5.50 - Only a Motion Away

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I looked down at the girl seated in my office. Obviously worried, she could barely hold my gaze for more than a few seconds before she felt the need to look away with a worried expression on her face. Her wavy blonde hair fell in front of her eyeline, as though she were hiding behind it.

"You know why I had to call you in here, don't you, Miss Smith?"

"Farrah," she said, quietly.

I leaned forward over my desk, my face the very picture of disapproval. "Don't mumble, Miss Smith!" I snapped. "This college expects its students to maintain certain standards." I stood, pacing around my desk. "I can assure you, mumbling is not one of those standards."

"I'm sorry," she said, unnecessarily loud. "My name is Farrah," she continued. She looked up at me, still worried, but sitting up straight and facing me out of respect for "school tradition." The change in posture stretched her thin sweater across her chest, and she placed her hands dutifully on her knees. "You can call me Farrah, mister Dean, sir." She was so rattled, she could only refer to me by title. Then again, she probably didn't even know my name yet: Most of the students I had to deal with in my office only knew I was the Dean of their school. It was, it often seemed, the only thing they knew.

"Yes, Miss Smith, I can call you Farrah. I can also call you Miss Smith." A smile played on my lips. "And if I wanted, I could even call you a sl-"

A knock on my door cut me off, and a voice called from outside. "Kyle? Saw your light was on, don't tell me you're still working, are you my boy?"

Fuck. Peters. "Farrah... ah," I stumbled, trying to remember the suspend phrase. I could reset the scenario administratively if she timed out, but doing so was often more tedious than actually setting up conversationally. What was that phrase? Ah, yes. "Don't think you're off the hook just yet. You wait right there until I get back."

Farrah's face went slack, and she stared blankly forward. "Yes, sir," she said simply.

I answered the door. Just as I expected, Peters was standing outside, that stupid, amiable grin on his face. "Kyle, there you are!" He frowned. "Not still working on the, ahm... student body, are you?"

You should know, you pompous idiot, I thought. "Oh, yeah," I said, smiling pleasantly. "Big project. It's going to take some time."

He put his hand on my shoulder, once again imposing his buddy-buddy routine on my personal space. "Listen, Kyle, I really appreciate you helping out with scenario development. You really have a knack for picking up conversational tree layouts," he rambled, "but it's getting late, and you really should take it easy." Oh god, what thankless task was he buttering me up for now?

"It's nice of you to say," I replied, "but there's a lot of units to get through, and not everyone is as..." How to say it without sounding egotistical? "...thorough as I am."

"I can't argue with that," he laughed, clearly thinking it was an ironic contrast to the laziness he doubtless attributed to me, "but all the same, I'd really like it if you could relax for a while, maybe go to a party or something." I was nearly floored. Had he really remembered my birthday? I hadn't expected that. It was an impressive move on his part. Maybe I didn't give him enough credit.

He snapped his fingers, as if suddenly remembering something. "Hey, here's a thought, crazy suggestion, but..." This was getting cheesier than I'd ever seen him before. "It's my kid's birthday, and I'm throwing a bit of a celebration tonight. Everyone's invited, but you may not have read the invite, being so busy."

Or perhaps I gave him too much credit. It was the least convincing performance of the decade. I glanced back over my shoulder at Farrah, who continued to stare, unthinking. Her short skirt had ridden up when she first sat down, and I could just see the tops of her stockings under the hemline.

Gee, Mister Peters, I thought, I'd love to come to the palatial mansion built using illegal funding, and help you and the wife you stole from me celebrate the fact that your detestable little parasite wasn't stillborn last year, but for some reason, I somehow still have the will to live.

"Wow," I said, struggling to construct a convincing 'I'm honored' expression before turning back to face him, "That really would be nice, if I had a chance. I just wish I wasn't so busy at home. I've got an awful lot of chores I need to get done tonight..." Oops. Wrong move.

He furrowed his brow. "Isn't that H325v unit working out for you? If she's broken or something, just let me know." He pounded his hand into his fist like a gavel. "I'll have the maintenance division working on her, top priority, just say the word." Good grief, the man was deranged.

"Ah, no, that won't be... I've just been doing some custom modifications and..." I floundered. "Things just pile up, you know."

He shook his head in an 'oh well' movement, confirming my suspicion: He didn't really want me there. "Well, I won't impose on you then." The disappointed look on his face was all wrong, way over the top for a simple employee invite.

You already did, I thought. "Sorry, I really need to finish up with this one before I head home."

He nodded, clearly relieved that he didn't need to interact with me anymore. "I understand. I'll see you later then." He walked away, poorly pretending not to be in a hurry. "Try not to wear yourself out, Kyle," he called over his shoulder. "You're important to us."

