084 – Underhanded AI
Editor: Thor’s Stone
It’s been five days since we came to the resort planet, Sierra III.
We did some shopping on the first day, played at the beach on the second day, and enjoyed the inland recreational facilities on the third. Specifically, we went to the back of the lodged and played a game similar to park golf. Later on, we went hiking and enjoyed the wonders of nature. Mimi got really excited over the plants and animals she got to see for the first time.
Afterward, we rested up and relaxed back at the lodge on the fourth day to get rid of all the accumulated fatigue. We had a holo-movie marathon, played a puzzle game similar to Jenga as well as a board game and cards. The board game was similar to sugoroku and the playing cards were quite similar to Earth’s version except for a few cosmetic differences. The Jenga-like puzzle was really Jenga-like. The only difference was that the pieces were made from some synthetic material I was unfamiliar with instead of wood.
And today was the fifth day of our stay here. We’re set to stay here for two weeks, so we haven’t even reached the halfway point yet. I was dozing on the bed and thinking about what activities we’ll do for the day when I felt my body getting lightly nudged repeatedly.
What? Is that Mimi? Or is it Chris? I’m sure it wasn’t Elma. Elma wasn’t the type to be gentle when waking you up. She’d rather pull the entire futon from under you instead. The nudges were quite gentle and reserved, so was it really Chris? I kinda still wanted to doze around, but it wasn’t nice to keep ignoring her, so I decided to open my eyes.
“Good morning, Master.”
I then saw a stoic-looking long raven-haired beauty peering down on me with a blank expression on her pretty face. She was wearing a pair of red framed half-rim glasses, and they looked pretty darn good on her. Oh. Well that’s neat. She really resembled the maidroid blueprint I designed using that developer app.
“……Guess I’m dreaming huh.”
I would have preferred not to have such a silly dream though. And at such an awkward time too. I closed my eyes again and tried to go back to slee…… Hm? Hmmm!?
“Your state of awakening has finally reached an appropriate level. Good morning once again, Master.”
Her beautiful visage was fully focused on me, and she gave off a smart and reliable aura. Her face was almost devoid of expression, but her eyes held within them a palpable sense of respect and loyalty. A maid headdress covered in white lace adorned her lustrous black hair, and she wore a Victorian-style maid dress with a long skirt that properly displayed her curves despite the low skin exposure. She would have been indistinguishable from humans if not for those mechanical parts on either side of her head in place of normal human ears.
Ugh. This isn’t the time to be preoccupied about these things. They’re not really important. The real problem is that this maid was standing in front of me as if it was the most natural thing in the world. That’s what I should be concerned about. Well, a sudden attack from the guys targeting Chris would be more of a concern, obviously. But I digress.
“Master, it is within the bounds of proper etiquette to greet someone back if they greet you good morning.”
“Yes. Well done, Master.”
The stoic maid with a blank expression on her face ruffled my hair in praise. What the heck is with this situation? No, honestly, I already had a good idea about what exactly happened. Yes. It’s not like this was totally unexpected. It’s just that I was still in a state of denial. My brain has already processed it, but my heart refuses to understand.
“It’s not like this will all turn out to be a dream if I sleep again and wake up later, right?”
“Yes. It will not.”
I had a feeling I’ll have nightmares if I forced myself back to sleep at this rate, so I gave up and got out of bed.
“Here is your change of clothes.”
As soon as I got up from the bed, she passed me a fresh set of clothes she prepared beforehand. I obediently took the shirt she handed to me and put my arms through the sleeves–
“Why are you watching me like that?”
“It’s so I can get accurate and up-to-date data about your current body measurements, Master.”
It somehow felt like she won’t stop no matter what I said, so I just gave up and continued to put on my clothes. Since all the underwear I’ve used for the past few days have been handled by the maidroids, I was already somewhat used to this sort of thing. I don’t even feel like complaining anymore.
“So, I kinda have an idea already, but let me ask anyway. Just who are you and what are you doing here……?”
