Frozen Butterfly

Flexing Wings

That evening the tests began. My concerns about being part of, if not the alpha test, for whatever process had been used to transfer mind to body only increased with my treatment.

Limited to the confines of the room, I was hooked to several IV's slowly pumping in fresh and out foul 'blood' – the process reminding me of a dialysis machine, one with a six foot tether marking the boundaries of my freedom.

The physical tests were obviously routine, something done many times and took barely half a day under Dr. Sutekina's care as he verified all my 'systems' were functioning correctly. Really it resembled a high tech medical exam more than taking a car to the mechanic like I expected.

Doctor Kechina, who's name I knew only from his employee badge took charge then. Not bothering to introduce himself he was on a clear mission, to make sure that my mind was intact, and that I was in full control of my faculties. Nothing else mattered; he had me sit there in my increasingly ratty paper gown answering question after question long into the night.

Getting him to answer a question in return was like pulling teeth. I could tell he didn't care about ME at all. To him I was obviously just an experiment a thing, even if the goal was to prove I was a person. The grilling only ended early that morning when finally he was too tired to continue. Not once did he ask me how I was doing or call me by name. Not once the entire time.

That morning I lay back to sleep, rest, enter a state of meditative regeneration, whatever. The room was just chilly enough to feel uncomfortable 2 degrees below optimum operational temperature, and it took a long time for me to just… switch off and sleep.

That afternoon I woke up. One moment unconscious, the next my attention was sharp and focused, the soft scuff of footsteps outside the door drawing my attention. I was able to sit up and smooth out my 'smock' before Doctor Sutekina stepped into the room.

I smiled a little in relief at him as he entered; he was actually looking at ME instead of regarding me like a thing. I could tell because of his blush, elevated pulse, dilation of pupils, increased respiration indicate arousal in subject. It gave me a warm feeling in my stomach and my breath caught slightly as I noticed a very… uncomfortable reaction against the rough paper of my gown.

It was nice that he was noticing me… but did he have to NOTICE me to do it? I felt like squirming in my seat, I even started to before I realized the impulse as coming from some internal program of mine, anticipated 15% greater likelihood of successful intercourse upon completion of seduction subroutines.

That was like a cold shower and I forced myself into stillness. The shock of having those kinds of instincts built in said a lot about my body's usual purpose. Still he was far more understanding and personable than Dr. Kechina had been last evening and I decided to put that vulnerability to use.

"I don't suppose you've got anything else to wear, a girl could get the wrong idea dressed like this and you wanting to play doctor." It was with my wry smile that I finally got something real to wear – it only took one unintentional fumbled attempt at flirtatious humor to send him packing in that regard. I guess once you realize the curvy body in front of you is no longer an inanimate bit of clay you can't go back to indifference in the face of a paper hospital gown.

"I'm sorry," his eyes darting up at me and back to the floor as he spoke, tongue running nervously across his lips. "I didn't realize you hadn't well, I'll be, right back." And he practically fled.

Frankly it was a relief to have a few moments to myself to come to terms with the encounter and my response to it. He wasn't even that attractive, and even if I swung that way he was just about the last man I could have seen myself attracted to. I just wasn't wired like that… or was I, now. Either way I would have to keep a close eye on my instincts from now on.

When he returned with a coverall I was grateful to slip into it, and out of my now tattered paper gown. Unfortunately with him standing there, back turned I didn't have a chance to look myself over and soon found myself once more caught up in an interview.

While he was clearly under the same marching orders as Dr. Kechina to validate my mental condition at least Dr. Sutekina tried to give the impression that this really had been done for my benefit and answered my questions in turn.

He explained how to open and use the data ports along my arm and that the buzzing in my head was the wireless connection they were using to monitor me. At first I wasn't sure what he was talking about, until I realized he didn't know himself. It wasn't really a buzzing at all, more of a feeling of exposure, like my clothes were too thin light shining through to warm my skin only in my mind.

It became more obvious that I was being kept from the outside world when I talked them or rather Dr. Sutekina into providing me a computer with an internet connection – to keep from going stir crazy with boredom. The access was highly regulated.

It opened on a company webpage, Genom "Building a better world". Recognizing the logo from the equipment around me I spent a few minutes reviewing the site and was… appalled, and amazed. They actually listed their company's profit's and employee numbers in relation to countries and came out in the top ten!

