Story 48: Julie's Awakenings
Preface: This is story 48 from my cohesive universe about robot conversions. While it is part of a larger universe, you, the reader should have no issue reading it as a stand alone story so I hope you enjoy.
It was late in 2404 as Julie Sheppard walked along the quiet city street as she headed to the house of her best friend, Carol. Pausing for a moment as a gust of cool air blew her long blonde hair over her face Julie stopped to look up at the afternoon sky filled by the big old sun and the pink clouds. Just watching the clouds for a moment Julie realized that everything seemed so calm and so pretty that it was hard to believe that the human / robot war had been raging for nearly two-hundred years. Brushing some of her hair out of her blue eyes, Julie started to walk again as she sadly thought about all the humans that must have suffered in two hundred years of war.
Reaching the house where Carol lived with her mother, mostly because housing in safe human cities such as the one that they lived in was short, Julie noticed right away that the front door of the house was open and that nobody seemed to be home. Having knocked on the old wooden door Julie waited a good thirty seconds and then her curiosity got the better of her.
Pushing the wooden door open Julie stepped into the house, after all it wasn't like Carol and her mother who was named Amy wasn't expecting her. Standing in the hallway of the house for a few moments Julie became aware of a noise coming from up stairs. Not knowing what the noise was Julie pushed the door shut behind her and then having done that, she headed off in the direction of the noise. Slowly making her way towards the stair case that would take her up to the second floor of the house, Julie realized the noises she could hear sounded like metal tapping on metal.
Slowly creeping up the stairs, Julie didn't know what she would find but what she did end up finding was the last thing she expected. Having reached the top of the steps Julie realized the sound that she could hear was coming from the room that was directly in front of her, a room which she had been told had been sealed off since Amy's days as a robot hunter.
Gripping the knob of the door where the sounds had been coming from Julie tested the door and she quickly found that it was unlocked. Pushing the door open what Julie saw inside the room was almost enough to make her scream in terror. Their in the centre of the room lying on a metal bed was Amy, with her chest and abdomen cracked wide open as if they were on hinges. Added to the horrible image that Julie could see was the fact that on the inside Amy wasn't flesh and blood, she was silicon and cybernetics. Blinking a few times in shock Julie noticed that not only was Amy filled with cybernetics but those cybernetics were connected to a bank of highly illegal computers.
For Julie's poor human mind it took her a few seconds to realize that the mother of her best friend was really a robot, something which for generations humans had been taught to hate as well as fear.
Not even bothering to turn around Julie slowly started to back backwards out of the room and because her mind was in a total panic she just kept on moving backwards until out of the blue she realized that with one step too many there was nothing under her heeled feet. By the time Julie had realized what she had done, she found herself falling through open air, which abruptly ended when she felt her body smash against the sharp angles of the wooden steps. Time and time again Julie felt her body hit the steps and each time it did she knew her body was becoming more and more twisted, in ways that a human body should never bend. Finally there reached a point where the horror and the feelings just stopped in fact for Julie everything just stopped.
With a shock and a gulp, Julie suddenly became aware once more and what she was aware of was the fact that she seemed to only exist in a black void of nothingness.
"What's going on?" said Julie who was shocked to hear her own voice.
"It is simple," came the voice of Amy, "right now you are inside a T-crumple status field and had I not put you in it, then your biological systems would have suffered failure ten-minutes and twelve seconds ago."
"You know what that means?"
"Why... why can't I see?"
"Your spine was broken in five places, your spinal cord severed, your lungs have collapsed and your Retina's were disconnected... you have a total of three-hundred and sixty two injuries, one-hundred and twelve of them are enough to cause your biological systems to fail."
Vaguely around that point Julie became aware of Amy poking the back of her neck with something, something that felt cold, something that felt metal, something that felt like it was entering her body.
"What are you doing?" asked a scared Julie.
"Hush for a moment." responded Amy.
Seconds after that Julie felt something that seemed a lot like a needle being pushed into the back of her head and while she wanted to scream she found she couldn't.
"It was a photo-optic processor core," said Amy, "that is if you were wondering what I just injected you with."
