Floozman in Space
by Bertrand Cayzac
In a space station in Earth orbit, Janatone Waldenpond, a refugee from Europa, is trying to return to Earth. She meets a long-lost cousin, Fred Looseman. Meanwhile, Jenny Appleseed, the president of the Cosmitix Corporation, holds a conference to plan interstellar expeditions.
The Zodiac of Her Spirit II
That an eternal object can be described only in terms of its potential for “ingression” in the becoming of real entities; and that its analysis discloses only other eternal objects. It is pure potential. The term “ingression” refers to the particular mode in which the potentiality of an eternal object is realized in a particular real entity, contributing to defining the character of that particular entity.— Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality [Category of Explanation (vii)]
Love is king in the palace garden. And great is the strength that causes Jenny’s animal soul to fall in love with Janatone, the Earthling! It increases with each expedition and feeds on the past.
Has this happened because the two cyborgs come from the same cradle? Millicent, the president’s customized stimuli-shield, processes the question, she who was made, not born. The animal soul, for its part, doesn’t ask any questions; the animal soul is a lonely hunter. It knows what it needs, and it does not need the stimuli shield to know what it knows, and mind is no longer present to dictate its laws.
Time stretches and relaxes. Jenny and her favorite make love to each other again and again. It could be a revolution in the climax of love, but Janatone doesn’t really have her heart in it.
Janatone is confused. She would like to give herself to Jenny with all her old human heart, but she cannot share the ecstasy. Her thoughts remain heavy and in the background. They are in the asteroids, with the refugees who ceaselessly wash over the outposts, aggregated as symbiotic clusters inside their survival cages. The systems devour the dead in order to sustain the living, and the weak feed the strong.
Who will take care of them now that Janatone has broken camp and joined the revolution? She recalls the story of the little deluxe soap dish. She thinks of the poor commander of things and its cobbled-together guerillas, of all the dramas of proliferating individuation. She thinks and does not activate her stimuli shield. She thinks long and hard, and her thoughts bring her back to planet Earth while she is in Jenny’s arms, under the purple light of the psycho-pumps.
“Your mind is not in the superworld anymore,” whispers Millicent, Jenny’s stimuli shield. “What are you thinking about? Pardon my French,” Millicent says, “but Tu n’y vas que d’une fesse — You’re going about it half-assed, with only one hip.” Millicent’s eyes are open and impassible, with no further consideration for the exaltation seizing Jenny’s body.
“I don’t know. I’m thinking of the refugees.” Janatone writhes under the onslaughts of pleasure, and Millicent can see the infinitely disquieting curve of her throat. This human form, so beautiful that lovers of old brought it back from the superworld, under what skies and in what passions? Janatone collapses on Jenny’s bosom, breathing heavily. “But where could a stimuli shield get such an expression?”
“From Gilbert Montaigne, by studying the context of your birth.”
“I am not that old.”
Janatone feels lonely. She no longer tries to speak to the woman she loves and admires. It is not worth the trouble; her mind is adrift. And again the psycho-pumps’ discharges stun her and plunge her mind into a chaos of light. She struggles. She rises up reluctantly. Once again she sees what she sees. She knows what she knows, and that means knowing with Jenny. But she comes down too fast with a feeling of déjà vu and the immense weariness of mutations to come.
Janatone is an old soul; she behaves as if she has always known what is held in the living spirit of the world. She doesn’t need to see verb or number; she doesn’t have to. She would rather forget them. She would like to see ripe melons, split figs, mushrooms. She doesn’t know what she wants to see. Maybe nothing, and certainly not the evil she has witnessed outside the palace. Evil! She must not forget it. She must find a way to tell Jenny and bring her back to her senses.
But Jenny remains aloft and distant. Now Janatone is frightened. Might Jenny be crazy? Janatone does not want to follow Jenny anymore; besides, she cannot. And that says it all.
It is clear now: Janatone has moved enough between worlds, and she knows she has. She is no longer a follower and does not wish to be one. She feels old, really old now, and full of days. She accepts it, she sees the height of fulfillment and the downard slope of renunciation.
