Author's Note: I've made a few somewhat major adjustments to the story. Readers of the previous version mentioned that during the last few chapters it started to become a little difficult to tell who was who, with all the different characters inhabiting different bodies... so I tried to edit with that in mind. I also extended the "bondage scene" where I accidentally forgot to finish the scene before loading it last time. That will provide the breath play that a commenter noted wasn't in the story last time. It's in there now. I also made some revisions to the characters personalities and background. Hope old readers (if there are any) will enjoy the changes. And new readers won't have to deal with the errors.
Computer Enhanced Simulation and Role-playing.
It was the newest fad in housing criminals with life terms, and it was the reason that Mrs. Simpson had bequeathed so much money to the old warden in order to inhabit his body for a while. As the warden at the Brighton correctional facility, Mrs. Simpson had full access to anything that happened in her CESaR unit. The real-time lives of the prisoners happened so rapidly on the scanners that it was impossible to tell what was going on inside their simulated heads. But Mrs. Simpson could slow down a recording of those events and watch them in slow-time.
It was sort of like a video game where the player controlled the perspective, zooming in or out, rotating 360 degrees on either axis. She could even capture a mental record of what the inmates were thinking and feeling, if she set the right parameters before the recording measures were activated.
None of that was necessary this time.
The inmate she was watching had been scheduled for extraction and termination.
Normally, the single-lifers were allowed to live out their sim-life, whether long or short, without artificial interference. But sometimes there were circumstances that made it necessary to extract a prisoner early. Pardons were rare, but they did happen. Wardens needed a way to extract an inmate without disrupting the whole sim-world. That was the purpose of the extraction subroutine, which was part of every CESaR's general protocol. It was designed to look for natural ways of ending an inmate's life without disrupting the flow of the larger simulation. To do otherwise could create endless problems for the other inmates who might notice a crack in their reality during such a careless extraction. If too many inmates began to question their reality it could place the integrity of the whole system in jeopardy. People could die when systems crashed.
Mrs. Simpson couldn't see how that matter when the prisoners were condemned to die anyway, but she had sworn to take her responsibilities seriously-if only for the old warden's sake.
Sometimes an extraction could take several hours in real time-as much as a few days of sim-time. The program had to find just the right opportunity. When it did, the extraction routines were enacted and the warden was alerted that the inmate was ready for their transition. If she'd set the programming to record the event, as she had this time, then, by wearing a SQID, she could watch how the inmate's life came to an end.
Superconducting Quantum Interface Devices were relatively inexpensive these days. The external feeds had a severely limited range of sensory and emotional input that made them far less immersive than a straight dermal plug-in, but they beat the hell out of viewing a memory on a flat-screen without any enhanced mental connections. In addition to making the experience more immediate and three-dimensional, the SQID interface also shared a gentle sense of the player's intentions and emotions, which included the knowledge of where they were about to look. A flat-screen didn't give any warning to the eye's normal, herky-jerky movements, which could be intensely disorienting, even physically unsettling for the voyeur. Particularly those prone to car sickness, as Mrs. Simpson was.
This time, the inmate had been driving to work in the early morning hours, when a truck veered into her lane and killed her instantly. All it took was a moment when no one else was around to witness the anomaly. The program simply chose a truck being driven by an NPC, initiated a random steering failure and guided the truck into the inmates car.
The initial impact caused instantaneous death, sparing the inmate any simulated pain.
"Sorry baby," Mrs. Simpson said as she touched the blank screen that had so recently shown her daughter's death. "But this was the only way to get you out."
For a moment she thought about keeping a core dump for her own personal records, but Mrs. Simpson didn't want to leave a trail of incriminating evidence. And besides, she didn't think she'd ever want to see accident again. So she highlighted the recorded file and pressed the delete button, wiping all records of her tampering from the computer's memory.
Sarah died in a car accident.
She remembered looking up from her purse which was lying on the car seat next to her and seeing the truck, which had veered into her lane barreling towards her. There was enough time for her to think, Oh God, I'm not even drunk!
A moment of jarring impact, but no pain, and Sarah woke fused to a chair that was sitting in the middle of a bright spotlight. The decades of sim-life fell away, seeming shorter and more trivial than they had only moments before.
The room was familiar. She couldn't see anything around her this time either, but as before she had the feeling the room was very large. And she sensed people (although she couldn't see them) standing around the perimeter just beyond the glare of the lights, watching her.
"Your sentence is over," a voice without direction said. "It's time to CAP your life and expel you from our system; which means you now have some choices to make. One option is to record a last day, with or without full knowledge of this meeting. That day can then be CAPPED in a MemMod so that, if the externalists are correct, you can relive the day over and over again. Or, you can go for option B, which is to simply pull the plug and end your mortal existence."
Sarah felt sick with unease,
She'd known this day was coming. A very small part of her had even been looking forward to the possibility of spending one last day with her husband, Jack Vaughn, the man she'd expected to live the rest of her life with before she got stone drunk and crashed her car into an SUV, killing a mother and four children.
"I want my day," Sarah said.
"You understand that whatever happens, good or bad, that's what you're stuck with?"
"Do you have someone you want to invite to spend the day with you?"
"My husband... or ex-husband, Jack."
"You know he's remarried now?"
"Very well. We will relay your request. One final question," the faceless voice said, "Do you want to be aware that it's your last day?"
She'd given this a lot of thought and she still hadn't decided if it would be better to be oblivious or to know how short her time was. If she knew, she would treat that time as if it were precious.
"I want to remember," she said at last. That way she could guide her last day to help ensure that it went the way she wanted it to.
