I arrived back home via airplane from DC, then airport taxi service from the airport. I was in the Downtown House about forty five seconds before I unlocked my gun safe and put the .38 shoulder rig on. I felt better with some kind of self defense capability. The fat chick had impressed on me that I was not indestructible by any means. If someone turned me into scrap there was no guarantee they could or would salvage the computer and give me new life. I would be just as dead as the flesh and blood me in a freezer somewhere outside DC. Most likely my ass rested beside the carcass of last years deer kill. Maxine sharing a cold storage locker with bambi now that was appropriate.
Somethings were better and somethings were worse about the titanium body thing. I didn’t get broken bones, but they assured me given enough stress I could get bent ones. If someone hit me with a hand grenade my limbs were just as likely to be separated from my body as the wheel from a truck when it hit a mine.
I felt pain to prevent me from doing stupid things, but it was mild compared to the pain I once had in my leg. Oh that pain was forever gone, and the leg had been miraculously healed. That was my story for when Jen asked why I no longer limped, and of course she would.
I got headaches all things when I was over tired. It was the creators’s way of keeping me from running the batteries dry. They had tweaked me, since I was the first robo dummy with a mind of her own. The Bosses were already sorry they had built me I suspected
They had a ton of money and had made a lot of promises based on me, now they couldn’t afford to just lose me. At least not till I did more than sneak out to visit a bar. Yes I had done that.
I danced, I drank beer, I got felt up, which was a total bore. The funny thing was I remembered how it had felt before and that was a blast. I mean the orange memory of an orgasm, in an otherwise gray world, was a trip. I mean hell man, they say all good sex is in the mind, and I damn sure believe it now. That memory was as good as any orgasm I ever had. It should be it was the memory of the best one I ever had and the memory was in greater detail than the sex had been.
Those electrons were just flying between wires I’m sure. Hell the little red light that warned me my circuits were over heating just blinked like hell. It looked like the light show for one of those 1980s rock bands. Then there was great calm, just like I remember post orgasmic delight. The guy I was dancing with at the time couldn’t believe it. He thought rubbing my ass had done it, and to be honest in a way it had.
They claim I had all the same nerve receptors more or less but I felt things differently. All that remained to be seen. All I knew for sure was that I was happy to be home. My mind operated on a pre-death memory set, and a post-death memory set. It was not a seamless transition, it was more a bridge from one side to the other. Sometimes I got trapped in one or the other. I could not believe that they managed to transfer what was me to the new body.
I mean I had seen the movie robocop, okay not the movie but some scenes from it. I remember him agonizing over his past life. My life was right there for me to explore anytime I wanted. The new me had feelings that reminded me of the old ones and the old ones were just as vivid as what was happening at the time. It was really an fascinating thing. It might get old one day but so far I was enjoying the new sensations.
Of course I was also enjoying making the controllers crazy. They were used to Lucy and Eve who they had controlled from day one. But to really integrate their contraptions into the world they needed me. Or at least more controllable entities like me. It was more than knowing which fork to use at dinner/ It was knowing how to make a joke when you didn’t know which fork to use that made a person a person. not a roomba 5000.
They knew that on the farm, they were just having to change their thinking a little and no one likes to do that. Fuck em’ they were going to have to learn to take a joke for sure. Could they pull the plug on me one day, you bet your ass, but I don’t think they would leave me paralyzed in a bed somewhere. They would probably use me as a suicide bomb.
I took a shower after the trip. I didn’t do it because I was dirty or because I smelled. I did it because they had left the sensation of being wet and the sensation of my skin being hot. Those two sensations triggered the memory of how it felt to stand in a hot shower and just feel the pain and stress wash away. The shower, by triggering that memory, relaxed me just like the shower had really done previously. So I took a shower before I called Jen. She had no idea I was home. They didn’t allow visitors at the facility, where I had spent the last 90 days. It was part hospital part rehab and part basic training again. And yes I felt 18 again in some ways.
“Hey Chick,” I said when Jen answered her home phone.
“Maxine where the hell have you been?” she asked.
“You should know. You are the one who sent me there,” I said. “I was supposed to be allowed to die at home.”
