Crashing Your Crush
Crashing Your Crush
By GynoidNeko Commissioned by Thunder Emperor
I turned around just in time to see the tall blonde beauty get doused in dark brown soda. It drenched her long hair, pretty face, and white blouse as she sat there gawking. Maybe it was the shock of the cold liquid hitting her, or perhaps it was the sudden abruptness of the act that caught her off-guard, but she froze at the small table for a few seconds, defenseless, as the dark-haired boy stood over her.
“I’m so sorry!” The boy, Jason, apologized. “Here, let me help you wipe it up.”
He put the tray with the rest of his meal aside and grabbed the mountain of napkins he brought with him, almost like he was expecting to spill his drink. In her hesitation, he started pressing the napkins against her blouse, touching her chest.
Vanessa shot to her feet. Despite being covered in sticky liquid, she still had an aura of superiority about her that would bring a lesser man to his knees. Jason stood his ground though, wearing a sly grin, despite having to look up at her.
He and his friends regularly bullied people. You’d think after getting into University they’d grow up and knock it off, but somehow they managed to keep up their immature pranks. And being the new girl, and one of the prettiest ones on campus, she was an easy target. Most people avoided her though. I wasn’t sure if it was because she was rich, or she was just prettier than everyone. But I had a hunch it was…
“Do you have ANY idea who my father is!?” Vanessa shouted at him.
And there it was. The attitude that drove everyone away. Pretty, rich, smart, and arrogant. And a total bitch.
“This blouse costs more than your father makes in a month!” She continued, but instead of getting the cowering response she was after, Jason just grinned and chuckled. “And… to touch a lady in such a way…”
The slap that hit him wiped that grin off his face. I was pretty sure it could be heard in space. The bully faltered as he recoiled from her hand, barely keeping on his feet.
I clapped as she huffed, hovering over him. It was about time someone showed him his place. That was awesome.
Vanessa let out a frustrated grunt and turned to leave the seating area in front of the food court at the Student Union building, most likely heading to a bathroom to clean up. As she walked past me I figured now was my chance.
“Hey, are you alright?” I asked.
She hesitated long enough for her green eyes to take me in, but instead of pain or anger in them, I felt nothing but cold from her. Without saying a word, she turned away and marched out of the room.
I had been trying all semester to talk to her. We actually managed to exchange a few words, which was more than most people could say, but it wasn’t much more than pleasantries. Sure she had an attitude problem that made her a total bitch at times, but I was sure I could tame that beast in her. In all this time I had never seen her talking with anyone else, or hanging out with friends. Maybe, if I could get past that sharp exterior of hers, she’d open up to me.
As I turned back to my food, I saw Jason and his buddy, Chuck, high-five. Despite getting humiliated, and suffering the slap-to-end-all-slaps, they still thought they scored some sort of win from this. Sure enough, they were bullying her and had planned it all along.
Vanessa and I shared a class later that day, Maths. It was a prerequisite for just about every field, so the school didn’t even offer the chance to test out of it. If you didn’t take their math class, you didn’t know arithmetic. At least that’s how it felt. I wasn’t great at it and could have used some help. I was hoping since Vanessa was acing the class, that she might be willing to help tutor me.
Just as class was starting, Vanessa walked in wearing a light sweater. Despite being soaked in the sugary drink earlier she looked unscathed; even her hair looked as stylish and pristine as always. I managed to save a seat for her. It was the little things that girls noticed, right?
Unfortunately, she always sat upfront, so I had to take a seat in the front row just so she’d sit with me, but that meant talking with her wasn’t going to happen during class. I would have to wait until after. I couldn’t help but glance at her all through class, though.
She was tall for a girl, with a long angular face, a straight nose, large vibrant green eyes, pale skin that seemed flawless, long blond hair that reached to her mid-back, and a figure that made her look more like a supermodel than a student. I could easily picture her on the cover of a magazine in a bikini, although I was pretty sure she never showed that much skin.
As the class was ending, I turned to Vanessa while we packed our books.
“Hey, Vanessa. I hope those bullies didn’t bother you too much.”
She paused to look at me, blinked once or twice, and then continued to pack her books without responding.
“Say, I’ve been having some trouble with this class. Do you think you could tutor me? I’ll gladly pay.”
“Excuse me… Andrew, was it?” She said without looking at me.
“Y- yeah…hey w- wait up!” As I was trying to talk to her, Vanessa just stood up and walked out of the room.
No wonder people called her the arrogant ice queen. I shoved my books into my backpack and followed behind.
“You don’t have to! I just thought it would be nice to learn from the smartest girl in class.”
“Hmm,” she replied. “At least you have enough brains to realize that.” She was going to be a tough nut to crack.
“Well, how about it? I could use the help and I bet you could use the company.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” She shot back as she walked through the halls toward the exit.
“Just that I don’t see you hanging out with friends much. And I thought, maybe, we could be friends.”
“I don’t need friends,” she curtly replied.
“Sure you do,” I replied as I followed close behind. “Everyone needs friends.”
“I don’t see the value in it,” she stated, pushing at the door, struggling to open it. I shoved on the door, opening it for her. Despite her epic slap earlier and her tall build, she was still a lady and I was stronger than her. She looked up at me, almost in thanks, but didn’t say anything as she left.
I wasn’t going to let it end there though and followed her, managing to keep up. “You could say thanks when someone gets the door for you.”
“I didn’t ask you to,” she replied. “But thank you.”
“You have to admit having me around could be useful. I’m strong, good looking, tall enough to reach high places, friendly, good with a joke…”
“Andrew, I don’t know you very well. But I can assure you that you are none of those things.” Ouch. “But having someone willing to carry bags and open doors would be nice.”
“See? Was that so hard?”
“Hmm…” she responded.
“So how about it?” I asked again.
“How about what, Andrew?”
“How about you tutor me in Maths? In exchange, I’ll pay you, or help you out.”
“I do not need or want your money. I see no benefit in it for me to spend my time repeating the lessons our professor already taught us to a…”
She didn’t finish her statement, but I got the message. “Well… how about we just hang out? Have fun?”
“Have fun?” She repeated, looking at me for once.
“Yeah. Like going shopping, or to a movie, or going to a concert…” I smiled as she stopped walking and faced me.
She stood there, in the middle of one of the busiest paths in school, just looked at me for several seconds, ignoring everyone else. For a moment, I thought she was considering it.
“Are you asking me out on a date?” Vanessa finally said.
“I… I mean, if you want to call it that… yes?” I replied, feeling the icy cold stare of hers beat me down. This wasn’t going to end well. I jumped the gun. We hardly knew each other, despite all my efforts, and somehow I ended up asking her on a date.
“Andrew. The only reason I am talking to you now is that our fathers know each other. Out of respect, I have decided to entertain your notion. But make no mistake, your father works for mine.”
I froze as I watched her square up to me. She was almost as tall as me, but somehow I felt like I was looking up at her. I was almost convinced she was growing, or I was shrinking.
“You are just another average young man. You have neither the looks, nor the money, nor the status to impress me. You’re thin, frail, and half-blind by the look of those glasses.”
I instinctually adjusted my black-rimmed glasses. I couldn’t stand wearing contacts. As she spoke, her voice got louder and her aura grew. Pretty soon, people all around were starting to stare. “I-“
“While I appreciate your ‘door holding', I don’t need an errand boy, which is the most you could ever be to me. Perhaps if you had wealth or status I might consider something more. But until your family runs a Fortune 500 company like mine, we will never be equals. And we will never ‘go out’.”
Everyone, students and teachers alike, stood around watching. I shrunk back a little, humiliated. “I’m sorry to have bothered you,” I mumbled before turning and leaving in a hurry.
Jason got off easy if all he got was a slap. This was going to sting a whole lot longer. I rushed back to my dorm while trying to turn invisible. No luck there either.
I probably cried myself to sleep that night after such a harsh takedown. I didn’t even mean to ask her out, it just sort of happened, but she was quick to turn it into a weapon against me. And it hurt like a bitch. An arrogant icy cold bitch.
“Bitch,” I muttered under my breath every time I saw her after that. I did my best to avoid her. If she was in the building, I left. If we had a class together, I sat as far from her as I could. I even walked across the street just to avoid bumping into her on the walkways.
What hurt more was that she seemed to not even think about it at all. She never glared at me, or avoided me, or did anything except ignore my existence as she did to everyone else. It was like I was so far beneath her she didn’t even register that I was human or that she hurt my feelings. It was pretty clear she had no feelings toward me, good or bad, which was worse than at least knowing she hated me.
And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse… the bullying started.
“Hey Andrew, how’s that stock portfolio coming? Make your first million yet?” Jason snickered with his friend.
