Tim’s implant sang a single low note. Time to go to work. Squinting at the clock through a haze of day-old Dancing Juice, he made out the glowing numbers. Quarter past noon. It was days like this, he wished he were one of the 67 percent, instead of a working man.
He swung his legs off the side of the bed and flinched as a plastic vial crunched beneath the pad of his right foot. He definitely had to lay off the stuff. His job required him to work only a few minutes twice a week or so, but he had to be on call 9 AM to 9 PM Monday through Thursday, and he never knew when the call would come. One of these days, they’d beep him when he was fried on DJ and he’d blow up half of London or something.
Rubbing his face with his hand, he stood up and made his way through piles of scattered clothing to the bathroom.
He called up the bedroom cam on his implant and stole lascivious glances at Linda while he shaved. Sleeping facedown on top of the covers, naked and splayed, she was hotter than MindPorn. So there was one reason to be grateful for his job, right? He wouldn’t have met her if the feds hadn’t recruited them both off the gamer sites in the same season. They’d gotten to talking the first day of training, and were spelunking each other’s crevices by the end of that week. She was lean and dark, with ropy muscles like a man’s. So aggressive in bed that sometimes she reminded Tim of some kinky fantasy he might punch in to iBabe for a change of pace. He liked it at first. She swept him into her sensuality like a rogue wave. But the truth was—now?—two years later? Sometimes he found himself dreaming of someone softer, sweeter, more vulnerable, more . . .
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