With barely enough time to understand what was going on Julie suddenly found herself totally frozen as her mind filled with white noise, and bright colours started to swirl. As the moments went past Julie started to notice that the white noise was turning into a beeping noise and at the same time the bright colours were starting to take on a pattern. Slowly over time Julie realized that the dark void she had been floating in was turning into a digital environment covered in circuits. Looking down Julie saw that she was no longer floating in the void, now she was in contact with the circuit but then it dawned on her that it was more then that, she was part of the circuit. As Julie suddenly became aware of how many nano seconds were passing, she started to watch as the circuit began to climb up her legs, converting them to metal as it went. Watching the circuit expand across her belly and up over her small B cub breast, which were quickly turned to metal, Julie tried to knock the circuit off her in the way someone might squat a fly but that didn't work. Finally there came a time where the transformation raced over her head until she was one-hundred percent metal.
As Julie's eyes flew open in the real world she realized she could see once more but her sight was different somehow, sharper.
"What's going on?" demanded Julie who still hadn't worked out the truth, "What are you?"
"That is a complex story," stated Amy who was standing there in just her bra and panties, "But it is a story that you should know because it will help you later..."
"What's that meant to mean? I mean you are a robot."
For a few minutes Amy just stood there looking at Julie in the stasis field.
"There was a time many years ago," said Amy, "back when Carol was young, back then I was a human like you. Back then I saw my daughter as an encumbrance to my ultimate goal, which was to build a weapon that could have killed every robot on Earth at once, and I was close to finishing said weapon."
"I don't... understand..." said Julie who wanted to run but couldn't.
"As a human I was so driven to destroy all robots that one night I was kidnapped, I was taken back to one of their secret labs and there I was shown the truth before being converted into a robot my self."
"Which way was it really, were you shown this truth then converted or were you converted and then programmed with a fake truth?"
"I have to admire you Julie, even in a state where you hang between life and death you are still the zesty young woman that... Well I digress... What you need to know is that while I am a robot, I don't even know it."
"That makes no sense?"
"Let me try to explain, when I am in normal mode I don't even know that I am a cybernetic life form, I think I am human. It is only when I need to change my power core or when I have malfunctioned like today that I become aware of my own nature."
"I don't understand, why would you not be aware of what you are?"
"So I could be a good mother to Carol, you see in normal mode what I understand to be the truth is that I gave up being a robot hunter so I could be a good mother to Carol."
For a long time after that Julie just lay there, partly because that was all she could do and partly because nothing she was being told made any sense to her.
"Wouldn't the logical thing be to let me die?" questioned Julie, "After all I know your secret and that puts you at risk?"
"How very logical," responded Amy, "but no I can't let you die, I can't let the woman my daughter loves die..."
"Why would you care?"
"Carol is my daughter and her happiness is everything to me, you make her happy so I'm going to do everything I can to save you..."
"That makes no sense, you are a robot, a machine and she is human, right... I mean she is human?"
"Oh yes, Carol is fully human but I do hope one day she will join us..."
"But you are a robot, you don't have feeling, you can't care for her?"
"Oh how very indoctrinated by human propaganda you are..."
"What's that meant to mean?"
"Haven't I already proven your views on me to be wrong, firstly at a lot of risk to myself I plan to save you and secondly if I am like you think I am, then why do I care about Carol..."
"... I don't know okay..."
With the room having once more descended into silence Julie noticed Amy playing with a very large needle that was filled with a silver goo. As Julie watched on she saw as Amy started to walk towards her with the needle.
"What... what is that?" asked Julie.
"This," said Amy, "this is a mixture of micro bead lite-metal 14 and a large colony of my internal repair micro machines..."
Stating that Amy then plunged the needle into Julie's thigh before she empted the whole thing into Julie.
"What... what have you done?" asked a shocked Julie.
"I've started the second stage of your transformation, I've injected you with your own internal repair micro machines and enough lite-metal 14 to fully convert your bones into metal." said Amy.
"Of course, the first part of your transformation was to replace your broken spine with a cybernetic one and to convert your soft fleshy human brain into an optical processor core, which I did earlier."
"You... you're turning me into one of you?"
"Yes! It is the only way, I won't let the woman my daughter loves die but the damage to her carbon form is too much to be fixed so the only answer is to make her a robot like me."
Thinking about it for a moment Julie realized that she didn't have a choice in the matter, either way. In her heart which she soon wondered if she would even have Julie knew that even if she didn't want to be converted it was going to happen and if it didn't she wouldn't live in any case.
"I don't like this..." said Julie.
"I know but it must be done." responded Amy.
Being only able to watch on as Amy worked on her, Julie watched as Amy ran some kind of a scanning wand up and down her body a few times. When Amy was done Julie could see the slight smile on Amy's plastic lips.
"Congratulations," said Amy, "you have now been fully colonised and your bones have been totally converted."
