HEROISM AND OTHER LIES
Episode 102: Super Sexy Robots
By Douglas S. Miller
Published by Sword and Lion Publishing
Copyright 2017 Douglas Miller
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ALSO BY DOUGLAS MILLER:
and Other Lies:
Episode 101: Pilot
War: The Dark Side of Dayton (Story:
One Night Only)
For my supportive and loving wife, Hope,
who helps me to stay sane and who helps me believe that we really can
Build a Better Future.
For those who look forward at the future
with hope, fear, or any other major thought; may you find
encouragement and motivation, and may you build a future that is
better than the one featured in this story.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Raymond Buonarroti had been ahead of the
future, and got there before it hit. The result of this was that he
was mind-numbingly rich and that he’d shaken the world in ways that
not even he could have anticipated or intended. He felt that he’d
accomplished what he set out to accomplish fifteen years ago, but he
continued to try to innovate, or, really, he hired younger, more
creative people than himself to try to innovate, ensuring that they
came to him before actually producing any of their ideas. Given all
the legal headaches he had fought through to begin with, and the
fears that people still had about his products, he couldn’t have
some young interns getting ahead of themselves and accidentally
creating something that would get him, Raymond, into trouble.
Raymond sat up on his bed. It was huge,
as though nine king-sized beds had been slammed together. And
super-soft, like floating on clouds. He reached over and gently
pushed some of his wife’s gold-grey hair out of her face before
reaching down and kissing her forehead. A faint smile played itself
upon her lips, but she didn’t stir.
“I love you, darling,” he said to
her. Then he climbed out of bed.
At the door, he was met by Kristine.
Kristine was beautiful, with long curling locks of red hair that fell
down just above her large, firm chest. She wore lingerie of black
and red lace, and had matching red lipstick upon her lips. She
smiled at Raymond as he approached and she stepped towards him, her
long legs shimmering in the early morning sunlight. She wrapped her
arms around Raymond’s neck and kissed him deeply. She reached down
and began to pull off his flannel pajama pants, but he took a step
back, pulling away from her.
“Not this morning, Kristine,”
Raymond said. She pouted slightly at him, her lips moving in a way
that was designed to entice. Most mornings, Raymond would have been
more than happy to oblige, if that was even the right word for it.
He knew, inherently in his mind, that any desire Kristine or any of
the others appeared to feel was artificial. He knew it better than
anyone, and he’d gone to great lengths to explain it to the rest of
the world. However, it was a very convincing illusion, and even for
one who knew it was easy to forget for a time. “Have any reports
come in from the office?”
Kristine’s eyes glowed blue. Raymond
had expanded her functions beyond those of the standard commercial
models, although the company was drafting up the legislature needed
to expand the functionality and present the secretary model to the
common public. As it was, robots were not supposed to be able to
have the appearance of humans and perform human jobs. The
programming and technology for a robot that could perform secretarial
tasks had been around for ages, and it indeed formed the basis of
what Raymond had used to build Kristine’s similar functions.
However, in regards to legality, this technology could not be sold to
the public except in forms that were clearly non-human.
The battle that had been waged by sex
workers – prostitutes, escorts, and porn stars – when Raymond had
unveiled his first line of products had been fierce. Fortunately,
his legal team had managed to work the loopholes and get the product
through. Mostly because prostitution was illegal, a robot being
purchased for sexual reasons wouldn’t be infringing on true
non-criminal human jobs. Since the robots weren’t intended for
pornography, any attempts from that industry, however well-funded,
fell short. However, a personal secretary model would more blatantly
violate legislation, and so new laws would have to be passed to
provide him exceptions to be used. His legal team was working on the
right way to approach this, but there were multiple lawmakers to whom
Raymond’s company and subsidiaries had given generous donations,
ensuring that whatever was presented would pass. Putting the
legislation into writing and going through the legal process was
merely a formality.
