Jack and the Beanstalk.

By Rotwang (Zardreth@Cyberking .be)


Six shiny black Mark VI Hunter Killers raced through the corridors towards the breach in the main doors. With four arms and two legs, these cybernetic killers could even run over ceilings. And like most Gynetech cyborgs, they were exquisitely female in shape, and extremely lethal to boot.

The man seemed to ignore them as they arrived, one on the ceiling, two hanging on the walls and three on the ground. "Stop !" One of the ordered and eyed him up with her optical sensors. Inside the steel mask, unit 122 was quite a beautiful woman … The only part of her human exterior that was left. She raised one of her arms and aimed her cannons at the man who was only five or so steps away from her. "Freeze !" She barked and loaded the gun. "Last chance !" She howled and saw the strange gleam in his eyes. "FIRE !" Nearly a quarter of a million 2.7mm flechette rounds filled the corridor within the space of one second. But the lethal little projectiles just bounced off some impervious barrier around him. Quicker than a striking cobra, the man reached for the upside down Mark VI, holding onto her face. His hand burst into fire and the insides of the cyborg buckled for a split second before exploding, knocking the other cyborgs aside.

And he just walked on.

Anna, as she had been called in a previous life, was the first to recover and jumped into the man’s neck. The wicked talons on her hands slashed into … empty air and a big empty black raincoat. Before her superspeed reflexes could go into action, the man had pinned her lower right arm and placed his foot against her torso, ripping the arm out with disarming ease. And continuing into a graceful motion, he slammed it into the head of another cyborg, who had barely managed to get onto her feet.

A third one was also regaining her senses but only saw the white light coming out of his eyes, before she was reduced to a thin layer of super-hot metal and plastic spread over the walls and ceiling.

Anna tried to ignore the alert claxons in her head and grabbed his wrist. She twisted her hand 360, attempting to break his wrist and … The actuators protested before dying on her. His flesh fingers slammed into her chest and pierced her titanium skin. He lifted her off the ground and just gave her a scary stare. "Where is Veronique ?" He asked a dark light coming from his eyes. Anna just activated the plasma gun hidden inside her belly and fired a ball of superheated ionized gas. The small glob could blast through the heaviest armors, but it just harmlessly and bounced off him, again defying another of nature’s laws. Angered, he ripped open her chest panel and held onto her artificial heart. "I’ve asked nicely, so if you don’t want me to turn your blood into napalm and set fire to it, you’d better tell me where you put her …" He grinned like an alligator in a toothpaste commercial. "She …" Anna began.

"Please come to the main dome …" Said a female voice over the intercom. The man dropped her and winked. "Catch you later !" He said.

The main dome was about the same size as the Superdome, and filled with an arsenal of very heavy weapons. All trained on the door that just opened. "You’d better pack you guns, coz they don’t scare me." "I think you should be …" The woman said. She was silver all over, except for her incredibly beautiful face. "Elespeth Hackett … CEO of Gynetech, I suppose ?" "I don’t have you on record …" She said and smiled. "Strange, I usually have something on everybody." "There isn’t a file in the universe, which doesn’t contain more than smoke, half-truths and blatant lies about me … I want Veronique !" "The woman who entered our premises by effraction and was subsequently caught in the act ?" "I know you have her." "Perhaps I do ? What will you do against it ?" "I wasted your little welcoming committee, so don’t think lasers, railguns, plasma cannons and fusion accelerators scare me !" "But I have more than that !" And a piercing wail filled the dome. The man suddenly reached for his ears and seemed in pain. Instantly a handful of massive MK XI assault cyborgs pounced on him. Built like ten-foot tall female bodybuilders, they began to pound him into the ground, and tore him apart. "You see I’m quite able to deal with ANY intruder !" She said, leaving the MK XI’s to squash him like a bug.

Elespeth was just stunned to see him stand inches before her as she turned around. "Hiya, babe." He said with another wicked grin and a malevolent gleam in his eyes. She swung her head around and saw the bloody remains spread on the floor and the MK XI’s. "How ?" "It’s a kind of magic …" He said and both vanished.

