Author's note: Includes spoilers up to episode 6, but nothing really significant. If you're unfamiliar with this show, the two characters featured in this story are transforming/joining robots with cold and heat characteristics respectively, and that's probably all you really need to know to appreciate this. Please see my disclaimer page for copyright information regarding this story.
Why Young Robots Shouldn't Play
on the Information Superhighway
A King of Braves GaoGaiGar Fanfic
By Natalie Baan
Hyouryu was engaged in calculations.
Unfortunately, these weren't the usual sort of calculations. Mechanical tolerances, firing arcs and intercept trajectories, even mission success probabilities—figured, of course, to at least ten decimal places—none of those ever gave him any particular difficulty. Indeed, they came as naturally to his A.I. as breathing did to humans. But the puzzle that he was trying to comprehend was based on human motivations, and not merely their rational, anti-entropic impulses toward truth, justice, and preventing excessive damage to the civil infrastructure, which his own programming embraced quite well, but the more quixotic interplay of organic biological systems. Thus he found himself perplexed.
His systems went to mild alert at the perception of movement at the other end of the dimly lit Big Order Room, but it was only Enryu. The red robot clomped up to the data unit and sank down into the seat next to Hyouryu with a sigh. Sighing was purely an affectation, since neither of them had lungs or any need to process extra oxygen, but their voice synthesizers could generate one readily enough, and it served as a useful if slightly ambiguous shorthand to identify various internal states. This one appeared to indicate disappointment and mild frustration. It was not difficult to guess the reason for it.
"I thought you were going to be running simulations with Guy," Hyouryu remarked.
"We were. But he had to cut it short—he's going out to a movie with Mikoto." Hyouryu wondered briefly if their creators had anticipated the development of a degree of vocal control sufficient to suggest a faint querulousness. He hoped they were pleased—well, surely they were, since exceeding expectations generally seemed to please them.
As it happened, the source of Enryu's disappointment almost exactly paralleled that of Hyouryu's recent ponderings. "Ah," Hyouryu said, in such a way as to imply significant meaning and not simply interrupted speech or the practice of vowel sounds.
"Ah?" Enryu reached for the fluid intake container on the counter next to Hyouryu, forcing an override of Hyouryu's planned course of speech.
"That's mine." Hyouryu grasped the container just as Enryu's digits were closing on it. "Go and get one of your own."
"You weren't actually using it," Enryu complained, but he let go nevertheless. It had been impressed upon them that fighting over fluid containers was not in any way productive, and especially not when they were in the vicinity of computer equipment. Several kiloliters of flying machine fluids could have a devastating effect.
"Do I have to have it in my hand all the time in order to be using it?" Logic asserted, Hyouryu put his drink back down in a safer place and watched Enryu open the warming unit and take out one for himself. His A.I. resumed its interrupted train of processing. "Guy and Mikoto are 'working on a relationship.'"
Enryu sat down again, head cocked as he analyzed this information. "But don't they already have a relationship? They both work for 3G, right? That's a relationship right there."
"This is a different kind of relationship. This is," Hyouryu ran the words through his A.I. an extra time before speaking them aloud, testing them for accuracy, "a 'romantic relationship.'"
The whirring of Enryu's processors was almost audible in the otherwise silent room, so Hyouryu went on, providing more input. "Actually, I have been gathering data on this situation for a while now," he admitted. "I have to say, it's all very confusing. But as far as I've been able to determine, they are presently at a relationship status known as 'dating.' Should results at this level continue to be satisfactory, they would then progress to 'marriage' and then on to 'sex.' Or perhaps those should be the other way around—the information I've been accessing is often contradictory."
"So if they get married," Enryu said slowly, a bit tentative, "then they'll 'start a family,' right? They'll start constructing children?"
"Having children," Hyouryu corrected. "The process is biological and quite involuntary. In fact, it's an outgrowth of the sex process, so logically it would seem that sex should follow marriage, but the data seems to indicate that this isn't always the case, and that sex also serves some function of pure gratification." Hyouryu cleared his voice synthesizer, a short flush of static. It was very odd, to be talking about such things that were so far out of the range of their experience. "Actually, it's rather interesting. Here, take a look at these data files." He ran the set of visuals that he'd edited down from the surprising mass of videos he'd found on the public computer network.
"Wow," Enryu said, after a few minutes of silent observation. "I didn't know that humans could dock just like we can!"
"Indeed." Hyouryu pointed at the screen. "Although as you can see, their docking appears greatly simplified compared to ours. In general, I've noticed that only a couple of parts are interfacing at any given time, though they seem to have a number of possible configurations. Oh, look—there's a new one."
"Hmm. That's not very symmetrical!"
"They often aren't. And also there's a really extraordinary amount of back-and-forth action before they finally lock together. Sometimes I'm amazed that they don't damage each other!"
