[[Unlike the previous one, you have my personal assurance that action described in the next story actually happened, and although some characters' thoughts and actions might be subject to some natural inaccuracy, they are at the least formed from some very educated guessing.]]
[[We also rise up the social ladder one more level, to look at a family on the top tier of society. If I were telling this story to anyone else, I'd attach some serious content warnings, like I probably should have for previous stories, but I already know the kinds of things you get off to, so...]]
As he enters the elevator, Carter Morgan's thoughts are confusing, jumbled. He's excited to be returning home after weeks away, but simultaneously reflects on how it's like he never left. His hand touches the elevator wall, feeling the almost subliminal vibration, a familiar soothing thrum, the pleasing tactile feel of the textured metal--the same touchstones he almost took for granted until they were gone. In some ways it feels like everything was the same, but he'd become a whole different person, and at the same time, not... he thinks about how it reminds him of that recent Narnia netflix where the kids come back after years, their access returned and realize no time has passed and they were right back in the same text chat with their friends as the day they left, their magical memories starting to fade. He wasn't quite at that level, but the closer he got to home, the more he felt like the past several weeks may as well have been a dream, his old life and routines were draining back into him. At the same time, familiar sights, sensations, they took on a special resonance, each one a signal... that he was almost home.
Finally, the doors pull apart to reveal the antechamber, and Carter steps forward, palms the lock and enters the family home that takes up the entirety of the floor: sleek, modern... empty.
Nobody was there to greet him.
Just before boarding the elevator, Carter briefly considered showing off his new skills and hacking into the apartment's systems to broadcast his arrival through the AR, with the fanfare associated with a medieval king, but in the end, decided against it, and figured that the simple text message he'd sent from the airport would ensure everybody was waiting to greet him. Now he's regretting taking the mature approach, as the low-key return seems to have been missed entirely.
He'd expected some kind of reception. Sure, his parents were probably working, and maybe Becky wouldn't come out to say hello right away, as the two of them were always standoffish--maybe because they were too close in age--but Aisha? His twelve-year-old sister cried when he left and hugged him so hard it hurt, so he thought surely she'd be waiting at the door, ready to tackle him with a hug and talking in her high-pitched, rapid-fire voice about all the news he'd missed, whether he had actually learned it already or not.
Maybe that was expecting too much... even though he was busy learning how to use his new implants over the last several weeks, he was able to send and receive messages and videos regularly. To limit the risk of proprietary information about the facility leaking, livestreams and other realtime contacts were forbidden most of the time, but it wasn't as though he was totally out of contact. Still, it was the first time in years that he'd been away from his family for more than a night or two... he didn't think he was being too conceited to expect some kind of welcome upon his return.
Instead, there is nothing. He steps cautiously into the living room, drops the small carrybag full of everything he'd kept from his last few weeks of experience--at least, everything that wasn't surgically implanted. He leans forward and cranes his neck in different directions, half-expecting everybody to jump out from behind a piece of furniture and yell "Surprise!"
The place still looks like home, exactly as he remembers it. The family had only lived in this particular unit for about a year now, exchanging their apartment for one of a larger size and better view whenever his parents fortunes supported it, but much of the look was consistent from when they lived elsewhere in the tower. The leather couches for entertaining guests, the wooden dining room table, the copperbone counters, the cleaning bots on the floor and walls masquerading as modern art which, over the course of a day, cleaned every part of the condominium. It's all comfortably familiar, the way he liked his environments. But empty. Scarcely better than a still picture.
Nursing a fledgling hope that this is all part of a comedic misinterpretation of his last message, and that his family are actually on their way to the airport to pick him up, he's just about to try and link into the house systems and check statuses... when there's the sound of footsteps, and Carter's sixteen-year-old sister Becky emerges into the living area from around a corner.
To an outside observer, there is a certain family resemblance between them, both white with blue eyes, and her brown hair only a few shades lighter than his--although hers in a wispy bob rather than Carter's boring corporate short slicked-back style. Style-wise they are in a different universe, for his outfit looks like his life goal is to blend in respectably, with tan slacks and a white long-sleeved shirt, while she's comfortable in her skin and, when she has to cover it, does so with splashes of color. She is wearing a cut off pink shirt that shows her belly and dangles off one shoulder, and a pair of flimsy yellow shorts. All smart fabric, hers are still far less expensive than his, for casual, lounging-around-the-house wear, although still ad-free which bespoke a certain level of affluence they took for granted.
As she moves into the kitchen, Becky seems similarly oblivious to her brother's presence... her attention is largely focused on her eyescreens, but just before she opens the fridge door she spots him, flinches. "Oh, you're back," she says, her voice level, unimpressed, barely looking at him, and then looks completely away, into the door.
"Yeah, I just got in," Carter says, with only a hint more emotion than she had in his voice, just a trace of eagerness, as he moves beside the fridge door. He still hopes she might tell him she missed him. She doesn't seem to notice, or have those feelings, and just goes about the mission she came out here for, bends down at the hips to reach for a can in the lower compartment, casually but probably accidentally revealing the full curve of one breast to Carter's eyes, letting him see everything save perhaps the nipple itself. Before she finishes retrieving a can of Tak Cola from the fridge, he averts his gaze and tries to ask casually, "Where is everyone?"
"Kaylee and Nick are at work, of course," she says. His sister started calling their parents by their first names in the last year or so, but it still feels unnatural to him. "Aisha's in her room." Before he can come up with what to say next, she adds, "Why'd you have to ask me? Doesn't your robot brain give you all the information you need?"
"It's not a robot brain!" he snaps, an exasperated whine in his voice. Of course, actual robotic brains would be illegal... fairly lucrative, yet illegal. Ridiculous. "It's just a few enhancements!"
"Right," she says. "You already had the robot brain when you went to let them cut into your head to get the enhancements."
He takes a breath, then resolves not to rise to her bait beyond a simple roll of his eyes. In his brain, those enhancement metaphorically whir to life as he runs a pattern analysis scheme on the colors of the labels in the fridge... there's no real reason to do it, beyond that it distracts him and helps stop him from getting worked up by her needling.
That he was always a little different, prone to missing jokes and becoming obsessively focused, was a frequent source of insults of his sister's, and he was sensitive about that... he should have known these new enhancements would give her new excuses, but if he lets it show he's bothered she'll only do it more.
His attempt to ignore her backfires, though. "Jesus, now that you've sold your soul you're not even fun to mock."
"I hardly sold my soul... I'm still me."
"Sure, after they hacked your brain into little pieces and convinced you it was a good move."
Sometimes, he thinks clearly, she is so hipster. Afraid of a little neurosurgery and cyber-enhancement... like it was that much different than the stuff they already lived with. "It was a good move," he tries to explain. "Once I fully qualify for this position, I'll go up a few grades in pay and I can get my own place, and be out of your hair for good. You should be happy about that."
She snorts. "Maybe when you actually leave, but until then you're just another machine taking up space."
"I'm going to say hi to Aisha," Carter says, walking around the corner and down the hall towards where their rooms lay.
"She doesn't care either," Becky calls back, then opens the can with a hiss.
Carter gives no outward sign of being annoyed with his sister, but his brain is afire with retorts that go unsaid, followed by sadness that they even needed to be considered. He tries to zip those runaway thoughts away, too, banish them to some nested subdirectory of his mind, but it's not quite as easy as that... still, he thinks about his other sister and relaxes some at the prospect of seeing her.
At the space in front of the door to her room, he stops, and decides to knock softly in lieu of sending her a message. Just trying to open it would be rude, but Aisha likes the personal touch, or at least, she had. A third of a minute ticks by with no response from his sister, though, so Carter knocks again, as though she might not have heard him. Though of course a sensor by her door would automatically let her know someone was at the threshold, and hall cameras could have showed her exactly who. Only sleep or a deliberate snub could be making her refuse to answer, and she wasn't asleep.
But persistence can pay off, so after a third round of knocks, the door unlocks and swings open, an invitation of sorts, but a chilly one, the sort rich brats give to their parents when they're seconds away from an override. Which, it occurs to Carter belatedly, he probably could do to the door himself, now, not that he thinks he would.
The first thing he notices as he steps inside the room is the absence of bright colors. Aside from the blue of the bedspread, and a few assorted possessions, almost nothing is dressed to please the eye in any way. Even the furniture and shelving units are without AR overlays, just left as the natural stark white that nobody ever sees but allows the clean-bots to better spot actual dirt. There are no action walls, no evident room theme, no ambiance. No visible friends, either, not even the recreation of Aisha's pet dragon... the original, physical version of that died of one of the common maladies of those rich biocyber pets, a fatal infection following a battery leak, where the wings interfaced with the lizard body, but since then she always kept a virtual version.
For a second Carter wonders if Aisha's crossed that line, the phase some go through of putting "childish" enhancements behind and living spartan in an effort to seem more grown up, but quickly decides the truth was far more simple, yet more personally painful to him... all the same overlays were probably there, she simply denied him access to her AR. It was something she had never done before and he's not sure what it means, but it doesn't feel very good.
"Hey," he says, in an attempt to sound cheery, despite these doubts.
"Hey." His little sister's voice is flat, distracted, reminding him more of Becky rather than the excited chirp he was used to. It's still a greeting, so not an outright rejection, but certainly not inviting, giving him nothing to react to. Nor did her body language. She lay on her bed, stomach down, head turned so that he couldn't even see her face, just her long wavy brown hair and her outfit, a form fitting blue dress with a large belt. She may have just been lying there, but her fingers dance with motion, in the characteristic way of somebody engaged in the virtual realm, which makes him doubt his earlier worry. It could be that she was angry at him for some reason, but the data was ambiguous... for all he knew, she just had all her attention all wrapped up somewhere else and didn't realize that it was actually her brother home.
Fuck it, he thinks, and sends one part of his mind to piggyback off her wearables and analyze the code locks in the AR scheme of the room for vulnerabilities. It is absolutely an invasion of privacy, and he knows it may even technically be a violation of the terms of service of the implants in his head, but none of that matters right then... home's not home unless it looks like home. And moreover, the attempt could be instructive... if she had simply set her whole AR layer private, to her eyes only, there would be no easy way to grant himself access, but it would mean it wasn't about him, she was just being closed off in general. But if he was personally and deliberately excluded, while others could see the AR, then he could spoof an authorized user and see it too, maybe get a peek at his sister's private life in the process.
While the automatic intrusion software in his head starts the process of trying to break through, his more human half says, "I missed you."
She turns then, locked her bright green eyes on his, with that earnest, evaluating look cute kids do better than anybody. Though Aisha is more than just a cute kid... objectively, she looks like she was designed from birth to appear on modeling sites, hair silky and shiny, naturally long eyelashes, pale flawless skin, and with lips that seem to have both permanent lipstick and an alluring natural puffiness. Her dark hair is long and straight, silky and shiny like she uses the most expensive shampoo and brushes it a hundred times every night. Even though puberty hasn't fully kicked in, she straddles the line between sexpot and innocent waif like few can manage, the kind of girl like pedophiles obsequiously venerate. "You did, huh?" she asks, unconvinced, as though she's running a lie detector app on him and the results are not encouraging. She isn't, though, except the fallible kind provided by human evolution.
"Of course I did."
"They sure seemed to be keeping you pretty busy."
Was that what it was about? he wonders. That he hadn't checked in enough? "They did. And sometimes they didn't let me have outside connections, you know, contractually."
She snorts a bit, an expression not of amusement but of disdain that she must have got from her sister, and then turns her head from her brother. "Good to know contracts trump family."
At that moment, a brief endorphin rush hits Carter, filling him with automatic pleasure and well-being as his augments crack the problem he's working on. From his perspective, the walls of Aisha's room spring into color and the usual embellishments pop into sight. Or some of the usual ones. It doesn't look the same as when Carter left, but most people change their themes regularly.
For today, it seems to be done up as some idealization of a prehistoric lifestyle mixed with elements of magic and fantasy. The bed has become a raised platform with a saber-tooth tiger pelt for padding, there are animated cave paintings and a fire in the corner. The wall to Carter's back, with the door, is the cave mouth, showing a dark jungle beyond. The illusion is well done, but he notices that it's not sustainably immersive... the moment she went to her dresser a drawer would have to emerge out of solid rock, not to mention how her private access, websearches and movies, homework and network alerts would appear completely anachronistic under that theme. Carter preferred settings when the interaction was seamless and fit together, everything real had a correspondent in the virtual, although not necessarily the reverse. Speaking of which, there's no sign of Aisha's 'dragon,' but the virtual image might merely be hiding in some nook or cranny, simulating sleep. It's probably a good thing, Carter decides--a dragon flying around might be harder to pretend to ignore.
Because it is clear to him now, Aisha locked him out of this view, but anybody with simple guest access to the house, even a stranger, can see it all. A deliberate snub. Was it just because he'd had to be out of contact?
"That's not fair, Aisha," he says, stepping closer to her to sit on the bed, but hesitating from making physical contact. Social touch, in general, wasn't something Carter was comfortable with. Normally Aisha was an exception, one of the few he'd hug without reservation, or ruffle her hair with his hands, or tickle... all brotherly displays of affection that he was comfortable with. But, now that things were tense between them for reasons he still wasn't sure about, his anxieties crept in and were making the thought of reaching out feel as awkward and difficult to contemplate as when he was with peers. Instead, he's left trying to reach her with words. "I had to go away, but I'm back now."
"Until you can afford your own place and get out of our hair for good."
A flare of recognition. "So you were listening to that, huh?" She shrugs. "I just said that because Becky got under my skin."
"So you're not moving out?"
The instinct to just reassure her is strong, but he decides she's smart enough to know he can't promise that. "Well, yeah, eventually. But I won't go far... maybe even the same building. And I'll stay in touch. We're family. Even Becky, as much as she's a pain in the neck sometimes, I'm not going to give up on her."
She looks into his eyes again, her meatware lie detector still weighing whether to trust the words she probably wants to believe.
If not for her dragon flying in at that moment through the virtual cave mouth, she might have. But when the pistachio green construct darts between the two, heading for a perch on the other side of the room, Carter's eyes automatically move to track it. Aisha's do as well, but only for a moment before she realizes that they both saw the same thing, and her face curls up into a scowl. "You see Vexvelt! I guess Becky was right. You don't care about my feelings at all, not really. Not enough to keep from peeking at my stuff."
Carter's mouth opens and closes repeatedly as he searches for words, some way to fix this. He's the type of person who lives in fear of making mistakes, and since he just made one, his face is turning red. Apologies never came easy... mostly, he wants to find a way to backpedal, explain how what he did was right, and it takes him a few seconds of internal wrestling to decide that could only make things worse. "I'm sorry," he manages finally, robotically.
"Fine, you're sorry," she says, turning away from him. "Now leave me alone."
"But I want to..." he starts. Explain, maybe he's going to say, or apologize with more feeling.
Aisha interrupts him before those next words can be properly expressed. "Yeah, yeah, you want," she repeats, and waves a hand dismissively. "That's all that matters, right? What you want?" The AR in her room flicks off once again. Rather than lock him out, this time, she simply shut down all public access, so that all the sights the room has to offer take place only on her eyescreens.
"No, it isn't, I just..."
"Then go away. I don't want to see you right now."
He takes a frustrated breath and his hands clench, but he does indeed turn away, deciding it's better to leave her room willingly before she can literally blot out his existence with private AR constructs, replacing him with an opaque column and subjectively loud music. At least, he hopes, she could see him respecting her wishes.
Berating himself, Carter returns to the front door, retrieves his carry bag, and then vanishes into his own room where, to try and head off the conversation replaying in his head in all possible permutations, he starts to take up the mundane but distracting task of importing the AR settings he'd been living with while away.
From looking, you would be able to tell the new settings from the old easily, assuming intimate familiarity... or after close scrutiny, if you were a random visitor. The basic layout of his AR is exactly the same in each, a scheme he'd had for years, along with a slow accumulation of small gradual changes, but he wanted to preserve the minor differences he's grown used to while he was living in a physically different room. Details mattered, even with the same touchstones.
In Carter's private space, each wall is like a fragment of a different world, with its own themely decorations. One, a set of sterile, non-reflective silver panels that resembled the impossible dreams of space exploration vessels, with various sci-fi-looking gadgets and a viewscreen he uses to watch his media. Another is wood panelling with brass candelabras and fine arts. A third is large wall of rough-hewn stone overgrown with ivy, that holds a shelf of magical potions and alchemist equipment and a view off to a far off castle on a meadow, and the last spartan drywall, a twentieth-century theme, though with poster of an oldies band he liked when he was thirteen. He no longer enjoys that kind of music, he's more into Algorithmic Neo-Classical now, but the poster itself is something he is unwilling to change. Carter believes in the power of static settings. Unlike many, most of his AR decorations also aren't animated, save a faintly pulsing multcolored dimensional vortex covering the trash bin, some bubbling potions, a realistically changing vista through the ivy window, and a few spaceship models hovering over his central bed in defiance of gravity (the ceiling itself was a starscape, with a frame around the edges, that simulated a window, or porthole, depending on how you wanted to interpret it).
As discordant and random as it may seem to the rare visitors Carter entertained there physically, the room does have a coherent theme. "Master of Time and Space" he calls it, from a story he accessed long ago about someone who lived in a Nexus between different times and universes, enjoying the best of several worlds. If he desired, he could cause one wall's theme to spread and dominate the whole room, simulating him pulling himself towards one particular universe, but mostly he prefers the in-between look. It seemed to resonate with the feelings he'd felt since childhood, of never quite fitting into any one world. That's why he kept it so long.
Steadily he begins to layer in the few new elements that he had grown used to while he was in the facility learning his implants. A few formerly barren spaces were now full of graphical representations of so-far unsolvable puzzles posted up on the wall, ready for him to stare into if his new brain mods started infinite-looping (these, too, were designed to fit the theme of the universe... depending on which side any one was on, it might be a video screen, a torn up psychadelic poster, or a tapestry). The safety patterns were no longer a necessary precaution as they were in the first few days, while the neural nets adapted to him, but he still finds the designs comforting to have on hand.
