Nova's First Job
Author's Note: While I have been in the Los Angeles area, the addresses below do not pertain to any known streets or districts located there. I do not live in that area, but chose L.A. as the setting for the story because I found the overall atmosphere and locales more appealing than anywhere else I had ever been (save perhaps New York and Tokyo). In any event please don't go looking for a Galaxy Fashions store on Melrose trying to find Nova. Rest assured, she is with me...
Nova and Jason walked to a clothing store. The incident with the robbers in the hamburger place had been quickly brushed over by the hard-nosed L.A. police who were more interested in hauling in the robbers than worrying about the fact that Nova had endangered innocent lives.
Jason felt a need to reward her for her performance and besides he couldn't wait to think of how she'd look in some lingerie and other things.
The two headed into a new clothiers shop that looked very elegant and huge. The name on the front proclaimed "Galaxy Clothiers" in large bold letters with stars and a 50's looking rocket ship flying through the logo. Jason noticed the mannequins in the front window. They looked VERY good in their outfits. Some looked so real he could swear he thought he saw them breathe. Jason looked at his android companion and then back at the mannequins. Could they? Nahhhh...
Jason and Nova walked inside and Jason told Nova to go find some things she liked but that were reasonably inexpensive. She nodded and headed right to the back. Jason disliked clothes shopping intensely but his attention was still on the mannequins. He walked up to a pretty blonde and looked her over very closely.
She stood 5' 7" just slightly shorter than Nova, and had eyes of deep green. Her makeup was tastefully applied and she seemed just a little sad. Jason couldn't help but reach out and touch her only to be surprised as he felt her warm skin. He jumped back as if in shock when she turned and looked at him.
"If you need assistance sir, you should ask one of the salespeople. I'm just the dummy", she smiled and went back to her "Frozen" look.
Jason laughed. She was a live model doing a mannequin's job. The makeup and the stillness she kept had fooled him totally. He smiled feeling embarassed and headed to where he'd seen Nova go to.
When he arrived his jaw dropped. There she stood in front of the mirror with a saleslady nearby. Nova was dressed in a two part, tight silvery outfit that hugged her body's curves so tightly that Jason could see every movement of her muscles under it. The top had straps and came around her body, but the material was extremely smooth, and almost rubber-like. The bottom pulled into almost a bikini-like pair of shorts that also hugged her thighs and hips to appear as if it had been poured or painted on. Her long, firey-red hair reflected off of the almost chromatic surface of the clothing and she turned to him and smiled.
"Your expression tells me that you think the outfit looks good on me. Right?" she said with a wink
Jason reached up and felt at his face, "Uh, is the drool apparent? YES I like it!"
Nova smiled walked over to him and kissed him lightly on the cheek, "Thank you. Your approval means so much to me".
Jason smiled, then realized that she was absolutely truthful. He was her mentor practically and his approval on what she did or wore probably did mean a lot to him, the same way his parents approval had meant so much to him when he was a child. He nodded his approval and said,"Are there any others you wanted?"
She smiled and said,"Yes a few others. I think you'll like them all."
"You seem to have pretty good taste Nova, I'm sure I will. Let's get these paid for eh?", Replied Jason.
The two walked up to the front cashiers desk and placed the items on the counter. Jason winced when he saw the 150.00$ bill and cringingly handed the woman his credit card. One of the saleswomen walked over to one of the "mannequins" and told her it was time to go. The living mannequin smiled and headed to the back room. Nova watched her, when her sensors picked up the prescence of another person very nearby.
She turned and saw a still-pretty but slightly older woman of forty or so, looking at her. The woman was dressed smartly in a business-like outfit and the jewelry she wore spoke of very old money. The woman wore no nametag, yet her prescence suggested that she was an owner or manager of this business. She smiled and looked Nova over.
"My dear you are stunning. Do you by chance model or somesuch?", she asked.
