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The Morning After

by R. Scott McCoy

Barbara woke up feeling warm and satisfied, at least until she moved. Then her head felt like it would split open and dump her brain on the carpet. The morning light (she hoped it was morning) hurt her eyes and she fumbled for the universal remote to shut the window blinds. She eased out of bed, careful not to spill her brain as she crept over to the bathroom.

She eased the light bar up to the minimal setting and looked at herself in the mirror. It must have been some night; she hoped she’d had fun. She reached into the medicine cabinet for a little non-prescription pick-me-up and filled a large glass with crystal clear water. The pills were pushed down her dry swollen throat by the cool liquid. Feeling almost human, she went back into her bedroom and froze.

There was someone in her bed. In her bed! She looked around frantically for some kind of weapon but couldn’t see anything substantial enough to use as a club. She could yell help, which would auto dial the police, but what if the man, yes it was a man, what if he woke up? He could kill her long before the cops showed up.

Whoever he was, he stirred and rolled over so that he faced her. There was enough light to see that he was good-looking. Still, she shuddered. It didn’t matter what he looked like; people just didn’t do that sort of thing with each other anymore. There were too many diseases and way too many people. It was irresponsible to even contemplate, just on the off chance of a non-engineered conception. But there he was.

Had she been raped? Barbara had heard of such things, though nowadays, with genetic cleansing, people weren’t supposed to be born with such mental defects. She decided not to call the police just yet since she might be the one that got arrested for attempted conception without a permit. Instead she went into the kitchen and got a breakfast meal drink from the refrigerator to give her time to think.

There was a piece of paper on the table where she sat down. Of course it wasn’t real paper. No one actually used paper anymore, but this was supposed to look and feel like the real thing. “How would they know that?” she wondered aloud.

She looked it over and gasped. It was a receipt for a Model XX5000D sexual companion! The 5000’s had barely been released. How had she gotten a hold of one? Worse, how had she paid for it? Bonuses had been good at her company this year, but not that good. She had to have financed it; there was no other way.

Pam. It had to be Pam. She had connections with Robo Systems and she was always trying to talk Barbara into something like this. Rental was fine for those rare occasions VR wasn’t enough. She didn’t need a full time Bot! Damn that Pam! She knew she couldn’t hold her liquor. Barbara wondered if it was too late to return it, or if it was even legal to sell something like this to someone that was drunk.

She couldn’t afford a lawyer, not for something like this. The Lawyers Guild rarely took cases where there wasn’t a settlement involved. On the rare occasions they did, the fees where so high most people couldn’t afford them. It would probably be personal claims court anyway, but the company would damn well have a Lawyer. You could bet on that. Designed without a conscience and trained from birth to win at any cost, you could barely call a Lawyer human these days.

Barb heard a low groan from the bedroom. Is it waking up? Barb knew they simulated sleep and other human behavior, but didn’t know they made morning noises. Could she return it as long as it was unused? Ohmygod! Was it unused? She couldn’t remember a damn thing about last night, but she wouldn’t have. Would she? At least she didn’t need to be afraid, this wasn’t some man she would have to deal with like she first thought, this was a machine, apparently her machine, and it would do whatever she told it to do. She tiptoed back into the bedroom, not feeling quite so in control and called from the doorway.

“Excuse me, I hate to bother you, but could you please get up and get dressed?”

That was telling him; that’s the way to take charge. He blinked a few times and looked at her; a small smile formed on his full sensuous mouth. Stop that. He’s a machine, nothing sexy about a machine.

“Hey there,” he said with a larger grin. “Come on back to bed.”

“I think it’s time to get going,” Barbara said. “Lots to do.”

“And I will help you with all of it, but come over here and let me rub your shoulders. You look so tense.”

She was tense. She had woken up with a hangover and then had quite a start and she was wrapped pretty tight. What could it hurt? No different than one of those massage chairs really. Barb walked over a bit tentatively and sat on the edge of the bed.

“What’s your name?” She should know what to call it after all.

“What do you want it to be?” he asked.

“How about Kenneth?” She had always liked the name.

“Kenneth it is. Now relax and let me get these knots out.”

He started to rub her, then gently kiss her back. After that it was all a bit of a blur.

* * *

About two hours later, she woke up a second time to the sound of the shower. Perhaps she had been a bit hasty. She hadn’t seen the financing arrangement but Pam was her friend and wouldn’t let her spend more than she could afford. Besides, he was definitely used now.

She got up and went into the bathroom. She opened the shower door and watched Kenneth rinse off. He looked good! He motioned for her and she stepped in with him.

* * *

They were thoroughly clean about thirty minutes later and helped towel one another off. A real man would have said something to ruin the moment by now but he just smiled and got dressed. Barb did the same, and when she had finished buttoning her shirt, Kenneth came over and kissed her, stroked her hair and pushed it behind her left ear, and pushed.

* * *

Kenneth, whose real name was Bob, looked over his latest purchase again. He smiled to himself. Damn, what a night; and the morning had been even better. His friend Dave had been trying to talk him into buying one of these beauties for weeks, and he had finally broken down.

The old models had looked real enough, but they never acted like real people. A lot of people preferred that, but he had always fantasized about having sex with an actual woman. His tastes had always strayed to the perverse, and since he doubted he would ever have enough money to afford a night with an actual woman, he would have to settle for the next best thing. Barbie was fully programmable and came with ten basic scenarios and the ability for Bob to create an infinite variety — for a reasonable price, of course.

Bob spoke a code word and Barbie walked over to the closet and opened the door. There was a large case there for storage and Barbie climbed in, closed the lid and powered down.

Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott McCoy

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