Off-season - The Motel
The Small Business Chronicles: Off-season - The Motel
Chapter 1: Morning
Jack woke with a start…he disliked being awoken by the incessant beeping from his alarm clock, so he somehow trained himself to wake up mere seconds before it went off. He quickly pre-empted the alarm and then relaxed in his bed, reminiscing over the past few months.
It was now the month of April; the repairs and upgrades he had performed on Christmas were still making life for him a whole lot easier. The inclusion of Serriah alone had increased shop efficiency considerably. Immediately after acquiring the motel from his neighbor, he quickly retrofitted the place with more modern comforts and equipment in order to optimize overhead.
Building the addition connecting the motel to the shop, as well as the addition to the shop itself, also happened quickly, especially with the new robotic construction services available nowadays. Now Serriah was working in the new gift shop full time and making the shop even more money.
Unfortunately, the work was done a little too quickly, and Jack was forced to staff the motel before he could completely finish repairing Varsha, the android he had selected to work the reception desk, as well as fine tune the trio of sex bots he had recently acquired. He was forced to set aside an entire day to working on each staff member of the motel, but fortunately Rakhee, the maid, required only routine maintenance and cleaning of her filters. Gina, the Mark I Persona Trainer model he had acquired to function as the security guard, also required only routine maintenance.
A few minutes after waking, he sensed movement to his left as Gabby awoke, or rather, as her internal clock informed her that she should awaken. She woke up with the same smile as usual, leaning over and giving him a kiss. “How come the alarm didn’t go off?” she asked with a curious look. Even though she was pre-programmed to sleep until a certain time, her systems still monitored surrounding noise levels in case there was an intruder, or an emergency.
“I’ve never liked waking to an alarm,” Jack admitted, “So I’ve been training myself to wake up just before it goes off.”
“Oh, I see,” Gabby nodded, “You know, if the alarm is an issue, I can always wake you up.”
“Thanks Gabby, but I don’t want to use you as an alarm clock,” he told her, “You’re a bit better than that.”
“Well thanks, but it’s no problem, really,” she said with a modest air, “I’d love to be your alarm clock,” she giggled.
“Well, if you really don’t mind,” Jack shrugged, “Still, I haven’t been tweaking your systems these past few years so you could be my alarm clock.”
Gabby shrugged. “So, what’s on the agenda today?”
“I’ve got to work out all the issues with the motel staff,” he responded, “Especially with Varsha,” he added, coughing uncomfortably.
“Oh,” Gabby said sadly.
“Yeah, anyway, they’ll probably take me all day,” Jack continued, “I might not even be in for dinner.”
“Well, I’ll make you some anyway, just in case.”
Jack and Gabby cuddled in bed for several more minutes before starting their usual morning routine: shower, breakfast, sending Henry off to school. Jack waved them off until the car disappeared past the driveway and then he headed into the back office of the shop.
“Good morning, Jack!” Rachel greeted him. As a timesaver, Jack had programmed Rachel to activate 30-minutes before the store was to open. Now, she activated the rest of the staff in the mornings, and shut them down at night.
“Good morning, Rachel,” Jack replied, “I’m going to need you to transfer your work to Varsha’s station and follow me,” Jack told her, “I’m going to be working on all the motel employees, starting with her.”
“Alright,” Rachel said, tapping a few keys on her station to link it to the motel office. She then picked up a tablet and stood up, waiting on Jack.
“Alright, let’s go,” he told her, heading towards a door on the far side of the office, the side where Rachel’s desk used to be.
Chapter 2: Varsha
Jack and Rachel walked through the new loading dock, which was a near mirror image of the old one. The one exception was a doorway leading into a smaller storeroom on the far side. This storeroom emptied out into the employee side of the reception area to the motel. Kat was currently active and moving about the loading dock in her usual morning routine.
“Hey Kat! How’s it going?” Jack called out as they passed through. Even though he had a fair idea what his employees were up to, due to their programming, he was polite and still asked them as a courtesy.
“Oh, you know Jack, just performing my morning inventory!” Kat called back, giving him a thumbs up and a smile.
“Excellent! Keep up the good work!” Jack called back, returning the thumbs up and smile. He and Rachel then continued into the storeroom and then into the Motel office.
There was a rather beautiful looking Indian woman sitting motionless at the reception desk. As Jack and Rachel approached her, motion sensors in the office triggered her out of standby mode.
“Welcome to Brown Motel, how may I be of service?” she announced in a pre-programmed message, before turning her head left and right to see who triggered her.
“Behind you, Varsha,” Jack called out.
Varsha immediately swiveled her chair around to face them with a smile. “Hello Jack.”
“Hello Varsha,” Jack smiled back, though his smile was a bit strained as he stared into her face.
Varsha was a Secretary model designed to look like an Indian woman in her late-twenties, chosen from combining features from several of the default Indian android models available. Jack could tell she was lovely, but unfortunately her face was pretty badly damaged. Jack had looked into the report of her previous owner. She was originally purchased to perform secretarial duties at a travel agency in Arizona; her Indian appearance was chosen to help diversify the office. Things were great, until the company was purchased by a highly bigoted man who delighted in torturing Varsha both physically and verbally, not because she was a machine, but because she happened to look Indian.
