Inspektor 12 Kronicles 9: Miseries Miracles & More Miseries

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The long-delayed next chapter is finally here! Took longer to revise and polish than I would have liked, but the end result ought to be worth it. For continuity and clarity, here's the Saga to date:

The Homecoming
One Zero Nightmare

Miseries & Miracles {& more Miseries}

Deep within Robo-Depot headquarters, the Inspektor 12 Family-Harem bitterly mourned the loss of their Sister and Lover, the luscious and brilliant female robot Maisie for well over an hour. All the while trying to keep Chase from either going into full-blown hysterics, or sinking into total catatonia from the hideous shock they all were enduring. Maisie might be gone, but the Family knew other priorities still needed lots of attention, and all did their level best to meet those obligations, Chase's immediate welfare at the top of the list. As such, the shatteringly sexy but now totally disconsolate wind-up woman ran a loving gauntlet of her entire remaining Family. Not that their best efforts to comfort the devastated doll did much good, mind you. First Liza, then Gina, Rosie, and finally Rochelle; although each tried their best to comfort their totally bereft Baby Sister, their considerable efforts came to naught. It was somewhat like Chase's original trauma when she first came into the Family, times a trillion. As each Family member would swap in and out, Chase would pause in her sobbings just long enough to catch a breath or two during the exchange, then pick right up precisely where she left off. Finally, Inspektor 12 came over to where Rochelle was in the suite with Chase, and ever-so-gently exchanged himself in for his exhausted and distraught Beloved, pausing just long enough to shoo 'Chelle with a passionate deep-kiss before embracing his Dearest Doll in a firm-but-gentle manner. He patiently waited in silence for his Dearest Doll's hysterics to subside, letting his body-English, bio-aura, and Deep Love do all the talking in the interim. After five minutes in the Inspektor's incredibly loving and compassionate arms, with her head welded to his lean chest, Chase made a great effort to inhale deeply and uttered her first words since the hideous shock and loss first struck. "Why, Inspektor? Why did Maisie have to leave us? Surely there was something we could do for her?"

"It was a brand-new type of fragmenting parasite that got her, Honey. It attacked both her data-stream and her components, and did its' damage all within the space of 30 seconds. Maisie was essentially gone before she even knew what hit her." The heavy hoarseness, and soggy overtones in the Inspektor's voice at last roused Chase from her anguish, and she looked up at him with great concern - and renewed fear. The physical data portion of her overall bio-aura reading of him confirmed that he had overtaxed his vocal cords to the point of bleeding, and the rest of his aura was beginning to flux and color-shift alarmingly. "I thought fragmenting parasites took some time to get established?" she queried of her Ultimate Love. He gently walked the pair of them over to the suite's roomy bed, and had Chase lay herself down on one side whilst he climbed in on the other; the rest of the Family quietly gathering around, both on and off the bed. Inspektor 12 held one of Chase's dainty hands to his chest, and nerved himself to explain. "Dearest Heart, the fragmenting parasite that got Maisie is totally unlike anything seen before. Rather than being time released, Trojan Horse-style, it ravages the target on contact, and triggers as much damage as it can BEFORE fragmenting into the familiar time release components that later attack anything that's left even further. The data-stream is the central target; the fragments go after the hardware as a way to confound the diagnostics and repair programming before they can halt or even just blunt the original thrust. On the data-stream side, the interrupted flow is quickly reduced exponentially from tetra-gigs to terra-megs down through mega-megs, kilo-megs; all the way through kilobytes, bytes, bits, and finally down to bions, the smallest known basic particle of any data-stream. Need I remind you just how completely and totally fucked a robot is, when reduced to mere bionics?"

Oblivious to the solitary and rather loud hysterical giggle that came from Gina just then {a-la Mary Tyler Moore at a funeral}, Chase shook her head and doggedly pressed for more input. "Maisie's CPU and core weren't compromised or fused, were they?" The Inspektor shook his head no, slightly. "Those don't matter too much, Puddin'. Since Maisie's data-stream itself was targeted and interrupted by the initial thrust, any other kind of programming or hardware integrity instantly becomes moot, survival-wise. This new mutation does immediate and irreperable damage so quickly because it instantly self-replicates and spreads all over the data-stream in a fraction of a second, corrupting every last bion, once introduced. The disrupted flow literally begins to destroy itself. In human terms, it's very much like a fully ruptured spleen, burst appendix, severe anyeurism or blood clot, or cancerous liver dissolution that immediately triggers catastrophic systemic, heart, and/or brain failure - or all three together - in an instant. The irony of it all is that Maisie does actually survive within herself in a way, albeit in 'electronic dust' form. But there was absolutely nothing we could do to save her since her data-stream wasn't even a true stream anymore, long before you Girls got her home here. Her bions are simply clouds of electronic motes and fog within her shell, in a permanently random state of flux, not flow. We simply aren't clever enough yet to re-integrate a damaged mote-cloud back into a viable flowing data-stream again, Precious. It's like trying to reassemble the atom, after nuclear fission has occurred. I'm SO sorry!" The Inspektor bowed his head, and was silent for a good while as the tears continued to flow down his cheeks. Had he glanced at his Doll-Love just then, he might have noticed the bright orange sparks that were beginning to infuse Chase's lovely brown eyes. At least she wasn't still crying, for the moment. The Inpektor pulled Chase even closer to him, and further bowed his head to rest in her deep cleavage, where she soon felt his continuing tears begin to puddle. Something about that hot stream of moisture flowing down and warming the underside of her breasts gave Chase the spark of a notion. Try as she might though, she couldn't encourage the spark into a full-fledged idea over the next several minutes. Out of the blue, Chase abruptly experienced something totally new to her - a clairvoyant vision, consisting of random "0's" and "1's" floating against an otherwise totally black field of view, which was soon punctuated by the most nerve-rending screaming plea for help her advanced doll-memory had ever been exposed to.

Without another conscious thought, Chase suddenly bounded up to her feet and directly addressed her Family as a whole. "If Maisie's data-stream is still inside her, why can't we construct some sort of template for it and try repairs that way?" As one, The Inspektor and his Girls looked up in total shock and bewilderment. "Intriguing notion you have there, Puddin'. How might such a template help?" the Inspektor croaked. Chase paused for a bit, allowing her notion more time to coalesce. "A template gives a pattern to follow for reconstruction. All we'd need to do is give Maisie's bions a start in a new flow-direction towards the template, and they'd naturally begin to come back together again to their original flow-pattern, out of sympathy for the reproduced structure. The template guides the flow to begin with, then ensures that the final pattern is correct, being an exact replica. Quantum data-flow physics, if you will." As Chase paused for breath, she saw the astonished and hopeful looks on all her remaining Sister's pretty faces. Even the Inspektor seemed taken with the proposition, though he gave no outward sign; his bio-aura ominously beginning to darken. He absently cuddled Liza and Rochelle as he mulled Chase's theory over. "Might could work, yes. A strong template would encourage effective reconstruction, based on the like-attracts-like principle. Give Maisie a sort of photo-copy of herself, and let the laws of Nature and particle-physics do the rest. Never been tried, much less thought of before, but BOY if it worked..............." He shook himself suddenly, and looked sharply at Chase. "Problem, Puddin'. How do we devise a large enough template to induce proper and full reconstruction? Maisie had a good chunk of life before her passing, and I fail to see how a fragment of it might bring the whole back, even if we could somehow find a way to get a suitable snapshot of her data-stream in the first place. What about her memories, experiences, and all - the intangible stuff?"

