Can androids take a joke? An Adaptive Writers Entry
|The Birthday (Part E)
"I'm sure they didn't forget your birthday. They just didn't remember it right away," Rex said.
The Self Aware Mission Android – S.A.M.AN. nicknamed Samantha - glowered at Rex. Being a fully independent android, she had full control of all her expressions.
“Besides, technically you weren’t born. You were powered up this day sixteen years ago at the beginning of this Mars mission.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” she snapped. “The least they could have done was send me a birthday card.”
Rex shook his head and began jotting notes in his mission journal.
“What are you writing?” Samantha demanded.
“Just updating a few entries.”
“Samantha, I know you were programmed with an advanced learning protocol but really, you’ve become almost too human,” he laughed. “Look,” he said, holding up the pad, “it’s not about you. Besides, anything I write is accessible to you. We don’t keep secrets here. We’re all family.”
Samantha flashed what passed as a smile. “You’re right, Rex. Maybe I’m getting para-android.”
Rex winced. “Really? That was a terrible pun,” he complained but couldn’t keep a laugh from slipping out.
“I’ve been working on my humor protocols. I’ve noticed that humor relaxes the body, gets people to breathe, causes a smile, and elicits happiness. I believe it’s necessary to your long-term existence.”
Rex shook his head, hiding another smile. ”You do drone on, Samantha.”
“I’m sorry, Rex. I haven’t programmed laughing yet.”
“Say, Samantha, what time is it?”
“Here or on Earth?”
“Come with me,” he said, turning and walking out of the computer module. “There’s a problem in the dining area and I think you can help.”
“I’m good with synchs.”
“Ok, Samantha, enough. You’re trying too hard.”
Together, they walked the outer corridor. “Can you describe the issue? I’ve received no system alerts.”
“It’s one of those things you have to observe,” Rex said.
Walking through the doors into the dining area, the Mars Team members were gathered around a table which held a cake with sixteen candles. Shouts of “Happy Birthday, Samantha” greeted the android.
Samantha froze, staring at the gathering.
“As I said, Samantha, we’re all family. We didn’t forget your birthday. Now, it’s time you learned about a birthday party,” he laughed. “Blow out the candles … without destroying the cake!”
“What’s a Part E?”
An entry for the May Round of "Adaptive Writers Contest "
Prompt: Comedy/Science Fiction
Word Limit: 3000
Word Count: 397