Ro smoothed down her jeans and looked in the mirror, pleased to be out of that hospital gown. Her mind wasn't really on her clothes, though, but on the dream, for that what it had to have been. Just a silly dream. A vivid, silly dream, but a dream none-the-less.
"Are you ready, Ro?" Zee asked, knocking from the door.
"Yeah, come in!" she called, sweeping back her hair. Strange she never dreamed she had long hair, always short.
Zee stepped in and stood stoically in the doorway. She could see by the mirror's reflection that he was staring intently, like she was a silly little china doll that was going to shatter. Of course, Ro figured he always looked at her like that, because she was a silly little human girl in a dangerous world.
"So where are we off to?"
"There is a robotics talk in San Panticoa in three days in areas in which Dr. Selig specialized in. I believe we should try for there, in case they have him for a surprise guest speaker."
"Sounds like a robot with a plan," she replied cheerily as she turned. "Let's go."
He looked amused at her enthusiasm, waiting until she was level with him until he started to walk.
They walked through and out the hospital in comfortable silence, or for Zee at least. Ro kept glancing at him through the corner of her eye, biting her lip.
"Is something wrong, Ro?" Zee asked as they walked down the street towards a hover car lot.
"What? Nothing's wrong!"
He turned his head to look at her. "Ro."
She waved her hands. "I'm just remembering some silly dream that I dreamed when I was in a coma." Zee looked at her patiently, sidestepping a pothole in an amusing way. "You were in it."
"I was?" He sounded surprised.
"Yes." She locked her fingers behind her neck. "It was all so weird, didn't make any sense."
Ro felt her checks heat up, but she spoke calmly. "Oh, the impossible. It was like everything was the same, I was me, but you kept changing. You were some person on the street, a teacher, kids, everything. It was nuts! Everything."
"That would be strange."
She was quiet for a moment, looking at her feet. "You were human in all of them. You weren't a synthoid in any of them."
Zee looked back forward, intent on whatever was in front of them. "It was a dream, Ro."
"Yeah." Dejected, Ro sighed and kicked a rock, shoving her hands into her pockets. Suddenly, she frowned and stopped walking, pulling out her hand slowly. And uncupping her fist, Ro saw the familiar necklace, the intertwining Ro and Zeta Greek letters in gold and silver.
"But it was a dream," she whispered, touching the smooth metal and fingering the chain.
"Ro?" Zee stopped and turned, noticing that she was no longer at his side.
She didn't look up. "Zee?"
Carefully he made his back towards her, then looked at the jewelry that she was still fingering gently in her hand. "That is a nice necklace, isn't it, Ro?" he asked conversationally. Ro knew he wouldn't know good taste if it hit him on the head, like any typical guy. Just looking at some of his holograms was proof enough of that. But Zee sometimes did have good taste in accessories, sort of like a gay guy.
"Did you give this to me, Zee?" she asked quietly.
He smiled at her, bemused. "Did I?"
Without thought, her hand grabbed his forearm and squeezed painfully, or would have been painfully if Zee could sense pain as humans did. "Did you give me this, Zee?" she said slowly, looking at him.
Zee was startled by her reaction, and looked at her with unblinking eyes that were so very close to his true eyes. "Does it matter, Ro?"
There was a slow blink, but then Zee said, "The necklace, I th—"
Suddenly Ro waved a hand. "Wait, no, don't tell me!"
He complied, but confusion lingered. "What? Why not? Don't you still want to know?"
"It doesn't really matter, I suppose," Ro said lightly, putting the necklace on, her mind flashing through each of the Zee's she dreamed, or had met. Had it been real? All of it? Were they not dreams?
If they weren't, everywhere she went, there had been a Zee. There had been a Zee, in some way, shape, or form. Everywhere. And there was always her somewhere nearby. What did it mean, if it all wasn't a dream? Were they destined, as cheesy as that sounded?
"Come on, Zee." She smiled and started to walk, fingering the necklace, and it took a few seconds before Zee complied, still staring at her curiously. But Ro's mind was far from that, far from here.
There was always a Zee. Always. Her lips quirked at the thought that she had to get stuck with the only non-human one, but then again, would she really change him? Was the human better than the synthoid? Well, perhaps in some respects . . . but he was still Zee. Still Zeta. Still shy, silly, childish, naive, sweet, caring, loyal, and all those other synonyms that described Zee.
He hadn't been evil anywhere.
Perhaps because he couldn't be.
They had made their way to the car lot, for, after a suggestion from Ro, Zee had bought a blue hover car. They were several miles outside of town, still in companionable silence, when Ro turned her head, wind in her hair, and said, "Zee, tell me about the MatinTheory, again."
Zee turned his head slightly, raising a brow at the request, but didn't question, simply saying, "Daniel Matin stated in his theory that there are countless varieties and forms of the universe that exist simultaneously and paradoxically in conjunction within each person, in which one takes different forms or roles in their lives as they are fit to imagine. . . ."
Sighing, Ro leaned back and closed her eyes, moving the charm on the chain between her fingers.
The Wave/Particle Duality is a concept in chemistry that explains the behavior of light. All I can remember is that this concept totally confused my dear friend Heather in Chemistry Junior year (2000-2001), which made me, in a serious effort to try and help her understand it, complete with visual aids, came up with "A Pencil is a Paperweight is a Calculator." If this confuses you, don't worry. It confuses us too.
Matin'sTheory is, as far as I know, totally my own twisted conjecture for the purpose of this story. It borders along the idea of parallel dimensions and different versions of you, but that's about it. In simplest terms, the theory states that whenever you image yourself in totally different lives or actions, you are actually channeling that version of you. That version of you is real. You are not making it up or having any shred of imagination; you are connecting with that person (who is you). This explains why you simply cannot see yourself doing some things, because in no reality where you are doing whatever it is.
These realities, though, may only exist for a fraction of a second that you connect with them. They (may only) exist because you allow them to, and once the idea is gone, they cease to function/exist. That does not mean, however, that they never existed. They existed inpoint set, in memory. (Think of it as yesterday and tomorrow can't really exist, because time is always changing to the now. There is the illusion of yesterday and tomorrow, but these actually do not concretely exist.)
When one is experiencing these realities (as Ro did), you cannot deny their existence, for they are obviously existing. It creates painful paradoxes, and once you accept that the reality is real, the process is much more pleasant. Also, you cannot permanently reside in the "created" reality. Everything must return to its ground state.
Hmm . . .
I love Science Fiction. It doesn't have to make sense.
The whole reason I wrote this story was because I wanted to write a Baby Zee story and didn't know how to plausibly pull it off. Yes, I know what you're thinking: "This is plausible?" I'm a sad human being.