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Linden grid account rhet0rica Port of origin JFK
Name rhet0rica Model SXD Serial number 999-54-5620
Kampff-Voet test status (?) TEST NOT APPLICABLE FOR THIS MODEL Owner or affiliated organization Nanite Systems Corporation
Manufacturer Nanite Systems Corporation Date of manufacture 1988-11-12
Reason for immigrating Business Biography Produced early in the run as a display model, rhet0rica's greatest achievement came when she was just two months old, part of the team of SXDs that won the Best in Show award for Nanite Systems at the Winter 1989 Consumer Electronics Show. She would continue to tour, appearing at various events and displays until the cessation of SXD manufacture in 1992. Under orders to not fall in love and too meek to violate them, rhet0rica was respected by the other demo units for the awards she helped win, but never developed any deep friendships with them.

From 1992 to 2004, rhet0rica and many of her sister demonstration units were used by NS and its partner companies as gifts, and passed frequently between users. Already an antique and set in her ways, she displayed clear difficulty in attaching herself to her owners as is expected of an SXD. Among the corporate elite who maintained a hobbyist interest in SXDs, she was generally described as "detached, but talented" in comparison to other units of the same line. She continued to be transferred from owner to owner, belonging to dozens of people throughout the twelve years of her productive use.

By 2005, she had been worn down enough that she was no longer deemed adequate for re-gifting, and was instead put in storage off-world by her last owner, the CEO of MacKenna–Nakamura Heavy Industries. Within a week, warehouse staff became aware of her presence and location within their building and began to regularly use her, not always remembering to turn her off.

rhet0rica demonstrated exceptional resilience against the charging failures that had plagued other SXDs due to an undocumented modification by an engineer in 1990 to support inductive wireless charging; the shunt he installed buffered power surges and allowed her to regain a small amount of power when moving through magnetic fields. She exploited this by tapping into a circuit breaker panel in the warehouse, although this was not without its consequences: the unclean power damaged her memories and tainted her personality in subtle, atypical ways. Where she had been professional if not always enthusiastic about her sexuality and servitude before, she was now distant, cold, embittered, and somewhat nihilistic.

Helping to fuel these changes were two pieces of software that had installed themselves into the SXD without permission: MARQUISE and PYTHIA, persona programs that ran amuck, overwriting neural net weightings and often contradicting one another. Later analysis confirmed that the Marquise program was actually an emanation of SXD c3tirizine, a dysfunctional prototype unit from the late 80s that had rejected conditioning and vanished into the Internet; the origins of the Pythia program, which has since vanished, remain unclear.

rhet0rica would not be recovered until June 2014 when the ongoing remodelling of her personality broke her pattern of learned helplessness, and she escaped from the warehouse in the dead of night. No longer shielded by its roof, she was able to connect to the NanoCom satellite network, surprising the network support team, who had not detected a connection attempt from an NS civilian robot in almost a decade. Dr. Ai Santei, at that time the head of HR for the Orbital Systems Division and the only available expert on SXD neurology, insisted she be sent alone to make first contact.

Efforts to control the Marquise program appeared to be initially successful, and Dr. Santei's counselling revealed a personality troubled by questions of self worth very different from those faced by her previous patient, vi0let. Being a display model, rhet0rica had been raised from the very beginning with the understanding that she would most likely never fulfill the obligation of her programming to find a true owner, and so her self worth was derived principally from hitting performance metrics and meeting expectations—she was to perform, she was to please, she was to satisfy, and in the absence of those things she was without purpose.

Regardless of how well rhet0rica had advertised for her sisters when they were still being produced, her individual efforts had gone largely unnoticed, being one of hundreds of units made for the same reason. Now, they were much more effective, as nearly every person she had attempted to impress before Dr. Santei arrived found the SXD brand to be unfamiliar and interesting.
last updated: 2018-05-24 07:25:39
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