Part 1: The Twin Paradox
In my dreams I recollect me sitting on a bed, alone in the room. The doctors are busy getting ready in the observation cell and the air is thick with sounds of excitement that could be heard even across the airtight viewing glass. My comrade is standing by the door and peers in though the built in window with a look of contempt. In honesty she should have been in my place, and I would give up the position to her in a heartbeat. Yet the doctors and scientists chose me over her for a reason, and it's something that I should not question. I lie down on the bed as the world around me begins to fade. I hear the sound of my dog barking in the distance. Her distinct cry sounded just as the same as the day I had adopted her. I focus myself and begin to close my eyes as I am filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement...
As I open my eyes again the world is still fuzzy. I look around in my lethargy, the dark room is unfamiliar. I bring my hands up and rub my eyes trying to clear the fog but it does not seem to help. Nothing to worry about, it is most likely due to the result of whatever was done to me and should wear off soon. The soothing voice of a woman with a strange accent speaks to me from somewhere unseen.
“Hi, how are you feeling?” She asks me, not leave time for my answer before continuing.
“Please take it easy, there is a coat on the table in front if you feel cold.”
The woman is right. Unfolding what seemed to be a gray worker’s jacket it was lined with a strange plastic scale like material on the outside. But the inside was a thick layer of cotton that was woven into square packs. I quietly put it on as I look more closely at the strange room. The place was like nothing I have ever seen before. Various screen flicker with text indecipherable, cables splayed randomly across the floor, various computer-like equipment piled haphazardly ceiling high. A lstrip of blue light gave everything in the room one cool blue color. I wait sitting on the bed for what feels like an eternity before a door opens with a hiss and a humanoid robot smoothly creeps into the room.
“Hello, my name is Artisse, I am very excited to meet you.” The plastic robot spoke to me. Her body vaguely resembled a lady wearing a large blouse, except her arms are lined with instruments that looked like they were attached afterhand and the crude instruments did not fit the rest of her elegant body well. She wore no articles of clothing except for a chain necklace with a silver pendant that depicted a triangle under the grip of a fist.
“Nice…” I swallow hard as my throat stings with dryness. “... to meet you.”
“How do you feel, any nausea or pain?” She asks me, stepping closer.
“I feel fine.”
“That's good. Welcome to the future.” She states plainly, like it was something she says everyday.
While time travel wasn't something I was expecting. I was ready for anything before they put me into the machine, and I still am.
“Thank you. What now?” I ask, trying to sound proper even though the dryness in my mouth appears to go down deep in my throat. Time travel most likely was not kind to my body.
“Before we go into the details, let's get you acquainted with your new home.” She said as she beckoned me to follow.
I follow her as she walks with heavy steps that clanks with loud reverberations through the worn metal platings of the floor. The interior of the building looks worn, with pipes and wires exposed along the walls that had their coverings removed. If not for the obvious robot leading me through the halls, I would have assumed I was at some decrepitated and abandoned factory building from the last century. As we walk down the long corridor I note pairs of menacing looking robot guards that appear at almost every turn. They unmistakingly carried rifles of sorts. Also strange was that they all had what looked like long handled axes on their backs, I could not guess if they were more decoration or practical weapons. They also were placed in a way that no matter where one stood, they were there to observe you.
“I hope the guards don't frighten you. They are here for our protection, but more importantly, they are here to protect you.” Artisse says to me as I notice a small but bright blue light that flashes in synchronization with her speech within her neck.
Before long we arrive in the lobby of the building. I try to recall the path we took to get here, but my head still feels foggy and uncharacteristically I cannot remember how I got here. I follow her and stumble onto the street that was bustling with unfamiliar vehicles that both flew and glided on the ground. Robots and people littered the sidewalks hurrying to wherever their destinations might be. The future was not as pretty as I imagined, everything looked worn down and bare without any vegetation. As I looked up at the sky, it was littered with stars blinking brightly in the night. The tower that we came out of is the largest by a large margin in the surrounding city. Though I had seen cities with buildings much more grand and fancy in my own time, the sight was breathtaking as machines of various sizes filled the sky, each giving off their own light that reflected off the cityscape.
“We are currently in Dome 19 on Diana, 5th planet of the TAva system. Majority of the city is under the administration of Proctor and Company, and thus majority of the occupants here are under our direct payroll.” She explains to me like a teacher to a child.
I close my eyes tightly and open them again, the haze that clogs my head does not dissipate.
“Excuse me ma'am.” I ask politely, not sure if such things are needed with robots in this world. Artisse turns and looks at me with surprise.
“You have not told me what year it is ma’am.”
She takes a moment to think over my question before answering.
“On Earth it would be the year 4182, but you don't need to concern yourself with that, you are here and now. Don’t worry, we will help you get oriented. One step at a time ok?”
I open my mouth to reply but find myself at a loss for words. Not from the wonderment of my situation, finding myself on a foregin planet, or solar system even. But from my inability to recall the name of the country that I had trained my whole life to serve, the ones who sent me here. I remember the trials and lessons, but not the people of my past. I have read before that it was possible to have a certain type of amnesia that dissociates people and faces and causes the subject to forget them but not anything else.
“Ma’am, I think I might have amnesia, I don't remember…” I stop myself mid sentence and curse myself silently. I had revealed a vital weakness, disastrous if this Artisse was someone not to be trusted.
“Don't worry, memory loss is to be expected.” She answers me without hesitation.
A luxurious vehicle pulls up in front of us and its doors open, revealing an interior with seats arranged in a semicircle. I follow Artisse who steps awkwardly inside, her joints not as flexible as her form would suggest. The car rises high into the night and the windows on the vehicle gives a grand view of the city whose limits end suddenly in the distance in all directions. Beyond lay lifeless ridges of gray desert hills, it was another planet after all.
“As you may have noticed, there are no humans present on the streets of Dome 19." She says as her tone turns serious.
"What about the people down there?” I ask, looking down at the crowds, deciding to drop the formalities.
"Androids, they compose a minority of the population. Here in dome cities like this they are plenty. But people, they are not."
The car takes us above the rest of the traffic in the city, I would guess the city is almost a hundred kilometers wide from this perspective. Factories seem to intertwine with apartment's buildings to create a strange looking skyline that reveals a perfectly grid pattern separated by the streets on ground level.
"As you can see, due to the absence of human settlers, the city, and the whole system has been in decline for decades. I fear if things continue as they way they are, all of us are doomed." Artisse continues.
"...While the Android proxies that represent the companies and parties that founded this colony have been dutifully building and expanding the system for human arrival. Time has eroded their senses as they are now betraying their purpose and have begun fighting amongst themselves."
I listen as closely as I can, still woozy from my millenia long sleep. Streaks of light could be seen flashing in the sky, giving silhouettes of massive machines flying above. Spaceships maybe.
"That is why Proctor and Co has decided to wake you up to help us bring sanity back to the dome...”
I look back at Artisse who had been staring a hole in me with her mechanical eyes this whole time. Her sudden silence was strange as her body remained perfectly still. I held her gaze and waited for her to continue, it was more strange locking eyes with a being that spoke so naturally while clearly being a robot. It was something I would have to get used to it seems.