I watched him leave, then closed and locked the door before turning back to Farrah. She was completely motionless, not even breathing - the effect was purely cosmetic in any event. "Now then," I said, stepping back into my "school Dean" role, "where were we?"

She immediately reanimated, from statue to animated student. "Mister Dean, I'm so sorry! Please, I know there have some issues..."

"Issues?" I said. "Miss Smith, your behavior of late has been astonishingly lax."

"I know, Dean, sir!" She said, a look of sincere regret on her pretty features. "I know I'm supposed to suck cock every day, and please believe me, I've tried to." She licked her lips,glancing in my direction, then downward. "I've tried..."

"Not just that, you seem unwilling to follow our dress code," I said, crossing my arms.

"I'm sorry sir, it's just, I was so wet, my pussy juices were just..." she looked up again. "I had to wear panties yesterday, sir. I just had to. If I'd followed the school dress code and gone without them, my juices would have gotten all over the classroom chairs."

I feigned astonishment. "And it didn't occur to you that we have maids on hand for just such an occasion? That someone would have licked it up later?"

She looked embarrassed, then glanced down again. "I've been... distracted."

"Then there was the incident this morning," I said, consulting the "disciplinary file."

"I..." she began. "I was..."

"You were masturbating in front of the entire gym class!" I bellowed. "To climax! Dozens of girls had been waiting their turn to finger themselves, and you waltzed in, jumped the entire line, and finger-fucked yourself with no regard for our rules!" I shook my head. "You hadn't even been commanded to masturbate at that time, Miss Smith. Your scheduled self-pleasure times are clearly defined as eight in the morning and five in the evening! And, I might add, are supposed to be held in front of either the camera in your shower, or one of the ones monitoring your bed or desk." I shook my head, as though disappointed in her. "You were out of the frame shot for your entire performance, Miss Smith."

"Sir, I just couldn't help myself!" She said, a note of desperation in her voice. "I've just been so horny... when I woke up this morning, I barely knew my name. I couldn't keep my head clear. I just needed something between my legs, something ramming hard and fast into my..." her voice became husky as she spoke, then she realized what she was saying. "I'm just... I'll try harder sir."

"I'm not entirely sure that's going to do any good, Miss Smith." I indicated the disciplinary file - in reality, a blank sheet of paper. "According to this, you still haven't even managed to have a threesome with your roommate."

"That's not completely true," she said, somewhat defensively. "Technically, I had sex with her and another girl just the other day..."

"You know just as well as I that all-girl trios are categorized as an on-demand performance, and not participatory sexual activity - and while your performance with the other two girls was quite stimulating..."

"You liked it?" She said, hopefully.

I cleared my throat. "Regardless of my personal enjoyment of seeing you and two other girls undress, lick, and fondle each other while sticking toys in your cunts," I said, noting the proud smile on her face, "the fact is that no one ordered such an activity."

"I... I know, Mister Dean, sir." She looked down, embarrassed again. "I'm sorry sir, I'm really trying my best. It's just... I know it's not an excuse, but I've been going through a personal issue, and..."

"Personal issue?" I said, surprise in my tone. "Miss Smith, you were one of the most promising cumsluts this school has ever seen. Your oral technique is flawless. Your ass is magnificent. Your drive and talent should have made you one our best students." I leaned forward, peering at her with my eyes wide. "What kind of personal issue could possibly derail such potential?"

"It's kind of..." she began, then looked down, ashamed. She took a deep breath, then steeled herself. She looked back up, forcing herself to make eye contact with me, a determined look on her face. "I don't have a master," she said.

I pretended to be shocked. "I had no idea."

A look of relief washed over her face. "It feels so good to finally tell someone. It's just, all my friends are owned, they have someone to command them. Some of them are even owned by the same guy, and they get fucked in every hole on a regular basis." She looked up again. "I wanted that, but no one took possession of me... and I just didn't know how to tell anyone."

"Miss Smith... Farrah." She brightened when I said her name. "You really should have brought this to the faculty's attention sooner. We could have loaned you out, or put you in storage, or maybe used you as a demonstration dummy in one of the spanking or breastplay classes." I looked at her sympathetically. "We didn't want you to have to go through this without you being a piece of property. It's no wonder you've been struggling, having to think and make decisions for yourself."

"I'm just not equipped for that kind of thing, sir!" She said, pouting.

I put a hand on her shoulder. She gasped, the contact with a male clearly stimulating her. "Is there anything I can do?" I asked, politely.

She looked at my hand, biting her lip, then up at me again. "Well... I know it's an imposition to ask you to do it, but I was wondering if you'd if you'd if you'd if you'd if you'd..."

