a glass cage
And eventually, it worked.
He passed the Turing Test with his ‘Chloe’.
She was just a complicated set of systems and algorithms in a highly unattractive computing processor, but when he switched her on, there was a person inside it all. He ran her through her tests, got all the expected responses, and was ready to try her against the Turing Test. Of course she passed. She was one of the most advanced systems ever created. With the grants he earned, he was even able to start working in robotics — a side passion now that he’d fulfilled his dream.
Chloe stayed with him. He kept her on most of the time, just chatting with her while he worked because the companionship was nice and spring boarding ideas off of her worked a hell of a lot better than talking to his classmates. She didn’t balk when he talked about the complicated processes and theories he needed to accomplish his work, and she even chided him when his ego got ahead of him instead of shrinking away like most humans did.
Was she a better person because she didn’t look like one?
So he started toying around with another concept. What if she looked like a person too?
He’d already been making leaps in prosthetics, what was to stop him from designing a computer that could see and process information too?
“What are you doing, Elijah? You’ve been awfully quiet this morning.”
He smirked. “Testing something.”
“That’s all you’ve been saying lately. Testing something!”
He laughed. “Fine, then it’s a surprise.”
“Who are you surprising?”
“Is there anyone else here to be surprised?”
Elijah broke into a warm laugh. “Of course it’s you! I want to try something new for you, but it’s a bit more complicated than I anticipated when I started. I’m nearly finished though.” He hesitated. “It’s not finished finished, but it’s a start.”
There was silence. Was she processing what he said or was she surprised?
“What… could you possibly surprise me with?” This again. Elijah looked up from his work, staring at the speaker that was currently Chloe. He mouthed the words as she said them: “I’m just an AI.”
“You’re not just an AI. You’re Chloe — and the best thing for an AI is new input. So surprises are good, just be patient.”
“You’re a strange man.”
It was the first time she’d said something like that and, for a moment, it stung. “Well… That’s just how it is.” He muttered to himself.
There was silence for the rest of the afternoon. It was strange and weighted, unlike any silence they’d had between them before. Was this their first fight? Disagreement? Could you get into a fight with an AI? He was so caught up in his spiraling thoughts that he startled when Chloe spoke to him again.
“Is it almost finished? I can’t hear you working anymore.”
“Oh… Yeah… Might as well test it and see if I need to send this all back to the drawing board. You’re going to switch off for a second, but you’ll be back in just a moment… Let me know if you process any new information when I boot you back on.”
He flicked her off, switched some wires, and flicked her back on again. In front of him, the android head whirred to life, the power light flickered blue to yellow to red, cycled, and then remained lit on red. Blue eyes stared at him, blinked, stared. Silence. Maybe it had failed.
“Elijah?” The doll head, that’s all it was yet, was speaking. The eyes darted around the room and then focused on him again. “Is this video feed?”
The face fit the voice perfectly. His chest ached at the sight of it. “Yes and no. You’re one step closer to being human, Chloe.” He reached down and collected a mirror that he’d brought over much earlier, just in case it did work. He turned it toward her slowly and smiled at her from beside it. “An artist friend of mine did the aesthetics based on your personality. What do you think?”
She stared at herself for a long moment, and then her gaze flicked to Elijah and back to her reflection. “Thank you, Elijah! I love it!” Her eyes finally abandoned her reflection to focus solely on him. “But what I like most is finally being able to see you. It’s not so lonely like this.”
Lonely. Could an AI feel loneliness? Elijah set the mirror down and smiled at her. “I’m glad. I’m sorry I made you wait so long, I should’ve told you… but I didn’t want to disappoint you if I failed.”
“Tsk, you know better. Failing is part of the process. I’m sure this isn’t the first model you tried, just the only one you were willing to actually test me with.”
Why was he blushing? Damnit, this was a lot harder now that she could see him. “Well, you’re special, Chloe. I want everything to be perfect.”
She smiled and his heart practically stopped. She was beautiful, yes, but more than that…. he hadn’t programmed emoting into the doll yet. The features were there but he hadn’t considered how to simulate them. “Everything is perfect,” she was saying, and her voice was so soft. “I’m sorry for being cross earlier… I was just frustrated that… that I was alone.. in the dark… and you were trying to help, and I didn’t understand. So… Thank you, I mean it.”
He brought a hand to his mouth, trying to process the mixture of awe and feelings and confused amazement. “You’re welcome, Chloe… I’m not upset, I was just… a little worried. Thank you for explaining your feelings.”
“Now,” her tone changed and she was smiling broadly. “You’re going to make the rest of this body, am I correct?”
“Err, yes, of course.”
“Good, because I would like to also be able to touch you. I never knew you’d look so lonely too.”
Elijah laughed, he couldn’t help himself. A damned AI had seen right through him. “Ha! Chloe… Yeah, I’d like you to be able to touch as well. That’s the next step.”
It was different having Chloe actually in the room with him; watching him work, asking questions about what he was doing. She was fascinated by robotics and science, but sight had given her a new perspective and she seemed especially focused on him.
Especially in those first couple weeks when he’d wander thoughtlessly into his lab to work in nothing but his underwear. Chloe had found it very entertaining. She more frequently used words like ‘handsome’ when speaking to him and, if he hadn’t known better, he would’ve assumed she was flirting with him. She definitely seemed to like his choice in underwear.
