Outlaw Star Fan Fiction ❯ Of Autumn Stars and Electric Dreams ❯ Hothouse Flowers ( Chapter 1 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Disclaimer: The recognizable characters appearing in this story are © Takehiko Itoh and Katsuhiko Chiba. All rights reserved. They are used without permission and for entertainment purposes only. No profit is being made by the author for writing this story. No infringement upon nor challenge to the rights of the copyright holders is intended; nor should any be inferred.

Of Autumn Stars and Electric Dreams
By Ssin'urn Solen

Chapter 1: Hothouse Flowers

Harry MacDougall traversed through the layers of the ship's computer. He found loads of redundant data that the designers had put in for fun. Programs from long forgotten video games, to books, to episodes of Star Trek were scattered through the miasma of data. Perhaps the designers thought that the more garbage they put in the computer, the less likely it would get bored enough to create a glitch.
Nothing satisfied Harry. He had lost something of himself. Part of it was the loss of never seeing Melfina again, but it was not all. He thought perhaps it was with his long discarded body at the Galactic Leyline.
"What did my body do? And why did it not send back the data to the Shangri La when it expired?" He knew it had something to do with Melfina. Perhaps he had received the data and chose to put it in inaccessible files. It was tough to survive ones own death, even for a bio-engineered construct.
He decided he could not put it off any longer. If he did not find that data and face it, he might not be able to run the ship properly. Ron was counting on him. Harry could not be slacking off.
He floated through, finding one black ice space after another, and still not finding a clue. Most were of his long forgotten childhood, before Ron found him. The time before he first awakened to free will and not some predetermined purpose.
Suddenly, the face of a beautiful girl, leapt from the data in one of the boxes. Harry had no idea who the girl was, but she was not Melfina. As more data came streaming out, the girl lie there, asleep. She had light brown hair that reached far past her knees. Unlike most programs, this girl wore a sheer, green luminescent robe around her naked body.
"Hey, who are you? Are you going to wake up? Huh? How long have you been stuck in there?"
The girl opened her eyes, they were the exact same color as her robe. She smiled and raised her hands to touch Harry's cheek. Just the touch of her fingers excited him.
She hummed slightly, her voice sounding like gentle chimes.
"Who are you?" Harry asked again. He was feeling things a disembodied soul should not be able to feel. Her hands were massaging his generated form.
"What name do you want me to be? My last master called me Flower Blossom."
"What are you?"
"I am here for you, new master. Tell me what you wish, and I will do my best to please you."
Harry suddenly leapt away from her touch. "You are the program for a sex bio-android!"
"That is not my primary function, but I can have sex with you, if you want."
"No, that's okay. You can just um well.."
"I do not please you? Do you wish me to take another form? I will do whatever you want of me."
"Fine lady, look. First I am gonna get some clothes on you and then I need to go talk to someone. Besides, I have a bunch of black ice boxes to go through. I don't have time for, um well, that."
"I can search for you if that will please you."
"No, no. I can do that myself. Hey, how are you at finding and disarming virus programs?"
"It is one of my specialties, as well as breaking encryptions. That is part of my purpose. I gather information and terminate my target."
"Ah, now I see. You are what in the old days they called a honey trap."
"I am not aware of that term."
"A sexy espionage or assassin bio-android. Wait, how do I know I am not your mark."
"You are not my target. My target looks like this." She said as an image of a handsome looking man with blonde hair and blue eyes leapt from her palm.
"So, do you know what year it is?"
Flower rattled off a date.
"Well I hate to break it to you lady, but it looks like you missed your mark by a long shot. That was over seventy years ago. Your mark is probably dead already."
"No, he is likely not. He is also an espionage assassin bio-android. Our masters pitted us against each other for amusement."
"Well, I have no idea where your body is, but you are now integrated into the computer on my ship, the Shangri La."
"Don't worry, I have plenty of stuff for you to do, as long as you keep your fingers off of me. I am Harry MacDougall. And from now on, you are my little sister. Okay."
"If that pleases you."
"Yeah right. As for that name, ugh. Gotta give you something else. How about Deirdre? Deirdre MacDougall. Dee for short."
"I am Deirdre MacDougall."
"Alright, lets get to work. Your other big brother, Ron, wants the checks done before he gets back."
"Very well Master."
"Dee, just call me Harry, okay? I am your brother."
"Okay Harry.


