Fingernails retracted into hands like flannel mittens, cushioned palms outspread and silent as they pad across the tiles, feet likewise muffled, soles distended, keeping stealthy pace with solemn stalking, an appendage unfamiliar adding extra length to spine, nostrils reaping aromas poignant throughout the compound: perspiration, mucus, menses, perfume, musk, saliva—a profusion of olfactory stimulation—drool unleashed, his/her chops licked, her/his teeth bared in expectation of acquaintance with the second of her victims (Quarry #1 already ravaged, as in make-believe assaulted through virtual reality), the predatory feline bent on 3-D copulation with a panoply of figures feigning innocence, feigning sleep, their naked postures in repose inclined to forfeit seeming virtue, ankles crisscrossed, knees akimbo, nether parts nude, upraised or spread, inviting entry front or back while jaws seize hapless neck napes gruffly, bites and growls spurring spasms of disingenuous whimpering, spastic thrusts stirring scores of satisfied mock-complaints, maws agape, each raw depth primed, pierced, plumbed, and with brute force plundered—unlikely, thus engaged, to reject, extrude, or foreclose on that which throbs untamed, its rude tip cruelly barbed and apt to swell past easy exiting, its ultimate withdrawal triggering sighs and purrs and shudders of shameless exultation...

Nana, in a body suit lined with sensors and electrodes, works her joystick, as she morphs (emotions spent) back into human form. The simulator blinks, its high-resolution video screen goes blank, as a program LEOPARD ON THE PROWL ejects from an eight-tier motherboard. Unplugged from the apparatus, Nana nearly faints.

Often she elects to play the male, when  coding fantasies, whereas sessions with the Prince find him in the role of domination, mauling her on occasion "when my blood is up," he calls it, much as Nana likewise craves to do, and does, when coupling as a cat, something in her glands secreting such seductive substance as to countermand passivity, give up vestibule, favor prong—with which she stabs pretended mates without compunction, the act itself an attack as much as an insemination, sex competitive, survival of the fittest fuelled by a throng of headstrong hormones and their Lord-and-Master genes, passing themselves along by any and all means necessary, a tyranny, of sorts, to mix-'n-match chromosomes—albeit out of fashion in the greater world beyond, in the First World, that is. Not so here. Though conscious of present-day alternatives, the Prince tends to spurn them, deems in vitro fertilization wrong, and castigates its offshoots. Were he so much as to suspect his uncle (who procures all personnel) of recruiting anyone genetically altered, several of the 'staff' would be out-of-work posthaste. Natural, to the Prince, is passion's prime prerequisite.

Custom fit, the costume must be unzipped many places to allow Nana's extrication. Finally, she gets it shed, the lining’s convoluted circuitry making a palimpsest of her prepossessing skin—sweat-soaked, overheated, and awash with dual emissions.




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