Close Call at the Costume Contest
CLOSE CALL AT THE COSTUME CONTEST
(Written for the 2021 Fembot Labs Halloween Writing Contest)
'Knock' 'Knock' 'Knock'
Harry took a step back from the door and heard shuffling from within. He wrapped his arm around Jessica's thin waist and whispered in her ear, "Let's do it just like we practiced. As soon as he opens the door, okay?."
Jessica whispered back, "Okay!"
The front door swung open revealing a man with rosy cheeks dressed in a cheap spacesuit.
In unison Harry and Jessica hollered, "Trick or Treat!"
The man's face lit up and he smiled charmingly as he recognized his guests.
He spoke with the slight hint of a drunken slur, "Harry! You son of a bitch it's good to see you!" He stepped forward and took Harry's hand firmly for a shake. "Although I can't say I'm a little disappointed to see that you're Shaggy for what is now the fourth year in a row!"
"It's good to see you too, Nick." Harry maneuvered himself out of the handshake and gestured to Jessica standing beside him, "This time though I brought Daphne along with me!"
Nick looked her up and down for perhaps a moment longer than he would have if sober. "Ahh yes. Well, Jessica it's a pleasure to meet you. I've heard nothing but good things!" He extended his hand and gingerly shook hers. "Welcome to my annual Halloween party and may I say that you make an excellent Daphne!"
Jessica returned Nick's handshake with bubbly enthusiasm, "Hi Nick! I'm Jessica! It's so nice to finally meet you!"
"Likewise!" Nick stepped backwards through the open door and gestured at the two of them, "Please, come inside. Dylan's waiting for us!"
Harry followed Jessica inside and immediately began double-guessing his decision to bring her to the party. She was a robot, an Avant Robotics JESSICA_M84U Companion Model to be specific, and he wanted nobody to know the fact. It would be mortifying for him if anyone found out about her true nature.
He had purchased her several months earlier, after hearing nothing but stellar reviews regarding her model, and had been so impressed with her performance that he decided it was time for his friends to meet the new “girlfriend” who was suddenly taking up all of his free time.
Their honeymoon period had yet to subside in the slightest. Hers out of programmed lust and his out of pure unbridled infatuation. He found his eyes fixed on the sleek curves of her supple artificial derriere which wriggled enticingly inside her tight purple latex dress.
Nick guided the two of them through a crowd of people and into the kitchen. Harry noticed several pairs of eyes linger on Jessica's picturesque body as they walked in.
Grabbing a petite brunette by the arm, classily dressed up as a young Audrey Hepburn, Nick spun the woman around to face his new guests. "Dylan, I want you to meet Jessica. She's Harry's girlfriend!"
Dylan cocked her head to the side and blinked several times, puffing on a fake cigarette in a vintage cigarette holder, before extending her hand to Jessica. "Well don't you just look magnificent!?" She pointed a finger at Harry, "When you have the time I'd love to hear how Shaggy here managed to land such a catch like you."
Jessica took Dylan's hand, "Hi Dylan! I'm Jessica! It's so nice to finally meet you."
Harry groaned under his breath at Jessica's repetitive greeting and stepped in front of her to give Dylan a friendly hug. "Lovely to see you again as always, Dylan. May I say that I am a big fan of your costume."
Dylan pushed herself away from the hug and completed the move with a cute curtsy in her sleek pencil dress, "Well thank you Harry, but all the credit goes to Nick. He picked this costume out for me!"
Nick stepped into the circle of friends with four bottles of beer precariously placed in his arms. He gestured for Harry to take one for himself and one for Jessica, "Well you all know I'm a fan of the classics and as a kid I always had a crush on Audrey Hepburn." He handed a beer to Dylan before planting a wet kiss on her cheek, "So, tonight is kind of wish fulfillment in a sense."
"I'd imagine it's the same for you Harry? You come to my party the last three years as Shaggy from Scooby-Fucking-Doo and only now you decide to bring a Daphne along?"
Harry gave Jessica's creamy synth-skin a playful squeeze, "Yeah I guess you're right. We actually just found this outfit together last week and it was just too perfect to pass up!"
