Adam828 was just an average Joe. A lot like me, maybe more like you. He didn't know why the Federation Presidents had chosen him, unless it was because he was twenty-five years younger than the last of them. He was well-off, as most Citizens were, but nowhere near as astronomically wealthy as the Presidents themselves. It had taken them a year to groom him for subscription. As one of the thirty most influential men in the world, Adam—no longer e pluribus unum—qualified for LOVE.
There were thirty MANDORLA III's. The MANDORLA, the first crude-by-comparison design, could simulate an authentic sexual tension followed by orgasm for something approaching an hour. MANDORLA II was as human as any machine could or ever would be, but she was the last of her kind. Fifty years after the II's introduction, God Frederick Müller discovered the secret of life and created MANDORLA III, the life standard.
So Adam found himself in LOVE. In other days—simpler days to be sure—the observance of such a state would be greeted with a knowing smile and a fleeting remembrance of when you too had felt the first heat of human passion. To be sure, there may have been simple folk—men with women—still living somewhere in the world, either suboceanic or subterranean, who might respond with that ancient benign smile of recognition when LOVE was mentioned. But the Citizens of the United Federations—that is, the people in the real world—had no interest in them. They were the stuff of legend and superstition and were better left alone, since it was said they possessed fearsome magic: They remained in open conjugality with the same individual for a lifetime. This was unheard of in civilized societies all across the globe.
Furthermore they possessed, it was said, the atavistic ability to reproduce their own kind through a process similar to LOVE involving ancient forms of sexuality that were inferior to cloning and provided even less pleasure than the early MANDORLA II's. Adam née Adam828 was himself the product of such a union, as were many of his acquaintances. But at 124 years of age, and with a lifetime ahead of him, Adam was content in his good fortune, courtesy of the Federation Presidents, and he subscribed to LOVE with as much joy in his heart as his Father (OUTMODED CONCEPT) must have felt at loving his Mother (OUTMODED CONCEPT). Adam had worked long and hard, and LOVE was his reward.
But it was not so simple as all that, as he was soon to discover.
Nothing Adam had read or heard from the other subscribers prepared him for MANDORLA III. He had leased an original MANDY for many years, and thorough maintenance had kept her as sleek and pleasure-providing at the end as when he'd first opened her box. But she was, after all, only a machine, A.I., a mecca, and it did take a certain willing suspension of disbelief if a man were to get the most from a MANDY's mechanical repertoire of effects.
But a MANDORLA III? She was alive. Flesh and blood as they say. And Adam thought the whole thing close to a miracle. The proponents of cloning would give any number of reasons why a GWYNETH or a PAM was a better buy, and of course they drove a strong argument if you were a stockholder maybe, or a one-woman kind of guy who enjoyed seeing thousands—maybe millions—of GWYNETHs or PAMs or RAQUELs or BRIGITTEs, for that matter, on the arms of every Tom, Dick or Harry who could cough up the price.
But the MANDORLA series, so brilliantly conceived by God Frederick Müller, was something else again, and Adam's III model possessed the LOVE talents of the ages. She was CLEOPATRA, SALOME, JESSICAPIERCE, even simple FARRAH, should you so desire, all rolled up into one. Spiritual ROM? (OUTMODED CONCEPT). She had no circuits, save the biological synapses that arced across her Newman brain.
She was capable of overnight physical and emotional assimilation of any fantasy object.
God Frederick Muüller called it synthesexuality, and it was the kind of ability that, in Adam's opinion, no amount of money could buy. God Frederick Muüller agreed with him, for the MANDORLA III's were unavailable for outright ownership. Each III was leased to her subscriber at the astronomical cost of Dos Equis. Since Adam's sexual preferences were—to say the least—complicated, he had come to a point in his life where MANDORLA III was the only answer. It was, you might say, a marriage made in Heaven (OUTMODED CONCEPT).
The table was set intimately, with the glow of candlelight the room's only illumination. Adam sipped slowly at the wine. It was perfect, and its crimson energy went straight to his heart. He had avoided the aphrodisiacs that had flooded the market after the introduction of MANDORLA II, simply because he was a Gentleman and a purist who knew the difference between artificial arousal and the real thing.
His III was called GINA, though he would have little use for that entity. Enticing though she may have been, she was in truth a Zero, a place-holder for whatever—whomever—Adam wished her to become.
He cherished the fading memories of the grand women of his boyhood. The last women of the last century. Gina's impersonation, more properly her assimilation this evening was to be one of his Goddesses. Adam was anxious to experience the result of her first synthesexual period, and he drummed his fingers on the tabletop in anticipation.
He heard her in the bedroom. She was humming softly to herself as she dressed, and Adam found himself aroused with only her fantasy image in his mind. He sipped again at the wine and recalled the days of his earliest youth, well over a century ago, when her photograph alone could bring him to tumultuous orgasm.
