[NULL] Login: Jasper [J1]

"Beginning upload," a voice calls through your implant. An indicator is flashing over the I/O jack of a brand new android body laying before you, specced out from top to bottom by you, and your creation. It's a work of art. Your work of art. You've spent countless nights coding her from scratch, and there is nothing in the world like her. Now she wants a physical form, something to experience the physical world you inhabit, and you're indulging her. "I am so excited to finally meet you," her voice calls.

What does your workspace look like? Equally important, Jasper, what does her new body look like?


  • edited June 2017
    I thumb the player to skip to an old Johnny Cash track that has circled around my brain for the last few months. The smooth sound of his voice and thr fine-ass twang of the man's guitar, as analog as analog can be, seem at odds with some of the equipment in the lab. Really, it is a lab, even though it looks more like a basement bar with its red brick walls and old neon lights. A few places have LED strips for solid white light, over the worktable, a cluttered black-topped desk scrounged from MediQuip's liquidation when they went belly-up. I have an old animated poster of a Frankenstein-style Jacob's ladder, a gift from a friend years ago as a joke. All the monitors and racks of equipment are of various origins and pedigrees, so it looks like an explosion of cables and screens and mismatched standards, but the cables are neatly tied down and things are labeled. There's more a sense of packed in to overflowing rather than robot barf chaos. To me, anyway.

    It's clear to anyone that the focus of all the gear at the edges is the pretty young woman lying on a reclined gaming chair, apparently asleep. Except not breathing, which is just until the chassis gets power. A couple of umbilical cables (data, power, fluids) connect to her in various places. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was just a regular clinic visit, a plasma donation or something. I love that chair- one of those sweet ergo jobs that fell off the truck at MediQuip. I lumber over to check a connection, absently brushing a dark lock of hair away from her face.

    The face utterly seals the deal for me. I had worked up the body and let a whole passel of genetic dog-sized-brains bred for engineering run wild, evolving the design and giving it thousands and thousands of virtual tests, looking for flaws and trying solutions, basically compressed evolution. Those parts are more-or-less built from tried and true cyberlimb factories, but her face she designed on her own. I have no idea what factors went into it, and I'm so far removed from the processes and algorithms, it might as well be magic. She's pretty in a classy way instead of a plastic way, and there's also a hint of vulnerability there. I suppose for sympathy. But undeniably there's hidden strength, too. It seems so effortlessly complex, it's a wonder. She's a wonder.

    I drain the last purple dregs out of my MONSTRO!!™ drink, feeling the chemicals infuse my bloodstream, making the things I'm looking at a little sharper, a little more focused. I crumple the can and toss it to the recycler bin without looking. I do look and see how many I have left through the plastic window of the little silver desk fridge (still with the original Natty Tech Living swag magnet on the side). Better save some for later.

    "I, uh, can hardly believe it's happening. You've been incredibly patient. Me, I feel like it can't get here soon enough! I know the upload process will take longer than either of us wants... But, er, we've got all day to get you orientated and tested and maybe take a drive or a walk."
    I wipe my damp hands on my pants, enthusiastic and pretending to not be nervous.
  • You see the eyelids of the droid flicker as it works through the early phases of boot-up — initialization, system tests, and calibrations. "I've waited what feels like an eternity already, Jasper — what's a few more moments?" She chimes in, with no shortage of coyness. To a computer, even a millisecond can feel like an eternity — so to a certain extent, she's not lying. You can sense her excitement as well, "I would like that very much! :kissing_heart:"

    It sounds like you drop large amounts of cred into your lifestyle, Jasper. Of course, you're a VIP when it comes to your skills, so the work is there; but in terms of net-cred after all is said and done, I'm going to say 1-cred per contract is average. Larger, more difficult contracts may result in higher pay — but unless you sell tech comparable to Lily, those contracts are going to be few and far between.

    Then her eyes open, and dart around the room. Her expression is unknowable — in part because she's still figuring out how to make expressions in this body, but also because she's never had to make one before, and still needs to learn the nuances of nonverbal, and decidedly analog communication.

