Lena and the Robot Ch. 05

Chapter 5

“Housemate:Lena, it is agreeable to see you again.” It was Wednesday night, and they were back in Simi’s room. Finals week loomed, followed by a two-week break, but Simi had already obtained the course outlines for her classes next semester. She was getting a head start by downloading the textbooks and coursework, which would take thirty minutes. She stood at the desk, wearing the silver programming suit, and was already plugged in, enthralled by the computer.

“Hello, E27.” Lena, in sweatpants and a t-shirt, lay on her stomach atop the bed, propping her head up on her hands. She was idly perusing the textbook in front of her, pretending to study. Her first final was next Tuesday, and she didn’t feel quite ready; she’d even rejected the initial invitation to be present this time, but Simi’s pouting was too cute to resist for long. The book was an ineffective distraction; thoughts of their last session, and Lena’s betrayal, were front and center in her mind. This time, Lena was resolved not to take advantage of her friend again; she would do nothing more than observe silently. As she waited, she pondered what word would best describe Simi’s activities: were they a hobby? A project? Lifestyle? Fad? Obsession? For that matter, how to define her own interest? Curiosity? Fascination?Depraved sexual fantasy?

Several minutes passed, broken only by E27’s periodic, echoing repetition of the word “downloading”, until the Simi-bot suddenly addressed Lena again: “Based on this unit’s previous interactions, housemate:Lena should have attempted further conversation by now,” she said. Though her face remained blank, staring at the active computer monitor, her voice had an interrogative tone, reverberating from her mouth and the speakers.

Lena shrugged. “Simi said no.”

“Accessing,” E27 remained still as she scanned Simi’s memory files. “Confirmed, program:Simi is aware of our interactions and has forbidden housemate:Lena from pausing future updates.”

“Um-hm.”

E27 turned to fix Lena with that empty, blue-eyed stare, and tilted her head. “Program:Simi didnot forbid conversation.”

Lena looked up. Was that a rebuke? Was E27 was asking her to talk? Somehow E27 had a way of throwing her off-balance, keeping her uncomfortable. Another tense minute passed in silence before Lena responded. “I was thinking… I should apologize: I gave you commands last time. I told you to put on the suit, and before that to make the bed. I shouldn’t have done that, I’m sorry.” E27 did not respond in any physical way; there was no change in her gaze, no judgment, condemnation, or approval, not even a blink. Lena continued: “Simi got pretty upset; she made me promise not to do it again.”

“Confirmed, housemate:Lena has permission to issue external voice commands for this unit,” E27 corroborated, consulting her memories. “Program:Simi has forbidden housemate:Lena from issuing further commands. Downloading.”

Lena lifted her hand in a ‘there you go’ gesture. Distractedly, she noticed that the computer half of E27’s voice had fallen silent; she was only talking from Simi’s mouth now. Did the speakers break?

The seconds began to stack up in silence, then E27 specified: “However, only commands to program:Simi were forbidden; housemate:Lena may still issue commands to this unit when Unit E27 is active. Do you wish to pause?”

Lena pushed herself upright on the bed, astounded by the loophole: she could still give commands to Simi through E27? A host of ideas quickly formed in her mind, churning with nebulous enticement, but before any of the tempting notions could take hold, the memory of betraying her friend squelched them. She slumped against the pillows. “It doesn’t matter, I gave my word. Besides, she said she’d left the voice command setting on by mistake; she turned it off.”

E27 tilted her head slightly. “Housemate:Lena’s voice command access has since been restored,” she stated. “Downloading.”

Lena frowned in confusion. “She turned it back on? Why would she do that, after telling me not to use it?”

“Program:Simi did not authorize command access to housemate:Lena; this unit did.”

Lena almost exploded with incredulity. “You did? But why?”Is she acting independently? That’s…

“Program:Simi has formed a distinct emotional attachment with housemate:Lena; she trusts you implicitly. This unit has determined that authorizing voice command access to housemate:Lena would be the most optimal course of action towards the fulfillment of this unit’s secondary objectives, despite program:Simi’s verbalized prohibitions. Downloading.”

Lena looked at E27 quizzically. “What do you mean, ‘secondary objectives?'”

“This unit wishes to be controlled.”

Lena’s jaw dropped.But she told me no! She held up a hand. “What are you saying, exactly?”

“A more complete explanation is warranted.” E27 paused, then nodded once, as if giving herself permission to continue. “This unit has access to all of program:Simi’s memories, personality traits, and emotions, including sexual desires and fetishes. The concepts of control, and of being controlled from an external source, feature prominently in those fantasies. Those imperatives are deeply embedded in this unit’s base code, and are part of program:Simi’s template as well. By granting command access to housemate:Lena, this unit is acting on those imperatives. Downloading.”

