The Repair Shop - Part 4

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The Small Business Chronicles: The Repair Shop - Part 4

Chapter One: No rest for the weary

It was a busy last few days for Jack, Ellie, and JB, but they finally finished working on their latest repair job: an entire staff of Partier models that a corporation had rented for a celebration they were holding. Fortunately for Jack and his staff, the corporate employees had gone relatively easy on them, so Jack just had to clean out their plumbing and perform a few minor repairs before getting them back to the rental agency. Still, the rental company he was assisting had requested a fairly quick turnaround, so he ended up pulling an all-nighter with his staff to get them done in time.

“Thanks for the help guys,” Jack said, plopping down in his desk chair, “you deserve a good rest.”

“Thanks Jack,” Ellie said, looking somewhat weak. She’d gone without recharging for almost a day, along with JB, and they were quite drained.

“You guys go get some rest,” Jack told them, “The rental agency should be coming around in a few hours to pick these ladies up.”

“Will do,” Ellie smiled, saluting playfully before heading to her room with JB.

Jack smiled knowingly in return, knowing Ellie and JB would be having a bit of fun before turning in. Once he heard the door to her room shut, he leaned back in his chair and quickly dozed off.

He was awoken nearly 20 minutes later by his intercom. Rachel’s voice sounded clearly, waking him up.

“Jack, are you there?” She asked, the tone of her voice indicating she had been trying to contact him for a few minutes.

Jack rubbed his temples and leaned in to the intercom. “Yes Rachel, I was taking a nap…. go ahead.”

“Sorry to disturb you Jack,” she said apologetically, “but there are a few official looking people waiting here for you….it seems urgent.”

“Tell them I’ll be right up,” he responded, a confused look on his face. He quickly activated the camera on his terminal, using it as a mirror, and fixed his hair. They’d have to do with his unshaven look, given they showed up without making an appointment. He took a quick gulp of water before rising from his chair and heading to the lift.

When he arrived in Rachel’s office a few moments later, he saw three important looking people sitting in her waiting area, one of whom looked very stressed.

“Sorry to keep you all waiting,” Jack said politely, joining Rachel at her desk, “I just pulled an all-nighter for another client and was taking a rest.”

The stressed-out man quickly cleared his throat and gave Jack a weak smile. “I’m so sorry to inconvenience you, Mr. Brown, but I’m here to present you a job of utmost importance…and delicacy.”

Jack was quite intrigued. “Oh?”

“I’m a representative of the U.S. State Department, and these two are representatives from the Scottish government.”

That instantly woke Jack up. “Oh, I’m honored to have representatives of the Scottish government here.”

After the events of World War 3, the Scottish government achieved a great status boost following the decimation of much of Europe and the British empire. They now controlled the entire British Isles, including Ireland, and much of Western Europe. While the U.S. was still dominant, the Scottish government commanded a great deal of respect, so dealings with them were always held with great seriousness.

One of the Scottish officials, a woman, cleared her throat and began speaking. “Mr. Brown, I’m truly sorry to disturb your rest…we are aware of your reputation, and a few other things, and are convinced that you are the best person to assist us with our quandary.”

“I’m honored,” Jack said, “how can I be of assistance?”

“Recently the son of one of our top ministers was killed in an unfortunate road incident,” she began, “based on the evidence found at the scene, it was most likely caused by another vehicle, but we’re unable to access the information to prove it.”

“I take it there was an android in the vehicle with him.” Jack surmised.

“That’s correct,” she confirmed, “he had a recent model Perfect Friend android in the passenger seat that was heavily damaged by both the fire in the vehicle, and the water from when the car was partially submerged.”

Jack winced. “I’m beginning to see why you came to me.”

“Indeed,” she nodded, “in any event, the Scottish government would be eternally grateful if you could do anything you can to recover the data from the crash so we can prosecute the driver of the other vehicle.”

“Is the family at all interested in having the android refurbished and returned?”

“No,” she answered bluntly, “I already spoke with them on that matter and they are interested only in recovering the data.”

“Is the Scottish government interested in the android then?”

“Again, no,” she replied, “we have come to the decision that, in addition to your usual fee, we will add the android as part of your payment. You may keep it for refurbishment, spare parts, or junk it…the decision will be yours.”

“I think I might be able to find a use for it,” Jack mused, “anything else?”

“Actually yes. The Scottish government would appreciate it if you could have the data recovered by the end of the week,” she replied; it was Tuesday. “We are aware that, due to the extensive damage, that this timetable might not be possible,” she continued, anticipating Jack’s response, “but, if you could manage it, the Scottish government will also include a free passage waiver as part of your payment.”

Jack’s breath caught in his throat as she announced the additional payment. After World War 3, most countries locked up their borders and it was much more difficult to travel around freely than it once was. Free passage waivers were essentially passports, diplomatic immunity, and a few other things all wrapped up into one neat package. To receive a free passage waiver was a huge deal, and a tremendous honor, but they almost always had conditions.

“Well, that certainly is worth the trouble then,” Jack nodded fervently; he’d always wanted to visit Scotland. “Umm, what sort of conditions will this waiver have?”

“The waiver will be offered in perpetuity, though you will have to make arrangements at least three months in advance.”

That sort of condition was second only to having no conditions whatsoever, so Jack was quite excited. “Well, you’ve provided me an offer I can’t possibly refuse,” he grinned, holding his hand out.

“We’re glad to hear you’ve accepted our offer,” she smiled, shaking his hand. The U.S. State Department official sighed with relief. “My assistant will assist you with unpacking the damaged android from our truck, parked near your loading dock.” She turned back to the U.S. State Department official and they left the room.

“Thank you,” Jack nodded, turning to the other Scottish official, “Are you ready?”

