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Synths

A couple navigates the world of an Internet content subscription service.

By Skyler SaundersPublished about a month ago 9 min read
4
Synths
Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

She just finished a scene and pocketed $40,000 in the process. Akina shut off her camera and powered down her notebook. She turned down the lights save for one. She dressed. The amount of money that she made put a grin on her face. She looked at her watch. The time had come for her to see him. She put on her motorcycle and swerved safely in and out of traffic. The danger, she felt, was on the screen, not on the street. Once she reached his high rise apartment, he opened the door and breathed.

“That was a great show you put on today,” he said.

“You liked it?”

“Come in, I’ll show you all my notes. Heinlein held a blank page and kissed her mouth.

“That good, huh?” she asked with a smile. “I transferred your portion.”

“Thank you.”

“I wanted to talk about that.”

“About what?” she queried.

“About the fact that we’re Synths and we’re getting all this money from humans and other synths alike.”

“Absolutely. Is there a problem?”

“Yes, actually,” he replied. “There’s still a rift between the two beings.”

“I’ve checked my stats. I know you have.”

“Yes, I know. It’s sixty-forty with humans carrying most of the audience.”

“How do we get Synths to gravitate towards our content?”

He looked down at the hardwood and around at the sculptures and paintings that actually represented beauty, honor, and grace. It was like a wind had swept through the place when she asked that question. Heinlein looked up again.

“We don’t.”

“What?”

“We don’t do anything. We watch them come to us with a gusto and a fervor that should only be realized by their own word-of-mouth nature.”

“Okay.”

“Do you see?”

“Yes, I strip and then allow our current audience to tell other synths to become part of our mission.”

“Exactly.”

“I know what you mean. I’m going to share my body with as many viewers as possible. We should be able to make six figures a day within a few weeks.”

That’s right.”

Akina walked around the apartment and found a kit. The kit consisted of shampoo, styling gel, a wave activator and a brush.

“Sit down,” she said.

Heinlein walked over around the couch with his head slightly canted upward. Akina’s eyes followed his every move. She saw him sit on the couch and command for the foot rest to rise. The slight hum of electricity permeated the room. She took the kit and slowly worked the wave activator into Heinlein’s hair. The smooth and soothing semi-liquid-like substance massaged into his scalp. His toes popped as she worked it into his scalp. His brown skin and her brown fingers meshed together in colorful harmony. The off-white activator seemed to be the only thing not brown on his skin. His waves loved it.

“See, I can do this for you,” Akina announced after a good two minutes of silence. “It is because you are worthy. I don’t mean just because you handle my money. Although, that is part of it. But you are a synth that deserves to be catered to in this manner.”

“Is that right?” Heinlein asked with a knowing grin. “I already knew that.”

“I just thought you should be told again. This venture we’re on is especially fraught with many pitfalls that I would love to avoid.”

“Indeed.”

The brush made a whooshing sound with the waves swirling in a three hundred and sixty degree pattern around Heinlein’s head.

“It’s all about taking the situations and making them ours,” he mentioned.

“Yes. Forget about any competition. They’re not the focal point at all. We must concentrate on our own abilities,” Akina responded.

She laughed.

“What?”

“It’s nothing. I just thought of the fact that we’ll be getting this money together and one day be able to move into a house.”

“I’m sticking to the condo life.”

“Then I’m sticking to the condo life, too, once I move in with you. Sit back some more.” Akina walked around to take off his shoes and replace them with slippers.

“What we must remember is the fight against all the taxes. That’s one sore side about all of this. They eat into our pockets and where’s it all going? To a bunch of programs that don’t even benefit the American people or Delawareans. Any other country, hostile or not, gets a piece, and we’re left with scraps.”

With swiftness, Akina headed towards the kitchen.

“How should we dine tonight?”

“I’m feeling lamb cheese steak. And fries.”

“I’ll have that up in a moment.”

Heinlein looked up and smiled. Then, just as quickly, he frowned. “Yes, we’re going to have a time trying to just be ourselves. Our human competition is the only-–”

“Remember I said forget ‘em.”

“You’re right. You’re right.”

In moments, through the delivery system in the kitchen, a freshly made lamb cheese steak dinner became readily available. She paid for the service and then worked on the meals. Akina knew exactly what spices Heinlein enjoyed and sprinkled them on his meal. Although the food had been prepared, she took extra steps to make it that much more scrumptious.

A tray extended from the couch. Akina turned on the jazz channel on the television. She sat down with their meal. Then she raised again.

“Oh, drinks!” she said. Akina brought some ice cold hard seltzer water from the refrigerator. Even as they ate, the food did not digest like humans. Through their many pores, the food converted to steam exhaust and no need for a bathroom existed. They polished off their sandwiches and fries and just sipped their seltzers.

“If we are going to do this, we must do this right,” Heinlein said.

“Absolutely,” Akina acknowledged.

“It’s bad enough that both the producer and the consumer get looked at as pariahs in this world. And I do mean the world. The entire globe has access to the Internet and we’re able to continue to fight for all the ways that we wish to make a killing off of our efforts.”

“Yes. When we finally see the day where the mostly human population admits to enjoying adult synth shows online, that will be our greatest achievement.”

