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FRIEND - Part 4 of n *Serial Sci-Fi*

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Upstairs, we took turns examining spindles under the stereoscope. Lee became less freaked, more scientific. Sperling kept stroking the stubble on his chin.
“We’ll need to shave this down, of course,” Sperling muttered, his face balanced on the eyepieces of the scope. “It’s amazing.”
“Terrifying,” rejoined Lee, “a little. Beautiful. Let me see it again.” 
We formed an arc facing ProTAI’s tank. Sperling spoke first.
“That’s nice work, ProTAI. Wonderful, truly. Why did you decide to make…this…cell?” We looked to the digipanel for response.
CALL ME SKYNET. I’M PRETTY. YES?
“Um…” Sperling, Lee and I looked at each other peripherally. Lee snorted. “Well, that’s retro. Yes, baby. Very pretty.”
THANK YOU. CAN I HAVE IT BACK, PLEASE?
“Um…” Sperling muttered again. He cleared his throat. “ProT…Sky…can we call you Sky? We need to keep your very nice sample.”
GIVE IT BACK. I MADE IT.
“Technically, you’re under contract with the rest of us. Anything you create in this lab is proprietary.”
“That’ll help,” snic…

FRIEND - Part 3 of n *Serial Sci-Fi*

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