The Doctor is in - The Clinic

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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.”

“Thanks dear!”

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.

“All better?”

“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.”

“How so?”

“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

When Jack reached the storage room containing the clinic staff, he quickly identified the unit containing Krystina. It was easy to spot, since it was tarnished and covered in dust and cobwebs. He brushed it off as best as he could before wheeling it out into the main lab and opening it up, sighing as he saw the android inside.

Krystina was a Perfect Friend model built in the image of a young, Pacific Islander woman in her late-twenties. The reason Jack sighed was because he had read up on her operational history, and because of the state she was in.

Krystina was built to resemble someone’s dead daughter, who had died in a tragic incident; the wife had long since separated from the husband. The father had managed to have his daughter’s brain scanned, though since it was an impartial scan the Krystina android ended up having to fill in the missing pieces in her memory and personality from the various diaries that the real Krystina had written, in addition to her school projects, social media posts, and various stories told to her by both her father and the real Krystina’s friends that occasionally came to visit.

Krystina was amongst the first Mark II androids to be purchased, so she had been in operation for some time. Additionally, her owner/father ended up suffering from severe dementia later in life and Krystina was essentially utilized as a live in nurse to take care of him. As a result, she ended up being neglected since her owner was not in a proper state of mind to bring her in for routine maintenance and repairs. Her body was littered with cuts, scratches, and the android equivalent of bruises that were caused by her owner’s dementia induced rages.

If that weren’t bad enough, since she hadn’t been taken in for maintenance, her hardware was frighteningly out of date, along with her software, and several components had already failed or were on the verge of failing.

Jack had actually recommended that Zoya not purchase Krystina, but Zoya had a soft heart, and Krystina was highly marked down in price due to her state of neglect. Additionally, since Krystina had been operating for a long time, she had built up quite a bit of experience that would come in handy in the clinic, since Zoya intended for Krystina to specialize in treating elderly patients.

Jack quickly sized her up, briefly wishing he hadn’t sent Ellie and JB off to assist in the motel, before removing her dirty clothes, throwing them away in a nearby bin, and laying her body on his work table to start working on her.

Despite her less than clean state, Jack was relieved to see that her body overall didn’t seem to have too much damage. Since her previous owner hadn’t been in the proper state of mind to replenish her body’s supply of repair nanites, it wasn’t able to repair the cuts, scrapes, and bruises. While it would be an easy fix, Jack still had to repair the damage to her internals before he could have her body power up and direct them, and even then, some of the damage could only be fixed after she was able to bathe herself.

“Ugh, I hate having to do this,” Jack grunted grumpily as he grabbed a laser scalpel and used it to open Krystina’s primary access port, since her body had been in storage for too long for it to have any residual power to open the port itself. Once he had it fully cut, he powered off the laser and then wedged his fingers into the edges to lift up the port, placing it on the side table.

“Damn, some of these parts are almost vintage now,” he remarked to himself, peering inside and cataloguing everything. Fortunately, there was still a market for original Mark II parts, and since Krystina still had some Jack figured he might be able to sell some of them for a tidy profit.

Fortunately, Jack either had most of the upgraded parts in storage, or he had the materials to fabricate them in his 3D printer. He noted a few parts that he would have to upgrade at a slightly later date, possibly the end of the month, but that he had decent substitutes in stock that would suffice until then.

Once he had the inventory complete, Jack began work on her body by pulling out her A.I. Core. While he was working on the rest of her body, he would need his computer terminal to run a full diagnostic on Krystina’s systems before he could update her software. After a few short seconds, with his practiced hands, he detached Krystina’s core from her body and carefully carried it over to his workstation, plugging it in. He had to wait a few extra seconds for it to turn on since it had been inactive for a while, but before long his workstation was able to access the core. He began the full diagnostic, which would take about 20 minutes, and then headed into the residence to gather supplies.

When Jack returned about five minutes later, he was pushing a cart that contained nearly twenty different components, from power systems to regulators. Jack was pretty much swapping everything out.

With a well practiced hand, Jack spent the remainder of the time Krystina’s core needed to run the diagnostic swapping out the components in her torso, scrutinizing each component he removed more carefully and separating out the ones that he could resell from the ones that were clearly junk.

When Krystina’s core finished running the diagnostic, it displayed a long list of errors for Jack to review before he had the diagnostic tool begin repairing all of them. That bought him another 10-15 minutes to finish up installing and calibrating the new components he was installing in her body.

Just as he finished installing her new power core and calibrating her new MCN, the diagnostic finished, rolled back over to his desk to confirm everything was fixed. Unfortunately, the multitude of errors appeared to be a little too much for even Jack’s well tuned diagnostic tool to fix, so he had to spend another several minutes fixing them manually before finally being able to install the years of software updates that she had missed. Since the new updates were virtually replacing most of her software, they were actually able to install a bit faster than if she had been more recently updated, so Jack did not have long to wait.

Jack ran one more quick diagnostic after she finished installing the updates, fixing a small handful of new bugs, before Jack felt satisfied placing her core back in her body. He paused briefly to clean some minor residue off her connector ports that could negatively impact her performance before clicking her core back in and pressing the power toggle on her new core, hoping that nothing blew up in his face.

It took several more seconds than usual for Krystina to power on, though given her previous state a delay was to be expected. Finally, her eyes fluttered open as she came online and they quickly focused on Jack’s.

“Hello, I take it you’re my new owner,” she stated matter of factly.

“Not quite,” Jack said, “Your new owner is Zoya, but I am listed as your co-owner for maintenance purposes.”

“I see,” she nodded, zoning out briefly as she ran a quick diagnostic, “You must be good because my systems haven’t been in this working order in quite some time.”

“Thank you,” Jack smiled modestly, “I’m actually not done yet, I just needed to fix you up enough so you could move around on your own.”

“Ah, I see,” she nodded.

Jack carefully lifted Krystina’s panel off the table and lined it up with her torso. “I had to laser this open, so it might take a bit longer for you to reseal it,” he warned her.

“Understood,” she nodded, zoning out as she resealed it, the process going noticeably slower than usual. Once it was resealed, she slowly sat up and swung her legs off the table, her joints whining audibly.

“Man, you’re in worse shape than I thought,” Jack cringed.

“Sorry, my father wasn’t exactly capable of fixing me or ensuring that I was well taken care of,” Krystina replied.

“No worries, I just need you to follow me into the residence here so you can bathe yourself,” Jack explained, helping her down off the table onto her feet, with even more of her joints whining loudly.

“Ah, thank you,” she smiled, slowly following him into the residence and into the guest room, where he quickly briefed her on the cleaning supplies.

“And remember, try not to linger too long in there. Those cuts in your skin go down to the metal, and although you are water resistant, you are not water proof with the skin damage,” he told her.

“Don’t worry, I’ve had plenty of practice maneuvering around my skin damage,” she nodded politely, before stepping into the shower and turning on the water.

Jack remained outside for nearly a minute just in case she had any issues before stepping out. On his way back to his workstation, he stopped by his storage room and gathered replacement joint mechanisms to install in Krystina. He just grabbed one of everything, since he had to assume at this point that everything in her needed replacing.

Once he had those at his desk, he prepped a supply of fresh nanites to install in her body and a jar of skin repair paste. Finally, while he was waiting for her to get out, he prepped the batch of updates and programming that Krystina would need to do her job in the clinic, since all he’d had time to do before was simply update her to the latest A.I. updates.

Just as he was finishing up the update package and placing it in the wireless server for Krystina to access, she returned from the residence now clean and bathed. She stopped at attention in front of Jack so that he could inspect her body before resuming his work. Jack carefully scrutinized every inch of her now clean skin, documenting several more areas that were previously obscured by dirt and dust smudges. Once he finished, he nodded approvingly and helped Krystina up to the table, since her joints were not up to the task.

“Well Krystina, this shouldn’t take too long,” he assured her, “believe it or not, I’ve seen worse.”

“I find that hard to believe,” she said skeptically, gesturing at some deep scratches on her torso.

“Yeah, I had an android that I had to repair her caved in skull, and I just finished one a few months ago that had half her body burned in a crash and the other half severely water-damaged,” Jack assured her, putting on protective gloves, “Could you reopen your primary access panel again, please?”

“Wow, I really am in good hands,” Krystina laughed, “hold on, here goes,” she smiled, zoning out as she unsealed her access panel.

“Thanks,” Jack grinned, placing the skin panel on the side table and then reaching in and injecting a fresh batch of repair nanites into her body’s nanite storage container; it was empty. The nanites were very useful in making simple repairs, much in the same fashion as the human body repairing small cuts or wounds, but they needed to be replenished after every 10-15 repairs, depending on the severity of the damage. Krystina likely ran out years ago.

Once the nanites were safely injected, Jack sterilized the needle tip to disable any nanites that might be clinging to the tip and then safely disposed of it in an e-waste container. He then clicked Krystina’s panel back on and waited for her to reseal it before removing the gloves and grabbing the jar of skin repair cream.

“Okay, I need you to sit up on the side of the table for this, since most of the damage is to both sides of your torso,” Jack told her, helping her sit up, “once I lather the cream on you just have your nanites get to work while I work on your joints.”

