Part 1: Carla
Carla sat on her couch, more accurately she loafed on her couch. He feet up on the coffee table, fuzzy slipper-socks covered her feet and she watched whatever it was she could find on TV. Currently it was some cheesy early nineties sci-fi film, some monster was rampaging around a city. Carla snorted at the childishly bad special effects and even worse plot, but it was enjoyable none-the-less. Brainless fun could sometimes be the best fun. She tucked a strand of her auburn hair behind her ear and let out a sigh and clicked off the TV. She tossed the remote aside and pulled her hair into a pony tail and bound it in place with the scrunchy that she had on her wrist.
Carla stood up and stretched a bit and glanced at the Microwave clock, it was already past six. Her room mate and fellow student Abigail hadn’t come home just yet, even though her last class ended nearly two hours ago. She was probably out partying like the sorority girl she wished she was. Carla shrugged and trotted down the short hallway to her room. It was still fall, so she had adorned sweats and a hoodie. Closing the door behind her she quietly pressed against the door and let go of the handle so that it quietly latched, she then turned the deadbolt on the door.
Her room was the only place where she could really be herself, out of the prying eyes of everyone else, Abigail included. She kept the blinds perpetually shut, even though their dorm was on the third floor. The room was dark as the night that encircled the campus, but that didn’t bother Carla one bit. She turned from the door and stood up stock straight, her hand deftly clicking on the light switch. Her face already formed into an expressionless mask. Carla’s eyes scanned the room back and forth, up and down, ensuring that there was nothing out of place, added or even moved in the room. Her room was a montage to nerd culture. Her walls plastered with comic book posters, shelves lined with action figures from anime, pop culture and video games. Her bed remained, as always, completely unmade and in a state of disarray.
Carla took a step into the room and then immediately knelt down and reached under her bed. She dragged out a suitcase, pleasantly generic in appearance save for the heavy padlock on the clasp. Carla hoisted the case up and set it on her bed. As it bounced once the sound of clinking metal could be heard. Carla thrust her hand down her hoodie and pulled out a single key on a chain and set about unlocking the padlock and opening in the case. Inside was a tool set with all manner of exotic and strange looking tools in addition to standard screwdriver sets. Several circuit boards in anti-static bags, wires bundled together with rubber bands and a variety of plugs. Tucked into the pocket of the suitcase lid was a laptop, which Carla took out, plugged in to a wall outlet and powered on. She sat down on the bed between the booting laptop and the tool case.
Carla’s eyes flicked over to the door one last time, ensuring that the door was locked as it was supposed to be. She couldn’t let anyone, not even her room mate know her secret. Abigail just wouldn’t understand. Confident that she was both alone and secured in her room, she was ready to begin her nightly system check and cleaning. It was supposed to be nightly at least, she had put it off for several weeks now. She reached into the suitcase and pulled out one of the static bags, turning it over a camera on the end of an adjustable arm tumbled into her hand. Protruding from the bottom of the arm was a simple USB plug which she looked at, making sure she noted the position of the connection side inside of the plug.
Carla placed the camera and arm appendage in her lap and reached up to her head, pressing one thumb firmly into her trachea and holding it there for upwards of thirty seconds. This didn’t distress her at all, and after the thirty seconds there was a small soft click from inside of her neck. She moved her hand from her throat to her jaw, while her other hand cradled the back of her head, both of them guided her head off of her neck cleanly. She set her head down next to her and picked up the camera appendage and lined it up with a, now exposed, USB port inside in her neck. Once plugged in her vision returned, though now in a significantly reduced resolution.
With her vision now restored Carla picked up her head module again and swiveled her camera over to the suitcase and pulled out a microfiber cloth and some cleaning spray, both of which she set in her lap. Carla spritzed a small amount of the cleaning spray on to the cloth and then scooted her head over to her. Using one hand she pried open one of her eyelids, revealing her blue eyeball underneath. She applied a firm amount of pressure where the cleaning spray had soaked into the cloth and scrubbed her eye, drying it with the same cloth and then repeating the process to her other eye.
