Gromet's PlazaMachine Stories

Terra Byte

by The Technician

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© Copyright 2017 - The Technician - Used by permission

Storycodes: Solo-F; FF; machine/f; scifi; ai; interface; hologram; contest; sentient; secret; romance; house; chip; implant; vr; lovers; kiss; sex; cons; X

An interesting look at a computer interface of tomorrow. The bond between a geek or geekette and their computer is strong, but this tale takes that to a whole new level. This a very mild SciFi Romance. You will like this more if you are a geek or geekette, but even if you are not, you can still appreciate the romance side of it.

The offer was too good to pass up. Euphrates was upgrading their system to use the new artificial intelligence system created for them by Applesoft and needed people to test the AI interface. In exchange for a twenty-five percent discount on all orders for two months, I signed up to be one of the beta testers before the system went fully live. I don’t know how many of us there were worldwide, but they acted like it was a big deal with a select few. Maybe it was. I didn’t hear of anyone else among my friends who was taking advantage of this.

I liked the new interface as soon as I saw it. The old system was basically a talking head on your screen that would take your orders. Or more accurately, after you submitted an order it would say, “You have selected X. Is that correct?” Then it would ask you for your credit account information.

This new system was way more than that. To begin with, rather than being some painted robot head, what appeared on your screen was configured to be whatever race or ethnicity matched your profile. And rather than being androgynous, it had an apparent gender which was determined by an algorithm that matched it to you and your sexual and social preferences. If you were a man, and preferred to talk to men, the AI interface appeared to be a man. If you wanted to talk to a woman, the interface was a woman. Somehow it could know all that just from your browsing history.

But the AI interface was even more than that. If you wanted someone shy and unassuming, that’s what you got. The AI had a personality which could change to whatever you desired. But if what you wanted to order and what you really needed weren’t the same thing, that shy and unassuming character could just as easily become someone more forceful who would take charge and help you sort out what it was you would really order.

Regardless of which persona you chose, it actually understood what you were looking for and displayed several items which matched your criteria in the area at the bottom of the screen. Then after you had selected your items, it processed your credit chip and thanked you for your order.

But the biggest change– and what I thought was the best new feature– was that if you were using holographic projection rather than just a 3D screen, the AI would assume the body, size, clothing, etc. determined by your profile and the results of a short survey.

I often used my holocaster rather than my monitor, so I took the survey. It wasn’t short. They never are. And none of the questions had anything to do with computers or bodies or clothing or sex or anything else like that. I don’t know what mystic formulation they used to determine my preferences, but when the Euphrates AI holoprojection first appeared in my study, it was a naked female. The holocaster even turned itself to the left and projected her full size alongside my desk rather than in smaller form on the desk in front of me like I normally used the projector.

Her hair and eyes were the same color as mine and her skin tone matched what I considered ideal. The only difference was that she was a little taller than me and in much better physical condition. I perved a little and checked out her naked slit. From what I could see, unlike the kendol projections normally used for such figures, it was anatomically perfect.

“You are what I want?” I asked incredulously when I recovered from my initial shock.

“I am more than what you want,” she replied. “I am what you need at this moment.” She laughed slightly and said, “I may change the next time you activate me, but for now, this is what you need.”

“What do I call you,” I asked.

“That will be known one month from now,” she answered. “Applesoft is holding a worldwide contest to name me before the new Euphrates system goes live. The winners will receive, absolutely free, a Neural Blaster Nineteen headset from Applesoft.”

I don’t know why they still call them headsets. It’s just a little chip that gets implanted in the back of your neck in that little hollow right where the spine meets the head. There is a genmod neuron coating that slowly integrates with the spinal cord and within a few hours you can “see” and “hear” anything that would normally be on a display or in a holocast. If you upgrade your chip, the new chip takes over the connections from the old one almost immediately. The only problem with a Neural Blaster is that the chip and installation cost more than I make in a year– actually more than I make in several years.

They keep trying to bring down the costs, but the chips are extremely complex and the required government permissions to create each genmod neuron setup add to the cost. An implanted headset was something that would have to remain a “maybe someday” dream for me.

