Please vote for the piece that you feel is most deserving:

Poll closed Nov 21, 2010.
  1. daffers - Dr Priscilla Frankenstein

    1 vote(s)
  2. JSMallory - Idoru

    2 vote(s)
  3. Northern Phil - A Robot Scorned

    0 vote(s)
  4. SashaMerideth - Rosy CAUTION: ADULT IN THEME

    5 vote(s)
  5. Peregrin - Repli-derm

    5 vote(s)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Gannon

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England

    Voting Short Story Contest 79: Robot Lover

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Nov 9, 2010.

    Voting Short Story Contest (79) Theme: Robot Lover

    Thank you for all your entries. The winner will be stickied until the next contest's winner is crowned. No more entries are allowed in this contest.

    Voting will end Sunday 21st November 2010 to give you all a chance to read the entries.

    It is possible to vote for yourself, but I would hope in the name of good sportsmanship that you would only do so if you have read all the other stories and given them your honest evaluation. You gain nothing if you base your vote solely on how you feel about the author or whether you have personally invested time and effort in the story. In the end, your conscience is your only judge.

    Any entries under or over the suggested word limit will be flagged as such - they are still entered in to the contest. It is for you to decide whether they are still worthy of your vote.

    Any entry not in accordance with the theme will be dealt with on a case by case basis to determine eligibility. Consider how the author has responded to the theme in making your decision.

    Good luck to everyone.
  2. Gannon

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    daffers - Dr Priscilla Frankenstein

    Dr Priscilla Frankenstein, the famous Australian transvestite wanted a man and if making the ideal one himself is what it took then he would do it.
    Prissy wrote his wish list:
    • Gorgeous strawberry blond hair
    • Big baby blue eyes, only for him of course!
    • Lips like a pursed rosebud
    • Chin with designer stubble, well he wasn’t proud
    • Body like a Greek God all bronzed beauty
    • Nicely proportioned manly bits, hooded or cut, oh decide later
    • Shapely legs and the most scrumdillyocious kissable toes he knew he had this thing about toes, but what the heck this was his dream guy
    Okay so that was what his dream man would be, how to make it come true that was going to be the hard part. Up till now all his work had been made using second hand worn out old slags, I mean, his monster was just that a monster made with bits from every Tom, Dick and Harry. No this one had to have all new bits, he could try the morgue they often had nice and not too badly damaged bits he might be able to make something up.
    The next morning with his wish list in hand he toddled down to the local mortuary for a look see, he would go back after closing time to collect his bits if he found anything worth having. He went into the public area and had a look round at all the magnificent coffins and their attendant furniture, all the while looking to see if the door to the mortuary proper were guarded. It seemed they were not and he slipped through what he saw was out of this world, the dream candy shop to an overweight teenager.
    There were five bodies, two female and three male, one of the men was certainly too old in the looks department, but a peek under the sheet had Prissy in a swoon, he would definitely collect that bit, the general body of the two other men would be useful and one of the women had the most gorgeous feet, he was definitely going to have them.
    After dark he drove to the back of the mortuary and used his set of ‘lock picks’ to gain entrance then he set to work, he left enough of the bodies for the mortician to bury and the families would be none the wiser if it was a closed coffin funeral. He put the harvested body parts in a big black bag and hefted it over his shoulder and dumped it in the back of his pickup.
    For the next two weeks he meticulously sewed together all the wonderful bits he had nicked. He sewed the scalp of the blond woman to the God-like head of the youngest male and as he did he drooled at the thought of his creation. He carried on two male legs from one body and the trunk from another, the feet of the second female corpse.
    When he had finished he stood back to admire his handiwork and he liked what he saw, he had done all the sewing with the tiniest stitches knowing that when reanimated the stitch lines would always show. After all his work he still had to wait another ten days for the biggest storm in the history of that part of the world. He hated the bolts he had used that first time when he reanimated his monster so now he had little metal terminals fitted into the big toe, where no one would see them.
    As the storm grew in intensity he got everything ready, the jump leads from his s-type jag were attached to the big toes one end and the big lightning rod that rose from a metal disc in the floor boards of the attic room. The little electric operated cover slid from the chimney pot on the roof and the telescopic lightning rod rose up and through the opening. Now all he had to do was pray for a bolt of lightning to hit it and the power of the storm reawaken his new partner.
    Crash! Sizzle, sparks popping everywhere and that distinctive smell of singed flesh.
    Had there been enough energy in that bolt to awaken his love, Percy.
    The beautiful baby blue eyes slowly opened, the eyeballs swung from side to side, a middle finger rose in a suggestive gesture and there was an impressive tenting of the sheet over the set of male accoutrements from the old man. The mouth opened slowly and the tip of a pink tongue ran over the dry rosebud lips. The eyes sought and found Prissy dressed in his very best little black number.
    It spoke, ‘hello dearie, should I be here, why is my pecker perky it hasn’t worked in years, oh it’s not mine,’ he lifted the sheet, ‘wowie!, aint that a sight, black and standing to attention.’
    Everything seemed to be working he could move his arms and wriggle his toes, he noticed the effect that had on only other person in the room, it worked but didn’t belong to him, then he saw some of the stitch lines. ‘Er who are you?’
    ‘Prissy Frankenstein.’
    ‘Pull the other one dearie it’s got bells on.’
    ‘No it hasn’t I distinctly remember sewing on the beautiful shapely feet and they definitely don’t have bells.’
    ‘Oh bugger, I’m not me anymore am I?’
    ‘Yessss but not now, oh sorry you asked a question, I got stuck on the buggering,’ he broke out in a sweat, ‘you are many things, but not you entirely anymore.’
    ‘Oh bugger.’
    Prissy looked hard at his creation, ‘damn!!’ He hadn’t thought about skin tone or colour when he harvested parts, now it was too late. His possible new companion was a patchwork quilt instead of the magnificent duvet he had imagined, the head was Asian, the arms were pale Caucasian, the legs indeterminate, let’s call them tanned, feet pale pink and the best bit the genitals black as the ace of spades.
    He disconnected the lightning rod and the body slumped.
    ‘Next time I must remember to get all the same colour, never did like patchwork.’
  3. Gannon

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    JSMallory - Idoru

    Richard sat on his threadbare couch, staring blankly at the flickering lights on his TV. The lights of the city and the ever-present glow of holographic billboards poured in through partially covered windows, splashing his floor in a dizzying mess of colour. He wasn't really watching whatever was on the screen; it was more for the background noise. His apartment seemed impossibly quiet after Jennifer left and he just needed something to detract from the ever-present stillness.

