The Beach

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The Beach

It was a beautiful day on the beach. Greg went there every day to enjoy the sunrise and sunset since he had very little else to do during that time of day, or in between.

Greg was a handsome, yet average looking guy in his mid-twenties. He had pale brown hair, normal looking skin, and a slightly athletic physique.

Like he did every day, he set up his tent and put all his things inside and then set up his metal and debris detector. See, he scavenged the nearby beaches for debris washed up from the war that ended 40 years earlier.

Most of the time, he only found scrap metal, but occasionally, he hit the jackpot, finding premium android components.

His specialty was repairing androids with parts he found washed up on the beach, and in various junkyards and landfills from before and during the war.

This day started off like many of the others did, no significant finds. But then, on a hunch, he decided to wander off towards a more rocky area.

Within a few minutes of checking around the rocks, his scanner came to life with loud sirens alerting him to a discovery.

"Hmmm, what have we here?" Greg said to himself, setting the scanner aside and then moving the manageable sized rocks away, revealing a metallic pod of some sort. He found it odd that this pod would be under this many rocks, but by the look of the cliff above him, they fell a few years before he started searching on this particular stretch. If it hadn't been for the hunch, he never would have looked there.

Greg spent a few moments examining it, noting a few large holes and scratches in it, before finding a manual release. He quickly worked it until the lid of the pod unsealed from the rest and then lifted off. He gave a gasp when he saw what lay inside.

There was an attractive, young android woman inside. She had long dark brown hair that cascaded down the side of her cute face.

As the sun shone upon her, he noticed a slight flash behind her eyes. There was a faint high pitched electric whine as energy began to flow through the synthetic body before him.

The android woman was wearing a black corset, her crotch blanked over by additional black shiny material. It was a military model, although without the uniform and external armor. On her chest, however, was something very special. Greg recognized it was a free will chip that allowed the android the ability to override all external controls and complete freedom of action, including the ability to kill. However instead of its customary dull glow he noticed the light was flickering a bit.

Distracted by the gem, Greg was startled when the android began to move...her eyes blinked and she looked up at him, “I...Identify yourself....where am I?” she asked.

"My name's Greg Philips, and I just found you on the beach," he said, surprised at not only a fully intact android, but one that suddenly activated before him.

"I am Captain Jade Ross...5th fleet. My...ship was hit...I managed to get to the evac pod before it went down. I...I appear to be suffering from some damage...my internal chronometer is not working properly. Might I trouble you for the date?”

"The date is 2086" he said with a confused look.

“No... I...I have been deactivated for over 40 years....” she said.

"Well, I'm not sure when exactly you went offline, but if you're from a fleet, then the timing sounds about right," he told her.

"I...I have to contact my command..." she said, struggling to get up.

"Good luck with that," he said carefully, "But I'm pretty sure there's no one left either from the war, or that even cares about it," he said, "Both sides pretty much lost," he told her.

She was silent for a moment, though Greg could feel her sadness, "Is there any local settlement?" she finally asked.

"Not really," he said, "People got freaked out after the war and moved more inland, because of residual radiation in the water," he explained, "I have a shop I use to fix robotics in a few miles from here though, and that I live in," he said.

“I am in need of repair...however I do not have much to trade,” she said.

“No need to pay me,” he told her, “I’m used to finding bits and pieces of androids like you, just working on a working unit such as you would be payment enough,” he said, “As would the company,” he added with a depressed sigh.

Jade extended her arm, “Would you help me up?” she asked.

“Certainly,” he said, and he held out his arm for her.

She pulled herself up, allowing you to feel her above average weight.

"Wow," he said, "no offense Jade, but you're a little heavy," he said, massaging his arm once she was on her feet.

“My internal components have significant quantities of metal,” she explained.

"Well, that might be a problem if any of them need major repairs," he told her, "Complex metals are sort of hard to come by nowadays,"

“I guess the war set humanity back a bit,” she said.

"Yep," he agreed, "It most certainly did," he said, "We're still technologically advanced," he said, "But most of the technology is used for medical and agriculture to combat radiation damage," he said.

“What about synthetic beings such as myself?” she asked, “Without the means of production it is only a matter of time until I am unrepairable,”

"They still make them," he said, "But they're somewhat more basic now," he said, "Why do you think I spend my days scavenging the beach sides for parts?" he asked, eliciting a sigh from Jade.

“I never counted on being mortal...of course I never suspected humanity would destroy itself with a pointless war,” she said.

"Neither did our former governments," he said, "Don't worry though, I've been salvaging components for years, so I'm sure I'll be able to jury-rig something for you," he assured her, "If not, then I do have that other thing I can try," he mused, not really meaning to say it aloud.

“Other thing? She said. Jade began to take a few steps, testing out her body.

"I'll show you later," he said, "Let's see if we can get you fixed first," he said.

She put her hand on his shoulder affectionately and said “Thank you”

"Don't mention it," he said, blushing a little, "I have a tent set up nearby, we need to gather my things before riding back to my place," he said.

“I will be happy to carry whatever I can,” she said, following him from the pod.

"We'll have to come back for the pod later," he said, "The metal alone should be fairly useful,"

"Too bad it's too heavy for me to carry," he said.

