Echoes of the Future
"Reversal" is my very first story in the science-fiction m/m anthology "Echoes of the Future". Edited and headed By Aleksandr Voinov.
Reversal by A.B. Gayle
Sebastian is bored. He has another five years of lone duty supervising his family's robots on their space station. The last thing he wants to do is the housework. For Christmas, his mother sends him a Domestic Darling cyborg. True to form, she purchases a factory second and sends one that doesn't quite fit the bill. Instead of being a pert blond with big tits and cute ass like in the advertisement, this one is six foot tall and built like a Greek god, a very virile Greek God. In an attempt to improve its functioning, Sebastian uses some of this brilliant programming skills. The resulting changes ensure Sebastian will never be bored again.
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The space station shuddered as the delivery shuttle pulled away.
I stared at the large parcel. The bloody thing must weigh at least 200 pounds and be almost two meters long. After twenty years of sending her kids to manage her off-world manufacturing plant, you’d think by now my mother would remember that we didn’t have a multitude of servants helping us, just a shitload of manufacturing robots and me. With the aid of the hand-line, I took advantage of the zero-grav in the central corridor to shove the package most of the way, but the norm-grav section proved a real challenge.No ‘Fragile’ sticker. Great. By levering up the huge metal crate to stand on its end, letting it fall and repeating the process, I gradually maneuvered it to my room. More problems. It was higher than the friggin’ doorway. Aided by a few choice expletives, I finally managed to line the bulky parcel up with the opening, lean back against the wall, and use my feet to shove it through.
Inside, the smiling face of my mother filled the large screen of the planet vid link. “Did you get my present, Sebbie?”
Frustration boiled over at her use of my hated nickname. “Quit calling me that. The name’s Sebastian. I’m not a kid any more.”
She sighed. “It seems only yesterday I was packing school lunches for you.”Senility settling in early, Mom? You never packed a lunch in your life. “I’m twenty. Time to treat me like an adult.”
“Well, act like one.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Look at how messy the living room is for starters.”
She was guessing.
I’d sat beside her often enough as she chatted to my three brothers during their six-year stints to know how much of the room was visible via the vidcam. Heck, I might look like something the cat dragged in, but she’d only be able to view a comfy chair and the large manga posters on the wall behind me.
“I know you’ve pushed everything out of the way. When you bumped the camera the other day, I noticed scattered clothes, dirty plates, and empty food containers.”
I surveyed the room and laughed. Mothers always saw too damn much. “Who cares? There’s no one here but me and the robots.”
“I care, honey, so I’ve sent you the perfect solution--‘Darlene the Domestic Darling’.”Wow, they were friggin’ expensive. “You shouldn’t have.”
“Oh well, Christmas only comes once a year and I like giving my baby presents.”Had she been drinking again? No, she looked just the same as she had when I left two years ago. Ditzy but determined.
“You’ll need the access code, honey. It’s 3R46TZ189.”
That took care of the seals.
While I pulled out the packing, Mom’s voice raved on in the background about all the different chores the new maid would be able to do without using any of my precious stores of food or water.
On top lay a clear-fronted package containing a ‘French Maid’ outfit and basic cleaning tools. Its caption read ‘Your Domestic Darling ® cooks, cleans, and fulfils all the duties of a human maid.’ Short skirt, flimsy feather duster, and high-heeled shoes? I sniggered. Cleaning obviously wasn’t the only function the maids were expected to perform. I pulled the accessories aside.
When I returned to the console, my mother was still talking. “Maybe it’ll stop you feeling so lonely, honey.”
“There’s a slight problem.”
Excited anticipation turned to alarm. “What’s wrong?”
"It ain't a 'she', it's a 'he'."
The other stories in the anthology...
Burn by Aleksandr Voinov
Flight Lieutenant Chris Waters is the pilot of a cutting-edge unmanned SAD fighter drone which are used for secret government missions. Chris is cutting-edge technology himself: his neural network is upgraded with cybertechnology and software that make him the interface of his combat drone.
Then, something goes wrong as he connects to his drone. Haunted by strange disorientating impressions, a so-called 'ghost', he hooks up on leave with fellow pilot Cyril for a night. But Cyril is not the man Chris thought he is, and Chris soon finds out what the 'ghost' in his body really is, as well as the truth about his missions.
Conduit by Kate Cotoner
Ismail and his ex-husband Toki are divided by class and circumstance. Toki is a cybernetic upgrade human and part of the city elite, while Ismail is a baseline human and a cop. Their brief marriage failed when Toki walked out, but now he's back, asking for Ismail's help against Hanuman, a malicious cyber-intelligence who plans to poison the water supply of all baseline humans in the city. Now Ismail and Toki must find the underground reservoir targeted by Hanuman before time runs out for them both.
Rescue Me by Jude Mason
Assigned to guard Leetchi Ambassador Dar and his family, Lieutenant Thomas Patch finds himself inexplicably drawn to Jad, the diplomat’s son. The tall, slender Leetchi turns out to be as gay as Patch and steals his heart. When Jad is kidnapped, Patch goes undercover to find and rescue him. The rescue takes him to the underbelly of the space port city and a whore house where slaves are bought and sold at will. Finding Jad proves easier than he’d hoped, but the rescue takes an insane twist when their escape attempt was thwarted by the one person they knew was on their side.
Will Jad’s enslavement tear the lovers apart? Will Patch be torn from the love of his life? Find out, in Rescue Me.