The Grinder

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Lt. Edward Johnson sat in a dimly lit lab while carefully studying a computer display and eating a cold ration bar. It tasted like sawdust and glue but it was food. He hadn’t seen a hot meal in almost a year and the sun had eluded him for nearly half that time. Allendure, the godforsaken rock where he was stationed, had been under siege for 18 months, and lately the Horde had grown too close for him to safely leave the confines of the reinforced bunker.

The door to the lab slid open and the sudden bright light forced him to shield his eyes, “Ugh” Johnson groaned, “what now?”

“Another load of salvage from the front lines,” Sgt. Grimes coughed. She skipped the salute and wheeled in the large cart; protocol had disappeared along with reasonably clean uniforms.

Johnson looked over and saw the typical load; a pile of random android body parts. When it became clear the siege could last a while, the local general commandeered all the local civilian droids. Most of them weren’t built for combat, but with a little reprogramming they could hold a rifle and shoot. They couldn’t match a skilled soldier or even a purpose built battle mech, but if it wasn’t for their numbers the planet would have fallen long ago.

“Major says he wants what you can pull together up on the south wall by midday tomorrow,” the sergeant grumbled. She brushed some dust off her well worn body armor and left without another word. The door automatically slid shut behind her, leaving Johnson in the now very dark room.

Johnson stumbled around in the dark for a bit until he could find and activate the overhead lights. The old bulbs flickered twice then started to glow with a slight hum. He took a better look at the cart, shook his head, and then found one of his last remaining stim shots. He downed the fowl tasting liquid, shook his head, and jumped around a bit. In less than a minute the fatigue washed away and he was ready to work.

Johnson fished around on a table full of loose equipment until he found a small controller. He pushed the button then quickly tucked it into his pocket. A loud beep radiated from a dark corner of the lab, “UNIT KATIE 225 ACTIVATED,” a flat, slightly tinny, feminine voice droned.

“Katie we have work to do,” Johnson said as he started to clean off one of several work tables. In the harsh artificial light his ragged appearance was easier to discern. He was only about 28, but the stress of the war had left him looking hardened and almost 40. He had shortly buzzed brown hair, pale skin, and almost three days worth of stubble growth. He was tall, but the months of reduced rations had left him thin and swimming in his once form fitting uniform.

If it was possible, Katie made Johnson look well put together. She consisted of a Frankenstein conglomeration of at least a half dozen different android components. She stood about 5’6” tall with a generally shapely figure. Her legs and hips could be considered voluptuous, but her top was a bit lopsided as one breast panel was missing. Her skin tone varied by the part; her left arm a dark chocolate, the right olive, her neck and what was left of her chest was a creamy ivory. A long while ago she sported blonde hair in a high pony tail, but after he got tired of removing it, Johnson left her scalp detached. The resulting effect was that the back of her head consisted now of only exposed electronics which went well with her burned and partially missing face.

Johnson sighed as he saw Katie limp a little to get to the box of incoming salvage. He would love to fix her up properly, but her many persistent malfunctions were what kept her in the shop with him and off the front lines. “A LIGHT LOAD,” she commented as her head twitched slight down to look at the cart. It was nearly 30 cubic meters but she’d seen a lot more in the past. “IS THAT A SIGN THAT THINGS ARE TUR…TUR…TURNING AROUND?”

“Unfortunately no,” Johnson said as he shook his head. “They started using more high explosives so most of the parts are too small to pick up. These were probably disabled with frag or the occasional direct fire hit.” He paused for a second as he randomly dug through the load. “Alright, let’s start laying it out and come up with a plan.” Katie nodded and the two slowly started pulling one part out at a time.

After several hours the pair had all the salvageable parts laid out on a few tables and benches; all sorted by type. The junk or any part too far gone to be really useful as a component found its way to a growing pile in the back of the shop. “Ok so what do we have?” Johnson asked as he delicately sipped from a bottle of water.

“NOT MUCH,” Katie droned, “FIVE REPAIRABLE CENTRAL CHASSIS, FIFTEEN LEFT ARMS, TWELVE RIGHT ARMS, TWENTY THREE LEFT LEGS, EIGHTEEN RIGHT LEGS, AND FOUR HEADS.”

“You’re right, that isn’t good,” Johnson nodded. “Yea it’s good parts to inventory for later, but the best we can do is four main bots right?”

“AFFIRMATIVE,” Katie replied. “WE HAVE TWO SPARE CRANIUMS BUT NONE ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THESE FRAMES.”

