Gromet's PlazaMachine Stories

Soul of a New Machine

by Jo

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© Copyright 2011 - Jo - Used by permission

Storycodes: M/f; machine/f; bodymod; shave; surgery; catsuit; bond; straps; chair; cons; X

I not going to lie about it, I was nervous. This was it - the BIG one. I sipped my coffee, glanced at my bookshelf.

The Soul of a New Machine

The title jumped out at me. How appropriate. I picked up the folder, flipped it open, read her bio for the hundredth time.

Alice Wendover, MS/BS/PhD, an engineer with a strong background in psychology, age: 25, height: 5' even, weight: 110#.

The latter two were important for this project, the lower size and mass being key benefits. She would require fewer resources. And to have that education? Not in a million years would you think it of the boss's daughter. Not in a billion years would you think he would approve this project.

And that's why I was nervous as hell.

I pushed out of my chair, left the office, walked down to the catwalk. I checked dials and indicators that had been double, triple checked by the techs. We had never had a failure and I wish I had a bit of wood to knock on.

My phone chirped.

"They're here."

I headed back to my office, got there just as they came into the lab. There were just the two of them, father and daughter. He didn't look happy. She looked nervous. She had dark circles under her eyes. Probably hadn't gotten much sleep the past few nights. She was pretty enough. Ash blonde hair up in a bun, hazel eyes, high cheekbones, average bust and butt, yet there was a nice balance between length of leg and torso.

Molly, my assistant, led Alice to the prep room.

Wendover looked at the machine.

"Jason, one last time, is this thing safe?"

"Mr. Wendover, who did your heart valve transplant?"

"A robot - and I didn't like it one bit."

"Well, it wasn't really a robot. There was a doctor there to monitor it and could intervene if necessary. But we've reached the point where the machines are just better at some things. Stats don't lie. Year after year the incidents keep dropping."

"Logic doesn't change the fact that I don't like it."

"I know. But consider two things. First, this machine is state-of-the-art. Not bleeding edge, though. The technology is being used daily in top hospitals around the world. And second, Alice will be in no real danger. None of the mods are life-threatening."

"What about her eyes?"

"We're prepared to do a transplant, but the implants won't be a problem. I had my own done last year. My ears, too. I can see like a cat and hear like a dog."


Molly and a tech rolled the gurney to the end of the line. Alice, sedated, lay under a sheet.

"Mr. Wendover?"

He took a long look at the girl, then nodded.

The tech slid Alice out from out of the sheet and onto the conveyor. I made a twirling motion with my finger and the belt sprang to life.

"Mr. Wendover," I said gesturing at the ladder.

We climbed up onto the catwalk. Molly was just disappearing into the first stage.

"What happened to her hair?"

"Shaved it. The laser can't penetrate thick hair. Shaved her pubic hair, too."

That brought a rush of color to the man's face.

"Why are her eyes open. And what ... what's wrong with them?"

"Nothing wrong. She has protective cups over her eyeballs."

The doors swung closed. There was an electrical hum and the snapping sound as the lasers zapped Alice's hair into oblivion.

"She's on her back right now. Once the front side is done, a plate will lower, sandwiching her, then flip over so we can do her back."

"Is this necessary?"

"Yes, sir, the machine operates in a sterile environment. The fewer sources of contamination the better. Skin cells, hair, and whatnot can accumulate over time."

A bald, totally hairless Alice emerged several minutes later.

"Oh my God."

"Sir, I know she looks unusual, but a wig, fake lashes and a bit of eyebrow pencil will make her look normal again. But I think you're going to have to get used to it. They see it as a badge of sorts, being part of an elite community."

"How many of them are there again?"

"Eight, sir, three in Switzerland, three in Australia, and two here."

Alice was just disappearing into stage two.

"This is the brain thing?"

"Yes, sir. We'll be drilling an array of microscopic holes in the skull, implanting wires. I know that sounds extreme, but if you saw it, it would just look as if she had a few stray hairs. We use the implants to monitor her through the rest of the process. And of course, they're necessary later on."

I gestured to a narrow bench.

"She'll be in there a while."

Wendover shook his head, leaned on the railing, and stared into space.

Eventually the doors opened and Alice was born into stage three.

"Ears," I said tapping my own. "Her implants will be wired in. We found it better to adjust the machine for visual and auditory interaction given the constraints of human evolution. Easier to teach the machine to talk to us than talk to it."

