Identity 2.0

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Continuation of The Liar's story Identity

As Wendell drove them to his home, Izzy found herself unable to shake the unease from earlier. She'd spoken harshly to him hundreds of times over the years, and it never bothered her until today - but now it felt... what was it? Disrespectful? Ungrateful?

Of course! Wendell had been volunteered for this assignment without any warning or choice in the matter. He'd suddenly been given a work project to take home, and he hadn't complained in the slightest. He'd even taken time out of his schedule to help her shop, and his advice in the store had been invaluable. She looked back in the bag at the tight hot pants and tank top. Odd that she'd overlooked them so many times before he suggested them - but that was probably because she'd been biased against them before. Now that he'd suggested them, she realized just how fashionable they would look on her.

Then another thought hit her. All this time, she'd been thinking of him as Wendell - but his name was -Jack- Wendell. She was going to be staying in his home, and she had the gall to call him just by his last name. Not even Mr. Wendell, just Wendell. It was so... insensitive. Was I always that way? Izzy thought to herself. Is the human version of me completely blind to this kind of thing? The thought seemed silly. How could becoming a robot make her more emotionally sensitive?

Izzy took a deep breath - or tried to, mimicking the movement, but oddly aware that she neither needed oxygen, nor had lungs with which to process it. The motion was a completely cosmetic movement of the synthetic muscles running under her plastiskin. Still, it felt calming as she worked up the nerve to speak.

"Listen, Wend-" she caught herself again. "Sorry, that's not... Can I start again?"

"Sorry?" Jack said distractedly, his eyes fixed on the road.

"Jack," she said, quietly. "I wanted to apologize. I'm really sorry for how I've been treating you."

"Oh, don't worry about it, Doctor Fox," he said as they pulled into the driveway of his home. "It's nothing, I..." He blinked, startled. "wait, what did you say?"

"I'm sorry," she repeated. "I've never been very nice to you, and yet here you're helping with this project, letting me stay at your place, putting up with me picking out clothes, even helping me make up my mind when I couldn't decide."

Jack gaped at her. "Are you feeling okay, Doctor Fox?"

She laughed. "I feel fine, Jack," she said, smiling warmly. "I don't know, maybe the stress of my job - of the real Isabelle's job, that is - makes me... her... kind of high strung." She shrugged. "I don't have to worry about that, so maybe it's just giving me a clearer view on things."

Jack squinted at her, as if it were some kind of trap. "I... I don't know what to..." She blinked at him, her expression free of any malice. "Th-thank you?" he said, cautiously.

Izzy was surprised by how good it felt to hear him say that. Her smile widened. "I just don't want to be an imposition," she said simply.

"Oh, you're not... I mean..." Jack stammered. He turned off the car and pointed at his front door. "Let's just go inside, okay?"

Izzy nodded. "Absolutely," she said.

They got out of the car, heading towards the front door, Izzy clutching the shopping bag as though guarding a treasure. She couldn't remember ever liking an outfit in quite the same way as the clothes Jack had picked out for her.

At the door, Jack unlocked it and grabbed the door handle, about to open it, then paused, drawing in a sharp breath. "Oh my god," he murmured.

"What's wrong?" Izzy asked, genuinely concerned.

He spun to look at her, an expression of alarm on his face. "Ah... it's... I live alone, you know, right?" Izzy nodded. "And you know how many times you've gotten on my case for making a mess in the lab and not cleaning up?"

Izzy remembered doing it, and even remembered the so-called "mess" with crystal clarity, but couldn't connect any anger to it. "I'm sorry about that, Jack, I was..."

"No, it's not that, it's..." He grimaced, clearly upset. "I'm a slob," he said, letting out a long breath. "I never really have any guests, so I never think about how it might look to anyone else, but with you visiting..." He looked at the door. "Just... don't tell anyone how I live, okay?"

Izzy smiled. "Your secret's safe with me," she said.

Jack opened the door. "Behold my abode," he said in a resigned tone, leading her into the living room.

Izzy stepped inside and scanned the room. This was what he was embarrassed by? Sure there was some clutter - articles of clothing lying on the floor, discarded food containers stacked next to an overflowing trash can, dozens of drinking glasses, many still with liquid in them all around the room - but none of it really bothered her. It was like finding a few crumbs on the table before sitting down to a meal. Hardly anything to get worked up about.

Izzy stifled a small laugh. "Jack, this is hardly a pigsty," she said, setting down her shopping bag in a clear spot near the door. "If you'll let me, I can straighten things up for you. It's the least I can do for you being such a good sport about all this."

Flustered, Jack began gathering up some of the clutter, but only succeeded in moving it around a little. "It's okay, I'll just..."

"You really don't have to do that, Jack. I can take care of it. Why not just relax?" she said.

Dumbstruck, Jack merely stood in one spot, watching Izzy as she breezed around the room, gathering things up in one place, then reorganizing them. Instead of squatting to pick things up off the floor, she always bent over at the waist, and always did so facing away from him, the short hem of her Maidroid outfit lifting up to show the tops of her stockings, and give him a flash of her underwear. It wasn't an intentional thing, Izzy knew, it was just how this body was designed to move.

Within minutes, she had cleared the clutter, taken out the trash, and loaded all the scattered dishes in the dishwasher. "There," she said as she strode confidently back into the living room. "No trouble at all, see?"

"You didn't have to do that," Jack said, meekly.

"No, but I wanted to," she countered. "Isn't part of this project about free will and independent thought?" He nodded. "Well, there you go. I freely chose to tidy up a bit for you." She looked around, a determined expression on her face. "Now, what next?" she mused.

"You probably want to get changed into your new clothes," Jack offered.

"That's right!" Izzy said enthusiastically. She wanted to change her clothes. In fact, she wanted it more than anything else. She unfastened the fittings holding on the maidroid outfit, pulling off the costume, and folding it neatly. "Where should I put this?" she asked Jack, holding out the skimpy outfit.

Jack's eyes were as big as saucers. "Um... you didn't have to do that right here," he managed to say.

