Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

“Good evening sir, would you care for a bedtime companion?”

Jenkins looked tiredly from the edge of his luxury mattress toward the glowing wall console. “I dunno, lemme have a look I guess.”

Without answering, the household central computer opened the closet doors wide. On a long chrome rail sexdroids slipped past, posing frozen like statues, smiling invitingly. Busty blondes, voluptuous redheads and stunning brunettes, perfect specimens every one of them. Dozens of skin tones were available. Outfits could change color on command. “Stop,” he said. “Number thirty-nine. She’ll do.”

“Excellent choice sir. Shall I have her make you breakfast in the morning?”

“No, I want her to leave, right… after.” He glanced up at the sexdroid embarrassingly, knowing full well that she had no real feelings of her own. All the same he felt somewhat… guilty sending her off like that, after he was to have his way with her. But he just didn’t like sleeping with them.

She activated and sprang forth from the chrome rail and the closet, pattering lightly across the bedroom carpet toward him, negligee flapping open, showing pretty much everything. Her voice was sultry, all of their voices were. “Shall I get you a drink sweetie?”

“No.” Patting the bed beside him he said, “Just come here.”

He had always had his pick. Like everybody else did. There was no more actual mating by the general population. Humans were only born under strict guidelines and in very limited quantities. It was estimated that it would take at least another thirty years before global population dropped to acceptable levels. But The Web had taken care of things. No one was to be lonely ever again.

Across the hall from Jenkins’s apartment Lydia Smith tossed and turned. Finally she pounded her fists on the sheets and said, “Lights!” The household computer immediately complied. She propped herself up on one elbow and blew the hair up off her forehead. “Lemme see what’s in the closet.”

The doors opened and dozens of tall muscular statues began parading by, their perfect teeth gleaming in the artificial light. After running through the entire collection twice she finally settled on an olive skinned rogue with a five-o-clock shadow who was draped in nothing more than a thigh length velour housecoat. Like her neighbor across the hall, she did not allow her sexdroid to stay the night after they were finished.

In the morning Jenkins sometimes saw Smith. They often caught the same transport into the office district. This morning they exited their apartments at the exact same time.

“Er, good morning Mr. Jenkins.” She only glanced at him, staring mostly at her shoes.”

“And a good morning to you too Ms. Smith. It looks like I’ll be escorting you to the transport line once again.” He had seen very old vids where men had taken women by the arm and it always seemed like such a grand and wonderful gesture to him. But he did not dare do this of course because it was strictly forbidden. There were eyes everywhere.

Together they turned down the long hallway and walked side by side, her graying hair partially obscuring her face, which included a larger than average nose and slightly protruding buckteeth, both of which he silently adored. He tugged his tunic down nervously over his fat rolls and wiped his sweaty hands on his pants. He wondered if she noticed his perspiration problem, while she wondered if he liked to sleep in and make pancakes on the weekends.

They made their way to the elevator, imperfect, awkward, and secretly in love.


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