Purgatory's Children
Chapter 1

Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Science Fiction, Oral Sex,

Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - #1 Abandoned centuries ago by the legendary spacemen, the denizens of the sealed underground city of the Temperdis struggle to survive. The rumor of the spacemen's return and dangerous developments at the bottom of the hole set a chain of events in motion that will lead either to the death or to the redemption of the Temperdis. Unbeknownst to a young man, Benni, he is in the center of the maelstrom.

"O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall."

The Divine Comedy, Purgatorio XII

Benni slipped a large piece of scribbled-on cardboard over the unfinished document as soon as he heard the bell. Master Yasher had already stepped away from his tiny desk, eased down the false wall to hide their equipment, and brought out his needle gun. They were not expecting any clients or visitors today, and none were particularly welcome. They had jobs on deadline to finish

The sound of cloth rubbing against the plastmore walls warned them that their visitor was big of shoulder and, therefore, probably male. Since neither tiny desk was visible from the doorway, for good reason, they had to wait for the target to appear. Benni, who couldn't afford a projectile weapon, let the six inch throwing blade that was his preferred weapon slide down to the palm of his hand. They both waited.

"Benni," a young male voice called before coming around the corner, "it's me, Tuto!"

Tuto was as big and dumb as they come. His ebony skin always gleamed, even through the dirt and grime. His natty hair was always full of bits of detritus, and his smile was missing a few teeth. He survived the Temperdis because he delivered messages with valuable single mindedness. His lack of understanding of the content of most messages was even more valuable. He was mentally weak and inhumanly strong, and he made it work for himself.

Master Yasher put away his gun and retook his seat but didn't reveal the hidden wall. Benni let his knife fall back into its sheath as he held up his forearm in a gesture of welcome. "Yo, Tuto. It safe-be for you. What've you got?"

"Safe-be good," Tuto said to himself aloud as he came around the corner with his hands clearly visible in front of him. Benni gave him a nod, and Tuto reached into his tunic, withdrawing a grey packet from his belly. It was a good place because it kept the document safe, and it added another layer of protection from a knife thrust. Tuto was stupid, but not so stupid.

"Upstairs man needs paper," Tuto said as he handed over the packet. Benni extracted a paper with the large words "Sewer Authority" across the top.

"Just what we wished for." Master Yasher grumbled. "Another shit tube in the Temperdis."

Benni maintained a subservient demeanor before his master. Although Yasher spouted social commentaries and condemnations of the evils that Upstairs plied upon the Temperdis, he also accepted their slugs without hesitation. To Benni, Yasher was more than a survivor of the Temperdis. He was a success, and Benni craved success also.

Nonetheless, Benni kept his ambitions in check in front of his master; he only had a inkling of what could set the man off and end Benni's nascent career.

A few of the Upstairs documents that Benni and his master created were legal, but most were forgeries. To complete a usable forgery, the document had to be embedded with the proper stamps, foil, and seals: a master's craft to be sure. The good people Upstairs knew that Yasher was a prominent craftsman. Well, they would if they had known Yasher's name. But, as with things that pass between the Temperdis below and Upstairs, layers of secrecy were the only protection from the Enforcers. Benni was the name to know on the maze of streets because that was one of the conditions of his apprenticeship. In the Temperdis, those who needed a document asked Benni, the apprentice. He would relay the request to the master, but no one was quite sure who that was. Despite the risk, the apprenticeship had been a great coup for Benni and lucrative, too.

Tuto knew, but he was smart enough for Benni and Master Yasher to trust. Go figure.

The packet jiggled with slugs, the flat, round plain-metal disks that passed for currency in the Temperdis. No one paid by digital Downstairs because the transaction could be traced. The slugs were not a method of keeping the hordes of the Temperdis down in their holes and away from the good people above. The slugs were the choice of the denizens of the Temperdis. It kept what they did and what they had from the spying eyes and ears above. It helped keep the Enforcers out.

There were money changers who processed the exchange between digital and slug, but that line of work was even more dangerous. Master Yasher had a bug zapper on the frame of the door and a bolt hole out the back in case the zapper and his weapon failed to do its job. But money changers used body guards, runners, back tracers to cover their tracks, and mobile offices to stay one step ahead of the Enforcers. The money was good, but their life expectancy wasn't very long. They did know how to throw a good party though.

Benni pulled a pouch out of the packet, counted out fifty slugs, and announced his tally. The count was high, higher than necessary, which meant that speed was requested. Yasher opened the lid to his desk and pulled out a blank form of the same type as the original Benni had removed from the pouch.

