Administrative Assistant

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Administrative Assistant

(Pt. I) - CoWorkers

Fluttering between open and closed, my eyelids betrayed my true thoughts about the meeting I was currently sitting in: Pointless. Unnecessary. Aimless. Unproductive.

I was representing the engineering team in the, now bordering on three hour long, meeting regarding a large new account that the sales boys had managed to land. As a team of me, myself, and I, I was always forced to attend these teeth-gratingly boring status meetings.

Most of the attendees were "calling in" from around the world via Holo-Presence; their lavish executive offices decked out with high tech 3D camera arrays, microphone banks, immense LED displays and speaker stacks. For all intensive purposes it looked and sounded like they were in the meeting room, only the occasional disturbance in the signal causing a momentarily flicker in their projection.

I stared at an air vent on the far wall, listening to the cold air flow through. My eyes closed. My head dipped. I caught myself, pulled my head back up, pushed my back deep into my seat and straightened my posture. As boring as this meeting was, falling asleep would be a very bad look in front of the directors, vice presidents, and managers surrounding me.

I was watching a screen with several overlapping line graphs, as a greasy haired accountant in an all too tight suit stepped through every data-point individually.

The door to the conference room opened up silently and Rachel, the newly hired Administrative Assistant, walked through carrying two large coffee thermoses, a half-dozen or so mugs, and a matching number of disposable water bottles. She delicately balanced all the items on a large tray with one hand, and with the other pulled the door closed behind her.

Multiple sets of eyes, hologram or otherwise, watched her walk through the room and drop off the tray at a small table in the back corner. The new assistant was almost impossibly pretty, although in today's HR climate, nobody dared discuss it within the office. Daniel Keanes, a soft spoken IT Associate, had been canned only two months prior for asking out Jane in accounting in an "inappropriate" way.

I turned back to face the assistant, her hair glimmered brown, it's lightly tousled waves ending at her shoulders. Her eyes, a soft ocean blue, seemed to radiate energy.

I watched intently as she leaned over the table, filling her tray with two empty thermoses and several used mugs and glasses. The fabric of her light gray office trouser slacks strained against her toned, round derriere. The outline of her exquisite ass was on full display through the thin, yet office-appropriate wear.

I tried to stop staring, but failed as soon as she got up from the table, spun around, and began walking back towards the door. I could see her generous breasts jiggling behind her white blouse with every step. The piece hugged her torso, chest, and shoulders snuggly, but still left plenty to the imagination.

"Stephen?"

"Stephen?"

"Stephen!"

I finally noticed my boss, Peter, yelling my name. He was glaring at me with his permanent 'Whatever-the-fuck-you-say-better-not-contradict-me' look plastered across his digitized hologram face.

"I'm sorry sir, can you repeat the question?" I replied.

Peter heaved a dramatic sigh, his transmission flickering momentarily, "We're talking about the Mavis account Stephen. When do you think you'll have those electrical schematics completed?"

Okay, easy question.

"Ah yes! I should have those done by the end of the week."

"Okay great, that would put us about...six days ahead of schedule." My boss squinted his eyes at me and coiled his lips, "Now what about the problems we've been having with the CMC Server downstairs? I don't want a repeat of what happened with Project Sterne."

Okay, definitely a harder question.

"The Capacity Management & Communications Server has been completely stable for the past month. Since Kimmy and I ran that firmware update and patched up a couple home-cooked software solutions, we have seen a significant decrease in the number of memory cache allocation errors that were bogging the system down before."

"Good, we can't afford it going down again. Now as I was saying..."

The sound of my bosses voice faded away as I again returned my gaze to Rachel who was exiting the room. I think she must have seen me staring, because she flashed a friendly smile and winked right at me.

She pulled the door closed behind her, and I sat there for the rest of the meeting, a smug grin lifting at the corners of my mouth.

--- ---

The meeting finished up well after 8:00 PM and the small handful of physically present suits quickly vacated the premises. Mulling over my plans for the night, I walked to my desk in the corner of the office nearest the small reception area and sat my things down. I heard some ruffling, and curious to see which suit hadn't yet bolted for exit, peeked my head above the walls of my cubicle.

I swallowed hard. It was Rachel making the noise; of course none of the execs had stuck around. I watched her for maybe a minute or more as she meticulously dusted and spot cleaned the small reception area where she sat everyday scheduling meetings and greeting visitors.

Realizing I had been staring for too long, I decided to walk up and talk with her. I had yet to formally introduce myself and thought this would be a great opportunity to do just that.