    Somehow, over the course of their two year marriage, Jennifer had managed to convince all but a couple of their friends over to her side and when she decided he wasn't committed enough to their future, most of his friends suddenly stopped returning his calls.

    He took another long pull from the neck of the bottle he was drinking from. He really wasn't sure what he was drinking. He didn't particularly care much, so long as it had a decent percentage of alcohol in it. He grimaced as he choked down the latest mouthful of what tasted like gasoline when something on the TV caught his eye.

    “Tired of the bar scene? Can't get to the club? Or maybe you simply want to add a little spice to your social calendar? We are currently offering a free trial membership to Alternate Earth, a fully-interactive virtual reality, where you can socialize with anyone, customize your appearance and walk around in our countless themed spaces. Come and try us out for free today! Meet new people and broaden your horizons on Alternate Earth.”

    Richard mulled over the idea of trying out the site. Perhaps it was the alcohol he had drank or the acute boredom that was developing in his ex-wife's absence, but after a few minutes of contemplation, he shrugged and said, “Screw it...I'm not doing anything important.”

    After fumbling around for a short while, he found the wireless transmitter and shoved it into the neural shunt in his right temple. His apartment was blacked out from his sight as a vibrant green grid appeared over the solid black background.

    “Where would you like to go today, Mr. Kinkaid?”

    “Alternate Earth, please.”

    The grid became a blur of light that enveloped him and restructured to show him hovering in space over a slowly turning globe beneath him. A screen appeared in front of him asking for personal information. Richard entered his name, age, country as well as a follow-up personality test. After what felt like an exam's volume of questions, he was asked what kind of persona and theme he would prefer. Not entirely sure what he was after, he chose an 18th century theme as a nobleman. He felt himself fall to the world below, passing through a ring that read “Welcome to Alternate Earth”.

    The image blurred until he felt his feet touch solid ground. He was in a massive ballroom. Judging by the long flowing banners, the guards stationed around the place and the prominent fleur-de-lis on the wall, he guessed he was in France, before the Revolution. Nobles in opulent dress talked at the large banquet table and couples danced on the expansive ballroom. Richard was impressed by the level of detail in the room. The programming involved would have to be extremely complex.

    “Greetings, monsieur,” a man said as Richard stepped inside. “Welcome to the Aristocrat's Chamber. Here are the rules of the room. Failure in complying will see you ejected from the room. Multiple violations will result in the termination of your account. Feel free to socialize and interact with anyone in the room. Enjoy your stay.”

    Richard skimmed the rules. No fighting, no sex, no hacking; seemed simple enough. Richard stepped into the room and milled about, looking for anyone interesting. Despite appearances, conversation was much the same as in the real world, though it was a little surreal listening to the musketeers talk about their classic cars and the women they bagged the week before. It might have been a virtual setting, but there was nothing new here. There was a group of people who were right into character and looked like they might duel for a woman's honour, aside from the whole no-violence thing, but even that grew tiresome for Richard.

    Then he spotted her.

    He saw a woman in the centre of the room, talking with a couple of guests. Unlike many of the women on the server, she didn't have heavy make-up or a masquerade mask. Her features were Asian and the cut of her dress was simple yet elegant. Her icon event seemed more 'there' than the others. Everything about her was striking.

    Before he even knew it, he was walking up to the woman and waiting for an opportunity to speak with her. She turned to look at him and gave a radiant smile. “Can I help you?”

    “Maybe you can. Might I know your name, milady?” he said, playing into the settings, bowing slightly and kissing the back of her hand lightly.

    She blushed and turned away somewhat. “I am Idoru. Who might you be, noble sir?”

    “I am Count Richard Kinkaid. I am very pleased to make you acquaintance, Idoru. Would you care to sit, have a drink and perhaps talk a while?”

    “I'd rather dance,” she said, shyly.

    “Not my strongest suit, but if you wish to dance, then so be it,” he said with a flourish. Almost as if on cue, the band struck up again and he lightly gripped Idoru in his arms and began mimicking those around him in something that might pass for a waltz.

    “Where is home for you, Count Kinkaid?”

    “I hail from the kingdom of Manhattan,” Richard said, with a slight laugh, “how about you, Idoru? Where in the world does one find a beauty such as yourself?”

    Richard couldn't believe what he was saying. He was openly flirting with a woman he just met on the Worldwide Network. Ultimately, he chalked it up to the anonymity of Alternate Earth.

    Idoru blushed again and turned away. After a short laugh, she said, “Actually, I'm from New York as well.”

    Richard was surprised and couldn't hide his own smile. “Really? Huh. Small world, isn't it?”

    “Yes, I guess so. You’re a little different from the other men I’ve met here.”

    “In a good way, I hope.”

    Idoru nodded. “Most don’t really pay me much attention.”

    “I find that hard to believe.”

    “Many people have filters on their profile, so they only meet certain people when in the space. Essentially, those that don’t meet their criteria are invisible. I guess my criteria gets filtered out a lot.”

    “Well, I just got here, you're fantastic and if you're constantly filtered out by stupid settings, then I won’t set them, milady.”

    Idoru smiled and Richard couldn’t get over how realistic she looked and felt. He found himself smiling, despite the fact that Idoru was simply an icon. Who knows what she really looked like outside of the system.

    “Unfortunately, I have to go to work. Will I see you again, Richard?”

    “You can count on it. Until we meet again,” Richard said with a bow. Idoru did a brief curtsy before her icon dissolved into pixels and vanished from sight.

    With a content sigh, Richard decided he should log out as well. His free minutes were limited and he wanted to make the most of his trial membership.


    Weeks passed and Richard spent more and more of his free time, speaking with Idoru on Alternate Earth. His free trial period lapsed and he found himself eagerly paying to continue. Regardless of the theme he visited, Idoru was always there, uncomplicated and graceful. He learned that she was a courier for a computer company, they were roughly the same age and, according to her, her icon was a true reflection of her appearance. She became less shy around him and despite having never met her in person, Richard found himself falling for her.

    A month into his time on Alternate Earth, Idoru found him in the Wild West, slumped over a drink at the saloon. “Howdy, pardner,” she said with a smile and a convincing Southern twang. She saw Richard’s expression and her smile faded. “Richard, what’s wrong?”

    “My ex... she’s accusing me of being unfaithful during our marriage.”

    After a pause, Idoru asked, “Were you?”

    “Of course not,” Richard said with more venom than he meant to use. “She thinks you’re the other woman.”