Such a long time ago. Long before holomags and the SeXTCube. He was one of millions, probably, he supposed, who lusted after her—in two dimensions—before she died of an overdose. A spiritual paucity, they would discover generations later, had caused her body's immune system to fail at a crucial hour. Adam, like many others undoubtedly, continued to consider her alive, at least in fantasy. Such was the power of her magnetic sexuality. Such was the power of the male imagination. Adam's MANDORLA I had been her android duplicate, but now, for the first time in a hundred and some-odd years, and thanks to God Frederick Muüller, she lived again.
The dining room was filled with the delicate waft of her perfume. He could feel her presence, but he did not dare turn around. She would, he knew, come to him, as she processed his needs. The voice was absolutely accurate. He recognized it immediately.
"Adam," she whispered. She placed her arms around him, but still he resisted turning to face her. Her lips brushed his ear softly. "I hope I'm not too late. I wanted to make myself perfect for you."
He touched her hand tentatively. She breathed sharply in response. Accurate. Very good. In life she was very high strung. Adam could feel the milk-white texture of her forearm change as she became excited at his touch. She exhaled slowly, whispering with that unmistakable breathiness:
"It's been such a long time."
"You were never far from my thoughts, darling."
"I know," she answered. He smiled. "Would you prefer that I didn't?" she asked quickly. She was anxious to please. She could swap out the mindscan any time.
"Let's not talk about that," said Adam. "Let's get to know each other." He held his breath as he turned to face her. What he saw made his heart surge and his groin tighten:
She was not too tall. Not too blonde. Not too slim. She wore none of the pain that in her life she had often failed to hide. Neither was she drawn and tired, as in the last photos and the long-suppressed erotic Presidential holograms. She was, in a word, perfect, and Adam fell to his knees, daring at least to speak her name:
"Marilyn…let's make LOVE."
She encircled his head in her arms. He could smell her moist woman's scent just below the surface of her gown. She bent slightly and kissed him on the top of his head the way one might kiss a child.
"I've waited so long," he said. His heart was racing now, and he wanted to take her there in the dining room and to hell with the meal. But Marilyn, consummate actress that she was, would have none of that. She brushed away from him, crossing the room to its center where the light was brightest.
"Do you like my dress, Adam?" Astounding, he thought. A woman, a girl, a tease, amazing. "It was designed for my last film. Do you think it's dated?"
She turned slowly round for him, and for the fun of it. Of course. He knew she knew and Adam smiled at God Frederick Müller's thoroughness. The dress was blue silk. It hugged her waist and voluptuous hips. They were, he remembered. Voluptuous. And even as he thought it, her legs galvanized him. She wore the high-heeled pumps. Yes. He knew their sexsounds on the sidewalk in the long-dead city. The breathings of the subways and the hissing. Marilyn gushed at the thought, that famous scene. She twirled harder, faster, a dervish now for him and his fantasy. She wore shadowy-colored hose and a midnight-colored garter belt pulled the dusky tops of her stockings achingly upward.
She was giggling now, and she tottered, so fast was the dance. Gradually she slowed, till the silk wrapped itself around her legs in one direction and then, in slow motion, the other finally. She nodded gratefully to him. He smiled back as she sat—the full width of the room away—on a loveseat. He was bursting with desire when she crossed her beautiful legs. He was reminded of the series of exquisite photographs—all black and white, wonderful chiaroscuro—and there were those famous legs again. Marilyn swung, gravity's rainbow the slipper and her toe. And then he saw the heaving of her breasts and she came to him before he had the words in mind.
God Frederick Müller turned quickly from the holoscan to Dolores.
"Isn't it wonderful to contemplate the energy man and MANDORLA can create together?"
Dolores nodded, still in awe of all of this.
"Adam seems to have mastered the synthesexual process first time out. He's an imaginative fellow. The perfect subscriber. Which is a lot more than I can say for the others. Punch up Federation President Seth."
Dolores switched the holoscan to a portly hundred seventy-fiveish gentleman who was reclined in bed and seemed to be in the first moments of violent orgasm. A dark-haired MANDORLA III with her back to the holocam was going down on him with remarkable gusto.
"Let me guess before you change angles," said God Frederick Müller. "Ten to one it's Jacqueline." Dolores punched up the President's POV and, sure enough, Jackie was hard at work. I bet he thinks he's being very clever," said God Frederick Müller in disdain. "Simpleton. Give me his frequency table."
God Frederick Müller ran her fingers through her long blonde hair and leaned against the console, tight-clad legs spread longly wide. She was tired. The numbers floated into view. She appraised them in thoughtful silence. Then:
"Sixty-seven episodes in less than four months. Good frequency for a cent-six. But aside from, let's see…one Betty Grable, one, two, three Gretas—interesting—a couple of Mann acts and, um, a handful of miscellanies, he's been working that poor III to fixation with Jacqueline."
She stared significantly at Dolores.
"I think they're about to make their move."
Dolores smiled. Everything was working out so well.
"I think," said God Frederick Müller, "we'll bring her in for enhanced frequency generation."
"He's a Federation President," said Dolores. "He won't be happy."
