By day, Ludmilla Odrade was a corporal in the Novo Exército do Povo , rapidly approaching middle age with little to show for it but a gradually widening ass and a pension barely worth the scrip it would be printed on. By night, she was a graceful assembly of sensors and microelectronics, floating free above the city streets, connected to the flabby sack of hormones in the driver’s seat by a plug in the base of her skull. A flabby sack of hormones who, like most Canary pilots, never seemed to mind all-night “punishment details” spying the citizens of Solo Nobre. Especially since, thanks to her jack compatibility, she could pilot the whole thing herself. No one to watch her watch everyone else.
Ludmilla Odrade lofted over a low-rise apartment complex, threading between pirate electrical hookups and neon signs overhanging the thoroughfare below. She flared her agrav generator and floated up and across the roof of the night-market across the street. An observer below would have seen nothing but a black shape briefly occluding the stars above, barely visible as they were through Solo Nobre’s ubiquitous light pollution. The Canary slowed to a halt and hovered its low-drain mode behind the building’s HVAC unit while its pilot prepared her next move.
Inside the cockpit, Ludmilla Odrade sat naked below the waist, pants and unmentionables wadded and stowed where she could tug them on in a hurry if necessary. Though, doing so would be complicated by a couple of the devices she had inserted into herself. The catheter she could justify as insurance against interruptions in her night-long vigilance against Corvid activity. The towel under her bare ass could likewise be explained away as mopping up sweat if the cooling system failed. The flared plug in her ass would be a bit harder to excuse to an outside observer. In truth, all three were tied inexorably to what she really used these patrols for.
Ludmilla activated the Canary’s CBRN protocols and tilted her seat back, next to the O2 recycler. The vent ghosted breaths of warm, damp, recycled air into the shell of her ear. She reached with her fingertips and pushed a bootlegged sense-tape into the deck. Something crude, whipped up on a salvaged NEP interface microcomputer in some basement lab out there in the favelas of Moerbeke. Almost immediately, the crisp, harsh control interface of the canary was submerged in a tingly, soft haze. Phantom hands palmed her small, saggy tits. Phantom teeth nibbled her nipples, thighs and ass. A ghostly mouth sucked her toes and licked the soles of her feet. Love-drunk as she was, Corporal Odrade still had the presence of mind to slip the rubber mouthguard between her teeth. Biting your own tongue off in the middle of a jack-off session might sound exotic, but it didn’t make aftercare much fun.
Sweaty, well-stretched and randy, Ludmilla turned her attention back to her sense feeds and began scanning. She piloted the Canary in a lazy arc while she sliced the world into sectors and cycled through her sensors, looking for something to hold her interest.
In an alley behind a Texas Seven, a private soldier was blowing his commanding officer. Ludmila zoomed in and switched to thermals, setting the blank tape in the second deck to record. She could see their pulses thrumming, guess what they were thinking based on their skin temperatures and heart rates. The private was afraid one of the dancers would step out of the employees-only door for a smoke, catching him with a mouthful of cock. The lieutenant was thinking the same thing, but found the idea exciting. A third party bearing witness to his sexual prowess. Ludmila flipped a switch to swap the output from the thermals, feeding it into her sensory cortex rather than her optic nerve. Her body fizzed with more phantom sensations, spiking every time the soldier choked on the lieutenant’s dick. She drooled around the rubber gag, trying to get audio, but the laser mic was getting too much backscatter from the club’s neons reflecting off the smog in the air. She’d have to listen elsewhere.
Awash with a sensory bouquet that was already driving her wild, Corporal Odrade tuned her enormous parabolic microphone, listening for something else to get off on. She heard music and arguments and drinking and laughing. She heard the wind whistling between high rise apartment blocks and cars honking as they sped away from district checkpoints. The bigger tenements were usually a good bet for a voyeur looking for the sound of creaking beds and the fleshy slap of pelvis on pelvis. Just had to focus the dish right, and it would be easy to-
“!!!! - Autarch One to Mockingbird, respond”
Ludmila’s yelp of surprise came out as a messy fizzling sound around the mouthguard. She flailed momentarily, straps preventing her from hitting the instrument panel. The catheter slipped a fraction of a millimeter, making her wince in pain. Every part of her was soaked with sweat, and several parts soaked with something else. She pulled the gag out, rolled her tongue around her mouth, swore a couple times and flicked the switch on the transponder.
“This is Mockingbird, go ahead Autarch One”
“Grunts stirred up an anthill tonight. Got a request for fire mission at grid two niner typhon boojum. Need eyes on to gauge hits”
Corporal Odrade clenched involuntarily around the plug.