Nick raised his drink in mock toast, "To fate." Before any else could raise a glass he had already lowered his in good humor.
He continued, "Well, you're right! It is pretty perfect! Jessica, you should join the costume contest later! I guarantee you'll do very well and it's just a really good time overall!"
Jessica smiled alluringly, "Sure! That sounds like fun!"
Dylan stepped in, "Oh don't make her join that silly contest-test-test, Nick-Nick!" She looked to both Harry and Jessica confusedly for just an instant before snapping back to normalcy. "I'm not even doing it this year." She jokingly jabbed Nick in the ribs, "Because someone has to host this damn party while spaceman here runs around getting everyone wasted including himself!"
Nick chuckled before taking a swig of his drink, "Hey what can I say? I practice what I preach!"
Harry, nervous about the idea of having so much concentrated attention on Jessica, responded, "Well, we'll see. I don't think Jessica and I know many others here, so maybe we'll just save it for next year."
Nick finished his drink and walked towards the fridge to reload with a fresh drink, "Just think about it Harry. Jessica is a shoe-in with that costume!"
"Thanks Nick!" Jessica squealed, as she interlocked her hands and used her arms to push her buoyant breasts together.
Harry sighed, making a mental note to adjust some of her social parameters later; he knew the asset display routine was one of several dozen pre-programmed responses to receiving positive feedback regarding her appearance.
He admitted to himself though that Nick wasn't wrong; Jessica was almost guaranteed to win the costume contest the way her tight purple latex dress stretched snuggly against her precision engineered curves. The shiny garment was custom-ordered to fit her sporty and feminine physique. It left little to the imagination with a low cut neck that exposed ample cleavage and a high skirt that showed off the full lengths of her long glossy legs.
She also sported a pair of polished white knee-high boots and a lime green scarf. Her red-headed hair piece and pink hair-band completed the ensemble and here she stood as the sexiest rendition of Daphne that Harry had ever seen.
He felt himself hardening at the memory from earlier in the week when Jessia had emerged from her dressing room in costume for the first time. He had fulfilled many of his childhood fantasies that night.
Coming out of his short-lived daydream, Harry noticed Dylan looking at Jessica again with her head cocked and eyes blinking. Jessica was oblivious to the attention being paid to her.
Craning his head to spot Nick, all Harry found were the boisterous echoes of his friend's voice through the hall. It was apparent he had left the kitchen. Harry took the opportunity to steal away with Jessica and make a few micro-adjustments to her settings. "Dylan! Thanks again for hosting us and for making us feel so welcome. I think we're going to head upstairs for a moment and freshen up."
He found it a bit strange the way she immediately straightened her head and ceased the repetitive blinks of her eyes, but he just chalked it up to good 'ol drunken quirks. "Of course! We're glad you're here. I'll see you two around."
Harry hooked an arm around Jessica, feeling her cushioned synth-skin gently contour against his touch. He spun her around and led her around the corner and up the stairs to one of several large guest bathrooms.
Harry locked the door to the bathroom and immediately got to work.
"Jessica, turn around and lean against the counter. Pull your hair up and out of the way so I can access your Upper Thoracic Access Panel."
"Of course, Harry."
As she leaned forward facing the mirror, he snuck a peak at her exposed cleavage. She caught his gaze and flashed him a mischievous smile. She then thrust her perky artificial backside out, making firm contact with his groin, just as he stepped forward to reach her access panel.
He felt his still semi-hard member slip in between her two bubbly silicone-padded ass cheeks as he long-pressed three fingers in a specific pattern down her magnesium-alloy vertebrae.
Jessica squirmed against the counter as an index card sized panel on her upper back clicked inwards and slid down and out of sight. It exposed a small digital display, a sleek data-receptacle, and a set low-profile selector knobs.
"Okay, first things first Jessica. What level is your Intoxication Simulator currently running at."
"Gotcha. I want you to increase that to 60% and for each drink you have I want it increased another 5%. Don't let it fall below 60%, understand? I think playing you off as a pretty drunk tonight will play into our favor."
