Object Lesson

Anar, Hiss -4, 00525

With a sigh of soft pleasure I sank into the comfortable water of the roofpool. The day had been rough; it was unusual of me to get involved in politics, especially Terran politics, and this recent development with their engineering Norvegicus for sentience was starting to eat at me. I needed a break.

One thing about the roofpool that I keep forgetting about is the SDisk on the floor, the one for dolphins. I was lying along the rocks by the shallow end on my belly, my legs in the water, my head up, and I failed to notice the dolphin swimming up behind me. He slipped a fin along my thighs and up the crack of my ass before I even had chance to squeal.

“What the- !?” I shouted, turning over. “Shirmin! Dammit!”

He rolled over in the water and said, in Anglic,

But you like it, you know,\ You’ve told me so,\ Several times.

I grinned at him. It’s not true that dolphins speak in haiku, or whatever it is Terran writers dictated they should speak in. But the idea of doing so is something of a fad among dolphins, and there are those who do it well. Shirmin is one of them. I paused for the thought and replied in kind,

That’s true, my love,\ You’ve fit like a glove,\ Several times.

He laughed and lazed over to me. “Like a glove?” he chided. “That’s not a concept the Purist dolphins would approve of.”

“Really?” I asked. “And are you becoming a Purist in your old age?”

He wagged his tail in the water. “Not in a million years. No way.”

“No?”

“Purism has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve heard of in the past three centuries. There’s no point. We aren’t Tursiops Truncatis, and no amount of fantasizing is going to get us there.”

“Still, I don’t think you should get upset with a group of Dolphins who insist on trying to survive without biocybe. Just because we live with wires in our heads doesn’t mean we should criticize those who don’t.”

“But the ones who get it all taken out?” he asked. “Taken OUT?” He shivered. In the water I felt it run through his body, and what little empathy people tell me I have told me about pain. “Do you have any idea how much trauma that entails? And then, those who come back out of the Purists have to have it re-installed? They’ll never function the same way again.”

I sighed. “I don’t like it. There’s nothing I can do about it. Besides, you’re there for that. To try and educate them.” My hand slid along his flank, gently. We had been lovers for a few years, and I hoped I was still allowed this small privilege. He didn’t protest; quite the opposite, his shivering subsided. “Anything else new?”

“I’ve got a new pup,” he said proudly.

“You do?”

“Uh-huh. We’ve named him Rivert. Toma was the mother.”

“Toma? I don’t know her.”

He smiled. “I don’t expect you to keep up, not with a population climbing for sixty thousand now. She’s a nice person. You should meet her.”

I grinned, embarrassed. “I guess I should. By the way, I owe you a thanks.”

“For what?” he asked. Was it my imagination, or did he roll his belly closer to me?

“You know how Aaden and I are getting along?”

He nodded. “It’s been the only thing on the gossip circuit for the past six months.”

“I couldn’t have gotten there without you.”

He looked up at me, the expression on his face unmistakable. “Me? How so?”

I sighed and stroked his belly. He had offered it to me. “When I built the ‘phins, I was still, well… entalie’. Straight. I had slept with Jahn, a few times in fact, and there was that time at Rhysh, but I didn’t think I was comfortable with males.”

“So why am I responsible for you and Aaden?”

“I needed you. Does that make any sense? I needed a dolphin compatriot, and you were it. The fact that you were male didn’t make much of a difference… somehow, despite the fact that I knew how legendarily horny Tursiops was, I didn’t make the connection, and when you and I started getting along and it became kind of obvious that you were the dolphin who would end up with the family name, it… Do you remember the first time we had sex?”

He laughed. “I wouldn’t call it sex!”

“You wouldn’t?”

“Would you?” he asked.

“It was certainly voyeuristic. Turning on the lights at 10 in the night to find you rubbing yourself up against the glass like that.”

“I was… lonely.”

“Uh huh,” I replied, smiling. I slid my hand further down his belly. “You were masturbating like there was no tomorrow. I think I saw you come four times before you bothered to look and see if the lights were on downstairs.”

He grinned. “The glass was the smoothest part of the pool.” He swished his tail gently, angling closer to me again. My hands passed over the opening where his sheath lay hidden, and then further down his tail.

“Anyway,” I said, “You remember how… intimate we became.”

“Mm-hmm,” he replied. He was deliberately sliding back in the water so my reach could extend only as far as his penile slit.

“It was more important to me that you were a dolphin than that you were male. When we started to get… along, I only did what I felt was natural and gave what I had to offer. I didn’t feel I was engaging in erolie’ sex, like I did with Jahn. But when it came down to me and Aaden, the fact that I’d been intimate with you was as important as the fact that I’d been physical with Jahn… both allowed me to get closer to a male without many qualms in the way. Does that make sense?”

He answered in his favorite way:

You make life so hard!\ We know what we are,\ In the end.

