Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 complete

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Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 complete

Post by Propman » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:09 am

Well, it's been a while, but Contessa is such a feisty, sexy, very human fembot we (me and my mate australopith) can't help but write about. And the supporting cast is amazing as well. This is going to be a long whale of a tale, so buckle up your seatbelts.


The 1935 English castle of Tidyshire is the home of fuddy-duddy Duchess Winifred, dully handsome Duke Alfred, and their dysfunctional college-age children: romantic Dorothy, cynical Calvin, and rebellious Monica. Riding, gardening, passing minor laws, the Tidyshires would lead a dull life of aristocratic ease—were it not for clever, sophisticated royal daughter-in-law Contessa Isabella, who will stop at nothing to seize power!

What the royal family doesn’t know is that it’s actually 2036. Tidyshire is a high-ticket California bed-and-breakfast, owned by SimulEnt, a major corporation—and the royal family are the entertainment: sentient, very humanlike robots in sleeper mode. Their guests (and often, lovers) are the castle’s paying visitors; their young butler, "Jenkins," is the castle's one flesh-and-blood resident, directing things from a hidden lab.

But where does the real seat of power lie? With the glamorous Contessa Isabella, of course! The only robot who knows she’s a robot, she has blackmailed “Jenkins”—really called Greg—into giving her almost total control, and now has him wrapped around her little finger. Even as her “evil schemes” succeed or fail in front of giggling guests, Contessa is always in charge behind the scenes!

Or is she?

Gregory Jenkins had learned by now that to enter areas belonging to Contessa Isabella—which, depending on her mood at the moment, could include the entire castle and possibly the entire world—one had to knock first, and wait for her response. Today he had knocked once, but she didn’t answer. Nor she did after the second or third try.

“Milady? Are you okay?” Greg gently implored. No answer came. He gently turned the knob and slid inside Bella’s and Calvin’s private apartment. Calvin, still deactivated, was lying on Bella’s bed, posed as if asleep. Greg looked forward to waking him; the snarky but likeable young lord was a close and genuine friend, despite being unaware of his robotic nature—and despite having been forced, with Greg, into a Contessa-driven polyamorous relationship. As Calvin saw it, his wife was too much for any one man; if she should “cheat,” best that it should be with a close friend who could lighten Calvin’s load.

Around the bed were strewn items from Bella’s impressive wardrobe; her books and her antique dressing table was also in notable disarray. A great sleuth might have guessed by now where Contessa had gone; Greg Jenkins, being Greg Jenkins, simply returned to the dungeon.

This cat-and-mouse game could be tiring, but it was the easiest way to keep tabs on Contessa—and had been, ever since Contessa seized the control device that monitored the location of all androids at the Castle. Greg might also have kept tabs, of course, by buying Contessa a cell phone; but a means of such close communication could cut two ways, and Contessa kept Greg on a short enough leash already—sometimes literally. As long as she didn’t ask for a cell, he felt he’d be better off letting sleeping dogs lie.

She was not in the dungeon, either. The lights were on, so she must have been here recently; but the place looked unusually orderly for Bella, with the bed made and the books mostly in order. The lab? Library? Kitchen? Contessa was emphatically not an outdoorsy kind of person, but she could occasionally be found sitting in the garden and reading.

As a general rule, when guests were not visiting, Contessa typically woke up fairly late in the morning, screamed at Greg to make her breakfast, spent some time on her makeup and hairdo, screamed at Greg for being late with breakfast, went to her room to read or watch movies, had a light lunch, then started to bother Greg again—leaning over him as he did his job, and insistently sharing her opinions about the just-watched films, or about politics, or her “dreadful” life as a “prisoner” at Tidyshire, or her robotic family being “unbearable”... until Greg did something—anything—to offend her. But she would nonetheless insist he join her at dinner, and then she’d be relatively personable—even more so when she wanted something from him. There was wine and cuddling and sex, and she could be quite witty and classy and charming. That was her good side.

Ecotti qui! There you are, Jenkins!” She stood in the main hallway, dressed in a simple little black dress and—naturally—stilettos. “I’ve been looking all over for you, ragazzo. Must you gallivant all over the castle when you’re needed?”

“Well, I’VE been looking for YOU—”

“Silence, servant,” Contessa raised her left hand and frowned. “We have an important guest coming in tomorrow. You should know the drill by now: activate everyone, give me time to plot, et cetera, et cetera. Chop-chop.” Contessa’s Italian accent was mostly inaudible by now, but she trilled her R’s whenever she wanted to appear sexy or dangerous... which was admittedly most of the time.

“What? A guest? Why didn’t I know anything about it?”

