Theth – The Android Series

Another old entry from my defunct blog I found in my Jedi archives! And the same as with the fictitious “computer series“, Theth has never mentioned anywhere that the following collages are part of any set of images, much less that the shrunken men in them are bots. It just so happens that my mind classifies them that way, but either way they are wonderful images.

* * *

mpbed_a-theth by Theth.
“mpbed_a” by Theth

Of all the images I have added to my collection, Theth has created over a couple of dozen, and I can see a story behind every single one of them. The tale behind the image above came to me partly because of Jar Jar Binks.

Unlike what seems like the majority of Star Wars fans, I love Jar Jar. I was never one of those people that claimed George Lucas had “raped their childhood” with the way A Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones developed the story of the earlier films. There are other things in life I choose to be upset about.

Before APM was released, I did my fair share of Star Wars-related shopping, and one item I had to have was this:

Muy muy, I like it!
Muy muy, I like it!

He measures nearly twenty-four inches in length, says a great number of phrases when I squeeze his hand, and vibrates to wake me up. Or used to, before I got tired of being snatched from slumber thinking a wrestling raccoon had slipped between my sheets. The most important thing is that it makes me smile.

Theth’s image made me think of a woman and the life she shares with her little toy robot. It inspired a poll about robots at GDC, and the following scene.

Little One

Amanda woke up at once, and the dim light in the room told her it would still be another hour before she would hear music coming from her alarm clock. Her cheek rubbed the pillowcase’s soft fabric as she cast her gaze on the small shape that lay next to her. Wrapped in her arms and legs, he looked asleep, but was not. Robots did not sleep.

She stared at his back, and the way it rose and sank in a way that emulated slow human breathing. She knew he would stay in that exact position until she moved him, and would continue to act as though he slumbered until the alarm clock went off. She had programmed him that way seven years ago.

Pleasure models could do almost anything these days. Hers was not one of the latest versions, yet she could have fixed it so he would wake her up; but after the first few mornings of his inhuman-yet-human hands pressing on her shoulder and his lifeless voice whispering in her ear, she had gone back to her clock radio, which didn’t begin to pretend to behave as a human.

Is this how it feels to go insane? she wondered. To know that I’m functioning at a normal capacity, and then it all snaps into disarray when I start thinking about him? It. IT! Dammit. There I go again. Seven years with no repairs, not even one maintenance check, no oil changes for you, she though. No wonder you are malfunctioning. But I’m “malfunctioning” too. Who’s gonna fix me?

kk-lax02a by Theth
“kk-lax02a” by Theth

Little One had always malfunctioned, though. Pleasure models were never supposed to ask “why” or its derivative questions, neither as factory preset, nor after customizing downloads. Only Logic models could do that, and Amanda could have never afforded one of those, but when she brought Little One from the store and began to dress him, he looked at her with those deep dark eyes, and asked her why.

“Why are you dressing me?” he had asked. She had been squatting like a mother tending to her child when he spoke, and the shock caused her to fall backwards. She could have sworn she heard him giggle but when she straightened her body and looked at him, his face was calm. Then he started dressing himself.

Itself.

All those years ago Amanda had thought of taking him back to the store to get a replacement, as she was sure they had given her a Logic model by mistake, but in the end she kept him, and she always thought her feeling of guilt over keeping something she had not paid for prevented her from having his processor checked.

His brain, as she helplessly thought of it. His behavior had been startling since the beginning, and she had always thought she should feel more alarm than she did. She had tried to feel some kind of revulsion at his random displays of humanity, but maybe her loneliness and the fact that he had made her writhe with pleasure in bed as no fully sized human ever had, made her decide to put up with what must have been a bored assembler’s joke.

as_6 by Theth
“as_6” by Theth

Now she looked at his neck, at the code imprinted on it, bars and dots that meant nothing to her. She was dozing off again when he rolled over into her, startling her into a scream.

“Aah! What are you doing? You are not supposed to move yet!”

“I’m sorry. Amanda. I woke up, and felt you were awake too. Good morning. Did you sleep well?”

Surprised, Amanda felt her mouth open in the shape of an ‘o’, but no noise came from it. When she thought of her morning breath and how it would bother him, she felt anger, and pushed him away, fighting with sheets that seemed to wrap around her legs like moving vines.

