by Stewart Wilson
The world flashes past in monochrome, outlines carved by the headlights. Country back-roads, fields past the hedges, all cast in moonlight. Just me in the car, dark inside. Nothing on the radio. Nothing in the glove-box. Just me and a cigarette, flashing forwards through time to the beat of my heart and the revving of the engine.
The house is up on a bit of a hill, white lights shining on its walls pick it out among its own grounds. I know the right way to go to see it from the roads, most people never notice it's there. I know she will be there. Skipping through time, there for every party then gone with the strobe lights and the smell of sweat. I pull up out front. The security system arms itself. I've not been to one of these parties since signing up with the Agency, don't know if the scene has changed to glorify car-jackers again.
I was a big player before dropping out, the guy opening the door still recognises me and my stage name drifts through the crowd of people towards the main hall. Occasional couples getting drinks or sucking face. Millimetre-wave radar overlays my right eye. Lots of knives, little real hardware. These places have their own security still. Not that she will know. Chemical analysis from sniffers in my left fingers, smart drugs in the air. Some DMT, a lot of designer dance drugs, the kind of thing kids on the street will be buying for a pound in the clubs of six months hence. I remember to kill the displays before the main hall.
It's still overload. Music blares, strobe-lights and hypnotic lasers programming euphoria straight through the optic nerve, sound waves fucking people through their ears. I danced. Couldn't help it, riding a wave of a programmed high. Nothing, none of my implants or my distributed consciousnesses could avoid it. I didn't want to avoid it. I was the king of the scene once more. Back where I was before the drugs ate my brain and gang-bangers wrecked my body. Lost to the scene. Then I saw her.
Her face flashing white with every pulse of the strobe, her eyes beckoning. Midnight White, the only name anyone knew. Not even the Agency knows who she is, what she is. I sway closer to her, flowing through a crowd who welcomes me like I've never been away. We exchange pheromones and body language rather than talking, drift away to a private alcove with a private bar. Nobody gives us a second glance. An energy-laden smart drink for me, firing every part of my brain up to two hundred percent. Her drink is already there ready for her. The sniffers register a couple of molecules and my systems go crazy. I have to shut down, blank out most of the enhancements while they work out what it is.
We still don't talk, me and Midnight White. She just smiles, gives me come-to-bed eyes. I couldn't refuse if I tried. The alcove walled off and we kissed, clawing at each other with animal passion, the music piloting both our bodies. We rutted right there, right by the side of the party, and I could taste the information encoded onto the molecules of her saliva. I was hooked on it, hooked on her. I wanted to worship her, wanted to run away and be with her and I know she wanted me to do that as well.
We dressed hurriedly, slipping back onto the floor. My distributed minds flowing back into communion. I still wanted to be with her, but I couldn't be. She was too alien, away from the party and the lights and the music she couldn't live. But too many other men and women hadn't realised that, had fallen prey to her after one perfect fuck. I couldn't let that continue, not after looking into their eyes in the mental ward.
I was almost sorry for the needle in my right forearm which had caught on her back, delivered a slow poison that would leave her dead inside a week. We hoped. I drifted back to the floor to dance away my memories and my guilt.