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Using sex to get what you want is okay, if what you want is sex.

- Candy

 

20 Days Later - Megacles - Small Town Bar

I’m in a small town bar, 26 days into the Summer of Darkness. I’m a local hero for getting the internet up and going.

I rode into town a few hours ago, stopped at the bar and started playing on my phone. I suffered some mockery (because phones don't work anymore), but not too much (because I'm cute). I sassed back for a bit before I told them that I brought some signal. This caused jeers, then silence, then cheers. Then lots, and lots, of beers.

It was my usual routine:

  1. Use my phone as a wifi hotspot in a bar.
  2. Use the transponder on my bike to relay the signal to the transponder I left in the last town.
  3. Get a bunch of drunks to notice the wifi and download the necessities to join the network.
  4. Have my drunken minions recruit their friends and neighbours.
  5. Once there are enough joiners to establish contact with the last town without the transponder, pack up and move to the next town.
  6. Slowly build an internet bridge all the way to my house in the country.

I was on step 4½ right now - getting drunk with my appreciative minions. As always, it was a weird, stuttering affair. Boisterous partying interspersed with quiet reading, as old news filtered through the crowd.

The first piece of old news is the blackout will last another 2 months. The second is the Darkness caused it to win a war game. The third is she lost anyway.

She tore the asshole out of the country's infrastructure, painted the entire army red, kept Red Team completely unseen, and stormed the President’s house.

“Does this mean I'm President?” she asked Mr President.

“Dee,” said Mr President, “You’re scaring people. We were supposed to make them feel safe.”

A day later the Darkness conceded the game. To men covered in red paint.

I'm relieved that the game ended without any casualties. Probably. A few clerks at the National Spying Agency died the first day of the game. Probably unrelated. Fucking weird though.

A shooting was reported at their main data center, but when the police arrived there was no shooter and no victims. Instead they were ambushed by a group of Spy Agency clerks, who took their guns and started shooting their coworkers.

Their rampage was cut short by another ambush, from another group of clerks, armed only with guts and ninja skills. When the dust settled, both groups were dead. No one could explain why it happened. Apparently, it was just a normal day and then everybody got super lethal. None of the spy data was lost, stolen, or copied. None of the instigators left evidence of why they did it. None of the defenders were known to have ninja skills. The National Spying Advisor could not be found for questioning. It turns out no one had seen him since his public breakdown a month earlier. His absence had not been reported. He is still missing, with no leads.

Anyway, it was fucking weird. No one knows what to do about it. Frankly, people are too busy to worry about it. The Darkness just kicked the shit out of the military and no one knows how. The economy is in a death spiral. Our jury rigged auxiliary power systems don’t have enough juice for a hot shower. On the other hand, there's no more cancer, we’re taking a swing at world peace, and we got our virtual fucking back on.

The blackout has derailed the status quo. Many corporations and government agencies are not going to survive it. For example, the telecom and internet giants. They could have set up an emergency internet, but they couldn’t figure out how to get paid for it, so they didn’t bother. So, an emergency internet was set up without them, and now people realize they don’t need a telecom provider anymore. Their revenue has dried up, their stock has tanked, and they can no longer afford their political protection. They’re fucked.

The electric companies are doomed too. Most people have some solar back-up, from their cars if nowhere else. It’s let the country keep rolling. Not well, or fast, but rolling. Everybody is talking about doubling, or tripling, their solar array as soon as possible. It won’t be long till the grid is obsolete.

I guess these are good things, but if an internet provider could offer me service, I’d sign up right away. I miss Doc-Danger.

“Hello Megacles.”

I look up and see a very handsome stranger. He's got a broad grin and a black suit. Like a well adjusted James Bond. He lays a pint on my table.

“I brought you a beer. I hope you don't mind.” says Agent Happy.

“Uh, no. Not at all.” I say. I grab the beer and take a sip. I'm basically hiding behind it. Oblivion is one of the Four Gifts. Is this guy hitting on me? Or, is he just thanking me for the tech support? He's standing patiently by my table while I guzzle beer. I better say something charming.

“How do you know my name?” Fuck. That wasn't charming.

“Oh, I think everyone knows Megacles the Mighty.” he says, “But, I recognize you from Candy's Club.”

He’s egregiously handsome. Far beyond my needs. I feel like he should be saved for a more particular woman. Also, I hate rejection and am shitty at seducing people. In real life anyway.

Fuck it. I set out on the fine line between honesty and sexual intimidation. I wave for him to sit.

“You go to Candy's? In real life?” I ask.

“No, just virtually. It's an amazing spot. The technology coming out if there is unreal.” he says.

“Yeah, they’re pretty clever horndogs.” I say. “Is that why you know me? Are you an inventor?”

“No.” he says. “Actually, I was on the waitlist for a date with you.”

My face turns red. There's a waitlist to fuck me? That doesn't sound good. Wait! Why is he on it?

“I'm sorry, I have made you uncomfortable.” he says. “I'm terrible at this. Usually I just get drunk and wait for someone to take advantage of me.”

I laugh. “Well then, let me buy you a drink.”

We buy each other a few more beer. Our conversation limps shamefully. I'm bad at small talk, and he's not much help. In desperation, I start talking politics. We get some sparks, but good ones. Alcohol, attraction, and strong opinions make a fun argument.

I invite him out for a smoke. There's a few trees and picnic table behind the bar. He lifts the table, and places it among the trees, giving us some privacy. He's strong.

We smoke for a bit. I pull his head down to mine. He tastes good. I kneel down in the grass, open his belt.

I work him gently, and he spurts in my mouth. It's a little shocking. I can't remember the last time a man came in my mouth. He's all moany and weak. It's gratifying. I swallow. Why not?

I sit up. I'm not sure what's next. More drugs, perhaps? He lifts me onto the table, lays me back, lifts my dress, and returns the favor. Oblivion.

Now I'm all moany and weak. And sleepy. I forgot I'm riding a motorcycle, and now I'm too drunk to get to my hotel. Agent Happy whistles his car over, and tells it to take me wherever I want.

“Cool.” I pull him in after me. “Let's go to your place.”

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Doctor Zero

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