Molly in Training

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For the next six months, the waldo and Molly are inseparable. Molly learns the control panels and the full breadth of the waldo’s potential for morphological changes. While Waldo is in Level A, it and Molly visit the university zoo, aquarium, and greenhouse, where the waldo practices morphing into different animals and plants. Molly prefers the greenhouse, with all the birds and flowers; the waldo tells her it has no preferences to report.

While the waldo is in Level B and formed as a Bozartene with the Cranberry family crest, Molly sends it to attend classes, and into the cleanroom environment of the Special Collections at the university library, which includes the original documents from the research on Sylvan Green. Molly finds that sitting in her dorm room and reading through the waldo allows her to concentrate on the work, rather than the ambient temperature or other people. She still can't keep from falling asleep when reading the artifact description chapters of The Primeval Savage: Her Haunts and Relics by G. Worthington Chester and Severata Roggerta: but the waldo always wakes her when she falls off the desk, or after four hours, whichever comes first.

Molly nods off in Special Collections. Image credit: MidJourney and K. Kris Hirst
Molly nods off in Special Collections. Image credit: MidJourney and K. Kris Hirst.

The first time Molly tries the body glove is a remarkable day. She opens the package, shakes the fabric out, and slides it over her head. It is warm and enveloping, more like a fog than a piece of clothing. She sits on her bed with the user console in her lap and keys in the Merge command. She discovers she is now in the waldo, and while she is inside she can still contact the Waldo’s AI, as if it were a co-pilot or driving instructor. Together, in the shape of a Bozart with a Cranberry family crest, they wander off to the university gymnasium. “It’s a good place,” says the waldo, “to test out all the haptics.” Normally, Molly hates exercising but discovers it’s not as boring with a partner. The waldo cautions Molly that she will gain no physical benefits from the exercise, but Molly feels inordinately smug about completing three sets of 15 reps.

Although the waldo offers, Molly will not send it to sex sessions with Stilts. “I want to be able to walk away from him entirely, forget it all, and if you’ve been there, then I can’t do that. Nobody should have to do that.” The Level C interactions are intense, and Molly is beginning to think of the waldo as a person; not just a person but a close friend.

The waldo is not a person; it's a sophisticated AI system trained to assist Molly in her studies, but unknown to Molly at present, there is a person inhabiting the waldo: Eleni, a rebel from the planet Adamantine.

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Created by KKris. Last Modification: Wednesday 11 of October, 2023 21:09:53 EDT by KKris.