A Day In The Life Of Joseph Avens
The sun’s morning rays penetrated the darkness of the room slowly filling it with warm brilliance. The first thing Joseph became aware of was the warm covers of his bed being slowly drawn down and away from his sleeping form. Something warm and soft began to gently caress his arm. A hand. He could feel the tips of long fingernails barely touching his skin, almost tickling, as the hand slowly went up and down his arm. He could hear the faint whine of servomotors each time the hand drew closer to his ears. He warmed to the touch but he still wanted to sleep…
“good morning joseph, the time is 7:30 AM. it is time to begin your day.”
Her voice, cooing, disembodied, filtered into his ears gently pulling him away from sleep. The words came slowly, measured
in low, husky, and vaguely sexy tones in a decidedly close but still artificial facsimile of a woman’s voice – like listening to an automated phone message. Then silence. Another series of whining servos, lower in pitch and a bit further from his ears. A soft clak of a stiletto heel. He became vaguely aware of the figure that was now bending over him, the full silicone rubber lips now inches away from his upturned ear. The hand that was stroking his arm froze for a moment and with another high wirrrr of servos came up to the side of his head, the long cherry red fingernails began to gently tease his tousled hair.
“joseph,” the digitized not-so-human voice purred, “the time is 7:30AM. it is time to begin your day.”
His name was accented this time as “JOE-sef” with a high inflection on the first syllable. The rest of the sentence trailed off exactly the same as before – as if it was simply rewound back to a certain point.
(wonder if I can fix that)
Joseph wouldn’t hear another ‘announcement’ for another twenty seconds. He remained as he was, eyes closed, head turned away as the fingernails played along the upturned side of his head. He liked it when she did that. It was strangely soothing. It wasn't the same feeling as being touched by a real woman but it was if she was able to somehow make him mentally compensate for that. He couldn't clearly define whether that was the case or if it was his own brain filling the mental gaps. The tips of her fingernails tickled and teased as they danced over his scalp and played in his hair. Silence enveloped the room again save for the muffled sounds of the tiny motors in her fingers as they danced around his ear.
At last, he spoke, “Edit current alarm time to 7:40 AM.” The fingernails froze. Whirrr. The hand retreated. The faint sound of a drive starting up from somewhere within her was followed by a faint ‘beep’.
“understood. resetting alarm”.
She straightened up and backed away from the bed allowing space to come between them until she stood with her back to the wall. Joseph heard the click clack of high heels (she wearing shooes or boots today?) as she retreated and assumed her default position for what would be the next few minutes as her internal chronometer ticked down the minutes to 7:40AM. Joseph began to sink back towards the welcome fold of sleep.
>07:40:00. 09. 07. 2041.
upld EXE.FILE B-02/2100002
Joseph gently bobbed up and down as she gently shook his shoulder. The suggestive playfulness of earlier was replaced with a slightly poignant urgency. This finally shook him to groggy wakefulness.
“Alright! Alright already. I’m awake!”.
A faint beep. A brief pause. whirrr. The arm drew back again. She stood over him again, motionless as she processed data. Joseph put his palms up to his eyes and rubbed the sleepiness from them, grunting, and then opened his eyes to look up at her.
She looked down at him vacantly, expressionless.
A casual observer would have thought of her as either of Central or Eastern European descent had she been human. What gave her away was the unnatural shine of her cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. The high-density dermicone that hid her true nature was slightly tanned, absolutely flawless and framed by a thick mane of lustrous golden blond hair. Her hair was piled high up on her head and pulled away from her strange face save for a few tendrils that fell delicately. High forehead, oval face with a strong rounded jaw. She looked to be in her early-mid Thirties. Her shimmering features were arranged in a parody of sexual innuendo. Full pouting shiny-wet cherry red lips sat over a tight nestled chin. Arched brows were carefully set over long thick black lashes and black permanent eyeliner that framed large deep green unblinking eyes that actually were not eyes at all but realistically painted plastic cups, each cup housing a tiny television camera.