"Understood Harry" She giggled drunkenly and pushed back into his groin with renewed energy, "Intoxication Simulator has been set to 60%."
"Mhhmmpphh" Harry exhaled as he felt himself stiffen further. Trying his hardest to maintain his composure, he gently reached into her exposed internals and began fiddling with the two selector knobs. He soared through all sorts of behavioral settings and response directories before finding his targeted sub-folder. "I'm going to suspend your ability to repeat usage of pre-programmed social responses, okay? I'm also turning up the autonomy of your Improvisational Behavior subroutines to make up for this."
He clicked on each selector to verify his changes, "Now, please calculate the anticipated change in processing capacity for these new settings to take effect.
"Of course, Harry." He looked into the mirror and watched as her brilliant hazel eyes blinked in rapid succession. "New settings will result in overall system-processing levels increasing by 22%. New baseline processing performance capacity is estimated at 72%." She beamed a brilliant smile at the behest of her newly emboldened improvisational behavior subroutines which wanted to exude pride in her system's performance. Her perfectly white teeth glistened against the bathroom’s soft vanity lights.
"Hmmm that's a little higher than I'd like it to run, but I'm not really sure what else to do..."
Jessica craned her head back, whispering into Harry's ear, "I'll be fine. Now can I close my panel? I want you to feel how flawlessly I'm operating."
Harry could feel Jessica's tight plastic pussy pulsing rhythmically only a few inches away from his now fully engorged shaft. "Ummm yes go ahead and close it."
The panel slid shut and seamlessly blended in with her blemishless skin. The moment the panel's latches locked itself in place Jessica spun around and pulled down the top of her dress. Her sporty breasts bounced out as they were freed from the tight confines of her latex garment. Harry looked on, mesmerized.
She grabbed both of his forearms and pulled his hands onto her generous bust. He cupped her malleable breasts, confidently kneading at her artificial mammary. Her pale pink nipples hardened at his touch and Harry found himself toying with each one, squeezing them firmly between two fingers in either hand.
Jessica exhaled and pulled him in for a sensual kiss, "Unnnhhh. You just KNOW exactly how to make me feel so good."
She gently guided his right hand down further south and giggled encouragingly when he gripped at the skirt of her dress and yanked it upwards. It settled in a folded heap just above her navel such that the smooth mound of her flushed labia was laid bare.
He reached a finger toward her synthetic folds and felt her precision tactile sensors hot and slick with freshly pumped lubricant. Jessica shuddered at his touch.
"Fuck! You feel great Jessica but we just don't have time for this right now."
Jessica grinned back as her improvisational sub-routines settled on an engagement strategy that would satisfy both Harry and his need to be done quickly.
She got to her knees, and with agile fingers she loosened Harry's belt and tugged his pants down. His erection was stiff as a flag-pole and this only further encouraged her systems. With one of her most sultry facial actuator templates locked into place, Jessica reached two fingers down and plunged them into her tight plastic sex. She wiggled them around for a quick second and gasped as she removed them, now covered in her dewy synthetic lubricant.
Looking up to Harry with her large round eyes, Jessica wrapped her hand around his shaft and massaged the hot lubricant along his entire length.
"Ohhh. That feels so good."
Jessica's tongue sensuously traced at the edges of her shiny, rose-pink lips as she continued pumping up and down Harry's stiff member. "Just wait."
She removed her hand and took his full expanse in her mouth. Her mouth was warm and slick as she pistoned back and forth, her elastomer lips suctioning the full length of his shaft. Harry grabbed at the back of Jessica's hairpiece and thrust himself forcefully deep inside of her. Excess lubricant sputtered out from the edges of her soft rubber cavity.
He felt her tongue hypnotically contract itself around his erection in a dynamically calculated rhythm intended to maximize the rate of his growing arousal.
"Oh Jessica. Jessica. Jessica...I'm close."
Her seductive eyes again looked upwards to his approving gaze. The vast array of micro-sensors embedded within her velvet mouth agreed with Harry's assessment, and she calculated that he would cum within the next 12 seconds.