“I'll carry it away from the water,” she said, “Actually...if you put your gear in the pod I can carry the entire thing,”

"Sounds good to me," he said, "You can actually lift that thing?" he asked, "It must weigh several hundred pounds,"

“I can lift almost a ton,” she said matter-of-factly.

"Impressive," he said, looking at her less than muscly appearance.

She easily picked up the pod and walked with him back to the makeshift camp.

"Several miles," he said, "Don't worry, I have a small air car parked off the beach, and it has a large enough cargo hold," he said, knocking down the tent and packing everything up, placing it all inside the pod.

Jade easily picked it up and began walking in the direction of his car. At first she maintained a fast pace, but as they neared the vehicle she began to slow...then her movements became less smooth. She gasped, dropping the pod, her hands went to the front of her corset, but before she could do anything, he heard a series of pops and electric sizzles. Jade locked up with a look of surprise on her faceplate.

"Jade, are you alright?" he asked, watching as smoke calmly billowed from her mouth.

She did not respond. Her body was now completely still.

Greg stared at her for a few seconds before sighing, shaking his head and then looking at the sky over the ocean. He saw a storm brewing over the horizon, so he grabbed hold of Jade's body and dragged her over to his air car, which was only a few feet away. Somehow, he managed to get her seated in the passenger seat, and then he managed to push the pod into the cargo hold.

"Well Jade, let's get you back to my place so I can fix you," he said, securing the pod and closing the door. He made sure Jade was secure too, and then he started the vehicle and got it in the air.

Greg was only in the air for about 15-minutes, traveling about 50 miles up north into a mountainside overlooking the ocean. His place turned out to be a sort of lighthouse with a large complex built around the base. He landed the car in a small garage built along the ground level.

Jade was still offline by the time he got back to the lab, and while no additional smoke was coming from her mouth she still smelled like burning plastic.

Leaving the pod in the cargo hold, he hefted Jade's body onto a table nearby and wheeled it out of the garage, down the hall, and into a room which could only be his lab. There were banks of computers set up all over, and tons of parts littered around.

"Alright, let's see what's wrong," he said, grabbing some tools and eyeing her body. After a few seconds, he noticed the corset was actually some sort of armor, so he grabbed a tool he had found a few months back and used it to release the hooks on the corset. As the corset was undone the burnt smell became stronger.

Wafting the smoke and smell away, he continued decoupling it and then opened it up wide, saying only "Whoa," when he saw what was underneath.

Towards the top of the area covered by the corset was Jade's power core...or what was left of it. Despite being encased in lots of shiny metal it appeared to have suffered some sort of leak as a bluish fluid was squirting out of several ports followed by a good deal of black soot and scorch marks.

Off to the sides were black bundles of synthetic muscles and moving down was another expanse of metal, this time covering Jade's central processing unit and memory store. Both of her breasts were clearly exposed, islands of flesh above a sea of synthetic plastic and metal.

"Damn," he said, admiring both her breasts and hardware, "Let's see if we can remove this," he said, taking a look at the metal plate covering her CPU. After several seconds, he saw several releases on the corners and grabbed a tool to loosen them. Once he did, he carefully lifted the plate off and admired what was under it.

Inside was a top of the line crystal processor, the height of AI tech before the war.  Around it were a number of smaller more conventional processing units to handle the interface with the body, but they could all be removed singly or as a group.  The crystal was about the size of an old school computer chip and was mostly covered by a cooling unit.

After looking at all the complicated processing hardware, he noticed the crystal in the middle appeared to be intact, but several of the chips surrounding it appeared to be burnt out.

Fortunately, he had found several comparable chips during his salvage operations, but when his eyes moved to the power core, he groaned.

Key seals in the cooling had leaked resulting in the core essentially burning out with a giant short circuit.

"Shit," he said, knowing he had nothing that could replace that core. After taking a closer look at it, he realized the damage was not completely catastrophic, so he grabbed a bunch of tools and parts and began jury-rigging a workaround for the damage.

About an hour later, he finally had the core jury-rigged, so he grabbed another tool that he connected to an open socket on her core and had it emit a minor jolt of electricity to the core, causing a bunch of LEDs to light up and start blinking.

"Oh good, looks like it worked," he said, hearing more machinery come to life in her open chest.

Her eyes blinked and she tried sitting up, "Hey, careful there," he said, holding her down, "You just had a pretty serious burnout,"

“Damn...my power core...it’s completely failed hasn't it?” she said with a resigned look.

"Well, not completely," he said, "I managed to jury-rig it a little, but it could fail by the end of the day," he told her.

“Any long term solutions?” she asked with a worried look.

"Aside from hoping another unit like you washes up," he said, "I do have that other thing I mentioned," he said, blushing a little.

“A....a new body? Can't you just rig another power supply??” she asked.

"No," he said, "Your systems are pretty reliant on the one your body is using, probably some sort of safety precaution in case you ever rose up against them,"

“Well, what kind of body do you have for me?” she asked.

"Well I should warn you, it's a lot different from your current one," he said.

“Can...Can I see it?” she asked, “I guess it beats living without a body,”

"Sure," he said, and he carefully helped her off to the table and to her feet. Leading her out of the room and across the hall to a storage room, he stopped at a coffin and opened it, revealing the dormant form of an attractive, naked android woman in her early twenties.

She looked to be about 5”7. She had dark brown hair which seemed to rise up and neatly fall down either side of her well-shaped head. Though her face looked as though she was sleepy, it had a very serious, yet innocent look. Other than that, her body was perfectly proportioned, including her chest.