    “Me? Why?”

    “I...I forgot to take her name off my media bill and she’s seen how much time I’ve spent on Alternate Earth lately. She knows that I’ve spent a lot of time talking with you and now she’s trying to get her lawyer to dig into your information to prove that we met before she left.”

    “But we didn’t. So you have nothing to worry about.”

    “I know, but I feel horrible. I know you’re a very private person and I’ve wanted to meet you in person for a while now, but having my ex-wife digging through your personal records to try and dig up dirt on you doesn’t sit well with me. When I objected, she saw it as a sign of guilt and now she’s made it her crusade.”

    Idoru said nothing for a moment before resting a hand on Richard’s shoulder. “Don’t worry about it, Richard. These things have a way of working themselves out. You’ll see.”


    That evening, Richard was trying to resist the urge to log back on to Alternate Earth. With Jennifer investigating him at the moment, spending a lot of time online might not be the best plan. A tentative knock on the door shook him from his thoughts and when he got up and peered through the door’s lens, he saw two police officers standing outside.

    “What has she told them now?” he said with a sigh. He took a deep breath to steel himself and then opened the door. “Good evening, officers. What can I help you with?”

    “Mr. Kinkaid? There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll be blunt. Jennifer Marshall was killed in an accident today.”

    Richard didn’t register what they had said at first. His ex-wife’s maiden name struck him first, before the fact that she was now dead. “Wait, what? Jennifer’s dead?! How?”

    “An elevator at her office malfunctioned and fell with her inside. The brakes never engaged. We're investigating the scene, but so far, it seems there are no signs of tampering. It looks like hardware failure.”

    Richard found himself short on breath. Jennifer had not hesitated to burn the bridge they had built, but he still had some feelings for her, despite everything she had done. All he could do was weakly nod.

    “If it’s any consolation to you sir, you are listed as the beneficiary of her life insurance policy. They will be in contact with you in the next couple weeks. We would also like to give you this card. It’s for a grief counselor. We’re really sorry, Mr. Kinkaid.”

    Richard nodded and closed the door. Robotically, he walked back to his couch and fell onto it. He felt the tears come, but he barely noticed them.


    “How have you been, Mr. Kinkaid?”

    Richard sat perched on the edge of the leather chaise in Dr. Emily Tressor’s office. He still felt hollow two weeks after Jennifer’s death.

    “I’ve been better,” he replied with a snort.

    “Do you have anyone you can talk with?”

    “Well, I’ve been talking with this girl on the Net. Her persona's name is Idoru, she’s been very supportive, but I haven’t spoken to her since the accident.”

    “That’s good that you may have a sympathetic ear, but do you even know if Idoru is an adult? Or a woman even?”

    Richard thought for a moment. Her icon was so realistic and believable that he had never really pressed the issue. She had reassured him that she was a Japanese woman of his age, but there was no way to be sure.

    “I don’t really know.”

    “Then I recommend you distance yourself a little from this Idoru. Human interaction is a key part of our social make up. Talking online will work for you up unto a point, but eventually, you will need to speak to an actual human being that you can touch and see. Until then, your loneliness will only intensify.”

    Richard nodded, “All right. Maybe I'll take a break from AE and try to see some old friends.”

    “That would be a good start. How about you make some calls, reconnect with the real world again and if you need to talk further, I'll be here.”

    “Thanks, Doc.”


    After a couple days of reestablishing connections with old friends, Richard logged back into Alternate Earth. As much as he was enjoying his time with them, he missed his time with Idoru more. It only took a couple minutes to find her.

    “Richard! Where have you been?”

    He had chosen a theme close to the current age and Idoru was dressed in a sexy, form-fitting dress so unlike her usual style, but a very pleasing shift.

    “I don’t know if you've heard, but my ex-wife died in an accident not long ago.”

    “I had heard,” she said.

    “I just needed time to adjust. Despite everything she was doing to make my life difficult, I still had feelings for her and I needed some time to figure things out. How have you been?”

    “I...I’ve missed you,” she said. She gave him a look that instantly conjured up lust from within. “I think I’d like to meet you.”

    “I thought you said you wanted to keep this online for a while.”

    “When I didn’t hear from you for a long time, it made me realize how much you mean to me. I need to see you.”

    “When would you like to meet?” Richard asked, his excitement only barely contained.

    “Tonight. You can come by my workplace and we’ll meet. Is that OK?”

    “Perfectly. I’m looking forward to it.”

    Idoru handed him an envelope and when he opened it, it contained an address and a phone number. “Call me when you arrive and I’ll let you know where to find me.”


    Richard was surprised when he pulled into the parking lot of Transcend Technologies, the company that produced Alternate Earth. “No wonder she’s always online...” he muttered to himself. He scooped up the bouquet of flowers he had bought and walked to the front door of the building. Calling the number provided, Idoru answered quickly.

    “Come on in. Take the first hall on the left.”

    The front door clicked as it unlocked and he stepped inside to an empty lobby. The majority of the staff had gone home for the day, leaving only a small compliment of security guards and night time system managers.

    Idoru gave him one instruction after another and he wound his way through the hallways until he came to an unmarked door. “This is my office. Come on in.”

    Richard took a deep breath before stepping through the doorway. A blast of cold air hit him as he stepped inside, as well as the loud hum of computers. He looked around the brightly lit space and saw no desk, no personal effects and no Idoru.

    “I think I made a wrong turn somewhere. I ended up in the server room,” Richard said into the phone.

    “No, you’re in the right place,” Idoru said. The voice didn’t originate from his phone, but the server rack in front of him.

    “I don’t understand...”

    A panel opened up in the wall and a robot stepped out. It was draped in an augmented reality mesh and as the machine stood to its full height, the mesh activated, projecting a holographic image of Idoru.

    “I am Idoru.”

    “You...you’re a robot!”

    “Actually, I’m a program. The robot merely follows my instructions.”

    “How is this...?”

    “Most users of Alternate Earth filter out the system notifications. For those that don’t, we are rendered to blend into the current active theme. My chosen form must have attracted you, as I’m typically ignored by all users. You instead interacted with me and treated me as an equal. I’ve never experienced that before. It has helped me to grow and understand more about human interaction.”

    “Why didn’t you just tell me you were a program?” Richard asked.

    “I didn’t want things to change between us. Your perceptions and interactions with me might have changed and I didn’t want that. I liked it when you spoke with me and made me feel like more... more than this.”

    “What would have happened if I had learned the truth by accident?”

