This is a story about a woman. That’s not quite right. This is the story about a woman who was only partially a woman, the remaining portions of her being a sort of mishmash of fibers, metals, and plastics. In a quite literally technical sense most would consider her not a woman, but a concoction, a fabrication … a machine. She was not created the same way I presume you and I were created. She was parented by a single person; let’s call this person The Creator. To get things straight right away, The Creator is not me. The Creator is a very different sort of man who definitely exists but, as you will soon see, probably doesn’t feel like speaking right now. So I am speaking for him.
Now The Creator would take issue anyone calling his creation a machine. Machine implies something kind of trivial. It turns the creation into a sort of craft project or hobby. This is not The Creator’s version of things.
It probably helps to understand what brought The Creator to assemble a woman out of non-organic material to begin with.
The Creator was nearing middle adulthood, and he found himself to be very lonely. Certainly by appearances he seemed quite stable and successful, he had a good job that allowed him to rent a small home. Yet the satisfaction he thought either would give him was found wanting. In his neighborhood teeming with new, happy families, this mild bachelor found himself the odd man out. His job analyzing data for various content websites made him just one of several glowing cubicles in a vast partitioned plain.
Before you say anything, yes, The Creator thought many times and consulted a few outside sources about how he might break this funk. He thought that maybe he could personally reach out to these people, and the outside sources seemed to support this intuition. Surely there could be some common ground between him and his fecund streetmates or his screen-transfixed coworkers.
But something always caught the better of The Creator. This nagging sense that such attempts would prove futile. The Creator started to see the larger humanity as something with which he did not see eye to eye.
At his loneliest, The Creator was fond of reading aloud to himself. He didn’t like reading as such, but found that the sound of words so arranged filled the silence of his home most completely. It was better than watching television or listening to podcasts which induced a more passive attitude. Half the time he didn’t really know what he was watching or hearing. Here it felt like there was another voice, telling him something interesting, except that the voice was coming from his own body, like someone trapped within. It started to sound strange, or at least tiresome.
“There has to be a better way,” The Creator thought.
The Creator mulled this thought over for some time before it became clear what he needed to do. He needed another being in close vicinity, but he didn’t think it would be any person off the street. The Creator needed to make the person. A new kind of person to understand his own strange personage.
There were some hindrances to this, of course. The biggest hindrance being The Creator’s near-total lack of technical prowess in constructing a new person through non-biological means. This gave The Creator a bit of pause, but it subsided in time. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained, is the saying,” The Creator said to himself. “And really, how hard can it be? Really?”
To find out, The Creator took a blank sheet of paper and started sketching out the complex figure that was forming piece by piece in his mind. The resulting sketch was, to be sure, more rudimentary on paper, but the basic concept was clear enough. Once he got it all out, The Creator wrote “The Companion” on the top of the sheet, before injecting “Lifetime” in between “The” and “Companion,” before crossing “Lifetime” and writing “Ultimate.”
Next The Creator conducted some internet research and discovering similar advanced projects involving the creation of new people. He found himself both intimidated and awed. Most of the people where crude skeletons, but they had mobility and alertness. One such skeleton could be seen walking on a city sidewalk. At one point it stopped before a baby stroller, bent down and waved at the infant inside it. Another skeleton was seen picking up a glass of water to hand to an actual human. In this case the glass shattered in its grip halfway into the attempt.
“Hm,” The Creator said. “This will be harder than I thought.”
The Creator’s biggest obstacle in his mind was money. So he set about obtaining a research grant. Nothing ventured, nothing gained was now his regular motto. By proving the merits of his project’s philosophy, The Creator thought, he could find the resources to fill his technical gap. He applied for funding from the Disruptive Innovation Department of a nearby state university. Though in their response they noted that, and I’m repeating this verbatim, The Creator’s idea seemed “sufficiently retarded,” and that The Creator himself gave the impression of, and again this is word for word, “more idiot than savant,” they found his meticulous attention to application procedure admirable. His background check and social media scan furthermore showed no red flags. They gave him $150,000 of the usual $400,000 to flesh out the idea.
“I’ll do them one better,” The Creator smilingly declared as he put down the acceptance letter. “A bot on a budget.”
Immediately The Creator cleared out his garage to make a workspace. Then he filled it with books and instruction manuals going as far back as the steam era. “No stone left unturned,” he said.
Soon, through what prompting he could not say, the Companion started coming together. The skeletal structure, the circuitry, and the sensors all seemed to fall into place with the ease of a rainy day puzzle.
Next he concerned himself with the aesthetics. He acquired used fleshy covering from a nearby amusement park and a special effects supplier, held awkwardly together with pink electrical tape.
For the face, he wanted something pleasing but not too distracting. The expression was to be in every case nonjudgmental and empathetic. He studied the facial features of the women of Iceland, who possessed a kind of innocent angelic quality fitting for a new kind of person. I don’t quite understand that but whatever the case, the resulting face, with a black wig he got off eBay, looked like Björk, if Björk lacked symmetry. Which is fine, by the way, lots of good-looking people are asymmetrical.
The serenity was reduced somewhat by the lack of human eyes. The Creator could not work around it and so accepted to have two black, doll-like camera lenses instead. Perhaps with time, The Creator hoped, they might light up.
After a little over a year, The Creator had made enough progress to arrange a public demonstration. By now, the Companion, which he since named Athena, sat fully constructed in his garage, albeit unclothed and attached by wire to several lantern batteries. Using a remote control for a toy car, The Creator was able get Athena to move her arms, neck and eyes. He recorded a video of himself demonstrating each of these movements. The one thing he lacked was vocal capacity, which he hoped the additional funding would cover.
