QSFer L Grey S has a new MM cyberpunk dystopian romance out: His Wildflower.
What is destiny? Do we have the power to change the course of our lives, or are we forever bound by fates formulated by the algorithm of being?
And coincidences – are they merely fluke occurrences or are they the results of a planned chain reaction?
That is the story of a man who has run away from his past, and another who is running from himself. Pursued by their own demons, the unlikely pair collide fiercely with judgements and misunderstandings. From enemies to lovers, the pair journey on a path to discover truths that they have been denied. But are they ready to face them?
Who is the hero and who is the villain in their story?
And what is their destiny…?
‘There’s ugliness in beauty, but there’s also beauty in ugliness’
‘We may be monsters, but we are each other’s monsters’
HIS NEW BEGINNING
‘Nice to meet you, Mr Liu. Please have a seat.’
The woman smiled faintly, as she observed him looking around suspiciously before entering the room. Appearing slightly disorientated, he plunged into a seat across from her. With fingers over his eyes, he held his temples.
The man asked in a deep soulless voice, ‘You asked to see me?’
‘Yes, Mr Liu. It is common for new arrivals to feel isolated and scared, especially the ones who came close to death. So, I wanted to make sure you’re fine.’
What the fuck does she want? Whatever it is, I’m not telling her anything. Urgh… and her godawful perfume is making me sick.
Peeping through his fingers, the man saw a document with his photo attached to it. Leaning forward, he picked it up and skimmed through.
‘Your newly assigned identity. You can change it if you’re not happy with it.’
‘Why do I need one? I have a name of my own.’
‘The Director will explain everything to you when she sees you.’
Squinting his eyes, he scoffed and chucked the document back on her desk. Exhaling deeply, his shifty eyes scanned the room and landed on the crystal name plate on her desk.
Catherine. Good gracious, I need something to distract me from her scent.
A Newton’s cradle caught his eyes. He drew a ball and released it. Tick, tock, tick, tock… he concentrated on the hypnotic clanks, easing his agitation.
Tapping a finger twitchily on Catherine’s desk, Marcus said, ‘Please just address me with the first name of whatever identity that you’ve assigned without me agreeing to it. Marcus, wasn’t it?’
‘Erm, sure… Marcus.’
Slouching back, he folded his arms. Above his sharp jawline, he wore dark choppy hair with a fringe hovering over his haunting long-tailed phoenix eyes which swept towards his temples. A visible slash scar cut over his left brow down to his cheek. Attached to the cold but pleasing face was a pair of broad shoulders draped with muscle. Chest embossed under a fitted t-shirt; he was sleeved in golden-toned skin.
To break the awkward silence, Catherine continued. ‘I am your assigned therapist. You can see me as a friend who is helping you with your transition.’
Unkeen around strangers, Marcus insolently dismissed her. ‘Just so you know, everyone I know dies. My advice to you is to stay away.’
Taken aback, Catherine became tongue-tied.
‘This is wasting my time. I’m leaving!’ Marcus stood and left the room. He was halted by someone at the door. Or was it… something?
Sniffing like a hound, he found it odd that ‘she’ had no scent. He welcomed the fresh air of the hallway after getting trapped in a ‘gas chamber’ with Catherine.
Appearing friendly, the human lookalike introduced herself in a synthetic voice like a lift operator. ‘Hi, I’m Alice from welfare and hospitality. Please come with me.’
Dipping his head, Marcus stroked his chin while sussing Alice suspiciously.
Oh? A robot… not something you see every day.
Having risen from a coma barely hours ago, Marcus was still muddled. His normally hypersensitive awareness was dampened by drowsiness. Heavy and weak on his limbs, Marcus looked around for an escape. But by the time he realised there was no way out, he was already standing in a cold-as-ice operating theatre.
Alice was stick-thin, but like an ant she could carry fifty times her weight. She effortlessly dragged Marcus onto the surgical table and strapped him in.
‘HEY, WATCH IT!’ Marcus warned.
Ignoring him, Alice spoke in a gentle voice. ‘I have to warn you that this is going to hurt, but it’ll be over in the blink of an eye.’
He struggled, terrified, trying to free himself as Alice arched down to widen his left eyelid, holding a dubious-looking solution in her hands. A couple of drops was all it took to agonisingly burn his retina, as millions of foreign biofibres melded together. But Alice was right, it was over in the blink of an eye, literally.
He blinked again to adjust his sight, wondering what had been done to him. When a blurry augmented hologram data box appeared next to Alice, he squinted to try and focus on it. The hologram box disappeared when he shut his left lid and returned when he opened it again.
Intrigued, Marcus asked, ‘Alice, what am I seeing?’
Profile data. Now you can access the Director’s cloud and she has access to you through your lens.’
Handing him a slick rectangular black glass device the size of his palm, Alice continued, ‘This is our communication device: Solar. Powered by the sun, it requires minimum sun exposure for infinite battery life.’
‘Solar users can direct their device to any human or non-human user and quickly access their public profile that has been uploaded to the Director’s cloud. Bear in mind, public profiles do not represent people’s true identities. Anyone has the freedom to be whoever or whatever they wish, and that’s where your cornea lens comes in. As a Gatekeeper, you have full access to their actual information with DNA. I’ll leave the Director to explain the details to you.’
‘So anyone can be a catfish?’
Pausing uncomprehendingly, Alice answered, ‘Err… I’m afraid we only have humans, non-bio humanoids, and other robotic lives. No aquatic lifeforms.’
Holding his head in his hands, Marcus sighed, ‘Ugh… never mind. Who the fuck is this Director that has all the answers? I want to see her!’
‘Sure. This way please.’
Taking an elevator to the basement, Marcus was faced with a gigantic sphere in the middle of an echoing basement. Unprepared for the virtual reality experience, he was greeted by an augmented figure which sprung up on his left cornea.
Of East Asian descent, the slim female figure looked like an anime character. She wore a perfectly symmetrical fringe above her perfectly shaped eyebrows, her hair length was down to her bosom, like that of an ancient Egyptian queen. Wearing a black knee-length dress under a structured black blazer, she bore a pair of scanning eyes that could see into anyone’s soul.
Little Grey Soul
Eye for Beauty,
A Boys Love devotee,
A storyteller of fictional fantasies.
Root of the East,
With a voice of the West,
Blending them makes writing Best!
Little by little,
Grey celebrates the middle,
Soul behind my writing is for you to unriddle.