"They're all Federation Presidents. And we're not here to make him happy. He knows he has to follow the procedure. We made that clear when we introduced LOVE. A III is a delicate creature. If we're going to come back, Dolores, and I mean ALL THE WAY BACK, we need total control of the program. Give me all monogamy quotients."
Once again she studied the figures in contemplative silence.
"There it is. Except for Adam, MQ's are significantly higher for LOVE than for all other surrogates combined. They're on the move."
She seemed anxious. She frowned.
"Give me twenty-four hour simultaneous monitors on the twenty-nine high MQ's and switch the one exception into my study."
Morning. Adam couldn't open his eyes for the anticipation. Marilyn had been indescribable. He wasn't sure if it was the incredible sex or the fact that she seemed to inhabit to an uncanny degree another world. It was like he had time-traveled back to the early 1960's in America (OUTMODED CONCEPT). She was knowledgeable in baseball. She quoted great portions of the plays of Arthur Miller. She described an amusing blow job she gave to a famous tragedian named Miltown Berle. MANDORLA III was worth every centime of her subscription price. But now for the final test: Adam took a deep breath and rolled towards her.
He noticed immediately, with his eyes still closed, that she wore a different perfume. Where Marilyn bore an almost effervescent champagne quality, this new scent was earthy. A musk of exciting possibility. The heavy texture of her hair across his face made him open his eyes. Marilyn's platinum locks were gone. In their place, spread erotically across both pillows, were lustrous wondrous tousled strands of chestnut curls. His heartbeat accelerated as he pulled her strong olive-skinned body to him. She whispered sleepily "Caro mio…" Her tongue slipped easily between his eager lips and Adam surged with desire.
She was quickly atop him. He slipped as easily into her rhythm as an old sideman in a swing band that's been on the road for years. Deep brown almond eyes looked into his very soul. She slowly rotated her ample hips and Adam, finally, spoke:
"I want you, Sophia. So bad."
The amazing grace of her mandorla pulsated in a slow easy rhythm. Adam felt no need to move, to think. Sophia did it all, with the energy of the ages. She whispered to him again, accented like the leaves of an olive tree turning towards the sun:
"My Love. Come with me. Give me your seed. Yes. Fill me."
Sophia the Queen. Aaaahh. Before he could have thought it possible, Adam felt the rush of orgasm, the vicegrip of immortality below and above and all around him. They pounded against time together, in LOVE, in the deepest of communions. And when he finally could stand no more, Adam held her body tightly to himself.
"Beautiful," said God Frederick Müller, after a moment of profound silence. "A complete transformation in…" she glanced at the timepiece, "only four hours. This man is created for LOVE." She turned to Dolores. "Do you have the data?"
"Yes. Enhanced frequency generation resulting in ovulation is imminent. Our projections indicate that with no other alterations, synthesexual repetitions should be possible for a period of fifty years, about a lifetime of monogamy in mid-twenty-first century terms. All twenty-nine subscribers are at least a cent-five old, so they are familiar with that time span."
"Then that's it. Proceed with the enhancement. Replace the III's with their respective clones--or II's if need be, and see to it that the subscribers are henceforth restrained from fantasy. They want one woman—they shall have her. And she will fuck them to death, if it's so important to them."
God Frederick Müller meditated deeply, letting her head hang relaxed towards her breasts, feeling the release of tension from the back of her neck. After a breath or two, she glanced up at Dolores with wet and shiny eyes:
"MANDORLA III is a success."
As Dolores turned excitedly back to the holoscan, God Frederick Müller added "Give me detailed extrapolations of this creature Adam. I have a feeling he's the one. Jacqueline will be the first."
Sophia turned slowly in bed to her lover at the window. She smiled as she saw him staring at her long legs. It made her feel very sexy and she purred with contentment. Adam crossed the bedroom to her and ran his hands through her hair, again and again, as if to confirm that she were really there.
"What shall we do today, caro mio?" She let the words come out lazily, as if she were speaking to Marcello Mastroianni in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, as if she'd be satisfied just to stay there with Adam in the bedroom forever.
Adam kissed her soft and short. "Sorry, Sophia. Got to fly to the USSRA. Have dinner there tonight with Federation President Seth. It's gonna be a long night, so don't wait up."
There was a glint in his eye. She sensed it was because she'd be someone else by his return. But she did enjoy the feeling of Sophia. She liked her dark mid-twentieth century Italian beauty. She was a large woman, and it was good to see the world from this height.
She glanced at herself in the mirror. Sophia was beautiful. Her skin and hair were so dark against the white of the sheets, the creamy white swirl of the bedroom walls. She turned expectantly towards Adam. He shook his head. She threw darts of jealous hurt in his direction.
Adam marveled at how much like a real woman this MANDORLA must be. Like his real Sophia, long gone. Or the real Marilyn. Like Julia, like Cameron, like Jennifer, like that little minx from the last Spielberg holos, the great great granddaughter of the little blond. Like, God FM rest her soul, his mother.
forward to the conclusion