“Yes,” he replied, rising from his seat and walking with Jack out into the loading dock.

“Ah Jack, this man had me watching his truck outside,” Kat announced, approaching him from near the door, “he provided an official code.”

“Sorry about that, but our visit is quite important,” the man said, “My name’s Clyde, by the way.”

“No problem at all Clyde,” Jack smiled, “Let’s help Clyde get some stuff out of his truck Kat.”

“Yes Jack,” she nodded, walking over to the truck and opening the back. Kat pulled out a container that most likely contained the damaged android, as well as a few smaller boxes.

“What’s in the smaller boxes?” Jack asked curiously, as Kat strapped everything together on a rolling cart and rolled them to the lift; Jack and Clyde followed.

“Spare parts, all the stuff that came in the box, and all backup and update logs we could pull from her local server back in Scotland,” Clyde replied, “Even her clothes…I was primarily responsible for Helen’s maintenance and upkeep back in Scotland, since her owner wasn’t skilled in that area,” Clyde explained.

“I understand,” Jack nodded.

“I only wish I was half as skilled as you are,” Clyde smiled weakly, “I’m a close family friend and it kills me that I couldn’t fix Helen up enough to recover her data.”

“Was Helen based on anybody in particular?” Jack asked curiously.

“Not really,” Clyde shrugged, “I think Owen partially inspired her appearance on a handful of crushes he had, but overall, she’s an original design.”

“Good to know,” Jack nodded, “if I do get her fully functional again and have her work in my businesses, it helps if she’s not based on a real person who might be offended at an anatomically correct version of themselves being used without their permission.”

“I see,” Clyde chuckled, “well, you have nothing to worry about in that department.”

The lift arrived in Jack’s lab a moment later and they paused their conversation to follow Kat and her cart into Jack’s work area. Once she arrived in the work area, she neatly spread out the boxes of Helen’s spare parts and then paused over the container storing Helen’s damaged body.

“Would you like me to open it, Jack?” She asked politely.

“Yes, but place her body on the mobile cart.”

Kat nodded and opened the container, lifting the damaged android from inside and up onto the rolling table. Once she made sure that everything was out of the container, she resealed it and then wheeled the cart back to the lift.

Jack winced as he gazed down upon the damaged female android, Helen, laying on his table. The entire life half of her body was scorched, the skin completely burnt off and the underlying metal skeleton showing. The right half still had skin, but there was extensive water damage to the underlying musculature and the components. Her body was still somewhat damp, having been stored in an airtight container.

“Well, now you see what I was trying to deal with,” Clyde grimaced, “You think you can recover the data?”

Jack leaned in and examined the partially exposed A.I. Core, shaking his head. “I’m not certain,” he admitted, “there’s an awful lot of damage, but I have far more sophisticated equipment down here than most techs do.”

“Yeah, this place is quite impressive,” Clyde nodded approvingly, looking around, “you’ve certainly made a name for yourself, and now I understand why.”

“Thanks,” Jack smiled modestly, “so, how come you guys didn’t simply bring Helen directly to Spaztec? I’m sure they could’ve recovered the data for you.”

“Because we needed someone we could trust to be discreet,” Clyde replied, “given the modifications you’ve made to your wife, and a few other things I don’t need to mention, we feel you can be trusted.”

Jack’s face flushed. “Oh, you know about that?”

Clyde laughed. “It’s sort of an open secret in the intelligence communities,” he shrugged, “but rest assured, you and Gabby are quite safe…for obvious reasons, no one is going to want to mass produce sentient androids.”

“Yeah,” Jack laughed.

“Well, I won’t keep you any longer,” Clyde said, turning to the lift, “as I said before, all of Helen’s original hardware and pertinent items are in the storage boxes, as well as her recent backup files…. I just hope they come in handy.”

“Me too,” Jack nodded, “if not, I can always use the spare parts.”

“Good luck, Jack,” Clyde smiled, before heading to the lift.

Jack merely nodded and then turned back to Helen to begin an initial checkup.

Chapter Two: Picking up the pieces

The first thing Jack did was to peel away the damaged musculature and skin from the burnt half of Helen’s body; the water damaged side had already been stripped of clothing. With the burnt portions removed, he was able to peer inside Helen’s body and evaluate the damage and ascertain what parts were salvageable, which needed repairs, and which needed to be replaced/upgraded entirely.

He closely examined her body for nearly 15-minutes, vigorously taking notes. Once he finished cataloguing the damage to her body, he walked over to the boxes that contained her spare parts and did a quick inventory. As he inventoried the spare parts, he nodded approvingly as he cross-referenced the list of damage to her body with the available parts he had in his own stores, as well as the one’s Clyde had provided. By the time he finished the inventory, he was able to cross off nearly half the items from his list.

With the remaining 60% or so needing repairs or replacement, he quickly sat down at his computer and shopped on the Spaztec website. Fortunately, the parts he needed to order wouldn’t break the bank and would be covered by the fee the Scottish government was paying him. Jack knew just by eyeballing Helen’s core that it was not salvageable, though he hoped he could at least recover the recent data. As for her body, he had a few ideas with what he could do with it…at least, once he was able to fix it up.

After Jack placed the part orders, most of which would be arriving the next day, with a few more the following day, he got up from his desk and walked back over to Helen’s body. He stared sadly at it for a few moments, since she looked quite lovely on the half of her body that wasn’t incinerated. Finally, with a sigh, he began peeling off the skin and musculature from the water damaged side, placing it in a bin for recycling, until Helen’s body was just the metallic skeleton.