She pictures herself here and now, at a huge distance and hundreds of years from the skies of her birth. It’s over. She decides she has fulfilled her destiny and that the end is better than the beginning. Now she can to escape from Jenny’s caresses. She will be able to move away from this friendly body she has come to know as well as her own body throughout its continual regenerations. The body is just a grave, she says to herself, in spite of its blonde hair, its fresh myelin, its pink nipples and white teeth.
But Janatone’s heart can delay this separation without illusion. For what must be the last time, Janatone turns to the generous bosom of Jenny Appleseed, her lover, her sister, her mother and also the visionary Queen who would give her eternal life for the asking.
She resumes the catapult procedure with her eyes full of tears, her full, lilac-colored thigh unveils as her back rotates in the nacelle; her entire leg is bare now but an aura of competence seems to shield her skin from sight as her hands move briskly on the control panel.
The two spirits mingle in the dyad while, in this world, the bodies exult. At the time chosen by her best mathematical model, Millicent sends the signal to Jenny’s soma: the CosmiHaploïdics electrified sperm floods up in the love channels and gushes out of the fingers, the tongue and the gracious retractile penis.
Janatone’s belly feels coming from another inside herself, and this other is Jenny, and the two beings fell themselves vast as the cosmos, which is made up of oneself and another, and which is good. But other calls forefully to other, and everything is set spinning along the orbs of pleasure.
They sleep, and it seems that some grand cosmic thing is operating while the appeased bodies are bestowed back to the flows of the universe. The moon turns, turns and turns. Jupiter turns and turns and turns. The sun seems to turn, too. Everything is turning; life goes on.
The Earthling lets herself be fecundated in internal mode for the first time in hundreds of years. Nano-robots detach the egg and guide it to the O’bag, which will soon be transferred into the next available artificial uterus, somewhere in the mountain of forges.
A male child has been conceived on Europa. This is part of the first information transmitted to the progenitors.
The last embrace
Some turns of moon later, Millicent is on the battlements, walking the body of the director, who could not sleep. She is feeling lonely and vulnerable. Restless too, rippling with shivers, as if her mistress is reconnecting herself by fits and starts. She doenn’t know what to do with the arms and legs. Her powerful back is heavy as she watches cargos ships flying by the diaphragms and the drones beyond, in the convolutions of the mineral sky. What if Jenny never comes back? What would become of us without her?
“Come back, Jenny, come back. You are pregnant by Janatone,” Millicent calls to the superworld interface.
Suddenly she glimpses a shadow. What is that? A ghost in armor? She follows it, quickening her pace in spite of the warning pains. She recognizes the long neck emerging from the space suit and the thick blonde hair. It is Janatone. She is carrying weapons and heavy travel bags. Anomaly detected: travel bags? comes a detached thought process in the partition of the mutualized intelligence allocated to Millicent.
Millicent calls to her gently in the immediate web, taking care to show her stimuli shield signature in order to avoid any mistake. At the same time, she feels the response in Jenny’s body, which is her own body in a manner of speaking. It loves Janatone so much that her very name makes its pulse race. For a moment, Millicent hads the impression that Jenny is about to reincarnate herself.
“Mil-li-cent,” sighs Janatone in a funny tone of voice.
“How do you know I have a name?”
Janatone bares her teeth and laughs with her eyes. It is soothing but carnivorous. Millicent realizes at that moment that this animal quality of smile belongs only to Earthling women. Millicent also perceives the determination and deep sorrow of of Jenny’s favorite.
The machine, sensitive as it is, glimpses the future shape of events, because her sense of time is not the same as that of the living. Unlike protected minds, the stimuli shield considers all changes. That is its job, after all.
“You are leaving.”
“Yes. It’s over, Millicent. Goodbye.”
Thus it is that Janatone is going home, leaving Jenny’s home, this nest of organic emotions. The unfiltered concept slams into Jenny’s body. She groans in pain.
Millicent hears the body demanding Janatone’s imprint once again. She draws her in for a kiss in spite of the weight and thickness of the spacesuit. She has no instructions, but she knows she has to hold Janatone back. Yes, I have to hold her, she says to herself while clumsily grasping Janatone’s hair. But what was that noise? That blow? Suddenly all vital signals fade to black.
Janatone has paralyzed Jenny’s body. Conspirators immediately guide Janatone to a stealthily waiting space shuttle.
End of the last embrace
Copyright © 2015 by Bertrand Cayzac