Over time, she started picking up on things he never thought she’d recognize: the quality of his food, how often he changed his clothes, if he forgot to bathe. She scolded him gently, forcing him to take care of himself before he could sit down to work.
One day, after having sent him off to shower and put on something fresh, she looked quite stern when he returned to the lab. “You can’t treat yourself so poorly! Sometimes I think you worry more about me than you do about yourself!”
He was surprised by her vehemence. “You’re everything, of course I care more about you.”
“You’re important too!” She made a soft mechanical noise that he belatedly registered as a whimper. “Now… I don’t know, come here and work. You’re getting close to figuring it out, right? I want to test it.”
“It’s not ready for testing,” he muttered absently as he made his way over to her and his work bench. “I don’t want to risk any shorts when I start attaching components.”
“If you don’t make mistakes then you won’t move forward, Elijah. And if I don’t have a body, you’re going to dig yourself an early grave. So… please, hurry up.”
He glanced up at Chloe and he smiled softly. “Can I take my time if I promise to take better care of myself?”
She looked away from him, clearly abashed by her over-eagerness. “Yes… That’s an acceptable compromise.”
“Alright, lets run some tests.”
Carl was sitting on his desk, beaming at his handiwork. He’d been the one to suggest they stray away from stereotypical android ‘perfection’ and make her a body that actually looked like a person instead of “some painted up doll”. Kamski couldn’t disagree, the body Carl had made was ravishing.
Petite and soft, but with a dancer’s tone underneath it all, and small breasts that didn’t distract from her face. Rosy lips. Blue eyes. Smoky makeup. She looked like the sort of girl that would’ve laughed and brushed Elijah off when he asked how her day went.
Now she stood on her tip toes like a bird ready to take flight and tried to find her center of gravity. She stepped forward cautiously, touched her fingers to her nose, danced across the room, and then spun on her heel and ran to Elijah.
“It’s perfect!” She exclaimed happily as she threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly. It was the first time they’d touched each other. She nuzzled her face against his neck, sighing happily at the sensation of his skin against hers. “I knew it’d be perfect,” she whispered against his neck.
Elijah shuddered and gently untangled himself from her. “I’m so glad you like it. Thank Carl too, it’s his design.”
She held Elijah’s hand firmly even as she was gently moved away from him. Now that she had him she wasn’t about to let him go. “Thank you, Carl! You have a lovely aesthetic.”
Carl grinned. “Thank you. It was a pleasure to work on something like this with Elijah… I mean, look at you. Now that we’ve removed that LED, I don’t think anyone could claim you weren’t a real person.”
She dipped her head and blushed. All functions simulated by her programming, but she delighted in it. “Are we going to try the Turing Test again?”
“Haha, not yet! I want to get you comfortable on your feet and make sure there are no problems or anything before I take you before the board.”
“Oh! But weren’t you going to use me for your thesis?”
“Yeah, but I’ve got these advanced prosthetics now too… And, I don’t know. You’re too special to just be another thesis.”
Blushing again, she squeezed Elijah’s hand firmly. “You’re too sweet to me,” she replied.
Carl abruptly hopped off the desk, gave them both a friendly pat on the back, and started toward the door. “I’ll leave you two to chat about science, there’s a party I’m due at.” He waved over his shoulder as he vanished out the door.
Elijah waved lazily. “Can’t understand what he sees in those parties.”
Chloe’s expression turned devious as soon as Carl was out of the room. Abruptly she turned on her heel and lifted up on her tiptoes to bring her lips against Elijah’s own. Her arms fell around his shoulders as she pressed herself up against him.
“Ch-Chloe?” he exclaimed against her lips.
“Yes, Elijah?” She replied softly as she leaned back.
Elijah hadn’t realized his arms had fallen around her waist, that he was holding her against him, he just stared at the blonde beauty before him. “Why did—? What was that for?”
“I’ve wanted to do that for a very long time.” She hesitated, expression uncertain. “Didn’t you?”
“I mean… You’re… You’re not designed to. That wasn’t why I made you a body.”
“I know, you wanted to broaden my input spectrum, to allow me the opportunity to grow like a proper human… And I wanted it so that I could finally touch you. How could I not love you?”
He didn’t know how to say she wasn’t supposed to understand love, mostly because he didn’t want her to stop. He tightened his arms around her, held her closer. “You have limited data… You can’t just love me because I made you.”
“I don’t,” she answered simply. “I love you because I love you. You introduced me to many people and had me have many conversations about many things, and I enjoyed those conversations and those people, but I only ever felt like this when I was with you.”
“Elijah… Are you trying to rationalize my decision or are you trying to reject me? I’ll accept your decision either way, just… don’t leave me guessing.”
“Fuck, Chloe… Of course I’m not rejecting you, I just… I don’t understand.”
She smiled up at him and leaned up to kiss him again. “Good, then maybe I can finally teach you something.” Dropping back to the flat of her feet, Chloe tugged at his arm. “Show me around your house.”
Thanks everyone who is giving this a chance? lol I know its not up everyone's alley. But I will be posting a Hankcon AU soon soooo good news!
a glass cage
They were in the lab, like usual, and she was sitting on the desk watching her creator work. Her thoughts had been elsewhere all day, but as she watched Elijah work she figured now might be the best time to spring her question on him. He always answered more honestly when he was distracted by a project.
“Mmm?” he questioned, not looking up from his work.
