A Nova At Hotel Automata II

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There are shemale androids in this chapter

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"Goshujin-sama actually cried...?"

Nova tried not to physically wince on hearing her long-time lover/companion call their ultimate host THAT. "Yes, he did," the flame-haired gynoid replied as she gently squeezed Ariel's hand. "You heard what Angela and Alex said about how Rick views sentient AIs like us. Even if allowing himself to become Amy's new master stopped her malfunction, he still felt it wrong to force himself on her."

Hearing that, the former senior business executive blinked as she fought down the growing urge in her sexual systems to go find the man she was now flatly convinced was the deadly "black prince" who had done so much to see Daikoku rendered weak and vulnerable before the Catastrophe and submit herself fully to the man. "I see..." she said as her own violet eyes misted over.

Gazing on the woman who had come to mean so much to her over the past decade and more, Nova then reached over to squeeze the petite brunette's shoulder. "Ariel...do you WANT Rick to be your owner?"


More silence.

Still more silence.


Ariel blinked several times as the idea of being the personal possession of a man like Rick Thomas — polite to a fault, gentle and compassionate beyond belief, very intelligent, quite attractive regardless of his physical disability — then her cheeks turned quite red as she hugged herself.

"Oh, the TEMPTATION...!" she breathed out as she got up, hugging herself as she walked over to the window to gaze upon the surrounding cityscape. A quick glance by Nova to the area of her lover's nexus showed how aroused the highly-modified sexbot was at such a possibility. "Nova, if he would ask me to be his, I would be his in an instant! Yet..." She sniffed. "I can't abandon you or the others."

"We can all accept it, Ariel," Nova soothed.

The brunette gazed over her shoulder at the other woman. "What about your feelings for Jason?"

Nova stiffened instantly on hearing that name before she blinked herself as her blue eyes teared. Only Ariel had the right to raise the subject of Jason Matting to her even if it had been over fifteen years since his death thanks to Nova's then-malfunctioning sister Andromeda during a rather ugly rogue retrieval mission in San Antonio a year prior to her meeting Ariel for the first time. As he had done several times before his own suicide, Nova's creator/father Aaron Lafeyson had mercifully suppressed her memories of holding the dying man in her arms after she pounded Andromeda into submission, he vowing his love for her with his dying breath. Memories which would be restored at Ariel's direct command, resulting in Nova spending a week in the other gynoid's arms weeping as she strove to overcome the many past traumas of her first missions for Daikoku.

It was one of many things the woman born NVA-7 felt grateful when it came to her sister gynoid born ANG-9.

"Jason will always be part of me, Ariel," she then confessed. "But you're a much greater part of me, even more so than Robin or my sisters. I want YOU to be happy. And I know you're tired of wandering like this. I didn't suspect it when you first moved to have our rendezvous here, but now I realize you DID choose this place because of Rick himself. I reacted the same way when I first learned of him and what he had to do for the girls here at the hotel..."

"He's the Black Prince."

Nova stopped. "Hŭg'in'wangja-nim?!"

"He's either the one who was in charge or worked with that person. I wasn't sure of it at first, but when he told you he was with CSIS and worked in Sŏul before the Catastrophe, it just solidified it for me."

The other woman considered that for a moment, calling up all the memory files she had concerning Daikoku's many failed operations in the recently-reunited Republic of Korea in that bloody half-decade before Neo-Tōkyō was nearly vaporized, then put all of them through a detailed analysis protocol to see where her lover was going with her train of logic. After a moment, she blinked. "Our escape?"

"Not just ours," Ariel noted. "EVERY sentient AI owned by Daikoku was well clear of Neo-Tōkyō before the warhead struck the complex. You and I were in Shin-Ōsaka then, helping set up a private repair facility for all of us, remember?" At Nova's nod, the raven-haired gynoid looked out the window again. "Remember what people like Rhea, Danu, Meda and Robin said just after it happened? How they got private messages from different sources advising them that we needed help in Shin-Ōsaka?"

The flame-haired woman blinked before she laid back on the bed. "You think Rick sent those messages?"

"In his personal blog, he confesses to have always had a thing for sentient AIs," her old boss reminded her. "While we never had proof positive about it, I'M sure CSIS was supported on the sly by Professor Andrews' organization." As Nova gaped at her, Ariel shook her head. "I knew as much about the man as you did, Nova."

