My knees get weak at the sight of her. I start to sweat and my heart begins to hammer. My eyes go glassy and my pupils splay so wide they become like black holes. And I can’t think straight. I can’t even think simple thoughts, like calculating the diameter of a wormhole, which I could normally do in my sleep.
Once on Anterra, this backwater world filled with nothing but swamps, frogs, and bugs, I contracted a strange kind of brain fever. I went mad! Went all kinds of crazy. And what I felt and thought are the exact same things that I think and feel when she is near.
It’s annoying. It’s distracting. I hate myself for it. It’s like there was a revolt in my mind and my common sense lost and got the guillotine.
This is no kind of woman to be in love with. NONE! She was chosen because she was everything that I detest. Where I’m thin and neat and intelligent, she is not. Where I am outgoing, successful, and have a zest for life, she does not. Where I am complicated, she is not. Where I am anything, she is not.
Her kind was to let me focus on my important work and not entangle me with the encumbrances of love or any other complication. She was to be a simple subject for me to explore scientifically, objectively, soberly. Like dissecting the brain of a fetal pig, I care not for the pig.
Rachel, oh Rachel! You bubble into the room to pick up the garbage I’ve left on the floor and my head goes mad for you. I get all silly.
Please, let me pick that up. I’ll say. I’ve been so foolish to let that drop. No my dear, don’t worry. You could hurt your back bending over like that. Let me! Let me!
And then out she goes with a smile splitting her broad face and I can’t help but miss her when she’s gone.
I don’t know what I’m going to do.
I might have to kill her and start all over again.
I’ve forged on with the experiment. Ignored the little nigglings in my heart and slipped the nanites into Rachel’s morning oatmeal. By now they’ve hitched a ride on some hemoglobin and are up in her brain, burrowing into her synapses.
I’ve noticed no changes in her behavior, which is a good sign. With the others, everything misfired and they went into anaphylactic shock.
Decades of work may be coming to fruition. This is a very auspicious day.
I’ve figured it out.
I am a man and she is a woman and we are alone in this space station, way at the edge of known space.
Of course feelings would develop. That drive to procreate is deep in the marrow of our framework. It’s seeping out and corrupting my thoughts, making me think I actually feel something for the little toadstool.
But I don’t.
It’s just animal instinct. It’s just loneliness. I’ve been alone out here a long, long time.
Day of days!
I received the first transmission from the nanites. I’ve run the signal a dozen times through the computer because at first I thought there was some kind of mistake. But the translation is the same every time.
That’s the word I’m getting from her subconscious.
It seems the little dolt has fallen in love with me. I’ve confirmed it by breaking into her computer and reading her diary. What awful schoolgirl fantasies are there! Absolutely juvenile. They’re all about me and her getting married back on Earth in some quaint country church (what’s with woman and white steeple churches?). I don’t know where she would get any of those ideas. How does she even know what Earth is? Did she see it in our movie catalog?
Honestly, it doesn’t matter. I should just focus on the fact that my work, my years of sacrifice, are starting to amount to something.
I flushed her into space.
I wasn’t getting anything but romance-novel garbage out of her head. I can’t come to the board with data like that. They would laugh me out of the room.
It’s no matter. What matters is the nanites worked with her so they can work with the others.
On a side note, I’ve got to remind myself to delete this blog before I return. Wouldn’t want this getting into the wrong hands.
I kind of miss the old girl. There was something different about that one. Not sure what it was, but I almost feel sad she’s gone.
The nanites have taken to this new Rachel like a duck to water.
That’s all she thinks about. Day and night. It’s ridiculous.
Clean. Clean. Clean.
It’s funny how easy it is to create life, shape it, control it, and even end it, but when it comes to understanding it, it’s impossible.
That is, till now with my nanites.
I don’t know what the hell is with me. I should be singing, screaming, jumping up and down for joy. I’m almost able to collect whole thoughts now. The end is in sight!
But here I am, staring out the window at the stars and thinking about the Rachel who loved me. I didn’t realize at the time how unique she was.
None of the other Rachels have given two shits about me. There was something different about that one. I regret not realizing it at the time. There’s something I could have learned about the mind there. Perhaps the cloning procedure miscarried a little with her genome structure and she was in some way different? I don’t know. The logs don’t have that level of detail.
One of the Rachels found the other Rachel’s diary and went all kinds of crazy. I had to lock myself in the lab while she rampaged up and down the corridor with a fire axe.
The system was cranked up, so I could hear her thoughts.
Kill. Kill. Kill.
I was very lucky I could override the airlock in the corridor and bleed the oxygen out into space.
It’s been weeks, but I haven’t calmed down from that yet. I’m too scared to fire another Rachel up.
Haven’t instantiated another one in over a hundred days.
I can’t seem to do anything, but wander the hallways and think about that one Rachel. Why did she love me? Why did that one love me?
