This is an excerpt from the prologue to a book I wrote called Beta Mates.
(Summary: In the dystopian future, science and technology have advanced in many ways. A doll, manufactured by a distraught scientist after his daughter is raped and murdered, was meant to cut down on the crimes against women. In doing that, the doll soon became the plaything of the wealthy.
They were like no one had ever imagined, organic rather than robotic, self-contained units, with realism, all made to order.
What if one became aware? Would she risk her owner finding out, or would she keep it a secret?)
Beta Mates were the brilliant invention of a scientist named Dr. Emanuel Harper. He was a leader in his field of preparing artificial skin for burn patients. He experimented and improved on the original to a point that it could be mistaken for real human skin. He had been approached by the toy industry to make baby dolls using the skin he developed, but Dr. Harper turned them down, thinking it frivolous. Nine months almost to the day after he turned them down, Dr. Harper’s daughter was raped and murdered. He never suspected the toy industry was involved, but those close to him say he became obsessed with the thought of making a doll in the image of his daughter. The seed had been planted. After going into seclusion, for several years amid rumors of his madness, many comings and goings of scientists with expertise from everything to organ transplants to robotics, Dr. Harper resurfaced.
Introducing the Beta Mates as alternatives to abused women, his intention was to prevent crime. The dolls price tags were expensive, and they soon became favorite mistresses, life partners of confirmed bachelors, a widower’s new partner, whatever one could use a woman for, without actually having one involved. Some human women enjoyed the dolls as well; others felt threatened by them, feeling they were being replaced. Because they were so realistic, and could perform sexual acts, it became status quo for a wealthy father to buy a Beta Mate for his son, in place of a car or other reward upon graduation from school. Hence, cutting down on teen pregnancies, date rapes, and a multitude of other messy issues for the families, but the cost was an obstacle for most.
Personal vehicles were useless anyway. Most of the streets had been replaced with buildings and adequate public transportation was provided. Some, who could afford it, still used motorcycles, as gasoline was at a real premium and hard to find. Resources were drying up rapidly.
The prototype did remotely resemble Dr. Harper’s daughter, however, the ones being sold had many options for hair and eye color, nationality, language, body type, among other things. Along with all the options was the realness about them. They were described as organic rather than robotic. They ate food, slept, cried, almost real, but not, completely submissive, with no attitude. There were no batteries, they were a completely closed unit and seamless. There were only a handful of people who could repair them; luckily it was extremely rare to have them malfunction.
The salesman took the tablet from the man’s son when he was finished. He looked it over for a few moments.
“I think we have just what you’re looking for.” He looked up smiling.
He opened the doors to the warehouse, and ushered them in. It was dimly lit, and temperature controlled, chilly and damp. The Beta Mates were suspended by hooks, anchored by their ankles, upside down from the ceiling of the room in clear heavy plastic bags, resembling dry cleaning racks. The rows were labeled first by nationality, then by hair color and so on.
The mates appeared to be sleeping, “They look like bats, or vampires.” the son mentioned.
Ben glanced at him, amused. “Most people comment about them being naked. I’m just glad their eyes aren’t open. Now that would be creepy! Okay, looks like we want A-L-44.” He walked to the left and down an aisle, expecting the father and son to follow him.
The bodies swung slightly as they passed them, they stopped in the middle of the aisle. “Here we go.” Ben unhooked the body and laid it on the floor. He unzipped the plastic bag and stood back. “Look her over and see if she’s the right one. Once she is activated, no refunds, unless she malfunctions.”
The son looked at his father and then down at the body. He walked around her and wrinkled his nose. “Ya she’s good except I wanted her shaved, ya know, down there.” He said pointing.
Ben sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, “Shave it yourself; it won’t come back unless you give her hair growth serum…and I’ll give you 5% off.” He pauses, “Could be fun!”
The boy looked at his father who shrugged. “Okay.” The son said
“You brought clothes for her?”
The father and son both nod.
“Okay you go get her things; she will be waiting for you, all ready to go.”
The salesman watched as the father and son left the room, then he picked up the lifeless body of the mate and laid her over his shoulder. Stepping to the back of the room, he placed her on a tray and pushed a button. The tray slowly took the body into the Activator. What happens inside is unknown to anyone but the scientists. He waits, and she eventually slides out the other side and begins to stretch, as if she were waking from a long sleep. He helped her to stand and walked her to a room. After telling her to sit, he walked out another door into the store front.
The father and the son were there waiting. The salesman waved his hand towards the door he just left, “Your mate awaits you.” He said.
The son went to the door and entered the room; the salesman and the father chat and finish the transaction while the son dresses his new toy. Moments later they both emerge, “Meet Melissa” he said smiling.
The three of them left together and Ben watched them with a smile on his face, “Another satisfied customer.”