He did expect more blowback from the
religious front. They’d done everything they could to legally and
socially devastate his product. Raymond had come a long way in
reducing the stigma of sexbots, but most of that which remained was
perpetuated by churches and other religious centers who viewed the
use of a sexbot as sinful and a misuse of God’s gift of sex. There
was no doubt that if Raymond’s bots started ending up in
workplaces, the religious order would claim that these workers were
poisonous to the morality of a workplace, and that workers should
have a right to work in peace away from such things. All because it
made some holier-than-thou nutjobs uncomfortable.
Of course, Raymond wasn’t worried
about the general religious uproar. He was worried about what the
next attack from the Institute for Divine Justice and Security would
bring against him. The IDJS had greater legal and financial backing
than Raymond would have thought possible, and they knew how to throw
up barriers in his path. They had done so vehemently, and almost
destroyed his company at the very start.
“Nothing from the office,” Kristine
said. “Are you sure that you would not like to engage any of my
other services this morning? If you would like, I can get Irina and
Avalon and we could have an extra-special time.”
“No, thank you,” Raymond repeated.
“I appreciate your offer, but please do not ask me again this
morning. I will make it known next time I require your other
He made a mental note that he would need
to adjust Kristine’s programming when he got a chance. The user
interface was simple, and Raymond liked to tweak the settings of the
girls regularly, sometimes even going into the more advanced
settings. Raymond and his wife, Robin, had recently enjoyed a group
session in which they had made Kristine highly aggressively dominant
and in charge of some of the other boys and girls. Raymond supposed
that he may not have lowered her aggression levels quite back to
normal after that session.
“However….” A thought occurred to
Raymond for his consideration. “Robin may be interested in a group
session when she gets up. Why don’t you surprise her with
yourself, Avalon, Billy, and James, in the kitchen with breakfast?”
“Of course, sir,” Kristine answered
with a smile. “It will be my pleasure to ensure your wife has a
“Wonderful,” Raymond said. “But
if she isn’t in the mood or denies you even once, you are not to
ask again. Is that clear?”
“Of course, sir.” Kristine nodded
A loud ringing sound echoed through the
halls of the house. Raymond sighed, wondering why someone would be
ringing his doorbell at this time of day. Checking his watch, he saw
that it was ten in the morning. Far too early for visitors. He
touched a button on his watch to access the security camera outside
of his house. Standing there were three uniformed officers of the
authorities. Raymond shook his head, frowning at this development.
“And here I was hoping this would be a
good day,” he said, descending his stairs and opening his front
door. The expressions on the officers’ faces were grim, but not
the same type of grim as when they were reporting a death. Which
meant, Raymond knew, that something was wrong in a way that was only
going to cause more complications for him.
“Raymond Buonarroti?” one of the
“What, do I not look enough like my
billboards?” Raymond asked, painting a huge grin upon his face. If
he could be charming enough to win them over, maybe he could prevent
something terrible from happening to him.
“Just answer the question,” the
officer said. “Are you Raymond Buonarroti?”
“Bet he’d be vain enough to make one
of his bots that looks like him.” Raymond heard one of the other
“Sure,” Raymond said, only letting
his smile waver a little bit. “But you can call me Ray. What can
I help you with today?”
The officers walked around him. The one
who had started talking pulled back his arms and slapped handcuffs
across his wrists.
“You are under arrest,” the officer
said. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can
and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right
to an attorney….”
“Wait, what am I being arrested for?”
“For the murder of Rocco Barros.”
“Shit,” Raymond said. “And I
thought today was going to be a good day.”
The workout facilities of the H.O.P.E.
base were superb – everything from weight machines to treadmills to
combat simulators. It was the perfect setup to train people into the
one-man army that a problem eliminator was meant to be. Some of the
equipment was broken or else crashed from disuse. In the combat
program, occasionally the holographic opponents would static out of
existence. I preferred the combat training droids anyway, but the
most together one still had a bad arm that couldn’t quite move as
swiftly as it used to. Occasionally it got stuck altogether.
