By Neil Beynon
She broke my heart.
No not like that. I’m not completely naive, it’s just you pay for a service and you expect it to be done properly, to standard. You pay the kind of money I did, you expect gold standard.
Not this squalid indignity. My recovery beacon’s been going for hours now. It’s only a matter of time and they’ll be banging down the door. Sure it’ll be embarrassing. The leopard skin was obviously a mistake as were the chains, not that I could move now if I wanted to.
All I really wanted was the experience. Not much to ask really? And well, it’s illegal isn’t it – to not tell them and once you have well it’s adios amigo, get yourself gone Ron, etc, etc. So I saved. And I saved. And ok I made a small robbery – low risk, they just give you an inhibitor for a while – no terminations.
She was gorgeous. Long, golden thighs; beautiful, organic fleshy bottom; plump, full breasts and lips painted a deep plum purple. And when I kissed her she tasted as sweet as the first delicious tendril of plasma when you’ve almost run dry.
When I told her she didn’t run away. You might think me stupid for believing it was the money. You can’t imagine how it feels to be that close, to be so near to the possibility of something that you can’t think of anything else. The taste of her still on your lips, the smell of her deep inside your head and the soft, warm feel of her flesh on your hand.
I should have looked at her eyes. Later I did. But by then it was too late.
In the faint glow of the lamps – I wanted to have playback for what it was costing me – she straddled me. Her body, glistening in neon painted glory, burned against me, bathing me in delicious heat. I forgot how much they sweat; the pleasant smell of the oil was mixed with the salty smell of her. I felt light-headed. She slid against me.
I’m afraid I moaned like a bad movie.
Her delicately painted nails danced across my chest, she slid her finger into my mouth. I choked and she got the idea. She withdrew, leaning back, letting the light caress her as I watched the minx roll her hips, the promise without the piece de resistance, the icing without the cake.
She knew exactly what buttons to press.
And I saw her eyes. Watching me. Watching her. I was afraid then, I think; and more than a little turned on – is that bad?
When I was just commissioned they took me to a termination.
It, not he or she, was a much older model. It had been in the family for years, had been the special servant of the mistress for years, had been servicing said mistress ever since the master had lost interest.
The mistress died. She left everything to It.
Not allowed you see. Its Master challenged the will. And claimed It had altered the will, had abused the mistress, he demanded termination. It was an open and shut case.
You think it’s bad for us now? Back then makes this look like a golden age.
They do it in public. That’s pretty awful: they lead you up to a huge gantry in the town square, read out your crime, then turn off your switch. At which point the light goes out for you. You feel nothing as they dismantle you, as they irradiate your brain to be sure. Then you get recycled.
When they led it out the rain had started to fall in thick, humid goblets that warmed you even as it soaked you. It didn’t notice. They flicked the switch and I learned the lesson: be good or else.
Its eyes were as glassy as polished ice, as empty as the night, all that It was, was gone. Before they flipped the switch. Otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed.
She looked down at me with those same eyes. They couldn’t be. I had proof she was organic – some things you can’t fake – and you aren’t allow to use recycled parts in organics. Too dangerous, precedents would be set.
No, something else had done that to her.
I think she must have seen my fear. Or sensed it. It doesn’t really matter. She tapped her finger on my chest opening the cavity and dropped her earring into the gears of my heart. There was a terrible grinding that hurt my ears more than my chest, then nothing.
She knew exactly what buttons to press.
She slid off me. Dressed quickly, rubbing the oil off with my jacket – I wish she hadn’t, the jacket was nearly as expensive as her. She took the other half of the money, my watch, my credit card and my bloody cufflinks.
Before she left she paused by my prone body, looked over my head. She must have known my emergency power would keep me recording. Her voice was like fresh grease on my spine.
“You tell, you know what I’ll say.” And I did know.
They’ll be here soon. It may take a little while but they’ll restart my heart, maybe replace a gear or two. I may have to bribe them, although with what I have no idea.
I can’t get them out of my head. Maybe I’ll get them to look at that too. Or maybe I should send them after her, not to catch her – that would backfire horribly. Maybe they can fix her.
After all, if they can mend a broken heart then eyes must be a doddle.