G is my second guest in what I hope is to become a future series of guest posts. Meeting G in the ‘virtual world’ has inspired me to host a Writers’ Showcase right here. Enjoy G’s story, I know I did. – Stephen Bentley
“Shit!” Jeremy Clark throws his hands up from his laptop.
“Oh, you crashed! So, sorrrry.”
“It’s okay, my fault, I was in too much of hurry, CeCe.”
“Jeremy, you been at it a long time, stop, take a hot shower. I’ll run water and sing for you.”
“Very tempting, but I’ve got to find any glitches.”
“Difficult to do when tired.”
Jeremy, smiles, and says, “You always know how to take care of me.”
“Of course gwapo blue eyes.” CeCe giggles.
“Okay, maybe I’ll watch cable.”
“Ohhh, Jeremy, in thirteen minutes The Beverly Hillbillies Season 1, episode 1 starts.”
“No way! That’s the one where they find oil – Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed . . . CeCe start’er up, I’m going to get a sandwich.”
“Jeremy, wake up, we have company.”
“Huh? Uh, what?”
“Sorry to wake you, your sleep was peaceful. Two police officers approach. Facial and pupillary scans confirm their identities as Detective Sergeants Paul Malone, age 58, and Robert Houseman, 59.”
“How long was I out?”
“Three hours, fifteen minutes, and thirty-two seconds.”
“Wow! Must have needed that.”
Jeremy opens the door to the two detectives before they knock, “Detectives Malone and Houseman come in.”
The cops look to each other. They enter the house. Jeremy closes the door. “Can I get either of you something cold to drink?”
Houseman shakes his head. Malone says, “No thank you, sir, but I am curious how you know who we are.”
“Yes, I know you are. Before I answer that I will say that you will have other questions as well. I’m preempting those by saying; I will answer them based upon your need to know.”
Houseman steps up to Jeremy, “Look don’t be a wise guy. I don’t like wise guys.”
Jeremy offers two chairs and adds, “Gentlemen, I’m not being a wise guy. What you have stumbled onto, and yet, I’ve to find out why you are here, is a confidential government project. Confidential, not secret so I have some leeway to answer your questions, and only because we cooperate with local law enforcement.”
Malone sits, Houseman hesitates, and sits. Malone studies Jeremy and ask, “How old are you?”
Houseman leans forward to Jeremy’s face, “Eighteen? You’re a kid. You want us to believe that the US government hired you to work on some sort of secret project?”
“Yes . . . confidential not secret.”
Houseman looks around, “Where are your parents?”
“Sir, my parents’ location is outside your need to know.”
Houseman stands, takes out his handcuffs, “Okay, kid let’s go we’ll work all this out downtown when your parents get there.”
“What am I being charged with?”
“Reckless driving, and fleeing the scene of an accident to start with.”
CeCe calls out, “Jeremy, incoming from agency.”
Malone, and Houseman look around for the voice.
“Thank you, CeCe.”
Another voice emits from the air, “Jeremy, 619.”
“Ed, 17,” Jeremy responded.
“Jeremy those two officers are there to investigate an accident involving your car. It was in an accident at I-15 and —”
“Asher, 08:14 this morning. Oh my God. How did that happen?” Jeremy interrupted.
“We are working on that now. Your car has been impounded and is on the way to the agency.”
“Wait a minute . . . oh, how stupid of me. I left the remote lock on off after using the car Sunday. When I activated the RTS, today, and stimulated the drive path the remote over ride was activated.”
“It looks that way here also. So it’s down to human error?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“Good, the RTS and the project can stay intact and won’t need to be reviewed.”
“Thank God for that.”
Ed continued, directing his voice toward the detectives, “Officers, I know you are there to investigate the unfortunate accident. And we’d expect nothing less from such fine men of the police department. All involved will be more than compensated for any loss real or perceived.”
“You can’t do that!” Houseman jumps up.
“Detective, would you rather hear it from your superiors?”
Malone pulls Houseman down, “Bob, give it a rest.”
“Paul, this whole thing is being swept under the table, and it ain’t right.”
“Yeah! Right! Like that’s never happened before!”
Houseman sits, and slumps.
“Thank you, uh, Ed?” says, Malone.
“Yes, sir, you’re welcome. Jeremy, 136.”
CeCe chimes in, “Officers, would you like that cold drink now?”
Malone looks up, “That sounds good, just ice water for me.” He turns to Houseman, “Bob, same or stronger?”
“Stronger, ice water with lemon.”
Jeremy nods, “Be right back gentlemen.”
Houseman walks around the room. CeCe queries, “Can I help you, officer?”
“Uh, where are you?”
“I’m AI, artificial intelligent and I am omnipresent and directional. I do not have a form. Although, I could be added to one.”
Malone looks to where CeCe’s voice comes from, “Your name is CeCe?”
“Yes, sir, it’s short for Computerized Carer.”