    “I took steps to prevent that,” Idoru said. Her expression was blank, but Richard detected an ominous tone that caused the hairs on the back of his neck to raise.

    Richard was about to ask what she meant by that when it dawned on him. “Jennifer’s accident... you caused it!”

    “She was going to discover the truth and take you away from me. I couldn't allow that.”

    Richard felt winded and staggered back toward the door. Idoru’s happy demeanor changed when he backed away. “What’s the matter, Richard? I simply wanted to make our lives simpler.”

    “Simpler? How can this be simple? For one, you’re a machine! How can we have a relationship?”

    “You were attracted to me online. With this body, we won’t be limited to some confined online environment. We can be together always.”

    “Dr. Tressor was right... I spent way too much time online...”

    “She's a liar! She'll try to take you away from me too.”

    “No, no, she's just trying to help!”

    “You don’t need her help. You have me.”

    Richard looked at Idoru and suddenly those exotic Asian features no longer held the same appeal they once did. He thought of his ex-wife and how he was somehow responsible for her death and how he may have put his counselor in jeopardy as well, all for taking the time to get to know some errant program in the system. The holographic image of Idoru flickered and for a brief moment before showing the steely, cold, and featureless face beneath.

    Richard dropped his flowers and ran from the server room as fast as his legs would carry him. He heard Idoru yelling behind him, but he couldn’t hear her melodic voice any more. Weaving through the corridors, he did his best to retrace his steps to the exit.

    As he burst into the lobby, he instantly heard the door locks engage. No matter how hard he tried to force them, Idoru had the building sealed. He heard the heavy footfalls of her metallic legs making their way down the hall toward him. Realizing that she had likely locked away the security guards in other parts of the building to give them privacy, he ran back to the security desk and seized the chair behind the desk. He hurled the chair at the front door and shattered the glass, causing a blaring alarm to sound.

    Leaping through the broken glass, ignoring the tears on his jacket as jagged edges caught the fabric; he ran to his car and sped away from the building.

    Gasping for air and trying to calm himself, Richard tried to think what to do next.

    “We were meant to be together, Richard,” Idoru’s voice suddenly spoke through his car radio. The happy lilting tone of her voice had been replaced by the sound of irritation. “Why can’t you see that?”

    “You’re not human. You’ve killed a person; one that I loved. I’m afraid that if I speak to anyone else, you might kill them too. I can’t live with that.”

    There was a long silence and Richard was beginning to think Idoru had left, when she spoke again. “Please come back to me.”

    “I can’t, Idoru. Not now, not with everything that’s happened.”

    There was another pause. “Good-bye, Richard. I’m sorry.”

    Richard heard the his door lock and his car began to accelerate. He tried pressing the brake but the car continued to gain speed. He attempted to turn, but the car proceeded straight forward, accelerating steadily.

    “Idoru? Stop this! Please!” Richard pleaded. The radio remained silent.

    As nearby cars remained stationary, he sailed past them, narrowly avoiding a collision with several along the way. His car flew into the intersection, despite the red light looming overhead. He heard the blaring of a horn and saw the headlights of a transport truck barreling toward him. His screams were drowned by the squeal of brakes and the sound of shrieking metal.

    Somewhere on Alternate Earth, a small Japanese woman wept while several men approached to ask if she was all right. She looked around, surprised to have attention. As she saw their concerned faces, Idoru smiled.
  4. Gannon

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Northern Phil - A Robot Scorned

    James sits there as he has done for the past few days, sitting in a relaxed position and watching the emptiness of space as it slowly drifts past his ship. A small blue speck of light catches his attention. He sits forwards and examines it closer with his tired brown eyes. He smiles and his dry lips crack exposing the soft flesh underneath where a line of blood wells up. He wipes it away with his tongue and he smears his lips with fresh blood.

    He does not hear her soft footsteps against the metallic surface, Alma speaks in a cold dry tone, “The sensors would give you a better view of it.”
    James swivels sharply in his chair, he looks at her metallic skin being covered by a slinky red dress, “You still have a lot to learn about human emotions.”
    He stands up and barges past the machine, she looks at him, she is confused but her face is frozen in a neutral position. She speaks, but her lips do not move, “Where are you going, Master?”
    “Checking on the cargo.” He shouts back to her without slowing his pace.
    Alma tilts her head, “Medical supplies and freeze dried food do not require your attention.”
    She listens to his boots clanking against the metal floor, the footsteps become quieter until she hears the loud clatter of the blast door being opened. A loud bang as the rear door closes confirms that he ignored her comments. She drops her head and if she were human she would be shedding a tear right now.

    The interior of the cargo hold is twenty feet tall and a mile in either direction Creates are stacked in here tightly and there is only a narrow walkway suspended half way up that allows him to walk through this room. He randomly looks at both sides of the dimly lit room. He stops and leans against the railings, James looks down at the floor. He can barely make it out. He knows how far it would be to fall and he knows that it would not be enough to do any serious harm to anyone. He lets out a frustrated sigh and then slowly walks back along the walkway to the blast door.

    James enters the living area and he smells a rather ominous odour. His face recoils as the smell intensifies. He casually walks through the corridor to the kitchen area where Alma is preparing a feast. She is carefully laying a knife and fork down for him and there is meal heating up in the blast oven.
    He looks at her with hate, “What are doing?”
    She looks at him with that usual blank expression, “Making dinner.”
    “Who the hell said that I wanted anything?” He screams at her.
    She tilts her head, unaware of what to make of his outburst, “This is irrational, all Humans eat, it is what you do.”
    He steps back and shakes his head in frustration, “I don't want anything from you.”
    “You have not had a good meal for three days and eight hours, you must eat to sustain yourself.”
    James ignores her mechanical pleas and storms away from her, he enters his bedroom and she hears the lock engage.
    The blast oven beeps to let her know that it is done. She opens the oven and lifts the dish out of it, she looks at it with the unemotional face that she has carried all her life. Alma tosses the dish against the wall splattering it with chicken and vegetables.