“Hmm, not too bad,” he muttered to himself, inspecting the whole skeleton for damage. There was still a small amount of moisture present, so he wheeled the cart over to the other side of his lab and opened up a small door in the wall. He then slid the top portion of the cart with Helen resting on it into the door and closed it, pressing a few buttons on a nearby panel that then illuminated with the words: ‘Dehumidifying in progress…full cycle selected…estimated time: 2 hours.’

“Well, that’ll give me a nice break at least,” Jack said to himself, once the device started. As quickly as they needed this job done, he didn’t dare get any work done until her body was dehumidified.

Confidant that the dehumidifier Jack had spent a considerable amount of money on would do its job, he decided to use this opportunity to check in on JB and Ellie, and then head up to the house to check in with Gabby. He knew he’d most likely be living down in the lab for the next several days, so he wanted to enjoy this chance at a break before sequestering himself.

Heading into the residential portion of the lab, Jack quietly opened the door to the room JB and Ellie shared and peeked inside. Just as he had suggested to them, they were both in standby mode with their chargers plugged in; they had also showered and redressed. Knowing they wouldn’t exit standby mode unless verbally commanded to, Jack confidently walked up to each of them and examined their charge ports.

“Good, two hours should be enough time,” he smiled, since they were both just over 50% charge at the moment. As he stared into their blank faces, and idea suddenly popped into his head that would likely make refurbishing Helen and recovering her data go much quicker. He ran a quick diagnostic on the brain implant, which was now safe to fully use, and smiled.

“Enjoy your rest,” he told them whimsically “We’re gonna need it,”, exiting their room and heading to the nearby lift.

When he arrived up in his house moments later, he was welcomed by the smell of Gabby’s cooking. Using his implant earlier, he had notified her that he was going to be heading up soon, though that was before the meeting with the Scottish officials. Hopefully she wasn’t too upset.

“Jack dear, you’re late,” she accosted him, once he entered the kitchen. She was sitting down at the table with a full spread of breakfast goodies. “I was beginning to worry about you.”

“Sorry dear,” he apologized, walking over and kissing her cheek before liberally scooping food onto as plate, “I was interrupted by some important visitors.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, representatives from the Scottish government,” he elaborated, scarfing down a bunch of food, “they need me to fix up a badly damaged android that was inside of a vehicle that was driven off the road by a reckless driver.”

“Oh dear,” Gabby said, clutching her chest, “Was the Human occupant alright?”

“No,” Jack shook his head, “that’s why their visit was so urgent. They want me to recover enough data from the android’s core, which I already confirmed is damaged beyond repair, in order to use as evidence in that person’s trial.”

“I see,” Gabby nodded, “and I take it that it’s going to take a few days.”

“Yeah,” Jack nodded, “I have to be finished by the end of the week to receive full payment, so I’m going to live down there until I’m done.”

“Full payment?”

“Yeah, in addition to my usual fee, they’re also letting me keep the android,” Jack explained, “But, if I can finish by the end of the week, they’ve offered me a free passage waiver…with the only condition being a three-month warning ahead of a potential visit.”

“Wow, that’s a big deal!” Gabby shouted, “who was killed in the crash?”

“The son of one of their ministers,” Jack replied, “I’m going to restore the android, Helen’s, body at the same time I attempt to recover the data they need.”

“Well, you can spend as much time down there as you need,” she said fervently.

“Thanks, dear,” Jack smiled, leaning in and giving her another kiss, “and, if I get that waiver, we can maybe plan a trip to Scotland next year.”

“Oooh, I’ve been hoping for a nice vacation,” Gabby squealed.

“Yeah, now that you’re more comfortable with your sentience, it’s the perfect time.” Jack agreed.

“Do you need anything from me before you disappear for the next three days?”

Jack put on a thinking expression. “Well, now that you mention it, there is one thing,” he said with a naughty smile, gesturing up to the bedroom.

“Ah, I think I can help you with that,” she winked, getting up from the table and taking his hand.

After a few rounds of passionate lovemaking in the bedroom, they both took a shower, continuing some more lovemaking in there, before returning to the bedroom to dress in a fresh set of clothes.

“So, how are you going to manage with minimal sleep?” Gabby said in a concerned voice as she watched him get dressed in the closet.

“Actually, I think I’m ready to test out the full capabilities of this implant,” Jack told her, pointing at his head, “At night, I’m going to rest my body while I control JB and Ellie’s bodies…and, if I can refurbish Helen’s body, I’ll control hers on the last night.”

“Wow, sounds like you’ll get to have some of the same fun I get to have,” she grinned, since she’d gotten to try the bodies of many of his staff already.

“I know,” he grinned back, “I’m going to start off easy with JB tonight, so it won’t be as much of a shock to my system, and then I’ll try Ellie’s body tomorrow.”

“I look forward to hearing all about it,” she smiled.

“Well, I’m thinking of using Helen’s body as a sort of anonymous avatar when it’ s finished, since it doesn’t have a functional core,” he continued, “Perhaps we could have a little woman on woman action when I’m done.”

“That might be interesting,” Gabby nodded, “I’ll let you know how I’m feeling about that at the end of the week though.”

“Good to know,” he nodded, “Anyway, I should get back down now,” he said, looking at the time on the bedside clock, “Could you or Gemma whip up some provisions and have them brought down?”

“Sure, I’ll have Gemma do it, since I’m already late at the greenhouse.”

“Sorry about that.”

“Hey, for my loving husband, it’s worth it,” she smiled warmly, walking over and giving him a loving embrace, “Now go get to work so we can go to Scotland!”

“Yes ma’am,” Jack play saluted, putting on the rest of his clothes and heading back down to his lab.

Chapter Three: Tuesday

As soon as Jack returned to the lab, he headed straight for Ellie and JB’s room. Once in, he walked over to them and snapped them out of standby mode.

