High above ground in the night sky, Jensina was stuck in a fierce battle. Her order of Valkyries, the Raghild, had recently spotted demonic influence in their territory and Jensina was sent to investigate. The intruder occurred to be a high-ranking succubus that attacked her the moment she was spotted. Sadly, even her martial and magical training weren't enough for an opponent of that caliber. Jensina was quickly put on the defensive and the battle became an aerial fight high in the sky of the industrial sector of Garnold.
“Grr..., I'm almost out of mana and I haven't even scratched that bitch... At this point it's obvious she is toying with me. I can't even call for help as there is some kind of magical interference... I'll have to try something else or I won't survive...” thought Jensina as she decided to bet everything on her best physical enhancement spell.
Feeling much more powerful and faster, Jensina launched a charge at her opponent.
-Hmmph, definitely an improvement but still not enough. said the succubus while blocking the spear blow with a magical barrier.
-You fought valiantly but I grow bored of you... Now die quickly, ok? She then summoned a trident and sent it flying toward Jensina who was still recovering from her failed attack. The Valkyrie was struck in the abdomen and the trident vanished as if it never existed. In pain and quickly losing blood, Jensina felt her forces leaving her while she started plummeting toward the ground. She lost consciousness when she hit the roof of a building and crashed through it.
-Well, that takes care of that annoyance. Gotta leave this dump before more show up. Don't wanna be identified just yet... The mysterious succubus then teleported away.
Dave was up late, examining reports at his desk. His sexbot factory was still profitable but revenues were starting to dip. They hadn't had a technological breakthrough in a while and now their competitors were catching up to them while being cheaper. Their flagship product, the MechaCutie, was due for an update as its limited personality matrix became predictable with time. Sadly, it was easier said than done. Dave would rather be in the labs working on new software, but he eventually had to admit he was running in circles and the administrative tasks were piling up.
Ten years ago, Dave and a bunch of like-minded roboticists had bought a workerdroid factory from a bankrupt company. Their final project as students had been to transform a boring old bot into a sexdroid. The faculty had been rather shocked by the project but still accepted it, thinking it would fail anyway. Happily, for the students their minds (lust?) prevailed and they managed to create a functioning sexbot. They then went on to make Ladybot Inc. and create a thriving sex robot industry.
While reminiscing (and thus avoiding work...), Dave was disturbed by a loud crash. Alarmed, he called the security guards on duty.
-What the hell was that? -We don't know boss, but we're going to check it out!
A few minutes later: -Hmm, boss, it seems something crashed into the roof. Also, the factory seems to have been activated, you'd better check this out yourself. We don't think that's the work of intruders. -Fine, I'm coming down. Said Dave while grumbling to himself about bad luck.
True to the guard’s words, there was a hole in roof, right on top of the nanite pool. These little wonders were tasked to assemble the different parts of the robots and could do so much faster than any human. You just dumped the frame and the components and a new sexbot was done in a few minutes. Strangely, whatever had fallen inside the factory had managed to activate the production line as power was flowing into the pool.
-I'll try to stop the process while you guys clean up the debris so we know what we're dealing with. This is gonna be such a pain in the ass to repair...
Soon after the guards left, something surfaced in the pool and was brought into the finalization booth. It was clearly a female bot, but of a different kind from usual.
“What was that? The nanites couldn't possibly have enough material to make a whole sexbot and that clearly wasn't something of our design. Did somebody mess with the factory after all?”
Dave's concerns were interrupted when the bot finally exited the production line. Simply put, she was an amazonian beauty unlike anything Dave had ever made or seen. She was pretty tall at around 6 feet and fit as an athlete (as her abs showed) but with all the curves of a traditional sexbot. Her skin was some kind of flesh-like silicon with visible mechanical articulation covered in a clear gel substance. She had long emerald hairs that went to her lower back. Her face looked like that of a doll but with sensual red lips. As all new sexbots, she was naked for inspection.
While Dave looked amazed at the new creation, the bot activated itself. Her calm crystal blue eyes opened and she started speaking.
-First boot detected. Awaiting activation key before unlocking full potential.
She just stood at attention waiting for input, her eyes lost in the distance.
Overcome by curiosity, Dave did the first thing he thought of, and recited his administrative credentials
-Administrator password accepted. Loading full mode... Her voice then became softer as she continued: Mechanical Valkyrie 1.0 loaded. This unit's designation is Eydir. How can I serve you?
Dave was puzzled, he had never heard of any mechanical Valkyrie program. What was this new robot doing here? Did it have a link with the hole in the roof? The obvious answer was to try to ask the bot. Even if the AI wasn't very sophisticated, it should have some description of its functions for her owner.
-Explain me your model. I own this plant and I never heard about your type. Where do you come from?
-I am a mechanical Valkyrie model. I was built for combat and companionship. I have access to a wide range of magical and martial skills generally associated with Valkyries. I can summon my combat equipment at a moment's notice or appear fully human and be ready for any situation. I am also programmed with all companion applications from Ladybot inc. As for your second question, I may have some explanations: I have memories prior to being activated for the first time. It seems a Valkyrie named Jensina fell and died in this pool of nanites. The logical conclusion would be that I was made from her remains.
This explanation raised more questions than answer in Dave's mind. Was this the truth? Did his factory really have the power to turn someone into a robot? Moreover, without any input from the workers? And what was a Valkyrie doing above his factory in the first place? Their kind didn't usually mingle with the rest of society and were in fact quite secretive...
-Wait! You're saying you're a Valkyrie that was robotized, like some kind of cyborg? Shouldn't you be furious and want to return home?
-No, you are misunderstanding. I am Eydir, a new being. Jensina was simply used as raw materials for my construction and her memories downloaded into me. You could say she died to create me. I am not bound by my past life. I was made to serve a master and I will do so happily. Right now, you are designated as my owner, is that correct?
-Hmm, I guess I'll have to be for now... At least while we're clearing this situation up. Let's rewind a bit, what was Jensina doing in the sky above here? And yeah, maybe it'd be time to cover you up. This is getting distracting, he said while eyeing her big perky breasts. Show me that armored mode, that should do the trick.
Eydir then glowed brightly for a few seconds while her form changed. Her whole body became encased in fantasy white armor with blue and gold parts. A winged helmet with a retractable visor materialized on her head while a spear appeared in her left hand. The most stunning change however was the metallic wings that formed on her back.