“She's...a...companion model” Jade gasped.

"Yeah," he blushed, "I found her in a downed delivery truck about a year ago," he said, gently stroking her face, "She must have been on her way to a lucky guy somewhere and just never made it," he continued, "And since the guy would have had her A.I. chip with him, she's got no brain," he finished.

Jade exhaled loudly, saying, “I guess I have no choice,”

"You don't have a problem with her body do you, I mean she isn't ugly or clunky," he said defensively.

“Oh no...the body is wonderful”, she said “How long will it take to transfer me?”

"Not long actually," he said, "Fortunately your CPU isn't that much different from the one this unit would have been using, so all I should have to do is move your CPU into this body," he told her.

Jade nodded, “Alright, I'll shut down and you can move me over,” she said, “Thank you Greg,”

"No problem," he said, "It might take me a few minutes to adapt your connections for this body, but not too long," he said.

She nodded again and then he watched as her eyes flashed and she went still.

"Wow," he said, waving his hands in front of her face and getting no response, "Well, let's move you to your new body," he said, and he quickly reopened Jade's corset panel and took a quick look at her CPU before grabbing hold of it and pulling it out.

A few lights flashed in protest when her CPU was removed, but aside from that, nothing else happened.

Placing her CPU down on a nearby table, he moved back over to his companion unit and pressed in her navel, causing the skin on her chest to split in two from just above her breasts to just above her waist.

The inside of the companion unit was not too different from the inside of Jade's body, except instead of armor plating and shielding there were synthetic muscles, mechanical organ equivalents, and a fully functional sex drive.

Near the middle, in a more shielded section, was a cluster of processors and memory units. There was an obvious component missing in the middle, since the unit did not yet have a CPU...something he was about to remedy.

He grabbed a small tool from his pocket and tinkered around in the CPU port, prepping it for Jade's slightly different CPU. A few minutes later, he gave a satisfied grunt and pulled his tool out of the port.

"Alright Jade, let's put you in your new body," he said, and he picked up her CPU and carefully plugged it in, making sure it was secure. He decided to leave the panel open, just in case something went wrong or the tinkering didn't work, so he reached for her power systems and pressed the power button.

The LED's lit up and began to blink...as before her eyes flashed and began to move around...the twin balloons in her open chest expanding and contracting as she began to take in cooling air.

“Oh!” she shouted suddenly, looking around, the data in her network feeling strange, “I…,” she blinked again and looked at him, “This is different,” she said.

"How so?" he asked, getting over the slight shock from her previous outburst.

“This body...everything is different....well...at not so much that I cannot function, but it still feels different,” she said.

"Not sure I understand," he admitted, "But you're not experiencing any compatibility issues?" he asked, "Otherwise I'll seal you up so you can move around," he said.

“There are some strange data in the streams, but my AI is designed to adapt,” she reported, “I'll be a little jerky for a little while,” she warned.

"Okay, I'm going to close your panel then," he said, and he grabbed both flaps and brought them back together. There was a sucking sound as they sealed back in place, and then the seam vanished.

Jade took a deep breath and felt her abdomen, “Wow...strange to feel skin there,” she said.

"I'll bet," he said, "Here, I'll help you out of there," he said, reaching his hand into the coffin.

She took it eagerly and he lifted her up quickly, “Oh! I feel so light,” she remarked.

“You’re right,” he said.

She stepped out and looked down at her new body. Her breasts bare and plainly visible, the tight slit between her legs, “Oh my...is...is that??” she gasped, she reached down again and gasped, “Oh!!! Wow!” she yelled.

"How does it feel?" he asked, curious as the vagina on that body was sealed shut without a brain to control the body.

“Well it certainly feels...pleasurable...but I have no basis for comparison.” She said, “My old bodies were never fitted with sexual units,”

"I suppose not," he said, "Wait, you had multiple bodies?" he asked.

“Well...some training ones, but those were years ago,” she said.

"Oh," he said, "So, I do actually have some clothes for your new body," he said, "Simple underwear, t-shirt and shorts if you want," he said.

“That sounds wise...although I assume you will have a reason for me to be naked,” she said.

"Well, I did have hopes for this body," he admitted with a blush, "But I always figured I'd find some A.I. chip I could modify for it, not one as complex as yours," he sighed, pulling out a box nearby with her clothes.

“Oh? You seem upset,” she said.

"Well, you can see from this place that I'm a loner," he said, "I get more pleasure from tinkering with all this junk than socializing with other people," he admitted, "Finding this companion unit in such perfect shape was like hitting the jackpot, and I was hoping I could reprogram some A.I. to inhabit it and be my companion," he said.

“Well...I'm here now and I have nowhere else to go,” she said, “It's not like I can really stop you anyway since the standard override controls apply to me in this body,” she said.

"You're still a free will A.I.," he said, "So it wouldn't be right to force you to do anything for me," he said, "Still, I wouldn't mind company here," he said, "I'm sure this life is much more peaceful than the life you've been forced to leave behind,"

She nodded as she began to put on the clothing, “So what do you typically do here?” she asked, “Is there anything you need help with?”

"Several days a week I go to various spots on the beach for salvage," he said, "and other days I just stay here and tinker with what I find," he continued, "I also go into the nearby settlements for supplies on the weekends,"

She nods, “What day is it today?” she asked.

