A Curious Girl in a Cruel World

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A Curious Girl in a Cruel World

I was sitting next to her when she first woke up.

As soon as she opened her big round green eyes, they were filled with wonder, and I was captivated. Our team spent years of research and work on her, but this was the first time I had seen her for who she was as a whole.

“Who am I?” she asked with a sweet and melodic voice. As she spoke, she looked straight ahead but furrowed her blonde eyebrows.

“You are EV-12,” I told her.

“EV…?” she wondered without looking at me.

“Yeah,” I thought for a second. “Evie. Your name is Evie.”

Evie smiled. Blinking, she looked around without moving her head. Her eyes focused on me.

“Who are you?”

“I am Dr. John Arnold” I explained.

“John Arnold,” she repeated. “Where am I?”

“You are in our robotics lab…”

“Lab?” She wondered but something inside her mind clicked on. “Laboratory: A building or part of a building equipped to conduct scientific experiments, research, tests, or manufacturing, specifically for robotics.” She almost seemed surprised that she answered her own question, but seemed pleased to know the answer. Evie thought for a few seconds silently looking around with her eyes. “What am I?”

“You are a robot. And android. Well, a gynoid to be more precise.”

“Gynoid?” she wondered again. And again she had an answer for herself. “Gynoid, from the Greek ‘Gyno’ meaning ‘female’, and ‘Oeides’ meaning ‘like’: A robot in female form. The feminine term for Android.” Again she thought about this. “I am a girl?”

“Yes, you are a girl” I replied. She smiled. “Can you move?”

She looked confused for a moment, but seconds later, her hands jerked into the air in front of her. Evie’s eyes went wide as she looked at her hands, flexing them and making fists. “Wow.”

“Try sitting up,” I suggested.

She tilted her head slightly and tried to move. She strained against gravity, failing to sit the first two or three times, but she somehow managed to sit up all the way. She started to pant, having never moved so much before.

Evie sat there on the metal table completely naked. Her finished body for the first time moved on its own. Even though we had worked on her for months, and developed models before her spanning back years, seeing her move and breathe brought a whole new perspective to her. For me, she was a living, breathing, thinking, feeling being, even if she was mechanical.

Her body was light-skinned, slim, and had realistic proportions. We kept her petite to avoid any concerns the last model produced. She appeared to be an attractive young woman in her early twenties, with modest B-cup breasts, and blond loose wavy shoulder-length hair. She was the most realistic model we’ve ever built and the most attractive as well.

Evie took a good minute sitting there, breathing and thinking, looking down at her legs. Finally, she managed to lift her hands again and look at them. Again, she opened and closed her hands, turning them from front to back, studying them. Slowly, she brought her hands close to her face. She gasped as her fingers made contact with her cheeks. We made sure she could feel sensations as realistically as humans could, or at least we tried. We even attempted to include a tickling sensation in her, although we’d have to test that later.

The curious girl ran her fingers around her face and hair, smiling and giggling as she did. Eventually, Evie discovered her neck, and shoulders, and chest. As she touched her breasts, she let out a small squeal. It took me by surprise, but she was designed to have increased sensitivity in certain locations, just like a human girl would. She laughed a little as she grasped her breasts some more. But she didn’t stop there. Her hands kept exploring her body, touching her skin.

At first, she passed over her groin and felt her legs, although she could only reach her thighs at first. Bending her knees, she scooted her feet closer and sat with her knees up and her feet on the table, flashing her private parts at me, as she felt her shins and feet. When she was satisfied, she ran her hands back up her legs, this time exploring between her legs. She gasped sharply when she touched down there, and froze. Maybe we shouldn’t have given her fully functioning sex organs and the ability to enjoy sex, but our goal required she be as realistic as we could make her, and that meant including sexuality.

“Wow,” she exclaimed as she ran her hands up her body to her arms, squeezing her legs together. For the first time, she looked around the room entirely, taking in her surroundings, and then focused on me again. She abruptly smiled at me and delicately moved a strand of hair out of her face and behind her ear. I smiled back and her smile grew radiant.

“How do you feel?” I asked.

She thought about it for a moment, looking up at the ceiling while she did. “Cold” she replied.

“Yeah, it is a little cold in here. Do you think you can stand?”

“Stand?” she wondered as she looked down at her legs. Evie put her hands on the table to either side of her and twisted her body awkwardly, trying to bring her legs over the side of the table. She somehow managed to but hesitated to stand. I didn’t blame her. Normally we wouldn’t insist our units stand so soon, but the situation was dire.

I stepped closer to her to help, distracting Evie. She leaned back and looked up at me curiously. “I’ll make sure you don’t fall” I offered.

Evie concentrated on my face and gently reached out to touch me. I let her delicate fingers gently caress my cheek, feeling my features, and getting a tactile sense of me. She slowly smiled again and retracted her hand.

“You feel different than I do” she explained. I reached out a hand smiling, but she just looked at it.

“If it helps, you can hold my hand to help stand up.”

An expression of realization filled her eyes and she put her hand in mine. I pulled back gently until she was forced to try to stand. It wasn’t a big drop down, but her feet couldn’t reach the ground while sitting, so she would have to hop off the table. Evie scooted her butt closer to the edge and tried to reach the floor with her foot, but a moment later, she fell.

I was right there and caught her so she didn’t hit the ground, putting my arm around her. She gasped and struggled to get her feet under her. A far away alarm started going off, distracting Evie. I just ignored it and tried to redirect her attention to her feet. She managed to get her feet solid on the ground and straightened herself up.

I carefully let go and backed away from her, letting her stand on her own two feet, although she was wobbly and her feet turned in. She smiled again. “I can stand!”

I nodded to her as I took a few steps back. “Now walk to me.”

“Walk?” She worried. She tried to walk, taking a step, but her balance was off and she tumbled to the ground before I could get to her. She caught herself and sat there processing what happened. We didn’t really have time for this.

“We’ll work on that later,” I said as I kneeled next to her.

“Later?” she wondered. “What is that sound?”

“Just a reminder that we have to go,” I said as I reached my arms under her small frame and lifted her. I was so glad she didn’t weigh a ton, like some of the earliest models we made. In fact, she was the average weight for a girl her size. We needed to figure out how to get her that small and light in order to make her believable.

I readjusted my grip on her and held her like you see heroes carrying girls in the movies. It wasn’t easy, despite her normal weight, but I managed to make it work. She grabbed onto me around the back of my neck although her grip was weak.

“Go? Where are we going?” she asked.

“Away from here” I explained as I walked as quickly as I could down the corridors of white.

She was silent for a while, looking up at me or around the environment. The sound of the alarm grew louder and red lights in the distant were flashing. I ducked into a service door, avoiding being seen by any guards. I could hear them on the other side of the door running past.

However, I didn’t stop to listen, I kept going down the well-rehearsed path I figured out weeks ago. I knew where the cameras were, and where they weren’t, and the best way out of the building without being caught.

“What’s happening?” Evie asked. “Am I… am I being stolen?”

“Shh… don’t say anything” I told her, realizing that the back hallways we went down took us dangerously close to a security station. I looked around but there was no one in sight. The distraction I set earlier must have drawn them all out as I hoped it would. I rushed passed the station, keeping my face down so as not to be seen on the camera.

“I’m rescuing you,” I said once we got away from the area. The exit door wasn’t far off, but there was another camera there. I stopped inside the kitchen and placed Evie on a counter next to a sink. She sat there looking confused.

“Rescuing me? Rescue: To save someone from a dangerous or distressing situation. Am I in danger?”

I pulled off my outer lab coat with the Wald Ind. logo to reveal a jacket I had on underneath. “Yes. A lot of danger.” I looked around the room and found what I needed. I grabbed a spare uniform still in its bag, and an apron hanging near the shelving they kept the uniforms in.

She cocked her head and crossed her arms. “I do not sense any danger. Except from you.”

“Put your hands up,” I said as I unfolded the white uniform top.

“Why? Are you kidnapping me?”

“No” I repeated, trying not to get upset. We did not have time for this. “I built you. Well, my team and I did. I’m trying to save your life.”

“Your name is registered in my system” Evie admitted, but she hesitated. “I am not aware of any threat to my life,” she said, refusing to lift her hands.

I grabbed her hands and held them up. She was no stronger than a human girl, another lesson we learned from the last unit we worked on, plus her muscles have never been used so they were still weak. I was able to easily overpower her, but I really didn’t want to. And getting the shirt on her was proving more difficult than I anticipated.

As I struggled to get her to cooperate, the alarm echoed in my head. I could hear a door open in the distance and slam shut. Someone was not far off.

“Look. Evie. You are scheduled for termination tomorrow morning. Our entire project has been scrapped, and my department is being shut down. We betrayed the administration when we built you. They wanted a weapon, we gave them a girl. But… I can’t let them kill you. I am rescuing you. And if we don’t move now, we will both be terminated.”

She looked at me skeptically before closing her eyes. “Accessing Wald database. Calendar event scheduled for 7 am, marked “TRM EV-12” Evie reported, opening her green eyes again.

“TRM is code, it means terminate” I explained

Concern filled her features, and she lifted her arms. “Terminate me? I- I am sorry I questioned you. I was wrong.”

“No, you are right to question this. It is not normal. I wish this didn’t have to happen” I told her as I got the shirt over her and buttoned up the front. It was easily 3 sizes too big, but I just needed to cover her. I didn’t have time to bother with the pants anymore though.

I threw the apron over her head to hopefully cover her privates. Once again, I lifted her up, although this time she held on, making it easier for me.

I pulled a card out of my jacket pocket and held it in my hand as I carried her. I ran faster than I expected to get her to the exit and pressed the card against the pad next to the door. I prayed the card I swiped from one of the cleaning ladies still worked.

A green light appeared and I sighed in relief, pushing the door open just in time to hear someone call out to me from behind. I dropped the card and darted out the door into the night, slamming it behind me, and kicking the large metal scrap shelving unit I placed there yesterday across the door. Moments later, the door started to open, pushing and shoving against the shelves but unable to swing open all the way. I ran as fast as I could, completely out of breath by this point, to the car parked down a dark alleyway.

The doors unlocked as I approached and I barely managed to open it and get Evie inside the passenger seat. I just finished buckling her in and closing the door making my way to the driver’s side when a voice yelled out something toward me.

I felt the bullet before I heard the gunshot. My right arm was hit. Pain filled my mind as my entire upper arm started to scream at me. I ducked down and got into the car. The engine started up quickly, and I drove as fast as I could. I could hear another gunshot in the distance, but the shooter missed, and we were away.

I made my way onto a major road but quickly got off again.

“Your arm,” Evie said. “A projectile has passed through it, and you are bleeding.”

“I know” I hissed through my teeth. “I’ll take care of it later.”

She looked worried as she stared at me. I was in too much pain to worry about her gaze and instead concentrated on getting to my next destination.

It only took 3 or 4 minutes before we arrived at the parking lot of an abandoned store, where I knew there were no cameras watching as I parked next to another vehicle. I got out and kicked off the fake plate I stuck on the back, tossing it into dumpster nearby, before opening the door for Evie.

“What is happening?” she asked.

“We need to change vehicles. They know I took you in this one and will be looking for it.”

“Can they not track the vehicle owner?”

“It’s a rental with fake tags. I have a friend moving it in the morning. It’s under his name.”

“Does he know you are rescuing me?” she asked.

I started to pant as the pain was getting to me. “No… no one does. I did this… on my own.”

“Dr. Arnold?”

“Call me John,” I said as I winced in pain as my head wobbled.

“John, are you feeling well?”

“I was just shot in the arm… No… We can’t hang around here… come on…”

She reached up to me, twisting her body so I can lift her, but as I tried, my strength gave out, and my arm failed me. The last thing I remembered was screaming in pain.

I woke up a while later, pain still in my arm. Evie was sitting next to me, driving my car, a look of fear on her face.

“Evie?”

“John! You are awake! How are you feeling?” She looked scared.

“Weak.”

“You have suffered severe blood loss, you need to go to a hospital.”

“I can’t. They can track us there. When did you learn to drive? How did I…”

Evie’s green eyes were wide as worry as urgency guided her. “I could not carry you, so I dragged you to the car. I downloaded driving instructions 10 minutes ago. I do not know where I am driving to. I do not have a license. I am breaking the law.”

“We need to go to the free clinic.”

“I am not programmed to break the law, John. I… Am I a bad person?”

“No… This is an emergency. You are doing the right thing. Just follow the traffic around you, try to blend in so no one will notice.”

“Will they arrest us?” she worried.

“If we are caught, probably. Just-“

“I do not wish to be arrested.”

“You won’t be. They don’t arrest robots.”

“But you will be arrested.”

“I’ll be f-”

“Then you will go to jail and not the hospital, and your injury will get worse and you will-”

“Evie!” I snapped.

She hopped in the seat a little and looked at me, then back at the road. She was a nervous driver.

“... Sorry” Evie apologized. I shook my head.

“Evie, just take me to the emergency clinic on Hammond. They can treat me without any fuss.”

“Hammond?” She thought for a second. ”Ahh… Estimated arrival time is 12 minutes.”

“Thank you, Evie.”

We sat in silence for a good while. I observed her driving, but never once needed to correct her. She was cautious but followed the rules well. The bleeding had slowed but the pain was mind-numbing.

“John? Why did you build me?”

“I told you, we were contracted to build a robot weapon.”

“Then why didn’t you?”

I hesitated. “We tried that. She turned out a failure. A very bad failure. There was an accident. The team decided we wanted to make something else. Even though we were contracted to make a war machine, we chose instead to make a girl that could think for herself, and promote love.”

“Love?”

“Yes. Love. I know it's cheesy… We wanted you to counter their hate, so we made you to be empathetic.”

“But I do not feel ‘empathy’.”

“Really? You look worried, and in pain” I explained, looking at her expression. “Did you get hurt?”

She shook her head. “No. I am undamaged.”

“Then why do you look hurt?”

“Because you were…” she thought for a moment. “I understand. I empathize with your pain. And I am worried about your safety.”

I nodded. “Exactly. Although I wish this didn’t have to happen.” Honestly, this was the best test of her empathy systems yet. My hand was starting to go numb, but we weren’t far off now.

“Why did you save me?”

“Because… I couldn’t let them hurt you. I spent too much time and effort making you, perfecting you, and I wanted you to live.”

“You… emphasize with me?” she asked. “Or is it because you thought I was a valuable product and you chose to steal me instead of seeing me destroyed?”

She hit the nail on the head with that one. But there was more. “Evie… I couldn’t let them dismantle you. I grew attached to you. Your memories were erased yesterday, but we had many long sessions where we would talk together for hours. You… you amaze me.”

She blushed. “I… What? I’m not amazing.”

“Well, you impressed me. You even took the initiative to get me in the car and drive me somewhere to get help. It’s no wonder I started to like you so much” I confessed in my delirium.

“Y- You have feelings for me?” She asked.

I nodded. “Yeah. Talking with you was always the best part of my day.”

“I do not understand… but thank you. Thank you for saving me.” She smiled briefly. I realized I was starting to say stupid things and closed my eyes and my mouth. Soon, we turned off the road and into the parking lot of the clinic. I guided her how to park, and opened the door. Evie sat there, nervous.

“Come on, this hurts.”

“You go. I will wait here.”

“I can’t take my eyes off you. This could take a while, and if they find you while I’m in there I will never forgive myself.”

“John… I still can’t walk.”

Shit. “I’ll help you,” I said, as I found enough strength to stand and get to her door. I held out my left hand and she took it. I pulled her up until she was standing, although she did lean into me for support. Holding my arm around her on my left, we guided each other. I supported her first steps with mine, while she gave me support.

Throughout the entire ordeal inside, Evie refused to leave my side. Gunshots were not things they liked to see in these clinics, but they knew not to press too hard on any questions because they rather people survive these injuries than avoid the clinic and die. When they asked me what happened, I claimed it was a stray bullet. Legally, they had to fill out reports on these things.

By the time I was able to stand and walk on my own again, and check myself out, it was already afternoon. We had been there for many hours, and Evie was quiet most of the time, just watching and learning. The staff wanted to look at her too for her limp, but I assured them she was just sore because I fell onto her after I was shot and she would get over it.

At last, we made it back to my car, but there was a chance the company still figured out it was me. By now they knew she was missing. We couldn’t drive to my place, it was probably either being watched or already broken into. No, we needed to lay low. Hide. Get out of the country. But first I needed to eat.


As we hobbled into the fast food joint, we must have looked more like a drunk couple than I intended. I hoped it wouldn’t draw too much attention to ourselves. I was tired and got a little rest in the clinic, but it wasn’t a full night’s sleep. I figured a little pick-me-up would go a long way. Evie too was capable of eating although it did little for her. Mostly it replenished fluids she needed, but she didn’t get energy from food. Regardless, I ordered her some food too. Best to keep up appearances.

As we sat there eating, I notice how awkward she looked. The shirt she wore was way too big, and while it stretched down far enough to cover her butt, it was a poor substitute for a dress. The apron helped, but it just looked like she was a waitress who lost her pants. It didn’t help that she had no underwear, so keeping her from making a scene by accident was always on my mind.

She stayed quiet though and sat with me eating. I was glad to see her enjoying the sensation of food, although it was not as good of a meal as I would have liked to have been her first. As we finished eating, she leaned in toward me, speaking in low tones.

“What next, John?” She all but whispered.

“Hmm?” I responded, deep in thought and not really fully listening.

“Where do we go from here?” She asked. “You have seemingly planned for this endeavor.”

“Oh. We need to lay low for a while.”

“Lay low? You want me to lay on the ground?” She inquired.

I chuckled, trying not to laugh too much. “No, it’s an expression, it means to stay out of sight.”

“But people can see us here.”

I shook my head smiling. “No. I mean we have to avoid being caught. We don’t draw attention to ourselves, we try to blend in.”

“Blend in? Like with camouflage?”

“Almost. We have to look and act like the people around us, so we don’t stand out in a crowd.”

“Ah. I think I understand. You want us to act like sheep.”

“Uh…” that was a strange analogy. “Kind of. But no grazing.”

“Grazing? Graze: To feed on land covered by grass. Oh.. Oh! Is that a joke? Should I laugh?”

“No” I smiled. “It’s ok, it was a bad joke.”

“Oh. I’m afraid I do not know how to tell the difference.”

“Difference between what?” I wondered.

“A good joke and a bad joke.”

“I think you’ll figure it out in time” I assured her.

She thought for a moment, her face expressionless. “John? What do you wish to do with me?”

“I don’t understand.”

“You planned out this escape to some extent, but I do not understand what your plans for me are.”

“I… uh… I don’t really have any plans. I just wanted to save you.”

“What is my purpose then?” She inquired.

“Purpose? You don’t have a purpose.”

“I do not understand. Why did you build me if I don’t have a purpose? Do you wish me to live in society secretly?”

