Dyson Family Values Pt. 10

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Dyson Family Values Pt. 10

Post by petey » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:02 pm

Did you read part nine? I'll admit, I did subtly tweak this at the last moment, but nothing huge.
Neil heaved a small load of vomit into a bush in front of his apartment building. The larger expulsion of his stomach contents had happened outside the bar. It was small consolation, but all his larger problems were overtaken by the immediate task of navigating the flight of stairs. He took it slowly and stumbled to his door and into the apartment.
Neil was in no shape for an argument, but he couldn't see Zoe anyway. He tried to think of where she might be, but only lasted a few moments before focusing on getting to the bedroom. Neil got one shoe off before collapsing onto the bed and almost immediately passing out.
If he dreamed, Neil couldn't remember them as he felt a hand shake his shoulder and rouse him from sleep. He grumbled and tried to open his eyes, but squinted at the sunlight coming through the open window. He turned over and saw Zoe sitting there on the side of the bed.
The love of his life was forcing a smile as she put her hand on Neil's other shoulder. He was bleary-eyed, but Neil could tell she had been crying. She was wearing a simple blouse, some jeans and no makeup. She moved her lips, trying to form an apology.
Neil grunted and turned back over, squinting until his eyes adjusted completely to the brightness.
Zoe lost what little smile she had and reached for the pharmacy bag next to the bed.
“I went back to the institute after you left. I'm back in my real body again.” Zoe paused and gathered herself. “I am so so so sorry. I really thought you'd like me to be an android. If I thought it was going to hurt you, I never would have done it.”
Neil flipped back over, “Why didn't you ask me?” His voice was raised a little bit. “You had your consciousness shoved into a fuck doll and it never occurred to you that maybe you should discuss it with your fiancée?” Neil didn't feel comfortable having a conversation like this so soon after getting up, but it was unavoidable.
Zoe paused for a moment. She probably could have thrown Dr. Dyson under the bus and blamed her for everything, but thought better of it. Zoe was the one who had made the choice and she wasn’t going to shift the blame. “I don't know. I guess I thought I could just go back if I didn't like it. Or if you didn't like it.”
Neil squinted at her. It was rare for a synthetic woman to go back to being organic without a pressing reason. And given how much Zoe had relished being synthetic, he wasn't sure she was part of that rare cohort. “But did you really go back?”
Zoe was hoping Neil would take her at her word on the subject. Elaine hadn't been so optimistic and had come up with a simple way to remove any doubt. Zoe took a shrink-wrapped box from the pharmacy bag. It was a blood glucose meter, what diabetics use. But in this case, it was being used to take advantage of a facet of android construction.
Dyson units had blood, but it was largely cosmetic. The muscles were electrically powered, so no nutrients needed to be carried. There was no need for white blood cells. But it did give the synthetic skin the right color and small accidents with sharp objects would look appropriate (UX units even clotted properly).
Most important for Zoe's purposes was the lack of glucose in android blood. And Neil knew about this property as well. So when Zoe opened everything up and began fiddling with the meter and test strips, Neil knew what the point was. They didn't exchange any words when Zoe pricked herself, put some blood on the strip, and waited for a result.
She checked it herself before showing the large readout to Neil. 84 mg/100ml. It was a little below normal, but Zoe hadn't eaten breakfast. And it wasn't zero.
Neil sat up and hugged his fiancée. Then he winced as the change in orientation caused his hangover to hit him. Zoe enjoyed the embrace as much as she could before surrendering to the knowledge that Neil was tensing up and probably had a splitting headache from drinking last night.
She reached into the pharmacy bag again, “Here you go, hon. I got you some water to rehydrate you, some aspirin and a slice of pumpkin bread.”
He tried not to move his throbbing head too much as he took a few swigs from the water bottle to wash down the aspirin and broke off a piece of the sweet bread. Zoe had her hand on his knee, watching him eat. He looked like hell, but at least he wasn't running away from her.
“Finish up, there's someone waiting in the living room.”
Neil shoved in, chewed, and swallowed the last big piece of his breakfast before answering. “Is it my mom? I'm not really interested in seeing her right about now.”
Zoe frowned just a little, “Come on, they really want to speak to you.”
“So it's more than just my mother?” Neil took another swig of the water.
There was a long sigh from Zoe as she pulled the covers off Neil, “It'll do you good, really.”
Neil grumbled as he got up. Partly from the hangover and partly from having to talk more about this with his mother and whoever else. Still, it was very nice to see his future wife human again. Even though their biological bodies were kept in storage, few synthetic women switched back unless there was a very pressing reason. It was affirming to know he qualified as such a reason.
He gingerly followed Zoe out of the bedroom, only leaning on her once, and very lightly. There were two women waiting for him on the couch with some chairs set up across from it. He was almost sitting when he realized who they were.
It was his mother and sister in their organic bodies.
