The Missing Q-Drives – cyberpunk novella now available

Full title: The Case Of The Missing Q-Drives, A Detective Varriano Mysery

This novella was released on November 7. It contains two cyberpunk series posted here on this blog: Detective Varriano and Menoko Boi. Use the search to find them, and if you enjoy them, please consider making a purchase at Smashwords. The novella is priced at $1.99. You should know, it is spicy!

About this title: Quantum Drives hold the memories and avatars of the formerly living. Only the rich can afford them. When many of the drives go missing, it is up to quirky Detective Varriano to find out the who, what, where, when and why. It won’t be easy, because there certain shady characters don’t want those drives to be found. In fact, most everyone involved with this case is shady! Rating: HIGH controversy.

Visit this title’s page on Smashwords.

An excerpt:

His name was Varriano, Rickard Varriano. He’d been to holo-nudie men’s clubs before, but not quite like this one. The display signs on the front wall said a lot of strange things to him.

Payday advances!

All major cred cards accepted!

This year’s ass at last year’s prices!

Get your dick on!

That last slogan, especially… Varriano didn’t know what to make of it. He took a step back to take in the entire front of the club. There were no windows, only one-way poly screens that let in, at a guess, only fifty percent natural sunlight. All the signs were placed right there on the screens, so he figured it would be pretty dark inside. The top of the club had a false crown, or a raised front roofline, if you will, with the name of the establishment emblazoned on it: Eris & Rocket’s Joint. Next to the name was a hologram of a woman’s legs. Varriano watched the legs spread apart and close back up, spread apart and close back up, every three seconds or so. The details on the vagina were, in his opinion, very well articulated.

Varriano turned around to look at his surroundings. The sidewalk had people on it and the street was full of cars. He even saw kids walking out there. And up above his head, the holo-muff spread its thighs and closed them back up again. People were looking at him, standing out there, next to the club’s screen-darkened door.

An old man walked out, using an old-fashioned wooden cane to amble along, giving him a wary glance before heading off in the opposite direction.

“Excuse me.” Varriano called out.

The old man stopped to give him the once-over again.

“I have to ask. Did you get your dick on?”

For a second, Varriano thought the old man might try to come after him. He pulled out his pepper spray. “Don’t even think about it. I’m fully licensed to use this.”

The old man cursed him and left.

That brought Varriano back to his present dilemma. Should he enter the Joint or not? He went to the door, opened it, and set one leg inside to have a look. It was really dark inside. Thick, white vapor lifted off the floor, because of course nudie bars had much better ambiance when they doubled as swamps. His eyes tried to adjust to the dark interior. He heard synthwave music playing. That was a plus because he liked synthwave. He saw maybe a handful of people sitting on dark, plush seating, mostly older men, with two young holo-chicks dancing on the stage. The chicks were clearly adults, but they had pigtails and dressed like schoolgirls. Definitely, that was not a plus. It confused him. It made him reconsider why he was there.

Five minutes later, Varriano was still standing in that same place, halfway inside and halfway outside. He had to scoot over to let an old woman step in, wondering exactly what she was doing there. Looking for sex toys, maybe? What kind of sex toy would an old woman use, anyway? How much would she pay for it?

“Close the fucking door, you moron!” An impatient voice from inside shouted at him. “Can’t you see we got vampires in here?”

There, Varriano thought. That’s what he needed to hear. The tone had been set and now he could react to it, adapt to it so he wouldn’t feel so out of place. He walked in and let the door shut behind him. Fingers said he’d be there soon, so maybe he should sit close to the door to catch that bastard coming in. Then again, if he sat too close everybody and his uncle would see him right off the bat. Varriano did not want people to associate his face with Eris & Rocket’s Joint in any way, shape or form, ever.

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