“You don’t think Doctor Who was banging all those chicks in the TARDIS over the years? Get real.”
“The Doctor doesn’t have sex, that I’ve ever seen.”
Sunday afternoon. Tulay lay back on the pillow, lithe arms behind her head and bare breasts enticing her lover to forget the topic of old sci-fi reruns. Worked like a charm, as always. Mustafa buried his bearded face in her chest, his desire growing palpably, and she stared over his dark shoulder at their own little time machine on the nightstand. Well, the company’s, not theirs…
He moved downward and now it was her turn to focus on the moment. The foreplay didn’t last long, but that was fine. She was used to it. “Did you remember to plug it in this time?”
He laughed and nodded, reaching up to hook a thick thumb under the band of her panties. She helped and soon they were crumpling the cheap cotton sheets. He flipped her over, his favorite position, she knew. That was fine, too; only she couldn’t see the device with her face indenting the mattress.
It wouldn’t be long now. “Get ready,” she whispered, clawing the pillow which was on the verge of falling off their small bed. He groaned and released inside his wife, slamming his palm onto the large copper button, the machine’s ignition. It took a few seconds to warm up, then it too released its stream of current into their bodies, hurling their minds backward. The counter was only set to a few seconds, landing them right back to where they’d just left--the point of orgasm.
“Get ready,” she huffed again, grinning on the inside at the effect of the relapse, as it was called. For it wasn’t precisely time travel, only a very limited version of it. The machine could send a person’s thoughts back to any prior point in their life, allowing one to relive that moment--while at the same time recalling their “future.” You couldn’t change your past actions, only feel and observe them from within. The inherent danger was developing a split personality, but Tulay had done the research and found the risk negligible.
Mustafa released inside her and hit the button, essentially extending their pleasure all over again. They did this thirty times, until a circuit tripped somewhere and the power cut out.
“It was a mistake,” he said, his legs twitching, an ice bag resting on his testicles. She grimaced and nodded, making a mental note to buy some jelly for next time.
He read this in her mind. “No, there can’t be a next time. The boss is already going to have my ass if he finds out.”
“He won’t; we’ll only check it out on the weekends.”
“Sometimes he comes in on the weekends!”
Tulay put her damp black hair back in a bun, detached the electrodes, and gingerly stood up to go take a shower. They’d picked a hot day to do this, and the A/C was off to save money. The company was on the verge of going public, but until then, researchers like herself were living check to check. And the checks were small.
Mustafa opened their tiny fridge and took out an Efes beer. He wasn’t paid to figure out applications for the device; he was just an experimental user. TEKRAR paid him a few thousand Turkish Lira a month for him to use the device as much as he wanted, but only in the controlled confines of the clinic so the results could be monitored. If they discovered he’d snuck it past Ali, the guard, they’d all be fired, at the least, and possibly jailed. Why he’d let Tulay talk him into this?
“Because the sex was incredible,” she answered from the toilet. “I had foreseen it.”
It had been, for sure. And after she’d begun her steamy shower, he hopped in with her, sore balls be damned.
TEKRAR’s taller-than-your-average-Turk Chief Financial Officer wasn’t interested in the science projects. Turan Akdeniz wanted cash, cash for cars, cash for his fancy new home overlooking the Bosphorus River, cash for women and gadgets, and more women.
And for shoes that fit his big rabbit feet.
He knew numbers; he didn’t know tech. But he paid persons to know that stuff, and one in particular, an ample-bosomed little brunette named Tulay, had been on his radar for some time. Unfortunately, the dumb piece of ass had done something silly and married a poor country kid three months ago. That didn’t put her out of his range, only made the challenge more complex. A math problem with an added variable. The solution was there, he only had to apply his mind a bit more.
And for that, there was the Mosquito.
Mosquitos--all the rage, to those with the income and proper contacts. Simple to transport, they kept inside their bodies all sorts of diseased cocktails one needed for a plethora of effects. His favorite bug was designed to enhance a user’s mental processes. There were side effects, as with any drug. Addiction was common. So were bloodshot eyes, bad breath, and a skewed sense of self-importance. Brain cancer, he’d read, was fairly frequent as well.