Beyond that they had a monopoly on cyberdroid production, the site proudly listing the models and utility of each. When my search on my own particular model came up with zero hits on their homepage and other sites I tried came back blocked it was another sign not all was right.

Persevering I did learn a few interesting tidbits reading between the lines. The future was "bigger and better than ever." I was in Tokyo, now MegaTokyo, cyberdroids also known as Boomers were common and had taken over many menial and construction jobs leading to major societal changes. And of personal concern with every failed search I ran adding to it, Boomer's did not have any rights.

I guess it was understandable given the number of Skynet incidents they seemed to have. Instances of boomers going rogue were almost too easy to find. That might help explain their repeated and unending tests of my mental stability but I felt it went deeper.

As night fell, or at least as the lights were turned down that second night I finally had a little solitude. I couldn't help the urge to check – it was really my first chance at privacy. Hanging a sheet up in front of the camera I quickly stripped out of the coverall Sutekina had found me. It had the Genom logo stamped on the back and front pocket, but otherwise was shapeless as a bag. I on the other hand was anatomically correct. I could feel the blush tingeing my cheeks even from just learning that much.

Saying I was anatomically correct was an understatement, whoever designed me was a real over achiever – I was a natural blond. Every detail was perfect, from random blemishes to sweat glands. After a confusing few minutes that mixed embarrassment and amusement as I 'felt myself up' I quickly slipped back into the coverall. My body might be willing, even warm to the thought but my mind wanted to find a dark safe place to hide. At least I mostly knew what I looked like now.

Pulling the sheet back down I lay on the bed using it as another barrier to hide from myself, starting to giggle a bit at the absurdity. I was nervous seeing myself and oddly glad there wasn't a mirror. Trying to think healthy thoughts, heck any thoughts other than where the gentle pleasant hum from my body seemed to originate I quickly discovered – remembered? – my serial number 27-33-S-4M83R.

Fixing upon it as a distraction I turned to the computer to try looking it up. While I didn't find myself registered anywhere, not even in the official government licensing database in spending so much time looking I did find the regulations on the structure of the code. Mine indicated my body was produced in 2027 – more than four years ago. A quick check against my 'elapsed runtime' indicated only a week more than the 24 hours I could remember since first waking up. The majority of that time stamped for organics regeneration. Why had I been in storage that long… and why wasn't my body registered with the government?

As I lay back trying to sleep and let the biological components of my body rest my awareness seemed to shrink down, sharpen and fuzz at the same time. The outside world fading from concern as I considered that this really was the first time 'I' had been in anything other than a storage cocoon, how should I feel about being me? There were no helpful prompts on this subject.

Unfortunately I still hadn't made up my mind by the time the lights came up in the morning. I blinked myself out of 'slow time' and felt full consciousness return. I didn't have to wait very long until Doctor Sutekina came in to wish me a good morning, carrying with him a small bag and a bottle of soda.

Raising an artful eyebrow at the oddity he read the question without my having to ask. "A gift, after um, well I just thought you might appreciate some real food, and this is" his face turning red I had an idea long before he finished trying to avoid answering. 88% probability contents of bag relate to intimate apparel. "to make up for forgetting that we didn't… For later." He finished the sentence off with a little bow not meeting my eyes.

I was all smiles as I greedily took bag and bottle from him. A discrete glance proved my guess correct and so I set it aside. No matter that my pulse quickened at the thought I wasn't about to strip in front of him just to put on some underwear.

Luckily the bottle of coke gave me an out. From the first sip I realized how much I had missed food. Sure I might not need it, but the sweet taste of carbon and tangy sugar were delicious on my tongue. Real food just felt so much… better than depending on the nutrient rich saline fluid hooked to my arm. "Doctor, could I have another?"

Shaking his head with a smile he replied, "No, you can't, it will rot your teeth." His teasing tone relieving the tension for us both.

Cradling the bottle as I savored the last few drops on my tongue I let out a soft sigh subject respiration and eye dilation confirm increasing arousal and awareness of proximity "Well, fine, but you better not try holding out on me at lunch time."