“I couldn’t do it. I love you more than my own sister, but I couldn’t do it. I told them to do whatever they could to keep you alive and fix you. They said you had a spinal injury and would never walk,” she said.
“And you left me like that. Boy was I pissed at you. Then they did some new spinal graft shit and all of a sudden I’m me again, more or less.” I advised her.
“Get your ass over here or I’m coming over there. I have got to see you and catch up,” she said. “You are going to want to hear what has been going on around here. I know I sure as hell want all the detail about what you have been up to for 3 months.”
“Sure why don’t you come here so I don’t have to deal with Bob first thing,” I said laughing.
“My husband is not all that bad,” Jen said.
“I know the worst you ever had wasn’t bad, but it’s name was Bob,” I said with a laugh. Jen had tapped into what I called my primitive brain and I was loving it.
“So do you have anyone with you?” she asked.
“No, it will be just you and me, but I promise not to rape you. I mean it’s pretty much impossible for a girl to rape a girl. Okay maybe with a broom in prison but I’m not that horny,” I said laughing. I had completely forgotten that I wasn’t the same old me and I loved it.
“Tell you what, I’ll stop and get a six pack of that disgusting bock beer you love, if I can stay on your sofa, if I get drunk.”
“Bring the bock beer and if I begin to bore you, we can go to the cop out,” I said.
“Sweetie, you aren’t going to bore me. It is going to be a fucking hen fest. So much has happened. Don’t go into the Drugstore Condo, tell I talk to you,” she said.
“When I do go over there it will be in full battle armor and armed to the teeth,” I said remembering how I got shot.
“Yeah there is an update on that as well,” she said.
“Am I going to be happy with the news?” I asked.
“Some yes some will probably piss you off,” but hey remain calm regardless. Jennifer didn’t know the new me, but then again I didn’t know the new me either.
“Okay hustle your ass up,” I said.
While I waited for Jennifer, I opened my email from the previous 90 days. I opened all the ones from ‘His Laboring Few’. Some were from the building company. First there would be a bill, then there would be a thank you for your payment email. Then there were emails from the housekeeping group of ‘HLF’. Some of the guys probably worked both places. The housekeeping service had cleaned out the basement and thrown away most of the shit down there.
“I had thrown away a lot of the shit before I called them. That particular shit I wanted to be sure was gone and gone forever. I remembered the feel and smell of burning flesh. I still felt bad for having done that but it saved the little girl. So fuck em’ I did what I had to do ,and I would do it again in a second.
Suddenly I wondered if the controllers on the farm were recording my thoughts, just as they recorded the background images from a predator drone that were never used. They were just there and of no consequence.
The personal email stopped a couple of days after the shooting. I continued to get email but it was from businesses or people who didn’t really know me. One of them made me laugh like hell. The stupid TV show about me was nominated for an Emmy. God the shit that passed for entertainment was amazing.
The guys at the farm had meticulously copied the scars from my old body to the new one. I wondered what they would think, if I showed up at the Emmy show with a backless and almost topless dress. I looked like a patchwork quilt.”
Mike sent me an email before my shooting made the news in Boston I guess. His email asked if I had seen the show and what I thought of it. It was probably a good thing I didn’t get the email at the time. My opinion hadn’t changed, but at that moment I was a lot more forgiving of my old life. It didn’t look all that bad from where I sat at the moment.
Did I want to kill the bitch ‘what kilt me’? You bet your ass I did. I wasn’t sure if that were possible, since no one would tell me what was going on in my old life. Now I was home and could find out for myself. I expected Jen would be dying to tell me the fate of Rosanda the nanny. I had no doubt at all that she either did it or arranged it. It was the only thing I was involved in actively at the time. I suppose it was possible some old enemy came back to clean up a loose end, but why bother. No my money was on the nanny.
I hadn’t been sitting around dreaming of a long agonizing death for her, but that didn’t seem like a bad idea at all. Too bad it was impossible to find thumbscrews and racks these days. Real craftsmen like that just didn’t exist any more. I doubted I could find four men with horse who even knew how to draw and quarter her. Ah well, I had to stop my fantasizing, since I heard Jennifer at the back door.