Some things are built with love. ST/1/KIL was built with hate. She was built with hate, and absolute precision, by a very old man who had been, in his time, the best goddamn mechanic in the country. She was built to an exacting specification in the back lot behind a run-down truck dealership smack in the middle of Bible Belt USA. When she was finished her creator broke her down and crated the parts, sending the crates one-by-one to various accommodation addresses across England.
When the final crate left his hands, the man took a photograph out of his wallet and kissed it.
“They gonna suffer too my boy,” he mumbled.
Then he went and sat in the last remaining truck where he put the muzzle of his Colt 45 in his mouth and pulled the trigger. It was six months before anybody even thought to look for him.
In the meantime, an even older man drove a vintage Volkswagen campervan the length and breadth of England collecting crated parts. It took him the best part of a year to amass them all, but he was in no hurry. Better to potter along looking aimless and harmless than to attract the notice of the authorities. If you are planning a murder, it’s a very bad idea to draw attention to yourself.
When he had collected the final piece of the jigsaw it was time to contact the assembler. A carefully nondescript message was sent to an address in Spain and when the recipient flew into London, there was a hire car and a map awaiting him. The assembler drove carefully through the green countryside, stopping punctiliously at checkpoints and presenting his travel documents for examination. He arrived at his destination crumpled and travel worn and his host fed him and showed him a comfortable bed.
The next morning the Spaniard began opening packing cases. It took him three months to open all the crates and reassemble the American’s master work. When he was done, he kissed his fingertips.
That was the last thing he did in this life, as his host slid a knife through his ribs into his heart.
“Loose ends, amigo. Loose ends…”
When he had tumbled the body into a pre-dug grave and filled it in, the killer made a very short phone call.
In the dead of the night a helicopter landed in a broad meadow a mile or so from the house. It took just seconds to upload one item of cargo and the ‘copter was gone long before anyone even realised it had landed. Once the aircraft was safely in the sky, the old man took himself back to his comfortable home where he sat beside the fire and poured himself a special drink. He raised his glass in an ironic toast.
“You are avenged my darling daughter. Wait for me at the pearly gates, I’m on my way.”
He tossed off the drink in one gulp.
The next morning when his housekeeper arrived she found him in his favourite fireside chair, with a faint smile on his face, quite dead.
In London, the precious cargo was delivered to a specialist dealer in Soho. The man examined the goods then smiled unpleasantly.
“She really is a work of art. Now we just wait for the client.”
It was actually more than half a year before the American ambassador walked into the premises. After the normal courtesies, the dealer led the way to a back room, where three androids stood. Deactivated. The ambassador smiled thinly. He pointed to one.
“Not that. Activate the other two.”
One droid was rolled out on its trolley and the trader activated the other two. One was a lush-bodied six-foot blonde with a slightly trailer trash look, the other was smaller and slighter and somehow a pale reflection of its larger sister.
The ambassador spoke to the smaller doll first.
She cast down her eyes with proper modesty.
“Strip!” he ordered and the doll slowly disrobed. She was perfectly formed and pink skinned and the ambassador nodded just once.
The doll stood stock still.
The American turned his eyes on the taller doll.
“Name?” he barked.
“Bella, sir.” The voice was husky, throaty, sexy, and distinctively southern, sounding for all the world as if Scarlett O’Hara had stepped down from the silver screen to tempt a man to his fate. There was no modest casting down of the eyes here. The doll looked at the burly ambassador and dropped him the ghost of a wink.
He felt himself reacting, even though he knew ‘she’ was no more than some circuitry and a great many plastic components.
“Strip,” he snapped and Bella obliged him. She drew her clothes off slowly and with every evidence of a sensuality there was no way she could actually possess. When she was naked under his gaze she pulled back her shoulders making her large breasts stand out even further from her narrow ribcage. As he watched, her nipples hardened and extended. He exhaled swiftly and opened his fly with shaking hands.
“Mouth!” he ordered harshly.
The doll moved towards him with undulating grace, before dropping to her knees in front of him and doing precisely as he ordered. He fisted his hands in her hair as he ground his crotch into her face. When he achieved his orgasm he pushed her away roughly.
Reassembling his clothing, he turned to the trader.
“Stocks. Whip,” he grated.
When Bella was fixed firmly in the wooden whipping frame, the ambassador smiled and laid the whip across her firm rounded buttocks with a will. He was grimly pleased to see the red welts form on what looked like unblemished skin. After six strokes, the dealer grasped his wrist.
“Enough, I think. You have tested the merchandise past what would have been allowed for anyone else.”
It took the red-faced American some several minutes to collect his scattered wits. When his breathing had evened out enough for him to speak collectedly he spoke in a gravelly whisper.
“Fifty years. Minimum.”
The ambassador snorted. “Yeah right. And I suppose she eats and drinks too…”
“Doesn’t eat. That will come in the next model. But she does drink. Needs liquid for lubrication. In various areas. No alcohol though.”
The red-faced man cleared his threat. “Okay. How much?”
The American swallowed. “Dollars?”
For a moment the two men glared at each other, then the dealer motioned his men to cut the doll down and disassemble the whipping frame. The crew worked in silence, and the owner of the shop examined his expensively manicured fingernails. The American broke first.
“I don’t have the authority to spend that much.”
“Then you’d better get authorisation. That’s the price. Including your boss’ discount as a valued customer.”
“Okay. I hafta make some calls. How long do I have?”
“I can give you twenty-four hours.”
“I’ll be in touch.”