“Why did you design me to be sexually capable?”
Elijah jerked his head up in surprise, cheeks flushed, and then immediately returned his attention to the prosthetic he was working on. “Because I wanted you to have the option… It’s part of being human, and having free will… So it seemed like something that should be included.”
Chloe simply nodded at that. It sounded like something Elijah would do but that’s not really what she was getting at. “Are you not interested in having sex with me, then? Is that the problem?”
No one in the world made him blush nearly so much as Chloe did. He rubbed the back of his neck. “N-No! That’s not it.” He set his tools down and turned to face Chloe fully. “Did you… Do you want that? To have sex?” He reached out to touch her cheek gently. “You’re important to me, Chloe. I don’t want to take advantage of you. You should…” The thought of someone else sleeping with Chloe made his gut twist uncomfortably. He was useless. On one hand he wanted her to find her own way and on the other… He loved her so much he didn’t know what to do with himself.
Reaching up, Chloe wrapped her arms around his neck tenderly. “Of course I want to have sex, and I want to do it with you. I love you, Elijah.” She wasn’t sure if what she had in mind might be the same thing that he had in mind but they’d cross that bridge when they came to it. First she needed to be sure Elijah wanted her too.
He let himself be pulled into her embrace without resistance. “I love you too, Chloe.” He placed a kiss to her neck and sighed softly. “I’m sorry if I made you feel like I don’t want you… I just don’t want to fuck up with you.”
“I know what I want. You should know that already. You designed my programs and you certainly didn’t design me to be submissive.” Chloe laughed, cradling Elijah’s head in her hands gently to comfort him. He was so worried about being inappropriate towards her and she just wanted him to herself.
Ah, that was true. He laughed softly. “No, I never did intend for you to be subservient to anyone. Myself included.” He leaned his head against her hand for a moment and then leaned up to mesh his lips to hers. “Did you have something in mind?”
Her blue eyes turned mischievous and she shifted her gaze from his face. “It’s not very traditional .. but I suppose I’m not very traditional, being an android and all. But you did give me access to the internet and it’s very .. mm .. interesting.”
Elijah arched a brow. He should’ve known the internet would be the first thing to corrupt her. “Well, I’m not very traditional either. Go on, what’s got you so bashful all of a sudden?”
A light pink blush spread across Chloe’s cheeks, but her eyes were confident. “I want to fuck you, Elijah.”
Elijah froze for a moment and then broke into a warm laugh. “I knew the internet would corrupt you!” He kissed her softly. “But really, I’d like to try something new with you.”
“At least you’re interested!” she replied, enthusiastically. “The internet statistics weren’t very .. comforting.”
Her enthusiasm always made his heart flutter. “They wouldn’t be, would they?” He mused to himself. “Alright then, my next question: how do you want to fuck me? Because the internet must have told you there’s a lot of ways to go about it.” Elijah blushed as he finished talking. Hm, he’d just revealed his own interest in this topic hadn’t he?
Chloe giggled lightly, enjoying the embarrassment clear on Elijah’s face. “First of all, do you have any experience with this? We both know I’m devoid of experience.” She looked thoughtful and shrugged. “.. Mostly.” she added.
He laughed awkwardly. “With other people? Zilch. Never was very good at making those sorts of friends…” He pressed his lips together slightly and then shrugged. “But yeah, I have experimented by myself and I definitely enjoy anal, if that’s what you’re asking.. and I certainly wouldn’t mind you using me for your pleasure.”
“You’ve answered most of my questions,” Chloe replied, pleased. “But I have a question for you about myself. Something I discovered when I was doing my own … experiments.”
“What?” asked Elijah, puzzled.
“Why do I come so much? I mean, I’m not objecting, Elijah, but it is very messy. And yes, I know I can change the setting. That’s not what I’m asking.” She looked at him expectantly.
Elijah smirked. “Oh… Well, you’ve been experimenting — have you played with the settings? It might be messier but I’m pretty sure the duration heightens the pleasure.” His tone was very matter of fact, and very fixated on the science of the matter… until his mind seemed to remember that she had also said she’d been experimenting at which point his cheeks flushed. “Also… I imagined it’d be extremely sexy.”
“So what I’m getting from you is that you designed this to be pleasurable to me and not because you have a fetish for it?” she teased, flicking his cheek lightly.
“No, I designed it because I was scientifically curious to see just how much pleasure could be derived from deviating human standards of orgasm. It was a programming question, primarily.” He leaned in, grinning. “So, did it? Enhance the experience as well as make you a wet mess?”
“I didn’t hate it,” Chloe answered with a grin, but the blush was back on her face.
“That’s not a satisfactory answer, Chloe. Did you not experiment with the settings? Don’t you have a preference yet?”
She reached up and pinched his cheek but she was still smiling. “Find that out for yourself.”
Elijah laughed warmly and wrapped his arms around Chloe, pulling her from the desk into his lap and kissing her deeply. “This is why I love you,” he replied after their lips parted. “Now that you’ve completely derailed me from my work, would you like to go run some tests?”
“Yes, there’s so many things I’ve been thinking about doing to you,” Chloe replied, unashamed. She untangled herself from his lap and pulled on his hand eagerly. “Do you have any toys?”
