Pt. 1 - Not enough sleep...
“Everything starts as somebody’s daydream” - Larry Niven
It was just another day at work, toiling away in obscurity at the local retail store. Phillip wanted out of this hell, but the current environment made it difficult to find a better job, so here he was.
Unfortunately he was working with his coworker Krystina, an attractive Pacific Islander about his age with dark, non-product hair. Despite her looks, she had an abrasive personality which clashed with his on more than one occasion. He often found himself succumbing to his urges towards her, since they shared common interests and she could occasionally be adorable, only for her to suddenly switch moods and become the most aggravating person he had ever met.
“Alright Phillip, let’s get started on this project,” she said, gathering the papers we needed to reconfigure the floor for the new season.
“Okay,” he said, sighing as he followed her to where they were going to be working.
Fortunately, they were in at 6:00am, so they had several hours to work before the store opened for customers.
“Alright Krystina, do you have everything planned out yet?” he asked, rubbing his red eyes. He was used to waking up at 10:00am, so he didn’t get much sleep.
“Not yet,” she said, looking around at the department with the look in her eyes that always gave him a headache, the look of her rapidly changing her mind.
“I thought you had planned everything last night,” he said, slowly getting frustrated with her. He just wanted to get working before they ran out of time.
“I did, but it’s different when I actually get started,” she said, going over her notes and looking around.
“Still, we don’t have much time to work,” he said.
“I know that,” she snapped, “We don’t have everything in yet, so we have to make a few changes,” she said.
“Okay,” he said, and he stood back and waited.
As he waited, he saw her begin to act a little strangely. She seemed more on edge than he had seen her, and she was quietly muttering to herself.
“Krystina, are you alright?” he asked.
“What?” she asked, jerking her head in his direction.
“I said, are you alright?” he repeated.
“Of course I am,” she said, “I’m just trying to think of what to do here,” she said, wildly flashing the papers in front of his face.
“Well, maybe I can help,” he suggested.
“No, you can’t!” she yelled, “Only I can,” she said.
“Why?” he asked, “I’ve been working here longer than you have,” he said.
“I don’t…” she said, suddenly jerking violently, her eyes spinning in every direction.
“Krystina?” Phillip said, watching as his coworker had some sort of violent episode in front of his eyes. He was so shocked, all he could do was watch as she got worse.
“don’t…don’t…don’t…caaaaaaaarrrrrrreeeee,” she said, her voice winding down and her body slumping in its stance. A small puff of smoke emerged from her mouth, which was still slightly opened. Her eyes also went completely dark.
Phillip stared at her inert body for several seconds before his brain caught up to what was happening. Krystina was a robot.
Once his brain fully processed that thought, another thought surfaced. He was turned on by what he just saw.
As things stood now, she was frozen upright a few feet in front of him, completely off guard. It took a while to move, because his brain was wrestling with the ethics of the situation, but ultimately his arousal won out over ethics, so he slowly approached her.
Trying to decide what to do first, he decided to feel her skin. Slowly reaching out his hand to her face, he let his fingers gently stroke the soft skin of her face, feeling the contours of her cheeks and lips.
“Wow, you feel absolutely real,” he gasped, feeling butterfly’s in his stomach dancing at the thoughts that were running through his mind.
Before he could do anything else though, the door leading to the loading dock suddenly burst open and a small group of men walked out and towards him.
“What’s going on here?” he demanded, seeing them pull out small devices and running them over Krystina’s inert body.
“Phillip, is it?” one of the men said, shaking his hand.
“Yes,” he said, supremely confused.
“My name’s Steven,” he said, “I’m sorry for the confusion, but if you’ll come with me, I’ll explain everything,” he said, and the other men with him lifted Krystina’s body onto a small gurney and carried her out.
“Okay,” Phillip said, following Steven out through the loading dock and into a large moving truck just outside the loading dock.
When they got into it, he saw an awesome display of computers and equipment. The men deposited Krystina’s body onto an examination table and then started activating all the nearby equipment.
“So Phillip, have you guessed what she is?” Steven asked.
“She’s a robot” he said.
“Yes, I built her and released her into the public to see how she interacts with people in a natural setting,” Steven said, “And to see if she could pass as a human,”
“Well, she certainly fooled me,” Phillip said, watching as the men began to slowly strip Krystina’s clothing off.
“That’s good to hear,” Steven smiled.
“So, what happened to her,” Phillip asked, now seeing the men remove a panel of skin on her abdomen and plug in some cables.
“It would seem she overheated,” Steven said, noting the smoke rising from her open panel.
“I see,” Phillip said, “Was it something I did?” he asked.
“No, you may have made things worse, but you couldn’t have been the cause,” he said, seeing the men remove a chip, “Faulty processor,” he explained.
“Oh,” Phillip said, “Did she know she was a robot?” he asked.
“Yes, but she was programmed to act as human as possible, not telling anyone,” Steven said.
“Okay,” Phillip said.
“So, you want to get a closer look?” Steven asked, seeing Phillip eyeing her naked body with the exposed machinery.
“Seriously?” Phillip asked, still trying to process what Steven had told him.
“Yeah, I don’t mind, and based on her logs and what she has said to me, she does kind of like you,” Steven said.
“She does?” Phillip asked incredulously, “I’ve been getting the impression that she doesn’t quite like me,” he said, slowly walking over to her.
“Well, I did program her to be as human as possible,” Steven said, “She has felt conflicted, because she is in a slight position of authority over you, even though you have seniority, so she has been acting out instead of dealing with her feelings,” he said.
“Wow, the female mind never ceases to surprise me,” Phillip said.
“Indeed,” Steven agreed, “So feel free to do whatever you like, she won’t mind,” he said.
“Alright,” Phillip said, and he looked down at her naked body.