I’m a symbol,\ Of a chosen role,\ I’m your friend.

My body’s stock,\ Shaped like a cock,\ As you intend.

Did you really need,\ A symbol like me,\ To love Aaden?

And one last time,\ This won’t rhyme,\ You’re exciting me!

“What?” I asked. I suddenly realized that his cock had come to full erection and that I had been sliding my hand along it for possibly a full minute already. I blushed hot, and apologized. “Sorry.”

“That’s okay,” he said quietly. He had long ago had the highest-quality vocoder installed in his blowhole, and if I closed my eyes only the touch told me I was fondling a dolphin. His cock is pretty impressive, as far as I, a human, was concerned. “You know I don’t mind.”

I sidled up next to him, rubbing my body against his. “How do I feel to you?” I asked with sudden curiosity. “All angles and edges, huh?”

“Not really,” he whispered. “It’s more… enveloping. Dolphins don’t have reach. Even with the ‘hands, it’s better to have you touch me.” To demonstrate, his four hands came floating through the water. Each is a four-fingered robotic hand, with not much for support; just fingers, really, with a base. They use gravitics to move.

As the ‘hands moved over my body, I found myself tickled, but I had to agree with him. It wasn’t as good as being touched by flesh, even by his flukes. “You’re right, it’s not the same. Send them away,” I whispered. They seemed to droop in the water as they sank to the floor of the pool.

“One more time, for past time’s sake?” he asked quietly.

“If you’d like,” I whispered.

“I would,” he said gently. He took a deep breath and rolled over onto his back, his huge cock bobbing gently out of the water. I slid on top of him; slowly his tail sank into the water, pulling him into a vertical position, and he began stroking back and forth with it, mostly to keep his blowhole out of the water; I had always found the motion suggestive. As I held on, his erection slid between my thighs and against my buttocks. I wiggled into position, using my hand to guide him in; the first time I did this, it hurt like hell. I came to treasure the slight burning sensation of salt water as he slid into me.

I heard my delphin lover gasp. “Good as you remember?” I asked.

“Better,” he sighed. “Hold on.” We held together, my hands gripping his pectoral fins up close to the shoulder. He began stroking in and out of me; I wrapped my legs around him, holding him close as he fucked me. It felt good to be with him, feeling his incredibly powerful body against mine. The sheer unending strength a dolphin has to keep swimming continuously was applied to my ravaged asshole; the water swished between us with great force. His cock slid deep into me; I could feel that wonderful rearrangement going on within me as we made love. He lost control of his voice, and descended into a delphinic chirping; I pressed my cheek against his broad chest and held on, gripping his pectorals harder. He was thrashing so hard our bodies were halfway out of the water; I couldn’t see it, but the speed of his penis within was so fast the signals weren’t getting to my brain fast enough for me to sort. It was all I could do to just hold him and whimper.

Which I did, griping his fins tighter. His huge body slapped against mine, the slick surface of his skin loud against my belly as we hit in rhythm with his tail. “Gods,” I whispered, “I’d almost forgotten…” He didn’t say anything; I held on for my life and his pleasure.

“I’m coming!” he screamed. I grabbed hold; our bellies slapped together as he jammed his semen into me. I held on tighter, hoping I didn’t hurt him as he collapsed back into the pool; I felt his cock literally pull from me as we separated, the burning of salt against my tender flesh painful and rewarding.

“You certainly were,” I smiled, gasping. I managed to haul myself up against the rocks on the shallow end of the pool.

He lolled up against me and said, “Did I hurt you?”

I stared down at him. “Did you hurt me?” I exclaimed. “No, you didn’t hurt me. I was afraid of hurting you, the way I was grabbing your fins like that.”

“They’re okay. I was just a little worried, Ken. I was being a little rough.”

I climbed out of the pool, leaned over and kissed him on the dome of his skull. “Just a little. But that’s okay. I’ve gotten used to it.”

“You’re still used to it?”

“No, Aaden ‘re-educates’ me from time to time.”

“Almost daily, if the rumors are true.”

“Almost,” I smiled. “So, what’s up?”

“I have this… problem, I was wondering if you could help me with.” He paused. “It’s a little your fault, too.”

“My fault?” I asked. I could feel repair mechanisms at work within me. I asked Dave silently for a nanochine drink. It slid out quietly on gravitics.

“Well, not so much your fault as ours. A lot of ‘phins treat me as the Delphin Shardik, and come to me for advice. Let’s be honest, you and I, Ken, and admit that we’re too nice guys.”

“Two nice guys?”

“No, too nice. As in for our own good.”

I nodded, understanding the words if not the meaning. But I think I was getting it. I downed about a quart of the nanochine drink, which is functionally equivalent to any real sports juice- lots of glucose, salt, and water. “Go on,” I said, putting aside the bottle and slipping into the water. No burning. I smiled.