"No," Izzy conceded, studying the folded garment. "But I chose to. Free will, remember?"

"You're topless," Jack hissed.

Izzy looked down at her tits. "You don't like them?" she asked. "We can have the lab install different ones, if you want."

"Doctor Fox," Jack began.

"Izzy," she corrected him. "Doctor Fox is a human. I'm not."

Jack blinked. "Izzy," he said, "you're standing in the middle of my living room, naked except for your panties and stockings." He cleared his throat. "Doesn't something about that seem a little bit off to you?"

Izzy thought. Now that he mentioned it, there was something odd about it. She knew that her human counterpart would never think of being in such a situation, but for some reason, she couldn't quite put her finger on why. Why wouldn't she strip down to her underwear in Jack Wendell's living room? She couldn't think of a reason.

Seeing the confused look on her face, Jack prompted her. "Don't you think there's something wrong with you being dressed like that in front of me?" he asked.

Realization dawned on her. "Oh, I can't believe I was so thoughtless!" she blurted. "I'm so sorry," she said, urgently tugging off the maidroid-standard panties, "I don't know why I forgot that kind of thing!" She lifted one leg, slipping her thumbs under the top of the stocking. "Should I take these off too, do you think?" she asked, concerned. "I'd have to take off the shoes, and I'm not sure how well I can balance without the heels."

Jack's brow furrowed. "You don't mind me seeing you naked?" he asked.

"No. Why?" Izzy asked, genuinely confused.

Jack studied her for a few minutes, then suddenly looked away, shyly. "Maybe you should take the clothes to the bedroom and get dressed there."

Izzy nodded. "Good idea," she said, grabbing her new clothes and ducking down the hallway as she tucked the Maidroid outfit in the shopping bag. "I'll be right back," she told him.

She had guessed that the door she picked would be the guest room, and not the master bedroom, but upon closing the door behind her, she realized her mistake. Briefly, she considered looking for the other bedroom, but she felt self conscious about leaving the room before she changed into the new outfit.

Jack's bedroom was just as cluttered as the living room had been, and Izzy found herself compulsively tidying up again. It was almost reflexive: Straighten the sheets, gather up the dirty laundry, stack the fashion magazines...

Izzy paused, studying the glossy magazine. She recognized the name of the publication, but had been clearly misinformed regarding the nature of it: She thought it was supposed to be some kind of trashy porno magazine that exploited women, but the magazine she was looking at was artistic and glamourous, filled with fashionable designs and beautiful photography. There was nothing offensive here. The lingerie was tastefully cut, the nude shots were artistically composed, even the ten-page spread of women masturbating was fascinatingly beautiful. No wonder Jack had such good fashion sense, she thought. Fashion was apparently his hobby, judging by the number of issues she found around the room.

Satisfied that she had straightened the room sufficiently, she reached into the bag to retrieve her new top and shorts, then paused. Should she remove the stockings? Technically, they were part of the Maidroid outfit, but did she dislike the whole outfit, or just the dress part?

Izzy pulled the Maidroid dress back out and held it up to look at it. She knew she disliked it, but had trouble pinning down what she disliked -about- it. Seeing it now, she couldn't see anything particularly unpleasant about it. She liked the shape of it. The color was nice. The fabric felt good on her skin, and her nipples hardened as she thought of the tight material rubbing against her breasts.

Was it the underwear? She pulled out the panties, checking them carefully. They were sheer and tight-fitting, cut high in the back to showcase her ass. I don't like them, she thought to herself. I know that. But why? It didn't make sense to her. She liked the material. She liked the shape. She liked the way it rubbed against her pussy when she walked. She liked the way Jack looked at her when he saw her in it. I like everything -about- them, so why don't I like them?

She crossed her arms under her bare breasts in a gesture of frustration. The only idea that occurred to her was that the panties just weren't enough like the hotpants and tank top for her liking. She knew she liked those.

Maybe that's it, she decided. The dress and panties weren't like the stretchy lycra top and shorts at all. They were lacy and frilly, but the clothes Jack had picked were more elastic and contoured. I guess I like the stockings just fine, she thought. They're like the outfit Jack got for me.

She pulled on the shorts and top quickly, checking herself out in the closet mirror as she did so. Something didn't feel right. The top felt fine, especially after her nipples hardened enough to be clearly visible through the elastic fabric, but the shorts felt loose and frumpy. That's silly, she thought. They're skin-tight. How can they be baggy?

She shimmied in the shorts tugging and pulling at them, but they didn't start feeling comfortable until she pulled them high, stretching the fabric into her butt crack and clearly displaying her pussy. Oh, that's better, she thought. I guess it needed to be in full contact to feel right. She checked herself out again, this time from behind, running a hand up her butt and feeling between her cheeks. I don't remember feeling this good with things against my anus, she mused. Then again, I don't remember trying it that much, either.

She turned to open then door, and was startled to find Jack on the other side, about to knock. He looked even more startled.

"Well," she asked, "what do you think?" She did a half turn, making sure to stick out her butt. "I really like the way it fits in the back," she said.

"You... er... you look really nice," he said. He peeked over her shoulder, noticing the state of the room. "You cleaned up? You didn't need to spend all your time doing chores, you know."

"What? Oh, that?" she giggled. I never used to giggle, she realized. "No, that only took a few minutes. Well, most of it. I took a little longer on your magazines."

Jack looked horrified. "My mag... you..." He made a muffled sound of alarm.

"Oh, don't worry! I stacked them up nice and neat," she said. "It only took a while because I got sidetracked looking through one."

Jack tilted his head slowly. His mouth hung open, but he didn't say anything.

"I hope that was okay!" she said, worried she had overstepped her bounds as his guest. "I just really liked the pictures."

That's when Jack passed out.

Ten minutes later, he came to, Izzy's concerned face looking down at him at an odd angle. "Are you okay?" she asked. "Can I get you something? Did I do something wrong?"

