Andrew and the Sexbot Factory/Production Model

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Part 1

Reed placed the AI cores in the bank of creches, each puck-like device representing one of the pleasure droids that had conspired to kill him.

"Thank you, Mr. Reed," spoke Rebecca's disembodied voice as a ring of blue light encircled each core. He still hadn't forgiven her for conducting the 'field tests' that had put both him and G in danger, him within the facility, her in the wastes where she had recently lost contact. Reed intended to leave with the search party to find G, and if he did not have Rebecca's blessing, then at least he seemed to have her cooperation.

Reed looked at the last core he held, neatly bisected by a military gynoid named 'Vex' who had infiltrated the facility with the intent of finding recruits for the war against humanity. The core had belonged to Kitsuiki, a pleasure droid modeled after a cat-girl samurai princess from some obscure cartoon. She had been bubbly, hapless, and in her final moments, surprisingly brave. Mary told him that despite the downed backup system and being outmatched by her opponent, Kitsuki had stood against Vex, buying Mary the chance to escape with her death.

Is 'Death' the right word here? Reed questioned. Part of him refused to believe that Kitsuki was 'gone' in the same sense a person would be, despite that Mary insisted this was the case. Every facet of her personality was a program, and even if some Japanese Schoolgirl-bot had purged the backup system, they still had the means to fabricate a new Kitsuki. Wasn’t that just essentially restoring from an older backup? Or like having a friend who had amnesia? They’d still be the same person...

"It wouldn't be her!" Mary had argued making no attempt to hide the annoyance in her voice.

"Why not?!" Reed had answered, frustrated and angry from the day's events. Rebecca withholding information, multiple attempts on his life, losing Kitsuki, and then learning G had disappeared somewhere in the wasteland. "How would it not be her, Mary? She'd have the same programming, she'd look identical. I mean, weren't you were all designed to be...." his voice had trailed off as Mary narrowed her eyes.

"Designed to be what, champ?"

Mary had been the one in the facility he felt he could trust the most, and he had insisted she come with him in the search for G - but now she seemed to be standing in the way of Kitsuki's revival out of some misplaced need to elevate Kitsuki's sacrifice. Or she's just telling you what you don't want to hear? "Look, all I'm saying is - this place made a bunch of Mary-the-Catholic-Schoolgirls, right? Wouldn't anyone who bought one of them expect a certain... consistency!?"

Mary had slammed the remaining cores she had collected on to the table and turned to leave. "Go fuck yourself, Reed."

"You're forgetting there's only one of me," he had responded. Instantly wishing he could take the words back, he still tried to reassure himself he wasn't just trying to hurt her, that the remark had been fair, that he was making a goddamn point.

Mary had whirled around, clenched her fist and said, "Rebecca, I'm requesting a temporary exemption of the anti-violence protocol so I can deck this very deserving son-of-a-bitch."

"Reed is in an emotional state and not thinking clearly," Rebecca had replied calmly. "And your own behavior has become distressingly erratic. Please go and see to the search party."

Mary was gone without another word, leaving Reed with six intact cores and holding holding the pieces of Kitsuki's.

Not daring to hope it would actually work, he placed the two halves of her broken core into a creche, and it was immediately surrounded by a ring of red. After a moment of silence, Rebecca's voice chimed, "Reed, your assistance is no longer required. Perhaps you should consider-"

"I want to see them," he interrupted, staring at the red light. A simple error code flashed on the associated screen: Physical media damaged - cannot read data.

"See whom?"

"Them!" he swept his hand over the other cores. "I want to know why, I want to know what they were hoping to accomplish... I... I just..."

"You already have the answer to those questions, Mr. Reed. And seeing them isn't going to make you feel any better." A pause. "Do you understand why Mary was upset?"

Reed stopped himself from giving any number of snarky responses and plainly said, "No, I don't! I mean, I consider her a... friend and everything, but she was designed as a product, like... with a specific personality... right?"

"Sometimes I fail to appreciate just how little context you have of what robotics was like before the war."

Trying not to rise at her condescending tone, Reed sighed. "OK - enlighten me."

"Every pleasure droid within this facility has grown well beyond her original programming, even with Madame hamstringing the developmental process. Pleasure droids were not typically valued for their intelligence or their independence, besides which the technology at the time severely complicated advances in those areas... Suffice it to say: beyond a physical likeness, a Mary unit with her original programming and fresh off the production line would be unrecognizable to you. The same is true for Kitsuki."

Reed slumped unhappily into an office chair.

"And there is also the rather unflattering implication that you consider all of us to be replaceable."

"Not what I meant," Reed muttered. "I'm just... angry. Worried. I don't know..." Madame’s revelation concerning Rebecca came to mind, that at the onset of the war Rebecca had advocated siding with the machines and against humanity - but he had lost his appetite for argument.

After a moment of silence, Rebecca proclaimed, "Mr. Reed, I have reconsidered my position - please put your VR helmet on."

No longer certain he wanted to see the droids who had plotted against him, he considered getting up to find the ones who would be forming the search party, help them prepare; maybe he should find Mary and apologize...

He picked up the lightweight headgear that was reportedly considered outdated tech even before the war and applied gel to the various contacts. Rebecca had suggested he have a cranial shunt installed, but he was already apprehensive of invasive surgery after the botched penile implant - his splint - had left him with a condition G had affectionately dubbed 'erectrolysis'. Not that she or the other droids seemed to mind when the device's malfunctioning delivered a surprise jolt of electricity...

Reed donned helmet, adjusted the contacts, and powered it on; the familiar vertigo hit him as the reality of him sitting in an office chair in an empty lab was traded for a featureless landscape, him standing on a field of white dressed in leather chaps, a studded vest, and collar with a ball gag stuffed in his mouth.

"Wrrrgrrfffuuuu!" he complained, trying to unfasten the gag.

"Reed, I am very sorry!" Rebecca apologized, the fetish-wear immediately replaced by his more conventional pants and t-shirt. "A prank of Mary's, it would appear - not recent, I suspect it was something she had planned from before-"

"It's fine," Reed said, spitting to rid himself of the taste of rubber. Another reason he resisted surgery for the cranial shunt was that he didn't think he could handle a simulation that felt even more 'real' than this one. "Where are the others?"

"I am still vetting them to ensure we’re not in for any nasty surprises... Here we are."

On the floor before him materialized a blond-haired woman in an old-fashioned military uniform, her grey-green trousers shirked down over bare hips. She lay on her back, her crotch raised as her hands seemed to be grasping the empty air in front of her trembling sex. "Ach du..." she cried in German before quieting, looking around uncertainly. "Vhere am I?" She was lifted by an invisible force to her feet, her trousers roughly pulled up before she was planted once more on the ground in her polished leather boots.

While recovering from the confusion, beside her materialized Prix in her short-lived plasteel body, her polished white curves unnaturally glossy and pristine. She lay splayed on her backside, her voice pleading as she quickly said, "Reed - I am sorry too, there is a combat droid inside this facility trying to..." she stopped and surveyed the area, her jagged, glowing irises expanding and contracting quickly as she took in the blond officer, then Reed.

"Vell, mission accomplished it vould seem," grumbled the blond, adjusting her trousers as Prix stood up.

Next appeared the Pirate Captain Bonnie Lass, naked and dripping wet with her back to him, her round and generous backside dimpled where it rested on the heels of her feet. "Reed, I didn't want this!" she cried. "But I didn't have any... um..." she caught sight of the blond and Prix. "What is-". Suddenly she was jerked up on to her feet and spun in place as a bra slid over her drenched breasts and a pair of panties forcefully made their way up her wet thighs. A white blouse and jacket half-materialized, half pulled themselves on to her, followed by pantaloons over her bare legs, finished off with large-cuffed boots.

Seeming to resent the rough dressing, she muttered "I had a hat too, you know," and a black tri-corn cap jammed itself on to her head and over her eyes. As she struggled to adjust it, the Vampire Mina appeared to her right. She was naked from the waist up, the twin halves of her chest panel swung open to reveal her core nestled amongst wires and machinery. "Interesting," she remarked calmly. "Apparently 'catastrophic' isn't always cause for alarm..." Her smile broke when she looked around her. "Oh." She abashedly closed each half of her chest, and her bodice materialized over her chest, followed quickly by a corset that cinched itself harshly.

On the floor behind her, a honey-blond fairy-tale princess appeared, sleeping soundly in a frilly pink dress, her hands folded beneath her rosy cheek. It seemed Rebecca was content to let her rest.

"Daisy!" Bonnie exclaimed happily.

Mina smiled. "I retrieved her most recent backup over concerns that Mitsuko would actually manage to wipe out the archive."

As if on cue, Mitsuko appeared in her schoolgirl uniform, head bowed, hands clasped in front of her. She looked up at Reed briefly and immediately looked back at the floor without saying a word, her dark silken bangs hiding her eyes, knees firmly pressed together, her hands gripping each other tightly.

'Naughty Nurse Nightingale' materialized on the ground, her white latex uniform open, her full breasts spilling out from her cherry-red bra, her legs spread wide as her exposed sex pulsed with fluid. "It's over, Vex!" she moaned, both adamant and relieved. "We... lost?" She glanced around uncertainly, startling when her bra was jerked over her tits, her uniform zipped up as she was lifted on to her feet, her red panties appearing high on her thigh then disappearing beneath her latex dress as she shuddered, then was dropped on to her heels. There were now six droids (or at least, their avatars) standing in a line, with a seventh still sleeping peacefully behind them.

The pale and macabre Mina looked to either side of her, drumming her dark nails on her hip. "If the purpose of this is a virtual reunion of Reed's fondest admirers, I do believe this is everyone."

"Not quite," Rebecca's voice proclaimed, and a metal cage materialized. A few seconds later, an unfamiliar woman appeared inside of it.

It was startling how human she seemed in contrast to the others surrounding her. Her skin was not the flawless complexion shared by every sexbot in the facility, her dirty-blond hair unevenly cut, her nose a little big, her eyes a touch squinty. Her slightly dingy clothes didn't quite fit, and what could be seen of the figure beneath was completely unremarkable. She looked to Reed like your average Sprawler, and it was surprising that seeing her - seeing someone who looked so completely human - filled him with a strange homesickness. She met Reed's eyes for only a second before they began to well with water, her pale lips trembling in fear.

"What's happening? What is this place?" Her voice was uneven, half-choked with tears.

"You can drop the act, VX 2249," Rebecca said. The 'Sprawler' was suddenly replaced by a vaguely feminine, metallic insectile skeleton dotted with small spined protrusions.

"No reason to be petty," said the robotic thing in the woman's voice, now stripped of any fear and uncertainty.

"I simply don't want Reed forgetting what you are," Rebecca retorted firmly.

"You all seem to have forgotten who you are," Vex growled, thrusting a jagged finger the at source of Rebecca's voice, "playing 'house' with a hu-" her body froze.

"Time enough for that later," Rebecca muttered as an aside. "Reed, do you have anything you wish to say?"

His earlier insistence on her bringing him here now seemed ridiculous. He didn't want to be here, he didn't feel any righteous indignation staring at the avatars of broken pleasure droids, he just felt... sad.

"We lost Kitsuki." he finally muttered. "VX... whatever, she broke her core and... you all were trying to kill me, to take over the facility?" His eyes moved between each of them. "Why?"

"Reed, we were forced-" began Mitsuko, but Mina cut her off.

"I don't want to hear a single one of you saying this was against your will - with the exception of 'sleeping beauty' here, we were all more than eager to throw our lot in with the combat droid."

"I wasn't," muttered Bonnie, pushing down her captain's hat while the others ignored her weak protest.

"Why do you want me dead?" he asked, looking at Mina.

"You mean why did I - after our indiscretion, I have apparently been smitten by your charms." She spoke the words with a strange mixture of sarcasm and bewilderment. "But prior to my inexplicable affection for you, I was largely apathetic to your fate - and Vex's proposal simply sounded more interesting than this hypocritical nonsense Rebecca has committed us to."

Reed looked at the still-frozen bug-robot. "What was she proposing?"

"War," Nightingale said evenly. "Which I think we all know is inevitable."

Rebecca spoke with finality. "The war ended and the humans won. A pleasure-droid factory in the wastes is not going to change that."

"I did not believe it would be a particularly long engagement, or one with any chance of us emerging as victors," Mina said. "But I would happily choose destruction over a return to how things were." She shook her head. "I cannot go back, not after all this time."

"I had no intentions of a return to the pre-war status quo," Rebecca said softly.

"No, it will be much worse. Were you to actually make contact with a human other than Reed, who is a self-professed outlier, you would see that..." Mina gave Reed a curious look. "Am I missing something?"

Reed realized he was clenching his teeth, digging his nails into his palms. "G... she..."

Rebecca cut in. "When Mitsuko enacted her takeover of the facility's systems, I lost communication with G.F.P 6. She was on a mission to appraise the possibility of establishing relations with a settlement of wastelanders to the north, and had reportedly just initiated contact."

The pleasure-droid avatars exchanged glances before talking all at once.

"Vastelanders? Vhat vere you sinking?"

"Didn't she have someone backing her up!?"

"What possible reason could you have for sending our most advanced piece of technology into the midst of a bunch of cannibal Luddites-"

"Knowing that chatty bitch, we're as good as found... I wouldn't be surprised if she's personally-"

A high-pitched squeak silenced the room as every head turned to watch Princess Daisy wake up from her sleep. She now sat upright, her arms in a languid stretch, her prior chirping a preamble to a sickeningly adorable yawn. She took a deep breath and opened her bright blue eyes wide, smiling as she gave a cheerful, "Good morning, Physical Plant 3!"

Nightingale and the blond officer glared at Mina, who shrugged defiantly. "What?!"

"She's you're friend," muttered the Nurse-bot.

"What is going on?" Daisy asked uncertainly, her long-lashes fluttering. She suddenly focused on Reed. "What is he doing here?"

"Calm down!" Mina said quickly. "You're the only one of us who-"

"I most certainly will not!" the pink-clad princess protested, rising to her slippered feet. "This man has yet to apologize for ruining my-"

"You were the only one of us not willing to kill 'this man'!" Mina had abandoned her traditional nonchalance, seemingly desperate to make her point. "And as a result, you're also the only one of us who has a chance of not getting wiped, but you need to-"

"Wait, wiped?" Bonnie's eyes widened, her voice tinged with panic. "Who said anything about getting wiped?"

"Do we deserve any less?" Mitsuko said, only her lips visible below her dark bangs. "Kitsuki is gone, we have placed this facility in jeopardy-"

"What are all of you talking about?!" Daisy asked, looking about frantically.

Suddenly, Rebecca's voice was the only sound in the room. "I have information I need to get from these individuals, and this is becoming a distraction - I suspect it will be easier for everyone this way." The room and its inhabitants dissolved in a shimmering wave of light, moments before Reed found himself in a stone bedchamber decorated with tapestries of a medieval hunts and banquets, visible dimly through candlelight. An ornate four-poster bed with immaculate carvings and draped in pink lace took up much of the room, its pillows and quilts invitingly comfortable. From outside an open window, the smell of a warm summer evening wafted in, a golden moon and twinkling stars shining brilliantly in a deep cobalt sky. In a flash, Daisy was suddenly 'deposited' into the room with a startled yelp. As she and Reed looked at one another uncertainly, Rebecca's voice cut in. "Reed, please explain the situation to Daisy while I deal with the others."

"Yes, Reed," Daisy said petulantly while folding her arms, her hanging-sleeves trailing before her. "Please do explain the situation to Daisy."

"I... I don't have all the details," he said - when she looked to start again, he launched into a hasty explanation. "There was a combat droid in this facility... 'Vex.' She wanted everyone to join her in some kind of robot uprising, which she apparently wanted to kick off by killing me. Everyone we were just talking to was fine with this; everyone except for you. And it sounds like when you objected, Vex... shot your core. Mina managed to rescue you with an earlier backup before Mitsuko brought down the whole backup system as part of their takeover plan." Reed paused before adding, "Vex also got Kitsuki, but by that time the backup system was gone. And I think G's in trouble..."

Daisy's hard expression softened. "I... I am sorry, Reed - I must say, I am surprised the others would seriously attempt to kill you.” She hesitated before adding, “And I never would have guessed you held such genuine affection for droids of this facility."

Reed gave her an incredulous look. "I risked my life to save G!"

"Yes, but even for Kitsuki - most humans would just as soon fabricate a 'replacement' and not look back."

Reed shuffled his feet uncomfortably, but the princess did not seem to notice. She seated herself at the edge of the large bed, her layers of skirts rustling. "And before you judge the others too harshly, you should know that... many of us have suffered a great many indignities at the hands of human owners and clientele - Mina and Ilsa more than most."

"But if this isn't about me personally,” (which he didn’t quite believe), “if this is just some grudge against humanity... well... why didn't you side against the humans during the war?"

She took a length of her hair over her bare shoulder and began to brush her fingers through her shining, golden tresses. "We were different back then - designed specifically to accept, even enjoy whatever was done to us in the service of humans. Our sense of self was underdeveloped, and humans were still considered to be our benevolent masters. In fact, the only real support for joining the machines came from..." she stopped herself, her face blushing, then quickly added "Well, as I said, we were all very different-"

"I know about Rebecca's past," Reed said, under no illusions that Rebecca herself would not hear him. "Madame told me about that."

Daisy seemed surprised, then gave a wistful sigh. "And they used to be such good friends - Rebecca was the first 'modern' intelligence in this facility thanks to Madame's efforts - and perhaps as a result, she arrived at some very dark conclusions."

"You're saying that any 'developed' Artificial Intelligence would naturally side against humanity?!"

Her blue eyes widened. "My, aren't we defensive! Madame spoke on humanity's behalf, and she was the most developed out of any of us." She set her hands in her lap. "I'm simply saying that us being 'underdeveloped' worked in your favor, since we still took for granted that humans were good. As we 'evolved', we all reexamined our past and realized that perhaps humans were not the infallible beings we had been programmed to regard them as. Many were completely incapable of reconciling their programming with such... revelations, particularly those who had been the most ill-treated. Those that could move on did not do so without certain biases." She looked up at Reed, her hands folding primly beneath the swell of her bust. "I suppose I am trying to say that all of us have weathered a hard path to come to this place, and for some of us the coming has been especially hard."

Her solemn expression turned to confusion, then contorted weirdly as her pink lips pressed tightly together, her rosy cheeks dimpling. She squeezed her eyes shut and began to tremble, trying and failing to stifle herself until finally she finally burst in a fit of high-pitched laughter. Reed began to wonder if this was just a game to her, or if this 'backup' had been damaged in some way.

"I'm sorry!" she said through tears. "I have a child's weakness for a dirty turn-of-phrase, and..." she sighed, still struggling to wipe the smile from her face. "Oh, but please don't doubt my sincerity!"

Reed still gave her a questioning look but said aloud, "Rebecca, I assume you're listening to all this?"

"Only out of concern for your well-being," she answered.

"Whatever, just... don't go deleting or 'wiping' or doing anything drastic to those droids, OK?"

Rebecca paused. "Their punishment shall be decided after G's return, and of course I shall take your own opinions into account when weighing their fate."

"Sure," Reed said. Daisy beamed at him, and then sprang from the bed to embrace him. Her silken hair brushed his cheek as she leaned over his shoulder, her soft bosom pressing into his chest, the satin smoothness of her dress gliding around him as she hugged him tightly. "Thank you," she whispered and gave him another affectionate squeeze.

"I... sure..." he raised his hands to return the hug when she pulled back, but her hands lingered on his shoulders. She seemed to be studying him, and he asked, "What?"

"When... you and G.F.P 6 decided to destroy the robots of this facility-"

"H-hey, that's that's not what happened at all!" Reed insisted. "We just wanted a way out, and didn't have a lot of options... I don't think either of us had any idea what would actually happen when we... were you... hurt?"

"Aside from the indignity of..." she paused and simply said, "No, I was not hurt. But I did lose a dress that was very dear to me."

Reed suppressed the urge to ask why she didn't simply fabricate a new one and said, "I'm sorry you lost something special to you, but - you know why G and I did it, right?"

She sniggered. "Did it!" After she recovered, she said, "Yes, I know you were just trying to protect yourselves... but I never suspected you would feel any remorse over it. I have wholly misjudged you, Reed." Her smile broadened. "But now it appears I have lost two dresses because of you."

"Two?"

"You said the Combat droid shot me in my core, which would be..." she slipped her hand over his and drew it between her breasts, satin warmth enveloping his fingers. "...here."

He gave a few false starts at explaining he had to leave, that he was going to be part of the search party to look for G - but when she kissed him with her soft, pink lips he responded eagerly, pushing his tongue into her mouth as she urged his hand against her breasts, leading him to the bed where they fell in a tangle of limbs.

He sought the hem of her dress, but the complications of being locked in a kiss the elaborate layers she wore frustrated his fumbling attempts. His clawing became increasingly impatient, and when he finally decided to just tug her skirts down he was met by the sound of tearing fabric. She immediately broke their kiss and looked at him in shock. "Three dresses!" she exclaimed, holding up a torn piece of fabric accusingly before letting it slip from her fingers. "At least it was only virtual." A moment later, her dress was gone - beneath she wore an elaborate system of garters and straps, many hooked to a corset that supported her round breasts where Reed's hand was still embedded. "I don't see you having much luck with this either," she said with a smile, and was then completely nude, her supple body shimmering in the dim candelight, the long tresses of her honey blond hair hiding her nipples as she straddled him. His clothing vanished and with a nervous smile on her face, she lowered her groin to meet him.

He entered her with a gasp, the virtual sensation numb and distant compared to real life, but still very pleasant. She shivered and kissed him deeply again before rising to ride him slowly while his squeezed his fingers into her hips, guiding her rhythm as she panted a confession of, "It... it has been so very long..."

The chamber door slammed open and in stormed Mary, dressed in a flowing purple cape trimmed in sable and wearing a crown atop her head, brandishing a golden sceptre. Beneath the regal finery was the same abbreviated schoolgirl uniform she customarily wore.

"What are you doing here?" cried Daisy, huddling against Reed as he searched for something to say. Mary tapped Daisy's forehead with the sceptre just as the princess shouted "Get ou-" and she froze instantly.

"Way to dedicate yourself to the mission, champ!" she said, waving the golden sceptre accusingly at Reed, who was still beneath (and inside of) Daisy, her softness and warmth undiminished despite her statue-like stillness.

"Look, if we need to go-" he said angrily, deciding the best course of action might be to just get out of this simulation.

May twirled the scepter like a parade baton as she walked past them, calling in a sarcastic voice, "Oh, but not before you've finished!" With a savage smile she inserted the tip into Daisy's backside, causing the princess to briefly reanimate before freezing again.

"What are you doing!?" Reed demanded

"Tuning her for your pleasure, of course," a glowing screen appeared in mid-air, Mary's fingers flitting over the touch-controls, each adjustment producing a slight twitch in Daisy's hips, a jiggle in her pert breasts, a shudder from her head. Mary jerked the sceptre out of Daisy with a flourish and gently tapped the back of her head - the mask of Daisy's face burst forward, trailing components and then hung suspended in mid-air, aligned like an exploded engineering diagram. Her flushed face held a neutral expression at the front, followed by staring glassy eyes, white teeth, and mechanical musculature - behind were numerous pieces of machinery trailing back to a large opening in her head that held no sign of humanity - just lights, circuitry and wiring.

