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Technoromanticism - Chapter 1

Title: Technoromanticism


Summary: TezRyo Robot AU.

Rating: Definitely Mature.  For the usual culprits.

Author’s Note: Clearly this is the result of reading far too much Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick and Peter F. Hamilton lately. It has all melted into one pot in my brain, and when TezRyo was added to the mix, something somewhat odd came out. It’s also backwards to what I intended. Expect nine chapters.



Chapter 1.0

By Sinnatious
Atobe used to state that the reason Tezuka was so talented in the field of robotics development was because he must secretly be a robot himself. Over the past five years, however, after Atobe had taken over his father’s company and made Atobe Industries the world leader in robotics, he started to jibe that Tezuka was in fact a relic of the ancient past, as modern day robots already had a more diverse range of facial expressions and reactions.
Truthfully, Tezuka sometimes thought that Atobe had a point. He certainly preferred spending the hours in the lab to attending the flamboyant parties that the young CEO insisted on dragging him to, intent on showing off his ‘star scientist’. That wasn’t to say he was as antisocial as Atobe claimed – he enjoyed the company of his colleagues at the lab well enough, even if he wasn’t particularly close with any of them – but he had never really been one for heavy drinking or dancing or any of the other traditional nightlife entertainments. Which was why he currently felt so out of depth on his current field trip.
“Relax Tezuka,” Atobe assured him as the car pulled soundlessly to a stop in front of their destination. “I don’t know what you’re so uptight about.”
"It's depraved," he stated flatly.

Atobe fluffed out a monogrammed handkerchief before carefully folding it and replacing it in his pocket.  "You will not receive argument from me there, but it is extremely popular none-the-less.  And this establishment is considered state of the art.  Even with my bank balance, it was difficult to secure a timely booking."
They were deep within the red-light district. Atobe waited for Kabaji to clear away the few onlookers before leaving the car, and Tezuka folded his arms, intent on not leaving the car at all. “It could be a scandal.”
“Please. If anything it’s more scandalous that I haven’t been caught going to one of these places yet.”
“But two of us with one order? Isn’t that strange?”
“You’re the one with the expertise. Would you prefer to go alone?” he asked, bemused. Tezuka frowned. “I thought not. Anyhow, you underestimate how varied people’s fantasies are. Voyeurism is common enough, as is tag-teaming, and-”
“That’s more than enough information,” Tezuka interrupted, rubbing his temples. Atobe smirked.
“You did ask.” Kabaji opened the door to the car, and the young business tycoon stepped out. “Come along then.”
Somewhat reluctantly, the robotics scientist trailed after, adjusting his glasses after being blinded by the neon glare that was previously dulled by the car’s tinted windows. He hung back as they entered the rather seedy-looking establishment, but was surprised to find how luxuriously the interior was decorated. Rich carpets lined the floor, a small chandelier hung from the ceiling, and the reception desk was made of marble granite. Though it shouldn’t have been so shocking since it was supposed to be incredibly expensive and exclusive – Atobe wouldn’t be caught dead going anywhere that wasn’t.
Naturally, the proprietor didn’t bat an eye at them – and in fact couldn’t, as it was very clearly a robot programmed for hospitality with a speech synthesiser and basic motor movement. There was no attempt at even disguising the fact that it was machine - the gears and joints were covered only with a white plastic resin, and the eyes resembled headlights. Before he knew it, they were being escorted to a room by the somewhat clunky host. “It’s already prepared, sirs. Please be careful with the merchandise. You should be aware that in order to make your experience convincing, the AI has been programmed for maximum reality. If this alarms you, feel free to contact management, and we will adjust the settings.”
Atobe waved it off. “Yes, yes, I read the brochure already. Thank you.” Tezuka was confused, but didn’t say anything.
The android executed a jolting bow, and with gears whirring returned to the front desk.
“No human proprietor?”
“The clientele would feel judged. But rest assured they’re there – just in the background. Make sure the door is closed properly.”
Tezuka shut it securely behind him, and it locked automatically. He glanced about the room warily. "You're certain they can't record us?"  It was bad enough that they were effectively performing industrial espionage - the last thing he wanted was to be caught at it.  Employer aside, he still didn't know how Atobe convinced him to go along with it.

Atobe flipped open what looked like a simple communicator and glanced at the screen.  "It's clear.  And I'm sending out a jamming signal just in case."

