Copyright© 2002, by Carlos Malenkov
They call me the king of erotic sf, the guy who can write a spicy, rollicking space opera in the grand old tradition, complete with intelligent-but-virile hero raging through the spaceways with raging hormones. Yeah, I write 'em -- the multi-book contracts and even occasional awards roll in -- but I can't seem to live 'em. My own sex life is a mess, or maybe nonexistent would be more accurate. You see, I'm still, well, inexperienced at the advanced age of 35. That's me, Gorman "Virgin" Varagian.
Sit me opposite a nice-looking woman in a restaurant and I begin to stammer, and sooner or later spaghetti sauce drips down my shirtfront. Take me to a dance and propel me into the welcoming arms of a waiting partner and I step on her toes and stumble all over myself. Push me under the covers with a hot-and-horny soft-and-curvy female and I fall out of bed. In short, socially inept. Incompetent. The complete boob. Helpless. Hopeless.
Biff Poltroon smashed through the shattered entryway armor into the bunker. No one left standing, though the smoke made hard to be certain even with his helmet visor set on infrared/illuminate. Blast-AutoRifle at ready, he scanned the formless shapes on the cracked plastiment floor. There! In the corner something had moved. Curiosity won out, and Biff held himself back from flash-beaming it to make sure it stayed dead. He approached and gingerly prodded the body with the bayonet on his B-AR. It was still among the living, or rather, she was. The soot-smeared uniform had colonel's insignia, but that was one pretty female inhabiting it. There was a spatter of blood, but nothing life-threatening. Then she opened her eyes, and he bitterly regretted admiring the twin cones of her tunic-clad breasts. She was pointing a recoil-pistol directly at him.
So, I finally resign myself to spending the rest of my life alone, with no one to spend my royalty checks on. And what happens? At a book signing I was starting to doze off while some or other local dipshit droned on about what an honor it was to have me there. Some honor. Suppressing a yawn, I pulled out my trusty old ballpoint and looked up at the line of fans holding copies of "Ravished Planet," and... BOING. She was looking me right in the eye. I recognized that look, boy did I ever. This dame wasn't just after my signature on her book flyleaf, she wanted my signature on her bod.
Fire engine-red hair and an out-of-fashion voluptuous, yes, zaftig build. Dangerous curves ahead. My type. Yes, definitely.
So I signed her book. "To a very special reader, a reader I could relate to..." And I managed to slip one of my business cards between the pages, a card that unfortunately lacked the phone number of my hotel room. That earned me a toothy smile and a wink from her. And her hand did something I couldn't quite follow as I was already getting ready to sign the book of the next fan in line.
The explosion rocked the walls and pulverized much of the ceiling. Those asshole artillery jocks playing around again! Smoke and dust made it hard to breathe. Coughing, Biff looked over at where the colonel had been threatening him with a lethal weapon. He could still see in the actinic-UV band. Her head and arms were protruding from a heap of rubble. Heaving up the roof beam that had landed on her, he dragged her out. She was unconscious, but seemed otherwise uninjured, except for cuts and bruises. Damn, but these genetically modified humans were tough. Her r-pistol was nowhere in sight, and neither was the only exit from the bunker. They were sealed in. Entombed.
There was a room key rattling around in my shirt pocket, and it wasn't mine. I had a hunch its owner had red hair.
Wiping the sweat off my brow, I walked down the hall on the thirteenth floor. "Gory Gorman never runs from a challenge," I kept repeating under my breath. Dammit, I hated the nickname "Gory." It was what my childhood tormentors used to taunt me with when I'd turn down a dare. "Gory, Gory, 'fraid he'll be sorry." It was why I've landed in deep doodoo so often in my adult life. Crazy courage -- that was what I was about. "I won't run. Not this time. Not even if I can't get it up again."
There it was, directly in front of me. The door to room 1313. The doorway to my fate. I raised my hand to knock. There I stood, frozen, hand poised in midair. The hand unclenched and slowly sank back down to my side. I couldn't do it. I had to do it. There were voices approaching. I held my breath and pounded on the door.
"If it's the famous author, use the key. Hello?" Her strong contralto came through the locked door in clear, bell-like tones. The voices were closer. I inserted the key.
Biff gave up after an hour of attempting to dig through the rock and dirt blocking the entrance. Damn. If he only had a lepton disintegrator. But those babies weren't standard issue for Hegemony paramarines.
Nothing left to try but to awaken the colonel. Maybe she could come up with a bright idea. Those G-mods reportedly had an average IQ of over 300. The women anyhow. They were the thinkers and problem solvers. The men, stored in creches for reproductive purposes, were considerably stupider, only in the 180 range. Maybe you didn't need all that much brainpower to get it up and stick it in.
Colonel Whoever was already awake. No more nonsense with waving around dangerous toys. She must have figured out that they were both in the same fix, and had to either find a way out or die together.
She was wearing a silk wrapper, an elegant, expensive-looking robe that matched the color of her hair. Then I was inside the circle of her arms and that expensive-looking robe lay in an inelegant heap on the floor.
She toppled me over backward onto a plush king-size bed, and climbed on top, rubbing her bare nipples against my chest. I barely had time to notice that the covers had been pulled back. She had been expecting me all along.
Here I was with a ready and all too willing woman lying on me, and of course I went soft. Impotent, as usual. Nature's little joke that had preserved my virginity for so long.
.... There is more of this story ...