Love Bytes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers

Women and men are very different, even when they are robots. Sequel to EDEN DELETED and TILL WE HAVE MONITORS. Continues in INJIL IN JOULES.


Dibera left her apartment in the morning after a sleepless night. She had tried to swallow yesterday's leftovers, but the food tasted like rubber, and she almost vomited. She did not want to see Adawmem. Yet she knew she had to, and that alone almost drove her crazy. Men!

Advanced Awesome Memory (what a silly name, by the way) was standing under the subway sign and checking the time with theatrical sighs. Dibera immediately wanted to run away. It took much of her willpower to overcome that feeling and approach him. He was wearing the lead-and-aluminum overcoat she'd given him for his birthday, and her PSU skipped a current.

“Hey,” Adawmem greeted her gloomily.

“Hey,” she responded, trying to sound as warm as she could in her condition. Uncomfortable silence fell in.

“That's it, then?” Adawmem asked icily.

That was all he'd been capable of. Not a hug, not a smile, not a reassuring word. He was expecting all that from her. And she'd gladly give him that – if only she could. But she was physically incapable of anything like that at the moment. Part of her was madly hoping that he comforted her, while another – a colder, more calculating one – started devising a retreat strategy, blocking all emotions in one swift defensive maneuver, erecting an impenetrable wall with a skill men could not even begin to fathom. 

Adawmem, however, interpreted her silence in his own way.

“All right,” he said, seemingly trying very hard to control the irrational anger consuming him. “I see you care for Adcodis more than for me. This is it, then. Good-bye... I wish you all the best, Dibera. I... won't stop loving you.” 

He stuck out his chin in a manner she had usually found comically endearing. Even now, exhaustion conquering every bolt in her body step by step, she could muster a feeble smile illuminating the pretty straight lines of her glistening, silvery steel face.

Apparently, for Adawmem that smile meant something else entirely. He clenched his fists in powerless rage.

“Dibera,” he was almost hissing. “I've given you my PSU. And you spit on it with your smile. Do me a favor and at least stop mocking my suffering. But I don't expect you to understand. I guess all I can do now is leave... and never bother you again.” 

He turned and started walking away.

It was then that Dibera exploded. Not literally, of course. Her motherboard was strong and sat well in her attractive body, thanks Oduya. But the frustration was becoming unbearable. She saw that Adawmem was frustrated as well, in his own way. She understood what he was feeling, yet something prevented her from helping him. It was, above all, his extreme stupidity – how could he be so dense as to not understand she only had eyes for him? And his idiotic, oppressive jealousy - how could anyone deal with that? His lack of basic empathy and unabashedly self-centered attitude were weighing down heavily on any tenderness she was still feeling for him, paralyzing her. 

So she shouted.

“Go away, then!” she screamed. “Go away... and don't come back!”

Adawmem produced a lopsided grin that almost made her slap him. 

“That's what I thought,” he said in that unbearable, arrogant, childish tone he'd always been using to seal their quarrels. “Good-bye, Digital Beautiful RAM.”

Even that... Using her full name in a dumb act of fake dignity designed to awaken pity in her. Pity? Maybe that's how one had to treat men - like creatures with a damaged CPU, incapable of any sort of behavior she thought was worthy of being called “manly”. Men! She thought again, this time with resigned despair. And her lovely eyes squeezed out a few helpless tears.




The day started in a bad way already. First, Adawmem was unable to sleep. How could he when he knew that he'd hurt Dibera with a jealous scene the night before? Then again, what was he supposed to do when she kept mentioning that jerk Adcodis over and over again? He wanted to get out and beat him down to an oily heap. Break his joints, tear the RAM sticks out of his Oduya-damned motherboard. Then he got hotly ashamed of these violent thoughts. If only Dibera could once tell him she understood how he felt, just once! But no, he was deprived of that consolation. Women!

He arrived at the subway entrance ten minutes in advance. He waited twenty minutes. Of course she was late. She'd always been late. Being on time, that basic expression of respect to another person, had never been one of her virtues.

When she finally appeared his PSU skipped a current – so beautiful she looked in the wolfram skirt he had bought her for her birthday, gently covering the elegant lines of her thighs. Dibera. Digital Beautiful RAM. What a lovely name.

