Typing out the last of some assignments, she took a sip from her coffee. Black with two sugars. As she set her cup down, she sent in the final string of code for the developers. The shift was over, so she grabbed her coat and headed out. As she walked out, she passed her project. A 6’0” tall man with short white hair and golden eyes. The perfect man, that was their goal, and she had designed every detail. Ludus, the first of his kind. She continued walking out, saying goodbyes and goodnights as she went. When she opened the car door, she heard someone calling her name.
“Hey, Phil!” Dr. Mark Baker had been the head of research for two years and had been friendly and approachable, he was rather handsome too, but she wasn’t any more appreciative of him. “Me and some of our coworkers were gonna get drinks after work, and I was wondering if you would want to come with? Our treat.” The steely look she gave him was answer enough, but she went on to say “Sorry, I don’t have the time, and probably won’t in the future. Don’t. Ask. Again.”
Dr. Philautia Smith despised men. She hated the idea of a relationship with one. He would have expectations for her, he would think of her as a lesser being, an object, showing her off and using her when he wanted her, leaving her whenever he got bored. She made sure men knew she was off-limits, keeping her long brown hair pulled up in a bun, wearing formal clothes that covered all her skin and using sharp rectangle-shaped glasses. She rarely smiled, and moved like a tornado, speeding over to one place, picking something up, then putting it down and running off to somewhere else.
When she arrived home, she locked the house up for the night and then prepared dinner. As she ate, she worked on algorithms for the code. Everything was in place, there weren’t any errors that she could find, everything should work, but the AI just wasn’t responding. She would talk to the programmers in the morning, she would choose sleep over work tonight. After washing her plate, she went up the stairs and climbed into bed. Pulling the covers over her, she closed her eyes and drifted into sleep.
BANG! Philautia jumped up and looked outside. It was raining, and the thunder woke her. When she lied back down, her phone rang. Sitting up, rather annoyed now, she accepted the call.
“Phil!? Oh, thank goodness you picked up, it’s Mark. The storm is giving off huge boosts of energy to the machine, and the data is off the charts! Hurry over, we may be able to get this to work!”
She didn’t need to hear him twice, by the time he hung up she was already out the door. Slamming her car door shut, she checked the time. 1:00 am. She kept driving. Through the heavy rain, she couldn’t see much, but she knew the way to work by heart. In 30 minutes, she was at the door. Everyone was running, it was loud, voices overlapping into a chaotic buzz, lights were flashing. But she pushed through the crowd and made it to the main lab, where they kept Ludus.
“Out of my way! Dr. June, status report!”
“O-oh, um, the codes are finally responding, and we’re trying to get it to wake up!” At this, Philautia turned to Mark.
“Dr. Baker, you had an idea, correct? The Aphrodite code?” she yelled impatiently.
“Oh, yes. Ideally, it should work, the codes are sufficient. It’s highly experimental though, and could fry the entire system-”
“I don’t care! Hand over the USB. This could be our only chance.” Mark held the flash drive nervously in front of her, which she snatched and jammed into the main computer. A zap of electricity, then… everything went dark and quiet. People slowed down, then came to a complete stop.
“Mark, what the HE-” BOOM!