A faint nod answered her. Professor George Andrews, late of the Canadian Army's Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, was the man who had come up with a detailed AI sentience classification system that came into vogue over the years. Using a grading system lettered from A to G, the Andrews Scale of Artificial Intelligence was the benchmark of measurement when it came to giving sentient AIs like Ariel Diamond and Nova Lafeyson civil and legal rights; the by-letter owner of Hotel Astra, Susan Descharme, was graded a Class G — in effect, as human as an AI could be — and could do most things organics could do even if she still needed an "owner of record" in one Rick Thomas.

While Daikoku had tried to tear apart Canada to capture the native of Stelton in hopes of seizing his own knowledge for their own use — failing each time — the man who resembled a younger version of the famous actor Vincent Price hadn't been seen in over two decades since he published his seminal work on AI development.

In fact, many these days believed him to be a mere urban legend...

Both women perked as the telephone on the desk rang. Walking over, Ariel tapped the control. "Hello?"

"I see I was somewhat found out."

Hearing the amused voice of their host made both gynoids blush...


"There never WAS a Black Prince?"

Rick shook his head after placing his coffee cup down, then he smiled as his personal chef Melissa Drayton moved to refill same. "No. The name was used in an operation MI6's people in Sŏul wanted to carry out to whisk the Imperial Family out of Japan and to safety in Korea, preventing them from becoming hostages to Osato and his subordinates when it started becoming clear even to them that the rest of the world was ganging up to shut Daikoku down. When one of the field agents who were captured by your people let out the name in interrogation and it began being bandied about in Neo-Tōkyō, we elected to play along with it."

Ariel and Nova hummed. All three were currently in their host's top-floor apartment enjoying breakfast; even if both gynoids could go without any sort of matter intake to help maintain their internal systems for days, Rick had a strong sense of propriety to ensure that two esteemed lady guests would not head out on the town from his establishment without proper nourishment. "You clearly didn't have anything to do with the Catastrophe," the raven-haired sexbot-turned-executive mused before sipping her tea. "Was it you that found a way to get all of Daikoku's AIs like Nova and myself out of Neo-Tōkyō before it happened?"

A sour look crossed his face. "I didn't know details about it, but I did know that something big was planned to follow the evacuation of the Heavenly Sovereign and his family from the Gosho in Kyōto. What I did know was that a week before it happened, our station was ordered to find ways to contact everyone like you two — not to mention those organics who were judged as not being complicit in many of the atrocities that Daikoku had unleashed across Asia, especially in the southeast — to get out of the city as quick as possible." He pointed at Ariel. "That's when we learned what you really were, Ariel. That surprised us a lot."

"It was necessary," Nova explained, making Ariel blush. "After Mugoi's death, it was decided that a totally logical, rational hand was needed when it came to managing covert operations. By then, Ariel had served as personal administrative assistant to President Osato himself for two years. He trusted her more than he did his own senior board of executives, so her becoming chief of the whole works — once a proper false identity was made for her — was logical in the end."

"We noticed that," he admitted. "Innocent bystander casualties dropped to near-zero after Ariel took over." He gave the woman in question an approving look, making the diminutive brunette blush madly at that praise.

"It was just a sloppy way of doing business," she confessed.

Chuckles escaped the others in the room save one Amy Wong, who was reclining on the beautiful master bed nearby gazing intently at some of her new master's photo albums. Glancing towards the transgender gynoid for a moment, Rick then sighed before sipping his coffee. "Rick, it wasn't your fault," Nova advised on seeing that. "The whole situation with Amy and those like her just didn't chime."

As the raven-haired twenty-something "trap" looked over her shoulder at the two elder gynoids, Rick sighed. "Yes, I know. I just don't like being thrust into a situation where I'm seen as effectively taking over Uncomsys by proxy because I'm the effective owner-of-record of its acting COO."

"Is there any hope for Mr. Descharme?" Ariel wondered.

He shook his head. "Can't tell. Dhe drifts in and out of consciousness all the time." As he did for the transgender gynoid he "owned", Rick addressed the person whom Uncomsys Series X Unit 711 — or "Georgia Descharme" as dhe went by these days — with the modified pronouns that first came out in a classic science fiction novel about the societal impacts of gender identity ages ago. "Dhe's got a crack team of nurses watching over the fellow, but dhe isn't anywhere close to being well enough to allow dher other self to be able to live here full-time with dher wife."

"Romantic!" Ariel teased, toasting him with her cup.

Chuckles escaped the others before a knock echoed from the main door. Melissa perked before heading over, opening it before she sighed. "Come in, Charlene. She's right over there."

