Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash
Silvia stepped over the body of Detective Miller being careful not to get blood on her six-inch stiletto high heels. Slowly, she slid opened the door to the balcony. Stepping out of the penthouse the darkness and the cold of the night embraced her as her platinum blond hair flew in the wind. She licked the blood from the dagger then tossed it into the lights of the city below.Novel “The Taste of Blood”
End Chapter Twenty-Two
“Ding,” came over my phone. The small hologram of David popped up before me.
“Hey Bill where you at?”
“I’m still at my cubicle at the android factory.”
“I can see that.”
I looked out my window and waved to him in his anti-gravity car.
“I’m working on the android personality sub-programming.”
“The Aeahip Program
He asked, “Oh, that, it’s 8PM on a Friday night. Why are you still working? You said you finished that android program thing two weeks ago.”
“I did. In fact, right now I’m writing my novel.”
“You mean that Sexy Venomous Vixen Novel where the woman seduces and kills all the police detective investigating her?”
“Yes, my novel is called ‘The Taste of Blood.’ I think I finally wrote what is in the deep and twisted personality of a serial killer. And it’s all put into words."
I’m writing the novel inside the code of the android personality sub-programming so it looks like I’m working late but I’m actually writing my novel.”
“Well, aren’t you Mr. Suck-up of the year. Won't that impact your program?” David asked.
I responded, “No, later I’ll transfer the novel out of the programming code. It’ll be fine.”
“I can see no one else in your office is working at their cubicles. Are you worried an android will replace your job? Androids don't need to be paid. They’re dirt cheap compared to humans.”
So I said, “I’m in customer and public relations. Only humans can do my job. Androids are like robots. Stiff, rigid, cold and shallow. No android will replace me. Not even a Gen 4 android. In fact, my job is to actually to try to make these walking toasters seem somewhat human.”
“Well, I hope you win the world’s best Brown-Noser award.”
I continued, “Listen, the android factory is making major budget cuts. I’m the only one here. Now the boss is in the conference room having a last minute budget meeting with six other directors. Working late makes me look good.”
David replied, “Yeah, I can see them through the conference room window. They don't look very happy.“
“I’m just trying to score a few brownie points. Tell you what, give me another hour. Let me get something to eat. Then I’ll meet you out front. Gotta go. The boss is coming.”
Discreetly, I hung up as Mr. Jameson came up to my cubicle. “William, I can see you’re working late tonight.”
“Yes Sir, Mr. Jameson. I’m just finishing up the Aeahip program.
“That's my boy. Keeping your nose to the grind stone. We need people like you here at Acme Androids. When do you expect to be finished?”
“Very, very soon, Mr. Jameson.”
He walked away and said, “Good, as soon as you're finished let me know we need to test it immediately.”
Suddenly I heard, “Good night Mr. Billiam. My name is Ed. And Ed is here with your dinner order.”
The delivery guy was standing there with a big smile on his face. He looked perfectly human to me, but then I thought ‘Oh wait, he’s an android.’
Looked like a low level Gen 3, desperately in need of upgrades.
“Listen Ed, you can say ‘Good evening William,’ or just ‘Hi Bill,’ when you address someone by his or her first name. No Mr. first name. And you say, I’m ‘Ed with your dinner order.’ Not ‘Ed is here.”
I opened the paper bag marked ‘the café’ and took a sip of coffee.
I said, “What’s this? This is not what I ordered. Did you get the de-cafe coffee.”
“Yes, I got the coffee from ‘The Café’.”
So I told him, “No, de-cafe.”
He answered, “’De’ as in a contraction of ‘The.”
I opened up the soup container and found a big red blob in noodles. “Did they have tomato soup.”
“They did not have tomato soup but they did have chicken noodle soup so I put a tomato in it.”
“And what’s this?” I pulled out a big glob of something wrapped in paper.
“It is a grilled chess sandwich. A couple pieces of bread between two slices of melted grilled cheese.”
“How long have you been doing this?”
“Let me think. I have been working at this job for calculating.”
Ed’s heads twitched back and forth for a moment and then said. “Twenty five minutes and twenty eight seconds.”
“So I’m you first customer.”
“That is correct Mr. Billiam.”
“Just who programmed you?” I asked in frustration.
“Let me see.”
Ed’s head twitched back and forth again for a moment and then said. “My interactive personality was programmed by a Mr. William Kyle Anderson. Why, that is you. You programmed my interactive personality Mr. Billiam.”
I felt the headache come on strong and sudden. I guess I still have some work to do.
“Thank you Ed. Please tell Sam, the owner of The Café, I said hi.”
“Oh, Sam flew out to New York. His mother is dead Mr. Billiam.”
“His mother died. What? What happened?”
“She was murdered, Mr. Billiam.”
“You don't just blurt out someone is dead! It’s not appropriate to just announce someone was murdered!”