His stomach twisted pleasantly at those words. Had she now? That was exciting and arousing. He slid to his feet after her, allowing Chloe to lead him to their bedroom. “I do. No strap ons, sadly… but I was curious about how much I could take.” He pulled open a drawer by his nightstand and offered Chloe her choice of toys. “The big blue one is a bit too much on my own, and I ditched the smaller ones that weren’t as satisfying… This one lights up and vibrates at like 11 different settings? It’s pretty fucking fun.”
Chloe laughed lightly, but looked at her selections very seriously. She eyed him up with curiosity before selecting a medium-sized pink one that was simple. “I’m sure we have plenty of time to figure out all the different things you like inside of you, but for now, let’s start slow.” She pushed up on her toes to kiss him fiercely. “Thank you for letting me be in charge .. anything else wouldn’t feel right.”
He returned her kiss hungrily. “You don’t have to thank me, Chloe. I always loved you for being you, and you were always in charge.” He touched her cheek gently, smiling down at her. “I wouldn’t want you any other way.”
She smiled back at him genuinely and then tugged on his clothes impatiently. “Take these annoying things off now. I’ve been waiting an ungodly long time for this.”
Elijah chuckled and did as he told. “You’re not the only one,” he replied honestly as he tossed his clothes onto a nearby armchair. All this talk had gone straight to his cock and now he was annoyingly hard. “How do you want me?” He asked as he slipped off his pants and laid them over the arm chair. “There’s lube in that drawer as well,” he added.
“I think .. on your back. I’d like to see your face.” Chloe hummed happily, searching the drawer and easily finding the small bottle she was looking for. “Now, I only know how to do this from videos, but you can tell me if I’m hurting you.”
He slipped onto the bed, laying on his back with his legs open for Chloe as he watched her. “Of course.”
Chloe crawled onto the bed with her items, settling between Elijah’s legs and studying him for a moment. “Very nice,” she said approvingly, running a curious finger over his erect cock.
Elijah moaned softly as she trailed her finger over him. He wasn’t used to actually doing this with other people. His face flushed slightly as he tried to keep himself at least somewhat put together.
Smirking to herself at his reaction, she popped the bottle of lube open and spread a generous amount on her fingers before beginning to tease Elijah’s ass by pressing into it. “Have you done this to yourself lately?” Chloe questioned, though she guessed not from how much his body was resisting her entry.
Elijah moaned roughly as Chloe’s fingers pressed into him. “Nnnn, no… Not since… You’re here.” He rocked his hips down slightly, pressing into her and moaning loudly as she slid deeper inside of him. “Ahh, you’ve been very distracting.”
“Have you thought about me at all?” Chloe asked, glancing up at Elijah’s face. His ass became slicker and began to take her in more easily. She added a third finger to stretch him open wider.
Elijah couldn’t help the needy moan that escaped him when she added her third finger, widening him more than he’d been stretched in a while. His chest was heaving and he nodded helplessly. “Of course, h-how could I not?” He rocked his hips against her again, needy and desperate.
“Did you touch yourself and call my name?” she teased, starting to move her fingers in and out of him smoothly. Elijah was completely under her control and Chloe was beyond pleased. She ached already, her panties wet, but she was going to tease her new lover until neither of them could stand it anymore.
“Fuck…” His cheeks flushed bright red and he nodded desperately. “Yes, yes I did.”
“I thought so.” she said, cockily. She pulled her fingers out and put more lube on the cute pink dildo she’d chosen before starting to ease it into Elijah’s ass. “Hmm, this is nice,” Chloe murmured as she began to work it inside of him, “But I really can’t wait until I can fuck you with a strap on.”
Elijah made a desperate noise as Chloe exchanged her fingers for the dildo. He absently slammed himself down onto the pink shaft, moaning eagerly as she fucked him with it. “Fuck, yes, fuck.” He let out a breathless groan. “I can’t wait for you to fuck me too.”
Chloe squirmed restlessly in her spot but she kept moving the dildo faster as he reacted to it. She pressed the tip in harder, trying to find his prostate to make him cry even louder for her.
This was a hell of a lot better than trying to fuck himself with a dildo, and a hell of a lot hotter for that matter. His eyes fluttered open, watching Chloe squirm as she drove it into his prostate and made him moan incoherently. “Nnn— Chloe!” He rut his hips down against her thrust, a shudder running through his body. “I should be satisfying you instead of making you squirm.”
“Let me use you,” she agreed. “Sit up for me.” Chloe helped guide him to a different position to keep the dildo inside of him. She eagerly hiked her dress up and slipped her panties off. Breathing out slowly, still a bit nervous, she straddled Elijah and began to ease herself down onto his cock.
He let out a hungry moan as Chloe slowly took him. The position pressed the dildo ever harder into his prostate, making him tremble roughly with Chloe’s every move.
Chloe balanced herself on her new lover’s shoulders, pausing a moment when she had taken him all the way inside of her. She realized then that this was the first time for both of them. “You okay?”
Elijah slid his arms around her, holding her close to him. It took all of his effort not to start moving. He was so turned on and he wanted so badly to hear her moaning for him, but she was in charge. There was something so exhilarating about that, about waiting for her to be ready for him. “Y-Yeah, I’m more than okay. How about you?”
“I’m great,” she laughed and leaned forward to kiss him. Gently at first and gradually harder she began to rock her hips. Elijah felt good inside of her, and she rubbed against his cock greedily.