-You weren't kidding when you said armored mode. You truly look like a flying knight. The only thing missing is a shield, said Dave while clearly looking impressed.
-My right gauntlet can generate an energy shield, should the situation demand it, she replied matter-of-factly. As for your previous question, Jensina was investigating a demonic presence in the territory. She found it, but it was too strong for her and was subsequently defeated in an aerial battle above this factory.
-There are demons involved too? This isn't good... But let's deal with you first... Won't your fellow Valkyrie want to know what happened to you, err... Jensina?
-Probably, but it is of no concern to me. I am your servant and if the Raghild Order objects to it, I will fight them.
-Woah, woah, let's not jump the gun! I certainly don't want to fight a whole Valkyrie order! Couldn't I just give you to them?
-It is in the realm of possibilities, but I would probably be destroyed as I am a sacrilege in the eyes of their god. They treat all technology as suspicious. Besides, you would probably still be punished for your contribution to my blasphemous existence. She then whispered as if talking to herself: I don't want to be destroyed...
“Hmm... This so called mecha-valkyrie's AI seems much better than what we usually produce.” thought Dave. “It might be a good idea to observe her for a while...”
-Oh well, I guess I'll keep you then. I should probably analyze your systems too. Who knows how the nanites assembled you... But for now, I'll call it a day. This place is a mess anyway, and I'm way overdue for some sleep.
At his words, Eydir seemed to perk up a bit. Her emotions were subtle, but she did seem to have some indeed. Dave then went to explain the situation to his employees and left a note about it for his daytime colleagues.
-Now, what should I do with you tonight? There should still be room in the storage area for you, but then you are an unique model...
-It is my duty as your servant to protect you. I will accompany you home and watch over you. She interrupted.
-Ok, why not? I can always use the company and I will be able to analyze you at my home lab. He added mentally: “And who could refuse such a pretty face a home visit?” Follow me to my car.
Dave then left the factory with the beautiful Mecha-Valkyrie in tow. Soon however, a problem became apparent.
-Hmm... I don't think you'll fit in there with your wings...
-I can make them appear and disappear at will. As she said so, her wings glowed a bit then retracted inside her body.
-How convenient... Well, then let's head to my house!
They boarded the car and Dave started driving to his house. The ride was awkward as Eydir sat rigidly in her seat without saying a word. They eventually arrived in a cozier part of town, then stopped at Dave's property. It wasn't a mansion but it was still a sizable two story house. Being the founder of Ladybot had its perks after all. They got out of the car then entered the house, where they were greeted by Dave's personal robot maid, Suzie.
-Welcome home master! I see that you have a guest, should I prepare something to eat? You must be tired after such a long day working!
Suzie was one of Dave's latest product. She was a five feet four buxom blonde dressed in a stereotypical maid uniform. Nothing too sexy as Dave had guests from time to time, but still pleasing to look at with plenty of lace. Her hair was done in a twin tails style. As usual she was smiling at the sight of her owner.
Eydir studied her, as if appraising a rival.
-No, not now Suzie. My “guest” is a new model I will be testing for the few days. She is named Eydir. But, as you said, it has indeed been a long day and I will soon go to sleep.
-Shall I accompany you to your room then? Suzie replied.
-No, but you can show the house to Eydir and then both of you should go on standby and recharge for the night. You do recharge in the standard way right, Eydir?
-Indeed I do. A simple power cord will do the trick.
-Nice to hear, after all you're not exactly standard issue. I'm going to bed, wake me up at 7AM as usual.
Dave then left the two bots and did his evening routine before going to bed. He tossed and turned for a while, thinking about the recent events, then finally fell asleep.
Dave was woken up by a hand playing with his hair.
“Hmm... I love Suzie's way of waking me up every morning.” He thought.
Reveling in the sensation, eyes still closed, Dave felt another hand caressing his chest, then two more on his back.
“Wait... Four hands? What's happening?”
Curious he finally opened his eyes. In front of him was Suzie, standing up by the side of his bed.
-Good morning master! It is time for you to wake up! Your breakfast awaits you in the kitchen.
-Thanks Suzie. He answered. She curtsied then left for the kitchen. Yet, Dave was still feeling someone hugging him from behind.
He finally turned around and came face to face with Eydir. She was in his bed and naked.
-Eydir?! What are you doing there?
-I saw Suzie waking you up, so I loaded an appropriate scenario from my companionship suite. Shall I continue? She answered while sitting in the bed.
Her naked form was mesmerizing. Dave had had a good view yesterday, but his mind was more focused on the new situation at the time. Now that his mind was temporarily free of worries, he could fully appreciate the beauty of the new bot. Her expression was still neutral as opposed to most women in that situation, but the disconnect between her actions and attitude excited Dave. He considered accepting her offer and indulging. Her mechanical joints helped him remember her artificial nature. Dave quite liked female robots, he wouldn't be making more of them of he didn't have some kind of interest after all. Sadly, she was also an unknown model that had suddenly popped out of the factory line. It wouldn't be wise to get intimate with her... for now.
-Not today, Eydir. I still have to examine you before going to work.
-As you wish. She then got up. Dave thought she looked a bit... disappointed?
Dave finally got off from his bed and started gathering his clothes for the day. Eydir was watching attentively.
-You are preparing to take a shower. Shall I accompany you?
-No, as I said, this is a busy morning. Answered Dave, almost feeling guilty of not accepting her offer.
During his shower, he thought about Eydir and her surprising sense of initiative. This was not something he was used to as all the robots he made were passive. Suzie had simply done as he had programmed her to do, while Eydir was improvising. This was something he would have to analyze further. Plus... he didn't dislike it.
When he exited the shower, he noticed Eydir standing guard outside the bathroom. She was back in her armored form.
-Taking your guard role seriously, I see?
-I would be left without purpose if something were to happen to you.
-This sounds depressing when said like that. Oh well, I don't think you need to worry for now. It's not like I have many enemies trying to kill me.
-They always strike when you least expect it.
Dave went to eat breakfast, a bit amused by the exchange, but also worried about his future. Demons and Valkyries watching his workplace would certainly complicate things...
After his meal, Dave invited Eydir to the basement. It's where she went to recharge during the night, but also where Dave kept his personal laboratory.
-Well, it's time to finally have a look at your insides, not that the outside isn't nice enough... Remove your armor and lay on this table please.