Chase had the answer. "Maisie's memory and her experiences are still within her bions along with all the other details about her. If we craft a properly accurate template, they'll be fully restored along with everything else, since they would still follow the patterns they originally had to by default, provided we can get the flow re-established again. And once the process gets going, it'll keep gaining momentum exponentially until the entire data-stream is restored and flowing properly once more. The ultimate computer de-fragmentation, in other words." Pondering deeply, the ghost of a smile on his face from Chase's concluding quip, the Inspektor was silent and immobile. The Girls conversed wirelessly, allowing their Beloved total focus on his thoughts. A good while later, all of his mechanical women saw the gleam spark and gradually flare up to brilliant intensity in his eyes before he finally spoke. "Chase Honey, that's a damn sensational notion you have!! I could kick myself all the way back into the ICU again for not thinking of it first." He flashed his Dearest Doll his very best natural Smile, and began to think aloud with the Family-Harem about all the plans and preps necessary to pull it off - when he suddenly just stopped and grew frightfully silent and ponderous once more, this time taken by some obviously disturbing realizations. Chase instantly grew nervous. A few more agonizing minutes passed. "Inspektor, what?" was all she could finally muster, in her tiniest of voices. His saddened eyes and terribly soggy, hoarse voice chilled the plucky doll to the core of her mainspring as did his now-roiling bio-aura. "Love, two big questions still need to be addressed, and I'm not sure you'll like the answer to the second one at all. First, where can we find the raw material for the template........"

Chase cut him off abruptly with "Maisie's tied into the Robo-Depot mainframe just like we all are, Inspektor!! Her entire life history has literally been recorded for posterity on the company mainframe like all R-D originals, or acquired and upgraded units like myself and Geen! All we need to do is pick and choose one suitably large snapshot for the template - say perhaps the last six months or so before the crash - and let physics, Nature, and especially our Love for Maisie do the rest." Chase was horrified to see that her Beloved Inspektor's mein {both physical and aural} had not brightened one iota, but had gone even darker whilst she voiced her logical and hopeful rejoinder. With a pain-drenched sigh, and a frighteningly more soggy coughing-fit, the Inspektor reluctantly played his trump. "That's precisely my second big question, my Sweetest Pull-string Luv. I don't figure into your Grand Plan at all, 'cos I've never had any kind of a data-stream tied into the mainframe like all you lot do. Although I am in there vicariously, or 'virtually,' if you will, in everybody's hearts and memories and experiences, there's a very real danger Maisie's bions could register my entire interaction with her from start to finish as nothing more than a AI-glitch, or synthetic dream-state, or even a basic programming conflict between her purely machine nature, and her human-emulating thoughts and emotional parameters within her AI-sentience. All because of no direct input between me and the mainframe to draw from in reference, even though I built BOTH Maisie and the mainframe in the first place. In other words, my lack of direct interface might literally erase me entirely from the reconstruction altogether, or at the very least render my place within Maisie's data-stream much differently than what we'd need for success, since it's 'virtual' in machine terms by nature - and I'm quite sure you don't want either possibility to happen to your Sister. I'm again as sorry as I can be Honey, but I did tell you up front that you wouldn't like this much at all."

This was simply too much for Chase to cope with. With a piercing shriek, she erupted into full-blown Doll Violence and Mayhem, leaping back on the bed and savagely slapping and kicking him as hard and fast as she could, totally abandoning her logic in favor of searing emotional release over the one question she could not answer at all. "Why are you so CRUEL to me, you hateful man? Haven't I done enough in public and private to display how wild I truly am about you? Where the hell do you get off by trashing the best-ever notion of my life, knowing EXACTLY how I feel about my Sister?? WHY ARE YOU SO SADISTIC TO ME ALL THE TIME????" She continued showering the hapless Inspektor with furious slaps and kicks, completely heedless of her second clairvoiant vision of the 0/1 digital viewpoint erupting into a blinding binary-nova within her electronic mind's eye. The Inspektor resolutely endured the full brunt of his Dearest Doll's explosion with nary a hint of reaction or emotion, in a way that would make the oldest mountain on Earth insanely jealous, in stoic-and-answerless comparison. The rest of the Family-Harem was locked into stunned immobility as the hysterically lovely doll quickly redoubled her fury. "Why do you still treat me with kid gloves, and dismiss the bulk of my creative notions? Weren't you the main cheerleader, during my "leave her alone enough to grow into herself" phase? How can I possibly believe in myself more like you lot all demand of me - when you won't even give me the biggest chance to do so, when the time is EXACTLY right? WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION, INSPEKTOR?!?!?" She contined pummeling him for another couple minutes until she was emotionally spent; her hideously astounded Sisters remaining still and motionless, save for the gushing torrent of tears coursing down every female cheek in the suite.

