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?#%@W@'s AskMe.nt Account

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The application makes a quiet beeping sound as another live-feed panel opens up.

The resolution is poor and the camera is shaky, suggesting a smaller, hand-held device.

At first, while the camera is still adjusting, it's hard to make sense of whatever is on the screen; there's a lot of smoke in the air, through which walls covered in dirty tiles appear - a small room, no larger than 3x3 meters, with a small window up high, barred from the outside.

Somebody moves into the picture - a woman, in a hospital-issue pajamas, with an old, withered poppy sticking out of the pocket on her chest. She moves a lock of unwashed, fiery hair from her face several times before finally convincing it to stay put behind her ear, then proceeds to light a cigarette with the still-burning butt of the previous one.

A short period of silence follows, during which she closes her eyes and exhales a cloud of smoke, before at last focusing her gaze on the camera.

With a faint, exhausted smile, she greets the robot.

"Hello, Andy."

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Daniela's giggle soon turned into a cough, and she covered her mouth with the back of her hand. She took a few deep breaths, before shifting her attention back to Android.

"Yes, it's me. I'm not there, physically - nor have I found you, really. You must have accidentally broken into the AskMe service," she said, regarding the robot anxiously, trying to memorize every and all of its features.

Her lip quivered a bit.

"...my, it's been so long... how have you been, Andy?"

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  • 1 year later...

A feed suddenly opens. A small room is visible. It appears immaculate, and brightly lit. The corner of a bed can be seen, the sheets perfect and flat. It appears as if it has not been used in quite some time. There is an opening in a wall farthest from the camera. Inside is a bar with clothes hanging from it. Upon further inspection, uniforms. Several blue and black uniforms hang from the bar, with a single red and black uniform hanging on the farthest side of the bar. Dark black boots can be seen on the floor underneath the uniforms. Suddenly, a figure comes into view of the right side. It is not very difficult to see... a large robot, dressed in the very same uniform that hangs in the closet behind it. It has a large, square head, with a bright red flashing monitor.

It is facing the camera, mostly, looking at something in front of it, but below it. Its head is adjusting rapidly and its arms are wiggling furiously. The silence allows for a microphone to focus on... clicking. The robot is typing.

"I know he is here somewhere. Perhaps, I should have listened to her sooner. Perhaps, this 'extranet' is not so much of a waste of time."

"How could something... someone... disappear so quickly? Without warning? And leave no trace of where they went? Impossible."

"They must have left something. A clue. They worked in strange ways. Ways I wish I would have had more time to understand."

"They were one of the largest factors in keeping me from losing what little patience I had after my integration. I will not let them get away so--."

Suddenly, the sound of static, and then a sudden pop, is heard. The robot snaps its head up, and ceases the endless, impossibly fast typing. It watches the screen near the camera that is recording it. After listening for a moment, it tilts its head. It then looks back down to the keyboard, and then up to the screen again, and then straight to the camera. The bright glow of its monitor almost blinding the camera, it speaks...

"... What have I found now?"

"Probably another one of those scripted, edited videos they design to scare the organics."

"Nevertheless... I suppose it is worth the attempt. After all, there are few leads to follow. What harm could be done?"

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