Jason's Link was 100% today.
The Angel of gratitude empowered optimism and the Demon of self monitoring pessimism in Jason's mind fiercely debated the day that awaited him...
"Lucky us! We got a big date today with a real woman! And a mysterious new drug to try..." The Angel beamed
"Are you really going to risk getting a citation that could result in expulsion from Support just for a date with a girl that's probably a hooker?? There's NO way that girl will sleep with you." The Demon brooded
"She certainly didn't seem like a hooker and she actually asked me out, so she might be interested in me!"
"Do you actually think you can handle a real woman like that? If she so much as touches your arm, your biosigns will be through the stratosphere."
"Well the drug Yuri is giving me is supposed to counter act that; keep me relaxed and tranquil. If the smart drug actually works, it's worth meeting her." Jason's cost benefit analysis was complete.
The night before the veterans, all of whom apparently had experience with Phenibut, described it in terms dripping with puffery and hyperbole:
"It turns you into a villain from a 007 movie..."
"It's legal but it shouldn't be..."
"It makes you smooth like butter..."
"It turns any woman into a succubus..."
"It gives you unstoppable liquid confidence but doesn't make you retarded like booze does..."
A quick Google search on his Link had informed him that it had +30 human studies done on it - That's a good sign! - but other than that he didn't know much about it...
Jason had to go to Yuri's house to pick it up, apparently this wasn't the kind of thing sold over the counter. As soon as the auto taxi pulled up in front of Yuri house, Jason felt the rush of Serotinon and Norepinephrine, a sensation that brought a flood of memories of the cyber crimes he had once perpetrated, not because he needed the money, but because he had needed something to make him feel alive...
"This is totally what an addict feels like just before they buy heroin from a brand new dealer..." The Demon criticized.
Jason exited the auto taxi and rang the bell anyways. Yuri answered the door a few moments later wearing a big smile and a surprisingly stylish tracksuit, he greeted Jason warmly, invited him in and continued to sell him on what he was about to give him...
"Jason you're not going to regret coming here, what I have to give you has worked wonders for me many nights... Although, I'm still confused why you were worried about meeting this woman... You said you are in Support? For Link addiction?"
Jason cringed a little - I'm so sick of answering this question!
"No... To be honest, the reason I did the MC gig for the poker fund raiser was because, I needed a really good letter of reference for social integration. The letter is for my attorney to use, who's currently defending me against 11 charges of malicious cyber crimes, that is what I'm in Support for.
That's a lie, I committed the cyber crimes to deal with my Link addiction. I am in Support for link addiction and if the charges stick I will be out of support and in jail.
"Sorry to hear that, I hope you beat the case. I will add my signature to the letter of reference. We are here to help you. Anyway we can."
With that he produced an old looking medical container, on the side where medical insignias with Cyrillic Russian lettering.
"Wait a minute, what you are giving me is from Russia?"
"Yes, as when I was younger I worked for a very wealthy man, after the fall of the soviet state in the 1990's we take over a government laboratory that supplied the Russian Space program."
"The Russian Space program, as in the cosmonauts?" Jason's interest was piqued.
"Yes... Phenibut is a drug developed to save the lives of cosmonauts."
"You can imagine the job of cosmonaut is very difficult and dangerous. They are sitting on a rocket with millions of kilos of fuel, about to explode. If there is a problem, and there usually is, they need to think very fast, they have many gages and switches in their spacecraft they need to pay close attention too. All while facing death... So soviet scientists developed Phenibut, it made the cosmonauts completely relaxed but very focused at the same time so they could do their very dangerous job."
Yuri produced a handful of generic white tablets, that he handed over to Jason.
"After the capitalists, like my boss, took over in Russia, we turn these laboratories into a business and sell these kinds of drugs to make money. But, I am out of that business now for a long time, so I just give it too you to help. Have you eaten yet today? How much experience do you have with drugs? Recreational or others?"
"Yes, breakfast and yes, I've been around the block."
"Ok... Take three grams and in 45 minutes you will be feeling like two and half vodka cocktails after a 90 minute massage with oil from a 5 foot tall woman in Thailand. You will be dangerous man." He said with a toothy grin "You be enough clever to wash a bear without making fur wet."
"Clever enough to wash a bear without getting it's fur wet?" Jason laughed
"Yes, is Russian expression."
"I hope so! Yuri, I actually have an appointment with my attorney at his office in about 45 minutes..."
That's not true. I just want to get in a few hands of SuperSimPoker.
To which Yuri nodded, shut the soviet box and gestured to the door.
"You join us for cigars and whiskey again sometime soon?" Yuri asked as he walked him out
"Totally! We'll be in touch."
"Good luck today my friend!"
It was a few minutes before noon and Jason's date was at 2:00PM. Jason's experience with dating was limited to a few awkward encounters he had as a very nervous, young man. Which he seemed to recall entailed texting a lot of funny, clever and cocky things to the girls in exchange for mere emoticons. The girls had canceled last minute a lot and the few times they did show they seemed to be significantly more interested in their smartphones than him, not going more than 30 seconds without redirecting their attention to their glowing screens.
Overall, it just seemed like a huge waste of time. Especially considering the amazing simulated sex you could have via the Link in combination with a Sensation Sheath, a disposable condom-like 'sensation apparatus' that interfaced with the nervous system by covering the skin. A couple of times Jason had considered buying a full body Sensation Sheath, but they were a pain in the ass to clean for obvious reasons, and he declined to rent them due to the sheer ickiness factor...
