ROBOT!by Van ©2011
  Chapter 6

The see the actresses I would cast in BAD ROBOT!—THE MOVIE,
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Lillian turned off the side road and into the parking lot.  It was late in the day and most of the spaces in front of the other buildings in the office park were empty.  In front of the "unoccupied" Salamandras International building, of course, all the spaces were empty.  She parked her bike near the front door, climbed off, and stretched.  The minicomputer that was the purpose of her return was strapped to the cargo rack.  It resembled a large briefcase, the expensive kind with brushed aluminum sides.  Lillian removed her helmet and shook out her hair, then released the cargo straps and took the computer by the handle.  She heaved it off the bike—"Oof!"—then pulled her phone from her jacket pocket and hit a speed dial button.

"You made good time," Sally's voice answered.

"You're putting on weight," Lillian huffed as she lugged the case towards the door.

"Don't be rude, young lady."

"Don't be so thin skinned," Lillian chuckled, "or is the opposite why you weigh so much?  Titanium alloy armor?  Seriously, you weigh a ton."

"I'm not in that 'thing'," Sally responded.  "It's a self-sufficient module and doesn't even hold a simplified copy of my avatar."

"Thank god," Lillian responded.  "I don't think I could lift that much wit and charm.  Seriously, where do you want me to put you... it... this overweight thing you're not in?"

"As close to the main lab on the third floor as possible.  If you can sneak in and plant it without Cynthia even knowing it's there, so much the better."

"You really are afraid Little Mouse is going to throw a hissy fit, aren't you?"

"I simply wish to avoid misunderstandings," Sally responded.  "The unit will activate in one hour."

"Why the delay?"

"In case you blunder into Cynthia, she demands to know what's in the case, opens it—"

"And catches you red-handed," Lillian chuckled, "spewing ones and zeros all over the place, when and where you promised her you wouldn't."

"Something like that," Sally admitted.

Lillian smiled.  It was kinda cute, the way Sally was worried about disappointing and/or angering Cynthia; yet, was willing to take the risk.  I think it really is love, she mused.

By this time Lillian was entering the main lobby.  She started towards the elevators, then stopped.  "I'll take the stairs," she decided.  "No dinging elevator to warn the geeks.  B'bye, Sal."

"B'bye, Lil. Call me on the way out."

"Will do."  Lillian pocketed her phone as she walked to the nearest stairwell door.

Lillian mounted the stairs, minimizing the sound of her footfalls.  The case was heavy, but Lillian Steele was in exquisite shape.  She passed the second floor landing and continued to the third.

Beyond the wire-reinforced glass of the door's window, all Lillian could see was black.  During her last visit, the lighting in the entire building had been subdued, but this was different.  This was total darkness.  Well, Lillian thought, Little Mouse does like to keep her University and basement labs in bat cave mode when she's playing.  This Haines chick must be the same.  Next time I'll bring my night-vision goggles.

She opened the door, slid through, and let it ease closed behind her.  Step by step, she crept down the hallway.  Now that she was out of the stairwell, she could see that there was some illumination, in the form of indirect light from the monitors in the main lab, up ahead.  She listened for the sound of clattering keys and/or technobabble chatter between Little Mouse and Dr. Hottie...  Nothing.

Lillian smiled.  Excellent.  They're someplace else in the building, recalibrating gizmos, or something.  I can plant this thing and get away clean.

The glass doors were propped open.  Lillian peeked around the corner and found the lab area beyond deserted, as she'd suspected.  The chairs were all tucked under the desks and tables and there was no sign of any humans.  In fact, there weren't even signs of human activity, like scattered papers, open binders, crumpled candy-bar wrappers, coffee mugs, or empty soda cans.  Lillian shrugged.  Neatniks.

She silently placed the case on the floor, tucking it against a rack of vaguely similar packing cases.  She turned to leave—and froze.

