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Chapter 6: Data Way
Shay looked very closely at this handsome centaur and something wasn’t right about him, but he couldn’t figure out why he felt that way. The guy was as gorgeous a creature as he’d ever seen. Almost too perfect, in fact. Everything about him seemed to be designed to please the eyes. And here he thought his centaur form was a sight to behold. At least when he helped create his body he thought he’d really mastered the art of masculine centaur pulchritude. But next to the dark taur he paled in comparison and not just because he was merely bronzed while this fellow was a stunning chocolate.
Shay was beginning to get the impression that all centaurs were devised to be insanely attractive. Not that that was a bad thing. It was just odd to adjust to such a concept after spending a life among the humans where imperfections were as plentiful as perfection was rare. He remembered that sometimes Dare was most attracted to imperfect guys. It seemed to his past self that character came with flaws and Augustus Everclear was flawless. Which didn’t say much for his having great character, too.
Shay managed to find a place in the shadows where the two wouldn’t be easily observed or overheard. “Okay, Mistaur Everclear, spill the beans.”
“Spill beans, Saur? What do you mean?” The expression on Everclear’s face had shifted form all smiles to all smiles with a slight trace of confusion around the eyes. My gosh, his eyes are amber colored!
“Come clean.” A trace more confusion became apparent.
“Fess up!” Now the smile began to fade.
It started to dawn on Shay that the two were having a real failure to communicate. It had quickly become obvious Augustus didn’t know Earthly colloquialisms and Shay stopped throwing them out. “Tell me the whole truth and all of the truth.”
“Certainly, Saur. My pleasure, Saur.” The smile returned to its full setting.
“Who are you really and why are you here?”
“I am your Assistant Constable, Saur. I am the newly enhanced model XXZ-456-AA-D or more commonly referred to as the Triple A Dash D, fully programmed adjudication device.”
Shay nearly fainted. Augustus stood smiling as if he hadn’t a care in the world and Shay began to know why that might very well be. “You mean to tell me you aren’t a real taur?”
“For all intents and purposes I am exactly like a biological unit, Saur. However, my construction is not biological. I am an android. To be precise: I am an Augmented Android Adjudication Device-Augie, for short-programmed to satisfy your needs in every respect and to be a resource for all important data pertaining to New Centaurian and the life forms that call it home. I am here to assist you on every level you command and perform whatever duties you demand of me. Are you pleased, Saur?”
“Pleased? Mistaur Everclear, I am shocked. Shocked, to put it bluntly. I had no idea there were real centaurs a short while ago and now I am one. Now, here you are to show me that centaur-shaped androids really exist on this plane as well. I am flabbergasted. I don’t know quite what to make of having an assistant who isn’t flesh and blood. This is going to take time to get used to.”
“I do not mean to distress you, Saur. I am programmed to aid you in all ways that a biological unit would. However, I will not need organic sustenance as one would. Nor do I need sleep. I can function on all levels for long lengths of time before following my personal maintenance retinue. I am sure you will find me of great value to your adjustment to New Centaurian. Are you pleased, Saur?”
He looked at the prefect dark taur an realized he wasn’t perfect after all. He might, indeed, be a perfect fabrication of a centaur, but he wasn’t truly one. Now he knew why the fellow had thrown him off and it was a relief to discover the truth. But the truth was something he was quite aware could damage his relationship with the taurfolk. Here was another area in this unusual adventure where Shay would have to act fast and decisively.
“You cannot ever mention, not even in passing, that you are not as you say a “biological unit”. You are to act as completely as possible as a real centaur would. If you are programmed to be like one then you must learn to behave like one. Do you understand, Augie?”
“Yes, Saur. I am to pretend I am a real centaur and I must never disclose that I am an android to the taurfolk. I understand.” Augie continued to stand, smiling. Shay half expected him to start panting like a happy dog.
“And please wipe that smile off your face. No one smiles that much. Just smile when the situation warrants it. If you don’t know when that is, just watch the taurs around you and begin to mimic their behavior. If you hadn’t told me you were an android I’d have never guessed. I suspect you will be able to decipher taur emotions despite having none of your own, right?”
“Yes, Saur. My newly enhanced augmentation includes the Centauric Emotive Network or CEN. Are you pleased, Saur?”
“I’ll tell you when I am pleased. If you’ve been programmed to frequently ask me that question please shut the programming off?”
“Yes, Saur. As you wish.”
He can answer most all of your questions, Constable. You’re welcome.
“Good. I am glad that you have been sent to aid me. Frankly, there is a lot to adjust to here and having an assistant should make everything go much more smoothly. Your first assignment is to accompany me into the meeting hall and to remain on call to answer the taurfolks questions. Remember, do nothing whatsoever to reveal your true nature or should I say, lack of nature. We shall retain formal decorum inside the hall, but whenever we are alone together you may call me Shay and I will call you Augie. I have never felt comfortable with the term “Sir” or “Saur”. It appears the local’s use it out of respect and aren’t easily swayed from its use. Is all this clear, Augie?”
“Yes, Shay. I am Everclear.” The android actually laughed quite convincingly at its own little joke. “I am programmed with a Humor Unit as well.
“Good. If there is one thing that might be in short supply here it is humor.”
This work of fiction is Copyright 2012 by G. W. German. No part of this work can be used or republished in any form without the express consent of the author.