She picked up a toothbrush and jar of some kind with a clear fluid in it. She clamped the jar between her soft thighs and opened it. Had she been a human and not an android she would have smelled the strong smell of alcohol in the jar. With the jar open she set about forcing open the jaws on her disconnected head. The servo-motors there whined noisily but in the end her mouth was opened. She dipped the toothbrush in the fluid and set about scrubbing the teeth, slightly rubbery tongue, inside of the cheeks and even deep down the throat of her own head. Working firmly to scrub off any grime that may have collected inside her oral cavity.
Carla swiveled her small temporary camera down to the jar to assist her in screwing the lid back in place and putting it and the toothbrush away. She then carefully arranged her freshly clean head on her lap before reaching up and disconnecting the camera. Her hands mechanically set it next to her and then re-positioned themselves next to her head and picked it up and aligning it just above her neck with a precision that could have only been programmed in. Carla lowered her head back onto her neck at a slightly turned angle and, once settled onto the bindings in her mechanical neck, sharply turned her head so it was facing forward.
Carla’s operating system took over and began re-initializing the devices that were contained in her head. Her eyes began to blink, artificial saline based tears working to moisturize her eyes and her mouth filling with the same saline based saliva. She moved it around with her tongue and began to resume a more human like facial expression. Hey glassy eye balls moved around in their sockets giving her operating system the opportunity to re-calibrate their position. She blinked a few more times before she looked down at the camera. She picked it up and placed it back in the anti-static bag, then back into the suitcase.
Carla stood up from her bed and without blinking, without making any kind of facial expressions bent forward and hooked her fingers into the waistband on her sweats then drug them straight down her shapely thighs until they crumpled into a pile on the floor. Carla stepped out of her sweats and back over to her suitcase. She mechanically lowered her head to look in it and took out a tool of some kind, it simply had a plastic handle with a 4 inch long rod on it. It looked like it was a screwdriver without any kind of tip on it, just a slightly pointed metal tip.
Carla stood back upright and aligned the tip of the tool nearly vertically, with the tip resting just above her vagina. Once in position and aligned she pressed it up and into her flesh. The synthetic skin gave way in this one small area and allowed her to push the tool up into a manual release for her sexual module. There was another small soft click from inside her hips and Carla withdrew the tool and set it back on the bed. Once the tool was out of her hands she squatted down just a bit and using both hands, took a firm grip of her vaginal opening and pulled it downward. The entirety of it slid from between her legs, bringing with it a long tube like mechanical assembly, it ended in a flexible tube of some kind.
Carla held it in one hand and with the other unscrewed the tubing, letting it simply dangle between her leg as she stood upright again. Inside of her case there was a handle attached to some kind of long apparatus with clamps all along the side. She pulled out a sealed container and pulled out a soft sponge-like attachment and clipped it to the apparatus. She then pushed it deep inside of her disconnected sex. She moved it around rather vigorously, pulling it in and out, moving it side to side and around before finally removing the brush. Once removed she songy attachment from the clips and tossed it into the garbage in her room. Next she slipped the entire sexual modules back between her legs, reattached the tubing to it and pressed it into her body until it clicked into place.
The final self maintenance task Carla needed to perform for the evening was to empty her internal food and fluid intake tank. She stepped back over to her sweats and pulled them up, tying them off at the waist. She picked up the long thin tool from earlier and slipped it into the pocket of her sweatpants. She moved back to the door and unlocked it and peered out.
“Abigail? Are you home?” She called into their dorm. When she got no response she moved swiftly into the bathroom up the hall, half way between her room and Abigail's. Once inside she locked the door again and immediately turned on the bathtub, letting the sound of it cover what she was about to do next.
Carla once again dropped her sweat pants and stepped out of them, making sure to set the tool on the counter for ease of access. Once out of her sweats she also pulled her hoodie up and over her head, the hem of it catching her breasts just barely and causing them to bounce as her top was removed. It would have been easy enough to avoid causing them to bounce like that, but Carla was programmed specifically to remove her clothes as quickly as possible when doing self maintenance and pulling her top up and along her flat and artificially toned abdomen and up her breasts was the quickest way to remove her top. Once off though, she simply let it fall to the ground.
