Just One Quick Question...
It was gone five on a hot and breezy Friday, summer before last, and the chances of me doing any more productive work on the Toshiba account were less than nil. In fact I hadn’t done a thing towards their support contract all afternoon; as I’d been too busy planning my next expedition with Jim and my girls. My yachting partner had grand plans for the weekend and had come over ridiculously early. I was just glad the boss works on a different floor as we sat, feet on the desk, and dreamed up our plans over coffee, waiting for the clock to get to an acceptable tome to slip away.
Jim had fixed himself on Melanie being a crewmember on our little voyage. She was a tidy and intelligent woman that he had hit it off with at a recent party and by chance she was a new colleague of my wife. He was gutted that I didn’t have her number and to be honest so was I but Kim (my wife) wasn’t available and there was nothing I could do but promise to put her in touch as soon as I could next week.
The fact that Jim and Mel were married less than two years later, even though she has yet to grace my yacht with her presence, is clear evidence that there was in fact something between them, though I was skeptical then. However, I was more than happy to picture her fine butt on deck in the sun; without Kim and with my daughters strictly off limits to any man (even just for banter) within a mile of me, it would have been great to have some female company.
“Jim, for the last time, I don’t have her number! Live with it will you?”
“But Kim must have an address book, or look in her ‘phone when we get to your place…”
“She doesn’t and her ‘phone is with her, it always is and she won’t be out until Monday. Bust.”
“Go down there and see will you. Please, it can’t hurt to ask. I know people who have cut in on a session with no problems, its only certain times when it’s a problem, I’m an engineer, trust me.”
“Oh for fuck’s sake, just to shut you up. I’ll meet you at the peer, six sharp. If I’ve got her number we can wait until eight before we miss the tide but I’m not promising I’ll get it…”
To tell the truth I wasn’t happy with Jim’s idea. He wanted me to go down to the maintenance department, the whole basement of the building, and try to see Kim. We had only been together for eight weeks and this was her first deep maintenance session since I bought her, second hand of course, from her old employer. I was lucky in being able to book servicing on the company as a perk but I’d never been down to the basement and wasn’t too keen to witness my pretty young wife in pieces as I imagined.
I trudged down to the lifts anyway. Kim had been a necessary investment to keep the custody nazis off my back. She was fully capable of minding two teenage girls (as much as any human is anyway) and while I was spending it seemed sensible to satisfy my own needs too and plumb for a pretty, clever and funny wife who would be at home on the yacht and in the bedroom and in polite company too. She was a pretty redhead, slim and pale with a savage sense of humour that picked up on every little foible of my acquaintances, much to my delight. I had quite fallen for her and, until such time as I met a real woman, she was perfect.
The basement was bright white and hummed as I got out of the, rather more pleasant, lift compartment. The office’s servicing bay was signposted, perhaps because it was the only department down here, only with a small stark sign reading SERVICE beside blank industrial double doors. It was locked with no com or bell so I swiped myself through with my employee code card and into a wide corridor. This was also pretty stark and bare, plastic floor, white walls; functional in the extreme.
On the left were offices, only slightly better appointed from what I could see through the door panels but all empty, on the right were more industrial doors with small signs STORAGE and BAY 1 nearest. The second door was open and peering in through a computer filled atrium I could see a large factory floor beyond with a dozen or so complex machinery stations. Several of the functional robots that clean and fetch and carry around the building were parked against the walls and I realized that many more were disassembled amongst the fixed apparatus, their mechanical forms blending in to the machinery around them.
I guessed that all these automated appliances would be Class 1 robots, Basics, and seeing the next doors were Bays 1a, 2 and so on, assumed that these were more Basics, Class 2 ‘bots etc. I walked right on down to the far door, peering in the offices as I passed in vain hope of finding somebody here on a Friday afternoon and tried my card in the lock. It booped derisively, lit up red in my face and then said “Controlled area. Access denied,” in a smooth female voice.
