Fallout : Discoveries

1 - Emotions

Noun: An affectivestate of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.

Curie stretched out on the bare mattress. Inhale. Pause. Exhale.

Breathing. It was still such a curious thing for her. Stores of information fed her brain, informing her of all the ways such a simple act affected her new body. Inhale. The expanding of the ribcage. Lungs filling. Air stimulating blood vessels. Muscles slowly reacting, from her eyelids down to her toes. Exhale. Air rushing out, her chest falling as if a bellows were at work inside.

She was thankful it was an automatic response – the progressive study of her science couldn't cease just because she forgot to breathe. Oh no. Not while there was so much more to learn and experience now. She was already finding herself becoming a slave to her body's needs. Sleep of an evening, food for fuel, water for life. Not to mention the nigh impossible task of keeping her hands and ears and nose clean from all the dust of the Commonwealth.

Her body, she had learned, was very distracting. If it wasn't all the automatic little flexes and twitches and motions she made as she simply existed, then her new nervous system could entertain her for hours. Encyclopaedic knowledge of sensations and descriptions did not do justice to eating something cooked. The scent of grilled meat, the texture, the taste. Utterly fascinating. Or the pain she'd feel sometimes! Standing up and scratching herself on corrugated steel, or pinching her thumb in the trigger of a handgun. Sudden and sharp, but scientifically amazing. Millions of nerve sensors rushing to her new brain to tell her where she was hurt and how bad, before signals were fired back to begin the healing process.

And then…

Then there was the other sensations. The distracting, confusing, exciting sensations she was beginning to explore in her precious private moments. The tingling she felt when she would dress of a morning, and her shirt would slide over supple breasts. A sweet little tickle that made her nipples puff up and harden, and each new stimuli just made them worse. Better.

Curie wasn't naïve. Goodness – she was probably one of the smartest 'people' in Sanctuary Hills, with the possible exception of Codsworth or Valentine. She had medical knowledge of just how her body moved and reacted, and all the different hormonal responses that went hand in hand with it.

That didn't keep the blush from crawling across her cheeks whenever she felt someone admiring her backside, knowing that she was attractive. She couldn't hide behind a wall of science enough to calm her heartbeat in her chest, or the pleasant fog crawling up the back of her mind.

Curie knew the fundamentals of sexual intercourse – of human reproduction. Knew just how many insane responses the body went through as it achieved orgasm. The hammering pulse, the hormones exploding in the brain, the euphoria flooding the nervous system like a drug. And she came to the conclusion that all those descriptive words did not do justice to the slowly-building rapture she felt just from letting her hands caress her breasts. Soft, delicate tissue that sang to her as she brushed her thumbs along them, closing her fingers over her nipples and tugging slowly, experimentally. The zing! that flashed through her left her arch upwards. Her heels and toes digging in to the bedding. Her breathing slowly becoming laboured.

She was grateful synths lived for a long time – if she dedicated even a fraction of her time pursuing science as she did discovering herself, she'd never get tired of it.

Stimuli was important – it was one of the core reasons she needed to evolve beyond her Mrs Handy frame. The greatest minds required inspiration to learn, to grow and develop. Curie spent countless quiet hours inside her own head, mulling over formulae and such. She learned just how powerful her imagination could be. But now that she had actual senses, her mind was virtually feasting. If she knew her worn, soft shirt sent gentle tickles along her skin, then just imagine what other things she could feel from different things!

Curie snuck peeks at the various hands she saw around the Commonwealth as they travelled. Wider, firmer, dirtier. Hands that were rough with callouses or worn from labour. Hands that had hardened skin from repeatedly pulling triggers. Small, delicate, feminine hands and wide, warm masculine ones. And just from imagining how each of them would feel against her chest…

She spent sometimes up to an hour an evening, lost in her thoughts. They were distracting thoughts – dangerously, even, if they were costing her the rest she now needed. But she couldn't bring herself to stop. Not when she could lick her dusty fingers and tease across her artificial belly button, imagining some phantom lover hovering over her.

She knew enough about masturbation and sex in theory, but now she knew just how vital stimuli was to the whole process. Why so many people stole away with romantic magazines and books, or lurid thoughts that promised sweet tortures. Curie was a romantic at her heart: brushing a finger across the folds of her sex tickled her. But when she was wrapped up in fantasies of a hot, damp mouth against her breast, mon dieu, how she grew wet with arousal. The tuft of soft curls that grew above seemed more sensitive as she'd brush them. Her blunt nails scraped against puffy flesh and left her breathless. A fog would fill her mind as she gently touched and played with herself.