“Listen, Little One, you don’t move until the music comes on, alright? That’s what you are programmed for! And you don’t ‘feel’ anything. You are a thing, like the teddy bear my dad gave me on my eleventh birthday. I talked to it, but it was just a toy! It couldn’t smell my breath, and- STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!”

Little One was rubbing his chest where she had shoved him, his face expressionless, but his eyes… was that pain? Was he hurt?

“I’m sorry, Amanda. I won’t do it again.”

Will not.

“I don’t understand.”

“‘I do not. I will not. I am‘. Why have you dropped your contractions? I never programmed you to do that.”

He was silent a second too long. She could have sworn he looked as though he had been caught lying. A very human response. But he was supposed to be silent when faced with input he had not been programmed to process, right? She slapped her forehead with frustration. He imitated her. It was so unexpected, to see him do that, to hear that little hand hit what felt and sounded like skin, she burst out laughing. She rolled onto her back and did not stop laughing until tears filled her eyes.

“Little One, you are driving me to madness.”

“Are you angry?”

She wiped her tears with the balls of her hands and stared at him for a moment. “Yes. No. I don’t know. You confuse me. None of my friends’ toys act the way you do. Not even the Logic models. Do you understand what I’m saying? You act in a way that’s completely unexpected.”

“Have I displeased you?”

“No. But sometimes you frighten me.”

“Will you send me away?”

eh-hug054 by Theth
“eh-hug054” by Theth

“Of course not! I would never! Why would you think a thing- See, this is what I mean. You aren’t afraid I’ll send you away. It doesn’t matter to you. You don’t have feelings.”

Little One said nothing, and Amanda hated to think she had hurt him, his heart, whatever part inside of him that made him behave in this way. She shook her head, disgusted with herself.

“I’m not going to send you away. I paid a fortune for you. You are mine forever. And you keep costing me a fortune with all the metal you eat! Man, what a thing to do, to design a toy that runs on metal. I suppose I should be thankful my energy bills are low, and that stainless steel is so cheap these days.”

A whisper from him.

“Because you love me.”

“What?”

Amanda stared at him, at his unmoving lips, and thought she had imagined what he said. Did she imagine it because it was true? She pushed away the thought. It would return.

“Fix me some breakfast, Little One. Oh, and I got you these handcuffs. They were on sale for five dollars a pair at the pawn shop. I got you enough food for a whole year. Here!”

She stretched over the side of the bed bed and picked up a pair from the floor, where it had fallen from a cardboard box filled with them, and tossed it in his direction. He caught it effortlessly, his hand moving in a blur common to hummingbirds.

Such speed. Of course he’s a robot.

She smiled to herself and tossed his little tuft of hair before she got up and walked to the bathroom.

She did not see the distant smile on his face as he examined the cuffs.

* * *

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11 thoughts on “Theth – The Android Series

  1. Hahah! It’s funny you say that, because as I was composing this entry I thought to myself, Do I have to make mention of my Jar Jar Binks alarm, therefore openly admit I’m a Star Wars fan?

    No, I didn’t have to bring up the Jar Jar, but today I was at the YouTube viewing a video by a man who had his female friend “explain” what Star Wars was about when she’s never seen it, and one commenter wrote (in something similar to l33t) he doesn’t know any “chicks” that have watched Star Wars, so for that I’m kinda glad I brought him up. 😀

    Thank yousa for the comment.

    P.S. And the YouTube video is funny, so here’s a link:

    Like

  2. My objection really isn’t to you being a Star Wars fan, there ain’t nothing wrong with that. While not of the
    George Lucas Raped My Childhood School of Thought however, I am of the opinion that George Lucas Created Some Real Stinkers in the Last Three Movies.

    Which I of course dutifully forked over my hard-earned dollars for. Cos I’m a sucker.

    Back to my point, my objection is that now everytime I look at theth’s wonderful collage, I am reminded of a vibrating Jar Jar Binks urging Michelle Pfeiffer to wake up in his shrill Gungan-inflected patois.

    That is just not right.

    (You do get bonus points for that video though.)

    Like

  3. Oh, I agree. There’s nothing wrong with being a Star Wars fan, but every once in a while I get an unfathomable twinge of embarrassment. It isn’t prevailing enough to prevent me from making references every once in a while, but I notice it.