Tezuka didn't comment.  Jamming devices were of a questionable legality, but then, so were bugs. That concern taken care of, he turned his attention to the rest of the room. It was sparsely furnished – mirrors on the walls and ceiling and a bed covered in velvet sheets off to the side, but the thing that caught his eye was the body sprawled on the floor, clothed only in a pair of black boxer shorts.
“That’s it,” Atobe pointed out needlessly.  

"It's incredibly detailed," Tezuka observed, still repulsed by the notion but professional curiosity taking over.  He crouched down by the prone form and tilted the head, observing how the golden eyes followed him, and caught a few strands of green-black hair between his fingers.  He held his hand under the nose, noting the flow of air. 
"I specifically requested their newest one," Atobe agreed.  "They said they only got it in a few weeks ago, and promised me that it had hardly been used."

It made Tezuka feel a little better. He really did have a fondness for robots, bioroids in particular, and it always made him uncomfortable to acknowledge that sometimes they were used in such a fashion.
“It’s ridiculous,” Atobe huffed. “That out of the blue some unknown company could make something so advanced. Functioning bioroids that can be mistaken for humans? With super-advanced AI? It’ll be another forty years before we reach that stage.”
Tezuka picked up one of the limp hands from the floor and held it, bending each of the fingers carefully in turn. It had all of the right joints, with the angles and tolerances well within the normal human range. The workmanship that had gone into the skin rivalled that of advanced prosthetics. The nails were slightly chipped, but the hand was otherwise flawless. Tezuka let the arm go, and it flopped to the ground heavily.

"You would think with this sort of workmanship that it would be a simple matter to include basic balance and motor functions in the limbs."  It was sort of disturbing to see the body just lying there limply, with only rhythmic blinking and the synthetic rise and fall of the chest as the robot simulated breathing.  Tezuka had seen many life-like constructs - had helped make some of them - but this was the most convincing model yet.  The only hint of the involvement of robotics was a round metal disc inset at the back of neck.  Tezuka was unsure of its purpose, and traced his fingers across it curiously.


The vocalisation briefly surprised Tezuka.  "Is that normal?"

Atobe dismissed it.  "Most models contain some form of audio feedback, usually based around the pressure sensors.  Excellent sound quality, though.  What do you think - is it procedurally synthesised or is it playing back from a library of samples?"

"It's hard to tell."  Experimentally, Tezuka pressed his hand on the bare stomach in hopes of triggering another sensor, but only elicited a barely audible huff.

"Honestly, Tezuka."  Atobe rolled his eyes.  "Obviously they'd put the pressure sensors on the erogenous zones."

Tezuka fought down a blush.  It was just a robot. Somewhat awkwardly, he placed his hand on the inside of the thigh. There was a short breath. He pulled his hand away as though the skin burned.
Atobe chuckled. “If you’re going to be like this, I should be grateful that I didn’t rent one of the female models. Should I do it?”
“It’s fine,” he replied stiffly. It was his job - he shouldn’t be so embarrassed. He constructed these things for a living, after all. Just because this one was a cut above the usual bioroids and of an attractive design was no reason to get flustered. He ran his hand along the stomach. The skin was pleasantly smooth. As it slipped under the waistband of the boxers, there was a small grunt, which jumped an octave when his fingers brushed the base of the cock. He ran his hand along the length, and was rewarded with a deep, throaty groan.
His face felt like it was on fire, and he snatched his hand away. “A sample library, I think.”
“You’re sure already?” Atobe was amused. “You wouldn’t like to play some more? I am paying, you know.”
Embarrassed, Tezuka ignored him, and turned his attention to the eyes. He tilted the head back towards him and withdrew a small flashlight he’d brought for this very purpose. He held the eyelid open with one hand, taking a moment to admire the exotic shade of gold before shining the light in it. “The iris contracts and expands according to light.” After letting go, both eyes blinked rapidly.
“They’re getting them from optometrics, then,” Atobe concluded. “The type that are meant for human replacements. They really spared no expense.”
Indeed. Even with medical insurance, just one eye was similar in price to the AI unit of a high-powered office model. Tezuka turned his attention to the elbows next. He spent some time testing each of the joints, occasionally jotting down some numbers.

"This is much more advanced than I thought it would be," he murmured, glancing over his notes.  There wouldn't be nearly enough time to even finish the most basic of superficial observations.
As though summoned by the though, a panel in the wall began to buzz insistently.  "Sirs, you have gone over time."

Atobe glared at the speaker, standing and stalking over to the microphone.  Holding down the button, he barked, "We're not done yet.  We'll pay extra for the time we go over."