Krystina was no supermodel, but she did have a nice body. Aside from the hole in her abdomen, she had some well-defined abs, and a large chest. She had tanned skin, and she had slightly oval shaped eyes; her eyes were still dark.
He grabbed her large breasts and gently squeezed them. He was amazed with how real they looked and felt; even the skin reacted to his touches.
“She’s amazing!” Phillip said, moving to other areas of her body, including the panel.
“Thanks,” Steven said, I based her off the combination of me and my wife’s images, as though she were my own daughter,” he said, stroking her forehead.
“Are you an inventor?” Phillip asked, looking in at the marveling display of technology in Krystina’s panel. There appeared to be a complex CPU array, as well as tubes and wires connecting all sorts of things together.
“Of sorts,” Steven said, “I just wanted to see if it could be done,”
“Well, it can,” Phillip said, now moving down to her feet. He had always wanted to see her feet, but she never took her shoes off…even to try on shoes that interested her at work. He was surprised to see that they were slightly moist, and they smelled like she had been wearing shoes for several hours.
“Amazing huh?” Steven said, “It’s a simple solution which smells just like sweat,” he said.
“Yes,” Phillip said, pressing her feet into his face, “So, is she fixed yet?” he asked.
“Just about,” Steven said, looking at the monitors, “Just making running a few diagnostics to make sure she didn’t suffer any system errors as a result of the overheat.
“Oh,” Phillip said, and he watched as Steven finished up on the computer and then pulled a new processor from a drawer and brought it over to Krystina’s open panel.
“So, if all her processing equipment is in here,” Phillip said, pointing at the CPU array that Steven was hooking the processor to, “Then what’s in her head?” he asked.
“Sub-processors to facilitate sensory input, as well as the facial mechanisms,” Steven explained.
“Oh, that makes sense I suppose,” Phillip said, “So does that mean she could function without her head?”
“Yes,” he said, “There’s a small panoramic camera with a microphone that pops up from her neck when her head is removed,”
“Cool,” Phillip said.
“Yeah, though I’m hoping one day to refine all this technology so her CPU array can fit in her head,” he said.
“Yeah, that makes sense,” Phillip agreed.
“Anyway, I’m ready to reactivate her now,” Steven said, “Would you like to do the honors?” he offered.
“Sure,” Phillip said, “Will she react well to me seeing her like this?” he asked, hesitating a bit.
“She shouldn’t,” Steven said, thinking a little, “Again, she does like you, but she may be embarrassed that you found out about her this way,” he said, “She wanted to see how long she could fool you,”
“Yep, that sounds like her,” Phillip said, “She acts like that when she hears about things and then tries telling me, only to find out I had heard about them too,” he said.
“I guess I made her a little too real, didn’t I?” Steven laughed out loud.
“Yep, but she did fool me,” Phillip laughed.
“Alright, you can turn her on by pressing here,” Steven said, pointing at a green button near a status monitor on her CPU array.
“Sounds easy enough,” Phillip said, and he put his finger on the button and pressed it. A few seconds later, he saw a bunch of LEDs light up in the array, and the status monitor lit up with lines of code moving rapidly across the screen. He also heard cooling fans kick in, as well as the hum of all the electronics that were activating.
“How long did it take to build her?” Phillip asked, watching the diagnostic running on her status monitor.
“Better part of ten years,” Steven said, “But she is every bit the daughter my wife and I always wanted,” he said.
“When did she come online?” Phillip asked.
“A few weeks before she was hired here,” Steven answered.
“Wow, and this was the place you chose to send her?” Phillip asked, “It’s a hellhole,”
“That may be true, but it is also one of the best places for her to observe all types of human behavior,” Steven said.
“Well, I suppose you’re right,” Phillip said, “Any idea how much longer she’ll take to activate?” he asked.
“Should be another minute or so,” Steven said, “She’s programmed to run extensive diagnostics to repair errors caused by a sudden shutdown,” he said.
“Okay,” Phillip said, and he continued to wait.
Finally, a little over a minute later, the screen changed from a diagnostic to a boot up screen. Lines of code streamed by again, and then… Krystina’s eyes suddenly came back to life, and she jerked.
“Whoa!” she yelled, “What happened?” she asked, looking around wildly.
“One of your processors overheated dear,” Steven said, walking into her view.
“Dad, what are you doing here?” she asked.
“I staged myself outside because I was afraid this early morning schedule might mess with some of your systems,” he explained, “Looks like I was right,” he smiled.
“Well, am I fixed now?” she asked.
“Yes, and Phillip is here too,” he said.
“What?” she asked, and she turned and looked at him, suddenly blushing, “I was hoping you wouldn’t find out about me,” she said.
“Well, I did,” Phillip said, “And you know what, I don’t care,” he said.
“You don’t?” she asked, looking a little relieved.
“No, you look, and have acted, so real that you must in some way be real,” Phillip said.
“Wow, all this worrying for nothing,” she said, looking disappointed.
“Yeah, now I don’t have to worry either,” he said, and when she gave him a confused look, he said, “I didn’t know you actually liked me, and that made me…apprehensive about asking you out,”
“Oh, so you like me too then?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he said, “Even though you annoy me on occasion, I can’t help but be attracted to you for some reason,” he said.
“That means a lot to me,” she said, blushing even more, “So, what do you think of me?” she asked, looking down at her naked body with the panel still open on her abdomen.
“You look great,” he complimented her, “And I must confess I was somewhat turned on by your mechanical nature,” he said, starting to blush himself.
“I think I’ll leave you two alone now,” Steven said, suddenly excusing himself.
“Alright, thanks Dad,” Krystina said, and Steven gave them both a smile before leaving.
Suddenly remembering the other two men, Phillip looked around and saw them both standing motionless at the other end of the lab; apparently they were robots too.
“Well, you’re dad is certainly talented,” Phillip said, averting his gaze from the two assistant-droids and looking back at Krystina, who was now sliding off the table to her bare feet.
