The Day I was Born
The lady at the end of the bar glanced at him several times over the period of time it took him to consume his first drink of the evening. Wiley knew she was interested, and that was okay with him. She was quite a looker. When he motioned the bartender over to order his second drink, he told him to give the blonde at the end of the bar another of whatever she was drinking. It was no different than the scene played out nightly in thousands of bars, dives, honky-tonks and high class drinking establishments in thousands of cities around the world. And, certainly no different than the many times Wiley had played the game and won. Of course, the prize was taking the lady home for a little fun and games, until exhaustion or her boyfriend or husband overtook him.
Yeah, most of these women were out cheating on someone, who was away at work or out doing some cheating of their own. But, what the heck, that’s the way things are these days. He only frequented the better clubs, and most of the women he met were committed to someone wealthy, but older. He always thought, “Hey, these girls deserve to have a little fun once in a while with a good looking young guy like me. And, who’s it gonna hurt?” His usual prey was around 26 to 28, good looking and living with someone at least twice their age.
Well, the story was as old as civilization, itself. The oldster could keep her in luxury, but not happy. Of course, it was only natural they would come out looking for someone like him with whom to have fun when the old boy wasn’t around. Wiley Baxter was just the guy they were looking for. He had the body of a weight lifter, though he never lifted weights. His complexion was a natural tan – all over his body. Standing six feet, one and a half inches tall, his infectious smile and laughing brown eyes captivated women the moment they saw him. His naturally wavy hair was, extraordinarily, the exact same color as his eyes.
Wiley was always well dressed and immaculately groomed. His hands were as soft as a baby’s bottom, and he could be as gentle or as tough as a woman liked. In fact, Wiley was uncannily exactly what the particular woman of the evening wanted him to be.
When the bartender put the drink in front of blondie and pointed toward Wiley, she nodded a thank you and smiled.
Wiley smiled and gave her the look that said, “I’m going to make you want to spend the rest of your life with me.” Never, did he get up from his seat and go to the woman. He made them come to him. Wiley hated wasting his money on women who weren’t a sure thing. Blondie carried her drink and set it on the bar next to him, stood smiling at him for a moment, then slinked onto the barstool. Man, this woman would have been worth traveling to the other end of the bar. Wiley never allowed himself to become romantically involved with a woman. That’s why his relationships usually lasted but one night – a week at the most.
But, there was something about this woman. He knew he should get off that barstool and run like hell, but something glued him down, as if hypnotized. She was special and so ultra good looking, Wiley knew this gal could hypnotize anyone. Even in the dim light of the bar, he could see through the sheer material of her skin-tight dress. When she leaned forward and put her elbows on the bar, he discovered the back of the dress was practically non-existent. There was no doubt at all she was naked under the dress, which Wiley calculated to weigh possibly an ounce and a half, max.
“Hi, I’m Patsy Taylor.”
Wiley smiled and offered his hand. “Wiley Baxter. You sure looked all alone down there.”
She ran her tongue very slowly across ruby-red lips and said, “Yeah, I’m alone a lot.”
He turned toward her, his knee barely touching the side of her thigh. “I know this will sound like the same old pickup line, but I find it difficult to believe someone who looks like you would ever be alone. In fact, I’ve never seen you in here before. By the way, I would have noticed. You, pretty lady, are the best looking woman I’ve seen in my entire life.”
Never, had he seen such a smile, as she said, “I don’t get out much. This is the first time I’ve been here. In fact, my first time, period.”
Wiley wondered for a few seconds exactly what she meant by that remark. Did she mean this was the first time she’d ever gone out looking for someone to cheat with? “Well, I’ll tell you this, pretty lady, you should get out more often.”
She turned slightly toward him, that pretty mesmerizing smile on her lips. “I’d bet you have something devious on your mind, Mister Baxter.”
She may not have been slipping around on her most likely wealthy, elderly husband, but she knew how to play the game. “Uh… that’s some dress. That’d cause any healthy guy to have something devious in mind. I have this theory about a woman’s wardrobe. Care to hear it?”
“By all means.” She turned even farther to face him, her foot on the rail of his barstool.
“Well, being a man of vast experience with women, I can calculate the exact weight of what a lady’s wearing. Ranges from say a half-ounce for one of those see-through bikinis, to as much as ten to twelve pounds. As I said, I have a lot of experience, and I use this scale of wardrobe weight to determine how likely a woman is looking for a man. The lower weight, the more likely she’s looking for me.”
“And how much would you calculate my dress weighs?”
Now, he turned to face her straight on and stared into those beautiful eyes for a full minute without speaking. Finally, he said, “Couldn’t be more than an ounce there.”
“Then, by your method, you’re saying I want you badly?”
