Chapter 12 - Enter, Clancy
I opened my eyes the next morning and took a look at the clock. It was 30 minutes past the time I normally woke up. I got out of bed and headed to Cran to find him sat with his head down, not watching the feed, a cup of coffee waiting for me in front of my spot.
“Cran,” I called out, and he raised his head. “Why didn’t you wake me?”
“The client started rather early this morning, and I thought you needed some rest,” he said to me.
I sat down and took a sip of coffee. It was slightly cold. I was a bit disappointed as I thought a warm beverage would lighten my mood or something. But I made no mention of it to Cran.
“What’s been going on? Did I miss anything?” I asked him.
“Nothing significant, sir. So far, it’s just been more of the same.”
“Why was your head down?”
“It’s just been foreplay for two hours, sir. I didn’t think it required active watching after a while, so I took it upon myself to do some light information collection.”
I looked up at the feed and was welcomed by eyeful of human pubic hair; It was morning time and the client’s room was now flooded with sunlight so I was able to see very clearly what I was not able to the night before. I too quickly looked away.
“Two hours of this?”
“He has quite the stamina, sir. ‘Delayed gratification’ was a phrase I heard more than once.”
“Figures. This coffee is a little cold. I’m going to get a fresh cup.”
“My apologies, sir. I shall do that for you.”
“No, no. I need a break from this. Let me know if anything changes.”
I made my way down to the kitchen and had just finished exchanging the cold coffee for hot when Cran called out to me.
“Sir, things are changing.”
I went back upstairs and things were indeed different. Sally was now on the bed and all that could be seen from her view was an empty pulsating wall, an optical effect caused by the action that was now taking place behind her: they were having intercourse as the client yelled sexual obscenities at her.
“Do you like it? Do you like my cock in your ass? I bet you do, you fucking whore.”
Again, my mind was ripped asunder by the words he was using with her as I struggled with separating the reality of what this version of Sally was from the memories of my wife. I could barely stand it. But I had to force myself to for the data.
“Cock, sir?” Cran asked me, “I understand it to be another name for a male fowl, or, to tilt something, a head for example. What does it mean in this context?”
“Do heavier information collection,” I suggested, not wanting to explain what that meant to him. He understood and did not badger me further, but I was slightly annoyed by something.
“Why?” I asked Cran, lowering the sound on the feed to be able to have a conversation over the clients disgusting grunts of passion. Cran tilted his head to the side, demonstrating the word he just defined.
“That. What are you doing with your head?” I asked him.
“I’m cocking it to the side, sir. To signify that I do not understand your vague question to me,”
“That’s what I’m asking. You know several meanings of any given word. If so, why only look up certain usages for certain terms and not all of them? You do that a lot.” My tone took on a stern, almost scolding one. “Especially with ones of a sexual nature. You ask me the meaning of something when you can easily look that up for yourself. We’ve talked about this before. I have to tell you Cran, it makes me very uncomfortable explaining that kind of thing to you. Indeed, it’s why I’ve not ever done so. I constantly tell you to look it up yourself yet you still continue to ask me. So, that’s what I meant by asking you why. Tell me sincerely why you do that.”
He hesitated for a moment before he answered me––his body language had grown timid and uncomfortable.
“Sex…” he started. “…for pleasure is a special human experience shared only by a small amount of other species. While I do understand the practicality of sexual intercourse, I, being inhuman, do not know nor quite understand what it means to have sex for enjoyment. Therefore, I suppose I’d prefer to learn it straight from a human rather than inorganically looking it up for myself. Learning from a human is the closest thing I can do to feel more human. A futile exercise, I know. But I too can indulge in delusions from time to time,” he said looking straight into my eyes. I thought the glare from his lens at that moment strangely resembled tears.
“I apologize, sir. I did not mean to overstep any boundaries,” he said and lowered his head again.
It was because of his unneeded apology that I realized that everything he says and everything he does is directly because of me. There is absolutely no action of his that is not a direct result of my programming, and here I was admonishing him for how I created him. I finally remembered, that healthy dose of curiosity I, in that moment, found annoying was something I purposely gave him. In lieu of a direct apology I opted to offer a simple answer.
“Penis,” I said, and he cocked his head once again.
“Cock is a lewd euphemism for penis.”
“Oh. Thank you,” he said to me. “But––” he started again before he stopped himself and lowered his head once more.
“You want to ask me why. Why is that word used to describe a penis when it looks nothing like one?” I said doing a far amount of assuming. Luckily I was correct as he nodded.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“I shall look it up myself,” he said as he started to lower his head, but I stopped him.
“No. We’ll look it up later together. Start a list of things and words to be researched you want to hear directly from me and we’ll go through it at a later time.”
He nodded his head. His body language had improved and he sat up straight in his chair.
I turned the sound on the feed back up as if something important was to be heard, but, it was just more grunts and groans from a grown man engaging in sex.
But, suddenly, they stopped.
“Get up,” the out-of-breath voice said to Sally, “Get up and go to that mirror over there.”