I walked up to her, and she must of not heard or seen me, because she remained facing the opposite direction running a wet rag against the wall.

I cleared my throat, "Hey! Uhh. It's Rachel, right?"

Her hands immediately dropped to her sides and she pivoted to face me. She cocked her head sideways for a moment before speaking, "Yes, that's me!" She paused for a fraction of a second before continuing, "You're Stephen the Electrical Engineer, is that correct?"

"Yep, you're right on the money!"

Rachel frowned, her face inquisitive. "I'm sorry, I don't quite understand."

I looked at her, equally inquisitive, "The phrase 'you're right on the money'?"

She nodded.

"It means...it uhh means...that you're absolutely right...that you're on target with what you said."

Rachel flashed a dazzling smile, her pearly whites catching the bright fluorescent office lights, "Thanks Stephen. Now I get it!" She shrugged her shoulders dramatically, "I can be a bit of an airhead sometimes. Sorry about that."

I reassured her, "Oh no don't be sorry! It's quite fine. Nobody knows every phrase; that would be quite impossible!"

Rachel just stood there smiling, not adding to the conversation.

"Say, what are you doing here so late anyways Rachel? Shouldn't you be home or at least on your way home right now?"

She broke her smile to answer my question, "Oh I always stay late. I just love making sure that the reception area is clean each and every day! Although..." Again, she cocked her sideways for a short moment, "...I should probably get going if I'm going to catch my 8:40 bus."

"A girl like you rides the bus? No way! Those things are prehistoric! They're not even electric. They're loud and they smell."

Rachel again, just smiled prettily and nodded, saying nothing more. So, I continued, "Would you like me to give you a ride home? I'd be more than happy too."

I realized I was being a little too forward with Rachel with whom I'd only formally spoken with just now, "It's just a friendly ride home. That's all. You're more than welcome to decline if you'd rather take your..." I winked at her, "...loud, smelly bus home."

Her head cocked sideways again as she mulled my offer over. It was certainly an odd quirk of hers, but I found it increasingly cute. "Yes Stephen, you can give me a ride home. But, I must be home by 10:00 PM."

My stomach filled with butterflies, "Of course I can have you home by then Rachel!" I chuckled jokingly, "Do you have some sort of curfew or something?"

She put her hands to her hips, cocked her head to the side and smiled, "I must be home by 10:00 PM."

I nodded, "You're right it doesn't matter why. I'll get you home in time. Where do you live?"

"388 Saratoga Drive Apartment 203 West Linn, Oregon 97036"

"Oh you're in West Linn? Yeah, we'll have you home in no time!"

I started for the door, Rachel following close behind.

"Don't mess this up. Don't mess this up. Don't mess this up." I thought to myself, before closing the office door, and listening to the auto-locks pin shut.


--- ---


(Pt. II) - Under the Surface Level

Rachel smiled, "Thanks for the ride Stephen! I'll see you tomorrow." She closed the door of his electric hatchback and walked towards her apartment building.

Her shiny black stilettos clicked against the cement with every step, echoing through the hot summer night. Her form-fitting white blouse was soon rendered translucent in the sticky humid air, exposing a fuchsia bra that struggled to retain her perky breasts.

Beneath the garment was her ultra realistic SynthSkin; artfully stretched over her reinforced carbon skeletal frame, the half inch thick composite of silicone, plastic, foam, gel, and electro-sensitive haptic touch-sensor arrays was smooth, warm, and soft.

Up a long flight of rusting steel stairs and around a faux brick corner Rachel continued walking towards her apartment.

Beneath the SynthSkin covering her taut stomach, a series of processor cores hummed with activity, logging, cataloging, calculating, adjusting, updating, and storing parameters from her ride home with Stephen.

ACCESSING KNOWN PERSONNEL FILES... OPEN PERSONNEL FILE: M-328... PERSONNEL FILE M-328 OPENED...

Rachel smiled at her neighbor who she spotted walking towards her. The female neighbor squeezed by, brushing up against Rachel just as she unlocked her front door. Advanced tactile sensors embedded within her buoyant ass cheeks registered the passing neighbors pressure as a possible sexual advancement and passed the information along to her Logic and Reasoning CPU Bus. The L&R CPU Bus determined that the probability of the female neighbor making an advance was too low and kept any reactionary subroutines inactive. It archived the experience with appropriate labeling conventions and Rachel carried on into her apartment.

