The Joys of Dating in the Twenty-Second Century

I was about halfway through another story, when I noticed my neighbour’s cat that likes to sleep in one corner of my shed roof. You might think these two events are unrelated, but to a writer, there’s no such thing. So, story in progress, cat on roof, a glazed look and a slight smell of burning and k-ching! Another story. I hope you like it.
Steve Dean's Short Story The Joys of Dating in the Twenty Second Century

Sometimes, if you’re very lucky, a writer can actually have an idea for a story while writing another one. As you might have guessed, this story came out of just such an event. I was about halfway through the other story, I won’t mention it to avoid spoilers, when I noticed my neighbour’s cat, Tim-Ra, (Tim for short). He likes to sleep in one corner of my shed roof, I don’t know why and he’s never said. Anyway, you might think these two events are unrelated, but to a writer, there’s no such thing. So, story in progress, cat on roof, a glazed look and a slight smell of burning and k-ching! Another story. I hope you like it.

*             *             *

It had been a long three-month mission for Daryl and the crew but it was finally over. His injuries were light, luckily, and had begun to heal nicely. Regular sleep and decent food had restored him to full vigour, and now feelings he’d managed to keep suppressed for all that time began to break free. Unfortunately for him, they were out beyond Jupiter and still weeks away from Earth and its wide variety of potential dates.

The ship was an anti-pirate vessel, small and nondescript and armed to the teeth. Such a small ship had a small crew, eight in total, including himself. One of them was the ship, so no luck there. Daryl was the senior officer, and next in command was Manu, a genetically enhanced brute of a man and not really Daryl’s type. Besides, he was fairly sure Manu had the hots for Troy, an older man with ports all over his body, which were used to attach his exoskeleton battle frame. It was an open secret that Troy had a thing for Manu but they hadn’t yet got it together. Maybe they were also feeling randy and something would finally happen on the way home.

There was also a cyborg on board, technically out of the chain of command but who answered to Daryl. Naomi was great but she was mostly cybernetic and not much organism, certainly in those parts of her that Daryl’s base instincts were looking for. 

Gina and Vernon were the techs on this mission. They were a couple, although they’d kept it quiet from command as such things were forbidden in case things went wrong. And they were very close, joined at the… hip most of the time. Daryl had lost count of the number of times he’d caught them at it and seen far too much of them both. They were probably at it right now, Vernon running his tongue over Gina’s firm breasts and slipping his fingers into her…

So that left Symphony, Sym for short. He knew some parents saddled their children with stupid names, but in this case, he suspected it was a code name. He knew almost nothing about her. When he used his rank to access her file, all it said was ‘Classified’. She was the covert part of the team. She went in first as a forward scout, then acted as overwatch while Manu and Troy went in. She could climb almost anything, see in very low light and had the reactions of a machine.

As it turned out she was drop-dead gorgeous. She was slim but curvy, with beautiful green eyes and a sexy grace when she moved. She’d always looked at him as if she was interested, but she did the same with chocolate and silk. He would go and talk to her he decided, it was worth a try.

The door chime sounded on his private quarters. When he opened it Sym stood there smiling widely. She was wearing a tight black vest and loose black trousers down to her ankles.

“The others are all busy, I was wondering if you had anything I could do.”

“Oh, err, no, not at the moment. Everything is taken care of until we reach Earth orbit.”

“Oh, ok. So, how are you passing the time?”

“Oh, just paperwork really. Come in.”

Sym smiled and stepped inside, closing the door behind her. Being a spaceship the cabins were very small. Daryl was sitting on the only chair next to the tiny desk, so Sym sat on the bed. She got straight to the point.

“There is something we could do, but I have to warn you I’m different to most women.”

“Oh, ok, you are? In what way?”

She stood and put her hands near her waist. “I could show you, and then we can take it from there.”

Daryl’s libido flared as his mind filled with dread. What did she have under there? “Yes, if that’s what you want.”

She smiled a little uncertainly, the first time he’d seen such a reaction from her. Hooking her thumbs in her waistband she pushed her trousers down to her ankles. Daryl had time to register the tiny thong she was wearing and then something long and thin dropped into view.

Neither of them spoke for a few seconds. Daryl’s mind was totally confused until he worked out it was a tail, an actual, real, tail.

Sym pulled off her vest and thong and stood naked before him, then slowly turned around.

“I have cat genes. That’s why I can do the things I do. But the rest of me is all woman, as you can see.”

Daryl sat there looking at her, his trousers bulging fit to burst.

“I’m very flexible,” she teased. She lifted her tail, “and this is great to hold on to.”

The last shred of Daryl’s self-control snapped and he leapt up, practically ripping off his clothes. Time passed very quickly after that and the two of them weren’t bored at all.


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