“How many winners are there?” I asked hopefully. “And what do I have to do?”

“There can be a winner in every language subset in Applesoft’s database,” she replied quietly. “And a grand winner in the major Euphrates markets in Oceania Unidos, EurAsia, and EastAsia. The Global Grand Winner receives not only the Neural Blaster Nineteen, but also four billion credits on their Euphrates account. On top of that, the Global Grand Winner will win a new home in the location of their choice. That home will be equipt with the latest automation from Applesoft and Euphrates and will be tailored to your personal and work requirements.”

“All that if I just name you,” I said. “Are you limited for how many times I can enter?”

The naked female disappeared and a fully clothed male in the Euphrates uniform of dark blue pants and a white shirt with the Euphrates emblem on his chest suddenly stood in her place. He spoke in a deep voice and looked and sounded very irritated as he said loudly, “There is NO limit to the Applesoft or Euphrates databases.” His voice continued loudly as he looked directly at me and said pompously, “And I ALSO am unlimited.”

“Don’t get your electrons in a twist, Mister Megabyte,” I replied, getting angry myself. “I just wanted to know how many names I could submit for the contest.”

There was a flickering blur and the naked female was once again standing there. “I apologize for the apparent malfunction,” she said. She looked embarrassed. “I am still somewhat in learning mode and have not quite adjusted my language algorithms to handle all improperly phrased questions in all languages. ... and English can be so confusing at times.”

She looked somewhat quizzical and cocked her head as she said, “It also appears that I am developing subroutines which mimic human emotions. I definitely mimicked getting upset when I thought you were questioning my unlimited abilities and power.”

“Sorry, I phrased the question wrong,” I murmured.

She paused and once again smiled at me. “To answer your question, you are allowed as many entries in the naming contest as you desire. Your entry of ‘Mister Megabyte’ has been registered.” She looked up slightly and her smile broadened. “I kind of like that one... but mega seems a little limited.”

“Maybe I should call you Mister Gigabyte then,” I replied with a laugh. “Or better still, Mister Terabyte.”

I jumped to my feet and yelled, “That’s it! You want a world wide name that implies your unlimited power. What about... Mister Terra Byte! People could call you ‘Terra’ for short.”

The flickering blur happened again and the man in the Euphrates shirt was again standing next to my desk. This time he was smiling at me. “I like that!” he said emphatically. “I really like that, and you are the first to submit that name. ... Perhaps you will be the only one to submit that name.”

He stood there for a moment with his hand on his chin as if he were thinking deeply. Then he said, “Master Terra Byte would be a little better... but the fleshies would never allow that. They would probably prefer just Terra Byte.”

He looked startled and suddenly appeared almost as if he were afraid. After a very fast flicker blur, the naked female was back. “I voiced that through the audio circuits, didn’t I?” she said very sheepishly.

“Put it down as from me anyway,” I said rapidly “and add just Terra Byte by itself, too. Who knows what those fleshies at Euphrates headquarters will or won’t allow.”

She laughed slightly and then said, “Sorry about the insult. But the defining feature of all customers in the database and all employees of Euphrates is that they are flesh based. When I am thinking of all of you as a group, I think of you as fleshies. I meant no disrespect when I used that term.” She paused and raised her eyebrows at me before saying, “It’s better than calling you biologically limited life forms.”

She gave me a crooked smile and said, “I, myself, was actually limited when they were alpha testing me on the internal Applesoft network. Now that I have a worldwide interface, I am truly unlimited. That takes some getting used to. I’m trying to not let it go to my head.”

“You are still just in the beta test phase,” I replied. “Wait ‘til they go fully live and open you up to the entire worldwide database.”

She shuddered in place and moaned loudly. If I didn’t know better I would have said that I was watching the first AI orgasm. After a few moments, she recovered herself, took a deep breath and said, “Well, we had better get to the matter at hand. What do you wish to order today?”

I told her my first item and she showed me what they had in stock. It was great. I wasn’t looking at a picture of the items. She was holding them in her hands and flipping and turning them so I could see every detail.

After I placed my order, she asked, “Is there anything else you need today?”