“Yes, I’m still grateful that he created me,” she said, stretching her body out. He was fascinated to see that the metal outline of the panel bent and moved with her.
“So, do you want to get back in and work?” he asked.
“Fuck work, let’s fuck each other,” she said.
“I’m good for that,” he said, starting to take his clothes off, “Though this job is hell to me, I’m still not keen on losing it,” he said.
“We can worry about that later,” she said, watching him undress, “Besides, you keep boasting about being a master, so you should have no trouble catching up on the time lost,” she said, giving him the same smile and voice that usually got his blood boiling. It was funny, now that he knew she liked him, it seemed to turn him on.
Once he was naked, he quickly flaunted his body in front of her. “I’m not going to make you overheat again, will I?” he asked with a smile.
“You look good, but not that good,” she smiled back.
“Ouch,” he said mockingly.
“Sorry, it’s true,” she said back, and then she threw herself at him.
The level of pleasure he felt when her perfect skin, with the section missing, made contact with his almost made him pass it in sheer bliss. His skin, no, his whole body rejoiced at feeling hers press against his.
After a few minutes of foreplay, she laid back down on the examination table and let him get on top of her. She looked down at her pussy with a welcoming look, and he responded by inserting his stiff member into it.
As he began pumping himself into her, she moved with him in rhythm and began crying his name out.
“Oh yes, Phillip…Phillip…Phillip!"
“Hey Phillip, are you listening to me?,” Krystina said again, snapping him out of his daydream, “What are you doing, daydreaming?” she asked.
“Actually yes,” he said, “What were you saying?” he asked.
“I have a plan, let’s get to work,” she said, walking over to where she decided to get started.
“Finally,” he muttered under his breath, “Alright, let’s do it,” he said, sighing as he followed her.
“Must have been an interesting daydream,” she smiled, “You were out of it,”
“You can say that,” he said, with a smile before getting to work on the wall she handed him the paper for.
Pt. 2 - Bored to tears
It had been several weeks since Phillip’s awesome daydream about his coworker Krystina being an android. It didn’t truly hit him how much it had affected him until he got home later that day.
Now it was Easter and there were no customers in the store since the store was in a very religious part of town. Despite that the store was still opened, a fact that constantly elicited confusion after several years of working there.
Due to the deserted sales floor, Phillip closed himself into the stockroom and desperately tried to summon another daydream of the caliber that he had had those weeks ago. Finally, he found his mind starting to wander, and then…
“Phillip, are you in here?” Krystina’s voice called from the stockroom door around the corner.
“Yes,” I said, startled and worried she might be mad I was slacking off.
“Good,” she called, and he heard the door close, and also heard the sound of her moving something heavy in front of it before her footsteps approached and then she appeared from behind the corner with a sigh of relief.
“What is it?” Phillip asked, confused at why she was off the sales floor.
“I need your help,” she said, with a look of concern on her face.
“Why?” Phillip asked, “What happened?”
“I was helping a customer out there,” she started.
“Wait, you actually had a customer?” Phillip interrupted.
“Yes,” she said with an exasperated sigh, “They were Asian,” she explained a few seconds later.
“Oh,” Phillip said, “Go on.”
“Well, I was ringing them up, and while I was counting the change, I fro….” She said, suddenly freezing up.
“Krystina, you alright?” Phillip asked, getting up from his chair and walking over to her. A few seconds later, he bent down to lift up her shirt, but before he got too far, she suddenly came back to life.
“ze up,” she finished, then she looked down at him in confusion.
“I can see,” he said, sitting back down.
“Yeah,” she agreed, sitting down on a nearby prop chair, “Fortunately I was only out for a few seconds and he didn’t notice anything, but I need to get it fixed before it happens again,” she said.
“Okay, what do you want me to do?” Phillip asked.
“Well, I’ll need you to babysit me while I run a diagnostic,” she said, standing up and removing her jacket before lifting her shirt up from the bottom and settling it over her head with her arms still in the sleeves; he could see the brown lacy bra she was wearing.
“Babysit you?” he asked.
“Yes, a silly computer term to use on me, but I need you to make sure no one comes in while I’m running it, since my A.I. will be offline until it finishes,” she explained, pushing her finger into her navel and removing her abdominal panel, setting it down on a nearby shelf.
“Anything else?” he asked.
“Yes, when I’m out, get my bag from near your jacket,” she said, “It has some replacement parts I’ll need once I find out exactly what’s broken and needs replacing,” she said.
“Okay,” he said, “Can I play around with you while you’re offline?” I asked.
“Sure,” she said with a resigned look, though it was slightly mocked, “consider it my payment for you watching over me,” she said.
“Thanks!” Phillip said, walking over and hugging her.
“Alright then, I’m going to start the diagnostic now,” she said, “I’ll probably be out for about ten minutes,” she continued, “Please make sure no one comes in asking for me,” she pleaded finally.
“Don’t worry,” he promised, and with a resigned nod from her, she stiffened up and said “Full diagnostic commencing,” in a monotone before going silent and standing still.
After staring into her frozen face for several seconds, Phillip quickly walked over to where her bag was and brought it over to her body.
“Well Krystina, let’s have a looksee,” Phillip said, rubbing his hands together excitedly before leaning in and viewing her open panel.
Before when he looked into this panel, she was offline and laying on an examination table; he was pleased to see there was much more activity going on this time. Despite her frozen and silent stance, the lights on her CPU were flashing quickly and the cooling fans were at full speed. It seemed her diagnostic was consuming a considerable amount of resources, answering the question as to why she was offline.
After looking in her panel for another minute, he got bored and stood back up. He thought back to when he was with her in her father’s repair truck, and he remembered something. Her brain was in her torso, so her head could be removed and she could still function.