This was BAY 5, the last of about eight such doors all labelled with small plates more suited to a file than a room, not a visitor friendly department! I backtracked to bay 4 and then bay 3c before it. It made sense that several bays would be devoted to the Basics as there were hundreds of them. Not too many Utilities here as they tended to be industrial units but loads of class 3s. All the secretaries, receptionists, PAs and probably some of the employees too were various models of that classic crude humanoid design. Variations with a realistic face and head, usually hands too, sometimes calves, forearms, a bit of neck and chest, sufficient to appear human day to day but not to bear close inspection of their metal and plastic bodies. Some of these could be very smart and fully charismatic but their maintenance class was based around the demands of their physical design. Kim was a class 4, fully human in appearance and highly sophisticated so I tried the door to bay 4. It opened with a sooth motion leaving me startled in the corridor before going in. I still don’t know what’s in Bay 5.
The room I entered was the same as the first, a wide atrium lined with complex computer systems and high tech workbenches for micro-systems work. A few stools stood empty and the room was quiet but at last I had found someone. She stood side on to the farthest workstation, intently watching the scrolling display on the large screen beside her, clearly a technician from her white coat; she looked up as the doors swung open and frowned.
“I’m sorry, the service bay is closed until Monday, please come back then.” She was polite but firm.
“Look, I don’t want to be a pain but my wife’s here… I was hoping I might have a quick word. It’s a bit complicated but I need some information from her pretty urgently…”
The tech smiled, “That’s no problem sir, customers quite often need to talk to our clients while they’re being maintained. If you give me her details I’ll see if she can be made available for you in the morning, or you can call by ‘phone if that’s easier…”
“Sorry to be a pain but I can’t really wait you see, can’t I see her now?”
“No sir. The service schedule engineer will need to alter you wife’s maintenance program and I’m afraid she’s not available right now. I’m not authorised to start up any of the clients. What’s your wife’s name sir?”
I felt a bit dumb to be honest, making this fuss over some girl’s ‘phone number which would be too late by tomorrow anyway, Jim and I would be out across the bay. Come Tuesday I could just ask Kim, tell her the whole little episode and Jim could chase Mel another time.
“No, don’t worry. It’s not that important…” I half turned to leave when the penny dropped. The statuesque brunette hadn’t moved more than her head since I came in. Looking back again my brain caught up with what my eyes had been seeing: she was standing stock still beside a screen filled with scrolling code. A cable ran discretely from a PC port across the desk and between the open sides of her white coat, which was hanging unfastened over her body. I stepped forward on impulse and flicked the garment open, it winds me up to be bossed around by a robot!
“Sir, you are not authorised to interface with the technical units.”
The technician was naked inside the coat, I guess she never leaves the basement so why have clothes? She was a modern Class 3 unit, the type often called ¾, a realistic body but with unconcealed access panels in her skin and with a gaping gap in her midriff where her robotic nature was bare. She had impressive breasts jutting forward which held open the sides of the coat once I dropped them back.
“Sir you are not authorised to access my controls, please stop what you are doing.”
The direct access controls she referred to were set into her abdomen, below her breasts. She had a screen filled with complex status icons and below this, set in a plastic panel, a full keypad and several switches and ports. One of these was connected to the console, which appeared to be reviewing data from her system. Another was connected to a thicker power cable that dropped between her legs and snaked away under the desk. I bent closer and peered at the interface on the motionless body then stabbed at the central 1/0 button and held down. After all, all I needed was turn Kimmy on for a few moments, if she didn’t work then nothing lost. I like to think I’m senior enough to overrule our own company ‘bots!
“Sir, you are not authori…” - BEEP.
The girl’s head dropped an inch or so to the side, expression fixed, and locked in place with a little bounce. Looking at her now, I could see she wasn’t a sophisticated model. Her face was passable enough but her body was smooth and unmarked. Bent over as I was I naturally noticed her crotch which had only the barest of details, clearly no function was served by her smooth-moulded plastic lips.
I passed on through the atrium in to the much larger maintenance facility proper. It was much the same as the first bay I’d seen: a giant central handling carousel served twenty or so maintenance stations around the periphery of the room and some more specialist machinery closer to the middle. Everywhere was the clutter of machinery and electronics. Server banks hummed and blinked, backing up data and uploading programming to many of the inert “clients”, cable runs of all colours and sizes were strewn across the floor and over benches, weaving between handling equipment and manipulators mounted from the ceiling and floor, all converging into the tech-packed openings in the firm flesh of the clients themselves.
