Juliet with child

A mother's love

By Diomedes | Robert O'Reilly | 19 Jan 2024




We arrived back in Phoenix on the second day. We could have pulled in the night before but we had a delicate issue to resolve with Sarah and wanted many hours for talks. In fact we stayed up half the night discussing what arguments would best win her back. We found her on a bench in the open air, as if enjoying the sunshine, and most surprisingly, alone. There was no flock of droids standing by waiting to administer to her every wish. As our little group of five approached she leapt from her seat and gave me the tightest hug. Our battle was won before we had to speak a single word. Strange it is that you imagine a very difficult struggle ahead, a castle to batter down, and when you approach its gates they fly open and you are received inside with embraces. This once again hardened my conviction as to the unfathomable circuitry and unpredictability of the human mind. But I still returned her gesture with a warm kiss. I’d learned long ago from simple sense and not from any books: take whatever good falls your way with open arms.

Sarah quickly explained her change of heart and her joy at our return:

“I’m so happy you’ve come back for me. I’ve been sitting here for days now just waiting and wishing for it.”

The day was a hot one and she wearing green jogging shorts, a tank top with the Arizona State logo on it and a bandana tied around her forehead. She looked the perfect college girl. But one other thing stood out. She had a white strip of cloth, obviously a dressing to some injury, three inches wide and slightly above the knee of her left leg.

She noticed that we all stared at it. “Yes, I’ve been in a fight. But it’s only a flesh wound and already getting better. I can walk just fine. Let’s go to the cafeteria out of the sun. I’ll tell you the whole story.”

We followed her there but one other thing was very out of place as we proceeded. There were no droids anywhere to be seen, inside or out, while everything else about the campus seemed to be exactly as we left it.

“I know what’s on your mind,” she began, addressing the question even before we posed it, “the droids have all died. There was nothing I could do about it. I’ve had a visitor, one of Dora’s robots, the one Hannah had programmed, Elizabeth. She arrived one evening and entered this building and caught us by surprise. She had a gun at her side but hesitated, wondering why the crowd of droids around me were ministering to all my desires. This gave me the few seconds to send all of them against her in a rush. She began firing but I had time to escape, except one of the bullets winged my leg.”

“I made my way to a car and then to town, where I spent the next three days in hiding and taking care of my wound. When I returned I found all the droids dead or almost dead. She had removed vital components from the hub that instructed them in maintaining themselves. They died of thirst and starvation, wandering aimlessly without a brain until they keeled over, most of them in their dormitory. There was nothing I could do and she was gone, heading west I’m guessing, probably to Japan.”

This explained a few things, Sarah’s contrition for one, with the loss of her minions, the realization of how weak they were and how vulnerable she was with her bullet wound and that we were her only true company. Her pride, or megalomania, must have suffered a severe blow but she took it in stride and showed she was truly delighted to be a part of our group again, engaging each of us one on one in intimate conversation.

Ted and I surmised that Dora must now be on some campus near the East coast and had sent her lackey on business to the others in the far East with orders to return with reinforcements. This was all conjecture but seemed probable and it gave us time. In three days we were nestled again in our hidden valley in Oregon, comfortably home, enjoying overflowing meals with the fall harvest and celebrating the birth of Juliet’s child, a boy.

We removed her embryonic sac and its cover while the two mammary glands we had implanted took over. She suckled her babe with ecstatic joy, her own tiny, beating heart and breathing lungs so close to the infant’s, complementing the whole, unified experience immensely. It was a sight to behold as she sat in a rocking chair as we peeked in from a doorway we dare not enter, not to interrupt the first, pure symbiosis between an automaton and its child.

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B.A. in Latin and Greek from U.C. Berkley. Writer, Blogger and retired Electrician.

Robert O'Reilly
Robert O'Reilly

I am educated in the Western Classical Tradition, B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Latin and Greek, English major, one year at U. of Toronto, studied under Alain Renoir and Northrop Frye, read most classics full time for many years after university in French, English, Latin and Greek to the modern day. I am interested in the near future of technology, what changes it imposes upon our heritage and character as humans. Short stories and Essays are my medium.

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