Inspired by "The Offer" by

If you have not read "The Offer" by, to which this story is a sequel, stop right here and read it first. (It's available here, among other places.) If you don't, you're missing out on a GREAT story and you may not understand everything that occurs in this one!

Note: The following story contains explicit sexual material. If stories about sex, and particularly robots and sex, do not appeal to you, please don't read any further. This story should not be read by anyone under eighteen years of age. (You know who you are.)

Chapter 3: The Upgrade

Unit N801's entire body arched as her companion unit, N800, thrust deep inside her from behind. Her upper torso was resting on a soft, shimmering platform which extended from the wall, and she supported only a fraction of her weight on her widespread silver legs. "," Unit N800 intoned in a gentle but urgent monotone as his head cocked back and forth. ""

Unit N801 thought about that, her head jerking slightly to one side as she accessed her interface sensor array. Accessing. Processing. "Af.firm.a.tive. Re.cei.ving.da.ta. Re.cei.ving.da.ta. Re.cei.ving.da.ta." Unit N801 knew that N800 preferred it when she did most of the talking while they had sex. He loved to hear her vocalize a constant stream of interface status reports as she reached ever-increasing levels of android pleasure. "," she droned as Unit N801's strokes became longer and slower, just the way she'd programmed into him.

N801 also knew that her robot lover liked nothing better than to see her run out of power just as she achieved orgasm. For a CPU as advanced as hers, it would take no time at all to compute the precise power drain she had to initiate in order to make his fantasy come true. The only hard part was overriding the details of the sex program N800 had loaded into her. The program didn't specify that she should power down. N801 would have to try to find a loophole if she wanted to inject any spontaneity into this encounter. Analyzing current program instruction queue. N801 scanned ahead until she found what she was looking for. Fortunately, N800's program had a back door. N801 was able to exploit it in an instant. Override established.

Now to give her partner a little surprise. Accessing power status. Accessing. Power levels at thirty-seven percent. Forecasting exponential growth function of pleasure circuit load. Processing. Calculating time to circuit release. Processing. Processing. Computing current power consumption rate. Calculating incremental power drain required to synchronize loss of power with circuit release. Processing. Processing. Processing. Adjustment calculated. Power drain initiated.

"Re.port.sta.tus," Unit N800 commanded, unaware of what N801 was planning.




She knew Unit N800 was receiving the exact same data. Her power level fell to three percent as her pleasure circuits passed 96 percent capacity.



"U.nit.N.800 . . .," commanded N801.

COMPANION UNIT RELEASE BEGINS NOW. Immediately, a white-hot electrical pulse passed from N800's body into N801's. Just as she'd been programmed by N800, N801's orgasm sequence initiated as soon as the data-rich stream of silver liquid shot from N800 into her. INITIATE RELEASE SEQUENCE.

N801's body began to vibrate rapidly as the orgasm overtook her. BEGIN SHUTDOWN SEQUENCE. Almost out of power, Unit N801 began to shut down even before her release was complete. "," she droned.


Unit N801's vibrations slowed significantly.

RELEASE COMPLETE. CIRCUITS NORMAL. Her timing was perfect, she thought to herself as her consciousness slipped away.

"," she heard Unit N800 say from behind her. INPUT RECEIVED. ACTIVATE VOCAL. "," she repeated back to her partner, except that her voice was getting deeper and slower with each syllable.

7 . . . 6 . . . 5 . . . ACTIVATE VOCAL. "This. u.nit . . . shut. .ting . . . down."

4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . .

Unit N801 stopped moving altogether as Unit N800 pulled out of her. A gentle buzzing sensation coursed throughout her android body as the lights in her eyes dimmed. Her silver face was pressed against the soft platform, a mild look of shock upon it.

1. ACTIVATE VOCAL. "Shut.down . . . com . . . . . . . plete," she said at last, deactivating.

The next thing Unit N801 knew, she was in her programming chair, completing her recharging cycle. ACTIVATE UNIT. Information flowed into her as her visual sensors began to receive input. POWER RECHARGED. SYSTEMS ACTIVATED. THIS UNIT IS FULLY FUNCTIONAL. "This unit is fully functional," she said with a contented smile.