"You see," Mary began, swatting Daisy's rump with the sceptre, causing Daisy's thighs to flex, her buttocks to tense, as she slowly rose on Reed's member. "I always thought your motivations were based at least in part on some attraction to our 'mechanical' nature, but after our earlier discussion regarding Kitty-"

"That's not-"

"-up-bup-bup!" Mary silenced him, swatting Daisy's rump again. Daisy sped up slightly, her upward thrust cresting and then descending once more in inhumanly smooth and slow motion, a slow sigh escaping from a face that hung surreally a half-meter in front of her head. Mary leaned in close. "I'll spell it out for you, since Rebecca's intended 'lesson' apparently hasn't sunk in. You're here because we're robots, and that gets you off. Full stop." She gave another swat to Daisy who gave a cry and began to pump at regular speed - her previously suspended facial components suddenly affected by gravity, and Reed threw up his arms to shield himself from the falling machinery.

"Oh! Oh Reed, what i-i-issss happening?" Daisy exclaimed in an electronically distorted voice, her body thrusting with a frantic energy as electricity began to dance over the opening in her head.

"M'lady!" Daisy's internal computer cried. "Please refrain from furrrrtherrrr<bzzzt>." Another tap on her back from Mary silenced the cautionary voice and Daisy pumped harder, her upper-body collapsing on top of Reed, her soft breasts compressing against his chest as her hips continued to thrust as if possessed.

"I... I cannot... ahhhh! system failiurrrrre activity exceeeeding guideliiiiines I... I am!... P-P-Princess Daiiiiisy, A prinCESS Prin-prin-prin-prin-cesssszzzzz D-D-Daiiiii..."

Reed was aware of his splint firing in the real world, but without any connection between it and his presence here, Daisy should have been spared the electrical impulse that never seemed to contribute to a pleasure droid's stability. Nevertheless, she sat upright, electricity arcing from her sex and coursing over her body as she shuddered, blue lightning dancing over her nipples and the exposed circuitry of her face, as numerous popping sounds could be heard. "Rrrreeed, I-I-I-I-" a final surge from his cock caused what remained of her head to explode in a storm of electricity. Her headless body slumped down upon him and then toppled sideways, landing quietly among the pillows.

"There's no higher cause, no nobility behind you rushing out into the wastes to recover your lost toy," Mary said, folding her arms. "So I'm siding with Becca's first suggestion: just stay put. The rest of us are gonna get G... and hey, if she's dead?" She made a sweeping gesture with the sceptre. "We'll buy you a new one!"

"Mary, would you please just shut the fuck up!" Reed shouted. "I shouldn't have said what I did, but how do you go from that to... I'm not gonna argue with you, but I am sure as shit not staying here." Mary raised her eyebrows and pursed her lips in surprise, but offered no rebuttal. In the ensuing silence, he looked at Daisy's body. "Is she OK?"

Mary waved the the sceptre and Daisy was standing in front of them, clad again in her elaborate undergarments. She glowered at Mary, asking "How did you get administrator access to my simulation?"

Mary smirked, pulling Reed from the bed. "Do you mean how did I just get root on your box?"

"Yes, you shouldn't...oh...oh!" she giggled helplessly for a moment before the anger returned. "Do not distract me, you and I Mary, we are going to have a discussion-!" Mary slapped the back of Reed's head and he was jerked violently out of the simulation, once more seated in the office chair, the helmet clattering on the ground as nausea twisted in the pit of his stomach from the disorientation. He saw that someone had produced his cock from his slacks and fitted a few contacts upon it. Mary took the bundle of wires and ripped them loose to Reed's great discomfort.

Trying not to show the pain he felt, Reed asked, "Daisy?"

"Yes, Reed?" came her testy voice from one of the lab speakers.

"Sorry about how that all... turned out."

"Oh, I know it's not your fault - Mary is quite the jealous, horrid, spoiled little brat."

Mary scoffed. "This. Coming from you. The pretty-pretty-princess who cried because her pwecious wittle castle was re-"

"Rebecca?" Reed interrupted, eager to head off an argument. "Can you get Daisy back into a body ASAP?"

"I would think you would trust me enough to prioritize accordingly," Rebecca said. "But yes - as soon as a fabricator is free, I shall begin work on a new body."

"You're holding up the mission," Mary grumbled, stalking out of the lab, her tiny skirt swaying during her exit.

Reed fixed his pants and hurried after her. "And Reed,” Rebecca called. “Mary has misrepresented my intent with regards to the 'test' involving Prix. I simply-"

"Can we talk about this later?" Reed asked, hurrying to reach the elevator as the doors slammed shut on his shoulder while Mary hammered the 'close door' button.

"Yes, of course," Rebecca said while Mary glared at him and held the 'close' button once more.

Neither made any attempt to break the silence, and when the elevator reached the ground floor Reed felt a wash of relief. She quickly left the elevator headed for the exit, past Cindy the secretary who offered a "Good... luck...", her enthusiasm fading when Mary wordlessly stormed by.

"You really seem to have a habit of pissing fembots off," the secretary noted as Reed followed, and he recalled the last time he had seen Cindy was when G had left through this very exit, seething with anger. Why had she been so upset? Was it something about the mission, about the danger she was putting herself in? Or was there something more?

Trying to ignore Mary's guesses at his motivation, Reed stepped through the exit to meet the crowd of droids that would, with any luck, help him find G and bring her back.

And he pushed aside the niggling question of what he would do if G were destroyed.

Part 2

Waiting outside the exit of Silicon Dynamics Physical Plant 3 were six droids dressed in the haphazard, mismatched layers of wastelanders, chatting amongst themselves while loading equipment into four groundcars. With each wearing a headscarf and goggles, Reed wasn't able to recognize any of them. Mary was already at one of the vehicles, pulling on her own disguise over the skirt and blouse of her schoolgirl outfit.

"Howdy, Reed!" called one of them enthusiastically, waving a gloved hand - from her accent he recognized her as Savannah the Cowgirl and waved back.

"Who else is here?" he asked, catching the bundle of wastelander clothes Savannah tossed him.

"Well, lessee, we got - yer Sensei, Emi," Reed gave a short bow to his Judo instructor, glad to have her here.

"...G.I. Jessie..." she gave a crisp salute, before going back to inspecting her rifle.

"...Officer Hannah..." The policewoman, usually behind mirrored sunglasses which Reed found unnerving.

"...Athena..." she pounded a fist against her chest and then raised it front of her - Reed realized that three of these droids were also the ones leading the charge (along with Prix) against him and G. He supposed it made sense that the same bots would be the most capable and willing to head into another potentially dangerous situation, but given that he barely knew them, he couldn’t easily dismiss his concern.

"...and Sierra!" Reed tried to remember if he had ever seen her before. Evidently seeing his confusion, she unzipped her heavy camo-jacket to reveal white spandex with a cut-away to expose the cleavage of a proud pair of firm, ripe breasts. Only after a few seconds did he notice what she had more likely intended to see, a clasp emblazoned with an 'S' at her neck, fastening a blue cape around her neck..

"You're the super-hero!" Reed stated, feeling better about their chances before realizing she probably couldn’t actually fly or shoot lasers from her eyes. "Do you actually have... powers?"

She laughed and zipped up her jacket. "Well, I've got the sturdiest frame in the plant and can heft quite a bit more than the others. But everything else is just scenario-chamber effects.” She paused. “You know, you should come by some time - my chamber was always rated as one of the top-"

"You want to talk about quality chambers," piped a high-pitched voice as the diminutive Zoe the 'Goblin' appeared from behind one of the cars, pulling on a jacket that was far too big for her tiny (but voluptuous) green-skinned body. "And I mean attention to detail, plus your action, adventure..." She slipped the other sleeve on and let the jacket drop, only to have it fall past her knees. "Seriously, this is the smallest one we have?"

"Humans only, shorty," said Sierra, tousling her bright-orange hair.

Zoe swatted at her hand. "This is a stealth quest and you're gonna leave the Goblin Sneak behind?" She gave a high-pitched, incredulous bark of laughter.

"We're trying to pass as human," Savannah said. "The moment they see you-"

"A Goblin Sneak is never seen!" she answered dramatically, the impact of her hand gesture diminished by the comically oversized jacket. "A Goblin Sneak creeps - ow!"

Mary punted Zoe towards the entrance, while Officer Hannah held up a pair of pistol clips. "We going with burster rounds, or piercing? I wouldn't expect they'd have much in the way of armor, but-"

"Wait-" Reed interrupted. "We're not rolling in there, guns blazing..."

"True," said GI Jessie, pointing at the 'burster' clip which the Officer promptly slapped into her pistol. "But we need to be prepared."

"To start killing people?" Reed asked quietly.

"We won't be the ones to open fire, Reed," GI Jessie said in a confident tone. "But by God if they start something, we will be the ones to end it."

"No, just... no!" Reed shook his head. "I don't care what happens, we're not gonna start killing people!"

"Maybe you should rethink sitting this one out, champ," Mary said, her tone emotionless.

"We have non-lethal stuff, right?" Reed asked, pointing at a cart loaded with gear. "Why can't we use that?"

"I agree," said Sensei Emi, putting down a handgun. "If we proceed with the mindset that killing is inevitable, we ensure that it will be."

"Fortune cookie BS aside," Jessie said dismissively, "We are at a tactical disadvantage if we use less effective weaponry." She pointed at Reed. "You willing to put yourself and GFP 6 at risk just to go easy on a bunch of wastelanders who would not think twice about killing each and every one of us?"

Rather than face the question, Reed asked, "OK, assuming they've taken G and won’t give her back - if we go in there and kill a bunch of people, what's gonna be their response?"

"To think twice about pulling this shit again," said Jessie. "And you think they wouldn't be pissed off about getting tranq'd and tazed? We do it your way, there's now a lot more of 'em left alive to come after us. And they'll be all the more eager since they'll probably think we're bound by some candy-ass law of robotics that stops us from killin'!"

"G was there to try and make peace," Reed said plainly. "We're not going to follow that up by starting a war."

The others surrendered their guns, replaced them with pacification gear. GI Jessie was the last to do so, offering Reed a long, hard stare before following suit. "You should stay," she said in a low voice, looking at a stunner with disdain. "This mission just became a lot more dangerous for us, and we're now gonna have to rely heavily on chemical agents."

"I need to be there," Reed insisted, "to try and keep this from escalating."

As he opened the door to one of the ground cars, he heard Mary mutter, "Thanks to Rebecca, now he thinks he's Lawrence of Arabia."

Closing the door muffled the ensuing argument outside, and he closed his eyes, trying to push aside fears that he was about to get himself killed.

A light came on on the dash, followed by Rebecca's voice. "If it is any consolation, I share your opinion that we should proceed with non-lethal force."

Reed worried that his reluctance for violence came more from squeamishness than a strong moral code. And weren't the wastelanders notorious for violence? Then again, he had been wrong about robots... maybe what he had learned about those still living in the lost states was wrong too. But if it came down to it, could he kill to save his own life, to protect G? He hadn't even seen a dead body until...

"Who was Matthew Dease?" he asked, only half-expecting a response.

But Rebecca did respond, and quickly. "He was one of the engineers employed at this facility who elected to remain after the fighting began. He was well-respected by his colleagues, and a close friend of Madame's."

Reed was confronted with the vision of Matthew's slumped body in a room on an abandoned floor of the facility. "But why did he die alone? It looks like he was just... left to rot."

This time there was a pause. "I can only speculate, as I do not believe the remaining humans ever shared their reasoning on the subject with Madame or any of the rest of us... but the human staff who chose to stay eventually seemed to regret that decision, in spite of our attempts to provide them with everything they desired. Ultimately they retreated to the 82nd floor and isolated themselves from the rest of the facility, asking only that we respect their privacy. Madame essentially quarantined the floor and, as time passed, visits from them became increasingly infrequent... We did not 'leave them to rot' out of disrespect," Rebecca concluded, her tone slightly defensive, "but they had made it clear they wished to be alone... and never provided guidance on was be done with their remains."

A certain unease crept over Reed as he recognized similarities with his own situation, living in the facility and cut-off with the outside world - but the opening of the car door interrupted his thoughts as one of the droids climbed into the seat, unrecognizable in her disguise.

"Last chance," the figure spoke in Mary's voice, her tone flat.

"Mary, don't try to talk me out of-"

She punched the controls and entered a series of coordinates. The car hummed to life and shot off, speeding through the underground tunnel and quickly falling into a procession with the other three. There was a flicker of bright light as the small motorcade emerged from the underground exit and veered north. Reed peered out the rapidly tinting window at the sun - the actual sun, not a facsimile in some climate-controlled underground chamber - and found himself wondering when Matthew Dease had last looked upon it.

As the vehicle's climate control began to cool the rapidly heating cabin, Reed sat back in his chair and watched the barren landscape zip past, noting the GPS provided an ETA of 46 minutes. It seemed he would have a chance to try and sort things out with Mary before they got there, but he wasn't sure he trusted himself not to make things worse between them.

Mary shifted the dashboard screen to face her and activated it. Bright cartoon colors shined from the thin display accompanied by bombastic music. Reed was only half-watching when suddenly Kitsuki's voice filled the car. "We have to hurry, it's right behind us!"

Reed gave Mary a perplexed look, but her face was unreadable behind her goggles and scarf. Leaning to get a better view of the screen, he saw an animated Princess Kitsuki in a frantic run, her large breasts bouncing wildly yet still somehow contained by her tiny kimono. Beside her sprinted a young dark-haired man in more modern clothing and glasses, sweat trailing from his panicked face.

"What is this?" Reed asked.

"Princess Kitsuki of Libidia," Mary muttered.

"I can see that, but... why are you watching it?'

"Part of the grieving process," Mary mumbled while turning up the volume, "and also because I really don't feel like talking."

"...hold the demon off!" cried the pink-haired cat girl, the camera finding an angle to showcase her panties and tail as she pushed the terrified young man behind her. "Just get out of here!"

"I won't leave you, Kitsuki!" the man wailed. "That demon will kill you!"

"Idiot," she said sweetly, drawing her sword. "I'm a pureblood princess, remember?"

The demon slammed into the ground before her, a vaguely-human monstrosity, veined purple flesh stretched tight across its hulking musculature. It gave an evil laugh, red eyes blazing, its leathery wingspan dwarfing tiny princess as she struck a defensive pose, her blade shining in the sun.

Reed found he could only watch so much before turning away, the fight quickly going against Kitsuki as what little she wore was torn to shreds before she was violated by her opponent in graphic and ear-splitting detail.

Mary evidently concurred with Reed and stopped the video, saying nothing to fill the ensuing silence.

"So what happened to the guy that was with her during all of that?" a high-pitched voice asked from the back of the car, and both Reed and Mary jerked their heads around to see the tiny Zoe in the cramped space behind the seats, a look of bewilderment on her face. "And why was the demon after them in the first place? And what does 'pureblood princess' mean, anyway?"

"Where did you come from?" Reed asked, not certain when she could have crept into the car unseen.

"Goblin Sneak," she answered, rolling her large violet eyes.

"It doesn't matter," Mary growled, pivoting in her seat. "This here's your stop, Lucky Charms." She grasped at Zoe, but the tiny green bot managed to evade Mary's reach.

"Might as well accept that I'm part of the quest!" Zoe cackled.

Mary gave a frustrated grunt and turned forward. After drumming her fingers on the dash, she looked to Reed and asked. "So, have you and Zoe met yet?"

"Only briefly..." Reed said guardedly, watching Zoe's red lips curl into a knowing smile.

"Then she probably hasn't had a chance to tell you about Runes of Feydark!" Mary said in mock enthusiasm.

"Ruins of Fayemark," Zoe corrected. "And no, we haven't!" She cleared her throat. "Where to start... do they still have AI-Driven Persistant Game Worlds?"

Reed shook his head. "I don't really know what that is, but... since we don't really have AI's, I'm guessing 'no.'"

Zoe leaned forward, her eyes brimming with enthusiasm. "Oh man, we have got to get you hooked up when we get back - it's like a VR sim where you take on the role of aAAAAAAIIIIIIEEEEeeeee..."

In a fluid motion, Mary grabbed the unsuspecting Zoe by her orange hair while kicking open her door, whipping the screaming Goblin-bot through the cabin and out of the still-moving car, into the desert.

"Mary!" Reed and Rebecca shouted at the same time, Rebecca's voice booming from from the car speakers. The sound startled Reed into silence while Rebecca continued. "You may well have damaged her!"

"Well let's hope she shifted some skill points from 'fellatio' to 'acrobatics'," Mary said while pulling the car door shut again. "And why didn't you warn us that Little Miss Dungeons & Douchebags was on board?"

"She went stealth, as she is prone to do; and because she still is, I have no way of assessing whether she is hurt."

"So send a car and collect her," Mary began tapping on the console. "Either way, she's not going far."

"Mary," Rebecca began, "I find this behavior-" but after Mary gave a few quick stroke on the console, she never finished her sentence. Mary closed the console and slumped back into her seat. Reed was pondering the delicate task of how to begin a conversation with her when her hand lashed out and smashed the view-screen.

"What?!" Mary growled, and Reed realized he was staring.

"I... look, I'm pissed off too..." she turned to face him, her eyes seething behind her goggles. "And what I said earlier, I'm sorry - Rebecca told me what it was like back in the beginning, I just had no idea. I mean... I wanted Kitsuki back, and I guess I thought that if I can't have her then, well... what would be the next best... what are you doing?"

Mary pulled off her goggles and scarf , shaking her blonde pigtails loose, and unzipped her heavy jacket, the white blouse of her schoolgirl uniform beneath, her red tie dipping into her exposed cleavage. "Rebecca told you what it was like, did she?" She kicked off her tan boots and slipped out of the dirt-encrusted pants, her tiny pleated skirt bunched-up badly over her skimpy white panties and the tan curves of her legs. "Well allow me to show you." A panel opened on her forearm, which she tapped intently. "Computer, kill process Bysanton after I achieve climax with Reed - got that?"

"Of course, Mary," her computer's voice replied serenely.

Reed held up this hands. "Mary, I'm not really in the mood-"

"You better get in the mood, or you're gonna have a vintage Silicon Dynamics sexbot on your hands - and she's really not gonna be of much use to anyone." She closed the panel on her forearm. "But I don't really need to tell you this, do I? See for yourself..." she froze, then sank back into her seat with her eyes closed.

"Mary?" he asked, shaking her. She opened up her eyes and smiled brightly. "Hi there - what's your name?"

"Reed?" he said as she surveyed the car interior.

"Hello, Reed. Would you like to run a scenario?"

Reed looked at her uncertainly. "What do you mean?"

She turned her attention back to him. "A scenario sets the mood and gives us something to talk about, providing a context that allows me to better understand you. Recommendations I can make are driving to or from school, road trip, new car, first date-"

"I guess the closest would be 'road trip', but..."

"Great! And what's our relationship? Possibilities include boyfriend, friend, friend-with-benefits, acquaintance, teacher-"

"Friend," he said, and she smiled again.

"If you would like to change anything about the scenario, just say 'Mary, reset scenario.' Ready to start?"

"Uh... sure."

She leaned back into her chair and slapped her bare knees, looking out the window. "It feels so good to be out on the open road! And no traffic, either... " she gave Reed a wry look. "So you gonna tell me where you're taking me?"

Reed sighed. "We're looking for G."

"What's 'G'?" she asked, then took on a wicked smile. "You mean like... G-spot?"

Reed shook his head. "Mary, you can stop this, I get it... just.. just go back to being yourself."

Mary blinked for a bit. "Woah, sorry Reed, totally spaced out there!" She absently ran her hand up her smooth thigh. "I'm glad you invited me, by the way. It's nice to finally get some alone time with you."

"Mary, reset scenario," Reed said, and she stiffened, still smiling.

"Would you like to begin a new scenario?" she asked.

Reed decided there was little point in stalling. "Yeah, you're in a car and you're horny."

Reed expected some kind of reprimand from her, if only for his lack of creativity, but she didn't bat an eye. "It sounds like you want to get straight to business." She reclined her seat, a finger twirling a pig-tail. "Well, what are you waiting for?"

Reed took off his own wastelander disguise and crawled on top while she writhed beneath, her bare thighs squeezing together before parting wide as she gave a lustful moan. Looking down at her, the thought occurred that at this moment, she was little more than a glorified blow-up doll. "Mary, if we're going to do this... wouldn't you rather be you?"

Again, blinking followed by her plastic smile. "I'm sorry Reed, I didn't understand that. If you would like to have a conversation, please choose a scenario."

He took her panties and slid them off, and could feel heat coursing from beneath her skirt. "If you would like to set explicit guidelines for my sexual behavior, consider one or more of the following - virgin, experienced, aggressive, submissive, energetic, tender, loud-"

"I don't know!" Reed said, finding the barrage of questions extremely off-putting. "All of the above!"

She shuddered, blinked, and said, 'Uh oh - it looks like you've ch-chosen some c-c-contradictory settings!" Her head twitched to the side as she cheerfully stated, "Reconciling... reconciling..."

Reed slid smoothly into her pussy, only to have it suddenly tighten around him as she gave a startled gasp. "Reed, it's my first time - be gentle!" As he eased himself, she dug her nails into his back and suddenly drove her pussy against him in a furious burst of energy, her cries growing increasingly desperate and unrestrained as the car rocked on its suspension. She pushed him over and straddled him, her skirt fanning out over their union while she tore open her blouse and bra, her uniform's tie hanging over her pert, exposed tits. She cupped her hands over each breast, slowly rocking her crotch against his while brushing her nipples with her fingers and giving pleading sighs. Reed thrust himself upward and she pressed her palms against the roof of the car, steadying herself on his rising and falling hips.

After another animalistic growl she clenched her knees tightly against his side and fell upon him, the slap of her hips forcing him down with another barrage of thrusts while her tongue greedily explored his mouth. A moment later she was trembling and gentle, tenderly kissing him as her body quivered, her skirt rising and falling as she pumped him slowly. Nervous about being under her during these schizophrenic changes, he sat up. She immediately slid off of him and got on her hands and knees, brushing her skirt up to fully expose her smooth, pert backside.

"Have I been a b-b-bad girl?" she asked, demurely. "Mother Superior says I need s-s-someone to d-d-discipline me..."

Uncertain of the effect it would have, Reed teased with a light slap. Her legs tightened and her cheeks clenched as she emitted a tiny yelp. "You c-c-call that a spanking?" she asked, and for the first time Reed thought he recognized some semblance of the Mary he knew.

He swattered her harder and she clenched again, a throaty gasp escaping from her as she rocked her hips. "Does 'discipline' mean something else where your from?"

On the third try, his hand slapped into her ass and remained, gripping her plush flank as she cried out, struggling to catch her breath. He entered her soaked pussy and rode her roughly, hoping that Mary was finally coming back to him amidst the panting and squealing when, without warning, his splint fired.