Enryu blinked, recalibrating his visual processors. "Maybe these are records of experiments—first-time dockings. You know, we had some trouble in the beginning, too."
"That would make sense, but the data files indicate that at least some of these are experienced performers. Oh, and there's another difference as well—humans have no joined functionality, but revert to their separate mode after completing the sex process."
"Is that so." The two robots watched in silence for a few minutes, running this new data through their cognitive systems.
"Hyouryu," Enryu said at last, with the same uncharacteristic hesitancy that he'd shown before, "since Guy has a cyborg body...can he and Mikoto have sex? Can they make children?"
"I don't know." Troubled by his brother's questions, Hyouryu studied the probabilities. There was so little solid data to work with—but he knew his own creators, he could extrapolate from that to project what they might have done, and with that there came a glimmer of clarity, a thinning of the density of possible answers to a relative certainty. He thought it might be something like what humans called hope, or faith. "Surely Dr. Shishioh would have planned for something like this, don't you think? He wouldn't leave Guy incomplete. Didn't he make it possible for Guy to eat human food, just for the psychological benefit? So I think that Guy must have some form of sexual functionality after all."
"Ah. That's good." Enryu seemed satisfied to accept Hyouryu's calculations. The light of the monitor flickered over them for another minute or two, arrhythmic counterpoint to the strange human noises that played over the speakers.
"Brother," Enryu began again, "do we have sexual functionality?"
"Erm." Hyouryu had to process that a couple of times, searching through all of his data storage and systems catalogs. It took a while, and Enryu started drumming restless fingers on the counter top. "I don't know. I don't have any programming for it. Do you?"
"Well, no. But humans do all kinds of things by learning them, not running programs. And we're supposed to be learning machines, aren't we?"
"That's true," Hyouryu admitted. From their earliest conscious phase, they'd been fed information via their visual and auditory receptors as well as by direct digital input. He brought up a memory of Swan White reading to them from human children's books. In one book, there had been a picture of a little boy playing with a toy rescue truck, and he remembered how he had wondered if someday he would be given a toy human, along with the arms and hands with which to manipulate it. He had gotten the limbs at least, eventually. Realizing that he'd gone off along a tangent, he backed up and returned to the primary subject. "Still, I'm pretty sure there are organic elements to the sex process. Biochemistry, and so forth. I don't think we can simulate that."
Enryu's physical tic stilled. "But maybe there's some analogous system built into us, that doesn't go online until we're ready to use it. Like how we couldn't use most of our combat abilities until we achieved System Change for the first time. Is there any way to know for sure unless we try it?"
"You have a point." Enryu's hypothesis wasn't entirely improbable, but for some reason it sat uncomfortably with Hyouryu, like a bit of untested code that might generate erratic responses or even freak crashes under certain unforeseen real-world conditions. "Although I suppose we could just ask someone...." Yet even as he suggested it, he found himself reluctant to bring this particular question before the staff of 3G. Those scientists and engineers were hard at work developing the technology to help protect the world from Zonder. To bother them for something so personal and nonessential seemed...silly.
"Nuh-uh!" Enryu echoed Hyouryu's line of thought more emphatically, if also more crudely. "We can figure this out for ourselves! Isn't that why we've got A.I.s?"
They had A.I.s to render them more effective fighting machines, not to figure out how to have sex. Nevertheless Enryu's words sent a surge of resolution through Hyouryu. They were programmed for courage, for facing challenges and never giving up, and wouldn't their creators be proud of them if they managed to work this problem out on their own? "You're right!" Hyouryu swiveled his chair about to face Enryu and thumped one fist gently on the counter. "If young humans can learn how to make sex work without assistance, I'm sure we can do it too! And after all, sexual experimentation is an absolutely normal part of achieving maturity. The data clearly says so."
"Great! So let's do it!" Pausing, Enryu glanced at the monitor again and took on a calculating look. "I get to be on top."
Hyouryu stared at his brother. "Don't be ridiculous. I'm the older one, so I should be on top."
"Oh yeah, because your A.I. started up earlier than mine by a whole five seconds!" Enryu scoffed. "Anyway, what does being older have to do with anything?"
"I have more, uh, experience." Enryu's vocal apparatus generated a surprisingly rude sound, and Hyouryu added loftily, "In any case, I've been researching this longer, so I definitely know more than you do. That makes me better qualified to take command of this operation." For instance, he was aware that it was quite common for the more aggressive personality to be the "attacker," but he didn't think it was necessary to tell Enryu that. His brother was locking down into a stubborn response loop, and if there was one thing Hyouryu had learned it was that if the two of them got caught up in a fight nothing useful would ever be accomplished. Grudgingly he offered a compromise. "We can take turns. But I'll start out on top."
"Oh, all right." Enryu looked around the room. "Uh, where...?"