PERSONNEL FILE M-328: STEPHEN ALAN GENDER: MALE AGE: 32 (INFORMATION FROM INGENIUM, INC. CMC SERVER - DO NOT DISCLOSE) BIRTHDAY: 03-22-2006 (INFORMATION FROM INGENIUM, INC. CMC SERVER - DO NOT DISCLOSE) POSITION: SENIOR ELECTRICAL ENGINEER AT INGENIUM, INC. SALARY: $165,000.00/ANNUALLY (INFORMATION FROM INGENIUM, INC. CMC SERVER - DO NOT DISCLOSE) HAIR COLOR: BROWN HAIR STYLE: MESSY EYE COLOR: HAZEL HEIGHT: 1.803 m MASS: 81.6 kg (APPROXIMATION BASED ON VOLUME AND AVERAGE DENSITY OF AMERICAN MALE)

Locking the door behind her, Rachel turned on the light to her modest studio apartment, kicked off her work stilettos, and walked into her kitchen. She opened the fridge, inventoried its contents, and pulled out a plastic bottle labeled only with a small QR code on the neck. Her advanced visual rendering system scanned the code, identifying it as chilled All Purpose Emulation Fluid made specifically for her model line. As she drank the chilled solution, embedded sensors within her soft plastic esophagus tracked the liquids progress down her throat.

Wirelessly tethered to the WorldNet, Rachel ordered another crate of emulation fluid from a second-hand site. It was expensive, but the site promised complete anonymity on behalf of its buyers. The order was slated to arrive the next day at 6:30 PM; Rachel logged the event in her internal calendar.

Rachel's primary batteries updated her Main CPU that they were down to 5% capacity. The city's power outage the night before left her leaving for work that morning with only a measly 41% charge. Her Avant Power Management Module suggested recharging immediately to avoid a switch to her auxiliary battery. Her Main CPU rejected the suggestion, steadfast in it's calculations that she could make it through her nightly routine before settling into a full recharge and system defragmentation cycle.

Her Social-Behavioral Performance Module queried her Main Processing Array to calculate through thousands of algorithms aimed at parsing her conversation with Stephen in an attempt to assign numerical scores to subjective attributes. This ability allowed her model to easily adapt in social settings, building iterative profiles of everyone she met to better navigate their social quirks and personalities.

PERSONNEL FILE M-328: STEPHEN ALAN CHARISMA: 6/10 HUMOR: 7/10 LOOKS: 6/10 INTELLIGENCE: 9/10 KINDNESS: 10/10 MALICIOUSNESS: 0/10 CURIOSITY: 7/10

She tossed the empty bottle into the recycling chute and moved into the bathroom. She pulled her white blouse over her head before yanking her tight office trousers off and kicking both garments into a small hamper. Next came the fuchsia bra, which fell to the floor after Rachel undid the double clasp on her back. Her full, pert breasts hardly moved, her convincingly natural bosom only slightly wobbling after their cloth and wire support was removed.

She only wore brassieres to the office out of sense of programmed professionalism brought on by her advanced third-party SENTAN-TEKI ROBOTIKKUSU secretarial module. Her native installed Avant modules savored the weekends where she could flaunt her perfect, artificial breasts freely.

PERSONNEL FILE M-328: STEPHEN ALAN SUSPICION OF ROBOTIC NATURE: LOW LEVEL OF SUSPICION: 1/10 SEXUAL DESIRE OF AVANT ROBOTICS R4CH3L-M84U 'EYE-CANDY' BETA_MODEL-A22: YES LEVEL OF DESIRE: 9/10

She moved her hands below her waist and tugged down a sleek black thong. The V-String's minimalist front panel peeled away from her puffy, plastic camel toe.

A small burst of sensory data shot through her systems as she turned on the shower, her moisture sensitive SynthSkin registering the air's increased humidity content.

PERSONNEL FILE M-328: STEPHEN ALAN CONCLUSION: KIND, CURIOUS, TECHNICALLY ADEPT, AND SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO R4CH3L-M84U 'EYE-CANDY' BETA_MODEL-A22, STEPHEN ALAN COULD BE USED AS A MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN IN EVENT OF THIS UNIT'S EMERGENCY MALFUNCTION OR ERROR. PRIORITIZE ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP WITH STEPHEN ALAN WHILE MAINTAINING ROBOTIC NATURE A SECRET.

CLOSING PERSONNEL FILE M-328... PERSONNEL FILE M-328 CLOSED...