The company where Joseph worked had taken great care to make her eyes as real as possible, even for the lower-end HER700 series models – as she was. He could have chosen a more realistic higher-end HER1400, but found the former more comfortable to work with. He had even specifically asked to leave out simulated blood vessels in the whites of her eyes, preferring clear whites instead. Joseph could almost see the tiny cameras lodged within the fixed open pupils as she processed the continuous stream of visual input she was receiving through them. He could make out the irises of the cameras enlarging and contracting. Her shiny full cheeks were permanently tinted a slight rouge that gave her an eerie sense of vivacity. Moderate amounts of mascara and eye shadow were permanently applied above and around her painted eyes. A petite angular triangle nose complete with tiny nostrils brought everything together as her face floated in the sea of orange blond fake hair.
A manikin’s face. A doll’s face. An idealistic metaphor of beauty and sex.
After a few seconds, she spoke. Her sexy rubber lips, hinged on hidden internal wiry supports that were her jaws, opened and closed like a fish, somewhat in sync with the synthetic female voice that emanated through them, not precisely equipped to form themselves around the words. Her cheeks dimpled as she moved her jaws. Joseph reveled in their artificiality.
“your reaction time is slower than normal this morning. did you sleep well?”
Her voice became appropriately higher in pitch as she finished her inquiry. Joseph could see the mechanisms working inside her mouth as she talked and he marveled at her apparent intuitiveness. This was the first time she had said anything that was outside her usual rote. Amorphic neural net. Fuzzy logic. She was learning, he thought. He stretched, yawned and clasped his hands behind his head looking at her and sighed.
“I think so, Eve. I just don’t like getting up some days.”
Eve stared back with her painted sexy face, unemotional and processed. Sound of a drive starting up.
“i am happy you think so but I am sorry you don’t like getting up some days, joseph.”
Turing protocol. Tried, tested and true.
Eve then cocked her head like a dog, her fixed eyes continued to monitor him.
>load EXE.FILE B-08/002205885/dia/4537
I’D/i would/ LIKE_TWO_SLICES_OF_TOAST_LIGHT_BUTTER_A_BOWL_OF_CEREAL_AND_A_MEDIUM_GLASS_ORANGE_JUICE_PLEASE_EVE_
“is that all, honey?” Eve continued dutifully and waited for Joseph’s confirmation.
“That’s it, Eve, Thank you.”
“you are welcome, joseph. I shall prepare your breakfast request now. preparation time will be 9 minutes 20 seconds. see you in the kitchen.”
With that, she straightened and backed away. Wirrrr. Her pouting sexy face turned away now hidden in a cocoon of blond hair as her head turned to locate the open doorway. Her body then swiveled smoothly in a chorus of whining servos to match up with her head in a strange, graceful single turnabout move of ballet robotique. After lining herself up, she walked purposefully in slow even strides out the doorway into the hall and down the steps. Joseph noticed for the first time that Eve was wearing a tight black PVC tube dress which left almost nothing to the imagination, barely able to contain her generous D-cup tits and ending oh-just-so below her bulging glutes. Matching high heel platform sandals and arm length gloves that opened to lace at the base of the fingers accessorized her outfit. The ultimate call-girl. Her fingernails and toenails were tinted the same crimson red as her lips. She was beyond radiant with her shiny PVC and her tanned and gleaming rubber silicone skin. She looked like she had been dipped in a vat of clear baby oil. She looked as hot as he imagined she'd be when he programmed her dress mode for the morning. Joseph began to feel warm.
He finally decided to get up as he heard the heavy measured click clack click clack of Eve’s heeled feet hitting the bare floor of the main lobby downstairs and then fading as she went into the kitchen. He went into the closet to find some clothes. He hated showering and shaving in the morning choosing to do them the night before so mornings would be simply be “get-up-and-go”. Joseph’s restrained horniness increased and as he dressed he casually thought about getting some custom Dollware program modules he had lying around and fancied programming Eve to do a little bit of 'servicing' before leaving for work. He had programmed her to wake him early so he would have the extra time.
Joseph came downstairs zipping his pants and buckling his belt. Eve was strutting around the kitchen working on his breakfast. She had poured him a glass of orange juice and a small creamer of milk for his cereal and had set them a placemat on the small table where he always had breakfast. The living room was large and spacious but, being the only one living in the fair-sized house; he found the kitchen cozier. She had poured the two brands of cereal he always ate into a bowl and mixed them together. There was the enticing smell of toasting ciabatta. Joseph forgot about feeling horny as he realized how hungry he was. He pulled out his chair, sat down and stretched again.
