“How do your tattoos feel, Yndrd?” I egged him on as we passed into the dancing colors of the corridor. With a shiver, I ran my hand along the swimming flesh of my arm. Sometimes it feels like my skin is crawling. Yndrd met my stare.

“You know if it weren’t for your eyes, I’d never find you against the LED paint. They’re your only completely unmodified part.”

I looked him up and down, surveyed the broad, solid Native North American designs, adorning him from head to toe. The kind of block striping warriors wear. Only his flashed randomly with 50,000 channels of media, like the flesh of the Illustrated Man.

The tattoos operated based on a combination of gravitational potential and bioelectric energies. When you slept, they dimmed. If you were really active, they flared. One could learn to control his metabolism in such a way as to calibrate the luminescence. Yndrd was one such individual. He’d forged his skills in live combat. The battle of Mogadishu: he was there. Special Forces. They learned how to manipulate their soundtracks to paralyze nerves, shatter bones, suffocate an enemy or burst his organs.

“Say you’re making love,” he whispered. “You know the sensation of bringing your hand together with your lover’s, or of passing your hand across her skin? The feeling of a heightened sense of touch—that you can feel her without touching. You are more attuned to the warmth of her skin, radiating off of her body, meshing with your own.

“The tattoos heighten my sense of touch in this way,” he said. “They are an electromagnetic aura, Qwfqf, an extension of my body into the surrounding space.”


ALL ARTWORK AND CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2005 MARIO RODRIGUEZ,
EXCEPT PURPLENES COURTESY OF REBECCA FRANKEL.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.