Inside the shower were several more QR code stamped bottles; Rachel squeezed a small dose of the shiny gel into her hand and ran it through her synthetic auburn hair. The protein enriched nutrient gel kept her mane shiny and natural looking. Her ocular sensors identified the next bottle as a surface cleanser that doubled as a sealant. The suds of the cleanser foamed up, effectively removing any dust and debris from the smooth covering of her artificial skin. She ran her hands around her toned midriff, down her long slender legs, and up against her pliable plastic mammary. Specially formulated particles within the foam chemically reacted to micro-tears in her dermal covering, expanding in place to seal the tiny fissures, keeping her intricate electronics hermetically sealed from moisture and debris.

Before rinsing off the last of the suds, Rachel gave both her breasts a playful squeeze. While not programmed to activate masturbation subroutines when alone, her Avant Sexual Performance Module still lit up with simulated pleasure data streams at the feeling of her smooth breasts being compressed and kneaded from her own hands. A small electrical current was routed through each of her delicate pink nipples causing them to stiffen into a hard point.

Satisfied with the quick response of her systems, the Avant SVP Module shifted computational priority down to the soft rosy folds of her sex. Her fingers glided up and down her slick lips prompting a silent pump to move lubricant from a compact reservoir into her tight electronic pussy. With eyelids fluttering and her elastic ruby lips parted, the show ended as quickly as it had begun. The Avant SVP Module's Sexual Response and Readiness Test had successfully executed on her impressive SexWare. A report was generated based off her flawless performance and was cataloged alongside the myriad of other similar status reports.

She dried herself off from the shower and walked into the kitchen, her blemishless skin shiny under the apartment's harsh lights. With a faint click, a small port beneath her plump left ass cheek opened up. From it, Rachel pulled on a charging cord that quietly un-spooled. Her soft ocean blue eyes flashed bright the instant she plugged the charging cord into the wall, returning to normal only a moment later. Her Avant Power Management Module recognized the flow of power directly routed into her state of the art dual- graphene battery subsystem. At the recognition of a steady charging connection, a series of subroutines loaded into a queue to be executed successively throughout the night.

Several gyroscopes installed within her chassis worked in tandem to establish a stance that would allow Rachel to remain steady and motionless through the entirety of her charging cycle. She closed her eyes and cut off current from the electrically activated elastomers embedded within her plastic chest that contracted and relaxed to effectively mimic human breathing.

Finally, a robust defragmentation software subroutine booted into operation, chewing through the terabytes of fragmented files stored within Rachel's vast solid state memory banks. This freed up space for Rachel to respond with more agility and nuance than the basic bots that had preceded her beta model line.

Rachel officially entered hibernation mode for the night as the software chugged and churned through her code, constantly optimizing her every parameter and variable.

Waiting for fully charged batteries and the slow approach of morning, Rachel stood frozen in the light.


--- ---


(Pt. III) - Altered Behavior

With a coffee in one hand and a messenger bag slung over the opposite shoulder I pushed through my company's large tempered glass entrance door. I wiped at my eyes, pawing at the grogginess that refused to lift.

I turned the familiar sharp corner to the office and the fog in my brain instantly cleared. Anxious adrenaline shot through my veins. Rachel was sitting behind her desk typing on a retro mechanical keyboard, her well manicured fingers a blur as they whizzed across the keys. Color me impressed. Her smooth brown locks were pulled back into a messy bun. Two wisps of hair dangled down in front of her ears, perfectly framing her lovely face.

My back straightened and my pace quickened as I walked past her, mustering only a shy wave and a nervous, "Good Morning."

I continued for several more steps, my heart beating like the wings of a hummingbird, before Rachel's voice stopped me in my tracks.

"Stephen!" Her sweet voice floated on air, the gentle words seemingly gliding into my ear.

I pivoted hard and faced her. Goddamn, she looked so good.

"Come here!" She beckoned with a finger and I obliged, taking the couple paces to reach her desk.

"Hey! What's up Rachel?" I nearly choked on the sentence before I was able to force it out.

She smiled at me and blinked her wide vibrant blue eyes, "I just wanted to say thanks again for the ride last night. I had a really good time!"

"Oh, really?" I coughed out, "I mean...uhh yeah, so did I! If you ever need a ride home again, just let me know."

Rachel leaned over the desk, quietly biting down on her lip, "Actually I was thinking, could you give me a ride home again toniiiggghhh......" She paused, her sentence screeching to a halt, her shiny lips frozen.

Thinking she was just having a hard time get the sentence out, my eyes naturally wandered down to her swollen chest. She was wearing a pastel gray sweater that while not revealing, was certainly tight in all the right places. The garment elegantly outlined the soft curve of her buoyant breasts.