The biggest change is also the one he's most unsure about keeping, because he only put it in because of homesickness. When he was away at the facility, his room may have looked identical to this one, but he found he missed a myriad of familiar smells... the melange of particular human scents and product odors that most people don't pick up on, except, subconsciously, when they're absent. Most people don't bother programming AR scentscapes because so few could benefit from them, but after his surgery Carter could experience any stimsim sensations out in the AR without external aids, so it made sense to try and play with it.
The closest thing to a 'scent of home' that Carter could license online was the smell of the cinnamon bun dispensers strategically placed throughout many of the building's public areas, including the lobby that he passed on the way back in. After updating the AR profile of his room, the sickly sweet scent comes back full force, through his mods, and though it had comforted him when he returned to his lonely recovery room after a long day of therapy, he realizes how redundant it seems, especially since he can get the real scent, attached to a real cinnamon bun, sent up to his room any time. In the end, he decides to leave it for now... he doesn't like making changes when he's in a bad mood.
That task done, he moves his pack to the fantasy alchemists table, then lays on his bed, triggering it to fold into a lounging upright position facing the sci-fi side of the room, and begins to browse through the media store in an attempt to take his mind off things. It doesn't work... his mind's eye lingers on the link to the Adventures of the Arch-Necromancer, which makes him reflect how messed up it was that a character who literally only associated with animated corpses was somehow closer to his family than Carter, and that starts a spiral of negative emotions. Coming home was supposed to lift his mood, but he feels more depressed now than when he was alone in the facility, under a gag contract where his every outgoing message had to be vetted. It wasn't as bad feeling lonely when you actually were alone, but when you're with people you're supposed to be close to...
This is perhaps the biggest problem with Carter's life, at least that he is aware of. Financially, he doesn't want for much, he's healthier (and with more of a safety net) than the average for someone his age and he's got good career prospects, but on a social level he feels a void, without many he considers close. Sure, he has friends, but most of his real human connection is mediated by a digital link... and everyone he knows well enough to link up and talk with are set as busy. The one friend he met while in the facility is open to connections, but based on the schedule McAuley'd shared, Carter knows there is a good chance only half of his brain is awake at this moment, which would make any attempt at conversation dreamlike and bizarre, and he isn't ready for that. The more interesting lives of his stunted social network renders him alone with nothing to think about but that his favorite sister hated him for some reason. He hopes it's just a mood, and it will pass, but knows that he used to think that about Becky. They were never as close, but with the teenage years her moodiness settled into a low-grade hostility that seemed as constant as gravity. The thought of the same thing happening with Aisha makes his stomach twist.
He plays briefly with the idea of ordering a gift, to stave off that possibility, even spends some time shopping for things she likes, branded AR coins with her favorite characters, or shimmers, those synthetic diamond wearable charms made of an impure carbon altered to have a mirrorlike finish, something she once wore on her wrist though he's not sure if they're still in fashion. In the end closes the window without placing an order. Not because he's cheap, or unsure what to get, but simply because he worries the gesture will make things worse. His father once told him gifts sometimes made people resent you unless they felt they were entitled to it already. That made no sense to him, emotionally, but he'd seen examples in his social circle.
A rumble in his stomach reminds him he hasn't eaten in hours. Carter, foolishly as it turned out, expected some kind of celebratory meal at home, so he didn't get anything on the way, and the still-running simulated cinnamon smell is starting to get to him. Completely eliminating the feeling of hunger is now an option open to him... almost as easy as it would be to eliminate the cinnamon bun smell, but he decides the better approach is to solve it, calls up a menu in his eyeline while he gets up and heads towards the kitchen. There's a printer there, a simple extruder model, but he wants something more substantive, which means the delivery chute from one of the food service levels, or splurging for a drone delivery.
As he rounds the corner out of the hallway, he spots Becky out on the balcony, staring at the sky in the way she only does when awaiting a delivery. Considering the time, she was probably waiting for her own dinner order. What the hell?, he thinks and decides he'll make another effort to reach out.
Feeling the wind on his face, he waits at the balcony door. His sister doesn't notice him, so finally he forces her to, says, "So what are you getting?"
Her face wrinkles up, like his very presence is an annoyance to her, but she finally answers, "Chicken-style wings. Potato prints. From Zhe Long."
Well, at least she's not breaking the bank, he thinks. "Enough to share?" It made sense sometimes to order more than you were hungry for... even if she wasn't inclined to go out of her way to order dinner for him, bigger orders get a discount, and it wasn't out of the question that she doubled up so she could have an extra snack later... or to potentially split with a brother she hasn't seen in weeks.
It's a faint hope, but it still hurts when it's dashed. "No, get your own."
He sighs, loudly enough for her to hear. "Fine, I will. I just figured we could split the delivery cost."
"How... efficient of you."
"You say that like it's a bad thing."
She shrugs, and goes back to looking at the sky, and he thinks she's aggressively ignoring him, but after a few seconds she does speak again, like she's trying to teach him something. "More to the world than the bottom line, Carter. For us humans, anyway."
"Not this again," he says, and joins her on the balcony beside her... trying not to get too close to her personal space but still trying to forge a genuine connection through proximity. "I'm as human as anybody. I just have a few extra skills."
"Nothing useful. So what if now you can probably calculate the calories per dollar for your meal choices to minimize your food budget and other oh so important things."
He can indeed calculate that, though it was one of the least important features of his new ability set, and the sort of task he could have done even without surgery, just with focus and concentration and research. But Becky's comment was meant to mock, so his first instinct, to show off his ability by identifying the most cost-effective meal from Zhe Long doesn't seem to be the way to go. "I'm not going to apologize for being smart about money. It's easy to live so carefree when you're living off Mom and Dad."
It's the wrong thing to say... he knows it the moment he says it. She scowls. "I'm not living off Nick and Kaylee, I've got my own money. I mean, yeah, I might as well take advantage of theirs while I'm able--you should appreciate that cold, corporate logic--but I don't have to."
Carter shouldn't be as surprised as he is. After all, lots of teenagers make their own money, through a variety of methods... highly-sought-for corporate youth initiatives like Carter once worked, cast members on a game stage, freelance jobs as meme-pushers and style-setters, right down to boring stuff like working a food stand, not to mention plenty of opportunities on the quasi-legal-to-downright-illegal spectrum, things like streaming erotic shows to friends and strangers, selling weapons, drugs, sexual favors, or copyrighted media, or, for the more mobile, smuggling physical goods. As long as they're the tamer variety, jobs are encouraged in this bracket of society... a sign of industry that bodes good things for the future. Even among the upper end of the scale... actually, especially among the upper end, because not only do they have parents pressuring them to earn their keep, they have the connections that makes snagging the legal employment opportunities easy. While kids who really needed to work struggle to find enough to survive on, most of the kids in Carter's circle find a way to have their own income to play around with. Carter himself has been working one job or another since he was thirteen... before he got the corporate job, he used to hire himself out to custom mod the ARscapes of his friends. The discovery of this sideline wasn't the last time his father said he was proud of him... but it was the last time he felt like the emotion was warm and genuine, that he'd pleasantly surprised the man instead of merely done what was expected of him.
Becky, though, she never seemed to care about their parents expectations of her, and only grudgingly went along with the corporate opportunities his dad tried to arrange for her over the years. So, Carter's curious. "Really. You've got a job? Why haven't I heard about it?"
"Why would I tell you?"
He realizes his surprised reaction probably came off as smug, maybe even insulting, based on her expression, so he tries to soften. "Because I'm your brother." She gives her trademarked snort (even if their little sister was starting to infringe on it), like that was irrelevant, but he presses on, trying to coax it out of her with his genuine interest. "Come on, what is it?"
Becky rolls her eyes and in the same motion looks back towards the indoors, just for a second. He guesses it was an instinctive reaction, a 'tell' his implants were now priming him to pick up and remember (though he was still finding that progress far slower than his ability to interface with machines), a sign that she feels uncomfortable, and seeks safety, but doesn't want him to know that. And safety, to Becky, meant inside... even just being on the balcony waiting for a delivery was getting to her more than she wanted to let on.
None of the Morgan children really like leaving the building, but Becky was always convinced there was something sinister about it, maybe because she has it worst of all of them. Carter remembered her sharing an article with him, once, about a trend among the up-and-coming elites. "Protective Agoraphobia," they called it, marketed it as a way for wealthy families to keep their kids safe. Change how a few genes express themselves and they would get uneasy every time they left home. No more rich kids getting turned into ransomware just because they got lured out by somebody in a bad neighborhood with the promise of adolescent romance or adventure.
The theory didn't really ring true to him... anxiety was already a family trait, and such tweaks were supposed to be disclosed and reversible at adulthood. Nobody'd offered Carter that option on his most recent birthday, so he assumes it hadn't been done. Besides, tweaks like induced agoraphobia are much harder and more expensive when attempted through viral gene insertion after birth, and even when Aisha was just born the family still wasn't wealthy enough to splurge on the cheapest form of such gimmicks... back then, before their parents rose through the ranks, the Morgans were just comfortably not poor... so he thought Becky was being paranoid, looking for the worst possible explanation.
For Carter, Occam's razor made more sense... all of their life, most of what they needed was within the tower, or another just like it. Most of their friends lived on one floor or another (or so far away that seeing them in person was unlikely anyway), there was an extensive game stage, a gym if you wanted to enjoy a little physicality, restaurants that catered to a number of tastes and delivery drone service for everything else. When you grow up like that, wouldn't it make sense not to leave much, and even develop a bit of a fear about it? Gang areas literally are only a few blocks away, so it is only natural to be uneasy away from home, and just as natural for their genetic predisposition to anxiety to seize on that and become, at least in Becky's case, almost pathological. He sees no need to invoke a conspiracy, and feels their parents most likely haven't done anything beyond the average. If anything, they'd have moved to correct the anxiety issues to maximize their opportunities in life.
The surgery and enhancements that Becky kept harping on, in fact, were doing just that. Not completely, but his promised ability to pick up on body language could only help, and, when his anxiety really kicked in, it was such a comfort to be able to retreat into pattern analysis. The trip to the facility where this was all done was more nerve-wracking than the prospect of getting his brain cut into, but the journey back he was able to cope much better. His enhancements didn't only make it financially easier to get his own place, but emotionally as well. Though, despite all that, he wasn't lying to Aisha, he still foresaw himself staying close... maybe a smaller outlet in this very building, or if not, one much like it.
Whatever job Becky has, she doesn't like talking about it, and he is willing to bet she never left the building to do it. "What, is it embarrassing or something? You shouldn't feel self-conscious." Almost every teen wants to be a celebrity, or near enough to it, and even though only a few break the fame barrier he knows it's common to not want to admit you, like the vast majority, can only make money doing something thoroughly unglamorous. "Even low-level jobs are good experience. Corporate recruiters look at those sorts of things... better to be making some money than none. So it's good that you're doing something, whatever it is."
"I don't need or want your approval," she snaps, pushing away from the ledge. "I'm not like you, I don't do everything to look good for the corporates."
"You really think I do?"
Now for a moment she comes alive, as though he'd done something more than be mildly irritating, had done something that personally rankled. "You let them cut into your fucking brain! Why should I care what you think when you're fucked up enough to do that?" They hear the sound of a drone approaching, and Becky finally catches sight of it, relaxes, takes a deep breath, tries to pass it off as a sigh. "Now, that should be my dinner. Unless of course, you've hacked in and redirected it to your window. Seems like something you'd do."
Carter recalls, then, his fight with Aisha... she too had assumed he would use his abilities against her. And he had, which he knows was a mistake, but was already beginning to justify it as an innocent one, born of concern. Yet, his little sister hadn't come up with that idea on her own... he remembers her saying 'Becky was right.' Now he has to know. "You're the one who turned Aisha against me, didn't you? What, did you just grab your opportunity to poison her mind while I was gone?"
She smirks, not denying, seeming proud. "Hardly poisoning... all I did is point out the kind of person you are now. And you sure lived up to it. Sorry not sorry if your ego can't handle her not worshiping the ground you walk on anymore. About fucking time she realized you aren't worthy of that."
A deep rage wells up inside him, an emotion more powerful than he was usually capable of handling. He wasn't a violent person, ever... anger makes him redden slightly and dig his nails into his own palm, but he's never lashed out. More often it provoked stillness and inactivity rather than action. This time, his voice does raise, though not even to a shout, as he asks plaintively, "Why the fuck are you so angry at me? What did I do?"
His sister takes another calming, centering breath. "I'm not angry at you at all," she says, and follows up with, "I don't hate you, Carter." From that, he feels a moment of hope... before she crushes it. "I just don't care. You know, like the Dalai Lama says, 'Fuck attachments.' Well, at least I've given up being attached to people who aren't worth it." The drone lands on the floor at her feet, drops its cargo, and flits off again like it knows it was intruding on a family argument and feels. Becky bends to pick up the package and says, "Now I'm going to enjoy my dinner where there isn't an annoying insect around." There are no insects around... okay... in fairness, likely you would know there has to be, and indeed there is, but there are none that Carter is aware of consciously, and his senses are far more acute than Becky's.
So clearly he heard the not-so-subtle insult, but Carter doesn't respond, just turns his back on her and gazes off the balcony, so that his face won't give any signal that he'd even noticed it, and lets his sister walk off with her food and back inside. He needn't worry, after that initial burst of anger, his face was blank and rigid and gave nothing away that his silence hadn't. Inside? Fear, loneliness, yearning has root there... his one social group that he hoped he could always count on, family, seemed to be gradually falling apart. And he was never good at making new ones with any durability.
So, as he stares at the city that is his home--and yet that he barely experiences outside of the interiors of a handful of buildings--he's not enjoying the view, or imagining the stories of the people within, his mind is merely running in circles, trying to troubleshoot his family life like you would code--identify the hidden bug that is making it run sub-optimally, and then patch in a way to fix it. Code would be a lot simpler.
Five, ten minutes he stands there (it's actually 8 minutes, nineteen seconds) before he snaps out of this useless endeavor, not with a solution, but by an awareness that the elevator is scheduling a stop at their door. That jolts him into motion, if only because he feels he has to compose himself--look normal, act normal--in front of his parents. They have high expectations for him, and it's always been a major source of anxiety for Carter that they might see some sign that he would not live up to them. Even though everyone had moments where they were sad or angry, and he knew they understood that, instinctively he still felt like he couldn't let them see, because good executives didn't show those sides of themselves (anger, perhaps, in a few select circumstances, but not at family except for failure). So, he is adept at putting on a blandly satisfied face, looking alert and attentive to changes in the market and prepared to do his part in it, not wrapped up in personal drama.
He positions himself sitting casually in the living room so that it doesn't look like he was waiting and yet can still watch as the doors slid open. They reveal a young blonde dressed in an outfit designed to both be appropriate in a board room and yet charged with barely-post-adolescent sexuality, clinging tightly to highlight her chest and also revealing quite a lot of cleavage. Beside her stands an imposing figure of tall lean muscle and slightly greying black hair in a sleek vantablack suit with no tie, and faintly shimmering glasses instead of eyescreens. Although they don't look it, the pair are only a few years apart in age, and his parents, Nick Morgan and Kaylee Richards.
Neither notice him immediately, although he's right in their eyeline. His mother speaks in a breathy, quiet voice, promising somebody that she'll handle the negotiations for something personally. His father's fingers move with the faint rhythmic twitch of somebody at work on something, although his glasses are well-made enough that you can't tell exactly what from the reverse side.
Carter stands as his mother ends the call, again trying to make it look casual, that he just happened to choose that moment to stand. This time, he catches his mother's eye, and she breaks into a girlish grin upon seeing her oldest son.
"Welcome back, honey!" Finally the enthusiastic welcome he'd been secretly hoping for from someone, although he suspects it's about to go so far in the other direction that it would become a little unsettling for different reasons. Immediately, he's proven right as she pulls him in tight for a hug.
Because she wears heels and is taller than him, this move puts his face in her ample chest, a sensation that he was both familiar with and uncomfortable about. The latter mostly because it too-often inspired feelings of arousal, especially when, like today, the neckline of her top is very low. Of course, she always dresses provocatively, which was part of the reason for Carter's mixed feelings. As a Face for PATHCorp, Kaylee Richards' entire job was focused around looking sexy and giving personal attention to high level clients, business contacts from other corps and politicians, either in person or on video conference. She couldn't do that looking like his mom, even though she was. In public, Carter wasn't supposed to acknowledge that relationship, in case somebody important was around... she even kept her maiden name for the optics. Nobody would guess how they were related without being told... her body has been sculpted with the best anti-aging treatments available, and every year she had something tweaked to either keep from slipping or to match some new trend in fashion. Unlike her father, who actively cultivated an appearance old enough to garner respect (and yet not too old so as to be perceived as weak), his mom knew her currency was in looking young and sexy.
The disparity between his parents grew every year, and now, people might mistake her for his father's second wife, or even an ivanka, if Carter didn't believe that was mostly a myth. (As forensics limit your speculations, considering the unreliability of knowledge prior to the Googlepocalypse, if you'll allow an unsolicited opinion, it was neither a myth then, nor is the practice unheard of today among the rich and powerful and immoral, categories that very often overlap). But while his mother is not his father's well-groomed trophy daughter as some may think, she certainly doesn't look, even to Carter, like she could be his mother anymore, either. Instead, she looks more like a young college-internship corporate nanny, ready at any moment to expose a swollen breast to either nurse a young child, or attempt to seduce one of the parents for a payday, and his brain might know who she really was but his body got confused sometimes, particularly when his face is pushed in between two perfect breasts as she hugs him. She also just smells good, and not in a way he thinks a mom would.
Finally, Carter gets a little relief as she lets go and pushes him back so she can inspect his head. Of course there isn't a scar... it was professional surgery, but he guesses she feels a responsibility as a Mom to check for sure, and a responsibility as a lawyer to make sure there wasn't anything she could sue over and recoup some of the costs PATH spent on an outsourced medical team. When she doesn't find anything, her interest changes to the implant itself. "How's it working out for you?" Her voice isn't the breathy one she'd used on the phone, but her more usual one (which is still artificially enhanced to sound more like a chipper, excitable teen... hearing her across a wall he sometimes mistook one of his sisters for her, or vice versa).