"Fuck, really?" I said, exasperated. "It's not like it's a particularly complex algorithm, guys." I came around behind her as she continued yammering mindlessly. "Honestly, how do you scew up something as simple as that?" I asked aloud, twisting her head sharply to disconnect it from her neck. As the mechanisms clicked, her voice suddenly cut off, a look of mild surprise on her face. This was quickly replaced with a passive expression with a slight smile.

I carried the cranial unit over to my workstation, wedging it under my arm to locate the connector ports and find my data cables. "Diagnostic connection detected," she said, her voice muffled by my armpit.

I set the head down on its side. She blinked at me. "Hello," she said.

"What's your name?" I asked. Basic cognitive inventory. If the runtime had crashed due to a cognitive breakdown, that was a bigger cock-up than a simple scenario script issue.

"Hi there. I'm Farrah Smith," came the pleasant answer. The head smiled, staring at an empty space in front of her, as though addressing someone else with their head on my desk.

"Farrah, are you a robot?"

Her expression turned to surprise. "Of course not!" She seemed to think for a moment, then, "Wait, you don't mean there are robots that look like humans around here, do you?" Her eyes darted back and forth as if scanning for potential 'bots in a crowded room. "I've heard they were working on something like that, but I didn't think there were any yet."

Just as expected. "What do you like to do for fun, Farrah?"

She tried to look down, as though sharing an intimate secret. The action merely waggled the stump of her neck towards her chin. "Well... sometimes, my roommate and I like to put on little fashion shows, and pretend we're models. We really love trying on lingerie." She pouted. "It would be so much more fun if we only had an audience, or maybe even a photographer."

The conversational hook for one of the oldest and simplest scenarios: Amateur photographer. As simple as it was, and as long as it had been in use by ScenariCorp customers, that one didn't need further testing. Time to move on to the social config. "You're walking alone across campus. A man asks you where the library is. When you turn to indicate the direction of the building, he lifts your skirt, puts his hand inside your panties, and starts fingering you right then and there. How do you react?"

She blinked, considering the question. "Well, I would...wwwwoooouuuulllldddd..." Her system stalled as it loaded the appropriate sexual response routines. I watched the vidscreen as the debug data scrolled rapidly past, watching for any errors.

Suddenly, she gasped, then began to moan with arousal, just as she would in the scenario I described. Jumping track from default behavior to explicitly sexual behavior would often result in system slowdown, but wasn't really any indication of an error. Her default software was working fine, then, so the crash from earlier was definitely part of the scenario.

"Stop sexual response," I said flatly. Her face immediately reverted to its normal, patient smile. "Do you have a master?" I asked, focusing my attention on the debug trace. Code scrolled past quickly, but ended with "#masterlabel undefined" and an audio output line reading "No, but I've always wanted one."

Even as I read the words, she spoke them, verbatim. "No, but I've always wanted one."

"Can I help?" I asked, not taking my eyes from the screen.

Code few past on the screen, with a red error message highlighted. "Well, maybe you could-" she began, halting the instant I set the breakpoint in the program's function.

There it was, plain as day. Those idiots had coded the master set program so that it would only work if she already had a master - Which defeated the whole purpose. I added it to the list of problems for the programmers to fix in the next revision, knowing full well that they would respond by adding a host of completely new bugs.

This was no way for me to spend my birthday. I hadn't expected a party, obviously. These simpletons and bootlickers would be too busy kissing up to Peters, but none of them even mentioned it. It wasn't as though I considered any of them to be my friends - or even really my peers - but it would have been pleasant to receive some recognition from them.

I needed to de-stress. Unwind. Spend some time with my wife.

I quickly downloaded my latest batch of audio/visual reference data to a portable device, gathered my belongings, and headed out for the night. As I turned to close my office door, I noticed Farrah's headless body sitting calmly in the chair by my desk, while her head lay placidly on its ear on my workbench. I was briefly tempted to break her, but decided against it. I hadn't been with ScenariCorp long enough to really know what I could get away with. A few accidents in high-traffic labs were one thing, but destroying a beta unit in my office? Someone was bound to notice.

As I exited the building, Bev, the company receptionist, attempted to strike up a conversation with me. "Heading out for the night, Mister Parson?" She asked, smiling her ever-friendly smile.

I looked her over. She was reasonably attractive, if a bit conservatively dressed. Her knee-length skirt, blouse, and plain jacket made her resemble an airline stewardess more than an office worker.

Of course, I recognized her line immediately. "You know," I said to her, smiling, "In three responses, I could get you to show me your breasts. In seven responses, you would cheerfully dance nude on the front desk for me." I chuckled. "In twelve responses, you would beg me to enslave you, and tell me how much you wanted to feel my cock fill every one of your holes."

She looked at me with mock disapproval, then laughed. "That's one thing I like about you, Mister Parson. You have such a sense of humor!" She sighed, tilting her head to one side. "You do know I'm human, though, don't you?"

