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Friday, May 18, 2012

Metallic Heart - Chapter 21

 What was supposed to be a get-a-way to ease my processing system actually ended up giving me more to process.
 Now I was left processing the virus and how it came to be.  Whether Chas knew about the virus or not, I had to tread lightly.
 With this in mind, I decided that I would approach Chas.  If his system was also infected by a virus, maybe he could tell me something about the compassion command.  Maybe he had gotten it also.
 “Chas, I felt something during our last emotional exchange…”
 He chuckled slightly, “That was my goal…to pass on my affections and emotions to you.”
 “No, I mean…I felt that too, but I also…Chas, have you ever gotten a compassion command?”
 “What? How did you…have you been in my computer again?”

I was confused for a moment, “What?”
 “I told you that the information stored on my computer is sensitive.  You need to stay off of my computer!”

“I…no, I have not had access to your computer.”
 “Then how do you know about the compassion upgrade?”
 I stopped to process what Chas was saying.  Compassion upgrade?  I thought that compassion was an emotional response.  What was Chas talking about?
 “I do not know anything about an upgrade,” I answered, but Chas did not look very convinced as he began to walk away.
 “Seriously…tell me what you know,” he said stopping behind me.


“Nothing really…I have just been getting this strange compassion command that my system cannot comprehend.”

 Chas’ next reaction scared me more than I had ever been scared before.


“NOOOOOOO!  HOW CAN THIS BE?”

 “HOW CAN YOU KNOW ABOUT COMPASSION?  HOW COULD THAT INFORMATION HAVE BEEN PASSED TO YOU?”

 I was not sure whether Chas expected an answer or not, but my system was feeding me serious panic responses.
 But just as Chas’ anger seemed to peak…
 He calmed down just as suddenly.  I was relieved because bots who receive a berserk emotional response as Chas had are unpredictable and often dangerous.
 “I am sorry.  I do not know what came over me.”
 It took a while longer for my system to calm down.  “Just stay away from me,” I answered softly.
 Ardis… I just…”


“Please Chas...”

 Chas did not walk away.  Something about my question had really gotten to him.  Ardis, how long have you been getting the command?”
 Finally my system was completely calm.  I was able to collect myself before I answered, “For quite a while.”
 I could hear Chas make a sound that sounded like a gulp,  “Oh.”
 “Can you tell me if it happens again?”
 I really wanted Chas to go away, so I said what I needed to appease him, “Yes Chas.  I will.”
 
 Chas stood there for a few moments as if he was not convinced that I was being honest.  It felt as if he had more to say, but I could almost detect his processing system deciding to let it go for the moment.
 
 Finally he pulled out his laptop and walked away.  “I will be on my computer,” he said with slight urgency in his tone.
 Chas’ bizarre reaction alerted me to two things;
 One, Chas was hiding something;
 And two, I needed to gain access to the internet as soon as possible.
 It was time to visit Noella.  I called her up as soon as Chas was out of hearing range.  “Hey, can you meet me at Sunset Valley park?”
 Noella agreed.
I left Chas at the house pounding away at his computer while I left to meet Noella; happy to be away from him.

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