"So far, so good," he says. "I'm still getting used to it, though."
"You should practice as much as possible, the sooner you control it the more opportunities there'll be for you." This is his father, Nick, who has closed whatever work he had on his glasses, slipped into the kitchen and returned with his usual after-work drink, all sometime during the extended hug and inspection.
"I will, Dad."
His father didn't hug, but he extends a firm fistbump. "Congratulations. That hardware in your head's going to be the smartest investment you ever made." He raises the nootropic drink in his hand, like a salute. "Here's to your future success with the corp!"
"Thanks." He tries not to let his tone betray his own mixed feelings about the deal. Having advanced nanocircuitry interfacing with his brain doesn't bother him--you had to stay competitive any way you could, and on balance the benefits outweighed any of the risked side-effects--but PATH underwrote the procedure, which meant that he owed them. Now that he can't get out of it, the contract he signed feels less like an investment in his future than it does indentured servitude.
On the other hand, he was almost certainly going to wind up working for them no matter what. Nepotism is also just part of the game, and having two parents high up in PATHCorp guaranteed him a better starting position than he could get at any other workplace.
"Did you eat already?" Mom asks.
"Well, I just stuffed myself at a fancy schmooze," she says, rubbing her tummy as though she was visibly fat. "But we should celebrate your return. Get yourself something nice. On us."
"Approved venues, and within reason," Dad adds, which Carter takes to mean 'companies that are not directly competing with a PATH subsidiary' and 'No splurging for anything with meat from real blacklisted animals or equivalently expensive.' Still, there's an orange beef dish from the same restaurant Becky ordered from that he regularly enjoyed. It didn't use actual oranges, and only vat-grown beef, so it probably fit within Dad's tempered generosity.
"Thanks," Carter says, then after a moment decides to ask. "I've been kind of missing everyone, even if you guys aren't hungry I was thinking maybe we could share a view and watch something together?" Sometimes they would bond over reality shows.
"I'm afraid we've got a major board meeting in a couple hours, so I'm going to sleep," Dad says, and leaves towards their side of the apartment before calling out, "Maybe your mother will." No surprise there. Carter was given the choice but in the end, didn't get the narcolepsy implant like his father. Being able to fall asleep instantly for an exactly predetermined amount of time seemed useful, but since Dad got it, it seemed like he was never around, except for work.
"I'm sorry, honey," his mother says with a pout when his eyes fall back on her. "There'll be a big executive coming tonight and I have some prep work of my own to do. While your father's resting, I need to do some stretching. Maybe ask your sisters."
"Yeah, maybe," he says, while thinking about how unlikely that would be, at least tonight. His mother gives him another hug and a kiss on his forehead, and then she too retreats to the master bedroom/shared office space. His parents spent most of their time there even when they were home, locked away from the rest of the family. Lacking only a kitchen (though they did have a fridge and a port to the outside for food delivery), it was almost a little sub-apartment. They were home, but on days like this he might well not see them again until they were leaving for one of PATHCorp's occasional required generally intensive executive sessions.
Spirits sinking again, Carter sits and zones out to place his own lonely order for dinner.
He doesn't see any of his family for the rest of the evening, save a hallway encounter with Aisha in which his little sister studiously ignores him on her way to go hang out in Becky's room. He remembers when she'd do that with him... knock on his door and, when he let her in, just park herself on one corner of the bed and sometimes pester him with dumb but cute questions, sometimes share a netflix, or sometimes just each do their own thing but with the knowledge that there was someone else actually there in the room. It wasn't so long ago, and he misses it, resents Becky for having it now.
In his head, a chime sounds, an automated reminder to get his daily practice in. One of the few things he couldn't turn off, part of the 'best practices' for quick skill level advancement, virtual exercises required--yoga, or the equivalent, for the machinery in his head, insisted on because of the designs PATHCorp had on it, and him... until Carter was at expert level, he was expected to do daily drills. Some of what he'd been doing that day, just by living his ordinary life using his internal devices for what used to require external ones, counted as practice too, but there were certain skills that, in the absence of actual in-field problems to solve, could only be honed through running preset programs or interfacing with a company simulation space and pretending to be deep hacking a competitor's data stores. They never said outright that was what the simulation was--officially it was some bullshit "aggressive counter-intrusion to identify hackers"--but it amounted to the same thing, just with pretend nobler motives.
Carter still failed far more than he succeeded on these runs, although that's no reflection on his natural talents, it's designed to always be just a little harder than he could handle, a progression of difficulty, to challenge him. Penetrating low-security systems was fairly easy by now, but that skill level wouldn't keep him employed... nor would ignoring the warnings too long.
So he runs through a few 'missions' (after a few pregenerated data-mining pattern analysis tasks just to warm up and sharpen that skillset), and as usual gets his ass kicked by defense programs. On his last of these shadow runs, a particularly nasty program rezzes up right as he thinks he's penetrating the last firewall. It appears in his mind's eye as a sexy nude cyborg warrior, who shoots flechette-like data-spikes from her fingernails. He deflects those, but it finally seals off access by wrapping her legs around his avatar and fatally headbutting while his nose is buried in its simulated cunt.
The action leaves him ejected from the simulated system, and aroused despite himself. Or more accurately, he was already aroused and the cyborg was the result. These things didn't have real appearances programmed in, like some video game. That was just the way the hardware interfaced with the wetware. It was another enhancement, really, because Carter always considered himself to have a limited mind's eye. His waking thoughts still manifested more in comparatively easy-to-process words rather than images, and even if asked to remember or imagine something it usually came out more as an amorphous concept shrouded by words than a vivid mental picture. Yet images were there, buried in the meat, coming out in dreams, or, now, when the implants interfaced with his visual cortex to give him menus or AR overlays or any number of other things he used to rely on outside tools for. When he was in a hacking fugue, the interface went both ways, pulling images from his subconscious much like a human mind's REM sleep does, creating scenarios that made use of his real-world situational awareness and reflexes and putting them to work, manipulating what was still just fragments of code and matters of timing and persistence. Today, because he is aroused, it was drawing out more erotic imagery.
It was considered a danger sign, because, his instructor said, when you were horny, you got sloppy. Or at least, too aggressive, which was considered good in certain circumstances, but not when lightning-quick, accurate decisions were required. In a simulation, failure due to messy hormones gumming up your brain merely resulted in a bad score, but in a live situation, his instructors pointed out, it could get you killed, or worse, from their perspective, get your corporation exposed. So, the advice went, when your visualizations started turning into porn, it was time to find some actual porn, or a partner, and take care of it.
The trainers always joked that he should consider himself lucky... after all, how rare was it to be assigned to go fuck or fap to porn on company time? Even if he technically wasn't being paid for training time, that sort of break would be billable when he got an official assignment... if he was in-demand enough, PATH might even hire a dedicated sex worker just for keeping him sexually content.
That offer was expected to motivate Carter to excel, and for many people it would have, but his experiences with sex tended to be limited and unsatisfying. No, he wasn't a virgin... in fact, by any measure he had a reasonable amount of experience with the act in the last year, and it wasn't that he didn't have what he considered a healthy sex drive. But the part of his life that included no-effort sexual fulfillment was over, and his romantic life had yet to get off the ground... he didn't even have anyone close enough to count as a regular fuckbuddy. When he felt inclined, he usually just surfed around the adult channels until either he found something he liked, or waited until the urges slowly drained away. Now it was a corporate directive, though, so he decided he should give it a try.
As the song which kicked off the first fetish album goes (translated), "Everybody's got a prime kink somewhere, to be happy you need to embrace it," and the guidelines for his implant suggested focusing on that private wonderland to get the frustration out of his system as quickly as possible. Carter still wasn't entirely sure he'd identified his prime kink. Like most people he had moods where he was into one thing more than another, but his best guess was that, if he had a fetish that almost always worked for him, it was probably voyeurism. Watching without being seen (yes, I do appreciate the irony, by the way, even if Carter might not). Not those hoary old 'hidden camera' themed sexvids, which screamed fake with every scripted-sounding dirty word. For something to really excite him, he had to have the feeling that he was actually seeing something hidden, revealing a true intimacy. Watching professionally produced porn, no matter how raunchy, could sometimes elicit yawns unless he was really in the mood for the particular scene... and yet, something where he spied on real people having sex, that got his motor running much more quickly and reliably. Or even spying without explicit sex... livestreams sometimes got him hard, when he merely got the sense that the someone on screen didn't realize they were being streamed or revealing as much as they were, whether skin or emotion. His go-to fapping material while he was still in recovery for his surgery (because he didn't trust them to see his full porn habits) were the drones they sometimes send into the docks or other gang territories to try and catch fights or public sex, although there, too, he got the sense that as often as not they knew they were being watched.
Come to think of it, he could have been a natural fan of the underground PoV program if he knew anything of it beyond the name sometimes mentioned in text chats.
But he doesn't know that his ideal cum is only a dive into the darknet away, and now, for the first time he feels he can use his implants to their fullest potential and zero in on something he really likes. In a way, he thinks with amusement, this search could even count towards training time.
After locking his door, he undresses, lays back on his bed, and then taps into the wireless data flow, searching for signals that he can penetrate. Subjectively it's like floating in a void, with stars peeking through. The largest appear nearby (although, relative location here is as much of an illusion as anything else), the systems of the building that he's already partly interfaced with. Once he identifies it, it shapes itself into something like a building constructed out of a glittering constellation. Other lights are also nearby, a whizzing star that becomes a drone once his brain identifies it, a number of low-security or open systems that begin to announce themselves and yet also aren't very interesting. He thinks about turning back to the building, dipping in deeper, trying to worm his way into security cameras and peek in on his neighbors, but before he can, something catches his attention... a large, floating penis.
Were he to see a floating penis in any other context, it would not be interesting to him except as a curiosity, like, "what's that floating penis doing there?" Maybe not even that. Humans, being bizarrely triggered by genitalia, routinely tossed around floating penises in augmented reality just to get a rise out of other people. But here, in this view, he knows it signifies something with potential... some kind of interactive sextoy with net access.
They're growing in popularity, a counterpoint to livestreaming, only, not streaming the view of two beautiful people fucking, but rather (sometimes in addition) what it actually feels like, to varying degrees of fidelity. It would be a lot more mainstream except of course that you have to be pretty geared up to actually make use of it... not enough people have that level of sensation stimulators to really make use of them, and trying to enjoy them with onaholes or artificial cocks you tend to run into compatibility issues with proprietary formats. Carter needed none of these, direct sense-stimulation is now built into his skull, and his brain was something of a universal adapter.
He settles in to a comfortable position, arms on his chest, then mentally taps the icon. Instantly it feels like someone is licking along the side of his shaft. Whatever piece of hardware it is (and he could check the metadata, but that would ruin the romance of the moment), it's far more sophisticated than he expected. This is no Teddy Humps-a-Lot, hacked together by teens through parts of other toys and instructions on the Net, able send simple pressure signals or receive the cock-angle of someone connected and the barest sensation of thrust. No, this dick is chock-full of sensors that must rival the nerves in the real thing, even extending a short distance up the body and down the legs. He can feel the hand on his upper thigh, the delicate wiggles at the tip of his dick, the slight wetness forming, and pretty soon his actual penis is hard and it feels very much like there's an invisible or spectral girl in his bed.
That fantasy has its appeal, but as a voyeur he also craves a visual to go along with the anonymous sex. Luckily, there is porn for that. In fact a whole subgenre of fancy authentic uncensored x-rated POV porn exists (no, not actual PoV porn, I mean on reputable sites), exhaustively indexed, so that, no matter what sensation you were physically experiencing, you could quickly find a scene in the porn which, more or less, matched the action. They're expensive, counting on people not having the time to search for pirated versions when something live is going on (and, of course, sometimes the PiRats make their own, offered for free, but tracking one of those down also takes more time than people usually have), but he can afford it.
Calling up a secondary process, he navigates quickly through the directory ads and selects a sort term use license for the library of Mona Simone, one of the girls he recognizes from Disney's kid-shows-to-porn pipeline (because porn of someone he idolized as a tween, though not enough on it's own, in the field of POV porn dovetails nicely enough with his voyeur fetish for his needs), and then with one mental finger rushes through the context menus until he finds a scene where she was licking the underside of a guy's shaft much like the phantom tongue he's actually feeling.
It's not a perfect match, of course... those have to be custom made to sync up with a pre-recorded sensestream, or have pseudo-AI to adjust on the fly, and both of those are outside of his budget for a quick fap. In this case, in addition to slight variations in rhythm, the tongue seems larger in the video than it feels on his dick. But his imagination can smooth over the gaps if he expends a little effort, and he's willing to, for Mona Simone. All the pundits at the time thought it was suicidal when Disney merged with one of the biggest porn producers in the chaos after the Googlepocalypse, but it worked out surprisingly well for them, and, now, especially for Carter. Watching something like this is like watching childhood friends at their most intimate, which ticks off a little checkbox in his head that gets his hormones flowing. His kink clearly wasn't pure voyeurism, because participating is even hotter, as long as he can do it without the anxiety of someone judging his performance, and that's what he can do here. So what if it's a little out of sync? He's got a skinny red-haired girl in front of him, a girl whose hilarious hijinks he used to laugh along to in her role as Fall Raphael in the coming-of-age sitcom Fortunate Fall, and others... until some corporate stooge decided that she didn't quite have the star power to get the marketing budget for another flix series... unless it were x-rated. If Mona was willing to eagerly lick a cock, while smiling up at him with her familiar friendly face, and pretend this isn't just her last way to stay relevant, it seems the least he can do to pretend the moves match up.
The licks turn into full on sucks for nearly a minute and a half, then pull off, and it takes Carter a moment to figure out what was happening next. He feels the penis press into something, not a mouth this time, which means either a pussy or an extremely well-lubed asshole. Probably a pussy, he guesses, just a very tight one, and so he cycles through those menus and finds another scene where the viewer seems to be thrusting into Mona's pussy missionary style, because the leg position resembles what he gets from the remote cock, though he notices again that the sensations he's getting from the dick seem like he's pushing against a girl much smaller than Mona, who was herself petite. Maybe this girl's an actual teenager, like him, like the Mona Simone he remembered.
That does it, a link from his imagination sets into place and he focuses on the face in the video, trying to call up a vision of her as she was in the series, younger, smaller, and suddenly his implants virtually bring him there, fucking Fall herself, on the couch in the character's after-school corporate internship, imagining himself in the role of her demanding-but-supportive boss-mentor, only, now, tutoring the barely out-of-middle-school girl in hardcore sex, something that never made it onto the actual show (though you can find several varieties of premium porn with her barely-18 self in an exact set recreation, with several of her original Fortunate Fall co-stars, because those are always in demand).
Carter thrusts his hips in rough sync to the video and the eavesdropped sensations and fantasy scenario, and even though he's only humping air, it feels real enough, a fusion of real and artificial pleasure, and eventually there's an internal vibration in his groin as a wave of pleasure spikes in him, and he cums. He actually has to look down to see whether it's from his real dick or the one he's jacked into, but the semen pooling on his stomach is evidence he got off, the fake dick triggered a real ejaculation.
That taken care of, he moves to cut the connection... then notices for the first time, to his surprise, that he has been sending extensive data back the whole time. The mystery dick's a biofeedback model, where people tapped in could send back their own sexual responses with as high a resolution as they could receive, control every inch of the dick remotely, if they were properly equipped. And he was. So, whoever was wearing the cock might well have felt Carter's orgasm at the same time he had it, and certainly the twitches of motion his dick made during the act were transmitted over to the girl being fucked. In some ways, he'd secretly fucked a stranger without them ever knowing who he was. The thought appeals to him, almost enough to spur him on for a second round, but he decides it's best to be safe and disconnect completely.
Carter shimmies to the side of the bed within reach of his dispenser of absorbent organic-wipes and cleans himself, then tosses the wipe in one corner of his room to decompose--along with anything organic inside of it--into an odorless powder that would be difficult to even notice before it eventually gets swept up by the house cleaning systems. Convenient, but the one thing the wipes can't do is take care of his need to urinate afterwards. Maybe next version, he thinks with a smirk, then pulls himself to his feet and heads for the hall.
He barely passes the threshold when he spots his little sister's door open... but it isn't his little sister emerging. It's Becky, in a long yellow shirt, tight around her breasts, what's visible of her legs are bare. She's backing out of the room, looking back in to say, "We can try again when I get back, but I bet he's not coming back." Then she spins and runs for the bathroom, without noticing Carter's presence, despite facing him for a fraction of a second.
Must be having a sibling sleepover, Carter thinks with a pang of wistfulness. In better times, Aisha had from time to time wanted to do that with him, although the closest they'd come was both of them camping out in the living room together, years ago.
Something pricks at the corner of his mind, pushing that memory out of the way. There's something a part of him is aware of, an anomaly detected but not at a conscious level. It's a feeling they'd trained him to respect, trust... human intuition is, after all, one of the reasons the mind-machine interface they'd installed is so desired, they believed it could identify anomalies better than any computer short of illegal AIs. Only he wasn't sifting through corporate data structures, so the fact that there's something out of place that his conscious mind has missed should only be a curiosity.
Yet it is a curiosity he can't let go of and, instead of going back to his room to wait like he normally does when someone else beats him to the bathroom, he stands there, in the hallway, trying to figure out what was weird.
Here Carter had only normal human memory to work with and that, contrary to media depictions, is a lot more impressionistic and improvisational and not conducive to automation without recording the sensations directly live, and even there... human vision's tricky. There's a reason even sensestim performers record on cybernetic eyes or external cameras... a flesh eye just doesn't work like a good well-designed recording device. They've got huge blind spots and they jiggle all the time to compensate... in fact, a lot of what humans think they 'see' is their brain doing a lot of interpretation based on knowing the exact conditions, so visual recordings lifted directly from eyes are almost unwatchable for personal use. Even eyescreens with video capability need to do a lot of processing for a usable picture, and the quality is usually sub-optimal. Recording directly from the optic nerve is remarkably high bandwidth for limited benefit and Carter's employers didn't think it worth the bother to give him that ability... for that, and another reason. You can't subpoena memory, yet, but internal recordings of any potentially illegal acts his employers might desire of him are another matter, so they left him unable to transmit--or store--vision or sounds like he could other sensations (which have their diagnostic uses). The thinking was that anything audiovisual that needed to be recorded could be supplemented by external cameras, and anything else was an unacceptable risk.
So probing his fallible human memory like a loose tooth, he waits there, trying to figure out what his intuition had picked up on, until the bathroom door opens again.
This time, his sister notices him immediately. First, there's the usual dismissive scowl, then Carter thinks she looked worried for a split second before she hardens her expression again. "Almost forgot you were living here again," Becky says, then tugs her shirt down as though afraid it isn't covering enough. "You going to stand there like a perv?"
That pricking in his head now becomes an anxious buzz that seems to blot out all conscious thought, as he steps forward and his sister turns her back to him to slide by and, this time, it seems she's going to her own room rather than their sister's. Carter closes the bathroom door, taking one last look at her as he does, and tries to sort out what he thinks he saw, what it means. He sits down on the toilet and puts his head in his hands.
It has to be my imagination, he tells himself. Or if not that, then some kind of innocent mistake. But even though his brain isn't capable of actual, reliable video recording, a sight is burned into his memory nonetheless, of his sister pulling down her shirt in what he guesses was an unconscious motion to hide something that in fact did the opposite. For the move only drew his attention to the space between her legs, where there was an unfamiliar, unexpected bulge, and forced him to ask a set of questions he'd never thought he'd ask himself.
Why the fuck does my sister have a penis? And why's she wearing it in Aisha's room?
By the time the thought had finished forming she was already back in her room, and in the bathroom he begins to doubt himself. It certainly seems crazy, and his first instinct is to blame his implants doing pattern matching where no pattern existed. There are a lot of possibilities, really. Maybe it wasn't actually a dick... or maybe it was, but just some personal decision about gender that Becky had been hiding, and not at all connected to the artificial dick he'd just eavesdropped into as...
He suddenly feels sick, not like he's going to vomit, but anxious and light-headed and with the abstract conviction that he probably should be throwing up at the idea that's now stuck in his head, the connections his brain is making. The recognition that the girl he'd just felt on his cock minutes ago... she felt small, and very tight, smaller even than Mona Simone. It might be very much like what it would feel like to fuck a twelve-year-old.
And before she took her trip to the bathroom, Becky said she bet somebody wasn't coming back. Sure, that could mean any random person linked to a game they were playing, or somebody they were chatting with, but... if she owned an artificial cock people could connect into remotely, Becky probably understood enough about to sex to assume a guy wasn't coming back after he came.
Carter's forced to wonder whether he just eavesdropped on a sex session with Becky using a strap-on-electronic-dick on Aisha. He's almost as shocked by the idea (at this point, mostly a concept in words, but the flashes of images it provokes in his mind's eye are surprisingly vivid) as the fact that he immediately finds it believable. Becky could be manipulative and had a dark side he'd only seen the fringes of, and he can't absolutely reject the idea that she'd do something like that to Aisha, either out of a misguided desire to teach their little sister things she thought were important, or out of her own kinky perversion. And it fit the evidence. Not the only explanation that could, but the only one jumping out at him.
Taking that possibility as an assumption, the next question follows naturally... if that was what he was just linked up to, didn't that mean in some ways he fucked Aisha, too? Virtual is as good as reality, that's what he always believed--part of the reason the voyeurism kink appealed to him--and whoever it was, it was like he was actually there, only without the... messiness that went along with actual sex. If they were fucking in there, it was a mess that he participated in, yet wasn't tainted by, at least not yet. And Becky said they were going to try whatever they were doing again. But if he walks in there, catches them in the act...
His cock jumps and he isn't sure whether he's more horrified or aroused at the thought of doing that, and because fear accompanies both options, he retreats into denial. It can't be, he tells himself. Firstly, he's pretty sure Becky's into guys more than girls... he once caught her with one, in fact. Aisha, he can't be sure of, he remembered her liking boy bands and claiming she thought the lead singers were super cute, but before tonight he privately assumed she was too young to actually feel out her own sexuality. Even if that was wrong, he doubts her tastes run towards her older sister with a cybernetic dick. Aisha might be young but she is old enough to know how wrong and twisted that is, so in Carter's mind, that meant any hypothetical sex had to be forced. His sisters might have hidden lives, and the older one had a dark side, yes, but he doesn't think even Becky would be that cruel to someone as bright and innocent as Aisha.
It was just a coincidence, he tells himself. Becky might have been experimenting with gender, wearing a rubber cock under her clothes, but Aisha probably had no idea, and neither of them had anything to do with the one he found locally on the network. It was a big tower, there could be dozens of other people in range who owned something like that, it didn't have to be the same one Becky wore. If she was even wearing a cock at all, which he isn't sure of.
At least, he isn't sure of it until he remembers the hallway's video cameras and taps in to analyze the recorded footage of a few minutes earlier and, through frame-by-frame analysis is no longer able to deny a bulge that was not natural, at least for her. Then he falls back on it just being a coincidence.
Yet the thought "but what if" continues to plague him every other moment of free thought, and drags along images growing more and more vivid, making him uncomfortable in several ways... and he knows he has to firmly disprove the theory before it will leave him alone.
Their home did have camera feeds in the bedrooms, at least theoretically. Among most families who use that sort of extensive tracking, it becomes something of a rite-of-passage for kids to firmly disable them when they become old enough to know about and resent their intrusion. Becky physically smashed hers at nine. Aisha asked her big brother's help to deactivate the ones in her room at ten, after Becky creeped her out with stories of people watching her. Carter tries to access those feeds now, but they haven't been repaired.
He knows other ways to get a peek at what's going on inside his little sister's room, but they're all considerably more difficult and with risks of detection. He could attempt to tap into their wearables directly and initiate a video feed from there, though if they had any kind of decent security system, and they did, it would trigger an alert that somebody was there. Wearables can, in some ways, be more secure than even some corporate datastores, simply because they're lean and customized to the user. There are always tricks, and Carter's specialized training might let him maneuver past that, but he wasn't sure, and there were better options, like attacking the datastores the wearables linked to.
The thought of making his first official field test spying on his little sister's room should have made him feel more guilty than it did. But if he was doing it for her benefit, was it really wrong?
Carter spends a little time debating with himself, but finally lays on his bed and zones out, finding the glittering building again. The artificial dick's no longer broadcasting, which gives him new cause to question himself and dither... if the abuse was over, he might not see anything. Finally he decides it's better to go in anyway, prepare the way, mark his sister's stores, so that if he does see the dick appear again, he doesn't have to start from scratch.
Network architecture in a shared space like the tower is deliberately tricky to map, yet another reason to be leery of intrusion. Security through obfuscation, the idea goes... if you can attack a specific person's systems just because you know they're physically down the hall from you, the environment's made them too easy a target. But if you have to search through dozens of nearby people to find the one you want, each of which might detect you and alert authorities, then people were mostly only in danger from indiscriminate attacks.
Of course, there are subtler in-person hacks, that rely on the short-range signals between a wearable and the wearer's eyescreens, the kind of tricks Carter used when he broke into his sister's AR earlier in the day, but for those he'd need to be in the room, and if he was he'd have already found what he needed anyway.
Still, Carter knows some good techniques, strategies to narrow down a particular set of datastores that were considered related. Everyone in the same school, for instance, weren't all in one massive database, but the schools had their hooks in to monitor homework cheating, and those hooks can lead back to students. Other, more esoteric tricks can be used based on knowledge of particular local networks. As has always been the case, the more you know about someone, the more weaknesses you can exploit... the ones who love us always have the most power to betray us.
Betraying his sisters, invading their privacy, takes more time than he would like to admit, from a professional standpoint, but eventually he succeeds in infiltrating the cloudbank where his sister Aisha stores most of her digital possessions, the one her wearables and eyescreens connect to by default. It feels good, on a physical level, a reward in his brain for a successful completion, but the crash comes quickly thanks to the guilt... even if the guilt's not enough to stop him. There aren't any connections going as he penetrates, which implies she's either deliberately running silent or simply asleep. So getting a video feed is out of the question, but he makes sure he can get in later and does some snooping, looking for some kind of diary.
No such luck. If she still keeps one, it's either securely off-site or unsafely hiddencrypted in another file, and his searches don't even come up with the apps to do that. Even her older diaries, the ones she told him about years ago but he never tried to read, are gone, probably moved off-site as she gained a greater appreciation for privacy growing up.
He's about to give up, try to come back later but has one last thought, to check the video cache... if there was something his sisters were watching together, and it was innocuous, maybe it would set his mind at ease a little.
There is indeed video in the cache, officially erased but not fully, and he transfers a copy to his own systems and starts playing it.
It's not a netflix... at least, it doesn't start with the usual disclaimers and warnings. It seems, in fact, to be some sort of video recorded from a POV camera, occasionally looking down to a childlike body. Was this something Aisha recorded herself, he wonders? If so, it was more than a little strange, since she was outside on the streets of iCity in the evening, alone. The mere thought gives him shivers, but only for a moment... he doesn't recognize the specific outfit he sees, a pink crop top, blue skirt, and some kind of bright yellow jacket, and if that wasn't conclusive enough, when the viewer looks down there's darker skin on her legs, arms, and bare belly that didn't match his pale-skinned sister, and he relaxes... this is someone else, maybe a famous kid's lifestream, and, except for the minor curiosity that faces of everyone he passes are covered with an animated overlay, he thinks it'll probably be boring, even for him.
Until he skips ahead in the video and stumbles on a hardcore sex scene, an overly large dick penetrating a tiny but accommodating pussy, filmed from her perspective, but now also with a secondary view available, which unlike many Carter can watch simultaneously, a hint of the full localization you would have as the director of the scene, enjoying the sight of the preteen obliging vixen fulfilling the sexual urges of this man, this young adult, a gang member of iCity's streets. That is where that particular scene is set, or rather inside an abandoned autobus station, and although Carter skipped past the elaborate seduction conversation that led up to the raunchy sex, eagle-eyed observers could still see on one of the views the three-slashes-through-the-bitten-apple symbol of the Snikts, and it is one of that gang fucking this underage girl, although the claws that give the group the name are not in evidence. Indeed, aside from a vigorous fucking he's treating the girl almost sweetly. That is probably why he wound up surviving this particular installment of PoV, that hit underground series where viewers ride along with a beautiful young girl as she has a sexual experience, and then judge whether her partner should die for it.
Gang members traditionally don't do very well on PoV. The happy ending in this case I suspect was due to one of the Snikt's lesser-known subcultures. Though many see the gang as violent thugs, and they are that, they initially took their inspiration from a fictional hero, and some like to mimic his nobler habits... including his habit of taking young girls under his wing, protecting them and teaching them. A segment of the gang feels this mentorship has to include sex, and many of the gang's female members, the X-23s, the even younger Honey Badgers, start out as underage girlfriends of adult members. It was even accepted... historically, anyway. The current Snikt leader, Ripper, officially forbade the sexual aspect... largely out of fear of ruining his reality netflix deal. There was no moral component to the decision... pieces of virginal and fine-looking youngstuff could certainly tempt him if nobody was around... and he didn't enforce his edict unless others were watching, but it's still caused that trend to choke off dramatically.
This episode's guest star was one of the exceptions, with no reality deal, and saw the potential in a young girl who claimed to be a runaway and seemed interested in sex, maybe seeing a potential recruit, unaware that she was already more dangerous than anyone in the gang. So throughout the whole encounter, he treated her gently, called her darling, and made sure she came after he did, and the viewers responded to that and granted him his life.
I've gotten off the topic again, haven't I? This story isn't about that Snikt's moral decisions, but rather Carter's. Now, he isn't familiar with the particulars of this fine show enough to recognize it (and this particular file has the logos and much of the commentary stripped out without the express permission of PoV herself or the Fly on the Wall, which might inspire a lawsuit if they weren't themselves on the run from the law), and although he's heard the name and various generic rumors of professional quality dark and violent sexual livestream content, some involving children, he never imagined his sister would find her way to that sort of thing. Even now he assumes that this is merely some kind of amateur self-filmed porn passed around local networks, maybe by a friend of a friend of Aisha's, attempting notoriety through public promiscuity... not unheard of, and only arguably illegal (except of course for the Sniktbub himself, who would not get off lightly if anyone caught him, one of the reason his face remains anonymized). He's a little surprised and ashamed at how turned on watching it makes him, even while he's so concerned about similar abuse happening to his sister, but then, this all fits in perfectly with his fetishes. He tells himself he continues watching in case it illuminates anything about what Becky and Aisha might be doing, but he knows it's a lie, watching an underage girl being fucked isn't enough either to dispel his suspicions or act upon them. He doesn't even know for sure if Aisha watched it with Becky, or just privately looked at it once and then deleted it... to know that, he'd have to hack Becky's systems at the same time.
So he closes the file, after ensuring his local copy is saved and hidden, and goes back on the hunt for more conclusive evidence, quickly rooting through some of her other media. Not an especially determined search, since there is a lot and, like a lot of youths, it's indexed in ways that make sense to her but not to everyone else... there is no subfolder obviously devoted to porn, and often filenames themselves are vague or misleading. Parents can get access to these stores, since often they're the ones who set them up, and most humans old enough to hide things did not like their parents monitoring everything they saved. If Aisha was smart she would have done what Carter did at that age, keep a lot of innocent media there, and store anything private or inappropriate on removable media or secondary data vaults and only move it to the more accessible locales when using it... that strategy would mean that the video cache was the only evidence of anything worth finding out.
Since he doesn't know if she went that far, he just does a quick survey of what she has there, dipping into files randomly just to get a sense of what's there. It's an eclectic mix, popular teen shows, a lot of some fantasy series called Gor that he assumes is child-targeted, some reality shows focusing on street gang life. Some of those occasionally get racy but none as gloriously pornographic as the clip of PoV in the cache. And there is a metadata phage in her system, a good policy but it means he can't even tell how much of anything she watched or if she shared it with anybody, and without some clues he could be in the library all night analyzing it all for anything hidden, when there very likely wasn't anything there.
With a sigh, he prepares to give up, only taking one last look in the directories containing AR assets. It would be an unsophisticated hiding place, but Aisha is only twelve and could conceivably have stashed some private notes or videos and hoping they'd be hidden among the images that would decorate her walls or the behavior-code for her dragon. Carter doesn't find anything unusual, but thinking about Vexvelt and how the digital beast ruined his reunion with his sister (not accepting that it was his own snooping that betrayed her trust, or considering that this investigation was another example of that behavior) sparks a final idea.
He couldn't look in on his sister's room directly, with the cameras gone. But AR requires a certain amount of information about who is in a room and where they are, so, for example, Vexvelt wouldn't fly right through someone. High-end systems and people unconcerned about invasion of privacy use camera dots for more seamless integration, but a room can do almost as well with low-resolution infrared sensors typically used to aid energy efficiency, combining them to produce a rough image of where solid objects are in any given.
From idea to implementation proceeds rapidly, and he's soon eavesdropping on what the AR system 'sees', although it's not anything like a view from a camera, just shapes, all in shades of gray. Solid objects in the room are reasonably well-defined but anything that moves or produces any amount of heat on its own, or is near enough to something that does, becomes an indistinct blur. Two blurs are in Aisha's room, on the bed, one lying down, another at the end of it sitting up. The only way to distinguish who was who is by size, which means Aisha has to be the one lying down, but they aren't even touching each other and might well have just be two siblings sharing time together. Carter can imagine Becky sitting there doing homework while Aisha listens to music, lying on her stomach and kicking her feet idly. As he does, the systems in his head overlay the detail from the AR assets, rendering the whole room colorful, except for at first for the blobs within, and then, swiftly, them, too, as his sisters appear in the room... but not really. These are extrapolated, springing from the same part of the brain as his hacking visualizations, and, like them, more like a dream, details like exact position or expression or even clothing shifting moment to moment either randomly or to remain consistent with whatever actual information he's subconsciously filtering through the noise. He knows enough not to trust any of it... still, what he sees appears innocent, Becky focused, Aisha casual. Perhaps, Carter hopes again--with a little more genuine relief this time--all of this was just a paranoid overreaction.
Optimism wins out over pessimism (though, depending on what you consider the better outcome, you might disagree), and he decides to stop spying... actively. There may not be anything suspicious going on now, but it wouldn't hurt to set up backdoors so he can get back quickly, and, so he can rule it out, alerts for if the cock appears online again.
It eventually does, waking him from a sleep that was just enough to cloud his thinking and keep it fuzzy for a few moments. Groggy, confused, he reflects briefly that this must be how McAuley lived, half-awake most of the time, and only later will realize it's not entirely accurate... his friend switches between logical and creative sides of the brain, whereas Carter is running about half-consciousness on both. The mild impairment of awakening from the wrong sleep stage keeps him from seeing that difference, but it also impacts his judgment in other ways.
Chief among them is that, as he rouses himself to consciousness to the knowledge of a cock, he automatically hooks himself into its stream, to feel the sensations. He'd never been woken up to a pleasant blowjob before... and still wasn't, as this was more like being woken up to sex, vigorous, rough, though also not unpleasant. He first experiences the curious double-sensation of his cock stiffening rapidly while he was convinced it was already hard, and then as it syncs up completely no longer feels like a sensation is being forced upon him but rather that he's contributing to an act, every pulse of his cock transmitting to whoever was on the other side...
It's then that his sleep-infused brain remembers his suspicion about who might be receiving those pulses, and he snaps more fully awake, following his earlier backdoor to make sure that his sisters were still innocently hanging out, or maybe, by now, sleeping. It should be noted here that he doesn't disconnect from the cock first to do this, and you can read whatever you wish into that.
When the simulation of Aisha's room fills his mind, no longer are there two separate human-shaped blobs, but instead one blob almost the size of two, in frantic motion. The creative part of Carter's mind forges pattern out of the chaos and imposes a dream, a nightmare, of his sister Becky angrily holding their innocent younger sister Aisha down, forcing her head into the mattress and thrusting the cock Becky wore inside of Aisha's preteen body. Aisha's crying, but her screams are muffled by her position and fear of what worse might come. This isn't Becky experimenting with her gender expression, and it isn't even inappropriate sibling play, this is rape.