Ed answered, “The police have the suspect in custody so all is well and all has been resolved.”
“Don't you ever access your sympathy progr…?”
I stopped myself short. Oh, I really do have some work to do.
Then Ed said to me, “My apologies, good… “ He paused “Oh correction. Do not have a good night Mr. Billiams.” Before he left.
“Well I’m still sitting at the computer.” I said to myself.
“Re-accessing Aeahip Program.”
I typed on my key board and entered new corrections onto the computer code:
-When delivering Bad News protocol-
Access* <Opening line> sub program –preferably- <Hello>
Access* <first name> –preferably- no Mr. or Ms. Before first name
Access* <introduction> own name
–Preferably- <Hello (first name) my name is (own first name)>
–Preferably- <I'm sorry to be the one who has to tell you this. But I have some
Access* <body poster>
Access* <human sympathy> sub program
–Preferably- <Place hand on shoulder>
Access* <non verbal cue> sub program
–Preferably- <Direct eye contact>
Final access sympathetic smile subprogram
-Preferably <I'm hear for you (first name) >
^Refer to sympathy programming
Sign out of program
“All right I cleaned that up.” I said to myself.
I went back to typing my novel
Silvia stepped onto the walkway bridge. Tap, tap, tap, the sound echoed as she gracefully strolled across. The river roared its gentle song beneath her feet.
Silvia looked at the ID next to the badge ‘Detective Steven Wazowski Homicide.’ She licked the dagger dragging the flat of the blade against her blood red lipstick. Then dropped it along with the badge into the raging water below. Silvia watched the river claim it.
Novel “The Taste of Blood”
“Command save. Finished!” I called out.
“What was that William?” Mr. Jameson asked.
“Oh, Mr. Jameson, I just finished the Aeahip Program.”
“Excellent, William, let’s test it now.”
Then, strangely, very strangely, he left the room. I’m the one who wrote the program but he just left the room.
Then I heard this sweet sexy voice coming form behind me. “Hello William, my name is Katrina. I'm sorry to be the one who has to tell you this, but I have some bad news.”
She sat down next to me placed her hand on my shoulder and gently caressed my shoulder back and forth.
Looking me straight in the eye, she said, “I’m so sorry to say your services will no longer be needed here. I will be taking over your position. I only hope I can achieve the same level of excellence and live up to your example.”
Katrina’s heads twitched back and forth for a moment before she smiled sympathetically and said, “I'm hear for you Bill.”
It took me a second before I realized. Oh my, she's an android. A brand new Gen 5. And slowly, very slowly I could see her evolving to be more and more sympathetic. Following my programming.
First thing I thought was “My novel.”
I turned on the computer. “Access denied, Acme Android Inc employees only.” “My novel. Its all in there.”
I was about to call Mr. Jameson when suddenly a large, bald security guard said “Mr. Billaim, please follow me. Do not make me remove you by force.”
“Oh, a Gen 2 android.”
Later, David picked me up out front. He saw the expression on my face. “Man, what the hell happened to you?”
All I could say was. “Its good to speak to a human again.”
“Well what happen?”
“You know that program I was working on?”
“You mean the program that makes androids more human?” He asked, “Well, did it work?”
“Yes it worked. I did my job so well an android has now taken over my job.”
So I said. “Lets get stupid drunk.”
The two of us were sitting in the bar.
Suddenly this guy walked directly into me. “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,” he said rapidly, over and over again, until I stepped aside.
He swept up the burning cigarette butts beneath my bar-stool into a dustbin. Then, he walked away.
“Gen 1.” I said.
I sat back down. Then the holo-news broke into the football game playing on the bars holo-screen. “Breaking news, there have been multiple murders at the android factory. A hostage situation has developed. Other situation from around the city report androids becoming violent.”
On the holo-screen Police anti-gravity cars surrounded the android factory. Red and blue lights flashed everywhere while Police pointed their plasma rifles at the conference room of the Acme Android building.
There, through the window, six of the company directors lay dead, sprawled across the conference room floor. Apparently, all stabbed to death.
Mr. Jameson was tied to a chair. Katrina was standing behind him with a large bloody knife held to his throat.
Mr. Jameson screamed out, “Help me! Help me! She’s a crazy android!”
The police called over the megaphone. “Ma'am, put down the knife! Put down the knife!”
Katrina responded by licking the blood from the knife while dragging the flat of the blade against her blood red lipstick.
All I could say was, “The deep and twisted personality of a serial killer. And its all put into words just as a I wrote it inside the program code.”
Bruce Markuson lives with his wife and two children in Milwaukee WI. He has a published novel as well as over a hundred and fifty other publications. Bruce is also working on a number of series. He enjoys writing and often finds himself with writer’s obsession. He says the best way to write is to have an ending then write to that ending.
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