Inversion. Chapter 11: Changer, a short story by Amalova. Date added: 2011-05-06. Times viewed: 2651.
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- Intro: Two interwoven tales comprise this sexy sci-fi, set in the same planetary system as my 'Inversion 1' story but many centuries later. I wrote 'Inversion 1' as a stand-alone short story, so was surprised when this popped into my head. (oral, het)
'Hello? This is Sarah. Oh, you're not there are you... Hope you get this. Sorry, but slight change of plan. Could you make it 7.30, if that's ok, please? I'm... I'm new to this. Please excuse me. Anyway, see you later.'
'Seren6520. Hi. Heard lots about you, Changer. All good. Simply had to sample for myself. Looking forward to it. No therapy, nothing cerebral. Just fucking. Lots of it. Be here at six. Later, Changer.'
Sarah was old. I'd prepared for old, but had still hoped for otherwise, even though the refined voice on the message had been typically cracked and wavering. She'd said it would be her first time, so I knew exactly what to expect: grieving widow trying to raise the dead. I shouldn't complain; there were compensations: my fee would reflect the physical and emotional pain I was about to endure. Outwardly I smiled as she greeted me into her dome, but inwardly I gritted my teeth. The pain would be very real. It could take me days to fully recover.
Old, yes, but she was far from unattractive and obviously took great care with her appearance. Petite, straight and slender, she moved with a grace that belied her years. Understated jewellery glistened discretely in the pale light of Inversion 4's twin moons, while her simple yet stunning diaphanous dress glowed ghostly white. It was exquisitely tailored, probably cost even more than my wildest fee, and she wore it with an almost regal bearing.
But I was most affected by her face that must once have been stunningly beautiful. The pale almost translucent skin fluttered subtly with myriad conflicting emotions. I tried to capture and classify them all, but several seemed to evade me. That was unusual. No, more than that: unprecedented.
Sweeping aside the thinning white hair that drizzled onto her bare bony shoulders, she bit her lip and took several deep breaths. Her pale blue eyes flitted constantly between the marble floor and my best serene expression. With a patience honed on thousands of similar situations, I merely waited for her to gather herself. Eventually, she nodded her head and smiled tentatively. I readied myself, waited till her eyes acquiesced then eased her frail body gently to me. I kissed her passionately. The changes began.
'Talk to me.'
Her voice, though no more than a mellow whisper, took me by surprise: hardly anyone requested conversation. Indeed, her brief message had stipulated quite the opposite. My defences were alerted. Across the full width of her tastefully opulent dome and before we had even touched, it was obvious this young female was going to be a difficult client. Or something worse, something I had dreaded for centuries. I buried that last thought with the fear it begat and smiled warmly at her.
Seren6520 sank deeper into the white leather of the couch, lifted the glass tumbler to her lips and sipped its clear contents. All the while she fixed me with her wide, amused eyes. She finished her drink, tilted her head and repeated her three-word imperative. A coil of black hair - like an inverted question mark - fell across a naked breast where it enticingly encircled a very erect brown nipple. Two breasts. Very traditional and thankfully back in fashion. The twin pert orbs of flesh conjured fragments of an idyllic childhood on a very distant blue planet. For a moment I wondered if the memories were mine.
I was finding it hard to concentrate. Yet another tangential thought diverted me: an Alex and a Seren sitting and chatting when they ought to be copulating. Probably not so unique an event - there were millions of Alexes and Serens in the Inversion System, all named after the heroes of popular folklore - still, I smiled at how reality often mirrors fable. Would we too run away together and cause the dissolution of a decadent Inversion empire as in the stories of old? I very much doubted it.
And that thought spawned another: I hadn't used my birth name for over a thousand years, went merely by the name of Changer. So where the fuck did I dredge that Alex up from? Though internally rattled, I quelled all spurious mentation and tried again to concentrate. I'd made the girl wait long enough. It was time to speak.
'What do you want to talk about?'
Maybe not the eloquent nor witty response she'd expect for her million credits, but most people don't pay me to talk.
'You. I want to know about you. Tell me all there is to know.'
Please, not that. I was famously laconic. Why would she hire me if she wanted conversation?
'I'm a Changer. What else do you need to know? I'm whatever or whoever you want me to be.'
'I know who you are, Mr Changer. I researched well before I hired you.' Her dismissive tone suddenly turned conspiratorial. 'But your profile merely speaks of your work, your many successes. There's nothing about you. It doesn't explain your reticence, your reluctance to talk. Why does conversation make you so... so uncomfortable?'
I could easily have brushed that question aside. My specialist services were expensive and required full concentration from both parties. Informal chat, therefore, was both a distraction and an unnecessary luxury. However, I knew that response would not satisfy this girl. She had somehow sensed my unease and would persevere till I supplied a candid answer.
I shrugged, readily accepting her observation, and took a moment to gather my thoughts into a cogent response. She was paying, after all. I had to be honest and she knew it. A lie would create a barrier, mask both me from her and her from me, thus making my job impossible.
Despite the sultry heat of the night, Sarah's body was cool. I could tell she wore nothing beneath her dress and though she resisted slightly as I eased down the zipper, she was soon as naked as I was. Her lips were at first tense, unforgiving, but slowly she softened and melted into me. And that's where I felt it first. The lips. I responded to her touch, her subtle expectations, and allowed myself to be moulded by them. I was soon perfectly attuned to her needs, felt the exact weight of both her caresses and her body as she pressed to me. The kiss ended, our lips parted and she gasped.
