clear cut

About Slipping the Stream

Written by Mike Shade
103 pages / 33000 words
ISBN: 978-1-60370-033-7, 1-60370-033-1
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc

Orry's been jacking into the net since he was little, so much that the "real world" hardly seems real. As the Steel Butterfly, he's damned good at slipping past the authorities and spider bots that try keep unauthorized access of the net to a minimum.

Everything's going great until he accidentally grabs some black packets. They're full of data that the authorities don't want anyone to know and now Orry's on the run, suffering from withdrawal and getting desperate.

Dar and Cents are lovers and members of an underground that is living virtually free of the net. They take Orry in and help him out. Problem is that Orry stole something the authorities want very badly. Will Orry, Dar and Cents figure out how to spread the word while keeping their personal lives together?

jalapeno

Review

Kit Zheng, contributing Torquere Press anthology author, writes: Fusing a stylish cyberpunk adventure with a hot romance between two sleek, pretty protagonists and a tough, buff lead, Mike Shade's new novelette Slipping the Stream feels like "Neuromancer" meets yaoi anime.  The result will keep you turning the page.

Infamous jacker Orinoto--the "Steel Butterfly"--is on a routine job when everything goes sour.  His impulsive data grab on the way out turns the situation from bad to worse.  Fortunately for him, he's rescued by Dar--unmodded, a rarity in this world-- and Cents--a young, ex-jackhead like Orry. 

Fugitives themselves, they hide Orry from the auths.  When Orry's cold-turkey break from the stream starts to really hurt, they also teach him how to use real world pleasure to forget about that virtual pain.  But the auths are still hunting Orry, and the thrills are a terabyte a minute as the impromptu trio of lovers seek a way to escape.

The story perfectly mixes sizzling scenes of Orry's introduction to the pleasures outside the stream--of skin-on-skin, bodies meeting, of two eager and attentive lovers--with fast-paced, exciting adventure as Dar, Cents and Orry run from their pursuers.  If you like your men pretty and your action hot, don't miss Slipping the Stream.

Sample

The corridor was pitch black and wet, but the last time he'd jacked in he'd read there was a secure port down there, somewhere to slide in fast and...

Orinoto's hand slid over his port, hidden behind his ear, behind his wet hair. He'd not jacked into the stream in three days. Three entire days. He'd never gone that long. Even as a little kid, his port was in use twelve hours out of the day.

Hells, once <mother's name> had got his bodmods done when he was six, he spent more than twenty in. He didn't even *exist* out here, out of the stream, in this stupid, filthy, empty place.

Damn his luck.

He'd hadn't meant to get into trouble. Not this kind of trouble. Not running trouble. He'd slid into a corp dbase, hunting a customer's data, erasing someone from the fedsys and then one of the spiders had reached for him, sending him surf-sliding into a strange hall, a strange room.

A strange room with some nasty damned data that he didn't quite get, but he *knew* was worth some creds. Maybe enough creds to go legit. Maybe enough creds to go topside where there was real sun, real sky.

Stars.

Maybe enough to set every frelling alarm and auth and spider off. Enough to bring the auths with their stunners and webnets crashing through the door not five minutes after he'd grabbed his pack and scrambled out of his cube.

Maybe enough that the whispers on the underground was that the Steel Butterfly was worth more alive and in custody than any of them would ever see in a lifetime.

Orinoto heard a noise behind him, maybe a footstep, maybe something falling, maybe his imagination, but it sent him hurtling down the corridor, headed for the port.

Just five minutes.

Five.

Long enough to figure where to next.

About the Author