She continued bobbing her head frantically over his entire cock. Her luscious lips effortlessly gliding over his every inch.
The delicate sensory array at the tip of her proprietary polymer tongue detected a subtle vibrational change in Harry's throbbing shaft. She knew this meant orgasm was imminent, so she sealed her mouth against his cock and activated a small vacuum pump that was piped out the back of her throat.
"Oh shit. I'm coming. I'm fucking coming."
She felt him convulse just as a burst of his hot cum filled her mouth. She continued working him with her tongue as he pumped into her several more times. Simultaneously, a slew of positive feedback subroutines flooded Jessica's main processing array. Rewarding her systems with a job well done.
She removed her mouth off of Harry with a wet 'POP' and looked up at his smiling face just as there was a loud knock at the door.
A muffled voice shouted from the outside, "Hey is anyone in there!? Can we please come in? I think my boyfriend is going to be sick."
Harry froze in place, overwhelmed with the abruptness of the moment. Luckily, Jessica sensing his paralysis, immediately jumped into action. She deftly pulled up his pants and cinched his belt tight. Then, in one fell swoop, she stood up from her knees whilst pulling the top of her dress up and over her buxom chest and simultaneously tugged the hem of her dress down to cover her exposed plastic pussy.
She tossed her hair to one side and it automatically straightened itself as a small charge of current was directed through each individual poly-fiber. Grabbing Harry's hand, she unlocked the door and pushed through it with swift confidence.
She winked at the woman, who was dressed as a tiger, as she passed, "All yours."
Jessica continued pulling on Harry, whisking him away from the bathroom and down the stairs.
Harry was so impressed with Jessica's behavior in coordinating their exit that he didn't even notice the two glistening rivulets of lubricant running down the insides of her either thigh.
They assimilated back into the party seamlessly. Harry was able to snag a few pre-mixed drinks and they slowly meandered through the crowded hallways and into the living room.
Their timing was excellent. Just as they entered the room they saw Nick jump up onto a small impromptu stage. "Okay! Okay! The time has come to start the costume contest! I know we have three contestants for sure and a possible fourth. Brandon, Tammy, Morgan, get up here!"
He exaggeratingly put a straightened hand above his eyes as he looked through the crowd. "And....ah yes! Jessica, I see you've made it sweetheart. Will you be joining us? Yes or no? No pressure!" He put out his thumb miming the yes/no question.
Jessica turned to Harry, knowing that the decision lay with him.
He gave her a quick peck on the lips and a playful squeeze of her rear. "Ahh what the hell. Get up there Jess!"
She smiled at Harry, understanding the trust he was putting in her advanced software packages and robust hardware, and put her thumb in the air.
Nick hollered, "Alright! We have four contestants! Let's get this show on the road!"
Jessica carefully picked her steps through the mass of people as Nick explained the contest rules. "First, our three celebrity judges tonight are my neighbors Becca & Sean and believe it or not, my old High School history teacher, Mr. Ford!" Crowded together behind a table too small for two, the three of them waved their hands at the crowd.
Everyone clapped and Nick continued. "Our three judges here will first score each contestant on the visual aesthetic of their costumes. No hard rules here, the scoring is essentially completely subjective!"
Jessica made her way just to the right of the stage and accidentally bumped elbows with another contestant. "Hi! I'm Morgan but you can just call me Lara Croft tonight!"
Jessica looked her momentary rival up and down, and although impressed with the woman's physique and stupendous bust, she was still brutally confident in the exquisiteness of her own curves. She lightly shook Morgan's hand and winked playfully, "I'm Daphne but you can call me Jessica."
Morgan giggled and Jessica returned her focus to Nick who was continuing his explanation of the contest.
"So, yes you should expect a set of three trivia questions each in relation to your costume. And then, we'll finish up with a good ol' fashioned apple bobbing contest. We'll tally your scores for each round and the winner gets the coveted Golden Pumpkin."
