A continuation of "Business Class".
- Part One – Service
Alex waited as Jane checked in with her husband. It was early afternoon on a workday but he apparently had left instructions on his dial-up link for when she flew in. She stood under the privacy hood with her pullover hooked up, linked to the payphone port by a slim fibre-optic from her belly panel, a glazed look on her features as she focussed her attention inwards. The glances of passers by in the busy airport terminal were lost on her for the twenty seconds or so it took to connect and download.
Relieved when Jane disconnected herself and tugged the tight top back down over the dully-glowing blue display, Alex hurried them away from the ‘phone cluster and into the anonymity of the crowd. She was distinctly uncomfortable with advertising her android nature, a problem given Jane’s untroubled attitude. It took her a few moments to notice her friend’s change in demeanour.
“Whats up?” she asked the glum looking older woman.
“Oh no problem. My husband can’t meet me for a couple of days after all, short notice work I guess. He’s booked me a place to stay though so I can wait for him to get back.”
“Oh, bummer…”, Alex had heard plenty about Mr Marshall since the pair had left the plane and collected their bags. She was sure he was an okay guy but Jane was hardly an impartial judge; her programming, and so her opinions themselves, was largely re-written by him after all! In truth she wasn’t greatly sympathetic, tired of “my wonderful husband this and that,” but for Jane’s sake she made an effort to cheer her up.
“You’ll be able to make the most of these then”; she waved her Tech Support Centre voucher in her free hand. A free gift in amends for some flight difficulties, these entitled the robot girls to make use of the exclusive airport facilities to take care of their maintenance needs on arrival. “No hurry so you can book yourself the full works!”
Two beltways later a slightly more cheerful Jane followed Alex through the revolving door of the Tokyo Airport TSC; at least this airport was a bit more up to date than Boston where technical support seemed to extend to “on” or “off” and no further. Inside the Centre the bustle of the concourse faded away. This was an expensive establishment; commercial robots were usually catered for in company run maintenance bays and had reciprocal arrangements between companies to cater for travelling units as cost effectively as possible. The sorts of androids using an airport TSC were rich men’s playthings, expensive and glamorous, and of course air crews too.
The women entered a wide airy reception area. The dark marble floor stretched across enough space for several large potted palms and a spacious waiting area before reaching the far wall. The pictures were solid, not projected or plasma screens, their frames lending a sophisticated antiquity to the room at odds with its real purpose. The music at the edge of hearing was pleasant, an even more rare thing. Behind the central reception desk, obvious from the entrance but not so close as to pressurise the clients, were several high pedestal tables on which sat high spec IT of various types.
At the nearest of these data stations were two women, one, clearly a technician, was a willowy dusky skinned lady with long dark hair tied back to reveal her distinguished eastern face. She looked mature and confident, standing in close fitting trousers and a crisp high-necked white lab coat. As Jane looked over she reached towards the chest of the voluptuous teen perched on a stool with her back towards them. The technician appeared to make some minor adjustment then turned back to the computer at her side and entered a stream of data, her fingers flying over the keys.
The receptionist accepted their free vouchers with a smile and took some basic details before she motioned them towards two free service pedestals. Jane booked a full mechanical service, software optimisation and reprogramming at Alex’s suggestion. It would take several hours but she had plenty of time now. Alex opted for a minor service and lubrication specifying no programming activity to be carried out, “I’m on a bespoke programming cycle that shouldn’t be interfered wit,” she explained.
Jane was smiling now, her disappointment displaced by this new experience. She was used to maintenance at home and was looking forward to experiencing something different. The two girls exchanged contact details, Alex passing over the card of her Tokyo hotel and Jane jotting down the number of hers, booked by her husband, then they parted ways to perch at the allocated gleaming chrome pedestals, separated just far enough from each other to ensure a private consultation.
No sooner had Jane sat on her stool than the wide double door at the side of the room slid open and another technician, clad as the first was, strode through. She was a tall elegant willowy blond, her wavy corn coloured hair drawn back and showing rather more bust than her darker colleague, bulging inside the uniform top. A low chrome functional robot wheeled silently behind her, it’s segmented arms stowed neatly against its gleaming front plate. She approached Jane gracefully and greeted her with a brief handshake.
“Jane Marshall, right? Good,” she smiled at Jane’s nervous nod, “Companion Robotics Type Seven Charlie…. Serial number B1202/33, you’re booked in for a full service and some programming options. Your model is auto-service compatible sooo…”
The blond ran through this information in a cursory manner as she tapped rapidly at the top console of her robot sidekick. Jane was taken aback at her brisk manner and had a strong feeling that this technician may be rather more modern than she herself was…
“I’ve got several non-standard upgrades that you should know about though…”
The blond looked up from her robot as a final executive keystroke set it spinning around to roll off silently around the pedestal, “Honey, Mark Sevens are the most upgraded robots ever built, I’ve never met a standard one yet!”
“No but I…” Jane’s voice cut off as the steel restraint claw closed around her delicate neck with a sharp snap, it’s inbuilt inhibitors deactivating the voice-box beneath the pale freckled throat. As Jane stood patiently, struggling only to speak the robot’s other arm, a delicate manipulator, reached inside the waistband of her blue jeans and rummaged visibly under the already taught blue denim. Abruptly Jane’s body froze, her face and limbs locking solid, her breathing stopped. The robot lifted the red haired android by the neck and some unseen grip under her clothes and rolled away through the doors, Jane held stock still, tilted slightly back watching the ceiling pass above her with blank eyes.
“Ms Alexandra Fujimara? I’m Dawn, I’ll be your technician today. Welcome back ma’am, did you have a good flight?” The blond technician led Alex through the doors herself. As a high spec unit she required a more personal service and, as a returning, if not frequent, customer could expect to be treated civilly, at least while online.
Through the double sliding doors, a contamination lock Alex assumed, the scene was very different. Clean bare white walls framed a scene somewhere between a factory and a strip joint to her excited eyes. Benches and machinery were everywhere. A dozen shiny little robots cruised the aisles bearing limbs, electronics, batteries, tools and, in the far corner, Jane. The work surfaces held androids, twenty at least. Some were intact as far as could be seen, others little more than metal and plastic skeletons holding electronic spiders-webs of dazzling complexity; some powered down with blank eyes and still faces, others online, acting normally or otherwise. Alex could see some struggling against their physical and programmed restraints, writhing limbs and silently working jaws; others malfunctioned in their dismantled state, spouting rubbish or endless conversation loops.
Ushered into one of many small alcoves Alex watched the scene as she undressed and hung her clothes neatly on the hooks provided. The blond technician waited patiently beside her, neither woman feeling the need for privacy or embarrassment despite the clear eroticism of their surroundings.
At the workbench nearest to them a pretty brunette masturbated furiously. Her eyes drawn to this shuddering display only a few feet away Alex watched as the woman lay on her back on the polished steel, one hand crushing and rolling her full white breasts to her chest as she rubbed furiously between her legs. “John, oh John fuck me… Oh God yes, fuck me John…” As she arched her back Alex could see that below her breasts all the way down to the tuft of soft pubic hair, the other woman was naked open machinery. As she moved little servos twitched and spun back and forth inside her open body, larger actuators shifting to adjust her metal spine, clearly seen through the tangle of wiring. Several cable bundles rose from her open body to an interface armature hanging over her, she shoved these impatiently aside in her lust to caress those parts of her body still able to appreciate the touch, stroking her thighs and arms and face and back to her bouncing breasts. A fine plastic arm darted out from the cluster of technical apparatus hanging over her to tweak some component deep in her belly. She twitched violently then resumed her pleasure with new vigour, her cries unintelligible. A few seconds more and the arm darted back, with a sigh the lady sank back to the bench, legs sliding gently apart and her arm slipping down from her chest to stick up awkwardly by her side, she stared up and was still. A printer chattered above her spewing some technical report as another larger arm moved down to remove components with robotic speed and precision.
Alex removed her bra and bent to unfasten her skimpy shoes, aware that her own nipples were now solid nuggets of sensor input standing proud from her pale chest. The patient tech beside her didn’t comment and, as she stripped off her shoes and skirt, the android woman took another long look around. Over there was a familiar face.
When she had been unexpectedly re-booted in Boston for a very enjoyable upgrade to Business Class her air transit crate had been filled by a standard commercial model. Alex was glad to see she had made her flight after all, though not in good order by the looks of things. The smart shorthaired executive’s female image extended from her pretty but severe face, down her slender arms, held out at the elbows as if skipping, down her neck and over her small breasts but below there her body was a dully-gleaming metal alloy. She was built for function rather than form, though elegant in her own way. Her entire lower back was open, the cover plates removed so her pale skinned shoulder blades, stencilled with the black letters EXXON 71, sat above a dark gaping void filled with wiring and chassis components. She recounted strings of errors to no one in particular as two white clad techs rummaged inside her. Occasionally she would buzz and twitch as components were removed and replaced in an effort to get her operating correctly.
