Persona Tests: McKenzie One Point Zero
Persona Technologies Stress and Structural Tests
Location: Persona R&D Facility #773
Subject: P-017-4-KM-317 "McKenzie"
There was no traffic on the street outside the home with the red roof. In the driveway was a golfcart. No birds in the air, no wind in the trees, and the clock on the town hall and on the local bank and on the watches of the mannequins in the store windows were stopped at 9:02. This was Fairlane, Illinois, and it was April 25, 1998, as it had been every day the town had stood.
Standing in the living room of this home was a young woman with striking eyes and a toned physique. She took no notice of the two figures in clean suits hovering around her. She took no notice of anything.
One of the figures spoke: “McKenzie, can you hear me?”
The girl responded back as if she was trying to chase the question mark. “Yes, Doctor Simmons. I can hear you just fine.”
“Who is the President of the United States?”
“William Jefferson Clinton.”
“Where are we right now?”
“Fairlane, Illinois, forty-eight-point-six kilometers due north of Chicago.”
“And who will be your next sexual partner?”
“My father, who is returning home from a business trip presently.”
Doctor Simmons checked her tablet computer. McKenzie was currently simulating a heartbeat of 70 bpm. The doctor increased that pulse to 160 bpm and then down to 20 before returning to her normal resting heart rate. In quick succession McKenzie—or more properly P-017-4-KM-317—began to sweat profusely and pant before the moisture returned to her body and all motion ceased.
McKenzie was like every permanent resident of Fairlane. She was a sophisticated machine, one built to help create simulacra of human beings that were indistinguishable from the real thing. For the past seven months she had been activated inside a slightly different reality every day. It was always April 25th. It was always 9:02. Doctor Simmons scrolled through McKenzie’s personality profile. No last name yet. Personable, outgoing, good at her studies. She liked being tied up. She liked being bent over a knee. These would change and develop as her new neural net was put to the test. It was designed to create new personality traits and new memories on the fly, developing a fully-formed person who was meant to perform perfectly in any situation. Simmons and her compatriot did not know what the final use of these artificial people would be, and they attempted to not care where someone (someTHING, Simmons reminded herself) like McKenzie would end up.
Before they left the house, the two figures told McKenzie to walk to the kitchen. No, no need to change out of panties and her sports bra. Simply go there and begin chopping vegetables. Then they were off. There were sixty more girls to program this morning.
McKenzie could barely remember this morning. She looked down and didn’t remember beginning to cut up these vegetables for lunch. It did not matter when she began to do so. Well, no matter. The girl’s programming took over, giving her perfect skill set a workout while her mind worked to make her think she was simply a normal human woman. It was in her programming to be a phenomenal cook. After all, one of her primary function options was to be a maid. As she chopped away, she noticed the scar on her finger, and the memory of her in the State Final was played back in her neural web.
She remembered it clear as day. She was the start goalkeeper for the Errol University Blackhawks. As she dove for the ball, she landed awkwardly and somehow managed to cut her finger on a sharp rock through her glove. Twelve stitches later, she was fine.
The knife was halfway through the last bell pepper when she froze and stood at attention. All pretense that she was a human was stripped away. Just a sophisticated mannequin. She processed the commands from the town’s central command and relayed the answers as soon as her CPU fabricated answers. "Rewriting memory now..." She said in a monotone voice as her new role was imprinted into her hard drive. There was an audible click as answers finished being created and she was reactivated. In a voice sweeter than springtime, she spoke out to no one in particular. "Hey, Dad. Dad. Dad. Mom. Hi, Mom. Yeah, I was at Economics, sorry it ran late. I should've called. Erica and Bridget were there, they said they're doing great." She glanced up smiling, her brown eyes shining in the daylight streaming in the windows of the kitchen.
The world outside sprang to life. It was the final week of classes at the local university. Various townspeople--especially her best friends Erica and Bridget--were programmed with long histories with the newly-named McKenzie Smith. Doctor Simmons would fabricate report cards, concert tickets, DVD collections to fill her bedroom. McKenzie was flagged for extra testing and programming tonight. She was to be used as much as possible.
Doctor Simmons had begged off her usual rounds to return to McKenzie’s residence. She had spent the past two weeks programming the girl’s matrix, and she’d be damned if anyone else was going to get first crack at her. Especially one of the prefabricated boy robots who never quite reached the same sophistication as the women. She rushed to the front door and entered to the sound of the girl speaking to no one in particular. “—were there, they said they’re doing great.”
Both women seemed to freeze in place for a moment. Doctor Simmons couldn’t take her eyes of McKenzie. She had spent a long time creating this girl, her plastic and rubber frame immobile on a gurney or carrying out simple mindless tasks before shutting down again. But here she looked like a girl. There was no difference between her and—
“Mom? You okay?" Simmons noted a small twitch in McKenzie’s neck servo to be corrected later. Hopefully it was a small kink and not a reason to replace the whole part.
"Oh! Oh, sorry, McKenzie." Simmons was barely thirty, and it would be easier to see the two women as sisters than mother and daughter. Did McKenzie’s programming age up the other woman to be of a motherly age? The questions darted through Simmons’ mind for just a moment before she composed herself. "I'm glad your friends are here. I worry about you away from home. I hope you don't mind your mother staying with you for a few days."
McKenzie shook her head and giggled. "Gosh, you're so stupid sometimes." She pecked her mother on the cheek and smiled brightly, her nearly perfect white teeth showing. "You don't need to be so worried about me. I'm twenty years old! I can take care of myself just fine. But, I don't mind you staying with me at all. It's nice to have some company every now and then." She giggled again, then went back to cutting the vegetables.
There was still work to be done, of course, so Simmons did not miss a beat. She looked down at the vegetables and saw an opportunity to do a bit of quality control. “McKenzie, can you take that stalk of celery, fellate it to...40% simulated arousal, and then chew and swallow it conspicuously?"
The girl’s AI filtered that request in a nanosecond, translating it into some form of socially-acceptable request. "Yeah, sure." McKenzie shrugged. To her, this was nothing out of the ordinary. She casually picked up the stick of celery and slid it into her mouth, pumping it in and out slowly. Her AI did this until the celery was "stimulated" enough, then simply chewed it up and swallowed it. There was another twitch from the neck servo, then McKenzie looked up at her mother. "Anything else I can do?"