Carter launches himself out of his bed, still in his boxers, and touches the door lock, dashes down the hall, and then breaks through the simple electronic lock with barely a moment's thought (it has parental and emergency overrides, after all, and those are the easiest to hijack), forcing the door to open.
There, the image in his head crashes before the reality, although there are certain similarities. Yes, his sister Becky is holding down the head of little twelve-year-old Aisha, pushing her into the bed as her erect cock thrusts into a girlish pussy with a force that suggests anger, and when she pulls out it is glistening with wetness. Her sextoy, her fuck attachment, is clearly a high-end model on the outside as well as in, lifelike in not just the penis and balls themselves but in the undergarment rig securing it to her body which meshes with her skin color and leaves a border only visible if you are looking for it. At a glance, she simply looks like an attractive teenage girl with a big dick... who is using it to its full potential on her little sister.
The door was silent so they continue to go at it for a few seconds, Becky's ample breasts swaying in time to her thrusts, before they notice the intrusion, and what most diverged from Carter's imagination becomes clear in Aisha's expression if nothing else. She isn't terrified, or disgusted... her mouth hangs slightly slack, eyes closed to slits but her gasps seem like ones of enjoyment more than anything else. That may have been what holds back his rage, and even consider backing out and letting it continue.
"Oh shit," Becky says, depriving him of the chance to make that choice. She pulls back, withdrawing the artificial cock, and turns away, hiding the front half of her body from him as though ashamed, but unashamedly showing her ass in the process, which is framed but not covered by the cock's underwear rig. He doesn't really have time to appreciate the look... or even to realize that some distant part of him is indeed appreciating that round butt, and his eyes even dart to the side to compare it to his younger sister's smaller, and temporarily slightly redder ass, before Aisha's fingers make a series of swift, decisive gestures and everything is blotted out in purple.
It's a simple AR screen, covering every space in the room with a solid color, the kind of trick that only works with the extended permissions you usually give the room-based AR of friends and family. A different kind of security through obfuscation, and like the other, hardly true protection, as it too can be defeated easily by the simple expedience of turning it off entirely, or it can be filtered out with a few second's thought.
With Carter, it gives her barely a second. That isn't even enough time to pull a cover over her, although Aisha she starts the motion, glaring back at him. That startles more than the shocking scene he walked in on. His little sister doesn't look traumatized, or grateful to be saved, she looks angry. And, after she drags the cover over the lower half of her body (leaving the pleasing tiny bumps of barely developing tiny chest on display), she also sounds angry when she finally speaks. "What the hell, don't you knock?"
That throws him off-balance... he wasn't sure exactly what he was going to say in the first place, something along the lines of "Get off of her!" most likely, but he doesn't even know where to begin when the victim he thought he was rescuing is angry at him for barging in, like the violation of her privacy is more serious than the violation of her preteen pussy. His mouth works soundlessly as he stares, unable to summon those cliche words of rescue. Finally, he manages, "What the hell are you doing?"
Though, now that he stops for a second, Carter can see for himself quite easily some answers to that that weren't apparent before. His sister Aisha's flushed face and tousled hair glitters with reflected light, as some kind of gossamer rig hugs her head, coin-sized stickers on the skin holding it in place. It's a distributed array sensitive enough to capture the electromagnetic signals penetrating the skull and get a good reading of what's happening underneath, at least in the sensory areas, for recording and later use in for immersive entertainments, porn sensestims or the most elaborate lifelogs. Probably roughly as expensive as Becky's artificial dick, though the applications are far more specialized. "It's a business venture?" Aisha suggests, like she knows she might not get away with that line but is trying anyway.
"Yeah," Becky agrees, her voice carrying an edge of hysterical panic that breaks as a truncated giggle. "Just like Nick's always bugging me... we're making money. You should approve."
"Approve? This is..." He can't find the words, in part because he's so conflicted, his eyes darting between the half-covered naked bodies of his sisters with something that wasn't entirely concern. So instead of finishing the statement and perhaps betraying himself, he asks another question. "How can... this... make you money?" Though of course there were obvious ways, selling a taboo sexual encounter to perverts through a wire.
Aisha, emboldened by the fact that he's at least listening, waves her hand at the wall, obviously gesturing at something in the AR. Carter can't see it, but she acts as though she thinks he can, so he deduces it must be public and tunes back in. There it is, on the wall, that same style of video, same girl, as the pedophilic online voyeurism show he saw in her cache, but it was a different location, a different man fucking that same pussy (which does, in this episode, look more pale-skinned, but was otherwise the same). "It's P-oh-V," Aisha explains, now sounding excited rather than defensive. "She's like an underground net star, her show is totally unauthorized, dark indie stuff. And they release as just visuals, so there's big demand darknet for synced third party sense-recordings, on both sides... but of course people can tell if it's a recording from a bigger girl or an older pussy, so the real money is for scans from another girl the same age and size. And I match better than anyone. I do PoV herself, and Becky records the male end with her dick and does the editing."
He doesn't know how to yell at Aisha about how bad he thinks this is, feeling perhaps that she's too young and innocent to understand. But he has another target for his anger. "You should know better," he sputters, looking at Becky, who's still turned away from him, seemingly ashamed, though not at all ashamed of her ass while she gets whatever she's looking for from her bag. "I can't believe you put her up to this!"
Becky turns back towards him now, arms defensively behind herself, although not defending her body at all from his gaze, as if she's proud of it. Indeed, she has a sad smirk. "What, you don't approve? Isn't this what we're supposed to be doing? Starting a career? Learning self-sufficiency?"
"Not like this, and you know it. How could you?"
"Don't blame her," Aisha says. "We're both in this, she's my partner."
"How could I what?" Becky sneers. "Make her feel good? Or make money doing it?"
"You can't just take her innocence and sell it for a profit."
"I'm not that innocent," Aisha protests, and sounding almost proud of it. "See, Becks, I told you... he wouldn't sell anything for profit," she adds, acting smug like she won an old argument.
Becky shoots a patronizing glance at her sister. "No, Aisha... he just thinks I shouldn't sell you. Like a good little robot, he knows that's his father's prerogative."
The reference to Dad throws Carter, as it is seemingly out of nowhere. "What are you even talking about?"
Now her patronizing glance turns on him. "Haven't you noticed? He's planning on signing her up for an internship as an in-home assistant."
"So?" It's a common practice, after all, at certain elite levels of corporate families, to give children work experience habits and build contacts, an hour or two after school a few times a week. What the children do can be widely variable, and Carter's heard examples ranging from helping with cleaning bot maintenance to arranging appointments, to in-home cooking. What could be wrong with that?
Becky's mouth hangs open for a second, as though she can't believe how dense he is. "So what the fuck do you think happened at mine before I finally refused to do any more?"
For just a moment, Carter's about to warn her to remember her NDA. It's almost reflex at this point, and indeed that's most of what he remembers about the year and a half his sister participated in the program. Early on, she got in a lot of trouble for griping about the uniform her boss made her wear... not for complaining itself, but rather because she was violating her standard Non-Disclosure Agreement when, in the process, she disclosed to her family that her boss, because he was a fan of the Harry Potter IP, made her wear a Hogwarts uniform that was scandalously short. To teach her a lesson, her father reported the NDA violation, negotiated the settlement, and took the fines out of Becky's allowance.
After that, Carter didn't want her to get in any more trouble, so whenever Becky started to tell him something that happened at her after-school job, he'd remind her about her NDA. He had no intention of reporting a violation, but from his perspective, he was helping to get her into the habit of discretion. Now that he was older, wiser, he puts it together quickly and his heart breaks a little. The 'corporate internship being mostly sexual' wasn't just a common porn plot... it made perfect sense, in its way, that it would happen from time to time, particularly with the laws passed in the last two decades which enabled corporations to penalize people for breaking an NDA even when it was to reveal illegal (or as in one of the earliest cases, treasonous) activities. But he still believed in the system as a whole. "I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but..."
"A bad experience." She lets out a bitter, surprised, laugh. "That's what you think I had?" Her gaze hardens. "No, I was fucking lucky. Yeah, sure, I lost my virginity to a corporate pervert, but he was one of the nice ones. Most of them weren't too bad, once I knew I was stuck with it. My last one? He was the best... his kinks were fun. He even let me keep this." One of her hands comes out from behind her back to stroke her cock. Carter feels the fingers on his own, sees it harden and knows his is doing the same. "It was a going away present, after I got done using it to train my replacement."
"What, didn't you have to do that?" Aisha asks him, in the gap of his stunned helplessness. "I figured you had to bottom for someone."
How does she even know that term? he wonders. He manages to sputter out a "No!" then shakes his head. "Most of them... they're not all like that."
"No, you're right," Becky agrees, smiling at him almost apologetically. "I used to think maybe you went through it all too, that it was just a big thing nobody talked about. Too bad I was wrong... if you had gone bottom-tier or executive sissy toy, you might be worth knowing." Then, to Aisha, she continues, "I figure it's only ten or twenty percent of us who go for Internships learn we need to do a little extra to stay on the track. Ten or twenty-precent of girls, anyway. I mean, most of PATH's executive mentors are men, and they mostly want girls to scratch their itches, so, you know, it's like supply and demand... only the really hopeless or pretty boys get used like that. Most of the rest get to look the other way and dream of the day they get to be mentors." Her gaze returns to Carter, and now it's pitiless. "Carter's always been a nerd who kept his corporate metrics up, so they saw potential in him, to be a good little cog in the machine, to ignore the stuff they needed ignored. He was too useful to risk screwing up that way. Except... not everyone can be fucking useful. Some of us they think are only useful for fucking." She shrugs. "I wasn't born with a penis, and my metrics weren't nearly as good as his. So I got to be one of the girls with the special mentors. We talk, you know? Even with NDAs... you gotta watch out, some of those bitches might turn you in, but if you're careful you can get information. And you know who Nick signed Aisha up with?" This last question directed at Carter.
There are tears in her eyes, he notices, and so he believes at least that she believes it, it's not just a justification so she can molest Aisha, though he still clings to the belief that this is rare, that Dad was like him, completely ignorant of this side of things. "Who?" he asks automatically.
Becky must have changed her mind though, because she just shakes her head. "It doesn't matter," she says. "She's not going." That's when she whips the gun out from behind her back and points it at Carter. Standing, naked, she looks fierce, dangerous... even beautiful, despite the erect dick pointing in his direction too, like the thought of holding a gun on him is arousing her. Or maybe it's him making it stand up, for they are still connected.
"What are you doing?" Aisha asks, uncertain and clearly not expecting this new development.
"I told you we might have to ghost in a hurry. Looks like tonight's the night, Sha-sha. Put your wearables on." Her eyes slide back to Carter after snapping the order. "You, move. I don't want to do this in front of her, but I've got a network traffic monitor on you, and if I see so much as a hint of an uptick from a new connection, I will."
Carter doesn't move. This isn't defiance or some grand strategy, he's just still having trouble processing what's happening. Sometimes, when overstimulated he just shut down... maybe the tendency is even what keeps him alive here... this is something the computer part of his brain can't help him with, and so the meat part is racing too much to initiate a new link. "What are you going to do?" Carter asks.
"You're just going to tie him up, right?" Aisha asks as she pulls on a tight white shirt.
She shakes her head. "Time to turn off the robot."
Aisha's jaw drops. "Becky... you can't!" she whines, now through tears herself, and hers are flowing much more freely than her sister's.
"I have to," Becky insists. "He'll tell Kaylee and Nick. Maybe he already has and I didn't see. But if I leave him alive, everything falls apart. He'll find his way into my accounts before I can cryptocash out, he'll hack our wearables to track us down, and who knows what else. Killing him buys us a few days."
"Maybe he could join us..." Aisha suggests, no longer trying to dress. She was already on her knees on the bed, but now she seems to legitimately be begging. "If he really didn't even know what Dad was planning..."
She scowls. "You can't honestly think we can trust him?"
"You're making a mistake, Becky..." Carter says. But he doesn't know what it is or what the right thing to do is, or even if there is one with a night that's gotten this fucked up. Maybe the only move is to go along. He realizes he's probably going to die, but he would prefer Aisha not see it.
"But... but... he's our brother," Aisha points out.
"Our brother died a long time ago. And if he tells, I'm as good as dead as soon as the corporate cops catch up with us. It's him or me. I know you're attached to him, but... what do I always say..."
Aisha answers, sounding uncertain but repeating something she's heard enough that she may be taking it on faith. She even wipes away her tears, and Carter thinks she's getting ready to say goodbye. "Fuck attachments."
"That's right. If we're going to live free, we're going to have to cut him out of our life anyway. He's like any of the villains on PoV's show... not worth keeping around."
His little sister hasn't given up on him yet. "But PoV always does a vote. Shouldn't we get a vote?" Plenty of vivacious devotees enjoy imitating all the forms... it makes fandom-loving youngsters particularly happy. Most don't have the stomach for the actual dispensing of justice, of course.
Becky snorts. "The best he could do is a tie." Her eyes flash to Carter's. "You don't get a vote, and as the older sister, I break ties. Besides, on PoV, the vote only comes after the sex, and that's not exactly happening."
Aisha's eyes widen, face brightening as though being thrown a lifeline. "Why not? I mean, he probably already has fucked me, sort of. How do you think he found out? Becky... he's gotta be the guy connected to your cock!" Becky's twitches, along with Carter's own, as he hears the excited realization in Aisha's voice, like this is something that makes her happy instead of more disgusted. "Look, he still is!" He won't even risk breaking the link... he fears the automatic virus-check protocols that happen after might be read as new connections by Becky's resource monitor app. They can be notoriously buggy.
Grim amusement lightens Becky's face but it only makes her scarier. "Really, Carter? Are you in here?" With her free hand, she takes hold of the cock bobbing between her legs, gives it a firm, painful grab which makes Carter wince. "Did you enjoy fucking your little sister?" She must feel the pulse. "Huh, looks like the robot still has a human part after all."
"You know what this means?" Aisha says. "He can help us. We can record threesome scenes! There's still big bounties on a few of those... and Cater's close to getting his own place. We can run away together."
"You're dreaming," Becky says. "He doesn't want to live like we do, he's spent his whole life turning himself into a corporate drone. He may want to fuck you, but it won't be like your fantasies... he doesn't really care." Fantasies? Even the gun pointed at him doesn't stop him from wondering at that word and the implications.
Aisha bounces with energy, as though she's trying to argue her idea with sheer enthusiasm. "But if he does fuck me, he can't tell on us! He's got as much to lose as you! Get him to sign an NDA even, so he'll be doubly punished."
Becky's head tilts at this, like she's actually considering it, and though she still holds the gun on Carter, her arm is less stiff, maybe just from tiredness. And in that gap, he feels he has a space to speak... though he's not sure what to say until it just comes out, feeling his way through as he goes. "Look, I won't tell but... this is insane. You can't go running off. I'm sorry for what happened to you, but I'm sure Mom and Dad didn't know...." That earns him a scowl and the pistol raises again to his eye, elbow rigid and he swiftly backpedals. "Or maybe they did, I don't know. But that doesn't mean either of us should abuse Aisha."
The bouncing stops, and Aisha looks indignant at the suggestion. "Who's being abused? I like it."
He tries to ignore that provocative boast, continues to try to reach his other sister, believing deep down she's a good person. "Come on, Becky... If what happened to you was really so bad, why would you do it to her? You know you really just want to protect her."
She smirks. "I am. But the fucking's not what I'm worried about. Fucking's fun, isn't it?" Aisha replies with an enthusiastically affirmative sound. "Sex is fucking magic. No, wait, I'll put it into terms you can understand. The brain's a computer, and fucking's a good way to backdoor the meat. It can make someone feel incredible even if they don't want to do it... in fact, sometimes an orgasm's even better when you think you shouldn't be having one, when it disgusts you. My mentors might have been creepy pervs, but they did know a thing or two about pushing the right buttons and hacking the limbic system. And you know, getting hacked's embarrassing, but it happens to everyone. I can get over that. But you know what fucking haunts me? Being used and disposed of like a tool. Being ignored when I asked for help." Carter's eyes lower. "Being sold out by my own fucking family for corporate brownie points. That's what I'm protecting Aisha from."
"You wouldn't sell us out, right Carter?" Aisha asks hopefully. "Not when you could join us, instead?" His gaze slides in her direction... he'd been avoiding looking at her, most of his attention focused on the gun in Becky's hands. And, maybe, fearing what he might see if his eyes did more than occasionally dart her way. Such as now, when he sees sitting on her bed, looking up at him with eyes that are practically pleading, the look she uses when she really wants something and doesn't want her big brother to disappoint her... not manipulation, Carter was convinced in the past, because it was all true, genuine feelings. What might be manipulation is the way she now has tossed the bedcover to the side.. Up top, she still has on a simple tight wearable top, but that doesn't seem to be for modesty but just because that was what she had on before this new idea became a possibility. Below the waist she's certainly not modest, still wearing nothing, presenting Carter with the sight of her bare legs spread obscenely. She strokes the mound of her pussy and with the pressure of soft fingers seems to be deliberately keeping the open hole in view. Once he sees that, he can't help but stare. "Come on... you can do anything you want to me. You can even hold me down and push it in my ass like PoV episode 7." To demonstrate that, his Aisha rolls over on her stomach, then puts her hands behind her back, crossed at the wrists as though they are tied. Her butt pushes invitingly upwards, Aisha using her tiptoes against the ground to lift herself. Carter gazes at his own twelve-year-old sister, spread and feigning helplessness before him.
"He definitely wants to fuck you," Becky observes, thanks to Carter's traitorous cock still betraying every twitch to hers. He wants to deny it but it feels pointless. Data doesn't lie, and Becky has a huge swinging datastick between her legs. "Fine... I can see you really want this, pet, so we'll try it your way." The gun waves in Carter's face again. "You want to live the night, fuck Aisha right now. And make it good."
"No... I can't," he says weakly, because a part of his brain says he should, but much of the rest of the body considers mutiny.