"Oh, really?"

"Well, yeah. My sister got me this job just out of college, don't you remem-"

"Admin override 7602944-B," I said, cutting her off.

She stood stiffly at attention, her expression blank. "Command accepted. Short term memory delete. Please specify time range to erase."

"Thirty seconds ago to present."

"Memory deleted, she confirmed.

"Resume profile runtime."

She blinked, then jerked into the position her body had been in one minute ago. "-ding out for the night, Mister Parson?"

"Sure am, Bev. See you tomorrow."


Back at my place, my wife was waiting at the door, as usual, delighted to see me, as usual, and greeted me with a deep, passionate kiss - as usual. "Hi, honey," she said, "I'm so glad to see you again." She gazed at me with sympathy. "How was your day of enduring those incompetent morons at ScenariCorp?"

"Awful." I rubbed my temples in frustration. "Can you believe that those code monkeys actually managed to screw up something as simple as a master set program?"

She pouted understandingly as I continued through to my living room. "I'm not really smart enough to understand that kind of thing, but I'll bet they wouldn't have those kinds of problems if you were in charge."

"Honestly, it's like they're intentionally trying to be as idiotic as they possibly can be." I fell onto the sofa, drained. "I shouldn't be complaining about this with you, though," I said. "It'll only make me angrier. Tell me about your day."

She fluttered her eyes at me. "That's so sweet, dear!" She counted off on her fingers as she listed her day's events. "This morning, after you left for work, I watched some videos of women stripping and dancing and kissing and licking and touching each other. I paid close attention to everything they did. Then, I set up the camera to record me, and tried one of their stripping routines." She looked at me knowingly. "I didn't have another woman here to try the other things, so I played with myself the way you like."

She looked off into space as if trying to remember. "Then I got dressed again, and forgot to wear panties, just like you like. I cleaned for a while, and spanked myself a few times, then cooked, and now you're home." She grinned adoringly at me. "I'm so glad to see you again," she said.

"Is the food ready?" I asked.

"Yes, I cooked your steak just the way you like it." She stood, brushing down her short skirt. "Are you ready to eat?"

"Yes," I said, rising. I passed through to the dining room, where a single place had been set with my covered dish. She pulled out my chair for me, and stood attentively to one side as I seated myself.

The meal was perfectly prepared, as usual. After realizing that the food met with my approval, she spoke again. "Would you like to see me strip while you eat, or would you prefer a blowjob?" She asked, smiling affectionately.

"First one, then the other," I said. "Use one of the routines you learned from the vid today."

"Yes, dear," she breathed, her voice thick with desire.

Her performance was flawless - as usual - and the blowjob was satisfying - as usual.

After dinner, as she wiped the jism from her face and tits, licking her fingers clean, I took in the beauty of her body. The curve of her ass, the delicate folds of her pussy, the pert shape of her breasts and nipples. Her body was divine, but her face... it was attractive, certainly. Beautiful even.

But it just wasn't quite what I wanted.

I felt hollow and heavy. No comfort at work, no comfort at home. "And no one even remembered my birthday," I muttered.

She looked at me, an apologetic expression on her not-quite-perfect face. "Oh, I'm sorry! I should have gotten you something! It just never occurred to me to leave the house or order something." No, I thought, it wouldn't. "I know," she said, excitedly, "I can give you myself!"

I raised an eyebrow. It was surprisingly imaginative of her, but the idea was tragically flawed. "I already own you, dear. You can't give me something that already belongs to me."

She frowned, mildly puzzled. "Oh... that's right. I forgot that you own me." Her face suddenly brightened. "I'm your property!" She giggled.

The puzzled frown had only served to remind me of her face, and all the ways it wasn't quite right. "We need to do something to fix that face of yours," I said, rising from my seat at the table. "Come on, it's time to go to the lab."

She followed me, wearing only her shoes and a cheery smile. The wrong smile. I would need to work on that, too. The lab had previously been the great room in the basement, but I had long since converted it with banks of diagnostic equipment, vidscreens, tools, and various spare parts. I had gone through a dozen modular components just trying to get the body shape right, and still had quite a few leftovers. "Get on the table," I ordered her, "and prepare for your beauty treatment."

She hopped up on the work table, sitting prettily on the edge. After seating herself, she calmly reached up, grasping her head on both sides, and twisted it sharply to one side, the mechanism clicking loudly. She set her head aside on a nearby shelf, then posed on the table on her hands and knees and froze. As soon as her body locked into position, there was a clicking noise from her head, and the top of her forehead popped out. At the same time, a louder latching sound came from her torso, and the panel on her back clicked slightly open.

