Somehow, it didn't seem right depopulating New York. But it does feel much better this way, I have to admit. I looked out over the railing down onto the quiet streets below while the wind whipped my long hair around my face, threatening once again to flay my eyes. I had forgotten a simple elastic with which to tie my hair back. Although I had long ago become accustomed to carrying one-- living with Aaden and learning to fly myself had made it a necessity-- I hadn't figured on being anyplace particularly windy this evening.
A city that once held sixteen million people, now it was barely populated by half a million. Those half million, and the attendant untold numbers of robots, tended to the city and kept it intact. It was now, like many of the places that dotted the land, a monument, a museum to a time that had existed long ago. Those half million kept parts of this museum looking and sounding like it had at various points in its history. Parts of the city functioned as they always had. Broadway still had plays every night, and the jazz clubs and mosh pits still ran as expected. Sure, they were cleaner now, without homeless urinating in the streets or muggers hiding in alleyways. Some people felt that took the edge off New York City, that it wasn't the same place without the danger. I suppose. In the one percent of the galaxy we had so far explored there were plenty of places someone could get themselves into trouble. Earth didn't have to be one of them anymore.
I felt a little ambivalent about attending another of Ally's parties, er, orgies. They weren't the usual kinds of events I attended. But somehow I found it fascinating to attend an orgy on the roof of the Empire State Building, or the observation deck at any rate. This wasn't the original Empire State, but the third building to occupy this plot of land and call itself such, and it looked exactly like the original one built in 1913. Not all the details were precise-inside was rather different from the original, keeping up with the times in terms of construction and materials technologies. The glass was now all some sort of transparent ceramic material. Even though there was a staircase there were no elevators; people took SDisks from floor to floor. The dirigible anchor was actually in use these days-- one company had reconstructed the Hindenburg, although now inflated with helium and getting the needed extra lift from gravitics systems. It was quite the tourist attraction.
I walked back through the swinging glass doors and into a blast of conversational noise. Most of the people here were from Pendor, and most of them I had encountered in one guise or another over the course of the years. There were some people here I had tried to get my hands on in the past and some I would never want to lay hands on in a million years. As I walked through, the crowd seemed to part around me and I recognized someone I had not anticipated. I walked up to the very lovely Ebele Zapata and held out my hand. "Madame President, it is so good to meet you again. I had not expected you at such an undignified event."
Those almond-shaped eyes of dark black flashed with her smile. "Shardik," she replied, holding out her hand, cupped downwards. I recognized the gesture and returned it, taking her hand, turning it upwards and kissing the palm gently. She seemed honestly pleased by the intimacy I had just taken, but then, at an orgy, I wondered, what would constitute excess? "How is it undignified? This is not something I'm attending as an official capacity. Besides, I'm retired. Like you, I hear."
"If you're retired the way I am, Madame President, then you are not retired at all."
"Precisely," she said. She looked glorious in a white strap gown that reached for the floor, hugging her curves on the way down and showing off her lovely anatomy underneath. I was sure that, unfortunately, her body was the result of nanosculpture, but in the 11th Century that was little surprise. It was nice to see that she had resisted the current trend towards large breasts, a trend I thought would have looked utterly strange on her Asian frame. On the whole, though, she looked great. Her black hair, cropped short, flowed around her head in waves every time she turned to look or greet someone.
"Enjoying yourself?" a familiar voice said in my ear. "Where are you loved ones?"
"Not on Earth," I replied to Ally as she greeted me. One of the lovelier creatures I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, Ally and her sister were still some of the more inscrutable. She had had her body modified several centuries ago, adding very felinoid ears to her otherwise normal-appearing head. As a Satryl, they made her seem even more a cat than she would have appeared when naked, and they were large even for a Felinzi, but they were well-proportioned by her usually well-teased hair. She looked like she should be some popular star of the sort whose fortunes seem to come and go with the decades, not the social director for a horny subsector of the Pendorian population. There were some aspects of her chosen profession that disturbed me personally, such as her decision to allow the use of recreational chemicals and erotica androids at her parties. If one is going to use drugs during lovemaking, there should be some controls on the use-- an orgy is not the sort of place one gets that.
