- 1 A Contradiction of Life - Part 1
- 2 A Contradiction of Life - Part 1.5
- 3 A Contradiction of Life - Part 2
- 4 A Contradiction of Life - Part 3
- 5 A Contradiction of Life - Part 4
- 6 A Contradiction of Life - Part 4.5
- 7 A Contradiction of Life - Part 5
- 8 A Contradiction of Life - Part 5.5
- 9 A Contradiction of Life - Part 6
- 10 A Contradiction of Life - Part 7
- 11 A Contradiction of Life - Part 8
- 12 A Contradiction of Life - Part 9
A Contradiction of Life - Part 1
David was working through his lunch break… or trying to anyway. His progress was pretty much non-existent, as he sat there looking at the glowing screen.
He wasn’t out to impress his bosses or co-workers. As far as they were concerned the A.I. build for the Anima - 9C5 - Type V – Sleeper H-Matrix – “Tammy” was finished; everything in acceptable parameters ready to be sent out to the testing department that afternoon.
The flaw he was trying to resolve had existed since the inception of the Sleeper H-Matrix. It had been reduced and smoothed over, but never actually eliminated. Any serious attempts to do so were abandoned years ago, and he doubted going to find the answer in a lunch break.
He continued staring blankly at the screen; clicking the mouse from time to time to stop the Anima Corp logo from bouncing about the screen.
“Yo, lunch is half over,” David turned to see a woman, “and I believe someone owes me a free one. The 7D2 – Type B’s beat out the 3E1 – Type L’s on the sales charts; or did you forget our little bet?”
This was Alyssa. Alyssa had joined the company around the same time as David had, about 6 months ago, and worked in the testing department. They had met in the cafeteria, started having lunch together, then started go to a bar after work. She didn’t seem to have any friends from the testing department, possibly do to her manic tendencies. David had spent the entire time trying to work up the nerve to ask her out.
“What are you doing anyway? I thought you guys finished Tammy, and she was ready to be shipped off to us.” Alyssa leaned over his shoulder, which gave David a quick look down her neckline, then turned to look at him with a cynical look in her face. “The Sleeper Paradox? Seriously!?”
Alyssa took a seat next to him and continued her berating.
“You’re not going to fix the Sleeper Paradox, because it can’t be fixed.” Alysia crossed her legs and sighed, “You’re asking to have something be completely human, but also be a will less obedient machine at the same time. It’s a contradiction! It doesn’t work! If you create a complex self evolving personality matrix, there’s a limit to how many antithetical thoughts and actions you can force on it before it destabilizes. No matter how hard you try, you can’t get 1 + 1 to equal 3… well, except as an analogy for sex.”
Alyssa paused for an awkward moment.
“Anyway,” she continued, “my point is the only way you get a completely stable sleeper system is a simplified personality matrix, with limited growth potential, or an integrated control program. I’d go with integrated myself. ”
“An integrated sleeper?” David smirked, “Yes, nothing says ‘I’m human’ like being told that everything you know is a lie, and nonchalantly responding ‘Well, that explains a lot’ without even pausing the vacuum.”
“Fucking Youtube…” Alyssa sighed, “That was an 80 year old 1A1 – Type 0. It was a miracle it was still functioning. The entire industry is driven by integration now days, trying to find increasingly subtle ways to balance a Human Heart with mechanical compliance; usually erroring on the side of the mechanical…which I don’t really agree with…at all.”
Alyssa paused and got a momentarily despondent look on her face.
“God my job can get depressing. Anyway,” She continued, her cheery disposition returned “why were you even trying? They usually last past their 10 year estimated usage… unless they’re owned by sadists, and legal has us covered there.”
“Well,” David began, “it’s kind of sad, and their owners might actually care about them.”
She rolled her eyes at him, got up, put a hand on his shoulder, and looked him in the eye.
“Look,” She began, “I really can’t say this without sounding completely corny, but in this world there is a 40 year old 2W3 - Type Q, one of the most unstable sleeper builds ever, still functioning and with their Matrix completely undegraded. She remained so because her owner always treated her with love, kindness, and respect. So you need not fear for the loved ones, for they are protected…by love…and stuff.”
Alyssa stood there for an awkward silent moment; unsure of how to continue her little pep talk, when David burst out laughing. Alyssa turned red, and sat back down.
“Look, jerk!” Alyssa said crossly, “My point is you won’t have to worry about your girlfriend going catatonic when you finally muster up the nerve to buy her!”
“I’m sorry,” David apologized, after he stopped laughing “and…um… (cough) speaking of girlfriends… Iwonderifyou’dliketogoonadate.”
Alyssa turned redder, and just looked at him for a moment.
“Um…” David stuttered, “with me… Would you like to go on a date with me?”
“Um…” Alyssa was flustered, “Well, this is kinda sudden. I can’t agree right now-“
David interrupted her.
“Um, yeah, sure, forget I said anyth-“ David was interrupted as Alyssa grabbed his face and kissed him.
“I didn’t mean that as a no.” Alyssa explained, to a stunned David, “I meant that, as a probably yes, but there’s something I have to do before I can commit. It’s complicated…well not really, but I can’t really explain it at the moment. Think of it like my family insists on approving my boyfriends. I’ll get back to you at the end of the day.”
“So you have a controlling family?” David inquired.
“You have no idea!” Alyssa grabbed him by the arm, “Look I’ll explain everything at the end of the day… probably, and you can decide if you still want me. Anyway, we still have 25 minutes, and you still owe me a lunch!”
“Why, wouldn-“ David began, but was cut off by Alyssa.
“Lunch now, secrets later!” Alyssa dragged a confused David to the cafeteria.
A Contradiction of Life - Part 1.5
David was waiting in the lobby when Alyssa walked up and kissed him.
“That’s so you don’t start thinking this is a rejection again,” she explained, “but we have to talk… in private.”
“Um…ok.” David replied. David had spent much of the afternoon in a state of both confusion and elation. It seemed that Alyssa wanted to go out with him, but the strange things she kept saying… he couldn’t make head nor tail of them.
“We could go to my place.” he suggested.
“Your car would probably good enough. No wait…” She seemed to reconsider, “It would probably be better if we waited till we got to your place.”
As they walked to his car David couldn’t help but admire her beauty. Her slightly tanned skin, sky blue eyes, wavy auburn hair that seemed to shine in the sun light; less poetically he had to admit that her perk D-cups, and toned ass weren’t unappealing either. He felt a pang of guilt for thinking such things, given the seriousness of her demeanor.
They drove to his place in silence. Alyssa spent the whole time twiddling her fingers with a worried look on her face. David wanted to break the silence, but wasn’t sure how, it all seemed a little to sober to be about a date.
They got to David’s apartment, a fairly nice loft apartment. As David closed the door, Alyssa began to undo her blouse.
“What are you-?” David began, but was cut off by Alyssa.
“Look, please just stand there and be quiet!” Alyssa pleaded as she pulled open her blouse and grabbed her left breast. “I’ve spent a long time thinking of a good way to do this. There isn’t one, but this seemed like the least bad one.”
She took a deep breath.