"No ma'am, I am a model N-"Nova started to say when Jason cut her off abruptly.
"Uhm, she's recently arrived here in the states from England, ma'am. She used to do a little modeling there. Why do you ask?"
The lady smiled and approached Nova and looked her over as if sizing up a side of beef to be sectioned, "Well as you discovered earlier, My store uses real girls to act as "mannequins" to show off our clothing. Your friend is very lovely, and I think she'd be perfect for our displays."
Jason thought for a moment and looked at Nova,"We could use the money, and it IS a good job. Can you do it?"
Nova smiled,"Sure. It isn't hard for me, I just go into sleep mode and lock my joints into place."
Jason smiled, "Then go ahead and accept the job."
Nova turned back to the woman,"All right I'll do it."
"Excellent", the woman beamed,"Now you'll have to fill out a few forms and sign the proper authorizations, then you can start".
Jason pulled Nova over to one side, "Nova please don't let anyone know what you are. If they think you are something besides human, well they might take you away from me or do something bad to you."
Nova nodded, "I understand Jason. I'll do my best to conceal my identity".
Nova let the woman lead her to the back where she pulled out a form and pen and then began to ask her questions, "Name?"
"Is that first or last name?"
"Ok, what's the last name?"
Nova thought quickly, Jason had seemed a bit nervous about her revealing her designation, so she would need another one. Nova remembered something she'd seen and admired as they had walked past a small Chinese food resturant. It was a beautiful picture of a Phoenix done in silk and inks. She had loved it's simple, yet stylized imagery.
"Phoenix. Nova Phoenix", That's my name.
The owner looked at her a bit puzzled,"What an odd name. Is it just a fashion name or was it changed?"
"Uhm, it was changed", answered Nova, thinking, Just now when I changed it.
"1847 Melrose Avenue"
The woman smiled,"No dear I meant the address where you live".
"Oh", Nova had given her the address of the building she was inside,"1205 Orange Road".
"Oh, that's a bad part of town. You should see about getting out of there my dear."
Nova smiled, "Well it's Jason's home. Hopefully I can earn enough money to help get him out of that place.
"In metrics or United States standard?"
"Uhm standard is fine"
"Five feet and nine point three inches"
"Hmm. You do seem a bit tall. Uh, do you know your current weight?"
Nova smiled, she knew her exact weight at all times because of her gyroscopic balancer that kept her perfectly balanced when she walked or did something else, "One hundred and twenty pounds exactly".
"You must be mostly muscle. Eye color?"
"Sapphire Blue, but they tend to lighten slightly"
"Well I believe everyone's are supposed to, Dear".
Nova smiled, then realized that the last few questions were a bit odd,"Excuse me ma'am but what difference does my height and weight make?"
The owner smiled,"Well Nova, I place your statistics into the computer and it cross indexes our stocked items, and finds a fairly accurate match in clothing and pose for you. I will also be photographing you to help give my designers an idea of what you'd look good in"
This sounded perfectly logical to Nova, and so the interview proceeded.
The owner laughed, "Your hair has so many beautiful colors Nova, it's a shame that we have to classify it as just being red."
"Date Of Birth?"
Nova had to think quickly, "August 14th, 1973"
"Hmm. You don't look a day over 19 Nova. Remarkable".
"Place Of Birth?"
"Really? Were your parents in the military or something?"
"You might say that", Nova smiled.
"All right, I think that pretty well does it, for now Nova. I just need your social security number and an ID confirming U.S. citizenship".
Nova frowned,"Uhm, I only arrived here today ma'am, I don't have either of those things".
"Oh dear. Welllll....I suppose we can overlook those details", winked the owner. "Just make sure you don't get caught and deported or somesuch, I'd hate to lose what I feel will be my prettiest mannequin".
Nova smiled,"I'll do my best ma'am".
The owner laughed, "Nova please call me Jalynda. You make me feel old calling me ma'am all the time".
