Budget Robotics (A Fun and Light Robotic Relationship)
Robot Girls on a College Budget
Daniel Corey owned a robot. More accurately, his girlfriend Violet often became a robot. It was her idea. They had finished a long bout of Halo marathoning, and during a lengthy story-driven scene with Cortana, Violet off-handedly remarked, "You know, it would be kind of hot to be a robot." Danny got the sense that she had something else to say. She continued. "I mean, I'd have no responsibilities besides serving someone else, I could be reprogrammed or hacked into, and I'd get to look pretty hot, if most of the robots in sci-fi are anything to go by." Danny and Violet were both very open about these sorts of things with each other, so he attempted to comfort her by putting an arm around her shoulder. She looked at him as she blushed and crossed her legs on the couch, putting a hand on his arm. "I'd just kind of like to be your AI servant, just hanging around and being all computer-y. I dunno. I kind of think about it a lot." He looked at her, and smiled warmly. "Besides the forever part, we could do that."
The next day, Danny came back from classes with a small bulletin board and tacks, a stack of printer papers, and a pencil. He placed the items on the table, and kept many other materials in a large tote bag near a chair, far from the door. Violet came back from her classes, tired, and flopped onto the couch, turning on basketball. Danny looked at her, and smiled. "You know that robot thing you were talking about? We can talk about making that a thing, if you'd like." Violet jumped from the couch.
Danny sat down comfortably onto a chair. It was nice to have an apartment. "So, here's what I was thinking. When either you or I suggest it, and you agree to it, we make you a robot. Well, as close to a robot as we can get. The idea is that you'd get yourself ready, and you would be identical to yourself in personality in every way, except one. That being, you could be reprogramed. We'd keep this bulletin board near robot-you, and it would have four pieces of paper. Each paper would be a piece of your modified code. Each program could be as general as, 'Violet acts like a southern belle. She must speak in an accent and she will act very dramatically and in character.' Or, they might also be as specific as 'If Violet's eye sensors see the color blue, turn ninety degrees and ignore it.'. I've actually got a lot of supplies to give you the right look, if you like..." His voice trailed away, hoping Violet would like the idea.
She kissed him on the cheek, and took his hand. "Let's get started." She stripped down, and looked into the tote bag, and dumped out the contents. She first put on the light green PVC bodysuit, which shimmered in the cheap lamp's light. She pulled it over each limb, her hands, wrists, and head exposed, and then begun to draw in black Sharpie some quite-convincing joint lines on each hand and wrist. He supposed that was what being an art student got you. She applied heavy blush, and drew large freckles on each cheek, making her look something like Raggedy Anne if you just looked at her face. Finally, she took a thick green wig, which matched the bodysuit in its very light color, and pulled it over her head. Danny took a neon-blue fabric pen in his hand. "Mind if I sign you?" He smiled.
She let him draw a few of the same glyph in the electric ink onto her. He marked the space above her shoulder blades, the base of her spine, the top of one breast, her bellybutton, and a single hip, before asking her to lift up each leg onto the end table so he could sign the balls of her feet. The glyph was chosen due to it being a doodle which was done in ballpoint pen on the first anniversary card that Violet sent to Danny. It was a circle with a bent line and a straight line piercing it. Otherwise, it had no meaning. It was just meant to add a mechanical look and be kind of cute.
The two spent the next few weeks playing with robot Violet as much as they could. Some days, Danny would have her put in a movie and write a program on the board to make her mimic the movements of one of the characters on screen, each scene being rewarded with a snuggle for the next few and a bottle of water. Other times, she would purposely act funny, stuttering and occasionally jerking, until Danny would touch each and every sign on her body, repairing her and fixing the malfunctions. Eventually, a back massage done with the head of a large screw occasionally touched to the different ports on her body, which gave a cold jolt along with the comfortable massage. This became the preferred method for dealing with faulty machinery, and it was typically done in the dark, with two lamp-lights shining onto the two, giving a very mechanical feeling, especially with a toolbox placed on the bed upon which she lay and he worked on her. They grew very close, with Violet even beginning to self-identify as a "part time android" to her closest friends. Most of the friends of the couple, after being informed, actually tended to enjoy talking to the robot. Often Violet would greet them at the door, ask for any coats or bags, offer a drink (as that seemed to be a human custom), and otherwise act quite helpful, even fluffing pillows and getting blankets for guests. She could stop whenever she liked, but she really didn't want to. Life seemed to be so much more varied from that perspective. The lives of the two continued.
At a local Starbucks, Violet, wearing a blue sweatshirt and jeans, noticed some well-liked companions. She waved them over, and Lynn and Annette found a seat. Lynn was abnormally beautiful, thanks as much to her skill with makeup as her well-formed body. She was an obsessive fitness geek and worked hard to stay in shape for various athletics. She tended to be quite upbeat, but was notorious for discussing football. Annette had a very different body type. She had a deep skin tone, wavy black hair, an excess of freckles, and wore mostly bright, solid color sweaters. She was stout and somewhat overweight. Annette put an arm on Lynn, pecked her on the cheek, and then slid back a bit into the corner of a booth. "So.. Um. Violet, Lynn? Well.." She hesitated. "Violet, you know that thing with Danny that you do? The one where you're an android?" She looked at Lynn. "We wouldn't have to do it as much, but I was wondering if you might want to be, like, a fem-bot or something for me. I thought it would be kind of fun. I mean, they're loving their thing that they're doing, and our relationship is a bit more flirt-ish then theirs' is, so.." She trailed off. "I've kind of wanted to date a sexy robot ever since I was fifteen.. It would be really cool of you... Just a random thought."