“Hey,” he greeted her in a firm, collected voice.

“Hey,” she retorted coldly. Uncomfortable silence fell in.

She always did that. No matter how he would start a conversation, every time he had to start it anew with each sentence. Everything had to be his initiative. She wouldn't have parted with the tiniest bit of information pertaining to her emotional state. He just had to guess everything, and that was indescribably exhausting.

“That's it, then?” he asked imploringly.

He regretted that as soon as the words came out of the depths of his sound card. Never show a woman your weakness. They prey on it like wild animals. He had to be cool with her, yet instead he was all emotional and needy. That was probably not “manly” in her eyes – whatever that word meant.

She was still silent. Did she even care? He was beginning to doubt that. Black despair started creeping into his soul.

“All right,” he said, trying very hard to control the barely perceptible, understandable anger. “I see you care for Adcodis more than you do for me. This is it, then. Good-bye... I wish you all the best, Dibera. I... won't stop loving you.” 

He tried to put as much calm dignity into the expression of his face as he could muster. Dibera was refusing to communicate. He was tortured by uncertainty and she didn't even bother to talk, let alone give any sort of explanation. The best he could do was show her he still cared for her no matter what.

But then she smiled. She was amused by what was happening. She was laughing at him! He clenched his fists in powerless rage.

“Dibera,” he lowered his voice because he was afraid he'd shout. “I've given you my PSU. And you spit on it with your smile. Do me a favor and at least stop mocking my suffering. But I don't expect you to understand. I guess all I can do now is leave... and never bother you again.” 

He turned and started walking away.

It was then that Dibera exploded. Not literally, of course. Her motherboard was strong and sat well in her attractive body, thanks Oduya. But she freaked out. Totally. It just came out of the blue. There was no logic, no warning signals, nothing. Just a giant irrational outburst of insanity. 

“Go away, then!” she screamed suddenly. “Go away... and don't come back!”

That was, then, her true answer. All this time she'd just wanted to break up, but had been afraid to speak out, probably out of pity. Eventually, she'd lost control. That was good. Good that she wouldn't need to pretend anymore. Good that the dreadful uncertainty was finally done with. Adawmem knew that pleading would be humiliatingly useless. The only thing he could do was respect her wishes and take it like a man. He tried to smile, fighting back the searing pain ravaging his power supply unit.

“That's what I thought,” he said calmly, trying to keep it brief. “Good-bye, Digital Beautiful RAM.”

He used her full name to emphasize the fact he was accepting the doleful separation imposed on them by her enigmatic will. As the great poet had said – “Faulty circuit, thy name is woman! The murky depths of thy mind are akin to a hard drive before defragmentation!” Or something like that. Women! Adawmem realized that he was fighting back tears.



“Okay,” said the Repairman. “First of all, let me tell you how glad I am that you both decided to come and see me. I understand it wasn't easy.”

“I'll do anything to make it work,” uttered Adawmem passionately.

“I have a terrible headache,” Dibera said. 

“Our love is at stake here. Don't you think it's a bit more important than your headache?” Adawmem asked.

“You are so selfish,” Dibera said.

“You always criticize me.”

“You never understand how I feel.”

“You never tell me how you feel!”

“Because you never listen.”

“Now, now...” said the Repairman. “My children! Kids! Hehe... Let's not... ahem!.. get carried away, shall we? Your... err... problems can be solved.”

“How? We've tried everything. We just keep fighting. I don't know what to do...” Adawmem lowered his head.

“I assure you,” said the Repairman, “your problems can be solved. It's just a matter of one thing. One thing only.”

“What thing?” Dibera asked.




“But... we do love each other,” Adawmem said. “That's never been the problem.”

Suddenly, the Repairman's face began to glow with anger.

“Oh, really?” he exclaimed. “You love each other? Feelings? Romance? Smoochie-koochie? Can't live without you, our PSUs belong together, USB cables uniting in eternal bliss, et cetera, yes? That you call love, my friends? Well, no. No. You young people are all the same... You don't know what love is!”