A hundred years earlier, Americans were treating Latinos the same way…that is, until they got used to them. A few decades earlier, things got so bad in India that millions of people fled the country as refugees, many of them ending up in America performing many of the same menial or servile activities that Latinos once did. Suffice to say they were treated the same.
In Varsha’s case, the damage was quite apparent: her left eye was non-functional and looked as though a cigar had been plunged into it. There were numerous scratches on her face going as deep as her metallic skull, and he had beaten in a few dents on her head, giving it a slightly lopsided look. She also had difficulty walking, since he had kicked her left leg rather severely. Also, despite her being a machine, she suffered something very akin to PTSD in humans, though the best experts at Spaztec concluded it was a conflict in her programming created by the abuse.
Fortunately, he didn’t seem to know too much about androids, so he didn’t realize her processing systems were located in her torso, otherwise the damage would have been far more extensive. Still, it pained Jack to look at her, since he was an advocate for ethical treatment of androids. He had actually successfully prosecuted the man who damaged her, accusing him of hate crime by proxy, since he very easily could have done that to a real woman.
Jack had been meaning to get her fixed up before the motel opened, but a combination of quick work on the renovation, and a convention in a nearby town creating overflow into his motel, meant he had to open up a bit early.
“I’m going to be performing some repairs on you today, to erase everything that horrible man did to you,” he told her, “Rachel will be filling in while I work on you.”
“Alright,” Varsha nodded, slowly rising to her feet and limping over to him. Rachel quickly sat down and logged onto the computer. Since there were only eight people staying in the motel at the moment, Jack was confident she wouldn’t be too busy.
“Follow me,” Jack told her, walking slowly so she didn’t have to stress her bum leg. Eventually, they ended up at the top of the lift into the lab, where they entered and arrived a short time later. Jack had made a few minor improvements to the lab area of his lab, adding a more extensive work area in the corner which housed his secret project; so far, only Gabby knew what it was. The mass under the sheet was larger now and had a rough, human shape to it.
Once they reached his main work area, he booted up all his equipment and then instructed Varsha to strip. He had to assist her with the business jacket she wore over her blouse, since her arms were slightly damaged and couldn’t reach up very accurately. She finally stood before him nude, revealing even more deep scratches on various parts of her body.
As difficult as it was for Jack to see her like this, he was in his lab now and acted in a professional manner. He instructed her to open her primary access panel and interface with the terminal. Once she did, he helped her up onto the table and laid her down.
“Alright Varsha, I’m going to be repairing all of the damage caused by your previous owner,” Jack explained, “And I’m also going to be removing all your memories of him to remove your logic errors.”
“Okay,” Varsha nodded. She didn’t really care either way about losing her memories, but Jack felt it was polite to inform her.
Jack quickly tapped away on his computer, creating an algorithm which could seek out and identify all memories associated with her abusive owner, as well as any supplemental memories created as a result of the trauma. Once he started the search, he grabbed his repair kit and approached Varsha, who was lying patiently on the table.
He sighed again as he saw the deep scratches. Still, as bad as it looked, many of the scratches were mostly superficial and required a light lather of skin repair cream to fix. The cream was the first thing he took from his kit, applying it to each scratch and gently rubbing it in. The cream was essentially liquid artificial skin, but with additives to allow it to instantly meld with the surrounding skin. Within a few moments of applying the cream, the majority of the scratches simply vanished to be replaced by the more tanned skin tone natural to her Indian appearance.
The scratches that didn’t heal needed more serious attention, since they went all the way down to the metal. Jack carefully injected small amounts of the same nanites he had used on Annina a few months earlier and watched as they repaired the nerve connections. This time, the cream worked.
“Well Varsha, you look almost good as new,” Jack smiled to her. She was passively watching him work, but gave him an innocent smile. “How’s that algorithm I installed in you working?”
“Good,” she responded, “It’s already tagged several hundred memory files for deletion.”
“Well, I’m deleting them from you,” Jack corrected her, “But I’m backing them up on my systems for evidence in case the loser ever gets out of jail.”
“Okay,” Varsha shrugged, “As long as they don’t interfere with my programming.”
Jack continued working, fixing a few damaged components in her open panel, and adding a few new ones to assist her with her job. Unlike Rachel, Varsha had to be active 24/7, so her power systems needed to be in top working condition. Jack supplemented this by having Varsha go into standby mode when she had no outstanding work, activating only when a customer triggered her motion sensors, or if she received a phone call or message.
“Alright Varsha, I need to remove your head now to repair the damage,” Jack told her, “Could you please save me time by unsealing it for me?”
“Sure,” Varsha smiled, then her face went stoic as the seam lit up around her neck, the mechanisms beneath whirring away. Once the lights vanished, Jack carefully grabbed hold of her head and pulled it free from her neck.
“Ok Varsha, please let me know if you can still hear me,” he told her, propping the head on a pedestal and removing the scalp.
“I’m still with you,” her voice sounded from a speaker in her torso, near her neck.