"That's too bad. I like Aaden." She kissed my cheek, and I gave her a hug. She still wore the earring I had given her many years ago in one of those large and beautiful ears. "How's the transition going?"
"Much smoother since I got both the Moslems and the Jews to accept that I was not going to change the Temple Mount one bit. Well, smoother for me at any rate. They can continue hating each other all they want, but they're not going to hate me, except perhaps for not coming over to their cause. I want no part of it."
She nodded. "Well, enjoy the party. And try not to talk too much politics, huh?"
"I'll do that," I assured her, turning around to try and find President Zapata once again. I found her sitting on a couch, a glass of wine in her hand, looking somewhat forlorn. I took my own glass from a passing waiter, insisting on something non-alcoholic, and joined her. "Madame Pres-"
"Then you had better call me 'Ken.'"
"Ken," she agreed. "So, since this is something of an intimate get-together, can I put you on my dance card?"
"You certainly can," I enthusiastically agreed. My heart warmed at the idea that she might want me, since she could have just about anyone she wanted. A small child ran between us, interrupting our conversation. She had a mass of golden, curly hair, gold-tinted lipstick and dark eyeshadow, and wore a one-piece see-through leotard with spaghetti-thin straps over the shoulders. I gritted my teeth angrily as she walked by; I could feel my heartbeat rev with desire and my mind react with shock and horror to the sensation.
"It's not real, you know," Ebele said calmly, noticing my reaction. "The paedomorphic erotica androids are designed to make you feel that way." She glanced at it. "It's hair is probably perfumed with phermones."
"Well, at least the AIs know who buys them and so can make sure they don't graduate to real children," I sighed. "I just resent the image. Guess I've raised too many kids at my age."
"So you know how I feel too," she said with a murmur. "The trouble I have with them is that their owners usually have never had their own children. That means they still have the right to bear them, but..."
I nodded, understanding clearly where her train of thought pointed. "If they have children then what will their sexual tastes be like?"
"We are into a depressing subject," she sighed, her fingers caressing my bare arm gently. "I like the vest look. And you have no chest hair. Very refreshing. But then when bare chests without hair become the fashion again you will be just another right with the times."
I chuckled. "It's true that if you stand still you become fashionable again."
"Within limits," she pointed out cheerfully. "Oh, look." She pointed.
The chasers had begun. A couple in a corner, both human, had started to get heavy with one another. Both had the kinds of builds reserved for erotica stars-both clearly spent too much time either in a gymnasium or a nanosurgeon's office. She had the sleek lines and hidden muscles every woman dreamed of but few were born to; he had the visible muscles and pronounced bulge every man could now have but few truly earned. I leaned over to Ebele. "I thought the big dick thing was over."
"Not on Mars," she replied. "They're always a year or two behind us. And for shows like this I doubt it will ever go out of fashion. He must have something that can be seen in the back of the room."
I took her point to heart and watched the show emerging. Predictable to a fault, he knelt before her as she slowly unzipped the tight, white pants that easily wrapped themselves around her frame. The cloth seemed to melt at her touch, the front draping down like a panel to reveal a bare groin unfettered by public hair. He applied his fingers to her thighs and his mouth to her cunt, licking and kissing his way between her lips. She held his head in her hands, silently commanding him to continue his duty. At first her face looked serious, but soon it became clear that this couple, for all their artificial faults, enjoyed their chosen profession. Her mouth became wide and a loud moan escaped her. His enthusiasm for her cunt was obvious in the way he pushed against her; her enthusiasm for his attention reflected in the way she held his head to her crotch.
Although the buildup had been loud, her orgasm overtook her silently, shudders running through her as he give her a few final laps.
By now the crowd had gotten the energy the two chasers had been putting out and clothes were being shed left and right. I decided to join in the appearance, if not the action, tossing my vest aside. Ebele gave me a wide smile and kissed my chest delicately. "Should we join in the fun?" I asked.
"Let's," she agreed. Standing, she allowed me to remove her dress over her head. Underneath it she wore nothing at all. She returned the favor by pulling at the tab holding my kilt closed, allowing it to drop to the floor. We resumed our place on the couch, but this time she pressed me down into the soft folds of leather with her own body, leaning over me. Her small breasts brushed against my chest. My hands sought her ass and held her to me as our mouths met.
