Fire Hazard

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Eric gave the abandoned strip club an appraising glance, deciding on the equipment he might need for this investigation. On the surface, it wasn’t obvious that a fire had been what shut the place down, but they were clearly not open for business. He was alone in the dark, silent parking lot, the club’s neon signs only illuminated by Eric’s headlights. He cocked a smile when he noticed one proudly proclaiming, “All Human!”

“If that were true,” he muttered to himself, dragging out a heavy portable generator from his trunk, “I wouldn’t be here.”

Lugging his gear to the door, he was immediately challenged by a pair of cordons, each looking like oversized blue traffic cones, spaced on either side of the front door. “Halt,” they chimed in unison, “You are approaching the scene of an active investigation. Unauthorized entry-“

Eric flashed his screen at one of the cordon’s scanners, and the voice was instantly more agreeable. “Welcome, Mr. Black.”

“Has the fire inspector been through here?” he asked, shifting the heavy generator to his other hand.

“No, Mr. Black,” a cordon replied. “You are the first to arrive since the departure of the emergency responders.”

“Probably hoping I’ll do his job for him,” Eric muttered, stepping into the club.

Inside, what little light was admitted through the open door didn’t show much beyond a dust-choked room that reeked of fire-suppression foam. Setting down the generator with a resonant thud, he flipped the on switch. Its shrill whine was soon eclipsed by some pop ballad thumping through what remained of the club’s sound system as power was restored. Lights bathed the club in a dim twilight of purples and blues, illuminating chairs and tables surrounding a central stage that was piled high with broken fembots.

Eric let out an exasperated sigh, wondering if whoever had done this ‘cleanup’ knew how much more difficult this made things for him. Most of them were missing their synth-skin covering, exposing grey plastic where their endo-frame shell was rigid, or white where more pliable gel-packs formed their pliable curves. Wires, tubing, and armatures protruded from damaged limbs and blown panels, and the whole stage was dripping with the various fluids that would have provided a working bot with hydraulic pressure, lubricant, and cooling. Some limbs twitched as they received wireless power from his generator, coupled with a few indecorous moans, but he doubted there was a single functioning cpu in that mess. Just as he was getting ready to begin sifting and scanning through the pile, he heard a sound to his side.

“Woah, what happened?” a voice grunted, and he turned his head to see a bot standing up from behind the bar, clutching her head. She was fully human in appearance, untouched by the heat that had melted the synth-skin off the others. She was designed with a punk look to her, her short dark hair in a frayed, red-tipped razor-bob, a handful of piercings along her brows that were set above a field of liberally applied black eye shadow. The arm that held her head was covered in a tattooed sleeve of roses, a stack of glinting bangles at her wrist. She was dressed in a tight-fitting tank top, its low neckline showcasing pale cleavage that hungrily swallowed the pendants and charms hanging from the various necklaces she wore. “Christ, I need a drink… How long was I out?”

Eric hadn’t counted on getting many straight answers from this investigation, especially since the club’s owner had disappeared, and so finding a fully functioning bot was very welcome sign. “When does your internal clock say you powered down?”

“…What do you mean, ‘powered down’?” her voice a rasp that occasionally broke into a girly lilt. “What are you, a robot or something?” she asked, pouring herself a shot and downing it with a slight cough.

“You don’t need to pretend with me, I’m not a customer,” Eric said. “I’m here to find out if any malfunctioning bots or AI systems were at fault for the fire.” He didn’t need to have this conversation – he could just reset the bot and bypass her personality software, and she’d answer his questions directly. But even if these bots weren’t sentient, he enjoyed interacting with them all the same, if for no other reason than to appraise the simulation aspects of their software.

“We don’t have any bots here,” she said, pouring a second shot, nudging it his way. “Didn’t you see the sign?”

“Your programming requires you to directly answer a licensed R.I.,” Eric said flatly, showing her a screen displaying the credentials that would earn the compliance of any civilian A.I.

“Actually, what my ‘programming’ is telling me to do,” she sneered, recalling the proffered drink, “is to tell you to go fuck yourself.” She shot it herself, wiped her mouth, and fixed him with a smirk. Although Eric was amused by this unexpected defiance, her routine was clearly corrupted.

Either: A: She was running some piece of after-market garbage that was mucking with her compliance (bad) B: She had been programmed to deliberately ignore official dictates (very bad) or C: Heat, smoke, extinguishing foam, or something else related to the fire had damaged her CPU.

And if it wasn’t ‘C’, that would be, at minimum, a hefty fine for the owner - he made a note of her noncompliance on his screen, knowing he would need something more substantial than that small devices meager CPU to reset the defiant gynoid.

Eric spun a chair near the stage to face the bar and its still-smirking robot bartender and took a seat, retiring his screen in favor of his far more capable laptop – but before he could initiate the process that would attach itself to her systems and override her processes, the sound of footsteps behind him drew his attention.