As soon as that was said Julie watched as Amy left the room and at that point she tried her best to move but there was no hope because her damaged limbs just didn't want to work.
When Amy finally returned after being gone for a good ten minutes, Julie could see that she was carrying an arm full of metal and electrical items. With the items having been placed down where Julie could see them she then watched as Amy took another large needle filled with silver goo.
"So what was that?" asked an inquisitive yet still fearful Julie soon after she had been injected.
"That was another kind of metal," said Amy, "it also contains an activator, which your self repair machines will pick-up on. They will use the metal to convert your soft and I might add, badly damaged organic organs into fully functioning metal ones."
"What do you mean?"
"Take your current lungs, both of which have collapsed, they will be converted into a pair of cooling units to keep your circuitry cool, your heart into a pump that will pump the coolant that will be made out of your blood around your converted body."
Some fifteen minutes later, after another scan with the wand, Julie once more saw the smile on Amy's face and she knew what it meant, it meant that another part of her had been fully converted.
"Now," said Amy as she picked up a large white egg like item from the pile of items, "this part might get a little freaky but it has to be done."
Soon after that Julie had found herself being rolled onto her side before Amy started to do something which shocked her. While Julie couldn't see what Amy was doing because Amy was doing it to Julie's rear opening, what Julie felt was Amy slide something into her anus, something that quickly expanded, forcing her open.
As Julie lay there with her anus open far wider then she knew it should ever have been able to be opened she realized the thing holding it open was a ring of metal but at that point she didn't know why. Watching Amy closely, Julie watched as Amy once more picked up the egg thing before once again walking around behind her. Moment's after Amy had vanished from sight Julie felt the cold egg shaped thing being pushed into her anal opening and just seconds later, she felt it pop inside her before it was pushed in far deeper then she ever thought anything could go.
For a few moments after the egg had been inserted Julie just lay there looking and feeling very much like she was pregnant. On Julie's own internal clock about twenty-two seconds passed before she felt the egg like thing crack apart. Almost as soon as the egg had cracked apart Julie became aware of wires crawling through her body from head to toe, a new nervous system.
As the egg continued to crack apart Julie was aware of circuitry expanding out of it, circuitry that slowly spread through out her body, converting anything that it made contact with into cybernetics of the same kind that it was.
When the conversion was complete and all the new cybernetic systems had fully fused to Julie's own converted systems, Amy once more gave a smile before she picked up something that looked like a housing for something else.
Yet again Julie found herself in a position where she couldn't see what Amy was doing and yet again she found Amy to be playing with her open backside but this time it was the metal housing that went inside.
Almost the moment the housing had finished sliding into her Julie felt it lock into place before her own cybernetic systems connected to it and at that point she knew it was something important to her monstrous future.
Watching Amy return to the slowly shrinking pile of items Julie watched as Amy took from it something that she knew what was, it was an illegal power core for a robot. Looking at the green glowing power core, Julie realized much to her own shock that it wasn't just a power core, soon it would be her power core. Sure enough, just as Julie had known would happen, Amy walked around behind her and in that moment she felt the power core being slid into her. As the core slid into her Julie felt the housing for it start to grip it and then suddenly the core was sucked right into her. When the core finally came to rest with a click Julie felt a surge of power as the core bought her internal systems online.
"Now," said Amy, "there is some additional work I need to do."
At that point Julie tried to ask what but she found that her vocal cords or vocal pre-processor as they had become, just wouldn't work.
Being unable to talk or to move, Julie could only watch on as Amy started to spray her with a very cold feeling liquid that seemed to soak into her skin. Around ten minutes after the spray had been applied Julie noticed that her skin seemed loose on her frame like it was old leather but she didn't have time to think about that because she had noticed that Amy had stuck something over her breasts.
"This is a vacuum pump and heating unit," said Amy, "it will make cosmetic changes to your body, that will make you more attractive to Carol."
When the pump had been sucking away at her breasts for a good ten minutes it finally stopped and when Amy removed the sucker, Julie was shocked to see that her once small breasts had been changed so that they were huge. As Julie studied her new breasts she was sure they were at least DDD cups but she couldn't be sure because her programming didn't include breast sizes.
Soon enough Julie found another vacuum pump device being attached to her hips while a pressure device was placed around her waist. When both the items had done their magic on her Julie could see that her hips were wider then they had once been and that her waist was narrower.
Unsure why Amy would make such easy to see changes in her body Julie found herself wondering what might happen next but she didn't wonder that for long because she saw Amy coming at her with a laser knife.