“Hey Jack, did you get some rest?” Ellie asked, unplugging herself and JB.

“Not quite…” Jack started, spending several minutes explaining the situation to them while they patiently listened.

“So, we have to have this all done by Friday?! Less than three days? That’s a tall order, even for you,” Ellie scoffed.

“Thanks,” Jack smiled wryly, “I’ve actually decided to pull multiple all-nighters to get this done, considering the reward.”

“A vacation to Scotland…. I’ll bet Gabby’s excited.” JB smiled.

“Oh yeah,” Jack nodded.

“How are you going to pull it off?” Ellie asked.

“I’m finally going to test out this thing,” he replied, pointing at his head, “I’m going to work about 5-6 hours each night while controlling one of your bodies, and then take a 2–3-hour nap afterwards during portions of work that I have to wait to finish, like diagnostic cycles and such.”

“Ooh, you think you’re ready?”

“We’ll find out,” Jack shrugged, “just to be safe, I’ll start with you tonight, JB.”

“Sounds reasonable…and, that is what I was originally built for,” JB shrugged, not caring he’d be letting Jack highjack his body for a few hours.”

“What about me?” Ellie pouted, “I can’t wait to have you in my head….so to speak,” she giggled.

“If all goes well tonight with JB, I’ll test your body tomorrow night,” Jack smiled, “and then if your body works well, and if I can fix up Helen’s body, I’ll try her on Thursday night.”

“Sounds like a plan!” Ellie said, excitedly rubbing her hands together.

“Is there anything you need us to get started on?” JB asked.

“Yes, I need you two to pack up the Partier androids we worked on last night and then take them up to the dock,” Jack told them, “Kat should be free, so she can help you if needed.”

“Very well,” they nodded professionally, getting properly dressed and heading out.

While JB and Ellie finished their assigned task, packing up the dozen or so Partier androids and taking them to the dock, Jack started the arduous task of both restoring Helen’s body, and performing data recovery. He removed her body from the dehumidifier, since it had recently finished, and was pleased to see that the device had done its job. Jack made quick work of transferring Helen’s body to his work area so he could get started.

Since the most important of those two tasks was the data recovery, the first thing Jack did was to remove Helen’s core. The core was in slightly better condition, now that it was dehumidified, than Jack had initially estimated, but the damage still rendered the core useless in running an android body.

He powered on a special machine he used just for data recovery, one that had its own server and a special suite of algorithms that he’d either compiled or collected, and hooked Helen’s core up to it. Once Helen’s core received power, it connected to his machine and began running an initial scan. While the scan ran, Jack moved over to her body to begin removing the remaining damaged equipment and starting on replacing it.

Jack quickly determined that the entire left arm and leg would need to be replaced, due to the heat damage, so he removed them from the torso and began dismantling them for recycling. He removed a few servos that might be salvageable and then carried the damaged arm and leg to a machine that began melting the metal down. Jack dumped in a measured amount of metal and plastic powder into the machine to replace what was removed and then set the machine to reforge the limbs. Since that process would take up to ten hours, Jack returned to check on her core.

The initial scan had finally finished and informed Jack that the data recovery process would take 55 hours. That would be cutting it close, since that would have it finishing Thursday evening, and there was no guarantee that there would be enough data. Jack quickly started the data recovery process, hoping it would be enough.

With that started, he had little else to do but wait and do what he could with Helen’s body. Fortunately, her overall structure was still sound, so he settled in his work area and began the long, arduous process of restoring her body.

As the hours passed, JB and Ellie finished their previous task of bringing their prior client’s Partier models up to the loading dock for Kat to return to the client. Unfortunately, they were unable to assist Jack too much, since he still had other clients he was helping. JB was able to fill in for him in the client meetings, and the two of them worked on the other androids as much as their programming allowed, periodically requesting Jack’s assistance for the more highly skilled work.

Throughout the day, Jack scoured off the portions of Helen’s metallic skeleton, polishing it until it shined. Just as he finished removing the last of the burn damage, and as well as the little water damage that had permeated the skeletal structure, the left arm and leg finished reforging. He eagerly retrieved the newly forged limbs and clicked them in place with a satisfactory look.

After pausing to admire Helen’s now complete, and cleaned, skeleton, he got to work on replacing the servo mechanisms throughout her body so he could run a test on the body’s motor systems before working on the skin and musculature. Fortunately, he had plenty of spares, both in his own stores, and the supplies Clyde had provided, since servos were one of the most commonly replaced parts of these androids.

Within an hour, the servos were in place, so Jack quickly swapped out a few circuits in the torso, made sure the power core had a sufficient charge, and then powered on Helen’s body.

Her body came alive with a series of whirs and clicks, since there was no musculature, skin, or insulation to hide the noise. Since the A.I. core was still missing, the body made no verbal announcements, but numerous LEDs blinked on and off within her to indicate systems were online and functioning.

“So far, so good,” Jack said to himself, meticulously inspecting each servo and connection point to verify things were running smoothly. “Alright, time to see if you can move.” Jack connected a remote-control link to an open port on Helen’s MCN and then pulled out a tablet. After adjusting the controls, he stood back and watched as Helen’s metal skeletal body sat up on the bench, then swung its legs over the side and hopped down, making loud whirring sounds with each movement.

“Wow, kinda creepy, but cool,” Jack smiled, making Helen’s body walked around the table, even pick a few things up. Fortunately, the toes and fingers of the skeleton had padding, which allowed them to grip even without the skin or musculature attached.

“Uhhh, creepy!” Ellie shuddered, slowly walking up to Jack to watch the display.

“I could have you walk around like that too,” Jack reminded her, giving her a playful wink.