    I enjoyed those stinkers! I even made a special trip to another state to watch the digital release of Attack of the Clones for an entire day, since back then there was no local theater equipped to do that. For days after that I kept repeating “Around the [insert any word] a perimeter create.”

    I am reminded of a vibrating Jar Jar Binks urging Michelle Pfeiffer to wake up in his shrill Gungan-inflected patois.

    That is so awesome. 😆

    Like

  4. This was amazing. I was searching for a giantess image for a blog post, and I found that lovely, wonderful collage in the bed, and then I read this entry because apparently that’s what the universe wanted me to do. Few things that touch me as much as a large woman covering a little man in tenderness.

    I grew up a Star Wars fan, saw Ep. 4 when it originally ran in the theater. Changed my life. Live and let live, but my personal position is I was so heartbroken by Eps. 1 and 2 that I refuse to watch 3. Commenting on Jar Jar is shooting fish in a barrel to me. There are many other things I’d rather talk about.

    Whenever I read someone’s work, I hate that my editor-mode is always hovering over my shoulder. Usually it doesn’t: I don’t give a rat’s ass about the “grocer’s apostrophe” or other low-hanging fruit. I don’t know if it’s because I struggle to write in GTS and I’d appreciate some useful criticism, but my eyes tend to pick out all the gaffes and usage issues and it takes me out of the story. I never comment on these, since usually I’m reading these stories unsolicited, but I hate warring with myself just to get through a freakin’ short story.

    There was none of that here. My editor-daemon had nothing to say, so I was permitted to immerse (immerge?) in the story and enjoy it completely. Such a great idea, such great execution, such great dynamic. I loved how rapidly we got to know Amanda, and how well the Little One established itself. Such a great story, I really enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve watched (and own) 3, and the thing that bothers me tremendously about the film is Padme’s constantly morphing pregnant belly. She’s supposed to be pregnant with twins, and there she goes, prancing around from planet to planet, barely showing a bump that’s supposed to contain two babies? What the hell is wrong with you, George Lucas? And then she gives birth to enormous babies that were in no way, shape, or form, newborns. Those scenes are offensive to anyone who’s carried babies, and given birth, which I’ve done.

      ANYWAY.

      Thank you for this comment, Aborigen. I reread it a couple of days ago, when I approved your comment (by the way, your comments are supposed to publish automatically, but WordPress hasn’t caught up to that, for some reason). It made me wish I knew how to get back to that mental state I owned so easily back then, when I was writing regularly. I’m having some trouble getting back to that. I’m going to keep on trying, though. And this idea, these characters, some day I’d like to revisit them. There was more to them than this, I remember.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Right? Right? Everyone’s all, “Oh no, Disney wants to purchase Star Wars!” and I’m all, “A) It could hardly be worse, and B) amusement park.” Lucas clearly went insane at some point and started to ruin all of his franchises (see also: LaBeouf nutshots), but shuffled off Star Wars before it went terminal. At least that.

        Are we going through the same writing crisis? Is that why I showed up? I used to sit down and hack out and create… the muse visited. Please do keep on trying, and share with the class anything you find that works to kickstart productivity. I’m on the edge of my seat, I know. (Of course, I’m only a few inches tall! I can’t claim much real estate at any moment!)

        Liked by 1 person

          • I know it’d be a loss if you stopped. But I also know, very personally, what it’s like to have all the desire but none of the drive. There’s stuff I want to write for fun, and stuff I should write because I said I would, and yet I sit down at the keyboard with hours of free time, and nothing comes out.

            Well. I’m here for you. I greatly enjoy your writing, everything I’ve seen, and I’m excited at the thought that more could be coming, and soon.

            Liked by 1 person

            • You sound a bit like me. I sit here, with nothing to write but fun stuff, nothing I said I would write, yet almost nothing comes out.

              Thank you! I’m here for you too. Let’s see if we’re not beyond help.

              Liked by 1 person

              • And you sound a little like me, with your “you are the universe’s way of [communicating X]”. Or we sound like each other, whomever we’re cribbing from. “Nothing new under the sun,” said Holmes, as Doyle quoted Ecclesiastes.

                Liked by 1 person

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