“You’re doing well,” Valerie said,
observing one of my training sessions. She rolled her wheelchair
over to me and handed me a bottle of water. The food production
machines in the base were starting to produce things that were almost
edible, but water we’d definitely mastered right away. It pulled
from an aquifer that ran beneath the city and then put the water
through an extensive filtration process. That had been what we’d
needed to fix.
“Yeah,” I said, chuckling a little.
“Now I’ll be able to beat down all the one-armed thieves in the
city. Unfortunately, I think Jez had both of his arms fully
operational. Not that I’d mind fixing that about him.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Valerie
said. “It’s not about imitating a real fight.”
“No,” she said. “It’s about
improving your strength and reaction time. Both of which are
happening. You’ll be back to your status as a one-man weapon in no
“Any word from your side of things?”
I asked. I was getting tired of staying cooped up in the base.
“Maria left a message,” Valerie
said. “She said she was just checking in, but that she’d like
you to call her sometime if you get a chance.”
I tried to fight back my smile. Valerie
noticed anyway and shook her head, smiling too. We hadn’t directly
talked about it, but I had been considering my feelings for Maria
since she had gone. A part of me was worried that, if I tried to
pursue something with Maria, Valerie would get jealous and there
would be some sort of overrated but annoying love triangle, like
those so common in young adult books these days. This was the sort
of cliché that I wanted to avoid. Of course, I realized that if I
was going to get back into problem elimination, even if it was just
to catch Jez, things would be too dangerous to start a relationship
with Maria. I didn’t want something to happen to me, causing me to
leave my loved ones behind, but the risks of this job would prevent
me from being able to promise my own safety. I didn’t want Maria,
or anyone else, to be a reason I hesitated taking a necessary risk to
serve the greater good. And I didn’t want my enemies, such as Jez,
to utilize my feelings for someone as a reason to do harm to them.
Maria had already been taken by him once, and I didn’t want that to
“But there’s something else,”
Valerie said. “Rocco Barros was murdered last night.”
Valerie rolled her eyes. “Rocco
Barros. Former Reality Coder gone technology mogul. His company has
designed numerous bots, systems, and devices for a very large number
of Corps and ultra-rich clients.”
“Okay, sure,” I said. “What’s
he got to do with us?”
“Maybe nothing,” Valerie answered.
“Depends on how he was killed. Well, we know how he was killed.
The authorities have footage of it, which means I have footage of
I shook my head, continually impressed
with Valerie’s hacking skills. It seemed that there was nothing
she couldn’t get access to. Since our first job two weeks ago, she
had managed to put out the sensors and try to track down any sign of
Jez. It was just tough because Jez, as a former Reality Coder, had
all the skills necessary to stay hidden from technological tracking.
Even the slightest blip of his existence would be a miracle.
“My algorithm thinks that Jez might be
involved,” Valerie said. “It’s just not entirely clear on how
or why yet. We need more data to put it all together. And
truthfully we don’t yet know enough about what Jez is trying to do
to assemble a decent picture of it.”
I nodded. “So you want me to go and
investigate the murder, without drawing attention to our efforts.”
“Yes, that’d be great.”
Red lights flashed in the room.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“Proximity,” I said. “Someone is
trying to get into the base.”
She flipped up a tablet in front of her.
After pressing a few buttons, her eyes grew wide.
“Shit,” she said.
“What?” I asked. She turned her
wheelchair so that I could see over her shoulder. “Shit.”
Upon the screen was a landing pad which
could lower itself down into the base. Landed upon the pad was a
large military airship. About twenty armed soldiers were standing
around the platform, looking in all directions. A man in dark
clothing was standing before the control panel, trying to hack into
“I can try to out hack them and keep
them out,” Valerie said. “But I’m not sure how much use it’ll
I nodded, racking my brain for a way out
of this. Valerie and I could try to leave, but I wasn’t sure where
else we’d go. There were cameras everywhere on the surface; that
was why we’d chosen to hide out down here to begin with. If they
knew to be looking for me or Valerie specifically, then they’d be
able to get to us anywhere. Even if Valerie could keep them from
hacking in, they’d eventually get one of the doorways into the base
open even if by force. If we’d tried to hack or barricade them
out, the authorities would use that against us citing the idea of
“Stay hidden,” I told Valerie. “The
best hiding place is probably down in the agricultural section
somewhere. You should be able to wheel your chair into one of the
alcoves and shut it off such that it’ll look like a part of the
machinery. We don’t know what they know. I’ll try to cover for
Valerie nodded, but I could tell that
she wasn’t overly fond of the idea.