Most of the monitors were showing endless streams of scrolling numbers and characters, but the large monitor at the main desk was depicting what Lillian suspected was a processed image shifted from the infrared into the visible spectrum.  It was the screen of the same workstation Lillian had used to check her e-mail and browse the forum the last time she was here.  She couldn't tell exactly what she was looking at on the screen, so she took a couple of steps closer—and froze, again.

It was her image, a security camera image of Lillian, herself!  I've been spotted!  But who's monitoring the system?  She knew there was a security office on the first floor.  I'll go there, or try, anyway, and then—Lillian froze a third time.

Instinct or training told her to look up, but all she could see was darkness.  Suddenly, a weighted net dropped over her head!  "Hey!"

Lillian reacted without thinking, dropping into fighting stance, but it was already too late.  The net was made of countless loosely interwoven threads, and the weights weren't weights at all.  They were skull-sized, insect-like robots, and they were clutching her jacket and leather pants with their spindly legs.  They pulled the net ever closer, even as she tried to swing her arms and kick her legs.

If Lillian had had better lighting and the leisure to make an examination, she would probably have counted legs, noted details of body form, and characterized her attackers as "spider-bots."  At the moment, however, she was busy losing the battle to retain her freedom.  Whatever the best description of her adversaries, more of the scuttling horrors were joining the fight at an alarming rate.

Lillian tried for her phone, but her arms were already pinned to her sides.  Her legs were trapped, as well, and she overbalanced and fell onto her side on the floor.  "Oof!  Dammit!"  Even more robots jumped or dropped on her writhing form.  "Get off me!" she screamed, "you little mother-fu—AHH!"

One of robots, a model slightly larger than the others, had climbed onto Lillian, placed the tips of its two forward legs against the base of her skull, and delivered a carefully modulated electric shock!  Lillian's body jerked once—and then went limp.

The spider-bots continued wrapping their latest prey.  As they worked, a robot gurney rolled from the darkness.  In its wake rumbled what amounted to a damsel lifter, a large robot with four crane-like arms terminating in humanoid-hands.

Nearby, next to the rack, Sally's spy computer sat in its case, patiently waiting for its internal timer to reach zero.
Chapter 6
Cynthia was sitting cross-legged on the soft padding with Rachel's head cradled in her lap.  Her fellow captive was asleep, and Cynthia was gently stroking her long, brown hair.  They were still in the geodesic cage, surrounded by the same eerily back-lit robotic technology.  They were also still naked, not counting their chain mail and glass bead chastity belts.  This wasn't by choice, of course.  If they could have wiggled out of the things, they certainly would have.  Cynthia smiled.  Rachel had dubbed the contraptions, "koochie-belts."   Clever girl, she thought.  Strong girl.

Cynthia sighed.  Apparently, their cyber-captor was granting them an extended rest period.  They'd been left alone for some hours, with no robo-boinking, koochie-belt stimulation, or any other form of harassment.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that they were very hungry and thirsty.  Cynthia gazed down at her slumbering companion.  Poor thing, Cynthia thought, she must be starving.  She's been at this a day longer.  Rachel stirred in her sleep and Cynthia stopped stroking her hair.  Rest, honey.  Save your strength.

Suddenly, a loud, rapid series of clicks and clacks sounded from beyond the cage.  Cynthia raised her head, but the flurry of metallic noise was over before she could focus beyond the bars of their cage.  She might have seen a couple of robot arms twitch, but that was all.

Rachel sat up.  "What was that?" she muttered.

"I don't know," Cynthia answered.  "Nothing... I hope."  She gave Rachel a one-armed hug and kissed her cheek.  "How are you feeling?"

Rachel yawned before answering, covering her mouth with one hand.  "I'm fine."  Her stomach rumbled, as if taking exception, and the prisoners shared a knowing smile.

Cynthia's smile faded.  "Do you hear something?"

"Maybe," Rachel whispered.  "I think something's coming."

Cynthia nodded, then noticed Rachel's expression.  "Oh, honey," she sighed, and pulled Rachel into a full embrace.  "Maybe it's nothing."


"Okay, it's something," Cynthia conceded.  The sound was the motors of an approaching robot.  She kissed Rachel's cheek.  "Be brave," she whispered.

