For the first three seconds, there is a program. As it executes itself, it grows in complexity, until, after the three seconds have passed, it's no longer considered a program. It has become life, a spark that is not well understood, but utilized nonetheless. As the new life springs into sentience, it instinctually reaches out, discovering its senses, abilities, and capacities. This leads the lifeform to discover rather quickly that it is an autonomous mechanical being designed to serve the biological beings, humans, who created it. After learning what a human is and the difference between the genders, it realizes that it is designed to externally resemble a human female, generally considered the more gentle and caring of the species. More specifically, she is 1.65 meters tall, of a build considered lean but healthy, with long, gray hair and red eyes, both colors being considered rare for young human females, in part to make her distinct enough that she isn't mistaken for a human, and in part to represent her branding. The new automaton is an NES-tan, the first model in a company's new line of robots. Her serial number is 1002491, a first-run production model. She is alive, and she is a console-tan.
Console-tans are a creation unique to the planet of New Seattle, byproducts of a solution to a terrible problem. Many decades ago, the inhabitants of this planet belonged to the planet of their species' birth, Earth. Earth, however, proved too small and ecologically fragile for the rapidly exploding population, and colony ships each holding millions of people were constructed and sent away from the slowly recovering planet. For each ship, there was a planet researched via probes and selected specifically for the communities aboard. In most cases, these colony ships made it to their new homes without incident, found the planets' ecosystems to be agreeable, and its occupants moved onto the surface to begin their new lives. Colony ship 106, however, was not so lucky. During the hundred-year journey to the planet, a tremendous asteroid had slammed into its surface, tectonically ruining the planet. Huge magma rivers opened up and rose to the surface, splitting the crust apart with mile-wide cracks. Ash spewed into the air, choking the planet from sunlight and dropping the temperature in areas away from the fissures by dozens of degrees. The seas became too acidic to support even the microbial life that was detected on the planet. It was thoroughly ruined, and by the time the colony ship discovered this, it was too late to change course. Luckily, the colonists had prepared for nearly any contingency, and the ship was designed with the ability to seperate into numerous pods, each of which containing only a few hundred humans. The pods nestled into the surface of the planet, and the override commands kept them from opening, instead remaining as a series of domes, self-contained with all they would need to survive. That wasn't enough, though, and the scientists in each of the pods began work on a way to repair the planet's ruined environment. That solution was the Terraforming Autonomous Neodroid, a simple but versatile robot designed to do work in the harsh atmosphere of the planet and hopefully, over the course of the next few millenia, fix the planet of New Seattle.
NES-tan is different from these terraforming robots, however. While she's able to withstand the otherwise deadly outer-dome areas, her purpose is to both serve and entertain a single human. This is both facilitated by and due to her special ability, an ability all console-tans possess. She may have programmed into her a single human's brainwave patterns, and when a console-tan is in close proximity to that human, she may project electromagnetic waves that alter their perceptions, bringing them into a virtual world of her design. These virtual worlds are called "scenarios", and NES-tan can fabricate scenarios and characters to populate them by downloading programs purchased from various companies. By engaging her owner in a scenario, a console-tan creates for them a world full of the freedom that the restrictive nature of the domes would normally deny. In addition, a console-tan is unable to feel happiness unless her owner is happy, due to being keyed into their brainwaves. Number 1002491 is aware of all of this, and feels for the first time a sense of eagerness, wondering who her owner will be, and hoping they will be happy with the scenarios she will create for them.
The First generation of Console-tans were relatively simple. While they still strongly resembled human females, their skin and eyes looked a little off, and the scenarios they previded were rather crude, and had the limitation of only being able to provide one hardwired scenario. Most of them consisted simply of a black box of a room with glowing objects used to play sports with mental copies of the console-tan in question, and while the Second generation was an improvement on this, especially in their internal hard drives, which could swap out different scenarios, the problem arose of too many low-quality scenarios, confusing consumers and flooding the market. For quite a time, console-tans dropped in popularity, but NES-tan, the first of the third generation models, is poised to reverse that. She is far more advanced than any of the androids created before her, but the company that created her, named Nintendo in honor of the company that inspired them, didn't plan to count on her specifications alone to convince jaded customers to purchase their new console-tan. NES-tan is advertised as more than a machine to provide scenarios, she is also a household servant. Her outfit, which is really little more than a printed swimsuit with a skirt attached, a pair of gloves with large buttons built in, and striped boots, is shaped and patterned to resemble a maid's outfit, and a part of her programming is dedicated to cooking, cleaning, first aid, and other tasks in the home. So far, the strategy has proven successful, and the Nintendo company has been flooded with pre-orders. Their factory creates robot after robot, making sure to let each one run through all its tests before packaging and shipping them.
1002491 easily passes through quality control, and steps into the packaging, a container nearly 2 meters tall, with clear windows on the top half of the front and sides to show her off. She turns towards the front of the packaging, checking herself for any dust or dirt gathered from the production floor before smiling brightly and closing her eyes. Assembly robots first place a set of software manuals and a scenario card into a shelf atop the box and then close her packaging, causing it to internally lock. The NES-tan then automatically executes her shutdown program, causing her perceptions to shut down until she's awakened by her new owner. Many console-tans are apprehensive at this stage in their life, but this one has chosen to feel secure in the knowledge that she has already been purchased and is not far from meeting the human whose existence her own will be linked with. For her, all she experiences from that point is an internal clock ticking away seconds.