I made my way, quick as I could, to the
garage. It was a wide, empty space except for a couple old H.O.P.E.
cars, a few bikes, the cargo ship that Maria had flown in, and
Valerie’s little personal ship.
The landing pad was descending into the
space, the soldiers upon it. I placed my blaster and long blade upon
the ground at my feet and raised my hands to the air, hoping that
this would be a good enough indicator of my innocence. I was pretty
sure it wouldn’t.
The soldiers did as good little children
would and waited until the platform came to a complete stop before
moving their arms, legs, and guns off of it to encircle me. One of
the soldiers, the one who appeared to be the highest ranking among
them, stepped toward me. I don’t want to say that he was old,
because he wasn’t. He was just older than most of the rest of his
men. Early to mid-forties, most likely. He walked with the cautious
walk of someone who had seen awful things and who didn’t want to
get into them again, but who would if it was for a cause he really
I recognized the man. I’d met him
once before, about five years ago. It was very shortly before I left
and not long before the Build a Better Future initiative had been
canceled. He’d been doing a government inspection of the base. I
wondered if he’d known then that everything was about to go to
hell. Seeing him, I realized that it was probably because of his
experience in his visits that he was here, out in the field, at all.
“Mr. Joseph Bloodworth,” the man
said to me. It was an acknowledgment, but it wasn’t a greeting.
“Mason,” I said with a slight nod
towards him. Without missing a beat, I added, “I would greet you
with your title, but I’m awful at reading military rank. I tried,
but I just couldn’t keep them all straight.”
“It’s General Mason,” he said, not
“Well, General Mason,” I greeted. I
noticed that even though many of the soldiers were trying to look
casual, they were looking at me nervously. Many of them had their
hands upon their guns to keep them at the ready. “I am happy that
you and all your men dropped by. Unfortunately, I’m a little bit
busy right now. If you want to come back at another time, that would
probably be better. In fact, why don’t you have your secretary
call me and we can set up an appointment. Won’t that be fun?”
“You are an intruder on property
belonging to the authorities,” Mason said. “I have been ordered
to apprehend you and bring you in where you will face trial for
misuse of government property.”
I frowned, but I tried to quickly cover
it back up with another smile.
“I’m sorry, General,” I said. “I
was under the impression that the H.O.P.E. had been set up as an
organization for and of the public. Even if you consider the outside
investors that came in, I assumed that the property didn’t go to
“Much of this property and the tech
contained within it are dangerous and pose a threat to the public if
it were to fall within unauthorized hands. The authorities have
gained control of this facility in the interest of public safety.”
“Ah, I see,” I said. “Well, I
didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed to be here. I don’t want any
trouble; I’ll just leave.”
“Too late for that,” General Mason
said. “As I said, I’ve been ordered to apprehend you. That’s
what I’m going to do.”
“Is it?” I asked, raising an
“Yes,” Mason said.
“What makes you think I’m going to
let you do that?” I asked.
Some of the twitchier of the soldiers
raised their guns in my direction fearfully. I fought back the
smile. Mason didn’t flinch.
“You will come willingly,” Mason
said. “You wouldn’t put all these boys at risk.”
He was right. It was one thing to go
after a man like Mason or higher ups in Corps or a madman like Jez,
but I wasn’t going to do the necessary harm to a bunch of innocent
soldiers. Most of them had probably never even been in a fight
before, let alone been ruthless killers. They didn’t deserve to
have me beat them all down, create a crossfire, and probably get
several of them killed. I sighed, but I went with them willingly.