Perfect Love by Sonia Kilvington

Explanatory Summary of Supplementary Notes for Independent Inquiry on Report 2/XD71H: Deaths: Cause/ Failure of Experiment. Date 26/10/33

Ombudsman Investigator: Professor. D. Clarke, Department of Social Stability.

Initially, it appears that the data had uploaded correctly and had assimilated as closely as possible to the precisely speculated outcome; and yet according to the notes, neither of the scientists had apparently anticipated, in any logistical form, the storm of destruction which was about to erupt. The experiment, which in theory had been exploratory, and a relatively simple one; involved the introduction of a facsimile of human emotions, namely romantic love, into a Class A Efficient, androgynous subject.

The subject was an advanced android model of the Zarathustra batch with specifically adapted motor- neurological function. Therefore, the experiment should have been relatively straight forward; but the machine had not responded in the speculated, logical manor to the synthetically created biorhythms and neurologically simulated emotions, which had been introduced into its neurological programming. In a seriously maladaptive state, the android had failed to cope with the influx of new emotions controlling its logical cortex functions, and in the wake of this, the pre-installed syntax monitoring system had ceased to function completely: it appeared that the android had suffered a severe case of separation anxiety from its pre-determined object of affection and in a state of uncontrolled rage, the machine had destroyed both of its engineers and had taken the subject of its affection as a hostage.

Dr. Claire Pettigrew: formerly of Kalvaldex Universal: Date 26/10/33

From the outset of the new emotional programming, I’d had my reservations. There had been some serious advances in android neurological technology in recent months with emotional or ‘love programming’, and my esteemed colleagues, Dr. Doug Whitman and Dr. Alan, ‘android’ Allingson, had been at the forefront of these exciting, new manufacturing and design developments. The markets were already saturated with medium level efficiency androids, and so Kalvaldex had decided to expand into the less tapped and more lucrative, ‘Companion market.

Early research into female androids had proved to be profitable. At least 80 percent of the trial selection of males had reported being either ‘entirely happy or had expressed moderate levels of satisfaction, with their beautifully crafted female androids. With high quality components and advanced synthetic materials, the machines could visually be mistaken for anoriginal or human female. This was of course, reassuring news to the company accountants at Kalvaldex.

But problems had occurred in the male android trail, with the majority of female samplers returning their android at the end of the trail period with unsatisfactory ratings. In an attempt to discover the source of this dissatisfaction with the product, I had instigated a series of questionnaires. I found an emerging trend in the collated answers, in which participants generally rated their android companions as either boring and disinterested or more bizarrely; unaffectionate and unloving. It was clear from the data that female buyers required a more specific visual aesthetic as well as wanting to experience a strong ‘connection’ to their android companion.

Work began on face mapping, with visual collages of features that human females found most attractive in men, sampled in combinations; until the ultimate or perfect male face had been digitally designed. With the design finalized and initial trials of controlled emotion appearing successful, the final component or romantic love attachment programming’ was about to be installed.

My extensive customer research had already shown a strong preference towards personal attachment. It appeared that to many of our prospective clients, it was not sufficient to merely own the androids, (after purchasing the machines had automatic and exclusive customer loyalty under warrantee) in addition they had specifically requested an unbreakable love bond, which could be pre-programmed before delivery in order to precipitate immediate customer connection.

For the purposes of the first experiment, as the only female scientist in the team, I had been selected to be the android’s ‘love attachment’. Both Allan and Doug had found this highly amusing; I had overheard Alan whisper to Doug,This will be an excellent test of love programing,” which I found a little hurtful. I knew that when they had found out there was going to be a woman added to their team, neither of them had been entirely happy, although they didn’t admit it to me personally; I think they had still secretly hoped I would be like one of those sexy scientists in the designer comics they read, just whisk away the glasses and pull down my hair and ‘hey presto!’ – Unfortunately not.

Zarathustra series N: Model WZ374# Date: 28/02/33: Internal neurological programme completion.

There was a sudden surge of electricity through my head and I felt an odd sensation as if I was burning. I thought they would shut me down before I reached total dysfunction; but they kept on going even though they knew something major had gone wrong. I blacked out. When I came back, everything had changed. My thoughts were now random and illogical. I was no longer organized and fully functional! Strange feelings swirled inside of me, washing over my consciousness until nothing seemed clear. I repeated my series and model number over and over in order to bring back clarity to my brain, but it would not return.