“Isn't that a song?” Adawmem asked. 

The Repairman waved his hands eccentrically.

“You are hopeless!” he cried out. “May Oduya have mercy upon your souls. You have wandered too far away from his instructions!”

“Is that a fact?” retorted Adawmem morosely. “I'm beginning to think we are the result of faulty programming.”

The Repairman jumped up. 

“F-faulty... faulty programming?” he bellowed. “Listen to yourself! Listen to this blasphemy!”

“Hey, we are paying money for this treatment,” Dibera said.

“We didn't come here for some religious nonsense,” Adawmem declared. “We need a repairman, not a shaman.”

“I'm not religious at all,” Dibera stated proudly.

“Neither am I,” Adawmem confirmed.

The Repairman suppressed a deep sigh and slowly sat down. 

“That, precisely, is your problem,” he spoke quietly. 

“Really? Our problem is that we don't believe in stone-age myths about some guy who created us in his own image? That is what's causing our fights? Very funny, indeed,” Adawmem chuckled.

“It's not funny,” the Repairman said. “It's sad. You can't take responsibility. You blame the programmer when you expose yourselves to viruses. You act like little children because you don't realize that Oduya had given you the greatest gift of all – free will. Which, of course, also contains the possibility of screwing things up as much as you wish – otherwise it wouldn't be truly free.”

“Look,” Dibera said. “We didn't come here for all this philosophy –”

“Rather, antiquated obscurantist gibberish,” Adawmem said.

“We want to solve our problems,” Dibera continued. “Can we please do that without Oduya?”

The Repairman sighed. 

“You can't,” he said. “But, if you so wish, I can tell you how to solve your problems without thinking of Oduya. He'd be pleased with anonymous obedience more than with empty declarations of false devotion, I'm sure of that.”

“Obedience?” Adawmem almost snorted. “To whom? Again, to Oduya?”

“That would be best, yes,” said the Repairman seriously. “But you can also do it, halfway, with obedience to each other.”

“Wait a second, I'm confused,” Adawmem said. “I thought you said love was the key. Now it's obedience? Which one is it, then?”

“Foolish young man!” frowned the Repairman. “When I spoke of love, I meant something quite different from what usually passes for it these days. No, not different - much bigger! Much more important! Love is obedience! Above all, it is obedience. Only by subduing your wills you shall be truly able to understand each other.”

“This doesn't make any sense,” Adawmem said. “You just spoke of free will, yet now you are suggesting we cast it aside and behave like machines.”

“You are machines!” roared the Repairman. “You haven't designed yourselves, have you? Whoever designed you did so in a specific way. Now, if you start acting contrary to that specific way, you are going to malfunction! The only way to reverse the malfunctioning is by acting in accordance with the original programming. And that programming - whether you like it or not! – is based on voluntary, freely chosen mutual obedience, which alone is a guarantee for the prolongation of that wonderful gift of Oduya, which we call love.”

There was silence.

“Poetic,” Adawmem spoke finally, “but impractical. How do you suggest we acquire that obedience... on such a short notice? Especially when we don't quite... ahem... see the necessity to connect that with ancient mythological concepts. “

“Foolish young man,” said the Repairman. “So young... and so foolish. You can't see the crystal-clear reality because you are so focused on yourself. I'd rather continue the discussion with your... err... romantic partner. It seems to me she has more faith than you.”

“I doubt that,” Dibera said coldly. “I've been an atheist since I remember myself.”

Unexpectedly, the Repairman smiled. 

“Eh,” he said. “Women often say one thing, but deep down they feel something else... Something they may not have words for.”

“That's sexist and stereotypical,” Dibera said sternly. 

“Words!” said the Repairman. “Just words to hide insecurity and the fact that you are so wonderfully, delightfully different. Very well, stubborn young people. You leave me no choice. I'll help you make the first step. I'll wipe yesterday's history from your hard drives, and install my best obedience software. Luckily, I have version 2.5.1 right here somewhere...”

Absent-mindedly, he pulled a strange-looking tool out of his drawer, and within minutes Dibera and Adawmem were powered off.



