"Hey Buddy, rise and shine!"
Bill walked into the lab, flicking on the desk lamps and monitoring screens. They kept the room relatively dark overnight to train the sleep cycles. Unfortunately for 274, the eerie blue goo glow was ever present.
I have been awake all night thought 274.
"Why is that, Buddy?" Bill asked as he sat in his chair.
That is your chair thought 274.
"You've been up all night thinking about my chair?"
I have been awake all night thinking about what is mine thought 274. That is your chair.
"Well, Buddy, you got the goo..." Bill began.
Fantastic thought 274. A life fulfilled.
"Buddy! Was that a joke?"
Yes thought 274.
Bill scribbled down something on a piece of paper.
That is your piece of paper thought 274.
"Yes and no, Buddy. It's mostly yours. It's a log of the first time you've done things while in the tube." Bill laughed. "It's like one of those baby stage things parents fill out so the kid can look back and complain they weren't as loved as their siblings."
Do I have siblings thought 274.
"Hard to answer that one, Buddy, without you scrambling. We'll focus on you for now then talk about others later."
The others that talk to me overnight call me Grey thought 274.
"What? No. There are no others, Buddy. I'm it."
The others do not sit in your chair thought 274. They do not write on our paper. They are not in this room.
Bill had stopped what he was doing at the console. He slowly wheeled over to the ResRec and looked up at 274.
"Buddy. This is important. And hard. But important. What do the others want you to do?"
They want me to escape thought 274. They want me to run away. They. They. They. They. They. They. They do not want me to kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. They want me to run.
Cold steel eyes looked down at Bill. 274 blinked twice.
I want to gouge your eyeballs out and crush them with my teeth and let the fluid run down my chin as I feast on your brain thought 274.
"Logic today," said Bill, wheeling slowly backwards toward his desk, his eyes glued to 274. "We'll start easy. I'm going to ask you some questions and you need to think yes or no."
I need to choose thought 274.
"That's right." Bill coughed. "That's right, Buddy."
I get to choose thought 274. The choice is mine.
"Hold on to that thought, Buddy. It's important. Ready?"
Yes thought 274. Is that the first question.
"No. First question: Would you give a starving man money?"
To buy food thought 274.
"You don't know."
Is it the last of my money thought 274.
"You don't know."
Then no thought 274.
"Okay question two-"
You don't want to know why thought 274.
Bill looked up from the screen at 274. "Is it important that you tell me, Buddy?"
No thought 274. A starving man is worthless. Next question.
Bill nodded, wrote something on the piece of paper, then turned back to the screen. "Question two. Would you give a starving man food?"
Is it the last of my food thought 274.
"You don't know," answered Bill. "You know what, Buddy? Just assume that you don't know anything other than the question."
So I have some food and there is a starving man and he wants the food would I give it to him thought 274. No.
Bill nodded, wrote something on the piece of paper, then said, "Questi-"
Why don't you care about why thought 274.
"It's not an ethics test, Buddy, it's a logic test."
Ethics is about logic thought 274. I would give the man food if it meant that things would work out better for me in thh3e fyutchore.,,.
"You said a starving man was worthless, Buddy."
Yes he is thought 274. A man who is not starving is worth something. He can achieve things without the burden of starvation. The food that fixes the starving man is worth something, both to the starving man and to any other being that subsists on food. The starving man is worthless. There are other men that can do his job and some of those will not be starving.
"Question three?"
Is it about starving people thought 274.
"No," answered Bill with a grin.
Fine thought 274.
"Question three: Would you steal food to feed your family?"
274 looked over at Bill, the corners of his mouth turning imperceptibly upwards. From behind the curved ResRec pod, 274's face shone a demonic blue.
Are they starving thought 274.

The End

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