Men don't exist on planet PrimeC and machines are responsible for pleasuring and impregnating women. Isis can't help but feel as if something is missing. When a poisonous gas warning sounds, she gets lost while rushing to evacuate and finds herself in the arms of a man. Not just any man. Tall. Wide. Dangerously handsome. And he insists that she belongs to him -- and his best friend.
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Copyright (c)2010 Selena Blake
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The cuffs slithered back to their resting place and the mechanical voice came through the speaker again. "Planting complete."
Long moments later, Isis pulled on her gossamer robe and cinched the waist. "Enjoy the rest of your day and take care of your precious cargo," the speaker box said pleasantly.
Out in the main corridor she joined dozens of other women whose eyes were glazed over, delirious smiles on their faces.
"Isis!" She turned back just as her friend Natacha skipped up, her long black hair shimmering. "Do you think it took this time?"
"It" being the seeds. A dreadful reminder she'd failed to get pregnant twice before. Natacha knew how eager Isis was to have a baby and move to the family quarters. Isis prayed to the silent god lest she have to endure the needle. Murmurs of the fertility treatments had found a home in her ears months ago. The idea of the huge needle she would have to endure scared her witless. When it came to pain, she'd rather do without.
"I don't know. I hope so." Her life was simple and easy, uncomplicated... but occasionally when she lay in bed at night, she craved something more. Something colorful and fulfilling. She couldn't put a name to it, couldn't even describe it exactly excerpt for the feeling that something was missing. Something important. The maid-mothers said children would be fulfilling, but since she'd never seen a real live child, she couldn't say one way or the other.
"I bet it did. If not, there's always next month." Natacha chattered, filling in the time it took them to walk the long, narrow hall.
What would happen if she didn't have a baby? It was a question no one here had ever voiced. Babies simply were. On a planet full of women, where men no longer existed, the dynamic was purely feminine. Women for friends. Women for lovers. Machines implanted sperm into waiting wombs. And then they waited, always hoping the latest round of implants would produce a male offspring.
Isis didn't understand why a male offspring was so important. So coveted. It wasn't as if there was a prize to be won. And some of the maid-mothers murmured about males when they thought no one was listening. Barbaric. Indulgent. Crude. All words used to describe the males of their species. But from what Isis could tell, a male hadn't lived on their small planet in over fifty years. She wouldn't think about that now.
"I wish we could have a machine in our room," Natacha confided softly, the corner of her full mouth pulled upward. Her dark eyes flashed mischievously.
"I'm with you there." Isis knew many women enjoyed each other, and while she understood that desire for touch, for closeness, she always felt like there was something missing not only from the female relationships, but also from the physical act. And the machines, no matter how much pleasure they brought, couldn't fill that void. Not completely.
"You'd think if we each had a machine in our room, we'd all get pregnant fast --" Natacha halted mid-sentence as the lights flickered and they were cast into darkness. She let out a startled scream. "What's going on?" The alarm in her voice echoed dozens of times down the long hallway.
Isis hugged the wall to steady herself. "I don't know." Bodies brushed past her. She reached for her friend's hand but only encountered air. "Natacha?" A heavy clank of metal against metal thundered down the corridor and then a small light flickered on at the very end.
"Octican warning. Octican warning. Octican warning. Please board the nearest lifeship." Shrill screams drowned out the computer generated voice as bodies rushed past her. Someone stepped on her toe and she cried out, then followed after them, heading for the light.
The grand hall smelled of sex and sweat. And fear. Bodies brushed against her. Heat crept up the back of her neck as she ran toward the light. "Natacha?"