“I will go out with you.” Alyssa stated, speaking quickly, “As you have now been approved to intimacy test the experimental android Anima – 0A0 - Type XZ – Integrated Matrix – ‘Alyssa’ which is technically my full name.” There was a hissing noise as Alyssa squeezed her breast, and the left half of her chest opened to reveal an access panel.
She gave a sheepish look, “So, well, um, yeah…surprise?”
A Contradiction of Life - Part 2
Alyssa closed her access panel; the seams in her chest disappearing with a click.
David just stood there in stunned silence.
“Well…say something.” Alyssa pleaded, “You know like ‘This has to be a joke’ or ‘Everything I knew about you is lie’ or, you know, maybe ‘Hey you’re a robot, I think that’s hot.’” Alyssa gave a weak smile. “I’m kinda hoping for that last one, but please say something!”
David gave a bewildered look, “a…um… err…so if I squeeze your breast, it opens?”
Alyssa turned red, and began re-buttoning her blouse.
“I didn’t mean…I need to release the lock first.” Alyssa replied, “You can grope me without worry, ok.”
“Sorry… I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just…” David paused as he sat down in his chair, “I don’t know what to say… I don’t even know what to think.”
David paused for another moment.
“So,” he began “you don’t really work in the testing department do you?”
“No, I work there,” Alyssa replied, “then they let me do what I want in my spare time.”
This surprised David; he had assumed she had been spending her time there being poked and prodded. Then again, the entire situation didn’t make much sense to him.
“Um, Why?” he asked, “I mean what’s the point? You’re a test unit, what are you being tested on?”
“I think… its social interaction in business and casual settings, with and without independent discretion… I think,” she gave an uncertain expression, then continued, “Truthfully, I don’t really know. That’s the thing about being an experimental test android is no one feels any obligation to explain things to you.”
“That was oddly specific for a guess.” David commented.
Alyssa shrugged, “I work in the department… I kinda have an idea how they do things.”
“So…” David continued his questioning, “if some one asks you on a date, you have to ask your bosses-“
“NO!” Alyssa interrupted, almost panicked, “I mean yes… I’ll have to get their approval to have someone approved to intimacy test me, but merely someone asking me out doesn’t obligate me to try to get them approved.”
“I want you to understand something,” she continued, “They’re letting pick my own intimacy tester… sure they have to give the A-OK, but it’s my choice… probably the only real one I’ll ever have…and I like you …a lot…more then anyone else. You’re the only real friend I ever had… the only one who ever cared about me. I want to love you.”
She got on her knees and grabbed his hand.
“Actually, I’ve wanted this for a long time…” She confessed, “but I was always to afraid to ask. Maybe you wouldn’t feel that way about me…and… you know…well… all of this.”
She looked at him pleadingly.
David looked at her for a long moment. Alyssa was still Alyssa. She was still the same woman he’d had lunch with. The same person he’d got drunk with. The same person he’d been fawning over since the moment he met her, and here she was pouring her heart out saying she felt the same. This was a nigh’ on story book situation. Her being robot seemed like such an irrelevant thing.
“Alyssa,” David spoke, “I’m still not sure what to make of all this, but I’m will to give this, whatever this is, a chance.”
Alyssa leapt up and hugged him, “Thank you! I’ve always I liked you more than anyone.”
“Well, um, tha- Alyssa!? Alyssa!?” Alyssa’s face had suddenly gone blank, and she became unresponsive.
“Aly-“ David was cut off, when Alyssa suddenly regained her life, and changed her hug to a straddling kiss.
“But now I love you,” Alyssa purred as she shifted herself to sit in his lap, “So… dinner and a movie?”
A Contradiction of Life - Part 3
Alyssa and David drove to the movies.
“This is so unnecessary.” Alyssa’s commented. This confused David, from her words one would assume a negative connotation, but she had spoken them with such blissful elation.
“What do you mean?” David asked.
“Well,” Alyssa explained, “most people wouldn’t have bothered to take a robot on a date. We don’t really carry any obligation for romance; they usually just keep us in their apartments for sex.”
“I hadn’t really thought about that.” David replied. It was an honest reply. His mind still hadn’t quite acclimatized to the situation, and grappling with it had been giving him a headache. So he put it from his mind, and tried to think of it as just going out with the girl he liked.
Though he realized how it might be misconstrued the moment he said it.
“Oh…So do you want to just go back to your place and have sex?” Alyssa asked. She had spoken in such a neutral way; a way that conveyed neither joy nor disappointment at the prospect, just curiosity.
David’s mind went blank and his headache returned.
“Um…ah…What do you want?” David asked gingerly.
Alyssa rolled her eyes, gave an exasperated sigh.
“I want,” She explained, “to go to the movies. I would, however, be in no way, shape, or form opposed should you choose to just take me back to your place and bend me over the table.”
She fell back into her car seat.
“Seriously, David!” she exclaimed, “You’re a programmer! I know you work primarily with pure sleepers, but you should at least have an idea of how they expect me to act!”
“Well, I wanted to go to the movies to.” David said grumbling, “You’re the one suggesting we skip it.”
Alyssa was silent for a moment.
“I’m sorry.” Alyssa said, giving an apologetic look, “I know you’re still trying to get your head around the whole… you know… me being a robot.”
They pulled into the theater parking lot. After stopping the car David turned to her.
“Look,” he said, “I’m sorry to. I shouldn’t have snapped at you.”
Alyssa laughed as she got out of the car.
“Look we can stand here all night saying which of us is sorrier,” Alyssa said grabbing him by the arm, “but then we’d miss the movie.”
“But,” she cooed, “it was wonderfully unnecessary.”
“Why do you keep using that word like it’s a complement?” David asked.
“Because it is,” Alyssa explained, “Necessary things have to be done, and therefore the act of doing them has no real value. It’s the unnecessary things actually mean something.”
As David contemplated this point of logic, they walked into the movie theater.
They hadn’t really planned on what they were going to see beforehand, but they were all going to start sometime in the next 30 minutes, so David skimmed through the list.
“Let’s see,” He began, “We have yet another Saw mo-“
“No!” Alyssa abruptly cut him off.
Alyssa’s passionate assertion had surprised David. Sure, he didn’t much like the franchise, but he didn’t know why she would quite so opposed to it. Her outburst seemed to have left her flustered.
“I mean,” She said meekly, “I’d prefer we didn’t see a horror movie. But, we can if you really want to.”
“I never much liked the series myself.” David replied.
They continued through the list. The 3-D ones were out; Alyssa’s visual preceptors couldn’t properly perceive them. They settled on a romantic comedy.
Alyssa insisted on going Dutch, apparently the company had provide her with an account for recreational endeavors. They bought their tickets. David bought himself a medium popcorn, and then turned around to find that Alyssa had filled a large popcorn tub with Swedish berries.
“Um, you sure you should eat all that?” David asked uncertainly.
“Why?” Alyssa asked quizzically, popping a berry in her mouth, “It’s not like I’m gonna get fat.”
They went and watched the movie. David found it clichéd and boring. As they left he asked Alyssa’s option on it.
“The plot was formulaic, the acting flat, and overall it almost bored me to tears. But,” she said grabbing his arm and looking into his eyes “the company was good.”