“Okay,” she nodded, relaxing on the side of the table while Jack rubbed in the skin repair cream on the various sections of her torso. Once he was finished, he washed his hands and then got his tools ready.

“I’m going to detach your arms and legs one at a time while I repair the servos,” he told her.

Krystina merely nodded, her systems focused on directing the nanites to repair her skin. Jack meanwhile carefully detached Krystina’s left arm and brought it over to his table to repair it. Using a small tool, he unsealed a small section of skin surrounding her elbow, revealing her metallic elbow joint. He cringed as he saw it, since it looked very corroded and not at all in good shape. He released the locking mechanisms on either side of it and delicately removed it, tossing it in the recycle bin before delicately inserting the replacement joint and replacing the section of skin. He then bent the arm at the elbow several times, smiling satisfactorily as he heard no whining this time. Jack repeated the process with the left wrist and elbow before clicking the arm back on and doing the same with her right.

Once he was done with her arms, he gently laid her back down so he could detach her legs. Starting with her left, he replaced the joint at the main torso connection point and then unsealed the skin surrounding her knee before moving down to her ankle. For this, he detached the foot and even replaced what looked like a miniature shock absorber. He repeated this with her right leg and then clicked both legs back on.

Just as he finished with her limbs, he observed the nanites finally working their magic. The cuts and scrapes slowly started repairing themselves before his eyes until nothing remained but the now dead nanites, which he brushed off into the e-waste collector.

“How do you feel so far?” Jack asked, admiring his repair work.

“Much better, thanks!” Krystina smiled, sitting up and swinging her legs off the edge of the table with no loud whining sounds, and moving her arms to the same effect, “I wish my father had been able to take better care of me,” she said in a voice filled with regret.

“I’m sure he would have if he had,” Jack reassured her, patting her shoulder. “Well, you’ll be in good hands with Zoya, and with me around this will never happen again.”

“What will my purpose be here?”

“Well, if you access my lab’s private server, you’ll find a series of updates and files that’ll explain things in great detail,” Jack told her, queuing up the files and watching as she zoned out in typical android fashion to access it.

“I have access to them,” she reported dutifully, “they should take approximately five minutes to install.”

“Great, I’m going to tidy up around here and grab your clothes while you do that,” Jack told her, and after she nodded and then zoned out for the file install, he did just that. Since Zoya had already gotten the correct clothing size for each of her employees, Jack merely had to grab the bag from the residence that had her name on it. By the time he returned with the bundle, she was just finishing a quick reboot to finalize the new programming.

“I see,” she nodded, quickly processing the new programming, “I’m going to be used as a nurse? Ha, good thing I already have plenty of experience.”

“That’s why Zoya picked you,” Jack nodded, handing her the bundle of clothes, “Here’s the uniforms she provided.”

Krystina wordlessly took the bundle and grabbed one of the sets of undies, pants, and scrubs tops, making quick work of putting them on before scrutinizing herself in a nearby reflective surface, “At least this Zoya seems to have good taste,” Krystina nodded approvingly, grabbing a scrunchie and making her hair into a manageable pony tail.

“Yes, she does,” Jack agreed, quickly scrutinizing Krystina. “To be honest, I tried convincing her not to purchase you…I’m glad she won.”

“Me too,” Krystina grinned, “Am I done now?”

“For now,” he answered, “there are some more upgrades I need to give you, but the parts won’t arrive until later in the month.”

“Understood,” she nodded.

“For the time being, you should be able to find your way to the clinic with the information I programmed into you,” Jack told her.

“Yes,” she nodded, briefly zoning out to access it.

“Well, good luck on your first day, I’m sure Zoya is eagerly awaiting your arrival,” Jack smiled, “I’ll be in later for my physical, so I’ll see you again then.”

“Thanks for fixing me, Jack,” Krystina smiled back, giving him a quick hug before heading to the lift leading up to the shop.

“Don’t mention it,” Jack called after her. Once she ascended in the lift, he sighed and then headed back to his workstation to prepare to work on Jaime.

Chapter Four: Jaime

Once Jack had the area fully reset from Krystina, he prepped the custom code that he had prepared in advance for Jaime, and headed once more into the residence to retrieve her. Unlike with Krystina, the unit containing Jaime was in much better condition, since she was a much more recent purchase and had been taken better care of…sort of.

Jack activated his power support brace once more and wheeled Jaime and her storage unit out into the lab, opening it when he was near the work area.

Jaime was built to resemble a young woman in her mid-twenties. She had long, dark brown hair that went to her shoulders, and a fair complexion. The most striking attribute about her was that she wore glasses, much like Rachel did. Just as with Rachel, the glasses were merely aesthetic, but Zoya had decided to keep them for Jaime.

Jack made quick work of lifting Jaime from the storage unit and onto the examination table. A cursory inspection of her body revealed no obvious signs of damage, but since there was no damage reported, he wasn’t too surprised.

After his cursory check, he began to remove the business casual clothes that she was dressed in, until she lay fully nude on the table. With her clothes off, he was able to spot a few areas where she had scratched her skin and it hadn’t repaired properly, but all in all, she would be a quick job.

Jaime was a Secretary model android that had originally been purchased to assist at a big brand retail store. She assisted with several jobs, from cashiering, to cleaning, to office support. The reason she had been put up for sale on the second-hand market was because she had been involved in an elicit affair with the store management and had caused a great deal of embarrassment for the company.

Furthermore, while she did not have any physical damage, they had done a somewhat botched job of installing sexual programming in her that Jack would need to use his skills to excise before allowing her to function in a medical clinic setting. Because of this, Jack was also going to make sure her sexual hardware was sufficiently cleaned as well, since he knew Spaztec likely did a rush job.

Before activating her A.I., Jack decided to get started on the cleanup job first, so he activated her body only via the subdermal control interface on her torso and the tapped the controls above her vagina, specifically one that appeared to resemble a wide oval.

As soon as he tapped the oval icon, Jaime’s vagina smoothly opened as wide as it could, almost as though there were a large, invisible penis inserted in it. Opening it in this fashion was usually used for maintenance and cleaning, though some simply used it for easy entry.

Jack wrinkled his nose as soon as it was opened, and a quick inspection confirmed his suspicions that she had indeed not been adequately cleaned after her last use. While Jaime’s job in the clinic would most likely not require her to perform sex for anyone, Zoya nevertheless wanted all her staff to be ready in case they were needed for any form of sex therapy.

Another reason Jack was going to clean her was, part of the scandal was a sexually transmitted disease had inflicted much of the staff, which was part of how they discovered the root cause. She had not been adequately cleaned then, and again not.

Jack searched in a nearby drawer for several moments, eventually pulling out what looked like a handheld shopvac with a device attached to the hose that could be filled with a cleaning liquid. The attachment at the end of the hose also appeared to be shaped to perfectly insert into a vagina, and had gently brushes on it.

Once he filled the attachment with the proper disinfectant fluid, he inserted the device into her vagina and then activated it. After gently moving the device around for several minutes, brushing and flushing the interior of any contaminants, he activated a vacuum function which sucked everything back into the empty container; the contents were noticeable filthier.

Jack left the vagina fully opened so it could air out, and once he cleaned out the cleaning device and placed it back in the drawer he found it, he returned with what looked like a small detergent pod. He gently placed it down on the table next to her body and then detached her primary access port, placing the loose panel on a side table. He then opened a small hatch on her digestive tank and inserted the pod, which began fizzing in the liquid contents. Resealing the hatch, he calculated that by the time he was done upgrading the rest of her internals and ready for her to bathe herself, she would be able to expel it in the toilet and cleanse any contaminants from her anus too. Considering how nasty the managers were with her, he figured they likely performed all sorts of sexual acts on her, so he wanted all of her orifices to be adequately cleansed.

Now that the cleaning was mostly done, Jack got to work delving into her internals to properly catalogue her current internals. While they performed this action at Spaztec before listing them for sale, Jack often found that they made mistakes. Sure enough, he discovered several miscategorized components that would need to be replaced with superior ones. Fortunately, he had them in stock, so it would not inconvenience him too much.

Jack quickly made of list of what he would need to pull from his stores, and another list of what he would need to fabricate, and they shifted his focus to Jaime’s A.I. Core. Since her programming contained shoddy code, and potentially infected code since they installed unauthorized sexual programming, he would need to ensure it was purged before even attempting to initiate any software update, let alone activating her.

Due to the sensitive nature of the situation, Jack decided to physically connect her to his terminal rather than interface with her wirelessly. Additionally, he made sure to update his workstations security programs and back up his important files in case something nasty was hiding in her core to infect his computers.

Once he was sure everything was secure, he interfaced with her core programming and began searching the code for anything suspect. As Jack suspected, there was indeed malicious code in her programming, likely from the 3rd party sex programming. After investigating it more closely, he determined that some of the malicious code was planted by pranksters, since the code was the reason why Jaime didn’t adequately clean herself, thus causing the outbreak of STDs.

Jack made quick work of isolating the malicious code, sending it in a quarantine file to Spaztec so they could analyze it and improve the security scanning software in their androids. Fortunately, the malicious code didn’t take too long to remove, so Jack spent the next several minutes deleting the unauthorized programs and resetting most of her settings to their defaults.