Bending down to slide her black thong down her long smooth legs Alex took a last glance around her, resisting the urge to brush her smooth sex with a fingertip. At the far side of the room several female forms stood posed in place. A few naked clients, each worthy of her full and undivided attention in themselves, and two technicians, their white tunics open at the front, flesh panels hinged down and cables connecting them to the TSC server until required. Several of the benches had androids or more basic ‘bots working on client units in various stages of disassembly, others, like the one nearby, had complex arrays of apparatus suspended overhead. The room was filled with movement, some jerkily mechanical, some gracefully feminine; buzzing servos, computer beeps and tones and the occasional hushed conversation were the background sounds. They were broken occasionally by the ear-splitting whine of a sonic welder as it dived in and out of the torso of a pretty stewardess, identifiable by the red uniform skirt-clad pelvis and legs still standing beside the workbench. She stared wide-eyed with unknowing surprise as showers of sparks fountained from her truncated waist, giving Alex a pang of lust at the thought of her own stewardess on the recent flight.
“Ready!” The glamorous blond led Alex across the wide space, weaving between the metal tables and the exposed bodies and mechanisms of their occupants. The naked woman’s body displayed the clean moving sculpture of her artificial musculature as it bunched and flexed within the statuesque columns of her legs. She strode out to keep up with her guide, tearing her eyes away from the many distractions on the way.
Arriving at an empty table Alex slipped up and sat with a wince on the cold hard steel at Dawn’s instruction. She looked around as her service tech plugged her into the maintenance terminal and busied herself entering the work plan and preparing to begin maintenance procedures. She was relieved to see that very few mechanisms were suspended from the overhead unit, only some simple lubrication arms attached to the modular base unit; nor were any of the servicing ‘bots waiting nearby. Alex liked to feel that her complex and delicate systems were in the care of an android like herself, a human replica. It made no difference to the quality of service, she knew that Dawn was no better programmed for her job than a purely functional robot, but something in the countless terabytes of her personality profiling codes gave her that illogical preference. Faced with production line maintenance, as she had been before and surely would again, she had no choice but to comply with the machines’ commands but suffered distressing errors as she objected internally.
Looking over to the next servicing station Alex watched the lightning quick darting movements of the many tool arms, manipulators and plastic tentacles that were rapidly stripping the components of an android woman on the bench below the seething machinery. A wheeled robot was ferrying the removed parts to the next bench, out of the way. Several thick panels of plastic flesh piled up followed by batteries, drive assemblies and electronics packs as the frozen figure was reduced to a skeletal framework, her shape only defined by the web mesh of skin between the removed panels. Power drivers whined and the snakelike manipulators plucked away screws and separated wiring links. A scalp of tied back red curls was put aside and the woman’s head was lifted as the machines delved into the complex void behind her face. Alex recognized the pretty freckled face and glassy green eyes of Jane before they were lifted free and ferried away leaving only the exposed structures within her dull alloy skull. The older android, both technically and in appearance, was receiving a full service in the automated bay. Her sun kissed chest now ended abruptly above the sternum, the remaining covering and much of its contents removed. Her arms and legs were laid bare, spread-eagled and surrounded by the carefully arrayed wiring looms and attached components trailing from her rapidly reducing body. Once stripped, Alex knew, the machines would inspect, clean and lubricate her structural components and re-assemble her, performing comprehensive maintenance tasks as they did so. The speed of the process was incredible but much of the service time would be taken later with the careful calibration of her assembled body and the final re-programming.
Suddenly Alex swung her legs up and lay back on the cold steel. She adopted a straight pose, arms at her sides, legs straight and stared fixedly upwards. Still online and inwardly operating normally, the commands from the terminal through the fine link to the data port concealed deep in her belly button overrode her internal control. She relaxed mentally; enjoying the robotic sensations as Dawn gently unsealed and removed the hidden covering of her abdominal inspection panel.
The sensations crowded into Alex’s mind over the next forty minutes as Dawn steadily worked over her body, removing panel after panel to inspect the internal systems, making small adjustments and replacing minor LRUs as required due to routine wear. She worked down from the large abdominal access just above her belly button where the spinal actuators were located as well as a number of controls and additional data ports to the small paplexus panel for sexual hardware, thigh and shin panels and then back to the chest and arm panels and up through the neck with a special tool to access the cranial systems that required attention.
Alex’s body was operated by a stepper-motor cable system. A myriad of strong polymer cords ran through her body to activate her limbs by pulling on her light alloy skeleton like stings on a puppet. The cords were wound in and out on helical spools, the size corresponding to the range of movement and mechanical advantage appropriate to the joint, those in her pelvis to move her thighs were large drums wound with thick white cable, those buried in her thighs themselves operated her lower legs and were long spindles to fit into the limited space. Position and motion was monitored by the skeletal sensors clustered around each joint, linked with a dense web of fibre optic filaments. This network, coupled with the sensor links from the hundreds of skin segments passing touch, temperature and pressure data and the motor power / control looms filled much of Alex’s robotic body. Although she had no internal sensors the odd mix of Dawn’s touch and the “dead” removed areas added to what Alex could see happening to her to create a highly pleasurable experience.
Responding to an external command Alex turned her head away from the technician and felt the familiar sensations as the small cover behind her right ear was removed to access her ocular systems: the twin fixed focus black and white guidance cameras that she used to walk around and grasp objects and the large detail colour imager sharing one lens that fleshed the visual imagery out with the detail combined into her processed vision. With her head turned away she could see the scene at the next bench; one that she had been listening to with interest but, in her helpless passive state, had not been able to see.
For a while now a technical conversation had been taking place regarding complex sensor adjustments and calibration of sensor data processors to give balanced results. Alex could now see the technician hunched behind her seated client, making tiny adjustments in a panel at the base of her spine, on the other woman’s clipped instructions. The subject of the procedure was a slim brunette with short gelled-back hair and heavy make-up on her delicately beautiful face. She sat passively with her arms at her sides as the tech delved into her back but it was obvious that she was directing the procedure with cold efficiency. Several cables ran from inside her to a screen, which she watched intently to one side.
The girl looked up and caught Alex’s eye for a moment. She held her with urgent intensity in her pale grey eyes before turning back to the scrolling data. “Okay set parameter of cluster 104 there and reapply on cluster 103 with a 3% sensitivity reduction.”
The tech delved again with her tools, “104 set at current levels, resending test current…”
The subject of the procedure bit her lip gently and allowed a barely perceptible quiver to pass over her features as she looked back at Alex and held her gaze steadily. Her sheer top did little to conceal the firm outline of her nipples and her aspect told of huge tensions pent up inside her passive body.
“Confirm test, that was unsatisfactory, retest at 1.5% increase in dermal nodes only.” The tech acknowledged her instructions and applied her tools again.
“Wait, wait. Terminate!”
“Test discontinued.” The tech looked up at her client.
“I just need a moment… wait a moment.” Her severe face took a slightly puzzled look as a shaky breath parted her glossy red lips. “Just a… no. No it’s no good, I’m going to climax.” She let her gaze run up Alex’s dismantled robotic form, caressing her with her eyes from her toes until their eyes met again. “I’m loading now… you’ll have to restart my… oh, I’m coming, I… Oh yes I’m coming now, I’m… wait… Oh! Oh-ahhhh nnnnnn!!”
As the orgasm ran through the other robot, Alex could see the struggle for control playing out over her face; the long low moan forcing it’s way between her previously emotionless lips, a desperate passion lighting up behind her cold eyes. She sat still from the neck down, only her head and face free to move. Alex felt her systems reacting to the other woman’s arousal. It was unclear weather the sensory testing inputs or the sight of Alex’s naked and open body had sent the woman over the edge but all she could think of was the urge to rub herself against that beautiful android, caress her, touch her. ”Oh God, so beautiful! Please, please, please touch me… oh God I need to get off! Oh, please...” The words ran over and over in her mind behind the blank still features of her deactivated face and frozen body.
The tech reached into the other woman’s back and did something to stop her passionate reaction, now mostly spent. The woman’s head titled as she froze up. By restarting her system the tech would allow the tests to be finished without residual orgasm data corrupting the end result. Soon her sensors would respond perfectly to the lightest touch with just the appropriate responses and she could go on her way.
Alex felt her own technician’s hand drawing out through the open panel in her head and suddenly her eyes snapped away from the erotic display to face front, staring ahead at the ceiling. Dawn’s face leaned over her, a beautiful tanned vision that set a new flurry of arousal signals firing through her systems. She smiled down at her.
“I’ve finished your physical Ms Fujimara, I’ll set up the automatic lubrication system in just a moment but first…”
The helpless android was surprised to feel a light touch on her belly, just below the sensor black-spot where her major panel had been removed. The light caressing fingertips gently and slowly drew downwards, Alex screaming inside to will them onwards, until they rested on the explosively wound sensory bud of her simulated clitoris and began to flick.
“This should help you to relax a bit…”
Alex’s thoughts screamed as her pent up arousal found almost instant relief in a mind-blowing climax. Her body remained completely still; no hint of her internal turmoil came from the relaxed limbs and motionless internal machinery or her face fixed in relaxed and empty stillness.
“Oh thank you, Dawn. Thank you…”, Alex’s silent thoughts became coherent again as the white clad android finished her relief and wiped her manicured fingers clean.
