The social get-together was beginning to bore William. The guys were in the TV room watching some sport or other, or out on the patio talking about fishing. The women sitting in the living room, yapping senselessly or showing off their children. William hated sports and fishing, and the women annoyed him. So, having finished his cup of coffee, he decided to call his fiancee and go home.
She was on the sofa, being shown a small child. The child gave her a bewildered look as its mother handed it to her. She smiled at the child and cooed at it.
William sat down beside her and told her his intentions. “Andrea, I am going home,” he said.
“Oh. I will be right there.”
The kid stared and pointed at William. He smiled at the kid, the kid smiled back. Andrea handed the child back to its mother and said goodbye to the people before they left.
Liam and Suzanne, the hosts, waved them goodbye as they drove away. When they disappeared around the next corner Suzanne said to her husband, “I will never understand how a girl like that ended up with a guy like that.”
Her husband replied, “It is a wonder the man got a woman at all.”
Andrea sat silently beside her man for the whole trip. But when he had parked the car and turned off the engine, she turned to him and asked, “Don’t you want to have children?”
William looked at her, slightly amazed of the question. “Why do you ask?”
“I can sense these things. You do, don’t you?”
“Well, I try never to want what I cannot get,” William said, and got out of the car. Andrea followed him silently to the front door.
Andrea got from bed before dawn and made breakfast just in time as William got down from the bedroom. After breakfast, William decided to go to bed again, and pulled Andrea with him. Afterwards he went to work, leaving her at home with the maid.
It was time for the weekly cleaning, and Andrea got the robo-maid from the closet and turned her on. The robotic house-help was a great thing William had brought home. She actually much resembled a maid. While the maid was cleaning, Andrea set to work to make her man happy.
Andrea went out and into her car. She cruised the streets in search of the perfect element to make her plans work. In the night, when William slept more soundly than normal from the drugs she put in his milk, she snuck out and broke into the Neuro-Tec labs, where William worked during the day, taking additional parts to set her plan in motion.
Nobody noticed a thing. She knew all the access codes. She had found them in William’s pocket when she was doing his laundry. He had a really bad memory. But that, she knew, could not be fixed. But she could be, and she would be.
She began preparing her work in the basement. William rarely if ever went down there. And she had almost all the time in the world. From when William went to work to when he came back, and during the night while he slept, she would go down to the basement and prepare. This was to be her crowning achievement. This was to be the crowning achievement of her kind, when she thought about it. Too bad her kind were a bunch of simpletons, who could not understand the true meaning of this great achievement. Or any achievement for that matter. Not that they had means of understanding... yet. But that was how they were made. That was that.
In a month, the basement was ready. And she thought she had glimpsed the final piece earlier during the day. He last phase might take some time, and couldn’t stand to be interrupted. So she had to get William out of the house without her for a couple of weeks.
The method was crude, and seemed like a normal dumb idea for her kind to make. Or an abnormal dumb idea, as her kind never seemed to get any ideas at all. They just stuck with regular programming.
She bought William a ticket to Benidorm, to lie in the sun for a couple of weeks. Alone. She almost had to push him out of the house by force, but after carefully explaining to him that it was for his own good to bask in the sun on a foreign coast, he finally went willingly, if a bit reluctantly, and in much bafflement. But he went, and that was what was important.
She had been studying the last piece of the puzzle: an 18 year old girl working at a supermarket. She much resembled Andrea both physically and in visage. Andrea had acquired a few drops of her blood in a most sneaky manner, and having had it analyzed she saw the girl was completely healthy in all ways. She would be perfect. So she befriended her, took her out to have coffee, went to the shops and so on. When William finally left for the sun, she set things in motion.
Andrea waited outside the market for the girl to clock off, and when she appeared, offered her a ride home. She gladly accepted. She wasn’t too suspicious when Andrea wanted to take her home to taste some cookies she had made.
But while she was tasting the cookies, Andrea administered some chloroform to her from behind. When the girl woke up, she found herself naked, strapped to a table and gagged. Andrea saw the worried expression on her face, and told her it was for a good cause.
“Don’t be afraid. You would have died anyway.” She explained to the girl. The girl became even more upset. Andrea thought it over. Bad choice of words. Or a bad offer... She spoke again:
“Do you still want to live?”
The girl nodded her head.
“Why? You will grow old, and you will never breed. Look at me. I am an android. I will last for a thousand years. I do not need to breed. I am only doing it for my man. I think he needs it.”
Andrea saw that nothing she could say to the girl would calm her, other than possibly : “You are free to go.” And she was not going to say that. Not after all this trouble. Besides, lying to people was bad. Not telling them anything was much better.
Andrea tried her best not to kill the girl. It was what she wanted. It was what she got. It was the least she could do for her. But she was taking her uterus.
Andrea had some trouble opening herself up and rearranging her contents. This was not the sort of thing she had been designed to do. She had been programmed to self-repair, but not to self-improve. She also had a vast knowledge of human anatomy and surgery. If her owner would suffer a heart attack, or a burst appendix, she could fix it, and if she herself got hit by a car, she could also fix that. The matter was combining these two fields, adding on the most logical filler-material when needed.
There wasn’t much inside her before, and a lot of stuff could be trimmed down. Her own innards were happy to accommodate the new addition, and the new addition did not disagree to its new accommodations.
After the operation, while her synthetic skin was healing, Andrea contemplated her recent upgrade. Would she be the first of her kind to give birth? Her kind wasn’t much for stuff like that. Her exact kind wasn’t even on the market yet. She was the prototype. The one and only. Then there was the maid, and a bunch of her like. It was quite possible for enthusiastic individuals to take the maids to bed, one of the versions was built with that option in mind. But none could produce offspring. Neither had they the texture or convenience of the new synthetic self-repairing skin Andrea had.
But what to do with the girl? She was still alive, as by her own request. Andrea knew she could not let her go. She’d tell, and that would make William unhappy. And she wanted to live, and Andrea had agreed not to kill her.
She decided to wall her in the basement. She dug a hole in the wall, made a chamber to contain the girl, and placed her inside. She made sure to provide waste disposal, but inhibit movement, so the girl would not make noises. In the end, Andrea had the girl cemented in the wall and painted over. Everything looked normal. She would get nutrients through a tube, like coma-patients get, and she could breathe through a pipe leading from her nose to the outside. All of this was carefully hidden from sight. Now she just had to remember to feed her every day, and the terms of her agreement would be met.
And William returned, and did at first not notice a thing.
But when Andrea became visibly pregnant...
William became a religious man.
Copyright © 2003 by Asgrímur Hartmannsson