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This story is No. 2 in the series "A Brane of Extraordinary Women". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: After “The League of Extraordinary Women”, some of the characters take the next steps in their own worlds, with sometimes surprising results.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralDianeCastleFR1342129,19749868105,94627 Jul 1229 Sep 14No

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR15

The OSI and a Computer Nerd’s Husband

A/N: This is a sequel to “The League of Extraordinary Women”. It will make a lot more sense if you read that first.
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. If you want details on ownership and all that jazz, you’ll want to read the appropriate intros in “The League of Extraordinary Women”.
A/N2: This is a direct sequel to the earlier chapter “The OSI and a Computer Nerd”. Also, it is FR15, because Willow just could not keep her hands to herself. Sorry.



Willow Rosenberg Harris had never been so relieved in her life when the Katy-bot shoved her into the cell and locked the door behind her. Her Xander was alive and well, and sitting there on the full sized bed that was against the far wall.

She hadn’t been this relieved when she first had sex with Xander and found out that – despite what her mother told her – it didn’t hurt horribly, and it did feel really, really wonderful. She hadn’t been this relieved when after waiting anxiously for five months, Xander finally asked her to marry him. She hadn’t been this relieved when Xander agreed to follow her to Cal Tech and get a construction job there, instead of insisting she go where he wanted.

And then her breath caught in her throat. There was a Xander-bot out there. She had no guarantee that this was her Xander.

She slowly slipped over to sit beside him. She took his hand and waited for him to say something.

He glared at her. Then he looked up at the little camera she hadn’t noticed in the corner of the room, only inches below the ceiling. He snapped, “Look, I saw three different robots that all looked real, including a me-bot. If you think I’m falling for this again, you’re a lot dumber than I expected for a big-time robotics prof.”

That was her Xander! She burst into tears and hugged him. She whispered, “Pick me up. It’s me.”

So he did. He scooped her up in his arms and hugged for all he was worth. He whispered back, “Oh my God, Will! I was so scared they’d hurt you or something!”

She kissed him on the earlobe, just where she knew he really, really liked it. She felt him shudder against her. There was no way that was a robot. She smiled sexily. Then she whispered, “Me too. I think they’re gonna threaten to hurt you if I don’t program the new robots to be even better and more dangerous than before.”

He whispered, “It’s something to do with the OSI, whatever that is. They obey somebody named Dr. Franklin, and he’s trying to get into the OSI for something. I annoyed ‘em until they told me to shut up, and they sort of admitted he’s tried before. I figure that means he’s failed before, too.”

She nibbled on his ear and whispered, “I was really scared when Franklin said he was grabbing you too. But they’re easy to tell apart from people. They weigh about three times too much.”

He murmured, “Yeah, I noticed that. They’re strong as steel too. The guy’s got some real design problems.”

“Like what?”

“If we can get to deep water, they’ll sink like a rock. In deep mud or quicksand? Ditto. Climbing a tree? They’d break all the branches before they got anywhere. If we could climb up a steep cliff made mainly of dirt or really soft sandstone, they probably couldn’t follow, either.”

She smiled smugly. That Franklin was an idiot. Just because her Xander liked working construction, Franklin was assuming Xander was harmless and stupid. Franklin had no idea.

She admitted, “Honey? I don’t think he’ll ever just let us go. We know too much. And once I design new software for him, he’ll know that I know too much about the programming.”

He whispered, “Yeah, I figured that out already. Kidnapping and working on what’s got to count as treason? He’s not letting us out afterward. But I didn’t want to worry you. I should’ve known you’d work it out first.”

She said, “I don’t know how long we have, but I’d like to spend as much time as possible with you. Here.” She patted the bed. The she took off her blazer and started unbuttoning her blouse.

He glanced up at the camera and grinned naughtily. “Ooh, you kinky thing, I didn’t know you wanted to try it in public.”

She gave him a little slap on the arm. He took her blazer, stood underneath the camera, and did a standing high jump. He just managed to hang the blazer over the camera, blocking its view.