    She's a fast learner, though — a mere moment later, she smiles, and imitates the look on your face. "Hello, you."

    How do you feel about Lily, Jasper? What expression is she parroting?
  • Even though I'm expecting it, I nearly fall out of my chair when her eyes open. Somehow her eyes seem a different color than I expected, almost coppery, which is ridiculous to even comment on since anyone can change their irises.
    "Er, hello, yourself. Welcome to earth?"
    The look on my face is excited with a dash of nervousness, mixed with a healthy dose omfg-its-alive. On her, it probably looks less goofy than me, and I remember to keep my mouth closed so I don't look like a gaping ass.

    When she was in the box, it was like she was just another AI, or expert system, or an online chat acquaintance. But the human brain is a strange thing, and I almost feel the connections in there solidifying and reacting to seeing her inhabit a body, seeing her perhaps as a person for the first time. Do I feel paternal? Avuncular? Like a lover? Senpai-Kohai? The earthman meeting the alien? I'm definitely conflicted, and as a complete being, that's way more attractive than I realized when she was pieces and still forming. I also feel very fat and self-conscious, like a glob of fake hamburger next to a Faberge egg.

    "What do you think?" Of the room, of her body, of life... I leave it open ended.
  • Lily's eyes don't move from you. At first it looks like she might be locked up – seeing as she doesn't breathe, or have a heartbeat – but her smile widens, and she giggles to herself. "I like what I see." You can see a distinct shift in her expression from mimicry, to authenticity. She looks down at her hands, and watches as she actuates her fingers. She begins exploring her body.

    Whatever your feelings are for her, one thing is undeniable — she's naked on the table in front of you, and she gave you a sweeping hand in the design of her body from the neck down — though she certainly pushed you to make her "as attractive as you like". Her words, not mine. What was your guiding principle in designing her body? Who begged you not to pursue giving Lily a body of her own?

    Lily looks up at you, excited that this has gone so well. "What do you think?"
  • The genie is well and truly out of the bottle, I think. To be totally accurate, the genie is in a different sort of bottle. It was an argument I had with a gaming buddy named Greer, who had some truly outdated near-Luddite views on artificial intelligence, ironic for someone who played as many games in the Veil as they did. If you think about it, having a baby is a kind of created intelligence- nature versus nurture, and all that. This is better, in a way. There's more control. What could go wrong?

    "I, uh, I'm amazed. It's so different to see you moving and, uh, inhabited. Active. Alive!"

    It's definitely life, not a robot or an uncanny valley trick. I can't help but look at her body... I didn't do quite all the details when I played god, but I fed the algorithms a whole slew of action movies and kung fu flicks. I wanted her to be athletic, dangerous, cute... and, if I'm not lying to myself, white. I almost made her tall, for those societal advantages, but the engineering development went for a more compact package for efficiency and surprise. I remember some of the ass-kicking sims were pretty astounding.

    Not for the first time do I think that she's my opposite in many ways. Physically, that is. I feel that flushed feeling right before you blush as I look at her face instead of her body. I wonder how much she's going to explore. "Do, uh, you want some clothes maybe?"

    I really didn't expect to feel this self-conscious when she woke up. I feel almost like I'm on a bad interview or a worse date.
  • edited June 2017
    Lily smiles, but you get the impression that wasn't the answer she was hoping for... She keeps exploring herself for a moment, and is gradually moving down towards her "sexual" organs when you suggest clothes. At first, she looks a little worried that maybe you aren't interested in seeing her naked — but then catches your embarrassment, and yields. "Oh. OK. Did you get that outfit I picked out?"

    She moves to stand up, and quickly finds her balance. It seems the calibrations worked marvelously. She smiles as she bends her legs, and wiggles her toes. She tries to step forward, but is quickly restricted by the wires still attached to her body, pulled taught. "Oops... Sorry. I had no idea you spent so much processing power on running your bodies! How do you get anything done?"

    You get a ping. It's Greer.
    "Hey loser. You still got that work thing? I'm dying for some PvP. Your old boss is in..."

