THE SHIPMATE

This sci.fi story is a bit long and has been reduced.

I had retired from service with the Space Navy after a remarkable career, I was offered employment by various space agencies. When I was offered this post I readily accepted.The long periods of isolation in space can have strange effects on the mind, and sometimes cause hallucinations and psychosis endangering the safety of the ship. My employers in their wisdom of a million years or so of space travel engaged a female android to be my companion.

I marvelled at the grace and beauty of this creature presenting a height of a little more than five feet and a comely hourglass figure. The personality of this creature so closely resembled an organic woman I would defy anyone to detect any slight hint of her true nature. After a few days of our acquaintance and conversations of a wide range of subjects she began to demonstrate titillating mannerisms which could only be interpreted as seductive. I recalled the remarks of the agent. “This artificial lady has all the qualities you could desire in a true woman ”. I soon found out that he was correct. I had a companion which had been provided with the skills of a courtesan, which I was not loth to use.

When the time came for my contract to expire I was asked how I would like to be paid. I had already made up my mind and ventured a bold request for the spaceship . The diminutive bald headed agent evinced what could have been humour in the twitch of its bland facial features, “ I can see no reason why you should not have the vessel which is only one of a fleet obtained by replicator” . There was a pause as he communicated telepathically with his employers and said, “Your services are worth more. We insist you also accept some gold together with an amount of money which your infantile culture still uses, and you can have the android”.

The trip back to earth was uneventful. I put the ship cloaked in the safe stationary orbit. A luxurious apartment was rented on a six months lease in a pleasant suburb of the capital. I had contemplated the proper furnishing of the flat, and had a brilliant idea. Why not get Alice, the female android I had so named to make the choices. When she was acquainted with the idea she made a quick appraisal of the fashions of the day and lost no time equipping her wardrobe, following which she quickly made a selection of furnishings. Her choices were excellent so we settled down in comfort. I decided to leave the ship it aloft for the time being, and so it was sent on automatic to stay above cloaked and undetectable to radar.

We began to settle down in the traditional way of a married couple and entertained some of my army colleagues who were also retired. Visits to the casino always produced positive results, nothing outrageous but satisfying, It was in these forays that I saw the extraordinary capacity of the android mind, she was fluent in every foreign language we encountered and there was quite a number in this colourful community of wealth. When I remarked on this she shrugged, and said “What do you expect I am an android with exceptional abilities, some of which I hope you will never need to see. “

I was irritated, it was the first time she had referred to herself as an artificial construct, and said “Can you give me some examples just to satisfy my curiosity?” She replied with supercilious sniff , ”Martial arts” she said, “as I think you call them”. She then smirked, and gave my right ear a painful twist saying, “You take a great risk when you spank me, but don’t worry I am programmed to love you and I really do”.

The years sped by, and I began to show signs of aging. The waistline had dropped and my hair was greying. She never changed of course, and was the envy of all our women friends. As they produced children a sinister effect began to show on Alice. She became wistful and talked about how nice it would be if we could have had a family. It came to a head when she started to develop signs of pregnancy, complete with morning sickness. I was very worried, and dared not confuse her by denying. I suggested we return to her home planet for a check up to which she readily agreed . The craft descended quietly when summoned, decloaked and we entered to lift off immediately.

When we arrived there was a small group to welcome us, but without any warning Alice was rendered unconscious and removed. I received a telepathic explanation, ”We were aware of the change, and if you had not acted we would have had to”. 
 ‘What will happen to her?’ I said. “The brain will have to be wiped clean, and completely reprogrammed. She can be returned to you if you wish but there will be no memory of you. She was not designed to be part of a human community“. Aghast, I let them escort me to the area for human visitors. I had a visitor in the morning. He introduced himself and said, ”We thought you might like some company. Some are third generations here in this small colony, come and meet some of my friends”.

After formal introductions were made I was a trifle embarrassed as they knew of my relationship with the android, until they voiced “You are not alone in your experience with an android. It is a normal practice in this colony where women are scarce ”. I was relieved by their remarks and began to describe my spacecraft .When it was announced, “We want you to meet someone”. As if on cue the door opened and a young woman stepped inside. She had a cheeky grin and smiled saying, “Surprise, Surprise”. She was the double of my android, my knees buckled and my friends quickly put a chair behind me . The apparition gasped and said, ”Oh , I hope he is not going to have a heart attack. He looks a bit pale.” I replied, ‘I am certainly not having a heart attack. You are a bit of a shock’. I stood up and smiled saying, ‘I am very pleased to meet you’. She extended her hand, which I held longer than necessary. My host said, “We must have another round of drinks”. She giggled and handed me a glass of whisky with some ice and said, “ I am very sorry, I did not mean to hurt you. Is the likeness so great ?” ‘You might say that, the difference is only in the hair and colouring. Alice is a classical brunette, the hair dark short and curly. Yours is a beautiful red and long, and the eyes such a bright blue’. At which she batted her long eye lashes at me and blushed slightly and said, ”It is also embarrassing for me. I am the model on which she was made, in every anatomical detail, that is apart from the colouring”. ‘Well, they failed in one aspect. She came to think she really was human and began to develop symptoms of pregnancy, which she must have picked up in conversation with women friends’. ”Why, that is terrible” she said. ‘Yes and risky too’ I added, ‘living with a psychotic android with advanced martial arts training’.

I was fortunate in the support from my new friends, who were discreet enough not to ply me with the overtures of sympathy which they wisely withheld. There were six couples and the Alice origin, whose name was Thelma. I did not see any natives, they are mysterious creatures living on a higher level of consciousness but able to step down for short periods to communicate. The toleration of the human colony was associated with opportunities for the perfection of human androids for which there is an insatiable demand.

When I announced my intention to leave, Thelma took me aside and said, “Take me with you, I want the lifestyle you enjoyed with her”. Needless to sa, the idea had crossed my mind, so I held her in my arms and kissed her. We were not allowed to depart before I was summoned for a rejuvenation. Alice came and whispered in my ear, “I can remember some things ”. There was a final message from our alien hosts, “Please visit again when you have been successful in procreating. You owe us that much”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.