Inspektor 12 absorbed every blow and kick without once even flinching, letting his Beloved Doll get it all out of her systems. In the end, he was covered head-to-toe in lumps, welts, cuts and many deep bruises, but remained steadfastly silent and motionless. The gaze he finally fixed her with after several long and incredibly excruciating minutes of heavy silence following the attack was all at once baleful, anguished, pain-drenched, and more than a little disturbed. His voice was soggy and even more ragged and hoarse, but also now had a horribly cold edge to it, which terrified everyone who heard it. "I never said your idea couldn't work, Honey; I said it likely wouldn't, for the reasons I gave. Pardon me for always being Devils' Advocate, but I've long ago learned the hard way to assume the worst first, and be pleasantly surprised going forwards. This isn't a frigging game we're all playing here, y'know; it's your Sister's bleedin' life we'd be tampering with. You are free to do as you like in trying to save Maisie and prove me dead wrong - which I sincerely hope you do, but doubt you will." With that, Inspektor 12 abruptly got up and limped out of the entire suite at a surprisingly brisk pace for someone so recently on the doorstep of Mortis, and also having endured the even more recent outburst of full-blown Doll Violence and Mayhem. Deeply appalled and quite furious with herself over her total meltdown, Chase broke into renewed floods of tears and quickly flopped prone on the bed, burying her head in a pillow to muffle her piteous remorse. Gina came over to the bed to try and soothe her Baby Sister, whilst Liza had to physically restrain a half-hysterical Rochelle from bolting off after the Inspektor. The high emotions in the room desperately needed to be controlled quickly, and the sexy brunette robot that was the Inspektor's literal right hand had to greatly overtax her AI's full capacities to try and do so.

"Leave him be, Darlin'. Please, Rochelle. He's still in heavy shock from his trauma, compounded by his grief over Maisie; the last thing he needs right now is for one of us to start 'mother henning' him to death. Trust me on this, okay? I want to race after him as bad as you do." Liza embraced 'Chelle warmly, which her synthetic Sister both appreciated, and reciprocated. "I'll do my best, Den-Mama. You know more about his 'moodies' than the rest of us put together." Rochelle didn't try to hide her great reluctance or her greater worry, knowing full well Liza's reading of her electro-aura would instanly reveal the truth, regardless of even the best of prevarications. She ached to go find and comfort the Inspektor as they all did, but gracefully accepted Liza's small plea, hoping it really was the best course of action. Chase still needed to be looked after too, so the two lovely synthetic women joined Gina on the bed, adding their Sweeeeeet {Sisterly} E - mooooooooooo - tioooooons to Chase's consolation. No one spoke of the great concern and worry for their Lover-Man they all shared, and no one really registered Chase's new spates of clairvoyance, even though the second bout was broadcast and received by all the Girls on a subliminal level. They simply drew as much strength and Love from each other as they could, and continued consoling their dreadfully suffering Baby Sister. After three and a half fretful hours, the Inspektor's mechanized Family-Harem were all shocked and immensely relieved when he suddenly hobbled back into the suite, his bio-aura showing alarming amounts of grey, brown, and black; his emotions spiking wildly and randomly. He zeroed in on the bed where Chase still lay, surrounded by her lovingly-solicitous Sisters. His rather determined bearing and disturbing bio-aura readings as he approached caused all but Chase to vacate the queen-sized mattress as fast as they could. The Inspektor silently halted his wildly-scattering women with a simple hand held up in a "stop" gesture, and carefully sat on one side of the bed.