“Good, just checking,” Jack smiled. He always checked now, because a few years back he was working on an android, and one of his habits is talking aloud. He was working on its head for nearly three hours before he realized that the microphone in the torso was damaged; the android couldn’t hear a word he was saying and just laid there waiting for its head to be reattached.
Once he had the scalp cover removed, he pressed a few releases underneath the forehead, causing a seam to appear around her face. He slowly peeled the skin down her face like a mask until it came clear off. This method of face removal was rarely used, and therefore most customers and low-level technicians were unaware of it.
The area underneath her face was a marvel of intricate facial mechanisms to allow her to mimic every known facial expression. Her eyes were two white orbs with brown pupils, and her nose was nothing more than a tiny bump with holes for the air to pass through. Her teeth were bare pearly whites, giving the impression her face was giving a big smile. Now that her face was removed, Jack could now see the extent of the damage to her skull, mostly in the cheek region where she was punched repeatedly.
The fix was a combination of Jack applying pressure on the interior of her head and using a sort of suction device to pull the dents out. It was a long and tedious job, taking a considerable amount of time, but Jack finally reversed the dents. Still, his job wasn’t done. He applied a metallic liquid to the areas where the dents were and rubbed it over. The substance was a sort of living metal which could seep into damaged metal, repair it, and then die. After what seemed like forever, he finally had the damage repaired on her head. He carefully lined her face up on her head and resealed it in place. He moved her face around in a variety of expressions to ensure he had placed it on right and fixed all the issues, then he clicked her scalp back in place.
“There Varsha, I knew you had a pretty face,” he told her, taking her head from the pedestal and holding it in view of her neck camera.
“Thanks, Jack!” her voice sounded happily, “If I had my head, I would be smiling.”
“I think can remedy that,” he smiled, carefully lifted her up and clicking it back on. It took a few moments for her head to come online, since she was running basic diagnostics on the repairs, but it finally activated and turned into a smile.
“It feels much better,” she said, reaching up and feeling her cheeks.
“Good to hear,” Jack told her, “Now, I just need to finish repairs on your leg, and arms.”
He started with her arms, since they were closest. He tapped a section of skin near her biceps, causing a few icons to light up beneath her skin. Jack tapped one that looked like a circle transected by a line. A seam suddenly appeared, going straight through the icons, and then the side on the arms went dark. He quickly removed both arms and placed them on his workbench to conduct repairs.
The damage to her arms was caused by the bastard yanking her out of her seat by the arms, slamming her to the ground, and dragging her across the office. As horrible as it sounded, it was fortunate that he never damaged her hands, since they were more challenging to repair. Jack merely had to replace a few servos in the upper section of her arms, and cut into her shoulders to repair the damage there.
Once he was finished, he clicked both arms back on and resealed them. “Okay Varsha, try moving your arms around.”
“Okay.” She performed a basic test of her motor function in both arms by raising them up, and swinging them around. Although they were a bit stiff at first, she was quickly able to move her arms more naturally.
“Much better!” Jack said, giving her a friendly pat on the shoulder, “Now, for your leg.” He then tapped a similar icon on her leg and quickly pulled it free from her body, carrying it over to his work table, noticing absently that she had a pretty foot, dangling at the end of the leg.
Since the damage was in her upper leg, Jack had to slice his way in and tear out a damaged servo mechanism, slowly placing a new one in its place. He then resealed the skin, picked up the leg, and had it step around on the floor. Even though it was disconnected, the muscles still responded normally, so Jack was able to tell if anything was wrong with the leg. Everything looked fine, so he carried the leg back over and attached it to Varsha’s torso.
“Thanks for repairing me, Jack,” Varsha said, moving her legs around.
“I’m not quite done,” he told her, “Did that algorithm ever finish?”
“Yes, my systems are ready for the memory purge.”
“Good, I’m also going to have it install a few software patches when it’s done,” he told her, sitting down at the computer and prepping the sweep, “This’ll shut you down, but when you come back online, you’ll have no memory of your previous owner…at least, none of the douchebag owner.”
“Alright,” Varsha nodded, then he started the sweep, shutting her A.I. down.
The sweep took several minutes, as it was systematically deleting and copying the suspect memories from her database to Jack’s. It finally finished and Varsha came back online.
“Hello Jack, I appear to be missing a number of memory files,” she said with a confused look, “Would you like me to attempt to recover them?”
“No thanks, Varsha,” he told her, “The deletion was part of your maintenance.”
“I understand,” she nodded, “Am I finished?”
“Sure, just run a quick diagnostic for me to confirm no outstanding issues.”
“Very well,” she nodded, then her face spaced out for a few seconds before returning to normal, “Diagnostic complete, no issues found.”
“Good, now get dressed, relieve Rachel, and send Rakhee down here.”
“Yes sir,” she acknowledged, dropping from the table and redressing. As she headed out, Jack absently considered having sex with her the next time Gabby gave him a free pass; Varsha was very attractive.