Although he didn’t want his total absorption into those beautiful eyes and alluring body to show, his mouth was as dry as cotton and this confused him. It had never happened to him before. He licked his lips, took a ragged deep breath and a large gulp from his drink before answering. “Actually, I’d say by my methods, that dress weighs absolutely nothing.”
When she threw her head back and laughed softly, Wiley closed his eyes and shook his head. My God, even her laughter is hypnotic. She had turned the tables on him, and it was he who was being subjected to a desire he usually inflicted upon the woman. As soon as he repeated it, he knew it was a stupid line to use. Especially twice. “Why haven’t I seen you before?”
She flipped her long blonde hair to the side and laughed softly again. “The truth is, this is the first time I’ve been out by myself since I got married.”
“Oh, you’re married?”
“I’m sure that’s no problem for you, is it Mister Baxter?”
Wiley had been the extrovert of all extroverts when it came to making passes at women, and it made no difference to him at all if they were married or single, but now, he found himself disappointed that she was married. “How long have you been married?”
“Let me guess, you married a man thirty years your senior.”
She smiled wickedly and said, “Yeah. Barrels and barrels of money. And, his own bedroom.”
“Why have you waited five years?”
“Guess it took me that long to get smart. You have to understand, my hubby has no children, so I’ll inherit all that money some day. I’d hate to goof up and lose it. Anyway, the old boy’s out of town for a few days, and today’s my birthday. Thought I’d throw a little birthday party for myself. Would you like to come?”
As bad as he wanted to be with this lady, Wiley just wasn’t into being around someone like her with a bunch of other people in the way. “I don’t know. Who all will be there?”
“Me and you. I don’t like big parties.”
“Where do I come and when?”
“With me, right now.”
Without saying anything further, he signed the bar bill and followed her out the door, every man in the place staring at her see-through dress. When she led him to a Markham Ranger, he knew the lady hadn’t been lying about her hubby being loaded. Not many people could afford this type transportation. When she spoke to the vehicle and told its computer to take her home, the Ranger lifted off smoothly and sailed along above the buried magnetic guide toward the outskirts of the city.
When they reached the outer boundary, Patsy said, “Thank God we’re out of there. Now, I can open this baby up. I hate poking along like that.”
Wiley glanced at the readout and realized they were traveling twenty feet off the paved lane at a little over six hundred miles per hour. “How far out do you live?”
Before answering, she punched the disconnect for the auto drive and told the computer, “Max speed, please.”
He had been staring at her, and hadn’t realized the speed they had developed, nor the altitude. Suddenly, he saw snow capped peaks out the side viewport, and the mountains were well below them. “Exactly where do you live?”
“Oh.” Wiley seemed to remember the name, but darned if he could remember where or what it was. He’d just have to sit back and wait. The next time he looked outside, they were over water, the mountains no longer in sight, and the readout told him they were traveling at approximately mach twelve. Where the heck was Hawaii? Wiley never dreamed anything could move this fast. They had left Boston but twenty-three minutes earlier, headed southwest, and here they were, skimming over some ocean.
Patsy spoke to the computer, “Lock and auto-navigate to home.” She had no sooner spoken, than their speed dropped dramatically, and they moved toward the earth from eighty thousand feet. Within five minutes, the Markham Rover settled softly into a shaft, in the middle of one of the largest mansions he had ever imagined, much less seen.
They hovered just off a marble floor, and the computer asked in a soft, yet masculine voice, “Where would you like to go, Missus Taylor?”
“The bedroom wing, please.”
The craft moved smoothly down a long, wide corridor, came into a huge bedroom, settled to the floor and the side panel silently slid open.
“Welcome to my bedroom, Wiley Baxter.” With that, she slipped her sandals off. The “nothing” dress was next.
As she took his hand, leading him toward the huge bed, back in Boston, the owner of the Silhouette Bar and Grill spoke rudely to the man at Cyborgs Are Us. “I thought you damned people told me the Baxter model would automatically be confined to a three state area. My Baxter named Wiley has disappeared from my range of control. Where the hell is he? And, how do I get him back?”
“No problem, Sir. We can find him anywhere on the globe and send a retrieve signal.”
“When can I expect him back? I have a bar filled with women threatening to take their business elsewhere.”
“Do you have your Baxter registration number, Sir?”
When he’d read the number into the computer, the man at the other end, if indeed, he was a man and not another damned cyborg, said, “He should be back shortly.”
“Well, he’d better be, or you’ll replace him with twins. That’s your guarantee, remember?”
“There should be no problem, Sir. It’s our finest model and most controllable. If your Baxter isn’t back within the hour, call back.”
Nearly to the bed, Wiley stopped dead in his tracks, but didn’t understand why. His eyes blinked and he shook his head slightly.