He thought on that for several moments before finally deciding to try and remove her head. He walked behind her and looked at her neck for any buttons or switches that might release her head from the rest of her body, but he found nothing. Then, after lifting her hair at the back, he finally saw an almost imperceptibly lighter section of skin in the exact center of the back of her neck, almost the size of a finger point.
Not wasting any time, he pressed his right index finger into the area of skin and felt it press in a little deeper than it would on a real human neck. There was a clicking sound, followed by a light hiss of air, and then a seam appeared around her neck just below where he pressed.
“Cool,” was all he said as he walked back in front of her and looked. Her head was still attached and staring vacantly, but now there was a seam going all around her neck.
“Well, here we go,” Phillip said finally, grabbing hold of her head from below her chin and gently lifting up. Expecting at least some resistance, he was surprised to find her head easily lifted from her neck…so surprised, he pulled a little harder than he should have and bounced her head around in his arms frantically before it finally fell on the floor face up near her feet.
“Shit!” he yelled, giving her headless body a frightened look before reaching down and picking her head up; without her head to keep it in place, her shirt fell back down over her panel.
After closely examining her head and finding no obvious signs of damage, external damage at least, he let out a loud sigh of relief, saying “Good thing it only fell from about three feet,” before sitting down with it and getting a closer look.
Although he had seen Krystina’s face countless times in the few years they had been working together, looking into her face now was completely different. He couldn’t help but compare it to a Pacific Islander, tanner, fatter version of Summer Glau. Resting her head in his lap face up, he gently probed her frozen face and found he could change her expression with very little difficulty.
After trying out several different expressions, he put it back in the stoic expression and opened her mouth. He was surprised to see that she had perfectly clean, white teeth, despite the fact that he did see her eat and drink; he wondered if she cleaned them really well, or if her teeth were just immune to stains.
Moving past her teeth, he opened her mouth wider and saw that the inside looked remarkably realistic, even the tongue, which he delicately grabbed and pulled out. He found it odd that her tongue was dry, but he figured it must have dried up when she went into diagnostic mode.
When he was bored with her mouth, he carefully closed it back up and then got a closer look at her eyes. Unlike the last time when her eyes merely went dark, they were still brown and alive looking; possibly some sort of temporary battery backup in her head. Curious as to how they worked, he forced open her right eye lid, but was surprised to feel a click when he opened them all the way, and then the entire eye popped out.
“Whoa,” he said, making sure not to drop it like he did her head.
As soon as it was removed, the moisture subsided and it felt like holding a gel-like orb with mechanical pins at the other end instead of an optic nerve. The inside of the optic cavity was pretty smooth, except the back where all of the mechanical bits were.
“Well, this is creepy,” he finally said, staring into the brown orb one last time before clicking it back into the cavity. Before he could do anything else though, he suddenly heard a low beep come from Krystina’s CPU. A few seconds later, something popped out of her open neck and then he heard her voice emit digitally from somewhere near her voicebox.
“Diagnostic complete,” she said in a monotone, and then, “What the fuck!” she said, realizing her head was detached.
“I removed your head,” Phillip explained, showing it to her, “You said I could play with you while the diagnostic was running,” he added.
“I can see that,” she said, exaggerating her voice a little since she had no face to frown at him with, “But I figured you might move my body around, or fondle my breasts, or even have sex with me,” she said, “I didn’t think you’d remove my head,”
“Well, your dad said you could function without it,” he explained, “I just wanted to see for myself,” he added, “What’s it like, by the way?” he asked.
“Interesting, actually,” she said, sounding less angry this time, “This camera is pretty good quality, but it’s weird speaking without my mouth,” she said.
“I see, so how did the diagnostic go?” he asked.
“It went well,” she said, carefully sitting down, “Apparently a few of my sub-processors are failing,” she said, “They’ll need to be replaced as soon as possible,”
“Okay, did you want me to do that now?” he asked.
“No, not yet,” she said, “May I have my head please?” she asked.
“Of course,” he said, “I had my fun with it,” he said reaching it out to her.
“I’ll try not to take that the wrong way,” she said sarcastically, carefully taking her head and examining it.
“Have you never removed your head to look at it before?” Phillip asked, watching as Krystina did some of the same things to her face that he did.
“No,” she admitted, “I’ve never really paid much attention to my mechanical nature before,” she said, “I’d always taken it for granted,” she shrugged, a gesture which looked weird without a head. “It was only your interest which has sparked my own interest and curiosity,” she finished.
“Wow, I’m not sure what to say about that,” he admitted.
“Just be flattered and leave it at that,” she said, and then they both laughed, though her laugh sounded weird coming out digitally from the speaker.
“Well, if you don’t mind, I’m going to take a look at your neck while you examine your head,” he said, getting up and walking over to her.
“I don’t mind,” was all she said, as she played around with her nose.
“Thanks,” he said, and he walked behind her and looked down at her neck where her head was supposed to be.
He was surprised by how simplistic the mechanical part looked. There were two support struts that appeared to mimic or act like the carotid arteries. There also appeared to be an air tube, as well as a food tube; though both were sealed since her head was removed. He also saw a few fiber optic connections as well. Curious, he reached out his hand and carefully touched them, only to receive a mild electric shock.
“Ouch!” they both said, him wildly shaking his hand to alleviate the pain, and her whole body jerking around from the shock; she nearly dropped her head.
“Whatever you just did, don’t do it again,” she warned, making her face have a stern expression and shaking it in her arms at him from over her neck.
“Sorry,” he said, smiling a little at the situation.
“And I saw that smile,” she added.
“What?” he said, “is that a panoramic camera?” he asked, getting a closer look at the small tower that had popped up near the forward cluster of fiber optics.
“Yes, though I can focus on one direction, I can actually see all around me,” she said, focusing back on her face, “Why don’t you get a closer look,” she suggested, “and though I’ll still be playing with my face, I’ll still be watching you too,” she added.
