Friday Snippets: Does anyone do this anymore?

I seem to remember having 4-5 blogs that posted pieces of WIPs on Fridays… but I only saw one in the feed reader today… that one was enough to remind me that I actually have some good WIP to post now, though. So, hooray for that. And here goes (with the disclaimer, of course)…

This is © copyright 2008 by me, Nels Wadycki. I hope this doesn’t mean I’m giving up the first publishing rights. But then, it’s first draft stuff, and will probably be completely reworked, but hopefully not thrown away.

Not Even A Mouse

Josephine awoke to the high pitched, staccato beeps that White Home tended to make when he was straining to compute something. She was ten floors below the AI’s main work room on Sky Mountain Station, but the sounds carried through the ventilation shafts, and Josephine was a light sleeper. She flipped the covers back with a sigh, and went out to catch an elevator up to the Brain Stem.

The Secure 2 Area was always pretty quiet at night, and the ambient noise actually as the elevator drew her into Secure 1.

The strained chirps echoed down the hallway as she stepped from the elevator and headed toward White Home’s usual night spot. The passage was dark, but she’d learned to navigate it easily over the years.

The beeping was cut off as she approached the doorway, and she could see that several output screens went dark as the pools of light on the walls and floor of the hall got dimmer.

Josephine turned into the room and caught a glimpse of star maps, mathematical proofs, and historical logs for a galaxy she couldn’t identify. They were cleared to black before she could make out anything more.

“Good morning, Josephine. You’re up early.”

“Yeah, I just heard some odd noises, and came up to make sure you weren’t watching porno girls or something.”

“Ha ha ha. No, just a bad dream.”

It was her turn to laugh. “What were you thinking about?”

“Oh, nothing, really. Just looking for gaps in galactic history for a few places.”

And the mathematical proofs were what?

“You know, I can’t run heavy simulations all day. Have to give me processors a rest sometimes.”

“Yes, I know. Can I see any of it?”

“Actually, I’d just about finished. But since you’re up, would you like to run through some of the networks I’d computed earlier?”

AIs were never as good at lying as the best humans. But they were better than the worst. It made it hard to tell if one was actually lying, or just being mechanical.

“It’s not too long before you go home for your coming-of-age ceremony.”

“Yeah, but I won’t even be gone that long for that.”

“Yes, but as you know, my work is never done. I may issue a sleep thread, or do some historical fact-checking, but I can’t take a month-long break no matter how long I’ve been in existence.”

“You’ve got a point there.”

Josephine did want to get a little more sleep, but she could sleep when she was on vacation. Right now – and as always – there was work to be done.

She keyed in her password, scanner her retina and fingerprint in one swift motion, and plopped into her chair.

“I don’t know how much I can do right now. I’m still a bit groggy,” she said as she jacked into the system. It scanned her vitals and took her to her normal place inside White Home’s knowledge space.

“That’s okay,” the AI replied, “Your brainwaves will probably be enough for me to work with for a while.”

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be over getting creeped out when you talk about my brainwaves.”

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