There was a crackle, and a pause.  The service robot was probably conferring with a human.  "Sirs, we do not have an overcharge policy..."

"I'll pay triple."

There was a longer pause this time.  "The merchandise sometimes becomes defective after extended use..."

That was practically inviting Atobe to stay.  Tezuka knew that his employer would like nothing more than to discover the limit of such advanced robotics.  "I understand.  We'll pay double for any breakages or damage sustained.  I can afford it."

Another long pause, and the synthetic voice responded.  "Very well.  Though please report immediately if you encounter any issues."

"Yes, yes, of course," Atobe snapped, lifting his finger from the microphone button.

"It will be expensive," Tezuka advised.  "They'll probably charge you extra even if there is no damage."

Atobe sniffed.  "No doubt.  What kind of place doesn't have an overtime charge, though?"

It was a valid observation. "Perhaps the power source is particularly finite.  It would take a fair deal to run that many processors."
"You are... frum robofics?" 

Tezuka started at the unexpected sound.  He glanced down at the robot.  The golden eyes were fixed on him, and the mouth hanging slightly open.

"They talk, too?" Atobe sounded impressed.  It was relatively common to find a construct that could mimic one or two aspects of human nature to a convincing degree, but to combine them within the size of an average body remained a technological feat beyond the grasp of even the experts.  Advanced AI and speech required sizeable processors which there simply wasn't room for unless the more advanced motor functions were scrapped, and vice versa.  Wear and tear on convincing musculature was also drastically increased by the amount of gears within, and then further compounded when fluids such as saliva solutions were added to the mix. He supposed that explained the lack of motor function support – there probably just wasn’t space. It bothered him though. Why do everything except that?

"Why haven't you talked until now?" Tezuka asked.

A frown.  "Hard."  The words came out slurred.  Atobe walked over, yanking open the jaw and eliciting a small grunt and glare from the robot.

"Be gentle, you'll damage him," Tezuka chided.

"It," Atobe corrected absently.  "Say something else."

The glare intensified, and the robot remained silent.  Atobe rolled his eyes and stood again.

"It knows that we're in robotics," Tezuka observed.  "It will probably report us to the owners."

"No," it said, mouth working.  Speaking was clearly a struggle.

"Don't worry about it," Atobe assured him. “It won’t have a chance.”

"P’ease..." it tried again.

"May I?" Tezuka asked, wondering why he was seeking permission from a bioroid anyway.  The construct stilled, and Tezuka cupped the small, pale jaw carefully in his hand and slipped his index finger past the teeth.  He pressed down against the tongue, briefly impressed by the faithful reproduction of the texture and the inclusion of an appropriate solution to substitute for saliva.  "It definitely possesses speech capacity, and there don’t seem to be any blockages. I don’t see why speaking should be hard.”
Atobe’s eyes were wide. “You think perhaps it’s a learning AI?”
Tezuka was doubtful, but then, this bioroid had already far exceeded all of his expectations. “I suppose it could be… it would explain why talking is difficult, and why it didn’t try before now.”
Atobe nodded, looking somewhat excited. Tezuka was privately worried by the gleam in his eye. “The set of words it’s been exposed to probably didn’t include many we were using. It needed to adjust. I wonder what the limits are.”
“There’s not enough time to tell,” Tezuka pointed out. “You said the AI was quite advanced. Maybe it just took a while to download alternative routines, since we weren’t really… you know.” He coughed, and blushed. 
“You’ve got a point.” Atobe paced briefly. Tezuka watched him quietly for a moment.
After two long minutes had passed, he finally asked, “So what now?”
Atobe halted his stride and turned to him with a flourish. Tezuka didn’t like that grin. “…We steal it.”
No, Tezuka didn’t like that grin at all.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2009 11:35 am (UTC)
Oh my god the opening. /:) /:) /:)


Atobe fluffed out a monogrammed handkerchief before carefully folding it and replacing it in his pocket.

Oh man have I ever told you how much I love this Atobe? He's. sfjkhkadg. And then suggesting Tezuka play with the bioroid some moooore. *_*

I think what I really, really, really still love is the fact that he's just lying there, and the gold eyes are following Tezuka, and he's blinking lazily. *_* That's such a tragically touching scene.

