He Fell in Love with an Android! She was an android. Love was never so complex! For Love of Kumiko is a science fiction romance about a torrid, yet bittersweet, love affair between an android and a human man. Allen Goodwin's life was turned upside down when he fell in love with Kumiko. The problem was that she came with an instruction manual. Love was never so complex.
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Allen Goodwin's life was turned upside down when he fell in love with Kumiko. The problem was that she came with an instruction manual -- she was an android. This novel is a torrid love affair between man and android. Love was never so complex.
Allen Goodwin, a buyer for an import firm, attends a high tech convention in Tokyo. There he meets the beautiful Kumiko. It is love at first sight. Six months later she accompanies Doctor Takahashi, artificial intelligence and animatronics genius, to New York. Goodwin is also there and asks her for a date. Takahashi gives his permission for Goodwin to take her out. For the time that she is in New York, they date often and become intimate. On the day that Takahashi and Kumiko are to return to Japan, Goodwin asks her to stay. He learns that she is an android. Nonetheless, he is still in love with her and offers to purchase her. Takahashi refuses, telling him that she was built at a cost of two million dollars.
Goodwin returns to his home in Chicago very depressed. One day months later, Takahashi calls with a proposition. He would allow Goodwin to keep her as long as he wants if he agrees to upload information about their life together. Goodwin readily agrees, and Takahashi ships her to Chicago. She arrives in a crate. Goodwin must follow the instructions in a tech manual to bring her back to life. He finds that living with an android is not simple.
Goodwin was terribly depressed for several months. The love of his life was in Tokyo. He was in Chicago. He could go to Japan, but it would do no good. She belonged to someone else -- but not in the usual sense. She was an android, a robot. He knew what people would think if they knew, What? Is Allen nuts? How could he fall in love with something made of metal and plastic with a computer for a brain? But they did not know Kumiko. She was exactly like a human being. She looked human and acted human. And in Goodwin's eyes she' was the most beautiful woman in the world. Besides, love is not rational. And he was in love with her.
Kumiko was an experimental model of a humanoid robot designed by the artificial intelligence genius, Haruki Takahashi. The company he works for built her at a cost of two million dollars. Of course, now that she was famous, they would not sell her for less than ten, if that. They began to build replicas, which sold for a little over a hundred thousand dollars each. The copies were snatched up as quickly as they came off the assembly line. Back orders were in the hundreds.
Goodwin knew that he could buy one by taking out a mortgage on his condominium and cashing in mutual funds. But he did not want a replica. He wanted, needed, the original. Despite being a robot, Kumiko was unique, one of a kind. Nonetheless, she is the one he cannot have.
Nonetheless, one day a miracle happened. Takahashi called Goodwin long distance from Tokyo. "Mister Goodwin," he said. "I have a proposition for you."
"What do you mean?"
"As I recall, because of my unfortunate experiment, I have put you through much pain. I am truly sorry about that and wish to make it up to you."
Goodwin was impatient with him. Why was he calling to apologize again? "No need to be sorry. Despite my pain, I wouldn't have traded one minute that I had with Kumiko for a million dollars. Although I've told you this, you don't seem to get it. I'm in love with your android."
"I understand. That's the reason I wish to continue the experiment."
Goodwin's heart leaped. Was he saying what he thought he was saying? "What do you mean?"
"I wish to send Kumiko to America to live with you."
Goodwin could not believe it. His emotional index went through the ceiling. He wanted to laugh, to cry, to shout with joy. His heart sang. He would be with his love again. Nonetheless, he was sure there was a price to pay. "What's the hitch? Why are you doing this?"
Takahashi hesitated. "Well ... as I said, I wish to continue the experiment."
Goodwin's heart sank again. "You mean that this would only be a temporary thing. Then she would leave, and my heart would be torn out again."
"No. She would be yours as long as you wish. Only in case of your demise would she must be returned to me. Consider it a long term lease arrangement, except of course there would be no payment."
"And ...? What is it that you're not telling me?"
Takahashi cleared his throat. "As I said, this would be in the nature of an experiment. I wish to understand whether an android, such as Kumiko, can cope in a normal human environment such as living with an average person like yourself." He paused again. "In order to collect the necessary data, I would need to record everything."
"Information would be stored on Kumiko's hard drive. Once a month, I would require you to plug her into the USB bus on your desktop and upload the data into a file, which in turn you would attach to an E-mail to send to me."
"What sort of information would be recorded?"
"Everything. What actions she performs and under what circumstances. What she hears and sees. What she feels in a tactical sense. The states of her emotions in different situations. Conversations that she has with you and others."
"Even at intimate moments?"
Although Goodwin heard nothing, he imagined Takahashi licking his lips lasciviously.
"I afraid so. Those times would be of special interest."
I'll bet, thought Goodwin.
"But you must not worry. Only my assistants and myself will have access to this data. No one except myself will know who you are. We will be extremely careful about confidentiality. The data will be encrypted until we receive it. Once it is in our hands, it will be handled with every security precaution."
"Will there be a contract stating all that you've told me?"
"Absolutely. It will spell out everything in detail. Your obligations to us as well as ours to you. We would like the experiment to be conducted in absolute secrecy. It would be a disaster if the press got a hold of what we are doing."
Goodwin did not have to think it over. He thought, She'll be mine for the rest of my life. He believed that Takahashi was an honorable man and would do everything exactly as he said. "Okay. I'll take the deal. I want Kumiko."
"Good. I will fax the contract to you this afternoon. Sign it, and fax it back as soon as you can. You may want to consult a lawyer to ensure that all is legal and what you bargained for."
Goodwin knew he would not consult any lawyer. He would sign the contract as quickly as he received it. The sooner Kumiko was in his arms, the better.