A New Arrival, pt 2: For Whom the Robot Serves

Doc gets to his feet, pocketing the I-Browse while doing so. He discreetly feels for his switchblade, which is still in his pocket with the keys to his Jeep. He begins to really wish he had grabbed the Colt revolver out of his desk before opening the crate this morning, but it is a rare occasion that requires firearms when checking the mail.

As he approaches the strange waiter, he reads the labels on some of the crates. There is a multitude from different places and eras, some identifiable. Most of the labels are in Chinese, a few are in German (he recognizes one labeled "M√ľnchien" as being from Munich, Germany). One wooden barrel immediately nearby he recognizes as being a 17th century rum barrel used on transatlantic naval vessels, in remarkably good condition. Most of the alloy containers either have bar codes or a small light indicating the presence of some kind of radio tracking device. A few have markings he does not recognize. He also spots a small palette of what appear to be missiles.

The robot waits with a sort of distracted patience as Doc makes his way through the cargo. The thing looks almost perfectly human, except for being exceptionally perfect. Its skin looks alive yet plastic, like an overly airbrushed magazine model come to life. His hair is slicked back, dark as oil and not a strand out of place. His mustache is symetrically curled in a golden spiral only a nautilus could reproduce, perfectly offsetting his bold, sharpened features. He is of dignified proportions; tall but not dominating, slender but not slight. There is not a mark or mar on either his clothes or his person.

Doc accepts the martini. "Thank you. May I have the towel? I'm a messy drinker."

"Certainly, sir," the waiter hands it over. His accent is English, his voice is deep and relaxing, but not too much so.

Doc gives the martini a taste. It is perfect. "Who are you?" he asks of the strange being.

"I am the Host, sir. I am ship's butler. I'm in charge of the kitchens and housekeeping," replies the Host. Before Doc can ask another question, he continues. "I am an android, sir. 6th generation, service model operating version 12, designed and manufactured by Microsoft-Honda."

Doc begins to ask another question, and again it is anticipated by the Host. "Welcome to the Younger Brother Pear, a Multidimensional Astral Research Vessel, series One, November class. Dr. Ritenrong apologizes for being unable to welcome you aboard personally, however he is currently away on business. He will return shortly. I trust you were conscious when his holo-mail played, if not i suggest you review it. I have not been given enough information to instruct, sir. I have only been asked to escort you to your quarters. If you please," he gestures for Doc to proceed through the bulkhead door.

2 comments:

ERR said...

I can proceed all the way to the quarters, go room by room, or let me know if you wish to break away from the Host or continue conversation/actions here.

Doc said...

How do I review the holo-mail? Review it, pocket the towel (one should always know where one's towel is). Follow the ship's Host to my room with a detailed description of everything we pass along the way, all the while plying questions such as "what's this?" or "What is this room/thing used for?". Keep one hand in pocket holding switchblade, while the other holds my most excellent martini.

Please continue, this is great.

Doc