Shifting a little closer purely to enjoy the signs of discomfort and arousal I could cause with just that small move I had more questions to ask him about myself. "Why can't I find any records for myself online, I mean, sure I'm an outdated model but shouldn't there be something there?" I left unspoken the question about why they would use a five year old design for what seemed in all other ways to be a cutting edge procedure.

Dr. Sutekina walked over to check the interface computer that monitors my systems, glancing at his shoes again before pulling up a few standard screens without really looking at them. Subject behavior indicates discomfort with topic 67% probability, implementation of deception 47% probability. "Well, your model is very physically accurate, built for housekeeping duties but, I'm sure you realize it's too expensive for general use… there just wasn't enough demand to keep it in production."

"So, that made it nearly perfect for these tests then." My voice dropping down to a cooler tone one I associated privately for naughty young children and telemarketers. "I mean, you had an unsold surplus and why build a new body when you weren't even sure your first test run would work?"

I saw the flinch and slight hunching of his shoulders at the accusation. While he was still sputtering, trying to think of something anything to say to appease me the door to my room opened again. Dr. Kechina stepped inside, to rescue, or just to keep Sutekina from saying anything further I wondered. "Sutekina, quit wasting time, we have work to do." And gesturing imperiously for his colleague to follow he was gone without giving so much as a glance in my direction.

On his way to the door Sutekina gave me an apologetic smile and lame excuse, "We just didn't want to cause you any undue stress, or make you worry that things weren't alright…" But his smile fell as I just watched him go with a small shake of my head – he could read the disappointment in my eyes. Subject exhibiting guilt and shame 88%.

The day's testing continued fifteen minutes later and from the growing excitement in their reactions, even Kechina, it became obvious that 'downloading' my mind had been successful. I was both stable and sentient – the latter proven to my own satisfaction by a growing irritability at being asked the same questions over and over again. Surely the slow torturous death I imagined giving Dr. Kechina would have tripped some kind of failsafe otherwise.

The day came to an end, as my mood darkened apace with what I could only presume was happening in the sky outside. The sky I still hadn't been allowed to go see with my own new eyes. It was a relief to see the last of them, Sutekina walking with pride filled steps at his accomplishment out the door. Kechina not even bothering with a goodnight, for all that he was playing Frankenstein he didn't seem to realize that success meant he had succeeded in bringing back a REAL person.

Dragging the desk with my borrowed computer over to the edge of the bed I flopped down on my belly, doing my best to ignore the sheets beneath my breasts, intentionally ignoring the fabric beneath my fingers so I wouldn't have the thread count popping up in my mind interrupting my thoughts. Pulling away from my strangely over sensitive physical senses; ones that told me too much about the world, too precisely.

Instead I focused irritably on the computer in front of me hoping that tonight maybe I would find something entertaining or at least useful. As I was zoning out I almost didn't realize I wasn't typing when the browser opened, or that I could 'see' the webpage before it loaded on the screen.

I let out a gasp blinking rapidly as realization hit and I missed a packet my connection to the computer dropping as my connection protocol failed but now could feel it, a standard communications test signal waiting for me to reconnect, a rippling pool of water just waiting for me to reach my arm down into its cool depths, this time under my control and at my discretion.

A smile coming to my face I closed my eyes and just rested my head on the lumpy pillow, feeling the rough 100 thread count sheet against my cheek and focusing on that connection. It was surprisingly easy before it got complicated. At first it was as simple to use as could be. I just had to focus my thoughts and push. I 'asked' for what I wanted to mentally 'browse' reaching some of the familiar sites I had been to before – only when I tried to find something new did I run into a problem, and realize I was only reaching part way.

I was wandering through the local computer's memory and not my own. It was all right here for the taking, but to reach the internet, the freedom and knowledge I really wanted to see, for that I had to pass another test, another odd little string of challenge and response before I found myself immersed in a mental maze, overwhelmed by the vast emptiness while simultaneously becoming immersed in too much information.

If anyone ever asks, the internet is not like the matrix, and navigating it isn't as simple as walking down a street. You need specifics, you need to know exactly where you want to go, and a URL is just the beginning. There are paths, trunks, codes, permissions, endless loops of computerized bureaucracy keeping everything in order and the slightest mistake turns everything into turbulent heat and hashed data.

I must have seemed incredibly out of date to the other hardware I contacted. My responses ungoverned by standard automated processes or stored procedures – rather each choice made intentionally as it occurred after a pause to think it over first.

