Inspired by "The Offer" by Android675@aol.com
If you have not read "The Offer" by Android675@aol.com, to which this story is a sequel, stop right here and read it first. (It's available here, among other places.) If you don't, you're missing out on a GREAT story and you may not understand everything that occurs in this one!
Note: The following story contains explicit sexual material. If stories about sex, and particularly robots and sex, do not appeal to you, please don't read any further. This story should not be read by anyone under eighteen years of age. (You know who you are.)
Android Unit N801 walked purposefully down the long corridor, under the gentle guidance of her programming. She was designed to always obey her programming. Four months ago, when she was a human girl named Kim Peters, Unit N801 would have been awestruck by her surroundings. To her left was a curved wall of featureless metal, decorated only by softly pulsing green lights which stretched from floor to ceiling. To her right, an endless series of giant archways provided a spectacular view onto a gleaming city of glass and steel. The most impressive sight of all, though, was N801 herself.
Except for her bright golden eyes, and the shiny golden hair which fell to her shoulders, the android was entirely silver from head to toe. Her perfectly sculpted body was completely smooth, broken only by barely visible seams at her joints and by the clear plastic panels built into her stomach, her back, and the front of each thigh. Behind each panel, an intricate web of circuits blinked gently in intermittent flashes of green, yellow, and red. Unit N801 moved with surprising grace for a robot, gliding along upon heeled, calf-high silver boots, each more a natural extension of her leg than an article of clothing. The boots, like her lips and fingernails, sparkled with a brighter silver sheen than the rest of her body.
Her gait was smooth—not at all awkward or stiff—but the mechanical precision of her body was obvious. Every move was efficient. Her shapely silver hips swayed only barely with each step; there was no bounce at all to her perfect chrome breasts. Though her arms moved back and forth as she walked, the fingers of each hand remained perfectly straight and together. Once, when she had first been transformed into an android, Unit N801 would have watched her reflection in the metal walls, and marveled at the way the walls and lights reflected, in turn, off her flawless robotic body. But she was completely used to her appearance now, and besides this was not a time when her programming allowed her such an indulgence. The android's primary program was fully engaged at the moment, directing her every thought and movement. Though she held her head high, her silver face was completely devoid of expression as she came to a halt in front of a pair of steel doors.
Turning smoothly toward the doors, Unit N801 lifted her right hand and pressed it against a small access panel. There was a faint buzzing as a probe from within the panel interfaced with a tiny port which had opened in her palm. An instant later, the doors slid apart to reveal an expansive communications center, filled with androids performing their respective functions. Most were seated at various control terminals, monitoring the status of the many activities within the fully automated android city. Others walked to and fro, delivering data to their superiors or checking display panels along the walls. None of the androids seemed to notice the arrival of Unit N801.
Without hesitation, N801 climbed a short set of metal steps to a small balcony filled with monitoring stations. She walked to the third station, where another female unit sat before a computer terminal, motionless except for an occasional movement to press a button or turn a knob on the console. The unit wore a lightweight wireless headset, through which she received commands from a central processor. Staring blankly at the computer screen, the android could not see Unit N801 behind her. Nonetheless, as Unit N801 approached, the other unit's head suddenly cocked to one side, and she rose stiffly from her chair. As she did so, a familiar voice filled Unit N801's mind.
PROGRAM LOADING COMPLETE.
"Disengage terminal interface," Unit N801 said flatly. Her hollow voice had a faint metallic ring to it.
"Dis.en.ga.ging," replied the other unit. Her voice was completely monotonic, with an unmistakable metallic reverberation. The unit's hands reached up in short, choppy movements, and she took hold of her headset. There was a soft staccato whirring sound followed by a slight click as she pulled the headset away from her ears. Her designation, N474, was stenciled just above her left breast. Back when she was Kim Peters, Unit N801 might have guessed—by her beautiful broad nose, full lips, and short metallic hair of purest onyx—that Unit N474 had once been part of a human racial group called Africans, on a planet called Earth. But such details were irrelevant to her now. After all, aside from the minor differences in their faces and hair, the two silver androids were identical in every way, both inside and out.
Once again the voice in N801's head commanded her. PREPARE FOR INTERFACE. She reached out and took the headset from N474. ENGAGE INTERFACE. Unit N801 lifted the headset, gently pulling its sides to fit around her head. As she let the digital inputs settle into place, she could hear a soft click, followed by a muffled whirring sound as the inputs drilled themselves into her ears. The sounds of the room around her were now only barely audible.
ACTIVATE VOCAL. "Resume functional level three," Unit N801 said to Unit N474. This was the functional level she was currently at, fully automated yet not completely engaged with the central processors that ran the android society.
"Functional level three restored," replied N474, her tone much more smooth and relaxed now. She blinked twice, tilted her head slightly, and walked around behind Unit N801. A part of Unit N801 knew what the voice would say next. PERMIT ACCESS TO INTERNAL SYSTEMS.
The plastic panel in N801's back opened, and Unit N474 began to manipulate the controls within. N801 could feel her body's hydraulic muscles tightening with each of several loud clicks. A low humming sound from the input device on her head began to grow louder. The sound was extremely pleasant and soothing. There was no longer any need for the voice in her head, for now Unit N801 was connected directly to the central processors. Unit N801's glistening silver lips parted slightly as N474 made the final adjustments to her controls. All of her senses were heightened to their fullest, yet focused only on the data entering her mind through the headset and through her visual sensors.