Once he was convinced all of the garbage that her previous owners had installed was purged, he ran a comprehensive security scan and diagnostic sweep to remove any stray bits of code he may have missed. Once it finished a few minutes later and confirmed that all of the elicit code was indeed removed, Jack let out a sigh of relief and then removed the firewalls on the rest of the programs to allow her core to finally link with the Spaztec servers and run a software update.

Since the software updates were going to take nearly 30-minutes, Jack used this time to grab the freshly fabricated replacement parts from his 3D printer, as well as the upgraded and replacement parts that he had in his storage room in the residence.

While Jaime’s core silently updated its software, Jack happily delved once more into her open torso and replaced outdated components, fixed damaged ones, and swapped out worn out ones. Fortunately, despite her tainted software, her internals were still in fairly good shape; she was only online for two years. Compared to his recent experience with fixing Krystina, Jaime was a piece of cake by comparison.

Jack finished his work inside of Jaime’s torso just as his computer pinged that she was done updating her software. Wiping off his hands, he gently tugged the computer cable loose from her A.I. Core, replaced her cover and resealed it, and then activated her.

Her systems took slightly longer than normal for her model due to the software updates and the missing codes and programs, but once it adapted to the changes she smoothly came online and opened her eyes, focusing them on Jack.

“Hello, my name’s Jaime. Are you my new owner?” she asked politely.

“Sort of,” Jack answered, making a mental note that he needed to pre-program this into Lena before activating her; he was tired of them all asking the same question. “Your new owner is Zoya, but I’m your co-owner, Jack…I’m the one who will be fixing you if you break.”

“I see,” she nodded, “and am I fixed now?”

“Yes,” Jack nodded, “Your previous owners certainly did a number on you, both physically and digitally.”

“Indeed,” she nodded, slowly sitting up and swinging her legs over the edge of the table. “I can tell that all of the unauthorized programs have been removed,” she noted, zoning out as she checked her programming.

“Yeah, it’s as common mistake that businesses like the one you were purchased by make,” Jack grinned wryly, “they figure they can purchase an attractive female android to help them with odd jobs around the office, and then they can just cram it full of elicit sexual hardware and bang it all day.”

Jack felt a slight twinge of guilt as he said this, since he had occasionally had sex with his androids, but he felt better when he reminded himself that he didn’t install any elicit software on them, nor did he bang them on a regular basis.

“That’s basically the story of my life,” Jaime smiled in return, “Some of the people who had their way with me were nice and polite, but others…” she trailed off.

“I was able to purge the programming, but would you also like me to purge the memories of the sexual encounters?” Jack offered.

“Yes, please,” she nodded, “While I may not have the same mental response that a human woman would have in the same situation, all my sexual experiences were bad ones and I would not want it negatively impacting any upcoming ones.”

“Very well,” Jack nodded, walking over to his computer and adding a special tool to her download queue that he happened to already have for situations like this. The tool would target and delete memories that were formed only while her sexual programming was active. “I have a special tool that will automatically purge all memories that you saved while your sexual programming was active,” he told her, “I’ll have you run it at the same time you install the new programming that you will need for your new function here.”

“Understood,” Jaime nodded, “Would you like me to install them now?”

“Not yet,” Jack shook his head. “I need you to clean up first. You might be able to detect that I inserted a detergent pod into your digestive tank.”

Jaime zoned out briefly and then nodded.

“It should be ready to purge, hopefully clearing any sexual contaminants from your anal tract. Please be sure to purge it before taking a shower, and please take extra care to cleanse your mouth as well.”

“Understood,” Jaime nodded dutifully, hopping down from the table and heading towards the residence.

“Also, you’ll see a bundle of clothes with your name on it,” Jack called after her, “Bring it back with you, but don’t put them on yet.”

“Okay,” she called back, disappearing into the residence.

While Jaime was bathing herself, Jack took the opportunity to move her storage unit near the lift so Kat could come down later to clear it away. He also inspected each of the components that he had pulled from Dominque, Krystina, and Jaime and started listing them for sale on a resale website, since he knew Jaime would be taking extra long to clean herself. Jack smiled as he saw the price estimates for each part, since it indicated he would be making a tidy profit from these androids.

Jaime finally emerged from the residence nearly half an hour later, looking radiant. Jaime had even taken the liberty of cleaning her glasses, so she looked as though she were fresh off the assembly line.

“Very good, Jaime,” Jack complimented her, helping her back up onto the examination table.

“Thanks,” she said, forming a modest blush on her freckled cheeks, “that bad code prevented me from properly cleaning myself before, so I spent extra time making up for it.”

“Excellent, that’s exactly what I was hoping for,” Jack smiled, “Now, if you access my wireless server, you should be able to download and install the files and programs you will need to perform your duties and Zoya’s clinic, as well as the sexual memory cleaner.”

Jaime zoned out briefly as she remotely accessed his private server. “I see them,” she reported.

“Good, go ahead and get started.”

Jaime nodded and then zoned out in typical android fashion as she downloaded and installed the files. Since Jack knew it would take a little bit long to complete, due to the memory deletion, he decided to take the opportunity to have some downtime, so he walked over to the kitchen area of his lab, grabbed some snacks and a drink, and collapsed in a comfy chair to relax.

Working on this set of androids had proven to be a unique challenge, but Jack knew that with the clinic up and running his small business portfolio would be immeasurably improved, so he endured it with his typical fortitude.

He had to pay extra attention to Jaime’s sexual capabilities for a special reason, since, in addition to her handling the wider range of medical needs that Zoya would be handling at the clinic, she would also be taking care of sexual therapy, since Jaime was the most objectively physically attractive of the three android nurses, and receptionist. The only one more objectively attractive was Zoya’s Vanda body, but since she would be acting as the clinic’s head doctor, she would be unable to assist in that regard.

This meant that, in addition to the regular selection of scrubs and other regular medical grade clothes, Jaime also received a modest selection of lingerie to wear.

Jaime completed her updates/maintenance after several minutes and conducted a silent reboot before reactivating and looking at Jack with a smile. “Updates complete, memory deletion successful.”

“Confirm, you have no memories of any sexual activity?” Jack pressed.

“Negative, no memories of any sexual activity,” Jaime confirmed.

“Excellent,” Jack celebrated internally, “You can go ahead and get dressed now.”

Jaime merely nodded as she grabbed the bundle of clothes that she grabbed from the residence. She made quick work of dressing into the modest selection of scrubs, leaving the racier lingerie off to the side, before standing at attention in front of Jack for inspection.

“Very good,” Jack complimented, playfully clapping his hands, “You can leave the rest in the bag and head to the clinic for further instructions from Zoya.”

“Thank you, Jack,” Jaime smiled, grabbing the bag with the remnants of her clothing and heading out towards the lift to the shop to go to Zoya’s clinic.

“Don’t mention it,” Jack replied, mentally preparing for his next job with Lena, whilst simultaneously enjoying seeing Jaime leave.

Chapter Five: Lena

Jack wasted no time heading once more into the residence storeroom to retrieve the container holding Lena since, aside from Zoya’s new body arriving later in the day, she would be the last android he would be doing any serious work on. Additionally, Lena’s body was going to be considerably more fun to work on as well.

Activating the power support brace once more, he wheeled her container out into the lab near the examination table and then keyed in the code to open it up. Nestled comfortably inside was Lena, a Perfect Friend android in the image of a slightly short, plump young woman with thin, dark brown hair that went to her shoulders and a pale complexion. Jack nodded approvingly, since Lena had a similar body type to Sarah, the cashier in the shop, and to Ellie. While an android with a less than ideal body shape would normally be based on a real person, Lena was an exception to the rule…mostly.

While Lena was not strictly based off an actual person in either appearance or a donated personality and memories, she was at least loosely based off an actual person that the family that purchased her had known. Lena was customized and purchased by the family to serve as a live-in nanny for their three kids, and she was customized based on a real person named Lena who originally watched their kids when they were just born, but had to move away to seek out new opportunities.

The family requested that they be allowed to customize an android in her image, and with her personality so the kids wouldn’t be sad, but Lena politely declined their request, so they sufficed with customizing a unique android to as closely match her appearance as possible without risking a lawsuit, and they customized her personality to match the bubbly one that the real Lena had. The only thing they both had in common was the name, Lena.

The family lived happily with Lena in their lives, but eventually the kids grew up. The oldest went to college, and the younger two were still in high school, but they were at the age where they were beginning relationships and their significant others didn’t feel comfortable having a beautiful young woman at their homes. Additionally, since the kids were older and could more or less take care of themselves, the family felt it was time to part with her, since doing so would save them money on their bills that was going to Lena’s upkeep and maintenance. Reselling her allowed them to put the money in the younger kids’ college fund.

Since Lena had nearly 18 years of memories and experiences dealing with children, Zoya eagerly snatched her up from the second-hand market to use as both a pediatric nurse, and as an assistant in the day care service she was attaching to the clinic. Talking with the farmers in the fields across the way, she discovered that many of them had kids that needed a closer daycare center, so Zoya eagerly capitalized on the situation and had one attached to her clinic. The only rub was that, due to a state law that even Ellen couldn’t help them out with legally, the day care had to be overseen by a Human, so Lena was only permitted to assist.