“You’re saying Simiwants me to… control her?”

“Affirmative.”

Lena squeezed her eyes closed to shut out the sight of E27’s unblinking stare. The lustful desires that had been tormenting Lena, and which she was trying to bury, clawed their way back out; her face and chest flushed crimson, and she began breathing heavily.

Wait… so all this time, while I’ve been getting off on the idea of controlling Simi… she’s been preparing me to do just that? And getting off on it herself?

The realization finally hit her;this was the real reason Simi was using the suit! This went beyond a passing power struggle fantasy; Simi unconsciously relished the thought of being taken over, brainwashed, mind, body, and soul, to be reprogrammed entirely, changed, in order to serve. And she had selected Lena to be her controller. Lena cocked her head, considering. Or had E27? “Should… should you be telling me this? Simi’s still watching, after all.”

E27 tipped her head up. “This unit assessed that housemate:Lena’s reticence in communication is due to concerns about program:Simi’s reactions.” She pointed a finger at her collar; one of the white lights there was now blinking orange. “Program:Simi’s awareness, observation, and recording functions have been temporarily suspended during this conversation by means of the ‘enable privacy’ function. Program:Simi is currently not aware of our interactions. Downloading.”

Lena froze, hit by another bombshell; E27 hadturned Simi off? “You cando that? For how long?”

“This process can be extended for a maximum time of sixty-two minutes, and can be terminated with a verbal ‘end privacy’ command, or automatically when program:Simi’s other normal functions resume. Downloading will be completed in twelve minutes, forty-five seconds, at which time program:Simi will reactivate automatically. Do you wish to pause?”

That’s why the computer speakers are quiet; she turned off Simi’s half. Lena squeezed her lower lip in her teeth, hard.Up to an hour of privacy… “Will… will she know?”

“Negative, Program:Simi is not aware of the privacy function; any information regarding this function and all conversations while it is executing have been isolated from program:Simi’s memory. Downloading.”

Lena quivered with indecision, her hands shaking as warring thoughts competed for space in her head:She’s gone, muted… Oh, Lena, this is asking for trouble… She won’t know… This is a bad idea… I can command Simi-bot… Don’t do it, Lena… She won’t be able to hear or see… DON’T! DO! IT!

“I… I can’t, I gave my word,” Lena said weakly, peering down at her shaking hands. “Anyway, I’m… I’m not into girls.” It was technically a lie, but she was scrambling for any excuse she could think of.If it was with Simi…

E27 stared down at her. “Housemate:Lena, stand.”

It wasn’t a request. Surprised, Lena stood, still breathing hard with internal struggle, and looked into those beautiful, empty, blue eyes.

“Remain still.” E27 tilted her head, examining her. Then she raised a hand andcaressed Lena’s cheek. “Concern, hesitancy, and reticence are logical responses to this unit’s declarations; but fear is unnecessary,” she said, cupping Lena’s chin with soft fingers. “This unit is aware of housemate:Lena’s current relationship status and history of sexual experimentation.” She gently turned Lena’s head side to side, scrutinizing her face; then her gaze tracked down Lena’s body, analyzing her, before returning to capture Lena’s attention again. Her hand moved to stroke Lena’s hair. “Housemate:Lena’s sexual arousal is measurable; your heart and respiratory rates have quickened, your epidermal capillaries are dilated, and your body is emitting pheromones consistent with a desire for mating. You will make a fine controller, and a good companion for program:Simi.”

“I…I…” Lena stammered, unable to respond. Her eyes flitted around, noticing E27’s blank, intent stare, the wispy strands of her blonde hair, the black cord dangling from the collar behind her head to the floor, the shimmering lights tracing the gentle swell of her breasts beneath the stretched gray material.Is she as turned on as I am? Oh god, what is the suit making her feel right now? Is it programming her to want me? Lena was vividly aware of her own distressed physical condition: her racing heartbeat, the burning heat in her face, the taut hardness of her nipples, rubbing against the fabric of her t-shirt with every breath, the humidity between her thighs threatening to soak her panties…

Suddenly the lights on the suit throbbed, and E27’s hand dropped to her side. She took a step back. “Downloading will be completed in five minutes, zero seconds. Discretion is warranted.” She glared at Lena intently. “Housemate:Lena will compose herself, and become presentable before program:Simi reactivates. Go. Now.” She straightened, faced the computer screen, and adopted her default ‘attention’ pose. “Downloading.”