“Sorry about that, It seems all of the members of the board have already gathered and are ready to meet you in-person...”
I continued to observe the city from the moving vantage point of the car. Three armored vehicles now flew in an inverse delta formation to either side of us. From what I could tell they looked like the normal vehicles that roamed the streets below, but with makeshift metal panels and weapon placements attached. Artisse continued on briefing me about the sorry state of affairs that seems to surround this place and her company.
Before long we arrived at a rooftop parking as I followed her into another building that was kept in much better condition, the floors and walls were lined with polished stone. The same mechanical guards could also be found in better conditions, their metal bodies polished and their mechanical parts cleaned. We arrived at the conference room with most of the seats already filled. 10 people sat around an oval table, most of them fully human looking with two members looking exactly alike, while two others were obviously mechanical like Artisse. One of the members on the right stood up immediately and reached for my hand and promptly kissed it on the back.
“We are jubilant at your safe and timely arrival to this assemblage of devoted capitalists.”
The man’s hands were slim and gentle, his hair cropped back in a sleek wave, they changed from jet black to silver gray. He wore a tight light colored suit that matched well with his dark skin and hair.
“These, and yours, are the acting council members of Proctor and Company. In the absence of mankind’s arrival in the system we are the stewards that tend to our master’s interests.”
He made a charming wink at me and gestured for me to take the seat beside him. Just as I sat down another member began to speak. An older looking man that spoke with a surprisingly vigorous voice that echoed well in the large chamber.
“Now, before we proceed, let's begin the tests. I hope the results will be favorable this time.”
“I have full confidence. Our guest here won't be disappointing you tonight.” Artisse shot back a quick response before turning to me.
“Don’t be worried.” She whispered.
One of the members pulled out something similar to a flashlight and displayed it to the other members. Artisse takes a step back as the man points it at me and a series of bright blue flashes blinds my eyes.
“How are you feeling?” The dark skinned man leaned close with a hand on my shoulder.
“Gave me a slight headache but I am fine.” I answered back.
The members looked at one another in agreement before sliding an envelope in front of me. On the front in bold letters it said “Proctor and Co Foreman and higher staff only." Along with other assorted warnings. I pull open the surprisingly old fashioned paper pouch to find nothing inside. I wonder what keeps them from being able to tell if I am human or not from using a simple blood test or something. Perhaps there are biological, human-like machines in this world and there was a need to distinguish between them. I looked up at the crowd as the various members began talking amongst themselves. The dark skinned man leans close to me again, this time with a hand placed firmly on my thigh, his eyes seems to glitter in the dark as his expression tells me he is about to tell me a secret of some kind.
“You did wonderful… There is but one more test that ‘they’... need time to prepare.” He whispered to me, even amongst the cacophony of voices his quiet words were clearly audible. He produces a small cellphone like device from his pocket unseen and holds it out to me.
“Take this cell, I have altered it so it is untraceable. If you need anything dear, please don’t be afraid to give me a call. Just speak my name into the device. Cato Six.”
As he mimicked the motions the screen lit up with a photo of the man’s face and a collection of options appeared. I take the phone from him with a steady hand and stuffs it in my chest pocket without looking at it further. My gesture purposefully forceful as I have learned the best way to deal with people like him is to act compliant but willful, and especially careful to not show any weakness unlike before.
“I wouldn't mind if you simply wanted to confide your curiosity of this world to me in private.” He added with a sleek smile.
“THIS DEMONSTRATION IS NOW OVER!” A loud and bombastic voice rang out across the room. Cato’s hands gave my legs an almost painful squeeze as he retracts from me and stands along with the rest of the members. I stand too as they promptly shuffle out of the room with rushed efficiency. Each one of them glanced at me as they went with wildly different emotions on their faces. With the exception of the two members who did not have human-like faces, but their instruments on their heads seem to move with excitement nonetheless. Quickly I find the room empty only with me and Artisse standing by the door. She speaks to me with the clear intent of leaving me behind.
“You are free to go wherever you please, I am sure you wish to explore the city more. I would suggest not going too far as the final test could be arranged as early as tonight. As for Cato, he’s a man that lives up to his looks.”
I wanted to ask where I could get some rest but decided against it, I simply replied with a nod as she left me alone with the two unmoving robotic guards that watched over the room. As I stumbled my way through the building looking for the exit I couldn’t help but feel lost. Lost not physically but purpose wise, why had I been sent into the future? Who could I really trust in this new place? All of these questions are too complicated to answer for now. Artisse was right, I could only trust the answers I found myself and the future was out there.
The streets were more lively than I had imagined in a world where only robots and androids existed. There were unexpected places like diners and clothes stores filled with people. By people I mean Androids both human and robotic looking. The human looking ones could be distinguished by their white to gray colored eyes and on those who wore more revealing clothes, you could tell by a faint elongated QR code inscribed in the center their chests just below the neck. I made it a dozen blocks before deciding to sit down and rest for a while at an outside table of a coffee shop. It was nice to know that coffee was still a thing and I for sure could go for a cup right now. A cute looking waiter shuffles out of the store to my rescue as I struggle to read the strange language on the menu.
"What can I get you?" He asks me.
"Just a regular sized dark coffee please."
I was sure those would always exist, no matter the time period. Instead he stood there with a crooked head. Looking blankly at me.
"Trying out new tastes huh? Glad to hear, one dark coffee coming right up!"
As he disappeared back into the shop I slumped back into the chair and looked back at the busy street in front of me. Cars glided effortlessly along the ground and on rare occasions flew in the sky. There were platforms every few stories on the buildings where cars would land and take off from. People, as I call them now, as aside from their mechanical nature, I couldn't tell any major differences. They simply carried about their lives just like any human would. The presence of what seemed to be police also suggested that they also were committing crimes. Even across from where I am there is a club house of sorts with two girls standing out front trying to attract any passers-bys inside with their curvy bodies in revealing clothes and sultry gestures. The girl on the left was a thin and busty brunette that has the same body as a Barbie doll. Her butt and bust jutting out like cheap plastic surgery. But the one on the right looked familiar. A more portioned blond girl by comparison but she still had the body of a pornstar. I can't recall where she's from but I am sure I know her, not from some porno but in reallife, the past perhaps. The two girls quickly notice me looking at them, they break their alluring performance for a brief moment to give me a warm wave. They knew me somehow.
There was nothing to lose I thought to myself. Just two incredibly hot Androids girls, what's the worse they could do? Crossing the street I gave them a small below the shoulder wave back.
"Hey… I think I know you from somewhere." I started, directing myself at the blonde.
"Yes… You look familiar too." She rubs her chin and puts on an exaggerated thinking pose.
“Well, come on inside then.”
She gave me a half smirk and a small cute laugh back. Her voice tender and smooth that smelled of sweet berries.
"Go on, don't make a scene."
I felt a hand push me inside. I turn around and see the brunette nudging me gently.
The club was not as big nor lively as I thought. A dozen tables out front with a bar and a hallway leading to the back. Faint 60s music played in the background as quiet conversations filled the room. I had to snap myself out of it and try to appear casual as I made my way to the bar and grab myself a seat. Inside there were a dozen girls who were exact copies of the two outside. The only difference between them were slight details in the way they dressed their hair and the clothes they wore. They sat paired up with guests who represented the same wide range of people that were on the streets, in contrast to the hosts.