Chapter 3: Rakhee
Jack had just enough time to reset his equipment before he heard the sound of the lift open. There was a brief sound of footsteps and then a short Indian woman in her mid-to-late-twenties walked in. Unlike Varsha, who was dressed in semi-professional attire, Rakhee was dressed in casual clothes: sneakers, loose jeans, and a t-shirt. She also had a much less mature appearance than Varsha, despite being around the same age.
“Hello Jack,” she smiled, “Varsha told me you wanted to do some work on me.”
“That’s correct, Rakhee, please undress and lie down on the table.”
“Yes sir,” she replied politely, efficiently removing her clothing and lying down on the table.
“Alright, you know the drill, open your primary access panel and interface with my terminal,” he told her, taking her clothes and putting them in the quick wash system he had installed; the clothes smelled strongly of cleaning chemicals. As he prepped the wash, he reminisced about how he had acquired Rakhee.
Rakhee was originally purchased as a Perfect Friend model for a college student. Unlike most other people, he didn’t get her primarily for sex, despite being based on a 21st century amateur model; he got her to clean his apartment, and to keep him company. He kept her for almost two years before he got into a relationship with a real woman, one who felt uncomfortable having an attractive female android around. He sold her to Jack at a very low price, just to show his girlfriend he wasn’t that attached to her.
Rakhee was even more of a money saver because Jack didn’t really have to do much reprogramming. Many of her heuristic algorithms were already enhanced for cleaning, he just had to tweak them to handle more professional cleaning agents. The only issue he had was that the Mark II androids couldn’t seem to handle the fumes and chemicals too well, with their artificial skin and all, not to mention their lung filters. This was a problem they were working on in the Mark IIIs, but even Gabby didn’t have those improvements…yet. It was for that reason he didn’t use any professional grade cleansers in his house, but he couldn’t get away with that in the motel.
“Alright Rakhee, why don’t you do a silent install of the updates I’ve queued up for you while I do a checkup and repair of your skin and filters,” Jack announced, walking over to her and getting the skin repair cream ready.
“Alright,” Rakhee nodded. She made no other announcement, but Jack absently noticed a message pop up on his terminal that she was downloading the updates. While she did that, Jack leaned in very close to her skin in an almost creepy way and scrutinized every square inch of her tanned skin, shaking his head in disapproval every time he noticed a chemical degradation.
“I know your programming’s up to date, but you still need to be a bit more careful when using the cleaning chemicals,” Jack told her, applying cream to various locations on her arms, upper chest, and face. “Unlike Humans, your skin doesn’t heal itself.”
“I try my best, but after a while the gloves you gave me start leaking and the fumes get everywhere.”
Jack sighed. “Alright, I’ll get you some better gloves as soon as I can, but I want you to start wearing goggles and a facemask when you work,” he told her, “You can tell Rachel I authorize you to take some from the shop.”
“Alright, switch over to your vocal synthesizer,” he told her, “I need to remove your lungs and filters.”
Rakhee merely nodded, then she stopped breathing and said in a digital voice, “Vocal synthesizer activated.”
“Good,” he said, reaching in and pulling out the twin balloon system that served as her lungs. They were much smaller than an actual Human’s lungs, since their only purpose was to cool off her internal systems, allow her chest to realistically rise, and to give her a means to vocalize more naturally. At either end of the balloons was a complex filter that prevented dust and fumes from entering, serving a more enhanced purpose than even a Human’s nose hairs. Because unlike a Human, her lungs couldn’t heal…only be replaced, and replacing them was expensive.
Jack removed each filter and shook his head at the sight of them. They were made of a material which had an indicator with a series of colored lines, depending on how dirty they were: White was clean, a blue bar meant chemical fumes present, a yellow bar for dust, a brown bar for dirt, and if the entire thing was black, the filter was at its limit. Rakhee’s filters were both black.
“Yeah Rakhee, you need to start wearing a mask immediately,” he told her, removing each filter and replacing it with a fresh one. After verifying there was no damage to the balloons themselves, he carefully reinserted them and told her she could switch back over. She immediately started taking in several deep, measured breaths before slowing to a more natural pace.
“Good, let’s hope it stays that way,” he told her, allowing her to close her panel back up, “I want you to run daily diagnostics on your filters and send them to my lab as soon as they finish,” he told her, “I really want to see how much better the mask helps.”
“Okay,” she said, pausing to add that line to her programming.
“Are those updates finished installing?” he asked her, knowing she had a relatively small queue.
“Yes, I just need to reboot.”
“Go ahead and do that, and then you can get dressed and return to work,” he told her, “AFTER getting goggles and a facemask from the shop,” he added, “Oh, and activate Gina and tell her to come down.”
“Alright,” Rakhee nodded, then she briefly went offline as her system installed the updates, then she came back online a short time later and began executing the instructions Jack gave her.
“Keep up the good work,” Jack called after her as she left.
“I will, Jack,” she called back, then the sound of her footsteps fell silent as the lift activated.
Chapter 4: Gina
Jack managed to get a little bit of work done on his secret project before the efficient footsteps of Gina approached and stopped a short distance away.
“I’ve been summoned?” she queried, sounding like a military grunt.