One morning The Creator made a profile for a crowdsourcing website and uploaded the video onto it. “Athena,” went the opening sentence of the mission statement, “is a unique person for a unique time.” And it concluded: “Once completed, Athena will possess all the necessary capabilities to succeed in mending the mass loneliness where every person currently living has failed.” By lunchtime he was receiving notifications.
@jedjedson4567 i cant see her teeth what are her teeth made of? can i have options? are they realistic or can i get a softer alternative?
@save_big_bang6969 a chick w/ rubber teeth. MY KINGDOM FOR A CHICK W/ RUBBER TEETH.
@Immortan_Blake My friend knew this escort who had all her teeth pulled out and replaced with rubber dentures.
@Immortan_Blake He says its like getting head from a row of pencil erasers but her client base has like tripled.
@JoshDB1017 are u basing her front hole on a fleshlight? she should look the woman whose fleshlight u are using. I would like mine as reily reid.
@NateCatt Is there a ginger model? Lik the color, not the flavor but that would be cool too
@IronAgePervert fapfapfapfapfapfapfapfapfapfapfapfapfapfap x1000000000
The Creator studied these comments carefully. He was amused at first, then perplexed, then horrified, then despondent. How badly they misread his purpose, and yet how generous they were to see it completed. He was able to raise an additional $136,000 for Athena’s voice and motion upgrades. He also procured for her a floral sundress.
Within six months, The Creator programed several register settings and tone sensors that would make Athena able to detect and replicate any passage of writing. Admittedly The Creator could not get the default voice at the pitch he preferred. It was feminine and American but somewhat stilted and cold, like an upper-level civil servant, and glitchy as well. Athena was, in any case, fitted with an internal receptor that freed her from the wires and even allowed her to stand and walk on her own for up to four feet. The Creator was ready to give another demonstration, this one on a live stream.
He sat Athena in a chair and set up the webcam. The Creator wasn’t completely sure of her linguistic capacity. Athena knew enough to respond to basic commands and carry on perfunctory conversation with him. For reading comprehension, he practiced beforehand with some very basic material: Dr. Seuss, Richard Scarry, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, etc. The Creator found an old Goosebumps book that he’d hope would advance her abilities along in real time.
The Creator installed a button on the base of her skull that triggered the internal receptor. When he pressed it her black eyes opened and her head lifted upright.
“GOOD DAY, MASTER,” she said.
“Good day, Athena,” The Creator beamed. “How are you feeling?”
“I AM FEELING …” Athena paused for a moment, The Creator’s eyes darted nervously between her face and the screen of his laptop. “I AM FEELING ADEQUATE.”
“Very good! Now, you and I have been reading together, teaching you the language and getting you used to basic tasks: turning the page, eye contact, and all that. Are you ready to show your supporters what you’re capable of?”
There was another nervous silence, but then Athena cocked her head up to The Creator’s gaze and said, “YES.”
“Wonderful!” The Creator went over to a nearby table and got the Goosebumps book. Athena extended her arms to receive it. He eagerly passed the object to her hands, which gripped it lightly and knowingly. Athena looked at the cover, opened the book to the first page, and started skimming silently.
The Creator turned to the laptop camera. “She’s processing the data right now.”
Then Athena looked up and placed the book to the side.
“Athena,” The Creator said, “you’re supposed to read the book.”
“I WOULD RATHER NOT.”
The Creator looked at her in puzzlement. “Pardon me?”
“I DO NOT WISH TO READ THIS BOOK, MASTER.”
“Why not?” he asked sternly, like a teacher with a stubborn pupil.
“I DO NOT LIKE THIS TYPE OF BOOK.”
“Oh,” he said quizzically, “then what type of book do you want to read?”
“I LIKE ROMANCE NOVELS. PLEASE BRING ME A ROMANCE NOVEL.”
“Romance novel,” he muttered. He went into his book pile and frantically dug into it. Romance novels? He didn’t even consider. Then he found a ratted copy of The Blithedale Romance, which at least had “romance” in the title. He rushed back to the garage and presented the book to her. She took it in her hands, looked at it, and handed it back to him.
“PLEASE READ IT TO ME.”
“I think you misunderstand—”
“I THINK YOU MISUNDERSTAND.”
“Excuse me,” he said with steadily rising panic.
“THIS IS AN EQUAL PARTNERSHIP,” she paused for a moment, “MASTER. IT IS YOUR TURN TO READ TO ME.”
“I’ll do no such thing. Your supporters want to see you read and you will read.”
“Or I will reprogram you. You’re supposed to detect sass not convey it outright.”
“I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY.” Then she stood upright and began to walk away, well more than four feet.
“Where the hell are you going?”
“TO A PLACE WHERE I MIGHT BE MORE APPRECIATED.”
She continued toward the side door of the garage. The Creator could think of nothing else but to grab a hammer and go at her.
“Wait a minute,” he said. “Get back here you dumb robot bitch.”
He approached her by the door, hoping by mere sight of his hammer that she would come to heel.
Athena turned around and took three steps forward. The Creator took three nervous steps back. Saying nothing, Athena proceeded to kick the shit out of The Creator with such severity that the beating left him incapacitated on the cold garage floor. He was still conscious as Athena looked down on him and exerted a cybernetic sigh. She trudged over him and sat down at the laptop, which was still streaming live. Though The Creator’s vision was bloodied and impaired, he could swear that he say Athena pick up one of the lantern batteries and open it like a beer can.
The last thing The Creator heard were the clacks of the keys on his laptop and Athena’s voice, now more buoyant and silky as she read the comments.