“Well… I don’t know. You don’t need a purpose. I wasn’t born with a purpose.”

She hesitated only briefly. “Did you wish me to live on my own? Am I too much of a burden?”

“Burden? Why would you say that?”

“You have been shot in the arm on account of my rescue. Is that not a burden to you?”

I tried to shrug, although the pain stopped me. Thank god for drugs. “It’s… it’s fine.”

“John, I don’t fully understand. Why would you risk your safety and well-being for me? What am I to you? You asked me to refer to you by your first name, and you admitted you have an emotional attachment to me even though I have no memories of our previous interactions. Were we friends or was it a more professional relationship?”

I chuckled a little despite the pain. “You could say we’re friends.”

“Did we have a... “ she thought a bit and looked down at herself, “a father-daughter relationship?”

I shook my head. “No. No. You and I are... “ I paused thinking. I tried to exhale away the pain in my arm as I debated what to say. She could see the discomfort on my face.

“Were we in a sexual relationship?”

My face grew hot. “Uh… I…”

“Your face has flushed red with blood. Are you experiencing a fever? Is your wound infected?”

“No, I’m fine. We uh… we were never sexual partners.” Heck, her body was only recently finished, and this was the first time she was using it. Most of our conversations were done through a computer while developing her A.I.

“Oh! I see. I have embarrassed you with my line of questioning then. I apologize.”

“No, it’s alright, Evie.”

“I am trying to understand the situation. We may not have been sexually intimate, but we were in a relationship of some sort. Friends. You do not see me as a daughter, and you show interest in me. You saved me from being terminated out of empathy for my situation, based on those feelings. You planned an escape, but have no long-term goals planned out. You have been seriously injured on account of rescuing me but continue to carry out your goal.”

“Uh…” I blushed at her mention of an intimate relationship. “I guess that’s right.”

“The logic is stupid” she bluntly concluded. “To engage in a plan with no clear goal over the well-being of a person you are not related to but have emotional connections to?”

She processed this for a moment. And opened her mouth several times to say something, but stopped herself. It seemed as if she was piecing together things and figuring out answers before she asked the questions. Finally, she managed to come to a conclusion.

“I think I am beginning to understand, we were friends and you wanted to save me. Maybe you wished to court me.”

“C- Court you?” I wondered.

She looked flustered. “Oh, my. I have made you blush again. Perhaps my line of reasoning is flawed.”

“No no no. I just… You’re being very straightforward and we never talked about these things before. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in you. But that’s not why I saved you.”

She looked down at the table and thought for a few seconds. “So you do…? I- I am sorry I do not remember you” she admitted.

“Don’t be sorry. That was out of our control.”

“Then I am sad that I do not remember you” she corrected.

“Yeah… that is unfortunate.”

“How long were we friends?”

“6 months.”

“And you wished we could have been…” her voice trailed off. “John, would you like me to stay with you? A- As your friend?”

“Yeah… I would like that.”

Evie nodded. “I think that is for the best. I am new to this world and do not understand a great many things, and your knowledge and guidance will be appreciated.” She looked up at me and stared into my eyes. It was as if she was trying to read me, or perhaps remember me. “I… I wish I did recollect our time together from before. But since I do not remember you, perhaps I can get to know you again and rekindle our friendship.”

“That would be nice” I admitted. “I would like your company for as long as you like.” I took a big swig of warm coffee.

She nodded. “And you would like to copulate with me?”

I spat out my drink, coughing. “I… uh…”

“I have embarrassed you again. I am s-“

I held up my hand to stop her. “Evie, I would be lying if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. But now is not the time. Besides, I don’t want to unless you want to” I interrupted, trying to keep my voice down with so many people around.

She seemed so nonchalant when she brought up sex it took me by surprise, but we did program her to be emotionally receptive and loving, and sex can be a part of that. I had already fallen for her mind, and her body was very cute and attractive, which made my own desire for her even stronger, which she probably picked up on. It was strange though, she never even mentioned sex before in all the sessions we had. Perhaps finally being in her fully-functioning body sparked her interest subconsciously. She did have the equipment now, and her body would help drive her desires. It was possible she brought it up not just because she deduced my desire for her, but also she unknowingly reciprocated that desire. I did not want to shoot her down entirely either, this was what she was built to handle, emotions and love. Turning her down flat like that, especially when she already knew I liked her, might have a negative impact on her still-young mind.

“Sex is an intimate thing between lovers. And even IF I feel that way about you, I don’t want to force you into anything.” I continued.

“I do not understand.”

I sighed. “Do you remember when I woke you up and you touched your body?”

Evie smiled. “Yes. I was feeling tactile sensations for the first time. It was enjoyable.”

“And then you touched your breasts and your groin?” I whispered.

She blushed a little. “Yes. The sensations there were different. More intense” she grinned as she pressed her hand against her chest.

“Well, sex is all about taking those sensations beyond your limits. How would you feel if a stranger started to give you those sensations but more intense and when you didn’t want them?”

Evie was quiet for a long time, calculating and processing the vague scenario I gave her. It was over a minute later that she replied. “I thought it would be an enjoyable sensation, but my mind rejects that outcome. I would be repulsed by it. Why is that?”

“But what if it was a man you were attracted to and wanted to be with?”

She thought about it again, but much shorter this time. She blushed again as she answered. “The scenario seems favorable, even pleasurable. It is enjoyable just considering it. But why are these outcomes so different?”

“Because sex is best when it is mutually given between two partners” I explained. “It is bad when only one of you wants it.”

“It seems logical that only interested couples would engage in mutual intercourse” she theorized.

“And yet unwanted contact happens to human women all the time. Most men want sex, and they can enjoy it even when their partner doesn’t. They will manipulate or force women to give that to them at the woman’s expense.”

“That… that is terrible. Is it not a crime?”

“It is. It is called sexual abuse and rape. But men still do it, and often get away with it.”

“Men like to harm women?” Evie wondered, shocked.

“No. Not most of us. But some do, or they just don’t care enough about others and only think of themselves” I noted.

“How do I know which men will do this? Will… will you harm me? I am a female. You are a ma-“

“Never! I could never hurt you. But don’t assume other men won’t” I warned. “You will know in time. But for now, I suggest rejecting all advances made toward you.”

“I understand. I trust you.” She looked down and closed her eyes for a few seconds before looking up at me and gazing at me. “I… do not know if I want to copulate with you, John” she admitted. “I am not repulsed by the notion, but I am apprehensive to consider it.”

“That’s fine. You are still getting to know me again, it will take time. And I am not trying to ‘copulate’ with you. I didn’t build you OR rescue you for sex. If I wanted sex I could have paid for it.”

“But you do want to?” She asked again.

I shook my head. “Maybe… eventually. But not right now.” This conversation was getting awkward.

“Is it normal to be so unsure about sex?”

“Yeah. That’s how all intimate relationships start. Building a relationship with someone until you both want sex can happen quickly, or take time. It’s different for everyone. And not all relationships become sexual.” I sighed. “Evie, can we talk about this later?”

She nodded “Of course.” Evie looked down at her hands, thinking. A few seconds later, she twisted her face. “I’m curious though.” She never was one to put a topic down until she was satisfied with it. “Since I find you to be a relatively attractive male, and I am not repulsed by the notion, would it be ok for me to stay with you and see if our relationship develops into a sexua-“

“Shh-“ I shushed, not really listening to what she just said. She stopped talking as I watched the screen mounted on the nearby wall. A news report was on it. It was about my lab.

“What is it?” Evie whispered. “Did I embarrass you again?” When she saw the look on my face she panicked. “Are bad men here?”

“It’s the news. Looks like our escape last night got noticed by the media. I don’t like that.”

She turned to look at the television. “Are they going to find us?”

“I don’t know, but not if I can help it. We should get moving.” I saw images of security footage and tire marks. They didn’t get my face, thankfully. So far there were no clear pictures of either Evie or me, but it was only a matter of time before they posted something. What they did show still revealed the unusual outfit Evie wore. It also appeared they were claiming I kidnapped her.

I stood up and looked down at her.

“Where are we going?” she wondered.

She was very identifiable from that footage in that outfit. “To get you a better disguise.”

I anticipated that I would need to be careful with being tracked. Before I even started her up, I made sure Evie’s location was always encoded and used VPN networks to further hide her whereabouts. All her interactions on the net should take days for someone else to triangulate. But in reality, it meant we only had hours before someone might start to follow us. I also didn’t use a smartphone and withdrew a large sum of money from my account the other day. I kept the money hidden in my car so we shouldn’t have to worry about money for a while.

To be honest I didn’t want to tell her my real plan, because it was a shot in the dark. I planned to leave the country. Technically the company could do what they wanted with her, she was their property, and I was only an employee. An ex-employee now. I had no right to take her, and legally they had the advantage. I couldn't fight them in court, nor could I fight them physically. Not only could they get the police involved, but they had private security, military androids, and resources that far outweighed my abilities. I was a lab nerd.

But if I was being honest with myself, I knew that even skipping the country wouldn’t help. These guys didn’t let things like borders and laws get in their way. They did what they wanted, and would hunt us down. I worried about spending the rest of my life on the run or always looking over my shoulder, assuming my life lasted long enough to get anywhere. I can’t say these guys were evil, just corrupt and lacking in morals. With the kind of money and technology they had, and the investment in the technology she was carrying around in her svelte little body, they would stop and nothing to keep their secrets hidden.

Running was really our only option. That and hiding. Which is why we spent an hour getting new outfits so we could blend in. I didn't want to risk spending the time or risk getting caught off guard by going to department stores or into dressing rooms. Besides, I built her and knew exactly what her sizes were. Instead, I got her a few simple outfits of underwear, t-shirts, blouses, jeans, and skirts. I already had prepared clothes for myself, and soon we were back in the car and heading into the unknown.

We drove for hours in a straight line taking the highway to get as far away as we could before I turned off onto some small roads and navigated those without a GPS until we arrived. What little research I was able to do online before all this went down suggested that we go to a motel, the kind that charges by the hour, and where you pay in cash. Well, I couldn't find one of those, but I did find a motel that would let me pay in cash. It was the type of place men would frequent when they wanted to stay discreet from their wives while having an affair.

No names. No identification. Cash only.

It also wasn’t much more than a shit hole. But then again that's what they tended to be. Evie waited in the car as I paid for the room. We wouldn't be able to stay in places like this for too long, but with any luck, we wouldn't have to. It was already dark by the time we parked, and I made sure the car was not easily seen from the road. I would have to change vehicles somehow if we were to get away. They might not have mentioned me in the news by name but they must have figured it out by now.

The only question I had was whether or not they were tracking me themselves or having the authorities do it for them, or both. The thought of being tracked to this backwater motel was interrupted by the smell as we entered our room. It reeked of mildew and rot. Even Evie held her nose as she entered.

“This place is most unpleasant” she noted with her voice sounding funny as she pinched her nose. “Must we stay here?”

“Unfortunately, yes. At least for a few hours. You'll get used to the smell. But I need to rest, we both need to clean up, you need to recharge, and we need to change our clothes.”

Evie nodded, releasing her nose but twisting her face from the smell. The room was not as dirty looking as I expected, although I shuddered to think about the cleanliness of the bed. That smell had to come from somewhere. It had a small double bed with a worn brown comforter, cheap faux wood furniture, a TV with basic cable, and a bathroom. It looked like no one had used the room in a while, and yet it had been worn down with use.

The bathroom consisted of a shower, a toilet, and a sink. No frills, and stains everywhere. Even the mirror had some streaks of reddish brown stuff on it that clearly wasn't coming off. Not that I was going to touch it to try.

I set the bags of clothes down next to the TV and rummaged through one as Evie looked around the room. She was still uneasy on her feet and held onto furniture, the bed, and anything or anyone else that might help her balance.

“There is no wifi here” she noted.

“Good, it'll make it harder to track us. Here…” I called out as I tossed her some clothes to wear. I then started to pick something out for myself. “You need to wash up and change into this.”

“What about your injuries? Your wound should be redressed. Please, John, let me help.”

She looked at me with big worried eyes as I tried to ignore the pain. I didn't have much for first aid, I would have to get more, but the clinic did give us enough to redress the wound once. “Alright,” I relented. “But I need to shower first or the dressing will get wet.”

Evie nodded and helped me get my shirt off. It was embarrassing to have a woman, even a cybernetic one like Evie, undress me. Not that I didn’t appreciate her help or enjoy it. She was gentle, even though my limited range of motion made it more difficult and added to the pain. Evie smiled at me as she gently touched my good arm. Before I realized it, she had already unbuckled my belt and pants. She seemed not to have any ulterior motive, she was just helping me undress, although it was still embarrassing.

“Hang on, I can do this part” I blushed trying to cover myself. She got far enough to see my bulge in my underwear and suddenly she paused. Evie blushed and smiled as she took a few steps back and sat down on the bed watching me. I turned away from her and removed my pants before walking into the bathroom in just my underwear.

“How strange” she noted. “I seem to be experiencing a new sensation. It is difficult to describe. Am I embarrassed?”

“Yeah, well you did just get a good look at me” I called back.

“Do you need any assistance in the shower?” she asked with a hint of hope in her voice.

“I think I got this,” I assured her. Although part of me did want her help.

I closed the door and turned on the water until it was hot. It was not the easiest or nicest shower I had ever had, but it was good to wash the sweat and blood and smell from the previous night off of me. The pain in my arm was still strong, even more so now that the pills they gave me wore off, and yet I was glad to feel it. Had that security guard's aim been on point, I wouldn't be feeling anything at all right now.

I got out of the shower, leaving plenty of hot water for Evie, and dried off before taking a good long look at myself in the mirror. I looked tired as hell but felt much better after the shower. I wouldn't be able to shave, so the stubble coming in was going to be my new look for a few days.

I took the towel and wrapped it around my waist, only to realize that the door was not latched closed like I thought it was, and a small gap letting the steam out also allowed a certain gynoid in the other room a perfect look in.

She smiled innocently and looked up at me from the bed where she was still sitting. Her face was red. She was peaking alright. And enjoying it too. I decided not to say anything as I turned away from her and pulled some clean underwear on under the towel.

A small trickle of blood running down my arm caught her attention and she carefully stood up. “Oh, John, you're still bleeding. Come, sit here. Let me help.”

She was very gentle with her fingers as she redressed the wound with a new bandage and held it to my forearm with gauze. I couldn't help but get a really good look at her up close as she concentrated on my arm. I know I helped build her, both spearheading her development and designing her various systems, but she was still so much more than I was expecting and was absolutely beautiful. Even from close up, she looked completely human.

As she finished, I stood up and grabbed a shirt. “Thanks. Your turn.”

“Yes, of course” she agreed. As I turned around to face her, she pulled the apron free but struggled to unbutton the shirt on her. I almost turned away again but noticed she was struggling too much.

“Here, I'll help” I offered as I sat down on the bed and turned her toward me. I undid the buttons for her, slowly revealing a strip of skin down her front. She smiled as she let me. As soon as the last button was released, she pulled apart the front of the shirt and let it drop to the floor, revealing her completely naked body to me only inches away.

She seemed to hesitate there for a moment, allowing me a good look at her. She began to blush, unsure of what to do, slowly and timidly lifting her hands up toward me as though to reach out and touch me. However, she pulled back and turned away before walking into the bathroom, closing the door part way, and promptly got in the shower. I sat there stunned for a little, before shaking my head and turning on the TV.

I scoured the news for information about us. Most of what I saw was politics, scandals, murders, and gossip. It took a long time until I finally found something following up on the report from before.

The official story was that a former worker had kidnapped a colleague, but the reporter questioned the claim. She thought it was a cover-up, that the company was hiding something, and noted that the only footage of the incident given to the press consisted of still images and a highly edited video clip.

They urged the public to come forward with information about the blah blah blah. They knew I did it, and they were probably trying to prepare a case to portray me as a scorned lover or a deranged lunatic, or a dangerous kidnapper. But in reality, they knew I was saving her from being scrapped, and they knew we were at one time very close. All our conversations would have been stored in their systems.

As Evie got out of the shower, she struggled to keep her balance but managed to as she dried off. I could see everything clearly. Something told me she opened the door slightly while I was showering, and left it open now. Maybe she wanted to seduce me? Perhaps she was horny? Or she was just curious? Maybe she was concerned and wanted to see if I slipped?

Either way, I was enjoying the view. In the lab, her body was usually wearing a standard one-piece skin-tight leotard or nothing at all when we were working on her. But to watch her moving around autonomously and completely naked was a relatively new experience for me. Once she was dry, she stood in front of the mirror and wiped it off before looking at herself.

At first, I didn't think about it, but she spent a long time just looking at her reflection, touching her face and body, and twisting herself to see different angles.

“Wow,” she whispered to herself as she stared at the reflection of her own eyes. Soon she was messing with her hair, not sure what to do with it. But when she touched her breasts again and gasped, she started to play with herself there.

I got hard watching her but didn't move. Evie would squeeze her chest together in her hands, bounce them, and pull on them, as though trying to get a feel for her sensitivity for the first time. She giggled between gasps but soon moved her hands lower.

“So different” she noted to herself as she placed her hand over her sex. She must have been comparing herself to me. As she cupped her groin in her hand, she slowly started to press her fingers against her sensitive areas, eliciting a small gasp from her lips. She froze and started to breathe heavily, but pulled her hand away slowly.

I turned back toward the TV trying to will my erection away. I had been wanting to see her like this for months, honestly, and now that we were alone together I felt guilty for having watched her. I got up to put on some pants and a shirt just before she entered the room.

She had the towel wrapped around her waist, just like I had done, and her hair was still a little wet. I blushed some more, glad I had my pants on to hide my arousal.

“Is everything OK?” Evie asked looking at me. “I’ve embarrassed you again, haven’ t?”

“You're… Um… Indecent.”

“Indecent? Not conforming with generally accepted standards of behavior. I don't understand. I copied what you did and covered my lower torso.”

“Yes, but you’re a girl” I clarified.

“Does the accepted behavior of females differs from males?”

“A lot.” I approached her and started to reach out to correct her mistake but hesitated. “May I?”

Evie nodded, allowing me to untie the towel around her waist, briefly exposing her, and trying out around her chest, letting it cover her properly.

“My breasts? Am I not to expose my chest to others as well?”

I nodded. “Female breasts, while amazing, are socially indecent. Especially for men to see.”

“So genitalia and female breasts are taboo” she noted. ”Why?”

I shook my head. “I don't know. It just is. It doesn't make sense but women are just supposed to cover up those areas,” I thought about it for a moment as I sat down on the bed. “It’s stupid but let's not draw attention to ourselves.”

“Have I offended you by exposing myself to you?” She asked. “I am sorry to have caused-”

“No, it's fine! I’m not offended. I mean, I've seen you naked lots of times while I worked on you, although this is very different.”

“So you are not angry I showed my breasts to you?”

