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   Chapter 36 No.36

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5146

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02

"It is a psychological thing."

A moment later there was a faint beep. "Deactivated." The voice came from the hall outside the door.

The pilot finally took care of some very pressing business. He heard the cameras blip back on while he was washing his hands.


"Yes?" replied the voice, now clearly from the nearest speaker again.

"Well, first off, should I be calling you Ma? It seems kind of personal."

"That is my designation."

"Okay, then. Would you please show me the way back to my stuff? And maybe lead me someplace where I can catch a few hours of sleep?"

"Follow the red lights upon leaving the bathroom."

A refreshingly short walk and an elevator ride later, Lex found himself on a floor that looked like just about every army barracks he'd ever seen. It was broken up into a handful of long rooms, each lined with a row of double bunks along each wall. On the opposite side of the room was a bank of lockers and a doorway leading to a white-tiled room. Every bed was made and immaculate, and none of them looked as though they had been used recently, if ever. He opened his mouth to ask where he could find his things, but before he could make a sound, the packages and his helmet were carted in by a pair of the same robot grippers that had delivered Karter's arm.

"Bathroom and shower facilities are at the far end of the room. Jumpsuits are available in the lockers."

"Thanks, Ma."

"Processing. . . You are welcome, Mr. Alexander."

The lockers were unlocked, and it only took a little bit

I can offer you a sedative if you like. We have a full chemical synthesis facility, and I keep a ready supply of many potent narcotic, anti-psychotic, and analgesic compounds."

"No, thank you, " he said, taking careful note of the presence of anti-psychotics on the short list. "Why are you being so nice all of a sudden?"

"Because you apologized, and you thanked me. Neither Karter nor any of his rare guests have ever done that. I appreciate a gentleman."

"Wow. Thanks. That's. . . kind of a quick turnaround."

"As an artificial intelligence, I am capable of assessing and altering my disposition and the resultant attitudes quite rapidly."

"Like mood swings?"

"That is an adequately similar human emotional phenomenon."

"I will try to stay on your good side, then."

"That is advisable. If you have any more requests, do not hesitate to ask."

Lex poked at his slidepad for a bit. It was more responsive, too. Improvements aside, though, the data connection was down, and it wouldn't come back up.

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