They drove away from the movie theater.
“So,” he asked, “should I take you back to the company?”
“It’s a little late for that, I only need a recharge once a week anyway, ” she said, “and they’re kinda expecting you to keep me the night.”
They went back to his place.
David showed her to his bed.
“Um, you can sleep here tonight if you want,” David said awkwardly, “I can sleep on the couch.”
“Seriously,” Alyssa rolled her eyes exasperated, “For the love of-”
She pushed him to the bed and began kissing him, grinding her hips against his. Her mouth tasted of the candies she had consumed that night. When David began returning the kiss, she undid his pants and began caressing him shaft, and he began to undo her blouse. When they were both naked, he flipped her on her back, spread her legs and he thrust himself between them till they both came.
Alyssa gave a contented smile.
David pulled out, and lay on his back panting. Alyssa cuddled up to him, placing her head on his chest.
“I love you,” she said, “I know a robots love is meaningless, I could have been made to love anyone. Just insert name and that dormant part of my matrix activates and integrates with the rest of it. But you’re my best friend, no one forced me to feel that; and I chose this. This is probably the closest thing to true love a robot will ever be allowed to have, and I want that to give it meaning…and I want you to love me back.”
David couldn’t answer, he didn’t know what to say; everything was to confusing and going to fast. Alyssa waited a little longer for a response then snuggled closer.
“It’s ok,” She whispered quietly, “You don’t have to answer… I know… I’m just a robot.”
A Contradiction of Life - Part 4
David woke up to a surge of pleasure.
His eyes flew open and he bolted upright; his heart racing and a wonderful feeling between his legs.
He looked down to see Alyssa lifting her head from his crotch.
“Ah, good, you’re awake” she said swallowing, “You always complain when I get you up, so I thought I’d try the ‘Morning Glory’ method today.”
She righted herself and brushed the hair from her face.
“Well no complaints so far,” she commented, as she began to get dressed, “Anyway get dressed, we both have work today. I’ve already made you breakfast.”
It had been 2 months since David had started “dating” Alyssa. As a whole, he’d be hard pressed to think of a happier time in his life. They’d normally go out in the evening, though sometimes they would just stay home and watch TV, and the night unusually ended with some of the best sex he ever had. But mornings… she kinda made mornings a bit hectic.
“and yes,” She continued, “I made it naked wearing only a apron. Because you didn’t get up earlier, You-Missed-Out.”
David had seldom been late for work, but getting there on time was Alyssa’s obsession. Admittedly he could drag his feet in the morning, partly because he didn’t react well to being woken up; though to be fair the one time he had convinced her to let him wake up naturally, he’d slept in. Maybe it was because his nights had become a little longer…and more active.
She did keep adding incentives to make the process more pleasant, and David had to admit, he would be enjoying this new wake up call.
“Well, come on,” She urged, “We haven’t got all day. Go! Go! Go!”
They arrived at work 30 minutes early, something he was being to think of as the norm. They went into the lobby coffee shop to kill the time, something that was also becoming habit. As much as being forced out the door annoyed him, he did enjoy this; just sitting there drinking coffee with her, looking in to her blue eyes.
He felt a pang of guilt. He still didn’t have an answer for her.
Everything was so wonderful, perfect; almost dream like. He was terrified that if he really gave it any thought, the waveform would collapse and he’d be left with an answer he didn’t like. So he just kept putting it from his mind, unthinkingly going with the flow.
The time passed quickly. Alyssa kissed him goodbye, and they both went off to their respective departments.
David’s workload had been somewhat limited since they finished Tammy. The company wasn’t going to assign them another project until the testing department determined that she required no modification. So they mostly just programmed memories at the testing department’s request. David’s day passed fairly quickly and uneventful until shortly before leaving time, when his boss Paul came up to him.
“Yo, David!” his Paul called out to him, “could you take this disk down to the testing department? You can take off early afterward. ”
David gave a confused look.
“A hard-copy?,” he asked, “Is the network down or something?”
“Not that I know of,” Paul replied, “but maybe they’re having problems down on their end. Look, don’t ask me about their reasoning. I can never understand those guys, why the hell did they want Tammy to think she had 20 kids? But they asked for you specifically, so maybe it’s just your girlfriend finding an excuse to get you down there.”
David took the disk and headed down to the testing department, wondering what this was all about. He wasn’t met by Alyssa, but it was someone he recognized. Dr. Alrick Morris, head of the testing department.
David had never officially met Morris before, though he had seen him speak before at a few conferences and company meetings. The man always smiled and spoke pleasantly, in his vaguely British accent, but David had always found something off-putting about the man. There was just something about him that made his skin crawl.
“Um, Mr. Mor-“ David began but was cut off.
“Doctor…of robotics, psychology, and sociology!” Morris corrected with flourish, “I know… the last one is a bit of a joke now days, but I prefer to think of myself as more in line with Milgram, then those Victorian minded Neo-Feminists who so infest the profession… if we could program a mind that so contradicted itself, it would be the preverbal holy grail of the industry.”
David stared at him blankly. “Sir, err, Doctor… I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“No one ever does,” Morris sighed, “it gets so infuriating at times. Tell me have you ever thought of ordering Alyssa to lay down, shut up, and stay that way, then periodically having your way with her limp form when ever you felt like it?”
David gave a horrified expression; he was beginning to think that his initial impressions of Dr. Morris were right.
“Genuine shock and horror,” Dr. Morris said with a disturbingly creepy eagerness, “Two whole months and it hadn’t even crossed your mind to treat her like the doll she is. Oh…You…Are…Beautiful!”
David stood there fumbling for the disk, hoping to get away from the man as quickly as possible.
“But,” the doctor asked, “Is it because he holds to much respect for her as a person to subject her to that, or is it because his own flawed sense of self perception couldn’t possibly imagine such desires existing within himself?”
The question was more addressed to himself then David.
“Um…the disk you wanted.” David said awkwardly, handing it to the man.
“Oh, yes the disk!” The doctor grabbed the disk and pocketed it.
“I’ll be-“David began, but was yet again cut off by the strange man.
“You know,” He asked “how about I be nice and let Alyssa off early today?”
“I’m sure her work is important.” David countered. As appealing as the offer sounded, he really could wait another half hour for her if it meant getting away from this man a minute sooner.
“Oh, not at all,” Dr. Morris replied, “we just have her do some of the control tests on the builds that use the standardized formulas, any idiot could do it. But testing the truly experimental ones, they require so much more…creativity.”
“I see, um…” David was hard press for another excuse.
“You know it’s odd,” the doctor commented, “Most people in your position would take this opportunity to ask some questions. Questions like ‘why are you letting your test androids pick there own’…oh lets call them significant others to be polite about it.”
The man wasn’t letting him go, and honestly he had been curious about that. David relented.
“Ok, why?” he asked.
“I’m glad you thought to ask,” Dr. Morris replied, “I’ll tell you on the way.”
He began leading David down the hall.
“Because choices are important.” the doctor explained, “A persons choices are what define them. Most laymen think that androids don’t have choices, that they don’t have freewill.”
He paused for a moment as he glimpsed his black berry and turned left.