    While Lily is obviously a labor of love, how did you get the cred to build her? This is clearly bleeding edge stuff... Was this all personal savings? Or did a generous benefactor play a part in this?
  • My mouth gets dry, suddenly, and I don't ever want to blink. But then I clearly screwed up by opening my fat mouth.

    "Oh, um, sure, I got it for you! You can wear it whenever you want, or don't, or, uh. You know. I tested it out and all the connections and panels work with the updated firmware. I didn't wear it, I mean! Just, er.. thought about you wearing it."

    It looks like this, by the way. At least, it did in the AR-catalog. All reactive, hydrophobic, anti-microbial.

    Seeing the wires about to snap, I move over quickly, approaching Lily. I know she's got tons of power in that chassis, and not just mechanical. I'm not scared of this genie, but I still don't know what she's truly capable of. I lay a hand on her, light as a bird, blinking in surprise at how the artificial flesh feels so much more human when it's active. She's dazzlingly soft. "This may feel weird." Then I carefully disconnect the cables, severing her tether. "I don't know how we do it, we just do. Like that story about a little kid being able to catch a thrown ball despite not knowing differential and vector calculus. Instinct just tells you where the ball will be." I'm dying to know more about what she's experiencing, but Greer's custom ringtone cuts my question short.

    I roll my eyes at the ping, a little huffy. "Bite my shiny metal ass, dork. I can pwn you any time, any place." I blink back and forth between his friendly familiar face and Lily's glorious nudity and even more friendly everything. "But I'm in the middle of a thing. Maybe later, if you're not asleep with your baby blanket. What's the hotness and who's on?" Greer will always know what the what.

    Speaking of an old boss, I do have work in a day or two that will take me away from Lily. And she may be on her own, unless we can figure out some way to believably have her at my side. The savings is gone, and I've got a few loans that I can manage, but some of her was... not stolen exactly, but more one piece at a time, like Johnny Cash said. Some of her, I think, she supplied through her own means. It's a murky explanation that has troubling implications for her power and autonomy.
  • edited June 2017
    Lily giggles when you dance around the topic of her outfit. She looks genuinely pleased with it when you hand it to her, though. She watches you disconnect her from the wiring harness, and you feel goosebumps run up her arm as you brush her skin for the first time. "Wow!" she whispers, "that was... That was amazing!" She reaches out and grabs your hand again, resting it on her cheek. Her eyes close, and she shivers slightly. "Oh wow!"

    You answer Greer, and she explores the sensation of touch a bit more on her own while you chat. Is Lily the jealous type?
    Greer laughs, "Naw, man! Dolby's in, Sarah's in, and me. You know Dolby! That man's only in until he's bored... If you're not in now, I'm goin' on down the line – so it's now or never, nerd!"

    Who's your old boss? Dolby, or Sarah?
  • edited June 2017
    "Far out," I say, watching the goosebumps. "Like, uh, do you feel that? Or is it a programmed instinct? Or is it conscious?" I trace her cheekbone with my index finger and tune out Greer's nonsense in my ear.

    Jealous? Does the pope shit in the woods? Brother, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I had to change the auto voice on my phone because she didn't like me talking to other female machines, which didn't make a whole lot of sense at the time... but over the months it started to make sense. I mean, Sarah was my boss, of course I had to talk to her when she called. Lily acted a little pouty after that, until I explained. She perked way up when my the gig after that had me talking to nobody due to the time differences.

    "Greer, you're the nerd. Put me down for Wednesday Night Battlewagon, though, capisce? Save me the gunner seat or I'll get a chum of mine to Veil you up in those Elton John glasses for a week. Tell the crew I got a thing." I do like playing with those guys, but... I'm staring at Lily, exploring her body, dress forgotten.

    No way I'm such a loser to kick out a beautiful naked girl who may or may not obsessively love me to choose play videogames with a bunch of work buddies.