The few times Jason had sex with a real girls, were memories made vague by copious amounts of booze, at the ends of sloppy nights at house parties. It had never had anything to do with his attempts at dating or chivalry.
So odd to not have to text her to confirm the date. She seemed very for sure about it yesterday, I guess I'll just go and hope she shows.
"She won't." Quipped the Demon
Back in his condo, in the middle of a SuperSimPoker session, the first thing out of the ordinary that he noticed was that his Coherence scores weren't bottoming out after being dealt a few bad hands. Elite players like Jason used biofeedback to monitor their physiological states while playing, specifically heart rate variability, which is the measure of plasticity that the heart and nervous system react to external stressors, which is measured by Coherence score. For poker players, lower Coherence scores are synonymous with reckless, emotional, 'caveman facing a jaguar' decision making that costs money.
The Phenibut was definitely kicking in. Yuri wasn't lying, it did feel like about two and half cocktails after a Thai massage, minus the low lighting, 25% expected gratuity and questionable decisions.
As Jason was out walking his dog, Odysseus, the world started to seem a little friendlier and more playful; he could empathize with Odysseus's wanderlust at the world, he even had a short chat with an old woman at a stop light. As he strolled the streets with his hound, he seemed to more acutely feel the energy of the city flowing around him, the sounds of a truck honking, a kid yelling, birds chirping and multitude of others seemed richer and more symphonic.
This is kind of cool...
A notification popped up on his link, his meeting with was in just 15 minutes.
Talk about time dilation! I really lost track of time, that's odd...
He booked it back to his building, left Odysseus with the concierge and hailed an auto taxi "Water Fountain Park, please."
Two o'clock came and went as Jason browsed the net from his Link, caught himself up on a few poker articles he had been meaning to warp speed read.
"She'll show, in her culture it's normal to run a little late."
The Demon was surprisingly unopinionated on her absence.
At 2:25, she appeared.
In Jason's experience women you met at night, under low lighting were predictably a sad reflection their former beauty if you met them in daytime, but not Astrid. Her angelic beauty seemed to illuminate the entire park even though she was wearing another simple utilitarian dress, this one a little lighter colored. As she strode toward him, her body seemed to move with an almost musical rhythm that originated in her hips and radiated out through her thighs, shoulders and swaying hair.
Usually something like this, the prospect of a date with a beautiful woman, her tardiness but eventual arrival would have put Jason through an intense emotional roller coaster, but not today. He had enjoyed playing poker, he had enjoyed walking with Odysseus, he had enjoyed reading the articles and now he was going to enjoy coffee with this curvy latin companion. Life wasn't bad.
I should say something nice to her in Spanish!
A quick search on his Link of charming things to say in Spanish produced a winner:
"Un placer a verte Astrid. Me pareces una diosa de cafe." He gestured to the thermoses of cafe she had in her large purse.
"Oh you speaking Spanish now!" She said with a giggle
"No... I just looked it up on my Link." Jason admitted to which she laughed again - That's a good sign!
"I so sorry I arrive so late! I want to look nice for you so I take extra time in the house."
He looked her up and down, unashamedly, his eyes lingering a little longer on her curves.
"You succeeded." Jason said in a low tone full of certainty
To which she smiled widely revealing two rows of pearly whites and Jason could swear her face turned a subtle degree more red. Did I just make her blush?
Their conversation was somewhat limited in depth by her grasp of English, which she insisted on trying to speak, even though Jason's Link was an adept translator of 25 languages. They mostly talked about their respective families; who couldn't be more different, Astrid grew up in a large family in a town deep in the heart of the coffee country in Colombia. Jason was a single child raised by his single mother, they moved a lot in his childhood for her job, and he didn't see his father much, a detail he left out.
Jason noticed right away that she also had no smartphone.
She wasn't lying about being new to this country! So much for being worried about being worried her post a privacy harassment.
While they where sipping on their coffees, Jason's eyes were drinking in the magnificent symmetry of her face, her high cheekbones, how the darkness of her hair brought out the green of her eyes.
I want to fuck you... I want to penetrate every delightful self lubricating orifice on your angelic body.
Her eyes seemed to widen a little more, the bench, the water fountains, the park all disappeared and then...
His lips were wet, intertwined with hers, their tongues dancing pensively. He had skipped the normal cost-benefit analysis, in one uncommonly smooth movement for Jason, he reached his hand behind her head and pulled her into him. As they embraced, she rested her hand lightly on his chest, as if to feel his heart beat.
This feels really, really good, maybe even better than in an adult sim...
Then to his surprise, he felt a small hand rest on his right shoulder, as if to command his attention, tearing him from the paradise he had found between Astrid's luscious lips.
In his peripheral vision another Astrid appeared. Her twin, from the elevator in the Support building!
Jason's date slithered a few inches away from him on the bench, with an embarrassed look on her face, the twins exchanged a few nervous words in Spanish, too quickly for Jason's link to translate.
"This is my sister Alejandra." Astrid redirected her attention to Jason.
"Hi Jason, a pleasure to meet you." She said in much more clear English with just a hint of the Colombian accent that was so thick on Astrid's delightful tongue in her attempts at the Teutonic language.
Other than English skills they were uncannily, identical, even down to their green eyes, but then he noticed a difference; around her irises barely detectable, little red lights blinked twice.
That's interesting, Alejandra has a Link.
It would take from him everything.
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