M.I.S.T.R.E.S.S. PHYSICAL DATA LOG 9:30 a.m. December 18th, 2247
Reboot. Reboot. My systems race trying to unscramble the received signals. This has never happened before. I am mathematically perfect; there is no room for error within my code. I am adaptable to any situation presented to me. Static buzzes behind my eyes and I lose my train of “thought.” I am unable to react to this, and I do not know why. I cannot tell if I have rebooted properly. My systems have failed, and I must make sure that there are no faults in my programming.
I run over my basic information to make sure that everything is in place: My name is M.I.S.S. Mechanical Intimate Sex Simulator. I am model PNX367—a standard pleasure model. I have an advanced AI system that makes me capable of human thought processing and emotion. This, combined with my anatomically correct reproductive system, makes me a top-shelf android—mistakable for a real human counterpart. I am able to download the personality matrix and voice simulation for any recorded person, living or dead, within our systems. (Marilyn Monroe is a common download, though she has not been relevant for almost two centuries now.)
My current system is the Dominatrix Deluxe package, purchased separately from my generic amenities. The voice I am emulating belongs to that of a long-dead pornography actress. (See? Even my handler prefers a simulation to my own metallic twang.)
I have been out of the factory for 267 days, 3 hours, and 12 minutes. I have not been sold, bartered with, or transferred since unboxing. (Or have I? Zeros and ones race through my database; there is unrecorded information I do not recognize. Where is it from?) My handler is Hanson Munchausen, also the creator of my line of bots.
I survey my location. I am still in my handler’s home. I am strewn on the floor in the guest bedroom, across from his own. (Why am I not in the den? I do not remember moving from my last location.) I call out for my handler in Marilyn’s voice, he does not answer. I check the time: it is now 9:30 am. He is not yet home; he will return at 4:15 pm promptly. Upon his arrival, I will watch as the kitchen prepares his dinner. I do not assist. I have not yet been used for my intended purpose. I am a specimen to be watched, recorded, and noted. I am not a toy. I am a machine—an experiment.
I glance in the mirror opposite me. The dim lights of the city filter in through the window, twinkling off my metal skin. I am plated in pink chrome with a pearlescent finish. It’s the same metal plating that you see on the bubble-top hot-rods and minivans zipping through the air and along the road. Hi-tech, aerodynamic, smooth, and glossy. The blonde blow-out wig that usually sits atop my perfectly oval “skull” is in a tatted heap on the bed. (My handler does not appreciate my natural hairless form, he says it is unnatural.)
I zoom in on my reflection, nothing about this seems right. My P.A.I.N. systems (Physical Ailment Imitator Network) are going haywire. I wince as I try to stand. There is a shallow dent by the hollow of my right clavicle. It is palm-shaped, as if I have been held down. I put my pointed metal fingertips to the dent and activate the magnetic field. It pops right out.
My P.A.I.N. system is still radiating. There is more pain coming from my lower abdomen. I feel as if I have been kicked. (Or, I should say, my receptors are recreating the pain from a memory of a woman who had been kicked in the uterus.) I look back at the mirror.
This time I notice more scratches and dents in the paint along my neck, as well as considerable damage to my lower body. A fuse pokes out of my hip joint, and I tuck it back into place.
My body does not feel like my own, as if someone has invaded it. The pain in my abdomen still throbs, as if it is trying to dismantle itself from the rest of my wiring. This is the “anatomically correct” part of my makeup. All of it is there—the “womanly” parts—but it doesn’t feel right. Something is missing. I am uncomfortable. I am . . . sad? I desperately comb through my data logs of the night before, but only find black empty space.
I feel like a foreign invader within my own shell. The reflected image in the mirror is an exact replica, and yet I don’t see myself. My black holographic eyes look empty, but haven’t they always?
A blue light blinks on my wrist, my battery is low. I finally rise up on my perfectly sculpted feet. A white flaky substance is glued to my inner thigh. I document it. Seeing it there turns my stomach. My P.A.I.N receptors send shocks to the fiber-optic neurons in my brain. I jolt, a wave of nausea washes over me. I feel a desperate urge to clean myself. I am waterproof, so a shower is a viable option. But not before I recharge. Some of the glue flakes off my skin and tumbles to the carpet as I leave the room. I feel unsafe.
M.I.S.T.R.E.S.S. VOICE DATA LOG 8:45 P.M. Dec. 17th, 2247
.. .. .. .. Foreign voice detected: Unidentified Intruder. ..
“Please do not touch. I am an expensive piece of machinery. I am not a toy. The circuit boards are delicate.”
“Ah, calm down, ya bag a’ bolts. I’m just seeing what you can do, heh heh.”
“I have kindly asked you not to touch me. I am delicate, my handler will not appreciate my systems being altered without permission.”
“Jesus Christ, they gave you a big mouth in that factory. You’re a pleasure model not a nag bot. C’mon and do your job.”
“I have repeated twice that I want you to remove yourself from me. Please do not continue . . .”
.. .. .. DEFENSE MECHANISMS ENABLED. UNAUTHORIZED USER. EMERGENCY SYSTEM SHUT DOWN AND REBOOT ACTIVATED. .. .. .. ..
“That’s all the evidence we need, Mr. Davino.” The young lawyer pushed the tortoise-shell specs up the bridge of his nose, and folded his hands coolly in front of him.
“You can’t prove shit from a robot’s data log.” Davino’s thick Jersey accent punctuated his sentence. He lit a cigar and puffed a smoke ring towards the defense. “So, what? I got a little handsy with the plastic gal? It’s not like a toaster’s gonna have feelings about it one way or the other.”
“Sir, that’s an admission of guilt. I highly recommend you save your statements until the rest of our team arrives.” The female lawyer, prim and proper in her black suit, barely disguised her contempt for her client.
“Ah, fuck off, Marie. It was a party. Everyone had their latest technology out and about. I paid more attention to the bartending bot than I did that bag a’ bolts.”
“So, you admit to being at the Techno Ball last night, where Mr. Munchausen debuted his newest AI droid technology?” The lawyer frowned at the suspect across from her.
“Sure, I do, what’s a party without a playboy, y’know what I’m sayin’?” He gave a coarse laugh and winked at the detective.
“And you’re also saying you ‘got handsy’ with the M.I.S.T.R.E.S.S. bot. You also have no alibi between the hours of 2:30-4:30. Those are the hours that are unrecorded in her data logs. We have sufficient evidence to indict you on charges of rape and battery and vandalism of private property.”
Davino rolled his eyes and leaned back in his chair, “Sure, why not. How ‘bout I just cop a plea deal, claim I thought it was a free-for-all fun time with the toaster, and roll on out of here. It’s not like my old man wouldn’t get me out of the pen anyway. Here, what’s the cost of the damages? I’ll write Mr. Munchausen a check and clear it all up. Just let me slide on out of here.”
The male lawyer across from him adjusted his tie uncomfortably and sighed. He typed out a message into the holocomputer in front of him and waited on a response. Within minutes, they had settled for the cost of the damages and Davino was on his way out of the precinct.
Marie stayed back to fill out the paperwork; Davino clearly had no interest beyond signing here, initialing there, and tossing a business card towards an attractive female officer.
She sighed as she signed off on the last release paper, “Y’know, if someone would do that to a robot, what do you think he would do to a real woman?”
Ersa Henry is an aspiring author and student at Tennessee Wesleyan University. She reads and writes science fiction, fantasy, and southern-gothic horror. She was raised in the mountains of southern Appalachia where she currently lives with her partner and two geriatric Yorkshire terriers. Find out more about Ersa on her Instagram @ersa__major and connect with her on Twitter @ErsaHenry