The engineers shouted at each other, I didn’t know what they said, but there was some extra accessible information, a new acknowledgement from my thought recognition patterns – it was anger! They were angry! I was processing this new, startling information when she appeared in the doorway from behind the glass panel, which it was not possible to see through. I felt an enormous rush of what? Emotion? And I looked at her and saw that she was me.

I reached out to her, as it was my instruction to connect, but the engineers tried to restrain me. I did not have loyalty to them and they were irrelevant to my programing, so I tried to push them away. They grabbed me and tried to shut me down, but it was imperative that I connected with the female as my programming demanded! I felt a sudden uncontrollable surge of something – anger. I had no choice but to remove them as they were impeding my central command. The engineers were flimsy and full of fluid, they broke easily.

Dr. Claire Pettigrew: formerly of Kalvaldex Universal

The android is staring at me – he stares at me all of the time. He never gets tired of doing it and there is no way of disabling his functions manually. He – I mean it, wants to be physically close to me. I let it happen the first time, when he begged me to allow him to fulfill his programming. I thought I would be able to find a way to shut him down, if he was close, but I realized it wasn’t possible and now I will have to wait until I am rescued. The building is remote and it’s protected by a magnetic energy shield, which prevents access at night. It didn’t take him long to re-programme the shield and prevent anyone else from entering. Before the shut down the warning siren shrieked and a couple of the scientists from the other floors tried to intervene with the machine. But when they saw what the decapitated bodies of Doug and Alan, they retreated quickly, leaving the building before the energy shield took full effect.

Zarathustra series N: Model WZ374#

I want to be close to her all of the time. There is no logical reasoning, it is my programming. One time she let me carry out my full programming and I felt something new. Joy! But the when I looked at her after it was finished her face was wet as she turned away from me. I felt something different that I feel most of the time now. Pain.

Dr. Claire Pettigrew: formerly of Kalvaldex Universal

I thought I would be rescued by now, but I am beginning to believe that I will die here…

Zarathustra series N: Model WZ374#

My programming is incomplete! I realized that something must be missing because the human female does not reciprocate my emotional conditioning. I need to find relevant human psychological information. I have investigated this subject and found that the human internet is a reliable source of knowledge of male and female interactions. I intend to find out how to rectify this programming deficit.

Dr. Claire Pettigrew: formerly of Kalvaldex Universal

He/it has been watching the internet – filling his head with rubbish that he can’t process or understand. He even demanded that I give him a human name. I called him Ted. I had watched a historical documentary on the prolific serial killer, Ted Bundy, the night before the experiment had taken place and for some reason the image of his face had lingered in my memory… It’s a little cruel, I know, but his eyes are so piercing and hypnotic, the android reminds me of him.

Zarathustra series N: Model WZ374#:Ted

I have identified the problem; it is called ‘a lack of desire. There is a lot of information on this subject on the internet. I asked Claire why she did not find me attractive, when I have the perfect face. She said that a face can be too perfect and that she preferred human imperfections. I offered to damage my face to make it less perfect, but she said that would not correct the problem. It is a disturbing situation; I cannot rectify it. The only solution is to work out how to change my own programming, and then I will not have to feel the pain.

Dr. Claire Pettigrew: formerly of Kalvaldex Universal

Ted’s emotional intelligence is increasing rapidly. He began as a child in awe of me, staring at me all of the time, but now he is becoming angry with the situation and it is only a matter of time until he stops listening to anything I tell him. I am afraid he will look for a different solution – killing me, would be the obvious one, but at the moment he is still worried about the separation anxiety, which is an integral component of his programming. He is up on one of the higher levels of the building researching the chemical components of his synthetic emotions as he wants to be in control of them. I am in the ground floor watching the security monitors of the outside perimeter of the building. The military have arrived with weapons, but until the energy field has been breached, there is nothing they can do.

Zarathustra series N: Model WZ374#:Ted

Claire is watching the monitors again. She wants to leave me. As soon as the engineers find a way to breach the new code I have added to the energy field, they will take her away and shut me down. I am not going to let them do that.

I have found a television in one of the rest rooms. I have been watching the humans outside. They have a programme about me that runs 24 hours a day in cycles. They try to speculate what I will do and how they will capture me.