Jack blinked, closing his eyes tight, then opening them wide again. His head hurt, but he felt something cushioning it. He reached back to feel the knot on the back of his head, and his hands brushed something soft and warm, with an odd shape for a pillow. There were two firm parts on either side of his head, connected in a kind of U or V shape. Where they connected, it was even softer and warmer...

As he felt the odd cushion, he wondered why Izzy was looking at him like that - then realized with a start that he had his head in her lap. Which meant that he had his hand right between her legs.

Jack sat bolt upright, blurting "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," as he scooted away from Izzy on the floor.

She looked at him with a perplexed expression. "It's alright, really!" she said, surprised. "I was worried that you'd hurt yourself or something. Are you alright? Feeling better?" He stared at her blankly for several seconds. "Jack? Hello? Maybe you should put your head back down. Here," she said, patting her lap.

"No!" Jack said, jumping to his feet. He studied Izzy carefully. "Izzy, sorry if this sounds weird, but are -you- feeling okay?"

Izzy stood, stretching as if working out stiffness in her muscles. Muscles I don't really have, she thought. "I think so," she said, considering the question. "I mean, I don't feel sick or uncomfortable or anything. Why?"

"Well," he said, rubbing his neck, "you aren't quite... acting like yourself."

"What do you mean?" she said. She seemed confused, but unworried.

He took a deep breath. "Doctor Fox is -never- nice to me," he said. "I mean, I'm sure she's a nice person and everything, and I don't hate or anything like that, she just isn't nice to me. Ever." He shrugged. "It's like a defining quality of how she interacts with me."

Izzy nodded, understanding. "Oh, okay, that. Yeah, I'd noticed it myself." She breathed a sigh of relief. "I'd never realized how much of a psychological effect stress had on a biological brain." She smiled comfortingly at him. "I'm sorry for the way I've acted towards you in the past, Jack." She blinked, suddenly realizing. "And the way she's probably going to act towards you in the future." She grimaced sympathetically. "You don't deserve that."

"It's not just that, Izzy. I mean, look at yourself. You're still wearing the stockings and heels." Realizing what he'd just said, he panicked again. "Not that I've been looking! I mean... obviously I've looked but..."

"Oh, that," Izzy said, realizing. "That's part of what took me so long to get changed, too. It seems becoming a robot has made me kind of introspective. I'd never really thought about -why- I don't like the Maidroid outfit, and honestly, I still don't know why. I like everything about it, but I don't like it." She furrowed her brow. "I think." She shook herself. "But anyway, I decided - freely, by the way - that I like the stockings. They're a lot like these clothes." She gestured down one side by means of illustration. "By the way, I -really- like this outfit. Thank you for picking it out for me. I never knew you were into fashion, but it looks like it's a major hobby for you."

Jack looked confused. "Fashion?" he said, raising an eyebrow.

"The magazines," she said, nodding.

Jack's mouth opened and closed, but no sound came out. He closed his eyes and massaged his temples. "Fashion magazines?" he said after a few minutes. "That's what you think they are?"

"Well, what else would they be?" she asked. "Page after page of women changing clothes. I mean sure, there were a lot of artistic sections, female anatomy studies, that sort of thing..."

"Izzy, didn't it strike you that most of the women in that magazine were naked?" Jack said, disbelieving.

Izzy put a finger to her lips, thinking. "No, I don't think they were. The magazine I looked at contained images of 167 women." She looked off into space, recalling the contents of the magazine. "All of them were wearing shoes. 121 of them were wearing hosiery - 82 with stockings, 30 with pantyhose, and 8 with bodystockings. 67 were wearing panties. 38 were wearing bras. 12 were wearing a dress." She looked back at Jack. "None of them were naked. Not completely."

"And this seemed normal to you?" Jack said. "Hell, does it sound normal for you to explain it to me now, like this?"

She shook her head. "Of course it's not normal," she said, smiling. "It's extraordinary. Not only was I completely wrong about that publication, I learned something surprising about you."

Jack blinked slowly. "Izzy," he said quietly, "they're not fashion magazines." He muttered something too quietly for even her electronic ears to detect.

"Sorry, I didn't quite catch that," she said, apologetically. "I think we may need to fine tune the sensitivity on these ears."

"I said they're porn." He said, his voice barely a whisper. "I whack off to them. They turn me on. They sexually arouse me." He squinted at her. "Do you understand that?"

She blinked. "Really?" she said, surprised. He nodded. "That's it? I thought porn would have been something more offensive." He looked at her with incomprehension. "I mean," she continued, "I hadn't ever really looked at porn as a human, I just knew it was disgusting and I didn't want anything to do with it." She furrowed her brow. "Huh. Kind of like the Maidroid costume. I liked everything about the magazine, but I know I don't like porn." She looked up at him again. "And you use these to self stimulate?" she said with genuine curiousity.

"Y-yeah," he stammered.

"Huh," she said, considering. "Can I see?"

Jack's eyes went wide, his mouth hanging silently open. He finally managed to squeak out one word. "What?"

"Well," she said, an objective tone in her voice, "I think you're right. I don't think any of this is normal. It's wrong. I like everything about the maidroid costume. I like everything about your pornographic magazine. It doesn't make sense for me to like everything about something I dislike, so..." she shrugged. "I must be wrong about disliking those things." She nodded resolutely. "Yes, I'm certain of it. I like pornography. And I like the maidroid outfit."

"So you want to watch me play with myself?" he said, the strangeness of the situation overcoming his embarrassment.

"I want to perform an experiment," she said. "I know I don't like the idea of watching you masturbate - but I also know I like everything about you, everything about masturbation, and everything about porn. I think I might be wrong about not wanting to see you masturbate. I think I want to see your penis." Her eyes widened, then rolled back in her head. "Okay, that was weird," she said, shuddering.

"Yes, that part. That's the point at which it got weird," Jack murmured to himself.

She looked at him sternly. "I'm serious, Jack, I think some of the maidroid programming is hardwired into this body. When I said the word penis, I- ah!" she shuddered again, her eyes closing and a contented smile spreading across her face. She shook herself. "When I said that word, it felt good," she said.

"You mean like overcoming some psychological block or something?" he asked.

