LATE PERIOD by The Scribbling Wren

I sat on the toilet and tried to mentally recall her charts. I was sure. Positive. I knew the few women here were all in sync and I couldn’t remember her bleeding this month or the last. I laddered my tights as I tugged them up,  eager to get back to verify my suspicions. Went through the vague motions of a hand wash and dashed back to the lab. Shaking fingers meant two failed password attempts. And there it was on the screen. Confirmation. It logged everything core temperature, GPS, all her stats including periods. I swallowed and wondered just who I should tell.

But first, I double checked, pulled up the data recorded from her retinal camera.  I’d long since passed the stage where I felt like I was checking up on a teenage daughter and robot rights thankfully weren’t yet an issue. A few of the cyberneticists had struggled when she first went AWOL and was caught in the park with a lad from the local Uni. They’d seen her as theirs, had formed what I thought was quite an unsavoury attachment to her. But this was just work for me. And if it meant checking up on just how close her and the Uni boy had got then so be it.

My breath stopped. Oh! She’d got clever. She’d either deleted the files or had somehow overridden her retinal camera recorder. Either way it didn’t bear thinking about if she suddenly started to see us as the enemy.  I sat back. Mulled over the lack of periods. I hadn’t been in the meetings when the lad had been debriefed. All I knew was they weren’t supposed to see each other again. On screen evidence would suggest they had. And seemed to point to the fact that their relationship had progressed a lot further than the kiss on the park we’d all witnessed before she learnt to get rid of her camera images.

He’d been given a story. But wasn’t told anything like the truth about who he’d shared his afternoon with. A girl so unlike any other previous A.I. experiments. She breathed without needing air to survive and bled although her blood was again surplus to requirements. Menstrual blood though. That did tell a tale. She created eggs, these released each month like any other fertile woman. And so, if fertilised, she could get pregnant like any other fertile woman. We’d envisaged test conditions. Cherry picked father. But just like every other stage in this experiment so far, it went its own way and seemed to take a life of its own.

Excitement bubbled within me.  We couldn’t risk lover boy finding out about it. She wouldn’t leave GCHQ again. Trackers, GPS all meant she could be found but just how much damage she could do for the project before we got to her didn’t bear thinking about. And now it wasn’t just the project to worry about.  It was the next stage of evolution.


~ The Scribbling Wren, 2015



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