Jack Vaughn pressed the letter he'd just crumpled against the table, smoothing out its wrinkled surface so that he could read it one more time.
My prison sentence is over.
I know you're remarried now. I don't want to cause problems between you and your new wife, Susan, but I'd like you to share my last day. I want to spend one more day with you, just the way it was when we first meet. Remember those days we spent snowed in the Hampton house? We turned up the heat and closed all the curtains so no one could see us.
I want a memory like that to be my last day.
The computer can generate an NPC and try to make me think it's you. But I'm afraid if they do I'll know and it will ruin things. I know it's a lot to ask, but I'd really like you to be there to share my final day.
They can make a more convincing NPC if you let them imprint your personality, so if you're uncomfortable spending the day with me, I would be very grateful if you would at least let them do that.
I just want one last day to remember forever.
Still, your loving wife,
Despite the crinkles, Jack refolded the letter and actually managed to stuff it back into its envelop before he decided he needed a stiff drink. He tapped the send button on his earphone and said, "Call Bob Johnson."
Theirs was an unlikely friendship. It was Bob's wife and children that Sarah had killed in their SUV. Jack couldn't even remember how they'd meet, but he'd felt an almost immediate connection with Bob. Each in their own way, they'd both lost someone close to them; and from that shared loss a friendship had grown. It wasn't until their third meeting that Jack even realized who Bob was. When he finally did, he was afraid he'd loose Bob's friendship.
As it turned out, Bob surprised him.
"You're not responsible for what your wife did," he said.
Jack didn't argue, but he couldn't help feeling that at least part of what happened was his fault. If he hadn't been cheating on Sarah maybe they wouldn't have argued and she wouldn't have gone out to get drunk. He hadn't been the hand behind the wheel, but he knew he shared at least some of the blame.
"What's up, Jack?" Bob asked when he answered the phone.
"I got the call," Jack said.
That was all he had to say. From the tone of his voice, Bob knew which call he was talking about. They'd spoken about this day before, and Jack had poured out his heart. Bob knew all about how things had ended between him and his ex. And how, despite everything that had happened, a part of Jack would always love his first wife.
"Can you meet me at Matches," Jack said. Matches was the local singles club where the two men first meet. "I think I need a drink and a friendly ear."
"I can't decide if I should go," Jack said as he sipped his drink. "I'd kind of like to see her one last time, but Susan would kill me if she found out I spent the day with my ex. She never really liked Sarah much, even before..."
"Then maybe you shouldn't go."
Jack looked at Bob and sighed heavily. "I can't help feeling that I owe Sarah that much. Besides, this would be my opportunity to say good bye and finally wipe the slate clean. I wasn't the greatest husband to her. One last good day isn't all that much to ask."
Bob sipped at his own drink then shrugged. "Maybe you can still do that without actually going yourself."
"I don't know... if I let them take a personality imprint it would still piss off Susan, and since I wouldn't really be there, I don't think I'd get anything out of it either."
"That wasn't what I had in mind," Bob said as he took another sip. "I was thinking maybe you could let someone else go in your place. Sarah wouldn't even have to know."
Jack frowned. "I don't think there's anyone I could ask to do something like that."
Bob chuckled softly and shook his head.
Bob shrugged. "What are friends for?"
Jack thought about it for a moment then shook his head. "I don't think it would be fair to you... or her."
"Actually, you'd be doing me a huge favor. I've always wanted to confront the person who killed my wife and kids."
Jack shook his head. "But I'm not sure she wouldn't even know you... She might not even remember what she's done. You'd basically be confronting an innocent woman."
"I don't need to tell her who I am. I just want to meet her." Bob sniffed and blinked back tears. "I still haven't been able to forgive her, and I want to.
"You want to forgive her?"
Bob nodded. "I need to forgive her and get right with God; and I've tried, believe me. But I can't stop thinking of her as a monster. I think if I meet her; got to know her as a person, maybe I could get past all that."
"Her final day isn't going to be just a casual get together. There are going to be romantic overtones. What happens when you can't face her and she realizes that something's wrong? Do you really think it's fair to risk her final day like that?"
"What about my final day?" Bob asked. "Don't I deserve closure too?"
"Are you sure it's closure you're seeking; not revenge?"
Bob shrugged, "Maybe it's a little of both."
Jack thought about it for a moment and finally shook his head. "I'm sorry, Bob. I just can't do that to her."
"It's alright," Bob said with a dismissive wave, "I understand."
They drank a few more drinks in silence.
"You know," Bob said as he was nursing his third glass. "I received a lot of money from the insurance company after my first wife and kids died."
"I know," Jack said. "You used that money to start a new business. Now you employ more than a dozen people and you've built a good life for you and your family. You did good; no one deserves it more than you. "
"You have a new family too," Bob said. "I'll bet twenty thousand would be a big help building your own better future."
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying I really want that last day with your ex-wife. And I'm willing to pay for it. Twenty thousand would make a nice down payment on that new house you and Susan are considering buying, don't you think."
"No, Bob, I'm sorry. I just couldn't... Not for a measly twenty thousand."
Bob grinned. "So name your price."
The set looked like her old home, the one she'd shared with Jack all those years. Every detail was perfect, plucked from her own memories so even the errors seemed right. For a moment, she had the urge to open the front door just to see what was out there. Unfortunately, the answer was nothing-but she'd always been curious what nothing looked like.