Lynn looked at her. "I can't always do the robot thing, because we have a relationship as people, but I do like the idea of bringing your sci-fi daydreams to life, and I love to see you smile, so I think that could be great." Violet looked at the two. "Brilliant idea! Want to come over next Saturday night, and Annette and Danny can order us around while we watch a movie and have fun and stuff. It'll be so nice!" Lynn smiled. "Sure. That actually sounds really fun. Annette'll get to stare at my cute robot ass for a night." She kissed her girlfriend, and gave a tender hug as Annette responded. "Always love to, Lynn." They embraced, and soon, Saturday came.
Once the door opened into the apartment, Danny arrived dressed in a long-sleeve button-up shirt and khaki pants. Otherwise, he seemed to be on the edge of being disheveled. Violet arrived in her usual uniform and bowed to the guests. Annette came in first, dressed in a brown sweater, sweatpants, and Ugg boots, with Lynn not far behind. Lynn kneeled by the now-closed doorway, out of the cold wind. She wore metallic, rounded heels with the inside edges sewn into a thick, silvery bodysuit, creating for her high heels as feet. Above her right breast was a "Mitsuhara Computer Technolgies" logo, likely a Shadowrun reference sewn on for her girlfriend's benefit. Danny noticed that on the back of her neck was what seemed to be a bar code. Violet stared for a second at Lynn. "What should I call you?"
Violet definitely suspected that "Lynn" might not fit with the whole outfit. "My name is Lambda-Hyaku. Lambda works. What is your service designation?" Violet looked at her, and smiled, hugging her. "Personal service android Violet." Lambda strode, one leg pushing in front of the other in her new feet, to a chair, where she daintily sat down. Danny turned his attention to Annette. "How long have you been doing this?" Annette smiled. "We got the outfit together over the weekend, and the rest was just her finding that she really liked roleplaying. I might have to get her into my Shadowrun group." Danny nodded. "So, I guess you were looking for a different purpose for yours than me?" She laughed, and said, "I've wanted something like this since I was fifteen." Danny nodded, and laughed a bit. "Of course."
The movie was a joy, with nearly all parties enjoying it in their own different ways. Danny and Violet snuggled and kissed for the first bit of the movie, with some light repairs needing to be done after a malfunction. Danny once programmed her to turn off her legs, and then proceeded to pull a pillowcase over them, and wrapped duct-tape around the mouth of the case. After a few quick lines drawn in magic marker on the case to make a fish tail, he found the board and begun writing. "Violet will call herself a mermaid-bot, and be enthusiastic and talkative about swimming and sea life." Annette smiled, and got up to cut out two crude seashells from some leftover printer paper, and attached a loop of tape to the backs of each. She taped them to each of the spots on Violet's suit where her nipples would be. Violet smiled, oblivious. "I feel so much more... modest!" Annette looked at Danny, as she held the role of tape. "Are you okay with me doing this to your robot?" Danny shrugged.
After Danny removed the program, and took off the pillowcase and shells, Annette beckoned over Lambda. "Over here, Lambda." She begun to feel around the heeled feet of Lambda, and kissed her under the armpit. "Maybe I should build a short skirt into you. I think you look pretty hot in the heels..." Lambda put her head on Annette's, and returned the comment. "I would be happy if you would give me some modifications..."
It was the third day of winter break, and the snow had not fallen harder than a powder for two weeks. The microwave clock read, "1:27", as did the oven clock. Had Violet's phone been on, it too would have read "1:27". Two tired college students lay on a pull-out couch, having fallen asleep to the sound of a Bruce Willis movie. They were surrounded by mugs half-full of hot tea, as well as microwave popcorn. Danny's far-less-technologically-advanced phone rang a few times. The screen displayed Annette's name, and Danny groggily woke up and begun talking, a heavy slur in his words. "Um... Hey?" He tried to speak as quietly as possible. She responded. "Oh, yeah, hey! Sorry it's so early, but I was wondering if you wouldn't mind if we came over tomorrow. We kind of wanted to start a new tabletop gaming campaign, after last summer's ended. Lynn's asleep and I'm in the lounge outside of our dorm, so I'll let you get back to bed ASAP." Danny tried to keep from closing his eyes and falling onto the couch padding. "Uh, sure. Night?" "Night."
