Excerpt for Episode 102: Super Sexy Robots by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

HEROISM AND OTHER LIES

Episode 102: Super Sexy Robots

By Douglas S. Miller



Published by Sword and Lion Publishing

http://www.swordandlionpublishing.com/



Copyright 2017 Douglas Miller

Smashwords Edition



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ALSO BY DOUGLAS MILLER:

Heroism and Other Lies:

Episode 101: Pilot

Ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/708839

Print: https://www.createspace.com/6240484



Night War: The Dark Side of Dayton (Story: One Night Only)

Ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/708100

Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998778036





DEDICATION

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

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

X

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



I

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 services.”

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 good time.”

“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 towards him.

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 officers asked.

“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 officers mumbling.

“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.”



II

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.”

“Isn’t it?”

“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 time.”

“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 happen again.

“But there’s something else,” Valerie said. “Rocco Barros was murdered last night.”

“Who?”

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 it.”

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 it.

“I can try to out hack them and keep them out,” Valerie said. “But I’m not sure how much use it’ll do.”

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 resistance.

“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 you.”

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 believed in.

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 smiling.

“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 government ownership.”

“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.”


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