Stepping free from the heap of her broken compatriots was the bare slate-gray-and-off-white chassis of a fembot devoid of synth-skin. She strutted confidently along the stage toward him, hips swinging to the bass line of the synth-pop ballad pulsing from the club speakers, her gel-filled curves jiggling with every step. The delicate animatronics in her head drew the white and hairless (but otherwise human) sub-mask of her face into a sultry smile. “Small crowd,” she remarked, distorted static and reverb corrupting an otherwise dainty southern drawl, “Looks like you’re getting a private show…”

“’No bots, eh?’” Eric asked the bartender, who seemed annoyed by the fembot’s presence.

After a few involuntary shudders and false starts, the bartender finally jabbed a finger at the grey-and-white fembot and managed, “Yeah, well… that piece of plastic garbage doesn’t work here!”

“Sure I do, Trix,” the gynoid responded, stepping down from the stage and walking just past Eric, a shift in her hips delivering a playful quiver to the smooth and soft hemispheres of here white backside. “It’s me, Sadie.”

“S-S-Sadie is human!” stammered Trix with a growl.

“Why, of course I’m human,” Sadie whispered, thighs parting as she stood astride Eric’s lap, hips dipping in a soft, smooth arc, her pert, eggshell cheeks barely brushing the sudden bulge in his jeans. She glanced over her shoulder, the smooth, white mask of her face wearing a teasing smile.

“I’m not here to-“ Eric managed before another arc of her hips brought another kiss from her gel-packed derriere to his almost painful erection, her hands gliding across plastic curves as the music throbbed and pulsed behind pouty, suggestive vocals.

“Hey, Sadie,” Trix said with sarcastic enthusiasm. “How about a wet t-shirt contest?”

She froze in confusion, bent forward, back arched. “What in God’s name are you talking about, Trix? Do I even look like I’m wearin’-”

Trix held out a soda gun and sprayed Sadie’s chest panel with a stream of clear water. Sadie tried unsuccessfully to block the stream with outstretched hands, sputtering a startled, “Wh-what the hell, Trix?!”

The bartender removed her thumb and held the dripping gun coyly at her shoulder.

“What was that all about?” Sadie demanded, water cascading from her smooth, featureless breasts and grey paneling.

Trix remained silent, though a cruel smile crept across her dark lips.

“Listen you smug littlllllllll-“ there was an electrical pop from inside Sadie, and she jerked to one side. “You liiiitllllllll-“ another snap and she spilled backwards on to Eric’s lap with an unintelligible electronic growl. Despite the rather pleasant sensation of her cushioned backside pressing firmly against his crotch, the rising smoke and a burning electrical smell from her trembling chassis suppressed several of Eric’s immediate impulses in favor of taking more pragmatic action. He took her hips and lifted her off of him, but her plastic heels slid in the water pooling around his chair and she was once more in his lap, now with his arms slipping past her waist.

“You l-l-lllike me w-w-wet, do ya’?” As she attempted a sensuous repose he could see lights flaring from the gaps in her panels, and she suddenly slammed backward into him, disrupting his second attempt to remove her. “S-s-so hot…” she moaned, roughly massaging her gel-pack breasts as her thighs spread wide. A moment later, the paneling on her abdomen split open as fans inside her whirred louder, the components within the darkened cavity briefly lit by the sparks of shorting electrical systems.

“Say, you wouldn’t be able to g-g-get the managerrrr, would ya?” she asked her hand curiously probing the rim of the opening in her chassis as sparks continued to spill out.

“My advice would be to shut down,” Eric suggested.

“And how would I d-d-do that?”

“Remove your wireless power transceiver.”

“Human’s don’t h-h-aaaaave those!” She convulsed with another fountain of sparks, feet kicking out as her hips gave an aimless thrust, then resettling with her distressingly warm ass grinding against Eric’s pants.

“Well, try sticking your hand into the gaping hole in your stomach…” he began.

“Uh huhhh…” she said absently, calmly putting her hand inside herself.

“Reach up behind here,” he poked the panel at her sternum

“Yeah…?” she moaned, one hand venturing deeper as the other pushed and squeezed the swells of her now smoking chest.

“You should feel a cylinder – just pull it from its housing.”

She jerked something loose, pulling it free from inside of her and then staring at the blinking power transceiver emptily as her head shuddered. “Now whaaaaaaaat…” her voice deepened in register as she slumped to one side, falling on to the floor with a heavy thud.

“My turn,” said the bartender ‘Trix’, and turned the soda gun on herself, leaning forward on the bar. Squeezing the trigger, she drenched her pale breasts, alabaster synth-skin showing through her now-transparent top, her darker nipples stiffening against the soaking white fabric. “Wow, no smoke, no sparks…” she threw the soda gun on the bar and leaned dramatically forward, her breasts compressing against her folded arms. “Just wet tits.”

As fun as this was, Eric knew he still had a job to do, and she wasn’t helping. He took out his laptop and, flipping it on, said, “Trix, I think what you need is a good…”

“Yeah?” she asked, leaning further forward, water pooling beneath her glistening cleavage.

Running his diagnostic software, he quickly identified Trix’s signal and established a connection. “…hard…”

“…yeah…?” she licked her dark lips.

Eric brought up the list of admin commands, and confirmed his selection. “…reset.”

