A planet without sex drive didn't make any sense to him. Alex had been on Ruar, a planet colonized by Earth over four centuries ago, only a few hours, but he noticed the difference in body language already. No one looked at the opposite sex below the neck.
Ruar didn't encourage visitors, which worked out fine because few outsiders wanted to go for fear that the loss of sexual desire would rub off. Getting a visitor's pass to Ruar hadn't been hard since he was here on business. Alex Coster had never given Ruar much thought, but he couldn't resist finding out for himself.
The public transport left him at the gleaming white building of higher education where his customer worked. Em D'Alyn had sent him the oddest communiqué he'd ever received in regard to one of his androids. Alex's company designed some of the most reliable and advanced models in the universe, but her message had been so cryptic, he'd made the journey personally.
Customer satisfaction, after all, was what made him wealthy. Em owned a Protect and Serve model. An android designed to be both security and housekeeper. Alex had even named the model after himself ... the Xander. There had been no complaints about this model before.
Alex followed the directions on his pocket computer to a desk outside Em's office.
"Yes?" the assistant asked.
"I'm here to see, Em D'Alyn. I'm from Coster Artificial Assistance."
"One moment." The assistant went through the sliding black doors behind her. She returned a few moments later. "Go right in."
"Thank you." Alex knew he stood out as an Earth resident. His clothes were colorful while Ruar natives generally stuck to white, black, and shades of gray. Ruar residents would be automatically skeptical of him.
Em was no different, dressed in a black wraparound dress that did nothing to hide her tall hourglass shape. Her pale green eyes watched him carefully. Everything about her was pale--her skin, even her hair was a pale brown. This whole world looked faded to Alex.
But Em's intense gaze drew him in. Sparks were hidden deep in her.
"I'm Alex Coster. Sorry to stop by with no notice. Your request had me concerned."
"Please, sit down. Can I offer you something to drink?" she asked.
"No, I'm fine. Is this a bad time?"
"No, no. I'm glad you're here. I appreciate it. I never expected anyone to come. When I received no reply, I thought my complaint went astray."
"Not at all. Our customer service cross-checks for similar issues and offers solutions, but your issues weren't detailed. It got passed on to me. What's the problem?"
Her face turned red, and Alex wondered what was wrong, though the flash of color was a terrible turn on for him. Perhaps it was simply the knowledge that these people didn't have sex; why that aroused him, he wasn't quite sure. But there was no denying the beauty in her face and figure. Alex should've listened to his friends and stayed off Ruar. He'd been bold enough to ask how they reproduced at his first meeting. The artificial insemination technology was nothing new. It allowed population control; only healthy and compatible couples were allowed children. Apparently mates were chosen based on friendship and not sex. Sexual innocents were dangerous for a Dom like him. Tempting.
"Is the droid malfunctioning?" he asked.
"No. He's doing what he's supposed to do. It's just that I've tried to get him to do more. He does do more, but it's not exactly right." She seemed to choose each word with particular care.
"What's he doing? Maybe it's beyond his program capacity. We can upgrade you to a more advanced droid. What do you want? There are several models." He put his sample pod on her neat desk and pushed a button. A hologram of each model rotated.
"I'm sorry. I know I'm being vague. It's just that our people are unique, and it makes this issue awkward." She seemed flushed. If she were anything but Ruarian, he'd say she was aroused and embarrassed.
Alex started to put the pieces together. Maybe because he was human, sex was always on his mind, but what else could it be on this planet? "Is the droid malfunctioning--sexually? It's not programmed to do anything but obey in that capacity. Perhaps it misunderstood an order." That he could fix. The droids were all functional in that capacity, but this model wasn't designed for meaningful interaction or seduction scenarios.
"No, it understands. I'm sorry. My government is very strict about any sexual stimuli. Trusting people with this information is dangerous," she said in a hushed tone.
Alex saw that Em's situation was very different than he'd expected. "All I want is a satisfied customer. I have no reason to share anything with your government. Earth doesn't share this sexless repression. But I thought all Ruar citizens were..."