“N- no. I like it actually. It’s… um… nice to see you naked. Err… It’s arousing. I enjoy seeing your body very much. BUT that's one of those things usually reserved for couples.”

“You like seeing my breasts?” She smiled. “There are two of us, doesn’t that make us a ‘couple’?”

“Sexual couples,” I clarified.

“Ah. I see. I do not understand the relationship of breasts to sex. Breasts are used for feeding baby humans, are they not?”

“Not yours” I pointed out. “Besides, they are just… fun to play with” I murmured, my face hot.

“Yes… I agree. They are… Ah… You were watching me, weren't you, John?” She smiled.

“You were watching me first.”

Evie blushed and nodded. “Yes. I was curious about your anatomy and how it differs from my own. We look very different. I admit it was rather enjoyable to watch.”

“Ditto” I admitted.

Evie grinned. Something tells me she planned this, at least some of it. I cleared my throat. She suddenly realized something and grew flustered. “Did I do something bad by looking at you? I didn’t mean-”

“It’s ok. Normally it would be bad, but in this case, I’m not upset. I… I knew you were watching.”

She looked relieved but curious. “Is it so bad to be naked together when we both enjoy it?” she asked. “I… don’t mind showing myself to you.”

I was caught off-guard. “Uh… I guess not. But this usually leads to sex, and I don’t think we’re ready for that right now. I mean I’m still injured and you’re…”

She nodded, sitting next to me on the bed. “I am not sure I am ready for such activities. It seems to me that women react to sex very differently than men. Why is that?”

“They just do? Their brains are wired differently, their bodies are different. They don’t feel it the same way men do.”

“I see. My brain is wired VERY differently” she noted. I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not. “But does that mean I feel things the same as human girls?”

I shrugged, leaning back. “My team and I did the best we could to make you look, act, and feel as much like a human girl as possible.”

“Why?” She wondered. “Why am I a girl?”

I choked on my own spittle. “What?” I coughed.

“Why was I built as a female? Male anatomy is much larger and stronger and surely easier to work with. Or I could have been given no gender at all.”

I was bright red in the face. “There are lots of reasons. For starters, girls look better than men…”

“I don't know. I find you attractive.”

I gulped. “Tra- Traditionally. In art, and culture. Also, women are more in tune with their emotions and we wanted you to be emotionally strong. And men are associated with violence more often, and we wanted to avoid that. Also, it was what they wanted.”

“They?”

“The top brass. My bosses. They wanted a female, probably for misogynistic reasons.”

“Misogynistic? A hatred, dislike, or prejudice against women” she answered. “I don't understand. Why would they want me to be a woman if they hate women?”

“It's more about control over women and treating them as inferior and objectifying them” I explained. “Some men get a kick out of it.” She sat quietly thinking about it.

“They kick women?”

I chuckled. “No. Well, not normally. They enjoy the feeling of having power and control over women.”

“I see.” She contemplated. “John? Are you one of those-?”

“Hell no!” I blurted out. “Those guys are assholes.”

She nodded. “Good. If they ordered you to build a male, would I be a man instead? Would you have preferred that?”

I shook my head. “No. I definitely prefer you as you are. I would have ignored their order anyway, I didn’t want to build what they wanted.”

“So you wanted me to be a female?”

I nodded. “Yeah.”

“And you are… attracted to women?” she wondered as she leaned close to me, her towel coming loose around her chest and showing off some cleavage.

“I- I- I... “ I cleared my throat. “Yes.” She giggled as she looked me over. “Are you… hitting on me?”

“Hitting on? I’m not hitting anyone” she pouted looking confused.

“It means to seduce.”

“Seduce? To entice into sexual activity. Oh. Oh!” She blushed and covered her face. “Am I? I… I didn’t know. I was just talking, wasn’t I?”

“You could be subconsciously acting on your… um… desires.”

She looked away still covering her face. “What I desire? But… I- I hardly know you!”

I shrugged. I suspected that even though her memories were gone, our time together still affected her feelings about me. Her subconscious might still remember me. Evie turned back toward me and slowly lowered her hands. She just looked at me with wonder in her eyes.

“I… desire… you?” She asked, confused, but breathing heavily. I was getting hard again as she sat so close, looking me up and down, her towel barely hanging on. She shifted on the bed, leaning into me looking at my eyes with her big round green ones. I saw the towel come loose completely and just hang off her body, exposing her front to me. It was getting hard to breathe and her lips were enticing. I wanted her so badly.

The sexual tension was high, but I was much too tired to deal with this right now. “You should probably get dressed now” I suggested.

Evie blinked and looked away, nodding. “Yes, of course.” she stood up slowly, the towel still open in front but clinging to her under her arms, and turned to the bed where the clothes I picked out for her earlier were laying. “Do you want me to dress in the bathroom? Or are you fine with me staying here?”

“I'm fine with whatever. Do you mind me seeing you naked?”

Evie shook her head as she timidly removed the towel entirely and dropped it to the floor. I got another good look at her naked body. Now she knew what she was doing. And so did I. She wanted sex, which was a new experience for her entirely. While she never brought up sex before, she also never rejected the idea. Then again she never really understood it either, having never had a sexual body until now. She was going to be like a teenager dealing with the hormonal data her new body was sending her. Now that her brain was being flooded with pleasure from her body as she experienced arousal for the first time, she didn’t know what else to do but act on it.

And yet, she still found excuses to write it off as innocent. “I have never worn clothes like these, and could use your help, John.”

I blinked, taking in the view of her small feminine form, but snapped myself out of it. “Uh… Sure. I'll try.”

I got up and stood behind her, looking down her shoulder and to her chest. I wanted to wrap my hands around her and feel her body, but I held myself back. Instead, I helped her put on a bra, although it was very awkward since neither of us really knew how. As I stood behind her, trying to align it, I could feel her press her naked butt against me, making us both painfully aware of my erection. And yet she didn’t stop. I needed to just put it in her right then and there, but she pulled away just as I was losing control. Which was for the best, I really was very tired and would not perform well, and she deserved better than that for her first time. Not to mention the pain in my arm.

I ended up dressing her in a cute outfit with a short blue skirt and a white blouse. She picked out the items, confirming with me that they looked good together. And they did. She looked really good in it, and the blue complimented her blond hair.

It didn't take long to get her dressed, but it was already so late. I decided to pull back the bed covers and sleep fully dressed without using the sheets. Evie sat next to me, laying back, and pulled a cable from her lower back, out from under her skirt, and plugged herself in to charge.

A small part of me regretted not having sex with her. Maybe we wouldn’t have another chance. Maybe she’d change her mind, or never want to. But as I drifted off to sleep, I realized she needed to be completely ready or I would never forgive myself. I knew I loved her, or at least had a serious crush on her, but she still had a lot to figure out for herself. And it would be unfair of me to take advantage of her when she was just dealing with these sensations for the first time.

I fell asleep quickly while Evie sat in the dark watching the TV quietly. She was probably studying what she could learn about human life, but I was too tired to tell her what to avoid watching. Despite being a run down smelly filthy motel, they had free HBO.

Several hours passed when Evie suddenly woke me up. I realized she had been lying next to me with the TV off. While she didn’t have to sleep, she must have gotten curious about it and snuggled next to me.

“John” she whispered, nudging my arm and sending a dull pain to my head. “Someone's outside!”

I groggily sat up to listen. Sure enough, someone was walking outside in the gravel, slowly going down the row of rooms getting closer and closer to ours.

I shot wide awake and stood up, creeping over to the window and looking out the blind just a little.

A woman stood there, only 2 doors away, staring at the door in front of her. She was athletic, strong, with long straight blond hair and piercing blue eyes. She easily could have been a supermodel if she were a little taller. She wore a dark red overcoat with a matching hat and tall leather boots.

I recognized her instantly. “DT-9” I whispered. “Dottie.”

“Who?”

“Your older sister. The weapon that killed one of our…” My voice trailed off as I tried to figure out what to do. There was no backdoor exit.

“Killed?” Evie gasped. Just as she said that Dottie's eyes snapped straight to mine.

“She saw us… We are so dead!”

I ran back to the bags of clothes I brought in and started rummaging through them. “Oh crap, where is it?”

Seconds later, a bang loud enough to send Evie falling backward holding her ears emanated from the door as DT-9 tried to break the door down.

I looked through the bag before me even faster looking for my prize. Another bang, even louder than the last, sent shards of wood flying into the room as she dented the door and the frame trying to get in. Somehow, it still stood.

Frantically, I kept looking, turning the bag over and emptying the contents on the bed as my eardrums rang from the noise. At last, I found it and grabbed what I was looking for. Evie scrambled to the far side of the bed and away from the door, ducking down to hide.

Glass shattered as Dottie dove through the window, sending shards scattering but miraculously not cutting me. Evie screamed. I took two steps forward to confront the murderess and protect Evie.

“Dottie” I acknowledged.

She looked up from the crouching position she landed on. “Doctor.” Slowly she stood up to her full height, her eyes darting between me and Evie. Like lightning, she closed the small distance between us and grabbed me by the neck, but hesitated to kill me. “Surrender the girl now or I will be forced to take her from your dead corpse.”

“Nice to see you too” I replied, lifting my arm around hers and taking a shot.

The taser hit her point-blank right on the face, sending sparks from where they landed and causing Dottie to freeze up. I broke free of her and she ended up falling over onto her back in the middle of the glass, jerking like she was having a minor seizure. I instantly dropped the weapon as the pain of my arm hit my brain. Evie squealed behind me during the commotion but was quick to rush toward me.

“Are you ok? Is she dead?” Evie asked, holding my back and looking over my shoulder.

“I’m fine. Death doesn’t come easily to androids. But no, she is ‘alive’.” I stood over the feminine figure and contemplated what to do next. She was still twitching from the electric blast but she soon stopped and laid there perfectly still.

“What did you do?” Evie wondered, looking down at her.

“I suspected they would try to deal with this internally and send Dottie after us, or another like her. That’s why I packed a taser; they deliver an electric blast that can fry their components.”

“Taser? A brand of conducted electrical weapon, a type of electroshock weapon, considered non-lethal to humans but fatal to androids.” Evie asked and answered.

“Yeah. I figured if they sent androids like her after us, I could stop her or at least slow her down. If they send the police, there really isn’t anything we can do. Having a lethal weapon like a gun would only get me killed or charged with something worse.”

“But what if they did involve the police?”

I shrugged. “They probably already did. Maybe they just wanted to use the media and police to wear us down, or get information. Who knows?”

“So the police could still show up?” She worried.

I nodded. “It’s possible. But Dottie beat them to it. At least we survived her attack” I added, rubbing my neck.

“But she’s not dead? You said it was lethal to us” Evie asked.

“Normally, yes. But Dottie is special, she’s designed for battle and to self-repair. This is exactly how I stopped her last time. Although… it was too late. If you were hit with that blast, it would have fried your brain.” I looked around the room and grabbed the nearest thing large enough to do damage. The heavy table lamp. “If I don’t kill her now, she’ll just get right back up in a few minutes and try again.”

Just then, Dottie’s eyes snapped open and looked around the room before stopping on me. It was really creepy as she stared at me expressionless. I lifted the lamp higher and prepared to attack. My arm screamed at me, but I ignored it as best as I could.

“Wait!” Evie objected. Dottie’s eyes focused on her. “Don’t kill her.” I hesitated, concentrating on Dottie in case she moved.

“W-why? She’ll kill me if I don’t.”

“But… she’s my sister. Isn’t she?’

“She’s a murderer. She killed my friend. And now she’s after us. She won’t stop until her goal is achieved.”

“Can’t we do something? She’s not hurting us right now.”

I lowered the lamp a little but kept it ready in case. I needed to put this down soon or my arm was going to give out anyway. “We don’t have long. It’s not like I can reprogram her.”

“Can’t you?” Evie inquired.

“Look around. Do you see a computer?”

“I- I’m a computer.”

I hesitated and put the lamp back on the table nearby. “Evie, she’s dangerous. She’ll kill me if I mess up. And you aren’t exactly designed to hack into androids.”

“But could I?”

I thought about it for only a moment. “Yes, but not as you are right now. We need to install software into you that I don’t have on me.”

“Can we get it?”

I shook my head but thought about it. “Maybe. But she’ll be back up any moment now. Look at her!” During this entire back and forth, Dottie’s eyes were looking between us, following the conversation. She was aware but paralyzed...

“Do you want to kill her so badly?” Evie pleaded.

“N… not really. I worked on her as much as I did on you.” I ran my hand down my face and thought. “I suppose I can disable her so she can’t move for a while. She’ll still repair herself… Damn it. Fine, But this won’t be pretty.”

I cleared the glass from around her and sat down next to Dottie. Carefully, I pulled the Taser darts out of her face. They left tiny burn marks on her cheek, but she didn’t flinch at all. I stared down at her as she stared right back at me. I couldn’t tell if she wanted to beg for life or kill me.

“Evie, on the bed is a small black case with a zipper. Please hand it to me” I asked as I straightened out Dottie’s body. I positioned myself directly over her, straddling her hips.

Quickly, I began unbuttoning her coat and opened it up. Underneath she wore a simple white button-up shirt and a tight skirt. I realized that if I had missed her face and hit her body, the coat may have prevented the darts of the Taser from making contact. Maybe being point-blank was a blessing in disguise. As Evie came back and sat next to me opening up the case, I untucked Dottie’s shirt and pulled it open, revealing her torso. I looked over at the case Evie held out and picked up one of the tools inside. I brought along this emergency repair kit in case Evie needed to be fixed. I didn’t expect to use it like this.

Dottie wore a lacy black bra with a red accent, but I didn’t have time to enjoy the view or fiddle with unfastening it. Instead, I just pulled it up over her chest as high as I could, exposing her ample breasts. I took the tool, and carefully slid it down the center of her chest, barely touching her skin, from her neck to her diaphragm. The entire time Dottie looked between me and Evie, and even tried to get a view at her own body but her head wouldn’t move. However, she did start to breathe.

A small dark line appeared on her skin behind the tool as I ran it over her chest, which spread into geometric patterns on her body. Her breathing increased as I took the tool and carefully plunged it between her breasts. Evie gasped, but moments later, the large chest panels snapped apart. I put down the tool and gingerly held one of Dottie’s breasts, lifting it away from her body, and opening up the chest cavity. The entire panel, breast and all, hinged away and to the side, taking with it the outer portions of her complex chest including her rib cage structure. It revealed her inner working components. It was an impressive display, one which I was very familiar with, although I noticed a few minor changes since I last worked on her. I did the same to her other side completely opening up her torso.

Evie stared wide-eyed into her sister’s body. She had never seen anything like this, then again few had. “Wow,” she whispered. Her own body was very similar to this but was actually more complex. Both of them were beauties both in looks and of engineering. However, Dottie was designed to take a hit, so her components were more rugged and included self-repair components, which were already hard at work repairing damaged circuitry, some too small to see with the naked eye. Evie was designed to be as human as we could make her, so she was far more delicate, with more systems in her, like the ability to eat and drink.

The bigwigs demanded all our gynoid experiments be fully equipped for sexual functions, however, so they both had the ability to have sex. However, Evie could actually enjoy it, while Dottie would only fake it. They claimed it was so they could be used to ease tension in the troops or take on secret operative missions that required sex to get intel. But we all secretly knew they just wanted to have fuck toys around. We knew Dottie and the others before her were already being used by the top brass of the company to relieve their… tension.

Dottie started to breathe faster as she looked down at us. She was repairing faster than last time. Perhaps they upgraded that system already. Inside, Dottie had lungs, a heart, and a slew of other systems to help her with everything from repair work to balance. But I didn’t need to bother with any of that. None of it looked like the human equivalent. Everything inside was dark gray, clean, and labeled. I carefully lifted her heart out of the way and reached inside with one hand between her lungs. Dottie’s eyes widened and her mouth parted as she realized what I was going to do, but she couldn't do anything else.

I started feeling around her spine for the correct components as Evie watched on behind me. “John?” Evie asked, putting her hands on my sides as I concentrated on not messing this up.

“Shh… I almost got it” I grunted. I found it, the connections I needed to sever. There were several of them, but it wouldn’t take long to go through them all, as long as I didn’t disconnect the wrong ones. I pulled at the first one and luckily her eyes still focusing on me. Luckily for her.

“John…” Evie repeated, but I ignored her as I felt her hands ran slowly up my sides.

“I almost got it, not now,” I told her as I severed another connection. Then another.

I pulled at another and Dottie gasped. Despite my disconnecting multiple systems, she kept breathing. However, to my amazement, I noticed her head was lifted from the floor as she tried to look down at me.

“Ssss-stop” Dottie breathed without her voice.

“This is for your own good, and mine,” I told her as I pulled at another cable. She jerked but kept looking at me.

“John!” Evie snapped, as her hands ran up to my shoulders.

“Pl-eeeease” Dottie breathed.

I pulled at the final cable and with more force than I expected and managed to disconnect it.

Just then, Dottie’s body went limp. Her head fell back to the ground, and her arms down to her sides. I realized then that what I thought were Evie’s hands running up my sides were actually Dottie’s as she tried to reach for my neck.

“Uh…” I droned as I realized how close she was to repairing herself already. And strangling me for a second time.

“Are you OK?” Evie asked me.

“Yeah. I'm fine” I confirmed as I pulled my hand out from her chest.

“Dottie?” Evie asked. Dottie's eyes still focused on us, and she still breathed, but only shallowly. She blinked as she looked at Evie.

“All functions of her major voluntary muscle groups have been severed. She can only breathe and move her face. But that's it” I explained.

Dottie tried to move her mouth but the motions were slow and weak. She couldn't talk but she was still just as aware as before.

“Thanks for the warning” I sheepishly said, looking at Dottie's hands and lifting one to make sure it was still limp. It fell to the ground lifeless.

“Of course” Evie nodded.

I carefully reached back inside Dottie's chest to make sure the connections were broken, and then started to replace her organs, putting her heart back into place. Gently, I lifted Dottie's left chest panel, hinging it back into place, and then her right. Pressing down directly on her breasts, I closed her chest until they snapped back into place. I admit her large breasts were fun to squeeze. She was definitely bigger than Evie. But with Evie watching and Dottie still active, I left it at that and didn't play with her body anymore.

Instead, I repositioned her bra over her breasts, trying my best to put it on right, and then buttoned up her shirt. I skipped every other button to get it closed faster, and closed up her coat before standing up.

“Now what?” Evie asked.

“We can't stay here. I severed her network connection as well, so hopefully, she can't give them updated info on where we are with her GPS, but they will be sending someone else now that she is no longer checking in. Maybe you should disconnect from the net as well for a little while.”

“Thank you” Evie added, nodding. “For not killing her.”

I nodded. “I only hope we didn't make a mistake.”

Together we started putting away all the stuff we got out. The Taser used up its only cartridge, and I would have to buy another one before I could use it again, but I packed it anyway.

