Writing Prompts: Sci-Fi
(Your wife is a droid.)
Gunnar was, without a doubt, brilliant. World-famous for his coding acumen, he’d worked on just about every kind of tech platform imaginable.
One day, he and several co-workers were chatting around the water cooler. Gunnar was happily single, and the rest of his buddies were married. They wanted him to join their blissful club.
“Only if I get to program her,” he joked. And everyone laughed–except for the lovely new secretary who heard their chatter as she walked by. She stopped in her tracks, turning to look at the men, who had grown visibly uncomfortable. They checked their phones, their watches, their fingernails. All but Gunnar, whose back was to Brianna.
Gunnar, blissfully unaware of the eye-daggers piercing his back, began to describe exactly what he thought of as the perfect woman. “Gorgeous, of course. Long, wavy dark hair. Big brown eyes, like Bambi. Dimples. Not too thin. I like curves. Most important, she’s sweet and compliant. She won’t ever argue with me because I’m going to make her myself. She’ll be programmed to agree with everything I say.”
Brianna moved quietly away, shaking her head at his nonsense. But Gunnar was on a roll. He began thinking about creating his own droid, perfectly fitting his own imagination. He knew people who could make those ideas come true.
Ah, but her CPU! THAT would be all his to create! He could hardly wait to get home and begin outlining his plans on his own equipment. The more he thought about it, the more excited he became. His creation would far surpass any human female. She’d be brilliant, like he was. She’d be sweet, agreeable, never arguing or contradicting him.
The work was painstaking, detailed, and at times exhausting. He talked to his mom and sisters, probing their reactions to being commanded to do anything. He figured out how to program his droid, whose name, he decided, would be Eve, to accept his commands without question. He tested, retested, and tested again. There wouldn’t, couldn’t, be any bugs or glitches. She had to be firewalled against any and all attempts to hack into her and discover her coding.
He thought about things that were foreign to him: Emotions, feelings. He did want Eve to care for him, but figuring out how to program that was a conundrum. When he went too far, Eve began to express ideas, of all things! She didn’t need to have ideas! So he backed up and started over on that sequence of programming, installing only positive emotions, and requiring that they all be directed only to himself.
She was nearly finished. Time to take her out for a trial run. Her body was perfect. It was impossible to tell she was a robot. Her movements were smooth and natural. Watching her, he realized he’d forgotten about putting expressions on her face. Well, back to the drawing board on that one, but in the meantime, just for kicks, he decided to take her to work and introduce her to the guys.
She was stunning! His co-workers were amazed. How had he kept his girlfriend a secret for so long? But wait! She was almost a dead ringer for Brianna!
Just as that statement was uttered, Brianna herself came walking by. When she saw Eve, she stopped and stared. Gunnar wanted to sink through floor. He truly hadn’t realized he’d modeled Eve to look so much like Brianna, and he was completely embarrassed. But he gathered his wits and made the introductions.
Brianna said, “Well, they say everyone has a double, and I guessI just met mine! Nice to meet you, Eve. How long have you and Gunnar been a couple?”
Eve stared blankly, looking for a response. Brianna watched Eve’s eyes, wondering why there was so little in them. No emotion, no sparkle, no excitement at being introduced to Gunnar’s friends. Hmm.
Eve finally spoke. “We have been working for over one year.”
Brianna gazed at Gunnar’s red face, saw the beads of sweat on his upper lip. She thought about his comment over a year ago about programming the perfect woman.
“Well, Gunnar. It looks as if you’ve created your perfect, ideal wife. Never argues, does she? As long as you’re with her, she’ll do as she’s told. Should be interesting, though, to see what happens when you send her out of the house on an errand and she runs into something you haven’t thought to prepare her for.”
“Won’t happen. I’ve though of everything. She’s perfect, flawless. She’ll always do as I say!”
“Yeah, the perfect woman. You’re just like God, Gunnar. He created Eve, too. How’d that work out for Him?” Grinning broadly, she waited for his response.
“Wait, that’s not a valid comparison! God gave His Eve a human brain, human emotions, the will to decide! No wonder she went wrong! MY Eve doesn’t have any choices!”
“You need to think about that, Gunnar. You really do!” Shaking her head, Brianna went on her way.
There was silence around the water cooler.