She shook her head slowly. "There are some who are throwbacks. Who have the desires."
"It's not environmental?" he asked.
"Our history lessons say it's an environmental anomaly of Ruar, but I'm not so sure. We relocated over four centuries ago because of Earth's overpopulation, so limiting the birthrate here makes sense on the government's level. It could be that some are immune to whatever caused the loss of sex drive. No planet can be exactly the same as Earth, be it a disease or environmental condition, it has become part of our society. It could be a genetic change based on the environment or genetically engineered by those who founded the colony. I've actually put through a request to study this phenomenon."
"They'll allow that?"
She gave a small smile. "Not yet. I'm arguing that if we find the reason, we can eliminate the anomalies so offenders don't suffer rehabilitation. All Ruarians can enjoy their lives without the sexual torture and confusion. These people suffer, and the cure causes added pain."
"Rehabilitation?" The way she'd said it made it sound like hell. Having your sex drive removed? Alex would agree.
"They use drugs and other desensitizing means. It's painful and dangerous." She licked her dry lips.
"You've managed to avoid rehab." He'd been right about her. Em wasn't an innocent or normal Ruar citizen.
"Women tend to hide their status easier than men for clear anatomical reasons. Boys get rehabilitated as soon as they show a sign of arousal postpuberty. They're pulled from school for a month or more. Girls learn to hide any reaction that'll give them away."
"And you bought an android?" Alex got the idea.
"I know it's not designed for that, but I'd never get the one I want through our government security scans. Those models can't even be viewed through the gateways set up by Ruar's government. I can pay whatever the value of a comparable model is. Can you modify what I have?"
"The droid does service you? Obeys commands?" He pulled out his handheld computer and checked the specs.
"Xander is fine in that respect. But it doesn't work for me. I don't want to give orders." Em lowered her eyes and studied her desk.
"There's no need to be embarrassed. We can enter in some routines--he'll play them out. It'll take a little time, and I'll need to know what you prefer in that regard. But we'll expand his program." Alex reached for his sample display, and a Dom droid appeared.
"Wait, what's that?" she asked.
"That's our Dom droid. He's a bit more than I think you're looking for. This model gives orders; he doesn't run whatever scenario you want." Alex hit the Off switch.
"But that is what I want." She stood and paced behind her desk. "You don't understand what it's like. Wanting what no one else does. I know a few other women like me. We have no idea how to even articulate what we desire. There is no sexual norm because there is no sexuality. I want to be taught what to do. How to do it."
Alex studied her in disbelief. The pure honesty affected him in a new way. "You don't know what you're asking for, Em. There is a wide variety of sexual choice on Earth. A little instruction and I'm sure our standard sexual droid programs will do everything you need." He didn't want to think of her that way. On her knees, obeying and wanting more orders from a droid. It made his self-control slip and his thoughts go to her naked.
"There's no one to give instruction. Some of the women like me are opposite. They want it all their way, to not feel self-conscious. Others like me don't want the decisions. Both ways remove the shame and fear."
The visuals didn't help. "Who do these women boss around?" And she was just his type. Lushly curved and tall. At six foot four, he towered over most women, but she had to be five feet ten.
She turned on her heel. "Each other mostly. They find a woman who needs it. I've tried it, but I prefer men. Well, the male droid. I'm not making things easy, I know. I can't help the way I am. And I'm not going through rehabilitation. No one must find out about me. I understand if you refuse, but I'll take any help you can give." Em took a slow breath, and Alex watched her breasts rise and fall.
"I'll help. But perhaps you should try being a submissive to a male before I reprogram the droid. To know if that's what'll make you happy." He knew just how to give her the experience but kept his vocabulary general.
"That sounds great, but how could I get that experience? Unless you'll reprogram the droid. If you can, I don't know how to thank you for your discretion."
He smiled. "I know how to solve both. Take your clothes off."
Em hit the intercom to her assistant. "Cin, I'm not to be disturbed for any reason during this meeting."