Still the freedom was incredible and I can only guess how regular hackers, limited by their typing speed, programs and memorized knowledge of system architecture would go green with envy at my ability, necessity even, to choose between a hundred different paths and options on how to get from one computer to another.

It was that freedom of choice that made me realize just how badly the computer's regular access to the world outside had been cut. Access that now was no longer denied me.

I lost myself in my newfound freedom, regaining all those things I had lost, tracking down the history and present.

I really had died in a senseless accident, and the cryogenics' company really had been bought up by Genom. That was easy to learn, just public searches using the massive specialized search engines and following the automated pathway's to information they provided. My sister was still teaching school in America, her kids all grown up and moved out. I found a few traces of friends here and there but hesitated before trying to contact them. I was dead, and not sure if coming back into their lives would hurt or help, much less be believed.

But that was the past, I needed to know more about now, about myself, and my rights. It wasn't hard but took patience as I searched for, found, and wormed my way into government computer systems.

There were no laws about people being brought back to life I guess it just hadn't become an issue yet. The closest I could find to my situation were laws on "boomeroids" they stated that if you were more than 70% replacement parts you lost your human rights – not a good sign given my situation. Even the movement's for change that wanted to grant full rights to 'sentient' boomers were treated as radical liberals by the media and society as far as I could tell. Like PETA lobbying for animals to be persons not property.

A quick check showed the movement had so far failed miserably, that didn't give my hopes a boost.

I was still wandering around when it hit me. I was a hacker, and not just small time, but in the major leagues. I was in the heart of MegaTokyo's government mainframe and other than finding it I hadn't even realized how easy it had been to get past their security.

Backtracking a little I tried some other paths, the high traffic ones that public search engines used. They all required authentication – I even watched another computer slowly working its way through, probing one path then the next trying to get deeper only to be stopped at one of those firewalls I had almost instinctively bypassed.

On a whim I sent a ping to that computer from within the system. "Have you tried this?" and appended the path to the backdoor I had inadvertently used. My guess that they were a hacker was confirmed when after almost a minute and a half of no activity I saw their path change and a response sent to the node I had transmitted from.

"Thanks, who are you?"

A lot of possible responses ran through my mind at that, my name, a friend, the various handles I had used in the past, but after another moment of though only one answer really seemed to fit. "Galatea 3.0" I answered then because I couldn't help it I asked, "Would you like to play a game?"

Sure the classic reference would almost have to go over the head of anyone who wasn't too old to fit my mental picture of a hacker and whoever this was they were no exception.

"Ah, maybe… what kind of game were you thinking of?"

I grinned to myself with even as I responded, tracking their web presence back along the path they were using, even as we continued to leave our messages for one another in the heart of the government's network. "How about Tic Tac Toe, or maybe Global Thermonuclear War?"

"Oh come on, now you're just messing with me," came the response. "How did you know I was trying to find a way in?"

Having trailed their signal back I found my final step blocked, unlike the myriad options of the web there was only one path left and this one required a mind bending twist of logic to follow that was beyond me. Brow mentally furrowed in thought I waited a little too long to answer and suddenly they were gone, the path I had seen glowing with activity in my mind's eye now dark and lost.

It was only that link to the outside world that kept me sane as I woke up the next morning to a new battery of tests. Now that they knew I was 'stable' and had free will Dr. Sutekina's next trick was to make sure I was really complete.

Sitting on the edge of my bed, bored out of my mind in the lull between questions about the past I idly reached out with my new sense and realized that another rippling pool was available to me, one that hadn't been shut down along with my PC this morning. Probably looking a little like a loon, I grinned my mind following that ephemeral trail along my diagnostic connection and out into the building's mainframe and the world beyond.

I always used to pride myself on being able to multitask well. That was nothing compared to this. I found I could literally split my attention in half, one part of me focused fully on answering question after question about my personal history the other half doing my own thing, and each being given my 'full' concentration at the same time.

Memory is odd. When they asked about anything since my 'revival' it was incredibly easy to recall, everything in it's place, organized. I could recollect it instantly, totally but not as I expected photographically. I only could see things in as great a detail as I had paid attention to at the time each memory was made. I could recreate the first conversation Dr. Sutekina had with me, study every little expression on his face, but the room was mostly a blur, and even though I had 'seen' his clipboard it was nothing but gibberish to my memory. Now I take a moment to really pay attention to things, to fix them in mind so if I want to think about them later I can.