This construct was not connected to the rest of the simulated prison-world, so even if she wanted to waste her precious time doing it, she wouldn't be able to jump in her car and run down to the nearest store. On the other hand, the simulation module was free of certain restrictions that applied to the rest of the prison population. If she wanted something, all she had to do was type her request into a simulated console and her own personal verter would whip her up a fabulous breakfast or expensive clothes. In the real world, such a luxury might cost more than a million Standard Gold Units, a sum that could probably buy a small island.
She'd already ordered herself something to eat, savored it with delight; then stepped into the verter and taken it right back out. Since it was entirely simulated, it didn't cost anything to use it. And even if she'd had longer than a day to live, it wasn't the simulated food that provided her nourishment. Her real body was housed in a cryogenic vat that arrested her body's natural aging. Given the chance, it might live another two or three thousand years, maybe even a few thousand more. The technology was too new to be sure.
People on the outside often dumped their minds into a CESaR World of their choosing. For the average person, it was just a vacation. The chance to inexpensively change their sex, do something dangerously or be a super hero and fly around between tall buildings. But if they paid enough money, someone who was extremely wealthy could live out multiple lives, and ensure that each of those lives were quite interesting.
With prisoners, however, the purpose wasn't to extend their lives, and the state couldn't afford to keep adding new prisoners without thinning the herd. So lifers were sentenced to a certain number of sim-lives, depending on the severity of their crimes. When those lives were served, their minds were capped, and their physical bodies were terminated. It gave a whole new meaning to the term consecutive life sentences.
Each prison life was lived in fast-time. What seemed like a day on the inside only took an hour on the outside. It took two years to age forty-eight on the inside, so even those who died of old age rarely live more than 4 years with a single life. When the warden finally pulled the plug another cell was opened up for the next lifer.
And now Sarah's term was over. She'd only been given one life sentence. Perhaps if she hadn't already had a few DUIs she might have been given as many as three or four additional lives, but as a repeat offender, her crime was considered particularly heinous. So here she was, waiting to make her own last memories so her mid could be capped; the memories of her last day captured in mnemonic perpetual motion, looping over and over, for as long as the MemMod was supplied with the insignificant amount of power required to keep it activate.
She was waiting for her husband to appear. He'd promised to help create her final fantasy, but they'd uploaded her first. So she was waiting for... ah, there it was the verter's processing light came on, and a body slowly began to materialize in its cargo bay.
"Hello, Jack," Sarah said.
The man gave her a genuine smile as he stepped down. Apparently, he was a lot happier to be here than she would have thought.
"Hello, Sarah," he said, "I'm glad you asked me to come. I've been thinking about this for a long time."
"I guess you need a little closure, huh?"
"Closure would be nice."
"And I want one final fantasy day; something to relive over and over."
"I want to give you a final day to remember."
"Remember what you did to me on our fifth date?" Sarah asked. "I want today to be like that, only more intense."
For a moment he looked a little confused, as if he was having trouble remembering that time she'd asked him to tie her up and cut her on the shoulder. Then he looked at her in surprise. "You want me to cut you?" he asked. And the frown on his face told her that he wasn't pleased.
Sarah looked down at her smooth wrists. On her real body, the one sleeping in the vat, those wrists would be covered with scars; but not from attempted suicide, as the doctors claimed. No, she'd made those cuts slowly and intentionally. She'd reveled in the pain as the sharp knife split her skin and blood dripped on her breasts and belly. She'd been doing it for years before they finally discovered her self-inflicting secrets. She didn't correct them when they called it an attempt to take her own life.
"You can't pretend I don't deserve it, given what I've done." Sarah stood up, went over to the box of bondage goodies she'd prepared and tipped it over on the counter. "I know how cut makes you uncomfortable, so choose your own form of torture. There are plenty of options to choose from. If you need something, we can always use the verter. I have the name of an excellent bondage morph-site, with customizable patterns. It won't take long to create whatever you like."
The man was shaking his head.
"What's wrong," Sarah asked. "Surely you must have guessed why I chose you?"
"It's not that," he said...
She waited, patiently.
"I have a confession," he said. "I'm not your husband. My name is Robert Anderson."
"Ah! I killed your wife and children."
He nodded. "I came here to..." He looked down, unable to look at her.
"I know why you came," Sarah said with an understanding smile. "But knowing how I want it ... guess it kind of takes all the fun out of it?"
"It makes me feel..."
"Cheated? I'm sorry," she said. "You deserve closer after what I did."
"I feel ashamed."
"Why?" Sarah asked. "You've done nothing wrong!"
"I wanted to."
Sarah began to unbutton her blouse. The cloth fell away from her shoulder as she reached into the box and found a long metal pin. Then she took hold of her left breast by the nipple, so that she could stretch it out, then she jabbed the spit through her flesh.
She gasped involuntarily and closed her eyes as the glorious flames of agony filled her. When the heat of it finally passed she opened her eyes. "What you do will still hurt me," she said. "I'm not immune to pain, just because I know that I deserve it. You'll still get the satisfaction of hearing me cry out in pain. I'll probably even beg for mercy, but you won't give it to me, will you?"
Walking forward, she took his hand, lifting it towards the pin that pierced her nipple and closing his fingers around it. She giggled his hand and gasped as the pain flared again. Her breath came in a quick, shaky spasm then eased slightly as she bit her lip and breathed out through her nose.
"Did you feel no satisfaction, knowing that you caused me to feel that?"
The man was staring at the blood trickling down her breasts. Strong emotions played across his face. Was it anger? Lust? Regret? She couldn't tell-and perhaps it was a blend of all those and more.
"Come on," she said, taking his hand and leading him closer to the box of bondage toys spread across the counter. "I think you can give us both the kind of closure we really need."