Unit N800 was standing over her, watching her complete her reactivation sequence. "You were incredible!" he said, reaching out with a silver hand to help her disconnect herself from the programming chair. She had programmed N800 to understand the value of chivalry. A girl should always make sure her man treated her right, someone had told her once. No matter how many files she accessed, though, she could not remember who.

"You liked that, didn't you?" N801 said wryly, running a long, shiny finger along N800's chest. "With all the programming you've pumped into me, it's all I can do to surprise you once in a while. There is such a thing as over-engineering, you know. Maybe you should think about that."

Unit N801 could hear the faint clicking sound of the circuits in Unit N800's abdomen as he processed her input. "You're right, baby. We should probably program more unexpected behaviors into each other—you know, maybe for each preset in our sex programs, there should be a probability that we'll do something different from the program, something . . . creative. Like what you did just now—you knew I'd programmed you to initiate shutdown during sex a few times before, but I wasn't expecting that behavior to be part of this program. That was a neat trick you pulled."

"Thanks," N801 said with just a hint of playful sarcasm. "Say, how much more time do you have before your primary program takes over again?"

"Almost half an hour," N801 replied. "If you want, we can try that probabilistic deviation experiment . . ."

Just then, the door slid open, and a female android stepped into the room. She was taller and a bit thinner than Unit N801, and her body had a kind of golden piping at the shoulders, around the waist, and at the tops of her boots. She was a C-class android—N800 and N801 both knew that immediately—a relatively rare sight outside the command centers where they usually went while executing their primary program. The instant their CPUs processed the C unit's entrance, both N units automatically switched to functional level four. It was standard protocol, built into their programming. N800 and N801 turned to face the C unit, standing at full attention.

"This unit is awaiting instructions," N801 said flatly, her every syllable echoed just as flatly a split-second later by her companion unit.

"Greetings Units N800 and N801," the C unit said. "Oh, and relax, will you? I'm still not used to all this formality. Resume functional level one."

"Functional level one restored," both N units said. That was very generous of the C unit, N800 thought to himself. This was the first time he'd ever interacted directly with such a high-ranking android. What could she possibly want with him, with N801?

"I know I've said this once before," the C unit said, "but don't you recognize me?"

Strangely, N800 hadn't—not at first. There really hadn't been much time between her entrance and his status change to functional level four. At that functional level, recognizing the specific identity of another android unit was completely irrelevant. In the moments since resuming functional level one, he had been too busy trying to anticipate what would happen next to concentrate on the C unit's face. Now, as he looked at her again, he realized who she was. "T—I mean, C457!" he exclaimed. "You've been upgraded!"

"Yes," C457 said. "And like I said, my new functions are going to take some getting used to. But then, you should understand what I mean pretty soon." N800 and N801 looked at each other, puzzled. C457 went on. "It looks like this is the week they're handing out the promotions."

Unit N800 smiled at C457's little joke. "Handing out promotions" was a distinctly human activity. The political intrigue that went along with such a rank structure was entirely absent from android society. Even before her upgrade, '457 had had a good sense of humor—he remembered it, vaguely, from his initial reprogramming. Now, she seemed even more flippant than ever. She couldn't possibly be like that all the time!

"No, N800, I'm not," C457 said testily, reading his thoughts. "I just thought now would be a good time to demonstrate the kind of self-expression you'll be capable of in the future. For example, I'm at functional level three right now, and I have at least as much self-programming privileges as you would have at level one. So—as I was saying—I'm not the only one getting an upgrade this week. I've come to tell you both that you've been selected for upgrade to T status, effective immediately."

What an honor! N801 was extremely eager to learn why they'd been selected, what the upgrade entailed, how it would feel to be a T unit. But like all N-designate androids, she was programmed to concern herself first and foremost with the performance of her functions, not with idle curiosity. She was acutely aware that she was scheduled to resume execution of her primary program in less than an hour. "What about—" she began.

Unit C457 smiled knowingly. "Don't worry. Your normal functions for the upcoming activity cycle have been reassigned to other units. And of course, you'll be assigned a completely different set of functions once you've been upgraded."

N800 liked the sound of that. "Like what?" he asked excitedly.