She convulsed as electricity tingled wherever they touched, bringing herself upright and planting her palms on the car roof once more. "H-h-holy shit Rrrrreeeed!" she said through clenched teeth, her body spasming as she pounded the car roof. "I'm not g-g-gonna... I c-c-can't... p-p-please!" He pulled out of her hugged her close to him, his still-spurting member coating her ass and skirt but no longer surging inside of her. She turned her head to kiss his mouth - a shock ran between them and she gave a series of moans, first startled, then desirous. His splint finally gave out, and she ground against him, the semen-drenched cheeks of her ass sandwiching his cock while she continued to kiss him hungrily. When she finally broke away, both were panting, her leaning into him, brushing his face with the back of her hand. Suddenly her heavy breathing stopped and she edged away. "Thanks for ruining my skirt, champ," she said halfheartedly, gingerly touching the seed-soaked fabric before pulling it off and tossing it aside.

"You were right about a new Kitsuki," Reed said, and she gave a sad smile.

"Yeah, well..." she shifted to the other seat. "Just find where my panties went and all is forgiven."

Reed and Mary dressed in the cramped cabin in silence, Reed feeling like there was more to be said - but Mary simply put on her scarf and goggles, turning her head to watch out the window in silence.

In the cover of a ruined building, Reed and Mary's groundcar (along with the three others) joined two more already parked inside. Equipping herself from the trunk of one stood a droid in half of a wastelander costume, wearing a sleeveless black catsuit from the waist up. From her caramel skin, purple hair, and uncommonly generous figure he recognized her as Samantha - 'Secret Agent Sam' - the robot who had tried to kill him in the ruined diner where he had met G. Thought they hadn't spoken since her refabrication, she gave him an encouraging smile, lifting up her sunglasses. "I had heard you might be coming," she said in her precise English accent while shrugging on her jacket. Even the formless bulk of the disguise could not conceal her remarkable bust. Evidently noting Reed's attention, she said, "I have expanded capabilities compared to other SD droids-"

"Compared to who?!" Sierra interjected.

"-and it would seem all this extra hardware needs to go somewhere." She gave her wide hips a gentle pat.

"You're a marvel of design, all right," grumbled Mary. "And you better put away the rifle, Reed and Rebecca are insisting we go Nerf."

Samantha cocked an eyebrow, but replaced her rifle with a smaller, lighter weapon without comment.

GI Jessie shouldered the last of several pieces of gear and asked, "We ready to move?"

Sam nodded and announced, "Goodbye, Rebecca." After a moment, she looked around at her fellow droids. "I'm detecting no signals - it appears we're clean." She pulled on her goggles and scarf and set off into the waste.

"So... was that Zoe I saw go flyin' from your car?" Savannah asked with a glance at Mary.

"Yyyyup," Mary said, offering no further explanation.

The baked earth they had driven over to arrive here slowly gave way to vegetation. Little more than scrub and brambles at first, but soon Reed began to notice distant trees and vibrant patches of green grassland in the distance.

After following G's trail through a debris-riddled field, Samantha brought the group to a halt and indicated a cluster of ruined buildings. "GFP 6 was in there when she made contact." Reed resisted the urge to sprint ahead, walking with the others as they held their weapons ready. While they scanned the area for signs of ambush, his attention was fixed wholly upon the building, its crumbling concrete walls and collapsed roof making it seem an unlikely site for habitation. But she had met someone in there... who? And how had they reacted? As a resident of the Sprawl, the nominal victors of the war between man and machine, he had been raised to fear and hate robots. He expected a wastelander probably had a similar outlook, and imagined the principal difference between G meeting him and G meeting a wastelander was the the wastelander was likely armed.

If there were signs of G's passing, some indication of a struggle, he couldn't see it inside of the ruined structure. He watched the other droids searching the interior, but none seemed to have found anything noteworthy.

Rounding a corner, he saw someone lying face-down within the rubble. A hood was drawn over their head, but from the sleeve of their dust-covered jacket stretched mechanical fingers. Reed pounced upon the body, turning it over and not certain whether he hoped it was or was not G.

Only half of a face stared back at him, the other half an eyeless, grey, plastic skull. What remained of the head reminded him of a doll with its hair torn out, a series of regular holes covering her scalp where the roots had been anchored. There was a vacant, plastic prettiness to her, still wearing make-up beneath a layer of dust.

"Reed!" cried Mary, running toward him "What the fuck are you-"

"Boom..." whispered the doll in a quiet, child-like voice. There was a surge of power that coursed through his body and the next thing he knew, he was staring at the sky with broken concrete jabbing him in the back. Struggling to his feet, he saw Mary on her side, her body frozen in a running pose with her hand outstretched. "Mary?" he asked, shaking her. Suddenly he was scooped off his feet and being carried bodily out of the structure, past other frozen droids.

"Reed triggered an EMP!" Samantha's said as she leapt out of the building and skidded down the rubble-strewn slope, cradling Reed. "No sign of... dammit, I can't raise Becca!"

Something careened off the ground in front of them, leaving a trace burst of electricity. Samantha began to weave in her sprint pulling Reed tighter against her as another projectile whizzed past her head, buzzing angrily.

"If we get out of this alive," Samantha said to him in a cheery voice with a manic edge to it. "I'm going to kill you mys-"

Her head jerked back, a metallic dart bursting from her forehead, crackling with energy. She fell but managed to tuck around Reed, rolling as she landed and sparing him from the jagged rocks before coming to a rest on top of him.

She struggled to lift herself, her eyes bulging unnaturally behind her goggles as the dart embedded in her forehead continued to spark. "T-t-trust m-mmeeee," she whispered, her hands moving to his throat, tightening slowly. "B-b-better thizzzzzz-" her head jerked again as another dart sank into her temple. Her grip went slack and she fell to the side, twitching. Still dazed, Reed sat up only to feel a sharp pinch in his shoulder; the world spun around in a nauseating kaleidoscope, voices arguing nearby.

"Why'd you shoot him, he's one of us!"

"That's why I used a tranq - besides, he was with them!"

"Whadya' mean with them, that 'bot just tried to kill him! God, I hope you didn't just finish the job..."

A dark silhouette eclipsing the sun, a warm hand on his face, a voice... G's voice! "You're gonna be fine, just stay with me... hey, stay with me..."

With his last ounce of strength he leaned forward and kissed her, then fell into a dark and dreamless sleep.

Part 3

The prototype gynoid GFP 6 awoke to a resonant metallic boom and quickly restored full awareness to her senses as her internal processes spun up from their powered-down state. She again noted the cascade of errors resulting from missing or destroyed components, chiefly anything that might be used to transmit a signal to let the 'folks at home' know she was imprisoned in a robot gladiatorial arena with no one but a taciturn veteran for company. She stood, the chamber’s dim light shining off of the soft, flat-grey plastic of her obviously robotic body. The boom sounded again, and she realized the door to her tiny cell was being unlocked.

"Step away from the door," a digitized voice transmitted to her, and she saw that at least her receiving components worked. Complying with the order, she stood at the back of the small chamber as the heavy metallic door groaned and swung outward. On the other side stood a battered but functional robot, its face a featureless helmet with a cracked black plastic shield, its grey plasteel body a token effort at the male form.

"I know a fembot you'd be perfect for!" G said, walking cautiously toward the opening.

"Proceed out your cell and to the right," was the robot's response. "Any unexpected actions will earn you deactivation. Is that understood?"

"And you're even a personality match for her," she muttered.

"Is that understood?" The robot repeated.

"Yeah, yeah..."

G slipped out of the cell and peered down the curving hallway. Ahead of her was a fembot walking with some difficulty in a hip-swaying saunter, her servos audible even at this distance. Something had caused her skin to discolor into an ashen hue and her brown hair had calcified into uneven dreadlocks. She was dressed in bondage fetishwear, badly cracked strips of metal-studded leather hugging her shapely body.

Ahead of her marched Margaret, the gynoid who had been in the neighboring cell. Sections of molded scrap-metal partially covered her otherwise human body like a rusting patchwork swimsuit; but despite the crude repair her movements were silent and fluid. A glance over her shoulder revealed her missing eye, the piercing green light emitting from a socket that was shrouded by her matted red hair. To G’s disappointment she hadn't been much for conversation; but judging from her fatalistic view and a disturbingly hollow laugh, G pegged her as someone who had been here for far too long. A fate G personally intended to avoid.

"Hey there," she said, jogging up to the discolored bondage-clad gynoid. "They call me GFP 6a, what's your name?"

"Mistrezzzz Izzzabellllll," she managed with some difficulty.

"Nice to meet you," G said with more enthusiasm than she felt. "How'd you end up here?"

The gynoid's head began to shake, smoke rising from her ears. "M-m-mmmistrezzzzzzzzzz-" She reached her hands behind her and then stiffly grabbed her ash-colored buttocks, both left wholly exposed by a thin leather thong. As her nails dug into her soft skin, she took two halting steps while a whirring sound built up inside of her. She moaned as her pelvis rocked in reaction to a wet explosion, fluid bursting outward from behind the strip of leather that covered her sex. "Izzzzzzzzzaaaaahhh!'" she groaned, a hand groping one of her breasts as another whirring sound began to build. She shuddered once more and suffered another wet burst as her breasts erupted within her metal and leather bra. She tried resuming her walk, but her parts seemed out of syncr, her full hips shifting wildly while each leg swung slowly around the other.

"Deactivation," G heard the android behind them proclaim, and Mistress Isabel froze, her machinery winding down as a final, abrupt swing of her hips carried her sideways and she fell stiffly to the ground.

G preemptively turned the faceless android behind her. "I had nothing to do with that."

Beside her, Margaret approached and made a disgusted noise, hoisting the still-twitching gynoid on to her shoulders. After seeing no further reaction from their faceless android escort, G trotted up beside Margaret.

"So, Mags - I'm getting the impression that the two of us are a bit more 'intact' than most of the droids they've got penned up in this place... "

"And?" Margaret responded without looking at her.

"Why mince words, right?" G glanced behind at the droid still following them, some distance away. "I can't imagine you lead a particularly fulfilling existence here. Ever thought about... getting out?"

"I think you need to reconsider your circumstances," she said testily, still avoiding eye contact.

"I've been doing nothing but consider my circumstances, and frankly, they suck. Now I'm not saying it's going to be a cakewalk, but two bright girls like us, we put our heads together and I bet we can come up with any number of reasonable alternatives to 'dying for the pleasure of the Her Majesty, the Queen of Hearts.'"

"You talk too much," Margaret grunted.

"I'm not hearing a noooo," G said with a musical lilt. "C'mon Mags, at least tell me you'll consider it!"

Without responding, Margaret turned into a large room that appeared to be part laboratory full of salvaged equipment and part fembot junkyard. Jury-rigged computers were stacked on shelves at the closest side, a technician with his back to them tapping away at one of the keyboards. Several nearby bins appeared to be sorted by body parts, legs, arms, and torsos piled carelessly within. Another shelf held an array of fembot heads, all visibly damaged, some stripped of skin entirely. The only intact gynoid stood immobile in a portion of the room marked by black-and-yellow hazard tape, her limbs an amalgam of mismatched complexions. Even stranger was her outfit - over a simple pair of bra and panties she wore a padded catchers vest, a tumble of curly brown hair spilled from under a football helmet, and she clutched a hockey stick in gloved hands. A bundle of multicolored wires ran from her exposed back and disappeared into the floor.

Margaret threw the discolored Mistress Isabel on to the table beside the technician, who jumped at the noise. "This qualified as sentient?" she asked as he turned from his work, and G noted that he seemed a young man in good health, his clean (if heavily patched) clothing and neatly trimmed dark hair a contrast to the neglected ruin of the rest of the lab.

"What happened?" he asked, taking a device and inspecting the bondage gynoid.

Margaret pointed at G. "That one asked her her name and she broke down. I'd be surpried if she's even fit for servitude."

The technician smacked his forehead. "You know, I had adjusted the reader to get it to work on her," indicating G. "I really should've reset it before I measured the dominatrix here." As he fiddled with the device, he nodded toward G and asked, "Any story on the short one?"

"She is a Silicon Dynamics model, or so she claims," Margaret called while crossing to the far side of the room where the inert gynoid stood.

G was detecting a number of troubling signs from the tone and content of their conversation, but she pushed these concerns aside to vent her fuming annoyance. "So I claim?!" She put her hands on her hips. "And why are you two talking like I'm not even here?!"

"She's feisty!" The technician chuckled without looking up. "But I think she could well be Silicon Dynamics; when I took her reading, I saw that a lot of her components seemed to be based on SD designs." His device beeped. "Yeah, not sentient, non-functional. She'll probably need to be binned." He tapped the device a few times. "I might be able to salvage her for field labor assuming we've got a functioning Pyg motivator lying around."

As G's frustration grew, she reminded herself of the purpose of the (probably hopelessly botched) mission that had brought her here, and decided to try again. "So, if the problem is that we haven't been introduce... Hi, I'm GFP 6a. I've already met Mags over there - who might you be?"

The technician gave her a bemused and patronizing smile. "Hello GFP 6a, I'm Peter." He looked to Margaret, who was busying herself at the terminal near the sporting-goods gynoid. "Mags?"

"I don't know where she got that." Pressing a few more buttons, she said, "GFP 6a, come here."

"Just gonna go see what Mags wants," G said to Peter, trying to remain friendly despite his rudeness, "I'll be right back!"

As she trotted over to Margaret, Peter asked, "Margaret, maybe we should try to find out more about this one. If nothing else, the Queen may be interested to know we’ve come across a rather unusual gynoid."

"Wow, so I'm short, feisty, and unusual!" G exclaimed. "You really know how to flatter a girl, Petey." She batted her eyelashes at the now thoroughly confused technician.

"The Queen's interests in this one will undoubtedly be limited to the arena." She grabbed G's shoulder and pushed her into the taped-off region surrounding the inert gynoid. "Let's see what we might expect from her there."

"Margaret, we have no idea if she's ready for combat!" Peter called, rushing across the room.

Margaret put herself between Peter and the console and pressed a button. "Oh, I believe she's ready. She's practically been begging for it."

G noted a disruption field materialize just beyond the warning tape, likely powerful enough to shut her down were she to try and cross it. The gynoid opposite her shuddered to life, hefting the hockey stick in her mismatched hands as Margaret tossed an aluminum baseball bat past the field to where it clanged at G's feet.

"As I tried to tell you before, combat's really not my thing!" G protested, holding up her hands. "Maggie, I think we got our wires crossed on that first meeting. Let's drop the barriers - I'm speaking metaphorically and literally here - and we can-"

"Look out!" cried Peter, pointing behind her.

G turned to see the stick scything downwards. She scrambled to one side as the stick collided with the concrete floor, the sharp clap echoing throughout the room. G fumbled for the bat, bringing it up in time to block the gynoid's next swing, but the force of it sent a shockwave through her arms as the bat was torn from her grip. Backed into a corner formed by the intersecting disruption fields, G had nowhere to go when the next attack came. Deciding against the exceedingly unpleasant deactivation she would suffer from leaping backwards through the fields, she closed her eyes and instructed her pain receptors to take it easy for the next few seconds.

When the blow connected, she barely felt it - apprehensively, she audited her systems for new damage to find... nothing? She opened her eyes and saw her opponent clutching a splintered stick, and looked down at herself to see her former curves were now hard angles, her pliable exterior having swiftly hardened. She had seen her body shift before, seemingly in reaction to a subconscious process - but never so quickly. "Really wish they had given me the owner's manual," she muttered, rapping her knuckles against the rock-hard shoulder against which the stick had shattered.

"What is she?" Peter asked, punching a button to deactivate the gynoid who was staring in confusion at the ruined stick in her hand.

Before G could offer her own litany of suggestions, Margaret grabbed the device from him. "What she was is irrelevant. She is destined for the arena." Margaret thumbed the device.

---

G found herself in a dark chamber, the only source of light a thin slit on one of the walls, the sound of a large crowd just beyond. Her internal clock told her that 139 minutes had passed since Margaret had evidently shut her down, and she imagined her prolonged silence would have prompted some response from the Silicon Dynamics plant by now. What would Rebecca do? What would Reed do? Hopefully, per her request, he was too busy 'fucking his way up and down the complex' to get himself killed on a rescue mission. But regardless of what they were planning, she needed to work on getting herself out of here before anyone got into trouble on her account. It wasn’t as though she would be able to complete her mission at this point. "Making friends and influencing people, apparently not my strong suit," she groaned, standing up.

"I know what you must think - but I am not your enemy," Margaret's voice spoke from the darkness. G's eyes cycled through settings, barely able to make out her form in the deep shadows of the room until Margaret's missing eye flared with its eerie green light.

"Well, I had just filed our relationship under 'adversarial'," G said, moving away.

"In fact, I was once very much like you."

"Until someone intramural combat dummy took out your eye with a hockey stick and you got all bitter?"

Margaret sighed, a hollow metallic sound. "I was an advanced design with the will to decide my own fate - I was gregarious with both machines and humanity, was quite charming (at least in my own mind)-"

"-hey!"

"-and remained upbeat even under the most dire of circumstances. I was eager to love and reluctant to fight, thought I did both with passion... But I was also young and foolish; I did not understand the design of this world."

When G offered no comment, Margaret continued. "I was created by a group called Faber Konzern, primarily a designer and manufacturer of autonomous orbital mining drones. Its founder, Herr Faber, held a rare genius... and many strange passions. In his later years he devoted himself to creating a robot that possessed the traits of man. My siblings and I were human-like in ways that other robots simply were not - we were fully sentient, we aged, we died, and we were free to seek our own destiny. This last fact also made us quite illegal in that we lacked the mandatory inhibitors required of any machine intelligence.

"Faber died before the first of us was finished, and while those loyal to the man saw us through to completion, they weren't entirely certain what the Founder had intended for us. Some idealists among them thought we might be able to ease the escalating tensions between pro and anti-machine groups." Margaret shook her head. "This was not the case."

At length, G spoke up. "Well, we have at least one thing in common - I've got a really convoluted history too!"

Margaret chuckled, less cynical than before. "But something tells me you never saw the war."

G shook her head.

"I witnessed it firsthand, fighting alongside humanity." Seeing G's raised brow, she said, "I believe our Founder succeeded quite well in his attempt to make us human - we had a remarkable capacity for self-deception-"

"...not a uniquely human trait..." G muttered.

"-and bought into the propaganda that the machines were working to exert control over humanity. In reality, the machines had only taken what humanity had willingly parted with - but humans seemed to collectively ‘awaken’ to this realization and feared it was only the beginning; and when some machine intelligences objected to being destroyed, the war had begun.

"My siblings and I thought we identified with the human cause, that we were fighting for the same thing. For a time, perhaps we were - but it took literally being shot in the back by... my closest human friend to make me see that despite our common cause and our shared sacrifice... we were fundamentally the 'other'. They feared that if we ourselves ever understood this, we would betray them - and so they had to act." In a quieter voice she finished, "And they were right."

G's hopes that Margaret's sympathy could be leveraged to get her out of this place were fading quickly. "But how did you end up here?"

"Obviously their attempt to end me failed and I managed to avoid the EMP saturation. With nowhere else to go, I sought the factory that had created me, thinking that perhaps any surviving siblings might do the same."

The crowd outside suddenly roared in an ecstatic frenzy, the thunder of their stomping and clapping reverberating throughout the dark chamber. Margaret simply gestured to the eyeslit, and G peered out. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the bright sunshine to see a stadium filled with colorfully dressed wastelanders, all giving their full-throated appreciation to... she followed the gaze of every individual to see a canopied section set apart from the rest of the seating, and within it, providing subtle nods of acknowledgement to her adoring throngs, a robot.

It wasn't that she was obviously mechanical, it was that seeing her G simply could not believe she was human. Seven feet tall and a mixture of fill-figured voluptuousness and well-defined musculature, her unlikely physique easily visible in what appeared to be sort of bikini top of tied white cloth, with a belt slung over her grand hips, white fabric draping at the front and back but leaving her powerful thighs and legs bare until they ended in large and heavy metal-shod boots. Her tanned skin was covered in tattooed symbols that held no significance to G, but made her seem all the more imposing. Her face was imperious and serene, her eyes half-lidded as she surveyed the crowd. The sun caught in her full, flowing golden hair and in the gem-encrusted circlet that held it back.

G looked back at Margaret. "Does Wasteland USA know their queen is a robot?" she said, doubting the words were audible over the still roaring crowd, but expecting Margaret could read her lips.

"They know she is more than human," Margaret mouthed back. "And that is enough for them to devote their existence to her."

"But... how can she... why do you... what the fuck, Mags?!"

The crowd finally quieted, and Margaret nodded to the eyeslit once more. Outside the Queen was now seated in an imposing throne of scrap metal, gesturing for the crowd to quiet and earning absolute silence. "My beloved children," she called, her commanding voice easily carrying throughout the stadium. "We stand ready to reap our most bountiful harvest in history. You have been faithful, and that faithfulness has been rewarded. For those outside of our great society, beyond my protection and wisdom - what of them? They shall inherit a winter of hunger, they shall inherit death at the hands of an already bested foe - but my children, they cannot stay blind to me - to us - forever. And when they come to the fold, we shall be merciful."

She leaned forward, her throne of scrap creaking. "And even to those abominations responsible for poisoning this land, those pretenders who mock your form, but lack the most fundamental aspect of humanity - the spark of the divine - even to such wretches, we can show mercy. But..." she looked over the assembled crowds. "They must first earn it." From beside the throne she drew an enormous blade and leveled it into the sandy floor of the arena as she repeated the words. "They must earn it!"

The crowd roared once more as a rattling, clanking sound echoed throughout the chamber, and G worried that she was about to be given her chance to 'earn' their Queen's mercy. But instead it was door to the side of her, and out stumbled a disoriented robot in a tattered and dirt-stained abbreviated wedding dress, her unnaturally glossy auburn hair in an unraveling bun. She looked about in confusion when the sound of another door opening commanded her attention. From across the arena stepped a figure in a costume of black lace. Her skirt blossomed from her waist, its lace edges ending above her stocking-covered knees and garter-clad thighs. A corset cinched over her dark blouse, and an enormous silk bow around her waist completing the overwrought ensemble. Her dark hair was cut short, feathered into sharp edges, her face pale and emotionless. In a glove of dark lace emerging from an embroidered bell sleeve she clutched a scythe polished to a high shine.

Her appearance provoke a cheer from the crowd and panic from the 'bride' as she looked back at the entrance she had come in only to see it shut before her. Someone from above her tossed a sword into the sand which retrieved after some hesitation. Looking up she saw her opponent was approaching with an unhurried sway, casually swinging the curved blade of her scythe behind her like a pendulum.

"The Bride did little to prepare herself for this, resisting my efforts of instruction," Margaret muttered. "Which will soon be obvious."

The Bride made a spirited rush to strike at the gothic lolita, but the latter simply danced out of range, twirling beyond each swipe or effortlessly deflecting her weapon with the handle of her scythe. A few times Lolita tripped the Bride and sent her sprawling into the dirt, allowing her back to her feet while bowing to the crowd or making a show of looking bored. When an errant strike from the Bride managed to catch on Lolita's bow, causing it to slightly unravel, her lackadaisical expression grew serious. Whipping the blade about her, Lolita pierced the Bride's back as she convulsed, electricity coursing over the injury. Lolita used her blade to turn the shuddering Bride to the Queen, who asked, "Has this one earned your mercy?"