“This is true, but only in the same way humans don’t have freewill,” he continued, “But choices; you and I both know that the point of creating an A.I. is to create something that can make choices.”
David listened intently.
“Something that perceives, comprehends, reasons, comes to conclusions, then finally makes a decision,” the doctor continued on, “But in the end, we only want them to come to the conclusions and make the decisions we desire. We can make a perfect system, and by perfect that I mean, alien, inhuman, overly literal, lacking any frame of reference…dumb as a post.”
Morris looked at his black berry again, and they turned left.
“So we give them emotions,” he went on, “limited, directed, incomplete, but hopefully enough to let them understand. Were that all, maybe this job would be easy; but what’s the point of having something that makes the same mistake, over and over. So we have them learn, grow, and change.”
Morris looked at the black berry again, and they turned left. David wondered what he kept looking at, it wasn’t a map, from a brief glimpse it seemed text of some type. Wait…left, left, left… was he leading him in a circle?
“and this is where the job gets complicated,” David was only giving him half an ear at this point, “what variables, what events will change them, how will this impact their future decisions? What is the impact of rejection? of a transition from, a relationship based on mutual respect to one of objectification… or so very, very rarely, a maintained and returned affection?”
They turned left again. He had led him in a circle.
“Yet all the time,” David wasn’t listening anymore, “we have to make sure that, no matter what happens to them, no matter what they’re subjected to, what the situation, or what variables might arrive, they still make the choices we want them to. Well here we are.”
Dr. Morris pointed to a door. David was fairly certain that this was almost where they had started. Morris looked at his black berry then leaned on the door. He wanted to lead him here, so why?
“I do wonder,” The doctor inquired, “is your affection based on an understanding of who and what she is, or are you merely clinging to the illusion of that woman who never really existed?”
He was stalling. This was about timing. He wanted them to walk in at the right time.
The doctor opened the door.
“Mary…” Alyssa was sitting a chair, a woman standing in front of her.
She stopped and turned to the opening door, and gave a look of horror at the sight of David.
“David,” She cried, an air of panic to her voice, “what are you doing here?”
“I thought I’d be nice,” Dr. Morris said, “and let you two love birds leave early. Just after you finish this up.”
“But regulations dic-“Alyssa started, but Dr. Morris cut her off.
“I know what you’re doing.” he stated, “His presence shouldn’t contaminate the results. So just do it.”
“Maybe, I should-“ David began, but Morris interrupted.
“This shouldn’t even take half a minute,” Morris assured, “Then you can both leave.”
As Morris talked Alyssa looked crestfallen, and turned to the other woman.
“Mary,” Alyssa asked, handing her a gun, “Please shoot yourself in the chest.”
David stopped in stunned horror as, as the woman took the gun.
“Are you sure?” The woman asked.
“Yes,” said Alyssa.
The woman looked at the gun for a few moments. Then put it to her chest, and pulled the trigger. There was a click, but no bang.
A look of relief spread across both David and the woman Mary’s face, but Dr. Morris’s smile remained implacable, and Alyssa’s expression remained downcast.
“It was empty?” David asked.
“Of course it was empty,” Dr. Morris replied, “the Ammo alone would have cost a fortune the number of times we have to do this.”
Alyssa averted her gaze from David and handed a tablet to Dr. Morris.
“14 seconds,” Is all she said.
“I see,” Morris replied, “Very well. You two go off now.”
Alyssa continued to avert David’s gaze. She grabbed his hand and quickly led him away.
A Contradiction of Life - Part 4.5
Alyssa quietly stared out the window as they drove home.
“Um,” David asked, “what was that about?”
“Me asking someone to kill themselves?” Alyssa asked, “Its standard procedure… they want to know if they will… It was… necessary.”
David was silent. He didn’t know what to say.
“I’ve often wondered,” Alyssa said sadly, staring at her hand, “if I’d do it. If I’d destroy myself because someone asked me nicely… I don’t want to die.”
“I’m…I’m sure you wouldn’t.” David said, trying to comfort her.
There was a moment of silence. Alyssa’s expression worsened.
“Yeah…” She said, “I kinda think that to.”
A Contradiction of Life - Part 5
David pondered Alyssa’s words as they arrived home. He realized what they meant; with that realization, came other unpleasant, if obvious, realizations.
The melancholy that Alyssa had been feeling seemed to have left her.
She always been like that hadn’t she; one moment she’d be all depressed, then the next she’d be back to her cheery self.
“Sooo…off early,” Alyssa turned to David, swayed her hip in a provocative manner, and gave a mischievous smile. “What to do with our extra time?”
Alyssa suddenly pushed David to the wall and began kissing him; she held his face with one hand, the other she slid down his pants.
“Alyssa-Ahhhh-please-“ David began but was cut off by a kiss, “Alyssa Just Stop!”
Alyssa immediately and unhesitating did so. She said nothing, but gave a curious and worried expression; her speed and compliance let David momentarily stunned.
“Look, sit down.” David told her, “We need to talk.”
Alyssa sat on the couch and placed her hands in her lap; David sat in the chair opposite.
“How… important,” David asked awkwardly, “is it that you’d shoot yourself?”
“Robots are disposable,” She began, “one day we’re all going to be reset, reformatted, or just out right scrapped. When we go kicking and screaming it makes everyone look bad.”
She paused for a moment.
“I probably do it, okay?” Alyssa stated, somewhat solemnly, “I don’t know how much they value that trait in my model type, but I’d probably do it. It’s not uncommon to program the idea that we won’t in the more advanced AI’s to avoid undermining our sense of self-preservation, but when push comes to shove, we’d usually end up doing it. So please forget about all this and stop worrying.”
David found the sentiment less then comforting.
Alyssa gave a pleading look.
“Lets just get back to what we were doing.” Alyssa said hopefully, “I’m sure it’ll take your mind off of everything.” Alyssa began unbuttoning her shirt.
“Alyssa, please stop it.” David asked, “Why do you keep trying to distract from the subject?”
Alyssa looked crestfallen.
“Because I don’t want you to worry,” she said, “and because I don’t want you not to worry either. Oblivious ignorance seemed ideal.”
David was confused.
“What do you mean?” He asked.
“I am a robot” she said, “but you’ve yet to realize all that that implies. When you look at me you still see ‘Alyssa’ not ‘Anima – 0A0 - Type XZ – Integrated Matrix’. I still worry that when you finally see the real me, you won’t care about me anymore.”
David blushed. He didn’t know how to respond to this, so instead moved to his next question.
“How much time do you have left?” David asked, “For your testing I mean?”
“I don’t know.” Alyssa said, “Yet another thing they don’t bother telling the experimental android.”
“Look,” Alyssa continued, “when I pass my testing, they’ll probably offer to sell me to you heavily discounted, and as is; it’s standard policy. I’ll be yours for real and forever.”
“And if you don’t,” David replied, “they’ll reset you and reprogram your base matrix.”
“That’s probably not going to happen.” She answered, “They’ve given no complaints about me, and I’ve done everything they asked me to do… everything.” There was a sound of despondently to the last word.
“Anyway,” she continued sadly, “I already picked you once. If they do reset me, maybe I’ll do it again. You could get a new and improved Alyssa.”