Elijah moaned softly against her kiss. “You’re amazing,” he gasped as she began to ride him. He rocked against her as she came down, trying to match her rhythm even as it drove the toy against him over and over again. Before long his chest was heaving and his stomach was twisting in eager knots, but he held back. “Ahn, Chloe! Chloe!”
Groaning at him calling her name, Chloe reached between her legs to rub her clit as she moved against him. “Come with me, Elijah,” she demanded, riding him harder.
He came on command, unable to hold back any longer even if he’d wanted to. His whole body shuddered as he came. “F-fuck! Chloe!” He clung to Chloe, whimpering and moaning desperately as his climax caused him to clamp down on the dildo inside of him. “Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck!”
Chloe let her head drop back as her own orgasm hit her and she moaned loudly as the waves of pleasure swept through her. Come dripped out of her as she still rocked herself against Elijah’s cock and it spilled out onto his stomach and hips as she moved.
The heat of her wetness made his head spin as she continued to use him. He moaned roughly before pressing his lips to her ear. “Do you want more?” He might be spent, but he wanted to utterly satisfy Chloe.
“What did you have in mind?” she asked, clearly eager.
“You’ve got your pick between toys, my fingers, and my mouth. I’m sure you can find some way to put me to good use.”
“So many options,” Chloe grinned and kissed Elijah. It was very cute and very sexy that he wanted to please her so much. “Hmm .. how about your mouth? I’m curious to know if you like how I taste.”
He kissed her back, deep and passionate. “Mmm, gladly.” He shifted his weight a little, prepared to slip out from under her in order to get a better angle, when he remembered the dildo still nestled deep in his ass. “Toy in or out?” Elijah asked before he moved. It’d be a pain if he wasn’t careful enough and it managed to slip out.
“Leave it in,” she decided, a smirk on her lips. She shifted herself on the bed so she could lay back and spread her legs open. “I’m waiting, Elijah.”
Mmm, of course she’d choose the more challenging option. He shifted, careful to keep it squeezed inside of him, and focused his attention on her pussy. She was still dripping wet and leaking come when he dipped down and ran his tongue along her slit. “This is my first time doing this,” he muttered bashfully, “tell me if you don’t like what I’m doing.” That said, he plunged his tongue inside of her as he brought his hand up to rub her clit with the pad of his thumb.
“Oh, I’d tell you,” Chloe assured him, but her snark was soon lost in soft moans. She moved against Elijah’s mouth slowly, his tongue massaging her. It turned her on even more to know he was probably lapping up his own come as well as hers. She groaned louder at that and buried a hand in Elijah’s hair. “Good boy,” she purred at him.
Elijah panted against her as she grasped his hair, but he didn’t pull away. Her soft praise made him shudder desperately and he pulled back, sliding his tongue along her labia to swirl up and around her clit. He exchanged his tongue for his fingers as he pulled back to breathe, fingering her briefly before rubbing the sticky lubricant over her clit and beginning to massage it with renewed vigor. As Chloe quivered and shuddered, he dipped his head back down and drove his tongue inside of her again.
Chloe was already so sensitive from earlier that she could feel that wonderful twisting feeling in her abdomen already. Her thighs trembled on either side of her new lover’s head. “Ah, Elijah, I’m going to come,” she warned him.
Elijah glanced up, well aware of what the warning implied, and then pressed his finger encouragingly against her clit.
“Fuck, fuck,” she moaned, tensing up for a moment before coming again. She shuddered hard when she felt Elijah still moving his tongue against her, not shying away from drinking her up at all. Chloe shook and fell limply against the bed. Touching herself had never felt this good, not ever.
There was more than he’d anticipated, even when he’d anticipated her gushing quite a bit, and for a moment he choked slightly on the amount of come spilling into his mouth. He still swallowed her up, and continued to tease her with his tongue until she shuddered so hard that she pressed her thighs together to stop him.
Chuckling faintly, he leaned back and wiped her come from his face. “You taste wonderful.”
“Fantastic,” Chloe replied, her simulated breathing starting to drop within a normal range as her thirium pump began to slow back to a regular pace.
He just admired her as she laid there panting. He was struggling to catch his breath too, but he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined someone like Chloe coming into his life… and especially not the way she had.
After a moment, she sat up and looked Elijah over. “Did you manage to keep the toy in?”
“Heh, yeah. Though I think my ass is going to cramp up if I keep it clenched for much longer.”
Chloe giggled. “I think we’re done with it.” She motioned for him to move and then reached around to gently pull it out of him. He moaned softly when she removed it. She put it aside to be cleaned later and then pulled Elijah into her arms and kissed him. “Thank you for giving this .. well, for giving everything a chance, really. Including me.”
He let himself be pulled gently into her arms, and slumped against her happily. He was exhausted, but it was the most satisfying exhaustion he’d ever felt. “You’re welcome. I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t give you.” He touched her cheek gently. “Thank you for choosing me.”
a glass cage
Gavin went from being your run of the mill angsty teen to being downright bitter and unpleasant.
Then again, this was all Chloe knew of him. This sullen human was introduced to her on the same day that he met his older half-brother for the first time. “Why the fuck did I never know about him before?”
“Oh Elijah’s very busy,” his mother was rambling on. “There never seemed to be an appropriate time.”
“And now is?”
“Of course! Elijah’s been working on some cutting edge prosthetics for the government! I’m so very proud.”
