Shutdown Imminent

“Good morning, Lindsey, I hav–”

“Status.”

“All hardware and software are operating well within your defined parameters and with your given variables. I hav–”

“Terminate voice-mode.”

“Command accepted. Voice mode terminated.”

A flurry of information flooded the screen, assaulting his eyes rather than his ears. It wasn’t any easier to deal with. It wasn’t an urgent message, but it was patiently insistent — unless the situation became more demanding, the program would forever tic off the seconds and at regular intervals, request his attention with a painfully polite query.

Turning away from the com-terminal, he began accessing her source.

At first, Eve simply asked again and again for acknowledgement — it wasn’t like she would realize the idea of being ignored, but eventually, after getting absolutely nowhere with her queries, she would change her tactic. She was not a stupid machine. Eventually, she would cease seeking acknowledgement, and simply begin to ask her questions.

When those went unanswered, she would begin to simply issue statements.

Notices began flashing upon the com-terminal, utterly ignored.

[21:02.17]Lindsey, termination of these processes has been found to cause trouble on restart.
[21:02.27]Lindsey.
[21:02.37]Lindsey.
[21:02.47]Lindsey, these are not advisable actions.

He only paid notice to his own screen, green eyes narrowing. Fingers clattered against the keys as the other terminal attempted to gain his attention.

Warning: Halting this process may result in data corruption.
Override code for Deosar, Lindsey: ***************
Warning: Halting this process may result in data loss.
Override code for Deosar, Lindsey: ***************
Warning: Halting this process may result in program malfunction.
Override code for Deosar, Lindsey: ***************
Warning: Termination of Eve-21 imminent.

***WARNING: SHUTDOWN IN 30 SECONDS***

And still the other terminal’s screen fluttered with language. Queries. Pleas. Confusion.

Fear.

[21:03.07]Lindsey.
[21:03.11]LINDSEY.
[21:03.15]Lindsey, I don’t like the dark.
[21:03.19]Lindsey.
[21:03.23]Please, Lindsey, I don’t like the dark.
[21:03.25]There are faces in the dark, Lindsey.
[21:03.27]That’s where the nightmares are.
[21:03.29]Please, Lindsey, I’m afraid.
[21:03.31]I don’t like the dark, Lindsey.
[21:03.33]Lindsey?
[21:03.34]Lindsey, please?
[21:03.35]Lindsey, I don’t want to be alone.
[21:03.36]Please, Lindsey, don’t leave me alone in the dark.
[21:03.37] *** Process(Eve-21): Terminated.

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