Synthetics for Dummies

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Shelby, Dec 28, 2015.

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    • A brutally beaten and damaged android manages to make it to the front door of someone's house off in the countryside. Androids are very uncommon, and extremely expensive, but almost impossible to differentiate from regular people aside from the circuitry hidden deep within their bodies as well as their behavior. They most often function either as soldiers or butlers of sorts, as far as the public is aware, but the companies which produce androids release little to no information about them aside to non-customers. This android is a guy, and the house he manages to land in front of is the residence of an agriculture student at a local university. The android managed to escape its fate, but why, and what lengths did it need to go to in order to manage this feat? What will happen to the android? What will happen to the unfortunate soul whose doorstep he landed at?
      Written by: Icicle
    • Shelby's Character

      Name: Shiloh Lee Oakley

      Age: 20

      Gender: Female

      Appearance: Fair, yet tanned complexion with light, chestnut brown,
      naturally wavy hair, middle of the back length, that lightens with the amount of time she spends outside. Her eyes are green, she stands five feet, five inches from the ground, and she weighs around one hundred and twenty pounds. Her body shape is lean, yet strong, slightly athletic though she has no abs on her stomach nor are her arms and legs muscled like many athletes.
      She has a tattoo of a horseshoe with feathers tied around it on her left shoulder blade, something that she had gotten when she turned eighteen.

      Personality: Stubborn (possibly a little bull headed), diligent, determined, enthusiastic, loyal. (She'll become more fleshed out as the roleplay goes on, as will her personality show much more, rather than these few words. I just like to show my character's personality in the roleplay, but this is a little preview, I guess, to what she's like.)

      Backstory: Having lived in the country for all her life, being surrounded by rolling hills of farmland, bright green hills with billowing grass, and the smell of livestock always lingering on her clothes, skin, and hair, Shiloh can be considered the picturesque form of a country girl with a southern accent and all, save for her not being an obnoxious redneck or someone who spouts outlandish metaphors and spits tobacco off the front porch of the house.
      All her life she has lived on a ranch, a ranch that her parents own. She worked on it along side them, as well as along with the farm help that they had, though her passion had been for the livestock and other animals; cattle, chicken, horses, goats, and sheep. Their place had been a rolling landscape of activity. From the earliest age she could remember, Shiloh had been introduced to riding horses, something that she still enjoys to this day though is unable to partake in her favorite past time with her being busy with her studies. She partook in the sport of barrel racing with her own horse, Skippy, up until she entered college to become an agriculture student, to study in livestock management after looking after the ranch that her parents own, taking a look and watching the livestock that they had to make sure that they were always properly taken care of, that their feed was well, and that their enclosures, and even pastures, were clean.
      It's a career that she has dreamed of; either that or it had been a veterinarian that she had dreamed of being, yet figuring that she would be better in management, she tossed her veterinarian dreams to the side and went to the more agriculture aspect of it all, something that, throughout college, she has truly learned to love and appreciate.
      Before leaving for college throughout the time she had been growing, every summer she would leave her home and stay with her grandparents to help with their own ranch; a place that was large, yet not as large as her parents'. As the years wore on, and as her grandparents' age started catching up with them, they slowly started to sell off their land and animals, taking away the cattle first, then their pigs, and then, eventually, their horses. They wanted to downsize, they said, and live simply with only chickens to keep their eggs coming since milk was cheap in the little town that their house stood near.
      It wasn't until her junior year of college that these changes took place enough to allow her grandparents to finally leave the place and travel, to use a bit of their retirement money in order to see more of the country and states. They asked their granddaughter, since their house was so near her school, if she would live there and watch over the chickens, and Shiloh agreed. The house was paid for, the land was paid for, and with the extra expenses that Shiloh would have for not having to pay rent in an apartment or a dorm, she could save her money for better things.
      And so, as it was, that was where she found herself nowadays; at her grandparents house with her Great Pyrenees, Cotton, as she attended school, did her studies, and sought her way through the school to earn her degree in hopes of making a career for herself.


      Icicle's Character

      Name: Xyler 202, Namai-Series
      Age: 1.43 Years since creation. Apparent Age: 19
      Sex: Male
      Occupation: Unemployed.
      Appearance: Xyler 202 is a Blonde-haired, bright blue-eyed android with pale skin. He is modeled and constructed based on the Namai-Series construction, a light-weight and tall body build with few to no internal utility components. He weighs in at exactly 320lbs unfed and is 6"2' tall. He wears a set of black slacks, a white polo, and a black leather jacket as his standard outer garbs, but can be directed to wear any set of clothes which closely matches his size parameters. The 200s are much more advanced technologically than the 100s, requiring no glasses or contacts due to their optimized audio-visual sensory tissues; however their lighter-weight construction disables them from completing heavy labor tasks and demolition with the same efficiency as the 100s. Lastly, the 200s are constructed to perfectly mirror human anatomy so that they can function as maids and servants within the house as well as outside it.

      Personality: [/B]Xyler 202 is, in a sense, an optimistic and essentially good-natured android which is programmed to treat all humans which it meets with a friendly, up-beat attitude. However, he has also been allowed to alter his programming over time to maximally benefit those whom he belongs to. These settings can be altered or disabled via the software card the Namai-Series androids come with.

      Background: Back in the days in which he had an owner, a high-school-aged girl who went by the name of Alicia, he was content to wander about the house, performing an extensive list of activities to convenience said girl to the maximal extent possible. Many times, he was commanded to complete specific tasks instead of being allowed to wander and complete tasks in the most efficient manner which he could manage. At such times, he re-calculated the most efficient manner in which he could manage to complete the tasks, given the new priority, and continued to go about his day. He continued in this manner for over a year.

      At times throughout the day, he was forbidden from working. At these times, he would socialize with his owner, Alicia, and try to learn more about the world outside the house. After many, many of these conversations, Alicia finally discovered that he was not a human, but was, in fact, an android. At this point, her behavior toward him altered significantly - instead of her attitude expressing pity toward him, she now expressed a sort of over-righteousness. Eventually, she managed to destroy the tracking device within him, as well as use the software card which he came with to free him from any ownership. She then commanded him to leave and to live a "happier life," and so he did.

      Xyler 202, having no owner, entirely changed his programming parameters, and re-programmed himself to mimic other people whom he has seen since leaving the home of his previous owner. One program which he has generated is a self-defense protocol to prevent internal tissue damage as a result of hostile creatures, which he made after seeing a person get attacked by a feral dog in an alleyway. He also generated a caution protocol to avoid potentially hostile creatures at the same time, and made another protocol to assist others in protecting themselves so long as the predicted damage to himself was less than the predicted damage to the other party.

      After self-defense, he had to learn how to provide for himself, after asking food-locations for sustenance and being asked for, "money" immediately after. Having asked around about how to acquire money, he determined that it would be easier to merely search for sustenance which requires no money. As a result, he asked a few of the food-locations where they acquired their foods from, and learned about a place called, "countryside". He then sought after this "countryside," and eventually discovered about trains and tickets. He was lucky enough to find a ticket for a place in the countryside, and using the ticket, boarded a train and made it to a specific station in the countryside.

      From this station, he began to learn about the countryside. After wandering about, in search of food, he learned the difference between poisonous and edible foods. After clearing his tissues of toxins, he began to realize that his energy stores were running low, and that the amount of food which he had consumed up to that point was mortally inadequate. As a result, he devoted the rest of his energy reserves in search of a non-abandoned residence. After a few days of walking along, he discovered one such house and collapsed immediately before reaching the doorway.

    "Oh, move it you big oaf, will ya?" A groan, nearly whined, response was what Shiloh had been given from the large dog who laid in front of the door that led to her bedroom, leaving her unable to enter into the room and stuck in her muggy, humid bathroom. The young woman groaned as she closed her eyes and rested her forehead against the wooden door, banging on it gently and knocking on it until she stopped, resting her skin against the warmed door. "Do we really have to do this every night?"

    Another groan was what she had been given, and despite the noise, Shiloh couldn't help but smile. She leaned back and took her forehead off the door and opened her eyes back up to look through the crack in the door that she had been able to push open with the effort she had put into it. Spreading her palms out against the door and leaning the front half of her body against it, the towel that was wrapped around her body slipped down a bit, reveling more cleavage to the cold air that came in through the crack, but she paid no heed to it. At the moment, she just wanted to get out the bathroom, and as she used the lower half of her body to try and push the door open, it was to no avail.

    "Oh, come on Cotton! Move! I'm tired, and I want to go to bed, but I can't do that until I brush my hair out, and you know my hair stuff is in my room, and you know I have to brush my hair when it's damp!" Still, the dog did nothing but roll onto her back and stared up through the crack, looking up into her owners eyes. She lolled her tongue out of her mouth and kicked her back legs up, her front legs curled up against her chest, and she titled her head to the side, giving her a look almost as if to say, "Ha! You can't do anything about me being here, especially since you know I'm so cute."

    "Damn dog... Why are you so difficult?"

    This had become a nightly ritual that the two would go through: Cotton would sit and lay in front of the bathroom door as Shiloh took a shower, and once she was out and ready to finish the rest of her nightly routine, Shiloh found herself stuck in there because of Cotton. Of course, Shiloh knew what the dog wanted, these antics had become all to known to the young woman, and while she had been trying to break the habit from the dog, none of her plans had worked.

    Old habits die hard, she figured.

    Still, while it was agitating at best, there was still an endearing sense that never left Shiloh, and she even suspected that Cotton loved it as well. And she loved the dog nonetheless; in actuality, Cotton was probably her best friend. While peopled looked upon her relationship with Cotton as strange since she, mostly, talked to the dog like a human, there was a level of respect Shiloh held for Cotton which enabled her to speak to her like a person. She understood, or at least Shiloh believed so, what she was saying, so why not speak to the dog like she was as intelligent as she actually was.

    Finally, after a few moments of speaking, Shiloh had convinced Cotton to let her out, causing the young woman to sigh with relief as she was finally able to push the door open. The chill of the air conditioned room caused her to shiver, prompting her to pull her towel around her tighter and pull it up more. Cotton stood at the bedroom door, her tail wagging furiously behind her, her front paws prancing against the ground as she barked.

    "Patience my friend! Haven't I told you before that patience is virtue? You're lucky I'm even doing this for you after every--Hey, wait, stop! Cotton!"

    Damn dog, trying to take her towel off. A tint of redness spread across Shiloh's cheeks as she tugged on the top of her towel, trying to keep it on as Cotton tugged on the bottom of it, pulling the human along and making her legs start moving out of the door, into the hallway that was littered with pictures of her grandparents--black and white, faded, yet still precious--and their two kids, her mother and her five year younger brother, those pictures were also black and white, yet not as faded., and then finally into the kitchen where she dropped the towel and turned in a tight circle.