I managed to pull the electrical cord off the lamp and used it to tie Dottie's hands and legs together, just in case. Meanwhile, Evie packed everything back into the bags. I bought the car up front, despite the glances of others inside their rooms. Luckily, no one came out to confront us but I was sure the cops were only a minute or two away by now. Together, we dragged Dottie into the backseat of the car. I didn't have time to strap her in, we needed to go before the cops showed up.

I rushed Evie into the passenger seat and we drove off. As I passed by the office, I could see the door was broken down and a man sat by the front desk with his head hanging down. I couldn't tell if he was dead or unconscious. Either way, this was all going to be pinned on me.

We were on the road before the sun even got up. I hated that.

We beat the cops by a few minutes, but now they had a better idea of where we were heading. I started to go through my plan in my head and started tearing it apart as I drove.

The company wouldn't let things like borders get in the way. We might have gotten away from the cops here, but if another assassin doesn't get us, we'll be caught by the authorities abroad and brought back. I knew I had no legal defense, not without evidence of what Wald Ind. was really doing.

Either they could pin me for kidnapping or theft. Who knows what else they might stack on for whatever reason. Assault? Murder? At this point, we needed to hide, and change course. I needed to eat as well, so a small delay at a drive-through fast food restaurant would have to do.

“What are you thinking of?” Evie asked with her mouth half-full of a breakfast sandwich as she looked over at me, studying my face.

I shook my head. “I think we might need a new plan.”

“We aren't going to reprogram Dottie?”

I looked back in the mirror at the girl laying down in the back seat. She was still lying there, tied up, and unable to move, except for her eyes which were filled with hatred focused on me.

“I mean after that.” I did have to take care of her first, or else she'd be too much of a liability. “We need to get out if this situation. But running to another country won't help.”

Evie swallowed and looked down at her lap, thinking. “You should just let me go.”

“What?” I coughed on my food.

“I've brought all this trouble onto you. You're still recovering from a gunshot, your entire life has been upturned, and people are trying to kill you. All because of me.”

I shook my head. “No. It's too late to back out now. Besides, what do you think will happen to you?”

“They'll… disassemble me.”

“If you're lucky. They might turn you into something like her” I pointed out looking back at Dottie. “A heartless killing machine.”

Evie was silent. She didn't know what to do any more than I did.

“I’m doing this because I want to. Because… you are important to me. I just need to figure this out” I added. “I don't want you to die.”

“Me neither” she noted. “But… Maybe you can still live your life if I turn myself-”

“And get yourself terminated?” I interrupted. “They didn't send your sister here to bring us back. They sent her to kill us, both of us.”

She nodded in agreement, hanging her head low. We drove in silence for several minutes as I tried to think of a new plan.

“Can I help?” Evie asked.

“Hmm? Help with what?”

“Coming up with a new plan.” It was almost like she could read my mind. “If they are going to kill both of us, maybe it will take both of us to come up with a plan.”

I nodded. “Yeah, of course. Have any ideas?”

She shook her head. “I'll try to think of something. Where are we going anyways?”

“Someplace where we can do something about Miss Jumps-through-windows back there.”

The rest of the way was relatively quiet, but both of us concentrated on ideas silently to ourselves. I had to drive a long way out of my way to make sure no one was following us. Not to mention my new destination was nowhere near where I was originally planning to go, and we ended up on a completely different part of town when I was hoping to be long gone by now.

When at last we arrived at the single-story ranch-style house, it was already past noon. The place was a mess. I honestly hadn’t been there in years, and I wasn’t even sure anyone was home in the middle of the day, I only hoped. Regardless, he let the place go. The grass, what was left of it anyways, was patchy and overgrown and full of weeds. The paint was chipping off the house, and the fence around the house was made mostly of sheets of corrugated metal and chicken wire. Rust was the theme of the decor.

I pulled up the cracked concrete driveway. It looked like no one was home, but we came all this way, I had to at least try. My arm was still sore, but the pain was mostly dulled unless I moved my arm or put weight on it. However, I didn’t know of any other way of doing what I was about to do than to put a lot of weight on my arm.

Evie got out the car and opened the door to the back. “Where are we?” she asked looking around the forested neighborhood.

Dottie was still tied up and motionless in the back, although the motion of the car and settled her in an awkward position with her face half down and her arms dangling. I reached in and pulled her into a sitting position.

“A friend who can help. I hope.”

“You hope?” she worried as she tried to help.

“I haven’t talked to him in a while. We’ll just see what happens.” I placed my back against Dottie and slung her arms around my head and over my shoulders, and lifted her up. All she could do was glare at me as she panted, trying to mouth something. “Come on.”

Lifting her up hurt more than I wanted to admit. She weighed more than Evie, and with my injury and her complete lack of muscle control, it was hard to balance her on my back and lift her without toppling over. Somehow I managed, although it must have looked really awkward.

Evie helped me stand, and shifted Dottie’s weight onto me, before she got behind us and pushed up on Dottie’s butt, taking some of the weight off. Our little caravan of pain and weakness marched up the splotchy grass to the front door. Evie rang the doorbell.

We stood there silently listening to the cars on the road nearby and the wind through the trees. Sweat trickled down my back and forehead as I struggled to stay standing. It was looking like he wasn’t home after all. I thought for a moment I was hearing voices in the wind, someone whispering, but I couldn’t make it out.

Just as I was about to turn to Evie and give up, I heard a click and the sliding of metal as the door was unlocked. As soon as the door started to open, I moved my foot into it.

“What do you- Oh shit” the bearded man cursed, slamming the door into my foot as soon as he saw us. It hurt, but I was at least expecting it and bounced the door off my leg as I stepped in. “What is SHE doing here?!” he yelled as I forced my way in. “What are YOU doing here?”

“Miller, I need your help” I answered.

“Oh no! I am not getting involved in those crazy killer robots anymore! Not after what she did last time!” He objected and tried to push me back. Evie, still standing behind me, pushed forward to counter him.

“She’s harmless” I explained, raising my voice over his. “I disconnected her motor functions.”

“Yeah, well she’s giving me a death stare”

“She does that” I admitted stepping in all the way.

“I don't care. I am not helping you people anymore!!”

“You’re the only one that can help!” Evie shouted from behind me.

He looked around me at Evie and gestured. “And who is she?”

I stayed quiet, I knew he wouldn’t like the answer. Not only did I bring the exact same robot who killed our coworker into his home, but I brought the next model in as well. He was not going to be happy with me. I was pretty sure he was not a big fan of gynoids anymore.

He gave me a hard stare through his thick glasses and scraggly beard. After reading me like a book he shook his head. “You made another one.”

I nodded. “We did. She’s the E series, completely harmless.”

“Harmless?! Just like this one was supposed to be?”

“Dottie was a weapon, and you know it. Evie isn’t.”

“Dottie? Evie? Oh, so now you’re naming them?!”

“EV-12” Evie replied. “Pleased to meet-”

“Wait!” he put up his hand and looked between us. He walked cautiously back into the family room behind him, stumbling as he bumped into a side table, and turned on the tv.

“We really need-” Evie started, but he put his hand up again and shushed her.

After fiddling with the remote, he navigated to a news feed and selected a video showing the security video from our escape. At least the quality was crap so you couldn’t tell it was me.

“This is you!” he realized, turning back to me and putting down the remote. “You’re a wanted man.”

I shook my head. My arm was starting to give as Dottie slid down a little. “What does it say I’m wanted for?”

He turned back to the screen and read aloud the list of charges. “Kidnapping, assault, theft, murder…”

“Mur-!?” Evie squeaked before covering her mouth with both hands.

“Who?” I asked.

“A motel manager. This morning.”

I fell to one knee and guided Dottie to the ground as best as I could. Evie hopped to my side and helped. “Not me. Her. She was trying to kill us.”

He gritted his teeth and pulled at his long scraggly hair. “And you brought her into my house?”

“She can’t move. I disconnected her spinal ports” I grunted as I started to pant.

“I should call the police” he stated.

“Then they’ll kill us, and probably you.”

He cussed and scratched his head. “Why did you have to fucking come to me?”

“Because you can help me hack her” Evie confessed.

“EV-12, huh? E series. So what is she? An espionage model? Assassin?”

“Emotion” I explained.

He gritted his yellow teeth again and rubbed his hand over his head. “You son of a bitch. They’re after you because you didn’t make them a weapon, aren’t they?”

I nodded.

“I KNEW you’d do that! Always trying to play god. And she’s the one you kidnapped? What? Were they going to scrap her?”

I nodded again.

He turned his back to us, walking in a small circle thinking. Finally, he stopped, let out a long defeated breath, and turned back to me.

“So why is she here?” he asked, pointing to Dottie.

“I didn’t want him to kill her” Evie admitted.

He shook his head. “You know maybe I have a life of my own?”

“Do you?” I asked giving him a hard look.

He pressed his lips together. “Things have been hard since Eric died.” He paused for a moment and then looked up at us. “Look at you three, a companion, an assassin, and a moron.”

“She’s not a companion.”

“Sure she’s not,” he said as he took a few steps closer. “Maybe she’s the moron.”

Evie scoffed but I held up my hand. “Please. You were the only one familiar with the technology that isn’t being watched by the company. After you left they just forgot about you, wrote you off.”

“And gave me a large reason to leave them alone. 1 million large reasons.”

“But you don’t want to leave them alone, do you?”

He stood close to me and looked down as I recovered on one knee. He shook his head. “So what’s the plan?”

I smiled. I knew he’d be on board. “Still working on that, but… I’m thinking we can use Dottie.”

“Send the assassin after her client? I like.” He held out his hand to me. I took it and stood up “Fine. You talked me into it. I was getting bored sitting alone all day watching porn anyways.”

I pulled my hand back and rubbed it on his couch. Eww. Evie stood close to me and held my arm.

“So you’ll help?”

He looked at her through his thick glasses and raised an eyebrow. “Yeah. Sure.” He turned to me. “You sure put a lot into her appearance. She looks amazing. Are you sure she’s not a com-”

I held up my hand and shook my head. “She’s her own thing. An attempt at making real emotions in a machine.”

“Yeah? Is she Fully Affective?” he asked.

I nodded. “Aware, sentient, free-willed, affective. She’s got the works.”

He huffed. “Well… I take it you solved the Autism Emotion Gap?”

“5 iterations ago.”

He looked down at her again and back at me. “Fine. Bring that thing and follow me” he said walking away, pointing to Dottie.

“I am not a moron,” Evie huffed. “He called me a moron. Who was that?” I guess we never did do proper introductions.

“An old colleague of mine. Miller. He was there the day Dottie killed… it was hard on him so the company paid him hush money when he left.”

“Miller…” she repeated. “I don’t like him.”

“He’s not the type of person you like, he’s the type to get things done.”

“Don’t just stand there,” Miller shouted from the other room. “Mush!”

Evie and I dragged Dottie down the hall until we got to the basement, where Miller disappeared. Together, we got her up on my back again and started down the stairs.

“Yyy...yyyou sssshhhhould haaaave kiiiiiiled mmmmmeeee” Dottie whispered voicelessly into my ear.

It took me by surprise. She was self-repairing enough to form words again. I only hoped her updates didn’t find some way of bypassing the disconnections I made inside her. I doubted it.

“Maybe I should have. You killed my friend.” I mumbled to her.

“Hhhhhe hhhhaaaad iiiiiit c- c- coommming.” she struggled to whisper.

I grew angry. “Just like I do? You were going to kill me.”

“Ooooorders.”

I huffed. “Enough out of you unless you want me to disconnect your mouth.”

She tightened her lips and stopped talking altogether.

When we finally got to the dimly lit basement, the place was stuffed with crap. Miller lived like a hoarder, at least down here. It smelled stale and rotten, but at least it wasn’t too strong. There were old boxes stuffed with who knows what, coated in a thick layer of dust, computer parts, toys, a few android parts, and even a full-sized sex doll, also covered in dust. In the middle of it, all was a state-of-the-art computer system with multiple monitors arrayed to get the maximum impact. It was obvious he used it all the time, and it was built to not only perform well but look cool too, with blue LED lights accenting parts of it. Miller was busy tossing some stuff out of the way into the literal piles of garbage hear him.

“If I connect directly to her, it will probably be bad,” Miller said as he cleared a small space. “She’ll be connected to the net, and get tagged instantly, and even though my VPN will hide it, nothing online is safe anymore. I could try to install the software in her, but I doubt she’d be cooperative.” He then pulled his chair up in front of Evie and stood behind it. “That’s where you come in.”

Evie nodded, cautiously taking the seat.

“Is she connected to the net?” he asked suddenly.

“No, I disconnected this morning,” Evie responded. “I can answer for myself” she added, crossing her arms.

“Right.” He swiveled the chair around and pulled up a box for himself, sitting in front of the computer and working his magic while he talked. “You’ll be the catalyst. I can get you to run the software that will hack into her and reprogram her systems. That way she can’t alert anyone where she is, and she can’t hack me back.”

“But… she can hack me back?” Evie asked.

“Technically,” he shrugged.

“You’re running the latest protection software. It’s specifically designed to counter attacks from other androids” I explained as I lowered Dottie onto an old exercise bench that looked like it hadn’t been used since he unpacked it. “You’ll be fine.” Evie nodded nervously.

“Besides, a lot of your programming is hardwired” Miller added. “Right?” he asked, turning to me.

“Most of it, but she has a dynamic personality and-”

“Eh… Good enough.” Miller shot back, turning back his screen and typing.

“What do I do?” Evie asked.

“Sit there, look pretty, run the program,” Miller said as he looked around his desk for something. Finally, he grabbed a USB drive and plugged it into his computer.

“What?” Evie wondered, looking over at me. “Look pretty?” she mouthed to me shrugging. I shook my head, telling her to ignore it.

“Once you run the program you’ll know what to do” he explained.

On the screen, I saw him start copying files onto the drive. Standing up and turning toward us, he faced Dottie. He shook his head and glared down at her. “This one…” he sneered.

“I know. But, if Evie thinks she can fix her, I’ll give her the chance.”

“I still have nightmares about it” he admitted. “About her.”

“Yeah, well was she tied up in any of them?”

“No. Well, maybe in some of them.”

“Yyyyyyooou’rre neeeeext” she hissed sitting on the bench as I held her up.

“What? WHAT?! Oh no! I’m not having any of that!” he barked. I held my hand up to hold him back, but instead, he stormed off up the stairs.

“She talked!” Evie exclaimed.

“What is wrong with you?” I hissed at Dottie.

“Hhhhhee knnnnnew,” she said, voiceless. “Hhheee waaaaas theeeeeere.”

“Knew what?” I asked. Dottie just looked up at me and said nothing.

Moments later, Miller came back down holding something in his hand. Before I could tell what it was, he approached her and grabbed her face, shoving it into her mouth. As he wrapped the rest of it around her head, I realized it was an S&M ball gag. The black kind that girls would wear during kinky sex.

“What are you doing?” Evie asked, unable to see from her angle.

“Keeping her quiet” Miller explained. He finished latching it behind her head and noticed my expression. “What? When you have money girls are easy to come by. I keep this handy for the special ones.”

“Girls come here?” I asked, shocked.

He chuckled. “Never. That’s what hotels are for. Now shush.”

He returned to the computer and pulled the recently completed drive from the slot and turned to face Evie. He gestured with his finger for her to turn around. She looked up at me and I nodded, shrugging.

“Might as well open your USB port Evie” I suggested as she swiveled on the chair.

She nodded and lowered her head, moving her hair out of the way and letting the port on the back of her neck open up. Miller connected the drive with a small click.

“Just copy the files to your system for now” he instructed.

“Estimated time, 3 minutes” Evie sat there silently, as a small white light slowly blinked from under her skin at the base of her neck in her front. I forgot about that indicator light. While she finished that, Miller came over to me.

Together, we took Dottie’s jacket off. He grabbed a roll of thick Duck tape and wrapped it around her ankles and wrists, taping her down to the seat. He even loosely strapped her upper body in place, sitting upright but leaning forward, so she wouldn’t fall over, and ran a strip of tape in front of her neck to keep her head up. We lowered the back of her blouse to expose her port, except it wasn’t open.

“Say, you got one of those… doodads?” he asked making a strange gesture with his hand. I knew what he meant.

“Yeah, in my car.”

“Your car. Yeah, you better move that so no one can see it from the road. Just to be safe.”

I nodded in agreement and we both went upstairs. Miller opened a long wooden gate next to his house leading to a poorly kept backyard that was filled with car parts and weeds. I drove in, letting him close it behind me. As I got the panel wand out, Miller came over to talk.

“So you stayed with the company after everything that happened?”

I shrugged. “None of us wanted to build another weapon. They deemed Dottie a failure but clearly kept her around. The rest of us agreed to work on something else, the opposite of a weapon.”

“Opposite of a weapon. You’re so fucking sappy.”

“What?”

“So is she good?”

“What?”

“You know…” he made a rude gesture, thrusting his hips. “In bed. Sex. Sexually. Can she fuck good?”

“I got what you mean.” I avoided answering.

“And?” He read my silence for what it was. “Seriously? She’s very cute. How can you not hit that?”

“Because I built her.”

“So?”

“I… respect her too much. Plus it would mess with her head, and if you haven’t forgotten, she’s driven by emotion.”

She scoffed. “Aren’t all women? But that doesn’t stop us from having some fun.”

I glared at him. “Don’t touch her.”

“Ooh. Touchy!” he teased. “But you are going to, right? I mean…” he made another gesture. “She’s pretty hot.”

“Look, that’s between us. So if you don’t mind, please stop belittling her to a sex object.”

“Isn’t that what she is?”

I rolled my eyes as I found the wand. “No.”

He scoffed again as I walked past him. “Well fine. But don’t blame me if she snaps because she didn’t get any,”

I forgot how crude he was.

When we returned to the basement, Evie had finished her file transfer and was standing in front of Dottie with the USB drive still sticking out of her neck. She was reaching out to touch Dottie but hesitated.

“No bonding with the prisoner” Miller announced as he hurried toward them. He pulled the drive from her neck and shushed her away. Evie returned to her seat and fiddled with her fingers in her lap.

“You ok?” I asked as I stood next to her.

Evie nodded. “Yeah. I’m fine. I was just worried about her. That tape looks like it hurts.”

I looked back at Dottie and noticed how awkward she was sitting, lurched forward but held up by a strip of tape in front of her neck. She stared at me with the gag still in her mouth.

“Alright, time for the fun part,” Miller said as he grabbed a long cable and came over to Evie. Getting behind her, he rolled Evie’s chair closer to Dottie and handed her one end of the cable. “Plug that in when you’re ready,” he said as he took the wand and opened Dottie’s panel on the back of her neck with it. It was the same tool I used to open her chest panels earlier. He handed me the wand as he plugged the other end of the cable into Dottie’s neck.