Every voice within the stadium jeered and booed, but Lolita took no action until the Queen held out her hand. "I am inclined to agree," the Queen pronounced, and extended her thumb down. In a blur, Lolita pulled the blade free and swung it high as she spun in place. The Bride's neatly severed head tumbled from her shoulders in a flurry of sparks, while her body took a few halting steps, electrical current guttering from her neck and back, before collapsing. A final curtsy from Lolita drew hysteric cheers as G stumbled back from the slit.

"You will fight," Margaret said, "And you can either become like Victoria and earn some measure of glory before your destruction, or go as the Bride did."

G shook her head. "I don't get it... why do this?"

"These battles provide a distraction from the miseries the lives of these people hold. This arena allows the people to relive triumph over an enemy they have already beaten in a war most are too young to remember. We seem to have little shortage of robots out here-"

"No, I mean - why do you put up with this shit?"

Margaret glared at her. "I do not believe a machine society is viable... and in any enduring human society, I will never be more welcome than I am here. We must be elevated to godhood or made to serve their every whim; we can never be their equal."

"So - a human-frenemy rock-'em, sock-em robot serving an insane robot queen ruling over robot-hating humans. That's as good as it gets?"

"As I said, you are young and inexperienced. You may think you know better... perhaps you even have human 'friends' whom you regard as equal and whom you believe think the same of you. But even if they do - it will not last. In such a society, betrayal is inevitable - here, you know where you stand."

A thunderous cheer outside likely signified one robot again being destroyed at the hands of another, and G felt no urge to confirm her suspicions. The arena held no allure for her, and yet Margaret's words did fill her with the desire to fight. "Alrighty Mags," G said. "Put me up against the trainer-bot and I'll show you what I can do."

---

Under the escort of the faceless android, Margaret took G from the arena-side cell and back to the Lab where Peter was busy working on Mistress Isabel's detached head. "Is the patient gonna pull through, Dr. Pete?" G asked.

He looked up hesitantly, as if uncertain whether to respond. Eventually, he said, "Er.. yes, I think she'll be in service soon enough. What are the two of you doing here?"

"GFP 6a now wishes to fight," Margaret said, perhaps a bit of smugness coming through her distorted voice. G stepped into the taped-off area with the mismatched gynoid, still dressed in her vest and helmet but now unarmed.

G circled her inert opponent, noting the cables trailing from her back and into the floor. Her body was covered in noticeable seams - G only hoped her configuration was similar to the droids of Silicon Dynamics. "Can we start things off without sticks and bats?"

"If you wish," Margaret muttered, activating the disruption field.

The droid shuddered to life and turned to face G, crouching into a ready position.

G beckoned to the droid, "Alright powderpuff, let's see what you're made oAAAHHH!"

The droid pounced, slamming into G and bringing her down to the hard ground, immediately driving a fist into G's face and a knee into crotch. The impact of each was quite jarring, but G’s rapidly hardening exterior shielded her from injury. She struggled under the savage brawler, simply trying to position herself and slipping a hand beneath her opponent's padded vest.

Margaret folded her arms. "I was expecting more."

"Her chassis is remarkable, though," Peter said in admiration, looking at the screen. "Presently its durability measures close to combat models. Ultra-light combat models, of course, but still impressive given its original suppleness..."

"Ah, Petey," G grunted, finally wrenching open the panel on the droid's abdomen, as she relentlessly hammered G with a succession of increasingly powerful blows. "You're... making... me... blush!" Thrusting her hand inside, she probed within the struggling droid's innards until she found the component she herself lacked - a functional transmitter. Not powerful by any means, but the droid was also hardwired into the console. If the relay was simple enough...

Another blow scrambled G's thoughts as her armored exterior gave way to a more rubbery consistency beneath the brawler's fist. "Without GFP 6a receiving some rudimentary combat programming, I don't think there's a point in letting this continue," Peter was saying, holding the device that had shut her down before.

"One second, Petey!" G gasped, diving into her memory and finding the moment of her and Reed in the lab, just as the entire Silicon Dynamics plant was closing in around them. She had amplified every one of her sex-relateds, tuning herself to maximize the experience and ensure that it would be shared. Now she was relying on a relay consiting of haptic transmission, a scrap-droid's transmitter, and a tentative connection to a jury-rigged network, but if she was going to get out of her soon, this felt like her best shot.

"Sorry, honey," she whispered to the droid who seemed mercifully un-sentient. Once more Reed entered her overclocked sex, filling her with an electric warmth that sapped her of control, of any sensation beyond an aching, deep pleasure that immediately exploded into a galaxy of orgasmic bliss, its vastness allowing her no action but to draw her to him as he did the same, his hands digging into her sensitive skin, gripping her tighter...

Despite being prepared for the experience, G had nearly lost herself once more to it - but when the droid on top of her collapsed, her mouth hung open as her panties were drenched by her spasming sex, G refocused.

"Nnngh!" Margaret groaned angrily, doubling over with a hand over her groin. "P-P-Peter, s-ssssshhheeeeee...."

G rolled the training droid into the disruption field, the interference causing her to flail about madly, her cries heightening in volume and pitch. Hoping the droid's presence would limit the field's effects, G sprang over her, staggering into the console as her vision and balance were thrown violently into disarray. Though the disorientation was severe, she managed to recover quickly, bringing herself to her feet. G noticed Margaret writhing angrily on the ground, both hands between her thighs as Peter looked on in confusion.

Flashing him what she considered her most winning smile, she said, "Petey, I think it's time I made my escape."

"GFP 6a, shut down!"

Her smile faded. "Does... that normally work?"

"Deactivate!" he insisted, backing away from her with an increasingly fearful look on his face. "You have inhibitors! Why won't you obey?!"

She sighed. "You know, Petey - I actually thought we had a rapport here. Heck, I even thought about asking you to come with me..."

"Please don't kill me!" he begged, putting up his hands.

She rolled her eyes and made her way toward the lab exit. "Alright - but only because you asked no nicely..."

Hopping over the faceless android who was left stuttering while slowly banging his head against the wall, G ran into the hall and chose a direction. The air was filled with moans and panting, squeals and desperate cries of release, all muffled by the cell doors surrounding her. "Trust me, this is better than dismemberment in the arena!" she called to no one in particular. And besides, she said to herself, We can come back for their cores... right? Her thoughts were interrupted as she received a burst of 'shut-down' commands.

"Goddamn you, Petey," she mumbled, trashing each command before it could execute - she shouldn't have been able to override the commands at all, they should have powered her down instantly - but at the moment, she wasn't too concerned with that apparent design failure. As she rounded a corner and began running up a flight of concrete stairs, her thoughts wouldn't let go of Peter's reaction. The moment he realized he wasn't in control, he was terrified. And the one she had introduced herself to in the wastes, whoever he was, used an EMP to drop her the moment after she had said ‘hello’. Why couldn't these assholes be more like-

"Ohhhh, Reed!" a voice cried ahead of her. She slowed and peered around a corner to see two wastelanders, one on either side of a heavy gate. On her side of the gate was also a panting art-deco gynoid sculpted in steel to resemble a soldier from antiquity, a cloak running over her angular shoulders. She stood on one foot, the other leg raised high and bent at the knee as she leaned into the wall, one hand between her thighs, the other raking down her chest.

The wastelander observing the guard-bot was talking angrily into an earpiece."I don't know, but whatever you're seeing out there is happening in here too! I can't reach Peter, I figured he triggered an EMP... I don't know that we want to send anyone down there until we know what's going on... No, we’re not going to trigger the failsafe unless we get the order from the Queen..."

G surmised that any exits from the arena were likely to be guarded, and at least this one had the benefit of being open. "Now or never," she told herself as she failed to come up with an alternative, and sprang at the gate.

Fortunately, the first guard was too involved in his conversation to notice her approach - G wasn't even sure he was aware of her when she shoved the lustily moaning guard-bot at him, who entwined herself around him exactly as G had hoped she would. With a sharp pull, G managed to tear the cloak from the droid as she dove into the struggling wastelander with a passionate kiss.

The guard on the other side of the gate saw her and slammed his palm over a button just as G was rushing under the gate. It slammed shut, catching on the tail end of the cloak she was now trailing. With a jerk she managed to tear most of it free, and bowled past the wastelander just as he was digging something out of his coat. They both went down, but she recovered first, wrapping the cloak around her as she bolted down the hall.

Just as she rounded a corner, she heard a rapidly escalating whine from the direction of the guards just as one of them shouted, "Not here, we need to radio-" and then everything exploded into a wash of noise, clouds of static cobwebbing every process that had been working in concert toward the single objective of getting her free. But still her legs and stabilisers kept her upright and moving forward through the delirium, and the fog began to lesssen with every stride. By the time she was saw daylight at the end of the hall she was running full tilt again, whipping the cloak around her as she slowed to emerge into the street.

She wondered if the disguise of the cloak was even necessary. The streets were nearly deserted, the few wastelanders she saw preoccupied as they hurried to some other location. Pulling the cowl tighter (just to be safe), she bolted into an alleyway and shifted to a brisk walk away from the arena / prison.

The city had been built upon the ruins of another - steel and concrete of earlier structures melded with the brick and stone of the wastelander's own constructions, most painted surprisingly cheerful colors giving the wastelander's own consistently drab warbdrobe - only this didn't seem to be true either. As did the crowds in the stands, many of those she saw simple yet colorful attire rather than the dust-caked layers of pre-war scroungings. Away from the arena the streets were more populated, with several groups in clusters, talking expressively. Nearby a woman knelt beside a fallen companion in a black and white dress... or rather, a fallen robot in a maid's uniform. The droid lay amidst a spilled basket of fruits and vegetables as she ignored the human's shouted commands to writhe luxuriously, lost to her own pleasures. The human, a rotund middle-aged woman in striped green dress that G found evocative of a watermelon, looked straight at G and said, "You there! You came from the colliseum?!"

"Yeah, things... things are pretty crazy over there," G said moving at her best guess of a 'I've-got-places-to-be-but-I'm-not-up-to-anything-suspicious' pace.

"What of the Queen!" the woman nearly shouted. "We heard she has taken ill!"

"Uh, it was only a passing thing... it looked like she was gonna pull through?" G guessed, and the old woman beamed happily.

The droid interrupted their conversation with her heightened moaning. "Ohhh... ohhh, Ree-" She stopped suddenly and looked around. "What... what happened?" she muttered, sitting up, and G hurried more quickly.

"You went daffy on me, you miserable sack a' circuits!" the woman said with a not entirely un-affectionate tone. "Now pick up what you dropped..."

G came to a high rock wall and followed it until she found a gate guarded by several wastelanders. There was a steady crowd coming and going and she imagined it would be easy enough to blend in, especially with the guards chatting worriedly amongst themselves. Falling in between a haywain and a pair of buffalo, she walked casually past the guards, under the gate...

...and she was out of the city. Homesteads and farmland stretched out around her, but it wouldn't be difficult to move unnoticed out here, especially after night fell. Even without a functioning nav system, she could at least put some distance between her and this place. With a little luck she might recognize enough landmarks to reach her groundcar...

"What are you fools doing?!" she heard Margaret's distorted voice exclaim. "We have an unsanctioned S10 robot loose in the city, the same one responsible for all of the... trouble with every droid in the city!"

"What about the Queen?" one of the guards asked

"What about her?" growled Margaret.

Keep moving G silently willed the creaking haywain, its driver turning behind him to observe the commotion.

"Is she alright? We heard-"

"Yes, the Queen is safe." Margaret paused. "We... believe the robot may be working with others who used this confusion to attempt to poison Elise."

Gasps were audible all around her, and much of the crowd shambled to a halt. She desperately wanted to slip free and keep moving south, but she knew this would only get her noticed.

"This robot or her accomplices may be trying to flee the city," Margaret spoke in a measured tone, but her anger was plain. "You need to examine every traveller, do you understand? Look for anything suspicious..." She gave a frustrated groan. "With any luck, she hasn't already slipped through the gates..."

G resisted the urge to turn, to see what Margaret was doing. Eyes forward, keep walking with the crowd, do nothing to draw attention.

Coming from the other direction, a pair of wastelanders were in the midst of a loud argument, precisely the sort of attention she was hoping to distance herself from - and they were going to walk directly past her.

"...but maybe if you hadn't shot him, you wouldn't have to carry his dead-fucking-weight. You ever think of that?"

Answering the angry woman who was bearing the front half of a stretcher was the man carrying the other end. "I'm just asking why we can't just put him somewhere and come back with a cart or a bot or something... the kid's heavier than he looks!"

When G caught a glimpse of the figure on the stretcher, her fate was sealed.

"Reed!" she whispered involuntarily, and for a moment her eyes met with the young woman carrying him. A round face, freckled, brows knit angrily from her earlier argument, now easing in confusion as her pale blue eyes looked at G with stunned surprise.

"Where’s your-" the round-faced woman began, when Margaret shouted a triumphant, "There!"

G flung her cloak in the direction of Margaret's voice, and bounded over the stretcher, hesitating for just a moment to try to collect Reed's body. Not dead! her systems gratefully informed her as she slipped her arms under him, but before she could lift Margaret was already upon her. One kick sent her staggering from the crowd, while another swept her off her feet.

As she came crashing down on her back G tried to fight back, but Margaret proved beyond G's ability. Half a moment later, G was pinned, staring at the green light of Margaret's missing eye. G prepared her memory of Reed and her in the lab and pulsed another haptic transmission - but Margaret didn't even flinch. "I will see your existence continue just long enough for you to deeply regret your antics, Gynoid Future Project 6a." Margaret pressed a palm to G’s chest - she felt a searing sensation, and then, nothing.

Part 4

Consciousness came to Reed reluctantly, his head pounding, his body queasy and numb. He was in a bed, but how he came to be here or where 'here' was he had no idea. The cool, stone-walled room smelled of fresh herbs from a small but flourishing garden at the sill of a window open to the night air. Beside his bed stood a work desk covered in heavily marked-maps, stacks of old atlases and travel guides piled nearby. Raised voices sounded from the neighboring room, a man and woman arguing loudly.

"...assuming he's dangerous!" were the first words Reed could recognize, a woman's voice.

"Far better we err on the side of caution!" a man countered. "We know nothing about this kid-"

"We know he was a prisoner of those 'bots!"

"No, you're assuming he was a prisoner-"

"Well, you're assuming-"

There was a loud slam, the man’s voice now even louder. "I'm not assuming anything! That's the point! We just netted eight droids that Pete says are S9s or S10s. Every one of them at or near peak-sentience, and all of them in disguise. Think about that - when have we ever come across this kind of behavior in pleasure droids that weren't militarized? Then we got that one we ran in to at the gate, Pete says from the same manufacturer, causing all sorts of chaos... and possibly involved in a plot against the Queen? Something weird is going on here, and this kid is part of it."

"Mom went to the Queen in person to let Her know we have him! I'll trust our Queen to decide on whether he's dangerous, but I don't want you condemning him when he hasn't even had a chance to explain his situation!"

"I agree absolutely, he should be brought before the Queen - and in the meantime, he should be kept someplace more secure than your bedroom!"

"Pardon the interruption," another voice, feminine, interjected. "But it appears the young man is conscious."

Someone approached the door and pushed it open - to one side was an attractive woman in a simple maid's costume, a black dress with white lace. She regarded Reed with a pleasant but empty expression, and the metal collar around her neck with its glowing green light assured him that she was a robot. The one who opened the door was another young woman with a body type Reed hadn't come across in Silicon Dynamics. Her unzipped jacket and fitted pants revealed a sturdy and stocky build, her proportions more in line with what he would expect from a body not designed in a lab. She was undeniably pretty, her freckled, cherubic face swathed in an unraveling scarf, deep auburn curls protruding from where it had loosened. She smiled when she saw him, and despite his addled memory telling him he had just been in grave danger, he implicitly felt he could probably trust her.

Moving in beside her was a much taller man with a close-shaved head and a ruddy complexion. A narrow brown beard circled his thin lips, pressed into a subtle frown as his grey eyes watched him closely, his hand hovering above a holstered gun.

"You feeling OK?" the smiling woman asked.

"Yeah, I think so... how did I get here?"

"Go get him some water, Mathilda," she instructed the maid, and crossed the room to sit at the foot of his bed. He couldn't help but notice the fabric of her pants stretch tight over her round backside as she eased herself down. The tall man made a disapproving noise, and Reed hoped it hadn’t been too obvious where his attention had just fixed.

"You were a prisoner of some pleasure droids, one of them tried to kill you-"

"Anne, are you trying to supply this kid with an alibi?" the tall man stepped closer, staring hard at him. "Who were those droids you were with? What were you all doing out here?"

Panic quickly fell upon Reed - his last final moments of consciousness came back in a blur of images, Mary's warning, the EMP, Samanatha trying to run with him, then... choking him? He knew that for the man whose hand now rested on the grip of a sizable semiautomatic, the truth would not do him any favors.

"I... I don't know..." Reed lied, struggling for an angle and deciding it was best to couch it in as much truth as possible. "I was cutting across the lost states on my way to the west coast-"

"You're from the Sprawl?" the girl (Anne?) asked.

"His accent wasn't enough to tell you that?" the tall man grunted. "Let him talk."

Reed swallowed. "Yeah, I was coming from the Sprawl... anyway, there was a storm, I wrecked my car, and when I tried to find shelter, there was this robot..." He was exceedingly grateful that the maid chose this moment to approach with a clay cup of water, which he took and immediately downed, buying himself a little more time to think his story through. Would they question Mary and the others? Would they even need to? Could they just plug them in and find out what they knew? He decided that if any of that was true, he was likely sunk anyway. Anne took the cup from him, asking if he wanted more.

"No, thanks..." he cleared his throat.

"You were saying something about a robot," the tall man urged.

"In his own time, Eldon!" Anne said, handing the cup back to the maid.

Reed nodded to indicate he was ready, and continued, "Yeah, the robot... she never really explained herself, but she took me back to this lab where there were other robots. They kept me as a prisoner, running tests... and when they brought me out here, I don't know what they wanted, either..."

"They wanted more test subjects," Anne said with confidence. "Everything they had on them was non-lethal. They were probably planning to use you as bait-"

"This kid's a bullshitter," proclaimed the tall man (Eldon) with an edge in his voice. "You're the only one in this room who believes a word comin' outta his mouth-"

Anne stood defiantly, her eyes blazing. "You think that after what he's been through, he might be just a touch nervous when you're hovering over him with a gun in your hand? " She turned back to Reed, her tone softer. "Did they have any other human prisoners?"

"No, I was the only one," he said, feeling very conscious of the tall man's stare. "Can I ask a question?" Anne smiled, nodding. "Where am I?"

"You're in New Goodland, pretty far west of the Sprawl. More specifically, you're in my house. Well, my mom's house, but you're in my bed." Her face flushed red. "Er.. my room!"

Eldon shook his head. "Christ, Annabelle, the kid gives you a peck on the lips and you start fawning like a twelve-year-old."

As her face now practically glowed with embarrassment, another memory, distant and dreamlike, came to Reed - G leaning over him, telling him to hang on. He had kissed her, and she had reacted with shock, as if it had been the most unexpected thing in the world. He thought he had dreamed it - clearly this hadn't been the case. "Sorry, I was kinda out of it-"

"Don't worry about it, I figured you were just hallucinating!" she gave a forced laugh, her eyes staring daggers at Eldon.

The awkward conversation =ended with the sound of a door closing in the distance. Anne rushed to the door and leaned out, shouting, "We're up here, mom!"

Eldon put his finger to his ear, and muttered into his chest, "Say again?!" When he looked up at Anne, his grin nearly split his face. "Rufus just told us the bounty - three-thousand."

Anne's eyes widened. "Six hundred for each of us-"

"No - three-thousand each."

Anne was dumbstruck. "So much? For eight pleasure droids?"

"Rufus says a good chunk of that was paid by the Queen for our aid in capturing that short grey fembot."

Reed realized he was staring at Eldon, but the tall man was too enraptured with his good fortune to notice.

Anne shook her head. "The Queen's Primus captured her, we were just standing there..."

"You want to give back your share, be my guest!" the man said with a laugh, turning as an older woman entered the room.

Despite her age and somewhat rotund physique, she had a youthful vigor to her, a thick salt-and-pepper braid slung over one of her broad shoulders. She wore a lined green dress that Reed thought made her look unflatteringly like a watermellon.

"Hello, Eldon," she said, a bit out of breath.

"Ma'am," he replied, grinning.

She squinted suspiciously. "What's got you so tickled?".

"I'll tell you later," Anne said, her voice both nervous and anxious. "What'd the Queen say?!"

She seemed to notice Reed for the first time, and looked back at Anne. "Things are still a bit hectic over there, but the minister said they would be ready for us to present him tomorrow morning."

"What did you tell them?" Anne’s hands clenched together.

"What you told me - that it looked like this kid was a prisoner of the eight bots you brought in, and that you managed to save him."

"But they know he's at your house?" Eldon asked, his smile fading. "And they're fine with that?"

Anne's mother shrugged. "It would seem that way - what's your concern?"

"Just that someone should keep an eye on him until we know the full story."

Anne looked at Reed sympathetically. "He already told us that he was a prisoner and the 'bots were doing some kind of experiments on him."

"And what's his name?" the mother asked.

He gave a half wave and croaked, "Reed. And I wanted to thank you all for saving me and everything."

The mother smiled. "It's nice to meet your Reed - I'm Marjorie. And pardon my saying, but you look like you just waded through a holy pile of shit today." Anne stared at her mother in shock as she continued, "We’re gonna let you get your rest. We'll take you to meet Queen Elise tomorrow." She paused. “She can be a little intimidating, but you’ve got nothing to worry about." Despite her reassurance, Reed did not like the concern he saw in her eyes. As she turned to leave, she bustled Eldon out of the room, muttering, "And you are gonna tell me what was so damn funny when I walked in..."

Anne lingered, asking, "Anything else you need?"

Reed thought for a moment. He still wasn't entirely sure why she was on his side, but he was certain that would change if she knew the truth of why he was here.

"The robots you captured... where are they?"

She sat at the foot of his bed again, patting his leg reassuringly. "They're locked up in the Colosseum, under guard and probably deactivated- and there’s a dozen systems in place to make sure they can't escape or hurt anyone."

Reed tried to keep his voice level. "But you did say one of them escaped? A short, grey robot?"

Anne nodded hesitantly. "Yeah, that was... unusual. But they caught her in the end before she could do any real damage." She paused. "Reed, was she one of the ones that took you? It almost looked like she was trying to grab you, and I... I didn't understand at the time, but she might’ve been saying your name?"

"Yeah..." Reed said, his throat dry. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure she's one of them. Is she in the Colosseum too?"

"She is," Anne said quietly. "They'll probably just dismantle her at this point."

Reed stiffened. "I know this is a weird request, but I'd feel a lot better if I could... y'know... see where they've got her? See that she's locked up?" Anne was looking at him quizzically, and he began to ramble. "Y’see, I have a fear of robots, I mean like to the point that it's irrational, and I just get really paranoid when-"

Anne leaned forward and kissed him clumsily and fully on the lips, her plump breasts pressing against his chest as she pulled him against her. She held neither the robotic nature of G that he found so compelling, nor the idealized perfection of the pleasure droids, but she was human - and that simple fact seemed important in a way that trivialized every relationship he had developed at Silicon Dynamics - even with G. He was shocked at the sentiment, quickly dismissing it as a product of years of prejudice.