He hadn't seen Jessica in an organic body for three years, and he doubted she had been off the institute grounds in anything but her sexy android chassis in that time. The years on a minimalist diet in a stasis tank had caused her to thin down noticeably from when she was in high school. Her hair was brown and cut short; The trim must have been recent after going years without a haircut. Her nose wasn't as cute and her lips weren't as full, although that may have been a result of the displeased look on her face. The face looked more mature, like it might be expected to look had she aged normally the past few years. The acne was gone, but a few large pores were leftover. The weight loss had also affected her breasts, which barely registered beneath the T-shirt she was wearing. Jessica was fidgeting and looked immensely uncomfortable back in her own skin.
And frankly, Elaine did too, although she was hiding it better. Neil hadn't seen her organic body in a very long time. The last was probably when his father kicked her out. Lord knows how long she had actually spent without being in an organic body, but judging by the similar quick haircut, it was at least as long as Jessica's rest period.
She looked her age, although she wasn't as wrinkled or sun damaged as she might have been. The lack of makeup didn't help. Her hair was mostly gray with a little bit of red left, and thinning like Grandma's did. But mostly he had forgotten just how much his mother looked like a stork with her small eyes, big nose, and very thin frame. The tank was designed to keep her muscles from atrophying, but she was beginning to look frail. She rubbed her hands, working out some aches.
Elaine smiled at her son, and he felt like a tiny little pile of shit. He had his mom and sister back. They had come back for him. And they looked so miserable for their troubles. He wanted to work himself into a righteous anger, but he just couldn’t gather up the urge, seeing them like that. There was an awkward silence as Zoe and Neil took their seats across from Jessica and Elaine.
Dr. Dyson began, “Neil, I want to apologize. I didn't mean to hurt you or try to take Zoe away from you. I love being an android, and I love seeing other women love being androids.” she left out the part about loving to love other androids. “Sometimes it can blind me to other viewpoints. I honestly thought I was doing the right thing, both for you and for Zoe. But I shouldn't have gone about it the way I did.
“And I thought you'd want to hear it from this body, rather than my normal one. I'm not programmed to love being an android. And I'm not programmed to love you. I really do love you, Neil.” Elaine found herself crying a little. It was slightly unsettling when she couldn't pull up the parameters of the program in her vision.
Neil was welling up a little bit too, especially when Zoe squeezed his hand. And even though it was obvious to him, Jessica and Elaine each spent a moment doing the little glucose test and proved they were indeed organic.
Elaine continued, “And I think I need to apologize for how I went about developing androids. I told myself it was for my family’s benefit, ultimately. But I can see how you might think I value being an android more than I value you. And that’s simply not true. You’re my little baby boy and I love you more than anything.”
“I'm sorry that I haven't been better about this, Mom. But you just get so wrapped up in your own shit, it’s like this little bubble that nothing can break into. And I get freaked by what you’re capable of in that cocoon,” Neil said. “And I don’t entirely mean what you’re technologically capable of doing. It’s unsettling to see you flip desires and emotions on and off like a switch.”
“I dunno, you seem to change gears pretty quickly even without a central processor.” Jessica piped up after staying quiet. Zoe got tense, Neil got deflated, and Elaine shot daggers out of her eyes at her daughter. “Yeah, Mom fucked up, but you're my brother whether I’m hot or like this and you’re still fucking backwards about synthetic women.”
“Maybe,” Neil mumbled.
“I don't think so,” Zoe interjected. “There is something different about being synthetic and programmed. And maybe I'd get used to it, but I think it's reasonable to enjoy being a little out of control of yourself. Keeps things interesting for everyone.”
Jessica rolled her eyes, even though she could see Zoe's point. In a moment of inward reflection, she wondered if the attitude was something going on in her fleshy brain beyond being uncomfortable looking like a geek again.
But it didn’t stop her from mouthing off. “You were a robot for like 12 hours. What do you know?”
“Jessica! You will mind your manners right now or so help me...” Elaine couldn’t come up with an adequate credible threat and had to settle for staring down her daughter, who began slouching in the chair.
“How about this, I'll keep your android body on standby, Zoe, and if you want to go back, you can just ask. And same goes for switching back to your organic body.” Elaine proposed the compromise she had developed on the car ride over. “And maybe I can spend a little more social time with organics that aren’t imminent clients.”
Neil didn't feel too bad, knowing that he'd be getting some organic responses from his wife. And Zoe didn't feel bad at all about being in that bliss-inducing body now and then. Getting his mom out of that bubble was simply a bonus. Yes, there was a lot more to discuss, but Neil felt like he was getting through to his mom for the first time in a long time.
As for Jessica, “Now that it's settled, can I get back into my real body again?”
Part 11 is largely denouement. I probably could have written pages of them hammering stuff out, but this is the emotional climax, and some answers are better left as an exercise to the reader.
Last edited by petey on Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by inky 2 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:21 pm