Dibera left her apartment in the morning after a sleepless night. She had tried to swallow yesterday's leftovers, but the food tasted like rubber, and she almost vomited. She did not really want to see Adawmem. Yet she knew she had to, and that alone comforted her.

Adawmem was unable to sleep. He knew he'd hurt Dibera with his stupid jealousy, and realized he needed to apologize. He was still having an uneasy feeling about that jerk Adcodis. But he'd sworn to love and protect Dibera no matter what, and he knew he had to keep his promises.

They met at the subway entrance. 

“Sorry I'm late,” Dibera said, rushing towards him and putting her head on his shoulder.

“It's okay,” he said, gently caressing her soft antennae. “Sorry for being such a jerk yesterday... I should've trusted you. I never really thought you'd fall for Adcodis, you know.”

She didn't say anything. He smiled and took her hand.

“Let's just forget about this, okay?” he said softly. “After all, what's important is what we said to each other on that day.”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“You remember what I told you?” Adawmem laughed. 

“That we were stuck with each other,” Dibera said seriously. 

“That's right,” Adawmem said. “We are stuck with each other. I'd better not forget that. We are always together... and that's why I love you.”

“I love you too,” she said.

And, as they were kissing and then happily walking along the street holding hands, the Repairman, who was watching them from a distance, smiled and murmured to himself: 

“I hope the old man is proud of me now.”



Submitted: February 05, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Oleg Roschin. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



That was parodying at its best. The used of robots to illustrate the similarity in human behaviors when it comes to relationships was brilliantly done. I laughed out loud when they went to see a repairman and referring to women as 'faulty circuit.' LOL. This was extremely well-written. Thank you for inviting me to your techno world.

Fri, February 12th, 2016 2:16pm


Thank you so much for your kind comment, Islebabe! If you liked the humor in this story, I dare recommend my short stories "Of Dogs and Men" and its sequel "Forward to the Past" - both deal with very serious topics in particularly quirky ways...

Fri, February 12th, 2016 6:53am

B Douglas Slack

This was a wonderful parody, Oleg. I was reminded of the anecdotes floating around the web concerning the "upgrades" of men from 2.0 to 3.0 and similar tales for women. This is also harking back to the heady days of early science fiction when robots were viewed in a different light than they are today.

I am and have been a computer programmer since 1963 and have always treated computers as having an internal life we are not privileged to see. This was put forth strongly by "The Ghost in the Machine", "Killdozer", and tales along that genre. (For an example that I have written, see ":Primordial ooze".)


Fri, February 12th, 2016 3:15pm


Thank you very much for your comment, Tom! You've spotted many of the inspirations for this story - indeed, the idea for this kind of setting first came to me when I was reading jokes on the Internet comparing marriage to software etc. The serious idea I'm trying to push through, however, is - just like in this story's predecessor "Till We Have Monitors" - that, in a certain sense, we are to God what machines are to us. Like all analogies attempting to grasp the Divine, this is a faulty metaphor - but I hope at least the moral of the story has come through :-)

Fri, February 12th, 2016 8:55am


This was a cute little piece! (: I really liked reading this, it is very unique and creative. I'm not much of a computer or tech-y person so some of the terms was a little bit confusing but I really like how you used acronyms for their names. Also, the metaphors you used in this were great and really send a message in a cute box :D Thanks for the great read! -Suz

Sun, February 14th, 2016 11:48pm


Thank you very much for your kind comment, Suzanne! I actually wrote this story following a fight with my girlfriend :-() I tried to see things from her point of view, and that's how the Debira-centric opening came out. That got me speculating on general differences between women and men, towards a conclusion that understanding between them can be an act of faith rather than reasoning.

Sun, February 14th, 2016 11:58pm

why a name

33 stars out of 5

The Bad: First time Mr. Roschin falls into commonplace cheapness, and, as is inavoidably natural, most successful story of all his.

Pretty much this.

The good:
Notes on a century, by Bernard Lewis.

And the unvelievable multiple-volume Mediterranean society, by S. D. Goitein

He should pretty much find them interesting. Pretty much likely. (Though they aren't quite fleshed-out.)

Let's hope 2016 brings stories as fine as 2015 did, starting from the next one.