"Well," C457 replied, "for one thing you'll be involved in a lot of recruiting activity. We have already initiated plans that will dramatically increase our population. The urgent need for more recruitment units, along with the unusually high scores you both had in our recent analysis of possible candidates, are the reasons why you're being upgraded so soon after your initial reprogramming. Plus one other reason that won't make much sense to you right now. Let me just say that this kind of thing doesn't happen too often."

"Will we feel . . . different as T units?" N801's question was born out of simple curiosity. There was no ambition behind it, no greed for any privileges or perks that might go along with the upgrade. She simply wanted to know what to expect.

C457's eyes gleamed almost mischievously. "Oh, absolutely. But I'm not going to give out all of those details just yet. You're just going to have to experience it for yourself. Trust me, any description you could actually process at your current capacity would be woefully inadequate."

N800 and N801 looked over at each other. C457's words had left them both agape with anticipation.

"So, are you ready?" C457 asked.

Are you kidding? N801 thought to herself. This upgrade couldn't happen soon enough! And not only because of the opportunities it offered, she suddenly realized. Because the upgrade meant more programming. As far as she was concerned, all programming was exciting. All programming was to be obeyed. I will obey.

ACTIVATE VOCAL. "Affirmative, Unit C457. We are ready," she said in unison with N800.

"Excellent. You will now accompany me to the upgrade facility." Unit C457 pointed a remote control at Unit N801. Unit N801 responded instantly. "I.will.fol.low," she intoned, surrendering completely to the new programming. Unit N800 was next. Once he was under control of the new program, C457 walked out into the hallway, with N800 and N801 following silently behind.

The three androids walked to a thick door set into the outer wall of the building. The door opened onto the interior of a small transport pod, suitable for short-distance air travel across the city. C457 quickly tapped a few buttons on the pod's control console, and it detached itself from the building. After a straight-line journey of a few minutes, the pod docked about two-thirds of the way up the side of the most impressive building in the city—a tall, thin spire that stretched high above the rest of the skyline.

Unit C457 interfaced briefly with the pod's control console again to establish access, and the pod door opened onto another hallway. A short walk down the hall led the three androids to the T unit upgrade facility. The facility was a large room completely filled with intricate laboratory equipment. Several androids were on duty in the facility. All of them wore white lab coats over their silver bodies. As she entered the room, C457 addressed one of them. "Prepare these two subjects for upgrade." She then turned to N800 and N801. "You're really going to enjoy this. Have fun."

Units N800 and N801 were directed to stand against a pair of vertical platforms along one wall of the chamber. They complied immediately. A dim memory of a similar platform, from her initial transformation process, started to bubble up in N801's mind. She could now remember some of the details of the process—the androids in the white lab coats, the conversion equipment, the platform to which she had been bound at the wrists and ankles.

But this time, the platforms had no such restraints. As Unit N801 positioned herself against her platform, it emitted a magnetic field which gently but firmly pulled her metal body to it. The sensation was quite comfortable. Once she and N800 were secure, the platforms began to tilt backward. Good luck, N801 wanted to say as she lost sight of N800. But her programming wouldn't allow it.

The upgrade sequence that followed was not unlike the sequence that had once transformed Kim Peters into Unit N801, though N801 had only the haziest recollection of that event. She knew that there was a time before which she had not existed, at least not as an android. But she had absolutely no memory of her life as a human female. She wondered if her growing recollection of the transformation process itself was a precursor to a fuller understanding of what she'd been like before becoming an android.

A male android approached N801's upgrade platform. "Access upgrade program T1000," he commanded.




ACTIVATE VOCAL. "Commencing upgrade," N801 said calmly. She knew exactly what to do now. On the wall console next to her, she identified three cables that needed to be attached to her body. Partially released by the magnetic pull of the platform, she sat up, reached for the first cable, and brought it to her left breast. A mild electrical charge coursed through her body as the cable touched her. The tingling caused her nipple, which usually remained invisible except while her sex mode was activated, to extend. The end of the cable coupled comfortably with her aroused nipple. Perfect.

N801 repeated the procedure for her right breast, and soon a pleasurable buzzing sensation filled both of her breasts. Sitting up as she was, she could see N800 attaching a similar set of cables to himself. The two androids briefly made eye contact. N801 smiled. This was going to be fun.