"No, I've said the word before, when I was human." She crossed her arms. "I've got three PHDs, you know, one of them in biochemistry. Basic anatomy is a pretty fundamental part of the curriculum." She widened her eyes, impressed. "This felt good. Like being kissed." She braced herself, looking for all the world like Dorothy as she wished to go home. "Penis," she whispered, then hummed in pleasure.

"Maybe you should take it easy on that," Jack suggested. "I think you should probably stop saying it for now."

She pouted. "Okay," she conceded, "but you still didn't answer my question. Can I watch you masturbate?"

Jack opened his mouth to speak, but couldn't think of anything to say. Just then, they were both startled out of their conversation by the chiming of Jack's vidphone. "Let's table that for now," he said, moving quickly to answer the incoming call.

Dr. Frederick's face appeared on the screen. "Jack," he said "Glad I caught you this time. I tried calling earlier, but you were apparently still on your little shopping trip." He raised an eyebrow skeptically. "You didn't go overboard, did you? I know we didn't really give you a shopping list, but the board of directors already sees this project as a money sink." He tutted. "We can't just buy her a new wardrobe you know."

"No, Dr. Frederick," Jack said nervously. "Really, I just bought her a top and some shorts. It only cost about thirty bucks total."

"Well, just so long as you kept it under two hundred..." Dr. Frederick blinked in surprise. "Did you say thirty?" He blinked again, then did a double take. "Did you say shorts?!" He didn't wait for a response. "Right, well..." he said, regaining his composure, "I certainly hope you saved the receipt for reimbursement. Izzy, are you there?"

"Right here, Dr. Frederick," Izzy said, peeking around Jack.

"And how are you settling in, Izzy?" The face on the screen peered over thick-rimmed glasses at her, like a teacher checking in on a student. "How are you feeling?"

"I feel fine," Izzy said. "It's kind of exhilirating, actually. I've never had this clarity of thought."

Frederick nodded. "No odd sensations or abnormalities?" He asked.

Izzy thought for a moment. "Well, I do get an extremely pleasant sensation whenever I say the word-"

Jack broke into a coughing fit, cutting her off.

Dr. Frederick smiled playfully. "It's alright, Jack, I'm reasonably certain I know how she was going to finish that sentence. Izzy, that's perfectly normal for Maidroid programming." He leaned closer to the screen. "Other than that, everything alright? I trust the accommodations are to your liking? You know, I don't think I've ever seen your place, Jack. Izzy, tell us about his home."

Izzy opened her mouth to speak, then a confused expression appeared on her face. "It's..." she began. She blinked a few times. "It's Jack's personal life, Dr. Frederick," she said, her confidence growing as she spoke. "Don't you think he deserves some privacy?"

The face on the screen blinked. "Come again?" he said flatly.

Izzy shifted uncomfortably. "It's just... Jack didn't have much of a choice in taking me in. Now here I am at his home, and just by virtue of being here, I'm constantly recording video and audio." She crossed her arms. "I just don't think it would be fair to Jack if I told you anything he didn't want told."

"Oh, this is ridiculous," a voice said on Dr. Frederick's end. His face was pushed aside as Dr. Fox's face appeared on the screen, and Izzy felt a moment of something like vertigo seeing the face that she remembered having. "Izzy, which do you prefer, grapes or apples?"

Jack was completely lost. "Cherries," Izzy said flatly, an almost irritated note in her voice. "And I'm telling him what that means, too."

Isabelle glared at her, shocked. "I think that's enough of that," Dr. Frederick's voice said. Isabelle looked away bitterly, then stepped aside, allowing Dr. Frederick back on screen. "Now then, Jack, I want to talk with you about your work schedule. First, don't bother coming in tomorrow."

Jack looked worried. "Look, I know I was late clocking in a few times, but..."

"You're not fired," Dr. Frederick reassured him. "You're working from home. Part of this experiment is how Izzy copes and functions in a household environment, and we can't really test that with you gone most of the day." He cleared his throat. "So, until further notice, your job is simply to interact with Izzy. How much or little is up to you, but you'll need to answer a questionnaire once a day. That goes for both of you, by the way, Izzy."

"You just want me to stay home all day?" Jack asked, skeptically.

"Of course not," Dr. Frederick said dismissively. "Stay home. Go out. Shop. Visit museums. Whatever. Doesn't matter, but we'd prefer you two do things together. You'll be provided with a care and maintenance stipend, Jack."

"I don't still get paid, do I?" asked Izzy.

Dr. Frederick paused. "Do you want to be paid?" he asked, slowly.

Izzy considered it. What would she buy? She didn't eat, so there was no need to buy food. Most of a maidroid's hygenic processes were self-sustaining and automatic, so there was no need for toiletries or makeup. She could buy clothes, but they weren't a necessity. As a human, she had collected books and music, but these seemed somehow abstract to her now.

"No, I don't think I do," she said finally. "Technically, I didn't even exist until the transfer was made, so I never was paid in the first place, anyway."

"Well," Dr. Frederick continued, pickup up his stride again, "the care and maintenance stipend should cover any incidental expenses that come up. I've already sent you the questionnaire materials, Jack. They'll be in your email inbox. We'd like hard copies, so please print them out and fill them in by hand. We'll send a courier by each day to collect them and drop off new ones." He clapped his hands. "I believe that just about covers it. We'll be in touch, Jack." He reached towards the camera.

"Wait!" Jack blurted. "When am I supposed to come back in to work?"

Dr. Frederick counted off on his fingers, muttering some figures. "Let's see," he said, "the questionnaires will have to undergo formal review before they get factored into product design, and then there will be the in-house development cycle, that always takes about one-and-a-half times as long as they quote, and we'll have to be able to squeeze it into the existing budget without disrupting our active product lines and upcoming releases..." He puffed his cheeks and blew out through his teeth. "I don't think it will take much longer than five years. Six at the outside." He looked at his watch. "Good grief, is that the time? I'll have to cut this short. Let us know if you need anything, and save all your receipts, Jack. We'll see you at Izzy's upgrade in six weeks." Without further warning, the screen went black.

