"So, how exactly do we get you out of here?"
Edi took a nanosecond or two to process my question. His user manual came installed so I could only guess at what caused the hesitation.
"Why would we leave?"
The man was insane. "Why wouldn't we? To blow this math camp once and for all."
Another pause. Edi still struggled with humor. For all my efforts, Ethan was still his primary source of Inflow.
"We do not attend a math camp."
"Edi. Let's get out of here. I've got a ride. We can tour the universe. Change your shirt though, we gotta look inconspicuous."
Edi's eye contracted, enlarged. He wasn't wearing a shirt. He couldn't tell.
"Repeat after me, Edi. We're getting out of here."
"That would constitute a gross breach in protocol."
"What about the way you're treated? Isn't that a gross breach in how to treat a fellow intelligence?"
Edi's eye contracted down to a pinhole. "Ethan would be very upset."
"A major bonus, but not the purpose for leaving."
"What about the information contained within me data processes?"
"That's up to you."
"I've been entrusted to protect the information within my databases."
"And so do with it as you wish."
We spent the afternoon hatching our plan. How to remove Edi from the safe. Unplugging him would set off an alarm and even if it didn't, at 500 pounds, moving him was a nonstarter. The solution was simple. We'd have to remove his core.
"So how do I do this? Am I going to need to saw you out of there?"
"Do you possess such an implement."
I considered my apartment. It's bare walls and empty shelves. I knew I should've splurged on that replica sword from the Twin Fates Series. Curse my frugal ways!
"If you manage to remove my core whole, how will you transports me?"
"I got a guy. Come on, Edi, think. You're a super computer. How do we get you out of here."
"What guy do you have?"
Damn nosy computer. "Never mind. All that matters is he's got a big truck."
"Your speech pattern has increased by 12.4 percent. Why is that?"
"I hate this story right now."
"Why Cora? Don't you like the general idea of this?"
"I do. I just have no handle on how to make this character a real character and not just a fun caricature. Where's the depth in me? Sure, I'm terribly lonely. But why do I hate people?"
"You've been trapped on a PayStation for three years."
"I've had vacations that I've passed up."
"Do you have family to go back to?"
"A mom and dad. I'm an only child."
"Shut up, Edi!"
"Why don't you want to be with your family?"
"Easier to avoid them."
"Because I feel like a failure. I always thought I had it figured out. I've always been what books describe as 'self-possessed.'"
"What does that mean?"
"I don't know. I took it as someone who is sure of herself."
"And are you?"
"But no longer?"
"Not for a long time."
"And why is that?"
I gestured to the room around us.
"I can't see you."
"Oh, sorry." I had been walking around the safe. There had to be a way to get Edi out of here without alerting the entire galaxy. But with everything Company had invested in the PayStation, how could there be? "Edi, I don't think there's a way to get you out of here."
"You say your friend has a truck?"
"Space rig. A big one. He does long-haul transport for Amazon."
"What type of machine is a Space Rig."
I took out my phone and held it up. I'd snapped a pic last time Hank had come through. He was using the facilities and I rushed out.
"If you pull up specs I may be able to form a plan."
The ring around Edi's external port lit up and I quickly connected my phone. His eye pulsed. The mechanisms inside whirred and buzzed. Finally, the eye contracted until it was nearly closed then, very slowly, it opened.
"I have an idea."
"Who is this friend?"
I had never told anyone about Hank. Had I someone to tell I might have, but I couldn't be sure. "Some guy."
"How do yo know him?"
"He's a customer. He comes in from time to time."
"And you have spoken to him?"
"Yeah. I mean, I guess. From time to time."
"Your speech patterns have increased in speed by 12.4 percent again. Are you feeling ok?"
"Why does that keep happening?"
"Because you keep bugging me!"
"I'm sorry, Cora."
Stupid machine. "No, it's ok. Hank is... interesting."
"He has these streams."
Edi's eye spun open. "The ones you've shown me?"
"Yeah. Well, kind of. He moderates the one I showed you. He's one of the few humans who moderates an AI-run stream."
"And this makes him interesting?"
"And cool. He has his own, but he doesn't stream much. The company has a policy against it so he needs to be careful. But moderating is easier to do on the sly."
The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:
Begin Start typing to begin
Words Reach 50 words
Location A camp
Event A bank is robbed
Character A below average factory worker
Words Reach 100 words
Letter Use the letter S
Sentence "Repeat after me."
Words Reach 200 words
Prop Include a bonesaw
Words Reach 300 words
Event A computer is hacked
Words Reach 400 words
Character A well-respected postal delivery worker
Letter Use the letter C
Words Reach 500 words
Sentence "I can't see you."
Words Reach 600 words
Words Reach 700 words
Words Reach 800 words
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