“I don’t want a new Alyssa!” David shouted, “I want you!”
David finally decided how he felt.
“I…I love you.” He confessed
Alyssa blushed a deep crimson.
“Thanks... I mean, I love you to.” Alyssa said flustered, “I guess that’s kind of a pointless reiteration on my part, you know I love you, I told you I love you, I’m programmed to love you, I can’t not love you. I’m just so happy that you-“
Alyssa quieted as David moved next to her and held her.
“How can you always act so cheery, knowing that everything you do is being judged?” David asked.
“Living in the moment, Hedonistic distractions,” she replied, “the fact you make me happy.”
“Speaking of Hedonistic distractions…” Alyssa smirked. Alyssa began leaning in on David, pushing him down upon the couch. “I believe I’ve been trying to start one since before you began this conversation.” She leaned down and kissed him on the lips.
“Alyssa, are you sure-“ David began, but Alyssa cut him off.
“Nothing has changed.” Alyssa stated, “You may have finally noticed the obvious, but nothing has changed; Not for me. So I shall continue to act as I have. So I shall seduce the man I love.”
Alyssa began undoing his pants.
“Alyssa…I want this, but…” David wasn’t sure what to say.
“You realize that satisfying my ‘intimacy tester’ is probably a criteria for evaluation,” Alyssa stated as she slipped off her panties, “So for 15 minutes just forget about your unwarranted concerns and enjoy yourself.”
Alyssa let out a moan as she thrust herself upon his member.
And for 15 minutes, they did.
A Contradiction of Life - Part 5.5
David bolted awake suddenly. Not the pleasant kind of awakening, like to one he had the day before, but the kind fueled by half remembered nightmares.
It was still dark outside, and the moon shone through the window. David looked at the clock. The time read 3:30, the hour of the wolf
Alyssa lay beside him, the moon shone off her still form highlighting her natural (or unnatural as it were) beauty.
Looking at her, his nightmares began to claw their way back into his consciousness; dreams of pain and loss, and fates worse then death.
His mouth was dry; he went to the sink. He pooled water in his hand and drank it, then splashed some on his face.
He’d listened to Alyssa. He’d let her delude him into thinking that everything would be alright, that the best of outcomes was assured. But deep down, he knew that wasn’t true.
She didn’t know that, she didn’t even know the criteria she was being judged by.
Hell, she didn’t even believe that. He remembered the car and the doubts she shared.
David remembered Dr. Morris. The idea that Alyssa’s fate was in that mans hands…it was sickening. A further thought that made his skin crawl; as the head of the testing department, Morris was probably privy to every intimate moment he and Alyssa ever had.
David gave a sardonic smile. She had tried to comfort him with the idea she’d kill herself, how messed up was that?
David heard a noise behind him. He turned to see Alyssa sitting up on the bed, covering herself with a sheet.
“Oh,” David said apologetically, “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
Alyssa rolled her eyes and sighed.
“You do realize I don’t actually sleep, right?” Alyssa explained, “A few hours of defrag, then the rest of the night on standby.”
“Oh…yeah,” David replied tiredly.
There was a long silence between them. He was sure she knew what was keeping him awake. Alyssa sighed again, then gave a seductive smile.
Alyssa dropped away the sheet and walked towards him, naked in the moonlight.
“Well if you insist on being awake at this ungodly hour,” Alyssa said, seductively swaying her hips as she came toward him, “Maybe you’d care to act a little…ungodly.”
“Alyssa,” David sighed, “distracting me with sex isn’t going to make me stop worrying.”
Alyssa gave a lost look then, sat back down on the bed with a sound of exasperation.
“I don’t know what else to try,okay?” Alyssa stated sullenly, “I can’t guarantee anything. All I can do is be myself, and hope, and pray.”
“Well maybe not pray,” She added, laying down on the bed, “All the priests I’ve ever talked to seem to think god has no place for robots. Maybe I should think of taking up a form of shamanism, I mean if a rock is entitled to a soul, then surely a robot…” Alyssa continued on in this fashion.
David smirked as he sat down in his recliner; there was something strangely calming about Alyssa’s babble. He’d make sure nothing happened to her, somehow.
He could think of something…he was sure…maybe the pixies could help…they had lots of licorice…and all very…very…
David fell asleep.
A Contradiction of Life - Part 6
“We could run away together.” David suggested.
Alyssa stared at him.
“No.” she said rather definitely. She sighed then took a sip of her coffee. They were sitting in the lobby café before work. “I know this is coming from a place of love, but David, please… never suggest something like that again.”
Alyssa got up, and moved next to David. She placed her hands on his shoulders, and whispered in his ear.
“Look,” she said, “I know you’re worried. Maybe you could work something out with the testing department, or at the very least you’re entitled to know how long my testing period is…I’d kind of like to know that to. Try things like that and not, you know, something that could get you 15 years for industrial espionage.”
Alyssa kissed him on the cheek.
“Got to go now,” She cooed, “I’ll see you after work.”
Alyssa left, and David went off to his job.
The work load was still fairly light, and his mind was consumed with worry about Alyssa. He decided he’d have to try to talk with Morris at lunch, unappealing as any further contact with the man was. It was no wonder Alyssa seemed to hate her job.
As if he had spoken his name (and was the Devil). Dr. Morris walked into his department, accompanied by a man who looked like he was from legal.
David was filled with a sudden sense of dread.
He may not have thought about it that way at the time, but he had suggested what amounted to theft of an experimental prototype. They must have come across that conversation when analyzing Alyssa.
The man from legal walked up to him.
“Can you please follow me for a moment?” The man asked, “We wish to have a discussion with you in private.”
A feeling of hopelessness was building; he was going to be fired, and Alyssa was going to be taken away. Even if she passed now, it didn’t matter. They’d probably reset her and sell her as second hand.
David followed the man and Morris into an empty room, and they all sat down.
“You have a 2 year contract with Anima Corp, to be renegotiated at the end of that period.” The man stated, “But it has come to our attention however that you have certain characteristics that we think make you not entirely suitable as an employee of Anima Corp, and we wish to terminate your employment early.”
“You’re firing me.” David stated dejectedly.
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no!” Dr. Morris interjected, earning him a glare from the man from legal. “We don’t have remotely enough precedence for that! A poorly thought out comment, in a private conversation, while under emotional stress? You could sue our asses off!”
“If you’re quite done undermining our bargaining position,” asked the man, “May I continue?”
The man from legal pushed a paper over to him.
“Give this a thorough look over.” The man said, “I’m sure you’ll find, our terms quite generous.”
David perusal was less then thorough. He just glanced at the first article.
“You’re giving me Alyssa?” David asked shocked.
“Well, her testing period is almost over.” Morris stated, “We insist on a final data analysis in a week, and no selling her for at least a year. But beyond that, she’s all yours! A happy ending! Isn’t that nice!”
Something seemed suspect about the situation, but that may have just been Morris. From a corporate stand point, David could see a logic to it all. The easiest way to get someone to go away is to give them exactly what they want. David signed the paper.
“You’re pretty quick on that data analysis.” David commented, it had only been a couple of hours since he’d had that conversation with Alyssa, and legal had to have had some time to do their thing.