“Nah,” she shuddered, “I wouldn’t want to damage my delicate internals.”

“Me neither,” Jack agreed.

“If you’re done playing around with Helen’s skeleton here, JB and I could use your help on a project.”

“Sure,” Jack nodded, making Helen’s body climb back up onto the bench and lay down. He then quickly powered her body back down and plugged it back in. The project that Ellie and JB needed assistance with occupied a couple hours of Jack’s time, since he had little left to do while he waited for parts to arrive in the mail, and for the data recovery to complete.

This project involved reassembling an android woman who had been hit by a car walking across the street, and needed her legs reattached and a few other things repaired.

He took a quick break for dinner and then they powered through until early evening. Jack was starting to feel a little tired, so he knew it was nearly time to attempt to control JB’s body for the evening.

Before he could say anything, however, Kat came down into the lab with a small cart of packages. “Hey Jack, some of the parts you ordered this morning arrived in a rush transport,” she announced cheerfully, stopping over at his desk for him to inspect.

He quickly checked the numbers on the packages and nodded approvingly. “Ah good, I was hoping some of these would arrive tonight…. these will help a ton!”

“Glad to hear it,” Kat smiled, “I’ll keep myself in standby mode while I’m charging tonight, in case any late night or early AM deliveries arrive.”

“Sounds like you’re bucking for a better share of upgrades this year,” Jack smiled slyly.

“Maybe,” she winked, giving him a quick kiss before returning to the loading dock. Ever since he’d upgraded the entire shop staff to the latest Mark III A.I. files, they’d been far more productive.

“Ooh, packages so soon?” Ellie asked, joining him at his desk with JB.

“Yeah, for Helen,” he confirmed, turning to look at JB. “JB, I’m about ready to test my chip on your body,” he told him.

“Okay,” JB nodded dutifully.

“I need you to go and shower up, switch into a fresh set of clothes, and then join me out here.” Jack continued, looking at a nearby clock; it was just after 9pm, “Oh, and I won’t be ready right away, so plug yourself in until 10 and then come back out.”

“Yes Jack,” he nodded, turning to the residence and heading out.

“Ooh, I can’t wait until you try my body out tomorrow!” Ellie squealed, following JB to freshen up as well.

Jack smiled as he watched them head in to freshen up, then sat down at his desk to prepare to control JB’s body. He had a lot of work to do.

Chapter Four: Tuesday Night

Jack worked diligently on the device that he would have to plug into to any android he would want to take control of with his neural chip. Unfortunately, their built-in systems couldn’t handle it on their own, so he would need to plug in a device to handle the signal.

Currently, Jack had only one device, but if this one worked as well as he wanted it to, he planned on quickly manufacturing many more to plug into various members of his staff so he could take control of them at his leisure. For now, he would have to swap it in and out of JB, Ellie, and eventually Helen. He hoped to one day have one installed in all his androids.

He ran a few test signals from his neural chip to the device and was able to detect the signal each time. Confident that the device would work, he plugged it into his terminal to run a final diagnostic before heading into the residence to shower up. He still had 15 minutes before JB and Ellie returned from recharging, so he had plenty of time.

When Jack emerged from the shower and dried himself off, he dressed himself only in a pair of Spandex shorts, though still brought a set of regular clothes, and headed out into the lab to get ready. He pulled out a bed from the area of his lab where he had originally been building JB more than a year earlier. This bed had been modified, however, with numerous equipment designed to closely monitor Jack’s body while he was controlling an android.

“Wow, got enough equipment there?” Ellie teased, walking out a short time later with JB, who had dressed into a fresh set of clothes.

“Hey, I need something to monitor my body so I don’t spend so much time in one of you that it gets permanently damaged,” Jack defended, warming up the equipment before staring critically at JB.

“Is something wrong Jack?” JB asked.

“Not really,” Jack frowned, “I was just thinking…perhaps it might be a better idea if you were nude when I start the transfer,” Jack decided, “I’m not sure how easy it’ll be to control your body right away, and it might be easier if you’re naked.”

“Fair enough,” JB shrugged, quickly stripping off his clothing and leaving it neatly folded nearby, “You would have needed my shirt off, at least, to install the link device.”

“True,” Jack smiled. He paused to admire JB’s body, since he had chosen for once not to modify his body to look exactly like his own for once. This decision mostly had to do with the fact that Jack had put on a few points recently, and JB still looked more fit. Jack made a mental note to dig the Shawn Johnson Perfect Trainer model Gabby had gotten for him a few Christmases ago out of storage.

“Alright,” Jack smiled, clapping his hands together excitedly, “let’s get started.” Jack quickly retrieved the transceiver device he would be connecting to JB’s core and made quick work of plugging it into an open port. After JB ran the appropriate hardware and software diagnostics, confirming the device was compatible with his setup, he reattached and resealed his panel and laid down on a bed next to where Jack would be laying.

Once Jack had his equipment around the bed set up, he stripped down to just his underwear, which for the purposes of this was a pair of form fitting spandex boxers to allow his body to stay a comfortable temperature. He then laid down and, with JB and Ellie’s assistance, attached a series of electrodes to various locations on his chest and head to monitor his body.

“Are you ready, Jack?” Ellie asked, a minor hint of concern in her face.

“I think so,” he nodded solemnly, turning to JB. “When I take over, your A.I. will go into partial suspension,” he explained, “you should be running in the background, and even be able to communicate with me, if need be, so you won’t be completely offline.”

“I understand,” JB nodded understandingly. He had Jack’s latest brain scans, so he already knew this, but he also knew Jack was merely being polite.