"Where are we ?" Elespeth asked. The man just chuckled. "Let’s say you’re in one of my hangouts." Elespeth looked around her at the gothic cathedral-like space around her. The ceiling was so high, she just reeled. "It’s exactly one mile up." He said. Around her were statues a thousand feet tall. "Congrats, you’re one of the most powerful women in the solar system. You own Mars, Phobos Deimos, substantial parts of Earth and countless asteroids and you’re setting up colonies in other, nearby solar systems. On a scale of one to ten, I’d rate you a 42 …" "And you’re … ?" "Off the scale, baby, I’m just off the scale …" Elespeth suddenly smiled … "I’m inside a virtual reality ! Somebody hacked into my cybernetic bodynet and … I don’t know how you did it, but you’re good, leaving me to believe all this was real !" She chuckled.

"Shit !" Jack just pushed the monitor off the table and hit the desk with his fist. He removed his virtual headband and just cursed. "Fucking shit ! Hell and Devil ! Scheisse mit zenf ! There goes plan A !"

He got up and dumped himself on the bed of the little motel room he was in. "Why do I have to lose my powers at a critical moment like this !!!" He rubbed his face and got up. Cursing under his breath, he checked his gun and holstered it again. "I’d better split before she traces my house call."

It was one of those rainyday future cityscapes, full of neon lights and soot. But two blocks down everything was clean and pollution-free. Jack left the Deckard Motel in Blade-city and went to a park to think.

He’d made a mistake by sending his daughter to break into a high security building. She barely knew how to use her powers and his powers were once again being short-circuited by the Cosmic Tribunal. His last hope was to get to her and tap enough of her energy to go to another, safer place.

Just as he was watching over her, his powers vanished, and he wasn’t there to bail her out. He was loathe to admit it, but he liked her a lot. "This is going to ruin you reputation !" He said to himself, shaking his head. "Me, the ultimate freebooter ! Stuck with a daughter !"

That night he tried to come up with some plan, while having a little fun.

The girl had gotten herself a major bodysculpt, making her look like a humanoid feline. She could even purr. Her long tail danced to the music as Jack lay besides her, thinking. She purred and rubbed her furry little paw-like hands over his chest. The other one was busy licking his cock. She had large slit-pupilled eyes and a scaled skin. A sexy and fascinating lizard-like woman. Whilst he continued to think, a sexaroid robot walked into her room with a little tray. She looked like a very cute and curvaceous female test dummy with all sorts of special sexual options. The three girls tried their best to cheer him, but he just didn’t know what to do next.

Jack ignored them and got up. He looked outside and saw the various girls walking the street. Most of them either had had exotic surgery, cybernetic implants or a combination of both. These days you had a wide choice, from supermodel lookalikes to full conversion cyborgs pretending to be robots … The future really was a fetishists dream come true …

But for the moment, his head wasn’t on sex, despite the eager trio waiting for him.

Still, the next morning, Panthra was sleeping, curled up in a ball, Sauria was just lying on the floor, catching the first rays of sunlight and Tronica was recharging her batteries.

Jack looked out the window at the large tower in the middle of the city. So tall it vanished through the clouds. It was one of the five beanstalks that had been constructed on earth. One by the USA, Japan and the European Union, another by China, and three corporate ones. He could see the tiny elevators going up and down, ferrying cargo and people from the edge of space and back. Spaceships would dock at the end of the beanstalk by the tethered asteroid, and deliver their cargo. No ship had to land and new ships could be built in orbit, without the need to send everything by rocket. Gynetech, the world leader in cybernetics, owned this beanstalk. And Elespeth Hackett owned Gynetech and a pair of artifacts containing enough energy for him to save his daughter and move to better quarters. The problem was that he had lost Veronique by sending her to get the artifacts in the first place.

He felt Panthra brush against his leg and purr softly.

Down in the streets, he could see a pair of cyborgs walk past. Like most Gynetech cyborgs and all other kinds of cyborgs, they were women. In fact 78 % of all cyborgs were women. Something made their brains more effective when interfacing with computer systems. Thanks to cybernetics, they were quicker, stronger and tougher than men now. Talk about emancipation …

Jack paused. He closed his eyes for a second and just waited for a second. "I AM THE GREATEST !" He suddenly went, waking Sauria and making Panthra hiss. "I need a Gynetech cyborg !" He said quickly dressing himself.