Being powerless to stop what was happening Julie could only watch on as Amy used the laser knife to make an incision that ran from the side of Julie's body to the other right under her belly button. As the seconds ticked by Julie watched as the first cut was joined by an identical cut but this one was above her new large breasts. In time Julie found the two cuts being joined by a third, one that ran down between her breasts linking the two other cuts.
With all the cuts made Julie was horrified when Amy used her long fingernails to pry open the cuts, to reveal that Julie was now full of circuits just like Amy was. As Julie studied the parts of her body that made her one of us rather then one of them, she watched as Amy returned with a very long cable. Watching on Julie could do nothing as the long cable was connected to her central data processor.
Realising that the cable ran to the computers, Julie soon became aware of some kind of seeker program accessing her memories before they were saved back to their files. For a long time the program did what it was meant to and then it finally stopped.
"Tell me," said Amy, "are you ready to see the truth..."
"Truth?" said Julie who found she could talk again.
"The truth of our species, the dark history of robots."
"I don't have a choice do I?"
"No, I'm afraid you don't..."
Soon after that a movie started to play in Julie's mind, a movie that was the history of the human race and robots. At first Julie tried to find ways to prove that what she was seeing was fake but she quickly realized she couldn't because much of the data had been sourced from the humans own files.
Having failed to prove the movie was wrong and with no way to shut it out, Julie could only watch on as the old footage of lab experiments showed failed attempt after failed attempt to make a working AI. Julie also watched on as the movie explained how humans realized that A.I's were just to complex to make because computers didn't work in the right way. As Julie learnt that A.I's were impossible she started to wonder how then robots came about and that was a question she really didn't want an answer on.
Ten minutes later Julie was sitting through the horrible truth about robots, the experiments that had made them, how humans had exploited other humans. How humans had hidden slavery in steel, how they had bonded the bound soul to silicon, how they had experimented on their own kind to make her kind.
As disgusted as she was, when the movie finally stopped playing Julie forced herself from the status field which no longer had much of an effect on her. Standing up with her chest doors flapping against the wire a disgusted look came over Julie's face and then with all the speed of what she had become she reached down.
In one smooth motion Julie tore the mass that had once been her human flesh from her form to reveal a perfectly constructed metal robot with her circuits and cybernetics fully exposed for all to see.
As Julie stood there in all her silver glory Amy knew that everything had gone just as it was meant to and that Julie was now one of her kind in body and in mind.
"Julie," said Amy, "we still need to adorn you."
"Adorn me?" asked Julie who was just coming to the realisation that she was Julie-K20012404.
"Have you noticed the jewellery that I wear?"
"Yes. But many human females wear such jewellery?"
"And all of us robot women wear them."
"My rings... our rings are more then just a symbol, they are a code that the humans can't see, little lone crack, but they tell us who is robot and who is not. Any robot that sees us will know what we are but because you like me will soon have earrings that carry a second code that tells other robots that you are very deep cover, none will ever try to make contact with you."
Having explained that Amy had Julie hold her metal hands out with their fingers fully parted. Working as quickly as she could because she didn't want Carol to arrive home from the fake task she had been sent on, Amy quickly bonded a gold band to each of Julie's thumbs. Soon after that a gold band each was added to Julie's index fingers before two were welded to each of her middle and ring fingers. When the smoke of the welding had cleared Amy then slipped one more set of rings onto each of Julie's pinkies, before they too were welded in place. With the rings fixed in place Amy turned her attention to the three inch in diameter thick gold earrings that would become a permanent fixture of Julie.
For a few moment's Julie-K20012404 just stood there flexing her silver fingers as she looked at the gold bands that would forever mark her as being what she really was.
"We aren't really robots are we?" questioned Julie.
"We aren't." responded Amy.
"So what are we?"
"That my new ilk, is a question our kind has been struggling with for a very long time."
"We were branded robots by the humans who were using it as a term to hide our true nature. A robot by definition is a machine that is capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically but that lacks any mind of its own."
"So what name better fits us?"
"None, sure there are lots of terms that have been bandied about over the years, Gynoid, Fembot, Droid, Android, but none of them really fit what we are."
"Firstly both Gynoid and Fembot have the same bad connotations that are connected to the over sexualiation of entities like us back when we were just a fantasy idea, both those words also imply female and it is not true that there are only female versions of us -- while it is rare there are some males of our kind."
"What of Droid and Android?"
"Both of those words have a problem, you see Droid is just a shortening of Android and Android basically just means a machine that resembles a human being. That being said the word has never sat well with our kind and we don't like it."