Cindy (Mrs. Simpson's assistant) smiled warmly. The young lady had a tendency to make Mrs. Simpson nervous, since she knew the girl was really smiling at the male body of the old warden; and it was not an entirely innocent smile. The poor girl obviously had a crush-and Mrs. Simpson didn't have any lesbian tendencies. Fortunately, the girl was also too shy to make any advances on her own. The old warden probably hadn't even known how she felt.
Cindy cleared her throat softly. "Shooter hasn't flagged any major internal problems," She said.
Shooter was the old warden's pet name for the trouble shooting program that monitored the CESaR unit: both software and hardware. Most of the corrections that kept it functioning smoothly were things Shooter could handle automatically-much the way the human autonomic nervous system kept a person breathing even when they weren't thinking about it. More serious problems were flagged for human input, which was generally handled by the technical department; but problems at the highest-levels required the warden's personal approval. Almost every day, a few situations required her attention. She often wondered whether she was acting appropriately, or doing the right thing. The old warden's latent memories tended to surfaced in response to situational crises, so the more pressing her dilemma, the more help they seemed to provide. The rest of the time, those memories swam too deeply to fathom. They swirled around in her brain, caught like a perpetual tip-of-the-tongue experience or a fading dream she couldn't recalled. Sometimes she wondered if the old man's physical brain wasn't beginning to develop Alzheimer's. Or was this sort of fuzzy thinking normal? His memories seemed so vague and diffused. There was something about the immediate need for action that caused the necessary memories to surface more vividly, but it was still unsettling to always wonder if the next crisis would be the first time she failed to recall the right memory.
"Have you prepped the send offs?"
Cindy nodded. "Their last days are being recorded as we speak."
"Good work, as usual," she said, rewarding Cindy with a friendly pat on the shoulder. "I need to spend the rest of the day in my office and I don't want to be disturbed. I have a lot of paperwork I need to catch up on... after my little vacation."
"That was almost a month ago," Cindy said with a smug little smile.
"I know. I've been putting it off."
Call me if you need anything." Cindy said brightly.
"I won't need anything," Mrs. Simpson said sharply. The last thing she needed was this love-sick girl checking in on her. Then she saw the expression on the poor girl's face and regretted her sharp words. Still, it was probably wise not to encourage her feelings.
Everything considered, Mrs. Simpson was quite glad her daughter's last day was finally here. She was eager to jump again and get out of this older, male body. Living inside it was decidedly creepy; she didn't like it at all. Having to hold a penis so her piss didn't fly all over the place still felt just a little strange. Although she had to admit, it was nice to be able to relieve herself while standing up.
"Thank you Cindy," she said as they approached her office. "Call me only if there's an emergency you can't handle and can't wait. I trust your judgment in all things."
"You do?" Cindy said, her mood brightening.
Mrs. Simpson grimaced. Perhaps those last few words had been a little too much.
"Today I do," she said with a severe nod.
It wasn't enough to totally dampen the girl's spirits; but it would have to do. She had more important things to worry about. She closed the door of her office and went to her desk, quickly calling up her daughter's life-line. When the program was tracking she sat back in her chair, placed the SQID interface on her head and wiggled it into place to make sure the pads were in place; then she pressed the feed button on her interactive screen.
It took a moment for the mental image to blur into focus; another few seconds to take in what she was seeing and experiencing.
Sarah was sitting backwards on a chair, her legs spread wide to accommodate the seats high back. Each ankle was tied to a ring in the floor, and those ropes were the only thing that kept her from falling over backwards, for her elbows were pinned tightly together behind her back. Mrs Simpson could feel the ropes digging into her flesh-into her daughter's flesh. Her wrists were bound with more rope; a longer length prevented her from sitting up too straight, since it ran from a metal ring in the floor behind her, up and though her arms, then back down to a crotch-tie that ended with a few tight loops around her waist. This longer rope was tight enough to keep Sarah's back arched, with the main part of her torso angled at about a thirty-five to forty degree angle, depending on how hard she pulled against the crotch rope. The muscles in her stomach had become very sore, as she tried to maintain this awkward position while Sarah's ex-husband meticulously wrapped her breasts with more lengths of rope. Now that he'd finished compressing her breasts into two dark red bubbles (which were quickly turning purple) he had began to tie them to a rope which hung from a pulley in the ceiling.
He intentionally left too much slack in the rope, so Sarah had to decide whether she wanted to lean back and relax her stomach muscles as the rope from the pulley supported her weight, or whether to relieve the pressure on her breasts using her stomach. The first option tugged at surprisingly tender breasts and caused her arms to torque back even further at the shoulder joint; but trying to sit up worked muscles that were already very sore and nearly exhausted.
The man walked around behind Sarah and straddled both the rope and her arms. He squatted down, resting his arms on her shoulders as the weight of his body forced the pulley to support his weight as well as her own. "I'm not going to give you the kind of pain you truly crave," he said, whispering in her ear. "But that doesn't mean I have to let your last day be comfortable either."
Reaching forward, he grabbed her lat muscles in his fists; digging his fingers painfully into the fissure between muscle groups. Sarah couldn't help gasping and twisting her body violently as she struggled to get free of his vice-like hold. He held it long enough to prove that her struggling was pointless then he released her and began to trace his fingernails more gently across her sensitive underarms and down the lengths of her side.
Sarah was intensely ticklish. And from her seat in the warden's office, Mrs. Simpson couldn't decide which tactic was worse: the gentle teasing or the iron grip.