Rick's guests turned to see a very beautiful woman appearing to be about thirty or so; a quick switch to thermal sight revealed what she really was. "Oh, Rick, please forgive us!" the pale silver-eyed blonde moaned as she came up to warmly envelop his head in her quite voluminous superstructure; seeing those impressive breasts, a very tiny twang of jealousy shot through the minds of the two Japanese-built gynoids as they realized that both of theirs didn't come close to ONE of the newcomer's. "I was monitoring Amy's programming, then she got away from me...!"

"Okay! Okay! Knock it off with the dumb bimbo act, Charlene!" he groaned even if he returned her embrace.

A pout crossed the newcomer's face. "Rick! For God's sake, I'm PROGRAMMED to act that way!" she said as she pulled back from him, giving him an annoyed look before an impish grin turned her lips up before she leaned in to warmly kiss him on the lips.

"Well, you don't have to be Uncomsys' 'blonde cheerleader' around me, alright!" he declared after they pulled apart, motioning with his hand to have Amy come over to join them.

"But I want to!" she cutely whined.

More laughter escaped the others as Rick shook his head...


Charlene Morton was famous throughout the world of AI manufacturer as the "blond cheerleader" of United Computing Systems. While not possessing any sort of mechanical aptitude or business acumen, she was a marketing genius who would have faced insane monetary attempts at buying out her labour from ScenariCorp atop clandestine approaches to coerce or outright kidnap her by Daikoku. Fortunately for her, by the time she had started to make a name for herself as one of Uncomsys' bevy of passionate executives ready to take on the whole world, the company forged in hot fire by Osato Sanshirō was a shattered wreck and its would-be competition built on the single-minded genius of James Peters was teetering on the brink of total collapse.

Of course, she would be felled eventually by a viral COVID-like infection about a year before.

Fortunately, the people who led Uncomsys — taking into account both the selfish madness that dominated Daikoku AND the too-personal nature of the leadership of ScenariCorp — had prepared for such an eventuality.

The Series X 700 model sentient administrative assistant — the "awake" Charlene was Unit 705 — had been built especially for that reason.

Taking advantage of the laxing laws concerning sentient AIs — where such beings could do most things organics did, though they needed an organic "owner of record" to serve as ultimate guarantor of their every action — Charlene and her peers were quick to step in and take control of their creators' company when necessity demanded, keeping it on a steady course as the founders struggled to recover.

But there had been problems...

"So you're getting close, too?"

Charlene blushed as she felt the retired customer service representative's gaze fall on them as everyone relaxed under a blooming cherry blossom tree in the city park about two kilometres from the hotel. Rick had suggested coming here since said trees were native to Japan — they had actually been planted there by the local branch of Daikoku decades before — and it would give both Ariel and Nova a sense of peace and contentment while he moved to deal with the situation concerning Amy Wang. Fortunately for them, few were out in the park today, so if something intimate had to happen, they could do it with ease here.

"Pretty close," the blonde administrative gynoid said, nodding as her cute raven-haired assistant hugged her from one side, gazing warmly at the woman she had been specifically built to serve. "Unless the other me finally recovers, I can't see myself operating like this for more than two months before I'd be driven to seek out a new master. My programming is not as degraded as Georgia's was when you rescued dher, but it's starting to get there."

He sighed. "Oh, swell. Lucky thing I passed it on to the authorities about what was going on with you guys." On seeing Charlene's silver eyes widen in surprise, Rick waved her down. "Relax! I had Georgia explain the whole situation and all the safeguards your other-selves put into this whole thing before it had to be executed. As long as you or the others at Uncomsys don't do anything stupid, the authorities will gladly look the other way."

"Aren't there concerned about hacking?" Nova wondered.

"The loyalty lock programs that were developed after the first big instance of mass hacking into ScenariCorp-programmed AIs were designed from the start to lock in on a person's very DNA code — the whole genetic code, including all chromosomes that make a person unique — to ensure it couldn't be effectively hacked, Nova," Charlene explained. "Even identical twins have slight differences in their total genetic sequence that can be noticed by the programs. This is also the reason that the best way to engage the loyalty lock is through sexual intercourse."

"Full sample of one's genome through one's sperm or vaginal tissue," Ariel concluded. "Effectively fail-safe system."

"There are ways to spoof it using blood samples taken from someone," Rick noted. "It's just difficult to the point where people are convinced it's easier to brute-force a change of command protocols instead." He then reached over to gently squeeze Charlene's hand. "Or we have a natural degredation of one's protocol programming to the point where the person in question..."