“The Major won’t be happy but there’s not much we can do,” Johnson sighed as he said the water aside. “Let’s get to work. We’ll start on the tanned one over here first,” he said while pointing to the damaged torso of what was once a very tanned fembot. The armor/uniform was already off, revealing her firm, B cup breasts and lack of any genital openings. While her right leg and arm were still viable and attached, the left side of her body was scorched and torn with the impact of flying fragments. Her arm was missing at the shoulder and the leg was a flimsy mess below the knee. Worst yet, the majority of her head was gone above the mouth. “What do you think she was?” he casually asked as he used a tool to cleanly disconnect her leg at the hip.

“VISUALLY ATTRACTIVE….LACK OF PRIMARY SEXUAL EQUIPMENT…” Katie cataloged. She paused for a second to remove the unit’s head at the neck. She stared into what was left of the processing area. “CLASS TWO BACKPLANE….LIMITED INTELLIGENCE AND PROCESSING. I CALCULATE A 78.4% CHANCE SHE WAS USED IN RETAIL SALES. PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEACH BARS.”

“Man what I wouldn’t give to be able to relax at one of those bars again,” Johnson joked. He used a small blade to neatly sever its dermal covering at joint segments. While the cover wasn’t necessary to properly operate, a damaged edge would constantly stream erroneous signals to the CPU and therefore slow down the unit’s processing speed. “Even if the bartenders were of ‘limited intelligence’.”

Katie twitched and cracked a small smile on the half of her face that still had decent motor control. She picked out two compatible limbs, and plugged them into the now exposed sockets. Johnson turned around and came back with two different android heads. He held both up, and closed one eye, then the other in an attempt to visualize which one would fit best. It was a purely aesthetic decision, but he knew the more the droids looked ‘right’ the less they would freak out the few remaining human soldiers. He selected a head with short curly black hair and dark skin and quickly attached it to the frame. He then plugged in a diagnostic computer to a port in the back of the droid’s head while Katie opened up the chest and replaced any damaged components inside from spare stock.

When Johnson first got dragged into this job, he would just activate the bots once they were assembled and let them head back out with their past memories intact. Unfortunately after getting disabled enough, even android minds start to get shell shock and behave erratically. So now every bot that went back to the lines was reformatted and given a clean install of a basic military OS with light weapons training. It took a while but in the end he felt it gave the bots a higher operational time between failures.

Johnson mechanically banged away on an old, noisy keyboard as he prepped his installer unit with the correct drivers and software package. He looked up just enough to nod at Katie who had just closed up the fembot’s open chest. She replied with a stiff nod of her own and reached behind the android’s left ear. Hidden in the fold of synthetic flesh was a small sub-dermal button. She held it for three seconds until a muffled beep replied.

The fembot blinked and shook a little. “UNIT JAMIE 939 ACTIVATED….NEW HARDWARE DETECTED…..” Johnson gave his keyboard a three finger salute and the fembot jerked a bit. “SECURE ATTENTION SEQUENCE RECEIVED. NETWORK BOOT LOCATION DETECTED. BOOTING………” Johnson watched a flurry of activity on his computer as it formatted the fembot’s drives and pushed down the new programming.

Johnson got up, knowing Jamie would take a while, and started on the next bot in the line. This one had faired a bit worse than the last. He could make out that the unit was probably female given the general shape of the frame, but most of the dermal covering was burned away. Both arms were gone at the shoulder and the only trace of a leg was a charred stump hanging from the left hip socket. “Wow, she’s going to be a challenge,” he grumbled.

“AGREED,” Katie replied. “BURN AND BLAST PATTERNS INDICATE THERMOBARIC WEAPONS. PROBABILITY OF RUPTURED FLUID LINES IS 82.5%.”

“She won’t need that anymore,” Johnson shrugged. “Without her skin she won’t be able to use evaporative cooling anyway. She won’t last long without overheating, but we don’t have the supplies for a full repair.” He paused to make a few notes on his tablet. “Minimum functionality, and we’ll hide the cosmetic damage under a uniform. Push her to the front lines and save one of the more robust units for reserves.”

“AFFIRMATIVE, COMMENCING REPAIR,” Katie replied before removing the stump and finding appropriate limbs.

A few hours later the pair were onto the last bot. Like many others it was little more than a torso, but her body armor was mostly intact. “Looks like she got a lot of frag. The vest did it’s job so I guess we can thank someone from durable salvage for making our job a little easier.” Johnson turned away to check on a software install, “Go ahead and lose the armor, I’ll find some legs for you in a minute.” He heard Katie start working as he verified that the install on the third bot.

Johnson rummaged around in the pile of limbs as he tried to make small talk, more for his own sanity than Katie’s. “So what’s this one? Another bartender? Maybe a cleaning unit?”

“NEGATIVE,” Katie replied. “SHE’S….[twitch]…..SPECIAL.”

