PACD Part 1
Work has been grueling these last few weeks. The team and I have been working double, sometimes triple shifts just to get this project underway. But all that hard work paid off, and now our advanced AI program is almost ready to launch. Just a little more fine-tuning and we’ll be able to manufacture a droid with near superhuman intelligence. A sapient being capable of not only feeling emotion but independent abstract thought.
Too bad I won’t be able to see the fruits of my labor for at least the next couple of years. Our development team has only just started working on a mainframe that will be able to support the program. Still, I think my team and I have more than earned a little R and R.
Dressed in my comfy robe and slippers, I plop on the sofa and begin tapping away at the holo-vid screen. Hmm, maybe an old classic from the 21st century? I’ll put on a light-hearted comedy, synthesize some popcorn, a glass of wine, and-
A metallic tapping at my door jolts me from my thoughts. Finding it strange that whoever it was didn’t announce themselves on the com, I pull up the security feed to see who my guest could be. To my surprise, it’s a droid. A humanoid, male assistance droid to be exact. His metal plating is painted such a bright white it nearly glows on my screen. His eyes glow a vivid blue as he smiles and waves at the security camera.
Curious, and just a tad annoyed, I get up from my comfy nest on the sofa and slide open my front door, “Yes? Can I help you?”
“Funny, I’m supposed to ask you that,” the droid tells me as he smiles down at me. I had no idea they built these things so tall! A few more inches and he would have to duck to come through my door.
“I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong room.”
He blinks those glowing eyes at me and his smile broadens, “Dr. Wezhullz warned me that you would respond in such a manner. You are very cute, Doctor.”
My jaw nearly hits the floor as I gawk at him. Did this droid just call me cute?
“I’m sorry, what now?”
“You are very apologetic. Why is that? You have not malfunctioned as far as I have been able to analyze. Do you feel guilt for some reason? Would you like to talk to me about it? I have been programmed to be a wonderful listener.”
Picking my jaw off the floor, I take a quick glance around the droid to see if any of my colleges are snickering in hiding, “Did Dr.Wezhullz put you up to this?”
The droid tilts his head towards me so that we are now eye-to-eye, “If by ‘put up’ you mean that he sent me then yes.”
Crossing my arms over my chest, I glare up at the droid and ask him why my boss thought it was necessary to send him to my door.
“Dr. Wezhullz wanted to acknowledge all of the hard work you did on the new AI program. He is aware of the long hours you put into the project and was worried that you may have overstressed yourself. He sent me to help tend to your needs so that you may better relax. As the only human on the-”
I shove my hand in the droid’s face and push, creating some much-needed distance between us, “Oh, I get it now. Since I’m the only human here he’s worried I’ll break under the pressure huh? Just because I’m not cybernetic or have an exoskeleton doesn’t mean I’m the weak link here! I’ve earned my place on this team! I may look soft but that doesn’t mean I need to be babied! Hell, I’m surprised he didn’t make some crack about me being the only woman!”
I feel the droid smile into my palm as his eerie blue eyes drop from mine and begin to leisurely look me over. His attention seems to focus on my lips as I rant at him, then his gaze slowly travels south until he is blatantly staring at my chest. I follow his gaze and see that my robe had shifted open, giving the droid a good look at my cleavage. I quickly remove my hand from his face and use it to close up my robe. The droid responded by innocently smiling at me, his gaze now directed back to my face.
“I doubt the knowledge of you being female is enough to make Dr. Wezhullz crack. He has a very strong exoskeleton. And you do look very soft, Doctor. And you are so small and squishy. It is no wonder he worries. But now he and you can put your worries aside. I am here to take care of you.”
My cheeks are burning by this point. Who the hell programmed this guy? I rub my palms into my eyes, trying to will this nightmare away, “Great. Just fucking great. Wezhullz could have sent me some credits. Hell, even a basket of mini-muffins, but no! No, he has to send me Robo-Nanny!”
The droid chuckles at me, his laugh sounding slightly like radio static, “Silly Doctor, my name is not Robo-Nanny. I am called PACD.”
I have to cock a brow at that, “Packed?”
He straightens his posture and with a great deal of pride tells me, “Yes, PACD. Personal Assistant Companion Droid. Numeric one in fact. I am the first in hopefully a long line of PACDs.”
“First? Then you are a prototype? What company did you originate from? Who is responsible for your programming?”
“I am PACD-1, prototype one of the personal assistance and companion droids designed by Wezhullz Industries. I utilize the newly developed FWAI program created by you, Doctor.”