“Do you have enough time for everybody who comes to you?” he asked.

I scowled. “I wish I did.”

“There aren’t enough nice guys, are there?” he asked. I shook my head. “Do you have to stop being nice?”

I slid up next to him in the water, fishing an oxytab out and holding it. “No, I just have to decide who’s really priority to being nice to.”

“I don’t copy,” he said. I smiled. I hadn’t used that phrase myself in decades.

“I… had to decide who was really important to me. The family, if you will. You. I’m a nice guy, but it’s up to me to seek you out, if I care.”

“Like your friend, Nance.”

I nodded. “Do I sound harsh when I say I can’t care about everybody?”

He waved his tail in the water slowly. “No,” he admitted, sighing as only Dolphins can. “No, you don’t. Even I know that’s impossible.”

I scratched my hair gently, feeling the salt itch slightly against my scalp. “I went after Nance full speed because I wanted him in my house. I didn’t want him to get killed, and if he had a family he wouldn’t be as reckless as he was at first.”

“He still got hurt.”

“Yes, but he came back. That’s the important part. He fought for me. And I fought for him. I don’t have the resources to do it for everybody, not the time, not the will, but I when I pick those I care for, there’s a good reason for it. Am I making ANY sense?”

He nodded, a single, quick jerk. “You’re saying I have to realize I’m just one ‘phin.”

“Sadly enough, yeah.” I kissed him, feeling my lips slide along slick, dolphin hide. “Everybody told me not to bother with Nance, he wasn’t worth the effort, or the pain, because he was just going to die, probably sometime soon.”

“Do you do that often?”

“What, have self-destructive tendencies that sometimes pay off?”

He gave a laugh, which sounded not unlike a kazoo being tortured by cats. “Yeah.”

“Sometimes. Not… not often, I would hope.”

“How often are they worth it?”

“Always.”

“Always?” he asked. “How can self-destruction be always worth it?”

“Because I always learn something. I never learn not to do that again, but I learn something. Because always the situation is different.”

He didn’t seem happy with the answer. “Is that what I have to do?”

“No, you don’t have to.”

“But you do. I can’t picture it.”

I shrugged, kissing him again, this time closer to his dorsal. “That’s the way I am.”

He sighed. “I guess I’m not built that way.”

“Guess not. Hey, Shirm?”

“Eh?”

“Wanna do an open water?”

“What, now?” he asked as I scratched him gently. He began to chitter softly; he’s always liked the way I scratch him.

“Yeah?”

“Keep doing that and you’ll have me convinced. Got that breathing thing you need?”

“Better,” I said. “New nanochine. Oxygen reprocessor.” I buckled a belt-pouch about my waist. Other than that, I went naked.

“Let’s go,” he said. We dove for the SDisk and the lagoon, following it out as fast we could manage, my holding him close. We stopped about a hundred meters offshore and I closed my eyes, sinking into the sea. About a meter down, I got ready for stage one.

I put the oxytab in my mouth and held it there; the feeling of it’s activation is always creepy, but I’d been getting used to the sensation of millions of tiny spiders crawling along my brachiation. It settled for a second, and I opened my eyes. The focus was off, but adjusted quickly; Shirmin was watching me with concern. It was time for stage two.

I inhaled. Water flooded my lungs, burning and chilling at the same time. Like the last occasion I tried this stunt, my entire body shuddered, screaming in defiance, fearful of drowning. I cursed and wished for self control. It came back slowly. I was not going to die.

“Are you okay?” I heard him say. Like I said, he had good taste in voders; this one let him talk equally proficiently underwater.

I tapped my throat; I couldn’t talk this way. It was a major difference from the old mask, where I could. At least this way I felt less encumbered. I pointed to my head, then fished out a little Brace radio center from my belt pouch, turned it on. Can you hear me?

“Better,” he said. “That’s weird.”

Sorry, I replied. Water won’t move past the vocal chords fast enough.

“How long does that thing last?” he asked.

About six hours or so, I replied. And there are other limitations. It’s a warm day, though, so we shouldn’t have other problems.

“That’s interesting,” he said. “You’re more fish than I am.”

You were never meant to be a fish.

He smiled. “You know what I mean.”

I hate when people mistake Dolphins and fish. That’s so stupid. You’re not even close.

“We’re sexier, for one thing.”

Uh-huh! I replied, reaching out to stroke him as he swam by. I let myself drop to the ocean floor, checking for marine life before letting my toes sink into the white sand. The last time I’d played with the oxytabs I had nearly been sliced in two by a sleeping leopard ray.

He swam by casually. “You have to stay down, don’t you?”

Well, I can’t breathe air until I undo this thing.

He nudged up against me. “We’ll manage,” he said, rubbing by me, deliberately dragging a pectoral fin over my crotch lazily.

Is that a hint?