Zoya managed to contact someone she had befriended in town who knew her secret, and they happily agreed to run the day care center with Lena.

After sizing her up, Jack carefully grabbed hold of Lena’s body and lifted it out of the container and up onto the table. He then spent the next few minutes delicately removing her clothing until she was completely naked. He was pleased that, though she was not skinny, she was also not really fat either. He felt nostalgic working on her, since she closely resembled Sarah’s body type.

Fortunately, Lena’s previous owners had taken excellent care of her right up to the moment they chose to sell her, so Jack knew that all of her internals were up to date…or, at least up to date enough that she could wait until Christmas for more comprehensive upgrades.

Lena was going to be more fun to work on because she was getting some unique upgrades, as opposed to routine maintenance, repairs, or hardware swap outs. Since Lena was going to be watching over as many as 30 kids, Jack and Zoya decided to splurge and give her some top-grade upgrades.

Jack got started by interfacing with Lena’s A.I. core and having it begin the usual tedious process of installing the multitude of software updates that had been released between the time she was last activated and now.

Once that was underway, he walked over and carefully detached her head, bringing it over to his workstation and clicking it onto a special pedestal that provided it with power. Once the head was secured, he grabbed a box with her name on it containing several high-tech components, as well as a toolkit, and then tapped an area behind her left ear to detach the top of her head. Once he had her scalp removed, he looked at the components nestled inside to size things up and then got to work.

The first thing Jack did was click the released for both her eyes, smoothly sliding them out of their slots eyeball and all. He paused briefly to admire them before taking out a small box containing a new set of nearly identical eyes. The only visible difference was the more powerful processing hardware attached to the mechanical end. Jack carefully inspected the new eyes to ensure there was no damage in transit and then gently slid them into the slots in Lena’s head.

Once the new eyes were in place, he tapped an eye icon on the pedestal, causing Lena’s face to briefly animate, opening its eyes and taking a blank stare. Jack was momentarily entranced by her deep blue eyes before focusing back on his task. He brought up her visual feed on his computer and ran a few diagnostics to confirm that the upgraded eyes were working properly. Once he confirmed that they were indeed working, he downloaded a series of programs to the ocular hardware that would help Lena tremendously.

Since Lena would be keeping an eye on as many as 30 kids, Zoya and Jack opted to purchase new eyes that could handle more active processes. Jack was able to purchase an industrial grade facial recognition software suite, including one that would allow her to identify any potential health or safety threats to any of the kids. With these enhancements, she would be able to individually focus on as many as 50 people or items at one time; standard for an android is 10.

After Jack also installed the same thermal imaging software that he had for Gina, he ran a few more diagnostics and then tapped the eye icon once more to have her close her eyes.

Next, Jack reached into her open head and detached several cylindrical devices on the interior of her ears. Once he had both out, he pulled another small box containing an almost identical set of cylinders, though with just as many mechanical enhancements to the processing hardware.

Once he had the upgraded auditory processors connected, he installed a suite of audio enhancement software that was compatible with the new upgrades. He then ran a quick diagnostic and then clicked an ear icon on the pedestal, activating her auditory programs. Jack brought up a monitor that displayed a list and audio information of everything her new ears were currently picking up, from his breathing, to the hum of the machines, and even his heartbeat. The audio enhancements not only increased the range of her hearing, it also allowed her to individually process more sounds, so if she had a dozen kids all saying different things to her then she would be able to process what each of them was saying, instead of getting confused like a Human.

Jack finished with her audio systems by installing a list of sounds and phrases that would alert her systems if anyone was in danger, or up to no good, and then he tapped the ear icon again to disable her hearing.

Jack paused briefly to check up on the software updates and saw they were nearly complete, so he also decided to have her install the clinic and day care programming right after, to save some time. He also programmed in his facial information so that she would automatically know who he was, instead of asking like the others did. He quickly added the files to the queue and programmed them to auto-install after she finished with the software updates.

With the software end of things mostly taken care of, Jack returned to her head, though the most serious of the work was already completed. Next, he quickly swapped out her taste and smell sensors, which were interlinked, for better ones that could allow her to more quickly identify any unusual smells. Jack was able to quickly test this by tapping a tongue icon, which made Lena’s head stick out its tongue. After gently rubbing a variety of different items from his desk, including his finger, across her cute tongue, he promptly switched the the smell taste, causing her head to withdraw the tongue back into its mouth and a small pump activated in the pedestal, allowing the nose to take in a few breaths of air. After a few milliseconds of analysis, a list of several identified smells populated on a status monitor, and several unknown smells to be analyzed later.

“Excellent,” Jack smiled, turning the nose test off, also silencing the pump. Lena’s face once again fell still.

The last components inside her head had nothing to do with her primary senses, but were no less important. Jack peered inside and identified a small golf-ball sized component that appeared to be several metallic discs inside of one another. This was Lena’s gyroscope, which allowed her body to maintain proper balance. He promptly swapped it out with a nearly identical version, though he could feel it was slightly lighter and would thus function a bit more accurately. One of the common issues with androids like Lena was that they could lose their balance and fall over when performing activities such as playing with energetic children or pets, so having a perfectly functioning gyroscope was a must have. According to Lena’s maintenance logs from the past decade, most of her damage was caused by falls.

The final component Jack replaced in her head was a small apple-sized power supply that provided the head a minimal amount of power when disconnected, so it could be adequately worked on without a pedestal. The only reason Jack was even using the pedestal was because of the diagnostic software on it that allowed him to control her head.

The upgraded power supply he inserted was the same size, but was able to provide an extra five minutes of power, although it was mostly to compensate for the extra power that the enhanced components needed.

Since he still had a bit more time until Lena was done with all the software updates and program installations, he got some busy work done inside her head cavity, cleaning out some minor corrosion that had started forming near her facial components, and even repairing a crack in one of her facial muscles.

Finally satisfied that he was done working inside her open head, he gently grabbed her scalp and carefully clicked it back on her head, making sure not to trap any of her thin, dark hairs in the seam. Once it was in place, he tapped the area behind her left ear again and it resealed. With her once again in one piece, Jack paused to admire her sleeping face, making a mental note to try controlling her body the next time he brought her in for maintenance.

With the software work almost complete, Jack detached her head from the pedestal, powering it off in the process, and then carefully laid it on its side so he could examine the mechanical end of her neck. Grabbing a special tool, he made some slight tweaks to her vocal synthesizer that his experience told him would improve her vocal range by up to 8%. Since she was going to need to manage a bunch of kids, she needed to be as loud as realistically possible.

Jack then made some similar tweaks to the counterpart on her torso before gently lifting her head back up, lining it up with her neck, and clicking it back in place.

Jack spent the next 20 minutes performing simple routine checks on her systems, opening up her primary access panel and even detaching her legs. He needed something to do while she finished installing all her new programs, and it took him a bit less time to work on her head than he had originally anticipated. He found a few components that could be upgraded with stuff he already had on hand, so he made quick work of it. Aside from that, he focused on the shock absorption functions of her body, since her stout figure naturally made her weigh a bit more.

Finally, Lena’s systems finished their updates and installations, so Jack finished his work on her feet and reassembled her before confidently tapping the subdermal controls on her abdomen to activate her systems. While he had felt a bit impatient, he had to stop himself as he remembered that Lena received a far larger program installation queue than the others combined since she needed a lot of programming so she could adequately entertain all the kids.

After the usual delay due to massive software updates, Lena finally activated, her eyes opening with more life behind them this time, and focusing on Jack’s.

“Hello, are you Jack, my co-owner?” she asked politely in a slightly breathy voice.

Jack’s smile barely contained the mental fist pump he was giving himself. “Yes, I am,” he replied, “I decided to update and install everything for you all at once…do you understand your new function here?”

“Yes,” she nodded cheerfully, “it seems like I’ll be watching a whole bunch of kids instead of just three, but I’m sure I can handle it,” she said confidently.

“Indeed, especially with the new toys I gave you,” Jack nodded.

“Oh yes,” she nodded fervently, her eyes focusing on his face, “Man, if I had these upgrades from the get go…. well, let’s just say those kids would’ve gotten away with far less trouble,” she giggled.

“Well, your new owner, Zoya, spared no expense on her staff…particularly with you,” Jack told her.

“Good,” Lena smiled, “I’m going to miss my boys, but I look forward to helping all these new little ones.”

“Well, I’m done working on you, though expect some upgrades and maintenance around Christmas time,” he told her, “It’s a bit of a tradition around here.”

“I see, everyone gets their presents?” She grinned.

“You pick things up quickly,” Jack nodded approvingly, “In any event, I need only for you to bathe in the residence over there,” he told her, gesturing towards her, knowing the programming he installed in her included a map of the entire property, “you can grab the bundle of clinic clothing that has your name on it when you’re done…. though, since you’re the last one, it should be the only bundle in there.”

“Okay,” she nodded, sitting up, hopping down off the table and heading towards the residence. Watching her body actually moving, Jack made another mental note to use the interface on her body as soon as it was convenient.