"...tonight?" Rachel's voice snapped back into the air.

"Sorry, can you say that again?" I looked at her curiously, not processing her disjointed sentence.

She leaned further over the desk, the fabric of her sweater stretching against her ample bosom, "I said. 'actually I was thinking, could you give me a ride home again tonight?"

"Oh uhh yeah, of course! I'm probably looking to get out of here around 5 o'clock. Does that work for you?"

Rachel's tongue slipped out of her mouth, teasing her upper lip, "Yes Stephen, that works fffooorrr......" Her speech abruptly ended, her face once again impossibly still.

This time I was worried she might be having some sort of episode, whether it be the onset of a seizure or something related, "Rachel. Are you okay?" I waved my hand in front of her face garnering no reaction, "Rachel!" I snapped my fingers a couple times right in front of her eyes.

"...for me!" Her face came alive, pulling back into a vibrant smile as the words finished coming out from behind her polished ruby lips.

With slight trepidation I replied, "Okay, so 5 o'clock it is then...Are you okay Rachel? It seems like you went blank there for a second?"

Rachel cocked her head to the side for a moment, staring directly at me, before opening her mouth to display her dazzling white smile, "I can be a bit of an airhead sometimes. Sorry about that."

Hmmm. I thought to myself, that sounded vaguely familiar.

She interjected again, her eyes narrowing and her tongue pulling at the corners of her mouth, "But yes, I will be ready at 5 o'clock!"

Is Rachel coming onto me?

"STEPHEN!" My boss' voice reverberated through the office, "Get in here now!"

I smiled at Rachel and whispered, "Okay, 5 o'clock! Bye!"

I spun around and trotted down a few rows of desks and into my boss' office; his anger was thickened the air.

"Close the door!"

"Yes sir." I mumbled, before pulling the door shut and plopping down into a small chair opposite his desk. My coffee bobbled, a bit spilling over and burning my hand. I winced but said nothing.

"The CMC server has been hitching up all morning Stephen. I can't get any files to any of our clients, and they're coming at me from all directions today." He sighed, lowering his shoulders and guard, "Look I'm sorry to yell at you. I know the issues with that server aren't your doing...But, you're the only one here that knows anything about it now that Kim left. Can you please get down there and see what's up? If I'm not able to get these file transfers working today...well we may lose the Mavis account...and let's just say that would be very bad for the both of us." He cocked an eyebrow at me, "You feel me?"

My boss could be very charismatic when he needed something done. A trait of a narcissist if I had ever seen one, "Yes sir, I'll get right on it."

He clapped, "Great! If you could, give me a status update by lunch?"

I nodded my head, "Sure thing."

--- ---

Deep down in the bowels of my company's leased office building sat the Capacity Management & Communications Server. Built from what looked like a dozen or so vending machines strung together with miles of cable, the home-brewed server ran almost all day to day processes here and at half a dozen satellite offices around the world. Just about every bit of data entered by or received by Ingenium employees passed through this jumbled mess of a machine.

I stepped over a cluster of power cables, added ad hoc throughout the installation of the server, the bundles of wire snaked out towards large cement walls seemingly at random. Somewhat in the center of the large boxy network cores sat a small dormant screen with an even smaller keyboard underneath. I tapped on the keys prompting the HMI screen to light up.

The first thing I did was check the overall memory usage of each network core. They all seemed nominal to me, but truth be told it was hard to tell. The bandwidth moving through the server at any given time was so sporadic that we never determined average or "normal" data throughput. I just decided to do a pretty standard clean up of the system, hoping that would alleviate whatever hiccups were occurring within its complex electrical architecture.

My fingers moved quickly, clicking in rhythm against the keyboard's stiff keys. I cleared the memory cache and ran several defragmentation scans across dozens of different file types. I reset the file path for several queries that constantly ran in the background, attempting to spread their computational burden evenly across each core.

11 of the 12 cores evened out, averaging about 60% usage a piece. That was slightly high, but well within their advertised sustainable capacities. However, Core 9 was being stubborn, bucking the trend of the other 11 with volatile memory usage peaks reaching as high as 89%. That was a little too much; any redirected traffic through the core would almost certainly cause major stuttering or corruption of the data stream.

I took a step back, running my fingers across my chin, "Hmmmmm" I thought out loud. "If I wirelessly connect from my desktop I might be able to reset that core alone."

Direct diagnostic wireless connections to the CMC server were forbidden by my company's IT policy. But...IT wasn't down here fixing it, lord knows they weren't capable of that, I was.