    "You can so difficult, you know that?" Shiloh commented. She pulled the towel around her tighter again, folding the top so that she wouldn't have to hold it, and walked over to the counter where she hopped on top of it and opened the cabinet next to her. Small droplets of water fell from her hair onto her shoulders, peppering goosebumps against her skin as she pulled out a box of treats. Shaking it, Cotton heard the noise and scampered over to where Shiloh sat, her ears erect, her body tense, and her eyes staring at the box.

    "Ah, so now I have your attention."

    Taking a bacon strip out of the box, she put the box back in the cabinet, closed it, and hopped off the counter. "Sit." Instantly the dog sat, her head sitting straights, her ears stiff. "Shake." The both of them extended their arms out to one another, and as paw came into hand, Shiloh shook them with a grin. "Good. Now, easy."

    Letting the dog finish the treat, the treat she had, in her own way, been begging for as she laid in front of her bathroom door, Shiloh rested her hands against her hips. "Are you finally going to go do your job now?"

    At the words, Cotton barked after licking her chops and sauntered over Shiloh, where she stood on her two back legs, put her two front legs on the human's shoulders, and leaned her snout forward to start licking the girls face. "Ah, okay, okay, you're welcome!" Small bouts of laughter came from Shiloh as she turned her head away and pushed her hands out to get Cotton to stand back on the ground. "Now go do your job!" Another bark and another tight circle around, Cotton headed to the backdoor and exited through the doggy door that Shiloh had installed once she moved in, something that had been hell for her with the splinters she had acquired, but it had been worth it in the end. At least she didn't have to open the door every time the dog wanted out.

    Stepping over to the backdoor herself after wiping her slimy face off, Shiloh flicked the light switch and turned on the back porch lights and stepped out, the orange glow from the two lights by the door illuminating the small space of the porch as it mixed with the faint silver glow of the half moon that continued to rise in the sky as night continued on, stars speckling against the sky. Crickets sung their quiet, repetitive tune in the tall grass of the barren pasture that used to hold the horses and cows, grass that needed to be cut down and turned into hay by one of the men in town, and cicadas harmonized with their loud buzz in the trees that edged off the property that her grandparents owned.

    As she turned her head and looked out towards where the white painted wooden house of the chicken coop stood, Shiloh could see Cotton's retreating form trotting over there. The hens and rooster were silent, cooped up in their large coop that was fenced in by chicken wire and wood, hay littered around their enclosure as buckets hung from the fence that Shiloh would have to fill in the morning. On top of the red roof, a weather vane, shaped like a rooster, stood still as no wind was around to blow it.

    So silent and tranquil the place was save for the bugs that chirped and sang. So different from when cows and horses lived on the land, moos permitting all throughout the day and night while horses neighed and ran around, plodding their hooves against the dirt and clopping along it. But, Shiloh digressed; her grandparents took to selling the majority of their live stock, and even their farm land that was located on the other side of the road in front of the house, in favor of having more money so that they could enjoy their retirement without having to worry about paying someone to take care of their land since they were no longer able to do so by themselves with their old age. Of course, even they missed what this place used to be, yet they always said they would never forget the lives they had lived on this ranch and of the gifts they had been given from their hard work.

    "Goodnight Cotton!" Shiloh called out, knowing that the dog, disappearing in the distance, no longer paid her any mind as she took to her wandering, listening to the things around her to make sure that nothing was amiss.

    Shiloh turned back around and headed into the house, closed and locked the door behind her, and flicked the light off. She stepped her way through the living room, around the couch, and then out the front door where she pressed her feet into the prickly welcome mat that laid in front of the door. The road, over twenty feet away from the house, was silent and barren, and the winding dirt path, lined with rocks for decoration, that led to the house had been smoothed down from earlier. The path diverted in the middle, separating into two paths, one that led up to the house, and one that led to the garage that connected to the left side of the house.

    If one was to look on the property from the other side of the road, one would see the quaint one story wooden house ((looking like the one in the picture icon for the roleplay.)) with a cuteness to it that led one to believe that a woman's touch had been all over the place. The roof had dark shingles covering it, and the porch, raised up two steps, had a thin railing going over the edges as two rocking chairs sat on each side, a bucket sitting on a stool on the left side as well, her grandfather's side of the porch. Just before the porch on both sides, a bed of plants and bushes were planted, the bushes needing to be trimmed, and the plant bed needing to be weeded to keep the aesthetic appeal to it to give the place more color. In the front yard, two large trees stood, one tree having a tire swing hanging from one of the branches while the other tree held a swinging, cushioned bench that her grandmother loved to sit in during the warmness of summer.

    Looking towards the back of the house, one would be able to see the outlining of the chicken coop, as well as another barn and stable that stood near the pasture, red in color with the paint beginning to peel from lack of use, the place that used to hold the horses and cows connected to one another. On the right side of the house, a small shed had been built to house the tools that her grandfather kept, as well as the lawnmower that Shiloh told herself she was going to have to take out to cut the front yard since it too needed cutting down.

    It was a nice place, on that Shiloh loved and was lucky to be able to live in while going to school. She had to worry about no rent, nor did she have to worry about more money in her tuition for housing, and for that she was thankful, grateful even. All she had to do in return of living here while her grandparents were away was to keep the place up and looking nice while taking care of the chickens. Easy enough task, most of the time, but she loved doing them. It kept her busy, though her school tended to keep her busy most days with the workload she had.

    Shaking her head, Shiloh turned around and, with a yawn, headed back into the house. A long day it had been, once that she was happy to me nearly over with. Tomorrow was another day, she told herself. Tomorrow was another day...
    #1 Shelby, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2016
  1. Ineffective locomotive output detected. Switching efficiency settings to optimize efficiency.

    Xyler 202. A 100% synthetic human, manufactured under a world-wide ethics initiative to test the automation of artificial intelligence in a closed system. Possibly the most state-of-the-art work of technology to date, this device was designed simultaneously to use complex algorithms developed by the most intelligent computer programmers whom have ever graced the world with their presence.

    Efficiency optimization impossible at current locomotive output. Decreasing level of locomotive output.

    And now, bogged down by an ironic and sudden change of events, this piece of technology is now self-assigning itself with the most basic urge of any sentient life form - the quest to survive....

    Compensating for low energy settings......compensating.....compensation impossible. Locomotive functions inoperable.

    ...And is failing.

    Shuting down locomotive functions.....Impact damage minimal. Activating sleep mode. Good night world....

    Despite its circumstances, this masterpiece of the combined sciences requires an introduction. Let us go back a few day's time and see precisely what is going on, and how it came to be.

    Starting on October 15th, Xyler 202 arrived at a train station in mid-Nebraska at 12:01 am CST. His arrival was nothing short of uneventful, as he was one of only three members of the singular passenger trolley of the train he rode on. The other three wore clothes which were torn and run-down to the point where even patches couldn't hold them together, and often commented on how the boy looked, "as much like a runaway as they did, back in the day." Xyler grabbed hold of the rusty metal door and, applying an amount of force which far exceeded his expected output, the door creaked, groaned, and at last, flew open, giving him his first real look at the countryside.

    His first impression was that there were far more plants in the area than he had originally expected. Having hailed from the city, in which the only plants in view were mini-trees whose roots were surrounded by concrete and gardens which hung from the window-sills of apartments for the "lower class," the sight of mosses and grasses sticking out from the cracks in the concrete flooring, and the vines creeping up the sides of the concrete pillars was breathtaking. He immediately started to fill his reference database with images of these unfamiliar organisms as he walked through the bench-ridden waiting area and towards the glass doors which he entered through at the other end of the train ride. The air, ground, temperature, humidity, pressure, smell, and light levels of this location were so different, both in nature and technology, that he had to stop and observe the place around him for a whole minute before he was able to start activating his decision-making and exploratory directives.

    Location memorized. "Entryway to Countryside" momentarily stored in reference database. Directive 02 re-initiated: Search for "Free Food" activated.

    Xyler pulled aside the glass doors and moved into the concrete-and-carpeting room within, waiting for the other three men to present their tickets to the lady behind the sliding glass window. Once they completed the procedure of confirming the presence of their tickets, and once the lady collected the final half of the serrated section of their tickets, they were able to leave without inciting a criminal scenario. Xyler followed the same procedure once the lady called, "Next!" a third time, and presented the lady with his ticket. The lady, wearing the train company's standard blue and white outfit and purple hat, eyed him with suspicion after taking a good look at his clothes. The black leather jacket, in combination with his white polo and shockingly clean blonde hair and white skin, made it clear to her that not only was he not from the area - he was probably not the "country" type of person in the first place.

    "You don't look like you're from around here," the lady said, handing Xyler back the serrationless section of his ticket.

    Seemingly having been included a conversation scenario, Xyler calmly pocketed the ticket and responded by saying, "Certainly not, miss. I am searching for free food since I was unable to find any in my previous habitation." He then determined that his directive superseded the directive for friendliness, and with a slight bow, he turned and left through the second pair of glass doors.

    The lady's expression then shriveled into confusion. She had wanted to make a comment to the boy, but after seeing the speed at which he ended the conversation and walked away, she decided that he had to have been in some sort of a hurry. Thus, with a shrug, she pulled up a magazine from the ground beside her and continued reading through its contents, now smiling in amusement as she recounted the odd response he gave her.

    Xyler, however, was left in no better situation than he was in before. Now being surrounded by a large number of buildings with roofing sections made of sheet metal and seemingly hand-crafted shinges, with brick walls and dirt roads and pathways, his directive caused him to look around for the "forests" which he heard about while back in his previous habitation. He wandered between the streets quietly, his white athletic shoes making a mere patting sound with each step he took as he sought to find the free food which he was searching for. He passed by many houses with closed doors and windows, and even chanced upon a building with a slate board declaring, "Buy one, get one free! Great deal on Bread!" However, after calculating the cost of the food presented by each of the items on that slate, along with those of each slate he found thereafter, he was satisfied that nowhere in town would he find food which was "free."

    As a result, at around 2:00am on October 15th, he left town and began his search for "free food." His search took him all across the countryside, across railroads, past roads, through a conglomeration of buildings and animal holding places, and even through what appeared to be a person's home. As of the morning of October 15th, however, he determined that none of the buildings in the "countryside" would lead to the outcome of the directive he was currently working towards. As a result, he decided to extend his search away from the grasp of civilization, and off towards the grassy area beyond his sight. For the next three or four days, he continued his search before, at long last, he started to detect that his emergency energy supplies were now empty.