Nova frowned,"I'm sorry, I just felt it proper to call you a more respectful title that indicated your status".
Jalynda laughed,"Oh sweetie, you're so nice. I can't wait to see how you work out for us."
After Nova and Jason had departed the store, Jalynda closed and locked the door to her office. She pulled a hidden recess out of the wall nearby and exposed a small control panel. She tapped a few buttons and a door in the wall slid back to reveal a fairly large complex area. Inside were a few technicians assembled around various computers and what appeared to be the beginning stages of some sort of humanoid form.
Jalynda walked in and observed a team working to her left. They had what looked like heads and limbs of beautiful young women and were plugging them into various instruments and testing them with special gauges and tools. The heads and limbs were obviously mechanical and had flashing leds and circuits inside of them. The heads would blink, look around, move their mouths and such, but no sound came from them, save the fairly loud whirring and humming from inside of them.
Jalynda sighed, they still hadn't been able to completely disguise the sounds that came from the mechanics inside the androids. She walked in a bit further to the rear. Inside was a large machine that looked a bit like an overgrown hair dryer with cabling running from it to a smaller set of machines and such.
A dark haired man of forty walked in from another part of the lab, "Jalynda, how is everything?"
"Another day older and a few more wrinkles Doctor Klein. What's the progress on the transferral device?", Jalynda asked.
"It's working perfectly. All we require now is the completed android body and interface units to try it.", answered Dr. Klein.
Jalynda sighed,"You're still having problems with the bodies aren't you? They still sound like machines, they still move like wind-up toys, and they still eat up far too much power to make them feasible. I'm beginning to think I'll never be able to see this experiment to it's conclusion".
"Well at the very least, the experiment has provided you with some lovely mannequins in other parts of your store. Not to worry, every day we make progress is a good day, and today we have made progress. What's wrong? You seem a bit off.", asked the Doctor.
Jalynda smiled, "I had a new girl come in and she was so beautiful. She made me feel old and ugly. She was rather strange though".
"Oh? How so?", asked the Doctor.
"Well, almost like she was too perfect. She smelled nice, she walked with grace and beauty and held herself like someone who is innocent and yet naturally very beautiful. Her personality is also very pleasant. Almost subserviant, and her name....so unusual. Nova Phoenix. I don't know quite what to make of her.", thought Jalynda aloud.
"Hmm. Well, you'll be feeding her data into the computers won't you? Perhaps if you find her so pleasing then maybe you'll want to take design elements from her to use on your own new body once we've completed it", replied Doctor Klein.
"Yes I think so. Oh!", cried Jalynda as she clutched her chest and sat back on the table.
Doctor Klein moved around to her and massaged her chest a bit,"There, there. I know it's hard, but please try to hang on a bit longer. We're working as fast as we can to have a body ready for you. I know how painful it is."
Nova stood in front of Jason's only mirror. She looked at her appearance and the new outfit she wore. She tried turning a bit this way and that to get a better look then called out,"Jason, could I get your opinion on this please?"
Jason sighed. He had been online with his friends in the ASFR room, and to him, this was an interruption. He walked over to where she stood.
Nova was dressed in a silky looking ,gold dress, that clung to her curves. Jason looked at her, shining prettily in her new outfit. What was this power she had over him?
"What do you think?", She asked.
"It's lovely. It really looks good on you, Nova", Jason replied, "Are you excited about your new job?"
Nova thought for a moment and blinked,"Well, I'm not sure. Standing still for hours leaves little to be excited about. Actually I am more curious."
"Why is that?", Jason asked as he closed the lid to the toilet and sat on it, anticipating a discussion.
"Well the owner, Jalynda, apparently uses a computer to select the best choices of makeup and clothing for her models. I've never heard of such a thing before."
Jason looked puzzled for a moment before replying,"Well, maybe she's just got a system all worked out, and she doesn't want to mess with it."
