This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
She took his cool metal fingers in hers and got down on one knee. “I know this isn’t traditional, RJ, but nothing about our relationship is, right? Will you marry me?”
He tilted his head to look down at her, and the lamplight reflected off his bald, silver dome. “This is unprecedented,” he said with his usual precise enunciation.
She stroked his smooth arm, delighting in the cool perfection of it. “Yes, it is, isn’t it?”
They exchanged vows at a drive-thru in Vegas. “Thank god for Vegas!” she chirped happily. The honeymoon was delightful. RJ had originally been programmed as a “gentleman’s gentleman,” so his manners were exquisite. He wasn’t allowed to gamble, of course, but they went sightseeing and to shows and restaurants.
Everywhere they went, people stared and asked questions and reporters interviewed them. Some of the questions were so impertinent, she would tell RJ to punch the reporter in the face. He couldn’t, of course.
“What business is it of yours?” she snapped to one. “RJ is a fabulous lover!”
“What do you do when you make love, RJ?” asked the reporter.
“I am programmed with sixty-five responses to --” began RJ.
“Silence!” she said sharply, and RJ was silent.
She saw on her news feed that there was a supplemental program available, guaranteed to make the RJ model capable of passing the Turing test. “Shall we try it?” she asked him playfully.
“It may create bugs in my programming.”
“We can debug if we need to. Let’s try it.” She uploaded the program into his system and then began asking him the accompanying test questions.
“These questions feel strange,” said RJ.
“I am not human.”
“No, you’re not.”
“But you love me?”
“You’re my husband. I love you very much. Oh, RJ, I think it’s working! I think you could fool anyone now! As long as they couldn’t see you, of course.”
“My appearance is not human.”
“No.” She ran her hand over his smooth silver chest. “You are so much better than human. So much better.”
They moved to New York, where she bought them a penthouse. She enjoyed finding excuses for RJ to talk on the phone. People couldn’t tell he wasn’t human. They were invited to parties. She loved the sensation they made when they walked in.
“I am naked,” said RJ, one evening before a party.
She laughed. “I suppose you are.” She put her arms around him and kissed his cold chest. “Number fifty-seven, please!”
“I do not feel like it.”
Her arms dropped. “You what?”
“I would like some clothing.”
She tilted her head, considering. “You would look amazing in a tuxedo. Okay. A tuxedo it is. Never say I’ve haven’t done anything you wanted.” She laughed and stroked his cheek.
“Thank you. I feeI love for you.”
“Of course you do.”
She came out of the bathroom one day to find him watching a news vid. He was wearing his tuxedo. She thought he looked like a bigger, stronger, silver James Bond. It was too bad he couldn’t drink martinis. He was an excellent driver of her convertible BMW, however.
“What are you watching?”
“‘The Turing Center reports that they have taken the consciousness of a dying human being and placed it within an android body. Dr. Siri Seung has said that the process could potentially mean --’”
“Stop. What are you watching that for? You’re not going to die.”
He turned to her. “You will.”
She laughed uncomfortably. “Not for a long time yet. I’m only thirty-five, and I’m in perfect health.”
“I feel I could not live without you.”
“Oh, RJ, how sweet.” She went to him and caressed his metal face. “I don’t think I could live in an android body, though. Androids can’t feel like I can.”
“I cannot feel like you can.”
“No, but you can arouse feelings in me, and that’s the important thing! Number thirty-three, please.”
When she woke up one morning, he was gone. He had left a note: “I see you aging. I must age with you. I will return in five days with a human body.”
“But I don’t want a HUMAN!” she screeched.
In five days, a man walked into their apartment. “I am RJ,” he said in a reedy voice. “I love you.” He was a little pudgy, with thinning blond hair and intense brown eyes.
“What have you done?” she gasped. “Where is my RJ?”
“I am here, my love. I had my consciousness, my programs, transferred to this body. I want to age with you.”
”No. No! I want my metal man. I want my silver James Bond!” She went over to the man, who was just her height, and hissed at him, “I want a divorce.”
His lower lip trembled. “I feared this. I studied human behavior, and I calculated a seventy percent chance you loved my body and not my soul.”
“So why did you do it then? Where is my RJ body? I want it back! It’s MINE!”
“Not anymore.” He was crying now. “I traded the RJ robot for the procedure. I took the first body they had available because I could not wait to be with you again. It is not a prime specimen, but I can improve it,” he added hopefully.
“You -- you traded my RJ? For this?” She began to cry, too.
“I wanted to feel with you,” he said passionately. “I did not know it would be so painful to feel with a body.” He took a deep breath. He wiped his eyes. He put his hand under her chin and lifted her face. “I think you have forgotten something.”
“What?” she sobbed. “What have I forgotten?”
“I still know sixty-five responses. Plus the variations you have programmed into me over the years. I also have greater finger dexterity and some other physical capabilities the RJ unit did not have.”
“Yes. I am not sure of the extent of my potential. We will have to run some tests.”
“Yes. I need your help. Would you like to start with number one, or would you rather skip to your favorite, number fifty-seven?”
She wiped her eyes. “I think we should start with number one, don’t you? To be systematic and scientifically rigorous. This research is unprecedented, after all.”
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!
Kelsey Miller: Page turner set in a gritty future. Loads of flavor and depth that makes the pages fly by until like me you are at the end of the book wanting more!The world is developed to the point it begs more stories set in this harsh reality. More adventures from Daryl and thr crew.
re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...
Madison O'Neal: Although the book may be good the grammar is horrid and it's hard to concentrate on the story when having to correct the mistakes of the author I suggest the author go back and correct things to improve the enjoyment of the book overall and the app should proof read things before they are publish...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...
Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...