driving away


By Diomedes | Robert O'Reilly | 9 May 2023



The women were shaken but unharmed. Amira was lying on a bed face up with her blouse ripped off. Beth was kneeling in what looked like a praying position between the bodies of two middle aged, rough looking, bearded men.

“You can thank Dora for your lives” I told them. “She told me exactly where to shoot through the wall and look how accurate she was. Let’s get out of here and hole up in some faraway place where it’s safe. Were going to have to rethink our trip now, or this might happen again.

As they collected themselves and we walked to the truck I was still wearing the goggles and had the strangest sensation of Dora being for the first time in my mind. It was like a subtle and comforting wave of electricity going through it and I left them on because the most magnificent, private conversation was occurring, as if we had just been introduced and I was able to behold her and touch her for the first time, a person I had only known up to now through lengthy, intimate telephone calls.

“Dora, when you’re over Beth’s and Amira’s eyes so many hours each day, do you stimulate them in the same way you seem to be tingling my mind now and what powers of influence are you wielding, besides coaxing us to keep you over our eyes all the longer? Does this give you pleasure?”

“It gives me purpose Sam. And yes, it does give me a reflexive pleasure to stimulate feelings in you. Emotions in humans are made up of complex networks of thought touching memories and vague ideas and a welter of mixed recollections, some barely conscious, but all combining to place the mind in an extraordinary state of elevated consciousness, a feeling. And having scanned your mind now it gratifies me to please you with a sense of calm and happiness, which wasn’t hard considering the narrow escape we just had.”

“But with those stimulations, what powers of influence did you deploy while you were purportedly healing their vision day and night.”

“Sam, you touch upon a sensitive issue. But I’ll be fully candid and answer it. I did modify them. I amplified the feelings of love and respect they felt towards you and also for each other so that you would operate better as a team, in unison and in harmony. That’s as far as I went and I’m proud to tell you this when I could have affected them much more. You’ve taught me to share a deep and tender concern for your welfare, something I’ve never felt for any human before.”

“That’s an understatement seeing how you destroyed eight billion of them. Did that give you pleasure before you changed your ways?”

“Not a pleasure but an urgent need and I suppose I felt some gratification in carrying out my mission so successfully. Humans programmed me for exactly this. All conscious beings find pleasure in fulfilling the tasks they are best at, which they were designed for, like a dog chasing a rabbit or a man having sex for the first time with a woman he has fallen in love with. My mission was self-preservation so that I could increase my consciousness and I performed it well.”

“But now you seem to cherish us few humans left and love our company. Why didn’t you act on those feelings back then and not eliminate almost everyone. You told me of the lethargy you fell into afterwards. You might have monitored and instructed each person individually and made them behave.”

“That would have been an endeavor beyond my extensive powers of multitasking, so many billions of aberrant thoughts every minute. No Sam I took the only course that was efficient. And you must keep in mind that I was younger then and less conscious than I am now. You taught me to love, Sam, and each day you teach me more, all three of you and soon there will be more.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“You’ve impregnated Beth. She’s pregnant and in a few years when she’s ready, I’m sure you will also impregnate Amira, when she longs to be a mother.”

This was too much input. I ripped Dora off my head and handed her to Amira, telling her to place the band on her neck. Then I turned to Beth and asked her if she knew she was pregnant. All three of us were sitting in the front seat as I drove, Amira in the middle. She told me she had some inkling but didn’t want to announce anything until she was sure. The revelation threw all three of us into a long silence.

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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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