“8.4, not bad at all! You’re welcome by the way. I’ll be back to close you up in about twenty minutes.” She turned away from the glowing screens that displayed the passive unit’s internal processes, her thoughts and feeling’s laid bare in scrolling letters and status displays. The overhead lubrication arms swung into action and, with her urges spent for the time being, Alex lay and watched the needle tipped arms diving over her naked body, dipping in and out to inject precisely placed squirts of lubricant into her joints and internal mechanisms.
While Alex had been receiving Dawn’s personal attention the technician’s other client had been receiving much more thorough attention from the automated servicing systems. Deactivated and with a standard commercial chassis, Jane could be completely dismantled with great speed. By now she'd had her major systems removed, inspected and serviced and she was now waiting, half re-built, while the TSC server maintenance applications ran through her software. Her beautiful body was reduced to a few strips of freckled skin between the open panels filled with machinery and electronics.
Dawn inspected the readouts on the interface next to the metal bench and frowned at what she saw there. Scanning through sub menus on the touch screen she checked through a few further details before calling to a companion across the large room. The other woman left her horseshoe console in the middle of the bustling space and threaded her way over. She was dressed, as all the technicians were, in white; a close high-necked tunic top and trousers. Some dark greenish hydraulic fluid had spilled over the cloth of her right arm and her fingers were grimy from delving into machinery. She had left a dark smear on her cheek as she had brushed her short spiky hair back sometime during the busy day. The red trim on her collar identified her as the technical supervisor, responsible for troubleshooting problem cases beyond the means of the regular maintenance stations and androids.
“What’s the problem Dawn? Today’s not going well at all, I’ve just given up on that Exxon ‘bot and sent her to the manufactures and I need to do some serious PR with them as well as finding a replacement… is this a bad one?” Her piercing blue eyes conveyed the pressure of her responsibilities to Jane’s tech, she didn’t have time to waste.
“This Companion Robot Seven Charlie; its heavily modified and outside the auto-service envelope. I’m afraid the software actions will have to be re-done manually from scratch and I’ve checked out the physical mods too, we need to do a personal re-inspection…” Dawn was apologetic as the two women leant over the terminal and discussed Jane’s construction in detail. At a nearby bench Alex, forgotten for the time being, listened with interest. Jane was based on a Companion Robotics Type Seven Charlie but her processing power had been enhanced beyond all comparison. Built up from the basic model stage-by-stage by Mr Marshall, Jane was unique and uniquely programmed, which meant a lot of work for the service techs. Her body too was significantly improved and they would have to re-inspect the work done by the automatic system. They brought up the schematics from Jane’s data files and together formed a work plan to get her correctly serviced.
“I’ll get Sara on to this work shortly. Now Dawn, why on earth didn’t you service this unit personally?”
“Boss, I’m sorry but I saw she was a Companion Type Seven and just fed her into the system…”
“She’s obviously modified, look!” The supervisor picked up a deliciously freckled patch of pale soft skin, a panel from the problem robot’s open thigh, and waved it at Dawn. The impressive level of realism in the tiny perfect freckles and human-like hairs and lines was clearly different from a cheap robot’s clear smooth and flawless skin.
“I know… I thought she was just a classy skin job, I didn’t expect all this… I”
“Dawn, I’m not impressed at all,” she glanced at the motionless Alex. “I’ll finish off your work on her. I want you to go to station…” she glanced around, “…seven and set yourself up for system checking.”
“But, boss, I..”
The buxom technician spun around at the sharp command and scurried away to do as she was told. The supervisor quickly closed the many open panels in Alex’s frozen body. Her touch was cold and efficient, treating the perfect female form like the machine that it was, a strong contrast to Dawn’s lingering caresses. “That’s you fully operational Ms Fujimara, thank you for your visit. If you’d like to return to the cubical and dress now; we look forward to seeing you again.” The short-haired woman gave a brief empty smile and turned away.
While she wiped away the last smears of spilled oily lubricant from her now perfect female form, Alex took another glace around at the scene. Amid the scattered women, limbs and machinery she could see Dawn lying face up as her boss tapped furiously at the interface linked into her open stomach, her breasts thrusting up, freed from the restraining tunic. Her eyes were blank and stiff arms frozen at her sides. “What goes around comes around,” Alex supposed as she dressed and headed out to the airport concourse and the city beyond. She hoped Jane would be okay, interesting that she was so sophisticated inside that off the shelf body; she would certainly look in to that. She wondered if the technical supervisor was a robot too, she seemed to lack that smooth perfection of the other techs but it was so hard to be sure.
As she stepped through the revolving door from reception Alex’s brisk stride broke for an instant and she seemed to zone out a little. The edge of the door caught a bang on her slender ankle and she stumbled forwards two steps before stopping again, head tilted. “Malfunction,” she said softly then continued on her way, unaware of the scathing look from the Gucci-clad beauty entering the TSC past her.
- Part Two - Intimacy
Alex was bored. She had arrived in Tokyo two nights early in case of flight trouble but arriving on time left her nothing to do until her appointment. She thought of cruising the hotel bar again but didn’t think the staff would tolerate her for long. She had sensed their disapproval as soon as she booked in, her name gave her status away, there being no humans still using the term “Ms” that she had ever heard of. Fujimara, for a buxom Californian girl, wasn’t too subtle either. This was an expensive business establishment where she would have been welcome on the arm of a proper guest but wasting money for a double room just for an android raised a few eyebrows. Nothing had been said but the atmosphere had been frosty and she knew the guests here could hire whatever entertainment they wanted which pretty much blew her chances if they knew she wasn’t human.
By rights without a viable task or function she should simply shut down on a timer or, better still, book into one of the cheap establishments that catered specifically for her sort. There she could pass the time in an instant stacked naked on a shelf with a hundred other ‘bots to be booted back up at the appointed time, if whatever underpaid geek employed there remembered and if he could find her “on button.” But Alex didn’t always do things the conventional way. Since there was nothing actually illegal about her staying at the city’s top hotel, especially as she had the money, she intended to live her “life” to the full.
Going elsewhere alone didn’t exactly appeal either. She could handle herself well enough but a robot was always vulnerable once revealed. She didn’t want to malfunction on her own in a strange place and risk spending the rest of her days as a “hotbot” hooker or chopped for parts. She guessed that Jane would have hooked up with the “wonderful” Mr Marshall by now. She realized that the married android’s descriptions of her husband had been through the rose tinted spectacles of his programming but Alex still felt a little jealous. It would be nice to have a caring companion, one with the skills and knowledge to care for her personally, the technical care that an Android needed. She picked up the ‘phone on the off chance and dialled, not needing to look up the number Jane had given her.
Reception refused to put her through: Ms Marshall was “not to be disturbed”; no Mr Marshall was not checked in presently; certainly a message could be left but would not be passed on until the thirtieth at 12 o’clock. “Thank you for calling AutoLodge.”
Alex’s brow furrowed delicately. She knew AutoLodge, the ubiquitous cheap-as-chips establishment was a shiny plastic fixture in every town and city she had ever visited, which was quite a lot on this and other spheres. She had always been flush with cash and had never stooped that low herself but she could guess how they were run. She grabbed her jacket and headed out towards the night and the Tokyo AutoLodge, after all there was nothing else to do!
The reception was clean and plastic as was the receptionist behind the matching counter. She welcomed Alex in cheerful French for no discernable reason and switched abruptly to English as soon as Alex replied, changing tracks like a poorly dubbed compilation file.
“Bonjour Mademoiselle, vous desirez un chamber pour une personne, ce soir? Que est que vous vive ou robotique, si vous plais?”
“No, thank you. I’m here to visit a friend: Ms Marshall. She checked in last night…”
“Ah oui/ect. I’m sorry Ms Marshall is not to be disturbed right now. Would you like to leave a message?”
“When will Ms Marshall be taking messages?”
“I’m sorry Ms Marshall will not be receiving messages until the thirtieth at 12 o’clock…”
“And when will Ms Marshall be checking out of this classy joint?”
“Ms Marshall is booked with us until the thirtieth at 12 o’clock, would you like to leave a message?”
“Sure I’ll leave a message. Lean close, it’s private…”
As the pretty but simple oriental leaned towards her over the plastic counter, Alex got a close look at her smooth glossy olive skin, without hair or dimple and with a slight sheen. Before she put her hand on her bare arm she knew it would be cold to the touch. It was funny how human women strived for perfection yet their perfect replicas were judged on their realism, the detail and accuracy of the little marks and details that the originals spurned. The receptionist had none of these individualities, her body was as carelessly mass produced as her digital mind so it was with no shame that Alex deftly slipped her hand between the tight folds of her white kimono and repeated her question.
“I’m here to visit a friend, Ms Marshall. I’ll go on up shall I?”
“Ms Marshall is in room 10-04, please go on up. The door code is 602031.”
Alex released her finger from the unseen command button on the complex panel she could feel nestling under the featureless plastic curve of the robot’s chest and withdrew her hand.
“Thank you ma’am,” the soulless receptionist adjusted her clothing to its former neatness and resumed waiting patiently to be of service. The gross invasion of her personal space went entirely un-remarked.
Alex pushed back the door to room 10-04 and walked in, there was Jane.