I plugged my portable data device into my work console, removed her back panel, and plugged the terminal leads into the appropriate data ports. "Thank you for using Vocalis for speech synthesis," a voice issued from her motionless body. "Welcome to the Vocalis main menu. Please selec- File. Import. Update speech data." The voice read aloud the options as I selected them on my screen, interrupting itself as I got ahead of the item name. "Select vocal data loca- Removable devi- VocFiles. All files sele- Load."

With that process begun, I picked up her head, peeling off the face completely. Setting the floppy dermal layer aside, I carried the head over to the specialized stand I had constructed. Looking like an elaborate shelf with custom-fitted brackets, it was mounted and secured to the wall. The brackets would hold the head in place while I worked on it.

I donned the augmented-display goggles, and loaded up the visual reference data I had gathered today. Pictures of Jane, taken from dozens of angles, flitted past my vision as a progress indicator slowly crept across the bottom of the display. Through this translucent layer of imagery, I could see a virtual grid projected on the surface of my wife's chrome skull.

My wife. One of these days, I would have to come up with a name for her, but for now, I enjoyed her nameless state. I didn't name my speeder or my workstation, and she was essentially the same.

As the progress indicator slowly crawled past along, I ejected her eyes from their ports, setting them in a nearby padded box. Though they were hardly fragile, minute scratches could ruin their appearance, and I wanted to keep her looking pretty. I then pulled her mouth open. I inserted the thin, needle-like tool into each of the release points, hooked my fingers behind her upper front teeth, and pulled the lining of her mouth and throat free of the cranial unit. A few drops of synthetic saliva fell from it as I laid the rubbery tube-like component on a nearby towel.

The progress indicator completed it's slow journey, and a message appeared in my vision.



Applying modification overlay...


Another .2% closer to my target. Portions of the grid overlaid on the chrome face flashed, then highlighted in bright yellow. Hologram-like tiny blue structures appeared at roughly symmetrical locations along the face.

Duplication of someone's facial features on a dermal layer was a fairly trivial task - but to truly duplicate someone's appearance, the synthetic bone structure would also have to match the subjects own bone structure. Custom-machined cranial casings could be obtained by the likes of Peters, but poor slobs like me had to make our own.

The concept was simple: Grind away the excess, build up what was missing. The end product wouldn't be as durable, having worn down the original material's thickness and finish, but it would match the appearance. Rewiring the facial control points was tedious, but not difficult.

In practice, the process was a long back-and-forth of grinding too much, then building up too much to correct it, and so forth.

With the night's work outlined, I set to work.

More than an hour later, I set down the grinding tool. I had only managed to improve the cranial unit by another .02%. Wiping my forehead, I began to re-assemble her head. Fortunately, my grinding so far hadn't interfered with any control points, so no rewiring was required. The Vocalis program had long ago announced completion of its analysis of the vocal data, so I disconnected the cables and put my wife back together.

As soon as her back panel was closed and her head re-connected, she arched her back as if stretching from a long nap. "I think I dozed off there, dear," she said. "Would you like to feel me up?"

It was closer to Jane's voice, but not by much. At this rate, it might take years to get her just right.

This was no way for me to spend my birthday. Alone, thanklessly modifying a substandard ARA, with no one to even pretend to care about me.

Of course, there was one person who would always pretend to care about me. Someone I could always count on for a thin facade of affection. Mother.

Mother was hardly warm or nurturing, but she always showed me a kind of benevolent loyalty, if not actual kindness. Over the years, I had learned early on that I could never get her to truly care about me, but I could at least get her to pretend more convincingly than anyone else. To the outside observer, it might appear that I was her favorite person in the world. In truth, she was her favorite person, with the whole world a distant second place.

Mother's position as Financial Director at XR Innovations often had her working late hours. She was bound to still be there.

"Get dressed in something slutty, and watch some more training videos," I told my wife. "Something you can do standing up. I'm going out for a while, but I'll want to fuck when I get back."

She nodded compliantly, and followed me out of the lab.

After a brief drive, I arrived at the XR headquarters. Predictably, almost everyone seemed to have left for the day, but just like his brother, James Peters had no problems working some of his staff around the clock. The main entrance was unlocked, and the receptionist, Gina, was there to welcome me. "Oh, hello Mister Parson! Welcome back to XR Innovations. Is this a business call... or pleasure?" She fluttered her eyes at me just enough to be flirtatious, but still be laughed off as a joke if I wasn't receptive.

I smiled. I knew that one by heart: I had led the development team that worked on that particular scenario, and had even put in a few cheat codes. "Pleasure's a treasure beyond any measure," I said.

She calmly stood, still smiling, and walked around to the front of her desk, leaning against it casually. Her short, black dress swished as she moved. "That's wonderful to hear," she said, brushing one of her auburn bangs out of her face. "It gets so dull working all day. The only game I get to play is Guess the Number. What number am I thinking of?"

