In the morning, Racine woke up first. His movements in sitting up jolted Varriano awake, since he wasn’t used to having anyone spending the night with him.
“You okay?” Racine looked over his shoulder, having also started thanks to him.
“Yeah. I’m good.”
“Did you have like a falling dream or something?”
Varriano didn’t answer right away. He caressed Racine’s shoulder, and then his back. “You did something to your skin to make it feel softer?”
“Yes. I upgraded its suppleness by a factor of two. I got rid of all my skin blemishes when I did that. Not that you noticed with the lights off.”
Racine stood up and stretched his arms, giving Varriano a close-up view of his back and legs. He couldn’t help but notice Racine’s backside. It was perky and round. He reached to slap it, causing Racine to spin around and face him.
“Did you upgrade that, too?” Varriano grinned, but his mirth faded when he saw Racine’s male parts.
“This is all of me.” Racine said.
“My mind had me totally convinced that you were a woman.” Varriano admitted. “But it’s okay. We had a good date. I had a good time with you. You’re the best date I’ve had in five years.”
“How many dates have you gone on during the last five years?”
Varriano shrugged. “Two, three. I dated one woman twice. Do you count that as one date or two?”
“Be straight with me.” Racine replied. “I deserve that much from you. Are you going to ask me out again?”
“What makes you think I won’t?”
“I don’t know. I had a good time. I just want to know that you had a good time, too.”
“I had a great time. I will ask you out again.”
“You’re just saying that.”
“Shut up, will you?” Varriano sat up. He saw that the sex doll was still lying down on the smaller bed. “Raychel, are you awake?”
“I am awake, System Commander.” The doll answered.
Varriano looked at Racine’s face, trying to avoid the male genitals. “What should the doll call me, Rick or my last name?”
“If she calls you Rick, then so can I.”
“Raychel, you can stop calling me System Commander. Call me Rick from now on. This is Hunter Racine, but you can call him H. He’s my buddy.”
Raychel turned and lifted her head by a couple of inches. “Hello, H. I am Raychel. How are you doing today?”
“I’m feeling very refreshed this morning.” Racine smiled.
“That is good to hear.” Raychel said. “Rick, are you able to watch my instructional holo-videos this morning? They are my top priority.”
“Yeah, yeah. We’ll watch the videos today.”
“I’d like to sit in on that, if that’s okay.” Racine replied. “For the investigation. Give me five minutes first, while I use the humi.”
“Yeah, it’s right through that door there.” Varriano pointed.
Racine walked off. He looked like a lean guy, a nice looking guy actually, except for the butt part of him that had a lot of extra pop to it. Varriano felt he could stare at that butt all day.
When Racine got dressed up, he looked so sexy that Varriano had trouble keeping his eyes off of him. At the same time, the new sex doll was even sexier, but a lot more mechanical, but still very, very sexy, and the detective wanted to keep looking at her too. He felt he might go cross-eyed if he kept it up. They were both lounging on the couch, while the sex doll sat on a poly chair that was pulled out of the wall.
“You’re leering at me.” Racine wiggled his pretty head. With the wig and make-up on, and the woman’s clothing, she looked entirely chicky.
“Am I offending you by leering at you?”
“If I didn’t like you, you would be. You can leer all you want, but not in public.”
They got through the first Yuni video. All that was, basically, was a ten-minute rundown of what the sex doll could and could not legally do. The two detectives compared notes afterward.
“She is programmed to defend her master’s life, but no one else’s.” Racine summarized. “She is not programmed to jump into any dangerous situations or to help injured people, with the exception of her master. If she is attacked or an attempt is made to steal her, she will defend herself with her augmented strength and her electrical shock power.”
“You have to assume that all Yuni dolls are programmed this way.” Varriano rubbed at his chin. “If they are, the Tweenie versions could not have attacked their owners on their own. But, they could have attacked their owners if they were mind-hacked.”
“You would think that Yuni would have a state of the art firewall system to prevent that.” Racine conjectured. “How much does this specific model usually sell for?”
“Ten thousand credits. The little ones go for half that because they are smaller, and they don’t have as much programming installed.”
Varriano shrugged. “What adult wants to have a smart-aleck kid around?”
“That’s very disgusting what those little dolls are used for.” Racine grimaced. “I think we’ve squeezed everything we can from this first video.”
“It’s not much.” Varriano replied. “You want to watch another one?”
Racine turned toward the sex doll. “Raychel, what is the title of holo-vid number two?”
“Rules for common courtesy.”
“Wonderful.” Racine frowned. “That sounds about as exciting as washing my laundry.”
“Why don’t you go grab a couple of drinks from the fridge?” Varriano asked. “Let’s just watch the vid and get it over with.”
“Oh, is that how it is? I do whatever you say from now on?” Racine asked.
“Yeah, it is.” Varriano joked. “How you like them apples?”
“Just making sure.” Racine smiled, complying right away. “I just want you to know that I would not act this way for just anybody.”
“Am I being over-demanding?” Varriano wondered. “I mean, this is my place and I’m letting you stay over… Then again, you’re not even my girl yet… I mean, my guy. H, I’ve been alone for so long I don’t know how to act around you. Why don’t you sit down and I’ll get the drinks for us?”
“Too late.” Racine held up the soda cans, because it was too early for beer. “I already have them. You can get the next round.”
“I apologize, babe. I mean, guy.”
“It’s okay.” Racine replied, on the way back. “Let’s watch the video.”
“Raychel, go ahead and play the next video.” Varriano said.
“One moment while I access it.” The sex doll replied.
The next few seconds went by in slow motion, from Varriano’s point of view. First, Racine leaned over to hand him his soda, but he hadn’t popped the tab yet because he didn’t want to be too much of a servant. Racine showed a puzzled expression, turning toward the seated sex doll. At that moment, Raychel stood and slapped at Racine’s side, striking the man’s arm and sending him sprawling to the wall, which was pretty close. Racine banged into it so hard the entire cube structure shook.
The sex doll took a swing at Varriano’s cranium, but luckily he’d seen the way her arm raised and her torso swiveled. He knew the punch was coming, so he dived to the side and got only its whiff of air. Varriano was in a good position to deliver a knee to the gut, and he did, except this particular gut had hard poly and metal past the fleshy level, so it ended up hurting him more than it did the doll. He was able to push the doll over, mostly because it was off-balance to begin with, and he scrambled to the opposite wall from Racine, which was also close, and he tried to find something to use to batter the doll with.
“She’s being hacked!” Racine shouted.
“Hacked?” Varriano grasped.
The doll was up and coming after him, pausing when Racine threw a can of soda at it. Varriano used the extra second to leap toward where he kept his keys and his phone, but the doll was faster. It reached out for him, grabbing him from the neck and starting to squeeze.
Holy shit, he thought, this bitch is strong! Varriano gasped and choked, trying to keep his head together long enough to activate the scrambler app on his phone. The second can of soda slammed against the wall, missing the doll entirely, and thankfully, also Varriano.
The fingers on the detective’s neck tightened like a vise, cutting off his air, as he found the button for the app. Before he could press it, the doll’s hands tightened even more, ready to break his neck, until, bam! Racine had barreled into the doll from behind and shoved all three of them against the wall, and again the whole place shook like it would fall apart.