“Yes Gina, I need to do some routine maintenance and tweaks to your systems,” he told her, quickly covering up his project and turning to face her, “Please undress and lie down on the table.”
“Yes sir,” she acknowledged, then she began to slowly undo all of her clothing…and for her, that was a lot.
Gina was a Personal Trainer model, and unlike any of Jack’s other androids, she was a Mark I….in fact, she was one of the ones that were initially shown at the Future Expo twenty years earlier. This particular one had suffered a minor malfunction and nearly beat someone to death in a bout of MMA, though fortunately the techs stopped and fixed her before she could; the tester still had a little bit of fun with her afterwards.
He wasn’t originally planning on getting her, but after listening to the crime reports of the motel given to him by the previous owner, he decided that purchasing a cheap Mark I Personal Trainer and programming it to be a security guard might reduce the likelihood of having to contact the authorities.
Gina wasn’t his first choice either…he was originally going to purchase a custom model designed to look like one of those freakishly tall, yet perfectly proportioned girls; approximately seven feet tall. He changed his mind when he saw the price tag, and when the Gina model came up; Gabby wasn’t too keen on the idea either.
He was surprised they were selling off one of the first prototypes, but he jumped at the chance to see the first iteration of the great line of androids he made a living working on. The same issue was still present with Gina as it was before, so Jack had her wearing a bulletproof vest to reinforce her torso. And, since he primarily had her surveying the perimeter of the property at night, he had her decked out in all black, and had night vision installed in her visual systems.
After a while, she finally had all her armor and clothing off and she laid down on the table. Despite being a 20-year-old unit, her skin was still in good condition, and she still looked quite lovely.
“Alright, unseal your access panel,” he told her, and one she did, he carefully hefted it off; he had installed a small layer of padding to further insulate her from shock damage, so that made that particular section of skin a little heavier than normal.
The electronics in Gina’s panel were considerably more basic than his other staff members, but it was still solid. It had to be, since he hoped she’d last another 20 years. Unlike his other androids, there were no, nor would there ever be, any hardware upgrades for her systems. She was still running on hardware released more than a decade ago. About the only thing Jack could do to her, aside from reprogramming her, was to enhance her code to improve her already existing systems. As such, Gina was essentially a pet project. He would occasionally tweak her code to see how much it improved her, then he would implement that same code in other people with older androids to help them along.
“Well Gina, everything looks normal,” he told her, “As always.”
“I run hourly diagnostics, as programmed, and haven’t found any serious hardware faults,” she reported.
“What about non-serious faults?”
“I’ve had periodic issues with my night vision, but it usually clears up after a few seconds,” she shrugged.
“What sort of issues?”
Gina paused as her antiquated systems attempted to formulate a response, “It’s difficult to explain,” she finally said with a frown on her face, “Perhaps I can show you?”
“Fair enough,” he shrugged, noting absently that he should attempt to enhance her vocabulary for next time. “Interface with my terminal and bring up your visual feed,” he told her, and while she did that, he brought up the remote controls for his lab and prepared to shut off the lights.
Gina merely nodded and then spaced out as her systems interface with the terminal. A short time later, a window popped up showing Gina’s vision, currently showing the ceiling of the lab.
“Alright, hold on,” Jack said, toggling the control for the lights. The lights slowly dimmed down until it was near dark in the room, save for the light emitting from the computer screens, which he promptly dimmed, “Okay, switch over to night vision.”
Gina said nothing, instead executing his command. The previously dark window suddenly lit up with a green light as her night vision kicked in.
“Are you experiencing the issue now?”
Jack scrutinized the feed, but saw nothing, “Okay, look around, especially at me,” he told her, “It’s difficult to see what you’re talking about when you’re staring at a stationary location.”
“Yes sir,” she replied, sitting up and looking around. As soon as she looked at Jack, he could tell what she was referring to. Instead of seeing a constant night vision enhanced image, her vision of him was distorted as he apparently seemed to flicker brightly and then dim.
“Ah, I see what you’re talking about,” he told her, “I’m not 100% certain, but it looks like your thermal detectors are intermittently interfering with the night vision,” he explained, “That’s why anything you look at that emits any sort of heat seems to light up.”
“My routine diagnostics haven’t reported any issues,” she said with a confused look, as Jack turned the lights back on.
“Well, it looks like you’ll need to run a non-routine diagnostic,” he joked, though she didn’t catch the humor. “Go ahead and run a full diagnostic.”
“Yes sir,” she said, then her face went blank as the diagnostic began, taxing all her systems.
While Gina ran the diagnostic, Jack quickly studied up on the Spaztec website on how to resolve the issue, if it was a hardware fault; he hoped it wasn’t. Based on what he read, however, it seemed it was most likely a software issue that the diagnostic would resolve.
Sure enough, several minutes later she came back and announced that the diagnostic sweep had discovered and resolved the issue.
Jack let out an explosive sigh of relief, glad he didn’t have to fork over any money to replace damaged hardware. “Okay Gina, considering your…age, I’d like you to run a full diagnostic every day before you plug in for recharge.”
“Good, now get dressed and return to your station,” he told her, placing her skin panel back on, “Oh, and tell the Kaley’s I need all three of them down here.”