It was a beautiful July morning. The kitchen was bathed in sunlight. During those sunlit mornings it was the most illuminated room in the house. Even with the blinds down on those rare days, the outdoor light always managed to seep inside and bathe the room in a golden glow.
“Uplink to SR Network. Six-Eighty AM. Isolate to kitchen.”
A faint beep emitted from somewhere in her upper back and suddenly the kitchen was filled with the steady practiced drone of a radio newsperson compiling events of the past day. A lot of his friends and acquaintances called him old-fashioned, listening to the radio instead of watching the news on TV which absolutely has to be at LEAST liquid crystal 'cause you'd at LEAST get a decent looking picture... President Durst’s administration was in the process of presenting sanctions against Argentine’s rightist government because of suspected abuse of American civilians there. The Tjader Probe had recently made a three-year journey to the Galilean moon of Europa and was drilling through its thin crust of ice to explore the wonders that were expected underneath. Retinal biometric scanners were found to cause eye tumors. Aging former Hollywood star Brad Pitt became Spokesmodel for Svelte Barco-Lounger, “the most popular therapeutic bed of all time”.
Eve had her back turned to Joseph, now nearly finished with his breakfast. He watched her as she worked, fascinated, ogling her sexy shiny body. Her movements were rigid and sequential, yet efficient and fluid. She reminded him of industrial robots on an assembly line and the way they would shift and manipulate in one unhesitant action as they worked. She went backward, forward, sidestepped, always keeping herself facing the kitchen counter. Head of hair swiveling this way and that as she performed her tasks. Hands working with eerie mechanical precision and grace. Her stilettos went click clack click clak on the bare linoleum floor. If the radio wasn’t playing, Joseph would be able to hear the faint buzzing and whining of her servomotors. At one point, a piece of paper towel drifted to the floor. She turned her head without missing a beat, tracking it as it glided to the floor. Eve spread her legs and bent at the waist to pick it up. Her tight minidress stretched and rode upwards and Joseph could see her bare cheeks stretch revealing her hairless labia. Modesty was not part of her programming this morning. His gazed then shifted to her tanned and muscular gams then to her manicured feet as they shifted slightly in their heeled sandals. He could see the barely noticeable construction seams running down the insides of her legs.
She finished making up his cereal and he watched her fingers close mechanically on the side of the bowl. Her head turned locating the plate of toast after which her other hand moved and slid under the plate, thumb closing over the top and lifting it up to her ample chest. Her head turned, then her body. She backed up an exact right angle, turned her head to face Joseph and then turned to walk toward him. Click clack. She was magnificent, a valkyrie standing a good six feet tall in her platform sandals. Her body was designed to look athletic, well-muscled, but still very curvy and feminine. In actuality, there were no muscles underneath her polished skin, just solid blocks of customized dermicone covering a titanium skeletal chassis. Pretty simple actually.
Her stilettoed feet stopped and came together as she came to rest just short of the table. She bent forward suggestively, turning her head to locate the placemat and placed the cereal and toast in front of Joseph, the cereal closest to him with the plate of toast off to the right – as she was programmed to do.
“breakfast preparation complete. enjoy your meal, joseph.”
She, backed away a step and assumed her default stance again, standing with legs drawn together, arms down, hands crossed over, staring straight ahead. She looked like a soldier standing at attention.
“Thanks as always, Eve.” He poured the milk and began to dig into his cereal.
“you are welcome, honey.”
“Uplink to Internet. Access personal e-mail account.” Joseph munched, mouth crammed with buttered toast.
Nothing happened for a moment, then Eve beeped. Her head pivoted to face Joseph.
“i am sorry, joseph. I do not understand your command. please repeat.”
He swallowed his food, forgetting, and repeated his request.
Eve shifted her gaze off Joseph and stared straight ahead, as if reading something projected on the wall.
“understood. attempting uplink. please wait.” Joseph waited a few seconds. Eve’s head twitched slightly.
“uplink successful. accessing e-mail.” A pause. “access granted.” Another pause. “you have three new e-mails and five old e-mails. shall I open new e-mail?”