In a flash of light, Eydir became naked once again, then placed herself on the table. Dave opened a port on the side of her neck and plugged a data cable in. Data about the Mecha-Valkyrie's system started to flow in a nearby monitor. Surprisingly, most of it was pretty standard for a Ladybot product. She had the latest companion suite installed and her base OS was what he'd expect in any of his bots. With his admin credentials he could essentially change her owner information and he had access to her personality profile. That's where things went off the beaten path. It was a chaotic mess: So many attributes placed in no particular order, some with sliders some with buttons and others with a text field but no indication of what to write. Attributes like purity, mirth, pleasantness, phlegm, imagination, avoidance, etc. Everything was too vague to be useful. Too scared to change anything for now, Dave went to the combat portion of her software.
It was a whole new world: Martial techniques, tactical predictor, mana manager, spells, auto-repair, enemy detection and appraisal, etc. Her attack options were impressive and most dangerously, even better than what he expected military robots to have. This was the kind of software people would literally kill to get.
Still shocked by the discovery, Dave decided to switch to the hardware. Eydir's appearance was already unconventional. Most sexbots hid their joints, but then most didn't have combat programming either... He opened the pectoral and abdominal panels while Eydir watched him.
Once again, Dave was blown away by the stuff inside the Valkyrie. The few pieces he recognized were miles above anything they could produce right now. Many pieces were obviously inspired by their human counterparts, but were either more compact or more powerful. By looking, he determined Eydir was completely waterproof and could in fact consume food. Even her artificial vagina was better than anything else they ever produced. It could massage and pulsate in ways no human could compare. Dave was tempted to probe it, but he felt Eydir's gaze on him and decided it was a bad idea.
After finishing his examination, Dave was pretty sure the Mecha-Valkyrie wasn't a walking time bomb. All her pieces were exceptionally advanced but functional as far as he could tell. If he could reverse engineer her, his company would stand head and shoulders above the competition. In fact, it was so much better that he was worried that if word of her existence got out, military contractors would do anything to get their hands on her. Of course, he could always sell her and let them fight among themselves but it just seemed... wrong.
-Ok, I'm done! You can close your ports and get clothed. I can't make head or tail of your settings but you seem stable enough to be safe. I won't make any progress here alone so let's go back to the factory.
With a hiss, all her panels closed and she summoned her armor back. They then left the house, leaving Suzie to her pre-programmed housekeeping tasks. When they got to Dave's car, he got a silly idea.
-Eydir, you can fly right?
-Yes, my wings are not decorative.
-What's the weight you can carry in the air?
-I can carry up to a metric ton, but it will be taxing on my battery.
-I see... Do you think you could give me a ride to the factory? He asked, sounding like a kid trying his new toy.
-Of course, it would be my pleasure, Master.
In a flash, her wings grew back. She picked up Dave in a bridal carry and soared into the airs. Dave hadn't thought this through, his position was very embarrassing. He eventually took notice of his surroundings and decided it was worth it. The sensation of flying was exhilarating and the firm embrace of Eydir made him feel safe enough to appreciate it. Soon enough they reached their destination and she dropped him down. It was early enough that he hadn't attracted attention with his stunt.
-Well that was quite the experience!
-Yes, it was... pleasant. She answered as her wings retracted once again.
As they entered the building, Dave vowed to himself to look for a more dignified flying position for his return tonight. Some winged humanoid dating site must have the answer to this conundrum...
The first thing Dave did was check on the damage to the factory. The security guards had occupied themselves by removing the rubble that fell inside and had nothing more to report for the night.
The next step was to fill an insurance claim. Luckily, supernatural battles were covered by most policies. While Dave did that, he let Eydir explore the factory for herself. An inspector was scheduled to come within the week and confirm his story, while a contractor was hired to do the repairs.
Once done, he rejoined with the Valkyrie. She had attracted the attention of a few employees, but did not pay them any attention. Dave explained that she was a prototype for a new model and that he still needed to run a few tests on her. He then took Eydir away from the forming crowd.
Dave thought it would be a good idea to test Eydir's combat capabilities outside, away from unwanted attention. On the way, they met Jeff, one of Dave's old university partner, now a scientist in the employ of Ladybot.
-Hey Dave! Who's the cutie with you?
-Hi, Jeff! This is Eydir, a prototype bot I activated last night.
-So, you finally had a breakthrough huh? What's with the angel look? Is that your new angle?
-Yeah, you could say it fell on me. I'll be testing her AI outside the labs for a while, so don't look for me.
-Field testing already? Isn't that a bit early? You didn't even show her to the research team!
-I have to make sure of a few things, I'll do an official unveiling later today. Dave answered while running off with Eydir.
Once outside, the sexbot asked Dave where he was taking her.
-Well, you seem to have advanced combat capabilities, so I want to go somewhere isolated to try them out.
-I see. Would the forest of Exolt be adequate for such testing?
-Yeah, that would do. But isn't that a bit faaaar???? Dave said as he was suddenly lifted by the Valkyrie once again. She deployed her wing then took off in a few seconds.
-Destination set. Activating flight booster.
Eydir started accelerating up to a much higher speed than the one of the precedent flight. She also formed a shield to protect Dave from the wind. In a few minutes, they were outside of the city and above Exolt forest. Eydir decelerated and gently landed in an isolated clearing.
-Well that was certainly faster than the first time. Just how fast can you go? Asked Dave as he was let down on the ground.
-If needed I can go up to mach 2, but it requires the use of my flight booster which is energy consuming. Without it, my speed is restricted to 150km/h.
“We were going faster than a speeding car, yet I felt almost nothing! And she can go as fast as a jet! This is crazy!” thought Dave.
-Well. Let's get started then. Show me some of your martial abilities.
-Understood. The green haired robot then summoned a spear and loaded a training routine Jensina used to do every morning.
She began with a prayer-like stance, then proceeded with a few thrusts. She did a few rotations with her spear then started advancing while doing pirouettes and stabbing imaginary targets. She took a high stance and brought her weapon down on a fallen enemy, then jumped over her spear to do a turnabout and strike behind where she was with the butt of the spear. The whole thing looked like a ritualistic dance, but even more precise due to her mechanical control.
The routine took only a few minutes then Eydir finished with another prayer.
-Jensina would usually then begin sparring with the other valkyries of the order, but I have no suitable opponent at the moment. Stated the robot.
-What about your magic training? Can you demonstrate some spells?
-I have access to some physical enhancement, one self-healing and a few offensive spells such as “Rain of Arrows” and “Magical Laser”.