'It's so, so quick. I didn't expect...'
'It's because I have a secret. A five hundred year-old secret. Changers can't have secrets because secrets can turn to lies and we can't work with lies. But secrets only turn to lies if they are uncovered and denied. And that's why I don't talk much.'
I didn't say that, obviously. She could be a Lawmaker, could sign my death warrant. Even if she were simply an over-curious regular client, there were rewards for any juicy information on Changers, so I had to be extremely careful. I settled back into my own couch, sipped my own drink and considered an appropriate answer to her question.
Twenty feet above our heads, the transparent crystal dome sparkled with rainbow colours as the sun set on another day on Inversion 4. Her home was classical Inversion micro-architecture and was very impressive. Again, I found myself unable to focus. I put down my glass and gave her my stock response.
'Because, Seren6520, this isn't about me, it's about you and your needs.'
'And who are you, Mr Changer, to decide what I need?'
Another question. If philosophy was what she wanted then I'd had a long lifetime to pontificate on the purpose of my existence, on the dual blessing and curse that Nature in all her complexity had bestowed upon me and my kind.
My skin colour had already faded from the jade green favoured by my last client to match the paleness of her own. In her touch and in the tone of her last seven words I'd subconsciously detected a need for further minor adjustments. I searched her face for confirmation then instinctively shifted shades and shape till her brow relaxed. A smile deepened her crow's feet and began to spread across her narrow lips.
Thus I read all her appraising thoughts, transmuted into her unconscious expressions and gestures, and constantly changed my form and manner accordingly. It took no effort on my part. As we touched, I simply let go and it happened: I became what she wanted me to be.
The eyes: his were greener, darker. Cheekbones: higher, broader. Nose: narrower. Hair: more silver, less thinning, brushed from left to right. He was older, more frail... terminally ill. As follicles slowly sprouted from my smooth pate, I combed them across with new arthritic fingers that curled like crooked talons.
With eyes closed, her fingers - the strong, assured, sinewy digits of a musician - stroked and teased my skin. Her pale blue eyes opened once more and instantly began to shed tears.
'Oh, my love! There you are!'
Seren had poise and elegance in equal measure and for a moment my mind was filled with her alone: the curve of her hips; her taut belly; her firm young breasts topped with perfectly puckered nipples. With a concerted conscious effort, I refocussed on her question and posed it to myself: who am I? The depth of my answer surprised even me.
'You think, therefore I am. Consider me as a conduit to convey all you desire. My needs are yours.' I spoke the next sentence slowly, bluntly. 'Do not consider me at all.’ Inversion 4 culture values selflessness above all else and this altruism often forms a stumbling block to a client's total enjoyment. And those six words had another, subtle purpose: I could hide the lie unnoticed behind them. ‘This is my vocation. I was born to it. Indeed, the law being what it is, there is no other place in society I could fill. But I am happy in my work. It fulfills me, defines me. I am a Changer. I change, become who you want me to be, body and soul.'
As I'd aged, pain had wracked through me. A century of degeneration condensed into a century of seconds is almost unendurable. Bones dried and withered, muscles wasted, arteries hardened and skin stretched and sagged. I excused myself, pissed the dregs of my last metamorphosis into the white bowl of the toilet then shuffled my new frame back onto the veranda. Though gravity here was only half that of Inversion 2, the planet I'd left the day before, it bent and twisted what was left of me till I could barely stand. I wheezed and my new ancient heart missed a beat. I hated old age.
Sarah took my arm, gently helped me back indoors and onto the bed then climbed on beside me. She was a handsome woman, and grew even more so as I metamorphosed into the object of her devotion. And, as her tender touches and affectionate whispers taught me all there was to know about both her character and mine, I quickly grew to love her.
The girl placed her empty tumbler on a low glass table at her side, readjusted her delightful naked body and spoke again.
'Your modesty does you justice, Mr Changer. Though we all know, don't we, you are not just a Changer; you are the Changer. The best. You are famous... though, perversely, nothing is known about you.' I struggled to hold her gaze as she crossed her long legs. 'So please tell me, sir: who are you on your day off? What do you become when no one is looking at you, when no one is holding you?'
'Day off?' I snorted a quick laugh. 'I rarely enjoy free time. When I do, I avoid contact, stay as my last client desired me. The toll on my body would be too great otherwise.'
An eyebrow arched again and I rightly sensed yet more questions.
'So, who are you today? Who am I talking to? Your last client's fantasy? Or is that simply an exterior, a vehicle you travel in to your next appointment?'
I hadn't come prepared for this at all, had expected touch and proximity to give me all the answers I would need. I felt uneasy. This was starting to sound like an Executive inquisition. I paused and breathed deeply till my composure returned, but she was relentless.
'Are you ok, Changer? Forgive my curiosity, but I am intrigued. You're forbidden to take your original form, aren't you?'
'Forbidden is too strong a word. It's more...'
She waved that away and ploughed on with her interrogation.
'When you are constantly being remoulded to your clients' needs, who do you see when you look in the mirror? Indeed, do you ever look in a mirror?’ I didn’t. Well, not literally. For some reason I nodded anyway. ‘And is that the ‘you’ who stares up into the darkness every night waiting for sleep to come?'
That last question was very insightful.