I’ve tried to move on. Put my mind into the formulas, remind myself I’ve been out here for years and I’ve nothing yet to show, but I just can’t get it together. I keep thinking about the Rachel I made five-thousand Rachels ago. The Rachel who loved me.
I remember when we kissed.
She was cleaning my desk and I stood up and head butted her in the mouth. Split her lip wide open.
I laughed at first. It was kind of funny to see how startled and hurt she was, like I’d done it on purpose. Then she looked at me in this kicked puppy dog kind of way and my heart suddenly went out to her. I touched her face, gently brushed her round cheek with the back of my hand. Then we kissed and it was salt and blood and wonderful.
My body aches for that kiss again.
What the hell is wrong with me?
I can’t make that Rachel again. I’ve tried and tried and tried.
They won’t kiss me–even when I’m sweet to them. I’ll get her to sit her in my chair while I run around the station, cleaning. But this doesn’t delight them.
So I abort and try again.
I force the kiss and they bite me. Hard. Took a fair sized chunk out of my lower lip.
This should be easy! I am superior to her in every way. She should love me the second she sees me. But this little toad feels nothing for me. I am to her as she is to me!
I feel like I’m back to day one of this project. No closer to understanding anything.
Read back through my diary. My God the horror of what I’ve done.
I’ve been so wrapped up in all this Rachel loves me nonsense I’ve lost sight of why I’m out here.
Nanites. Nanites. Nanites.
I am here to understand the mind. Not get laid!
The board is on my back. They want to see progress or they’re going to pull the plug. I need to buckle down. Need to put Rachel’s little heart into the corner of my mind and throw away the key. She is designed to be nothing and I should think of her as such.
Bear down man or you’ll lose everything you’ve worked for!
I can make Rachel love me.
It’s easy when you can hear entire thoughts. I just give her what she thinks. When she’s hungry, I provide her with food. If she’s cold, I make her warm. If she’s lonely, I give her company. And soon enough, her thoughts are silver bells:
I love him. I love him. I love him.
It was almost too easy!
I understand so much now. Love is need fulfilment. Plain and simple. I need; this person provides; and therefore I love them.
That’s why this Rachel loves me and that’s why the other one loved me. I provide.
The board is ecstatic. They’ve sent a ship, the Charon, to collect me. Soon I’ll be back on Earth, reveling in glory and riches!
I have stamped my name into the history books.
I am so proud of myself.
Had an odd conversation with Rachel this morning. The little dear thinks she’s coming back with me. I don’t know how the hell she got that into her head (the fantasies of women!)
She’s in a tizzy cleaning the station, prepping for what she thinks are “house guests”.
If she only knew. If she only knew.
Soon the Charon will dock at my station. I keep glancing out the window, hoping to see it. Rachel does too.
I’ve had to shut off her nanites. Her mind’s chatter was driving me mad. Babbling brooks, they say. It’s all white chapels and us walking down the aisles together, over and over again.
Rachel’s locked herself in her room. Won’t come out. She won’t tell me why. I haven’t bothered to turn her nanites on to know for sure. I don’t care. Too busy categorizing the data. Packing up for the big move. The end is in sight.
Something must have gone terribly wrong during this Rachel’s instantiation. She’s much cleverer than she’s supposed to be.
It looks like she’s tricked me. Me! It doesn’t seem possible, but there it is.
This morning I noticed my nanite software was still running and when I turned the volume up I heard something shocking. It was my thoughts being broadcast!
It seems she’s put the nanites into my food and has been listening.
The little witch!
She needs to be aborted, needs to be flushed. But she’s locked me out of the station’s controls. She must have heard the password in my mind.
God! When the Charon gets here she will be finished! She can’t stop them from docking. They’ll flush her tout suite when I tell them what’s happened.
I can’t wait.
I’m so upset I can barely write. Something unimaginable has happened. Something dreadful.
The little viper has destroyed the Charon!
I watched from the airlock window. It was just about to dock and Rachel turned the station and revved the engines!
Burnt them to nothing. Ten people immolated in an instant.
The little monster!
All this time and she was insane. How could I not have realized that? I could hear her thoughts as plain as day. It was love, love, love, and that’s it. How could I have missed this?
She’s locked me in my room, frozen the controls too.
I don’t know what to do. I’m so scared. I can’t sleep. I’ve been up for days.
My monitor shows that she’s fired up the cloning machine with a new genome structure. I can’t stop it though, only watch the DNA form.
What is the little psycho doing?
Doesn’t she love me! Doesn’t she know I can provide for her? How can you treat someone you love like this?
She’s mad. Mad! Mad! Mad!
I recognize the DNA structure.
The little cretin is going to clone me.
I don’t know why. It makes no sense. My mind is spinning at this. The whole thing has come lose.
There’s not much time. She’s running the sub-routines to open the airlock.
I was wrong. About her. About love. About everything. I understand what she’s doing. I applaud her. I love her. She is a genius in her cunning.
If I only knew her heart! If the nanites could only