“…what?” the robot looked at him in confusion and suddenly jerked back, a pulsing light illuminating her brown eyes from within. “B-b-but I’m nnnnot a b-b-bott-t-t error conflicting protoc-c-coll override humannn-“ She mechanically grabbed a bottle and shot glass, spilling half of its contents with a sloppy poor. “I-I-I nneeeed a d-d-error conflict directivvve-“ she dropped the bottle which shattered on the floor and then stood rigidly upright, head twitching stiffly left-then-right, her intermittently glowing eyes still fixed forward.

Eric was surprised by this display and hammered the key that would re-transmit the reset command, uncertain why this happening.

The bartender-bot’s shuddering managed a strange smile as she said, “Nnnnooo s-s-sparkssss, j-j-just wet t-t-tiiiiibzzzt!…” she gave a sharp jerk and then slumped forward, arms dangling at her side.

He waited for the reboot that would bring her back online, but she simply stood there. Very strange - there was nothing obviously wrong according to his diagnostic software – it looked like he’d have to bring her back to the shop.

Eric gave a quick scan for additional AI-core activity, but couldn’t find any other functioning bots on the premises. Closing his laptop, Eric sighed – his hopes for a quick and easy investigation were fading fast.

Eric hooked the slumped-over gynoid bartender around the waist and dragged her on her boot heels through the bar, her wet tank top soaking through his sleeve. He felt a bit self-conscious passing the automated cordons, imagining what their recorded footage must look like – him hauling an inert sexbot to his car, her shapely breasts practically bared beneath the clinging, near-translucent fabric of her top.

“I need to bring her to the lab,” he announced to the cordon, “for my… the… investigation.” Of course there was no response.

After securing the gynoid in the passenger’s seat, he made his way back to the club for a final pass. He walked from room to room, his flashlight passing over charred detritus until something caught his eye. In one of the back rooms, tangled up in blackened bedsprings, was a twisted robotic endoskeleton – the only bot not to have been piled up on stage (well, this one and ‘Trix’).

Electronics scattered around the room told him this one had apparently exploded – and he was willing to bet she had been the source of the fire. While collecting what he could from the destroyed machine, he happened to notice a reinforced plasteel case tucked in the corner, evidently having survived the fire intact. Cracking it open, he found empty foam inserts, along with a paper manual for a VR sensory recording rig. If someone had been recording when the fire broke out, that would be the kind of evidence an inspector dreamt of – assuming he could find this strip-club auteur. A label on the manual read, “Affordable Rentals”, along with a phone number.

Eric was amused that tonight his RI credentials seemed to be working better with humans than with robots, setting his destination to the address of the customer given to him by the rental clerk. As the car rolled out of the lot, the screen displayed that there a new draw on the car battery, followed by Trix’s rasping voice mumbling, “Woah, what happened?”

Eric jumped as the gynoid abruptly stirred to life. Trix shook her red-tipped bangs and blinked a few times before taking in her new surroundings without any show of surprise or concern. When she glanced down to see her wet shirt, she gave a disappointed sigh and turned the car’s heat on full, aiming the cabin’s vents at chest level. “So where are we going?” she shouted over the fan, pulling the top loose from her synthetic skin and flapping it against the rush of hot air, providing Eric fleeting glimpses of her stiff nipples. Her tugging seemed slow until she was holding her top apart from her, fully exposing her cream-white bust and a small floral tattoo. After he realized he was staring, he glanced up to see her fix him with a chastising smile before releasing her shirt to snap back against her pale cleavage.

Eric had never seen a gynoid provoke someone like this, and he wasn’t sure if he was more surprised by her defiance of administrative commands or her mocking flirtation. After turning down the heater, he pulled up her profile on his screen while she looked at the glowing device skeptically. “I’m starting to think you’re more interested in electronics than girls…”

He presented her with the screen flashing and transmitting his credentials, trying once more to override her processes. She glanced at the screen with an annoyed expression for only a second before snatching it from him and tossed it out the window. Eric watched the glowing device bounce along the freeway until it met its end beneath the wheels of a semi.

He turned back to her, dumbstruck, as she said, “Yeah, so where are we going again?”

Her defiance was one thing, but the willful destruction of property should have been impossible on a hardware level – he even had to consider that she could be capable of harming a human. She was a risk, and he reached back to get his laptop and shut her down once more. She glanced at the device and raised a pierced eyebrow. “How many of your toys am I gonna have to toss out the window before you talk to me?”

Eric paused – maybe it was best just to play nice for now. “Do you know Gary Whitmore?”

She gave a knowing smile. “Sure, I know Gary. He’s into Jasmine.”

“Jasmine is a ‘bot at the club?”

“Jasmine is a girl at the club,” she sneered. “What is it with you and this robot obsession?”

“I need to talk to Gary about a few things… did you see him last night?”

Trix chewed her lip. “Last night’s a bit hazy, but yeah – pretty sure he was there.”

“What do you remember about last night?”

“Not much,” she groaned, pressing her hand against her temple.