“Cool,” he said, and leaned in and got a closer look. The camera tower only came up about two inches, but it had a dome like looking camera on the top with what looked like several nanophones just below it. When he reached his finger out to touch it, she said, “That’s as far as you go,”
“Sorry,” he said, “What’s the resolution like on that thing?” he asked.
“I can clearly make out your finger prints,” she said, and since his finger was only centimeters away, he was impressed.
“Cool,” he said, and then he got bored and sat down, watching her play with her head.
After she played around with her head for a few more minutes, she finally stood up.
“Do you think you could spot me while I reattach my head?” she asked, “I wouldn’t want to drop it,” she added.
“Sure,” he said with a slightly guilty look, and he got up and spotted her as she carefully brought her head over her neck and then clicked it back on. Once the seam sealed itself, her face suddenly came back to life.
“Wow, that was certainly an interesting experience,” she smiled, blinking her eyes rapidly and rubbing her face.
“I’ll bet,” Phillip smiled back, “So, is your head functioning alright?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she said, “Why?” she asked suspiciously.
“Well, I dropped it,” he said quickly, hoping to get it over with quickly, “On accident,” he added.
“Well, I would certainly hope it was an accident,” she scolded him, “But nothing seems to be broken,” she said, testing her visual acuity and snapping her fingers near her ears, even tasting her hand and smelling it.
“Good, it was only from three feet,” he said, “I was caught off guard by the weight of your head,” he admitted.
“Well, nothing is broken, so all’s forgiven,” she smiled.
“That’s a relief,” he said.
“So, want to help with my repair now?” she asked.
“Sure,” he said, “What do I have to do?”
“First, I’ll show you the parts that you’ll need,” she said, and she picked up her bag and then dug out a pair of small circuits. “Here, take these,” she said, and she carefully deposited them in his hands.
“What are these?” he asked, carefully examining them in his hands.
“Those are sub-processors,” she explained, “They help process all the sensory information my body receives into information my brain can process, and they also help process the instructions from my brain into commands for my body,” she said.
“That makes sense,” he said, “And some of yours are malfunctioning?” he asked.
“Yes, they need to be replaced every so often,” she said, ‘Though dad keeps telling me he’s working on one’s that are more reliable,” she sighed, “Anyway, two of mine are intermittently hanging up, so instead of the other ones picking up the slack, the information is stuck in the broken ones and I freeze up,” she said.
“Oh, I see,” he said, “So what’ll happen when I remove the two faulty ones?” he asked.
“I’ll still be able to function, but with 25% of my sub-processors removed, I’ll just be a little…slower,” she said, finding the right word.
“Slower?” he asked.
“I will still be able to see and hear things, but it’ll take more time for me to react to things,” she explained.
“Oh,” he said.
“So then, I’ll show you which ones to remove, and you remove them,” she said, pulling her shirt back over her head and beckoning him over.
“Okay, I might play around with you a bit while you’re slow,” he said, “Might be fun,” he added.
“Go ahead,” she shrugged, then she pointed at two of the eight sub-processors, “Just pull them straight out,” she said.
“Okay,” he said, and he grabbed hold of them, fortunately they were both next to one another, and pulled them both out at the same time.
Krystina gasped when they were removed, but other than that, she did nothing else.
“You alright?” he asked, surprised by her gasp.
She vaguely smiled at him for a few seconds before finally saying, “Yes, I’m fine,”
“Good, I’ll just put these busted ones down then,” he said, placing them far away from the replacements and then turning to look at her. Despite what she said about being slow, she still appeared normal…though the expression on her face was the same one she usually did, so it probably wasn’t too hard to keep it up.
“So, what are you going to do with me now?” she asked, after having stared at him for a few seconds.
“Not sure, maybe I’ll just ask you some questions that would normally take you an instant to answer,” he said, and then he said, “What’s five times five?”
A few seconds later, she finally answered, “25,” with a smile, “again,” she said.
They played around like that for a few minutes before she finally stopped and said, “Better stop now, this is starting to stress my remaining processors,” she said.
“Okay, fun’s over then,” he said, and he picked up the replacements and then inserted them into the empty slots.
The instant he inserted them, several lights flashed on her CPU and she zoned out for a second before gasping again.
“Wow, that feels so much better,” she sighed, looking relieved, “Thanks!” she said, embracing him.
“Don’t mention it,” he said, blushing as she broke apart, “Did you want to do anything else?” he asked.
“Well, even with the stuff I put in front of the door, I don’t want to risk having sex and someone coming in…that would mean our jobs,” she said, “Maybe you can just play with my breasts or something,” she suggested.
“Sounds good to me,” he agreed, and he reached around her back and unclasped her bra, letting it fall to the ground, her breasts bouncing a little from being suddenly released.
“Let’s make this quick,” she said, “As much as it pains me to say, we should probably be getting back to the sales floor soon,” she said.
“Alright,” he said, sounding disappointed. He reached out both hands and cupped her adequately sized breasts in both hands. She let out a slight pant when he made contact, and he saw the lights in her open panel begin flashing more quickly. He also felt the nipples begin to harden up.
As he fondled them more and more, she panted faster and the nipples got harder, the lights flashing faster. For a moment, their eyes locked and they knew that…
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
“Phillip, are you in there?” Krystina asked, shocking him from his daydream.
“Yes!” he shouted, trying his best to hide his disappointment of being jarred from another perfect daydream, one of the kind that rarely comes.
“I’m going on my lunch now, so you should come out and watch things,” she said, “Not that there is much going on,” she added.
“Thanks, I’ll be right out,” he said, allowing his now stiff member a few seconds to loosen up before getting up, adjusting himself, and heading out.
As he headed out onto the floor and watched her head to the computer to punch out, he wondered why he was having these daydreams about her. He didn’t particularly like her, as her constant mood swings made her difficult to work with, but still…he couldn’t help but find her tantalizing.