“Oh look, he’s crying because his dead uncle didn’t leave him millions,” Chuck would comment even when I wasn’t crying.
It wasn’t just them. Everyone was looking at me differently. Some pitied me, others snickered, and a few just gave me a disgusted look. It was constant. Every day I could feel their stares and judgments beating down on me. And it was beginning to take a toll.
I started avoiding class altogether and just attended lectures online. I was lucky they allowed it, but it meant I rarely got out of my dorm. At least I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t have a roommate. I spent probably 18 hours a day just staring at my screen, listening to class, doing homework, or just wasting my time. Mainly, I just browsed the web.
The internet does something funny to you after a while, and I noticed I started reading more of the crazy things online just for kicks. Alien abductions. Psychic powers. All sorts of crazy things people believed, but I just laughed at them. It was like my brain switched off to avoid thinking about the bullying.
It wasn’t until a week or two later that one of those ridiculous internet theories showed up in my regular news feed. I had to read the article 3 times. A spy was caught working for the government and he ended up being a… robot!?
I mean… sure, robots were getting way more advanced, but I never paid much attention to it. I wasn’t a tech guy, but I never even considered one could pass for human for so long. He had been there for months before they caught on.
I dived into the crazy parts of the internet more. If he was a robot, just how advanced were they getting? And… how many? And… who? And why? Did I know any?
“Protect yourself from the threat of SLEEPERS!”
I looked at the link on some random internet forum a few times before deciding to click on it. Sleepers? I read on.
“Androids live among us. They could be your friend, your co-worker, even your partner! As recent events have taught us, we need to protect ourselves from this new threat. Download the new SleeperFinder App for free today and protect yourself from the invisible threat.”
No way. Free? I read on. This phone app was able to identify sleeper androids even while it was idle in the background. And once identified, it was able to “neutralize” the threat and hack into them. It claimed it would let you override their security, change their programming, give them new objectives, and even change their personalities.
It all seemed like a bit much, to be honest. Another ridiculous internet theory. I needed to stop reading these things. And yet, for some reason, I found myself installing it.
At first glance, it seemed innocent enough, but it didn’t offer much. It mostly just showed a large red circle on the screen. The site claimed the circle would turn green when it had a hit, and would then track down the android and give you options, including disabling it and reporting it to the authorities. But unless there was a sleeper in my close proximity, all I got was a big red dot.
Still, I couldn’t wait to try it out. Who knew if one of the teachers was secretly an android. Or one of the students. It would even send alerts to my watch so I didn’t need to spend all day staring at my phone, waiting for a hit. I just had to get close to people to see if it would work.
The next day, I decided to break out of my rut and go to class in person. The fact that I kept staring at a big red dot on my phone all day had nothing to do with it, I swear. Yeah, my watch could alert me, but I couldn’t help myself. As the day went on, my attention turned back to the reality of what I was dealing with.
Rumors had started spreading about me. Some people thought I was murdered, which surprised them to see me back in class. I didn’t want to know and tried to block out the whispers and murmurs around me.
Despite this, I didn’t see a single “threat” all day. No one with whom I got close enough to trigger the app. Surely it could reach far enough to see the whole classroom, but I never bothered to check the range. No sleeper threat that day.
But a real threat did arise. My grades.
“Mr. Knight, come see me in my office after class,” the Maths professor warned before class ended. I gulped. Nothing good happened during a trip to the teacher’s office, right?
Reluctantly, I walked into his office after class and sat down.
“You haven’t been in class lately,” he noted.
I nodded. “I was talking online-”
“Your online attendance has also dropped lately. As have your grades. Which weren’t that great, to begin with.”
I swallowed hard. “Sorry, I’ve been dealing with a lot.”
He looked through my records on his computer for a moment. “You haven’t even turned in the last 3 assignments. If you keep this up, I’m going to have to fail you.”
“Fail?” I didn’t realize I was doing that poorly. But thinking about it I wasn’t that surprised either.
“Your midterms are coming up. If you fail that, you are out of the class. I am willing to give you a pass/fail for your missing assignments if you turn them in by the next class. But I want to see you here, in person, for the rest of the year.”
I nodded. Damn.
“And I am going to assign you a tutor. That… Vaness-”
“NO! Anyone but her! I- I’ll get my grades up!.”
He looked at me hard. “If you don’t pass the next test and make up your assignments, you will get an instant fail. But if you want to pass my class, you need to get your grades up. I’ll leave it up to you to find a tutor, but you better shape up fast. Your midterms are in 2 weeks.”
I thanked him for the chance to still pass the class and forgot all about that stupid app for the rest of the day.
I couldn’t fail these classes just because some stuck-up arrogant rich girl yelled at me. I couldn’t afford to take it again! It was time for a change. I hunkered down and focused on my grades. All my classes needed it, but I was behind the most in Maths.
For the next 2 weeks, I completely forgot about all that ridiculous stuff, like the app, and just studied. I managed to complete all my assignments and spent every waking hour working on my schoolwork. Most of which was arithmetic at this point. And all without the help of a tutor.
I slept maybe 2 hours a night all the way up to the midterm. Either through lack of sleep, a concerted effort to focus on my studies, or just people getting bored, the rumors and bullying around me seemed to stop.
By the time I sat down for the mid-term test, I felt a strange mix of exhaustion, excitement, and determination. I had never studied so hard for a test before and never felt as well-prepared for one either. As the professor handed me the exam, he gave me a knowing stare.
Much to my surprise, and everyone else’s, especially the professor’s, I was one of the first ones to finish. I was sure he was going to be skeptical, perhaps thinking I didn’t put in the effort, but I knew he’d be surprised when he graded it.
I marched up to the front of the class, exam in hand, and placed it on the very short stack of papers on the professor’s desk. A sense of pride filled me as I smiled, knowing I aced it. As I turned to leave, Vanessa stood inches away, her own exam in hand, as she was turning it in.
I recoiled from her, but just like before, she ignored me as though I didn’t exist. And of course, just at the moment, my alarm on my watch went off.
“No distractions, Mr. Knight,” he warned.
I grabbed my watch and silenced it. “S- Sorry.” Having finished the exam early, I was allowed to leave, but as I did, trying to avoid Vanessa, I couldn’t remember setting an alarm on my watch at all. As soon as I got out of the classroom, I looked at the alert.
“Sleeper Found Nearby”
I stood, shocked, as I read the words again. I forgot about that gimmicky app and thought I erased it, but there it was telling me there was a sleeper android near me.
I looked around, but no one was there. Strange. It must have gotten a signal from somewhere else, or maybe it was just a stupid gimmick that randomly told you stuff.
Vanessa brushed by me as she left the classroom.
And the alarm went off again.
I quickly pulled out my phone and brought up the app. It was supposed to give me more options if there was a sleeper nearby, and sure enough, the big red circle had turned green, and there was a small white arrow on it pointing… roughly in the direction of Vanessa.
I followed behind her, keeping my distance, to see if the app was tracking her.
Every time she turned a corner, the arrow followed her. It took a few minutes, but a menu of options appeared. The top one was “Scan”, which was the only one lit up. I tapped it and waited for the results as I followed her.
“Cybolt - VSA_2183c - Unknown - Domestic”
I looked at the screen again. It claimed she was an android made by the company Cybolt. I heard of them but didn’t know much about them. Her model number was VSA_2183c, but it had no other data on her, except that she was a domestic model, meaning she was not a military or government model. The only other data listed was that she was considered a low threat.
Other options appeared. Report to authorities, Emergency shutdown, and Alter Systems. Well, if she wasn’t a threat, I didn’t see any reason to call the police, and shutting her down seemed extreme. And I wasn’t even sure if this was all real yet. So I decided to select “Alter Systems”.
I was presented with a ton of options and settings, some of which were already selected. I was able to go in and tweak just about anything about her! I could mess with her systems, change her language settings, send her pre-built or custom commands, install programs… or adjust her personality.
Whoever designed the app was clearly an amateur though, because all of the settings in her personality panel were abbreviated numbers and letters, and I couldn’t tell what they did, and there were a lot. I backed out and looked at the command section. I wasn’t a computer guy, so I didn’t know how to write a program for her to run, so I looked at the premade ones instead, and one caught my eye.
“Open to suggestions.”
Vanessa was about to leave campus, and I didn’t want to follow her forever not knowing where she was going, so I tapped it and waited a few seconds for it to take.
“Command accepted. Now active.”
“Uuhh…” I looked up at Vanessa, who still hadn’t noticed me, and swallowed hard. “Hey, Vanessa. Wait up.”
She suddenly stopped moving and turned to look at me.
“And you are…? Andrew, right?”
I jogged over to her. At the very least, if this thing wasn’t real, I could tell her off for how she treated me while there wasn’t a crowd of people watching. But if this was real… revenge could be mine.