She smiled wickedly. “Because who runs the castle now? That’s right, the one and only evil Contessa. I have found the perfect sap, rich, stupid and easy to manipulate. A potential fan, to be sure. Why did you want to see me, Gregory?”

This was not Contessa’s good side, but Greg tried to make do. “I… frankly, I wanted to ask you if you were going to Lamont. I need some writing supplies…” Lamont was a small town nearby; Contessa and her friend Maddie patronized a small android repair shop there, and once she was familiarized with the “real world” Contessa liked to visit the fast food joints, the local library and various small stores—paying for goods, of course, with an allowance Greg “voluntarily” gave her.

“I am not your bloody errand android,” she answered proudly. “You want something? Walk there yourself.”

“Walk?! It’s five miles away!”

“Darling, I’m not just going to give you MY CAR,” she said, walking up to him with a smugly amused smile. “Does it not belong to the owner of the castle? You could drive me on my errands there, yourself, and deal with your own little problems on the side—but we don’t have time for THAT, do we?”

He smirked. “I thought you said you respected me now. ‘Not just as a countess respecting her trusty servant.’ Remember Thanksgiving?” Contessa had gone home with Greg to visit his parents—her first trip very far from the castle—and despite a failed attempt to conceal her robotic nature, she seemed to have gained a greater sensitivity to the kindnesses Greg showed her.

Contessa smirked back. “Oh, but I DO respect you. Otherwise I’d smack you silly for interrupting me and not praising my innate beauty.” She sashayed closer to him and guided her hand so that he could feel her shapely posterior. “I respect you… but that doesn’t mean you don’t still BELONG to me. And constant training is crucial in achieving obedience, non è vero?”

“What the hell have you been reading lately?” He rolled his eyes with a grin in spite of himself.

“The Gospel According to Isabella,” she replied playfully. “Carrot and stick, darling. Oooh, speaking of sticks—” She wrapped her arm around his waist and gently groped at his midsection. With an affectionate laugh, he leaned back against her and returned the gesture.

“Careful now, darling.” She squinted, smiling, and put a finger to his lips. “Maaaaybe we’ll get it on once Calvin’s activated—just so I have both of you to embarrass. But for now, I’ve got to get to the dungeon and practice some new... combat moves. I think some swashbuckling action will be in order this week. When everyone’s up and running, tell me.” Contessa relished in her newfound combat capabilities, and despite them very rarely came up in Castle scenarios, she almost forgot the times when she was incapable of Olympic-level fencing moves.

“Do you have a particular intrigue in mind—heh, milady?” Greg began to slip into his public role as butler, while deliberately keeping things just a little tongue-in-cheek.

“I always do, darling,” she grinned, freeing herself from his embrace. “You’ll find the data on Mr. Thomas Ransom on your computer. That’s our guest. He’s naturally a legitimate customer, and apparently he’s best-known for creating a popular internet forum... website... thing...” Seemingly lost in her train of thought, she pulled a cigarette seemingly out of nowhere and gazed expectantly at Greg. He whipped out a lighter to match. Click. He had learned by now always to carry one on him. Maybe training IS crucial, he thought, grinning in spite of himself.

Grazie,” she smiled serenely, puffing a cloud of smoke straight into his face. “Don’t worry, darling, I’ll make this adventure worth your time. And when Mr Ransom leaves, well—Mistress promises to take you shopping.”

“With MY money?” he smiled. He quite liked her in this mood, and most of the time she kept her promises.

“Well, not with MY money. I’M just a poor little love doll,” she laughed breezily, radiating that peculiar aroma of nicotine, alcohol, and perfume that seemed to match the overprivileged brat that she had become. She nuzzled his face and gave him a nip on the neck before they parted ways.

That went relatively well, Greg thought. At least she ENDED the chat sweet and nice. I wonder what Ransom is like?
Last edited by Propman on Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:48 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 Pt 1/?

Post by australopith » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:02 am

And—thank you, Prop!

Everyone, we've been working on this particular, novella-length story on and off for four years, its delay entirely due to my having to work two jobs in the "real" (non-Tidyshire) world.

We'll see a lot more of Monica in this story—a character of whom I'm especially fond.

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Re: Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 Pt 1/?

Post by LongTimeLurker » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:26 pm

Intriguing setup - I can't imagine anything good coming from Contessa being armed and even more inclined toward violence!

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Re: Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 Pt 1/?

Post by Propman » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:04 am

Contessa could indeed be sweet and nice when the mood seized her—not least because her internal logic told her that rudeness opened fewer doors than politeness. This did not mean, however, that she gave Greg a lot of leeway. Some time ago, after gaining self-awareness, Contessa had assigned herself admin privileges in the system and changed certain passwords, locking Greg out. He could still perform most repair operations on Castle androids—especially when using the mainframe in his lab—but Contessa herself remained off-limits without her permission. Greg missed the simple command functions of the remote robot control, disguised as a stopwatch, that Contessa had taken from him upon her awakening. It permitted immediate access to any android in the area. It detected the presence of all forms of electronics. It displayed all necessary diagnostic messages. It even told time.