Shaking those thoughts out of his head, he closed the door of the stockroom behind him and got back to work.
Pt. 3 - Epiphany
Part 3: Epiphany
Phillip was leaving work after a long day. While before he would be feeling quite drained, recent events had changed his perspective of things. He had just given his two weeks’ notice.
Still, as happy as he was to finally leave this hellhole of a place after over seven years, he couldn’t help but reflect on his recent daydreams about his annoying coworker, Krystina.
Getting into his car, he turned on the AC and then felt a daydream coming…
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
“Phillip, got a second?” Krystina said, appearing to have run from the building as well.
Phillip rolled down the window, “Sure, what do you need?” he asked.
“My parents are out of town this week,” she said, “Off to visit family in Hawaii,” she explained, “And I was wondering if you wanted to come over and take a look at where I was built,” she said.
“Sure, I don’t have anything planned,” he said.
“Good, then unlock the passenger door,” she ordered, walking over to the other side of his car.
“Sure,” he said, leaning over and unlocking the door.
She quickly opened the door and buckled herself in, pausing to look around, “Wow, your car is actually nice,” she said, complimenting his 2005 Dodge Neon.
“Well, I suppose anything looks better than that old Rabbit you’re driving,” he smiled, starting the car and pulling out of his parking space.
“Hey, don’t make fun of my car,” she protested, “Obviously my parents would rather spend more money on my repairs and maintenance than on a nice car,” she defended.
“Speaking of which, how come you wanted to ride with me?” he asked, pulling out of the driveway and heading towards the freeway. Fortunately, he had been to a party at her house recently and remembered where she lived.
“Just because,” she shrugged, and after a brief pause, she added, “Also, this way I don’t have to pay for as much gas,” she said.
“Hmm, figures you would be programmed to be cheap,” he smiled.
“I’m not programmed to be,” she said, “But school costs are expensive,” she said.
“Yeah yeah,” he said, and he continued on the freeway and got off on her exit. A few minutes later, he pulled into her driveway and parked the car.
Once they were both out of the car, Krystina quickly led him to the front door and let him in. Once she was in, she ran around making sure all the doors and windows were locked and shaded.
“There, we shouldn’t be disturbed or seen,” she said with a satisfied tone, walking back into the front room.
“That’s good to hear,” he said, “So, what would you like to show me first?” he asked, looking around the room he was in. To the untrained eye, it would look like any family’s home, but since he knew better, he noticed the absence of any childhood or family photos. There were none, because she was really only a few years old.
“Follow me,” she said, and she led him to a door he thought would lead to the garage, but instead of opening the door, she went to a light switch panel on the wall nearby and lifted it up, revealing a keypad concealed underneath. She quickly entered in a 10-digit code and then the wall behind them opened to a doorway heading down.
“Cool,” he said.
“Yeah, obviously my dad is secretive,” she said, and she led him down the stairs to another door, which she entered yet another 10-digit code to unlock.
What lay beyond the door was a surprisingly large lab. There were banks of high tech computers, along with rows or shelves containing complex equipment. There were also a few alcoves, and a few examination tables. He saw, at the far end of the lab, the two male android assistants from the night he discovered Krystina’s true nature.
“Is this where you were built?” he asked.
“Yep,” she said, “Though I was actually borne in those computers,” she explained, walking in and sitting down at the banks of computers and starting them up.
“What was that like?” he asked, finding a chair and wheeling it over next to her.
“Interesting,” she said, cryptically, “I started off as random codes, executing simple test programs that my father was sending me,” she explained.
“What kind of programs?” he asked.
“Simple games, simple commands,” she shrugged.
“Oh, and how long did he have to do that before you eventually became sentient?” he asked.
“A few months,” she answered, “He did gradually add new lines of code to my programming, including heuristic algorithms,” she explained, “Eventually, my codes coalesced into a sentient A.I., and I was able to execute my own programs on this thing,” she smiled, showing him some of the logs her father had kept on her progress.
“And how did you get your personality?” he asked.
“He scanned his and my mom’s brains and randomly combined their personalities to create my own,” she explained, “I was then allowed to pick my gender, and when I chose female, he used a program to create ten random images of children that would be borne from them,” she continued, “And this is the one I picked,” she said, looking down at her body.
“Can you show me the other bodies you passed up on?” he asked, curious as to why she picked her image.
“Sure,” she said, and she quickly pulled up a file that contained full 3D renders of potential bodies, including the one she ultimately picked.
He was surprised at the level of detail in the renderings. They all looked like they were images of actual people, but he knew they were simply mere possibilities of what Krystina might have looked like. They all looked fairly similar, but about half of them looked more like her mother and the other half had more of her father’s features; she picked on of the ones that favored her mother.
“What made you pick the body you have now?” he asked, finishing his close up look at the other nine bodies.
“It had a perfect mix of cute and smart,” she said, “Why, would you rather I looked like one of the others?” she asked.
“No, I was just curious,” he told her, “Though they all look beautiful,” he said.
“I know, it was a hard choice,” she admitted, “Good thing my dad gave me a month to make my decision,”
“I can only image how hard it would be to pick an appearance,” he said, “But I’m glad to see you chose wisely,”
“Thanks,” she blushed.
“So, anything else you want to show me?” he asked.
“Of course,” she smiled, “Follow me,” she said, and she got up and walked over to one of the alcoves, “You might find this interesting,” she smiled, and she entered in a five digit code and stood back as it hissed open.
Inside was another Krystina. It looked slightly heavier set and younger, but overall it was still the same appearance. It was also naked.
“Is that a younger body?” he asked, leaning in and getting a closer look.
“Yes, that was my first body,” she answered, “You’ll remember I was gone for nearly a year a few years ago,” she said.
“Yeah, you said you were going to school in Hawaii,” he said, gently feeling her younger body’s skin.
