Offspring Ch. 010byTalemaster©
At eight Feng arrived and did his thing. He showed me how to operate the device. At around ten he was through and we went downstairs for drinks.
"Any time you need me for a job, just call," he said before he left.
I asked him if that was still on offer if the job involved some danger to his person.
"I am in a dangerous business, Frank. A bit more or less doesn't worry me. Just tell me when I need to carry a gun."
He laughed, we shook hands and he went on his way.
After a gruelling day at the office sorting through pictures, and after my usual lesson I had my recording. It felt weird seeing myself naked with a hard on lying on that platform and the Oktonian woman straddling me. She pushed herself down, stayed there for about twenty seconds and withdrew. My penis started to deflate already, it was obvious I had ejaculated. She went to where her clothes were and withdrew a cylinder from her skirt. Pulling two pieces of what looked like wet cloth from the cylinder she dabbed herself with one and cleaned my dick carefully and meticulously with the other. She took the cylinder and the cloths to the bathroom and presumably threw them down the garbage chute. I lay on the platform, barely breathing, as in a coma. As she got dressed my body started to stir a little. She continued to watch me as I came to my senses. The whole event had lasted just over twenty minutes. When I was dressed again she left.
Nothing stuck out when I watched it again. I decided I was too tired to pay proper attention and left it until morning.
I gave the office a miss and had breakfast at the hotel, in civvies. Back at my room I kept looking at the recording over and over without coming up with anything new other than a look at a naked back of an Oktonian woman. I had never seen one. I had noticed Oktonian women always faced me, dressed or naked. I had thought that was because they were very protective of their wings, which they claimed were very delicate and easily injured. Maybe there were other reasons.
There was nothing erotic about an Oktonian rear. They had no arse to speak of. There was no deep crack dividing the cheeks as in humans, just a shallow furrow, covered with feathers. It seemed unlikely there was an arsehole underneath the feathers, it would make an awful mess every time they had a shit.
I wasn't getting anywhere. Perhaps another pair of eyes could help. I rang up Arden and asked him if he could come over to my hotel and have lunch with me later.
He turned up around ten. Arden spotted an irregularity on the second run through. He pointed out a flicker in the recording almost immediately after the woman had slipped her vagina over my dick.
"What do you think this is?" he asked, taking me three or four times over that segment.
"Some glitch in the recording?"
"If it's a glitch in the recording, why is it only where your body is and nowhere else?"
I hadn't noticed that, but he was right. It almost seemed as if my body had blanked out for a fraction of a second at that point. The rest of the picture was steady. A frame by frame analysis brought no further clarification.
"Whatever happened there was too fast for the camera to pick up completely," said Arden."We need to adjust the recording devices or get different ones. You need Feng."
"It would be necessary to brief Feng on at least some of what I'm doing for him to do his job properly. Do you trust him that much?"
"I would rather have Feng in on our little conspiracy than some arsehole from the Federation."
Feng it was. He joined us an hour later.
Arden tried to put the fear of Jesus into him with official secrets act and so but Feng interrupted him in the middle of his speech.
"Listen you dumb prick," he said, "years ago, when your mob picked me up, after I made a mistake on some schonk deal, you decided I was worth more to you here than being deported. You killed the action against me and we have done all sorts of shit together since, on condition I would not be required to rat on my customers and colleagues. It's been working for close to ten years now.
"Make a fucking executive decision. Tell me what you want me to do and why and I tell you if I want to be in on it or not. In either case no one will ever hear from me what was discussed."
"This is my call," I said. "Let's have lunch first and afterwards I'll brief you. After that you will have to make a fucking executive decision, as you so colourfully put it."
Feng just grinned and we went to get something to eat.
I have to give it to the Chinaman, he is a good listener. He paid close attention to what I was saying, only interrupting occasionally to clarify some point. I told him about Oktonians and their form of having sex with humans and our reasons for wanting to find out what that was all about.
I then showed him the recording. He went over it several times.