“This was your idea,” he said. He swum around me in circles; it is true that dolphins are huge phallic symbols, and I wanted the one in front of me.

I remember the first time we tried this. I smiled.

“At least there wasn’t as much screaming and yelling as the first time I tried you.”

I knew I could handle the size, I replied, I forgot about the salt water, however.

He nodded, shooting up to the surface for a breath before coming back down. “Meet me halfway?” he asked.

I pushed off the bottom and ascended. Halfway up he met me and shouted “Grab on!” I took hold of his dorsal and we were off, full speed through the ocean. The warm water parted before us, he and I, as we shot down into the bright sea. He took a turn; I wrapped my legs around his midriff, wanting to turn around, get underneath him. My erection was pressed against his spine, which massaged me with every stroke as we exploded out into the sunlight and were tossed apart by his violence. I fell back into my newfound element, and he was suddenly beside me again. I rubbed him and kissed him. I remember.

“Get in,” he smiled. “I want to, too.” I clambered underneath him, the phrase ‘sea monkey’ running through my head as I did so. As I pressed my erection against his anus and slid in, I remembered about him, and all dolphins, especially males. His anus is actually slightly elongated, so my cock felt like it was wedged between two tight but very soft and wonderful plates. I reached up and grabbed his dorsals, pulling myself up and wrapping my legs around his tail. He decided to provide the motion, swimming carefully, in that slow and gentle action. I held on underneath, my legs gripping his sides; there was just enough motion for me to feel the pleasure of his anus again.

“Feels neat,” he sighed as we slid down into the water.

You do, too. Thanks for coming by, I replied. I began to flex my knees gently, providing my own motion.

“That’s it… you never did know when to stop.” He own cock swelled out of it’s sheathslit, pressing up between us. I bent down, putting a terrible amount of drag on our already less-than-hydrodynamic shape, and reached for it. I took the head into my mouth and sucked down, gently.

“Ohfah!” he gasped. “You don’t have to stop this time, do you?”

Nope, I replied. It’s great to be able to talk with my mouth full!

He laughed into the water. I felt it more than heard it. I let loose his cock and began stroking his asshole harder, fucking him. It’s my turn.

“Yes,” he sighed, arcing his body to break the surface and get a breath of air. “I want to feel you lose it, Ken.” I smiled; my arms and thighs burned with the force of our lovemaking, and I began to shove my cock deeper into his slick, sexy body, gripping tightly.

I’m getting there…

“Yeah.. come on.”

Oh, Shirm… I said, losing the ability to even think clearly, and then exploding into him, control following thought into sweet oblivion. I could feel each jet of semen squeeze out of me and I held on. I felt dizzy.

He stopped moving then, floating in the water at a stop. “Are you okay, Ken?”

I don’t know… I paused, then realized what had happened. The oxytabs aren’t meant for real serious exertion; I had apparently pushed this one past it’s limits.

“Should I get you back?”

That would probably be a good idea. I held onto his dorsal and he made his way back into the lagoon. Hold it, I said.

“What?”

I need to take this thing out. I fished into the beltpouch and found the detab. I waited until I felt I was ready and climbed up onto shore. I was now literally a fish out of water, and would die if I didn’t deactivate the nanochine I had incorporated. Dave, shut down my autonomics.

Ken, the AI replied, That’s not a good idea.

Do it, dammit.

There was a pause, and my whole body seemed to go completely numb. I put the deact-tab into my mouth and watched, but did not feel, as I went into convulsions, coughing up water onto the beach, plus significant portions of my lunch. I was quite sure that the other orifices of my body were equally abused. When it was over, I swept the entire mess into the stream leading down and out of the lagoon, sure that either the tide or Dave would make sure it was cleaned up before anyone else came along. I watched the entire process with a sense of clinical detachment. Okay, Dave, let me have it.

My senses came back on line, suddenly and painfully. I groaned, suffering with the return of sensation, feeling every last centimeter of my throat and GI-tract twist and knot.

“I hate to repeat myself, but are you okay?”

“I…” My voice sounded terrible. “I will be.”

“Why didn’t you take the mask?” Shirmin asked, concerned.

“Because I like those tabs.”

“But look what they do to you!”

“So?” I asked. “It was worth it, to be with you, Shirm.” I leaned out over the water and kissed him between his eyes again. “Will you be okay?”

“I think so. I’m just worried about you!”

“Don’t be. I’ll recover. By tonight I’ll be my usual healthy safe.”

“I hope so.”

“I know so.”

“Then…” He paused. “I guess I’ll get going. Toma’s going to wonder where I am.”

“Take care, lover,” I said.

He turned over in the water, waving one fin in my direction. He dove down into the water, then suddenly vaulted skyward. “Goodbye!” he shouted, then careened down the stream as if with rocket-assist. I waved good-bye to him as he disappeared once more into the wide Vinyare’ ocean.