They came to Raz for parts.
When they entered his workspace, there was light in their eyes which could not be manufactured. They hungered for metal, for circuits, for electromagnetic pulses. They wished to transgress their flesh, to alter it, to mechanize it. None of them recognized Raz for what he was.
He inserted RFID tags in hands, GPS nodes in calves, ocular upgrades in eyes. They trusted him as the steadiest hands in the business without ever wondering how that was the case. They never questioned his lack of tattoos or piercings. Raz was glad. A machine inserting mechanics was immediately political; as it was, he simply served a fetish. Two fetishes, really--theirs and his.
Then came Monkey.
Monkey had twenty-seven tattoos, some with light-sensitive inks, others with electromagnetic reactors. Monkey had one on his inner thigh which, he said, sent a pleasant tingle into his groin when flashed with ultraviolet light. He proudly told Raz that he had been certified 1% inorganic, and adhered to a strict diet to maintain that ratio.
Monkey wanted to know what Raz could implant that was "shiny-edge sexy-cool."
Raz showed him the Sanboro, still triple-sealed, three times the size of what usually went under human skin.
Then Raz lied.
"It's a sex empathy device. When both partners have one, they interface to determine which partner has the greater arousal and brings the other partner to that level. Repeatedly."
Raz had never lied before by anything but omission.
Monkey's pupils dilated. "It piggyback-bootstraps the both of you over and over until you come?"
"Yes," Raz said. This was at least a theoretical truth.
Monkey asked about the likelihood of finding a compatible partner--someone who also had a Sanboro. Monkey's lips tipped up at the edges and his knees knocked together as he swung his legs. It was statistically likely that he would accept another half-truth without enough examination to recognize it as such. Raz blanked his face and announced his ability to participate in a demonstration.
Payment negotiations were simple. Monkey carried no painkiller implants but requested the procedure "au naturale," expressing the disdain for chemicals that metal-stuffers typically held. Monkey giggled as Raz's scalpel sliced open the inside of his forearm, and gasped with glazed eyes as Raz worked the massive Sanboro in with forceps. He sat dazed and endorphin-drunk as Raz grafted microwires to nerves.
Monkey asked Raz to lick the wound before he sealed it.
It was not the strangest thing Raz had been asked to do. He cradled Monkey's forearm in both hands, bent his head, and pressed his open mouth to the wound, slipping his tongue along the slit. Monkey let out a sigh--a sign of trust, or perhaps just too much sensorial detail to process.
"Can you feel that?" Monkey moaned, turning dilated eyes to Raz. "How good it feels?"
Raz internally flicked through his programming, sifting for the Sanboro's incoming signal and isolating it. A moment of code rewrite later, arousal streamed into Raz like a virus, a temporary infection of programming.
At first, Raz could not move. Every logical subprogram stuttered. Raz wondered if the sensation swarming through his circuits was the "heat" of which organics always spoke. Raz licked again, and Monkey gasped, and Raz felt the bright imprint of Monkey's arousal burning behind his eyes, in ways he did not have language for.
Monkey said, "Seal it up."
Raz's linguistic servers churned. Seal. Seal it up. Yes. The wound. It needed to be sealed. With a tool. Somewhere on the table. That one. With a button, and an operating end. Sealing the wound was a haze, Raz's ocular sensors and memory banks alike working only sporadically.
Monkey's clothes dropped to the workroom floor. Then Raz's. The Sanboro said it was imperative to be naked, so Raz was naked. The Sanboro said it was time to be erect, so Raz's penile hydraulics engaged. The Sanboro said he sweated and his pupils dilated, so it happened. Then Monkey's mouth was on Raz's and Raz could feel the heat, the pheromones, the desire, the need. He stood still and stunned in the overwhelming wake of it all, but Monkey clawed at him with enough hunger for both of them till the Sanboro kicked in again and Raz clawed back, fingers digging into shoulder blades, erection shoved against erection in a reckless, shuddering connection. Monkey's thigh slid between Raz's legs, and the warmth of the skin, the roughness of the hair slammed into the forefront of Raz's processing as if every line of coding had been rewritten specifically to feel. And Raz wanted it, as much as he was capable of wanting. Like a drug. Like a patch for a terminally crippled program.