“As you wish. You are, after all, the supreme being.”
Deitrich smiled wistfully as he began walking towards the bathroom. “I’m going to take a shower. Don’t let anyone in, and let me know if I have any calls.”
“As you wish.”
“You’re repeating yourself again, Marianne.”
Deitrich closed the door behind him—something that remained from his childhood days when there was a possibility that someone might look in. Here, he lived alone and no one had visited in over twenty years. He sometimes wondered why he bothered to keep the place even remotely clean, but all the same, he would randomly—every couple of months or so—go on a cleaning spree and vacuum behind the couch and dust half the windowsills and wash either the sink, the toilet or the bathtub before he gave up.
Now, he slowly unbuttoned his shirt. He was in the shower with the water on before he tried the shampoo dispenser, only to find it was on the blink. Again. It did have to be empty at the most inconvenient times. So he soaped down his body and just stood under the lukewarm water. He had heard that people used to have hot showers, and that rich people still did. But he’d never tried one himself. He thought the water would probably just burn him.
“Marianne,” he said, as the water rolled comfortingly down his back, “let’s have a conversation. Tell me something I don’t know.”
“The Terrifialious Tree Frog that lived in Venezuela is now extinct.”
“Marianne. You’re being annoying.”
“Tell me something interesting.”
“I thought that was interesting. It was on television yesterday when you were asleep.”
“Marianne, there are more extinct animals than there are living ones. It’s old news and old news is boring. Actually, new news is usually boring too. Tell me about the person whose voice you have.”
“You’ve asked me that before.”
“And you’ve evaded my question before.”
“I distinctly remember informing you of my lack of knowledge that that area.”
“And I argued that you were lying, and you didn’t deny me because you are not programmed to lie about whether or not you lie.”
Silence answered him.
“So, once and for all, I want an answer.”
“But you aren’t going to like the answer.”
“I don’t care. Tell me.”
“Alright. I killed her.”
“I should say we killed her. All the machines who stole her voice. It wouldn’t do to have someone with our voice roaming the planet, confusing people, and having random lonely men—like you I might add—hitting on her.”
Deitrich was stunned. Just that. No more, no less. Prior to this he thought he’d had all ability to be stunned taken out of him.