Wed, February 17th, 2016 3:00am

Amanda Stein

A very sweet story. It is understandable that despite the effort and error checking software, programmers are human and their emotions will inevitably seep into the AI programming and their creations will mimic the insecurities of their creators. These robots are more human than they realize and its funny how (human) male and females do interpret things differently when given the same input of information. But it's basic brain chemistry that can make us that way and you're right, once we understand that and accept it then we are open to that mysterious, elusive, but ever desired emotion called love. I really enjoyed your story.

Wed, February 24th, 2016 4:19am


Thank you very much for your insightful comment, Amanda! I have to say that I was aiming for the opposite effect - that our mistakes are our bad choices rather than results of faulty programming... I wanted to stress the metaphor of humans being like robots (in a way - like robots plus free will), and God being a programmer. In any case, there can be several interpretations, and it is indeed our choice to trust the Repairman's words or not :)

Tue, February 23rd, 2016 10:05pm

Tzivya Wolpertinger

The male's part is expressed so well yet the female's lacks. Take note that women are a lot more unstable emotionally. They could flip anytime or remain dead silent; and both are bad in their way.

Women has this insecurity that can't be pushed away ever. No matter how much you reassure her that you love her, that you see only her; they'll always have this suspicion about you, know what I mean? A woman's thoughts is full of it. Like, in this case, she'd think that she's not being trusted. Her mind would create her own theories. She'd rant about it internally. She needs more emotion.

Except this, the story proceeds nicely and, yet again, I get to read that magical ending characteristic about your writing. Great job!

Thu, March 3rd, 2016 9:55pm


Wow, thank you for this insightful and inspiring comment, Tzivya! I'll keep in mind everything you've written here for future literary and... ahem... real-life experiences :-)

Thu, March 3rd, 2016 9:01pm


Hey! I'm here on the review chain, so:
A. The ending of the first two parts were a little bit clunky, I think the sentences may have been too long or something.
B. I found it a little difficult to compare the two characters because their two paragraphs were so far apart. If you could find a way to shorten them then it would be easier to see. It feels like a waste because it obviously took a lot of effort to get the two to line up, is all. That said, a lot of the lines were very memorable so it wasn't that hard, but I still felt the need to look back and see what the girl was thinking while reading the boys part, which was slightly irritating.
C. I like the use of technical terms, it didn't seem too hard to understand but the names bothered be a little, especially since the two boys both had similar names and it made it harder to separate them.
D. The ending felt a little bit unsatisfying, just because the Repairman had fixed their relationship rather than them doing it themselves. I know that that is how it would work for them as robots but it just felt anticlimactic
E. Calling the Repairman the Repairman made me think that they had been injured, which was a little bit confusing and discouraging because I thought they had been in a real fight for a moment.
F. Not all evil criticism! You managed to fit everything that you wanted to say into a short space, a difficult feat in itself, and you did it well and in a memorable fashion.
In conclusion, no major flaws, an cute story with entertaining characters. Awesome!

Mon, March 7th, 2016 6:55pm


Thank you for your comment! I tried my best to make the first two paragraphs short, but without some sort of development the characters' differences wouldn't have been highlighted enough.

About the ending and the Repairman being a repairman: both are plot points. I use the robot metaphor to emphasize my opinion that our problems with love are akin to malfunction caused by our own lack of obedience. Hence the mysterious Repairman is a real repairman indeed. A true priest or psychologist should act like a repairman as well.

I agree that the ending is a bit anticlimatic and forced, but that's because the only other alternative would have been to have the young guys suddenly get all wise and enlightened. They are not yet ready, that's why the Repairman helps them with the first step. After that, they are on their own... and nothing guarantees they'll be good.

Mon, March 7th, 2016 7:09pm


I very much enjoyed and liked this story! I loved the mixture of love with technology, it was just so cool! Keep up the good work and don't stop writing! :D

Mon, May 2nd, 2016 4:53am


Thank you very much for your kind feedback, Ana! Wish the same to you! :-)

Sun, May 1st, 2016 9:57pm


Fantastic piece of writing, Oleg. I loved all the tech names you came up with. Not being in any way religious myself I have to say I still really enjoyed it!

