SNAPSHOT #1: INSTALLATION Boxes upon boxes of wires, processing units, and the rest of the mess, were wheeled into Reginald's apartment. The tech forums he frequently visited all boasted the simplicity of making a superior computer big rig with the newest release of Alli Illusion, an artificial intelligence capable of migrating to any other connected, compatible device made by the same company, Ally Technology: TV, sound systems, and the like. He regretted ever thinking that his modest background in computer science was enough to build this thing on his own, but he had to 'do things himself.' He turned away even the people who brought it in, noting his easy to read frustrated expression and telling him straight up that hiring Ally Technicians would save him worlds of trouble. "I'm fine, thank you." Reginald said simply, smiling dimly before closing the door to his personal hole on them. His smile evaporated as he opened each box and with great scrutiny made a complete inventory of what was sent on about five full pages of paper in small, perfect print. After, he pulled out his trusty toolkit from a kitchen cupboard, right of the only other one that was used, populated with exactly one plate, bowl, cup, utensils, and a medium pan. The toolkit was extremely archaic by modern standards: duct tape, screwdrivers, and wire strippers were no comparison to that single laser technology tool that could fix everything, but Reginald preferred the rawness of crude tools of which he was far more proficient as a mechanic. 'Old mechanics', such as himself, though he was only 23 years old, were not yet obsoleted by robotics, for there was still a niche market for old fashioned cars that ran on gasoline and crude oil, a rarity. Colleagues said he should take more school, and Master his com-sci side of his untapped intellect. Reginald had enough of school, weary of the falseness of academic prestige and gathering. His joy was through his physical works, not a drawn out thesis. He toiled for countless hours that he could scratch from the afternoon and weekends, shifting and organizing the pool of wires bound into senseless bundles, except to his own categorical mind. It took months what a team of Ally Technicians could do in a solid couple of days. He thought about what the Alli Intelligence would be like as he worked it all through, soldering wire with the care of a surgeon working on muscle, and greasing moving parts the way a seductress might apply a soothing balm. The tech forums had released appearance mods to make the artificial 'him' or 'her' look more sexy than the original template. The default was female, so he left that configuration alone. Reginald didn't want sexy though -- he wanted a friend, or in this case a semblance of one. By the time it was closing in on completion, Reginald looked at the completed rig in raw contemplation. It had probably been done wrong. Who knew how well it would work, with the bugs and holes in his amateur code, and his crude mechanical imperfections? He chose to rest and turn on the damn thing at September 1st, 1:28 PM, the exact time of his birth at St. Matthew's Hospital, 24 years in the future. "Happy Birthday." he murmured, as the rig whirred about.