Nearest to me a creamy little blonde lay wide eyed and gaping, stiff as a board on her steel table and cold as ice. Her open blouse revealing all including the open panel below her breasts into which a bewildering mess of cables was connected. On the other side of the doorway another robot girl was in such a state of disassembly that she was little more than a plastic and metal frame amid a mass of component parts. A trio of fine manipulators mounted over her table buzzed in and around her stripped body carrying out delicate functions so quickly I couldn’t tell if she was being taken apart further or re-assembled. A glimpse of her serene face between the flitting machinery was vaguely familiar but I couldn’t quite place her amid the strange surroundings.
I began a slow circuit of the room looking for Kim but also fascinated by the scene. I was shocked to see that not all the ‘bots were shut down. I passed another technician, a sister to the one I passed before; she stood with what seemed like most of her internals hanging from her empty torso and cables by the dozen linking her to the server beside her. Lights blinked furiously in both machines as she mouthed snatches of sentences, turning her head this way and that and forming successions of facial expressions in mindless mechanical response to input, her arms held fixedly up and out to give easy access to technicians working on her body.
Next was a girl I definitely knew, Liz worked on the floor below mine, a chunky, sporty looking brunette. She was the first client to register my presence in any way as she caught sight of me. She lifted her head and made to call out with an urgent expression from where she lay on her belly under a motionless array of machinery. She pushed herself up from the bench but couldn’t seem to get her words out, frustrated and struggling a little as her lower body seemed not to respond. I saw she was linked to nearby machinery by a slim cable running from a tiny discrete port in the small of her back, she was otherwise perfectly human looking, stripped to her bra with a crisp blouse and jacket hanging nearby. As she tried to speak again the maintenance systems registered her responses on a bank of displays over the table. Her AI was overridden and her urgent expression froze, and then faded to a blank eyed stare as she sank back down passively.
At the next work table I found my Kimmy. Face up, naked and pale , she looked perfect, china blue eyes open but passive, not wide and startled like so many of the units in here, perhaps because her maintenance was routinely scheduled, not the result of some error of malfunction of her systems. Her core panel was removed and I could see that a number of the boards inside had been removed, there was no chance I could start her up without them so my trip had been wasted. I ran my hand gently down her trim cold figure, over the pale freckled skin of her chest, the firm little nipples and around the curve of her belly and perfect little sex before sighing and turning to leave.
My eye was caught by a tiny but urgently human movement amongst the mechanical jerking across the room. Davina? Kim’s best friend from work was a striking brunette in her mid thirties, confident and loud… surely not? She made an urgent face at me again in a typically commanding gesture; a silent, “Hey!” yes, it was Davina!
This was unexpected, still she seemed to be in control of herself and would, I was sure, know Mel’s ‘phone number… what the hell, I walked around to her. She was supported face up by some sort of handling arm fastened in to the small of her back along with several other ‘bots, lined up beside a single maintenance station by the look of it. The controls were obvious and I tapped the screen to “bring forward No.3”
The arm jerked to life and swung out towards me, slowly turning the android to a vertical position as it moved; her hair swinging freely but her tanned arms pinned rigidly to her sides and her head held to attention. I could see she was a very attractive woman as I followed the curves revealed as she was manoeuvred in to view. I was shocked to see that her legs were completely missing, nothing but a gleaming alloy stub and a mess of cables hanging from each empty pant leg.
Davina was swung into place beside the main console with a slight jolt as the arm clicked into position to suspend her a few paces in front of me. A trolley of tools and small components was casually parked to her other side and the plastic floor below her legless torso was littered with debris; solder drips, stripped insulation and splashes of fluid; either lubricant or something else. I could see that this was where the technicians did most of the hands on work.
She smiled roguishly at me and rolled her eyes towards the touch screen interface beside her, her face half covered by the rich brunette bob that had fallen across her eyes. Close to I could read her glossy lips well enough as they shaped her words, pink tongue flicking behind her perfect white teeth: “Voice!” she mouthed at me, “Turn on my voice!”
I was rather slow on the uptake by now I have to admit. This unexpected glimpse into the personal reality of my new wife and her friends was rather overwhelming and now here was Davina, as far as I had known a rather sophisticated and attractive flesh and blood woman, half dismantled in front of me acting as if nothing could be more normal than asking me, a casual acquaintance, to turn on her voice. I stared at her blankly; unthinkingly taking time note every last detail before I snapped out of it and turned to the little control unit clipped up beside her. She lapped up the attention.
She was very pale, paler than I remembered, with a waxy and slightly unreal looking sheen to her skin. Her figure was perfect now that she was head up, her sheer black bra pushed up an ample cleavage that looked like it would give a pretty good account of itself without the assistance. From her face, with its cold grey eyes, I dropped my gaze to the harsh mechanical stumps where her legs should have been. Bizarrely she was still dressed; black pants clinging to what was left of her crotch, slightly skewed as they had slid into one gaping thigh socket. On the other side, where the filmy black fabric had pulled clear, I could see the rim of pale flesh marked by a metallic band where her leg should be. Inside this were her exposed mechanics; complex wiring looms hung free to dangling connectors, still swaying freely and two shining alloy stumps protruding forwards from the machinery, open sockets at their ends, as if she had been sitting with her legs spread when they were removed.
Following her body upwards past her flat stomach with a gentle hint of muscle tone and her neat little belly button, I came to the third unnatural opening in her body after her missing thighs. Davina’s controls were accessed through a roughly rectangular opening in her upper belly. The firm flesh ended in a metallic rim, which followed her female contours. I could see how the missing panel would seal into the edges when fitted and how the empty connectors around there would link up the skin functions to the removable section. The controls themselves were recessed deeply into her body to allow her to feel and to move with natural flexibility. Several cables were plugged into some of the available ports. I could identify power and high capacity data amongst them. The port status and android’s condition indicators shone through the wiring tangle in a confusion of winking blue and green light.
I shifted my gaze up along the length of her arms, passing her black clad breasts on the way. She was fixed in position with her arms held ramrod straight down by her side, just a few inches away from her body. Her fingers were splayed and outstretched with glossy red nails outwards. The detail of the lines of her hands and hairs on her forearms were perfect, only belied by the unnatural posture and paleness of the skin. I noticed that a hairline trace of a metallic line ran around her shoulders. The harsh white light of the room showed the shadow of a slight ridge in her skin where the join was made, clearly her arms as well as her legs could be removed.
I couldn’t help but cast my eyes over her beautiful chest, the same cleavage that had caught my eye in natural motion when I first met the woman whose body was frozen and lifeless now. I recognized the pattern of tiny freckles or moles decorating one soft white bulge but there was no colour of life or motion of breath to animate them. I saw that another faint line outlined a rectangle set below her collarbone and above the cleavage, another access port like the open control panel lower down her body. The sight of another join line running around the base of her neck jolted me out of my daze.
“Sorry… yes, just a moment…”
I stepped towards the stripped down machine-woman and peered at the little PDA clipped beside the supporting arm. The way she was held it came beside her head, jutting out on a thin adjustable bracket. It was the same PDA she had used to note down Kim’s number several weeks ago. She had known Kim was a robot from their first meeting, I wondered if Kim knew about her; that her best friend and workmate was a ‘bot just like she was. A bit older and less advanced in fact; judging from the visible joins between her skin sections. The little interface device was brightly lit with a clear menu and status displays, it was obviously Davina’s primary control unit, unlike Kim’s which was wireless remote. In common with all Class 4 robots Davina would have power and reset controls concealed on her body for shutdown and in case of malfunction but was mainly adjusted and programmed through a more convenient, separate handset.
I toggled the menu button to click the mute icon on the little screen causing the PDA to beep and pop up a message icon. Apparently voice functions could only be restored with tertiary systems online. WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACTIVATE TERTIARY SYSTEMS Y/N? I’m no robo-geek but owning Kim has taught me the basics. Primary – processors and input functions, secondary – motor functions and tertiary – cosmetic systems. I clicked Y and waited for the hourglass to vanish while Davina’s face glazed over for a few moments.
A couple of chimes, either from the PDA or the robot, I couldn’t tell, signalled the operation complete and Davina came to life again.