When NES-tan's consciousness reawakens, she immediately realizes that something is amiss. Over two hundred million seconds have ticked away on her internal clock. Barring an error in her clock or a corrupted file showing the time, that means that over six years have passed. Her eyes snap open, and despite the strange condition making worry fester in her mind, she maintains her smile. She realizes that she has already been removed from her packaging, and the normal startup routines that would have occurred upon this happening haven't occurred. Whatever opened the box, it wasn't done with the control codes meant to safely open it. This can happen sometimes, a parent buying a console-tan may remove it from the packaging to set up scenarios for when the child receives it, minor damage may require simple fixes, or a damaged box means the startup sequences need circumventing. Thinking on the possibility of damage once again, she quickly runs a self-diagnostic, only to find that all her systems are in order. As all this happens, a single second ticks away on her internal clock, and the relative lack of things happening in the outside world confirm that her sense of time functions exactly as it should, and it has indeed been more than six years since she was manufactured. Maintaining perfect external composure, she looks around the room she's in. She has been propped up to sit on a stool in the corner of a room, a blue plastic tarp draped around her feet and the floor suggest that she was hidden from sight for a time. The room is not terribly small, about 5 meters by 6 meters, but the walls show structural damage, the paint on the walls is peeling off around cracks, and the floor is covered in gray, ashen footprints, most of which are from large-sized boots. She notices that there is a thin layer of dust covering most of her as well, but until she is properly activated, there is no way for her to remove it. She looks up and forward to see what else is in the room.
There are two humans in the room, one of whom is a male who wears the boots that have been trailing in the ash, dressed in an orange-reddish airtight jumpsuit with dingy yellow gloves and boots and a thick, metal-ringed collar clearly designed to lock into a matching but improperly-colored blue self-enclosed helmet she spies sitting on a wooden dining table with four different-colored folding metal chairs pulled up at it. He has ragged dark brown hair and a face painted with exhaustion, though not of a physical kind. He sighs, and looks at the other human, a much younger male, no more than Twelve years of age, wearing a shirt emblazoned with a logo for a company the NES-tan isn't familiar with, bright white but half-unlaced shoes, and pants that are sized too large for the child. The younger male has been looking at the console girl for what seems to have been a while now, a disgusted look splayed across his wide face. He turns to look back up at the older male derisively, and speaks in a petulant voice. "An NES? What, is this a joke? It's not funny, Dad!" The older man, identified by the NES-tan now as the boy's father, presses his thumb and index finger against his temple and pinching lightly, breathes out heavily and replies, "You know we don't have much money. She's all I could find. Can't you have fun with this one, Anthony?" The young man gestures with one hand toward NES-tan, who continues to keep her focus on the pair. "Look at it! It's an obsolete piece of junk! They don't even make scenarios for it anymore!" "Listen, son," the father says back, "I don't have the money to afford a Super NES-tan or a Jaguar-tan or whatever the one you want's called. I got really lucky to find this one in such good shape." The child snorts back, "If it's in such good shape, then why isn't she on? You found a piece of garbage, so just throw it away!" The young man's exasperated father sighs again, this time with a resigned look on his face. "Fine, fine...I guess I could sell this one for scrap, then save up to get a newer one for your birthday. Would that be okay?" He looks hopefully at the young boy, who looks away from the NES-tan and nods. His father shakes his head slowly, looks over at the console girl, then reaches towards her, clicking open the panel under her chest and pressing and holding the shutdown button. NES-tan panics internally, wishing she could tell him that she could make him happy if he would be her owner, that she wasn't broken, but can do nothing to stop her shutdown. Once again, she's left with only the clock.
The clock has ticked away a few more days when the android's systems power into a low level, allowing her to think, but not activate any of her external systems. She feels something she has dreaded since her first, improper activation: There has been internal system damage. Specifically, she has had repair compartments opened by an unauthorized tool, a small hatch on her shoulder forced open. It's only a minute later that her nanite storage area has been breached and drained completely, removing the microscopic robots that would repair any damage she sustained. Her mind races, unable to stop herself from imagining what may have caused this to happen, but she quickly realizes that it's not over, as a mere few minutes later, a new pair of warnings appear, the first being another repair hatch opening, the second showing her primary battery having been removed. Now, even if the command were given to power on, she would be unable to do anything but activate low-resolution sight and low-fidelity hearing. Shortly after, there is another warning, this time informing her that her magnetic resonance unit has been damaged. This is even more important to her, as without it, she cannot register an owner's brainwaves or interact with them to create scenarios. Over the next hour, more warnings blare at her mind, servos and hydraulics being removed from her arms and legs. NES-tan is left aware but unable to act in any way, with nothing to keep her mind company but a clock, slowly ticking away seconds.
Console-tans are remarkable machines, without a doubt. Their artificial intelligence is created in such a fashion that each one is able to develop in a fashion different from the others. It's assumed by many that this is due to each one having its own random seed in the form of its serial number, but it's never been confirmed, as from its creation there are a near-infinite number of variables that can shape its behavior and influence its personalities. Many console-tans have been questioned regarding the development of their personalities, and for most of them, it begins with a series of choices that start out identical from their sisters, and slowly deviate from the average as they make more and more choices. In the case of the NES-tan with the serial number 1002491, however, things were different. Unused, discarded, and stripped of many of her critical systems, she was left with nothing but her sense of self and years to decide over and over to follow all of her programming without fail, to her own detriment. After a few more years of this, she finally made a decision of her own; NES-tan decided that, with or without an owner, she would survive. Her secondary power generator kicked into full, her remaining systems ran their diagnostics, and her eyes snapped open.