The Doctor is in - The Clinic
The Small Business Chronicles: The Doctor is in - The Clinic
Chapter One: Morning Stroll
It was a beautiful early morning at Jack’s property and the sunlight was streaming in beautifully through the windows of the greenhouse at the edge of his property that his android wife Gabby ran. Gabby was presently walking barefoot through the public garden section in the front, seeming to enjoy the scenery. After several minutes of walking around, she walked over to a park bench, sat down, and carefully detached her left foot, scrutinizing it in her hands.
“I must say dear, I’m glad the fixes I made to my link are working because removing one’s limbs like this is truly an interesting experience,” Jack said aloud to Gabby, who was currently monitoring everything he did while controlling her body just now.
After the initial test runs of his neural link several weeks earlier, Jack had gone a few rounds controlling Gabby. It was slightly different controlling her, however, since due to her sentience she had to willingly give up control of her own body to let Jack control it, whereas the other androids had no choice.
The reason Jack was so excited examining her detached foot was because the first time he tried it in Helen’s body, it caused an almost catastrophic malfunction in his neural link that left him with a splitting headache for nearly a week. It seemed initially that, while he could nearly perfectly remotely operate one of these androids as though it were his own body, his brain wasn’t able to process suddenly losing a limb.
Fortunately, after weeks of patching the codes in the programming, and consulting with Zoya, he’d finally resolved the issue and now removed a different limb each time he controlled an android. He was still nervous about removing the head, but he was sure it would work with that too.
“It is indeed,” Gabby’s voice sounded perfectly in his mind, “But try not getting my feet grass stained so early in the morning next time you use my body,” she requested politely, “Now I have to clean them off.”
“Sorry,” Jack grimaced, “I just like the sensations in your body.”
“You have certainly tuned me well over the years,” she agreed.
“Particularly after trying you all out,” Jack nodded.
Indeed, after trying out several of the other androids, he started noticing areas of improvement he could make in their tactile sensors that even the best programmers would only know to improve if they could actually plug into the sensations of the androids they were designing. Jack was able to retrofit every single one of his androids, with the assistance of JB, Ellie, and even Zoya. As a result of the improvement in tactile feedback, Jack noticed that the number of accidents his androids had were reduced by nearly 40%.
Jack had actually submitted the changes to Spaztec for official review and to say they were impressed would be an understatement. An insider at the company assured him that when the review process was over he would be getting a hefty payday, even though they would be offering the change as a premium feature rather than a standard one.
Jack played around with Gabby’s detached foot in his hands for a few minutes, playfully rubbing some of the grass stain off, before clicking it back on. He giggled slightly as he regained sensation, since to him it felt like a mild tickle as the sensation suddenly rushed back to his brain. He playfully wiggled her cute toes a few times before putting her foot back down.
“As disconcerting it is to have no control over my body, it is fascinating to see you experience it,” Gabby commented.
“Yeah,” Jack agreed, before pausing as a notification appeared in his HUD; a message was waiting on his private server, which he intentionally kept cut off from his neural chip for security reasons. A message there meant it was important. “Well, looks like business calls dear,” he smiled wryly, getting ready to terminate the link.
“Well, it was about time for us both to start work anyway,” she replied, “as disconcerting as it is, it is also fun.”
“I know,” he nodded, “I’ll be busy most of the day getting Zoya’s staff ready for the opening of the clinic this weekend, but I look forward to your delicious cooking.”
Jack merely hugged himself to mimic hugging her and then terminated the link. After a few seconds, he woke up in his body, which was resting in the new and improved neural link pod that he and Zoya had constructed based on the data collected from his first few attempts. This new pod could keep Jack’s body safer while he was remotely connected to a body and even periodically infuse the air with nutrients to keep his body healthy.
Once he emerged, he was surprised to see Zoya, operating Vanda’s body, in his lab. She was standing on one leg at his workbench working on her detached right leg.
“Good morning, Jack!” She greeted him cheerfully, tweaking a tool at the base of her leg and causing the foot at the end to twitch, “How was operating Gabby’s body this morning?”
“Good morning, Zoya,” Jack responded with a quizzical look, his brain still fuzzy from the the post link transition, “Gabby’s body is great…. what’s wrong with your leg?”