"Time to see how this feels," Sarah's ex- said. He reached in his pocket and brought out a small black box that looked like a garage door opener; but when he pressed the button, Mrs. Simpson suddenly became aware that something had been stuffed between Sarah's legs. She'd been feeling the pressure of it all along, but had been too overwhelmed by all the other sensations to really notice. Now, whatever was inside her had been activated and it was impossible for Mrs. Simpson to ignore. Small spikes moved outward from the probe, pressing against the delicate tissues inside her daughter. The points were slightly blunted, not sharp, so she didn't think they were gouge her enough to draw blood. But when they began to vibrate the sensation was decidedly painful for a few moments; then it slowly began to transform into something warm and delicious. Just as her feelings were swelling into something even more erotic, the damned thing seemed to bite her. Each of the little spikes sent out a quick jolt of electricity.
Mrs. Simpson ripped the SQID off her head and tossed it onto her desk in disgust, cursing the fact that her daughter's final day was all automated. There was nothing she could do to prevent the course of events that were happening inside the SIM from continuing on their way.
"Damn," she muttered. She shouldn't have looked.
It would have been better if she hadn't allowed her curiosity to tempt her. Knowing what was happening was almost too much to bear. Opening the draw of her desk, she pulled out a bottle of mild, prescription sedatives and popped one in her mouth...
...three months ago, Mrs. Simpson hadn't been the warden, but she had been tracking him carefully. The investigator she'd hired (to dig through his life) was looking for anything she could used to blackmail him. If that didn't work the backup plan was to bribe him. That was a last resort since, if it didn't work, it could make her vulnerable to blackmail from him. It was still a crime to interfere in the summary execution of prisoners, even if you were obscenely wealthy. Mrs Simpson might be forced to kill the warden and start over with a new one, but that would take time she couldn't be sure she had. At any moment, her daughter's sim-life could end. She could die of an accident or even natural causes, long before Mrs. Simpson was ready to pull the necessary strings.
"What have you got for me," she asked in frustration, as she sank into the form-fitting chair across the desk from her priate eye.
"The man's squeaky clean," he said. "Not so much as a parking ticket. But I think I may have found something else."
"He's a member of several swap site; looking to go hetro."
Mrs Simpson shook her head. "What does that mean?"
"A swap sites!" The dick said, as if repeating himself explained things. "You know? It's like internet dating only the clients are looking for people they to swap lives with. Going 'hetro' means you want to change genders during the swap"
"Is that legal?" She asked.
"Perfectly legal... but morally questionable. The technology's had it's detractors since its inception, but the manufacturers have a strong lobby. As long as you don't use your new body to do something that would be illegal outside of it, such as steal someone's money or impersonate someone in a position you're not qualified for... it's all legal. You don't even have to inform your new spouse and family-although being a doppelganger, as they call it, is legal grounds for divorce-if they discover you."
"Contact him. I want a meeting with the warden as soon as possible?"
"I can do that, if you want," the private dick said, "but frankly... I think you'd be wasting your money. What you really need is a good attorney; someone to shuffle the legal papers. I have no expertise in that area; and I doubt being contacted by a private investigator would do anything to set his mind at ease: that you were on the up and up."
"So what do I do now."
"As far as I'm concerned we're all square. I can give you the name of someone I know. He does good work."
"Fine," Mrs. Simpson said. Somehow she suspected the dick just didn't want to have a paper trail connecting him to any potentially questionable activity, but she wasn't going to argue with him. "I'll call you if I need you again."
At one time, her forty-five years old body might have been a liability, since the warden was looking to inhabit a much younger female body. Despite her age, however, Mrs. Simpson had used the latest verting technology to give herself the face and body of a model; a girl less than half her age. That, along with the transfer of ten Standard Gold Units (enough to buy a modest house) was enough to seal the deal without too many questions being asked.
The warden created a do-it-yourself training module for her to study, so she could satisfy the testing requirements that were legally required to fill his post. The papers were signed, accounts paid and before she knew it she was lying in a transfer chair beside an older, but still mildly attractive, man. The technician took two complete psyche recordings then switched the MemMods, so their personalities could be reinserted into the new bodies. He inserted his security key in the lockout override, touched the "wipe and imprint" button on the screen and activated the command with his voice by speaking the same words out loud.
There was strange, fading sensation, like falling asleep after taking a powerful drug. Then Mrs. Simpson awoke to an awkward and aging body, filled with aches and pains and a confusion of thoughts, feelings and ideas (only some of which seemed to be her own) all swirling around inside her new head.
Sarah's whole body shook with the strain, as the electrical currents ran through her, traveling from the retractable tips on the dildo that Robert Anderson had shoved inside her, to the conducting metal clamps he'd clipped to her nipples and clit.
When Bob (as he liked to be called) finally took his finger off the button, the pain slowly began to recede enough for her to breathe a sigh of relief then take a deep breath in anticipation of his next little torment.
Instead, he began the other torture, poking her sides with his fingers, then tracing his nails up under her arms. She tried to squirm away from his touch and tried to jerk against the ropes to create the harsher pain she truly craved, as the ropes tugged against her breasts and pussy.
She had to admit that tickling was proving to be a surprisingly effective torment, and one she'd developed few psychological defenses for. It didn't satiate her need for punishment the way harsher pains did, so at first it had been excruciatingly unsatisfying. In a strange way, however, laughing was almost fun. There was something intensely sexual about squirming helplessly beneath this man's touch. She couldn't help wondering if he felt the same way.
He paused for a moment seemingly considering his next move.
"Whew," she breathed, filled with honest admiration. "That thing you put inside me is quite the clever toy."
"You're not the only one who's been ordering special designs for downloading today."