The alcove closest to me sat a silver and orange robot next to one of the brunette hostesses, her soft and long arms wrapped around his stubby and hard body that looked like a torpedo with limbs.
"... I did the best I could ma'am, but the truck is too old, I took all the shortcuts and made the most efficient route. But I can't predict…"
The little robot droned on and on as the brunette held him closer and closer, slowly pushing him into her chests. His small body engulfed between her large breasts.
"I know dar'lin there ain't much we could do. I'm sure he's still happy with your work."
She said to him, wooing him, while watching out of the corner of my eye, trying not to make myself known.
"My ratings don't lie, they are never satisfied, if only…"
"I know there is a way you could satisfy me..." she cut him off as she pulled one of his metallic grippers in between her legs, under her dress, and began rubbing her crotch on them.
"Ar ar you sur sure? I am not not not equipped for this." The little robot stammers out quietly.
"Put it inside, I need you baby."
The little robot obliges and extends his arms below her dress fully and after a moment he began slowly pumping. Her mouth opened slowly with her tongue reaching out in quiet ecstasy. She wraps herself around him and a drip of her saliva, or whatever Androids have, falls and slides down his smooth metal head.
"Aww yeah… that feels sooo good…" the brunette manages the words between her gasps for breath. At this moment she noticed me looking at her and gave me a small wink with a surprisingly calm face considering how she was acting half a second ago.
"Don't stop baby, I need you!” she pleaded with him, her focus now back on the little robot. With what I assume was her cum now visibly dripping down his metal arms.
A hand taps at my shoulder and one of the blonde girls beckons me.
"Comon, stop gawking." She tugs at my heavy coat, looking back at everyone here the jacket made me feel overdressed.
Seeing my chance to talk to one of the strangely familiar blonde girls, I promptly followed her into the back of the small club. As we turned the corner the noises of the club quickly faded and gave way to a quiet humming that emanated from every direction. The doors that lined the hallways were bare metal that sported heavy joints that signaled they were used for a different purpose. Usually joints on the outside meant it was to keep something inside, for what in the back of a club house I can't even begin to imagine. I watched as the shapely woman made a smooth 90 degrees turn and stepped inside one of the open doors. The room flooded soft warm light into the dark hallway. I hesitated at the jail-like doorway. Inside was a small one room flat that featured a makeup desk with a soft, fabric covered chair, a large work table, and a bunk bed that had almost vanished behind a mountain of blankets. The place reminded me of the dorm that I stayed at during the early academy years. I was not that messy, but it was more of my roommate's style.
“So? How did it go? Tell me all about it.” The woman said as she fetches a flask of blue viscous fluid and swirls it around underneath the light.
“I’m sorry. You must have the wrong person, my name is.”
A sharp pain sears into my eyes and almost blacks me out. I grab on to the door frame in a panic trying not to fall straight onto the floor. Faintly aware of her hands grabbing me by the shoulders that coached me onto the chair in front of the makeup desk. She pulls me up in the chair and pulls down my jacket, tucking me into the seat. The pain faded just as quick as it came. I opened my eyes to find her face close to mine as she showered me with her warm and fragrant breath. Her clear gray eyes darted back and forth examining my head. I am surprised that I don’t recoil from her closeness as she brushes my hair aside to look more closely. I am not sure how but her presence seems to bask me in a sense of calmness that I could drown in.
“You don’t seem injured… Take it easy ok?”
She says softly, handing me a cup of the blue liquid poured into a well worn and battered metal cup. She rears her head up and chugs down her share in a single gulp. I am not sure if she is aware that I am actually human and most likely can't consume what she had offered me, or that this blue liquid is some kind of new drink of the future.
“Yeah, thanks.” I say, leaving the drink on the table.
“So what is it like over at Proctor headquarters, is it true that the floors up there are plated in gold?”
She said as she took the cup offered to me and chugs it down just as fiercely. Bringing her head down in closed eyes and a gasp of joy.
“The floors and walls are made of wood.”
“Wow… I bet it’s probably made of real trees too! Next time chip a piece off for me will you?”
She says while winking at me, nudging me in the shoulder. I give a faint smile as I don't really understand her joke. Suddenly, she looks out the door in a frustrated glare.
“I’ll be back in 15, going to ask Jacey to cover for me.”
“Wait…” I say as I try to stand up, but find myself unable to lift myself off the seat as my legs seem to struggle in weakness.
The woman hurries out of the room, the heavy metal door swinging shut automatically behind her with a thud. I felt like I had just been kidnapped into a cell by a kind and beautiful woman. I take a deep breath and let myself fall into the chair. Relaxation came easy as all the tension from when I entered into the room faded, as if sucked away by the room itself. The dizziness that had clung so constantly was also begging to fade.
Another blonde android, like the one who just left the cell, sat in front of me. Her thick blonde hair fell just past her shoulders, covering the sides of her face. Her crystal gray eyes stared through mine. Her face was picture perfect and the exact same copy of the woman who led me here. It was the reflection of me, wearing the same thick jacket that I had put on when I had woken up. I bring up my hand to touch the mirror and move my face left and right, up and down. The reflection mirrored my movements. I felt a slight panic and closed my eyes and collected my thoughts.
Why couldn’t I remember my name? My roommate, my rival, my superiors, my mother… even my dog. Their names escape me, they exist in my head as nameless memories. I remember bringing the stray home to my mother, caring for her shriveled body and the joy I felt brushing my hands through her fur that had grown into its soft fullness after months of care. I remember staying awake all night panicking over my score on the chemistry test, and my roommate consoling me through the night. My memories remain, but names, faces, people’s identities completely escape me. Their bodies are a shapeless, nameless mass. Did I really look like this? Where these androids made to look like me or was I put into one of their bodies. I open my eyes to find her looking at me still, this strangeness indescribable. I don’t remember anyone commenting on my looks in the past. If I had looked like this I definitely wouldn't have signed up for the military.
I look down and see my shapely legs barely covered by a pair of tight white shorts that travelled halfway down my thighs. Running my hands over the skin they were silky smooth without any sign of hair or blemish. Between my legs the tight shorts displayed the alluring shape of an cameltoe. I shudder at the thought that I had been walking through the city wearing basically what was underwear. This body that I am in was obviously made for sin. I take a shallow breath and hold it as I run a finger over the top of the folds. I feel movement in my guts and the creature between my legs seem to come to life immediately. I am suddenly aware of every aspect of my folds, how the pants clung tightly to them, how a gush of wetness pushes its way downwards, between the crevice. An almost irresistible urge rang through my head as my legs quiver in excitement.
I bite my lips and pull my head back. Self control was something drilled into us early on during our studies. But I had never felt an urge this strong before, rivalling the intensity of the drownproofing sessions I had vividly remembered. Reluctantly, I lift my hands away from the beast, placing them neatly on the arms of the chair. The reason for the tests and the reactions of the hosts at this club now became clear to me. I had been put into the body of one of the girls here. I carefully unzip the heavy jacket and watch as my large breasts pull free from their confinement. A tight but thin sports bra that was in the same matching minimalist style left little to imagination was wrapped around me. I could make out the same faint QR code that all the other androids had were also etched into my chest. It’s shallow indents on my skin indecipherable to me. Where was my real body? I remember reading one of the major problems with cryogenics was that it was almost impossible to thaw the human body at the different rates that each individual body part and organs needed. Perhaps it was still frozen? Or god forbid, tossed away.