"The Carrier, I think," Hyouryu said, maintaining his tone of calm decisiveness. He found himself grateful yet again to his programmers—though his systems were all abuzz in the most peculiar way, racing with confusing and contradictory readings, the parameters of his base personality were able to override them. It helped, too, that he now had a designated role as the leader to uphold. "It should be free of personnel at this hour." Keying off the video program, he made sure to log out of his personal account before levering himself out of his chair. "Come on. Let's go! But quietly, brother."
Together, the giant robots tiptoed out of the Big Order Room, leaving two cooling fluid intake containers behind on the counter, forgotten.
On the top level of the Triple Flying Decked Carrier, the light panels had been turned down to their lowest level of illumination. In that dim, hazy light, Hyouryu gazed deeply into his brother's visual receptors. Slowly he reached out and traced one finger along the contour of Enryu's face.
With great care he bent forward, angling his head to bring his mouth into alignment with Enryu's.
"I hate to tell ya, bro," Enryu interrupted, further breaking the moment, "but this really ain't doing it for me."
"Hmm." Hyouryu sat back slightly. "Perhaps we should skip the foreplay for the time being. It might be better after all to keep things simple and just focus on the basic mechanics, at least for now."
"Whatever." Enryu rolled his head back against the deck plates, and a circuit somewhere in Hyouryu's temple buzzed with vexation. It would help if his brother would contribute some effort to this experiment, instead of just lying back and thinking of...whatever he was thinking of. But if Hyouryu complained Enryu would probably make some sarcastic comment about his competency. It was up to him to prove his ability and his professed superior knowledge—to seduce his brother into succumbing to passion in spite of himself. Or something like that. Attempting to project a confidence that he didn't entirely possess, Hyouryu leaned forward once more. He slid searching fingers up along the metal length of Enryu's leg. Upward, upward...to there, and Enryu jerked with unexpected vehemence. Hyouryu pulled back, startled. "Hey! Your hands are cold!"
"Oh! I'm sorry." Hyouryu paused. "Wait a minute—we don't have any thermal detection systems down there!" Their faces had been designed with only limited mobility, but Enryu nevertheless managed what Hyuuma would have probably termed a shit-eating grin. The precise meaning of that classification had always escaped Hyouryu, but it was certainly a most infuriating expression. "Ooooh...don't make me use my Chest Thriller on you!" Enryu snickered, unrepentant, and Hyouryu's core programming cut in with a warning that putting his fist into his brother's smirking face was not only counterproductive for their current mission but was in general a bad idea. Not brotherly. With asperity, then, he instead dropped full-length onto Enryu, earning an exclamation of surprise and incoherent protest as he pinned his brother to the carrier's floor with uncharacteristic aggressiveness.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Grrrrnch! K-ping!
"Hnf." Pausing to regroup, Hyouryu propped himself up on one arm. He found himself in a strange condition that he could only describe as somewhat dazed, his circuits misfiring from perplexity and thwarted purpose as much as from those jolting, clashing movements. He made a visual scan of their bodies, checking their extrusions, ports, and panels against the schematics on file in his brain. "Does that even go like that?" he muttered, half to himself.
"Y'know," Enryu said, his voice thready and lacking some its usual vigor, as if he were slightly dazed as well, "if we maybe tried some lubricant...."
Hyouryu blinked several times.
"Oh," he allowed at last. "Yes. That probably would help make things, er, go more easily."
Enryu rolled the lenses of his visual receptors. "My brother, the sexual genius."
"Oh, shut up."
Bang! Skrrrrrrronk! Eee-eee-eee-eee-eee-eee! Krrrinch! Kthunk!
A brief silence ensued.
"Damn it!" Enryu heaved himself off Hyouryu and sat bolt upright, slamming one fist angrily into the floor. Hyouryu sat up more slowly, but with no less frustration. They'd tried several different configurations—including, finally, Enryu on top—but all had been ineffectual, the last one almost catastrophically so. Enryu had always been rather deficient in patience. Hyouryu generated a heavy sigh, both acknowledging their unfortunate lack of success and indicating that he was done. Several physical status indicators were flashing alerts at him, and his A.I. was about ready to enter temporary shut-down mode.
"It is too bad," he said. "But I suppose we're just not made for that after all. Humans are humans, and robots are robots." He nodded in philosophical acceptance.
"We're just not trying hard enough!" Enryu insisted.
"Well, what more do you think we're supposed to do?" Really, Enryu was being entirely and unrobotically illogical, although that was nothing new. Hyouryu had told the 3G maintenance staff again and again to double-check his brother's oil pressure and temperature settings. Maybe today was the day his processor had finally cooked itself. "We made a serious attempt. Several of them, in fact. I think Dr. Shishioh would be very proud of our initiative and determination. But if it's not part of our specifications...." He shrugged. Enryu glowered at him, unconvinced. "Perhaps someday we can ask for an upgrade."
