The manufacture of Hollows – engineered replications of humans devoid of emotional or intellectual complexity – is outlawed in the civilized portions of explored space. That isn’t to say it doesn’t happen, considering the alien demand for human meat without a murder charge. But Telo, a Hollow who has named himself, is different. He feels, he learns, and he even embraces his own escape when he’s offered up as tribute to a space pirate attacking his masters’ ship.
Captain Carmine, Telo’s captor and savior, captures his attention as well. He’s aloof, but kind and pleasantly familiar, and Telo immediately feels a connection to him – and some more drastic and physical sensations – that he never experienced among aliens. Telo’s first lesson on life among humans is an unplanned introduction to lust and pleasure.
When I started this story, I had something much heavier and less episodic in mind. What wound up happening was the opening to something closer to my Fucked in Space series, a playful episode with characters who are more playfully perverse than ravaging and brooding. I love my sweet, virginal characters paired off with brooding alphas, but I was just jonesing for something irreverent and silly-sweet. Just a playful send-up of scifi staples.