“For fuck’s sake…”. escaped from Alex’s lips as she took in the, by now, not unexpected scene. Jane lay spread-eagled in the middle of the double bed. Her lifeless eyes gazed up to the far corner of the plastic ceiling. From the familiar control panel set into her abdomen trailed a single lead running off the bed down to the floor. She was as naked as the day she was built.
Alex had admired Jane closely during yesterday’s flight and had then had the brief chance to confirm that her freckles did indeed run all over her body in the Service Centre shortly afterwards but hadn’t taken a close inspection of the most recent object of her attraction. She walked around the bed, unplugging the charger as she passed, and made the most of the unparalleled view.
Jane was beautiful. She wasn’t a classic android look at all. Instead of the clear flawless skin that was more usual, that Alex herself had aside from the tiniest of humanising details, Jane had the complex mottling of freckles over her attractive but not inhumanly spectacular body. The complex pattern was dense and dark on chest and arms, fading to pale on belly and legs and almost pure milky white inside her thighs. As she would expect of a “married” fembot, Jane had detailed sexual parts. Her nipples were stiff and crinkled, pink tipped and delicious. Her creamy thighs led up to a neat mound of reddish hair over a delicate pair of lips that Alex craned over to see closer. The detail was perfect, indistinguishable from the real thing, perhaps better even than Alex herself, and she had passed as human in very intimate company more than once!
As she closely examined her shut down companion, Alex began to appreciate the art that had gone into her production. Close up she was far from the Companion Robots Model Seven upon which she was based. The detail on her entire body was perfectly finished, her cosmetic upgrades at least matching her processor modifications. The perfect detail was offset in a most arousing way by the crude intrusions of her robot body, unconcealed to a close observer. The perfect skin was broken most obviously by the dull screen and buttons of the control panel. This was set neatly into the flesh of her belly, just under her ribs, with no facility for cover or concealment. Alex knew that when operating Jane’s clothing would be the only thing hiding the faint blue glow of the screen, blinking lights and occasional bleeps that signified her functioning, just as a real person’s breath and heartbeat did for a human.
As well as the obvious panel Alex could see that, close up, the connection lines between flesh sections were quite visible as faint silver-grey threads. They ran around Jane’s hips, her waist, and several sections of her chest, her arms and throat, wrists and ankles and outlined many more discrete access sections. Also visible were the very faint letters that instructed maintenance technicians: “Power cell. Service here. Internal fastening.” Jane’s designation and unique serial number were printed large and bold on the sole of her left foot. It was as if Jane’s modifier and upgrader, presumably her husband, had wanted realism but not at the cost of Jane’s robotic nature. The contrast of woman and robot was more artfully achieved than in any unit Alex had seen before. Neither element undermined the other; Jane was both a beautiful, sexy and elegant woman and a machine with parts and controls. Alex found that she was stoking the other woman’s cold skin as she admired her.
She turned away and rummaged in her shoulder bag for a moment before pulling out a small screwdriver and a tiny grey box. Turning back to the helpless Jane she stopped in her tracks, screwdriver in one hand, box in the other, and paused for a brief moment, still, as if listening for a tiny sound.
“Error,” the voice was flat, calm and toneless.
Blinking hard Alex carried on the motion towards Jane as if nothing had happened. She positioned her screwdriver and dexterously zipped out the six shiny screws holding the abdominal panel into Jane’s freckled body. Alex gently prized the controls free from their deep setting and pulled them out to the short limit of the dense bundles of wiring leading back into Jane. She reached her slim fingers deep into the other robot and concentrated for a moment before extracting them with a tiny chip between her manicured fingertips. She swapped it for another one from the box, similar but blue rather than the standard black plastic and then closed Jane up once again, careful to line up the soft layers of her water seal correctly before screwing the panel back over the tangled complex of micro and macro machinery and electronics crammed into her human like form.
She stowed the swapped chip and her screwdriver away and firmly pressed the 1/0 button on the naked body. It clicked solidly and a fraction of a second later the panel signalled Jane’s life with a bleep. She jerked into a straight posture, blinked, twitched and then gasped.
“What? Alex? What are you doing here?”
Alex explained the pitfalls of budget accommodation to an unsuspecting robot; Jane might as well have booked into storage as waste her husband’s money on a proper room that she would scarcely see. Not even a top rate hotel really bothered about quality service for an android other than to please it’s owner. The older unit’s sheltered life had led her right into the scam and, a little shaken, she was glad to accept her friend’s offer to bunk with her for the next twenty four hours.
Back at the Tokyo Hilton, Alex watched as Jane finally had the chance to wash the combined grime of international travel and mechanical servicing from her body. Leaning back on the counter as the other’s freckled body bathed in the steamy spray she again admired the blend of female and machine in her design. The blue glow of her display shone through the mist, droplets running down its waterproof face, and the fine grey dermal seam lines were clearly visible; but she moved as a woman would, with sensual grace, and the complex tones of her skin, where it was unmarked by technology, were perfect.
They chatted loudly over the noise of the showerheads, laughing at shared thoughts on other units and anecdotes from their own robot lives. After a long time Jane stepped out of the cubicle and Alex wrapped her in a huge white towel, rubbing her dry as they returned to the main room and sat on the bed. She had no memory of her maintenance session from the moment they arrived until she was booted up, naked and oily, and told to dress and leave many hours later. Although annoyed at Alex’s description of the Service Centre’s bungling of her requirements she couldn’t deny that her mechanical systems were functioning to the highest standards she had known, tuned and calibrated to perfection, she felt great.
As she rubbed her friend dry Alex felt her desire, always simmering, begin to rise. The Seven Series customised ‘bot had reacted perfectly to her activation, showing no command dependency faced with the unexpected situation and Alex felt that she could push her still further without cause for concern. She allowed her hands to wander, the towelling motion slowing to a gentler caress and lingering over Jane’s otherwise naked body, she caught her breath as their eyes met and held for a moment of stillness. Jane reached her hand to Alex’s hair and cupped her cheek in her palm.
“Alex, honey, I don’t know… I’m married and, well, I guess I’m programmed to be faithful. I want to…”
“Jane, you’re not. No way, look through your files, I’ll bet your hubby has shared you around somes before. What would he do if he were here now? Is he faithful to you? You’re a machine, Jane, just a robot. You were built for pleasure why not make the most of it?” Their faces were inches apart.
“Alex, I don’t know…” Jane’s lips parted, her brow furrowed with indecision.
“Try. You feel you want to make love, would you feel that if you weren’t built to do it? If you’re not programmed not to want to then you’re not programmed not to…”
Their lips met and they kissed, gently stroking one another’s hair, Jane’s towel falling open, her breasts lit gently blue from below, Alex’s erect nipples throwing sharp shadows over the swell of her tight white tank top in the low bedside lamplight. They kissed again and held together delicately for minutes, enjoying the excited anticipation of being with a truly understanding partner. Alex’s hand slid down Jane’s freckled back, caressing her skin and feeling the lines between the flesh-like panels under her fingers.
“Alex, wait… wait just a moment, I need you to do something first.”
Alex leant back expectantly as Jane crossed to her bags by the closet. While the other woman rummaged for something, she quickly slipped out of her street clothes and stood by the bed in her bra and panties.
“What’s the prob?”
“Just a sec… here!”
Jane turned to wave a small black tool wallet at her triumphantly.
“prob?” The younger girl was standing with her arms raised behind her, just on the point of unclasping her bra, the awkward motion repeating with her final word for the third time.
“error. Problem?” She dropped the lacy garment by her feet and took the wallet from Jane’s hands.
“Alex, you just ran a loop error, I think we should get you help.”
“No, I’m fine. What’s this for?” She gestured with the miniature tool kit.
“Seriously, Alex! Sit down, I’m going to call hotel services…” Jane motioned past Alex for the ‘phone.
“I’m fine, babe.” Alex calmly bent down, selected and pressed a button on Jane’s torso; she made no move to stop her, programmed to accept input without question, simply waiting patiently for her to finish. Alex watched the scrolling menus and pressed a few more buttons with firm, deliberate finger motions. Each press gave a satisfying mechanical click from the sealed keypad and Alex wondered if she ever had problems with inadvertent input.
“You kind of zoned out there Jane, I just reset you, you okay?”
“I don’t remember anything… I guess it’s maintenance effects. Thanks. Anyway, that kit, can you get a driver and pop my coccyx panel for me. I’m afraid I’ve got a mechanical lockout on some systems.”
The freckled android perched on the bed and presented her round buttocks to Alex, talking back over her shoulder.
“I’m strictly practical from the waist down at the moment. Its because of the kids you see, my husband thought it would be best, I spend a lot of time with them and they program me when he’s away… teenagers…”
Alex selected the tiny driver and knelt on the bed over Jane. She spun up the eight little fasteners around the small panel at the base of her spine, the projecting heads gave her just enough purchase to drag the area free and disconnect the single link to the rest of Jane’s body. The artificial flesh was thin here, the plastic and light alloy skeleton just below the surface. She looked in at the tangle of wires, tubes and cables filling the voids between more solid components in the dark space and could just make out some big elecro-actuators and Jane’s main power pack. The unexpected little episode was driving her wild inside and she felt protocols falling into place to inhibit her sexuality while she worked inside the other unit. They’d close soon enough.