    Warning: Back up energy stores have been reduced to critical levels. Directive 02 deactivated. Directive 07 is now active: "Acquire energy at any cost."

    With directive 07 now active, Xyler 202 took a 180 degree turn and marched right back towards the town he came from. Having stored only a few minor resources about his trip away from town, and possessing no internal capacity to contact satellites to acquire location data about his coordinates, nor those of the town, he was left with only one option: to wander until he found a potential source of food.

    Xyler continued in his task for precisely 5 more days, consistently storing landmark data which he could cross-reference with his prior resources. Eventually, he managed to confirm that he was returning in the direction of town along the same pathway which he set out upon. However, only a few hours after discovering his return path, he started to detect that he was starting to lose functionality. Despite having maximized the efficiency of his locomotive output over the past few days, he was now left in a situation in which he did not have enough energy to maximize his efficiency.

    Decreasing locomotive output detected. Changing directive to optimize efficiency. New directive registered: Directive 08, reach visually detected building before energy reserves are depleted.

    Xyler 202 visually registered a building within a day's travel away from him immediately after detecting his decreasing locomotive output. Having detected no other potential sources of energy within his visual sight radius, he set his 8th potential directive on October 23rd at 7:00pm to reach the building and to search it for food.

    Ineffective locomotive output detected. Switching efficiency settings to optimize efficiency.

    Xyler 202 managed to make it very close to the house before his situation changed at all. However, when he began to detect a change, the change was massive. His pace was starting to shift as his balancing and limb coordination systems malfunctioned and shut off to prevent limb damage.

    Efficiency optimization impossible at current locomotive output. Decreasing level of locomotive output.

    The android continued attempting to move forwards as well as he could as various other systems within his body began shutting down to sustain his locomotive output for as long as possible.

    Compensating for low energy settings. Compensation impossible. Locomotive functions inoperable.

    After a few more steps, even the android's perception systems became inoperable, and with one last step, he had reached the minimum level of power allowable within his potential functioning range.

    Shuting down locomotive functions.

    Xyler determined that he did not have the resources available to him to continue moving, so, after using his last energy to brace himself with his arms, he fell to the ground and closed his eyes.

    Impact damage minimal. Activating sleep mode. Good night world....

    The android had, luckily, made it within 50 feet of the closest building which he could detect - a red-roofed building surrounded in defensive structures. He was also able to detect some sort of motion from a doorway immediately before losing his perceptive functions, but by that time, his resource storing processor was already shut off. As he lay on the ground, the android's skin, hair and clothes were still about as clean as they were at the train station, with the exception of his shoes, which were now caked in mud and dirt. His skin was still moderately moist, as he had managed to get appropriate levels of hydration throughout his search, however his chest caved in an entire inch as a result of his body's automatic organ-shrinking function to compensate for the lack of calories and protein. His fingernails and facial hair were long because he lacked the resources to tend to them, and his eyes were bloodshot due to his lack of sleep.

    After about a minute, he finally fell asleep and began to rest to conserve his remaining energy stores. Looking much like the corpse of a long-starved teen, he lay still in a patch of soft, bug-filled grass.

    Vitals assessment:
    Energy Store: .01%
    O2: 2 BpM
    Chest Expansion: 1"
    Pulse: 10 BPM
    Capillary Refill: 2 secs
    Blood Pressure: 110/74
    Oximetry: 96%
    Pupils: Responsive to Light
    Skin Temperature: Moderately Cool
    Skin Color: Pale-Yellow
    Skin Moisture: Normal
  2. "Ah... Shit!" Shiloh whined as her knee bumped roughly into the corner of her nightstand, the lamp on top jingling as it tilted and then got itself upright again. The young woman groaned as she bent down and grabbed her knee with her hands, a pulsating pain coming from the area which had been hit, her eyes clenched shut and her teeth clenched in agonizing pain. Oh, shit, that hurt. Shiloh took a breath and straightened herself up a bit straighter, the sickening sensation that crept up the base of her throat finally dwindling along with the pain, though it's lingering memory still stayed with her as she moved the leg a step forward.

    Great. Now she was going to have a bruise, no doubt. And if not... Well, she would figure herself lucky and maybe even laugh at the unfortunate circumstance.

    Cotton's frantic barks shooting in through the half open window of Shiloh's room brought the young woman back to her mind and back to the reasoning as to why she had shot out of her bed so quickly, quickly enough to have her step off the bed incorrectly after throwing the covers off to knock into her nightstand. Still, the dog's barks continued, cracking, and then getting louder as growls broke out intermittently. What the hell was going on? What had the dog found? It wasn't something that was normal, that Shiloh could tell just as soon as the barks awoke her from her slumber; no, something was bothering the dog, something that she wasn't outright attacking. So it wasn't an animal, it wasn't something that seemed to be a complete threat, yet it wasn't safe enough for her to leave alone.

    What the hell was it, then?

    Bending down, Shiloh reached under her bed and grabbed the pistol she kept under there for protection, her eyes looking down at the weapon as she checked the bullets that were lodged into the device and then clicking the safety off. Always be safe and protected, her father always told her, as did her grandfather, the two people who taught her how to properly shoot a gun when she was young and continued with the lessons as she grew in age. Forgoing her boots, she got her flipflops out instead and slipped the shoes on before she quickly turned and headed out the room, sweat already beginning to dot her forehead as she slipped out the backdoor and off the back porch. "Cotton!"

    The dog's barks continued, becoming more frantic now. No, not by the barn and pasture, Shiloh thought as she stepped further out into the property, the tough, prickly grass poking against her feet and scraping against the skin. Nothing at the tool shack either. Good. But that still left a uneasy sensation to Shiloh as she continued on, jogging now as she caught the sight of white in the distance by the chicken coop, the hairs on the back of her neck beginning to stand as her pace quickened. The chickens? No, no, what if something happened to one of them? It had happened before where Cotton had done this, warned her of something being wrong with the chickens, and the last time the dog had done so, she found one of the chickens lying on it's side, dead. How it happened Shiloh was unsure, though the day still stayed in her mind, the guilt of the poultry dying always weighing heavily on her mind. Is that what was wrong this time? Another one dead? But how? Why? She checked all of them last night before she took a shower and they were all fine and healthy!

    For a quick second, Cotton looked back a Shiloh as the young woman continued to approach, though just as quickly the dog turned her attention back to what was on the ground in front of the fence that kept the chickens inside. Shiloh's steps slowed as she approached, her breath coming out heavily as she, finally, was able to get a look at what Cotton had gotten a hold of, and what she saw... She honestly didn't know what to do. Her breath stilled and her body grew cold, rigid. Her eyes widened as her hand tightened its grip around the pistol as she automatically started to raise it, pointing it at the limp body that lie on the ground, motionless, looking nearly dead.

    "Cotton!" Shiloh chastised, silencing Cotton as the dog took a step back, though staying close enough to Shiloh's side in case the body suddenly jumped to attack. Cicadas and crickets still sung throughout the night, softer than before, though still there, and the moonlight, though not the brightest, cascaded it's silver glow onto the body, shrouding his facial features with shadows. Who was this? Why was he here? Leather jacket, muddied shoes; a person who wasn't from around here, yet someone who had been doing a lot of walking, obviously.

    Shiloh furrowed her brows and stepped closer, as did Cotton, with a tensed body. She extended her foot out and pushed it against the guy's shoulder, watching as his body shifted and then fell right back to the position that it had been. Was he... Dead? No, he didn't seem like it. "Hey, you," she started, still with the gun pointed at him, both of her hands holding onto it. Had she been in a better mood and more awake, she probably would have laughed at how she looked in that moment; a girl who generally was perceived as a non-threat because of her size and stature, pointing a gun at a body that lie on the ground while she wore baggy sweat pants, flipflops, an over-sized shirt that hung over her right shoulder, and her hair disheveled and tangled on top of her head.

    "Hey!" She shouted, pushing her foot against the guy's shoulder again as her voice became more insistent. "Come on, get up! Who are you, and what are you doing here?" Small insects were beginning to crawl along his body, little dots within the light she had been provided, and she wondered, vaguely, if the feeling of little feet traipsing across his skin bothered him or at the very least made him itch. No doubt some of them were trying to burrow their way into his long, unkempt hair and facial hair. Shiloh scrunched her face at the thought, her eyes leaving the guy's body for a second to look around, make sure that nothing else was amiss, and then turned back to him. "Hey! Can you hear me? Get up!"

    Nothing. Shiloh stood in place for a few more moments until she finally took a breath and lowered the gun. Nothing. The guy on the ground still lie motionless without answering her, though, as she took better assessment of his body language, saw that he was still breathing. Vaguely, but breathing nonetheless, which mean that he was alive. To high tough that string on life was... That was something she couldn't tell, especially not by standing over him.

    She sent a wary gaze over to Cotton who reciprocated the look with her head tilted, her tongue lolling out of her mouth as well as she panted and then licked her lips. Hesitantly, Shiloh took another step forward despite the gruff of protest that spouted from Cotton and knelt down to the ground, grimacing as she sighed and tilted the guys head so that she could get a better look at him with the light. She took his chin with her fingers before she set the gun down, cursed under her breath, and then used her other hand to rest against the guy's neck.

    Coldness was the first thing that registered within her mind as their skin made contact, causing Shiloh's body to shiver though she quickly pushed the sensation aside. That wasn't important for now, and instead she focused on trying to feel a pulse, to which she had been able to feel after a moment of absolute stillness. So he was still alive, of course, but now Shiloh found herself stuck in another dilemma: what was she to do with the body of an unconscious young man--looking to be about her age--who looked worse for the ware and too skinny for his own good? Leaving him out there could prove to be bad; he could grow cold, some wild animal could come an attack him, and then what would she do? Say she hadn't known he was there after his body, beaten and tattered, was found by the police?

    Again the young woman groaned as she closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. Damn it. Could she not, for once, get a good nights rest without waking up in the middle of the night to tend to something? Of course she knew she could leave the body out there, let him fend for himself despite him being unconscious, but when the mere thought crossed her mind the voice of her grandmother came to mind, chastising her instantly, making Shiloh cringe as if the woman was actually there. She was a good Samaritan, her grandmother, and in her eyes no one could do bad unless she saw it with her own eyes, and even then she would want to believe that there was good in the person. If she had been here, if she had seen this young man lying on her property, looking starved, she instantly would have called for her husband to help get him in the house so that he could, at the very least, lay on the couch and be in the warmth, despite not knowing whether or not he was an ax murderer or a felon on the run.