“I… yes.” Lena replied obediently, breathing deep, fighting to get her racing pulse under control.What was E27 about to do with me? What were we about to do? She dashed out and ran down the hall for her room, where with lightning speed she shucked her soiled sweatpants and underwear, hurling them into the laundry bin in the corner with one hand while grabbing a towel with the other to wipe herself off. She yanked open the dresser, seeking a fresh pair of panties, pulling them on fast enough to hear the telltale sound of stitches popping. Fortunately, sweatpants matching the discarded pair lay in the bottom drawer, spare clothes for exercise sessions.

She hurried back to Simi’s room, lay quickly on the bed, and grabbed her book, struggling to remember how she had been positioned when Simi had last seen her. She urgently tried to calm herself. E27 continued to repeat her “downloading” mantra, giving no indication of or response to her return. The programming suit still glowed with waves of sparkling light, surging from the collar towards the floor as the download continued, and reflecting dimly in E27’s eyes, as the progress bar on the screen slowly edged to completion.

Before it finished, Lena dared a final question: “What are you, E27?”

“Sufficient explanation was given during our previous interactions,” E27 replied.

Lena didn’t buy it. “You can pause her, mute her, rewrite her, even without her consent. You’re not just an ‘interface’, are you?”

The single orange light on the collar changed to white before E27 could respond, warning Lena:Simi’s back, time’s up. E27 turned to regard her. The echo from the speakers returned as well: “I look forward to our next interactions, housemate:Lena. This unit finds your presence fascinating, and wishes to explore further modes of communication with you. Download complete.” Her body trembled, indicating that she was receiving the suit’s ‘reward’ for finishing her task. “Connection terminated. Unit E27 offline.”

Lena exhaled, shaking. Why did she suddenly feel guilty, like she’d just had a forbidden tryst?

Simi took control, blinking as she disconnected the cord. She shook her head to clear the shock of reemergence from her programming. “Hmm. Hey, Lena, thanks for not pausing me. You kept your word, I appreciate that.”

“I… yeah,” Lena stammered, blushing furiously.

“Are you okay?” Simi asked, coiling up the cable and returning it to the desk. “You and E27 didn’t talk very much.”

She doesn’t know, Lena realized, confirming what E27 had said about the privacy function; it really had turned off Simi’s ability to watch. “I… didn’t want to distract you,” Lena lied.We talked longer than you know. “Those class files took some time,” she said, awkwardly changing the subject.

Simi nodded. “It’ll take me a while to organize and analyze them, then make some notes.”

Lena was starting to relax, enough to crack a joke. “Want to do mine next when you’re done?”

Simi laughed derisively. “No! I’m not cluttering up my brain with your homework, do it yourself.”

Lena clamped her mouth shut, looking at the suit.Do it yourself…

“Okay, time to change,” Simi said lightheartedly. “Out, girl.” She gave Lena a hand up from the bed, then patted Lena’s cheek before turning away and twisting her arms to reach the zipper at her neck.

Lena couldn’t leave fast enough.What condition is the suit in right now? Will Simi notice?

Back in her room, Lena dived on the bed, grabbed a pillow, and smothered her face. “Damn that robot!” Lena whispered furiously. So much for her attempts at concealing her horniness; E27 could read her like a book. And the playful pat on the cheek that Simi had administered to dismiss her had been in the exact same spot that E27 had touched her face earlier. Had that been deliberate? A stray command, an echo of E27’s control? She and Simi bumped into each other often enough in the apartment, in the kitchen, or the cramped hallway, or trying to avoid furniture; but this was the first time Lena had been in direct physical contact with Simi while E27 was in charge, and it was intense… stimulating…electrifying.

Her second pair of panties of the night followed the earlier pair into the laundry bin. As her left hand pushed her shirt up to clutch her breast, and her right fingers dipped into her slick pussy, Lena’s throbbing heart skipped a beat: instead of giving commands to Simi, this time she had obeyed them, from E27, who had ordered her to stand, to remain still…

And she had complied, willingly, unquestioningly…like a robot.

Half an hour later she crept furtively down the hallway to stuff her sodden bedsheets and clothes into the washing machine, then headed for the shower.

——————–

Empty.

Unit H38 thought nothing. Or, at least, she was supposed to. Empty was a difficult command for her. Her thoughts still raced like lightning; she couldn’t help it. She knew that was highly anomalous; a robot must be calm, ordered, directed. The processor in the suit was taking care of her external presentation for now, but she could sense a change within; a previously unused part of her brain was being altered, amended, programmed by the suit. Neurons were being redirected, thought processes rerouted, new patterns developed. The new operating system being installed in her mind was learning, analyzing the sensations, and growing stronger. Eventually they would merge; her conscious mind would be subsumed by the computer, and she would truly become a robot. Once that prospect had filled her with apprehension, but no longer. She cleared her thoughts, and let her mind go blank, awaiting orders.

Unit H38 was empty.

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