“A-” fuck, she was seriously wound up. “Acknowledged”
“Christ, Lud, are you still jilling off dur-”
Ludmila ignored fire control’s reproof, plotting the fastest route to eyes-on the target. She slipped the second tape out of the deck, storing it with her discarded pants for later perusal. The bootleg sense tape stayed in. Maybe she could still salvage this. Her face burned - her whole body was flushed and much too sensitive for serious maneuvering, but the last thing she wanted was for anyone to actually confirm why she’d been late. She flew a little higher than was safe, counting on her sensor package to alert her of incoming rockets. Lasers she’d just have to deal with, but the odds of a lucky teal-helmet drawing a bead as she leapfrogged from structure to structure were almost nil.
The Canary glided to a halt on the terraced slope of an enormous tomb, a hull down position which gave her optics a good view of the target site. If the coordinates fire control gave her were accurate, the swarms of thermal signatures rushing to warm up their vehicles were indeed the hornet’s nest the ground pounders had pissed on. Doing her best to keep her voice level, Ludmilla fumbled through the six elements to direct the strike. The smart thing would have been to set the bird on autopilot and finish rubbing one out before getting here - and it was still tempting to do just that. But she had a better idea.
A series of thuds in the distance, audible through her machine’s senses but not to the swarming dismounts in the distance, signalled several 200mm surprises were on their way. Ludmila slipped a second blank tape into the deck and mashed record. She twisted the knob on the sense tape to maximum gain, and piped the audio-visual feed of the target to every sensory organ she had. Every inch of her body pulsed with the caresses of a thousand phantom lovers. The sensory overload was about to get a lot more overloading, and that was exactly what she wanted. She remembered to slip the gag back in just as the cluster munitions burst over the target.
The shouts of the few Corvids who heard the bomblets coming in were immediately drowned out by the bomblets exploding. Corporal Odrade saw, heard and felt the vibrations as two dozen hot rods, bikes and human beings were messily randomized, intermingled and dispersed among an enormous cloud of earth. Dialed to maximum sensitivity, the Canary’s sensor package nearly overloaded, bulldozing Ludmilla's sensory cortex as she came explosively, without so much as laying a hand on her cunt. She arched her back and squirted furiously into the catheter, groaning and drooling and twisting her hands in the worn leather of the seat’s armrests. Already the aftermath of the strike was visible and audible through the dust cloud the rounds kicked up. Men stumbling, screaming, ears blown out, jaws severed, limbs amputated and shooting pressurized gouts of white-hot blood onto the freshly turned earth. Corporal Odrade orgasmed again, straps barely restraining her. Secondaries from a burning jeep blossomed into a third climax, and the feed finally frazzled her brain hard enough that she cut it and collapsed into her chair.
Even with the catheter to slurp up her inveterate gushing, she still felt very sticky. Solo Nobre had yet to produce a sense tape that would lick your thighs clean, or towel you off afterward. She undid the lap belt and lifted her ass to slide the plug out. The condom around it ended up inside out and tied off, and both went into her kitbag on the floor, where she (hopefully) wouldn’t forget about them. The sense-tape went into the sack as well, tucked back into its case for later use. She took a long drink of lukewarm water. Her breathing was regular enough that she felt comfortable flicking the commlink on.
“Good hits, Autarch One, good hits. Repeat, over”
The crump, crump of the distant balão unit confirmed that death was on its way to the survivors of the initial cortador de margarida . Ludmila tuned the sense feeds down and thought about snatching a five minute nap before she spent the rest of the night on overwatch for the leg unit that picked the fight with the birds in the first place. The odds of anyone spotting her were minimal at best, and all she could think of is how good the normally-uncomfortable pilot seat felt. Even with a soggy towel under her ass and a plastic tube in her urethra.
Instead, she lit a cigarette and flicked off the cockpit’s atmospheric seals, letting the agrav slurp up big gulps of the cool night air. In the afterglow of the second volley, a mog section was picking its way toward the broken ground once occupied by the Corvid motor pool. One of the powersuits fired a stream of tracers, cutting down a solitary rider escaping the carnage on a motor scooter.
Ludmilla tallied her haul for the night as she dusted off and floated after the infantry. The alley blowjob would swap for at least a finger of cachaça , or more to the right buyer. And maybe a shoulder massage on top of that. Ludmila wasn’t exactly winning any awards for posture, sitting in the cockpit all night. The snuff tape of the bombardment she’d keep in her back pocket. Word on the street was that one of the shuttles nobody was supposed to know about had carried a fresh load of jack-offs from offworld. Traders ready to swap some local flavor for tapes from broader galactic civilization. She’d heard about the offworld stuff: made in real studios on dedicated computer hardware. Capable of full experience playback, rather than crude imitations of basic sensory inputs. She shivered.
When late night Canary patrols proved insufficient to sate Ludmilla Odrade’s appetite for voyeurism, she turned to simstims, piping primitive and very illegal sense-tapes through her cranial jack using bootlegged interface microcomputers. Improbably, this constant diet of sex and violence produced a marked improvement in her performance in the field. At the cost of serious addiction. We will be able to acquire her skills at little cost, by offering her a taste of the new sensory heights we have at our disposal.