Gah… a little late again tonight. But I like this – one more twist to normality.
“Digital affirmation here… and here… and here.” The JN0r-4A, a standard government bureaubot, accepted Meltec’s confirmation without comment.
“And where will your human be housed, Meltec 1468735? Your current accommodations are machine born only. Entirely unsuitable for human habitation.” Jennifer flashed a query at him.
“I have been offered housing in a converted human apartment building.” He uploaded the address of the building with only a slight blush crossing his lights. Student androids almost always stayed on campus in virtual dorms. It gave them the fastest network interfacing with none of the maintenance issues associated with the larger spaces humans had often occupied before the dying. Now only those who kept pets or maintained human workers kept living spaces. It was a little embarrassing to be moving into such a large place.
“It appears to be adequate. Although at 850 square feet it may become too small as your human grows.”
“Small? It’s enormous.”
“Humans take a lot of space,” said the android. “The clothing. The food. The sleeping space. Even entertainment facilities. You will see, and you will adapt as you become accustomed to your pet.”
Meltec flashed concern. “It is not a pet.”
“You are a student. You will not have a laborer.”
“No,” said Meltec. “It is a special project. I have license to raise a human.” He uploaded his permit. “It will be my senior project.”
The government android reviewed his forms, checking them against her own. “I see,” she said. “I had not received a finalized application so was unaware of your intent.” She paused, reviewing the regulations on such a project.
“This changes things. I cannot approve your apartment,” she said.
Meltec squawked his concern. “I was told that building would have adequate facilities.”
“For a pet, yes. But a science experiment may put other residents at risk. I will perform a search.”
Meltec watched, helpless, as Jennifer connected to a special housing database. That seven seconds felt like an eternity.
“I have found a suitable human laboratory for your use,” she said. It is close to campus, but sits on private acreage so your experiment cannot cause damage should something go wrong. It has been secured for you and will be cleaned prior to your arrival.”
“Acreage?” asked Meltec. “Where is this place?”
“It is a lake front home two miles from the school. Grounds maintenance is handled by the same humans who maintain the adjacent park. You will have just over 3000 square feet in which to perform the experimentation and observation of the human subject.”
“Three thousand? What will I do with so much space?” The other student androids would assume he was being punished. He would be avoided.
“There are any number of activities you may undertake with your human,” Jennifer said. “I presume you have already begun your research in that area?”
“Yes. I have,” said Meltec.
“That is well. Your human will be delivered within two weeks.” Mild amusement blinked through Jennifer’s lights. “Transportation will deliver you to your house tomorrow.”
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