I lay on my back and Sarah sat astride me. She pressed her cheek to mine and lovingly whispered words in a dialect unknown to me. I suddenly desired this woman, this shell of a woman, with a barely believable intensity. How they must have loved each other and how she missed him. Tears fell onto my face - his face - as she continued to spill her thoughts, clear her mind of all the things she'd left unsaid. While she salved her conscience, my new tear ducts cried too. Her next words were clear and easily understood.
'Make love to me. One final time. Oh, my love, please, love me again.'
As she shifted her weight, our sexual organs aligned but I was too weak, too consumed by his pain for my penis to engorge. She tried over and over then eventually collapsed onto my hollow chest, exhausted and dejected. Again she wept.
'Forgive me my hunger, my love; forgive me my need, my selfishness.' Then the fantasy popped like a bubble and she spoke directly and fervently to me. 'Oh, Changer, what must you think of me? I am so sorry to bring you here, for this… to put you through this. I'm so... so sorry.'
'I... I don't know.' In response, her expression was incredulity with a smattering of concern. 'Honestly, I'm really not sure. When I think of myself, I'm younger, much younger... as I looked before I discovered what I was.'
'But surely, that was hundreds of years ago.'
'Over a thousand, yes. I hold onto that youthful picture of myself, use it like a charm... a talisman. It keeps me safe. When I'm changing, I retain a minuscule part of that self-image; it reminds me who I was and thus what I am. No one else knows the image, no one can replicate it. It's my firewall in case...'
'In case? But... who would try to harm you?'
There were many who despised Changers and she knew it. Not wanting to muddy the waters further, I merely shrugged my shoulders again.
Seren uncrossed her legs, leaned forwards and furrowed her brow as I picked up an earlier thread.
'It's not 'forbidden' for a Changer to take on their original form: it's simply impossible to do so.'
'Impossible?' Her lips curled with the tiniest hint of a smile.
'Who could change me back to what I was? Who is alive who knew me then? And who would have known me so well? My mother?'
I pictured Mother as I remembered her best, staring wistfully up at the stars. A similarly longing expression flitted across Seren6520's face as she perhaps considered her own parents.
'Seren, you're not my mother - you don't look a bit like her, apart from your lovely tits.'
Peels of laughter reverberated around the dome and the tension decayed and died with them.
'Very funny, Changer. I was going to say, I could name some who have tried.'
'Yes, the impossibility doesn't stop them trying. It is a drug to some. And a deadly one. Those who dwell on the past, waste skills and resources trying to 'find themselves'. Our lives are hard enough. A wise Changer, one who wants to survive, concentrates on the present.'
My head spun. I was faint and almost blacked out. Submerged in Sarah's love and in my eagerness to help her, I'd somehow forgotten the golden rule. I'd lost myself. Lost my talisman. Despite all my safeguards, the power of her guilt and her remorse had overwhelmed me and I'd become Seth, completely. I'd been moments from his death, and hence my own. The words she'd addressed to me, to Changer, were all that had brought me back from the brink. I was getting careless.
Her dark eyes glittered with intense concentration. Inexplicably, I opened up more to her. I felt almost compelled to talk; the well-timed silences seemed to draw words from me.
'A Changer's sense of 'self' is very blurred. Every client leaves a trace of something, of someone. Some minor element. A fragment of a thought, a belief. A memory. A secret.' I instantly regretted that last word, but didn't hesitate, tried to bury it beneath an avalanche. 'They change me, make me... grow.
'Every day I am different. So there really isn't a 'me' anymore. Tomorrow I will carry, with your good grace, a piece of you. Another tiny shard embedded in my mind. With concentration, I can name every one, trace them back to their owners, but I can't remove them. They are entangled inextricably with my own fabric. So I can't be me; they are all a part of what I am and I can't forget them, even if I wanted. They have changed me. Literally.'
'Mmm, is that what you truly believe?'
'Are you okay? Oh, Changer! What have I done?'
'Please, a drink. Water... anything.'
My voice was hoarse, barely audible and I was sweating profusely, partly from my poor physical condition, partly from the realisation of what had almost just happened. She supported my head and I gulped down the glassful she offered to my lips. I motioned for more and she refilled the glass. The water was cool, delicious, reviving. I suddenly felt much better, inordinately better. I was momentarily confused by the speed of my recovery. And then, with utter disbelief, I realised what was happening.
Seren was leading me down a dangerous path. To quell suspicion I had to answer her, though I retained enough sensibility to choose my words carefully.
'Yes, I believe my former self is lost forever.'
'And you are happy with that?'
'It is simply something I must accept. And so I do.'
There was a further question she was bound to ask. I pre-empted her, gave the information willingly and from a safe perspective, thus retaining control.
'It is said that two experienced Changers can effect regressive states in each other... enabling each to return to their true form, but I doubt that has occurred for centuries. We are stringently monitored, kept apart for fear of death. Only a fool...'
There was no need to finish my sentence. I still hadn't lied, though I was now stretching the truth. She carefully considered my words then nodded her understanding.
As my strength returned and my blurred vision eased into focus, I felt the years begin to fall away from me. I knew instantly Sarah was consciously making me into a younger version of her beloved. For a first session with a Changer that was an impressive feat, but there was something even more amazing going on. I lay transfixed as my rejuvenation was reflected in her face and body. Incredibly, she was changing too.