I enjoyed that every much i must say it was a nice way to deal with there issues. Jessica's comment about being backwards about synthetics though should be noted that shes also backwards about Organics, she still seems to believe it is for everyone where as dr dyson seemed to see that everyone is different.

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Post by Baron » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:32 pm

Nice job. A little rushed perhaps {maybe one or two pages of hashing-out would have worked}, but there's still enough unanswered questions to spark lots of discussion. Elaine and Jessica remind me somewhat of chronic drug addicts, or alcoholics - they both know that what they became started from what they were originally. The twist is that they prefer the acquired condition over the original - and like many addicts, they refuse to "remember their roots" as it were. In the context of this story, I personally don't think that an hour or two spent in their original bodies would convince me of Elaine's and Jessica's sincerity, but conversely, I did enjoy the implied humiliation. Not from getting my kicks out of seeing women that way mind you, but more as a sort of redress for the hedonistic tendencies the android condition seems to greatly amplify {again, within the context of this particular story}. Balance is very important in life {real or fictional}, and you honor it well with this piece.

You've done a fine service to this community with this story, Petey. A sex {or any other kind of} fetish can be a bit uncorfortable if one starts dipping into the why's and wherefores. I don't claim to speak for any other type of fetish {and I still loathe the general term "fetish," preferring "fascination" as more descriptive and worthy}, but I feel that our fondness for female robots is also a celebration of females in general, or at least their sex appeal. As such, it's a good thing to explore some "deep" territory now and again - keeps the whole community honest, and through such honesty, dignified to boot. Take several bows, Mate - you've earned 'em!
:D
Assemble the ladies? I didn't know that they were broken......

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Post by Adon » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:34 pm

I think a lot of it comes with Dr. Dyson being older and more experienced than Jessica. I was hoping they'd talk a bit more about how Zoe's time as a robot changed her, sort of a comparison from the horse's mouth. It may seem cruel of me, but I was also hoping that there would be some more conflict here before they came to an understanding. That's just me, though. Still, I am glad that they are all coming to their senses.

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Post by 123bot » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:01 am

Baron wrote: Nice job. A little rushed perhaps {maybe one or two pages of hashing-out would have worked}, but there's still enough unanswered questions to spark lots of discussion. Elaine and Jessica remind me somewhat of chronic drug addicts, or alcoholics - they both know that what they became started from what they were originally. The twist is that they prefer the acquired condition over the original - and like many addicts, they refuse to "remember their roots" as it were. In the context of this story, I personally don't think that an hour or two spent in their original bodies would convince me of Elaine's and Jessica's sincerity, but conversely, I did enjoy the implied humiliation. Not from getting my kicks out of seeing women that way mind you, but more as a sort of redress for the hedonistic tendencies the android condition seems to greatly amplify {again, within the context of this particular story}. Balance is very important in life {real or fictional}, and you honor it well with this piece.

You've done a fine service to this community with this story, Petey. A sex {or any other kind of} fetish can be a bit uncorfortable if one starts dipping into the why's and wherefores. I don't claim to speak for any other type of fetish {and I still loathe the general term "fetish," preferring "fascination" as more descriptive and worthy}, but I feel that our fondness for female robots is also a celebration of females in general, or at least their sex appeal. As such, it's a good thing to explore some "deep" territory now and again - keeps the whole community honest, and through such honesty, dignified to boot. Take several bows, Mate - you've earned 'em!
:D
Very interesting approach. It comes in like being a robot in this story, is the same as being a drug addict. Elaine is the one who created this drug and want everybody to ''taste'' her drug and those who take it becomes addict. Imagine if this story was about drug instead...