"I guess not," she said with a laugh as he gripped her lats with his fingers again-more gently this time, but she was sure he'd get around to squeezing more tightly, in his own sweet time. Part of the torture was waiting for it. When he gripped her muscles as hard as he could-digging his fingers deep into the fissures-the pain was exquisite; almost too much, even for her.
She wondered if Bob found as much emotional satisfaction in what he was doing as she did. Was her obvious pleasure still ruining it for him? The ropes between her legs were soaked, but there was a bulge in his pants as well. She hoped it would be enough for him. For that matter, she hoped it would be enough for her.
She began to laugh uncontrollably as he poked her belly and his fingers more gently into her muscles down there. She was sensitive to a lighter touch, but he'd quickly discovered that the harder kneading drove her wild. She thrashed about so much that her aching belly seemed to be tearing on the inside and still he keep up with the constant poking and prodding. It was like being assaulted by a tenderizing hammer. One that tickled and made her pussy wet all at the same time.
For a long moment, she couldn't even catch her breath enough to beg him to stop. Her diaphram ached from trying; and each breath seemed to bring her a little closer to the kind of pain she truly craved. But although the computer was designed to simulate muscle stress and injuries, it wasn't designed to let her die. She might gasp, every wheezing breath causing pain, but her muscles wouldn't fail entirely; and even if she did, holding her breath wouldn't cause her to die.
She wondered what would happen if she couldn't breath. Would she loose consciousness, the way a person would in real life? Or would she continue to be aware, experiencing that aching need for air than always seemed to sensitize the nerve endings in her erogenous zones?
He tickled her for ten or fifteen minutes, then paused again, considering what to switch his attention to this time. This had been his pattern for the last few hours-moving from one delicious torment to the next.
"Are you still enjoying yourself," he asked with a smile, as he leaned on her shoulders to whisper in her ear again.
She looked at him out of the corner of her eye and smiled back weakly. "There's a plastic bag in the box," she whispered softly.
He raised an eyebrow thoughtfully, then went to find it.
"Guess it's not hard enough to breath already," he said, as he came back with the bag and a roll of tape that he'd slipped over his wrist, like a bracelet. He straddled her arms again, adding his weight to the crotch rope as he nibbled behind her ear-another sensitive spot she couldn't help trying to hide whenever he did that. He wedged his face between her head and shoulder, preventing her from thwarting him as he nibbled on her ear. "Or maybe you think your stomach muscles won't hurt as much if you can't breath?"
He reached around and twisted one of the clamps on her purple nipples, making the pain in them flare brighter.
She gasped involuntarily and let her breath wheeze as she drew it in. It hurt like hell, but she wasn't above letting him think it was even worse than it actually was. This encouraged him to jiggle the clamp and twist it back and forth a few times.
"This is turning out to be more fun than I thought it would be," he whispered. "I wouldn't want to end it by accidentally killing you."
"We're not alive."
"Not in here, I suppose," he said, nodding his understanding. "Not really."
He began to pull the bag down over her head, slowly. The plastic slipped down over her nose and she instinctively opened her mouth and took a deep breath. Despite having asked for this, her body had a mind of it's own and needed to fight what was coming. He lower the bag further, over her mouth and chin; twisting it gently around her neck and then wrapping it with the tape before tossing the roll out of the way.
She breathed in and out a few times and was surprised, at how quickly she began to feel the effects. There wasn't enough air in the bag to take a full breath, even with her aching sides. She could feel the plastic pressing against her face, pulling into the indentations where her eyes were and making a little pocket where her open mouth begged for more air. As she breathed out she could feel the dampness of her own breath and smell the increasing concentrations of CO2. A few more breaths and her head began to feel a little light headed, her body demanding more as it tried harder to take a deep breath.
Bob reached around to twist her nipple again, while at the same time the dildo inside her zapped her with a little jolt of electricity. She could feel it beginning to vibrate as the prongs pushed out into the delicate membranes inside her.
She would have gasped, but the bag sealed too quickly around her nose and mouth.
Her body began to jerk involuntarily as it tried to fight for fresh air, and the vibrating inside her seemed to intensify, bringing her sexual wave of pleasure that was almost as painful as it was intense. The feeling began to swell, seeming to encompass more and more of her body as her body became more starved for air. The painful ecstasy radiated from nipples and clit, growing in size until they seemed to becomes one large globe encompassing her whole body.
And the agony of her climax went on and on.
Mrs. Simpson breathed a deep sigh of relieve. Like her daughter, she suspected she'd just lived through the longest day of her life, for she'd been waiting eagerly for that heavily anticipated sound: that merciful click that signaled finality.
It meant the locks had been deactivated. Her daughter's last day was finally over, and the Memory Module had been capped, with her memories trapped inside.
Instead of activating the upload button which would inject Jack's innate memories and personality back into his own body, however, she carefully removed both Memory sticks and replaced them in the opposite slots. The memories of Sarah's ex-husband, Jack would go into her daughter's body-a body that was soon to be removed from life-support. While Sarah's memories would go into Jack's healthy and soon to be free body.
That horrible man would shortly reap exactly what he'd sown.
Mrs. Simpson double checked to make sure that both MemMods were firmly seated in their proper place. Then she inserted the security key, touched the "wipe and imprint" button on the screen and activated the exchange with her voice.
From inside Jack's body, Sarah looked out at the warden and smiled. "Aren't you supposed to give me that MemMod now," she asked, as she released her grip on the man's elderly hand.
