Autonomously Yours

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Chapter 14 - Broken

As they returned home Clancy dragged Sally from the vehicle by the elbow, not even bothering to go around to the other side to get her, doing so through his side.

He stood in silence on the elevator ride up to his condo, his face seething with anger, swaying from side to side, clearly still intoxicated.

He did not turn on the lights in the house as they entered, leading her upstairs through the darkness, Sally tripping over stairs not making one complaint about it, unable to do so even if she desired to.

As they reached his bedroom he shoved her forcefully to the bed and slammed the door shut.

“Sit. Look at me,” he commanded her through the still-darkness of the room––the atmosphere mimicked that of the night Sally first arrived to his place, only Clancy’s silhouette made visible by the small amount of moonlight coming in through the window. He pulled up a chair and placed it directly in front of Sally, which was strange, as he didn’t use it much, alternating between standing, pacing and sitting. He was silent, the only noise in the room provided by his footsteps and the angry air he pushed through his nostrils and mouth as he moved from bed, to chair, to wall and back again, punching the wall hard with each trip he made to it.

“That cunt. That stupid, stupid cunt,” he finally said, each expletive growing louder with every utterance. He finally sat down for longer than a second.

“Did you hear the way she spoke to me?” he asked, again, speaking more toward Sally’s general direction than directly to her.

“Spitting accusations at me. Judging me. Fuck her. Fuck all of them. And that fucking robot touching me with his rusty fucking hands, lifting me up like that,” he said, his topics disjointed.

“They don’t know what I go through on a daily basis. How many players I have to manage, how many fucking fans I have to please. The things I do to entertain them. They don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. Bosky smashes that guys face to bits and they love it. Briggins breaks homerun records left and right and they love it. Grendel tackles and brings down men twice his size and they love it. And do you know why they love it? Because of my ingenuity,” he said, trying to justify it all to himself, his conversation echoing that of an earlier one.

“Fuck the rules. I have the money. I’ll add all the parts to my players I want to and they won’t say one fucking word about it. They’ll shell out money on tickets and shitty food and over priced drinks and hoot and holler and they’ll fucking continue to like it. It’s been this way since the beginning and it’ll be this way till the end. The masses provide the money, I provide the entertainment, and no grubby reporters will change any of that.”

He grew quiet. For a second, it seemed as though he might’ve calmed down after a good talking to himself. But, he was just thinking to himself, stirring up more anger.

“And her, talking about my cock like that. ‘Can’t be impressive,’ she said. I should go back there, drag her ass here and show her something impressive.”

He rose from his chair and headed to the wall and growled as he started punching it again, nearly putting holes straight through them with the amount of force he was exerting. I wasn’t so sure his own arm wasn’t enhanced in some way.

I was afraid for Sally’s safety at that point, with good reason.

He turned on a small lamp in the room and dimmed it just so, barely illuminating his features––every other object in the room was still clouded in blackness. He stumbled his way back to the chair and sat down with a thud.

“But you, you know the truth,” he said. He cupped her face in his hands. “You know how impressive I am, don’t you?”

He sat back in his chair and removed his pants down to his ankles and began touching himself. Thankfully, the light was still dim enough so that none of this was clearly visible to me.

“Impressive, right?” he asked. The question sounded rhetorical but he clearly wanted an answer.

“I asked you a question. Impressive, right?” he asked again. She nodded in response. But that wasn’t enough. He leaned in closer.

“I want a verbal response,” he barked, apparently forgetting that he requested her to be programmed without the ability to speak.

“I’m goddamned impressive, right?” he asked, putting extra emphasis on the last word.

She nodded again.

He slapped her, hard.

“You look like a retard moving your head up and down like that. Fucking say yes.”

She stayed quiet.

Another slap followed, this time, so hard that it registered on her vitals on the feed, her artificial heart rate suddenly spiking upward.

The next slap wasn’t preceded by a question, nor were the ones that followed, the force of which finally caused her to fall sideways onto the floor. He picked her up by the hair and brought her face to his.