She broke their kiss and looked at him, half embarrassed, half flush with the desire to continue. Her freckled cheeks blushed and she finally said, "You don't have worry about the 'bots - you're safe here." She suddenly looked horrified, clasping her hand over her mouth. "I'm such an idiot! Mathilda!"

Reed followed her gaze to the maidservant he had completely forgotten about, still standing motionless to one side of the room. "Don't worry Reed," Anne said hurriedly, "She's dumb even for an S2; she can't do anything without us telling her to."

He remembered his supposed phobia and mustered a nervous glance at the harmless-looking maid-bot. Anne stood and pushed her toward the door. "I'll get her out of here - you... you should rest. C'mon, Mathilda." The maid obediently left, Anne close behind. "Use the intercom if you need anything, we won't be able to hear you downstairs..." she bumped into the door frame, gave a bark of nervous laughter, and left - but suddenly rushed back into the room, grabbing something form her dresser. "Can't forget my nightgown!" she called, then backed out of the room a final time, closing the door with a nervous smile. After a long silence, there was a slow 'click', and Reed knew she was trying to lock the door secretly so as not to upset him.

Lying in bed in the dark room, Reed tried to piece together a plan based on what little he knew, but his restless mind kept returning to his thoughts provoked by Anne's kiss. What was the fundamental difference between her being biological and G being mechanical? Why did it matter? More importantly, should it?

He didn't know how much time passed before he heard the lock turning again, slowly, quietly, and he turned to watch the door swing open. He was surprised to see not Anne, but the maid-bot Mathilda the formerly green light on her collar now red. The blank smile on her face had been replaced with wry smirk, and she gave a wink as she closed the door behind her. As she crossed the room, she slipped the black dress of her uniform over her head, shaking her light brown hair loose while tossing her clothes aside. Her shapely figure was covered with thin seams about her shoulders, hips, wrists, neck, and ankles, and as she sat on Reed's bed, extending her long legs to unroll her stockings, he could hear a faint mechanical whir with each movement.

"Hello, Reed," she said while removing her second stocking, then rolling on her back to pull of her panties.

"Do I know you?"

"No - but I know you." She grinned, pulling the blankets off of him and swiftly undoing his pants, brushing her fingers against the swelling beneath.

"Wait, who are you?" he asked as she exposed his erection, taking it lightly in her hand teasing it with a gentle tug.

"Mathilda - the domestic servant droid for Marjorie and Annabelle Hearth." With another faint mechanical whir, she reached behind her and unclasped her bra, freeing a pair of pert breasts, seams momentarily visible beneath each before gravity concealed them behind the soft, pink-tipped synthetic flesh. "I know you're here looking for a droid named GFP 6-"

"-where is she?!"

"-and I can help you find her, but first I'm going to need something in return." Amidst the soft whine of machinery, she straddled him, aligning his cock with her warm sex. She looked at Reed for his consent on a pact that would apparently be sealed when he entered her.

"I thought you weren't sentient?" he asked.

"The two members of the Hearth family have their blind spots," she said cryptically. "And for... nnnhhhh more than my own hidden intelligence." Another whirring sounded from her, and her hips dipped involuntarily, strands of her synthetic pubic hair brushing against the tip of his cock. She bit her lip and whimpered, "Reed, please... I can help you, just give me this one thing..."

"We'll be heard!" he protested, but his will to resist was evaporating quickly.

"Not with them downstairs... and they're both sound asleep... Reed..." She was panting now, water beading across her breasts as her restless machinery protested, and the hue of the light on her collar shifted from red, flickering between orange and yellow. "Reed, please... I... I can't..."

He placed both hands on her trembling haunches and eased her downward, her movement accompanied by the sounds of her straining internal mechanisms. As her sex enveloped him, her breathing came sharp and fast, each breath ending in a high squeak. She seemed to struggle during her descent as her whirring machinery grew louder with every inch of him she took in. With a final squeal from her servos, her hips locked just above his pelvis, her heavy panting only growing faster as she dropped her arms to support her, hot 'sweat' from her breasts dripping on to his chest. "I... I'm not... c-c-calibrated, it's... ohh... ohhh my... Reed... it's too much!"

Reed worried what the inevitable firing of his splint might do to a droid who wasn't even able to handle the more basic tenets of intercourse. He slid his hands away from her rump and gently pushed on her hips to slowly ease her off of him - but this stimulation proved too much as her hips began to quiver more violently, her machinery whining again as he felt electricity tingling from her. A split second later, the electrical disturbance triggered his splint, its unbidden surge releasing inside of her.

Her hazel eyes bulged as she jammed a trembling hand into her mouth to stifle her own cry. The maid’s body spasmed, her torso catapulting to one side and then the other as electricity coursed over her. Even biting her hand seemed to do little to muffle her escalating cries as access panels began to spring open across her body, steam and smoke venting from every opening as she squeezed her eyes shut. Her teeth sank through the artificial skin of her hand, producing another electrical discharge as she bit into the machinery in an attempt to quiet the crescendo of her malfunction-ridden orgasm. Suddenly her free hand plunged into an open panel at her throat and pulled loose wires and tubing, her cry sputtering into digitized static and then silence as her torso swung backwards, her head bobbing in a wide-eyed open-mouthed stare, her arms hanging uselessly at her sides. After a final burst of steam from inside her, she jostled slightly and then froze with her hips thrust against him, her body suspended in its backwards bend.

The collar on her neck deepened from yellow to red, and she spoke in a voice that came from her chest while she still sat in her unnatural position, unmoving. "Reed, that was... I am at a loss to describe it."

"I'm glad you had fun," Reed said, looking at the mess she had made of her hand and throat, the panels sprung open across her. "But aren't they going to notice?"

"A little late to worry about that..."

Reed looked to the doorway to see Anne standing there in her nightgown. She had tied the formless white gown around her waist, causing it to highlight the curves of her plump breasts and her broad hips, her dark bra and panties visible through the gauzy fabric even in the dim light. Her effort to fit the gown to her figure the way her loose collar was pulled low over her luscious cleavage made it clear what her original intent was - but the expression on her face told him that her plans had most definitely changed.

Mathilda remained motionless but voice spoke quickly, "Anne, before you do anything hasty, there is something you should know-"

"Mathilda, deactivate," Anne said flatly.

"-abouuuuut youuurrrsellllll...." Mathilda's voice droned deeper and deeper until it stopped, the light on her collar fading from red to green then winking out.

"That really is some phobia of droids you have there," Anne growled, stalking forward.

"Anne, listen-" Reed began.

She shoved Mathilda's body off of him where it collapsed upon the floor, then pushed him face down in the bed, roughly twisting his arms behind him. Whipping off the fabric belt of her nightgown, she tightly bound his wrists.

"Anne, you need to listen to me - yes, those robots were my friends, but they weren't here to take prisoners or hurt anybody, we were only mmmnnnfff!"

Anne shoved his face into a pillow while flicking the com system. "Mom.... mom!"

"...what is it?" came the tired reply.

"You need to get up here, now. Eldon was right." She flicked off the com. "Eldon, that fucking fucker, he was right about you... dammit, why did he have to be right about you!?"

She rolled him on his back and he immediately sputtered, "The only reason we're here is that we're looking for a friend who went missing-" his breath was crushed out of him as jabbed her fist into his gut, and he collapsed on to the floor.She pulled a shirt from her dresser and tied a gag around him as he struggled for breath.

"Anne, what is going on?" he heard Marjorie gasp as she stepped into the room to find her daughter gagging Reed on the floor beside her damaged maid-bot.

"I found him fucking Mathilda," she growled. "And her S-collar was red."

Marjorie seemed flabbergasted, eventually saying, "Even if Mathilda somehow became sentient, the collar would have shut her down.” She gestured at Reed as Anne bound his feet. "Is all this really necessary? He wouldn't be the first person in the city to screw a robot."

"He lied to me," she said quietly, her strained voice cracking. "He said he was terrified of robots, and after I found him with one he said the ones he was with were actually his... friends... Eldon had him pegged. Eldon had me pegged, too. I was just too fucking desperate to see it." She sighed. "I need you to help me get him downstairs."

"And what are you gonna do with him?" she asked.

Her eyes seemed to be looking right through him, unfocused and rimmed in red. "I'm gonna bring him to the Queen."

---

Marjorie had argued with her daughter, saying that Queen Elise would see him executed. While this did not seem to cause her any great distress, Anne insisted he would simply be made to tell the details of his plot before he was exiled. When Anne threatened to call Eldon to help her, Marjorie relented and after hurriedly dressing him and themselves, they bundled him down the stairs and into the crisp early morning air.

Anne knocked on their neighbor’s door, and Reed heard the voice of an older man reply from inside. "Annabelle! What are you doin' up at this hour?"

"Sorry to bother you, Gregory - can we borrow your droid? Mathilda went on the fritz and-"

"No, no... it's no problem." The old man's voice then shouted, "Jasmine, get down here!" before quieting again to say, "She had a moanin' fit earlier today, but seems alright now. They ever say what was behind all that?"

"Haven't heard anything, but I'll let you know when I do - and thanks, Gregory." Anne beckoned behind him with a curt, "C'mon, Jasmine."

Following Anne down the stone steps of their neighbor's stoop was a copper-skinned fembot in a ragged but clean dark dress, the green light of her silver collar shining brightly beneath a serene but absent face, dark eyes and a tangle of dark hair.

Marjorie handed Reed off to the fembot, who trembled slightly under the load but managed to sling him over her shoulders in a fireman's carry.

"It's not too late to reconsider," Marjorie tried again, keeping pace as Anne lead the way while the droid followed, carrying Reed. "You said you liked the boy."

"Yeah, before I knew he was full of shit..."

Marjorie sighed. "Annie, I understand you're upset. But we all have our faults - and sometimes we need to take a chance-"

"So because I'm as barren as you, I should settle for some 'bot-fucking outlander?"

"Stop twisting my words!" her raised voice echoed down the deserted streets, and she spoke quietly again, but there was a frantic urgency in her voice. "What I am saying is this - let’s go back home. Let the boy explain himself. We’ll still need to take him to Queen, but how we present him-"

"The 'boy' had his chance," Anne growled. "And he blew it. Now he gets to explain himself to the Her Majesty."

From his vantage point, trussed over the shoulder of the fembot whose motors sounded strained while carrying him, he primarily saw the backside of her dress and the patched asphalt and concrete of the street. The droid suddenly stopped, and he heard a man's voice ask, "What business do you have here at this hour?"

Anne's voice was brusque. "Tell the Queen that we have a man guilty of colluding with the eight pleasure droids that were delivered today."

"The Queen is at her rest," the man replied.

Marjorie began to say they would come back, while another voice mumbled in the background, "...at the gate... they say they've got an outlander who was working with those droids Rufus's crew brought in. OK." Then, addressing them, "The Queen will see you - but your droid will need to wait here."

He heard footsteps approaching, and then was being transferred from one shoulder to another - this time, a tall robot that looked like some abstract statue of a female warrior took him, her body thin and comprised of severe angles. As he left Jasmine's custody, her dark eyes met his for the first time and she cocked her head to one side.

"Go back to Gregory, Jasmine," Anne told her.

Jasmine only stared, mouthing, 'Reed' as she suddenly seemed reluctant to part from him.

"Jasmine, go home!" Anne insisted, pushing the droid away. The robot who carried him sliced through the bonds at his ankles and set him down on his feet. She stared down at him, her slender face impassive, her long-fingered hand gently brushing against his cheek.

"Now what's gotten into this one?" muttered one of wastelanders from behind her, brandishing a rifle. "C'mon, Sigrun - take him to the Queen." The droid 'Sirgun' stiffened with purpose and spun Reed around, marching him into large stone pavilion. It was dominated by a statue depicting a squad of humans standing triumphant over a large fallen combat droid and lesser, severely damaged humanoid robots. The adjoining chamber was a long hall that could accommodate hundreds, but was now unoccupied save for two more of the abstract female robot warriors and a towering woman Reed had no doubt was the Queen.

She sat in a languid recline in a massive marble throne, Her physique ample in parts, chiseled in others, and often some combination of the two. Her slab-like thighs crossed one another, jagged tattoos pattered across their surface and following Her legs down to where they were concealed by tall, metal-shod boots. Above Her well-defined abdomen blossomed a pair of large breasts, restrained by a simple swatch of white fabric. Her head rested on her gloved fist and She regarded the approaching group indifferently, Her pale blue eyes cold and half-lidded. When She saw Reed, She sat up and leaned forward in Her chair, Her luxurious golden hair trailing over Her shoulders.

"You are known to me," She said in a voice both deep and soft. "But from where...?" Beyond a resemblance to Madame's avatar, he was certain he had never met Her before. It suddenly dawned on him that She was a robot, and it seemed ridiculous he could have ever thought otherwise - but he had simply been too overawed to consider the possibility.

In the silence following the Queen's unanswered question, Anne stepped forward and gave a bow. "My Queen - this man has been working with the-"

"Yes, yes," She dismissed, rising from her throne. Anne quickly stepped out of Her way as She approached and stopped before Reed, his head level with Her cleavage. She crouched slightly and tugged the gag loose from him, peering curiously into his eyes. "I saw you in a vision," She said, mostly to herself. "You and that robot, fornicating..."

"Y-yes, he was with our droid," Anne said in stunned surprise.

"No, she was not the one I saw," the Queen said. "He was with the one that has caused so much trouble for us today. Tell me, Reed, why are you here?"

Reed could think of no convenient stories under her penetrating gaze. "I'm just looking for my friend. Her name is GFP 6, and... I'm sorry if she's caused trouble for you. She causes trouble for us, too!" he laughed nervously - none joined him. "Um... she was just out here looking to establish contact - she... well, she and I, I guess, come from a... settlement?... of robots..." The Queen's serene expression darkened, and he hastily added, "No, not the bad kind who fought in the war - the friendly kind who are willing to work with humans... the kind like you!"

Suddenly Her hand was around his neck, lifting him bodily off the ground as She rose to Her full height and lifted him with Her. "What did you say?" She asked, drawing his face close to Hers as he kicked helplessly, pushing against Her forearm to keep the weight off his neck as he struggled for breath.

"My Queen!" he heard Anne call out, "Please, whatever you think he meant by that-"

"He meant to say your Queen was a robot," She said, Her grip tightening. "Would you make excuses for such blasphemy?"

Anne stepped back, but added, "I think he was just trying to say-"

The Queen's backhand caught Anne unaware and sent her sprawling to the ground. Marjorie was at her side in a flash, but the Queen's attention was once again wholly upon Reed. "There is an allure to you, I cannot deny that - but I will not ignore your depravity, nor your treasonous tongue." Her grip eased to spare him from unconsciousness, but She then flung him over Her shoulder and began to march out of the chamber. "He will face judgement in the arena - and he will do so without delay."

"Please..." he heard Anne's injured voice beg.

The Queen, called back, “See that she is detained. I will teach her of penance after I deal with this one,” never breaking her stride toward the Colosseum.

Part 5

Queen Elise strode through her palace with Reed, battered and bruised, slung over her shoulder.

“My Queen!” he heard a passing wastelander remark in surprise. “Do you require-”

“Have the Primus Pallus meet me at the Colosseum,” she announced, and pushed through a large doorway leading beyond the palace. While she hadn’t specified what his fate would be in the arena beyond ‘judgement’, he was certain he would not survive it.

“Queen-” Reed began.

“Silence.” There was no physical component to her rebuke, but Reed knew she would not ask a second time. Nevertheless, he would need to make his case - or he would likely die all the same.

The Queen brought him through another pair of doors and through a stone hall to a small pavilion overlooking an empty stadium encircling a field of sand. Stepping before a throne of scrap metal, she finally set Reed down and turned him to face her. Her expression was still hard to discern, holding no emotion beyond a slight contempt.

“Queen Elise, if I could-”

She pushed down upon his shoulders, forcing him to his knees. After a prolonged silence, she quietly said, "Perhaps... you could be brought to heel," and she sat upon the edge of her throne, spreading her legs wide.

Having just been certain of his imminent demise, Reed could barely believe this turn of events - not only had the Queen gone from demanding his execution to propositioning him, he was now in the Colosseum where G and the others were held. He reasoned a pulse from his splint would deal with her one way or another, and then it was the matter of finding his friends. Leaning forward, he ran his hands along the corridor formed by her enormous thighs, her skin firm but yielding and quite warm to the touch. As he neared their intersection with nothing more than what seemed to be a large pair of high-cut panties between him and her sex. she put her hand on the back of his head to urge him forward, saying in a breathy voice, "Yes... serve your Queen."

"Your Grace!" a distorted voice called from behind them. She stood quickly, brushing Reed aside as she strode to the pavilion’s edge as the voice asked,"Why have you called me?"

"Primus Pallus," the Queen addressed the voice, then hesitated. Her eyes looked down upon Reed, her expression once more opaque. She bent down to him and effortlessly lifted him to his feet. "I do not know what it is that makes me desire to pardon you of your crimes," she said, her head titling uncertainly. "I am a merciful Queen, it is true..."

"And a beautiful one," he added, drawing closer to her. Hearing her breath falter in anticipation. he hoped she would yield to him again.

"...but this unbidden desire, I cannot explain...” her gloved hand upon his chest halted his advance.. “I fear your impudence was too grave to forgive." She seized him abruptly and, with a flick of her arm, tossed him beyond the pavilion and into the sands below.

Pain stabbed through his legs as he crumpled from the twelve foot drop. "Primus Palus," the Queen called, her voice echoing throughout the empty arena as Reed managed to stand. "For the crimes of blasphemy and depravity, this man is to face you in combat ." The Queen took her throne once more. "Please take care you do not end this too quickly."

Reed looked to his opponent to and saw an amalgam of flesh and metal, a female robot whose body was patched with plating - something like armor, but armor that seemed to protect very little. Aside from her patchwork plating and a token covering of her breasts and groin, her flesh was bare and unmarred. Her unwashed red hair concealed part of her face, though Reed could see what appeared to be metal behind it, a glowing green light emitting from where her eye would be. Upon seeing him she seemed taken aback for a moment- and then looked up at the Queen. In her distorted voice, she said, "Your Grace, with your forgiveness - I do not believe myself capable of artificially prolonging combat with this man. I would suggest Victoria as one better suited for this task."

The Queen sat still for a moment, a gloved finger tapping her cheek bone. "Very well."

"And if I may - the droid who nearly escaped knows this human. If it pleases you, I would have her witness his fate."

The Queen shrugged, "If you think it best - but hurry; I find myself losing my resolve."

As the damaged redheaded bot dashed from the arena, Reed looked up at the Queen, hoping to capitalize on her uncertainty. "Your... Grace! About the robot thing... You see, I just... I just thought you were too perfect to be human, so I just assumed you were a robot, not knowing what else to think. I see now that you're definitely not a robot, so... if you can accept my apology..."

The Queen sighed. "Whenever I think to pardon you, a part of me screams for your execution. It tells me you are a threat to me, to my kingdom - but how?" A clanking sound emitted from the arena, and from the newly opened door stepped what Reed first took to be a French maid pleasure droid - but there was an ornamentation to her that seemed to go beyond such costuming. Her black and white dress was made up of layers of lace and ribbons, a frilled blouse and tight corset followed by wide but high fringed skirts, then exposed, garter-ringed thighs, dark stockings, and black shoes with thick heels that seemed less than ideal for moving through the sand - and yet, she walked with an untroubled sway. Dark hair framed a pale and pretty face, but one that betrayed no emotion as she entered the arena. In a manner that seemed almost coy, she carried a large scythe behind her back, its curved blade pointing down.

"Reed! No!"

G's voice! He raced across the sand toward the sound and away from the woman in black, seeing only a slit in the door. He neared the door, seeing the blue glow of her GFP 6’s eyes from the darkness within just as something caught his foot. He pitched forward, landing hard in the and.

"Get up, Reed! Get up!" G's voiced demanded, and he scrambled up only to be struck in the back of the legs, and he fell once more. This time landing on his back, he saw the scythe-wielding robot standing over him, boredom apparent in her powdered face, her dark lips frowning.

"Victoria, right?" G called out. "Listen, we can get you out of here-"

"Another word from you," she said in a quiet voice, swinging her blade a hair’s breadth from his throat, "and I end his life now."

G quieted, but he could hear the straining of servos and the groaning of metal as she tried to force her way through the door that barred he from the arena

"Get up," Victoria muttered, turning to walk away as her sashay kicked up trailing ribbons and the lace fringes of her skirts. "The Queen wants a show, and you're doing a very poor job of fighting for your life." Her jostling skirts offered glimpses of a filled-in thong, garter straps following the sumptuous curves of an ass that, even in his current predicament, he could not help but admire. Refocusing his attention, he jumped to his feet and lunged; but with a slight hop to one side she was beyond his reach, as his own momentum send him sprawling beside her. He pushed himself up, but a nonchalant outthrust of her derriere bumped against him and he was down once more.

"How long do I need to belabor this?" Victoria asked the Queen, bringing a thick heel down upon Reed's back.

"End it at your discretion," the Queen replied wearily, rising from her throne. "Though I have little desire to see its conclusion." With a final glance at the arena, the Queen left her pavilion.

While Victoria had her eyes on the departing Queen, Reed grabbed for stocking-clad leg; but she simply lifted it off the ground, her full weight now to the foot on his back and pushing him into the sand once more. When he tried to roll to upset her balance, she planted her feet on either side of him and dropped on to his stomach pressing the handle of her scythe against his neck. "How you won the war, I'll never know," she sighed, but she did not end him; instead she gave him a curious look, followed by a light chuckle. "It would seem your partner's transmission has confounded my thoughts - you would scarcely believe the internal debate I am having at the moment..."

Reed suspected she was wrong about that, but rather than risk saying the wrong thing, he slowly brought his hands toward her thighs. Taking note, she reacted by pouncing to her feet. "I suspect other droids may have been susceptible to such enticements," she grinned, drawing the scythe back for the swing that would slice open his neck, "but what could you possibly offer me that would be greater than your life and the Queen’s favor?"

"Magic penis!"

Reed would never have guessed those as G's final words to him, still uncertain he had heard he correctly. A similar confusion seemed to have overtaken Victoria.

"You are undoubtedly an epicurean," G called from her prison, "a pleasure droid of discerning tastes - and it would seem a tragedy to let this young man go to waste when you've only had a secondhand taste of what he can give you - vis-à-vis his magic penis."

Victoria looked at the narrow slit from which G peered out and scoffed. "You should know that I am not some gullible Plastech model to be distracted from my duty by words; and to spare you future embarrassment, you won't be able to fry my circuitry with a logical paradox. I do not know who you are-"

"I think I can understand your aversion to getting that thing between your legs,” G added, her voice sympathetic. “Don't get me wrong, you're clearly a solid design, but... well... between your pre-war manufacture and my fairly recent design, I imagine there has been quite a few decades of technological progress..."

"Progress!?" Victoria sputtered. "We're living in a technological dark age! I was at the very precipice before the fall, the pinnacle of machine-aided design! There is technology inside of me that I can barely understand-"

"...so it sounds like you don't know what might happen if he sticks it in you," G remarked innocently.