‘Hey ! What about usssss ?" Sauria asked. "Sssssexssss issssssn’t free, you know ?" She said, her nimble little forked tongue danced in and out of her mouth. "4,500 I-Creds." Panthra said. "Here’s 10,000 !" He tossed the credcard onto the bed. "Thanks !" He heard the trio say as he left.

He took a lev-train to the beanstalk and walked into the main hall. It looked a bit like an airport, except that there were no planes, but a series of high-speed elevator capsules that coursed up and down the stalk at more than 220 km/h. It took them half a day to cover its impressive length of 3500 km. His eyes scanned not the hall itself, but people going round. Since this was Gynetech’s own beanstalk, it was filled with cyborgs of all kinds. He then rented a coffin in a capsule motel, gathered all his remaining energy, and waited.

For hours, he waited, keeping an invisible eye on the crowd until he spotted a pair of shiny black cyborgs. Two MK VI going LEO. (Low Earth Orbit)

He homed in one of them like a guide missile. He then invaded her mind and took over, locking Clare’s consciousness in a dark corner of her mind. Jack now had access to her body and memories. Back at the capsule motel, his own body had lapsed into a coma. He followed the other cyborg, called Anna to one of the passenger capsules going towards the mid-point station.

Meanwhile Clare was in panic. Somebody had invaded her mind and disjointed it from her conscious control over it.

It was a private capsule and they were the only passengers on this particular run. Jack took time to sift through a lifetime of memories until a sensor told him something was going on. He woke up from his thinking and looked up to see Anna, his or rather her partner bowing over her. Using Clare’s memory, he quickly discovered that many of Gynetech’s employees were actively encouraged to "bond" with other employees, especially security personnel. As a result, teams were more loyal and effective, company management believed. "Let’s interface." Anna said. Jack took out a neural cable and plugged it into the little box Anna had put between them. He waited for her to activate it and let his mind be taken over by the virtual reality.

He smiled as he saw he had a woman’s body.

He had once been a human being, but now bodies were just useful ways to get around and interact with the physical world, and in his long existence, he had been through a lot of them, including a few female ones.

He saw Anna, naked like him walking up to him. The setting was a garden with a little set of Greek columns and a little round temple. Jack noted that the simulation was quite well done, except for a few details. But he knew the girls had been cyborgs for so long, they had probably forgotten how it felt to have a real body.

He and Anna began to lick and kiss each other and Jack, feeling benign, plugged Clare into the setting, allowing her to enjoy some of it. They shifted over each other and began to lick their respective pussies. Besides him, Clare was enjoying herself. She felt everything, but she had no control over her actions.

But suddenly, the simulation stopped and a claxon went off inside his mind.

SECURITY BREACH

They were about to be briefed. "The intruder that has been arrested two days ago, has escaped. She is heading for the capsule area. All units stand by." "That’s my girl !" Jack said to himself. "She doesn’t even need my help to get out of a scrap."

Time had passed more slowly in the simulation and they were almost up to the midway point. Jack bet a lot of money with himself somebody he knew was right behind the door. And surely as it opened a young woman in a black bodysuit was surprised to see two four-armed hunter killers waiting for her. He saw the raw, fugitive look in her eyes. "Stay where you are !" Anna ordered. Nikki jumped clear of the door and ran away, but Anna was much quicker and after only two meters caught up with her, tackling her to the floor.

Jack arrived and helped Nikki on her feet. "Not yet." He thought. "I’d better get the artifacts first."

"Shit ! Two damned cyborgs so close to my final escape !" Veronique thought as the two sleek black cyborgs escorted her to the cell area. *Don’t worry, kiddo, the cavalry has arrived.* She heard a familiar voice in her mind. "Dad ?" She whispered. "What ?" Anna asked. "No, nothing." Veronique said and felt her arm being squeezed a bit harder. *How are you ?* He asked. *And just think, don’t talk !* *They’ve been giving me all sorts of medical tests !* She said. *Where were you ?* *I was busy working out a few plans, but I ran out of juice again.* *Not again ! Won’t they ever leave you alone ?* She asked. *Look, I did some very nasty things in my time and they like to see me do my "community service" without my powers … That would be too easy.* *Are you going to get me out ?* *As soon as possible. I swear !*