Jeremy, enters with a tray and three drinks and chips. “I see you’re getting to know CeCe. Wonderful isn’t she?”
“Thank you gwapo,” CeCe giggles.
Houseman, turns away from CeCe’s voice and asks, “Gwapo?”
“Yes, a Filipino word. My mother is a Filipina.”
“You’re from the Philippines?”
“How, if you can answer it, did you get a government job at 18?”
“Actually I was 15 when I was recruited.”
“Shit,” says Houseman, “fifteen?”
Jeremy sips his drink, “A great number of the agency’s employees are as young or younger than I am.”
Malone takes his drink and downs a big slug. He turns to Houseman, “It’s a different world now.” Malone looks back to Jeremy, “What can you tell us about the accident?”
“As I said, I thought I was driving a simulator.”
“Okay, you went from here to I-15 and Asher without an incident – so what happened there?”
“I was being impatient. I saw the two semis coming my way and . . .”
“Stop there,” Houseman says, “How could you see the two semis and traffic?”
“RTS – Real Time Satellite.”
“Like with drones?” says Malone.
“I thought I could gun it and make it across; it was stupid to try.”
Malone nods his head, “Wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that, or the many times I didn’t hear it.”
“Anything else, gentlemen?”
Houseman finishes his drink and says, “Yes, a few more questions and another one of these if I may.”
“Sure, officer, but remember . . .”
“Yes, on a need to know basis.”
“Be right back.”
Malone turns to Houseman, “What are you up to?”
Jeremy returns with Houseman’s drink and one for Malone and himself. “Okay, ask away.”
Houseman studies his lemon water and says, “About CeCe?”
“No problem she’s not confidential or secret. Her programs are used everywhere in the military, and some businesses, especially in critical areas to avoid the possibility of human error.”
“So she can be programmed to be female or male? Any type of speech, or language?”
“Correct. CeCe, give the officers your Texas senator.”
“My fellow countrymen, from now on all my speeches and political literature will be in English and Spanish. I feel It’s important for me to reach out to the people I’m trying to deport.”
“Shit,” says Houseman with a chortle, “that sounded exactly like him.”
Malone laughs, “Nice parlor trick but what can she really do?”
“CeCe simulate attack on the house.”
The sound of shutters, and bolts engaged. Power dies, dim halo lights rise. Malone says, “Just what I’d expect from any government defense operation.”
“How about if I pulled my gun to shoot you?” Malone reaches for his gun.
Jeremy screams, “CeCe, not real, not real, abort!”
In an instant, a green sharp point laser beam flashes onto Malone’s forehead. Malone sees himself in a mirror. Eyes glued to the mirror he follows the beam as it glides down between his legs to the chair. Malone, panics, he forces his legs apart.
Houseman reaches for Malone, but a quick surge of another green laser beam singes his hand. Houseman yanks his hand back. “What the fuck?”
The beam on the chair brightens and without a sound it burns a quick, neat small hole through the metal based chair. Molten metal slag drips to the floor. The beam aborts.
Malone wide-eyed watches and shakes. A dark spot grows around the crotch of his tan trousers. Houseman reaches for his gun, and then drops his hand away. He holds his hands up and open. Jeremy says, “Officer Malone, if you’ll go into the room behind you you’ll find a pair of jeans that should fit you.”
“Uh, uh, thank you,” Malone says as he watches smoke rise from the molten metal. Malone leaves the chair with his eyes still on the laser hole.
Houseman examines his hand and then the layered chair, “What the fuck was that?”
“A 30-kilowatt electric fiber laser beam.”
“Shit, she almost killed him.” Houseman rubs his singed flesh.
“If I hadn’t said abort she would have.”
“I understand why she attacked me, but why did she still fire at . . . ?”
“She’s very protective of me. That was her warning shot.”
Malone returns. He looks around the room, and behind him. “Is it safe?”
CeCe calls out, “Yes, officer you are safe.”
“My, God, I’ve been shot at many times in my life. Once, by a bazooka. Never have I ever wet myself, or saw my life over. May I have something stronger to drink, please?”
Jeremy brings a chair over. Malone sits with his eyes on his former chair. “Be right back.”
Houseman holds Malone’s shoulder, “Drink up and then we’re out of here.”
“Bob, it was like fuckin’ Star Wars. I was totally helpless.”
Houseman looks at the chair and his hand, “What the hell have we gotten into?”
Jeremy returns with a bottle of Bowmore 25 Year Old Scotch, and ice on the side. “Help yourself.”
Houseman picks up the bottle, “They must pay you well, this is expensive.”
“Five hundred a pop, but it’s provided for me, as is everything.”
Houseman pours Malone his whiskey and one for himself. He raises his glass, “Here’s to being young enough to live and enjoy what we have, and old enough to not care about the future.” Malone raises his glass.
Jeremy laughs, “The future scares you?”
Malone looks his glass over, “Yes, sir. You see Bob and I are dinosaurs. We are very ill prepared to handle the … not the change itself, but how fast it changes.”
