He brushed the back of her hand as her put her drink down on the bar, leaned forward and said, "That's on the house, baby, because you're so gut-wrenchingly gorgeous.." His aftershave was intoxicating. Its subtle scent curled fingers around a primitive place in her memory. She gazed after his perfect form as he moved off to mix another drink.

"Don't get taken in," said a voice at her elbow. It was a short woman. Standing next to her. She was nursing what looked like a Marmite on the rocks.

"Don't get taken in by his fancy words," said the woman again, "That's his boyfriend over there." She gestured with a flick of her dark hair at the broad-shouldered biker scribbling in a notebook and smoking a roll-up at the far end of the bar. He was in his leathers, which must have been hot, since they were in a beach hut. Across the back of his very scuffed jacket was a stencil of a humanoid figure sitting on a crescent moon. What did it mean? The biker looked up at them momentarily. A virtual breeze sifted through his thick hair and goatee, and his eyes were a startling blue.

"They've been together for years," said the woman, "You could say they're inseparable."

The two men - if they could be described as such - were something frightening. They were something incapable of love. They were inSpectres. They lived in the netherworld of VR, their binary nature requiring them to manifest as a pair. And they required a host. They could only exist  if they could take root in a mind that would believe unquestioningly in their existence – a mind that would willingly take them in, and be taken in by them.

The End

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