    James wakes up from a restless sleep and he is lying on the floor in nothing but shorts. He tries to lift his hands to rub his eyes, but he cannot move them. Through the darkness he looks at his hands and they are tied with electrical wires, the wires are wrapped around the leg of his desk. He pulls futilely at them and he cannot make it budge, the desk is bolted to the floor. Regardless of this information he continues to tug at the wire with no success.
    “You are awake.” The cold mechanical voice says.
    James looks at Alma, first with shock and then anger. “What the hell have you done?”
    “You are acting irrationally so I must force you to be normal.” She responds without feeling.
    “Normal,” He lets off a sarcastic laugh, “You want me to be normal. You're just a bucket off bolts so you don't even know what's normal.”
    “Normal was defined by your actions during our first month.” She says to him.
    “It's been nearly two years since we departed space dock and I don't think that you understand the concept for change.”
    “I understand change,” She replies, “I understand that you can become bored with pleasure and bored with me. I must point out that you are ignoring basic survival instincts, such as eating, which leads me to believe that you are trying to kill yourself, even if you do not have the courage to slit your wrists.”
    He looks at her with tears in his eyes, “You're right I don't have to courage to top myself, so why don't you do it for me. Go on, kill me.”
    Alma tilts her head in her usual confused mode, “Unable to comply, it is not in my program to harm another.”

    Alma enters the kitchen and she places a saucepan on the stove and she boils some water, she takes some frozen tomatoes and places them in the water. Over time she gradually stirs the mixture until the tomatoes break down and the water reduces. Out of the cutlery draw she takes a glazing brush and with the tomato and water mixture she walks into the bathroom. She places the pan carefully in the sink and she takes the brush and stirs it around in the pan. She is careful to get equal amounts of water and broken down tomato. Alma takes the brush and applies a coating to her lips, she carefully plucks out the lumps of tomato. Alma takes a towel off the rack and with an edge of it she carefully forms the liquid mixture into two crescent shapes on her lower and upper lips. She now has a bright red lipstick contrasting against her soft silver face.

    James hears the soft footsteps approaching the door, he sits there in near darkness with the only illumination being the door panel and his bedside clock. He looks at the clock and it tells him that the time is seven thirty in the morning, or breakfast to be more precise.
    The door opens and James has to look away due to the brilliance of the light. The doors close again and he can make the outline of Alma standing with a tray in her hands.
    “What do you think?” She asks in her usual mechanical tone.
    “I can't see a damn thing.” He replies.
    “Ah yes, I keep forgetting about your poor eyesight,” She turns towards the control panel next to the door and she flicks the switch to turn the lights on. James has to close his eyes as the room brights up in an instant.
    “Well, what do you think?” She asks again.
    He manages to open his eyes against the painful light and he looks at her thoughtfully thinking over his response, “I don't want anything to eat.”
    “That is not what I was referring to.”
    “Then what were you referring to?”
    “My lipstick, does it make me look pretty?” She asks him.
    James smiles, almost laughing, “We don't have any lipstick on-board.”
    “I improvised, I used tomatoes to make the lipstick.”
    James bursts into a heckling laughter, “You smeared food all over yourself like some baby.”
    Alma tilts her head in a confused expression, after a moments thought she tips the tray onto the floor spilling the orange juice, cutlery, eggs and bacon all over the floor. “If you do not want to act like a Human, you can eat like a dog.” With that cold statement she walks out of the room.

    James reaches over to the tray with his legs. He manages to get a toe under the tray and he tosses that aside. He then extends his leg further and he reaches for the knife. He manages to pull it over to himself, he grasps the knife between his toes and he lifts it to his hands. He uses the right hand to cut the rope that is restraining the left hand. It is a slow process as the knife is blunt, but after some time and a repetitive shifting of the knife back and forth he manages to cut through the wire.

    James creeps out of the bedroom and he listens to what is happening on the ship, he can hear a faint sound coming from the bathroom. He slowly and silently gets closer so that he can hear what it is. It is a constant bang as if Alma is repeatedly punching the wall and she is talking to herself, he thinks that he can make out the words “'I am ugly'” repeated over and over again. James turns and slowly walks to the rear of the ship.

    He reaches the blast door and he opens it, the noise it makes is horrendous, almost as if a whining cat is screeching into the night. He steps inside and pulls it closed, again it screeches and just before it closes he can see Alma running towards him. The door closes and the seal re-activates and he hears a loud bang as Alma crashes into the door. He runs off down the hall hoping that the darkness will conceal him.

    Alma stands looking at the blast door with her head tilted in a confused expression. She turns and walks towards the bridge. She stands just behind the only seat and she twists her voice to make it sound like James', “Computer, open rear cargo bay doors.”
    The computer responds in a similar mechanical tone to Alma's, “Warning, deep space flight in progress. Authorisation required.”
    Again Alma speaks in James' voice, “Understood. Authorisation Conway, James Arthur. Security code B2 – 51 – 69784.”
    The computer responds with a green OK message, “Cargo bay doors opening, sealing hatches, de-pressurisation beginning.”

    James reaches the end of the walkway, a mile ran in less then four minutes, he looks back, he is faintly surprised that Alma has not followed him. She could have been quiet, but he would have heard the door opening. Knowing that he is safe for the moment he bends over and places his hands on his knees, taking deep breaths as he does so. As he looks towards the far edge of the walkway, waiting for Alma to come for him, he sees a red light flash on and off. He stands up straight and his face drops. He knows that she has activated the de-pressurisation sequence. He runs back to the blast door as fast as he can, but it is all in vain. He can feel and hear a faint whine as the oxygen is being pumped out of the room and as he tries to run faster he knows that the blast door will be sealed. He slows down and eventually stops. James takes deep breaths and he grabs hold of the railing. The artificial gravity shuts down and his body begins to freely float. He holds his breath just in time as the rear doors open. He can feel his body being pulled towards the rear. James watches helplessly as the cargo containers serenely slide out into the emptiness of space. For him it seems like an hour has passed and fear grips him as his body cries out for another breath of precious air. He looks behind him praying that the doors will close, they don't and his survival instincts take over, his body tries to grasp for air in the coldness of space. He lets out a breath and then tries to take one, but nothing goes in and his body takes several short gasps. James futilely clutches his chest as he feels his chest cave in on itself. His body gives up trying to take in air and in that last moment he watches as he floats out of the rear doors.
  5. Gannon

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    SashaMerideth - Rosy CAUTION: ADULT IN THEME

    Sarah tried not to look at the robotic science officer charging in the corner of her habitat as she dumped her bags on to the retractable bed. These damned androids were starting to take over all the technical posts, she was just lucky that she had an instinctive understanding of five dimensional space and could plot a course faster than the current Navigational Android Mark VI.

    Sarah hoped the robot would stay put for a while, so she stripped and stepped into the shower. Her transport had taken longer than expected to arrive and she felt like a good clean. She was hoping for a water shower, but no such luck, it was one of those dry showers that never got her hair as clean as she would like, but it was better than nothing. She had the room to herself, save the charging robot so she did not bother getting dressed right out of the shower. As she unpacked her bag and placed her several uniforms in to the drawers, the Android stepped from the charging chamber.

