Author : Bill Drummond

We three, the only survivors of the wrecked starship Buoyant, are Captain Bertrand Kelmond, Sergeant Rosalind Druley and me. The Captain has suffered a head injury, leaving him confused and ineffective as the leader. I am not happy with being assigned his attendant and neither is he.

Captain Bert believes that he is still in charge of the team. Sergeant Druley has assumed the leadership role of our tiny group. I am glad for that. If we are to make it off this planet alive, there is no one to help us. We must rely on each other. Repairs on our rescue beacon are constantly interrupted by Bert’s incessant bickering and obtuse orders. Just how, exactly, am I to “hoist the mainsail”? These bouts of his wear on us all.

To make matters worse, neither Bert nor Rosa considers me, in their own words, “a satisfactory companion”. They actually laughed at me when I explained that this hurts my feelings. Personally I think they are rude and inconsiderate. They say that I am only a robot. I believe that I am less a tool than they.

Today Bert kicked at the hull of the Buoyant and walked out, mumbling obscenities of course. “He’s in a mood again.” I commented to Sergeant Druley. She sighed and tossed the wrench in a bucket. “Leave him alone and he’ll come around” she muttered, leaving the communications room. “I meant no harm Rosa. I merely mentioned that he might benefit from the use of my psychological analysis program.” I said to the empty room.

Walking down the hall she responded, “in effect you told him that he should have his head examined.” I said to her “well I suppose that is another way to say it, yes”. “Well” she said, “I suppose that you should adjust the level on your humanities programming a bit.” “What is that supposed to mean?” I said to her as she walked away from me. Rosa turned to me shrugging, her hands palm up. I scanned my human image database and found a correlation. “Ha, sarcasm. That is quite petty you know.” I said to the empty hallway.

I have entered all the events of today in my personal log. The interactions noted here are quite typical of our daily routine. This moody demeanor on Rosa’s part is not productive and I tire of it. I am seriously considering adding a mild sedative to the drinking water for harmonies sake. My reason for not having done so to date is my fear that this will stunt Rosa’s creativity and resourcefulness. I rely on her greatly, though not exclusively, to successfully complete my mission.

Their behavior the next few days will determine my next course of action. My sincere hope is that we can peacefully co-exist. On the captains good days he is exceptionally helpful. These times, unfortunately, are becoming more infrequent.

“Captain Kelmond, do you have anything to add to the testimony given by the Buoyant?” asked the inquisitor algorithm.

“No, I will stand by my full report on the Buoyant’s malfunction and attempted suicide after murdering most of the crew.” replied Bert. He added, “If it were not for Rosa the Buoyant would have killed me as well. In the end that android was the only one the Buoyant seemed to trust.”

“Very well Captain. The court rules that the Buoyant be decommissioned and the wrecked hull sold as scrap.” responded the court computer, “The Buoyant’s higher functions will be stored in a maximum security facility for the remainder of its natural function.”


Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows