Joy was gone and I was a little shell shocked. What just happened? Did we...?
Yes. We did.
And I was on cloud nine. I had suspected that Joy was attracted to me, as I was to her, but it was hard to tell. Well, I guess there was no question now.
Where do we go from here?
Maia walked into the room. Oh, shit. How do I explain this?
"Hi yourself. Did you have a good... recharge?"
"Yes, it was satisfactory. I am good to go, as you say, for a few days again. Ooh, you had Chinese tonight? I know that's one of your favorites."
"Yes, Joy brought it over."
"Joy? Oh, that's nice. I know you were concerned she had not been over lately."
"Yeah, she stopped in. Apparently her and Ian are on the outs. Listen, Maia, we need to talk about this. Something happened with Joy, and I'm... not sure how to..."
"I hope everything is okay," she replied, sitting on the couch next to me.
"Well, everything is okay, but... something happened with Joy and I. You know how we've talked in the past about, you know, intimacy and whatnot? And you've noticed that I have... something... going on with Joy, feelings for her on a certain level?"
"Well, apparently she has some feelings or... something... herself. We were together, tonight. If you catch my meaning."
"I see. Yes, I believe I do catch your meaning. I am happy for you. I know that Joy is important to you."
"How do you feel about that?"
"Well, I don't feel anything, per se. But I'm happy your emotional needs are being met."
Did I sense a certain... standoffishness to her demeanor?
"It's okay to have feelings. Maia, I don't accept that you're just a machine with no ability to feel. I'm not sure where to go with this, but... I want to know how you feel, if you can share that."
"Do you have feelings for me?"
That threw me. Do I?
"Yes, Maia. I think I do. To start off with you were a companion... an accessory, as bad as that sounds, but a machine. I had no idea how and if I could have feelings for you. Just as I'm sure the first time you powered up I was a complete stranger to you. But now, after all these months, we have... something. But I don't know what it is. Do you?"
"I am a companion, but I have no feelings. I am, as you've said before, a toaster. A toaster that has the ability to fuck, conveniently."
I leaned back a little. Where was this going? Maia showed no signs of being angry, but there was a tightness. And if ever I doubted she had feelings, I didn't any more. This was a real woman who had just been hurt, and I was the source of that pain. I was ashamed and pissed at myself. Do our sexual needs always have to screw everything up? Or... was I mistaken? Maybe she's just asking an honest question. She's not supposed to be able to feel!
"Maia. We don't have to do that anymore. Maybe we never should have and this just doesn't work. We as humans often do things without asking ourselves if we should do them. Case in point: synths. But... I'm not saying you're a toaster. That was a bad choice of words. I do have feelings for you. And you know I've had feelings for Joy. For a while. I don't know the answers.
"It seems to me that humans may have deployed synths without thought for the consequences. By the same token, you seem to have regrets after the fact. After me. After Joy. Careening from crisis of conscience to the next. Being human seems... exhausting.
Her demeanor seemed to soften.
"If you have Joy... do you still need me?"
Oh, I feel bad for Maia!ReplyDelete
Love that your character and I are namesakes. :)ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh I never realized that! I hope that's not weird! :):)Delete
Another great installment! And being human is exhausting. ;DReplyDelete
Ooh, the plot thickens. And having feelings about your machine is perfectly normal - like wanting to bang it against the wall when it just won't listen! 😡ReplyDelete
Right? Why won't they LISTEN? :)Delete
I'm not sure I like this guy/protagonist. Why doesn't he have a name? I guess he felt guilty being with Joy. Maia is blunt but I don't think she's wrong. Didn't the protagonist use her for sex? Wasn't that the reason he got a synth? I don't suppose you can return her to the manufacturer. The protagonist is in trouble isn't he?ReplyDelete
Have a lovely day.
I'm not sure i do either. That's the thing- as I write this (espcially this one) I kind of wanted to smack this guy. And synths aren't just robots- they're actually synthetic people, but it's such a fine line. Is she a person?Delete
Oh no, there's just no coming back from calling her a toaster 😬 I just got caught up, I feel bad for Maia, but I can see why it's a quandary for the protag since the AI thing is complicated.ReplyDelete
There isn't! And it IS complicated. Like, he got her for a companion but didn't see her as a person... or didn't think it through anyway... and now he has feelings for her AND his long time love.Delete
Aw poor Maia! I feel bad for her, even though I am not sure I am mad at the guy either? Does he have a name? Can it PLEASE be Jasper, for reasons? Anyway. Like- should he have purchased a Sex Toaster™? No. But did he really think it would be this complicated? Also no. I have to assume that on some level he bought her *because* he was so sure things would never work with Joy, because of Ian, and possibly some low self esteem, so he just was lonely and sad and such. (Not me over here psychoanalyzing a fictional person bwhaha.) But it IS clear that Maia has become at least somewhat sentient, so he's gonna have to make some decisions, stat. Or, he will, in typical guy form (no offense) take Maia at her word even though he knows she has feelings and just keep doing whatever he wants because she said she was fine. That actually sounds like most realistic bwhaha. OH do we get to find out how JOY feels about Sex Toasters™?! This is quite an interesting love triangle, no questioN!ReplyDelete
Right? I'm team Maia at this point lol. But... I like Joy too in my head, and I'm not sold that he's a jerk. And good analysis! :) One of the things I'm struggling with is WHY he got a synth. I hadn't thought that through when I wrote part one, it was just an exploration of her vs Joy, essentially. And is Maia just a machine or a synthetic person?Delete
"Did you have a good... recharge?"ReplyDelete
"Careening from crisis of conscience to the next. Being human seems... exhausting."
I love her insight LOL.
Normally I would hate love triangles, but there's never been one like this before (at least that I know of). Hungry for more!
I had forgotten about your stories :DReplyDelete
He didn't think it through and now, things are getting complicated ! I'm on to the next part - "recharge" !! lol !ReplyDelete
I read your current installment yesterday. I'll be going back to read all these previous ones. 👏👏👏ReplyDelete