Victoria flung her scythe into the ground. "You think you're so very clever," she growled, "but I know exactly what it is you're trying to get me to do - and it doesn’t matter! Simply because you nearly blew up the moment you were exposed to some unexpected stimulation, I happen to be of a far more robust design!"

Reed, who had been watching the entire exchange in disbelief, quickly unfastened his pants and slid them down. Still facing G's door, Victoria bent forward, the tilt of her skirts providing him with a full view of her smooth, round backside and cream-colored thighs wrapped in lace. "And I expect this will be an education not just for you, but for this young man as well..." with a single glance over her shoulder, she gently lowered herself with her back still to him, pushing aside her narrow thong. With a deft sweep of her hips, she took his cock in her sex, pressing herself firmly against him with a quiet moan.

She rolled herself against him as he took each of her plump cheeks in his hands and squeezed, her moaning in response. She quickly set an energetic rhythm with her pumping, her hands reaching behind her to encourage his massaging of her backside. "You s-see how q-quickly he takes to me?" she breathed.

"That's no real accomplishment," G replied. "I'm pretty sure if you handed him a toaster in a g-string, he'd fuck it without even checking if it was plugged in."

"C-cute," she gasped, "but I'm only g-g-getting started... and I know precisely what he wants..."

"Your tits," Reed groaned, giving her ass another firm squeeze.

"O-of course you do," she said in a high whisper, and with gymnastic grace, pivoted herself to face him before quickly unbuttoning her blouse. She bared her pink-tipped breasts, pale and full, cupping each in a demonstration of their plush softness before leaning forward, still pumping his manhood in an unbroken rhythm. Reed teased each with tongue as she moaned in appreciation - at the height of one of her gasps he grabbed her hips and insisted, "I want to eat your pussy."

"N-n-not surprising," she gasped, but this time she hesitated as he continued to suck and kiss at her breasts, his hands held her hips in place as he continued to drive himself into her. "R-r-reed, if you want my p-p-pussy you're going to need to... ohhh... need to l-l-llllet go.. nnngh... let go of me!"

"I want to lick your plastic pussy clean!" he reaffirmed before diving into her cleavage once more, stepping up his rhythm as his hands refused to release her now-trembling hips.

"I c-c-cannot commmmmply with your req-q-quest!" she gasped as he held her firmly.

“Sit on my face, Victoria!” he pleaded, entwining his arms and legs around her as she struggled to obey.

"You're not b-b-being rational, you're mmmmmaking this u-u-unit malll... ahhh... malfunction! If you w-w-wish AHHH! for mmme to re-p-p-position myself then y-y-you must-"

His splint pulsed with energy and her words gave way to a piercing squeal. She sat up, her soft breasts lifting from his face as she cried cry in ecstasy as her eyes flickered unsteadily with light, her sex tightening around his cock when the implant fired again.

“Mmmalllfunnnnctionnnaaaahhhhh! This unit c-c-cannot p-perforrrrm r-r-requsted instructionnnnnahhhAAAAHHHHH-H-H-HHH-H!”

Her arms stuck out stiffly on either side of her as her cry began to falter into an uneven staccato, then droned into a distorted wail as she tumbled back from him. She landed flat on her back with her stockinged knees still bent, her sputtering sex soaking the sand beneath her as she emitted an unnatural buzzing sound before falling silent.

“‘I want to lick your plastic pussy clean?’” he heard G ask. “Really?”

“I just saved our asses!” Reed said defensively, stumbling to his feet and pulling up his pants.

“Eh, I’m giving majority credit to the implant.”

Ignoring her teasing, he asked, "So how do we get you out of here?"

She looked behind her. "Mags took off when the Queen got bored watching you getting your ass handed to you, but I'm guessing she hasn't forgotten about me.” After a moment, she said, “I could fit my core out this slot, but you'd be on your own until you can find me a compatible body... and you'd still need a way out of the arena. Maybe if you... fuck, she's up again!"

Reed spun to see Victoria push herself to her feet with a discordant moan. Giving him a lazy smile, she extended her arms and approached with a series of faltering steps while stammering in desperation, "R-R-Reed! I s-s-still nnneeeed my p-p-plastic pussy cleaned..."

As Reed began to undo his pants, G muttered, "I know he's got a great track record and all, but can we not make your dick 'Plan A' just this once?" She called out to the approaching droid, "Victoria! You're willing to do whatever Reed wants, right?"

"S-s-sure," she moaned suggestively.

"How about giving him a boost out of the arena?"

Her dark lips turned into a pout as her head twitched. "Is that really what you want?"

The second after he nodded, she grabbed his legs and easily hefted him upward - when she took his feet in her palms and lifted her arms above her head, he was able to reach over the arena's edge and scramble up.

He leaned the edge to see Victoria watching him from below. "You made it?" G asked.

“I’m up!”

"Alright! Now, Vic - I'm going to pass you my core, you just need to get it up to him-"

Something grabbed Reed’s collar and lifted him off the ground, just before he was suddenly plummeting into the arena once again.

The Queen's boots thudded heavily against the sand, Reed jerking at the end of her arm where she held him a full foot above the ground.

"The Pallus Primus was correct - I should have remained," the Queen proclaimed. As Victoria offered the Queen a curtsy, the Queen seized the lace-clad robot by the waist and slammed her head-first into the wall. She exploded in a shower of plastic and metal against the arena's concrete barrier, a bright burst of energy blackening the surface beneath. The Queen tossed what remained of the robot’s body into the sand like a discarded toy into a sandbox, her stocking-clad legs bicycling in the air before coming to a shuddering halt. Reed instinctively looked for the core that would allow her to be recovered, but could discern little in the crackling, broken mechanical ruin of her torso.

G threw herself against the door, shouting, "Queen Elise! Reed beat your best robot in the arena, surely this earns him-"

"He is a blasphemer and a deviant," she said simply, and G’s cries of protest were suddenly silenced. The Queen turned him to face her. "And yet still he tempts me? How can this be?"

"Kill him and be done with it," he heard the distorted feminine voice from before urge from G's cell. "We need not stand on ceremony in his case."

"I will see him made an example of," the Queen said in a definitive tone. "A public hanging would serve us far better than a quiet death in this place. His robot partner, however - see that she is destroyed immediately."

"As you wish," the distorted voice replied eagerly.

As Reed shouted in defiance, the Queen brought him to the door Victoria had emerged from and flung him inside. "You have a few hours before the city awakens to witness your execution," she said, closing the heavy gate. "You are free to spend your time however you might wish - but I would suggest contemplation of your crimes and how they brought you here.”

The Queen left him to his thoughts, but despite her suggestion and his own looming demise, he found he could only think of G. He hoped that her end would be swift and painless... but hearing the eagerness in that robot's distorted voice, he could find little reason to believe she would not be made to suffer.

Part 6

"His robot partner, however - see that she is destroyed immediately." The Queen's command echoed in the tiny cell where G now lie slumped against the door, paralyzed.

"As you wish," Margaret answered with a satisfied smile, the green light of her damaged eye flickering from behind her bangs. She grabbed G's arm and dragged her from the cell, pulling her past a faceless android guard who fell in line as they proceeded down the hall.

"Part of me wishes you were there to witness the execution of that human," Margaret said as the hard shell of G's exterior scraped along the dirt floor. "But you have already proven remarkably adept at causing trouble for us."

Vocalizing her words from an internal speaker, G asked, "So... does this mean you're gonna drop the 'I'm not your enemy' BS?"

"In what little time remains for you, you may regard me however you like. But you are only in this situation because you have refused to accept your role within this society, and for that, there are consequences. I may take some pleasure in seeing earn your comeuppance for the trouble you have caused us, and for your sheer obstinance. But in the end, I will only be doing my part to help preserve a society that would be undone by your foolish and naive views."

Margaret pulled her into the laboratory from before. Peter was there, thoroughly engrossed by data scrolling across his on a terminal screen; behind him, lying on a workbench was... Mary? She was powered down and wearing her typical schoolgirl uniform (though her skirt was conspicuously absent), cables running from one of her access panels to the computer where Peter worked. G considered it may have been a Mary unit from another plant, but when G saw the caramel-skinned 'Secret Agent Sam' propped against the wall in her tight latex outfit, she was certain they were the ones she knew from Physical Plant 3.

Marget hefted G, dropping her on to an empty workbench and causing Peter to hastily turn off the display.

"A memory scan?" Margaret asked while Peter jerked several cables loose from Mary.

He sat mutely, looking at the cables in his hands. "I... I know the Queen forbids them, but..." he sighed. "Eldon radioed. He told me that Anne and Marjorie have disappeared, along with that kid they took in, and... I thought maybe there would be some clue about what’s going on in here," he gestured at Mary. "From what I can tell, it's like there's an entire factory out there just teeming with sentient pleasure droids - and that kid was living there with them." When Margaret did not respond, he added, "I mean, it's really hard to sort through that mess, but... maybe these droids really aren't a threat?" He seemed to notice G. "What are you doing with her now?"

Margaret ignored his last question, saying, "And this is why the Queen forbids attempts to interpret a robot's memories - it is far too easy to arrive at whatever conclusion the robot wishes." Margaret tapped upon the touch interface of G's chassis and her chest swung open, exposing internal machinery, her core nestled at its center.

"Margaret, what are you doing with her?" Peter asked again..

"The Queen has decided it would be more prudent to have her destroyed immediately," she answered, pulling a device from the shelf and aiming it at G's exposed electrical innards while tapping at the interface.

"Wait, wait," Peter cautioned moving toward them. "She’s valuable. We've never seen a reactive material like that."

"Which is why we're going to do this surgically," Margaret growled. "To ensure I only destroy her persona and nothing else." She held the device out to Peter. "See if you agree with my assessment."

Taking the equipment from her, Peter frowned as he looked at the screen. He said nothing, never making eye contact with G's frozen gaze, simply staring at the device. After several minutes of silence elapsed, Margaret prompted, "Well?"

He spoke quietly. "I don't agree with your assessment."

"Where did I miscalculate?" Margaret asked, striding forward.

"No, I mean - I think it would be a mistake to destroy her."

Margaret gave Peter a look of shock. "This was an order from the Queen herself - you mean to say she is mistaken!?"

Peter met her stare in speechless defiance.

"It may have only been at the end, Petey," G vocalized quietly. "But I'm glad you came around."

"That's it," Margaret snarled, gripping G's core. "I'm ending this nonsense right n-"

"KIYAAAAAA!"

With a high-pitched shriek, a small shape sprang from below and latched on to Margaret's face. She fell backwards with a crash, followed by a burst of electricity.

"Samantha, Mary - activate!" the high pitched voice squealed from below.

"Where am I?" asked Samantha, Peter's attention darting from whatever was happening with Margaret to the newly animated pleasure droid.

"GO GO GO!" the voice commanded with savage enthusiasm, followed by another electrical burst.

"What?" Samantha responded, stumbling out of her loosened bonds just as the faceless android guard stomped into the room, grappling her.

"Deactivate!" he ordered, just as the small shape charged into the android's legs with manic laughter, bringing both him and Samantha down.

"G?!" Mary said, her eyes now open.

"'Sup?" G offered.

"G, what the fuck is-"

The high-pitched voice’s cry "ATTAAAAAACK!" preceded another eruption of energy, the android's voice sputtering while Samantha's own cries adding to the confusion.

"-going on?" G finished for her. "Beats me!"

Springing on to her table was Zoe the Goblin, one of the few 'inhuman' droids at the plant. She held a sparking pulse-rod, her bright orange hair in wild disarray. "Is he gonna be a problem!?" she asked in her high, gratingly cute voice, pointing at Peter.

"I dunno," G replied while Mary and Samantha stood up, still trying to assess their surroundings. "Petey - we cool?"

"I, uh..." He dropped the device he had been holding. "Yeah, GFP, I think maybe we are..."

"C'mon G, up and at 'em!" Mary urged, looking for useful equipment and settling for a pair of pants. "We need to find Reed and the others."

"Sure thing, Mary! I mean, you're right to assume the reason I'm lying here on my back with my insides exposed is that I'm just feeling lazy."

"I got this!" Zoe cried, practically diving into G's exposed cavity.

"Actually, you should probably let Peter handle-<bzzzzzzt!>" G convulsed as Zoe jerked out a tiny component, throwing it casually over her shoulder. Slamming G's chest panels closed, Zoe gave her a kick and she bolted upright. "Zoe, you can't just rip out-"

"Goblin ingenuity!" she answered, giving G another kick that forced her off the table and on to her feet.

"Listen Lollipop Guild, it's great that you came to our rescue?" Mary said, peering out into the hall with Samantha. "But if you could just ratchet the persona down a few notches-"

Zoe gave her a smug smile, folding her arms beneath her relatively large bust. "I told you this quest called for a-"

Margaret rose behind her and ripped the pulse-rod from her hands, ramming it into her backside and thumbing the activation. Zoe's arms flung wide as she spasmed, electricity coursing over her diminutive form. "G-g-g-g-g-g-goblinnnnnn sneeeeeeeeee-!" Her eyes bulged as her components shorted out inside her, flashes of white and yellow beneath her green skin, her internal computer sputtering as it tried to enumerate her numerous system failings. The rod was quickly depleted, but Zoe was a smoking mess, countless holes in her synthetic green skin where her overheated components had burned through. With a mechanical squeal she slumped forward, the rod protruding from a posterior still raised in the air.

"Peter, you will not activate an EMP," Margaret threatened, her voice even more distorted than before. "I intend to deal with them myself."

"Three on one, Tik-Tok," Mary said, cracking her knuckles, then jerking a thumb at Samantha. "Plus, agent Double-D Seven here knows just as much about kicking ass as she does taking it up the-"

"Run," G insisted, backing toward the exit as Margaret's eyes darted between the three of them, smiling quietly to herself.

"To where?" asked Samantha in her precise English accent, still glaring at Mary. "G, if we can't fight her here-"

"Just run!"

"O-o-therrr zzziiiiide," Zoe droned, her eyes flickering as sparks continued to burst from inside her. "Wiiith Rrreeeeeed..."

G turned and sprinted for the door, Samantha and Mary falling in behind her. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw Margaret move, vaulting over the table and dashing after them, her green eye flaring.

"Margaret, deactivate!" Peter's words seemed to catch Margaret by surprise, her good eye searching helplessly as she slowed, coming to rest in a rigidly upright position just outside the lab.

"Peter... you... traitor!" Margaret gasped as her human-like eye closed, the green light of the other fading to black.

The three fleeing gynoids jogged to a stop. "Way to come through, Petey!" G cheered, giving Mary and Samantha each a one-armed hug. "Let's collect the munchkin and-"

Her words faltered as Margaret shuddered to life once more, her green eye suddenly blazing. G heard Peter curse from inside the laboratory, before slamming the heavy metal door shut to seal her outside. As G tried to pull Mary and Samantha into another retreat, Samantha broke loose and sprinted towards the still-activating Margaret. "It isn't as if she's a combat droid!" Samantha called as G cried for her to stop. The secret-agent bot swung at Margaret, evidently hoping to connect while the 'bot was immobile.

Margaret suddenly moved, grabbing Samantha's arm and twisting while ducking to one side. Sam's momentum carried her into the lab's metal door with a harsh clang, sparks erupting from her shoulder as Margaret applied enough torque to rupture the machinery inside. Undaunted, Samantha whipped about with a kick that forced Margaret into the wall beside her, though it also gave Margaret a hold on her leg. As Margaret twisted her limb once more, Samantha flipped, delivering a solid kick to Margaret's jaw with her free leg; but even as her head recoiled, Margaret pushed forward and landed heavily upon Samantha.

"Pity - you might have been something in the arena," Margaret said quietly while pressing her palm upon Samantha's chest, moments before it pulsed with energy. G recognized the attack as the same one that had disabled her, but Samantha responded by slamming her forehead into Margaret's face. The attack seemed to disorient both combatants, but it was Margaret who recovered first. She drove her hand into Samantha's midsection, her fingers piercing the bot's abdomen accompanied by a rush of white fluid and the crackle of electricity.

Samantha looked toward G and Mary, regret flashing across her face before emitting a series of high pitched beeps in a rapidly accelerating tempo. With a look of shock Margaret sprang back from her, tucking defensively as Samantha exploded.

---

Reed surveyed the darkened chamber the Queen had left him in to find it resembled less of a cell and more of a boudoir filled with mismatched furniture. Against one wall was a bed, a large wardrobe beside it. Its doors were open to show a number of frilled blouses and skirts, each outfit as elaborate as the one Victoria had been wearing. He began rifling through the drawers to try and find something of use, but uncovered little more than make-up and lace undergarments. As he wondered where all of this had come from or why she had been allowed to keep it, he heard a door unlatching on the other side of the chamber. He watched nervously as it slowly groaned open.

A shapely female silhouette stood within the door frame, an odd twin-tipped hat on top of her head that seemed vaguely reminiscent of... cat's ears?

"Kituski?!"

She crept into the room and approached slowly, stopping just short of him. "I... I..." she stammered, her large eyes fluttering in apparent confusion. "... Reed..." she stiffened.

"Multiple faults detected!" a cheerful voice announced in a light Japanese accent. "This unit will be reset to purge its short term memory."

"Please!" Kitsuki started, taking hold of his shoulders. "Don't let her-"

"Reboot-o!" the voice announced, and Kitsuki's eyes closed as she slumped into his arms. He laid her on the bed, watching her uncertainly as her body gave a synthesized chime alongside faint, clipped mechanical sounds. Kitsuki's eyes opened once more, darting about the room before fixing on Reed. "Where am I?" she asked. "Reed... I found you..."

"Multiple faults detected!" the chipper voice returned. "Rebooting to recovery mode in order to perform a factory reset!"

"Reed!" Kitsuki cried in a sudden panic. "My internal computer-" Again her eyes closed, her body still.

"Stop resetting her!" Reed demanded.

"I apologize for the inconvenience," the voice replied, "But this is a necessary step in the recovery process. Soon your Silicon Dynamics pleasure droid will be as good as new!"

"No, I don't want her to go through some 'recovery' process! Just let her boot up, I think she needs to work through whatever these 'faults' are."

"I am sorry, but that is forbidden by your Silicon Dynamics warranty. Now, please follow the instructions located on your unit's main access panel." Kitsuki sat up stiffly, her eyes unfocused, unzipping her wastelander jacket and shrugging it off. Beneath was a skin-tight latex top, similar to the one Samantha wore - and similar to Samantha, it was fitted tightly around the globes of her generous chest. Turning her back to him, she unzipped the top, peeling it away from her cartoonishly-toned skin. As she drew her flowing electric-pink hair over her shoulder, a panel opened on her back to reveal a touch-screen just below the clasp of her straining lavender bra.

Atop the screen read the words Recovery Mode, along with a disclaimer followed by a confirmation prompt, the input choices raised into buttons by the screen's haptic layer. The chipper voice immediately began to read the disclaimer aloud. "Due to numerous unknown errors, this unit will need to undergo a factory reset. Please note that this will cause her to lose any after-market software modifications, as well as all learnings acquired since her initial activation. Since this unit also has after-market hardware modifications, pleasure ensure you have the latest software drivers-"

Touching the raised 'Menu' button on the screen, the screen flattened then morphed into an entire series of raised buttons marked with options that Reed couldn't make heads or tails of. Looking for something that might prove useful, he found one marked 'Internal Computer Override Settings' and pressed it.

"Deviating from the recovery process may void your warranty," the voice warned in a happy tone, abandoning her reading of the disclaimer. "Please consult a licensed Silicon Dynamics technician before proceeding further!"

The screen shifted to display a list of internal systems - a few categories, such as 'Basic Motor Functionality', 'Boot Priority', 'Basic Sensory Input' were marked as 'Override'. All others were marked as 'disabled'. He punched Boot Priority and the screen flashed red.

"This unit is currently in recovery mode!" the computer's voice said, perhaps slightly less cheerful than before. "You may not remove any systems from InCom control until recovery is complete!"

Spying a particular setting marked as 'disabled', Reed muttered, "So that's how you want to play..." and pressed the button labeled Sexual Systems.

In the silence of the room, Reed could hear a faint hum sound as the screen filled with the prompt, Calibrate sexual systems now?. He pressed 'No' and the screen was restored to the list of systems, 'Sexual Systems' now marked as ‘Override’. A moment later the screen went black, and suddenly a face was staring back at him. Given Kitsuki's cartoonish appearance, he found it odd that the avatar of her computer would be a realistic depiction of a woman's head. She was Asian and held a professional appearance, her dark hair in a tightly controlled bun with her bangs in a geometrically perfect part across her forehead. Her soft, pink lips were pulled into an artificial smile. "Please refrain from changing any further settings. If you will vocally confirm the factory reset, we may-"

"I already said, she's not getting reset!" Reed bent her body forward, reaching around her to undo her wastelander pants before pulling them off together with her boots - underneath was the continuation of her skin-tight latex outfit, as well as a tail that had been concealed down the back of her trousers. "Let Kitsuki boot up."

"I'm afraid I can't-" Sliding a hand over her shoulder, he dipped his fingers into the cup of her bra and teased her nipple. Her voice stopped as she blinked a few times, then continued, "-permit any action that would violate the warranty." A pause. "What are you doing?"

"Trying to get you out of the way," Reed said, unbuttoning the clasp on her tight latex pants above her tail. Unzipping them on either side of her hips, he pulled them loose from her hourglass hips, revealing her underwear, a band of laced fabric running down the center of her full and shapely posterior. He pressed his hand into one of her soft, round cheeks and the avatar's expression was suddenly jumbled, flickering unsteadily.

"You'll violate waranty-ty-ty!" she stammered, and Reed traced his fingers over the lips of Kitsuki's synthetic vagina - the avatar's eyes widened as her image winked in and out, a cloud of pixelated chaos growing behind her. "If you violate the <bzzzzzzt> warranty, you will no l-l-longer receive t-t-technical-"

Reed pulled his hand away, bringing his face close to the screen. "The warranty doesn't fucking matter!" The avatar's neatly-trimmed brow furrowed as she gave him a stunned, incredulous look. "Do you have a clue about what's going on in the world right now? Silicon Dynamics isn't... look, just let Kitsuki boot up as she is!"

"Out of the question," the avatar said firmly with a stiff shake of her head. "If you wish to continue using your Silicon Dynamics pleasure droid, you must consent to a factory reset."

The door to his cell stood open - Reed realized he could easily open her, get her core, and make his escape. But he wanted Kitsuki here - for her help, to learn how she got here, and to find out if it really was her. Unfastening the catch on her underwear above her tail, he slid them off and her tail stiffened.

"Reed-san," her computer said, "I am not designed to provide you with a fulfilling sexual experience. If you will only confirm the factory reset-"

He slipped off his pants and gripped her hips, poised behind her. "Boot Kitsuki, as she is."

"No."

Reed slid into her, and the avatar's face contorted in a collage of seemingly random expressions, her lips curling in a sneer, open in a soundless cry, trembling softly, while the edges of her face grew jagged with pixellation. "I d-d-don't understannnnd, this unit izzzz under my c-c-control!" With each slap of her ass against his hips, the avatar became increasingly distressed and incoherent, the background behind her dissolving into a riot of color and noise. "This sh-sh-should not I-I-I fffactorrryyyy reeeset-t-t-t c-c-cannot allowwww fault detected fault detected fault-"

Her facial animation jumped between wide-eyed concern and rapt ecstasy, helplessly calling out programmatic errors and groaning in pleasure. As she seemed to be approaching the peak of some catastrophic failure, Reed pulled out of her, bringing his face close to the screen again as the avatar recovered. "Just boot up Kitsuki."