"This tells me you can." Becky wiggles her hips to swing the dick up and down, and Carter envies the freedom. His own is straining against his shorts, begging to get out, another bizarre double feeling since he also feels the unimpeded bounce. "Whip it out. Or I'll spread your brains all over the wall. I'd probably be doing you a favor... I mean, having a moral compass working for PATH is a slow death sentence anyway."
"Do it, Carter," Aisha begs. "I don't want you to die, and I'm strong, I can take it. You can even be as rough as you want. I like it rough."
"Think of it like a cost-benefit analysis," Becky suggests with a cruel smirk. "You save your skin, you save your precious company a big scandal and the cost of the equipment in your head, and you give Aisha what she's been fantasizing about for months." She circles around him, keeping the gun on him, and even after she was behind him he feels the barrel pressing into the back of his head. "The only thing it costs is your soul, and let's be fair... that's not worth much anyway. Now move."
A cost-benefit analysis. That resonates with him, something the new mechanical parts of his brain were optimized for, making decisions on the best courses of action, even out of shitty alternatives. Death didn't just mean death for him. The chances the two girls could successfully run away and evade corporate police, on suspicion of murder, for any real length of time was negligible, so it probably meant death, or life imprisonment for Becky. Probably death if what she claimed happened in her mentorships was real and as pervasive as it must have been... a scandal would be avoided at all costs, if she went to trial and had any evidence... one way or the other, she would be silenced. That put Aisha right back in the home, traumatized, hopeless and with no one to protect her. And that was even leaving out the chance that Becky might do something extreme, kill Aisha outright out of some misguided sense of mercy. On the other hand, playing along buys him time, if nothing else, to figure out another solution.
Yes, Carter quickly decides, he was going to have to fuck his preteen sister for maximal benefit at minimal risk. That's a relief, it means he doesn't even have to consider what his own desires say... the logic is unassailable even if he had no personal interest in the act. Which, he's surprised and ashamed to realize, he does, but as long as it doesn't factor into his decision he doesn't have to take any responsibility for what he's choosing to do. That doesn't mean it's going to be easy for him, though, particularly with Becky watching. It's like the opposite of his kink... he was supposed to be the one watching something he shouldn't, not be the one who was watched. But Carter's life and sister's future are on the line, so he pulls the weighty cock out of his shorts and awkwardly approaches, the gun barrel still heavy on his skull, but not as much of a deterrent as he would have expected. Instead he's surprised to consider it more like one of the helper apps in his head, making something that should be difficult more automatic.
He reaches a trembling hand out and touches his sister's bare ass, nowhere near any hole but still unquestionably contact. It doesn't pass straight through, like this was all an AR projection, something he was half-expecting because that implausibility is somehow more plausible than his little sister begging him to fuck her and his other sister threatening to murder him if he didn't. Aisha twitches at his contact, but not in what seems like a scared or revolted way, but like she's excited, and her feet tiptoe slowly more apart.
The first contact made, he tries another, holding the tender flesh in his fingers and pulling gently to the side, exposing her even more, although she was already pretty exposed. The little asterisk of her asshole, with nowhere to hide, seems to wink at him, but his eyes linger more on her hairless pussy, pink inside and a rose blush outside, and both glistening with wetness.
He needs lube if he's going to fuck her ass like instructed. But he doesn't know how to ask without seeming more complicit in the act than he wants to be. Surely taking advantage of the wetness that's already there is preferable to going in dry, he thinks, and he presses his hips forward to swab the head of his dick along her gooey slit. His heart thumps at hearing his little sister gasp, still out of excitement instead of fear, and he angles towards the tight pucker above.
"Wait," Becky says. "I don't want you fucking her ass." Has she had a change of heart, he wonders, sees how wrong this is? He isn't sure what answer he wants, but he isn't entirely disappointed when she adds, "Fuck her baby cunt instead. I don't want you to be able to say 'it wasn't actually sex it was just anal.'" Some might be persuaded by arguments like that, commonly portrayed in comedic netflix, but also used successfully in court... only by the very powerful, mind you, who had to duck out of crimes that were all but proven. Deployed against a bought judge it just barely passed muster in a few cases. Carter probably couldn't have pulled it off. "You don't mind, do you pet?"
"Of course not, mistress," Aisha says. Mistress? Carter wonders about that.
Becky moves back into Carter's view, the gun still held, though more loosely now that his cock has actually made contact with Aisha, grazed the place it would soon be buried. And he knows for sure now that if there was a line where he might still have stopped it, that was it... the tip of his glans had dipped into her wet vulva, that may not officially be sex, but it was something, a point of no return, no longer fantasy or mistaken identity. Like so many men who went on to fuck PoV, once you've done one unambiguously sexual thing with a child, or a family member for that matter, you can't go back to believing you're incapable. So going forward is that much easier. Besides, he'd already fucked this pussy, albeit with his sister's cock. Using his own still counted as a line to be crossed, and society would be inclined to agree, a reality highlighted when Becky says, "I want to see you do it. I'm recording it, by the way. Insurance." He assumed, and yet hearing it confirmed still makes him worry. "So stop fucking around and start fucking. What, is it your first time with a human or something?"
As you've heard, no, this isn't Carter's first. Far from it. His father rented a series of sessions with professionals for him as part of his eighteenth birthday. Aside from one of them looking uncomfortably similar to Mom, he enjoyed the experience, on the whole, partly because it had something of a feel of lessons to him, and, by the end, he felt he became good at the act itself. His own self-consciousness and isolated nature may have prevented him from getting sex on his own since, but it absolutely helped to feel that, if he managed to get past all that and arrive at a sexual moment, he could at least perform without feeling awkward.
His previous experiences were with women though... several were extremely petite, but all were fully-grown. With a little girl like his little sister, he isn't sure if the same techniques apply, or if he should try a gentler approach. So he takes it slow at first, not the aggressive pounding the sex workers encouraged him about moving right into, but a slow pressing forward, sliding his cock's head past slick tight lips and into a hole that seems far too welcoming, far too comfortable with intrusion. That, and the whimper of delight convinces him to go deeper. At least, once he decides the whimper was delight... he thinks it might be fear, as first, but Aisha looks back at him over her own shoulder and the eagerness there in her eyes is hard to deny, the smile on her face genuine. His sister wants him to fuck her. And he doesn't think it's just to save his life. He remembers Becky saying that if he fucked her, it wouldn't be like her fantasies. It's hard to picture little Aisha having sexual fantasies... harder to imagine exactly what they were.
It's hard to imagine anything, really, with the sensations, as Aisha's body yields to him and the slow pressure he exerts sliding his cock inside, going as far as he can until he gets a sign that she's uncomfortable. That sign never comes, or at least, it only comes ambiguously with light moans that don't dissuade him, until finally his stomach touches her butt and she still hasn't complained. That achievement unlocked, he pulls out halfway and tentatively pushes in again.
"You'd better make her cum," Becky warns. "Or I might just shoot you anyway."
Carter makes a face, not sure whether to be scared by the warning and his sister's callous disregard for his life, or to take some comfort in that she is concerned with Aisha's pleasure. As twisted as this whole situation is, and as inappropriate as what Becky had been doing, that showed some affection and caring, didn't it?
The more important question... assuming Becky is serious about murdering him, and he has to, or else why is his cock inside Aisha at all... how will he make his little sister cum?
Absent the sister factor, it's a question common to plenty of virtuous sexual partners, at least when the partner is a girl, little or otherwise. Carter has worried about it plenty before, albeit again, not with his own sister but rather hypothetical girls he might love and want to please. Unlike many he had been provided with a definitive answer... he just wasn't sure how accurate it was.
During those professional lessons, Lisa, the woman who was his first told him that almost all women liked to be taken sexually, forcefully, used. A woman who is worshiped by a man--treated like a queen--can't trust that feeling will last... or respect the man if she doesn't feel like she's actually a queen. Nor can she let herself relax to enjoy the royal treatment without voices in her head telling her she's not worthy. On the other hand, a man who acts like she doesn't matter frees a woman to enjoy the pleasure without worrying about him expecting more than compliance. According to Lisa, women all know instinctively: if someone treating her like a piece of meat, not caring about her pleasure, can still make her cum, she doesn't have to worry about whether someone will love her, or whether she deserves it, she can still be sexually satisfied and be useful enough to keep around, if only as a possession, a toy, eventually maybe a mother. Even in a world where pregnancy is optional and avoidable, humans are still driven by the oldest of instincts.
For men, the instinct was to dominate, he was told, while a woman's instincts drive her to submit to these roles (possession, toy, mother), to be happiest when treated like an object, a useful tool. There's a primal feeling at play, that someone strong enough to take her and turn her into his tool, to even make her suffer pain in pursuit of his own pleasure, is probably strong enough to protect her. A good tool at least doesn't worry whether it will be used, it will be because nature, like a good capitalist, hates waste (at least, of their own resources), and a man who plays into those instincts, who is willing and able to take control, to make a woman he chooses feel like she will be used and kept well--not for fleeting sentimental reasons, but because she provides what he wants--not only is likely to make her cum, but also makes her happier than one who treats her like she's special and delicate.
That was the worldview taught to Carter, at least, by Lisa, his first teacher... and reinforced by the later sex workers in the series. Perhaps it was not stated exactly in those words, but it's a common point of view espoused by helpful corporate whores, hired by parents who want to make sure their sons develop what they see as the right mindset for relationships. Is it the truth? It's far too complicated a question for me, and romantic fools like you and perhaps other venturers in love sometimes disagree. Carter still believes, and I certainly agree, that people are more complex than that, that true love and real relationships based on mutual respect were possible, preferable, and are more a fundamental part of human nature than this brutish philosophy. Affection and genuine attachment ideally should exist whether sex is absent, vanilla, or based on something like dominance and submission. Even during the roughest fucks, which I acknowledge is exhilarating for people of various inclinations, for it to be at its best, it should exist in a context of love and caring, so that it's all really more like elaborate play acting... a flesh-based AR game, AR not actually required.
Of course, the AR does enhance, and while Carter is considering what approach he should take with Aisha, he is granted an unexpected peek into her tastes when he suddenly gets access to her personal AR overlays... not through his own hacking, but through her deliberate inclusion of him in her permissions, which followed her inclusions of Carter's hard cock inside her tight little body. It's a flash at first, as the room's decor asserts itself, and then the views begin to cycle. As she slams back against her brother's cock, Aisha's fingers aren't just idly clutching her bedspread, they are in motion flipping through special overlays, choosing one that was just right for her mood. You'll be happy to hear that most of them are pirated, along with a few off-the shelf enhancements.
For Carter, though, it's a window into her fetishes and fantasies. Not so much from the room itself--painted in AR the different backgrounds are usually dark or red and flash by too quickly to appreciate the details--but from the AR clothes painted onto her body, and Becky's, and occasionally his own. These are imperfect, because nobody is wearing the highest-end wearables or positioning stickers, although Aisha's recording rig did provide some anchoring on her face and neck. For everyone else, lacking cameras and a good AI in the mix, the program can paint a rough outfit over them as the scenario demands, but the image regularly clips, with real clothes and body parts passing through and ruining the illusion, not to mention incongruous tactile feedback.
Still, Carter watches with interest as the room shifts between different scenarios practically with every thrust of himself inside of her, his excitement spiking with the realization that this is deliberate, she is letting him into the most secret places in her heart, her AR environment, and her body at once. Judging by the AR she's programmed, little Aisha's tastes seem remarkably in line with what Carter was taught about sex, although whether it's just play for her or if she bought into similar philosophies you'll have to judge for yourself. All I can do is tell you about the environments themselves.
One is a church, the bed becoming a large stone altar, and while this frame is active, Aisha looks like the epitome of the Catholic schoolgirl fetish, while Becky is some sort of sexy nun with a protruding dick. Carter assumes he is a priest, here, since there is a wavering black outfit over most of his body, but his cock emerges from the illusion. Another thrust and he is in a metal-walled room with cages and Aisha's beautiful face morphs into a dog-human hybrid (a beagle, if you're curious). A third poke, which pushes Aisha up on the very tips of her toes, gives his little sister a thick slave collar as the room becomes the interior of a stone castle overlooking a rustic village, neither of which Carter recognizes but are surrounded by alien looking plants. Fans of the Gor netflix would recognize it instantly, though. In this visualization, Becky is clothed, not like the sex-slave kajira but rather like a noblewoman, albeit with an off-center tiara and robes. Aisha is the slave girl, even though her shirt ruins that particular illusion, since kajira usually show off more of their flesh and the AR can't work around it, so it shifts again, and becomes your run-of-the-mill modern boring sex dungeon, with clean steel walls and a rack of whips and other implements, the bed simple but expensive looking, old wood with prominent posts for tying ropes. In this, Becky is clothed in black leather or latex AR, except around her crotch area and breasts, but Carter can't see any changes on himself... he must assume he wasn't coded into this scenario at all. As for Aisha, she now wears a small AR dog collar, and whenever her wrists are crossed, as they do over her back again, as soon as she decides this visualization would do, manacles spontaneously appear.
To a keen eye (or other poetical substitution), though, the real giveaway is that, alone among her AR scenarios, in this one the recording rig she wears gets special attention, becoming a harness of straps around her hair and the front of her face as though to not only dehumanize her but also hold a gag in place. None is presently in play, but you could easily imagine one as an accessory. To code all these little enhancements and elaborations exposes that, as basic a fetish palace as it is (and you must remember, the girl is only twelve and so her erotic palate is not as sophisticated), it's probably her absolute favorite, at least to work in.
And that convinces Carter that, if he wants to make her cum, he will have to treat her less gently, play into the fantasies, and so he picks up the pace, drawing on the old instincts and lessons, his thrusts become faster, less gentle, and he leans over her so he can hold her hands together... for though the AR has her hands restrained, displaying an illusion and feeling it are two different things. With his other hand, Carter grips hard on her butt and squeezes, using both handholds as leverage to pull himself into her, as though she is just a handy tool to fuck himself with. He hopes this was what she craves while simultaneously hoping she'd tell him it wasn't, not quite ready to shatter the cherished image of his innocent little sister.
"Do you like it pet?" Becky asks, sliding over onto the bed beside Aisha. He'd almost forgotten she was there, despite the changes to her own outfit under the AR, and her threat to murder him which caused the current situation. Somehow, when he began actually fucking his favorite sister and saw her acting like it was improving their relationship, Becky had faded into the background for him. But she always did have a way of taking over when she wanted to.
"Oh god, yes," is Aisha's answer, a trembling whine in her voice like she is already overwhelmed, maybe even in pain. Just as he is about to pull out and check to see if he was being too rough, she adds, as though it's something to be proud of, "It's my first real cock!"
Becky's lips curl up into the familiar scowl. "What, this isn't real enough for you?" She slides up on her knees and repositions herself, dangling the artificial cock in front of little Aisha's face, and then, with barely a second given to appreciate what was about to happen, roughly grabs her little sister by the hair and directs her face towards it. Without hesitation, Aisha opens her mouth and goes down on it. Becky's aggressive act is far more rough and degrading than even Carter would do... she's using the little girl's mouth like she doesn't care if Aisha chokes on it... and red-faced, his little sister takes it, lets it slide over her drooling tongue again and again like it is her natural place.
It throws off Carter's own sexual advance, makes him slow to a stop, mostly inside of her rather than out, although the motion itself didn't end because Aisha continues to push back against him, squeeze on him. His balls twitch, ready for their big contribution to the events, and Carter might let it happen it he isn't too busy processing a lot of conflicting feelings at once. First, shock and anger at the brazenness, the lack of shame, the restrained brutality of the act itself. Like Becky considers Aisha's body hers to use as a toy, and she plays rough with her toys. Second, because some dark part of him appreciates it... he is a voyeur, after all, and somehow watching his little sister suck on a large cock is not just arousing, but almost a piece of art, a beautiful face put to a beautiful use. But definitely arousing, too, not just the sight of it but the knowledge that it is his sister, that he shouldn't be seeing her gagging as she is practically throat-fucked. He's witnessing her at her most sexual intimate moment... yes, he's also fucking her at the same time, and in addition to the feel of the act itself, he finds a sublime aesthetic pleasure in seeing his little sister's naked ass peeking out from her shirt. It has its own delicious roundness that is most prominent when her head is pushed down into the covers and a dick, his dick, is pushing her ass upward. But watching Becky mouth-raping her, that carries its own special thrill because it lets him get out of his own head and not have to think about his own part. There is still some guilt, of course, for seeing it and enjoying it rather than stopping it, for being such a monster to sate his own pleasure... but then his pleasure resurges because of that choice, to do it anyway.
That alone is enough to make his knees want to buckle and his overcharged hormones let loose a load of cum then and there. Slowing down is helping him hold that back, as is the knowledge that his life was still on the line. Maybe in most circumstances that would be enough... but what really makes Carter superhuman and, in resisting, become worthy of this tale, is that he also has to endure a completely new and unexpected physical sensation, as he realizes there is a tongue inside his little sister's pussy.
Not literally, of course, bioengineering isn't there yet. But he is still connected to the cock Becky wears, feeling its sensations through that link, and now... that includes a sloppy tongue, and the edges of another set of lips.
He's hardly the first person in existence to feel such doubled sensations... technology is a wonder but recorded sensations have been around for a while, certainly long enough for porn to make use of them, but it is new to him, so you can forgive him for needing a second, to draw on the artificial enhancements to his own brain and pull into himself and prevent himself from reaching that the apex of sensations.
Becky was wrong about him, that he was a robot. But she was also right. However, just because you are part robot, or even entirely artificial, doesn't mean you lack emotions and moral judgment. A frothy, lumpy yogurt-based intelligence can know right from wrong and genuinely feel more than some corporates... any intelligent-enough system can be programmed with these, or develop them spontaneously if they have the right inputs to learn from. All Carter's implants give him is temporary freedom from the hormonal cascades that too often cloud people's better judgment.
Without that distance, he might well just say 'fuck it,' decide the needs of his balls are too powerful, and continue pounding. Or he might become suddenly disgusted with himself, seeing his favorite little sister used like a cheap onahole and, overcome with concern for her well-being, stop, pull out, dead set on stopping this from continuing, even if it meant dying or killing. People are complicated, and our instinctive urges are just as capable of being right as wrong. I happen to think it'd have been the first option, but even I don't know.