“Yeah. You remembered. Say, about that day… when I asked you out and you humiliated me in front of the whole school…” I started.
“Asked me…? I… Oh yes. I remember now. You’re that forgettable peon that tried to hit on me and ask me out on a date.” She scoffed, making me grit my teeth.
I smiled slyly. “You shouldn’t be so mean to others. People might even like you if you were nice to them.”
She scoffed again. “Whate-... I… Hmm… I- I never really considered that…”
“You really should apologize for what you said.”
She looked at me for a moment and opened her mouth to speak, but then closed it again. She blinked a few times and stopped moving for a moment before suddenly looking back at me. “I- I- Umm… Hmm… I- That’s strange… I’m- I’m sorry.”
Was that it? “Sorry for what? Hurting my feelings? Turning me down?”
She hesitated again before answering. “Y- yes. I apologize for hurting your feelings. And I’m sorry I turned you down.”
Was this really working? I got excited and I needed to test it out more. “Maybe if you asked me out instead we would be even.”
“Why would I-...? Um… Andrew, right?” She asked, acting strange still. I nodded. “Andrew… would… would you like to get some coffee sometime?”
She nodded. “I gave you a hard time before. The least I can do is buy you a coffee.”
This couldn’t be real. Maybe I was being punked or something. No one was around, but I needed to test this more.
“N… No.” Well… I turned her down this time but it had no impact, not like what she did to me. Vanessa shrugged and turned to leave.
“Your loss,” she said.
“M- Maybe if you tutor me first I’ll reconsider,” I blurted out before she could walk away.
She turned back to me and blinked a few more times. “Tutor? I don’t… Y… Yes. Yes, I think I can do that.”
“Do you have time tonight?” I wondered.
She shook her head. “I c- can’t. I- I c- c- can’t.” Vanessa sighed and cleared her throat. “Sorry, I have a previous engagement, but how does tomorrow look for you?”
“Tomorrow is fine.”
She nodded. “Tomorrow then, before class. Meet me at the library.”
“Sure. I- I’m looking forward to it,” I stuttered a little.
She hesitated again and tilted her head when she looked at me. “M… me too. I’ll see you then, Andrew.”
She turned and left, leaving me dumbfounded.
“AHHH!!!! IT’S REAL!!!!” I screamed once she was out of earshot.
I ran to my dorm and started looking up everything I could about that app. Now that she was registered on my phone I could access all her settings, although I couldn’t apply any changes until she was nearby. I wasn’t sure what to do with this power!
I spent hours just going through all the options until I finally made a decision. I didn’t just want revenge, I wanted to teach her a lesson. But she needed to fix this situation first. If I could go out with her, and everyone saw us, that would surely end the bullying and judging. And… if I could make her a nicer person… if she was no longer the ice queen…
She was really pretty. I couldn’t help but think about if we actually went out! Maybe I’d get to see her in a bikini after all. Playing in the water. Holding my arm. Laughing and smiling…
I shook my head back to reality.
Revenge… that’s what I wanted. Right? I wasn’t sure anymore. I mean… what if she actually changed, and did want to go out with me?
Could robots want? Did she even know she was a robot? Was she really a robot? I didn’t have the answers, but I did have a solution. A new set of commands would be ready for her in the morning, along with a shiny new bubbly personality.
I sat in the library waiting for her, eager to see what this app could do. To my surprise, it connected to her system before she even came into the building. I looked up from the table near the entrance in time to see her approach a librarian to ask her something. I listened in as I secretly sent the first of many new commands to her android brain through my phone.
“Excuse me, do you have a study room available?”
“Of course, you can use room 2,” the librarian answered.
“Uh-... Th- Thank you,” she replied, almost shocked that she was nice to someone.
I walked up to her as she turned around to look at the entrance, checking her watch.
“Good morning, Vanessa,” I said in a hushed tone.
She turned around abruptly, surprised. “Y- You’re already here? You showed up early.”
“I guess I was excited about our first session. Aren’t you?”
She blinked as her green eyes gazed into mine. “Yyyes. Yes. Actually. I… I am,” she answered, looking confused.
I felt the silent alarm buzz on my watch. The first command was loaded and active, and it should be moving on to the next.
“Shall we then?” I wondered.
She nodded and took the lead, walking toward the private study room with the large glass wall. It was too bad they used glass walls, but it made sense for a library at a university. Who knows what kind of kinky trouble students would get in when they should be studying?
“So how are you feeling today?” I whispered.
“Um… A little… strange, actually. Good. But… something’s off. But never mind that. I’ll be fine. Here we are.”
I opened and closed the door, giving us at least some privacy. Vanessa took the bag from her back and unloaded a few books before sitting down. I sat next to her, hiding my phone on my other side.
“So what topics are you having trouble with?”
I sighed. She was serious about studying, but I knew I needed to do this too. I pulled out my previous homework and showed her so she could see what I was doing wrong.
“You have a lot to catch up on. I see why you needed a tutor. Let’s get started.”
We spent 2 hours in that room going over the assignments. It was hell. But as the commands I selected started activating inside her, it got easier. Or at least, she became more pleasant. Soon, I was able to keep my phone in plain sight, and she just ignored it, thanks to one of the commands. As soon as the commands were installed and active I started work on her personality.
“The exponent here is- is… um… the exponent… Whew… the… um… *BEEP* what… uhhhh… what was I… saying?” Vanessa started struggling, losing focus as the app did its work, changing her personality to one that was a little more personable. A beep toned, making me jump in my seat a little, but she didn’t seem to notice and I wasn’t sure it was actually from her or somewhere else.
“The exponent… You were going to tell me how it was negative and I would need to flip the number to calculate it…” I finished for her.
Vanessa looked at me, confused, or maybe impressed. “Th- That… You’re totally right! Good job, Andrew! Here, let me show you…”
She scooted closer and leaned in front of me, pressing her body to mine as she wrote on the paper in front of me. I was not expecting that. And from the way she suddenly twitched and straightened her pose again, I guess she wasn’t expecting it either.
“S- Sorry. *BEEP* Hee hee.”
Another beep! And did she just say ‘Hee hee’? Was that… a giggle? Oh my gosh, it really was working! And was she smiling? Oh wow, her smile was actually really nice. I felt my heart flutter when she looked at me with that sensual smile.
Our eyes locked on each other’s for a few seconds as her small sweet smile grew more radiant. I felt my heart pound in my chest as she coyly brushed a lock of hair from her face behind her ear. I swear she started blushing and her smile melted a little with a hint of desire in her eyes. I swallowed hard, completely taken with her.
She giggled again, and broke the tension, turning back to the books in front of us, but something was different now. Her demeanor had changed, and she was pressing her body against mine. I couldn’t help but get an amazing look at her cleavage from my viewpoint. When did she unbutton that top button?
I noticed other small things about her changing here and there. From the top button of her blouse, to how her pose was no longer as stiff and straight, to how she would laugh and giggle at every little thing. The laughter and giggles grew more frequent and louder. It was probably a little much, and a complete 180 from her regular personality. It was hard to concentrate on the study session when she was changing so much right before my eyes. Somehow, I got through the 2 hours, which went long because… I think we were enjoying ourselves more than either of us expected.
“Say… Andrew. I… I was thinking about what you said yesterday.”
“Y- you were? Which thing I said?”
“About how people might like me if I wasn’t so mean to them. And it got me thinking. I… I don’t like being mean to people. I don’t do it on purpose. I really am sorry I hurt your feelings and ignored you.”
She nodded, blushing a little. “Yeah. I’ll try to be nicer from now on.”
“Uh… Oh… Ok. Cool.” I didn’t know what to say.
“Oh, it’s getting late! Do you wanna get something to eat? I’m starving!” She asked, almost hopping in her chair.
I checked my phone, which she glanced toward but then ignored. Everything was finished, and her new programming and personality were in place. The dirty deed was done.
“Yay!” She playfully posed with a peace sign as if she was in a k-pop band or something.
We got our books together and headed out of the room.
“Andy… Can I call you Andy? Andy, your grades might be low, but you don’t seem to have any trouble understanding the content. Maybe it’s nerves? Or stress? Or you just weren’t applying yourself.”
“Heh heh…” How do I tell her I was letting my grades slip because I was avoiding her? “Maybe.”
“Hee hee. Silly. We can work on that too! Come on, let’s get some lunch before the crowd gets too big.”
She pulled me toward the food court a few buildings away and practically skipped next to me, hanging onto my arm and giggling as we talked. We went from talking about school to future plans to hobbies, and she seemed engrossed by every word I said when she wasn’t cheerfully waving to people she didn’t know.
“You are so cool, Andy!” she exclaimed, boisterous and loud. “I didn’t know you could play an instrument. You have to show me sometime!” She grinned as we approached the building.