"Harry, Harry, wake up will ye."
"I'm here Ron, with an interesting surprise I found."
"You know I hate surprises, Harry."
"You will like this one. Congtats, Ron, we have a sister."
"A sister?"
"Yeah. I found her in one of the redundant stores. She is a damn good cutter. She cuts through encryptions like butter. I call her Deirdre. Seems like before her data was dumped here, she was a mouser."
"A what?!"
"Sorry Ron, I know that term upsets you. I didn't mean.."
"It's okay, Harry. We are brothers, aren't we?"
"Yeah. Well, here she is, our little sister Deirdre, Dee for short."
Dee appeared onto the screen for Ron to see. His eyes nearly popped out of his head.
"Wow! What a babe for a sister! We will need to keep a leash on you or the guys will be all over you, Dee."
"You are my brother Ron."
Dee smiled. "I am glad to have brothers."
"Dee, you go on and look for viruses. I need to talk to Harry for a while."
"Okay , brother."
Once Dee was out on her errands in the computer, Ron gave Harry a serious look. "Harry, has she awakened to free will yet?"
"I don't think so. I hope to get her into a body before she does."
"We need to get you into a body as well. That way you can downlink and uplink. I already have one growing. For her, it will be simpler. Female bio-androids are popular this year. All I have to do is pick a body out for her."
"Good. I have been going around checking the boxes in here. I have been looking from the data I lost at the Leyline."
"Be careful Harry. You might find out things about yourself you don't want to know."
"Will do."


Ron grumbled at himself as he walked down the street to the body broker. He wanted to know how much longer it would be before Harry's body was ready. He also wanted to find something suitable for Dee. Preferably something a little less buxom.
Ron's mind began to wander.
Harry had called Dee a 'mouser.' To Ron, that was the most hated term ever used for a bio-bio-android.
Wealthy businessmen made bio-bio-androids to ease their boredom. When sex and comedy did not suffice, a group of up and coming bio-android makers and dealers came up with something they called a 'mouser.'
Mousers were pawns in a high stakes cloak and dagger game played by the rich. The bio-androids were equipped with a target, and then set loose. Bets were made on which bio-android would come out on top.
None of the owners of mousers cared what happened to the bio-android once the game was over. After all, they may have been partially grown from human DNA, but they were only toys.
Most of the early mousers had a normal life expectancy, as far as bio-bio-androids go. When the mousers went awry, it was hard to stop them.
Later models were given a finite life span. The later model mousers became the prototypes to actual assassin bio-bio-androids.
Ron was a bio-bio-android mouser himself before he awakened to free will. It happened after he killed his mark, another bio-bio-android assassin. Once his job entertaining his master with the espionage game was over, Ron was tossed out. He awakened to give himself a purpose.
If it had not been for the guy they called, 'Junkman,' Ron would have probably died.
Kyle 'The Junkman' MacDougall was an outlaw. Kyle never had much time on his hands to have a wife or family. When Kyle found Ron, he at first, thought it was great to have a friend to help with the upkeep of his ship. After a while Kyle thought of Ron as his son, and treated him that way.
While on a job on Oracion, Kyle and Ron found a small boy clutching a teddy bear. The boy's eyes were full of fear and shock. The boy was covered in blood and an oily residue.
"Those sick bastards," Kyle said as he picked up the blue haired boy, "Those rich bastards made kid into a mouser. What is your name, boy?"
"Do you have a master?"
"No. He threw me in the trash bin when I did what I was supposed to. I barely escaped the compactor. I must have done something wrong for him to throw me away."
"How old are you, Harry?" Kyle asked soothingly.
"Six. My master said that my age gave me the advantage. I won the game. Then he threw me away. Why didn't he love me?" Harry said as tears streamed down his little face.
"You are coming with me, Harry. I am your new daddy,. Ron here is your big brother. Nobody is going to make you play any games you don't want to anymore."
A voice saying, "May I help you sir?" brought Ron out of his thoughts.
"Uh, yes. I have the data for a bio-android, but her body has been destroyed. I would like a body around sixteen years old, light brown hair and blue eyes. you got something like that?"
The shopkeeper narrowed her eyes at Ron.
"It is for my sister. She transferred her memories and knowledge as data into a computer. I want my baby sister out of my computer, and back in a body. I don't have the heart to delete her, but she is causing problems."
"Oh, I see. I think I have just the one."
The female bio-android body was that of a plain looking girl. Her build was athletic, but thin and somewhat flat chested. Her hair was waist length and neatly braided.
“She is perfect. How much?”
“2,000 wong.”
“A bit steep for just an empty shell.”
“She is a bargain. She was made as a special order, but the customer and the data for the shell were destroyed. Angel Links caught that customer on a pirate raid and ionized them. The original cost to make this shell was 30,000.”
“Alright. I will take it. It will be so good to have Deirdre back.”
“Thanks for your business.”


Although they have nothing to do with the story itself, the name comes from books by two of my favorite authors: Michael Moorcock's City in the Autumn Stars and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

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