Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Midori has gone a long way in taking the edge off Yuriko's melancholy. Yuri has decided that if she's feeling bad, now would be the best time to brace the lion in its den...she's gone to visit her brother for the first time in years.

Volume 5, Issue 3

"Artificial Intelligence"

Yuriko was pulled through piles of papers, machinery and what appeared to be random body parts, so quickly they were no more than a blur. When Takeshi stopped, Yuriko regained her balance, gasping for breath and trying to decide if her brother were mentally unstable or not.

Midori came hurrying up from the rear, picking her way through the mess a little more delicately than Yuriko had been given time for.

Yuri realized that Takeshi had been speaking for some moments. "We had a lot of trouble with the voice interface, as you can imagine, but we think we've managed to fine tune the recognition software to usable parameters."

Uh-huh." Yuriko said, desperately searching for something in Takeshi's words to grab on to. She looked around the room wondering what he was referring to, and completely failed to see anything that looked like a robot, or even a computer.

Takeshi had stopped talking. "Well, what do you think?" he asked.

"I uh, I..." Yuriko laughed and rubbed her head in embarrassment. "I don't have any idea what you're talking about, Takeshi."

Her brother looked startled, then grinned. "You never did."

"Guess not."

Takeshi seemed to realize that Midori was present all of a sudden and he blushed. "I'm sorry - I'm being extremely rude. Would you like some tea?"

"Sure," Yuriko responded automatically.

"Thank you," Midori answered more politely.

Takeshi reached forward and pushed an intercom button. "Kyouko- chan, would you bring three cups of tea to my office?"

"Of course, Professor." The woman's voice was lovely, Yuriko noted.

"Come on in, " Takeshi waved them through a glass door. He pulled a chair in after them and gestured for them to sit.

Moving to the desk, he stood by it and bowed to Midori. Yuriko said, "This is Yumi Midori, important friend."

Takeshi smiled broadly and introduced himself after Midori had done so.

"It's nice to meet you. Any friend of Yuri's..." he paused and made a vague waving gesture to fill in the remainder of the cliché.

There was a knock on the door and it opened. Yuriko turned to look at Kyouko-chan and sat back gaping. An android of a sort, vaguely humanoid, and trailing wires at key places, entered, bearing a tray in one hand. "She" stepped in, apologized for keeping them waiting in that lovely voice, and placed the tray of tea on the desk. When Yuriko once again looked at Takeshi, she could see him smiling evilly at her.

Yuriko laughed. "I think I understand better now, what you were saying before."

Takeshi laughed. "Let me introduce you to my "daughter," Kyouko- chan. Kyouko-chan," Takeshi spoke to the android, "this is my sister, Yuriko."

The android turned its crystalline eyes and circuitboard face towards Yuriko. "Good afternoon, oba-san," it said pleasantly.

Takeshi gestured at Yuriko, who jumped. "Um, good afternoon, Kyouko-san," she began, but found herself unable to think of anything to say to the creature.

"Kyouko-chan, you'll have to excuse Yuriko - she and I haven't spoken in many years."

"Of course, Professor," the android said politely. "I'll leave you then."

"No, please stay for a moment." Takeshi stood. "Yuriko, please ask Kyouko-chan to do something, anything."

Yuriko looked around the room, settling on the inbox on Takeshi's desk.

"Kyouko-san, can you straighten the papers in Takeshi's inbox?"

The android turned her head to look at the item. "I'll be glad to, but it might take me some time. My manual dexterity isn't that advanced."

"Oh. Well, can you just bring it to me then?"

"It would be my pleasure."

Takeshi put his hand on the inbox. "That won't be necessary, Kyouko-chan. Now, Yuri, ask Kyouko-chan to do something, I don't know, immoral or impossible."


Takeshi laughed. "And say it like you're a gangster."

Yuriko shook her head, but gave it a moment's thought. With a sneer on her face she said, "Yo, chickie, I want ya should break that guy's legs." Yuriko grinned at Midori's giggle.

"I'm sorry," Kyouko-chan replied, "I won't be able to comply with your request. However, I assume that you did not actually intend for me to hurt the Professor, but were simply testing my language recognition."

"Thank you, Kyouko-chan," Takeshi said. "You're absolutely right. Now if you'll excuse us..."

"It was a great pleasure meeting you, Yuriko-oba-san." Kyouko- chan bowed and let herself out of the office.

When the door closed Yuriko whistled. "My gods, that's impressive. I feel like I'm watching a scifi movie."

"You're not. It's not fiction, it's not the future, it's now. She is something else, though, isn't she? She's the closest thing in existence to passing the Turing test..." Takeshi leaned forward and poured the tea, heedless of propriety as he always was. The fact comforted Yuriko immensely. "So, little sister, I see you've been busy the last few years. Tell me what you're up to now."

With a sense of lightness of the soul that she hadn't felt in years, Yuriko launched into a complete retelling of the last few years of her life.