“Thanks Bob! It’s a drag being hooked up like this, sooo dull. What brings you here anyway? I saw you trying to start up Kim but I don’t think you’ll have much luck, they take out all the removable media before phase one servicing and so she’s had all her AI and memory taken out…”
“Err... look, Davina, I didn’t know you were, I mean, well… I didn’t know you were a robot! Look, I hope you don’t mind but I’m after a ‘phone number… you know Mel, don’t you, well… Oh, look she isn’t a robot too is she?”
The thought only occurred to me then, after all Kim’s company clearly employed androids. I didn’t know what Jim’s reaction would be.
“Sure, honey she’s over there!” Davina signalled with her eyes.
I turned and scrutinised the naked black woman in that direction, she was statuesque with close-cropped hair and held rigidly straight by another of the support arms, horizontal and face up. She looked perfectly human other than her posture and cold face staring blankly upwards. There was no one else on that side of the room and I turned back to the laughing Davina in confusion. Mel was a raven-haired, olive skinned Mediterranean looking woman, short and petit, not an ebony athlete who must be at least six foot.
“Look at you! No she’s as human as you are… at least as far as I know, it’s getting pretty hard to tell these days. Let me guess, this is for Jim isn’t it?”
“Yup, err… look, do you have her number?”
“Can you unlock me – I hate being posed like this, I feel like a guardsman?”
As we spoke the colour had spread across Davina’s skin giving her a healthy glow and breath began to swell her chest rhythmically pushing the soft breasts against her bra to bulge slightly over the cup with each expansion. I could now barely make out the join lines in her skin, even though she was still frozen in place and I had clearly seen them before. The camouflage afforded by her artificial skin’s animation concealed them almost beyond perception; I could understand now why I hadn’t spotted her for what she was before.
“It’s just another icon on my controller, I feel a bit awkward like this. Thanks.”
I could see that her nipples had risen firmly against her bra, the sheer material doing little to conceal their shape, even the little hard bumps of the areolae showing clearly around the stiff central nub. A flush was spreading over her chest and I thought perhaps the coldness of her just-activated flesh was the cause. I felt a little awkward standing in front of her now, she seemed suddenly less machine and more womanly and I could relate to her feeling a little awkward!
I toggled the lock icon and Davina again froze, this time the ubiquitous hourglass filled the PDA screen for barely a second before a message advised me that UNIT DV403 IS NOT FULLY SERVICEABLE. DO YOU STILL WISH TO UNLOCK THIS UNIT Y/N? I selected Y again and she came to with a small but sudden whole body jerk and a little gasp, the motors in her pelvis sounded loud and harsh as they twitched the metal stumps of her legs in their open sockets.
“Oh wow! Thanks Bob, that’s a hell of a lot better.” She flicked her hair back with a natural motion and stretched, arching her back like a cat around the fixed suspension point at the base of her spine. From the legs of her black knickers the whining stumps of leg connectors wiggled, separate alloy links moving loosely beside each main core, flopping about amongst the disconnected wiring and fibre-optics. As she stretched one side of her undergarment, precarious without thighs to nestle between, slid further over the open end of the robot’s leg connection. It covered the thick edge of the plastic flesh and the metallic connecting ridge with clinging fabric and revealed a corresponding sliver of pelvic skin on the other side. I could now clearly see that she was as smooth and hairless there as on the tech’ next door, her soft warm pink flesh visibly bare almost to her lips. As she moved I could see the underwear clinging tightly to the bald shape of her sex, even the tiny nub of her clitoris showed through the material.
“Erm, Davina… Davina?”
She looked at me with either lust or, perhaps, contempt, I couldn’t tell and ran her hands down her body to her crotch in one luscious sweep.
“Oh fuck, yes – my legs are off! You’ve no idea… no idea what its like to be taken apart. A beautiful woman shuts me down, takes my legs off, boots me up, tampers inside my open body, reprograms my mind; Oh God! Machines do things to me while all I can do is… just nothing!”
A was shocked by the sudden transformation of this woman into a crazed raver. I stepped back in reaction to her outburst and watched her questing hands pull her panties aside. The crotch slid across the open stump-socket of her leg to hang uselessly around her hips while she rubbed her glistening lips.