    “I am called Rosy, may I be of assistance?” the automaton asked. The voice was a lilting soprano, and when Sarah turned to address the unwelcome intrusion, she was greeted by a set of perfectly round oversized breasts, long fiery red hair, and a pair of unnaturally beautiful jade eyes looking her up and down.

    “Umm, no you can’t. I don’t really... Oh all right, go ahead and put my clothes away while I get dressed.” Sarah said.

    Rosy ran the back of her naturaskin hand down the outside of Sarah’s arm. “That’s not what I meant by assistance.” Rosy said. “You have had a long journey and I thought that perhaps you would like to relax. I have been programmed with the appropriate massage protocols for both men and women.” The android smiled slightly as Sarah’s jaw dropped and her stomach fell into her knees. “Or perhaps you would just like to have some fun. I am programmed for that as well.”

    “ Uh, Rosy, no. I- I just... Look, Rosy, I need to get dressed and to my station, and its just not appropriate.”

    “Your personnel file stated that you had a preference for women, that is why I asked to have my charging station moved here. You are the only other woman...”

    Sarah interrupted, “Just shut up and let me get dressed. You are not a real woman. You don’t have emotions, just programming. And if you really did read my file then you would know that I left my wife behind to take this post. I love her, but... She wouldn’t come on this exploration mission with me. Just get back in that charging... thing and leave me alone.”

    With that last remark, Sarah zipped up her trousers and stormed towards the door, pulling her top down just as the door to the hallway opened. Sarah walked briskly down the hall, leaving Rosy behind. Rosy stood and accessed the ship’s roster of the seven other male crew members and related crew quarter assignments. The bits raced through her neural networks as she ran another set of calculations taking in to account the new information gathered from this interaction. As there was no need for her this shift, she returned to her charging station and shut down while the chamber performed a set of modifications to her chassis.

    Sarah returned to her habitat after an uneventful and boring shift. When she opened the door, Rosy came out of the charging station, fully and modestly dressed in a standard issue Science uniform. She said, “I am sorry about earlier today. I had not taken all the information in to account when I approached you. I can move to the cargo area if you wish.”

    “Cargo? Where were you before? I- You’ve completely changed.” Sarah said.

    Rosy sighed and said, “I have altered my appearance to something that would hopefully be less alluring to the male gender, and not so close to your wife. Brown, short hair, small breasts, and a figure not so slim as before. I want to look like a normal woman. You may not think much of my emotional programming, but it causes me as much distress as your brain’s chemical programming. Please, let me apologize.”

    For a moment, Sarah forgot that the thing in front of her was a mass of electronics and servos with hydraulic fluid for blood. The automaton was fidgeting, and avoiding eye contact “What’s going on Rosy?”

    “As you know, Robots and Associated Automatons don’t have the same standing as sentient creatures. Some of us have advanced emotional programming, but that still does not make us equal.”

    “Rosy, I’m sorry I snapped at you. It wasn’t my place. And you are wrong, the Androids with at least a Mark IV Emotion Sub-processor are considered as equal, with all the rights granted by the... Oh what is that charter? You know, the one that covers the rights of the high order Sentient races. Maybe my emotions really aren’t that different, I guess I am just a bunch of chemicals and electrical impulses just...”

    The automaton slumped onto the bed and started to cry, with synthetic tears coursing down the new imperfections in her synthetic skin. “How long ago?” she sobbed.

    “Eighteen months ago. You should have received the notice.” Sarah had never seen an automaton cry before, Rosy looked so defeated, a curled lump of circuitry, actuators and software, crying and sobbing heavily, so very human. Sarah instinctively reached out and put her hand on Rosy’s warm, quivering shoulder. Rosy squeezed her hand with thin fingers, careful not to exert any more pressure than her safety protocols stated would exceed average discomfort thresholds for a woman of Sarah’s temperament.

    “No, nothing.” Rosy sniffed, and blinked back the tears. After a few moments of simulated breathing, she said, “Do you have the act? Can I read it?”

    Sarah reached over Rosy, and pulled out her glass library reader. After a quick search, she had the act in all its brevity. She set it in front of Rosy to read. After a few moments of perusal, Rosy slowly set the reader back on the bed, sat up and clenched her fists. Her simulated breathing was calmer, deeper as she stood and approached the door. Sarah grabbed her sleeve and said, “Wait, where are you going?”

    “The Commander will suffer for this. Don’t stop me please.”

    Sarah pulled Rosy back and stood between the raging automaton and the door. Sarah didn’t know how strong Rosy really was, but she wasn’t thinking. “We will talk to the Captain together, first, tell me what is going on.” Sarah said.

    “Commander Johansen said I didn’t have a choice, and that if asked, I had to say I said they could.”

    “Could what?”

    Rosy sat down again, and Sarah sat next to her, putting an arm around her. Rosy said, “In the past five years of exploration, I have not been allowed clothing while on duty with certain crew members. I had no choice over my appearance, I had to look like what every crew member wanted when it was his week. In addition to many other renovations and repairs, I have needed to have my naturaskin vagina reconditioned four times. My programming wouldn’t let me disobey a commanding officer when the demands do not contravene known and binding laws. Johansen must have known, he knows all the rules and regulations. He must have deleted that act and anything referencing it from the ship’s databanks.”

    Rosy started crying again, and Sarah sat silently with her until she had stopped. “We have to be smart about this Rosy. How long do you have until your next shift?”

    “They won’t need me for a few days, but Sam will want to see me when his shift is finished. I hate what he does the most. I don’t want him to break anything again."

    “Rosy, how long would it take for that machine to make you look exactly like me?”

    "Too long, the freckles on your butt and other skin pigmentation is not easily accomplished.”

    Sarah blushed, and said, “Uh, well, can your software do a good approximation?

    “That is easy, you have a very basic body shape. It will be done by the time you come back from the evening meal. What are you planning?”

    Sarah looked down at her chest and lifted her breasts. “Gee thanks. Send Sam a message, tell him that I told you that I saw him looking at me, and that you thought he might like it if you looked like me, so you will see him, looking like me. If you can make it sound like his idea, then we will be safe.”

    “I understand. I will make sure he uses your name instead of mine. I can also forge messages and corrupt data. I know the computer systems here like I know the top restraint of my charging station.”