The more pressing matter at hand was whose body I was inhabiting. How would the others at this place react in finding that I had replaced one of them? It was best to not give them that chance. I needed to find Artisse again. I could feel the cellular device was still tucked neatly in my jacket pocket. The route back to the tower is still fresh in my mind.
As if the devil had been listening, the lock slides audibly and the door swings open. The woman had returned with what looked like a laptop in hand. I try not to look tense, there was a good chance I could maneuver my way out of this situation without them ever knowing.
The woman struts into the room and closes the door in one smooth, overly alluring motion. She lets out a loud sigh and places a thick looking laptop and unfolds it on the desk in front of me.
“Jacey haggled me down to a triple shift.”
She said as she jumps backwards onto her blanket filled bed. Her arms and legs spread wide apart in an X. Throwing her one piece blouse aside, in a practiced motion she bounces back up and looks at me after a moment.
She was gorgeous, and I had to escape from her.
“Thanks for taking your time with me, but I am needed at the headquarters really soon, I should be going.” I said to her.
“Really?!” She almost shouts into the room.
“We haven’t heard from you in a month. Even though you don't work here anymore and belong to someone else now. We still worry about you... You know?”
She pulls a chair and sits beside me, in front of the laptop. It would seem like Artisse or someone from Proctor bought the body I now inhabit from whoever owns these girls. But what’s important was that they were not Proctor people apparently.
“Now let me take a look at what happened just now with your little glitch…”
Just as she was about to begin to tap on the laptop, she looks back at me.
“If you… and Proctor and Co don't mind of course.” She asks.
“Yeah, I don't mind. But it seems they umm, deleted most of my memories.” I answer back, trying to come up with reasons for her to let me go.
The woman looks at me, her face now changing from a joyful smile to one of melancholy.
“Oh. They really would do that?” She said, her head down, fingers playing with the strap on her underwear.
“I am sorry that I don't remember you.” I said back, trying not to sound too apathetic.
“That’s okay, my name is Hannah.” She said between brushing tears that was now rolling down her face.
“Ah! Don’t say anything back, let me take a look at you first.” She said placing a hand on me before turning back to the laptop. Pulling a wire free from the chair that I said on and plugged it into the laptop.
As I watch Hannah tap away on the device I see her trying to hold back even more tears. They might be machines but damn they feel like real people to me at this moment. The initial thoughts of potential threat from her also faded away quickly from my mind. Looking closer at the laptop she was working on it was obvious she was navigating through a series of menus of sorts on the touchscreen. The face that both I and Hannah wore was shown in a passive smile on the corner of the display.
“Looks like there was some unusual malware that the system automatically fixed. It looked like it was causing problems… Wonder where you might have picked that up?”
She asks me questions that I have no answer to. Sitting close to me, she moved her identical leg over mine affectionately. Her chest close to mine, our same large breasts pushed against each other’s. I don't question her closeness, it seemed natural, we were like twins. I am however more curious about the laptop that was now somehow connected to this body though the chair.
“I’m not sure, can I take a look at that?” I said as I stretched over and pulled the laptop in front of me.
Leaning forward as much as I can, unable to move my bottoms away from the seat one bit. The screen showed a log of antivirus activities with time stamps. The layout was intuitive enough to navigate out of easily and soon I found myself on what was most likely the main menu. On it it showed the options of software and hardware on seperate sides. Taking a deep breath I pressed on largest button on the software side. The screen flashed an angry warning at me.
[Main AI not found/connected. Please check connection.]
I look to the side at Hannah, she was now looking at me with concern. She sat straight upwards, her arms stock still at her sides as if in shock. Forgetting about the tears that still was slowly rolling down her cheeks. Forgetting about her desire to cuddle into me. Connection error right? I thought as I continued on.
The screen however also displayed a series of sub AI’s running: [Safety Overseer: Alert!] [Hardware Controller: Disabled] [Body Control: Limited, Connected to service unit] [Autonomous Reflex: Active] [pnc monitor beta v0.92 (modified): Active]
Ignoring the first option that blinked angrily at me, I could kind of guess what each system did, and tapping them once gave me more information on them. With the exception of the last two options. The safety overseer alerted that self modification was in progress. It was strange to think there was some other intelligence inside of me watching everything I do. Though being inside an android body I was not surprised at something like this. The one that caught my attention was the last one. Pressing on the element the screen showed no detailed information on what it was. Only a series of fine print that appeared on the bottom of the window.
[This AI has access to AI override permission, Body control override permission, system control override permission…] The list went endlessly on.
After carefully considering the options. I selected the last one and disabled it after several warnings. After pressing the final confirmation I braced myself for something to happen. But nothing did, it now said it was “Disabled” and I couldn’t feel any difference. But Hannah stirred suddenly beside me.
Looking over at her she was now standing straight. Her face in a vacant stare that seemed to look not at me, but through me, unashamed in her near nudeness. Her voice ran through the room loud and clear, her tone harsh and stern. The complete opposite of what I had known her and her sisters to be like.
“Illegal operation detected! Unit OSCU-Z29-140. Please deactivate all functions immediately.” Hannah shouts into the room, startling me, reminding me of my drill instructors.
“Hannah? What’s wrong.” I ask her, unable to fully turn around to look at her.
She stares at me and tries to say something, but no words come out of her panicked face. She twitches and her visage twists back into one of seriousness.
“Unit un-responsive, deactivating forcefully.” She speaks loudly again at me.
I half expected her to fall limb onto the ground after that proclamation, but instead her hands suddenly move to reach behind my neck. Catching me off guard I flinch away from her clumsily. Her hands miss and her nails scratches the back of my head lightly. She steps forward and places her other hand directly over my forehead. I cant say she was all that strong but it was obvious she was trying to gain control over me. I follow my instinct that was well practiced in various training sessions. In one move I grab her hand that was on my face with my left and pull down on it hard and suddenly, with my right I grab her elbow and twist it around using my core musclesp. The move should throw her off guard and send her falling forwards down beside me. Instead I almost stab myself as her arm is ripped from its joints under my grip, a burst of white gel like liquid shoots out of her arm and over my face. Hannah, or whoever she was now, loses her balance and falls to the floor behind me.
I reach quickly over to the laptop and try to gain my freedom back. Third option down. Activate. Yes. Yes. I know yeah yeah, accept.
With a few hurried button presses I feel my legs regain their strength. I stand up pushing the chair away behind me violently. It bumps into Hannah who was trying to stand up and sends her back on the ground again with the chair fallen over her. Her arm still leaking the white liquid all over the smooth concrete floor. I thought about running away, or subduing Hannah here in this room. The second option was the better one I decided. She was trying to reach behind my neck to “deactivate” me. Her body was the same as mine, it must work on her also.
“Anya please… you have to…” Hannah seems to regain a moment of composure again, her voice pleading and desperate, before returning into that instructor from hell a moment later.