Sarah pulled away, gave a shriek. She examined her hands, breasts and belly as the flesh visibly tightened and smoothed. Panicking, she squeezed the skin on her face then dashed to the bathroom mirror to confirm the impossible.
'Changer, what is happening to me?'
Her voice was filled with terror. With difficulty, I rose and went to her. I quickly appraised her new body.
'You are younger. You're changing just as I do. This will sound incredible to you, but there is no doubt: you too are a Changer.'
I watched the tendons and muscles of her slender feet tense and ripple as they carried her across the cool marble floor. She was graceful, perfectly balanced and at ease. For a moment I felt our roles reverse. The effect was unsteadying. I felt giddy and my heart began thudding in my chest. She was incredibly beautiful, and I remember thinking that were she the Changer, I would not change a thing.
Long fingers stroked my thighs as she crouched before me and my naked skin tingled. My gaze rose slowly and so did the impressive cock between my legs. Her knees were parted and her deliciously inviting vulva was on full display. The swollen lips glistened and the drive to mate with this perfect human specimen was almost overpowering. Her body was bronzed, smooth as the marble of the floor and totally hairless, except for a narrow strip of pubic hair skillfully shaved into a slender letter 'S'. The silence was palpable and I prayed the talking was over.
I'd already searched my memory to confirm we had never met before. When I was certain I had no previous knowledge that could be of use to me, I locked it all away - every thought manifests itself in the physical and I needed to shut them out, focus solely on Seren6520.
My talisman, my firewall, was in place. I was ready.
She was wide-eyed with disbelief.
'What have you done to me?' What...'
'Sarah, I have done nothing. The ability has always been in you. It's somehow never been triggered till today.' She dragged her fingers through her thickening hair and scrutinised her glowing face. 'It's probably unique to reach your... your age and not be aware. Sarah, have none of your lovers ever noticed anything? Has no one ever said anything? Have you…’
She blushed, lowered her eyes, absently tested the elasticity of the flesh on her forearm.
'Seth was my only lover, the only man I ever wanted. And I was his first and only love. We were made for each other. A perfect match; everyone said so.'
My last client had demanded classical athleticism, flexibility, and a very large ribbed penis. From the signals emanating from Seren's red-nailed fingertips, I deduced there would be few changes required today. I was inwardly relieved - I didn't age as such, but as the centuries rolled by, my body took longer to recover, longer to settle into its new form and replenish its resources. It seemed today was going to be relatively easy. Easy and, for once, totally pleasurable.
I was naturally and incredibly attracted to her, even before she began changing me. I felt a twitch in my loins as my aching member concurred: despite the stuttering, uncomfortable start, this was going to be a very enjoyable assignment.
I smiled at that, shook my head in wonder and held out my hand inviting her back into my arms. She hesitated then stepped forwards and I held her, kissed her now lustrous blonde hair.
'Therein lies the answer. Oh, Sarah, that is overwhelmingly beautiful. With all my experience, I am totally out of my depth here. I am in awe of what you had. I feel so... so humbled.'
She cried. I cried: both for her loss and for mine: for what had never been, for what I could never have. I was stricken, desolate.
And then a slender bolt of fear pierced me as I realised this: I cried. Not Seth. Not my outer shell. Me. Whoever I was. I foundered in that thought till her fraught voice called me back.
My eyes completed their upwards journey, appreciating every sinew, bone and vein, every curve and undulation, every square inch of pristine flesh. I was awestruck even before I reached her face, but then I was totally enraptured. From across the dimly-lit room she had appeared attractive. Close enough to feel her breath on my skin she was indescribably beautiful.
I am, naturally, expert at evaluating any person within my vicinity. It is a necessary and integral part of my portfolio of talents, and enables me to ready my body and mind for whatever task lies ahead. However, for some reason I had totally underestimated this girl. Her rare beauty was natural, not engineered, and was thus totally overpowering and alluring. I am adept at knowing the difference: drugs and doctors can only affect the physical surface, whereas she was built on a beautiful spiritual core that shaped her every cell.
I let my gaze trace her subtly-dimpled chin and soft, plush lips. Warm breath bathed my face as her nostrils flared, signalling a desire that matched my own. Her cheeks were flushed; her narrow nose was elegant and straight, whilst her high cheekbones completed the unerring symmetry. Coils and spirals of shining black hair framed her face and tumbled onto her slender shoulders. My astonished swirling thoughts reverberated in the deep dark wells of her eyes and I heard myself whisper my wonder.
'You are so beautiful.'
'What does it mean, Changer? For my past, my future? What have I done? Whatever was I thinking?'
Anger, fear and frustration flowed through her in equal measure. I composed myself and hugged her till the negative emotions flowed from her and into me. With seasoned skill, I combined them with my own fear and cast them all into the ether.
I was aware of the dangers we both faced from such proximity, but it would have been heartless to act otherwise. And besides, I had been in similar situations before and felt perfectly capable of dealing with this one. We were silent for a while, consumed by our own thoughts.
When she eventually spoke, her voice was clear and strong, though overflowing with remorse.
'He was stolen from me, suddenly. I wasn't there. Wasn't there when he... I was devastated, had no one to turn to. No one... but you, Changer. It took an age to reach that conclusion, despite the many wonderful things I had heard about you. Today, I was ready to love him once more. To say the things I never got to say and then die happy, simply fade away. But now... now...'