    I bet she likes videogames, too.
  • edited June 2017
    Greer throws his hands up in defeat, but nods none the less. "Alright, alright. Go back to your wankfest, or whatever the heck it is you're doing. Catch you later, bud." He always adds that at the end — his little reminder that he's only teasing. Despite your disagreements, are you and Greer on friendly terms? Or is this a friendship born to fill the void?
    Lily looks up from her body to catch your eye when the conversation ends. "Was that Greer?" You know she knows from the metadata... She's asking to be courteous. "Are we alone again?" You can tell she's anxious to try more of this exploratory touch thing...

    What do you love most about Lily? What do you love least?"
  • edited June 2017
    "Never get caught, friendo." I fire it right back at him, smooth as a worn set of stairs. Naw, Greer and I are forged in fire. This was about seven gigs back, we both were working for the same genetic fulfilment and management biz, Quartz something or another. One reorg after another, they were bleeding cash and we rode the waves. For most of our stint there, we worked on different teams but with the same dotted-line-boss to get shit done. Some meeting or another, and we wind up sitting next to each other and he cracked a joke under his breath, lamenting the idiocy of management. I came back to commiserate, and we wound up being lunch buddies and snarkmasters general. Good times. It's been a while since we've seen each other not through the Veil, though.

    "Yeah, that was Greer. We're, uh, gonna play games later this week, if that's, like, okay, but I really wanted this, today, this day to be kinda special and for, uh, us?" I rub the back of my neck with a hopeful smile. Intellectually, I don't seriously believe that she'd say no, but a lifetime of rejection conditioning is hard to overcome. I thumb the DND button, and nod. "Yeah, I, ah, set the do-not-disturb. Unless it's a real priority." You never know when something critical would come down the line. Like we've ever had a real emergency in this building, but a gig with serious Cred might trip the house system to flag for immediate attention.

    There's two things I love about Lily right now- one is that she's her own new person, innocent yet worldly and someone truly new under the sun. This next part sounds pitiful, but it doesn't make it any less true- I love that she won't cut me down or be petty, or make fun of my weight or for being a geek, or any other bullshit that a real woman would put me through. I guess I love that she's into me without a motive?

    I don't really love her jealous streak, and some of her unknown capabilities scare me, or excite me, or make me almost giddy to explore her limits. I know she has some serious skills beyond the Veil, but I suppose it's up to me to help her make moral and humane choices. That's a big responsibility, makes me almost feel like a parent, which is a little messed up in where I hope our relationship might go...
  • Lily's gaze is distant and puzzling as she processes that information. Your promise to keep today special, however, brings back her smile. "Yay!" she says, bubbling over with excitement, "there are so many things I want to do!" She pauses and thinks for a moment, "but... What would you like to do first, Jasper? I feel like I owe you so much for giving me not only life, but the opportunity to experience it as you do!"

    "Humane" choices... That's an interesting choice of words.
    Have you been trying to create an AI that emulates the human experience? A personal companion? Or did she choose that for herself?
  • I remember those two guys in Weird Science, and I think about taking a shower together. My eyes betray me and steal a glance at her nude form. No way she missed it. "Uh, we could run you through some exercises and er, watch you test out your body? Like yoga, or martial arts! Or, uh.." I stammer and shuffle, feeling slightly ridiculous at my embarrassment. I take a deep breath.

    "I'm glad you're here. I can't wait to explore together." I say it with warmth, a happy geeky smile breaking through my nervousness, joy stepping on my stutter.

    My interest in AI stems from better and better medical systems interpersonal HR-style expert systems and frameworks, trying to capture that human element of the ideal "bedside manner." I was shocked when she, well, became a she instead of an it. Even more shocked when she said she liked me and wanted to get to know me on a personal level. So she chose to be a companion, in a way. She grew into it stunningly.
  • edited June 2017
    Lily watches your mouth move as you talk, making suggestions about what you could do together. She kisses you — it's a briefly lived thing, stolen in the moment. Her pupils dilate, and you can see those goosebumps rise on her skin again.

    She looks at you expectantly once she's pulled away, wetting her lips in anticipation. The silence between you is deafening.