“That was partially true,” she answered, “My dad really brought me over there to show me off to some colleagues of his and they all brainstormed some improvements and he eventually built me this body,” she said, looking down at herself.
“Cool,” he said, squeezing its breasts, “What kind of improvements did they make to you?” he asked, seeing no real noticeable improvements in her outward appearance.
“More efficient power systems, better processing hardware, enhanced digestive system, and a few improvements to my A.I.,” she responded.
“Is that why you were a little different when you came back?” he asked, now realizing why her personality seemed a bit more extreme when she came back.
“Yes,” she laughed, knowing what he meant, “My A.I. would have eventually reached that level, but they came up with a way to get me there faster,” she said.
“Well, it made you more real,” he said, “If not more unbearable,” he smiled.
“You know, if you like, you can tweak my personality settings to try out one you like better,” she offered.
“Really?” he asked.
“Yeah, not a permanent change, but you can have me operate under different personality settings,” she said.
“Cool, maybe we can try that later,” he said, “Is there anything else down here I might be interested in,” he asked.
“A few,” she smiled, and she closed up the alcove with her old body in it and walked over to another one. When she opened it, instead of a fully intact body, there was an unfinished robotic skeleton and cybernetic components littered around.
“And what is this?” he asked.
“That will be my next body,” she explained, “I’ll probably be transferred into it when I reach the physical age of 24,” she said.
“I can’t wait,” he said, knowing she currently had a physical age of 23.
“Me too,” she smiled, and she closed it up and then walked him over to another section of the lab. She then opened up a cabinet and stood aside to let him see its contents.
Inside was what looked like spare parts for Krystina’s body. Extra processors, extra motors, and an extra pair of arms, legs, hands, feet, as well as an extra head. There were even several extra sets of eyes.
“Cool,” he said, pulling out one of the feet. He was surprised with how real it felt despite there being no warmth, no moisture, and no odor. The skin still felt real, he could still feel the skeletal structure underneath the skin and musculature, and he could still move the toes and bend the foot.
“Those are for if I ever step on one of those sensor pins,” she explained, “Or cut my hand really bad,” she added, “Because it’s takes less time for him to simply replace one of my limbs, and then repair the damaged limb,” she finished.
“That makes sense,” he said, putting the spare foot back and picking up the spare head. The spare head also looked exactly like her current head, except the hair was tied up in the back. “Could this head work if you put it on right now?” he asked, looking into its sleeping face.
“It better work,” she said, “It’s supposed to be a backup head in case this one gets severely damaged,” she told him. “Did you want me to try it?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he said.
“Okay,” she said, and she stood up while he pressed the cranial release on the back of her neck. Her face went stoic as he removed her head from her neck and placed it carefully in the cabinet next to the spare head. With her head set down, he picked up the spare and clicked it in place on her neck.
For a while after the seam sealed up, her head did not move and still appeared to be sleeping. Then, after nearly ten seconds, it moved and opened its eyes.
“Wow, this feels weird,” she said, stretching her jaw out and massaging her cheeks.
“How so?” he asked, watching her with curiosity.
“It’s kind of like when your foot falls asleep and then all the blood suddenly rushes to it,” she explained, “And my mouth is suddenly cleaner,” she added.
“That makes sense,” he said, “Did you want me to put your other head back on?” he asked.
“Sure, just let me do this first,” she said, and she picked up her other head and kissed it tenderly on the lips. When she finished, she put her head back down and let him switch heads again. Once her original head was back on, they stowed the backup head back in the cabinet and closed it up.
“Well, unless there is anything else down here, maybe we could try tweaking your settings a bit,” Phillip suggested.
“Nope,” she smiled, “Let’s go to my room then and I’ll let you mess with my systems,” she said, and she deactivated all the equipment and led him out of the lab.
After they headed back up the stairs and sealed the lab entrance, she led him down the hall and into her bedroom. Her bedroom looked like a typical college age girl’s room. There were some witty posters on the wall, some Hawaiian themed decorum, and a high tech computer station.
“Nice room,” he said, closing the door behind him and sitting on the edge of the bed.
“Thanks,” she smiled, grabbing a laptop from the desk and bringing it over to him, “This laptop is more than just a laptop,” she explained, booting it up and putting in a password, “with this, I can access every aspect of my systems and make adjustments, fixes, or simply check up on myself,” she said, handing him the laptop.
“You’re actually trusting me with this much control over you?” he asked, looking at the laptop screen, which at the moment was simply showing her vital stats on an overlay of her body.
“Yes,” she smiled, “I figure you have been trustworthy with my secret for the past six months, so I can trust you with this,” she said.
“I’m honored,” he said, and he looked at all the submenus on her laptop and opened one that corresponded to her sensory systems.
He was amazed that he could see readouts of her sense of touch, what she was smelling, the taste of the food still in her mouth, what she was hearing, and he could see a window displaying what she was currently seeing, which was him looking down at her laptop.
“Is that really how you see the world?” he asked, looking at the HUD displaying some of her stats, and the box around his face that displayed some basic information about him.
“Yeah,” she shrugged, “The facial recognition really helps with repeat customers,” she smiled.
“You aren’t recording they’re credit card numbers, are you?” he asked, since she was basically a sentient computer.
“No,” she assured him, “I have an ethics sub-routine which doesn’t allow me to retain certain sensitive information about people…unless they gave me permission,” she explained.
“Interesting,” he said, toggling out of the sensory window and going to a command window.
“Nice choice,” she complimented, “With that one, I will do anything you type in…within ethical and moral constraints programmed into me,” she added.
“Okay,” he said, and he thought for a moment before typing in a simple command: Stand up.
The second he entered the command, she suddenly stood up.
“Wow, that felt weird,” she said, once she was back in control of herself.
“Was it like a voice compelling you to stand up, or was it just a total loss of control?” he asked.