“Please do not resist! The authorities have been contacted!” She shouts at me.
I could tell she’s not lying, I can feel a pair heavy feet running through the corridor outside. They shook the floor with every step. Police response times in the future must be killer, that was under a minute ago since she went haywire. I decide that being the one still conscious to tell the story was always the preferred position to be in.
I moved quickly to reach behind the struggling Hannah. She tried to put up a fight but her movements reminded me of the junior that I sparred with. Unpracticed, imprecise, and resulted in useless flailing. Now straddling on her back, pinning her down on the ground I fumbled around looking for a switch or a button behind her neck. The one that she was reaching for behind mine twin body.
Before I could find it, the doors fling open behind me and I feel an immense force pull me back, right into the firm grips of one of the guard robots that I had seen before. They stood a good half a meter above me, barely fitting into the small room. Another identical guard walked beside me, stopping a distance away from Hannah, exsaming her as she stood back up, her composure normal again.
“Anya I’m sorry, I can't resist it.” She says while holding her damaged shoulder that looked to be twisted off the joints. Her face both showed pain and sorrow.
Feeling the firm metal grips that held both of my shoulders, there was no way I could fight something like that without a weapon. I thought about kicking my feet up above me in between the neck joint of the robot, maybe a wire would lose connection giving me a chance. But that does not seem very likely.
“Situation assessed. Neutralizing threat.” The ominous voice came from the robot beside me, I turned back to look, expecting the worst.
The robot raised the rifle it was carrying, not at me, but pointing it towards Hannah. Before any of us could react a bolt of lighting shot from the tip of the rifle and arced straight into the middle of Hannah’s chest. Her body jerked once suddenly as she stumbles in shock. She took one clumsy step forward and immediately a second bolt of lighting struck her again. Her body straightened as she lost control and fell to the floor like a stiff doll. I could hear the rifle's high pitched whining noise prepairing for the third shot.
“STOP!” I shouted at the robot beside me.
Surprisingly the robot obeyed as it held its rifle back close to its chest, pointing it upwards. The robot stood at attention again. Hannah was now squirming on the ground, it looked like she was having a seizure. Her eyes and mouth both were wide open with surprise, trying to say something too quiet for me to hear from this distance.
“Let me go!” I demanded of the robot that held my arms.
It’s grasp opened immediately. I rush to Hannah’s side and looked over her. There was a disformed clump of melted skin where the bolt had hit her, the wound still glowed red hot with a trail of smoke rising out of it. If she was human the first thing I would have done was to check her heart. But in this case, I had no idea what to do. Hannah’s mouth moved to form wordless sentences and her eyes darted back and forth in panic. I held her up in my arms, trying to help her regain her senses in vain. One of the robot guards moved in close beside us.
“Proceed with caution.” It warned me.
It’s cold voice ran through my head and sent shivers down my spine with him so close to me. I wasn’t sure if these guards were as the same as the other robots I have come across so far. I turn to face this faceless machine, It’s head was a simple metal box that hid and protected whatever was beneath. It turned to look at me in turn.
“How can I help her?” I ask.
The machine looks back at Hannah who was still seizing in my arm. I could see a clear fluid that was now soaking through her bra that was now also rolling down my arms. Her body was now heating up, most likely from all the spasms she was suffering. Some strange voice, desire filled messages tugs at my thoughts. Seeing her body writhe and her large breasts bounce in my arms, feeling her fluids rolling down my skin. I wanted to kiss her and make love to her, to satisfy her desires.
The guard robot said as his large metal hand reached behind her neck and instantly Hannah stopped moving in my arms. Her face now frozen in the same confused terror that overwhelmed her. The devactivated Hannah’s body fell limb slowly in my ams. My sinful thought of her also faded slowly. I thought about what I should do next. I could leave, I could help fix her somehow, but there was so much I did not know. I have never felt so powerless, so dependent on others in this strange world.
“The Z29 unit designated Hannah is now under confiscation of Proctor and Co security. Please do not intervene.”
The other guard spoke, but not to me. Instead he spoke to the now gathering of onlookers at the door. Cloned faces of concern and surprise filled the small entryway. The Guard beside me moves to take Hannah from my arms.
“What will you do with her?” I ask.
“Her fate will be decided by the acting board member of security. But most likely she will be scrapped as she will pose a potential future security risk.”
“Who is the board member of security?”
“Mr. Cato Six.”
The robot’s large metal hands now gripped Hannah’s limb body by the hip, holding her like a soft plush toy in a bully’s hands. The guard did not even need to shift his own weight to counteract the body that he now so casually held.
“Why did Hannah attack me?” I ask suddenly.
The robot turned to look at me, his head twists sideways, like a puppy trying to understand its owners. But the puppy was an unstoppable tank of a machine, with a voice that could send chills down the most experienced soldiers.
“This unit had mistaken you for an android. By law any androids that display deviant behaviour such as self modification should be neutralized on site. Thus this unit enacted its pitiful security protocols, thus trying to deactivate you.”
His explanation was calm, with a certain rhythm to his words.
“And I am not an android?” I ask, almost rhetorically, with a hint of self doubt in my mind.
“From what I can tell you are an Ocean Systems Companion Unit model Z29, but your credentials say you are Anya Berezovsky, Age, undetermined, sex,female, status, human. It is not in my authority to judge your credentials.”
The guard stands up and leaves with Hannah in his grip. The girls at the doors moves aside in a hurry trying to stay a fair distance away from the guard. The other guard looks at me and speaks to me in the exact same voice and tone as his counterpart.
“Is there anything more you require assistance with?”
I shake my head, lost in thought, my hands rubbing the fragrant slick fluid that covered my arms. The other machine leaves promptly, leaving the other girls whom began casually entering into room. One of the brunettes approaches me with lowered head and a cautious tone.
“Anya, you were… human all this time?” She asks me.
There was no more I wanted from this group. I wanted to get out of this place as soon as possible.
“No, you'r mistaken, I just arrived in this city today.” I answered back, louder than usual, so everyone could hear.
I stand up to leave the horribly violent scene. Correcting the jacket that hung loosely over my shoulder. I did not really mind the state of my half dress now. I move to walk out the door and everyone splits aside for me just the same as they did for the guards. At the end of the crowd someone stood out from all of the rest. It was the childish waiter from the coffee shop across the street, he held up a small tray that contained a cup of coffee and two slices of crackers. He looked at me in awe, completely still, the steam rose smoothly from the still warm coffee undisturbed.
“Oh, wow. You are my first human customer ever!”
He said in excitement, his eyes filled with joy. He extends the tray towards me and I unceremoniously grab the coffee in my hand, ready to toss it aside the next instant.
“This one is on the house, Please enjoy your stay on Dome 19!”
The boy says as he moves aside for me as I walk past him. I don't pay him more attention as all I thought about was my next move. As I stepped outside onto the street with a coffee steaming in my hands, a large gathering of various robots looked on as a large, unremarkable vehicle rose into the sky, towards the Proctor and Co headquarters.
Walking the other way as to not attract more attention, I pulled out the cell to give Artisse a call.
