The USS Quad Damage

Her perfect face

Getting drunk in the future isn't what it's cracked up to be. I wonder if I could submit this to 365 tomorrows?

Don't you want to take a real girl home instead of a machine?

I walk up to the bar and order a beer. The bartender smirks at me with his faux cleft lip and asks me what kind of beer. I motion to one of the taps and smile politely. “Hah, looks like you could use one”, he says as he pours. I put a card on the table. He deftly manouvers to swipe it as he’s pouring. He hands them both down, spilling the beer a little onto the card as he does so. Some things never change, I guess.

I’m at the table, sipping what must be my first beer in 15 odd years. My hands are more wrinkled than I remember. I hardly notice as a woman comes and sits at my table, matter-of-factly. Before I can even react, she’s already lit a cigarette and blows it in my face. “Buy me a drink?” she says, upturning her cadence at the end as if it were a question. She looks incredible; her hair, her skin, her eyes, her lips. I try not to look too hard, but my eyes lazily wander over her as I try and answer. I manage to mumble out an “I'm sorry, I'm just waiting for somebody”. Her mood changes almost immediately.

"Right, coz I have no deformities you just assume I’m a robot". Before I’ve even processed what she’s saying she pulls out a knife and cuts her finger. A small line of red forms near a bunch of other scars which look like older cut marks. Her fingertip is the only part of her that looks... human. "So how about it? Don’t you want to take a real girl home instead of a machine? Someone flesh and blood? huh? I mean, how could a guy pass this up for a fucking machine!?" There are a million things I want to say, but I can’t manage the words. The anger, despair, and sadness in her eyes is palpable. I wonder if a robot could do that. In my day, she would’ve been the most desirable girl wherever she went. Here she looks like just another sex doll, creepy and uncanny.

I stand up to go, or maybe I’m pulled up, I’m not sure, but there are hands grabbing the back of my clothes. “What did I tell you about the dolls?”. I try and explain as I’m pulled outside: “Well, she's really human. Bleeding and everything”. Another girl, my ride, grabs me by the scruff of my neck and pulls my face close to hers. A likely self-inflicted scar goes from her cheek-bones to her upper lip. “She might be flesh and blood, you idiot, but she ain't human”. It only really hit me then how much things had changed.