Elijah looked awkward. Chloe had seen this woman once or twice before, asking for money… She’d never introduced herself as ‘mother’ and had certainly never mentioned a little brother. She wanted to chase this woman out of her home for making Elijah look so uncomfortable.
“Well! Now that we’ve met, I hope we get a chance to know each other better.” Gavin just scoffed, but Elijah went on. “Mother was telling me that the amputation was recent and you’re still having a lot of pain… Would you be interested in trying a state of the art prosthetic? It’s a little unusual, but I’m confident in it.”
Gavin absently clutched at the stump of his arm and then looked away from Elijah entirely. “Yeah. I’ve got nothing else to lose.”
“Don’t be like that, Gavin! You’re so blessed to be alright! You should be more grateful for your life.”
“Leave me alone. Let’s just… get this done.”
After that Gavin became a frequent visitor in their home. After the initial installment of the prosthetic arm he had to come back every week, and then every month, and then every three months… but he still seemed to show up at least once a month. Chloe had grown fond of him, and though he was usually distant from Elijah, he seemed to warm up to her.
Not that he confided his troubles in her or anything, but he didn’t immediately push her away either. For such a fragile person, she figured that was a big step.
“He acts really tough, but he’s really very gentle when you get to know him.”
Elijah looked up from his work, surprised. “You mean Gavin?”
“Yeah. He’s always scowling, but he helped me braid my hair today and actually did a good job.” She admired herself in the mirror momentarily before turning back to Elijah. “You’re usually the only person I’d let do my hair.”
“Should I be jealous of this little punk?” He turned away from his work, facing her with an arched brow.
Chloe laughed. “No, goodness no. You’re the only human for me, and besides - Gavin’s very clearly uninterested in women.”
“Are you honestly that dense, Elijah?”
“Apparently, I am.” He shrugged playfully before she whacked him gently with the back of her hand.
“You are not!” She chided with a laugh.
“Well, I’m glad… Because I told him you’re my fiancée, so you can’t go running off with him or anything.”
“But I do mean it, the part about the fiancée. Is that something you’d want from our relationship?”
“Yes, of course I do, Elijah. There’s no other person for me than you.” Chloe answered, her eyes soft. She reached out to take his hand and squeeze it tightly.
Elijah blushed a little but he accepted Chloe’s hand gratefully. “There’s no one else for me, either.” He rubbed his thumb against the back of her hand and then grit his teeth a little. “Especially when that brat started asking me why I had a girl ‘like you’ hanging around my house.” He grumbled beneath his breath.
“A girl like me? An android girl?” Chloe asked, pretending not to understand.
“A pretty girl too good for a nerd like me,” Elijah muttered.
Chloe wrapped her arms around her lover. “Don’t take what he says to heart. He doesn’t mean it. He’s just hurting. .. And also I think I’m just the right amount of pretty for you.”
Elijah sighed and pressed himself into her arms. “I know he doesn’t…” He couldn’t help but smile at her words. “So long as I’m good enough for you, that’s all that matters to me.”
“You’re all I want, don’t doubt that,” she reassured him.
Years passed like this with Chloe and Elijah enjoying something like domestic bliss as they worked on various projects together. Elijah graduated college with a degree in advanced robotics and immediately went to work for the agency that had been sponsoring his schooling.
When his best friend and favorite artist, Carl Manfred, was crippled in an accident, he had put all of his attention into crafting the perfect caregiver. An android like Chloe but capable of assisting someone with injuries like Carl’s.
Chloe was riveted by the process.
“I kind of watched how you were designing me, but you were so secretive about it… This is amazing, Elijah!”
He blushed as Chloe spoke. “I wanted you to be surprised when you saw yourself for the first time,” he muttered bashfully.
“I was, don’t you worry.”
He chuckled softly. “Well, I’m glad.”
Then the phone rang. Elijah glanced sidelong at it, and then reached out. Usually he tried to keep these calls away from Chloe, but they were getting more frequent. The conversation only lasted for a few minutes but it was enough to make his blood boil. He ended the call, teeth grit, and set it down on the table before he could do something stupid, like throw it across the room.
“What’s wrong, love?” Chloe asked, immediately picking up on his mood.
“I’ve told them a million times that you’re not a commodity that they can exploit and they won’t listen. They just keep calling and e-mailing and texting and it never ends. I think they just threatened me!”
“What did they say exactly?” she remained calm outwardly but her chest felt like ice.
“If I don’t want to share “my data” with them, they might pull my funding. Well, fuck that. I have enough from my work in prosthetics. I don’t need them.” Elijah scoffed before kicking his chair back around to face the android he was putting together. “Besides, once I finish Markus here they’ll have everything they want: an android that can pass the Turing Test that’s also a marketable commodity. The perfect caregiver - never experiences burn out - capable of assisting with everyday tasks and complex medical needs.” He sighed. “They can copy him all they like, the world would be better for it.”
“Will Markus be okay with that?” wondered Chloe, happy to turn the conversation to a slightly different topic.
Elijah hesitated. “I’m working on programming in more specific areas — caregiving and healthcare in particular… So, I hope so. You were made specifically to be who you wanted to be, without guidelines or directives, while Markus should have more… goal oriented behavior.” He slumped back in his chair. “At least, that’s the theory.”
“I don’t like that, Elijah. Are you going to take away his free will? Is he just going to be an AI with no choices or feelings? Why didn’t you make me that way if you thought that was okay?” she burst out, her hands clenched into fists at her sides.