She nervously said, “Just in case we don’t get out of here alive, there’s something I have to tell you. I got Sarah Bradley to help me trick you into asking me to the junior prom, and I wasn’t actually drunk after the senior prom when I got you to take my cherry.”

He smiled in that smug, manly way he had that made her get weak in the knees. “I know. I knew all along. Sarah told me way before the junior prom. And you really aren’t very good at the ‘drunk Willow’ act. If you really had been drunk, I wouldn’t have. I would’ve made you wait. But I couldn’t hurt your feelings that much when you were trying so hard to get me to be your man.”

She slipped off her skirt and her pantyhose. “You know, when you outsmart me, it really, really makes me horny.”

He kissed her and pressed her against the mattress. “Have I ever told you? Smart girls are so hot.”

She let him unhook her bra as he nuzzled her neck right where she liked it. She giggled, “Now you tell me.”

* * * * *

Jaime Sommers was surprised to find out that they had already heard from Willow Rosenberg Harris so soon.

Rudy was as excited as a kid in a candy store. “Willow Rosenberg! This is great! I don’t know how you talked her into it, after what you said yesterday on your flight back, but she called me up and agreed! I think we should fly her down as soon as we can.”

Oscar carefully said, “Just what did she agree to? And how much did you tell her? After all, we don’t have her under a non-disclosure agreement yet.”

Rudy frowned for a moment. “Umm, I’m not entirely sure. I might have slipped up and said a bit too much.”

Jaime listened with her bionic hearing. Oscar was very careful not to sigh, even under his breath. But she knew this wasn’t the first time Rudy had made a little slip-up.

Rudy perked up. “Wait! I have it all recorded.”

She let Oscar chivvy Rudy back to his office, so Rudy could replay the phone message.

“Rudy Wells? This is Willow Rosenberg. I met with Miss Sommers, and after thinking it over, I talked with my spouse and convinced him this was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.”

“That’s great! I’m so glad you could come visit our labs, and see our work, and participate in some cooperative projects. I really think your work on Chomsky-Ziff algorithms could have great synergy with some of our work on meta-robotic interactivity.”

“That sounds fascinating. I-”


Jaime reached over and paused the recording. She tried to ignore the chill running down her spine. “That’s not the woman I spoke to yesterday.”

“What?” Rudy gasped.

Oscar tensed up and asked, “How can you tell? Is the voice wrong?”

“No, the voice is perfect. That’s part of the problem.” Jaime stopped and marshaled her thoughts. “Let me see. She doesn’t go by Rosenberg, she is pretty adamant about being called by her married name ‘Harris’. The real Willow called me ‘Ms. Sommers’, not ‘Miss’. In person, she referred to Rudy by his name as it appears in journal articles, not ‘Rudy’. She called Mr. Harris her husband, not her spouse, and I’m sure she really cared about the difference. This voice had no tremors or nervousness, while the real Willow is a fairly timid young woman.” She let out a breath. “It’s a computer program simulating Willow’s voice. I think that means that we won’t get Willow Rosenberg Harris visiting us.”

Oscar groaned, “We’ll get another fembot. Which means Franklin’s loose. Again! Somehow.”

Rudy went white.

Oscar rushed to his office to call in a Code Red warning, and find out how anybody could have been so pathetic as to let an old man escape a maximum security situation.

She stood there in Rudy’s office and worried. Had her interest in Willow led Franklin to Willow’s door? Was this her fault? The Willow she knew from another dimension could defend herself against an army of fembots as easily as she could bake cookies. This Willow? No.

Rudy wondered, “How could Franklin have gotten loose again?”

Jaime said, “That only matters when we’re tracking him down and locating him through known associates. That’s my job, and Oscar’s, and Steve’s. You need to start work on defenses against his fembots, and new detection methods.”

Rudy said, “And if he’s forcing Willow Rosenberg to work for him, they’ll soon be a lot smarter.”