Restricted now to handling most duties on the mainframe, Greg was faced with the unenviable task of physically returning to the lab—often—to make sure things were running well. Sometimes this handicapped his troubleshooting; he was closer, more now than ever, to actually feeling like a butler, and not just to Contessa. Suppose that one day in the sitting room, Monica developed a facial tic, with a mechanical twitch interrupting her speech and movement. In the past, Greg might have used the watch to freeze Monica and all other robots in the room; run a simple diagnostic, and perhaps even open Monica’s panels to check her wiring, erasing all memories of it even happening. Now, deprived of a remote control, Greg would have to cajole Monica into staying in one place, run down to the lab to remotely shut her down, run back to the sitting room to collect her, then physically haul her back to the lab before diagnostics could even begin. Luckily, the rest of the Tidyshires were generally programmed to ignore such interruptions. Unluckily, now and then they noticed something, forcing Greg to ask—no, BEG Contessa for help. Of course, that was just the way Contessa liked it. Obedience...

“Good morning, Gregory—I mean, Jenkins!” Monica greeted him with a warm smile and a playful poke. She wore a silky white nightshirt as she strolled toward the first-floor dining room. “Wouldn’t you know I overslept,” she added with a stretch. “Must have been that late-night swim. But—” she gave a conspiratorial grin, “I regret nothing.”

The athletic girl hung a chummy arm around Greg. “One night you’ll come with me to the river, too,” she mused. “And after a few laps, lay back in the water; relax and keep schtum, and imagine the current carrying you someplace far off... someplace like America, with FDR and Amelia Earhart... someplace more daring than draughty old Tidyshire—land of the midnight social mores!” Programmed as a rebel, at once wistful and bold, Monica burned for growth and change. She had no idea how much of her life was a repeating subroutine, or how fluid memory and progress were for her.

“Speaking of social mores…” Greg looked closely at Monica’s nightshirt, short enough to show her legs in a flapperish way. “Are you really going to have breakfast in that? You WANT your mother to blow a fuse, don’t you?” Greg had started out to deliver a warning, but it ended up almost playful.

Monica ran her fingers through her short-cropped dark hair. “Oh, no—I think Mum is used to me. She only ACTS like a stuffy old bag when visitors are about, doesn’t she? But you might say I’m gunning for Sis… I mean, Contessa. She’s fun to tease.” Like almost everyone around the castle, Monica used Isabella Duessa’s title as her de facto first name. “Fashion is like a religion to her, and I’m about to commit one of the deadlier sins.”

“I’m afraid your sister-in-law won’t be joining us for breakfast,” Greg stated rather formally, trying to get back into his butler role.

“Pity. She’s always got something interesting to harp on about.” Monica’s opinion of Contessa was partly pre-programmed; but Contessa’s position as a semi-outsider—having just married into the family, often aggravating the imposing Duchess—naturally appealed to Monica’s rebellious instinct. Of course, Contessa’s supposed new arrival wasn’t really so new. If asked, the Tidyshires would say that Contessa and Calvin had married “recently,” and if pressed would add “a couple of months ago.” To her bitterness, Contessa by now knew that this “couple of months” had lasted for her entire existence—almost three years.

Let me guess, Greg thought, imagining how Monica’s fashion experiment would be received by the rest of the family. While they’re capable of improvising, many of their favorite subroutines are still predictable. The Duchess will frown at the sight—but she won’t want to say anything in front of me, the servant. The Duke will wink, and tell Monica one of those slightly rude ‘funny’ stories management made me install in his databanks last year. Roger will—will probably whistle, and Dorothy will either sulk, or try to calm him. But maybe not? And Calvin…

Greg began thinking out loud. “Well—Calvin will do whatever Contessa says, because that’s the way he is.”

“You’re blooming well RIGHT,” scoffed a sardonic voice behind him. “But you should talk; you obey her too.”

“Oh—morning, Calvin.” Greg hadn’t noticed the young lord behind him, headed toward the breakfast room. Of course, was Greg’s first reaction. Cal is programmed to complain about his relationship, isn’t he? To suggest he doesn’t love Contessa any longer—the better to tempt guests into screwing up their romance. Predictable.

But Cal next surprised Greg, turning back to face him with concern. “You—you DO realize she’s still important to me, right?” He clapped Greg thoughtfully on the arm. “I might complain, but bloody hell—I LIKE the excitement she's brought me.”