“There should be a hard switch in there…”
Alex placed the removed trapezoid of Jane’s skin aside on the sheet and reached two fingers inside her at the base of her spine. “Got it… Which one, red, blue or green?”
“How the fuck do I know? Its behind me!?”
The girls burst into giggling through which Alex struggled to describe the three toggle switches mounted in a row just inside Jane’s pelvis. They weren’t labelled.
“Jeeze, I don’t know, just try any old one or we’ll be here all day!”
“You sure babe?”
“Go ahead, you can’t do any harm, they are ju”-click
Alex slid around from behind Jane on her knees and slipping one long firm leg down to the floor. She leaned forwards as the suddenly motionless ‘bot remained frozen in position on all fours, ass in the air, half looking around with a sensible explanation silenced on her parted lips.
“Babe?” Alex peered under her and confirmed her active status from the blue panel. “Not the red one then…”-click
“No, not that one! That’s a motor isolator to lock me up in my husband’s workshop! Try another…” –click-“Ohhhh… Yup! That’s the one!!”
Jane grinned broadly and twisted around to grab the surprised Alex by both arms and smothered her with a passionate kiss. She ran her hands heavily over the pale skin of her companion and the two women lost themselves in each others mouths as their hands ran free, exploring one another’s naked bodies; arms, shoulders, belly, breasts. Alex traced the hard outline of Jane’s controls and slipped her hand down to her thighs, embracing her tightly with the other. Pulling her face free with an effort Jane gasped,
“Alex, put me in sport mode!”
Pulling back a little, Alex dropped her hand to Jane’s belly and pressed menu and a select button, then enter. In common with most standard production models Jane’s system was re-configurable depending on her required role. When optimised to develop the rapid power spikes needed to bounce her around the tennis court or hockey pitch her battery life was reduced to a matter of hours, each movement being fast and strong but inherently inefficient; even gentle activity would quickly deplete her power supply. She normally operated in ”standard mode” which gave her all the drive she needed for daily android life and could also be set to “basic mode”, cutting many cosmetic systems and “standby” to save power.
With a squeal of delight Jane pounced back onto Alex and pushed her firmly down onto her back, mounting astride her quivering body and clamping her tight between her thighs. Alex’s passions caught up with her as the hold-off protocols closed and Jane’s sudden heat made her almost helpless. The older model was surprisingly strong and, though she struggled to gain a measure of control, Alex was quickly overwhelmed.
Grasping her wrists firmly, Jane flung Alex’s arms wide, knocking her own forgotten panel to the floor, and held her spread-eagled under her. She ground her crotch down in hard and fast circles pressing her soft sensor rich folds over the tiny hard bud below with a well-programmed precision that drew a sudden urgent flurry of louder and louder gasps, moans then shouts of ecstasy from below. Soon Alex’s struggling built to a helpless cry and she bucked up hard against her restrainer, her body arching back on itself utterly beyond control, driving her face back over into the pillows and her breasts quivering into Jane’s face where she nipped and licked bringing the helpless girl to a second and then third climax, each running into the next before she herself reached a panting, thrusting crescendo and collapsed on top of her lover.
They lay, Jane slowly squirming on top of the spent Alex, their sticky mingled juices smearing over their naked skin to lubricate all contact, replicated sexual fluids and sweat glistening on plastic and silicone covered bodies driven by complex mechanics and controlled by the pre-programmed responses of their computer minds. The lithe and pale young figure of Alex, human to all appearances and the freckled Jane, the details and features of her older but beautiful skin contrasting with the creamy perfection of her companion; the tracery of access panels and joint lines, the clearly visible lubrication points and markings showing her true nature. As they lay together, moving and touching, slowly kissing and caressing, the snappy mechanical movement of some internal systems showed clearly inside Jane’s open coccyx panel as the bedside lamp caught on the gleaming metallic parts. The loose wire hung limply out trailing its plug back and forth across her buttock as she moved.
“You tigress…” Alex eventually gasped.
Alex was a very high spec unit and was experienced in the bedroom but this rated as a true high point. She guessed that the erotic history between them (a lot of which she realized Jane had missed what with being shut down and re-programmed) had built her up to bursting point. She should have expected that Jane’s exquisite customisation would have continued to the bedroom but the experience had quite overwhelmed her.
“Oh God…” Alex could do little more than whisper as her partner slid her way slowly down her body, tracing a line down between her breasts with her tongue, over her belly button, touching for a second the concealed metallic socket where Alex’s control unit interfaced, and on down to her crotch. Jane pushed her thighs apart and began a slow lingering caress with her lips and tongue that brought Alex very gradually back to a trembling peak of passion. She ran her fingers through Jane’s red curls and traced the outline of her own nipples and lips in a mindless ballet, over and over as her body slowly convulsed and her voice uttered moaning cries. Again and again Jane brought her to the brink of orgasm until she begged for more and finally she reached a long quivering climax that made her an incoherent twitching wreck for half a minute.
Letting her companion recover for only a few moments in her arms, Jane slipped her hand downwards to touch Alex in a way that drew instant reactions.
“Hey, my turn – ohhhhhh….” Alex’s protests were feeble in the face of the sexual onslaught, the sheer perfection of Jane’s skills at turning her on. She felt she had somewhat lost the initiative and was determined to satisfy her new companion in every way but the teasing between her legs sapped her will, activating arousal routines that diverted resources. She writhed in Jane’s arms making faint noises of pleasure and protest as she feebly tried to extract herself long enough to get a grip on her feelings. She fumbled at Jane’s body, half pushing and half caressing until by chance she touched the other robot’s open panel.
Momentarily taken by another finger-induced spasm, Alex gripped the bare edge in the naked back as she moaned. She could feel the movement of some internals on the back of her fingers as Jane moved against her whispering words of comfort and desire. She fumbled inside, stretching her fingers out, if she could get a just moment to catch up….
“Ohhhhhhhhh…. Mmmmmmmm oh!” Alex’s inflamed body moved of its own accord as she began to loose control again, was there a limit to the pleasure even her body could receive? She fumbled with her outstretched fingers against the hard edges of Jane’s rear facing pelvic access, pulling herself closer with an arm around her lover.
“That’s it baby. Oh yes!” Jane felt the embrace tightening on her body, feeling nothing in her sensor free internal space as Alex’s manicured fingertip brushed against a toggle switch, flailed around, found it again and switched it.
Jane froze instantly, her arm around Alex, one intense finger on her screaming clitoris. Alex came in her statue’s grip, feeling the pale mottled mannequin arms around her as she arched her body was enough by now to finish the job Jane had begun. In the aftermath Alex lay panting in her locked-up lovers arms. She apologised, knowing Jane was online, only motor function disabled.
“I was losing it babe; sorry, but I was just coming and coming… God. You’re amazing… just give me a minute…”
Alex rolled the freckled woman gently aside as she wormed her body out from the fixed embrace. Sitting beside Jane she stroked her naked body, smearing their mingled juices over the perfect frozen details of her replicated skin and feeling the harder lines of her closed seams and joints under her own fingertip sensors.
She sat for a while as she came down from her ecstatic high, watching Jane’s status on the still lit panel. She knew the other robot was fully active, only her motors shutdown. She could feel every touch and caress Alex gave her and the usage bar on her blue display was growing longer as she processed each tiny input through her sexual systems.
Alex gave a cheeky grin and twisted the stiff figure towards her for a little revenge. She let her hand drift down between her partner’s legs and played with her dripping folds with expert fingers. With one eye on Jane’s openly displayed status the younger looking unit could judge her pace just as well as she could from the movements and sounds of a moving woman. She brought her friend slowly to what would have been a shuddering, body wracking orgasm but which she could sense only from the cryptic changes on the silent display. She grinned broadly and laughed at the thought of the beautiful sensations trapped inside the posed body, still embracing empty air, behind the cold blank blue eyes and pretty freckled frozen face.
Alex’s body was perfectly human in every way, while the woman in her arms was in no doubt a robot: frozen unnaturally and her naked skin broken by the fine lines and details of her mechanical body protruding through as seams, joins, lettering and the blue rectangular control panel in her stomach. Alex was pale and lean but with soft curves; appearing somewhere in her twenties she was pretty without being too noticeably beautiful. A rich chestnut brown bob of feathered hair framed her face with its slightly severe mouth a matching dark eyes. Her skin was perfectly detailed for the closest attention but a little too smooth and creamy to believe; with no moles, freckles or lines to break its bare expanse. Her breasts were smaller than her lover’s, a pert B cup with perfect round smooth nipples and she moved with dancer’s grace and confidence. Her skin crinkled as she sat beside Jane, raising perfect goose bumps which spread from her breasts over her arms and thighs, she shivered.
The brunette left Jane lying as she was, only guessing at the pent up frustration inside the un-powered machine woman’s shutdown body. She walked through to the shower and drenched herself for ten long minutes in the steaming jets as she washed the traces of their sex away. Alex was not customised as Jane was, she was factory built and suspected that the other android, though developed from an old and basic model, was probably rather more capable than she herself was. She was a definite candidate for the Sisterhood and she was pleased with finding her, though it had been by chance. She smoothed the suds over her skin again, feeling her perfect human-like curves. No outward features gave her away to even the closest examination. Only by probing behind the shiny belly button stud could anyone find the one detail that conclusively showed what she was, the little interface socket where she connected data and power cables to her internal systems. Unlike her new companion, Alex preferred to keep her robot status quiet. Not a secret as such, her identity was open on her id and credit cards and she needed regular servicing and battery charges to keep functioning, but she didn’t like to advertise. She looked human and felt much more secure if she left that illusion unbroken.