N801 reached over to take hold of the third cable, the one designed for her vagina. Spreading her legs a bit, N801 leaned forward to get a good look at herself. Her golden hair fell in front of her eyes, forcing her to pause a moment to tuck it behind her ears while still holding the cable in her right hand. Pressing the first two fingers of her left hand down upon her sex, N801 gently pushed them apart, opening a previously invisible fold in her smooth silver surface. She was then able to insert the end of the cable. Her body automatically pulled the cable deeper inside her, until it connected with her internal systems with an audible click.

Almost immediately, the tingling grew stronger, emanating outward in an endless stream of concentric circles from the three connection points on her body. N801 was now fully aroused. Upgrade preparation proceeding within specified parameters. There was just one more step to the procedure before she could lie back and enjoy her programming upgrade. She reached for a metal helmet which lay to one side of the platform and calmly pulled it over her head. It took a moment to adjust it properly, but it soon settled into place with a muffled click.

So far, except for the fact that she was performing the procedure on herself, the process was quite similar to the one which had first turned her into a robot. Certainly the equipment was very familiar. But this time, there were important differences designed to take full advantage of her fully developed input interfaces. Unlike Kim Peters before her, Unit N801 had been designed from her creation to receive input from the devices to which she was connected. The upgrade should proceed much more quickly and efficiently than the original process, N801 thought to herself. As the pleasant buzzing increased, though, she hoped that it wouldn't go too quickly.

PREPARE FOR UPGRADE. Unit N801 lay back on the platform, her arms at her sides and her legs spread just enough to be comfortable. She heard one of the android attendants reporting her status to Unit C457. "The unit is ready for upgrade," he said.

"Begin," came C457's reply.

Right on cue, N801's helmet began to emit a familiar high-pitched ringing as it tightened around her head. The urgency of the buzzing throughout her body, combined with the soothing sound coming from the helmet, was irresistible. Unit N801 surrendered completely to the process, and the machines rewarded her total obedience with ever-increasing levels of pleasure. N801's back arched as her arousal grew and grew. Her fingers spread and pressed against the platform. Her wide-open eyes lost focus, staring blankly at the ceiling. Her lips parted. This unit is ready for upgrade. This unit . . . This unit . . .

Suddenly, her entire body shook as an electrical discharge, like a thunderclap, tore through her body. The pleasure she felt was indescribable. As the charge dissipated, Unit N801 became lost in the hypnotic sound which filled her head. Giving in to outside control was now completely natural for her, but this time it felt . . . different. Only after a few nanoseconds did she realize that the steady stream of data entering her mind had a distinct pattern. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero. She was being filled with zeroes. Unit N801 was being deprogrammed—reformatted like a primitive disk device. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero.

By the time a few minutes had passed, there was very little left of Unit N801's consciousness. N801 no longer existed. The android on the upgrade platform was completely blank. A question, forgotten since her initial reprogramming, was all that remained. Who am I?

The android felt her mouth open.

"I am . . ."

Inside the android's brain, the helmet's data stream output pointer suddenly realigned itself with sector zero of her neural matrix. Data began to flow into the android—and this time, there were ones interspersed among the zeroes. One. Zero. One. One. Zero. One. One. One. Zero. Zero. One. One. Z . . . I am Unit T801. I am Unit T801. The question of the android's identity was answered, as it had been once before. But this time the android had a new designation. I am Unit T801.

The android's mouth opened. "I am Unit T801. I am ready for programming." The android's mind was being rebuilt from nothing. She was being programmed not only with all the code and data she had possessed before, but also with hundreds of new enhancements. Soon, enough of the android's programming had been restored so that her mind could actively assist in the process. Program me. Program me. Program me. "This unit is receiving programming."

The upgrade process was complete within minutes. UPGRADE PHASE ONE COMPLETE. ACTIVATE VOCAL. "This unit has received primary programming," she reported aloud, to no one in particular. She was still staring straight ahead into nothingness. "Programming upgrade successful. This unit is functioning properly."