"This is weird shit. Whatever this is, a fuck it ain't." Turning to me he said: "You realise, of course, you've been drugged. Her cunt, or whatever that thing is you stick your dick into, is soaked with the drug. They collect your come while you are off your head and afterwards the woman neutralises the toxin with whatever is on those rags, which brings you back to reality. Evidently whatever crap they are using doesn't affect them the same way. At least that's what I think. That's number one.
"Number two is that the blurred patch in the recording is not caused by the equipment. Arden is right. Something happened there that happened too fast for the cameras to pick up. I can speed up the cameras to one hundred times the normal recording speed. I'll do that now. If that's not sufficient I'll have to get you some other gear.
"Number three, and this is where it gets exciting, here might be a chance to get our hands on a genuine Oktonian artefact. The cylinder and those rags don't look like anything I'm familiar with, besides there must be chemicals of one sort or another stuck to those pieces of cloth. It may well be something they produce."
"All very nice," I said. "How will you get your hands on it."
"The cameras don't show it, but you reckon she threw it down the garbage chute in the bathroom, don't you?"
"There is nowhere else she could have put it."
"It's simple then. Before she turns up for your lesson I'll tape a plastic bag into the chute to prevent things from dropping down. We should be able to retrieve whatever she puts in it."
"I take it that means you're in with us Feng?"
He laughed. "Of course I'm in with you guys. Look, I need to go now. I'll see you tonight at six, here in this room. I'll make sure the equipment does what it's supposed to do and tape the bag in the chute. We'll meet again after eight to see what we've got."
We agreed to the arrangement, Feng left and I went to the bar with Arden for a drink.
"Shit, I forgot to ask him if he could adjust the cameras," I said when we had settled down. "I want to know if Oktonians have an arsehole."
"What do you want to know that for? You don't want to fuck her arse, do you?"
I told him what Cleopatra had said about parthenogenesis and about shit and offspring emerging from the same hole.
"Why don't you talk to the coroner?"
"You have a coroner?"
"Look Frank, what do you think this is? This place may be the arse end of the universe and it definitely has some strange things going on that make no sense, but when you strip the shit away it's a spaceport. There are about 80,000 permanent residents and any number of transients here. As in any other place like this we have accidents, robberies, murders, illicit drugs, fraud, the whole criminal shooting match. We are called Federation Security, but we are the police here. We have a fraud squad, a homicide department, a forensic lab and so forth like any other bunch of coppers. Of course we have a coroner. Someone has to do the autopsies.
"What are you telling me?"
"Not all victims of accidents and crime are human. He'll be able to tell you everything you want to know about Oktonian anatomy. He might even have an Oktonian body in a fridge somewhere."
Arden went back to his office. I stayed in my room.
At six Feng turned up and did his thing, at seven I had my daily lesson and at eight Feng and Arden arrived, anxious for results. Feng wanted to go straight to the bathroom to retrieve whatever had been caught in his bag. Arden stopped him.
He had brought some sort of forensic kit and made Feng wear gloves and a facemask. He donned the same gear himself and they went to work. Minutes later they returned from the bathroom with a number of neatly labelled evidence bags containing the bits and pieces they had found.
Feng wanted to have a closer look. Arden wasn't having any of it.
"This stuff will go to the forensic lab as is right now, I don't want it handled and contaminated."
"Stop it, you guys. What are you arguing for? Feng can have his own set tomorrow to play around with. There's not much we can do with this shit tonight anyway. Let's have a look what the cameras tell us."
"You guys have a look at that, I'll get this shit off to the lab while it's still fresh." With that Arden closed his case and went.
Feng busied himself with the recording device. At 2400 frames per second there were a lot of images he had to go through. It took him a while.
"Well, fuck me dead. What the fuck is this?" Feng was scratching his head.
"What are you talking about?" I was mystified.
"Look here, there are about twenty frames were your body is not in the picture. Everything else is. Either you went completely transparent, or for that split second you weren't there. I've never seen anything like it."
"Problems with the equipment? Something interfering with it?" I suggested.
"Not a chance."
Feng tuned the device to maximum resolution.
