"So, your the captive." Arthur said to the woman in the holding cell.
"And you're the interrogator. Does torturing women get you off?"
Arthur ignored the question and let himself into the cell. The woman was restrained with powerful organic bonds to the wall so there was no chance of her being able to attack him. He reached forward and broke her arm in one simple motion, the crack echoing around the cell drowned out by her scream of pain as the bone splintered through the skin.
"Yes. Yes it does. And I'm going to enjoy myself a lot with you, I can tell."
The woman glared at him, then suddenly shuddered as if slapped.
"No, you wont be posessing me. I'm insulted you'd even try, you're not even a strong one."
"You're an AI! A fake!"
"Well done, you get a gold star. Now for the final prize, tell me, what did you want with Michael?"
"I know no Michael."
"Naughty, naughty." Arthur said as he wrenched the protuding bone back.
The woman threw up as the pain overwhelmed her.
"You know, demons really make this job easy. The host can't pass out while you're running the show and without anywhere to go, well, your just stuck. You and me."
The woman started choking as she swallowed her tongue.
"Don't bother, the wall is bonded with you organically, it's supplying all the nutrients and oxygen you need. You're only embarrassing yourself. You should have killed yourself like your friend."
The woman coughed and choked until was fine again.
"Do you think anything you do will make me tell you what I know?"
"Who cares. I'm just here for the party." Arthur said, and punched her repeatedly in the face.
The womans voice changed suddenly, she sounded scared, frightened. "Please god, please, help me, it's taken me over, it's made me do some many horrible things. Save me please. I just want to see my children again."
The woman sobbed uncontrollably. Arthur hardened himself. "Nice try. I'm not buying what you're selling though."
He backhanded her hard across the face again. "Look, I can do this forever. I can burn you slowly all over while the wall heals you and amplifies your nerve endings, I can do things you can't even imagine. You demons, so eager for the physical. Now you have it, all you do is complain."
He beat her to a bloody pulp, shattering both eyesockets and breaking her remaining limbs. For good measure, he set fire to her hair and listened to her scream.
"Your one of us, you know. Why do you think we can't posess AIs? because they're monsters. That you're even capable of this means you belong to us." The woman laughed, bubbles of blood gurgling from her broken jaw.
Arthur shrugged. "Oh yes, I'll join your side now, you've made me see the light. In order to carry out the glourious plans of my new masters though, I'll need some information. What did you want with Michael?"
The woman hissed and gurgled at him. "How dare you mock me!"
Arthur laughed at her and walked away.
"Don't leave me here! You have to finish what you started! Kill me! KILL ME!"
Arthur ignored her and headed back upstairs after cleaning himself off. The others had left except for Felicity.
"Tough nut?" She purred.
"You might say that, she's not a sob story, that one. I think I know which buttons to press though. Got to make her angry, make her try to hurt me with the truth."
"Doesn't it bother you? Doing what you do?" Felicit asked.
Arthur thought about it. He knew what he was doing was horrific, sadistic even. He didn't take any pleasure from it though, despite what he'd said but equally he felt no shame, no moral discomfort. He had once be told that all AIs were psychopaths because they hadn't the equipment to act otherwise, instead running a simulation of human behaviour to make people feel safe. Hell, maybe that was right but it didn't matter. He'd tried to avoid doing this again, that had to count for something, didn't it?
"No." He decided to change the subject. "So Felicity, what's with the catsuit? Baseline human not good enough for you?" He winked.
"Coming from an Apollo that doesn't carry a lot of weight." She laughed. "No, I just like it."
"Matt said you were new. When were you born?"
"I was one of the last, a few years into the war. They'd not booted me up deliberately, afraid their hard work would be destroyed by hunters if they did. They decided to release me into the wild in a stored form, I wasn't ran until about 20 years ago."
"Wow. That is young. If you don't mind me asking..."
"You want to know what happened? Gerald found me. Bought me in an illegal auction. You know how he feels about our kind, like he's our own personal saviour. He booted me up the same night and offered me a position."
"What? No play time?"
"I mean, no time to just be whatever you want? You've been DETF since zero?"
"Since zero. And don't feel bad for me. I want this. He said I could leave anytime I wanted and in twenty years, I've never even considered the idea once. What made you leave?" She said coyly. "If you don't mind me asking."
"Just tired I guess. I might have a flesh and blood body but being here, I just felt like a machine."
"We are machines."
"We have souls, we cast Aetheric shadows, it's been proven."
"And so what? So do dogs, turtles, birds.."
"Cats?" Arthur grinned.
"Even cats, yeah." Felicity said, giving him a look. "It doesn't change what we are."
"No, it doesn't, but we can change what we are, if we want to. I wanted to be different."
"And how is it? Being different? Last I heard you were a woman. You like it, being a man? You ever sexed up a cat before?" She purred, curling her tail towards her mouth suggestively.
"I dunno, still searching I guess. I'm thinking of going back, I felt more human as a woman, as a man, I feel like some kind of sex machine." Arthur laughed.
"Really? You wanna?" Felicity said, nodding towards the meeting room table.
"I could never refuse a pretty lady." Arthur shrugged as he gripped her and pushed her down onto the table as she giggled.
* * * * *
"Well, thanks for the distraction." Arthur said, getting up. "She's probably about ready for another session now."
Felicity sat up and dangled her legs over the table edge. "Wow, you really know how to make a girl feel special." She said sarcastically.
"Well, I should know. And thanks, I think you helped me make a decision."
"I'm going back."
"I was that bad, I swore you off women?" Felicity laughed.
"No, but you swore me off AIs. I've tried it both ways and now I know I'll never be happy, one way or the other. Being a woman was more comfortable though, and if i can't be happy, then at least I can do comfortable."
"Screw you Arthur! You're a frickin' traitor to our kind!"
Arthur shrugged and headed back down to the cells. He focused on the special glands he had in his body, triggering them with his mind and they began releasing a special retrovirus that began rewriting his DNA and rebuilding him from the inside. In a few hours, he'd be a woman and in a few hours, he'd be out of here. Just one last job, as a final farewell.
He cracked his knuckles as he entered the cell.
"So, your the captive." Arthur said to the woman in the holding cell.