Sally did as was told and got off of the bed and headed to the mirror, and when she reached it she turned around to face the client who followed her to the mirror. It was clear as to why I recognized the highlights in his face the night before: the ugly brows belonged to none other then Clancy Wallace Somerson, the infamous owner of many prominent sports teams, from football to baseball to the android car racing league, he had a hand in every league of every type of sport.
“Well, what are you looking at me for? Turn your pretty ass around. You do know what a mirror is used for, don’t you?” he said, and she followed his instruction.
Once again I found myself looking at the visage of my late wife, standing naked in front of a wall mirror. Cran noticed whom the android Sally now resembled, and slowly turned to me.
“Sir, she looks strikingly like her. Almost an exact copy.”
I put my hand under my glasses to make it seem like I was rubbing sleep out of my eyes, but I was holding back tears.
“It wasn’t on purpose,” I said.
“Oh,” was all he said in response. He grew quiet as he continued to look at me. I don’t know if he was speechless because he knew what I had done and was puzzled, or because he was trying to formulate the correct response. In any case, he slowly turned his attention back to the feed without saying anything.
“Look at that body,” said Clancy’s voice from a distance.
Cran and I watched as Clancy slowly came up behind Sally, naked himself, and slowly put his hand around her neck as if he were going to strangle her. He caressed it instead, to my relief.
“Look at this neck,” he said as he slowly kissed it, then suddenly biting it hard. He inspected the damage before it healed itself.
“I gotta tell you though, I’m a little disappointed it doesn’t leave a mark,” he said and he started to fondle her breasts. “But these certainly make up for it.”
He wandered behind her and bent her over as he thrust himself into her hard. It was a strange sight to see, not because of the obvious, but because she had no reaction to what was being done to her. But it didn’t seem to bother him all too much.
“Look at yourself. Look at me fucking you. You like that?” he said to her, but he abruptly stopped. Apparently, having sex with a mannequin actually started to get to him.
“Okay, I’m going to have to have you react a little. I know you can fake it. They must have programmed a little bit of actual human female into you.”
He started again and she feigned enjoyment, screaming in mock ecstasy––it weirdly comforted me that she was having an artificial forced reaction.
“That’s more like it. You know how to take orders.”
He slapped her on her butt and gripped its skin.
“Would you look at that? It ripples like the real thing. Jerr, I gotta commend you on this,” and he saluted the image of Sally in the mirror.
I looked away from the feed and stared out of my window trying to take my mind off of the event. I had to monitor it, sure, but I didn’t have to pay attention to it.
“That was a nice compliment he gave you on the reproduction of the epidermis. And I agree,” said Cran trying to stay optimistic in the face of the situation, no doubt for my sake. I could not answer him. I stayed focused on the nice weather outside of my window, hoping to lose myself in it, no matter how pointless an exercise it was.
A hummingbird was lost in large flower just on the other side of my window. I tried to focus on the speed of its flapping wings, trying to slow it down in my mind and count how many times it flapped within a minute. I had surmised that it did so 165 times––a total arbitrary counting––by the time Cran had tapped me on the shoulder to tell me something.
“Sir, they are finished with their business.”
I looked to the feed and saw Sally standing in an upright position still positioned in front of the mirror, silently judging me, I thought, for putting her through all of this. I wanted desperately to reach out and grab her hand and apologize profusely for doing this to her. Why didn’t she say anything? Why didn’t she do anything? A frown. A tear. A grimace. Anything would have been enough to let me know she felt something toward me again. Yet, she did nothing but stared through me, her expressionless face tearing me apart inside.
“Damn, that was good,” said Clancy’s voice from off to the side. “Go on, get dressed. We have a long day.”
She did not move, still staring motionless into the mirror. For a slight moment I thought she stood static because she noticed me, not wanting to move from my gaze.
“Hey, what are you waiting for? I said get dressed,” snapped Clancy, as he grabbed her head and turned it in his direction. “You program insubordination into her on purpose, man? I don’t need that much realism,” he said with a laugh, addressing Jerrald again.
“Go on, get,” Clancy said with a hard slap on her behind.
I turned the sound down once more as Sally went into the bathroom to get dressed into a very simple and very skimpy pink dress Clancy had presumably laid out for her.
“So, what did you think?” I asked Cran.
“Sexual intercourse. You’ve finally witnessed some. What did you think?”
He paused introspectively before he spoke.
“Something told me that it wasn’t, well, traditional. And so, I do not believe what I witnessed was the type of intercourse I was expecting. Yet, I think I have seen enough to infer what more normal intercourse would be like. Presumably, there are more docile, more tender, more loving forms of it. But, curiously, I do not desire to witness anymore. This experience has, to use a human figure of speech, turned me off. Which is amusing because I am a machine that can literally be turned off,” he said as he looked to me for validation of his joke.
I was still not in the mood for jokes, but I smirked in acknowledgement.
“Pun intended. Next time, just say pun intended,” I recommended to him.
“Also, the phrase, turn on. People can be turned on as well. It means to be sexually aroused.”
“Interesting, sir. That is also funny in my case because I can be literally turned on in one sense but not in the other,” and he laughed his metallic laugh.
I took a sip of my coffee but I stopped mid sip because it had gone cold again. I must have made a face that suggested so.
“A hot cup, sir?” Cran offered. I nodded.
As he tended to my coffee, I looked for that hummingbird again, hoping to get a proper flap count this time. But, he had long since disappeared from my window, and for some reason his absence made me sad.
That afternoon, Clancy took Sally to a nice, swanky restaurant with an open terrace near the beachfront full of people that resembled his ilk, the sort that dressed unnecessarily flashy for a lunch on a weekday afternoon.
He wore sunglasses despite the day having a slightly overcast sky. I had a feeling he did so to keep from being noticed, but it was still horribly pretentious, for sure.
Clancy looked over the menu while Sally opted to stare at him through a pair of her own sunglasses instead, a meaningless flaccid smile on her face. He pushed a menu toward her.
“I know you’re not eating, but at least pretend you’re a normal person,” he whispered to her. He was constantly looking over his sunglasses at other people and looking back to Sally. He was a bit over cautious as to whether or not people would recognize her as artificial.
He called the waiter over and ordered a beer for himself and water for her. For the meal he ordered himself prime rib, and for her a Chicken Caesar Salad, though, her food was mostly for show.
They spent the duration of the meal quiet. He scarfed down his whole meal and half of hers before he finally started speaking to her.
“I told you to fake it. It’s not like food will muck up your innards, is it?” he asked her. She shook her head.
“Then come on, take a fucking bite,” he said and she did just that.
“And now, take a sip of water.” She followed that command as well.
“See, it’s not that hard being a human. You just stick things into your mouth. And I know you have plenty of practice doing that,” he said as he laughed his dirty laugh. To his surprise she laughed along as well.
“Ah, you’re learning little by little. That’s how you do it.”
He leaned in a little closer pretending to speak into her ear but licked it instead. She reacted positively and followed it up with a passionate kiss on the lips.
“Yeah, you’re learnin’ good,” he said when she pulled away. He looked around before he slipped a hand under her skirt––again, a positive reaction in the form of a little squeak.
Some people at the next table started to stare at them. He stared back at them as if to threaten them. They eventually averted their stare.
“But, we’re in public and I’m a public figure and we can’t be seen doing this kind of thing. This’ll have to wait,” he said as he pulled back his hand. He raised it to his nose and took a sniff and chuckled to himself.
“Fuckin’ odorless. I still can’t get over that. Like a real girl with none of the disgusting aspects. You don’t piss, shit or get a period, do you?”––another shake of her head. “No PMS. Amazing.”
He sat back in his chair as he drank his third beer.
“Let me check the news, see if I’m in it. I usually am,” he said to her as if she would care about such things. “News feed: Clancy Somerson,” he said and a holo-feed appeared in front of his eyes. But, the longer he read the news the angrier he became, until he finally slammed his fist down on the table.
“Close feed. Fuck this. All these stories about me. All these publications judging me. They don’t know the truth,” he said, mostly into the general direction of where Sally.
“They don’t know the stress that comes with owning all these teams. It was much easier just being a player.” He was now talking to her as if she were a psychiatrist rather than a companion.
“It’s my fault for reading it. Like I thought the news would be any different today. Next time I do that, slap me, you hear?” he said to Sally. She offered no reaction, yet he continued.
“I have millions to please, different people wanting different outcomes. They think I can maintain that level of excellence with normal flesh and blood? So what if I use a little enhancement. What matters is that they’re entertained, right? And I provide that in fucking spades,” He looked to her for acknowledgement and she again gave none.
“Nod, smile, frown or something. React, damn it. Pretend like you’re listening to me,” he said and she did all three. The absurdness of it made him laugh.
“And you were learning so well. Eh, I can’t expect too much from a plastic product. You know, I’m so used to you guys yapping away that I’m not used to talking about myself. Feels kinda good, like therapy.”
He leaned in and looked into her eyes.
“A therapist and a fuck toy, two in one, Jerry. So far, good marks. Just make her react a little more naturally and I’ll give you a perfect score,” he said. “Come on, take another bite and let’s go. I want to do some shopping.”
Watching everyone in that restaurant eating all that food reminded me that I had to eat something myself.
“Cran, do you mind making me a bowl of instant noodles?”
“I sure can, sir, but do you not want something more substantial?”
“No. I’m not that hungry,” I told him. I then started to wonder why I wanted to eat anything at all. The mostly one-sided conversation I just overheard left a bad taste in my mouth and perhaps I wanted to cleanse it with something. So, Cran brought me my noodles and I mindlessly ate them while I watched Sally and Clancy go through a mundane day of shopping and schmoozing that ultimately culminated in a night of mundane sex and then, finally, sleep.
I turned off the feed and stared into nothingness for a moment, a bowl of limp unfinished noodles in front of me.