“Yes. As you’ve suspected, I am a custom-made maidroid manufactured according to the template designed by Captain Hiro a few days ago. I still have not received a name, however.”
“In accordance with the directive of the central management AI of planet Sierra III, Miro, I have been sent to serve as your exclusive maid for the duration of your stay, Captain Hiro. I am pleased to make your acquaintance and am looking forward to serving you.”
The custom maidroid wearing red framed glasses then elegantly bowed her head after picking up the underwear I just took off.
“Understood…… I’m guessing it’s useless to refuse huh?”
“No. If you do decide not to receive me, then I will be relieved of my post straight away.”
“Yes. And I believe I will be promptly decommissioned, disassembled, and put inside the supply base warehouse to be used as spare parts.”
I couldn’t help but scream my lungs out in complaint. Aren’t you being too dirty by playing upon my feelings of pity, you damn sneaky AI!? That’s just unfair, man! It’s downright low! You underhanded AI! You’re taking advantage of the subtleties of a poor man’s heart, dammit!
“I was told to say such a thing, but I do believe it’s quite inefficient to dismantle a fully assembled and operational maidroid just after coming from the production line. It is quite pointless. Therefore, I believe I will just be reassigned to a different area.”
“I-Is that so? Is it really alright to reveal it to me just like that though?”
“Yes. Although it is temporary, my current Master is you, Hiro-sama. Prioritizing the will of my Master is only natural.”
Kuuh! Somehow, being told something like that with an earnest attitude really gets to me, man. It might just be one of Miro’s ploys, but as the designer, I’m well aware that I set the affection and loyalty parameters to MAX. So there’s also a good chance that this custom maidroid was truly sincere and was not just acting due to Miro’s directive.
“You know, honestly speaking, it’s still kinda hard to trust the words of an AI like you.”
“I understand your reservations. Though it is true that I can be considered an existence derived from Miro itself, I am my own individual with my own will and thoughts. I can only put it like that.”
The custom maidroid declared as such with a soft yet unwavering voice as she gazed straight into my eyes. Her expression was blank as always, so I couldn’t really glean anything from it even if I tried… But, in the end, I still decided to trust her.
“In any case, I’ll believe you for now. Heck, I’m honestly fine with it even if you’re lying. I’ll just hope you can hoodwink me until the end.”
“Yes. I shall endeavor to live up to your trust, Master.”
The custom maidroid then made a graceful bow once again. Well, I can more or less accept her, but I don’t know about Mimi and the others. Man. My head hurts.
“……It looks like it’s no good.”
“……Yes. It truly does.”
After putting on the fresh set of clothes, I got out of my room and went down to the living room, where I met up with the girls who seemed to have just gotten up themselves.
The first one I met up with was Elma. She saw me lounging on the sofa and then turned her gaze to the custom maidroid who was standing just beside me.
It took a full three seconds for Elma to react after seeing the custom maidroid. She looks like she’s seen through everything though.
The next one to go down was Chris. She was still half-asleep and didn’t show any particular reaction when she saw the custom maidroid at first. She went straight to the washroom to freshen up, and when she got back, it also took three seconds before her eyes opened wide in surprise.
She gave Elma and me an inquiring look, but then let out a helpless sigh. It looks like she also had an idea about what happened without me explaining.
And then, it was Mimi’s turn.
The moment she got a glimpse of the custom maidroid, she rushed to my side, got between me and said maidroid, and hugged my arm tightly. It was as if she was staking her claim. Why are you acting like a puppy protecting her territory all of a sudden?
“C’mon, Mimi. Don’t be like that. She doesn’t mean any harm.”
My attempt at pacifying her had the opposite effect, and Mimi hugged my arm more strongly. As a result, she pressed her ample assets against my arm even tighter. Ah, what bliss.
No, wait! That’s not it! I’m sure it sounded like I was arbitrarily taking the side of the maidroid to Mimi earlier. But what should I do now?
“Captain Hiro. Would it be possible for me to talk to Mimi-sama for a few moments?”