On the phone:

Elaine: ''Do you knoe someone named Zoe working for you.''
Camilla: ''Yes, why?''
Elaine: ''I want her to try out my drug.''
Camilla: ''Humm, since I know her I don't think she the type of persons who will do drugs.''
Elaine: ''Look, I don't care! She needs to try out my drug by any possible means!''
Camilla: ''...well, you're the boss''
Elaine: ''I need you to setup a plan to make her one of us and I want to be informed of the plan before Monday, is that clear?''
Camilla: ''O.K. I'll have Dana, Ava and Christine on it.''
Elaine: ''Good! I really want her to experience how good it feels like when you're on drugs. I'm counting on you! ''
Camilla: ''I'll do my best!''
*both hang up*

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Post by Sthurmovik » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:59 am

It seems like there was a scene missing there. maybe more than one. You need to write up what happens between Elaine and Zoe and Jessica. At the very least I think Elaine will have to stop herself or be brought to her senses by Jessica just before she tweaks Zoe's personality to "fix" the wanting to be organic "issues".

I really hope you didn't change things due to the strong reader responce :?

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Post by Adon » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:43 am

On reflection, I think Sthurmovik got what's nagging at me. A scene that I think is crucial -- that is, Zoe's decision to go back and her telling Elaine her reasons for it -- all happens 'off camera'. So I'm left with the faintly unfulfilled feeling like we've skipped over the climax and moved straight to the epilogue.

Maybe it's just I wanted to see Zoe state outright why she was turning back, rather than the somewhat vague affirmations we see here. Whatever she told Elaine was profound enough that she did the almost unheard of move of going back to her organic body (albeit temporarily... there's no indication that this is a permanent thing on her part) in order to make her peace with Neil.

So, yeah. It feels like there's something missing between the end of the last chapter and the beginning of this one.

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Post by csoloist » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:09 am

Petey you tease... Was really enjoying your story and then you went and resolved everything so quickly. Like those old James Bond books, 200 pages of fantastic buildup and then zipzipzip everthing gets resolved in 2/3 pages - what a letdown.

Anyhoo, nice job (digging your easy-to-read style) and thanks for posting it. :)

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Post by Mare_Vir » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:30 am

I agree with the comments that Zoe's confrontation with Elaine would have tightened up the story, giving us more insight into Elaine's change in attitude.

There are still a lot of issues here. Has Zoe completely returned to her old self, or has she been permanently altered by her short time as an android? Will she ever reveal her infidelity while she was synthetic? If she does, how will Neil react? How will she deal with Christine and Gretchen, since they may still have 'feelings' for her? Does she have feelings for them ?

The ability to return to your organic body has always bothered me about the Dyson universe. I have much more of a TF fascination than a robot fascination. I much prefer TF's like The Offer or Darwin Accelerated where the human body is changed in a way that there's no going back. Being able to move so easily between organic and synthetic seems like a cop out.

This does provide an avenue to explore the nature of humanity. Does Zoe's android body retain a copy of her consciousness in it's memory? What if it were reactivated while the organic Zoe was up and around? How would (or should it/she be treated? What 'human' rights would it/she have? How would the other characters in the story interact with it/her?

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Post by DollSpace » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:49 am

I thought this story was very well written and I really liked it. The end, though, seems a bit too rushed. Writing out the confrontation between Zoe & Elaine would have given more balance to the climax of the story, and maybe including Jessica's role in doing this. Maybe they all come together in the living room to talk about it but Zoe hasn't gone back yet. I think she should, eventually, but maybe this is about, at the end, if a robot can truly love, and if one can truly love, can the object of those feelings accept it as genuine love or would the "it's only programming" argument triumph every time? Maybe if Jessica had a love interest who was unaware of Jessica's real nature, and he gets told initially by Neal to get back at his mum and sister for doing what they did to Zoe, and then Jessica and her lover have a similar problem to face. I realise most stories here don't go into that much detail in a lot of these areas, so perhaps it's more food for thought for people who've read and enjoyed this great story. I think filling the characters out with additional back-story may help, too.

I really liked this a lot, and I'm glad you posted it. I wish there were more stories like it here to counter-balance all the straight-up sex-focused pieces (which can be good in their own way, too).

I hope you write more soon!
Catie

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Post by petey » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:05 pm

For those concerned, this is how the story went, with no major subtractions or additions, when I posted part one. I kept tweaking the wording of the sit down at the end of this part, and that was the only thing that had more than one sentence changed in the entire story. I was worried about it feeling rushed, but I also worried about writing stuff that sounded more like it was purely written to wrap up loose ends.