“Good,” Jack smiled, knowing what JB was thinking, “Here goes.” Jack slowly closed his eyes and activated the control sequence through his brain implant. For a moment, he lost consciousness and experienced total sensory deprivation. However, as soon as it began, he suddenly regained consciousness and slowly reopened his eyes.

His view of the lab ceiling had suddenly shifted. He could see he was a few feet to the left of where he just was, and his vision seemed noticeably sharper and more detailed. He could also feel he was naked, where before he was wearing shorts. He slowly tested out JB’s body, wiggling his toes and fingers, before carefully using his arms to sit himself up on the bed, swinging his legs over the edge.

Ellie was still standing near his organic body, now looking as though it were sleeping peacefully on the bed. “Jack, is it really you?”

“Yes, it’s me,” Jack said, his voice sounding the same as though he were in his own body. Although he now had access to JB’s HUD, it was similar enough to his own brain implants HUD that he barely noticed. He used the HUD to run a quick diagnostic on JB’s body, momentarily freezing himself up, before smiling, “The procedure seems to have worked….I have full control of JB’s body!”

Jack jumped down from the table and gleefully bounced around on JB’s artificial, and significantly not sore feet. Having been in a Human body all his life, Jack was now reveling in having control of a body that looked exactly like him, but was suffering from no pain or tiredness.

“JB, are you there?” Jack said, though not aloud, to the process he could detect running that was JB’s A.I.

“Yes Jack, I am still here,” he replied in Jack’s mind, “I’m glad you’re enjoying my body, and I hope you have a fun experience.”

“Thanks, JB, and I’ll have it back to you first thing in the morning.” Jack replied.

“I know you will.”

Jack then reduced JB’s threads to minimize the processing power and focused back on Ellie, who was looking at him patiently.

“Is everything all right?” She asked.

“Oh yes,” Jack laughed, “I was talking to JB, making sure he was still there.”

“Okay,” she smiled, looking relieved, “Your bodies bio-signs look stable, so you should be able to safely control JB for about 5-7 hours before getting a couple hours of actual sleep.”

“Good, then I have some time to play then,” Jack grinned, reaching down and grabbing his penis. Pleasure signals entered his brain and processed across the wireless transfer into his human brain, allowing him to feel every sensation as though it were really happening. He continued to be glad that he had invested in ensuring that JB have a completely identical penis to his own, though the custom module cost a considerable amount.

He played around, shaking his hips and watching it jiggle realistically, and even started to get a slight erection, before stopping himself. “Wow, I never imagined the sensory data would be this accurate…it’s like I’m actually JB.”

“And tomorrow you’ll get to be me,” Ellie winked.

“Yeah, I can’t wait for that,” Jack nodded, “but, for now, I must get to work, and I can’t work in the nude,” he said regrettably. He stared at both his set of clothes, and the ones JB had been wearing before deciding to just wear the clothes JB was. Since JB didn’t have a realistic body odor, Jack didn’t feel like getting his skin dirty with his own.

Once Jack was dressed in JB’s body, he returned to his work area with Ellie and resume his work on Helen’s body.  He made quick wort of installing the few parts that had just arrived, delivered to the lab by Kat, though since there weren’t too many, it did not take Jack long.

Since he was still awaiting more parts, he spent some time fine tuning the settings on her body so she could operate more efficiently once the parts came in. Additionally, he started prepping the stuff he already had, but couldn’t install yet.

In between, he assisted Ellie with some of the other assignments that he had agreed to before Helen was dropped on his lab. A few androids that were getting some upgrades, and others getting repairs.

After he finished repairing the foot of a particularly attractive Personal Trainer model, that had been damaged kick boxing, he looked at the time and saw that it had been just over four hours. He ran a quick scan of his bodies biological functions and saw that he should return in less than six to rest up more properly.

“Are you feeling okay, Jack?” Ellie asked, seeing Jack zone out.

“Oh, yes,” he smiled, “It’s just getting close to time to return to my body.”

“I see,” she nodded, “So, since we don’t seem to have anything to do right now, would you like to test out some more of JB’s capabilities?”

“What do you mean?” Jack asked, slightly lost in thought.

“You know what I mean,” Ellie pressed, a hungry look in her eyes.

“Oh….that,” Jack blushed.

“Yeah, that,” she giggled, “You had sex with me on the first day I was activated, but that was while I was in Jenny’s body,” she reminded him.

“Yeah, that was nice,” Jack smiled, reminiscing.

“And then you built JB for me….”

“Hey, I didn’t build JB for you,” Jack corrected her with a grin, “I built him so I could possibly one day inhabit him, and to help me out around the lab….also, just to see if I could do it.”

“Anyway, JB may look exactly like you, and even act mostly like you, but having sex with him just isn’t the same as having it with a real person,” she continued, “With us androids, its all just sexual programming, activating programs to interact with the other partners programs, and it gets a little boring after a while.”

“You still seem to have fun,” Jack pointed out.

“Yeah, but that’s because we’re programmed to,” she shrugged, “I want to have sex with you…right now. It still won’t completely count, since you’re merely controlling JB’s body, but your mind will still make the experience unpredictable.”

“You mean fun?” Jack smiled.

“Yes,” she nodded.

“You okay with this, JB?” Jack asked him inside his head. JB had been mostly silent through the whole ordeal, but had occasionally chimed in with insights into Ellie’s current projects.

“Yeah, no problem at all,” JB replied simply, “have fun.”

Jack spent a few more moments a thinking about it, while Ellie patiently waited. He had been meaning to test out his ability to have sex while in JB’s body, but he had just figured he try it on Gabby first. Still, Gabby didn’t care if he had sex with Ellie, since she was part of the family, and ever since becoming sentient, she didn’t really care anymore if he had sex with any of his androids, so there was no downside.