The car stopped in front of a small, well-maintained house on a suburban street. When he stepped out of the car, Trix followed. He thought about trying to get her to stay behind, or trying for his laptop again, but decided against having that fight. Besides, maybe Trix could help him get something out of Gary.

Eric gave a brief rap on the door, and it was quickly answered by a housebot sporting a suite of fairly obvious modifications.

Given the subsidies readily available for domestic robots, they were far more affordable than even the cheapest ‘recreational’ droids. And this meant that people who had more imagination than cash could pick up a cheap domestic bot, buy a conversion kit, and provide their bargain-bot with a few ‘additional’ features. In this case, the simple black-and-white plastic bot was kitted out with some impressive curves, her substantial (albeit white plastic) bust filling out a cropped t-shirt, athletic shorts clinging to her enhanced hips. Her head was still the base-model display, abstract, monochromatic eyes and lips projected on to the sheer black visor.

“You have got to be kidding,” Trix murmured, looking the droid up and down as her visor displayed beaming eyes and a welcoming smile.

“May I help you?” the housebot asked in a cheerful, digitized voice.

“I need to speak to Gary Whitmore – is he in?”

The housebot’s features snapped into a sympathetic pout. “I’m afraid master is indisposed at the moment, but if you would care to leave your-“

“I’m a licensed RI. I… hold on…” Reaching into his pocket, Eric realized he no longer had his screen. After shooting Trix a glare, he muttered, “One moment,” and headed back to his car.

When he was only a few steps away, he heard the housebot exclaim, “Release me, please. You are not authorizzz<bzzzat>!”

“Hey, inspector!” Trix called. “Catch!”

He turned just in time to see something hurtling toward him. Reflexively catching it, he recognized it as an auxiliary CPU stem, responsible for (among other tasks) fine motor coordination, filtering sensory data, and managing cooling and power distribution. The housebot was stumbling backwards away from Trix and toward Eric, an access panel open at the nape of her plastic neck revealing an empty slot and a light blinking in warning. Her movements were stiff without the component Eric now held, and she pivoted haltingly to fix a projected face furrowed in concern at him. “Please return that component,” she said in fluctuating tone, “it does not belong to you.”

As she stepped roughly toward him, Trix sidled up beside her, slipping her hand down the back of the housebot’s shorts.

“What are you doing?!” Eric demanded, as the housebot stiffened, her projected eyes flaring in cartoonish surprise.

“She’s got a great ass, I’ll give her that,” Trix muttered, the exertion of her fingers visible through the housebot’s shorts. The domestic robot’s rubber and plastic legs began to tremble, and she clasped her jointed hands in front of the ‘o’ of her two-dimensional mouth. “Oohh!” she gasped, her body shuddering as Trix continued to finger her mod-kit sex. Smoke began to rise from the droid’s numerous seams while her body rattled and heaved, her voice exclaiming, “W-warning! H-heat l-levels critical! E-emergency shut-d-d-down!”

Eric rolled his eyes. “Stop that! You’re gonna break her…”

“Fine, she’s all yours,” Trix responded, shoving the trembling robot into Eric’s arms. She collapsed against him with a lustful moan, heat and smoke radiating from her while her panels were beginning to shake loose. “P-please d-don’t tell m-master!” she groaned, pressing her failing plastic body against him. Eric spun the droid around to return her missing component to the back of her neck, but rather than remain still, she bent forward and ground her big ass against his crotch, the sudden bulge in his pants wedging her shorts between the white hemispheres of her plump aftermarket backside.

Eric leaned over her to reach the port at her neck, inadvertently pushing against her as she whimpered with pleasure. He was about to re-slot the component, but found himself hesitating, distracted by the sensation of her soft rubberized ass gyrating slowly against his body. Without even realizing he was doing it, his fingers lost their grip on her shoulder and were now slipping down her shirt over the heated, pliable material of her generous tits, gliding across that smooth expanse until brushing up against the firm protrusion of a stiff plastic nipple. She gasped, the nipple buzzing at his touch, and he felt her cheeks clench against his stiff erection. With an electrical squeal warm fluid burst from multiple seams around her hips. He quickly slotted the CPU stem, but it was too late - her head wrenched back to look at him in a flickering slideshow of her primitive face in rapt ecstasy. “F-failure in shut-dow-dow-dow-“ her looping voice deteriorated into a garbled wash of noise as the housebot quivered, light bursting from behind her visor, one of her ‘eyes’ winking out, the other a cartoon heart blinking like a turn signal. With a final convulsion, the broken droid collapsed against the ground, her plastic panels askew, leaking smoke and fluid.

“You’re just leaving a trail of broken-hearted fembots in your wake, aren’t you?” Trix mused, prodding the twitching housebot’s smoldering bust with the toe of her boot. “You sick little puppy…”

Eric looked around him, relieved to see that no one had been watching his rather unprofessional conduct with the domestic droid, then focused on Trix. “You’ve done enough damage for one night.” He approached the amused gynoid, slipping his hand under her top, resting his fingers against her smooth abdomen.

“Is that so?” Trix purred, wrapping her arms around his waist in response. “And here I thought we were just getting started…”

He pressed firmly above and below her navel – nothing happened. He shifted his fingers and tried again, soliciting from her nothing more than a giggle.

