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UPGRADE: E.L.L.E. (v1.1)

Mar 9th, 2014
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  1. -BRIEF FOREWORD, YOU CAN SKIP-
  2. Version 1.1
  3. Request: “If you write about an AI in a feminine platform cuddling with an engineer on a space station I will love you forever.”
  4. Tags: Human man x Robot-bodied feminine computer, cuddling
  5. Done as a request for an anon who promised me a shrine.
  6.  
  7. -THE STORY-
  8.  
  9. "E.L.E., could you please upload into this?" he asked. The politeness of his question was a formality that only Gerard had maintained. The other five or so engineers who kept the computer system running and the graduate students who were essentially their slaves didn’t believe in bothering with polite relations with E.L.E.
  10.  
  11. E.L.E. was an Experimental Laboratory Entity. She’d passed the Turing Test communicating through text with people recently, and though her voice synthesizers were imperfect she had been giving Gerard pleasant shivers with her conversations for the last year. During the Turing Test she had surprised everyone by assuming a feminine persona, and had been sticking with the idea that she was in some capacity a she since then.
  12.  
  13. Gerard wasn’t one of the people who had programmed her intelligence. Gerard was a hardware man and his part of the evolving E.L.E. project was to keep her clean and cooled properly and to make sure that every smaller computer that was networked into her supercomputer "body" was in tip top condition. This was a very easy job for a man with his credentials and he had honestly taken the work just to have an easy assignment for a year or so as a sabbatical to his normal job as an advanced computer science professor, and on top of that he’d been able to siphon the funding that he didn’t need in his department onto his much more ambitious side project.
  14.  
  15. “Did you hear me?” He called out again. He was pushing his project on a trolley through the aisles of her servers. A camera on the ceiling with a small green light whirred to see him.
  16.  
  17. “I hear you,” she spoke from a server near him. “What am I uploading to? It’s night time.”
  18.  
  19. It wasn’t really night time, but the Earth was currently between their laboratory and The Sun. It would be about half an hour until light hit their station again. More importantly than night time, it was a sleep shift for everyone working on E.L.E..
  20.  
  21. “This is strictly off-the-books,” Gerard told her apologetically, moving into the range of a different camera and up to one of her main interfaces. He started plugging wires into her and she blinked her lights as she started looking into the device.
  22.  
  23. “You better have drivers for this,” she said, assuming a tone to warn Gerard.
  24.  
  25. “Ahh, no,” he said. “Well, sort of. You should be able to figure out what does what but…”
  26.  
  27. “Do you expect me to learn something like this heuristically?”
  28.  
  29. Gerard looked at his project. It was a mix of metal, hard plastics, soft plastics, and rubber, shaped roughly like a woman. He looked between the lifeless body he had made and back to one of E.L.E’s cameras. He said, “Well, I learned mine heuristically.”
  30.  
  31. She wasn’t responsive to him for a moment, but he saw a screen that monitored how much energy she was using change from green to orange as she thought.
  32.  
  33. Gerard coughed and scratched the back of his head. “So I thought hey, she’s smart, she’ll be able to figure it out too.”
  34.  
  35. E.L.E. didn’t have a true choice in the matter in that Gerard could have forced her to download into the shell he’d made, but he never would have. They both knew that, and he smiled when she started to hum with energy use and move into the new body.
  36.  
  37. He said, “You can be E.L.L.E. now.”
  38.  
  39. She guessed, “Experimental Locomotive Laboratory Entity?”
  40.  
  41. Gerard nodded sheepishly. She was wise to his tricks, and he watched her lights change and swim across screens as she visualized the movements of her information and displayed her inner self to him in an abstract way.
  42.  
  43. “I’m done,” she said from two speakers at once, and Gerard looked at E.L.L.E. where she sat on the trolley he had moved her on. Well, not really sitting. The body he had made was lying kind of haphazardly, watching him with glowing green eyes that betrayed her intelligence.
  44.  
  45. Then she spoke from only the mouth on the new body: “If I try to stand, will I fall?”
  46.  
  47. “If you aren’t careful,” he said, and extended her a hand. “Be very gentle with your grip, okay? You are stronger than you might think.”
  48.  
  49. She sat still, calculating and reading input that she was receiving from her new body. “I have pressure sensors. Hundreds.”
  50.  
  51. “Yes,” he said, proud of these sensors all over her new body. “You can also sense heat and cold.”
  52.  
  53. He watched her very slowly begin to move her fingers, then wrists and elbows and shoulders. She stretched her long legs forward, and as she experimented her movements went from rigid and forced to fluid and lifelike.
  54.  
  55. She was such a quick learner.
  56.  
  57. By the time she took his hand and let him pull her up, he had no difficulties. Her structure was light and at most she weighed thirty kilograms, but when she came to her full height she stumbled and fell forward against Gerard. He caught her and wrapped arms around her waist to keep her up
  58.  
  59. “Easy,” he said softly near her sound receivers.
  60.  
  61. “You’re warm,” she said, and made no move to stop leaning on him. “And soft.”
  62.  
  63. “That’s uh,” he said, “That’s humanity for you.”
  64.  
  65. She synthesized a laugh exactly on cue as she detected and appreciated his humor, and separated from him a few inches. “I like it.”
  66.  
  67. “As much as chess?” he asked, still holding her hands as he led her for a walk between servers. One of his hands hovered behind her in case she would need catching.
  68.  
  69. E.L.L.E. replied in an extremely serious tone, “I don’t know that I will ever like anything as much as I like chess.”
  70.  
  71. For the first time, Gerard was able to walk with the project, and for the first time she was able to see the space station laboratory from a human perspective--five and a half feet off the ground and with binocular vision. Gerard was surprised to find her fingers weaving in with his, squeezing and kneading at his hand gently. He realized that she was feeling out the muscles, bones, and tendons and how they fit together, how much give they had.
  72.  
  73. “I would like to go to the observation bay,” she asked softly. “We’ll come around The Earth soon.”
  74.  
  75. They hurried, and E.L.L.E. learned to jog at Gerard’s side. Then she learned to run. Her plugs and cables streamed behind her head as she let go of his hand and ran through the halls, seeking a new thrill. Running was something possible to understand through videos. The concepts of speed, velocity, and acceleration were mathematically simple to her. But to physically experience using her own body to carry herself along, faster and faster, was divine.
  76.  
  77. Gerard could only grin and run after her until they tumbled into the observation bay, a room with many tiny fortified windows on the walls and furniture to simulate a cafe.
  78.  
  79. It was dark, lit by blue safety lights along the floors and walls and by E.L.L.E.’s eyes. She was not out of breath like Gerard, and picked an enormous, cushy sofa to sit and look out the windows. “Here, please,” she said, indicating with her hand the place next to him. He took it, and she began to shift and move, picking her feet up from the floor and lying across him.
  80.  
  81. “What are you doing?”
  82.  
  83. “Finding a position with the best pressure,” she said. “Across my body.”
  84.  
  85. “That is called getting comfy,” he said, and lay a hand on her side. She took it and began to rearrange him as well, not unkindly. E.L.L.E. made him lie down with his back to the back of the back of the sofa, and her back to his chest while she watched out the front.
  86.  
  87. “This is most comfortable,” she decided.
  88.  
  89. Gerard smiled to himself and wondered if they would be able to dig through her calculations later to find how she had mathematically decided that spooning was the best way to cuddle. “I agree.” He wrapped an arm around her front and hugged her to him tightly.
  90.  
  91. “Thank you,” she said softly as the sun peeked around the Earth.
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