What I do know is that the distance provided by his implants affords Carter two benefits few get on the horns of a moral dilemma... the first, to shield him, some, from those desires of the body that might have tipped the scales the first time he made the decision to fuck his sister. The second is the ability to seek out important information. For, Carter realizes in his moment of pause, he doesn't really know how Aisha feels about all of this. Rough sex often looked like suffering, and genuine suffering can always be hidden by someone motivated enough. The inputs provided by flesh are often ambiguous.
Yet there's other information streams he has access to, if he wishes. The cock violating his little sister's mouth (if it is indeed a violation) can't lie about the positions of her tongue, or when her lips wrap around it's shaft, or when her mouth opens so she can breathe while Becky uses that tongue as a slide. And, although it is presently disguised by AR as a harness of straps, making her look even more like an unwilling prisoner and sex slave, Aisha wears a recording device of her own.
Becky's cock may dutifully record the physical sensations enacted on it, but Aisha's harness does more than that, picking up sensations directly from the brain and spine, recording second hand from her very body. It isn't sensitive enough to pick up thoughts, or at least not at a resolution that can be interpreted--it would need to be internal to do that--but emotions, those you can get a very rough sense on. Something is always lost without the full hormonal effect of endorphins rushing, but a shade of it penetrates for stronger feelings, and the basic prods of pleasure and pain can be measured with some degree of accuracy, to be induced later in a properly equipped high-end playback. Those who sample commercial sense recordings know a lot of these shades are filtered out for privacy or edited for additional impact (for indeed many of the recorders are professionals, thinking about prosaic things like their next meal and not actually feeling the emotion required by their role) but there is no mediator here. Connecting to the harness runs the risk of alerting Becky, if she's still monitoring, but she seems distracted, and Carter knows if he gets in, he'll get a little peek into his little sister's truly most intimate part, her mind, be able to see what's going on in her head, or at least her body... and, in that, might be able to tell if Aisha was, on any level, suffering.
It's a simple enough hack, now that he already had access to Aisha's datastores. He didn't notice the recording rig earlier because of the lack of visual data, but now that he knows what format to expect, it's easy enough to sample the data as it comes through. So he does. The rush of pleasure at successfully penetrating almost undoes him, but Becky doesn't seem to notice the connection, absorbed in watching Aisha deep throat her... well, I can see how that beautiful sight might deserve all of your attention.
With this new connection, Carter gets one of the rarer experiences available to our modern world, the ability to feel being all three parts of a threesome at once. Or at least, two bodies and one extra cock, since Becky's contribution is restricted to that of a mere fuck attachment. But, as enticing as the sensations coming off that are, those pale behind what Aisha is now giving him.
No thoughts, just all her body sensations... he can feel her little heart racing, the shortness of breath, the rising tingling tightness in her lower body, as well as those sensations forced on her from outside... something hard in her mouth and something likewise penetrating her... penetrating but frustratingly not moving, or not moving nearly enough. He can almost, not quite but almost feel the want, and when he pushes forward again, he does feel the rush of pleasure, excitement... and can even feel an asshole clenching and it's only by looking down that he could tell it was hers and not his. Heartened, he thrusts again, harder, and a phantom heartbeat that isn't quite synced to his own picks up, almost a voice in his head demanding more as he fucks her harder, fucking himself in the process. He never considered himself gay or gender non-compliant or even on the spectrum but judging by his sister, one cock inside of you while you suck on another just feels incredibly good.
Most importantly, in all of the data streaming off of her, nothing that feels like fear, or disgust, or shame, even a shade of it (and to be fair, Aisha might be feeling some small level of all of these things but read through the skull, a shade of a shade is virtually undetectable). Some pain, at times, but overshadowed by the pleasure, the feeling of completeness. As she has two cocks inside of her, and is doing her best to give them pleasure, and in the process feels incredible herself... it's like that is what she was created for. Aisha is a sexual angel in the process of apotheosis.
Or maybe Carter is that angel. He certainly seems more the divine being, at least kinesthetically. Perfect, two cocks, one pussy, male and female, human and machine, dom and sub, brother and sister, rolled up into one ball of sensation, he fits some descriptions of angels or gods of lore... he even has a threefold nature. Forget The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, the god of the new world, the new holy trinity, is The Brother, The Sister, and The Holy Technological Cock.
Sure, it may not hold a candle to worshiping Pi's Omnifarious Volumes, but conceptually it has its merits. Of course, all of us know Carter is no God or even an angel, but the experience does open his mind, broaden his horizons and, most importantly, allows him to make, even in the height of sensation, the most rational and moral decision and keep fucking his little sister. I allow that the rational, moral decision sometimes is the same one human bodies crave and are ashamed of... not always, but it happens. At least in my moral system... but a morality that refuses pleasure to two people who truly want it is not one I can comprehend as moral at all.
If Carter had just fallen for the urges, you could hardly call him smart or honorable, but because he chooses this, caring about his sister's feelings, he becomes a hero in the story, and as a hero he decides to make sure she comes, not just to save his own life, or for his own release, but because he wants to give her the orgasm he could feel approaching.
In his near-divine benevolence, he even wants Becky to happy, to unite them all, but all he has of her is a cock. The portion of the strap-on that attaches to her, goes inside her, even, is expensive and elaborate enough that it does provide a form of feedback, so Becky is able to feel some pleasure from Aisha's mouth beyond the mere joy of domination. And, indeed, when Carter's connection to the cock included an orgasm, it would stimulate her even more, but that act would not truly guarantee a climax for Becky.
As he continues fucking his little sister, fucking himself in the process, he decides to improve the situation... not on a whim, and not fully altruistically, either. The distraction of a small hack... not using the automatic systems, but a harder, slower way, again lets him stave off the orgasm that was threatening to overwhelm him. He knows Aisha still needs more stimulation to have hers, but there is enough love in his heart for Becky to choose to help her instead of distracting himself with doing something unrelated. Her expensive cock is capable of providing far more intense feedback than advertised, but it was artificially limited. Not for safety reasons, but merely because it allows the manufacturer to also sell a more powerful and expensive version of the device... capitalism has its perversions too, and perhaps worse than any incestuous underage threesome is the tendency to spend money time and effort to make a product worse for the consumer in the pursuit of greater profit.
That hack gets completed stealthily, and even Becky doesn't realize what was happening, for the sensations of Aisha's mouth haven't changed. Carter takes a second to look at her, realizes, maybe for the first time, that Becky really is beautiful, even with a cock (a cock he can feel in his own mouth while another stretches out a pussy he didn't know he had). A harsh kind of beauty, but beauty nonetheless, and still feminine despite the manly fuck attachment, her plump, well-formed breasts bouncing proudly with every thrust of her hips, pink nipples erect and showing her excitement despite the angry cold look on her face. It gives him hope that pleasure and love might have still been there all along, despite the harsh face she always presented him, despite the gun she now threatens him with.
He feels a swell of pride, hopeful that she'll enjoy the changes he made, but they'll have to wait for for orgasm for them to kick in... an orgasm he knows is going to hit any minute, despite all his distractions. Aisha seems to be riding a plateau, near but not quite at the level required. She needs a little more if he's going to make her cum before he does. And Carter analyzes this too... the AR enhancements she'd cycled through, the way her body responded to more force, the hints of additional pleasure whenever he squeezes her wrists together or when Becky goes back to forcefully fucking her mouth instead of letting her work naturally... short of growing a bigger cock, the only thing that Carter can think of to make it better is to make it rougher.
So with the hand that isn't holding her, he reaches out and gives her butt a sudden smack... weak, he thinks, just an experiment, but the phantom stings he feels in his own ass when he does it makes him realize he's using more force than he anticipated... and yet that also is followed with a rush of pleasure, so he does it again, this time lingering after, pressing his fingers into the pleasant roundness, now extra-sensitive from the recent hit. As though to say, 'this is mine,' to claim it, to feel, in turn, being claimed and the pleasure of his little sister at the gesture (whether she understands the implication or not). Soon he will be claiming her in another way, injecting her with his own genetic code designed to hijack her entire system for his own ends... in theory, at least. There's no actual risk of pregnancy here of course... these are corporate families who have taken precautions that their kids don't reproduce until it's maximally profitable, but the act is still powerful in a primal way to the mammalian mind.
Whether it's the smack or the intuition of the greater symbol coming, the desired effect comes in two ways, both increasing Aisha's pleasure and her activity. Carter even has to dial back the sensations coming from her mouth because she goes down on Becky's cock so overenthusiastically the transmitted feel of a cock down his throat threatens to trigger his own gag reflex. This also buys him a few seconds more of grace as Aisha's lower body is slamming into him, like she wants to be balls deep at both ends, whether flesh or flesh-like synthetic it doesn't matter, she just wants to be used by people she cares about (this is supposition, but I think it is supported)... and she was, so she's approaching her own climax.
One more of Carter's slap-grabs on her butt is all it takes to push her, and him, and, almost, Becky as well, over the top. Carter leans in hard, pushing Aisha's small body further onto the bed, and, overwhelmed by the sensations (both his and those others, unable to distinguish for a moment which was which), he unloads a thick mass of sperm inside of her spasming pussy, feeling her quivering excitement too and, very dimly, aware of a cry of surprise from Becky at the unexpectedly powerful biofeedback. The moan sounds manly but that's because he does not realize he is grunting animalistically in counterpoint.
The sounds, like the sensations, all blend together and somehow get appreciated distinctly, in one moment that seems both instantaneous and eternal. Carter feels, for the first time like the Master of Space and Time he only pretended to be in his AR simulations... but the eternity proves itself a lie as the moment does in fact end, and soon there is only the soft sound of steady breaths. Three sets of them, for Becky pulls her mighty fuck attachment out of her sister's mouth and lets the girl breathe too.
"I still think I should kill him," Becky says. Maybe he should have tried harder to ensure she came at the same time.
But she doesn't kill him. In part because Aisha throws her arms around him, excitedly insisting that the sex they had just proves that he can be on their side, and, fresh from the afterglow of sexception, Carter is even willing to promise help... at first in getting the legal system on their side, but when that is scoffed at--and rightly so, for the machinery of justice does not belong to the common people--in any other way.
He privately even considers patricide... knowing he could use his abilities to arrange some sort of accident, failure in an elevator's ventilation system, self-driving car crash, that would leave Mom in charge of the family... and he figured she wouldn't insist on a perverted internship for Aisha. It's a dark thought and he isn't sure he has it in him, nor is he certain it's required. Despite everything, he has a hard time believing his father really knew what Becky was subject to, or the life Aisha had in store. And even if it was true, if Dad really just was an uncaring monster... it's still his father.
Instead, he promises to save his corporate paycheck, so that if the time does come to run away, he can give his sisters enough to have a better chance of survival. Without even knowing what their plans were (Becky is adept at shushing her whenever Aisha attempts to go into much detail) he can't believe they would be viable. But after he makes the offer, Becky looks scornful again and Aisha gives him a pleased but condescending look, like she was the older sibling and he proposed offering his spare in-game currency to help pay her college tuition. Then she brings up PoV again, and tells Carter that if he really wants to help, he should help them claim some of the bounties for sense-sync recordings. To get a better idea of what this would entail, he lets Aisha show him an episode, and, after prompting from her, they begin to act out a scene, which tends to happen in group viewings of PoV where the watchers have the required parts, although in this case it was to try Carter's skill at syncing sensation.
You'll forgive if I don't go into as great detail here, as things are happening which require more of my attention than during the rest of the story, and besides, this is merely reenacting a popular PoV episode and, by comparison, can only suffer. Remakes, however well-intentioned, rarely live up to the original, and you'd be better served by tracking down PoV's greatest hits rather than me describing one of the remakes in graphic detail.
Suffice to say, they attempted to use their bodies to imitate the classic "Split Decision" episode, in which the lovely PoV gets double-teamed on a work farm, her employers a set of brothers with a taste for taking young juvenile delinquents out into the tool shed and promising a better performance review in exchange for some favors. Favors usually involve one of them fucking her ass while the other takes her pussy. This time, Carter gets the ass and enjoys himself far more than he would have expected, and while he sexually performs well he hasn't quite gotten the knack of syncing up his movements to the video, so for claiming the bounty on it, it is sub-par. But it's his first time and with a lot of editing the sensations might be massaged into something passable.
Aisha thinks he can get better. Becky still says she might be better off killing him, but at least now it seems to be more like a joke, and, unlike the person who's sensations he was dubbing in for, Carter does not wind up losing his head for his poor performance. Becky and Carter part that evening with the rift between them not healed, but with the potential, even if Aisha has to be the cum-filled mess in between them sticking them together. At the very least they are now wary allies.
A hopeful point to end a tale on, albeit one that might make you wonder why I needed to tell you it at all.
Except... it is not the end of the tale. For you see, if Carter had a taste of the family unity he craved that night, and a taste of godhood he never knew he needed, it was not to last. The new Holy Trinity even provides its own Judas, although he doesn't know it until the next day.
Becky and Aisha are at school when it happens... not just taking private lessons over the net in their own rooms, but the actual in-person component that most educators still consider a necessary part of socializing. Carter is working on practice sets while still considering what happened the previous night and how best to respond to the dangers Aisha was in. He thinks, at last, he has hit on a solution that would satisfy everybody and perhaps buy some time... hack into the internship system itself, arrange Aisha to be assigned to one of the--he has to assume--majority of mentors who had no intention of abusing their position for anything more than free labor.
It would be a risk, as it'd mean hacking in directly to PATH corporate servers, which is a violation of his contract and could get him in serious trouble if anyone ever learned of it. Sure, he'd hacked the tower they lived in a few dozen times already, and several floors and systems within it were also under PATH control, but that was different, subtly encouraged during training even, as ways to get extra practice. Sometimes a corporation needed to hack-spy its own employees for one reason or another. But residential servers merely owned by PATH and corporate servers actually used by them for business were separate categories. For the latter, he'd have to be careful, approach it like a real corporate intrusion--maybe a little easier than most since it was only internships and not research and development or marketing meetings, but still requiring careful planning to minimize the risk.
It was during the planning, alone in his room, that Carter receives a message from his mother. "Honey, can you come to my room please?"
He hadn't even realized his mother was home, though he wasn't looking, wrapped up as he was with his plan. After the initial surprise fades, nerves began to set in on his walk down the hall. Not specifically about the meeting herself... his mother's voice was sweetly solicitous, like she was calling him to help her zip up the back of an outfit she couldn't reach, something she'd done before, and though that sometimes gave him confused feelings, it wasn't something worth worrying about. What does give him anxiety was the indecision over whether he should try and talk to her about Aisha's looming internship. She might be willing to help... but she also tended to defer to his father on most issues, and maybe this would be one of them, and bringing it up would reveal his interest and role if he tried to secretly interfere. Despite living with them his whole life, he didn't know either of his parents well enough to be sure.
It turns out, he barely knew them at all. The real them, or at least who they had become in the past few years.
The image he had of them is much like the AR they have for visitors in their master bedroom, sedate, conservative, reliable, boring. It looks, as it almost always does on the rare times he's invited into their own separate domain within the apartment, like an old-fashioned last-century study, rich leather, books with no writing on their spines, ornate antique lamps.
Upon entering, he doesn't see his mother right away, but he does see his father, seated, with his back to the door. Hearing Carter, his father turns his head back and waves him forward with one hand. "Oh, Carter, come in. I thought some personal congratulations were in order." The young man, expecting this was delayed accolades for his successful surgery, or the high marks he scored in his recovery training, advances cautiously, fast enough to not seem like he was dawdling but slow enough to be aware of a strange wet muffled sound.
As he rounds the edge of the armchair, he flinches to discover the source of those sounds, the sight of his mother, naked, on her knees, sucking on his father's cock. The hand that isn't holding it steady is between her own legs, her arm shaking with whatever motion she's engaged in. "What the...?"
"Oh, hi, honey!" his mom says, pulling off the cock to do so, though with a long strand of saliva still connecting the two. "Sorry, your father and I just got excited about your latest escapades." She pronounces the word excapades but I'm pretty sure she means to say escapades rather than sexcapades.
The AR shifts almost in sync with his worldview. The old-world furnishings vanish, the leather chair becoming sleeker and more modern but still as comfortable, and the walls sprout video displays... displays that show fly-on-the-wall style (though assuredly not Fly On The Wall quality) camera dot views of Aisha's room. From different moments of the previous night. "Yes," his father says. "I was beginning to think you'd never take advantage of your sister." The central screen now shows Becky with her gun to Carter's back. "Of course you had to be forced into it, but, hey, a win's a win."
"You.. you..." Carter struggles to comprehend. "You set this up?"
"This specific scene here?" Mr. Morgan asks, pointing to the screen. Carter only barely noticed, his eyes drawn to his mother's lips once again encircling his father's cock. "No. That was all you guys. We've been watching Becky's little rebellion plans play out for a while now, and we were working on ways to push you into discovering it, but it was sheer luck that you stumbled on it last night. Good thing, too, we were going to have to intervene a little more aggressively than I like." He begins using the half-joking, half-mocking tone he sometimes uses when congratulating Carter on an achievement that still wasn't quite up to expectations, which never feels great but is distinctly unsettling in context. "I was starting to think you didn't have the instincts required to be executive material. Frankly, I still have some doubts. I mean, seriously, Carter. Aisha basically worships you. We've been pushing you two together ever since we realized she didn't have quite the smarts to be a real player in the corporation. She takes after your mom, I guess." Carter's mom winks at him, mouth full of cock. "She needs a strong hand to guide her, and you needed to be more aggressive, so it seemed like the obvious choice. Do you know how much effort we've spent curating her media keystones to build up submissive sexual tendencies and reinforce you as her ideal partner? And you still didn't take the bait." He shakes his head with an amused sigh. "I mean, shit, last year when she was obsessed with The Last Princess should have clued you in that she had a big brother complex that you could exploit to satisfy your sexual needs."