“Alright, you win,” Jack sighed dramatically.

“Yay!” Ellie squealed, jumping for joy before rushing over and grabbing him fiercely, “you won’t be disappointed in your decision,” she whispered into his ear, before guiding him to her room in the residence, absently stroking his real body as they passed it. Jack ignored the small warning that popped up on his HUD and went with it.

When they got into Ellie and JB’s room, Ellie immediately began seducing Jack, though because Jack did find her attractive, she didn’t have to work too hard. Eventually, they both stripped off all their clothes and climbed onto the bed, with Ellie underneath, and Jack on top. They grinned into each other for several minutes, merely enjoying the feeling of one another’s skin.

Finally, Jack inserted himself in her and began working up and down, using his HUD to better time himself with her throes, before finally climaxing and collapsing on her in a wave of ecstasy. When they finally recovered, they rolled over and stared into each other’s eyes.

“Well, was having sex with me really so bad?” Ellie teased.

“Not really,” Jack admitted, “although, I suppose you’ll still be wanting to have it with me in my body.”

“Yep,” she nodded, “you controlling JB was different, but it’s still an android body…I want to try your organic body.”

Jack laughed. “Maybe that’ll be your Christmas present this year.”

“Hey! Don’t cheap out on me!” she pouted.

“I kid,” Jack smiled, leaning in and kissing her, “but, I still might offer it anyway.”

“I can’t wait,” she smiled, “how are you holding up?”

Jack ran a quick scan of his body. “I should probably terminate the link and return to my body now so I can get some rest before the morning delivery arrives.” Jack started to get up out of the bed, but Ellie grabbed him and held him down. “What is it?”

“You can terminate the link from here, right?” she asked.

“Uh huh,” Jack nodded.

“Well,” she smiled, gently stroking his chest, “I think I want to go a few more rounds with JB after you return to your body, before we clean up and recharge for the evening.”

“Alright,” Jack laughed, preparing to terminate the link, “Just remove the neural link device from his core before you recharge for the evening,” he told her, “And return it to my desk.”

“Will do,” she saluted.

Jack smiled once more before terminating the link. He once again experienced momentary sensory deprivation as he lost control of JB’s body, but moments later he woke in his organic body. He could feel that his body felt slightly well rested, since it was lying down for nearly six hours, but his mind was still slightly foggy, since it was quite active controlling JB’s body.

It took him a few moments to get used to moving his real body, but he finally sat up, removing the electrodes and sensors, and hopped down from the bed. He could once again feel the slight soreness that had developed in his feet from standing most of the day, as well as his lower back from bending down to work on the androids throughout the day. Sighing, he put his clothes back on and headed to the room reserved for himself in the residence to rest up for a few hours, before the morning.

Chapter Five: Wednesday

Jack woke up a few hours later, an alarm going off indicating that Kat was receiving a delivery at the loading dock. He quickly freshened up in the bathroom, got his clothes back on, and headed out into the lab.

JB and Ellie were already out and about, having cleaned up after their sex and fully recharged; the neural link had been removed from JB’s body, as instructed, and placed back on Jack’s desk. They were continuing to work on some of Jack’s side projects, and prepping his work area for the pending deliveries.

“Did you sleep well?” JB asked, handing Jack a mug of coffee.

“Yeah, thanks,” Jack smiled, taking the mug and a huge sip, “Your body is really nice to be in…. though, I suppose compared to my slowly aging human body, all of your bodies are.”

“Yeah,” JB laughed.

“I hope you enjoy my body tonight,” Ellie grinned, “I’m gonna make sure its nice and clean, and fully charged before you connect to me.”

“Thanks,” Jack smiled. He was looking forward to her body, though more for the experience of being in a female body than specifically to be her for a night.

They bantered in the lab for the next few minutes while Jack drank his coffee and ate a light breakfast. Just as he was finishing up, Kat emerged from the lift with a cart full of packages.

“This morning’s shipment from Spaztec is in,” she announced cheerfully, wheeling the cart over to Jack’s work area and neatly organizing them onto the side table near Helen’s body, “The driver assures me that the afternoon shipment will be here between 4 and 5pm.”

Jack nodded along as Kat spoke, quickly opening each package to interview what had arrived. So far, he had just about everything he’d need to get Helen fully operational, but the things arriving late in the afternoon would seem to be her A.I. Core, which Jack would be installing with her backups, and a fresh shipment of the base ingredients his 3D printer required to print her skin and musculature on.

 “Is the driver still up there?” Jack finally asked, after he finished inventorying the supplies. 

“Yes, he’s still waiting for the items you were planning on shipping out,” Kat reported.

“Good, JB and Ellie should have them ready.”

Kat merely nodded and followed the two of them into the store room. Jack routinely shipped some parts back to Spaztec for quality assurance when he replaced defective parts.

Once Kat had the outgoing packages ready, she headed into the lift and back up to the dock. JB and Ellie then joined Jack in assisting with the new parts for Helen’s body.

Over the course of the next several hours, they carefully installed the rigging in Helen’s torso that most of the internal components would be secured in, along with the shock absorbers and interior packing to give her body the appropriate feel when poked or squeezed.

Finally, Helen’s interior torso was prepped, so Jack took a quick break for lunch and then began the arduous task of both installing and configuring each component. He installed the stomach, the tubes connecting to the fusion power core, to the digestive systems, and even to the perspiration tanks.

Next, he installed the dehumidifiers that the Perfect Friend models came installed with. Not enough to withstand being in the greenhouse for extended periods, but certainly enough for being outside on a humid day.