Then, as if not wanting to seem too sentimental, he added cynically: “It’s a cut above playing draughts with Mum… and swimming with piranha… and exorcising Kaiser Wilhelm, I suppose. And besides, Tess fancies YOU, too. That takes some of the heat off me.” Cal raised an eyebrow and grinned.

This free, fully unexpected insight from Cal reminded Greg that the Tidyshires weren’t so predictable after all. While Contessa might be the only who actually knew of her robotic state, Calvin—as Greg’s de facto friend, and his only one around the castle—had picked up nearly as much depth and complexity, just by sharing chats and activities with Greg. “I’m a fool,” Greg mused.

“No, you’re not,” Cal offered, believing Greg spoke of their shared relationship. “It’s poly... polyarthritis? Sod it—it’s being a bohemian. Her liking us both is an incredible tension reliever. I keep trying to tell you: I’m not GOING to get jealous.”

“No,” Greg shook his head, recalling how Contessa had flirted with them both during the Castle’s vampire-hunting storyline several months before. “You’re just going to prove my theory before I fully figure it out.”

“That’s what friends are for," Cal grinned, heading in for breakfast. “Chin up, we've got a surely awful guest and the usual miserable week ahead. I shouldn’t care about my family’s HUMANITY when they invite these blighters—but I do.”

Humanity. Fuck, thought Greg. Following Calvin into the dining room, Greg never liked the idea that anyone truly sentient was being abused by the Castle’s storylines. Contessa took everything amazingly in stride; but how would Cal, his genuine and overlooked friend, react if he truly knew? The prospect of Greg’s robot charges becoming more human was not necessarily a bad thing; but it alternately felt potentially tragic and even a little scary.

“Nnh.” A wordless murmur caught Greg’s ear, and he noticed Monica making eye contact a little nervously. The Duchess, entering the room from the other side, had just caught sight of Monica’s attire as she got up for a pitcher of milk. Monica stuck rather uselessly near the wall as if to avoid becoming the center of attention; defying the Duchess this way must have seemed more fun before she actually tried it. “Gregory—I mean Jenkins—” the girl whispered turning to him desperately for some moral support.

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Re: Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 Pt 1/?

Post by Propman » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:03 am

The reactions Greg had expected from the rest of the family were starting. Some were more like he had expected; others less. Roger sure-enough whistled at Monica in shorts, and earned a quick nudge in the side from his fiancee. But when the Duke laughed and breathed deeply, as if to tell a windy story, the Duchess raised an eyebrow and silenced him. Then she addressed Monica directly: “Daughter, I don’t care if Jenkins sees. Blimey, I care about YOU.”

Contessa’s newfound sentience really was rubbing off of her onto her family. Greg was still trying to parse it all when the interruption came.

“Goooood morrrning, family!” The door slammed open and Contessa barged in, dressed in a simple little black dress with a white fox fur draped around her shoulders. She gave Greg a surprisingly warm smile, and winked playfully at Monica. What could that mean? She beamed, nodded at the Duke and Duchess, and sat down by Calvin’s side. “What’s for brrrreakfast?” she smiled, showing her pearly white teeth. “Not that I don’t love your quaint traditional English breakfasts, but I’m really in the mood for pancakes. Santo Cielo… my sweet tooth is showing! You like pancakes, don’t you, husband?”

“You’re a bit overdressed, Isabella,” the Duke harrumphed.

“Well—SOMEONE is also a bit UNDERdressed,” Contessa replied, tilting her head and fixing Monica with a nasty smirk. “But I understand, it’s just… come si dice... breakfast with the family who knows you all too well. So—anything goes, right, sister dear?”

Monica nodded cheerfully at first, but only until the patronizing import of Contessa’s words hit her. Greg, in butler mode, putting plates of fattening fare down on the table, renewed his sympathetic eye contact with Monica for a moment.

“Of COURSE it does!” Contessa smirked triumphantly and motioned for Greg to put a few extra sausages on her already-loaded plate. “You’re still young, unmarried… and well, you don’t have to impress US. Only your future beau.” Contessa paused to dig into the fry-up as the family observed her. She loved being the center of attention.

“Speaking of beaus,” Contessa cooed, “HAVE you had any gentleman callers lately, darling? Or are you... too fast for them to keep up?” She knew that was a low blow: Monica, athletic and modern in a 1930s kind of way, was no more likely to sit at home and wait for dates than anyone in 2039. But Contessa also had another reason for raising the topic.

“Love…” Calvin whispered dubiously, eyeing Contessa’s huge serving of sausages. “That’s a bloody great lot of fat—aren’t you afraid you’ll put on weight?… Oi, did I say something funny?”