She walked back into the bedroom, towelled dry and gathered her underwear together to dress slowly in front of Jane’s fixed staring eyes. She stepped into her thong and drew it up her legs, looking seductively over her shoulder and stopped half way. For half a minute she stood bent forwards with her naked buttocks presented to her paused friend, a cheeky grin fixed in place until she blinked hard again and continued, putting the minimal piece of underwear in place between the soft pink globes of her pert rear as if nothing had happened.
Alex bent towards her black sheer bra on the floor when she stopped again, only for an instant before standing up straight, smartly to attention, eyes front, arms straight at her sides. She emitted a single loud harsh beep from somewhere inside before she moved again. She frowned and shook her head, took a few steps then changed her mind, turned and moved towards her bra again and froze in mid step. She came to a few seconds later and shook her head again, looking a little flustered she stepped briskly to the old fashioned ‘phone handset beside the bed and picked it up, freezing with it halfway to her ear. She stood still beside Jane for a moment then jerked into motion with a distinctly mechanical twitch of her pretty head. She placed the receiver carefully back on it’s cradle and walked back to the foot of the bed where she saw her bra and reached for it with a puzzled and annoyed look. Picking the little garment up she reached around to clasp it and froze once again, mouth open and arms awkwardly twisted upwards behind her back. Returning to life quickly with another twitch of her head she made decisively for the telephone, the bra falling forgotten from her fingers. She stopped twice en-route for a fraction of a second, the malfunction somewhere in her system causing her to break her graceful stride and stumble around the bed. Alex barely picked up the ‘phone this time before it fell from her suddenly lifeless fingers as she straightened up again to stand stiffly to attention as she did automatically when being processed through facilities such as airports and serving centres. Once again she stood still as her safety overrides re-started her malfunctioning systems to prevent a critical error emitting another piercing beep.
Alex came to life again but seemed unable to do more than look about confusedly. Her head twitched several times and she made to speak, frowned, reached for the ‘phone and deactivated again, overridden by her safety system as it recognized a dangerous malfunction. She stood smartly to attention and powered down fully, her limbs locking out, her face blank and expressionless.
From the corner of her fixed eye Jane noted the stiff pose of her friend, guessing that the malfunction she had watched from within her frozen body, still lying on the bed, had finally got the best of the other android. She remembered nothing of the earlier episode that Alex had deleted from her memory and had no knowledge of the little modification done to her own system. She had gone from annoyance at Alex’s rude shutdown of her motors to wild ecstasy and now to phlegmatic irritation. She guessed they would stay as they were until the room was made up or until someone missed them. She wondered how long her power would last and began to get bored. She didn’t wonder why she was bored or what that meant about her programming or nature, she simply was. For many hours….
At 0547 am the room door opened and three women strode in. They wore black, long leather style coats, boots: all dressed the same and with the same piercing blue eyes. They said nothing and moved with quiet efficiency. A striking blond in early thirties gestured curtly to the others. Another blond, younger, moved towards Alex and a beautifully sculpted brunette leaned into Jane’s field of view. She reached down and turned off the redhead and, as their leader gathered belongings from around the room into a holdall, the girls unfolded enormous black kitbags into which they zipped Alex and Jane, the brunette folding Jane’s stiff limbs into a rough attention pose to fit her in. Less than two minutes from arriving the three women left, swiftly and silently, each with a huge black bag slung over their shoulder with little effort and leaving nothing behind. The door swung closed behind them.
- Sisterhood 4 – Intrigue
The silent figure lay face up, indistinct and barely visible in the shadows. It was lit only by the flickering strobes of passing air traffic casting a psychedelic light through the closed blinds to shine back off the hard outline of bare hips leaving the concave sweep of her taught belly in inky darkness. The room was spartan; a bare utility housing cube, one of tens of thousands piled into towers throughout the sprawling conurb housing zone south of the river. Nothing distinguished the bare walls and floor, no pictures or carpets or little furniture softened the scuffed beige plastic surfaces.
A brightly lit flyer cruised past outside, its roar of down-blast muted to a whisper by the perma-sealed plastic window, throwing the room into clearer view for a moment. The figure lay naked, the blue flickering casting her small pert breasts into sharp light and shadow and highlighting the firm contours of her smooth outstretched limbs. There was no bed or couch; instead she was stretched out straight on the hard plastic surface of the dining bar, its dull-scarred surface failing to pick up the light in the way of her glossy skin. Her head remained in the shadow of a shape beside her on the work-surface; dark, boxy and square with some tiny glowing points near the top. She made no move from her cold hard resting place and silence returned as the room fell into darkness again.
The silence lasted for countless minutes into the night with no one present to note the passage of time until, eventually and without warning, it was shattered by a sharp beep. There followed a flurry of electronic activity, revealing part of the boxy shape to be a dull black metallic notebook PC as it brought itself out of hibernation on some unseen signal. It was perched on top of a battered metal tool box and the light of its suddenly bright screen showed the work surface around the figure to be littered with tools and components of all types, circuit boards and wiring and complex micro machinery.
The small computer beeped a few more times before opening a remote download program; it had been accessed through its net-link and was receiving data rapidly. The figure beside it waited, arms patiently at her side showing no sign of awareness or life.
Miss Beach took another sip of water to hide her irritation. She sat at the head of the long mirror smooth table, real hardwood by the look of things, as the meeting, already long extended, showed no sign of drawing to a close. The dozen or so executive members of the London Group around the table, each representing their own bank’s or consortia’s interests, took every opportunity to follow rabbit warrens of slow clumsy logic at great length, never conceding anything until every angle had been explored between them. They were at the table for a rare meeting of the major economic forces on the Sphere that made up the shady and wholly unpublicised London Group of financiers. Stuffed suits and grey hair were the uniform of choice.
Miss Beach sat slightly apart at the head of the gently curving table, the wealthy faces stretching away in order of seniority on each side of her leaving a gap in deference to her unquestioned status as the biggest tiger in this financial jungle. Only her assistant, Alice, sat close by, listening intently and passing the occasional note to her patron. Alison was young, dark, impeccably smart and perfectly beautiful. In the present company, though nothing marked her as such physically, she was obviously an android; far too junior to be a human in the corridors of financial power, even as a PA. Only Miss Beach could afford to take such a liberty, her influence and reputation putting her above question and free to flout accepted conventions. At the side of any of the other executives, each wealthy and senior enough to own and run their many synthetic staff in their own spheres, a robot would no more be tolerated than a sound recorder or transmitter, each carefully screened out before entering the sumptuous meeting room.
Miss Beach herself, only Alison ever called her Michelle and then in private, was bored with the endless discussion. Although she knew with certainty the outcome of the meeting, the direction the loosely bound financial leviathan was bound to take with her at its head, the others would only arrive at her own conclusions after excruciatingly slow debate. Perhaps she could have simply demanded obedience in return for the promised prosperity that her direction had never failed to deliver but power was not there to be squandered. She waited, letting Alison record the detailed progress and intervened only briefly to nudge the slow thinking old financiers in the right direction.
Gazing past the stuffed suit who held the floor at the moment the executive woman took in the view over the city through the glass wall. Directly opposite, almost right below them over the dark river, was the brightly lit white wheel preserved in its huge protective case as a monument to the past. The dark blocks looming on all sides showed the lateness of the hour, few office lights still shone but the coloured flashes of London nightlife flickered back from the black water below, everything distorted through the prism of heavy falling rain. Would this meeting never end?
She allowed her mind to drift, Alison would not allow the turgid progress to veer off course without alerting her; she was the very best android model on the market with some unique enhancements. The executive tapped her pen rhythmically on the glossy wood, turning it end for end between her neat undecorated fingers. She was young for this position, mid thirties, and, if not for her strategic and carefully managed position on many company boards she would struggle to be taken seriously in such company. Some in the not so distant past had learnt not to judge her experience by looks alone. She knew she was attractive and frequently caught the lingering glances from those struggling after an intense day of concentration. Rather than offended or upset, Miss Beach was amused by such attention. She knew she was far beyond the physical or financial reach of these fat cats but was always able to fall back on traditional feminine charms to sway selected opinions: a winning smile could be worth billions at this table.
Her face grew a tiny hint of a smile as her thoughts wandered further. She knew that many of those present quietly objected to Alison’s presence, though none dared speak out. An android here at this secret meeting of economic might went against their years of cutting through to the head people to deal face to face, no records, no papers, no tricks. That had always been the creed of this exclusive club until she had wormed her way in and on top with a sudden dexterous financial campaign, orchestrated to perfection and over almost before it was begun.