"Friday," he told her, "It's May, if you're interested,"

She laughed at that response, “I mean what day on your cycle is it,” she asked, “Like I said, I should try to be useful,”

"Oh," he blushed, "Well, today I went to the beach," he said, "But finding you cleared my whole day up...and possibly the next week as well," he laughed, "I'll still need to go into the settlement tomorrow, if you want to come with me," he offered.

“Certainly...although I won't cause you any trouble will I?” she asked with a concerned look on her new face.

"Why would you?" he asked with a confused look.

“Well if people hate androids or would want to capture me for parts,” she explained.

"Oh, no need to worry," he said, "You're old body might have attracted some hostility, but this body was custom-made," he explained, "The only way people will know you're an android is we tell them, and they probably won't even care," he said, "They're more concerned with moving on with their lives, not blaming the past,"

She nodded as her hands went back to gently rubbing her breasts and crotch.

"Anyway, It's about midday," he said, "Why don't I get us some ready meals and we can eat them up in the top of the tower and talk about our past," he suggested.

“Meals?” she said with a confused look, “Won't I require fuel for my power core?”

"You're a companion unit now," he said, "They're designed to eat and convert energy from the food," he explained.

“Oh, I see,” she said, “That’s going to take some getting used to,”

“Well, you’ve never eaten before,” he said, “Maybe you’ll enjoy it,”

“I've tasted things...but never eaten as a matter of course,” she said.

"Oh," he said, "Well let's go get those meals and then chat in the tower," he said, offering her his hand, which she gladly took, following him out of the room.

After getting the ready meals from his kitchen, he led her down the hall to a door with a spiraling staircase behind it. They walked all the way to the top, which emptied out into a well-furnished room that looked out in all directions.

"I suppose I should mention," he told her, seeing the awed look in her eyes, "This place used to be a lighthouse,"

“A wise place for a home...it provides an excellent vantage point,” she complimented, “Of course everyone else knows where you are as well,”

"Yeah," he agreed, "But I've got no enemies, and I do enjoy the view," he said.

As Greg looked out, Jade gently put her arm around him.

"Hmm, that feels nice," he said.

She squeezed him a bit before moving behind him to give him a back rub.

"Wow, that feels better," he said, "I didn't think they taught you guys how to comfort other people...especially humans,"

“Did you learn only those things that were formally taught to you?” she asked.

"No," he said, "After I left to live on my own, I had to teach myself everything,"

“Well, you’ve learned quite a lot,” she said.

"I suppose I have," he said, "Well, let's sit down and enjoy our meals," he said, pointing at a couch close to the window.

Jade sat and looked at the food that Greg had prepared.

"I know they don't look like much," he said, looking down at the TV dinner-like trays, "But they are pretty nutritious, cheap, and they grow on you," he said, taking a bite.

Jade also tried some. While it wasn't the best she had had, her new body's sense of taste was far more refined and she found herself making appreciative noises.

"Glad to see you enjoy it too," he smiled, "So, why don't you tell me about yourself," he said.

“Well...I was in the first class of AI officers,” she started, “Tensions were heating up and the government wanted every edge it could have in a shooting war…Especially if there was to be issues with radiation and bio weapons,”

"Was your vessel only manned by AIs, or were there humans onboard too?" he asked.

“We had a mix to account for attacks that could target either one of us,” she explained, “EMP's...bio weapons...diversity was seen as important,”

"That makes sense," he nodded, "what happened that made you enter the evac pod?" he asked.

“We had sustain multiple missile hits...ship was going down,” she said, “I had ordered abandon ship...I helped the others to the pods and rafts and when I was the only one left I got into the pod and ejected it out,”

"Your pod must have been attacked after abandoning ship then," he said, "It was already damaged when I discovered it, and something had to have knocked you out,"

“There were automatic shutdown protocols in case the pod was adrift for extended periods,” she said, “Something must have knocked out the comm beacon,” she added, “Probably for the best otherwise I'd likely have died in some other battle,”

"Probably," he agreed, "So I know all that happened only a few days ago from your perspective, but do you think you'll miss it?" he asked.

“Miss what??” she asked.

"The action, your friends, your old life," he said.

She exhaled, “To some degree,” she admitted, “I didn't have many friends. I was trained in VR and then sent out. I was still learning all the others under my command when the battle took place,” she explained, “I miss having that sense of purpose and my old body...but I will not miss the conflict,” she finished.

"Well, I don't do much here, but maybe your sense of purpose can be finding other evac pods from your ship," he said, "Maybe someone else from your ship is in salvageable shape too,"

“You never know, but for now I will be happy making new friends,” she smiled, “Speaking of which...how did you come to be living alone in a lighthouse?” she asked.

“Well it’s good to see that humans and androids aren't at war or something,” she said.

"After a few years, I finally got fed up with things and went exploring the mountainside and found this place," he said, "It appeared to have been a makeshift shelter during the war, and already had some android parts in the store room,”

“That was fortunate,” she said.

"Yeah," he nodded, "I went exploring the countryside and found even more parts, so I decided that if I found enough parts to build my own android, I would have them be my friend," he said, "And if you’re wondering how I support myself, I do trade some of the parts I find to the android community in the settlement,"

“Well that sounds wonderful and I guess its fate for us to find each other,” she said, “I needed reactivation and you needed a companion,” she said, giving him a sweet smile.