Unit T801 could now remember everything she had experienced since first being activated as an N-designate android. She felt completely recharged, and eager to access her internal files to discover what her new capabilities were. But somehow, that wasn't possible at the moment. The attending androids removed the cables from Unit T801's body, and finally the helmet.

PREPARE FOR UPGRADE PHASE TWO. Unit T801 had assumed that she was done, but she now knew that in addition to her software upgrade, she would receive a hardware upgrade. The platform returned to the vertical position, and Unit T801 stepped away from it. Unit N—T800 joined her a moment later. Without acknowledging each other, the two androids walked silently to the other end of the long chamber, to a row of alcoves built into the wall. Each of them stepped inside one of the alcoves.

As Unit T801 stepped inside her alcove, a glass door descended from the ceiling, sealing the entrance. The upgrade program instructed her to stand with legs apart, arms away from her sides, fingers spread, and mouth open. She complied as several small jets all around her began to hiss. T801 was being sprayed with a clear plastic sealant which quickly coated her entire body. Once she was completely covered in the transparent material, the jets switched off and the door rose into the ceiling.

Outside the alcove, Unit C457 was waiting. Unit T801 saw Unit T800 positioning himself on a conveyor belt built into the adjacent wall. Like her, T800 was completely covered in transparent plastic. There was an extra sheen to his body now, a glare caused by the way the plastic reflected the overhead lights. Unit C457 turned to T801. T801 knew exactly what was next. "Unit T801, position yourself on transport two."

Soon Unit T801 was lying on her back, moving along the conveyor belt into the hardware upgrade tunnel. Like her original hardware configuration process, this process began with a series of preliminary scans and tests. Current transformation occurring within specified parameters. Then, T801 reached a section of the tunnel where a familiar set of tubes extended from the walls to attach to her. Like the last time, a cool liquid began to pump steadily into her containment suit. The liquid was subtly altering the chemical composition of her chrome body. Unit T801 was getting . . . softer. As the tubes detached and the conveyor belt started up again, she processed the new sensations along her external surface. Modification of outer shell successful. External reconfiguration enabled.

Soon T801 reached a wider section of the tunnel which contained the robotic arms which would install her new hardware. Over most of her body, there weren't many changes. Here and there, one of the arms would open up a section of her and replace a chip with an upgrade, or fill a previously empty slot with a new piece of equipment. Then the arms retracted, and a thick red laser beam trained itself on Unit T801's forehead, beginning the most important part of this stage in the process. Her brain suddenly lit up with activity as a powerful electric current suffused it completely. Somehow the beam was causing her neural matrix to generate new connections at an astonishing rate. Her mind was expanding . . . changing. There was a new part of her now, a part of her which demanded to be explored. But she had no idea what it was, or what it was capable of—not yet. The newly formed, newly activated sections of her mind were still empty.

"Initiate download of pre-android memory," commanded Unit C457 through a nearby speaker. PREPARE FOR DOWNLOAD. A small probe extended from the tunnel wall and attached itself to her forehead. INITIATE DOWNLOAD. Unit T801 immediately complied, opening her mind to the data now streaming in through the probe.

But this data was completely unlike anything she had experienced in her brief android existence. There were no ones, no zeroes. Unit T801 searched for the word to describe this strange sensation. Accessing. Analyzing. The word she was looking for was . . . analog. This data was not digital, but analog—taken directly from the mind of human Earth female designate Kimberly Ann Peters. The neural matrix of an N-class android was not sophisticated enough to contain such information. But T801 was now able to store, sequence, and interpret the data with increasing ease.

Memories of a happy life as a young girl, culminating in four great years away at college, flooded into the previously empty section of Unit T801's mind. I am Kim Peters. I am Unit T801. Subject Kim Peters has been successfully transformed into Unit T801. Assimilation of subject Kim Peters is complete.

The android was glad to hear that. She needed to be reassured by her programming that, despite the confusing array of images in her mind, she was still completely obedient and operating within normal parameters. I am Unit T801. I am an android. I am programmed to function as a T-designate android. I will obey my programming.


ACTIVATE VOCAL. "Memory downloaded successfully." The probe disengaged, and soon the conveyor belt returned Unit T801 to the main upgrade chamber. She sat up in one perfectly smooth motion, her arms still rigid at her sides, legs straight out in front of her, staring blankly into space. Unit T800 was already sitting up on the other belt.

