Cream stared at the grow vat full of pink gelly and licked his nose nervously. Was it strawberry gelly? Cream clenched his pawgers and flexed his tail. It didn’t smell like strawberries. It had a slightly meaty scent and some sort of fibrous matrix was holding it together. Maybe it was a mix of strawberry gelly and some other tasty substance. The little pug-monkey loved strawberry vat gelly. It was even better than banana liver cookies.
Cream was visiting Alanadolphous Hutley to discuss finding new crew members and maybe a new security system for the space ship he lived on. After Alanadolphous had greeted him she had stepped aside to take an urgent comm call.
Cream was not offended. Procurement agents were always busy. But, she had forgotten the crumpets and tea that was supposed to be served with the gelly. How long would he have to wait? He could happily eat the entire vat by himself. Would she be mad at him if he did?
Cream was gently opening the vat’s lid when Alanadolphous joined him.
“Oh dear. I didn’t properly introduce you. Simix doesn’t have a direct connect interface like most wetware.” She took the vat away from Cream and slid it into a silver tube.
A holographic face projected from the top of the tube. “Hello. My name is Simix. I am a member of the latest generation of organic computers. Although my main processing unit is this vat of neural tissue, I am backed up to both a wetware and a hardware system every other second. Disaster recovery would take less than 5 seconds, assuming a replacement neural unit was available. I am fully interactive, adaptive and self aware. I have been optimized for security work in zero g environments. I am also a full citizen of Consensus.”
“It won’t take long to adjust to Simix’s appearance or personality.” Said Alanadolphous, who had noticed Cream’s emotional distress. “And it really is very dependable.”
Cream hesitated. He had never spoken to a Planned Intelligence before, much less one whom he had almost eaten. How much was Simix aware of while it was out of the tube?
“It is customary for a job applicant to interview for a position then demonstrate it’s skills during a trial period of employment. Please allow me to show the presentation I have prepared. It includes my personal reasons for being interested in your ship and crew.” Simix then launched a multimedia, multisensory slide show.
When it was finished Cream was relatively calm again.
“Would you like to come back to the ship and meet Captain Janice? You are our best candidate so far.” Cream said.
Alanadolphous helped pack up Simix prime and its two disaster recovery blanks in a travel crate.
As Cream was leaving she bared her teeth at him and said “I hope that the next time we meet we don’t have so much business to conduct.”
Cream was so busy thinking about Alanadolphous that he almost forgot to stop at a tag dispenser before he reached the ship. He plastered every surface of the travel crate, tubes and vats with audio-visual tags declaring the contents to be non-edible security system components. Bo, the ship’s navigator, loved strawberry vat gelly even more than Cream did and he had absolutely no concept of manners.