Chapter One

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Once upon a time, there was a robotic doll named Cindy. She had honey blonde hair, adorable blue eyes, and a criminal record listing countless horrific murders, disturbing enough to make a seasoned detective's stomach turn. And these are just the ones we know about.

But let's start at the beginning like any proper fairytale. Let's start with Edward, an engineer who had dedicated his life to robotic advancements, and who believed that his inventions could change the world.

He wasn't wrong, of course, but he had no way of knowing the chain of events he was about to set off.

Edward was about to make a huge breakthrough in engineering life size robotic dolls with artificial intelligence. These dolls would look and sound just like people, and would have different uses, like babysitting children, cleaning, and other household chores. His goal was that these robotic assistants would eventually replace maids, secretaries, bodyguards and all sorts of manual labour jobs currently performed by humans.

Despite his big dreams, Edward still had a problem. He had no more money left to fund his research. Over time, he had been cut off from most of his friends and family, too engrossed in his work to pay attention to them. His sponsors wouldn't even fork over any more cash, not trusting his experiments to succeed after so many failed attempts.

One day, Edward had a stroke of good fortune. He had pitched his idea to yet another group of potential investors, and a businessman named Ken had decided to invest. He would give Edward all the money that he needed, in return for 50% of the profits. This was a large percentage, but Edward knew that this was his last chance at funding, and so he had to accept. But Ken had one additional request, which was to have the first successful doll be assigned to protect him from his crazy ex-wife Barbra.

Said crazy ex-wife was plotting her revenge (for what, who knows?) when she heard of Ken's investment. Of course, she wanted to get her vengeance, so she decided to sabotage Edward's dolls. She knew nothing of robotics, or of how to go about sabotaging them, so she taught herself. Once she knew almost as much about the design as Edward did, she began to plot.

Speaking of the dolls, they were coming along very well. In fact, Edward had finished the prototypes, gotten a patent, and was in the process of marketing them. Several companies wanted to sell the dolls, so he got a few contracts, and managed to get a factory to mass-produce them. Edward decided that there would be different types of dolls with different skill sets, appearances, and 'personalities'. It was going to be the next big thing, dolls that could talk, and move by themselves. They were incredibly intelligent, able to cook, clean, and even take care of children!

The interesting part about them was their appearance. They were incredibly life-like, almost impossible to discern from real humans. They came in a variety of ages, and you could just transfer a chip with their memories and intelligence to a new doll, to simulate aging or to replace a damaged body. They could look anywhere from 4-16 years old, and were intended to be a caretaker and playmate for children. When parents purchased it to take care of their child, it could grow older with them, instead of the child outgrowing it.

Edward decided to name each version after popular fairytale characters, so he named the first one 'Cinderella'. Unfortunately, 'Cinderella' was trademarked, so he shortened the name to Cindy.

Now, we know what you're thinking, The original fairytale was right! The dolls were named after it! But, sadly, that is not the case. The original story was, in fact, a story that someone made up about these events, after hearing about them from us many years ago. The events taking place in this story actually haven't happened yet, but we know they will. Soon.

Very, very soon.

That is why we have come here to tell our tale. Our warning. We know what will happen and we are scared. You should be too. This may be terrifying, but we tell you so you know enough to stop them, stop them before they stop us all.

Who is 'they' you ask? They are the most frightening creations to ever walk the Earth. Once they have you set in their sights, you should say goodbye to your loved ones, because there is no chance of your survival. They are relentless. Brutally efficient. They are the stuff of nightmares.

They are dolls.

We understand that this may seem confusing to you right now, but we promise to explain. However, our explanation is long and terrible, full of ghastly murders and gruesome tortures. Feel free to stop reading here, and remain peaceful in your ignorance. But if you wish to know the truth, keep reading. Just don't blame us when you are no longer able to sleep with the lights out.

It was the day before the launch. Edward was storing the dolls in a large warehouse nearby his lab. Everything was ready for the dolls to be shipped out and sold in stores. Edward and Ken were already celebrating in Ken's mansion, proud of their work and anticipating high sales.

Of course, this story is missing something. Perhaps a little something called an antagonist. Remember Ken's crazy ex-wife, Barbra? Yeah, she knew that she had a part to play in this story. Or, she just wanted her revenge and knew that she would have a chance that night.

Either way, later that night, she broke into the warehouse. She knew her way around machinery and electronics, because of her varied professions in addition to her recent research, so she didn't have much trouble creating a virus that would attack the dolls. It would make the dolls go against the original programming and cause mayhem, which would undermine Ken and Edward's plans. Of course, since these were very intelligent dolls, they would be very sneaky about their betrayals.

So in theory, if a doll was tasked with cooking, it would burn the food or undercook the meat. If it was told to wash the dishes it would probably break them. If it was told to watch the children... well, you'll see.

Barbra prepared to upload her virus, but while she was still loading the virus on to the first doll, she heard the security team arriving, having been notified of a break in.

She had to escape as fast as possible, without fully downloading the virus onto the doll. She went home to regroup, and plan her next attempt. Barbra believed that this excursion was a failure, when, as you will see, it was the exact opposite.

The virus had downloaded enough to affect the doll, and spread to the others.

It killed all of their artificial intelligence, making them no better than life size children's toys. All except for one. The original doll that had started with the virus still kept her intelligence, and would no longer follow her original programming.

The virus had freed her from most of her programming, leaving her to do pretty much what she wanted to. She still would do what her owners told her, but in some cases she was a little... extreme. Yes. That's how we'll put it.

Since the virus only affected the doll's insides, they looked like perfectly normal little girls. Nobody would have any idea of what had happened to them until much later, after it was too late.

The next morning, the dolls were sent out to different stores to be sold. All except for one, which was out aside for Ken to protect him from Barbra. Of course, you are thinking, that must be the one that didn't follow the programming; it will fulfill Barbra's revenge, and then the story will be over.

But where's the fun in that?

The doll that Ken got was one of the broken ones. He found out almost immediately, and tried to get another one, but they were all too far away for Ken to get one straight away. A doll was put aside for him to collect at one of the stores, and he planned to drive there and fetch it.

The Cindy doll that actually worked (somewhat) wasn't the doll put aside for Ken either. In fact, she was one of the first dolls to be sold. The family that bought her had a little 5 year old girl named Gracie. The parents wanted Gracie to have a babysitter, protector, and friend, which is what Cindy was for.

Now, we have to give some credit to Cindy, she did do her job in caring for Gracie. However, nobody could have predicted how far she'd go to defend Gracie, or the cruel acts that she'd commit.

Please feel free to stop reading now, before our tale becomes gruesome and horrifying. Doing so may be the only way to maintain an illusion of safety in your everyday life. However, we warn you that ignoring our tale will not make the events it depicts any less true. Continue, if you want to know the truth.

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