Again I kissed her hair and again I held her tightly, till I was sure she was ready for what I had to say.
With dark eyes focussed onto mine, her lovely mouth surrounded the tip of my phallus. I felt her tongue gently lapping at the tender underside while skillful fingers cupped and tickled my balls. By degrees, the massive member began to contract and its ribbing smoothed. In seconds, a merely human cock was being sucked and - as soon as physically possible - deep-throated by this gorgeous woman.
More changes quickly followed. My nipples grew more sensitive with every pass of her fingers. My shoulders became narrower, my arms thinner, my chest less developed. Amazingly, I felt stronger, despite my slighter frame. I was powerful, like a wound spring and felt I could knock down walls and leap buildings.
'For your past? It means you were blessed. Incredibly blessed. When you and Seth first made love, did nothing happen to you, even then? Think, Sarah, think!’
She shrugged, then laughed at a memory.
‘The next day he said my tits looked bigger.’
‘And were they?’
‘Changer, I'm joking.’
‘Oh.’ I actually blushed a little. She was quick and deep and had caught me off guard. ‘So he changed nothing?’
‘Nothing. People said I was glowing, more confident. I had a spring in my step. But surely that...'
'Yes, that's love, Sarah. Nothing more magical than that.'
'But we grew old together. Why did I age?’
I think she already knew the answer.
‘As Seth aged, so did you. He expected you to, wanted you to grow old with him and so you did. It was all he desired. When he made love to you, he loved you as you were at that time, never wishing you were younger… or different in any way. Any sudden changes would have alerted you to your latent abilities. But they never happened, they never came. You were truly loved, Sarah. Loved for yourself.'
Now she was sobbing uncontrollably. I simply wrapped my arms around her and silently consoled her. She climbed onto the bed and surrendered to the warmth of my slowly strengthening body. I spooned her till she fell asleep.
Seren stopped sucking, straightened her lovely legs and longingly kissed my mouth. Our lips maintained their passionate contact while she nimbly sat astride me. As her knees sank into the white leather of the couch, so my rigid cock nosed into the slippery heat of her vulva. Firm tits were pressed to my mouth in turn and I eagerly sucked her delicious erect nipples. The more she spread her thighs, the deeper I penetrated her till her full weight rested in my lap. As I impaled her, she wiggled her tight arse against my thighs and rhythmically contracted her vagina. When my cock was fully inside her, she forced herself closer to me till her clitoris rubbed against my skin. Then she fucked me.
Through the transparent dome, I watched the two moons set. The sky darkened. Stars began to sparkle and map out familiar constellations. I'd travelled, but never far enough for a northern night sky to be noticeably different to this one. Changers were not allowed beyond this system, but there was little reason for anyone to star jump anyway. We humans had outlived our birth planet, had travelled far and reached this benevolent star without encountering another conscious being. We crashed here, survived here and soon colonised it all. This system, the Inversion System, had all we needed and more. It was home now.
I pondered on the dangers ahead and on the ethical problems I faced. One thing was certain: Sarah’s life would change dramatically. When she woke, I knew she would be hungry for further explanations and, thankfully, I had them already at hand. I knew the law: it was very precise and unambiguous. I also knew - both from personal and professional experience - what challenges await a newly discovered Changer. Whilst a meagre few went on to lead valuable, well-rewarded lives, most were not so fortunate.
I’d been a Changer for over a millennium and this was the fifth time I’d witnessed such an epiphany. All but one of my previous discoveries were unable to adjust, had threatened the balance and were executed. By now, I should have been hardened and experienced enough to cope, but each time I'd found it terribly distressing.
I naturally feared for Sarah’s future. She was so innocent, so sweet, had lived such an idyllic life here on Inversion 4 that I was sure she would never survive the trials that lay ahead. For a long while, I stared into the darkness till eventually, equally exhausted by the night's events, I joined her in deep slumber. The future could wait till tomorrow.
My fingers journeyed from her shoulders to her buttocks then back again, tracing the curve of her spine. At one extent, they tugged her hair, encouraging even greater penetration; at the other, they squeezed and lifted her backside in readiness for her next descent. As we fucked, her oozing lubrication dribbling down my testes till my arse squirmed deliciously against hot wet leather.
In my dreams, a younger Sarah gently stroked me erect then lovingly fellated me to the brink of orgasm. Her touch contained infinite love and I moaned with intense pleasure at her ministrations. Then she mounted me, rode me while softly crooning the mysterious words she had whispered earlier. Their meaning was suddenly universal and timeless.
'I love you. I love you.'
I woke from the dream into the pitch-blackness of her bedroom to find her astride me. We were fucking. No, not fucking. I suddenly realised we were making love; I also realised I’d never really made love before. I pulled her to me and our mouths met; our tongues played. We shared heat, breath, saliva, and something else, something harder to define... something suspended between the giving and taking, the trust and the need.
The darkness enveloped us and I wanted to stay there forever. I held back till her ragged breathing signalled her own climax then emptied myself inside her.
She suddenly grabbed my now long, black hair, pulled back my head and gazed into my face. Her expression was victorious, euphoric.
'Close your eyes and stare into the darkness. Be yourself for me, Changer. Be yourself. Show me your secrets.'
This was going terribly wrong. I panicked, struggled in vain to regain any semblance of control but found she had somehow taken over.