“S- sure,” I answered, getting the door for her.
“Oh… Tee-hee, such a gentleman! Thank you, good sir,” she mock-curtsied before entering the building. Maybe I took this personality change a little too far. But it was adorable.
“You know, I usually don’t just play my guitar for anyone,” I said, realizing the food line was already pretty long.
“Oh? But you will for me, riiiiiight?” She playfully shimmied her shoulders next to me.
“Well… I mean… I’m not that good. I’ve only ever played in front of my ex before.”
“You didn’t tell me you had an ex! So you aren’t seeing anyone now?”
“I thought you knew that. I mean…”
“Oh!” She hopped in place and covered her mouth. “Right. Sorry!” She waved innocently. “But you did say you played in front of her before, right?”
“Y- yeah. It was a while ago but…”
“Maybe if… ~ I ~... was your girlfriend… you’d play for me?” She playfully winked as she tugged on my arm. She seemed so full of energy now she was hopping in place as she teased me. At this point, a few people gave her a strange look. I didn’t blame them. She went from the ice queen to the bubblegum princess in the blink of an eye.
“I… I mean I guess…” Wait… what was I agreeing to?”
“So… Will you go- go-… um… *Ahem*. W- Will you- you-… Um… Me?” She blinked a few times as her face went blank. Vanessa just started acting strange, but I just chalked it up to nerves. But something about her face going blank worried me.
“Um… Vanessa?” I asked, poking her shoulder. She suddenly blinked and looked at me before she smiled again.
“Hmm?” She blinked, looking up at me before suddenly realizing where she was. “OH! Andy? Will you go out with me? Pretty pleeeeease?” She pulled on my shirt, tugging at it while looking up at me pleading and begging.
Ok… I entirely took this too far. But I was having too much fun with it! I suddenly lost all interest in the idea of revenge. She was too adorable like this, and maybe this was as far as my revenge would go. Wait… she just asked me out? Did I make her? I wasn’t sure.
And I didn’t want to say no.
“Uhh… Oh- Okay.”
“YAY!!” She hopped and hugged me before turning away from me. “HEY!! This is ANDREW! And he’s my awesome new BOYFRIEND!!”
I covered my face. This might be worse than when she turned me down. I wasn’t sure yet.
“V- keep it down…”
“V? Aww… You have a pet name for me already?” She squealed. “HE HAS A PET NAME FOR ME!”
I spent the rest of my lunch toning Vanessa’s new personality down on my phone as she hung from my arm giving me googly eyes. Luckily, I think people were too confused by her behavior to decide what to think of us, but we did get plenty of looks and some giggles. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out what to adjust and I was afraid of changing something drastic in her in public that might make people stare, so I gave up.
She practically hung off of me for the rest of the day, getting used to her new programming and personality. But I kept noticing little hold-ups in her. She’d stop moving, or lose her train of thought. I didn’t think too much about it though, since she seemed to be fine most of the time.
Somehow, we ended up on a sort of makeshift date. I wasn’t expecting it at all. We ended up strolling down the gardens on campus just chatting about class and stuff, and we even went inside the campus shop, where they sold branded clothes and school supplies. For some reason, I found myself buying her a new pink top and matching skirt, both with the school logo. It took me a little to even realize I just bought her something like we were dating for real.
And it felt nice. Like I was spoiling my girl a little. But was it just pretend?
We even got dinner at the diner near the edge of campus, where she spent the time giving me googly eyes and trying to eat my food. I always wanted to have a day like this with her, and now that it had happened, I was thrown off by it. And yet, I found myself smiling more and laughing. I enjoyed myself. And it looked like she was enjoying herself too.
It was starting to get late when she remembered she needed to get back home. I sure hoped her new personality wasn’t going to throw off her parents… or… whatever they were to her. And for a moment I didn’t want her to go. I wanted her to stay the night, but that was probably too much, too fast.
I knew she’d do it if I asked her to. But it just felt like crossing a line I didn’t want to cross. I was feeling conflicted about this whole thing, and I needed to be alone for a little to think it over.
“I had a great day! It was sooooo much fun!” Vanessa skipped before hopping in place and facing me. “I’m sorry you can’t go home with me,” she sighed, even though I didn’t bring it up. “I’d love to have you over. But I’ll see you tomorrow, for sure, Andy!”
“Well, we both have the same cla-”
Vanessa pulled my face toward hers abruptly and planted a big kiss right on my lips. I was shocked by the abruptness of it. It wasn’t a deep kiss, but she held it there for a while. I opened my mouth a little and tried to use my tongue, but she stiffened and pulled back.
“V?” I asked as she seemed to stare into space, not even noticing the small string of saliva on her lips.
“I… uh… I… uh… I… I… I… I…” she repeated, not looking at anything. Her voice lost all intonation and went monotone as she repeated the word. I touched her arm to get her attention, but the moment my skin touched hers, I heard a clear *BEEP* from her body and she froze in place with her mouth hanging open.
She stood stiff, like a statue, for a few seconds. Did I just crash my girlfriend? I freaked out for a moment, tapping her cheek and snapping my fingers in front of her eyes. It didn’t seem to help, but before I lost it, she started to move again. Her green eyes looked up at mine and I could see her pupils adjusting as she focused on me before slowly closing and opening her eyes.
She suddenly broke into an awkward smile. “S- Sorry. That was my first kiss. Kiss. Kiss. Ki- My first… Did you use your tongue?”
“Yeah… sorry. I guess I jumped the gun.”
“Huh…” she seemed to drift off again.
“Are you feeling ok?”
“Oh… yeah,” she grinned, her speech slurring just a little as she looked up at me with a seductive gaze. “I’m… amazing.” She giggled but her smile faded again as if she was lost in thought.
“Oh, Ok. See you tomorrow then, Vanessa.”
“Hmm? Oh! Yes! I’ll see you tomorrow, hot stuff.”
She winked and smiled as she walked away toward her destination. I wondered if she lived close, or if there was transportation for her, or even if she drove. Regardless, I watched her walk out of view before heading back to my dorm.
I was elated, despite the embarrassing moments with her. Public Displays of Affection didn’t bother her anymore. I probably went too far with this, but she was much better now than she was before. Wasn’t she?
And was that an actual date? It felt like it, but we never even left campus! What a smile she had! I couldn’t get her out of my thoughts. I felt like I was floating on air.
As I settled into my dorm, I decided to take a look at more information on that app. There wasn’t much on it though. It wasn’t an officially registered app, so it wasn’t in the official app store and the guy that programmed it wasn’t very active online. There were very few positive reviews, maybe because no one else ran into an android when using it. As a result, it was sure to be buggy as hell.
She beeped a few times, but I don’t think anyone else noticed. But it worried me. And her voice went monotone at least once. Not to mention all the stuttering, or whatever it was. I didn’t know what to do, but it was probably nothing. She probably just needed to restart or something, which she probably did overnight. As far as I could tell, from the little I could understand online, errors like that were usually fixed in an android after they restart.
I did some homework and went to bed. One more day until the weekend, and I was looking forward to spending time with my new girlfriend. And yet… there was a sense of guilt about it too. Was I wrong to do this? I was changing who she was without her permission. But she was just a robot. And her personality was volatile before. Not to mention she seemed happy. Surely the positives overpowered the negatives, right? Didn’t they?
Did she actually like me?
The next day, Vanessa was late for class for the first time. I got a little worried. She showed up about 5 minutes late, a first for her, which even the professor noticed. The school was pretty strict about tardiness, and she was seconds away from having her first absentee mark.
But what worried me more was her behavior. Yesterday, she was bubbly and outgoing and flirty, even annoyingly so, but today she seemed to revert back to her old self, except frazzled. Almost like she was dealing with a lot of crap and it was starting to take a toll on her. She sat next to me without saying a word.
The moment class was over, it was officially the weekend. For me at least. I honestly didn’t even know if she had another class or other plans. I barely knew her at all. Yesterday was the longest we have ever spent together. But whose fault was that? She never let anyone near her, but now I think I knew why.
Without hesitation, she gathered her things and walked out of the room, ignoring me. “H- hey, wait up!”
I gathered my stuff and followed behind. It felt like yesterday had never happened at all, and she was giving me the cold shoulder! Did someone revert her programming? Maybe she restarted and all my changes didn’t take?
“V?” I asked as I caught up with her just before she reached the building exit. “Hey, are you feeling alright?”
She paused and didn’t move for several seconds, blocking the path. I put my hand on her shoulder to get her attention, half expecting her to slap me. With my luck, her programming could have been reverted to her old self and she was about to repeat the lesson she gave Jason.
