Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dead Rite chapter 88.03

Inspector White looked at them both. “This is ridiculous. It's just a machine. Even I know that much.” He pressed the power button and fans began to whirr. Beeps and clicks issued from the speaker. “If there's one thing I've learned about computers it's that not a one of them can survive a cup of coffee poured in its innards.”

“No! Don't do that!” Professor Shadwell's face seemed to collapse at the very idea. “Whatever this is, it's one of a kind. Those lads are geniuses, I'm sure. Well...Trubshaw, anyway. Farthing is certainly a league above the usual student but perhaps not quite to the extent of his friend. This could revolutionise the world.”

“I hardly think so. The world won't change from a run-down technical college in the arse end of Wiltshire.” Peters squatted in front of the keyboard. “How does this thing accept input, anyway? I can't see a monitor screen.”

“Oh? One of the other students must have pinched it.” Shadwell unplugged one from another student's project and brought it over. “It does have a microphone as well. Mr Farthing taught it to read lips but that only works if the machine understands you to begin with. It may struggle with your...ah...regional accents.”

The computer suddenly yawned. A rush of exaggerated emphasis, as of a man bored with conversation that's keeping him from the local hostelry. White jumped. “Did that thing just yawn?”

Peters was grinning. “I have to admit that was clever. They've replaced the boot-up wave file with a custom yawn. Brilliant.”

“Brilliant, is it?” White frowned at the computer. He dug a hand in his trouser pocket and pulled out a handful of change. “Professor Shadwell?”

“Hmm? Yes?”

“Where's the nearest coffee machine?”


Stephanie said...

Brilliant. Love the yawn. :)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks. It's my own!