Dedicated to Brian Yuzna and John Carpenter. Contains vulgarity and body horror. Reader’s discretion is advised.
“Huh.” Judge Carter rolls the cigar in between his index finger and this thumb. “You really do look pretty strange without your satellite. Doesn’t he, Jim? Nana?”
“Yes.” Jim shakes his golden-haired head slowly.
“He looks … fascinating.” Nana trails a finger down the sharp angles and cratered contours of the other’s cheek.
“Hm.” Judge Carter settles back into the chair. “What do the rest of you think?”
He stirs on the bed. He finds himself tied to it. Where did that girl go? He was going take her asshole. Or maybe he did? She just screamed at him. Fuck. They do that sometimes. But why … he can’t move. Are these his handcuffs? But then he begins to register their words. He recognizes them. Judge Carter. Jim and Nana Whitney of the Beverly Hills Whitneys. The whole social circle.
“Judge Carter.” He tests the bonds, experimentally. “There seems to have been a hiccup.”
“I’ll say.” The old man chuckles. “Wow. You’re really not much without those disguises. are you? What do you think, Dr. Cleveland.”
“Oh I don’t know.” The heavy-set, balding older man looks down at the figure like he is a strange specimen. “Body language and facial tics are in line with … human psychological behaviour.”
“Blue skin.” Judge Carter whistles. “Large cartoon eyes. No nose. That’s what folks look like from Andromeda? Huh. Can any of you make yourselves look like this way?” He shakes his head, smiling. “I know I sure can’t.”
“We … we had an arrangement.” He tells them, trying to remain firm, to remember his place in all this, to keep control. “You have your territories. We have ours.”
“And you keep all the good toys to yourselves.” The Judge says. “Except for the tech that we use to make sure our territories aren’t … disturbed. And we can eat in peace. But you weren’t watching the news, were you my friend?”
He looks around, hoping to find …
“Looking for this?” A smiling woman, much like the one he’d been fucking in the ass, holds up his wristwatch. “These give you quite the trip, don’t they?”
“We had an agreement!” He tries again, a little more concerned as the women begin caressing him, stroking him. He’s still naked. And he realizes they can see him. They can see everything.
“Yes yes.” The Judge waves his cigar with one hand, absently. “Goodness. We had to use all the tech you gave us to cover our territories from your blunder. Otherwise, we’d have lost everything. Our circuses. Our bread. Everyone knows about you, man! Well, they almost did.”
The figure struggles against the touches of the women. Of the men. They are all holding him, stroking him. He begins to feel hot.
“We had to cover for you. You left a vacuum when your satellite got blown to Kingdom Come.” The Judge grins, and the others laugh with him. “And nature abhors a vacuum. There is a child I know, he has great promise.”
“Listen.” The figure says, his skin feeling clammy, soaked in sweat, in slick with liquid. How did he get so warm so fast? What is this? “My people, we can fix this, and everything will …”
“Be back to normal? No. No, friend. I’m afraid it’s too late for that.” The Judge gets up, putting the cigar in his mouth, resembling nothing less than a distinguished caricature of Pop-Eye the Sailorman, Around him, the Whitneys and the others begin stripping off their clothing. “The boy I’m talking about, he is still in secondary school, mind. But he likes to say that the rich suck off the poor. That, in itself is a terrible choice of words. It’s actually always been the other way around. You’d think, by now, that we and you would both understand that fact of life.”
“We will regain control!” The figure says, feeling his mattress grind down under the weight of so many hands and … arms and legs … and … genitalia … and …
“Hm.” The Judge brings a rolled up magazine to his face, letting the figure see it. “Miss June.” He grins, chewing on the black cigar. “Usually my favourite. At least I don’t need those new-fangled 3D glasses that were going around to read it now.” He unrolls it. “Hmm. Marry and Reproduce. Obey. Well.” He puts the slick papers down, creased and greasy with sweat or something else entirely as he begins take off his own clothes. “You don’t have to tell us twice.”
“No …” The figure’s gaunt, bony face slackens in the non-human equivalent expression of horror.
“Oh yes.” The Judge croons, stretching, continuing to stretch, rising up almost to the ceiling, parts of him. “Maybe you could do this, once. On other worlds. After other hostile takeovers. But you forget. Old money always trumps new. Land rights over Industry. And you never endanger the flesh market.” He growls. “A true blue-blood would know that.”
“No … oh no …” He writhes as their limbs cover him, flesh and pink and expansive.
“Hey honey.” Nana Whitney looks to her husband as she also puts a hand around the Judge’s shoulders. “He looks like a blue skeleton.”
“Still has a cock though.” Jim Whitney tilts his head around. “The more you know.”
“Marry and Reproduce.” Judge Carter has a drink in his hand, that he raises and sips at, another limb sprouting from him to take his cigar. “Obey. We have our own imperatives, as well.”
The figure moans in fear and agony as limbs begin to not so much meld into his blue flesh and protruding bones, but creep into them, sink into them, exploring cavities that were hidden by ligaments, making others that didn’t exist before.
“First we dine,” The Judge grins, putting down the glass. Then he puts the cigar back into his mouth, “then we copulate.”
Mouths bite and lick at the figure’s skin, kissing, sucking, suckling … attaching. Beige grafting into indigo. The figure screams, but limbs wetly cover his mouth. The Whitneys both kiss the Judge on either side of his face as they go onto the massive bed with the others.
“Usually, it’s a hunt of our own choosing.” Judge Carter tells the engulfed figure, grinning voraciously at his kicking, and his body distending under the touch of the others. “We’ve done some of our homework. You are called Fascinators sometimes. I’m sure I speak on behalf of the entire Society here, when I say: we’ve always been curious to know just what a Fascinator tastes like.”
There is only muffed gurgles, and whimpering as the Judge descends on what is left of the being, looking more like a mass of cheap pink blue-berry bubble gum than anything close to humanoid.
“Hey …” The Judge burbles to no one in particular, to everyone as he joins the rest in their feast. “Please remind me that we now have one more vacancy to fill in Washington.”