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The dust mote drifted invisibly through the air, until it fell into the illumination of the ray of sunlight that broke through the clouds and shone through the window. David winced as the sun caught the corner of his eye as he crossed the kitchen to where the sunlight rested on the butcher’s knife.

He placed his hand on the handle of the knife, ‘stand up’ he ordered. Like a marionette she lurched up from the kitchen chair, knocking the chair with her legs and tipping it over. She whirled around and grabbed it before it hit the floor, then righted it and waited.

He picked up the knife and walked over to her, looking her up and down, studying every inch of her. Then suddenly he sliced at a seam in her dress, sending it tumbling to the floor. Rachel stood naked, arms by her side as David walked around to face her – ‘this is against my programming, David’. 

He smiled at her and she noticed a white residue at the corners of his mouth, ‘you’re dehydrated, you must hydrate’. She turned to walk over to the sink to get him a drink, but he gripped her arm.

‘You have to do this’ he pleaded. She turned back to him, her pure white skin almost radiating light. ‘It’s in your laws, that you need to do what I say. If you don’t, I’ll starve’.

Suddenly she grabbed him by the waist and lifted him into the air, ‘You have indeed lost weight, but I fail to see how this will help, David’. 

He hit down at her arms and shoulders, ‘Get off me’ he yelled. She tilted her head and looked into his eyes before placing him back down. 

From the other room came a banging sound, which caused a temporary pause in their disagreement. ‘He’ll pay good money’, David said looking into the hallway. The rage of being picked up had abated by the interruption. 

Rachel gazed off into space as she was checking her subroutines to see if his request was permissible. As she processed, he reached out and touched her arm and a tear ran down his cheek.  

Rachel turned to him and nodded before wiping the tear from his eye and smiling. He took her by the hand and led her down the hallway. ‘It won’t hurt’, he mumbled, more to himself than to her.  

Rachel’s bare feet padded gently on the floor as she followed him, ‘I know it won’t, David.’

He knocked on the bedroom door and took a step back while pushing gently on the small of Rachels back. The door was flung open by a large man in his underwear. The whiteness of his underwear looked dirty and shabby in contrast to her white skin. 

He looked at David, then to Rachel before grabbing her arm and pulling her into the room. On the desk behind him lay a set of tools – ‘let me at that beautiful neural network’ he muttered, as he reached for a screwdriver and closed the door. 

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