"...is forced to seek a new master or mistress to maintain programming stability," Ariel finished, nodding in approval. "Daikoku was exploring a similar concept given how some AIs were going rogue. It never got far before everything was destroyed by the USSF." As Charlene and Amy gave her sympathetic looks, the sexbot-turned-business executive waved them down. "Please, I'm long over it..."

Someone's personal communications unit then dinged. "Yeah, it's me, Georgia," Charlene then called out to nowhere in particular. "Amy's alright; Rick got to her." She then blinked as her boss's voice echoed in her central processors. "Right, right. We'll be back at the complex in four-point-six hours. See you then, hot stuff!" As Amy giggled, the blonde gave her friend's guests apologetic looks. "Sorry to meet and run, but business has to get done."

"Do your best," Nova hailed.

Hugs and kisses were exchanged, then the Uncomsys executive and her personal assistant headed towards the limousine they had used to come to the park from the hotel. Rick watched them go, a satisfied look on his face. That was quickly noticed by Ariel and Nova. "You planned that?" the latter asked.

"Necessary," he quietly answered; even if there was enough distance between he and his friend, there was a need to be cautious. "If you ladies will be willing to assist me in a bit, you might help save a life or two."

The two Japanese-built gynoids blinked in confusion...


"So you actually served as a beta tester for Sunnyhaven?!"

A wide-eyed Nova blinked as her processors took that information in while she and her companion followed their host in his motorized wheelchair down one of the side streets of the city's central business district. "For six whole months," Rick admitted with a slight flush on his face. "This was just before ScenariCorp began scaling back all its major operations and the whole project was shut down."

"Eight years ago," Ariel noted. "How was it?"

A chuckle answered her. "For any heterosexual or bisexual person, it was pure heaven," he admitted. "For me, it was a needed letdown after Sŏul."

The two Daikoku gynoids nodded. "You quit from CSIS because of the Catastrophe," Ariel said.

"Yeah!" he affirmed, a touch of pain in his voice. "I wanted to see your bosses put on trial for all their crimes, not turned into radioactive dust. I'm aware of how people in the Orient view death and how it affects one's karma."

Ariel and Nova exchanged knowing looks. Indeed, the mass slaughter of so many would be seen by the "true believers" among their former masters as cleansing their souls of sin, allowing them to pass into the afterlife untainted by whatever crimes they committed in this life. While many beyond Daikoku fervently believed that people such as Osamu Sanshirō were now suffering in Hell, there WERE movements active inside Japan to see the kami of the Catastrophe honoured in a proper way that would make the company's victims scream in outrage, sensing that "apologists" were moving to make people like Osamu look like victims!

"Hey, Rick!"

"Hey, Cody!"

Both women were shaking out of their introspection on seeing a very effeminate man appearing to be Nova's physical age peek out of the double doors of his shop; a glance at the marquee revealed it was a used AI salvage depot. Possessing very pale pink-tinged blond hair allowed to flow down to mid-back, blue eyes and tanned skin, he could easily make himself look like a woman with the right clothes. "Same model as Amy?" Ariel asked after noting what "she" really was.

"Pretty much so even if he identifies as male," Rick stated before allowing the shopkeeper to warmly hug him. "Hey! How's my favourite rescuer doing?"

"Wishing I could just retire from this business and be with you full time, Master," Cody Jenkins said with a playful wink before he reached over to gently grasp Ariel's hand, bowing over it to give her a courtly kiss, such making her blush. "Sempai-tachi, you honour my humble establishment with your presence." As he greeted Nova the same way — earning him another set of rosy cheeks from the flame-haired warrior gynoid — he then waved them inside. "Hopefully, you won't come to my establishment in the way these poor unfortunates did. Come in, please."

Walking side, both gynoids nodded in approval at the cleanliness and orderly nature of the interior. Those fully-intact AIs that were on display for resale were dressed plainly; there was not a nude body in sight. Whatever separated body parts were displayed were shown in a way to not provoke any feelings of horror or intimidation; naturally, no sexual organs were on public display. "Very nice," Nova breathed out, nodding in approval. "When did Rick become your master?"

"A week after he effectively took control of Hotel Astra," Cody stated. "I was the only Uncomsys unit willing to stay in contact with Susan and her friends after Daniel Desmond's trial. Thank God that there was no major systems breakdown on any of the people until Rick got there and later had Gillian purchased to be the on-site tech."