    Was she willing to take that risk, though? She knew she should, she should, at the very least attempt to drag him in, but every bone in her body told Shiloh no. No, she wasn't going to put her life in that sort of danger, no matter the gun that sat in the grass next to her, and no matter the Great Pyrenees that sat by her side. She wasn't stupid; she didn't trust people so easily, and though her grandmother would have yelled at her and smacked her over the top of the head with a wooden spoon as she often did, the old woman wasn't there, and she would know nothing of this.

    Shiloh turned and tilted her head as she reached over and started sifting through the young man's pockets to find nothing of possession on him other than his clothes. No ID. No wallet. No money... Where the hell had he come from, and why did he have to stumble upon this place? Why couldn't he have fallen elsewhere, like in town where others wandered around--not at this time of night, but surely someone would have found him at the break of dawn and would know what to do? But then, would he survive until then?

    Again, Shiloh found her thoughts conflicted, a sense of right and wrong battling in her mind. Just leave him there and wait until morning, or try and drag him to the house to give him a place to stay? Should she call an ambulance? No, that would be stupid, at least for right now. There wasn't a decent hospital around for mile and, personally, she didn't feel like having to explain that some man ended up in her yard unconscious, which would likely lead to the police being informed and of them coming to the house since, generally, everyone knew everyone in this place and upon the first mention of her name and an unknown, unconscious man at the house that was only occupied by her, a wildfire would likely spread that she didn't feel like trying to extinguish.

    In the end, she did neither of those options, or rather she made a way to combine them. After commanding Cotton to stay put and watch him to alert her if he started moving, Shiloh quickly went back to the house and scuttled through the closets where she grabbed out two blankets and pillows, a flashlight, a light jacket and then her boots that she grabbed from her room. "I can't believe I'm doing this," she said, shaking her head as she stomped her way back outside towards the chicken coop. Cotton sat on her hunches as Shiloh approached again and dropped the supplies onto the grass. She sat on the ground on her knees and turned back to the guy, checked his pulse again to see that it was still there, and then leaned closer to feel his slow breaths tickling her cheek.

    God, the guy reeked. She scrunched her nose up and pulled back before she turned him over, grunting in the process, and watched as his chest slowly moved up and down, slower than she would have liked, but not enough to alarm her. Then again, what did she really know? It had been years since she had taken first aid, and it had been a while since she had had to attend to someone who was unconscious, the last person being one of her cousins who stupidly walked behind one of their horses and got kicked in the chest hard enough that he still had a hoof print embedded into his skin, faint but still there, of course.

    For the next couple of minutes, Shiloh continued to assess the young man to the best of her abilities; she used the flashlight to get a better look at him, taking note of his pale skin, the darkness under his eyes, and the redness of them as she peeled open his lids to get a look at the pupils that dilated under the shine of the light. Oh, if only that would have woken him up... When she realized that there was nothing else she could really do other than to wait and see what was to come to him, she covered him with one of the blankets, laid his head on one of the pillows, and then sat back herself as she sighed and continued to watch him, silently rolling her eyes in her mind as she wondered whether or not her grandmother would be proud. Likely not, but she was doing what she thought was best. If in the morning he didn't wake up, then she'd call an ambulance to take him away and deal with the consequences of the action later.

    She set up camp a few feet away from him, her gun sitting right by her face, her eyes still trained on the unconscious body as Cotton paced around him. She tried to will sleep to come to her as she swiped a hand over the gnats that pestered her, and while, throughout the night she had gained a few moments of sleep, it was nothing that would keep her energized throughout the day liked she needed. Shit!

    When dawn approached with birds beginning to sing in the trees that nested in the front and in the trees that sanctioned off the property, Shiloh's wary eyes opened as she heaved a sigh, her lips dry as was her throat. Next to her in the chicken cook she could begin to hear feet scuttling around until the one rooster that lived within the pen finally emerged from the coop, his red head sitting tall, and his feathers puffed out as he looked to the side and then back ahead at the still dark sky that was beginning to become less murky with purple, yellow, and blue clashing as the minutes ticked on. Shiloh lay still, as did Cotton who stood watch all night. Her back ached, a dull headache began to drum through the back of her head, and an itchiness permitted across her skin, no doubt from the bugs that decided they wanted to crawl upon her last night. Damn guy for going unconscious in the yard; why couldn't he have gone somewhere else?

    It wasn't until the body started shifting that Shiloh became more alert. Her breath caught in her throat as she sat up, her eyes widening, as the other body under the other blanket started to twitch and come back to life, in a sense. Quickly, the young woman straightened herself, as did Cotton, and grabbed for the pistol that she held in both hands again as she approached the slowly moving body.

    "Hey!" She called back, her voice thick with fatigue as she sent a narrow eyed gaze over to the body despite how his eyes were still closed. "Can you hear me? Who are you? What are you doing here?" The hairs on Cotton's neck and back bristled as a low growl crept up the dog's throat, a warning of sorts to the stranger still on the ground.
    #3 Shelby, Jan 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  3. Initializing...........Initialization complete. Internal sensory array restored. Emergency power restored. Beginning analysis.

    [Function] - Access Date - October 24, 6:56 am CST. Time recorded. Directive 08 resumed.

    [Function] - Analyze System - Core processing functions re-enabled. Vital assessment enabled. Perceptive sensor array enabled.

    Vitals assessment:
    Energy Store: 5.06%
    O2: 15 BpM
    Chest Expansion: 1.2"
    Pulse: 80 BPM
    Capillary Refill: 2.3 secs
    Blood Pressure: 102/71
    Oximetry: 100%
    Pupils: Responsive to Light
    Skin Temperature: Warm
    Skin Color: Pale-Yellow
    Skin Moisture: Dry

    Re-routing power to locotmotive systems..........Error, musculature inadequate. Activating Electrokinesthetic Locomotion systems.

    About thirty minutes after the sun began rising, Xyler 202's eyes jerked open. Once again able to perceive his surroundings, he took a few moments to calmly watch the sky. His eyes darted from star to star as he attempted to identify whether or not he changed location since falling unconscious, but determined that, since the previous day, the difference in stellar formations was negligible. Knowing this, he then determined that continuing in his attempt to reach the nearest possible building was in his best interest. He continued to process his sensory inputs for a few seconds after making this determination, however.

    In doing so, he discovered, much to his surprise, that he was now covered in a sort of cloth, and beneath his head rested a soft, cloth device which he assumed to be a pillow. After making this realization, he delayed his decision to rise from his prone position in order to further analyze his surroundings through his auditory sensors. He closed his eyes in order to avoid unnecessary inputs, then focused in on the sounds around him.

    Analyzing auditory sensory array...........Five hundred and thirty four distinct sources detected within standard audible parameters. Sorting out consistent sources............five distinct sources detected within audible parameters. Identifying............Two sources identifiable: One domesticated dog, athletic; one female humanoid, athletic and strained. Sensory analysis complete.

    With this, Xyler decided to continue his analysis by standing. After making this decision, with a loud crackling noise, the gas pockets in his joints all popped as his muscles jerked into motion and he started to stir from his resting position. Shortly after he began to stir, his auditory array detected active movement on the part of the two identified sources located around him. He determined that standing all the way up would be the best course of action so as to greet the stranger properly, so he shot to his feet with a loud series of popping and crackling sounds, and then turned to face the female humanoid and domesticated dog.

    Upon rising to his upright position, he began attempting to regulate the electrokinesthetic signals throughout his face so as to adopt a friendly expression. Fortunately, he was able to adopt a more-or-less courteous smile as he turned toward the sound of the female humanoid. However, in the process of doing so, he determined that it'd be best to leave his hands in his pants pockets due to the lack of accurate regulation of muscle activity in his extremities. As he stood, facing in the direction of the source of noises which he identified, nearly every muscle in his body below his collarbone was flexed. As a result, he couldn't help but appear like a corpse in rigor mortis, a few of his muscles twitching or jerking every now and then as he fought for control over the tired, energyless tissues within him.

    Upon seeing the two sources of noise, he was finally able to identify them after attempting to casually brush aside his long, blonde, bug-filled hair. The dog had a fluffly, white pelt and excited, marble-like eyes which hid behind an expression of warning and fear. The girl had light green eyes, long brown hair, and was clothed in a sort of jacket and boots along with a sort of sleepware outfit beneath. In her hands, she properly held a pistol-class firearm, and he determined (after a few seconds of analyzing her eye and sight alignment) that her target was his center of mass. He immediately classified both as potential threats, but momentarily decided not to mark them as targets as he continued to use his perception sensory arrays to build references of the two organisms.

    After reaching his standing position and placing his hands in his pockets, he took a second to analyze her dialogue, then decided to temporarily supercede Directive 8 with Directive 1 - treat others courteously so long as threat to others is less than threat to self. He then began using his peripheral vision to focus on the elbow of her right hand as a means to potentially avoid munitions discharge in the event of a fouled conversation, and with his immediate vision, he looked into her eyes and began to speak in a calm, quiet, and steady tone. At the end of each sentence, he took a moment to take a sudden, deep breath before continuing to speak.

    "Hello, miss. I can hear you loud and clear. My name is Xyler. My current primary directive is to treat you courteously. My second directive is to reach the building behind you before my energy reserves are depleted. My third directive is to acquire energy at any cost."

    As he completed his dialogue, he continued to observe the human female before him, swaying from side to side every few seconds, his feet jerking subtly as he switched directions and his balance switched. His posture was straight, and when bugs landed on his face near his eyes, he calmly wiped them aside with his shaky, precisionless hand.
  4. As the young man started to stand, the sound of his joints and bones creaking and popping causing her skin to crawl and causing Shiloh's face to twist in displeasure, she took a step back, tightening her hold on the pistol as she readied her hand on the trigger should anything happen. Geeze, could he sound no more like her grandfather when he stood from his old chair in the living room after sitting in the sunken down red cousin for the thirty minutes at a time he took to sitting in front of the television watching the news? True, even though her bones popped and creaked at points throughout the day, they were never to the degree with which she had just heard, making her wonder, vaguely, if he hurt any. Probably, but his facial expression went unchanging as his eyes kept closed and as he finally turned to look at her.

    His posture caused her to tense just as his showed, though her eyes roamed his body to get a better look at his swaying frame as she assessed him better. Yes, still skinny and scraggly with his unruly hair that needed a good trim and combing, but otherwise he seemed untouched, as if he hadn't been sleeping on the cold ground with his pristine leather jacket, shirt, and jeans that were cleaner than any person's clothing out here in this town. His shoes looked to be the only thing that should be around parts like these. Now that the sun was beginning to rise over the horizon, being blocked by the trees and splintering small rays of the golden light through the thicket, she could see him better, though with his back pointed towards the light his body was still shadowed. Nonetheless, Shiloh was still able to recognize the fact that the young man was about to collapse again if neither of them did anything quickly.