“Foreplay is not your strong suit,” Trix whispered in his ear, sliding her fingers over the bulge in his pants. With a grunt of frustration, he spun her around and pushed at shoulder blades inked with feathered wing tattoos – still nothing. “Are you doing some kind of deep tissue thing?” she asked, a slight lean from her bringing the curves of her denim-clad ass into contact with his groin.

“Where is your main access port?!” Eric demanded, lifting her shirt to try the small of her back.

“I’m not a robot, asshole!” she growled, pushing him away. “The only ‘access port’ I’ve got is in the same one as every other girl.” She stalked back to the car. “And your access has been revoked.” She sat on the hood of his car and began to fiddle with her bangles. “Go have fun with Gary.”

At least she’s out of the way, he thought, returning to the front door. Still open. “Mr. Whitman?” he called. “It’s inspector Black, just wanted to ask a few questions.” He wondered how he would react to the state of his housebot, but at least Gary couldn’t take any legal recourse - modding a government subsidized domestic droid for sexual purposes was explicitly illegal, and even if the housebot’s owner had witnessed the whole debacle, he couldn’t have charged Eric with anything. But the fact that the bot was in a smoldering heap on his front lawn certainly wouldn’t encourage Gary’s cooperation.

Peering in, Eric could see the glow of a screen down the hall. He pushed the door open wider, revealing a man in a recliner wearing a VR rig, dead to the world around him. Eric stepped inside, taking a look at the open laptop – Gary was running an experience recorded just last night… the timestamp just before the fire. Eric only needed a few seconds on the man’s unsecured laptop to transfer the recording to his own server, then erase all evidence of the transfer. If this evidence was what he needed, he’d pay Gary a visit with the proper paperwork. “Thank you for your cooperation,” Eric muttered, returning to his car.

“You get what you need?” Trix asked, sliding off his hood.

“Actually… yeah, I think so.”

“Well, at least one of us did,” she said in a mocking tone, slumping into the passenger seat.

With a frustrated sigh, Eric took the driver’s seat, noticing from the display that Trix was still drawing power from the battery. “Eric, you fucking moron,” he muttered to himself, selecting the option to disable the robot’s wireless power connection and wondering why he hadn’t done that in the first place.

“Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself,” Trix muttered as his finger hovered above the display asking him to confirm the severing of her access to the car’s power. “You might still have a shot. Where to next?”

Eric told himself there was no good reason to leave this droid powered on, and she had already given him several on why she should be shut down... but when her narrowed eyes, it almost seemed like she was daring him to leave her on. Hell, this investigation had certainly been a lot more interesting with her around…

“Gary provided us with VR footage of the bar just before the fire,” Eric explained, cancelling the command that would have left Trix without power. “Gonna head back to my place and check it out.”

“Back to your place, huh?” she said with a suspicious grin. “Pretty forward of you, inspector.”

“Somewhere else you need to be?” Eric asked, genuinely curious as to how she would respond.

The droid’s face froze for a second, her eyes drifting slightly – in the silence of the car, he could faintly hear mechanisms within her clicking furiously before she snapped to with a nonchalant, “Not really… Looks like you’ve got a partner, inspector.” She reclined her seat, stretching out her tattooed arms. “Someone to play good cop to your bad.”

Eric chuckled and set the destination to his apartment.

“Here we are,” Eric announced, his car gliding to a stop in front of his apartment. Trix glanced at him, still wearing a questioning smile.

“So… what now?” she asked, her words migrating from gravelly to girlish and suggestive.

“Now, I check Gary’s VR footage from the club and see if it sheds any light on what happened.”

She raised an eyebrow. “And then?”

“Then, I put together my report.” He’d have to mention Trix, of course – the lone surviving bot, one corrupted by illegal and dangerous mods. She’d probably be wiped. Would have to be. Such a shame, though. Regardless of the danger she demonstrably posed to others property, whatever cocktail of software she was running resulted in emergent behavior he had never witnessed before.

“And then you file the report, right?” the gynoid said with an eye-roll, slipping out of the car. “You ever think of anything besides work?”

Eric ignored the bait and walked to the front door where he was promptly admitted by the apartment’s concierge (a mid-range gynoid that could pass as human if you didn’t look too closely). “Good evening, Mr. Black,” the blandly attractive and formally dressed droid stated in a polite tone, a stock-photo smile on her perfectly symmetrical face. “Good evening, ma’am,” she added as Trix followed him in, the concierge’s pleasant expression unfazed despite Trix’s obvious disdain.

“Hey, Eric,” Trix called, cupping the droid’s face and turning it side to side. “Wanna have some fun with her?”

“Is there something I can help you with?” the droid inquired.

“Leave her alone, Trix,” Eric said, suddenly nervous that he was about to lose his damage deposit. But Trix sighed and let her go, joining him at the stairs.

“Yeah, I there’s been enough robotic cock-teasing for one night…”

“What is it you have against robots?” Eric asked, noticing her punk-pixie features twitch slightly at the question.

“I work at an all-human strip club. Have you seen what we’re up against?” She glanced down at the vapid concierge below them, smiling pleasantly while staring at the wall. “I don’t think most guys care whether they’re real or not anymore.” She looked back at Eric. “I mean … you certainly don’t seem to discriminate. Am I right?”

“Tonight has been fairly atypical for me,” Eric muttered, opening his apartment door. Trix brushed past him and looked around at the clean and well-organized (if sparse) living space.

“Look at this place... You’re wound up tighter than I thought,” she chuckled, marching toward the kitchen and conducting a quick search of the cupboards.

“Make yourself at home,” Eric muttered, heading over to this work space. He heard her give a cry of success and the clinking of glass, realizing she had found the alcohol. While he pulled down Gary’s VR recording and set up his own rig, Trix approached with a shot in each hand.

“Here’s to a quick end to this case,” she proposed, pushing the glass into his hand. “And finding out if some robot bitch torched my bar.”

He clinked his glass against hers, downed the shot, and gave Trix a final, “Try not to break anything,” before pulling the headset on. He felt the brief wave of discomfort as the system registered senses that weren’t his own. In an instant he was suffused in the club’s smoky and perfumed musk, his vision clarifying to a dimly lit back room whose walls resonated with the thumping bass outside. Sensations came in and out of focus as adjustments were made to the VR recording gear, when his attention was drawn to an opening door, admitting club music and a sultry, copper-skinned woman dressed as Cleopatra. She wore a gold circlet resting atop silken black hair, her chestnut-colored eyes elegantly outlined in black. Strips of white cloth supported her swollen breasts, with another swatch worn high over her hips and draping over the intersection of her thighs. She approached in jeweled sandals, thin strips of leather lacing up over her delicate calves.

“Sorry,” she said in a polite but stern tone, “but ahhhh… no recordings.”

Gary pulled a screen from his pocket, showing it to the girl. “Would you take a look at this?” Light reflected off the girl’s face and eyes, and her expression became blank. “It’s fine if I record,” he said plainly, to which she made no response. After a pause, he added, “Oh, uh… Jasmine, resume.”

“Turns out our boy Gary was flashing droids,” Eric announced.

“No shit?” Trix’s disembodied voice called from somewhere in the apartment, detached from his simulated reality. “But you gotta know I have no idea what that means.”

“It’s a hack, very illegal, tends to destabilize systems… could be what lead to the fire.”

“Sure,” Trix replied. “But what was a droid doing in the club in the first place?”

Back in the simulation, Jasmine made no further remarks, but instead approached him with a suggestive smile.

A sudden knock stopped her, and he/Gary saw Trix fling the door open, clutching a bottle of Tequila with its neck nestled between her breasts. “Here we are,” she said, stepping into the room. “Enough for all three of us… Hey, you know you can’t record in here!”

Gary flashed the screen at her, and she gave him a quizzical look – but before he could issue any command, Jasmine was hustling her out the door. “Thank you, Trix,” she said in annoyed, taking the bottle and while urging her into the hall.

“Hey, she can… stay…” Gary’s voice interjected, but Trix was already out of the room. Jasmine was saying something to Trix in a harsh whisper, none of which Eric was able to make out.

Eric paused the recording and adjusted the audio settings, asking aloud, “Trix, you said you remembered seeing Gary last night… With one of the girls?”

“Ummmm, yeah, I think so? He was with Jasmine.”

“Do you remember if Jasmine said anything to you?”

A long pause. Eric tugged up the VR rig and saw Trix standing there, flinching with an annoyed expression. At length, she managed a curt, “No”, then poured herself another drink.

Eric put the rig back on and replayed the recording, Jasmine’s whisper now amplified. “You’re acting strange, Trix. When was the last time you ran a diagnostic?”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Trix sneered in reply.

“Not this again,” Jasmine groaned, closing the door on the flustered Trix. “Stop trying to fuck my client and go tend the bar. Better yet, get yourself checked out.” She shut the door then turned to Gary. “Sorry, but Trix isn’t herself right now… And besides, I’d rather have you all to myself!”

Eric sped through the ensuing foreplay, as the two lost their clothes and toppled on to the bed, doing his best to ignore flashes of arousal as his simulated hands moved impossibly fast from her quivering breasts to her quaking backside, the accelerated experience delivering a machine-like reciprocation of thrusting into her flushed sex as her sped-up voice squeaked in desperate release. He paused the simulation to catch his breath, intending to ‘mute’ the touch component of the playback before it overwhelmed him. In that frozen scene, Jasmine loomed above him, hair fanning out as she tossed her head-back in an open-mouthed cry, pearls of sweat suspended in the air, flung from breasts frozen in mid-bounce – and standing behind her was Trix, holding the bottle of tequila.

“What’s Gary getting up to in that sim, inspector?” Trix’s muffled voice asked from the real world. “’Cause it seems like it’s gotten you all worked up.”

