Continued from Part I.
“Help me! Help me!” Hera yelled at the house robot.
“You are not in need of assistance,” said the robot.
Hera dug her fingernails into the carpet and tried to drag her body towards the door, but she was too weak. She collapsed down from the effort, and began to sob.
“I don’t want to die like this,” she said. The flames danced around her feet.
“How do you wish to die?” asked the robot, in a calm, pleasant tone.
“I don’t want to die at all,” she said.
“That function is not available,” said the robot.
“I want to die peacefully,” she said, tears dripping down her cheeks. “Surrounded by friends. Regarded well, sorely missed.”
“You have one friend,” said the robot. “Last contact was 264 days ago. Shall I start a video call?”
“No,” she said. “I don’t want her to see me like this.”
Hera looked at her legs. The flaming liquid had soaked through the rug and was touching her skin. A strange, cool sensation… “What tea is this?” she asked.
“Flaming tea is a fashionable new delicacy,” said the robot. “An ingredient from an undersea plant creates a flame effect when the drink is slightly chilled.”
“Wait,” said Hera. “You mean it doesn’t burn? There’s no fire?”
“Flaming tea is completely safe to drink.”
Hera sighed and closed her eyes. “How did my life come to this?”
“Medical records indicate repeated akrasia has atrophied your vital systems.”
“Right,” agreed Hera. “Let’s go outside.”