Chase was startled to feel the Inspektor's hand on her shoulder - warm, gentle and loving. "Honey?" His soft, calm query was all the motivation the distraught doll needed; with a cry of "Oh my Love, I am SO sorry!" she sprang straight into his arms, this time showering him with hugs and kisses, apologizing frantically and profusely begging his forgiveness. Once more, the Inspektor resolutely endured his second Doll-onslaught of the day, but this time he did mitigate it with frequent compassionate murmmurings and loving kisses and caresses. He discretely signalled the others to converge, and soon the entire Family was on the bed and sharing in the Love. When the emotion of the moment was spent, they all made themselves comfortable, sandwiching Chase and the Inspektor in Typical Fashion. Once they all were settled, he immediately broached the heart of the matter. "Chase honey, I've given the main lab here the green light to begin prepping Maisie for complete restoration." He gently restrained her from bounding up in excitement, and silenced her myriad questions and exclamations with a quick deep-kiss. The rest of the Family made a group-embrace, and remained excitedly silent, although the Inspektor's deadpan expression and ever-darkening bio-aura began to greatly alarm and worry Liza; the others were beginning to pick up on it too. "It's going to take them some time to completely recondition Maisie's chassis, perhaps two weeks or so. I strongly suggest you spend that time over in the R&D department together with Rosie, perfecting Maisie's template design and functions - and I mean with a thousand times better than exact decimal-point, laser-guided, computer-assisted precision, understand?"

Chase and the rest of the Family could hardly believe their ears. The poor Inspektor was suddenly inundated under a tidal wave of lips, breasts, loving arms and legs, and even Rosie's furry GP-chassis, which she tranferred back into so she could join in on the physical release. All whilst his ears were bombarded with countless questions. He finally managed a groan of "Enough already, pretty-please?" in a voice dripping with weariness and stress {and blood}. He punctuated his groan with another soggy coughing-fit. This instantly sobered the group, and they gave him space by resuming the sandwich formation. Inspektor 12 pulled Rochelle close on his side opposite Chase, and cuddled and caressed both as he began to relax and de-compress a bit. He also began randomly bouncing Rosie from foot to foot, in a whimsical takeoff of his ancient youthful Hackey-Sac habit. He sighed deeply. "It's not going to be an easy undertaking, Girls. From a practical standpoint, we're basically risking Maisie's life on a totally untried theory. Were it anybody else but her, I would insist that the idea be proven and perfected six ways from Sunday before even considering a test application in the field first. The fact that Maisie is Family is the game-changer, though. I want her back whole and healthy just as much as the rest of you do, but I can't and won't let my emotions cloud my judgments any more than they already have been - by my agreeing to make Maisie a literal guinea pig in the first place. The brutally frank reality is that Maisie might could come back as nothing more than a rote, mechanical mannequin if the template doesn't work exactly like we need it to. I don't have to ask a single one of you if that would truly be fair to her, do I?" The entire Family Harem demurred both physically and vocally. This was an excruciatingly painful process for them all, but deep down they also knew the Inspektor was doing the right thing for the whole Family by being so harshly honest. They'd all happily let Maisie go, rather than be robbed of her dignity and vital spark by returning to a literal half-life as a glorified electronic zombie, now that the complete proposition was out in front of them. Quite simply, Maisie's full restoration was a 50-50 crapshoot at best, and the Inspektor's code of honor and ethics {and great Love} demanded he make sure everybody else knew and fully understood all of this before going in. Although this was much more than his simple tacit approval, the potentially dire ramifications far outweighed the many other considerations - and unbeknownst to the Girls, were actually worsening the Inspektor's already-frail mental and emotional constitution.

After a couple more hours of hashing out Chases' Grand Plan, and the lovely Doll reconciling with her Beloved Inspektor some more, and the Inspektor playfully punting Rosie's furry chassis once all the way across the suite on the fly, the exhausted Family-Harem collapsed in one of their trademark jumbled heaps of tangled synthetic and organic flesh, and instantly went comatose for a good 12 hours; during which each Family member - including the Inspektor - had at least one fragment of a dream that consisted of countless "0's" and "1's," superimposed over a totally black field of vision, accompanied by screams for help..........