Joseph confirmed yes, taking in another big bite of buttered ciabatta. Eve stared straight ahead with those fixed bedroom eyes and continued on in that strange digitized low sexy voice.
“message three zero seven. from terry loris. gaia robotics. subject. new hire decision. thank you mister avens for your recommendation of greg zyomek as new product allocation director for the personal domestic aides department. your recommendation was highly considered by the board. unfortunately the request was rejected by 7 votes to 4. (those assholes) please contact either myself or mister denman during the week to discuss other options. i’m personally very sorry to tell you about this. terry. end of message. Shall I ‘save’, ‘delete’, ‘reply’ or ‘skip to next message’?
“message deleted. message three zero six. this is questionable e-mail from cindy. site unknown. subject. hello mister avens. no viruses detected. shall I ‘open’, ‘save’, ‘delete’ or ‘skip to next message’?
Joseph chewed his cereal. “Open.”
“i want to help you with your virility if you’d just…”
“Delete!”. The spam was getting smarter.
Eve paused for a moment then continued. “message deleted. message three zero five. from amanda delphi. subject. hello skinny. shall I shall I ‘open’, ‘save’, ‘del-“
“Open”, he chuckled. Good old Amanda.
“hey, skinny. we’re getting together at the artful dodger on saturday for drinks. come on out, man. bring another copy of that electronicat disc with you. bob lost his and needs a new copy. cheers.”
Eve turned Amanda’s rather upbeat invitation into a flat emotionless statement.
“shall I ‘save’, ‘delete’, ‘reply’?
“Reply.” He began to dictate, “Hey, sugar! I’m there. Tell Bob another copy is on the way. Thanks for the invite and I’ll see you guys on Saturday. End” Simple. Direct. Anything else he wanted to say could wait until the weekend. Besides, Eve wasn’t capable of storing more than thirty or forty seconds of dictation in her memory. He’d have to get some memory cards later on.
“Repeat.” he commanded. Eve repeated his brief response, no word was omitted, and was told to send it off.
“end of new messages. you have five previously opened messages. would you like to review or exit e-mail?”
“Exit e-mail.” Joseph gulped another spoon of cereal.
“yes, joseph. may I be of further assistance?”
“No. Fine, Eve. Stand by.”
“understood. entering stand by mode.”
Eve stood unmoving, head slightly bowed. He could hear a drive winding down somewhere in her chest. Any simulation of life she had possessed was gone. Erased. Cold statue. Joseph gazed at her polished pseudo-ripped body. Gazed at the way the shiny PVC dress bulged and stretched across her chest and buttocks. He soon finished his cereal and drank his OJ. He sat back relishing his breakfast and listened a bit more to the news, thinking.
"Disengage upload link to SR Network."
Eve came out of standby.
The newsperson's voice suddenly cut off. The kitchen was quiet. It was time to move on to the next order of business.
He got up and went to his closet and hunted for a small box, about the size of a deck of cards, off a high shelf. He also found a flexible sac with a soft pliable lubricated object inside. An artificial tongue. He brought it down and went back to the kitchen. He passed by a cabinet in the hallway where he kept some worktools and took out a small motorized drill. Eve stood silently, head down in standby again. Fixed eyes cast downward. She looked like she was in line waiting to receive Communion. He went around to her back, reached up and around, and slowly pried the blond mane off her head. It came away with a series of little snapping sounds as the fasteners that held it to her scalp gave way. He hung it like a hat on the back of a chair. The smooth white plastic of her exposed scalp was bare of dermicone. There were ventilation slits that ran along the length of her crown for circulation. A tiny indicator light blinked on and off reporting her status. An indented button was located to the right. Below that was a hexagonal seam about ten centimetres across – an access panel. Joseph pushed the button. There was a hissing sound and the seams opened outward like a flower.
“occipital port open.” She announced.
Joseph peered into the open hole in the robot’s head. He had to pull back her head a bit to get a better look since he stood a good four inches shorter than she. She placed a heeled foot back a step as her balance gyros compensated for the slight shift of position. He had a clear view now. His working space would be a little cramped but workable. He could see flashing LED lights blinking blue all at the same time indicating she was in standby. A forest of wires and cables snaked around the various components and modules. Two grey cables snaked deep into her head leading to her visual cameras. Another two thick cables snaked downwards to join her spine. Most fed into a noticeably bigger kidney-shaped component, just what he was looking for. It was about the size of a computer mouse, placed high in her head – her main CPU.