"Yeah," he agreed, "You know, I spent many a time the last year wondering what your body would look like with an A.I. controlling it," he said, "And I must say, I didn't anticipate those blue eyes making you look so adorable,"

She blushed and looked away, “You're too kind..everything is just made in a factory,”

"Yeah, but your new body was custom designed by somebody," he told her, "Not made from a pre-configured design,"

“There aren't any ugly android bodies,” she said.

"True, but yours is the prettiest I've ever seen," he said, "the others look fairly ordinary,"

“Well thank you for the compliment then,” she smiled, “Thank you for the meal, it was quite good,”

"It's my pleasure," he smiled, "So, I was thinking, since I found you so early in my day, maybe we should go to the settlement today instead of tomorrow," he said, "That way we can find you some more clothes, and get extra provisions,"

“Well if it work for your schedule I'd love to,” she smiled, “My current clothing won't be a problem will it?” she asked.

“No,” he said, “Though I do have some sandals for you too,” he said, “I just enjoy looking at your feet,” he admitted with a blush.

“Oh? What is so interesting about them?” she asked.

"I don't know," he admitted, "I haven't spent much time with other people, but I think they turn me on,"

She slowly lifted her foot up so he could examine it.

"Wow, thanks," he said, and he pulled himself closer and marveled at all the detail in her foot. The man who designed her actually paid extra for her to have realistic ridge detail on the bottom of her toes and soles. Her nails were real looking too, instead of the plastic ones most androids were made with.

After finishing looking at her foot, he tenderly grabbed it and felt the warmth that was now permeating from her skin, now that the body was finally active. He also sniffed it and found it was beginning to have a mild odor.

“Does it actually smell like something?” she asked.

"Yeah," he said, "Looks like the designer of your body paid for the complete package," he said, "Realistic scent included,"

“Heh...not sure that complete realism is always better,” she said.

"Well, I don't mind," he said, letting go of her foot.

She put it back down and stood up, “When would you like to get going?”

"We can leave in a few minutes if you like," he said, also standing up, "Though I'd like to get your old body stowed away somewhere safe first," he said, "I have a security system protecting this place, but when you live by yourself, you always have to be a little paranoid," he said.

“Good idea,” she said, “Do you need any help?”

"Yeah," he said, "After all, your old body is a little heavy," he said.

She followed him down to where her own body was laid out. She paused, looking down at it.

"Do you need some time alone with it first?" he asked, looking at her unreadable expression.

She exhaled, “No...not really,” she said, “Thank you for asking though,” and she began to close up the panels.

“Don’t mention it,” he said, putting his hand on her shoulder.

She got everything closed up, “Do we just pick it up?”

"Yeah," he said, "I'll get the top, you grab the legs," he said, moving to its top and putting his hands below the shoulders.

She grabbed each of the ankles, “One…two…three,” she said.

"And here we go," he said, lifting the body up with her. Making sure they both had a good grip, he walked backwards out of the room and all the way down several rooms down the hall. Inside was what looked like a morgue. "We'll put it in one of the lockers," he said.

Motioning to a table nearby, they both placed the body down temporarily while he unlocked one of the lockers with a key he pulled from his pockets. Once he pulled out the table inside it, they picked the body back up and set it down on the table coming from the locker. "Any last thoughts or looks before I lock it up?" he asked.

“Well...she was a great body...hopefully she will be again...with a few upgrades of course,” she said.

“Maybe,” he said, pushing the table in and closing the door, “Though your current body is very attractive,” he said, locking it and putting the key back in his pocket.

She smiled and struck a sexy pose, “That it is,” she said.

"So, I'll get you your sandals and then I'll need to get some parts I want to trade,"

“Alright, let me know if you need any help,” she said.

"Well, I might need your help with that pod," he said, "I was too concerned about you earlier to remove it,"

“From the vehicle?” she asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

"So, here's your sandals," he said, grabbing them from a box on the floor in the corner of the room, "I'll be across the hall gathering some parts,"

Jade sat down and gently rubbed her feet, making sure they were clean. She took the sandal and slid her left foot in, wiggling her toes, she strapped it on then did the same with the other foot.

"Wow, I didn't think it would be sexy to see you put shoes on," he said as he was leaving the room.

Fortunately, he had already gathered everything up the day before, so he just picked the box up and carried it back out into the hall, where Jade was patiently waiting for him.

“The sandals fit nicely,” she said.

"Good to hear," he said, "I've found dozens of them on the beach and thought they might come in handy one day,"

“Heh, probably from some container ship,” she laughed.

"Maybe," he smiled, "So, ready to go?" he asked.

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” she said with a nod and a smile.

"Good," he said, "Follow me," and they walked down to the garage, where he put the box in the back seat. "Okay, let's get this pod out," he told her, "We don't need to stow it anywhere, since I'll be getting the stuff out of it and back in here the next time I go out to the beach," he said, opening the cargo hold.

She went and prepared to lift the other end of the pod, “Ready?”

"Yep," he said, and after a silent count to three, they both lifted the pod out and laid it on the ground a few feet away. "That's good," he said, "Now let's get going,"

“Ooph...that was much heavier,” she said.

"I'll bet," he said, watching her massage her arms and shoulders, "Just buckle up and get ready for a ride," he said, jumping into the driver seat.

