On March 4th, 2463, an order was placed for a Model Av-150002. An executive edition personal service steam-bot. This model featured voice recognition, constant net and satellite connection, emergency health-care service, and security systems. It was battery powered but could charge itself with sunlight. It was also capable of personal satisfaction should the owner desire. It was customized with violet-red hair and golden skin to the preference of who she was a gift for: The Chancellor of the 17th district of Saturn.
Chancellor Farring was alone. Angry with his late hours and sub-ideal levels of attention, Mrs. Farring went to stay with her sister for a few days. Chancellor Farring was rather irked by this turn and made no effort to hide it as he rumbled down the halls knocking photos and vases to the ground. He came to his Sec-Unit. A tall, beautiful creation of earthen skin and red hair. A wonderful gift he had received from the company that invented her because he had made trade more pliable between Saturn and Venus. But that night he didn't care. He grabbed the heaviest thing he could find (a paperweight made of Saturnian rock) and brought it crashing into the robot's temple.
It awoke from charging. Alarms sounded. He had forgotten about that. How could he have done this to her– It. “It” he reminded himself. It only looks human. He thought quickly: an accident? No. A robbery! No. Assault? Someone else did it. Yes. A vile man with anger in his eyes. Disgruntled employee? He had lots of those. But he had to make it look better. More convincing. He rummaged around the house, procuring a metal club that had been gifted to him by his district's team. He used the club to detached and mangle the right arm and leg. He was about to swing again when there was a knock on the door.
He answered. The police were there. He explained that the man took off that way. He was sure to act shaken. He was distraught over the destruction of his Sec-Unit. The Police understood. Asked if he needed anything. He said no. They were gone.
He put in a repair request. With a proper police report he could claim the repair with the company. Outside destruction that wasn't the result of personal negligence or intent would be covered…
Doctor Iris sighed. She looked at the torn limbs and caved in head of her creation. Who would do this? Who would harm a mindless robot. Especially one so… This was the sort of thing she'd expect once she'd finished her new research but now? They're just humanoid computers. Harmless.
She downloaded the security logs. What she saw surprised her. The owner. The owner had wrecked his own robot. Medical scan showed high alcohol and drug levels.
She sighed. If this robot had been sentient… She certainly wasn't going to give her back once she'd been repaired. Not now. Not... she had a thought. This was perfect. The budget hadn't been there before but now she had a perfectly viable subject. She got to work.
Lacking parts, she replaced the eye, arm and leg with pieces from a few test models. The power source, she gutted. She had something better in mind anyway. A new power source that used water for fuel. And the best part was it could absorb enough from the air to stay functional for months. She was now the first fully steam-powered robot. Steam-bot? That would have to do. Unfortunately she had to add two exhaust pipes out of the cranium.
Finally, she replaced the CPU with something new. Her research. Something she hadn't quite figured out how to explain to the board yet. She gave the robot a mind. A true, artificially active mind. The new source of power was plenty to keep it going. And now it could think. Really think. No more pre-programmed responses. Honest, human level, capacity.
Doctor Iris named her Inali. A shortened version of "inalisngaw" the Cebuano word for "vapor". The mind awoke. And to the doctor's horror it remembered what had happened to it.
Doctor Iris would help her. They’d leave so that Inali could learn about living… They boarded a transport ship.