An Inside Job

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"Go get the car and drive it back to the apartment, oh, if you could pickup some vegetables on the way...” jay stopped walking and turned to face her.

"What kind?" She asked abruptly with her warm voice, raising her eyebrows and tipping her head in a naturally inquisitive countenance.

Jay smiled. "a selection - something to go with red meat and wine. You choose"

"Consider it done". Octavia replied. She processed the way he was looking at her. He had the unmistakeable look of someone completely enchanted and enthralled by what he was seeing. She smiled back warmly.

He turned away from her. She watched him disappear through a corridor on the left hand side of the mall, toward the bathrooms.

Octavia, now alone in the mall, was quite capable of operating autonomously, as she had been instructed by her owner. She stood for a moment, while the list of tasks he had given her to complete were parsed through her central logic circuits. Her CPU's shared the load with one another, as her AI interpreted each verbal instruction assembling it into the raw machine code on which her subsystems could run.

This process of ‘self programming’ was virtually automatic. Though she was aware of the increased load on her circuits, and of the flow of impulses through her optical data network - the nervous systems in her body, but to her it was just how she experienced ‘life'.

She angled her head slightly forward and opened her eyelids wide. as her cold ocean blue eyes now stared intensely forward from beneath the creamy skin of her perfectly shaped brow, She adjusted the calibration of her of her optical focus.

Her exterior betrayed nothing of this process. She carried what was a look of cold determination. She was the pinnacle of female android design, and she new it. Octavia was built to be critically aware of her capabilities. There was nothing out there that could match her in terms of specification and performance. Right now her cold expression conveyed almost a sence of pride, almost arrogance, as new code filled her working memory.

At incredible speed, instructions began executing, as code was passed down to her autnomous systems. Her motor control, stabilisation and tactile response systems were tasked. She felt new signals move around her body. Instructions. Sensor feedback signals, protocols tacitly agreeing resource allocations for each of her processes. Her software was working perfectly, harmoniously with her hardware that was her machine body. Not a single CRC error or signal collision on her main bus, the data danced around inside her in a sophisticated binary ballet - perfectly co-ordinated. She felt so 'alive', so perfectly infallible.

As she began to move forward, she looked left and right, surveying her environment. Her optical arrays moved the hi bandwidth video streams into her cognition circuits for processing. She was the first of her kind to have the new VideoGrapifx IV image processors, the formidable and ground breaking core of her video hardware. It was this system that made her able to respond in real time to the world around her, dynamically updating her main code as it was being executed. It processed the hundreds of megabytes coming in from the tiny VHR-CCD matrices installed in each of her eyes, identifying obstacles, clear space, tracking moving objects, classifying them, their materials, properties, angles and distances, so she could respond to them appropriately. The experience of the physical world became a sophisticated digital model in her intricate electronic mind. She missed nothing.

Just as she was monitoring exactly how well she was functioning in that moment, Octavia received some data from her cognition units that interrupted her, alerting her to something 'unusual'. Someone was standing just on the edge of her field of vision. Her pattern recognition and the automatic lookup in her object memory were positive. She'd seen this person before... today! He'd been watching her in the same way - from 31.97 degrees to her left side standing 18.1 meters away, she'd calculated this while walking with Jay earlier, before he had left her alone.

That angle and distance from her would have been out of the human field of vision completely. It would also be difficult to process for an older 9000 series with inferior optical imaging, but Octavia’s enhanced video gave her extra resolution and an extra few degrees in her cone of vision.

31.87 meant this person was definitely trying to stay outside a 'normal' person’s field of view. And here he was, watching her again slightly closer this time from 32.12 degrees. Twice, from that angle and distance? That was unusual!

She activated a spare CPU. She would need extra resource to calculate possible reasons and significance for this event while she continued on her way towards the tunnelled entrance of the car park. A single male observer didn’t necessarily mean she should be concerned. She was programmed to know all about differing male responses to aesthetically pleasing females, such as herself. He wouldn’t even be aware that she was an android. Her AI processed these facts and many other variables including her memory - allowing her to take into account her 'experiences' since her recent activation. Patterns of data coalesced to form meaning as she derived possible outcomes and courses of action. Her CPU load increased dramatically to accommodate this most demanding of her functions - anticipation. This capability was another jewel in her stunningly beautiful artificial crown. She decided to walk a little slower to compensate.

She couldn't know the consequences of this action, nor that the premace for her predictive logic was fundamentally flawed, as she edged closed to the poorly lit basement tunnel.

Moments later, standing close to the tunnel entrance, her cognition units interrupted her with something else out of the ordinary....

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