The chuckling Contessa, well aware that she couldn’t really gain weight, was completely in her element. She returned to creating what appeared to be a new intrigue, asking the Duchess in a voice as sweet as it was sticky: “Mother, isn’t Monica the appropriate AGE for marriage? Because I’ve been talking with our financial partners. I’m… expecting an appropriate bachelor soon.”

/Ransom,/ Greg thought. For all of Contessa’s larks and evil plans, he had never before seen her try to match Monica with anyone. The idea, however, found a ready reply in Duchess Winifred’s pre-programmed reactions. The portly, middle aged monarch was created to be an authoritative ruler, a jovial companion, a great hostess—but she couldn’t be called a good mother.

“Indeed, Contessa.” She turned to Monica judgmentally. “Monica, you’re not getting any younger, dear.”

“Aye—you’re NOT!” Roger followed on the Duchess’ remark.

Monica's algorythms reacted to the pressure less like a robot and more like a normal person trapped in an awkward spot. She looked nervously from Greg and Cal to the others, scanning for a single friendly face beyond theirs.

“Isabella knows her finances, daughter,” the Duke harrumphed. “What do YOU know—other than things that aren’t your business?”

Monica nervously offered up two complaints Greg recalled as having been written for her by SimulEnt. “I know my room is too small, and… and I don’t get proper respect—”

“Congratulations, you’re twelve,” Roger laughed. “And utterly barmy, love.”

“...and if I wanted an ARRANGED marriage,” Monica spat bitterly, “I’d ask Cal and Jenkins to arrange it for me—because they’re the only folk who give a toss what anyone else thinks!” This was entirely new.

“Hush your MOUTH—” started Duchess Winifred, in her booming voice.

“SOD. OFF.” Monica exploded. For a moment, she seemed spent by this final insult. Her athletic figure shuddered; her shoulders sank. She could cry - but she was strong enough not to.

She yanked herself up from the table, her righteous anger returning. “I’m not going to take it. The horses need fed. And..." She paused as if her system was searching for a riposte; her eyes flashed as it came out. "And remember the Great War before you ask for another! God save the Queen... MUM.” With a final, profoundly hurt stare at her mother—who probably didn't understand it—Monica was gone.

“I knew it…” Calvin murmured grimly. “Why can’t anyone leave bloody well-enough alone?” He forced down the rest of his own meal and exited as soon as he could, eyeing Greg apologetically as he left. Roger followed, teasing the sullen Cal, and Dorothy followed Roger with a sigh. Only Contessa, eyeing the leftovers, her in-laws, and Greg remained in the room.

“OUT, parental units.” Contessa, now in an eager and commanding mood, attempted to wave the Duke and Duchess away after the others. “I need to speak with my… with OUR butler. Chop-chop.”

“Well, I never!” the Duchess harrumphed. But Contessa tossed her a death-glare—and the Duchess gave in. “Come, Alfred, dear.” She straightened her curly blonde hair, shook her head and yawned in a very good simulation. “I think it’s time I gave you some golf lessons.”

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Re: Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 Pt 3/?

Post by Propman » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:35 am

With the Duchess and her husband gone, Greg peered after them to make sure nobody was listening outside the dining room. Then he threw himself down at the table opposite Contessa and confronted her. “What the HELL was that?”

“Language, darling,” Contessa snapped, biting into a sausage. Had she not been a robot, it would have been quite surprising that such a small, slim, attractive woman never really stopped eating. “I’m just trying out basic societal conditioning techniques. Sending mixed signals. Pushing the family gently in my desired direction. Putting ideas in their empty robot heads. This is literally what I was made for.”

“They…” Greg hesitated. “‘The family’ make passable human beings now. There were times, a few years ago, where Monica would crash if I asked her something she didn’t know. But you can’t talk about empty robot heads now. And it’s… well, it’s partly thanks to YOU.”

“I’m not sure whether to laugh or slap you,” Contessa replied with a calm smile. “Did you notice that I didn’t even have to use the watch to adjust anyone’s reactions? I AM the greatest, aren’t I?... Mohammed Ali, 1963.”

“Contessa—you’re PIMPING your sister-in-law.” Greg had never seen Monica so embarrassed and hurt; or rather, so *genuinely* embarrassed and hurt.

Contessa turned serious and stared at Greg over her silver fork before whispering: “Why, Gregory Jenkins. Are you worried I’ve taken over YOUR job? Your ridiculous story-planning? Does it change anything about what this place REALLY is? As fond as I am of you—”

“Let me guess,” Greg shot back. “You want to hook Monica and this Ransom guy up? And then what—you’ll get involved yourself, and seduce him?” Greg guessed, trying to keep Contessa from changing the subject.