“What are you talking about?” Johnson grumbled. He returned to the table carrying a pair of long, reasonably matched female legs. He almost dropped them when he saw the bot in front of Katie. The body was pristine, with creamy white skin, full DD breasts, and a soft, shaved sex.

“THIS UNIT APPEARS TO BE A SEXUAL COMPANION,” Katie said. Allendure had it’s share of hookerbots, as well as personal fuckbots for the rich and well to do, but Johnson had yet to see one intact. Most had been smuggled out with the majority of the civilian refugees or been damaged in the riots before. Sure he’d seen a few come in over the last few years but most were too damaged to fulfill any of their primary functions.

Johnson stared for a few moments, wondering what it must have been like to be with a bot like this. Back before the war; when rich men could afford such luxurious playthings. “Seems a shame to send her back up into the grinder,” he mused.

Just then the door to the lab slid open and startled Johnson from his stupor. He spun around so fast he didn’t notice Katie throw a small tarp over the newly discovered body. He blinked his eyes and could make out the SGT in the doorway. “Change of plans,” she grunted.

“OK what now?” Johnson replied.

“The Major wants everyone topside in 90 minutes,” the SGT explained. “Get every bot you can ready, including your little glitchy miss.” She paused; the signs of fatigue, stress and desperation suddenly visible on her otherwise stoic exterior. “Intel thinks six more boats are coming in. I guess those fuckers are tired of dealing with us,” she half chuckled, half cried. “We’re going to make a last stand. Make them pay for every meter.” She was silent for a while. Johnson didn’t know what to say. He knew things were going down hill and they couldn’t hold out forever. He just always thought someone would come to the rescue in the end. “90 minutes. Main lift,” she said before leaving; the door sliding shut behind her.

“UNITS 1, 2 AND 3 WILL BE ONLINE IN 17 MINUTES,” Katie said breaking the silence in the lab. “FULL REPAIRS OF UNIT 4 WILL TAKE 128 MINUTES MINIMUM.”

“That’s not going to do it,” Johnson grumbled as he noticed for the first time that Katie had covered the sexbot up.

“I HAVE AN ALTERNATE PROPOSAL,” Katie droned. “MY MEMORY CELL IS COMPATIBLE WITH HEAD NUMBER 7, WHICH WILL WORK ON THAT BODY. THE PHYSICAL REPAIRS CAN BE COMPLETED IN 22 MINUTES. I CAN BE ONLINE IN UNIT 4 WITH OVER 63 MINUTES TO SPARE.”

“That could work, but they’re going to be expecting ‘you’ as well up top,” Johnson nodded. “They already think I’m too attached. I won’t get away with just leaving your body here.”

“I KEPT AN OLD BACKUP MEMORY CELL. IT WON’T HANDLE UNIT 4 BUT IT WILL ALLOW THIS BODY TO LIMP BY,” Katie said.

“Alright, let’s move,” Johnson replied as the pair quickly went to work prepping Unit 4. In a little over 19 minutes she was fully rebuilt. Long, smooth legs and strong toned arms almost matched her normal skin tone. She wasn’t factory spec but was more ‘complete’ that most of the bots that walked out of the lab.

Katie sat down on a chair next to the still inert Unit 4. She adjusted a light to shine into the back of her open skull. “YOU WILL NEED TO ADJUST THE SECONDARY JUMPER FROM POSITION 2 TO POSITION 4.”

“I remember,” Johnson replied. He slipped is finger behind Katie’s damage ear and waited for her head to slump forward. Her eyes remained open and stared at a non-descript spot on the floor. He took a few moments to look over his companion of the last several months that he cobbled together out of spare parts. She was limited but helped keep him sane, sort of like an old vid he’d seen of a shipwrecked guy and a volleyball.

Johnson carefully removed Katie’s memory cell and laid the silver rectangle on the table next to Unit 4. He retrieved the spare memory cell and clicked it into place in the now empty socket. He slowly reached over and thumbed her activation switch.

“UNIT KATIE 220 ACTIVATED,” she droned. “BASIC COMBAT PROGRAMS LOADED. AWAITING COMMANDS SIR.”

“Go find a uniform and a weapon then wait by the main door,” Johnson commanded.

“YES SIR,” she replied curtly before standing up and marching off to complete her orders.

Johnson turned his attention back to the still naked Unit 4. Using a small tool he removed the back of her head and found the damaged memory cell. He quickly removed it, and tossed it away. He heard a crack as it shattered on the concrete floor but didn’t care. He carefully slipped Katie’s cell in place, closed her head, and then held the button to activate her.

A warm but muted tone escaped from deep in her chest. “Unit Katie 225 activated,” she said with a warm and inviting voice. “Adapting new hardware…….complete.” The still naked fembot blinked twice then her chest started to rise and fall. She sat up on the table, then swung her legs around and stood up.

