What if kisses could inoculate against the season's most virulent viruses, and "cute" hologram-jamming idols were WHO-approved vaccination agents? Would you line up for hours for a peck, lock, deploy, swirl, peck? Remember to wash your hands!
"Vital Vidol kisses! Get inoculated. Just 6000 yen for a spit swap. Get a head start on the pandemic season!" The manager's voice was a screech on any normal given day; put a megaphone in her hand and caused brain cells to liquefy.
The woman squawked "Medically certified! Government approved!" over the snaking lines of overeager men who queued according to the vidol they most wanted an inoculating kiss from. Six girls, six lines.
Peck, lock, deploy, swirl, peck.
Noro waved goodbye to the gentleman and wished him good health.
"I'll be back for a flu shot later," he beamed.
"Please wait the mandatory two weeks," she called after.
He laughed good-naturedly and was gone.
"Next Kiss," she called.
Noro had no natural talent for singing or dancing, her teeth were sketchy at best, and her nose was just a little "funny". Nonetheless, she was on the frontline of the viral season. They dolled her up in a two-tone, frill-laced, skin-tight, aerobics leotard one size too small, hologram bangles, and laser-shine dance boots. Along with teased and blacklighted hair, and wide swaths of neon eyeshadows, these were the skin-deep makeover changes they had troweled upon her to uplift her to stardom. Simple, easy to maintain.
It was changes that couldn't be seen that made her something special. Via some quick out-patient surgery, they had reconfigured her diaphragm and lungs, tweaked her DNA, installed swab sacs into her inner cheeks, and portlet factories under her armpits that filled her breasts with whichever vaccine she was supposed to be inoculating her fans with. At an hour's notice, she could go from A- to K-cup with enough vaccine to inoculate a million people.
To complete the transformation, they gave her and her sister idols stage names: Rhino, Corona, SARS3, Flub and Flua (the twins), and a dozen other stage identifications. She was Noro, a Virus Idol – Vidol for short. A singing, dancing sexual fetish with girl-next-door charm and morals – she didn't drink and the only smoking she was allowed to do was on stage.
Rocking her haptic bass guitAR, she cloud-jammed perky bubblepunk sing-ucation dance augograms directly to fan sensory modal receivers with hits like "My Love for You Runs to 37.5", "Milady Malaise", "Do-Do-Do Put Your Hands on Me (After Soapin' Up)", "Countermeasure Conga", and "Wet Market Revolutionary".
Fans memorized every lyric and dance move, internalizing their favorite Vidol's three sizes and genomic sequence. They waited in 4-hour-long lines to pay for a cherished swirl-tongue kiss that would vaccinate them against the season's most virulent diseases.
As WHO-approved pharmacological inoculation agents, the Vidols were at the beck and call of local and national level agencies, civic groups, quasi organizations, and available for company parties and high school graduations, all for the education and immunization of the population. So when Noro and her sisters weren't singing about washing hands, Ebola strains, or the how-tos of properly wearing surgical masks, their job was to lock lips, deploy tongues, and swirl. Buffering pecks were employed before and after for customer warm-up and cool-down. Peck, lock, deploy, swirl, peck.
Peck, lock, deploy, swirl, peck.
Peck, lock, deploy, swirl, peck.
Peck, lock, deploy, swirl, peck.
Peck, lock, deploy, swirl, peck... ad nauseam.
Of course, she wasn't allowed to enjoy any of it. Her heartrate was constantly monitored and they keep a body temp camera on her groin at all times. Any apparent signs of "stirring" would mean instant removal from the event; she'd be asked to "take a powder" and a member of Team B would relieve her.
Team B were the backup girls. They trained the same grueling eight hours daily, seven days a week, remembering the same dance routines and songs Team A did in hopes that Team A girls would fail to meet Kiss Quotas, fall out of favor with fans, or literally break a leg during performance, so they could move up.
Noro felt the burn of their stare on the back of her head with every kiss she gave.
The young man in front of her blushed, and walked off like he was drunk. Outside the doors, his friends met him with muted whoops and a bevy of back pats.
Another deflowered virgin, she thought. How sweet.
"Next Kiss," she called out to her personal line of fans at the door to the civic center. She eyeballed it trying to get a feel for their numbers, and to her relief, they would have her standing there for at least another hour or more. A small part of her was tickled that so many men adored her. It was like a dream come true; the little girl in her squealed with delight. Practice was a bit on the grueling side, but "satisfaction of a job well done was hard work's own reward" her father used to say. He died at the office when she was 10. His company called 3 days later when they realized he wasn't just napping at his desk and the smell became slightly unbearable. He had been 40. A salarycog to the end.
As if tall, gawky middle-aged salarycog in a rumpled, slept-in suit; a barcode combover of long, gravity-defying wisps of hair; and finger-smudged glasses appeared waving his ticket, which he placed in a box on the table before her. The ticket would serve as a record of her work and testimony to her popularity among the fans. She smiled and bowed in gratitude and welcome.
Sweat poured off his Tokyo Dome-sized pate despite the winter chill he had just come in from. His eyes lit up as his approach afforded him an uninterrupted ogle of the vast expanse of her generous bosom down the front of her v-neck. His lips broadened into a grinning orifice exposing the jumble of tobacco-stained rocks that were his teeth.