The next fourteen days sped by in a blur of frantic and frustrating R&D, methodical-but-slow reconditioning of Maisie's hardware and software, more flashes of "one-zero" clairvoyance in each of the Girls at random times {written off and ignored as electronic stress / fever-dreams}, and a growing string of upsetting jolts as the Inspektor began to worry portions of his Family-Harem deeply with his newly developed penchant for wandering off into total isolation from them all for long hours at a time. This distraction of focus struck Liza as being totally out of character for her Love, but try as she might, she never could pin him down long enough to begin to probe for the roots, or at least ease his obviously increasing personal torment. Maisie remained the focus, and the Inspektor suffered on in ever-more-frequent isolation. Liza hoped with all her being that a successful restoration of Maisie would be enough to bring the Inspektor back from his personal abyss, but she began to fear the worst for him just like he usually did for himself in times of severe crisis. All other Family-Harem members save Rochelle were more or less ignorant of this new wrinkle as they concentrated on Maisie's needs, and for the moment it seemed the best option for all concerned. Thankfully, Rochelle and Liza had each other to confide in, and their increasingly frequent discussions about the Inspektor's alarming emotional deterioration did much to ameliorate each other's fears and worries, and prevent same from affecting the others. However, neither one were prepared in the least for what was about to happen as the frenzied activity of Maisie's resurrection began to draw quickly to a close. The staggeringly enormous workload had taken a heavy toll indeed on the whole Family-Harem by the time they all gathered together again the night before Maisie's template was put into use, and her restoration hopefully completed. Although duly noted, the Inspektor's total lack of sexy teasing and Love-horseplay on this occasion - indeed, every day since the night of the Reuinion two weeks back - was ultimately lost under the sea-blanket of palpable exhaustion, and woefully overloaded emotions.

After six short hours of anything-but-restful downtime, the entire Inspektor 12 Family-Harem assembled in Robo-Depot's Heavy Stasis Lab to be with Maisie during the endgame of her extremely difficult attempt at resurrection. Since the Inspektor was still doing his very best Tommy Walker-schtick,* Rosie took it upon herself to voice something Typical of him. "Geez, with all the electrical gear in here, how long d'ya think it'll be before Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, and Bela Lugosi pop up then, eh?" All her Sisters giggled tiredly, but the Inspektor remained oblivious. A crestfllen Rosie muttered "Well, at least I tried," as the Family-Harem settled down in their obsevation room to await the action. In short order, Maisie's fully restored chassis was wheeled in and attached from well over 200 points scattered all up, down, and across her sumptuously feminine body, to each and every electrical component in the room. Both her facemask and abdominal panels were absent, lending the lovely robot woman a rather gruesome appearance akin to an electronic, partially decayed zombie-corpse. With no further ado, the crack team of R-D's top surgi-tech staff began the template upload phase to Maisie's advanced CPU core. The whole process took a mere twenty minutes despite the total lack of dataflow within the host, and was deemed 100% successful much to the Family-Harem's tremendous relief. The next phase was for all the marbles, though - the bions had to be encouraged to start flowing again, with the template as their guide. And it was at this very moment that the Inspektor quietly slipped out of the room, and made like the Scarlet Pumpernickel - er, Pimpernel - once more. It was well over fifteen minutes before his absence was finally discovered. Amidst the incredible roar of the heavy electrical machinery attempting to work a Miracle on Maisie, Liza and Rochelle were startled to reach out for the Inspektor's hands, only to find and lovingly clasp each other's hands. Chase, Gina, and Rosie quickly picked up on ther Sisters' bewilderment. Only much later did Liza and Rochelle realize how cruicially ominous this small behavior-sign of the Inspektor actually was. For now though, the whole Family-Harem was greatly upset by their Love's absence. It finally dawned on all of them that although his malady was seemingly arrested on the physical side by his ongoing curative-treatments, it nonetheless was still there but now had begun attacking his mental faculties in earnest as well. Liza groaned at ths realization, as did Gina and Rosie - they all vividly remembered the conversation they had with Maisie about this very subject just before Rosie and Maisie crashed. The synthetic virus that got Rochelle and Maisie had also claimed the Inspektor as a casualty, too, but was overlooked in the need to console Chase, whilst devising this attempt at Maisie's resurrection. In basic terms, the Inspektor's mental faculties were his organic data-stream equivalent - and the virus was specifically designed to do a real number on any sort of data-stream it encountered. The simple fact that human mental faculties are vastly more complex than even the most sophisticated of machines, was the reason the virus took so long to do the damage it was now doing.