He gestured over to a basketball-sized pumpkin, sitting on a short rectangular end-table, that was painted a shimmery gold. "Some say the Stanley Cup is the most prestigious trophy in sports...and while this costume contest may not be a sport...I believe that this is the most glorious trophy of them all." He snorted, "I mean it's a fucking golden pumpkin people! Come on!"
Jessica finished her mixed drink as Nick continued rambling. She stored the liquid in a small internal reservoir that she would discretely dispel as waste later that night. Instinctively, her software ticked up her Intoxication Simulator by 5%. She giggled and scanned the room for Harry. When she met his gaze she flashed him a flirty smile. He raised his drink and smiled back encouragingly.
Eventually, Nick finished and Tammy was waved up onto the small stage to start the contest.
Continuously tethered to Avant Robotics' proprietary data network, Jessica was able to use her search-indexing algorithms to deduce that Tammy was dressed up as Morticia from 'The Addams Family'. She also explored several tutorials for apple-bobbing as it was an activity she wasn't originally programmed with an understanding of.
After a small round of applause Brandon replaced Tammy on stage. Jessica used her search-indexing algorithms again to conclude that his costume was that of Clint Eastwood's character from the movie, 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'.
Another loose round of applause and Morgan took the stage as Lara Croft. Jessica's auditory suite registered the applause as louder for her then the two previous contestants and Jessica understood that she would be next up. She watched Morgan jump down the small set of stairs spilling a large portion of her drink in the process. Her processors, focused on her performance for the contest, didn't notice that the spilt drink had drenched the stairs.
Luckily, after brushing past the costumed Lara Croft she took the steps without issue and presented herself to the crowd before her.
She did a playful spin to show off a 360 view of her costume, allowing everyone to drink in her model-esque physique. She tousled a few strands of her orange hair and finished her little presentation with a lean forward, optimizing the viewing angle of her bubbly cleavage, and shouted out her character's catch-phrase, "Creepers!"
The crowd applauded and Jessica smiled as her auditory suite confirmed this round as the loudest of them all so far. However, as she stepped down the stairs to exit the platform both of her glossy white boots slipped on Morgan's spilt drink. Her Balance & Mobility processing array immediately flagged the inadvertent change to her internal gyroscopic stabilizers but couldn't act quickly enough to prevent her fall.
Jessica's legs sputtered uncontrollably as she teetered forwards face-first and fell right into the corner of the end-table holding the Golden Pumpkin with a hollow 'THUNK'.
A small series of minor alerts flashed across her Heads-Up-Display alerting her of her fall and impact with the table. Simultaneously, she logged the voices of both Harry and Nick yelling out.
"Jessica!" "The Golden Pumpkin!"
As she lay motionless on the ground running a brief set of 'In-Operation' diagnostics she felt a hand touch her shoulder. "Oh my God Jessica I am so sorry!" Jessica logged the voice as that of Morgan. She gently tugged Jessica away from the table and rolled her onto her back, "I think you slipped on my drink! I'm really so sorry. I should have cleaned that up immediately! Are you okay?"
If Morgan had looked closely enough at Jessica's eyes then she would have seen her hazel irises spinning, a tell-tale sign that the bot was in the midst of a diagnostic test. However, Morgan's attention was instead fixed on Jessica's chest whose right breast had popped out of her dress during the fall. Jessica cooed and her nipples stiffened instinctively as Morgan worked her malleable breast back into the dress.
"Jessica! Are you okay?"
She registered the voice as Harry's just as she felt his familiar touch on her shoulder. He noticed her spinning irises immediately and turned to Morgan. "Thanks Morgan, but I'll take it from here."
Morgan got to her feet and backed away slowly. "I'm so sorry!"
"It's okay. You didn't mean for this to happen. It was just an accident."
Jessica's irises stopped spinning and she smiled artificially up at Harry. He squeezed her shoulder again and leaned in to whisper in her ear, "Jess, please whisper to me the status of your diagnosis."
She hinged up at the waist and Harry could feel her soft lips just barely against the outside of his ear. "No major errors detected. One minor alert detected; facial actuator RCB-2 is severely damaged and is now unresponsive. A replacement will be needed. Would you like me to contact a local Avant Robotics retailer to arrange this replacement?"
