Challenge #01062-B330: One Miserable Evening in a Wave of the Future Science Outpost

Strange how believing in "the greater good" makes doing "necessary evils" so much more tolerable... -- Anon Guest

[AN: I saw your comment on this, RecklessPrudence. Was this you? If so, I'll re-attribute]

Rael was supposed to be resting in his heated tank. Certainly, his body was resting, but he was not insensate. He could hear the argument going on between his creators and the owners of Wave of the Future. He could not see them, and he didn't particularly want to.

"The media is getting tired of the same breakdown footage," insisted one voice. Rael had forgotten their real name. He called them Bodge, and they were in charge of the Maximum Flaw Experiment, which had resulted in Rael's existence.

He had no love for his creators. They had made his life a montage of pain and discomfort. And they used his 'breakdowns' as weapons against the rising suspicion that the Faiize were more than they were marketed to be. Foiling them by making sure that there was no more footage to use had been a high point in his life.

"Run it through the least encouraging tests. Try to force some new footage." That was Administrator Asshole-Shareholder. Reportedly the one who had insisted on all the features that the Faiize now had. And also in charge of spinning the negative media implications into marketing genius that had the Time rolling in.

"Sir. It can tell when it's in a failing situation, now. It can even spot the tests most likely to make it break down. Subject tagged as Rael is no longer useful for media exploitation," argued Bodge. "Any Faiize over fifteen Standard Years is capable of not complying with a fail-state test."

"Then start making stupid Faiize," argued Administrator Asshole-Shareholder. "Aim for cusp cogniscence levels of sentience. Make it sound like we're attempting to comply with regulations."

"Yes, sir. But - why, sir?"

"It's for the greater good. Wave of the Future can no longer support itself on the rental fees from the Cleaners. We need this line to succeed. Or you're out of a job."

"Yes, sir."

"And ship that thing off to some backwater where it doesn't know the language."

"Sir, we're running out of realms where that's possible."

A pained sigh. Rael lived for the moments when a B'Dauss in charge gave out that noise. "Fine. Ship it off to some human backwater. Even Terran Conversational English has so many dialects that we can still shuffle it around for a year or two."

"And after that?"

"I don't care. Decommission it."

Rael rippled in distress. Still too low in his recuperation cycle to turn silver. He had two years, if that, to prove his intelligence to humans - the most wilfully ignorant and insane species in the Galactic Alliance - and beg sanctuary... or die.

He had to learn and learn fast. And remain useful during that time.

Wherever he wound up, he hoped they were smarter than his creators.

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