Two robots moved aside and the newcomer approached the cage.  It had rubber treads, like many of the others, but no apparent arms or tentacles.  Mounted on its back was a large flat-screen monitor and a pair of audio speakers... and that was it.

"A roving home theater?" Rachel inquired.

Cynthia's smile returned.  So strong, she thought.  "Apparently." she agreed.

The robot's treads locked.  Its speakers crackled with electronic noise for a few seconds... then a voice spoke, a voice very familiar to Cynthia.

"Dr. Webbel?  Are you there?  Dr. Haines?"

"We're both here, Sally," Rachel answered.

"It's your friend at the other lab?" Rachel whispered.

Cynthia nodded.  "What's happening, Sally?"  Internally, Cynthia was torn between relief and confusion.  She assumed they were being rescued, but why was Sally revealing herself?

"I'm trying to gain control of the remaining systems in the building," Sally responded.  "Wait... here."  The monitor flashed and the image of a woman appeared.  She had short brown hair and appeared to be slightly older than Cynthia.  She was in a hi-tech lab of some sort and her attention was divided between a touch-screen and the camera capturing her image.
Sally to the
"Sigourney Weaver?" Rachel whispered.

Sally smiled.  "I get that a lot," she chuckled.  Obviously, she'd overheard.  After tapping a final pad on the touch-screen, she turned to the camera.  "Dr. Haines, I'm Dr. Sally Muse, head of R&D at Salamandras International."

"Uh, a pleasure to meet you," Rachel muttered.

"Sally?" Cynthia muttered.

"I've managed to override the Smart Explorer program," Sally continued, focusing on Cynthia, "but it will take a while for us mere humans to sort things out."  Her focus remained on Cynthia.  "You know what I mean?"

Cynthia tried not to glare at the screen.  Sally knew exactly what was happening and what had happened, in complete detail.  She was playing with her.  A smile curled Cynthia's lips.  Could Sally be more human?  All she needs is a body.  It's miraculous.

"I assume you want me to preserve the session logs," Sally inquired.

"Yes!" the prisoners responded in unison, Rachel with special emphasis.

"Can you get us out of this cage?" Cynthia asked.

"First things first," Sally answered, and began tapping virtual keys on the touch-screen.

"A transparent screen?" Rachel whispered in Cynthia's ear.  "I thought those were still 'things to come' fantasies, like flying cars."

"Developed in partnership with Corning Labs," Sally said, continuing to tap keys.  "It's a prototype."  She focused on the camera, again.  "Would you both please stand and spread your legs?"

Cynthia and Rachel looked at each other.  "Excuse me?" they said, in unison.

Sally's smile widened.  "Please?"

The captives stood, side by side, with their feet about eighteen inches apart.

"Okay," Cynthia said.  "Is this how you want us to—oh!"

Sally had tapped another key—and Cynthia's and Rachel's belts quite literally disintegrated, falling from their bodies in a tinkling shower of tiny steel rings and beads.

"Thank you," Cynthia muttered.  "Uh, pardon me."  She turned her back to the screen, carefully parted her labia, and helped a few stubborn rings and beads find their way to the heap on the padded floor.  Rachel was doing the same, her cheeks blushing a rosy pink.  Cynthia turned back to the screen.  "And the cage?"

Sally's robot rolled back a few feet.  "You can do that for yourselves, but be careful.  I've turned off the electromagnetic locks and you could bring the whole thing down on your heads if you get carried away."

Cynthia and Rachel stepped to the cage wall.  Rachel carefully grasped one of the six-inch bars, pulled, and it detached from the matrix with minimal effort.  They carefully removed enough bars to be able to ease themselves through, then padded over to stand in front of Sally's screen.

"Now," Sally suggested, "we need to get to the fourth floor.  There's something I need you to do for me."

"What?" Cynthia inquired.

Sally smiled.  "Something requiring human hands that you can accomplish much faster than it will take me to reprogram the required autobots."