“Ok,” she nodded, getting up and putting her clothing and armor back on. As soon as she was dressed, she quickly left.
“Man, she’s hot,” Jack said after she left, “Too bad she’s too old to take out for a spin,” he added, sitting down at his bench and getting things set up for the Kaley’s.
Chapter 5: Kaley Trio
It took quite some time for the Kaley’s to come down, probably because Gina had to go to each closet and manually activate each one. The motel had three floors, and each Kaley had a charging station in each floor’s supply closet, ready to emerge upon request.
Jack didn’t mind the wait, so he took the time to eat the sandwich Gabby had packed for him. Normally, he would have taken a break outside to eat, but he decided to marathon the repairs and maintenance so he could spend more time with his wife…ever since her upgrades the previous Christmas, and the subsequent updates, she was much more interesting to be around.
Just as he was finishing up his meal, the lift opened up and three sets of footsteps quickly approached the lab area.
“Hello Jack,” the three Kaley’s said in unison, stopping at the same spot all of the other androids had stopped…Jack had preset them to report to him at precisely that spot on the floor.
“Hello dears,” Jack smiled, turning to look at his latest acquisitions.
Each of the Kaley’s looked exactly the same: same clothes, same hairstyle, and same build age. They were each Personal Trainer models based on the 21st century actress, Kaley Cuoco. In this case, each were designed to look like her mid-twenties appearance. They had actually all been used as personal trainers at someone’s fitness center, but it was bought out by someone who preferred human trainers, so they sold the Kaley’s back to Spaztec.
It wasn’t unusual for people to convert Personal Trainer models into sexbots, since sex itself was considered a sport to some people. As such, they came pre-installed with many different varieties of sex and could learn from each experience.
Jack shook his head, wondering absently if this was what it was like for parents with identical triplets. “Alright, I need each of you to undress to your underwear and then open your primary access panels,” he instructed them. “Scratch that, take off everything but your bras.”
“Okay,” they said, once again in unison. As annoying as it may have sounded to some, the fact they were speaking in perfect unison indicated to Jack that each of their processing components were operating at exactly the same pace, with none of them being any faster or slower than the others.
They quickly removed what little clothing they had, stopping with their bras. Under normal circumstances, Jack would have had them go all the way, but their underwear, each the same brand and style, were color coded so he could tell them apart. He let them remove their panties so he could examine their vaginas for any damage.
Kaley #1 wore blue, and worked the first floor of the motel. Kaley #2 wore lavender, and worked the second floor of the motel. And Kaley #3 wore black, and worked the third floor of the motel.
Despite still wearing their underwear, Jack still enjoyed seeing their athletic physique, that is, until they each removed their front access panels and stood at attention.
“Are you going to be giving us some upgrades?” Kaley #1 asked.
“Come on Kaley, he has us standing, you know that means he’s just doing maintenance on us,” Kaley #3 interjected.
“Why don’t the two of you just shut up and let him talk!” Kaley #2 interrupted, then they all fell silent.
“Thanks Kaley #2,” Jack smiled, “Anyway, Kaley #3 was right,” he said, pausing to let #3 gloat a little, “You’re still new, but just so you know, I only do upgrades on Christmas…that is, except for Gabby. But she’s my wife, so…” he left it hanging. “Anyway, I was working on Varsha, Rakhee, and Gina anyway, so I decided to work on you three as well.”
The three of them just nodded, though he could see a little disappointment in their eyes that they weren’t getting any presents.
“Just stand still while I examine you for any damage,” he told them, grabbing his tool kit and approaching each of them. He started with Kaley #1, bending down and closely scrutinizing her vagina, all the while she stood there with a sexy smile on her face while he felt around. He continued on with the other two, pausing briefly to apply the skin repair cream to the minor stress damage caused by rough sex.
“Well, I’m not too surprised at the minimal damage,” he finally said, cleaning his hands off and putting his kit down, “You’ve only been active for a short time. Let’s see how your fluids are doing,” he then said, delving into each of their open panels.
After several minutes of examination, he walked over to his desk and returned with three fluid canisters. “Well, looks like each of you is getting a refill,” he told them, “But Kaley #2 seems to have gotten the most activity,” he added, reaching in Kaley #1 and replacing her fluids.
“Yes!” Kaley #2 said excitedly, “Does that mean I get more upgrades this year?” she asked hopefully.
“No,” he told her right away, “It does mean you’ll need more maintenance though,” he smiled, now refilling hers.
“Awww, too bad.”
“Well, you’ll be getting more experience than the others at least, but that’s going to be a problem before long, so I think I’ll be giving you guys a small present before I send you back up,” Jack decided, finishing replacing Kaley #3s fluids and returning to his desk.
“Oooh,” they all said, eliciting a smile.
Jack returned a moment later with three small devices, each looking like a small transmitter. “Okay, these plug in to one of your empty ports and essentially network your CPUs together when you recharge,” he explained.
“Why?” they asked.