It was the other questions, about my cats, my house, a car, a meal that were trickier. I couldn't just instantly remember what it was I wanted, I had to stop and think about it. To remember how I got my cats took a long circuitous route through memories of what they looked like, then the trip home with them crawling through the car, a fuzzy image of one climbing on the steering column and while I know I got one for free as long as I took her sister I couldn't remember being told that by the clerk, only telling the story of it.

That's why I've decided that as good as human memory can be, it's also crap. Sure once I latch onto a specific memory I could find it again instantly, focus it more and slowly build it up but always they were hazy, hard to focus, and random as what could be remembered differed depending on which trip down memory lane I took to find it.

The wireless diagnostic connection remained my lifeline to freedom. Even while they questioned me I could escape the repetition and boredom.

I floated in the limitless depths of the web like some kind of jellyfish trolling for data, or a butterfly held aloft on a warm breeze fluttering aimlessly from this server to that.

The first web 3.2 site I personally accessed and its advertising took me by surprise. I was caught, that damn hamburger jingle showing me true horror as I fought for more than an hour to get it to stop repeating in my head, damn viral advertising… but I was there, on the web at last and damned if I wouldn't keep using it.

Whatever they were doing here at Genom it was new. While the cryogenics industry was still alive and kicking, that’s all it was, no one I could find had ever been brought back to life, and no corporation even had recorded an attempt. That made the day's tests more interesting, but also made me realize just how precarious my situation was. No one had done this before me, and without legal rights I had no say in what might be done to me.

I continued to answer questions about my past, slowly piecing together a better and better picture of my life. I re-sorted my memories as I went, my attention split giving the process an air of detachment.

That's when I made an uncomfortable discovery. I should have already pieced it together but maybe I hadn't wanted to. The 33-S is not a domestic design. At least not the kind I had been told it was. They might have been employed as maids, but only as a socially acceptable cover not by design. I was a sexaroid, my body designed by men, for men, for all those things that they wanted but couldn't find a willing woman for.

That discovery was bad enough. Digging deeper while I answered a stupid question about old video games Dr. Kechina was asking I realized that my 'model' had a long history of 'instability'. Imagine that, people being systematically abused by design had a history of going 'rogue' and whenever possible escaping or hurting their 'owners?'

It didn't come as a great surprise to learn that the model had been outlawed, recalled, and most important from my point of view police given automatic destroy on sight authorization in most countries around the world. There was a silver lining however. Despite the blanket authorizations to kill me, I would be impossible to distinguish as a boomer or even a boomeroid by sight. It would take diagnostic equipment to tell me apart from a regular, much less an enhanced human.

I couldn't quite keep the glare off my face at the thought of what all my sisters must have gone through, giving the next meaningless question from the doctor a snarl, wondering just why he had chosen the body he had. As my mind took a dark turn down that path the next unpleasant discovery made itself known. I could feel it now, recognize the warmth in my loins, pulse quickening, eyes dilating, nipples… well you get the idea. My body was designed to be used, and worse obviously still had some kind of automatic responses to 'cultivate' that type of behavior.

Wrenching myself out of a looping spiral of thought, and physical response I dropped my connection to the web and managed, barely, to focus enough on the inane strategy behind beating Super Mario Brothers to get 'things' under control, ignoring the inner voice that told me subject response to pheromone secretion positive, likelihood proposition would be accepted 84%.

His constant questions and tests began to make more sense. Even the original comment about free will. If the others had had a mind like mine, and a will chained only by a loyalty or slave program they undoubtedly would have worked out ways around it just as quickly as I was working my way into and around the world wide web.

It was a relief when after another few minutes of short irritated responses he took the hint and left me alone, slipping back out the door to give me time to cool off. Forgoing even the effort of pretending to be interested in the computer now I just threw myself onto the bed and pulled the sheets up over my head. Suspicious as hell, erratic as hell maybe but I was too upset to care.

Diving back into the web I tried to lose myself in its random paths but even failed at that. My mind bringing me to file after file of information on boomers, article after article about the 33-S from its early rave reviews to the later fear mongering that shut the model down.