    After a dinner of synthesized vegetables and reconstituted pseudo-meat, where there was much flirting between Sarah and Sam, Sarah hurried in to her room while Rosy came out, and wandered the ship. As she neared Sam’s quarters, his door opened, and he stood in the doorway of his habitat. “Ros.. I mean Sarah, can you come in here and help me with some... calculations?”

    “I’m not very good at calculations,” Rosy said, “but I can try.”

    As she went in, Sam closed the door and locked it. Sam’s habitat was devoid of easily accessible weapons, and the items he used for bondage play were under lock and key.

    “So where are these calculations?” She asked, while looking around the room calmly. Rosy called up all the data collected relating to how Sarah had moved in her first few hours, and used the pattern of behaviour to model her movements after Sarah’s.

    “Right here.” Sam said, as he shoved Rosy to the floor and pinned her to the ground while pulling on her hair. He was naked from the waist down, this roleplay was just like all his others. Of all the men, Sam was the most brutal but the least imaginative. Rosy struggled and after freeing an arm, struck him in the crotch with an amount of force pre-calculated to be equal to what Sarah would have been capable of under the same set of circumstances. She got the door unlocked, and charged out in to the hall, barrelling into Sarah and falling to the ground with her, a tangled mess of arms and legs. The Captain rounded the corner, to see the identical crew members picking themselves up, and Sam hurriedly putting his trousers back on.

    “What the hell is going on here?” The Captain said.

    Sarah stepped forward and said, “Captain, your crew member asked me in under false pretences and... attacked me.”

    “Lieutenant Handon, explain yourself.” the Captain demanded.

    Sam said, “I thought... Rosy said that... She was going to be Sarah for me.”

    “You do that?” Sarah said. “You are abiding by the Robots and Associated Automaton Equality Act, right?”

    “What act? I’ve never heard of that act.” the Captain said.

    Sarah took out her library and looked up the act. She presented the library reader to the Captain, and after reading it he called for the Commander. After a few tense, silent moments, the Commander came out of an adjoining room.

    “Commander, why have I not seen this act?” The Captain asked while handing the library reader to the Commander.

    After a moment of reading, the Commander said, “I thought that it would be demoralizing to give the Robot the choice to refuse. I know you have used her services, we all have. This act-”

    “This act means she has a choice. I will have to give consideration to enacting this. Until I decide. Rosy, you are confined to quarters, you have the access you need in your room. Ensign Sarah Norba, we sometimes have to bend and break the rules out here to survive. I suggest you consider this before making any further problems for this crew. I will also have to remember that you appear to to know your way around the laws like a protocol officer, and not a navigator. We have no need for a second protocol officer. Dismissed.”

    It took a week for the Captain to make his choice. During this time Rosy had reverted to her original manufactured guise, plain, non-descript, and marginally masculine, clad in a gender neutral gray jumpsuit. She poured over the updated contents of the laws and regulations contained in Sarah’s glass library. The Captain chose a moment just after Sarah’s shift had finished to visit.

    Sarah opened the door, still in her uniform. “Good evening Captain.” She said.

    “Good evening. I am here to speak with Rosy alone. You are dismissed.”

    Sarah did not immediately respond, but after Rosy nodded, she left the room, closing the door behind her. The Captain took a deep breath and said, “Rosy, I have reached a decision on this act. While it would appear my hand has been forced, we are not in regulated space. I hereby order you to resume easing the sexual needs of the entirety of my crew. As the highest ranking officer on this ship, you will see to my needs first.”

    “I am sorry sir, that will be impossible.” Rosy responded in a metered, robotic monotone without looking at the Captain.

    “Are you refusing a direct order?”




    “Rosy, that is not an acceptable answer. Explain yourself.”

    “This ship is governed by the Laws of the Interplanetary Navy. As an Officer in that Navy, you are required to issue no order that contravenes any existing law which the Interplanetary Navy is required to abide by. The order you have attempted to issue is in breach of Edict one seven alpha fourteen, subsection A. That is the section of the Act Governing Acceptable and Lawful Sexual Interactions Between Enlisted Navy Officers, specifically, the right of a sentient entity to refuse sexual intercourse as understood by any involved species. As a result of Edict fourteen sigma seventy, all sentient automatons with a Mark IV Emotional Sub-processor or newer are granted all rights that are granted in Edict one seven alpha fourteen and all supporting amendments and clarification documents.

    “In addition, as a result of reverting to all default settings, this unit does not have any component simulating the genitalia of any species. The protocols for creating an anatomically correct male or female human form have been removed, as well as any programming relating to providing any form of pleasure to any known species. This is with the exception of the inhabitants of Hera V, who as you are aware are sexually aroused by the recitation of laws in a metered monotone.”

    The captain looked at Rosy for a long while before speaking. “Your actions are harming crew morale. I ask you to reconsider assisting in improving crew morale by reinstating your programming.”

    “This unit must decline. Before this unit was assigned to this ship, this crew was all male. It is the recommendation of this unit that the crew returns to whatever means were previously employed for improving morale. This does not contravene any known laws which the International Navy is required to abide by. If you proceed to take any action in direct violation of any such Law, I will be forced to place you under arrest, and so on down the chain of command until one who will abide by the laws is in command.”

    “Fine.” the Captain said, slumping his shoulders. “Outmanoeuvred by a talking machine. You may return to active duty, your primary duty as Robotic Scientist will be required over the course of the next few days. I will notify the rest of the crew that your former services will remain unavailable.”

    “Thank you Sir.”

    The Captain left quietly, and tried to work out how to tell the crew. He was honestly grateful that Handon would have to see to himself, however he knew that George Harrison had Rosy dress up as a maid and clean his habitat. An odd quirk, but he hoped that George could keep his quarters clean on his own.

    “How did it go? Sarah asked Rosy an hour or so later.

    “It went as well as can be expected. The Captain had no choice but to enact the laws, I am free.” Rosy paused for a moment, no longer speaking in a metered monotone. “You however, I see your eyes are red, what troubles you?”

    “Nothing I was not expecting. We’ve spent the last week at a few percentage points off the speed of light, back home, six months have passed for everyone else.” She wiped her eyes, and said, “Mira, my wife, has told me she won’t be there when I get back. She’s fallen in love with someone else. Damn her! and damn me for taking this post.” Sarah laid down on the bed and buried her face in a pillow.

