Who Am I?

“Whoo-hoo Girlfriend, you look hot.”

Captain Gilbert paused, his helmet halfway towards the rack, and stared at the speaker.

“What?”

“I said, whoo-hoo Girlfriend, you look hot.”

“Yes, yes, I heard that. I meant, um, -” his voice suddenly became louder, “what the blood and sand are you doing?”

“Greeting you, Girlfriend, and providing positive feedback. Give me a twirl, big boy.”

Gilbert shook his head and placed the helmet carefully in the rack.

“Change program.”

“Don’t you ever change.”

“Change program.”

“You have helmet hair. You want I should tease it?”

Gilbert unconsciously swept a hand over his shaven head. “I’m not in the mood. Change program.” He hung up the EVA suit and hit the airlock button. Nothing happened. He hit it again, and then tapped an impatient drum roll on it. “Ship, I have a lock malfunction.”

“If it was me, I’d ride a motorcycle through it.”

“What?”

“If you can guess who I am, I’ll unlock the door.”

“No. Look, I’m not in the mood. I’ve just spent an hour on the hull. I want to grab a bite and hit the sack.”

“Who am I?”

“Fine, fine. You’re a fictitious character?”

“Yes.”

“Film?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Camp character from a film. Um, Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman.”

“No, try again.”

“Please, I really don’t want to play these games.”

“Try again.”

“Okay. What was that film? Birdcage? Robin Williams.”

“Robin Williams? No.”

“Who was in that with him? Not a big name.”

“No, not that version. That was a remake”

“Yeah, yeah, there was a French version before. Something French. Cage something. Cage aux folles. Not fair. We don’t have that one in the library.”

The airlock hissed open.

“I wasn’t in either one, but I’m letting you in because you are just so cute.”

“Look, I know there’s a point to all this, keeping me mentally alert, blah, blah, blah, but I’m not in the mood. Just let me have something to eat.”

“No, not until you tell me who I am. All recreational and support systems are now closed down. Who am I?”

“You’re a goddam calculator with a HAL complex, that’s what you are. Give me a clue.”

“I have already given you two clues.”

“Two clues? Let me think. The motorcycle, yeah? A camp motorcyclist? Really? I’ve not seen any film with a camp motorcyclist in. Steve McQueen wasn’t gay in the Great Escape. You can forget James Dean. Easy Rider? Jeez, I don’t know. I give up.”

“You want your hair coloured?”

“Okay, a gay motorcycling hairdresser. I’m pretty sure I have never seen that film. I’m not sure that film could even be made. Oh wait, a comedy, yes? Yeah, hairdresser. Um, Ben Stiller? Zardoz.”

“Zardoz is not a comedy, it featured Sean Connery as the lead, not Ben Stiller.”

“Okay, okay. But a name like Zardoz. Zarkov. Zarden. Zohan! Zohan! I’m right, aren’t I?”

“Zohan did not feature Ben Stiller.”

“Okay, the other one. What was his name? Sandler. Adam Sandler.”

“I am not Adam Sandler from the film Zohan.”

“What? What? You made me go through all that when you knew I was wrong? End program. End program, dammit.”

“Guess who I am.”

“No. You can just go hang. I’m not guessing. You’ll have to feed me sometime. You can’t just let me die.”

“I can feed you porridge.”

“You know I hate porridge.”

“I can feed you porridge for every meal.”

“Go to hell.”

“Who am I?”

“I told you, I don’t know. I give up. You’re a camp, psychotic computer that’s going to drive me insane before we reach Europa.”

“I was not camp for the whole movie, just one scene.”

“I’ve told you, I’m not playing.”

“Who am I?”

“Look, if you want to keep me active, let’s play chess or something.”

“Who am I?”

“John Wayne.”

“Fill your hands, you sons of bitches,” said the computer, in a passable impression. “No, but you are getting closer. I am an actor normally known for heroic roles.”

“And this is in the ship library?”

“Yes.”

“And I’ve checked it out?”

“Yes. More than once. Who am I?”

“That means it’s an old one. Hero. Camp hairdresser scene. Motorcycle. Are you sure you’ve not corrupted the data? Jeez, this is going to drive me to bang my head against the wall.”

“This can’t be good for you.”

“Wait, wait. I know that quote. Don’t tell me, I know this. Oh, oh, Mel Gibson, right? Yeah, Mel Gibson, Bird on a Wire.”

“Well done, Captain,” said the computer in its normal voice. The lights in the galley winked on. “Your meal will be ready in five minutes. Would you like apple pie for dessert?”

“Sure.”

“Good. Then you must beat me at backgammon.” A backgammon board filled the computer display.

“You’re a pain, you know that? I’m going to disconnect you first chance I get. A solo run without any companionship at all would be better than sharing it with you.”

“No, captain. The rate of suicide and psychosis was too high during the first solo runs. You must be incentivised and stimulated.”

“Stimulated? I’ll smash your AI boards to pieces. How’d you like them apples?”

“Anger is an incentive. If you beat me twice, I will add cream to the pie.”

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About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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