"You want to take it with you?" the warden asked, in obvious surprise. Subconsciously he started wiping his hand against his pants, as if trying to wipe the taint of their handshake from his skin. Sarah didn't hold it against the poor man, he obviously thought he was shaking the hand of someone else.
"That's policy, isn't it?" Sarah asked as she gave the warden a wink. "How else can I keep my ex-wife's memory alive?"
Winking felt natural, but in a way it was a little weird. Sarah had never been a winker, but Jack always was. It was charming at first, but after a while it had become one of the things that always irritated her about him. Now she realized the wink wasn't entirely intentional. It was almost more like a nervous twitch, something he did without thinking.
When she'd first come out, Sarah hadn't understood what was going on. She'd expected to wake in the same room she'd so recently left-ready to relive her last day again. Instead, she'd found herself in a new situation: trapped inside a body that she soon discovered was a man's. She was surprised (when she glanced at the reflection of her new body) to realize that she wasn't in Robert's body-as she'd assumed. She was in Jack's body.
How had that happened? Unless Robert Anderson had somehow kidnapped Jack and taken over his body before he'd come to visit for her final day.
She didn't have any idea how he'd managed to do it, but Sarah was certain Bob was the one who'd visited her, even though his personality was completely gone-presumably trapped inside her old body; the one that was about to die, if it hadn't been terminated already.
She wasn't entirely certain how she felt about that. There was a strange regret that she wouldn't get the chance to live her final day, over and over. Bob had given her a torture session the likes of which she'd never had. And yet there was also intense relief. She didn't want to die, whatever the doctors said about her old scars-scars she no longer had. Deeper down, however, she could also feel the guilt and regret of Jack's latent personality. Guilt over letting Bob use his body and regret that his friend was now dead.
Friend? How had the two of them become friends?
She had a memory flash of the two men meeting at a local singles bar, their friend ship growing before they realized who the other was, and coming to grips with the fact when they did.
It was a strange sensation: to so clearly remember another person's memories. They clung to his body; and the mixing of their clashing thoughts and physical traits was rather disconcerting. No wonder they hadn't gotten along better when they were married. Jack's personality seemed more dominant than her own, although her memories had greater clarity. What surprised her most was how clearly she was able to think. In her own body, her thoughts had always seemed a little sluggish-like a wagon with square wheels, thumping along through the mud. Inside Jack's head, her thoughts move with alarming swiftly and her reasons for what she did were suddenly more clear. Each idea stood out, like a freshly printed letter on a clean page. And the longer she was in his body, the easier it was becoming.
I should probably jump again as soon as possible, Sarah thought, just before the warden brought her back to reality by saying, "I would have thought you'd want to forget about today's events."
"Not at all," Sarah said, "I actually found the experience quite pleasurable."
The warden frowned, as if he found these words deeply disturbing, but he reluctantly handed her the last day's MemMod. She held it almost reverently. It would be fun to relive that day again, from time to time. She knew she wouldn't be able to do that without forcing Bob to live through what she had; and he probably wouldn't like that. But the day had simply been too intense not to experience again.
"I will take very good care of this," Sarah said, and both parts of her personality agreed with the sentiments for different reasons. Apparently Jack's personality would revel in watching her squirm in pain. Despite the hesitancy he'd shown when she asked him to dominate and torture her, there as a part of him that found it deeply satisfying. It was buried deep, under repressed feelings of deep guilt, but it was in there, struggling to get out. Even though it was unformed, it was rather fascinating to observe her own obsession from the other side. She'd never quite understood what could motivate a person to want to torture someone else-not the way she understood her own longing to be tortured. But looking at it now, she thought maybe that was a side of her self that she'd neglected for too long.
Sarah felt the warden's eyes following her as she left his office and walked down the hall. It was kind of creepy having a man stare at her like that. Was that some sort of deep seated homo-phobia? The way the older man walked her to the door she'd had the distinct feeling he wanted to walk with Jack, all the way out to his car.
Which was where? She didn't have any idea what he was driving or where he'd park-so how would she find her ride home? Then his latent memories came to her aid. Ah, yes. Jack's mind was much better at remembering things like that. In her old body she'd never been able to remember where she'd parked, even when she wasn't drinking.
She smiled as she slid behind the wheel. The little jack inside of her took pleasure in the smell of car leather, and she joined him for a few moments. There were no doubt a lot of little pleasures that she could experience in this new body. Being male really wasn't so bad. It might even be fun exploring the hidden aspects of Jack's more dominant side.
Suddenly Jack's memories took her back to some fairly recent fantasies he'd had about his new wife. Susan. Her name was Susan, and she was an attractive lady. Jack's personality thought she'd look really good all tied up, with a huge gag in her mouth and some kind of vibrating toy shoved up her ass; but he'd never acted on those feelings.
Maybe it was time to change that?
Sarah caressed the strange hardness that was growing beneath her pants just from recalling Jack's fantasy. The feelings that stirred within her were new and different. They seemed to emanate from a place that should have been external to her body-would have been external to her body, if she were still in her old body.
That container was probably dead by now, and strangely, Sarah didn't feel any regret.
She'd never had transgender or homosexual urges before, but suddenly she found the idea of doing something unpleasant to the woman in Jack's fantasy, extremely appealing. And from the increasingly painful stirring in these pants, Jack's body (at least) obviously agreed with her. So why hadn't he ever acted on these feelings? He knew how much Sarah liked it, so why couldn't he satisfy her in real life the way he did in his own fantasies. The sudden feelings of guilt and shame were answer enough, but Sarah forced those feelings down and began to create a few of her own daydream fantasies: Susan tied to Jack's bed with her arms and legs spread wide, as Sarah fucked her with Jack's willing body. Susan, bent over a kitchen chair, wearing nipple clamps as Sarah fucked her with Jacks willing body....