The old Jack would’ve laughed at him to have done such a stupid thing, but thing weren’t the same since he had obliterated a civilization too many. The forces of the Cosmic Tribunal came down on him like sledgehammer on a fly. And despite his impressive powers, he was helpless against them. They wanted to destroy him at first for being such a big pain in the universe’s neck, but he managed to fast-talk himself out of that predicament. He promised he would change, and planned on keeping a low profile until they would forget about him. But they forced him to wander the universe, to set things straight. At first, he reluctantly did what they asked him to do, but slowly, over time, he changed. He had done horrible things, but now he felt he probably had been a victim of the adage : Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely …

"Clare ?" "Huh ?" "You were dreaming again." Anna said. "Sorry, just thinking about something." "We were lucky to be on the other side of that door. Did you see her face ?" "Yeah, all her hopes were shattered in an instant." A woman in uniform appeared. "No luck, you’ll have to take her over to the experimental cybernetics department."

Jack and Anna took the sedated Veronique over to the medical labs. But just as they had finished their job, a message came in.

MS HACKETT HAS BOARDED THE STATION. The computer link said. "The boss is here." Anna said.

Elespeth Hackett was a gorgeous woman. Her cybernetic body had a mirror surface finish, with only her face bare and human. She was not only awe-inspiringly beautiful, she was also one of the most ruthless women on the planet. Her company was a testimony to this. She had almost total control over all cybernetic products in Human space.

Jack watched her come from her personal transport and go to her personal office on the beanstalk. This was the final moment he had been waiting for. He stabbed into her mind and eased into it, while at the same time, emptying Clare of any memory of his possession of her.

*Hello !* He barely had enough energy to contain her consciousness. *I’m back !* Elespeth suddenly fought back. Taking over Clare and wiping her memories had cost him valuable energy and Elespeth seemed to …

OH SHIT !

She had Primal defenses !

Jack was kicked out of her mind.

For some obscure reason, a mortal in a non-aligned dimension had Primal power. She could resist his possession attempt ! Was somebody else scheming behind his back ?

Now existing only as a cloud of invisible energy, Jack had almost no options left. He had to contact her mind and fast talk it with her. And if that failed, he would be in dire trouble.

*Elespeth !* She had just seated herself behind the crystal desk. *You again ?* She said in a weary, annoyed fashion. *I’m here to make a deal.* Jack said. *A deal ? What kind of deal ?* *The best one there is, one in which we all profit.* *Tell me who you are first !* *You can call me Jack.* *Well, Jack … I thought I was the only real psychic on the planet. I spent 70 years researching the subject, but nobody could emulate the things I could do.* *Well, I’m a man of many talents.* *I see, you tried to free the young woman and broke into my bodynet, I’m impressed.* *I’m rather attached to her.* *Are you ? Well that’s too bad.* *What do you mean ?* *She’s about to be wiped and altered.* Jack was silent for a moment. *She’s about to become a Theta-class prototype …* *You wouldn’t dare …* He said jokingly. *Who are you to stop me ?* She said, with underlying venom in her voice. *Oh, but I may have other cards up my sleeve.* *I sincerely hope so, but I’m afraid you’re way out of MY league, dear.*

I’m going to …

*I can offer you information." Jack tried to change the subject. *What kind of information.* *Technology you haven’t even dreamed about. Nanotech cyborgs, advanced cybergenetics, advanced fusion engines, an FTL drive that goes at a speed of 18.9 light-years per hour…* Elespeth laughed. *In exchange for this woman ? You must think I’m an idiot !*

I’ll show you who’s an idiot !

*Well, I’ll give you some technological specs right now !* Elespeth felt formulas and information filter into her brain, she had just enough time to work it all out and then it vanished.

I’m flying on gasoline fumes by now.

*I’m impressed. How did you do this ?* Elespeth looked around her. *Can you project yourself astrally ?* She asked. *Perhaps, that’s for you to find out … If you can.*

Eat this !

*So, what is she worth to you ?* *Let’s say we go back a long way.* *Interesting ! But I don’t think you have any bargaining power…*

Elespeth suddenly looked up and Jack knew she was looking and seeing him.

