The finest programming of DNC Industries' Swan line was naturally put into the Odettes and Siegfrieds, with special care given to the ones manufactured for Russia. Odette Cincinnati-2, checking her joints for the last time before her entrance, knew this just as she knew every pas de bourrée and échappé she'd perform in the next three hours. She wasn't jealous. The Russian Odettes gave two performances a day with little time for maintenance, and routinely travelled in cramped ex-military trucks over unpaved roads, while she gave only three performances a week and never travelled.
Did they envy her? No. With the strength and detail of their routines, they wouldn't have time to speak with humans, time to add to their simul-human codes, time to develop emotions and awareness and thought. All they had was the perfection of Swan Lake, and because they knew no better, it was enough.
Siegfried Cincinnati-1 entered stage-left with a series of careful steps and exaggerated looks at the image-real forest displayed on the back wall. His left shoulder looked stiff today, as if he'd neglected to oil it again, and Odette made a note to make the lifts in the pas de deux as easy as possible for him. It wouldn't do to have his shoulder give out. The company couldn't bear the expense just now. She also made a note to nag him later. He'd listen to her, if not to their manager.
The music flowed through one phrase, then another, and Odette rose en pointe and glided out onto the stage, her code swelling with the music.