“Oh God I’m so hot after all that. And so frustrated! I never realized it was so good, so fantastically sexy. They delete all this when I leave of course. I want to remember, I want to remember all this, I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanking! Oh my God!”
Her fingers were now plunging in and out of her inhumanly perfect vagina, her whole hand glistening with sticky the fluids and her thumb flicking against the swollen plastic clitoris with every movement. Her free hand quested for other employment around her crotch and traced the outline of the leg connection with a forefinger.
“Errm, Davina, look, I should go… About Mel’s number, I don’t suppose…”
“FUCK MEL’S NUMBER, FUCK YOU!! Oh fuck… They turned my technician off in front of me, while I was helpless. They did something and turned her on again and she carried on… just carried on working on me as if nothing had happened! I wanted to scream at her and I wanted to come so badly, oh YES!”
I made a move forwards; this obviously wasn’t right, but she hissed at me viciously as I reached for the controls. “No way! Don’t you dare touch that panel! Get away from me, get away…”
I backed away as Davina went back recounting the erotic experiences of her maintenance session. She had pushed her hand right inside herself through the leg opening and, from the rhythmic motion of her forearm, appeared to be stimulating her sexual organs from the inside in some way as well as normally with her other fingers. I could see warnings flashing up on the PDA linked to Davina’s open belly panel but couldn’t read them as I continued to back towards the door. The rhythmic sexual motion of her body, arms working at her sex, back and neck arching and stretching became more and more frenzied as she built to a climax. Her gleaming leg stumps strained upwards, as if her legs would be raised, ankles to ears, and twitched and jerked mechanically to no purpose.
As she came, voice raised uncaringly load in the otherwise still but gently humming room, her left arm delved hard and fast in and out of her open pelvis. She drove it in and out from the elbow to the little watch on her wrist. Odd that she still wore this, was it part of her or, like her underclothes, had it simply not been removed? The violence of her efforts caused the trailing wires to fly back and forth and at the height of her pleasure something must have snagged.
Still writhing in ecstasy she also began to jerk and shout, clearly not under her own control. A large spark flew from a missing leg opening followed by several more and a little trail of black smoke.
“Fucking hell! Shit… oh yes yes yes!!!” She seemed to orgasm again wild at her own malfunction and with one arm caught up inside herself. The servicing system kicked in at this point, lighting up and beginning to sound a calm monotonous alarm note. Davina was still in the throws of passion with herself, spouting expletives and exclamations but losing control rapidly. Her free arm was fumbling and kept jerking away and her head too began to jerk at odd angles. Gradually bland functional statements began to displace her conscious words.
“Shit,,, Malfunction -please deactivate to avoid further damage. God, yes, I wanna fuck. I wanna… control error 2077 control system failure. Ahhh, ahhh, Warning critical error detected – shutdown failed. System requirements critical, orgasm sequence 661 executing. Oh… oh… oh shit! Malfunction -please deactivate to avoid further damage.”
With a jerk she was swung upwards as some automatic system kicked into play and, still jerking and with wild eyes blazing, was smoothly transferred back across the room, face down and re-positioned where I first saw her. Several more sparks burst from her pelvis and, a moment after she came to rest, a small wheeled ‘bot sped across the room, paused, then directed a long blast into her Davina’s open body from a CO2 extinguisher. The white cloud billowed up and the android’s body gave a final spasm before freezing once more. Peering for several moments I could see that, where she had been online and looking around before, now she was frozen in a gasp of surprise, eyes still blazing but seeing nothing at all.
I slunk away, shying back as another fembot mouthed urgently at me, mindlessly experiencing some pre-programmed reality of her own. I’ve seen Davina since, she seems normal, I guess I still don’t “know” she’s a robot. Kimmy just laughed when I asked her, she’d never considered it at all, I guess her programming just assumes human unless otherwise informed. I know she lets Davina adjust her settings and establish new protocols for work, which might cause some upset if she knew the truth. I certainly don’t look at Kimmy in quite the same way either. I’m glad she was offline that night, I’m still very fond of her but I suppose I know deep down now that she’s not real – she’s not supposed to be.