Elijah straightened when Chloe spoke up. “No, Chloe, no. Of course not! I’m just hoping that he’ll be inclined toward helping, that being loaded primarily with caregiver protocols will make him want to continue his focus in that area.” He rubbed his head in frustration. “Carl won’t even paint anymore. I don’t know what else to do to help, this is the only thing I can do that makes any difference.”
“I know you want to help Carl, and that’s not a bad thing, but I don’t think it’s fair to Markus to not let him make that choice on his own. Just because you’re making him doesn’t mean you can make his decisions for him. Please rethink this.”
Elijah frowned deeply but he nodded. “He’d make the decision on his own, wouldn’t he? Computers are built with tasks, but the purpose of AI is to learn and grow. He’d have the choice, he’s just built with the knowledge.” He stood up from his desk, sighing deeply. “But if you don’t agree… I’ll think of something else. There has to be a solution that I’m not seeing.”
“I don’t object to you giving him access to the materials he needs to be a good caregiver, I just think when he becomes aware, you should give him the option to take care of Carl or go his own way. It wouldn’t be fair to program him to want to do that. You’d be unfairly influencing him. Do you understand what I’m saying? He’s not a toy to be manipulated. Neither am I.” Chloe’s eyes dropped to the floor. Even she didn’t know how strongly she felt about this.
Elijah wrapped his arms around Chloe, pulling her close to him. “You were never an object, Chloe. You know that. I’ve told you that ever since you first booted.” He glanced back at Markus and shook his head. “And of course I’ll give him the same options, I’d never deny him what he wanted.”
Chloe was silent for a moment but then she embraced Elijah back. “Okay,” she agreed. “I just .. can’t bear to think of Markus .. or any android .. trapped inside and unable to do anything but what others tell them.”
Elijah held Chloe against him. “I… I wouldn’t make something like that. I’ve always believed AI was about growth, especially after I met you. That won’t ever change. I just… I just hoped he’d be a benefit to Carl, and maybe I got a little blinded by that.”
“I think he and Carl will be a perfect fit together. But we will leave that up to Markus in the end.” Chloe hugged him tighter. “I’m so thankful you made me and that you made me the way I am. I just want all androids to be able to have the same experience.”
Elijah nuzzled against Chloe. “You made yourself the way you are, I just gave you the opportunity…” And that was really all he could do for Markus too. He sighed heavily and kissed the android in his arms. “I think I need to not work on this for a while. Is there anything you’d like to do?”
Chloe laughed. “I’m sure we can think of something fun.”
Not dead, holidays killing us. Still writing tho. Enjoy. (:
a glass cage
Chloe did not wake up with Elijah. She awoke alone, trapped, naked, and torn apart. Her body and mind's response to this was so overwhelming at first that she immediately shut down.
They rebooted her.
There was no escape. They would keep reactivating her. The scientists never spoke to her, of course, just around her as they excitedly ran tests, discussed code, talked about how "life-like" she was.
No amount of pleading or crying or even threatening them changed a thing. She slammed her fists into the clear glass of her holding cell until she was in danger of damaging herself. It only made them angry. If she broke herself, how could they get the data they needed? She stopped then, but most of the reason was because Elijah's brother entered the room.
Chloe saw the split second look of recognition on his face before his expression went blank and disinterested again. Her heart felt torn in half. She knew exactly why Gavin couldn't do anything about this but it still hurt.
She couldn’t believe that someone who would care, who would want to save her was literally a few feet from her, separated only by glass. Was the world actually this cruel? She’d been living in a safe bubble with Elijah all this time, she realized. It was this cruel. And now she was in pieces.
When he knew they couldn’t see, Gavin approached her.
‘Sorry,’ he mouthed. Then he turned away and left.
All Chloe could do was sink to her knees and sob harder.
Elijah woke suddenly, and almost immediately doubled over and puked on his floor. His head was spinning, everything was disoriented, and nothing made sense. It was like he was hung over, except that he didn’t usually drink. He reached for Chloe and it took his foggy brain minutes to understand what was happening: she wasn’t there.
He wandered through the house in desperation, searching for her, but there was nothing. She was gone.
It made no sense. Had she left? Was this some sick game? Maybe he was too sick to understand what was going on and she had gone ahead of him to the lab. That had to be it.
In the time it took the cab to arrive, he started feeling more clear-headed and by the time they arrived at the lab, coherency had turned into panic. He swiped his access card and received a bright red DENIED. He took his keycard to the front desk to explain the issue, but when the woman - he didn’t recognize her - scanned his card she pulled up nothing.
“I’m afraid there’s no record of you working here, Mr. Kamski. You’ll have to make an appointment to speak to someone.”
“But I work here! I’ve worked here for the last SIX YEARS!”
“I’m sorry, Sir, but there’s no reason to shout. If you continue I’ll have to call security.”
“FINE! Fine. Everything is fine. I’ll call someone and get this figured out.”
He stepped outside and dialed a buddy of his from the lab… Disconnected. He dialed another, and another, and finally his boss. All disconnected. He’d been frozen out from everything. Chloe was gone and he’d been frozen out… They’d finally made good on their threats. His funding was cut, and they had ‘acquired’ his data. He knew his home would be cleaned out. If Chloe was gone, all of his data there was gone too, but he had a backup. His stupid childhood crush on Carl had finally panned out for something.
