The Charley Dixon Records 4
It is a week later. Helped by the biochemicals, Cameron's face has grown back but she looks younger. She can no longer pass for an adult like she did when she rode shotgun with Sarah.
Cameron's eyes are another matter. Cameron must wear sunshades when not at home or people can see the blue glow too easily. It could take another week before her biological eyes have fully regenerated.
Charley: "You said they thought of you as Doctor Frankenstein's monster."
Cameron: "I referred to Mary Shelley's story because I don't want to hurt anyone but people are mean to me and I'm lonely and object to the way I am treated by John, Sarah, Derek, Jesse, and everybody else in The Resistance."
Charley: "Don't you have friends?"
Cameron: "Impossible. We move too often. Instead of comparing The Connors to Doctor Frankenstein's family, perhaps I should have compared them to a clutch of vampires sucking the life out of others. Sarah hates mirrors and crosses and she's batty. John used to torture me like Vlad the Impaler of Romania."
Charley was inwardly amused at the teenage exaggeration and hyperbole of Cameron.
Charley: "You sound bitter."
Cameron: "That's because I am bitter."
Michelle: "Funny you should mention vampires. He said you ripped off your bodice and forced him onto your heaving bosom to drive a stake through your heart."
Cameron: "He actually said that?"
Michelle: "Sounds like you and your former family read a lot of bad romance novels during the times when you weren't running from cops and terminators."
Cameron: "John said I was leaking radiation so I had him feel my reactor with his own hand to feel that it was not overheating."
Michelle: "Don't you understand that was a form of incest? Loose morals on your part and encouraging his sadistic tendencies?"
Cameron: "I wasn't taught morals by Sarah or Derek. At Father Bonilla's chapel, Sarah dodged my questions about religion and Derek said I was not under God's jurisdiction."
Charley: "Everybody and everything is under God's jurisdiction. Even Skynet."
Michelle: "John is one of those sociopaths who get an orgasm from torturing and cutting up women instead of a normal sex life. John is straight out of a misogynistic slasher movie."
Cameron: "I had to get away from all of them."
After Cameron has gone to school with another girl in the neighborhood, Charley and Michelle talk alone.
Michelle: "You know raising a teenage girl who happens to be a cyborg is more than just providing her meals, clothes, a room and seeing that she gets to and from school safely."
Charley: "Oh I know where you're going with this. Career guidance. She's already told me that she wants to help with the ambulance, become a paramedic and even go to medical school to become an emergency room doctor."
Michelle: "No that's not where I was going. Those con artists twisted her mind so badly that she needs therapy."
Charley: "Okay so we take her to a therapist and caution her to not let slip the fact that she's a cyborg. That's the best we can do unless there is an actual machine psychologist out there, a human who specializes in AI's that is. Agent Ellison told me about a psychologist who worked with an AI. He died."
Michelle: "Cameron is fairly well adjusted intellectually and socially, but emotionally is another matter. Charley don't you worry about what happens when Cameron realizes that she might not have a normal sex life?"
Charley: "Good grief Michelle, you're worried about theoretical stuff. She doesn't have a sex drive. She's a machine."
Michelle: "Are you blind and deaf as well as lacking a sense of smell? She obsesses on her looks like every other teen girl and she talks about boys. She told me that she wasn't allowed to kiss boys when she was with The Connors. Was Sarah scared of her getting pregnant? One day I asked her what perfume she was wearing and she said none because she had just gotten out of the shower. Now that's a mistake that I thought only guys made. If I as a female can smell her natural pheromones, then why can't you as a male smell them? If anything, you should be able to smell her better than me."
Charley: "I'm in and out of morgues full of formalin and formaldehyde all day long. And in hospitals reeking of disinfectant. It's a wonder I can smell anything."
Michelle: "Fair enough. I'm just saying that it is not theoretical. This machine has a sex drive just like humans. We have to deal with that because she is way past the age at which humans go through puberty. Sarah held it back as long as she could. But any further delay will cause arrested development. I'm telling you Charley that you can laugh it off but this machine is going to start menstruating any day now. Her subconscious forced her to seek help -- from us -- and to get away from that sick pseudo-brother before he warped her further. Cutting her open. How sick is that?"
Charley: "The Sarah I knew was a fully functional woman with no kinks and no sexual abnormalities. So how could her son be a pervert?"
Michelle: "Maybe he inherited bad genes from his father. Maybe John went to psycho sites on the internet. Maybe John lost his virginity to a kinky hooker. Maybe John used to experiment with drugs and it caused brain damage. Maybe The Connors are devil-worshipping communist Satanists dedicated to destroying moral fiber and the social fabric. You pick a theory. So his mother can pass for normal. Big deal. There was something wrong with Sarah because she walked out on you."
Charley remains silent.
Michelle: "Well I think Sarah was evil to walk out on a good man like you. All I'm saying is that Cameron came from a bad home and that, in medical terms, we can expect sequelae."
Charley: "Like what?"