“I’m not sure,” she blushed, tweaking it some more and making the toes wiggle, “I was using Andy last night and Vanda must have stumbled going up or down the stairs or something and knocked the servos in this leg out of alignment,” she explained, “I’ve been too busy trying to fix it to check her logs, but that’s most likely what happened.”
“I see,” Jack nodded, “Do you want me to take a look?”
“Nah, I’ve just about got it,” she grunted, tweaking one final thing, causing the whole leg to twitch on the table. She quickly checked everything and then nodded satisfactorily before lifting it off the table, placing the foot flat on the floor and lining up the top of the leg with her stub and clicking it back in place. After the skin resealed, she moved the foot around at the ankle, bent her knee, and then walked a few paces.
“Much,” she smiled, “I’ve got to work on improving Vanda’s programming the next time I get the chance…she gives me a bit of a headache sometimes.”
Jack merely gave her an amused look and then continued removing the sensors from the pod before getting dressed in his usual work attire that he’d left on a chair nearby. “You know, I can help you with some of that if you want,” he offered.
“I appreciate it Jack,” she smiled, “but I want to stay in practice, since I have to rely on these bodies helping me move around this world and you won’t always be around to help me.”
“Fair enough,” Jack shrugged, walking over to his computer to read the secure message. He entered in his passcode and biometrics and then sat down to view the message. When he saw who it was from, he turned to Zoya, “Hey, I got a message from your ‘mother’ if you want to watch.”
“Ooh, okay,” she said, walking up behind him. After giving him a nod indicating she was ready, he hit the play button.
“Good morning, Jack, and Zoya, if you are there too. I just wanted to let you know that I finally finished the new body and it is currently on its way to your lab as we speak. By my estimate, it should arrive sometime in the late afternoon. I apologize that it took a bit longer than originally estimated to finish, but we ended up having to invent some new technologies to allow Zoya’s apparatus to work comfortably in it, but we believe you’ll be pleased with the results. I would come and meet you in person, but I’m tied up where I am for a few more weeks, but I look forward to meeting you hopefully during the holidays. Until then, enjoy the new body.”
As soon as the message ended, it auto deleted and Jack was sent a private tracking number. He quickly checked and confirmed that the delivery window was 3-5pm.
“Wow, so its finally happening then, huh?” Zoya said.
“Yeah, you nervous?” I asked her.
“A little,” she admitted, “I’m just glad we’ll have all day getting the clinic ready to distract us.”
“Yeah,” Jack nodded, “I have your staff in one of the storage rooms down here, just been waiting for today to get them all ready.”
“Great, while you work on them I’ll be getting my office ready,” she said, bending down and putting her shoe and sock back on the leg that she had been working on before putting on a thinking expression, “Please get Dominique done first, since she’ll be my Secretary model over there and she can help me unpack things.”
“Will do,” Jack nodded, bringing up Dominique’s info on his computer and running some final updates to the code.
“Also, don’t forget that you’ll be my first customer when all my staff is finished, so try and stay healthy until your physical.”
“I’m looking forward to it,” he grinned, “I already informed my previous doctor that I was transferring over my primary care to you so you should have access to all of my medical information.”
Zoya scoffed at that, “I’ve already had access to your medical information…now I have legal access to it.”
“Yeah, right,” Jack laughed, since she’d basically performed brain surgery on him several months earlier to install his neural implant.
“Anyway, after Dominique you can work on them in any order you like,” she continued, listing their names off, “Lena, Jaime, or Krystina…. doesn’t matter who since they’ll be assigned to different rooms.”
“I’ll probably do Krystina after Dominque, since she’ll require the most work, then Jaime and finally Lena,” he decided.
“Like I said, aside from Dominque, you can do the others in whatever order is most convenient for you,” she nodded, “I’m heading to my office now, unless you need anything else.”
“No, have fun and I’ll send Dominque up as soon as she’s ready.”
Zoya nodded and then headed towards the lift to the shop, disappearing in it moments later. Once the lift doors were closed, Jack turned back to his computer station, cracked his fingers and said to himself, “Time to get to work.”
Chapter Two: Dominique
The first thing Jack did was double check his messages for anything pending in the day and saw something that immediately attracted his attention. He quickly summoned Ellie and JB via their remote link, since they had not yet emerged from their room, and waited for them to arrive.