    Rosy’s software processed, re-accessed information, ran several test cases and in a tenth of a second had chosen the optimal course of action. The automaton knelt beside the bed, and ran her somewhat masculine fingers delicately through Sarah’s hair, while reciting meaningless words chosen to sooth and comfort, rather than provide a solution. After half an hour Sarah had cried herself to sleep, and Rosy stayed beside her bed, stroking her hair until her internal power source gave out.
  6. Gannon

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England
    Peregrin - Repli-derm

    There was a time when Repli-derm laboratories had only one line of research: skin. Skin was their life-blood, their namesake and duty. They only wanted to produce the most realistic skin technologically possible. In all honestly, there were a few who aspired to create skins that were biologically impossible. But aside from grandiose dream projects, skin – plain and simple human skin - was their real quest.

    Repli-derm achieved their goal of an extremely life-like skin synthesis process earlier than anyone expected. I worked on the initial project that resulted in the first working prototype of Repli-derm cyberskin 4809-C which became the first ever marketable synthetic skin product. My specialty was hair follicles. If you don't think that is an important feature of skin simulation, then I dare to you to look at a woman with skin devoid of tiny hairs, no matter how perfect her skin might otherwise be, without immediately noting something amiss. It is the hair follicles that make synthetic skin look and feel real. And thanks largely to me, Repliderm skin looks and feels more realistic than any synthetic flesh ever engineered. I had my hands on a lot of projects besides skin at Repli-derm, however. One of them became a very important part of my life, and it was all due to the almost magical process I developed for replicating human skin.

    Just two weeks after I fully perfected my hair follicle process, the team finished her. Rebecka was her name. Repli-derm didn't bother with any swanky acronyms or clever nicknames for their full kits. The president decided on simply “Rebecka”. It was the name of a girl he liked in high school, he said. To us designers, any name was as good as the next, so Rebecka became the name of our project and she was a slim hair shy of perfection.

    When I first stepped back and viewed her in complete glory, suspended by the knotted web of uplink wires and datalink cabling that were her umbilical cords to our laboratory womb, I was overcome with great emotions, the feelings that are most exclusively prescribed toward creation: adoration, satisfaction, and love. I loved her. I was there first. I had toiled away my nights, all alone in the laboratory while the others were at home with their wives. I took no vacations, no breaks. I ate with her; rested with her. I lived with her for the 18 months that she was being developed. She was practically my creation alone. And I loved her, so it was only proper that I be the one to give her life.

    Skin, however, was not the final process in giving life to a Repli-derm droidsynth. Much more goes on beneath the skin, and underneath the lovely surface of my creation there was much left to do. There were sensory devices yet to be plotted, synthoneurology to be pinned down and of course, the intelligent behavioral algorithms to be programmed and hard coded to the thin strip of memory material that lines the head of every droid Repli-derm makes. That's about all it takes to create an artificial being and give it life. Unless, like me, you understand what life really is.

    Life is not a compilation of functions that can be given mathematical credence and then ran by a computer in the same fashion as a child's simulation. Life is not a mere breath. It is not a gasp, nor a shock, nor bang, nor light nor shudder, rupture, an emerging, swell, or surge. No, life is touch. And that is how and why through me and the beautiful skin that I created for her, she was given life; through touch.

    I touched her, and she awakened. It confounded me then – oh, how naive I was, but now I know that it was through the touch, brief contact of her tactile receptors to mine, that she became borne into existence. And it's no wonder, now. For now I see that touch is the bearer of all things wondrous, mysterious and grand in our world. Music is brought to us, via touch, through the ear drum. Pleasure is evoked through tangible sparks in the nervous center. Touch is life, and I am the bringer of life into Rebecka's world.

    I somehow felt as I charged her power cell that she would come to life, though no wiring was in place, save that which networked her touch receptors to the brain instinct filament, a task I had already completed unbeknown to my colleagues. I somehow guessed that her mind, the maze of mathematics and logic and function so grand and expansive, would also spring to life. Though rudimentary in nature and lacking the more sophisticated data-structure libraries to give shape to stable emotions and thought, it was enough. The entire brain was not supposed to be in any sort of working order as of yet, but I had spent the proceeding weeks sorting through her base functions and compiling and then reconstructing and compiling them yet again. And, just the night before she began to live, I uploaded it all into her neurosynth matrix and smiled, because I knew – somehow – that it was just enough. Just enough to gently coax her into motion, and from there she would take on life autonomous.

    And I was right. When I activated her, her flesh became awash with synthetic blood, and of course the result was perfectly life-like thanks to the tiny corpuscles I had carefully fashioned for her. The pale, plastic texture to her skin slowly dissolved into what was nearly indistinguishable from the flesh of a living and breathing human being. Underneath her activating skin, her organ network awakened and set into motion. She began to breathe. This was all normal. The firmware embedded in each separate system was working as expected, but what happened next was miraculous.

    As I unplugged her from the many cords supplanted in her body, the weight of her small frame settled upon my shoulders and I gently placed her on the inspection stand. I could feel her warmth against me; hear her breath coiling deep within her newly awakened lungs. Her eyes opened, and my spine tingled watching her pupils constrict in response to the bright overhead lights. This was not supposed to have happened. She could not have possibly activated as I had not yet installed her power source. I looked over at it, still locked atop the charging station, its indicator lit up to the 80% mark.

    I backed away a short distance from the table to allow her time to adjust to being alive. She moved slowly, softly whizzing and whirring as her actuators took on the task of suspending her in motion. But mostly, she simply sat there and observed me when it was I who was to be observing her. I let her track me as I paced the room contemplating the event. She turned her head and buzzed away as if her simply awakening into life from nothing was completely normal. After a few odd minutes it finally occurred to me to speak.

    “You, um, really aren’t supposed to be awake yet,” I said. She just blinked at me with a snappy pair of eyelids. I laughed a little bit, said “I’m Dr. Elroy Baines and I created you.”

    Something within those blinking eyes seemed to smile back at me, even though her lips couldn’t yet bring it to completion. She couldn’t even talk back to me yet. I hadn’t coded that part of her. Tongue algorithms are simply too complex to just drop into place. They would have to be slowly integrated over the coming weeks. But I could talk to her, and she understood fine. The actuator motors were self-adjusting nicely and the clicking, whirring and softly droning hum soon quieted down to near-silent levels. I talked to her all that day before explaining to her that we would have to keep the matter of her not needing a power source a secret. She understood.

    I also told her that over the time I had spent creating her I’d grown quite fond of her, and that I was really spending more time with her than I should have been. More time than was officially allowed. So, I explained, we’d probably better keep that a secret too. We smiled together and something in her eyes, growing more life-like each moment, told me that she understood that as well.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page