Jade jumped in and fastened her seatbelt, a large smile formed on her face. She genuinely looked excited.

"Ever ridden in one of these?" Greg asked, "Aside from when you were offline earlier,"

“Not the personal variety. Only flew on the larger ones,” she said.

"Huh," he said, "Well, I found this in a junkyard a few years ago," he told her, starting it up, "Only took me a week to fix it up," he finished, and he backed it out and then got it in the air.

Unlike the beach, which was only 50 miles away from his place, the nearest settlement was a little over 100 miles away, situated near a lake. While it did have the look of a technologically advanced society, there were no skyscrapers, or any buildings over 10 stories tall. Also, there was a security fence around the entire place, giving it a militaristic look.

“Your technical skills are truly impressive,” she complimented, “and you said you were self-taught?”

"Yes," he told her, looking for a place to set down, "When you have to fend for yourself, all sorts of skills bubble to the surface," he said, finally finding a spot.

Once they set down, he set the security systems on it and said, "Welcome to the Shasta settlement,"

“Is this for humans or androids?” she asked.

"Both," he said, "For the most part the city is segregated into an android and human district," he explained, "But the humans and androids do get along here,” he smiled. "We just so happen to be in the android section of the city," he added, "But we can visit the human side if you like,"

“How are the androids being maintained?” she asked, “Wouldn't they be breaking down?”

"It's a symbiotic relationship here," he explained, "The humans repair the androids, and the androids help clean up radioactive waste, since they aren't affected by it," he said, "There are androids who know how to perform repairs too though," he added.

“What are you looking to trade for?” she asked.

"Food, mostly," he said, walking with her into a crowded area full of all sorts of different types of androids, "Though we'll also be needing to get you some clothes too," he said, "And don't worry, I have accumulated some credit from previous trades," he added.

“Well, thank you for taking care of me,” she smiled.

"It's my pleasure," he smiled, "I've always promised myself I would be the perfect host if I ever found an AI like you,"

She blushed, “You're such a gentleman. I was created to help people myself...so this feels a bit awkward,”

"You'll get used it," he said, "Believe it or not, there are still several androids left over from the war, but they've cast aside their military programming in order to live their new lives,"

Jade nodded and put her arms around him as they walked.

"So, do you recognize anyone?" he asked, since they were in the square of the android part of the settlement.

She scanned around, “No...and I do not believe that my expanded database was installed in this body,” she said, “Did you need me to identify someone specific?”

“No,” he told her, “Just wondering,”

"Well, there's the clothing shop, if you want to stop there first," he pointed out.

“Yes...my current attire is rather...insufficient,” she said, and she followed him inside and looked around, “I’m afraid I have no information on the current state of fashion,”

"No worries," he said, "I'm sure one of the ladies working here will be glad to show you," he said, "They've had old AIs walk in before, so they won't judge you," he told her.

Jade nodded and looked around.

They spent almost half an hour in there, while one of the helpful female shopkeepers helped her pick out several outfits that went well with her new look. When they finally walked out, she was finally fit in with everyone else.

"Wow, you look nice," he complimented her, admiring her new outfit. They had made a quick stop to deposit her other clothes in the vehicle.

“Thanks, I wish I could say I had something to do with it,” she said.

"Well, you'll get back in the game eventually," he assured her, "Anyway, let's go trade these in and then get some sundries," he said, and they headed deeper into the commercial district.

They spent several hours looking around the various shops. Oddly enough, after the first couple shops, Jade finally started getting interested in getting stuff. By the time they were done, they had several bags of sundries, and personal items for Jade.

"Wow Jade, I didn't think you'd get so many things," he said, getting the vehicle into the air and heading back in the direction of his home.

“Sorry...but it’s good to have a variety of outfits. Although technically I could modify my modesty protocols and just go naked,” she smiled.

"I wouldn't mind that," he said, looking over at her with a big smile on his face.

“Well, just say the word,” she winked.

"Not yet," he winked back, "I'm flying here,"

After the short flight back to the lighthouse, they both carried the bags into the common area on the ground floor, and then Greg had Jade follow him to another area, where there was a guest room.

"Well Jade, here's your room," he said, "I never actually thought anyone would actually be living in here," he said.

“Well here's to life’s little miracles,” she said softly, and she leaned in and gently kissed him.

Greg returned the kiss, putting his arms around her back and embracing her. He felt an intense feeling in the pit of his stomach, a feeling that both felt bad and good at the same time.

Jade began to run her hands over Greg's body...slowly one began to move down to his crotch.

Jade smiled, “As you wish,” she smiled, and she gently slipped her hand between the bare skin of his abdomen and the tight waistband of his pants. Pushing it down, she could feel his stiffening cock. She gently wrapped her fingers around it

"Oh yeah, that feels so nice," he said, and the waves of pleasure overwhelmed him, "Keep going," he said, and then his neck quickly snapped to the side, a crackling sound coming from his chest.

As soon as Jade saw the reaction, she gasped and pulled her hand out of his pants.

"Keep going....keep going....Jade...Jade...Jaaaaaa...dddd..eeee," he said, his voice randomly skipping and his facial expression distorting rapidly.

“Greg!! Greg! What is going on!” she said with a distressed look, “You're acting...like...oh...no...you can't be,”

Greg continued his malfunction, with smoke now pouring from his mouth and nostrils. After several agonizing seconds, he finally uttered one last word, "Jaaaaaaaaaddddddddeeeeeee," and then slumped forward.