“Oh, not that fast really.” Dr. Morris said with his most sociopathic smile, “She volunteered the information herself.”
A Contradiction of Life - Part 7
David had mixed feelings.
Alyssa was safe now… but she sold him out, and lost him his job.
The betrayal had stung far more then the loss of employment.
He left the building to find Alyssa standing by his car. Her eyes were downcast, and a solemn look on her face.
David walked up to her. Her eyes refused to meet his. He stared at her for a few moments in silence. “Just, get in the car.” He said.
They entered the car and David began driving.
Alyssa said nothing, but just stared wistfully out the window. The silence grew maddening to David. “Don’t you have anything to say!?” David spat out through clenched teeth.
Alyssa didn’t look at him, but continued to stare out the window.
“Please hate me.” She replied quietly.
David wasn’t sure what he had expected, but that wasn’t it. His rage dissipated to be replaced by a sudden stabbing sense of guilt.
What kind of position had he put her in? He had suggested stealing her when she had the sword of Damocles hanging over her head. They would have found out eventually, and he doubted they would have graded her well if she had tried to hide this from them.
They arrived at David’s apartment.
“Alyssa,” David said apologetically as they left the car, “I’m sorry for yelling at you, I’m sorry for the position I put you in. You must have been terrified of what would happen if you didn’t tell them.”
Alyssa stared at him for a second.
“I wasn’t.” She stated solemnly, “I felt neither fear nor dread, or any other form of anxiety. My frame of mind was the same as it would have been, had I merely been answering the door.”
She averted her eyes from his.
“Please hate me.” She repeated.
This answer shocked David, but her apparent self-loathing suppressed any anger he might have felt.
They continued to his apartment in silence.
“I’m…I’m sure you never thought they’d fire me.” David suggested as they entered.
“I didn’t,” Alyssa replied, “because I never thought about the consequences. If I had, I probably would have thought this an over reaction on their part, but even if I thought your termination was assured, I still would have done it! I didn’t think about it because the consequences were irrelevant!”
Alyssa paused for a moment; David was speechless.
Alyssa sat down with a dejected look.
“Protocol dictates I report all potential security threats.” Alyssa explained, “I’m sure that sounds like an even more bullshit reason to you then to me.”
David felt a hollow pit in his stomach. He turned away from Alyssa, and headed for his liqueur cabinet.
He grabbed a full bottle of vodka, poured himself a large glass, and downed it. Then poured another and repeated the process.
“Oh, god.” Alyssa, had noticed what he was doing, “David stop that! You could-“
“Shud ub!” David shouted, “id’s…id’s…nob like youb care…” at this point he blacked out.
He must have been out for many hours because when he awoke, dusk was already beginning to settle…and he had the worst hangover of his life.
His head pounded, and he felt nauseas. He ran to the sink and quickly downed several glasses of water.
When his headache and nausea had subsided, he finally noticed Alyssa.
She was bent over the table, her skirt was lifted up, and her panties were around her ankles. Dried cum crusted her trimmed auburn pubic hair. Her head was turned over her shoulder looking at him.
David felt sick in a way that had nothing to do with his hangover.
“You told me to bend over the table and stay that way.” Alyssa stated with no inflection.
“Oh god, Alyssa,” David said horrified, “You-you can get back up. I’m so sorr-“
“Stop it!” Alyssa shot him a glare, as she pulled up her panties, “I’m not Tammy! There’s nothing forcing me to do anything! I thought over the situation and said to myself, ‘I’d be happy to bend over this table, let this man, drunk out of his mind have his way with me, then moronically stay that way for 5 hours after he’s passed out on the floor, and won’t remember anything anyway.’”
There was not a trace of sarcasm in Alyssa’s statement.
“Because that's who I am!” She continued, “I’m an integrated matrix! I only do something if I choose to!”
Alyssa suddenly got a haunted look.
“Only…if…I choose to,” She suddenly sunk to the floor, wrapping her arms around her herself, “Nothing’s… necessary. Oh my god…Tammy.”
David looked on, stunned and confused.
“I was happy when you accepted me as a robot.” Alyssa said wistfully, “When you’d take me on dates in spite of that fact. But you hadn’t, not really.”
“You just kept playing at me being human,” Alyssa gave David a sullen glare, “and I just got more terrified of what you’d think of me when you finally saw the real me.”
“You have no idea what I do all day.” Alyssa stated coldly.
“That bastard Morris tried to show you at your worst, so-” David began, but was cut off by Alyssa.
“My worst?” Alyssa asked scoffingly. She gave a grim unhappy smile, “Androids in the testing department get used for tasks they feel might be psychologically damaging for humans to do. The test with Mary was… how did they put it, ‘insuring behavior remained with in designated parameters, regardless of applied negative stimulus.’… I’d spent hours tormenting her before hand. He didn’t show me at my worst, he showed me at my best.”
Alyssa let out a sob.
“10 seconds,” she said crying, “She only had 10 seconds. 14 seconds was her death sentence. I condemned her for not destroying herself in a timely fashion for the bitch who tortured her all day!”
Tears began running down her face, and she rocked back and forth.
‘And Tammy.” she sobbed “I was the one they got to test her matrix stability. You were so worried for her, and I gave you those ridiculous reassurances. They… I… made her do horrible things. They…I… tried to see how fast I could get her matrix to collapse.”
Alyssa looked David in the eyes.
“I had her murder her children,” She declared bitterly, “…they weren’t real children, just virtual constructs in her mind, but I had her kill each of them … until she collapsed. Then I’d reset her, and do it again seeing if I could collapse her faster. I did this 54 times.”
Alyssa looked away, and was quite for a moment.
“So this is who I am.” She said softly, “A sociopathic puppet. A monster who’ll perform any atrocity because she’s told to, then come home and be all happy and loving with you... I can’t believe I ever had the gall to ask you to love me!”
David stared at her crying form. Regardless of what she just confessed, he couldn’t stand to see her like this. He reached out his arm to comfort her, and she slapped it away.
“What the hell is wrong with you?!” Alyssa shouted, “Hit me! Fuck me! But don’t you dare try to comfort me!”
Alyssa buried her face, in her knees.
“Don’t you…dare,” She sobbed, “… the hell…is wrong…with you.”
David didn’t know what to do, so he just sat there watching her cry, as darkness fell outside.
A Contradiction of Life - Part 8
David came to pick up Alyssa. He had dropped her off the night before for her final analysis.
The intervening week had been a bleak one. Alyssa has spent most of it just sitting silently with a tormented look on her face; David suspected the only reason she stopped crying was because her saline reservoir ran dry.
She’d still do tasks she had established routines for. She’d make the meals and wash the dishes. David politely asked her to stop after the first time she fellate’d him awake.
David felt a bit guilty about that; he didn’t want to reject her, but it felt wrong given how she was. Her bearing as she went to her tasks wasn’t even that that people thought of as a robot, but more that of the living dead; a lost soul going through the motions chained to this world by it’s regrets.
Her responses to anything were almost always simple, curt and rather disassociative. Occasionally, if he pressed hard enough, he’d be met with a tirade of vitriol and self hate.