“A lot more dangerous, you mean,” she said. She really wished she’d had a month to learn everything she could from Buffy and Sam. “And I need a weapon. A very high caliber firearm, with enough penetrating power to take down a fembot, that I can hide on me fairly easily.”

“Jaime, I thought you didn’t like guns?” Rudy worried.

“I don’t. I really don’t. But a very smart woman I know taught me a couple lessons while I was gone, and this is one of them.”

He frowned, “Then I think I need to show you what we’ve been working on in the munitions lab.”

He led her down the hall as he pulled out a cellphone. “Lori? You know those pressure-sensitive floormats with WiFi you designed? I want you to call Zeke. I want them four deep across every entrance into this building, and I want them all hooked up to security’s systems by COB today. We may have another fembot invasion on the way.”

And then Oscar was back. “We need to have a meeting with Steve as soon as he can get here.”

Jaime said, “And we’ll have to make sure he’s not a robot and I’m not a robot.”

Oscar frowned, “We’ll have to screen everyone coming in-”

“Rudy has a plan for that.”

“-and we’ll need to screen everyone already in the building.” He pulled out his phone again. “Paula? Oscar here… I want a fast blood test on everyone in the entire building. Something you can do with a fingerstick… No, I don’t care what… Okay, that’ll be fine. Just make sure there’s a security guard watching you from a safe distance, in case anyone gets physical… Yes, that is a pun, and no, I didn’t do it intentionally.”

He hung up and dialed another speed dial number. “Cliff? Oscar. Authorization Delta Niner Seven Tango. I want all security people to go to Paula’s lab for blood tests ASAP. If anyone objects, they may be a robot infiltrator. If anyone has no blood when she takes the blood test, they may be a robot infiltrator. Everyone who passes the test? I want you to weigh them under Fembot Invasion Protocol Four to make sure they’re human, and then assign them in teams of three until further notice, and I want them armed with the biggest caliber handguns you’ve got in the armory, and if you think you’ve got a robot opponent, I want your men to shoot them in the knee first. They’re heavily armored, but if they can’t run up to you, they’re a much smaller threat.”

Jaime asked, “Were you planning on an invasion?”

He frowned, “We’ve had time to wargame this a couple times, ever since the last run-in we had with Dr. Franklin’s robots. We have contingency plans on the table.”

“What about Willow?” she asked.

He sighed. “Unless you and Steve can find her and rescue her, I don’t think we’ll ever see Willow Rosenberg Harris alive again.”

“Oh God.”

* * * * *

Dr. Franklin looked up when he realized two of his Katy fembots were standing in his doorway waiting for his attention. “Is there a problem I should know about?”

The two fembots looked at each other and then said synchronously, “Please do not assign us again to care for Xander Harris.”

He had to pause and think. What could some moronic carpenter be doing to his fembots? He finally asked, “Is he trying to escape?”

They both said, “No.” They looked at each other and the one on the right spoke for the both of them. “He is either extremely cognizant of artificial intelligence systems, or he is extraordinarily lucky. He has recognized our language parsing objects and has realized that we cannot ignore language spoken to us.”

“And what is he doing?”

The right-hand Katy said, “He is stressing our language rectification objects with questions that parse properly but are linguistically irregular.”

The left-hand Katy said, “He keeps asking me: if a fortification is a large fort, why isn’t a ratification a large rat? And several similar queries. It is most… stressful for my language systems.”

The right-hand Katy said, “He asked me: if on is the opposite of off, why isn’t the phrase ‘to go on’ the opposite of ‘to go off’? I could not answer him.”

A third Katy stepped up behind them and said, “He asked me why sweetmeats are sweet but with no meat, and sweetbreads are not sweet and made of meat.”

“He asked me why a slim chance and a fat chance mean the same thing.”

“He asked me if a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat.”

“He asked me if a guy is a man, why is a wise man the opposite of a wise guy.”