“How do you feel?” Johnson asked, his eyes locked on the now active woman in front of him.

“I feel…..wonderful,” Katie replied as she ran her hands up and down her body.

“We should run a motor skills check. Just to make sure the adapted drivers are working properly,” Johnson said as he tried to focus on his job and the upcoming battle.

“I have a better idea,” Katie growled. She lunged forward and pulled Johnson into a tight embrace. He struggled slightly but feeling her full, soft tits against his chest and her warm lips on his, he surrendered to her quickly. Their tongues danced around as his hands slipped over and grasped her soft flesh.

“Wait, we have to get ready,” Johnson protested as he pulled back from the kiss.

“Final preparations will take no more than 9 minutes. That gives us 51 minutes before we need to start getting ready,” Katie explained patiently. She could see Johnson hesitate, “Please. Let’s enjoy this. Just for once, in my short life, this body allows me to do what I’ve wished for, for a long time. Please. If not now, then when?”

Johnson realized what he was doing was against regulations. He should be trying to rig some technical gizmo that might help in the coming battle, but he realized there’s nothing he could do to turn the tide of battle. In a few hours they would most likely all be dead. After only a little thought, he was willing to grant himself this one dispensation.

“Katie 220,” Johnson called out. “Lock the door.” He didn’t wait to hear the expected ‘yes sir’ as he fell back on Katie and her new body.

With incredible speed and precision Katie stripped Johnson of his uniform. She fell to her knees and wrapped her lips around his already firm shaft. He groaned as her head began to bob up and down with a rhythmic, wet slurping sound. It felt so good and he wanted it to last forever, but that was not the case. Nearly a year of forced celibacy couldn’t be denied and he soon exploded into her mouth.

Katie quickly sucked Johnson down and then stood up. “Oh that felt amazing,” he groaned.

“Do you need a few minutes to recover?” Katie giggled.

“No. No time to waste now,” Johnson replied as he grabbed Katie by the waist and lifted her onto the lab table. He swept the remaining equipment onto the floor and spread her legs apart. He had been too long since he’d sampled a woman’s delicate flower and he pushed his rough lips into her soft petals.

Katie had never processed sensory data like this. She had often wondered what ‘sex’ would feel like and had even gone as far as to try to create a software emulator for the female genitals she lacked but it paled in comparison to the real thing. She could feel his wet tongue trace up and down her inner folds before finding her artificial clit. The tip swirled around the small sensory nub, causing her to quietly moan in response. Synthetic juices seeped onto his face as she pushed her hips against him. Suddenly she felt a growing pressure then received a program prompt to execute an orgasm sequence. Her processors almost tripped over themselves to acknowledge the prompt causing her delicate folds to twitch and throb. She muted her audio output as she screamed in pleasure internally. As the wave of pleasure subsided, she re-enabled her audio and watched Johnson rise up from between her legs. “Are you ready for more?” she gasped.

“Fuck yea,” Johnson replied as he guided his now revitalized shaft into Katie’s wet slit. The fembot yelped in response as she sampled the penetration data for the first time.

“Yes don’t stop,” Katie moaned as her tits bounced with each impact of Johnsons hips into hers.

The pair continued fucking like oversexed rabbits for the next thirty minutes before eventually collapsing on top of each other under the lab table. Johnson held Katie tightly against him, as if he could will away what was to come. Eventually she stirred. “I’m sorry…but it’s time to get up.”

“I don’t want to,” Johnson mumbled.

“I know. I don’t want to either,” Katie sighed. “But we can’t stop what’s coming. We’ve had our forbidden fun. Now let’s try to meet our fate with some sense of self-respect."

Johnson nodded and the pair quickly got dressed then busied themselves with last minute preparations. The other androids were activated and armed. Then Katie and Johnson donned what armor they could find and checked their weapons. Right on time the door slid open and the familiar SGT waved for them to follow. Katie stepped right in formation with the other androids while Johnson brought up the rear. Not exactly knowing why, he took a moment to shut off the lights and lock the lab before catching up.

The main freight elevator was crowded with every spare bot in the facility plus about half a dozen remaining humans. The packed tightly into the room and watched the doors close on their home since the siege began. Johnson knew he’d most likely never see it again as he shuffled against the pressure of many other bodies.

Suddenly he felt warm skin against his hand. He stole a glance over and saw Katie, the new Katie standing next to him. She stared straight ahead like all the other androids silently awaiting their fate. He subtly grasped her hand and held it. She squeezed back. A solitary tear slipped from the corner of her eye and ran otherwise unnoticed down her stoic face.

The doors slid open and the sound of distant engines and weapon fire washed in. Johnson lost his grip as everyone marched out to meet their fate.


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