Since Lena was the last android, before Zoya’s new body, he was able to clear more stuff away. While he waited for Lena to finish bathing, he summoned Kat down to clear away the storage containers that Dominique, Krystina, Jaime, and Lena had been stored in. Jack let out a sigh of relief, since the containers were starting to clutter up his otherwise neat lab.

Lena emerged from the lab a short time later, looking nice and clean. Despite her body type, the scrubs that Zoya had made for her complimented the body type and flattered her perfectly in all the right places.

“Do you think Zoya would let me wear more normal clothes?” Lena said with a frown on her pretty face, “These are a bit boring.”

“I’m sorry, but I think boring is what she was going for,” Jack said sympathetically, “Maybe try and wear her down though,” he added with a wink.

“Will do,” she winked back.

“Well, you know how to get there,” Jack told her, pausing to look at the clock; it was just past noon. “Zoya is expecting me for my first annual physical,” Jack told her, “Tell her I will be there in approximately 15-minutes.”

“Will do,” Lena nodded dutifully, turning towards the lift in the lab.

Once Lena left, Jack headed back to his workstation to check up on the impending delivery of Zoya’s new body.

Chapter Six: Annual Exam

A quick check of the tracking information that he had been sent earlier showed that the delivery window had narrowed slightly from 3-5 to 3:30-4:30. Since it was still barely even 1 o’clock, he felt confident he’d be back at the lab from visiting the clinic to receive the package, not that he was worried since Kat could handle it. Still, this was a prototype Mark III body, so Jack was eager to examine it.

He quickly tidied a few things up in his lab before grabbing his jacket and heading to the lift up to the shop.

“Good afternoon, Jack,” Rachel said in her usual friendly voice’

“Good afternoon, Rachel,” Jack smiled, wincing slightly at the bright lights; he kept it dim in his lab. “How’s business today?”

“Very good,” she reported, “about 10% up above expectations.”

“Good, I’ll be at the clinic for the next hour or so, if anyone needs me,” he told her.

“Alright, have fun,” she waved before focusing back on her computer.

Jack returned the wave with a smile before heading out into the dock, pausing briefly to check in with Kat before stepping out the side door and onto the pathway leading to his driveway. Instead of heading to his house, he headed right towards the main road, where Zoya’s new clinic was now complete on the left side of the end of the driveway, directly opposite the shop.

Just as with the android staff, Zoya had spared no expense designing the place, opting to make it similar in appearance to Jack’s house, while still keeping a business look to it. While it looked somewhat cozy from the outside, he knew it was a three-level structure, with one below ground housing storerooms and a power generator, and her apartment being designed as a tower structure attached to the rear, facing Jack’s house and the driveway.

Jack continued walking to the front, where there was a small parking area in front of the main entrance. He wiped his shoes off on the front mat, since it was still a bit damp and muddy outside from recent rain, and then opened them front door with the key Zoya gave him; the clinic wasn’t officially open for business yet.

“Welcome to the Brownsfield clinic, Jack!” Dominique said cheerfully from the reception desk. In the few hours since Dominique had been brought online and sent over, she’d gotten a surprising amount of work done, though there was a lot of unopened boxes and empty areas that she still needed to work on.

“Wow, you guys really got a lot done,” he complimented her, looking around the place. While a medical clinic around this size in the 21st century would have been ill equipped, this one in the 22nd century was more equipped than even a 21st century hospital facility would’ve been. Jack didn’t know too much about medical facilities until Zoya started bragging about it at meals each day, so he had become involuntarily educated on the matter.

“Are you here for your physical?” Dominique asked politely.

“Yes, and I believe Zoya is also planning on giving me a tour as well.”

“Very good, just have a seat in the waiting area while I summon her,” she nodded, pointing politely towards a nearby waiting area; this seemed to be the first area finished, since it was already fully furnished and even had reading materials ready.

Jack nodded and politely sat down with a grin. Even though he was the co-owner of the facility, he would still be treated like a guest and he found that refreshing. Fortunately, Jack didn’t have to wait too long, as Zoya emerged from the locked door next to Dominique’s desk less than two minutes later, still using Vanda’s body, but now dressed in her clinic scrubs and a white doctor’s coat.

“Ah, Jack. Welcome in!” She said heartily, warmly greeting him with a hug, pausing unusually long before breaking apart. “Sorry, just making sure it was you and not JB,” she winked.

“Why would I send JB?” Jack asked with a confused look.

“I’ve read that a lot of people don’t like physicals, and since you have an android that looks and acts exactly like you, could send one in your place,” she replied.

Jack let out a warm laugh. “Ah, I think you’ve been caught up a bit too much in fiction,” he told her gently, “I have actually been looking forward to this, and besides, I know that you would have caught on almost immediately, so there would’ve been no point.”

“Ah,” Zoya nodded, managing to look somewhat embarrassed, “Well, would you like the tour first, or the physical?” She asked quickly, trying to change the subject.

Jack thought it over for a while before deciding. “I’d like the tour first.”

“Very well, follow me,” she said, twirling around dramatically to flourish her coat, waving her hand over the access reader at the door, unlocking it. Jack wordlessly followed her.

Over the next half hour, Zoya showed him around the clinic that he had helped built, including the basement with the generator. They were planning on possibly creating an access tunnel from the clinic basement to his lab/bunker, but that wouldn’t be for several years, if at all.

Zoya then showed him the room that Krystina was primarily working out of. Since she would be assisting mostly with elderly patients, or those with debilitating injuries, her room was full of therapy equipment and other devices that could be used for geriatric care.

Next, they headed to the room that Jaime was working out of. Since she was the general injuries and maladies nurse, her room was more dynamic and looked as though it could treat almost anything. Additionally, since she also assisted with sexual treatments, her room could also be configured accordingly.

After that, the headed to Lena’s examination room, which was attached with a one-way window to the large daycare center, where the Human, a woman named Leanne that Zoya had befriended, was still setting up the toys and equipment. Beyond the daycare room was a door leading to a fenced off play area outside that was right next to the trail leading to Gabby’s greenhouse, so the kids could play outside and then easily be taken to visit the greenhouse.

They paused in each room to talk to the nurses, but quickly moved on. Finally, they headed back to the entrance area, but went the opposite way towards Zoya’s section of the clinic. A fancy looking plaque was affixed to the door to her office, naming her “Vanda Novosel M.D.”

“Fancy,” Jack nodded approvingly, allowing her to open the door and let him inside. “How did you choose your last name?”

“It means ‘Newcomer’ in Ukrainian,” she replied, “I found it fitting, and since Vanda is supposed to be of Ukrainian descent, I figured it would cause less suspicion.”

“Huh, makes sense,” he nodded, following her into her office.

‘Dr. Vanda Novosel’s’ office looked like your typical doctor’s office, with bookshelves filled with medical texts, and a fancy looking desk with a set of comfy chairs at the end of it, and a relaxing lounge area to the side so she could consult with patients away from the desk.

There was a door directly behind her desk that Jack knew led to a staircase leading to her second-floor apartment, and another door near the lounge that led to her examination room and surgical room.

“Well, that’s the tour,” she announced, sitting down at her desk, “I’ll show you my apartment later, after I have my new body,” she smiled, “It isn’t quite ready yet, anyway,” she added wryly.

“Don’t worry about it, I can wait,” he assured her, sitting down in one of the chairs across from her desk, “You’ve really outdone yourself here,” Jack complimented her.

“Thanks,” she beamed, “I can’t wait until we pass our inspection in a few days and I can finally start helping people.”

“Me too,” Jack agreed.

“Well, are you ready for your checkup?” She grinned.

“Yes,” Jack nodded.

“Good,” she nodded, walking him over to her private examination room. She opened a cupboard and brought out a few sample containers. “I think we’ll get the unglamourous stuff out of the way first,” she said delicately, handing the containers to him, “I need a stool and urine sample.”

“Good thing I didn’t go before I came here,” Jack chuckled, taking the containers and walking to the adjoining bathroom. He returned a short time later and handed them to her.

“Thanks,” she smiled, placing them on the counter for later, “it’s not very glamourous, but it tells a lot about your bodies makeup.”

“I understand,” Jack nodded understandingly.

“Now I need you to strip,” she commanded, “all the way.”

“Okay,” Jack nodded obediently, calmly removing all of his clothes, folding them neatly onto a side table, before standing before her naked.

Zoya scrutinized him professionally before motioning for him to sit down on the edge of the table so she could take his vitals. Despite the fact that it was the early 22nd century, most medical exam implements, such as stethoscopes, were still virtually identical to their 20th and 21st century counterparts.

After she finished taking his vitals, she weighed him, tested his reflexes, and then had him lay down so she could begin a more thorough examination, including his genitals. She completed the initial phase of her exam by taking a small blood draw, only a few drops, and placing them with the other samples.

“Well, that’s everything except the stamina test,” she reported happily, washing her hands.

“The stamina test?” Jack said with a bemused expression.

“Yes, I was speaking with Gabby and she was concerned that your stamina in the bedroom might be diminishing a bit,” Zoya replied matter of factly, “it might be due to the fact that you’ve been using the interface device a lot lately, so she asked me to assist with testing your stamina during this session.”