"Fuck it." I sighed. Fiddling through my pocket I pulled out a discretely profiled thunderwire drive. The small, thumbnail sized drive was wirelessly capable. A few months earlier I had loaded on some networking software that should interface neatly with the CMC Server's dated operating system. I had just never used it, until now.

I plugged it in a port just underneath the obtruding keyboard. It blinked green three times verifying a successful connection with the server's OS before blinking red twice signifying it was searching for a particular wireless connection key. After the two red blinks it went dark, just as I had programmed.

Satisfied with my work I jogged out the room, high-stepping through the chaotic mess of cables. As I hit the concrete stairs that led up to my office I heard the auto-lights in the server room shut down. I took the stairs two at a time, butterflies eating away at my stomach as I day-dreamed about giving Rachel another ride home that evening.

--- ---

I glanced at Rachel as I entered my cubicle. She saw me and flashed a friendly smile. I smiled back.

The cushioned air suspension of my office chair sunk as I plopped down, logging into my desktop and fired up the executable programmed to pair with the thunderwire drive plugged into the CMC server. In near instantaneous succession, the encrypted connection key was broadcast, the drive accepted the handshake, and I was given remote access to the server's OS. Now under the hood of the server from the comfort of my desk I booted up a few side-chained programs that drilled down into the hierarchy of the server's data structure, giving me both more resolution over all of its processes and full control.

This was exactly what IT wanted to prevent from happening, "Ah Fuck It." I chuckled under my breath.

I drilled down through several layers until I was looking at just the controls and diagnostic readouts for Core 9. It's usage rate remained high, still hovering around 90%. I thought, "The other cores should easily pick up the slack if I reset this guy, I should just do it."

'CLUNK!'

The loud noise emanated from Rachel's direction. I wheeled my chair backwards and peaked around the corner of my fabric lined cubicle wall. She was staring at me while getting down from her chair and crawling onto the floor under her desk. She whispered at me, over-emphasizing the movement of her lips and tongue so I could understand her, "I dropped my purse. Do you see it?"

I leaned in looking closely, wanting to help Rachel in her search, but I was soon distracted.

While on all fours, she spun around 180 degrees so her back, or more accurately, her ass was facing me. She was wearing a tight black office skirt, and from my angle her creamy plump derriere was on full display, her pink thong elegantly stretched between her exquisite butt cheeks.

I was beginning to think that Rachel wanted me to see this. Thank God my cubicle was the only one that had line of sight with her and no one else could see this.

She stretched forward, adjusting the positioning of her legs, altering my view. Nestled just beneath the sleek curves of her rear, the thin pink fabric of Rachel's thong contoured against her sex's puffy lips. Even behind the semi-opaque undergarment, her vagina looked simply remarkable.

I felt a growing pressure beneath my slacks, and I pulled myself inside my cube, not wanting to have an erection at work.

I tried to put thoughts of Rachel's supple backside out of my mind and focus on the task at hand. I found where I was in my work and decided to finally reset Core 9.

I watched the server's readouts hiccup for a split second as millions of data-packets moving through Core 9 were transferred throughout the remaining cores.

'CLUNK!'

The hollow sounding noise came from Rachel's direction; I wheeled my office chair back and looked to see what happened.

It looked like she had foolishly tried to stand up while still underneath her desk and had bumped her head against the hard mahogany. In fact, it looked like she was now stuck in that position.

I hopped out of my chair and jogged over to her, wanting to make sure she was okay. I crouched down next to her where I swore I heard the sound of straining servomotors.

"Rachel, are you okay? Is something wrong?"

The sound of whining servomotors shifted pitch, picking up in intensity before sputtering out several times. While slowly pushing the heavy desk upwards with the back of her head, it became obvious Rachel the sound of straining electronics was emanating from within her.

That's certainly odd, I thought to myself.

With the edge of the desk roughly a foot higher than where it had originally been positioned, Rachel was able to finally dislodge herself and stand up. Immediately, the desk fell down.

'CLUNK'

I tapped her on the shoulder, "Rachel, what's up? Can I help?"

She turned her head to face me, a faint grinding mechanical noise accompanying the movement.

"Oh. Hi Stephen! I was just down on the ground trying to find my..."

Her large round eyes blinked several times in rapid succession. It was the first time I noticed her luxuriant eyelashes. They were long, dark, and voluminous.

Her face reset. She smiled.

"Hi Stephen! How are you?"

--- ---

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