“I might,” she sighed. “I might break them up; I might force her to marry him. Maybe I’ll use Mum to help me. Whatever will be the most fun for Mr Ransom—and myself, come to think of it. I may be a ruthless, amoral schemer, but I pride myself on being a good hostess!” She leaned her cheek in the palm of her hand.

Greg thought for a moment. “That’s a lot of strain for Monica—not even getting into how you’re fucking HURTING her.”

“Oh, my doodness,” Contessa snarked in mock babytalk. “I might cwash my sister the car. ”

“My view of everybody here is—is changing,” Greg sighed. “She’s our friend, and she’s learning so much. I don’t want to put her through hell and then erase her memories... AGAIN.” He was jolted out of his thoughts as he noticed Contessa standing up and pouring herself a tall glass of the Duchess’ brandy. “Booze? It’s not even noon yet, Bella.”

“So?” She was genuinely baffled by his remark. Any time was the right time for alcohol in her view. Of course, Contessa was also a person who could wear an evening gown at any time, and who routinely looked for the perfect heels to go with her pajamas. Arguing with her on this subject might be entertaining, but it was pointless.

Shaking her head, Contessa reached for the last plate of bacon. She met Greg’s surprised gaze with a laugh. “What? It would only go to waste otherwise. Food cooked for robots might as well ALL be eaten by the ONE robot who can truly appreciate it.”

A thoughtful Greg remembered not only Calvin mixing drinks for himself and Greg and taste-testing them for accuracy, but Monica stealing scones from the larder after a recent hike, surreptitiously sharing some with Greg and describing just what she liked about the flavor.

Greg shrugged. “Bella, you’re programmed to enjoy carbohydrates and fat over fiber or vitamins, but you can’t distinguish exact tastes, you know? I don’t… I didn’t build you, but I’ve REbuilt you. You can’t really enjoy flavors—you’re just eating whatever, to be decadent. Your system seeks fat and carbs; why, I bet you’d just love a deep-fried burrito with whipped cream.”

Contessa slammed down the brandy glass and wrinkled her nose. “Don’t be DISGUSTING, Gregory! I do have some taste!” She tossed her head threateningly near him. “You don’t know me, servant. You don’t know what it was like for me—always under pressure to be wasp-thin, to maintain my impossible beauty… ever since I was a little girl! Why can’t I treat myself? Food down the drain is water under the bridge. Let me play, Jenkins.”

Greg smiled in spite of himself. Contessa’s built-in childhood memories, written at the SimulEnt offices, weren’t that detailed, but Contessa loved to invent herself. He recalled watching her hedonistic pig-outs even before achieving sentience; any meaning she imported to them now was retroactive.

“Besides, I DO enjoy a chimichanga or two,” Contessa agreed before tucking into a bacon sandwich. Spoiled brat or not, Isabella Duessa was still a countess and knew not to talk with her mouth full. “Don’t THINK I’ve forgotten about your PROMISE to take me to a big city, lover. I expect at the very least a nice dinner, not deep-fried fast food… at least not exclusively. A good movie, and of course some shopping and sightseeing.”

“Promise?” Greg thought back to the events of Thanksgiving. “You boxed me into that. But whatever. I’ll try my best with my budget.”

She theatrically rolled her eyes. “Budget? Must you use that DIRTY word in front of a FUCKING Countess?” She raised her hand as if to slap Greg, enjoying how he flinched—and how, in spite of himself, he shook his head and shared a smirk with her afterward. She chuckled; not her usual evil laughter, but Greg found it a little frightening just the same.

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Re: Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 Pt 4/?

Post by Propman » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:00 am

After finishing the bacon sandwich, Contessa gently blotted her red lips with a handkerchief as Greg gathered the dirty dishes. “A proposito.” She touched his back; somehow it felt intensely different from Monica’s earlier gesture. “My… system desires a villainous scheme, dear. Look—do you think I should blackmail Mr. Ransom? Like I did with you?” She regarded him with cheerful frankness. Greg was taken aback.

“Are… are you SERIOUS?” he nervously asked.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” Contessa smiled lazily. “Just because we’re enjoying a morning chat doesn’t mean I’m suddenly turning…”

“I mean—why are you even asking me about ethics?” Greg explained. “It’s clear that you’re… on a roll. If you want to be an asshole, I don’t think I can stop you.”

“As well you shouldn’t, Jenkins.” Contessa threw her head back and lit a cigarette. “I didn’t get where I am today by being ETHICAL.” She rubbed her left elbow with her right hand. “I utilize a combination of advanced electronic brains, ruthlessness, and feminine intuition. ‘Ethics’ have nothing to do with it. I. WANT. MONEY. Cold, hard cash—and I want you to help me. If Ransom were married, I could make you shoot some photos of me and him, and threaten to mail them to his wife—”

“Fuck no,” Greg protested. “Not me. I’m not a… a criminal!”

