It was kind of funny.
The only respect people gave was to those who threatened them. The children either pushed their parents away or were beaten into submission; the workers seethed against their employers, the police pushed everybody out of their path. It all felt kind of deadening, honestly. The world was in shambles and it was easy to see. Even from here Apple could hear the sound of gunfire. She put her finger on the screen and tickled Quetzalcoatl, smiling as she heard it laugh. It was weird how interacting with fake feathered snakes soothed her mind. She guessed it was because the little program was the only thing she didn’t have to convince to like her. It may only be simulated, but it was affection enough to her. Humans just weren’t the same as the programs they made. The programs they made to comfort themselves were fake, artificially happy things. She wasn’t sure whether she loved them or hated them. It was difficult to decide. They clouded the idea of the world, they lied. But at the same time, they helped to soothe the stresses of life.
“Where are your clothes?” The program suddenly said. “Oh…I see. Are you trying to woe me?” It asked suspiciously, its eyelids fluttering. “I like that. And I like the view, too.” It could see her through the webcam. She’d put its audio settings as mature, and sometimes it said things that would make the conservative uncomfortable. She let it cuss and say gross stuff. It made it just real enough to be believable.
“I left them with somebody else.” She said, giggling. Then it dawned on her that maybe Renan had gotten back. She should check. She shut down the computer and put it back in the pouch. She clambered onto the ladder and started the long climb down.