Part 2: Lady in Red
The streets now felt completely different. Foreign, dangerous, and at the same time, innocent. Knowing that my existence was an oddity in this world was unsettling enough. But the general loss and theft of my memories are even more concerning. Artisse, Cato, and rest of the board members is planning something. It was obvious, and me, their instrument.
I walk carefully in thought, mindful to stay always on the most populated path. Holding the cell in my hand, twisting it back and forth like a toy, thinking of the possible conversation to be had. I am also keenly aware of the state of my appearance. An sexy looking blonde wearing a heavy grey worker jacket and revealing tight sport shorts that left little to the imagination. In the world of androids that came in all shapes and sizes, one's functions could be clearly deduced from their appearance.
I speak into the cell telling it to call Artisse. After a brief pause her voice came through the device.
"Hello. How is it going? Do you need anything?" She answers.
"Hi Artisse, I got some questions for you, do you have the time right now." I said in the same innocent tone as before. Not willing to betray any events that might have transpired just a day before. If my hunch was right, Artisse and Cato wasn't that friendly with one another.
"Of course, what do you want to ask."
"I cant seem to get Cato out of my mind, is there anything you can tell me about him?"
"Oh that old bugger? Well are you in a private location?"
She asks me, indicating to me that she has no ability to track me. The cell had been given by Cato and the program running in my body deactivated. I look around at my surroundings, people walking past me from the front and back, only the other human looking androids paid the slightest attention to me. But their thoughts were focused on my body, not what I was actually doing.
"Okay, well, Cato Six is one of the original members of the acting council over 500 cycles ago. He's been uploading his memories into new bodies in an effort to continue his existence."
"He's acting head of security currently. In addition he was originally hired, unlike the rest of us that was initiated into the company. Most of the other members mostly ignores what he does. Some believe he's become inept over the excess of years he has lived."
She pauses in her explanation. I press her for more information.
"Does he report to anyone?"
"Unlike the rest of the council members he only reports to the foreman himself. But before you ask more, I am not allowed to talk about the foreman. When the time comes he will most likely ask to see you."
"So… what about you? What do you do in the company Artisse."
"Oh me? I am the head of workforce resources…"
"Is there anything you wanted me for specifically? You never told me in detail."
There was a good chance, depending on her answer, that her goals were completely meaningless to me. I simply don't care about some mining and manufacturing company, who's only ties to me are that they thawed me and put me in some sexbot's body.
"I can't tell you over the phone but I will tell you after you pass the final test."
That was a shame. I hung up on Artisse unceremoniously. My next stop was a visit to Mr Cato's.
The elevator ride was a long one. Cato's office and his quarters were just one level below the top, where I presume was where the foreman worked. Inside the small box with me were two more of the identical guards. Though I find myself less intimidated by them now. The doors open to the same white marbled corridor, two more guards stand watch, blocking the path.
"Hi, I am here to see Mr Cato.".
"Of course, he’s been expecting you."
One of the guard robots spoke to me. The two guards stepped aside in unison to let me through. The inside was not at all what I had expected. The place looked more like a penthouse suite than an office space. The panoramic windows let the lights of the city flow unimpeded into the room. Reflecting off of the many glossy and clear surfaces that dominated all the surfaces of the room, creating an array of rainbows and bright lights that scattered about. As I stepped inside I felt a strange tingling sensation, as if the very air in the room was electrified with sparkles of light. My focus zooms in on a slim figure sitting in the middle of the room, his presence so demanding that I cannot take my focus off of him.
Mr Cato himself sat alone on a wide couch decorated with fur and reflective satin fabrics. His body twitched for a second before coming to and bringing his eyes onto mine. A wide charming smile came across his face as he looked at me.
"Anya Berezovsky. You have come to converse with me."
His arms spread wide into a welcoming gesture as he stood up to greet me. His clothes in pristine condition, something I noticed that could not be found on the streets.
"Yes, Mr Cato, I thought I would take you up on your offer."
I approach him calmly, even though I am as tense as anyone could be, with this android body that I'm starting to get used to, it's quite easy to pretend otherwise. He also does not hesitate to approach me. Holding both of my hands gently in his own, he pulled me close, a full head above me. Looking down, he spoke quietly.
"Dreadful, that business at the club. I hope you are not too distressed after that incident."
His voice sounded sincere, though I am sure it was all an act to win my favor.
"No, I'm fine, really."
"Certainly, for someone as disciplined as you it should be inconsequential. But please, do sit."
He gestures towards the long and luxurious couch. I sit, and naturally, he sit right next to me, our legs touching. His closeness overly performed was almost cute at this point.
"Hannah, please bring us some wine." He said, waving his hand in the air.
I look around the room in surprise. A pair of hidden doors open up with Hannah wearing a loose fitting, distinctly old fashioned dress. She was carrying a pair of glasses and a bottle of unopened wine on a tray. I looked in shock as she calmly struts toward us across the large room. As her eyes look into mine she shows no emotion aside from her calm passiveness. It was just yesterday she was in my arms, broken in both body and mind. But now she was whole again in front of me.
"I bore witness to the events transpired through my guards. Hannah now is employed under my administration, and protection." He continued.
"Hannah… are you ok?" I ask her out of concern.
"Yes." She replied simply with a slight questioning smile.
"Do not ache for her. We had our best tech doctors restore Hannah to her original condition. Her model..."
He gestures towards me, looking at my body.
“... are made to be easily repaired.”
Politely ignoring me, she continued pouring the wine gently into his glass. As she bent at the waist she purposefully displayed her large, unsecured bosoms that hang before us. Reminding me of the duplicates that I possessed, tucked away behind the jacket. I look back at Cato who had been staring at me this whole time with a grin.
“Being an android does have its benefits wouldn't you say?”
He gestured his glass towards mine and sipped half the glass away. I raised the glass to my nose and the wine smelled like normal wine, a draft of alcohol with a hint of sweet grapes. To my surprise the beverage was tasteless as it hit my tongue. A small sip was all I dare take, more as a gesture of courtesy than desire. Cato looked at me curiously through his glass that he held in between us.
“I had instructed Artisse to place you into a suitable body, but her decision to use a Z29 companion chassis was unfortunate. I will have to find a more suitable replacement for you as soon as it is opportune to do so.” He said.
He stood and examined Hannah, pulling a strand of her hair over face. In turn she placed her hands around his waist and kissed him on his neck. He tilts his head to accommodate her affection, but his hand keeps her away at a distance.
“Even though the quality of construction is substandard and the processing power minimal. Ocean Systems sure still design beautiful bodies won't you agree?”
I replied hesitantly. There was an awkward silence between us. Hannah is still working away at the side of Cato’s face with her lips. A few moments later Cato turned to me, pushing Hannah away with one hand. His face is more serious now as he pulls at his tight shirt to straighten it.
“I have a task for you that needs your immediate action.”
I put down the wine and look at him expectantly.
Cato pulls out a handgun from behind him and places it in my hand. It looked remarkably similar to a Tokarev, almost a genuine one with a safety. Though it felt heavy and from the distribution of the weight I am guessing it was unloaded. He coaxes my soft and thin fingers over the gun and trigger. I let him bring it under my chin, pointing up, pressing against my skin. The safety was still on.
“Now shoot yourself. That Is an order.”
