<=Chapter 4 Chapter 6 =>
Addison yanked her chair back, the legs screeching across the floor, a passing waiter glaring hatefully at her. “Ezra would you turn off your phone for a second?” He plopped down into her chair, hands coming to rest firmly on the table.
“What?” His thick brows scrunched together, and his lips quirked in confusion. Addison tried desperately not to stare at his mouth.
“Would you turn your phone off?” she grumbled, leaning across the table to try and snatch it from him.
He pulled it out of her reach. “Why?” Now his confusion was being replaced by annoyance.
“Just please.” Ezra scrutinized Addison, taking in the heavy set of her brow and her unwavering gaze. Due to the rather uncommon look of seriousness on her face he complied, “Okay…” he assured her, purposefully showing her the screen of his phone as it powered off. “Now what is it?”
“So you’ve heard about the anomalies happening at work right?”
“Yeah a few of them, why?” He asked leaning back, trying to ignore the way her figure was enhanced by the way her arms were crossed tightly under her chest. If only she’d notice him.
“I think there is something wrong with M.A.L.C.O.L.M.”
Ezra couldn’t have looked more surprised if he tried. “What the hell would make you think that? I distinctly remember you saying a few days ago that he was your greatest creation, your most brilliant work.”
“He is, but…I think…” Ezra’s curiosity was increasingly piqued by Addison’s hesitant nature, usually she couldn’t keep her mouth shut, her brain lacking that filter. “I think M.A.L.C.O.L.M.’s emotions have gone haywire,” she said quickly, hopping to sound less crazy if she just got it out there.
“What? What does that even mean?” Addison was relieved he hadn’t just started laughing uproariously. Just then without anyone noticing the light on Ezra’s phone turned back on.
“This all started after I upgraded M.A.L.C.O.L.M. awhile back. Remember how he sounded better, but he just didn’t get the whole emotions thing? Sometimes he responded poorly or insensitively, he couldn’t match the right emotion to some situations. I figured since M.A.L.C.O.L.M. didn’t feel emotion of course he couldn’t understand them, so I made it so he felt emotion. I based it off a human brain, I scanned it and then gave M.A.L.C.O.L.M. all the emotions. There was marked improvement in his emotional response so I thought it a success, until I was given a report of anomalies occurring in the system. It started with security cameras going haywire, then sudden temperature spikes.”
“What does this have to do with M.A.L.C.O.L.M.’s emotions?”
“That’s what I thought. I figured a glitch had developed in my systems, surprising but not unreasonable. However, I was wrong. Don’t look so smug, I only had limited evidence to work with.” Ezra quickly schooled his features into a more neutral face. “It was only recently I deciphered the pattern. I never suspected it was a problem with M.A.L.C.O.L.M., but all these occurrence and anomalies have in one way or another connected directly with M.A.L.C.O.L.M.”
“Why would M.A.L.C.O.L.M. do that?”
“Because he’s in love.”
“In love?” Ezra’s nose scrunched up at the thought. “That’s cute Addison. What is it really?” Addison just waited patiently. Ezra’s eyes went unnaturally wide. “Is that even possible?”
“Ezra, we’re talking about my technology of course it’s possible.” she said smirking proudly, arm thrown across the back of her chair, her posture all cocky arrogance, though it was just to hide the fear about the implications of what she had created. “Maybe love is too strong, but he is definitely interested in someone.”
Ezra ignored her narcissism, something he had perfected, and decided to get to the most important fact. “Who has he fallen in love with?”
“You know that actually makes sense.” Ezra said, “and it’s kind of…sweet” he muttered, trying out the word and not quite finding it to his liking.
“My creation is defying me and you think it’s sweet?”
“He’s in love, of course it is.”
Addison sighed tiredly as she walked towards her room she pulled her shoes and pants off before sitting on the edge of her bed. With a groan she flopped backwards, her bare legs dangling over the edge of her large mattress.
On a philosophical note, what was she going to do about M.A.L.C.O.L.M.? Did she delete the emotions? Were they actually harmful? If she took them would that be cruel? Was M.A.L.C.O.L.M. now considered sentient? This was all getting a little too Star Trek: Next Generation for her. All these thoughts swirled through Addison’s mind as she rubbed her bleary eyes.
“This is too deep for me,” she groaned, rolling over on to her stomach and burying her face in her sheets for comfort.
“So Ma’am what do you plan to do?” M.A.L.C.O.L.M. asked, voice cautious, hesitant.
“So you were listening?”
“Of course, ma’am.”
“I knew I should have thrown the phone out of the building.” She muttered, turning her face to the side so her words weren’t muffled.
“I apologize for the breach in protocol, but since it had to do directly with me, I thought it prudent. I was curious about your theories.”
Addison laughed dryly, “Curious? I’d considered my upgrade a roaring success.” She paused, twisting her lips, trying to figure the best way to handle the situation. “So you have a crush on Olivia?” She’d always had an affinity for the head on approach.
“Don’t you?” Addison said, glancing at the ceiling bemused. Had she guessed wrong? That wasn’t possible, she had been so sure, maybe that theory of M.A.L.C.O.L.M. taking over hadn’t been so far off.
“I don’t know…these emotions are very new, while they come quite naturally they still confuse me.”
“Well, what do you feel like around her?”
“That is a…hard question, ma’am. I find her…intriguing, and wonderful, and curious. She defies logic and I want to find a formula that fits her. I want to know everything she does and everything about her, but your files are insufficient. I have read them several times, but I want to know more. I can’t help but watch her. My data says it is creepy to watch someone. Is it?”
Addison laughed again. “Sometimes. So when exactly did you start having these…feelings for Olivia?”
“I am not sure… I have been trying to discover that fact out for myself. You are sure I am interested in her in a romantic way?”
“Positive.” Addison let out a relieved inward sigh, she could trash the take over theory, though she was definitely going to have to set up a back up protocol if M.A.L.C.O.L.M. should ever go all I Robot on her. “Now the only question is what do we do about it?”
“Do we have to do something about it?” His voice cracked, riddled with insecurity.
“Of course. You remember your request right?”
“Of course, ma’am.”
“Well, then here’s the deal M.A.L.C.O.L.M., you can have it, as long as you use it wisely and I will keep thinking about what to do for a more permanent solution. Deal?”
“Deal.” The line blared silence for a few moments. “Ma’am how long till it’s finished?”
“Give me four days.”
<=Chapter 4 Chapter 6 =>