m/m science fiction
dystopian science fiction

Chapter 1: Fallen Star

It was my first time in the Drops. I’d heard about it all my life, of course: the underbelly of the grand city that orbited Earth and held the humans who managed to flee before the microbes killed them all. There were still microbes in Destiny, but not many. The number decreased the farther you got from the planet, and the upper realms of Destiny were almost microbe-free. But in the Drops, people lived short lives due to the buildup of microbes in their bodies.

There were uses for the microbes, naturally. I had a higher microbe count that most in Destiny because of my job. The microbes didn’t kill everyone. In some people too many microbes meant instant death, but in others it had only positive changes. I was one of those people, carefully scouted in my infancy and then groomed my entire childhood to enter sagent training. The microbes gave me speed, they gave me strength, and they gave me freedom. But I was constantly aware that even though my body tolerated the microbes, at too high an amount even I would die. One visit to the Drops wouldn’t make much of a difference, though. It wasn’t as if I was going to live here.      

I tapped my palm chip to make sure I was at the right building. My agency had given me very detailed instructions on how to get here without attracting notice and I had followed them exactly. I would go a different way leaving, naturally, but it would be just as quick. No need to spend more time here than necessary. Everything was strangely foreign in the Drops, even though on the surface it was familiar. Streets, hovercars, tall skyscrapers, even a dome overhead. But the view through the dome was the bottom of the city above, connected by three large elevators and a mass of steel and ingenuity. In Destiny, you could see the stars. I found it extremely disturbing to look up and see metal instead of sky.

Confident that I was in the right place, I adjusted my strange outfit and went into the building. I was dressed in a kimono, or at least that’s what my handler had called it. It was a long, flowing robe that had an intricately tied, thick belt around my middle. It was uncomfortable, but common down in the Drops. Most of the people in the Drops were from the ancient country of Japan, and it was even rumored that some came from Korea, though that might be a myth. The meteor carrying the microbes had struck Korea and the microbes had spread outward from there, so it was unlikely anyone from Korea survived. But the rumors remained.

There was a reception desk and the man stationed there seemed to be waiting for me. Not unexpected, given what I was here for. He personally escorted me to the elevator and then, to my surprise, he got in with me. I kept my eyes down. I didn’t know the rules of this place or the man I was going to see, and I didn’t know if my client was the type of man who allowed his guards to taste his presents. But the guard didn’t do anything besides leer, and soon the elevator dinged and he held the door open while I stepped off. The guard remained in the elevator and I was alone, as far as I could see.

I took a few cautious steps forward, making sure to stay in character. He couldn’t suspect that I was anything more than an escort.

“Come in,” a rich voice said.

I turned to the sound and walked forward. The room was lush and decorated with expensive and rare art and furniture. Everything was black and white, with the only color coming from savage red slashes in the art. On one of the couches sat a man dressed in a black suit, leaning back and admiring me as I entered. I kept my head down, not sure how he liked his men. He let out a gasp as if surprised and stood up, coming over to me and taking my hand in his. He lifted my hand and twirled me around, examining me with pleasure in his eyes.

“What a beauty! I can’t believe I’ve never seen you before.”

I blushed. My looks were one of the main reasons I had been chosen as a sagent, since blond hair was so incredibly rare and I also had the good fortune of being naturally good-looking. I still remembered the recruitment officers of the major agencies lining up to offer me anything I wanted to join with them when I was eighteen and finally eligible to become a sagent. Unfortunately for them, one company had been grooming me since birth and I had no choice about where I would go, and it was with a heavy heart that I began work with GovTech. Now, though, I worked for an agency that let me pick my own assignments, and when they had offered an assignment in the Drops I had let my curiosity take over. Looking at this man, I was glad. He was quite handsome, and seemed like a good target.

“Come with me,” the man said, keeping my hand in his.

He led me to the bedroom and as soon as we entered, he drew me into a kiss. I went limp against him with practiced ease, letting him feel in control. He was a good kisser, and would probably be a gentle lover, I decided as the kiss continued. Yes, this would be a good assignment.

His hands were on the long belt tied around me when there was a noise outside the room. He pulled away reluctantly, tapping my nose and pushing me onto the bed.

“You stay here. One of my men must need something.”

He vanished, and I glanced around the room. Somewhere in here was a file outlining his contact with the yakuza, an underground group who based themselves off a group of the same name from ancient Japan. The yakuza controlled everything in the Drops, yet my agency had no information on them and had never been able to infiltrate them. Any information on their workings would be valuable, and this man had been chosen as the easiest mark to gain that information.

He had long been suspected of taking bribes from the yakuza, but recently he had stopped taking them and started to take a stand for honesty and openness in government, much to the chagrin of the yakuza. If we could turn him to our side, we could not only gain valuable information on the yakuza, we could gain an ally against them. I saw a green computer chip on the desk, near a stack of papers. Green was the color often used for financial concerns, but would this man really have color-coded his affairs?

After several minutes without his return, I began to wonder where he was. I debated getting up to find him. It would be out of character, but I needed him. I needed to seduce him so that I could talk to him about the yakuza and learn his secrets. Or I could just send him into a sex coma and take the green chip, hoping it was the right thing. Either way, I needed him to come back. He had only paid for an hour, and my time was short.

He appeared at the door and I let out a sigh of relief. My relief was cut short, however, when he was followed by a woman in a black kimono with scarlet herons embroidered on it. She held a gun to the man’s head.