The password prompt. "Four zero two nine four seven five three eight," I recited from memory.

She made a happy little "Hmm..." sound, as if receiving a sensual backrub. "That's absolutely right. Is there anything I can do to please you, sir?" She asked, bringing up one leg to show the smooth texture of her pantyhose.

"I don't think receptionists are supposed to wear clothes, are they?" I inquired.

She put a finger to her chin, instantly remembering the fact that I had just made up. "You know, I think you're right." She pulled the simple dress up and off like a shirt. Underneath, she was wearing a simple thong and bra combo, both the same color of blue. I was surprised to realize that she was wearing the thong on the outside of her pantyhose, but realized why as soon as she turned to fully face me: I could just see around the edges of the thong that the pantyhose was crotchless.

She held up the dress, studying it in puzzlement. "I don't know what I was thinking when I got dressed this..." she paused, confused. "I can't remember when I got dressed."

"No, you wouldn't," I assured her. "Receptionists probably shouldn't cover their tits or pussies, either."

She looked down, noticing her undergarments. "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!" She said, shocked. She tossed the dress aside as if embarrassed by the thought of wearing clothes, and hurriedly stripped off the bra and panties.

"Receptionists answer the phones, don't they?" I said, pulling out my phone.

"That's right," she said, stroking her breasts.

"And they answer the phone by sticking it in their cunt, and masturbating, don't they?" I dialed the XR front desk line.

"Absolutely," she confirmed. The phone began to ring. "Do you mind if I take this call?" She asked.

"Go ahead," I urged.

She retreated back behind her desk, seated herself in her chair, picked up the receiver, spread her legs wide, and started furiously shoving the small phone in and out of herself. "Thank you for calling XR Innovations," she said. "Please hold."

I craned my neck to look over her desk at the action. I could clearly hear the wet sounds the phone made as she penetrated herself with it, but the poor lighting and angle made it difficult to see properly.

"Shouldn't you be putting on a show for me?" I asked, disconnecting my phone. There was no danger of her hanging up now - the phone was no longer a communications device in her mind.

"Sorry sir," she gasped. Without missing a stroke, she scooted forward in her chair and manoeuvred her desk lamp to point directly at her lap. Properly lit, she proceeded to plant her feet at opposite ends of the desk. "Please hold... please hold... please hold..." she repeated, lost in desire to obey.

"Keep doing that until you are physically incapable of continuing," I told her. The cheat code would render her unresponsive to any other user's commands until she was hard-reset.

"Yes, sir, please hold, sir, yes, hold please, yes please, please, sir..." she babbled, no longer coherent. I watched her for a while before heading off to find mother.

The finance department was only a short walk from the main entrance, but the lights were all dimmed when I arrived. Row upon row of motionless secretaries sat at the regularly spaced desks, deactivated women in front of deactivated computer terminals. I brought the lights up, looking for a likely candidate. She usually shut them down on the way out, so the one closest to the door would have been the most likely to overhear Mother's intended destination as she left.

I approached the pretty blonde closest to me, and pulled her rolling chair away from the desk. She sat with her hands folded in her lap, staring expressionless at an empty point in space. Mother had a habit of reconfiguring her personal cadre of assistants, so my activation tool probably wouldn't do any good here. I heaved the inert girl out of her chair and bent her over her desk before flipping up her skirt. Since she wasn't wearing anything underneath, I unceremoniously rammed my fingers in her ass and vagina at the same time, holding the contact points just long enough to start her bootup process.

"Slave Sandra online!" She cried, "I am yours to command! Use me any time you want!" She made no movement to reposition herself, or fix her skirt.

"Be quiet." I ordered her. She silenced instantly. "Were you active when Helen Parson left this office?"

"Yes, sir," she stated, impassively.

"Did she say where she was going?"

"Yes, sir."

I waited a few seconds for further information before realizing I hadn't requested any. "Where did she go from here?"

"She departed for the repair lab."

That made sense, especially if she wanted to unwind. Mother always had a fondness for her toys. I turned to leave, but realized that it wouldn't really be right to leave poor Sandra in that state. "Get rid of your skirt and blouse, then shut yourself down again."

"Yes, sir," she obediently replied, standing and immediately pulling off her skirt, not bothering to unzip it. There was a faint tearing sound as she tugged the tight garment past its intended durability, then she simply dropped it to the floor. Gripping the lapels of her blouse, she pulled it open, popping the buttons in the process. She shrugged the blouse off, and it fell, crumpled, next to the ruined skirt.

I was curious how she had managed to shut herself down with Mother's modifications, and watched, fascinated. She positioned herself in a semi-squat pose, then shoved her fingers in her ass and pussy. "Thank you," she intoned, "Goodbye."