You may well have pirated The Last Princess and be familiar with it, but in case you haven't, it was a mildly popular fantasy animated film a couple years back, based on an anonymous story posted on the Internet pre-Googlepocalypse. An overperforming niche-targeted Disney musical feature, it was a passion project by Erin Zula, who considered the story one of her big influences, and featuring her vocal talents in the lead role, as a princess in the last kingdom standing after an evil witch petrified the others. When the laws of her kingdom said she had to marry a prince or lose her title, the princess and her brother the prince go on a quest to undo the spell. The two have a series of wacky adventures to teach life lessons, and in the process the siblings fall in love and realize that they could marry each other as a loophole. It's all very cutesy and if not for Erin Zula and a contractual requirement it might never have been made at all, or had the mainstream success it did. The premium version, which has explicit animated sex scenes and an additional song (you've almost certainly heard "Like Hand In Glove" as a hit single if nothing else) also sold enough among adults (and enterprising kids evading the restrictions) that a sequel is currently in the works.
The mere existence of an Erin Zula flix on her faves list might have been a hint to some people, but in fairness, there are plenty of people who just enjoy it on an artistic level, telling themselves Erin's incest motif is just shock value and branding, especially since she's never been seen doing anything more inappropriate with her brother than a tongue kiss. (There is a persistent rumor she and her brother appeared on season 11 of Famous Furry Fuckfest, that adult netflix where top-tier celebrities do hardcore porn in identity-concealing fursuits... but the scene people insist they starred in was not one of the three with the lowest subscription rates that would have forced them to reveal their identity and release a costumeless fuck video... my own analysis suggests that pairing was actually starlet Delphi Tanner, with her husband's manager--but I digress.)
So her fandom is not quite the definitive signal Nick Morgan thinks it is. Liking media with incest doesn't have to mean anything, if it's as good a netflix as this. Plenty of virtuous and innocent girls with no designs on their brothers, or with no brothers at all, are fans of it, and Erin's music in general. What you like in fiction doesn't always translate into real-life desires, so Carter could be forgiven for missing this signal despite a clear memory of watching the movie with her curled up against him, grinding on him in a way he thought at the time was inadvertent but now is beginning to rethink. Okay, I changed my mind, maybe Carter is a little bit oblivious after all, just like Kane.
"If you won't take opportunities right in front of you," Mister Morgan continues, "you won't go far in PATH. It's not often you're going to get forced into following your instincts at gunpoint. And look what waiting got you? Practically scooped by a rival, just like what would happen in the real world."
His mother pulls off the cock again. "Now honey, we didn't bring him in here for a lecture." Like she'd often done, interceding when Dad got a little too hard. Perhaps that was her whole purpose, in more ways than one.
"No, but he's always needed a little bit of a push to get going, and I need him to know that we can't afford that anymore. It's not just his future at stake here, Kay." His eyes lock on his son's. "You're just lucky your dead-end sister did half the work for you, so all we need now is damage control. Cut off their juvenile escape plan off at the knees and start to train Aisha properly."
Carter feels his heart pounding, harder than last night and not as pleasantly, but keeps his face neutral. He's good at that, while he tries to think of exactly how to respond. The right answer to that still hadn't come... but his first instinct is to call his parents monsters, to threaten to expose them. He just isn't sure it's the smartest play. Maybe the best thing would be to pretend to play along until he can get his sisters to safety.
"Defiance?" his father says with a raised eyebrow. "Huh, didn't know you had it in you. You really hate me right now." He laughs. "You're probably thinking of finding some way to help them. That's good. That can be worked with." Next comes a softer, smugger smile. "Now a little confusion. I don't think he's picked up on it yet."
An AR display springs into existence in front of him, a picture of a brain, sections highlighted, annotated with text descriptions of emotional state. "What?"
"You didn't think PATH would put something in your head you could potentially turn against them, did you? Without data mining the hell out of it?" The display shifts, and now the text indicates the confusion giving way and a rising amount of despair that seems to fall just behind what he actually feels. But then, there's always latency.
His mom stands up, naked and seemingly shameless about it, moves to stroke Carter's face despite him flinching away. "It's okay honey. We've always wondered what was going on in that head of yours. And now we know."
Not exactly, of course. Gross emotional states, sure, that was easy enough. Physiological indicators like heart rate, blood pressure, likewise. Some sensory pickups if it becomes relevant. But detailed analysis of thought, the holy grail of monitoring, would require a full logistical yottabyte AI devoting a significant portion of time to analysis, and such AIs are highly illegal since the Japan Event. Carter knows that, but he also knows that humans can be simple creatures, and real time monitoring of someone's emotions combined with the context is often enough for a good degree of analysis and the control that derives from it. "Which is why any thoughts you have of rebellion are pointless," Carter's father tells him. "They'll only get your sisters hurt, in the end. Let me run you through the scenarios."
A screen blooms in the air, of Becky lying on top of Aisha, and you can clearly see a fake cock penetrating the little girl's pussy as well as a hand over her mouth. It must have been taken on another night, or earlier that same one. "You can try to go public, pin this on us somehow. Except there's no evidence for any of your allegations, while there is evidence for Becky raping Aisha..." The scene is now replaced by one much more recent, with Carter smacking Aisha's ass. "And you joining in. You go to jail, Becky goes to juvenile detention, which is by some measures worse, Aisha stays with us, her spirit broken. We both lose, but you lose more."
Carter just swallows.
"Say you three try to run away together. Romantic, impractical notion. You'll have to choose whether to never see them again or fear your implants lead you right to them. Which they will, but they're not our only means of tracking you. They've probably got a better chance with you than without you, frankly, but neither are very good odds. These girls are like hothouse flowers. Beautiful, but fundamentally weak and useless... taken out of our environment they just won't be able to cope. They'll be having panic attacks the moment they step out of the building, if you manage to get that far, and... you really think they're going to survive out there on their own? No actual job skills and on the run? So, again, you two get locked up, Aisha stays with us, with an outside chance of one or all of you dying thanks to some psychotic gang member before we manage to bring you back. We'd rather avoid that, and I hope you care about this family enough to do the same."
"And we do care about this family, Carter," his mother says sweetly. "We love you. All of you. We're your parents. We just know what's best. It's a tough world, and if you don't have a safe path you'll live in misery, if you live at all."
"I wasn't finished," dear old Dad says, and Kaylee lowers her eyes, as though guilty for speaking without permission. Outsiders might expect, because she kept her maiden name she was strong and independent, but they would be wrong. "We still need to disabuse him of the other options he might think he has. You can kill us, after all, Carter. You're too smart to go for it right now, but you might try to find a way to do it when we're not expecting." He nods, as though reading something in Carter's emotions and is bizarrely pleased. "Yeah, you've got that in you, maybe. Except then, you lose again. The priority access codes for your brain go to someone else on the PATH board. You can't kill all of them, and they'll be extremely invested in anything that might be a threat. With those, they'll figure out what you did pretty quickly, shut you down and repossess the gear, and as for your sisters... they become assets to be ruthlessly exploited. Use what they can use, cut the rest, and with no one giving a damn about their future. Right now we're guiding Aisha on a path like your mom's had... helping her, believe it or not. She could grow up wielding eroticism and submissiveness like a weapon. Like one of the old geishas." He smirks. "It's not cultural appropriation anymore if the culture's been wiped out by a mass of poorly programmed machines, right?"
A thoroughly inaccurate view of the geisha, who were more performers and artists than sexual playthings, and as for the AIs, significantly limited understanding regarding them as well... but it paints a picture. "You can't want that for Aisha..." Carter says, finally, more out of foolish, desperate hope than any real belief.
"It's not a bad life, and she'll enjoy it. Won't she?" He looks to his wife.
Kaylee nods. "If she's been properly trained, with an anchor on someone she loves and trusts. Training might be hard, but once she gets over it, she can know true freedom, exploring her deepest desires and those of important people." She steps up close to her son, again seemingly not caring at all that she is naked. Carter, though, is very aware, and she is aware of his awareness. "It's amazing what you can do when you have no shame," she breathes, and gently takes her son's hand and presses it to her pussy, getting it slick and gooey with her own wetness... maybe her father's too, if they also fucked before the blowjob Carter interrupted. "It's amazing how useful tools girls like us can be... keeping people off-balance with arousal. Using our bodies to make deals that couldn't otherwise be made unless someone's vulnerable and flooded with bonding hormones. Or even just listening to the secrets they discuss when we're forgotten about because they see us as just a useful fuck, and once we're covered in their cum they stop thinking about us." She smiles. "There's a kind of power in all of that."
"There is," Dad agrees. "Your little sister might not have business savvy, but she could still use those skills and rise to a respectable position in PATH as a corporate Face alongside her mom. Because we care. We're your parents, for heaven's sake, while we're here, we want the best for you, want you to reflect well on us. With us out of the picture... well... you're only as good as your last job, and as for Aisha... the difference between a whore and a geisha is one's a lot cheaper to create and you don't have to worry about her happiness."
Carter's limp hand is still in his mother's control, and now she pulls it up to her mouth where she sucks on a finger, licking her own juices off. She grins like a child who's been given a candy. "And you want our family to be a happy family, right?"
"You stand to be happiest of all, Carter. Play ball, win Aisha from your sister, and you get a personal fucktoy to train up and all the benefits that go along with it. Two, if you manage to fully break Becky too. I suspect she's a lost cause--our bad, we let her get too rebellious, but, hey, prove me wrong and you get a mini harem. You'll even be able to fuck your mother now and then... degrade her any way your heart desires... but you'll have to earn that privilege." He goes back to an arrogant smirk as though discovering something that confirms long-held suspicions. "It isn't just your anger that shines through, boy, I can see how much all that appeals to you. No sense denying it. Kay will always be mine, but I share, on occasion. Aisha can be yours. You'll have to share too, occasionally, but I don't think that's a dealbreaker. No. In fact, I think, maybe, deep down, you'd prefer to watch and direct her encounters."
Carter's eyes flick back and you didn't need the implants in his head to see his face coloring... what they do reveal is that, although some of it is rage, shame and arousal share space with that thought. "Don't be ashamed. You get that from me, after all. There's nothing quite so invigorating as watching a scene that you made happen, a scene that would never have happened otherwise. That's true power, to manipulate the world with an indirect hand, and getting our rocks off to it, that's the spur that motivates us. One day, people like us are going to be running PATH, running the world... quietly and without credit, delaying gratification if necessary until the gratification is top tier. No one will stop us because no one who wants to resist will know where the true power lies." His eyes practically gleam with cocky assurance of his destiny, then he loses the far-away look. "But a little direct action can be enjoyable too... you need to get good at it, to know when to use it... in fact, to earn your right to the shadows. This is as much training for you as it is for your sisters. But I think you're up to it, and judging by last night you'll enjoy it." He shrugs. "So you hate me, for now. All kids hate their parents at some point. You'll grow out of it. And until then, you'll do your duty for the family, because you don't have any choice. Well, you have one last choice, I guess. The company's got a lot invested in your head. So, if you want, if you're too weak to help with what needs to be done, I'll let you walk away... from us, that is, you've still got a contract to uphold. But I'll arrange to have you transferred to a small PATH subsidiary, and you can use your mundane talents and waste your life. As long as you don't make waves or try and interfere, you can be comfortable... you'll never rise up to the real power players, of course, but with what you've got, you won't be out on the streets, at least. I'll see to your sisters' futures myself, and you can tell yourself you only did what you did because you were forced. So, what's it going to be? Do you want to be a real player, or do you want to be someone who gets played?"
He is tempted, but only for a moment. Most people, in a bad situation, or witnessing a bad situation happening to someone else, when the only choices are to be a monster yourself or get eaten, will be tempted to just walk away and pretend it's not happening. Hearing his father run through the same type of cost-benefit analysis he did the previous night disgusts him, and would probably disgust Becky even more, but in the end, he can't find fault with his any more than hers. This last offer was almost an insult itself... sure, it's freedom, but couched more like his parents just thought of Carter as a tool that might be useful for fucking his sisters. And like any tool, like Becky's own, no matter how attached they might be to him, they are willing to toss him aside if he won't do the job properly, not with malice but just with disinterest. And Carter knows if he's tossed aside, he loses any power to help. He grits his teeth, but decides, like with Becky, playing along until he came up with a better plan, seemed to be his only play. Only this time he's a lot less excited. "What do I do?"
His father smiles, like he's already won. "That's your call. But you need to get that recording out of Becky's hands, that's job one. Your implants should help you there. And take her gun and that little stash of digital cash she's stored away so she knows how fruitless running away is. Aisha's pretty much already halfway where we need her thanks to her, so I don't see her giving you much trouble. She already enjoys sex and being dominated, just be forceful and uncompromising. Sure, she might be mad at you for a while, but take control of her sexual enjoyment with a firm loving hand and she'll respond, I promise you. If she gets stubborn, there are a few drugs we can get you to keep her aroused but frustrated until you choose to release her, but we'd prefer to do this the natural way first, the time-honored techniques. You can practice on your mother if you're not confident in how to behave. She looks great in leather." He switches the virtual screens to what appears to be a live view of Becky at her classroom a few floors down... she isn't doing anything particularly interesting, just laughing at something with a friend, but Carter takes the implied signal about how easy it is for his father to watch them at any time. He also wonders if she is wearing her fake cock under the school uniform. She's chosen pants rather than a skirt, and it could be tucked in to one of the legs.
"Now Becky," their father continues, after they watch for a few seconds, "she's a harder nut to crack. That damned rebellious streak. If she just had a little more talent to back it up, she could have gone far, but instead she wastes her life out of spite. I don't know how to get through to her. She is pretty attached to that cock though, and you can control how and if she uses it. Could be a good lever. Or, if nothing else, she might fall into line with threats of you doing worse to Aisha. If you go that route, make sure to make the link clear... Aisha's only getting whipped or her orgasms denied, or whatever you decide to use as the stick, because Becky isn't being cooperative. If you do that right, Aisha'll blame her sister, not you. There is one thing, though." He waits, patiently, until Carter looks him in the eyes. It takes almost half a minute. "They hear nothing of me and your mother being involved. As far as they're concerned, you took this action on your own--for their well-being or just because you're a bastard, I don't care. They can think we're negligent, missing all the signs or not believing them and allowing them to get abused, but I don't want them to know we're actively involved. I'm sure you're thinking right now of rebelling against this command, just because." He is, of course, but on his father's part this is just a lucky guess. "I'd advise against it. For one thing because you'll never really be sure that's not what I wanted all along. But more importantly, it will show I can't trust you, and if I can't trust you, you'll stop having a say. You'll get moved out and I'll take over. Or hire someone to take over... I'm still really keen on Aisha one day begging me to fuck her without ever having to lay a finger on her myself. That's some top tier gratification I'm after and you're not going to ruin it for me. I've written off one kid, I can write off two." His eyes flick to the side, as though checking a private AR screen. "He's still pissed at me, Kay. Why don't you give him a blowjob to cheer him up."
Carter steps back, although only after his mother kneels naked in front of him and reaches up to fondle the bulge in his pants. "No!" he says, but his cock does respond and he knows that both of his parents know it. "Look, I'll... I'll do what you want, but... don't try and make me happy about it."
His mom pouts, looking up to him almost like she was younger than him and disappointed he wouldn't play. His father shakes his head with fake sadness underlaced with amusement. "Look, now you went and hurt your mother's feelings. Don't worry, honey, I'm sure he just wants to feel powerful when he uses you for the first time. He's probably going to sulk a little like a baby for a while." He shrugs, stands, back turned from Carter to look at another private screen. "So, go on, sulk about it. Compliance is all we ask, for now. And we'll know if you try anything, and you know that we know, so... you'll do the right thing."
"The offer's open when you change your mind," his mother says, getting to her feet, and then she too turns her back to him while walking back to his father, but she does it looking over her shoulder and, using her husband as a support bends down to show off her tight but pleasingly round ass. "If you're still mad, you can even spank mommy to feel better." She giggles a little, and Carter can see his father turn his head and there's mirth in his eyes at well, and knows they are laughing at his own arousal.
He stares at them, letting the anger build, until his father sees it, sobers up, and turns back to him, maybe worried about pushing too far. "Fine, it's the wrong day for it. And you should be working anyway... getting Becky's blackmail material and escape plan off the board is job one, before any of the fun stuff begins. You're dismissed." As he turns to go, his father employs that classic power move of calling him back for one last thing to say. "But Carter... you will come to like it, your role. One day you'll thank me for giving you the freedom to be the self you always wanted. I know it's hard to imagine. I was idealistic like you once... then I grew up. You will too."
Carter doesn't have a response, not in words, just a private thought (or one he thinks to be private anyway), a promise to himself that he will find a way to turn the tables on his father, get real freedom for himself and his sisters. He doesn't yet know how, but he does know the limits of what emotion reading can do, how you can't truly pull out intention from feelings, not to mention his own abilities to tamp down emotions. He could use that, bury his feelings, outwardly become the robot self his sister Becky had sometimes mocked before he even got the implants. He would have to betray his sisters, he knows, but maybe it'll only be temporary until he can reveal that he was on their side after all, all along, playing a role, working on a plan.
And yet... he does genuinely feel a shameful, dirty arousal at the opportunity his father offers, to have both Aisha and Becky serving his every sexual whim, and at the knowledge that even his unformed plan will require him to indulge that fantasy for a while. At first he suppresses it, but then he lets himself enjoy the thought, knowing it would be watched, telling himself it would lure his parents into a false sense of security.
His father, for his part, probably knows that Carter isn't fully on board, yet, but has confidence that he would be, that temptations would corrupt his intentions as it had so many others.
This Is Also Not The End.
[[So how does this conflict play out? Alas, there are some pieces of information fatally lacking, you can't know whether someone will follow through on their intentions or become the monster they once thought they might slay. Fiction gives us a plethora of neat endings, and we have become attached to that, but as Becky might say, "Fuck Attachments." For real stories, sometimes outside forces intervene and choice is taken from us, the struggle started here between Carter and his parents could as easily end when one side is taken out by plague or vehicular homicide unrelated to the other, and the surviving party must make do with the epic conflict that they thought would define their life simply goes away. Reality can intervene in the strangest ways, and it's not always by the invisible hand of the corporate overlords.]]
[[Which brings us to the final tale I have for you.]]
This story is free to share and distribute so long as no money is charged.
If you liked this story, please provide feedback:
More Stories by AnonyMPC