There were eight of them, all pretty similar, neither pretty nor ugly. Nobody knew where they came from, where they lived or what they did. Eight young women with normal names like Susan, Mary, Elizabeth... They always came to events – the summer fête, the Xmas market, the spring fair – but otherwise they were not to be seen.
It was very early on the Sunday after Easter, the Easter Fire was burning on top of the large hill near the village. Everybody was drinking and dancing – mostly young people – it was a great time for boys and girls and boys and boys and girls and girls to be together. Elizabeth had grabbed hold of Jimmie and Susan had grabbed Amy.
Jimmie was very drunk, most people were drunk, Amy noticed that the eight young women appeared to be drunk, but hadn't drunk anything. Amy pretended to be drunk and let Susan do what she liked with her. Jimmie was too drunk to care what Elizabeth was doing to him, but he liked it.
Light in the east – time to go home. Elizabeth put her arm in Jimmie's trousers and marched him home; Susan put her arm around Amy and they stumbled home. Elizabeth fell on top of Jimmie and Susan on Amy.
Jimmie made a surprise discovery, Elizabeth was sort of soft, but also quite lumpy, as if she had eaten many cans of corned beef, but without opening the cans first.
Amy had figured it out. “You're looking for spare parts aren't you?”
“Yes!” said Susan, “But we can't find any.”
“You thought that I was also an android and had spare parts. That was your plan, wasn't it Susan? Your job was to check me out and Elizabeth's to keep Jimmie quiet.”
“Yes!” said Susan.
“Hard luck, I'm human, an augmented human. No use to you. Your problem is that as androids without spare parts the future is bleak.”
“Yes!” said Susan.
“You are in the wrong time and place, there are no spare parts for androids here. But I have a plan. Meet me on the river bank in Bigtown where the ruined factory buildings are at nine o'clock this evening. Bring all of you.”
Jimmie opened his mouth to ask a question and fell asleep.
It was dusk and the old abandoned factories cast long shadows. They came, all ten of them. One had no legs and was being carried. One had large holes and had been salvaged for parts.
“You are in the wrong time and place.” said Amy. “However, a hole in reality is opening up just over there. Take a look in it.”
Susan and Elizabeth peered inside. “It looks good. Come on girls, get inside.”
There was a noise like a giant wasp's nest. “What's that?” cried Jimmie.
“There's an imbalance, something's gotta give.” Explained Amy. Ten oak trees sprang out of the hole in reality and planted themselves in front of the factories.
The ten androids had disappeared to another time and place, Amy and Jimmie went home to play ‘cuddly androids’.