"What about her voice?"

I chuckled.

"Sorry, sir. If you heard what goes on in there. They sing, mostly. Row, row, row your boat is immensely popular. The Swiss group has taken to creating complex harmonies. They can, but don't usually talk to each other. Although you will get the occasional profanity. Kind of startling, that."

Alice emerged from stage three and trundled into stage four.

"Eyes. The implants are a bit more sophisticated than mine. We use visual input beyond normal sight. It extends the range of interaction. And, as I said, it's easier to adjust to than some complex computer process. She will still see things, just see them slightly differently."


We stood, leaning on the railing.

"And the next part?"

" Hysterectomy and, er, stimulation, sir."

Wendover frowned.

"We've found that in addition to nourishment and muscle stimulation, they need other physical input. She will no longer have her period, but she will be given hormonal supplements to simulate the process. Wires will be implanted in her breasts and genitals. As with her eyes and ears, I'm told the sensation is similarly enhanced, almost addictive."

I shot Wendover a glance, he was scowling.

"Sorry, sir, you asked."

"Yeah, but that's my daughter."

"Yes, sir."

Alice emerged one last time. I signaled the tech. The conveyor paused.

"I thought you'd like a minute, sir. The next section leads to the clean room."

Wendover nodded, gazed at the girl for several minutes, nodded again. Alice disappeared behind a metal door.

"What happens now?"

"Well, she's been on that special diet for the past couple of weeks, so internally she's in good shape. They'll sterilize her, then bring her into the recovery room. She'll be fitted with a feeding tube, kind of looks like a snorkel. She'll also get a catheter and an anal tube. Without getting too graphic, sir, her rectum will be flushed out daily."

Wendover just stared into space.

"She'll be wired into the machine for training and once healed, after about two weeks, she'll be fitted with the suit. It looks like a cat suit. It's lined with electrodes that provide stimulation to her muscles. There's some atrophy, but we'll provide physical therapy if she decides to come out."

That got me a look.

"Sorry, sir. We went over that in great detail. Once inside, they rarely come out."

We stood there for a while. I was still nervous. Wendover could still pull the plug. Alice was an adult, but it was his company.

"Would you like to watch the final process."

Wendover just shook his head. After another minute he headed for the ladder and climbed down to the floor.

We walked in silence until we got to my office.



"Take care of her."

"Yes, sir."

Molly led him out of the lab. I settled before my monitor. Alice lay naked on the gurney. The tech raised her legs, placed them in stirrups. He worked the tool into her anus, made adjustments, it expanded taking Alice's sphincter with it. After a few minutes he withdrew the tool and pushed the hollow plug into her. He inflated the plug, sealing it inside of her. The catheter followed. A mold of her teeth had been taken, the mouthpiece fabricated. The tech ran a bead of adhesive along the groove, opened Alice's mouth, and wedged the mouthpiece in place.

This was why I had laughed earlier. Have you ever tried to sing with a snorkel in your mouth?

In the following days Alice recovered and began her training exercises. She did well. Very well. They fitted her with the suit. It was her favorite color: pink. Being her only garment, she'd probably come to hate the color after a while, but that's what she wanted, so that's what she got.

Two weeks later the techs led Alice into the machine. They sat her in the middle chair. The lounge chairs were in a semicircle facing the screens. Each woman had her primary screen and area of responsibility, but could see the others and they would cover for each other during sleep periods.

The techs hooked up her wiring, attached the catheter and anal tube, strapped her in. The straps held her wrists and arms, ankles and thighs, chest and hips with one last across her forehead. She had to be strapped in because the chairs were in constant motion becoming completely inverted during sleep periods.

The techs left, the area was purged. You would have expected something to happen, some hello's, nice to meet you. But the three already knew each other. They had been "introduced" months ago and after Alice's training she was now a member of the team in every sense of the word.

There are three machines as I'd related to Wendover. The Swiss do humanistic research: psychology, philosophy, ethics, morality. The Aussies have biology. We have hard science and engineering. All three are hooked into a fourth machine. But that one isn't manned. It's a basic computer. It's the most powerful of the four. Its function is to develop theories and feed them to the other three. There are things the machines are very good at, but they still can't make human evaluations. Well, not yet anyway.

Now that we have Alice we are fully on-line. And Alice, being center seat, is our lead ... truly the soul of a new machine.



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