A mischievous expression came over Zark’s face. “So you have to do what I say?”
“To an extent,” replied Ellis.
Zark sat on the countertop in the shop kitchen and lounge area. Their new droid, LSP-88, or Ellis, as Zark called him, stood at attention in the center of the room.
“My primary function is to help you whenever I can, as long as your request does not violate laws or human rights,” stated Ellis.
“Hmmm…” Zark pondered for a moment. “Pat your head while rubbing your stomach.”
Ellis glared at Zark, but patted his head with his right hand while simultaneously rubbing his stomach with his left. “What purpose does this serve?”
“It’s a... calibration exercise,” Zark said with a smile.
“I can assure you I have arrived perfectly calibrated. I have tested positive in over one million simulations. In fact, my coordination functions are far superior that of any hu..”
“What are you doing?” Zedd interrupted. He had witnessed the strange scene as he rounded the corner.
“Calibrating,” Zark and Ellis answered simultaneously.
Zark motioned for Ellis to stop. Ellis promptly did so.
“Ellis, can you unpackage the rest of the kitchen supplies? I want to make some food.” Ellis turned from Zark. He walked towards the garage where the crates had been stacked. The shuffling of containers and silverware could be heard echoing in the next room. Zedd opened the refrigerator and removed two steaks.
A short while later, after the two finished their meal, Zedd returned to the refrigerator and retrieved two cans. He placed them on the table between himself and Zark. Reaching over, he cracked both tabs open at the same time. He handed one to Zark and sat back down.
Zedd raised his drink.
“To a new beginning,” he toasted. Zark toasted with his dad, causing foam from within to erupt from the opening. Zark quickly brought it to his mouth to catch the escaping suds. He drank heavy, then brought the can down from his mouth with a disgusted frown. Zedd smiled.
“What is this?” Zark said, disgusted.
“Schlitz. I had some deep-frozen in storage since I left Earth. These are from the same six pack I bought the day before I left. I was with a buddy of mine, Collyn. We made the same toast.”
“He stayed on Earth?” Zark asked. He took another careful sip of the beer.
“Yeah, he had a son and a wife. They couldn’t travel. But, I told him I would cheers in his memory when I got here. I had no idea I’d be doing it with you though.”
Zark reflected on the sentiment, then raised his beer again.
“To Collyn, wherever he is.”
Zedd smiled, looking at his beer. He hesitated for a moment before laughing and taking a couple gulps. He belched as loud as he could then yelled, “To Collyn.”
The shop Zedd rented featured an apartment directly above. Now on his third beer, he rummaged through their belongings, all still in crates. He was loudly playing music and “organizing” their belongings by taking them all out and placing them randomly around their living room. This project was more than entertaining. He was so enthralled that he didn’t even remember he had his own personal droid to do all this for him.
Paired. The voice from Zark’s celltab stated. He sat at the lounge table with an empty beer before him asking questions of Ellis.
Zark looked at his celltab and found the file folder that contained Ellis’s OS files. He opened it. Solomon, it was called. Inside the main folder were others containing configuration files. Zark found a Language folder containing innumerable script files.
“How many languages do you know?”
“Over 5,000, including dead and fictional languages.”
Zark thought for a moment.
“Say something in Swedish.”
“Huh.” Zark wasn’t satisfied or disappointed with the answer. He also didn’t know any Swedish. He went back to browsing the folders. “So, can you learn more languages?”
“Yes, but they must be uploaded manually. I cannot recognize a language that has not been registered in a digital database.” Zark scrolled down past the folders past Language, but most of them were written with unrecognizable symbols.
Saved in Zark’s celltab was the OS from their previous android on the Duskrider. He made a copy of it before they left in case the android was damaged during shipping. The copied file held their shop procedures, their patterns, all the ways to completely tear apart and rebuild Vela. They were going to need some help repairing Vela after Zedd’s carelessness had nearly demolished the bike last week.
Zark pulled up Rift. A small menu appeared, prompting him to select a device to partition. He located Ellis’s hard drive and selected it. Rift’s menu prompted him again with a new message: Partition device LSP-88? Zark pressed Yes.
A warning message appeared: This device is already partitioned. Further partitions may damage the system.
“What?” He scrolled through the System folder looking for anything he could somewhat decipher. A folder labeled named Null caught his eye. He opened it. A new message appeared, not from Rift, but from Ellis’s OS, Solomon.
Please enter security key to access Default Operations.
“Wait, you already have a second Operating System?”
“Yes. It is installed but remains dormant.”
“So it’s different than Solomon?”
“It acts as a failsafe in case of a hard reset. It can only be accessed and activated through Fenix Inc.”
“Have you ever used it?”
“There is no need. Solomon enables me to do all necessary tasks.”
Zark muttered to himself, “Dammit. If I can’t even access it... I don’t know what else to do.” He sighed. Why wasn’t it in the manual? It was too frustrating. “I don’t know. I’m gonna have to research it, but I’m not done with you.” He minimized his celltab.