*You’re that purplish cloud, no ?*

How does she do it ?! Unless … A thought crept into his mind.

*So, you really thought you could outdo me ?* *I think I know how you managed to. In 2104 your mother met a mysterious man, who made love to her and vanished. She was a pilot in the Jovian civil war. And she was almost killed on a raid on Titan. She dropped the bomb on the enemy headquarters taking out the leaders of the rebellion. I was there to stop the missile that initially would’ve vaporized her. Without me, she wouldn’t be alive and without me, you wouldn’t exist nor have those incredible powers you have …*

*Don’t tell me you’re him !* *I knew you were somehow familiar !* *You’re my … father ?* *That explains your unusual powers, your longevity …* Elespeth watched the shifting cloud of purplish light intensely. *And who is she ?* *Your half-sister.*

*Veronique, meet Elespeth, your sister.* Jack said. Elespeth looked at Veronique and just smiled. "I had no idea …" "How come you didn’t know about her ?" Veronique asked Jack. *Hey, I probably have a few hundred kids running round the universe. I was quite promiscuous back them.* Once he could tap the artifacts Elespeth kept in her house on Mars, he restored his body.

"Are you sure this is safe ?" Veronique asked. "Sure, I restored her didn’t I ?" Elespeth couldn’t stop going over every inch of her organic body. She had to undergo cybersurgery to repair the damaged of a failed assassination on her some thirty years ago, and despite her unique powers, she couldn’t heal herself. "How come Veronique hasn’t got powers like me ?" "She has, but she’s still learning to use them."

"How do I look ?" Veronique showed off her golden robot body. "You look like you’re worth a zillion bucks !" "It’s real gold you know !" Elespeth just hugged Jack tightly, letting the simple sensation of touch overwhelm her. "I’ll let you to play in your pleasuredome, while I go hunting myself." Jack said, seeing a handful of handsome men walk into the room. And he bowed deeply before leaving.

***

"Hello Anna." The cyborg turned around. "Do I know you ?" "I a way…" Jack said and gave her the most roguish of smiles. "Want to get a drink ?" "Sure why not ?"

"Your boss told me you have some free time coming up ?" Anna nodded. "Do you have your off-duty body with you ?" He asked. "I could always borrow one …"

Anna was a gorgeous young woman with short black hair and large, slightly slanted dark eyes. She had a triangular face with a straight narrow nose and full lips. The rest of her body was well-curved plastic and silicone. Only the line between her organic remains and the robot body could be seen. Her other body was standing in a corner of the room, a shiny black, almost insect-like creation.

"So how did you come to work for Gynetech ?" Jack asked. Anna turned her head over to him. "I … Was orphaned when I was still a kid. I had no means of support and wandered the streets for a few years. It was either prostitution or Gynetech boot camp. And then it turns out I was a natural, and I was selected for the Special Forces." Jack looked at her. A few years ago, a girl like him would’ve meant nothing and now … "Anna ?" A voice cracked over the door intercom. "It’s Clare." "You’d prefer to …" Jack sat up. "No !" Anna said. "I … I don’t really care about who I have sex with, as long as I get it. It’s a very stressful job and … " "And ?" "Do I know you from somewhere ?" Jack smiled. "Perhaps …"

***

Elespeth still couldn’t believe it. Paris, 1997 and she had an organic body ! Veronique sat opposite her and laughed at her almost childish wonderment. "This is incredible ! All of this is real ! Look at it ! The Eiffel tower ! DNA Technologies had it torn down to put up their beanstalk." A waiter brought them drinks. "Phew ! I’m back !" Jack dumped himself in a chair. "And where have you been, I thought you would come to see Paris with us ?" Veronique asked. "I’ve been thinking about something." "And that took you all morning ?" Elespeth asked. "No, the thinking only took ten minutes, but I had to find somebody." "Who ?" Veronique asked. "Well, girls meet your half-brother." Jack said and leisurely leaned back. Veronique and Elespeth turned around to see a tall, half-naked muscular man with blue face-paint with two swords strapped on his back. "Back then, I met the daughter of one of the steppe-clans leaders and …"