|Submitted by G.S. Williams on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 09:56|
Apparently, the future doesn’t have any beer. Or, at least not FBI headquarters in the year 2119. Well, at least not in their quarantined guest quarters. Either that, or their computer doesn’t understand the English word for beer. In any event, whatever the reason, it wasn’t going to let me get drunk.
I looked around my temporary quarters. It didn’t take long for me to explore. There was only the one room, the same plain white as the hallway. It was oval shaped, and the only piece of furniture was one of those fancy chairs.
I sat down in it, crossing my arms. The seat shifted under me to be more comfortable. I leaned back, and it leaned with me, supporting each motion perfectly. Whatever I wanted to do, whether it be sit on my knees or lounge on my side, that chair could adjust to fit. Trouble was, I didn’t want to be comfortable. I was bored, and tired of being dragged along from one crisis to another. Sitting in a meditatively quiet, heavenly white room actually made this mood worse.
“All right, ACV, what kind of refreshments do you have?” I asked. No one answered. “Hey, computer! I’m talking to you!”
“How may I be of service?” The disembodied voice answered.
“From now on, you answer to either ACV or Annoying Computer Voice, okay? That’s what I’m calling you.”
The computer didn’t answer. I wondered what I was doing wrong. On Star Trek the computer just did whatever someone told it.
“How may I be of service?” The voice repeated. Apparently, it was a very limited program. It seemed to only respond to specific prompts. So far, the future wasn’t that impressive.
“What do you have to drink?”
Apparently, this fit the machine’s parameters. “May I offer you water?”
I shrugged. “Sure.” Nothing. “Um, yes, water please.”
A wall panel slid open, and there was a glass of water. I walked over and picked it up. I noticed that the cup had a cap, but I couldn’t see how to pull it off. It seemed fused to the rest of the glass. I wasn’t even sure the material was glass, exactly.
“Uh, computer? How do I get the lid off?”
No answer was forthcoming. I swore loudly and threw the glass across the room, where it bounced off the wall and rolled onto the floor. It didn’t break, nor spill, so I guess it was more durable than traditional glass.
I slumped into my chair and curled up. The adrenalin of the gunfight earlier had worn off a while ago, and I had stayed awake by focusing on my anger and frustration. Now I was just plain worn out. I’d woken up in the middle of the night, no matter what time it was here. I needed sleep.
“Computer, can you dim the lights? I need to sleep.”
The wall panels went dim. This was apparently a command it understood. I settled into my perfectly comfortable chair to sleep. I hoped that tomorrow would be a much better day.
I woke up and stretched, yawning. As I opened my eyes, the lights slowly came back on, at the perfect pace to let my eyes adjust. Some of this technology was pretty smart.
“Diggory Franklin, there is someone waiting at your door. Are you available for visitors?” My “ACV” asked.
“Uh, sure. Let them in.”
The wall panel slid open. Jameson stood there, looking a little embarrassed.
“Good morning, Mr. Franklin. Please forgive me for my rude behaviour yesterday, I am sorry if I was inappropriate.”
I shrugged. “Hey, Jameson. It’s not a big deal.”
I had been terminally bored the night before. Having company, even if it was the infantile Jameson, was better than being alone. He stood in the doorway awkwardly.
“Hey, you can come in.”
“Thank you.” He stepped forward.
“Uh, hey, do you know how to get water out of this cup?”