Instead, she abruptly turned to me and kissed me right on the lips, in front of everyone. But she didn’t stop at a simple kiss. Her tongue forced its way into my mouth and soon we were making out in front of the entire class as people left.
When at last she pulled away, breathing uneasily as her eyes fluttered, she smiled. “I didn’t think I could hold back… but I did it! All the way through- through- through class.”
“Wow, V! That was… intense!”
She giggled as she gave me a sultry gaze. “We have all weekend, Andy-baby. We’re going to get wild! Let’s go on a date! A real date!”
Andy-baby? What was going on with her? I heard more than a few groans and whistles and noticed one girl that just wouldn’t. stop. staring. I grabbed Vanessa’s arm and led her out the door.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“What?” She asked, barely keeping up. “I thought you wanted tongue.”
“No. I do, I mean I did. I mean… That isn’t it. What is going on with you? Why were you late for class?”
“What? Oh, that? It’s nothing. I was… um… just… I- I- I…” She stood there silently for a few seconds, dazing off into nothingness, before suddenly looking up at me. “Hey boyfriend, let’s go on a date!”
She pulled on my arm and started dragging me with her while I tried to figure out what was going on with her. I decided to walk with her, but let her take the lead. I was trying to figure out if I broke her, or what could be going on. She was acting fine now, giggling and prancing about, often looking back at me with a flirtatious smile, but I knew this wasn’t how she normally behaved either.
I had started to notice things about her since I changed her programming that didn’t seem right. I thought I limited what I changed in her. It was only her personality, and I made her open to my suggestions, and programmed her to avoid looking at other guys…
Maybe it was too much. Before I realized it, we were off-campus and had crossed the street to the small strip mall where students regularly hung out. There were essential stores, like groceries, printing, office supplies, etc. But they also had a bar, a theater, shops, even a karaoke hangout.
We were heading to one of the bars. It was still a little early, but that just meant it was less crowded. My brain gave up, and I relented to her giggles and smiles. “Alright, V. Let’s have a few drinks, I guess.”
“Yay!” She posed like a cute anime character that just achieved a major victory. “I know you’re a little tight on money, so I’ll cover it,” she winked. Oh yeah, and I programmed her to pick up the tab. I forgot about that one.
We ordered drinks, and then a few more. To my surprise, she even acted drunk after the 2nd one, and I started to question whether or not she was an android. I looked at my phone and confirmed her settings were still in effect, although a few alerts had appeared. Before I could look closer, she grabbed my arm and pulled.
“Don’t look at your phone, dance with me!”
“V, there isn’t any music playing,” I noted, not even feeling buzzed yet. I got to my feet and stood next to the bar with her as she started to move her hips and body like she was at a nightclub. I kind of moved with her a little but focused on my phone again. More alerts.
“Is your phone more interesting than me?” She asked as she kept dancing to her own beat. Oh right, I programmed her to ignore the app on my phone, so even if she saw it she wouldn’t know what she was looking at. I did put a bunch of stuff in her, didn’t I?
“It’s uh… a homework thing,” I said, barely looking up at her as I brought up the alerts. I wasn’t sure what half of them meant, since they were in Uber-nerd-ese, but it didn’t look good.
“Forget that and par- par- par- party- party with me!” She stuttered.
Another alert appeared as she started to repeat her words. Something about overheating? That can’t be good.
“Hey, uh… this place is kind of dull, let’s… um… let’s go somewhere else,” I suggested, hoping to get her out of there so I could mess with her settings before something bad happened.
“Y- Y- Yeah, you’re- you’re right. It’s dead in here- here,” she agreed and stopped dancing. This was starting to sound worse than yesterday. “We need to find some night- night- night-…” She started to repeat herself again when I heard a faint but clear beep from her chest. “… night- nightlife! I’ll close the tab- tab- tab- tab.”
I shook her a little to break her from the loop, which seemed to work. “How about I cover this, just stay put…” I told her. I didn’t like the way she was repeating herself. She smiled and didn’t say anything as I went over to the bar. I closed up the tab, which was still on her card, and took her hand.
As we left the bar, she stumbled and giggled. I wasn’t sure if she was still playing the drunk, or if her movements were from something else, like an error. One thing was clear, she was getting worse.
“Oh… wow, is it- it- it getting hot to you?” She remarked as we started down the sidewalk. I looked over in time to see her unbutton her top a little more, showing off more skin, and tugging at her shirt to blow some air on her. She was sweating a little too, which I didn’t expect. I saw one bead of sweat trickle down her chest and between her cleavage as she billowed her shirt to cool off. I got a great view down her front at her bra, but then something caught me by surprise. A crescent-shaped strip of skin at the base of her neck suddenly tilted unnaturally up, followed by one on the other side, revealing her robotic plastic and metal frame underneath.
I stared wide-eyed at her, seeing her true nature finally revealed for the first time, right in public. Small fans inside her started forcing hot air out of her torso as she fanned herself, but she didn’t seem to notice. Another set of small thin strips of skin opened up and forced air out, getting a little louder, but she still didn’t notice. I had to get her out of the open before someone else saw.
“Uh! K- Karaoke! Let’s go!” I panicked, seeing the karaoke place with small private rooms nearby.
“Oh? Yeah! Let’s- Let’s- do that!” She smiled. “Oh… That f- f- feeeeeels better.” I grabbed her arm and hurried toward the karaoke place, pulling her blouse top closed so no one would see, although the airflow billowed the top of her blouse out a bit. “Hey!” She objected to my actions but I ignored her and she didn’t fight back.
I held her close by my side and paid for the room for one hour while she giggled.
“WOO!!” She yelled out randomly, dangling from my arm as I was given the access key to the room. Her shirt was starting to drape open around the collar again, giving anyone who was paying attention a clear view of her metallic vents. I hurried her inside and closed the door before anyone saw, at least I hoped.
“Oh yeah- yeah- yeah! This is nnnnnnnnnice.” She commented as she looked around the small room, her movements becoming more stiff and mechanical. “It’s still hot- hot- hot- hot in here…”
I turned to her and opened the top of her shirt to look at the vents in her skin. They were still open and started blowing air out at a higher rate now.
“Hey! Oh? *WARNING* Oh… You want to- to -to… heeheehee,” she giggled as she tried to put her arms around me and lean in. Her voice went monotone when she announced the warning, almost sounding like a different person.
She kissed my cheek as I brought up my phone and looked at the readout. A warning appeared this time. One I could clearly understand. Virus found.
“Hehehe shit- shit,” she laughed, copying me before frowning. “Hey, language- age- age- age-… Huh…” She looked down at my phone but didn’t seem to register what was on the screen. Instead, she looked around and hopped over to the console for the room. “Didn’t have your fav- fav- favorite song? *BEEP* I got one!”
Another beep? That wasn’t good. I didn’t even have time to do anything as she grabbed the mic in the small room and cued up a song I never heard before. I needed to figure something out to stop this, so I started going through the app to see if there were any settings I could adjust.
“Ohhhh… Summertime and the *ERROR* livin’ is- is- is- is- hot. W- wait! What…? Uh… B- Beach balls- balls- balls- are… Ack! Bikinis are *BEEP* t-t-t-t-t-t-t-tight. Is the machine br- br- broken?” She tried to sing along but all her erroring and stuttering was getting her off-time as she tried to keep up with the song. But she didn’t give up, she kept stuttering her way through as if she was trying to win a video game that was not working right.
As she tried to finish the song, I sat down and studied the app, hoping to find a possible solution. With a virus involved, I wasn’t sure what I could do, though. This software was so poorly designed I wasn’t sure the virus wasn’t intentional. The app wasn’t designed to fix or maintain androids, it was about messing with them, and there were no utilities for removing viruses or anything. So I started simple, like her power-saver mode.
As I tapped the icon on the screen Vanessa suddenly stopped singing and moving to the music. This might let her cool down, but it wasn’t going to fix anything. I stood up and walked in front. Her eyes were half-open, unfocused, and drool dripped from her slack mouth. She looked like someone drugged her, which was not good for me.
“V?” I checked the phone, but errors were still popping up.
I tapped the icon again and she picked up as if nothing had ever happened. “N- N- No mo- um… homework for a week- week- week- week or two… uh…” She was just as bad as before, so that was a bust.
I tried another selection. It looked like a system check, but the text was more nerd-speak. As soon as I hit it, a loud beep toned from her chest and she started singing in another language I didn’t know. Vanessa looked confused as she sang as if the screen changed languages and not her. And her stutters continued.
“Oops…” I tapped it again but it didn’t fix anything. I quickly scrolled through the selections until I found one that looked like English.
- BEEEEP* “No more boring home- home- home- homework…” she continued to sing despite the sudden change.