Izzy and Jack stood in silence - Jack, too stunned to say anything, and Izzy, worried that she was going to be a burden to Jack. "Soooo..." she began, more to break the silence than anything else.

"Cherries?" Jack asked. Izzy looked confused again. "You said you preferred cherries to grapes. What was that about?"

"Oh, that," Izzy said, "It's this... I don't know, kind of a failsafe I came up with before I volunteered to be a robot - er... copy myself into a robot. I didn't tell anyone." She fidgeted with her hair, as if embarrassed. "I knew the robot would probably get used for sex, and be forced to do a lot of things I would never do, but I didn't know if she... I... would be afraid, or disgusted, or whatever.

I assigned meanings to the different fruits. Apples was a kind of all-clear - something the real Isabelle wouldn't pick anyway. If the robot answered that it liked apples, then it didn't matter, the response was just randomly chosen by an unthinking program. If I'd answered grapes, she would have prompted me to clarify. An unthinking program wouldn't really care, but if I'd specified -dark red- grapes, it would have meant 'I'm scared and/or in pain, please help me.'"

"But cherries?" Jack asked.

"Cherries meant 'I'm fine and I'd prefer for you to stop asking me.'" After an awkward silence, she realized he might have misunderstood. "Not you! I meant for her to stop asking!" she said, worried that she'd upset him.

Jack frowned. "Why did that bother you?"

Izzy looked at him pleadingly. "Please don't be mad." Seeing his confusion, she explained. "I was only going to ask my robot self the question if I really didn't trust the person she was with."

"You don't trust me?" he asked quietly.

"-She- doesn't."

"You do?" Izzy nodded. "Are you sure you're the same person?"

"I'm starting to wonder that myself," she said.


"Okay, my turn," Izzy said, smiling. She was enjoying this. "Question 28: Please rate your level of social activity on a scale from one to five..."

"One," Jack said in a glum voice - but it was an act. He was smiling, too.

"With one being little to no..." she continued.

"One," he said again, intentionally in the same tone. This time he frowned comically.

She snickered. "I can't finish if you keep interrupting me!" she said. "One being little to no social activity, and five being..."

"One," he repeated.

She was having trouble talking through her laughter. "And five being constant social activity," she finally finished. She looked at him expectantly, nearly breaking into laughter as he threatened to repeat his response. After several false starts, she leaned forward. "Well?"

He took a breath and began forming the word "one" with the shape of his mouth... but instead smiled and said "Could you repeat the question?"

At this point, Izzy doubled over with laughter, unable to continue with the day's questionnaire. The two of them sat cross-legged on the living room floor as they had worked through the questionnaire - Jack because he found it relaxing, and Izzy because it seemed like the thing to do.

Inwardly, she was fascinated by what was going on. She knew, intellectually, that he wasn't being all that funny - In fact, since becoming a robot, the concept of "funny" had become somewhat hazy to her - but right now she genuinely found him to be hilarious. Funnier than anything she'd ever heard or seen before.

Similarly, she was surprised at the physical response she was exhibiting. I don't have abdominal muscles, so there's no reason for me to double over like this, she thought to herself. I don't breathe, so I can't be short of breath. Still the reaction came instinctively to her. Did I bring that in the mental transfer? she wondered. She had never seen a maidroid react in such a way before.

Eventually she recovered and managed to finish filling out the question. "That was my last one," she said, looking over the paper.

"I've still got a few more," Jack said. "Looks like they're more interested in your responses."

She looked down her nose at him. "You'll never learn my secrets," she said in an over-the-top British accent.

"Vee haff vays uff makink you tolk," he replied, not missing a beat. He leaned back against the side of the sofa. "Hey, why aren't you like this at work?" he asked.

"That isn't on the questionnaire, is it?" she asked with a smirk.

He rolled his eyes. "No, I'm asking. Because I want to know. The real..." He caught himself. "The -human- Isabelle Fox is never like this. She's..."

"She's a bitch," Izzy offered.

"I was going to say 'all business,' but let's go with bitch."

She considered the question. "She does whatever she thinks is the most expedient route to success."

"You don't?"

"I do - but the stuff she wants, the success she craves - means nothing to me." She shrugged. "Literally. Hand me a million bucks, and I'll just stand around holding it until someone asks me to give it to them. Hand her a million bucks and she'll clock you over the head just in case you've got more on you. I get no satisfaction from the idea of obtaining things. I -am- a thing."

"Hey, I don't think of you as a thing," he said, a worried expression on his face.

She broke into a broad smile. "But I do. And it feels right to me. It's not something I'll have to get used to, or something I'm coping with. I'm not getting any kind of inferiority complex. I simply am a thing, and I get satisfaction from that knowledge."

He studied her for several minutes. "Did they just get your memories? I mean, is Isabella Fox really in there? In your head?" He looked skeptical. "You can't possibly have her personality. You're nothing like her."

"I think part of this project is to figure out just how much of a personality -can- be transferred. Besides, I just like different things." He didn't answer. "I don't know how much of a role enjoyment plays in a person's personality, but when I think about my human memories, that's the only difference. She likes things I don't care about." She looked down at the sheet he was holding. "What's the next question?"

Jack shook his head as if to wake himself up. "Right, sorry." He held up the paper. "Have you ever had a buh..." he trailed off. "Um. This is kind of personal stuff. Are you comfortable with me asking things like this?"

"I think so," she said. "You haven't made me uncomfortable yet."

He looked back at the page. "Have you ever had a bisexual encounter?"

"No," she answered, matter-of-factly. "I dated a guy in college, and my roommate joked about having a threesome with him, but none of us had the nerve to try. I probably would have, if they'd both suggested it at once. Later on I found out they were seeing each other behind my back." Her eyes widened, as if surprised at this memory. "Wow, that really pissed me off at the time."

Jack blinked, then looked back at the paper. "I'm just supposed to circle yes or no here. I don't think I can write all that down." He circled "No," then moved on to the next question. "Question 30: Have you ever had a bisexual fantasy? Really? How many of these are about bisexuality?" he muttered, flipping through the remaining papers.