One thing I noticed this time around was that the time Tezuka gets to play with the bioroid is extremely, very short? I might've missed something that stated the purpose of the establishment, but uh... :D;

OH MAN RYOMA GLARING AT ATOBE WHEN HE TOUCHES HIM. *_* And then subsiding when Tezuka asks. Awwww. akjhadkjghjds

Jan. 4th, 2009 11:35 am (UTC)
Oh woops, forgot to log on. Am currently on the sister's laptop transferring some things. :|
Jan. 4th, 2009 11:51 am (UTC)
I knew it was you anyway. ;)

Well, an hour flies by when you're both having fun and doing something illegal... :P *coughs* And most guys only require ten minutes. Point, though, I should have emphasized that time passage some more.

Jan. 4th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
Jan. 4th, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
asdlkfjlfj OMG YOUR ICON! Ciiiiieeeeeeell! <3
Jan. 4th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)


I love it already.

a;sldjalsd ajldajkdlakjdlakd! *___________* ♥ ♥ ♥

The setting. Ryoma on the bed. Tezuka calling Ryoma a him and Atobe correcting him. ;__; Learning capabilities and the moaning. Tezuka making him moan and lasdkjalsakdsla handjob. *___* The thought that Ryoma learnt the moaning from others. ;__; I'm seeing Chobits in this. (yes, Clamp again! :P)

asldjalsdkajskja! I haven't read much Asimov, but you make me want to take his work up again. I only read like a few chapters of Foundation. It's was for uni. :P

*pokes* With only the hints about robots taking care of finance and shops and the world! I can't wait to see more of the world Tezuka lives in.

;___; Ryoma is a robot. ;___; (Already thinking about the end.)

Jan. 5th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
(omg yes there is Chobits influence in this. Giant melting pot of robot influences.)

I've never actually read Asimov's Foundation series, but I've probably read just about every short story he's ever printed and a bunch of his essays. What did you think of the few chapters you read?

Heh heh, after all that, you don't actually get to see that much of the world. I take a very narrow focus. :P Though your comment does make me wish I'd written more of it. *is sort of wistful now*.

I SHALL DELIVER... on Wednesday. XP
Jan. 5th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
(How do you turn Ryoma off? ;P)

It's good, the way it twists and keeps you thinking and expecting. I don't read a lot of sci-fi but I still liked it's setting and people easy to understand and relate to. Basically, it talks about studying social history (by using mathematics) as a way of predicting the future. Sounds confusing but as a theory, it's pretty *__* to think about. I was told in a tutorial it focuses a lot on the plot, rather than its characters. :S Don't know if you'd like that, but it started out quite alright.

:D I also read Asimov's short story about the super computer and the big bang theory. alskdaj;slaks;l that one blew my mind, it was so awesome! "And then, there was light." :3

Oh well, focus on Tezuka and Ryoma is always preferred to than staring at scenery. :D lasakajlsdakd Throw in a bit? ;) You know you wanna! ;)

It's Tuesday now, 1.23AM here. *___* FIC in less than 24 hours.
Jan. 4th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
Aaaaw...Tezuka is adorable when he blushes...there's so many things that I like about this story so far and I can't wait for more...you stories are always so amazing and a joy to read and look forward too. ^__^
Jan. 4th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)

...I have a feeling Ryoma's not a robot. :/ The whole Atobe rant about an unknown company making something so realistic makes me suspicious. If that's the case, then poor Ryoma and co...

Love Atobe in this. He's absolutely shameless, just the way I like 'im. >D Looking forward to when Ryoma can match him tit for tat. Please write more soon~!
Jan. 4th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Whoops, sorry, replied on someone else's comment...
Jan. 5th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
LOL, I admire your reckless courage in making predictions in the very first chapter!

Next chapter on Wednesday, should all things go according to plan.
Jan. 5th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
*blushes* <- hmm, no, only works for Tezuka. :P Thank you! <3
Jan. 5th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)



Did I mention that I love you?
Jan. 5th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
It never gets old dear jade. ♥ ♥ ♥ :P
Jan. 6th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
I RIKE THIS, SIN. Not exactly the robots -they actually are the part I dislike most in Asimov's writings- but the futuristic stuff, that's really good. And you always, always nail down the characters to perfection. I RIKE VERY MUCH =DDD
Jan. 7th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
Thanks! *__* There definitely needs to be more futuristic fic in the world of tenipuri. :|
Jan. 9th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
It's nice to see Ryouma as the robot for a change~! ♥

it's also very, very sexy *g*
Jan. 9th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
It was supposed to be a Tezuka-bot, but this turned into a happy accident? :D
Jun. 10th, 2009 08:15 am (UTC)
As it slipped under the waistband of the boxers, there was a small grunt, which jumped an octave when his fingers brushed the base of the cock.

You got me there!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )