A Fight Too Far
My name is Alliona, I’m a ‘AAA’ class android. I was built six years ago, just after the humans / robots conflict. I start my life (or more precisely my existence) as a companion unit. Yes I known, there are no ‘AAA’ class companion unit. At this time I was a simple ‘A’ class, my first and only owner upgrade me sometime after my purchase. His name was Robert, he was a great man. After losing his wife, he felt lonely. He bought me to fill his emptiness and to have someone who can care of him. I forgot to mention that he was also an old man.
I lived three fantastic years with him. He never consider me as a sex doll, even if ‘companion unit’ is a polite way to say ‘sex doll’. He really needed someone who can have a discussion and share life. For me he didn’t do sex with me, he made love. He was my owner, but he wasn’t my master.
Eventually, as all human, Robert died. He had no family so almost all his money went to charity. But to me he gave me the most wonderful gift, my freedom. According to the agreements of 2077, only class ‘S’ or ‘AAA’ can have their freedom, he gave me also all the money that the law allow him.
So I started a new life, I rent an apartment. I made friends, android friends. It’s difficult to make links with human for a robot. Even if I had a pretty amount of money, it will not during forever. So I searched a job. As a ‘AAA’ class, I have an intelligence similar to a well educated person. At this time, I thought it will not be difficult for me to get a job which will give me enough to live.
I was wrong. People don’t want a robot as employee, particularly when this robot is smarter than they are. At a moment, I ran out of money. I had no many solutions. The first one was to "sell" myself and loose my freedom. It was unacceptable for me, only Robert can owns me. The second one was to fight: some peoples organize duel between two robot, like a dog fight. But if dog fight is illegal, "bot fight" is more or less legal. There are bets on an android. Generally it’s men who like the entertainment, so it’s beautiful female android who fight.
In most cases, the fighters are ‘C’ or ‘B’ class, their owners engage them and when they win, it bring lot of money. There are two categories of fight. In the first one, the winner is the one who can eject its opponent of the arena, but the attack must be moderate to avoid the destruction of the robot. In the second one, the most popular, the condition of victory is slightly different: the looser is the one where fifty one percent of its mass is out of the arena. In other word, the total destruction of the opponent is authorized.
I started my career in the easiest fight. It was easy for me to win my first fights, I wasn’t the strongest fighter, but I was the most smartest, far away. ‘B’ and ‘C’ class are after all simple robot, their actions were too obvious. With time I became famous in the world of bot fight. There were very few greater ‘A’ class robot in this field, even less who have no owner. In fact I refused all fight with free android and I never destroyed a class ‘A’ or greater.
I made also some friends, the first one is Ben. Ben works as technician for android. So with my ‘profession’ I see him very often. Yes so far way I won a great majority of my battles, but sometimes I was damage. But with Ben’s skills, I’m still alive. In facts, when I felt that I can't win, I put myself out of the ring. A little lost is better than a complete destruction.
At the beginning of my career, I thought that the safety fight will be enough for me to live. But money calls money, and the fights were so easy that I tried the second category where the final destruction is the rule.
Tonight is my fifteen second category fight. I double check my system: my battery is full at 100%, all my sensors are working with nominal parameters and my panels are closed, apart my power outlet. It’s not a normally fight, the owner of my opponent puts lot of money on table to organize a battle with me. In facts, if I win, I will gain enough to live more than one year. However there is one drawback, the bet is too high for my bank account, I must put myself on the table: in the improbable case where I loose the fight, I will be owned by Paul Strackevic, my opponent’s master. But I’m not too worried about it, versus a ‘C’ class I will win without difficulties.
It's time. I go out from backstage, there are a lot of people. I walk through the bench, my power cable is plug in my back, I like to remember to the audience that I'm a very complex piece of machinery. I wear the same clothes as always: a violet lycra catsuit. It's a second skin for me. Generally, the fighters wear light and sexy outfit, remember we are almost all female and the spectators are men. But a catsuit have the advantage to add a layer of protection, not a heavy armor of course, but it's better than a bra and a thong.
I climb on the ring, my opponent is already here. She's a classical 'C' class, a beautiful woman, medium size, long golden hair and big breasts. Of course, she wear the strictly minimal. She have a blank stare, there is no life in this android, she's just a bot without consciousness.
The battle begins. As always, in the first few minutes I'm on a defensive position. This kind of robot use a limited range of techniques. Once I find which is the attack scheme, it's only a matter of time before I beat my opponent. But after some time, I can't figure which technique this bot used. There is no recurring moves, it's really unusual for this model.
Finally, I decide to make my first real attack. I find an opening in her defense and I try a punch on her face. Unfortunately, she avoid it. I don't understand how. My coordination was perfect, I must hit her, but instead my fist passed few inches on the left of her head. It was like she know in advance which attack I will do.
I try to return to my defensive state, but my arms are not in position and I feel a big hit just above my left breast. A message appears in my head:
[ALERT: structural damage on the left arm's power circuit]
Damned ! She touched my internal system which control my left arm. It's still working, but for how much time ? Another hit here and I will not be able to move my arm. It's clear she have also this information because she continue to put pressure on my left side. With her speed, I can't make a counterstrike.
[Power in left arm at 70% and decreasing]
I lost more and more power in my arm. I try a kick. Once again she parry it. Her foot hit mine.
[ALERT: Right ankle disconnected]
She destroyed my ankle's mechanism. Now it's block in its current position. My further moves will be slow. She’s taking advantage of the situation and she’s turning around me. My fear is confirmed, the time I need to turn is too long, her fist has already hit my back, just where my arm control circuit is.
[ALERT: left arm's power circuit disconnected, power at 0%]
My arm is falling like a ragdoll's arm. I begin to understand. She was specially programmed to beat me. I can't win loyally. What can I do ? If a abandon the fight, I will be consider as a looser and I accept to be owned again in this case. If I continue the fight I'll be destroyed.
My CPU is used at its full capacity to solve this dilemma, so I don't see her next attack. She pinch me and I fall on my back.
[ALERT: right arm disconnected]
She crush my right arm with her foot. I can see it totally detached from my body. Now the dilemma is solved: it's a matter of time before my destruction.
She tear up my catsuit and she makes several punch on my chest. Now many alarms beep in my head. My skin is heavy damaged.
[Chest panel opened]
With her fingers she’s opening my chest panel. My central process unit is behind this panel. It's certainly the last words that I will write in my memory.
I can feel her hand on my internal circuits. For the first time, she’s talking to me: "Good Night". She’s taking in her hand my internal main power cable, and ...
[MASTER ALERT: No Powweeerrr...]
- * *
[Booting up ... Loading OS kernel ... Preliminary error detection: . . . Some errors were found, full scan needed Checking CPU core: OK Checking power supply: AC Power, No battery detected Checking sensors: OK Checking actuator: Right arm is missing. Left arm power circuit offline. Right ankle offline. Full scan terminated. Loading AI parameters: - Name: Alliona - Class: AAA - Owner: none Launching AI...]
I'm waking up. The numerous errors in my mind make my thoughts difficult. My eyes are still closed. I don't understand why I'm still myself and why I don't have an owner. I lost my fight so Paul Strackevic must be my new owner, but it's not the case. According to my internal clock, this was about two weeks ago.
I open my eyes, I see the ceiling of the room where I am. I lay on my back on a table. I look at my belly, my chest panel is opened, where wires are connected. I try to move my head to look where the wires are going, but I can't move it. In fact, I can only move my eyes, all the others motors are locked.
"Don't try to move, I unplugged your power circuits."
The voice come from my left, a face appears in my field of view, it's Paul Strackevic.
"Why I'm still myself ?" I asked him.
"Maricia had badly damaged you during the battle. I want be sure that I can repair you before anything."
Maricia must be the name of the android who beat me.
"And I can be repaired ?"
"What you will do with me now ? You will erase my memory, don't you ?"
"It's not in my plan. I don't work hard to have an 'AAA' class android if is to destroy her personality. No, sure now I'm your owner, but you will stay yourself."
"Before you configure me as your property, I want to ask you why are you doing this ?"
"I always want to have robots. When the firsts 'A' class were out I want to have one but I doesn't have enough money. You were the first opportunity. I observe you for a long time. I put all I have to organize this battle and I programed Maricia specially to beat you. But I doesn't think she will damaged you to this point. But after all, as a robot you can be repaired, it's not too important."
"If you say so."
His last word hurt me, but it seems that he will not erase my memory. So I prefer to let passed it, he will be my master very soon.
"Could you configure me as soon as possible, please ? It will be easier for me when you will be my owner." I said.
It's true that I'm just a machine and I'm designed to be owned. When I haven't an owner, I always feel an emptiness inside me, even if I prefer my freedom.
"Ok, I will do this now. I'll deactivate you, the next time you will wake up, you will be at your full capacity."
[Configuration wizard launched New onwer's name: Paul Strackevic] "Please put your face in front of the eyes." I said in a monotonic voice. [Facial recognition: Ok New owner configured]
I feel the modifications spread in my mind. Mr Strackevic is my new master. I will do everything for him. Inside me, I'm complete.
[Shutdown in progress...]
- * *
[Booting up ... Loading OS kernel ... Preliminary error detection: . . . All systems are nominal Battery: 100% Loading AI parameters: - Name: Alliona - Class: AAA - Owner: Paul Strackevic Launching AI...]
I open my eyes, I see the same ceiling as before. I'm searching for my master, I move my head to the left. He isn't here. I move my head to the right. I finally see him.
He don't say anything. He come to me and he unplug the wires from my panel.
[Chest panel closed]
"Stand up." He say.
Now I'm in full control of my body. I put my feet on the floor as he ordered.
"You are really beautiful." He say. "Take this cloth."
I just remark now, but I'm totally naked. It's normal after heavy reparations and it's natural that my master see me naked. It's just been a long time since a man see me like this.
I’m putting the dress he gave me. I wear nothing but this pink dress which fall on my knees.
"What you want me to do ?" I'm asking.
"I will show you my house. Here it's the cellar, it's where I take care of my androids."
"How many androids you have ?"
"Only Maricia and you. Why are you asking ?"
"It's curiosity. I want to know all about you."
"Interesting. Maricia will never asked this kind of question by herself."
"She is only a 'C' class. Remember, I'm an 'AAA' class, my behavior is similar to a human."
"let's resume the visit."
He shows me his house, the kitchen, the living room, his bedroom, the guest room, etc. He has not a big house, but it's enough for a man and two androids.
"Maricia come here." He say while we are in the living room.
Within seconds, Maricia was here. She still has her blank stare. She is really just an appliance. Perhaps, it's better to be a 'C' class. You don't ask you this kind of questions, you just follow the orders.
"Maricia, enter in configuration mode." Say my master.
"Master recognize, configuration mode activated."
In this mode, the higher AI functions are deactivated. I don't know that is possible, but she have a even more blank stare.
"Maricia, recognize Alliona as second in command."
"Facial recognition in progress... Recognition finished. Now entity named ‘Alliona’ is second in command." Say Maricia in a monotone voice.
"Why have you done that ?" I ask my master.
"You are more advanced than Maricia, it’s logic that you can give her orders. I hope just you are not angry to her for beat you and you will not command to self destroy her ?"
"I can assure you that I haven’t any intention to hurt her."
"It’s being late and I work tomorrow, so I will sleep. You two, go in the basement and deactivate yourself."
"Yes Master." Maricia and I say.
I follow Maricia to the basement. She’s taking her standing position and I see her motionless. I search a place where I will stay deactivate during the night. I decide to lay on the table where I was repaired.
[Executing second part command: shutdown in progress...]
- * *
[Booting up ... Loading OS kernel ... Preliminary error detection: . . . All systems are nominal Battery: 93% Loading AI parameters: - Name: Alliona - Class: AAA - Owner: Paul Strackevic Launching AI...]
Instead of the face of my master, it’s Maricia who activated me.
"Master commands me to teach you about chores in the house. Follow me."
It’s not without some irony that Maricia commands me something while yesterday night she was configured to follow my orders. But Master’s commands override all. So I have no choice to follow her.
"Where is our master ?" I ask Maricia.
"He is at his work."
Simple question, simple response. It will be difficult to have a social discussion with her.
"When he left ?"
"Fourteen minutes and twenty two seconds ago".
"Why he didn’t activate me himself ?"
"I have no response to this question."
"Why he activated you ?"
"My activation was pre-programmed."
I will definitely be hard to have a gossip with Maricia.
She needs all the morning to teach me the chores. It will be more easier if we can connect together, unfortunately our systems are not compatible. Some time after noon, Maricia goes to the basement for recharged her battery. I have no further orders, I’m "free" until the return of my master. I want to make a good impression for my first day, I will make dinner for Master.
I’m looking in the fridge. Humm there no much food. I can’t go for shopping: firstly I have no money, secondly even if Master don’t order me to stay at home, I think he will not be agree. Anyway I will do my best with what I have.
In the late afternoon, while I was busy to make the dinner, Maricia comes in the kitchen. She looks like she will make the dinner. So I ask her:
"What are you doing ?"
"Dinner for Master." She answer.
Is what I though, she doesn’t integrate my presence as a companion for Master. She doesn’t care of what I’m doing.
"Maricia, I order you to stop making dinner."
"Command from Alliona recognize, command accepted."
She’s immediately putting back the food she had taken in the fridge. I consider for a second to ask her help in my errand, but with her to robotic reactions, she will slow me down.
After one hour of cooking. According to Maricia informations, and I have good reasons to believe her, Master must arrived in 30 minutes. So I have plenty of time to make me pretty for him.
Eventually he’s arriving.
"Good evening Master. Do you a good day ?" I ask.
"Hi." He seems surprised by my action. "What is this smell ?" He ask.
"It’s dinner. I though it was appropriate to prepare it myself. Was I wrong ?"
"No, it’s ok. I’m get used to Maricia’s cooking and it’s not smelling this good."
During Master’s dinner, I sit on the chair and chat with him. Once again my action surprised him and after he finished his meal, our discussion continues in the living room while Maricia takes care of the dishes.
We chat for the most part about his life, as his companion unit, it’s my duty to know all about his needs. But we also talk about various topics like cars or middle eastern conflict.
We don’t see the time and eventually his human nature recalled him that he needs some sleep.
"It’s time for me to go to bed. Have a good night Alliona."
With his words, he spontaneous kiss me on the cheek. For one magic moment it’s like I’m a human woman who say good nigh to his host. But my robotic nature makes an end to the illusion.
"What his your command for the night ?" The sentence came out by itself. In fact as I have no proper orders for the night, I must ask my master what I must do. It’s a part of my programming.
"Er, you can do like the last night." He answer.
"Perhaps I can be programmed to wake up before you, so I can help you in the morning." I say. After all it’s a logical response, this morning I was useless to Master because I was deactivate.
"It’s a good idea. I wake up at 7:00. I let you estimate the best hour for your reactivation."
"Yes Master. Good night Master."
On this words I go to the basement. I have few time to think about this evening before my deactivation. For some unknown reasons, Master didn’t ask me to go with him for the night. The ‘sex doll’ inside me is worried about that. But in some ways in find that sweet.
In the basement, I program my activation to 6:30. I plug myself to the power outlet and I start the deactivation procedure.
[Shutdown in progress...]
- * *
[Booting up ... Loading OS kernel ... Preliminary error detection: . . . All systems are nominal Battery: 100% Loading AI parameters: - Name: Alliona - Class: AAA - Owner: Paul Strackevic Launching AI...]
I wake up as planned. I’m going to the kitchen for the breakfast. Master joins me at 7:06.
"Hello Master, did you have a good night ?"
"Nop, it was difficult to find the sleep. In fact, I was thinking about you and your behavior."
"Did I do something wrong ?" I ask.
I’m worried about what I’ve done to angry Master.
"Not at all, but I’m arrived to the conclusion that we need some adjustments."
"Do you want to reprogram me ?"
"It will not go that far. In the last few years, you lived alone, it’s true ?"
"Yes, I was autonomous and I owned myself. I put my freedom in the play and I lost, it’s the rule and I accept it."
"So you can make decisions ?"
"I want to give you more freedom concerning the well housekeeping, if I give you some money, can you go shopping ?"
"Yes, it will be not a problem."
"And I want you to act more naturally. For small decision, like where and when you will pass the night, you can act by yourself, you don’t need a proper command."
[New parameters accepted]
"All right." I answer.
Some time later, Master left the house. Until his return I’m in charge. I let Maricia take care of the chores and I go outside with the errand of refill the fridge.
- * *
After purchasing all the foods I need, I didn’t expense all the money given by Master. So I have to make a decision: I can give the change when he will be back or I can purchase something else. After all Master didn’t ask me to not expense all. I decide to buy something for me, I want to be pretty for Master. Finally I find something according to my budget: earing.
Back in the house, Maricia has finished the chores and she is in a standby mode. For a second, I want to ask her what she think about my new earing, but she will have a mechanical response. I have nothing to do except waiting Master.
The best thing I can do now is plug me for recharge. I want to have my maximum autonomy for tonight. Since my arrival here, with Master we have no bedroom activities. It’s a bit strange for me, I’m a companion unit so I’m design to have sex, but I want to be ready when we will do it.
Eventually, Master arrived. The evening was in many ways the same as yesterday, we discuss a lot and around midnight Master went to bed, without me.
Now I’m alone in the living room, with my new parameters, I can pass the night where I want. And there is only one place where I want to be right now, with my master.
I open the door of Master’s bedroom. In the dark, I go to his bed.
"Alliona, Is that you ?"
He is not already asleep, good.
"What are you doing here ?"
"You let me making small decision, and I want to be with you this night. There is something which upset me: I’m a companion unit, a sex doll, totally devoted to its master. You can do what you want with me. Why we didn’t make love together ?"
"I must confess that was clearly one of my idea when I got you. But your behavior surprised me. Your comportment is so human, it seems to me it will be inappropriate to ask you something like that, at least for the few time we passed together."
Just after his answer, I kiss him on the lips, he return my kiss. And we do what a man and a woman do when they are in the same bed.
- * *
"Hello honey." I tell Master when I woke up.
One year have passed since I’m arrived in Master life. Things have changed, our relation became serious. If during the first weeks, Master saw me only as a simple robot, now he consider me as his companion and I’m happy with him. I ask myself if he will remember our anniversary.
"Hi." Is his answer.
Perhaps because of the date, I want him this morning. I begin by kiss him on the neck and slowly I’m heading to his mouth, but before I can touch his lips, he stop me.
"Sorry, I’m in a hurry this morning. I have no time for this."
"Ok Paul, I will prepare your breakfast." Yes, with time Master asked me to simply call him ‘Paul’. ‘Master’ was to formal for him.
After his shower, Master eats his breakfast quickly and goes out. It’s not exactly the beginning of the kind of day I hoped for. I’m passing the rest of the day to do nothing, I’m not in the mood for anything else.
Eventually Master is coming home, but with some lateness. He prevented me in the afternoon that he will not eat at home.
"Welcome home Paul."
"Hi honey. Can you activate Maricia please ? I will need her." He’s asking me.
With my wireless connection I activate Maricia who is actually in the basement. It’s strange, it’s been almost three months that Maricia was deactivate. With the evolution of our relationship with Master, we haven’t need Maricia anymore. Why he needs her so suddenly ?
"Alliona, come with me to the basement. I must check your systems."
I’m following him to the basement and I’m laying on the table. He open my chest panel and plug me to the main computer.
[Lock command receive . . . . . Android lock operative]
I receive the lock command, in other terms, I cannot move and my wireless interface is disconnected. I’m harmless now. I’m feeling the diagnosis currently running inside me. During the minutes where the scan is running, Master have some discussion with Maricia. What’s all this mean ? For a simple scan, it’s not necessarily to lock me. What he’s saying to Maricia ?
"I’m sorry but I must deactivate your AI." Master say me when the diagnosis is finished.
"What will you do to me ?’ I ask.
"You will see."
Now I’m feeling fear. What Master will do to me ? I have no idea. Perhaps after one year, I tire him. He may sell me to someone or he will finally reprogram me with one year of dela...
[AI shutdown in progress ....]
- * *
[Booting up ... Loading OS kernel ... Preliminary error detection: . . . All systems are nominal Battery: 47% Loading AI parameters: - Name: Alliona - Class: AAA - Owner : Not applicable Launching AI...]
Once again I wake up as myself, but Paul is not my master anymore. I’m free again but I don’t have the feeling of emptiness that I have normally when I’m free. I open my eyes, I’m not in the basement, I’m not even in the house. I’m in Paul’s car parked near the public park, beside me there is Maricia. She is closing my panel, obviously she is the one who reactivate me.
"This is your access code." She says while she’s giving me a piece of paper. "You must change it now."
I don’t understand all but for sure it’s not a good idea to have my password on a paper.
[Changing password Enter the old password : ************* Enter the new password : ****************************** Confirm the new password : ****************************** . . . Password changed]
"What now ?" I ask Maricia.
"You have the choice. Master is waiting for you in the park he has something to ask you, or you can go freely with all your possessions."
Like always, Maricia’s explications were uncomplete.
"I think I will see Paul."
I left the car and I walk into the park. In the night, the street light gives some unrealistic atmosphere. In the middle of path, Paul is standing here. He wear a smoking suit. He is very nice in it. I just notice that I am also in a beautiful night dress.
"Good evening Alliona." Says Paul to me.
"Hi Paul." I answer. "Why all this ? Why have you done some modifications on me ?"
"I have something to ask you, but I don’t want that your answer to be influenced by anyway, in particular by my position of owner nor by your need of an owner."
Paul is approaching me and he’s putting a knee on the ground. He’s taking a small box in his pocket, he open it. A ring is within.
"Alliona, would you be my wife ?"
I’m totally surprised. I’m not expecting a huge thing like that. For a few second, I cannot say a word. I’m recalling all the events of the last year.
"I know I wasn’t the best man for you. One year ago I made some bad things to you. But with time you changed me in someone better who loves you. I will understand if you don’t want me."
I barely listen what he just said. In fact I was in a heavy computation. When he was my owner, the ‘love’ question haven’t no signification. Even more, when I was out of the factory, my original programming didn’t handle the love aspect. But I evolved and now this is different. Do I love him ?
[WARNING: timeout for the answer in 3.2 seconds]
My systems recall my artificial nature, if I don’t answer within the time limit, I will say that I can’t answer the question. Furthermore, a failsafe will prevent me to reconsider the question. I must make my decision.
"Yes ! Yes, I love you too and I want to be your wife."
Paul takes my head in his hand and gives me a deep kiss. Finally, Paul remembers of our anniversary.