"Yes, I did. A few times about the boyfriend and roommate I mentioned. A few more times about a few celebrities. Nothing really since I got my first Bachelor's degree. Once I became a career girl, sex kind of seemed like a distraction. I did have an erotic dream last month about being in a harem, though. My human self doesn't remember it, but I can't really forget things unless they get deleted." She paused, realizing inwardly, I won't dream anymore. Does that bother me?

Jack looked uncomfortable. "Listen, Izzy, I meant to thank you before, about keeping my privacy..."

She looked up at him. "Well, you did say for me not to tell people how you live."

"Right, yeah," he fumbled, "but, uh... Isn't this kind of thing an invasion of your..." he checked himself. "Of Dr. Fox's privacy?"

Izzy shifted positions. He had a point. "I went into this with eyes wide open, Jack. I knew full well what I was getting into. I even defined the terms of the contract, which included full disclosure of my private details to the development team." She half smiled. "I don't mind at all, and she explicitly authorized it in the contract. It's not like you can blab publicly. When you were hired as a paid intern, you signed a pretty thick non-disclosure agreement."

Jack considered this, deciding to table the matter for now. "Let's... let's move on." He turned to the next page. "Question 31: How often do you masturbate? Options are less than once a month, once a month, 2-3 times per month, weekly, 2-6 times a week, daily, or more than once per day."

"Depends on if I'm dating at the time or not," she said without hesitation.

"I take it that means more if you're not dating?" Jack inquired.

She shook her head. "Other way around," she said. "It's like my sex drive goes dormant if I don't have a use for it." She pondered the question. "When I'm dating, it's at least once per day. When I'm not, sometimes it's been less than once per month. Average over the past 3 years would come out to just over twice a week."

Jack filled in the response. "Question 32: Finger yourself." He did a double take. "Wait, what?"

"Okay," she said, shifting her legs to swiftly tug off the tight shorts. As she spread her legs, Jack found himself oddly fascinated by the manufacturer markings printed on her skin - and somewhat surprised to see another marking printed just above her pussy. In moments, her fingers were pumping in and out of her sex with surprising speed.

Once again, Izzy found herself reflexively mimicking human breathing, though the effect was entirely cosmetic. She was startled by the intensity of the sensation as she played with herself - it was unlike anything she'd ever experienced before. Her human memories of sex were pleasurable, but limited to a small region of her body. The sensation at orgasm would spread, of course, but was less intense the further it got from her vagina.

But now, it was like her finger was itself an erogenous zone - and the pleasure had begun not at the moment when she started masturbating, but as soon as she acknowledged Jack's request, and intensified when she removed her shorts. By the time she began penetrating herself, her mind was already awash with waves of pleasure more intense than any sex she'd experienced as a human.

Jack stared at her, his mouth hanging open. She turned her head and looked at him with hunger in her eyes.

"Uhh..." he said, jerking his gaze back to the questionnaire, "Okay, that was... apparently so you could answer the second part of the quesion..." He cleared his throat. "On a scale from one to ten, with one being painful and ten being immensely pleasurable, rate your pleasure at the moment when the interviewer - so I guess that would be me - when I issued the command."

"Ten!" Izzy cried. "It felt so good, sooOOOoooOOO..." Her voice wavered as she pumped away.

Jack's gaze drifted back to look at her, but he forced himself to focus on the questions. "Okay, question, ah, 33, s-same rating scale, this time rate your pleasure as you prepared to obey the command." His eyebrows went up. "That makes it sound like I was bossing you around," he commented.

"Ten!" she shouted. "But more than the first ten! A ten that equals a million!" She closed her eyes and began rhythmically grinding her pelvis, trying different angles.

"Right... question... ah... question..." He trailed off, shifing, apparently uncomfortable sitting in that position. "C-could you..."

Izzy whipped her head around, her focus entirely on him. "Yes, I could..." she said, softly but urgently.

"I... um... I didn't say what..." he stammered.

"It doesn't matter," she purred. "I could. I would."

Jack moved to stand, carefully. "I'm just going to... I need to take care of... um..." he moved towards the hallway.

"Couldn't you do that here?" Izzy whimpered.

"I... what?"

She tossed her head back, varying the tempo of her hands movement. "You never answered my question from earlier," she said in mock disapproval. She flipped around, facing away from him, planting her face on the carpet with her ass in the air, and began fingering herself from behind. "You're watching me get off. Can I watch you?"

Jack felt lightheaded. "You want to watch me jerk off?"

Izzy closed her eyes, smiling mischeviously. "I want to watch you jerk it, rub it, stroke it..." Her enthusiasm intensified as she said this. "Anything."

As if in a daze, Jack began unbuckling his trousers. "Don't laugh," he said, slowly slipping them off. "And don't tell anyone." He stood in his boxers, nervously unsure how to stand.

"I won't say a word," she said, dreamily. She licked her lips, eyes glued to the bulge in Jack's shorts.

"I don't know how this should go," Jack said.

Izzy bit her lip as her tempo increased briefly. "I'm... pretty sure... you have to touch it," she suggested.

He scowled at her. "That's not what I meant."

"What would you do if I weren't here?" she asked.

"Well, I'd probably..."

"You probably... hnnnnnmmmm wouldn't narrate it," she moaned. "You'd probably just do it."

He looked at her blankly, then gripped the waistband of his shorts. "Here goes," he said, taking a deep breath. Afraid he would lose his nerve, he pulled them quickly down to mid-thigh...

And Izzy's world melted away. Between his legs was something amazing. Something beautiful. Something she wanted to touch, to feel against every inch of her synthetic skin, to lick, to have inside her, anywhere inside her. She knew what they looked like - she'd seen them hundreds of times, in the porn she had very rarely viewed in her college years, in anatomy textbooks, on her boyfriends... but Jack's was different. That doesn't make sense, she thought to herself, it looks pretty typical, slightly longer than average, but I've seen bigger. But it was different, nonetheless. Though she consciously couldn't see anything remarkable about it, Jack's was perfect. She could stare at it forever. Just looking at it was almost orgasmic, and she craved it.

