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A pan of spinach lasagna stood warming in the oven. The table was set, with a pair of turquoise no-drip candles safety candles lit around the lazy susan in the center. A bottle of cab-sav from the refrigerator was slowly warming past its perfect temperature on the countertop. And Megan (tindale0101) sat motionless, wearing a pink and white apron, waiting for Robert to come home. Her soft blue eyes were pointed slightly downward, staring at nothing in particular; her posture was one of mild dejection, yet the expression on her face was completely blank, placid and unmarked by thought. Her glossy pursed lips bore no trace of a smile, or a frown, or any emotion whatsoever.

A spider was descending slowly from the ceiling above her head, wavering slowly over her short platinum blond hair before passing inches from her smooth white face. The eyes stared right past it. The tiny oval-shaped LCD panel visible on her lower back, between her tightly-strung blouse and ultra-low-cut jeans, displayed progress on the latest of 72 anti-virus downloads, coming through the USB cable plugged into the slot below and to the left of it, and running towards the Smart Home© system. Megan was not programmed to kill spiders.

Just then, a welcoming chime announced the arrival of Robert through the back door. “Hel-lo Rob-ert,” piped in Alda©, the friendly Smart Home© avatar. At that, the USB cable automatically detached itself from Megan’s back and whipped across the floor, rolling back up into its hub. The downloads were cleared from her LCD screen, and replaced with system code that read, in rapid order:

Loading… Loading… Loading…

HUMANA ’15 © startup…

HUMANA ’15 ©. Welcome.
Megan. Welcome.
Wireless network engaged.


Opening file MEGAN.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/babysitter.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/
Opening file MEGAN/dpt.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/
Opening file MEGAN/procedures.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/2101.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/Megan.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/
Opening file MEGAN/
Opening file MEGAN/ABX34200111-F8C.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/runtime.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/Megan/Meganfriends.dxt
Opening file MEGAN/Megan/
Opening file MEGAN/Megan/
Web page found. Downloading…
Opening tindale0101 personal settings…
Opening tindale0101 favourites…[/code]

Megan’s glassy eyes, formerly flat, drab, and lifeless, suddenly brightened with a surge of electricity behind them, bringing their colours into sharp relief, and began to move around in their sockets. Her lips curled up into a beaming smile, revealing rows of porcelein-white teeth, and she stood up from her seat, announcing in a sing-songy electronic voice, "Hello, Sweet-Heart!"

The earthbound spider scuttled off of her dinner plate.

Robert Tindale put down his suitcase and waved off Alda. “Hello, honey,” he called back, loosening his tie. He hated getting back late like this: Megan always had dinner ready by five sharp, and he worried about her burning the house down keeping it hot. And it looked like he would be making a habit of this next week. Maybe he should reprogram her for a delayed schedule?

Megan strolled into the back room, her wide bare feet slapping on the tiled floor. The pinky toes were missing, with chrome attachment slots in their place: Robert had somehow lost them last time she’d taken them off to wear those ridiculous stiletto heels he’d bought her. He’d had a hell of a time reprogramming her to forget about those. Little remembrances like this often impinged upon the simple pleasure of feeling her arms close around him and her lips press against his.

“Hmm,” he thought after a moment, “No tongue.” From memory, he reached down towards her lower back and keyed in two commands on the ovoid touchscreen, and then felt her lips curl up a little higher to release the soft, pink tongue behind them into his mouth.

Megan slipped it out, leaned back, blinked once as the computer in her skull switched lines of code, and mindlessly mouthed the words: "How was your day, Sweetie?"

Robert turned the robot around at the hips, patting her bottom to set her in motion again back towards the kitchen, and followed close behind her. “Oh, fine, fine. You?” he asked, not really caring, as he keyed in more commands on the touchscreen. Megan’s eyes narrowed, and her stride became languorous. Her plastic nipples began to harden. She no longer cared about the answer to Robert’s question either.

They sat down at the table, Megan serving Robert, and began eating immediately in silence, the robot looking smoulderingly at her owner from across the table. Megan ran on food; with the price of gasoline these days, Robert had thought it a wise purchasing decision. Then again, with the price of meat, he’d kept them both on a strict vegetarian diet. It was just as well: the lasagne was delicious, and he’d never felt healthier.

"Ho-oney…" said Megan from across the table, as Robert polished off his second glass of wine.

“Mmm?” he gurgled back. Then he saw that her left foot was on the table, waving its four toes at him, and her left hand was already underneath her apron.

"I'm ho-ot…" moaned the robot, its eyes flickering, its arm moving back and forth, beads of sterile sweat forming above its double-D breasts.

Perhaps he had overdone it.

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