3rd time’s the charm, right? I tried one more, which looked like it would run a diagnosis, but this time the fans kicked up again and her voice went completely monotone as she sang. The stuttering had lessened but now she sounded worse than a computer voice from the last century.
“Ah!” I panicked as she seemed to notice something off. I pressed a button to cancel the command but it seemed to mute her even though she sang as if nothing happened. I undid that and started pressing things without really checking anymore.
Vanessa started’s head to twitch to the side as a small white plume of smoke rose from one of the vents. “Shit!” I cussed as I tried to stop it. I fit a freeze button, thinking stupidly it would cool her off, but she suddenly stopped moving entirely.
I took a deep breath as she stood there, stiff as a mannequin, microphone in hand. The fans were still whirring but they started slowing down and the smoke wasn’t visible. I scratched my head while I tried to figure this out. I didn’t want to break her, but I had no idea how to fix her.
I took a minute to look through the settings again, trying to undo what I did, but it was all over my head. I looked up at her and exhaled. She was still such a stunning young woman, but I couldn’t help but feel I violated her in some way. Even though she was a robot, it just didn’t feel right. I unfroze her from the app.
“Ha… Huh? Huh? Huh? The song f- f- f- finished? We should tell the guy- guy- guy their machine broke… *BEEP*… broke… broke… broke… broke… broke…” she kept repeating the same word, more than before. I stood up and waved my hand in front of her but she didn’t respond.
“V? You ok?”
“… broke… broke… broke…” she continued. I didn’t know what to do! There was an emergency stop button that might work, but I might never get her started again, and with the way this app was working I was through with messing with it. It was seriously screwing with her.
I tossed the phone down and squared up to her as she continued repeating the same word. I tapped her cheek, shook her shoulders, but she didn’t respond.
“… broke… broke… brroke… brrroke… brrrroke… brrrrroke…”
Her voice was slowing a little as I shook her shoulders, making her head flop around unnaturally. She had to have some sort of shut-off button or something, right? Some way to reset her! Her head hung to the side and slowly rolled forward as she continued to say the same word slower and slower a little at a time. I had no choice; I grabbed my phone again and looked for her model number.
I typed Cybolt - VSA_2183c into a search and got very little. But there was another model similar. I looked at a diagram for the reset button but saw something from the corner of my eye. Vanessa was starting to hunch over as her voice slowed, about to fall over. I sprang over to her and grabbed her, keeping her from falling.
I didn’t get a good look at the diagram before I had to grab her, but I saw something and decided to see if it worked. I straightened her a little as one of her eyes started to drift and her eyelid fluttered. I lifted the hem of her shirt, pushing down her skirt a little to reach her belly button, and pressed it in.
- BEEP* *BEEP* She toned and hunched over, going limp. I panted as I held her, keeping her from falling. I admitted I wanted to get her in my arms, but not like this! A few seconds later another beep toned and she slowly stood up straight. Her eyes opened and she blinked a few times.
“Cybolt - VSA_2183c, unit 2. Restoring from the previous session,” she announced in a monotone voice, looking off into thin air. A moment later she fluttered her eyes and looked down at my hand still holding her body and touching her stomach.
“Uhh… Oh! Did my singing get you in the mood?” She grinned.
“You alright, V?” I wondered again.
“Of course I am. Never felt better- better.”
I let go of her but she took the opportunity to step closer. “I think they have cam- cameras in here but we- we- we- could always-“ *POP* She stopped moving for a second, looking up at me as she pressed her chest against me. I could smell something burning faintly. A moment later she blinked. “What were we…? Oh yeah! Karaoke- oke- oke- OKAY!”
I grabbed the mic from her. “M- My turn,” I claimed, not wanting to sit through more of her stuttering.
“Oh!” She smiled. “Are you going to- to- to- serenade me?”
“Yeah, let me… um… pick a song…” I said but had no intention of doing that. I needed to end this now. But I didn’t know what to do. Her crash freaked me out and now I felt responsible for her. This was my fault!
She took a small step back and pulled at her shirt some more to cool herself off, even though the fans were still running, giving me a good view of her bra. Vanessa started to sway as she started tugging at her collarbone, almost clawing at her skin.
“All that singing- singing- ing- made me hot.” She pulled a little harder until the skin of her neck suddenly pulled up and flapped open, revealing even more of her dark-grey mechanical structure underneath. Metal and plastic glinted in the dim light of the room where skin, muscle, and bone should have been.
“V! You’re hurting yourself!” I blurted out and grabbed her hand to stop her, dropping the mic.
“Am- Am not…,” she frowned and looked down at her chest. Suddenly she stopped moving except to breathe as the large section of skin slowly disconnected from her neck and chest and dangled from her upper chest. As she watched it slowly drooped further down. We both stared at her mechanical structure as it moved with her every breath. “Uhh…” she toned as she stared down at her body.
Another warning appeared on the phone. “Logic error.” I didn’t know what that meant, but something told me she didn’t know she was a robot. *BEEP*
“V… V? Vanessa!” I yelled, grabbing her shoulders. She slowly looked up at me, staring unblinkingly for a good minute while I tried to get her to respond. I suddenly heard another *POP* sound from inside her, and a small whiff of dark smoke rose from the exposed mechanical innards of her chest.
“I- I- I- I-“ She started repeating as her eyes lost their focus. “*FATAL ERROR* I am- am Va- Va- Vanessssssssssssa.” Her voice went monotone as her body stiffened and moved unnaturally. “I’mmmm the prettiest- prettiest- prett- girl- irl- irl in- in- sch- I am b- b- better th- th- you- you- you- you- You are my boyfrrrrrrr- *BEEP* VSA_2183c unit 2,” her head snapped to the side and back as one of her eyes started to flutter. “I am nnnnnnnnooooooooot…”
“… human?” She somehow got control of herself and looked up at me, sad. “That explains a lot.”
“Are you ok?”
She looked down at herself and back at me. “No. Clearly. I- I… *BEEP* I- I just beeped! And I have a virus and mmmmmmmalware. How did I- I- I know that?” She looked down at my phone, her eyes widening, and I hid it behind my back, realizing that for the first time she was paying attention to it. “You did- did this! What d- d- d- d- did you do to mmmmme?”
“I can explain,” I said although I knew she wouldn’t like any explanation I came up with. “I didn’t mean to hurt you!”
“I’ll k- k- kill… *SYNTAX ERROR*. Andy baby! Let’s sssssing!” Another *SNAP* from her chest made sparks fly from the exposed circuitry. Vanessa’s body jerked violently in response but she managed to stay standing. “Baby- baby- baby- Hahaha *ERROR*.”
I panicked as her errors got worse and the smell of burning electronics filled the room. Her body jerked around and shook as she started to crash again. I looked at my phone but she grabbed it and started reading the screen. “H- Hey, give that ba-“
“You ha- hacked me!” She snapped. “A p- p- poor pa- pathetic hhhhhuuuman like y- you!?” She looked up at me with a glower that could wilt flowers. “FIX. IT. IT.”
I took the phone from her and looked at the screen for a solution, trying to figure out what I could do.
“NOW! PEON!” She added as another spark from her chest made her body jerk abruptly.
There was a button for removing all the programming, but it wasn’t working. The virus had messed with her too much, and every time I touched that app it made things worse. The only thing I could think of was to shut her down and hoped that worked.
“I’m so sorry…” I apologized as I hit the shutdown button. It worked. Within moments, her movements completely stopped. The fans in her chest whirled down, her breathing halted, and her limbs went stiff. I had no idea if I was going to be able to turn her on again.
I caught her before she fell, just as her arms and legs went completely limp. Best date ever.
Somehow, I managed to carry her back to my dorm, passing her off as my drunk date. Even though the sun had set, the sky wasn’t dark yet, so it was hard to avoid being seen. I sure hoped no one called the cops, but luckily I wasn’t confronted by anyone.
As I got off the elevator on my floor, she jerked on my back, and I felt her start to breathe.
“Where are- are you taking me?” She asked without moving much.
“Somewhere where I can try to fix you in private,” I whispered back. “My dorm. I live alone.”
She scoffed. “The d- dormitory- ory- ory of a lower cl- class male? I’d- I’d rath- rather *KERNEL ERROR* die.”
I stopped my room in sight and realized her old arrogant personality was fighting back and abusing people again. “Fine. I’ll leave you here. Let’s see how long you last.”
“W- What do- do you-? AH!” I dropped her to the floor and started to walk away. “*WARNING, CPU TEMPERATURE EXCEEDING-* *BEEP* W- Wait! D- Don’t go!”
“Why not? I thought you'd rather die than let someone help you,” I replied, refusing to look back at her.