Jack shifted from foot to foot, uncomfortably aware that she was staring at him - but also uncomfortably erect. Good god, he thought, she's incredible. It's like my cock is the only thing that matters to her. He hesitantly began stroking the underside of his shaft.

Izzy suddenly gasped as though he had just entered her, and her hand slowed to match the movements of his own. She's imagining that I'm fucking her, Jack realized. Gradually, he worked up his speed, using his pre-cum for lubrication. She matched every back and forth movement, grinding her hips as though pumping against him.

Eventually he was going full speed - though not nearly as fast as she had been going. All the while, she moaned in pleasure, her eyes never wavering from his crotch. Soon, as he felt the sensation build to climax, he noticed her licking her lips, her mouth forming an "O" between gasps of pleasure. Just as he felt himself on the cusp of cumming, she whispered, "Can I?" When he didn't respond, it became a whine. "Can I? Please?" I need it, she thought to herself. I feel like I really need to taste it, like it's water in a desert or something.

But the part of her capable of such analysis couldn't get any of those thoughts to her lips. "Please," she begged, "before you do, I want to... to..." she gulped, rising to her knees. "Can I taste it? Can I taste your cum, please?"

"C'mere," he gasped. She began to crawl towards him, her progress hindered by her inability to completely stop masturbating. Each time she moved forward, she still felt compelled to pump away between her legs, alternating hands as she crawled. "Stop playing with yourself," he told her, gritting his teeth, "And get over here."

She sighed blissfully again, quickly darting over in front of him. She sat back on her heels, his cock bobbing inches from her nose, a look of longing and fascination on her face. He gasped through clenched teeth, and for Izzy, time slowed to a crawl.

She could see the jism shooting from the tip of his penis in slow motion, suspended impossibly mid-air. It moved lazily forward. Izzy tried to dart forward to catch it in her mouth, but the air felt thick. She could move, but there was an odd resistance to her motion. Nevertheless, she was able to easily position her mouth to catch the fluid in her mouth - and was astonished at the resulting sensation.

It wasn't taste - the maidroid tongue didn't have anything analogous to human tastebuds - but it was intense, and rippled throughout her whole body. The feeling was more than good, it was euphoric. More, she thought. Please let there be more.

Still moving in slow motion, his cock spasmed again, spurting another gravity-defying glob of semen at her. She could practically see the trajectory it was going to follow - and as soon as she thought that, she found that she -could- see it, a 3-dimensional dotted line appearing in her vision, the white goo gliding along it.

It stopped just under her nose, and she could feel, in some intangible way, that it was just to the left of her mouth. It's like what I felt at the hairstylist, that time I tried out a pixie-cut. The buzzing of the electric trimmer near the base of her neck had tickled her spine, even when it wasn't touching her. I wonder if Isabelle can remember that, she mused, shifting position to center the end of the dotted line on her open mouth.

Catching the liquid in her mouth, she was once again treated to the euphoric wave, but this time found herself satisfied, rather than still craving. Why? she wondered, and was startled to suddenly know why: The thought "Total fluid intake: 2.08cc" appeared in her mind. She scarecly had time to wonder if that meant she would crave it again when "22 minutes" appeared in her thoughts. His refractory period, she realized. I can't possibly know that for certain, she thought. This was met with a wealth of statistical data analysis regarding Jack - age, weight, diet and hundreds of other data points. I'll have to watch what I think, she realized. I'm not sure I like getting a data readout in the middle of more enjoyable activities.

Even as she thought this, time seemed to return to normal, and the low rumbling she had scarcely noticed before shifted up in pitch and became Jack's ragged gasps as he panted for breath. She looked up at him, smiling happily. He looked at her with eyes wide in shock, then seemed to crash back to reality.

"Oh god, sorry, I..." He blurted, looking suddenly away. He fumbled with his shorts, trying to pull them up. "That was really... I shouldn't have..."

"I enjoyed that a lot, Jack," Izzy said brightly.

He managed to get his shorts up, then nearly tripped over himself as he urgently tried to retrieve his pants - but then he paused. "You did?" he asked, cautiously.

"Completely," she affirmed, nodding enthusiastically. "It was amazing." A worried look crossed her face. "Should I start playing with myself again?" she asked. "It seemed like you only told me to stop so I could make it over here in time, so..."

He looked at her blankly. "What?" Before she could answer, he shook himself. "N-no," he stuttered, "that's not necessary." He put his hands to eyes, rubbing his face. "What the hell was I thinking? They are going to -kill- me when they find out." He slid his hands down, revealing terrified eyes. "Oh god. Isabelle. She's going to skin me alive."

Izzy was confused. "Why?" she asked, puzzled.

Jack looked at her, incredulously. "Why? You seriously don't understand why?"

She blinked innocently, then pointed at the logo printed on her stocking. "I'm a nymph-type Maidroid," she stated, "and you're a single, heterosexual man. We have two assignments: Interact with each other, and answer questionnaires. We're specifically told that the nature of our interaction is entirely at your discretion, and the first questionnaire has you ordering me to finger myself." She shuddered briefly, the recollection of that command still echoing pleasure through her. Recovering, she continued. "I don't think anyone's going to be surprised by this, least of all my human self."

He leaned against the wall, the expression on his face still a mixture of shock and fear. As she said this last part, he looked at her, and his eyebrows went up, but he said nothing. Instead, he merely slid slowly down the wall to sit on the floor again. Finally he managed to speak again. "Why not?" he whispered.

Izzy once again felt a sudden pang of apprehension and discomfort. She looked down, almost ashamed. "Because I remember what I thought of you. I remember thinking 'if Wendell gets his paws on her, he'll probably be having sex with her within the hour.'"

Jack was staring blankly at the ground. "So how is she going to react?" he asked, flatly.

Izzy opened her mouth to tell him, but couldn't think of any response. "I... don't know," she said, surprised. She tried again, but no matter how she put the facts together, she couldn't put together any kind of anticipated response from her human self.