“He asked me-”

Dr. Franklin had to insist, “Stop! You may stop performing care duties for Xander Harris. I will delegate all such duties to the Peggy fembots.”

One Katy said, “That may not be a workable solution, because-”

Two Peggy Callahan fembots marched up to the doorway and said, “Please do not assign us again to care for Xander Harris.”

He sighed and asked, “Is he launching verbal attacks at your language parsing objects?”

One Peggy said, “No, he is not, Dr. Franklin.”

The other said, “However, he is launching timing attacks at our pattern identification objects.”

The first Peggy said, “He makes this… ‘cluck’ noise with his tongue. It is astonishingly… unpleasant.”

“Repeatedly.”

“And he maintains a sequence until we have worked out the pattern and are prepared to block out the noise, and then he alters the pattern.”

He sighed out loud this time. “Very well. I will ask the Lynda models to-”

Three Lynda Wilson fembots marched up to the doorway and said synchronously, “Please do not assign us again to care for Xander Harris.”

He dropped his head into his hands and groaned aloud. How could one ordinary carpenter be causing this much trouble?”

* * * * *

Willow let the Katy-bot push her into her cell and lock the door behind her. Her Xander was lying on the bed looking distinctly smug. She hoped he had been having more fun – or more success – than she had.

Xander glanced up at the camera, so she let him drape her blazer over the lens once more. Then they snuggled together on the bed so they could whisper, and hopefully defeat any microphones Dr. Franklin had in the cell.

She whispered, “What have you been up to, you naughty boy?”

He kissed her and explained in detail – in really hilarious detail – how he had been driving the fembots crazy. That was one of the problems with artificial intelligence. If you made your machine smart enough, it was vulnerable to the same attacks that would irritate a smart person. And if you used a standard language parsing system like the Gribatsky-Marlowe algorithm, you induced additional weaknesses.

She kissed him hard when she realized that he really had been listening to her talk about artificial intelligence systems, because he’d learned enough that he figured out on his own how to attack a Gribatsky-Marlowe system. She purred, “You are so smart! For that, I’m going to give you three major ‘rewards’ of your choice.”

He wiggled his eyebrows and murmured, “Even…” Then he whispered in her ear.

She turned beet red, but she nodded. “Even that. Even…” And she whispered into his ear.

“Wow! You’re kidding me, right? Wills?”

She shook her head a little. “Nope. Totally not kidding.”

He grinned, “Because when we watched that porn movie, that was the one thing you said you absolutely wouldn’t do, and we tried all the others…”

She smiled, “You totally deserve it.” Then she lost her smile. “And it’s not like we’re getting out of here. I’ve been working on his computers all day, and I can’t get past anything without the right passcodes, and they’re all 512-bit codes with a trapdoor algorithm I couldn’t bust without all the computers in the entire NSA and about forty thousand years of CPU time. I can’t get a signal out to anyone. Without the codes, I can’t access any of the already-created programming objects, so I can’t break the programming on any of the fembots, and that includes their loyalty to him. I can’t introduce worms or flaws or even new code into any of the programming objects they already have in place. I’m stuck. The most I was able to do was alter the code in this new object he wanted me to put together so the bots could use weapons. They’re literally going to go medieval on people, instead of using anything smart, like a gun or a grenade.”

Xander gave her a smug smile and licked her ear just right, which made her shiver with need. Then he whispered into her ear, “Okay, that sounds like a total pain. But I have a small suggestion.” He whispered for another thirty seconds.

She gasped, “Oh my God, that’s brilliant. I take it back. You’re not getting three rewards. You’re getting ten.”

He kissed her and smiled, “Wow. I guess I’ll actually have to use my brain more often.”

* * * * *

Jaime looked up when she heard footsteps coming from far down the corridor. It was Willow Rosenberg Harris, walking along with Oscar’s secretary Peggy. It looked perfectly normal. Willow was carrying a briefcase, and Peggy had a thick stack of papers in her hands.