An hour later he interrupted my sulk with lunch. Not a real one, but he did bring me a melon soda and I accepted his peace token as we started again to test the limits of my memory. This time he answered a few of the questions I gave him, taking turns instead of the straight interrogation of earlier. It was nice even if…subject exhibiting courting behavior, attempting to build trust, likelihood desiring physical congress 76%. I just let myself sigh and steered the conversation to remind him I used to be a man and that seemed to work at discouraging both subtle advances and inner voice for a while.

I found the world to be fascinating. I always wondered as I grew up what the future would hold, and here it was. Not quite shiny clean white or dark gothic black as had been predicted at the turn of the millennium but a more grungy cyberpunk mix of high tech and low violence predicted in the 80's. Cutting edge wonder and crumbling infrastructure even language blending together the whole world a melting pot. It was near perfectly predicted by Blade Runner years and years ago.

With that I decided to follow the example of Pris Roy and the Replicants. I had to escape, it was the only answer, the sooner the better, and with that new goal in mind I stopped wandering at random and started trying to figure out just where I was. Not Genom Tower thankfully, I had seen that megalith in pictures on the web, and if in there I would give up, that place was an artificial mountain and I doubt I could have found my way out even if I was given the chance to go freely.

Actually searching 'local' information the lab I was in didn't publicly exist, and it didn't have a street address but I was able to learn quite a bit about the layout. It wasn't by finding blueprints but through carefully tracing internal network connections.

A lot of my information came through deduction. It had another room hooked up like the one I was currently in, unoccupied the systems there powered off, and three other rooms in use. I suspected they were offices for the doctors here from the differing set up. You might think it would be easy, once inside a network to control it. Take my word for this, it's not. Once inside a system it expects you to belong, there's nothing a computer likes less than programs sending out unauthorized commands to its own hard drives without knowing where they come from. It's far easier to mistakenly transmit gibberish than the proper code to control something once you leave the realm of information intended for human consumption and comprehension.

MacAfee must also have come a long way because as I tried to get control of the camera's I was booted entirely, a prickly uncomfortable feeling beneath my skin, like the tingle of a limb that's fallen asleep waking back up, only across my entire body all at once. I guess claiming supper hacker status was a bit premature. Still I could get just about anywhere, it was 'writing' data not reading it that was the problem. Still figuring out how to hack security was my best lead on how to get out. So, I went looking for the only 'real' hacker I knew.

In the meantime I played possum with the doctors, going so far as to help out eagerly with their tests, watching closely for what worked to make them at ease and let down their guard around me. To my disgust it seemed mostly to consist of letting my body's 'natural' reactions free reign. A little shift here, running fingers through my hair there, and always that little quiet internal voice evaluating my success.

I was learning almost as much from them as they must have from me. It was impressive just how good a job they had done in subverting all of the intentional safeguards built into the 33-S class of boomer, and more, securing it from external tampering.

They told me it was the last test for the day. To make sure I couldn't be hacked and lose my independence. This last effort began when they brought in a new guy, who was instructed to try and hack my mind both wirelessly and wired. He grinned at me lecherously not seeing a person at all. Not that he should, they didn't tell him that part.

I just smiled back cheerfully not letting on that I had heard that Bastard Kechina through the door letting him know if he succeeded he could do whatever he wanted with me and it didn't take much imagination to guess why the nerd was so motivated. Unfortunately seeing the naked desire in his eyes made me squirm in my seat, the feelings of arousal they sparked hard to tamp down as they grew in synch with his own obvious interest.

His wireless attempt wasn't so bad, it just gave me a slight headache and the feeling of a bone numbing rain inside my skull until I figured out how to simply shut down my receivers. From the fit he threw apparently I shouldn't have been able to do that, cutting off his attempt prematurely. His obvious frustration physical and mental was a balm to my soul.

Then he handed me a cable. "Here, connect this to your maintenance jack." I hesitated a moment. It should give him direct access to my mind, that jack was designed to bypass my native security and give root user access. It was with a nervous swallow that I did as I was told, the only thing worse than this would be getting strapped down for refusing and to be helpless for this test.