“Jerrald, I’ll pay you back. I have to release this stress. Besides, I’m sure you have thousands of these fucking things lined up and ready to go,” he said as he drew back and punched her square in her face with as much force as he could.

“I can’t hurt her. She doesn’t even bruise. Why don’t you fucking bruise?” he asked, offering another punch to the nose.

“No blood. No bruising. If you’re shooting for realism you’ve really failed, Jerr. Next time, make her show some damage. That way this will be much more fun.”

Another punch.

He took off his pants all the way and threw Sally back onto the bed and ripped off all of her clothing before climbing on top of her. He placed his hands around her neck and rung and rung and rung, to no avail.

“Are you still alive? What am I saying, of course you aren’t. You were never alive,” he said with a backhanded slap.

“You know, there is one good thing about you not being able to talk. You can’t scream. You don’t gasp. I can’t do this so easily to real women. They make too much noise. But you, no, you stay quiet. I like that,” he said. He looked directly into her eyes once more. “A third use, Jerr: a girlfriend, a therapist and a stress relieving punching bag. I really can’t thank you enough,” he said as he lifted her off the bed and punched her again causing her to fall right back top of it. He pulled her by the scruff of her neck and led her from the bed to the wall he had been using as stress relief before he utilized Sally for that same purpose.

He bent her over so that her cheek rested against the wall and began thrusting himself into her from behind.

I saw nothing on my feed for several minutes, the sound of his horrid grunts overpowering the sounds of her head banging against the wall being the only indication something was occurring.

“Let’s see if we can cause a little damage to this fucking puppet,” he said, as the banging grew louder and louder––instead of the force of his thrusts causing her head to hit the wall he had taken to forcibly banging her head against it with his hands.

He continued with the expletives interspersed with moans and groans.

With each bang of the head came an even louder grunt, as if he were in some kind of grotesque competition of unsavory sounds.

But soon the head banging overcame the sounds of ecstasy as he became more and more violent, the noise of a deep, raspy voice mixing with the smashing of metal against brick.

Personally, I could not take it any longer. My twitching fingers hovered absent-mindedly over my control panel as angry sweat from my brow slid down behind my glasses stinging my eyes. My teeth were clenched so hard in restraint that I felt like every one of them would crack and obliterate in an explosion of blood and enamel.

Sir?” Cran said to me, and I quickly looked to him. His mechanical pupils moved from my fingers to my eyes as if to say, remember the threats, remember the risk. And indeed, the thought of what Mr. Axell could do to me was what kept me from immediately inputting the override command and taking over, smashing Clancy Wallace Somerson’s face into a fleshy pulp.

“She’s just a robot. She can be remade...”

“But she looks so much like my Sally…”

“She’s expendable. Don’t endanger yourself for something that isn’t even real…”

“But… but she’s my wife…”

…were all thoughts that engulfed and cluttered my mind as I tried so desperately to keep myself from interfering with the disgusting proceedings that I had to bear witness to.

But, the sudden, loud and terrible sound of something cracking alerted me to an event that ripped the responsibility of making a choice from my hands.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Clancy asked Sally.

Something was wrong, as I was now able to see Clancy’s face clearly. But Sally seemed to still be in a bent position, turned away from him.

“Damn, I think I finally damaged you,” he said as I realized what had been done––he did indeed break her neck; her head was turned 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Clancy tried to put her head back in place but he just made it worse, her head slumping to the side so that I was then looking at Clancy at an angle.

He tried to keep the sexual intercourse going despite her condition, but soon gave up.

“No, that’s too creepy for me. I’m done. That was a good work out, though.”

He leaned in, cocked his head, and looked straight into her eyes. “Sorry about the damage, Jerr. If it’s too much, send me the bill and I’ll square it. For now it’s time for bed. She’s definitely worth it though. I’m giving you my recommendation. Night.”