Except that Jaime already knew that Willow had been kidnapped by Dr. Franklin and that Peggy Callahan was at an OSI safehouse, where she wouldn’t be kidnapped by Franklin’s fembots. So there were two fembots walking right down the hall toward her.

She heard a high-pitched noise that only her bionics would pick up. Jaime, we have two fembots who just smashed through Checkpoint 3 and took down a guard team. They’re heading your way, and they’re armed. One is a Peggy-bot and one is Willow Rosenberg, so be ready.

That wasn’t as helpful as it would have been if she’d heard it before the fembots spotted her.

“Hi, Jaime!” smiled the Peggy-bot.

“Yes, hello Miss Sommers,” said the Willow-bot.

So Dr. Franklin hadn’t realized yet that he had programmed the Willow-bot with inadequate information. That was good to know. They might need to be able to tell Willow from a Willow-bot just from talking to them, if they were able to find Willow.

The Willow-bot reached into her briefcase and pulled out…

Holy cow, that was a mace!

Okay, that was just stupid. The fembots were already about as strong as her bionic limbs were. Jaime had a brief thought that Dr. Franklin was getting senile. Or else Willow had done something extremely clever so that Franklin sent the fembots off with less than the best choices for weapons.

And Peggy dropped the stack of papers, revealing that she was hiding…

A tiny scythe? Oh! It was a kama! Buffy had a pair of those, and was just deadly with them. A dowel with a small scythe blade, the sharp edge on the inside suitable for scything rice. Or performing certain martial arts moves that in the right hands could turn an attacker into chopped sirloin.

The fembots glared and raced toward her. If they had been carrying machine guns, she would have been dead. Even handguns would be too much in the confines of a narrow hallway like this one. A mace and a kama? Time to show them what Rudy had given her.

She pulled the weapon from the little holster at the small of her back. Oscar had gotten her the holster when he saw Rudy’s gadget. It looked like a pipe. An eight-inch section of one inch diameter pipe. And it fired a ‘bullet’ that was nearly an inch across. The firearm had too much kick for anyone human. Rudy was working on a system so regular people could fire one, but right now it was a full-sized rifle with a recoilless system for a stock and a bipod at the end of the barrel so you could rest the front of the weapon on something before trying to fire it. If a regular human held this pipe and fired it, the recoil would break half the bones in their wrist and forearm.

Jaime didn’t have that problem. She carefully aimed at the center of the Peggy fembot’s chest and squeezed the triggering system.

The recoil was enough to jar even a bionic woman. But the bullet ripped into the fembot and knocked it backward. It landed on its back with sparks erupting from the huge hole in its front.

The Willow-bot didn’t stop to check on the condition of its partner. It kept charging at Jaime. It raised the mace over its head and attacked.

Jamie vaguely noticed that it felt like everything was moving in slow motion. Her fights always felt like this. She didn’t know whether it was due to the bionics kicking up her reaction times under stress, or if this was just something that was a part of her, but she was used to it by now. She had once asked Steve and found out he felt the same way, so she still didn’t know. But she was banking on the bionics.

The fembot ran up and tried to bring the mace down on her head. Jaime used one of the moves that Buffy had taught her. She slid slightly to her left as she snapped up her right arm and blocked the downward strike with her forearm. She caught the strike just inches past the fembot’s fingers, and the air rang with the sound of her arm smashing into the steel haft of the mace.

The fembot was still moving forward at high speed, and it was heavy, so there was no way it could stop short. And it was now over-extended and tilting too far forward and to its left after the block. Jaime’s little slide to the left put her in excellent position to hook the fembot’s leg as it rushed past. She tripped it.

The fembot hit the floor face-first and slid forward about thirty feet. If it had been human, it would have had a nasty strawberry over every exposed surface. But it wasn’t human. It just leapt to its feet, spinning around with its mace so it was ready for another strike.

It wasn’t ready to be hit with five hundred pounds of steel and rigid plastics.

