In the not-so-distant future, human DNA and advanced technology have combined to create sentient machines that look and feel oh-so-human, whether they are used as nannies, nurses, or... sex toys. But what happens when a sex toy sits up and demands rights?
Dante is blond, brilliant, and beautiful... because he was made that way, commissioned and raised by an eccentric professor to prove a point. After the professor's untimely death, Dante's life is reduced to usage by the state, because technically a cygenic is a machine, not a person. To everyone, Dante is just a piece of "wetware" that happens to think and feel like a human. Drudgery at the hands of the state isn't the worst fate, though. Many humans have developed cruel tastes they satisfy with cygenic exploitation. Can Dante rise above the sordid and sadistic circumstances he finds himself in?
Nate is a programming prodigy with a righteous soul. Fresh out of college, he goes to work for a nonprofit dedicated to rehabilitating destitute cygenics. But cyborgs aren't the only ones being taken for granted and exploited by those who may be human, but are far from humane.
Dante and Nate are both lonely, angry, and left vulnerable by a world that should have treated them better... and they are on a collision course. Can they navigate the pitfalls of love, lust, and systematic oppression together, or will the system rip them apart?
I let my eyes wander the crowd. I didn’t even know what bar we were in now, Iris leading me on a downward crawl through the labyrinth east of Piss Street. She loved this kind of thing. The current venue was a “flashing lights and repetitive deep-bass music” affair dominated by a sprawling dance floor. I could probably get laid here, if I felt like it.
The thought was more appealing than I’d have given it credit for ten drinks ago. It was probably part of Iris’ calculated plan to make me forget my broken heart to end up here right when I was at the height of drunken impulsiveness.
A flash of something under the edge of a table caught my attention.
There was a cygenic tied there. He looked young enough to be fresh from the tank. Opalescent skin with softly illuminated lines of electronics running beneath the surface, purplish hair, shining steel-rimmed jacks at his wrists and the base of his neck. He also had a black eye, a split lip, and a fairly serious head wound. His eyes were closed, eyebrows scrunched together in obvious pain. He was naked except for a pair of cutoffs. And someone had gotten creative with a piercing gun on him.
“Come on, little bitch’s worth twice that!” a lanky white guy in an military-issue camo coat was whining.
“Let me sample, and I might think about it, but I don’t think he’s worth it,” the other man sneered.
“You lookin’ to sell?” I found myself saying.