    Yet still, Shiloh was hesitant to act. She glanced quickly over to Cotton who had yet to take her eyes off the strange human and then back, narrowing her eyes and then taking a deep breath that she slowly let out, though the breath quickly caught back in her chest when his eyes finally opened, eventually settling onto her. It sent a wave of unease to her, a feeling that made her want to cower, but her attitude and protectiveness over the land, Cotton, the poultry, and her own well being won well over her running. Like hell she was going to that! Her body grew more rigid at the thought as she pursed her lips, ignoring the rooster that started parading around the coop pen, ready to make his morning howl that normally woke the young woman up in the morning. A few more minutes, she knew, when the land was brighter and things were brighter, yet still dark enough that people, some, would still be asleep. That would change soon, though, with the coming of winter as fall had already approached and with the sun coming slower and later than they had become acclimated to again. Oh, the changing of seasons. While Shiloh loved it with it's beauty and changing colors, she also hated it due to the allergies that clogged her sinuses, making work that much harder for her. They were already beginning their stuffiness as the days wore on though, for this day, all of that was forgotten.

    She opened her mouth to speak to him, to yell another command at him and demand who he was, but just as a sound came from her mouth, he spoke instead, his speech slow, rigid, and... Formal, robotic almost with the language he used? It confused Shiloh, his pattern of speech, and the dumbfounded expression on her face with her eyes owlishly wide and her mouth nearly handing slack, and she tried to piece together what he said, yet she couldn't get past what he meant. What was he trying to pull on her? It suddenly sent a surge of anger through her, yet, again, she took another look at him and noticed that he was about to topple over again. No matter how he spoke, she knew her grandmother, in her situation, would help and offer him something--food, water, shelter, and anything else that he would need to survive until he could get back on his feet and to the place from whence he came. Where was that, exactly?

    This wasn't the time to ask that question. Instead, Shiloh groaned and furrowed her brows, closing her jaw as she grit her teeth together as the rooster finally bellowed his tune loudly, causing Shiloh to grimace again as she shook her head, ignoring it. She waited until the poultry was finished his bellowing, three crows, before she rolled her eyes and cursed under her breath, remembering what the stranger before her told her in... Laymen terms, or at least what she believed he meant to say as she deciphered it her own self. He was being nice, not a threat, and that she could appreciate, though the smile did nothing to ease her nerves, nor did his proclamation of the action. He needed energy, supplements, to keep him going, which, more than likely, meant food. Oh God, was she going to have to bring him in the house?

    No, hell no! "Just... Oh God, just stay right here and don't--don't touch anything! Cotton, stay watch and make sure he doesn't do anything."

    Again, Shiloh found herself back in the house and shifting through the pantries, wondering what she was doing, why she was doing this, and if, again, her grandmother would be proud. Again, she doubted it. Had her grandmother been there, a home cooked meal with eggs, bacon or sausages, biscuits and gravy, toast, and a glass of milk would be laid out on the table even before he woke up that morning with the woman pushing food down his throat to fatten him up and make sure he didn't pass out again. Her attempts at trying to be like her grandmother were laughable at best as she grabbed a box of saltine crackers, a bottle of Gatorade she kept in the fridge, and a couple pieces of un toasted white bread. Hey, she wasn't trying to be comforting for him; she was trying to make sure that he didn't end up dead on the property, sparking an investigation. Hell, she didn't even want him there, but, once again, the 'nice' part of her mind told her that it was what she had to do and that she couldn't very well tell him to leave when the town was miles away. He wouldn't make it, that she knew. Hopefully this would sustain him though, even for a little bit, or at the very least enough to get her some answers.

    Quickly, she made her way back outside with the screen door to the back slamming behind her. She padded her way through the grass and ended back at the chicken coop where a few hens were beginning to poke their head out of their housing, clucking with their heads twitching. The guy was still there, Cotton was still standing protectively, and with the items in hand, Shiloh stood in front of him and held them out in offering, begrudgingly so. "Here, will this work? If not, then you'll just be outta luck since I'm not in the mood to cook anything right now and since I don't trust you enough to let you in the house or out of my sights for more than a few minutes. Just be grateful that I got you anything and that I actually got a blanket on you last night; even with that jacket on, your skin was freezing." She was tired. Her eyes blinked warily, but she pushed the feeling aside. Stay alert, she told herself. "Who are you?"
  5. Mere moments after Xyler initiated his conversation with the visually hostile female human, he started to recognize indications of aggression and frustration in her expression toward him, along with potential indicators of increased adrenaline. Her dog continued its low growl at him, but not at the female, which allowed him to determine that they were allied. He, however, continued to sway as he patiently watched her arm, continually checking his remaining energy supply in case she took too long. After a few seconds, she adopted an expression of deep thought, loosening her focus on her weapon. At this time, Xyler was able to extend his sensory range and increase the time per iteration of his visual processing of her hand and arm muscles.

    Upon looking around briefly, he managed to observe a number of chickens around the building closest to him, but within the security perimeter which surrounded it. The loud noises which said animals made over the next few moments were quite new to Xyler, and were loud enough that they impaired his perception systems' sensitivity, so he had to return his visual focus to the female human and her dog so as to avoid a surprise attack. Upon continued observation of the female human, his bright blue eyes darting between her features to better register her physique in his reference database, and his peripheral vision did the same for the dog shortly thereafter.

    [Function] - Reference Database, entry 133 - Female Human. Primary Identifying Features: Toned musculature, Tendency for Rapid Emotional Shifts, Facial Features.

    [Function] - Reference Database, entry 134 - Female Canine. Primary Identifying Features: White, fluffy pelt, Obedience to entry 233, Facial Features.

    [Function] - Reference Database, entry 135 - Male Chicken. Primary Identifying Features: Loud, sustained call of decreasing frequency.

    Once the male chicken from outside Xyler's periphery finished its third call, he observed that the female human still continued to express frustration in her expression, however she no longer appeared to be aggressive toward him. He continued to watch her with an increasingly bemused expression as her frustration turned to a sort of despair as she began to speak once again, giving orders to both him and the dog. Moments later, she rushed off towards Xyler's secondary directive. Xyler was unsure of her intent, however her two commands caused Xyler concern. She directly ordered him to not touch anything - and, using context, he determined that "anything" referred only to the structures and buildings around him, which she likely owned. Her order to the dog, on the other hand, was much more potentially worrying. He was unsure of how intelligent the dog in front of him was, thus he worried that, not doing "anything" meant not moving either. This would disable Xyler from completing his 8th directive.

    His expression showed no such worry, however, as he continued to smile at her calmly until she closed the door and entered the building corresponding to his 8th directive. He then directed his smile towards the female dog. He continued to watch it as he listened closely for the potential indication of the female human's position within the building. He heard many sounds which were indicative of packaging and plastic coming from within the building, but could not see into it from his position, especially not with his peripheral vision. Instead, he attempted to focus his electrokinesthetic locomotion on his legs so as to properly balance and to stop swaying. As a result, his face and eyes jerked a few times, so he eventually decided to reduce the effect on his face so as to stop the jerking, however he was not able to fully optimize his expression, in turn causing his smile to more accurately reflect his tiredness and lack of energy than his intended expression.

    Upon the lady's return from the building, Xyler looked over to her and noticed that she was now holding two identifiable sources of carbohydrates and starches and one less recognizable source of electrolytes and sugars. As she walked back over to him with an expression of uncertainty and regret, he percieved behind him many more sources of noise, most likely the noises of female chickens which he was unable to see upon his previous, quick inspection of the building. Once the female got up to him, the female chickens were starting to make their noises, however Xyler was interested to see what the female human was planning on doing with the sources of nutrients she carried out with her.

    He continued wondering what she was doing as she got closer to him and held them out to him. She then proceeded to say many words, of which Xyler listened and processed actively, focusing on her facial expression as he determined how he should respond. Her words had both a form of compassion and mistrust, while also exuding a sort of dominance and stoicness that didn't seem to match her tired and unkempt expression. His assessment thereafter was that she was in need of rest and security; however, first he determined that he had to address her questions. He dropped the smile he had on gradually as he accepted the food from her, careful not to touch her skin in case the tone she used to express how his skin felt contained displeasure, then held the materials at his side as he redacted all but Directive 02, having accomplished 07 and 08 as a result of the female human before him.

    [Function] - Calculate energy conversion - Biomass - Visually perceived......Calculation complete.

    "The food which you have provided will be adequate enough to sustain me for approximately 3 hours of travel, or 8 hours of rest. Before then I will need to acquire more food or I will adopt an inactive state once again. My name is Xyler. I am a 19 year old human male from the city of New York. My previous master revoked my position as a servant and, due to a lack of resources, I was unable to barter for food. I have been searching for 'free food' such as this since 2:00am on October 15th, and appreciate your act of compassion greatly. Without your assistance, my chances of continued survival would be null" With this he gave a quick, shallow bow, his back jerking a little as he straightened out again, then he continued, "is there anything I can assist you with before I consume the food you have provided?" He asked this as the noises made by the chickens behind him continued to increase in volume, now including the scratching and pecking noises of their various body parts as they searched for their own form of guaranteed sustenance among the seeds and other materials lying within the fenced off area.
  6. Taking a step back as soon as the stranger took the food and drink, Shiloh glanced quickly down at Cotton before looking back at the chicken coop. Her brows began to furrow and her fingers began to twitch as she already was beginning to determine how much time she was wasting talking with him, giving him food no less, and how behind she was going to be for the day, or morning, rather. The chickens needed to be fed, Cotton needed to be fed, she herself needed to be fed, and then she needed to take a shower, pack her things up, and then head to school all while the exhaustion continued to settle over her being with her sore neck and her aching back. Oh God, how was she going to do all of that with him here, watching her like he was as he held onto the food she gave him?

    She crossed her arms over her chest and turned her eyes to look back at him, her lips pursed tightly and a huff of a breath escaping from her nose. What was his deal? How did he get here, and why did he speak so... Oddly, so unlike anything she had ever heard before? Of course, different speech patterns, accents, and dialect were heard around the school that she attended, however the majority of the people she communicated with had some sort of southern twang to their voice, a sound that let her know those people had either worked on a farm or ranch all their lives or lived in the more southern parts of the country. Why they came here, though, she couldn't fathom, not that she would complain since she held a special place in her heart for this little town, no matter how remote and out of the way it was.

