Disclaimer: Chobits is property of CLAMP. I have no affiliation with the characters and I am getting no profit from this whatsoever.
Author's Note: This story contains spoilers from both the anime and manga series. Use your own discretion when reading if you have not finished the series. The timeline for this fic is set in the past and will end where the anime and manga begin. Happy Readings!
Chapter One: Awakening
In the beginning, there was darkness.
He didn't mind it much. A soft voice spoke to him sometimes, when it became uncomfortable but he did not feel pain. Besides the voice he could hear the whirs and clicks of machinery, the low hum of computers processing constantly. This didn't bother him either. He wasn't sure why but he felt an affinity with his surroundings. The language of computers was easily understandable to him. They comforted him too, in the darkness and beeped words into his ears, their meanings running along his own circuitry to be stored in the vast reaches of his mind. He did not try to analyze this process. Indeed, he could not have even if he had wanted to. It was only when the voice installed the Self-Awareness software that he even knew what it was he was doing.
One moment all was black and then his eyes slowly opened and he came to life. Colors resolved themselves with infinite clarity and the figure in front of him smiled.
"Good afternoon, Zima."
It was the voice.
"Good afternoon," he replied almost before realizing that he had spoken. It was the first time he had heard his own voice. "What is your name?"
Slender fingers brushed blonde hair out of brown eyes. "I am Dr. Tanaka Shidou and from now on, I will be your Master."
Something inside him clicked into place. "Understood." Lines of code appeared before his eyes. "I am a government issue experimental unit. For security purposes, please set a password."
His Master smiled once again. "Chobits."
"Password recorded. Voice pattern recorded. System is secure."
Master reached up and touched his cheek briefly. Sensory systems activated. Data poured into him, showing him his environment and he stiffened slightly. He was shackled to a wall, a plethora of wires and cables attached to him, feeding him. His ear sockets were full and yet, he knew, he could handle more. He had been built for it. Then why…
"You are not quite complete, Zima." Tanaka told him, walking away to pick up a clipboard from a nearby work table. "Your hard drive remains mostly empty except for basic software and you are insanely vulnerable to outside attack." His Master glanced at him quickly. "But don't worry. All of these things will be remedied. Once your firewall has been completed the downloading process will begin and you will be done here." She paused, her dark eyes regarding him seriously, "How do you feel?"
CHOBITS protocol initiated.A thousand different emotions cascaded into him at once.
"Ah, yes. That is to be expected." She picked up a pen and jotted a note on her clipboard, her next words coming so casually he almost had no time to process them. "Start hibernation mode."
He knew nothing more.
* * * *
Tanaka Shidou had finally done it. The experiment had been a success. He was perfect. More daunting than the prototype Chobits, Zima had been fashioned as an adult male, tall and dark of hair and eye. She had been glad to see that upon his birth his personality had seemed focused and intuitive, traits he would need if he was to fulfill his required role. And she hoped that he would. Of course, she wouldn't know for sure until more of his personality and mannerisms could be recorded but she had a feeling that the government would be satisfied with him. He had the most advanced CPU of all persocons, second only to Hibiya's twin creations, and his memory capacity alone was that of twenty personal persocons alone. Surely he would be strong enough to survive the download.
She did not want to think about what would happen if he did not.
Her superiors were impatient to create a restraining force to the Hibiya's powerful Chobits, two systems which could ultimately produce a security risk to normal persocons everywhere. Whether or not they were actually dangerous, Tanaka didn't know. Her orders had been to copy the Hibiya's work and make a Chobits powerful enough to rival Freya. One that would act as a database connecting all persocons everywhere. Such a task had been unthinkable at first. Persocons had become immensely popular over the years and she could not even begin to guess how many different models had been distributed all over the world. To create a being that could hold every person's information within his hard drive was simply madness.
And yet, gazing up at him, she wondered. Chobits were unlike other persocons. They had feelings, if limited ones, and only if the developer did not install a logical processing program. Emotions were not logical. But it had been discovered that Chobits could recognize and process feelings if the situation was congruent to learning. Watching Freya interact with Dr. Hibiya had been surprising to say the least. If Tanaka hadn't seen the distinctive ear sockets, she would have never guessed that the two innocent young girls sitting quietly in the shade of an oak tree were anything other than what they appeared. Yes, it was amazing what technology could do. The Hibiya's had started something that had quickly seized the world in wonder and yet it seemed they were the most oblivious to what that their science meant. Instead they were content simply watching their "children" and wishing for their happiness. Tanaka did not disagree with them, but after all, a persocon was a persocon. Even if that persocon was a Chobits.
"Ah, what I am I doing," Tanaka murmured to herself before flipping through the pages on her clipboard. Adjusting her glasses she skimmed her notes, making changes as she went. Despite her obvious progress with the databank, she had not lied to Zima. Though she would install many protection programs into his interface, there would not be room on the hard drive for an attack program should he later be successfully hacked into. Her answer to this problem had been solved, surprisingly enough, by Freya and Elda. Tanaka had designed a second governmental Chobits, this one small and female to act as a sort of living firewall for Zima, an attack program that would protect him from outside interference. She was only 81% complete and would not be ready for activation for another few days but Tanaka had hopes for the diminutive Chobits. Unlike Zima, the attack persocon had been given a logic program. It was a necessity considering that any hesitation in protecting Zima could end in part of his data being corrupted or even lost. No, the databank's shield had to be unwavering and determined to complete her mission objective: to protect Zima at all costs. It was a little sad really, to think that Zima would be able question himself and the motives of those around him while his soon-to-be companion would not unless they were related to her mission. But, it was the way of things.
Persocons were only computers, after all.
* * * *
Two days later, Tanaka began to question that fact. The government issue Chobits, Zima, was unlike anything she had expected. He was completely finished except for the data download and everything he did and said was like unraveling a mystery. He was curious and seemed to have a mild sense of humor that often caught her unawares. She had not subverted the Master level protocol as the Hibiya's had done in order to get their twins to call them "mama" and "papa". No, Zima knew that she was his Master and no other but that didn't deter him much. He seemed to her like a child that was discovering things about himself that if he had been human he would have known all along. He was constantly surprised by his appearance in a mirror but would then laugh low in his throat if she asked him if his external configuration software was running slow. Zima's personality was his own and no one else's. It was this fact that often had Tanaka up at all hours of the night, wondering just what exactly she had given birth to. Not to mention she still had another Chobits awaiting the same activation.
Sighing a little to herself, she patted Zima on the shoulder as she plugged him into her diagnostic equipment, turning a little so she could read the monitor. Familiar code scrolled by and she smiled.
"Everything looks good, Zima. Can you confirm?"
He smiled slightly in return. "Yes. All internal systems are functioning at top capacity." His dark eyes watched as she inserted a disk into her personal computer. A set of scans opened on the screen and he blinked. "What are those?"
"These are the configuration maps for your protection program, Dita." She looked over her shoulder to gauge his reaction. "What do you think of her?"
Zima was still a moment and then he reached forward ever so slowly and touched the revolving image on the screen, his expression a mixture of seriousness and amazement.
And then he laughed that deep laugh of his.
Tanaka raised an eyebrow. He really did have an odd personality for a Chobits. "I'll take that as your approval."
He nodded, "Yes, I approve. She is to be my attack program?"
"Yes. Her anti-virus and attack software is top of the line and her logistics drive makes your safety her number one mission objective, not to mention her hacking skills will be extraordinary."
He looked at her with a slight frown. "Hacking skills?"
Tanaka smoothed her expression and turned back to her computer. "Don't worry, Zima. There are some things you can't know yet. Understood?"
"Then download Dita's scans."
"Executing." Zima's eyes grew vacant and there was a soft whir as he followed her orders. Five seconds later he was finished. Tanaka allowed herself to smile once again.
"Well, shall we wake Dita?"
* * * *
Chitose Hibiya pressed her fingers against the observation glass, her gaze fixed on the small Chobits still shackled to the wall, thin cables covering most of her body. Tanaka's latest design had black hair just like Zima's with the scientist's trademark tail of long hair pulled over one shoulder. What her personality would be had yet to be discovered as she had not been activated yet, but Chitose already felt a close bond with both Zima and the still-sleeping Dita. It was always like that for her. Every Chobits, no, every persocon was engraved on her heart as surely as they would be engraved into Zima's mind. Despite the fact that she knew what the two would ultimately be used for, she did not have the heart to hate them. They had been created by humans, designed with the technology she and her husband had instituted. It was not their fault.
It was hers.
She moved closer to the glass as Tanaka and Zima entered the room and she watched as the tall, lithe Chobits immediately crossed to where Dita hung, wired to the wall as her system charged. It was the first time he had seen her and Chitose felt her heart ache a little as he reached out to touch one smooth cheek. It reminded her of how Freya had been in the beginning and sometimes still was with her husband. Perhaps, if she let Zima and Dita meet the girls… Well, it was a thought.
Her eyes were drawn to Zima again as he moved closer to Dita until there was barely space between them. Chitose inhaled sharply as the male Chobits slipped an arm beneath Dita's back, the other gently holding the girl's head to his shoulder. His voice reached Chitose through the speaker system.
"She's mine, isn't she? I want to be the first thing she sees."
Tanaka seemed to be taking Zima's strange behavior rather calmly despite the fact that Chitose knew neither of them had put anything like this in his programming. Had Tanaka later inserted a bonding program like the one used between persocon and Master, only this one tampered to be directed at Dita? It would make sense if she had. The two had to be compatible as they would spend most of their lives in each other's presence. But this… Zima's affection. It was astounding. Could it be…?
"All right, Zima. Please standby."
The younger scientist pressed a few keys on her keyboard and then flipped a switch on a nearby console. The lights immediately flickered and a hum filled the room. Ruby eyes slowly opened as Dita's shackles retracted and her body fell forward. Zima caught her effortlessly and set her on her feet, a hand on the top of her head. Chitose felt her heart skip a beat as the smaller Chobits looked up at him, her eyes vacant as her system booted up.
"Hello, Dita. I've been waiting for you."
On the floor below, Tanaka Shidou looked up at the observation room, meeting Chitose's eyes through the glass. Zima's creator had a look on her face that Chitose could read perfectly as she was sure the same question was mirrored in her own.
What had they done?
To Be Continued…
If you like Dita & Zima I have recently created a fan listing for the couple. You can find it atThanks for reading and stay tuned for the next chapter!