Become a Fan
By J. O. Quantaman
Friday, May 10, 2013
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Nyssa awakes halfway around the globe. She struggles to grasp that she has been rescued from bondage in the sex trade.
Excerpt Brewing Storm - Full novel available, December 2013
Tsawwassen: Winter, 2073
Nyssa is a grown woman, deaf to her plight, asleep in a bed she has never lain before.
Fresh bedclothes slide across bare skin as antiseptic odors sift through nostrils. Her mouth feels like mildewed stucco. She opens eyes to blurry images. Luminous white ceiling and pale green walls speckled with orange UFOs. Quick breaths recall anxious moments before she blacked out. Eyes widen. A sumptuous hospital room comes into focus. No way does she rate private digs unless Bossman has her under the magnifying glass.
The door bursts open. In waltzes a woman with ultrashort hair topping an African face that bleeds health and authority. A nurse.
"Oh good. Awake at last." The nurse sports a trim athletic body under a pale-gray overall. Cheerful ivories brighten her smile. "Call me Subie. Short for Subira. Welcome to Dog Breakfast co-op."
Nyssa tries to decipher the words. She moves her arm and finds it weak. Her skin crawls. Her noggin throbs. Her veins cry out for hilomorfs. "I don't feel so good."
The nurse shrugs. "You've b'en out a while."
"Three, maybe four days."
"Nej tack!" Nyssa recalls the frantic moments as she fled the goons on wobbly heels before they knocked her down. "Sorry. I missed your name."
"Subie." The nurse flashes a million-dollar smile. "Doc... umm, asked me to check your progress."
Nyssa reckons "Doc" must've gotten the fix on her body chemistry. He'll purge hilomorfs from her system rather than coddle her need. Pain throbs at the back of her head. She lifts her arm and touches cool hairless scalp. Yuck!
"Doc sheered your mane to treat your head wound. Don't worry; it'll grow back. You might wanna keep it short like mine. Less hassle y'know."
Even if the medics let me go,
I won't get far without hairdo,
clothes or tabs of hilomorf.
But I hafta get out
before the goons show up
and drag me to face Bossman.
The nurse hums a melodic ditty as she mounts a new IV bag.
"What're you feeding me?"
Subie flashes another beatific smile. "Liquid food and avitaminosis anodynes. Doc Quark's special brew of vitamins and herbal extracts oughta mellow your greedy receptors."
Nyssa frowns darkly.
"Hey! It ain't so bad. You've slept through the worst. By now your craving is more psycho than real." She nods in earnest. "You'll feel better from here on."
Nyssa quashes an anxious groan. Any minute now, she expects the goons to barge in and drag her to the villa. "Subie, I'm marked," she croaks. "They wanna smuggle me outta here."
She's about fed up with Subie's perky attitude. "You don't understand. They're yakuza. The worst."
"Ain't gonna happen, Sweetie. You're here at DB's home inside TCP megadome. We call our hideaway the kennel."
"TCP? North of Seattle?"
Nyssa opens her mouth then struggles for words. She queries her labial folds but finds no muss or fuss. Whoever brought her across the Pacific has shown restraint and may want the favor returned. Nyssa reckons she better get straight with the head honcho. "When can I meet the boss?"
Subie guffaws. "We're a co-op, Sweetie. All us dogs got bones." Her expression turns thoughtful. "I guess Cook has the most say-so. He sets our diet. It's quasi-vegetarian with lots of brownrice. It's abso delicious."
"He's around. Came by earlier this morning. He and his friends roughed up those... yakuza? Then brought you in. The grubby boys won't want another lesson anytime soon."
Nyssa is shocked. Cook and his ops are heavy dudes, no doubt sanctioned by Interpol and licensed to carry weapons across borders. "You're special cops?"
Subie laughs. "We're crazy-ass dogs. We do stuff others wouldn't dare."
Like as not spacer ops,
considering the location.
Nyssa breathes easier and realizes she feels better. Maybe the IV drip is dulling her appetite for hilomorfs.
Subie checks the palmslate hanging from the IV post. "Doc has named you Suzie-Q," she trills with infectious cheer. "Wouldn't ya rather use your own?"
After years of counterfeit and neglect, a name is all that's left. "Nyssa Persson, with two esses."
Subie hums a cheerful tune as she updates the palmslate. "Nyssa you'll be." She winks. "Oughta do till you get a nickname." The nurse lays cool fingers on her forehead then fusses with the bedding from chin to foot. She bends low and retrieves a white plastic sheet with large black letters.
"How's your English. Can you read this aloud?"
Once upon a time
there was a Martian named
Valentine Michael Smith.
Nyssa nods. The letters are too large and the words too easy. She recites the lines in one breath.
"Wonderful. Wha'd'ya think it means?"
"Dunno. Martian fairy tale?" She adjusts her head on the pillow, raising sparks of pain. "Can't place the dude's name."
"Good." Subie flashes another smile. "No sign of aphasia. Do believe you're on the mend. If it rings a bell, your script is the start of Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land."
Nyssa hears no bells, shuts her eyes and falls fast sleep. She dreams in holovision, rehashing youthful follies. She ghosts beside a teenager who hastened over Stockholm's predawn streets.