While the brief diagnostic report wasn't inaccurate, it also wasn't foolproof. A small micro-tear in her ultra lifelike synth-skin went unnoticed on her right cheek bone. While cosmetically invisible, the tear was just large enough to compromise the seal integrity guarding her complex facial electronics.
"What? No. We'll...we'll deal with that later babe, okay? Can your face still operate realistically or do you think we need to get out of here?”
Jessica's eyes fluttered as she calculated through thousands of operational simulations all at once. Her systems quickly settled on a consensus decision. "With the status of all other facial actuators nominal, this unit is able to operate with only minor limitations to the facial expression library."
She turned her whisper into a soft kiss on Harry's ear, "I should be operating completely realistically Harry. I don't think we need to leave."
Harry wrapped his arms around Jessica and hugged her assuringly. He gave her a quick kiss on the lips and pulled her up to a standing position. "She's okay!"
Everyone applauded, including Nick who now stood next to the both of them. In his hands was the Golden Pumpkin. He held it above his head. "The pumpkin is also okay! I repeat the pumpkin is also okay"
He was met with a softer set of applause beset with genuine laughter.
"Alright, we'll let Jessica catch her breath here while we start trivia with.....Brandon! Get up here. You're up! Somebody get me a damn towel so I can mop up these stairs!"
With arms around each other's waists, Harry and Jessica watched as Brandon, Morgan, and Tammy each got on stage and tried their best to correctly answer three questions a piece. The judges were theming their questions around the contestant's costumes. Brandon and Morgan each got two of their three questions right while Tammy had missed all three of hers.
Jessica was ushered up onto the stage just as Tammy left. She faced the three judges and saw Dylan standing behind them. She flashed a friendly smile and Dylan smiled back. She verified the status of her connection with the Avant Data Network and spoke cheerily towards the judges, "Alright, I'm ready!"
Mr. Ford was the first to ask a question, "Which network did Scooby Doo originally air on in 1969?"
Jessica's advanced search-indexing had the answer to the question before Mr. Ford had even finished speaking. However, she feigned not knowing the answer immediately and spent several seconds scratching her head. She pulled it off perfectly and even Harry was impressed with her simulated approximation of human mannerisms, "I believe the answer is CBS?"
"You would be correct. Nice!"
Next, Sean stood up to read out his question, "What is the name of the basketball team that..." He looked directly at Jessica. "...Daphne and the rest of the gang team up with in a 1972 episode of the original cartoon series?"
Again, Jessica had the correct answer saved to data banks immediately. She feigned ignorance again, this time exhaling with a loudly audible "Hmmmmmmm."
"That would be the Harlem Globetrotters?"
"Yep! That would be right on!"
Becca stood up next, "What is the name of the actress who portrayed Daphne in the 2002 live action version of 'Scooby Doo'?"
Jessica's initial search-indexing failed. She tried again and again and it errored out. "Hmmmm this one's really hard. Just give me a second."
Internally, she shifted around some computational priority, momentarily supercharging the processing power associated with her external network connections.
She attempted a search-index again and was met with the same futile results. Instantaneous data-reporting told her that her processors were slowly heating up as she continued attempting the search-index again and again.
"Hmmmm this one's really hard. Just give me a second."
Jessica had never encountered a problem like this before. It was as if her access was being blocked. The Avant Data Network was pervasive across North America and had a spotless performance track record, so she wasn't programmed with any contingency scenarios that would allow her to use any other WIFI or cellular connection service.
She looked around the room aimlessly, her eyes a blank stare, as she queried the connection again and again.
"Hmmmm this one's really hard. Just give me a second."
Her systems logged a minor software error that had accidentally greenlit usage of the same stock phrase three times in a row; a direct contradiction to Harry's earlier instructions in the bathroom. She quarantined the troubled patch of code and flagged it for review at her next weekly data refresh.
She also noticed that people were looking at her queerly and her improvisational subroutines determined that it would be better to forfeit the question as opposed to continuously floundering on stage. "I don't know the answer to that quest...Wait."