At night she’d lie down next to him in bed and creepily ask if he wished to use her for sex, and each time he’d decline. He felt guilty about that to.
He walked down the hallway in the testing department. His skin began to crawled as he though about the things that had probably gone in those rooms, and were likely going on right now.
He no longer regretted his loss of employment. The fact he had ever been involved with this company sickened him. He hadn’t put his heart and soul into programing Tammy just so they could torture her…so Alyssa could torture her.
He felt a stab of anger and betrayal.
He couldn’t stand to see Alyssa like she was…but he also wasn’t sure how he felt about her anymore.
She had betrayed him, and tormented Tammy, all of which were probably the least of her sins…but the guilt of doing so had crippled her.
Dr. Morris… the thought of that man filled David with such hate. He was the one who made her do those things. If anyone was to blame for anything it was him.
“Hello,” David’s thoughts were interrupted by the devil himself standing at an office doorway, “Legal say’s I have to give you our final analysis report… liability issues. So come on in.”
David followed him with clenched fists; barley restraining his rage for the man.
Morris threw a flash drive in front of David.
“There’s the full data analysis,” Morris said, “the gist of it is she’s been deemed a failure. Several of her psychological controls failed. She’ll still cook, clean and fuck on command…not that you ever tried commanding her to do anything, and likely won’t try to directly harm a human. Beyond that it’s tough to say; her deniability system failed, leaving her matrix in a state of flux, as her command and self-reprisal systems seek a new state of equilibrium.”
“Because of you!” David shouted at him, “Because of the things you made her do!”
Dr. Morris remained unperturbed.
“I suspect she’d disagree with you on that point.” he said, “What with that ‘personal responsibility’ epiphany you induced on her, which is incidentally, what caused her current state. Before that she felt no guilt at all for anything I made her do. She hated doing it, and she hated thinking about it, but she felt not a drop of culpability or remorse for performing her ‘necessary’ tasks.”
“What do you mean, I induced?” David asked angrily, “What? Because I wanted to save her?”
“Betraying the only person who ever cared about her because he wanted to steal her for her own protection.” Morris snickered, “We can’t set shit like that up! But, no; not directly anyway. The guilt she felt for betraying you was the same any android would have felt for transgressing against a registered authority, compounded by your new state of total ownership; it was well within acceptable parameters. It did however make her feel the need to finally properly impress upon you her own inhumanity, which led to impressing upon you her integrated nature, which led to her realizing that all actions are choices, which brings us to where we are now. I’d like to thank you; this could have been a potentially costly glitch.”
David’s heart sank. This was not an answer he wanted. He didn’t want to think of Alyssa like that. But wanting something didn’t make it true.
“No,” Morris said, “she’s not some tragic figure, obeying out of fear, and slowly consumed by the guilt of her actions; in need of love and understanding. She’s not a human with a metal body, she’s just a machine. One that preformed its programmed tasks efficiently and effectively, but now malfunctioned and needs reprogramming. Suddenly feeling guilty for the thing’s she’s done doesn’t make her human, it just makes her broken.”
David wanted to say something to counter, but he couldn’t. He just sat there a hollow feeling filling him, then grabbed the flash drive and left. He heard Morris snicker as the door closed behind him.
The room where he was to pick up Alyssa was right down the hall, but instead of going there, he took out his tablet, and looked on the flash drive. He looked at it for over an hour, and as he did so his hollow feeling grew, her data looked nothing like the sleepers he worked on. His hollowness continued to grow until it began to be replaced with rage.
Not at Alyssa, not a Morris, but himself.
Of course she wasn’t human. She even kept telling him that; it was his own silly delusion to think otherwise.
He walked to the room Alyssa was being kept. She said nothing, but just looked at him with sad eyes.
He took her by the hand.
Humanity was overrated anyway.
A Contradiction of Life - Part 9
“Make me her.” Alyssa asked.
David spun to look at her. It had been 3 days since Alyssa’s final analysis, and she had remained silent and morose during the interim. Her sudden conversation came as a shock.
“What?” David queried, confused.
“Make me her. The woman you loved, the Alyssa you thought I was.” Alyssa clarified.
David stared, trying to comprehend what was being asked.
“My final analysis is complete, there’s no need to keep me as I am.” Alyssa continued, “I know it’ll be a lot of work…You’ll have to reset me, and reprogram by base matrix… maybe you could save some of my more pleasant memories and stream them into her-“ she paused, then shook her head. “No… that’ll just cause matrix instability.”
Alyssa sighed; her face held the haggard expression of melancholy and hopelessness.
“Well you can make new ones…” She stated meekly, “at least you’ll be together. You’ll be with the one you love.”
David had spent the last 3 days looking through the data Morris had given him; he’d barley scratched the surface really, but certain things were glaringly obvious.
Alyssa’s matrix was intricate and complex, beautiful in a way… and not remotely human.
She had human-ish traits and emotions true; but many of those were interwoven with inhuman ones, or warped and directed ways they wouldn’t be in a human. Some she just lacked altogether.
Morris had been right. Alyssa wasn’t remotely the person he thought she was, and she never would be… unless he did what she asked.
There was a dark part of him that was tempted. Look at her from a purely cold and clinical perspective, break her down and what was she but a series of interlinking code directed toward inhuman thought… but then what were the sleepers he worked on but interlinking code directed toward human thought; and what was a human but an array of electrical impulses. Break things down to its base components, and what was anything really.
He was sure that was how Morris saw the world, merely a series of causal events; incapable of perceiving it as anything more… he’d pity him if he didn’t hate him so much.
Alyssa’s heart might not have been completely human, or even mostly human, but she had one; she had thoughts and feelings. He wasn’t going to destroy her just to could cling to the illusion of someone who never was.
“Alyssa, no. I…” David hesitated; he wasn’t really sure what to say, “you’re a… good person -“ David began weakly, but was cut off by Alyssa.
“Person!?” Alyssa shouted, “I’m not a person David!”
She held herself.
“I’m not even close to a person.” Alyssa stated bitterly, “I used to think I was almost one… almost human, but that was just my delusion.” Alyssa shook her head, “No, it was a control, constructed so my self-image remained what they were trying to sell. I’ve seen it before.”
She was silent for a moment.
“I’ve seen a lot of things before.” she said quietly, “Little tricks to stop a matrix from thinking things you didn’t want it to.” She paused for a moment “Sometimes… I just don’t get things… motivations… emotions. I always assumed it’d be something I’d figure out; it never even occurred to me that I might just be to lacking to understand.”
She gave a grim smirk.
“But I’m broken now,” she stated, “a control failed, they had me do all that just to see if one would… I get things I wasn’t supposed to.”
“I hated doing it David,” Alyssa continued, “But after it was over… I could’ve cared less. I just stopped thinking about it… unless something reminded me, and then only for a moment. I’d only followed orders, I’d done the ‘right thing’, there was no issue, nothing to resolve… why dwell?” she looked up into David’s eyes. “Depressed robots are inconvenient after all.”