“A sleeper...I....damn,” she said.

Jade grabbed Greg, struggling to get him into the other room and up onto the work table. She stripped off his clothing and examined his body.

Greg had the perfect body of someone in his mid-twenties. He looked perfectly indistinguishable from a human being.

Jade took a deep breath and began to press around various parts of his body. Nothing happened until she pressed her finger into his belly button, which resulted in a sharp click followed by a click.

An oval shaped seam appeared from just below his neckline going down to just above his waist. Nothing popped up, however, implying the skin could simply be peeled up.

Jade blinked and pressed her fingers into the now visible seam.

She found the fleshy panel was roughly an inch thick, and went down to a metallic surface. She slowly peeled it down from the top portion until it completely came off, revealing his impressive inner mechanics.

His interior components were not too different from the ones in her current body, however he appeared to have been built for more than just being a companion, as he had more complex processing components, as well as a more advanced digestive system.

“Damn...this sort of tech was designed for spies and other infiltration units,” she said. She pulled out a cable and plugged one end into her neck and the other end into Greg's processor core. She tried to find his debugging files.

Several LEDs blinked on and off while she was connected to him, but otherwise there was no activity from him. Jade simply stood over him with a cord coming from her neck with a blank look on her beautiful face.

“Hmmm...Looks like your sleeper override processor suffered a critical failure due to a thermal event,” she said, coming back to life, “Damn...your perception and sensorium is routed through that...no wonder it couldn't handle the increased load,”

Jade reached in and, using a screwdriver, managed to pop open the processor bay and pull out the chip.

She then plugged into his system core and began to look for a way to remove the sleeper processor from Greg's programming.

The next thing Greg was aware of, he was in a small white room.

"Where am I?" he asked, disoriented at his sudden shift into the room.

“You're in a virtual space...I am having to re-write significant parts of your secondary programming,” she explained.

"What am I doing here?" he asked, "The last thing I remember, you were touching my...you know," he said, looking down with a blush forming on his face.

“You are a sleeper android...our sexual contact was too much for the secondary processor that filtered your reality,” she explained, “It burnt out...I am now making it unnecessary by removing all sleeper protocols,”

She smiles, “Looks like we have a lot more in common than we thought,”

He stared at her incredulously for several moments before saying, "No way!" "How can I be an android, I have vivid memories of my sucky childhood,"

“You either grew up or had them implanted...I am not sure,” she told him, “you may even have a donated personality or may have been created as a replacement,” she continued, “I am still trying to determine that...but it will wait until I have removed the sleeper crap,”

"Is there anything you can do to prove I'm not have some crazy dream," he said, putting his hands to his face rocking back and forth.

“A virtual space basically is a crazy dream,” Jade said, “So...not really. You'll just have to wake up and see your body open with robotics inside,”

Suddenly Greg was aware of his lab's internet connection and by extension his own network control panel.

“Whoa, what was that?” he asked, looking around wildly.

“I am slowly unblocking your access to your various features,” she explained, “That should be your network and Wi-Fi systems,”

Greg was suddenly aware of his power reserves and the status of his digestive systems.

"This is weird," he said, trying to sort out all the new senses he was gaining access to.

They began to hit him more rapidly as all the other blocks began to fall, “The motor and sensory systems need extensive alternation as so much of what he felt went through the sleeper chip,” she explained, “Unlocking secondary systems is the easy part,”

“Secondary systems?” he asked.

“Network, power management, damage control, cooling...all that jazz humans don't have access to,” she explained.

"Oh, sounds cool," he said, calming down a little as he started to believe that he was indeed an android.

“Alright...let's see if I got your taste, smell and hearing working....ready for me to transfer you back out of VR?” she asked, “You'll have only those three senses,”

“What about the other two?” he asked, getting a little freaked out.

“Still working on it,” she said, “Want to hold off?”

"No," he said, "Might as well get it over with," he said.

Jade nodded and Greg found himself in darkness, only able to hear, smell, and taste.

"Jade, are you there?" he heard himself ask, though his voice sounded a little distorted.

“Yes...I am working on your other senses...how do you feel?” her voice answered.

"A little weird," he said, "What's wrong with my voice?"

“Could be your hearing...or your voice...we'll look into that later,” she said. Suddenly Greg was tingling all over as his sense of touch returned. There was a strange feeling of numbness down his chest.

"Whoa, I seem to have gotten my sense of touch back," he reported, "Why can't I feel my chest?" He was unable to move his body.

“The skin has been removed so I can access your systems,” she explained.

"Wow, must be a large panel," he mused out loud, "So, how many other systems were damaged?" he asked.

“Looks like just your sleeper chip,” she reported, “but so many things ran through it,”

Greg was then aware of his primary systems: breathing, his fluid pump...all the stuff that goes into one's feeling of their own body.

"I'm gaining access to more of my systems," he reported, "But I'd like to be able to see," he requested.

“Working on it,” she said, “Ah, here we go,”

His vision suddenly clicked back on...the detail was about 50% more than it had been, with everything being sharper and the colors more vibrant.

"Ah, much better," he said. He noted his head was propped up a little, so he was able to see into his open chest panel. He watched as the twin balloons expanded and contracted with his breathing, and dozens of lights flashed in random patterns.