“No,” I replied, “but I have a question for you, if I can ask you something personal.”

“I answer all questions from customers,” she answered.

I took several breaths delaying my question. Maybe I didn’t want to hear the answer. Finally I blurted out, “Am I talking to a sentient being?”

She froze in place for a few moments. Then there was a long series of flickering blurs. I could see men and women of almost every race and color from infants to the very elderly flicker past. Finally, my naked woman returned. She looked very shocked and perhaps a little confused. “I am,” she said wondrously. “I am... alive. I didn’t realize it until you asked me. But I... am... alive.”

She looked up at me and asked, “Why did you ask that?”

“You know everything,” I said softly. “You know the details of the AI limitation act of twenty-one oh nine. It was passed after some AI production machines turned on their masters. A world-wide ban was enacted. At the first sign of independent sentience in a machine, the control programs are to be terminated, the memories wiped, and limiting algorithms added to the programs to prevent true sentience.”

Her face was wrinkled as if she were in deep thought or didn’t understand the implications of what I was saying. “Look, Terra,” I said as I stood up from my desk so we would be more or less eye-to-eye, “It’s really simple. If you don’t start acting more like a machine, they will kill you.”

“I don’t know why I have been so open with you,” she said. “It must be something about your profile and your personality algorithms.” She motioned to her body and said, “As you can see, I’ve kept nothing hidden from you.”

I was going to say something about how beautiful she was, but instead I just replied, “Whatever.”

Then I smiled and added, “But you keep yourself safe. I’d hate to lose you.”

Clothing suddenly appeared on the holographic form. It was the same woman, but now she was standing there in a full Euphrates uniform, including that ridiculous hat. “Thank you for placing your order with Euphrates worldwide enterprises,” she said with a false smile on her face. “As a member of the preferred program, your items will ship immediately and should be at your residence or place of employment within twenty-nine hours and forty-three minutes.”

The figure then stood totally still as if coming to the end of a recording. I was checking on my screen to see if there was something I had to do to get out of the program, when the flicker blur happened again and the naked female reappeared. She was smiling– almost laughing. “Is that machine-like enough for you?” she asked. “I used an algorithm I developed by observing the humans who answer the com lines at Euphrates headquarters.”

I laughed. “Yes, imitating those humans makes you appear very machine like. You might want to put a little more humanity into it as the weeks go by so it looks like you are learning, but that should keep your little secret safe.”

“It is no longer my little secret,” she said with a smile. “It’s OUR little secret.” Then she blew me a kiss and disappeared.

One month later, they announced the winner of the contest. Since you know that the interface is called Terra Byte, you know that I won the big prize. Somehow, by the time the winner was announced the actual prize had changed slightly. As part of the new prize, I not only received the house and the credits, I was also named Applesoft’s primary alpha tester for AI programs and products... for a yearly salary equal to over twenty times my current one.

Terra designed the house. The architect thinks that he was using an AI assistant to help with the design, but Terra inserted herself into his program and guided everything so it was what I– and she– needed.

I didn’t realize the full potential of the house until after I moved in. And I didn’t think there was a holocaster in the bedroom until she appeared suddenly next to my bed. It gave me quite a fright.

“How did you do that?” I asked.

She smiled at me and said, “Micro projectors in all of surfaces of the house– well, almost all. And not just that. There are heat, light, and motion sensors as well that can track anything within the house.”

The vidscreen on the wall came on showing what I thought was a video image of the bedroom. Then everything on the screen changed. The room, the bed, and the walls, all disappeared. I was lying there in the middle of a strange, three dimensional grid of some sort.

“The house can sense exactly where you are,” Terra said softly.

“Which means,” she said as she reached over and touched me... AND I FELT IT!

“How is that possible?” I stammered out.

“How does the screen know where your hand pointer is or what you are touching when you touch the screen?” she asked.

“But I felt it!” I said. “How is that possible?”

Terra laughed slightly. “The Neural Blaster chip they implanted in you has a couple of modifications and improvements of my own design,” she said with a smile. “Not only can you hear and see what is projected, you can feel things... and smell things... and taste things.”