Joseph set the box with its ‘Gaia Robotics’ company logo labeled on the front on the table by his empty toast plate and opened it. Some twenty wafer thin chips, each about the size of a quarter, were nestled in separate slots in the Styrofoam. All were labeled in accordance to a program task. Housecleaning, Cooking, Cooking 2, Accounting/Office and so on.
(ah, there you are, my pretteeeeee)
He chose one marked 'Sex/Fellacio' grasping it carefully between his thumb and forefinger and inserted it into one of several ports in Eve's CPU.
Joseph waited. Then Eve spoke again.
“new program detected. gaia robotics o s enhancing chip number 2 5 8 8 0 4 7 6. sex and fellacio 3.0. beta version. loading program. please wait.”
(It's alive! ALIVE!!)
He did so. He watched the LEDs as they blinked red and orange, independently for a moment then back to blue.
“installation successful. I am ready to accept new commands.” She continued to stand motionless waiting for the next verbal instruction.
“Good.” He said.
After working in the bladder-like reservoir and connecting it up inside Eve’s head, he pressed the button over her open hole in her head and the port closed with a faint motorized wine. Her plastic scalp gleamed. He picked up her blond wig, took the pins out letting the hair drop freely and put her blond wig back on, carefully lining up the fasteners on her scalp to the ones on the inside surface of the wig. He smoothed it out and brushed a few strands from her downcast face. Her shiny full blond hair now cascaded around her perfect face, over her shoulders and down her back. She looked hotter than ever.
“Eve.” Her head came up and turned to Joseph.
“yes, joseph. how may I be of assistance?”
Joseph sat at the side of side of the bed. The blinds over his bedroom window were drawn letting in as little light as possible. He had stripped himself naked except for his socks. Eve stood in front of him waiting for his next command. Her lifeless doll-like eyes and the high-resolution microphones in her ears were monitoring him, silently measuring his heart rate, respiration and body temperature – as was one of the parameters of the ‘sex/fellacio’ program he had installed in her CPU.
“Commence fellatio program. Subroutine Crab.”
She got down on her knees and scanned Joseph’s exposed penis and scrotum. She leaned over top of his pelvis and clutched the bed for support. She brought her head up to look at Joseph with her unblinking eyes.
“shall I begin?” she asked simply, matter-of-factly.
Joseph whispered “Yes” already in ecstatic anticipation. His penis was already fully erect and throbbing.
Btemp: 37.1 C
She turned her head down and bent over his member. Her mouth opened and a lubricated tongue snaked over the glans caressing and teasing. Joseph’s breath hitched. Her tongue slithered over and under and down probing his shaft. His penis shimmered, now coated with a thin layer of lubricant. The tongue was joined by two cherry red lips as they started to knead on his tip.
They swept over him and began to suck. His eyes drew back into his head. His mind was on fire. Focused. The full red lips went down further; swallowing him, then gently drew back. She teased again then swallowed. Forward, then back in a slow gentle sea saw motion.
Forward and back.
Forward and back.
She swallowed him whole, down to the base. Her lips were buried in his crotch, puckering. Joseph grimaced as her tongue pressed and tickled against him. The walls of the bladder installed behind her lips began to contract and expand
moving around him in peristaltic waves. A heat sensor activated warming the interior of her mouth, compounding his ecstasy.
Beads of sweat grew on his forehead. Her head began to move a bit faster as she sensed him building. Her face became lost in the thick sheets of her hair, tickling his groin as she worked. The skin there jumped and formed goosebumps. His breath hitched again then evened out in a long exhale. As she bent over him her tight dress rode upward revealing her smooth perfect ass. She arched her back upward as she maneuvered for more efficient access. One of her breasts popped out of her dress and was lolling and swaying slightly, just at the edge of his field of view. Joseph wished he could touch it.
BP: 138S 85D
Her body was slithering and arching over him as the Fellatio program ran, making any adjustments to keep JOSEPH_ as comfortable as possible. Today was no different than the other three or four days over the past week she would pleasure him this way. She had done this 287 times since he had acquired her.