“Well—I AM—by design. And at least for today, I’d LIKE to be one. And you’re my accomplice. Or else.” Contessa raised her voice a bit and coldly blew a cloud of smoke in Greg’s face. “Look at it this way: I need my own money—and if I get it from suckers like Ransom, I won’t have to get it from YOU. I might at the very least cajole him into sending me a gift of some sort.”

“And if SimulEnt sees? All he has to do is itemize it on his tax return. If my management finds out, no matter WHAT I do—or if I get fired!—how fast could things go south? You’d be lucky if they JUST rolled you back to non-sentience.”

Contessa let out a strained breath. Suddenly she seemed a bit more vulnerable. “I… I know. That’s why I’m asking you, Jenkins. Do you really think blackmailing a guest is… risky? In the real-world sense, I mean?”

She’s only just starting to truly understand the difference between real life and the Castle, Greg thought at first. No wonder she’s a mess… no, what the fuck? She’s still a crazy nutbar considering blackmail and extortion. Why am I feeling sorry for her? She’s just as one-dimensionally evil as before she was sentient. ...Isn’t she?

“Don’t do anything stupid, Tess. Just let our guest have fun, and he’ll come back, or—or recommend you to his friends. Then you can start... scheming in the real world, but be careful… and nice about it.” Greg felt uneasy giving her advice; but it seemed like she understood it.

Contessa rose and swept her dark hair aside. “I knew it was a good idea to keep you, lover,” she smiled quite genuinely. “You’re doing what you do best—making me feel healthy, happy, and ALIVE. ...And now to business; this puppet theater won’t run itself, you know.” She pulled her stopwatch out from her ample cleavage to locate Monica. “She’s in her room—probably sulking. Che fortunato. Lucky me, I thought she’d still be out with those boring horses, and I’d never catch her.”

“So what now?”

“So now her BEST FRIEND Isabella shall come to her, talk up the notion of marriage, and try to make the GODDAMNED GIRL LISTEN.” She rubbed her hands with glee, biting down on her cigarette and holding it in the corner of her mouth. “Maybe she’ll agree, maybe she won’t. But at least things will get... interrrresting. I am programmed to create drama—and I LOVE every fucking minute of it.”

“And what about me?” Greg asked, loading up the dish trolley.

“You?” she looked at him amused. “I need nothing more from YOU, sweetie. I don’t plan to destroy dear old Mum in this storyline, so this house has a real mistress to give you your chores. I’M just Duchess’ little ADVISOR. Maybe she’d like to partake of the pleasures of the flesh—you know her husband never satisfies. THEN she’d have a use for you.”
“BELLA!”

“What?” She laughed a rippling laugh, straightening her fur and readying herself to step out. “We’re all—hmm, let’s say sexbots—here, darling! Don’t tell me you didn’t take this job to surround yourself with immodest ladies.”

“I’m a Caltech-trained engineer… LADY,” Greg snorted; but he also grinned boyishly, unable to give a firm denial. When first hired by SimulEnt, straight out of school, Greg had liked the idea of the Castle’s robots flirting with him; he had even let the Duchess lure him into a few flings, as unattractive as she seemed to him now. In spite of himself, Greg liked it when Contessa teased him about his past failings. She was so sassy, sophisticated, puckish and snappy.

And yet—what did it mean when a robot showed attraction to Greg? Did it mean her personality lent itself to a natural match; or just that a subroutine said ‘if meeting a biological person, then flirt’? Maybe that was why Greg had more recently avoided romance with anyone but Contessa.

Maybe it was also why he resisted the idea of matching Monica with an unknown quantity.

“Well—keep tinkering, darling,” the Italian girl laughed. “So far, today, I like what I see.” She blew him a kiss and strode off.

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Re: Sex And Violence, starring Contessa. Ch 1 Pt 5/6

Post by Propman » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:46 am

It bore repeating, Greg thought: Contessa’s newfound sentience was rubbing off of her onto the rest of the Tidyshires. If Calvin, as Greg’s friend and confidante, had picked up a depth, complexity, and sentience largely through interactions with him, Monica—as a naturally curious personality—was learning through exposure to Contessa’s increasingly bizarre schemes. Her senses and circumspection were heightened; she had herself taken to bringing novels with her on her hikes, a ready-made source of new perspectives.

Monica Charlotte Tidyshire was thus sensitive enough to feel butterflies in her stomach before meeting a new visitor to the castle, and to be somewhat suspect of the guidance she received from her interesting sister-in-law, Contessa Isabella.