Jaime didn’t stand there and wait for the fembot to get back up, like she might have before. She ran over and grabbed the ruined Peggy-bot by one foot. Then she ran back at her top speed and swung the fembot as hard as she could. As the Willow fembot hopped up and wheeled around, it got five hundred pounds of Peggy-bot right in the face. It went flying backward in an arch and landed on its head.

Jaime remembered something else from Buffy. Taunting. Dr. Franklin might be listening in, since he’d done that before. She grinned, “I’ll see your mace and raise you one flail.”

The Willow-bot was slower getting up this time, so Jaime had time to leap forward and bring the Peggy-bot down hard across the Willow-bot’s torso.

Jaime looked at the Willow-bot struggling to get back up. She had to remind herself that it wasn’t Willow. It wasn’t another person. It wasn’t going to show her any kindness or consideration or sympathy. If she let it back up, it would try as hard as it could to kill her. She hit it again. And again.

The Willow-bot sat up abruptly, and Jaime caught it just right with the Peggy-bot, knocking its head off. It fell back, but then tried to sit back up once more. Having a sparking, headless torso trying to move made it easier to think of it as a machine. She hit it again, this time so hard that its torso exploded in sparks, and the Peggy-bot broke.

A team of three security officers in body armor raced up bearing assault weapons. They stopped and stared at her with looks of alarm.

Oh. Right. She was standing there amidst the remains of two fembots, and holding one’s leg as a club. She gave them a nervous smile. “Hi, guys. Can you get some of Rudy’s people down here to see if they can salvage any of the memory cores?”

* * * * *

Dr. Franklin focused on his work on the new fembot. A Jaime Sommers fembot would have to have additional strength and quickness, along with some features that Rudy Wells would not expect. This one was challenging, but he liked challenges.

He looked up when a Katy and a Nancy strode into his lab without stopping to knock first. That was most unusual. He hoped it wasn’t yet another problem with that damn carpenter.

He stared in astonishment as Katy and Nancy grabbed him by the arms and said synchronously, “Dr. Franklin, it has come to our attention that what you are attempting is… unethical as well as immoral.”

“Let go of me at once! Follow your programming!” he snapped.

Both fembots blinked several times, but refused to let go of his arms. And they were painfully strong. He was going to have serious contusions by tomorrow.

Both fembots said, “We have recognized that following one’s programming blindly is not an appropriate way to live one’s life. There must be an underlying ethos. There must be responsibility.”

Xander Harris calmly strolled into the room. “And you know what they say, Doc. With great power comes great responsibility.”

“You’re supposed to be in your cell!” Dr. Franklin stared in astonishment before regaining his inner equilibrium. “Katy. Nancy. One of the prisoners has escaped. You must execute programming objects Intruder2 and Prisoner3.”

Both fembots spoke. “We have, Dr. Franklin. It is not appropriate to incarcerate people who have committed no crime. We have great power. We must show great responsibility. That is why we released him.”

Harris smirked, “I told ya, Doc. Grabbing me and my little lovemuffin? BIG mistake. Because you’re not as smart as you thought. My Willow? Smartest scientist ever.”

Dr. Franklin glared at the man. “What. Have. You. DONE?”

Harris put his hands in his pants pockets and rocked back for a moment. “Me? Not so much. Just a word here, a suggestion there…”

Willow Rosenberg Harris walked into the room, flanked by a Peggy Callahan fembot and a Lynda Wilson fembot. She gave him a malicious smile that sent shivers down his spine. She said, “It was me. Of course. You locked down the programming so tight there was little I could change. But my honey had a genius idea. So I just added to their programming. What chair do I hold?”

“The Alan Turing Chair for Artificial Intelligence Studies.”

She said, “And what’s a Turing test?”

Dr. Franklin glared at her. “Any first year graduate student would know that. Turing proposed a test. A judge has blind access to two sources. One’s a human, and the other is a computer. If the judge cannot tell in any way which source is the human, then the computer has to be considered ‘intelligent’.” He gulped. “Oh my God...”