Carla picked up the tool again but this time positioned it directly in front of her belly button. She once again pushed it deep inside of her until the membrane below her skin let the tool through and she clicked the manual release switch inside of her belly. Once she felt the locking mechanisms start to buzz and whir as they disengaged she withdrew the tool and set it on the counter. Next her abdominal paneling lifted outward off of her torso about an inch. She inserted her fingers into the gap and tugged it off of her own body. The panel was a contoured panel that stretched from just above her sex, to just below her breasts. Carla placed the panel on the counter top as well.
Once her stomach was completely opened she reached both hands inside and unfastened two locks on a plastic cylinder which contained a vibrant blue chemical to help breakdown any food or fluids that were stored there. Currently it held the contents of the 2 glasses of wine Carla had while out with a friend, some snack food she'd had from the same night, and the breakfast Abigail surprised her with this morning. All of which had been broken down into a blue goo.
Carla tipped the contents of the tank into the toilet and flushed it away, once empty she moved to the tub and filled the container with water, sloshed it around and dumped it out. She did this several times to ensure that everything was flushed out of it. With that she stood up, slotted the container back inside of her stomach and replaced the panel. Once in place there was a buzzing as the mechanisms slowly drew the panel back into place and resealed it. Carla’s self maintenance was almost complete. She redressed herself and turned off the tub, letting it drain fully before she pocketed her tool and poked her head out of the door.
“Abigail?” She called into the hallway outside of the door. There was no answer, so Carla quickly slipped back into her room. Once there she meticulously locked the door again and replaced the tool in her suit case. She also put away the cleaning solution from earlier, the brush she had used and neatly stashed away the auxiliary camera she used while her head was disconnected. The last thing she did was take out a bottle filled with the same blue solvent she had just flushed out of her storage tank and drank it leaving the bottle half full. The fluid would be stored in her storage tank until it was flushed again.
She replaced the bottle and closed the suitcase. She was just pushing it back into place when she heard the front door to their dorm close followed by her room mate Abigail calling to her.
“Carla, are- are you here?” Her voice sounded like she had far too many drinks with her sorority friends. Carla re-engaged her human emulation software. It took around two seconds before it was ready but she quickly moved to the door and opened it.
“Yeah I’m here, are you drunk again” Carla looked at her room mate. Abigail was slumped against their entry way, looking disheveled and smiling stupidly. Carla shook her head, and like she had done more than once before, stooped down and helped her to her feet and stumbled down the hall with Abigail in tow. The pair entered Abigail’s room. It couldn’t have been more different than Carla’s. The walls were covered with band posters and wall scrolls featuring cute anime characters. Her shelves were a haphazard mess of DVD boxes, movies, empty fast food cups and books. Her bed was unmade and hadn't been made since the pair moved in together months ago.
Carla lugged Abigail over to the bed and lowered her down to the mattress. She took Abigail's shoes off and set them at the foot of the bed before dragging a garbage can over and leaving it next to the head of the bed. Carla shook her head and left the room and closed the door, seeing that Abigail was already asleep, her eyes closed and her chest just barely rising and falling. Carla rolled her eyes again and went back to her room. With Abigail asleep she would simply lay down in bed, begin her recharge cycle and start compiling the days data.
Part 2: Abigail
Abigail dug into her purse and fumbled with the keys there. She found the right one and then struggled to get the key into the lock on the front of her dorm door. Finally getting it in and turning it she turned the handle and let her weight open the door as she leaned on it. She stumbled into the entry way of her house and blindly swiped behind her and caught the door enough to shut it and locked it. She took a step forward and leaned against the wall, putting her hand on her forehead and slid down the wall to a sitting position.
“Carlaaaaaa” Abigail wailed down the hallway. “Carla, are- are you here?”
Soon, Carla came down the hall wearing a look of contempt.