An eerie moment passed before Sally stood straight up and turned in Clancy’s direction, and I saw dull, blank space once again.

Hey, baby,” a voice suddenly said. A voice that was familiar. A distant voice that sounded like it came from inside a tin can at the end of a long hall––no doubt the result of damage to her voice box––but was definitely the voice of Amber, Sally’s first incarnation.

“What? I thought you couldn’t talk,” I heard the confused voice of Clancy say.

It feels good to be alive, wouldn’t you two say?” said Sally in her best imitation of Amber repeating a recognizable line.

“You two? What the hell are you talking about?”

You’re nervous, aren’t you, baby?” she said as she started walking forward toward Clancy.

“Wait a second, this is a joke. Jerr, you trying to prank me for breaking her? It’s kind of funny, but I’m really tired. Save that shit for tomorrow morning.”

Come on, babe. Tell me what’s wrong.

“Ha ha. I said it’s funny. She looks freaky talking to me with her head turned around like that,” he said. “Do you want me to admit it’s scary? Okay, it’s scary. Can I go to bed now?”

Baby, don’t be jealous. You’re mine and I’m yours, got it?

Sally would not stop her advancement towards Clancy.

“Okay, now I’m just mad. Seriously, stop it,” said Clancy as he slapped the side of Sally’s slumped head. She finally stopped in her tracks.

You must be the man for me. Do you mind if I step out of this box? It’s a little cramped,” Sally said, now with the familiarity of Sally’s second incarnation, the sickly sweet, now ruptured voice of Patricia.

“Now her voice is diff––Oh, fuck this,” Clancy said as I saw his hand reach around Sally’s head as if to snap it back into place. But what I heard next was the gasping of air. I could only assume Sally had grabbed Clancy by the neck.

“Let go of me you fucking cunt,” said Clancy, straining to get the words out.

What’s next on the agenda, Jimmy? This is our last night together.”

His gasps were then mixed with dry coughs and the slapping of skin, Clancy’s attempt, I thought, to pry Sally’s hands away from his throat.

It was then when I realized what I was doing, or, rather, what I wasn’t doing. I wasn’t inputting the override code to stop this, my hands still in the hovering position to do so.

“Sir?” Cran said to me, as, again, he looked from my hands to my eyes, but this time as if to say, please put an end to this.

I briefly considered lowering my hands and letting the situation play out. He was a despicable human being, that was for sure, but could I stand by and knowingly let something I created murder a human being, however accidental it might seem in the end? The answer, I knew, was no.

And so, I lowered my hands and input the command to stop her, throwing all caution to the wind, accepting the fate that might befall me, to save this cretin.

But, she kept choking.

I input the command once more.

She still did not stop.

I then started to panic, my heart beating furiously, unrelentingly, angry sweat turning into flop sweat.

I typed the code slowly just to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes, but the attack continued. Clancy did more than just break her neck and her voice box; he ruptured something vital within her, and because of it she moved of her own, automatic volition.

There was nothing I could do but listen.

“You… fucking…” was all that he could say any longer. Anything else that came from him was just a different iteration of those two words.

Stop crying you little bitch,” said Sally in the tone of Patricia the dominatrix. I could then hear Sally pushing Clancy down on the bed.

Close your eyes, dammit!” she said.

The scene was all too familiar.

“Fuck… you… Let… go… of… me…” he managed to say.

You don’t command me, I command you,” she said and I could only assume she tightened her grip as Clancy’s gasps were getting shorter and shorter.

You might think you own me, but it’s the other way around, piggy. You don’t even qualify as human... Human... Human... Human…” she said, the last word stuck on repeat. She finally wound down, as the next sound I heard was that of a deep, raspy, middle-aged voice going from a low grumble to a high pitched scratchy screech, like the last stage of a teakettle’s whistle.

Then, I no longer heard gasps, I no longer heard expletives, I no longer heard skin slapping skin.

The final sound I heard was that of crunching bone and squishy flesh.

I had no other choice but to infer the worst.

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