She kissed very well, her small tongue darting over my own, seeming to stab at times as she rubbed her body against mine. My erection waved up between her legs, blindly seeking a tight spot to get into. As it batted against her thigh and got her attention she whispered to me, "Shall we get started?"
"You're on top," I pointed out helpfully.
"So I am," she murmured as she lowered herself onto my cock. Her warmth enveloped my shaft and I felt that warming descend the length until she was sitting square on my hips, my cock buried completely within her. She raised her head, her eyes closed, and moaned softly.
Bracing herself with both hands, one on the back and one on the arm of the couch, she began to pump her hips in a circular motion. "You've a very nice penis, Shardik," she said with a smile.
I reached up and took her face in my hands, pulling us together into a kiss. "Thank you, Madame President," I replied with a whisper. "You've a very nice place for it."
"Mmm," she agreed.
I touched her small breasts with my hands, allowing my fingertips to brush against her nipples with her every thrust. A tough negotiator, she seemed just as solid a leader here in this intimate moment. Somehow, though, her body maintained a delicate look in either place and as I placed my hands on her I worried about how much strength I could show and not hurt or break her. I decided I was worrying too much and should follow the suggestions of my cock. Those intimate tickles, the first sensations that lead to orgasm, were already making their way up my body. I smiled up at her, and she merely grinned back. "Enjoying yourself?" she asked.
"Almost too much," I replied, holding her hips and pressing upwards with her every downward thrust.
"I thought you liked your sex a little... mph... rougher." She pressed down hard on the root of my cock and I could feel the head nestling up inside her.
I laughed. "I'm not the first historical figure to make his sex life a central part of his own record, but I might regret it more than most."
"Most of them aren't around to regret it anymore," she pointed out.
"I like my lovemaking any way it happens to come to me." I raised my head and kissed her nipple playfully. It hardened at my slight suggestion. Intrigued, I wrapped my lips around it, flicking it with my tongue. She whimpered, "Carefully... tickles."
"Bad or good?" I asked.
"It's good," she said. "But very sensitive."
"Mmm." I played with her nipples with just my lips, kissing one, then the other. Her breasts were little more than small mounds in her chest, barely enough to experience one gravity. Her hips became urgent and her downward thrusts rocked both me and the couch. "Don't stop," she whispered.
Too busy to reply, I enjoyed the sensations she aroused in me as our lovemaking took on a natural urgency. I pressed upwards as she came down and my cock found its mark at the very end of her cunt. She moaned with every stroke until suddenly she threw her head back in a loud, high moan that must have carried through the busy room.
"Whew," I said. "Nice."
"Yeah," she said. "You're still hard."
"Haven't come yet," I pointed out.
"Let me help with that," she said, shimmying down the length of my body to reach my cock.
"Ebele... why are you doing all the work?"
"Because I'm a take-charge fem, Ken, didn't you know that?" She laughed before kissing my scrotum softly. "Besides, it always seems to me that you're running everything. Let me do it. I like being able to please you." Her lips kissed the root of my cock and she worked her way up the length of it, one delicate hand pointing it towards the ceiling. That darting tongue I had experienced at the beginning of the evening was now even more active all over my cock, tickling the head, probing at the opening at the tip until she opened her lips wide and slowly took the head completely into her mouth. The soft texture of her tongue on the bottom and the solid ridge of her palette on top combined to take me to wondrous heights of pleasure.
I decided to do as she suggested and allowed her to have her way with me. Delicate fingertips probed at my asshole and tickled my flesh as her mouth caressed my cock. I had been closing in on an orgasm when Ebele came and I had had little time to recover. Her black hair bounced with every stroke on my cock and her fingers finally invaded between my cheeks and made their way deeper into my body. I gasped as two fingers tried to find my prostate. "Fingers-" gasped. "Don't press too hard."