Eric unpaused the simulation, Jasmine resuming her exuberant bouncing when Trix suddenly jabbed her in the back, forcing a panel open. Jasmine sat bolt upright, her thighs and sex clenching against Gary as she exclaimed, “What are you doing?!“

“Enough for the three of us,” Trix purred, dumping the bottle into Jasmine’s open port. Sparks erupted from her back as she trembled in place, her mascara-lined eyes rolling back while her mouth went slack, smoke seeping lazily over her painted lips.

“Warning,” Jasmine said in a polite voice, her hips convulsing, her body lurching back and forth. “Warnnn-ning-ning.” Gary struggled to get out from beneath the malfunctioning robot, but her wild convulsions and apparent desire to ride him kept her on top. Smoke poured from her ears and lips as Gary grabbed her waist and heaved – but she collapsed forward, her breasts smothering him as he collapsed beneath her once again. “Error... Error…” she repeated, electricity arcing around her oblivious face, her lips twisting into a smile as her sex suddenly convulsed with warm release. “Ohhhh!” she groaned when Gary abruptly came inside her, the web of electricity intensifying, her body flaring with scorching light and the smell of burning electronics. “Er-er-er-er-er!” she stammered, her components sizzling and smoking, Gary pulling the sheets over him defensively and her whole body tensed before exploding above him.

Jasmine’s intact hips continued their mindless pumping, but her upper half was in ruin, fires burning inside twisted plastic and sparking components, the occasional patch of undamaged synthetic skin a reminder of her formerly human appearance. The intact half of her face smiled serenely, seemingly leaning over for a kiss as Gary finally was able to squirm out from under the gynoid. The room was filling with smoke, the bed beginning to smolder as the broken robot continued its libidinous mechanical shuddering.

Gary stumbled out of the room to find Trix in the hallway, jabbing an annoyed stripper in the back. “Hey Gary, want to have some fun with this one?” she asked, reaching inside the stripper’s back-panel and twisting something inside of her. The stripper went catatonic, and the simulation coming to an abrupt end as Gary tore the recorder from his head.

Eric removed his own rig to find Trix straddling his lap, pouring herself another shot. “So… you find the robot bitch responsible for burning down my bar?”

Eric stared at the gynoid above him, a machine he could no longer deny his attraction to, realizing there was no getting around her being decommissioned.

“Next you’re supposed to, uh…. file that report, right?” Trix asked, inching forward in his lap in her tight denim. “Or has something else come up?”

“I… need to get a warrant for Gary’s footage first.” Footage that made this an open-and-shut case – and condemned Trix to the furnace.

“So wait, was Jasmine a robot?” Trix asked, the contempt plain in her voice.

There had to be something he could do. “Trix… I need you to come with me.”

She downed her shot and slid off his lap, up-ending the bottle to show that it was empty. “Gonna need some more,” she said demurely, trotting over to the kitchen and looking through his cupboard again. “You got any vodka?” she asked.

“Try the freezer,” he said impatiently. She retrieved the frosted bottle and after downing most of what remained, finally followed Eric as he lead her into his bedroom.

“OK, inspector,” she said with a grin, “what does this have to do with your report?”

“Just… stand here,” he put her in front of his standing mirror, grabbing a hand-mirror from the bathroom. He lifted up her tank-top, exposing her creamy breasts, and her delicate floral tattoos. He was positioning the hand mirror behind her when Trix grabbed him by the collar.

“Tit for tat, buddy,” she growled, and jerked his shirt open, scattering buttons across the floor.

“You know, I didn’t ruin your shirt, Trix,” Eric felt the need to point out.

“Enough stalling,” she breathed, her mascara-laden eyes closing, chest heaving as she leaned in for a kiss.

Eric put a hand on chest, her pendant necklaces cold under his palm – “Just… wait. You need to see this.” He angled the mirror at her back, her feathered wing tattoos reflecting back at her.

“Oh shit, when did I get those!?” Trix exclaimed in mock surprise.

Eric jabbed her back the same way he had seen her do it to Jasmine and the other dancer – and just as with them, a port slid open. “I’ve been trying to tell you all night, Trix. You’re a robot. And unless you can-“

Trix’s head twitched sharply, her black nails raking across her face as she stammered, “Error, conflict in c-core protocollll-“ Her hand stopped at her pierced navel, where she splayed her fingers and pressed, another panel opening to reveal machinery and wiring beneath. She gaped in stunned silence at the undeniable proof of her mechanical nature, a humming noise building from somewhere inside her. “Not human! N-not…. Oh f-fuck this!” she growled, flinging the bottle of Vodka across the room and plunging her hand inside the opening in her stomach.

“Trix!” Eric exclaimed, pulling her hand free. She stared at him with her face contorting into a mask of twitch-addled rage. Her dark-painted lips drew back from her gritted teeth as she snarled, “J-just what are you t-t-trying to p-prove?” Smoke began to seep from between those white teeth. “Wh-what do you want from me?”

“You need to reconcile what you are, Trix – this ‘human’ override makes you dangerous, and I don’t want to see you destroyed.”

Her lips curled as flashes of light strobed behind her eyes. “Why?”