“Yeah I’m here, are you drunk again?” Carla sighed and rolled her eyes but stooped down anyway to pick up her room mate. Carla looped Abigail’s arm around her neck and the two walked down the hall together. Carla used her foot to push open the door to Abigail’s room and once inside helped Abigail onto the bed. Abigail curled up almost immediately, even as Carla was taking her heels off and dragging a garbage can over to place it by the bed. Abigail heard all of it but put on a good show of being asleep. Soon enough she not only heard her door close but further up the hall Carla’s door close.
After waiting a full ten minutes after Carla entered her room Abigail’s eyes snapped open. She sat immediately up in bed and her face was a mask of neutrality. She was no longer acting drunk, in fact, she had never been intoxicated to start with. Abigail slid off of her bed and picked up the trashcan her room mate had so kindly left for her, moving it across the room to where it was originally. As she moved across the room she limped whenever she tried to put any measure of weight on her right leg. Each step punctuated by a whirring sound coming from somewhere deep inside of her pelvis.
Once she replaced the trash can she limped noisily to the door and locked it as silently as she could and then moved back to the bed. She sat down as gently as she could, but all that resulted was her lowering herself towards the bed and flopping the last foot or so. Once situated there she reached over to her side table and pulled open the drawer there and pulled out a small hard plastic toolbox and set it next to her. She then hiked up her black cocktail dress, which presently only covered down to her mid-thigh. She pulled it up and over her head and tossed it to towards the end of her bed. It landed dangling half off of her bed. She hadn’t bothered to wear panties or a bra for her night out with her sorority sisters.
She looked down at her right hip and frowned. Her heads up display was red with alerts about the status of it. While dancing someone overly drunk mountain of a man tripped and slammed in to her. Both had fallen to the floor but Abigail had landed weirdly on her hip, and her leg was twisted at a strange angle. Luckily no one had noticed the strange position of her leg when she fell, and she immediately corrected it to look human, but her vision had filled with errors and alerts Luckily none of the damage was bad enough to break the skin and she was confident that she could likely repair the damage. As she looked down at her hip right now she could almost see part of the broken joint protruding, pressing against her skin.
Abigail unclipped the tool box she had set next to her on the bed and opened it. Inside were tools of various kinds, sizes, and apparent uses. All of which were simply dropped into the box and left to sit where they landed. Abigail had to sort through several layers of piled tools and instruments before she found what she was looking for. She drew out a scalpel with a plastic lid capping it. She was also able to more easily find a can of artificial skin sealant in some kind of aerosol spray can. Taking the cap off of the blade she brought it down to her hip and pressed it into her artificial flesh. It took several minutes of precise slicing before she had cut away a section of her skin spanning from just below her rib cage, down to her upper thigh and spanning from just around the curve of her ass to just before the slight seam where her sexual module slotted into place between her legs. She left part of the skin uncut though, making a large flap of skin that hung down off of her leg.
Inside of the now exposed electronics inside of her hips, torso, and leg Abigail could easily see the metal joint in her hip where her leg would normally connect. She could also see the ball joint at the top of her leg, it was popped out of the socket by half an inch. If it were merely a matter of popping the joint back in to place she could have done that in the bathroom at the club, but she also noted the variety of cololured wiring that ran along her leg under some flexible plastic coating. Some of it had snapped due to the sudden stress on the wiring and was likely the cause of most of the errors she logged.
Abigail capped the scalpel and set it back into the toolbox, picking up a flat head screwdriver while she was there. She brought the head of the screwdriver to the plastic panel inside of her leg, still resting under a thick layer of skin on her leg. She began working the flat tip of it under the plastic panel until it lifted up slightly, soon the light popping of the locking mechanisms could be heard. She moved a hand into the gap and lifted upward, engaging a second set of locks that would hold the panel in an elevated position. The Synthetic flesh stretching upward along the lower edge of the panel. Abigail looked down at the wiring now and zoomed in with the camera like optical assembly inside her eyes. There were only two wires that were damaged.