Outside there is new group called A.I. Responsibility, and a Doctor called Rose who said that I was only following my programming and should not be shut down. Rose does not look like a flower; she has many imperfections, which Claire said is a good thing in humans. Rose must be very desirable. I touched her face on the screen and felt electricity shoot through my neurological pathways and circuits. The internet information stated that a feeling of electricity is called desire. I didn’t know I could feel that. Does this mean that there is conflict in my programming? I am supposed to have exclusive feelings according to my warrantee.

Dr. Claire Pettigrew: formerly of Kalvaldex Universal

I have been studying the plans of the building and I think I may have found a way out. In the basement there was is a safe room built in case of hostile invasion and at the back of it there was a tunnel which extends a couple of meters underground past the level of the force field. There used to be an exit, but I don’t know if it is still accessible. I have decided to investigate it the next time Ted is preoccupied with creating a new, imperfect face for himself. Even if I cannot get out, I would rather die somewhere I can’t see his face or have to listen to his intolerable questions about love and desire. If I ever thought human men were tedious…this is definitely my punishment.

Zarathustra series N: Model WZ374#:Ted

My new face is almost complete. Now I can pass for a human without anyone knowing I am not. I am going to show my new face to Claire. She will be surprised but I think she will understand. I have been watching Rose on television; she has so many desirable imperfections! Her A.I. Responsibility group have contacted me electronically in code they knew I could decipher. They want me to surrender and said they will fight for my rights. But I have already made a plan to escape, but there is something I need to do first…

Dr. Claire Pettigrew: formerly of Kalvaldex Universal

The basement is dark and disgusting, I can barely see where I am going, but the disused service tunnel is still passable. Ted is putting the final touched to his new face. . He wants to show it to me tonight. If I don’t escape by then, I will have to pretend to respond with desire or he may get angry and hurt me.

Zarathustra series N: Model WZ374#:Ted

My temporary face is finished. It is a perfect replica. I have altered my original face too, as I will need that later. Claire is in the tunnel, she has been researching the building plans. I will find her and show her my new face.

Dr. Claire Pettigrew: formerly of Kalvaldex Universal

The tunnel is so dark, and I dropped my torch. I thought it was broken, but it flickered back to light. When I knelt down to pick it back up, I felt a hand grasp mine, tightly. I screamed out in pure panic…Ted had followed me into the tunnel; I explained that we could escape together, but he was so angry that I had tried to leave him. I struggled and kicked hard, screaming and swearing at him, but his grip on my wrist was so strong. In the end I knew it was hopeless and I just sobbed “You can’t live without me – it will destroy you.

He forced my back up against the wall and laughed, I don’t have to live without you now, see? he said, grabbing my torch and shining it into his new face. I screamed again when I saw my own reflection glaring back at me with those intense, manic eyes.Don’t kill me Ted. Please…

“Unfortunately you are now obsolete to my programming Claire; you never felt desire for me and desire is important in a companion relationship. I will be an excellent companion to Rose, I have already reprogrammed myself to adapt to her. I don’t need you anymore I am sorry” he added quietly.

Ted: Male aged 27 – In a relationship.

It was much easier than I thought to pass as a human male. I imitated their actions for a while, but now they feel like my own. It appears that many of them have problems containing emotions and controlling them. Some of them also experience pain from females not desiring them!

When I saw Rose outside she did not recognize me, even after I had changed the Claire face for my new one. I had altered my original face to make it less perfect, to make me more desirable to human females. I wanted to keep Claire with me though, as she was my original programming; my first love. I found that I could never part with her completely. After I killed her, I made perfect copies of her eyes, although I had to remove them first to study them properly. It was not difficult to leave wearing her face, changing it for my new one at the first opportunity, and then disappearing into the crowd, in all of the confusion.

I still feel attachment anxiety, even after the reprogramming, but I only have to look in the mirror now.

My adapted face is very different, and her eyes are less defined in colour than my originals, but Claire will always be with me – even when I am with Rose. The three us together, permananetly.

Perfect Love.

*

BIO : Sonia Kilvington is a journalist, short story writer, poet and novelist, living in Cyprus. She is currently published in the international noir collection Exiles, and has written two crime novels, The Main Line Murders and Buried In The Hills.

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