*Action* A.I. CAPTAIN! *Salutes* part one.

Who:- Jay, Katrina

Where:- Their Quarters
When:- A few days after Mickey stopped Evil Holly
Jay blearily rubbed his eyes as he sat up, flicking on the bedside lamp his retinas silently screamed as his bedroom was filled with light that stabbed into his eyes like needles. He blinked a few times and groggily tossed the duvet to one side, making Katrina, sleeping on the right hand side of the double bed mumble something intelligible as a draught blew up under the covers before she rolled over and fell back into a deep sleep.
Jay yawned, and swung his legs out, and placed his bare feet on the carpet. He shot a quick glance at the wall monitor that should have been displaying the ships time in big, red illuminated numbers but nothing was there. Remembering that Blue Dwarf currently had no main computer, he clumsily grabbed for his watch which lay on the bedside cabinet and checked the time. 0830. Smeg. They’d overslept.
It wasn’t surprising really. Most people aboard were used to Holly dealing with simple things like wake up calls. Jay wagered that he and Katrina wouldn’t be the only one who’d forgotten to set the alarms on their mobile phones to wake them this morning, he figured he’d go easy on anyone who was late for duty until a replacement computer was installed.
Captain Chrysler drowsily stumbled into the bathroom, and quickly stumbled out again, grabbed a battery powered torch from the bedside cabinet’s drawer and stumbled back in having realised that without Holly, there was no mains-lighting.
He made a similar mistake when getting into the shower, and girlishly screamed as he was sprayed with several gallons of ice-cold water that, without Holly, had failed to be heated. He quickly jumped out, now more awake than before and after drying himself, and deciding that he wasn’t even going to attempt shaving without sufficient light AND no computer guided razor, stepped back into the bedroom, pulled on a clean uniform and nudged Katrina.
“Time to go to work Ensign!” he said loudly.
“Murghgh” came the response.
“NOW!” Jay said in response, and grabbed the corner of the duvet, and dragged it with him as he left the room, leaving a naked Katrina shivering in suddenly cold bed.

It was about 0915 that Jay finally arrived in the drive room for the 0800 command shift. “Sorry I’m late…” he muttered, gulping from his coffee.
He would have spat it out there and then if not for the fact that he wouldn’t be able to replace it. No Holly, meant people had to make their own coffee.
This meant learning the arcane mysteries of boiling water, pouring it on top of instant coffee granules and adding any milk and sugar. People shouldn’t have to do that in the 22nd century, Jay had protested loudly, back in his kitchen right after he torn open the pack of coffee granules, scattering Kenco granules all over the kitchen worktop.
“If god had intended us to make our own drinks” he’d said “He’d have given women hot and cold taps on each breast and I’d blow sugar lumps out of my nostrils…”
As it happened Jay did manage to make a mug of coffee, but it tasted like something that Mini-Phil might ‘find’ in the back of his underpants and was strong enough to keep the entire Sloth population of South America awake for months…
He stomped across the drive room and into his office “holly tell…dammit…” he turned to his computer terminal and instead began typing his memo.
“To: LaChance, Rosette.
Subject:- Your role on the ship
You’re not a registered member of this crew, and yet your dedication and commitment to the ship have been exceptional. Your contributions during the most difficult crises has consistently been nothing short of outstanding, and frankly, put many of our paid crew to shame. As such, I would like to take this opportunity to offer you a position in our security team, with the field rank of Ensign with all the rights and privileges therein, with immediate effect.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Captain Jay M. Chrysler
Commanding Officer
JMC Blue Dwarf”
He clicked send, and took another sip of the vile liquid contained inside his favourite Spider-Man mug before muttering something about needing to also find a new second in command before being interrupted by Lieutenant Davies at the office door. “Incoming call from Space Corp command sir!”
Jay sighed, “Put it through here…”
“Ok…just…give me a moment!” the young woman dashed back out to her console in the drive room, and in the absence of a main computer, yanked a plug out of it’s socket on the old-fashioned switchboard and plugged it in elsewhere and the call was transferred to Jay’s desktop.
“Admiral Phillips” Jay said as the face of a middle aged woman appeared on screen “What can I do for you?”
“I’ll be coming aboard the Blue Dwarf shortly Captain, I’m here to oversee the installation of your new mainframe computer.”
“I can’t say it’s too soon” Jay replied “We’re living like cavemen at the moment, can you believe I had to program a microwave myself yesterday afternoon?”
“Barbaric!” said the Admiral, in genuine shock. “Well, I think you’ll like what we have in store for you. You’ll be the first vessel to test the new Quark model AI.”
“Oh it’s quite impressive Captain, the technology is highly advanced, and very fragile, not to mention valuable. It shan’t be leaving my side until the installation.”
“Sorry…leaving your side? Mainframe computers are stories tall!”
“Not this one! It uses miniaturisation technology to compact all it’s data-cores and processors into a tiny module, no bigger than a briefcase, yet it contains many times the power of a Holly unit.”
“Impressive! When do you come aboard?”
“I should board around 20:00, oh, will you make sure my quarters are suitable for my cat?” she held up a rather grumpy looking tom cat to the screen. “Mr. Jingles comes everywhere with me. I’d hate if anything happened to him.”
“I’ll make sure he’s suitably looked after, Admiral” Jay said “Oh, I’m taking some of the crew for drinks tonight in gratitude for their contributions in the last few missions, would you care to join us?”
“I’d love to….but you better make sure Mr Jingles will be safe in your ships bar Captain. I dread to think what would happen to you and your crew if he wasn’t…”
Jay swallowed hard, Admiral Phillips may be one of the friendlier of the top brass, but he'd heard about her mean streak when she was upset.…”understood..” he said meekly.
<To be continued>

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