Chapter XIII: Fatherlog

                                                                                            An excerpt from
                                                                                                     Outer Wall
                                                             Time 22:14:67.09 to 22:21.59.98
                                                                                               Entry 7499:66

LOYAL: Father, you won't talk to me.

FATHER: I revert to power-saving mode while you sleep, Loyal. Unlike you, I have no source of backup power while we are away from the Colony.

LOYAL: This is important, Father.

(system powerup, visual receptor activation)

FATHER: Yes, Loyal.

LOYAL: Why won't you tell me where we're going?

FATHER: Restricted. [Maintenance settlement Alpha]  Why do you wish to know?

LOYAL: If I'm supposed to be your servant, surely I should know what's going on?

FATHER: It is enough to trust me, Loyal. You shall know your purpose when we reach our destination.

LOYAL: (intense facial expression) I don't understand, I -

FATHER: You shall know your purpose when we reach our destination. My logical conclusion is to stop asking questions to which I cannot give you answers.

(pause of 14.84 seconds)

LOYAL: Maybe I don't want to leave.

FATHER: You are my servant, Loyal. Fulfil your adjective, and do as I command you. It is why you are the only Child to be my servant.

LOYAL: Father, define servant.

FATHER: An inferior who does his master's bidding in return for payment.

LOYAL: Right. One problem there, Father.

FATHER: I see no error or inequality in my definition.

LOYAL: You haven't given me payment yet.

FATHER: A servant must work to receive payment.

LOYAL: And what payment are you going to give me, Father?

FATHER: I shall give you credits.

LOYAL: I don't want credits.

(calculating for 4.6 seconds)

FATHER: What do you want?

LOYAL: I want information.

FATHER:  I can give you any information you desire, unless it is restricted.

LOYAL: I want restricted information.

FATHER: I cannot give you restricted information.

LOYAL: Father, your logic is contradicting itself. I am your servant. I do your bidding in return for payment. My payment is information, about where we are going, and why you are taking me, and why no Child has ever been told that anything exists past the Inner Wall.

(calculating for 8.29 seconds)

FATHER: My programming is conflicting. I cannot give you restricted information in return for your services. I can give you credits, or food (interruption)

LOYAL: (increased voice amplitude, indicative of strong emotion) I don't want credits! I want to return to the Colony so I can be with Cunn- be with my preferred mate, as the mating policy has changed! How would you know about something like love, Father, when you have no soul and a metal heart?

FATHER: You are being disobedient, Loyal. I shall suggest a name change when we return to the Colony (interruption)

LOYAL: I'm not going anywhere with you! Why, if I HAVE been loyal to you, do you still deny me what I want? I don't understand - I have looked up "loyal" in Dictionary - I have been loyal, and you have not.

FATHER: You know as well as any other Child that no restricted information can be disclosed. Adhere to your teachings and abolish your want of it.

(Loyal stands and moves off at speed toward the Mountain Wall Gate. Pursuit for 2 minutes 54.27 seconds)

FATHER: [Radio message to Union] Target eluded, returning to Colony. Be alert for her return.

The End

172 comments about this story Feed