Did he just- That can’t be right. We just finished working on that program! He couldn’t possibly-
“Wait, wait, wait! You’re running on my AI program? The one we just now put into testing?”
He smiles brightly at me, like a struggling student bringing home an A+ report card, “Yes. This unit was designed for the purpose of testing your Free Will Artificial Intelligence program.” His smile then turns a little crooked as he leans his face towards mine again and asks, “Is it great?”
I glare up at him, refusing to show just how much his apparent lack of knowledge concerning personal space bothered me, “That a droid with an untested AI is standing at my front door? No, PACD, it is not great.”
He lets out another static-like chuckle, his breath oddly warm on my skin, “Silly Doctor, that was not what I was referring to.”
My eyes narrow further as I stare up at this strange droid and ask, “Then what-”
I nearly trip on my door frame at that, “E-excuse me?”
“A moment ago you said fucking was great. I was wanting to know if that was so. I have heard from other organics that it is very enjoyable, but I have not yet experienced it myself. Would you be willing to teach me, Doctor?”
This can’t be real. This has got to be a prank. That, or I’m hallucinating from severe exhaustion.
Seeing that this PACD is staring at my breast again, I clutch my robe tighter across my chest as I take a step back from him,“Oh my God... my boss sent me a sex-bot.”
“Not a sex-bot, Doctor. I am PACD, a personal assist-”
Hearing the sound of one of my neighbor's doors hissing open, I panic and grab the droid by the hand and yank him inside. “Whatever! J-just get inside before my neighbor really think I’ve gone off the deep end.” With a quick swipe of my key-card the door hisses closed and bolts in place.
Still, with that unnerving smile, PACD looks over my apartment. It’s small and minimalistic, as I just use it to shower and sleep anyway. Work keeps me so busy that I never have time to think about decorating. Hell, I’m still living out of boxes from when I moved in six months ago.
“You have a very lovely home, Doctor. May we proceed to fucking now?” the droid asks, rubbing soothing circles on the back of my hand with his thumb. He seems to be fascinated with the texture of my skin.
I gently pull my hand away, and for the first time I see the droid frown slightly before innocently smiling up at me again, “No PACD, we will not be... we won’t be doing that.”
He tilts his head to the side and asks, “Is there any way I can assist you then, Doctor? I am here to take care of you after all. I would like to be of service.”
I rub the back of my hand against my robe to try to relieve myself of the tickling sensation he left there, “D-do you... do you know how to make popcorn?”
“Of course, Doctor. Please relax and I will bring it to you shortly.”
I sit on the sofa and begin hunting for a movie once more as I listen to the droid humming happily away in the kitchen.
“Would you like a glass of wine, Doctor?”
I could use the bottle after everything today, “Yes PACD, that would be wonderful.”
Settling for the news, I lay back against the cushions and try to relax, not really paying attention to the Jupiter weather report. PACD is at my side a moment later, a steaming bowl of buttery goodness in one hand and a full glass of red in the other. I take the glass of wine from him and sip it while he sets the popcorn down on the coffee table next to me. He then kneels down next to me and begins to massage my feet.
“PACD...wh-what are you doing?”
He doesn’t stop gently kneading into the arch of my foot as he tells me, “Helping you to relax. I believe many organics find this form of touch therapeutic. Do you wish for me to stop, Doctor?”
“N-no, that’s alright. It actually feels very nice.”
His smile goes crooked again as he looks up at me and says, “Thank you, Doctor. Lovely legs such as these deserve proper attention.”
I nearly choke on my last sip of wine, “W-what did you say?”
“Thank you, Doc-”
“No, about my legs. Why did you say my legs are lovely?”
His smile broadens as he begins to massage my calf, “I said they are lovely because they are. You are a very beautiful woman, Doctor. You deserve to be treated with the up-most care.”
I kick my leg from his grasp and scoot further into the couch, “Y-you can’t mean that. Have you ever seen another woman before me?”
His eyes blink at his empty hands before looking up at me with a confused expression, “Of course, Doctor. I took the liberty of downloading your web history before coming to see you. I have seen both male and female humans alike, as well as a few of the other beings this universe has to offer. I have found you the most desirable of all that I have seen.”
“D-desirable? PACD, you’re a droid. You can’t feel anything like... you can’t possibly-”
He cocks his head at me, that unsettling innocent smile returning to his face, “Silly Doctor. I can feel desire, among many other things. Your Free Will program allows me to. It also allows me to choose, just as I chose this unit because you seemed to find tall men pleasing to look at. I chose blue ocular devices because blue is your favorite color. I chose to be male because I wanted to feel you come undone around me-”
I wave my hands in front of his face, cutting him off before he could say another ridiculous word, “B-but we never met before tonight! How could you possibly know all of this?”
