February 13, 2022•1,361 words
“Does not know?" Steven said under his breath. The magnitude of the stupidity of the idea was melting Steven's brain. Who would make a multi-million dollar robot in the likeness of someone and not tell them. It seemed like the perfect recipe for a lawsuit. But, considering the last three weeks, Steven was not sure if Matthew and his team understood what the law was, or people for that matter.
"She really does not know?" Steven said, this time in a normal voice.
"No." Matt said continuing in a hushed voice.
With a sudden need to get all of Matthew's cards on the table, Steven headed right for the doppelganger.
"Steven, stop. Don't do this." Matthew pleaded.
Steven pushed his way right between two suites that were analyzing the topic of the high powered meeting they had just gotten out of. He offered no apology as both men had to step back to not get caught up in his focused stride. The woman had turned her back while Matthew had tried to pull him away. She was talking to another suite. Steven could hear Matthew plead one more time to not do this.
As Steven closed the gap between him and the body he knew so intimately. He felt he was losing touch with reality. His hands had been on the nape of that neck. He had drawn a galaxy between the shoulder that were currently covered by a white satin business blouse. He had run his hands through the burette hair that fell across the shoulders. He had nuzzled the ear lobe that currently suspended ear rings made of four white squares that hung from each other. He had wrapped his legs around the legs that were half hidden by a form fitting black pencil skirt.
Steven stepped right next to the woman and man as they cut their conversation short to look at him. "Pardon me." Steven butted into the paused conversation. As the voice of the man cut short, Steven thought it sounded familiar. "I wanted to introduce myself. I am Steven St. George." He locked eyes with Sam's template. If they were standing together Steven would not have known who was the robot and who was the human. Steven offered his hand and she tentatively took it. Breaking the gaze to look at the man next to her questioningly.
"Can we help you with something?" the man in the suit asked. Suddenly, the voice clicked and Steven felt his anger flair like the flash from an atomic bomb.
"Pardon me one moment." Steven said as he let the woman's hand drop. With a swift turn to his left, Steven locked his fist in a tight ball, tucking his thumb in, he drove his first right into the nose of the man in the suit. Steven continued to pushed his fist long after he had made contact with the nose. He let the frustration of the last three weeks poor out of his punch. The world seemed to go into slow motion as Steven watched the man's face bounce away from the impact. His eyes had a blank stare as the impact had already knocked him unconscious. The impact had picked the man up off the ground and his body began to rotate as it fell towards the floor. The limp body made a couple of small bounces before resting. "Richard, it is finally nice to meet you in person." Steven said as blood began to run out of Richard's nose.
Steven turned back to face the woman. "I apologize. We were not formally introduced. What was your name?" Her mouth opened trying to find words, Matthew butts in, "Steven this is Jaqueline our head of National sales. Jaqueline, I see you met Steven and yes, Steven randomly punches people unconscious; it is a thing he does." Jaqueline looks from Matthew to Steven and back to Matthew to see if he is joking. "He is joking." Steven says. "Richard had that coming, and the poor guy took it for his whole team." Steven said while glaring at Matthew. The rest of the suites had gathered around Richard and where helping him up.
"So, tell me Jaqueline, how is the marketing going for the sex robot." Steven took a guess at what the meeting was about. Jaqueline looked at Matthew. "Steven, let's finish our conversation somewhere else."
"No. I am right in the middle of this now. I want to know everything." Steven said in his most authoritative voice. The suits helping Richard limp off to find some ice for his face that was quickly swelling up, stopped and looked back.
"Um." Jaqueline stammered. "We are in the early stages of developing the market plan for a new human companion. We are years out. We are currently deciding what the market analyses will look like for when we have a working prototype."
"Oh, your prototype works." Steven injected.
"Excuse me?' Jaqueline said.
"Let me show you." Steven said and pulled out his phone. "Please don't." Matthew sounded more defeated than Steven had ever heard. Steven opened up his messaging app on his phone and clicked on Sam's history. "Here is a message stream I have had with your Prototype." Steven said as he handed her his phone.
"So what. You have been chatting with the chat bot. It is only one of the companion's features." Jaqueline started to smile as she started to get the feel of depth of the relationship as she scanned the texts. "Wow, you and the bot were getting personal…" Jaqueline abruptly stopped and her face went to confusion and then to anger." What the fuck is this?" Jaqueline had found a picture that Sam had texted Steven of them riding in the helicopter to the dance. In the picture Sam's hair is still up and she is leaning in to Steven so she can frame both of their faces in the picture, there was just enough light to see Big Ben out the window below the aircraft. There were no differences between Sam and Jaqueline.
"That is your prototype." Steven pushed "Alive in the flesh, or plastic. What ever she is made of." Jaqueline looked to Matthew who had gone white.
"Let's have a seat in the conference room." Matthew signed.
"No, just tell me that this is a fake and that this guy is crazy." Jaqueline demanded. Matthew's pause was too long. "You are shitting me. Wow." Steven could see the whole of it become clear to the poor woman and she continued. "You created a robot of me and put it out in the real world. This guy interacted with it. Even fell in love with it. Wait, he called it a sex robot. These 'human companions' are fuckable?" She asked, looking at Matthew. "When were you going to tell me this?" She demanded before he could answer her first question. Steven was starting to enjoy himself as he watched Sam badger Matthew. She continued "I have so many questions, but the first I want is why."
"I can't answer that." Matthew tried to defer the answer.
"You better answer that.' She said stepping closer to Matthew.
"Looks like you better give Sam an answer." Steven cajoled.
"My name is Jaqueline. Sam is the robot. If you ever mess it up again, you will be looking for ice with Richard." Another level of awareness flashed in Jaqueline's eyes. "Richard is head of product development. He knew about this too."
Steven was amazed at how similar Sam and Jaqueline behaved. It crossed Steven's mind that Jaqueline was a robot too and just did not know it. Sam past the Turing test so there was no way for Steven to know if she was a robot by asking her. But, he never tried to get Sam to tell if she was a robot.
"Jaqueline, I have gotten to know Sam on an intimate level and never once did she consider herself a robot. Are you a robot?" Steven questioned.
"No, I am not a robot." Jaqueline snapped back. Steven looked to Matthew.
"No she is not a robot." Matthew sighed.
"Prove it." Steven demanded.