It was a Sunday, and nearly nightfall. He peered out of his dingy office window, which overlooked only one other floor of buildings. Akdeniz desperately wanted a high-rise office in Levent, the business district of Istanbul. For now he was stuck in Osmanbey and his view was of a hotel, a gold shop, and a meatball restaurant.
So he took his pricey little Russian bug’s container out of his office safe (the reason he’d come in to work in the first place) and placed it over the vein in his long hairy wrist, which was red and bubbly. Sliding the trap door open, he let the insect land and drink, resisting the urge to scratch the bite after. For that tiny bite would, within half an hour, give him a greater boost than several snorts of cocaine. And with that surge he’d put himself to the task of figuring out just how to end Tulay’s relationship, so he could have her all to himself. Just like the rest of the drug-addled sluts in his modern harem.
Well, they weren’t all for himself. He pimped out one or two of them, since he’d worn them down so bad. And maybe when he was done with petite Tulay, he’d do the same.
But first, she needed to finish building his fucking time machine.
Cars and scooters and a ceaseless flurry of voices were the music of the night on the streets below. Mustafa was out of beer so he turned on the radio. He enjoyed American pop music, but didn’t understand most of the lyrics because he’d never mastered English. Same with Doctor Who; he could only watch if it was overdubbed or subtitled.
An idea came to him as he sat having a smoke in the kitchen. Whenever he needed a solution to a problem, he could begin to mull it over then hit the time machine button, just as they’d done in the bedroom. Thus he could extend, indefinitely, his ability to ponder an answer to any given problem. For example he could listen to a song in English, and learn each word, going back over and over until he knew the song like a native. The concept made sense.
“No, it doesn’t,” Tulay injected. The thought-reading was, at times, annoying, but they’d agreed to it upon entry into the state of matrimony. They’d bought the chips with her credit card. His was maxed.
“I think it’s logical,” he argued, scratching his leg. He looked down; the bloody remains of a mosquito were smeared on the back of his leg, and now under his fingernail. What the hell? The bugs never came up to their fourth floor apartment. He lost his train of thought. “But anyways, I’m going to bed. I’ll go in early tomorrow and take it back to the lab.”
The lab. Tulay often popped in, always finding a handy reason to leave her research offices. Initially those reasons involved seeing her boyfriend, now husband. But more and more, as TEKRAR’s theories became reality, she went in to watch the experiments carried out, see how this relapse effect could be put to good use.
But coincidentally, more and more when she stopped by, Turan Akdeniz would appear from nowhere, coming in and stealing the conversation because he could, not because he had anything meaningful to contribute.
And the room itself was always under heavy surveillance, likely viewed from all the bosses’ offices.
Which implied his trips weren’t coincidental. Which implied he was stalking her. It was rumored he’d done it to another, to the guard’s sister, Esme, when she’d come around to visit her brother. They never saw Esme anymore, and Ali didn’t talk about it. But others did, dark rumors of addiction and prostitution. And they pointed the finger at the CFO.
From the knowing look in his red-rimmed, hazel eyes when he stared at Tulay (at her face, not her boobs), Akdeniz knew that Tulay knew she was next. And he enjoyed it, psychopath that he was. Probably a Mosquito user. But there was something else...
She wondered if it were possible--could he be reading her mind the way Mustafa could? The tech was designed to work only with couples, and only if both mutually agreed. But there was always a dark side to any endeavor.
And there were always ‘vaders, or hackers as they were called a couple decades ago. Hacking a computer was different from invading a biological program, and so as the tech evolved, the terms changed. Humans and their motives, however, did not. There’d been jerks like Akdeniz since the dawn of time. Tulay’s sudden nightmare was that, at the end of time, the last human standing would also be a guy just like that, standing on the corpses of his victims, with a brand new watch gleaming in the sunset, and his red mouth mutated into a mosquito’s sucking snout.
Monday morning was a wet mess, and Mustafa ran from the minibus to escape the downpour. Once in the lab, he lit a cigarette and wiped his forehead, wishing he could wipe his stress away so easily. His stomach was killing him and he’d had the strangest dreams last night.
He could tell his wife was worried about something, too. She’d tossed and turned all night. She was trying to block him from noticing. Well, the problem with thought-reading--there wasn’t much of a filter. It was supposed to encourage closeness and bonding. Sometimes, it did the opposite.
He’d smuggled the time machine back to the lab, and said nothing to anyone about their sex experiments. But his friend Ali was observant enough.