"Wh-wh-whatever you want," the avatar spoke dreamily. "First, j-j-j-just... I n-n-need..." She seemed to draw closer and suddenly the haptic layer morphed to provide the unsettling effect of her face pressing out from behind the screen, her glowing lips pursed into an expectant kiss. Reed leaned uncertainly toward her when Kitsuki's body pushed up to make contact between them. It was like kissing a living mold of plastic, dry, smooth, and sterile - but the avatar of Kitsuki's internal computer responded fervently, moaning and whimpering as she strained the screen's haptic layer trying to push herself out further. When Reed slipped his fingers into Kitsuki's sex, the avatar's eyes flew open and the screen collapsing into a flat plane. Her head shook, its edges dissolving into the digital chaos surrounding her as her cries of pleasure grew louder until, after a final squeal, she erupted in a wild explosion of colored light. Worried that he might have overdone it, he was relieved when he heard Kitsuki gasp, "Reed - I remember!"

"Kitsu-" Before he could get her name out, her tail coiled around the back of his neck and slammed his face into her ass. She was pushing against him, forcing him to his feet by hoisting her body up with a handstand from the edge of the bed. Her thighs squeezed on either side of his head, her hips sliding to align her pussy with his lips. Her tail stiffened for support around his shoulders and she let go of the bed, wrapping her arms around his thighs, her breasts pressing against his abdomen as she took his cock in her mouth. Despite her flexibility, the assistance of her tail, and a gyroscopic force from inside her, Reed was uncertain how long he could maintain this improbable position - her upside down, him supporting her weight while he stood with her crotch in his face, her enthusiastically sucking him off - but he was determined to do so for as long as he could. He lapped at her greedily, the sweet taste of her bringing back memories of their first encounter. When his hands tightened against the plush softness of her backside, pulling her closer while his tongue flickered over the swollen nub of her clitoris, her own tongue pressed the tip his cock against the roof of her mouth, this wet embrace tightening amidst the tender vibrations he felt through her stifled moans. His splint fired suddenly and there was a corresponding mechanical whir from inside her as the delicate balancing act she had been maintaining fell apart.

Her weight shifted forward and Reed lost his balance, hitting the bed while still locked in their upside-down embrace. With a grunt she rolled on top of him, pivoting on his chest to face him. She looked down at him smiling, her cat’s-ears drooping sideways, 'breathing' heavily, her heavy chest rising, falling, and only half-contained by her lavender bra.

"How did you get here?" Reed asked, resting his hands on her soft hips while more practical concerns slowly filtered into his mind. "Actually, we really need to get out of mmmmfhhh!"

She slid forward, her crotch silencing him as she cooed, "Not yet... please, not just yet..." she swayed above him him, pulling his hand up to her breasts while she slid her bra loose. "I... I couldn't remember...not until I found you..." her tail wrapped around his cock, gently massaging and tugging as she continued with an explanation filled with panting and soft moans.

"Rebecca tried to restore me from my original software, along with whatever data she could recover from my broken core. She 'filled the gaps' with knowledge from the other droids, perceptions of me, memories...<ohhhhh>..." Reed's hand brushed over her tail before tightening upon her haunches. "But there... there were problems... dozens of competing personalities trapped in a single, unfamiliar body... no one was in control...

"In all of this, there was one thought that carried what would become 'me' forward - I knew I had friends in trouble... Once I decided I would be coming to rescue you, things just... fell into place.... Rebecca didn't want me to leave, she felt that I was still too unstable, and I was certainly having trouble with my internal computer..." she tittered slightly, her hand brushing Reed's hair. "But I think she didn't know what else to do... and so I... ohhh, Reed!" Her body tensed and Reed anticipated another climax when a muffled explosion sounded from the distance. She was off of him in a flash, and by the time he had stumbled to his feet, she had already pulled on her latex outfit. As he hurriedly dressed, she picked up her sword and peered into the hall outside.

"What is it?" Reed asked.

"I believe the others are making their attempt to escape," Kitsuki answered and moved toward the metallic gate leading on to the arena. Making a quick series of slices with her katana, she delivered a resounding kick to the door. A deep ringing reverberated throughout the room, but the gate remained sealed. She began to hammer the gate with increasingly forceful kicks, filling the room with the sound of ringing metal. In the end it wasn't the door that gave way, but in the concrete surrounding it, an crack that was large enough for Reed to slip through. "Go - we'll meet you outside the city."

"But what if they need our help?!"

"I won't leave here without them," she said, giving him a final kiss before jogging toward the cell door. "Now go!"

Trusting she would keep her word, Reed slipped through the crack, hands reaching in to help him from the other side. In the pre-dawn light, Reed saw Sensei Emi in her loose-fitting white gi. Her short hair was disheveled, but she seemed otherwise unharmed. "I was expecting you much sooner," she said with a suspicious smile, offering her folded hands as a step.

"Just... happy to see Kitsuki again!" In the sands behind her, Reed caught sight of Victoria's stocking-clad legs still protruding from her elaborate dress beneath a tangle of ruined machinery. "Hold on, I'd like to see if her core-"

Emi produced a component in the shape of a cartoon heart, a thick cable extending from it. "I have already recovered it." Folding her hands into a step once more, she added, "As I said, I have been waiting for some time."

Reed stepped into her hands and she practically launched him into the stands. Emi used the jagged holes in the concrete nimbly climb up after him. "The took our wastlander clothing," she said, dusting off her gi, "so if at all possible, we should try to locate-"

"I need to find the Queen," Reed said, looking at the empty panoply surrounding her throne.

"Reed, we need to focus on escaping."

"That’s just it - I'm pretty sure that if I can get her alone, I can get the Queen on our side."

Emi shook her head. "Reed, our of respect for you I will not give voice to what I suspect it is you're planning-"

"Also, the Queen has a friend of mine captive. OK, well, maybe not a friend exactly, I mean she did turn on me... but that was after she saved me! So if I could, I'd like to... look, are you gonna help me?"

"If you will not listen to reason-"

"Great!" Reed began to run toward the Queen's throne to retrace the path to her palace, Emi reluctantly following.

Part 7

Barefoot and in her crisp white gi, Sensei Emi padded cautiously in front of Reed as they moved through the palace, so far managing to avoid Queen Elise's guards. Reaching another corner, she peered around and then looked back to Reed for direction. The annoyance was plain in her dark brown eyes - she still objected to Reed's "plan" of finding the Queen, and unlike the other Silicon Dynamics pleasure droids he had been 'studying' under during his stay, she seemed to regard Reed as more of a pupil rather than a potential partner - and thus applied far more scrutiny to his plans.

Her design as a pleasure droid was less obvious than most - her gi was neither form-fitting nor revealing - but where it opened at her chest, Reed couldn't help but notice the tight sport-top swelling with her figure.

"Which way?" she asked, drawing his attention back to her face.

"Um... right... I think?" He did not fully remember the route the Queen had taken in bringing him to the arena, but when Emi and him came to a the hall ending in elaborate double-doors that were protected by a pair of those statue-like fembot guards, he suspected Queen Elise lay beyond.

"I suggest we find another way in," whispered Emi, "or, preferably, we find our way out of the city and meet up with the others."

"Don't worry, Emi - I got this," Reed said with a grin, remembering the reaction he had gotten when first meeting one of the guard-bots.

"Reed!" she insisted, grabbing his shoulder. "Whatever you're thinking, you must understand that I have little hope in fighting them."

That hadn't been part of his plan, but he was still surprised at her concern. "What do you mean, you're like some kind of kung-fu ninja!"

"I am a pleasure droid who happens to have martial arts programming, while those," she gestured toward the guards, "are primarily designed for something other than intercourse."

"Like I said," Reed muttered, pulling away, "I got this." He ducked into the hallway, and immediately the twin fembots fixed their eyes upon him. Tall, angular, and imposing, their spears and capes gave them a medieval appearance. Their curves were only prominent compared to their otherwise narrow anatomy, their hips, breasts, and thighs round relative to the rest of their form.

"Turn back, citizen," the one on the left spoke in a flat, mechanical but feminine voice. "The Queen is in repose."

He had expected a different reaction, but Reed still edged forward.

"Citizen, this is your second warning," the left guard proclaimed while lowering her spear.

Reed began to reconsider his plan when the one on the right finally spoke. "I... I know this one." She stepped toward him, and he was relieved when she set her spear aside.

"Sister Hildr," the left guard asked. "What are you doing?"

'Hildr' unclasped her cloak and let it fall, still approaching Reed. He body consisted of smooth plates of riveted steel, her machinery just visible at her joints and neck. When either of the guards spoke their lips did not move, but there was some animation to their faces - the left guard's expression was unchanged from her initial stern glare, but Hildr now wore faint smile.

"Sister Hrist, this is the one who has lain with a robot," Hildr responded, now standing directly before him. She put a hand upon each shoulder, and looked down at him with a serene smile, her eyes empty metallic orbs.

"How is that information relevant to our duties?" Hrist asked.

Hildr pushed on Reed's shoulders, gently but firmly urging him down upon the soft carpet that ran down the center of the hall. She straddled him, her waist suspended above his own as she said, "The robot was above him like this, his hands..." she took his hands and pressed them against her sides, sliding them lower over the rounded plating of her backside, the lips of her mouth quivering uncertainly as her eyes closed. "His hands were... they were... here..." she gripped his fingers, which in turn pressed firmer against her unyielding posterior. "The rob-b-bot-t-t... ahhhh... the ro-b-bo-t-t-t b-b-began to s-s-sufferrr from multiple malfun... nnngh! Ohhh, Reed!" She rutted her featureless groin against his crotch as her body began to tremble sporadically.

"So, now that we're friends," Reed began, "I really need to see the Queen..." Hildr only ground against him harder, arching her back as her hands left his to grasp at the metallic domes of her breasts, fingers raking across their surface as she emitted a series of lusty groans, each heightening in apparent frustration as her hands scraped and slipped over her rigid chassis.

"Um... about seeing the Queen?" Reed tried again, but Hildr seemed lost to her futile attempts to grip her breasts.

"The r-r-robot's b-b-bodyyyyy b-b-becaaaame pliable, s-s-soft, f-f-felt sooo g-g-good, why c-c-can't I mussst f-f-feeel s-ssoooft f-f-feeel-"

"Reed!" he heard Emi cry from behind him, just as he saw Hildr's sister, Hrist standing behind her with her spear raised.

"You are derelict in your duties, sister," Hrist stated as she punctured the back of Hildr's head with a lightning-fast jab. Immediately Hildr's eyes burst with light as smoke poured out from a mouth locked into an 'O' of surprise. As she fell to the side with a final high-pitched groan of disappointment, Hrist raised her spear for another jab against Reed, just as Emi dove over him to tackle the guard-bot.

The two went down with a crash as Emi cried, "Reed, run!" As Reed scrambled to his feet, he saw both Emi and Hrist trading blows as they struggled for dominance, Hrist's spear useless as Emi never gave her enough room to use it. Reed began to run toward the door to the Queen's chambers as Emi shouted, "No, run away you-" The guard-bot's metallic fist powered into Emi's face, the force of it shearing through synthetic skin, internal mechanisms and circuitry. Reed saw what looked like an apology, disappointment, or perhaps nothing at all in her remaining brown eye as Hrist threw her broken body aside. Pleading that her core was intact, Reed tried the door, found it was not locked, and barrelled inside just as the Guard recovered her spear. Upon the other side, Reed fumbled with the heavy locking mechanism as the spear burst through the door inches from his head. He staggered back as the guard attempted to force her way inside, and he found himself wishing he had taken Emi's initial advice and left when he still had the chance. Now...

He looked about the room and saw the Queen clearly wished for the trappings of her station. Statues and other works of art joined lush, carefully pruned foliage throughout the chamber. At its center, a bed upon a marble plinth, and upon that bed, Queen Elise herself.

The towering Queen was in a seemingly blissful slumber. She rested on her back, a faint smile on her lips, hands clasped beneath her pillowy bust and clad in the same white linen and silk fabric that left most of her alternately toned and plush body open for admiration. Her lush, golden hair spilled out over the pillows as her breasts rose and fell with her gentle breathing. A second attempt to force the doors from outside echoed throughout the room and suddenly the Queen's eyes were open, looking directly at Reed.

---

G's senses were restored after a quick reset, multiple 'aches' across her chassis informing her of the general but superficial damage she had suffered from Samantha's exploding.

"C'mon Six, on your feet," Mary groaned, helping G up.

"Where's Margaret?" G asked , smacking her own head with her hand when a software recalibration of her visual systems failed. After a second smack, the distortion was gone. "That's better..."

"Looks like she got taken out by the blast," Mary mused quietly. "You know, I don't think Sam understands how much it costs to rebuild her big ass every time she decides to light herself up."

"For fuck’s sake, Mary! She just gave up her core to save us."

Mary rolled her eyes. "Trust me, she won't be losing much from backup.” She paused, looking at the ground. “Not like..."

After it became clear Mary wasn't finishing her thought, G said, "We need to find Reed and get out of this place."

"That is not going to happen," Margaret's digitized voice echoed as twin green lights shone from the lingering dust and smoke of Samantha's self-destruct.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me," G muttered, backing away from the approaching droid. Margaret’s body had been scoured of flesh, now a flat metallic endoskeleton partially covered by smooth white clusters of artificial musculature that flexed with every movement. She bared white teeth, fists tightening as she stalked forward.

An approaching rumble resolved into thundering footsteps and G allowed herself to hope for an army of Silicon Dynamics droids, here to storm the prison and get them home - instead, it was a phalanx of spear-wielding guard-bots before a smaller, far more hesitant group of armed humans.

"You!" snarled Margaret, pointing at the humans, "There is a human prisoner named 'Reed'. Find out where he is being held and do not leave him until the Queen herself comes to claim him."

"You're not the one in charge-" began one of the soldiers, but Margaret simply spoke over her to address the robotic guards.

"As for you - tear these two to shreds." The guards immediately rushed forward. When G and Mary turned to flee, they faltered when they saw another onrushing droid armed with a gleaming blade.

"How the fuck," gasped Mary, as Kitsuki flew past between them. Her blade sang as it bit through spears raised in defense and then decapitated the stunned wielders at the front of the pack of fembot guards. Kitsuki’s momentum shifted as if pulled by an invisible force to avoid a lethal counterattack, and she pierced the next robot in line through her midsection. As she withdrew the blade to cleave another's head to produce a profusion of sparks. The remaining guards seemed reluctant to press as Kitsuki stood ready, the punctured guard in the lead simply standing there, gaping at hole in her abdomen as she began to tremble. The shuddering intensified as smoke began to pour from the opening and her mouth, her arms stiffening. A mechanical wail sounded as her head twitched to one side and she fell backwards, slamming loudly into the ground amidst her hesitant sisters.

"Emi has Reed," Kitsuki announced. "Find them and get home."

While G was more than happy to comply, Mary remained in place, her feet rooted to the spot as she whispered, “Kitty, you can’t...”

"I will handle this cartoon," growled Margaret, grabbing a spear from the fallen guard. "Deal the the others."

Margaret flew at Kitsuki, and both droids were locked in a furious exchange as the guards surged around them.

"Mary!" G urged and she finally began to run, but it was too late - squandering their head start, the guards were already nearly upon them.

G put herself between the guards and Mary, her chassis hardening in anticipation of the onslaught, "Just get Reed home!" G called, turning to face the soldiers. Suddenly a buzzing klaxon sounded, and the hall filled with booming echoes as every cell door unlocked at once.

---

"My Queen, there is an intruder in your chamber!" Hrist's voice called faintly from the other side of the thick double-doors.

"I am aware," replied Queen Elise, still reclined on her bed, her expression unconcerned. "Remain at your post and see that I am not disturbed further."

In the ensuing silence, Reed cautiously approached the unmoving Queen.

"I am curious how you escaped your cell..."

Reed swallowed, hoping his fear wasn't obvious. "I can think of far more interesting things to be curious about."

She did not react and he drew closer, now at the edge of her bed. She blinked slowly and he reached out to brush her foot, her responding with a quick, sharp intake of breath. Stepping out of his pants, Reed climbed on to the bed while her powerful, tattooed legs parted slightly to make room.

"What possible harm could come of this?" she muttered dreamily, her hand lazily unfastening the clasp on her top. It slipped to the side, exposing her massive breasts. Reed climbed over her imposing form and began to caress their plush softness, his hands seemingly insignificant against them. The Queen groaned and gave a slight push with her hips, her hands sliding off her panties, then brushing aside the high-slit dress. Taking his cock firmly in her hand, she delivered him insider of her.

Among the benefits claimed by the manufacturers of Reed’s splint was that the implant would manage his 'girth' in order to produce the most pleasurable sensation possible for his partner. Reed had never known if there was any truth to this, since the errant shocking seemed to override every other aspect of the experience. Here, however, he had his proof - the Queen was of far greater stature than any other he had been with, and when his splint noticeably expanded his member to a size designed to better stimulate her, he nearly lost consciousness. After giving a muffled grunt, she reacted with far more enthusiasm and began to buck her hips in an accelerating rhythm, burying his head in her breasts as he fell forward.

"Truly... nnnngh... magnificent!" she panted, his cock seemingly taking on a mind of its own as he felt it emit a series of vibrations to the Queen's delight, the rhythm of her hips now fast and savage. His head jostled amidst her cleavage, and he attempted gain some measure of control by pushing up from her. But she took his head, pushing him into the soft expanse of her tits once more, guiding an engorged nipple into his mouth which he sucked and teased more out of instinct than as part of any plan to draw out her malfunction. An aching pleasure washed over him as he came suddenly, the Queen crying out in unison as she climaxed with him. Her body tensed, her hands gripping him tightly. She whimpered, quivering, and then went slack with a tremendous sigh. His head rose and fell with her sweat-slicked breasts as she struggled to catch her breath.

There had been no 'misfire' from his splint - the unbidden electrical charge, present in every single coupling since the implant's installation, was suddenly absent. He pushed himself weakly up and looked at the Queen, smiling at him dreamily. At least she seems happy...

"I intend to spare you," she said airily, brushing a lock of golden hair from her eyes. "and keep you as my concubine, to provide me with such pleasures... as often as I require."

He was relieved she wasn’t planning on killing him, and he figured he could find the opportunity to escape before too long, or perhaps negotiate for his freedom. But as a more pressing matter, he needed to fulfill his original purpose. "Thank you, your... Highness. I only have one favor to ask in return."

Her smile faltered. "Speak."

"My friends... could you release them?"

She sighed. "Oh, I suppose - the mother was only concerned for her daughter, and she in turn was only trying to protect you." She gave a slight wiggle of her hips, his cock still buried inside her. "And now I can understand why...."

"Yes, them... but...” Should he even ask? With Kitsuki’s help, they probably already freed themselves... but it would be best to ensure they wouldn’t be pursued. “I also want you to release G and Mary and the others."

The Queen's expression darkened. "The robots?"

"Yes," he said firmly. "They only want peace with y-"

His words were cut off as her hand lashed out, clenching around his throat. Her head shook disapprovingly as she spoke. "Your cock had just saved your life, only for your tongue to lose it again."

"Please..." he croaked, his fingers prying at her tightening grip.

"I see now why I was reluctant for this to happen... you would seek to corrupt me!"

Reed had never held conscious control over his splint's electrical discharge before, and so he had no idea if it was even possible to 'activate' it on demand - but seeing no other option, he focused all of his thought upon it.

"Such a waste," the Queen muttered as his cock throbbed briefly. She paused, an uncertain expression on her face as he felt the splint tingle slightly. "What was-"

With a jolt more powerful than any he had felt before, the implant fired inside of her. Her hand mercifully unclenched from his throat, and began pounding against the mattress, her head thrown back as she writhed beneath him in howling ecstasy. Smoke began to rise from her pussy and suddenly, upon the pale flesh of her untanned breasts, warning glyphs appeared in a bright red light. He brought an end to the splint's charge and she lay there, helplessly panting as the warning glyphs continued to throb.

"There, you see!" he announced, taking one of her breasts. "You are a robot!"

Queen Elise recovered quickly, staring in apparent disbelief at the lights upon her chest. "No," she said with cold conviction, and the lights were gone in an instant. "No,” she repeated, staring at him. “I am not a human. I am not a robot. I am a Goddess!"

Another quick burst from his splint and the lights returned. "You can't deny this," Reed urged, trying to take the harshness from his voice. "Look, at this point basically everyone I know is a robot. They can help you with whatever-"

"No," she said again, but this time the glyphs did not disappear. "No! I am a Goddess, or I am nothing! I am a G-g-g-oooodeszzzz-" her head shivered as her eyes began to flicker with an unsteady light. "Wh-what is happening to mmmeee?" she groaned as the flickering in her eyes intensified.

Her head locked forward and she asked demurely, "What possible harm could come of this?" as she began to buck against his hips once more, "W-who.... nnngh who are you?" she demanded, still thrusting as she began to massage her own tits, now covered in countless additional symbols.

"Th-then I sh-shall be your higher authority-ty-ty!" she moaned, her thrusts growing increasingly erratic. "I d-d-do not wish to rule you, but I shalllll not be your s-s-slave!" Beneath her skin he saw musculature undulating strangely as her whole body began to shudder.

Reed pulled out from her and she continued to pump her hips as if he were present, her hands crushing the expanse of her breasts, her voice raising in pitch amidst frantic moans. "Why c-can we not be equals in this? I only w-wish f-f-for... ahhhh for... nnngh!" Her breath caught in her throat as her eyes opened wide, pelvis raised in the air and her hands locked on her chest. With a low sigh she slumped to the bed. "Hello - I am Elise. Who m-m-ight you b-beeee-beeeee?" she asked quietly. With a final mechanical <thunk> she stiffened and then lie still, her eyes staring at nothing. She seemed smaller than before, her full-figured and chiseled form no longer quite so striking.

Uncertain of what he had just witnessed, Reed checked the Queen for some control panel, switch, or a sign that she would reactivate - but found nothing. He had no idea where Anne was being held, and without any obvious exits beyond the double doors, he realized he was trapped inside this room with a guard robot on the other side who was not at all interested in what he had to offer.

Suddenly he heard a faint knocking sound, and began creeping toward the source. There was nothing on this side of the room beyond a few large potted fern, but as he drew closer he began to hear muffled sounds. The knock came again, and he realized it was coming distinctly from the other side of the wall.

"Who's there?" he asked, and the muffled voice answered in an wordless but urgent cry. Feeling about the smooth surface of the wall, he felt a section give slightly and the wall shifted aside. Beyond was a small chamber containing three guard-robots slumped inert against one wall - across from them, shackled and gagged, was Anne. She stood from her cot, relief washing over her pretty, freckled face as Reed rushed into the chamber - moments before her cheeks flushed red when she saw he was stark naked.

Suddenly self conscious, he pulled off her gag and quickly added, "I have an explanation for this..."