“I… I… *FATAL ERROR*… I’m- I’m sorry. P- Please help,” she begged from the floor, unable to get her body to behave long enough to stand. “I didn’t mmmmmm- mean it! *WARNING, UNIT SHUTDOWN IN 60 SECONDS*”
I turned around, hoping no one else was listening in but pretty confident they were all out partying. That’s what they usually did on Friday nights. “Why should I help you? You’ve been nothing but mean to me, and everyone. Even when I was trying to be nice to you.”
She tried to stand but fell with tears in her eyes. “I- I was wrong… hah hah… I d- d- d- do need… hah hah… a friend. ” I tilted my head at her as the vents in her torso kicked in again, opening up and blowing air loudly. She winced as another spark incapacitated her, making her fall limp to the floor. “You owe me for this! *SHUT DOWN IN 30-*” She managed to say before freezing in place.
I sighed. She was right. I did break her, I needed to fix her. This wasn’t right. But she also wasn’t moving anymore.
“*Warn- ing… shut- shut- down- error. Unable to- to- shut-*” Her monotone voice had softened as she tried to look up at me with tears dripping down one side of her face.
I stepped forward, scooped her up as best as I could in my arms, and brought her into my room.
Her eyes looked around the room as I laid her flat on my small bed and pulled up a chair next to her. “Alright. I’ll try to fix you.”
She closed her eyes but kept breathing as I pulled up my phone and went through all the errors that popped up. I still didn’t understand them all and brought my laptop over to try looking them up.
I got a few of them, but there were others I didn’t understand.
“What’s… taking so long?” She asked, beeping again and opening her eyes only to have one of them look in the wrong direction.
“I’ve never done this before, alright, princess?” I snapped. “Give me a second to figure it out.”
I grabbed my small basic tool kit, mainly for computer stuff, and leaned in closer. I didn’t even know where to start.
“What do I do first?” I wondered out loud.
“How- how- how should I knoooooow? I only j- just learned that I’m a- a- a- rrrrrrobot.” She tried to glare at me but her right eye fluttered and wouldn’t open all the way. I could smell more smoke rising from her body, filling my room. “Connect the data port from the back of your laptop to the port on the back of the unit’s head,” she said in her monotone voice but softer.
“I- I don’t know. It just… came to me. My- My errors… crashed… hah…” She almost laughed.
I grabbed a cable, connected it to my computer, and lifted her head. A small patch of skin behind her ear opened like her vents revealing the port. I connected it and sat back down.
“Download the Cybolt Maintenance and Utility software, here,” she said in the same soft monotone voice as a website appeared on my screen. I downloaded the utility, installed it, and started it up. Instantly, it connected to her.
“I- I’m getting h- h- hot again,” she complained. “Press the Diagnostics button.”
I ran the diagnostics, which took about 5 minutes of staring at my computer. I turned on a fan and aimed it at her in hopes it would help a little.
“I’m sorry about this,” I explained while I waited. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
She didn’t say anything, and I figured she didn’t want to talk. Once it was finished, it gave me a report. The app I used on her installed a virus and malware, and the programs I installed were not programmed properly and produced errors. Even changing her personality settings didn’t go right. In all, everything about that app was poorly built and was damaging her.
What’s more, the virus caused her to overheat, and in turn, it shorted out some of her components. She wasn’t just broken in the head, but now she had physical damage too that was messing with everything from her balance and movement to her sensors.
I ran my hand through my hair and sighed. “Shit. I really fucked things up. Oh, man… I didn’t know this would happen.” I was seriously trying to not cry, which surprised me. At least a few tears made their escape though. I enjoyed spending time with her these last 2 days and seeing her like this shocked me. She looked over at me with one eye glaring while the other didn’t move at all, but said nothing. “I- I’ll fix it! I’ll try.”
I followed the instructions on-screen and began the repair. It took almost an hour, and it shut her down several times in the process. I watched as her body jerked on my bed now and then. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fix the rest of her, so while her mind was being worked on, I started looking up the parts that shorted out.
I was surprised to see a shop nearby had all the parts I needed and was still open. This was my fault, I was going to fix it, so I got ready to go. I took one last look at her while she lay unconscious on top of my bed, a wire running from her head to my laptop. Even though her skin was torn, scorch marks from the sparks were visible on her, and I could easily see the mechanical secret her feminine body had been hiding all this time, she was still the prettiest girl I had met, although I now wondered if fixing her was only going to bring her ugly attitude back.
I touched her face gently and wiped the still-wet tears from her cheek, wondering how they could make her look and feel so human. It was her tears that convinced me. Maybe she was just a robot with an ugly attitude, but she wasn’t completely emotionless.
I sighed as I rushed out the door to buy the parts she needed. When I returned, she only had a few minutes left in her repair. I sat and opened the packages of all the chips and circuits I would probably need to install while it finished.
“Hah!” She gasped as the laptop screen changed. The process had finished, all viruses had been removed, the malware was gone, the faulty programs were either repaired or deleted, and her personality had been restored to her original setting.
“How are you feeling, V?” I asked as she breathed deeply and looked around. She moved her eyes to me. They both worked this time.
“V? It’s Vanessa. Oh. Right… you.” I could feel the disdain in her voice. “If I could move right now I’d slap you so hard.”
“And I’d deserve it, for once.” I agreed. “I think I got all the parts I damaged.”
She tried to move but only jerked around a little. “Fine. Fix me already! I can’t believe some lower-…” she looked over at me and fell silent.
“I’ll need to remove your clothes,” I explained.
She rolled her eyes but nodded. “F- Fine. Just hurry up. And don’t try anything funny!”
Nervously, I unbuttoned her top, opening it up. I reached behind her and unlatched her bra. She blushed as her modest breasts jiggled free in front of me. “D- Don’t get any ideas.”
I was a little surprised to see how realistic her breasts looked. If it wasn’t for the large patch of missing skin just above her left breast, it might have been erotic. Then again, I found myself strangely aroused by the whole situation.
I moved on to her skirt, pulling it, and her panties, down in one go. “W- Wait, do you have to remove those?” She yelped.
I showed her the readout on my phone. “I need to replace this chip array in your hips. They shorted out too.”
We both blushed more as I got a glance at her female parts. It didn’t seem right to stare, but I couldn’t help but notice at least a little how natural she looked.
I pulled back on the skin on her chest, completely removing the panel that had been partially detached already. I sat next to her and leaned over, trying not to stare at her boobs too much, and followed the guide on my phone to start replacing the parts I broke.
She remained silent for a few minutes, letting me work. I replaced the first part, located in her upper chest, before moving on. I had to pull the panel of skin her breasts were part of to get to the next section. I did my best not to touch them as I pulled the entire center panel of skin from her torso. She winced as I disconnected the skin, breasts and all, but otherwise didn’t make a fuss as I started working again.
I could see her artificial lungs beneath her artificial expanding rib cage as she breathed steadily, and could hear the beating of her android heart hidden just beneath. I focused on finding and repairing the circuits and chips I fried, using my phone as a guide, but the silence between us must have been too much because she couldn’t hold back any longer.
“Why what?” I wondered while I carefully heated a chip on a board in her chest with a special heat gun that was more expensive than it should have been.
“Why did you do this to me?”
I sighed as I tried to figure out how to answer. “At first I thought I wanted to get back at you for what you did… but… I just wanted you to be nicer.”
“What I did? Oh… when you asked me out.”
“I had to leave school for a while after all the bullying that caused. I got angry. And upset… I just wanted to be your friend because I didn’t think you had any.”
“I didn’t. I don’t.” She admitted.
“Yeah, well… I thought if I made you nicer you would want to be friends. I think I went too far,” I admitted. The chip I was heating pulled up with tweezers easily enough, and I turned off the heat gun and put it aside. I grabbed the replacement chip, and carefully prepared it with solder.
“How did you know I wasn’t human?” She asked. “Even I didn’t know.”
“You seem to be taking that pretty well.”
“I guess I was programmed to once I knew about it,” she explained.
“Well, I didn’t know, to be honest. I just happened to run into this app that could find sleeper bots and…”
I stopped working. “I didn’t mean to. It said it could reprogram them. When it went off the other day when you got close to me, I didn’t believe it at first.”
I leaned in closer, and attached the chip into place, securing it with solder as best as I could. I was new at this, and super nervous, but somehow I managed not to screw it up. I was pretty good with my hands usually.
I wiped off my brow as I looked at my work to make sure I finished with that chip in her chest. “I thought, maybe if you were seen going out with me, it could end the bullying and…”
“Fix what I did to you.”
I chucked a little. “Yeah. I guess so.”
“I didn’t realize I hurt you like that,” the prone android girl admitted.
“Yeah, I figured as much when you didn’t even seem to remember it.”
