Stories about the near future

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Stories about the near future
« on: October 28, 2023, 02:42:58 am »
Post your stories about the near-future (or cyberpunk if you will) here. 
I call this one "Love in the Time of Cybernetics"

   The couple lurched up to the counter of the Non-Stop ChopShop, all giggly on benzos and fall-over.  They were dressed in the same style, an amalgamation of the flashy colors that their parents' generation would have worn and the goth trends of a hundred years ago.  Trendy, but not very practical for this time of night.
   “Zhè shì zěnme huí shì?” asked the taller one.  Though their face was a pastiche of different ethnic grafts, their accent betrayed their origin from the New Republic of Texas.
   “Not much amigé, what can I get you all?” spoke the night surgeon on staff.
   “It’s our 1 year, we’re getting matching genitals!” beamed the other one in perfect Mandarin English.
   “Yeah,” enthused the first one, “I was born with a pickle and bebés here was born with an innie, but now I’ll be able to pickle them while they pickle me.”
   “Ah!  Yous twos have the gen-jobs,” said the surgeon through the waiting room speakers.  The surgeon wore a black fleather smock over blue scrubs, sealed blue gloves, and an integrated wrap-around visor that displayed medical infos within the surgeon’s view.  The metal nameplate embedded into the smock said ‘Roy Stiggens’ over the bright blue logo of the ChopShop.  “Usually when a set get ordered together, they’re ethno matched, so we wondered why one was an Aries and the other was a Leo.”
   The smaller of the couple made a face at the near slur, but said nothing.
   The surgeon typed into a UV bathed keyboard and a door opened up at the end of the half circle counter on the couple’s right.  “Just through here Mx. Zhāng and Mx. Stevenson.  Put your garbs in the lockers provided in the first room and then head to the next room for a silicone disinfectant shower.  Take another left and you’ll find fitted privacy gowns and booties for your feet.  Those will disintegrate and wash away before the procedure.  Finally I’ll meet you in the pod room right behind me.  Yous will be number 1 and 2.”  The surgeon swept their arm towards the first door in a practiced gesture, their face betraying a healthy enthusiasm for the theater of the job.
   The couple smiled at the surgeon through the sanitation shield that sealed the waiting room from the booth.  It was a sturdy curtain of techglass, just like the surgeon’s helmet, running ceiling to counter, wrapping the booth in ads for the latest mods and procedures.  The surgeon pressed another keystroke and the shield displayed, “IN SURGERY'' and then exited through an automatic door in the back.
   The couple did as they were instructed, eyes stinging slightly from the disinfectant and lay down in the indicated pods, which were canted at a gentle angle to allow occupants easy entry and exit. 
   The surgeon cheerfully prepped the couple while explaining that the new organs had been grown from gene seed that they’d personally developed.  (Their MHC design was now used at every ChopShop franchise!).  The surgeon attached neurological and medical sensors, a nutrient drip, and a nose mask that had thin tubing leading to the pod’s anesthetic respirator.
   As the surgeon fitted the mask over Zhang’s face, they noticed a tattoo of an inverted red triangle under the surgeon’s ear.  “You fought in the Registration Wars didn’t you?”
   “That I did,” the surgeon’s visage became taut with sorrow, “it was a terrible, terrible thing to be a part of, even after the Caucus Accords declared a universal amnesty.  I carried a needle gun with the 148th Miscegenation Brigade” they said, securing the mask with a strap.
   “Ah, I forgot that your astrological segment could refer to your ethnicity’s historical origin, as well as your national segment.  I thought you were being ethno-exclusive.”
   “Nope, I was fighting against all that.  President Letterman was a real tranch.”
   “You have a really good surgeon, you look younger than my father.”
   “Programmed this myself, I don’t even have micro-scarring.” they said, craning their head sideways to give a better view of the delicate work around the mark.
   “I guess a purist wouldn’t work at a cyber-surgery hub,” they murmured, blushing over their mistake.
   “Nope, no ex. E. ex. here, just God’s own mods, newgenics all the way.  Now let me tell you about the procedure…”  The surgeon went into the details of the process, returning to their earlier enthusiasm.  First, the pod would seal and wash away their gown and booties with ionized water and more disinfectant.  Next, the couple’s current high would be siphoned off and they’d be put to sleep for their operation.
   Each pod’s integrated class 4 surgical robot cut a precise square of flesh over their pubic bones. The scalpel itself had a micro nozzle at each seration, keeping the scalpel continuously coated with an anticoagulant.  Next, a sandwich of graphene layers covered the surgical site and the nerve endings were mapped to the patterns recorded by the jungle of neurological sensors. 
   The class 4s then gently pulled off the graphene probe and aligned the new organ in place.  Grown from the surgeon’s gene seed project and implanted with the DNA of each patient (the penis had a Y chromosome donated from the male and the vagina an X from the female), the new genitals would provoke no response from the body’s immune system. 
   Then, millions of tiny plastic actuators attached the clipped nerves and blood vessels to the new flesh without a single capillary being missed.  The remaining gaps were flushed with an organic foam that would trick the body into growing a scarless interstitial layer, fully integrating the mod with the body.
Finally, since the surgeon really was an artisan, a layer of grown skin was then fused around the edge of the mod, creating the seamless look that you couldn’t see straddling their own POW tattoo.
   The couple awoke at roughly the same time.  “Ok amigés, you’ll find yous auto-injector in the change room.  Download our app and it will monitor yous vitals and adjust the programming accordingly.”
   “Drink plenty of water and no sex for two hours,” recited the Leo from memory, having watched the hazard info several times.
   “Well,” smirked the surgeon, “I was young once too, so I comped you some accelerator to finish the healing process.  You can bang-bang as hard as you can without issue, but do drink plenty of water.”
   This time both of the couple blushed.
aka luke