It began with simple emotion implants. I loved my girl more than I could ever express in words, and it pained me to know I could never communicate that feeling adequately enough. I watched her eyes when she said she loved me, and I knew that she was suffering from the same.
So we talked it through, and decided to get ourselves joined. A pair of wireless transmitter/receivers installed at the base of the skull, a delicate web of sensory nanowires running to the emotional centers of the brain. One half of the pair for each of us, and we would always know exactly what the other was feeling.
Like my love for her, the sensation can’t be properly described to anyone without an implant. When limited to using crude words, I can only say it was the best experience of my life – and she shared the feeling. To always know your partner’s emotions like your own, to feel her love for you with all its strength. And when you’d done something to hurt her, you would know that as well – feel it as strongly as if the pain were your own, and at that moment she would know how sorry you were.
We quickly agreed to never turn the implants off. After that, we never fought again.
Emotions were one thing, but we soon noticed they didn’t provide everything. I would lie if I’d say we didn’t make love frequently, and it quickly became obvious that only a part of our partner’s experience was being transmitted. I could feel her arousal and complete devotion to me – just as she could feel my arousal and complete devotion to her – but neither of us could feel the actual physical pleasure the other was receiving. After just having learned the joy of opening all your emotions to another, not being able to know all the pleasure you were causing felt like a gaping hole in an otherwise perfect experience.
So we got the upgrade. The full model cost quite a bit, but it was worth it – the newest models would link themselves to all the brain’s higher sensory areas. Not only could we completely enjoy both sides of the sexual act, we would always know everything that our partner’s senses were feeding them. I would know when her muscles were aching after a long day of work and could prepare her a hot bath, and when fatigue was starting to dull my senses she would know that it was the time to pull me to bed. When cuddling, we knew exactly how each position felt to the other, and would always know when and how to move when the other was starting to get uncomfortable. Had the emotional implants been good, then this was ecstacy, perfect harmony.
Slowly we began to crave for more. There would be the occasions when we lay in each others’ arms, talking about our lives and sharing memories of the times when we still hadn’t known. I can’t remember which one of us realized it first, but we were so closely linked that the thought must have been nearly simultaneous. For all the surface emotions and sensory information our brains were constantly exchanging, we couldn’t truly share our memories.
The model for a full-blown mindlink – a complete sharing of everything that either one happened to be consciously experiencing – was beyond expensive. There had been complications with some users, so it had been pulled off the trial phase for further testing. But we knew what we wanted, and we had the connections to pull it off. The operation itself was brief, but we spent the week after it in a strange, drug-induced dream state designed to give our brains time to adapt. During the time, the connection between us grew stronger and stronger, and when we woke up we knew nearly everything about each other.
We had started picking up each other’s habits and thought patterns even before the implants, but they accelerated the pace and strength of the effect a thousandfold. Her desire for me would become mine, and when I’d look in a mirror while taking a shower, I would feel a rush of arousal and a desire for my own naked body. I loved listening to rap, which she hated – now the music would become a strange maelstrom of simultaneous enjoyment and disgust. We eventually gave it up entirely.
Setting aside the computer, I get up from the chair and walk to the bathroom to brush my teeth. In front of the mirror I stop and blink in confusion for a brief moment before comprehension dawns once again – I’ve been talking about myself the whole time, whenever I’ve used the word ‘her’. Giving myself an amused shake of the head, I start brushing my teeth while reading a book in the bedroom and waiting for him to come back. After a moment she does return, and we set down on the mattress to make love once again. It is getting difficult, these days, to keep things apart. No matter – in the rush of enjoyment and pleasure that follows, such things are soon forgotten.
We are one.