyway."

"If I did not come, then the next time I saw you there would be no chance to talk."

"No," she says, smiling: "I suppose not. Do you still fear me?"


"Do you still want to fuck me?"

That word. The way she says "!@#$," like it had just been invented and unveiled for the first time. A million sense-memories exploding in his mind, like fireworks. Pain and pleasure, completion and rejection, love and hate. 

Having it all and then watching it leave him.

"Yes," he breathes, closing his eyes and letting her scent overtake him.

"Well then," she says, turning and indicating that he should follow: "That's a start, at least."

* * *

They walk in silence, for a time, until they are all alone on a path.

She lets him kiss her, then -- hard on the mouth. She places his hands under her coat, revealing that she's not wearing anything under it. She lets him explore her, there, under her coat, his hands and heart building to an amazing crescendo of desire.

And then, just as he might be wanting to pull out his !@#$ and put it inside her, she jabs a very long, very thin, glass needle right under his breastbone, and into his heart.

He gasps in surprise, but not pain. Oddly enough there is no pain, any more than there is blood.

But the look in her eyes is terrifying. There is no love or warmth there, anymore. Merely hate.

"You betrayed me," she states, simply: "You took the thing that I gave you and gave it to another."

"Yes," he says, knowing that it would not be a good idea to lie, right now.

"You told an outsider about what was locked down in those files I gave you dominion over."

"Yes... I did-"

"I want you to tell me why you did this."

He hesitates for a moment, and she nudges the glass needle ever so slightly. The pain it produces is explosive, and for a second he almost screams. But she clamps her other hand over his mouth before he can, somehow holding him up and in place with just one arm.

"No lies," she says: "Nothing held back. It is not yet too late for you to live through this. But I want you to tell me everything, even if I do not ask for it. Do you understand?"

He nods. Oh yes, does he ever understand.

And as soon as she takes her hand from his mouth, he tells her everything she wants to know.

* * *

Later, when Wen Boxiong gets back to his apartment, he only gets as far as his living room before he falls to his knees and vomits. He does this for what seems like hours, wracked by horrible chest pain as he does. And when he has thrown up everything in his gullet he cries and sobs for what seems hours more.

He told her everything. He told her about the American President. He told her about SPYGOD. He told her about their interest in Unit 731

!@#$ him to !@#$, he even told her why they wanted to know.

And when it was all done, and there was no more left to tell, she just looked at him, pulled the needle out of his heart as swiftly as she'd pushed it in, and left him to writhe in pain on the path.

"You will never see me again," she said, licking the blood from the needle: "I won't bother to kill you. You have done a good enough job of that already."

"Please..." he whimpered, holding out a hand: "I love you..."

"You do not even know what that word means," she hissed, stamping her foot onto his chest. He screamed and collapsed into a ball, mewling in pain. And when he finally came to, she was long gone.

No, he will never see her again. He knows this. And it would have been kinder if she'd just killed him.

But she might tell the Imago of what she now knows. She might want to do a deal with them. She may want to bring the entire arrangement crashing down around Wen Boxiong's head.

Can he tell the President? Should he? Does he dare risk SPYGOD's anger?

He doesn't know what to do, now, except to cry.

And so he does.

* * *

On the outskirts of Beijing, late that night, a woman in a white coat looks up at the sky, focusing on the stars.

Inside the city, you can't see a !@#$ thing, up above all the reflected light. Even out here it's hard to make it all out, with the clouds and smog. But at least it's a better view than in there, and even that's a better view than she'd have ever gotten back home.

Home. It seems a million lifetimes ago, now. She thinks of everything about it that she's missed, and tried to replicate here, and finds herself tearing up a little.

So she closes her eyes on her tears, and opens her mind up.

Are you there, my love? she asks her partner, who, though he may be halfway around the world from her, is always just one directed thought away: (REDACTED), are you there?

I am, Geri Yesterday, comes the languorous reply: I am a little busy, though. The three toys I brought back to my room are proving to be most distracting.

I'm sure, she says, luxuriating in the sensual backwash she's getting from the edges of his mind: But please, lover, don't call me that, anymore. That role is done, now. 

As mine should be-

Not quite, she thinks, feeling his pleasure as he watches the life slip slowly from one of his "toys": I have just learned some disturbing things from one of my old tools. 

Let me guess, lover, he replies: my damn twin is still in play, after all?

Yes, she says, somehow not surprised that he knew this, or kept this knowledge from her: And he's learned about the connection between the people we bargained with and the information that was hidden here, in China. 

I think he's learned about the Object, too, he says, sensing her curiosity at his motives, and doing his best to block them from her: He may have an idea on how they all fit together.

That could be a problem.

I don't fucking think so. So what if he destroys these metal-clad aliens? We'll still get what we need-

I'm not convinced. They may not have told us everything we need to know to make the device work. And if he manages to destroy them...

... then we won't know for certain until we activate it at home, he finishes her thought: That is a concern.

Especially since, once they're gone from this world, we won't have anywhere else to go if the device doesn't work.

You know, you really do know how to ruin a perfectly good artfuck, love, he sighs, killing the other two without much panache or pleasure: Where is (REDACTED)?

I do not know where your twin is. 

Find out for me?

I think you can find that out on your own, lover, she says, smiling: Consider it due payment for not telling me what you knew, before.

A fair price, he chuckles: Are you going to tell those metal fucks what you've learned, then? 

The line goes dead in his mind, and the SPYGOD from Alter-Earth shrugs, knowing that the !@#$ he's been sharing a mission -- and occasionally a bed -- with for almost an entire century will do whatever the !@#$ she's going to do.

As for him, he'll get on the trail of his unknowing enemy in the morning. But for now, there's art to make of these three, dead toys.

And he's not going to stop until he's convinced the most horror-hardened member of Capetown's police force will cry for hours after seeing what he's done with them.

(SPYGOD is listening to Splintered In Her Head (The Cure) and having a Naale Stoutbeer)

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