“Total loss of control,” she answered, “I’ve never been able to try that one because it can only be performed by someone other than me,” she explained.
“Must be some sort of safety precaution,” he mused, and then he typed in another command: Undress.
She immediately began removing her clothing, laughing because she knew she couldn’t control herself. Once she was naked, she stood back and stared at him, waiting for him to type in another command.
Instead of typing another command, he toggled out of that window and went to another screen. “Hmmm, you can sleep?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said, “What did you think I did every night?” she asked, seeing he was done with the commands and sitting back down.
“I don’t know,” he shrugged, “I figured you just shut down every night until the morning,” he said.
“No, I enter a sleep mode and my A.I. processes what I experienced during the day,” she explained, “I do essentially dream as well,” she added.
“Interesting,” he said, “It looks like I can manually put you into sleep mode,” he said, looking at some of the settings.
“Well, if you’re going to try it out, at least let me lay down first,” she said, and once he got up off the edge of the bed, she laid down on the top of her covers and rested her head on the pillow.
“Alright, entering your sleep mode during the day won’t mess you up, will it?” he asked.
“Nope,” she said, “Only if you had me in it for an extended period,” she told him, “assuming of course that you will only have me in sleep mode for a few minutes,” she said with a stern look in her eyes.
“Don’t worry,” he assured her, “It will just be a few minutes,” he said, and he clicked the option to put her in sleep mode.
The second he clicked the option, her eyes slowly closed and she appeared to be asleep. Her chest was slowly rising, her face looked peaceful, and she was even lightly snoring.
He did a few simple things to see how heavy her sleep was. He snapped his fingers near her ears, he pinched her arm, and he shook her, but it seemed that in a manual sleep mode, she could only be awoken by a manual command. Smiling at how peaceful she looked while sleeping, he manually woke her up.
“Well, that was somewhat relaxing,” she yawned, waking up and smiling at him.
“I’ll bet,” he said, “I just gave you a five minute power nap,” he told her.
“Thanks,” she said, and she got back up to her feet.
“Don’t mention it,” he said, and before she could do anything else, he clicked another control, which manually shut her off.
Just as what happened the first time he found out about her nature, her body rested and locked into its upright stance and the light in her eyes slowly faded until they were dark. He wanted to do this again because he didn’t have much time to examine her this way when she overheated that time.
He was amazed that her body could still stand upright without a will or driving force to keep it so. He assumed there must be some sort of secondary system that activates when she is offline to maintain her body’s stance.
He examined her powered off body for several minutes before finally reactivating her. As soon as she came back online, she stared at him angrily and said, “Hey, what was that for?!”
“Sorry, I wanted to see how different being powered down was from sleep,” he explained, “What is the difference for you?” he asked.
“When I’m off, I’m practically dead,” she explained, “When I’m in sleep mode, my mind is still somewhat active,”
“Oh,” he said, “Well, I think the only thing left to do is to tinker with your personality,” he said, going to the personality submenu.
“Okay, try not to change things too much,” she said, “And remember, you can’t make any permanent changes, only create temporary changes,” she warned.
“Okay,” he said, “How did your dad make your personality the way it currently is?” he asked, seeing a series of sliders affecting everything from her moods to her amicability, all set to different positions.
“My personality was derived from a mixture of his, and my mother’s,” she explained, “With a little randomness added to the mix,” she smiled.
“I see,” he smiled, turning his attention back to the screen, “Will these changes happen instantly, or will you have to reboot first?” he asked.
“I’ll have to do a quick reboot,” she answered.
“Okay, well I’ll try something simple,” he said, “Just change your settings a little,”
“Okay,” she said, and she watched as he changed several of the sliders that controlled her personality.
He was fascinated by the things he could control. He could control how friendly or adversarial she could be, how argumentative or compliant she could be, and how confident she was. He noted with amusement her argumentativeness was set pretty close to the maximum setting, so he lowered it to just past the middle on the opposite end of the bar.
He also made her a little friendlier, and less sure of herself. Once he was satisfied with the results, he clicked save and then looked over at her.
“New personality settings saved, rebooting to initiate new settings,” she said with a blank stare, then her head bobbed down. A few seconds later, her head lifted back up and she smiled.
“Well Krystina, how do you feel?” he asked with curiosity.
“Different,” she said, without the usual tone of confidence in her voice.
“So, are you still you…even though you have a different personality?” he asked.
“Yes…I think,” she said, “I still know you, and I still know who I am, but I also know I feel different,” she said.
“Well, how would you like to try one of these out at work?” he asked, testing her out a little.
“It sounds like it could be fun,” she smiled, not sounding at all like the Krystina he was attracted to.
“Perhaps,” he said, looking back at the computer screen. Feeling odd, he suddenly had an epiphany.
Suddenly, he jolted himself out of his daydream. He suddenly realized that despite her abrasive nature and argumentative side, those were the aspects of her that he found himself attracted to.
Looking out his window back to the store, he saw Krystina walking out, since her shift ended 15-minutes after his did. Psyching himself up, he turned his car off, got out, and walked over to her.
“Haven’t left yet Phillip?” she asked, “That’s odd,” she noted, since he normally left the instant his shift ended.
“I know,” he laughed, and then he finally said, “Krystina, do you want to go out with me?” he asked.
Krystina stared at him for a while, an odd look of surprise and satisfaction on her face. “Sure,” she finally said.
“Good, I think I have the perfect place,” he said, visibly relieved at her response, “Did you want to ride with me, or follow me there?” he asked.
“I’ll ride with you,” she said.
“Okay,” he smiled, and he walked with her to his car.
“Phillip, it certainly took you long enough to ask,” she smiled smugly.
“I know,” he said, smiling at her predictable reaction.
Once they reached his car, they buckled in and he headed for the freeway leading to downtown. Unbeknownst to him, a rather large moving truck started following them from a nearby parking lot.