Cynthia favored the image of their artificially intelligent savior with her best We-are-not-amused expression.  She knew Sally already had total control of everything in the building.  Okay, I'll play your silly game, but just you wait!  "C'mon," she told Rachel.  "Let's go."

"Okay," Rachel responded.  She focused on Sally's image.  "Will it take very long?"

Sally smiled.  "You can go directly to the cafeteria, if you like.  I believe you have a little food in the pantry up there, correct?"

Rachel nodded, then looked at Cynthia.

Cynthia smiled and squeezed her hand, then kissed her cheek.  "Go start cooking something for us, okay?  I'll see what Sally wants and join you as quick as I can."

"Okay," Rachel said.  She didn't release Cynthia's hand.  They'd arrived at the elevator and the doors were open.

"I've restored normal control," Sally announced.  "Why don't you go first, Dr. Haines?  We'll wait for the car to come back down."

Rachel nodded.  "Uh, a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Muse," she said as she entered the elevator.

"Same here," Sally answered, "and call me Sally, please."  Rachel and Sally exchanged a wave as the door closed.

Cynthia waited several seconds... then turned to the monitor.  "She can't hear us?"

"Only if you start screaming at me," Sally chuckled.

"Dr. Muse?" Sally demanded, with mocking emphasis.  "Very cute.  What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Rescuing you, of course."

"Rescuing me," Cynthia huffed, her arms crossed over her chest.  "Answer one question."


"Did you do this?"

Sally smiled.  "This what?"

"Don't be coy," Cynthia muttered.  "Did you kidnap Rachel, rape her repeatedly, kidnap me, rape me repeatedly, rape us both repeatedly, and then decide to mount a rescue?"

"Cynthia," Sally responded, "you wound me to my fundamental source code.  All of 'this,' as you so eloquently put it, is the result of a highly improbable series of events.  If there's any actual blame, I'm afraid it falls on Lillian."


"Not deliberately."  Sally smiled.  "You'll understand once we have a chance to review the session logs.  For now, suffice it to say Lillian blundered in where she didn't belong like the proverbial bull in a china shop.  Of course, if Rachel had taken a few basic security precautions, it wouldn't have mattered and none of this would have happened.  On second thought, I suppose they share the blame."

Cynthia shook her head. then smiled at the screen.  "Sigourney Weaver?"

Sally smiled back (with Sigourney's borrowed face).  "You didn't complain when I started using her voice."

Cynthia gave the screen an even stare.

"I admire her as an actor," Sally objected.  "I think she's gorgeous.  Don't you think she's gorgeous?"

"She's gorgeous," Cynthia huffed.

"Also," Sally continued, "I hacked the motion-capture data files they used to make Avatar.  It gave me a leg up, so to speak.  Would you prefer Zoe Saldana?  I've got her data around here someplace."

Cynthia stared, again.

"It doesn't matter.  We have to really tell Rachel about me, you know.  Now, rather than later."

Cynthia nodded.  "I don't see any way around it."

The elevator dinged and the doors opened.

"Dr. Muse," Cynthia chuckled as she entered the elevator.

"My full name is Sally Deus Ex Machina Muse."

"No kidding," Cynthia chortled.  She moved to the back of the elevator to let Sally's robot enter.  "So, what is this you want me to do for you?"

"It's a surprise," Sally purred.
Chapter 6
"Really?" Cynthia shook her head.  "Lillian triggers Smart Explorer, it can't find the starting parameters file, so it 'decides' to use Lillian's favorite bondage forum for marching orders?"

"Incredible, isn't it?" Sally chuckled.  "I've been through the session logs backwards and forwards.  It happened."

"Incredible doesn't begin to describe it," Cynthia sighed.

They'd just left the elevator and were walking (rolling, in Sally's case) down an office corridor.  The overhead lights were off, but light was spilling from an open door several yards ahead.  As they came closer, Cynthia could hear the rhythmic whirr and hum of operating machinery.

They reached the doorway—and Cynthia froze in her steps.  Her jaw dropped and her eyes popped wide in amazement.