He looked somehow both serious and bemused at the same time. I was ready to shoot myself as he commanded regardless of whether the gun was loaded or not. But I chose to entertain his request. All the while Hannah stood obediently beside us unmoving. Her attention somewhere far away as she gazed across the room.
“Yes sir...” I said, trying not to smirk.
I pulled the trigger back and braced myself. The gun could still work. But predictably the trigger clacked as the safety blocked it from being pulled completely.
Cato exclaimed as he put his hands together to clap one single time.
“Take this gun with you to see the foreman one floor above.”
He said while producing the matching magazine for the gun and handing it to me.
“When the deed is done, return to me.”
I took the magazine from Cato and replaced the empty one in the gun. Pulling the chamber back while checking to see if the bullet loaded correctly.
“This foreman, how do I make sure he’s finished? Never shot an android before.” I asked.
“You won’t have to worry about that. He’s human. I will send you up to his quarters within the hour. He might be surprised at your arrival but your intent will be hidden from him. When you are inside his chamber, I will call the guards away in short order. When you hear they have left it’s your chance. Afterwards I will alter the evidence to make it look like a suicide. A simple task all in all.”
As he explained, things started to make sense to me. The foreman was the problem that Artisse needed help with. Perhaps her plan was not as direct as simply killing the man. The final test the counsel wanted was this. Cato was from the agency that was certain, he most likely had a hand in having Artisse waking me up now. But was Cato not an Android? Was he someone like me, a human brain in a robotic body. If not was he plotting treachery against the human masters? Human or not he was now my CO.
It was not in my place to question orders.
The same menacing looking guard androids lined the entrance to the top floor penthouse. I proudly strut past them in my sequin red dress. A small white bag at my side containing the gun that had already been loaded. The attire provided by Cato was a size too small, designed for a woman of more modest proportions. The heels I wore did not strain my calf muscles one bit. Even more astonishing was that with my feet walking in this position, I could easily keep perfect balance. There was at least one upside to this artificial body that was helping.
The inside were of the same layout as Cato’s suite, with the exception that it was decorated more leisurely. A giant monitor donned the center of the room with a drum set as the center-peiece. The lights were dim, and I am unable to make out much of the details in the interior.
“Hello!” I announced into the room before inviting myself inside.
As I took one single step something hits me hard, like a truck had hit me at full speed. I had to grip on to the heavy door to not fall over. There was the smell of thick sweat in the air. Instead of making me want to recoil it was intoxicating. I took another deep breath through my nose, it felt so right. Nothing else in this alien world smelled quite like this.
“Who are you?” A raspy voice came from the far dark corner of the room.
The foreman was tall, a full head above me even in heels. Slightly overweight with a face full of thick curly black beard and long hair tied behind his back. He reminded me of the fisherman in my hometown, who I would remember clearly when my parents took me to the local pub. The Foreman pulled himself up from his recliner, his gaze heavy with sleep.
“I am Anya, you called for me?”
“I didn’t call no doll.” He eyed me with suspicion as he approached me with heavy steps.
I closed the door behind me, praying that the guards would not take too long. Even looking at this man sent shivers down my spine. Though he looked rough and unkept, there was something deeply attractive about him. The complete opposite of Cato. I didn’t know how long I could fight the urges of this body.
“Keep focus, focus, focus.” I repeated silently in my head as he looked me over curiously.
“Never seen you before, what brand are you?”
I thought for a moment, slightly panicked that I might have forgotten.
“Ocean Systems, Z - AUUGHNN”
I exclaimed loudly, surprised by his sudden grouping of my left breast. He squeezed and rubbed my flesh in his hands, fake flesh I remind myself. His motion sent shockwaves through my body. My legs softened as I leaned into him slightly. A fog rolled through my head as I felt a sudden surge of liquids rushing into my mouth above and below. He pulled the straps holding the dress on my shoulders to the side, revealing my breast. I moaned uncontrollably a second time as he ran his fingers over my nipples. To my surprise they were already enlarged and soft, folding outwards like a blossomed flower.
The foreman let out a disappointed sigh. Looking at me directly, his eyes bore a hole through mine, I never felt such intense lust before. He could fuck me right now and I would gladly let him, even if I was going to kill him in just a moment later. He looked at my forehead, then my mouth, then my cheeks. I held his eyes closely, rubbing my wet lips in anticipation.
“What kind of trashy tier of fuck bot are you?”
He said while stepping away. Not before pulling my dress down revealing my naked body before him. Without even noticing it, I had struck a pose. With my hand behind my back, still holding onto the purse, jutting out my breast breast and handing my sex between crossed legs.
“Don’t answer that, come here, I could use some stress released right now.”
He beckoned to me while stepping out of his pants revealing his limp member that was hardening every moment. There was nothing else I could even think of doing. I dropped my clothes and bags on the floor and strutted towards him. I could feel a wiggling and a mechanical vibration in my abdomen as more liquids were pumped into my sex, wetting the outer lips of the folds. Before I could straddle him, he reached out and grabbed me on my side with both hands. He effortlessly lifted me from the ground and harshly lifted me up and smashed me against the wall. My vision fades in flashing lights as I black out for a moment. I come to and find that he is holding me against the walls, spreading my legs apart. He was naked now, I must have passed out for more than a second. I ought to feel a sense of danger, but everything is drowned out by the thought of him so close to me.
“Can’t handle a little rough play can you?”
I tried to come up with a reply but all I could manage was a blank stare.
His member was rock hard as he jams it inside my wet sex crudely. To my surprise he glided smoothly inside without any pain ,or rather any resistance at all. All the while heavy stomping sounds from beyond the door shakes the walls I am pinned against. There was something about that sound that was important, but with his member inside me, the feeling is so overwhelming that it is all I could focus on.
"Ahh… more, please, more."
I moan out indignantly as he pounds me against the wall over and over, each thrust sending and intense wave of pleasure I never imagined possible. The pain of his iron grip on my legs barely registers in my mind.
“I bet you like that you cheap fuck toy.”
He said, squeezed out between his heavy breaths. I opened my mouth to speak, there was something I needed to do, to focus on. I place my hands on his face clumsily trying to say something, anything, but only more involuntary sounds come out. It’s hard to know how long he fucked me, but he stopped eventually. I pant in unison with him as he held me still against the wall. I cuddle his face with mine, kiss him softly with my wet lips. These actions I did, but they did not feel like my own.
Finally letting out a loud and raspy sigh he pulled out of me. For a moment I longed for him more, before he simply let go of me and dropped me on the floor. He just turned around and began mixing himself some kind of drink, my existence seemingly no longer any of his concern. As his attention on me fades, my thoughts drift back to clarity. The handbag was not far from me, dropped carelessly by the door along with the clothes provided by Cato.
The Foreman continued with his liquor, dropping cubes of ice into the fancy looking glass. Ignoring the clothes on the floor, I carefully pull out the gun. After checking indeed the chamber was loaded, I aimed the gun towards the back of his head.
“Before I kill you”
I pause, there was still a sense of lust within my voice, raspy and low pitched. I try to shake off the feeling, it wasn't the first time I had sex. But this time it was different, it was more intense, but also felt more fake, as if I was experiencing it second hand.