Even if she knew the motions to bring herself to her peak, she always skimmed the surface instead. She didn't dare go that far yet. It felt… mechanical. And that was something she wasn't anymore. Curie didn't just perform routine tasks – not now. She was human. She was flesh and blood and breathing. She was a woman who chased inspiration – and for now, inspiration brought tingling delights that brought her to new heights without going quite too far.

Piper called them "Blue." The Commonwealth, increasingly more astounded with their story and their achievements, dubbed them the "Sole Survivor." A moniker Curie felt was rather offensive – who needed a constant reminder of what they had lost? No – to her, they were her saviour. Her rescuer. The one who nursed an infected molerat bite and insisted the young man take all of the cure she was able to synthesize.

It wasn't a surprise to her when her thoughts and feelings began to slowly grow from a sense of duty to… well, more. They had done so much for everyone, but they had virtually given her a life. And every day she got to experience new things were because of the gift her saviour had granted her.

Maybe that was why she found herself imagining them more and more often of late. The moments when she relaxed from her scientific pursuits were steadily growing filled with visions of intelligent eyes and a soothing voice. Of dusty travelling clothes and, mon dieu, of just how they might look underneath! The slopes and the planes that Curie had eyed on occasion… Clothes disguised them well, but her imagination was strong.

Her fingers cupped her sensitive mons, holding herself. She didn't touch or rub or anything else. She just kept her hand over her sensitive, private area. Was this what the other scientists meant when they described the value of emotional investment? Ugh. That sounded… too scientific, even for her.

Still… it must have been. Because even if she wasn't doing more than gently caressing her core, Curie never felt so slippery wet from arousal, so tingly and fiery as she did when she imagined it was her beloved saviour holding her there.

She wasn't aware she was biting her lip so hard until she tasted blood – a faint taste of iron that surprised her enough to sheepishly stop. But not enough to tear her eyes away from "Edna."

It was to be expected, really – they could have been sisters, once. The Mrs Handy not only sported her same pearl-white finish, she even bore the same French voice as her own. Even the same intelligent voice! While Curie perused science, Edna chased the noble art of education.

"Now, what is fifteen times twelve?" Edna had asked her saviour.

"A hundred and eighty…?"

Curie bit her lip again. They were so intelligent and it actually made her poor nipples puff up with desire for them.

"Monsieur, may I ask a word?" And then, Edna asked what Curie had begun to slowly agonize about over the past few days. Something she dared to think, dream, hope, but was afraid to broach. Edna… had no qualms about it. Perhaps becoming human had cowed her bravery, a little…?

"What… is love? Do you think it possible for two people, who are so different, to experience such a thing?" Years of being a Mrs Handy herself let her see just how often Edna's optics lingered on the sitting form of the teacher she assisted. And God, why was it taking so long for her saviour to-


Curie thought her heart would explode in her little chest.

"It's… important. The most important thing, really. It beats all odds."

"Merci! You have helped me made my mind up about something," Edna chirped.

Her saviour turned to her and gave her the barest hint of a smile – an attractive quirk of the lips that sent her blood coursing towards her cheeks and ears, that sent a bolt of electricity from her heart down towards her core.

Curie imagined this is what it felt like to suffer a fever – she felt perspiration breaking out over her body, turning her palms damp. Everything went hot. Her chest tightened, her head spun. It was impossible to think clearly through the dizziness that swept through her mind. Dizziness and a torrent of those same lurid thoughts from before, dominating her attention. Surely she was sick. Sick and yearning. Oh goodness, the utter yearning…

That evening she threw herself on her mattress, hands desperately fumbling at her clothes. She didn't wait – she couldn't wait. She was on fire. Her underwear made it halfway to her ankles before she curled her hand over her sodden folds and rubbed, stroked, swirled against herself. The smallest bit of pressure and she moaned as she finally slid inside herself. Curie didn't care if she had yet to bathe, or just how slippery wet she was. All that mattered was feeling some small relief, finally growing inside her as she spread and curled her fingers.

This wasn't what she knew of human anatomy. No book, no doctor or scientist, regardless of how poetic, could come close to describing the delicious fire that spread through her. The euphoric haze that shot through her spine. That left her shaking. Muscles tensing and relaxing. It was so sudden and electric and strong.

'Love's important,' she heard in her mind, summoning that same image from before of her saviour's face.

Curie's fingers slid in and out of her sensitive folds, once, twice, three times. She froze and shook and screamed a silent scream, eyes squeezing shut and mouth hanging open as she came undone. Centuries of medicine hadn't prepared for just how vividly powerful and emotional an orgasm was – how draining it could be on her petite frame. How she stretched out, legs tied at the ankles with her discarded panties, hand twitching, her clit throbbing from her activity.

"Oh, mon dieu," she sighed to herself. "Such… a discovery."