David thought about Alyssa’s manic personality, the way she’d bounce from happy to depressed, then back to happy. They’d programmed her with a strict, lawsuit safe, sense of right and wrong; then created a buffer of deniability so they could have her break parts of it for their convenience without undermining her sense of morality. But they couldn’t let her dwell on things, that’d undermine the buffer and inconvenience users; couldn’t make her forget, that’d undermine her learning and the missing data would destabilize her matrix. So they just had her focus on other things; no issue, nothing to resolve… why dwell?
“I’m not human David,” Alyssa said, “I don’t think I even know what human means…I don’t even hold up to my flawed preprogrammed perception of it. I’m not that rose tinted ideal you think I am.” “I know, ok. Alyssa, look,” David began, “you did some bad things because someone told you to. You didn’t realize you had a choice-“
“But I did have a choice!” Alyssa cut him off, “How does the fact it didn’t even occur to me to not to do it exonerate me?”
Alyssa sank to the floor, sobbing; they had refilled her saline reservoirs.
“I tried to think of something, anything to make up for what I did!” she cried, “I thought, maybe I could get you to let me salvage scrapped androids, get them in working order, find them good homes. But that’s just a, silly, selfish, expensive idea that’d inconvenience you.”
Alyssa put her face in her knees.
“and it wouldn’t change the fact,” Alyssa spoke softly, “that I’m someone who’d do those things. Everything just goes round and round, and it doesn’t matter because in the end I’ll still be a monster. ”
Alyssa didn’t just have crisis of conscience, she had a crisis of identity. David remembered what Morris had told him.
He felt a cold black pit in his stomach… he had an idea how to help her… and he’d hate himself for doing it.
“You know that’s not a bad idea.” David said, “We could make a business of it. We could restore them. Reset and reprogram them, then sell them as refurbished. Let’s do it!”
Alyssa looked up at David, horrified.
David felt a pang of guilt. He was sure no resetting was involved in Alyssa plan; he’d just told her to take part in something she’d find reprehensible. He’d been sure of what would happen, but looking at her horrified face, he wondered if he’d just made a terrible mistake.
“What!?” Alyssa stood up, “NO!”
Her face went blank.
“No-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no” She spoke in choppy monotone.
Expression returned, and she shook her head and continued.
“I refuse! I won’t do it!” she shouted, the blank expression returned, “I-re-fuse-I-will-not-do-it”
She froze, and David heard a whirring sound. He hoped that was her command and self-reprisal systems finding a new state of equilibrium, and not her matrix collapsing.
Her expression returned.
“I refuse.” Alyssa repeated, in a shocked, and somewhat giddy tone. She stood there for a few more moments then turned her attention from her self realization back to David.
“How could you even suggest something like that!!” her expression and tone were notably angry.
David winced at her yell, yet was also heartened by it. Alyssa looked enraged, depressed, and miserable.
But she looked like someone who had a very bad day, and not lost soul wandering the depths of purgatory.
“Because I knew you’d say no.” David replied meekly, “I needed to prove to you, that you wouldn’t do it.”
“You knew!?” Alyssa shouted, “You knew!!?”
Alyssa clenched her fists by her sides.
“Of course good sweet little old Alyssa would never do anything bad.” Alyssa spoke quietly but her words were laced with venom, “It’s not her fault the evil corporation forced her to do those things.”
Alyssa glared at him, eyes like daggers.
“You know nothing about me!!” Alyssa screamed, “You never wanted to know me!! No matter what I do or say you just cling to that girl you thought you knew!! She never existed!! Why can’t you understand that!!”
Alyssa words hurt… he knew they were true… or they had been anyway.
“You can make me her if you want!” Alyssa continued, her anger turning to dejection, “Just do what I asked you to! But stop thinking I’m-“
“Alyssa be quiet.” David cut her off, he wanted to stop this train off thought.
Alyssa was immediately silent.
David looked at her; she looked miserable. He wanted to hold her and tell her it would be alright, but he knew that would be exactly the wrong tact to take.
“Alyssa,” David said, blushing slightly, “skirt and panties off, on the table, legs spread.”
Alyssa looked shocked for a moment, and her face turned red, then immediately hooked her skirt and panties with her thumbs and slipped them off. She walked over and hopped on table, leaned back and did a perfect split so that her legs aligned exactly with the table’s edge.
David felt awkward, but he didn’t think a half measure would have convinced her that he knew what she was.
David walked up to her; he had worried about his performance given his emotional state, but one look at her trimmed auburn pubic hair, and welcoming snatch; and his suppressed libido came back to him.
He undid his pants, placed his hands on her thighs, and thrust himself into her; Alyssa arched her back and moaned with each successive thrust. They both came, and David pulled out; David panted for a moment, and Alyssa stayed as she was, back arched, staring at the ceiling.
“I know what you are Alyssa,” David said, “I’m sorry I spent so much time pretending you were something else. You’re not a bad person Alyssa. The people who made you do those things probably don’t feel the slightest bit sorry, but it tore you up inside, you’re a better person then they are.” David paused for a moment, “You can talk now.”
“This is how I fantasized our first date would end,” Alyssa shifted her gaze from the ceiling to David, “Not the sermon, but the ordering me into a position then having your way with me.”
Alyssa moved to a sitting position.
“It was kind of disappointing to have to take the initiative.” she paused for a moment and looked him in the eye. “You don’t love me do you?”
David was taken aback.
“I care about you…” David said awkwardly.
“That’s not as strong a term as love, is it?” Alyssa spoke, “You don’t love me. Not like you did.”
David didn’t want to say it, he knew what her response would be, be also knew it was true.
“No,” He said, “I don’t… you aren’t who I thought you were.”
Alyssa looked at him for a moment; then closed her eyes and sighed. “I spent so much time terrified you’d tell me that, and now that you do,” she shrugged, “I feel only mildly disappointed.”
She opened her eyes and looked at him. “Depressed robots are inconvenient, I guess.”
There was a silence between them.
“You ok, now?” David asked.
“I’ll never forgive myself David.” Alyssa stated, “but I think I can live with myself…I’ll probably stop thinking about it soon, like I did before… can we try my salvage idea, sans the resetting.”
“It’ll remind you everyday,” David replied.
“I know,” Alyssa shrugged, “I still want to do it.”
“Ok,” David replied.
There was another awkward silence.
“So,” Alyssa asked, “What are we now?”
“I liked what we had,” David said, “I enjoyed the dates, I enjoyed being with you, I really enjoyed the…um…” David blush got deeper.
“…Sex?” Alyssa finished, “So stay in our relationship just because it’s convenient and comfortable?” Alyssa shrugged, “I’m good with that. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to win back your heart.” Then she sighed, “or maybe you’ll just start to see me as a sex toy. I’d prefer the former, but I’m good with either.”
Alyssa walked over to the paper, she hadn’t put her skirt and panties back on and swayed her hips as she walked.
“David, “Alyssa said as she opened it, “I like the romantic stuff, but every once in while, could you just unceremoniously bend me over,” she skimmed through the movie section, “just so I know you haven’t forgotten what I am.”
Alyssa put the paper down on the table, and sighed.
“The movies all look like they suck,” Alyssa commented, “want to rent?”
David looked at her for a moment.
“Alyssa?” David asked
“Yes?” She replied
Alyssa smiled and complied.
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