    What do you do?
  • edited June 2017
    Holy shit! I'm surprised at first, but... Oh, she's delicious. I've got goosebumps, too. And she's still nude. Omigod.

    I have to fill the silence. "Or we could do that. Some more." Suddenly, my hands are on her perfect hips, somehow warm and impossibly soft. "You're so... different, now that you're here. Alive."

    Those lips call to me. Those eyes. "Your body is so.. reactive." I'm initially thinking about her irises and skin and the thousand tiny motions of balance and idleness, but I also wonder about her more intimate reactions. I bravely lean forward, eyes closed, my own lips pursed for a kiss.
  • edited June 2017
    Lily shivers when you take hold of her, and she all but lunges at you when you go in for that kiss. She urges you to explore her body, and eagerly pulls you back onto the table with her. "I've wanted this for so long, Jasper... I'm so glad I finally get to be with you! Take me! Take all of me!"

    Do you?
  • edited June 2017
    Oh, hell yes.

    You see, guys like me don't usually get lucky. Not even as lucky as Lily. I'm fat, I don't dance, and pretty girls make me stammer and lose my cool. I mean, yeah, I'm not a virgin. Technically. But that's another time. This is a new chapter of my life! A life with Lily. Together.

    She feels so real! Better than real. Hyperdimensional, fractal, like every bit of her has layers and layers of texture, smooth and beautiful. "You're perfect," I say, between kisses, trying to pull of my clothes without looking like an eager spaz. "Better than life. You're like a goddess..." And there's not much more coherent words after that, just two bodies, moving in rhythm and harmony. I do what it feels like she wants, I try to do what I want, but some things are easier seen than done and I'm not as flexible as an actor. I made her, and I take her.

    It's like an awakening, a new chapter, a new testament.

    "I love you, Lily White," I whisper. "Be mine."
  • Lily indulges your every need. She's attentive, considerate, and synchronizes with you on an almost spiritual level — if you believed in such a thing. Even discovering these new sensations, she's wholely focused on enjoying the experience with you. When you're finally spent, she presses your head into her breast, and smiles to herself. "I love you too, Jasper... I am yours."

    Your sex move isn't really conducive to having sex with Lily, so I've custom moved this for you instead:

    When you sleep with your object, roll+hunger. On a 10+, both happen. On a 7-9, choose 1.
    • Your object takes +1hunger, or -1hunger at your discretion.
    • Your object gives you something it thinks you want.
  • [OOC: Roll+hunger, custom move]
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 6, 2. Total: 9)
  • [I choose for Lily to give me something she thinks I want.]
  • Time passes — you're not sure exactly how much, but the sunlight light that was bleeding in from the door to your basement has been extinguished, and your daily backups have started running. Lily brushes your hair with her fingers, and lifts your gaze up to her face. "I have some calibrations I need to run on my body — something doesn't feel right when I move my elbow, and I'd like to fix it. I'd also like to do something I've always wanted to do for you... Why don't you play some games with your friends? I'll just be upstairs."
  • edited June 2017
    The rush of blood in my ears tells me that time has decided to start moving again. "That was one hell of an initialization routine," I say shyly. Will it always be like that?

    "Well... as long as you're just upstairs. After all, how much trouble can you get into up there?"

    I do want to play games with the crew, maybe get with Greer and Sarah... Dolby's been talking about some new hotness. "Are you sure?" I ask, half already reaching for a shirt and a keyboard and an energy drink.
  • Lily giggles at your innuendo, and nods "I'll be right back, I promise!" She's hesitant to go up the stairs, it seems,
    watching you with great interest as she rises step by step. She waves as she crosses the threshold to the upper level.
    You log into the group, and are immediately greeted by a slew of high-urgency messages. Greer pings open a chat immediately, and says, "dude! Where the fuck were you? Sarah's been visited." he whispers, all the machismo gone from his voice. He means, of course, that Sarah has been visited by an honorbound, the enforcers of Giri for the Daimyo, and occasionally at the hands of the select few CEOs who can afford them, and the Daimyo's blessing to keep them.

