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She was sitting in the ESU library, with a stack of imposing-looking reference books on the table, and a faint frown on her face as she typed a few notes into an expensive-looking laptop.
She wasn't wearing any makeup -- not that her perfect skin actually needed any -- and her hair was pulled severely back from her face and gathered in a single flowing sable pony tail. Her sweater, while form-fitting enough to hint at a nicely-shaped bustline, was not particularly revealing, though its colour complemented her colouration, which was medium, just a hint of surviving tan. Around her neck hung a chain supporting a pair of plain black-framed glasses, which she occasionally donned briefly and un-self-consciously whenever she needed to make out particularly difficult passages in the books she was researching.
Whatever else could be said of her appearance, she certainly had fine legs and -- and here was the odd note in her appearance that attracted attention -- they were definitely on display under the table, her feet in glistening red high-heeled pumps first catching the attention, leading to contemplation of shapely ankles caressed, bound and confined by the shoes' straps, after which the eye inevitably moved a bit higher, taking in the trim calves in sheer blue hose and the dimpled knees, then on to the fine strong-looking sleek thighs, eventually arriving at the hem of her black -- leather -- miniskirt.
Those fine legs, and the contrast between their presentation to the world and the rest of her appearance, had, over the three days she had been researching at that desk, caught the attention of several other library users, and some of them had made one or another excuse to speak to her, to try to make her acquaintance. The library staff, watching the inevitable brush-offs, had quietly enjoyed the discomfiture of several young men and one girl so far, when one more young man arrived at the desk and spoke quietly to her.
"Excuse me," he said. "Do you have Asimov's 'Fundamental Laws of Robotics' there?"
Glancing briefly up, she looked down at her stack of books and said "Yes -- I believe I do. Do you need it?"
"Well, actually, I just need one citation from it. Do you mind if I borrow it for a moment?"
"Not at all." she said, just the faint trace of an unidentifiable accent coloring her speech. Handing him the book, she casually asked "Are you studying cybernetics, also?"
"Actally, it's more of a hobby with me. I'm an Electronics major, but as a personal project, I'm working on Artificial Intelligence. I'm trying to decide how Asimov's Laws of Robotics can be instituted in a real-world situation, right now. It seems to me that if the Laws are fully implemented, the constraints that they place on the actions of the AI will prevent it from ever passing the Turing Test."
"An interesting theory," she said, rolling the "R" slightly. "How so?"
"Well, if the person sitting at the terminal issues a direct order to his 'partner', then what reaction he gets to that may well help him to determine whether he is communicating with a human or an AI -- a robot."
"I had thought of that," she responded, thoughtfully -- he noticed that she pronounced "th" with a bit of a Gabor-like "ts" sound. "I too am working on Artificial Intelligence; as a matter of fact, I am working on my thesis with Dr. Capek, and the subject is how to determine whether an AI is truly intelligent, rather than merely a very sophisticated computer game. We had discarded the basic Turing Test for just such flaws and are trying to determine some better method."
"Fascinating," he said. "One idea would be to simply forbid such order-giving, but that would prejudice the test."
"Exactly," she said, turning a bit to face him where he sat diagonally across the table from her, with a small smile on her face. "What Dr Capek has suggested I consider..."
And the Discussion began, the eternal Discussion that always seems to arise whenever two academics with a true love of their subject happen to meet -- wide-ranging over the problems faced by researchers and what solutions they planned to try, touching on the perfidy of funding administrators and on the foibles and quirks of thesis advisors. Before long they were suggesting possible solutions to each others' current problems, and pointing out references in various of the volumes she had collected on the table.
In order to better share the texts, he had moved around to her side of the table and sat next to her, as they took turns looking up obscure facts of cybernetic lore and pointing them out. As they became more at ease with each other, their mutual passion for knowledge making it seem as if they had klnown each other for a long time, they drifted closer together at the table until, suddenly, with a bit of a start, he realised that her warm hip in its black leather had bumped against his.
"Ummm..." he began, but she interrupted him, speaking in a normal cheerful tone that didn't so much deny the contact of their bodies as simply make it unimportant in the Scheme of the Cosmic All.
"You know," she said, "I don't believe we have introduced ourselves. My name is Roberta -- Roberta Rossum. My friends call me Robbie." And she held out her hand.
Taking the warm, slender but strong hand, he clasped it firmly but not too tightly, and answered "Gort -- short for 'Gorton' -- Arbeit. Pleased to meet you."
Looking around, he suddenly realised just how long they had been talking -- they were the only ones left in the library, and, in fact, a library clerk was just approaching their table to ask them to finish up, please -- it was closing time.
Each grabbed a couple of important texts from the pile they had accumulated in their discussion, and headed for the check-out desk. Emerging from the exit into the early evening cool, they stood a moment breathing the fresh air after a day of musty library odors. For the first time, Gort got a good view of those glamour-grrl legs, from the almost blatantly-erotic red shoes up to the hem of the butter-soft black leather miniskirt. For a moment, there was a silence, while the way in which he regarded her modified itself, adding "sexy lady" to "interesting colleague".
A faint smile on her lips as he looked back up acknowledged her recognition of his observations and his new perceptions, and added an element of challenge; would he now make a fool of himself, as so many had at this point, or would he simply continue in an easy manner, as if nothing had changed?
With only the faintest of hesitations, he said "You know, it's awfully late; did you have any dinner plans or whetever this evening? Maybe we could grab a pizza or something and continue this discussion... ?"
"Sounds good to me," she answered easily. "Here, be a gentleman." Before he realised what she was doing she had added her armload of heavy books to his, and set off with an almost-skipping step and a bit of a merry laugh toward Jocko's, the finest pizza parlor near the campus.
"Hey -- no fair," he protested. "If I gotta carry all the books, you gotta pay for my pizza."
"We'll see..." she said.
Sitting at the table that bore the remains of one of Jocko's giant "Death by Ingredient" specials, they continued to get acquainted. She was from Eastern Europe, which explained her slight accent; he was from Chicago, which explained his cultivated air of habitual cynicism. By the time they were ready to go, they were leaning inward over the table and holding hands.
They slowly walked toward his car parked across the street, where they had stashed their books; both reluctant to part, but neither really knowing what move to make next.
"Hey -- Cowboy Mouth are playing at the Bronze!" he said, noticing a flyer on a pole by the car.
"Who?" she asked
"Cowboy Mouth -- the greatest American rock'n'roll band there is; from New Orleans. The door guy at the Bronze is a friend of mine -- I can get us in free. Wanna go rock some?"
"Sure. Why not -- I can sleep in tomorrow."
So they did.
And the show was terrific, as promised, with the pounding beat of true rock'n'roll, beautiful lyrics and downright fantastic vibes.
The Bronze was jammed -- hot, sweaty and tightly packed, the crowd surging one way and then the other in the dark. They were pushed against each other by the crush, shoved hard together.
The proximity of their bodies and the hot, intimate atmosphere and the concealing darkness of the club and the sensuality of the music was, to say the least, stimulating to Gort; at one point, when he was pushed against Robbie from behind, and found his groin pressed firmly against her shapely buttocks under the thin leather of her skirt, he found himself with a rather embarrassing semi-erection that he was sure she must have felt pressing into the warm valley between the firm cheeks.
He was reassured and a litle startled when she pressed back against him and rolled her hips a bit, adding to the stimulation and bringing him fully erect.
.... There is more of this story ...