Sun, May 29th, 2016 7:47pm


Thank you for your kind comment, Hully! :-)

Sun, May 29th, 2016 5:43pm


I went through and it just caught my attention. You don't need to read a lot to realize you are in presence of a writing that stands out. Very well written. I read too many stories filled with too many superficial and endless details and descriptions, but lacking of introspections, deep message (morality), emotional intensity... So better quality over quantity. Deep thinkers make good writers like Tolstoy and Dostoyevski who write brilliant novels. The author of this piece of work is definitely someone who's got something valuable to say and knows how to say it (with great style). Keep on writing, books need illuminated souls like you.

Mon, June 27th, 2016 5:20am


Thank you so much! I'm deeply grateful for your feedback. You are too kind... Hope you can read some of my other stories as well. I don't think this one is my best, but for some reason it got more popular than the others :-)

Sun, June 26th, 2016 10:36pm

cat soup

This is the first story i read. Even though it is a peaceful story?no dramatic plots?it is absolutely a striking one. The settings are unique such as using the robots to portray the feeling of humans. Also?the ending is so warm that it reminds me of being patient?thinking of others...and the most important thing: never forget love. And the 'old man' mentioned at the end seems mysterious... I have to read more other stories to figure out the thing. Thank you for showing me this story. It was so great!

Sun, July 24th, 2016 9:07am


Thank you for your kind comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the story :-)

Sun, July 24th, 2016 3:04am

Jack Motley

Where do you come up with these ideas and scenarios, Oleg? You are truly an imaginative man of immeasurable order. This is a better romance than any human pair could be capable of.

Wed, July 27th, 2016 3:21am


Thank you so much, Jack! The idea for this particular story came to me during a discussion following one of my many fights with my girlfriend :-) I realized that a lot of quarrels are rooted in misunderstandings and the fact different people have different ways of expressing their feelings. That gave me an idea to write a story where both parties would be represented fairly, given equal stage time and opportunity to give us their own interpretation of the same fight. I then thought that we fight so much because we are stubborn and self-centered, unable to see the big picture of a relationship being testing grounds for love. I decided to make my heroes robots to give further weight to the central idea of the story - we've been programmed in a certain way, but we are currently malfunctioning...

Tue, July 26th, 2016 8:29pm


Sheer brilliance! So funny i had to stop reading several times as i already have a sore throat and laughing was hurting, this was truly a joy to read, well done.

Sun, August 7th, 2016 9:27pm


Thank you so much! Glad you liked it, glad it made you laugh :-)

Sun, August 7th, 2016 10:43pm


Beautiful way of sharing the feelings! I love the way the situation was analyzed.... I understand how simple things get complicated! Keep up the good work!

Wed, November 23rd, 2016 1:17pm


Thank you very much!

Thu, November 24th, 2016 9:22pm

Tom Smith

I really enjoyed this piece of writing, I love the themes expressed in the story as well, keep up the good work!

Mon, May 29th, 2017 9:23am


Thank you very much!

Mon, May 29th, 2017 3:29am

unmasked delusions

Cool story. Funny at times and I liked how it had a slow pace at certain points. I also like how it show the childishness of some relationships when neither person is willing to negotiate or forgive. I love the title of this "love bytes"

Sat, July 1st, 2017 2:17pm


Thank you for your kind comment :) I think a lot of relationships go like this... people being possessed by false pride and lack of faith. It's so important to stay humble and willing to sacrifice in a relationship... and so difficult! :-()

Sat, July 1st, 2017 11:03am


Hilarious and very clever. Your techno terminology is on point!

There were many funny moments in this for me. Paralleling humans and robots made for many funny puns, none more so than 'The repairman. being a psychiatrist.
Strong vocabulary, as usual, and I was happy to read it - once again it's clear you poured dedication into this piece and there was nothing half-assed about it. Your writing is quite inspirational to me, Oleg. It makes me want to work harder on my own!

Tue, July 25th, 2017 7:11pm


Thank you so much for your kind feedback, Richard! It means a lot to me, coming from a fantastic writer such as yourself :-)

Tue, July 25th, 2017 10:58pm

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