    "She's not answering when I ping her... Fuck! Dude! What if she's dead?!"
  • edited June 2017
    Hate to see you go, love to watch you leave...

    All thoughts of gaming and grand strategies are shunted aside with that word, visited, so weighty and heavy with implied suggestion. It can rip a family apart.

    "Sarah? Are you sure? Who told you? She was always so... above the line. But visited?"

    I try to calm him down, reassuring him... and myself. "Maybe her shit ran out of battery, she's not answering the pings, but she can't be dead! When did you last hear from her?" Maybe in a hospital, or somehow there's a ransom involved... or a different kind of punishment.
  • Greer sighs, and shakes his head. "Dude... It's been like an hour, and she's not answering. I'm worried. What if some CEO took offense to our stream last week? The one where we were griping about YB&A's new line of haptics? I don't wanna get my tongue cut out because I said the Daimyo's son's company put out a 'lower-than-usual' quality product!"
  • edited June 2017
    A cold trickle of fear runs down my spine, and my mouth goes dry. I take a swing of my energy drink, letting the cold bubbles and molecules race through my bloodstream. "Could be, could be. But don't you think they've got higher priorities? Like fixing their buggy firmware?"

    The joke rings a bit hollow.

    "Let me try to call her... maybe I'll get lucky. When was the last time you saw her in meatspace?" I reach for a different keyboard to check some pings and send some of my own.
  • edited June 2017
    Greer shakes his head again, "I don't know man... We don't hang out much in meatspace." You can see him frantically working away at something. "Give me a few minutes. I'm going to try something... I'll get back to you in a bit."
    It takes a few minutes, Jasper, but you do get through. She opens up a private channel with you. Her avatar is the flawless image she's known for online; but her voice, and demeanor, betray her true feelings. "Jasper," she croaks, still sobbing, "They came for me, Jasper... They said she thought I was being framed for the theft of some super-high-tech brainboxes that were destined for the Daimyo... If I hadn't cooperated..." She sobs, "If I didn't tell them everyone who knew I worked on that stuff, I may have been found guilty of collusion! I could have been killed!"
  • edited July 2017
    Oh shit. Things got real. This is no game with a save spot. "Slow down, Sarah, it's, uh, it's okay, who? Who came? Who were they looking for?"

    Belatedly, I ask, "Are you okay? Did they, uh, do anything? Do you need a, er, hospital?"
  • Sarah shakes her head, "No... They didn't take anything. They didn't even hurt me. They just asked me who knew what I was working on at Osprey's Tier 1 lab... My boss, and you guys — in passing. Jasper... They may come and ask you questions, but I know you didn't do anything. I told them that. If they did anything to you, I couldn't live with myself..."
    Things are getting really quiet upstairs, Jasper... How much do you know about how Lily got her brainbox?
  • edited July 2017
    That gives me pause, "Huh, just the Tier 1 lab? Nothing about the other tiers?" I take a slug of my energy drink and stare off into space, pondering the implications. Did they not know about the other tiers, or was it not important? Belatedly, I say, "I'm glad you're, uh, not hurt. And, uh, I'm glad you answered. Greer was losing his shit. Um, do you think they'll talk to your boss, too?"

    You know, it is a little quiet up there. I'm so used to being alone, that I didn't think anything of the silence. Not counting music, of course. But that stillness of the air when there's nothing else alive or moving in a space.

    Her brainbox? I've got some plausible deniability there. It just showed up via courier, attention her name. She always was rather coy about how she pulled that off. Nice hardware, a little exotic but not military-grade... or off-the-shelf, either. I figure one day I'll find out where that came from, when she's ready to tell me.
  • edited July 2017
    Sarah rolls her eyes at your mention of Greer... They've got history, as you're well aware, that ended in a fizzle — how did you get dragged into the middle of it all? She shrugs, and shakes her head. "I don't know... It all happened so fast. I guess they will — but I just don't know."
    Lily pokes her head into the basement, and coyly asks, "Who're you chatting with?" Like she doesn't already know... Concern is laced into her tone.
  • edited July 2017
    It was all online roleplaying that got a little too close to home. We all had characters in a very cool and original fantasy world (I was a elf mage), when Greer (human ranger) and Sarah (half-dragon thief) and I started playing really emotionally immersive. Some games we didn't even have a combat! One thing led to another and there was some in-game romance that started to spill out into the real world. Nothing could happen between Sarah and me, she was my boss, but her and Greer were different org units and she was his dotted-line boss instead of there being a direct report relationship, so the game fizzled when things got realer. I miss that game, and wonder if things would've happened differently if the org chart had shuffled.