I could have leapt forward and disarmed her with only minimal risk to the man. She thought I was only an escort. But even in training I had never been in this situation and I froze a second too long. She only had to study me a moment before she recognized me as a fellow sagent. I had lost the advantage, but would she out me in front of the man?

She pushed the man to his knees on the floor, then gestured for me to also get on the floor. I obeyed. It seemed like she was going to treat me as an escort, and I was grateful. I didn’t know what she wanted, but at least she wasn’t going to out me in front of my mark.

“I’ve arranged a little surprise for you, judge,” she said. “I didn’t expect you to have your own company.”

“What do you want?” the man said.

“I want you to submit,” she said in a cold voice.

Just then the ding of the elevator sounded, and the woman laughed.

“Right on time! Get up, you old fool. You, too,” she added to me. We both stood. She tucked the weapon away, then pulled her kimono until her breasts showed and entwined herself around the man.

I’ve used that method before, although it works better for women. One good way to get information is to pose provocatively with someone and then blackmail them. Only this time, there was no blackmail because the judge’s wife walked into the room right then and saw it with her own eyes.

She was pretty, and far younger than the judge. Beautiful ebony hair done up in a bun, with a clear almond complexion and wide gray eyes. It was well known that the judge treated her like a doll, having guards follow her everywhere and allowing her to do nothing on her own. She was barely allowed to have contact with other men due to the judge’s extreme jealousy, even though the judge himself hired escorts like me every week. She looked stunned. Then she smiled hesitantly.

“Is this what you meant by spicing up our love life?”

The other sagent, who had her breasts bared and a victorious smile on her lips, froze and looked at the judge, who was a strange shade of red.

“Yes,” she said. “Your husband hired us to help you.”

“I’m Amelie,” the wife said, extending her hand to the woman and then to me.

I watched the other sagent, waiting to see how she would react to this turn of events. I would never have expected things to go like this and I could see the wheels turning in her head as she tried to turn this to her advantage.

“I’m Zada,” she finally said. It was a false name but I expected that.

The two women turned to me and I scrambled to remember my alias.

“Peter,” I said. My handler had chosen it and I had used it several times, but I knew I would never be able to use it again after this.

“Well,” the judge said, trying to gain control of the situation. “Why don’t we come to bed?”

He placed a possessive hand on my back and his wife didn’t look surprised; I wondered if she knew that he took a male escort every Friday at this time. I glanced around the room and my eye fell on the green chip. Maybe in the chaos I would be able to grab it, because there was no way I would be able to talk to him now. At the least, though, my cover hadn’t been blown so I could always come back.

I wondered what the other sagent was going to do to complete her mission, then I remembered her words. She was here to make the man submit. She was probably a sagent from the yakuza, sent here to make sure he remained obedient to their cause. Now that I had met him, I knew I would have been able to turn him to our cause if she hadn’t interfered. He was quite taken by me, I could tell, and would have done quite a lot to keep me in his bed, even turn against the yakuza. But now that was all theoretical, and the yakuza sagent was in control. I would have to obey her just like an ordinary escort would and pray she didn’t expose me for what I was. As long as the judge thought I was an escort, I could come back later to complete my mission.

To my surprise, and probably the other sagent’s as well, the wife initiated things by grabbing the other sagent and kissing her passionately. I felt the judge’s jealousy through his hand on my back, but he didn’t say anything. After all, if he had arranged this group as we were all pretending, then there was no reason for him to be jealous. I felt pity for the wife, as she was the only one in the room who thought this was an entirely consensual affair and was acting accordingly.

After she broke off the kiss, she sighed. “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to kiss a woman,” she said.

The other sagent grinned. “We can do a lot more than kiss,” she said with a glance at the judge, who wore a closed off expression. He had the reputation of being a controlling man and letting his wife sleep with anyone else was going to be difficult for him, even if it meant that he wouldn’t be caught with a man and a woman half naked in his bedchamber. His hand tightened on my back and he pulled me closer. I obeyed and turned to him, expecting him to kiss me. Instead, he pushed me towards his wife. She opened her arms to me and stroked a hand across my cheek.

“I’ve never seen hair like yours before,” she confessed, reaching up to lace her fingers through my fine blonde hair. “It’s beautiful. You look like you’re from Destiny.”

“Thank you,” I said.

I didn’t tell her that even in Destiny blonde hair was a rarity, or that I was frequently stopped in the street by people who wanted to feel my hair to see if it was really that color. A lot of people bleached their hair, of course, but the texture gave it away. My hair was true blond and anyone feeling it could tell. Occasionally it made my job difficult, but for the most part it worked to my advantage.

Then she kissed me, and I was surprised by her inexperience. She opened her mouth and allowed me to do the work, drawing her out until she moaned against me. It was no wonder she and the judge needed to spice up their love life; it seemed he had taught her nothing at all of the tricks of sex. I wondered if he were in fact a good lover, as I had assumed, and remembered our one kiss. Yes, he knew how to kiss, but he must have never kissed his wife like that. It was a shame that life in the Drops wasn’t as accepting of homosexuality as Destiny was. The judge ought to have a husband, not a wife. It was a shame such a beautiful young woman had to be chained to a man who didn’t – and couldn’t – love her.

As soon as the kiss was over, the judge was pulling me back to his side. “Yes, he is beautiful, isn’t he? Like a fallen star, fallen from Destiny into my hands.” He kissed my neck and I arched back to give him better access.

“So,” the wife said, looking to the yakuza woman, to Zada. “What do we do now?”

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