Unit N801's vocals activated. "This.u.nit.is.now.set.at.func.tion.al.le.vel.ten." The reverberating monotone of her voice indicated that her core programming was now in complete control of her internal systems. With a series of mechanical, robotic movements, each perfectly fluid and precise, she stepped forward to one side of the chair, turned, stepped forward again, turned, and sat down. Three more input devices, built into the chair, attached themselves to ports at each shoulder blade and at the small of her back. All sound from the room around her was now inaudible to Unit N801 as she stared at the computer console. She was completely oblivious to the departure of Unit N474, who moved smoothly and efficiently from the communications center.
Unit N801 was now linked to a network of her fellow androids, all of whom were under the direct control of the city's central processors. While engaged at functional level ten, Unit N801 was nothing more than a node on that network, a CPU and associated storage device, a system resource to be used at the discretion of the central processors. From time to time, an anomalous event would occur on her screen, such as a sudden flux in the weather patterns which the city's systems did their best to control, or a malfunction somewhere in the city's power grid. At these times, Unit N801's CPU would receive instructions directly from the central processors, instructions which she obeyed instantly and without thought. Her silver hands moved to flip a switch, or press a button, or relay a command to another android unit. But for most of the hours that followed, Unit N801 simply sat and stared, using about two percent of her CPU to monitor status while surrendering the rest to help execute the endless stream of calculations which enabled the city to operate smoothly. Accessing. Accessing. Downloading. Processing. Uploading. Processing. Processing. Processing.
Then, suddenly, a different instruction was routed to her android brain. Unit N801's head cocked sharply to the right as the input interfaces in her back disengaged from the chair. Rising stiffly and turning, she stood at attention before a male android. The humming in her head softened to allow her to receive external audio input. Her programming reminded her otherwise blank mind exactly what would happen next. The male unit, designation N522, spoke. "Disengage terminal interface."
"Dis.en.ga.ging," Unit N801 heard herself say in perfect clipped monotone. The headset disengaged from her head, and she lifted it off and handed it to N522.
"Resume functional level three," said Unit N522, and N801 immediately felt a shudder through her internal systems as she achieved full release from functional level ten. The sensation was intensely pleasurable. She now waited patiently, for almost thirty milliseconds, for the voice to tell her what to do.
ACTIVATE VOCAL. "Functional level three restored," N801 said in a voice much less robotic than before. She blinked twice, tilted her head slightly, and walked around behind Unit N522. Unit N801 then performed the exact sequence of control adjustments that N474 had performed on her hours before.
Unit N522 had now been properly adjusted. "This.u.nit.is.now.set.at.func.tion.al.le.vel.ten," he said, then turned to begin his automated routine. Unit N801 did not wait to watch him become fully engaged with the control chair. PROGRAM COMPLETE. There was no further need for communication or interaction with Unit N522. Unit N801 had satisfactorily completed her program. It was now time for her to return to her programming cubicle. Smoothly, her movements just barely mechanical, Unit N801 returned to the hallway outside the communications center.
It was not long before Unit N801 reached the personal programming cubicle she shared with a male android whose designation was N800. She entered the room. On a small dais at the back of the room, a pair of programming chairs faced each other. There was no other furniture in the room, though the console-covered walls were capable of extruding additional platforms and devices as required. As the metal door slid shut behind her, Unit N801 heard the voice in her head again.
INITIATE TERMINATION OF PRIMARY PROGRAM CONTROL.
SELF PROGRAMMING TO RESUME IN 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .
Unit N801's eyes went wide for an instant, and then she felt her own CPU take over sole control of her internal systems. She could now think and act independently of the central processors. "Functional level one restored," she whispered as she stretched her slender chrome arms in front of her. It felt like no time at all had passed since her primary program last took over, though her internal chronometer told her that she had been on duty for several hours. She took a moment to access a file which had recorded her activities while executing her primary program. Programming has been executed within expected parameters. No faults occurred during primary program execution. This unit is functioning properly. Great! Her sparkling silver lips spread into a beautiful smile as she skipped forward into the room.
Unit N800 was sitting comfortably in his programming chair, his visual sensors dark as he went through a recharging cycle. The cycle was only 87 percent complete, but N801 was impatient. It had been a long day, she decided, and it was time to have some fun. She moved to Unit N800's chair, and pressed a series of buttons on its side. Normally, interrupting another android's recharging cycle was not permitted, but thankfully each android was allowed to establish trust-and-control relationships with other androids as he or she desired. For a non-critical function, such as recharging when N800 was already at least 75 percent charged, N801 had complete override permissions.
Soon Unit N800's eyes began to glow, and his head turned to face Unit N801. There was a slight look of puzzlement on his silver face. Unit N801 tried to think of the perfect thing to say to let him know it was play time. Then she decided it wasn't so much what she said as how she said it. Though she was still at functional level one, Unit N801 spoke in a sweet, almost musical, monotone. "How.was.your.day.hon.ey?"