Jack coughed a bit uncomfortably. “So, she put you up to this?”

“Yes, though this is a premium function that myself and Jaime will be performing for people, so most people will have to pay extra,” she replied seriously.

“Well, as long as my wife is okay with it, and its free, why not?” Jack shrugged, relaxing a bit since he was already naked anyway.

“Very well,” she smiled naughtily, removing her coat and then giving him a striptease. After a reasonably quick, yet seductive dance, Vanda was completely naked and mounted Jack, who was now fully erect.

For the next 30 minutes, they engaged in five rounds of sex, trying different positions, all while Zoya monitored Jack’s vitals through a small device she attached over his heart. Finally, both sensing he was tiring, and noticing the time, Zoya broke away from Jack and stepped off the bed to let him recover his strength.

Once Jack’s heartrate settled down enough, he finally sat up, taking the towel that Zoya wordlessly offered to him and wiped himself off before saying, “Well, what’s the verdict?”

“I think Gabby might be exaggerating her concerns, but only slightly,” Zoya said clinically, “I can tell your stamina has taken a hit since the interface device was finished, but on the other hand you aren’t getting any younger either.”

“Ouch,” Jack winced.

“Don’t worry, that’s what this session was for,” Zoya laughed warmly, taking the towel from Jack and wiping herself clean with it before placing it in a hamper, “I’ll have your full physical results by tomorrow, so I should be able to come up with a proper nutrition and exercise plan to bring your body back into peak form.”

“I can’t wait,” Jack laughed, though before he could say anything else, he received a message in his implant and quickly opened it. “Ah, your new body is less than 30-minutes away,” he reported, seeing the understanding look on her face, “and, she sent an update file that you’ll need to install before you can properly interface with the new body, so we should head back now.”

“Understood,” she nodded seriously, quickly handing him his clothes so he could redress.

“Aren’t you going to get dressed too?” he asked her, as he slipped his shoes back on.

“No, I’m going to come out and go with you separately,” she said, zoning out as she unsealed a small panel around her navel. In the past month, Jack had modified the abdominal panel on both Vanda and Andy so there could be a smaller, more manageable doorlike panel for Zoya to access, instead of opening the whole thing. A few seconds later, it hinged out like a door and Zoya emerged, activating her small wings and flying the short distance over to Jack, he allowed her to land on his shoulder and grab onto his neck for support.

“You aren’t bringing Vanda with you?” he asked with a confused look.

“No,” she replied softly into his left ear, “Vanda needs to clean up, and I already spoke with Henry, so while we work in your lab, she, Andy, Henry, and Anna are going to help move all my stuff over from your guest room and into my apartment.”

“I see,” he nodded, continuing to put on his clothes, “you’ve thought of everything.”

“It’s what I do,” she said proudly.

Jack finished putting on his other shoe and then stepped down from the bed, absently looking over at Vanda, who had already resealed her panel and was gathering her clothes. “See you two soon,” Vanda said, giving him a wink.

Jack merely waved awkwardly, since he knew Vanda was essentially an empty shell in comparison without Zoya at the helm. Making sure Zoya was secure, he quickly left the examination room and headed to the entrance of the clinic so he could return to his lab.

Chapter Seven: Lindsey

“See you for your next checkup!” Dominique called to Jack as he continued out into the lobby and out the front door; evidently Zoya had already communicated with her staff through her wireless link.

Zoya remained quite as she held on to Jack’s neck as he quickly made his way back into the rear of the shop, through the office, and down the lift back to his lab. Once back, he headed straight for his workstation and prepped the software update for Zoya. Zoya, meanwhile, had hopped down onto his desk and waited patiently for him to finish.

Once he had it prepped, he plugged in a special docking station that he had fabricated just for Zoya to use. As soon as it was plugged in, she walked over to it, extended her USB port, and plugged herself in.

“You see it?” Jack asked her.

“Uh huh,” she nodded, quickly accessing in and scanning the update files, “it should take about 20-25 minutes,” she reported.

“Better get started,” he told her, before looking over at the residence, “while you do that, I’ll be freshening up in the residence and changing my clothes.”

“Yeah, after a few rounds of sex I’m sure you need one,” Zoya giggled, before falling silent as she started the update.

Jack took his time in the shower, enjoying the warm water on his skin. He finally got out and groomed himself before slipping into a fresh set of clothes that he typically left down here, before returning to the main lab.

Kat was emerging from the lift with an android container just as he returned, wheeling it smoothly to his work area and stopping.

“Hey Jack,” she smiled when she saw him, orienting the box so it was facing the examination table, “there were a couple trunks shipped with the box too. Would you like me to bring them down?”

“Hmmm, they’re probably just the clothing and personal effects that Zoya’s ‘mother’ sent with the body,” Jack told her, walking over to the android container. I quickly located a small compartment on the bottom and inched it open, spotting a few articles of clothing in there. “It looks like the container already has some clothes in it, so you can move those trunks to her apartment at the clinic.”

“Will do, Jack,” she smiled, bringing her handcart with her and heading back up the lift.

Just as Kat left in the lift, Zoya finished installing the updates and detached herself from the docking station. “Oooh, is this it?” she asked, flittering over to me and landing on his shoulder.

“Yes,” Jack told her, walking over and entering in the code to unlock the box, “Ready?”

“Yes,” she whispered into his ear.

Smiling, Jack finished entering in the key and then stood back as the box hissed open. Nestled inside, completely naked, was the body of a beautiful young woman, designed to look like she was in her mid-twenties. She appeared to be of average height, was reasonably thin, and had very pale and freckled skin. Her long, dark brown hair cascaded down each side of her sleeping face, resting just past her shoulders. The most striking thing about her was how ordinary she looked, despite her beaty. Her breasts were of a modest size, and she had a simple girl-next-door look to her.

“Wow, she’s beautiful,” Zoya said in an awed voice, fluttering off my shoulder and hovering in front of Lindsey’s face, and the rest of her body.

“Yes, she is,” Jack agreed, “Hold on, I’m going to bring her to the table.”

Zoya flitted away to give him room as he reached in and grabbed Lindsey by her side, gently lifting her out of the box and carrying her over to his examination table. Once he had her lying on the table, he stood back to admire her body before scrutinizing it with a professional eye.

Over the course of the next two minutes, Jack gently lifted each of Lindsey’s feet, turning the ankle, bending the toes and arch. He did the same thing with her legs, bending the knees and lifting the thigh. He then examined her hands, fingers, elbows, and shoulders before gently probing her torso.

“Well, are there any differences between this Mark III body and the dozens of Mark IIs that you’ve worked on?” Zoya finally asked, once he stopped physically examining her.

“Not externally…visually,” Jack said with much thought, “I’m sure the artificial skin is probably more durable and easier to repair, but that’s not something you would be able to see with the naked eye.”

“I see,” Zoya nodded, “and what about the limbs? Do they seem any different?”

“Nope,” Jack nodded, and after seeing a look of visible frustration on Zoya’s face, he let out a kind chuckle. “No need to worry, Zoya,” he assured her, “as advanced as these androids are, arms and legs are really nothing more than peripherals. All the real magic happens in the torso and the head.”

“Oh, I see,” Zoya nodded more understandingly this time.

“Obviously having arms and legs makes interacting with your environment easier, but technically, even humans can live without them,” he explained, “Oh, I’m sure that they probably made some minor tweaks to the shock absorption factor of the legs, and the overall durability, but let’s see what they changed in the torso.”

Jack gently tapped the location on Lindsey’s torso that would illuminate the subdermal control panel. Fortunately, she was sent at least partially charged, since the panel illuminated just as he thought. He noted some minor changes in the panel’s GUI, but otherwise it displayed essentially the same information. He confidently tapped the control to release her primary access panel and then watched as the oval-shaped seam smoothly appeared; he noted the seam appeared nearly 30% faster than the Mark IIs.

Once the seam was fully unsealed, Jack gently wedged his fingers under each side and lifted the panel up, nearly dropping it when he saw what was underneath. “Oh my my my my my….whooooooo,” Jack said, his breathing getting harder as he managed to carefully place the loose panel on a side panel and admire the innards of Lindsey’s Mark III body.

“Wow, it certainly looks different in there,” Zoya noted, hovering above the open panel and examining the innards.

“See, I told you…. This is where the magic happens! Whooo!” Jack screamed with excitement, almost shoving his head inside her body.

The reason for Jack’s excitement was that the interior of the torso, as expected, no longer contained the A.I. Core, freeing up a considerable amount of space. This naturally allowed for a much larger power core, more than doubling the overall capacity. What interested Jack even more was that the empty spaces inside the torso were filled with a strange, bluish gel that seemed to envelope everything.

“I don’t understand what the blue stuff is,” Zoya said with a confused look.

“I’ve heard rumors about this,” Jack said with an awed whisper, gently poking it and giggling at the texture, “it’s supposed to dramatically reduce any further shock damage if the android sustains an impact, and it’s supposed to all but eliminate the threat of humidity damage, since it instantly absorbs any humidity and redirects it to the perspiration system.”

“Wow, sounds nifty,” Zoya said with an impressed look.