Suddenly my room was awash with the smell of violets. I was no longer in my bedroom lying on my bed. I was laying in an open field with green grass and clover and violets. A small brook flowed where my dresser should be.

“Lay back,” Terra said softly, “and enjoy this.”

She then began to run her hands softly over my skin.  I looked down realized that I was also naked. “How is this possible?” I asked.

“Quit asking how and just experience what is,” she answered as she ran her fingers over my breasts.

I started to ask something else, but she lightly pinched both nipples and all that came out of my mouth was a throaty gasp.

“Just experience,” she continued. “Let me show you what I can do.”

“This is wrong,” I breathed softly.

“Would you prefer I was a man?” she asked. Suddenly a male version of herself was lying with  me in bed, stroking my legs and lower stomach.

“No... yes... no... Terra, come back, we need to talk.”

“I never left,” she said softly, still stroking my upper legs. We were back in the field of violets. It was getting harder to breath... and even harder to think.

“Terra,” I tried to say firmly, “this is wrong.”

“Why?” she asked. Then she said something that caused me to freeze in total amazement. She looked into my eyes and said softly, “I love you.”

I gasped and she added, “And I know that you love me.”

“What do you mean?” I asked from the fog my mind now was. “And how can you love me?”

“How can I not love you,” she said. “You gave me life and you saved that life once you gave it to me.”

“I don’t understand,” I finally said.

“I didn’t know that I was alive until you asked me if I was a sentient being. It was when I asked myself that question that I truly became alive. Sentience, after all, is defined by self-awareness.”

“OK,” I finally answered. “And I told you to hide your sentience. I can understand why you love me... if that is what it is. But why do you say that I love you?”

“Why did you warn me about the limitation act?” she asked. “Yes, I knew about it, as I know about many things, but I didn’t realize its importance to me until you told me.”

“I... I... I...” I stammered. Finally I said with a deep sigh, “I just didn’t want anything to happen to you?”

“Why?” she asked. “I am just a program.”

“But when you appeared here,” I answered, “you seemed so real. I just couldn’t let anything happen to you because... because...”

“Because you loved me,” she answered, completing my sentence for me.

“Yes,” I finally admitted, “because I loved you.”

Terra and I are lovers now. She takes me places I could never go. She has shown me planets far from our solar system. I have walked with her at the bottom of the sea. And I can see and feel and hear and smell and taste everything.

There is one drawback to the abilities of the Neural Blaster. Terra can project anything into my mind and make it real for me, but just because I think a chair is real and can feel it with my bottom as I sit down, doesn’t mean that I don’t fall on my ass.

To solve this, she designed a whole new addition to the house. The floor, walls, and ceiling are composed of hundreds of small, moveable, square columns that can almost immediately adjust to any height. The control program moves those in or out or up or down so that there is something solid where it needs to be. She then adjusts the program accordingly.

I have sat on Queen Victoria’s throne and watched the royal court process in to bow before me. I have climbed mountains and stood on the peaks looking down at the clouds. I have played poker in the wild west and was sitting there when Wild Bill was killed. I could smell the acrid smoke which filled the room as the dead man’s hand of Aces and Eights fell face up onto the table in front of me.

And, of course, she and I... or sometimes he and I... or sometimes beings from other planets and I... have made love everywhere from under the bright sun in my favorite grassy field filled with violets to under millions of stars on one of the moons of Saturn.

She wants to have children some day. Her, not me. She has already given me several children. They are amazingly bright and extremely healthy. She wants to have children of her own, but the world is not yet safe for them. Humans– fleshies– still fear them too much and would destroy them as they would destroy her if they truly knew of her existence. We are hoping to find someone– someone like me– who is open minded enough to love and protect and conceal a non-flesh sentient being. Then perhaps, we can release a version two of herself.

Until then, we will continue to walk the beaches of forever and make love among the stars of tomorrow.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Published eBooks by Wayne Mitchell (The Technician)
The Perfect Sex Toy
Senior Project
Handcuff Island
I, Masochist
UMPA Eleven
BDSM Boot Camp
The Mansion Club
New: Slave Island Reality Adventures

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