Liza quickly made up her mind, and dispatched Rosie on a "locate and retrieve" mission to corral the Inspektor; it was high time to cure his obvious agonies for good. The rest of them would stay put, supporting their stricken Sister. Maisie's data-stream rejuvenation finally finished after one more hour, and she was discretely wheeled off to the ICU to await the Inspektor's return. The Girls returned to his recovery-suite to wait, and Rosie sent a relieving "Got him, clubbed him, and am now dragging him back in Typical Neanderthal Fashion" message not more than twenty minutes after the group was settled. They both came into the suite a short while later. Inspektor 12 was still more or less catatonic, and his bio-aura was now totally ink-black at midnight. Before anyone could speak, one of the sexy Nurse-robots that had carried Chase and Gina into the ER came into the suite, and brightly announced that Maisie was ready for her Family to visit. Liza and Rochelle had to literally drag their Beloved off the couch by his arms, and he remained silent and maddeningly detatched as the Family-Harem went to the ICU once more. To everybody's vast relief, Maisie's eyes were wide open, and she bore not a single bit of physical evidence of her dreadfully serious illness. However, she didn't react at all to their presence, which unnerved everybody once they noted the phenomenon. Fortunately, the head surgi-tech soon came in, and began to explain. "Maisie here is fully functional, and seems to have a good 50% of her data-stream restored and accounted for, so far. It's our conjecture that once she is fully re-initialized, everything else will also come back to her." The room exploded into cheers, and everybody began hugging and kissing everybody else, save for Inspektor 12 and of course Maisie herself. A shocking coughing-fit from the Inspektor stunned the group silent in an instant. And the first words he'd uttered this day also had stunning force and impact. "Well, let's get this mess over with quick, shall we?"

Despite his gargling rasp from obviously still-unhealed vocal chords, the Inspektor's Girls were appalled at his callousness. Rochelle and Liza fixed him with angry glares, and the rest made their displeasure felt in no uncertain terms as well. He waved them all off with a careless gesture, punctuated with a nasty wracking coughing-fit. "Get on with it, already!!!" he rasped when he could. Despite their blossoming fury with him, the Family-Harem obeyed his curt demand. Liza, Gina, and Rosie did the honors, fully engaging all Maisie's systems, and re-initializing them all according to the strictest of Robo-Depot protocols. Maisie finally began to blink and look around slightly, as the whole of her Family was on pins and needles. Although she clearly saw all of them and registered everyone present, there still was no sign that she recognized anybody. The pretty brunette surgi-tech stepped forward and put Maisie through a series of commands, which she obeyed flawlessly. It was great to hear her sultry voice again, but everyone, surgi-tech included, was puzzled by Maisie's utter lack of volition. She didn't talk on her own or to anybody; nor did she move or react otherwise, except in response to the commands - she simply responded by rote to everything, and that was that. For over six hours Maisie was tested every way imaginable, and her responses were identical; she did what she was asked or told, and nothing more. It seemed that the Inspektor's greatest concern had indeed come cruelly, horribly true. Maisie was a mindlessly functional automaton, period. This devastating realization all but finished off a half-dozen more data-streams - until Inspektor 12 seared straight through the burgeoning grief of his Beloved Family-Harem with a shocking roar of unbridled exasperation. "Oh for crying out loud - have you ALL forgotten where you came from, or how to fully turn yourselves on?" His Girls looked at him in deep confusion. "Oh, for shit's sake - show her the goddamned LOVE, like this!" And with that, the Inspektor stomped right up to where Maisie was standing, muttered something lascivious into one of her ears, embraced and kissed her savagely - and slipped one hand blatantly under her favorite blue floral-pattern minidress for an incredibly lurid caress of her bare sex, instantly scandalizing everybody else present. He abruptly released Maisie and stormed out of the room, and the ICU as a whole.