Despite that brief intermission, the two woke up within an hour at nine or so, and both still wore t-shirts and pajama bottoms. Danny wore a poorly-maintained university t-shirt, whereas Violet wore a Die Hard 2 shirt from 1994. Hers was a treasured pajama shirt. He got to fixing some breakfast whereas she still lay on the pull-out couch. "Hey. Danny? I've been having a lot of fun with being a robot, and I was kind of wondering if we could do it for an entire day? Like, as a low-key thing. Just you relaxing with me as your android." He responded, still focusing on his omelet. "That sounds fine. Nobody but Annette and Lynn are coming over, and I doubt they'd object." He laughed and smiled somewhat. She responded with a sigh of relief. "That's nice."
Danny eventually found a sweater and jeans to throw on, and Violet drew joints on her hands in sharpie, pulled on her lustrous bodysuit, and applied her cheek makeup, drawn-on freckles, and long green wig. Danny snapped his fingers from afar. "Cleanup procedure, localized area. Define local couch." Her posture suddenly stiffened and she neatly went about pulling in the pull-out couch, placing the cushions properly, and arranging the pillows. Each gesture was methodical and mechanical, and she took care to move only a few joints at once. As she did this, he begun to set out Dungeons & Dragons FATE, and GURPS character sheets on the table, dice with varying numbers of sides, and two adventure modules, opened at obtuse angles and stood up against each other, forming a screen behind the chair on the farthest end of the small surface.
Danny begun to watch back episodes of Game of Thrones on the dated television. "Unit 'Violet'. May I please have a back rub?" She smiled. "You didn't need to ask." Violet sat next to him, finding a space on the edge of the couch, pushing her legs together and straightening her posture. She motioned for him to put his legs up on the couch, and he did so. She massaged his shoulders, upper back, middle back, lower back, and sides. Finally, she reached down and, as the show continued, she squeezed his left buttcheek, and put both arms under his armpits, embracing him. He jerked slightly. "What?" He said, looking around, very confused. "I'm just finishing your massage and placing you into a comfortable position. Your head's on my boobs, and the rest of your body's laying on my chassis." She laughed, stuttering a little. He smiled and settled back down, letting her embrace him.
Hours of speculation on plot developments and assassinations between master and robot later, the phone rang, and Violet read the ID and gave the phone to Danny. "Um. Hey? Annette? What's up?" She responded. "We're on our way. Lambda's here in the car." "Lambda?" "Yep. She really has had a lot of fun with the whole thing. It's very consistent. I was surprised!" Danny shrugged. "Alright. See you in five?" "Maybe ten."
Danny heard the large SUV park, and Annette knocked on the door. He opened the door, and Annette walked in, followed by Lynn, balancing impeccably on her heeled feet. The two humans waved, and the two robots begun to chat. Violet chatted because that was what she did, while Lynn did it as a sort of "idling animation". "You have a nice place of residence. I assume you charge on the couch?" She nodded. "Yep. It's wireless." Lynn continued. "I typically charge with Annette, because she finds it comfortable." Violet shrugged. "So, um, what brings you here?" "Annette wanted me to play a roleplaying game with the two of you." Danny interjected. "Oh, hey! Yeah. We were actually discussing systems for the new campaign. First one's GURPS. I was thinking we'd exist in the infinite worlds setting, with a whole multiverse of alternate histories and strange realities, with different factions vying for control of the worlds. You'd basically play any kind of character you want, on a world where Napoleon succeeded using world-travel and ended up fighting world-jumping Nazis and the other great powers of the world. I'm kind of iffy on it, and Annette voted no." Lynn spoke. "Miss Annette, if I may? I find that while the game would certainly be interesting, I'm not sure if I find the setting particularly interesting. Of course, your opinion overrides mine." Annette responded. "I agree. What else?"
Danny continued, holding up the two Dresden Files sourcebooks. "Second one is Dresden Files. Kind of a modern-day occult setting. I can introduce you as we go in, but it's got politicking, creating magic spells, heap-loads of humor, charm, and drama, and a cool film noir style." Violet approached Danny. "I like that. I think that sounds really fun, actually." Lynn agreed. "I think Annette would like that, and thusly I think I'll find it fun." They certainly were a close couple, Danny thought. "Third one's Dungeons & Dragons. You all know what that's like." They all murmured in agreement. "From that response, I assume we're rolling up Dresden Files characters?" The group begun to flip through books, reading them intently. "I've got a character!" Violet smiled. Danny nodded at her. "Wait for everyone else." Annette finished filling out a character sheet, but turned it over and put her hands over it. Finally, Lynn finished, and raised a hand. "Should we all display our characters, Miss Annette?" Annette kissed her suddenly and passionately. She had been closer and closer to Lynn as the day had continued, blushing nearly continuously throughout. This had been the culmination. "Um, Miss?" She pulled away. "Yeah, Lambda?" "You may continue." She did.
Danny looked around, slightly exasperated. "Okay, Violet. What's your character?" "Yeah.. I've got a minor talent cryomancer from Sweden." Danny laughed. "Sounds great. Lynn?" Lynn took a breath, and wiped lipstick off of much of her face. "I have a golem-maker focused practitioner who lives in a tiny apartment near the Chicago Gold Coast." He nodded. "Annette?" "Summer Knight and parkour rebel guy. Kind of a hippy, doesn't drive." Danny tilted his head, but shrugged. "Well, let me get things set up for you."