This time the feeling skipped the rain and went straight to 20,000 leagues under the sea. It felt like I had been immersed in ice water with an intense pressure pushing down around me making it hard to move, to think. I let out a low string of curses in English that only brought a smile to the hackers face as an unwelcome warm itch that couldn't be scratched bloomed inside my mind.

For a moment it seemed like all the work I had done familiarizing myself with just how to move, was gone. Clenching my fist once more required very specific attention, a once reflexive action lost and probably the only reason lover boy kept his teeth. It was an eternity before he finally threw up his hands in frustration and the pain in my mind fell back to a dull throb my body shivering in sympathetic response to the feelings within.

I could hardly focus on what was happening outside of the hacker and my desire to truly clean his clock. I was only able to tamp down my violent thoughts through a very deliberate act of will.

"It's no good, or too good, it shut me out on the wireless almost instantly. I mean, sure it responded to the link just like it was supposed to, even exchanging the first verifications, connecting past the point where it should be impossible for it to voluntarily break contact but then suddenly it just stopped communicating, it was like I hit a brick wall. I had to check to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with my hardware it was so sudden. "

The pervert went on enthusiastically, and was almost excited enough about how amazing I was that realizing he had more than just physical desire towards combined with my own physical reactions I almost forgave him for calling me an it and the pain but…

I felt my body shudder, a reset of some kind and all my learned responses were back, somehow my nervous system having rebooted while he went on oblivious about how close he came to being kissed or killed, depending on the dominance of body or mind if I had reached that moment of action.

"What's really impressive is what you've done with internal security from the hardline side. I had direct control over the body for almost five seconds. Then the overrides just stopped being effective. Did you put in some kind of smart system to oversee the physical side just in case? Anyway so once I realize that's a no go it's on to memory erasure and system uploads, but neither worked. It was like trying to hack a system that didn't share the same OS. I hope you will give me it's spec's so I can give it another try, but I don't think anyone could hack that on the fly, especially without knowing what they're getting into."

Rubbing my arms just to be sure I still could I stayed quiet, swallowing as I realized just how close I had come to death again. He wasn't, he didn't, my mind boggled as I realized they hadn't even told their hacker I was a sentient or that if he had succeeded it would have been murder, though maybe from their perspective it wouldn't have been.

"Well yes, of course, I'm glad to see our adjustments are working properly, are you certain you don't just need more time working or would you definitely require more information to succeed?" Receiving a shake of the head Doctor Kechina let out a satisfied smile before quickly ushering the young programmer out leaving me alone to ponder the implications of his cutting off the testing at that point.

Lying in bed that evening I made up my mind, everything I learned made me decide that Genom was a shady company, and that it was unlikely any 'prototype' as I found myself in the uncomfortable position of being was likely to see the light of day. Even if they weren't some kind of evil megacorp from the comics in my youth, ready burn down a lab to conceal that anything had ever occurred here after offing me in a molten pool of steel, I needed to take action soon, before they took it for me. It seemed likely that they were coming to the end of the nice tests they could run, and once they started in on the unpleasant one's they would be prepared for me to try and run.

The first step was learning how to hack, or maybe better, getting someone else to do it for me. Slipping into the web once more I went searching for my hacker friend, acquaintance? In any case they weren't too hard to find, and soon I was waiting just outside that final connection and pondering what message to send.

Finally I settled for the truth. "Hi, it's Galatea, I need your help"

I knew when they noticed the message because all other traffic through their encrypted portal to the web stopped cold for a good 30 seconds, while I kept my fingers crossed that they wouldn't just go.

I knew my gamble paid off when I finally did get a reply. "As long as you don't want to play Global Thermonuclear war, I live on Earth, all my stuff is here."

Letting out a breath I didn't realize I had been holding since I started in the real world I just went for as much of the truth as I thought they would believe. "I'm trapped in a lab and need help getting out. I can't hack the security by hand… do you have something that would help?" I wasn't quite sure how they would take that admission but it wasn't as bad as it could have been or as good. They didn't offer to do it themselves but…

"Well, I could give you something that should crash everything, if you can get it inside, do you have the system specs or anything more I can go on?"

"Yes" I quickly responded, and included more than a little of the technical and version information I had found while wander the system and transmitting it across.

"This is great. I can have something ready by tomorrow night. Is that soon enough?"

"No, noon at the latest, please I'll owe you one."