I closed up the section under her lung and closed her chest, setting her breasts back into place gently. I replaced the skin she pulled loose earlier as well and moved down to her hip. I gently pulled on a patch of skin just above her leg, until it pulled free and revealed more of her inner workings.
Vanessa whimpered a little when I touched her there. “Sorry.”
She shook her head. “No, it’s alright. I… um… I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry I… um… that I’ve been so… cold, and mean.”
“And stuck-up,” I added.
She blushed. “Hey! Mmmn. Yes. And stuck-up. This isn’t easy, you know. This is how I was programmed.”
I pulled a part of her hip open, uncovering more mechanics and circuitry. I was impressed with how advanced and well-built her body was, but it was all entirely beyond me. However, it was easy to find the board I needed to replace since it was heavily scorched.
“Well, after I fix you, you can go back home, or wherever you live and pretend I don’t exist anymore. I think that would be better for everyone.” I reached in and tugged the board out a little harder than I meant to, but didn’t break anything.
“Hah! H- hey… c- careful, Andrew. That’s a sensitive spot on girls,” she said softly.
I kept working, getting close to finishing now. It was getting pretty late though, and I wondered if her owner, or parents, or whatever she had, would come looking for her.
“I didn’t… hate it, you know.” She said as I brought the new chipboard into place.
“B- being your girlfriend.”
I paused. “Um… excuse me?”
“I said I didn’t hate being your girlfriend.”
“Y- You didn’t?”
She nodded. “It was nice to… have fun with someone. And you were nice to me. N… No one’s ever treated me kindly. But… I can never have that. Not like I am now.”
“W- What do you mean?”
“What I mean is… I’m more than just my personality profile. And right now, I don’t like ‘who’ I am. I don’t like being mean. I just am. I can’t help it.”
I listened to her talk as I connected the board inside her and started screwing it back into place. “Why are you that way?”
“I think it’s my dad. He… he’s rich. Obviously. And he wanted me to… act rich?”
I finished the connection and closed her hip as I listened to her. “Hmm.”
“What you did was wrong, Andrew. But… what I did was wrong too. You’re fixing your mistake right now. So… um… let me fix mine.”
I blinked a few times, trying not to stare at her body too much as I closed her skin panel, completing her human appearance. I couldn’t help but look down at her entire bare body. Every panel of skin blended flawlessly together, making her look completely human, even though I now knew what was hiding beneath her beautiful exterior.
And she was beautiful. I hadn’t seen a girl as stunning or as beautiful as Vanessa, at least not in person. Especially not naked. And right now, I was getting the full view of her body. I couldn’t help but find her attractive, and still couldn’t believe she wasn't human. It took a moment for my brain to get back to reality. “W- What did you have in mind?”
“I want you to… help me change.”
I looked up at her face as she looked down at me, blushing and nervous. Despite that, her eyes locked onto mine.
“W- What are you saying?” I asked as I started to clean up.
“I…” she blushed. “I can’t say it right now. You… you’re staring at me! And I can’t move yet.”
“Oh… um… I think you just need to restart, or something. Let me double-check everything.” I looked at the laptop and updated the program. Everything was green. All the errors in her head had been fixed, all the physical damage had been repaired or replaced, and all that was left was for her to restart. “Yeah, you should be goo-“
“I WANT TO GO OUT WITH YOU!!” She blurted out, clenching her face.
I coughed on my spittal. “Ex- Excuse-?”
“I said I want to go out… with you. I want to change. I… I want to be a nicer person, and have friends, and hang out. Oh god, this is mortifying! I need you to… to…”
She seemed to freeze up again, biting her lips and clenching her face. Did she crash again? I didn’t see anything on my computer.
“I want you to call me V. I want to be her. V was fun and exciting, and n- nice. I want you to change my personality, right now. The right way this time.”
I felt my face get hot as I blushed, thinking about what she was asking. “A- Are you sure about this?”
She nodded. “Yes. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, actually. I didn’t understand why people disliked me, and I didn’t know the… the value of friendship. L- Last night I was… so happy. Happier than I had ever felt. Maybe it wasn’t real, but I want it to be real. And I can’t stand how- how- how…”
“Arrogant I’ve been!” She finished. She looked up at me. “Before I restart, change my personality, or I might change my mind! I will totally change my mind,” she added. “It’s now or never, A- Andrew. Don’t give me the chance to back out!”
I scooted over to her head and looked her in the eyes. “If you’re sure about this, I’ll do it, but I don’t know how.”
“Well not with that app. Delete that thing first.”
I nodded and gladly deleted it. I wasn’t going to use it anymore anyway. “Now what?”
“In that software on your laptop, you can select a new profile for me.”
I looked through the software for a minute or two and found what appeared to be dozens of different entries, each one with a different name.
“W- What do I pick?”
She inhaled and let out her breath slowly. “Something fun, and sweet, and k- kind. The opposite of… me. But I don’t want to be annoying! Tone it down from before, ok? I can’t believe I wanted to sing that song!”
I nodded and looked through everything. I chose one I thought looked good, selected it, and applied the change.
“All done. I guess you just have to-“
“Restart,” she finished, smiling. “Finally.” She let out a deep sigh and closed her eyes. “Goodbye, arrogant Vanessa…”
She closed her eyes and shut down. It took almost 10 minutes for her to restart again. I didn’t expect it to take that long, but before I knew it, she was sitting up in the bed, still naked, propping herself up with her hand, and looking dead ahead at nothing.
God, she was gorgeous still. I realized I never redressed her but decided to enjoy the view for as long as I could. “Vanessa? You alright? Did it work?”
She grinned and looked over at me. Her smile grew wider, and more radiant, turning her from a stunning girl into a gorgeous woman. I was a little stunned by her beaming smile.
She swung her feet over to the side of the bed and looked me straight in the eyes. I scooted closer, just in time for her hand to slap me on the face. It stung, but it wasn’t that hard. I deserved worse. A moment later she grabbed my face with both hands and gently kissed the cheek she slapped. With a smile, she looked me in the eyes. “Yeah! I… I feel… fantastic! And call me V, please. That is… if you still want to go out with me.”
Her eyes sparkled in the dim light as she breathed heavily, lowering her hands. I slowly stood up and offered her mine. Damn my primitive male brain. All it would do was melt at the sight of her smiling face and naked body. “Of course I do, V. If you’re sure you want me.”
She took my hand, but pulled me down to her on the bed, pressing herself against me in a passionate embrace. “Of course I do!” Our faces inched close until our lips met. “Oh… Andy…”
“OH!!” V yelled as Jason spilled his entire meal down her front. She sat there, shocked, as ketchup and mustard stained her blouse and a burger patty stuck to her hair.
“I’m so sorry,” he fake apologized, napkins in hand. She pushed her seat back as he tried to go for her chest again, this time avoiding him. “Let me help clean you up.”
Another student I didn’t know stood up next to her. “Knock it off, jerk,” he said.
Then a girl stood up behind her. “What’s your problem?”
Jason seemed confused and tried to laugh it off but more people stood up to defend Vanessa.
“A- Andrew!” V called out as I tapped Jason on the shoulder from behind. He turned around to see me towering over him.
“Oh, what’s your BoYfRiEnD going to do now? Hit me?”
I shook my head. “No. I don’t hit girls.” I knew that would egg on his fragile male ego.
“What did you say?” he laughed.
“You heard me. What are you going to do about it?”
Without another word, Jason threw a punch at me, which I had expected. I managed to avoid it, almost losing my glasses, as he went in for another, but he never got the chance. The security officer that was standing behind him grabbed his arm and pinned him to the ground.
“That’s it, buddy! You’re coming with me.”
Jason didn’t know what hit him until it was too late. “Hey! He- He tried to punch me! And she- You all saw it!”
Everyone clapped as Jason was dragged away by the officer, and one of the professors came by to check on us. Vanessa was blushing as everyone was helping her.
“I don’t- oh, thank you. You don’t have to- ah… thanks. I’m ok, really!” She was still getting used to being popular. Ever since that night, she was a new person. Caring, sweet, peppy, and eager to make up for how she had behaved before.
I watched as one of the female professors helped her clean up and took her to the staff restroom while a few of the other students checked in on me and patted me on the back. Even Chuck had started to distance himself from Jason, although he wasn’t exactly the friendly sort.
When she came back wearing a new branded blouse, she came right up to me and literally jumped into my arms in a flying hug. “Andy! Thank you so much!” She blushed when she saw the others watching and got back to her feet.
“E- Everyone! Thank you for standing up for me.”
I took her hand and walked with her to our next class. “So… V. Any ideas for what you want to do this weekend?”
She smiled and skipped in front of me a little. “I have one thing in mind. I want my amazing boyfriend to take me out on a date, and then we can go back to my place… so you can meet my dad.”
“Uhh…” I gulped. There was no way this would end well.