The sound of hissing, steaming water woke me and I became aware I was alone in the bed. As sleep's comforting curtain slipped aside, I began to replay last night's events and to rehearse the speech I knew I had to make. It was not a task I relished. Lost in thought, I rolled onto my back and gazed upwards.
Above me, a billion acidic raindrops silently exploded, reformed with the sparkling shrapnel of others and cascaded down the crystal sides of her home. The force-field that last night had formed the veranda, safely extending her domicile into Inversion 4's caustic atmosphere, was now switched off. The dome was made good, as if no opening had ever been there, a technology I had only heard rumour of.
I pondered Sarah's future, searching for a simple, painless solution. As each option was tested and discarded, I watched the rain and waited for her to finish her shower.
Seren's voice was hypnotic. I was immobilised, helpless.
'Search for yourself, Changer; search for who you are. Discard the others. Discard them all. The multitude who cry out for attention. All the lovers you have known. All the creatures they have made you. Silence them. Cast them out. Find yourself. Show yourself to me. You are mine!'
Though carried on a wave of concern, her voice was sweet and musical.
'Is this how you changed me?'
The woman who stepped from the bathroom was unmistakably Sarah. But younger. Much younger. Her naked body was surprisingly desirable but not necessarily what I would have chosen. Her legs were a little too short. She was too slender for my taste. Her cute pointy tits were slightly different sizes. And her hair was straight, blonde and barely shoulder-length. But her face was that of an angel.
'No. That's you, Sarah, at twenty or thereabouts. You know it's true. That's your doing not mine.'
'It's quite simple. Inevitable. Your image of Seth is so inextricably linked to your self-image that as you changed me into a younger version of him, your desires changed you too... They fed back through me.'
'And you are?'
Only then did I notice she was staring at me with an unsettling intensity.
'Looked at yourself this morning? You're not my Seth, not at any age.' The realisation hit us both simultaneously. 'Changer! Is that... you?'
I dashed to the bathroom, almost slipping on the damp floor, and stood before the full-length mirror. A thousand years fell away and there I was. My talisman come to life. Alex4213. Eighteen years old. A normal, skinny kid wanting to be a man. Unaware of the turmoil that awaits me. Unaware that the girl I am about to fuck will turn me in and claim her reward. A Changer. Me, a Changer! Cursed with infinite regeneration. Tagged and monitored. Sold into servitude, never to see my mother again. Sentenced to work the Inversion System till either an executioner, an accident, or boredom takes my life.
With a shocked Sarah trying to support me, I fell to my knees, pressed my palms to my eyes and wept.
Fifteen hundred years of discipline, training and self-preservation kicked in. I fought with everything I had, not knowing if she were human or alien. She - it - had abilities beyond anything I had ever encountered. Whatever this creature was, whatever she wanted, I was determined to thwart her.
I tried to throw her off. Her strength was incredible and she subdued me easily. As I fought, she changed, slipped easily from one form to the next. My clients. She prised open my memory and rifled through them. Thousands of them flashed before me as quickly as flicking through a book. I buried my secret deeper, but it was just a matter of time.
She would find it because she knew what she was looking for. She was undoubtedly of the Executive. A Lawmaker. So this was an example of their fabled powers. No one who had witnessed them had ever survived to tell the tale. No wonder the mere mention of them kept Changers in cowering check. I was fighting for my life.
My cock swelled, grew barbs, poisoned barbs. She had but seconds to live, but suddenly accommodated me, changed her structure so as to negate the poison's effects. My nails hardened into razor-sharp talons and I tore at her flesh, again injecting deadly venom, but again she changed and healed, became hard as steel. Always one step ahead of me, though never retaliating, she patiently parried all my attacks till I slumped back, totally drained and exhausted.
It was Sarah's turn to hold me. She knelt beside me, pressed her nakedness to mine and rocked me till there were no more tears to shed. Then I told her my story.
I told her about Alex4213. About the happy childhood on Inversion 3's solitary moon. The widowed mother who stared longingly at the stars. The quiet, optimistic teenager who, in the course of one terrifying day, became an outcast, a freak, a slave. A Changer.
She gently led me to the bed. I clambered on, sat cross-legged at one end and she mirrored me at the other. I was still in shock at what had happened. It shouldn't have been possible. My voice was broken, full of self-doubt.
‘You must be... very gifted. Incredibly gifted. What you have done to me is unbelievable.'
Then I remembered how I had cried, cried for my own loss - I'd been changing into Alex even then, had felt it, but had ignored it. I also recalled the bolt of fear followed by the arrogance that drew it out and discarded it. Careless. Careless and complacent.
Though firm, Sarah's dulcet voice was soothing and calm.
'What I have done? Surely, from what you said before, it was you... through me?'
'That's true... that's true, yes, but it never entered my head you could… be so, so...'
'So...what? What am I?'
I shook my head, stuck for an answer.
'Two Changers, each with a thousand years' experience would struggle to achieve what has just happened here. I never considered the possibility. Well, not...' my scowl contained an intentional degree of contempt, 'not seriously.' I was angry now, indignant, and I tried to strike out. 'I am a Changer. A Changer! And you are... you are...'
She disarmed me.
'I am Sarah.'
I was finished, at her mercy. My time was up. It had been... different to the life I had expected when I'd left school, much different to anything I could have imagined, but it had not been without its rewards. Now it was over, I was strangely relieved. I was hers to do with as she pleased.