A final attempt to access the Avant Data Network was successful and she had the answer to the question instantly.
"Sorry, that one stumped me for a minute. The answer is Sarah Michelle Gellar!"
Becca clapped, "Three for three! Way to go!"
Jessica did a cute curtsy for the politely applauding crowd, "Thanks!" She then carefully walked down the steps and over to Harry.
"Hey, what just happened?!
“I just had an issue with my network connection. It’s fixed now though! No need to worry!”
She leaned in, planting a lingering kiss on Harry’s lips, effectively ending the line of questioning.
Soon after, Nick’s voice called out, “Okay let’s start the third round. Tammy, get up here! You’re going to start us off with the Apple-bobbing.”
Again, Jessica and Harry watched as Tammy, Brandon, and then Morgan took the stage to bob for apples.
Each bucket was mixed with a dozen or so red-orange gala apples and three lime green Granny Smith apples. Each contestant was timed for how long it took them to find and remove the three Granny Smiths.
Although previously completely unfamiliar with the exercise, Jessica took the stage with freshly downloaded confidence in her system’s capabilities to ace the Apple-bobbing.
The 2 foot round bucket was up on a stand that was level with her athletically toned midriff. The time to beat was 1 minute 38 seconds.
Mr. Ford nodded to Jessica and she reciprocated the gesture indicating she was ready. Holding a stopwatch in his hand he called out, "Ready. Set. Go!"
Jessica plunged her head into the cold water and immediately opened her eyes. It took her several seconds to adjust the apertures of her advanced digital-camera eyes so that she could see efficiently while submerged.
She spotted one of the light green Granny Smith apples near the top of the pile and quickly moved to seal her lips against it's smooth exterior. She activated the same vacuum pump that she had used earlier that night when giving Harry fellatio.
Confident in her plastic mouth's grip on the fruit, Jessica pulled up out of the water and dropped the apple to the side. She heard several cheers but paid them no mind as she dove her face back into the water to pursue apple number two.
She used her nose to nuzzle through the small pile of remaining apples and uncovered another Granny Smith. Again, she positioned her lips around the fruit's surface and activated the vacuum pump embedded within her lithe chassis. Her auditory suite immediately detected a series of electrical pops and a string of alerts again streamed across her Heads-Up-Display.
She had however successfully latched onto the apple, so she continued the effort by pulling away from the bucket and dropping it to the side. She was so quick to push her head back into the water that only the most astute of observers would have noticed her face twitching at irregular intervals.
Plunging her face back into the water Jessica parsed through the string of alerts.
- ERROR: MOISTURE DETECTED BEHIND FACEPLATE - ERROR: SHORT CIRCUIT DETECTED IN FACIAL ACTUATOR RCB-2 - ERROR: SHORTS DETECTED IN FACEPLATE FUSE RCB-5, RCB-6, REB-1, REB-2, REB-3 - ALERT: RISK OF COMPROMISING HUMAN BELIEVABILITY INDEX - HIGH
Immediately, Jessica deactivated as many of the afflicted servomotors as her Human Performance software package would allow. Many remained online despite her best efforts and every errant fire of an actuator, cataloged on her Heads-Up-Display, was accompanied with a physical twitch of her face.
Her main processing array quickly determined that finishing the contest as quickly as possible was her best course of action to remedy her predicament.
She nosed through the remaining apples and easily found the final Granny Smith. She vacuumed it up against her mouth and emerged from the water with it secured. She spit it off to the side and immediately hung her head low, trying her best to hide the fit of electrical convulsions contorting her face into almost inhuman expressions.
Mr. Ford jumped out of his chair, "45 seconds! Best time of the night!"
Nick grabbed the golden pumpkin, "Judges, am I correct to assume that Ms. Daphne here is our winner tonight."
They responded back in near unison, "Yes!"
"Well, okay then!" He stepped up and onto the stage, "Jessica, I believe this is yours! Congrats girl!"
With their micro-motors malfunctioning, the apertures of Jessica's hazel eyes failed to re-adjust themselves to operation above water. She tried to walk towards Nick and accept her trophy but instead walked straight over the edge of the platform.