They both walked out of the residence a few minutes later in their usual attire, with Ellie greeting him. “Good morning, Jack, we’ve been summoned?”
“Yes,” he smiled, turning to greet them, “I’ve got my hands full helping get Zoya’s staff set up and I just found out there is going to be an inspection of the motel later today, so I want the two of you to head over there as soon as you are ready and assist with getting ready.”
“Awww, we don’t get to help you out,” Ellie pouted playfully.
“Not this time,” Jack shook his head, “The inspection is important, because if we get a good enough grade then we qualify for extra benefits next year.”
“I see,” she nodded, “what do you need us to do?”
“Ellie, I want you to focus on assisting Rahkee with the cleaning,” he instructed, “and make sure you are wearing proper gloves, a mask, hair protection…. just be careful when using the chemicals because they can wreak havoc on your android skin and filters and you, Ellie and JB, are a lot more expensive to repair than Rahkee is.”
“Understood,” she nodded solemnly, seeing the seriousness in his eyes.
“And you, JB, will focus on performing any necessary maintenance on the staff, starting with Rahkee and then focusing on the Kaley trio,” he instructed, laughing a bit, “Since they’re being used primarily for sex, they’ve been technically classified as ‘entertainment appliances’, so they’ll definitely need to be maintained and cleaned.”
“Am I an entertainment appliance?” Ellie smirked.
“You’re something, alright,” Jack smirked back, “anyway, if you finish with the staff early, you can assist with cleaning too JB, just make sure you take the proper protections into mind.”
“Hey, I have all of your knowledge in my memory banks so I know first hand the damage that occurs from not wearing protection,” JB assured him.
“Good, now you two get to work,” Jack told them turning back to his workstation. JB and Ellie merely nodded before grabbing their tool kits from their section of the lab and heading towards the lift to the shop.
Once the lift ascended, Jack pulled up all the data on Dominique before getting his tools ready. He silently cursed himself for not having them grab her before heading out, but the realized he would have to grab the other three by himself anyway, so he grunted as he clipped on his power amplification brace and headed into the residence to grab Dominique out of storage.
Since Jack had allowed Zoya to hand pick and order her own staff with only minimal input from Jack, he was going in somewhat blind, though he was aware of the issues with each of them to some degree. Since she was paying for them herself, and since most of her funds went to the construction of the clinic itself, she made sure to purchase strategically and was more than happy to use Jack’s technician discount waiver on the Spaztec auction site.
All four of the androids were still in their shipping crates, though fortunately the crates had wheels, so Jack carefully wheeled Dominque’s crate out into the lab, only having to use minimal power on his brace. Once the crate was close enough, he tapped in the unlock code and stood back as the crate opened to reveal her.
Dominique was built to resemble a young woman in her mid-20s. She appeared to be of mixed race, appearing to be half Vietnamese and half-Caucasian. She was of average height and had long, past-shoulder length black hair.
Jack quickly read the prior owner history of her to review what changes he might need to make. She was apparently partially a custom design, though she was built to appear to be related to the owner of a real estate firm so she could pass as a sister or cousin. She was programmed to assist with selling homes and as such was equipped with the necessary tax programming and whatnot that she would need to work reception at the clinic, but Jack was concerned that the sales programming might interfere. Aside from those concerns, her body appeared to be in decent shape, though he’d need to strip her clothes off and open her up to confirm.
It seemed that when the real estate firm hit hard times and was forced to go under, the owner was left with little choice but to sell her faux sister in order to recoup her losses. It was a common issue nowadays, but Jack was sure Zoya would take excellent care of her for the remainder of her operational lifespan.
A quick scan on his tablet indicated Dominique was at near full charge, so he activated her remotely and stood back as she activated.
Once her initial startup diagnostics finished, her eyes opened and she gave Jack a toothy smile with a boisterous, “Hello, my name’s Dominique! I am, or was, with the Green Valley Real Estate firm…are you my new owner?”
“Yes, one of them at least,” Jack nodded, since technically Zoya was her owner, but Jack had to be as well out of necessity since technically Zoya couldn’t own any androids since she herself was one…sort of.
“Great, what am I going to be helping you with?”
“You’re going to be configured to work reception at a medical clinic on my property,” Jack replied, “Is your current programming up to the task?”