“You okay? Looks like you’ve got a bad limp.”
“We were wrestling and Tulay accidently hit me in the groin.” He hated making up stories, but what could he say? That he’d had dozens of orgasms in a row yesterday, and was now paying the price by barely managing to walk? Aside from that, his odd mosquito bite kept itching.
“Maybe you got a hernia,” Ali said. “My uncle died from one. You should go see a doctor.”
“I will.” Mustafa considered asking about Esme’s continued absence, but paused.
Ali shifted his footing, sipped his tea. “What is it?”
The lab felt too small, too poorly-lit. The weather was wet but humid. The clock on the wall was wrong and crooked. A fly landed on Ali’s teacup...
Mustafa began to vomit then stopped and passed out on the floor.
“What?!” Tulay couldn’t believe her ears.
“He’s overdosed on drugs,” the mustached doctor repeated. “Tell me what he’s on.”
“Nothing,” she said, looking down at her comatose husband, at the dried vomit left in his beard. Was this an effect of the relapse? Had they overdone it? “He doesn’t do drugs, I swear!”
“I won’t go to the police if you level with me. Is he on Mosquitoes? If you don’t tell me, what do you want me to do?” The doctor raised his hands. “If he didn’t take the drugs voluntarily, then you’re saying someone did this to him, yes? So, the police will come open an investigation.” He tilted his head as if pouring out a question. “Is that what you want?”
She stepped into his personal space, toe-to-toe, about to yell something up his nostrils, but a tiny bee of a thought buzzed in her brain, not her own thought but someone else’s.
“The mosquito in the apartment” the voice in her head claimed. “I’ve been doped. And I know who did this to me.”
Tulay used her knuckle to push away a tear. Yeah, she knew who did it, too.
“Where’s your sister?”
Ali took a step back, shocked. He’d wanted to wait at the hospital but knew Akdeniz would get angry if the lab was vacant too long. So he’d returned to work, never expecting Tulay would come back there today. It was just nearly lunch time and he was locking up to his ten minute break.
“Esme? She’s at university.”
“Why doesn’t she ever come around, Ali? Was it something Akdeniz did?”
Ali looked up at one of the surveillance cameras. They weren’t rigged for sound. Still, they made him nervous. “I can’t talk to you about this here.”
“Where can you talk about it?” came the words Tulay was about to utter. But they came from the CFO himself. “Friends, if you’re going to talk about a person, at least make sure they aren’t in the fucking room!”
“Did you do something to my husband?” Tulay demanded, her small frame almost comical next to Akdeniz’s height. “And what about his sister?” She nodded her head back to Ali.
“I was at a meeting across town, darling. I came as soon as I heard about your husband.” Akdeniz glanced at Ali. “As for that college kid? Esme, was it? I don’t know, I assume she’s back at school? Isn’t that what you just said?”
Ali looked down, pent up frustration washing over his face. And Akdeniz would have done well to have kept his mouth shut at that point. But something in him, a part of his ego, maybe, or maybe the drug blazing through his synapses--something couldn’t leave well-enough alone.
“I can tell you both one thing,” he muttered. “She’ll have a hard time finding a husband, from the racy stories I’ve heard about her.”
It was all Ali could take. He rushed forward and pushed Akdeniz against the wall, as hard as he could push someone so large. The CFO wasn’t a man to be pushed without pushing back. But instead Akdeniz grabbed an empty glass bottle from the table and cracked it against the guard’s head. Ali faltered and fell to his knees as Tulay screamed, wild eyes searching for a weapon to use against the hulking predator in the room. Instead she saw the time machine, sitting innocently beside Mustafa’s bag.
Akdeniz turned calmly to her as she ran to the machine, checking to see if it was plugged in. It was, and the lines were all connected to its base. It was ready to hook up to a subject, willing or otherwise.
He stalked after her, eyes more shot through with red veins than ever. She picked up two electrodes and licked their ends, then switched the machine on, hoping he hadn’t guessed her intent.
“I don’t need to guess. I can read you like a blog, bitch.”
So it was true! He had invaded her thoughts. Then he must know how he disgusted her, how she’d never give him the time of day even if she were single.