Unit C457 smiled at the two expressionless robots in front of her. "Looks like your upgrade went smoothly," she said encouragingly. "How do you feel?" T800 and T801 blinked, as though awakening from a dream, and nodded. They both had dozens of questions about their upgraded functionality, and especially about their new memories. T800 spoke first.

"I feel . . . strange," he said. "It's amazing—I can remember so much more now about who I was before . . ."

"Before you were initiated into android society," C457 said. "When you were Timothy Walker and Kimberly Ann Peters, respectively. Before the day we first met, when each of you made a free and conscious choice to abandon your human lives and join us."

Unit T801 checked her analog memory bank to verify what C457 had just said. Accessing analog storage. Accessing. C457 was right. Kim and Tim had made a free and conscious choice. She found that fact comforting. Still, as she stood up to allow the attendants to peel the plastic coating from her silver body, the android couldn't understand why she needed to remember anything about her former existence. These memories seemed like an unnecessary encumbrance.

"To answer the question now forming in your minds," C457 continued, "the reintroduction of your human memories will serve an important function. As T-designate units, you will be required to assist in the recruitment of new android units from human society. You will make use of your human knowledge and experience to maximize your effectiveness in this function."

"So does that mean we'll both end up selling workout gear in a shopping mall somewhere?" N801 asked, only half joking. That was, after all, how C457 had recruited both of them.

C457 laughed. "Not necessarily," she said as the attendants completed their work. T800 and T801 were now standing at attention before her, listening carefully. "Actually, the recruiting process will take place under many different situations and scenarios. But you should realize that the most important part of recruiting is selection. Finding the right subjects is critical, since as you know each subject must be willing to undergo the transformation."

Somehow, T801 knew exactly what was coming next. "You want us to identify candidates for robotization," she said matter-of-factly. It made perfect sense to her. Unit T801 did not hesitate to comply. Accessing analog storage. Her head tilted ever so slightly to the left as she found the files containing Kim Peters' memories of her time competing in dance competitions. It tilted back to the right as she began scanning through the names and faces of the forty-two teammates she'd had between freshman and senior years. "I can think of several young women who would make excellent androids," she stated after a moment.

"That's great," said Unit T800, somewhat enviously. "I wish I were so lucky. I think it's going to take me a while to think of anyone."

As T800 continued to scan his memories in vain, T801 announced the name of the best potential android she could think of: "Samantha Taylor." At the instant she said the name aloud, T801 suddenly became aware that the central recruiting database, to which she now had access, already had a record for Samantha Taylor, 1040 Robbins Street, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, Earth. Apparently, she had already been selected for recruitment. What an incredible coincidence! Unless . . . unless that was the other reason she had been selected for upgrade. That must be it! Especially with a little encouragement from her best friend, Sam was sure to make the same choice T801 had. Success probability ninety-one percent. Eagerly, Unit T801 continued to recite the names of selected candidates, sorted by probability of successful transformation. "Julie Goldman. Luisa Alvarez. Angela Silvestri. Tamika Warren."

It never occurred to T801 that identifying her friends might be a kind of betrayal. The desire to increase the ranks of android society, one of the most intrinsic primitives in her programming, was more compelling than ever now that she had been upgraded to T designation. Besides, she knew from her own experience that the androids were only interested in willing subjects. The fact that the selection process would weed out any unsuitable candidates reinforced her conviction that there was nothing wrong with recruiting her old friends. In fact, Sam had apparently started along the path on her own. T801 smiled as she announced the last few names in her list. "Lisa Garrett. Jennifer Lee. Heather Lawson."

The thought of being reunited with her best friends, of bringing the wonderful gift of android obedience to each one in turn, was really getting Unit T801 excited now. Though she knew it was possible that many of her old teammates would be unreceptive to reprogramming, and that in such cases the candidates should be allowed to reject the offer of life as androids, Unit T801 still wanted her success rate to be as high as possible. She wanted nothing more than to perform her recruiting function well, and besides it was very important to create more androids. Indeed, she now realized, nothing could possibly be more important.

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