+ + +
The teenager wore hiking boots, McFonda cap and packsack over a slicker poncho. She adjusted her packsack and danced around rain puddles. Though pressed for time, she bypassed vacant cabs to conserve Euros for the London hopper. She needed enough cash after airfare to satisfy customs dudes that she wasn't a dole hog. She was running away via dirigible, escaping Mamma's horny swains who beggared two-for-one and slashed the last isthmus of domestic accord.
What scuzzy clitoral itch
beckoned tactless phallic bones
oozing clamshell spit
that swelled my eyes alone?
Nyssa ad-libbed her way around droll British officials and found lodging in a raucous neighborhood of Liberian refugees. She picked up their lingo, channeled her naïve charm into friendships and ran errands for local vendors whose storefronts drew more walk-in biz around her willowy silhouette.
One afternoon, Nyssa spotted a promising ad:
PREMIER ACTORS Workshop Seeks New Talent.
SEND PICS. Facial Close-ups & Full Body Nudes.
She collared a busker friend who took some photos. Then anxious weeks passed before the telex arrived, inviting her to San Francisco.
Suave-tailored suits welcomed her to Silkworm & Morlock Actors Academy. The suits were gurus aping cool urban chic. They cited dozens of former S&MAA students who had become famous holo stars. They ushered Nyssa down the yellow-brick road, after which she thumbed a contract absolving S&MAA of liabilities and waving tuition fees till six months after graduation.
"What if the studios won't grant me the roles?" she asked Ace Fannick, her mentor and confidant.
"Our students always succeed," he chortled. "Just follow advice. Put out a good show, and you'll see thumbs-up all around. Trust me, sweetheart, your flare for languages will ravish the Asian markets."
She attended every class, worked hard and learned all she could. She was taught the maxims of style, upswings of fad and nuances of hot. Instructors warned she wouldn't succeed unless she mimed a zing-zang porosity. Nyssa swallowed the whole routine. She was coached in fab-speak, introduced to conversational Japanese, muscled-toned from hours of aerobics, sculpted by cosmetic surgeons, draped in stylish frocks, drawn to avant-garde bashes where she brooked erotic kinks.
After graduation she was awarded a cozy flat where she entertained handsome studio reps who gave hot tips for acing screen tests. One lazy afternoon she found a microcam hidden in the woodwork. She checked around and spotted dozens more, including two in the bathroom. Mad as a hornet, she got on the vidcom and threw hard questions at Ace Fannick. "You lied to me! What point was there in ballet classes and Japanese lessons if all you wanted was my tits and ass?"
"Honey, you gotta understand," said Ace in soothing tones. "Porno flash can supercharge a young starlet's career. Besides, we won't show everything. Only your best poses for very scrupulous connoisseurs."
"Don't futz me! You installed cameras behind my back and made me look like a frumpy fool. Hello! Let me pay my debt some other way."
Ace suggested a private meeting where he served a Mickey Finn to calm her nerves. After she fell unconscious, he closed the deal with Zen The Bossman, a yakuza godfather who assumed her debt at a handsome markup.
Nyssa journeyed asleep inside a modified coffin and awoke at a villa on the outskirts of Tokyo where underlings taught her shiatsu massage and branded her bottom with Nereïd tattoos. Bossman twisted her worldview inside out. He demolished her quaint aspirations and demanded total allegiance. He stroked her self-esteem and vowed to protect her from physical abuse. Bossman called a spade a spade, which seemed better than the doubletalk at S&MAA.
She joined his bevy of premier escorts and acquired the àpropos of a sexual therapist. Sleek limos brought her to the reclusive digs of Japanese tycoons where she massaged their sinews and soothed their egos. Nyssa came swaddled in designer wraps, catwalk pumps and psychedelic hose. With coy allure, she peeled off the fashionable threads till none remained but isinglass. Then she brought them home with such zeal it should've earned her freedom back, if Bossman hadn't monopolized the take.
Time dragged on. Anguish and boredom prompted forbidden moonlight trysts. She numbed herself in hilomorf fog and let horny barnstormers ruffle torpid flesh, before they dumped her like a spent condom.
+ + +
+ + +
Child Slaves <ID:09345X2:PG#6367>
Walk ten blocks from your favorite urban attraction, and chances are you will run across a squalid neighborhood. Slums or shantytowns border many of our famous tourist sites. Municipal officials lack the will or resources to handle their rapidly growing populations.
Local mandarins have long sought to limit childbirths among the poor, but low-income parents are slow to master the art of family planning. Many jurisdictions refuse health and educational perks beyond one or two kids per family. Childbirth restrictions have put low-income parents in a bind, which has prompted abortions of female fetuses. Population control is beneficial, maybe necessary for our crowded planet, but demographic concerns have caused side effects that polite society tends to sweep under the rug.
In the world's largest cities, local and international police have failed to control the traffic of child slaves. "Adoption agency" reps collect unwanted or overquota kids from unsuspecting parents. Millions of nameless victims are then bought and sold as blackmarket commodities. Few survive into adulthood.
Boys are taught to beg, steal or run errands for local gang lords. Those who avoid injury or jail become bona fide urban guerillas. Girls are forced to perform menial tasks in sweatshops. Those who survive the sweatshops are refitted as brothel bunnies.
> Webvine News, 2069
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