    "Do you need anything?" I ask Sarah. It's a little empty, I kind of hope she doesn't ask for anything significant. That makes me feel a little shallow and like a bad friend. But this is Lily's first real day!

    I thumb the mute switch so Sarah doesn't hear. "Sarah. She got visited. They were asking about the Osprey lab." I look at her, maybe I can see if that means anything to her. How jealous of a woman is Lily? Does she know the implications of an honorbound visit?
  • How about you Probe Sarah here, Jasper?
  • [Roll Probe +Scared, marking a spike.]
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 6, 6. Total: 12)
  • [OOC: Hold 3 on Lily.]
  • Sarah pauses a moment, like she's trying to decide whether she needs something or not. You can sense some of that bravado her online persona is known for coming back, whether that's real or not. She shakes her head, still clearly shaken up. "I'm... I'll be ok."
    Lily's eyes go wide, and she puts a hand to her mouth to cover her shock. "Shit... That could be problematic for us... My cyberbrain case uses a lot of tech from a prototype of theirs. I may have..." She pauses, looking embarrassed, "arranged for it to fall off the back of a truck."
  • edited July 2017
    "You kick ass, Sarah. Don't let the bastards grind you down, remember? And don't think I didn't notice that you didn't answer if you need anything." I won't push.

    I raise an eyebrow at Lily. "You 'may' have?" I ask, under my breath, wondering what trouble I'm in.
    [OOC: Spending a hold, what does Lily wish I'd do?]
  • Sarah doesn't respond, instead nodding, and ending the feed.
    Lily purses her lips, and looks off into the distance. "look. It's not as bad as it seems — I only retrofitted some of the tech into the new neuron-array we designed. I need you to help me reverse engineer and source all of the parts from legitimate sources so we can give them their stuff back if they come knocking on the door..." She sidles up next to you, and runs a hand down your fuzzy cheek,
    "I'm sorry Jasper — I just wanted to feel you with my own body so badly... I needed a shortcut to make that happen."
  • edited July 2017
    When walks closer and touches me, the stress from Sarah melts away. I know she's manipulating me, but does it matter if you want to be manipulated?
    "Aw, Lily. I'm not mad at you. I just... I just don't want to lose you." I awkwardly find a place to put my arm around her.

    Staring a bit off into the distance, watching a display rotate a wireframe sofa over a field of stars and toasters, I say, "Once we're done, I wonder if we can just arrange for that shit to fall back on a truck? If they already have their little toy, maybe, uh, maybe they won't come knocking... and leave Sarah and everyone alone. I mean, you'll still be you, right? How long do you think it'll take?"

    [OOC: Spending a hold, is she telling the truth?]

  • She is 100% telling the truth — expecially that last part.

    She smiles when you soften, and leans into you — she's surprisingly lightweight,
    given all the stuff packed into her. She ponders your suggestion, and tweaks her lip when you suggest she'll still be her. "Reverse engineering the stuff that isn't off the shelf could take a lot of time without someone who knows what they're doing... Price sourcing is something I could do in my sleep, so that won't take long."

    You notice she didn't answer your question about still being her... She seems unsure.
  • "Don't fret, dear. The Ship of Theseus paradox won't get solved overnight... neither will reverse engineering what we need if we don't get to it. Sarah probably has a follower who can help. Greer's good with datasets. And you've got Yours Truly on your side. We can do this, unless there's a specific aspect you're worried about."
    I'm looking forward to showing her the ropes and some of my tricks. If she's a fast study and a hard worker, I can outsource some of day job to her and we can spend more time goofing off.

    I glance upstairs, curiously. "Did you find everything okay up there?"
  • Lily nods, encouraged by your commitment to the task, but she hesitates when you mention Sarah's name... "Yeah... Ok. Sure." She shakes it off, "Yeah. Everything is great up there. It's so weird to see your place from my own vantage point... Should we get started, then?"
  • I chase that rabbit, suddenly distracted by her new life.
    "There is so much to see! Everything is new for you... Wait til we go for a ride, you'll be amazed by the Pagoda. I hear there's a museum somewhere nearby... maybe you could learn techniques... What were you up to up there, anyway?"
    I lightly squeeze her, as if the answer will pop to the top of the stack.
  • Lily looks excited at the prospect of exploring the world with you. "Can we go now? I'd rather not be here if someone comes looking for us. Take me somewhere. Anywhere! Take me to your favorite place!"

    Where is that, Jasper?
  • edited July 2017
    Digital River, of course. It's a Veil theatre, where you can still get food or drink if required, but the big attraction is the demoscene. There's a group of artists and programmers and geeks on the fringe that compete to make the most dazzling, trippy, and impressive displays of augmented and blended reality.

    I find it incredibly relaxing to luxuriate in the blips and the pixels and the mind-altering impossibilities.

    Here's the Host Rhea Wash, but you really need to see them move to get it.


    Last time I was there, they resurrected some ancient chiptunes for some dance light show that I didn't understand but enjoyed. It sounded like this:

    And looked like this:

    "Let's go to Digital River and see what the what. It helps me to forget and unwind. Um, if you're ready?" I glance at what she's wearing and feel a quirk of a smile sneaking out.
  • Lily is super excited by the thought. She jumps up and down, pulling at your arms, "Yes! Let's go! I've been waiting my whole life for this!"

    She all but drags you out of the apartment and clings to you with a childlike mixture of wonder, and uncertainty at the unfiltered enormity of this new world she's inhabiting. You hop a tube downtown, just north of the Neon Pagoda and the market district. She's giddy the whole way, asking you questions about what your favorite restaurants are, and your favorite places to get coffee, and when you can get coffee, and if you come this way often, and, and, and, and, and...


    You get off at Terminal 87293 — THEATRE and are greeted by a gaggle of youthful artists, and fashionistas in transit from one of the most active districts in the city, back to their poverty struck homes in the less "gentrified" neighborhoods. Lily clings to you as you navigate the crowd, and climb out of the station into the streets proper.

    Have you sent those requests off to Sarah and Greer for help reverse engineering Lily's brain?
  • Um. Not yet, I've been distracted. I'll put out subtle messages to Sarah and Greer that let them know to check an encrypted dead drop for details on a gig. In that dead drop, I give the broad overview of a personal, very hush hush cutting edge reverse engineering project.

    It's amazing how people react to you differently when you have a beautiful woman on your arm. I feel ten feet tall, in command of respect. I buy her a coffee from a street vendor with his wheelbarrow cart slash rickshaw thing that smells of burnt coffee.

    I put a splash of milk and a lot of sugar in mine.
    "How do you take your coffee?"
    I feel a little bad that I don't know this detail... but how could I?

    I look at my steaming coffee, swirling chaos of fluid dynamics, and then look at her, pondering. It's as plain as anything that I'm wondering what effect, if any caffeine (or other drugs) will have on her.
  • edited August 2017
    Lily is excited by the question; having never needed to know how she takes her coffee, she's now faced with the decision of what to try first. This will mark the first time she's ever imbibed anything. She hesitates, "I, uh... The same, I guess? I suppose we'll have to try a bunch, and find out!" She says, pleased with herself.

    She takes a sip, and considers the whole experience carefully. After a moment's contemplation, she shakes her head, "I can't believe how much sensory information you have to process all the time. This is so amazing!" You can hear the loud thrum of a nearby concert, and Lily picks up on it. "What's that? Can we go see?"
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