"I won't believe it!" Enryu gestured with his clenched fist. "Aren't you ashamed at all to have failed like this?"
"What does shame have to do with anything?" Hyouryu retorted coolly, though he felt the ping of his brother's words, their resonance amidst the emptiness of unfulfilled mission parameters. "Isn't it enough that we have the ability and opportunity to fight to protect the Earth? That we've succeeded in helping to overcome Zonder again and again? Don't be greedy, brother."
"Who're you calling greedy?" Enryu growled, but Hyouryu had already turned aside. Staring down at the blocky, dark-blue forms of his legs and feet, stretched out before him, he was all too aware of his own disappointment at their lack of success, of his irritation with his brother, who refused to be pragmatic and accept the facts (which made his own dissatisfaction with them all the more acute), and of their steeply declining Sympa-Rate, at perhaps one of its lowest ebbs ever. To distract himself, he brought up the mental records of their past triumphs: achieving System Change for the first time, becoming the mighty robot ChoRyuJin, catching the launched Eraser Head and using it to save Guy's life...the flicker of data stilled, falling into an unexpected pattern, one that suggested heretofore unknown possibilities. Hyouryu stared around at the carrier's bay, as if seeing it for the first time.
"That's it," he murmured. Suddenly energized, he went on with more force and volume, "The Mirror Catapult! If we use it to cover ourselves with Mirror Particles...."
"...we'll create a completely frictionless zone!" Enryu concluded. Hyouryu glanced over at him and their visual receptors engaged; Enryu's were shining with inspiration and renewed enthusiasm. "Brother! You are a sexual genius!"
"Then let's do it!" Hyouryu surged to his feet, concealing the gratification that heated his circuits at his brother's praise. It was the work of moments to plug into the Catapult's control panel and program the necessary directives. "I've disengaged the launch sequence," he told Enryu as he hastily clomped to join his brother inside the Catapult's tube, "and I've set the auto-countdown. We'll have to hold onto each other at all times so that we don't slip apart."
Enryu nodded, reaching out for him as he drew near. They clasped each other's shoulders firmly, and Hyouryu found himself gazing into his brother's face as his internal timer pulsed toward zero. Enryu returned that look steadily, wordless confirmation and acceptance of his plan, and anticipation charged Hyouryu's system, like the leashed readiness of waiting for a mission order to be given, all the probabilities calculated and yet the ultimate outcome of the situation ever unknown, ever exciting. There was a low, whining hum on all sides as the Catapult began to power up, and then everything went to silver as Mirror Particles flooded about them, coating every centimeter of their forms with a slick, metallic-looking film. Hyouryu felt them both begin to rise from the floor as the antigravity effect kicked in.
"We can do it, brother!"
And oh, everything seemed to be working this time, the movements of their bodies against each other smooth and sure, gliding in a flawlessly synchronized rhythm. It was so easy, so right, and he could feel their Sympa-Rate rising once more, rising, nearing its peak so swiftly, an unexpected yet wonderful fusion of purpose, of need.... "Symmetrical Docking!" they cried in unison, only dimly conscious of having uttered the familiar phrase. But this was like no other docking, ever, connectors sliding in and out of unfathomable configurations, alerts strobing across their processors at the strangeness of it, disquieting, uncomfortable, yet oddly intoxicating. Together they strained, consumed by these new sensations, by the firing of signals and energy currents passing between them as they sought their culmination. Almost, it seemed that...almost...vaguely Hyouryu noticed a faint flicker in the silver sheen that coated them. Their movements appeared to be slowing for some reason, as if they were struggling through a growing impedance. Slower and slower still...this...this was...Enryu made a strangled, staticky sound of alarm that echoed his own sudden flare of recognition and distress.
"Oh no! The field's wearing off!"
"Symmetrical Out! Quickly, brother!"
"I don't want to know." Hyuuma Geki turned away from the spectacle of an enormous crane removing two hopelessly enmeshed, lube-dripping giant robots from the top level of the Triple Flying Decked Carrier. Teeth gritted, he ground the heel of one hand into his forehead, knotting his fingers into his hair. "I do NOT want to know!"
Well, there was one consolation, he thought bleakly.
At least those two hadn't managed to launch themselves out into the harbor....
Author's note: And there you have it: my "robot porn" story. If you're curious about these characters, check out this page for a character file of Hyouryu and Enryu. (Yes, the Chest Thriller is canonical. So is Symmetrical Docking. I really wanted to do something with the Pencil Launcher too, but I just couldn't quite work it in.) The Gaogaigar FAQ was also very helpful in the writing of this story.
Thanks to Hoshikage, whose fault this whole thing is, and to Doktor X for his unflagging encouragement. ^_^