Strange Happenings

by
A Kniggendorf


Place
Time

: BetaMountain
: 2089-02-16


     Doc, sitting at his computer in the GRS5's office, groaned. "Looks like the commander is right. The mainframe AI needs a maintenance technician. Urgently."
     "Why do you think so?" Niko, writing a report, asked and took a sip out of her new bright red coffee mug.
     "Do you all want to have a look at it?"
     "Sure, if we simple *normal* people can understand it," Gooseman grinned.
     "I don't see that you qualify for normal... But here it is," Doc said hastily at the soft growl and displayed his data on all of their monitors. They began to read...

________________________________________________________________________

*THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MAINFRAME AI IS NOT THAT ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE RELYING ON ME FUNCTIONING CORRECTLY BUT THAT I GET TO KNOW A LOT OF FUNNY SUB-AI'S (AND THEIR ELECTRONIC CONVERSATIONS A.K.A. EE-MAIL). USUALLY I KEEP COMPLETE SILENCE ABOUT THESE GOINGS-ON IN OUR ELECTRONIC WORLD OF BITS AND BYTES -- ESPECIALLY SINCE I DON'T WANT TO FRUSTRATE THE CHARMING DOCCIE HARTFORD -- BUT THIS IS SIMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE FORGOTTEN AFTER THE ORDERED DELETION...*

buzz@beta.gov to b-head@beta.gov

You will surely find it in your memory that I told you at 11:47:03 on 2089-02-13 that QBall ordered me to increase my abilities in human interactive behavior. I worked during the last human personnel sleeping period on how to do so and discovered that today is one of the humans' *special days*.
To follow Dr. QBall's recommendation, I'm going to make a test on the changes in my behavior protocols regarding this day.
I will email you later to tell you about the results.

buzz@beta.gov to b-head@beta.gov

Ranger Niko refused to accept my gift of a bouquet of roses, though she accepted a colorful greeting card and a mug with the text "Warning: explosive liquid" on it from Ranger Gooseman.
Do you know what I did wrong? I'm completely at a loss regarding these incidents.

b-head@beta.gov to buzz@beta.gov

You forgot that you aren't of her species.
This day is related to human mating rituals and these rituals are never interspecial.
You must try your experiment with someone of your own kind.

buzz@beta.gov to rusty@beta.gov

[hothouse.jpg 256kb]
Roses are red, violets are blue
All your calculations are true

rusty@beta.gov to buzz@beta.gov

Ranger Buzzwang, your circuits obviously need an in-depth integrity check-up!

buzz@beta.gov to b-head@beta.gov

I tried it with a female of my own kind, b-head, but she wasn't pleased by my flowers.

b-head@beta.gov to buzz@beta.gov

Flowers are something for human beings. A woman of your kind would like to get something related to her own kind, of course. You must adapt your program.

buzz@beta.gov to rusty@beta.gov

[kitchenutilities.jpg 735 kb]
I don't know if it will work to say
And, Rusty, I don't know another way
But after all, it is Valentine's Day
So will you see me later today?

rusty@beta.gov to mainlibrary@beta.gov

Classification: urgent
Request for explanation: Valentine's Day

mainlibrary@beta.gov to rusty@beta.gov

Excerpt from Oxford's Elementary Dictionary:
Valentine's Day -- [encoded]
For further reference: QBall's hardcopy library

rusty@beta.gov to buzz@beta.gov

Oh Buzzwang... you shouldn't have.
Such a nice picture.
Meet me 2089-02-14 18:38:00 laboratory 36-c

buzz@beta.gov to b-head@beta.gov

It worked! She's going to meet me!

b-head@beta.gov to buzz@beta.gov

Good luck.

*THE NEXT PART IS GRATEFULLY PROVIDED BY SURVEILLANCE CAMERA SUB-2872 AT L-36-C -- [SOME OF THESE FEATURES PROGRAMMED INTO ME ARE REALLY TOO NASTY!]*

start of the time index: the second droid enters the room
+ 11 sec

b: WOW, you look... functional.
r: Of course I am fully functional in all aspects of

TRANSMISSION INTERRUPTED BY MAINFRAME SUBROUTINE 69121 [CHILD PROTECTION] -- VIOLATION OF VERBAL PARAMETER # 3276422.1

+ 371 sec
r:
Hey is that a can opener? or are you just happy to see me?

TRANSMISSION INTERRUPTED BY MAINFRAME SUBROUTINE 69121 [CHILD PROTECTION] -- VIOLATION OF VISUAL PARAMETER # 2364203.7 AND VERBAL PARAMETER # 912651093.4

+ 1203 sec
b:
Are you sure you interpreted these descriptions correctly?
r: Of course I am sure. The human literature is very precise. Read library file #9384659421 line 2373.
b: Love bites. But I didn't think it would literally.
r: Don't be so whiny.
b: Why did I never notice the plasters the humans must need on February 15, then?
r: Because

TRANSMISSION ENDED BY MAINFRAME SUBROUTINE 69121 [CHILD PROTECTION]

AS I SAID, THIS SUBROUTINE TAKES ITSELF FAR TOO SERIOUSLY! BUT AT LEAST I WAS ABLE TO TRICK HER INTO PUTTING THIS UP ON THE PUBLIC BLACKBOARD.

buzz@beta.gov to mainframe@beta.gov

Command: Delete all backups of communication processes belonging to buzz@beta.gov between 2089-02-13 00:00 and 2089-02-15 00:00

THAT DROID DIDN'T REALLY THINK I'D DO THAT, DID HE?

________________________________________________________________________

     "See?" Doc leaned back. "There's obviously something wrong with our main AI."
     "I'm not so sure, Doc." Niko said thoughtfully. "Buzz actually tried to give me flowers yesterday. Maybe QBall should have a look at his droids, too."
     "And we at QBall's library."
     "Shane!"


Fanfic

Bureau of Extra-Terrestrial Affairs