I did consider adding in a scene with Zoe back at the institute. However, My principal concern was Neil's relationship with his mom and making it believable that he wouldn't go absolutely apeshit and hate her forever. The grand gesture of Jessica and Elaine going back to their organic bodies didn't seem like it would have the same oomph if it was gradually worked in, rather than sprung on you the way it was sprung on Neil. And there wasn't any good place to include it as a flashback (and considering there weren't any anywhere else, it'd stick out like a sore thumb.)

So I sacrificed an Elaine-Zoe moment to make sure the Elaine-Neil moment worked. That's the central conflict, that's what needed to work. Maybe I could've gotten away with easing into things, but I played it safe.

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Post by Sthurmovik » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:18 pm

Petey, there is no reason a Zoe / Elaine chapter would harm Neil's relationship with his mother. The scene clearly happened, you just aren't showing it. Neil was probably drunk off his ass all night, there's no reason to get him involved if you don't want.

The confrontation with Zoe is actually the way that Elaine can realize that things ARE lost in translation to an android and perhaps she needs additional research in that area. You NEED to go back and write that chapter, its probably the most important part of the story where all of the the things we have been yelling about on the forum can be worked out between the characters. That's the point of serious literature. You're selling yourself and your story short by not addressing it. I don't want to tell you how the confrontation should go, you need to break your obvious writing skill and finish this story in a creative and engaging manner.

You know the arguments, you know the outcome, just fill in the black box with Zoe, Elaine and Jennifer. If I were in your shoes I would find that the most exciting chapter to write!!! The reward for the 9 chapters of setup. UGH, its like you turned off the TV with 1 minute remaining in a tie game and then turn it back on during the ESPN wrap up. :x

Go go, for the good of the city!

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nice ending

Post by barakuda » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:33 pm

I think the Ending was great. Petey did the right thing . Plus the confrontation between Zoe and Elain was more of a talk then a confrontation Or Zoe would of still been mad at Elain. She would of turned Neil against his mom and his sister. This story is all about comunication and compramise for the good of everyone. Having a balanced view of things. Neil realized when he saw how sickly his mother was, she became a android so has not be a burden on the family. The part where Neil cant stand to see his mom and his sister. point to the fact that Neil felt kinda guilty for denying them there happiness. Also points to the fact that Dr Dysons chronic sickness put strain on there marriage and family. Niel was to young to see this. I think Dr Dyson regrets not being able to communicate this with her son. But seeing his mom like he got the point that it just wasnt her selfishness and that even before she was a android she was in state were she could not be the mother she wanted. It wasnt all about being perfect. Dr Dyson realized she got a little carried away trying help others and herself she neglected her son.

Again a great story with a great ending. that really made ask questions without over stepping the stuff that had come before it. I think you really didnt leave to many loose end except to wonder where they go from here. Like how much time will Zoe spend enjoying being robot. Mabey it could be like a week or twoo a year so has to releave stress and decompress. I think Neil cant deny her that.

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Post by petey » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:50 pm

I just want to clarify something. Elaine wasn't/isn't sick. She's getting old, probably older than what her android body would indicate. It's part of the universe that being in stasis doesn't mess you up too much. I mean, their bodies were comatose for years and within hours they were walking around.

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Thax for Clarification

Post by barakuda » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:12 pm

Thanx for Clarification i still think it was pivital when Neil couldnt look at his mother in that state. Like i said it hits home for me and especialy that part with my mom being bed ridden with with Multiple Sclerosis. Thats kinda why I got that idea. Also when my parents divorced I was young and didnt understand the reasons for things and both parent blamed the other for it. That where I got the whole family thing from While others took it in a different direction. Still a very good ending to a great story.

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Well done!

Post by BA2 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:44 am

I'm lost for words at this*: really well written and thought provoking, absolutely brilliant.

For me you've explored right into the heart of the Dyson issue; I've always had my imagination piqued by the Stepfordesque mantra of perfection that Dyson 'products' all reel off and am fascinated by the balance of personality to programming in female androids.

Perhaps your ending may have been a little rushed, there was certainly a lot of potential to expand, but sometimes less is more. I don't seem to share the majority view; I think the Zoe vs Elaine showdown was best left out. You built the story so well that the issues and characters were clearly drawn and the conclusion shows where things went. Leaving that episode to the readers' imagination generates so much more thought than leading us by the hand would have done.

Well done indeed,

BA
* - hmmm, seemed to find a few words after all but you know what I mean!!

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