"Have you been listening again?" She asks me. I can't lie; she can read my mind. She has read every thought that I've ever had and she didn't think much to them. She thought I wouldn't make much of a novel.
"Yes. Yes I have."
"Alex, I told you not to listen to the alien radio," she says.
"Yeah, but..." I would come up with an excuse but there really isn't much point; she'd know I'm lying. I used to try and trick her with my lies. It was like a game with one winner and it wasn't me. But that was a long time ago, back when I first found her.
"You know that it is dangerous. If they realise that we are listening they maybe able to track us down. Come on, I expect better from you."
"Okay. Sorry," I reply without looking at her.
The alien radio is one of her many inventions.
She can pick up at least a dozen extraterrestrial transmissions with it. Nobody knows what they mean, not even her. Yet. She is close. She probably will have them worked out before the end of the month. She is super bright but she had to be.
"So, do you think they will ever come?" I ask a question that I've asked many times before. She knows the sequence of answers; it comes from practice.
"Who? The other people?"
"Yes," I say. There is really no need for me to talk because she knows everything I'm about to say. We only talk out loud because I can't tell what she is thinking. I always have the feeling of inferiority.
"Alex, I don't think it is possible, in fact, it is mathematically impossible for them to ever find us. We have to get used to this lunar base and make it our home."
She says this coldly. Her body remains absolutely still. It is at times like this that I wish she had a name so I could shout it angrily at her. She hasn't so I contain my anger.
"I know. But being out here is making me so lonely," I tell her.
"You will always have me- forever," she tries to reassure me.
"But your not... It's not the same as..." I stop myself. I have an impulse to try and protect her feelings even though I know she doesn't have any.
"I know. I know its not the same," she tries to put emotion in her voice but it doesn't work. It is too forced. Then she makes efforts to touch me. I don't want that.
She sees this and stops herself.
It is at times like this that she doesn't know what to say. Even mind reading doesn't help. She isn't used to my sensitivity and never will be.
At last she says, "I do try."
Her words are mistimed. They make me feel even more awkward. Judging when to say things is an instinct she doesn't possess.
"Shall I get back to work, Alex, or do you want to talk some more?"
Nobody else in the universe could get away with a question like this and I know I'd be a fool to answer. Plus, I'm beginning to feel real bad.
"Were you using the alien radio to try and hear other human beings?" She asks. She is onto me. I know this so she knows this.
"Yes," I simply say.
This is where she'd laugh if she could. She can't get used to my foolishness; that is what super intelligence gets you- it fucks up your empathy.
"Oh, Alex, you should have know that it wouldn't work. That isn't what I invented it for. Why didn't you talk to me? I could have prevented you from wasting your time."
"Why don't you make a device that will help me contact humans? I know why: you are trying to keep me here!" I shout at her. There is no real reason to shout. It doesn't help things.
"That isn't true. You know that isn't true, Alex. You need me far more than I need you."
"Oh yeah?" I challenge.
"Yes. I don't feel loneliness, friendship or love so I don't need anyone around me."
"I forgot. You don't feel: period."
"That is right, Alex, I don't feel. I wasn't made to. I'm a robot; robots don't feel."
She stops me before I can respond. "Don't say that, Alex, remember you can't hurt me. Now I'm off back to work. Try and make yourself busy."
I don't see her again until the evening. She comes in while I am eating my supper. I don't know why but she likes to watch me eat. She finds it fascinating. I have a feeling that she watches me while I sleep too.
"I have a solution to our problem," she says immediately as she enters the room.
"Our problem?" I ask defumbled. I'm still a little mad at her but it is nothing new.
"Yes. Your loneliness," she informs me.
"Oh, that little thing," I smile. "What is your solution? Do you have a new invention to solve it? If you have it better be a new kind of drug."
Humour doesn't work on her.
I should know that. She does.
"No. I'm not well enough versed on human toxicology to create that."
"What a shame," I say between bites of my meal.
"When I was first invented my creators were not preparing me for interactions with people. I was created to achieve things normal humans can barely imagine and I do it well. Of course this doesn't help you. So I believe you should update my programming to make it more compatible with you. Rebuild me."
"You do realise that I am not a scientist or anything. I only just scrapped through my school's science classes."
"I can show you what to do. I know everything about my program. I can give you very simple instructions that even you can follow."
I stop eating.
"Lets say we do this in a hypothetical scenario: when would want to start?"
She says looking me in the eye: "Immediately."
So right after I finished my supper we started.
I have plans to make her average.