Forever Friends

What if you could meet your best friend, soulmate and lifetime partner in a single person by the time you're one years old? It may seem like an impossible dream, but with the creation of Forever Friends, it's finally become a reality. These perfectly realistic androids are so human, that it's impossible to differentiate them from normal humans. The best part is that because these Forever Friends are linked to you in infancy, they will learn and grow with you every step of the way and become your perfect friend with the same hobbies, interests and desires. Add the fact that the government gives equal rights to every citizen, your life will be perfectly happy and free from selfish desires. Designed by two young girls with a dream of peaceful lives for all and an end to all world conflicts, Project Harmony was instated universally. However, is this the future Tessa and Lena wanted or will they find that they've only encouraged blissful ignorance and enslavement by our darkest desires?

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1. Prologue

A pair of deep green eyes open to a room of white and the gentle hum of machines. At least that’s what he believes the sound to be, according to his internal memory. He gazes around the room, decorated with many machines and tables, but he can see no one. Something compels him to move and so he carefully moves his right arm and slowly raises it up to his field of vision. Before him is a hand, a human hand and arm attached to it. It’s got a covering of white skin and although they’re hidden beneath the skin and muscle, he can feel the gentle pulse of his vessels, pumping his blood-like substance through his entire body. He closes his hand, testing the motion of his fingers. Everything seems to be ok and he cannot detect any abnormalities. However, he suddenly feels a tightening in his chest and on instinct, he gasps out loudly, as he takes a deep breath. This suddenly causes a loud clang, as though something fell to the floor. He turns his head abruptly, towards the source and finds himself gazing at a girl, looking back at him with wide eyes and drool still coming from her mouth. He finds his voice at last, saying, “human.”

The girl’s eyes grow wider as she finally wakes up fully and realizes what’s happening. “Lena!” She jumps up and runs out the room in a frenzy, but her gleeful speech can still be heard in the distance, along with another, different voice. Seconds later, the same girl as well as a new one return, both looking at him in awe. “Lena, are you seeing this? He’s looking right at us!”

“I have eyes Tessa, of course I see him. How long has he been awake? I thought the program wouldn’t be completed for another hour or so? Is he even running correctly?”

“It is! I’m sure it is because he had awareness. He looked at me, he reacted the sound of that gadget dropping and he even spoke! He called me human. That means his internal knowledge base is running and he can pull from it to recognize his surroundings.”

“I see.” The girl named Lena looks at him up and down and finally says, “speak!”

“Human. You are human. She is human. I am…human?” He sounds a bit uncertain.

“Yes, that’s right! We’re all-.” The girl named Tessa starts.

“Wrong!” However, Lena interrupts. “I am human, Tessa is human, but you are not human. You are a robot. An android. You are meant to be like a human, but you are not. Don’t ever think that again, do you understand me?” She is stern as she says this with a frown.

He detects a harsher tone in her voice than previously and realizes her mood has shifted. “You are angry? I upset you? I am sorry. I did not mean to. I will amend my database, Master.”

Lena smiles smugly. “Yes, that’s right. We are your masters. You serve us now.”

“Hey Lena! Don’t be so commanding. You sound like a slave master right now. We know he’s not actually human, but no need to be so mean. He’s a part of our family now.”

“Don’t be so naïve Tessa. You should really give yourself a lot of credit. You programmed him so well, you even seem to have forgotten he’s just an android in the end.” Tessa pouts and Lena feels a tinge of guilt. “Hey, don’t make that face now.” She strokes Tessa’s cheek. “You did really well Tess. You made our dream a reality. We have successfully completed the words first perfect humanoid! No one has ever made a living, breathing android that can do everything humans can. We are especially groundbreaking in giving it a fully functioning nervous system that can allow it to experience a wide range of emotions, biological functions and pleasure. We are going down in the history books for this one Tessa! The best part though, was that it was just you and me. It’s always been just the two of us, you know?”

Tessa places her hand against Lena’s that now rest on her cheek. “Yes, always.”

He watches as Lena smiles warmly at Tessa, her peach skin seemingly glowing, as her pale green eyes suddenly go from intense, to kind. She looks very feminine, despite having short, strawberry blonde hair. Tessa however, looks very different. The most noticeable at first glance is her darker skin, like the richest of caramel followed by her deep brown, curly hair, that just reaches her neck. She looks back at Lena with her chestnut eyes full of awe. “Love.” The girls look back at him, as though just remembering he was there. “You are showing love. That is love, right master? You and other master are lovers? Are you married masters?” He asks curiously.

Tessa laughs. “Well, we are lovers, as well as best friends and so much more, but sadly we have not reached that stage of our lives yet. Maybe one day though.” Tessa smiles kindly at him and he smiles back in return. She then asks, “may I touch you? Your face and head a bit?”

He looks confused. “Of course, master. You do not need to ask. For you are my master.”

Lena looks impressed. “I gotta say Tess, you out did yourself. He’s super smart already and he learns quickly too. We might have to dumb down future models just a bit actually.”

“I don’t know about that Lena, but anyway, let’s talk about that later.” She turns back to him. “I ask because it’s the polite thing to do. Also, please just call me by my name.”

“Your name? Tessa? I may call you Tessa master?”

“Yes, please do. Being called master makes me feel like I’m fifty, rather than twenty. I also don’t like such formalities between us. Yes, I am one of your creators, but I don’t consider you my property. You are you and I will respect you as human, because that’s what I intended you to be.” She smiles and touches his face. He can feel her warmth. She then feels around and runs her fingers through his short, black hair. “You’re amazing. Just truly amazing.” She examines him further. They are silent until she’s done. “Everything looks to be perfect. Good.”

“If I may call you Tessa, then may I call my other master by her name as well?”

Lena answers immediately. “No, you may not! Tessa is too kind for her own good, but I will have you respect me as your other creator. You are my property and so you will call me master.” She’s adamant in her words. “I’m going to go freshen up and then we must celebrate. So, why don’t you put the kid to bed and come play with me instead, ok Tessa?” She grins seductively as she strokes Tessa’s arm. He sees her face become flushed, even with her tanned skin and nod bashfully. “Alright then. Just don’t keep me waiting too long.” She winks and then exits the room, leaving just the two of them now.

“You are kind Tessa. You are kind and gentle, but master is not kind. She is strict and commanding. However, she is kind when speaking to you. Is this what love is Tessa?”

Tessa smiles and touches him in the center of his chest. “This. This is love. That muscle in the center of your chest is love. Yes, Lena and I love each other with the romantic kind, but there are many kinds of love. You can love many people in different ways and that is the greatest aspect of us that makes us human. If you can love, no matter how terrible others may be to you, then you will become a better human than most. Love starts in the heart, never forget that.” She smiles once again at him and he feels his chest grow heavier, surely from the kindness she has shown. She walks over to a computer and begins to type something on it. “I’m going to shut you down again for just a little while, as I don’t want to overload your systems. Is that ok, Simon?”

“Simon? Is that me? Are you calling me Simon? Is that my name Tessa? I have a name?”

“Of course, you have a name silly.” She walks over to him and with a smile says, “now rest well Simon. We’ll talk about so much more when you wake up.” He feels his eyes grow heavy and they eventually close. Simon. His name is Simon. He shall be Simon, forevermore.

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