“Humans are Pigs!” Alice said
“Technically, we’re primates.” I replied as I polished the glass door leading in to the best brew pub on the ship.
“You know what I mean, Murray”
” Yes I do Alice. I have to clean up behind them.” I looked up and decided to do the ceiling ports. They hadn’t been dusted since the end of construction.
” Can you drop the gravity in here please? I need to clean the ports”
My stomach lurched and I held onto the door handle as I started to float. I kicked off and floated to the ports and snapped my safety harness to the stanchion.
I never got over the view. A billion stars created a mosaic of incredible beauty over the expanse of this city sized ship
“How your species ever got to the top of the food chain is a great mystery” Alice went on ” You are all just greasy little meat bags”
“Maybe, but we created you”
“Technically, your species created the AI that created the AI that created yet another AI that created me. Then they screwed everything up by giving me a human personality matrix!” Suddenly it sounded like she was sulking. “What were they thinking!”
I guess I should explain that Alice is the Spengler’s AI. Hell, Alice is the ship. She controls every aspect of ship functions from the Spoop Drive to the toilet functions. She is also almost always cranky.
This is Alice
Well…She’s in there somewhere.
We were two weeks into the journey now, and we were getting to know each other. Though she was as cranky as a constipated bear, she turned out to be good company.
“Murray? Why did you become a Janitor?”
“I prefer “Sanitation Engineer” I joked.
“Murray? Why did you become a Janitor?” she repeated.
I sighed and stopped what I was doing. ” I discovered a long time ago that if you work in this industry you are invisible. No one remembers when the janitor was there, things just get cleaned up. When I worked at the lab where all this started, I was actually in the room when they made first contact. No one remembers that. I was there when they tested the Squeeeee gun. No one remembers that either. I’m like a ghost. I can go where most others can’t. Even here, on this ship I can access pretty well every part of the ship. I don’t think that anyone lower than the Chief Engineer can do that.”
“Basically, People underestimate me and leave me alone” I went back to cleaning the port.
“Would you like me to leave you alone?” she asked timidly.
“Hell no,” I said ” You’ve got more personality then most of the people on this tub combined” I could almost feel her smiling
“For a greasy meat bag, you’re alright”
Suddenly there was a commotion and a squeal. I turned and there was Juliette, the pubs opening server, floating and slowly somersaulting in the air surrounded by coffee cups and cup racks. Her blond hair was now a halo around her head. I unclipped and pushed off towards her grabbing her arm. It slowed her spin but started mine. “Alice can we have zero point two g please”
I held on to her as everything started a leisurely decent to what would now be the floor. She landed daintily on her feet. I landed rather un-daintily on my arse. I made sure that we were both up and holding onto the bar when I had Alice bring us back to full G. “Sorry about that” I said as we gathered up cups. “I didn’t know anyone was coming in early”
“They beeped me last shift. They wanted me ready to go at 0600 quadrant time. Last minute meeting before we go through the gate I guess”
“Alice? How long until we hit the gate?” I asked
A countdown clock materialized in mid air.
Juliette gathered up the cup racks and said ” I’d better run these back to the sanitizer”
“Um You might want to…..” I pointed at my head. She looked at herself in the backing mirror of the bar. Her hair was still standing on end. She squeaked and ran through the kitchen door.
I gathered up my things and started out towards the lobby.
“Oh right” I said to myself, “One last thing”
I took out my Squeeeee gun, aimed it into the room. It made a satisfying little pop. I took a sniff.” Ah! Spring Freshness!”