The sound of an alarm pushes its way into my consciousness. I was awake a second ago from my perception. Probably about twenty minutes asleep.
Oh, who am I kidding? It was exactly twenty minutes.
“Hello sir. It’s wake up time.”
“I know, I know, thanks Charlie.”
“You’re welcome sir. However my name is not Charlie.”
I turn and look at the service bot, the tiny bowtie still hanging on its boxy frame. “What, what do you mean?”
“Ms. Eve decided my name’s now ‘Robo.’ Is that alright with you sir?”
“Yeah, that’s fine. Could you go prepare some food? I feel like indulging today.”
“Yes sir. Will that be all?”
“Ugh, bring me some clothes too, okay?” I say, flinging my legs over the side of the bed, and waiting for my joints to fully unlock.
The bot bows once, grabs a pile of black cloth for me and disappears out the door.
I keep feeling like stretching. It’s pointless of course. The electrical stimulation handled that while I was asleep. So I just sit still for a moment.
Alright times up. I need to move. My hand goes to my elbows first, removing the base charge cables, before getting the uplink along my spine. The exposed metal disappears under false skin once I pull it out. Finally I let my head tilt backwards, and the excess carbon and heat leak out the vents inside my gum line.
It all takes 3.4 seconds.
“Honey, your…breakfast is done.”
“Thanks,” I yell, my vocal cords compensating for the effort and projecting it a few decimals higher than my standard voice.
On my feet. Clothes pulled taut over my body. The digital display gives me a tie. It’s an ugly tie. The selection’s terrible on this server. I should really buy a better subscription.
“What’s taking you so long?”
I’m next to her in a moment. The hallway long behind me, and the door to the kitchen opened and closed an eternity ago.
She looks at me and smiles. Her irises spinning and moving in her head. She chose lime green today. It looks nice. She looks nice.
Okay, honestly, she looks fucking gorgeous. Not a blemish, not a scar on that face. Red lips, and tan skin, and blue circuitry underneath it all.
I send her a kiss request and she responds without a pause. The image plays in my mind and orgasmic euphoria bolts my neurons. I laugh out loud and change my eyes to pink.
God I could do that forever!
The chemicals cancel out the addiction before I send another request, and instead I give her a smile back.
“How are you doing?”
“Good. You okay? That was a whole five seconds before you got here. Do you need a tune up?”
I start up a few logistics, and the progress bar ticks along on my arm-screen.
“I’ll do a check. Want to have breakfast in the meantime?”
She looks at the smoking plate of crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, waffles, and fruit. It looks like it’s from a magazine. The smell engulfs the entire house.
She sticks out her tongue. “Nah. I ate last year. I don’t feel like having to digest.”
“Alright,” the plates empty now. 1.4 seconds. “Suit yourself. It was delicious though.”
“I’m sure it was. Enjoy pooping though.”
I frown at that. Everything has its price I suppose. “Yeah, well….”
A silence hangs in the air. 0.0054 seconds. It looks like she’s about to add something, but instead her eyebrow rises an inch. Her head swivels to the side, and I follow her gaze.
Oh. The baby’s starting to cry. I watch her slow motion little mouth open and her chest inflate with the air.
The spray of CALM hits her quick and the cry dies. I drop into normal time and pat her on the head. She reaches up and grabs my thumb, pulling it towards her. She’s got this goofy smile.
‘Hey, little Eve. How’s it going?”
She coos back. I scan her for any discomfort. She seems okay.
She pulls back the skin of my hand, running her fingers along the metal grooves.
My wife drops into normal time next to me. I send her a copy of the scan. She also pats her on the head.
“Momma. You shiny. Why am I not shiny?”
In one movement, a perfect technological movement, “momma” picks up Eve and gives her a hug. I’m behind them, adding an outer layer to the embrace. Eve reaches up and taps on her mother’s eye, enjoying the clicking sound, and the cold outer surface.
“Don’t worry,” she begins, misting Eve with a combination of BLISS and COMFORT. “When you grow up. When you’re an adult like us. You will be. You’ll be the shiniest girl in the world.”
“Yeah, my little Evening. I promise. With all my heart.”
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