Oh, he knew alright, and it urged his desire on all the more, to dominate her and bend her to him, to humiliate her until she didn’t know any other way. His other girls had been easy, especially with the dope he’d gotten them addicted to. But with Tulay, the CFO would take his leisurely, not-a-care-in-the-world time and warp her without the reliance on dope.
Well, maybe a few bites from the Mosquito every now and then, not to ease the pain, but to make it worse.
Tulay held the electrodes in her shaking hands as he stopped before her, paused as if about to enter a holy space, arms raised like Christ on the cross, chin tilted up to expose his neck. She knew it was a ruse, that as soon as she got close he’d snatch her quickly in his iron grip. What he didn’t know, what she was trying hard not to think about was...
Ali took the jagged remains of the bottle off the floor and jammed it hard into Akdeniz’s stupid neck. The wound didn’t open any major bloodways, but it was excruciating, as his shouts attested. Tulay rushed in to attach the electrodes directly onto his face then spun to hit the copper button, sending the monster’s mind back to whatever the preset time on the machine had been. The default was ten seconds, and she saw it hadn’t been changed.
She also noticed her work partner, Zeynep, had apparently installed a planned upgrade to the device sometime that morning--an automatic reset, which allowed the machine to repeat its cycle without the need to hit the button manually.
Ali saw it, too. He knew from Zeynep exactly what it did. Akdeniz was still screaming; this time Ali hit the copper button while setting the counter on the new automatic reset.
“Go,” Ali said, holding a towel to his bleeding forehead. “I will do it myself.”
“How many times?”
“You don’t care, do you?”
She left without answering, and Ali set the device to cycle ten thousand times, the maximum threshold. In real time, it would not be noticeable, but in his frazzled brain Akdeniz would relive the feeling of having his throat pierced with a broken bottle, over and over and over.
In fact, the deed was done instantly, and the CFO crumpled face-first to the floor. Ali quietly lit a cigarette and decided, why not start the process again?
The room was dark when Tulay returned. “Why have you turned the lights out and drawn the shades? It’s still daylight,” she said to the nurse. “Maybe the light will help wake him.”
A nurse in a headscarf began to speak then thought the better of it, and called in the doctor.
“Your husband won’t wake from a coma just because of some light,” he said, stroking his mustache. “It’s going to take a lot more than that. He may never come out, it’s too early to say.”
“I can hear him,” she said. “We have thought-sharing chips.”
The doctor’s eyes drooped. He was old-fashioned, stubborn. “I don’t believe in those things; it’s more coincidence than science. Crooks stealing your money, peddling pseudo-technology.”
She ignored him and jerked the shades aside to let in the light from the sinking sun. I’ll be back, darling, she thought to her husband, but no response came.
Akdeniz’s grimy office was the last place Tulay wanted to be in, but when she found the safe, it was as she’d hoped. Closed but not locked. He’d been in it then left in a hurry, not bothering to secure it properly. Inside were a batch of trapped and exotic biological specimens--Mosquitos, Worms, Leeches, Spiders--as well as a small supply of more traditional narcotics and their respective delivery paraphernalia.
She searched the bin of Mosquitos until she found the one she needed. Stowing the bug in her bag, she took a taxi back to the hospital, back to her husband’s room. If Mustafa wouldn’t wake up on his own, she’d have to find a way to entice him.
Mustafa felt the dual warmth from his wife’s soft breasts pressing against his cheeks. He opened his eyes and she looked down at him, her cascading hair loose and hanging down to form a wall around their faces, blocking away the outside world. He could see only her smile, her eyes, and then again, those sublime breasts.
“Don’t you want to get up?” she whispered, rubbing her body gently back and forth over him.
“Believe me, I’m up,” he replied, his arousal nearly instantaneous.
“No, you’re not. Not yet.”
In the room the nurse blushed, yet peeped on in utter embarrassment at the patient’s erection making a tent pole under his sheet. Beside him, in her own bed, was his spouse, comatose, her arm red and irritated from a Mosquito bite.
Foolish girl, thought the nurse, looking down for a moment at the new patient’s chart. Like her husband, the young lady was unlikely to ever wake from her current state. And yet--
The nurse snapped her covered head back up as she noticed the sounds of the heart monitors of both patients, now not only elevated but synchronous. She called the doctor back, just in time to hear his patients’ laughter.
Unfortunately they’d both need a change of bedsheets.