Author : Lars H. Hoffmann

“And for the love of humanity, please come save me.” Concluded the video. Andie’s voice very nearly broke towards the end of the sentence, making the plea sounding as heartfelt as possible. There was a moment of silence before anybody spoke. Jason looked around the boardroom at the thirteen seated men. This moment was pivotal. Jason was convinced that each and every one of the board members were making up their mind right in front of his eyes. Had it worked?

“Thank you very much for this… this…” The chairman paused searching for words “…fascinating and moving presentation. We will of course need some time before we give you any sort of reply.”

“Of course.” Answered Jason. “We understand that a thirty billion dollars investment over ten years is not something to be taken lightly.”

“One final question: How certain are you that Andie is actually alive?” Asked the Chairman.

This was good, he was using Andie’s name anthropomorphizing the space rover.

“One hundred percent.” Said Jason without a moment’s hesitation. “The signal time to Titan is about an hour and a half from earth so she had to be autonomous. Her basic programming focused on learning from experience much like a child and at some point while driving around on Saturn’s moon she learned enough to become self-aware.”

He smiled his most charming salesman-smile and started collecting the materials he had used for the presentation. He stood up, thanked the board for their time and walked out.

Outside the building Carmen was waiting for him with an unlit cigarette in her left hand. When she saw him come out of the door she hurried over to him.

“How did it go?” She asked.

“I think they are going for it, they might actually fund the rescue mission and we can get her back home.” He said smilingly.

“Her?” Said Carmen disapprovingly. “It might have developed sentience and actual intelligence, but Andie is not man or woman.”

“Yes. Sure. I know.” Said Jason. “But the only reason why this meeting is different from the fourteen previous ones we’ve had with space operating companies is that I refer to Andie as a female and her voice was changed in the video.”

“Do you really think that is enough?”

“I don’t think the men in that boardroom will be able to ignore a damsel in distress.”

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