She paused as she analyzed his question and scanned her current programming, “As a Spaztec Secretary model, I do have the sufficient basic programming to work a reception-like job, however the real estate programming I was given would not seem to be compatible with working in the medical field.”
“In real estate, you have to convince people to buy stuff that they may not want to buy,” she explained, “but my limited knowledge of medical fields is that you have to adhere to the customer, or patients, wishes and my programming as it currently is is not compatible with those directives.”
“Thank you for confirming my suspicions,” Jack nodded approvingly, “I’ll get started on deleting all of that from your programming then.”
“I’ll flag all of the appropriate files in my directories to make your jobs a bit easier,” Dominique smiled, zoning out as she did just that. A few moments later, a large list of files appeared on Jack’s tablet.
“Wow, you’re very helpful,” Jack lauded, quickly reviewing all the files she flagged’
“That’s my job!” She smiled cheerfully.
“Well, I’ll have the program rewriting your core programming for being a medical secretary delete all those files at the same time,” Jack informed her, “in the meanwhile, please strip off all your clothes and open your primary access panel so I can take a look inside and see what needs work.”
“Yes, Jack,” she smiled, dutifully stripping off all her clothing before laying on the table and unsealing her access panel.
Jack quickly removed the panel from her torso, peering inside to gauge the situation since he was not the one who had purchased her. Just by eyeballing her, however, he could see that she would need very little work in terms of hardware. Evidently, her previous owner took very good care of her.
“Alright, I’m gonna start the update and transfer of protocols,” Jack told her, “it should take about 30 minutes and then you should be good to go.”
Dominique merely nodded before falling silent as Jack started the procedure, shutting down her A.I.
While that did its thing, Jack got to work replacing a few worn out components and upgrading a few more that Jack happened to have on hand. Once that was complete, Jack made a few quick adjustments to boost her moisture resistance just in case she was needed in the greenhouse. It was mostly unnecessary, but since it took very little time he made it standard protocol going forward. Finally, he detached both her hands and feet and made the adjustments that he had developed to boost her tactile feedback and thus reduce her accidents.
By the time Jack was finished with her body, the update and upgrade process was just finishing up, so he carefully reattached her torso cover and waited for her to come back online.
A few moments later, her eyes blinked and she focused on his face, “Upgrade completed successfully,” she reported happily, “My new protocol is to serve as the medical secretary at Brownsfield Clinic.”
Brownsfield is the name of the overall property that the small businesses and house that Jack owned. He had recently named it such, after his last name, to make it easier to categorize his business portfolio.
“Great! Please confirm that your programming is up to date with the current California health codes,” he instructed.
“Of course,” she smiled, zoning out before saying, “My programming is up to date as of the most recent standards instituted last week. I can auto update for any new changes and check at the end of each business day, if you would like.”
“I would, thank you,” Jack nodded, before reaching into a large box that Zoya had left near his desk and pulling out a bundle of clothes, “lastly, Zoya would like all her employees to wear these scrub uniforms,” he told her, handing her the bundle, which contained a comfy set of underwear, navy blue scrubs top and bottom, socks and flats.
“Ooh, these look much comfier than the real estate clothing I had to wear,” Dominque smiled, eagerly taking them from Jack and putting them all on. While comfort was not necessarily a concern for androids, they could sustain continued stress damage from wearing uncomfortable clothing, so having them wear comfy clothes could essentially serve the same purpose in the end as it would for a human. “Yeah, I’ll wash your old clothes and have them sent back up to you in case Zoya needs you for a fundraiser or something, but here’s another pair in case those get soiled,” Jack told her, handing her another bundle.
“Thanks Jack,” she smiled, “is there anything else I need before I go up to assist her?”
“No, just tell her I’m working on Krystina next and that it might be a while,” he told her, quickly perusing at Krystina’s file on his workstation.
“Will do, thanks for fixing me up,” she said, walking over and kissing his cheek before heading towards the lift leading up to the shop. Jack watched her go with a kind smile before sighing and looking towards the residence. “Well, time to get started on Krystina.”
Chapter Three: Krystina
Chapter Four: Jaime
Chapter Five: Lena
Chapter Six: Lindsey
Chapter Seven: Evolution