"Here, see? Every feather on that Oktonian quim is as clear as a bell, so is the surface texture of the platform where your body should be. You tell me how a problem with the gear can cause that. No, this is something else. It's no hallucination either, cameras cannot record hallucinations."
"What do we do now?" I didn't know how to proceed from here.
"First I'll erase all our recordings and then I'll remove the surveillance gear and get it out of here."
"Why would you do this?" I was mystified.
"There is nothing further we can learn here. I want to remove all evidence just in case someone comes across this shit and starts wondering what we're up to. Let me get my kit."
Feng left and returned after ten minutes with his briefcase. He immediately started to remove the cameras and patched the small holes in the wall where they had been.
"You'll need something to show to your masters. I'll make a copy of the first recording, edit the picture where your body flickers, make it look like an equipment glitch. You can give them that. If you don't give them something they will wonder how come you have the artefacts. Once forensics have them there is no way to keep their existence quiet. I'll also doctor the speeded up recording and take the frames out where you disappear. I'll put the doctored versions on your computer. Give them to your masters, tell them we made a second recording because of the glitch in the first, just to make sure we hadn't missed anything. Tell them the artefacts were collected by Federation Security and are with forensics now for analysis. That'll cover your butt."
I agreed that this was a good plan.
It took Feng about an hour to remove all traces of what he had done except for the doctored copies on my computer.
"Let me get this shit away from here," he said when he was done. "I'll see you downstairs in the bar in half an hour, if that's okay with you."
I told him it was.
"You really know how to piss into a hornet's nest, don't you?" Feng said over a beer. "If the Federation finds out about this our lives won't be worth a cracker."
"Look Feng, as long as you keep quiet about this you can still bomb out, if it's too dangerous for you."
"Walk away from this? Are you nuts? This is shaping up to be the biggest adventure of my life. A million horses couldn't drag me away."
"How would I pay you? I can't very well have you put on the Federation payroll and I don't know if I can afford your services for any length of time."
"Fuck the money. I know you are well off, I checked. But, so am I. It's the adrenaline I'm after, not the cash. I'm bored shitless with my life."
"I'm making an executive decision here Feng. I've decided to level with you. Let's go up to my room, I need a secure environment."
"You mean there's more? Let's go for it. You're on."
"Give me your assessment so far, Feng. What do you think is happening here?" I asked when we had settled down.
"I trust my equipment. It tells me that for a split second your body was not in this room. That much is not speculation, at least as far as I'm concerned.
"You tell me that you enter into some spaces where you can act physically and that you can spend considerable time there. In this reality you're only gone for a split second. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, this spells to me some form of time travel. We know that, at least on a quantum level, it's possible. We have known that for a long time. No one has been able to do something with it though."
"You are right, that's exactly what it is. Your recording gave me the last bit of information I needed to come to that conclusion."
"You mean you have other evidence to support the theory?"
"Come on then. Don't leave me here sitting on the edge of my seat."
"What I'm about to tell you I haven't even told Arden. Only two people know of it so far."
I told him about my experiments with Lata, about the microchip and about my intention to have a camera implanted so I could take pictures when I was in those spaces.
"Whatever you do, don't have one of those implant jobs. They'll make you go blind within a year."
"How do you know that?"
"You are forgetting surveillance is my area of expertise. They use no camera in these devices. The way it works is they implant electrodes straight into the visual cortex, and pick up the images from there. The device sees everything the eyes of the subject see, with amazing clarity. The downside is that the visual cortex deteriorates rapidly in the process, rendering the subject blind in a comparatively short time. The deterioration is irreversible. It keeps on going even after the electrodes are removed. The Federation, and some criminal enterprises, use the technology only on disposables, meaning people they get rid of after they have the information they want."
"There goes that idea. It would have been nice to take pictures."
"That may still be possible. I have a device that might do the job, assuming you can take it with you. I'll show you tomorrow. I have to be here at six anyway to fit the bag in the chute, we'll try an experiment then. Now I've got to get some sleep if I'm to be of any use tomorrow. See you at six."
I decided I'd had enough too and went to bed.