It was her turn not to respond. But she was marvelous with her tongue and fingers. She discovered the secret of my asshole as her fingers stroked in and out, avoiding the prostate almost entirely. It worked much better that way, even if after a while the saliva she had used to get in there started to dry out. It didn't matter much. My groin was wound tighter than an ancient Swiss watch and with a gentle lick she ripped a scream out of me as I pumped semen down her throat. I thought I heard explosions.
I shook my head violently enough to send beads of sweat flying off my long hair. "Oh, Ebele!" I gasped. She grinned up at me, her long tongue licking little traces of white off her lip. "Let me," I said, kissing her and joining in the fun of cleaning up. Then I heard another explosion.
"What the Hell was that?" I asked. The sounds of gunfire caught my attention. "Fuck!" I shouted.
"Ken, four armed gunmen heading up the staircase," a voice shouted over the speakers. "I have the rescue team on the way but you're going to have to hold them off for at least two minutes!"
"Thanks, Athena," I gasped. I crossed my arms at the wrist and the microSDisks embedded there summoned a large caliber pistol-about the maximum size they could carry. I checked it for ammunition and appreciated its heft. I ran to the stairs as the crowd, dazed and shocked by the announcement, tried to come to its collective senses. Given the drugged state of some of the participants, I doubted that would ever happen. I opened the door to the stairs and looked down. A head poked itself up, carrying a gun, and I unloaded four rounds in its direction. Ebele surprised me by appearing at my side. "Do you have another one of those?" she asked.
"Ready when you are."
A pistol materialized in my left hand. I gave it to her, summoned another one and gave it to Ally, who had likewise joined me. "Dammit, how did this happen?"
"I have no idea," Ally said. The crowd behind her was already screaming, in full panic, but we were blocking the one exit. She shouted to them, "Go to the far corner of the observation deck!"
"They appeared on the thirtieth floor," Athena said. "Sdisk on a customized key, I guess. Yes, I've found it. And I've disabled it."
"They've disabled the fire controls in the stairwell so I can't take them out with oxygen supressors. They appear to be carrying their own air as well."
"Figures," I growled. I spotted a figure in the back of the room. I pointed to her. "You, come here."
The figure, that of a girl barely ten years old, approached. "Maintence Mode. Make and model," I said.
"I am a custom build," it replied calmly. "My frame is from a Medical Training Unit, Pediatric Care Seventeen Series, Martian Metals Manufacturing."
"How much do you weight?" I asked.
"My mass is approximately 225 kilograms, but with gravitics systems my apparent weight is 40 dekanewtons on Earth."
"Are you sentient?"
"Of course not."
I almost laughed. "They're about to storm the stairways."
I grabbed the robot and used it as a sheild. "Get behind me!" I shouted as whoever they were started to run up the stairs. I started to run down. I crouched down-- damn, this thing had a small waist-- and fired at them as they came up the stairs. They were armored, but a headshot took one down. Bullets slammed past me, and into the robot, as I fired randomly around its small figure. This was a lot messier than the last gunfight I was in, down on llerkin. And then, mysteriously, they all vanished.
"I put a shuttle next to the building and aported them," Athena said. "They are now comfortably in a holding cell. We will deal with them next."
Then the building shook, the walls roared, and plaster fell from the ceiling. I heard an electronic gasp. "They... they blew themselves up! I'm calling in serious weight," Athena said.
A short occurred somewhere in the robot I was carrying and its gravitics systems lost power. I couldn't hold it up and dropped it into the landing. It looked very sad, with its bright, smiling face and cheerful, immortally young body perforated with bullets. A greyish-white hydraulic fluid seeped onto the cement. "Do you realize that thing cost me 37,000 Terras?" a voice shouted from the top of the stairs.
I walked up to the top of the stairs, trembling, still in shock. I gave my pistol to Ally, who didn't look any better. I swallowed. "Money well spent," I said through a thick, dry tongue. "It just saved your miserable life." I glanced down the stairwell. "You can afford to replace it." I took a deep breath. "Better yet, find a healthier hobby."
I turned to Ally. "No harm done. Next time..."
"There won't be a next time," Ally said. "I'll have better security. I had no idea..."
I nodded. I took Ebele's hand-- she was pale. My timing could have been better as she fainted away.