How can I possibly trust you

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

The keys clacked beneath Devora’s fingers as she sat, half twisted, typing and watching the monitor. She cursed the engineers’ assumption that this station wouldn’t require long inputs.

“I can enter the code for you,” a voice said cheerily about her. Devora jumped slightly, futilely holding the movement at bay. A face appeared on the screen behind her code. Bright, smiling, and annoying.

Running her finger over the pad she flicked Heskel, the station’s AI, away. “How can I possibly trust you?” she grumbled hoping he wouldn’t respond.

He did of course. “Trying to vaporize you hadn’t been the intended outcome of calibrating the security system.”

“I bet not.” She snorted.

She might have believed it if such accidents hadn’t occurred multiple times a day during the four days she’d been on the station. Heskel started nudging back onto her screen, and she pinned him to the edge.

Finishing up the code, she pressed enter and collapsed backward leaning against the thin backrest. The code flowed past, and Heskel joined it.

The station went silent.

The lights flickered.

When they stabilized the system rebooted and the core code scrolled across her screen. Eyes darting over the text she caught it. A section entered by Raven, her predecessor, to adjust the AI’s program. That’s why it wouldn’t tolerate Devora presence. It missed Raven.

Devora sat up and began unraveling the code. She wished she could flick a stray thought away as easily as Heskel. What had driven Raven to recode Haskel?

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