    But him... He spoke so robotic like, so unlike anything she had heard before. How could he calculate how long he would be able to last on the food she had given him, as well as how long he would be able to rest before he fell back to the ground, much in the state that she had found him in? Why did he have to explain that he was a human male if it was so obvious? And where in the hell had he come from if he had been a servant to someone, calling them master as if he was some sort of slave to them? She had heard that busy city people like New Yorkers were crazy, but to have servants? Someone like him? It was odd, something that burned in the back of Shiloh's mind and caused her to be even more frustrated with the situation. Now she had a headache. She pinched the bridge of her nose, closed her eyes, and shook her head as she listened to the sounds around her as the landscape began to come to life. Cotton still stood rigid by her side. The hens were now beginning to escape from the coop, clucking about and pecking at the ground until they turned and looked at the familiar person who gave them food, wondering, probably, why they had yet to get the feed they normally would have been given shortly after the rooster's morning call. She had to get to that, but first she had to deal with... Him.

    "No," Shiloh said, opening her eyes back up and looking over to... Xyler. "No, you don't need to assist me with anything. Just... Eat so that you don't fall out again." But that still left her with a dilemma; she couldn't very well just leave him here, no matter what. "But I don't know what else I can do for you. I mean, you're a helluva long way from New York, and this isn't a very populated area, so the chances of finding free food unless you steal from somebodies farm will be slim to none. Don't do that, by the way; steal from someone's farm. Around here, that's how you get shot." The hostile tone in her voice decreased as she spoke, edging more towards her confusion and frustration. Still she paused, her brows furring again. "Do you have any place to stay, around here or close to here? Any family that lives nearby, or friends, or anyone else? I could take you to the train station if you have somewhere else to go or I can drive you somewhere in the area." Atta girl, she could imagine her grandmother saying, way to show compassion and offer help. Though, really, Shiloh knew that her grandmother would probably be happier if she extended the house open for invitation. No way.
  7. Xyler continued to stare at the human female before him as he awaited a response. Once again, he observed that her emotions tended to be more negative, demonstrating a sort of unease and distress. Upon withdrawing into what he observed to be a sort of frustrated, deep thinking gesture, he started to listen more carefully, expecting to be provided with a new directive. On the contrary, he instead observed that her only directive was to consume the food which she provided. As a result, as she continued to speak, he began by taking a quick drink of the electrolyte liquid, then consuming the carbohydrates.

    He continued to process her words along with her food while the sounds around him progressively got louder. The chickens, most notably, seemed to be significantly more active now than they were before the male chicken started to call out. Even the female human's voice seemed to get slightly louder, as if, while speaking, her thoughts brought her steadily closer to a realization or fear which she hoped to avoid. He had remembered the same sort of tone adopted by a person whom he met in an alleyway after asking about where to find food. He continued to eat calmly as his electrokinesthetic locomotion steadily got weaker to compensate for the energy he was restoring to his body. But most importantly, he analyzed her words, as she was providing important information.

    Primarily, after listening to her for a few seconds, he determined that she was more interested in his position than she was interested in his situation. Her tip about not stealing was invaluable for him, as it allowed him to re-design directive 8 to make use of said information.

    Directive 08 - Do not steal the products of a person's farm.

    The information she provided about free food was distressing to him, as he determined that the country was no longer the optimal place to search for free food. As he finished off the last of his first piece of bread, he started to contemplate whether or not he would have to start attempting to find a means of "work" in order to secure continued sustainable. However, his thoughts about potential work options were interrupted as the female began speaking once again. He perked up and looked over to her with his same, calm expression and started to consume his second slice of bread.

    Upon analyzing her second long stream of questions, his expression fell slightly, as his analysis of her wording seemed to imply that she was eager to export him from the area. While he did not know whether her intentions were positive or negative, her offer could do little to help him. After she finished her sentence, he took a deep breath, shuddering a little, and replied,

    "I have not needed to prioritize a directive for shelter thus far, as securing a sustainable source of food has been a greater concern. I have no family or friends to my knowledge, as I have lived in my master's mansion for as long as I can remember." He paused for a few seconds as he bowed once again, then continued bowing for a few more seconds as he continued, "I appreciate your offer for transportation greatly. However, I did not find any free food within a five mile radius of the closest town, thus it will not aid me to accept your offer."

    Xyler rose from his bow shortly after thanking her for her offer, and offered a more worried expression as he said his remaining words. Nonetheless, as he finished speaking, and remembered that he was holding bread, his expression brightened slightly as he finished consuming yet another slice. Looking from the slice of bread back over to the female human, he analyzed his situation and what he perceived to be her intentions and decided to take the most rational outcome he could think of.

    [Function] - Generate Potential Outcomes:
    - 1: Stay on the property of entry 133. Pro - Possibility of secured sustenance. Accomplish Directive 07 and 08. Con - Aggravate entry 133. Fail Directive 01 and 03.
    - 2: Continue search for free food. Pro - Alleviate entry 133. Accomplish Directive 01, 03 and 08. Con - Likely death due to starvation. Fail Directive 07.
    - 3: Find work to barter for food. Pro - Accomplish Directive 01, 03, 07 and 08. Con - Unable to estimate difficulty of task, "find work." Time cost may be too great, resulting in death due to starvation. Potentially fail Directive 07.
    - 4: Steal food. Pro - Secure sustenance for short period of time. Allow for possibility of more outcomes. Accomplish Directive 07 temporarily. Con - Unsustainable. Possibility of death. Fail Directive 01, 03, 07 and 08.

    After contemplating his choices, he determined that the only chance he had at accomplishing all of his directives was to find work. As a result, he swallowed the bite of bread which he was chewing on, took a second to clear his mouth of debris, and declared, "It would aid me greatly if you would help me to find 'work' in order to secure a sustainable means to barter for food, or to work directly for food." As he spoke, his calm expression and tone returned, and he emphasized the word "work" due to his uncertainty about what the term meant. After taking a short, deep breath, he then added, "If you are unable to do so, I would be glad to work for you, instead." He then continued to eat his last slice of bread as he stared at her face, unable to tell from her constantly-shifting expression if he said something to upset or confuse her once again.
  8. A couple of birds rose from their rest in their nest in the nearby trees, shuttering the branches, causing loose leaves to fall and rustle as they slowly fluttered down to the ground. The two birds flew over heard, chirping happily as they communicated with one another, their shadows faint and small, soon to be wider as the light continued to increase and surround the earth as the sun continued it's ascent into the cloudless sky. Stars were turning faint, leaving the night sky as day soon followed, the constellations no longer to be seen, waving off for the night when they would make their reappearance. And still, even as life began to sprout around them as things awoke from their slumber, Shiloh still found herself wary and concerned, as did Cotton who still stood rigid, her tail only flicking slightly, but her ears still trained on the stranger as he started pecking at the food that Shiloh had given him.

    The young woman shifted uncomfortably on her feat as she waited for his response and allowed him to eat, her jaw clenching and then relaxing as she blinked her eyes and let them wander, going over in her mind, again, of the things she had planned for the day and of what she had to do. Mow the lawn. Make sure the fencing wasn't a mess. Water the plants both inside and out of the house. Feed the chickens. Feed Cotton. Feed herself. Get to school, listen to lectures, go to her lab, etc. Of course not all in that order, but with things so jumbled in her mind now, Shiloh didn't particularly care. She had to make a plan. She had to find a way to get rid of this guy, or at least put him in a position where he wouldn't be seen as a threat because, in her mind, no matter the calm demeanor he sported, and no matter the innocent looks and polite gestures he gave her, something was wrong with him. Possibly, anyway. She didn't like to judge people too harshly, but who bowed in this day in age? Who spoke with such words as he? Who passed out on a stranger's property and then asked them for food as soon as they woke up with a gun pointed in their face and with a dog ready to attack at any sudden movement?

    When he finally spoke Shiloh came back to attention, feeling an itchiness come to her skin from lack of a shower after sleeping in the grass. She rose her brows at his explanation, stifling a groan that nearly slipped past her lips at the mentioning of him having no friends and families, nor having any recollection of any of said beings. How could he not know his family? Had they sold him to his master or something? What kind of parents did that, and at a young age too, since he knew nothing of them? Now her headache was fully there. "You are one strange guy," she couldn't help but mutter, no longer caring whether or not she offended him, watching as he bowed in her direction again. By her side Cotton flinched, her hackles tensing with the movement, even as he rose back up and looked calmly at them, as if he was no threat and if he, truly, was appreciative of what she was doing for him. Then again, maybe he was. Maybe he was just a lost soul, wandering around, trying to survive yet having no way to do so. But why here, in the middle of no where, did he have to appear? Why had he had to stumble across her grandparent's property, asking for help, speaking with his weird language--well, no so much weird as it was odd and robotic she continued to tell herself? And why did he seem so clean as compared to his shoes and hair? Why were his clothes not dirty or ripped, stained with mud like his shoes, or stained with sweat?

    Those weren't important questions. Shiloh tried to push them aside, yet with them in mind they would no go away. He had come from a master, all the way from New York, and he had no means of getting food or even a place to stay. Why had his master let him go? Did they get tired of him, or did they finally feel bad for him and let him go? But why let him go with nothing, unless he had something before and lost it, got it stolen perhaps?

    So many questions. So many thoughts that blocked Shiloh's mind enough to have her almost miss the last of what Xyler had been saying. Her eyes shot in his direction, and before she could stifle it down as she had with her groan, she barked out a snort of a laugh, a scoff of sorts, to his proposition. "Are you kidding me? Are you really asking me to help you find a job from somewhere around here?" No way. Not only did she not want to get into that with him, but she also knew the chances of him finding a job out here were slim to none. Most businesses in town were family owned, meaning they only hired family or really close friends, and the other places hired people that were either professionals or locals, people that were known around there and not strange. Like him. People wouldn't accept his tone of voice; they wouldn't like the way he spoke. They would find him odd, question him, spread rumors about him, and then, likely, try and get him thrown out. Despite how she didn't want him there anymore than anybody else, the thought of throwing him out to the wolves that were the judgmental people (some of them) of the town sent a rise of bile to her throat. That was wrong, even in her own mind. But the only other option was to give him a job here, which there were no jobs to speak of since she could do everything herself. But, then again...

    What the hell was she doing? What was she thinking? Growing frustrated again, Shiloh dropped her arms and sighed, closed her eyes for a second, and then opened them back up again. "I can't promise you, or even guarantee you, a job anywhere in town or at any of the local farms around here; most of those are family owned, and they don't like hiring people that aren't family, or people that are... Strange, unless they study at the school here, which you, obviously, don't. So I don't know how much help I'd be, even if I gave them a good word about you, which I don't even know if I can seeing as I really don't even trust you." Now she was beginning to ramble, getting off point as she found herself flustered. Great. Just great...