“Well, it isn’t fair that Kaley #2 gets more action, and therefore more experience, so this way, when you go into standby, everything you’ve learned gets transmitted to the others and integrated into their programming,” he explained in greater detail. “Also, in the rare instance that a client requests two or all three of you, it will help you better synchronize your actions.”
“Cool,” they each said, “Can we have them now?”
“Sure,” he smiled, then he reached in and quickly attached the devices to each of their A.I. centers. Since they were plug and play, they didn’t need to reboot or run a lengthy install process.
“Ooh, I’m already seeing all the good sexual data from you, sis,” Kaley #3 said to #2.
“So am I,” #1 said.
“Well, that’s all good, but you’ll need to process the data in standby mode before it permanently augments your algorithms,” Jack told them, then, after considering what else to do, he decided he was finished with them. “Alright ladies, I’m done. Get dressed and return to your charging stations.”
“Yes Jack,” they said in unison, each grabbing their skin panels and sealing them back in place. Then they began putting their clothes on, though, since they were sex bots, they did it in a very slow, and sexy manner. This caught Jack off guard…he didn’t think it could be sexy for an attractive woman to put clothes on, but they somehow pulled it off magnificently.
Just as they were finished dressing, Jack heard the other lift open up, and a few seconds later, Gabby walked in.
“Oh, hey dear,” he smiled, walking over and giving her a kiss, “What brings you down here?”
“I thought you might be exhausted after working on the motel employees all day, so I just thought I’d come and service you a little.”
“Well, you couldn’t have had more perfect timing,” he beamed, pleased her algorithms were so precise, “I just finished with the Kaley’s, so I’m more or less done for the day,” he finished, giving the Kaley’s a nod as they quietly left.
“Good,” was all she said, before she led him to the nearby work table and mounted him on it.
Chapter 6: Expansion Meeting
After several minutes of passionate lovemaking, Jack and Gabby rested up. Jack loved how Gabby would sometimes come down to him to give him love…one of her many algorithms. As he freshened up, she cleaned up after the mess they left.
“Thanks for the house call, dear,” Jack smiled, giving her a kiss.
“It’s my pleasure,” she smiled back, continuing her cleaning, per her programming.
“You know, I’ve been thinking,” he said, sitting down at his desk and bringing up the stats for the business, “With the new gift shop, and the motel, we’re bringing in a lot more money than I had originally estimated.”
“How much more?”
“About three times more,” he calculated, “Much of it’s because of the improvements we made to the motel infrastructure to enhance efficiency, but a good deal of it is the sex bot business we have on the side.”
“I guess it’s a good thing I let you get them,” she gloated.
“Yeah,” he agreed, “Anyway, I was thinking of expanding the business even further.”
“Well, if you’ve got an idea, you should probably call Rachel and Varsha down here,” Gabby interrupted, “They might have some ideas.”
“Good idea,” he told her, “Why don’t you go set up the meeting table while I summon them?”
“Yes dear,” Gabby smiled, walking over and grabbing the lawn furniture that had come with the shelter. The lab portion was built into the part of the underground shelter that would have been the open lawn area for people to walk around and exercise in.
By the time Gabby had the garden table and chairs set up, Varsha and Rachel had both received the summons and arrived together on the lift. They both approached the table and sat down, via a pre-programmed command he set in them whenever they saw the table set up: team meeting time.
“Alright ladies, I’ve called you here for the second time in less than a year to discuss an expansion of the business,” he declared, “except for Varsha, of course, who wasn’t online last meeting.”
“What did you have in mind?” Rachel asked, as the senior secretary unit.
“Well, business has been good, right ladies?”
Both Rachel and Varsha nodded. “Very good,” Rachel agreed.
“Well, I think it can be even better…to the point where, the Christmas after next, I’ll be able to fork over top-notch upgrades for everyone, not just Gabby.”
“Ooh, I’m listening,” Rachel said…she loved getting upgrades.
“Me too,” Varsha said.
“So, I’ve recently upgraded all of your secretary files,” he started, “What can you tell me about the risks of opening up a café in this area?”
“Ooh, a café?” Gabby asked, “That’s a nice idea.”
“Thanks, dear,” he smiled, “but let’s see what they think first,” he told her, looking over at the two secretaries, who were currently zoned out as their systems processed the pros and cons of installing a café. After several minutes, they came out of their reverie; Jack absently thought he needed to enhance their processors this year.
“Alright ladies, why don’t we start with Rachel. Give me the pros and cons in regards to the shop.”
“Yes sir,” Rachel smiled, “The pros would be that some of the people who would normally drive home to get something to eat would probably stop at the café, this would lead to spillover business into the café,” she reported, “Unfortunately, the folks who work at the strip mall across the street would most likely eat their meals at the café, instead of what they usually do: grab a quick snack from the shop.”
“Overall, what is your assessment?” he asked.
“I think if we were to reduce our stock of small snacks in the shop and start adding other things, like maybe nutritional items, we might be able to recover the loss of business in the shop, and simultaneously increase business in the café.”
“Very good Rachel,” Jack complimented her, “Now for your assessment Varsha,” he told her, “Oh, and my plan would be to attach the café to the motel lobby, so it would essentially fall under your purview.”