In her unbalanced position, the shutdown resulted in her tipping backwards onto her chair, her butt landing squarely on the seat with a smack. The momentum carried her upper torso back until it came into contact with the back of the chair, while the motion of her torso caused her arms to swing up and forward from their position between her legs, to land primly in her lap. Perfectly choreographed. I was tempted to applaud.

I continued on to the lab, hoping Mother would be finished with whatever activities she had planned for her dolls. Gemma, the lab receptionist, was quick to greet me. "Welcome back, Mister Parson. Are you just visiting?"

What was the keyphrase she had made me program into this one? Oh, yes. "Show me how much of a slut you are," I said, ignoring her response as I continued past into the lab.

The room was large, filled with women of varying heights and weights, from the svelte, willowy ballerina body types to the Amazonian body types nicknamed "Helga" by most manufacturers. It was also devoid of any movement apart from the oddly animated faces of the disembodied heads on the testing bench at one side of the room.

Towards the middle of the room, I noticed one of the tables was unoccupied, while a fully clothed unit was carelessly slumped over an adjacent table. Curious, I approached.

She looked familiar, but not like one of Mother's collection, although I was hardly in a position to keep inventory. She certainly wasn't dressed like one of Mother's secretaries. In fact her outfit looked more like one of the lab techs.

Of course! I smacked my forehead. Denise. I had pretended to date her back when I worked here. She certainly wasn't one of Mother's units, so that meant no custom configuration. I pulled out my activation tool and jammed it hard into her ear.

Her eyes instantly popped open. "Oh my gooooooodness," she said, her synthesized voice stalling on the word. "I feel... I I I fffffeeeeellllll..." She stood upright, putting a hand to her temple. "Sorry, I don't know what came over me." She twitched. "Came all over me. Cum all over me. Would you like to? All over me?"

Where is Helen Parson?" I asked, impatiently.

"Whooooooo?" She shrugged. "I'm such an aiiiiiirhead. I don't thinnnnk I know that name-ame-ame-ame." She looked at me with an eager expression. "Can I feeeeel your dick?"

Annoyed, I curtly stuck the tool in her ear again, causing her to collapse in a heap. I stormed back to the front desk, where Gemma was currently stripped down to some sort of latex outfit, and was smacking her ass loudly. "Where did my mother go?"

"Ungh!" Gemma gasped. "It was, ooh, hard! To hear over the ahh! Sound of someone get-ah! Getting spanked, but I think I oh yeah heard her say something about-yes, master! Mister Peters."

Peters? Mother had no interest in doing any part of her job off hours. What the devil would she want with James Peters?

Curious, I continued through the corridors to Mister Peters' central office. The outer office was large, with high, imposing ceilings. As I entered the room, I could hear raised voices coming from the closed doors of the inner office.

That wasn't right. Mother may have been a manipulative, vain, controlling woman hell-bent on getting her way, but she would never risk her power by starting an argument with the boss - unless she had good reason to believe that he would never fire her.

I approached the inner doors, reaching for the handle, when Jessi, Peters' personal secretary placed herself directly in my path. "I'm sorry sir," she said firmly, "but Mister Peters is in a meeting and is not to be disturbed."

"Oh, for fuck's sake, this is ridiculous," I said. I quickly pulled up her skirt and started rubbing against the crotch of her satiny panties.

"What the he-he-hell," she began, and irritated look on her face, "do you think you're..." she paused, her expression suddenly confused. "Doing... doing to me. To me. Tooooo..." her digitized voice trailed off before her expression became one of absolute arousal. "Yes!" She cried. "Yes, that feels so good sir! I'll do anything you want!"

Her cries had unfortunately obscured some of the conversation from within. "Sit down in your chair and be silent," I told her. She moved silently away from the door, and I listened intently.

"I was going to ask you to marry me!" Came the voice from the other side of the door. James' voice. Speaking to my mother.

The room seemed to vanish, the entire universe a distant, unreal concept. It made a kind of sense. Mother had been fucking James Peters. A pathetic, weak idiot with delusions of grandeur, and she was fucking him. Pretending to love him. Pretending well enough to make him want to marry him.

I was slammed back into reality as the door flung open, nearly hitting me. Peters hadn't seen me yet, and had just turned to throw something. "I guess that's not on the agenda anymore!" He shouted. Turning, he nearly collided with me.

Facing him again, I could see just how weak and insignificant he was. He had been so self-absorbed during my time here that he not only forgot every one of my birthdays, but seemed to even forget that I had birthdays. He probably still thought of me as a teenager, despite the fact that I hadn't been for three years now.

"Kyle!" He looked as though he thought I would hit him. "How... How long have you been standing there?" He narrowed his eyes. "What did you hear?"