The creature returned to her former perfect beauty, scarred only by the smug smile that now twisted her mouth.
The touch of her hand earthed all my confusion, neutralised all my frustration, and we fell together. For long minutes we clung to each other. I was startled when she suddenly pulled away.
'Now the future. Tell me what will happen to me.'
She was calm, matter-of-fact, had quickly accepted what she was. She was incredibly adaptable, though would need more than that to survive.
'Oh, Sarah. I’m so sorry. But with or without me you would have known the truth. With Seth gone, you would have stayed the same forever. Stayed old forever. Never dying. They would have come for you eventually.'
'So, what are my choices?'
'Choices? There are no choices. The procedure is absolute. You have to surrender to the Executive. Submit yourself to tests. Accept tagging, sterilisation and a lifetime of surveillance. You’ll be bought and sold. You will no longer be free, no longer be yourself. If you’re lucky, you’ll have an Agent like mine. She is kind, often generous, allows me much freedom. Treats me like a human being. If you’re unlucky…’
I winced at the memories. The barbarism I had suffered. She didn’t need to know any of that. Attitudes had improved slightly during my lifetime, but there was still much ignorance. Though I softened my voice, there was no escaping the inevitable.
‘It's hard, I know. Difficult to accept, but there are no alternatives. The punishment for non-conformance is death - and death for the Changer too, who discovers another and fails to notify the Executive. I'm sorry, Sarah, but I have no choice.'
Though her eyes pleaded with me and her tears entreated me, it was pointless to defy the Lawmakers.
'I have power, such power, Alex4213. You would do well to obey me.'
I was shocked by her words; terrified that she knew my real name, my long-forgotten name. Summoning all my remaining strength, I raised my head and formed my lips into a defiant smile.
‘Whatever you want from me, you will never take it. I will never surrender. I will die first.’
'I have money. Whatever you desire. I...'
I shook my head, unable to meet her eyes. I had seen how relentlessly we were hunted, heard how summarily we could be treated.
'Why, Changer? What harm could I do? I'll simply disappear. Please, I beg you.'
'Sarah, Changers are a threat to them. We are separated, isolated. Diluted to reduce the risk...’
'Why? Changer... why?'
Panic mingled with the tears in her eyes and I feared I wasn’t getting through to her. I grasped her upper arms, tried to shake some sense into her.
‘They separate us because they fear us. And do you blame them? Think what we could achieve together, what our children could achieve. But they won't allow it, can’t allow it. You must surrender to them. Otherwise they will hunt you down and kill you.'
I was changing. I felt it, but was unable to resist. And we were fucking again. It started slowly, like before, then gathered pace till she bounced in my lap. Though I was beaten in every other way, I willed my cock to subside and it obeyed. As it slipped from her tight cunt, Seren ceased her yoyo movements and petulantly bit her lip. Her fantastic tits came to rest before my eyes and I felt my cock twitch and rise. I closed my eyes, blanked my mind and it shrivelled.
‘Am I human? Alien? Some abominable hybrid?’ Sarah quelled her fear and turned her thoughts inward. ‘I remember my parents, remember my childhood. Is it all a lie? Changer, what am I?’
Though every superfluous second we spent together would have to be accounted for, I had to try to help her, to console her.
‘No one knows for sure what we are. You can’t pin one of our cells down long enough to tell. It’s said that if you examine them they change, become what you want them to be.’
I snorted a silent laugh at the irony then searched my mind for the history. I'd had plenty of time for research.
‘Some say the youth drugs of Inversion 1 caused the mutation, others that Changers were already there when that first ship crash-landed. The truth is probably a mix of the two. Stories tell of an alien virus that infected some of the survivors and it's thought the drugs caused further mutations in a small minority of those.'
'Just a handful of the two thousand who survived the journey from Earth, I should imagine. They'd conceal themselves for as long as possible, fearing the worst. And their fears were eventually realised.
'Changers have been experimented on and exploited for millennia. Our numbers and abilities have been quantified. Now the Executive control us. Own us.'
She was thoughtful.
'Did you take the drugs, Changer? Or were you born...'
'Youth drugs? We couldn't afford them, Sarah. My mother was a widow on a backwater moon. Dad died before I was born, but I know neither of my parents were Changers... seems I'm one of only a handful of throwbacks.'
The drugs had been banned for centuries, but were still synthesized illegally. Despite the risks, there was still demand and they were sold on Inversion 1 for vast sums. Hence, sporadic Changer mutations continued to occur. She shifted guiltily.
'Sarah? You used them?'
She nodded and began to cry again.
'All my family did. We had money, too much money... When I met Seth, I stopped - he wouldn't touch them. I imagined we'd grow old together, die together.'
'Were you aware of the mutation side-effects?'
'Side effects? No, nobody said... '
Inversion 4 was an elite, isolated world. Communication between planets in the system was restricted by the Executive, so it's possible she was telling the truth. Sarah broke down, spoke between sobs.
'Oh, fuck! Look at me!’ I hadn’t expected her to swear so the expletive had a powerful effect. ‘When he died and I lived on, I...'
'What's wrong, Alex4213, don't you fancy me anymore?' She laughed mockingly then whispered, 'I know you do; you made me.' My incredulous look made her laugh again. 'Your response to my message, your conversation, your admiring looks. All shaped me. Even before we met, before we touched, I was changing. You can't do that, can you, Mr Changer?'
