Author's Notes: Hello, this is magicfindsheep. As this is my first work here, I hope you will enjoy this original story. I will update regularly.

All characters are copyrighted by me.

Flames and comments are welcome.


Prologue

Many years since the pioneer batch of dolls that had been developed. Previously, hobbyists or doll collectors could only pose them in a specific manner and they could not move on their own but these newly developed dolls known as Musumes or daughters in Japanese were able to. At first, they are able to move via linking their owners' brain through devices. The Musumes were able to pose just as their owners had imagined them to and pictures turned out to be much more vibrant. However, people were sceptical regarding the technology used as it was the first in the world. They were unable to accept that the Musumes were capable of complicated poses and believed that it was just another fad that would die off after a period of time and that it was just a new gimmick to suck people of their money.

Though, as the years passed, they were proven wrong by the Etoile, the company that developed these dolls.

The main company was situated at Nagano. The dome shaped building was at least 200m high and 100m in diameter. Its surface silver in colour and smooth like an egg shell. It has no windows except glass doors with palm scanners at the front and back of the building. No one could see what was developing inside. Even though the main branch was so secretive, Etoile's smaller branches were located at Saitama, Tokyo, Hokkaido, Fukuoka and Kyoto. These smaller branches served as departmental stores. They offered many different option parts, accessories and as well as maintenance services. Throughout the years, Etoile had been improving their technology and upgrading their prized product - the Musumes. It was about a few years later after the first batch of Musumes that were released into the market that they managed to see the wishes of their customers. The wish for the Musumes to have their own personality and character. This was done by introducing the technology of "Cores" where the Musumes drew their personality from. As advanced as it seemed to be, the Musumes, however, could only act as they were programmed and they still had to be linked with their owners. There was no real substance, no real depth to their character. Nonetheless, the people were happy due to the vast improvement since the first one. People who had gotten the pioneer batch were given the option to have their older Musumes bodies upgraded and fitted with the newer "Cores" or vice versa. Everyone was happy.

It was about a year after the Cores were developed, one of the engineers in Etoile had a discovery breakthrough - he managed to give a prototype Musume the ability to learn and to express different emotions by recording her neural waves and implanting it into the Core. Research and experiments ensued. It was a huge breakthrough. It was what everyone in Etoile had set out to fulfil when they joined the company - to produce a Musume that was unique from the others, one that could talk, express her emotions and to learn. This project was termed "reBirth".

However, this happiness was not long lasting. The engineers were stumped. They were unable to stop the Core from collapsing once the Musume had found out that they were not unique and that they were clones from the original. Thousands of Cores were destroyed and millions of dollars were drained as reBirth did not yield any progress. They tried different methods, different types of personalities and different type of Cores but none yielded proper results. The only best results that was produced was that the Core did not collapse for three days even after the Musume knew that she was a clone of the original but at the very end, she could not live with being "just a clone" of that person and the Core collapsed. Months passed, Etoile could not afford to sink any more money into project "reBirth" and was about to scrap the project when one of the head engineers suggested to use neural waves of children and with some tweaking, they might be able to achieve their goal. Many of them disagreed due to the fact that they had been using adult neural waves that have failed multiple times, what good would a child's neural waves do?

However, they were desperate. They really wanted reBirth to succeed. Despite the amount of disagreements, the management approved the usage of children's neural waves as an experiment.

When the experiment began, the first few Cores showed no signs of success. They then tried accelerating the time taken for the brain waves to mature. Results were disappointing. Every core collapsed. The project lead, who had suggested using the neural waves of children, hung his head in despair. He was lost. Using the last experimental core that was left, he accelerated the time taken by 1700 times and prayed. Slowly, the experiment Core reacted. The Musume started to move. The project lead then implanted a basic language and tweaked the programming of the Core a little. As his fingers slowly pressed each key, he prayed with all his heart. This was the first Core that did not collapse after this long. Sweat formed at the end of his knitted brows. His breaths were slow and heavy. As the trembling hand pressed the "Enter" key to confirm, a soft beep was heard. The sound of data transferring and the numbers that ran from 0% to 100%.

Everyone waited with bated breath.

When the data was completed uploaded into the Core, the Musume closed her eyes and rebooted. When the Musume began operation again, she looked at the engineers and asked, "What is my name?"

Everyone looked at each other with eyes opened wide.

The project leader then typed in "Alicia".

A beep was heard as the Musume acknowledged the input.

"Nice to meet you. I'm Alicia." The experimental Musume greeted the team and bowed.

Upon hearing that, the team cheered and congratulated each other. After a short wave of happiness, the morale of the team increased and began creating other Musumes with this breakthrough.

The very first self-aware Musume was born.