"It's a delight to come home to the flat and find Serhiy's dick in Lyudmila's mouth."
One lover comes home to find the other two already engaged in sexy fun times, and it only gets hotter and wetter from there.
No connections to other stories or settings.
Someone asked me if hey, maybe I could contribute something to Yes, And 6. The thing that immediately popped into my head was the part of the Dirty Computer emotion picture set to "Don't Judge Me," where you see the main character with the man and the woman who are pretty clearly her lovers, spending time on the beach together.
This came into my head over a lunch break, and I don't really know how I got from that to the setting I ended up with. It's a mixture of things I like! Cyborgs. Trans folks. Genderfuck, which is to say, people who challenge notions of gender, in protest against things like homophobia or transphobia, or just for the hell of it. And finally, the cultures and struggles of Slavic peoples.
While the setting is a possible future, many parts of this story exist today. The broadest definitions of a cyborg include a person wearing medical devices like contact lenses, while implanted pacemakers or insulin pumps meet some of the more narrow definitions. And certainly, people around the world have experienced moral judgment and prejudice for the devices and procedures they seek, and for the ways they modify their bodies for aesthetic reasons. While some of the philosophical and cultural contexts differ between the West and the eastern Slavic nations, we are sadly alike in terms of the prevalence of collaboration between religious conservatives and political ideologues to consolidate power through persecution of vulnerable people. Hell, I might lose some protections against transphobic discrimination in my own extremely liberal state this November, if a ballot issue passes. Yes on 3 in 2018, Massachusetts! And if you know the history of why S2B2 has moved away from LiveJournal, you know something about the history of government-sanctioned homophobic and transphobic oppression in Russia, and why it wouldn't be crazy for an authority like, say, the Moscow Patriarchate to whip up even more severe attacks on these freedoms.
The Zona of this story also exists today. It's in northern Ukraine, and while it isn't actually known for mammals of unusual size, it is a refuge for many of the larger mammal species of the region. There are actually two zones, one administered by Ukraine and one administered by Belarus. I set this story in the town of Pripyat itself, near the epicenter of the disaster. The ferris wheel in town features in many pictures tourists take there, and yes, there is tourism to the zone now.
This story mixes Russian and Ukrainian names and other words. Lyudmila and Anatoli are refugees originally from Russia, and Serhiy is Ukrainian and speaks Ukrainian. The languages are quite similar, so the characters mix them at will. The Ukrainian Exclusion Zone is in a moderately ethnically Russian region of Ukraine. I almost used only Russian words, as I speak Russian but not Ukrainian, but I'm trying to get better about that, because the whole reason I speak one instead of Ukrainian, or even the Slovak my great-grandfather spoke and my grandfather could read, is imperialism. And also love of Russian culture! But definitely partly imperialism.