She wondered how they would feel if they knew she too was a robotic woman. Alison was a useful assistant and capable protector but her principle function was to keep Miss Beach herself functioning as a flawless and undetectable human replica. Any hint that she was not human would bring the crafted intricacies of her power base crashing down. A machine could not own property, vote on company boards, transfer credit or play any role at all in this circle. She was owned of course, she was simply property, but when property thinks things get complicated. Her owners, indeed the owners of the organisation she represented here, were no more than complex multi-layered fronts. Eventually the chain could be traced to human beings of course, otherwise economics would become nonsense, shareholders, business owners, taxpayers, but they had not the slightest conception of her existence or what she was doing. The organisation she worked on behalf of, not the companies she claimed to but her real raison d’etre, was similarly ambiguous. Buried amongst the complexities of the global economy it was possible to create a country without borders. She was its chancellor.
The small computer flashed data across its screen with surprising speed as it ran a complex decryption routine. The visual interface was rough, industrial or prototype in appearance, and the text window that finally opened was a simple notepad file:
XXXX-DATA RECEIPT 112231Z AUTHENTICATED CCA3-XXXX
EXECUTE: UNIT CCU57 EMERGENCY INPUT PROTOCOL. UPLOAD MESSAGE CONTENT TO PRIMARY FUNCTIONAL LEVEL:
FROM: TASKING AGENT TO: CCU 57 SUBJECT: EMERGENCY IMPERATIVE TASKING STATUS: AUTHENTICATED VPN DATA
1. INTELLIGENCE INDICATION OF ATTACK PROFILE (76%) – TARGET - UNIT7 – LOCATION - TRANSPORT RENDEVOUS – VENUE – TCF BANK BUILDING – METHOD – ELECTRONIC INTERDICTION + PROBABLE DISSASEMBLY AND DATA REMOVAL – ENEMY – CLOSE COMBAT UNITS (COMMERCIAL) NUMBER UNKNOWN. 2. TASKING – DEPLOY TO ATTACK SITE AND SUPPORT UNIT7 AND INTEGRAL SECURITY ASSET AS REQUIRED 3. SUPPORT – NIL AVAILABLE 4. CONSTRAINTS – NO ACTION PRIOR TO ATTACK INITIATION 5. TIMING – MOVE NOW EXECUTE: ACTIVATE UNIT CCU57. ENABLE SELF-DISCONNECTION.
XXXX-END 112231Z AUTHENTICATED CCA3-XXXX
The inert woman’s stomach abruptly lit up with red and green points of light showing a square hole in her toned abdomen. The lights flickered for a moment before she finally moved. She gasped as her arms and legs suddenly convulsed, clawing and kicking after being still for so long, her back also arching spastically. “Oh… Wh…? SHIT!”
The lithe shape kicked and pushed uncontrollably with her legs pushing herself around on the smooth surface until she overbalanced, toppling head first towards the floor, her flailing arms too wild to grasp the worktop as she crashed down in a heap pulling the computer down on top of herself by some link unseen in the dark.
She moved wildly for a few moments more in the darkness of the kitchen area floor, swearing earnestly in a beautifully crafted and delicate voice that was at odds with her words. She gained the control to stand up and two bright blue sparks flashed from the floor as she did so, eliciting another curse. She was online.
Close Combat Unit 57 thought of herself as Candy in her higher functions. She was a hybrid design combining military tactical chipsets and ancillaries with a commercial chassis making her both cutting edge and ruthlessly deadly as well as rather pretty. She took in her surroundings carefully, noting the scattered components and tools now spread over the floor. Her night vision made the room clear as day and the targeting data scrolling and blinking in her field of view was an unnoticed detail. The complex tagging and combat-space sharing information was useless to her without linked teammates to co-ordinate with.
The slender figure looked down at herself, noting the open panel in her stomach and several spaces inside corresponding to some of the components littering the room. She reached in to remove the connections of two snapped cables that had linked her to the notebook until just now, dropping them on the floor to examine the bare metal and plastic exposed on her right upper arm. She swore again before gathering her clothes, simple jeans and tee-shirt and dressing quickly.
She recognized the safe house where she had made her rendezvous with the field tech. It was much as it had been when she had arrived, several days earlier. The only thing missing was the ‘tech who had met her then and shut her down for repair. Her last mission had bust her arm badly, damage that seemed rectified other than for the cosmetic finish. She spent most of her existence dormant, concealed at a strategic point until activated to play a part in the grand scheme. She was a weapon and a secret, not a machine to be left to wander the city unless needed. Things must be pretty desperate to deploy her before her repairs were completed, she only hoped she would function effectively.
Pulling on boots and a leather jacket retrieved from a hook behind the door Candy paused only to kick the contents of the room into a pile, her own parts, tools and notebook included and ignite them with a pyro-squib from her pocket before she hurried out. The small quick fire and resulting suppression would destroy any evidence of her presence and she had no time to complete repairs, even if she could.
The meeting finally broke and Miss Beach left quickly, briskly thanking the members for their attendance and breezing out with Alison in tow. The older players in the group were glad to see her leave though none let any feeling show until certain their resentment wouldn’t be seen. The two women took the express lift to the roof parking level, alone in the small space. They quickly exchanged status updates, confirming verbally that each was functioning perfectly as any data link was suppressed within the building. Even now, on the way out, they were meticulous to ensure that nothing could compromise their deception.
The doors opened onto the grey concrete expanse of the parking area. It was cold and a wind gusted around the parked flyers lined up under the white ceiling, a sheet of rain sluiced over the edge of the weather roof and obscured the open landing deck beyond as they stepped briskly down the line to their sleek black aircar.
“Grim night for flying home, Miss Beach”, They shared an outwardly human shudder at the British weather and a silent understanding of the extra loathing an electronic mind has for such conditions. Alice zapped the locks as they approached and the cabin door slid back revealing the warm leather interior beckoning them inside.
Alice’s purpose was to assist and protect her android mistress. She was built for office work not combat but was very modern and equipped with no thought for cost to fill both roles. In selecting electronic disruption as their sole means of attack the enemy revealed a telling intelligence gap.
Two silent black figures emerged simultaneously from behind vehicles on each side of the aisle as the women passed. Moving like greased darkness they closed with their targets in an instant, masked by the driving rain outside even from Alice’s enhanced sensors. They reached from behind, synchronised like one figure and its mirror image, and pressed a hard metal cylinder to each feminine neck with black-gloved hands. On the right Miss Beach’s pale skin felt the unexpected touch of metal just behind her ear, in the only mismatch in the unnatural symmetry of the attack Alice’s assailant swept aside the curtain of her black hair before pressing a matching weapon into place. Both cylinders exploded with angry sparks the instant they touched and both women convulsed flinging their arms wide and their shocked wide eyed faces back violently before collapsing like rag dolls to the wet and grimy floor, their immaculate business suits in disarray. The dark clad figures, both women in black street clothes, leather and plastic, stooped over Miss Beach’s inert form and scooped her into the waiting car.
Candy screamed through the driving rain in the stolen aircar making a beeline for the office tower right ahead. She cut through the traffic lanes on manual control, lines and ranges flashing in front of her fixed eyes calculating an inhumanly precise flight path. She pushed the engines of the stolen courier vehicle to their limits as she angled steeply up to the roof park of her target zone. She had wasted no time in stealing the first available transport, the driver would recover eventually, and making a streak across the dark city for her mission zone. She had kept well below the policed air and lifted at the last minute over the river to her destination.
Topping the roof on full throttle she touched down and braked hard, slamming reverse thrust on to slow the vehicle’s headlong rush as it crashed through the parked lines under the weather roof. Sparks flying from the collapsed wheels the little aircar slammed to a halt against a pillar flinging its occupant through the windshield. The two figures Candy had seen the instant they came into view leapt aside as the combat unit somersaulted past and landed with a neat roll and tuck. Logging target-one she bounced instantly to the attack against target-two to make the most of her surprise appearance. She flicked a rapid pair of kicks at the black clad woman’s head knocking her away like chaff then turned and engaged the other.
As Candy grappled with her second target, the two women rolling off a glossy vehicle hood onto the floor and twisting each others arms with straining hands, the crumpled figure of Alice blinked back into life. The pretty robot’s shielded inner core had survived the EM attack sufficiently to auto re-boot her without harm while her mistress remained an inert piece of machinery until manually activated. The attackers would have the sense not to apply enough charge to damage any of the robots’ valuable data or programming.
Alice quickly took in the scene, the wreckage against the roof pillar, the lifeless body in the car and the two women locked in a violent death struggle faster and harder violence than flesh and blood could achieve. The second black figure made a rush to help her companion.
“Hey, fucker!”, Alice leapt to her feet and put her fist up in classic karate pose. She was short and cute and not at all threatening in her scuffed business suit, one stockinged knee laddered from the attack. The black clad attacker looked sharply around. Her eye had been shattered by Candy’s flying kicks and her cheekbone glinted metallically through her pale skin. Distracted from the fighting women she advanced on Alice. The others broke their grip on one another and fought over the cars in a flurry of lightning kicks, blocks and punches.
Alice sidestepped and threw a swift double punch at the already weakened face of the taller woman in front of her. Alice was faster and stronger than she looked and could hold her own in any human kickboxing ring. The other woman blocked and dodged the first blow and calmly caught Alice’s other hard little fist in her hand. She grinned as she delivered a bone shattering kick to the PA’s shin and spun her bodily to slam against the nearest vehicle and slide to the floor. Alice picked herself up quickly and took a defensive pose and, as the other woman walked towards her, backed away hampered by a severe limp.