Eve froze for a second then resumed, “low-priority malfunction. low priority malfunction. illegal system activation.” The speaker in her throat announced as she continued to suck away. A beeping alarm sounded from within her body, momentarily breaking his concentration. “system bypass failure. vaginal stimulation program enabled. termination of current program is suggested.”, her speaker announced.
“Don’t stop! You bitch!” He was panting slightly.
“understood. continuing current program.”
The robot jerked slightly and a whining protesting sound came from somewhere in her back. Joseph was too lost in his ecstasy to notice.
Her head continued to seesaw up and down while her torso slowed, stopped, then locked. She was shutting down a few motor systems, as a precaution, keeping whatever was wrong from spreading to other parts of her system. Her neck and head bobbed mechanically. Joseph could hear the rizz rizz of her neck servos with every stroke. Her inhuman and strangely graceful movements were overwhelming Joseph
beep beep beep beep…
and he tightened his pelvic muscles in an effort to stall the building pressure. Lubricant oozed through the robot’s stretched lips and dribbled over his balls. It was getting in her hair. Her vagina contracted and relaxed. There were two short beeps then suddenly vaginal lubricant spewed forth in a fan from between her bare labia in a wet and squirting fart. It dribbled down her legs and pooled on the bare floor. Briefly emptied, her vagina continued to grind at nothing, hissing and bubbling and slurping. He could hear tiny hydraulic motors somewhere in her lower back pumping away, her main sexual subroutines fully activated as she sucked him. Her hips began to slowly gyrate independent of how fast her neck was working as more clear lubricant continued to spit out of her vagina in clots of spray. She looked like she was being fucked by an invisible third party as she worked her hips this way and that.
Joseph couldn’t hold it
(OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOOAAAD)
any longer finally gave in. He came forcefully into the bladder inside her head. Eve slowed down sensing his orgasm. She gradually came to a stop and gently withdrew her lips, lightly stroking his throbbing dribbling member with her tongue. She licked and sucked it gently until it was clean. Her hips stopped moving too as her OS began to re-calibrate itself to its normal default operating parameters. He fell backward onto the bed, breathing deeply and contented. Too bad he had to leave for work soon.
“Thanks, Eve. That was great” he said breathlessly.
Eve was still down on her knees, unblinking eyes monitoring him. Lubricant and cum dribbling down her chin.
“it was my pleasure, joseph.” Nonchalant. He might have well just complimented her on helping him carry groceries into the house.
“Standby mode.” He breathed.
Her confirmation came clear as a bell in spite of the full bladder in her mouth. Tendrils of lubricant and semen dripped from her mouth and chin. She looked as if she had been gobbling clear jell-o. Some of it clung to her hair, matting it. More had spilled in a rivulet over her lips, cheeks and chin down her neck and down her dress. More tendrils of clear lube from her other end clung in clots and tracked down her thighs. There was a pool of it on the floor between her knees.
Joseph lay there for a moment catching his breath. This amazing blowjob was brought to you today by the people at Gaia Robotics. He was glad to have her at times like this
(God, am I seriously fucked or what)
unlike a real woman. The ultimate sex toy. Ready whenever he felt like it.
At last he composed himself and got up. He looked at himself in the mirror and put on his shirt, pulled up and belted his pants and loosely put on a tie. Nothing like a good morning pick-me-up to put a spring in yer step. He fixed his hair and slapped on some shaving lotion.
He realized that Eve was still in standby, on her knees behind him in a pool of lubricant. She stared straight ahead, gazing at where he was, burning in ecstasy, not fifteen minutes ago. He turned and looked at the bent over form below him.
(very easy to operate, she’s part of the older companion series but I’m sure you’ll think of her just a bit more than another home appliance)
He knelt down and pulled the robot’s head over to him so that she faced him. He opened her mouth, pulling away the red lips and stretching the corners of her mouth as wide as possible to get at the now filled bladder. Joseph thought of The Joker from the old Batman movies as the soft but durable dermicone stretched and pulled allowing him to actually get his hand into her mouth and disengage the bladder. (talk about a handjob ha ha) It came out with some effort and he brought it into the bathroom to clean it out and sanitize it for the next time. He grabbed a clean washcloth and went back to his room.