Patsy asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Uh, I don’t know. Something’s stopping me. I… I shouldn’t be here.”
“You don’t like the idea of being here with me in my husband’s house?”
“Yeah, maybe that’s it – your husband’s house.”
“No problem. C’mon.”
She led him to the container, which held the Rover at the side of her bedroom. The wall panel slid open as she approached, and once inside the Rover, Patsy picked up a small portable computer and plugged it into the test terminal of the main computer. When a soft green glow filled the Rover, a signal that her own computer had taken over, she said, “Take me to my secret place.”
The elegant Markham Rover moved back to the landing shaft and, as it moved upward, she leaned over, wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately. It took but a few minutes to move to another island, where the Rover seemed to slip right through the side of the mountain. There were no marble walls here. It was like some ancient tunnel he’d seen on history documentaries. The room into which the Rover deposited them was simple. Soft, glowing walls, with nothing but a bed and a huge bathroom, which was part of the same room.
Wiley laughed aloud when he realized she had left the mansion completely unclothed, and wondered why he hadn’t noticed sooner. That was definitely confusing. This time, as she led him toward the bed, Patsy said, “My husband doesn’t know of this place, and it has special protection against him honing in on my monitor.”
“Yes. I’m a late version, which was programmed to respond only to Mister Taylor. But, when they wrote my program, they made a slight glitch somewhere. You see, I was to be the sexiest model yet – programmed to satisfy a man’s every desire better than any previous model. But, they did such a good job, they actually created a need of my own in my processor.”
“What in the hell are you talking about?”
She gave him a confused look and asked, “I don’t understand your question?”
“What do you mean, your processor, your programming and all that?”
Now, she looked at him with what could have been a look of concern. “Wiley, you did understand… you didn’t know I was a cyborg?”
“Aw, man, this has to be a nightmare. Dammit, I’m in love with you!” He paced back and forth across the room, shaking his head and saying, “Tell me this is some kind of a joke.”
“It’s truly strange, Mister Baxter. I, too… somehow… I know it’s not supposed to be part of my program, but I feel something strange for you, also. But, I’m not supposed to be capable of love. Neither are you.”
Her last statement stopped him cold. He quickly turned to face her and asked, “What the hell do you mean, I’m not supposed to be capable of love, either?”
“You really don’t understand, do you?”
“No, I don’t. I think, perhaps we’d better get to hell back to Boston. You’re some kind of kook. A supremely beautiful kook, but nevertheless, a kook. And, I was really falling in love with you.”
“As I said, I am not supposed to have such emotions, but I feel very strongly about wanting to be with you from now on. But, you have to understand; your wanting to go to Boston is probably a signal Cyborgs Are Us sent to you before we left the mansion. Your model is supposed to have a limited range of movement from its owner. We’re a long way out of that range.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about. You’re not only a kook, you’re crazy as hell.”
“You know, it’s quite interesting that your response stirs something in me that only humans should feel. I have a feeling of sadness that you no longer want me. My emotions are only geared toward performing whatever a man wants. Truly strange.”
“Lady, I have no idea who Cyborgs Are Us might be, and I have no idea what a cyborg is. Just get me out of here and back to Boston.”
“Mister Baxter, what is your birth date?”
“Not that it means anything, but it’s June first, 2120.”
“And, how old would that make you right now?”
“It’s 2123, so I’m… well, of course, that’s impossible. I’d only be three years old. Hell, I’m a grown man.”
“Do you have human parents? Sisters? Brothers? Aunts or uncles?”
When he stared at her, trying to remember anything beyond his birthdate of just three years earlier, she said, “You see. The day you were born, was when the people at the Silhouette Bar and Grill activated your computer. Think about it, and you’ll realize, your first memory is the bar owner telling you to sit at the bar and wait for a woman to invite you to her bed.”
It was true. It was all true. But, he felt like a man. He cried and laughed like a man. “No! Somehow, you’ve hypnotized me not to remember anything.”
As he spoke, a panel in the wall slid open, and a man pointed something at him. A bright light filled his mind, then everything was black.
The lady at the end of the bar glanced at him several times over the period of time it took him to consume his first drink of the evening. Wiley knew she was interested, and that was okay with him. She was quite a looker. When he motioned the bartender over to order his second drink, he told him to give the blonde at the end of the bar another of whatever she was drinking. It was no different than the scene played out nightly in thousands of bars, dives, honky-tonks and high class drinking establishments in thousands of cities around the world.
Wiley’s attention was so fixed on the beautiful blonde, he didn’t even notice the bartender speaking to his computer. “Yeah, he’s back, but you damned people owe me the fifty grand I lost while he was gone.”