Nova turned and looked at herself in the mirror for a few more minutes and Jason could feel his ardor rising again. He rose from the seat and walked around her out to the door while saying, "Uh Nova, It's getting pretty late, I'm going to turn in for the night. Uhm, where are you going to sleep?"
Nova turned and smiled at him, "With you of course Jason."
Jason put his hands up quickly, "Oh no. I don't think so. You're a beautiful android and I'm a lonely guy, this isn't going to work. Uh, I guess I'll take the couch and you can have the bed."
Nova looked puzzled at him, "But I don't require all of the comforts that you do. Your couch is not very supportive and you will undoubtedly wake up with a crick in your neck or back. Please take the bed, I will sleep in my capsule."
Jason frowned, "You mean that metal thing you arrived in? Oh come on Nova. I hate that thing. When you're in it you look like a dead person in a coffin or something. Please just take the bed, I'll feel better that way."
Nova nodded a silent assent and walked into Jason's bedroom,"Goodnight Jason. I hope you sleep comfortably."
"Yeah g'night," replied Jason throwing a few sheets and pillows on the couch and trying to make himself comfortable. After a little tossing and turning he fell fast asleep.
Nova waited for almost an hour, then got up and quietly opened the door to Jason's room. She padded quietly to the living room and poked her head in. Jason lay sleeping peacefully on the couch. Nova smiled, he looked so calm and handsome while he slept. A thought occurred to her, Do men look at women like this when they sleep? She crept over to him quietly and lightly brushed the hair out of his face. He blew air lightly from his mouth and nuzzled himself deeper into his pillow. Nova leaned over him and kissed him on the forehead, then turned and slipped back into his room to power down for the night.
Nova walked in to the store the next morning feeling somewhat excited. That morning had been a lot of fun for her, as she'd powered up a bit earlier than Jason and by the time he was ready she had cooked up breakfast for him. He had complimented her and she was still beaming from it.
The store seemed a bit busy already as salespeople rushed about setting things up for the displays and vaccuming the elegant green pile carpeting. Nova was directed to a dressing room where other models were getting ready to go pose. Most were busy attending their makeup. Jalynda walked in and pulled Nova off to one side.
"Hello dear. I'm glad to see you today. The computer has selected these outfits for you", said Jalynda as she handed a small stack of clothing to Nova.
Nova smiled. Something about this woman calling her dear made her feel warm inside. Being an android, Nova did not have a mother, but this older lady was so affectionate and considerate of her, that Nova felt as if Jalynda could be a mother.
Nova quickly removed her clothing and slipped into the silvery dress she had. It clung to her body in folds and draped over her like a shining sheet. After slipping into a pair of shoes that matched the outfit, Nova went to the makeup girls to have them look her over.
The girls fussed over her pretty face and eyes for nearly ten minutes while applying makeup to Nova. One was going to give her pair of earrings and was surprised to find that Nova did not have pierced ears.
Nova smiled at the girl,"I don't usually wear jewelry, it tends to make me look too proud."
The girls giggled and found a pair of clip on earrings for Nova to wear. After they were done they led her to the front window. "all right", one of them said, "Go ahead and get into a position that feels comfortable, you've got a long day of staring ahead of you"
Nova stood in a seductive pose and then locked her joints into place. Now the only way her limbs could be moved was by breaking her servomotors. Nova watched the outside world come to life as she stood perfectly still and enjoyed the sensation of drifting...
Several hours later, Nova's pretimed reactivation sequence awoke her. She flexed and noticed that the world outside her window was dark with the colors of night. The girls in the store were gathered around her and looked at her with some dismay.
"Nova? Are you alright?", asked a salesgirl who looked concerned.
Nova smiled and said,"Of course? Why should I not be?"
"Well, we tried to get you to go for break about three hours ago, and we've been trying to wake you for the past three minutes to tell you it was time to go. Jalynda was about to call the paramedics to see if there was something wrong with you", replied the salesgirl.