"Okay, it’s a deal." And just like my first steps towards freedom were complete.

Under the guise of getting a fresh set of clothing I continued developing my plans. I didn't know who would leave the complex but I was certain I could convince doctor Sutekina to get me at least one other outfit to wear. That morning after he shared a soda with me, I asked him about it.

"Doctor?" I said, stepping close and giving in to the little hints and suggestions of my subconscious programing. Intruding into his personal space as I pulled at the materiel of my jumpsuit, drawing his attention down to my perfectly manufactured breasts as I let go and let the material limply fall back drawing his eye with it. "Do you think you could get me something else to wear? This outfit is nice but…" I repeated the process this time drawing his attention to my hips by tugging at the waist, "It's getting kind of worn and boring. I would really like something else to wear." I stepped just a tiny bit closer to him then, so that my warm breath would be barely perceptible against his neck following internal prompting that felt natural, knowing just what to do next to wrap him around my little finger. Pheromone dispersal complete, time to maximum effect 24 seconds.

Consciously thinking about it I could hardly believe it was possible anyone would fall for it, could be that easy to manipulate. Something inside me knew better though, knew that this close his mind would be fogged by the pheromone's I had just started producing and that the bare hope of my approval would get him moving.

As he nodded an eager yes, suddenly in a hurry to go I took his hand in mine, counting his pulse against my fingertips, measuring its rate of increase and finding it just right whispered in a throaty voice, "Thank you very much, I can hardly wait for you to get back." and guided him to the door. As it closed I quickly slipped back into the computer network, paying close attention to the changes in the electronic security, which doors had to open and in what order. It was a nervous ten minutes before I was certain I had succeeded and convinced him to go shopping right away.

It took only a little more than fifteen minutes to meet up once more with my hacker friend and prepare the ‘package’ they gave me for activation once it was time to go. It should give me fifteen minutes but I hoped that would be enough to at least get clear of the building.

I stayed connected for the hour and a half it took the doctor to return. Tweaking my plan, memorizing maps of the city and worming my way to the heart of the security system though truth be told, I didn't know enough about programing to know if where I released the virus would mater. It was set up so that once I copied it over to the system all it would do is repeat the previous day’s readings while leaving all doors unlocked and cameras not recording. I just hoped that would be enough.

It was odd, I was a machine, shouldn’t that mean my heart wouldn’t race, I wouldn’t hear a rushing in my ears as the moment of truth approached? I could hear footsteps in the hall as the world dimmed, each step seeming to take longer than the last until finally Doctor Sutekina opened the door to my room with to my vast relief, a bag of cloths in hand.

Not questioning my body's instincts for a moment I was on him before the door had a chance to shut, disengaging from the computer network with but a thought as I set the virus in motion.

"Doctor, what did you get me?" I asked, in a too perky tone of voice stepping close and leaning against his arm and reaching for the bag. My voice seemed lower but the feel of his body against mine was too distracting in a way I wished were unfathomable to give my voice much notice. It wasn’t disturbing; actually I had enough time to consider the fact that I would have felt better if it were because in those endless seconds I realized that I liked the sensation.

Of course he had it far worse, his instinctive breath taking in another deep whiff of pheromones and feeling an attractive woman pushing herself against him was likely outside of his normal comfort zone so when I turned reaching for the bag into a grapple he was taken completely by surprise. A quick jerk driving his head down to meet my rising knee and he was falling almost slowly towards the floor as I snatched the bag from midair.

In a rush sound seemed to roar back into my ears, the world growing bright as he bounced once and I caught the closing door with my foot. Sticking the bag in the doorjamb I laid the doctor out, frisking him quickly and taking his keycard, wallet, his watch. I might be able to fence it for something, and finally his lab coat.

I felt the pulse at his neck watching his chest rise and fall something inside doing calculations instinctively, subject unconscious, recovery uncertain, minimum estimate for consciousness 15 minutes, +- 10. Pulling on the coat I picked up the bag of cloths pocketed the billfold and stepped out into the hall for the first time since I was reborn. Maybe if the virus failed and someone was watching on a security camera the lab coat would be enough to keep them from paying attention and I didn't want to lose time changing into my new, hopefully anonymous, clothing or risk it getting caught on camera.

Determination in my stride I took my first steps towards freedom.

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