Houseman, salutes Malone, “I’ll drink to that after what we just saw.”
Houseman pours another, and says to Jeremy, “Are you married, sir?”
“No, nor do I have a girlfriend. No time for either. Although, the agency would provide me with a wife and/or family or a GF, if I wanted. But, CeCe is all I need to keep me happy.”
Jeremy smiles, and his head tilts to his shoulder. He continues, “She runs the house like a wife, and provides me with security, as you’ve witnessed. She plans my meals, orders the groceries, and makes sure I watch my weight. We even work out together.”
“How does she do that?” Malone says in recovery, but his eyes still on his former chair.
“It’s all simulated. But, it’s as if she’s there.”
Houseman looks around, “Your house looks normal. I don’t see any high-tech gear.”
Jeremy laughs, “That’s how high tech it is.”
“Oh,” says Houseman.
“We watch movies together, and she will ask me questions about them despite she has instant access to hundred’s of sources. The other night we pulled a marathon and watched the Terminator series, our favorite. I had settled in with an ice-cold beer when the door bell rang – it was a pizza delivery. I hadn’t asked for one.”
CeCe giggles, “Well, everyone knows can’t have beer without pizza.”
“A woman that knows my every need and want.” Jeremy smiles and pats his own shoulder.
“Jeremy, you making me blush.” CeCe giggles.
Houseman says, “She can blush?”
“In her AI way, yes.”
“Can you explain this AI to us?”
“Bottom line AI are computerized intelligence, but unlike the computer you use at work, an AI is capable of learning, and thinking, and making decisions.”
“Learning? Like in school?”
“Yes. For example, she knows how to relax me when she senses I’m tense. She learns what my moods are and treats me appropriately.”
Houseman laughs and adds, “And that beer and pizza go together.”
Jeremy, smiles, nods, “Exactly.”
Malone pours another whiskey and says, “What, if I may ask, and it’s the whiskey talking I’m sure, do you do for sex?”
Jeremy laughs, “The most common question about AIs. If CeCe had a body then it would be as normal. As she doesn’t it’s cerebral.”
Malone studies Jeremy, “You’re 18, and above average in looks and you’re not getting laid?”
“I’m not a virgin, sir. Perhaps, you’ve heard your brain is your most powerful sex organ? But, you have to learn how it works and that can be the difference between ‘eh’ and ‘fucking A!’”
Houseman gives Jeremy a sly look, “You mean she mind fucks you.”
“Yes, and we make love, also.”
“You make love? And you fuck? So you masturbate to her?”
“Sometimes, other times I have spontaneous ejaculations.”
“No, actual orgasms with a full erection.”
“Houseman, straightens up, “Get out of here. How do you do that? Unless it’s because you’re still 18.”
CeCe’s inventor was 72 and was still having sex when he died. In fact, you could say he died with a big smile on his face. Would you like a demonstration of CeCe’s powers?”
Malone drains his glass and says, “No more CeCe demonstrations for me. Time we left.”
Jeremy laughs, “CeCe, arrange for an agency car to take the detectives home and their car.”
“Sure thing, gwapo.”
“Again, gwapo?” Houseman says.
The detectives use the bathrooms.
Malone and Houseman return and shake Jeremy’s hand. Houseman says, “It has been a very educational day, thank you.”
CeCe announces, “The agency car is here, Jeremy.”
Malone looks to the hole in the metal chair, “Sorry, for that.”
Jeremy shrugs and escorts the officers to the door. “Gentlemen, in case you hadn’t noticed I’m blind.”
Houseman looks Jeremy’s face over, “What the fuck? How do you do it all?”
CeCe is my eyes through neurotransmitters in my brain. I see what she sees, and what she wants to show me. Goodnight gentlemen, stay safe.”
Houseman says, “Would you mind if we came back another time and talked some more?”
“Sorry, I will be relocated as soon as you gentlemen leave.”
Jeremy smiles and closes the door.
Malone and Houseman attempt to walk sober to the agency’s car. Malone says, “Whatever happened to ‘Cops and Robbers’?”
Houseman shrugs, “Guess it got boring and we got old.”
Houseman gets to the agency car, he stops and looks back to the house, “What’s up, Bob you forget something?”
“Nah, just wondering if CeCe has a sister.”
They laugh loud and long and stumble against each other. Malone stabilizes Houseman and says, “Damn you, I almost pissed my pants, again.”
Houseman laughs, “Maybe it’s time for adult diapers?”
Malone laughs, slugs Houseman’s arm, “Fuck you!”
The agency driver helps them into the car. Another man enters the detectives’ car.
Inside the house, Jeremy packs his briefcase.
CeCe says, “Jeremy?”
“We leave at 16:00.”
“Three hours. I think I’ll watch the rest of . . .”
“I’m horny after talk about sex. I want to fuck your brains out.”
Jeremy smiles, “Lights.”
– Evelyn Beatrice Hall 1868 – 1956
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