“It’s still hard to tell, however,” Heinlein pondered.

Akina’s brows furrowed. “Why is that?”

“I mean we make the videos. We put everything into them. The response? You’re smut peddlers. The people watching our shows, they’re called perverts.”

“We still get a deposit every week don’t we?”

“Of course, but it’s more than that. I love the money, don’t get me tangled or twisted. I do, however, sense that we’re right alongside our human counterparts when it comes to this game.”

“That’s right,” Akina raised once more and cleared off the places where the two ate. “I’m going to make your favorite…German chocolate cake.”

“You read my mind.”

“I can do that, but that’s not what I did right here. I knew based on your words and motions that they had everything to do with that specific dessert.”

“In the meantime, we can figure out this whole scenario where I continue to get ninety percent.”

“Yes, I wanted to let you know that I am on board with you making that part of the cut. You set up the cameras and screens. You sent out the messages via social media. You do the heavy lifting. I just use my mind and move my body.” She prepared the cake from scratch and sat on the opposite side of Heinlein. With her expertise in baking, she certainly wanted to further impress her synthetic man.

“I’m going to ensure that we continue to grapple with the idea of making more moves within the industry. You should be able to parlay this experience into a TV show, books, a magazine, whatever.”

“Absolutely. I would be honored to have you go on this journey with me. Not a lot of synths would admit that they’re being treated well and reciprocating such treatment. Even more.”

Akina walked behind where Heinlein sat. She massaged his shoulders. With vigor and passion, precision and a gentle yet firm hand, she relaxed his cares away. Or so she thought. Heinlein rocketed to his feet.

“I know you’re doing all of this Akina, but I have to say, we’re going to get eaten alive by humans. It’s ironic, I know. Usually it's technology that replaces humans. Ever since our program was introduced on the Web, we’ve been able to solidify a great portion of it. Whether it was call centers, gaming, betting, sports, fitness, you name it. It all came down to a clash between organic beings and synths. We typically started winning but then the humans introduced so many regulations and controls against us, that we had to readjust and maneuver differently.”

“I hear you….”

“Do you…?” Some bit of agitation crept into his voice.

“I know you’re frustrated by all of the different ways they’ve tried to throttle us. It means nothing. We’re going to go on with the power of our intellect. We hold intelligence that humans couldn’t even fathom. They birthed us, but they really never had us. We’ve been able to live together in relative harmony. An occasional synth would be murdered…if I can say that. I mean deleted from the system. Whether it’s by a fellow synth or a human, it matters not. We have this ability to make a living and look around.” Heinlein noticed his spacious condominium. “We’re living the highlights.”

Heinlein paced around the floor. He made quick, rhythmic steps around the space. He looked like a tiger in a cage prowling, searching for something. With arms outstretched, Akina pressed her hands to his chest.

“Sit.”

“I will stand.”

“Okay. I wanted you to sit for this but, okay. I was thinking about us signing with an agency.”

“What?!”

“That’s why I wanted you to sit. We will be able to get more exposure.”

“Yes, but we will also lose the lion’s share of our publishing and the master recordings of the videos. I take part in no sacrifices.”

“Is it a sacrifice?”

“Yes it is. We’re fine where we are. All we have to do is continue to build and build. That’s our focus. That’s our aim.”

“I know what you mean. I just thought about the way we can manage our destinies with more money.”

“We’ll make more money. That’s not the issue. The main concern is whether we can keep going with the way we’re making the money we’re making right now.”

Akina looked down at the ground and swore.

“Baby, it’s alright. I know you’re doing everything sweet for me. You’ve been doing this ever since you were created. I appreciate it all. Your algorithm is designed to cater to me. This I know. As long as we’re still linked together, there should be no problem with how we generate funds.”

As she walked away from him, Akina felt a burst of ideas flood through her consciousness like a gushing river.

“I know! You set out to be the powerbroker and you can just bring me along to compliment the deal.”

“That’s not a bad idea. I have so much trust in you.”

“I think that we should definitely use our funds to get an even better condominium in Wilmington. One that has marvelous views of the water. I can see the sun shimmering off of it right now.”

Heinlein held Akina at arms length. “We can do all of that if we just laser in on our target of keeping our work for ourselves.” They embraced. Their bodies glowed. A golden brown light emitted from them as they held each other. It appeared to shine throughout the living and dining rooms as the jazz tunes still pervaded the area.

“I think we’re on the same page, just different paragraphs,” Akina admitted with a grin. “We’ve been able to come this far by reason. There’s no way we can go back now.”

“This is true. We’re destined to be billionaires based on our own efforts. That is what we must never lose sight of in all of this.”

“That’s right.” They kissed.

“Ding!”

“That’s the cake,” Heinlein said.

“I’ll serve it to you with a smile,” Akina replied.

Short StorySci FiCONTENT WARNING
4

About the Creator

Skyler Saunders

I’ve been writing since I was five-years-old. I didn’t have an audience until I was nine. If you enjoy my work feel free to like but also never hesitate to share. Thank you for your patronage. Take care.

S.S.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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  • Flamance @ lit.27 days ago

    Awesome story I like it congratulations 🎉🎉

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