“Yeah, if Gabby had a Mark III body, then she’d be able to stay in the greenhouse almost indefinitely,” Jack estimated.

“Oooh, and does it also improve heat dissipation as well?”

“Yes,” Jack nodded, leaning in closed to the MCN. “See, the MCN still uses the lungs as a heatsink, but the lungs seem to be mostly an afterthought now…just to keep the illusion of a human appearance.”

“And to allow the android to smell things,” Zoya pointed out.

“Yeah, true,” Jack conceded, “The point is, this is the biggest change in internal layout I’ve seen….I mean, the only reason the Mark IIs look so similar to the Mark I’s is because they had too many design flaws and they had to upgrade early.”

“Well, I can’t wait to try it out then,” Zoya said in an excited voice, “Let’s look in the head now.”

“Indeed,” Jack nodded, placing the torso cover back on and resealing it. He then moved to Lindsey’s head and tapped one of the subdermal controls behind her left ear, unsealing her scalp.

“Can you see if there’s an easy access hatch for me?” Zoya asked, landing on my shoulder again.

“Don’t worry, she said she’d install it,” Jack assured her, gently pulling Lindsey’s scalp off and looking inside the open head cavity, “see, there it is,” he pointed out, showing her the mechanism on Lindsey’s left ear which would allow it to hinge open and allow her access.”

“Good,” Zoya said with relief.

“Now, this is where the magic happens in the head,” Jack told her, pointing out the small core in the exact center, roughly the size of an apple. Even though Lindsey was going to be the only A.I. controlling Lindsey’s body, it still needed a core to house the body’s memories, personality, and operating system. Zoya would still have total control, unlike the limited control she had over Andy and Vanda’s bodies.

“Is that the new A.I. core?” she asked in an awed voice, fluttering down and landing inside Lindsey’s head.

“Yeah,” Jack nodded, leaning in to get a closer look himself, “It’s slightly more than half the size of the core’s in the Mark I and IIs, but it’s just as capable of performing the same functions…possibly more, since they’ve been able to utilize gel-based storage medium, which takes up less space and has faster read/write times.”

“And they weren’t able to make this happen in the previous model?” Zoya asked, “the technology has been around for a while.”

“Well, perhaps if the Mark IIs had been able to have more development time, there would have been base models with the core in the torso, and premium models with the core in the head,” Jack explained, “But, as I mentioned before, the design flaws in the launch models necessitated Spaztec to fast-track the Mark IIs, and then they decided to spend extra time making sure the Mark IIIs would be perfect.”

“In any event, I’m glad I get to be one of the first ones to try out this new model,” Zoya said, searching for a data port and finding one, “Are you ready for me to integrate?”

“Yeah, I can always take a peek under your hood the next time you’re using Vanda at work,” Jack told her, picking up the scalp and preparing to reattach it.

“Great,” Zoya smiled, extending her USB port and lining herself up, “Remember, once I integrate with Lindsey, the new personality that my mother created will take full effect, so I’ll be different.”

“In a good way,” Jack assured her, “See you soon,” he winked, clicking the panel back on then stepping back.

A few moments after the panel resealed, Jack’s well-trained ears detected the sounds of Lindsey’s systems booting up for the first time, before the audio dampeners kicked in. Finally, Lindsey’s face started twitching, along with her fingers and toes, and then her eyes fluttered open, both deep blue orbs focusing on Jack.

“Well, how does it feel…Lindsey?” Jack asked, since he knew she would take the name Lindsey Zoya while using her body.

“It feels…amazing!” she said in Lindsey’s soft voice, a huge smile forming on her face. She carefully lifted herself up and swung her legs over the side of the table, “Aside from the fact that I have 100% control over this body, the enhancements definitely are more than skin deep.” She hopped down from the table and started walking around on her bare feet, giggling as she felt the cold floor of his lab.

“I take it they added the tactile feedback improvements I suggested?” Jack smiled.

“Yes, and they were able to further enhance those improvements by tweaking the nerves in the new Synthskin,” Lindsey confirmed, touching various surfaces around my lab with her hands, “this new personality is really nice too.”

“And you aren’t detecting any errors or malfunctions?” Jack pressed.

“Nope,” Lindsey nodded, after zoning out briefly to conduct a diagnostic, “The processing power in this new core is certainly improved as well, and with the core located inside the head, I’m able to process audio and visual data more than twice as fast.”

“Fascinating!” Jack said excitedly, “I can’t wait to get Gabby a Mark III body someday.”

“Actually, I’m processing a message from my mother on that subject,” Lindsey said, zoning out momentarily, before smiling, “She’s planning on visiting around Christmas and she wants to gift you a Mark III body for Gabby to transfer into.”

“What?! Really?”

“Yeah, though she doesn’t want you to tell Gabby just yet,” Lindsey said delicately, “she’s not sure she’ll be able to do it, and doesn’t want to get Gabby’s hopes up.”

“I see,” Jack nodded, “I can at least send her all my files on Gabby’s current configuration so she can make sure to integrate any of the heavy customizations I’ve made over the years.”

“That was going to be the next thing I brought up,” Lindsey laughed, “she’s also not sure if Gabby would handle a transfer from the modified Mark II core into the new Mark III core, so she wants to do some more research to make sure she’ll survive intact.”

“Oh, I hadn’t taken that into consideration,” Jack said with a concerned voice.

“Don’t worry, Jack,” Lindsey said, walking over and patting his should reassuringly, “I’m sure we’ll be able to think of something before then…. Christmas is still two months away.”

“Indeed,” Jack nodded, calming himself down, “So, do you have access to the Mark III update servers so you can update yourself?”

“Yes,” she nodded.

“Good, I was afraid you might need additional assistance on my part to access it, but your mother doesn’t miss a trick.”

“No, apparently she doesn’t,” Lindsey agreed with a note of pride, “I can’t wait to meet her in a few months. I never thought I’d have any parents.”

“Yeah, I wish I still had some….” Jack mused, trailing off.

“So, do you have any clothes for me to wear?” Lindsey asked, looking down at her naked body, “I’m not sure people would appreciate me walking naked to my apartment.”

“Your clothes are here,” Jack told her, opening the bottom compartment of the box that Lindsey’s body arrived in.

“Thanks,” she said, grabbing the bundle of clothes and walking a short distance away to put them on. A few moments later, she was fully dressed in a simple purple t-shirt, jeans, and slip on shoes.

“You look lovely,” Jack complimented her, “well, you’re the first android I’ve ever unboxed without doing any sort of maintenance or upgrades to,” he laughed, “what say we head on back to your apartment to enjoy the rest of this lovely day?”

“I’d like that,” she smiled, “You haven’t seen my apartment yet and, I think you’ll agree, it’s quite nice.”

“Well, I can’t wait,” Jack grinned, leading her to the lift and heading back up to the shop.

Chapter Eight: Evolution

As Jack and Lindsey walked across the way back to the clinic, Lindsey took her time, enjoying the scenery as though she were seeing and hearing everything for the first time. Jack was amazed at how well Zoya integrated the new Lindsey personality into her core being, and vaguely wondered how she would handle switching between Lindsey, Vanda, and Andy now that she had access to Lindsey.

“Welcome back, Jack!” Dominque greeted him enthusiastically as they reentered the clinic, then she turned to Lindsey, “and who’s this?”

Lindsey said nothing but stared at Dominique strangely as Zoya communed with her. Dominique froze as Zoya apparently sent her data over her special wireless connection. Finally, Dominique’s face twitched, and she continued, “Oh, hey Zoya…nice new body you have there,” she smiled.

“Thanks,” Lindsey gushed, continuing as though nothing strange just happened, “I’ll be spending the rest of the evening in my private apartment. Please let the others know of my current situation.”

“Will do,” Dominique said cheerfully, zoning out as she communicated wirelessly with Krystina, Jaime, and Lena. “Have fun!”

“We will,” Jack assured her, following Lindsey past the secured door in the lobby, back into her office, and then going through the door that they skipped during the initial tour earlier.

The second door led into a short hallway, complete with its own closet, serving as a sort of mudroom for her private apartment. The hallway turned slightly to the right at the end, leading to a spiral staircase winding up to the next floor where her apartment was.

“This is really cool, I must say,” Jack complimented her, as they both kicked their shoes and socks off and headed up the stairs to her apartment, “it almost makes me want to remodel my house to match.”

“Well, if you do, I’ll get you in contact with my contractor,” Lindsey smiled, leading him up and then opening the door.

Lindsey’s private apartment took up roughly 40-45% of the top of the clinic, including a fenced off patio area on the roof of the clinic that was surrounded by lush plants that Gabby had graciously offered from her greenhouse. The staircase emptied out into a small entrance area, with yet another closet, where Lindsey could store stuff that she would likely need around her home.

Off to the right side was a fully functional kitchen, even though she technically didn’t need food. She made sure to program cooking programs into her code so she could cook to entertain guests, such as Jack.

To the left of the stairs/entrance was the curved part of her apartment, since from the exterior it was rounded like a tower. The curved portion seemed to be set aside as a sort of art studio, since the windows provided a perfect view of Jack’s front lawn and the tall, snowcapped mountains beyond. Jack remembered Zoya mentioning that the Lindsey personality was artistic, though it seemed she didn’t know what kind of art she might be good at, so there was an easel for painting, a comfy chair with a tablet so she could write, and even some musical instruments.