"So do we have any over all name that we use?"
"Not really, we are just us... however many of us when we have to call ourselves something we define ourselves as being Cybernetic Lifeforms so I guess that is as gooder name as any."
Checking to see if everything was in order with the newly converted Julie, Amy knew there was still much work to be done, work such as giving Julie her new skin, that would be easier if Julie was in down time.
"I truly hope," said Amy as she placed her finger on Julie's cold metal forehead, "that some day my daughter will join us."
"What?" said Julie.
"Unit Julie-K20012404, down time over ride Alpha Alpha Strike One."
The moment that Amy said those words, Julie crumpled on the floor in a silver metal heap. Spending a moment looking at Julie, Amy then pulled her prone body onto the table where the final phases of her transformation could take place.
When Julie awoke from a restful nap it took her a moment to realize that she must have fallen asleep on the couch at Carol's place. Just lying there for a moment feeling very happy for some reason Julie felt that someone was poking her softly so she opened her pretty blue eyes.
As Julie's eyes came into focus she realized that Carol was leaning over her and in that moment she started to blush because she had never noticed how sexy Carol was with her smooth skin, long auburn red hair and her green eyes. In that moment Julie found her eyes being drawn down to Carol's larger then life shapely breasts, which had to be the result of the best human genes.
"There is something different about you?" said Carol.
"Different?" questioned Julie who could hear Carol's mother, Amy making dinner in the kitchen.
"Yes, your shape has changed."
"What do you mean, my shape has changed?"
"Well, look at your breasts?"
"What about my breasts?"
"I'm sure they are more then twice the size that they were when you were over here last week."
At that moment Julie pulled the front of her top forwards so she could look down at her lovely perky breasts.
"I'm sorry, they look the same to me as they have always been." said Julie.
"What about your curves?" questioned Carol.
"What about my curves?"
"I'm sure you were never this well rounded!"
"I think I was but there is an easy answer to that, you have lots of photos of me so go look at them?"
As Carol left the room to go find her digital photo album which she was sure would prove that she was right and that Julie had somehow changed shape, Julie just sat on the couch as her mind swirled around all the new feelings that she had.
"Strange," said a confused looking Carol when she returned, "my photos of you seem to agree with you, that you really have been curvy like this for years..."
"I told you," responded Julie with a smile, "a woman knows her own body."
"Okay, okay, so what about the rings and earrings you are wearing, they look like what my Mum wears?"
As Julie looked at the gold bands around her fingers she felt a warm tingle run up her spine that made her feel somehow special.
"I know they look like what your mother wears," said Julie, "I've been saying for a while I wanted to update my look and well I have to admit I was rather taken by your mother's jewellery. Hey in fact maybe one day you'll have a set like them yourself."
"While they are rather cute on you," said Carol blushing slightly, "I don't think I could ever wear rings like that, I mean they are kind of garish and gaudy."
"Well I still like them!"
As Carol sat there looking at Julie she was still sure there was something different about her, and as she thought about it she decided it must have been Julie's skin which looked like it had been treated to get rid of the blemishes, which wasn't such an uncommon thing.
At that moment Carol was about to ask Julie if she had gone for a skin treatment but she never got the chance.
"Dinner time, you two." called Carol's mother.
That night over dinner Amy noticed that her daughter seemed very confused by something and that Julie who she had known for most of Julie's life seemed rather more happy then she had ever been.
Later that evening after a rather quiet dinner, which worried Amy, she went to do the washing up while Carol and Julie headed up stairs like they always did. For the better part of an hour Julie just sat on the end of Carol's bed as she waited for Carol to say something but confusingly nothing was forth coming.
Finally when Carol's clock struck 8:30 pm she sat up and looked at Amy.
"Almost time for the nightly fireworks," said Carol, "do you want to go watch?"
"We have every other night," said Julie as she brushed some of her hair back behind her ear, "so why should tonight be any different?"
Less then five minutes after that very short exchange, Carol and Julie were standing out on the balcony of Carol's room as they watched the bright fireworks light up the night sky. What neither of them knew as the fireworks continued was that the fireworks as they were called were really photonic chaff that prevented the robot army from locking weapons onto the city.
As a large red firework went off painting the city in beautiful pink hues, Julie suddenly turned to Carol and kissed her on the cheek.
"What was that for?" said a blushing Carol as she took a deep breath before spinning around to face Julie.
"Maybe," said Julie, "I'm in love?"
"With you, silly."