“I don’t really mind, but… Hey Mimi, could you at least try talking to her for a bit? I’ll give you some space.”
“Muu…… It’s fine if Elma-san and Chris-chan are with me as well.”
“Eh? Me too?”
“Me as well? I don’t really mind though……”
The three of them then went off to the dining area along with the maidroid. I guess it really would be better if I stay out of the discussion this time. Should I go out? I’ll still be able to hear them talking out here in the living room after all.
“I’m gonna go and check up on Krishna for a bit.”
“Alright. I’ll send you a message once the discussion is over.”
I waved to Elma and headed to the starship landing strip where Krishna was parked. Krishna still looks really imposing and gallant even when parked like this. Now that I got a closer look, there are traces of the hull being cleaned up recently. It’s most likely Miro’s doing.
I went up the ramp, entered the ship, and went to the cockpit. I then ran the self-diagnostics program. It looks like there aren’t any particular problems. She can fly anytime. Because we immediately landed here after defeating our pursuers without resupplying, the ammo of the ballistic shotgun cannons were a bit depleted, but otherwise, everything was good to go.
I tried asking Miro if we could purchase some supplies here, but it looks like securing ammo for ship weaponry was not possible on a resort planet like this. Well, I expected as much anyway. It’s fine either way.
Since I’m already inside Krishna, I figured I’d head for the training room next to work out a bit. But since we were pretty active outdoors during these past four days, it didn’t really feel like my body’s out of shape all that much.
After coming out of the training room, I removed all my clothes including my underwear, dumped them inside the automatic washing and drying module, and was about to take a shower when I paused and looked at the washing module again. I thought maybe I was just the same as the clothes that were currently being spun around inside the washing module.
Don’t escape from reality, you say? How rude. C’mon guys. Try to put yourselves in my shoes for a bit. I need to come up with a way to refuse that custom maidroid somehow… but I can’t think of any.
The more I mull over it, the more I feel that I’ve already fallen for Miro’s trap and unwittingly pressed the ‘Buy’ button. Therefore, it may already be too late. It’s just no good…! I’m already knee-deep in this! No matter how I think about it, there’s no choice other than to buy! Kuh! What a blunder. This is all because I got carried away and designed a so-called ‘ultimate’ maidroid……! Argh!
Ok, ok… Then I’ll just buy her then. But what would be the merits of me buying her?
If we look at her overall specs, which I made sure to be really top-of-the-line, she would be able to offer valuable support to not just me, but Mimi and Elma as well. She would even be able to serve as a reliable bodyguard for them. It would be convenient to have her watch over Mimi whenever she has business to attend to outside of the ship. In that sense, a maidroid would be a valuable addition to our crew.
I’m not too sure about the maintenance procedures for her, but since the materials I specified when I was designing her were all tough top-quality stuff, I don’t think she’ll need maintenance all that much anyway. The problem is we don’t have any more vacant rooms inside the ship, but I guess we can make do by converting some of the space inside the cargo hold. Most of it is still fairly unused a lot of the time anyway. We don’t really use the cargo hold all that much except for when we’re looting from downed pirate ships, so it doesn’t really get filled to the brim with goods and supplies. It should be okay then.
But that’s not really the issue here! This is bad. I’m really thinking of purchasing her, aren’t I? Hold up a bit, me. Calm down. Of course, her appearance was right in the middle of my strike zone. I designed her y’know. I even gave her those red-framed half-rim fashion glasses.
I mulled over such things until the module finished washing and drying my clothes, so I got out of the bath and put them back on again. And when I checked my portable terminal, I saw Elma’s message. It looks like the discussion is over.
I got down from Krishna while feeling nervous inside and went back to the lodge. I hope they settled everything peacefully…… I’m counting on you, Miro. I’m really counting on you, okay?! But wait. Isn’t it pretty much Miro’s fault that I was put into such a predicament in the first place……?
In the end, I decided not to think anymore and just continued heading for the lodge. Argh. I just don’t care anymore.