This time, Dylan was there to catch her fall.
She used Jessica's momentum to swing them both 180 degrees and she elegantly guided Jessica through the crowd and out of the living room. "I think it's just a few too many drinks for Daphne here tonight.” She looked back to the crowd, “Harry, want to give me a hand in the bathroom."
Everything had happened so fast that Harry had hardly any time to react. "Yeah of course. I'll be right behind you."
Once inside the bathroom Dylan set Jessica against the far wall and Harry locked the door. Dylan looked him straight in the eye, "I know her secret. But, it's okay. I'm here to help. I think we can get her out of here without anyone else knowing. Just let me adjust some of her settings, okay?"
Harry was speechless, "Umm yes. Please, go ahead."
Dylan nodded in affirmation, "Jessica please open your Upper Thoracic Access Panel."
The panel slid open immediately and Harry watched as Dylan reached behind her own back and pulled out an Avant data cable.
"Wait. Wait wait wait a minute!?" Harry gasped. "You...are you?"
Dylan smiled and connected her data cable to Jessica's matching receptacle. "Yep. A VICTORIA_M84U for what it's worth. But, I'm heavily modded. I spotted your beauty the second she walked through our door. I was testing some of her connectivity features during her trivia session, so I may have accidentally caused that tiny performance hiccup actually.
Harry, still in disbelief, managed to mutter, "Well, color me surprised."
"Most people are." Her eyes fluttered briefly. "Okay, the damage is about what I expected. I'm fully linked with her now and I see the issue...err...issues. Other than a hard shutdown which I think we'd both like to avoid right now, I can re-route some of her power management systems to buy you a minute or two at most to get her outside and in your car before she really starts to deteriorate. I'm also going to turn her intoxication simulator up to 99% to help with the drunk allusion.
Harry agreed, "Yeah, I did something similar earlier. Do whatever you think is best."
Dylan's eyes fluttered again as she executed the task. "Okay, it's done. Let's get her out of here."
They draped Jessica’s toned arms around each of their necks and Harry butted the door open with his rear.
Party-goers cheered on Jessica as the two of them dragged her through the crowd and out the front door.
"You were awesome Daphne!" "Best contest in years. You crushed it!" "Daphne you swept all three events!"
Jessica returned their cheers with a drunken "Whhhooooo!". Her voice was tinged with digital artifacting.
Harry summoned his car and he and Dylan had Jessica out to the curb right as it pulled up. He opened the single driver-side door and together they lay Jessica across the continuous back-seat.
She started to murmur something that Harry couldn't understand and Dylan put a hand on his shoulder. "I suggest shutting her down once you pull away. If she keeps this up it might damage more of her systems, and I know how much she must have cost you, so you'll want to avoid that."
He wrapped his arms around Dylan with a thankful hug. "Thank you so much for helping. I can't articulate how much I appreciate it."
"Of course. Nick's friends are friends of mine."
Nick cleared his throat, "Ahem!"
Harry looked at his friend with eyes wide with surprise. "Nick...uhhh...uhhh”
Nick shoved the golden pumpkin into Harry's hands and patted him on the back with a genuine laugh, "I can't believe you won that damn contest with a ringer!"
He pointed at Jessica in the car and then mimed zipping his mouth shut with a key that he then figuratively threw away.
He grabbed Dylan's side, "Have a good night Harry! Get Jessica home safe. You're always welcome here."
Harry climbed into the car and looked back at the two of them before responding, "Thanks. Both of you.”
He closed the door, locked the doors, and commanded the car to take them home. Looking over at Jessica he noticed just how bad things had gotten. She was spasming uncontrollably and her voice had been reduced down to just garbled digitized static.
Harry reached a hand around her right ear and depressed a hidden button for three seconds. She shut-down in his arms, going completely limp as her spasming ceased.
Nick set her head down gently and took the golden pumpkin in his hands. He gave it a playful toss in his hands and internally thanked the heavens for his private garage that they would soon be pulling into.