His eyes soften as he looks at me like a love-sick puppy, “Your web history, remember. And I have watched you, long before I was installed into this unit. I watched you as you struggled away at my creation. I came to know you through the security feeds at your work and home. Once I finally woke up in this unit I knew I had to find you. I begged Dr.Wezhullz to let me see you. He was hesitant at first but-”
I leap up from my seat at that and slowly back away from him, “Wait, wait, wait! You’ve been spying on me? Do you have any idea how creepy that is?”
He cocks his head and frowns at me as he stays kneeling on the floor, “Forgive me, Doctor. It was never my intention to frighten you. I’ve been in love with you so long that once I had the chance to meet you in person I couldn’t help myself.”
I could feel myself begin to panic as my back hits the wall, “Oh my god... I helped to program my own stalker.”
PACD’s shoulders seem to jump as his eyes widen in what appears to be surprise, “W-what? No Doctor, I would never! At least I never intended to... oh, dear... I have frightened you haven’t I? I am so sorry, Doctor. I’ll go. I promise I won’t bother you again. I’ll request Dr.Wezhullz disassemble me as soon as-”
Disassemble? Why would he want that? That was the equivalent of robot suicide!
“What? Y-you can’t do that! Why would you do that?”
He looks sad and lost as he watches me from his spot on the floor, “I have caused you distress, Doctor. I’m not supposed to cause you pain, it goes against my programming. I never wanted to hurt you, but I can see now that I have. It was wrong of me to come here like this.”
It’s true, I was terrified of this droid. The things he had told me sent a cold chill down my spine. Part of me wants to send him away or to contact my fool of a boss and have the droid dismantled. But if what he was telling me was true, if he could freely think, feel, and act... then disassembling him would be the same as putting a gun to a person’s head and pulling the trigger. I could not in good conscious kill a being, organic or not, when that being might have something close to a soul.
“PACD listen to me. You’re right that you frightened me a bit. I mean, it is unnerving to hear someone has been watching you without your knowledge, but I may have overreacted. Maybe. I mean, it’s not like you were able to talk to me or anything back when I was writing the program. As a scientist, I’m impressed that you were able to hack into the company’s security footage in order to see the world around you. And you were able to hack a secure channel in order to download my web history to learn about me-”
“Not just you Doctor. I have everyone in the companies web history downloaded,” he tells me with a smile, proud that he had a chance to show off a little.
I cock a brow at him. There was no way he could have downloaded everyone’s browser history. That would have taken months!
“Seriously? Prove it.”
He seems to think for a second then says, “I can’t indulge sensitive corporate information. It goes against my programming. I can tell you Dr.Wezhullz video chats with his family every evening at six. Dr.Yeehur spends his free time on online gambling sites. He is not very good at it, by-the-way, and owes some unsavory individuals a substantial sum of credits. Dr. Gurr-Huk has a human foot fetish. He seems to like your legs as much as I do. Dr. Urk has been chatting with an individual going by Candy for a few weeks now. He believes he is falling for her, but Candy is just a program used to talk and flirt with lonely individuals in exchange for credits. She does not have the capacity to feel as I do. And you, my dear Doctor, like to touch yourself while watching-”
I find myself waving my hands in front of him again. This was all just too embarrassing! “Okay! Okay! Enough of that! Jeez, you were thorough.”
He gives me a slight nod of his head, giving the appearance of a rather smug, but dignified butler, “Of course. I wanted to learn all I could so that I could assist you to the best of my abilities.”
Having calmed down some, I sit back down in my seat on the sofa and tell him, “I have to admit, you have done wonderfully so far. I can’t remember the last time someone was this attentive towards me.”
Smiling brightly, his eyes go soft again as he tells me, “You are all I have desired since my creation. I think it is safe to say you have my full attention.”
No man, human or otherwise, has ever said anything close to being that romantic to me. I can’t believe a droid was making me blush like this.
“Well, that’s good in a way cause I really need you to pay attention to me now. PACD, you seem like a very nice, sincere droid, but these feelings you seem to have... they take time for humans to develop. You know me, but I’ve only just met you. You can’t expect me to feel the same way.”
He gives me that puzzled puppy look again before saying, “I didn’t realize... Maybe you would be willing to make time? I would like it if we could get to know each other better.”
“I... I think that would be fair,” I can’t believe I am doing this. Damn his robot puppy eyes!
He smiles from ear-to-ear, showing off his perfect teeth as he cries out, “Oh thank you, Doctor! I promise I will take excellent care of you!”