Almost immediately the wafting funk of stale cigarette smoke and sweat, tweaked with just a hint of breath care mint rolled over her. It was a common at events like this, and while a bit heady the first few men, she had already inoculated so many this evening that her own personal vesicle had formed to soften the sometimes-heady aroma.
"Please fill out this form and sign here," she pointed down at a consent form required from all participants. She leaned forward purposefully and remained that way for the duration of the signing. His eyes flickered between her breasts and the form so fast and often that she thought he might be having a seizure. Fortunately, he finished and stood before her with the exuberance of a teen.
She rose from her chair with the expected flourish that made her vaccine-suffused breasts jiggle. The manager herself made sure all the Vidols were properly trained in the technique, and warned that failure to bounce properly would be met with fines.
"The city council would like offer its sincerest gratitude to you for taking precaution against viral infection this season. Preparing is caring." Every word Noro spoke had been carefully scripted, pregnant with all the expected language formalities, by the very city officials who had secured the services of the Vidols as a way of enticing the male population to vaccinate.
He giggled in response. She giggled in lieu of anything else to say. Then they both slowly leaned forward. Shutting her eyes in coquettish deference just before their lips met, she gave him the required warm-up peck, and pressed in.
Activating her vacc-sacs, she released the prescribed amount of vaccination on her tongue and opened her mouth against his to deploy and swirl. She had done this a million times over, and it was nothing new. By the ticket tabulation, she had vaccinated several thousand men this season. She would undoubtedly make the required ten. She had to. Girls who didn't, meaning girls who weren't popular, got the boot. There was a nasty rumor going about the dorm that contracts were being sold off to management offices offering fluffer-cum-STD vaccination girls to adult film studios until they paid off the debts they incurred for their makeovers, surgery, and training. True or not, it was incentive to ensure the fans got every ounce of effort she had in her to stay popular.
The tip of the man's slick tongue slipped into her mouth like a timid little animal, wary of predators and ready to bolt at a moment's notice knowing it had entered forbidden territory. When she didn't protest at his minuscule mucousy invasion, the tip turned into a tide as the man uncoiled the longest tongue she had ever experienced. Roiling in her mouth like turbulent waters, it grew ferocious, whipping around as it groped and probed.
Her eyes shot open and she reached out to grip the man's shoulders for support – something she didn't normally do so she didn't give her fans the wrong impression. She made several, hopefully discrete noises in a desperate effort to make contact with the other idols or her manager. She wasn't sure what she wanted to communicate, but she needed to anchor herself in momentary contact with the world outside the "couple" bubble she currently inhabited with this man.
Not a single person noticed.
Clearly on her own, she realized her only salvation was to finish this man as soon as possible and move on to the next. To do so, she need to deliver the vaccine by swirling his tongue.
Taking a deep breath through her nostrils, she tried curb the man's enthusiasm with what she hoped would be a few well-time strokes of her tongue on his. Something inviting, something soothing, but his tongue was so long, it wadded up in her mouth like a fleshy nest of snakes, tumbling and slithering over itself. She struggled to effectively caress any part of it, let alone relay any kind of message.
Did he not understand how this worked? Surely, he had an inkling. There were plenty of other first-timers in line – none of whom reacted like this outlier. Noro thought perhaps pulling back slightly might give the man the right idea to relax. Then again, it might give him the wrong one, and he might lodge a complaint – a complaint that might lead to her being "relieved" for the rest of the evening.
She sighed mentally. Well, maybe she could just strategically retreat, give him the cool-down peck and call it good. Who was to say he hadn't been inoculated? Nothing was guaranteed, after all. It wasn't like he could claim she hadn't performed the required service. It seemed the best course of action.
And then it happened.
A mild, but frightening moment of dry heave gripped her as his tongue probed where it shouldn't have.
She increased her grip on his shoulders and subvocalized a plea for him to stop.
And then again. This time, a waggling sensation, as if he were trying to literally tickle her tonsils. The abdomino-thoracic contraction was stronger and she felt the burn of bile.
She had learned to deal with all kinds of uncomfortable situations – bad breath, dry mouth, fans with "uncomfortable" visages. But this was beyond all that. This man was trying to stick his tongue down her throat! Literally. His long, pink, muscly, flesh slithered passed her soft palate, tonsils, and uvula, and she lost it, vomiting uncontrollably into the man's mouth.
There was a moment of awkward pause when neither of them moved. Her first thought went to the line of fans beyond the man's shoulder. Did they know or suspect what had happened? The fear and shame blossomed in her breast; she had to get out of there. The manager would punish her severely, but it didn’t matter; it just didn’t matter.
She jerked back but found herself unable to do so. Having read her intention, the man had grasped the back of her head in a shockingly powerful grip.
Puzzled, Noro struggled, turning her head, eventually brought herself eye to eye with him. Hers, like her mouth, were filled with horror, while his held the sparkle of unbridled joy.
He was happy. He had wanted this...
Then with the same intensity in which he had latched on, he let go. Stepping back, he straightened his jacket as if he were merely looking at himself in the mirror. The front of him was a mess, but he seemed not to notice or care.
In the bright overhead lighting of the hall, his glasses gleamed as he turned to walk away.