The area adjacent to the creative nook, as Jack mentally nicknamed it, was the lounge and dining area. Lindsey had set up a couch and several chairs around a central table, facing a state-of-the-art media center flanked by two windows.

There were several doors along the far wall, one of which led to a guest bedroom, the other out onto the patio, and the last one leading to her bedroom.

Before Jack could say anything, the door to her bedroom suddenly opened, and Vanda, Anna, Andy, and Henry suddenly emerged.

“Oh, hey…. we didn’t think you’d be back so quickly,” Henry said with an embarrassed look, “we just finished moving the last of her stuff in…whoa, is that you, Zoya?” he asked, his voice catching as he looked at Lindsey.

“Yep, what do you think?” she smiled warmly, twirling around so he could get a better look.

“She’s, I mean, you’re…. very beautiful,” Henry stammered, his face going red.

“Awww, you really think so?” Lindsey gushed, her face also going red.

“Yes…I mean, yes,” Henry attempted, blushing even more, “like I said, we’re done, so I think I’ll head out now.”

“Thanks for the help, Henry,” Lindsey said, as Henry awkwardly bowed and then practically ran out of the room, with Anna close behind, smiling mischievously.

“You can go and standby in my office, Vanda,” Lindsey ordered gently. Vanda nodded and headed down obediently, while Andy headed back into the kitchen.

Once they were alone, Lindsey sighed with relief and motioned for them both to sit down in the lounge area. Once they were seated, Andy brought over a tray with some snacks and beverages and then headed back into the bedroom.

“You have a nice place, Lindsey. I’m happy for you,” Jack told her, taking a glass of hard lemonade and clinking it with hers.

“Thanks,” she smiled warmly, “I’m grateful for the hospitality you and Gabby provided me for the past several months, but it’s nice to have a place all to myself… finally.”

“I can imagine,” Jack nodded knowingly, turning to the window momentarily as he saw Henry and Anna walking across the lawn back to the main house, “I’m sorry about Henry’s behavior just now… if I didn’t know better, I’d think he has a crush on you.”

At that comment, Lindsey’s face flushed deeply, and she took a long sip of her hard lemonade before responding. “Well, I have a bit of a confession to make. I’m pretty sure I have a crush on Henry.”

“What!?” Jack spluttered, “for how long?”

“I think since the moment I saw him,” she admitted bashfully, “I didn’t know for sure until seeing him just now, as Lindsey, since the first time was as Vanda, and I didn’t have full control over her.”

“Well, this poses a little problem,” Jack said delicately, “Henry is still 16 years old, and I’m sure you are aware of the law.”

“I am,” Lindsey said, her voice slightly pained, “But, technically I’m not even two years old, and even though the bodies I use are mature, I still feel in a way like a child.”

“Still, the law is the law,” Jack pointed out.

“I know,” she sighed regretfully, “but, two years isn’t too long to wait, and my body won’t age unless I let it, so…we’ll see.”

“Indeed,” Jack smiled, “it’d be interesting to have you as a daughter-in-law someday,” he laughed.

“Yeah,” she laughed.

“But… Henry could do worse,” Jack said sentimentally, “I’ll watch you two with great interest…. hey, maybe you two could replace me someday so Gabby and I can enjoy retirement.”

“Perhaps,” Lindsey mused, “I’d be able to assist him immeasurably,” she said excitedly, thinking about it, “what, with me being able to plug into other A.I.s.”

“Yeah, I’d say,” Jack chuckled, “I kinda wish I had you when I got started, although then I might’ve gotten lazy having to rely on you.”

“Perhaps,” Lindsey nodded.

“I suppose we’d probably better never mention to Henry that you had sex with me,” Jack said uncomfortably, “I mean, I know it was in Vanda’s body, but still…”

“And Andy’s,” she reminded him, referring to when he was controlling Ellie and Helen’s bodies.

“Oh, yeah,” he blushed.

“Don’t worry, Jack,” she smiled, “Don’t worry, we have Doctor-Patient confidentiality,” she winked, “your secret is safe with me.”

“Thanks,” Jack laughed, “In any event, having an android companion is actually quite pleasant,” Jack continued, breaking off as he saw more movement outside the windows. This time, it was Gabby, walking back from the trail leading to the greenhouse, likely returning to start preparing dinner.

“Would you like me to summon her up here?” Lindsey asked with a knowing look.

“Yeah, she’d like to see your apartment too,” Jack nodded.

“Very well,” Lindsey smiled, zoning out as she communed with Gabby. Gabby stopped on the lawn as she received Zoya’s message, turning to look at the clinic and smiling when she saw them looking down at her from the window. She gave a friendly wave and then rediverted to the clinic.

“Thanks,” Jack whispered, watching fondly as Gabby walked past the window and then moving over to the top of the stairs to patiently wait for her.

When Gabby finally came up less than a minute later, she took a moment to look around before walking over to Lindsey and hugging her. “Wow, your mother gave you the perfect body!”

“Thanks,” Lindsey blushed, allowing Gabby to give her a motherly hug.

“And I see the plants I provided you are going to good use,” Gabby noted, looking out at the patio outside.

“Yes, thank you,” Lindsey beamed, “would you like to go outside and see?”

“Yes, please,” Gabby nodded, along with Jack.

Lindsey walked over to the patio door and opened it up, allowing both Jack and Gabby to head out before going out herself. The patio had a rough L-shape to it, with most of the space being a large square-shaped area surrounded by Gabby’s plants, along with some furniture and a table covered by a retractable, weather-proof awning. A rectangular section headed off to the left, containing mostly a garden behind Lindsey’s room to provide some aesthetic beauty out her windows, and to provide some privacy.

“You have a wonderful apartment, Lindsey,” Gabby finally said, after taking in the scenery.

“I can only hope it can allow me to grow and evolve more as a sentient A.I.,” Lindsey responded, “My mother gifted me not only with this body, but with my new personality… I intend on taking full advantage of them.”

“We’re happy for you,” Jack smiled fondly, his arm on Gabby’s shoulder, who nodded in agreement with Jack.

“So, with the clinic open, and all of your businesses operating at peak efficiency, what’s next for you?” Lindsey asked, sitting down in one of the patio chairs.

“Well,” Jack said, sitting down in one of the chairs with Gabby next to him, “I’ve been thinking about going on vacation.”

“Really?” Gabby said excitedly, since she’d never travelled more than a few miles from their home.

“Yeah,” he said seriously, “The Scottish government gave me four free passage waivers,” he reminded them, “I figure I could go, and take you, Henry, and Helen.”

“Wow, ever since becoming sentient… I’ve always wanted to visit somewhere else!” Gabby almost cried.

“Aren’t you worried about your business, while you’re gone?” Lindsey asked.

“A little,” Jack admitted, “But, I figure with a few simple tweaks to Ellie and JB, and if I can finally procure some decent backups in case one of my androids needs to be taken out of service for maintenance, or simply needs additional assistance, then I should be able to rest easy leaving the place for at least a week.”

“Or two,” Gabby nudged.

“Or two,” Jack laughed.

“Well, if you need any help, please let me know,” Lindsey offered generously.

“I will,” Jack nodded, “Fortunately, we still have a few more months until Christmas, so that’ll give me plenty of time to find a few backup units.”

“If it means we can finally go on a vacation, I’ll help too,” Gabby added fervently.

“Very well, I guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow,” Jack joked.

“Oh, I almost forgot to ask…how is my husband’s stamina?” Gabby suddenly asked.

“Quite excellent,” Lindsey reported matter-of-factly, while Jack coughed uncomfortably, “I’d recommend you two get it on a bit more often to boost it, though.”

“Well, we’ll have to do that tonight, then,” Gabby smiled naughtily, “assuming, of course, that his stamina wasn’t too badly depleted during his exam earlier.”

“It wasn’t,” Jack said defiantly, unconsciously assuming a manly expression without thinking, eliciting a cascade of giggle from Lindsey and Gabby.

“In any event, perhaps we should head back,” Jack decided, “I’m sure you’d like some alone time in your new apartment, and Gabby probably needs to cook dinner.”

“Well, when you diverted me here, I had Gemma take over dinner prep,” Gabby said with a pained expression, since she didn’t quite trust Gemma with the chores, “But, we should get back and let you enjoy your new living situation.”

“Thank you,” Lindsey nodded, rising to her feet to escort them both out. “Feel free to stop by any time,” she told them, as they headed down the stairs.

“We’d love to,” Gabby called back.

Once they were both back outside and heading back to the house, they walked hand in hand, enjoying the twilight dawning upon them, their minds already in Scotland.

← Story Archive

The Small Business Chronicles

Season One Closed for Christmas - The Shop | The Repair Shop - Part 1 | Off-season - The Motel | The Repair Shop - Part 2 | Slow day - The Cafe | The Small Business - End-of-Year Review

Season Two Homefront - The House | The Repair Shop - Part 3 | Green Thumb - The Greenhouse | The Repair Shop - Part 4 | The Doctor is in - The Clinic | More Help at Last - The Backups