At 7:00 a.m., just as Nick had requested, a tone repeated at a very comfortable, non-jarring 65 decibels as the lights of Nick's quarters slowly rose to full strength.
Nick's eyes slowly opened upon hearing the alarm.
"That's more like it.", he said aloud with a smile.
"Good morning Lieutenant Commander Sheppard.", Syndi said loudly, speaking over the continuing alarm. "It's 7:00 a.m., Doctor Marshall and Commander Kennedy are in the moon pool area."
The alarm continued to repeat making some of what Syndi was saying hard to hear, and growing annoying quickly.
"Thank you Syndi.", Nick called aloud.
The alarm continued for another several moments before Nick responded, "You can shut off the alarm now."
"I'm afraid I can't do that Lieutenant Commander.", Syndi replied.
Nick's good morning was rapidly heading in the opposite direction.
"You can't do that?", Nick asked with growing frustration stacked on top of confusion.
"Just turn it off.", he said more firmly with the alarm ringing in his ears.
"Lieutenant Commander, you very specifically asked me not to turn off the alarm until you got up.", Syndi said in that innocent sort of "Why don't you understand this, it's what you asked for." Kind of way.
"She was right.", Nick thought to himself as painful as it was to admit. That was exactly what he told her.
Nick threw the covers off with one quick sweep of his arm, slowly sat up, rotated his legs off the bed and slowly, very deliberately, rose to a standing position at which point -- the alarm stopped.
He hung his head and softly nodded with a slight grin.
"Thank you Syndi."
"You're welcome Lieutenant Commander.", the A.I. responded in a very satisfactory, "mission accomplished" tone.
His foolproof plan had failed, or at least not gone down without a hitch. Nick was frustrated, but at the same time -- he did get what he was asking for.
Nick grabbed a pair of pants from the nearby dresser drawer.
"Syndi.", Nick said while putting on the pants. "You're a computer. I understand you do what you're told. And you do that pretty well."
"Thank you.", she replied.
The Lieutenant Commander nodded and continued, "But there are times when people are going to ask you to do something different than what you're programmed to do, and you're -- you're just going to have to weigh the two requests and determine which is the right request for that specific moment."
"How does one request outweigh another request?", Syndi inquired.
It was a decent enough question. One that Nick didn't know that he had a mathematical answer for.
"I don't know.", he shook his head searching for an answer. "I guess it depends on the situation."
"What about any situation makes one more important than the other?", the computer asked innocently enough.
Nick let out a frustrating sigh, "I don't know Syndi. The timing, the urgency, the -- the importance."
He was trying desperately to give her something that was measurable, concrete, easy to calculate.
Syndi, for her part, was analyzing a variety of situations as quickly as possible attempting to understand Nick's request.
"How do I know if your original request was any more or less important than the most recent request?", she asked.
YOU ARE READING
Deep Blue - The DescentScience Fiction
More people have visited the moon, than have found their way to the bottom of the ocean. Test piloting the military's latest top secret assault submarine, in the most inhospitable environment on the planet, a reckless test pilot teams up with a recl...