Chase, Rosie, Rochelle and Gina were all crying hysterically, the surgi-tech was literally locked up in shock and stuttering in confusion, but Liza had had enough. She bounded up and immediately sprinted straight after the Inspektor, catching him in the long corridor leading to the plant cafeteria. With an iron grip on his left arm, the furious mechanical woman bodily yanked her Soul-Mate around to face her directly. She slapped his haggard face with enough resounding force to slightly dislocate his jaw. "How DARE you treat your Family so disgracefully? Have you no regard at all for any of us, let alone our emotions? What on Earth could have possessed you so, to treat one of your own Loved Ones like a filthy piece of synthetic meat?" Liza punctuated each stinging question with a violent shake of his arm - to the point of eventually hearing and feeling the elbow and shoulder joints start to separate. When he finally raised his hanging head to meet her gaze directly, Liza was horrified to see the raging blaze within his wickedly bloodshot eyes, his bruised and welted jaw hanging ever-so-slightly askew. Without working his mouth, he somehow snarled "Go show Maisie your Love, make sure Chase and everybody else does too, and leave me the fuck ALONE!" His deathless tone of voice brooked absolutely no question or argument - and scared the living daylights out of poor Liza. She had never, ever seen him act this way. Before the devasted female machine could gather her electronic wits, her Beloved Inspektor yanked his damaged arm free from her fierce grip with no outward trace of the horrible pain she knew he was in, furiously spat out a worrisome amount of blood, and resumed his storming off. Her rage at him had been instantly replaced with staggering amounts of worry, regret, and fear; it took Liza fully five minutes to regain her composure and return sadly to the ICU. Once there, she saw the rest of the Family surrounding Maisie, who remained aloof and unknowing. Mindful of the Inspektor's last words to her, she reluctantly had each Sister line up to tell Maisie goodbye in their own Fashions. He'd known all along that this might happen, and wanted them all to get the necessaries behind them quickly, and move on. It was the only way to do right by everybody, but Liza was sure in her synthetic heart that it was going to be anything but easy.

First Liza, then Rochelle, Rosie and Gina; each went up to their gorgeous Robot Sister, kissed her tenderly, and told her just how much they Loved her. All had great difficulty keeping hysteria away, but did so mainly to spare Chase even a morsel more of the worst anguish any of them had ever felt before. Maisie was oblivious to it all, hugging and kissing each Sister by rote, with not even a simple "thank you" uttered in response. At last, it was Chase's turn. Each Sister knew exactly what was coming, and silently nerved themselves for the absolute worst part of this entire ghastly ordeal. Like a condemned soul about to enter the very gates of Hell itself for all Eternity, Maisie's Dearest Baby Sister approached her slowly and stiffly like the Doll she truly was, clasped her tightly, and wailed "Oh, MAISIE!!!" in the most bereft of voices. For the next two hours, Chase mourned her favorite Sister anew as the rest of her Family looked on in stricken grief. Such was her complete desolation, Chase had wound down after that hideous interval, and the deed was almost done. Although she hated to have to do it, Liza tenderly used Chase's pull-strings to wind her up again, then gently reminded her to tell Maisie how much she loved her, before saying goodbye. Oddly enough, Maisie's own eyes seemed to be moist and shining, and Liza could almost swear she saw the beginnings of a flush in Maisie's cheeks. The lovely robot put it all down to Chase's close proximity and obvious grief-heat, and waited for the sad finale. Chase visibly nerved herself, then suddenly renewed her bearhug with a beyond-anguished wail of "Oh Maisie, I Love you SO much!!! Please forgive me for letting you go like this!!!" After passionately deep-kissing her Dearest Sister, Chase exploded into a fresh tsunami of tears, and the deed was finally done.

Despite the overwhelming emotion of this horrid moment, there was a palpable shock that rocketed throughout the vast Robo-Depot complex an instant later - when a familiar, Beloved female voice suddenly spoke up clearly for the very first time without prompting, and a pair of joyously loving arms embraced her disconsolate Darling Baby Sister warmly. "Why Chase Honey, what on Earth has got you so upset? I'm not going anywhere at all!!"

  • - Tommy Walker is of course the famous deaf, dumb, and blind protagonist of The Who's rock-opera "Tommy."

{Some real teeth start biting in the next installment, so stay tuned. Twists and turns a-plenty are in store.......... Icon wink.gif }

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