Eve remained as she was still bent down, her head looking off to one side since he to manipulate it for him to extract the bladder device, waiting for the next command.
“Stand up and face me.”
Eve jerked back to life.
She got up in one fluid inhuman motion, without the slightest wobble or hesitation. Whine of muffled servos.
He removed her matted blond mane, and wiped her down. He threw the wig into a hamper, making a mental note to get it cleaned. She looked as good as new. He could see the latchment points where the lifelike dermicone was pulled and anchored to her exposed scalp.
“Clean this mess up. Then, after I leave, begin daily clean up.”
A beep sounded, then she turned locating the doorway and walked past him locating the cleaning room. Click rizz, clak rizz, click rizz, clak rizz…
Joseph marveled at the amount of time he still had as he prepared to leave the house. He didn’t have to be at work until ten. He grabbed his things and decided to leave.
“Bye, Eve!” He called. It sounded awkward and superficial to him to say goodbye to a machine but it was part of his morning ritual by now. Maybe if he took her back to Gaia and exchanged her for a more sophisticated and more lifelike model it wouldn’t be so…weird. He waved the thought away. She was, all in all, just a glorified doll but she was important to him in some ways, perhaps more so than he gave credit for.
As if to confirm this, she called back to him. Her wonderfully cold artificial tones floated down to him from upstairs.
“goodbye. joseph. have a nice day sweetheart.”
It was simple reprogramming of her rudimentary personality constructs that enabled to interchange expletives like “honey” or an occasional “sweetheart” or “darling” in place of saying his name over and over. He liked the overall quality of her voice.
On the way to his car he stopped and waved hello to his neigbour. A spunky, aging, vivacious man in his mid-Eighties. He seemed to fill his time collecting and trading 100-year old pop albums, sometimes online, sometimes at various antique conventions held at various times of the year and always eager to share new acquisitions with Joseph.
“Joe-me-boy! Check this out!” he waved a very old and very fragile 78 at Joseph. This is a beauty! Vintage, son! He put it on the even older Victrola he had just inside his front porch. A hundred-year old song by someone Joseph vaguely remembered as Ella Fitz-Something began to sing. A ballad. Terse. Melancholy:
”The further you travel, the harder to unravel the
she spins around you
Turn back while there's time, don't you see the
Soft shoulders surround you…”
He walked up Allan’s path, mildly fascinated. “Nice, Allan! Anything else you got?” He wasn’t as enthusiastic about antiques as Al was, but he had a soft spot for sentimental things and appreciated any old junk Allan was able to dig up.
“Just a sec!” Allan called back. He dug in the Victrola and produced a small, shiny black object and walked down the path of his house to show Joseph. “Now, this – THIS is rare.” Al said, holding it out in front of him with both hands. “Paid over four-hun’red bucks fer this one. It’s an old Edison wax cylinder from, accordin’ to the dealer, 1902 or ’03. That’s about a hun’red an’ forty years old, Joe! A sonic artifact. An’ it works too!”
Joseph clasped the cylinder by the ends, being careful not to touch the tiny grooves that ran the circumference of the cylinder. He squinted and poked. “So, how’d they play this thing, Al?”
“Well, they used a gramophone to play those early cylinders. They’d put these on a fitted rod that you had to man’ally crank up. It would spin really fast an’ as it did – well it’s like the turntables that came after – a needle connected to a horn rode inside the grooves and the sounds would be amplified through the horn an’ presto! Instant entertainment!”
“Interesting.” He was interested actually. He thought of what life was probably like almost a hundred and fifty years before. Thought about how people in a room would crowd around one of these amazing simple machines – a representative of the industrial age that also gave birth to the railroad, the lightbulb, the car, the airplane, and eventually, electronics, computers, computer hackers – and hear the hollow tinny sounds coming from it, hypnotized by the now ghostly voices of long dead performers. The cylinder gave an extra dimension to the old black and white photos Allan would occasionally show him. It was as if it was saying. “We were here! We actually existed.”
He gave the cylinder back to Allan. It was time to leave.
Joseph said goodbye to Allan and went to his car. Ella Fitz-Something sang.
”Wake up, slow down
Before you crash and break your heart, gullable
You fool, you're headed in the wrong direction
Can't you see the detour ahead?”