"Oh. I'm sorry. I suppose I should have told you that when I pose like that I enter a deep state of meditation that takes my mind from my body. It's kind of like turning your mind off to the outside world and your body just does what it is supposed to, regardless of outside happenings. Really, I'm sorry for the trouble", said Nova with a slight frown.
Jalynda walked up through the small throng of people,"Well as long as you're ok. That's what we were concerned about. Are you sure everything is fine?"
"Oh, quite positive. I am a bit hungry though. Is it time to close?", smiled Nova.
Jalynda nodded and patted Nova on the back,"My dear, perhaps you can teach that meditation to some of my other girls. It was quite astounding. You haven't blinked in eight hours!"
Jalynda escorted Nova to the time clock, and Nova punched in her time, remembering to include that she had not had a lunch on the card. Extra money for Jason to use. I hope he's happy, Nova thought to herself as she took the paycheck from Jalynda.
Unlike most businesses, Jalynda could afford to pay her employee's right on the spot and did so. It still seemed a bit strange to Nova why a wealthy woman like Jalynda ran a boutique when she could easily be the head of a chain of such companies. Perhaps she just enjoys working. Some wealthy people do that because it makes them feel more useful than sitting around and spending money, Nova thought.
She put her other clothing back on and after folding up the dress neatly she handed it to an attendant and prepared to leave. Nova headed out of Galaxy Fashions and took the short walk to the bus terminal back to Jason's house.
Jason was a his usual place in front of the computer chatting away with his friends, when Nova walked in. Jason got up quickly and smiled at Nova."Hi! How was your first day?"
Nova smiled at him and handed him her first check,"Very uneventful, Jason."
Jason's eye bugged at the check, "They paid you A hundred and fifty dollars just to stand in a window and look pretty? Hmmm. Maybe they have a need for male mannequins!"
Nova giggled lightly at the comment, and noticed that Jason had a few food wrappers that were empty sitting on his desk. She quickly scooped them up and tossed them into the trashcan. Jason suddenly felt like the world's biggest slob as she quickly moved over to his sink and started cleaning his dirty crockery.
"Uh, hey Nova you don't have to do that it's ok", he said sort of half-heartedly.
Nova turned and smiled at him, "It's ok Jason. I know you're a very busy person. I'm just trying to keep your housing status up. I don't want you to become ill or depressed because of your home's appearance."
Jason frowned,"Uhm...wow, that's really thoughtful of you. Uh, well why don't I at least help you dry the dishes?"
Nova sensed his discomfort and said,"Sure. Grab a towel. I'm sure you know where they're at."
Jason felt warmed suddenly helping her dry the dishes. She didn't seem bothered by the food staining them or anything. Nova playfully splashed Jason with some of the water from the sink, and he backpedaled with a "Hey". He mischeviously grabbed the water spray rinser from it's bracket in the sink and gave her a stern "Lawman" type look.
"Ahm warnin ye", he threatened trying to look serious,"Yall lowa the hammas on them there suds, or else yell get a taste of mah peacemakah", he drawled holding the sprayer in a gunslinger like pose.
Nova laughed at his Western hero portrayal, and then splashed a facefull of soapy water at Jason. Jason covered as best he could against the water but ended up getting himself soaked. He looked mischieviously at Nova and brought up the sprayer.
"Yall asked fer it!", he drawled as he fired a spray of water at Nova. She fell back under the onslaught, laughing the entire time.
"Okay! Okay! You win!" she laughed wiping herself off with a dry towel. Jason smiled at her. Even sopping wet Nova still managed to look beautiful. He was about to reach out and kiss her when the thought occured to him, If I'd sprayed her when she had a panel open she'd probably have short circuited. Come on Jason she's just a machine. Jason cursed himself. He dreamt of having a robot-girl for a long time, and now he had one and still felt like he couldn't approach her. He just sat and watched her wipe away the moisture from her hair.