47
 

The underground organ industry, first and foremost,

generates profits, next controversy, and lastly prosecution—for the few

providers unlucky

enough to get caught.

The Falk Foundation, to date, has always been fortunate. Listed officially as a "medical supply company," the illicit enterprise that fully funds Rockefeller's Stanford education,

that paid outright for the designer home in which he grew up, that bought his Alpha Romero Hybrid, that guarantees his bank account is never overdrawn, and that has always been a question mark with regard to its specifics, is the son's to lose or to use while the father gets worse or recovers. Ethics enters into it; specimens on the premises give Rockefeller pause, prick his conscience; one, in addition, so stokes his libido it takes all his self-restraint to obey Rem's strict rejoinder: "look but do not touch," to suppress an adolescent urge as overpowering as the raw allure of porn, a sex toy hidden in the closet, a website offering virtual indulgence in unexpurgated lust, yet what he now beholds (and steered clear of revealing on the tour he gave Joanna via spy-cam call) is unlike any of the other stem-cell-fostered tissue cultured in suspension, afloat in see-through cylinders, liquids gurgling, burbling, bubbling, in sinister effervescence; “she” is wholly independent (although on life-support, infused by drips and drops of drugs and compounds administered intravenously), is a comprehensive entity, a humanoid entire, exquisitely enveloped in a skin of such perfection, that he:

  • who reassured his father about the operation's shutdown
  • who conferred with Remington’s doctor
  • who approved a course of therapy
  • who returned to hearth and home for a foiled attempt at sleep
  • who tossed and turned fitfully
  • who rose, shaved, and showered
  • who, despite the pre-dawn hour, got dressed and drove his father’s Porsche-Electra to the parking lot off Cuba Street and entered the lab like a sneak-thief under cover of night
  • who walked with agitated, almost nervous steps to where a naked figure hovered on a cushion of air
  • who lit a halogen soft-spot lamp that cast a lunar glow obliquely on the subject of his awestruck fascination
  • who gaped at femininity that his twenty-two-year-old hormones found achingly irresistible

now reaches, as his father once had reached (only this is far from a Petri dish with a disembodied swatch), his trembling hand on the verge of making contact with a fully-developed female:

head to toe resplendent

(albeit cosmetically)

breathing subtly

(he can tell from her diaphragm)

circulating blood

(her flesh faintly flushed)

sensate he presumes

(a hint of goose bumps marks the spot below his palm's uneasy perch)

anesthetized or asleep (?)

(difficult to determine, since her eyes are closed, lashes static, brows without a furrow)
nonetheless impressionable (?)
(her nipples stand erect)

tempting Rockefeller further to chance an indiscretion, risk whatever consequence might arise from compromising nerve ends, testing receptivity of a system fully functional (?)

the question being 'How'?

moreover 'To what degree'?

And finally 'To what end'? Ashamed of taking advantage, or yearning to take advantage, he retracts his outstretched fingers, necrophilia not among Rockefeller's fetishes—though she from whom he guiltily retreats is far from deceased, is, on the contrary, vitally proportioned and vibrantly engineered, Asian by the look of her, by the tone of her complexion, by the prominence of her cheekbones, by her eyelids' ovate shape; not more than twenty years of age:

her pristine youth as if arrested

(at its peak of robust loveliness)

leading him to wonder
("How is she maintained?")

instructions from his father
(once he enters the wall-safe's code, a profile kept therein marked "Upkeep for Suzette")
imparting practical answers
(posing questions philosophical)

 

"Curiouser and curiouser."

Torn between morality and spontaneous carnality, between doing the right thing and doing unto another anything imaginable, Rockefeller-Knight versus Rockefeller-Scoundrel weighs damsel-in-distress against object-of-desire, baser self at odds with nobler sensibilities, rescue mode in conflict with flagrant 'sexploitation,' liberate or enslave, emancipate or manipulate, free the piteous creature or defile her blameless void—for surely only sentient beings are accountable for their actions, his motives clearly conscious, hers superimposed, whatever he attributes to her empty-skulled passivity, for how impugn a hapless, clueless shell, a brainless husk, a mindless carapace (scars on scalp consistent with those caused post lobotomy) exterior housing a vacuum, wits absent-without-leave, assuredly the victim of some inexcusable felony, with him the culprit's accomplice (after-the-fact) should he yield to temptation, heed his recuperating phallus and accede to take the plunge, safe from condemnation, hidden from censure, unobserved by critics, sight unseen by anyone and everyone...

... save the guinea pig herself, once more tranquil, goose bumps flattened,  nipples shrunken, heartbeat retarded, breath recomposed, sensing it would seem that he in proximity has decided to relent, to set aside dishonorable inclinations and redress his father's wrongs.

‘Can you hear me?'

No response.

‘WAKE UP!'

He notes a subtle flinch, though her face remains expressionless, features fixed sedately like those of a sleepwalker: remote, detached, disinterested, and tranquilly disengaged. Corpse-like? Not exactly. Cadavers hold no interest (apart from that of coroners, morticians, and students of anatomy), lifelessness being irredeemably dull. Whereas the body lying supine on an air slab poised in front of him, not a solitary blemish on her whole superlative hide (unless the apparatus cleaving to her crotch masks some grotesquery) sheds an aura Rockefeller Falk finds absolutely captivating.

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