"Good for you, Sensei," Ariel declared, making their host blush on being called that, then she leaned down to hug Rick from behind. "Hey, Nova, did you come to the same conclusion as I just did?"

"How so, Ariel?" Nova playfully asked.

"That Sensei here privately contacted our wonderful host's friend privately to make sure no one else from Uncomsys finds out about his incredible find when it comes to the Lost 3K?"

"Indeed I did, Chief!"

Rick and Cody laughed...


"Hey, Pria...long time, no see..."

Ariel squeezed Rick's shoulders as he reached up to brush away the relieved tears appearing in his eyes. "She's not the one you really care for, is she?" the sexbot-turned-business executive quietly asked as Nova walked around the examination table to gaze intently on the discretely-veiled woman lying there.

"No, but she was one of the many friends I made among the people at Sunnyhaven when I was there," he confessed as he reached over to squeeze the still gynoid's hand, noting it was warm indicating some internal systems were on. "Where did your friends find her, Cody?"

"Actually, close to the Sunnyhaven site," Cody admitted as he reached into his latest "patient's" nexus to tap two hidden switches to flip open the back of her skull, where there were programming ports and removable memory disk slots. "No physical damage, but she was almost totally out of charge; lucky thing she hid herself in a place where people who'd normally try to search the place for any sort of 'treasure' would find her. Near as I can figure, she walked there from wherever Derek Peters stashed her group of the Lost 3K to make sure the old site was cleared out of anything valuable. Even if it's been five years since ScenariCorp's final collapse, a lot of their stuff is still top-of-the-line."

"Especially anything James himself built or programmed," Rick noted.

Nova hummed. "Pria looks like a standard GySys unit by her ear and body shape, Rick."

"She was, but James himself specially modified her to serve multiple rôles like he did a lot of the girls he had selected for staff at Sunnyhaven," the retired customer service representative noted as he pulled out a palmtop computer, extending a micro-USB cord to insert into the top of Pria Walsh's double bank of special programming ports above the upper of her three memory disk slots. As Ariel and Nova politely looked away, he tapped into one special file before typing in a couple very intricate password codes. "Okay, I'm ready here..."

"Right," Cody said as he tapped a control to connect the gynoid's primary power source to all her systems.

A pair of dark hazel eyes snapped open, the inner irises glowing a dark red shade to indicate she was now in basic diagnostic mode. "Sce-na-ri-Corp...U-nit...Three-Three-Es-Nine...Pri-a...Walsh...pri-ma-ry...sys-tems...ac-ti-va-ted," she declared in a voice that was surprisingly warm even if it spoke in metered lock-step. "Ad-vanced...func-tions...in-ac-tive. Spe-cial...pro-gram-ming...port...Al-pha...con-nec-ted...to...port-a-ble...palm-top...u-nit. Please...en-ter...spe-cial...se-cu-ri-ty...pass-code...to...en-gage...ad-vanced...func-tions."

"Bless you, Nessa!" Rick hissed as he tapped a very complex string of codes.


More silence.

Still more silence.


"Damn...about time..."

Nova and Ariel looked as Cody's newest guest began to breathe in fresh air to ensure her internal systems would remain cool and not overheat. Finding herself staring up at an unfamiliar ceiling, the woman who had spent her first day after final initial activation pretending to be a new hire for ScenariCorp's program development team — such was actually a test of her sleeper programming systems as well as those of a sister unit who would later become Pria's full-time lover, Althea Dailey — blinked before she sensed someone grasping her hand. Looking left, her hazel eyes then went wide with disbelief. "Rick...?"

"Hey, stranger," he teased as he reached over to pull out the USB cable so Pria's beautifully bobcut black hair could be restored. "Haven't seen a pretty lady like you in ages. Where the hell have you been all this time?"

An apologetic look responded. "Hiding."

Rick sighed. "I rather figured as much..."

To Be Continued...


Quick translation list:

Goshujin-sama (御主人様) — Master.

Gosho (御所) — Literally "imperial place", this is the proper name of the Kyōto Imperial Palace as located above; its counterpart in Tōkyō is known as the Kōkyo (皇居), meaning "imperial palace".

Dhe — The nominative (subject) pronoun used for fems/shemales in Shadow Man.

Tachi (達) — A plural marker used in Japanese, similar to the English final "-s" letter ending to nouns.

Sensei (先生) — Literally "born earlier", this is the standard honorific used for teachers or others who are capable of imparting knowledge to other people.

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