-Magical Laser? That's the classic everyone wants to see! You can even gauge a magician's power with how impressive it is! Show me that one!
-As you wish.
Eydir then took a diagonal aim through a tree toward the sky, her spear acting as a magical focus. The weapon started to glow as mana was poured into it, then she released the stored energy. The result was a light grey energy blast the size of a man that lasted five seconds. Everything in the path of the spell got pulverized instantly.
-Holy shit! That wasn't a laser, that was a freaking kamehameha! This will attract attention like crazy! We should probably get away from here... Get us back to the factory!
Without a word, Eydir picked up Dave again and flew to their destination.
“That was some insane magical laser... She's at least equivalent to a battle mage in power level and it doesn't seem it was very taxing for her mana storage. Shouldn't mechanical beings be bad at using magic? This is beyond strange... Maybe I'll finally have to call that annoying guy...” Dave thought as he was carried back to his work.
As they landed once again in the parking of the factory, Dave explained his plans for the rest of the day.
-Well, it's about time I formally introduce you to the rest of the team. Follow me, he said while Eydir's wings disappeared.
Dave lead Eydir to his office, where he called a reunion of his old university teammates. Jeff was the first to show, then Bellinda and finally Reggie. Though they were all roboticists by trade, they had to split the tasks in the company. Dave was elected leader, Jeff was public relations, Bellinda was head of research and Reggie was head of operations, meaning he made sure everything was in working order.
-So, Dave, will we finally get some explanations about what happened last night? Said Reggie as he sat down. That was unpleasant to have to deal with that huge hole first thing in the morning. All our production lines are halted because of that.
-I'm more interested by that green haired bot behind you. Is that a new model from the competition? The design is quite exotic... Added Bellinda.
-Yeah, it's about time you introduced us! Finished Jeff.
-Well this meeting is about all that. Answered Dave. He then explained what had happened last night and how Eydir came into existence, though he left out just how crazy strong she happened to be.
-I am pleased to make your acquaintance, said Eydir while curtsying.
-So, by some crazy stroke of luck, we got the answer to our problems? Neat! Said Jeff.
-A sexbot from the dead body of a Valkyrie... That's kinda creepy. Added Bellinda
-Well that explains the hole and that new design pattern I found in our database. Said Reggie
-What new design? Replied Dave, surprised.
-I found a new sexbot plan in the assembly lines while I was maintaining them earlier. I thought it was something you came up with, but it seems I was wrong.
-Is it maybe a plan for building more Valkyriebots? We wouldn't have to reverse engineer our new friend from scratch. Said Bellinda. It'd save us months of work!
-We'd have to analyze it to be sure, but if it's really that, that would be wonderful news. Start looking at that design, I'll join you guys once I'm done with the leftover paperwork. Replied Dave.
-What am I to do during your workday? Asked Eydir. I wish to be useful.
A bit surprised by her initiative, her owner thought for a while then answered: Why not put you on security? You have some combat programming after all.
-Plus she's way better looking than those stuffy guards! Joked Jeff.
-Well, it's settled then! Let's all get back to work now! Concluded Dave.
After his colleagues left, Dave turned his attention to the green haired sexbot.
-I'll get someone to show you the work and I'll pick you up when the workday is over. It'd be hard to go home without you anyway.
He then led her to the head of security and explained his unusual request. After that he left the robot in their care and headed back to his office.
“Eydir's personality is unusual. She mostly acts like other robots, but she sometimes exhibits eccentric behaviors and her initiative is intriguing... I guess I'll have that annoying spiritualist check her out. If I'm right he'll never leave me alone after this, but I need an explanation...”
Despite his misgivings, Dave still called the spiritualist. He would come over tomorrow. Dave then filled some paperwork including the insurance claim and went to join his team in the research lab. The new plan was indeed for mass production of Valkyriebots. They spent the rest of the day studying it. Once their tiredness took over their curiosity, the team finally left for home around 9PM.
Dave rejoined Eydir in the security office. She was dutifully watching the security feeds.
-Hey, the day's over! Time to go home!
-I expected you to go home earlier. It is unhealthy to overwork. Replied the robot.
-What can I say? Time flies by when you're invested in your work! Dave said, amused by her apparent concern.
Once outside, Eydir once again picked up her owner and flew them home. Suzie had prepared Dave's meal as usual. He ate while the two bots cleaned the kitchen, enjoying the view. He then looked up the internet to see if anything unusual came up recently in the local news. There were some sightings of a gray blast, but nothing precise. Relieved, he decided to get a good night of sleep for once. He considered taking Suzie or Eydir with him, but the new sexbot was still too much of a mystery. Once again, he fell asleep thinking about the events of the day, while Eydir was recharging.
High above Ladybot inc., a familiar winged silhouette was plotting in the dark. “Soon, my new enchantment will be ready... I'll become more powerful faster than any succubus before in history! No one shall oppose Elrin the new Queen of hell! Tomorrow, my ascension will truly begin!”
She then plunged into the factory, clad in an invisibility spell and continued her methodical analysis of their products...
As usual, Dave was awoken by Suzie's gentle touch and her programmed morning greeting.
-Good morning master! It is time for you to wake up! Your breakfast awaits you in the kitchen.
-Not this morning! interjected Eydir while entering the bedroom with a breakfast platter. Today, breakfast will be served in bed.
Sitting up, Dave was once again amazed by the initiative of the valkyriebot. She had brought him his breakfast while wearing one of Suzie's spare maid uniform. The new look reminded once again how sexy Eydir was. The low cut bustier showed a lot of cleavage while her small skirt and thigh high socks let just the right amount of skin bare. After putting the plate on his lap, Eydir climbed up on the bed, next to him and started giving him a back rub. Enjoying the sensations, Dave lost himself in the moment.
-Where did you get that wonderful idea, Eydir?
-You seemed stressed yesterday so I looked for a way to reduce it in my programs. She replied calmly.
-You know, robots don't usually have that kind of initiative. Suzie is still confused about this schedule change. Dave said while pointing to the maidbot.
She was alternatively looking at them both and at the exit, while her mouth was cyclically opening as if to say something but then deciding against it.
-I'm only doing my utmost to please my owner. Don't compare me to an inferior model. She replied matter-of-factly while taking a glance at Suzie.
Dave finished eating his breakfast with Eydir at his side. Once he was done, he ordered Suzie to clean up the room, which snapped her out of her loop. While taking his shower, Dave started wondering if he should have invited Eydir to join him. After his analysis the day before, he was pretty sure Eydir was at no major risk of malfunctioning and as stable as any other fembot he produced. But for some reason he was still hesitating about getting intimate with her. Hopefully, the meeting with the spiritualist today should put his fears at rest...
Once clothed, he went to the living room to check on the morning news. Eydir was still standing watch outside the bathroom, back once again in her valkyrie outfit. Nothing of importance had happened locally. A sect had incurred the wrath of a god and his servants were battling the cultists. Orcs and trolls were still warring for some crappy swampland territory. Some viral catgirl video... Satisfied that everyone had forgotten about Eydir's blast, Dave closed the television and finished his preparations for the day.
-We'll take my car today. Not that I dislike flying to the job, but it is too much attention grabbing for my tastes.
-I'll comply with your wishes, Eydir replied seeming subtly disappointed.
The drive to the factory was uneventful. Dave felt compelled to talk to the Valkyrie-bot even if he knew a robot shouldn't mind the silence or anything else at that matter. He just didn't know what to talk about.
Once parked, they exited the car and were met by an eccentric figure. It was a young man in his early twenties who was wearing a blue and red mage robe. He had long unruly blond hairs and wore a goatee in an attempt to look older. He was carrying a wooden staff and a backpack full of strange trinkets. At his sight Dave groaned in exasperation.
-Hi Dave! After you finally contacted me, I got so excited that I prepared for today all night! I've been waiting for you for the past hour!
-But it's 6 AM and I told you to come at 9! What were you expecting?
-Hey, it's the first time you roboticists finally contacted me first. The first time you actually need a spiritualist! My thesis might finally be proven! It might be an historic day! Is this the robot you wanted me to examine?
-Yes, this is the one. Eydir, this is Travian. He's a spiritualist convinced that robots will develop spirits one day. Dave then leans closer to Eydir and whispers: Normally he is treated as laughing stock in the industry and in his field of expertise, but since your case is exceptional and you've showed unique traits, I've asked him to examine you.
-Understood she stoically answered.
-Well, let's go inside shall we? No point in staying in the parking after all.
-I haven't been inside since the time you expelled me!
-You kept trying to go inside restricted places and wouldn't leave... Control yourself this time, would you? Retorted Dave while sighing. In fact, Eydir will be the one to throw you out this time if you misbehave.
Eydir fixed her eyes on Travian and he gulped anxiously.
The trio soon made their way to Dave's office.
-Will this place suits you for your examination? Asked the owner.
-Yeah, I just need a flat surface to prepare my spells.
Without asking for permission, he set up various trinkets on Dave's desk while droning about the basics of magic.
-As you know, magic and technology don't mix well. Mana can be stored in some materials but it doesn't regenerate by itself. Some artefacts do become sentient and then produce their own mana but those are legendary objects in their own right. Of course, you can bypass this restriction with technomancy, but those with aptitudes for that can be counted on your fingers. Technomancers are capable of incredible feats of both magic and engineering. If they're allowed to develop their potential, they become as strong as a whole country by themselves. They can create armies of sentient machines in a stupidly short time and those can all use strong spells as they wish. Which is why they are hunted down when discovered. Victorion caused so much chaos when he toppled Laetiria's government and took over that no one wants to take a chance of it happening again... Anyway, back on topic. If the humanoid form is conductive to magic and objects can become artifacts, it may be that humanoid objects could become sentient more easily than others. This is just my theory but if proven true we could actually “force” the awakening of non-living matter. Golemancy tried that but it never worked. I think it's just that those attempts were too primitive. They couldn't do anything without their controller. Now that androids exist it should just be a matter of time before they all become sentient!
-I somehow doubt that's what will happen. Replied an exasperated Dave. Even if Eydir here has a spirit, her creation isn't standard by any means. Now do your business before I lose patience...
-What do you mean...? Travian started asking, but he was interrupted by a flash of light from his setup. Oh! Everything's ready, no time to waste! Let's look at your robot with spirit eyes!
The light then went from the formation on Dave's desk to Travian's eyes. As soon as he opened them, he clutched them in pain.
-AHH! So much mana! It's like looking at an archimage! Let me lower the sensitivity a bit... There, now I should be able to see clearly. Now, now... what is this? There is definitely a soul in there... It looks freshly born, but it is unlike anything I've seen before. It's as if a regular soul was twisted into an artifact. Kinda like an undead...
Eydir briefly looked disgusted by the comparison while Dave took a somber expression.
-So, she really has a soul huh? This complicates things...
-How so? I am still your loyal robot. Ever since my activation I've always thought about how to please you. My purpose is to serve my master. Even if I'm sentient, that doesn't mean I will turn on you at the first occasion. You've been a good master to date and I would be sad to be treated differently because of this. said Eydir earnestly.
Dave and Travian looked at her dumbfounded. It was the first time they'd seen an android act so fervently.
-Wouldn't you prefer to be free? Not to be at the beck and call of a master? To forge your own path in the world? Asked Dave, dubious.
-I am free! I may be hardwired to serve my owner but I can still disobey if I really want it. I am made for a purpose and fulfilling it brings me happiness. Don't deprive me of that!
-Isn't that brainwashing?
-If I may interject, said Travian, most artifacts long to be used by someone worthy of them. Maybe Eydir is feeling something similar to that?
-It's possible, she answered.
-Then don't mind all the details and just use her like any other bot you produce here. It's what she wants after all, concluded Travian. Now what was that about Eydir being nonstandard?
Dave explained the Valkyrie-bot origins.
-So, this isn't a case of my theory becoming true? You just ruined my mood with that, he said while picking up his spell components. But this open up other possibilities that I'll have to think about...
Travian then left still lost in thoughts.
-Wow, he didn't even bid us goodbye... At least he forgot to ask for payment too, so there's that. Said Dave while turning to Eydir. So, I guess we continue like before, uh?
-That would be my wish. Don't hesitate to ask my help for anything, she added seductively.
-Well, then let's get to work, shall we? He replied with a smile.
And so, the day advanced. Dave and his team analyzed the new Valkyriebot design and found nothing wrong with it so they sent it to production. Contrary to Eydir, the parts were all standard but used in novel ways. The wings were mostly cosmetic and the weapons were civilian grade. They would probably be marketed as a fantasy security/sexbot hybrid model.