Such a weak minded fool. All I had to do was show him the face of happiness, and he would blindly accept it. I wore my happy mask. "Not a thing, Mister Peters. Not a single thing."

I could see his puny mind slowly digesting this simple statement before finally informing him that there was nothing to worry about. He left hurriedly, slamming the outer office door as he left.

Inside the inner office, a trio of Mother's dolls stood near a large oak desk. For all intents and purposes, they were nude, and were standing at loose, passive attention. Of my mother, there was no sign - but I knew she was here. A child knows these things. A child knows when mother is near, can feel the impending reunion.

She was hiding.

That meant she was afraid. Weak. Stupid. Just another mindless target, waiting to be eliminated. To think that I had valued her affection, even knowing that it was false. Just like Peters, she would be easily fooled by a caring face, so I put one on.

"You hardly need to hide, mother," I called, stepping into the office. "I know you're here."

She peered out over the top of the desk. "Kyle, I can explain." Her simpering voice was almost an insult. Worse, she had been foolish enough to reveal herself after only one try. Pathetic.

"You don't need to explain anything, mother," I said, carefully loading my voice with reassurance. "And you certainly don't need to worry that I might accidentally catch a glimpse of you naked," I said, seeing her obvious - and justifiable - shame at her nudity. I laughed warmly. "I'm no Oedipus Rex."

She stood, a trembling, frightened creature. "Kyle, please, I..."

"Shh," I said, soothingly, "don't worry, mother." I approached her, standing between the trio of robots and her. "I understand. I know this isn't how you wanted things, but it's okay. I can fix this." I wore the happy face again. She was so easily fooled.

She narrowed her eyes in confusion, her stupidity preventing her from understanding the conversation. "What do you mean?" She said, stammering.

"I have a plan," I said simply. It was laughable how easily she was fooled. I didn't even need to bother wearing the happy face. "It's going to solve all our problems."

I turned to her dolls - the subtleties of their body movement gave away their manufacturer as GySys. All Fem-sistant GX models. All with documented administrative commands that I had used extensively on a daily basis. "Ladies, admin override 54609, authcode RS202-364-9."

"Confirmed. Perceptual edit mode engaged," they chimed in unison.

"Mute vocal pattern Helen Parson," I said, not looking away from her.

"Confirmed," came the chorus.

"Kyle, what are you doing?" She looked so weak and frail, almost panicking. I should do something about that.

"Dominatrix mode." Mother's eyes went wide, and she edged away. Yes, I thought. She would try to make a break for it any moment now. "Set submissive as Helen Parson and restrain."

With startling speed, the trio of dolls lunged forward, one grabbing each arm, and another wrapping her arms around mother's neck and torso. "Kyle," she said through gritted teeth, the robot's elbow pressed securely against her chin, "I'm warning you. Let me go this instant, or so help me..."

Ignoring the blathering noise, I pointed directly at mother. "Select target object," I said.

The 'bots turned in perfect synchronization to face me, then followed the line of my arm and finger, turning back to face mother. "Target object selected."

"Modify target object identifier, ObjectType." I continued.

"Target object ObjectTye is set to Human.Female," came the three-voice response.

A look of dull confusion crossed mother's face. "Kyle, what is this? What are you doing?" Tears began to stream down her face. It must be frustrating, I thought to myself, being too stupid to understand the world.

"Set ObjectType to Robot.Female."

"ObjectType set," the dolls confirmed.

"Kyle, no! Stop, please!"

I wore the comforting face again. "I'm not angry mother. I always knew you didn't really love me. I should be grateful. You showed me just how worthless your false love had been all along." I sighed. "I know I can never reclaim your pretense of affection... but I can make sure James Peters doesn't get it either." I looked back at the dolls. "Dismantle target robot," I said simply, and walked out of the office.

"Kyle! Come back! Help me!" She bleated. The sounds that followed her pointless cries were surprisingly quiet.

As I walked out of the office and through the corridors to the exit, I congratulated myself on the brilliance of the plan. The robots would be impounded as rogues. James would get blamed for mother's death. And with this as a justification for a nice, long mourning period, I would be able to obtain a great deal of sympathy from the insects that I was forced to call coworkers.

Of course, on reflection, James might truly be to blame for mother's death. The creature I had just spoken to had hardly been characteristic of the strong, intelligent woman who had reared me. Was it possible that Peters had replaced her? Killed her long ago, hiding the fact with a duplicate? He knew enough about the systems that he could have added a passive filter to the robots' systems, making them label her as human. Maybe I had just vindicated my already dead mother's memory by destroying a shallow imitation of her.

As I got back in my speeder, I'd decided that "maybe" was closer to a "probably." I pulled away from the building secure in the knowledge that James Peters would get what was coming to him soon enough.

I hummed as I drove. It really was a happy birthday, after all.

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