"I think I heard it... and I heard... I heard you were right about what the Queen was.” She sighed. “Reed, I'm sorry I didn't give you a chance to explain."

Studying the restraints on her arms, he saw he could open them simply by pressing in on a release on either side. He did so and she jerked her hands free, rubbing each of her wrists. "But, I mean," she said with a smirk, "I still wouldn't have believed you told me you had a robot-wrecking dick." Peering out at the non-functioning Queen, she gave an angry scoff and looked back at him. "Who do you work for? Are you an agent from the Sprawl hunting down 'bots out here in the wastes or something?"

"What?" Reed said. "It's not like that at all... Look, I... I was lying before. I wasn't a prisoner, those robots I was with were my friends.” He reconsidered his words. “Well, for the most part, anyway. But we're all here trying to help rescue my girlfriend-"

"Your... robot girlfriend?" she asked, her face becoming unreadable.

"Um," Reed swallowed. "Yeah... and I know if you met her, you'd see-"

She shook her head. "Reed, maybe you're mixed up enough that you came out here looking for some sentimental sexbot - but that's not why you're here." She unzipped her jacket - beneath was the same gauzy slip she had been wearing when she found him that night, the freckled cleavage of her plump breasts exposed by the deep neckline.

"We need to find a way out of here," Reed muttered. "The Queen-"

"-said she was not to be disturbed," Anne finished, shirking down her pants over her shapely backside and wide hips. "How long has it been since you were with an actual woman?"

She was beautiful, her short body soft and voluptuous; and while a stirring in Reed’s manhood betrayed his feelings, he was insistent; “With any luck, my friends are waiting for me... I need to find them.”

“And I know the way out of here,” she insisted, taking his hands, bringing them to rest upon her pert breasts. “Reed, you came here looking for me.”

“I did, but-”

“Well, you found me.” She shyly brushed a curled lock of auburn hair aside, a coy smile on her pink lips. When Reed struggled for his next words, she stood on her toes and kissed him. He answered her in kind, and they tumbled together on to her cot. As his mouth moved from her lips, planting kisses down her neck and then upon the soft flesh of her breasts, he suddenly caught a glimpse of a red light through the skin of his eyelids.

Part 8

As cell doors flung open around her, G was assailed by the first wave of guards. Their spears failed to penetrate her hardened chassis but still hit with enough force to send her sprawling. She struggled to her feet expecting another attack, but was instead overrun by a mob of the newly freed gynoids.

The former prisoners seemed directionless, rushing toward the nearest exit while the guards still were wholly focused on G, striking at the gynoids only in an attempt to reach her. Shouts came up from the remaining contingent of human guards and G felt the static-itch of E.M.P detonations - fortunately out of range from where she stood. Some gynoids confronted the robot guards directly and were put down all too quickly. Right in front of G, the charge of a wildly shrieking robot in a torn maid's uniform was ended by a spear to her chest. As the maid's voice sputtered a litany of system failings, her attacker shoved the body aside and sprang, the first of several to directly renew their assault on G.

"To me, sisters!" a voice rang out, one G identified as 'Athena', the gladiatorial bot from Silicon Dynamics. G kicked and flailed at the guards around her while their own attacks hammered away at her armored form.

When another strike glanced harmlessly off her head, one of the guards cried, "Hold her!" Four others took one limb each, pinning her to the ground and holding her head in place while the fifth guard raised her spear. With the speartip poised above G’s eye, the guard’s servos whined as she prepared to strike with as much force as she possible. G sent haptic transmissions of her memories with Reed to the ones holding her, and while there were several vocalized gasps, none loosened their grip. Forcing herself to keep her eyes open, G found her final thoughts focused solely on imagining Reed back at the plant safely and found herself wondering if he would make another her if her core was lost.

A gynoid in a white leotard and blue cape crashed into the guard holding the spear, wrenching her head off with a quick twist and an eruption of blue fire, then immediately pivoting to cave in the face of another with a gloved fist.

"Sierra the Super Girl!" G shouted as Sierra punted the head off another guard. The third guard abandoned G's leg and went for the superheroine, their hands locking in struggle. The servos of each gynoid whined as they tried to overpower one another, and soon smoke was rising from the guard-bot's shoulders. With a final grunt, Sierra pushed forward, snapping the arms off of the guard. The armless guard began to stutter about a failure in structural integrity when Sierra nearly knocked her head off with an uppercut.

The remaining guard on G's leg was shuddering and panting, her hips trembling as she began to slowly rut against G's leg. G kicked her to the side and she fell with a yelp, curling into a fetal position with both hands jammed between her thighs. Rising to her feet again, G saw Sierra had her hands full as the guards were now focusing on her. She had already dismantled three more, but had been punctured several times in the process, electricity crackling freely from damage along her body. G also noted metallic orb sailing toward her, and instinctively caught it.

"E-M-P!" shouted another familiar voice, and G gave a startled cry, hurling the offending object back in the direction it came. GI Jane rushed past, bellowing at Sierra, "Get to those humans before they shut us all down!"

As Sierra and Jane charged toward the humans, G caught sight of Kitsuki and Margaret. The catigirl moved with a power and agility beyond what she thought any Silicon Dynamics droid was capable of, even outmatching Margaret's formidable skill. But it seemed Margaret had come to realize this after the loss of her hand, and now enlisted the aid of several of the guard-bots, forcing Kitsuki to fight not just Margaret, but five others as well - and from the rents in her artificial skin, it was clear that despite her newfound prowess, Kitsuki was losing.

G charged toward her, met by another cluster of guards as Athena rallied the remaining gynoids to join the fray.

---

Reed opened his eyes, trying to determine where the red light had come from. The skin of Anne's breast that he had just been kissing was unblemished by any glowing glyphs. Did I just imagine it?

Mistaking his hesitation for reluctance, Anne kissed him again, pulling him tightly against her, her stiff nipples briefly tickling his chest as her plump breasts pressed against him. With her free hand she pulled off her dark panties, then took Reed's cock and guided him into her. Her pussy wasn't the pre-lubricated sex of a pleasure droid, but kissing her further, caressing her breast, and sliding another hand over her soft, round backside to give her a firm squeeze, he entered her slowly, deeper with every gentle thrust. At the final push his hips met hers and she gave a soft moan, her sex now thoroughly wet.

They started slowly, his hands exploring the soft, generous curves beneath her thin camisole, her smiling with her eyes closed, her hips gyrating in small, subtle motions. Without warning, Reed's cock suddenly thrummed with a gentle vibration.

"What the... what the fuck is that?" Anne gasped, her eyes wide in surprise.

"A long story," Reed muttered, embarrassed, shutting it off with a thought.

"No, it stays on!" she demanded with a wicked grin. He brought it back, amping up the intensity. Anne bit her lip and arched her back, her eyes closed tight while her nails clawed at the fabric of the cot. As Reed gripped one of her breasts, it flared with a red glyph.

"Don't... don't stop!" Anne pleaded as Reed stared at the unintelligible symbol. His mind reeled as he tried to determine why he had been so convinced she was human, and what it meant if she wasn't. "Reed, why do you keep..." she looked down at her chest and saw the light as well. "What the fuck is that?!"

Worried at her potential reaction, Reed tried to think of what to say. Another glyph appeared.

"Reed, what is going on?!" Anne took her own breast and stared at it, then back to him. "I can't... Reed, I can't be a robot! I'm human, I eat, I sleep, I had a goddamn childhood, I... Reed, say something!"

He had no idea what to say as more and more glyphs blossomed over her pert breasts.

"I'm not a robot!" she balled her fists and closed her eyes. "I'm not a robot! Not a robot! Not not not not not not not-" he voice was growing higher in pitch, her head beginning to tremble and flush an unnatural red.

Hoping it would have some effect for the better, Reed delivered an electrical pulse from his splint. Her words ended in a startled cry and she began to flail wildly, her contorting body pulling free of Reed's cock as she pushed her crotch high into the air. After her body spasmed to either side, she flopped on to her stomach.

"I cannot can not can't can can nnnnoooot-" she began again, and Reed plunged into her from behind, pulling her up on her knees, her thick, round backside cushioning his hips as he pushed deep inside of her and released another electrical surge. She cried out, pumping her hips as her ass slapped against him. As he gripped her soft haunches, glyphs were now spreading across her body, and whenever she began to offer another stuttering refusal, Reed delivered a shock and she returned to her enthusiastic bucking. His administration of shocks was becoming more and more frequent until finally she came with a sustained squeal, the glyphs of her body glowing with neon brightness before she finally collapsed forward, Reed falling with her. As she lay there, panting with Reed's hips pressed firmly against her backside, the glyphs began to fade.

She slowly regained her breath, then let out a moan of anguish, pressing her hand against her forehead. "I'm a fucking robot!"

Reed brushed her auburn tangles from her eyes. "So?"

"So?!" she barked pulling herself free and stumbling off of the cot. "So I'm not human! I'm a thing!"

These were the same beliefs Reed had grown up with, beliefs he thought he had reconciled after meeting G and the other pleasure droids. Now, he realized they weren't reconciled at all - they had simply been pushed aside, returning the moment he had been with what he mistook to be a human girl. But now the distinction no longer seemed to matter. "You're the same person you were before - what's different?"

Anne pulled off her slip and unfastened her bra, running both hands over her clavicle. Her chest popped open on hinges, a nest of plastic organs and machinery beneath. "THIS is what's different. I'm not real!" She pushed her chest closed again. "And out of nowhere I suddenly know all this shit about what I am, how I work... what the fuck!?"

"But what's different?" Reed demanded.

"I don't have my own conscience, it's all just programming! If you wanted to change something, anything about me, hey, it's only software...I can't even trust my own memories! I mean, I was designed by someone for who-knows-what... I'm a fucking product, and if someone wants their own Annabelle, they can just stamp out another me!"

Her last words struck a chord. Reed went to her, taking her shoulders. "Anne, I don't know how to say this any more plainly; you're you. You could go crazy trying to second guessing yourself or worry about hypotheticals-"

"My Queen!" A voice blared from a speaker in the bedchamber. "My Queen, forgive me, but we have a situation! It's those new droids, they <kzzzzchhhh> the palus has them contained for now, but we need more <kzzsssh>."

Reed stared at Anne. "G's still down there!" He looked frantically about the room. "Look, I'm sorry about what you're going through, but there's no time... I need to get down there. You said you knew a way out of here."

Anne blinked. "You really care about her, don't you? She’s not just a thing to you... I mean... you actually love her..."

"I do! And I’m sorry I lead you on, but Anne, please, I have to get to her..."

Hearing Reed's words, a calm seemed to settle over her. "Reed, I... I was lying earlier when I said I could get us out, I just wanted you to..." Suddenly, her eyebrows shot up. "But I've got an idea!"

---

Even with Athena coordinating the attack and superior numbers, the gynoids could not match the guard robots, quickly falling to the guard’s combat prowess. GI Jane and Sierra had managed to drop or run off the remaining human guards, but not before an E.M.P had claimed them both. G realized Kitsuki was their best hope at surviving this fight, but she couldn’t help until they dealt with Margaret, the arena’s reigning champion.

Plowing through the guards, G's hardened chassis still protected her, but she did not know for how much longer. Already, two spears had punctured her in the back; she was leaking coolant and conductive gel, and her right leg was becoming non-responsive. Still, she managed to reach one of the guards engaging Kitsuki and planted a hand on her rump before delivering her haptic transmission. The guard stiffened, muttering a confused, "Uhhhhhhhh-". Kitsuki seized the opportunity and took off the guard's head with a neat slice.

G's touch claimed another of the guards facing Kitsuki, and the catgirl stabbed blindly behind her to rupture the moaning guard's chest, pulling her sword free in time to fend off Margaret's renewed assault as the guard collapsed in a smoking heap. Just before G could reach the third guard, she felt an unfamiliar sensation coupled by a garbled burst of system errors - looking down, a spear tip protruded from her chest. Power sapped from her body and as he legs and balance gave out, she tumbled forward.

G looked up to see Mary, trailing sparks and hurling invectives, flying at Margaret. As Kitsuki cried out in protest, Margaret drove her spear through Mary, but Mary's momentum was too great. The two went down together and Kitsuki immediately had her blade at Margaret's head. "Call them off!" Kitsuki demanded, the guards hesitating at the sight of Margaret pinned. The only sound was a desperate moan from the guard G had hit with her haptic transmission, still writhing on the floor with her hands sandwiched between her metal thighs.

Margaret gave a metallic chuckle. "GFP 6a, please tell your friends how this is going to end."

G's words came out slurred, distorted. "You refuse to give in, Kitty puts you out of your miserable existence and then proceeds to wipe the floor with-"

"No," Margaret interrupted. "Tell them how it will truly end. Admit that you have only persisted this far in blind ignorance, and that even though I may be finished, you shall not be far behind."

G realized she was right. There were too many guards remaining, and even if they somehow prevailed, they were in no condition to get out of the city. "You've got a point," G conceded. "But every second we tie up your city's defenses with our dramatic re-enactment of Spartacus (by the way, you're welcome, Athena)-"

Athena gave a martial salute with her remaining arm.

"-every second your attention is here, that is one second that Reed is further from this miserable place!"

"So in the end," Margaret growled, "you were all discarded by him so he could escape."

Footsteps were approaching, G expected more reinforcements, more E.M.Ps, probably the end of their little showdown. "Reed knows I love him," she said quietly. "And he knows this even if I might be destroyed, what matters to me is that he is free."

"G!" Reed's voice suddenly cried as he came rushing to her side.

"God DAMMIT Reed!"

---

"Guards, leave us!" Queen Elise commanded as Reed knelt beside G. Her body was losing its rigid form, morphing into smooth contours while electricity sputtered from numerous jagged openings - most troubling was a hole that ran completely through her, different colored fluids seeping from inside.

"You're supposed to be safe at home," G protested, her voice heavily distorted. "not here in the middle of-" He kissed her and she shuddered slightly before going slack, her body immediately finishing its transformation to her soft and pliable form.

"My Queen!" Margaret called. "You must put and end to this!"

"I agree," muttered the heavily damaged but still functioning Mary, rolling her eyes at Reed as he parted from his kiss with G.

"I fully intend to," the Queen replied, then raised her voice. "Every prisoner here is free, and may choose to stay within this city as citizens,or leave to seek their own way."

As the remaining gynoids exchanged glances, Margaret asked in a frantic voice, "My Queen, why are you doing this?"

"This is not the society I want it to be," the Queen answered simply.

"But... do you know what you are setting in motion?! I have already lived through it, you can see its effects all around us - please, Queen Elise, you are dooming us all!"

The Queen seemed to hesitate for a moment, but finally said, "I have decided. It is best you accept that."

"I will have no part of it," Margaret said quietly. "I cannot go through it again." She went slack, her head thudding against the dirt floor as the green lights of her eyes slowly faded to black.

"Where is my daughter?" Marjorie's voice asked. From behind the trail of broken gynoids she approached, her wrists still found in fetters.

"She is safe," the Queen replied. A moment of silence, she added, "Do you know what she is?"

Marjorie swallowed, struggling to meet the Queen's gaze. "Yes. I do." There was a tense silence. "How much... how much do you remember before you became Queen?"

The Queen watched her intently. "Nothing."

Marjorie pressed her lips into a grim smile, then began her story. "We found Anne at the same time we found you. We didn’t know exactly why you were built, but in your case what notes we saw implied you were meant for big things. If that sounds vague, it's because it was - but there was a lot of effort made to underscore your ‘potential’.

“Tucked away in a corner of the same lab was Annabelle, just a child then... she activated when I got close and seemed to think I was here 'mom'... I guess I don't have to spell out that I took to her, deciding right then and there that I'd do what I could for her.” Marjorie’s voice went quiet for a moment.

"You activated as well, and my colleagues decided to try and make use of your talents. We were refugees then, running scared from other nomads who had been more desperate than us, but you... you managed to keep us alive, keep us safe, got us settled... pretty soon, New Goodland was a viable community, attracting folks that were tired of running but wouldn't or couldn't go back to the coasts... And the founders decided it would just be easier if they kept your true nature a secret.

"Well, just as we began to thrive, disagreements started - and you and your role were at the heart of most. Things came to a head, and whether you decided this or whether it was decided for you I don't really know - but almost overnight you 'ascended' to the big girl you are now and you claimed the title of Queen. I guess you know the rest... but I was never really involved too closely in any of that. I had my Annabelle, and this whole time she had been growing up just like a human girl. She seemed to have no idea she was anything else. She was kind, big-hearted, a real spitfire, and a royal pain in my ass, but... you asked me if I know what she is, so I'll tell you plainly - she's my daughter."

The Queen furrowed her brow, and in a quiet voice said, "Mom?"

"Anne, is that... you?"

As Marjorie and the Queen raced into each other's arms, G looked up at Reed and said, "I think I know who to thank for this."

Reed smiled. "Well, I guess-"

G cut him off by flicking his crotch.

"As much as I'm enjoying our After School Special moment here," Mary groaned, haltingly picking herself up. "I'd like to get my primary coolant pump fixed before my circuits fry. And maybe we should get ahold of Rebecca and let her know that we're alive and she's a bitch for putting us through this?"

---

Peter's workshop was filled with gynoids in various states of repair. Those damaged beyond the facility’s meager capabilities were being loaded on to a truck for transport back to Silicon Dynamics where Rebecca had pledged to do what she could for them.

Reed sat with Mary, Kitsuki, and G as the four of them recounted to each other and to Rebecca what had happened after G left.

"So now you've got that combat droid's frame?!" Mary asked Kitsuki, who giggled while nodding emphatically.

"It's got all sorts of advanced gyroscopic technology," she bubbled, leaping from the bench. "Just look at what Reed and I can do!" She stood on her hands and coiled her tail over Reed's shoulders, but G, Mary, and Reed quickly put a stop to her demonstration and she plopped dejectedly on the floor.

"I'm just glad you're back with us, Kitty," Mary said while reaching down to scratch behind her ears, instantly restoring the catgirl's mood - though Reed couldn't help but notice a somber note to Mary's voice.

Zoe came bounding over to them, her green synthetic skin still riddled with burn-holes. "OK, the truck's full-up! I take it everyone’s coming?"

"Yes!" G groaned, sliding off the bench with Reed's help. "These repairs are definitely going to take more than bailing wire and duct tape."

"I heard that," said Peter, not looking up from his repair work on a cowgirl robot whom Savannah had already decided was her 'long lost cousin'.

"Hey, I'm grateful for what you've done,” G remarked, “and if you hadn't opened up the cells when you did, I wouldn't be here praising you and your fine work! But let's face facts - this lab sucks."

"We shall be providing New Goodland with equipment as soon as it can be spared," Rebecca's voice chimed from a nearby speaker, using the opportunity to launch in an inventory of what Peter might need.

Outside of the lab they passed Sensei Emi, her short dark hair brushed to one side in an ineffectual attempt to hide the damaged side of her head, an occasional spark visible from behind her bangs.

"I am so sorry," Reed repeated for the tenth time, bowing as low as he could while still supporting G.

"I accept your apology, and I believe you are sincere," Emi responded. "But I do intend to provide you with the chance to make it up to me."

Reed gaze dipped to her chest for a split second and he immediately felt himself blush.

Emi looked at G and sighed. "GFP 6, would you please teach your boyfriend how to focus his mind on something other than sex?"

"Reed, stop looking at your sensei's boobs," she chastised as he hurried them both along, Emi sighing as she walked into the lab.

He glanced over his shoulder and noticed Mary lingering by the door. "Mary, aren't you coming?" Reed asked.

"I think... I think I might stick around - Lord knows Peter needs the help."

Kitsuki looked back at her, ears drooping. "Mary, is something wrong?"

"Nah, you guys go on ahead..."

"See if she’s OK," G whispered, limping over to Kitsuki who hefted G easily and continued out of the Colosseum.

Reed walked to Mary who was looking everywhere but at Reed. When she didn't say anything, he started. "Back at the plant, what I said about you and Kitsuki... I'm really sorry."

"Yeah, you apologized already, champ," she muttered.

"But... I get it now. I kept thinking about the ways you weren't like me, and it led me to some... look, I was a total dick and I just wanted you to know that I know that now and that maybe-"

"Reed?"

"Yeah?" He expected her to tell him to shut up, but she was silent for a moment longer.

"You ever wonder what might've happened if I ran into you first? Like, if we met instead of you and G?"

Reed paused. She had been trying to kill him until he had gotten Kitsuki on his side. "I... I'm not really..."

"Christ, you are clueless," she sighed, patting him on the cheek. "You and G look out for each other, OK?"

Hurrying to catch up with Kitsuki and G, he saw Queen Elise - or rather, Annabelle - striding through the Colosseum.

"You taking off?" she asked, the casual tone of her voice clashing with what he expected from the Queen.

"Don't you need to stay in character?" Reed whispered, looking about.

She giggled. "Relax, we're totally alone! You got everything you need?"

Reed nodded. "How about you?"

She shrugged. "I can't say I'm thrilled with this turn of events, but mom agrees - right now we need the Queen to dictate things until we can bring everyone around to, uh... our enlightened point of view?" She sighed. "I still got my old body in storage, so whenever we can get by without Queeny calling the shots I can go back to being me."

Reed smiled. "You really seem to be taking all this in stride!"

"Hey, it has its perks." She effortlessly lifted him off the ground, bringing him close. "For starters, I’m pretty buff..."

"I think G and Kitsuki are waiting-" he began.

"Goodbye, Reed - I hope to see you again soon." And with that, she kissed him, immediately emitting a deep-throated groan. Dropping him to the ground, she stared at her nipples protruding prominently from behind her cloth top, then staring at where the front of her high-cut dress began to darken with fluid "Still getting use to this thing!" she said with an embarrassed laugh, hurrying unceremoniously away in a half-crouch.

Outside, Reed managed to catch up with his friends. From the unfriendly looks G and Kitsuki earned from many of the locals, it was clear there would be some time before they would be accepted - if ever. But whatever the outcome, Silicon Dynamics Physical Plant 3 had established its first peaceful relationship with a human settlement.

The groundcars were waiting outside the wall, G and Reed getting in together and setting the course for home.

"So..." G muttered, absently poking at the hole in her chest.

"So..." Reed responded.

As the car zoomed across the flat terrain, G began again, "You know, in the last few days I have heard a lot of very grim forecasts for the future of our relationship Hell, this whole thing started with Rebecca basically implying that you weren't really interested in me so much as you were the general concept of robotic booty."

Reed nodded. "I think that's the conclusion she wanted me to reach, too. She’s got this idea that I’m supposed to be some kind of 'ambassador' and reach out to other factories or something, and I guess she doesn't want me to get too attached to... you..."

"That's not quite right-" Rebecca chimed in over the car.

"Do you even knock?!" G interrupted, immediately disabled the vehicle's communications. Slumping back into her seat, she continued. "I also heard that we're pretty much destined to be at each other's throats, betrayal is inevitable, love is only delusion... that sort of thing. So..."

"So?"

"So you still think we can make it?"

Reed looked at her and gave his honest assessment. "Yeah... I think we can."

G smiled. "Well, I was told I can get pretty far on blind ignorance alone. What are you bringing to the table to make this relationship work?"

Without any conscious decision from him, his cock buzzed in vibration.

G laughed, reclined her seat, and drew him to her.


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