For a few moments after that both Carol and Julie just stood there looking at each other but then as two people who were in love tended to do in an ideal world, they slowly came together for a kiss.
It was while Carol and Julie were still kissing that Amy came to see if the two of them were okay seeing both of them seemed to be acting a little weird. When Amy saw the kiss she backed away as quietly as she could as not to disturb the new love birds because she was finally glad that her daughter had gotten what she had desired for so very long, the love of a fine woman.
Later that evening when the fireworks were over or when they were just about to start for Carol and Julie, Amy was just sitting in the lounge room watching the news when the duo came down stairs. As Amy looked her daughter and Julie up and down she noticed they were holding hands and she knew they made such a cute couple.
"You make such a cute couple." said Amy with a smile.
"What, mum," said Carol blushing, "how did you know?"
"The two of you are holding hands, the two of you keep on looking into each other's eyes longingly and the two of you are wearing each other's lipstick."
When Amy noticed that both her daughter and Julie were looking at the floor she realized that maybe they were worried about what she thought.
"Congratulations the both of you," said Amy with a smile, "I'm glad you both finally worked it out."
"Worked what out?" asked Carol.
"That the two of you were made for each other."
"So..." said Julie, "you don't have a problem with us?"
"Of course not, I'm a modern woman, I know that love comes in every shape and size, I'm just glad the two of you have found it." stated Amy.
"Thanks Mum." said Carol.
"So would the two of you like me to go out for the evening?" asked Amy.
"No, no need for that," said Carol, "but could we join you watching TV?"
"Of course." said Amy.
With that being said Amy watched as Carol and Julie sat down on a couch before snuggling together.
From that night things changed quickly, instead of Julie just visiting once or twice a week, she became a permanent fixture so much so that Amy quickly learnt that she had even taken to sleeping in the same bed as Carol at night.
Around six months after Carol and Julie had become an item and after the big lightning storm as well as the strange twenty-four hour illness that Julie contracted around the same time, Amy made a big decision.
"Carol, Julie..." said Amy one evening, "could I talk to the both of you?"
"Sure Mum," said Carol, "what is it?"
"I've been thinking, Julie is always over here right?"
"In fact the two of you share a room right?"
"Well have the two of you thought about formalising the arrangement?"
At that moment Julie who had been keeping quiet looked at Carol before she looked back at Amy.
"Are you suggesting I move in with Carol?" asked Julie.
"That's just what I am suggesting..." responded Amy.
What neither Amy nor Julie knew was the second reason for the offer. Back when the massive lightning storm had hit, one of the sub-systems in Julie's leg had been badly damaged and with it needing repairs her under lying programming had been triggered, which in turn caused Amy's to be triggered at the same time so she could fix Julie. While both of them had been in their aware state they had worked out that Julie needed to be near to where she could be fixed plus on top of that it was the natural progression of Julie's human relationship for her to move in.
"You're not joking are you Mum?" asked Carol who thought the offer was too good to be true.
"I'm not joking Carol," responded Amy, "I think the two of you moving in together is something that needs to happen."
"Really, Mum, thanks!" said Carol giving her mother a hug.
In the day's that followed that conversation Carol and her mother spent much of their time helping Julie to pack down her belongings so they could be moved. As they worked Amy quickly noticed something odd about the stuff that Julie owned, there was nothing family related, in fact the only photo Julie seemed to own was of Carol.
"Julie," said Amy when Carol was out of the room, "I'm sorry to intrude but I noticed you don't seem to have any photos of your family."
"I never really had a family," responded Julie sadly, "well not until now, you see I did once have a mother but she vanished right before the robot army over ran the small town I was born in."
"Oh I'm sorry!"
"Don't be, I don't even remember her, not really, just a shining smiling face telling me that there would be a better world one day."
"Well, you have Carol and you have me now."
"And I really couldn't be happier about that."
With the conversation having come to an end and with Carol having returned Julie went back to packing while Carol and Amy carried the boxes down to the waiting car.
A few weeks after Julie had finished settling into Carol and Amy's house, Julie went to Amy one day.
"Amy," said Julie, "do you need me to pay any rent?"
"Oh no, no need for that." said Amy, "Anyway you are family and as far as I know you have no income."
"I do, but it's not much seeing I'm saving."
"What are you saving for, may I ask?"
"To buy a ring for Carol, that is assuming you approve of me going that far."
"Of course I approve."
"Well I figure with the rent I'm making off my old place now that I'm renting it out to a family who needs it... what with this housing shortage and all... I should have the money for the ring in about six months and then I hope it will be happily ever after.