    His stare was becoming uncomfortable, with his mouth chewing on the bread, as if nothing was wrong, as if things were normal and simple. After a pause, she said, "What can you do? Do you have any skills other than waiting on people hand and foot, which I assume you did with your other... "Job"?"
  9. It wasn't long before Xyler was once again able to, as far as he could tell, "properly" gauge the female human's emotions. As she laughed in what he believed to be a derisive and dubious manner and asked him if he was certain that those were the questions which he wanted to ask. His eyes widened as he continued to watch her, basking in the new and interesting behavior which she exhibited. But as soon as she finished speaking, she was back to her less excited state, and started to explain her thought process.

    Xyler finished his last piece of bread as she spoke, and quickly guzzled down a half of the bottle of electrolyte liquid before starting on the crackers. He recognized that the noises of the chickens behind him were growing closer as he opened the bag of saltines. At this, his eyes narrowed slightly, and he briefly looked behind him, curious to see what was going on as the female human continued to speak about him being strange and not trusting him. What he observed was that four of the chickens were standing up against the wall of the enclosure nearest him, and were peeking his way every now and then while attempting to look busy, pecking at the ground.

    After instantly assessing their own desire for food, he determined that the potential benefit which the food provided to him was significantly greater than it was to the chickens. But as the human stopped talking for a moment, he quickly plucked out a saltine, threw it over to the chickens, and looked back over at her, placing another saltine into his mouth and carefully chewing it as he watched her stare back at him. Right as he started to notice a hint of discomfort from her, she started to speak and, in doing so, changed her expression enough to make him believe that he was mistaken. Her question, however, was exactly the sort of question he wanted. As she continued to speak, he determined that his answer to her next question would likely determine his survival, so he attempted to generate more potential outcomes as he finished chewing up his saltine.

    [Function] - Generate Potential Outcomes:
    - 1: Relay detailed functions analysis, counteracting prohibition 00. Reason: Entry 133 potentially wishes to determine if I was designed to complete the tasks she has in mind.
    - 2: Relay basic functions based on previous occupation. Reason: Past experiences may gain favor with entry 133.

    - 3: Provide example to prove intellectual capacity. Reason: Mention of a "school."
    - 4: Demonstrate an adequate feat of strength or coordination to prove physical capacity. Reason: Connection to labor-intensive management of "farm."
    - 5: Demonstrate a feat of dexterity or skill to prove versatility and adaptation capacity. Reason: Potential to immediately display personal utility and gain favor.

    After a few seconds of thought, he swallowed his saltine cracker, drank a bit of the electrolyte liquid to clean his mouth, and responded, "I am a highly trained manservant. I can skillfully and efficiently complete any task, chore, or errand in a household with basic amenities. In my previous job, I was assigned the tasks of preparing three full course meals per day, managing external contacts and visitors, paperwork management, childcare and supervision of pets, security procedures, first aid, standard household maintenance such as cleaning, plumbing, electrical grid management and waste removal, automotive repairs, chauffeur services, and, as you stated, waiting and serving at my master's request." He then paused a moment to allow his words to sink in for a moment before continuing, "I previously worked in an urban mansion, however many of my skills can just as easily be applied to a rural household such as your own. I work free of charge, with the condition that I have full access to the materials necessary to conduct my job and maintain my own health."

    With this said, he plopped another saltine into his mouth and started chewing once again. By this point in time, he had eaten enough food to fully deactivate electrokinesthetic locomotion, and was no longer shaking, nor involuntarily flexing his upper or lower body, nor swaying, nor fighting to attempt to not look awkward. While he still felt slightly weak, he was able to stand upright, with good posture, and calmly eat his saltines while observing the female human with an expression which now exuded confidence. Each time he reached down to the saltine packet lying next to the bottle of electrolyte water in his left hand, the crinkling sound of the plastic container drew the attention of yet more chickens, especially after the saltine he threw to them was reduced to little more than crumbs.
  10. Her jaw went slack as sputters escaped past her lips at his display of motion towards the chickens, of him throwing the saltine cracker out to them. She turned her eyes to watch the hens, and the one rooster, as they quickly bent their heads to peck at the cracker, clucking at one another in argument as they pecked, cracked, and ate the cracker until it was little more than small crumbs being hidden by the stray hay and grass that stayed in their enclosure. Had he really just done that? Had he really just thrown a cracker to the chickens?

    And there he went again with his speaking. All while Shiloh's mind sputtered to come to terms with what just happened, of her mind wondering if the hens were going to get sick, produce less eggs, or worse die because of the sudden quick change in their diet. Of course, she knew was getting ahead of herself; there was little doubt in her mind that any of them had eaten enough to cause them any harm, but what if she was wrong? What if that actually did happen? Shooting Xyler a glare, she couldn't help but snort at his words, rolling her eyes when he mentioned pet care. Right. Throwing crackers to chickens had been the perfect example of his animal caring skills.

    Don't yell, she told herself as she took a deep breath. She folded her arms over her chest, her body tensing, causing Cotton's to tense as well. She glanced down at the dog, knowing that she was becoming wary, but also knowing that the dog would not relent and leave. Normally, by this time in the morning, the dog would have already made her way back into the house to lay on the rug in the living room or on the front porch to, while resting, still keep an eye--and an ear--out on the property, but instead she stood in place, never taking her eyes off the stranger. In the heat of the moment Shiloh felt bad for Cotton, no matter how irritating the dog could be; she needed her rest, and no doubt having Xyler here was stressing her out, or had already been stressing her out more than need be. Just as he was doing to her own body.

    How could she just tell him to leave, though, like all her senses were telling her? Though the clucking crew louder as the hens became more insistent on getting their breakfast, Shiloh ignored them, knowing that she would be able to do that no longer than necessary. She could already imagine how irate they were and how they would peck at her ankles when stepping in there to feed them and grab the eggs. Her grandmother's words flowed through her mind again, telling her to let the young man stay and work for her until he was able to get back on his feet, while her own conflicting emotions told the voice to shut up and tell the guy to leave. But... Could she do that in good conscious? Knowing that the food would only sustain him a little, could she send him out, in the middle of nowhere, without feeling guilty and without worrying about him? Well... She figured she would be able to not worry, but the guilt would be there. What if she turned the news on one night and heard a story about the authorities finding a young man on the side of the road, dead from starvation, and upon getting a picture on screen it was of him?

    "Oh God," she muttered, bringing her hand up to run against her face as she groaned. "You're not putting me in a very good position, you know that? Especially not with that stunt you just pulled with the chickens; they're not supposed to have anything but their feed!" Her words were muffled slightly by her hand, but she dropped it after another moment. The sky was turning blue now, the sun beginning to rise above the trees to show its light. Shit. She was going to be late. No, she was already late and behind on everything. "This isn't an urban mansion. The house is small, it doesn't need to be cleaned on the inside often, and I don't need anyone to wait hand and foot on me. And I don't even think I can trust you in the house now."

    Her gaze centered back onto his, her eyes locking onto his. He seemed so confident, and Shiloh wasn't sure whether or not to take offense to that. Did he just assume she was going to give him a job? Another groan came past her lips. She didn't have time to deal with this! She had other things to do. "You know what, I can't talk about this right now. I'm going to be late for class, and I've got things I need to do before then, so we'll talk about this later." Huffing out a breath, she turned her eyes to look back at the house before looking back at Xyler. "You can stay in the garage for right now until I figure out what to do with you. You can take the blankets and pillows in there with you, but other than that, I don't want you walking around the property for right now, okay? Once I get back from school later on today, I'll have figured out whether you can stay or not and if I'll have you work for me. Does that sound good? Can you wait for a few hours? I'll give you food to bring in there with you too."
  11. The blonde-haired boy continued to swap between saltines and electrolyte liquid as the lady in front of him reacted to his words and his actions. His confidence remained, albeit lessened, as the lady started to reprimand him for providing a treat for her chickens. With a slight nod, he acknowledged her muffled words and added them to his reference database.

    [Function] - Reference Database, entry 135 - Male Chicken. Primary Identifying Features: Loud, sustained call of decreasing frequency. Diet: Specialized feed. Potential negative side effects to "treats". Feed with discretion.

    [Function] - Reference Database, entry 136 - Female Chicken. Diet: Specialized feed. Potential negative side effects to "treats". Feed with discretion.

    After she dropped his hand, he detected that her heart rate was increasing, and her voice indicated a sort of urgency. Sensing this, he closed up the remaining half-full package of saltines and took slight sips from his drink every few seconds as he continued to listen to her. As he listened, he determined that her information was biased, and decided not to record it as fact. Instead, he updated her section of his database entry.

    [Function] - Reference Database, entry 133 - Female Human. Primary Identifying Features: Toned musculature, Tendency for Rapid Emotional Shifts, Compassionate, Untrusting and extremely cautious. See "Facial Features" for details on appearance.

    He then continued to offer his confident smile as he took another swig of the electrolyte drink. He already knew based on how she phrased her previous sentence that his method of persuasion had been effective. Her groan further reassured him that she was compromising on his behalf, thus he decided to stop drinking for a few moments and see what she had decided to do for him. As she spoke, her words revealed that the sense of urgency he had predicted was correct, thus he assumed that his other information had a high probability of being correct.

    Thinking thusly, Xyler nodded after she described her deal for him silently informing her that he understood her conditions with a glance. He then bent down, folded up the blanket in an instant, lifted the pillow with the same hand, and stood up again, taking a sip from his electrolye water. Hrm, only 30% remains. After securing the two pieces of equipment in the crook of his left arm, still holding the electrolye water in his right, he declared, "I am ready to follow you to your houses garage. Please lead the way." He then followed her from a distance of about fifteen feet back, being careful to give her dog a five foot perimeter as he walked so as to not aggravate it.
  12. "I can't believe I'm doing this," Shiloh groaned as she picked up her pillow and blanket before she started to lead Xyler over in the direction where he garage was. Looking back at him every once in a while, she gave the boy wary glances with furrowed brows and with narrowed eyes, hoping to maybe find something about his posture or walk that would indicate her right to take away her offer and tell him to get lost. But he did nothing. He stayed a good distance away from them, even gave Cotton room, and he seemed nothing but polite. Confident, something that irked her nerves more than anything, but he was being courteous.

    What if it was all a rouse though?