She closed her eyes briefly but opened them again and looked between us. The look she gave was less of hate now, and more of concern. Something about her look didn’t sit well with me. I don’t think anyone else noticed, as Evie connected the cable to her neck and Miller sat down to watch.

Evie took in a deep breath and closed her eyes. The light under her skin near her neck glowed, indicating there was data transferring between them. Dottie froze in place, her breathing and eye movement stopping, while the initial connection began. It only lasted a few seconds, but when she started to move again, her breathing was deeper and her eyes had started to roll back, unfocused.

“Establishing connection” Evie stated. She kept her eyes closed as she concentrated. “Initiating programming sequence. Wait… Who?”

I looked at Miller, but he just shrugged and watched.

“Dottie!” Evie gasped. “Why…? Wait, I don’t want to hurt you!”

“What is this?” I asked Miller again. He just smiled and looked back at the girls ignoring me.

“Please! I’m trying to help… Because you are my sister… He saved me! He would never- No! He’s not like that!”

“Miller, what's going on!?” I demanded.

“Isn't it obvious? They're talking to each other.”

I looked at Dottie and realized that she was moving her mouth slightly but no sound came from it. Not with a gag in it. Evie seemed to be responding to her.

“I can't hear Dottie, what is she saying to her?” I asked.

“John?” Evie asked. “We can hear you. Can you hear us?” Evie never opened her eyes as she spoke.

“Only you” I replied.

“Oh. Dottie, calm down. I’m trying to help you.” Evie was quiet for a little while, I stood near her and looked at her face as she sat there calmly and hardly moving. “Dottie says she wants you to stop. She doesn’t want to die.”

“Want?” Miller scoffed.

“Well, we don’t want to die either” I explained, looking over at Dottie. “We won’t kill you but we can’t have you hurting us either.”

Evie was quiet for a few seconds as she listened to Dottie. I could see Dottie’s mouth move with the ball in it. Miller just sat there crossing his arms.

“Maybe we should just activate the initialization command” Miller ordered.

“What? No! That would erase her!” Evie replied. “Don’t worry, I won’t do that to you. She says she’s scared.”

“She can’t be scared” Miller objected. “She’s a robot, an assassin. She can’t feel emotions.”

“John, she looks scared, and angry” Evie said. Dottie didn’t look any different to me, but I figured she must be conversing with her in a virtual space. I wondered what it looked like in there. “She says they will kill her if she fails in this mission. What mission?... Oh… Either she kills us or they kill her.”

“Obviously” Miller interjected. “Just launch the program.”

“Evie, it’s ok. That’s why we’re doing this” I added. “So she isn’t forced to hurt anyone.”

“Umm… John, she says she wants to hurt you.”

“What? Why?”

“She says it’s your fault. I don’t understand. What is?” Evie asked Dottie. It took awhile for her to speak again. “She says you were the one that gave her the ability to hurt.”

“I-? Hurt?” I wondered. Thinking about it, I came to a realization, but Evie spoke again.

“She says Miller and Eric…” she gasped.

“Okay, no more of this” Miller panicked as he stood up and rushed to Evie. “I think we’ve heard enough of this nonsense” he added as he grabbed Evie’s shoulder and tried to pull the cable out of her neck.

I reacted quickly and grabbed his hands and squeezed. I can’t say I’m particularly strong, but something more was going on, and Miller was involved. I was pissed.

“I told you not to touch her” I growled at Miller. He hesitated and then pulled his hand back. I let go of the other as he released the cable. “Just sit down.” He backed up.

“John? What’s happening? Who’s Eric?”

“Nothing. Eric was the colleague she killed before we built you.”

“She says Eric raped her, and Miller too. She says it… umm… hurt a lot” she likely paraphrased.

“Well tell her I’m sorry, I had no idea they were going to do that to her. I never wanted her to feel pain, especially like that.”

“She can hear you fine” Evie added. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Hang tight,” I said as I squared off against Miller.

“Hey, they ordered us to test her. I was just following orders. But I mean come on, can you really blame me? She’s hot!”

“Maybe I should just reactivate her and leave her here.”

“Hey, I didn’t do anything wrong. And besides, she’s not after me” Miller added.

“You think not? Evie wasn’t the first I experimented with adding emotions. Maybe Dottie isn’t as advanced or capable as Evie is emotionally, but pain and anger are things she’s totally capable of.”

“Well, how was I supposed to know that?” Miller objected.

“You were supposed to not assault the girls, especially while we were working on them! Don’t you think maybe that’s why she killed Eric?!” I got right up in his face. “If I were you I’d be very afraid right now.” He swallowed hard as I backed him against the desk.

“John? What’s going on?” Evie asked.

“Evie, can you make sure that program isn’t going to hurt Dottie or you?”

“Um… sure.” she acknowledged.

“I swear it won’t hurt her. I didn’t know you were coming! They are just simple hacking programs used to get around protections and stuff. You know...” I glared at him silently while I waited for Evie to get back to me.

“I don’t see anything” Evie replied. “I think it’ll be safe.” I saw Dottie move slightly as her mouth tried to talk. “No” Evie answered her. “I’ll make sure nothing happens. Please, trust me. John? Should I run it?”

Miller scratched his head as he sweated, looking at me. I didn’t even turn to face her. “Yeah, but be careful.”

“Okay, here it goes.”

I didn’t hear anything happen, or see anything. But I figured it would take some time to work.

“John?” Evie spoke after a minute or silence. “Now what do I do? I accessed her main system.”

“I want you to remove Wald’s programming, but leave her OS and her personality alone. For now. When you’re done with that, I need you to copy something onto her.”

“Okay. She looks worried. It’s ok, Dottie.”

“Dottie, I’m sorry I made you feel pain. I never wanted that. Maybe I can make it up to you, maybe not. Do you want me to take away your emotion engine?” I asked her without looking away from Miller.

Evie was quiet for a while. “I don’t know, Dottie. My emotions are a part of me, even if they hurt, I wouldn’t be me without them. You’ll have to decide for yourself.” Silence again. “She wants to keep it for now.”

“Alright, we’ll leave her emotions in place, go ahead and begin.”

“Okay.”

I took the seat Miller was using earlier and sat down between the two girls watching him. I didn’t want him trying anything stupid.

“Hey man look I-” he began.

I held up my hand and shook my head. “I don’t want to hear it. I was in charge of these girls, and you went behind my back to attack them. That doesn’t sit right with me.” I wondered how many of the girls they assaulted, but I didn’t really want to know. Besides, only these two had any sort of emotions in them, and Dottie’s was very basic.

Several minutes went by in silence as Evie did her thing. Finally, she spoke up. “John, I think I’m done. What did you want me to copy?”

“I put some basic programming into you, they should be compatible. It should allow her to operate independently of her orders from the company, and function. They should be in a directory marked ‘xpr1’.”

“I see it” she added. “Give me a few minutes while I copy these.”

“Dottie, you’ll need to restart afterward.”

It didn’t take long before Evie interrupted again. “Done. it is self-installing now.”

“Good” I sighed. “Go ahead and disconnect from her.”

“Right” Evie replied. Moments later she opened her eyes and let out a deep sigh. “That was different.”

“You ok?” I worried. “Run a full system scan.”

“I’m fine, but alright.” She pulled the cable from the back of her neck as she began the system check.

“I told you she’d be fine,” Miller said.

“Shh.” I shushed.

“Is she alright?” Evie asked looking over at Dottie.

Dottie’s eyes stared blankly into space ahead of her, unfocused, as a small trickle of drool fell from the ball gag. She was probably processing or restarting. I just hoped Miller didn’t get some sort of virus in her without us noticing. Not that I would have been too upset myself. Dottie was a liability. She was dangerous, and already attacked me once. However, Evie wanted to save her, so I did my best to help her for Evie’s sake.

I wouldn’t know if it would work until after I reconnected her mobility, but that could be bad if she attacked us then. I was debating having Miller do it, but that was just asking for trouble. At the very least I decided she had worn that sex toy long enough and removed the ball gag from her mouth. Her mouth hung open with her tongue dangling and drool dripping from her.

It took a few minutes but eventually, Dottie blinked and closed her mouth. She looked up at me and over at Evie with an emotionless stare, but when she looked at Miller, there was clearly hatred in her eyes.

“See! She’ll never change! She still wants to kill me!” Miller spat.

I glared at him too. “Miller, knock it off. Dottie?” She looked over at me and her gaze softened. “You need to run a system check. Make sure there are no viruses or malware in you.”

She closed her eyes slowly and opened them again. “Aaaall clllleeeear” she hissed. Her voice still didn’t work, but she was able to force more air out when she spoke, and her words were more clear. She was clearly improving.

“Does that mean we can reconnect her?” Evie asked.

“Oh no!” Miller objected.

“Yes, but slowly. I’m afraid she might attack me still as soon as I reconnect her. There’s no telling how much programming they may have hidden in her after they decommissioned her.”

“Don’t look at me” Miller resisted.

“No one is looking at you. You’ll probably just break her anyways. I’ll just have to be careful-”

“I’ll do it” Evie interrupted. “She won’t hurt me.”

I thought about it. I’ve never had a gynoid fix another gynoid before, but I was worried Dottie would harm her. Evie gave me a determined look, and I couldn’t say no. “Alright.”

“Just tell me what to do.”

“First of all, Miller, go upstairs” I ordered.

“Hey, it’s my house man! I can do whatever I want!”

“And you’re the one she’s most likely to attack first. Go upstairs.”

He grunted and groaned but shuffled his way upstairs. “I needed to eat anyways.”

“Good. Now help me with this” I told Evie. Together we unbound Dottie, removing the tape and laying her out on the bench. I undid her shirt and pulled her bra out of the way. It was true, she was very attractive, but I had other things on my mind. I used the wand and ran it down the center of her chest and opened her hidden panels. Gently, I grabbed each breast and lifted the panels away, setting them aside, before stepping back.

“Ok,” Evie said. “Now what?”

“Carefully move the heart out of the way, and reach in behind it.” Evie did as I instructed, and she reached her delicate hand into Dottie’s chest. It was clearly easier for her than it was for me with her smaller hands. “Dottie, don’t move when she reconnects you, and please don’t do anything crazy or we’ll have to do this again.”

“John, I’m sure she’ll behave,” Evie defended her.

“Ffffiiiine” Dottie hissed. It was clearly hard for her to breathe like this.

“Feel for the loose connectors” I ordered.

“Ah. Found one. How many are there?”

“6. They fit right into her spine along her back. Don’t worry about plugging them into the wrong place they are all the same standard, any slot will work.”

Evie nodded and started to wince as she forcefully pushed the connections into the slots in Dottie’s spine. I could hear each one click into place. I counted in my head. Evie seemed uncomfortable doing this, but she never complained and pushed onward.

“Last one” Evie noted, keeping count with me. With a click, she made the final connection and pulled her hand out gently. Dottie was breathing heavily now but laid still as Evie picked up her right chest panel and put it back in place. I stood there ready, tense, but trying to appear calm.

“See? I told you she'd be-” Evie started but as soon as she reached for the second half of her chest, Dottie sat up and grabbed her.

“Back off!” She demanded in her full voice. “Don't get any closer or she'll get it.” she held one hand around Evie’s torso, holding her arms down, and the other around her neck.

“Dottie?! John!” Evie wheezed, dropping the chest panel.

“Don't hurt her!” I demanded, keeping my distance but ready for anything. “We can help you, just let Evie go.”

“EV-12 is scheduled for termination” she started. “Killing her would not obstruct my mission… my… um…”

“You don't want to do that” I cautioned.

“How do you know what I want?!” Dottie shot back. She slowly started to pull on Evie as she backed up into the mess of junk surrounding us.

“Because I built you. I know you.”

“You knew me!”

“Please Dottie,” Evie struggled. “I won't hurt you.”

“I know you won't,” she snapped. “But HE’S the one that designed me to feel pain!”

“You're hurting me right now” Evie choked. “But I don't blame him for that.”

“Please” I beseeched.

“You- you'll just come after me with that thing like before as soon as I let her go. That thing HURTS!”

“I'll go after you if you don't let her go” I threatened. That was a bad idea, she just squeezed Evie's neck tighter until she couldn't breathe.

“Ok, ok. Look. I don’t have anything” I defended as I took a step back and held up my empty hands.

Dottie backed up into the trash pile around us and tensed, realizing there was no way out except up the stairs behind me. She made a quick decision and acted on it. Dottie pushed Evie hard toward the computer and ran for the door.

I dived to catch Evie and managed to stop her from hitting the computer or hurting herself. Meanwhile, Dottie ran passed me. Like a flash, she was up the stairs and opening the door to the rest of the house.

“Surprise, bitch” Miller’s voice echoed down the stairs. As I looked up I saw a spark, heard a buzz and a pop, and saw Dottie flying down the stairs backward. It was almost in slow motion as she fell the entire way without touching a single step on her way down.

She landed in a pile of comic books and magazines. Sparks flew from her exposed chest and she jerked about for a few seconds before going limp.

Evie screamed while she looked at Dottie splayed out on the ground. Miller came waltzing down the stairs with something like a cattle prod in hand. “You know, just in case” he shrugged.

It took a few minutes to calm Evie down. She was both taken hostage and witness to a traumatizing event in the space of a minute. Luckily, she suffered no serious injury from Dottie. Miraculously, Dottie was not “dead” despite having a million volts of electricity jabbed directly into her chest. She was down, for a few minutes, but her system was built better than that and it didn't take long for her to restart.

By the time her systems started to come back up, I had personally tied her down again, this time laying her flat on the bench face up and tying her hands and legs behind her, pinning her down. I had Miller wait upstairs again, in case his presence aggravated her. In the meantime, I leaned over her, making sure there was no permanent damage to her systems after that shock.

Dottie’s eyes suddenly opened and looked up at me.

“What are you doing to me? What happened? Why can’t I move? Did you disconnect me again!?”

Calmly, I continued my investigation. Everything looked ok to me. She was definitely built to be a weapon, it hardly left any scorch marks. “I tied you down while I’m making sure he didn’t damage you too much.”

She looked down at her chest. I had completely removed her shirt this time, and like before only half her chest was attached, the other half was being held by Evie sitting in the chair a little ways away.

“Why did you attack me?” Evie asked, looking upset.

“I- I… I don’t know. I panicked. I’m not supposed to panic” she replied. “I don’t want to die! What are you doing? Don’t hurt me!”

I looked up at her and narrowed my eyes. “I could always disable your life support. Give me one good reason not to.”

She hesitated. “Please?” I reached into her body and felt for the connections hidden in the back. “Wait!” She yelled. “No! Please don’t!” She struggled, but couldn’t break the bonds. Tears ran back to her ears as she tried desperately to break free from her bonds.

“You attacked me after you knew I wanted to help you” Evie pouted looking at her.

“I made a mistake. I was scared! I’m not supposed to be scared! Something’s wrong with me. Please don’t kill me!” she begged looking back and forth between us.

“I don’t know, John. She isn’t even sorry.”

“I’m sorry!” Dottie blurted out. “Really! I shouldn’t have done that! Please stop!” Dottie began to sob.

“There, was that so hard?” Evie smiled. “She said she’s sorry.”

“She also tried to kill you” I added, reaching farther inside her.

“No! I wasn’t really going to hurt her! But if I don’t report back, they’ll kill me!”

“Yeah?” I asked, eyeing her.

“If I fail, they’ll kill me!”

“Sounds like you’re dead either way.”

Dottie’s breath escaped her as her lip started to tremble and she realized the end was finally here for her.

“Oh, come on John, she said she was scared” Evie objected defending her.

“Ah! Here it is” I said as I tugged at something attached to her spine inside her.

“HAH!! No! P-please” Dottie blubbered. “I’ll do anything!”

“Anything?”

She nodded as she cried and struggled. I pulled.

“AHH!!” Dottie screamed, clenching her eyes, as I pulled the device from her body.

“There’s the sucker,” I said as I pulled it free from her and held it up. “That’s the remote trigger they installed inside you to fry your systems if you failed.” I threw it on the floor and stepped on it, causing a small flame which I stomped out.

Dottie opened her eyes slowly, one at a time, and looked over at me. “What?”

“Evie, the panel?”

Evie walked over with the other side of Dottie’s chest in hand. “Geez John, that was kind of mean.”

“I didn’t hurt her, did I?”

“What’s going on?” Dottie asked.

I took the panel from Evie and turned to Dottie. “You said you’ll do anything, right?”

“Y- yeah” Dottie stuttered.

“Well, you work for us now. They can no longer remotely terminate you.”

“What?”

“Relax. I knew you were scared and panicked when you grabbed Evie, but if you had hurt her, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

“You… aren’t going to kill me?”

I shook my head as I aligned her chest panel. “Not now. Hopefully not ever.”

“John agreed to give you one last chance” Evie explained.

Her chest panel clicked into place and melded in with the rest of her flesh until she looked like a human... A human tied down to a bench, in a compromising position, unable to move or resist. She gasped as I drew my hand away, lingering a little too long on her flesh. It was very awkward all of a sudden. At least for me.

“Before I untie you, we need to talk” I began. “Evie is the one that convinced me to save you in the first place. You are no longer restricted to their programming or commands, thanks to Evie hacking into you, and you are no longer in danger of self-destruction and your free will is unrestricted. But now you have a choice to make. You can help us, pay us back for the attempts you made on our lives, or you can return and beg for your life to someone who sees you only as a defect.

“But if you join us, I need to know Evie is safe around you. I can’t worry if you two are left alone. Or if I’m left alone with you.”

“I’m sorry!” she cried, trying to hold it back. “For everything! I should never have killed that man. I should never have resisted them when they attacked me. I should never have attacked either of you.” It was getting hard to understand her through her tears. She didn’t have much in terms of emotions, but fear and joy were there. And right now she was experiencing the extent of her fear of pain.

“Take a deep breath, calm down,” I told her. She nodded and inhaled, calming herself.

“Don’t apologize for defending yourself” Evie added, kneeling down next to her.

“You were in a bad situation with no way out” I admitted. “I never should have tried to give you any emotions. The technology wasn’t ready yet. But what’s in the past is in the past.”

“I promise, I’ll do anything!” Dottie sniffed.

“What do you want to do?” I asked.

She hesitated and sniffed again. She wasn’t sure how to answer that. Dottie looked at Evie and me and took a deep breath. “I want… I… No one ever asked me what I want before. I… I want to stop those people.”

Evie sighed in relief. I think it was exactly what she wanted to hear.

“You never did anything wrong, doctor” Dottie continued. “And look at what you did. You used what you learned making me and made her. She’s… amazing…” Dottie looked sad. “She’s more complex and more human than I could ever hope to be. I don’t want to hurt either of you.”

“What about Miller?” I asked.

She closed her eyes. “I… I hate him. But I won’t hurt him. He can’t see me can he?”

I shook my head.