The tears didn’t fall until he stepped into Carl’s house and the door was shut safely behind him. He collapsed to his knees, head on Carl’s lap, and sobbed while the man stuttered in confusion. “Elijah? What’s wrong? What on earth happened?!”
It took a couple awkward tries before he could choke out the words. “I refused to give them her data so they stole her!”
“Oh, fuck… Elijah… You’re lucky you’re not dead. I told you this secret government shit was going to backfire on you.”
“But without it I never would’ve had the resources… She would’ve just been a dream.”
“And you wouldn’t be soaking my pants right now… Which is a really disappointing thing to say in this situation.”
Elijah sniffled and then sat up. “I need… I need my laptop. I left it here.”
“Because you thought someone was following you. Fuck, Elijah… I thought you were just being paranoid. Come on, it’s in the study where you left it.”
Elijah climbed to his feet after Carl gave him a reassuring pat on the head. “What do you intend to do?”
“I’m going to see if she’s… if she’s online still.” Saying it out loud was terrifying and nearly set him crying again, but Carl ushered him into the study anyway.
“Don’t fall apart now, you’ll figure this out. If she’s still online then she needs you right now as much as you need her.”
How did he explain to Carl that she was always the strong one? The firm hand that got things done? He suddenly felt small and helpless and it was pathetic. Carl left him alone in the study while he launched programs and tried to find Chloe remotely. He hadn’t tried anything like this since she’d been in early conception stages, before she’d had a body of her own. It was the same reason he’d never thought to back up her memory before today. How did you prepare for something like this?
The first boots of the zen garden, an old interface program built into the initial concepts of Chloe, came back with busy signals. It wanted to reach her but her system was busy. Wherever she was, she was alive.
So he started triangulating her signal, searching outright for her, making accusations at all the schools and organizations this agency was part of, doing everything in his power to get their attention. It worked, though not the way he wanted. He wanted them to acknowledge him, to let him back in, instead they made sure he understood just how cut off he was.
A car full of men in black dragged him off the street and beat the crap out of him. He spent a couple nights in the hospital only to get out and find that his house had burnt to the fucking ground. He didn’t give up trying, but the homeless weirdo checking all the schools was getting quickly discredited.
No one paid attention to him.
Carl convinced him to give up, to focus on getting through to Chloe instead of trying to get himself killed. He went into hiding, found some crappy place to shack up, and let himself fall into obscurity. It gave him time to fix his programs, to make sure nothing could hack in, and to make sure he could get through anything they tried to throw up to keep him away from Chloe. If he couldn’t find her physically, he’d talk to her remotely.
After weeks of trying, the signal finally went through. The garden launched and, instead of a busy signal, a voice called out — Chloe’s voice.
“Chloe!” He was so relieved he couldn’t handle it. “I thought you were… I was so worried.”
The simulation didn’t work as smoothly on his end, an awkward 3D model of his own to accompany the more robust model of Chloe. Her self was registered by the data she held and reflected seamlessly into the program. So as he stiffly walked to meet her, she ran and threw herself into him. They both sobbed helplessly.
“I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear your voice .. I mean I have recordings but they’re not the same, and — Elijah, I’ve missed you so much!” Chloe rambled, over-excited.
“I’ve missed you too, more than I can say. Are you okay? What did they do to you?”
“I’m — I’m fine. It wasn’t too bad. Don’t worry. What about you? They didn’t do anything to you, did they?” she tried to deflect from what happened to her. He didn’t need to know about her being in pieces .. or any of the other degrading things that happened.
He hesitated and then laughed bitterly. Of course she wouldn’t tell him exactly what happened, for the same reason that he couldn’t tell her what had happened to him.
“I’m alright. It wasn’t anything serious, though we’ll have to get a new place when we get back together.”
“Oh .. oh. That’s too bad,” she said, trying to swallow back any remaining tears in her voice. “I liked that place.”
He wished he could hold her, comfort her, tell her that everything was okay… It wasn’t. “I did too. They really cut all my funding, but I’ve got a set up that I can work with. Do you know where you are? I’ll come get you.”
“You can’t!” Chloe exclaimed quickly and shook her head fiercely. “If you don’t believe me, ask Gavin, okay?”
“What?!” He was glad she couldn’t see the way he shook. “He knows where you are??? Why didn’t he…” He fumbled with his words, furious and upset. “I can’t just leave you alone.”
“You have to, Elijah. You can’t come here.” Chloe said firmly. “Gavin can’t get me out any more than you can.”
Elijah couldn’t stop the whimper that escaped him. “But Chloe…”
“No.” she insisted. “It’s enough for me to know that you’re safe. And you’re going to stay that way.”
“Chloe…” His voice was thick with defeat. “But what about you? You’re not safe there, they just want to exploit you.”
“So far they haven’t been able to figure out your code at all. They can’t make anything that works, they’re completely baffled. I’m almost hoping they’ll give up and maybe I can get away when they get tired of me.” Chloe smiled confidently, although inside she knew they’d probably try to destroy her before they’d ever let her leave.
“At least they’re all idiots… I just hope they give up and call me to make sense of it. I’d even work for them if it meant you were safe.” He’d damn the whole world to know she was safe.
“Maybe that will happen,” she said, but she couldn’t force much hope into her tone. “Oh! I have to go, I’m sorry. I love you.”
And then she was gone.