As the team were watching the trial unit take shape on the assembly line, a flock of flesh and blood Valkyries irrupted into the factory. The security was arguing with their leader about intruding on private property but she was having none of it.
-I don't care about your petty human rules. One of my soldiers was sent on a recon mission around here and disappeared two days ago. Your factory has a gaping hole in the roof so we will investigate whether you give us permission or not! she said while advancing inside the factory.
Hey! Who are you and what are you doing here? Said Reggie as the first to react.
-Stupid human didn't you just hear me explain myself? Just take me to your leader, I'm sick of repeating myself! Said the leading valkyrie haughtily.
Dave took a step forward.
-I'm Dave Fetz, the owner of this plant. What do you want exactly?
-Ah finally! The person in charge! I'm Adne of the Raghild order of valkyries. We are servants of the mighty god Orthos. We've come to investigate the disappearance of one member of our order, Jensina Sanva. She was sent to scout this part of Garnold two days ago and hasn't been seen since. We saw the gaping hole in your factory and came to survey this anomaly. Now that I explained myself, you should just let us proceed with our task unhindered. To attain our goal, we are ready to use force.
-I could do that... or I could just tell you what I know. He replied calmly.
-Hmm... You have my attention now, man. Tell us what we want to hear and maybe we'll be out of this cursed den of technology faster than expected.
-Your scout was effectively involved with the hole in our roof. Our cameras determined that the origin of the hole was a winged female crashing through. I think it was her. I doubt many other angel women were sent he...
-What happened to her? interrupted Adne.
-As you probably guessed from observing the layout, she fell into our nanite vat. It's holding our assembling nanites. Sadly, anything that's put into it is dissolved into materials then used in the production of our products. I'm sorry to have to announce you this, but your subordinate died and there's no trace of her left.
-That's... that's a horrible death said the leader. Every valkyrie in the room was shocked by the new.
While they were gathering their thoughts, the nanites finished assembling the prototype valkyriebot. As it exited the production line, all the representatives of the Raghild order stared at it wide eyed.
-What's the meaning of this? What is this parody of a valkyrie? Is this your idea of a sick joke? Asked Adne with a barely constrained rage.
-Um... Well... This is a prototype for a new product. We just started assembling it when you came in. replied Dave with visible discomfort.
-WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE US? The leader screamed in anger.
-It... it's just that after the incident it dawned me that we could branch out with an exotic line of sexbots... replied Dave, visibly ashamed of the excuse he just made on the spot.
-You disgust me manling. One of our comrades dies in your factory and your first action is to use her as inspiration for your blasphemous sex toys... I have no words for this.
She then turned to her escort. “We're going back to the temple. We have a fallen warrior to mourn.”
“This whole place deserves to burn...” she said under her breath.
The valkyrie leader and her escort left the building. Depressed, Dave watched their exit and stood contemplative for a while. Uncomfortable, his colleagues didn't dare say a word.
It was Eydir that broke the silence. She had been observing the event from the shadows and was now approaching her owner to comfort him.
-You said what you could, given the circumstances. They were always going to take the new badly. I'm sorry I couldn't do anything but observe. My resemblance to Jensina would only have made things worse. She said while embracing Dave.
-What's done is done... Nothing I can do about it now, he replied weakly. Let's go back to work, he announced as he composed himself.
The rest of the day was spent inspecting and testing the new valkyriebot's systems. Even if everything seemed to work, they had to do some strict safety testing.
During this time Eydir patrolled the building while thinking about her former life's comrades. Jensina had been as arrogant as them and now Eydir could see how bad it had made her look. She still felt some connection to her past life but if push came to shove, she would side with Dave against the Raghild order. Of her past devotion to Orthos, nothing remained. It had been replaced with loyalty to her master.
While musing about her situation, Eydir wandered into the storage area for the finished sexbots. It's there that she detected some traces of demonic magic. She couldn't tell what it was for, but it hadn't been there the day before. Something had been tampering with her master's products during the night. She had a good idea of who might be the cause. She'd have to stay for the night if she wanted to catch the culprit.
Shortly after most employees left for the night, Eydir explained her discovery to Dave.
-I guess we could stay tonight if you think there's a problem, he said.
-We? No, you should go rest at home. Your day was rough and you've been overworking yourself.
-I don't want to leave you alone here to face possible danger. Plus, I know I'll ruminate dark thoughts if I'm alone tonight. There's been too much stuff to take in today. As your master, I insist to stay.
-Very well then. But if it is as I suspect, you mustn't expose yourself to danger. There is a high chance of a battle occurring against the succubus that killed Jensina. I can't let you get hurt.
-That demoness uh? Do you think you'll beat her?
-This body is much stronger than Jensina was. My magic capabilities have also been fortified. If I can't defeat her now, it means she's as strong as a demon lord. In that case only a hero would be able to defeat her. I doubt a demon lord would waste time scheming in the human world.
-Good, you sound confident! I'll believe in your success then!
They both smiled at each other and resumed work.
They knew the night would be eventful.
As the night advanced, Eydir noticed an anomaly. The security guards on duty looked increasingly tired at a much faster rate than would be considered usual. By midnight, all of them were asleep and unable to be woken up. Even Dave had fallen to the sleeping spell. Determined to not let this affront go unpunished, Eydir went to the storage room. As expected, the succubus who killed her was working on a spell formation.
-Oh? Someone wasn't affected? That's odd... Wait a minute... You're that valkyrie I slaughtered a few days ago! But you look different... said the demoness while trying to gauge the reanimated angel.
Without saying a word, Eydir went on the offensive. She dashed toward her enemy while materializing her spear.
-Tsk... So eager for violence, said the succubus as she gracefully dodged. I see you aren't just sexier, you're faster too! I wonder how you survived that injury...
-I didn't. I was reborn. And I will avenge my previous incarnation! She replied while following up with another spear attack.
-Oh well, I'm sure you'll tell me your whole story once I crush your resolve. It's nothing a thorough beating and some torture can't break!
A clawed gauntlet made of black metal appeared on her right hand and she blocked the incoming blow. She then summoned her main weapon, a chain whip made of the same material. At the same time, fire started enveloping her. Using her advantage, she rushed Eydir and body slammed her. However, the valkyrie wasn't affected as much as she expected and only took two steps backward.
Trying to push her advantage, the succubus used a fireball spell. However, Eydir activated the gem in her right gauntlet and a holographic teal shield blocked the spell. Once again taking the offensive, she threw a few lightning spears toward her opponent while readying her spear.