"Two hours."

Tuto nodded with his big grin and ran for the door with earnest anticipation. "Going to outer space!" he crooned, which meant that he would get paid today, and he could drink tonight. Benni felt like matching his grin because he now had enough to pay the rent a week early. Now all he needed was a fuck bunny. And Dember. He hadn't heard from his heart-friend that morning, and had gone so far as to pay two slugs to a seeker to track him down.

A heart-friend was the most precious commodity in all of the Temperdis. The pledge was not mere words, but a bond-tested trust built over years and often from childhood. No priority was greater than a heart-friend. Even if Master Yasher were to threaten him to end his apprenticeship, Benni would rush to the aid of Dember. Failing to come to the aid of a heart-friend was as calamitous as one's own death

Benni tucked away his dread and turned his thoughts back to business.

Since Sewer Authority exemption passes were not high-risk documents, Benni had to put away his own work and create the document himself. The skill level was low, and the tedious placement of the security seals meant a long stretch with a comp and micro lenses. Still, with a cut of five slugs for an unexpected job, he wasn't complaining.

An hour and a half later, he placed the completed certificate on his master's desk for review. As he waited for his master's approval, Benni began to clean up his desk and wipe down the equipment which he then returned to the hidden niche. He still had to sweep the little room and clean the skylight, which let in little natural light from far above, but did bring in light from grow lamps which mimic the daylight cycle above.

Master Yasher arose and locked his desk. "I have business elsewhere. Seal the door after Tuto comes for his package."

Benni grunted quietly in acknowledgement for the master had little use for conversation. No complaint from the master meant he had found no mistakes. Benni was sure that Yasher was off to sell the information that there would be more shit coming down a new pipeline. Benni would not attempt to exploit the information himself. It was valuable data to someone and nothing went to waste in the Temperdis, but no one deceived their master unless he was ready to kill him.

Tuto returned right on time. He must have been waiting somewhere near although Benni couldn't fathom where. Space was a premium in the Temperdis, and there were no places to loiter, at least not without paying for it.

Benni saw Tuto out and then flipped on the security apparatus. If anyone actually succeeded in breaching the door, a self destruct sequence would be initiated that would incinerate everything in the room including the intruder. Such devices were standard procedure in business offices, rendering most break-ins futile, and it had the added benefit of discouraging "search and seizure" by Enforcers. When he heard the snick of four rods securing the door deeply into the frame of the building, Benni turned towards one of the main corridors, and away from the local taverns and expensive fun-bunny houses.

The traffic was light; he was able to see plastmore even three paces in front of him. The two men guarding the entrance to the commerce zone gave him a once over and a barely perceptible nod, indicating that the nothing obviously bad was approaching. The Enforcers had slammed a pharma factory on the same level yesterday, and everyone was a bit wary still. Despite the jitters, the main corridor on Level 5 was crowded as usual because it was one of the few routes that traversed most of the Temperdis from side to side. If one were to look up (one didn't do that because no one wanted to get trampled or have his throat slit), he would see gaps where light from Upstairs penetrated down to the gritty plastmore underfoot. Level 5 was a transitional level with some elements borrowed from above and others from below. Sometimes Level 4 above overhung the walkway in tomblike embrace and other times the same "ceiling" was raised several levels allowing light to shine in the windows and make regular patterns on the walls. Such windows must have been an extraordinary extravagance, far beyond the wages of the likes of Benni.

There were no direct paths anywhere making the concourses a nightmare for the Enforcers. Maybe the floor plan had been deliberate; no one knew anymore.

Perhaps four people could walk abreast in one of the main corridors. Usually the older residents and those with their hands full walked near the wall, even though it was more dangerous as far as knifings, muggings, and pick pocketings were concerned. It beat being run over by everyone else. Usually people who were carrying a burden didn't walk alone, instead relying on an escort to watch for them. Benni steered himself closer to the wall because he needed time to consider which of his errands was more desperate at the moment.

As he passed cross-streets, hawkers and scammers called out their wares or services. Anything could be had if one knew where to go: from blast packs to body parts, from fish eggs to fantasy tabs. However, what was available here near the corridors was of the worst quality. For fine goods, one had to find the bodegas and kiosks far from the thoroughfares that one could only get to with a pass. There a man with slugs to spill could buy the best stuff: drugs, liquor, women, or whatever else was desired.

The only thing one couldn't purchase was an exit to Upstairs, the surface of the planet. Even for those fortunate, strong or clever enough to live on Level 1, there was no hope of freedom above. What is the opposite of hope? Whatever it is, it increased with each level plunging downward. Unless the fabled, ancient spacemen were to return to liberate them from their hole, they would remain here forever.

