Orion: Symbiont of Passion
Agent Hektor Orion's mission takes him to Bakker's Planet where he has to find the people responsible for making one hundred sacrificial robot-virgins behave all too life-like. Orion may be more than human, but even his extraordinary abilities cannot save him from the influence of the Symbiont of Passion.
Tall and thin, Earl Preston looked frail behind his wooden desk, but Orion knew this to be an illusion. Only a strong, ruthless man could have risen to the position of Director of Planetary Control on this planet. Orando was the fifth planet in the Orelli System, highly industrialized and densely populated, mainly because of its location around the giant Primary. The seasons were moderate and the weather stable. An ideal planet, unlike the fourth and sixth. One of them hot and dry, the other one cold and harsh, with the large cities under huge protective domes.
“As you are aware, Agent Orion, Orando is best known for its electronic devices and robotic machines, which are manufactured by the majority of our larger companies. You probably don’t know that the finest robots are built on Bakker’s Planet, the sixth planet in our system. Since Bakker’s Planet does not have much of a spaceport, all shipments out of the system go through Orando. Actually, most deals are made through Orando.”
Preston leaned back in his oversized chair and took a long drag from a thin cigarette. He breathed out slowly through his nostrils and looked at the big man sitting across from him.
“Apex, our neighbor closer to the sun, was settled largely by groups of religious people. Once a year, after the winter season, they have a big celebration where they sacrifice young virgins to their god.” Preston smiled thinly. “I know that practice is nothing new, but these people are civilized. For obvious reasons they can’t use human girls, so they use dolls made from plastic, but this year they decided to make it more realistic and had young virgins made to order. One thousand of them. They were built according to specs on Bakker’s Planet and delivered through us.”
Orion didn’t comment, wondering where this was heading.
“Somebody with a twisted sense of humor made these robots all too life-like,” Preston continued. “There exists a small creature on Bakker’s Planet which, at certain times, lives in symbioses with other creatures. Our knowledge about it is limited; all we know is that this little animal possesses a strong sex-drive, which it transmits to its symbiotic partner. Some genius bio-technician implanted these creatures into the control circuits of the one thousand robot-virgins.
“Apparently, these tiny creatures are telepathic, and any male coming within range gets as horny as hell. You can imagine what happened on the great Day of Celebration. One thousand sex-driven virgins with the capacity to do so practically raped most of the males present, and there were thousands of them. It was probably the largest orgy a religious gathering ever witnessed.”
Orion smiled, but his gray eyes remained cool. “I really don’t understand why a government agent of the Colonial Worlds of Sol-Terra had to be called in for that. It seems like a small local problem to me.”
“It would have been, but understandably the people of Apex, especially the women, were furious. Since they dealt with Orando, they directed their anger at us. They kidnapped one of our passenger cruisers and gave us an ultimatum: Find out who is responsible for the cruel joke or all of the people on board the cruiser will be killed. One of the passengers happens to be our president’s daughter. You see the problem? If anything happens to her it will mean war.” Preston stared at Orion. “They also demanded that an outside party be brought in to handle the investigation.”
Orion nodded thoughtfully. “I see,” he said. He stood up and walked over to the large window overlooking the city. In the distance, he could see the long, thin needle-shaped spaceships breaking through the clouds.
He was a big man. Tall, lean-hipped, with wide shoulders. Under his tight-fitting black clothes, his muscles rippled as he moved gracefully across the thick carpet. The Director’s gaze rested for a brief moment on the large energy pistol strapped to the big man’s hip.
“I have made arrangements for you to go to Bakker’s Planet. You’ll be met by a local agent. Officially, you are a wealthy merchant who wants to buy a certain kind of robot. My secretary will supply you with your ID and a specially prepared chip.” He joined Orion by the window, looked at the city below. “We haven’t had a war for a hundred years, Agent Orion. This problem needs to be resolved peacefully.” He held out his hand. “Good Luck.”