This time the demoness was forced to take the hits, her metal armor proving to be a poor choice against electricity. She endured through, but was forced to give ground as the spear wielding girl continued to attack her.
Continuing their deadly dance of violence, the two fighting beauties slowly emerged from the storage room to the main factory area.
The demon girl's bat-like wings emerged from her back as she decided to take to the airs. Finally getting some distance between them, she used her whip to restrain Eydir's spear. Meanwhile, shadowy tentacles appeared at the valkyrie's feet and entangled themselves around her body.
-Eh, you might have gotten a powerup, but I'm still better than you! And now I'll have you tell me what you did to get stronger...
-Fine! If you really want to know... You did kill my previous persona. I fell into that pool and drowned, but I was remade in body and soul into a mecha valkyrie.
-Really? You became one of those dumb sexbots they make here? How peculiar... Now that I'm examining you, your aura did change a lot. It's unlike anything I've seen before. Maybe there's more to this place than an easy soul drain opportunity...
-Soul drain? What are you talking about?
-Oh? I thought you had noticed already. I'm enchanting the sexbots produced here so that when they're used, they'll drain the soul of their users and send them to me. This way, I'll continually get stronger without having to do much work for it.
-What? You're making all of Master's clients your thralls? I can't let this stand! Said Eydir while renewing her efforts to get free.
-Master, uh? So, your really have become like those toys? Maybe I'll kill this “master” of yours, just to see how you'll react... I wonder who it is? One of those dumb guards? Or maybe someone in those offices?
-You wouldn't dare!
-Struck a chord, did I? I'll enjoy seeing you suffer and drown in despair!
-No, you won’t! retorted Eydir as she conjured a blast of magical power. It easily disintegrated her restraints. In fact, you won’t bother anyone else ever!
Blinded by the sudden burst of energy, the succubus was caught by surprise when Eydir pulled on the whip still attached to her spear. She stumbled forward and was caught by Eydir’s awaiting punch. It was much stronger than she expected and air the air was expelled from her lungs. The punch was followed by a kick to her sides. The demoness minimized the impact by rolling to the side and summoned three black tridents to distract her attacker.
The valkyrie-bot countered with her own holy swords spell. Both spells annihilated each other. The succubus having dropped her whip, took to the air to try to barrage her opponent with magic. Eydir followed suit and both winged warriors clashed in the air.
After a few minutes of spell exchanges, it became apparent who was now the stronger of the two. Eydir’s mechanical nature made her untireable and boosted her physical characteristics, while making her immune to pain. On the other hand, each hit was exhausting the villainess’ stamina and the damage taken was slowly wearing her down. To the succubus’ horror, it was becoming clear who would win their battle.
Finally attaining her limit, the demoness started laughing.
-Ahahaha! I’m getting beat up by a souped up sexbot! This can’t be happening! But, if I’m going to die, I’ll take everyone here with me! she said as she started accumulating magic power.
However, whatever the succubus planned to unleash, it didn’t happen. Eydir simply charged and pierced her with her spear.
As her life was leaving her body, the demoness left one last taunt. “You’re more ruthless than I expected… I guess it’s time for plan B.”
It’s only when her lifeless body started to plummet that, Eydir realized what she meant. The succubus was right above the same nanite pool that had transformed Jensina! She was planning to rejuvenate herself into a robot too. By the time she had processed what was happening, it was too late to act.
As the corpse dissolved into the nanomachines, Eydir went to wake up her owner.
“Master! Wake up!” Dave was roused from his slumber by Eydir gently shaking his shoulder.
“Uh? when did I fall asleep?” whispered to himself as he regained consciousness.
-You were hit by a sleep spell when the demoness intruded the factory. Now that I defeated her, the security guards and you are able to wake up.
-Wait… You defeated her already? That means you fought her? Are you even alright? he said in a hurry while noticing that her normally pristine appearance was marred by battle damage.
-Yes, the battle is over. I received some damage from the fight, but my self repair system can take care of it. No major systems were impaired.
-Well… I’m glad you’re fine. What happened to that demoness? Did you manage to capture her or she fled?
-Neither. She preferred death over surrender.
-Ugh that’ll be a legal mess dealing with her corpse… And demonic lawyers are so much worse than the regular kind
-It might not be as bad as you think. Come with me, I’ll show you.
As they descended to the main factory floor, Dave’s growing suspicions were proven correct. At the end of the factory line stood a new gynoid. Clad in black and red futuristic armor, with a body even curvier than Eydir, the transformed succubus awaited activation. She had brown skin, silver hairs tied in a ponytail, elfin ears and horns protruding from the top of her head. She also had a segmented mechanical tail. Like Eydir, her body was a mix of silicon and mechanical joints covered by a clear gel. Her outfit consisted or armored gauntlets, thigh-high heeled greaves and an armor that covered her whole torso. Her breasts were covered by a beige latex looking material, her collar bone had a big green light on top of it, her crotch was covered by the same symbol as Eydir and her boots were connected to her armor by garters.
-Another one, huh? Is it even safe to activate her? said Dave who couldn’t decide if he was happy or not at the transformation of the demoness.
-I predict a 95% chance she won’t be hostile upon activation. If she’s anything like me, she will be quite devoted to you.
-Oh well… If you vouch for her… Let’s see what we got this time!
As he approached the new sexbot, she opened her red eyes and announced: “First boot detected. Awaiting activation key before unlocking full potential.”
For the second time of the week, Dave recited his administrative password to a mysterious new robot.
-Administrator password accepted. Loading full mode... Her voice took a more natural tone as she continued: Mechanical Succubus 1.0 loaded. This unit's designation is Jiltus. How can I serve you?
As she finished her introduction, Jiltus’ pose became more relaxed.
-Hmm… Hello there. It seems my owner is quite sexy. I’m sure we’ll spend plenty of quality time together, she said as she came closer to Dave to examine him.
Surprised by Jiltus’ assertiveness took a step back and started interrogating her.
-Jiltus is it? Well Jiltus, what can you tell me about yourself?
-A sexy gal like me is flirting with you and that’s how you answer? Ah well, I guess we just met… she replied while walking around Dave. I am a top of the line Succubus gynoid. I was made from the remains of Elrin, a succubus queen who died while battling that valkyrie over there. She gambled everything she had on becoming stronger by robotization, but she lost and here I am in her place. Anyway, due to her sacrifice I have all her abilities and some of her memories. As she was working in secret to gain power, she had cut all contact with other demons. She won’t be missed by anyone.