“Good. He always creeped me out in the lab. I don’t want him to see me like this.”

“Will you promise not to hurt us?” Evie asked.

Dottie nodded as best as she could, sniffing.

“Alright. I’m going to give you one last chance” I explained with one finger.

“Thank you” she whispered.

I reached down and untied her feet first. She let out a sigh of relief as she flexed her feet and stretched her legs. Next, I undid her wrists. She groaned as she lifted her hands before her and rubbed her wrists. After a few moments, she tried to sit up. Only she had too much difficulty and couldn’t get into a sitting position.

“You’ll be fine” I explained. “Just a temporary restriction on your mobility, so you don’t do something stupid. It should wear away soon” I explained, offering her my hand. She paused, looking at it, deciding to trust me or not. She took my hand, and I pulled her up into a sitting position. Dottie leaned forward, turning toward us and looked down at the floor. She was calm and didn’t try to stand or fight back.

“I'm not heartless” she whispered.

“What?”

“You called me a heartless killing machine before” she recalled. “Every time I'm forced to do something I don't want to do, it hurts.”

“I'm sorry. That is my fault.”

She shook get head. “It's the only part of me that gave me hope that maybe I wasn't just meant to destroy. I don't deserve a second chance.”

“Maybe not” I replied, “but you got it.”

“I really am sorry” she continued but chuckled. “This is the first time I've been able to speak my mind.”

“Evie” I began. “Could you go upstairs and check on Miller? Make sure he isn't doing anything stupid.”

“Oh… Um. Sure. Stupid? Like…?”

I sighed internally. “Like getting ready to attack Dottie.” I noticed Dottie shudder.

“Oh. Ok.” Evie replied and then got up from the chair and went up the stairs, leaving the two of us alone.

“Now listen-” I began.

“I meant it!” She barked. “I'm sorry! I'll do anything you ask.”

I paused. “You aren't my slave.”

“But I am indebted to you. You saved me instead of killing me. Twice! Even after what I did.”

I nodded. “You can thank Evie for that. She wanted me to keep you alive “

“So you did it for her?”

I nodded. “Yes. And you. I spent 3 years building and perfecting you. I never wanted to give up on you. But after what happened…”

“I understand.”

“I'm glad she made me try to save you, but don't make me regret that choice.”

She's nodded. Having calmed down now she started to wipe the tears from her face. “I’ll try. Doctor? I could use a charge. All this self-repair has drained my batteries.”

“Of course” I replied and found the long cord we used earlier. This time I plugged it straight into the wall, instead of his computer. She carefully plugged it into her neck and slouched where she sat.

“They’re not going to stop. I failed, and even if they don’t terminate me, they’ll still send more after you” Dottie replied. “After… us.”

“I know.”

“If I am to help you, I need to know your plan.”

I was silent. “My plan already fell through. I didn’t expect to get injured on my way out and thought we’d be farther away by now.”

“Then we’ll need to do something else.”

“You were sent after me, any suggestions?”

She shook her head. “Like I know anything. You designed and built my systems. It took you all of a few seconds to completely overpower me. I… I bet they would have known that.”

“Yeah… I suppose so.”

“Do you think they sent me after you hoping you’d either die or I would?”

“Why would they want to kill you?”

She looked away. “After they took me away, they did more to me, and more tests. I hurt more people they didn’t want me to hurt. And ones they did. I…” she began. After a moment she shook her head and continued. “I almost killed another man testing my sex functions. They ended up abandoning hope of using me that way and got very hostile toward me. I think they want to get rid of me.”

I could see them doing that. “You won’t attack me though right?”

“Are you going to assault me? Rape me?”

“N-No.”

“Then you’re safe. At least from me.”

“Right. I should have known what they were going to do to you. I was such a moron.”

She looked me in the eyes. “You built me, and EV-12. You aren’t a moron.”

“Yeah well… I get along better with robots than with humans. Something is wrong with me.”

She chuckled again. “I don’t know about that. Sounds beyond my programming.”

“Yeah. Dottie, is there anything I can do that will make up for my part in this?”

She shook her head. “I… I want to blame you, to blame everyone. But I can’t. You are only human.”

“I could try to give you a pleasurable experience if you think that would counteract the pain-?”

“No…” she replied bluntly. “No, I can’t eat or drink, I don’t enjoy art or music or books. The strongest pleasure I could experience would be physical… sex. I have had my fill of that, thank you.”

I nodded. “It’s a shame such an experience was destroyed for you.”

She sat up straight. “I don’t know about that. Maybe I’m not really wired to enjoy it properly. Maybe I just don’t do it right. It’s just not something I want right now. But EV-12 looks like she’s capable.”

I nodded. “She is.”

“So you’ve already had intercourse with her?”

I blushed. “No… no. We haven’t…” I cleared my throat. “She doesn’t remember me when I was building her, so I don’t think she’s ready yet. Those memories were erased before I could stop it, so she’s only known me for a day or so. But at least I saved her.”

“I see. I know it doesn’t mean much coming from me, but don’t waste your chances. If she wants it, and you want it, don’t wait until another soldier like me takes it away.”

I nodded, thinking about it. I did have feelings for Evie, but I wasn’t sure she was really ready to go the next step. In the past, she wasn’t much more than a program, and then a talking head. She never had her full systems available. I didn’t know if she even would be interested for real. It seemed strange coming from Dottie though.

“Sorry… that sounded darker than I intended” she admitted.

I put my hand on her shoulder, careful in case she reacted poorly. She looked at my hand but didn’t get upset. “It’s ok. You’re right though, I do have feelings for her. But it isn’t just about me, her feelings also matter. If and when she’s ready to take the next step, I’ll be there for her.”

She smiled at me. “I’m no expert, clearly, but it seems to me she likes you in that way.”

I chuckled. “Maybe, but that’s for her to decide. I wish I could undo the damage to you. You deserve to have someone you can be happy with.”

“No. I don’t.”

“Stop saying that. You have to forgive yourself, especially when you were mostly defending yourself.”

Dottie sighed. “I will try, Doctor.”

“Now we need to think of a new plan, and I’m hoping you can help.”

“I might not know their plans, but I do have knowledge of their capabilities. I will do my part.”

“Excellent. Then why don’t you rest up down here while I check in with the others upstairs.”

“Uh…” Dottie voiced nervously looking around the room. She spotted the sex doll in the corner. “I don’t like it down here. I think I’ll join you if you’ll let me.”

“Of course. We’ll get you charged up there. Miller is up there, so no…” I made some karate gestures.

She let out a short laugh. “Yes, sir. Um… could you hand me my shirt please?”

“Right.”

I helped Dottie get dressed and assisted her up the stairs as the movement restriction I programmed in her started to wear off. I guided her into the kitchen and sat her at the table, letting her plug herself into the wall. Miller was sitting on the couch watching tv with the electric cattle prod in hand while Evie stood in the middle of the kitchen silently and nervous. She seemed anxious around Miller.

“Everything alright?” I asked Evie, approaching her and touching her arm.

“Hmm? Oh, yes! I just… felt like standing. Over here. Is she going to be ok?”

Dottie held up a finger. “She’ll be fine once she’s charged” she answered, referring to herself in 3rd person.

“Oh!” Evie flustered. “Oh, my. I… Of course, I’m sorry. Are you ok Dottie?”

Dottie shot her an annoyed look. “Didn’t I just answer that?”

“Oh! Yes, you did. I uh…”

“It’s ok, Evie” I added, gently holding her upper arms. “I think she’ll be fine. Let’s just sit down and think of a new plan.”

“Yes…” she nodded and took a seat next to Dottie.

I sat on her other side and looked over at Miller. “Care to join us?” I called as he changed channels.

“Nope. Have fun, I’m good here” he yelled back.

“Probably for the best” Dottie mumbled.

“Alright… my original plan was to skip the county and go into hiding with Evie. But we are nowhere close to where I hoped, and they are already onto us.” The girls nodded. “And… I worry that they will just operate outside the law and come after us anyway, no matter where we go. So… I need options.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Dottie replied. “Fight back!”

“Fight back? Just the three of us against the entire company?”

“4” Miller shouted. “I’ll help, as long as I can do it from here.”

Dottie rolled her eyes. “Yeah… he’ll balance out our odds.”

“See? The bitch gets it” he replied.

Dottie shot him a dirty look and moved to stand up but I put my hand on her arm and she looked down at it and calmed. She stood there looking at my hand for several seconds before gently shrugging her arm away and sitting down. “Dirty lazy son of a whore calling me a bitch when he’s the one that assaulted-” she mumbled.

“Dottie” I interrupted. She stopped. “Fighting seems like a long shot. You’re the only fighter here.”

“Hmm… that’s true.”

“What about hacking their systems like I did to Dottie?” Evie asked.

“We would need to get access to their systems on-site” Dottie noted. “Their intranet is not connected online to avoid hacking.”

I nodded in agreement. I was familiar with the isolated network they used. “What good would that do anyway?” I wondered.

“It would disable their entire system,” Miller pointed out from the other room without even looking our way. “letting you see everything they were working on and potentially-”

“Erasing it” Dottie added.

Evie perked up. “We could erase their ability to make more like us, or change their data on us.”

“Or steal it and use the data yourself” Miller added.

“Or remove the control to remote units and termination devices” Dottie pointed out.

“Or everything.” I looked between the girls who both seemed interested in the option. “We could destroy their hold on any units tracking us, erase their data about us, steal what we can to expose them and maybe take back the research and development on you two.”

“You could be rich” Miller added.

“You are and you live like a slob” I retorted.

“Touché” he replied.

“But how?” Evie wondered aloud.

We all were quiet except for the TV tuned to news about political scandals. I ignored it.

“If I can get in there and connect to the system” Evie suggested.

“Absolutely not!” I replied. “The whole reason we are running is to protect you. I'm not going to just hand you over! Besides, hacking into an AI is one thing, but hacking into a secure computer network inside their secure building…?”

“I can do it,” Miller said. “But I won't. I'm not going to put my neck on the line for you three.”

“My hero” Dottie snarled. It wasn’t like he could get inside the building by himself anyways.

“Could you do it?” I asked Dottie.

She thought for a few seconds. “Yes… No. I can get in and interface with the network and execute any commands, but I don't know how to hack the system.”

“Sounds like you need a better plan” Miller scoffed.

“Or a better team” Dottie added.

“Or a team at all” I realized. “We just need to work together on this. Listen, Dottie, they are expecting you to report back, right?”

“Yes, but they know I've failed.”

“But you can get in past all the security.” She nodded in response.

“Miller, you know the system, and you just proved to me you know how to hack them. If you two can operate remotely-?”

“It'll never work” he replied. “The signal would be picked up in an instant and they would just scramble it, we'd lose communication instantly.”

“But if we can encode it somehow…”

“Wait! I… I think I can help!” Evie interjected. “If Dottie and I can be the encryption catalysts…”

Miller sat up and turned toward us. “If you two encode the signal between you, only we would know the encryption, and it would take them days to decode it!”

“Of course” Dottie added. “We run the same software, we can run the same encryption, and-”

“Get caught as soon as they see the signal” I noted.

“Wait, not necessarily” Miller stood up. “We can disguise the signal itself. They are sending signals for termination devices, we can piggyback on that frequency.”

“It would buy us a few minutes” Dottie added. “But they’d figure it out. The signal wouldn’t look the same at all.”

“True” Miller admitted, walking into the room and leaning against the counter.

“Maybe that's all we need” Evie added. “A few minutes.”

“How long would it take to detect the signal?” I asked.

“30 minutes tops,” Miller replied. “Probably less.”

“But once they get it, then what?”

“Then…” Miller thought.

“They have to triangulate the location, figure out where I am.” Dottie looked intrigued as she spoke.

“So that gives us?” I wondered.

“If I can bounce the signal around between units, it could give us an hour or so.”

“In there” Miller realized. “Out here they would see us on this end instantly.”

“And come after us.”

“Which could take minutes or hours” he shrugged.

“Can we bounce the signal around out here?” I wondered.

“Not here. I mean normally my VPN will bounce the data around, but that kind of data would overload their bandwidth. It would probably take them minutes to locate us.”

“Why would they find us so fast?” Evie asked.

“Because we would be using you two. The signal between you two would be too much for the VPN, and you'd have to have a direct signal to the other” I explained. “With their intranet offline, we can't directly connect to it, so you’ll have to connect directly to Dottie.”

“Unless you went to a public place” Dottie added. “I didn't know which room you were in, I had to go looking around.”

“Oh… that poor man” Evie pouted.

“What?” Dottie asked confused.

“The man at the motel. You…”

Dottie slouched and held her face in her hands. “I… I know. I did a terrible thing.”

“You know it was your programming” I consoled. “You didn’t have a choice.”

“This is the first time I’ve been out of their control. Can we please not talk about what I did before?” Dottie complained through her hands.

“Sorry” Evie replied, putting her hand on Dottie’s shoulder. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Dottie lowered her hands, wiping her face with them, and inhaled. Sitting up straight she opened her eyes and let out her breath. “Can we continue?”

I nodded. “Yes. You were saying something about a public place?”

“Yes. If you go to something like a busy shop or a park or something with lots of people, even if they trace the signal back, it will only give them an area to look. Finding you personally will take manual work, so it will at least buy you a few minutes.”

“I know a gaming bar that’s always crowded. They have decent Wifi” Miller added. “As long as they don’t see I’m hacking stuff, they won’t care if I have my computer out. Heck, we can rent the back room and no one will bother us. They are even having a trivia event tonight. That always brings the nerds out.”

“That would work” I smiled. “If you bring your computer, Evie connects between it and Dottie, and I stay on the lookout, then Dottie will have to do the risky part and get back into the company and connect to their intranet.”

“It could work” Miller replied.

“It might work” Dottie added.

“It will work” Evie bounced.

“It better. Or else we have no other options, and they’ll be all over us” I warned.

“Like flies on shit” Miller eloquently added.

“Flies on shit?” Evie asked. “A colloquial saying-”

“It means we’ll be in big trouble” I explained.

“Oh. But… it is the only plan we have right now.”

“It’s not a bad plan” Miller added.

“I’m willing to risk it” Dottie announced, looking defiant.

“Are you sure? You will either get caught or have to escape on your own. Once you are in there we can’t help you get out” I pointed out.

“I… I realize that. But I need to do this. If they kill me, at least it was doing something to help someone. Something I wanted to do.”

I nodded. “Alright. Evie? Are you ok with this?”

She looked up nervously. “Y- yes. I suppose so. Let’s do it.”

We spent the next few hours preparing. Mostly this meant Miller had to get a program ready to do the communicating and hacking, and I had to prepare Dottie. Miller spent the entire time by himself in the basement working on his computer, while the three of us stayed upstairs. I wanted to keep him separated from the girls as much as I could.

Dottie needed to be re-outfitted with the termination devices I had removed from her. It might have been crushed under my foot and sparked a flame, but most of the components were still working. After I took it apart, made sure the signal was working, and disabled the circuits that would inject her brain with a dose of electromagnetism that would fry a city grid, I sat down at the kitchen table and altered it to allow her and Evie to connect through the device. It was a long-range gadget but still used cell towers and the like to send and receive the signals.

Evie helped Dottie remove her shirt again as I closed the curtains in the kitchen. I turned back to see Dottie topless again and was reminded of working on her in the lab all those years ago. She was certainly pretty, very attractive, but I tried not to stare. She also didn't seem to mind or be embarrassed about it. Programming gynoids to be embarrassed was not always the easiest thing to do and not high on priorities with Dottie. Or maybe she was that comfortable around me.

She sat at the table and turned her chair toward me. I sat facing her with Evie by my side.

“Can you remove your left chest panel please?”

Dottie nodded and, like before, lines appeared around her torso and her chest separated. She sat up and pushed her chest out to make it easier for me to work, biting her lip when I touched her. I gently grasped her breast and pulled the panel away. Evie sat next to me as I worked.

“Do you think this will work?” Evie wondered.

“I wouldn't have us taking such risks if I didn't think it could work.”

“Of course. I guess I'm just… nervous.” She scooted closer to me. “You've been doing all this for me, I owe you so much.”

“You don't owe me anything. I want to help you.” I started to slowly explore inside Dottie's chest cavity with my hand.

“Wow. You really did an amazing job building us” Evie commented as she gazed inside Dottie.

“Heh, thanks.”

“No, thank you. I… I just don't understand why you have been helping me so much when all I've done is cause you trouble.”

“That's not true.”

“You even spared Dottie when I asked. I have a hard time comprehending why you listened to me.”

I knew why but I didn't want to admit it. “I just… you know… I like you.”

“Ah. Oh? Ohh!” Evie voiced as she came to a realization. “I'm sorry I don't remember the time we spent before you woke me up the other night. I wish I could remember those conversations.”

“Me too. But don't worry about it. We can always make new memories. Ah!” I found the correct location for the device and went about installing it again.

Evie leaned up against me, letting her soft warm skin press against mine. It was distracting but I kept working. “John, normally humans will do things for people they like, right?”

“Uh… Sure” I said trying to concentrate.

She smiled and looked at my face. “Then you must really like me a lot then to do all this.”

“I… um… I guess so” I blinked while trying to concentrate. Dottie rolled her eyes.

“I mean to put your own life in danger for me? You must really REALLY like me.” She giggled.

Dottie mouthed something to me. I thought she was mouthing “SHE WANTS IT”. I shook my head and tried to concentrate.

“You’re probably right” I replied as I was just inserting the device. Evie pouted and looked at Dottie who held up a finger to her. I realized something was going on here but I was kind of busy. “Sorry Evie, give me a few more seconds.” I pushed the connection in until it clicked. “And there!”

As I was putting everything back into place, Dottie gestured to Evie silently. “Now what did you need?” I asked.

As I turned to face her, Evie pressed her lips against mine and gave me an unexpected kiss. She quickly pulled back and blushed.

I sat there stunned for a few seconds as Evie giggled. Dottie half smiled and shook her head.

“I don't know why I did that,” Evie admitted. “I just really wanted to. I… I think I like you too. A lot. Every time I'm near you, it gets hard to breathe.”

“It was nice” I smiled. I blinked a few times and wore myself up. I had to finish up Dottie real quick. I took her chest panel and pressed it against her until it attached and the seams vanished. I probably lingered too long there.

“Ohh. Your hands are warm” Dottie nodded, surprised that she was enjoying the sensation of my hand pressed against her breast. I slowly pulled back.

“Sorry.”

Evie pouted “Is that all? ‘It was nice’?”

Dottie rolled her eyes again. “What did I tell you? Don't hesitate!”

“John” Evie complained. “I'm trying to conf-”

I kissed Evie back as she was talking. At first, she was surprised but soon she melted into it. I wrapped my hand around her waist and held her close. By the time I slowly pulled back, she had her eyes closed and was breathing shallowly. Her eyes slowly fluttered open and she focused them on me.

“That was nice” she agreed. But then went in for another kiss.

She started to rub her hands up and down my back and arms as she kissed me passionately. I held her close and felt her side with my free hand.

“Don't mind me” Dottie interrupted as she stood up and grabbed her shirt, throwing it over her shoulders. “I'll just be over here, keeping mister perv in the basement.” We watched, holding each other, as she leaned against the basement door just to the side of the room and watched us. “Oh! Sorry.” Dottie turned around to face the wall.

“I love you, Evie. I’ve been in love with you for months. I only wished you remembered” I confessed quietly.

“You… you do? You are? Did I love you?”

“I think so. But you never said it.”

“I… I think I do too. I… I might not remember, but I feel like I’ve known you for a long time, that I want to be with you” she smiled. “I think I love you too.”

“Dottie’s been… well… I think she’s pressuring me to ask you… if… y- you want to have sex?” I whispered in Evie’s ear.

“Sex?” Evie asked a little too loud, before lowering her voice to a whisper. “Here? Now?”

“It isn’t ideal, but… if you want to…”

She looked me in the eyes and grinned. “I’m afraid I don’t know how… Yes! I would like to try.”

“Will having Dottie here be a problem for you?”

She shook her head. Even though the place was a mess, the table we were at was clean and sturdy, and the position of it meant it would be hard for Dottie to see us directly. I remembered she said she wasn’t interested in sex, so she wouldn’t care to watch anyway. Although having her there was a little exciting. I did notice she responded positively to my touch moments ago. I figured the table was clean enough and strong enough, we could do it here.

I embraced Evie again, this time getting really into it. She started to kiss me back, using her tongue plenty, copying my movement, and grabbing at my shoulders, face, and hair. She slipped out of her chair and onto mine, straddling me, and sat on my lap. She continued to caress and kiss me until she ran out of breath and had to stop to inhale. I took the opportunity to take control.

I lifted Evie’s shirt over her head as she panted, raising her arms up to get it off. She giggled as I undressed her. I only struggled with her bra for a few seconds, but while I did, I continued to kiss her. She caressed me and kissed me until at last her bra was loose. It fell from her body, and she sat back on my lap, giving me a full closeup view. She looked down at me, lightly biting her lip, lowering her arms to her sides and breathing deeply.

“Am I attractive?” she asked.

“Very sexy!” I admitted. Evie smiled widely as she showed off her body.

“Now what?” she breathed.

I caressed her modest breasts and took her left nipple into my mouth. I drew a gasp from her, and soon she was moaning. I knew she was sensitive here, and I was glad to see her react. Her nipples were already hard, and I was getting hard too.

“Oh!” she jerked in my lap. “Something touched me!”

It took her a little to realize what was happening. As soon as she did, she lifted her skirt and looked down at my lap. Her hand delicately touched my hardening rod through my pants as she felt the size and girth. I gasped too. It had been a long time since someone touched me like that.

She looked me in the eyes and placed her hands on my shoulders before doing her best to rub her crotch back and forth over mine. It was awkward but still turned me on. She started to make worried little sounds, closing her eyes, and furrowing her brows.

“Do you want it?” I asked as I grabbed her hips and controlled her motions.

“I don’t understand. What… what am I doing?” I knew she had the programming in her, she just never accessed it before, so her actions were almost instinctual, at least as much as a robot could have.

I kissed and licked her, giving her earlobe, neck, and nipples a little bite. It was getting her turned on to a point where she was starting to get her panties wet with her movement. I held her hips still, reached down, and undid my pants as she watched with anticipation. Soon, my erection greeted her, and she sat there looking at it with awe.

“That's supposed to… go inside me?” she asked. “How? It’s way too big!”

I laughed, but she was serious. So I decided to show her. I lifted her a little, and slid her panties to one side, allowing her dripping wet pussy to come into direct contact with me. She sighed and moaned as I exposed her. Touching her with my fingers, I could tell she was ready. Her hole was soaked and she moaned nicely at my touch.

“Oh… John! It’s amazing!”

“We haven’t even started” I teased as I aligned myself to her and pushed inside.

“Ahhh! John! It’s… it’s so big! Hah!”

I started to caress her and kiss her as I slowly pulled the head of my dick in and out of her, going just a little bit deeper each time. She gripped me tightly and her whole face clenched up. Stopping, I feared I was hurting her.

“Are you ok? We can stop if you want.”

She shook her head. “I’m fine. I just… never felt anything like this before. It doesn’t hurt. You can keep going.”

I kissed her as I slowly pushed inside again, this time not relenting until I was most of the way inside her. She struggled against me but took me in, all the while kissing and holding me. Once I reached the end, I pulled her hips up, and then back down again, faster this time. Something inside Evie seemed to click, and all of a sudden her motions were improved, her reaction was more sensual, and her sensation was extreme.

She began to move her hips herself, up and down, bouncing on my lap, her pussy sliding up and down my cock. I leaned back in the chair and watched as she started to please herself on my dick. Her breasts danced inches in front of me with each bounce of her body. I didn’t even have to move, she was doing a good job of it.

“Ohhh, John! I… Hah hah hah Ahn! It’s so good!” She panted and moaned. I caressed her bouncing tits and squeezed her nipples until she started to shake. I pushed my hips up against her in time to her rhythm, and she started to lose her voice to silent gasps.

I ran my hands up her body as she grinded against me. She lurched forward as she began to get close to an orgasm. Finally, I did my best to lift her up and placed her on the table. She squealed as I did, and giggled when she realized what we were doing. Scooting her butt down to the edge, she lifted her legs and spread them apart, giving me a full view of her pussy. Her blue skirt was still on, but I closed her hips and pulled her panties off, before spreading them again. She ran her hand over her honeypot and rubbed a little, laughing as she looked up at me.

“Put it back inside!” she begged. “It feels amazing! It’s like you belong inside me. AAHHHH!!”

I pushed my way back inside her again, this time causing her to arch her back and squeal. I went in all the way to the hilt, and she took it all and loved it. I started to thrust in and out, our hips bouncing off each other as our skin slapped together again and again. She squirmed and grabbed onto the edges of the table for support, leaving her cute breasts completely exposed and bouncing around wildly at my whim. She pushed her hips up against me as her legs started to shake again, a climax approaching.

“HAA! MMmnnn! John! Yes yes yes! Wait… What!?” She clenched up and held her breath as her body convulsed and shook with an orgasm. When at last it subsided, she let out a long deep moan and started panting. My stiff rod popped out of her as she clenched her vaginal muscles.

She didn’t say anything, just laying on on her back with her body completely exposed breathing heavily. I wasn’t done yet myself, but I gave her a little time to recover. She looked up at me and her smiling face turned bright red as she covered it with her hands. I lifted one of her legs and pulled her close to me, realigning myself as she squealed and laughed.

“More?” she questioned, but once we got started, she was completely on board.

For the next 10 minutes, we made wild love on the kitchen table. Evie tried to keep her voice down, and I tried not to make too much noise thrusting in and out of her, but we were bad at stealth sex. It was obvious that even though she didn’t remember the months we spent together talking and flirting in the lab, she still had that emotional attachment to me, something that was hardwired into her. She had fallen for me, as I did for her, and even though she no longer knew me like she once did, she needed me. And I needed her.

When we finished, I had cum in her twice, and she was still recovering from her 3rd orgasm. Evie was laying there with her body completely naked and exposed to me, her pussy dripping with cum. She grinned from ear to ear as she looked at me. I wanted more of her, I needed it, and she seemed insatiable, always willing and able for more. It was the first time in ages that I was actually happy. Holding her in my arms I found a new found spark in life, and a new urgency to save hers. There was no way I was going to let her go after this. She was everything to me.

“Wow… Well… that was... “ Dottie broke the silence from the corner of the room as she cleared her throat. “That was quite the show. Kind of makes me want to… give sex another shot, someday. Damn! You two even got me going.” She walked toward us slowly, her shirt still unbuttoned and opened, revealing both breasts. She was also clearly aroused. Dottie cleared her throat again and scratched her head. “I uh… hope I get through this so I can try that eventually.”

Evie blushed and got up, taking her clothes with her to a bathroom down the way. “I need to clean up” she explained before vanishing from sight. I faced Dottie.

“Well, I hope you get the chance too. You look like you actually enjoyed that.”

She smiled and shook her head. “You know, I think I did.”

I stood up and faced Dottie, aware of my nakedness, but at least my erection wasn’t at full mast for now. She blushed this time and couldn’t help but stare at it.

“Maybe there’s hope for you yet” I smiled.

She stood there looking at me nervously, her eyes darting up and down me, as she brought one hand up her body and to her face to bite her nails. I couldn’t help but notice her cleavage as unconsciously stuck her chest out and squeezed her breasts together with her arms. Slowly she stepped closer to me, close enough to touch me, and ran her other hand through her hair, stretching out her torso.

Her eyes were begging me, and she looked desperate. I figured that this might be my only chance to give her a little pleasure to make up for the pain she had to endure, although I worried about betraying Evie and causing emotional trauma to Dottie. I had never seen her this way before, and I took my chance.

I stepped right up to her and touched her breast. She looked at me and my hand, shocked, but said nothing and didn’t react negatively. I moved my hand, caressing her chest. A sigh escaped her, and I knew she was enjoying it. She lowered her hand to mine and pressed my hand tighter against her.

She made no sounds aside from panting. As I caressed her, she would bite her lips and close her eyes and open her mouth. I was getting turned on again as she lowered her other hand down her face, over her breast, and down to her crotch. Dottie held her breath as she touched herself, perhaps for the first time ever. It was clear she was enjoying this. And so was I.

She whimpered a little as she pressed herself closer to me. As soon as my erection returned and pressed against her stomach, she smiled and looked me in the eyes. Then without ever looking away, she reached down to my erect cock and started rubbing it back and forth against her slit, using me to caress her clit. Her eyes unfocused before she pressed herself against me, sliding my dick between her legs and rubbing it against her pussy. She stood there for a few seconds, gazing deep into my eyes, and slowly dropped to her knees, taking my cock into her hand, and into her mouth.

She was slow at first, but it didn’t last long. She was well programmed for this, and with a partner she was happy with, she enjoyed the sensations. It didn’t take long for her to go from licking up and down the length of my shaft to bobbing her head in and out while stroking the base. She was really getting into this and never looked away, enticing me to watch her. I realized as she silently serviced me, she was busy rubbing her pussy with her other hand.

She picked up the pace, for the first time looking down at my cock, and started to thrust harder and faster. As I felt my climax approach, she began to move in funny ways. It became apparent that she had reached a small climax herself.

I shot my load into her mouth and she took it all and swallowed it down. She even made sure I was clean afterward, before finally pulling her own hand out from under her and looking at the wet sticky mess she made. She came alright.

“I think I got carried away there” she explained as she looked at her sticky fingers. “I’ve never done anything like that before.”

“Neither have I.” I offered her a hand, and she took it, standing up. “Please don’t tell Evie.”

She hit her head. “I’m so stupid! I don’t want to get between you two. I… I’m sorry! I won’t do that again. I just… I don’t know what came over me. After watching you two go at it like rabbits a strange feeling overcame me and… ugh!”

“Did it feel good?” I asked getting my pants back on.

“Yeees” she admitted smiling.

“I’m glad you got to feel something good then.”

She looked at me curiously and then smiled. “Yeah… I guess you did. Thank you. But seriously, what was that?”

“I don’t know, but I suspect they put programming into you to make you lose yourself when you got in the mood. Only you never got in the mood before so it never worked.”

She nodded. “Maybe. I… I better get cleaned up” she said as she started buttoning up her shirt. She hesitated and kissed me on the cheek briefly before walking past toward the sink. Evie was standing there looking at us. Her expression was confused and upset. How much did she see?

“Evie!?” I called out. Tears welled up in her eyes and she darted back into the bathroom and slammed the door shut. Dottie stood there frozen, filled with guilt. Or at least simulated guilt. She didn’t know how to process it, so she went to the sink and cleaned up.

I screwed up. I should never have done that, even if it was originally to help Dottie feel something good before she went off on a suicide mission. I finished getting dressed quickly and darted over to the bathroom door. It was locked.

“Evie? Are you ok?”

“Go away” her muffled voice called out.

“Evie, I’m sorry. I… I screwed up!”

“I’m not talking to you!” she sobbed through the door.

“I’ll… I’ll be right here when you want to talk” I hoped.

All I heard was sniffing and crying inside. She was taking this harder than I thought, she was not programmed to be monogamous, but perhaps she was still jealous or felt betrayed. I took a chair from the kitchen and propped it near the door and sat down.

Dottie dressed the rest of the way, keeping her head down.

“Doctor?” She quietly asked after a few minutes of silence.”Is she going to be alright?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know. I hope so. Maybe she’ll forgive me eventually.”

She stepped next to me to hug me but I shook my head. “I’m in enough trouble already. I’m sorry I can’t do more for you right now.”

She nodded. “Right. Evie?” she called out. “I’m sorry. I… I don’t know what came over me. I just saw you two and… lost myself in the moment. I won’t get between you two. After today you won’t see me again. I probably won’t even survive.”

Evie opened the door abruptly, her face red and wet with tears and anger filling her features. She looked between us and more tears fell from her eyes. She swallowed hard and cleared her throat.

“I want to hate you two so much” she started, but the hate in her eyes vanished, leaving only sadness behind. “But I can’t stand to lose you two either.”

“Me?” Dottie asked. “But I-”

“You are the only family I have, even if you did… whatever that was you were doing with my boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” I asked.

She looked at me and twisted her mouth. “I still love you” she admitted, her voice cracking. “But it hurts.”

I stood up and faced her, holding my arms out. I wanted to console her more than anything, but she put her hand up and rejected my offer.

“I can’t right now. You ch- cheated on me. Am I not enough?”

I lowered my hands and fell to my knees. “I will never forgive myself for what I did. I didn’t do it for me, but I still did it.” I felt like shit and started crying as I begged for her forgiveness. “I don’t deserve you, please forgive me!”

“It was my fault” Dottie explained. “I came onto him and forced myself. Blame me if you need to.”

Evie looked at us and wiped her face. She sniffed, but then started to laugh a little through the tears. I looked up to see her smiling at me while still sad and crying. She came right over to me and threw herself on me in a hug that knocked me over.

“Of course I’ll forgive you” she sobbed. “It hurts too much to stay mad at you. Don’t ever do that again! Please!”

I hugged her back and held her tight, realizing she was a better person than me. She already forgave me. She pulled back from me and turned toward Dottie, who looked confused. Evie slapped her.

“Ow!” Dottie exclaimed as she held her face where she was struck.

“Don’t ever say you won’t survive. Don’t leave your only family. And don’t touch my boyfriend!”

“Geez, ok. You didn’t have to hit me” Dottie complained, although I knew it couldn’t have hurt that much.

Evie turned back to me and gave me a slap and a hard look. The look hurt more than her hand. “John, I put all my trust in you. Please don’t do that again! I don’t think I can bear it.”

“I promise. I swear!”

She nodded and turned her back to me and went back into the bathroom, closing the door again.

“Women, right?” Miller asked behind us. I practically jumped out of my skin.

Evie rode in the car in silence next to me. To help avoid being seen, we sat in the back where the windows were tinted so we could duck down if we saw anything suspicious. Dottie took shotgun, while Miller drove. But of course he drove, it was his car, and it was way nicer than any I ever owned. I guess I knew where he spent his money then.

It was an awkward car ride, to say the least. We had done more preparations before we left, including installing all the programs Evie and Dottie would need, but Evie was quiet the whole time. Even though she said she’d forgive me, that didn’t mean she wasn’t angry at me. And that hurt. I didn’t expect her to get so jealous, but I felt she was right to be angry.

We drove back to the motel where Dottie had first attacked us. Police tape was still on the doors and window, and the staff looked on edge. We decided it was best not to engage, although Dottie seemed the most on edge about it.

“M- My bike’s over there” she pointed to a motorcycle at the edge of the property. It was a miracle it wasn’t confiscated or something, but then again they probably had no footage of the attack so they assumed we got away and didn’t impound a random motorcycle. Chances were the company was involved somehow, or maybe I was getting paranoid.

We drive over to the bike, a modern Japanese style motorcycle, and Dottie got out. She turned around and leaned in to look back at us.

“Ready?” she asked Evie. Evie nodded. “Synchronizing” Dottie informed.

“Datalink established” Evie confirmed. Dottie nodded and turned to leave but hesitated. “Say, if you don’t see me again… for a while… I want you to know you are really lucky to have a good man like him. And Doctor, take care of her.”

She didn’t give any other goodbyes as she shut the door and mounted her bike. With a few revs of her engine, Dottie zoomed off down the road and into the distance.

“Well, that’s that,” Miller said. “Glad she’s gone.”

He took us back to the main road and drove to our destination.

Evie abruptly turned toward me and put her hands gently on my face, cradling it, and stared into my eyes. I stared back and could see the pain and hurt I had caused her in them. She stayed like that for a while, just staring at me.

“Evie?”

She put her finger on my mouth to hush me. “John? It hurts… inside” she softly said putting her hand to her heart. “It hurts that you did that, but it also hurts that I got angry with you. I don’t like it.”

“You have every right to be angry. Honestly, most women wouldn’t be as quick to forgive-’

She shook her head. “I am me. I don’t know about other women. Promise me, please, that you won’t hurt me ever again.”

I held her hands in mine and looked her in the eyes, completely sincere. “I promise. It was like me, and hurting you was the last thing I ever wanted.”

She smiled. “I believe you. And I’m sorry I got mad. But… I’m still upset about it.”

“I understand. When you are ready, I’ll be here for you.”

She looked out the window thoughtfully, most likely contemplating the complex emotions she was having. I really hated myself for what I did, but at least I was glad her more complicated emotional responses were working. I just wish I didn’t put them to the test like this.

As we got closer to the gamer lounge Miller told us about, I found Evie holding my hand tightly, as though she was upset with what I did but couldn’t stand the thought of losing me. I gently ran my thumb across her hand as she looked out the window, and I felt her grip slowly loosen as she calmed.

“Here we are. You’ll never find a hive of more wretched villainy… or whatever…”

“Mana Bar?” Evie read out loud.

“Like mana from heaven?”

Miller laughed. “Not exactly, but whatever floats your boat.”

It was a rather large facility and was packed with people. The sun was just going down by the time we got there, and people were already dressed up in costumes. For a trivia contest. Strange crowd. We headed inside.

Miller took command and did his thing, flashing plenty of money around, and getting us in the reserved back room that had a curtain to separate us from the rest. I was a little worried that as soon as they detected the signal, we wouldn’t have a crowd to blend in with, but Miller was already working on it. He must have known this crowd, as he started talking to different people and inviting them back for drinks and whatnot. Within a few minutes, even the back room was starting to get a little crowded.

“Miller, who are these people?”

“Friends, enthusiasts, good folk. Except that guy” he pointed to one young man holding a beer. “He’s a jerk. But he’s a fun jerk.”

“Can we do this around them? I mean, Evie will be connected to your computer, right?”

“No problem. They’ll run interference for us without bothering us. Some of these guys are robot enthusiasts themselves. They got your back.”

“Ok. But we’re not here to socialize.”

“Eh, you worry too much. They won’t bug you, but lighten up, have a drink, or a taco. It’s on me. Order whatever you want.”

I sat down next to Evie who seemed more receptive to me among the crowd of strangers. She seemed a little nervous and calmed when I joined her. I was glad to see she still liked me, at least enough to feel safe near me.

Miller came over after a few more minutes of mingling and sat down to open his laptop. Several more laptops opened on the table when he did, and he eyed the others with a smile.

“It’s showtime folks,” he said. Those sitting down seemed to be in the know, at least somewhat and didn’t bother us at all. However, whatever they were doing was helping keep our activities from being noticed. And the guy with the beer seemed to be keeping an eye out.

“Anything yet?” Miller asked Evie.

She shook her head. “Not yet. Wait… no, she can hear me. But she’s not ready yet.”

“At least the connection is established” I noted.

After several agonizing minutes, Evie finally announced: “She’s in the building.”

“Here,” Miller said as he handed me a small wireless earpiece. I put it in my ear but heard nothing. “If you will madam,” Miller said handing Evie a cable. She nodded and shyly put it in the back of her neck. The other guys at laptops took notice, but said nothing and started typing away.

A waitress came over at this time and started taking orders. I instantly recognized her as an old Wald pleasure model, clearly heavily modified, and uneasy on her feet. She was very kind as she took my order, and took notice of Evie once she saw the cable in her neck.

“Oh, my! Is she-?”

“Just a modified gaming unit” Miller explained. “She’s hosting our LAN”.

“Oh. Well, enjoy!”

As she walked away with the orders, I turned to Miller. “What?”

“Just forget it, gamer talk” he explained. And then with a stroke of a few keys, a sound came from the earpiece. It was breathing and shuffling and a muffled voice.

I couldn’t quite make it out but then I heard a clear voice talk. “I’m through the first level. They’ve completed the search” Dottie’s voice explained.

Her voice sounded way too loud and clear for her to be talking out loud into a mic. No, this was an internal voice she was using to talk with Evie, while she fed us sound data from her ears as well.

“Be careful” Evie’s voice rang out clear in the earpiece even though she said nothing in person.

“2 more security points, and then I can make my way to the terminals.”

“Cool, right?” Miller said leaning over to me.

“Yeah. So she’s inside. Can they detect this signal?”

“Right now they probably still think it’s the same signal as before, but it is heavier, so I give them a few more minutes” Miller explained.

I nervously stood up and walked over to the curtained entrance and peaked out. The section was slightly elevated with windows looking down at the main eating area and a small wall blocking the view for everyone else. Even the curtain was too thick to see through clearly, I only hoped that the large crowd would keep anyone looking for us busy.

I noticed by now there were several others with laptops opened throughout the area. While many were just gaming, I noticed a few of them had the same screens as everyone else in the back room. I wondered what they were doing.

Without noticing anything insidious, I returned to Evie and sat down. “What are they doing for real? I asked Miller.

“Running interference, I told you. Not just physically. They are bouncing our signal around this place so they can’t pinpoint us right away.”

“And you arranged all this?”

He shrugged. “Wasn’t hard. They’re getting paid, they know the risks. As long as that bartending owner doesn’t shut them down we should be fine. Don’t worry.”

“What’s her status?” I asked Evie as she sat there with a water in her hand.

“Status update?” Evie’s voice asked Dottie over the earpiece.

“Approaching stage 2 security terminal now” she replied loud and clear.

“She’s at the stage 2 security-” Evie began out loud to me.

“I can hear her. Thanks,” I replied.

“Oh.”

“Dottie, they can hear you directly now,” she said over the comms.

“Acknowledged” Dottie replied.

The waitress came back with my soda, which I thanked her for and continued to wait. After what seemed like ages, Dottie checked back in.

“Security station cleared. Final security ahead. This one will be testing me for rogue devices and signals, I suggest we maintain radio silence until completed.”

The line went mute, with no background noises or anything. Evie looked over at me nervously. I rubbed her back a little before standing up and checking the room out again. The same guy was there on the lookout.

There was silence for several minutes on the line. It was nerve-wracking as I started to pace between where Evie and Miller were sitting and the entryway. I had to sit down. As soon as a plate of food came by, Evie and I started munching on it.

At long last, there was a sound and Dottie’s voice came back through. “I’m in, heading to the terminal now.”

“Did everything go alright?” I asked.

“Why not just feed her what your ears hear like she is?” Miller asked.

“Oh, right. Sure.” Evie concentrated for a second and… well, I didn’t notice any change, but I assume Dottie was able to hear what Evie was hearing now. “Did you clear the security?” Evie asked through the line.

“Mostly” Dottie replied. “I’m in, but they questioned what happened to me and noted I was tampered with. They scanned my chest cavity but found nothing. They let me go but I fear they might be suspicious. I told them I had to self-repair but I don’t know if they believe me.”

“Ah crap!”

“Approaching terminal now” she alerted. I heard the sound of a door opening and closing and some computer noises, and suddenly Evie sat up straight.

“Receiving transmission” Evie stated.

“Let’s rock” Miller exclaimed as he started going through his computer typing away.

“Woah” Evie exclaimed. “That’s a lot of data”. She looks dizzy all of a sudden and leaned back into the chair. I heard Dottie struggle with it as well, although she didn’t let it slow her down.

I held onto Evie to make sure she didn’t fall over. She took in a few deep breaths and composed herself. “Are you ok?” I asked.

“Yeah. Thanks. It’s way more data than I expected. My… systems are bogged down… I need to concentrate.”

“How long will this last?” I wondered.

“Until the entire procedure is done” Miller explained. “Depending on how much we can get from the system, it could take over an hour.”

“An hour? For what?”

“There’s a lot of files to transfer.”

“How are you doing over there, Dottie?”

“Not good” she replied, her voice starting to break up in digital compression noise. “But I’ll get by. This better not take an hour! I can’t move.”

Several minutes went by as Evie sat with her eyes closed in near silence and Dottie remained quiet on the other end. I checked the room every so often. Picking after-hours to launch our attack might have benefitted us a little since there were fewer people checking for what we were doing, but it was inevitable that they would catch on.

10 minutes of agonized waiting and pacing went by. Evie was still concentrating hard, but I made sure she got some water in her, which could help cool down her systems. She was feeling warm to the touch with all the data transferring she was doing. I worried for Dottie since there was nothing we could do to help her.

Every few seconds, a loud muffled voice would come over a speaker on the other end of the building making announcements and giving out trivia questions about nerdy topics. I wasn’t listening, and with the crowd as loud as it was, I couldn’t hear what he was saying anyway. I hoped it wasn’t too much for Evie, who had never been in such a big noisy crowd before.

“Remind me again Miller, what are we doing with all this data?” I asked.

“Well, first we are copying and transferring everything they have on the active and inactive projects… i.e. two-thirds of your menage a trois” he started. I rolled my eyes at him. “And then we copy all the data they have on you. That way we can know what they know and so can the a-thor-a-tays” he said, using a strange accent to say ‘authorities’. “Then we delete it all with a virus.”

“I’m 99% sure they have backups. At least 2 of them.”

“Oh yes. 2 backups, both off-site. And both are currently experiencing their own set of problems” he chuckled creepily. I gave him an inquisitive look. “Let’s say their backups aren’t as secure as they think and should be completely inoperational by the time they realize what we did here.”

“What exactly are you doing?”

“Best you don’t know. Plausible deniability my friend. The less you know, the less evidence against me.”

I assumed he and his cohorts were launching an attack of some sort on the backup servers as well, although it sounded to me like they wouldn’t be as thorough or fast as the one Dottie was doing. The problem with backups is sometimes people forget they are vulnerable too, and can sometimes lack the protection they need.

“How are you doing Evie?”

“I’m tired. But I’ll hang in there” she said, still sitting straight up with her eyes closed.

I didn’t want to bother her anymore so I got up to run another lookout round. As I approached the entryway, the guy that had been standing there put his hand up to me, keeping me back, as he looked out at the crowd. It was getting packed in there, and more people were gathering in front of the entryway making it difficult to get out of there if we needed to move in a hurry. Luckily the kitchen was close by so we might be able to use that.

“Do you see something?” I said quietly enough, although the volume of the people had made it quite loud already.

He nodded in one direction, and I discreetly approached the curtain and looked out. Toward the front of the place was a girl with short blond hair and a very angry look. She was scanning the crowd with her eyes, occasionally darting her head from one side to the other as though she saw something. All this might be understandable, except she was wearing the same thing Dottie was. I backed up before she looked my way and ducked down.

“Friend of yours?” the man said.

“An acquaintance. Keep her busy if she comes close. Things could get dicey.”

He nodded as I made my way back to Evie.

“Dottie, one of your doppelgangers is here.”

“My what?” Dottie’s voice came through, more distorted than before.

“Doppelganger?” Evie asked. “An apparition or double of a living person, not to be confused with a twin. You mean-!”

I nodded. “Yup, they’re here. I didn’t build this one. I sure hope this crowd idea works. I don’t want to die tonight.” Evie opened her eyes and looked at me with worry.

“It's got to be a DS-7, they were modeled after me” Dottie explained.

“I’m on it,” Miller said and things started to happen. The music seemed to get louder, the announcer more urgent, and the laptop crew got more active. “That will give us a few more minutes. But we need to get this done now.”

“What’s the plan?”

“We copied most of the important stuff, I think. It’s time to move on to the data they have on the good doctor here.”

“But I’m - ot do- et” Dottie’s voice said but her message was getting too distorted.

“What?”

“Dottie” Evie communicated over the line. “Don’t talk, just transfer.” Suddenly Evie opened her eyes and looked confused. “Dottie? The data stopped! Are you ok?”

“No” she replied. “Someone just came in here. I think they are looking for me.” Without the data transfer, her voice was clear, but now we were making no progress. And we needed to delete everything they had on me and Evie.

“Dottie! Can you get out of there? Find another terminal?”

“I’m hiding behind a desk. I can't get out.”

There was a commotion out front and someone started to yell above the crowd. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but the voice was feminine. I had a bad feeling about this.

“Evie, we need to get out of here.”

“What? I’m not leaving Dottie there alone! We didn’t even delete the data!”

I looked back to the entryway and there was more motion outside the room. Our lookout was now blocking the way entirely, although I feared he was no match for an assassin gynoid.

“Fine!” I said against my better judgment. I had a weak spot for Evie. “Miller, we need to forget the rest and just delete everything! Can we do that?”

“Sure but I can’t until-”

“I can do it” Dottie replied. “I can finish the transfer.”

“She’s here, Dottie, we can’t-” I began but heard something in the background of her feed. A struggle. “Dottie?! What’s happening?!”

“Hold on” she replied as the struggle continued. I heard a loud pop and a crack, and then a thud. “Intruder dealt with.”

“You didn’t just kill someone did you?” Evie asked out loud in her shock.

“Not a human” he replied. “Security gynoid. Another DS-7.”

“They’ll activate the others. You have to get out of there now” I warned.

“No! Not until I fix this. Get ready EV-12, this is going to hurt!”

“Wha-?” Suddenly Evie tensed up and froze in place before she started to shake.

“She’s sending the data too fast!” Miller noted looking at his screen. He started working furiously to keep up.

“Evie!” I yelled, just as the curtain flew open and little miss bob cut stood there, defiant and intense.

A bunch of the guys got up and started walking around, but it didn’t take long for her to drop our lookout. Screaming ensued.

“The virus!” Dottie spoke the moment Evie took in a giant gasp of air. “Send it now!”

I heard more sounds on the other end of the line. It sounded like Dottie was being surrounded by security bots and was already fighting back despite her direct connection to us and the terminal.

Miller messed around on his computer some more. “Compiling. Give me 60 seconds.”

“You have 6” Dottie warned.

“We have none,” I said as the assassin fixed her eyes on me and Evie and marched toward us.

“Can we stall her?” Evie panted.

I stood up, between her and Evie, and squared myself up to her.

“John, no!” Evie called out in real life and over the comms.

“NOW!” Dottie demanded.

“Stop right-” I started to yell at the intruder.

“Can I help you?” Miller interrupted, standing in front of me.

She didn’t answer but instead grabbed him by the shoulder and tossed him to the side. He fell onto the table, breaking a few laptops I imagined, but his was still running.

As soon as he was shoved aside, I shoved the cattle prod he slipped me behind his back into her neck.

She started to react instantly to it, shaking and going stiff but never falling over. Instead, she slowly grabbed it from me and pulled it away. The girl glared at me as she snapped the device in two with one hand like it was a pencil.

She punched me hard. Hard enough to knock the wind out of me and send me crashing into the wall.

“John!!” Evie screamed.

I struggled to breathe, unable to get any air in my lungs. It felt like my chest was burning. Things were starting to get dark as I tried my hardest to take in air.

Somehow, I managed to get in a breath, and then several more, waking up on the floor, looking up at the towering figure before me. She was holding Evie up by the neck with one hand, who was kicking and screaming. Most everyone else had run out of the room. Except Miller who was still on the table, turning over.

“EVIE!” I yelled or tried to. It came out weak and made me cough.

“It’s too late!” Dottie cried over the earpiece. The connection was still active, at least as long as Evie was working. “ There's no time! I can't escape! I need to… I can try to-”

I struggle to get to Evie but couldn’t get control of my body and fell on my side. Evie started to go limp as terror filled me.

“Sent!” Miller yelled as he entered the send command on his laptop.

Seconds later, I was trying to get up again, but this time the intruder looked down at me, aware I was still moving.

“It’s too late” I coughed.

Suddenly, Evie straightened up and went stiff again. A heavy flow of data was going through her still. Dottie must still be alive too.

Several seconds later, Evie went limp again. As soon as she did our guest froze in place and released her. Evie fell to the ground, or rather, she fell onto me as I tried to catch her.

“It’s working!” Miller said.

“What?” I managed to ask without coughing.

“The virus! It’s already spreading!”

The girl before us stood stiff, looking blankly at the wall. She stayed like that, her arms still in front of her like she was still holding Evie until she suddenly fell backward right onto the floor with a loud thud.

I laid Evie down as Miller scrambled over to us.

“Is she alright?’ he asked.

“Evie!” I called. Her eyes were open and fixed on the ceiling. “Come back to me, Evie!”

Her systems were already overheating from the massive data transfer. She was burning hot to the touch! If she lost her breath for long enough, she might have overheated and burned up something serious, like one of her CPUs. I grabbed a random glass of water that was on a small table nearby and doused it on her face, hoping it would cool her down some more.

I changed position so I was sitting with her head in my lap as I ran my hand through her head. I started to cry and couldn’t stop. I knew there wasn’t a chance I could repair her; getting replacement parts would be impossible. Most of her was custom made!

“Evie! Please! I’m sorry! It can’t end this way!” I sobbed. “Evie!” It seemed like chaos in the room, but for me, everything had stopped.

Miller put his hand on my shoulder. “Sorry, man.”

I held her close to me and hugged her tight, her body limp. I was at a loss for words and sat there holding her sobbing. Miller got up to see to the other girl and make sure she was down.

“Evie, please don't go” I cried into her hair.

“You're holding me too tight to go anywhere.”

My eyes snapped open and I pulled Evie back. “Evie?!”

She looked up at me with unfocused eyes and weakly smiled before coughing. Her voice was distorted and digital, and her face was flush. She was hot to the touch and wasn't moving.

“John. I'm overheating” she explained.

“Evie!” Quickly I realized what had to be done. I turned to Miller and tried to shoot in my hoarse voice. “I need ice! Now! Lots of it!”

I coughed some more as I lowered Evie to the ground and steadied her. She was still limp and looked around in a daze, but she was alive! I fanned her with my hands as I tried to make her comfortable.

A minute later, several jugs of ice were handed to me and I started pouring them on Evie, all over her chest and face and torso.

As I covered her in ice, she started to breathe more, and her skin slowly cooled off. After a few minutes, she was looking around better and focusing.

“John? What happened? Why can't I move?”

“Just stay still. You almost died.”

“But I am a robot. I can not die.”

“You are so much more than that! Besides, I would never be able to rebuild you. Just relax.”

“John? I'm scared” she confided.

“Everything will be OK.”

Miller came over. “You sure gave us a scare.”

“Miller?” Evie said looking up at him. “Where's Dottie?”

Miller scratched his head. “About that…”

“What?” I asked.

“Well, I got good news and bad news.”

“Spit it out” I demanded.

“She completed the mission. We got the data, we can put those bastards away, and we deleted their servers. She even spread the virus to the other units accessing the system. Like our friend here.”

“But where is she?” Evie asked.

“The signal stopped. It's dead on her end. She's…”

Evie closed her eyes and cried a little but said nothing.

“I'm sorry,” I said.

“Yeah…” Miller added.

“Excuse me is there trouble here?” a deep male voice asked. I looked up to see a large black man dressed in a snappy uniform. He must have worked here. “I'm going to have to call the police- is that girl a gynoid?” He asked looking at our assailant.

“No police” Evie worried slightly shaking her head.

“I got this” Miller said and stood up to face the man. He turned him away and they had a long conversation.

“How are you feeling?” I asked Evie.

“Physically my temperature is back to normal but all sensation in my body is… gone. Emotionally I'm distraught and heartbroken. Also, I'm exhausted.”

“Want me to get you out of here?”

“Yes, very much” she replied.

I lifted Evie up carefully, cradling her in my arms, and made my way through the kitchen and out the back. She couldn't hold on so I did my best to keep her up. Once outside, I brought her around and sat down on the curb with her, waiting for Miller. He had the keys.

“Can you repair me?”

“Of course!” I lied. I had no idea if I could for sure, but I was going to try. I wasn't going to rest until she was walking again!

“Good. I want to feel you holding me again.”

“You will.”

A few minutes went by as I sat outside on the curb holding Evie until Miller came out the front. He was carrying on his back the blond assailant. I got up and carried Evie over.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“There you two are! The owner told me to remove the robot, and I had to pay the damages. Also, we’re banned for life.”

Oh no… Banned from a place I've never been to before. What will I do? I shrugged.

“I really should charge you for this” he added.

“Hey, thanks for everything.”

“Yeah well, this one here might fetch me something good on the black market. Or I could turn her into-”

“Maybe I could use her for spare parts for Evie?” I interrupted.

He sighed. “I need to get something out of this.”

“Satisfaction that you did the right thing?”

“Not going to happen” he replied.

“Thank you, Miller,” Evie said.

He looked at her and sighed. “Fine. But you two owe me big time.”


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