Now Jack was confused. "Really?" he asked, perplexed. "Is this like a 'you never know how you'll react until it happens' kind of thing?"

"No," Izzy replied, staring off into space, "I... I can't understand her thoughts." She frowned. "I remember all her thoughts and experiences - better than she does, in fact - but I can't relate to them at all." She sat still for a moment. "I could, back when I first woke up, and for a while after that, but it's gotten... fuzzy."

"So, what, you're not really her?" He asked. "Not really a copy of her, I mean."

"I don't know that either." She concentrated hard. "Have you ever really liked something, but then something happened and you can't enjoy it anymore?"

"I used to be nuts about this educational puppet show when I was a kid," he said. "Now I'd probably fall asleep if I tried watching it."

"What about the other way around? Something you hated, but now you really love it?" She asked.

He thought for a moment. "I never really had a taste for zucchini until I had it at a hibachi steakhouse." He half-smiled. "It's pretty much the only vegetable I actually like now."

"Jack," she asked, "Are you still the same person who liked that puppet show? Or the same one who hated zucchini?" There was a note of urgency in her voice. "Or did those people cease to exist when your tastes changed?" He looked up at her, concern on his features, and she locked eyes with him. "Can you remember how to be those people?" she asked.

For long minutes, they stared at each other. Growing uncomfortable with the silence, he looked away and coughed. "I don't get what you're saying," he said quietly. "Sorry."

She bit her lip, acutely aware that the resulting sensation was nothing like the tactile feeling when she did so as a human - and at the same time, it was exactly the same. "I still feel like myself," she said. "I don't feel like I'm being jerked around on puppet strings. I feel like I'm choosing to do the things I enjoy." She paused. "It just feels like I enjoy different things now."

There was a long silence, then Jack remembered the questionnaire. "There's still one more question here," he said.

Unconcerned by her nudity, she sat back on her heels again. "I'll be happy to answer," she said.

He retrieved the questionnaire sheet and read it aloud. "Question 34," he said, "same 1-10 scale, rate your pleasure at the moment when you began to obey."

She broke into a wide, comforting smile. "Tenfinity," she said. It was the truth. Hearing the command had made her feel good. Preparing to obey had filled her with anticipation. Obeying had flooded her with joy.

He looked at her carefully. "You really would do anything I told you, wouldn't you?" he asked, marvelling. "I mean, anything a robot's allowed to do."

"I think so," she said, a playful look on her face, "but that's just an extrapolated projection based on just one data point." She pursed her lips, as if thinking. "I would need more experimental results to answer that question with any statistical confidence."

"Stand up," he told her. She did so without hesitation, and made no effort to cover herself.

"Take off the halter," he ordered, slightly more confidently.

She wasn't prepared for the increase in pleasure at another command so soon after the first. She sighed slightly as she pulled off the skin-tight top, releasing her breasts. She absently tossed the skimpy shirt aside, and it landed next to the shorts. She put one hand on her thigh and the other on her hip. Pleasure tingled all over her body. She beamed at him. "Like what you..."

"Stand at attention," he said, quickly. She did, stifling a gasp of pleasure. "Close your left eye. Stick out your tongue. Touch the tip of your tongue with your left index finger. Stick your right arm straight out. Now bend it up at the elbow. Lift your right foot. Hum the 1812 Overture." She followed every command instantly. It was all she could do from screaming in ecstacy. The barrage of orders triggered a cascade of pleasure more intense than any orgasm her human self had ever experienced.

"Stop," he commanded, just before the crescendo in the song. "Stand normally, tongue back in your mouth." She did so, and almost imperceptable tremor in her movements. Her eyes were slightly lidded, and her mouth hung slightly open as she purred with pleasure. "How did that make you feel?" he asked.

She cried out as if climaxing. It was as though he had rung her entire pleasure center like a bell, loudly and repeatedly. "That was amazing!" she said, gasping.

He crossed his arms. "You didn't mind any of that?"

"Mind?" she said in disbelief. "Are you kidding? I'm already trying to work out ways to beg you to do it some more without annoying you!"

He walked up to her, roughly grabbing her breasts. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she moaned in delight. He leaned in close and whispered in her ear. "And what if I wanted to pose you like the girls in my magazines?"

"That would make me soooooo happy..." she said, dreamily.

His voice became a sharper whisper. "What if I want to touch your pussy?" he asked, reaching down between her legs. He began to run his fingers over her smooth mound.

Finding herself no longer capable of coherent speech, she responded by wrapping one leg around him, providing him easier access. His finger slipped insider her, and rational thought left her. All she knew was "obey feel good." She pumped against his finger.

"Would you suck my cock?" He said softly.

Obey feel good. She nodded enthusiastically.

"Would you bend over for me to fuck your ass?" His voice was starting to take on a more confident tone, no longer a quiet whisper.

Obey feel good. She managed to make an urgent-sounding "mm-hmm" sound as she nodded faster.

"Will you dress like a slut?" Obey feel good. She wrapped her arms around him, still nodding. "Will you act like a slut?"

Obey feel good. "Mmmmm," was all she could manage, but she kept nodding.

"Will you strip for me? Put on shows for me? Take me any way I want, anywhere I want, anytime I want?"

Obey feel good. Her head bobbed up and down. She was vaguely aware that this signified agreement.

He stepped back, his finger slipping out of her with a moist sound. "Ooooh," she cooed as her mind returned to normal functionality. Her skin felt like it was buzzing, and there was a soothing white noise overlay in her audio feed, which gradually diminished. She detected familiar particles in the air, which she immediately associated with Jack. The refractory timer suddenly jumped ahead 5 minutes. I'm smelling his arousal, she realized, closing her eyes and relishing the data. It's in his breath, his body oils, his sweat, his fresh pre-cum... Her eyes popped open, and the timer skipped ahead another two minutes. It was down to less than a minute now.

He took her by the hand. "Come on, then," he said, leading her back to the bedroom, "Let's get started."

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