He held her shuddering body against his and kissed her, the foul scent of burning plastic overcome by the softness of those lips, of the alcohol on her tongue, her perfumed breasts. Trix broke from him, shoving him against the wall. “You wanna fuck another robot?” she asked, wiggling out of her tight jeans. “Is that it?” Kicking them loose, she pressed her nude body against his, her panels still open to reveal the humming electronics within. “I can feel every component in this tight little package is about to blow,” she moaned, guiding his hand to her pert backside, forcing his pants down over his hips.

“Trix, slow down!” Eric insisted, his breath coming up short as she seized his firm erection. “I know how to help you!”

“So do I,” she whispered, slamming his cock inside of her as she gave a hoarse gasp, lights flaring from inside her exposed panels. She rode him wildly, her internal machinery audible through the open panels at her front and back, smoke still seeping from inside. Eric pulled her away and flung her to the bed where she bounced with a sharp crack, the panel at her back snapping loose.

“Trix, your CPU is still in conflict, you need to get control of yourself!” he pleaded, as she convulsed to the sound of straining servos. She pressed in at her hips and two panels sprang loose, revealing tensing gray artificial musculature and quivering gel-packs. A trembling hand applying pressure at her clavicle revealed a display awash in urgent warnings. As Eric leaned in to try and make sense of the errors, she pulled him into a devouring kiss, her sex sliding up his manhood as her hips bucked urgently, heat now coursing from within.

“Nearly there!” she squeaked, her body humming and buzzing as she encouraged his hands to play with her breasts, smoke now rising from her pierced nipples. “Juuuuuszzzzt another br-br-broken bot!”

“Trix, please…” he begged her, pinning her hips down with his, looking into her fierce brown eyes.

She smirked and pushed in at her temples, the top half of her face coming loose, and then tore it free, her nose, eyes, and forehead now gone – beneath, wires and the slate gray housing of her primary CPU, pipes with cooling fluid and fans working desperately, futilely to reduce her body’s smoking-hot temperature. As heat levels all over her body spiked, her lips broadened, speaking in a voice more digitized than before, “Just a bot, Eric. T-t-time to say goodbye…”

Eric felt a sudden chill against his leg, and looked to see the icy Vodka bottle. In a moment of desperation, he lifted her up and sat her down upon it. She gave a static-filled gasp, steam rising from where the frozen glass met her overheated sex and trembling thighs. She froze like this for several seconds, panting, uncertain, but with her components suddenly quieting. Her hands groped around the bed until they found her upper faceplate – snapping it into place, she looked dumbfounded at the bottle between her legs, then at Eric.

“What the fuck?” she asked, her voice free of distortion.

“Emergency cooling procedure,” Eric suggested. “You feel any better? Less…. Self-destructive?”

“What I feel,” she snarled, tossing the bottle aside, “is cold!”

Eric checked the display panel at her chest – he didn’t have a good baseline for what a ‘normal’ Trix looked like – but her error rate had dropped dramatically.

Cautiously he entered her, wincing at the chilled temperature of her sex. “Your fault,” she sighed, urging him deeper, wrapping her cold thighs around him. He kept an eye on her display, but even as her temperature climbed, her error rate remained steady. Their rhythm quickened, Trix quickly finding her former exuberance but this time freed from the restrictions of the failing CPU, and she was soon driving both their bodies to their mechanical and biological limits.

As Eric lay exhausted and a more than a little sore next to the sprawling tattooed gynoid, her components ticking as they cooled, she turned her sweat-slicked face to him and asked, “So, you gonna hand me in?”*

It was completely against his professional obligations as an R.I to not hand her over, and at the very least it would mean the end of his career if he sheltered her and someone found out – he would just have to ensure they never did. “I’ve got a lot of work to do. Also, I think it’s time I got myself a partner.”


“Sure, most R.I’s have them – I guess I was just waiting until I found the right one.”


Days later in that same bedroom, Trix was looking skeptically at an inert, naked body made in her image.

“I’ve got better tits than that,” she remarked, prodding her duplicate’s pierced bosom disdainfully.

“I don’t think a slight difference in the quality of her breasts is going to tip them off,” Eric replied, pulling Trix’s tank top over the body of her double.

“You know what is going to tip them off?” Trix chuckled, checking herself in the mirror. “The fact that your new partner is a dead ringer for the homicidal sexbot you’re supposedly handing them.”

“I assumed you would see the wisdom in changing up your look.”

“You don’t fuck with perfection,” Trix growled, but nevertheless activated the mirror’s style assistance program and began to quickly cycle through an array of clothes and hairstyles depicted on her reflection.

Eric resumed his preparation of Trix’s double, trying not to dwell on the consequences if his plan failed. But watching Trix take a strangely distinct pleasure in modeling a pink hairstyle In a metal-studded leather jacket and ripped tights, he had to consider it worth it. She suddenly turned and looked at her double with newfound interest, prodding open the port at her belly.

“Hey, inspector,” she asked, running her hands over her double’s internal components, “wanna have some fun?”

Eric knew he shouldn’t, knew that any damage to the droid would mean more work, make his report more complicated. Trix flashed him another grin, and with a sigh, he found himself powering the droid on.

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