-Now that the introduction’s out of the way, maybe we can try out the more "fun" parts of my core programming? I’m sure miss over there also wants to join in. How about it, a threesome with an angel and a demon bot?
-Uh, so soon after your death? You’re sure that’s a good idea?
While Dave was hesitating, Eydir approached him and whispered in his ear.
“You know she’s right… I’ve been dying of servicing you for a while now… Why don’t you take her offer?”
Feeling his blood rush downstairs, Dave cleared his throat.
-Alright, let’s do this!
The trio moved to Dave’s office, a short walk during which both girls stood close to both sides of their owner, making him look like a playboy.
Once there, Jiltus wasted no time and pushed Dave back on his office chair. Both gynoids unsummoned their armors and Dave got an unobstructed view of their curvaceous body. The mix of sensual silicone flesh and mechanical joints got him hard in no time.
The girls sashayed to him and sit on the arms of his office chair. Eydir took the initiative and started kissing Dave, pushing her chest against his own and guiding his hand on her butt. While their tongues entwined, Jiltus took Dave’s other hand and put it against her ass, staring at him longingly. She soon started massaging his chest and playing with his hairs.
Losing himself in the sensations, Dave was surprised when Jiltus undid his pants and extracted his erect member. She toyed with him a few seconds, then got on her knees. She put her mouth on his dick and started lubricating it with her saliva. Meanwhile, Eydir continued wrestling tongues with her master and took his now free hand to fondle her tits. She started moaning in pleasure. Jiltus, soon morphed her blowjob into a titjob, making use of her prodigious succubus bust. She covered Dave’s member with her tits, squeezing them properly with her hands and started moving up and down. Each time Dave’s penis emerged from her cleavage, she licked it. Soon, they got into a nice rhythm and the pressure rose for Dave. “Enjoying yourself, aren’t you? I wonder what would happen if I added this? Said Jiltus as she activated the vibrating function of her hands, sending shockwaves through her tits.
Dave moaned in Eydir’s mouth. The pleasure was too much and he came in Jiltus’ breasts. The succubus greedily put her mouth to his cock and sucked up all his sperm like the sex machine she was.
“Hmm! Thanks for the meal, master!” she said as she cleaned Dave’s penis with her tongue.
Eydir finally interrupted her kiss and added “It’s time for the main event now.”
Jiltus moved behind Dave while Eydir moved on his lap, facing him.
“Make me yours, now!” Said the Valkyrie as she presented her body to her master.
Dave, having already recuperated from Jiltus’ ministrations, didn’t hesitate. He plunged his dick inside Eydir’s waiting pussy. Her warm wet folds welcomed him eagerly, her sexual systems already primed for their union. While she straddled him, her vagina began automatically milking his dick, fruit scented lubricant continually being pumped into her love canal. She guided Dave’s hands to her tits and resumed kissing him with passion, her sexbot programming making sure she never missed a beat. Meanwhile Jiltus stood behind Dave, letting him rest his head in her bosom and playing with his hairs, enjoying the show.
Soon, Eydir decided to take things to the next level and activated her vibration feature. Her mechanical pussy overpowered Dave’s stamina easily and made him cum like never before. This ignited her pleasure circuits like a bomb, being programmed to always orgasm at the same time as her partner. They slowed down their rhythm, panting after having come together. Her pussy continued to slowly stroke his penis while they calmed down.
“I now belong to you in body and soul, master.” Said the mecha valkyrie, smiling.
“It’s my pleasure, Eydir.” Replied Dave.
The couple separated and everyone got clothed again.
“I may have let Eydir get the lion’s share today, but I will get my turn next time.” Said Jiltus with a wink.
“Of course, I wouldn’t want to neglect my newest acquisition!”
The group spent the rest of the evening cleaning up the mess Elrin had caused. They woke up the remaining personnel of the factory and got rid of the debris.
Dave placed another insurance claim in the morning, complaining about his premiums getting higher. Eventually, they all returned to Dave’s house and Jiltus was shown around. It was decided that she would join Eydir as a security officer for the factory.
The other employees were wary of her at first, but her nonchalant and playful attitude won them over quickly.
Some weeks later…
Eydir stood in front of a grave outside the Ladybot’s factory. She had insisted Jensina deserved some kind of remembrance and Dave had obliged. She still was conflicted about what she was in relation to the fallen warrior. Was she her reincarnation? A puppet made in her image?
While she was lost in her thoughts, another winged person showed up.
It was surprisingly another valkyrie from the Raghild order.
“Hello. What are you doing here?” Asked Eydir.
“What are you? You remind me of Jensina for some reason… Are you one of those mechanical dolls?” replied the strange, visibly confused.
“I am Eydir, a security officer for this factory. And, yes, I am a machine. Now that I introduced myself, why don’t you do the same?”
“Hmm? Ah! I am Skari, sorry for the rudeness. I was friend with the Valkyrie that died here. I wanted to come pray at her final resting place.”
“You came at the right place then. This is a monument dedicated to Jensina.”
“Really? Then I’ll pay my respects and leave. I won’t cause any trouble.”
Skari kneeled in front of the grave and started praying. According to Jensina’s memories, it was traditional prayer generally used for fallen warriors. Once done, she got back up and looked at Eydir carefully.
“You really do have the same face as her… Why is that?”
“When Jensina fell into the factory, the production plant automatically transformed her form into a new template. I am the result of this process.”
“Really? That’s kinda creepy… But looking at you, it’s like I’m seeing her again. Would you mind if I came back from time to time?” Asked the valkyrie coyly.
“I would not mind. I’d be glad to help you through your mourning.” Replied Eydir with a subtle smile.
“Ok! Let’s become friends then! See you soon!” said Skari warmly before flying away.
In her heart, Eydir was happy to have been helpful to Skari. She remembered her from Jensina’s memories and seeing her in grief was painful to her. She vowed to herself to prevent any more tragedies like the one that created her. No one would die here under her watch!
On the roof of the factory, Jiltus had watched the whole scene unfold. It was somewhat touching, but she had other preoccupations. Her master deserved other lovers and she would help procure them. The factory could seemingly convert any woman thrown into it into an obedient sexbot with all their previous capabilities intact. She was already scheming to attract powerful women and let them have a little “accident” …