I wake. Silverman senses this almost before it happens. He waits at my bedside with my morning drink. I sit up and thank him. While I drink, he recites the day’s diary: appointments, meetings, tasks. I pretend to listen then tell him to cancel everything. I want the day to myself.
Not that I am ever alone. Silverman is always with me, attending to my every need.
I raise my arms and he lifts off my night attire. He carries me to the washroom where he bathes and dries me, gently but thoroughly. I watch a TV over his shoulder: a running news channel. The world is up to its usual tricks, I see. People being horrible to people. Why can’t they all be like Silverman? Implacable, unshakeable Silverman.
He strides smoothly to the walk-in wardrobe to retrieve a pre-selected outfit. I remind him that the day’s appointments are no more but, as ever, he has pre-empted my instructions. He returns with casual wear more suited to my day of unscheduled leisure. How did he know?
I look into his eyes, his pale, grey eyes. He doesn’t blink or look away.
“Remarkable,” I tell him.
“Thank you, sir,” he inclines his head ever-so slightly.
The telephone glows. Silverman answers.
“The young master is not to be disturbed,” he intones and I try not to chuckle. He hangs up and I applaud his deadpan delivery. He aims the remote at the TV at the foot of the bed. My favourite film begins to play.
How did he know it was exactly what I am in the mood for?
I pat the bed but, as always, he declines the invitation. He stands aloof while I enjoy the movie. People doing unspeakable things to each other but in the name of humour. People are funny things.
The movie is interrupted by banging on the door. Silverman goes to intercept but he is pushed aside by a hassled-looking man, dripping with sweat, bursting into my apartment. He pants, gasping out words, his hair wild and his eyes wide.
“You – should – be – at work!” he accuses. He is blocking my view of the screen so I lean to port – or is it starboard? I shall consult Silverman at a more convenient hour. “Those – things – are going crazy.”
“Global Robots can look after itself for one day,” I snap. “It’s what robots are ultimately meant to do.”
The hassled-looking man shakes his head in disbelief. Silverman hands him a handkerchief he seems to have produced from nowhere; the man takes it and mops his brow.
“I shall go, sir,” Silverman nods. But is he addressing me or our uninvited guest?
Before I can respond, he is accessing the control panel on the wall. The movie stops, the lights go off and I lie down.
The last thing I hear before the door closes and I power down is Silverman assuring the hassled-looking man that I am merely a prototype and no threat to anyone.