'You knew, didn't you? That you were... different?'
There was a pause while she decided whether or not to tell the truth.
'I suspected, yes.' She steadfastly met my gaze and spoke clearly and evenly.
'I've secretly purchased a moon, one of the thousands in the rings of Inversion 7. It's a holiday home, stocked and converted for long-term occupancy. If you let me go, I will travel there, live there.'
'Sarah, why come to me? Why involve me at all? Why didn't you just go and hide? Now I have no choice, I have to...'
'Because I had to be sure. And I thought... I had a feeling, a feeling I could trust you. I had no one else to turn to. With Seth gone, I have no one. No one will miss me. Changer, please let me go.'
To turn her in was to kill her. But to let her go was suicide - I was certain she could not pull it off, would be caught and traced back to me. What experience could prepare her for what lay ahead? It was too risky. She seemed to read my thoughts and spoke with a searing determination.
'I’m tougher than you think, will learn to love the solitude and will be comfortable enough. I will meditate, reflect and pray, and when I am ready I will...' She fixed me with her sad, pragmatic eyes. 'You will never see me again.'
Again I shook my head, though my resolve was weakening. A lonely life on a tiny rock orbiting a gas giant would be hard, but a Changer's life was harder - at its base level, it was little more than whoring. I knew she would not cope with it. Her long life of genteel, civilised pursuits and loving loyalty could never prepare her for a Changer's existence. The future would destroy her.
'And neither can you do this.'
I blinked and she changed. An old, frail woman with thinning white hair. Then she vanished, though I could still feel her weight on me, see the indentations both on my flesh and the couch. I gasped and there appeared a blonde-haired girl with slightly asymmetrical breasts. With a wink, she changed instantly back to the Seren I knew, to the goddess I'd created.
‘You need intimacy to change, don’t you Mr Changer?’
Again she became the old woman, her pale blue eyes staring plaintively into mine. Then she melted back into the young girl before flipping effortlessly between the two.
My secret. She knew my secret.
When I finally nodded my assent, she hugged me and kissed me long and hard. With head spinning, I sat on the bed while she dressed then watched her gather her final few possessions and arrange for transport. By nightfall she would be long gone and a new client would change me again. I went to the bathroom and took one last look in the mirror.
'I will never forget you, Alex4213.' She was standing in the open doorway. 'I will keep you in my heart forever.' She turned to go, but paused in the airlock. 'You'll be paid from an anonymous off-planet account. I am already officially dead. All the paperwork is complete. Don't forget me, Alex.' And she was gone.
I was still changing. Changing and forgetting. Changing and remembering. I cried. Cried for Sarah. Cried for myself, for all I had lost, for all I had never had. Now Seren6520 sat astride me. Her voice was clear and decisive.
The dome seemed dead without her. Sitting on her bed, I pondered the future. Our secret was incredibly dangerous. At best, it would compromise my work: at worst, it would lead to my death. And hers. Either way, I could never have turned her in.
An unexpected spark of optimism glowed inside me. I'd been getting complacent, careless. That would change. I would work hard to be the best Changer ever, would do it for Sarah. I'd bury our secret beneath a new steely determination to be the best. I would be famous, beyond reproach.
But what of now? I would shut myself away, be myself for the day then lose my old self in the grotesque pantomime that is a Changer's life. I would hide Sarah's secret forever, but I would never forget her. Because I loved her.
'Five hundred years. Lots of time to think. To think about what to do with this curse… this gift. Lots of time to practice, to hone my skills. To change.' The arrogant sneer softened into the voice of someone I once knew. 'But some things didn't change. You were always here.’ She placed a hand on her heart. ‘And you, Alex4213, you haven't changed a bit!'
A young Sarah sat in my lap. And she started to cry.
'Forgive me, Alex, but I had to be sure. Sure it was actually you. Sure my secret was still safe with you. It was for your protection - the Lawmakers are ruthless, incredibly devious. But no match for me. Oh, Alex, I've waited so long.'
'Sarah? Sarah? Oh, my god... is it really you?' She nodded through the tears. 'I thought you were...'
'The Law?' She laughed. 'I'm beyond The Law. I can move among them, unnoticed. I don't need to hide away anymore. They have no idea, no idea... the things I can do!'
'No, I... I thought you were dead.'
As I gazed into her lovely face, desire overwhelmed me and my cock stirred. She sensed it, adjusted her position and it grew inside her. We made love, slowly, passionately, as we had in the darkness so many years before. As I gave up my seed to her womb, I was Alex, I was eighteen, I was in love. Her tone was now reassuring, loving, and I listened with the awe, optimism and excitement of youth.
'You gave me a chance. Freedom. Gave me life, though it could have killed you. Now I've returned to do the same for you. To live as a slave is not to live at all...' Her eyes burned with passion. 'They can't track me, can't catch me. They don't even know I exist. Even you, the famous Changer! You couldn't tell who I was, even though you were fucking me.'
I shook my head in amazement.
'How did you hide yourself from me? I remember everyone... everyone who ever changed me.'
'That was my final test. If I can fool you, I can fool anyone.'
She kissed me and we hugged each other, neither wanting to ever let go.
'Alex, I will teach you. I have so much to show you. We can go anywhere, do anything. I have travelled, seen places you would not believe. Come with me. Imagine the things we will do. Imagine what our children will achieve...'
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