Contessa had spent two mornings rattling on about the bliss of engagement, the greater bliss of married life, and all the hidden benefits of life as a wedded noble. Some of Contessa’s enthusiasm was genuine: while she would never admit it, Monica was the best partner available for intimate “girl talk.” But some of Contessa’s enthusiasm was deliberately overcooked, too, and Contessa didn’t mind if it looked that way—she enjoyed the drama that came of Monica being doubtful and disapproving.

Indeed, the afternoon of Ransom’s arrival found Monica seeking other opinions on the notion of gentleman callers. She tried to talk things over with Dorothy; but Dorothy, perennially engaged to Roger herself, couldn’t stop waxing poetic about how happy she was with him—over and over. And Duchess Winifred wasn’t much help either: having already been pressured by Contessa, she could only harrumph about how her tomboy daughter needed an upright fellow to make a proper noblewoman of her.

Early evening found Monica glumly staring out a window in the trophy room. She had been sneaking out to go swim in the river by herself—and forget everything—when Contessa caught her and insisted she wait and greet Mr. Ransom first. Contessa duly pushed Monica through a change of clothes, advising her to pull on a simple, but neat grey dress that matched her light brown hair, itself now untangled and tied into a nice girly braid.

Cara mia, one might actually think you knew something about class. There… there...” Contessa pushed it into place. “...pass me my bourbon… and there.”

Monica wanted to spit.

A peculiar sort of car—both familiar and alien to Monica, though she couldn’t explain exactly how—was just driving past the front gate and through the garden to the elaborate terrace in front of the Castle. A short, stocky red-headed man with a neckbeard stepped out; Gregory rushed to greet him and take his luggage. Still a bit heavy-hearted, but functioning perfectly, Monica sighed and followed Contessa out of her chamber.

But as she plodded toward the front door, Monica changed her mind about the visitor. To an accidental observer, the young woman might have simply appeared to be steeling her nerve—and Monica, indeed, believed she had. In truth, her entertainment and amusement subroutines had won out over her personality-specific reservations. Barring a severe emotional upset, Monica’s programming was meant to make her into whatever Mr. Thomas Ransom wanted her to be. For now, she was a receptive host.

Greg, hauling the bags and suitcases to Mr. Ransom’s guestroom, didn’t expect a tip—and, needless to say, he didn’t receive one. Greg had spent several minutes instructing the guest on how to behave, but Ransom just smirked and said “Whatever. I’ve been to robot resorts before. Lol.” He actually spoke the internet acronym, pronouncing it to rhyme with “doll.”

There was something weird, almost unhinged, about Ransom; as if he thought himself very funny but didn’t actually know how to express humor to others. Still, Ransom had paid for three exclusive days’ stay, and the whole castle was now essentially his sandbox. Greg had said nothing about Contessa’s plots, preferring that Ransom learn about them on his own.

“Game’s on, Tom... have a good stay,” Greg said unconvincingly. “And remember, if there’s any problem, I or somebody else will find you and help you.” Greg was essentially lying. The stopwatch that had, in the past, allowed him to monitor most crises around the castle was held by Contessa these days. And her attentions could only be described as “help” by a person in need of a very specific kind of help—someone looking to unload an overstock of cigarettes, champagne, and caviar, for instance, or someone in need of a sharp insult. To be fair, given an actual accident on the Castle grounds, Contessa would probably, eventually, try to be of aid—ultimately, her fate depended on her guests’ fate—but Greg wouldn’t dare to guess how.

“Her Grace and her husband will meet you shortly,” Greg sighed to Ransom.

“The queen robot?” Ransom asked.

“The Duchess, yes.”

“Fucking matriarchy,” Ransom snickered, changing into a semi-casual period waistcoat and trousers. “Were women in charge in 1930-whatever? They couldn’t vote. Anti-male SimulEnt writers, am I right? Changing everything.”

“British women got the vote in 1928,” Greg sighed. “And regional duchesses, like Maria Alexandrovna of Edinburgh, had real power that—”

“Yeah, whatever. History nerd.” A jaunty fedora didn’t improve Ransom’s neckbeard look.

“The term is cast member,” Greg glared back. To be fair, the Tidyshire designers hadn’t originally intended Duchess Winifred to have more authority than her husband. But Tidyshire’s first Duke was a mental lightweight, completely destroyed years ago in a Castle intrigue gone wrong. Another went the same way, and today the fearsome Winifred—whose neural net had by now accumulated quite a lot of knowledge about politics and power, if not sentience—was the ultimate authority in the realm. “The Duchess is Duchess. It’s just… how we do things here.”

The guest stared at Greg intently with his tiny green eyes. “But look, we still provide—” Greg winced, remembering the slogans he had been taught. “...A storybook 1935 where your choices come alive. No question, no depression.”

“Nice rhyme. How old are you, four?” Ransom turned his head disapprovingly. “Lead me to the hot bitches, butler-man.”

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