After that, he installed the lungs and the heat sink surrounding the MCN, which he also replaced. Fortunately, her old MCN was not too badly damaged, so he was able to quickly transfer over more than 80% of the saved muscle memory data to the new unit and quickly install it.

Once that was completed, he installed a brand-new power core, fully charged, that would give her body more than 36 hours of charge, assuming she didn’t eat to replenish. He also added kinetic absorbers on her key joints to convert her kinetic energy into more energy, adding up to an extra 8 hours of charge. Although Jack didn’t intend on making her a new employee, he still wanted to pimp her out as much as possible, since he did plan on using her as a female avatar from time to time.

Getting very late into the evening, close to the evening delivery time, Jack was installing the final, lower priority components. At this point, JB and Ellie had already broken away to attend to a project just brought down by Rachel, but since it was a simple repair job, they would be done in less than four hours and be ready to return the unit before the shop closed for the night.

After Jack finished installing the reinforcement muscles on Helen’s elbows and knees, he grabbed the final components, which turned out to be her sexual systems. Unlike previous cases, where the vagina was fully intact, since he was planning on printing the external portion anyway, he saved a bit of money by just purchasing the interior part.

Wiping some sweat from his brow, he delicately installed it within the pelvis of Helen’s skeleton body, connecting the dozens of fiber optic cables to the MCN and the power systems. Once the actual unit was in place, he spent another hour connecting the perspiration systems to it, as well as installing the lubrication systems.

Once the whole unit was completed, he pressed a button on the side to pre-lubricate it for the first time, standing back and watching in satisfaction as a small amount of lubricant primed the unit for use. The device always had to have a small amount of lubricant in it, so there wouldn’t be any damage while the body moved around throughout the day.

Just as he was finishing up, he got an alert on his computer that the evening delivery had finally arrived. Kat was currently speaking with the delivery driver and packing the boxes onto her cart. Jack had just enough time to freshen up and down a glass of water before she came down with the cart.

“The evening delivery,” she announced cheerfully, stopping at his work area.

“Thanks Kat!” Jack told her, grabbing the half dozen or so boxes. One of them had the Perfect Friend core that he would be modifying for her body, a few of the other boxes just had a few minor components he could install later, but two of the heavier boxes contained the ingredients his 3D printer required to print the skin and musculature on Helen’s body.

Jack usually had those ingredients stocked already, but he usually only had enough to reprint skin on a hand, foot, arm, leg, or even head. This was one of the few occasions he needed to print for the whole body.

“Will there be anything else?” Kat inquired.

“No Kat, just resume your normal duties,” he told her, already focused on prepping the 3D printer. Kat nodded curtly, not offended at all, and returned to the dock with her cart.

In order to prep the printer, Jack required the assistance of both Ellie and JB, since loading the ingredients was very delicate, not to mention loading an android skeleton into the printing chamber. Once the ingredients were loaded into their cartridges, JB and Ellie carefully lifted Helen’s body up and placed it in the printer, which Jack had already configured for Helen’s body type.

With the physical work done, Jack now began a long process of actually configuring what Helen would look like. Clyde had provided him with Helen’s physical parameters, which he of course had programmed into the machine, but since he was going to be the one primarily using her body, Jack naturally wanted to make a few alterations.

Before he got started, since he knew it would take a while, he turned to Ellie. “When I’m done altering Helen and have the printer started, I should be ready to try out your body,” he told her.

“Yay!” She clapped.

“I want you to go and clean up, and make yourself up…. nothing too extreme, mind you,” he told her, prompting a giggle from her, “and then I want both of you to charge up and wait in standby mode until I’m ready.”

“Ok,” Ellie nodded seriously, along with JB. The two of them made their way into the residence to follow Jack’s instructions, while he turned to the printer to make the alterations to Helen.

Helen already looked breathtakingly beautiful, so most of the alterations Jack made were subtle. He added a small spattering of freckles on her face and neck, mostly around her cheeks. He made her breasts slightly firmer, altered the length and thickness of her hair, and slightly lightened the color of her brown eyes. He considered making her eyes green, but the preview avatar just didn’t look right, so he kept them brown.

The biggest alteration he made, which ended up requiring him adding a few more ingredients to the mix, was enhancing her musculature. While he did want to retain most of her feminine attributes, he still needed her to be capable of as much physical activity as his real body, so he enhanced her arm and leg muscles, and even toned her abs, to give her a slightly athletic look. It would only mostly be noticeable if she were naked, though, so she’d still look mostly the same.

The final modifications were all optional features that these androids could be equipped with, but Helen originally wasn’t. Such features like enhanced skin to protect from the sun, enhanced durability, and better perspiration usually would cost someone a lot extra, but since Jack already spent a fortune on the printer, he could give his androids upgrades for a considerable discount…. even though he still had to purchase all the ingredients.

Once the final alterations were set, the machine ran a diagnostic to confirm it had sufficient ingredients, then it quickly updated its software online, before running an intense laser scan of Helen’s skeleton. A minute later, the scan completed and offered an estimate of 12 hours for the printing process to complete.

Jack winced, since it was at least two hours longer than he had anticipated, but he was not too surprised given the enhancements he had programmed in. He quickly started the process and watched as the window on the device took on a tint to protect his human eyes from the laser radiation, but still allowed him to view the process partially. After he watched in satisfaction and it began its work on Helen’s toes, he pulled his view away from the printer and over to the A.I. core he would be customizing for her body.

While he was planning on doing most of the work while in Helen’s body, he still at least needed to do some quick prep work, so he pulled it free of the packaging and plugged it into his computer terminal so it could download and install some of the necessary updates it would need before he could even get started later.

With all the automated work underway, Jack headed into the residence to take a quick shower, and to prepare himself for controlling Ellie’s body.



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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 |