After a moment of scanning through her own schematics, she identified where the two broken cables went. They were data relay lines, meaning that any data from her foot or leg that was relevant to the operation of her body as a whole were fed through these cables. Meaning that small balance corrections, the pressure applied to her leg, and many other operations needed to function and appear as a human were controlled by these cables. Abigail, gaze still fixed on her leg, opened up a web browser in her internal system and began searching for possible repair options or at least a way to work around the issue. She could take herself in for repair, but no repair center was open this late, and she needed to act as human as possible for class tomorrow and to keep her secret from her room mate. Abigail’s OS had a standing requirement that she remain as human as possible in front of other humans.
Abigail’s scans showed that the cables in question ran from her hip, though a flexible series of plastic covers in her leg and down to her foot. She would need to have her entire leg assembly disassembled and the cables replaced. A repair that was far beyond her programming. Abigail peered into her tool box again and dug around for a moment, this time pulling out a soldering iron and a small spool of silvery metal. She nudged herself along the edge of her bed until she got close enough that she could bend forward and plug in the soldering iron and held it in her hand. Once the tip of it was hot enough to gently let of small wisps of smoke she used one hand to awkwardly unspool a length of the solder from the spool. Holding the solder, the soldering iron and the damaged wire in place for a moment she managed to make a crude, but serviceable connection. She repeated the process for the other damaged wire as well.
Once both were done and the solder was cooling inside of her opened leg and hip, she reached over and unplugged the iron, setting it on a small metal stand and letting it cool. Her internal operating system recognized that a connection had been established with her foot properly and began loading a self test. SHe stuck out her leg straight out from her, a movement that made the whir of servos in her hip very audible. From there she rolled her foot left and right and flexed all her toes. Having satisfied the conditions of the test she nodded to herself. She reached down to her hip and pressed the flap of synthetic flesh back into place and sprayed on a generous amount of the flesh sealant. The Clear liquid worked like superglue, fusing skin back together. It sealed her up, but there was an obvious cut there. She knew she would have to pay a bit extra to have that properly touched up with the rest of her repairs.
Once the soldering iron was fully cooled she packed it and all the remaining tools away in the box and slipped it back into the nightstand. She then sat alone in her room, on the edge of her bed. She had been built and programmed to be a social unit, but here she was, alone again. If not for the fact that Carla had already gone to bed, and Abigail was supposed to be passed out drunk she might have invited her for some girl time. Abigail resigned herself to her evening alone, again. She reached down and grabbed the bunched up bottom to her cocktail dress and pulled it over her head. Sitting on her bed, now completely naked, she looked down at her body and sighed. She knew she was designed to be used for any number of activities, sexual and otherwise, but she had yet to be taken home by anyone. Though, she had only been in operation for a few months.
She pulled the comforter on her bed up a bit, just enough to cover her belly, leaving her breasts exposed. She closed her eyes for a moment and sent a command from her AI to her operating system requesting her stomach panel to open. Once her OS parsed the request there was a small whirring as a panel of flesh receded inside of her and then upward. Inside of the opened panel, now hidden by the comforter on her bed, were what made this android girl operate as smoothly as she did. She was a state of the art model and everything was bound up tightly in mesh tubes to hold cables together, neatly arranged for cleanliness. All of her circuitry was concealed under matte black hard plastic covering for protection. The only electronic component inside of her that was accessible without specialty screwdrivers was the power cable. Coiled inside a mechanism designed to zip it up inside of her when not in use.
Abigail slipped a hand under the covers and tugged the power cable out of her. She pulled out enough slack to allow her to plug in to the wall outlet next to her bed. Once her OS alerted her in her heads up display that she was connected to power and charging she let out a sigh, in reality she was expelling the last of the air in her air bladder. She set an internal alarm for the next morning and let her eyes slip shut. Entering in to a lowered power mode, she could still actively monitor the sounds in the area around her, but stopped using power for the rest of her body, shutting off functionality to most of her systems to lower power consumption and CPU cycles. She drifted off into the closest thing an android had to sleep.