A short story set in the future...
Bernard has served on Europa for the past three years, focusing on his work with the help of libido inhibitors. But when it's time for him to leave his post and head back home for Earth, he has to undergo a physical exam--with the attractive Dr. Severian Bell. And this physical is more in depth than most.
As a cyborg, Bernard isn't used to physical closeness. But Severian will show him how.
Bernard placed the bottle of pills on the table. As soon as the plastic bottle hit the metal, weight lifted off his shoulders.
His last week on station. His first tour of duty since completing his training at 21, in the boring wastelands of Europa for three years, was done. No more libido inhibitors. No more constant vigilance to make sure every machine that mined the precious resources they needed back home was working perfectly.
He could go back to Earth, and hopefully get an assignment that actually allowed some relaxation, not to mention make real use of the enhancements he had as a cyborg and the skills he had trained. He would be able to see blue skies out the windows, not the pea-green soup that passed for atmosphere here.
Of course, before he could leave he still needed to get through the medical exam. And judging by how David, the only other cyborg who had served on Europa twice, had laughed when he heard Bernard was leaving, it was going to be interesting.
“Ah, Bernard.” Dr. Severian Bell stepped through the door, raising a pale blond eyebrow. “Going home, eh?” he said, eyeing the pill bottle with his one good eye. A patch covered the other.
Bernard’s face heated immediately. “So, when will I feel it?” Bernard asked. “I mean, you know.”
“When will you feel arousal again?” Bernard’s face heated further at the doctor’s careful words. Doctor Severian tended to Bernard and all of the cyborgs who were stationed on Europa. The tall blond man was completely unflappable, and every cyborg suspected he too took the libido inhibitors that aided them in their vigilant watch of the mining operations on the planet.
“Um, yes.” Bernard swallowed hard.
“Have a night planned?” Severian scribbled something on the notebook he held and then placed it on the table. “I hate to tell you, you will have to remain here.” He lifted the bottle of pills, stowing them in a glass case on the wall next to an assortment of other bottles. “I will have to make sure everything is in working order before you leave.”
“I…what?” Bernard squeaked.
“Did no one tell you?” Bernard shook his head. “It’s part of the medical exam,” Severian continued, his voice neutral. “We have a room prepared for this sort of thing. Some individuals can have unpleasant reactions when stopping the medication.” He met Bernard’s gaze. “Relax, please. It’s very rare, I assure you. But the other half of it is simply making sure everything works. After all, each of you cyborgs gets different enhancements. Remind me, you…?”
Bernard swallowed down a thick combination of embarrassment and anxiety. He held up his hands, both made of cruel metal. “Dexterity work. And increased lung capacity.”
“Hm. Nothing out of the ordinary to consider then. It’s the cardiac enhancements that always cause trouble. Of course,” he snapped on a pair of white gloves, “those hands are going to make masturbation difficult.”
Severian grinned, turning toward the door. “Don’t worry. That’s not how we have to do things. Come, and let me show you to the space you’ll be occupying.”