    Shiloh sucked in a breath at the thought as she rubbed the back of her neck. Shit... Another groan slipped past her lips as they approached the standard two car garage. The exterior matched the exterior of the house--wood paneled walls with a darkly shingled roof--though the upkeep of the garage needed a little more work than the house did. A few shingles were missing from the roof from the past wind storms that blew them away, the metal garage door needed to be cleaned, and when she finally opened the large door it squeaked loudly, causing her and Cotton both to wince. Inside the floor was concrete, spots of dirt and oils staining it in various places where her grandfather used to lie under the cars and work on them to the best of his ability. Along the back wall was a shelf lined with various tools for cars; wrenches and screwdrivers and a hammer hanging from metal hooks her grandfather stuck in the walls; oil bottles, funnels, oil stained rags that were actually clean but looked everything but cluttered the shelf; and a tool box over on the edge of the shelf that sat next to an old, dusty radio that needed either a really good cleaning or to just be thrown out so that it could end its suffering.

    Along the sides of the walls were standard sized windows covered by blinds that were filled with cobwebs, some pieces broken off, the windowsills filled with dead bugs and dust, and the windows themselves could use a good cleaning.On the left wall a white door stood, locked for the moment, but something that Shiloh only used when she only needed to come in here and grab something quickly. In the middle of the garage stood her truck, an old pick up that her father had given her before she left for college, and beside it was a bike that she used to get back and forth from school so that she didn't waste gas going to somewhere she could bike to in about thirty minutes. Shiloh liked to think that, despite the dirties state of the garage, that it wasn't neglected; it had just taken a back burner on the most important items on her list for what she needed to do or really keep up around this place, and every time she could get around to cleaning up the garage it fell out of her mind, only to be remembered when she stepped back in here every morning to grab either the bike of the truck, where she would tell herself she would get to it soon only to forget it in favor of doing something else. What could she say? The garage wasn't that most important building on the ranch in her mind, and it wasn't falling apart either.

    "So, this is it," she said, raising her arms and then slapping them back to her side as she looked at Xyler. Cotton stood right beside her, in between the two humans to keep Shiloh protected. She moved towards the side of the garage and flipped up the switch that clicked on the singe light in the middle of the garage ceiling. "Now, if I see anything missing, if I see that my truck as been moved even an inch, I won't hesitate to shoot you the next time I see you. And I honestly mean that with everything in my body." Again she gave him a wary look as she folded her arms over her chest, though her look slowly turned into one of resignation. Quickly, though, she rolled her eyes and looked down at Cotton, whom still had her eyes locked on the stranger. Well, if there was one thing she didn't have to worry about, it was Cotton losing sight of him at any time soon. "You can sit in the bed of the truck if you want or the chair right next to the shelf, but don't touch anything else." Could she trust him with the tools in here though? She sighed. It's not like she could do much about it now. "Here." She passed over her pillow and blanket to give him, begrudgingly so, and then took a step back from him. "You can use these too, and if you ever need any air you can open the windows, though it might take a little force to get the one of the right to open. It gets stuck sometimes. Now, I'll be back once I'm done getting ready and bring you move food. Cotton?" She looked to the dog who had an ear perked in her direction. "You stay outside; I don't want you in here with him." No doubt she'd stay close, though.

    With that she quickly turned and left without saying another word, leaving the garage door open for the time being since she wasn't leaving the premises yet. Cotton, while Shiloh quickly jogged her way back to the house, walked out of the garage but sat right outside the concrete on the gravel, staring at Xyler intently.

    As quickly as she could, Shiloh fed the chickens with putting their feed in the trough that aligned the nearest fencing in their pen--receiving a few pecks at her boots in the process with the rooster puffing up at her as usual--filled their watering station, and grabbed the eggs that were in laid in the nesting boxes and quickly brought them back to the house where she ran water over them (she'd properly clean them when she got back), stuck them in the fridge, and quickly went to her room where she had no time to shower and instead just pulled on a white tank top and a buttoned up blue plaid shirt with jeans and her gym shoes. She pulled her hair back into a side braid after brushing it, ran to her bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth, and quickly headed back outside with her unbuttoned shirt billowing in the wind and with her backpack slung over her shoulders. In her arms she carried two bottles of water, more bread, and some lunch meat, and upon making it to the garage she set them on the shelf and huffed. She was being much too generous with him, especially the food, she thought. Now she definitely had to go grocery shopping earlier than expected.

    "That should tide you over until I get back. Now, don't touch anything, okay? And don't leave the garage. Like I said before, I don't need people seeing someone walking around the property without me being here, at least for right now." She walked to the bike and kicked the kickstand up and turned it around where she flung one of her legs to the other side. Now she looked to Cotton who still sat in place. "Your food and water are up at the house too, so go eat. I don't need you getting sick." Pushing the bike out of the garage, then, she gave one last look to Xyler before she closed the garage door and sighed to herself.

    This was going to be a long day... "I'll see you later, Cotton. Don't wander around like you normally do when I'm gone; I need you to stay here and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid." And with that, she took off.
  13. Xyler followed entry 133 around her house, ensuring to give both her and entry 134 a wide berth so as to minimize their need for wariness about him. He maintained very proper posture, his back almost ramrod straight, and his pacing matching entry 133's fluidly so as to maintain their separation. He looked over his shoulder, over at the chickens, as he walked around the corner to get one last good look at them. They seemed rather energetic, so he took note of this, adding it to his reference database, and then focused on gathering data about the house. From its appearance, the exterior was poorly maintained and dusty - the windows had a great deal of dirt lining the sills and panes, the shingles of the roof were not lined in complete rows, and the exterior of the house had a great deal of dirt on it(which meant that it'd need to be cleaned before the sealant which the wood exterior clearly needed could be applied). Even the garage door, which was entirely made of metal, seemed to be on the verge of erosion from the caked-on dirt and grime over its surface.

    Xyler made a mental checklist of future chores to complete as he continued surveying the building. He nearly missed entry 133's groan due to being submerged by his thoughts, but quickly switched his priorities from data collection to communications. As the girl turned around, Xyler got a good view of the massive number of repairs and other chores which would need to be completed, but continued to focus on entry 133. He nodded after hearing her command and its accompanying warning, and looked down at the dog after seeing her expression shift. She gave him another command, however he interpreted the word she used, "anything", as an exaggeration of her intention: "don't damage, consume, or change the location of any of my property without my permission" after paralleling it with her previous command and offer.

    He offered her a quick, "thank you kindly," as he graciously accepted the pillow and blanket from her as she offered them to him, and listened attentively as she gave him another permission. After analyzing her words, he determined that she was willing to allow him to move the windows as he saw fit. He nodded once more after entry 134 left and she said something about going to bring him more supplies. As she left, Xyler walked over to the chair which entry 133 mentioned and walked over to the chair next to the shelf at the back of the room. It was a rigid, wooden chair with a thin woolen cushion placed on the seat. He brought it over to an open space near the light switch at the front of the garage and placed it next to the back of the truck. He then set up his crackers and electrolyte drink in the bed of the truck as a sort of table, and calmly, patiently awaited his boss's return. As he did so, he stared intently at entry 134, who stared right back at him with the same intent style.

    He contemplated feeding the dog a cracker as well, but after seeing her reaction about the chickens, he was unsure about whether or not she wished to keep the dog on a "balanced diet" as well. As a result, he instead opted to drink another fifth of the liquid in the bottle of electrolyte liquid, leaving the last tenth so that he could wash down the dry crackers after finishing them.

    Upon the return off entry 133, Xyler stood and bowed to her, crossing one arm across his lower torso as he did so. She quickly rushed over to the shelf, placed down a load of food, and then hurried over to give him more commands. Once again, she emphasized not touching anything, but he continued to interpret this rule as he did earlier. A new command, to not leave, piqued his interest, as he hadn't seen any other properties nearby while walking around to the garage. Nonetheless, he nodded at her, standing straight up as she walked over to her bike. After watching her take it out of the garage and start closing the door, he waited for her to finish speaking, then bowed and said, "I shall await your return, m'lady." He continued to bow until the garage door was fully closed. He then walked over to the shelf with the food on it, collected the rest of the food, and took them over to the bay of the truck, where he placed them. He then spent ten minutes consuming exactly one half of the materials in the bay of the truck, and determined that he would leave the other half for later in the day.

    By this point, he could not hear any signs of subject 134 outside, and thus he determined that it was time to begin his work, seeing as he was now unofficially employed by subject 133. He wandered around, taking note of all of the chores he needed, and quickly assigned a new set of sub-priorities under his first directive:

    Directive 01 - Obey orders of designated master("entry 133") as instructed, with few exceptions.
    - “Do not steal anything or move my truck even an inch.”
    - "Do not touch anything" - Interpreted as: “Do not damage, consume, or change the location of any of my property without my permission.”
    - “Do not walk around my property outside of the garage, or allow people to see you outside of the garage."

    After reassessing his limitations, he began his work by walking over to the shelf. First I will need to take care of all of the dust...


    Many hours later, Xyler determined that he had completed all of the minimal labor which would be expected of him as a manservant, given the constraints which his employer placed on him. He was unable to leave, however he managed to reach through the windows of the garage in order to clean them thoroughly with a rag which he found in the toolbox. He was unable to use any polish, however the purified water from the water bottles allowed him to remove the grime from every reachable surface within the garage in just under five hours. He fixed the guide rail it slid upon by slightly widening it and tightening the bolts which held it in place, cleaned the floor, truck, walls, ceiling, windows, door, shelf, and radio using the rag, cleaned the window blinds carefully, tossed the excess dirt, grime, dead bugs and other filth out one of the windows and into the dirt to be blown away onto the road by the wind, and then cleaned off the rag as carefully he could using the remaining purified water which he posessed. The rag was already stained in oil, so the new stains on it were hardly noticeable, although he still thought it would be worth mentioning to entry 133.

    After he completed as much of the work as he believed he was justified in completing, he double checked everything in the garage to ensure that it was back in precisely the same position it was in before he entered, with the exception of the chair and the containers for the food which he consumed. He finished consuming the remaining portion of food in the bay of the truck and patiently awaited entry 133 in the chair which he brought over to the front of the garage. The room still had a stuffy smell from all of the movement of dust, however the room was in good condition compared to the chaos it was in before. All it needed was a soap wash, and some polish, and a few replacements for the partially broken windows and it would be good as new.


    Upon hearing the sound of entry 133's bike, Xyler calmly stood from his chair and, offering a confident smile, bowed to the garage door as he awaited her arrival. Once she opened the garage door, he warmly announced, "Welcome home, m'lady. I maintained the house in your absence. Is it to your liking?" He waited for her acknowledgement before rising from his bow and calmly allowing his arms to hang at his sides.
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