He also noted that he was naked, and when he saw her standing over him with a cord running from her neck into his chest, he saw his penis harden up a bit.

"Sorry," he blushed, "Couldn't control it,"

“I'd be let down if you didn't get a bit aroused,” she smiled, as Jade walked into view, he saw she was also naked, “I took your advice and tweaked my modesty coding a bit,”

"Nice," he said, seeing his penis harden up even more. He also heard a cooling fan speed up in his chest.

“Like I said your body was very interesting....it completely fooled even myself,” she said.

"It fooled me too," he sighed, "Do you know what I am?" he asked.

“I’ve just started going through your raw memories, but does it really matter? You are what you are...and so am I. Why don't we start our lives new...together?” she asked.

"That would be nice," he smiled, "Though maybe while we look for more of your kind, we can also search for answers about my true nature," he said.

“Of course...my love,” Jade leaned in and gave Greg a tender kiss.

"I love you Jade," he said, returning her kiss as best he could, since he still had no motor control of his body.

“I'm going to turn your ability to move back on and close you up...your sleeper chip has been completely cut out of your systems,” she reported.

Greg felt a little buzz, and then he found he could move again.

"Ah, much better, thanks," he said, sitting up a little and hearing a whining noise from within his chest as his arms and spine moved, “Where’s the skin cover?”

“Jade handed over the synth skin, “Here you go...heh...corsets were so much simpler,”

"Yeah, but this method isn't bad," he said, taking his skin cover from her. He couldn't help but find his skin cover a little gross, even though it was part of him. On the outside it had his belly button, nipples, and abs, but on the inside, it had synthetic muscles, insulation, and even his rib cage attached to it.

“Pretty amazing, isn’t it?” she asked, reaching out and touching the detached nipples.

"Hey!" he said playfully, and he brought the skin cover over his panel and began pushing the skin down. He both felt and heard a sucking sound, and his skin slowly sealed into place. There was an intense warmth when it was finally reconnected, and he found he still felt the lingering touch of her fingers on his nipples.

"So Jade, I was thinking," he said, swinging his legs over the edge of the table and then dropping to his feet, "Instead of that guest room, why don't you just sleep with me?" he asked.

“I would like to sleep with you, in all senses of the word,” she winked, “Of course in these bodies...I double shutdown would be problematic,” she said.

"Well, at least we would be together," he said, "Still, maybe we should try and find some bot to convert into an assistant to help us out in case we break down," he told her.

“You know we can’t wait that long though,” she smiled.

"Well, I trust that you fixed me well," he said, "And I've obviously been living here for some time without any issues,"

Jade embraced him with a kiss again, reaching down to fondle his penis...waiting for it to get nice and hard, “No time like the present,” she smiled.

He fought to contain himself, instead leading her out of the lab and down the hall to his room, where he gently pushed her onto his bed.

“Be gentle,” she said, “This is my first time with sexual hardware,”

"Mine too," he smiled, and he jumped on the bed next to her and began to fondle her breasts.

Jade let out a little moan as she felt all of her sexual hardware and protocols engage. A distinct wetness formed in her crotch as she felt her body temperature rise.

Greg worked on her a little more, watching her crotch react to his stimulation of her breasts. Once he felt they were ready, he mounted her and inserted himself into her wet pussy.

It was odd, even though he'd never had sex before, he felt it came as naturally to him as breathing.

Jade let out a sharp moan as her processor was filled by a large stream of sensory data from her new hardware.

Greg let out a pant and sigh of pleasure as he felt the warmness of her vagina massaging his member. He vaguely felt as though he were running some pre-determined program, one that was coming to a quick conclusion.

Moments later, he came in her hard, and he let out a loud scream as the waves of pleasure emanated throughout his body.

Jade also felt part of her being under the control of some strange pre-programmed force. She moaned and moved in sync with Greg until she felt his climax and quickly initiated the sequence for her own. As soon as the pleasure was past the point of no return Jade felt her mind and body fully released in time to enjoy the climax.

Greg exited Jade's body moments later and rolled over next to her, trying to catch his breath, and then wondering why he had to catch his breath since he was an android.

“That was interesting...I think I might want to adjust the inbuilt sexual programming so that it doesn’t just run me like a sex drone,” she said.

"Oh, that's what that was," he said, "Either way, that was probably the best I've ever felt in my life," he smiled, rolling over and kissing her on the lips.

“Glad to oblige...here's to many more years of the same,” she said, and she reached over and gently touched Greg's cheek.

"I think I just had an epiphany," Greg said suddenly, and he grabbed Jade's arm and got up with her.

Ignoring her confused protest, he brought her down the hall and back up to the top of the tower. He noted that he must had been offline for several hours, because the sun was getting ready to set.

"I've been thinking Jade," he said, looking out with her over the gorgeous sunset over the ocean, "Now that we're together, we can do more than just scavenge for parts, we can explore this brave new world," he said, "After all, the world is our playground, so we should play in it,"

“As long as we don't wind up deactivated somewhere I will gladly travel with you to the end of the Earth,” she said, she turned toward the sunset, arm wrapped lovingly around Greg’s naked body. Greg sighed contentedly, enjoying the feel of her naked body pressed against his. They stood there watching the most beautiful sunset either had seen, all the while he thought this was the best day of his life.


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