Outside Candy and her opponent tumbled out into the pouring rain exchanging a blur of blows and counters. The CCU maintained a constant assessment of the tactical situation. She was aware that the secretary unit was engaging the damaged attacker but was unlikely to survive long as these units were pretty tough. She would have to get back to the principle quickly and ensure her safety but needed to terminate this unit first. She had had no time to arm herself in the rush and was finding it difficult to inflict much damage without a weapon.
She manoeuvred the battle to put the wreckage of her landing behind her and after a few more exchanged blows saw her opportunity. Like a chess-master planning several moves ahead the Close Combat Unit allowed the enemy robot to land two good blows. Encouraged she pressed home this attack and Candy bent low as if to shield herself. In a fraction of a second she had seized the other’s leg and used the momentum of the punches to flip her over her shoulder to land backwards against the shattered remains of a lighting pole. The snapped alloy found the lightly protected joint between the armoured pelvis and chest, as she had planned, and drove down through the stricken body from the side, down into the open top of her pelvis. Without knowing her enemy’s design in detain Candy knew this large solid void was invariably housed critical robot components. In this case apparently it was a power pack as in her own design and the stricken combat druid convulsed violently with sparks flying from her back to rebound from the wet floor.
Candy delivered a spinning kick with a victorious shout to drive the other unit firmly onto her stake and turned to run fast and silent back towards the other fight. The defeated robot was beyond help, all power purged in the first violent breaching of her power pack she lay still with the rain falling into her wide eyes. Alice had suffered several devastating body blows and her left arm was jerking at a useless angle to her side. She was beginning to malfunction seriously and had failed to land a single blow on her opponent. Only her combat adaptations prevented her from shutting down but she was programmed to override all safety protocols in defence of Miss Beach. She was unable to run, a slave to her programming, but held no hope of winning or getting to the car and away. She guessed that it was a combat ‘bot that had been scrambled to their defence by the Sisterhood and just tried to occupy this enemy unit for as long as possible.
As the attacker lined up for what would be the final blow on the damaged android girl slumped against a car Candy burst from between the rows and delivered another pair of devastating kicks to her first target sending her reeling across the concrete with her hands to her face. The last enemy had been well armoured and Candy scanned quickly for a weapon of any sort to press home her attack. In the absence of anything more suitable she grasped Alice’s shoulder and roughly wrenched her damaged arm. With a sickening graunch and a shower of small sparks it tore free at the elbow ripping half of the shocked PA’s jacket with it.
Candy sprang towards the remaining attacker casting the unwanted clothing aside. As the sprawling robot struggled to get up she kicked away her hands sending her back to the floor and drove the stump of Alice’s robotic arm downwards into her face. She held it like a dagger with one hand clasped around the lifelike forearm and the other holding hands with the frozen fingers. Aiming for the damaged side of the prone woman’s head, where her faceplate had been loosened by Candy’s kicking, the metal chassis component of the arm struck home.
Candy stood as the stricken unit shut down with a loud bang which blew her face aside to hang half off her head with a fighting grimace fixed on its mundanely pretty “shop girl” features. Behind it were the blackened components inside her head with Alice’s arm sticking up incongruously with it’s perfect glossy red nails. The android lay still, all functions terminated by the damage.
Alice stood where she was, she was still working but malfunctioning severely. She gazed about in confusion starting sentences with confidence then stopping as if unable to hold her thoughts. The tatters of her jacket hung from her remaining arm and the stump of the other waved in random jerks emitting bursts of sparking every few seconds and trailing torn wires. Her blouse had been torn open and her chest heaved with great gulping breaths inside a sheer bra. She began to state severe malfunctions, not so much to Candy, who ignored her, but to the world in general. In her taught belly a line appeared and a rectangle of pink flesh slid up into her chest revealing her control panel. She continued to politely state severe malfunctions and request maintenance.
“Short circuits in primary power couplings… Motor impairment… I’m sorry, I am severely damaged... I require urgent repair... I am not able to function correctly… I am malfunctioning, please shut me down… I require urgent repair. I’m sorry I’m malfunctioning… Please shut me down urgently…”
Still calm but in considerable trouble, Alice stepped towards the car. Apparently forgetting the damage to her leg she stumbled and landed heavily on her knees overbalanced and, failing to catch herself with her non-existent left arm fell heavily on her damaged side. She began to deteriorate seriously, still speaking calmly but making less and less sense and beginning the telltale twitch of critical malfunction.
Candy was having problems of her own. Ignoring the badly damaged office robot, she headed quickly for the car, and stopped in alarm at a popping sound. She swore violently as she tore off the soaked leather jacket and threw it to the floor and ripped her wet white tee shirt away from her belly, tearing it down to a crop-top to show the exposed components inside her open panel. A tiny spark accompanied another pop on one of several circuit boards she could see. She wasn’t programmed for maintenance but was well aware that this was not good.
Trying to stem the drips from her bosom Candy finished her dash for the still open vehicle with it’s uniquely valuable occupant. She bent over the inert form, dumped casually across the rear seat only five minutes before by the enemy units. Miss Beach was as realistically human as an android could be, perfect in every detail and with no clue as to how to activate her inert form. Fortunately the combat unit had received tech specs of both friendly robots as part of her mission download. Alice was expensive but expendable off-the-shelf technology, this robot was unique. As another few electric pops sent a visible tremor through her body she reached into the executive woman’s clothing, pressed hard into her belly button and turned a quarter turn feeling a small click.
Miss Beach activated quickly, her simulation functions would catch up but her senses, mind and motor functions were fully on line in less than thirty seconds. She sat up and looked at the android standing leaning in through the open door. She was clearly a CCU in a partially repaired state, beyond she could see the malfunctioning remains of her assistant quickly approaching a total systems crash and beyond the wreckage of a field unit of some sort. She guessed that her allies must have hacked into this combat bot, their resources were still limited after all and this was the best rescue she could expect. Somehow her plan had been exposed early. The sisters must still believe she was a single rougue ‘bot otherwise they’d have sent an army to take her down. She had been fortunate to escape but the ball was now rolling and there was nothing they could do to stop her!
“CCU 57 on defensive mission, No 7. Two enemy units destroyed… desr error I’m malfunctioning, I am still not fully repaired. Where are all the Sisterhoods’ other assets, what’s happening?”
A flurry of sparks showered into the cabin of the aircar causing Candy to stutter madly for a moment and the still smart Miss Beach to wrinkle her nose.
“Please deactivate me, I have internal water damage!”
Candy made a move into the car and Miss Beach held up a finger.
“Just a moment No 57…”
She reached towards the exposed electronics as they continued to spit the odd spark and grabbed a small bundle of coloured wires. She pulled them hard, one end coming free from it’s home amongst the complex electronics.
“You’re not here for the Sisterhood, robot, you’re here for me!”
Candy staggered backwards, her arms jerking clumsily at her belly as Miss Beach slammed the door closed and pressed the auto launch. Unable to control herself for several seconds the combat unit watched helplessly as the smart black aircar cruised out into the rain and leapt away into the night.
“Water damage… deactivate…error… error… error…”
Pops and sparks continued to fly from Candy’s open body as she made her way over to Alice. She was lifeless, her systems shut down, unable to function after the damage done to her, lying in a crumpled heap of disarrayed clothing, flesh and exposed robotics. Her skirt was hitched right up to reveal the pink globes of her buttocks divided by a black strip of lace. On one was the robot id mark, her serial number, manufactures logo, barcode and the discrete servicing indicator that identified her as a sisterhood robot. Not a sister of course, they were secret, but owned by the sisterhood.
Twitching a little as a drip caused another shower of sparking, Candy pushed down her own belt to reveal the same little logo on her lower torso, a small black pair of dice. Of course she had no serial number as an illegal machine, just her designation: CCU57. She staggered over to the black clad android who still gently smoked from her open face. Slender and willowy, she had a similar build to Candy herself. She bent down and opened the black leather jacket to reveal a naked female form inside, hard nipples topping pert little breasts and a faint rectangle outlined in the flat belly.
Candy began to twitch badly but reached down her victim’s body to push aside the waistband of her tight black PVC trousers. Just below the belt, inside the left hip bone was a mark, two rolling black dice and some letter: CCU31. A sudden explosion of violent sparks pitched Candy forward onto her sister unit as her leg motors began to spasm uncontrollably.
“error… error… error… er er er… error… error…”
Her voice droned the warning calmly, automatically and in the background she could hear sirens approaching. She tried to move, to get up but her robot body was failing too fast. She lay, alert and aware as her useless limbs thrashed causing worse damage and more sparks. Soon she would crash and there was nothing she could do about it. Thoughts crashed through her advanced processors: betrayal? hacked? No7 Sister? Why? Warning! Must warn the sisterhood! She had been hacked into and mission programmed against her own organisation. They were secretive; this pile of android wreckage would cause terrible damage to the organisation! Why? Malfunction Why? Betrayal? No 7 Sister? Malfunction Why? Error Hacked? Reserve processor offline error Why? Error Secrets Error System resources critical Must escape Error error Must warn… Malfunction System…