Sarah smiled. It seemed her fantasies were circling around a redundant theme.
Suddenly Jack's ear phone began to buzz and for a moment it took Sarah by surprise; she had realized that Jack owned one. She reached up and tapped the implant to activate the receiver and hesitantaly said, "Hello!"
"Hey, uh... Bob?"
Bob? Why was someone calling her Bob when she was in Jack's body? Then it came to her. This was Jack, calling her from inside Bob's body. Despite the distortion of the phone, she recognized the distinctive sound of Bob's voice from her session earlier in the day. The two of them were definitely in this together.
"Yeah," she said, dropping her voice just a little. "It's me."
Jack laughed; obviously nervous and sounding just a little uncomfortable using Bob's voice. "It feels a little weird talking to myself like this."
"We probably shouldn't say too much over the phone," Sarah said, and she could almost hear Jack nodding in agreement.
"How did it go?"
"It was surprisingly civil."
"And you found closure with that?"
"I'm glad," Jack said, "She really was a decent person. I'm glad the two of you had a chance to work things out."
For a moment Sarah wondered if Jack had agreed to the exchange because his sharp mind had known she'd want her last day to be filled with the kind of torment that he wouldn't be able to supply.
But thinking the question brought the answer.
Jack's motives weren't so noble or selfless? Money was involved. And surprisingly, Jack had never really understood her proclivity for pain? He'd always assumed it had something to do with self-loathing. He couldn't under stand her needs any more than she'd been able to understand his secret fantasies-or his determination to keep them hidden.
"Why don't we meet at Matches," Jack said with Bob's mouth, "Say in fifteen minutes? You can tell me all about it."
"I should go home first," Sarah said. "Let Susan know how things went."
There was a heavy pause. "I thought we agreed that we weren't going to tell her," Jack said coldly.
Those memories resurfaced suddenly, and she remembered Bob promising that he wouldn't tell Susan what he was doing while inhabiting Jack's body. But there had been excuses given: a late-night business meeting that couldn't be put off.
"I meant the business meeting," Sarah said, recovering well.
It felt strangely good to make Jack squirm. She could hear the tension in the voice coming from Bob's body. Jack had always been the intensely jealous type. Perhaps she should tell him the truth, that Bob was gone. Surely by now the plug had been pulled on her old body-the one floating in the artificial amniotic fluid back at the prison.
"Remember," Jack said with Bob's voice. "We also agreed that there wouldn't be any wife swapping activity."
Suddenly, Sarah had a vivid memory of Jack lusting after Bob's wife, Vira.
"You can't tell me you haven't thought about it," Sarah said with a smile. She was starting to enjoy making him squirm.
"Damn it," Jack said. "I was afraid you might see that... But if you've seen that, then you know that I've never actually done anything about it, right?"
"Are you sure you want it to stay that way?" Sarah asked. "I have to admit that I've looked at Susan a few times too. Don't you see buddy? This is the perfect chance to get a little strange, without the wives ever knowing. We should take advantage of it. Have a little fun away from home. I think we could both use a vacation from our normal lives. "
Sarah knew that Jack would be sorely tempted, by the strong longings that emanated from his personality as she spoke. The only thing holding him back was that stubborn jealous streak, and the uncomfortable knowledge that Bob would be having sex with his own wife too.
"It's not really like they'll be cheating," Sarah said, trying to win her argument with reason. "After all, it's still your body. She's never going to know."
"You don't mind me and Vira?" Jack said, his moral conviction apparently wavering just a little.
"Of course not. I say we spend the night, see how the other half lives. Then we can discuss where we want to go from there in the morning."
Jack took a deep breath. "Fine," he said, after a long pause. "Call me."
As she turned off her ear phone, Sarah was smiling.
All sorts of treacherous plans were swirling around in her head. As Susan's legal husband, she now had access to the entire life's savings of Jack's family. Thinking about Jack's finances had brought up his account number as clear as day. It was amazing how clearly he remembered names and numbers.
This explained why such extraordinary measures were usually taken to ensure that any old accounts that might still be lurking in the old body's brain weren't still active. But Bob and Jack had done this all on their own. They hadn't made any effort to seek legal council, so they hadn't thought to take any of the normal precautions. Of course, Jack also had access to Bob's considerable fortune-but Jack wasn't the kind of man who would consider such a thing.
Sarah, on the other hand, wasn't quite as easily bothered by such things. She could secretly transfer Jack's money into an offshore account just before transferring back into Bob's body. Then she could do the same thing with his money before jumping again into the body of some attractive young woman.
Now that she realized the mind's potential, and what a crucial role the latent mind could play, she would have to make sure her new host possessed a brain that functioned on a very high level. That would slow down the selection process, which could place her in danger, once Jack realized what she'd done. But with the kind of money she'd suddenly have, it shouldn't be too difficult to make herself disappear.
From what she'd heard, there was always the option of jacking some young girl via the black market. Or maybe she would look at one of the girl's whose overwhelming personal debt had them headed for the slave auctions. Surely a smart girl would be willing to trade places with a smart and powerful man in order to avoid spending time as white slave. While for Sarah, on the other hand, being a slave wasn't something she was likely to mind-although it would be preferable to keep the money and hire someone to torture her.
Sarah wasn't entirely sure how far she'd actually be willing to go with all this, but it was actually kind of fun to think about the possibilities. So many ways to repay both of the men who'd brought treachery into her life.
I guess time will tell, she thought, as she stepped on the accelerator.