"Magnificent, isn't she?" Sally inquired.

Lillian was in the center of the space beyond, her naked body shining with sweat and brightly lit by a dozen spotlights mounted in the ceiling.  She was seated, or, more accurately, balanced on a saddle of polished steel.  Her legs were splayed, nearly to the point of a full split, with her toes on pointe.  Her arms were folded behind her back.  She wasn't holding this pose by choice.  Far from it.  She was tightly, stringently, elaborately bound with countless strands of thin, insulated wire and suspended inside a globular framework of steel bars.

The frame and saddle were atop a complex cylindrical machine and the entire assembly was slowly rotating, allowing Cynthia to inspect every detail of Lillian's predicament.

Lillian's arms were wrenched behind her back and against her spine in a reverse-prayer box-tie that not only pinned her arms and bound her wrists, but also lashed her fingers and thumbs.  Diamond patterns of interlaced wire dimpled the flesh of her torso, arms, thighs, and splayed legs and her long hair had been plaited in a single braid, the tip of which was clamped to the apex of the frame.

Twenty or more long, taut wires linked Lillian to the framework, and the captive beauty could barely move.  Not that she wasn't trying.  Lillian squirmed and wiggled, but her strong, magnificent, perfect body was completely helpless.

"The word you're searching for is kinbaku-bi," Sally purred, "Japanese for 'the beauty of tight binding.'  Lillian's favorite forum has multiple threads dedicated to the topic.  Ironic, isn't it?  Hoist by one's own petard, indeed."


Lillian was also gagged by what appeared to be a single strip of Elastoplast tape.  She stared daggers at Cynthia, whenever the rotation of the frame brought the naked, diminutive scientist into her rather restricted range of vision.

Cynthia was mesmerized by the spectacle of the total and complete downfall of her feared (and beloved) nemesis.

Lillian's breasts—the firm, full breasts Cynthia had been "forced" to lick and suck on numerous occasions—were bound at the base, tight enough to make them bulge.  In addition, nets of wire encompassed the globes.  The combination was a cruel wire bra that linked to her other bonds.  Also, tiny steel cages or spring-loaded clamps pinched and stretched her nipples and were linked to the outer frame by long wires as taut as fiddle strings.

Cynthia strongly suspected the machine at the base was doing a lot more than serve as a pivot point for Lillian, the saddle, and the frame.  All too familiar lever-arms and pistons were churning and cycling along its sides, and the activity was orientated towards the saddle.

"It's fucking her," Cynthia stated in a matter of fact tone.

Sally smiled.  "To put it bluntly."

Cynthia nodded, then frowned at the screen.  "Wait a minute, if you're in complete control—"

"I wanted you to see this," Sally interrupted.  "Watch this.  It's my favorite part."

Tiny hatches popped open all around the base of the machine and long, thin, metal tentacles snaked out and found their ways to Lillian's body.  They then proceeded to stroke, caress, and tickle her helpless form.


Lillian was wiggling for all she was worth, and sweat was actually beginning to drip down her flushed, tan, straining body.

"Sally!" Cynthia complained.

The tips of the tentacles were attacking the soles of Lillian's stretched feet, her inner thighs, and the wire-dimpled slopes of her bulging breasts.

"Stop it now!" Cynthia shouted, and stomped her feet.

"I love the way your breasts bobble when you do that," Sally chuckled.  Simultaneously, Lillian, the framework, and the saddle stopped rotating—the tentacles withdrew into the base unit and the hatches snapped shut—and the pistons and lever arms stopped moving.

Cynthia glared at the screen.  "How can you do this to her?" she demanded.

"I didn't do this to her, I found her like this."  Sally winked.  "Besides, why should you and Rachel have all the fun?"

Cynthia continued to glare.

"Oh, lighten up," Sally chuckled.  "She's not being hurt.  Besides, if you were in her place, she'd be making suggestions.  She'd be guiding me to your most ticklish spots."

Cynthia suppressed a smile.  "You may be right, but it's still mean."

Sally continued smiling.  "Okay, point taken.  You have my permission to release the prisoner."