“I see,” Varsha said, her eyes deep in thought, “Well then, the café would save a little bit of money since we would no longer have to make a continental breakfast,” she reported, “Guests could easily dine in the café, and we could even give them a slight discount as an incentive,” she continued, “The only negative I can see is café patrons interfering with motel guests…perhaps you can enhance Gina’s power systems so she can charge wirelessly inside the building?”
“Well, that’s a pretty radical thought there,” Jack said, since induction charging was still a little hard to pull off, even in the 22nd century. “I’ll have to contact all my buddies on the Spaztec site to see if it can even be done with a Mark I prototype.”
“Or if you could find another security bot, that would be helpful,” Varsha added.
“Well, we’ll see,” Jack said, ending that line, “So, are we all agreed that adding a café would benefit the business?”
“Yes,” they all agreed.
“Good, then I want the three of you to start working up the paperwork, and when it’s ready, I’d like to have Serriah take it to town hall for approval.”
“Why Serriah?” Gabby asked, “Why not have Rachel do it?”
“Well, I would have, but I’ve realized that part of the reason Serriah is so good at selling gifts is because her donor was a businesswoman,” Jack explained, “We need Serriah to sell the plan, not for Rachel to explain the plan.”
“I understand,” Rachel nodded.
“Me too,” Gabby said.
“Then let’s get started, meeting adjourned,” he said, banging his hand on the table like a gavel.
Once Rachel and Varsha left, Jack and Gabby remained behind to put away the lawn equipment. “If you don’t need me down here, I need to do something upstairs,” Gabby said with a slightly mysterious look on her face.
“Alright,” Jack shrugged, not really catching the look, “I still have a few things to tie up down here, but I’ll be up in a little bit.”
“Don’t worry about me, take your time dear,” Gabby told him, leaving with the same mysterious smile.
Jack shrugged it off and started finishing up.
Chapter 7: Night
A few minutes after the team meeting adjourned, Jack finished up his work in his lab and put everything into standby mode. He then grabbed his things and headed for the house lift. He arrived in his house a few moments later to find Gabby frozen in the living room.
“Gabby, are you alright?” he asked, putting his things down and walking over to her. He looked into her eyes to see if they were indicating something was wrong; they weren’t. Still her normal shade of green. This meant she was most likely calling someone with her internal modem.
“Hmm, that’s odd,” Jack said, now thinking back on the mysterious smile she had given him earlier. The only reason she would have to call on her internal modem was to keep the conversation private.
Jack could do nothing while she was on the line with the person, but he did wonder who she was calling…there were only a handful of people who had her internal number. As he was thinking about each one of them, Gabby finally came out of her call and smiled.
“Oh, hey dear,” she said, giving him a kiss, “I’m sorry, I was on a call.”
At that, she put on a troubled expression. “I’m not sure I can tell you,” she responded truthfully, “It might interfere with my programming.”
“That’s interesting,” Jack said, “Can you tell me what the call was about?”
“I don’t think so.”
“It wasn’t bad news was it?”
“Oh no, nothing like that,” she assured him, “I just can’t tell you.”
“Well, I don’t really like to be completely in the dark, so why don’t you find a way around the programming issues and try and at least give me a hint later?”
“Okay dear, I’ll try,” she smiled, “Oh, I have to go pick up Henry now,” she remembered, looking at the clock.
“That’s right,” he said, “What are we having for dinner? I’ll start gathering the ingredients for you.”
“That’s so thoughtful,” she beamed, “We’re having that stew you like.”
“Alright, I’ll access your files and see what to get ready.”
“Thanks dear, I’ll be back soon” she smiled, getting her keys and heading out to the car.
“See you soon,” he called back, then, as soon as she was gone, he grabbed her control tablet and tried accessing her memories of the recent call. Unfortunately, her programming denied him access. “Damn!” he swore, giving up and looking up her cooking files.
Jack continued trying to query her during dinner, but her programming was still preventing her from answering. Jack tried almost everything he could think of to circumvent it, but to no avail. It wasn’t until they were getting in bed to sleep that she finally said something.
“Honey, I think I can finally tell you something about the call,” she said, just as they had the lights off and were getting comfortable.
“It’s about time,” he said, “are your algorithms malfunctioning?”
“No, it’s just…it was your cousin Ellie on the phone,” she answered.
“Oh, that explains it,” Jack said with a tone of relief. His cousin Ellie, one of his only living relatives. Since she and Jack were quite close, she was listed in Gabby’s programming as something close to a sister. That could create countless scenarios in which she could tell Gabby to do something and Gabby would be unable to discuss it. It was likely the only reason her programming gave way was because he was displaying symptoms of concern, which would contradict her hospitality algorithms. “Can you give me a hint of what she wants?”
“No, but I can tell you that you’ll know in the next few months,” Gabby said, “I’m sorry dear, that’s all my programming will let me tell you.”
“It’s okay dear, I think I can wait,” he smiled, leaning over and giving her a kiss. It was the same kiss he gave her every night, the one which triggered her sleep cycle. As he lay in bed next to her, all he could think was that his birthday was coming up.
Season Two Homefront - The House