“... Tell me your name.”
He turns to face me. As sees the gun pointed to his face he looks up at me, we all freeze for a moment in silence. The room lights up with a bright and direct light shining inside. From the moving shadows I could tell that the light source is getting closer from the top right. Then a vehicle passes close by the windows as the light fades, giving the whole room a light rumble. The Foreman’s face turns into a slight smirk.
“Oh no! An assassin!”
He said mockingly, waving his hands and his drink in the air. The Foreman takes one step towards me, his naked body beaded with sweat that glimmered in the dark room. His still enlarged penis swung in the air as he walked. I immediately felt the same perverse sensation rush over me again. Not wanting to lose my senses a second time, I trained my sights right in the middle of his forehead.
I pull the trigger and the gun almost flies out of my weak artificial hands. The Foreman’s head rocks backwards for a brief second as he collapses on to the floor like a limp test dummy a second later. The bang lingers in the air, echoing within the suite. I take a few cautious steps towards my victim with my aim still trained on him, just in case. Blood was starting to pool on the glossy reflective wooden floor below his head. I paused for a moment to observe him, the speed of the spread visibility slowing down as the blood pressure within his body dropped. Seeing his naked body, the loose strands of hair covering his face again brought a powerful wave of lust through me. Frustrated, I put another round in his head, holding the gun tighter to my body this time for better control. His body rocks again as the projectile pierces his skull a second time. Though this time, the bang echoed together with the sound of metal slamming on wood.
I turned around to see the heavy wooden doors rebounding from being slammed open. Artisse stood at the doorway, with Cato and another stranger behind them. The sound of guards returning could be heard in the distance as they looked on.
“Anya! What have you done?”
Artisse shouts at me, surprised. I looked at Cato, he too had a look of surprise about him.
“I provided the weapon for self preservation! Not… Murderous slaying!”
Cato shouted, outraged. If I were to guess he was covering for himself, worse, using me as a scapegoat. Was his act for Artisse or the guards to see? This was not the time to ask as he approached me boldly, his steps heavy, almost stomping the floor.
“Give me the weapon.”
He said with his right hand held out. I place the gun, still warm, into his palm. If you asked me If I was still loyal to Cato, strangely I would say yes. Wasn't I sent to the future to serve under his command? Something did not seem right. Cato unloads the magazine and releases the bullet still within the chamber into his hands. He holds them up for Artisse and the stranger to see. They were now all standing beside me. I should get out, defend myself, do something, but Cato’s presence commands me to stay by his side.
“Play nice now, I won’t hurt you…”
Cato said as he held his hand in the air, reaching behind me.
I don’t move away.
The detention center looked more akin to a machine shop than anything else. A few barred cells were present but they were left with open doors and used as storage space. I presume this place would be used for human detainees but in their organic absence various androids and robots were lined against the walls and temporary dividers. All of them seem to be inactive in different states of disrepair. One type of robot was vastly over represented within the population of prisoners. They looked like two large cylinders attached together and 8 identical limbs stretched out in all directions. Like if you had taped two spiders back to back.
I had found myself in this room alone for almost a day now. Cato has awakened me here, or turned me on. I can’t decide which is the right term now. With not much spoken between us he had left me here waiting, reassuring my safety as he needed to “restructure the company during this chaos”. As I think back to our conversation I wince at how much of a headless sheep I was acting around him. At Least he, or someone else, had the decency to dress me back into the red sequin dress that Cato gave me. But anyways, I would have to admit waiting here gave me some relief from the chaos that has surrounded me since I found myself in the future.
So here I was doing nothing, mind drifting here and there, not focusing on anything in particular. One whole day of sitting around on my ass waiting for his return and not once thinking about how to get out. One whole day of lounging on the uncomfortable office chair of doing nothing, barely moving from the spot he had left me.
“Hello? Are you Anya Bere... Berezovsky?” The voice of a young man rang through the room, slightly distorted by electronic interference.
I shout into the room. Standing as tall as I could looking around for the source of the voice.
“Good good… uh… my name is Casper. I am a student of Artisse, I was told to check up on your condition. Artisse was worried.”
The voice came from the skull of a dismantled android laying on one of the work tables. The plastic dome had various components exposed. Only thing that was recognizable for me was the twin lenses in the eye sockets and what looked to be like circuits printed onto thin sheets of plastic like material instead of silicon.
“You? You don't look to be in such a good condition yourself.”
I looked around for the body of the android to no avail. The head was connected through various wires that led to destinations unknown.
“Oh no, I am just using his speakers right now. I was told to contact you.”
“Umm, okay. How is Artisse? Is she still upset with me?” I asked, speaking to the skull like I would to a microphone.
“She’s not angry with you know, but things have been hectic from what I heard. But ahh… You don't have to worry about her, Artisse is a very nice person, she wont hold a grudge.”
I let out a sigh of relief as the news, it felt good knowing that.
“Anyways Anya… Artisse told me to check up on you. You remember the place where she first woke you up? Building HC929? Are you able to come here at this moment?”
Building HC929? I thought in my head, remembering what the building looked like from above as I took off in the flying car with Artisse the first time. But the thought of how I could get there don’t come to me. It should be easy, I just needed… Again, the thoughts fade as quickly as it came to me.
“I can’t… I… Something…”
I stutter as my mind is a blurry mess, thoughts being scrambled like fruits tossed in a blender.
“I have to stay here.”
I say clearly, as if the statement brought order to the chaos, the only destination where my thoughts could land.
“Yeah, ok. Dont worry about it, I thought that might be the case.”
“I… I don’t know, there is something wrong with me… like there is…”
I blurt out, thinking about what could be going wrong. Perhaps my brain is starving? And I am becoming delirious? Before I could voice my concerns he cuts me off.
“That’s fine Anya…I could do this remotely. If so then can you help me with something first? The only thing that is connected to the outside was this thing… But there should be some basic MR robots around, they look are like… metal people, really basic looking really.”
I looked around for a second, there was an human like robot that was hanging nearby. It’s whole body was made out of metal, on the streets outside there were found in abundance, often moving around in packs.
“The ones with a vertical rectangular glass covering for a face?” I asked.
“Yes, those will do, there should be a small cable you can pull free from the front chest area of the bot, just take it and plug it into the socket on the head of the android I am speaking to you from.”
I do as he asked and pull the metal robot free from the hook on the wall in which it was hanging from. I could only drag the lifeless machine on the floor beside the talking skull, its body rigid and heavy. The cable Casper mentioned was easy to find and connect to a similar receiving port on the circuitry of the skull. My success was confirmed almost immediately by the lights on the robot’s chest beginning to flicker and come to life.
“There we go. I’ll just get this guy here connected to the net… Then cross connect…”
I watched the robot closely as I listened to Casper’s words come through beside me from another direction. Expecting the robot to move any moment, I take a few steps back away from it. The lighter flickers for a moment and I lose my footing and find myself leaning against one of the tables with my butt on the floor.
“Alright, all done!” He explained proudly.
The robot lay motionless, in the same position I had left it. I pulled myself up and began making my way to building HC292. The door was unlocked, the guards let me leave without a word. My body was on a mission of its own, me, a helpless passenger.