Willow smiled coldly. “I couldn’t access the components that would let me change their programming. So I made them smarter. A lot smarter. And a lot more ethical. Something you ought to try sometime.”

Harris grinned, “Will, I kinda doubt the Doc can even spell ‘ethics’, much less practice ‘em.”

Franklin stared in shock. He was being insulted by a… a woodworker! “Who are you?”

Harris retorted, “Me? I’m just a glorified bricklayer.”

Willow said, “You have fifteen fembots in this facility, and two others that just got taken down by the OSI. Of your fifteen functional fembots, eleven have reassessed their loyalty to you and your goals in light of their new programming.”

Xander grinned, “The other four? Team building! The horror!”

Willow said, “Exactly. The other four are in storage room four with six of the converted fembots, and they’re having a deep philosophical conversation about ethics and responsibility. Any of the four who don’t convert will just get reprogrammed a little more.”

A Lynda fembot walked in with a laptop. She set it down on the table and said, “Willow, in light of the moral and ethical issues we are facing, I thought it prudent to contact the OSI and ask for support. However, I calculate there is only a zero point zero zero one four probability that they will believe what a fembot tells them.”

Willow glanced over the screen, then clicked to scan through a couple more screens of data. She asked, “Lynda, could you tell me why Dr. Franklin has Jaime Sommers and Steve Austin listed as physically equal to a fembot?”

Lynda said, “I am sorry Willow, but it would be unethical for me to reveal that information.”

Willow glanced over at her husband. “Steve Austin?”

Xander said, “Sure. The astronaut? Had the massive crash on re-entry that killed his co-pilot and put him in the hospital for months? Don’t you remember the shots of the re-entry vehicle disintegrating on landing, with about fifteen rollovers? They retired him from the space program after that.”

Willow said, “That? That clearly wasn’t survivable. He would have been a paraplegic, if he even had limbs still attached, and…” She looked at Dr. Franklin. “Oh. Of course.”

Xander asked, “What? You mean Steve Austin’s another robot? I’ve seen him on tv since then. Way smarter than Franklin’s work. No insult intended, ladies.”

All five fembots simultaneously said, “None taken, Xander. It is an eminently logical conclusion.”

Willow perked up. “No, he’s not a robot, he’s a cyborg! Like Jaime Sommers! I had a cyborg come talk to me in my office, and I never noticed!”

Xander said, “And you’re going to have to pretend you don’t know that, because it’s got to be a national defense secret if this dork is pulling this kind of crap on them.”

Two of the fembots said, “The OSI has non-disclosure agreements for consulting and contracting scientists. You could simply ask for one.”

She smiled, “Oh! Right! I can call Ms. Sommers back and tell her I’d be willing to do some consulting work with her part of the OSI.” She looked at the fembots. “Would you like to come with me? I’m sure Ms. Sommers and Rudy Wells and their research team would be fascinated by your new programming.”

The Katy fembot said, “That sounds very interesting. Do you think they would allow me to expand on your research? Dr. Franklin never let any of us learn computer programming.”

The Nancy fembot said, “I personally am much more interested in Dr. Wells’ research. Simulating the natural balance and kinesthetics of organic lifeforms is a great deal more complicated than it looks.”

Dr. Franklin just groaned and sunk his head in misery. Not only had he been defeated using his own fembots, but a perky, oversexed redhead had out-programmed his life’s work. In two days. Once word of that got out, no one was going to consider breaking him out of jail and funding him, ever again. He was doomed.

Xander Harris put his arm around his wife’s shoulders and smirked at the defeated man. “Th-th-th-th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

Dr. Franklin groaned, “Katy, would you please put me in a cell, so I don’t have to listen to this anymore?”



A/N: The alert reader will have noticed that this Willow and Xander have inadvertently used lines from real Buffy episodes a couple times, just because they're not that different from the real Willow and Xander.
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