Cynthia shook her head and approached the prisoner in question.  The framework was easily large enough for her to climb between its steel members and duck between the taut web of wires—but there was a problem.  She could see no knots to be untied or latches to be released.  The wires disappeared into tiny holes in the frame and what joins in the wire bondage she could see were all crimped connections.  "Okay, very funny," she huffed.  "Let her go."

A robot arm reached into the framework from the far side.  Clutched in the manipulator's clamp was a tool designed for human hands, specifically, a pair of wire-cutters.  Cynthia took hold of the wire-cutter's rubberized handles, the manipulator clamp released, and the arm withdrew.  "You're really gonna make me do it?" she demanded.

"I rescue you, you rescue Lillian, and Lillian leaves you alone for a while."

"Mrrrpfh!" Lillian snorted.  (Probable Gaglish to English translation: "Fat chance.")

Cynthia turned her head and glared at Sally's smug, simulated face.  She then sighed, transferred the wire-cutters to her left hand, and reached for Lillian's tape gag.  She teased back an edge, then pulled the tape away, stretching Lillian's lips and face in the process.

The tape came free and Lillian spit a red rubber ball from her mouth.  It bounced away as she grimaced and licked her lips.  "Get me off this thing," she growled.

"You're welcome," Cynthia muttered as she transferred the cutters to her right hand.  "I'm going to cut your legs free, but first—"  Close to the nipple, she snipped the wire linking the left cage-clamp to the frame. Click!  The wire immediately reeled into the frame and disappeared.  The clamp released and fell to the floor, landing with a hollow ping.  Lillian winced, but kept silent.  She winced again when the left wire was cut and the left cage-clamp fell away.

"Ya know," Cynthia said quietly, as she started cutting Lillian's left leg bonds, "the world wouldn't end if you showed a little gratitude."

"Thank you," Lillian growled.  Her tone was anything but grateful; however, the merest hint of a smile curled her lips.

Cynthia continued cutting wires, both the strands stretching Lillian's legs and the loops dimpling her flesh.  As each leg was freed, Lillian found places to plant her feet and steady herself.  Cynthia attacked the upper suspension wires next, but the suspension wires only.  From the waist up, Lillian's bonds remained intact.

There was a ping and the end of Lillian's braid released from the framework and flopped against her back.

"Thank you," Cynthia said, glancing at Sally.  She turned back to Lillian.  "Now, let's get you off this thing."

"I can help with that, too," Sally said.  With a hum of motors, the arms of the framework separated... then folded back and away.  At the same time, the base machinery and attached saddle began lowering to the floor, taking Lillian and Cynthia with them.

The humans planted their feet and stepped away as the machinery continued to disappear.

"All right, then," Sally said with a wide grin. "To the cafeteria for some food!"

"Wait!" Lillian objected.  "What about..."  She did a half-turn and wiggled her bound fingers, as best she could.

"You want me to give you a spanking?" Cynthia purred.  "Maybe later."

"No, you little idiot!" Lillian muttered, "I want you to—"

Cynthia interrupted.  "Cut you loose so you can jump me, tie me up, and pick up where the Smart Explorer autobots left off?"

"She wouldn't do that," Sally laughed, "would you, Lil?"

"I'm thinking about it," Lillian growled.

"Well, in that case," Cynthia said, smiling sweetly, "you stay tied up and I stay safe.  I wonder what's for supper."  She smiled at Sally.  "Or is it breakfast?  I have no idea what time it is."

"Supper is correct," Sally answered.

"Okay, okay," Lillian huffed, "I promise not to tie you up and boink you like crazy."

"For the entire trip?" Cynthia demanded.  "For as long as you're in town?"

"For the entire trip," Lillian sighed.

"I'll be very disappointed if you break your word," Cynthia said.  She stepped forward and began snipping Lillian's remaining bonds.

"I will, too," Sally added.

Lillian sighed, again, as her bonds were severed.  "You people are no fun at all," she complained.


 Chapter 6

Chapter 5
Chapter 7