Distracted by his thoughts, Benni belatedly dodged a beggar on his right who had reached out from a side alley where a scabby man had been sitting in his stinking rags. Benni shifted his hips to the left to avoid the grasping beggar on his right. At the same moment, a woman passing him on his left slipped a hand into one of the many pockets on his pants.

Benni had an instant to act. The throwing knife on his left forearm slid into his hand with the tip pointing backwards. Using an underhand motion, he sliced upwards hoping to slash the arm of his thief from side to side rather than up the arm. If he were lucky he would catch a ligament near the elbow rendering the forearm and hand useless. He felt bone and grinned.

With a scream of pain from the woman in front of him, the three slugs which had been in the picked pocket jingled to the ground. The money was gone for sure. Now Benni faced a thief who was armed and wounded. He had learned by experience that there were few things more dangerous than a wounded adversary in the corridors.

Seeing with only his peripheral vision he swung from his left back towards the center to attack with a smooth motion before she could strike with her remaining good arm. Benni slashed at the woman's jugular. His right hand came around with his other knife to strike again, but it wasn't necessary. A spray of arterial blood showed that he had struck true. The woman went down, with eyes bulging and limbs twitching.

Benni took a full minute to scavenge the body as the blood spread in an ever widening pool. He slashed open pockets and emptied their contents. He found a small sack inside her pants, which jingled like slugs. He took one glance at her face, taking in the oozing sores of a Dream Awake addict, and stood up to continue on his route. Only an addict would have been desperate enough to pickpocket in a concourse at the height of the evening rush. The beggar was no where to be seen, as if he would have been stupid enough to hang around.

Benni was pleased. For a moment's bother, he had made a tidy sum. In five minutes the body and all traces of the encounter would be gone. Her bones would probably be ground for fertilizer by morning. Not that he was worried. Enforcers let Temperdis folk kill each other to their heart's content.

Rumor said that Upstairs paid well for long hair from Temperdis people because it was so fine and undamaged by the sun. However, Benni had no intention of testing that theory by harvesting this pickpocket's hair. Body part purveyors were bottom feeders as far as most people were concerned. Organs were for sale to the sick and wounded. Pharma factories bought blood and tissue, and hydro and fish farms needed fertilizer. Nothing went to waste and no dead body needed a final resting place.

Because of the bustling market for bodies, denizens of the Temperdis liked to walk only in crowded corridors where a person wasn't likely to be snatched, or if a person were taken, the chances were it would probably happen to someone else.

Benni scratched his scalp he remembered the way her hair spread out, soaking in her blood. He kept his hair short for the simple reason of not wanting to give anyone something to grab. Short hair kept one's head on one's shoulders as far as he was concerned.

The rumbling of his stomach finally decided the question of where he needed to go next; the priority was food. Benni stepped into the middle of the corridor and speeded up. He caught an open staircase leading up to Level 3. With extra slugs in hand, Benni decided a special meal was in order. In the Temperdis, no one cooked in their living space. Living space was for sleeping and fucking. He stepped into a side street and stopped at the Tail Fin, a tavern that was reputed to have thick chunks of honest meat, real bread, and better drink.

Leaving his hands open and palms up for the doorman to see, he waited for the bouncer to wave him in. With his free hand, the door man rubbed his fingers together indicating that Benni had to prove he could pay before he entered. When Benni counted up to five slugs in his palm, the doorman waved him in. The other hand, the one the bouncer hadn't been gesturing with, clutched a deadman's switch attached to a stick of plastic explosive. Bennie was pleased to see the expected protection taken for the patrons.

The girl at the window flirted with him for a moment while the cook stirred the mixture in the pot, adding something that Benni didn't recognize and probably didn't want to know. The girl shook her breasts a few more times for his enjoyment, knowing she was perfectly safe behind the window. The cook mumbled something, and the show was over. Benni exchanged his five slugs for a bowl of rich stew, a hunk of bread, and a tall glass of sour beer.

By habit he chose a corner, putting two walls at his back. He ate slowly, enjoying every bite of the mystery meat and the vegetables. Every stool was taken, but the place wasn't crowded yet; no one was standing. Benni figured that part of his tab guaranteed that he got a seat, unlike his usual haunts. He sopped up the last of the yellow gravy with his bread and washed down the meal with the last half of his beer. With a great belch to announce that he was done, Benni left his dishes at the other window and made his way back to the street.

It was time to find his heart-friend.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Science Fiction / Oral Sex /