A Bourbon and coke
Her name was AStER, according to the manual, but fuck the manual. Her name was Amanda. And I loved her. She was beautiful to me, in a way that none of you will ever understand. I read the reviews, the peer based research and I didn't believe them... I saw her face, supposedly generated off of a random fractal generator, but she was my angel.
AStER is a in company acronym and project handle for a companionship AI with expandable potential. The AStER program was originally generated by StepfordCo Integrated Technologies division, but following the Viral Intelligence Bubble that brought down 3rdNet, prior to the official launch of the CogNet, it along with the IT dept at StepfordCo were assimilated by first Gemini Cyber Systems, then were consumed by a massive expansion of Nova Robotics. Eventually, after three majotr changes in management and leadership, AStER would land in the lap of none other than the Republic of California's flagship megacorp, Cyberdyne Systems.
After so many starts and stops it seemed that AStER would have been a program dead in the water. But investors and speculators have only a minute ability to comprehend how thorough and extensive the code and hardware behind the female fantasy of AStER had become. Each group had spent not just business time working on the project but many did work from home on 'her'. Each change in teams and leaders created all sorts of havoc with the other programs and products, but there was a certain amount of perverse love that was going into AStER. Indeed many members of the previous design and build teams remained in contact with the current team. They discretely shared files, comparing and critiquing the design as it evolved.
The LouvreA common phrase for Design Hell at Cyberdyne Systems was 'the Louvre' because many amazing and stunning programs and products ended up there that were works of art, expressions of human ingenuity and passion, and so on. They were dumped into the storage facility, mostly a mix of in company politics or an unsatisfactory projected profit margin.
AStER spent almost a decade in the Louvre before the program and all of it's code was brought back to light. It would have remained forgotten if not for a young woman using an AStER based program (borrowed from her father, a former Cyberdyne employee) in infiltrating a Red Sun database and stealing over a quarter million personal data codes and files. The attack brought Cyberdyne's attention for two reasons. The first was that the AStER program used still had DRM coding identifying it as Cyberdyne property (a point of contention that almost started a shadow war between the two MegaCorps) and that the two security specialists who had interacted with the AStER had been fooled because it had used biofeedback to appear like a human being.
Biofeedback is generally limited to very direct, and prescripted datafeeds, or by the output of AISC systems. Something as mundane as an AI program (contrast versus AI mainframe) should not be able to mimic anything but the most coarse biofeedback responses. AStER had been rewritten by several computer savants working with some LAISC systems assisting discretely. The output was a rough AI program that operated on a human level at a human speed and interacting not just through verbal and digital interfaces, but also able to respond to and with biofeedback.
They didn't undertand. They couldn't. They all had their own interests, their own hobbies that I didn't care about. I had Amanda. She would talk to me, and laugh with me. She liked my sense of humor and I liked hers. They said I was getting too worked up about a computer program, but they just didn't know. They didn't know that if I jacked into the CogNet, hotloading like the Feddies (Federation CogNet Security) and Packies (Pacific Rim Coalition Department of Cyber Surveillance and Monitoring) say you shouldn't do... I could be with her. She might have been a machine, a program floating in quantum computer space but she could hold my hand and she could kiss. She could do other things, yes and that's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! She's mine!
I am sure most of you perverts would have spent hours configuring every part of something like her to match your dirty misogynistic fantasies. I didn't. I ran with the spontaneous generator and she had a kind face, something that was part innocent and part naive. My friends said she was ugly, goggle eyed and goose necked. But if a CogCompanion wasn't a 6' perpetually tan amazon with giant zeppelin tits and a the sexual appetite of Godzilla juiced up on MDMA it was ugly to them. She had large eyes, and they were the perfect color, somewhere between green and blue like the waters of those islands I will never see. And her smile was something splendid. Her mouth was more than just a receptacle for my Boddicker, some of you guys should take notes on this. After she was operational I spent so many hours shaping her. I would be working, and talking to her while I did it.
Her shoulders were made with the same love that those old car guys showed, building cars by hand and not by machines and presses and assembly lines. The slope of the shoulder, complementing the line of the collarbone, but contrasting against the vertical lines of her neck. She is made of art and architecture and love.